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Bartsch Blunders…

What’s up, homeslices!?  I’ve neglected you far longer than I ever intended.  Don’t worry, it’s not you…its me. Bah!  Does anyone understand how on earth it is already March 23?!  Ay, Caramba!  I think I’m delirious…

Well, the last few months have been packed full of craziness.  The hubs and I tossed around the idea of selling our home.  We brought in realtors and looked over our options, but ultimately we decided to stay put for the time being.  This adventure combined with watching some of our friends in the process of buying a home had me reflecting on our own past home adventures.  Three words can sum it up: “We.are.dumb.”  For serious.  Dan and I have learned tons during our first (almost) 5 years of home-ownership, and we decided the blogosphere could learn from us.  Also, feel free to laugh at us…we’re ridiculous.

Bartsch Boo-Boos:

  • Measure the size of any cabinet pulls you want to change out.  Oddly enough, they all have different hole widths and you might end up buying tons of pulls that don’t actually work in your kitchen.
  • When you think there is hardwood flooring under the carpeting, you might still be wrong.  Even if every corner you pull up has hardwood, the entire center of your living room might just be subfloor.  Therefore, don’t rip out carpeting at 10pm two weeks before your wedding.
  • Semi-gloss paint is a bad idea on the ceiling.  Hello, shine!  (I guess Satin is the preferred type of paint for most people, but semi-gloss stands up to cleaning better.  Kid areas and bathrooms are usually painted semi-gloss…I see no use for Flat paint.)
  • When in doubt, prime the walls before you paint.  Generally, you should always paint over paint with the same gloss level used before.  If painting over semi-gloss, use semi-gloss or prime the walls first.
  • That nifty paint color match does not always work.  In my opinion, if you’d like your wall color to match a specific item just match it using paint chips.  My green (and not smokey blue) walls are a prime example of this…
  • You actually can tell a difference between walls painted with a brush vs. painted with a roller.  Making a touch up with a brush may not be a good idea.
  • When they say to paint in a “W”, they aren’t lying.  If you just randomly paint all willy-nilly, there’s a very good chance you will see streaks all over your walls.
  • When you paint a room, you might want to keep the paint can.  Two years down the road you’ll fix a hole in the wall and want to touch up the paint only to figure out you apparently threw away the paint can…even though you never throw away paint cans.  (Seriously…anyone know where my kitchen paint is? Boo…)  
            As a side note:  Pinterest said to paint a hunk of wood with your wall color and label it with the brand of paint, color name, and room you painted it.  Keep these wood chunks on a ring in your purse and you can use them when buying decorations as well.
  • If your dryer randomly makes your breaker flip, its probably just that breaker.  There’s no need to call in a dryer repair man for $60 when you can just buy a new breaker for much less.
  • Know the size of your car before you buy things.  Even if you think your car looks bigger than that, it might not fit.  And not even just lengthwise…height actually makes a difference.  Weird, huh?
  • When in doubt, secure everything that is hanging out the back of the car on the way home.  It just might bounce out the back and break into a couple pieces on the way home.
  • Always know where a flashlight is… Pinterest also said to attach one to your circuit breaker box with a magnet.  But when in a pinch, your cellphone works.
  • Don’t place hammers on top of ladders.  When you move them they fall on your head and your bleeding will freak out your wife.
  • Never throw tools to your significant other.  They won’t be paying attention, and your wife will get hit in the head by a screwdriver.  And that hurts…
  • If your house is freaking freezing when you get home from work, your pilot light could have gone out.  There’s no need to call in a professional.  All you have to do is relight it, but it involves gas and flames so it’s okay to just make your husband do it because you’re too freaked out.  Just tell him I said so.

Bartsch Betterments:

  • We almost always have to do paint touch ups the next day.  When we’re done painting on day 1, we always wrap the rollers in a plastic bag.  This way they don’t dry out and we don’t have to waste all that water cleaning them.  Then we throw out the roller after we’re done painting.  I’m far too lazy to sit there and clean them out, AND lots of water (and money!) are just washed down the drain.
  • Be prepared for something to always go wrong… Because 9 times out of 10, it will.
  • Home Depot has the cheapest carpet around, but they wont install it in your house if they think your flooring might have asbestos in it.  But you can have someone else come in and just glue carpet down without a pad.  Since they aren’t nailing into the asbestos and disturbing it, apparently its okay and you won’t die.
  • Buy extras.  Returning things is easier than having to stop midproject.  Just make sure to keep your receipts!
  • When moving to a new home, figure out and label your breaker box clearly.  Do not just trust that what is on there is correct.  Also, try to do this on day one.  You will have to plug in and set all your clocks anyways, so you might as well turn off breakers beforehand!
  • When in doubt, youtube it.  There are instructional videos for just about everything!

