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

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

 

 

Faux Milkglass Trays

So we all know how cheap I am. Why buy it, when you can craft it right?

That is why you’re looking at this post in the first place, we’re alike.

This is the initial mock-up for the dessert table.

Chalkboard, vintage black, white and silver. It will be redone about a hundred times, and until I place the last cake pop, is subject to change.

IMG_2070 The wedding colors will be accents (Sea glass blue and blush) flowers in delicate pastel, pretty beachy shades.

Cupcakes, cake pops, and baked goodies will be the final touch!

So lets focus on the base of this arrangement.

To make the faux milk glass serving platters:

Supplies needed:

Assorted plates, platters, candlesticks, dessert bowls, vases and glasses.

White gloss spray paint

Waterproof, outdoor glue

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After a hasty trip to the dollar store, I purchased several platters, candle sticks, dessert bowls and glasses.

Spent about $20. but should come out with 10 serving pieces, and three vases for fresh flowers.

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First step is to wash and remove all stickers, oily film and prep your glass items.

I use the Goo-gone to remove stickers and ink, then rubbing alcohol to remove the goo gone. (Its oily and the glue won’t stick well).

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Attach the candle sticks to the candle plates, the dessert bowls to the oval platters…you get the idea, using the glue.

Center them so they will balance when turned over. Allow to dry overnight, since you’re going to paint it, it could dissolve the glue if it’s not set well.

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Be sure to cover your work area well, and spray away!!! I did two coats on most, some needed touch-up after I turned them over.

Allow to completely dry or you will risk fingerprints in the paint. (No, I didn’t learn that the hard way)

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These were my favorite, candlesticks and a candle base. The glass was heavy and they turned out nice.

I’ll be putting cake pops, cupcakes, and assorted baked goodies on all of them!

Rehearsal Dinner is my chance to impress my son’s future family, and introduce them to ours.

 I come from a long line of crafty ladies, who would rather spend $75.00 in supplies and make something with LOVE, than allow anyone else to cater or design for me.

Enjoy!

Debbie

Margarita Bar Towel

Ok, so I’m going to blame Frank for this. Was it his fault? No, I never said that, I just said I was going to blame him.

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So, you ask how was this his fault? I bought him a shirt for the rehearsal dinner. (In case you didn’t know, youngest son is getting hitched in June) and I asked him to try it on. Several times I asked him to try it on…. I got an XL because I loved the shirt, and they didn’t have a large. I’m pretty handy with the sewing machine, and I figured I could just take it in some. Problem was, he wouldn’t try it on while I was available to mark it. Long Story short, he tried it on alone, told me it was really big, and I took it upon myself to take it in, sans measurements. Needless to say I took it in too much! Ugh! A perfectly good, Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville Shirt, too small!!

After blaming him relentlessly, and a good nights sleep. INSPIRATION!! Bar towels for the Margarita bar at the rehearsal dinner. GENUIS….

Supplies needed:

One super cool Magaritaville Shirt (made too small) or any other print you’re fond of

Colored bar towels to match fabric (mine were 16″x19″)

Simplicity pattern #1483 (make sure you get these on sale)

Sewing machine and some time to kill

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So early this morning, scissors in hand, I chopped up what was left of the shirt, removed the super cool buttons (they say Margaritaville on them) and began redeeming my sewing confidence. I did use a pattern, Simplicity #1483, since I really didn’t want to screw this up. This pattern retails for $17.95, but if you watch for your local fabric/craft store sales, they will go on sale for 5/$5.00.

I picked this one up months ago during one of those sales, and finally used it on this project.

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I may have spent a little too much time attempting to get the coolest parts of the fabric strategically  placed. Could of probably gotten another set of tops, but I tend to fuss over details.

Worked out OK, I got five tops, and the package of bar towels came with five!

The tissue pattern made it easy to see placement over the prints.

You could totally do this without a pattern, in fact next time I will improvise the front flap into a curved or squared shape instead of the point.

Just make a newspaper square about 8 1/2″ X 4 1/2″ for the base, a 5″ wide middle piece, and 6 1/2 x 4″ flap.

The overall size approx 9″ x 9″.

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When cutting them out, I did utilize the sleeves (the already hemmed edge) for the bottoms of a couple of the towel tops.

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If you are using an obvious one way print, be sure to cut one side upside down. Because after you sew them together, the “flap” needs to be upside down so its right side up when finished.

Sew according to directions, right sides together. leaving the bottom open. Turn and press a hem along the bottom edge (some were already done) and stitch that down.

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The pattern calls for velcro on the flap to attach, but I opted for a button/buttonhole option. The buttons from the shirt were cool, and since my “Opal” does them automatically, why not?

Next step, I removed the hem from one of the short sides of the bar towel. (to reduce bulk) and gathered along that edge.

