The Fixer Upper


So, my followers,  its been a while since we last spoke. The back is doing extremely well following surgery, and I went back to work. Then suddenly, in December, BAMMM, work injury to my knee. Fell like a wounded water buffalo, and injured the PCL. So needless to say Gma found herself sentenced to 8 weeks house arrest, and a huge amount of bored. So while visiting our somewhat local Habitat for Humanity Restore, I found this darling little 1 bedroom 1 bath fixer upper. It came fully furnished, but was in bad shape.

(no amount of peptol bismol pink from the previous owners could save it)

But the price was right $25.00 bucks!

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So, the first step in any fixer upper, (after closing escrow) is demolition! Stripped the wall paper off, peeled up the vinyl flooring, removed the windows, and unsafe railing on the upper deck.

Made a couple structural improvements, to the base and back wall.

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We removed the hinged roof and decided to give it a shake roof. unfortunately, the cost of dollhouse shingles is over $20 bucks a square foot, Luckily, I found craft sticks at the dollar store and bought 2 packages for $2 bucks! Taped them together in bundles of 20, cut them to 2″ shakes. Used the yardstick to make straight lines,  and glued them on with wood glue.

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While the glue dried, we painted the entire place with Kilz paint. Cures all evils, stains, smells, bad paint choices, and seals the bare wood. Making it a nice blank canvas to create!

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The back roof panel is glued and screwed secure, and the front is hinged so they can open and play inside the attic.

Next, I decided on my color palette, the pink I was stuck with, Hubby convinced me not to paint the vintage Barbie furniture it was mostly pink. But I had some leftover Minnie Mouse print and added a few fat quarters in a pretty blue to balance out the pink overload! Yep, there was sewing and construction involved! I painted the outside walls “Tiffany” blue, and added white trim molding. It helped stabilize the house.

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Flooring is next, since there was a kitchen and bath, of course I tiled it! After doing projects on our real homestead, I consider myself a self-taught expert! I had leftover tiny hexagon tiles and added 2 sheets matching tile with black tiles (looked like flowers to me) I still had adhesive and silver sparkly grout leftover from the wishing well project, so it really only cost $6 bucks for tile. ‘

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The bedroom, living room and attic needed wood floors. I was in the local flooring store, and found 3 planks of snap together dark stained real wood flooring. The guy just gave it to me since they were samples. All I had to do was measure, cut and snap together. Since is was so thick, no need to glue or nail it down. (hope she doesn’t trip between rooms, lol)

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Windows needed replacing, looks like they used page dividers and a sharpie to make them. I splurged on Ikea 5×7 frames ($1.99 ea) and just glued them in place.

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It’s not complete unless the patio is covered. Lowes kindly donated a scrap of Astroturf so she can relax with her shoes off. (all I had to do was ask!) Decided to do a more substantial railing. Since I was using black as an accent, decided to try it on the top rail. Used the same molding I had put on the corners of the house, but painted it gloss black

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So this whole renovation took about two weeks, with drying times, so I had plenty of time to sew accessories and cover the 70’s Barbie fabric.

The sofa and chair pads got recovered and the pillows. Made all new bedding (yes, I did fitted and flat sheets, duvet cover, bed skirt and pillows) all new curtains and drapes with fancy beaded finials on the curtain rods.  I hung them with command hooks, the rods are 1/2″ dowels, cut to fit the windows.  I was considering cup hooks but the walls are paper-thin and they would have come through the outside. I sacrificed a white bar towel, cut it up, hemmed it and added appliqué hearts for the bath.

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I decided to put “puck” lights in the rooms, easy for them to operate, but they kept falling off. I used my go to E300 super glue to attach the bases and problem solved.

The attic isn’t complete yet, think I want to put a closet pole (small metal towel bar?) across the side and hang her clothes up and maybe some cuter storage bins for her shoes and accessories. You know ladies, make it a “dream” closet, right?

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And lastly, don’t miss the family picture above the sofa, it’s the best part!!

So I encourage you to do your own fixer upper, it was a blast! Maybe I can tackle a real size one?