Dan and I still have TONS of learning to do, but we’ve come so very far!  Owning a house is one of the craziest adventures one can tackle, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Have you learned anything you’d like to share with the world?  Post it below! 🙂

Gimme a Sign!

Hiddey-Ho, Neighbors!  I would like to apologize to all of you that noticed my lack of blogging, lately.  I needed to put blogtime on hold for a tiny bit to focus my attention on my other hobby – photography.   (Though I kept on crafting!) I’m just starting out and learning the ropes, but I’m really enjoying it!  I started up a facebook page to build myself a portfolio.  I’m not yet sure where I’m going with it, but feel free to check me out!

I promise this blog won’t throw photography stuff all up in your beeswax. (Ha…see what I did there? Probably not so funny if I have to point it out, eh?)  So…moving, on! I shall do another one of my loverly recaps for you folks.  There was a cake-themed one a few months ago. This one is all about signs!

Numero Uno!

Well, this is actually a two-fer.  Our dining room had this weird blank spot that I’ve been wanting to cover up with some form of artwork.  Problem? Art is expensive, yo!  My eyes have been peeled, just searching for the perfect something to make myself.  Pinterest helped, of course!  I stumbled upon these lovely gems and fell in love.  I spent a few days looking up quotes and phrases trying to decide on one for my canvas.  I found a bunch and emailed them off to the hubby for final decision-making.  He instead emailed me back a list of nerd-a-rific quotes.  (Think Goonies, Star Wars, Doctor Who…)  I called him giggling, and said “I am not putting Goonies never say die! on my dining room wall…the word DIE does not belong up there!”   We’re laughing and he’s giving me other “wonderful” ideas when I realized this could really be fun!  I would get to pick a quote and he would get a quote and we’d make TWO canvases!   I just requested that he choose a quote that didn’t involve death. 😉

After choosing our quotes I headed up to Joann Fabrics.  I purchased two canvases and two bags of wooden letters.  (I actually purchased WAY more than that and spent two full hours in the store that night.  These were the only things I needed for this project, though. J)  I had already purchased some almond spray paint and super glue from Walmart.

I went home and was super pumped to get started.  The wooden letters didn’t have a breakdown of what was in each bag.  I didn’t really think twice about it.  Sigh…I really should have.  I opened the packs of letters and started laying out the design on my canvases.  Shoot. Not enough letters.  Joann’s is a good 20 minutes from my house and it was too late to run back up to grab another pack.  Completion would have to wait a few days.

I finally made it back to Joann’s where I grabbed another pack of letters with no breakdown of what was inside.  I started assembly for the second time when I realized….not.enough.letters.  I was short one letter.  Stupid Y’s!  I had to wait a few more days (again) before I could finish it for real.  Big sigh…

Making the signs was actually really simple.  You just have to line the words up however you’d like, glue them down, and spray paint over the whole thing.  Easy as pie!

Twosies!

I literally have no place to put this at the moment, but I loved the idea of it.  I stumbled upon the quote “I fall a little more for you everyday” and instantly I knew I had to turn it into a piece of art for my favorite season: Fall!  I bought a piece of canvas and stole a fabric leaf from my mom.  Yay cheap art! 🙂  I kind of played around with the layout using Word on my computer, but ultimately I just winged it in the moment.  I don’t love
my handwriting, but I’m one of those sad crafters without a silhouette or cricut.  (Saving up money to change that, yay!!)

The steps are really easy!

1. Spray paint canvas.  I used the color “Boot” I had leftover from other projects.

2. Decide on a layout for words and leaf.

3. Glue leaf in place.  I used super glue, but since the leaf is so thin it kind of leaked through a bit.  There’s a spot that has a weird crustiness
from the glue.  Sad day.  I think I would recommend hot glue.

4. Paint on the words and you’re done!

I had to go over the words a few times which made my “FALL” not look so hot.  The color was just too close to the brown.  I’ve been tossing
around the idea of adding some white around those letters to make them stand out a bit more.  Based on past experience, though, I think I’m just going to “leaf” it alone.  (I crack myself up…its sad, actually. Lol!)  Usually the more I dink around with something, the worse it looks.  Best to just walk away.  The word “perfect” should be erased from my memory….

I’m still loving the concept, but my outcome isn’t making me jump for joy.  Guess someone’s just going to have to buy me a silhouette… 😉

Tres-a-rooni!

PS – I add the phrase “a-rooni” onto the end of just about everything.  Nope, I don’t know why…

Do you remember when I blogged about the baby gifts?  Well, that amazing little boy has entered this crazy world we live in!  Yay, babies!!
As you could imagine, I have a bunch of wood letters leftover from the first signs I made.  I used a few of them to make his name stand out from the rest of the sign.  I really like how it turned out!

