Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A & Z

I did this project a LONG time ago, like over a year ago, before I even started really getting into crafting. I saw a post the other day on a blog I frequent that was very similar. It really makes you think you're doing something right when you see a designer post a project like this on their own blog. I have also seen a few other pictures of great ideas using these same letters from Hobby Lobby. You can do so much with them!

You can use the letters as a monogram, or like the post I found the other day, you can use "Mr & Mrs", or spell out something. The "Mr & Mrs" was cute, but I like my idea better. :)

This is the Polystone Letter from Hob Lob. The price on their website and in store is usually $9.99, but if you use one of their famous 40% off coupons (which I do every single time I go), it's not bad at all. Also, they are almost always having a sale on lots of different products, so you're more than likely going to catch what you're looking for on sale fairly often. These were on sale the day I got them, at 50% off, so that was really nice. 

You can also find something similar from Ballard Designs:

These are the 3 Small Typesetter Plaques, and they are $45 for 3 SMALL ones- that's 15 bucks a pop. By the way, 3 large ones are just a mere $75. Ha! No thank you! But, did you notice the rubbed white one? Does that color of paint/distressing look familiar? :)

(Sorry, had to throw that in there. Still a little proud of myself.) :)

Anyway, back to the project...

I bought the "A", the ampersand, and the "Z" from Hob Lob. I wasn't too crazy about the shiny (blaringly shiny) gold, so I bought some Rustoleum in brushed antique bronze (cheap at WalMart) and went to town. Here is the finished product in our master bedroom:

The hardest part of this project was making the bed. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cute Cosmo

I'm pretty sure I posted last year when Cosmo got his summer "furcut," but it is just so darn cute, that I wanted to post again. Plus, he's another year older, so I'm sure he's changed a little bit... :) So, here's my "annoying mom" post with pictures of one of my "kids." :)



He looks like a totally different dog, and I know he feels like one, being so much cooler during the day now. I love it! If his fur wasn't so pretty (or, handsome) when it grows out, I wouldn't mind having it like this all the time, especially when he comes inside the house.

I hope to post more on some projects soon. I hope to start on some spray painting when I get home this afternoon!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Thrift Store Loot

Well, I did it. I actually stopped by the thrift store this Monday and didn't buy a thing. I contribute that to my "blah" stage (see next paragraph), but I am officially over that now. I actually went Monday, picked out a couple of things, and just didn't feel like buying them...only to go back the very next day and buy some of them. So, technically, I guess you could call Monday a "scouting trip." Atleast it wasn't in vain.

I have had the "blahs" ever since Father's Day, and I had to make myself snap out of it. I had a surprisingly good day that day, but it just made me think about so much. I don't like getting in a funk where I zone out and obsess over things non-stop, which is exactly what I have been doing. I think about the things that have happened, things that are happening now, and things that may have even the slightest possibility of happening in the future. I have a big flaw about worrying over things that never even take place. In my mind, there's always a chance they might happen. It's not a good habit to have, and it wastes so much of my time.

Anyway, I have some little projects I have been busy with lately, and will post on those soon. They have really kept me occupied, and kept my mind from wandering. Cleaning the house works this way too, but the house is already clean from our company on Sunday night. Yippee! Speaking of, we had such a great time with Zach's dad and Grandma at our house. My sweetie fried some alligator as an appetizer (such a treat!), then fried some Trigger fish, grilled some Red Snapper and his original (You're welcome, Sweetie, for using that word) grilled potatoes. I cooked my "original" green beans & corn-on-the-cob. Love those summer veggies! Cheesecake was the dessert of choice, of course. As usual, the two guys kept us laughing the entire time. It was really what I needed that day.

Also, Zach's mom came over to the house last night and had dinner with us, so we've had a house full of family this week.
To me, there's nothing better. :)

Here are some photos of a couple of things I scored from my trip to the store, and the ideas I have for them (iPhone pics- sorry if they're blurry):

This little picture frame will one day (hopefully) be a jewelry tray. I plan to sand & paint the ornate frame (isn't it gorgeous??), then put some fabric or scrapbook paper under the glass. Not too crazy about the dated paisley print. Speaking of, if any of you have any good suggestions about where to get fairly cheap, cute prints of scrapbook paper, fire away! I'm new to this sort of thing. :)

I actually picked out three like picture frames on Monday, but when I returned on Tuesday, they weren't there. This is a downfall of thrifting. If you see something you want, GET IT! I kept going back & forth about these picture frames, and never picked them up. When I first spotted them, I knew exactly what I wanted for them. A little something like this:

Google Images

I love the ribbon tying the frames together! We also don't have enough black throughout our house. We need a little more to tie our entertainment center in with the rest of our house. Also, I am in love with black & white photos, and my talented hubby has taken plenty that are just waiting to be printed and framed. I think black & white pics go better with a black frame, anyway. So, I guess I'll be on the lookout from now on for three like picture frames. I did, however, find these frames on Tuesday, and I think I like them even more than the previous ones...