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Another of Opal’s super cool attachments, is this automatic ruffler. Made gathering the towels super easy and fast.

Next, I just put the gathered edge of the towel inside the top, the pattern calls for it to be sewn along the bottom edge, but my towels seemed long (I didn’t trim to 13″) so I put them all the way into the square portion. Pinned the corners and across the top, then topstitched across and down each side to secure the towel inside.

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Final step, I sewed the buttons on, going through the front and the towel, but not the back of the topper. (that made it pucker, and I didn’t like how that looked)

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There they are… Margaritaville Bar towels, ready for the Margarita Bar at the Rehearsal Dinner!

So when you screw up, pretend like you meant to, and look for inspiration to cover it up!

Enjoy,

Debbie

Easy Glitter Cupcake Ornament

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Ok, we’re good friends by now, and you know, I’m completely obsessed with Christmas and glitter.

So this post shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. I’ve seen some pretty cute cupcake style ornaments for the tree,

but let’s take it up a notch.

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Supplies needed:

70mm glitter non-breakable ornaments. I choose brown (chocolate cake), red (red velvet cake),

gold (yellow cake), and copper (spice cake)

vintage printed cupcake liners

plastic holly leaves with red berries

Snow Writer, dimensional glitter pen and spread (wasn’t sure which look I wanted)

Hot glue and glue gun

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Gather up your supplies, the “lobby” store already has them out, the others will be stocking them soon.

Start by hot gluing the ornament into the cupcake liner with the top up, or slightly tilted (your call).

I used two liners and put a drop of glue in the bottom one to make them thicker.

I let it stand a couple of minutes to cool off.

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Using the tip of the snow writer, frost your cupcake and let it “drip” down the sides. This stuff dries hard, but will run a little when you put it on.

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I wrapped the holly stem around the hanger top, and put a little “frosting” over the stem.

Set them aside for the “frosting to harden. (2-3 hours)

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Ta Da!! Yummy cupcakes that sparkle and shine!!

Perfect for that candy/sweets tree I’m planning. And I didn’t even have to turn on the oven!

Enjoy!

Debbie

Rock Candy Ornament

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So it’s September already, and I’ve decided that Christmas in July didn’t happen, and August was a blur….. time to start making holiday stuff and I’m already behind! i was thinking this year Id make a candy/cookie/sweets themed tree this year. Seems I have to start somewhere, so the idea is usually first, and the how-to later.

Lets get started with a super easy one.

Supplies needed:

wooden beads

12″ dowels

16 gauge wire

mixed plastic faceted beads

hot glue/glue gun

white/wood glue

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I started by separating the beads by color. One of those zen OCD tasks that completely relaxes me, until the dogs bump my table and I find myself crawling around on the carpet picking them all up.

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Cut the 12″ dowels in half and glue a wooden bead with  the wood glue on the bottom of each.

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Next cut a 3″ piece of wire and twist a small eye on the end, then I wrapped the wire around the top of the dowel to make a hanging loop.

Tip: You could also use ribbon or colored wire but I prefer mine to disappear in the tree.

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Using the hot glue gun, begin adding the beads about half-way up the stick and cover completely over the wire and the top of the dowel. Be careful when using the hot glue, you can get burnt in a second. Make sure to slide them around randomly so they’re not straight rows. I stacked extra beads toward the top to give it more of a taper look like the candy has.

Tip: after you have made several of these, use your blow dryer to vaporize the “spider” strings the glue gun leaves behind.

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So the first bag of beads yielded 7 finished ornaments, looks like its back to the store for more beads. I have to laugh, hubby thought they were real!

So enjoy your day crafting!

Debbie

Trailer Trash Bucket

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So I happened upon this funny idea for a trash bucket for my R.V. and couldn’t resist making it.

We always seem to have a collection of empty buckets with us,

for trash, recycling and pinecones…. so why not decorate them? Right?

Supplies Needed:

Bucket from the bakery at the store (Free)

sketch paper

permanent markers

stickers, letters, outdoor paint

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It started with a blank canvas.

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Sketched a few ideas. Some made it, some not…. figured out simpler lines were easier on a round surface.

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Used a little goo gone to remove the bakery sticker. Washed the bucket inside and out.

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I outlined the trailer with a marker, and if you put the original inside the bucket,

and hold it up to the light, you can trace it onto the front of the bucket with the marker.

I figured out that an ink pen just wouldn’t write on this surface.

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Kinda like a coloring book page, put the bold lines down first, then add the details later.

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I did cheat a little bit, used scrapbook letters for the “Trailer Trash” and some tiny pinecone stickers too.

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Traced a cutout of a moose kissing a moose….think I’ll add a heart between their noses.

You can decorate in any style that suits your decor. The next one will have some bears on it.

As Always, Enjoy!!

Debbie