Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Last Minute Vacation T-Shirts!

I like to do something special to remember a vacation.  Sometimes I get around to it and......sometimes not.  I managed to get my shit together this week and I made t-shirts for us all.

I bought long sleeved white shirts on Amazon.  I also bought Avery transfer paper for light fabric. It's a super easy and fun thing to do.  The only very important thing is to reverse/flip your text as you need to print it backwards in order for the text to show up correctly on your shirt.

Design away!  I fooled around with this a bunch and was inspired by Chip & Joanna Gaines Magnolia tshirts with the bull on them.  I followed their design and tailored it for New Smyrna Beach.

So print your design and get your ironing board out.  Cut the design out as close as you can (you can see where I didn't cut too close on the lines next to the word beach - picture makes it look a lot worse than it does for real).  Place it on the tshirt where you want it and iron slowly, pressing a bit.  I do this for about 40 seconds.  Then let the tshirt cool before peeling off the paper.  Here is one of the completed shirts.  Hope everyone likes them!!

How to wallpaper your stair risers!

I've mentioned before how sad and yuckie my stair risers are.  75 years old and layers upon layers of paint.  Time to make 'em pretty!  I purchased white textured/embossed wallpaper to give them a second chance.

First, I washed them down with TSP - a really good, strong cleaner.  I mixed it up in a spray bottle to make things easier and neater.  Just spray it on and use a green scrubby to clean the risers.  Let them dry!

Next, you want to measure your risers.  Each one can be different especially if your house is not completely level like mine!

First, apply wallpaper sizing to the risers.  Even if you have prepasted wallpaper. It's a good idea to do this no matter what.  It will just make your life easier.  It really helps with adhesion.  Let it dry.  Then cut and label your wallpaper - label each riser so you know which one to put where.  Believe me, you will need this.  I did three at a time.  It's not as overwhelming, doesn't take up as much room and won't take up your whole day.  If you want to do more?  Fine!!  

When you are ready, apply wallpaper adhesive to the back of the wallpaper.  They say to fold over the sheet on itself like a book (but DONT crease it) and wait 5 minutes for the glue to activate.  Then you are ready!  Slap that sucker on and smile!!!  Make sure to remove all bubbles and smooth the paper on to the riser.  I don't have a roller (added to my To Get List) so I just used my hands.  I have a few risers with some bubbles at the top.....maybe this wouldn't have happened if I had had a roller?  Don't know.  If this happens after the paper has dried, make a tiny slit in the bubble (I used a safety pin and made little tears as my razor blade was dull as a butter knife) and squeeze some glue in there and mush it down.  It works.  Don't have to get crazy now.

If you do a perfect job or don't have gaps between your steps and risers like I do, then you are almost done!  I have some big gaps in my 75 year old house....  So I put toe molding at the bottom of the riser to hide the gaps.  Plus?  You can never have too much molding.  I found vinyl molding at Home Depot.  The best part about this is that it is pretty flexible which helped me a lot getting around the bottom riser which is curved.  Dear Husband had to help me here.  I let the paper sit a few days and then painted them to match my trim.

What do you think???  Leave me some love in my comments.  I get lonely.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Applying Metallic Foil

A few years ago, I posted a makeover of my mother's victorian mirror.  It was gold (me no likey) and I painted it Paris Gray, which I loved.  Recently I got my hands on metallic foil.  I thought this would really finish the mirror off.  I was right.  Here is the before:

And here is the after with the metallic foil applied:

I like it so much better.  All the detail is highlighted.  EASY to do.  I bought my foil and adhesive on Farmhouse Paints.  I love their paint and I really like their foil!  You just brush on the "sizing" or adhesive, wait a few minutes, lay the foil down on whatever you are metalizing (yellow side down/shiny side up!) and press and brush away.  Then pull it off and the metal sticks to wherever you have sized!  Easy as pie.

I am just a shiny gal.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Office Hutch Completed! Before and After Pics!

Hello!  After a few days of painting here and there, I have finished the hutch in my office and I am loving it!  Here is before (again):

Me likey.  As I mentioned earlier, I cleaned out quite a bit of junk and arranged my wares on the shelves and in the cupboard to my liking.  It really ties the room together, although now I have to deal with the junk on the daybed.  And make some pillow covers.  And perhaps some window treatments. And....haha.  What can I say?  I absolutely adore my little Girl Cave.  It's only 8 x 12, but it has everything I need.  Including a fabulous view.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Year, New Projects!

Happy New Year!  I have a few new projects on the horizon and I am excited!  First, I am finally getting around to painting a hutch I bought at an estate sale about 5 years ago.  It's very pretty as is, but I'm not a country gal and it needs to shake up my office a bit, so I am painting it white with hot pink shelves.  I have a white, hot pink and gray theme going here.  It's also a super good reason to clean out and organize all my paint, etc.

Originally, the hutch is pine with mint green shelves.  As you can see, I already painted the top shelf. Going one shelf at a time because I have way too much stuff to move! haha.  It's about time I got going on this project.  I will keep you posted as I go.