All I have to do is clean them, paint them (not sure what color yet), then pop out the old picture & put in a new. Easy! The hardest part is finding a place to hang them! Ha!

These were 2 bucks a piece, which is a little pricey for the thrift store, but this is THE place to buy picture frames of any kind. Gone are the days when I would go to Wal-Mart and spend anywhere from $5-$25 on a stinkin' frame. My favorite places are the thrift store and Kirklands. Kirklands is always having a sale on frames starting at $4.98 or so, and they are BEAUTIFUL!

This is a mirror I picked up on another trip, but wanted to include it anyway. I'm thinking I may paint it brown, but the gold is kinda' growing on me. We'll see...

When I left the store that day, I stopped at my grandmother's for lunch. She always gives me little things here & there that she either bought for me, or found somewhere in her closet. She gave me this little jewel that she had gotten at a Christmas party years ago. It matches our living room colors perfectly, so I was thrilled to take it home with me!

"Learn from yesterday. Live for today. Hope for tomorrow."

Love it!

That's it for this trip. I always seem to find something at that store. It's always something I could definitely live without,
but I would rather not. :)

Thanks to everyone who commented on both my painted table post and my Father's Day post. I have started an App on Facebook called NetworkedBlogs, and it's allowed me to invite my Facebook friends to visit/follow my blog and post comments straight to the link on Facebook. I am loving reading the comments that everyone is posting (doesn't every blogger get a little giddy about comments?), and I like that others get the chance to check out my posts. I have also entered the world of linking up some of my posts to the design blogs I love and am always talking about. I have already received some comments from people who have found me through those links, and it's awesome! Getting a little exposure on some of my projects is a good thing!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My First Father's Day Without Dad

Pure happiness :)

First of all, Mom- if you're reading this at work, wait until you get home. Second of all, I just want you all to know that I am not writing this for pity. I don't want anyone to read this and feel sorry for me. I just want you to read it, in hopes that it makes you think. I want you to think about your own dad, whether you're blessed to still have him here with you or not, and just appreciate him. Cherish him and the memories that you have had, or are still making now. Even if it's just for today.

I still cannot believe that Dad is gone. I have been dreading this day for months now. We made it through his birthday better than I thought we would- thanks to the prayers of you all, I know. It always seems better to just not think about things and keep yourself busy. This Father's Day has been a little harder though. I find myself getting disgusted when I see a commercial about Father's Day, or when I hear someone planning Father's Day. I just dread it. I know it's coming, and I can't stop it.

I feel so sad that I won't be giving a gift to Dad this year, as cheesy as it might have been. I kept thinking of something I could do, and finally thought of this. He is probably the biggest Alabama fan I will ever know, so anything Alabama was always been a good gift choice for him. I found this online one day, after the thought had come to mind. I don't know when I will make it to his gravesite to actually place it there, but I hope to soon. I should go today, but don't know if I will or not. Is that bad?... They put his name marker in place last week, and that just made it even more real. It's definitely different to see his actual name and date of birth & death engraved in stone there, rather than just see some freshly planted grass and flowers and nothing personal.
I ordered this, and it came in just a few days after. I think it's perfect for him:

I am very grateful to have all the good memories that I have of my dad. I know so many people who may not have the greatest relationship with their dad or mom, but I did. I can look back and think of nothing but happy times. I would rather have those memories than anything. I would rather have it the way it is, than to have him still here and not have a relationship with him. I know that sounds weird, but I would. I wouldn't take anything for what we had, or the memories I now have. I will never forget our family vacations- they're my favorite and Jonathan's too. :)

I want to thank everyone who is still sending me words of encouragement, and letting me know they're still thinking about me, especially during this time. I am already dreading Thanksgiving, and I don't even want to think about Christmas. Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, but it looks so sad now. I hope that will all change when it gets closer. I'm already praying for that to happen. I have the best husband, family and friends a girl could ask for, and they're support means the world to me!

