Monday, February 27, 2012

Making Hypertufa

After reading articles about Hypertufa for years,  we decided to try making some for ourselves... when I say we, I mean Buzz.  I got my hands in it a few times, but can't take any credit for all the experimenting he did.  


Making Hypertufa 
(a lightweight concrete)
I'll share a couple of Buzz's many recipes...
(most of the ingredients can be found at your local hardware store)
 This basic recipe worked great for small containers
and gave the the planters a natural look that we liked.


Mix the dry ingredients, then slowly add  water.  
The mixture should form in your hand when you squeeze it... 
not to dry,  not to wet.    
   

Our forms were simple containers we had around the house, and Buzz built the wooden ones for stepping stones.  

To keep the Hypertufa from sticking to our plastic containers, we sprayed the inside with a cooking spray, and the wooden frames were built so that they could be taken apart after the Hypertufa cured.  


When the Hypertufa is molded, wrap it in plastic and let it cure for up to three days before removing it from it's form.  If you get in a hurry, you'll most likely damage your hard work. 

 We used this recipe for Larger containers:
(this recipe makes a stronger &  heavier product)
4 Parts Portland Cement
4 Parts Peat Moss
4 Parts Medium Sand
4 Parts Perlite
and a hand full of fiber (like fiber glass)

Our Stock Pile!


This assortment represents variations of our basic recipe...
Lots of Trial and Error  
We highly recommend starting small.


This little garden ornament was formed in a 
shell dish from the thrift store.

 (now living in our Master Bathroom)

The possibilities are endless!



Have some FUN with Hypertufa!

~

For more inspiration,
visit my 
Pinterest Board 

Link

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Picture Framing Project

I thought I'd share my little picture framing experiment with you.  It was so easy, and I really like the look.  Of course, this was the first one I've done, and I can already see a couple of things I'll do differently on the next one.  

My Experiment
I found a print from The Graphic's Fairy that I liked and printed it to fit one of my 5x7 frames.  The paper I used for the mat is a shopping bag.  I knew I was saving it for some reason... " 


I cut a 5x7 piece out of the bag then tore an opening in the middle to create the mat for my picture.  
It was easy enough, but I did struggle with which side of the paper I liked best.



In the end... this one won out.  

 I spent a few minutes assembling the frame and have to say, 
"I like the look the torn paper gives this piece of art". 


I have a project that I'm working on that will incorporate at least two or three prints like this, 
and maybe, I'll share it with you when it's complete.  

In the mean time...I'm going to experiment a little bit more...

A couple of things I might do differently will be:

tint the art for an aged look
 and  
use a page from an old book as my mat.


You should give this simple project a try.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Getting Healthy

Buzz and I started trying to eat healthier and get more exercise starting on January 1st.  So far, we're doing great with the eating part, but still have a ways to go on the exercising part.  We've both lost weight, even though weight loss wasn't our motivator.  We're just realizing how important it is to take care of these bodies.
(Better late than never)
Seriously... 
Our blood pressure is back to normal.
Arthritis & Joint Pain ... Gone!
Swollen ankles ... Gone!
Plus, we feel better in general.  

We're pretty excited and hopefully steering off some major health problems in our future.   After all, we want to be around for each other for a long time.
We're loving Eating Healthy!
                                                               
                                                              Source: my-blueberry-jam.blogspot.com via Geneva on Pinterest

About the exercise part  ... 
Well, working in the garden is giving us quite a bit...and walks around the neighborhood are good too, but we know we need more.
We're working on it!

                                                                   Source: andthenshesaved.com via Erin on Pinterest

We'll let you know how this works out for us. 
":o)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Diamonds Aren't Always A Girls Best Friend...

I've been collecting white restaurant ware to replace my every day dishes for a while now.  I usually find them in thrift stores, and love serving food in them.  Something about white makes everything look so yummy!
My Valentines Gift
Well... instead of diamonds, which are nice, I got these white dishes, which are better...(in my eyes anyway).  Buzz couldn't have given me anything I appreciate more.    Of course, his sweet card with his fun little poem made the gift even more special  ":o)



I'm just not a Diamonds kind of girl! 
(Isn't he lucky!)

Blessings!

