Archive | June, 2011

DIY :: Making furniture new again…with stain. (Before & After Outdoor Patio Set)

30 Jun

DIY :: Making furniture new again…with stain. (Before & After Outdoor Patio Set)

The last few weeks I saw about a billion things on craigslist being given away – for FREE.  Not junk either.  Great amazing things including a fabulous ornate Spanish desk, industrial vintage factory cart and huge 8 foot farmhouse table.  FREE!!!! Can you believe??  I whined and sulked because both my husband and I own cars that have almost zero hauling capacity. Neither one of our back seats fold down which means our trunk space hauling area is the size of a peanut.

So..all those amazing things that were free on craigslist were out of my reach.   I contemplated renting a truck or paying movers but the cost of that wasn’t in my budget right now.  And it kind of defeats the purpose of getting it for free, ya’ know?

I soon quit whining because I realized this obstacle was a blessing in disguise.  There are so many home improvement and old unfinished projects left yet to complete at our house.  My garage is stuffed with old supplies that need to be used up along with half finished furniture.  Not to mention about 50 home improvement projects we need to finish. I should be focusing on that instead of stuffing my garage with more projects.

This teak patio set is one of those old projects.  I got this from craigslist at least one year ago and since that time, it has sat ugly and unused on a patio area located on the right side of our home.

The table set and patio area are so hideous we never spend any time there except walking briskly by as we pass through.  Also check out the fence in the background – yuck isn’t it? Well, I’ll tell you more about that later too.

Welcome stain to the rescue!

 

It’s been a while since I used stain and I forget how miraculously it can bring new life to dead pieces.

I had almost a full can of stain leftover from another project – Varathane “Early American”.  A little stain goes a long way and this small can was just enough to cover the table and all four chairs with almost two coats. I painted one thick coat and then painted a selective second coat only on areas that needed to be touched up.

Before staining, the entire patio set was given a quick sand with this sanding pad.  The sanding job was so quick it took less than 10 minutes.  I wanted to lightly roughen up the surface to help the stain adhere.

 

After sanding, the dust was brushed off with a small hand held brush and then wiped off with a damp rag to help ensure the smaller particles were removed.

Next the stain was applied very liberally with a foam paint brush.  The stain was layered on thick because the wood on the patio set was very dry and I wanted the stain to soak in well.  Applying the stain was such a rewarding experience because within minutes glorious results were achieved.

 

It is shocking how new the old wood now looks.

Here is a before and after comparison of the first chair that was completed.  Such a difference, don’t you agree?

After staining, the the entire set was painted with polyurethane outdoor sealer.  I never use sealer anymore for indoor furniture (I prefer oil and wax).  I think sealer is a little outdated and changes the color and effect of the stain.  However, on outdoor items sealer is a necessity. Without sealant, the outdoor elements like sun and rain will weather and wear out the furniture’s surface faster.

I am so glad I started working on all my old projects. My house is really coming together now! I have completed so much and even stained that fence that was in the background (which I will share the “how-to” with you soon!).  Maybe soon, I’ll start on that closet full of old sewing projects!

Do you have old projects you have been piling up?

 

 

 

 

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberry,Today’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with K,Home Stories A2Z

 

 

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Chicken Tacos

29 Jun

What’s for Dinner Wednesday :: Chicken Tacos

Happy Wednesday!  Remember seeing this picture?

Looking for a simple, go to recipe?  Look no further…slow cooker Chicken Tacos.

1 can Ranch Style bean

1 package Taco seasoning mix

1 small can green chiles

2-4 frozen chicken breasts

Tortillas, lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa for toppings

Set your slow cooker to 4 hours…put beans on the bottom:

Add chicken breasts:

Mix taco seasoning with 3/4 cup water and add green chiles, pour over chicken breasts:

Put the lid on…and make a batch of brownies with your favorite little buddy:

After 4 hours, using 2 forks…shred the chicken in the slow cooker, mixing the sauce together:

My mouth is watering right now…

Add your favorite taco toppings:

This might be the most requested dinner besides my homemade Chicken Alfredo

Enjoy!

Decorating Mantras…

28 Jun

Decorating Mantras…

Do you have certain things in your home that make you happy?

Flowers, art, family?

The 5 Mantras for Decorating got me thinking about what I love…

I adore fresh flowers in the kitchen…decor magazines on the coffee tables…and uber soft sheets on all the beds….and my Bella in my house.  It is proven that animals bring happiness to a home.

