Sunday, July 29, 2012

Decorations on a dime


Our wee ones are blessed to have such an amazing group of little friends. Its starting to feel like our kids have much more of a social life than we do! I'm now entering the realm of the weekend birthday party. It use to be the occasional event but I'm certain our kids are invited to at least one birthday party a month. I love parties! but I'm starting to enjoy being  a guest even more, especially with so much inspirational eye candy to see. I'm so impressed by some creative friends and family and clearly the birthday party decor has reached a whole new level. The best thing about these inspirations besides amazing impact is the low cost to make it happen. Here are some of my favorites from the last few months

Seamus turns 1

My friend Amber is a wonderful baker and for her sons first birthday she amazed guests with mini burgers, tasty cookies, cake pops disguised as these cool little mini ice creme cones covered in icing. YUMMY!


Rather than a cake for everyone, there was a table of sweets set up which had everything from gummy worms to incredible cupcakes. I really liked this idea (almost as much as Alex did) and I especially liked how she printed images of Seamus's face with a party hat and cut them out for an added special touch




 For an extra special touch there was a time capsule! Guests were encouraged to write something for the birthday boy which would be placed in a sealed capsule until he turned 18. So thoughtful!!


Zephan's Rainbow theme party

Sharmilla has great taste and everything she does looks like it was torn from a magazine. I love the decor and the bright colors she used for her sons birthday, the details are so simple but what impact!


Baby Girl Turns 1

Emily turned the Big 1 in March and we were still not quite unpacked or settled but we opted to have a party anyhow. I used really inexpensive materials such as crepe paper and loads of scrapbook paper.


Paper banners were placed throughout the house and it cost only a couple of dollars. The flags were made from scrapbook paper and simply stapled to a string. I thought they were so pretty that I couldn't bare to throw them away afterwards, they are now hanging in the playroom.


Paper chain links are another great way to add color without alot of money. I cut scrapbook sheets into strips and simply overlapped the edges and secured with a staple. I looped the next one to the first and so on. This was so simple that Alex (4 years old) assisted with cutting, looping and stapling.


I am a sucker for individual birthday cakes when baby turns one. This was simply a store bought cake mix with a very poor  simple icing job.. Just pretty enough to be smashed by the birthday girl.  I am not the best at making icing so a great tip is to purchase ready made icing from my local grocery store bakery. This saves so much time and is guaranteed to be tasty.

And lastly I created these giant tissue paper pom poms which hung from the ceiling throughout the entire house. They cost pennies to make and the tutorial can be found HERE on the Martha Stewart website. This photo was taken the next day and I thought they made the sweetest little props.


Hope you are feeling inspired for your next party and thanks for checking in

Amanda

 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pallet Artwork

A couple of months ago I spotted a few pallets in an alley and decided to bring one home. The pallets appeared to have potential for some artwork for baby girls room and I think it turned out perfectly




How to create pallet art

Begin with an old pallet. I left mine outside for a month to "weather" it

Cut out a few boards from the pallet using a jigsaw

After arranging the boards use a nail gun to attach the boards to some scrap laminate flooring or whatever else you might have on hand (another board works well too). Trim the excess boards and backing using a jigsaw to give it a cleaner look


white paint and water created the "white wash" mixture


Apply white wash mixture with a dry rag, the more mixture you rub on the darker it will be. Let it dry
I found this free image from Graphics Fairy LLC . I printed the image and trimmed it


Using Mod Podge and a foam brush I wiped a generous amount onto the printed image

Lay the image flat onto the dried pallet boards (glue side down) and smooth out with your fingers. I let this dry for 24 hours

The next day I wiped the dry image with a damp cloth
Gently begin rubbing the damp paper off the boards
Be very careful not to rub the ink off the boards
Quickly realized that my piece was a tad to tall for the image so we removed the top 2 boards using a jigsaw.



 I think its just the right touch of whimsy!

and guess what!?
We are finally done a room!

Baby Girl Room
baseboards
art work
side table


Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your week


Amanda


Friday, July 20, 2012

Pretty Pig - lace stencil

We have been decluttering in preparation for a garage sale and I came across 2 Oilers piggy banks. Mr. Bliss and I had purchased this original ceramic bank but it was long forgotten after Alex received another Oilers piggy bank that played the Hockey Night in Canada song each time you fed a coin into it. Ive been drooling over some very cool furniture pieces which have been sprayed with a lace stencil and thought this might be a good project to try.


Before

I sprayed little piggy with white spray paint, I also made a "Bwahahaha" sound as I did this. Those who know me well know I'm not a huge hockey fan.

Found these lace panties at the local Dollorama

Wrapped up little piggy slightly stretching the lace and tucking the excess material into the bottom to hold it

Sprayed little piggy with a coral color I had on hand

Carefully peel away the lace to reveal the pattern below


Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

2 out of 3 ain't bad

Homemade Laminate Floor Cleaner

Mr. Bliss and I did not debate on flooring options very long when we made our reno plans for our little bungalow. With a 4 year old and 1 year old,  laminate is certainly the better choice for us and its a fraction of the cost of hardwood, durable and low maintenance.

