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Month: April 2016

Transforming an Old Wood Pallet into a Rustic Flower Garden

Transforming an Old Wood Pallet into a Rustic Flower Garden

I have been wanting to try my hand at upcycling with reclaimed wood for quite some time.  I am still such a sucker for the rustic wood look, then you mix that with beautiful flowers and succulents, I’m in rustic heaven!

Luckily, my mom so happens to have an old barn with plenty of wood pallets looking for a new purpose in life. I should also mention here, that I’ve read several articles about how dangerous it can be to use wood pallets for repurposing due to possible chemical exposure. And like the one I used from my mom, they can be dirty from years of being used in a barn.  For this reason, I chose to create something that would live outside and I purposely did not plant any edibles on it.  Ok, now that all of the not so fun facts have been covered, back to the project!

Here is the lovely pallet I reclaimed from the barn, gross right!? If you don’t happen to have a barn nearby, I have heard that sometimes your local grocery stores are willing to give them away. It’s definitely worth a try, and far less dirty than barn pallets!

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I read a great article on the blog Not Just a Housewife about how to clean and sanitize reclaimed wood.  Because I’m not planning to have my pallet inside, I didn’t feel the need to follow her instructions completely, but I did scrub this pallet using soapy water.  Once it was dry, I used sandpaper to clean it and prep it for staining.  The way I achieved my final look was though a mixture of staining and watered down paint.

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I used dark walnut colored Minwax and a foam brush to stain the wood. After about 5 minutes, I wiped off the excess stain using an old cloth towel and began adding the watered down light gray paint.

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I used a mixture of 1 part gray latex paint to 3 parts water.  Basically I brushed the watery paint onto about 2 boards at a time, then I used a damp cloth to blend it into the wood.  Once it was dry, I had my husband attach boards to create the bottom of my planters and drill holes for drainage. IMG_3619

Now time to plant!

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Of course I had to do a row of succulents as well as some cascading flowers that I hope will fill in nicely over time.  There you have it, from barnyard junk to backyard beauty!

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Thanks for stopping by, let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below!

 

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A County Fair Birthday Party Comes to Town

A County Fair Birthday Party Comes to Town

Last year, my daughter Brynn asked me if she could have a petting zoo at her 4th birthday party.  We had already done a barnyard party for her 1st birthday, so I decided to make the theme of this one a county fair!  And I’m so glad I did, because this ended up being one of my most favorite parties ever!  As a kid, I always looked forward to our little county fair each summer. From all the 4H farm animals, to the midway games, fun rides, art shows and bad carnival food, I just loved the feeling of being there. So I hoped to find a way to bring a little of that same nostalgia to Brynn’s party!

There were a few things that I knew we had to have right away… games, cotton candy, a craft station, hay bales, and really fun deserts!

For my craft station, I decided to have the kids decorate tiny barns with stickers, moss, rocks, and flowers.  This was so much fun and a great take home item as well!  I found the wood barns at Beverly’s along with all of the other decorating items.  I painted the barns prior to the party so that all the kids had to do was decorate them, less mess!

barnyard craft project

 

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Brynn found some pretty amazing cupcakes in one of my magazines, and both of us agreed that we had to try these for her party!  I am by no means a baker, so these little beauties definitely challenged what baking skills I do have.  I would say that  the outcome was definitely worth the effort…

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One of my best childhood friends Katinka, happens to be an excellent baker and party designer!  When I told her what I was up to, she offered to make me fresh organic mini lemon meringue and strawberry pies.  Not only did they taste amazing, but she wrapped them up cuter than I could ever imagine!

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Any good midway includes games and ours was no different! We had a few different tossing games, and we were able to to track down a real horse saddle from my mom’s collection, so the little cowboys and cowgirls could try it out.

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And yes, there were animals, some of the cutest I’ve ever seen…IMG_2162 (1)

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We did a prize table that included popcorn and cotton candy. And I used our old lemonade stand from the basement for a kids refreshment area.  I knew there was a reason I didn’t get rid of it!

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Last but not least, we also had a little potting station for kids to plant flower seeds to take home.  I doubt that any of the kids had much success growing their flowers, but they sure had fun planting!

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Well, it’s probably obvious by now why this was one of my most favorite parties to put together.  So many fun activities for young kids at a county fair which translates well into a party theme.  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below and thanks again for stopping by my blog!

 

 

 

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My kid wants a book nook!

