Bitchin’ Homemade Cupcake Holder

This was a really quick fun project I threw together in about a half hour. We were going to my friends for a pot luck dinner and I needed a way to easily and safely transport about a half a dozen cupcakes. No, I don’t own fancy containers for this purpose, so what is a girl to do? Punt. That’s what.

I was looking around the kitchen to try to figure out what storage container would work for this assignment of carrying cupcakes to my friends house, when it dawned on me that my wax paper container was big enough to fit a cupcake in. It was just the right size to fit not only six, but seven cupcakes.cup01

What do I mean by a wax paper container you ask? You know the container that wax paper comes in when you purchase wax paper at the store. It was the perfect size and it was right there in front of me in my kitchen. It would keep them safe ,not to mention it was pretty ingenious as well if I do say so myself.

I didn’t want to walk in with a wax paper container to be honest, although now in retrospect I think it would have looked really cool on it’s own merits. I wanted to add a little fun to it. What do I mean by adding fun to it? I mean I wanted to add color and cover the original packaging.  This is where my time came in. Decorating the container took about a half an hour total.cup04

I decided to use a fun polka  dotted wrapping paper I had in the house to cover the wax paper box. I just wrapped the paper around the box and made creases where the paper needed to be cut, and presto change-o… decorated cupcake holder to go. I used Mod Podge to glue the paper down and then after it dried I painted a coating on top to give it extra holding power as well as a sheen. I laid wax paper down into the box to protect the cupcakes, but I bet tissue paper would have looked nicer and given the box even more color.cup02

This project got rave reviews from the party goers and not only that, the cupcakes made it to the party unscathed and in tact even when my daughter held them sideways. I highly recommend using any long box of this type like aluminum foil container, wax paper container or even parchment paper containers would work.cup03

Please remember that the size of the box needs to be the bigger size boxes if you are going to make decent size cupcakes. The smaller sized boxes will work if you are making minis or bite size.cup05

Salon Station Makeover Using Chalk Paint and Tissue Paper

I am especially proud of this re-do. I spent a little extra time on this piece because it was really dirty, scratched and well, just plain nasty. It went from this white Formica yuckiness to this really cool storage  center. It started out as a hair dresser salon station and now it is a craft storage center.

Prep Work Phase

table01First thing that needed to be done was to clean the heck out of this piece.  409 cleaner was used because it is a de-greaser and it really needed to be de-greased.  A magic eraser was used along with the 409 to get any scuff marks off the piece along with any grime.  Cleaning the inside and outside very carefully was very important for the adhesion of the paint.  It was then dried with a lint free cloth. I personally hate, okay, dislike sanding, so, I just didn’t sand this time.  The beauty of using chalk paint is not needing to sand. You can rough up the piece if you want to,  but it’s really up to you. I don’t do it because it’s messy and I can be lazy at times.table09

Taking all the drawers out was necessary to get them really clean. It was  also important to remove all the hardware on the drawers. (Handles can be recycled for a different project).

Painting Phase

I decided to use Folk Art Chalk Paint in Cinnamon color.  This chalk paint was purchased at JoAnn Fabric. When you first start to apply the paint, it really looks nasty. However, after two to three coats it starts looking nice.table10 It looks really great after you apply the last coat. Greatness is achieved when you apply the dark wax. (More about that later). I am getting ahead of myself. You can see the brush I like to use when applying chalk paint in the photo. (I bought this one at Lowes) and it was about $9.00 but it lasts for a long time when taken care of. (More about clean up later).

Chalk paint dries fast.  By the time you are finished putting on your first coat you can usually jump right into your second coat of paint. The deciding factor on how many coats your piece will need is going to be dependent on how opaque the paint color you chose is. This piece needed about four to five coats. The paint was opaque and I wanted the paint to adhere to the piece nicely as we. It really wasn’t bad to apply or take a long time because I was able to do one coat right after the other.table12

Part of why I decided to use the cinnamon color was because I had this really pretty tissue paper with a cinnamon color running through it and I wanted the colors to match.

Clear Wax Phase

After my four to five coats were applied, it was time to apply my clear wax .BIG TIP: (Make sure you let the paint dry for three to four hours before applying wax or the paint will come off with the wax). Overnight is preferable but if you are impatient like me three to four hours should be sufficient.

There are many different clear waxes out there that can be used. I used the Folk Art brand that can be found at Jo-Ann Fabric along with the paint. With a coupon it’s a bargain. The wax lasts a long time and finishes many pieces.table11

A designated wax brush is a good idea. (I bought a set of eight wax brushes on Amazon for about $45.00).  The set I purchased is out of stock but here is a similar set of three for $26.00. I have designated brushes for paint, clear wax and dark wax.

