Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm Back.....Finally!

I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted - I apologize to my followers and hope to never be out of touch so long again!  October has been unusually busy for me...  this month I have been to:
  • Auburn (Alabama) 2 times - WAR EAGLE!!!
  • Tunica (Mississippi)
  • Hoover (Alabama)
  • Town Creek (Alabama)
I am SO HAPPY to be home and to be able to get back to my waiting projects!!!

During my last trip to Auburn I tripped and broke my nikon camera - I am so sad about that!  Today I sent it back to Nikon for repair and hope to get it back before the holidays.  My sweet husband is letting me borrow his until mine is home again.

So, stay tuned - I have lots to work on and will be posting as soon as I get my bags all unpacked!

In the meantime, if you live in Alabama, check out Doublehead Resorts in Town Creek here. We just spent a long weekend there and it was AMAZING!  We have actually been there about 5 times and always love it. Here are a few pics taken on previous trips...

Friday, October 15, 2010

How to make water bottle labels

I have been so busy this week I haven't had a chance to work on any of my MANY waiting home decor projects.  Hopefully I will get to something next week.  I have been out of town part of the past two weeks and I am leaving dear hubby at home alone again this weekend so I can visit my daughter and attend a baby shower.

Anyhows, I get lots of requests from friends and family to make custom water bottle labels like these...

And I thought I would do a quick tutorial to show you how to make your own!

There is more than one way to make custom water bottles - I make them in two ways depending on how much time I have to work on them.  I made these using purchased, water resistant vinyl labels.  The other way is to print them on plain paper, cut each one out, laminate them and use double sided tape to stick them on.  For this tutorial I am going to use the first method.

What you will need for this project:

 NOTE:  This project does require some knowledge of working with graphics, which I know many of you have.
  • software to design your labels.  (You can use Microsoft word, photoshop, or any other program that allows you to work with graphics, text and templates.)  I use my most favorite program, Print Shop by Broderbund.  I started with their first version MANY years ago and now use version 23.1!  I highly recommend this program (and no, I do not own stock or have a relative that works for them!!)
  • a color printer - ink jet or laser
  • water bottles (I used Aquafina but any will do)
  • labels for your type printer and to fit your water bottles (I order mine from www.labelsbythesheet.com but I am sure you can find other sources.). Make sure you order labels specifically for water bottles because they are water resistant and designed to print at home.

(I hope I can do this - it is all in my head and not always easy to put into words!!!)

1.     Measure around the center of the water bottle you want to use to see how long your label needs to be.  Then measure the maximum width your label can be. 

2.     Order labels to fit your bottle.  For my Aquafina bottle the best size was the 2" by 8" labels, that come 5 to a sheet.  I needed to make 40 labels but I ordered an extra sheet because I always mess a couple up!

3.     Download the template for your label size from the website your order from. You can download it in a .pdf format or a word document format.

4.     Design your label.  For the label in the picture I scanned the blank invitation to use for the center then added a matching border and other info I wanted on the label.  Here is a screen shot of my label in print shop and of each of the 3 elements added:

5.    Once your label is like you want it you can cut and paste it into your template.  If you are using Word you can design your label right in the template.  Below is a picture of my template with labels added (I blacked out the last name because this is the internet!!):
6.     Then print your label out onto plain white paper, lay it on top of your water bottle label paper and hold it up to the light to make sure it is all lined up ok.  Trust me, skipping this step can cause heartache when you go to print your labels and find they didn't line up right!

7.     Now, print your labels on your label paper.  It is important that you know how this water resistant vinyl works so here is the info:  the vinyl seals in the ink you are using, thus making the ink water resistant.  I use a photo quality ink jet printer which uses more ink than the labels can seal in.  Therefore, after printing my labels I always do a quick spray coat of Krylon Preserve it to keep the ink from running.  You may not need to do this step - after printing and attaching your first label to a bottle put it under the faucet and run some water over it.  If the ink does not run you are set to go!  If it does, run to Hobby Lobby and by some Preserve It.  A short can is all you will need to do many label projects.

8.     Remove the existing label from the bottle and attach your printed labels.

9.     You are now a water bottle label maker! 

After you make labels a few times it is amazing how easy it becomes!  

