Monday, July 26, 2010

Break Time!

Yesterday was break time from painting the cabinets. I decided to start a punch project that I had drawn out a while ago. This is a design that was inspired by a Santa punch that I did last year.

For the background, I though the light blue overdyed floss was a bit too light. I didn't have much darker blue floss, so I took 4 skeins of light, and put it with some navy dye. I only put it in the dye for less than a minute, but just enough to give it a bit more color. Since the floss already had light blue and tan, it gave it 3 colors once it dried. More of a blue/grey. The best thing about dying floss, is that you can always dye it darker if you don't like the results. I now need to decide on the outer border color. I did a test with brown, but didn't like it. Maybe black?

Here's another section of the kitchen. The entire lower half is done! I started working on the next section of the upper cabinets today. I"ll be able to put them up tomorrow. Then start on the last 4 doors - if I don't run out of paint! I only bought a quart, but could use another pint. I'll wait until I"m totally out of paint before I run out and get more. Then it will be to paint the walls.

On Friday, Rachel came home from camp. She really wanted her photo taken! I"m sure I'll get in trouble for posting this, but that's what moms are for. :-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Kitchen make over ~ plan "C"

Ok, so I started the cabinets with the tuscan russet paint. After a couple days staring at it, I couldn't live with the gloss. I previously had the cabinets painted in a semi gloss, but it was about 1/2 the shine as the new paint. So, plan "A" failed.

On to plan "B". I got a sample of another color in eggshell. It was the closest in color in the sample size. I really was looking for a dark color in a different sheen to see how I like it. Liked it without the shine, but not the color.

On to plan "C". I went and got a quart of Benjamin Moore red paint. Ok, the color said red, but it was a pre-mixed color made to go over wood/metal. It's an outdoor redwood furniture red. Very close to the other color in the paint chart, but just slightly less red. It has a slight brown tinge to it in comparison. Here's a sneak peak at the doors with just one coat.

Please don't notice the ugly floor. It's a "lovely" gold floor. But, getting a new floor isn't an option right now. It would involve getting a new subfloor, as it's warped. Plus, it already has a second floor under the gold. The one under is a pea green and white pattern. Yep, I live in a 1970's house! But, when we moved here 10 years ago, houses were hard to grab. We wanted the space, especially for bedrooms. We took the outdated kitchen, and all the lovely wallpaper that was on the walls.

The reason I've had such a difficult time determining colors, is that I wanted it to coordinate with our living room chair and patio door window treatment. The chair is more of a salmon color, and the swag is more of a brick red.

I really like the way this paint is going on. It has a self primer, so no need to prime. I think the color blends better with the living room, too. The sheen on it is perfect. Plan "C' is a success! I can't wait to start the rest of the kitchen tomorrow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to make cording ~ tutorial

I was asked how to make the cord edging for punch needle projects. It's not big secret, and is very simple to do! Plus, it gives your projects a customized look, as the cording matches the exact threads in the project. I first start with my finished punch project. This is one that I'm just finishing.
I cut away the extra weavers cloth, and left approx 1/2-3/4" around the edges. I turn them under, miter the corners, steam press, and lightly tack them in place with some thread (any color will do, as it doesn't show).

I now have the project ready to add cording.

Take a skein of floss, and measure around the outside of the project. Add in extra length for tying the ends and a bit extra. I usually leave several inches on each end as extra. It's better to have extra, than not enough! Take that length (do not cut yet) and double it. NOW you can cut it. That piece of floss should be over twice the circumference of the project.

Now cut an extra 3 pieces of floss, and put them together. (If you want the cording to be thicker, simply add more pieces of floss. I generally use 4, sometimes 5.) Tie together with a small knot in each end, as close to the end as possible.

Find a place to secure one end ~ a cabinet knob, or I use a key in a china cabinet. I put one end over the key, take the other end, and twist. Keep twisting until the floss gets twisty. Then, take the end that you're holding, and match it up with the other end. The floss will automatically twist itself into a cord. This will cut the length of the cord in half, which is why you use double the length when measuring.

