November 26, 2011

Chalk Board Mirror

Well the Thanksgiving holiday kept us all really busy. I'm sure I am not the only one who feels like they've neglected their blog friends? {Please tell me I'm not the only one}. I hope everyone had a nice holiday with family and friends. I know I did :)

Because I had a couple of extra days off of work, I took the opportunity to really dig into some of my projects I've been putting off. As I sit here typing this I have about 5 of them going! I love it!

My first project was to take this retro mirror and bring it into the 21st century. If you take a close enough look at it you'll understand why....

Not exactly the hippest style. It's old and I'm sure it was the in thing during it's time. But times have changed a bit. It has some nice detail to it so when I nabbed it for FREE I felt like I hit the jackpot :)

This was really a simple project. All I needed to transform this into a chalk board was a paint brush and the chalk paint. I also had a sheet I put underneath. I do most of my projects at my kitchen counter and the sheet really saves my butt when I spill :)

To start, there really is no method. Just clean it up with a damp rag and then once it dries....paint :)

Two coats was all that it needed.

I love the thickness of this paint. It really has great coverage. No sanding or priming....just paint away! It also dries really fast.

The results were great. So simple and yet it makes such a bold statement when you walk into my living room.

The total cost of this project was around $3.00 {portion of paint and paint brush used}. Not bad.

Linking to these parties...


November 17, 2011

Doing The Party Thang...

Today has been one that will be remembered for all time...

...I began my journey into the linky party world!!! I'm sooo excited! I know most of you are linky party veterans. So I am sorry to bore you with this but it is HUGE for me :) I decided to link my cute Bottle Cap Candle tutorial.

These were so fun to make. Check out the tutorial here.

I've already made a few new friends :) How cool is that?!?! I'm super excited to get going on more projects this weekend for next weeks parties :)

Until then...this is where you can find me partying today....

p.s. because I'm no pro...if you have party tips I'd love to hear them!


November 16, 2011


Let's start off by saying that the last 5 days have been pretty hectic around these parts. I've been working like crazy on my crafts and also trying to figure out what works best with my camera. I really do need a new camera. It's pretty sad when my iPhone 4 takes better pictures without the flash then my Nikon Coolpix. Natural light has been key.

I'm putting a lot of work into learning about the blogosphere as well. And it's starting to pay off. This little blog of mine is slowly {I need to emphasis sloooooowly here} coming along. It's amazing what time and patience can do. I'm learning so much new stuff everyday!

Yesterday I finally got my Junk Nest Facebook page up and running. Wow did that really mess with me! I spent like 2 hours just trying to figure out if my page posts show up on my normal wall posts. It was crazy. And this is coming from a person who has had a Facebook account for a few years. So if anyone has any tips for me I would really appreciate them :) I will take any criticism I can get. If you want you can 'like' my page too...I don't mind ;) I am also working on getting my Twitter account situated. That's going to be more challenging. I've never worked with a Twitter account and have no idea how to Tweet!

Oh and if you haven't noticed...I FINALLY went ahead and figured out how to put the social media icons up. Yep....I'm feeling preeetttty darn proud of myself right about now :) Check them out...if something isn't right let me know.

Last but not least, today is my little girl's birthday. I was up late last night doing a DYI wrapping job. Take a look...

I had no idea what my plan was but they didn't turn out too bad. I did my first fabric rosettes {see the left hand corner of the larger package}. They turned out cute! Oh and I spent zero dollars on wrapping :) Can't beat that.

November 15, 2011

Pheasant Feather Display {using bottles}

For the last few weeks D has been pheasant hunting. And every time he gets a bird he brings home a feather. They've been piling up and I really haven't had any clear plan for them.

Over the weekend I was crafting and trying out new things. I got into the spray paint...and spray painted some bottles that I had sitting around. I really didn't have a plan for those either. When I put them on my desk to figure something out I saw the feathers sitting there.

Pheasant Feather Display
Not perfect but these do the trick for displaying my feathers. I also had a can I spray painted. I slapped a little bow on it and presto...

I am really happy with how these turned out. And it all sort of just fell into place. Gotta love it when that happens!

Linking To:

November 13, 2011

Bottle Cap Candles - A Tutorial

For months now I've been wanting to try my hand at making bottle cap candles. I've been saving bottle caps for awhile in anticipation of this project. I thought they would be a great addition to my Christmas gift stock pile :) Everyone seems to love my handmade gifts the best.

So I started out by going to Hobby Lobby for wax crystals, braided wick and wick sustainers.

In addition I needed a can for melting the wax in, a pan for boiling water, a pair of scissors, a pair of pliers, and bottle caps {items I already had}.

I put about an inch and a half of water in the pan and let it boil.

Once boiling I put some wax crystals in my can. I wasn't really sure exactly how much I would need so I put in around 1/4 cup to start. It ended up being enough for only 8 caps.

Then I put the can of wax into the pot of boiling water. Overall, it probably took 3 minutes for it to completely melt.

