Thursday, May 31, 2012

My First Stenciled Wall

I am so excited about my first stenciled wall. I was really thrilled to win this stencil and this will not be the last stenciling I will do. I love it! To give you a little background..I decorated my last home in a Victorian style..I had reproduction wall papers in every room. I am used to a lot of pattern. Then I fell in love with Shabby Chic and went from all kinds of pattern to almost no pattern, as I was trying to figure out my take on Shabby chic style. I have been slowly trying to bring pattern in. After having to remove wall paper at the other house I no longer think that wall paper is my friend. This seemed perfect to me, and when I won the contest..I knew it was meant to be!

The stencil I used is Anna Damask and the company is called The Cutting Edge . I have nothing but wonderful things to say about this company. The items I received from them are of the best quality and their customer service is exceptional.

This little wall in my sun room/creative space was the perfect place to do a practice wall and get the hang of it.  What do you think? So far everyone who has seen it has said they like it a lot. My husband even likes it! When Janae saw it she immediately asked if she could borrow the stencil.

It was really quite easy to do but I thought I would share some things since I am now experienced at this (LOL). Remember, I haven't been trained..I am just saying my own opinion on what makes this turn out beautiful.

This photo is the most true to the color of the walls. It is my "soul paint" from Ace Hardware called Harbor Lane. It is an aqua color, like a Tiffany's blue.
First of all, I highly recommend buying the tool kit. That little level that attaches to the stencil is genius. My husband was very impressed. Unless you have 4 arms you really need this level. The kit also comes with a roller, and a brush. Everything you need.

Educate yourself. I watched all the videos and read the articles that were on The Cutting Edge website. Also, reading posts like this one is a good idea:).

Embrace imperfections. I am really bad about being a perfectionist and I even like my distressing to be perfect. But I wanted this to be Shabby Chic--I wanted it to look like old wallpaper. So I didn't have to make it perfect. Wyatt told me it looks like it has worn spots..and I was quite happy with that. If I was going for a modern look I would have done a second coat and made sure the paint was more evenly distributed.

Have a helper for corners and hard spots. I didn't have a helper but next time I am going to plan to do those pieces at a time when someone can help me hold the stencil in place.

Clean the stencil when it gets heavy with paint. The stencil is easier to work with when it has a few coats of paint on it. But when it gets so it actually is heavy with paint it is harder to keep it taped to the wall. I guess with some patterns it effects the detail too. I used Folkart Wicker white acrylic craft paint.

Use a good tape. I am a lover of blue tape..but in this case I was having some issues with the stencil staying up. Part of it is I let my stencil get too heavy with paint. Next time I am going to buy frog tape because I think it is a little stronger.

My final tip is slow but steady wins the race. I actually waited until the previous paint had dried before I did the next stencil. I figured it saved me a lot of stress of messing up wet paint. It worked fine for me because I always have so many things going on...taking care of kids and kittens, pulling weeds, making dinner. I just did a little through out the day. I kept the roller in a zip lock bag so I didn't have to clean it each time.

LuLu likes my wall.

This wall was so much fun!

I hope you like my wall as much as I do. I can't wait to do my bedroom wall behind our bed. I think I want to do it in like a white metallic paint. Now I would really like to do a 2-layer stencil. I really like the birds of paradise one here. I want to do that one in my livingroom on my fireplace wall. If I had the money I would order it right now! I am really liking this wall stenciling technique.

Well, I have babysitting for the kittens and so I think this would be a great time for a nap!

Please show me if you do any stenciling projects. Thanks for visiting!

I can't help myself...

My life is so kittens right now. Chantel took the babies into her room tonight for a little playtime/photography session and I can't help myself, I just have to share some of the cute pictures she took.

If I were an animal, I am so a cat. Though I strive to be like a dog, faithful and loving.  I am independent and stubborn, I can be faithful and loving...when I want to be. I can take care of myself. I am like a cat. Though I wonder what kind of personalities these babies will have being raised by me, and not a feline Mama?

Good job to Chantel for her improving photography skills!

Please come back tomorrow to see my stenciled wall--I am loving it!

Off to feed the kittens....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How does your garden grow?

I haven't been paying as much attention to my garden as I would like. I have been so busy with the kittens and working on my first stenciled wall (post coming soon). Today I went out and took some pictures of what is going on in the gardens right now. It is fun to compare year to year what is blooming when. Here is how my garden is growing now!

One of my favorite things about having a garden is bringing flowers inside!

My Peonies are just starting to bloom. My Mom who lives about a mile away has a bunch of them blooming.

I figure any day I will be able to cut Peonies for the house!

This year the Dogwood is heavy with blossoms!

My Eden rose that I recently got bare root is leafing up well.

The other day after a thunderstorm we had a beautiful rainbow.

The kittens are doing great! I find myself being so proud of them for the simply little things they do as they grow. Here is a picture from the other day...

At least someone in this house is getting sleep! :)

I am excited to finish my stenciling so I can show you!

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm a winner!

I never win anything--but I can't say that anymore! I have been wanting to do some wall stenciling from The Cutting Edge but was waiting for it to fit into my budget.  A blogger friend, Kathy from Creative Home Expressions had a drawing for a $50 gift certificate. Of course I entered, but I never thought I would win! When Kathy posted the winner and I saw my name I had to read it 3 times before I was sure. I was so excited!

I knew this is the stencil I wanted, called Anna Damask. It is $49.99 and so I contacted the company and asked if I could pay the postage myself, since I spent the whole gift certificate on the stencil. I knew this stencil would be timeless and would go so well with my style. The stencil company said they would pay for the postage and also would send me some tools. It was like Christmas when I got the package and included with the stencil was this tool set.

