Polka-Dot Initial Mugs

DIY, Entertaining, Holiday, Paint, Pinterest, Silhouette
IMG_3758

Apply the sticker to a basic white mug

The crafting bug bit Fanny and she presented me with a Pinterest project she wanted to create. Fanny decided we were going to make polka-dot initial mugs for each of her employees. I am always game to try a new Pinterest project.

 

IMG_3764

Use oil based paint pens to decorate the mugs

Materials:

  • Ceramic Mug (Fanny purchased these white mugs at Dollar Tree)
  • Sharpie oil-based paint pens
  • Initial stickers (I used my Silhouette to cut the necessary initials on Oracal 631 removable vinyl. If using regular stickers, Michaels suggests first placing the stickers on a piece of fabric to make them removable from the mug.)

 

IMG_3760

Decorating the first mug

Time to Decorate:

  1. Place initial sticker on mug
  2. Press the pen on the mug to create dots. The tighter the placement of dots, the more the letter will be defined
  3. Use additional colors to add more dots
  4. Allow the paint to dry for about a minute before removing the sticker
  5. Bake the mugs to make the paint dishwasher safe. General consensus on Al Gore’s Internet is to place the mugs in the oven, warm it to 350, bake for 35 minutes once the oven is heated, then let cool in the oven. Note: The paint color will slightly lighten after baking.
  6. Enjoy!

 

IMG_3761

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes

The little kids had a blast decorating the extra mugs. It is beautiful to see 1st graders exercise their creative spirit. When will they be old enough to learn how to use the sander?

 

 

IMG_3762

A one-of-a-kind Rose creation

Thanksgiving Table Setting

Entertaining

Assorted colors of Longaberger dishes waiting for napkins

Reality hit me this past weekend that I am hosting Thanksgiving dinner in two weeks. Most people would be worrying about what to serve on the menu, but that part is a breeze for me. Thanksgiving dinner always consists of turkey, homemade egg noodles, the best green bean casserolepumpkin pie squares, mashed potatoes, and a dressing recipe that is yet to be determined (the green beans and pumpkin pie square recipes are from my Grandma- I highly recommend them).  Equally important as the food is the table setting. 

Double wedding ring quilted table runner

This summer, my mother-in-law quilted a neutral-colored double wedding ring table runner with matching placements. The neutral color is a perfect compliment to my bold Longaberger dishes. The runner has been the centerpiece of the dining room table all fall, so it only seems appropriate to keep it on the table for Thanksgiving (especially since my mother-in-law will be visiting).  I’m making progress.

Acorns from Hot Skwash by Daria

Table runners are a lovely addition to a table, but that single item alone does not dress a table. While in Sedona over the weekend, I saw acorns from Hot Skywash by Daria. The “silk-velvet acorns topped with real acorn caps” are the cutest little things. The matching pumpkins were like nothing I had ever seen before. I blame my sister for her “oohhhing” and “aahhhing” because I felt compelled to purchase 5 little acorns to adorn a little dish on my dining room table. If only I could have justified a pumpkin purchase. 

The table setting will be charming and the meal will be fantastic. I should probably go purchase that turkey. 

1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Shipping Crate Turned Bar

Entertaining, Reclaimed, Woodworking

Written by Mr. R&R

Shipping crate in its original weathered condition

Shipping crate in its original weathered condition

A family friend, Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, works in ag construction and recently contacted me about an old weathered shipping crate from Italy that we might use in a project.  I was intrigued, and inquired about the dimensions of the crate. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo “thought” it was 6’ X 3’ X 2’, which I thought would work for end tables or some coffee tables.  The shipping crate was delivered to our house and I was a little surprised; the crate was 7.5’ long by 42” tall by 42” deep.  My mind quickly changed courses and this shipping crate was destined to be the long sought-after bar to put in the basement behind the couch, pending some minor modifications.

Poly, poly, and more poly on the lid

Poly, poly, and more poly on the lid

I immediately started cleaning the shipping crate using a steel wire brush on the crate lid, just to remove some of the dirt that had adhered to the cover. Then I took the top of the crate and began applying polyurethane, 2 coats to both the top and the bottom of the cover.  Next, I sanded the cover with 220 grit sandpaper sponges in order to smooth out what would be the top of the new bar.  Throughout the week, I applied another 5-6 coats of polyurethane to make a smooth, rustic looking bar top.

Re-assembly of the cut-down crate

Re-assembly of the cut-down crate

I asked a good friend, Dr. Z, to come over the next Saturday, as we had less than 1 week to complete the bar before the opening night of college football, and the party we were set to host.  The “Evil Blackhawk Fan” neighbor was then generous enough to bring over his power washer to clean out the inside of the crate to remove quite a bit of dirt and grease from various chicken equipment parts (original contents of the crates).  That was apparently the easy part since the break down and re-assembly of the crate took several different tries.  We chopped down the base of the shipping crate by removing 4 board widths from the length of the crate, and 2 board widths from the depth of the crate.  Putting the crate back together proved a little challenging since we wanted to keep the corners flush and maintain the rustic integrity of the crate intact.  After 3-4 tries, we got it all put back together and the bar top put on the crate base.