Enjoy!!

Debbie

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Playtime in the Car II

Another quick way to entertain that back seat driver. This one took literally minutes to assemble, but days to collect the teeny tiny items for inside.

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Yep, why spend over $20 bucks on the store eye spy jars when you can do your own.

Hardest part was cleaning the labels off the Voss water jars. I found mine at Burlington for under five bucks each. The plastic ones have sticker labels on them and are lighter for little hands to shake. The glass ones have painted labels and are heavier. I did both, plastic for Dolly and glass for Gma’s camper. You can use any empty, clean, clear and dry bottle you might already have. The Voss bottles do have a larger opening then the water bottles so we could add slightly bigger items to them.

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All you need is an empty water bottle, lots of teeny tiny items for them to search for, and some rice to hide them in. I think I put over 50 different items in each jar, I also kept track of what I added so I could print out a checklist later on the computer.

Finding items was like a grown up scavenger hunt, Even Papa got helpful once I showed him the project. I’ll give you my list at the end.

Just use a funnel to pour the rice in, and drop in your bits and pieces as you go.

Be sure to leave some room at the top for shaking around, And be sure to super glue the lid on. You don’t want this spilling out all over the backseat!

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We did ours during a camping trip and the “helpers” played with them all weekend. Think we offered a prize for the person who found the peppercorn.

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All in all a fun project, I still find things I want to add, but the lids are glued and I think 50 plus is enough to find. I did print a checklist of items inside. Think the adults are more competitive about finding the harder items but it gives the kiddos what to look for.

ENJOY!

DEBBIE

 

Items in my bottles included: Lots of Bead and Buttons, Items from Papa’s garage, and a few minis I purchased.

BASEBALL 

LADY BUG

BASKETBALL 

LEAF

SPARKLY BEAD

LEGO BLOCK

BEE BUTTON

LIGHT BULB

BIRTHDAY CANDLE

LOCK

BOLT

MATCHSTICK

BOTTLE CAP

NAIL

BREAD TAG

NUT

BULLET

OWL

BUTTON

BARBIE SHOE

CHENILLE

PEARL

DOG

PEPPERCORN

DR SUESS ERASER

POMPOM

FISH

POPCORN KERNEL

FLOWER

PUMPKIN

FOOTBALL

QTIP

FEATHER

ROCK

FUSE

SCREW

SEASHELL

SMOOSHED PENNY

TOY CAR

SPOOL

“H” for HAILEY

SPRING

HAIR CLIP

STAPLE

HAIR TIE

STAR

HEART

SPIDER

JELLY BEAN

TACK

JINGLE BELL

TEDDY BEAR

KEY

WASHER

KITTY

WIGGLY EYE

 

Playtime in the Car

Here’s a quickie I made for my Grandniece Dolly’s car trip to Disneyland. They’re driving down, and I remember those days of trying to keep an excited

5-year-old entertained in the backseat. I made her a travel box with stuff to hopefully make the ride smoother.

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First up was a travel tic tac toe tin. I found a small metal tin in the dollar bin at Target and it was already red! So I added some cute washi tape around the bottom and painted her a Minnie Mouse on the top.

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I used a small ruler and permanent marker to put the grid on the inside of the lid.

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Collected some bottle caps from Papa, he was happy to help. You need 10 total, 5 of each color. Some button magnets and outdoor glue, attached to the back.

I painted mine black and red, and put a mouse outline on top. You can do whatever shape, or theme suits your kiddo.

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I also made a backup set of caps, using a punch and putting the images inside the cap and the magnet on the back. (I’m sure some of these will end up under the seats! Sorry Mom and Dad…

Enjoy!

Debbie

 

 

My First Chalkboard Project

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Hello my crafty friends, I know it’s been a while since we last spoke. But we all know how quickly time runs away from us.

So, let’s see if I remember how to get this posted.

My new obsession is chalkboard stuff. I had to create an entire pinterest board to all the great ideas I’ve been seen.

Well, I decided I wanted one for the front of my fireplace, but it needed to be big.

Like 36″ x 33″ big.

