noun: a small piece or amount of something, esp. one that is left over after the greater part has been used.
synonyms: noun: fragment - piece - bit - shred

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Clock it to Me...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  How's your weather?  Ours is snowy, rainy and sunny.  Yes, all at the same time.  WHAT is up with THAT?  I was really hoping we would be finished with the snow and that spring was coming.  I know, I know, it's a little early for spring, but SOME COUNTRIES ARE REALLY WARM RIGHT NOW and we should be too!  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it! At least it's light when I leave for work now and when I leave for home too!  I'm always checking the clock in the afternoon to see if it's going to be light when I leave. I know, sad.  But true.

Speaking of clocks, today's blog is about them!  I entered a challenge not too long ago (ok, ok, before Christmas) to make clock faces from digital scrapbook templates. It was fun, but a little disturbing as I kept coming up with idea after idea.  I was a nonstop, addicted to the task, staying awake forever fool when I was working on them.  LOL  Originally, I had about seven clock faces that I had done, but I ultimately ended up with only two.  These were my favorites.  I've included links to see very clear pictures, as these ones did not transfer over well from where I had them stored.  :(

Clear Picture of Hockey Clock 
One clock is going to be for my hubby, Mr. Scrappin, as soon as we get that back room emptied out.  (By the way, if you don't hear from me again, it's because I'm lost in that room and will probably never make it out alive.  Please call 911 if I don't surface soon!)  Right now that room is an unused bedroom, with pretty much EVERYTHING stored (sorry, choked a little there cuz I really meant thrown) in it.  Not for long!  I'm going to change it into a man cave for Mr. Scrappin, who has tons of stuff that I, oops, he can decorate in there with.  Really...did you think I was doing it for HIM?  hahahaha    My hubby is a hockey fan, former hockey coach and player.  Yes, he lives and breathes hockey, hockey and hockey.  Did I mention hockey too?  So, of course, there had to be a hockey clock going in there.  :D   Yeah, I'm nice like that.

Clear Picture of Gingerbread Clock 
The other clock is done using one of my favorite things of all time, gingerbread stuffs!  I am a googly fool for gingerbread stuff.  Love the houses, the people, the decorations, everything.  Of course, this clock will be for me.  hee hee hee  Since Christmas is already past, I  have a little bit of time to get the frame and guts for it.   I do, however, want to do my hubby's clock soon.  Mainly because I like it and I just want to. It's going to go great with the decor I put in HIS room.  Oh goodness, do you have ANY idea how rough it was to get that out?  Really?  HIS room?  Oh, the shame of it! 

I'm also working on one right now that isn't finished yet, but hopefully will be soon. It's for my sewing room.  :)  I've got to figure out how I want the logo to look and there are so many different templates for me to choose from!  Incorporating different design themes is not easy for me, so some of the combinations I have put together are, well, to put it mildly, ICKY.  I'm pretty sure that my sewing room deserves something way better than icky.  It does.  I know this.

All of this was and is being done done, of course, with my favorite digital scrapbooking and publishing website, Heritage Makers.  I've told you before and I'll tell you again...this company has the BEST templates and designs EVAH!  No, I'm not getting paid to say that; I just truly do love this company and the quality.  I love it so much, however, that I am going to become a consultant.  I NEED that discount!! LOL!  This is an addiction, as much so as Pinterest, that I simply cannot overcome.  I have tried and failed.  And since I don't like failing, I decided I should just join them. You know that old saying...if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  hahahaha  And the endless templates and publishing options are right up my alley.  I love making gifts and home decor (ok, ok, mostly for myself, which is very selfish).

I will be starting a separate blog just for Heritage Maker my upcoming Heritage Makers business once I figure out a name for it.  Any help from you all out there?  I need and want a really cool name!  If you have any awesome ideas, I'm all for hearing them.  In the meantime, check them out, play around a little, and Clock it to Me!