We opted for a darker laminate but did not want to go too dark so we could avoid seeing dirt, footprints, hair, and scratches. So far our laminate although beautiful is turning out to be a bit high maintenance. The cleaning process is incredibly time consuming. In a one week period I'm certain we sweep a minimum of 30 times, vacuum daily, swiffer or shark at least 2 times a week and hand wash with a mixture of vinegar and water as needed. I'm willing to try anything that will ease the pain of cleaning the floor.

I've been noticing some cleaning tips online and came across  THIS RECIPE for cleaning laminate floors which calls for the following:

To a measuring cup or jar, add the following:
  • 1 part Water
  • 1 part White Vinegar
  • 1 part 2% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Few drops of liquid dish detergent
Mix all ingredients together and pour into a fine mist spray bottle. Spray floors and wipe with a microfiber cloth or towel.




After giving the floors a good vacuum this is what they looked like. I did not use a flash for the photos so you could see the smudges and dirt (yum!) I gave the floors a light misting of the cleaning mixture using a spray bottle.



I used the "shark" cleaner but did not plug it in as I did not need steam. I found that the shark pads were not doing a great job of absorbing the cleaner, its definitely time they were replaced. So I tied an old rag over top before continuing



Final Results

Overall I was impressed with the solution, I found that it cleaned my floors much better than my usual vinegar and water solution and they were noticeably shinier. The only drawback is that my floors still looked slightly streaked. 2 out of 3 ain't bad! I will definitely continue to use this method and hope that once I get some new pads the streaking issue will be resolved.

AFTER



Thanks for stopping in!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Crockpot COMFORT

Busy evenings and HOT weather equals little time for dinner preparation and avoiding the oven at all cost. We love using our slow cooker around here and have a few "go to" recipes which create yummy comfort food.

Here is one of the easiest recipes EVER and is a favorite of our 4 year old. Its hard not to go back for seconds..


Cheesy Chicken


4-6 frozen chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can of cheddar soup
fresh garlic cloves
dash of salt and pepper
bow tie pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)


add FROZEN chicken breasts to the crock pot
mix one can of cream of chicken and one can of cheddar soup with garlic and salt and pepper

we usually throw the garlic in without chopping to save time


pour the mixture over the chicken and bake on high for 4 hours
serve with pasta and garnish with fresh Parmesan


Enjoy!



Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dining Chair Makeover

Our refinished 70's table has been working perfectly in our space! its so nice to sit close together during meals instead of spread out amongst a long table. Clean up is much easier too.  A finished table definitely motivated the completion of the matching chairs
Before


I have never refinished chairs or attempted to reupholster anything so it was an interesting experience. First I unscrewed the cushions from each chair and the germ freak in me thought it would be best to use new foam and batting before putting on new fabric.

Taking the old cover off was painfully time consuming and I realized pretty quickly that if I wanted to get these chairs done this year I needed to recover the existing chair pad rather than starting from scratch. Next,I attempted to paint over the existing wooden chairs using the appropriate primer and paint just like I did when I made over the base of the table Revisit table post by clicking here. Unfortunately this method took forever and the end result was very sloppy and chalk looking. Below explains the method that worked best for us.

How to bring life back to an old chair


Step 1
Remove existing seat from the chairs and give the wood a wipe down to remove dust and dirt


Step 2
Using a glossy primer + paint spray (love this stuff) give the chair a thorough spray and let dry



Step 3

Once the paint is dry you can leave it as is or do what I did and scuff up some of the edges with sandpaper. Next apply a tinted gloss or stain and immediately wipe it off with a damp cloth for a dirty aged look. You can visit the table post by clicking HERE for specific techniques.


Step 4

Our seat had tufts and to ensure that the fabric didn't sink or rip in those areas I inserted batting in each of the holes to fill them up



Step 5

Lay the seat face down onto quilt batting, cut the batting so that you have about 3 inches extra around the perimeter. Using a staple gun, gently pull the batting around the base of the the seat and staple the excess batting, next do the opposite side and so on.


Step 6

Neatly fold the corners and staple



Step 7

Once the batting is secure, cut away any excess batting leaving approximately one inch from your staple



Step 8

Follow the above steps but this time use fabric in place of the batting, the end result might look like this. its always a good idea to make sure the fabric will reach before making cuts.


Step 9

Screw the NEW seat back onto the chair

hello beautiful

 
distressed detail

When choosing fabric for these chairs I went with function over fashion This is an outdoor fabric with a plastic coating... which means I don't have to gasp when the kids drop spaghetti sauce or juice on it.







We are all enjoying the new table and chair set and Alex prefers the captain chair with arms so he can be the" King" of his castle





Kitchen / Dining
Cabinet Trim
Baseboards
spray current light fixture
find new Light Fixture
Refinish 70's Table
Refinish and reupholster chairs
Growth Chart


Thank you so much for visiting and if any of the instructions left you scratching your head feel free to contact me. Enjoy your week!