 It has a level, brush and roller...a $20 value. So nice of them! I am really excited to do this. Wish me luck!

Then my luck just continued! I have been wanting this Premiere issue magazine.

Well, Sandi at The Cottage Muse had a drawing for a copy...and I won! I was just delighted. I am saving it to read when I have a real relaxing time when I can have a glass of wine and really enjoy. Thanks Sandi!

I feel like I should buy a lottery ticket or something:)

I can't do a post these days without a kitten photo!

"Uh oh..Did I have kittens?"

I hope everyone has a pleasant and relaxing Memorial weekend.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Decorating a bottle

I have been so busy with kittens that this weeks project is a small one...but I am really loving using water slide decals so I see many more projects like this in my future!

I found this bottle at Goodwill. It held some sort of liquor. I thought it was pretty and I liked the top.

First I soaked the labels off the bottle and put it thru the dishwasher.
I then followed directions as found on the Polka dot closet blog. to do a water slide decal. The first time I used them I had issues but now I'm an old pro.:) Make sure you follow her directions and don't skip anything. First I sprayed the decal with the Krylon spray that is recommended. I let that dry. Then I cut around the decal and let it soak in water until the backing seem to loosen.

I carefully put the decal in place..being careful not to touch the back of it and rub the ink off. I slowly pulled out the backing--sliding the paper off from underneath. Then I let it dry.

I smoothed it out to make sure there was no bubbles.. Then I added a decoration of ribbon, a crown pin I had that I got from Melissa Frances, and a little flower. So pretty.

I got some milk bath at Dollar Tree and ended up with this beautiful bottle for the bathroom! Janae commented that it would make a nice gift. I wish I could find white milk bath--because I think it would show the decal better.

I can just imagine all the projects I can do with these water slide decals! I think next I will do a serving tray:)

Well, I'll end this post with yet another kitten picture. they are kind of running my life right now.:)

Thanks for visiting!

Edited: A lot of people have asked so here is where you can buy the water slide decals

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Being a Mama Kitty is exhausting!

I promise I am not going to change my blog name to "For the Love of Cats" but right now cats are kind of taking over my life. I am so a good way.  Here is the story...

For those of you that follow along my last post was about our new kitten we were getting from my ex-husbands family. Well, Karen (my ex-husbands wife) called me and told me the Mother cat was missing. Mother cats don't leave usually--she was a very protective Mother. I think, since they had her outside, a wild animal got her while she was thinking she was protecting her kittens. I feel so sad for that Mama kitty. I also feel sorry for Tiffany, because the Mama kitty was her pet. That is why I am not big on having animals outside..especially in an area with wild animals. Poor Mama Kitty. Anyway--after Karen called Janae and I drove out there as quick as we could. We searched for Mama Kitty and then went to the kittens. Though the Mama had been gone for about a day the kittens were doing well. They had to pee really bad. Poor little babies. They were nursing on our shirts, our hands, anything they could get ahold of. Karen said she did not have the time to be able to care for the kittens so I volunteered. I couldn't just let them die. I am a stay at home Mom, now I am a stay at home kitten mom too.

So my life right now is every 2 hours I feed and "pee" these 5 little kittens. Nobody has been able to find Mama Kitty and it has been a couple days.

I knew it would happen...Janae is keeping one of the kittens now that I am raising them. Before she wanted one but was too afraid that something would happen to them and now she feels secure they will be happy and healthy...being mothered by her Mother:) The one Janae picked is a black female with white feet. She named her LuLu.

LuLu likes to tell us her sad story!

Well, the bonding has been happening. I wake up every 2 hours and feed and care for these little ones. They are so sweet. They are starting to purr when they see me. The care of their little lives is so enriching to my life. I am a natural care giver..this is not the first time I have been a Mama Kitty! Well, since the first time Karen sent me pictures of them from her phone my favorite has been the male with white on its stomach, feet, and face. The kids really wanted Phoebe. I have never had a orange tabby and so that was fine with me. Well, today I talked to my husband I said, "I've been thinking I would like to keep one of the black and white ones too" Well, he grinned ear to ear. He hadn't seemed to interested in the kittens until this point. He said he wanted to keep 2 from the start.  He was just waiting for me to ask. He knew with the bottle feeding I would be falling in love soon. He thought that 2 are more fun. He figures these kittens will hopefully be with us until we are senior citizens (gulp) and we will get so much enjoyment from them. He gets a lot of pet store credit from selling his fish (he has a fish room and breeds numerous types of fish) and so he can get the food and things without taking from our budget. He agreed that the one I liked the best was also his favorite. Then he asked me to bring that one to him and he spent the afternoon cuddled up in his fishroom with our latest edition. Chantel danced around the house when we told her and Wyatt was equally excited (though he is not as dramatic as Chantel) After much family discussion we decided to name the little boy Fez (like from the 70's show). We really aren't obsessed with TV shows (okay, so maybe we are obsessed with "Friends"). Fez actually is a hat, like the kind the Shriners wear. I love the Shriners, they have done so much for Gage. But the real reason we named our little kitty Fez, is because it sounds cute with Phoebe.  :)

These little babies are going to have a very happy life!

Fez, Phoebe and LuLu

The whole experience has been really bonding to the whole family. We have all so enjoyed bonding with these babies. We are also spending a lot of time together taking care of them. We never go on vacations or anything like a family we take care of our animals together. This is a fun time for us!

Again--I promise this won't become a cat blog. But you can imagine that a occasional kitten will be included in my photos!

Between feeding, than pulling weeds, then feeding..I managed to do a small project today! So tomorrow I will actually have a project post!

Thanks for visiting!