Friday, November 18, 2011

A coupon story.....
Once upon a time, "couponing" was very easy.  Every week the drugstores gave away products free or with profit using your internet printed or manufacturer coupons from the Sunday newspaper.  Now, we are lucky to have one or two things free a week, and usually it's some strange supplement or something really useful like Preparation-H, seriously (no, not really) instead of shampoo, toothpaste, razors, and all the other HBA goodies I am use to getting for free or PROFIT.  Well, this week, the stars aligned and a local Walmart finally had the disposable Schick razors that are $1.97 each, and I still had my internet printed coupon for $6/2.  Nowadays, Walmart allows overage to cover other items in your basket, so I went to town with my four $6/2 coupons and my eight razors.  I also had $4/1 Banana Boat coupons to use, and I need to get a start on next year's sunscreen supply as this summers sunscreen sales were poor OR I didn't have the coupons required for that specific deal.  With these two problems, I used up all of my sunscreen supply this summer, and I needed some cheap sunscreen to start out next spring's beach trips.  These two particular products were $7.88 and $6.64 before coupons, so that ate into some of my overage from the Schick coupons.  I also purchased this lovely little outfit (marked $11.88, but rang up $9) for my Salvation Army Angel Tree recipient, and I had a total out of pocket of $9.58 after all coupons.  I will take 2 sunscreens, an outfit, and 8 packs of razors for that price......

My New Love.....
It's not only Pinterest, but this wonderful Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint that is allowing me to easily convert several pictures frames from gold or nickel to a more updated oil rubbed bronze, which matches my current hardware, and is much cheaper than buying new frames!  Have you looked at the cost of frames recently?  Holy cow.

I took my first frame, sanded it lightly with fine grit sandpaper, and I ended up applying three very thin coats in total.  I wish I had taken a "before" picture, but I didn't know how much I would like this finish. I am pretty sure the sanding wasn't even necessary, just a good wipe down to remove dust, etc... 

Here it is after (pardon the carpy picture, I need a new camera): 
What's that my frame is laying on?  My next project, a huge
4" x 8' mirror!

Here's the next frame with tape covering it's
fabric strip:
Gold now......

Oil rubbed bronze, in another 2 coats....

My Version of the "Picture Collage Monogram"

It's another day and I have removed another Pinterest project from the bucket list and added it to the checklist! Check and Check.  This idea originated (for me) on Pinterest via this website  Now that I have completed the project, I thought I could add a few more words of advice from what I learned.

1)  Unless you are in a hurry, more than likely you can get your pictures for free.  I was able to use two Walgreens deals within the space of a month to get a total of 65 pictures for free.  Since the pictures were printed in black and white I wasn't worried about color quality as Walgreens is rated one of the poorest for color quality (although previous freebie color pictures have been fine,IMO).  The paper tearing and crinkling in the two different blogs I saw with instructions for this craft worried me, so the free pictures were the way to go for me.  I used pictures on the front of the M and the outside edges.

2)  When picking pictures, close ups aren't your friend.  One or two close ups will be fine, but any more than that and you will struggle with cropping.

3) Joanne's Craft Store has these cardboard letters dirt cheap.  Their online store has been out of stock for most letters for quite some time, but my dear sister purchased this "M" for me at her store.

4) Buy your Modge Podge (Liquid and spray) with a 40% coupon at Michael's or Hobby Lobby, it's cheaper than Walmart.  I bought one, then dear hubby bought one.  I bought the Matte finish liquid and finishing spray, along with the .29e sponge brushes in the art section.

5)  I had black matte spray paint handy to paint the inner "lines" of the M, I chose not to place pictures there, I think I would have lost my Jesus if I had tried to place pictures on the inside lines (Don't ask me what to do if your Monogram is a Q or a B).  I also used the black spray paint on the back and top of the M, and I wish I had used it on the bottom of the M where I instead placed pictures, I think it would have looked better without pictures on the bottom.  The edges of the pictures were very white and I ended up taking a black sharpie to make the picture edges black, as the bottom of the letter was very uneven and it was difficult to make the edges of the photo lay as flush here as they did on the outsides of the letter.

Painting the edges of the M, after
I had cut my pictures to the size
that I wanted.

I chose to cut the pictures precisely
the size that I needed, the overlap
was too messy as I chose not to
use paper, but real photos.
Thank goodness for my Creative
Memories supplies and my exacto
knife, they were invaluable for
cutting the pictures!

Modge Podge under, easy-peasy
Modge Podge on top, oh dear
Lord, I was worried.....

I cropped all the pictures to the exact size and didn't allow any overlapping.  I also used the Modge Podge finishing spray to finish this project as I am mailing this cross country as a gift to my sister-in-law.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pinterest Inspired Me......

Pinterest.  I love it.  I have left Facebook and devoted myself utterly to the inspiration of Pinterest.  The 4 pictures above are just a few of the projects that I have completed due only to pins I found on Pinterest.  I have come back to this blog that I started in 2009 and never continued, solely for the purpose of posting projects I have completed on Pinterest (I might be giving myself an online high five, but so be it).  I had a pumpkin decorating party that was so much fun nobody ate anything, we just drank a lot and painted a bunch of creative and AWESOME pumpkins.  The bat pumpkin my son is holding up is motivated by a pin, but a variation I created using basic black spray paint, white paint for the face, purple puff paint for the wing decorations and a cereal box for the wings themselves.  If you use the cereal box cardboard, please note you can't put it outside in the humidity of the southern climates, it will curl and your creation will look, well, not like a bat.  This little bat has sat proudly in the foyer of my son's daycare this past October.
My favorite Pinterest project, though, is this display that I created for my son's 80 plus Lego figures.  I saw a cool display idea on Pinterest, but it did not include any kind of directions, and I am pretty sure some really bored adult Lego fan glued 4x4 white lego blocks to a white wall at equal intervals-yeah, so not doing that to my walls!  So here is my easy-peasy mostly wall-friendly solution:

Purchase one piece of PVC white lattice lath 1/4" x 2" x 8' and cut into 24" sections.
Purchase white 4 x 4 basic lego blocks from lego dot com.
Purchase a package of 20' Velcro with sticky back, be sure your package contains both the hook and loop portions.

Measure and mark with pencil the intervals you would like to place the lego men.  I have one section of 24" lattice with a lego man every 1", this was too close, so the rest are at least 2" apart to allow room for weapons in lego hands, etc.

Carefully super glue each 4 x 4 lego piece at the corresponding mark on the lattice, a very, very small drop of glue will do, trust me!  After all the pieces are in place, go back and erase the pencil marks.

Measure where you would like to place the lattice sections on the wall.  Stick the velcro hook or loop at the placements you have selected.  I opted to place the hook portion on the wall, as I have a feeling my ten year old son will take down a whole section of lego men to play with, and I don't want velcro hook pieces grabbing at whatever surface he might lay them on.......Place the other velcro "mate" on the back of the lattice and mount on the wall, and you are "good to go".  Disclaimer:  I have not directly tested what the velcro will do to my wall when I want to peel it off, but my reasons for using it were: to allow my son to play with the pieces as he wanted, I didn't want to use any of the other more destructive construction adhesives, and  I did not want to deal with nail holes in the wall or the lattice pieces......