On a happier note, there are still several great things about this Father's Day, among them being:
- I am getting to spend it with my sweet husband and his dad, and Zach's Grandma. I am so blessed to have such great in-laws and grandmother-in-law. We are cooking out at our house, and having them over. I always love being a hostess!
-The thing that makes me the most happy about this Father's Day- Dad will get to spend it with his dad- something he hasn't gotten to do since he was 18. Now that makes me happy! :)

"The just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him." -Proverbs 20:7

Here are some of my favorite pics from our wedding, which are some of the best ones I have of Dad, aside from oldies. These are just some of my favorites of me & Dad. I have so many great ones from when I was little, and hope to scan those in soon.

At rehearsal
About to walk out

Trying to calm the nerves

So sweet

I love, LOVE this one! Makes me smile every time! :)

Give your dad a hug for me today! Love you all!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My "Distressing" Task

Well, I lied. I said I was definitely going to get around to finishing up my table this past weekend. But, I didn't. It all started when I got home from work on Friday afternoon, and our air was- once again- completely out. We left the house immediately to go to dinner. I couldn't stay in the house another minute with the heat. Poor Zach had been working in his office all afternoon with the air, and I don't see how. We were told that the heat/air guy could possibly make it to our house that night, but that didn't happen. He did, however, call around 9:00 on Saturday morning and let us know he was on his way. Bless his heart! We weren't expecting to hear from him until much later on that day. I guess he knew we had somewhere to be that night. I just kept saying as he was outside working on the unit, "Bless him, Lord!" :)

The problem this time was probably the best-case scenario. This doesn't seem to happen very often with us, so we were overjoyed! We were fully expecting to be purchasing a brand-spankin' new unit before all of this was over, but it turned out to only be a bad motor. When Zach told me this, I was thinking the price would be about as much as a brand new unit would be, but it ended up being fairly cheap. Praise the Lord! Now that we have a new motor, we're hoping we can hang on to this unit for a little while longer... like until we move out! He had the exact motor we needed in the back of his van, so it was fixed within 30 minutes, and we were back to a cool house again.

I packed up and went to Mom's to swim and lay out that day. That didn't quite happen. We laid out and swam for all of about 30 minutes, then the rain came. I headed home after that to get ready for Ivey Isbell's wedding. Zach went with me, which I was so happy about, and we had a great time! We met up & went with David & Amy and other friends, and enjoyed the beautiful wedding & reception. The light rain that day actually turned out to be a blessing, because it made the night much cooler.


Anyway, back to my painted furniture post- it's done, and that's what matters! I can't tell you how great it felt last night when I finally finished it, and placed it in the bathroom.

This is my very first piece of furniture to paint.
Yikes- I felt a little bit of pressure on this one, even though it's for myself...still didn't want to disappoint!
This is actually a side table with a magazine rack that used to sit in my mom & dad's living room....years and years and years ago. I like to remember it as Dad's little side table. You could bet on his stack of BAMA mags sitting on top of the table at any given time. :)

(Part 1- Fresh out of Mom's garage):

(Part 2- After sanding):

(Part 1- After just ONE coat of paint. Notice the inside of the rack isn't painted yet. Oops!):

(Part 2A- After distressing):

LOVE the detail on this!

(Part 2B- The finished product and a pic of it in its new home! Yippee!):

It has taken me much longer than I thought to finish this baby up. I actually started it over a month ago, and accomplished a lot on it (like most of the actual work), then left it to sit in the garage for a while. The main reason for this was because it has been WAY too hot to do anything (ANYTHING!) outside. The spray paint rule is usually to only use it in 70-90 degree weather, so I probably could have gotten a little done here & there, but I couldn't stand it myself. If I can walk out on the back deck, stand there about one minute, and start to sweat, you can bet I'm not going to be outside spray painting and sanding or doing any other physical activity out there. Needless to say, we haven't been on any neighborhood walks with the doggies in a while. I keep mentioning to Zach that we need to take them, but it's so unbearable right now. If we did, we would have to take water on the trip with us. Ridiculous.

Anyway, some inside info on my little project: I did not use primer. I have read in countless design blogs so many different opinions on it. The resounding answer I seemed to keep coming across was "It doesn't matter!" So, I didn't. Leave it to lazy me to leave the optional things out. That's why they call it "optional." I honestly don't think I would have been able to tell a real difference. Primer may have saved me about one or possibly two coats of white paint, but I still would have had to apply the coat of primer. So, eh, it's a draw. I think no primer is better when you want the original wood finish to show through after sanding, anyway.