Back to the clear wax. You do not need a lot of wax to achieve your goal  of covering the piece sufficiently. I can’t stress this enough. A little wax goes a long way.wax04

Lightly dip you brush into the wax or pour a small amount of wax onto the lid that comes with the wax container. Load your brush and start in either long strokes or in circular motions to distribute the wax. wax01Remember your goal here is to really work the wax into the piece. It might take a little elbow grease but just keep spreading your wax until you think it just won’t spread any longer, then reload your brush with a small amount of wax. Your piece will be a little tacky, (not the looking bad kind of tacky but the sticky kind of tacky). and this is completely normal. After you have gone over your piece completely with the clear wax it’s time to take off even more wax.(Yes, I said even more wax). Get a clean lint free rag. Hint: ( Using cotton t shirts that are now rags, because you just cut them up for this purpose is a great recycling idea for those old t shirts.). Now take your t shirt and rub as much wax off as possible with a light hand. It will still be tacky and that is okay.wax05 Our goal here is to help along the drying process. That is the entire purpose of the rag buff. Leave your piece to dry over night. The wax needs to cure so it is very important to give it about 12 hours to cure.

Dark Wax Phase

Once the clear wax has cured it will be time to apply our dark wax over our clear wax. You will know your clear wax has cured if the piece has a nice smooth glide to it and the wax is no longer tacky to the touch. The same process that was used for the clear wax will be used for the dark wax only we will be very light handed when loading the brush. I like to start 3/4 of the way away from the end of whatever piece I am doing. This is important because if you load to much wax onto your brush you have more room to work with it and spread it out.wax06 Remember a tiny bit goes a long way and more can always be added. Start with a dime sized amount until you get the hang of how the dark wax will spread. A MUST DO:(You always want to put a coat of clear wax on before the dark wax, so the dark wax has a way to spread, and your piece doesn’t come out looking dark and streaky. If you make a mistake and apply to much dark wax you can put a little clear wax over it and wipe it away. The purpose of the dark wax in my opinion is to deepen and enhance the color of the paint you are using. It also adds a chic look to your piece. Like the clear wax really work the dark wax into your piece and really spread it around with using only long strokes this time. The wax will catch in all the fun little blemishes and imperfections your piece has. (Another post coming soon on how to distress your furniture before you paint it). Let the dark wax cure for at least 12 hours before returning any drawers to the piece of before attaching hardware. This would be where you would buff your piece with your rag t-shirt to give it a glossy look and harden the coating. A piece of smooth steel wool is also useful when buffing your piece.

Mod Podge Drawer Phase

table08Chalk painting the drawers on this piece was not in the cards. Using tissue paper and Mod Podge was what I felt would be the best fit for this specific piece of furniture. As stated earlier, the drawer handles were removed for cleaning. The drawer fronts were flat so it was easy to measure the drawer faces for the tissue paper. Remember when measuring the drawer fronts that you must account for the rim of the drawers if planning on covering those as well with tissue paper.

With the drawer fronts facing up, a layer of Mod Podge was spread directly on the drawer. The tissue paper was then laid onto the drawer front. I didn’t worry about laying the paper perfectly because I wanted the paper to have wrinkles in it. I smoothed down the tissue using a side of an old credit card. (My husband was glad to get rid of the credit card). The corners of the drawers were folded and a little Mod Podge glue was added to help keep the corners down in place. The tissue went over the side of the drawers but this was fine because the excess was going to be cut off after the glue had dried. Do one drawer at a time. After the tissue has been laid and glued in place, spread another layer of Mod Podge over the tissue paper and leave it alone to dry. Proceed to the next drawer. After all the drawers are tissue papered go back and brush on another layer of the Podge. Three to four layers of podge should be good to keep the tissue paper protected on the drawers. Let the Mod Podge dry overnight.

After everything was nice and dry it’s time to go back and trim the edges of the drawers. Using a metal ruler and an X-Acto knife I was able to place the ruler on the edge of the drawer and carefully cut away the excess tissue paper with ease. My paper was now dry and looking good but there was still something missing….. I knew I needed to add something else, but what? Ah Ha. Dark wax was needed to add depth to the drawers.(Can you tell I really like to use dark wax).

