Posted in diy

{Creative Palette} Deconstructed Canvas & Wooden Tray

March marked the 1st Creative Palette class of 2019 at 2nd Chance Restoration! As always, Kelly had some amazing rustic/farmhouse designs picked out for our projects. We created a wooden tray and a deconstructed canvas sign during class. The wooden tray was the same one we created in February 2018; it’s important to note that Kelly tries not to do the same project again – but this one was a customer favorite and requested by many, so she caved and did it again.

We started the evening with a project that guest teacher Shauna Rogg was back for, the same Shauna from Cricut 101. Shauna passed out a blank canvas sign, such as this one which can be found at any craft store, to everyone. We took our 8″ x 10″ canvases and using an X-ACTO knife, we cut the canvas right outside the staples on the back of the frame. Once we had the canvas removed from the frame, we laid it down flat underneath the frame and taking the same knife, we trimmed the canvas to be the same size as the outer edge of the frame as we would be applying an iron-on and attaching the canvas to the back of the frame. With the canvas ready, we took our wooden frames into the staining room and stained them. Kelly had three options of stain to pick from – a dark brown, light brown and light grey – I used a mix of the two browns. We then placed the frames on another table to dry and went back to the classroom to begin on the second project; our trays.

Kelly already had the boards cut for us; we needed two 14″ boards, four 21″ boards, 2 handles, 8 screws and sand paper. Step one was to sand all of our boards and assemble our trays upside down. The two 14″ boards which would be on the top of the tray with the handles, were set down on the table at the end of the 21″ boards perpendicular to them, laying on top. Once the trays were set up, we used a power drill to screw the long boards to the short boards from the bottom (so you don’t see them when you have the tray out and in use). We then flipped the trays right side up and measured out where we would be installing the handles, marking the spots for the handles to be attached with a permanent marker. Then we headed back into the staining room to stain the tray. Last year I made a grey one, so this year I made a light brown one – the trays were then put on Kelly’s drying rack to dry.

While our trays dried, we cleaned up our tables, grabbed our frames that were now dry and then got a pre-made iron-on from Shauna which said “home sweet home”. We decided where on the canvas we would put the iron-on. Many people put their phrase centered and straight, but I wanted to make mine on an angle, because I don’t like to follow all the directions exactly. Then we used Shauna’s t-shirt press to adhere our iron-on to the canvas. We let them cool a little bit and then removed the plastic from the canvas and got it ready to assemble our final product. To finish the frame, we laid the frame down upside-down, and put the canvas upside-down on top of it, so the blank side of the canvas was facing us. Then we took a staple gun to attach the canvas to the back of the frame, and viola, we had our finished product!

It was then time to grab our dry trays and finish those up. We started by drilling holes for the handles through the tray from the top down. Then we countersunk the holes from the bottom, about 3/4 of the way through one board so the screws would reach into the handles. We then used a phillips head screwdriver to attach the drawer pulls to make our trays complete!

Posted in diy

Cricut 101

In December I got myself a Cricut Maker and used it to make Christmas presents but hadn’t used it much since. With no Creative Palette classes at 2nd Chance Restoration yet for 2019, I was super excited when a Cricut 101 class was announced for late February.

The class was held in the same location as the Creative Palette classes, but had a guest teacher; Shauna Rogg. Shauna and Kelly had the classroom set up for us when we arrived. The benches had plenty of power cords for everyone who brought their Cricut with them and they even had both of theirs available for anyone, like me, who didn’t bring their Cricut. All that was required for class was to bring your computer or iPad to log into Design Space.

We made two projects in class that night – a cutting board and a dish towel. The first project we made was the cutting board with a vinyl decal on it. The cutting boards were 8″x8″ squares with four feet on the bottom; you can buy cutting boards like this at the dollar store, but really any size clear cutting board would do. We used border #M8109136 as the main element and then I used Soirée Lettering – Grace Script for my word to put in the middle of the border. When we started making the projects, it dawned on me that the cutting board would be a great birthday present for my Grandma, so I used her last name in the middle. After sizing the border to the right size, I ensured the word was centered in the middle and then welded it together. Before sending the project to the Cricut, we also attached and flattened it all. Once on the printing screen, we needed to be sure to mirror the image since we would be applying it to the cutting board from the bottom. The hardest part of the night was the weeding; since the border had so many aspects, making sure you were only weeding the excess was tricky, but we all did it. Once the weeding was done, we laid out some contact paper to use for the transfer and then laid it down on the table, sticky side up. The final step was to center the vinyl on the cutting board, which was not too hard using the feet of the cutting board to temporarily put it down and once it was centered, then flipping it over and pressing the vinyl onto the cutting board before removing the transfer paper. Our final products came out so well!