I know this is not the sort of thing I normally post about but hey, variety is the spice of life!  Have fun and email me with any questions!  (j p hamilton 60 at gmail . com)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Repurposed Old Silverware Box

I bought this old silverware box several years ago at a flea market.  I actually bought three similar boxes but today I am only going to show you one of them. I guess you could say I have a thing about silverware boxes - I have always been drawn to them.  (Don't you just love my "paint tarp"?  Its an old vinyl tablecloth spread out on the porch!) 

Anyhows, in my diningroom there is one drawer that drives me crazy  - it is the one that holds all my serving utensils. 

Now I admit I am not the most organized girl and this drawer could be neater, but I have a zillion serving utensils and my drawer is really just not big enough to hold them all.  So, I thought, why not repurpose one of my silverware boxes as a serving utensil box?

So, I did just that!  Here it is all cleaned up, painted, distressed, glazed and with added handles.  I just love the way it turned out! I think I will enter it into the DIY Club's Monthly Contest!  Go on over there and check out all the projects!

And here it is loaded up with about half of my serving utensils.  Yeah!  No more way too overcrowded drawer and hello beautiful yellow silverware box!  To find out how I did it read on...

The first thing I had to do was get rid of all that tacky purple stuff. Now I am sure in its day it was a real jewel but today it is just a bunch of junky fabric that is screaming to be set free.  So, I pulled it all out.

This is what was hiding underneath.  These wood blocks were glued in place with some heavy duty glue.  I had to beat them to death with a hammer to tear them out!  Once removed I used my handy dandy electric sander to smooth out the inside and sand away the remaining glue (well, most of it anyhows).

I used my blue painters tape to cover the hinges on the backside before I gave the entire outside of the box a bath in a pretty, deep golden yellow paint.

After one coat you could still see the wood coming through so I gave it a second.  By the way, this is one of those $3 paint samples from Lowes - can't beat that!

It looked much better after the second coat went on and I took some sandpaper to it to distress it a bit.  I like to distress it just in those areas that tend to wear naturally.

I got so into the process of refinishing the box that I completely forgot to take pictures of the next two stages.  Here it is after I glazed it with my favorite Valspar Mocha Glaze.  Love how it settled into the little crevices on the front!

I also watered down a bit of burnt sienna craft paint and used it as a wash over the entire box.  Basically, I brushed it on then wiped it back off, careful to wipe in one direction on each surface.  In a couple of places it was too dark so I took a damp rag and removed some of it.  I love how the glaze and burnt sienna paint added a warm depth to the box!

Next I went to work on the insides of the bottom and lid.  I guess since this box was originally designed to be covered in all that fabric they weren't too worried about getting the insides smooth and pretty.  Even after sanding and giving the sidewalls a coat of burnt sienna paint they still don't look too smooth.  I don't care, the outside is what really matters to me.  I pulled out my trusty Mod Podge and added some scrapbook paper left from a previous project to the bottom and lid.  I also put a coat of Mod Podge over the painted sidewalls.

My sweet hubby took the box to his garage and drilled holes on both ends so we could add the black handles I purchased at Lowes.  The screws that came with the handles were meant for thicker drawers so I picked up some shorter screws while I was there.

Here it is with the handles all added.  Looks like a new box, huh?  I just love how something as simple as hardware can really change the look of things!

And finally, here it is at home in the dining room being used as a stand for my beverage dispenser.  (My flash really distorted my beautiful oil painting so don't look at that!)  Now it serves two purposes:  it stores my extra serving utensils AND it raises up my beverage dispenser to a height that you can fill something taller than a punch cup!  I love it!!

One more look at its humble beginnings - it has come a long way in a day!

My dining room drawer still needs to be organized but it sure will be easier to find what I need with fewer serving utensils in there!

Thanks for stopping by Y'all!

I am linking to the DIY Club and to the following parties:

Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell Day

Trendy Treehouse's Creative Share Blog Hop

The Thrifty Home's Penny Pinching Party

My Backyard Eden:  Make it Yours Day

Olivia Renn:  Link Party

Somewhat Simple's Strut Your Stuff Thursday

Tales from Bloggeritaville: Thrifty Thursdays

Life as Lori:  Get Your Craft on Thursday!  

Its So Very Cheri:  Spotlight Yourself

Beyond The Picket Fence:  Under $100 Linky Party  

The Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursdays

Fireflies and Jellybeans:  Show Off Your Stuff Party  

Under the Table and Dreaming's Sunday Showcase Party

The DIY Club's DIY Living Showcase 

DIY Club

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Goodbye Gold - Hello ORB + Metallic Glaze!