Adding Dark Wax To The Drawers Phase

I just lightly added dark wax to my dark wax brush and brushed the dark wax on the front and edges of the drawers. I did this with a very light hand. The Mod Podge acted as if it was the clear base coat, so no clear wax was necessary to add. The dark wax got into the edges of the creases and imperfections. This small added step made all the difference in the look of the piece. The piece now all meshes and matches. Basically it flows. Now it the time where you can apply either the handles you removed or the new handles you procured. HINT:(Don’t forget when looking for new handles that handles actually come in different sizes). Make sure you measure your handle from hole to hole to buy the correct size handle in case of replacement.

Clean Up Phase 

Needless to say as you are working on this project it is important to not let your brushes dry out. After you are done using your brushes they need to be cleaned right away. To clean up the brush you were applying the chalk paint with use a little warm water and Dawn dish soap because that does the trick. Rinse your brush thoroughly with warm water. Add a small amount of dish soap into the palm of your hand and swish the brush around your hand while under the warm water. Continue this process until your brush comes clean of color. Hang your brush from the handle end if possible to dry, otherwise just lay it on it’s side.

For the wax brushes I like to wash them out first with a brush cleaning solution or a mild mineral spirits. I follow the same procedure for washing wax brushes only I substitute mineral spirits for dish soap. After the washing is complete I wrap a paper towel around the bristles to get the excess water/mineral spirits out of the bristles.

(A complete post on keeping your tools clean and in good shape will be coming soon).

Sit Back and Enjoy Your Accomplishment Phase

table00This part needs no explanation other then to say I bet it looks fantastic and cheers to you for finishing your project!

Cheap Way To Clean Makeup Brushes

How To Clean Brushes on The Cheap

To clean your makeup brushes quickly and cheaply, instead of buying those costly makeup mats made just for cleaning brushes, buy a textured silicon trivet, like this one.make01 It is indented with a honeycomb pattern and just washes clean with soap and water after  cleaning the brushes. The trivet is anti bacterial and it’s really easy to store as it bends in half. I paid $1.99 for three of these trivets AKA pot holders.

Brushes can be washed using a special brush cleaner,make03 like this one from Sephora,  a cheaper route that can be used would be any shampoo but preferably, baby shampoo.

I clean my brushes once a week.  It honestly depends on the quality of your brushes as to how often you should be cleaning your brushes. I am personally in love with the Sigma makeup brushes. These brushes are great quality and last a long time when taken care of, like washing them as needed. If you wash cheaper brushes to often then you run the risk of ruining them.

20160121_165749To properly clean your brushes using your newly bought trivet “pot holder”. Drop a few drops of your cleaning solution onto your trivet. Use warm water to wet your brush then gently swish it around the trivet while the water is still running. Occasionally swish until the water runs clear off your trivet  and all the makeup has been removed from the brush. After you have washed your brush, squeeze the excess water out of it using your fingers all the while making sure you maintain the original shape of the brush.

As you can see I store my brushes in a beautiful glass container filled with black beans. This is where I dry my brushes, handle side  down .make02

The other item I find to be very important in keeping your brushes clean are baby wipes. Baby wipes  are a great way to keep your brushes fresh between washes. I always use baby wipes between washes on an almost daily basis. Baby wipes are awesome. Just a totally random thought. Seriously though, keep your brushes clean and they will last you a long time.

Teachers Are Not Perfect All The Time

We are taught to respect our elders and specifically we are taught to respect our teachers as children. I have the utmost admiration and respect for the long hour working, under paid servant of the educational system, we all know as teachers.

What I have a problem with is the teachers that are very obviously not happy with their positions in the teaching world. I can’t imagine personally what a teacher has to put up with but what I can imagine, is what I, as a parent, puts up with when a bad apple is plopped down in front of my child for the year, and is told this is your mentor.

When a bad apple is picked to be my child’s teacher I end up with a child who hates school, comes home crying everyday, refuses to do homework and worst of all says I am dumb. I have to ask myself where is all this coming from, because this same child used to love school and normally thrives  in her learning environment. Where do you naturally turn first? The educator is where I look.

Finding out that the teacher is calling my daughter stupid in front of the class and chastising her for not being on time with her homework, (that wasn’t understood by her in the first place,) is a great injustice, and yes, it is the teacher’s fault. Is it not the teacher who explains the assignments in the first place? Is it not the teacher’s job to make sure there is an understanding of the expectations of the assignment?

My absolute favorite thing a teacher does is losing my child’s assignment and then blames my child for the loss. All the while threatening my child with an F, for not turning in their work in a timely manner, when the entire time it was in the teacher’s possession… just misfiled. Being late to class is also a big no no. Never mind the reason for the tardy, if you are 10 minutes late you are marked absence for that class period. Period. (Being marked late and or absence, when you are really only late, is another issue that creates a whole different can of worms).

