Thursday, November 20, 2014

When My DIY Failure Turned to Success // CraftFail The Book Giveaway!

Another emergence from my blogging hiatus to share some great news and a fun giveaway!

The one thing about DIY blogs is you create, you share and then you look back a few months later at your once-prized creation and wonder…what the hell was I thinking?!  Whether it's a copycat DIY project that just didn't work out or an all-out bad design choice the blog is a constant reminder that you've got a lot to learn.

During the whole animal bust craze I fashioned a stag out of copy paper, tape and papier maché and mounted it to a painted wood plaque…only to find that papier maché and tape aren't a great combination.  Luckily there's a place where all of these failures can be celebrated and live out their days in infamy…CraftFail!  With the rise of Pinterest, and all those pretty, pretty pictures, CraftFail has taken on the task of juxtaposing the idealized images found online with the realities of basic crafting skills. As a “friendly fail” book, CraftFail will help people showcase their own failed projects so we can all laugh together and celebrate a spirit of creativity with a whole lot of LOLs.  And my little creation was selected for the first ever CraftFail book - "Craft Fail: When Homemade Goes Horribly Wrong by Heather Mann.


Now only did my Papier Maché Animal Bust make the book, but it was among the first two pages of Chapter 1, baby!  Probably the first time in my life I'm proud of a failure.  Check out page 9 to see it in all its glory. 



Can't wait to see the rest of the world's worst craft failures from Home Decor to Food?  One lucky reader will receive their very own copy of CraftFail - just enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


So, tell me, what's been your biggest craft fail?  I promise not to laugh…too hard.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Totes!

Hi!  **Crawling out from beneath my rock….I've missed you guys!  The wine business and two busy boys has me running ragged!


While I'm not quite ready to jump back into blogging I did want to stop in to share a fun new line of tote bags at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores!  The Good-To-Go Totes are  amazing - durable, large and pretty too.




With two boys, size is always an issue when it comes to their day bag.  This tote from Jo-Ann's is the perfect size to lug around all of my kids' stuff and there's still room to spare.



You can pickup a bag of your own, which come in a fun patterns and in stores or online at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores for only $9.99 with a minimum $30 in-store purchase or $75 online purchase!

Okay….now back to my rock!

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Thursday, July 3, 2014

DIY // How To Repair Your Walls with 3M DIY & A Bedroom Makeover

Our house was previously a rental property that experienced some abuse from tenants.  The owners had fixed it up, rented it out only to have to come back in to replace the carpet and paint the walls because the tenants destroyed the place.  I totally get the frustration of having to repair what you've already repaired but using a paint sprayer while frustrated is not the answer.  Drips are not so attractive or easy to remove once they've dried.  Unfortunately, we inherited the drips and oh boy, were there a lot of them in our bedroom.  We also inherited a painted over wallpaper border and flower appliqué in the middle of the wall and a million nail holes all over the room. What on earth were they hanging?  I will always wonder...

After living here for 2 1/2 years and staring at the eyesores, I finally gained the motivation to tackle it all.  Actually it didn't quite work out that way.  My curious little 4 year old noticed a piece of the wallpaper peeling so he pulled at it....and kept pulling at pieces.  He took most of it off and I finished the rest for him with my trusty knife from the kitchen. Hey, it was quick to grab and I was impatient.


Then, I used hot tap water in a spray bottle to wet the paper backing which came off really easily.



With the wallpaper border removed, I broke out my trusty supplies from 3M DIY Website and my paint scraper to tackle the rest of the problem areas. I scraped off the paint drips using a paint scraper and used 3M™ Advanced Abrasives to sand down the raised paint runs as well as the edges where the border and the flower appliqué used to be.  I made sure to wear my 3M™ Safety Products (Respirator, ear protection, safetyglasses) when I was scraping and sanding to help protect my eyes from flying particles and my lungs from that nasty paint dust.





To fill all the nail holes and random dents I used 3M™ Patch plus primer which was easy to apply, plus I loved that it already included primer.  Then there were a few spots in the wall that were in really rough shape and required application of joint compound.


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Once the spackling was dry I sanded it smooth with the 3M™ Advanced Abrasives and wiped the walls down with a damp cloth to remove any sanding dust to ready the room for paint.
// TIP //

When you have less than perfect walls, choose a paint that has a low sheen -flat paint hides most blemishes and a high-gloss will highlight every single eyesore.  I usually buy an eggshell finish.  It's a bit easier to clean than flat but hides more than a satin.
 When we moved in the entire house was painted a creamy white color and little by little I've moved through each room of the house to completely rid our home of that color.  The bedroom was the last room left - I chose to paint it the same color as our hallway 1) because I'm low-budget and we already had the paint on hand and 2) I just really love the smokey blue-gray color. 




