About Me

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Some facts about us: Together since May 2004, Matt & Kristin Married in May 2009. Between the two of us, we've lived in California, Hawaii, Guam, Japan and met here, in good ol' Virginia. We adopted two mini schnauzers, Hemingway & Mya aka The Pups. We bought our first home in May of 2011 and are ridiculously excited for all the DIY projects ahead of us.

Monday, November 7, 2011

DIY Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard.  The must have for all crafters and for the little child inside of you that has always wanted your own big blackboard.

I turned an old wooden mirror from something like this:

To this: 

And I used my very own, homemade chalkboard paint!  I am in love with it.  It's seriously my new favorite thing in our home.  I cannot wait for all our nieces and nephews to come over and make a mess of it.  Not to mention all the grown adults who I'm sure will have something to write about (i.e. "Drew was here", etc.).

The How-To:
I started out by priming the mirror with my Krylon white satin spray paint.  Then I went after the frame with this beautiful blue spray, also by Krylon.  I didn't worry about taping it off since I was painting the primed mirror anyway. 
Now the fun part, the chalkboard paint!

Martha Stewart has come up with the perfect way to create your own chalkboard paint in ANY color.  Most of you probably have at least a cup of leftover colored paint lying around your attic that you could use.  I had some black paint left over from our door, so I stuck to the regular 'black board'.

For small areas, such as a door panel, mix 1 cup at a time.
1. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container. Add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix with a paint stirrer, carefully breaking up clumps.
2. Apply paint with a roller or a sponge paintbrush to a primed or painted surface. Work in small sections, going over the same spot several times to ensure full, even coverage. Let dry.
3. Smooth area with 150-grit sandpaper, and wipe off dust.
4. To condition: Rub the side of a piece of chalk over entire surface. Wipe away residue with a barely damp sponge.

That's it!  You can use ANY color of paint you have.  The possibilites are endless.  I'm already thinking of other items I can paint around here...  But the next stop for chalkboard paint?  My niece's bedroom.  She's doing one whole wall with purple chalkboard paint.  The 13 year old inside of me is super jealous excited for her. 

Another plus, I came home to this the other day.  But on the negative side, there's a brown guy cruising the city with pink chalk fingers.  Ahh, mi amore. 

Try this!  And if you already have, tell me about.  Anything different you used the paint on?  I'm thinking about doing some planters on my kitchen counter.  Risk taker! :p

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Love Like Crazy DIY Wall Art

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  It was a super busy one for me.  There were lots of little projects I wanted to complete and like normal, not enough time in the day.  On top of that, my sisters, niece and I had a day trip to visit my parents in Lynchburg planned for today. 

Fortunately, I was able to finish each project by weekend's end with a little elbow grease and a good husband.

The one I'm sharing with you today, is a little lyrical art project.

I love love love this song by Lee Brice "Love Like Crazy".  It's inspiring and a good daily reminder.

What I used:
1/2" Plastic Stencil (on hand)
1" Plastic Stencil (on hand)
Small art paint bush (on hand)
Grey paint we had leftover from our master bath (on hand)
Canvas print from Ben Franklin at 50% off : $7
Total cost of project $7

All I did was exactly what you think.  Sat on my butt for a good while and painted each letter on with a stencil.  I counted the lines I wanted to print ("Be a best friend" = 1, "Tell the truth" = 2), and used painters tape to remind me how much space I had for each line.

I love it and it's a great way to really personalize something in your home.

And the traditional end of the post random shots from our girls day trip to Lynchburg.  First one is the sweet country store we stopped by to check out their antiques.  

The beautiful leaves shot is from a stop in Appomattox. Came out beautifully and I'm hoping to print it for my hallway art collage... You'll hear about that later.  :) Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Grow Baby Grow

I hope everyone had a great Halloween!  We got a bit rained out, so our kids-to-candy-ratio was definitely on the candies side this year.  Which means we have way too many treats around our house at this moment.

Tomorrow is our official 6-months-in-the-new-house anniversary and  I'm finally ready to unveil the before and after on the new house color AND the grass.  This is in no means a how-to on painting OR grass growing.  Neither of which I had any part of this time.  Well, besides picking the paint color and painting a half a panel on the back side of the house.  That was my "I want to try!" moment with the paint sprayer.  :)  You gotta at least try, right?

