Tuesday, September 17, 2013


It has been a busy...BUSY...month!!!  Back to school for my kids, a high schooler that's in marching band, oh and a business I never planned!

It started because I wanted a t-shirt for myself to represent my son.  No one sells school t-shirts for moms especially not band shirts.  So I ordered some glitter Grass green iron on vinyl from Expressions Vinyl and came up with this:

I ironed it on my black shirt and posted it to Facebook.  What happened next was simply God!!!  A friend who's a band dad and extremely active in the band posted it in the band's Facebook group.  I started getting orders for it.  Then another friend saw what I was doing and asked for a decal for a different school.  It increased from there and now I've made signs for cars, bumper stickers, stickers for water bottles, stickers for coolers, more shirt decals...and the list goes on. 

So since the Lord has blessed me with extra I decided to open a Facebook page for my vinyl/crafts.  I'm starting small and taking it one step at a time. 

So if you would like to check out what is available like my Facebook Page...Pieces to Treasure.  Who knew what this would become!!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cigar Box...Girlyfied!!!

My husband is a cigar smoker...did I ever tell you that?  He's not just a cigar smoker; he's kind of a connoisseur of cigars. He has a whole man cave decorated (or maybe that's dedicated) to cigars. He's got all kinds of cigar bands in glass containers, cigar bands decoupaged on a side table, cigar boxes on all the walls, and posters of cigars. We're often looking for interesting cigar boxes when we go into the cigar store.

So not long ago my sister at The Concrete Cottage posted about a basket she stores her cords in by her bed. I steal all kinds of ideas from her. She's so talented...in a wonderful, drive your sister jealously insane kind of way...and I get so much of my decorating inspiration from her living room and blog. (I'm not sure if you're jealous of me right now or just feeling sorry for me...). So when she posted about her basket it made me think of a problem I keep having with my cords. I plug the phone in every night on my night stand but the cords never stay in place. The cats like to chew on them given the chance, so I needed a solution.  A basket didn't suit my needs; I wanted something that would sit on the night stand and hold them all in place but protected. 

Back to the cigar store...while looking at boxes for my husband I suddenly saw a solution to my problems. A cigar box. There was one that was just the right size so we scooped it up and took it home. I had my husband cut notched in one edge for the cords to my phone and my blue tooth. They ended up on the wrong side (my fault cause I changed its location on the night stand) so he added two on the other side. Fortunately this isn't an issue...and I'll tell you why later. 

Of course I didn't want just a cigar box sitting on my night stand without it being girlyfied first and I had the perfect color to fix it. 


I started with Plaster Paint in Jewel and painted two coats over the whole thing except the bottom. When that was dry I used Cece Caldwell's Simply White to dry brush and bring out detail. I wanted to make it match the paper I planned to decoupage inside.  Then I took Maison Blanche's Wrought Iron and painted the little hinges and closure. I added just a bit more Simply White dry brushing then distressed it a bit with sand paper. I finished it off with Maison Blanche Clear Antique Wax (the only wax I use even though I use several different chalk/clay paints) and a good buffing then decoupaged torn paper to the bottom.  I let it all dry and now it totally fits my personality and needs!!!

Oh, I almost forgot to explain the notching...we go visit family in Kansas quite often and when we do I always fight with my cords there.  Now I will just wrap everything up in my box for transport and no matter where the plug ins are at my parent's house the box will still work...make sense???


Now it matches my walls, fills a need and looks pretty!  Thanks, Sis, for being my inspiration once again, and for one more treasure!!!


Ok...side note...Jeannine, I know how you like the pictures bigger.  Well, I posted this originally on my app and used InstaFrame to edit my photos.  When I make the pictures large here on my computer they are WAY TO FUZZY...so you have to look at little bitty pics.  SORRY!!!
Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School...Personalized

Oh my WORD...it's that time again!!!  My oldest started band camp yesterday, the uniforms have been purchased, supplies are stocked up and shoes are on the list...

This year I went as cheap as possible on as much as possible, but being cheap doesn't have to mean boring!  Since the kids have to carry three ring binders and they're the most expensive of the supplies I decided to go personalized using my Silhouette Cameo.  I'm on a roll with it lately so why not school supplies.