First, I spray-painted the canvas grey and painted the wood letters a nice yellow color.  I’m really picky with the color yellow.  A lot of times I just really don’t like it.  When we first bought our house, our kitchen was a gross yellow color.  It was just so overly bright!  But, I actually like this yellow color!

The rest of the words I just hand painted.  Man, that makes me nervous!  I used a post-it to plan out the layout –I’m really high-tech. 😉  I did mess up a little bit, but I fixed it with a little spray paint.  I sprayed some grey onto some cardboard and then used a paint brush to touch up.  It worked great!

I stapled a bit of ribbon to the back so that they can hang it up if they’d like.  I’m really happy how this one turned out!

I forgot to take a picture after my touch up...

WOOD you like a tutorial?

Corny?  Yes…But that’s pretty much me in a nutshell–corny and a little bit nutty.

WOOD LETTERS TUTORIAL!!! (Did you say that out loud like the UFC’s Bruce Buffer?  Cause I did.  You should, too.)

Soooo….Other people spend 2 hours at a time in Joann Fabrics, right?  I have a lot of projects to hit you with, but this is the first one I finished.  It was so easy!  I decided that I do not have enough fall decorations.  I’m sure the truth is that I have more than the average Joe, but I’m nutty…remember?

Joann’s sells plain wood letters that you can finish anyway you’d like.  I bought white ones that can stand by themselves.  I believe they were under $2/piece, but I bought them on sale.  At first I grabbed the letters “B” “O” and “O”, but then I decided it would be smarter to get something with a longer decor run.  I’ll keep my fall stuff up until I decorate for Christmas.  I waltzed back to the area with the wood letters and pulled out the letters to spell “fall”.  Hubby and I stood in the aisle and debated for quite some time.  You see, I think the “F” looks like an “E”.  He reminded me that I was nuts.  I really wanted “fall” instead of “boo” so I let him talk me into it.  Now that they’re finished, I like the “F” so much better.  I decided to decorate them with scrapbook paper and some sort of embellishment.  At first I thought I’d adhere the paper with modge podge, but that stuff makes me nervous.  I decided to go with spray adhesive, and I am super happy with my decision.  It was so quick and easy!
Here’s what I did!

Step 1:  Choose your letters.
Step 2:  Choose scrapbook paper and embellishments. (I went with 3D leaf stickers.  Did you know they made 3D stickers?!)

Letters lined up to decide on a pattern

Step 3:  Take paper and turn over to the “wrong” side.  Do the same with the wood letter.
Step 4:  Carefully use exacto knife to trace along the edges of each letter.
Step 5:  Cover the front of the letter with spray adhesive and smooth on the paper.

Place the letter near the edge and you'll be able to use the rest of the paper for another project!

Step 6:  Add the stickers and bend up the sides.

Step 7:  That’s it!  Line up your letters and admire!  So.fracking.easy!  Pretty sure I’ll need to make a set for each holiday…

I linked up at:
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CandyStick Holder

Tomorrow is our 4 year wedding anniversary.  That means the candlesticks we used as centerpieces have been sitting in storage for FOUR YEARS.  Poor lonely candlesticks…

Candlesticks on their Maiden Voyage

Now, I couldn’t begin to tell you WHY I kept a box of candlesticks for four years (*cough* …ahem…packrat?) but now I’m a bit stoked that I did!  You see, pinterest is a wonderful thing.  Have you discovered it yet?  No?  Okay, do yourself a favor and click the link.  Pinterest is magical, I tell ya.  Before I found it I was printing off pictures/tutorials/inspirations/etc and keeping them organized in a binder.  Yes, I’m a nerd.  Also, yes mom, I did actually putthem all most of them IN the binder.  Be proud… Pinterest is a place that you can do this same thing, except it’s all online.  You make “boards” and then “pin” the things that interest you onto said boards.  PINTEREST!  Fun, eh?!  Go ahead and check it out.  You need to be invited to start pinning things, but I will most definitely send you an invite if you’d like!

ANYwhoo….I was browsing pinterest and found this “no-brainer” idea to use a candlestick as a stand for things.  I say “no-brainer” because if my brain was working at all I should have thought of this on my own.  I thought it was the smartest thing I’d ever seen, but now I just feel really dumb that I never thought of it myself.  It’s so simple!  Well, pinterest lit a fire under my butt to put these candlesticks to good use.  I headed off to Goodwill to find something to place upon my candlesticks and came across and old-school white glass bowl.  Here’s where I would show you a picture of it if I remembered to take “before” pictures.   Whoops…  Well, it was that white, milky-looking glass and has a scalloped top. (Oooo…ahhhh….)  It felt like the perfect Halloween candy dish, so that’s what I turned it in to!

