Monday, June 25, 2012

Tips when painting small projects

My last project was a computer desk, I had some old paint that I had from another project that was about 4 months old.

The two colors I had were complete opposites and I wanted a strong color, not vanilla or white again, so I mixed black and white paint together and created this grape color. I was surprised I thought I would get a gray hue but I got this color instead and it worked. I saved the rest that I did not use and plan to use for a stencil project on a cabinent.

If there is old paint around consider mixing paints to create a new color and using it on a project around the home, is great way to not waste left over paint. Don't let it dry up and waste, keep it out of land fills.
There are paint tray liners that sell for about 8- 12 dollars in home stores, these are great for saving time by letting the paint not reach the tray therefore keeping it clean. Instead of purchasing one of these tray liners, just wrap a plastic bag around the tray and stretch out the bag over the front of tray tightly and place duct tape on the bottom of tray to secure it in place. Wha la, there is free tray liner.

Save money by investing in good long term paint brushes that will last you for many paint projects. If on a limited budget, and the paint brushes bought are inexpensive dollar store brushes, there are ways to make them last for at 4-5 paint projects. When I use brushes that I purchase at the dollar store, I try not to place too much paint on them because its really hard to get the paint off them. I use disposable small rollers and use the brushes for angles and tight corners, even details around furniture. When I clean these brushes I clean off the paint with water and dish wash liquid, I get the paint as much off as possible. I soak the brushes in vinegar and water with dish wash liquid and leave it for two days. This is to keep the bristles soft for future use. If the bristles seem stiff keep the brushes in water another day.

Clean and reuse those aluminum paint cans, these make great organizers around the garage, great planters, and great for its original purpose of storing paints. Use the cans to store the new created paints for up to a few months.


Best vintage postcard images from my collection

 Postcards are history saved in time through photos and vintage logos. First US postcard was sent on June 1 st 1873.

The austrians invented the postcards but the germans are credited with design and creation of first postcard.


I am starting to collect vintage Bronx, Puerto Rico and Ocala postcards, I found very few from Ocala, on eBay but found many for the Bronx. It's really interesting to see the sites that you recognize now and how the landmarks have changed throughout the century especially in NY.





This was Bronx Borough Hall in 1906, this building no longer stands, but the base and the staircase is still at same place 177th st and East Tremont Avenue.  The stairs and the base has these arched doors that are sealed in concrete block.  It is currently part of the park on Park avenue and East Tremont, about two blocks away from Cross Bronx expressway.


This is the back of the postcard, look at the penmanship that the writer had at that time , pretty cool

 Glass Boat postcard from Silver Springs


I bought this to send to family but I kept it i liked the beautiful photo postcard of the famous horse farms in Ocala
 This postcard I got on my trip to Puerto Rico a few years ago, this is the famous victorian Ponce firehouse from 1880s.  It is now a museum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. 
This is a postcard from same trip,  classic architecture from old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico is over 500 years old and so is San Juan so the architecture are examples of spanish and french design.  These old style homes are very european in design and have been around for hundreds of years, along with the stone cobblestone streets.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Recycled pickle jar now a sugar canister

With a little bit of chalk paint, you can make any glass or large plastic container into a new utilitarian jar or canister. Use these recycable jars for anything for anything; such as sugar or flour canister, cookie jar or coins. I made this sugar canister from a pickle glass jar. I cleaned the pickle jar throughly by adding dawn dishwashing soap and water in the jar for a few days. After its cleaned, I would use painters tape and form a square shape or circle shape in the front center of the glass. I would paint in the center of the tape with chalkboard paint with small brush; then apply second coat after it drys. A few days later remove tape; it should retain the desired shape of a the tape and be ready to be written on with chalk. 


There are these chalk board labels sold on etsy.com for eight dollars and are great to add style to recycable jars. If you want to create prettier jars, use stencils or add embelishments to create jars that are out of the cupboards. If keeping jars in cupboards there is no real need to make them look fancy; it is just a great way to recycle large plastic and glass jars for practical purposes.