The bar is finished and ready for football season!

The bar is finished and ready for football season!

Three door hinges mounted on the back of the new bar allow for the bar top to open, revealing the large crate storage. Once I finally settle on what to put inside the base of the bar (I’m leaning towards a nice shelf), the new basement bar will be totally complete.  Until then, the bar is still perfect as is for watching college football with friends.

-Mr. R&R (I can write too)

Custom Serving Trays

Entertaining, Paint, Quotes, Reclaimed, Silhouette

It should come as no surprise that I would make serving trays since I love entertaining. I can’t wait to welcome an overnight guest with a tray of flowers and freshly baked cookies at the end of their bed. My brain was flooded with ideas and I couldn’t stop at one; I made three serving trays and I can’t decide which is my favorite.

A blank "canvas"

A blank “canvas”

The base of the serving trays were cabinet doors from Habitat Restore. The oak cabinet door was a manufacturer sample and beautiful in every way. The other two maple (or maybe pine, what do I know?) doors each had a round inset to open the door so I simply made that side the underside.

Serving tray creation steps

Serving tray creation steps

Heart serving tray

Heart serving tray

The oak door was beautiful and I couldn’t bring myself to paint it. I decided to use the clean lines and inspiration to create a simple design. I used my Silhouette to cut a heart shaped stencil. I painted the heart terra cotta and realized it blended with the oak and looked boring. With the heart stencil still in place, I applied black acrylic paint and gently wiped away the black paint with a paper towel. The finished look was distressed and perfect.

"Its kind of fun to the do the impossible"- Walt Disney

“Its kind of fun to the do the impossible”- Walt Disney

The remaining two maple/pine doors were painted with an acrylic base coat (blue and taupe). I applied two very different quotes using vinyl to the dry acrylic paint. I painted over the blue door with terra cotta wall paint and marsala wall paint over the taupe. After the top coat of paint was dry, I removed the vinyl quotes to reveal the base color below.

All 3 new serving trays

All 3 new serving trays

Mr. R&R helped me by installing handles (another Habitat Restore find) on all three trays. I admit that I’m jealous that he was able to complete that in the time that it would have taken me to locate the correct size drill bit. He even attached the little rubber feet. He’s a keeper.

Maybe someone will use a tray to bring me breakfast in bed. Hint, hint.

Football Party Trivets

Entertaining, Reclaimed, Silhouette, Spray Paint

College football begins September 3rd. Are you ready? I was raised in Husker Nation, but truth be told, I don’t really watch football. Hosting football parties is much more important to me than watching the game (I hoped I don’t get kicked out of Nebraska for saying that.) Mr. R&R watches football and I gladly take on the challenge of hosting the best parties.

Base color applied with football sticker

Base color applied with football sticker

Part of being the “hostess with the mostest” involves proper serving ware. I asked this year’s guests to bring a side dish to share to the College Football Opener party. In anticipation of warm dips and freshly baked goodies, I needed more trivets. And of course, the trivets needed to match the football theme.

Rubber feet to hold the trivet in place (applied AFTER baking)

Rubber feet to hold the trivet in place (applied AFTER baking)

The trivets started as old cabinet doors from Habitat Restore. I painted each door with a base color that would be the color of the football design (pick your favorite school color.)  Then I applied a vinyl stencil to the dry paint color. I completely covered each door with black paint. After the paint was dry, I was able to remove the football vinyl sticker and the Husker and Hawkeye colored trivets came to life.

Trivets ready for hot dishes

Trivets ready for hot dishes

I researched how to protect painted products from hot dishes and came across engine enamel. Apply a few coats of Rust-Oleum Engine Enamel, in clear, to the trivet and then bake at 200 degrees for an hour to seal the finish. The trivet is now ready to party.

Go Big Red!  For Mr. R&R’s benefit “Go Gophers!”.

Mid-Century Modern Style

Entertaining, Facelift, vintage

I thoroughly enjoy visiting Goodwill to look for furniture to refinish. I love the adventure and the thrill of imagining what each piece could be. On a recent weekend, a co-worker texted asking if I would be interested in two old chairs, because if not, they were headed to Goodwill. Score one for me. I got a new project and I didn’t even have to drive to Goodwill.