I let each of the kids pick their design and fonts and with a bit of tweaking in Silhouette Studios it was a fun afternoon project.  I made sure to use outdoor vinyl so they would last hopefully as long as the binder (which if you have kids in school you know means maybe a semester).  Since school hasn't started I can't tell you how well they're holding up, but they'll sure look cute/cool for the first few weeks.  We'll see if it lasts with my oldest after he starts his first week of high school.  It may be too cutsie for him...but for now it's fun and it's theirs.

Enjoy this Back to School time of year!!!

See blogs I'm linking up with here!!!
Thursday, August 1, 2013

Birthday Girl's Subway Sign

What do you get for a 1 year old's birthday?  Toy?  Clothes?  Books?  What if she has all of this...and a lot of it? 

We have lots of friends (blessings galore!!!), and all those friends have 2 or more children.  That adds up to LOTS of birthday parties and lots of gifts.  I don't like to give gifts that end up in a pile that needs to be purged out of a house.  I like to give things that will last, make memories or be memory reminders, and more.  I've done that with my nieces and nephews for the past several Christmases...so when this birthday came up I mulled over the gift for a while till I remembered I had a MDF board in the garage that was begging to be used for something.  It was then that I decided to make a Subway Sign for her.  I asked her mom to give me words she would use to describe her, worked it all up in Silhouette Studios then went to work putting it all together.

I started off with approximately a 14"x14" board, painted it Simply White with Cece Caldwell's chalk/clay paint, then cut the subway art out of white contact paper (which I don't recommend when using chalk paint...I'll explain later).  I used clear contact paper as a transfer paper and picked the whole thing up and placed it center on the board.  (I use contact paper vs. vinyl and transfer paper cause they're cheaper...as I'll explain later it's also more of a hassle when using chalk paint.)

Once it was on and lined up I slowly and meticulously removed the clear contact paper from the white letters.  It took quite a bit of time and I did it in little sections.  This is where I discovered how much residue the clear contact paper was leaving on the chalk paint.  I had to be careful where I laid my hands cause the oils from my skin were leaving dark spots where there was residue.  I could cover it in the next step, but still I didn't want to leave lots of marks.

Once all the letters were left behind I took more Simply White and painted over all the letters and Minnie silhouettes.  This seals the edges to protect from the top color bleeding through.  Plus it covered up that tiny bit of yuck from my hand to the bottom right.

Once that dried I painted over the whole thing with a mixture of Simply White and New Orleans Purple, also from Cece Caldwell's.  When it was JUST dry I pulled off all the contact paper carefully.  I didn't want to scratch the white under the contact paper, I didn't want to scratch any of the purple and I also didn't want to lay my hands on the sections where I'd removed the contact paper...remember the residue! (I forgot to get a picture of the before of this stage.)

I let the paint dry completely then waxed the whole thing with Maison Blanche's clear antique wax.  I let it dry for 30 minutes to an hour.  I was hoping that the wax would cover over the residue and I wouldn't have to worry about it...WRONG!!!  I started buffing and when I got over the letters they started grabbing lint from the rag I was using.  When I buffed it more using just my finger tip under the rag I could buff it away, but it took some work and a LOT of elbow grease.  So buffing this piece took some time and effort, but in the end the residue did come off.  I'll think twice before using contact paper on chalk paint!!!

I wanted to finish this piece off nice on the back because we'd previously tried using it to decoupage a cigar poster.  It turned out horrible so we scrapped the idea, but it was still attached to the back.  I really didn't thing a 1 year old needed a partial cigar poster...even if it was on the back and not going to be seen.  I thought I'd just mod podge a piece of scrapbook paper to the back, but for some reason they haven't made a 14"x14" piece of scrapbook paper yet...go figure!  So instead I decided to decoupage small pieces of 2 scrapbook pages that I'd torn up to the backside to cover the whole poster mess up. 

For a last little frilly touch I added a piece of cotton lace ribbon around the edges using hot glue to hold it down.  It turned out really sweet and I know my friend will treasure it for a long time.

