Friday, February 27, 2009

Minwax Gel Stain - Advice Needed

Ok Ladies..... I am in need of a quick class. Since I am new to re-finishing items I am looking for a few pointers from the professionals. So, any of you gals that re-finish wood items, sand items, paint items and stain items - PLEASE leave your pointers here.
Ok, I have seen alot of you gals using Briwax on some of your items that you have re-done, but I have also seen some of you use a stain on your items. Do you paint your items and then apply the stain over top of them to give them the antiqued/primitive look? I was looking at the store tonight and saw Minwax Gel Stain. Have any of you used this on your wood items? Can you give me some pointers? Ok, let's move to sanding. I have been sanding by hand which isn't a problem for me however could someone tell me what the difference is between the medium and fine hand sanders? If I am sanding a cutting board for example then what type of hand sanding block should I use?
Any and all helpful hints would be much appreciated. Is there something else out there similar to Briwax that will work just as well that might be a bit cheaper? My husband hates that I am spending so much for certain items (URGH). I guess my thinking is that I am saving in other areas such as thrift store shopping (ya know)? Can't wait to hear some of your thoughts and helpful pointers. Thanks Ladies!!
Oh - one more thing.... I got some paint samples tonight and I am moving 1 step closer to starting my cupboards. I am so excited, but nervous at the same time. Any of you Ohio gals wanna come and help? I'll fix you lunch (lol).

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A Bad Addiction

My husband is telling me ALL the time that I need to go back to work. I ask him why and he says "Well, you are changing everything, painting everything and you always want to find items at the Goodwill store to re-do." I told him that he should be happy that I stay busy, but he just shakes his head. I guess they don't understand a woman and their addictions (lol).

Well, I went to the Goodwill store today and took care of my addiction. WOW, I was so excited. I mean there was tons of stuff I could choose from, but with me going to visit Shawn's cousin this weekend.....I thought I would save some money to see what I could find at her thrift stores. If anyone was looking at me while I was shopping today, they probably thought that I was some crazy woman. I was snatching up all of the wood stuff and putting it into my cart so I could figure out what I wanted. I guess I didn't want anyone to come along and snatch something while I was trying to figure out what I wanted. The silly thing is that there was no one around except a bunch of men looking at socks and undies (lol). I am just not sure I would want to buy my undies at the Goodwill store, but hey if that is what floats their boat then I say go ahead since I am hogging up all the wood items. (lol)

So, I found this hideous looking cutting board that has some awful looking flowers on it. It was made in Yugoslavia and I must say that once I give it a makeover..... it will be quite nice!! I found some little wooden bowls, but when I was walking out to the car with my bag in one hand and Cameron in the other, my stuff went through my bag and one of my bowls broke. Good thing it was on 30 cents. Anyway, they are just little wooden bowls, but they would look cute with a little something in it......just not sure what. Oh, I also found this little shelf that someone made. I really like it, but the dark stain just isn't me so I will have to sand it off and re-do it. I thought it would either look cute on the counter or hung up somewhere. Hmm, the possibilities are endless.

I found some other items, but had no clue what I would do with them or where I would put them. There was one shelf that I really liked, but it looked like it had a billion coats of paint on it and I thought it would be ALOT of work. I also found this long coffee table which I thought had ALOT of potential, but I thought my husband would definitely freak out on me and I had no clue where I would put it. You could tell it was old, heavy and it was only $6.99. I thought that was a steal. I knew I could really give it a total re-haul, but it would be alot of work and since I sand everything by hand....... ah, that would take me forever!!

Anyway, here are some pictures of the items that I bought today. Don't you think they have alot of potential? I am especially excited over the cutting board and that little wooden shelf.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Whatcha Working on Wednesday & Then Some

Today I decided to finish a few things, but noticed something else in my kitchen that needed a makeover too so I gave it a quick makeover. You all were so right when you said that I would start painting everything. My Mom is always joking around with me and telling me not to paint my son (lol). Anyway, I finished this peg board today. The picture doesn't do it justice. It looks more primitive then what it looks like in this picture. I was going to use it for us to hang coats on, but now I am thinking that it looks to good to cover up. Hmmm, we will see.