Linking to these parties...check them out!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day, Happy Wedding Day

Our Beautiful Daughter 
is getting married today... 
It will be FUN

They bring the BEST out in each other!
Happy Valentines Day!
Happy Wedding Day!

May all your dreams come true!

Numbers 6: 24-26

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I Found The Sweetest Little Cards ...

I was looking for some of my old valentines today and found these sweet note cards.  I'm guessing they're from the 40's or 50's, but can't be sure... At any rate they're from a time when people actually sent handwritten notes instead of using the electronic media we use today.  

Who wouldn't want to get one of these 
sweet cards in the mail.




Their actual size is about 4" x 4" and the 
envelopes are almost as charming as the cards.

Ephemera  ...  My True Weakness!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration - Displaying a Collection

We've had a small baseball / softball collection for a long time, and I've tried to find clever ways to put them on display.  Today, while I was perusing Pinterest I ran across this pin  and got inspired. 
                                                                   Source: whisperwoodcottage.com via Geneva on Pinterest

Ta Dah ... Now they have a place of honor!



Mobile Home - Remodeling Q & A


So many people have been asking specific questions about our mobile home remodel, so I will try to answer them as best I can in this post.  As more questions come in, I'll just add them here.

First of all...let me just say, that we aren't professionals.  We're just learning as we go, but we're happy to share what we've learned...  maybe you can use our ideas and improve on them.  

Q.  Did you have to remove the vinyl wallpaper before painting/texturizing?

No... we painted over it with Kilz®, which is a good stain blocking primer  (we used two coats in some places).
   

At this stage, you could go ahead and paint your walls any color you would like and it would look fine.   However, as a personal preference we added texture to our walls at this point.

Q.  Did you remove all the battens/trim from your walls...and how did you patch it?

Yes, we removed every bit of the mobile home trim that was on our walls, around doors, baseboards and anywhere else it was used.  In some places it exposed large gaps that had to be filled before we could texturize our walls.


Sorry, we didn't take any pictures of the actual tapping and bedding process, but this is what we did:
  • Buzz filled the seams in the walls with painter's all-purpose acrylic latex caulk.  He used caulking because it is flexible and durable.   
  • When he finished caulking, we used a self adhesive fiberglass joint tape over each of the seams and on the inside/outside corners where the gaps were to large to tape, we used  Quik-Tape® a steel reinforced flexible drywall tape.  Once all the taping was done we used a pre-mixed  joint compound to skim over the tape. (make sure to apply the joint compound sparingly...it may take two or three coats, but try to keep it as smooth as possible)  
  • At this point, we were ready to add the texture to our walls.
Note:  If you don't want to texturize your walls, you could probably just prime and paint at this point...  we've seen several homes that used a paint with a sand like texture in it and it looked good.

Spraying on Texture
We used a hopper to spray a pre-mixed texture to our walls.


It was a messy process, but the end result is amazing, and we'd definitely do it over again if we had to.   *After four years, it's holding up very well ... we haven't seen any flaking or cracking.
(see detail of the texture in the picture of our ceiling below)
  • We're in the process of adding baseboards throughout the house. We've also used similar molding around the interior doors.  It is MUCH better than the thin strips of trim that were there originally.

Q.  Did you add crown molding around the ceiling?

No... We had originally thought we would have to because when we removed the original trim there were such large gaps.  However, once Buzz had filled the gaps with caulking and we prepped to paint we were pleasantly surprised at how nice this area looked without crown molding.  


Not perfect by any means ... but for the most part it looks pretty good.


What makes this work is the blown on texture ... I'm sure that without it we would definitely have had to add crown molding.

After four years we haven't noticed any cracks or other deterioration in this area, but I'll keep you posted as time goes by.

Q.  What paint colors did you use in your home?

I've had several people ask about the paint/color choices in our home.  This is a list of what we've used so far:
  • Interior Walls & Trim - Behr Premium Plus Ultra (Home Depot) Aged Parchment UL150-10.  We used flat on the ceiling, eggshell on the walls and semi gloss on the trim.  We chose to use the same color on the walls, ceilings and trim to help expand our space, and it works!
  • Kitchen Cabinets - Behr Premium Plus Ultra (color matched) from Martha Stewart Living Heath MSL212 & Valspar's Eddie Bauer Home Amber Yellow EB25-2
  • Exterior - Valspar Exterior Paint (Satin) Asiago 6005-1A  on the house, Outland Subtle Taupe 6005-1B on the trim & Smoked Oyster 6005-1C on the shutters
I don't have the exact colors we used on the dining room cabinets or the guest bathroom cabinets, but they are both a medium gray.  