If there's any imperfections, simply run your fingers over the floss to fix.

You will now have a nice coordinating edge for your project. I like to start with the bottom right corner of my project, and hand stitch it on.

I take the needle from back to front, and place the tacking stitch about 1 row into the punch project.

When I get to the end, I put a few tacking stitches to secure the cord, and snip the end off.

You now have a cord edge!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kitchen painting project

This past weekend, I started painting my kitchen cabinets. I got some barn red paint and a new brush ~ then started. Opening the can was scary. It looked SO bright - and red. Too red. But I started anyways.
I started with one section of the kitchen, as I can't fit all the doors on the floor at the same time. The paint dried darker ~ thankfully! It's such a change, I'm having a hard time adjusting to it. I think I can live with the color, but I think it could be a shade darker. My husband wouldn't like another shade darker. What I'm not so keen on, is the sheen to the paint. It's a semi gloss, but it sure is shinier than most semi glosses. Way too shiny for me.

Since I'm not sure what to do next, I'll stop and think about it. Do I keep using the same paint, then go over the cabinets with some type of matte clear finish? Do I finish painting to use the paint to cover the blue, then switch to a different sheen paint? The photos make it look a lot nicer. I think the sheen shows all the imperfections in the cabinets and makes it look cheaper. Luckily, I've been working at my phone job, so it's kept me busy ~ and not thinking about paint. It think my lesson learned is to buy those paint samples and try it out. If I do decide to go over the cabinets with another paint, I WILL buy a test sample!

This next section is for Robin, at Bird in the Hand Primitives. Robin is the one that drew the graphic for my last snowman punch project. Here's an a idea for landscaping:

Have a corner "anchor" bush on the left front corner of the house. Plant a few small bushes (large leaf boxwood)in a set of 3 in the front, and possibly the side of the front step (maybe some mini globe arborvitae). Fill in the rest of the area with some perennials, and other decorations (birdhouse, birdbath, etc) You will have to dig up the grass that comes all the way to the house. Lay out a garden hose (better than string/rope) to mark the curved edges of the beds. The side of the house could be perennials. Maybe alternate with 3 heucherras/coral bells, and mums. I know the photo isn't clear, but I'm trying to do this before I forget. I hope this helps you!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Snowmen in July

I've been keeping cool these hot & humid summer days punching snowmen. I just finished this snow angel, and it will be listed on Ebay later tonight. This photo shows the true color of the aged brass tag that I punched with metal punches. Something different from the paper hang tags.

I've had this snowman drawn out on weavers cloth for a few weeks. I can't wait to start him!

But, first, I need to finish another snowman that needs a border. Then a piece of wool for the background. I'm thinking a black border and black wool backing.

I spent the afternoon on the phone for my side job. I finished that portion, and there's more to come. So, I'll be stuck inside next week, but at least making a few bucks.

Tomorrow is laundry day. I have to catch up on all the clothes that Rachel needs to bring to camp. She leaves Saturday morning. So, I"l be down to only 3 kids, but the ones that eat. :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sneak Preview

Before I show you the sneak preview of my latest punch project, I have to show off my new kitchen ceiling fan. This new one is a low profile, so it's a tad bit closer to the ceiling than the old one. It's also a few inches smaller in diameter, so it makes the room appear a bit taller and bigger. Russ and Matt installed it last night before it got too dark to see. I love the dark metal on it, too. That will eventually lead to new hinges and handles on the cabinets. But first, I'll have to wait for a paint chart to arrive in the mail. I requested one from a store that carries Olde Century paint. It's an hour drive from here, so I wasn't keen on driving, just to pick up a sample. I want to see it in the kitchen, and compare it to the living room wing chair and window treatment.