Just like I used a different font for mine, there was someone who used a different border for theirs and it came out fabulously!!!

Once we all had our cutting boards done, it was time for the dish towels which we did with iron ons. Shauna got flour sack dish towels from Amazon and prewashed and ironed them for the project. Step one was to find the image of the state of Connecticut with the word home written across it. Once we had that, we inserted the heart shape over the portion of the state where our town was located.

Then using the slicer tool, we removed the heart and left ourselves with a blank heart inside the state. Then most of us added “is where the heart is” text underneath. We were now ready to print the iron-on by mirroring it and then weeding out the excess material. Once the iron-on was ready, we positioned it on the hand towel and used Shauna’s industrial t-shirt press to apply it, but you just need an iron or a Cricut Easy Press to do it yourself. The final outcome was so cute!

While I had used vinyl before, I had never thought to mirror it and apply from behind the material, and this was my first go at making an iron-on. The class was great, Shauna even sent us home with a small handout with notes from her on tips and tricks to remember when using our Cricuts. This isn’t going to be the last Cricut 101 class 2nd Chance Restoration holds, so if you’re like me and need to use your machine a bit more, you should keep your eye out and make it to one of the classes!!

Posted in review

Paint & Sip: Shamrock Pints with Painted by the Shore

When you live in New England and it reaches 70 in February, you know it’s going to snow in March! And when the forecast for the morning is for about a foot of snow, the best way to ignore winter is coming back is to get out and try another class!! This time I broke away from wooden projects to try a Paint & Sip class with Painted by the Shore. This was not your typical paint and sip class where you’re in an art studio painting a canvas, we were back in the Mason Jar to paint pint glasses 🎨 +🍻!

With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon, we were painting shamrocks on pint glasses (which we will clearly use year round at our house). Kristina from Painted by the Shore had the tables set up when we arrived; each of us got a table, 2 pint glasses, 2 paint brushes (an 8 flat and 3 small pointy), Kristina’s business card and a card with directions on what to do with our glasses when we got home and a clover wine glass tag. As we were arriving and sitting down, we each got a plate with Martha Stewart acrylic glass paint (dark green, bright green and a shimmery gold). There were also water cups scattered around and we each got a raffle slip to win the glasses Kristina painted during the class.

Once we were all settled, it was time to begin. We started with the only easy step – putting four dots on the glass, each about 3″ up from the bottom at 12, 3, 6, and 9 around the glass. Then we put more dots between those, one in the middle above and one in the middle below, making diamonds with dots at the corners using the bright green. Then we took our flat brush, dipped it in both greens (one corner in each) and made a shamrock over each dot, using the dot as the middle – a shamrock isn’t that hard, it’s just 3 hearts and a stem, but we only did the leaves this time. After we had our shamrocks on each glass, we added gold dots around the shamrocks, but not where a stem would be. I decided to break out and add bright green dots too! Then we took the small brush and went over the shamrocks to touch them up and make them not transparent. We also added stems at this time. Then we had the option to add some gold on top of one or two, of all, shamrocks. Some people had one four leaf clover on the glass and did that one with the gold. The shamrocks could be large, or small like I did. Really, you didn’t even have to do shamrocks if you really didn’t want to…

We did have some homework after class, we had to bake the glasses to set the paint (but Kristina sent us home with the directions on our cards so we wouldn’t forget!) At the end of class, Court had the store open for us to shop, which I did (yes, I know I shopped three days ago too)! Kristina does more than just pint glasses, she’s got a paint and sip class at the Mason Jar often – something I’ll be sure to be back for, and I recommend that everyone else try too!