While the wax was melting, I started assembling the wicks and wick sustainers. I cut 3/4 inch strips of wick and then fastened them to the wick sustainers. I did this by threading the wick through the hole and then clamping the metal around it with the pliers. They look like this...

After doing a few of these, I checked my wax and it was just about ready....

 At this point I realized that I had some scented I added a bit. And then I continued with my wick/cap assembly.

These were fun to assemble. I wish I had bought more wick sustainers. I didn't realize the package of 20 wouldn't be enough! I have enough of the braided wick to do 100 or so more and almost the entire bag of wax crystals left! 

Pouring the wax took some practice. You have to do it "just so" and the can is hot too. I noticed that it looked better when I filled the caps a little "over" the top but right before the point to where it pours all over.

I purchased the white wax because I had originally planned to mix one of my daughters crayons with it to make a color. I bypassed that step but I think I'll do that next time to add some flare.

These will make great gifts! I love how they turned out!

And they were soooo easy and fun to do.

Linking Back To...

November 8, 2011

Teal & The Living Room Reveal

OK, so the entire room isn't done, but the TV stand and end table sure are. I have some odds and ends {patio door curtains, rug and whatever else fancies me} to button up with the room but I just had to show you the furniture.

Even though these pieces of furniture are laminate, I kinda like how they turned out.  The antiqued look is one that I really enjoy doing. 


 The TV Stand is fabulous.
Teal Painted Laminate TV Stand


I had tried to paint over the mesh but that didn't work out so it had to go. I purchased two yards of a cream color fabric and got the staple gun out. Forty staples later and wow...what a transformation!


So what do you guys think? I have to say this was a fun project. The teal color brightens the room so much. I can't wait to pull the entire room together. 
Have a great day!

November 5, 2011

Wooden Stool vs Chalk Paint

A few weeks back I spent a day junking with my mother. Garage sales, thrift stores and a roadside dumping ground for junk furniture {found accidentally while trying to find the flea market}enabled me to buy a bunch of stuff I didn't exactly need! We had a great time and I was in junker's heaven. Take a look...all for under $20. Score!

See the little stool under there??? Cute. And it only set me back $2! I could have cared less that it had a gigantic cow plastered all over the top of it. I knew right away I was going to paint it.

Yuck. So I bought a half a quart of Rust-oleum's Black Chalk Board Paint. (I could've went with much less paint but I have other chalk painting ideas in mind :) I didn't use a primer and I didn't sand...just wiped it down with a damp cloth and then went to town painting.

I applied two coats and it was done! I love this paint. It drys fast too.

And yes, I did this on my kitchen counter. Limited space calls for drastic measures :)

I love this little stool. It found it's place in my living room. I'd show you the room but I'm in the process of doing a reveal on my TV Stand & End Table {you can read about that here.}

There will definitely be more chalk paint makeovers in the future.

Linking to...

November 1, 2011

Camera Talk

I wanted to take a moment and discuss an important aspect of any great blog.  Picture Quality. Nuff said. I bring this up because this last month marks the start of my blog. There is soooo much to learn during this time and the one thing that has really been on my mind is how to get professional looking pictures.

So many {actually all} of you great DYI, Home Design, Upcycling, Refurbishing and Junk Loving bloggers have amazing photos every time. I want them too! And I want to know how you get them. Do you hire a professional to come in every day, every other day, or once a week? My camera sure the heck does NOT give me pictures that look so great. I mean sure, my camera does the trick for everyday picture taking but when I try to take a great picture of something that I’ve created for my blog, it just doesn’t have what it takes.

So I sat down with my laptop and started looking for my answer.  I started with looking at blogs with pictures I thought were amazing. I ended up finding Better Brighter Blog Photos by Kate at Centsational Girl. And it’s no wonder my pictures are so bad. I don’t know much about photography so I had no idea what is essential for great pictures. Here’s the jist...
  • Natural Light Is Key. I take about 80% of my photos at night due to my work schedule during the week. I generally do most of my projects after 6pm and right now in the Midwest it’s dark at 6pm. Blah! I’m going to have to make some considerations in the future regarding my project times.
  • Camera Quality. I mentioned already, my camera isn’t anything fancy. I’ve never been into photography so the thought of spending anything more than $100 on a camera has always been a little daunting and completely unnecessary for my lifestyle. Somehow, I’m going to have to make do with what I have.
  • Don’t Use A Flash! And I always do because if I don’t my pictures turn out like crud. Uh oh! Gonna have to think about this one.
  • Photo Editing Software. Yep I just downloaded Picasa for FREE tonight and I’ve been playing with it for a bit already. It is really easy to navigate and I’m already addicted J I can’t wait to use it on pics for my next blog post.

I’m so glad I found her post. There are also other links to more photo tips and tricks that are helpful. I have a feeling I’m going to be referring to them quite a bit for awhile!

With that being said…I'd like to hear what you readers have to say about photos and quality. Is it possible to use a less than stellar camera and have a great blog? Or is the camera really a necessity? Are there any other bloggers out there that are going/or have gone through this same issue? What did you do? Any insight would be so much appreciated :)