Ok, my newest punch project will be mounted on a hornbook that's drying. I cut, sanded, painted, and used some gel stain on it.

This is the snowangel that will be mounted on it. I added a small tan border, then a larger black border to frame it. I always like to use some handmade cording to edge the sides so that the white weavers cloth doesn't show. On a hot, humid summer day, a snowman sure looks welcome!

I've added things like a string of buttons or an aged hang tag to other projects. This one I'm going to add a mini aged brass tag that I hand stamped. I need to get a better photo, but it's an aged brown color. The silver ring and mini charm contrast to the brass. I'll have to play around with what else to put on this string ~ maybe some small buttons??

Tomorrow I have to work a couple hours for my phone job. I work sporadically for a marketing firm. It's not steady, but it's something I can do from home. Since I'm off for the summer from being a lunch supervisor at school, it's nice to pick up a few extra bucks during the summer. It's going to be another hot, humid day tomorrow, so I'll take James to the pool. It's fun to see all the kids from school there, too. :-)


Monday, July 12, 2010

Frogs and snowblowers

Sorry dinner was late. There was a frog stuck in the snowblower! Literally. You can't make this stuff up. Andrew and his friend were in the garage after fishing. They were trying to remove a fishing hook from a big bull frog. The garage door was closed, to keep it from hopping away. Well... the frog hopped , and found a very small crevice in the snowblower hopped in. He wouldn't come out.

We had to remove the cover of the snow blower to get him out. But, at least he's out, and back at the pond ~ without a fishing hook. And without the snow blower. Here he is after his removal. Kinda cute, huh?
For those that want to watch a video of the removal process, here it is:

I'm finally done with listing on Ebay. Way too many hours spent uploading and editing photos. I'm hoping for some sales this week, and tried to keep the prices low. Keeping my fingers crossed! :-)

Listings, listing, and more listings!

I've spent the entire afternoon doing some Ebay listings. I figured why not, as it's the last day to list items for no charge. I've gotten more hits in a couple days than I had for an entire week back in the spring. Seems like spring is slower for sales, but it picks up after the 4th of July. I've added the wool applique pillows that I completed the other evening.

I also have a couple candle mats, and hope to get the listings done for a couple more. I ran into a snafu when the lisitng photo wouldn't upload. So, it's time to take a break. (ok, it's really time to get some dinner made)

I started another punch needle, and am doing some snowmen. I love doing Christmas in July! I used some overdyed floss for the background on this, for a very subtle shading. It really blends well between the blue and the tan.

Last night it rained SO hard, it was difficult to even see across the street. The street was flooded, as all the water couldn't go down the storm drain quick enough. Luckily, it didn't last long to do any flooding. The sun even came out later. :-)

On Sunday, I purchased a new ceiling fan for the kitchen. I went into Menards to buy the Sunday paper (it's 1/2 price there, so I can buy 2 for the coupon inserts). I saw that the fan was on sale, so I grabbed it. Now to get someone to install it and do a few other projects.

In other news, Matt got his lower braces on this morning. He's not complaining yet, so that's a good sign. He's really anxious to get his teeth straightened, and looking good. I'm anxious to get the payments over, so I can start on the next one that needs work!

Time to get some dinner ~ something soft for Matt.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Why does everything break around the same time? First it was the dishwasher. The control panel broke, and it was only 3 years old. Got that fixed, and a recall with the dishwasher at the same time. I am glad that I finally have my dishwasher running again. With 6 of us, I hated doing dishes, and having all the dirty dishes cover the counter during the day. (I cover my kitchen counters with other stuff: purse, cell phone, coupons, and junk)

Then last week, the pull chain on the ceiling fan broke. Of course, it didn't break on the outside where the chain could be repaired. It broke on the inside. Off to buy a new light kit. After hitting several stores, I didn't find a light kit that would coordinate with the brass fan that had more than 2 light bulbs. I searched on line, and found the same light kit for a mere $60. That didn't include the glass, bulbs, etc. Only the brass kit. A new fan that I saw is only $79.99. The newer one that I saw is a low profile, so it would be closer to the ceiling. I think I like that idea. The kitchen originally had some extra cabinets, and a built in table that was a REALLY strange shape. We took that out, and gained extra floor space. Now that we walk under the fan, the few extra inches of clearance would be nice. Not that we are tall, but if we have guests that are tall, we'll look out for them.