The next project is one I am FAR more excited about - of course because I just made the decision to do it!  I am going to use textured paintable wallpaper on the risers of my 75 year old staircase.  No amount of paint is making these little lambs look good.  They have a hundred coats of paint and there are gaps, etc.  Aye yi yi!  Really nasty and I'm sick of looking at them. I was going back and forth between using beadboard and wallpaper.  Wallpaper is way easier and I can do it myself without help from my darling Larry.  Here is a pic of the wallpaper:

Thoughts?  It's a little trad, but the others were way too modern.  There was another paper I loved and then I saw the pricetag.....  Are you ready?  $330 a roll!  Champagne taste I tell you.  That will NOT be happening.  So I changed gears and I found this one on Ebay for $20.99 for a double roll which will be plenty.  After the risers are papered, I'm going to put a tiny toe molding on the bottom of each riser which will hide the gaps between the steps and the risers.  Here is the look I am going for:

Neat, clean and stylish.  Now if I lived alone or didn't love being married, I would do this instead:

In a word?  AWESOME!!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Eggplant and Pasta Incaciata

I love to cook.  But I am a little particular.  I like recipes that really deliver without a crazy amount of ingredients and steps.  I hit pay dirt with this one.  A friend posted a photo on Facebook of this amazing pasta cake she made.  Being the good girl she is (thank you Eileen), she shared the source which was Impatient Foodie.  Now it is nearly impossible for me to follow a recipe to the letter (except for baking - that is a science after all), I had to do some tweeking.  Homemade sauce?  Not for me.  Too much work, not enough reward.  My favorite is Victoria Fradiavolo and it comes in exactly the right size jar.  Perfect!  Secondly, at the time, I just didn't feel like grating fresh mozzarella.  So I used store bought shredded and it was delicious and easy.  In hindsight, fresh mozzarella would have made the flavor that much better, so next time I will use that.  Lastly, I didn't want plain old ground pork (boring!) so I subbed sweet sausage instead.  We loved it (even though we never tasted the original!!).  Here goes!

Two good sized Eggplants, sliced vertically into 1/4 inch strips
Kosher salt & pepper
Olive Oil
1 pound of sweet sausage, cooked/crumbled/drained.
1 pound of mezze penne, cooked and drained
1 pound of fresh mozzarella, grated.
1 jar of Victoria brand pasta sauce (I like Fradiavolo)
1/4 cup of bread crumbs
2 tbsp grated parmegiana reggiano
1 spring form pan that is at least 3 inches high
softened butter for greasing the pan

OKAY!  Let's get started!  Clear the decks and put on some tunes.  You are about to make some art.

Heat some olive oil.  Don't be stingy.  Salt and pepper your eggplant and saute until golden brown.  Let it rest on some paper towels.

Use the softened butter to grease the pan.  Mix the reggiano and bread crumbs and put 3/4 of it in the buttered pan and turn until pan is coated.  Cover that bottom of the pan with eggplant.  Then drape eggplant over the sides while covering the inside walls of the pan:
Isn't that fabulous?  Vegan pie crust.  Next, cook your pasta and drain.  Cook your sausage and drain. Mix the pasta, sauce, sausage and mozzarella all together and place in the pan:
It just keeps getting better and better.  Then fold the eggplant back over the pasta.  Use your last couple of pieces on the top.

Awesome!!  Almost done.  Cover with plastic wrap and put a dinner plate on top.  Put a couple of cans on top to weigh it down.  I put the whole thing on a baking pan as the spring form pan oozed a bit and it was going to get messy.  This was a good thing!  Then, into the fridge it goes.

Now, you can do this early in the day and then bake that night, or leave it until the next day.  I left it and I'm not sure it made any difference, but you should leave it for at least 3 hours so it sets and gets weighed down a bit.  When you're ready to cook, remove the wrap and sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumb cheese mixture on top.  Leave it on the baking sheet.  Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes.  When you take it out.....let it rest for 15-20 minutes before removing the spring pan.
 Then release your masterpiece!
 It's gorgeous, isn't it?? Impressive shit.
Slice into cake size slices and begin drooling.  My thank you note can come later.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dresser Makeover

Happy Thanksgiving to all!  I can't tell you how happy we are that we are going to home for Thanksgiving!  It has been three years since we slept in our house on Thanksgiving eve.  Blessings.

So, I am really beginning to get organized in the House of Babs.  Been a long time coming, but I'm on my way.  I finally finished my dresser.  Yippee!  I would have like to do all the bedroom furniture, but I must give my love his due - so I only did my dresser and I am happy with the results.  It actually looks fine with all the other pieces because I left the top the same as the rest of the furniture. 

Here is a before photo:
Nice, but kind of sad and outdated.  I refinished the top and cleaned up some of the old marks (my mother burned the crap out of the top with years of unattended cigarettes....).  Then I painted the rest Paris Gray.  I also spray painted all the hardware with oil rubbed bronze spray paint.  Happy!