Friday, October 24, 2014

Chalk Painted Wooden Trunk

My husband has a wooden trunk his dad built for him to take all his gear to scout camp. It has lived in various ways around our homes and for awhile lived in the garage. Here I needed a table for our living room and decided to try it out. It seems to fit the space fairly well and is actually tall enough to serve as a table.

It's stained wood with brass latches, 
and silver metal handles. 

It was kinda a chilly morning, good day to light a fire and get to work. 

First step was two coats of Anne Sloan Olive. Yep, the same color as my Union Jack dresser behind. 

I could have stopped there, but I didn't want this piece to be the same as the dresser.
So I got out a can of Country Chic paint that I had used on my dining room table and slathered some on. This part was just slopping some white over the olive, I'm going to rub it in, so no need to be as careful.

Messy looking, right? 

Then comes the next step, getting an old towel and getting it damp. Be sure to squeeze out the excess, you don't want it dripping wet. I fold the towel and wipe lightly back and forth, pressing down harder in the areas I want more wear. I use a couple fingers wrapped in the towel to really rub across the wood trim, distressing those areas down until a bit of wood shows. 

Difference between the white washed side, and just the olive.

This side slopped with paint. I painted the hardware too.. they didn't match anyhow. I can always rub some off after.

I worked in sections, paint a side, then wipe-wipe-wipe. I folded and refolded the towel to expose clean damp sides and wiped against the grain of the wood first and then with the grain to smooth. 

After wet distressing.

Now most sane people would stop there... but I wanted a touch of a third color. I had a can of this Anne Sloan from another project. I rinsed my towel and grabbed a dry paint brush.

Using the brush to dab a bit of blue on my damp towel. I then rubbed a bit of blue on the corners and trim and here and there on the surfaces, not all over. My thought was, If this is an old shipping trunk, it would have paint transfer from rubbing on other trunks in the cargo hold. So why not add a bit of rubbed color on areas that would have been touching?

Corners and edges are good places for this. After I used a clean side of my towel and rubbed it into the other colors. 

I also rubbed on the hardware so the metal shines through a bit.

The next step is wax.
 I decided to use the Country Chic Natural Wax. It looks like a tiny container...but you just rub the brush around on the top, brush across the wood and it actually goes on very thin. You can just see a slight shine to the areas you wax. I then use a scrap of flannel to buff. I waxed the dining room set and this trunk and have just a slight indention on the wax. 

And here it is, all done and back in it's place. I changed up the decor on top. Going with a wood bowl of pumpkins, a white milk bottle with some hydrangeas from the yard and a candle. 

Before and After

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House Spy Friday: Lincoln Park Cottage

Today I'm feeling whimsical... time to look at some Seattle area cottages to see if I can find something artsy with a bit of color.

I found a few great houses.. but this one caught my eye.

It's about 1,000 square feet. So definitely a cozy cottage.. I like the gray shingles with a bit of charcoal. I also love homeowners who are not afraid have their raised bed gardens front and center.. though it looks like they got staged with some ornamental plants, I would take those back out. There is nothing wrong with walking by your veggies regularly, or even better plant herbs along the side next to the walk. Nothing like the smell of basil and thyme in the summer.

A nice simple living room..pretty wood floors. Though I do think a wall other than yellow would show their color better. (Seattle seems to be the land of yellow living rooms)

I'm loving this dining space. The tomato painted walls with the green farm table and mixed up chairs. I love the simple pendant light and the HUGE window!

How fun is this kitchen? It looks like the homeowners are collectors of LeCreuset and have a mixed collection of colors. I also spy some bright enamel canisters, vintage coffee tin and lime colored mixer. The kitchen cabinets look vintage with simple white paint and bin pulls. The doors have been removed to show off collections and love the shelf with spices.

I'm not sure I would have ever thought to do a nursery in bright grass green. In this space it really works, look at all those windows! I love the vintage dresser and the white furniture. Simple decor and a cute bunting. 

This outdoor space is so peaceful. It really feels like you could be out in the country. I could see those trees strung with fairy lights for late night get togethers. 

Another view of the yard and it looks like the neighbors have a nice Craftsman home. Lots of green and bet you would get a lot of different birds visiting any feeders you put out. You would hardly know your living in the city. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Bubbling Cauldron DIY

How to make a mess free bubbling cauldron, that is kid safe and fun to look at.

First I found a black plastic cauldron. Mine isn't big.. it's a smaller cheepo one. You could easily find something bigger, check out thrift stores.