If you recall, we picked Pale Honey from Behr.  Check out that post here if you missed it. 

First up is a picture of the first time Matt cut the grass back in May. 
And now the new do...  You can also see the new tree and the freshly painted walkway.

Here are a few more waaaay before pics to get us started on the house reveal.
First up is a picture from before we even purchased the house.  The bank posted this when they first put it up for sale.

The below shot is from when we first moved in, before any real updates.  Well, besides the-house-has-a-new-owner-update.

And the after. 
New grass, japanese maple, house color, door color, and porch colors.

There's still more to do, as always, but we're taking it slowly and loving most minutes of it.  Can't say every, because c'mon we're only human.  There's the good, the bad and the ugly in beautifying the nest.
Hemi seems to like the smell of the new grass and presents his very own "gifts" as an offering to the seedlings.  Yeah, we're now trying to stray him away from the front yard.  Matt is the new grass nazi as he gently instructed the trick-or-treaters to please go through the driveway.  I can't blame him though.... It's a good lookin' yard, love!  ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Putting Down Roots

Lets start with an olllld pic of the house.  Before the new house color, barnyard red door and painted porch.  Even before the mailbox area was fixed up.

Do you see what I see?
Well besides a beautiful day in the VA, and the depressing house color...
It's a front yard completely bare of any trees.  On one hand, yay to not having to rake a pile of leaves.  But on the other hand, it seems so... well bare. 

We didn't do anything drastic, but it's definitely a step towards a more welcoming exterior!
*Thanks to our awesome neighbors who donated a Japanese Maple they were getting rid of, which sparked this project!

The hubs was out there for hours prepping for the tree...  

Seriously, that was a lot of digging.
He finished up with new soil, fertilizer and mulch.  Oh, and lots and lots and lots of watering. 

And now we have a little summin' summin' in the yard and still not a ridiculous amount of leaves to rake up!

It's starting to change colors with the season now.

And because Mattchew got me a new camera for my birfusday, here's a random close up.

We love the new addition!  The hubs was so afraid it wasn't going to make it through the replanting process.  But it's been in for a good 3 weeks now and it looks great!  We need to do some trimming, but I guess that can wait a bit longer.  Although, I have been tempted to go out there and do it now, I can't.  Matt just may drop kick me.  I have no patience, but I'm trying!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Leafy Love Art

Ok, I know I was all about fall a week ago, but the 50 degree morning we just had made me regret it already.  I was not a happy camper as I walked the puppies this morning while it was freezing and drizzling. 

Anyhoo, a few months ago we found this neat print at Ben Franklin.  Normally, it was priced at $24.99, but it was on clearance for $4.99 so we picked it up! 

As you can tell, Hemi loves them...

I've been keeping my eye out for some 12"x12" frames that weren't $20+ each and it took me this long to find something that would work.  I found these 13" x 13" pictures at Garden Ridge at $7.99/each and scooped them up.

They actually weren't being sold as picture frames, they're really just framed art.  But at that price, I tore through the back to remove the art that came with it, and remade it for my leafy love prints.

Because they were bigger than I needed, I used a sheet of posterboard and cut to size for the mat to frame each picture.

I also used these photo sticker squares to keep them in place once framed and hung.

 Here's another one of the art pieces before I removed the slightly cheesy leaf art that came with the frame.

And here are the final pieces after finally finding the right frames, throwing a bit of a tantrum because taking out the staples in the back were a bit of a b*, cutting out the new mat, reframing and hanging them. 

Oh, I forgot to mention resweeping the kitchen after I shot staples all over the floor as I yanked them out with pliers.

Even with my tantrum about those stupid staples it was SO WORTH IT. 
For less than $30 I have 3 pretty good size art pieces that go perfect in our entry hallway.

Oh, and right after I finished them, I found these at walmart that were probably half the size  for $17.76 per set of 2.  So if you, theoretically, could buy 3 it would come out to be $26.64.  

So comparing my project to these at walmart: 
Almost exactly the same amount of money spent, mine are twice as big and shall I be so bold as to say cuter?... Yes, yes I will. 
Love when that happens!

PS randomness: If you haven't seen Bridesmaids yet:  Do it.