Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fluffing our Empty Nest

We just got back from taking both of our kids to college.  It's a very strange feeling to be empty-nesters!  In the spirit of this, I came up with this simple "nest-themed" tablescape.

 I used my Mom's silver.  She purchased it piece by piece when she was 18.  I am so thrilled to have it!

I found these square bowls at TJMaxx on clearance.

I found this nest at Twig.   I LOVE her stuff!

I made these napkins this summer.  HERE  is the link to learn how I made them.  Jane at Cottage at the Crossroads told me about the grapevine napkin rings she found at Hobby Lobby.  I think they look great and were really cheap there!   (on sale for $1.25 for six!)

I made these topiaries a few weeks ago.  HERE are the directions for making them.

I found these birds at TJMaxx for $1.99 each.  

A little bit of brown paint and they look so much better!

I have to keep the doors closed if I have the table set so Bailey the cat doesn't come in.  :)  He is sure the table is set for him! 

Thank you so much for visiting!


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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Italian Alphabet Tray

I am having fun with Citrasolv projects again this week!  I found this neat Italian alphabet graphic at The Graphics Fairy.


I flipped the image in Picnik by going to the Rotate Tab.

Did you notice that there is not a "J" or a "W" in this?  Hmmm....  :)

I used Citrasolv (purchased at Whole Foods). I put gloves on and did the project in the garage so it wouldn't smell up the house.

I taped the graphic to a pine board my husband had glued up for me.

Because this wood was very smooth, the graphic went onto the wood without any problems by just using a paper towel to apply the Citrasolv to the paper.  I still used the plastic tool to rub it, but almost didn't need to. The right side looks really smudged in these pictures, but doesn't look that bad in person.

I let the piece dry for a couple of hours so the graphic would be set in the wood.

I then applied Puritan Pine stain with a foam brush.  I wanted to stain it before assembling it so I wouldn't have any missed spots. 

You can see where the stain looks a little different in some spots.  I was ok with that because I wanted some 'character' on this piece.  With soft woods like this pine, to get an even application, you should first use a wood conditioner.  

 I stained the edges before they had the final cuts.  The one really long piece was cut to size once we put the piece together.

Some wood glue, a finish nailer and this framing contraption got it all into place.  If you don't have a framing contraption, you will be fine! 

I used a foam brush and applied this clear satin polyurethane to the whole piece. 

I let it dry for a couple of hours then attached the handles on the sides.

And here's the finished product:

Thanks so much for coming by.


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The Graphics Fairy

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fence Board + Graphics Fairy + Citrasolv = Great Old Looking Box


I've blogged  a few times about how I age fence boards with apple cider vinegar and steel wool, and a few times about how I have made rustic looking boxes out of the aged boards and more than a few times about using neat graphics from  The Graphics Fairy's blog.  Well, this project combines them all!

I used this technique shown by Kim at Too Much Time on My Hand's Blog using Citrasolv to transfer a graphic onto wood.

 I started with this graphic from The Graphics Fairy:

I flipped the image in Picnik (under the Rotate tab) so this mirror image came up.

I copied it off on my laser printer.  (Inkjet prints do not work for this process, but if you only have an inkjet printer, print it, then make a copy at a Kinko's and you'll have a laser copy)  :)   I put Citrasolv (I purchased mine at Whole Foods) on VERY lightly.  I used a kleenex and dabbed it on so the whole thing was wet, but not soaking wet.  I put masking tape on the sides to hold it in place.

I used this plastic piece that I purchased from Pick Your Plum to rub it into the wood.  If you're using smooth wood, you don't have to rub too much.  The Citrasolv transfers to the wood pretty easily.  I had to rub more on this one because of all of the ridges in the fence board.  On other projects, I've also rubbed the graphic on with the back side of a spoon to transfer the image.  If you're worried about whether it's transferring or not, you can very carefully lift a tiny corner and see if it's on the wood.


I lifted off the wet piece and viola! the graphic was on the wood!
I used a fence board from Home Depot for this project, but tried to find one that wasn't too rough so the graphic would transfer well.  

I then let it sit for awhile to dry as it felt a little oily (or solvent-y)  :)

We (meaning my husband) then put the box together using glue and a nail gun.  We He then clamped it up for about an hour for the glue to dry.

 I then very carefully applied apple cider vinegar with the steel wool to the box. I was very careful not to touch the graphic with the vinegar.

***After posting this, I've made a few more projects using Citraolv.  I've found that if I let the graphic dry really well on the wood, I can put the apple cider vinegar or stain over it and it won't run.

A couple of people have asked why I didn't apply the apple cider vinegar before putting the Citrasolv on.  The vinegar soaks into the wood and doesn't really allow anything to 'stick' to it, so I had to carefully put it on afterward.***

 Next, I put it out on the driveway to 'cure' for about an hour. 
 After it dried the first time, I applied another coat of vinegar and let it dry again.  Many times the first coat of apple cider vinegar leaves black dots on the wood.  A second coat fixes that.

And here's the finished product.  

I made this for a friend who collects old boxes and even though this isn't anywhere near an old box, I think she'll like it!  


Here is the box in its new home.  Thanks for the picture Heather!

Thanks for visiting!

vif187 The DIY Show Off The Graphics Fairy