Just food thought today!

Happy day, friends!

Tumbler {love}

27 Jun

Tumbler {love}

When I found these tumblers at Pottery Barn the other day, I wanted to run home and throw away every kitchen glass in my house.

I love these glasses.  They are vintage…and lovely…and pretty.

 

And I want drink Skinny Girl margaritas out of them.

Then I saw these Hobnail tumblers…and I cried in the store.

Thank you Pottery Barn for putting a smile on my face today.

Memory Lane week 2

24 Jun

Memory Lane week 2

What have we been up to this week?  Busy enjoying the summer!

Father’s Day dinner prep…

Exhausted after back to back sleepovers…

Checking out Daddy’s old comic books…

Kickboxing with weighted gloves…

instructor screams…

“YOU WANT YOUR MOMMA? WELL SHE AINT COMING TO KICKBOXING TODAY!”

$10 steal at TJ Maxx this week…

And my baby Bella….love her!

Happy Friday, friends!

Sharing our memories here:  Starfish BlogAngry Julie MondayLife RearrangedMy 3 Boybarians

Pins of the Week!

23 Jun

Pins of the Week!

Man, I love Pinterest.  It is absolutely amazing how incredibly talented the world is.

Seriously talented artists, photographers, designers…pure creation for our minds to absorb.

Here are a few of my favorite pins this week:

The Ghost Chair…and artwork…

 

Nutella…enough said.

Source: creampuffsinvenice.ca via Carrie@221vision on Pinterest

 

I want this for my daughter’s room…

 

I have the perfect tree for this…

 

I love this picture…because I am missing my Bella, an English Springer

(she’s away at ‘college’ aka training)

 

And Javier…because I can.


Are you are Pinterest?

You can follow Angie at angie@221vision & Carrie at carrie@221vision!

We’d love to see what inspires you each day!

What’s for Dinner Wednesday:: Wasabi Coleslaw

22 Jun

What’s for Dinner Wednesday:: Wasabi Coleslaw

Yesterday marked the first day of SUMMER!!  Time for summer time BBQ’s and light dishes.  Here is a classic favorite, coleslaw, jazzed up with some heat – wasabi!

This is one of my favorite dishes to make. It is simple, light and gets rave reviews!

What’s Needed:

1 – 8 oz package shredded green cabbage (or you can shred your own cabbage by hand)

3 teaspoons of rice vinegar

3 teaspoons of wasabi mayonaise (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s but if you can’t find it where you live, just mix wasabi with regular mayonaise)

 

If you haven’t seen seen wasabi mayonaise, it looks like this.  Cream colored with just a slight barely there hint of green.

 

–Another great substitution for wasabi mayonaise is horseradish mayonaise (tastes very similar).  Like the wasabi mayonaise, if you can’t find horseradish mayonaise, it is possible to achieve the same thing by mixing horseradish and mayonaise.

On a random note… I always thought wasabi and horseradish were the same thing, just produced with different colors. However, I just discovered that both are made from a root however wasabi is Japanese and horseradish is European. Wasabi is fresh and grated and horseradish usually includes mustard and colorants as additives.  Interesting!

So back to the recipe—

Mix all together and…done!  So Simple!

I like to keep my coleslaw light…not creamy or thick.  You can certainly add more wasabi mayonaise if you like it creamy.  I am eating mine today with salmon but it tastes great with any fish and also pork and beef.

It’s not “burn your mouth” hot — the wasabi is faint and just adds a little flavor and spice.

 

Meet Stella

21 Jun

Meet Stella

I found her at thrift store a few months.  She is still in my garage, waiting for me to decide what to do with her.

antique dresser casters

She is perfect in size…and I love her…but I have no clue what, where, when I can find a home for her inside the house.

I have a bad habit of stalking thrift stores for months at a time.  When I found Stella, she was covered in junk.  I literally ran to her, asked how much, paid $19, and walked out the door in less than 5 minutes.

I also have a bad habit of naming pieces of furniture therefore making each piece personal, which means I can never get rid of anything…which translates to a garage full of furniture that have names…and my husband does not like that…at all because it is HIS garage that is full of MY furniture.  You can feel my pain.

Back to Stella…she has great lines…

and gorgeous handles…

but needs a bit of TLC:

and I love little thrift store finds because when I got home, I opened the bottom drawer and found this:

I know a sweet little boy named Jack who loves the Lord, making this discovery even more precious.

