Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dining Table Center Piece

After a long search and Pinterest hunting I have finally created a center piece that I love. In the past, I've had center pieces for the holidays but after the run of Winter holidays finished I realized I didn't have an everyday center piece. I had some ideas which involved mason jars but when I found my Target treasures I knew there was one hiding in there.

So, I came up with this:

The wooden tray and the utensil carrier were from my Target finds. The larger owl on the left was a gift from Steve's mom, the smallest owl was bought in Curacao by my sister, and the farthest owl to the right is actually a tea-light candle from Kirkland's. Can you tell I like owls? The flowers are from Hobby Lobby which I bought for 50% off $9.99 and they are stuffed inside four empty Starbuck's bottles.

All together it cost me approximately $15 (give or take a couple pennies). Simple, easy, and cheap. Can't beat that!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

How to Paint a Door

One of my first big projects since starting this blog was painting the front door yellow. I was very eager and completely impatient to do this project. As I've mentioned before, I've always wanted a yellow door; therefore, the sooner it was done, the better. This caused me to rush the project a little, but in hindsight I think it was a good thing. I learned a lot. Hence, a tutorial was born.

Your supplies are important for any project. Sometimes you can get away with using cheap things and sometimes you can't. Here is what I used:

  • The roller was a cheap foam roller but I chose it for a couple reasons. 1. Foam rollers leave less brush marks. 2. Foam is easier to clean than a normal paint roller because you can squeeze the paint out (in my opinion). 3. I didn't see a difference between the cheap one and the more expensive one. This roller worked fine except half way through painting the tip broke off. This has never happened to me before, or to my mom who always uses this brand, so I think it was just a fluke. I went back to Lowes, bought a new one, and haven't had any trouble whatsoever.
  • For paint, I used Valspar Exterior Semi-Gloss and the color is Gold Tone. I have always been a fan of Valspar and find that it covers well and rolls on easy. No complaints. 
  • For the outside part of the door I used a primer first, Kilz Latex 2. I definitely needed a primer to cover over the very deep red that was originally on the door.
  • When it comes to painting, I don't consider myself a seasoned pro, this is my first house after all. So for now I use Frog Tape to tape off edges and anything else I don't want painted. I love Frog Tape!!! It works so much better than the blue painter's tape and I highly recommend it.
  • Yet, out of all these supplies the denatured alcohol is actually your most important tool here. You need this to test what type of paint is already on your door. Oil based or latex based.
Testing Your Door

It's very important to find out if oil based paint was used on the door previously. If it was and you paint over it using latex paint then it will peel off and you don't want that. Talk about wasted hours. All you have to do is put some on a cotton ball, paper towel, or whatever you wish and rub it on the door. If the paint bleeds off onto your wipe of choice, then it is latex paint. If it doesn't then you have an oil based paint. Luckily my door was red so it was pretty easy to tell if the paint came off.

Prepping Your Surface
This next step is important and I feel like many times it is often forgotten (I almost forgot myself). Clean your surface! Take a wet rag and wipe down your door before you paint, especially if you have pets. The door is dirtier than you think and you don't want to paint all that grime onto it, permanently sealing it in. I used a 30/70 mixture of water and vinegar, which I already keep in a spray bottle, and wiped it down until no more dirt showed on the rag.

Now, at this point in time you need to decide if you want to take off your hardware or tape it off. For me, taping it off was the right choice. I knew that this project wasn't going to get done in a day (or even a week) and since it was my front door I needed to have full access to it. This meant keeping the handle and deadbolt in place.  As you're taping though, keep in mind to cover all of the handle, the top, bottom, and all around.. Paint splatters and mists as you roll and you don't want any of that falling onto your handle. Trust me, I learned this the hard way. Again, use Frog Tape. It creates such crisp and clean lines.

Let's Paint!
I figured the best way to show you how to paint a door was through diagrams rather than me trying to put it all into words. Here we go:

Step 1 - Paint all the vertical aspects of the door.Go up and down with the grain of the wood (if your door even has grain). Use thin coats rather than thick because you'll get more even coverage that way.

Step 2 - Now paint the horizontal aspects of the door. Once done, run the roller over the vertical parts one more time just to give it a clean edge.

Step 3 - Now, this can also be step one if you really wanted. I've seen it done both ways and I actually did this step first on the other side of the door and saw no difference. I suppose it's preference, but go ahead and paint the indentations. I continued using the roller for these as well.