Supplies needed: a board (did I mention mine is big?)

Chalkboard paint and a roller (I cheated, no roller pan, just poured some paint on and rolled it out)

Chalk, Chalk markers, stencils, and/or good penmanship

 So I put hubby to work cutting a big piece of board, and had him round the corners.

Also had him put a heavy-duty hanger on the back, since I will remove it from its perch to change the message often.

If you are going to put it where youngen’s will be using it, try hanging it with mirror clips

It will be flush on the wall and not “wiggle” when they write on it.

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I also got some chalk, chalk markers, and stencils (options are good, considering this is a new adventure)

I’m not thrilled with my writing skills, but hopefully they will improve with some practice.

That’s the beauty of a chalkboard, right? I can erase it and start over.

So, a couple of tips I found online: be sure to do two thin coats of the chalkboard paint

on your board and let it dry at least 24 hours between each coat.

Be sure to wait another 36 hours before you write on it.

The paint is kinda “soft” and if you write on it too soon, those overeager messages will be imbedded forever.

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It’s recommended that you “season” your board before you start using it. So, I took some super cheap plain white chalk and rubbed it all over the board.

Easy enough, but I recommend doing this outside, since it left a lot of dust!

Cover your entire board, and then wipe it off, repeat. I used about 5 sticks of chalk, and did it three complete times.

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it really does give it a nice “used” look, and smooths out the surface before you begin creating your masterpiece.

For lettering, I used a yardstick to keep myself somewhat straight. It’s a little harder than I anticipated.

Kudos to those school teachers who have perfect vertical penmanship!

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We’re planning a June Wedding, and since I’m the Mother of the Groom, guess what the rehearsal dinner theme is….??

Stay tuned for more projects!

Enjoy!

Debbie

Lucky Ladybug Garden Ball

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OK, so the conversation started, “Do you have any ‘old’ balls lying around?” followed by an uncomfortable silence. Wait! that’s not how I meant that. Let me try again, do you have any old, bowling balls? Yes, after he stopped laughing, and told me I made his day…..Mr. bowling alley gave me two cracked, unusable old balls! FOR FREE!!! Score!!!  So, since we all know I spend too much time on Pinterest, I saw this idea, and these were so cute, I had to find a couple of ‘old balls’ to make my own super cute ladybugs for my garden.

Supplies needed:

Old unused bowling balls (got mine free for making him laugh so hard)

black spray paint

red and white outdoor craft paint

16 gage craft wire black

two wooden knobs approx 1″

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Started by spray painting the bowling ball black. Not as easy as you might think. First it rolled in the newspaper wet, and stuck to the paper. Had to scrub it off, and repaint. Do a couple of light coats, and you wont have to sand down the runs of paint I did. (ugh!)

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I ran electrical tape down the center of the ball to section it in half. Since I planned to use the finger holes for his antenna, it was easy to place the tape between the holes and around the ball. Then I taped around the bottom about 1/4 of the way up to mark the area for his shell (wings). I also taped 1/4 of the way around the “face” area to stay black. Then I painted the red “wings” with a brush. I used the roll of electrical tape to draw circles on either side, and the inside of the roll to mark the smaller dots. (Genius right?) It did take a couple of coats of red to cover the black, then couple coats of black for the dots, but since it’s going to be in the weather and under the sprinklers, the thicker the paint the better.

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I placed the eyeballs slightly touching each other using the electrical tape to draw the circles and a silver sharpie (tough to see lines on black background) and did several coats of white letting it dry between each one. I used a penny to outline the pupils. Intentionally off set them so he looked kinda cartoonish. (Yep, that’s my style, funky). I found holding it in my lap worked best, between the weight and the fact you’re attempting to work on a round surface, it was a little harder to paint than I expected.

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Next I made his antenna out of the black wire. I just unrolled the package and cut it in half. I wrapped it around whatever was handy, in this case a hi liter. The size fit into the finger holes and I wanted a “springy” looking antenna. I painted the knobs (balls) black and inserted the wire into the holes on the bottom of them. then put them into the finger holes of the ball.

