Breast Cancer Awareness…Inspirational Wooden Block Sign…

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I wanted to do something to support it.  We all know someone who has breast cancer and I thought an inspirational sign is something small I could do to bring encouragement.

Keeping it simple I used 2×4 blocks, painted and hand-distressed. Using mod podge, scrap booking paper and letters cut using my cuttlebug. Tied together with a pink ribbon.

Materials needed:

  • 3 2×4 blocks
  • sandpaper
  • acrylic paint
  • brushes or foam brushes
  • old sheet to protect table
  • rags
  • scrapbook paper
  • mod podge
  • letters (store brought or homemade)

Instructions:

I brought my 2×4 from a hardware store (Mitre 10), they kindly cut it into all the blocks for me. I got 4 sets of 3, which cost me $15.  4 x 6 inches (15.24 cm) 4 x 7 inches (17.78cm) 4  x 8 inches (20.32cm)

First I sanded the edges of the blocks to get a smooth surface. I used an electric sander, but it easy to do it by hand.

I painted the blocks using acrylic paint, but added a small amount of calcium carbonate and water to it, this is not necessary, but I find it easier to use chalk paint when distressing. I just brought some paint test pots from Mitre 10. The paint dried really fast as it was a hot day and I only needed one coat.

Once dried I brushed a layer of  mod podge onto the front of the blocks, one at a time. Then stuck on the scrap booking paper (I had cut to size) onto the block, press the paper down starting from the centre and moving out (I use an old credit card to do this) to the ends, getting rid of any air bubbles. Then I went back and checked for any additional air bubbles.

Next, apply another coat on top of the paper, at this point a lay the letters on top of the paper. You have to do this rather quickly before it dries. Especially if it is a  hot day like it was when I did these blocks. They dried so fast. Once this had dried I then coated the letters with the mod podge and let them dry.

Finally, I tied a pink ribbon around the blocks. Beautiful!

I did this because it would make a great gift to lift someone’s spirit who is fighting cancer! Sometimes it is hard to know what to say or do, but this is just a little something….

Thanks for reading my post! I hope you try making these inspirational wooden block signs!

  Andi

 

DIY chalk paint at home…New Zealand

I decided it was time to make my own DIY chalk paint at home. I love Annie Sloan Chalk paints, but the shop in the village which stock them sadly closed down, so it was time to attempt to make my own. For some reason I thought it was going to be hard, maybe because I read a lot of recipes for DIY chalk paint on pinterest and the comments as well. It didn’t sound so easy.

I choose to try making chalk paint with calcium carbonate, the hardest part was trying to get hold of it. In the end a friend had some extra and I brought it off her, but in the future I will have to buy it online.

Calcium Carbonate

Next I brought some small pots of paint at our local Mitre 10 (hardware store). I managed to get some clearance paint (mistint colours) at a great price.

To test out my paint I brought a great little table for $15 at a Op Shop. Perfect for this project.

I mixed a small amount of chalk paint up using just 1 cup of paint.

The consistency was great, so similar to Annie Sloan Paint and colour came out just the same as Old White. Calcium carbonate mixed in really well and I added water to get the right consistency.

 

It was necessary to paint the little table with two coats, sanding after the first coat to try and get rid of brush lines and an occasional drip which escaped my notice.


Homemade Bees Wax

Finally, I waxed the dried surface with bees wax. This I had brought locally – homemade bees wax. I must say I really liked using this, it went on well (rubbing it in with a clean rag). I didn’t really notice any difference from using Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

Really love how this turned out! I think time will tell how this paint stands up to wear and tear. But I will from now on be making my own DIY chalk paint at home…

It you would like the recipe for this chalk paint I made, email me at andi@riverroad.nz and I will be happy to share it with you.

Many thanks for reading my post! Happy chalk painting!

Andi

 

DIY painted chalkboard from old picture frames…

Another great project: DIY painted chalkboard from old picture frames are a wonderful gift or a great way to make a lovely chalkboard. It’s so easy to pick some old picture frames from Op shops these days, at really reasonable prices.  It it fun as well!

Supplies needed:

Picture frames

Backing board

Chalkboard paint

Paint for frames

Paintbrushes

Turpentine

Rags, cover for table, tin or jar for cleaning brush, something to open can with eg. screwdriver

Tape, scissors

I painted the chalkboard paint on first, this goes on really easy, but make sure you let the paint dry between coats. I put on two coats, but it is really up to you how many coats you think it needs. Read the instructions on the can or spray before starting.

