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Monday, January 12, 2015

Create Something at Upstairs Circus

When visiting my family in Denver, CO over the Holidays, I had the opportunity to FINALLY try Upstairs Circus. I had been dying to try the craft/beer/social gathering space.  Basically, you go online and see the assortment of projects that are available to do. You'll get your friends on board and register and appointment to secure your spot. Once you arrive, you'll finalize which project you want to create. Then you'll be given all of the materials and instructions to create something fabulous. I went with four fabulous women and we all created different things. Plus, the absolute best part is that they are also a bar. Their cocktails are delicious and make you care less about messing up your project.

I decided to create a leather clutch because I have never worked with leather. I love how it came out even though I was intimidated with the number of instructions. It was a fun girls night out and I can't wait to go again when I'm in Denver, CO.

Check out www.upstairscircus.com for more information.

Plus, if you get done before you group like I did, they have a hunky selection of adult coloring books. I decided to color Jude Law and David Beckham. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

DIY Holiday Card Display



I'm always stumped about how to best display the beautiful holiday cards that I receive each year. I was inspired at my local hardware store to create a beautiful display with chicken wire. 

Items Needed:
1 roll chicken wire (many options to pick from)
2 long wood pieces (1/2 inch thick, any size desired)
2 short wood pieces (1/2 inch thick, any size desired)
4 corner brackets
Screw driver
Wire cutter
Staple gun 


 I used a 2 inch hex netting wire design. 
First, stain or paint your four wood pieces. 

I went with a Christmas festive green stain from IKEA. 

Next, align your wood pieces into a square/trangle and attach decorative brackets. You can put the brackets on the front or back. I selected to put them on the front to add character. You could also glue the pieces together. 

Next, attach your wire. I suggest to be very careful as you cut the pieces, the edges are very sharp. Two people makes the job easier. Start on one side and staple all edges, then cut the wire. 




Ta-Da! You are done!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Leaf Wreath

Inspired by:

Items Needed:
Leaves (can be real or fake)
1 Flexible hanger










Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paint Brushes 101

 Natural Hair Brushes
The natural hair in natural hair-brushes usually comes from Chinese (sometimes called Chinese brushes) hogs or from badgers. Natural hair paintbrushes work best with oil-based paints, although this means they need to be cleaned with paint thinner.


Synthetic Hair Brushes

Synthetic hair means the bristles are made from polyester or nylon. They’re much rougher than natural hair paint brushes.  These brushes are used with latex paints.

 

Natural fibers work best with oil-based paint, while synthetic bristles perform well with latex paint. 

Most paint is now latex; you asked for a gallon of paint they would automatically give you latex paint. Oil-based paint used to be the norm and higher quality but because of EPA standards and technology latex paint is better for the environment and higher quality.

Foam Brushes
Foam brushes are well suited to intricate work such as painting molding or window casings. I use foam brushes exclusively for oils and stains. These brushes are normally good only for one use, as they're hard to clean and easy to tear.

Rollers
Rollers are great for large surfaces, such as wall painting. However, they are also great for small areas like furniture because they don’t show brush strokes. They have a shorter lifespan versus brushes but the top layer dries quickly and makes it a better option.





Cleaning Brushes:
Cleaning your paint brushes immediately after use is the smart course of action.

For water based paint (latex), first, remove any excess paint that is still on the brush by wiping it on a old rag. Then, run cool or slightly warm water over the brush until the water dripping from the brush is clear. Gently press the brush bristles against the side of the sink or other hard surface to remove excess water. Allow the brush to dry.

For latex paint put some soap in a bucket of water and then clean the brush in that bucket. (Please avoid washing the paint down your sink if you have a septic system. The chemicals in the paint can really do some damage to your system and could get absorbed into groundwater, contaminating your well.)

If you have waited until the paint has dried fully before you clean your brushes, you will need to use a special solvent that was formulated to remove latex paint. A painter mentioned recently that he uses rubbing alcohol to clean up dried latex paint - this might be something you can try in a pinch.

Oil based paint simply will not wash out with water no matter how hard you try. It is basic science – oil and water don’t mix and the oil just repels the water. You will have to use a chemical based product, such as paint thinner, to clean your brushes. Make sure you wear protective gloves and have plenty of ventilation before you start as the fumes can be very toxic in a confined space.

You will need a metal container, such as an old coffee can, the paint thinner or other solvent and a rag. Put a few inches of paint thinner in the coffee can, dip the brush in and move it around a bit to make sure the thinner removes the paint. Make sure you get rid of any solvent on the brush before you pull it out of the container.