I then bought a Gemmy Fire and Ice light at Home Depot. Our Home Depot is done with Halloween and on to Christmas already, but I found them here also. I also saw that Grandin Road had a plug in version that stays on all the time, where as mine is battery operated and you have to clap or stomp to get it to light.

It makes a very cool effect, like watery flames.

Set in the center of the cauldron.

Next you need some sheer white fabric, this happens to be a curtain panel. Again, thrift stores are brimming with these curtains for a couple dollars. You could even try a colored one for a different look.

I added it to the pot. 

I stuffed it in, and around the light, but not over the top of it.

This is how it looked, I decided it was a bit flat so I pulled up two edges a bit. Still leaving an opening for the light to reflect on the ceiling. 

The ceiling effect is pretty darn cool.

It looks like bubbling flames, but no worries about fingers exploring the pot. And if you want it inside, unlike dry ice, no water mess. Bonus you get cool ceiling effects for your party. 

Overall, I'm pretty happy with it. Though I may upgrade to the plug in version at some point. Maybe when I find one on sale. ;)

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Fall Prepping the Rabbit Hutch and a Hutch Tour

Monday I knew wet weather was on the way and that I needed to take the dry day to do some clean up and work on our rabbit hutch. Po is the family bunny, a Holland Lop. He is still a kid, only 3 months old or so.

Meet Po-

I thought while I'm at it I would give you a bit of a tour of Po's hutch. We set up his hutch in a animal pen that was already here.

I'm not sure what the owners used it for, the neighbors said they didn't have a dog. Maybe it was just for the garbage cans. ( I spotted a can dumped over with two raccoon in it last night on my way home) But it works well as a run for him and to keep curious night time critters from harassing him. (we have coyotes and cougars too!) It has a lean-to roof and is nestled up against the brick of the fireplace.

I had noticed that even though his hutch is under cover, rain would hit the bricks and bounce back up into the bottom level of the hutch. He could still stay dry upstairs, but who want's to only have half a dry home? And besides the bottom corners is where he chose to keep his litter box. So it would be soaking wet and he would still sit there...if you have ever had rabbits you will know that wet dirty litter is not healthy for buns.

I pulled a bit of plastic I had in my fabric stash. It's the kind you can use to cover tables and it is sold by the yard at Jo-Ann fabric. (a shower liner would work too) I draped it partially across the front and around the side that is open on the bottom.

I folded it at the corner and used the feed bucket to hold it down. Bricks on the corners keep it from flapping in the wind.

I didn't want the plastic to go across the whole front. This gives Po a place to sit in the fresh air. And keeps the hutch from having condensation inside. I tucked his food dispenser in behind the plastic to make sure rain dos net wet his food. I don't fill the dispenser all the way. Food can go bad left in it, so I just give him fresh food regularly. If we do head out for an over night I will add more to make sure he doesn't run out while we are gone. 

The plastic just flips up out of the way when we are cleaning the cage or he is out for exercise. 

Po enjoys lounging upstairs in the "loft". We use fleece for bedding. Underneath is layers of newspaper. The newspaper wicks the moisture down through the fleece and away from Po's feet, rather like how the new cloth diapers work. 

The upstairs nest box has a box of rabbit safe shaving and paper mix with hay. This is where he likes to sleep and snuggle and he keeps this area pretty clean on his own. I rarely find any poop or pee in here. So far he has been really good about not chewing on fleece, but he does like to move the blanket around and "make his bed" by digging in it. 

Down the ramp is his litter box with more rabbit safe shaving/paper mix.  I buy this premixed at Pet Co. This isn't where I would have picked to put the litter box.. but this is where he decided to have his "potty corner" He does most of his pee in it. It really saves having to change the fleece and paper. I just use a little broom and pan to sweep up his little "bunny raisens" and change the litter, and we can go for a week without changing the fleece/paper. 
 He has some toys down here and likes these wicker balls to chew and throw around. 

The downstairs nest box has a box I cut holes into and the hay feeder. He loves to play with boxes and sit on boxes and hide in boxes. In this case he can play and munch hay in here and stay cozy on windy, cool, days.

So the rain storm came in and now the hutch looks like this.  

You can see how the bottom half of the plastic is all wet. 

But the bottom floor now stays cozy and dry.

Unfortunately the run was quite wet, so Po came inside for a run around the house. 

The rain is also putting a damper on or other projects. My hubby has been putting up new garden fences. This winter the dogs will use this space for a run, and then next spring/summer the yard will get fenced and then with some chicken wire to secure the lower fence, Po will be able to free-range during the day in the garden.