All templates by Heritage Makers.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A-Door-Able Plates...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope this last week has been good to you all.  All around us, weather is changing over and over, which makes our minds wander (and wonder) every which way.  My mind has been on crafting and trying to make projects that reflect who I am and what I like.  And, of course, what will work for me in my home.  I've also been working on Mr. Scrappin's Valentine's Day gift, which has been a tad difficult with him coming in to see what I'm up to every five minutes.  That gift WAS to be my post for today, since Valentine's Day is just a few days away.  However, it ain't gonna happen right now so I've decided to share something else with you this week.

Very cool barn door
I must admit that, like a lot of you, I LOVE older things.  Not exclusively antique, but vintage, retro, you name it.  If it's got an old-timey feel to it, I love it. So, while Mr. Scrappin has been working on restabilizing the barn and tearing down the "too sad to save" shed attached to it, he has been finding all kinds of little treasures to bring home to me.  YAY ME!  POOR HUBBY!  Last weekend, he brought me a door from "I don't know where it came from - I've never seen it before" and I immediately proposed that I would use it in my sewing room.  Yeah, that didn't happen.  I made other plans for it.  hahaha  He has also brought me four old wooden windows (only one has a window, which is broken, looking strangely like a baseball might have gone through it), two screen doors, and a barn door.  Oh, and lest I forget, some old rusty barn door handle, which I absolutely love!!!  Today, I'm sharing the barn door.

Plate Space #1 comes hubby to my craft room (not to be confused with my sewing room cuz we can actually get in this room right now), where he says to "come look."  I'm thinking to myself, "what now?"  Well, like the good wife I am (ALRIGHT, WHO'S SNICKERING OUT THERE?) I go look.  Lo and behold I have a muddy, grimy, icky looking door leaning against the love seat.  Yes, in in sitting on the carpet leaning. SERIOUSLY?  Does he want to live past that moment?  But as I take a closer look, I realize this is a barn door.  That looks cool.  Well, once it's cleaned up, that is.  Of course it sat there for a week.

Plate Space #2
Until the day before yesterday, when I decided it really needed to be cleaned so I could do something with it. That something was going to be a table in my sewing room (have you heard that before somewhere? LOL) Then I decided it would be a table at the end of my kitchen in that empty spot I spoke of in a previous post.  And THEN, I decided that maybe it just needed to be hung on a wall, looking super cool.  And farmy. And...wooden.  Hmmm.  Although it's a really nifty door, something is missing.  My beady little eyes started searching the nearby territory (aka THE KITCHEN) to see if I could spot anything to put on it. AHA!  Plates.  And then I looked at those plates and  You see, my kitchen has very little wall space and those plates are in three different places because there is so very little wall space.  Get my drift?  And they really do not look so awesome where they are.  They're just there so I don't do something akin to breaking them.

Plate Space #3
The more I thought about it, the more I thought maybe that might be the way to go. After all, one of the spaces where plates were hanging is going to be used for something else soon, so why not go ahead and take them off now and get it done with?  Buh-bye plate space #1!  Well, of course plate spaces #2 and #3 had to go as well.  And now I'm committed because I don't want to put them back.  Not to mention, they could use a good washing.

My knots.  hahahaha
I did notice while I was cleaning the door that there were three nails in the top board, which I started to take out.  For some reason, I left them in there, more than likely because I didn't want to deal with it while I was in the middle of cleaning it.  Later (you know, those "middle of the night" laters?) I thought that maybe I could hang something from them, like the three glass pitchers I have sitting on a baker's rack that is on the same wall as plate space #1, which is also going bye-bye.  Cool, pitchers and plates together.  Uh, no.  I did attempt to hang one pitcher and then thought that maybe those nails didn't have enough edge on them to keep the pitchers from crashing to the ground the first time the back door got shut a little too forcefully.  I decided I didn't want glass everywhere should that happen so I went to the next best idea I could think of. Fabric.  I didn't even tie it in a bow.  I just sort of knotted it around the nails for a shabby look.  Mainly because I can't tie a bow to save my soul.  True story.