I ended up going through the steps three times till I was satisfied that everything was even, and make sure you wait enough for each coat to be fully dry. If you try painting a second coat while the first is even a little bit wet, you'll end up removing some of the paint and create uneven texture.

Finally, when you're all said and done your brush stroke pattern should look something like this:
 And again, if you have a door with wood grain you'll be able to see how you should paint. Always go with the grain.

That's all for now and good luck on all your painting endeavors!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Door Brainstorming

It's been a little while since I painted the front door yellow and I still think it's missing something. Don't get me wrong, I am so happy that I did it but it feels.......incomplete. So, with this in mind I turned to Pinterest and below are some of the ideas I found. But first, I am re-posting a picture of the door so you can have it fresh in your mind.
P.S. - Ignore the green Frog Tape. I was priming the frame outside.

Please share your thoughts. 

I like this one because it's subtle but I'm afraid that if I do this then there will be too many curtains on that wall. It would be a soft color curtain too, nothing over the top or in your face.

This option is a little more subtle and provides me the option to have a curtain without the curtain overload. I could have it over just the windows or extend it full length. Maybe have it tied of in the middle with a fun ribbon or strip of fabric.

Or, I can paint the inside panels. Too much yellow? Maybe a softer yellow or the gray wall color?

Ok, well that's all I have found for now. Which one do you like? Or, do you have another idea I have seen yet?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Welcome home!

I'm back! I had a lovely time cruising around the Caribbean with my family (14 of us in all). It was filled with fun, sun, and relaxation...all of which I sorely needed. While I'm not going to delve into details just yet, I will put together some photos and stories to share in a future post.

Today, I want to talk about what happens when you come back from vacation. For me, I actually jumped into house work (trust me, that is not the norm). Where the motivation came from I have no idea. We arrived home Saturday afternoon and on Sunday, Steve and I were out back doing yard work. I repotted my aloe plant and I also planted three orange/red amaryllis bulbs a co-worker gave me (before vacation I might add). You can't imagine how thankful I was they were still alive when I got back. It completely slipped my mind to plant them before I left, all because I didn't write it on the list. If it's not on the list then it isn't getting done (sometimes they don't get done even if they are on the list).

Again, this is still not the point of this post...I'm rambling. The purpose of this post is talk about those horrible, dreaded, hateful black ants that still haunt my dreams. All this yard work further motivated me to drive to Lowes and pick up this:

At first, I stood in the poison aisle completely lost. I had no idea what I needed to kill this buggers. I have great success with Amdro mound killer so I thought maybe this will work too. While the ants mostly live outside, they do sneak inside every once in a while but they always live on the house or around the foundation which is why I thought the home perimeter might be the one.

I started my sprinkling adventure right here, right next to that bush.

Little did I know that the bush looked like this (mind you, the picture does not do it justice).

There were HUNDREDS of ants swarming all over this poor bush. So when my hand gently grazed a leaf they immediately jumped to my arm where I had about 25 crawling up my arm. Luckily, these ants don't bite but it was gross. It really really grossed me out. I couldn't wrap my brain around the number of ants I saw and I was instantly angry. All I want is for them to die. Is that too much to ask?

So, once I shook all the ants off I continued laying poison. I poured it all in the garden bed, all around the foundation, and on top of the window sills. This marks the beginning Ant Demolition Take #1. 

Let's fast forward a day. Rain. All day. Why did this happen? Because I laid ant poison. Without fail, every time I lay or spray some kind of bug poison it rains to wash it all away. Grrrrr. Back to square one.

But that's not all that happened. Oh no. That would be too easy. The garage door opener died. I opened it up to go to work and it made this horrible noise, I thought it was going to explode. Steve comes running frantically out of the house to see what it was. And that was it. Gone. It wouldn't go back down. I left for work. Steve stayed and played around with it and determined that the motor burnt out. So, that's what I did yesterday and continuing to do today. Shopping for a new garage door opener for Steve to install (thanks Steve!)

Thursday, March 7, 2013


Well folks, it that's time....Spring Break! I won't be able to post over the next week but I promise that starting Monday 3/18 I'll be back with plenty to share.

You can look forward to a more in depth look at the process of painting the door, a peek at my to-do list, and a couple of good recipes I've recently made. So, I hope you all plan on coming back to visit once Spring Break is over; I know I'll miss you.

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