Friday, August 15, 2014

5 Things I Learned Painting & Mod Podging Garage Sale Finds

I didn't intend to vanish for a week but the last few days we've been going to the Parade of Homes to keep my nephew occupied the last week before school starts (FINALLY! I love the kid but it's been a looooong summer). And I've also been working on a trio of projects for my bedroom.

I've been painting and Mod Podging a nightstand, shoe cubby, and bed tray that were all garage sale finds. I have to redo a portion of the nightstand because I don't love the way it turned out, and I have to finish the bed tray with an all-over coat of Mod Podge. But I did finish the shoe cubby. And I love it! I'll do a post devoted to that, but I thought I'd do a post with the five things I learned while doing this trio.

1. Sandpaper is your friend.
I've painted before without doing a scuff sanding prior to painting and let me tell you, almost instantaneous regret. The paint never goes on as smoothly or lasts if you don't do a light sanding with some fine-grit sand paper to scratch up the finish. I also discovered partway through the project that sanding lightly between coats of paint keeps the layers even and smooth. I used a coarser sand paper than I probably should have, but it was what I had available and seemed to work well if I used a light touch with it.

2. The sun could be your best friend. Or your worst enemy.
Paint dries really quickly in the sun. Which is really great for cutting the drying time between coats. But the sun doesn't discriminate so it dries the paint you're actively working with really quickly as well. I had to be really miserly with putting my paint on my palette (a super fancy paper plate, I'm that sophisticated) because if I didn't use it within seconds the sun had it dried out.

3. Use saw horses.
I didn't and bitterly regretted it. I stood the pieces on the ground and sat in a chair leaning over them to paint/sand/Mod Podge. Oh man, my back was killing me. If at all possible, put your project at torso height. That way your back is straight and arms are straight out. 

4. Free child labor may not save you any time (or supplies).
I never once asked or suggested that my nephew help me, but he volunteered so I put him to work. He followed instructions well-ish, but he just wasn't able to paint as nicely as I wanted. I had to spend as much time, sanding out gloppy parts and doing extra coats because he didn't paint an even layer. He also wasted A LOT of paint. I don't know what his motivation was but when I asked him to be careful with the paint because I don't have endless buckets of money to buy more, he proceeded to pour way more than he needed on the plate and then let it dry repeatedly. No more painting projects when he's around. That's for sure.

5. Dishwasher detergent is great for cleaning up acrylic paint & Mod Podge.
One of the best parts of using acrylic craft paint is chemical free clean-up. No stinky paint thinners to deal with. But you do need some sort of soap to help clean up. I was going to use hand soap for clean up but my mom suggested trying dishwasher detergent when the brushes were being stubborn to come clean. Bye bye paint! Then I used the detergent to clean up after Mod Podging. It even cleaned up the brush I had accidentally allowed to dry.

Bonus: If you work with the right technique and enough speed, you can make a very small amount of paint go a very long way.
I found that by using a swift X motion  while painting I was able to get it spread in a thin layer using less paint than I expected. And if you're OCD and argue that you must have all the brush strokes in the same direction, you can still use the X motion. I did my last pass with the brush in the direction that I wanted the strokes to run and didn't have any problems with non-conformist strokes.

Till next time...

Thursday, August 7, 2014

From Disgruntled to a Plan

A while ago, maybe a month/month-and-a-half-ish, I decided to stop being so disgruntled about everything and actually start doing things to change what had me disgruntled. One of those things is my bedroom. It's all hodge-podgey and thrown together and blech. And I always excuse my irritation about it because I don't have the money or time to change it all in one go.

But then I had an epiphany!

Why not work towards the bedroom that I want a project at a time as my finances and calendar allow?

I know. I'm brilliant.

So I decided on what I wanted. I've always had a thing for Paris and the Eiffel Tower and have accumulated several black & white posters and images of the Tower. Right now they're just sitting in a box in the basement, but I decided to use them for my bedroom.

For colors, I decided to go with grey, purple, and teal for the main colors with black and white as accents. I've had purple and teal on my brain as a potential color palette since seeing them together on a gorgeous peacock feather print pillow a few months ago.

Then I created a Pinterest board so I wouldn't forget my plan.

Follow KC's board Bed & Bath - Colors & Inspiration on Pinterest.

Which was then followed by a list of projects to achieve my dream bedroom. And they have their own Pinterest board.

Follow KC's board Bed & Bath - Projects on Pinterest.

And as of right now, I'm already 90% done with three, yes THREE, projects. Ha.

Till next time...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Back to the Basics

I've been struggling to find my footing with this blog for a while now. A couple weeks ago, I decided to shut it down because I just haven't been having fun with it. I've since had a change of heart though and the blog is going to carry on.

I started trying to figure out where I had lost my spark and I came to the conclusion that it was when I stopped blogging for me and started trying to keep up with everyone else and their blogs. So I've decided to go back to the blogging basics. Me and the blog. No schedules. No perfect layout. No niche. No keeping up with the blogging Joneses. From here on out, posts are going to happen when they happen about whatever I decide to write about.

The Joneses will just have to find someone else to keep up with them. I'm doing my own thing.

Till next time...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I was going to be a good blogger and follow a schedule but then life got in the way. Give me a few days, or maybe a couple weeks and I'll get things straightened out. Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Secret Garden - Thoughtful Third Thursday

Selah of A Bibliophile's Style and Maricel of My Closet Catalog run a monthly link up called Thoughtful Third Thursday. I've seen it but not participated till now. But I'm trying to be a better blogger so I thought I'd give it a shot when I saw that the prompt for June was Favorite Childhood Read.

And if you couldn't guess from the post title, one of my very favorites was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgsen Burnett. I read it so many times that my book full on fell apart. It's been about 15 years since I've read it and my copy of the book is buried in a box in the basement so I had to use Goodreads to find a quote to share. But this was the one that stuck out the most:

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

So I decided to play off the garden theme and wear my floral maxi skirt and some flower earrings. I added the hat with a scarf tied around it because I felt like it was a nice, lady-like addiction. The whole thing sort of felt like it had a Garden Tea Party vibe going on. At least in my opinion.

If you want to see the earrings close up you can check out the ensemble page at Go Chic or Go Home.

Till next time.