Mail Box Makeover

I love making things bright and cheery and turning the mundane into something that will make me smile. So our mail box was annoyingly run down and simple to me. It needed a make over.

Here it is before I touched it.

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First I took all of the hardware off, sanded everything a little by hand, and started spray painting.

IMG_2592I had purchased a can of spray paint for a different project but it seemed like a good color for this one so why not get started. It was a Rust-oleom  Metallic. it sprays on really light and has an amazing sparkle but has to be done in very light coats. I think I did five coats, if not more. IMG_2593

And as you can see in the lower part of the picture in between coats I was playing around with the correct size of the silhouette I wanted to paint on the sides. Once the paint was dry I put it all back together. It would have made a much better looking mail box already, but I wanted a personal touch.

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(Yes it still has a couple dents but I didn’t mind those) I used the same technique on this as I used on my Dining room table makeover, which you can read about here. IMG_2606IMG_2603

So first I taped the carbon paper to the mailbox. And then taped the silhouette on top of that. I got this particular one from pinterest and resized it using Microsoft paint which is pretty easy to use.  I did a different one on each side just for fun.

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Below is a close up of how the outline shows up after tracing it.

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The top photo was after one coat of paint and the bottom one was after two. I also put a coat of polyurethane over it. Then I found and old faux Barrel planter and cut a hole in the bottom large enough to be able to slip it over the mail box pole. And then reattached the mail box.

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A friend gave me a vine for free which I planted and hope flowers soon, and viola!

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Its fun to see every time we drive past it. Thanks for reading 🙂

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

Recipe: Italian sausage and potatoe soup

This can be a one pot meal and oh soo good. It’s also gluten free , and just plain fast and easy. Since making this for the first time it’s been a weekly meal, probably because I like potatoes and my husband loves sausage.

Ingredients;

1 tablespoon olive oil

1pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed (I like to use the city market brand)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 onion diced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Salt and black pepper

5 cups chicken broth

1 pound red potatoes, diced

3 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup heavy cream

( I know fat free half and half isn’t heavy cream, but it’s all I had in the house 🙂

Put the olive oil in a large pot and add the crumbled sausage to fry, I put it on pretty high heat to cook it all through. 

Then while the sausage was frying I put my chicken bouillon cubes in a separate sauce pan with 5 cups of water (I like to do this instead of using the broth) and put that on high to boil. Chop up an onion and put this in with the sausage so it fries and becomes translucent. Now I put all the other spices it the ‘broth’ and poured that over the sausage and onions. Then cube your potatoes and throw them in too. 

Cover and let boil for ten minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Then throw in the spinach and mix it all up. In about a minute when the spinach is nice and wilty, pour in the cream and it’s ready to serve. Yum yum.

Baby Jones

Well I haven’t posted for a while but here we go again. My Husband and I are pleased to announce that we are expecting an addition to our little family in February. When we found out I wanted to make something special for my mother-in-law to announce our happy news. This is her first grandchild and I knew she would be delighted. The following is pictures of the project. Enjoy 🙂

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I used a super fine crochet cotton and the same pattern for the booties I posted before, but modified it a little to have the laces instead of the button. Then since we don’t know whether it will be a boy or girl, I added the blue and  pink beads to embellish the plain white.

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They came out perfectly and so tiny.

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]