Hmmm...a plate person!
After much arranging and rearranging (and then rearranging some more), I just didn't like it.  It was "off" somehow.  I don't know if there was too much extra space to equal out (hence my display resembling a person) or what, but I didn't like it.  My seven plates looked sad.  Just so you know, I love the look of odd numbered items; I think it makes them look more interesting and more flowing to the eye.  I really didn't want to add another item - not to mention I only have the seven plates.  Hmmmmm.  I briefly considered my grandmother's old platter, which I've had since she gave it to me when I was 17.  Not exactly the look I was going for, plus it was going to result in an even numbered display, which I always find too "neat."  Well, the choice wasn't really a choice, so I did what any reasonable person would do.  I made it an even number (note to the number gods - I'm sorry!).

The end result!  I like it!
The end result?  I like it!  Mr. Scrappin likes it too.  And believe me, I asked him enough times throughout the arranging/rearranging process and each time the answer was no.  So of course I asked him if  he was lying.  He said no, he really does like it this way.  Such a good sport when he wants to take a nap!  Now, I just have to get a platter holder so I can attach the platter to the door.  You will notice the door is not attached to the wall yet; the grime has to come off the plates first and I can't put anything up until I can put EVERYTHING up, meaning the platter holder.  Ok, ok, so I'm a LITTLE OCD.  :D

All in all, it works for me.  I like the assortment of different plates all together instead of in three different places (four if you count Grandma's platter sitting in the hutch) and the mixture of colors and textures.  Oh, and by the way, those two lacy-edged plates?  I made those.  Yep, I really did, back in 1989 (I know that cuz I just looked at the back to be sure).  Can you believe I haven't broken them yet?

Tomorrow after work, I'll stop at the store and pick up a hanger for the platter, and Mr. Scrappin' will attach the door to the wall for me.  YAY!!!  One step closer to a homey kitchen!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Classy Chair...

Hello, Happy Sunday and Welcome to the Farm!  I hope you've all had a wonderfully crafty week!  Ok, ok, I know you've probably had to do SOME kind of work, but hopefully the crafty things wiggled their way in there too!  After all, don't we have to have some fun in the midst of our "have to do it" times.

While I wasn't exactly crafty DURING the week, I did get the chance to take a chair class.  What is a chair class?  Well, I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED!  It's a class where you do a chair. BWAH HAHAHAHAHA  Ok, ok, enough of the goofing off here.  It is actually a class that I took where I learned how to prep, paint, distress and seal a chair AND learn how to do a simple seat upholstery. Very fun.  Now, I know that most of you can already do this, but NOT ME.  I've always wanted to, but my projects never really turned out well, and now I know why. I wasn't doing it right.

This class was offered by Paint in my Hair, a local boutique/Annie Sloan Chalk Paint retailer.  The real name of the class is an Upholstered Chair Class.  I was very excited to be taking this class since I had no idea how to take something blah and turn it into something beautiful.  Everywhere I look, people are posting pictures of their own gorgeous project redos and I really wanted to try my hand at doing it myself. Enter Jessica, the owner of this wonderful little store!

Not only is Jessica a super friendly, super nice lady, but you should see the finished projects in her store.  TO. DIE. FOR. Seriously.  I just can not get over how beautiful the finished pieces in that store are.  Jessica owns the store with her husband, Justin, who also does fabulous work.  Those two are a painting dynamo!  And he is just as nice as Jessica.  The entire time I was taking the class, he was kind enough to tell me my chair was looking good.  Thanks Justin!

SO...I arrive at the scheduled time and get to choose my chair.  Yep, I got to CHOOSE my own chair.  There were three different ones and each one could have been a work of art!  I chose a heavier one with a little bit taller back to it. Great chair...could use a little work though as far as gussying her up.  At this point, I'm sure Jessica was pretty aware that I was a paint virgin.  Yep,  TOTALLY.  Bless her, she didn't bop me over the head when I was babbling about how excited I was.  Ok, chair chosen; now on to the cleaning.