Q.  How hard was it to close in the doors or other openings you didn't want?

It wasn't hard ... we closed off a door in each bathroom, and an opening between the dining room and living room.  This collage shows the process in our Master Bedroom/Bath


Q.  When you painted your kitchen cabinets, were you able to paint over the "fake wood" ?

Yes.  I described part of our process in my post "Kitchen Remodel - Phase One", but I'll go into more detail for you here.


We were perplexed on how to paint the cabinets, because even though the doors were real wood, the cabinets themselves were a fake wood.  Our fake wood is like a particle board wrapped in a vinyl.  It was in good shape, and we weren't prepared to replace our cabinets at this time (and probably never will be)

The solution:  We painted all of the cabinets and doors with a contractors bonding primer.  This primer has a bonding agent that adheres to the surface of whatever you're going to paint. Because of the adhesive in the primer, we were able to paint right over the  fake wood parts of our cabinet and it stuck like glue.  We used the Valspar® brand, and it's worked beautifully for us, but there are certainly many other bonding primers out there. 

Once the primer dried, we applied two coats of a good paint to all the cabinets.  After three years, they're still holding up great!


Our dining room cabinets were a little different.  

We did prime the cabinets with the bonding primer, but  we simply painted over the original wood doors after we had lightly sanded them.  The reason we did it this way was because we wanted a distressed look on the doors. After we applied two coats of paint (sanding lightly between each coat) we distressed the doors with a light grit sanding pad to give them an aged look. We also applied a coat of Minwax® to these doors for extra protection.




Q.  How much did you spend remodeling the interior of your home?
    • Floor Coverings - Carpet/Tile - $3,550.00
    • Appliances - Refrigerator, Range, Dishwasher & Washer & Dryer - $3932.00
    •  Heating & Air (inside/outside unit) - $3800.00
    •  Misc  - Appx  - $3000.00
      • Lumber
      • Molding
      • Electrical
      • Plumbing
      • Bathroom Fixtures
      • Doors
      • Hardware
      • Light Fixtures
      • Blinds
      • Paint
      • Caulking 
I think it would be safe to say that we've spent approximately $15,000 on our home.  We've purchased quality when we could, but also took advantage of outlets like Habitat for Humanity, Thrift Stores, Discount Centers & Garage Sales.  After four years...we're still very pleased with the choices we've made.   It goes without saying that we could probably have purchased a new home for what we've spent on this one, but even in a new home, we would have wanted to make some of the same changes.  We're Happy!  We're Blessed!


I hope this helps answer some of your questions....  like I've said, this is an ongoing process and we're still learning ourselves. 

Grandma's Wire Whisk

Grandma could whip up the best Angel Food Cake or Divinity using this simple wire whisk... my arm gets tired just thinking about it...":o) 

I'm just a little spoiled with all the electronic gadgets 
I have in my kitchen.

   
Her kitchen was also filled with prayer and I'll never forget the example she set for us.
Thank You Grandma...
I'll never forget your Kitchen or your Prayers 
                                     

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Birds in Winter

Pinterest is a wonderful source of images that can guide you to the most amazing 
Blogs and Websites...
These are some of my favorite Pins of 
"Birds in Winter"
You can find all of these images on my pinboard

Happy Pinning!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Valentines Day and a Wedding

Our little girl is getting married on 
Valentines Day
 It will be an intimate wedding with 
just the two of them.  
That's how she's always wanted it, so, 
that is how it will be.  
~
She is so Happy!
They are so Happy!

She asked me to make her bridal bouquet...
It had to be filled with whimsey and fun.
A dangling heart locket 
for Valentines Day
A few pieces 
with sentimental value
 And a kitty 
leaping through the petals


If you have a little girl... don't close your eyes!
She'll  be grown before you know it...
starting a life of her own.

Enjoy EVERY single moment!

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