A rule book should be mandatory for a teacher to follow , similar to the rule book I am forced to sign the first week of school on behalf of my child. I know you all know what I am talking about.

There are great teachers, there are good teachers and there are horrible teachers, but there are no perfect teachers, just like there are no perfect students. Everybody is a little perfectly imperfect.

I just expect a teacher to realize they have limitations and they are not the holy grail of teacher to my child!

 

“Open When” Letters for a Long Distance Relationship

Many of us have a long distance love these days, and it gets very hard to keep the “spark” alive, so I have a suggested way to keep a spark going for little money. It’s a series of, “open when cards.” This is a set of note cards placed into envelopes for the person to open when they need a pick me up from you. These could also be tailored to be used for a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, son, daughter, or just about anybody.cards11

These are a few examples of the types of cards you can put in an envelope:

Open when…

  • you miss me
  • you need a laugh
  • you need a hug
  • you need a kiss
  • you need some lovin’
  • you had a bad day
  • you had a good day
  • you wish you were here
  • you wish I was there
  • you wish you were somewhere else (we recommend the beach)
  • you need motivation
  • you need support
  • you need to make a tough decision

To make it cost efficient to send, make a whole bunch of these cards at one time and send them in a dressed up “If it fits it ships” box from the post office. A small box costs $5.25 to send, and you can get up to 20 cards in one box. *I bought my cards at the clearance section of Hobby Lobby for $2.04 and it contained 20 cards.cards06

Then, I assembled craft supplies to make the cards. You can use crayons, markers, ribbon, fabric, paper scraps, stickers with cute sayings, buttons, colorful pens, and pretty much any craft supplies you can think of to assemble these cards. All the cards I made were kissed; in which case, you’ll need lipstick. I also printed a bunch of pictures off the internet for the cards. It’s also nice to include some pictures of yourself, or you two together, for the “when you miss me” card.

You should also go to the post office and pick up a few small “If it fits it ships boxes” (they’re free at your local post office). Unfortunately, you can’t decorate the outside of the box, but you can decorate the inside of the box. so, to make the inside of the box fun, I decided to cover it in polka-dot wrapping paper that matched the cards. To do this I traced the wrapping paper over the flat box (the box comes flat before you assemble it), cut it to size, glued it down, and then assembled the box with the wrapping paper glued onto it. And….Ta Da! Cute insides when opened! You can use whatever you have on hand to decorate the inside of the box. If you are very artsy and can draw or paint a great piece of art on the inside of the box, that would be also be very cool. If you have a bunch of ribbon , you could also make some fun stripes on the inside of the box. As you can tell, pretty much anything will work. The point is that the first thing the recipient sees as they open their package, is the creativity that went into this project, and put a smile on their face..which I can pretty much guarantee. On the front of each card I wrote affirmations and positive sayings. “You’re Great”, “Keep Up The Good Work”, “Someone  in Boston Loves You”, etc.  On the back of the note cards I wrote “You Are Loved!” in different colors on each of the cards.cards01

With each of the cards, I included letters in addition to the supplemental things to go with each occasion.

One of my favorite cards that I did was “Open When You Need a Laugh”, so I’ll share that one with you. This is should include all things funny and humorous. To start,  looked up a bunch of funny memes from the internet. Tip: Try to find ones that you know the recipient would find funny. Then i looked up a bunch of jokes on the internet, and took different colored paper, writing the joke on one side of the card, and the punchline on the other. I thought this was cute, because this way when the card is opened, the joke cards would come falling out like confetti.cards05

An Open When You Need A Hug is always a great card to include in one of these care packages. To do this, I traced my hands onto paper and cut them out. Then, I took ribbon and cut the length of both of my arms outstretched, so it was as close to a “me sized” hug as i could get. You could also create a “springy hug, using construction paper folded back and forth instead of ribbon, so that the hug “springs” open. The envelope would keep the arms in place. And make sure you scale your hug down so it fits in the envelope. Then, on a fun piece of paper behind the hug I wrote the words, “The real thing is waiting for you when I see you next”cards07

One of the envelopes that I had the most fun with was Open When You’re Having a Hard Time.. that came out a little more sadistic than I meant haha. But you’ll see in a minute why this one was so cute. In this envelope, I included an encouraging letter recalling some of their biggest accomplishments. Then I included a rubber band, a piece of string, and a marble, along with the description, “In here you will find: a rubber band, to help you stretch beyond your limits; a piece of string to help you hold it together; and a marble for when you think you’ve lost yours.” cards09

Another idea for an envelope is Open When You Want to Feel Appreciated. For this one, I took a bunch of index cards, lined them up, punched a hole in them, and then bound them together with a metal binder clip so that they would have a book of little things I appreciate about them. On each index card I wrote a couple of things I appreciate about them, and then decorated the front of the index card with stickers and colorful pens.