This is the item I found in the kitchen that needed the makeover. Unfortunately when I uploaded the pictures the after picture came up first. So, here is the after picture and the before picture is below. I definitely think that my knife holder looks alot better and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb!

Ok, here are a couple pictures of my kitchen. These are supposedly oak cabinets, but probably the cheapest oak cabinets that you have ever seen. I know that the builder probably just used the cheapest stuff they could find. Anyway, I am starting to get the itch to paint my cupboards and antique them. I see all of you or must of you working with this Briwax. Have any of you painted your cupboards and used Briwax on them or a stain of some sort over top of them to give them that old primitive look? I want to paint them a white or an ivory or something like that, but I definitely want them to have that old prim look. Are you all following me? Have you seen any sites that I can go to and check out pictures of kitchen cupboards? Do you have any painting ideas/tips/tricks? We have the same cupboards throughout the house so I thought I would try what I want to do in my kitchen in one of my bathrooms and see what it looks like and if it works then I will then move on to the kitchen. I know it is definitely going to be a chore, but I am willing and quite anxious to give these cupboards a new and improved look. What are your thoughts. I am looking for all and any help I can get. Thanks Ladies!!

Oh - one more thing. Do you think I could make my own shelf to put over my stove and put my microwave on it or do you think it would be too close to the stove? I was thinking about having my FIL make me a shelf with a little door, but was kinda curious if it could be possible or not. Oh my goodness, since I started following all of you crafty women, it makes my mind go 100 mph 24/7 and I am always thinking about what I could do next. Yep, I can never shut down my mind. Oh well..... I guess it keeps me busy and now if it would just help me lose weight (lol).

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tinkering and Tweaking with my Primitives

All my son Cameron has wanted to do all day today is just lay around. So, with Blue's Clues on and him not wanting to be bothered..... I decided to tinker around with some of my projects that still needed to be completed. I finished a couple things and decided to work with my many decorations. Oh yes, it was so much fun to say the least and with so many items to work can definitely find the "perfect" arrangement of prims. As many of you have seen in some of my previous posts, I re-did my gameboard to match my other decorations. Well, today I completed another jar. Yep, this was once a spaghetti jar and now it holds cinnamon sticks. I thought it looked great with the apple butter label and a little bit of coffee stained cheesecloth on it and a bit of twine. Don't you think this arrangement looks great?

I also re-did this old jar. My Mom gave me this jar which is full of her Mom's old clothes pins. It once had a bright blue, green and red piece of homespun on it with a green lid, but I took the homespun off, tied some cheesecloth around the jar, added the rusty star and gave the lid my own rusty appearance. What do I mean by my own rusty appearance? Why - I am so glad you asked..... I painted the lid brown, sprinkled my spice mixture (cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice) onto the lid before it dried and once it was done drying, I sprayed it with matte finisher spray. I wish now I would have taken a before picture because now that the jar is complete - it definitely looks perfectly prim!!
Here are my strawberries that I received from DruAnn McCarty. Aren't they just too cute in this bowl that I found at the Goodwill store and re-finished?

Oh yes - this is something you all have been waiting for. My completed primitive sugar cones. Yep, they are now completely dry and I finished them off with some of my coffee stained cheesecloth and a little bit of twine. Don't they look great? I was very pleased with the finished product and I must say that I am totally obsessed and loving this coffee stained cheesecloth!!
Oh yes - I didn't forget about the pantry cakes either. Here they are displayed in one of my new bowls that I found at the Goodwill store. I am just not sure if I like it in the finished bowl or the unfinished bowl. Hmmm, decisions decisions! What do you think? Do you like this bowl?
or this bowl better? Let me know your thoughts!
Here is the comparison to the bowls. I decided to finish one in black and kept the other natural. I was just so thrilled that I found these at the Goodwill store and for 59 cents - yep, you can't beat that deal - ya know?