Now I have a new project idea I can use for future gifts...until they all have one that is...

One more Piece to Treasure!!!


Look here for parties I'm linking up with!!!
Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Sort Of Coffee Table!!!

Good Sunday afternoon to you all!
I have to start off by telling you that I am working in a hostile environment.  My craft world has been invaded.  I'm running a graveyard...a June Bug graveyard!  This is my very least favorite part of summer.  You could go so far as to say that I absolutely HATE it...June Bugs.  They're gross, fat and love to buzz my ears.  GAAAAG!!!  So I haven't been out in the garage a lot lately.
(Do you have the heeby geebies?  I know I do...shutter!!!!!)
 I did manage to venture out this afternoon to finish up my latest project...a pallet coffee table.  Well, sort of....meaning it's sort of a pallet and sort of a coffee table at this point. 

See here's how it goes. 

My hubby brought home this cute little pallet the other day. 

It measured 42" by 26".  I instantly thought "Coffee Table!"  So I set off to make one.  I just needed to add a few boards to the top; noooo problem.  In doing our figuring we decided to replace all the top boards and change the dimensions to 24"x42" so we only needed an 8' board, and we'd add MDF to the bottom to make a solid shelf-like area.  So off to HD I went. 

I purchased a 1x6x8 and had them cut to 24" lengths.  I painted that in Simply White by Cece Caldwell's.

I purchased a 1x4x8 and had it cut to the 24" lengths and painted that in Mardi Gras by Maison Blanche.

And finally I purchased a 1x2x8, had it cut to the 24" lengths and painted it in Traverse City Cherry by Cece Caldwell's.

While I painted my hubby decided to pull apart the top of the pallet.  After a few broken boards, broken skin and perhaps a few naughty words he announced that he was DONE with the pallet and would simply purchase the 2x4 we needed and add the MDF to the bottom of that.  So suddenly my pallet coffee table was now a pallet INSPIRED coffee table...since it has NEVER been used as a pallet. 

Oh, well, I tried to recycle...

Sooo, back to HD we went...and added to the list were casters and all the screws needed to finish the project.

We purchased a 2x4x12 board and had HD cut it down to 3-42" pieces with a bit to spare.  We also purchased a 2'x4'x1/2" MDF board, 2 free spinning and 2 free spinning, but locking, casters and all the extras.  I painted all the remaining boards in the Simply White by Cece Caldwell's.  I wanted the majority of the body to be the lighter color with accents of green and red. (these are the colors I've used in my living room...I'll show you that in a later post :-) )

Once everything was painted I applied Maison Blanche's clear wax on everything...PREASSEMBLED!!!  I knew that once the assembly process was done I wouldn't be able to get in all the small areas to wax it properly, so I waxed and buffed every piece separately. 

Once everything was painted and ready my hubby and dad got busy putting it all together.  They're much more handy with this type of thing than I am...I end up just getting on my hubby's nerves in the way!!!

They started by lining up the bottom with the edge 2x4s and adding the casters (2-1/2 inch screws to go into just the MDF and 2-1 1/2 inch screws to go through the MDF and into the 2x4).  Then they added more screws to secure the bottom to the 2x4s.  Once they turned it over I lined up the top boards in the pattern I wanted and held it while they used a countersink drill bit to drill through the top boards and into the 2x4.  They screwed it all down and it was done!!!

Remember...this is pallet inspired so imperfection is the point...just wanted to make sure and POINT that out...tee hee!

We took it inside to try it out I decided it was really a lot shorter than I'd hoped for...so there are plans to add on to it, but that's for a different day.  It also needed to be dark waxed, but since we planned to add on to it I thought I'd wait.  It stayed in my living room for a week and was very handy...especially for my Silhouette Cameo!!!

It fits perfectly with my laptop beside it.  Plus it keeps my Silhouette up off the floor when I need to use it (this is not its normal home by the way!!!). 

Today, however, I couldn't stand it any more.  It went outside to the hostile environment and got a dark wax coat.

It was WAY too bright for my taste!!!
So after some Maison Blanche Dark Wax, some buffing followed by MORE buffing...and then some MORE BUFFING...here's the finished product!