When You Need Something To Look Forward To card was a fun one and really easy to do. Guess what was put on the inside? Did you guess? That’s right a 4X6 picture of me. It’s always in every package I send. If you don’t have a recent picture of yourself you can take a picture on your phone and make a quick account online at Walgreens. Find the closest Walgreens to your location and send them the picture from your phone and in an hour and less then a $1.00 there will be a picture waiting for you to pick up at you local Walgreens. Voila! I also included a card with a bunch of fun activities for us to do when we were together, and said they could circle the ones they liked and send it back.cards12

I did this project for my boyfriend, so I included little kisses in each envelope, along with some X’s and O’s, date ideas, my perfume in the “When you Miss Me” envelope, and some couple-themed humor in the “When You Need a Laugh”

How to make yourself smell amazing: All. Day. Long

I’d like to think that every woman should smell like a million dollars. Don’t you? Because I’m about to share my mom’s secrets to making your perfume last all day, so that you smell good from head to toe-no matter the conditions. Smelling good doesn’t just mean perfume and deodorant though. Smelling good means your hair, clothes, skin-all of it.

Get fresh and clean

This process starts in the shower, with awesome-smelling body wash and nice smelling shampoo and conditioner-you can’t go wrong with Herbal Essences hair products and Bath & Body Works various in-shower products.  While my mom is still in the shower, she’ll spray her whole body down with a body spray, before drying herself off.

Deodorant Time!

Right after you get out of the shower, apply your deodorant. It’s important to do this as soon as possible, because your bathroom might be hot and steamy from your shower; which could make you start sweating, and ruin that whole “fresh and clean” thing that we just accomplished. I find that with most drugstore deodorants, having the active ingredient be an antiperspirant with at least 20% concentration makes a big difference. I’m currently using Mitchum Women’s 48 hour advanced control gel antiperspirant & deodorant, but I find that all Mitchum deodorants are pretty good. My mom is absolutely in LOVE with her Donna Karen Cashmere Mist deodorant/antiperspirant. Now, this stuff is more pricey ($25 a stick), but she can be out working in the yard all day, in 100+ degree weather, in the middle of a brutal Texas Summer, and STILL smell like she’s ready for date night. I swear this stuff has secret powers or something. You can get it here.

Smell Fan-freaking-tastic!

Spray your whole body down with a body spray. Like most other women, we are big fans of Bath & Body Works scents. Between their array of wonderful scents, and seasonal new ,  they’re a pretty great store. But there’s a trick to Bath & Body Works scents (you can get them here): you have to layer them to get a full, long-lasting effect.

Here’s how:

Step 1:Step 2:Step 3:

First, pick a warm, musky scent-like Twilight Woods, Japanese Cherry Blossom, Warm Cashmere Glow, etc, and spray your whole body down-LITERALLY HEAD TO TOE. Then, pick an opposite scent-like a sweet floral scent, (such as Moonlight Path or Beautiful Day) and spray your body down with that one. You can also add another fragrance if you want and just add it to your pulse points. Then, we like to add a more luxurious perfume on top of that; so that your nicest perfume ends up being the first thing people smell. You might think this sounds a little excessive, but trust me when I tell you; you can not put on too much body mist. I promise, you will NOT smell like you just walked out of a brothel. What you WILL smell like is a self-sufficient lady who has her shit together.

 

My mom and I both do these things to make ourselves smell wonderful, and let me tell you, people will not shut up about how great we smell all the time. If you do this, random strangers will literally come up to you and say “You smell AMAZING!! What perfume do you use?”

Teaser, hehe

Now, the last step to this, is having your clothes smell amazing as well, but my mom and I decided that there is enough on that (including trade secrets) for it to warrant it’s own post, so that will be coming soon!

That’s all for now bitches! Let’s go out there smelling amazing. Do you have any of your own secrets to smelling great? If so, write them in the comments below.

 

How to get FLAWLESS Lashes

Let’s talk lashes! Being a natural blonde, my eyelashes have never stood out much (despite being fairly long), simply due to their color. Because of this, I learned very early on, the wonders mascara can do. By this point I’ve learned which mascaras, techniques, and tricks to use to get the most out of your lashes. I’ve also turned into somewhat of a “lash freak” insisting that long, voluminous eyelashes can completely transform your entire face; making you look less tired, more friendly, and also help your eyes stand out much, much more.