My kid wants a book nook!

Do you remember that post I did a few weeks ago, the one showing off my “Craft Cave”?  Well since then, my 7 year old decided that if I get this great crafting spot, then she should get to put together a fabulous reading space all to herself!  Clearly it was hard for me to say no, I mean the girl just wants a nice place to read!

So anyone who lives in an urban area knows, that most of us live in small houses, therefore, finding a spot for this book nook was a challenge all to itself!  It would require a great deal of purging and creative rearranging on my part to even find the space for it.   When all was said and done, we were able to carve out a small area to make this reading spot a reality.

As far as design, my daughter’s main requirement was that it have a blue wall, seeing as how blue is her favorite color.  So we took a trip over to Home Depot to look through color swatches where we decide to take two samples home to try out.

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She ended up deciding on the darker option, which I surprisingly loved more than I thought I would!

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After getting the wall painted I headed to Target, the place where spending money comes way too easy for me!  This is where I found the white shearling papasan, dark blue bean bag, hanging book rack, dog lamp(dogs are her favorite animal), white rug, the adorable sign that reads “This is my happy place”, and last but not least, that fancy throw pillow!  I found the little table at Ross and the book nook letters I ordered from Attic Journals.  They make all sorts or cool things from used books, which I happen to think is an absolutely wonderful idea!

 

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Well, there you have it, we now have a book nook in our house. Let’s just hope it actually inspires more reading! Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

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A Garden Party Birthday

A Garden Party Birthday

This past weekend, we celebrated my daughter Brynn’s 5th birthday! Which also means that my next blog post will be something like “Oh my, how is possible that my baby is 5!” In the meantime, let me tell you about her party….

When Brynn and I were first discussing what she would like to do for her party, way back in December, she said that she wanted animals……again.  This would be the 3rd time Brynn has had animals at her birthday, the girl just LOVES animals. Luckily so do I!  Since we had already done a barnyard theme, as well as a county fair party, we decided to call this one a garden party with animals.

Right away I envisioned a beautiful canopy of colorful paper lanterns and streamers floating over the backyard.  My husband was a little bit less excited about this idea, seeing as how this project would ultimately become his job on the morning of the party. But in the end, he was a good sport about it and made it look fabulous!

Paper lanterns at garden party

I also found inspiration from a new party collection called Liberty Betsy by Meri Meri, definitely one of my most favorite party splurges. I ordered the large plates, the tiny Canape’ plates for cupcakes, small napkins, crowns and gift bags in this design.

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For invitations, I will often look to Etsy because they have such a variety of styles and they can be personalized and printed out right at home. I know most people use Evite these days, however, I still love the idea of sending invitations in the mail because I believe that they really set the mood of the party. For Brynn’s party, I chose a beautiful watercolor floral card with a bunny, and I think it represented our theme quite well!

As for food, I knew immediately that we had to have tiny sandwiches, any proper garden party would.  I decided on 3 different kinds, turkey/cheese, egg salad and cream cheese/strawberry jelly.  I cut them out in different shapes and created a key card showing which sandwich went with which shape.  I also made some lovely flower shaped fruit skewers using green grapes and watermelon, these were a huge hit with the kids. How could you not want to eat your fruit when it comes on a skewer?!  I also did berry cups, cheddar bunnies, edamame, a veggie tray, cheese/crackers and of course cupcakes!

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As for the animals, we really lucked out.  I was able to find the most wonderful owner of a small animal farm including a pony located in my area. She showed up with some of the most adorable animals I’ve ever seen, and when all the chickens sat on the donkey, I knew we were off to a great start!

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The birthday girl herself riding a sparkly pony in pink cowgirl boots!

Something else you will always see at my parties is a craft table. I love to have kids make a craft that goes along with whatever theme we have selected. For this party, I decided to have the kids decorate flower pots by covering them with tissue paper cut outs using Modge Podge. This is a fun and fairly easy project to complete. I have to say, in the end, I think more of the moms at my party ended up making flower pots than kids did!

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All in all I would say that this was a successful party. We started the party at 11am which made the set up time very early and a little hard on the set up crew (a.k.a. mom and dad) but we made it work. I should also mention that we hired a fabulous face painter which I highly recommend at any kids party if possible. I even got my face painted, because why not!?

Thanks for checking out my latest blog post, let me know if you have any questions in the comment section and i’d be happy to answer them!

Cheers!

 

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