So…what to do with sweet Stella?  I’m thinking silver or gold…not brassy or shiny.

Subtle.  Sophisticated.

Something like this:

Martha Stewarts Precious Metal paint in Tin or Froth.

What do you think?

Decisions, decisions….

How to Fill a Container Planter

20 Jun

How to Fill a Container Planter

The planters I recently made were quite large and required a lot of soil.

In order to buy less dirt, save money and improve water filtration in the container I implemented one of my grandmother’s old gardening tricks of using empty plastic milk cartons (gallon size) at the bottom of large gardening pots.  I didn’t have milk cartons so instead substituted using layers of plastic water bottles.

Two layers of used empty plastic water bottles were laid directly on top of each other.  The caps were left on the bottles so that they don’t fill up with dirt. The bottle layers allow water to filter through to the bottom drains that were previously drilled at the base of the planters.

Since dirt is heavy and can become compact at the bottom, the water bottles help keep things light and flowing.

A layer of potting soil was used to completely cover water bottles.

There are probably lots of arguments and opinions regarding the best type of potting soil and mixing components. I chose a simple method using premium potting soil, perlite and plant food.    So far things are going great and the plants are thriving.

A mixture of approximately 80% potting soil and 20% perlite was used to fill the entire container leaving enough room to insert plants.

Perlite is a white and pictured below. It retains moisture longer yet at the same time provides good drainage.  It is also lighter than soil and and won’t compact as the season goes on.

Then I mixed in plant food (Miracle Gro Shake n’ Feed pellets) to accommodate surface area according to directions.

The food was mixed in well with the soil and the final results of all three components looked like this:

Plants were then inserted and bases covered well with dirt.

The final step was to water the plants well.

Now I just need to wait for them to grow and also try to remember to check daily for water needs.  :) Unlike plants grown in the ground, container plant roots can’t move down deeply in search of subsurface water so it’s important to make sure they are adequately watered.

If you want to read about how the planters with rollers pictured here were built, please check out tutorial.

Do you have any gardening secrets you can share with us?   :)

Memory Lane

17 Jun

Memory Lane

Our week in photos…from my phone…nothing fancy,  just life.

And what a fabulous life it is!

Virtual shopping for a kitchen pendant for my sister who lives in New York…

Chocolate cupcakes, some to keep and some to share with our neighbors…

Playing with a real life Super Hero…

And snocones with a real life Angel…

The best slow cooker chicken tacos in the world (stay tuned for the recipe!)…

And a glass of this after running to and from Dance Camp in 100+ heat…

How was your week?  We’d love to see!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

How to hang a hammock

16 Jun

How to hang a hammock

Summer is already in full swing.

Kids are out of school… and we even had our first pool party.

It’s also the perfect time to hang a hammock.  Summer is for slinging inside a hammock with a good book and basking in some sun.

Sounds like such a simple thing — hanging a hammock.  Grab some rope, tie it around a tree and there ya’ go.  Well it’s not so easy.  Especially since the palm trees we were trying to hang the hammock from did not have typical tree bark and instead had a very smooth exterior. We quickly found out that rope slides down the tree falling on the ground as opposed to swinging gracefully between two trees.

Apparently it is necessary to be some sort of nautical master to tie a rope so that it doesn’t slide down the tree.

We tried all kinds of sailor’s knots to no avail.  Once we finally got it somewhat tight to stay temporarily with a super duper crazy knot, it started to rain. The super duper crazy knot was a pain to untie causing the hammock to get soaked.

Hanging with rope was actually our 2nd failure. Our  amazing sweet friends who gave us this gorgeous hammock as a gift included chains and clasps that were supposed to allow easy attachment to trees.  The chains were unsuccessful and slid even faster down the tree than the rope.

After both unsuccessful attempts, I headed off to the hardware store to browse around hoping to find something that would work as a solution.  I went to my new favorite place, True Value, and as usual they were very helpful.

The representative at True Value, told me my worst fears – it was mandatory to insert a hook into the tree.  After watching hours of hammock “how-to” videos online, I had known this was an option but resisting it because damaging a gorgeous tree would feel like a sin.

However he explained that it would not really harm the tree, especially since it was a mature tree.  And he also explained that hanging a rope or chain taut around a tree combined with the weight of a person pulling on it was probably worse over time.