So, being a blogger, I feel it is my duty to share the tricks I have learned to making your mascara work for YOU (rather than the other way around).

Step 1. The right mascara makes ALL the difference. I prefer L’Oréal mascaras compared to other drugstore brands, and even though they are more expensive, they are definitely worth it. I particularly like the double-ended ones that come with a lash primer, because these give more length, definition, and last longer throughout the day. Now, if you really have dough to drop, and want to go for an expensive mascara, I am currently obsessed with Urban Decay’s Perversion mascara. Despite how good this mascara is though, I still use a primer with it to get more definition and help the mascara go on easier.

Side note: instead of using a lash primer and a mascara, you can use both a thickening and lengthening mascara to get the same effect, just make sure you apply your lengthening mascara first, and your thickening mascara second.

Step 2.  Technique! I can’t stress this one enough. The best products in the world will do you no good if you apply your mascara improperly. On the flip-side, a proper application can make some of the worst mascaras look good.

First, apply a lash primer to your naked lashes. It doesn’t matter how well you do this, or if you mess up, because this is just a base coat and it’s white, so it won’t mess up the rest of your face….unless you have dark skin.

Next, pull your mascara wand out of the tube, and start applying your mascara at the root of your outer lashes. Your outer lashes are longer, so this is a good place to start getting your groove. Spread the product onto one set of lashes, then (once there’s still plenty of mascara on your brush) distribute some of the product amoungst the eyelashes on your other eye.

Then, keep combing your mascara wand through your lashes. You should do this from root to tip, going straight from the root to the ends of your lashes. Some people suggest using a zig-zag motion through your lashes, but I find that this leads to clumps-which is no bueno. Get as much product off of your brush as you can before re-pumping your wand into your tube. The goal is to get as much definition as possible with each coat, using multiple coats to create length. If there are any areas that are clumping, just keep running your mascara wand through it until the clump is gone. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the results. When there isn’t much mascara on your wand, you can also apply some mascara to your bottom lashes using the same technique. However, since your lower lashes are shorter this shouldn’t take too long.

Tip: if you get any mascara on your face, you can use a q-tip, makeup remover wipe, or some concealer to correct it. I prefer a certain type of q-tip called a “precision makeup applicator” because it’s shape is specific to makeup application. You can buy them here.

By the way, soon I will be uploading a video tutorial detailing my everyday makeup routine, so stay tuned. Well, that’s all for today bitches! I hope you enjoyed these tips, and if you have any of your own, please share them in the comments below!

How To Use Chalk Paint To Take A Piece From Blah to Aah!

How I changed an old piece of furniture into a beautiful modern piece of furniture!

Before
Before
After
After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love using chalk paint on furniture. I mean if you are going to paint furniture what better way than the easy way, right? Chalk paint is very popular these days and easy to use as far as furniture paint goes (hence the popularity). I generally use whatever chalk paint I have on hand, mix different chalk paints to create a custom color,  or create my own chalk paint from “scratch”. Chalk paint is very easy to make, and you probably already have the ingredients in your house..More on different ways to make chalk paint coming soon.

As far as brands go, I don’t currently have a preference. Do you? If so, please leave a comment below about your favorite brand. To be honest I usually use the cheapest one I can, which is usually the one I can find a coupon for. With coupons, chalk paint in actually very affordable. I also like chalk paint because you don’t usually have to sand your piece before you start, and the paint will adhere to just about and surface.

I bought this little beauty for my daughter because she has always wanted a lingerie chest. I scoured Craigslist, Offer Up, garage sales, and countless re-sale shops  for one in good condition. Unfortunately, the ones I found in decent condition were very expensive. I finally found one at an estate sale for $50.00 , but it still needed work.

The very first thing I did was take the drawers out and clean them. I used tri sodium phosphate (a great cleaning solution) to clean the insides out. As you know, used furniture can be really grody on the inside-yuck! The joints were also coming apart at the seams and needed to be re-supported. Luckily, not all the drawers needed fixing. I decided to use wood glue in the joints, and a vice grip to hold the corners in place overnight while the glue dried. I did this to all the loose corners.

I then took all the old hardware off the chest. I usually do this so I can add some of my own whimsical knobs, and to update the piece. In this case it was necessary because one of the original drawer pulls was broken completely in half (and beyond repair). And as you all know, trying to find that exact vintage handle to replace it would have been a nightmare.. Which is another reason why I keep a lot of knobs, drawer-pulls, and handles on hand. Now you know that I am a handle and knob hoarder. We all need our vices.