Before and Aft

Before and After


Original finish work

Original finish work

The chairs are made by the Scandinavia Woodworks Co. in Singapore. Online research indicates that the chairs are teak and it is common that Danish furniture was made in Singapore. The teak was slightly scratched, but painting the wood was out of the question (I’m still in shock with myself on that decision). The upholstery reminded me of a high school guidance counselor’s office and I had no hard feelings about covering it. I found a duck fabric with a design that I can only describe as minimalistic IKEA. I felt it was important that the fabric complement the mid-century design of the chair; a modern day polka dot or chevron would be out of place on these chairs.

Trim accent to cover the new seam

Trim accent to cover the new seam

The original upholstery was stapled tightly in place and was not coming off the seat and back panels. I forged ahead and stapled the new fabric over the existing upholstery. Stapling the seats was easy, but the back panel almost stole all my patience. The back panel is curved and each side had wooden dowels and a screw hole. I very carefully tucked, trimmed, and stapled the sides. Before reattaching the seat and backs to the chair frame, I gently rubbed stain on the frame to cover up the scratches.

60's Lane accent table

60’s Lane accent table

Mid-project, I visited the Omaha Mega Market (an indoor flea market) on a whim. I ran across an end table with legs that perfectly complemented the style of the chair. Again, I had no intention of painting the table, but I had to have it.  More online research revealed that the end table was built in the 60’s by Lane.

You may be wondering how this post has anything to do with rustic and refined décor. Here’s my approach to rustic and refined–combining unique old and new pieces that have character. Would most people create a mid-century modern seating area in a room with barn doors? No, but I’m not most people.

Multiple seating area options

Multiple seating area options

Black Walnut Shotski

Black Walnut, Entertaining

You may be asking “what is a shotski?” I know I did when Mr. R&R first presented me with the idea of making a shotski. The true origin of the shotski is widely debated on Al Gore’s internet, but the item is as simple as the name suggests: a ski with shot glasses mounted atop. I have old wooden skis that I use as front porch decorations in the winter, (of course I do) but Mr. R&R had no intention of using my skis. He wanted to make shotskis using long narrow pieces of black walnut.

Shotski in the making

Shotski in the making

Mr. R&R did not hesitate in selecting the shotski boards. He wanted narrow boards with live edges all around. The boards that I originally said looked like bacon due to color and curves ended up being the perfect shotskis.

The black walnut went through the planer to create a smooth level surface on both sides. It was at this point that Mr. R&R fully realized that wood that has been sitting in a barn for 25 years will still have tiny dirt particles that need to be scrubbed off with a wire brush to prevent ruining the wood and the planer blade. The wood was then sanded for a silky smooth finish. Mr R&R claims that sanding is his least favorite part of woodworking, but the results are worth it. The grain comes to life.

Shotski ready to party

Shotski ready to party

The next step was to create a notch to fit the shot glasses. A hole saw drill bit was used to create 4 notches, 20 inches apart (18-20” spacing is the norm to allow shoulder room for the drinkers). The holes do not go all the way through the board, but just enough to create a lip to hold a glass. Both of these black walnut shotskis were designed to the specifications of the new owner; one requested that the glasses be glued into the notches and the other wanted Velcro. No matter your cleaning preference for the shotskis, chances are high that liquid will touch the shotski. To prevent damage, Mr. R&R added multiple layers of poly to the black walnut before adhering the glasses.

Shotski close-up

Shotski close-up

I am biased and think that the black walnut shotski is the most beautiful shotski I have even seen. It’s fun to use too!

Arcades, darts, and drinks

Entertaining, Facelift
Grown Up Fun!

Grown Up Fun!

Adult men are like little boys; when an arcade machine or video games are present, nothing else matters. I underestimated this theory when gifting Mr. R&R with his very own arcade machine last Christmas (no quarters required!). Months later, he still refers to it as the “best gift ever.”

Oil Can Drink Stand

Oil Can Drink Stand

After many nights of drinking and playing old school video and arcade games, it was quite obvious that a table was needed to hold drinks. I had been struggling with a purpose for a green oil can stand when I suddenly realized it was the perfect height for a drink stand (it holds drinking game paraphernalia too). I took a wire brush to scrub off the rust and sprayed it with a clear coat of Rust-Oleum for further protection (I suffered a great internal debate whether to paint or not to paint the oil can stand). Mr. R&R cut and assembled barnwood to create a tabletop. A little bit of poly later, the rustic wood top was attached to the rusty stand.

After, on top

After, on top and Before, below

The arcade machine required bar stools for long nights of intense NBA Jam battles. Our current bar stools are, of course, in use so I purchased a set at Goodwill. Goodwill barstools for in the basement, no matter how ugly, are a much more economical choice than buying brand new, in my opinion. The stools I purchased where not ugly, but I still sanded them down and applied a darker stain. In hindsight, I wish I had stained them even darker. Either way, the price was right.