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I did spray them with clear gloss sealer to help them last longer. Don’t know if this really works, but seemed like a good idea.

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Viola!! Ready for his new home!!

I have gotten 3 more ‘old balls, so I’m going to do a bumble bee, pink and purple bugs next. Stay tuned for more photos when they’re done drying!! And as always…

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Enjoy,

Debbie

Teeny Tiny Baked Pies

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If only baking pies were this easy, my hubby would be a happy camper for sure. I spent the afternoon making these for the infamous fairy garden I haven’t completed yet. Saw some inspiration on Pinterest, and decided she should have a picnic in her future forest home. You know me well enough by now, I can never make just one, that would be a sin.

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Items needed:

polymer clay, I used tan, medium brown, cherry red, blueberry, lemon yellow, and white

bottle caps

fondant roller and a sharp knife

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So I started with the crust, just like the edible kind, knead the clay until its soft, and roll with the fondant roller to 1/8″ thick. Using the bottle caps to cut, press into the clay and turn them over.

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I pushed the clay up the sides and into the bottom. Then pinched off tiny amounts of red clay and rolled into tiny balls (for the cherries and blue for the blueberries) and filled each “pie” to a heaping amount.

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They almost look real, right? Next, the top crust. You can roll out traditional lattice, or use a small cutout. One of the ‘pies” I rolled the edges of the crust and applied to the edge.

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Pop them in the oven according to package directions. (265 degrees for 30 mins) They don’t smell as good as real pies, but they look good!!  I also did a couple of Lemon Meringue pies, Just use a darker color for the crust, fill the middle with yellow, and top with white “meringue”. I cut a slice out so you could see the middle of these ones.

Enjoy!

Debbie

The “Rock” Bird Retreat

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So I saw these darling little rustic birdhouses on Pinterest, and thought to myself: Self, you can do that. So I did, several of them, and more to come. I do have a handy hubby, and he could totally “rock out” some custom birdhouses for me to jazz up, but I opted for getting them done this year.

IMG_0723So I went to my “not so local” craft store and loaded up a cart of inspiration, and here they are.

Supplies needed for the “Rockhouse”

Unfinished birdhouses (I opted for the plain ones, more space to apply decorative items)

Small polished river stones (you can purchase a mesh bag, or collect your own)

Mastic (pre-made tile glue from the home improvement store)

Copper paint

small paintbrush

plastic knife and fork (for applying the mastic)

Clear Gloss Sealer

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That’s all for this basic one, but the possibilities are unlimited. I also purchased tiny seashells, seashell chips, sand and granite landscape rocks. You can also use “found” items like pennies, wine corks, pinecone pieces, moss, twigs, bottle caps, (I was even thinking of coffee beans for my favorite Barista). but for now lets keep it simple.

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These little pre made houses are so cute, you could just paint and be done but where’s the fun in that? I started by painting the roof metallic copper. I just used my craft paint stash. These are purely decorate at this point so you might want to keep them out of the weather if possible. On this one, I opted to paint the perch too. *tip: I should have painted the bottom ledge before I applied the rocks.  Now on to the fun part.

The mastic is pre-made and super easy to work with. I used a plastic knife to spread out 1/2″ layer to the side of the house. I took the fork and made “trowel” lines through the mastic. I figured since this stuff is water-resistant, its made for floor tile, it should hold these tiny rocks and hold up to some garden water. Working around each side, I applied the tiny stones in a random pattern until all of the surface was covered. I did pick out some longish ones to place around the birdie hole, in a starburst shape, and tried to keep too many matching ones touching (Yes, OCD again) but you gotta go with the flow! I’m a sucker for a gloss finish, so I decided to spray the entire thing with clear gloss sealer, plus I intend to put these in the  flower planter hubby hasn’t built yet.

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Just like potato chips, you can’t have just one….

left to right: the Rock, Beach Bungalow, Mossy Oak, the Mint, Chateau Chablis, the White House and City Lights.

Now accepting applications for new tenants they’re ready to go!

 

Enjoy!

Debbie