Even though you don’t have to sand a piece when you are going to use chalk paint, I decided I wanted to do a quick once over with sand paper. In some parts of the piece this was done to help smooth it out, and in others I sanded it to give it more “character”, because you know, I’m a hipster (duh!). What’s the point in getting a vintage piece if you’re just going to make it look perfect anyway? You know, like “perfectly imperfect”.

As you can see something must have spilled in one of the drawers (ewww)  so I needed to do something about the mess in the drawer, but what? Well, to be honest I took the easy way out and just sanded the muck off the drawer to make it flush with the drawer. I then cut out a piece of black felt fabric and glued it down into the drawer. Ta-Da! Crisis averted!

This muck was also on the side of the drawer (double ewww). I painted the sides of the drawers the same color as I painted the face of the drawer to cover the muck.

So far so good. I had to decide on a color scheme for the chest and I knew that I wanted each drawer a different color. With colors to decide on?  I dumped all my paint out onto my workroom floor and lined them up. I started with the brown and worked my way up the drawers making and mixing new colors as needed. HINT: Add a teeny tiny bit of black to any color to tone down that color and create a muted variation of the color.

I know I said that I was painting this for my daughter’s room but the colors are.. well..more of the color scheme of my bedroom, therefore, I think it will end up in my room hehe.

I painted each drawer with a different complementary color. The red drawers took about four coats but the other colors took only two coats. HINT:  red is the most transparent paint color, and will always take more coats to reach it’s full vibrancy. This paint dries very quickly so it’s easy to do a second coat quickly after the first. I like to do a very, very light sanding between coats to get a smoother looking finish. Since this paint is made to be grainy,  sanding between coats helps a lot with this. For the bones of the chest, I chose a bone color to compliment the earth tones in the drawers.

Now that I had the drawers and chest painted it was time for phase two.

I wanted this piece to hold up to a lot of wear and tear, so I put a coat of polyurethane on the drawers and on the chest itself. I used a rub on poly because I knew I was going to wax it after the poly had dried. This was just to give the piece that little extra protection so it stands up to wear for years to come.

While the poly was drying I switched my focus to the hardware I was going to use. Since the original hardware, as cool as it is, was a bit dated for my update (and one of the handles was literally broken in half); a new plan was needed.

I measured the holes in the drawers where the handles were, so I would know what size handles I needed. Unfortunately though, I ran into a problem. This size handle is not being made any longer because this piece is (at least) 45 years old. The solution: MCM handles. I needed to find handles from what we are now calling the MCM period, or( Mid Century Modern period). I wanted to find handles that would not only fit the piece, but would also elevate the piece and give it a more modern vibe. I hunted literally everywhere I could think of. I tried Ebay, Etsy, garage sales, flea markets, antique markets-and you know what? The handles were right under my nose. They were right here in my own house. Can you believe the perfect fitting handles were in my own house the entire time! I had them in a paper bag in my garage labeled handles. Isn’t it funny how things just work out that way sometimes? The handles I found had one small problem though.  they were solid brass and they would not come clean no matter what trick I had up my sleeves….. so I did what anyone in my situation would do…. got out a really awesome matching spray paint color, and yes, it killed me to paint these solid brass handles, but I did it anyway. And  it’s a good thing I did, because they look terrific on the chest. The color was terrific, and as you can see, the handles compliment the chest perfectly. (I was one handle short so I used two of the brass pulls that I had on the top drawer).

All in all I am thrilled with my choices. Even in the picture the handles look like they’re smiling.

Adding some wax

After I added two coats of the wipe on poly, it was time to add the wax. Wax on, wax off. A little humor for those of you who remember a little Karate Kid action. I am not ashamed to admit I liked that movie. Back on topic however,  it’s time to wipe the chest and drawers with clear wax. I used my wax brush to accomplish this task but you can use a clean-preferably white- rag. I put on a light coat that was just enough to cover the entire piece. HINT: f you put to much wax on just wipe the excess off with your rag. I wait about 12 hours (or 2 hours if really impatient) for the wax to dry. It is important to wait at least awhile to let the wax dry before you buff it off. Wax should be your last step in finishing a piece of furniture, that’s why I put the poly on before the wax. It wasn’t really necessary for me to use the poly, but I wanted extra protection, as I stated before. 

Now, the wax is dry so now it’s time to buff, buff, buff. I start this process with a white cotton rag. When the wax is no longer sticky-feeling and my hand just slides along the piece, I know I am now ready to add the dark wax. HINT: It is very important to put a coat of clear wax on before the dark wax, so if you make a mistake and put too much dark wax on your piece, it can be wiped off.