I love how white paint looks with dark wax.  So much yummy detail!

Did I mention how much I like the dark wax on white?  Huh...huh???

OOhhh Shiny!!! (Been watching way to much Wolverine this weekend with the kids!)

And it comes with magazine/book cubbies!

It seems to be more of a footstool at this point than a coffee table...oh well...sigh!
Till the next time...I'll just put up my feet and enjoy my newest Treasure!!!









Sunday, July 21, 2013

Something fun for my Birthday Girl!!!

My poor daughter!!!  Her birthday is tomorrow and she will be the "BIG 10"!  So I planned a pool get-together with our neighborhood friends, a few more of just her friends and my parents came from out of town...but what do we wake up to...RAIN!!!

Buckets and buckets of RAIN!!!

We bumped the party back 2 hours since it was going to be out of the area at the time, but alas...the pool was closed!  Total bummer...there were tears, it was sad!!!

So to help fill her day mom and I headed off to Michaels and bought a project for her: a purple shirt and a rhinestone iron-on owl.  Combine that with some glitter iron-on vinyl I had in my craft stores and we had a birthday project to bring a smile to a disappointed girl.  Oh...and while we were at it I put together a shirt for me I'd designed on the Silhouette Cameo.

Here's what we came up with...

We took her owl then came up with a cute "Owlie" saying to go with it.  She ended up loving my idea of "Whoo Cares?" and the Baby Kruffy font was PERFECT for this project.  I typed it all out and sized it for her shirt then welded each word together...voila!  Oh, and I learned a secret about this vinyl...here's the scoop.

I purchased this glitter iron-on vinyl from Expression Vinyl.  Here's the link straight to the heat transfer vinyl and the color is "Blush".  It doesn't come with instructions (and if there are any on the website well I didn't look...so no pointing it out...I like to live dangerously.  Ok, I just looked and it would have saved me some hassle.  Ok, humbling moment...) so I winged it!  I messed up, at least on the one below.  I ended up cutting it from the glossy, plastic covered side.  I cut through the whole thing, then I wondered "How in the world am I going to transfer and iron this on my shirt properly?"  (Yes, it pays to pay attention...lesson learned...anyway)  When I got the owl I realized that the way it was applied was a hint how to apply the glitter vinyl.  So I turned the vinyl over on my cutting mat, mirrored the image, kiss cut it, weeded away the extra vinyl, then applied it with the sticky plastic it came with.  (Ok, you can say it now..."DUH!!!"  Live and learn, Baby, live and learn.)  The first cut was not wasted, however; I took the plastic from the second cut and picked the first one up off my cutting mat with it then applied it to my shirt that way.  I then turned the shirts inside out and ironed them.  It worked perfect.  My daughter's was much easier than mine since I did it right the first time...

...but I LOVE how mine turned out!!!  I purchased the black flocked piece for Oklahoma from Hobby Lobby.  It was only $2.99 for a piece of iron-on flocked vinyl that was 9.25" x 5.5" of cutting surface.  The remaining is the same glitter heat transfer vinyl.  The little heart over our city was a test cut that my mom suggested I insert as a last minute idea.  It's perfect!

So, all eyes are dry, hearts are happy and the Birthday Girl has a pretty, new shirt.  Happy 10th birthday, Chrissy Girl!!!

Love you from Mom and Nana!!!

She's one of my ultimate treasures!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Wall of Windows