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Monday, February 23, 2009

A Busy Day Indeed

It has been 48 hours since I made my sugar molds/pantry cakes. I brushed them with the leftover coffee water this afternoon and they are going to dry for another 24 hours. Once that 24 hours is up..... I can start decorating with my coffee stained cheesecloth. Oh - I just can't wait to finish them up and post a picture for you all to see. They are looking so prim now that I brushed them with the coffee water. Thank you again Carolee for sharing your sugar mold recipe with me. I really appreciate it!!

Today has been a crazy day to say the least. My son is sick with bronchitis and a sinus infection and he had two doctor appointments today. He has been real clingy which I don't mind seeing as though he is at that age where he doesn't want to be held anymore. I was so hoping that once he turned 2 years of age he wouldn't be like that, but unfortunately he is, so I am definitely taking advantage of the snuggle time.

On a good note...... my goodie box from DruAnn McCarty came over the weekend. I received my radishes and my strawberries and I must say that they look great on my scale that I just recently found at an antique barn in Amish Country. I used a bowl that I had, but I am not sure if I like them in that bowl. Once I get the other bowls that I just recently found at a thrift re-done then I might change it out. I am just not sure yet. That is one thing I love about decorating...... you can tweak as much as you want until you get that perfect look. My husband is always rolling his eyes at me because I like to tweak in order to get that perfectly prim look, but it makes me happy being able to do stuff like that and so he never really says much. Men just don't understand the full concept of decorating with they?!? (lol)

I posted a couple pictures for your viewing pleasure. I totally LOVE this scale and the radishes give it that finished look. I also finished this board that I have had for years now and decided to put one of my prim labels on it. I am going to hang it up close to my red shutter that I bought at the antique mall last weekend. Oh - and you all have yet to see what I did with my shutter, but be patient because I am in the process of still working on that and trying to get that perfect look. I am having difficulties finding the perfect prim items to hang on my shutter, but stay tuned because I am hoping to have it completed very soon and share the pictures with all of you. Until next time.....have a blessed week and happy decorating!!

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Goodwill Hunting & A Re-Do

My husband and I went to go visit his parents today. Well, they have a Goodwill store close to them and I took advantage of being that close and went to take a look. I found some great wood bowls that I am very anxious to refinish and I also found this peg board. The great thing about these items is that they aren't currently painted so I won't have to do too much in order to get started. I will keep you posted on when they are complete and of course post pictures. I am definitely going to work on the bowls first. Stay Tuned.

Oh - while I was visiting my Mom last weekend, she gave me this game board. I love the game board itself, but I have nothing with country blue. So, after many attempts to find a home for it, I went ahead and decided to re-paint it. Here are before and after pictures. What do you think?

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sugar Mold Saturday

Carolee from Autumn Mom - Patches of Godlight had recently made some sugar molds. Well, I have seen these sugar molds everywhere and I of course wanted to try my hand at them. I asked Carolee how to go about making them and it seemed quite simple so I tried my hand at it today. I was at Wal-Mart today and noticed that they had some mini fluted pans on clearance and I thought they would be perfect for my sugar molds. So, I put them in the cart and grabbed some cheesecloth and I was on my way. I coffee stained my cheesecloth and put it into the oven and while I was waiting for it to dry I started my molds. The recipe is very easy and now they are in the process of drying. I have to allow them to dry for 48 hours and then brush them lightly with my coffee water and let them dry for another 24 hours and then they should be complete. The stained cheesecloth will look perfect with my sugar molds once they are complete. Here is a picture of my cheesecloth that I stained and my sugar molds are right below. I like the fluted pan molds, but I also like the tall slender ones as well. Believe it or not..... I used my son's sippy cup to make the tall slender molds. So, do you have a favorite over the other? Let me know your thoughts because I would love to know. Just in case you are interested, the sugar mold recipe is below.