I am actually growing edible vegetables, who knew

As I plant seeds and purchase vegetable plants at Lowes,  I can't believe that the vegetables are actually growing big enough to eat.  I had some success with earlier vegetables I planted but never did it grow so big without the insects getting to them first.  


I purchased these beefstock tomato seeds from Burpee for 3.25.   I went to Lowes and purchased three cabbage plants, one tomato, three eggplants and three pepper plants. 

My neighbor who grows vegetables had given me herb plants such as cilantro, and pidgeon peas.  My neighbors have given me advice and we even give and swap vegetables.  I gave them beefstock huge tomatos and they gave me corn, which they successfully grew in their back yard.

Here are some amazing photos of my garden vegetables.





 The burpee seeds germinate within 70 days, they need lots of sun and water, when tomatos are really big remove them from plant to let ripen on counter to save them from insects and worms. Grow the tomatos in large containers and planters.  Growing the tomatos in the ground attract too many worms and insects even with organic fertilizers and insectizides.
 The cabbage plants grew after three months, I use miracle grow plant food and lots of water

This was a spanish pepper called ajes and it was given to me by my neighbor and it grew, so far only one small lone pepper

Recovered Vintage Chairs


Almost every chair in my home is painted and recovered with classic traditional fabrics, based on photos can you tell what my favorites colors are; you guessed it blue and white. I like to mix different prints and solids but in same color scheme. Recovering a chair is really easy if you have the right tools, which are a philip screw driver, a staplegun, and scissors. Cut the fabric according to the size of the seat, leave about 3 inches on each side to fold under the chair seat and to staple fabric. Place chair seat face down on top of fabric on a solid surface. Pull fabric over edge of the chair sides, work one side at a time, making sure the fabric is nice and tight. When reaching the corners, fold corners tightly and cut off excess fabric to get a clean corner.






Vintage Spanish House Tiles- Casitas

Beautiful Spanish House style tile, I have had this for number of years. The colors have rubbed off a bit and are worn. These artesania house plaque tiles are popular souvernirs in Puerto Rico known as casitas. This tile is not embellished like many of the other casitas that include house numbers, ceramic numbers and any other detail. Many are colorful and really artsy a great collectible.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

White China cabinet stacked with blue and white collectibles and a few roosters


I painted this china cabinent that was originally a hideous yellow color, with palm trees on the panels! I painted it a crisp white and plan to add some wood appliques from rockler.com. These appliques are inexpensive at 6-8 dollars each and they have nice traditional designs that can be added to any wood furniture piece. I could stencil the top but I haven't been able to find a design I really liked to add to the panels and the top; so I decided to go with the appliques. After I painted my china cabinent, I added my blue and white china, dolls and collectibles on clear glass shelves. My dad had to add his 40 year old rooster figurines, I have to admit the roosters look nice in cabinent.










Upcycled media cabinent made into new craft cabinent


This was another Divine Providence Thrift shop find, it was in the middle of the store holding small knick knacks, and I asked the clerk if it was for sale. She said yes, and I bought it for 15 dollars. The staff helped me place it in the car too, they were really nice. The cabinent was a black color and it had no doors and three shelves. It looked like a media cabinent so I repainted it a light blue and added french wallpaper on the shelves and on the back of the cabinent. I upcycled cabinent and created a craft center cabinent. Now if I can only clear the back room. Work in progress.






Nice vintage Samsonite luggage


I inherited this from my aunt who passed away in 1997, I've had it for years because I love old antiques. I love old beaded purses, suitcase style hand bags and old samsonite leather suitcases. I love the style and the form of the suitcase. These suitcases are great storage pieces and decorative. These cases could be upcycled and made into a small side table by placing the case on a luggage rack. I cleaned and polished to get the shine on it.





Its all in the flooring go retro


A great way to save is to get inexpensive 12x12 vinyl black and white tile. Create a checkerboard traditional style design; which can go retro fifties or french country, even victorian style. These floors have been used during these different eras and styles. 






Or if you want to get creative, place tiles on a diagonal or diamond shape placement to create an interesting pattern. Tiles are inexpensive and never go out of style, in fact the style comes back every 30 years on average.