My foyer is long and skinny.  Seriously, it is about 11 feet long and only about 3&1/2 feet wide.  It is so hard to get a good picture of it, and it doesn't help that my mirror is kind of foggy and old (I actually like it that way!).  Any hows, see that gold thingy hanging over the mirror?  I used to love it back when brass was really hot.  Now, like the wallpaper border above it (that I am trying so hard not to let you see) it is time for a little update.  So.....

I broke out my fave ORB spray paint and went to town in the front yard.  I knew I didn't want it ALL to be ORB so after the paint was dry....

I broke out this antique gold looking metallic glaze I found at Hobby Lobby and...

I brushed it on with a little brush, then wiped it off everywhere I didn't want it with an old t-shirt.

This is how it looked when I finished glazing it.  See all those great details?  I love how the gold glaze just hi-lights them.  Understated, like a pearl necklace & oh so much more elegant now that it is not all gold! 

It is just a little update but it makes me feel so good!  I don't know why I didn't do it earlier - it only took a few minutes of actual work time and what an improvement!

You can see it a little better in this photo but, oops, you can also see a little edge of the outdated border!  Now that you have seen it I am more motivated than ever to get it down!  Maybe I will do that this week!

Thanks for stopping by today! Be sure to check out the link parties below and for sure stop by the DIY Club's Monthly Contest!

I am linking to the following:

Today's Creative Blog's Get Your Craft on Tuesday

Sugar Bee Crafts Edition's Take-A-Look Tuesday

Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party

Coastal Charm's Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays

Its So Very Cheri's Its So Very Creative

Domestically Speaking's Power of Paint Party  

Someday Crafts' Whatever Goes Wednesday

The Shabby Chic Cottage:  Transformation Thursdays  
DIY Club

Monday, October 4, 2010

Paula Deen's Buffet & Gift Shop in Tunica

Last week I enjoyed a 3 day, 2 night girls trip to Tunica, MS.  We went for the games, of course, but just had to eat at the Paula Deen Buffet inside Harrah's casino.  

I snapped a few photos in the buffet because it is a site to see and a feast to eat!  I am going to apologize in advance for my lousy pictures.  I didn't have my camera so my cell phone had to do.  If you squint they might look a little better but I don't know about that :)

The entrance to the buffet and amazing gift shop is through this front porch area.  It is really something to see - they basically made it look like the outside of a house inside the casino!!

This is the first thing you see when you enter the gift shop - a huge Christmas tree all decked out for the holidays!  Honestly it made me want to burst out in "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" but my friends made me refrain from doing so.  The gift shop is filled with things all of us southern girls love!

I love their creative way of displaying items for sale in the store.  This old stove looks just like the one Paula cooks on at home!

Paula always has pretty dishes in her shops, like these with roosters on them.  I love me some roosters!  If I wasn't saving my money to give to the casino's black jack dealers I certainly would have bought a few!
I did manage to buy a little souvenir for myself, a little coffee themed plate to sit next to my coffee pot. I'll show it to you later.  (Can you tell where I was when I took this picture??)

And then there is the buffet.  You just have to see it to believe all the wonderful southern food!  In addition to Uncle Bubba's Oyster House station there was Little Jack's Corner, The Lady and Son's, The Smoke House, and other stations with out of this world food!

The rotisserie chicken was to die for!  Love the way they keep them cooking behind the buffet.  So cool!

Now I am not a sweet eater but my girl friends went crazy over Paula's desserts.  There were so many to choose from!  The presentation was down-right sinful - even made me want to get something!

This is one of the many dining rooms - I loved all the light fixtures throughout the buffet.  In fact all the decor was beautiful!  Paula sure knows how to set the stage!

If you get a chance to go to Tunica save some of your money for the buffet and gift shop - I promise it is so worth it!  By the way, I am not a big gambler but I do love to play games!  I doubled my money (which, trust me was not very much) between black jack, 3 card poker, let it ride and a 10 minute slot tournament.  I had a blast and hope to go again with my mother in law in November.  I'll be saving my money and my appetite until then!

Oh yeah, here is the little souvenir I told you about. Red and coffee are two of my favorite things and if anyone wants to pay me a $1 a cup I will be a happy camper!!  I am not crazy about the stand but it is all I had on hand.  I need to get a new one next time I'm at Hobby Lobby!

Thanks for stopping by Y'all!