Sugar Mold Recipe
You take white sugar and brown sugar in a 4:1 ratio (4 cups of white, 1 cups of brown or some variation of that) and mix them together well with a fork. Next you take a 1/4 cup of cool water and put about 1 Tbsp. of instant coffee in it. Then with your finger tips you dip and sprinkle a little of the water mixture into the sugar mixture and with a fork work the water in well. Keep adding more water until you when you squeeze a handful of the mixture and open your hand it stays nicely formed. Generally it only take three or four sprinkles. Next put the sugar into a form of some kind. A tall glass works nicely. Press it in firmly. Invert and tap lightly to remove the sugar mold onto a plate. Put the plate somewhere out of the way and leave it for 48 hours. After it is well harden, take a paintbrush and brush the outside of the sugar mold with the left over coffee water, if you want that darken, grungy appearance. Paint as little coffee stain on as necessary to get the look you want but not enough to soak the mold. Let it dry again for 24 hours and your are good to go. For the taller molds, wrapping it in coffee stained cheese cloth makes the molds look more authentic

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bay Leaves & Another Prim Doll From Mom

I am so happy that you all like my garland. I am trying to think about what I could do different, but like many of you have said..... it looks great just the way it is right now. So, the only thing I am going to do differently when making more is to coffee/tea stain my homespun. Alot of you ladies have asked if the bay leaves were brittle when I made my garland and some of them were and some were not. I bought this huge bag of bay leaves from my Mom's friend. She has her own shop so she is always making cute little wreaths or garlands and I was thrilled when she told me that she had a bag. I just never imagined it would be that big of a bag (lol). My plans were to originally make a wreath to start out with, but when it didn't turn out, I just undid the wire and turned it into a garland. Yep, you heard me correctly..... I used florist wire and it turned out just fine with the garland. I am still going to work on a wreath, but it might be a day or two before I get it completed and a picture posted. I will tell you this - when and if you all decide to try your hand at making a garland with bay leaves...... just take your wire, gently hold your bay leaf and then poke your hole into the leaf, but just do it gently and hold your wire close to the leaf when you make your hole. I used all leaves even if they were broken or not, small or big. I just wouldn't use something so small that it wouldn't be worth using. Does that make sense? Anyway, it was fun making them and I must say that they smell so good and they look great. My Mom's friend gave me some more craft ideas so I will have to try something else and I will let you know what I am going to make next. Oh - I am just having so much fun being crafty.
I mentioned in a previous post that my Mom allowed me to go shopping in some of her many cupboards and totes and well I had so much fun doing that. She has so many things and I was thrilled to get some of her prims. Below is a picture of a little black prim angel that my Mom gave me. I have been wanting her for some time so I was thrilled when she finally gave in and allowed me to have her. Oh - I also wanted to send a little side note to Pam @ Primitive Basketcase..... I posted a picture of that country blue gameboard in my previous post, but it was AFTER you had made your comment. I also sent you a picture of it in your e-mail. Just let me know your thoughts and we will go from there, but don't feel obligated if you don't like it.

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Cinnamon Stick & Bay Leaf Garland

Well, I finished my garland and I am pleased with it, but no so much with my wreath so I am going back to the drawing board with it. I ran out of my coffee/tea stained homespun so this picture was taken without my homespun being stained. I just wanted to get the pictures up since my Mom was anxious to see them. I plan on removing the homespun and staining more today along with these and then re-doing the bow on top. If you look closely..... I added a rusty star to the bottom of my garlands that I did. These are small garlands, but I am going to try to do some larger ones and once again try to do some wreaths, but I need to try something different for those (lol). Let me know your thoughts on these. I don't think they turned out to bad for my first try. I am sure they will get better with practice.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wreaths/Garland & Gameboard

I am going to try my hand at something different tonight. I love this project because it doesn't require me to stand up (lol). I am going to sit down and watch Biggest Loser and make a wreath. Yep, I got the idea from my Mom's friend (Sara) that owns her own shop and let me tell you that she is so crafty and creative. I am just hoping that mine turns out just as good. Anyway, I have some bay leaves and some cinnamon sticks so I am going to make me some wreaths and/or some garlands to decorate with. I will keep you all posted on the final project.
Pam - The picture of the gameboard is below. Let me know your thoughts.