The candlestick was already a flat black (I just sanded it a bit), so all I had to purchase was orange spray paint, gloss spray paint, a paint pen, and that scalloped bowl.  (If we’re counting, this was a $10 project but I will get many uses out of the paint!)

I wasn’t sure if the glass would cover with spray paint nicely.  It does…but only if you don’t spray during the middle of a random gust of wind.  All was fine and dandy (except for the little dripage I always get because I’m a terrible spray-painter.  I’m getting better, I promise!) until the wind picked up and blew the newspaper I had on the ground right into the side of my wet paint. *sigh*  I sprayed over it a few times and keep that side to the back.  It’s not pretty, but I guess it could be worse.

After that I hot-glued the candlestick to the bowl and then used the paint marker to write on the bowl.  As I was struggling to move the bowl in a way that I could easily write on it, my hubby pointed out that maybe I should have written on the bowl before I glued it to the candlestick.  Isn’t he nice? 😉

You could really use this setup for just about anything, but since it’s fall I found a candy dish to be absolutely necessary.  Yay Halloween!

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Heeeere’s your sign

My brother’s kitchen is going to rock.  I made him two more beer signs.  These ones are painted, but I’m only blogging about one of them.  The other one?  It sucks.  It was looking good, but I just kept playing with it…whoops.  I just started a new one to replace that one, so I’ll finish that story later.

So, originally when I decided that I wanted to make something for Cody’s kitchen I searched the internet high and low for ideas.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do (or what my superbly picky brother would like).  I found subway art and fell in love.  I eventually decided to make it out of beer words (and later made one with beer brands), but was waltzing around the idea of quotes about beer/alcohol.  I had emailed a bunch of quotes that I found (Yay Google!) to my family to look over.  Cody decided that he was pretty stoked about two of them.  So I went ahead and made them into signs!

Our workshop is full of a bunch of scrap wood, and I thought this would be a great way to get rid of it upcycle it!  I headed off to Hobby Lobby where I bought light gray and off white paint (And some crackle paint which I will complain about in a future post.) and some nice brushes.  I spent less than $15 and will be able to use this stuff again and again!  I found a nice sized piece of wood and painted it black with some paint we already had lying around.  Yay free!  Once the paint dried I just went ahead and painted on the quote freehand.  I was positive that I needed a stencil, but I couldn’t find anything that I liked.  I just sucked it up and gave it a try.  I think it turned out pretty darned great!

At first I liked it, but it was still a little plain.  I took a bit of the light gray and added some color around the edge.  Then I sanded up some distressing action along the sides and rounded the corners.  Then I added a bit of gray into some of the lettering…and Voila!!  Honestly, I can’t really give you a step by step tutorial because I hardcore winged it… but I wanted to blog about it anyways. 😉

 

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Oops! I did it again!

Yep…made another piece of subway art for my brother’s house.  My mom called me up and requested another piece.  She has a “vision” for his kitchen. Cracks.me.up.  So, I came up with the idea to make this one using the same theme, but using beer brands instead of beer words.  It was definitely easier this time around.  Always is the second time, isn’t it?  I did it the same way as the first piece of subway art.
Check it out!

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To beer, or not to beer…

My little brother bought a house.  It’s another one of those moments when you have to stop and ask yourself, “When did we grow up!?”  Well, anyone that actually knows me would question if I am, in fact, a grown up but you get the picture.  So, being the amazing big sister that I am (pause for Cody’s rebuttal…), I thought it would be fun to make my brother a fun piece of artwork for his new kitchen.  He’s a 23-year-old boy so naturally he’s going with a beer theme.  I expect nothing less from him.

I’ve been obsessed with subway art lately.  There’s so many different ideas out there and people are using the idea for just about anything!  I stumbled across a picture of beer-themed subway art and knew that I had to take a crack at my own masterpiece.  Cody’s favorite beer is Budweiser (pause for a collective “ewwww”….I mean it’s Wisconsin.  Where’s the Miller, dear brother?), so I incorporated that brand and some of its catchphrases into the art.  I made the entire thing on Photoshop CS4.  I just started learning Photoshop, so I thought this would be a nice little project to get my feet wet.  It definitely took more time than I thought it would, but I wouldn’t say that it was hard. 

I think it really turned out well!  I made it as an 8×10 and we’re going to print, mat, and frame it.  When all is said and done, my brother will have a piece of custom artwork for under $20!  I think it’ll look cute!  Cody hates the word “cute”…had to make sure to throw it in here somewhere.  Looooooooove you! 😉

 I’m excited to try this for all sorts of different themes.  Maybe a Green Bay Packer one will be next. (Go Pack Go!!)

 

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