Stenciled Dyed Scarf

 

Sooo, whatcha doing on Tuesday? Say around 2pm EST? Do you wanna come over and play with some paint and stencils? I’d love to have you. As would Melanie from Royal Design Studio & Jesse from Scout & Nimble! Miriam from HomeTalk will be our host and we’ve got several fun stenciling projects to share with you! HomeTalk Stenciling Hangout

Plus, I’ll be giving you a sneak peek of the Très Frugal gift that will be revealed later this week. Come join us and ask questions as we give you some tips and ideas to stencil like royalty!!!

home-for-the-holidays-click-here

If you can’t show up, I’ll be crushed! No, it’s okay, because I’ll be sure to include the video of our Hangout with my stencil project tutorial. But, I do hope to see you there.

PHGFancySign

 

Video Tutorial: How to Paint a Giant Abstract Ocean Painting

As promised, I created a tutorial to show you how you too can paint a giant abstract ocean painting. The easiest way for me to show you how was to share the video of the process. If you are viewing this post in your email, you will need to click on the link to view the video.

Materials: Read more

 

How are y’all holding up in this holiday rush? The boys and I ventured to the mall to see Santa on Friday. The 2.5 hour wait quickly helped us decide to skip the big guy’s lap route and attempt a last minute letter to his greatness. The boys were a bit crestfallen, but I told them that they could see Santa from the fence and wave to him. As luck would have it, a family was just getting off his lap and he happened to look our way. I nudged the boys and told them, “Go ahead and wave.” They snapped out of their shock at seeing the Big Jolly Fella and gave a wave (which of course he returned.) CHECK!

Next order of business was to secure that gift for Handy Boy #2, who decided at the last minute he wanted a Build-a-Bear. As we entered the store and I shooed the kids to the back, I turned around and assessed the 15 person line being attended to by one (count that, ONE!) cashier. Nope…not gonna happen. I quickly got an answer from the employee, who was busy stuffing the innards into the dead lifeless animal skins to make them real for the little girl eagerly clutching the plastic heart for her animal. “Yes, you can buy an e-gift certificate online.” CHECK! We were out of there faster than my boys could say, “Look Mom! I want that…..”

We made it safely out of the parking lot without a scratch or fender bender (a Christmas miracle, I know!)

After we left the insanity of the mall a little something happened to us. I will share it with you tomorrow. Today, it’s all about the laughs. Enjoy this video I made for you! You do open one gift before Christmas morning right? Well, if not, it will be our little secret.

If you can’t see the video, you are probably reading this post in your email. You can view the video directly on YouTube.

Merry Christmas Eve!

The art and craft studio is nearly complete. One of the major successes in this room is the Flow Wall storage under the eaves of the sloped ceiling. I couldn’t be happier with the ease of installation and the storage possibilities.

If you remember my plans from September, I sent this sketch to Flow Wall and they shipped out the wall panels and components immediately. Then I had to deal with pneumonia, water leaks and my littlest guy came down with mono last month. But, once I cracked the first box, it only took me an afternoon to hang the flow wall panels; assemble all the cabinets; and mount them on the wall panels. Read more

I finally finished installing the Flow Wall in the arts & crafts studio. And I had some help from this little guy:

This is the Black & Decker GYRO, it’s a cordless screwdriver, but it has one amazing feature. It is smart enough to sense which direction you want  to turn and will begin to move in  that direction at the slightest tilt of your hand. (I wish I had a tool that could sense the direction my mind is going on this kitchen remodel, but that model might be more complicated than rocket science.) Read more

And now the moment y’all have been waiting for! The end of our journey and the culmination of all our efforts were revealed to Alexcia, Jaydon & Jurnei Moore on Sunday, August 5th 2012. Alexcia thought she was just getting the keys to her empty home. Little did she know, that GMC, OnStar, Habitat for Humanity and 6 bloggers had conspired to fill her home with furniture, beddings, and home decor.

(Alexcia thinking, “You did what to my house?”) Read more

How many of you are moms (raise your hands)? And how many of you moms out there have rambunctious kids home for the summer? So, y’all with your hands raised will likely recognize this:

That was my cute adorable bird salt shaker that was obviously the brunt of some serious fun my boys were having. Grrrrrr.

And so the time had come to get those boys outside. No matter that the temperature was 102F with a heat index warning. Enough is enough! There was the safety of small innocent birds to worry about.

I came up with a fun plan to let my boys make their own t-shirts with spray bottles filled with dye and some ScotchBlue painter’s tape. The results were beautiful and unique!

Read more

Phew, I just made it through the whirlwind two weeks of speaking engagements! First I gave three back-to-back talks at the Southern Ideal Home Show in Raleigh. Then a few days later I hopped a plane to Salt Lake City to give my presentation at SNAP. Remarkably I still have a voice. Read more

How to Use a Caulk Gun

You know the old saying, “No question is a dumb question.” Well, I have to say that about this tutorial, “No tutorial is a dumb tutorial.”

I realize that a caulk gun isn’t a big scary power tool, and yet I still think learning how to use a caulk gun is a very valuable skill for any handy person.

So, let’s get right down to some Caulk Talk.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

A caulk gun is a necessary tool for any homeowner. Sealing gaps in siding, replacing the seal around the tub and shower surround when the old caulk gets dry and brittle is a must. Caulking around the trim around windows and doors will improve your homes energy efficiency and get rid of unsightly gaps. You can also use it for spreading construction adhesive and any other substrate that is sold in tube form. A caulk gun saves your hands from cramping, especially if you have a lot of caulking to do.