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Monday, February 16, 2009

More Amish Country Finds & Decorating

I had a great weekend at Amish Country. We went to go visit my parents and I never let an opportunity to pass by without my Mom and I going to Amish Country. So, we left early Saturday morning for a lunch out and a day of shopping in Berlin, Sugarcreek and Walnut Creek, Ohio. We had so much fun tackling all of the antique malls and we even went to a new antique barn and well this barn had TONS of great stuff. I got these little mason jars which you see below. They are actually perfect for the bathroom. They are alot smaller then any other Mason jar and perfect for cotton balls and q-tips. So, these will go into my bathroom.

This is an old primitive milk stool used by the Amish. I need to clean it off a little bit, but I loved the look of it and thought it would be so cute with one of my primitive dolls sitting on it. It might even look cute painted, but we will wait and see on that one.
This was an old box that I found in one of the antique malls in Sugarcreek, Ohio. I loved this box!! It has some old writing on the side, but it is so old that I can hardly make it out, but I loved the look of it and wait until you see how I used it in my decorating below.

Here is the side view of the box. This is the side that has the writing on it, but I just can't make it out. Don't you just love the look?

This is a little something that my Mom gave me. She decided to clean out some of her cupboards and well I decided to go shopping there too (lol). It looks great with the candle and rose hips.

One of my main reasons for going to the antique malls was so I could find an old crock bowl for my apples that I just recently completed. Well, here is the crock bowl that I found. I thought that the coffee/tea stained homespun looked great along with my apples. This looks perfectly as my centerpiece on my kitchen table.
This is another little something that I found while shopping at my Mom's home. I love it and it gave me an opportunity to put some of my other stuff away and display some new goodies.
This is a little stand that sits perfectly in the corner of my kitchen counter. My Mom bought this for me at her friends store (Sara's Herbs & Everlasting). Isn't it such a cute little corner stand? It matches perfectly with my little box that I just recently re-did and it adds more color to my kitchen and I love that.
I found a home for my cheeseboard that I recently completed. It looks great on my black cupboard in my kitchen. I added an old crock along with some primitive looking cloth Easter eggs and my Dru McCarty bear and it looks perfectly complete.

Yep, this is that same box that I displayed earlier. I put my Mason jars inside that have black beans, pinto beans and flour in them. I added a few old antique tins that I found at the antique barn this weekend. The taller tin was once used for tea and right behind my carrots is an old army tin cup which I just love. I thought it looked complete with my sugar bag and my candle/candle holder that my Mom gave me.
Well, that is it for tonight. On a side note....we came home from my parents to find a mouse in our house. Uh yeah, I just about freaked out to say the least, but we captured it within 10 minutes of setting a trap last night (Whew). I cleaned and disinfected like a maniac today and I am worn out!! Perhaps I will find enough energy to hang my shutter and decorate it later.
Stay tuned for tomorrow for more pictures on decorating with antiques and prims!! I am now off to set more traps.....just in case!

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A Sneak Peak

Well, I returned from Amish Country yesterday and today I am puttering around in my home. I am trying to figure out where to put everything and what to pack away in my tote until it is time to switch something out. So, here is a sneak peak at "SOME" of the many items that were brought home from Amish Country. Oh - I have so many great goodies to share with you, but here is just a few to hold you over until this evening when I can post more. Right now, the antiques and primitives are calling my name. Off to decorating - enjoy looking at my goodies and remember that there are more to come so be sure to check back later this evening!!

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