The new fan (yet to be purchased - waiting to see if it will go on sale soon) has dark blades, and a black metal. That leads to changing the cabinets. The paint is chipped on the kitchen cabinets, and needs a new coat of paint. The blue came out lighter than I originally planned, so a change of colors is in order.

I've been staring at paint samples and looking at them in different light. I think I like the one on the right. It's a Behr paint that has the primer already in it - bonus! Some reds are too orange, some are too red. I'm just looking for a nice barn red. This sample coordinates with the living room chair and swag on the patio door. I would like to change the cabinet knobs, handles, and hinges, but that might wait until fall. I would like a new window treatment, as well as a can light about the sink. That 1970's light has to go! I need to find an electrician to do the work, so that's the next step. I'm just hoping that nothing else breaks for a while. :-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Good intentions

OK, so I've had good intentions of blogging during the summer. It just hasn't happened. Some days I can't even get time on my own computer, as the kids are using it. They like mine because of the big screen, and it's new. So, while I get a chance, I'll blog. It's only 11:45pm, but I'm still awake. Russ is on a business trip to Switzerland, and I"m home with all 4 kids. He's never been to Europe, so it's a nice chance to see a different part of the world ~ even if he only gets one day to do some sightseeing.

I've done some sewing this week. I took some ticking, aged it with walnut ink, and added some wool applique. I'm not sure how I"ll finish this piece~ either a pillow or frame it. I also think it needs something, but I"m not sure what they something is. So, it will sit on my partially finished pile and I"ll wait to figure out what that something is.

I finally finished this punch needle piece by adhering it to a hornbook. I added an aged tag, and a string of buttons. I'm hoping to get this listed on Ebay this week. Russ took my camera, so I'm borrowing Rachel's. It's still a Canon Powershot, but it's different than mine. It just takes a while to figure out settings, and it uploads differently to my computer. So, it will take longer to get the listings ready.

Another partially finished project is a set of bird wool applique. I'm using a homespun backing to add some interest/variation to the pieces. I'm thinking these will be pillows, and sold in a set of two. I love wool for a background, but it gets pricey. So, I'm trying to combine textures and keep the price down.

Aren't these cute! I like how they are done on the point.

I've been wanting to experiment making a necklace for Rachel. (inspired by my cousin who makes really nice hand stamped jewelry ~ check out Bella Michele Jewelry) I had a gold tiny charm necklace that I wore in high school. It had the school penant in school colors. I also had a charm with the graduation year. I ordered a cheap metal stamp set and experimented on some nickel discs. I do have to say that stamping on the nickel is hard. It's a bit thicker (20 gauge). It didn't take the marker well to age the lettering either. But it was cheap and something to experiment on. This one has the school mascot.

This one is also cheap nickel, with the school initials and Rachel's graduation year. I want to add beads with school colors to each. (ok, when I do them with silver instead of nickel)

I was at Hobby Lobby, and found a mini 3/4" finished blank sterling silver disc for 50% off. So, I bought it and tried stamping on silver. Much easier to do. Since the disc is small, I only went for school initials. I added a couple beads in dark sapphire and crystal. I think I need to try the white opal color instead of clear for more contrast. But, she has a necklace until I get larger discs. I'm thinking that these might make great gifts for some of her friends. I'm even thinking that I could stamp some copper to attach to my other crafts.

It's now past midnight, so I'll leave some other photos for a post tomorrow. It has to do with my kitchen and some work that needs to be done.