Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Past 5 Months

Some of you may or may not be aware that I am still I "newbie" when it comes to blogging. I have only been doing this since late August. I have always read a bunch of wonderful blogs that were written by some very super creative people, but I never thought about starting my own until this past summer. Let me just say one thing.....I love it!! If I have any regret it's that I wish I had started this sooner. I have learned that there are a lot of sweet, inspiring & friendly people out there in "blog land"! I have met quite a few of you that I'm sure if we lived close by each other we would be dumpster diving & flea marketing together! 
You guys have no idea how much you have helped me limp through a very difficult year......losing our business and home is the sum of it, but I don't want to dwell on the guys have helped me "make lemonade out of lemons". Instead of focusing on the "remember whens" you guys have helped me see the possibilities of the "what ifs". From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Looking forward to the next year I have many projects that I'm going to tackle. I have a kitchen that needs to be redone so I will probably make that my winter project. A master bath & bedroom that badly need a makeover, chair rail that needs to be put up in my living room & a downstairs bath that could also use a facelift. Obviously I have a lot of work ahead of me but I will share my successes & failures with you guys :). Besides planning on having a booth at my local monthly flea market (Kane County Flea) with my partner in crime - Diane at sweetgirlcrafting. I'm also hoping on finding a store that will let me place some of my larger items. Okay, enough with the rambling on......

Here are some of my favorite projects from the last 5 months that I would like to share with you guys...... 
My old Ikea high chair that I still had

Minnow trap lights

My Beach I just need a beach ;)

Vintage footstool that got a complete makeover

Lonely resale chair I found
One of my salvaged old windows

Rustic pedestal platters

Union Jack side table
Anthropologie knock off
Funky zebra chair

$3.00 dining room chandelier
From my home to yours, I'm wishing you all a wonderful New Year!! Love, Katie

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wishing You All.....

My three youngest with their creation.......
Well I got up early today & worked at the bakery kneading bread all day. After that I made & decorated three batches of cookies with my kids. Finished covering all of our pretzels in chocolate & made the stuffing for our turkey. Hubby is napping on the couch so I will have to wake him up to help me prep the turkey for tomorrow night. But first I wanted to take a moment & wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!!!!! I'm hoping you all have a wonderful holiday spending time with the people that you love & creating wonderful memories together! Enjoy the season!!!      - Katie
......of course they ate it 5 minutes later :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

WIsh I Could Show You Guys....

I have been so busy lately making things in my office that my family now thinks I'm part elf! I shoiuld be wrapping Christmas gifts (& getting that one last item) but I have too many ideas in my head that I just can't seem to stop. Hopefully I have the Christmas gifts hidden well enough that my snooping children will not find them before I wrap them.
Not sure if you guys read my earlier post but I was picked to compete in the One Month To Win It challenge. I have already finished my first entry & I'm half way through my second. I'm also shaking around ideas for my third entry. Each entry has to follow their theme. The first one is to use something from The Graphic Fairy. Of course the hard part with that is choosing which one, she has so many great things on her blog! The second one is to use Decoart paint & the third is to use a bunting or banner in some sort of a way. The fourth one must include furniture...yeah! I love to redo old,abused or neglected pieces of furniture.
The only problem is that I cannot show you guys anything yet until they have been posted on the One Month To Win It Blog & have been voted on. After the voting I can write a post on what I have done. Of course if I get knocked off early I can post about everything that I have made since I won't have to wait for the different challenges to get voted on. You guys might just get a flood of new projects if that happens......

One Thing I Like About Winter

Yesterday morning I was inside cleaning the kitchen & trying to break up my kids fights when I looked out the window and saw a surprise. The trees & bushes were all covered in a thick layer of frost. The sun was shining brightly outside making the frost just glow! So I grabbed my camera & tried to grab a few photos. 

I wish I had noticed earlier because the frost was actually starting to melt, but at least I got a few shots of the pretty winter morning.
As you can see from these photos we do not have a very big yard & the big brick building in the background is the back wall of Target. Yes, I live right behind Target....and yes they should have a back door for me. I can't complain, it's convenient & they are a quiet neighbor but sometimes I miss our old yard. We used to live on over 2 acres with woods behind us. I often would look out & see deer & the occasional coyote in our yard. It was always very peaceful there. Considering that we back to a busy retail center it is surprisingly quiet. What I usually hear now are the sounds of kids playing & I will always enjoy that sound. After all of the changes my family has been through in the last year I am very thankful for what we have now.

Look closely, see the little spikes that the frost has made on the branches?

My neighbor's weeping willow - I wish this was a better picture, it just sparkled in the sunlight!

As I looked down I noticed that we had a visitor earlier - rabbit tracks! Even in the suburbs you can still find wild animal life :)

Birch trees in my front yard
Today, as I write this post all of the snow & frost has melted away, leaving piles of leaves that never were picked up exposed. I'm hoping that mother nature graces us with a winter wonderland for the upcoming Christmas holiday. Instead we have been having warmer than usual temps & little or no snow. To say that this is unusual for the Chicago area would be an understatement. Even though I do not enjoy the cold, I still enjoy a white Christmas :)
I will just have to keep my fingers crossed......