Dartboard with barn wood backing

Dartboard with barn wood backing

The finishing piece for the “gaming corner of fun” was the dartboard. Mr. R&R acquired a dartboard years ago and I have never seen it hung. He once again visited his pile of barnwood to cut and assemble a square backing for the dartboard. He even added barnwood trim along the cut edges. The girls haven’t tested out the dartboard yet, mainly because I fear the backing needs to be twice the size for them to miss the drywall. I should probably stock up on spackle now.

If you intrigued by this part of our basement, wait until you see the cigar room.

Polly Wants a TV Stand

DIY, Entertaining, Facelift

 

Dresser Before and Beautiful Distressed TV Stand After

While celebrating Cinco de Mayo with enchiladas at the home of Polly Lolly, she confessed that she desperately wanted a restored piece of furniture as a TV stand. Three days later, Mr. R&R texted me a dresser that he found at a garage sale.  It was big (71”) and perfect for Polly Lolly! I immediately went to work transforming this veneer hunk into a beauty.

The rough looking starting point.

The rough looking starting point.

I must state for the record that I am not a fan of veneer. In my opinion, the rehab treatment process is tedious.  I began the project by sanding with a 220 grit and applying primer. Next day, 220 sanding and primer again. I chose not to sand again after my second coat of primer because of the type of paint I was using to finish the dresser. Instead of the typical ole wall paint, I selected Sherwin Williams ProClassic  because it has a durable enamel finish (it is designed for doors and trim). Two coats of paint and two days later, I was done painting. 

Sanded, primed, sanded, and primed

Sanded, primed, sanded, and primed


Two coats of white paint

Two coats of white paint

Polly Lolly requested a “distressed” piece of furniture. A quick search on Pinterest will reveal multiple options for distressing furniture. My “client” selected simple sanding along the edges (the easiest of all distressing). To distress the edges, I put the drawers back in the dresser and used a rougher 120 grit. This step is freeing and also stressful because it is not uniform. Go with your gut and have fun destroying the paint you just applied. For further contrast and visual interest, I dipped a Q-tip in stain and applied to some of the exposed wood. Again, it was not a uniform application and I had to stand back many times to look at  it. 

Done and distressed!

Done and distressed!


New knobs and handles.

New knobs and handles.

I replaced the handles and did not reinstall the center cabinet door. How could I? There was already a shelf inside that is perfect for a cable box or DVD player. The drawers are ideal for movie storage and photo albums.

I am proud to have helped the dresser transform from ugly duckling to a swan. I hope Polly Lolly and her family enjoy it for years to come. 

The finished project in place!

The finished project in place!

Love It, Hate It, Gotta Have It!

DIY, Entertaining

Mr. and Mrs. Rae and Rose came into our lives about a year ago and to say it has been a crazy ride is an understatement. They have inspired me, and Mr. Keto, to expand our horizons in food (Wild Game Feed!) and creativity. Rae and Rose have given us tons of ideas, but now they have requested that we share one of our own, kind of. Pinterest and I have a love/hate relationship. I love all the cool projects but I have found, like most people that I have spent more time dreaming of being creative while “pinning,” rather than actually doing those projects. Mr. Keto and I consider ourselves crafty people, but we also have a knack for not following directions and/or wanting to figure it out ourselves, this creates funny stories of “almost got it”, and more importantly, breathtaking items that we can display all over the home.

So pretty but they get so dirty and cannot be fully appreciated.

One Pin that caught my eye was to fashion bird baths out of thrift shop finds, but I felt that I could do more. I had a lightbulb moment to mold thrift shop finds into display pieces for our culinary Pinterest attempts. We acquired plates, bowls, and glasses made of China, ceramic, and glass from area thrift stores to create unique tiered entertaining pieces to showcase anything from cookies to shrimp cocktail. We were thrilled about this great idea – but we had no clue what we were doing! The first attempt at creating our masterpiece looked fantastic, but didn’t hold up- wrong glue! (A tiered stand only works if the tiers stay together).The second shot was a winner (we skipped the cheap stuff and used Loctite Dishwasher Safe Glass Glue).

Looks great with shrimp cocktail!

Looks great with shrimp cocktail!

To get the look we took a plate and placed glue around the bottom of goblets or mugs and positioned them in the middle of each plate. Next we put glue around the rim of the goblet or mug and positioned a smaller plate on top and then repeated the process for the three tiered piece. We also did the same thing with another set but positioned a bowl on top for dips. Then we waited. 24 excruciating hours. We wanted to be sure that we didn’t have another “oops”!

Masterpieces!!

Masterpieces!!

The final look is amazing! We love that we can use these pieces as not only a great display for food but also as a conversation starter at our next social affair!

So, thank you Pinterest, until next time.

–          Mrs. Keto (and Mr. too)