The wall below was definitely in the worst shape and these photos show how much better it's looking now.



I still have some work to do in here - painting the closet doors, crown and ceiling white, plus replacing the carpet but it's already feeling like a whole new space.


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I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from 3M DIY Website . Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me. Follow 3M on 3M DIY Twitter , 3M DIY Facebook , and 3M DIY Pinterest .

Monday, May 5, 2014

Beautiful DIY Ceilings // Armstrong Residential Ceilings Review

For most people, I think ceilings don't really come to mind when they're considering their home renovation.  A basic drywall ceiling is pretty standard, but when there are so many gorgeous options out there for every style of home basic just seems boring.

Armstrong Residential Ceilings has an amazing resource called Ceilings 101 for DIY ceiling repair and updates. There you can learn about selecting, buying, installing, and repairing your ceiling project.  Whether you are wanting to install basement ceilings or just want to refresh what you already have - it covers it all.  For those that require a little more assistance, online video tutorials are a'plenty.


Ceilings 101 offers great inspiration photos - like this wood ceiling. WoodHaven Wood Rustic Pine 5" x 84" Plank ceiling adds a lovely warm texture to this traditional home. 

My favorite style of all?  The coffered ceiling.  

I love this before & after of the tiled ceiling transformation thanks to the Easy Elegance Coffered ceiling tiles.






If you have a ceiling project coming up or are interested in learning more you should definitely check out the Ceilings 101 page at Armstrong Residential Ceilings.

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This is a sponsored post for Armstrong Residential Ceilings, but as always, all opinions are 100% mine.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Uncovering the Hardwoods

Just peeking out of my unmotivated state (have you noticed?) to share a funny little story.

I know I've mentioned this before but sometimes I get in a manic I-need-to-change-something-NOW mood.  You'd think that I'd learn to not give in to these crazy episodes.  There's lots that I could do...like finish peeling the wallpaper border off our bedroom wall (which is a result of another day where I let the crazy get the best of me), paint the trim, touch up paint in the living room where we removed the baseboard heaters or deep clean the house, but none of those would satiate me.  I.wanted.those.floors. I've dreamed of wood floors since the day we moved in and when I discovered them a couple months back it's been itching at me to uncover them.


So the other day, during a very rare two kid nap, I set out to pull up the carpet. I moved the furniture out of the way as best I could, unassembled the sofa (the chaise detaches and the pull out bed comes out) and started pulling it up - moving things around as I went.  It was exhausting.  But I was fueled by grand thoughts of refinishing this beat up flooring to a more beautiful state and had visions of Nicole Curtis egging me on.


I rolled up the carpet (very unprofessionally) and pushed it out the front door.  Then I grabbed the pliers and small pry bar to pull up the tack strips, nails and staples that were left behind.



After I finished the section behind the sofa the motivation and joy of it all started to wear off and I was staring straight into my reality.  I didn't like what I saw.  My mind just kept repeating "This is bad.  This is really bad."


This floor has seen years of abuse (over 100, I'm told.)  That's not a bunch of dirt and dust on the floor (although there is that) but the floor's glorious uneven finish.  It's been stained, painted, worn down and in a few places it's rotting and brittle.  In it's current state it is less than charming and it's not in the cards to refinish it anytime soon.  I sure didn't feel comfortable with the thought of walking around on it with my bare feet, let alone with my kids crawling around on it. (Did I mention the little one is already crawling?)  You'd think these things would have crossed my mind before I got to work...but no.

I stood there staring, sweating and panicked.  I grabbed the broom and dustpan, dumped the debris in the garbage, vacuumed the floor and pulled the carpet back into the house and started rolling it back into place.  Luckily most of the room still had the tack strips attached so it was just a matter of matching it up and stretching it out.  Where we were set on pulling up all the carpet and refinishing these floors I'm now a little overwhelmed by the process and am leaning towards re-carpeting - especially if we were to put down a thick padding and a soft and beautiful loop style carpet from Mohawk Flooring, like the Ensemble.  Of course we'll be living with the current carpet for awhile - oh did I mention the padding didn't survive so now we have thin berber carpet sitting directly onto these old hardwoods.  It is amazing.

That'll teach me.

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