Big Picture Redo

Way back in November 2013 I made a big picture to put over my mantel.  It was nice to have something up there and I still love the picture, but I wasn’t loving how it looked up there anymore.

After several changes my mantel has looked like this for the last couple of months:

p1Not terrible but I just wasn’t loving it.

I decided to attach the picture to a piece of plywood and then build a frame around it.  All with stuff I already had.  And I didn’t have any plywood.

Improvisation #1:


I had a piece of bead board left over from my bathroom project that was slightly bigger than I needed it.  I still don’t own a table saw so I used a combination of an exacto knife and a hand saw.  Luckily it’s not really wood so it cut pretty easily (although not cleanly.)


Originally I was going to stain the trim around the edges but I had to use a combination of pine and redwood (improvisation #2) so I had to abandon that plan.  I had also planned on setting the picture down into the frame a little bit but since the back board wasn’t real wood I couldn’t nail into the edge so I just set the board on top of the frame and nailed it together (improvisation #3.)

Once everything was fastened it looked like this:

p4I caulked the edge between the board and frame and once that was dry I got to painting.  p5

First I sprayed it wit an aqua spray paint (obviously this was after I had already started to position the picture.)  Once the spray paint was dry I rubbed on a coat of Jacobean stain and let that dry.

Then I put it over the mantel!

p7I love it!  I’m looking for a frame in a size between the one holding the picture of me and Henry and the little one.


I really wish I had done this sooner!  It was so easy and looks so much better!



Something Pretty

When I read this post I started thinking about what I do when I’m having a bad day.  My stress was high last week so I made a list of things that make me feel less stressed.  At the top of that list is making pretty things.

Sure, I need to vacuum and de-clutter but neither of those things are going to make me feel relaxed.  They’ll also still be things I can do after I de-stress.

So, I had a unused frame, an hour of time and this:

gb3The wall above my guest bed has never really had an arrangement that I liked.  I tried lots of little frames

guest2but didn’t like it.

So I took the back off the frame and used a heavy duty adhesive to glue the glass to the frame.  Once it was dry I scraped off the dried glue that had squished out around the edges.  Then I searched for a quote that I liked.

gb1I used the Design feature on Picmonkey and then printed it out.  Then I laid it out until I found an arrangement that I liked and taped the words to the back of the frame.

gb2Then I used a chalk pen and traced over the words.  It seriously could not have been easier!

Of course to get to that point I had to fill in all the holes from the small frames and then touch up the paint.  That was seriously the most time consuming part of this project!

gb4Seeing this makes me instantly  happy.  I love how an hour of crafting can bring up my mood and make me feel like I accomplished something!


Driftwood Sign

A few weeks ago my mom found a river worn board while walking her dog and brought it home for me.

After a long week I decided it was time for some crafting stress relief.

sign1I loved the shape of the board but didn’t really have a place for it inside so I found a garden appropriate quote to paint on it.

sign2I printed it out and found a placement on the board that I liked.

sign3Then I just traced over the word.  The wood was soft enough that with slight pressure I had a nice outline left that I could just paint right over.

sign4I wanted to use paint that I already had so I used my kitchen color (Little Sprout by Valspar) and the Fresh Mist I used on my patio chairs.

I had some little sawtooth hangers on hand so I stuck them on the back and took it outside.

sign5I love it over my leaning herb table.  I really need to level it out but that seems like it’s going to be a lot of digging and I just don’t have that kind of energy today!

It seems a little high now, but I wanted to give my plants to grow tall and I also didn’t want the dirt from the pots to splash up onto it while I’m watering.

sign6I’m so glad my mom saw this, grabbed it and brought it back for me!


In the Works

My schedule recently changed at work.  Sure it’s still the same number of hours, but it makes me feel like I have less time to get stuff done.

Actually, no.

crochet1This crochet stitch is keeping me from getting stuff done around the house.  Oh, and also, I just started watching Orange is the New Black so that’s been taking up a lot of my time too.

But, I’ve been thinking about doing A LOT!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFirst there’s this mess of branches in my backyard.  I have recently started referring to it as Henry’s Playground because he has really enjoyed rummaging through the pile for loose branches he can drag around the yard.  He’s not anxious for me to get around to cleaning these up and making stuff out of them…

branch2I did start cutting down the big branches and will hopefully have a finished project to show you soon.  Luckily, everything that still needs to be done can be done inside so I won’t have to stop watching OITNB.  Whew!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFinally, since my table making confidence is a 100, I’m going to make a smaller, simpler one to set my window box on.

All that combined with cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, and weeding-I’ve got a lot to do!

That all sounds really overwhelming…I should probably crochet a couple of rows and watch a few episodes to rest up for all that hard work!


Clay Plant Markers

First I need to say that I hate these.

In all my years of crafting I’ve never used Sculpey clay.  Now I know why.

There are pins all over Pinterest that are so cute and I really thought this would be easy.

Turns out, I’m not good with clay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI thought I’d just form them into cute little stakes, write the plant names on them and then bake them.  I mean, I did do that, they just weren’t cute.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce they were baked I brushed on some paint, making sure it got into the letters, and then wiped it off.  Once the paint was dry I sealed them so they would stand up to the elements.

I really don’t know why I spent this much time on them, I knew I wasn’t going to like them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThey work, I know which plants are where, but I don’t like how they look.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI found the clay at Wal-Mart for 97¢ each and I had everything else on hand so I’m out less than $2.00 for this failed project, thankfully!


My Mantel

It all started with a trip to a thrift store.  As I was searching through the picture frames I came across a huge window.  Originally I thought I’d put a collage of pictures in it but it was really heavy!  So heavy that I was worried that it wouldn’t stay on the wall and while it was cheap ($5) I really didn’t want to deal with a broken window in the house.

Of course, that didn’t stop me from buying it!

Once I got it into the house I carried it around looking for a spot to put it


and I landed on the mantel.


While I liked that big frame, it just wasn’t right for this picture so I wasn’t sad to take it down.



Then I felt like this wall wasn’t balanced so I rounded up some frames and pictures and put them up to the right of the fireplace.  (that green frame won’t stay, it’s just a place holder until I find a black one.)



Then I added a framed letter to the mirror, scrap of wall paper and picture of my dad.



I bought 10 of these frames about a year ago from Target.  The price was right, even if the color wasn’t.



Since it was gorgeous outside today I set up an area to spray paint in the back yard and these got two coats of oil rubbed bronze.



Then above the fireplace I made a little sign.

I really thought that everyone had perfect penmanship and could freehand signs like this.  After some Googling I discovered the trick:



Chalk.  I printed out what I wanted on my sign, turned it over and rubbed chalk all over the back of the paper, flipped it back over and traced the letters.  Seriously, so easy.  Then I just filled in the letters with craft paint.

mantel7Once the frames were dry I filled them with pictures of me and my friends.  My criteria for picking pictures:  everyone in the picture had to look good and it had to be horizontal.



And then it was done!