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm Shocked,Nervous & Excited!!!

In case you have wondered why I haven't posted anything lately it's because I have had a little, (make that a big) surprise happen to me. I have been chosen to compete in the next round of One Month To Win It! Yikes! Can I say that again?...Yikes! I am so flattered but nervous too. I mean have you guys seen the competition? Wow! They are a bunch of women who are incredible. When I linked up my little Union Jack Ottoman I figured "what the heck... I won't get picked, but this will be a fun blog to follow". Well I'm super flattered to be picked so now I have to get my mind going & come up with some projects (hopefully fabulous ones) to wow everyone. Wish me luck, ...please. :) You can hop on over to vote for your favorite crafts, so please do so. I cannot tell you which project will be mine so I'm hoping you guys will be able to tell. I'm not sure how long I will last in the competition but at least it will be fun trying :)

My union jack ottoman that I submitted as my entry

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bling Me Up!

Some of you may remember this chandelier that I picked up a while back at a church barn sale. It was a bargain, I only paid $3.00! It sat in my office/craft room until I could make up my mind what I wanted to do with it. At first I thought I would spray paint it a bright fun color & sell it. But then looking at my dining room I decided that it needed a new chandelier. There was nothing wrong with what I had, but I just wanted something original. So then I thought I would paint it black. I was all ready to do that but after thinking about it again & decided to go with white to lighten up the room a bit.

So I painted it with chalk paint instead of spray paint because I wanted a flat finish & I wanted to buff it so that the brass would just peek through. I liked how it was coming along but I decided that it needed a little bit more. It needed some bling. Now usually my hubby is not a fan of bling, he usually prefers a more industrial style. But not me, I like both styles.... so I figured I would just go ahead & bling it up, he would just have to put up with it if he didn't like it :).
 Here is the official "after" shot. Some of the crystals are vintage, some are not. Some of them are glass & some of them are just acrylic. I used what I had and only bought a few items, to keep the cost down. I think the total I spent for all of the parts was about $17.00. I know it was under $20.00, so that made me happy. You really can't tell the difference unless you get up real close & inspect it. Who is going to do that anyway?'s just for me & I'm happy with it.

With the lights off...

I covered the chain & the plastic candle cover thingys with some fabric that I had. It's  like burlap, but nicer.
The chandelier really gives the room a lighter, brighter feel now, which is great. The best part is that my hubby actually likes it......blinged out & everything!!! What a surprise....he even said that if he saw it in a store he would pick it out! Goes to show you that even after knowing someone for 25 years they can still surprise you :) The DIY Show Off
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Distressed Mirror- Anthropologie Knock-Off

I'm sure you have all seen the pictures of the antiqued mirror that Anthropologie sells. I think they're gorgeous but way over priced...(at least for me they are). I've seen how a lot of people have made their own versions using muratic acid. I've been wanting to make one of these but not really wanting to mess with muratic acid. A while back one of my fellow bloggers, Jill from came up with an easier way to make one of these. Her way does not use muratic acid, she used Easy Off oven cleaner & made a beautiful mirror. You guys should check her blog out, she has some really great stuff on it. Anyway I finally decided to give it a try. Of course I start to tackle it  late in the afternoon, after the kids are home from school & I should be starting dinner.....(leftovers tonight guys). I thought I had some Easy Off but nope, I didn't. So I decided to try using Lime-A-Way. 
After taking the paper backing off of the mirror I just sprayed it all over it's backside & let it sit for awhile. By awhile I mean like maybe 3 minutes. I told you that I am not a patient person. Besides I had to hurry up & get this done so I could warm up the Well the Lime-A-Way did the trick, it started to remove the paint fast & with a little bit of scraping with a razor blade the silver coating started to come off too. Then I just took some sandpaper & sanded it until I got the look that I liked. Looking back now I know that I should have worn gloves but here's another fact about me, I only follow whatever directions that I feel are important. I tend to just "skip" the rest. Besides I have no idea if I even own a pair of rubber gloves.
I decided to leave a lot of the mirror intact, I only wanted it antiqued in a few areas. Afterwards I just slid in a piece of scrapbook paper that I liked. You could put anything behind here. I was thinking for Halloween maybe I'll put some old photos in there for a creepy effect.....hmmmm....
Overall I'm really pleased with how this turned out. Not too bad considering I spent a total of about 15 minutes on the whole thing.
You can see my tools that I used..Lime-A-Way, a razor, sandpaper & a lot of paper napkins (messy job)
I have another mirror that I want to do this to but it's a few feet across so maybe I will try the muratic acid on that one since it's such a bigger surface. I will have to add it to my list of outside projects to do once the weather gets nice again, which is a long way away since we got our first snow today. Oh yeah, that's the wonderful Chicagoland weather for you.....why do I live here again?  ;)

You can see the green paint coming off of the back, underneath was the silver mirror coating

all cleaned up

I took this so you can see what parts I antiqued or distressed (the pink paper shows through on those parts)

With the scrapbook paper that I put behind it

don't look at my fingers....I need a manicure, badly!

A shot with my family room reflecting in it...(see the chair that I just finished?)

One thing that I love about this little mirror is that I can use it as a tray too

The bird is looking at his reflection :)

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