After, the paint had dried I painted the frames with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, Old White and Duck Egg. I did put tape on the chalkboard paint to make sure I didn’t get any paint on it by mistake.

Finished Chalkboard

I hope this inspires you to try making a Chalkboard!

I hope you try this… so easy to make and don’t they look great!

Thanks for reading my post!

Andi

DIY chalkboard gifts – Mother’s Day…

Some really easy DIY chalkboard gifts for Mother’s Day can be so much fun to do. Here are some of the ideas I had and best of all they are really inexpensive.

First item is a chopping board ,  this can be purchased at any housewares shop. My one came from Kmart for about $6.

Supplies needed

chopping board
chalkboard paint
paintbrush
turpentine to clean brush
tape and scissors
rags/newspaper or cover to protect table

Instructions

First tape off the area you want to paint, (this paint is really easy to wipe off if necessary when wet).

Next, paint! I had to do two coats, letting it dry after the first coat. Remove the tape and leave for 24 hours before writing with chalk on it.

I love how this turned out! And the board can be used over and over.

In my next post I will show you another DIY chalkboard painted gift for Mother’s Day.

Also, some recipes to come, super easy:  Feijoa cake and Rosemary bread.

Thanks for reading my post!

Andi

GIN & TONIC CUPCAKES RECIPE…

Gin & Tonic Cupcakes

I was asked to make some Gin & Tonic cupcakes for an event and came up with this recipe. They didn’t want cupcakes with icing on top which is what I would have wanted to do… yummy buttercream icing with gin and tonic. Instead they wanted a syrup which to my surprise actually came out rather nice.

It also helps if you get to have a drink of G & T whilst making the cupcakes!

Gin & Tonic Cupcakes recipe

Ingredients (makes 24 cupcakes)

125g unsalted butter, softened

1 cup caster sugar

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup (185ml) milk

Juice and zest of 1 lime

2 TBsp Gin

Syrup

Juice and zest of 1 lime

Zest of 1 lime for decoration

4 TBsp Gin

3 TBsp Tonic

2 TBsp sugar

Preheat oven to 180 degree C/350 degree F

Method

Place cupcake papers in two 12 hole cupcake trays.

In a bowl beat together the butter and sugar until pale in colour and creamy.

Beat in the eggs.

Add the gin, lime juice and zest, beat until combined.

Sift the flour and baking powder and add half to butter mixture with half the milk. Mix until well combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.

Fill cupcake papers 3/4 full.

Bake muffin-sized cupcakes for 20-25 minutes and small cupcakes for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Baked cupcakes

Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool slightly.

Next, make the syrup, I did this in the microwave, but it can be done in a saucepan.

Mix together the lime juice and zest, gin and sugar. Microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir well, making sure sugar is dissolved, then add the tonic water. Microwave again for 30 seconds on high. Stir well.

Syrup

Carefully pierce, with a toothpick a few holes in the cupcakes, then spoon the mixture over the cupcakes while they are still warm.

Finally sprinkle grated lime zest over the cupcakes. Enjoy!

Now I have to say if you want the gin flavour to be stronger add more gin! It is a personal preference here…

Thanks for reading my post! I do hope you get to make these delicious Gin & Tonic cupcakes!

Andi 

A quick update to home with cushions…

Feeling bored with your cushions? That’s where I was at this week and I decided what was needed was a quick update to the home with cushions.

I don’t know about you, but I like to change my cushions probably once a year. I just look at them and know I have enough of the colours and need a change. Now my mum and sister have probably keep the same cushions for years, so it is a personal preference.

Colour trends for 2017

Now I don’t know if you have noticed, but one of the colour trends for 2017 in interior decor is greenery. Reconnecting with nature!

With that in mind I was so excited to buy some material at a local shop that makes custom curtains etc. There they had some sample fabrics they were selling for $2 each. What a bargain and my interpretation of greenery!

Fabric samples

Getting started

I removed the inner cushions and the zips off all the cushions I had been using and started sewing. Cushions are very easy to sew and it just took my an afternoon for the update. Some of them I put zips in, but others I just inserted the inner cushion and sewed the seam closed with a top stitch.  On one I frayed the edge of a strip of the material and sewed it down the middle before inserting the inner cushion.

