Monthly Archives: February 2014

Luck of the Irish

St Patrick’s day is by far my favorite holiday! I love the fact I get to wear green, eat potatoes and corned beef, build a Leperachan trap for green goodies (started WAY back when I was in Kindergarten), and of course getting to watch Darby O’Gill and the Little people. You can’t go wrong with a young Sean Connery movie. There is just not enough St Patrick’s day decorations in the world to make me happy.  I know that this holiday has a bad wrap for being a drinking holiday but it is my FAVORITE holiday!  So after setting up the few decorations I have collected over the years, scowering all the stores for non beer related decorations, I decided the only rational thing to do would be to make a couple decorations. Once again Pintrest came into play. Meet my newest piece of St Patty’s day decor.


The Button Shamrock


TONS of random green buttons

A frame (I bought a picture frame from Goodwill and removed the glass)

Burlap slightly larger than frame

Hot Glue

A Shamrock pattern (I traced a cookie cutter)


1) Wrap the back of the frame with burlap and glue the edges down.  This is the background for the shamrock.

2) Trace shamrock pattern onto the burlap so you know where to glue the buttons.

3) Glue the buttons in the shamrock.  I worked from the outside in then went back and overlapped in areas I could see the burlap.  Make sure to have buttons placed randomly for great texture.

4) replace the back into the frame and enjoy!


Let’s face it I like to strip…


Let’s face it I like to strip…Paint that is! Nothing brings me more satisfaction than to strip pain from a salvaged item.  I get sick pleasure for several reasons.  One, I like to see the history of the piece and its different lives with different owners.  Nothing says well loved like several layers of paint! The second is that I LOVE to pick and peal and scrub. Its an instant gratification, if I scrape or pick hard enough or long enough you can SEE what I’ve accomplished. There are several methods to my madness and since I’m hiding from my next project, I thought I would share my stripping methods.

A fun look at paint history

A fun look at paint history

Heat Gun: I want to love this method of paint stripping; I really do! But sadly its not my favorite.  A Heat Gun is an over sized hair dryer that with heat, patience, and scrapping tools literally peals the paint off in strips. You must be careful not to burn your wood under the paint.   Dan is much better at this method than I am, which i find ironic since I use a blow dryer daily and he, well, has no hair. But none the less using the heat gun= lots of patience which sadly I lack.

Chemicals (Methylene-chloride): works GREAT…if you have a well ventilated area and thick gloves to protect your skin from the harsh chemicals.  Chemicals like paint removers or strippers work wonders but I prefer to not kill brain cells or my cats since I am doing everything in my apartment. Its important to always wipe the chemicals off the clean product with either a paint stripper or mineral spirits.  This helps to remove all the chemicals you can’t see.

Safe Strippers (all natural strippers): This is my preferred method.  “The Orange Crap” as Dan so lovingly calls CitruStrip and Natures Strip are my favorite. It’s expensive but works great and doesn’t kill my brain cells while working in the apartment.  Apply fairly thick layer of stripper on your project and just wait.  Depending on the thickness of the old paint it will quickly start to resemble crackle paint and within hours, using a scraper, your paint comes off in giant globs. I have also found if you put the item in a plastic bag or put wax paper on your project after you apply the stripper, the moisture stays in and works faster and better. AMAZING!

High Phosphate Detergent (ie SUPER cheap laundry soap): This is a trick I learned from Earthwise. Mix the cheap Dollar Store Laundry soap with very hot water . Place your metals and glass hardware in it and wait until you can comfortably place your hands in the water. The paint comes right off. This works great for cleaning my hinges, pulls, knobs, screws, and even  art deco floor grates.

Sanding: Let’s first start by saying I HATE sanding.  This is Dan’s job, well when I convince him to help, it’s his job.  I love using the orbital hand sander and I love the instant smoothness but I hate the mess it causes. So when it comes to sanding as a form of stripping paint, this would be my least favorite.  BUT if you have patience, and lots of sand paper it works  well, just a tad slow going.

Overly Optimistic


As January came to an end so did the month of finishing.  I had (and still do) great plans for the month of blah.  I technically only finished one project, my little orange sewing table.  BUT I was very busy this past month!

Let’s start with the big one: I jump started wedding planning!! I now have a dress, photographer, caterer, venue, and have several small wedding crafts completed. Of course my wedding would have crafts. Poor Dan is probably tired of wedding talk; but Honey, we still have several months to go!

Don't let that face fool you he is SUPER excited!

Don’t let that face fool you he is SUPER excited!

Typically January is my slow month both in the salvage and design worlds.  Not this year! In salvage we have been CRAZY BUSY! Not only have I been selling everything that comes in, its been that time of the month that ALL of the displays needed to be changed. Three of my four were done and during Super Bowl game I finished my fourth! In the design world I have been doing floor plan after floor plan after floor plan! Its crazy but amazing!

Just SOME of the stuff I'm doing at work

Just SOME of the stuff I’m doing at work

The projects: After finishing the sewing table, I moved onto Dan’s 1920’s wood locker dresser (look for the finished post SOON). It was  half finished since I had been working on it prior to January. I’ve got it completely stripped, paint colors picked out, supplies bought. But it started to rain so I couldn’t do the sanding or painting.  I then, trying not to loose momentum, went back to stripping the BIG craftsman cabinet.  Before I could get too far into it I needed to clean out the corner of clutter that it sat in.  I borrowed the work truck for a Goodwill run and spent the rest of the night moving furniture around to make room the big closet.  Now that corner looks great! Well it does in my mind 😉

Pardon the mess but EVERYBODY is working hard ;)

Pardon the mess but EVERYBODY is working hard 😉

Throw in a few heart placemats for Dan and I, a new valentine wreath for my door, salvaged wood heart wreaths, and writing blogs that haven’t been posted BUT only need photos and I would say the month of finishing, which didn’t go as planned, still ended great! Plus it gives me something to do in February…

My funky new set up including a lamp base vase and a skeleton key valentine

My funky new wall set-up including a lamp base vase, a skeleton key valentine, and my salvaged floor grate

Instant Happiness

Instant Happiness