Tuesday, April 14, 2015

7 of 10: Chalk painted mini drawers

Let's cut straight to the before and after, because I think it's pretty awesome:
 (Purchased at Target many years ago from one of their dorm room collections.)
I've never used chalk paint, but my sister Rachel raves about it. There are tutorials for making your own, but for my first attempt, I bought the brand name stuff.  I found it at a shop called Kalology on South Congress, and though the store is charming and the lady was very helpful, it was still tough to hand over the $70 it cost for a small pot of blue paint and even smaller pot of wax sealer. As my dad would say, Annie Sloan sure is proud of her stuff.
(Everyone swears that it goes a long, long way, so once I've covered everything I own in blue, I might be ready to buy another color.)
I've got some chairs I'd like to paint, but I decided to start small and get the feel for it. I did a coat of purplish craft paint first, then two coats of the blue chalk paint, sanded a bit to let the purple show through, and then waxed it.
For a minute I thought, "This stuff is beautiful! Let's paint all the kitchen cabinets with it!" But then I got to the "wax on, wax off" step and changed my mind. I hardly had enough elbow grease to finish my approximately 2 square feet in one sitting.
I used scrapbook paper and Mod Podge to cover the front of the drawers, and voila! A beautiful hiding place for about a hundred electronics chargers and other miscellany.
I'm sure my counter will stay exactly that neat and tidy from now on.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

5 and 6 of 10: Necklace and painted frame

I've had this necklace 80% finished for about a year. Now it's done!
I love the idea of an off-center necklace, but in practice, it is difficult to get the weight to balance correctly. I'm going to have to road test this one to see if that leaf stays put or twists around and falls to the bottom.
Next up is a frame that I've had for years and always disliked the colors. I know that the shabby chic aesthetic had its moment in the sun, but was barn red and minty toothpaste green ever a good pairing? I say no.
I used cheap craft paints and covered up my least favorite shades with blues, greens, and gold. Now I love it.
This frame holds a bunch of pictures from our European backpacking adventure of so many years ago. Here's Matt pretending to dance with me in front of the "you are sixteen, going on seventeen" gazebo in Austria. Yep, we took the Sound of Music tour. It was cheesy and fabulous.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

3 and 4 of 10: Cards and written snapshots

Can you say derailed? Easter weekend got in the way of my ten projects, but that's ok, because it was a lovely weekend. Now it's time to catch up. 

I made a set of cards with some Basic Grey paper, plus something silly for my sister. The bird illustration is cut from a vintage children's book that I picked up at a thrift store, and the text refers to our endless card games when Jill visited last fall.
I'm also working on writing a few paragraphs in my journal about each of my boys at this moment in time. I think of them as written snapshots. I've done this a time or two before, and I always love going back and reading the descriptions of their characteristics, quirks, habits, and favorite things.

Friday, April 3, 2015

2 of 10: Skateboard swing

Yesterday I decided that I would tackle a pile of clothes in need of repair. I patched some jeans and hand sewed a couple of snagged sweaters.
And then I almost died from boring myself to death. Mending, while useful and necessary and even satisfying, does not count as one of my ten inspirational, motivational, awesome birthday month projects. What birthday is this anyway, my 70th?

So I'm taking credit for a cooler project, even though Matt did a bunch of the work on it: a skateboard swing!
We found an ugly old skateboard at Goodwill and loosely followed these directions.
 It's low to the ground, so you can pretend it's a hoverboard.

Total cost was about 15 bucks: 4 for the skateboard and 11 for the rope. By the way, why does a little package of rope cost eleven dollars? And that boy could use a hair cut--
Oh, sorry, guys. My inner geezer got out again. I've sent her off to do some more mending.

(In case you wondered how I fixed the holes in my sweaters, I tried this method, and it worked out well. Don't throw out your favorite sweater just because it has a snag!)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

1 of 10: Garden path

It's my birthday month, and I'm feeling vaguely unsatisfied, like I haven't accomplished as much as I would have liked to in the last year. Sure, I've kept three little boys alive, which is no small feat, but I'd like a few more tangible items checked off the to-do list.

The goal is ten projects in ten days. Here's number one:
It's a path out to the garden, made of rough stones and cedar mulch, and I just finished it this afternoon. It represents lots of work, spread out over a couple weeks worth of toddler nap times. I am sort of in love with mulch right now, by the way. I love the look and the smell of it.

Check back tomorrow for project number two! (I honestly don't even know what it is yet. I just had the "10 things" idea a couple hours ago when I finished the path.)