I was given a solution to clean the chair with that removes all the greases, grime, etc., that a furniture piece can accumulate throughout its life.  This step is very important, even though you may not think so.  A clean item is crucial to the paint adhering.  I did wipe it down as thoroughly as I could, making sure that my cloth was not picking up any more dirt before I stopped.  Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about yet? Yeah, that's Jessica talking, not me.  hahahaha  I only know that because she told me.  After the cleaning, she had me wipe the chair down to dry it, making sure there were no damp spots remaining.  Since we were going to be using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, there was no need to sand.

Speaking of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...LOVE IT!!!  This is the paint that most of the gorgeous furniture I'd seen was painted with and I just love the look.  Here was my chance to use it for the very first time, and with the proper instruction! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I was!  I think Jessica got really tired of me saying that.  LOL  I picked a color called Old Ochre.  It had been mixed with the color Old White, so wasn't as dark as normal, but still very pretty. Since we were going for the shabby chic, distressed look, we did what Jessica called a "slip slap" job.  Basically, we made sure that every surface was covered and any pock marks were filled in with the paint.  As the first coat was drying, I got a tour of the shop so that different techniques could be explained to me, and I was just amazed by everything that can be done with this paint.  We gave the chair a second coat and let it dry while we had lunch.  

Since we were going for that particular look, we did a little bit of distressing.  I just think there's something charming about the distressed look.  I opted for light distressing on this chair, as I really wanted it to blend well with the fabric and give it a kind of "charmed" look.   

After letting the second coat dry while having lunch (which Jessica ordered in), it was time for the wax.  Yes, I said wax.  I know, I know, we all are used to seeing stain or paint or sealant of some kind, but not wax.  Although this was an intimidating step to me, the way Jessica explained and demonstrated it, I felt much better.   It is not at all hard, just different.  As I made sure the wax was ground into the chair, I was wondering how this would turn out.  Turns out...I love the look!  For this chair, we used clear wax to seal, and I decided against the dark wax this time. I was REALLY loving how this was turning out!  After wiping the excess wax off, it was time for the upholstery part. Several options were explained to me and I chose to do the "just under the seat" option.  That is the technical name that I gave it.  hahahaha    I cut the foam to size; wrapped it in batting, and stapled it to just underneath the seat lip. Although I had given Jessica my power tools, sharp objects and fire disclaimer, she allowed me to use the upholstery gun (aka "power tool") anyway.  Brave,  brave soul. OH MY GOSH, THAT WAS SOOOOO MUCH FUN!  She did have to give me tips on how to point it and how to set it down correctly, as well as some extremely useful information on how to tack as opposed to completely stapling.  I have to admit that I'd love to be stapling today too, but she kept her upholstery gun.  Darn!  There's always a catch!  

Next came the attachment of the fabric, which was a beautiful soft colored floral pattern. Yeah, I know, I am so NOT a floral person, but this was really pretty and just the look I was going for.    I attached the fabric to the seat lip just as I had attached the batting before it.  I decided on double inverted pleats for the front corners to make them look nicer than just having extra fabric hanging around looking at me. Jessica held and I stapled. LOVIN' THAT UPHOLSTERY GUN!  Excess fabric was cut off using a razor blade (aka "sharp object") close to the staples.  I hot glued some beautiful trim onto cover the rough edges of the fabric and THE CHAIR WAS DONE!!  Oh my goodness, I love, love, love it!  I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun this class was and how awesome the instruction was.  Jessica has so much passion and excitement for her work that I cannot even begin to think of this class being taught by someone else. She is also my new hero, not only for her amazing talent, but for enduring my constant chatter and amazement without bopping me over the head.  :D

I am now a tried and true believer in not only the fact that I CAN do this thing called painting, but that the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints are simply everything they have said they were. I am truly amazed at how this paint works and all of the different things you can do with it.  If you are local here, please take a moment to stop by Paint in my Hair and, if you are not local, please take a moment to check out her blog.  I am so excited that we have this available to us.  It was truly a wonderful experience and I am very excited to work on more projects.

For me, it was a Classy Chair day. 

Paint (Old Ochre/Old White) and Clear Wax by Annie  Sloan Chalk Paints; foam and batting by Joann/Hancock Fabrics; Fabric for chair by unknown source.