Fireplace Makeover

In January I finally tackled our older style fireplace with the intention of updating it but not breaking the bank, as well as not hating it in the end. I was a little scared of how it would turn out but you never know if you don’t try, so I read a couple blogs and narrowed down the different things I wanted to try. Here is a picture of our fireplace how it was originally:IMG_1099

As you can see the paint job around it was kinda weird and sloppy and the Brass cover with smoke stained Bricks just wasn’t feeling very uplifting. Even with Christmas Decorations it felt sad. So I started by removing the brass cover (it was secured with several screws on the inside and not difficult to remove) and cleaning the brick. To clean it I simply vacuumed all the crevices and then wiped it down with a cloth soaked in water and vinegar, that’s it!!  IMG_1103

I think it looked even worse after that but it pushed me to be brave and keep going. After taping off the edges it was time to get started with the painting. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint the color Paris Grey, and the 32 oz size.IMG_2560

I mixed a cup of paint with 3 cups of water and it was close to the consistency of Milk. Then painted it on the bricks and the mortar. It was easy enough to do but the first coat was tricky as it had to be forced into all the nooks and crannies, but with the paint being so watered down that made it a lot easier to apply.

At first it looked like it wouldn’t fully cover the different colors of the stones (and the first coat didn’t) but I kept going. Two hours after the first coat I applied a second one and this time the paint wasn’t quite as watered down, so it was more like 1 cup paint to 2 1/2 cups water.

It looked so good already but needed to dry overnight to even out all the different tones. Once it was dry it looked great in comparison to the original, but very flat, like poured concrete.

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So I went to home depot and bought a can of Stone White Flat Interior Paint.

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Using this paint the next day I dry brushed the front of just the stones. To dry brush you take a dry brush and dip just the very tip in the paint, and then brush it along a scrap cloth (I used a t-shirt) until there is almost no paint on the brush. Then you brush the brick lightly at first but harder to apply the amount you like the look of.

This was fun but took a lot of time and patience. I didn’t want to apply too much paint and lose the marbled affect so it was just a matter of going over it with a touch on my brush till it was enough.

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But as you can see in the picture above, it brought out the character and depth of the bricks so well.I was careful to make sure I didn’t brush in the grout lines so they stayed flat grey.IMG_1134IMG_1129IMG_1144

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I love it!!!

But then I had to finish the brass front. I had considered leaving it off but decided with littles around, that was probably not a good idea. So I disassembled the front as best I could, taped off the glass, and laid it on plastic.

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And then spray painted it with high heat Black paint from Rust-oleum.

Now I’ve never been good at  spray painting but this time I tried something I had read online. They suggested to paint very very thin layers and just wait an hour in between and then do it again. Obviously this was why I’ve always had runs and weird paint spots since I’m not very patient and usually try to get it all covered in two coats 🙂 well I tried the many light coats and it worked great. I think I did seven coats throughout the course of an entire day, but it turned out looking amazing.

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So after reassembling it and installing it back onto the fireplace my fireplace makeover on a budget was complete.

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What a difference a little paint and elbow grease can make!! My total cost for this makeover was about $75.00.

If you have Questions please post them in the comments and I will try to answer them all.

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First Birthday Party with the new look!

This was the blog that most inspired me. http://erin-artandgardens.blogspot.com/2013/02/painted-stone-fireplace-before-and-after.html

Baby Bassinet

When we found out we were Pregnant with our second baby it was a bit of a surprise, not unlike our first baby, but we actually realized what adding a child to our mix looked and felt like. Jesse was only 6 months old and we were just getting used to his little self being there. It was pretty surreal. But more then that it was going to take some thought to manage these two littles, since Jesse was nowhere near being done with his crib. So I thought about getting another crib, and a very good friend even offered me one to borrow, but then one day on my ramblings through Goodwill I found this:iphone june 2014 074It was priced for $25 and my pregnant brain couldn’t decide if that was too much or not. So I texted a picture to my Husband and he laughed and said you better get it or I will go there and get it. I just about missed out because of pregnant brain. I took it home and then I got excited realizing the fun I could have. So one evening I went to Joann’s fabrics (click here for a link to coupon page) and probably spent two hours feeling all the fabric and looking at EVERY conceivable material that could work and eventually I settled on this mixture of prints and patterns:

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I love that its yellow, teal, and grey, and has birdies. Not too feminine for a boy (even though at the time we didn’t know what we were having) and definitely made me smile. Most of these will be made into a patchwork blankie, with the grey mink as the backing, but that hasn’t happened yet. I only got the bassinet done before the baby was born, but I am planning to make the blankie yet for him, because nobody ever outgrows a mink blankie. Anyway back to the bassinet, I had to build the mattress and bumper pads from scratch, so really all I did was measure the bottom and sides and cut foam to that size and then sew a cover for the foam:

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I found the Green foam at Joanns as well and cut it to size. I did two layers since the thickness wasn’t enough with one but all the other kinds of foam Joanns had were too thick. I didn’t want him to sink into it.

The second picture is of the end of the zipper. I sewed it in flat and then made the corners of the cover by turning the whole thing inside out, folding it diagonally against itself, and sewing a line across the corners. Like this:

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It was a fun Project but I got close to not finishing because I went into labor a week early and was still working on the bumper pads for the sides. I didn’t get any good pictures on doing that process since I was kinda just trying to stay sane and focus through the contractions. But I did get the mattress and one side done before the little man came the next day. Here is a picture of him breaking it in just home from the hospital 🙂

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And here he is today just playing in it for fun.

Sept 2014 043Sept 2014 038 My Mom crocheted him the Chevron Blanket to match. I think he looks like a cabbage patch doll in the first picture. The cutest.

 

 

 

 

 

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He has out grown it now, so we found a different use for it:

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I do believe they have too many stuffed animals, but oh well at least they have a place to put them 🙂

Till next time, hug your babies tight and remember to thank God for them everyday.

Next up Matching outfits for a wedding.

Picture Frames DIY

When Dominic and I first moved into our house we didn’t have much since we had both moved from a long ways away. I wasn’t able to move the things I did own, til just recently because we had to import them from Canada. So in the meantime I really wanted to get some pictures on the walls, without breaking the bank, and here’s what I came up with.

Below see the frames I picked up at second hand stores for about $.99 each.

After taking the glass and backing out, I laid them flat, and using high gloss black spray paint from Home Depot, painted them in the back yard.

The end result was exactly what I had been imagining. I still haven’t put pictures in all of them yet. Also I would like to paint or have painted a large tree behind them on the wall as a sort of back drop. It would be from the floor to about shoulder height and just be painted in black hanging the pictures over it so it would look like the frames were hanging on it. But for now I’m really pleased with how these turned out. Also about a week after these were finished I found this Mirror at a second hand shop. The frame was bright red, but after an easy paint job, it looked brand new.

Happy Valentine’s Day Felicia!

Good morning and Happy Valentine’s Day. This is your new vlog (video blog) all about knitting. Each week I’ll help you film and edit a new video post where you discuss the ins and outs of your love, KNITTING. I know what you’re thinking, what kind of present involves the recipient having to do something, let alone having to do something that takes lots of thought and time over and over again? Kinda sounds like that $10,000 we won for our wedding huh? All we needed to do was first spend $2,000 and then the prize was ours, plus payments for the next 5 years on a bunch of stuff we never wanted in the first place right? Well ya I guess it is kinda like that, except instead of just one day of pictures that you pay for for the rest of your life, this will help you work on one of your favorite activities while sharing your talent with your friends and followers in a fun and unique way. You can give lessons to your sister a country away, or simply share your thoughts on the latest purling craze. And don’t worry, I will help you every step of the way with whatever you need. Let’s have fun with it. I love you very much honey and can’t wait to see you down here again.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC8cPwM_2BM&hl=en&fs=1]