Posted in 30 Days of Thanks

Day 17 – Calligraphy

Today I am thankful for my new hobby, calligraphy. Back at the beginning of October, I took a calligraphy class at a local stationary store, Joyful Noise. Since the class, I have been practicing my skill and it sure makes giving presents and writing Christmas cards a little more exciting and festive! Plus, having a new hobby is fun; it gives me the opportunity to mentally check out from everything else and focus on something that is solely for me every couple of days.

Posted in life

books, books and more books

When I was younger, I always read a lot, especially during the summer. My public library had (and I believe still has) a program that rewarded you for how many books you read during the summer. We got a poster, gift certificates for a slice of pizza and free ice cream, but best of all, once you read 30 books, you got your picture on the wall when you read 30 books in a summer. Summer after summer my sister and I had our pictures on the wall and it was a competition between the two of us to see who could get there first. While looking back on it, you’d think the free pizza or ice cream would be the biggest prize, but no, you really weren’t anyone unless your picture was on the wall. Even after I was too old to participate in the program, I used to bike to the library and volunteer as on of the big kids you got to tell all about your book(s) you read.

Obviously, as with many others, by the time I was in high school, I didn’t want much to do with reading. When Harry Potter came out, I got hooked. I am not embarrassed to say that I own every book (having bought the later books at midnight on the day they were released) and I’m even proud of the fact that I have re-read the entire series more times than I can imagine — the entire series is reread every time a book or movie is released. As much as I was hooked on HP, I didn’t read much else other than my books for English class while I was in high school. Even when college started I wasn’t much of a reader. I began to read more during the summers between years in college as it was a good hobby to kill down time while lifeguarding all summer long. Even though I would realize my love for reading was still within me by the end of every summer, the fall semester would always begin and along with the spare time in the summer, my passion for reading went straight out the window.

By the end of college, my passion for reading was back. It came back when a friend of mine from college was given a book from someone at home, being told to read it and pass it along to someone else to read. It was kind of like chain mail, but a book (and only one). But the whole point was to read a good book, pass it to someone else to read it, have them pass it and so on, so eventually people reading the book had no idea who the person who bought the book was. (I forget what book it was, I’m working on figuring that out…). I don’t know how, but somehow I found the time to read a book for pleasure during the semester and I really enjoyed it and ever since then I have started reading more again.

Ever since I graduated college, it is common for me to be like Rory Gilmore and carry a book in my purse — though, I only carry it with me when heading to/from work, I don’t intentionally bring one with me to parties. The summer after college I was a lifeguard again and found more than enough time to read on breaks and rainy days, along with when I was home. Even now as a member of the “real world”, I have learned to find time to read on my commute or when I’m home in the evenings.

With all the reading I’m doing lately, I am tempted to ask for an e-reader for my birthday this fall as I feel it would save me money instead of buying books all the time. But then, do I really want to spend, or ask someone to spend that much money so I can save money? I mean, then I should just go to the library — it is right on Main Street and not out of the way when I’m home. But there’s something to be said for reading a real book. Having the book in your hands, the first time you crack open a brand new spine, and then there’s always one of my ambitions from when I was little — to have a library in my house (when I’m older and own one) with floor to ceiling bookshelves covered with books that I have read. Right now I have a small bookshelf that is overflowing with books, in addition to many books boxed up in my attic and a few piles of books strewn throughout my room.

So do I get an e-reader or not? It could save me room in my purse (especially when I’m reading HP and those hardcover books are huge…) but I would no longer have the books at my own disposal whenever I want. OK, yes, I would, but I couldn’t pass the books along to others, and sharing is out of the question. Which is what I’ve been doing a lot of lately. I’m currently reading a book which was loaned to me and I will be reading the next two books in the series by borrowing them from my friend. And I just read 7 other borrowed books and have another sitting on my desk waiting for me to read. While I don’t own these books, and won’t be able to add them to my collection unless I go out and buy them, I still get to experience all that I love about reading an actual book. And what’s even better about reading from a book you’ve borrowed, is the broken in spine and wrinkled pages. I don’t know, and maybe it’s just me, but I think there’s still something to be said for reading a well loved book.