Hello again!!!
It has been quite some time since I've sat down to blog my projects.  Does this mean I've stopped working on things?  Of course not!!!  But I have learned something about myself and blogging...do you want to hear it???
I thought you might...
Here goes!  I love to share my projects.  I love to get compliments...let's face it, we all do!
(Admit it.  You'll feel better.  It is the first step...oh wait, we were talking about something else.  Sorry!!!)
But I work WAY too hard to make those photos perfect.  I find myself avoiding my blog because I spend too much time editing, looking for just the right look and putting my name on the photo...ok, well that part's kinda important, but the rest...
I've decided to swallow my need to be a perfectionist and use crappy, unedited photos.  Perhaps then I can share the REAL me...or projects (let me tell you I won't be showing up in many photos)...and get back to my blog!!!
That being said...today it's all about WINDOWS!!!  I think I may have mentioned how much I'm obsessed with them in this post, but I'm running out of space.  So I have one more window project to share that we finished off just today.
Here it is (imperfections and all) my Window Wall!!!
There are 4 with the Message Center window (shown here) to the left.  It's hard to get them all in and since I am embracing imperfection I'm just not going to stress over it...
...I'm not...
And if you step back a bit you'll see yet another window hanging over the brick wall.  So from where I sit it's windows galore.
It looks pretty cool, and it does finish off my wall quite well.
And it's quite personalized.  The quote on this window is from the Chicago song "Will You Still Love Me" that my husband and I had in our wedding invitation.  It's the first time we've used it since and therefore the center point on the wall.  Oh, and if you are wondering how I made the window red check out Debbiedoo's post here.  She was my inspiration.  I did forget the paper towels.  It would have looked a lot better...oh well...
It's not going very well...if you couldn't tell.
Till another day and another treasure!!!
Saturday, February 23, 2013

Curio Cabinet...The Finished Product!

It's finished...sore arms, legs, back...oh, forget it!  If you've ever done a major project you know it makes you sore.  So no more complaining.  I love it!!!  But here's how it got there.
You saw the painted curio cabinet in my last post Curio Cabinet Redo, now here's how I finished it off.  I bought some Cece Caldwell's clear and aging wax and a wax brush. 
Then I spent an hour applying the clear wax.  It didn't go on quite like I expected.  It would go on really dark when I started and very quickly dry out.  I was getting nervous that it was going to look really splotchy.  Plus, I think I was brushing way too much.  I was beginning to take off paint in spots, but they were the edges where aging looks cool so I didn't worry about that.  Still I was nervous!!!  But...many more people have done this and it worked, so I kept going.  Then I started buffing...and buffing...and buffing...and...and...and...
Ok it was a LOT of buffing.  That was one of two rags that ended up looking like that...holy!!!  My fingers were sore and my nails horrid, but I said I was done complaining.  Sheesh!!!  So that was last night.  It was like 29 degrees and I was sitting on the cold garage floor.  I needed to warm up.  Ipso facto this is where I stopped.
This morning we went to pick up the item for my next project...a dresser to turn to an entertainment center...but that's for another day.  While out my husband told me about another paint he'd seen on a recent facebook post.  It's Maison Blanche.
I'd never heard of it, but apparently there was a store that carried it near where we were going.  He thought we should check it out after picking up the furniture.  The lady was so nice and really educated me about her product vs. the Cece's.  See she used to sell the Cece Caldwell's, but switched to Maison Blanche mostly because of the wax.  She demonstrated the clear wax on a piece and it went on SOOO smooth it shocked me.  It was exactly the opposite of what I'd experienced the night before.  Then she was telling me her experiences with the dark wax.  With the Cece's it didn't seem to dry very fast and she had difficulties with it.  So after all of that we decided to try the Maison Blanche dark wax out.  On top of that, my husband wanted to pick up another wax brush for dark brush...which she had...and she just happened to have a buffing brush that you attach to a drill bit. (yes, my arms, legs, fingers, nails are all cheering right now!!!)  We'd been looking for this particular tool, and could only find it in the next big town...2 hours away.  So you can bet that we picked that baby up!!!
When we got home I set to work and man, that wax was awesome...like butter is what I often say.  It went on so smooth and easy.  I love it!!!  Then I started buffing with my new tool and for large sections and areas with lots of details it was great, but for tight fitting areas not so much.  I guess there's just nothing that can totally replace the best tool around...our own hands!  But I sure did enjoy the time saved with the buffer.

Here's the piece buffed on the near side and unbuffed on the far side.  And with it's dark wax which brings out all this beauty...Ahhh...lovely!!!

Look at that, it's a thing of beauty.  I think I'll buy some more of the Maison Blanche wax...maybe in clear and see if it helps me out next time (you know I have that future project coming up), but until then I'll just enjoy my finished product.

One more treasure checked off the list...till next time!!!