Sunday, July 27, 2014

Jamberry Nails

A few weeks ago one of my friends on White Walls asked me if I would try Jamberry Nails to see how I liked them. I had already had a sample sheet sent to me during a Jamberry party a friend hosted online, but of course, my three-year-old ran off with it and it disappeared forever.

I had recently had shellac put on and just like acrylic nails, they would grind my already thin brittle nails down. I don't mind acrylic nails, but the upkeep is pricy, and after about three fills they always recommended that I get a new set put on, which was even more expensive! Shellac isn't the worst thing in the world, but it's not very cheap either and finding the time to make it to the nail salon… Well, it just doesn't happen very often.

When I was asked to do a free trial I eagerly accepted. The sheet came in the mail quickly and that night I tried one! All I needed was some scissors and a blow dryer and I was ready to go. I matched the wrap to one of my nails, cut it, heated it with my blow dryer and pressed it on. Seriously so easy. I painted the rest of my nails and waited for these things to fall off.  The wraps were thin, and the application seemed too easy. I'll be honest and say that I didn't have much confidence in Jamberry. When I get acrylic they fall off and don't even get me started on a manicure. It doesn't matter what nail polish I use, you can bet your bottom dollar that it will be chipped the very next day. I don't know if it's because I do a lot of painting, gardening and outside work but I may as well just burn our hard earned money. I imagined Jamberry nails would be off within a few days.

But I was wrong.

I did my typical DIYing. I rummaged through bins of antiques and junk at junk shops. I did dishes, gardened, played with my son, cooked, cleaned and guess what? The Jamberry Nails looked like I had just put them on! The nail polish had cracked, and chipped, but my nail wrap was absolutely perfect. I was shocked! For two weeks I kept this one wrap on and it didn't so much as peel up on the side. You can imagine my surprise after years of chipped nails. I'm a changed woman, and will be a Jamberry customer from here on out. My favorite part is that I can get a professional-look for a fraction of the cost without damaging my nails in a matter of minutes. No chipping, no smearing or ruined manicures, and no waiting for paint to dry. Oh! And no stinky nail polish smell. I may never paint my nails again--- I haven't decided.

If you haven't tried them yet you really ought to! It's worth a try for sure.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Faux Apothecary Cabinet

I'm seriously so excited about how this turned out…

I have been wanting an apothecary cabinet, but thrift and antique as I might, I have yet to come across one. I'm totally obsessed with the look, and started to wonder if I could make one.

Sure I could!

Chance is super handy, but drawers are something that we've never made & I'm not sure if I'm ready to help tackle them--- especially the amount we'd need to make a no-kidding apothecary cabinet. So faux it was! The idea for a faux cabinet from an Ana White post on her Apothecary Console design (Click *here* if you want to see it!) It's two separate doors made to look like 8 drawers. Pottery Barn has the same design! Truly genius and completely manageable. I had an old dresser that we've been using as a TV console and it desperately needed a makeover. I went to Lowes and searched everywhere for a very thin, 8" board to cut into even (or nearly even,) squares. All that I ended up finding were 6" boards, or 8" boards that were too thick for the project. As I was about to leave and head to the specialty lumber store an employee stopped by to ask if I needed help. I explained what it was that I was hoping to make and he had the brilliant idea to cut a sheet of thin wood into the pieces I needed… An idea that I like to believe I would have had on my own had I had enough coffee in my system…Ahem… Anyway… A sheet of wood it was, and the gentleman was willing to cut it for me (and Chance rejoices.)

Sorry for the sad, blurry pictures :(

The guy so kindly cut the board into three long strips, cut those strips in half, then cut those strips into thirds. I ended up with 18 squares.

I bought 18 knobs, and headed to the craft store. 

In my mind the cabinet was going to be white. But while I looked for dark wax at the store, I ran across this great blue paint that I wanted to give a shot. 

I tried to use spray adhesive to get the squares in place, but in the end a brad nailer is what I ended up using. I'm sure that a better glue would work for this project.

This was the first time I had ever decided to use dark wax and I was a nervous wreck. It turns out there's really nothing to be afraid of, but I am glad that the stuff was more forgiving than I thought it would be. I used clear wax first, then spread in a dark wax around the corners and sides of the little squares to add depth. I had tried my hand at the crackle top coat, but even with the help of a blow dryer it was still hit or miss. I managed to get a few crackles and I love how they look with the dark wax on top! 

Measure to the middle of the square and drill pilot holes for the knobs. Here's where things got a little tricky for me. I'm sure you could find screws that were long enough, but the screws that came with the knobs wouldn't reach the knobs on the outside. They were a hair too short. Afraid I was going to have to go back to the store, I decided to take a large drill bit and drill to where the front of the old drawer sits. Then, I took a drill bit the size of the screw and drilled the rest of the way. The knobs sit below the surface, but you can't tell! 

As nervous as I was about the dark wax, I'm really pleased with how my 'cabinet' turned out :)


Taking Back Our Family Room, Part 1

Before we moved into the new house I had already made up my mind that our sun room was going to be the family room. The big couch was going to be in there, along with our son's toys, the TV and it would also be where the dogs would spend most of their time. The big front area was going to be a sitting room, and the fireplace 'room' was going to be a more formal living room. We have since changed our minds and have rearranged where the big TV will stay, but the sun room is still a place where Mac can go and pull out all of his toys.

With four dogs I'm sure you can imagine the dog food that we go through (more on that later.) We have three chihuahuas and a hound right now and only two of the chihuahuas are actually ours. I was finding myself walking over dog toys, constantly refilling dog bowls, and tripping over kennels regularly. I felt like what was supposed to be a relaxing place for the family felt more like an SPCA. I wanted to figure out a way to incorporate the necessities of having these dogs into my decor, but it was just a matter of figuring out a way to do that.

Rewind with me for a minute…

A few years ago I found this little side table at a garage sale for next to nothing. It was too cheap to pass up and I was dying to try my hand at repainting furniture. This was just before I discovered Pinterest (Thank you Jesus!) and just after we moved from Japan. 

It had been painted black, and with a little bit of sanding and some paint I turned it into this…

Womp womp wooooomp…

The latex paint was constantly peeling up and I was less than enthused about the outcome, but it was my first time painting furniture, I liked it better than before and it would be a great cabinet to keep Mac's toys stored in.

It sat in our family room for two moves.

After this last move I decided that I needed it to be more functional for the dogs and I got the idea to make it a dog house. Rather than have kennels everywhere, the little dogs could cozy up in here together. Even with two small kennels, the little dogs liked to be in one so I knew they'd be happy with this arrangement. I knocked out both of those lumpy panels on the front of the door, repainted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in 'Pure White,' and a great happy yellow on the inside. I used left-over wire mesh from our chicken coop to cover the holes, and attached a hook-and-eye lock to the side to keep the door closed. 

It's much easier on the eyes and much more functional for the family and I have no idea why I didn't do this sooner. It took me about an hour from start to finish and the longest part was letting the paint dry and cutting the wire mesh. 

Until next time