I sanded it, then put a couple of coats of paint. I did go ahead and start sanding to distress after the first two coats. I wanted to make sure it would look alright...and it did. I LOVED this step more than anything!! It only took a few minutes to complete, and it made a world of difference.

Now comes the part where I let it sit in the garage for a few days weeks over a month. I was letting it "cure." :)

Then, the day when I said, "Enough! I'm getting this done!", and just did it. It was HOT outside, did I mention this already??

I put one more coat of paint all over. I did get a little light with the paint on the inside of the rack part. I knew I was going to house it in my guest bathroom and put towels inside it, so I wasn't concerned with paint coverage there. I can always do that later on if I decide to repurpose it.

I sanded a little more after the final coat (which Zach helped me with, bless him! It always helps to have another set of eyes), and voila! Done. And, no, I didn't put any kind of sealer or top coat on it. I have read about different kinds, and couldn't really decide on one. Polyurethane yellows a white surface, so I knew that would be a big no-no. I can always apply a top coat later on, if it seems to need it. I was also going to experiment with glazing to antique the table, but I tested it out on a scrap piece of wood first. I did like the way it looked, but not for this table. I wanted this table a pure white so it would match perfectly with the trim in the bathroom (and it does!), and the glaze gave it a more off-white/brownish look. I may use that technique on a cheapy piece of furniture later.

That's about it. A fairly simple project, just strung out for a longer period of time than necessary. I'm pretty impressed with it (and surprised at myself), with it being my very first furniture project. Now, on to the next one!

Friday, June 10, 2011

"My name is Ashley, and I'm addicted to thrifting."

A-D-D-I-C-T-E-D. Oh, Lord. I really think I am. I find myself getting excited about the one day a week I take my lunch hour and go shopping. I can't get enough of finding a good deal on something I can't live without.

I do realize it could be a lot worse (and remind myself & Zach of this everytime I bring something home). I know he would much rather me go to the thrift store and spend $6.00 on 5 items than spend the same $6.00 at Kirklands (or *insert another store name here*) for 1 (small) item. He's so good about me buying things. He always, always has been. He has things that he likes to spend money on, and I have mine. He just seems to buy one BIG item every now & then (usually an Apple product, and we all know 'that ain't free'), while I buy MANY small items here & there. Everytime I buy something- anything- I always try to reason out the purchase to him, but he always says the same thing- "You don't have to explain it. I don't mind." Bless his sweet heart! :)

I do keep in mind that even if each single purchase is small, it could always add up to a large amount. I HAVE to keep this in mind, or I will get into trouble.

Right now, I just like to think of it as a hobby. It gives me a little something to look forward to during the week, a break during my lunch, and a project to work on later at home. The only problem I've found is that I can't find a place for everything in the house, so I will eventually have to start either putting my existing knick-knacks in a yard sale, or turning these things right around in a yard sale. Wouldn't hurt to do a little flipping on some of these things I can't find a place for, would it? I know that my crafting skills aren't anywhere near good enough to sell anything I've made, so yard selling without crafting it would just about be my only option. I don't like some of these blogs I see where the "designer" is trying to sell their crappy piece of furniture that they've paid $2.00 for, slapped a few coats of paint on, sanded/antiqued it, called it a masterpiece, and asked $50-$100 for it. Not my thing. I'm not that enamored with myself. :)

I am, however, enamored with these bargains. Just wanted to show off some loot I have purchased in my recent trips.
These are from a few trips, so please don't think I go hog-wild and buy 10 things every time I go. :)

I am planning on changing up most of these things,
so I might post on some of those projects later. Sorry for the crappy pictures. Zach was going to get me a new camera for Christmas, but he knew I wanted an iPhone instead.
I'm still happy with my decision, but I may put a new camera on my list for this year.

I picked these up after I had picked out the next item, thinking they would go beautifully together...

...and I think they go together rather well. Not too shabby for a quick throw-together in the store. The red will really bring out the color in our living room, and the brown in the planter ties it all together. Now I just have to find a place for it. :)

I have seen countless pictures of frames just like this one on many different blogs. I am planning on painting it, I just haven't decided on a color yet. And, I will definitely replace the picture. Ha!

This little jar just needs a good cleaning, and it's good to go. I loved the fleur de lis pattern, and have a few things in the house with the design already. I'll probably use this somewhere in the kitchen.