Frayed material sewn on cushion

Used previous zip on new cushion cover

Updated cushions

Rodeo enjoying the new cushions

The cushion with the dog I didn’t make – but had to include it as it is so cute!

Well that’s my cushions for another year … so very happy with the end result. It can be kept quick and easy when it comes to cushions. And there is no need when wanting to keep abreast of colour trends to pay for expensive cushions.

Thanks for reading my post! I hope this inspires you to make your own cushions!

Andi

 

Dining chairs makeover – paint and recover…

Do you ever look at your dining chairs and want to change them? That’s what I was doing and finally took the plunge do something about them. To save the cost of buying new chairs; I actually like the chairs we have in that they are nice and wide, very comfortable to sit on. So I decided to paint and recover them, do a dining chairs makeover….

Here’s what they looked like to begin with…

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

First, I removed the seat and then cleaned down the wooden chair frames  with water and dish washing detergent. Once it had dried I painted them with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre (my favourite colour.)

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre

It took two coats of paint, just to make sure it was covered nicely and then once they  had dried I used Annie Sloan Clear Wax to protect the paint. I can’t say painting dining chairs is something I enjoyed doing, I found it quite a bit of work with all the slats on the back, but the end result was worth it.

Recover the Seat

This is really easy to do! I had already unscrewed the seat, so next I removed the old material (this had been stapled on) using a screw driver and pliers (any tool that does the job!). This took some time, but got is done! Then I used the material as a guideline to cut a new piece of material. I had gone into a local furniture/curtain/upholstery store and was able to get some off cuts for only $2.00, the piece was enough to do all six chairs. Leaving the chair padding in place I replaced the material over the it and stapled in the new material. I brought a staple gun for this project and was able to get one cheap at our local Uncle Bill (like a clearance store).

Finally, I screwed the seat back into the chair frame. Done!

Chair makeover!

I am very happy with the end result.

Thanks for reading my post! Have you tried a chair makeover?

Andi

 

 

 

Wooden Shelf Makeover – New Zealand

My wooden shelf makeover was a inspiration really. It was offered free on my local neighbourly, which is a wonderful site to find things in your neighbourhood in New Zealand.

Wooden Shelf Makeover

I got it to use as extra shelving in our shed, but it wasn’t that stable and a shelf was missing. It was sitting in front of our house waiting to be fixed when my husband suggested it would make a great shelf for my potted plants sitting around by the front door. I mainly have succulents in the pots because they don’t need so much watering and maintenance.

Shelf turned upside down

As you can see I turned the shelf upside down to fit in the area, but there is a electric metre box in the way so I had to move the now top shelf up. The metre reading man needs to open it to read the metre! Fortunately it only took removing some screws and sliding the shelf up. Then I tightened all the other screws to stabilise better.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Next I painted it in one of my favourite paints Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Old Ochre

Finally, I painted just one coat this time and there was no need to wax as I am using it for outside. Not too worried about wear and tear here.

Finished shelf

It was wonderful to get all my plants off the ground, I love how it turned out! I also used it for a time growing my lettuces, which was a great spot and super easy to pick them when needed.

Growing lettuce

It made my front of the house look so much better, much tidier and it is easier to water the plants now.

I hope my wooden shelf makeover inspired you! Thanks for reading my post!

Andi

 

 

 

How to make a bay leaf wreath … last minute

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Bay leaf wreaths tend to quickly dry out in the summer heat, so I left it till the last minute to make one.

I picked some branches off our bay tree in the garden and used what supplies I had at home to keep things simple. At this point I am trying to avoid going to the shops and enjoying just being at home with the family.

Supplies needed:

twine (you can also use florist wire)

wire coat hanger

scissors

bay leaves (or any greenery you have should work well)

Instructions:

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First take your coat hanger and make into a circle.

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Next cut your bay leaf branches to the right length and place around the coat hanger.

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Tie the branches onto the wire.

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Continue add leaves until the wire is covered and you have the amount of leaves on the wreath you desire.

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Finally, wrap the twine around the coat hanger wire hook at the top.

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This was really quick to make and I am hoping it will last really well throughout the  Christmas holidays. It will also be great to have so many dried bay leaves for cooking now! This wreath would be easy to make with other greenery from the garden or neighbourhood, whatever you can find!

Thanks for reading my post.

Andi

 

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