A basic caulk gun costs about $10 – $20, but you could buy a power version which run up to $200! Sheesh!

Starting a tube of caulk:

Cut off the tip of your tube by inserting it into the hole at an angle.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Poke the stick attached to the gun into the tube to puncture the seal.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

 Loading a caulk gun:

Pull the hooked rod all the way back. Insert your tube base first. Then tilt the nozzle end into the top of the gun.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Rotate the hook so it is facing up and the teeth are facing down.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Pull the trigger and you’re good to go!

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Be prepared to pull the hook rod back when you finish or the caulk will continue to flow out of the nozzle.

How to Use a Caulk Gun

Watch these videos for more details on using a caulk gun (also called a caulking gun) and why it is important to fill any cracks or seams in your siding!

*Thanks to The Real Tim Jones for sharing the secret about how to cut and start your caulk tube! Tim is sooo right, I never knew about this until I saw his video!

And, if you want to find out how to keep your caulk from drying out in between uses, my friend Sandra at Sawdust and Paper Scraps has this tip.

Happy Caulking!

How to Use a Caulk Gun

The holidays are at full throttle speed and my boys couldn’t be more excited. Myself? I still haven’t decorated the house — in fact — truth be told I let Pretty Handsome Guy and the boys bring in the tree and decorate it. But, I did want to get into the holiday spirit so I poured a little eggnog into my coffee (Dee-lish-ious!!!) and sat down to make a humorous holiday shirt for my eager little ones.

If you’ve ever used silk screens before you know how wonderful they are for making duplicates. Team t-shirts, family reunion shirts, signs, banners, gift bags, pillows and linens are only a few things that you could silk screen. But, getting fine details and creating a screen that has text on it was usually reserved for the professionals who had the proper equipment. Well, those days are gone! Plaid has developed a DIY silk screen kit that allows you to create a screen using any black and white design printed on your home computer using regular printer paper. No transparencies and no need to reverse your image! Plus, for those of us eco-conscious crafters, the simply screen inks are acrylic and non-toxic! The  Simply Screen kit retails for $39.99 and you can purchase the refill screen pack for $19.99. The kit can be found at Hobby Lobby or online at shop.plaidonline.com.

Plaid was kind enough to send me a kit to try. And thankfully, several bloggers (especially Crafts by Amanda and Mrs.Greene), worked out the kinks and shared their knowledge. Gotta love that creative blogger network ;-).

This video will give you all the tips and tricks you need to know to get a perfect screen exposure when creating a Simply Screen silk screen:

If you have trouble viewing the video, here are the steps to create the screen:

1. Print out your black and white design on regular printer/copier paper. Touch up any white spots with a sharpie marker.
2. Remove one screen from the black plastic envelope. Cut the screen down to size (leave at least 2″ on all sides of the design.) Put the unused screen back into the black plastic bag.
3. Peel the backing off the screen.
4. Flip it over and lay the sticky side onto your image.
5. Use the squeegee to firmly press down on the screen and to affix it to the design.
6. Turn the image and screen over so the screen is on the bottom. Lay it onto the bottom of the Simply Screen box.
7. Lay a piece of plexiglass or glass on top of the screen and printout.
8. Close the lid, turn on the light, and set your timer for approximately 25 minutes.
9. Turn off the light, remove the screen and immerse it in tepid water for 30 seconds. Gently rub the design with a sponge.
10. Continue rubbing both sides of the design until there is no blue emulsion in the graphic areas. The graphic should be a clean see-through image.
11. Dry your screen and follow the directions below to make your screen prints.

 

Printing Using your Silk Screen:

Now that you have learned how to create the screen, printing with it couldn’t be easier! This is truly the fun part.

Start by taping your fabric to a piece of cardboard or foam board. If you are printing shirts, pillow cases, or anything that is double thickness, put the cardboard directly behind the layer you are printing on to protect from any ink bleeding through.

Position the screen where you would like the image to appear.

Tape the screen down with masking or painter’s tape.

Run a thick line of Simply Screen silk screen ink at the top of your image.

Hold the squeegee at a 45° angle against the screen.

Press down firmly and pull the squeegee towards you. Focus on pressing the ink through the screen and scraping it off the screen at the same time.

Immediately remove your screen being careful not to get any ink on anything when you lift. Lay it down on the next item  you want to silk screen. (It is a good idea to clean the screen after every third impression, as the ink starts to stick around the edges and the image quality will decline.)

Let the ink dry.

Heat set the image with a hot iron. Wash on cold and air dry to protect your image.

I think this is the perfect kit for making holiday gifts! I’m on a big sew your own gift bag kick and I think I’ll make some more bags and screen print a graphic on it for gifts.

If you like my “Happy Holly Dave” design, feel free to download the printable pdf file and use it for your own personal use.

Or you could also download an earlier incarnation of the design with three reindeer!

Hope you all have a Happy Holly Dave! LOL!

 

 

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Plaid Simply Screen. I was sent a Simply Screen Kit and paid a small fee in return for writing a post about my experience using their product. The ideas and opinions are strictly my own. I will never let any compensation (monetary or free product) keep me from giving you (the reader) a straight up and honest review.