I had also been resisting inserting a large hook into the tree because I didn’t think I would have the muscle strength.  But as I have discovered with most of the DIY projects, if done correctly things are actually much easier than expected.  And as it turned out… hook insertion was easy and simple.

So here is how you hang a hammock with a hook:

TOOLS:

2 Hooks – use heavy duty hooks that have the ability to hold a few hundred pounds. The hardware store should show weight capacities on product displays.

Pliers

Drill

1) First measure the lengthy of the hammock and the distance between the two trees you intend to use.

2) If the measurements seem to fit well, hold the hammock up between the two trees to make sure.  Having another person assist helps unless you have arms that span more than 12 feet.  :)  I didn’t have anyone helping me so I laid the hammock on the ground between the trees and did a little bit of guestimating (estimating + guessing = guestimating).

The hammock needs hang at least 2-3 feet off the ground because it will lower significantly once a person is laying inside the hammock.

There needs to be sufficient spacing between the trees and a mark needs to be made on each the tree where hook will be installed.

3) If everything seems like a good fit, use drill to pre-drill hole where hook will be inserted.  I can’t deny I felt guilty drilling into the tree.  To make matters worse, when drilling a little tree sap ran out that made me feel like the tree was crying.  :(    (However all has ended up well and there is a happy ending to this story.  It has been several weeks and the tree is doing just fine.)

4) Insert hook and start screwing hook in tree with your hand.  Somehow the hook “finds it’s way” and is actually very easy to insert and hand turn.

Hook inserted in tree

5) About half way through, the hook will become difficult to turn by hand.  At that point, use pliers to continue screwing in tree. (Using the pliers takes zero to very little muscle strength).

6) Screw in all the way with pliers until the shaft of the hook is not visible.

Done!

Hang hammock and enjoy!

The hooks also allow fast easy removal of the hammock when it rains! :)

For convenience (not necessary) we also used the chain and clasps that came with our hammock and attached them in between the tree hooks and the rope that was attached to the hammock.

Chain and clasp for hammock

The chains provided extended length and also the ability to manipulate length quickly.  If you also want to use chain or clasps, they are available at the hardware store where they can also cut the chains the exact length for you.

Will you be putting up a hammock this summer?

 

 

Check out these fun blogs for amazing inspiration!

Between Naps on the PorchDIY ShowoffDomestically SpeakingFinding FabulousFunky Junk InteriorsHouse of HepworthsMiss Mustard SeedMy Backyard EdenPerfectly ImperfectPrimitive & ProperRemodelaholicSAS InteriorsShabby NestWhipperberryToday’s Creative BlogThe Thrifty HomeSavvy Southern StyleSome Day CraftsEisy MorganGreen Door Designs,  At Home with K

 

What’s for Hors D’oeuvres Wednesday!

15 Jun

What’s for Hors D’oeuvres Wednesday!

I’m a Texas girl…not born, but raised practically my entire life.  And if you follow us on twitter, you might have read that I wanted chips and dips for dinner the other night.  That’s not bad, is it?

I could eat snacky food all.day.long.

I love it.  Its comforting.  Who cares what my thighs say, right?

These little bits are a love fest of flavors…and I guarantee your friends and family will be begging you for more.

They are a Pioneer Woman recipe, slighted edited to my tastes…

Stuffed Jalapeno Poppers

12-18 fresh jalapenos, cut in half and seeded (you can leave a few seeds if you like a touch heat, and you may want to double the recipe because they go fast)

1 package softened cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 package center cut bacon strips, cut into quarters

1 small can pineapple tidbits

BBQ sauce

Slice the peppers in half:

stuffed jalapeno poppers pioneer woman

Scoop out the seeds with a spoon…we leave some with seeds, some without:

Mix the cream cheese and cheddar cheese:

Stuff your peppers:

Top the stuffed peppers with pineapple tidbits…at least 2 per pepper:

Cut the bacon strips into quarters….the original recipe called to wrap the peppers with a strip of bacon.  I tried that and they had too much bacon fat so I tried this way, using center cut bacon, placing it on top of the peppers.  As the peppers cook, the bacon gets crisp and delicious.

Brush the top of bacon with your favorite BBQ sauce:

Bake at 350 for at least 30 minutes or under the bacon is crispy and the peppers are tender:

Seriously, amazing.  If I don’t set aside a few peppers before serving, I won’t get any.  They are gone in minutes, they are that good.

Fourth of July is coming up…you’ll be the hit of party, promise!

Enjoy, friends!

 

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