I used the same type of brush that I used for the clear wax but this brush is designated as my Dark Wax Brush. I  like to start with the dark wax in a very inconspicuous place on the piece, so I can get my rhythm and/or mojo going. I dip just the tip of my brush in the dark wax and (if necessary) wipe some of the wax off to avoid making globs on the piece I  just worked so hard on. Moving my brush in one direction, I try to spread the dark wax over the area before dipping again. I try to use long strokes, so I avoid getting too much wax in one area.

This is done over the entire piece until I am happy with the coverage of the dark wax.  Let the dark wax dry, then buff with a soft cloth. To finish up I go over the piece with a very fine steel wool. The steel wool will buff out the piece and give it a good hard coat.

There you have it. How I paint a piece to and take it from “Blah” to “Aaah!”.

Weekly Bitch: These Bitches Do Not Do It Best

As our premier Weekly Bitch post we decided to write about something really close to home that happened not once in a week-but twice! After the holiday season has come to a close there is always inevitably that one gift that you want to return. This year both of us had that one inevitable gift we wanted to return and or exchange from the same store, Victoria’s Secret. This post is not meant to rag on the store itself but the horrible customer service we encountered on not one but two occasions trying to return our gifts. When you go into a retail establishment and get that one sales clerk that has an snobby-”  I am better then you attitude”- you tend to say, okay, it’s just her personality or she’s having a bad day. You can excuse off her nasty attitude easily. Not happily,  but easily.

However, when you are a different person and go in to the store for the same reason on a different day with a different item to exchange and get the same nastiness throughout the store  it’s not so easy to dismiss. Am I right? I won’t go into to much detail but I talked to four different people, one over the phone before I even entered the store and I was told that the item I wanted to exchange was worth $86.00. On four separate occasions I was told this. I went to the register and the cashier rang it up and told me it was worth $86.00.  She didn’t know how to give me a credit -she was three days new at the time. She asked for another lady to jump in and help her give me the credit and one of  the very very nasty customer service ladies I encountered that day, very loudly, as to embarrass me or something says, “that was a free with purchase and you get nothing back.” Mind you this was after four other people had already told me it was worth $86.00. So now I am asking her why four people had a different answer then her?  She was snarky with me and impolite. I got so angry I left the item there and left the store for probably what will be for good. I can’t see myself shopping in a store that would treat me that way. Would you? Why continue to give them my hard earned money if this is what I get in return?

I emailed the corporate my story. They told me they would get back to me within 48 hours. That was over two weeks ago and I am still waiting.

There is something to be said about a corporation that implies it cares about your concerns by saying it will get back to you within 48 hours and then never address your concerns at all. Which has been my experience with Victoria’s Secret.

So, as I stated this happened not once but twice with a different item. My daughter went in with her item the tags still on and instead of the $36.00 that was on the tag they offered her $10.00 for her item. They will most certainly turn around and sell for the $36.00 on the tag, but who knows.

The bottom line is that the lack of empathy and the nastiness displayed by these people should not be an accepted practice by any store. What ever happened to the customer is always right? I do have a specific bitch about Victoria’s Secret this week but more often then not I am noticing bad customer service seems to be the norm these days. Sad but true I am afraid.

Please share your customer service experiences about Victoria’s Secret and let your inner bitch come out.

Thanks for listening to us bitch,

Hope and Joy

Air Freshener To Remove Stickers Naturally and with Ease

tips01

Before
Before

Don’t you hate those nasty stickers that seemed to be literally glued down to the product you just bought. If you are like me you have a compulsive need to remove every sticker left on by the manufacturer or store. Call me crazy but no one needs to know how much I paid for something. It’s just none of their business. Hence, my little compulsion.

I think because I hate stickers and removing them it was my personal obsession to seek out the best way to remove those sticky suckers. After much research and trial and error. I did it! I found my miracle product that is not only cheap but very easy to use.

I use 100% natural Pure Citrus Orange Air Freshener to remove those pesky messy ruin your nails stickers. This baby works like a charm. I mean it works on everything sticky I have tried so far.

removing sticker
Removing Sticker

I just spray the sticker liberally with the Pure Citrus and wait a few minutes to give it a chance to soak in. After a few minutes I use my flat straight edge razor blade, and right off it comes. Wha-Laa no more sticker mess.

Then just wipe the excess air freshener away with a rag.

Easily Removing Sticker
Easily Removing Sticker

I buy my Pure Citrus spray at Walmart in the cleaning aisle and have never had a problem finding it there. Remember, a little goes a long way.

There you have it! How to use a environmentally friendly, non-aerosol air freshener to make life a little easier and make the house smell better in the process.

After
After