I bought this charger a while back, with the idea in mind to paint it, and possibly put our "J" initial in the center... I have come to the conclusion that I'm not only addicted to thrifting, but monogramming also. Not a good combination. :)

This little cutie was $1.00. I had read about using Mod Podge (a decoupage great for gluing & sealing) to cover all kinds of things (plastics & wood- including furniture pieces, ceramics, etc.) with material. You can use scrapbooking paper, wrapping paper, or cloth material to cover just about anything with this stuff. I am hoping to transform it soon, because I really need one of these on my desk in the living room. The Mod Podge is placed in the guest room as I type, just waiting to be used. 

Also, I am putting my foot down (on myself), and getting outside tomorrow to finish painting the magazine rack/table. I know it will be hot, but it looks like it's going to be hot for a while now, so I might as well get used to it. I am going to experiment with an old scrap of wood to test some glaze. I am hoping I will be able to formulate some with materials I already have, but we'll see. I'll never know unless I try. My plan is to sand the edges of the table a little more, then paint some antiquing glaze on it to amp up the look. I'll post pics hopefully next week- unless it ends up being a total disaster, which I am not counting out. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Putting Them In Their Place...

...Things, that is- not people.
Although, sometimes you have to do that too.

I took a night off from choir rehearsal last night (my throat is a little scratchy from sinuses, and honestly, I really just wanted a break from it), and Zach ended up playing basketball at the rec with David and others. So, I took advantage of my night at home alone (which happens rarely!), put my earbuds in with my iPod, and got busy in the house. Daisy girl didn't know what was going on, because the house was totally silent for her with the TV off, and Mommy wasn't paying much attention to her. I usually cuddle up with her while we're watching TV at night...Zach makes fun of me spoiling her like I do, but I'll miss that when she's gone some day- far, far in the future, I hope. I know babies will one day take the place of her & Cosmo, but they'll always be our first little babies. :)

After cleaning, I went in our guest room to drag out a couple of craft projects I had done, um, forever ago. I had finished these a while back and posted pics of them, but then put them right back in the guest room. It's sad that I always seem to have no room for anything new, so I just made room for them last night.

You remember my apothecary jars that were probably the easiest, and cheapest, craft I've ever done:

I looked around the house (I atleast knew I wanted them somewhere in the living room/dining room area), and decided to put them on the dining room table. This is how it looked before:

I have a gorgeous silver bowl that was given to us as a wedding gift. I have had this on the table for a while, and was wanting something new anyway. I did still keep the bowl in the living room. I just couldn't put it in a room where it wouldn't be seen- it's way too pretty for that!

Here are the jars in their new home:

I already had the potpourri from the bowl, so it was a simple change-up!

I also found a home for my "J" (or "L" or "T", as Zach calls it). I may put it on the back of our back door later on, but I'm just trying it out here first to see if I even like it:

Yikes! Hello glare! I do like it in this spot. It adds some color to my drab white/silver blob going on in the china cabinet. It also ties together the china cabinet and the dining room chairs, since they are all made from the same fabric. I love that!

For the ties, I used some tulle ribbon that was actually used in our wedding to tie up even more "J's". So, the ribbon = FREE.

I think the golds blended rather well, so I went with it.
And, since I just love Before & Afters so much:


Sad little "J"


I am liking it here! I may still try it out on the back door. At the pace I was going on these, it will probably be months from now, but that's ok. It gives me something to look forward to. :)

Finding a place for these two things took all of 20 minutes- including the time it took me to find the tulle and hot glue it to the back of the "J". Fairly productive for a weeknight,
if I do say so myself! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summertime, and the Livin' is Easy...

Things I L-O-V-E About Summer
(not in any particular order):

-Laying out in the sun-

     Daisy girl enjoys it as much as I do!

-Swimming and sticking my toes in the water-

These are mine...I'm not a weirdo who would search Google
for a pic of feet.
Too scared of what would pop up. :)

-Ice cold coffee drinks (or fruity drinks)--
just anything COLD-

I made this last night, courtesy of my Keurig! Couldn't pass up a big dollop of Cool Whip, another Summer favorite!

-Fresh-cut, colorful flowers-

Mary Ann's Mom grew these & brought them to the office for us to enjoy! These are some of the most beautiful
roses I have ever seen!

-Yummy, bright red summer tomatoes--
nothing better than one of these on a summer salad-

(This is the only picture I stole  borrowed from Google Images. Hehe.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...