Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Painted Pumpkin Tutorial

You've seen those pretty pumpkins all over the internet and in the magazines. You went to the craft store and got a bit of sticker shock. Do you want to spend that much on a fake pumpkin and what happens if you don't want a blue/green/pink/gold/purple pumpkin next year?

Is this you? Maybe it was just me.... sometimes color committal is hard for me. I like lots of different colors for lots of different reasons and a color I may be stuck on this year (month, week, day) doesn't mean I want it around next year. What's a girl to do? What I have been doing all along... reach into my paint stash.

Two years ago I wanted gold pumpkins... I tried painting real pumpkins. That was fine until they started decaying... ick!

Last year I wanted all things neutral. Tan, white, wood tones and I mingled in greens.


This year a new color combo has caught my eye and I am just not ready to give up my summer colors...
My solution was to pick up some cheap-o pumpkins from Walmart. I paid $.98 for the little ones and less than $5 for the big ones. I used a 50% coupon at A.C. Moore and grabbed some paper mache' pumpkins, plus I raided my cache from last year. My little collection of pumpkins ranged in size and color and by themselves didn't look bad but I want them different colors this year.

If your pumpkins have stems, remove them if possible. The foam-y little ones from Walmart just pulled out. Don't worry, they go back in. It just makes it easier than trying to paint around. Some of my pumpkins didn't give me that option. You can tape them off or like me, just wing it.

I grabbed Waverly chalk paint (left over from another project) and gave everything two coats. You can purchase it at A.C.Moore... USE A COUPON.

Ahhh. So much better but I'm not done.

I went back to my paint stash. I had grabbed some "oops paint" from Home Depot a while back in this watery blue color. (Side note: Oops paint is paint somebody returned. Grab those paints when you see them! They are the best bargain around! I bought my paint for less than $1.00 and have used it on several small projects.) No worries if you don't hoard paint like me... pick up a couple craft paints from the store that work with your color scheme. Use those coupons!

While my white chalk paint was still wet I dipped my brush into the blue, ever so lightly, and went back to the pumpkin. Work that little bit of paint into the white giving it a light washed color all over.

I then went back into the blue and hit the ribs to make them a bit darker. Be sure to blend the colors out so you don't see lines. Let them dry.

Make sure you paint the stems if working with ones like paper mache'. I layered yellow, burnt umber and dark brown trying to make them look more realistic... as realistic as a blue, paper mache' pumpkin can look. Touch up plastic stems that may have gotten color on them. Replace stems that you removed.

Some I did darker all over.

Some I left white.

Now, spread your pumpkins throughout your home like fairy sprinkles!

Will I still want these colors next year? I have no idea but I know I am not stuck with my choice. It's just paint and little time, limited only by my imagination and who knows what that will look like next year!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Forever and Ever Chalkboard Art Tutorial

I have a couple chalkboards in my home. I have one in the bedroom.


I have one in the kitchen.


I made both using old frames. The one in the kitchen has a little something extra. I used a piece of metal purchased from a hardware store, making the chalkboard magnetic, too. See how I did it here.

Recently, a sweet girl in our church asked to borrow it for her wedding. The couple was having an ice cream bar at the reception and they wanted some chalkboard art identifying the station. Because it was to be left at the reception hall the day before I worried that the chalkboard art might not make it until the reception; it might get smudged or erased as it was being set up at the facility. (My inner skeptic is alive and well.)

The following was my solution:
(Note: I am showing photos from 2 different canvases because I always forget to take pictures the first time around.)

I pulled a canvas wrapped board from my stash. You can purchase these at Michaels, A.C.Moore and the like. I buy them when on sale and keep them around for my hair-brained ideas. I painted the canvas with chalkboard paint I had on hand. This took two coats. Black acrylic paint would probably be fine for this application, too.

While that was drying I pulled out my sketch pad and went to work. I did a couple of Pinterest searches for ice cream signs and mushed my finds into one drawing on my sketch pad. I tweaked it until it was what I was happy with it. I texted a picture of my drawing over to the bride for approval.

When the green light was given I went to my copier and enlarged the print. I had about 4 pieces of paper when all was done and I taped them together. (This is where I forgot to keep taking photos.)

On the back side of the taped copies I rubbed a stick of chalk all over the areas where my design was.

I delicately placed the print, chalk side down, on the dry canvas.

With a pencil I traced the printed image leaving a chalk outline of my drawing on the blackened canvas. Up to this point this is often how I will do my chalkboards in my home. but they are meant to be erased and remade. For this project I reached for a one of my chalkboard pens that won't come off so easily.

Trace over the lines with the pen, filling in the fatter lines to resemble calligraphy. Sometimes, I have to go back over the white once it's dry to get good coverage. When the chalk pen ink was dry I did have to go back to the canvas and do a little clean up. Remember your paint pen takes some time to dry and if you rest your hand in it while writing you will make little messes on your canvas that you will have to clean up.

To erase your original chalk trace marks or chalk smudges you can use a soft paint brush and lightly brush the board after you are sure the chalk pen ink is dry. To clean up paint pen smudges a q-tip and a little water does wonders!

 In the Ice Cream piece I used a red piece of red chalk to fill in the heart and the cherry on top.

To use it with my pre-existing frame I hot-glue four magnets to the back corners. You can mount it in your own frame or just lean the board on a mantle or a shelf.

For me, the artwork can attach to my chalkboard. Finally, to protect the work, spray it with a matte sealer. I used Krylon Matte Finish. Now it won't get smudged and the happy newlyweds got to take their artwork home where they can frame it or stick it on the fridge ... Maybe it will be around when they are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!

And, my chalkboard is ready for the next thing my mind can conjure up!

Thanks for spending time with me today.  I would love to see pictures if you decide to 
make one of your own! 


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Musical Chairs In The Dining Room

Remember the game musical chairs? You start on one chair, move til the you're forced to stop somewhere else, and try to plop down before anyone else does-never gracefully. I had a love/hate relationship with that game. Recently, I started thinking that is what my home was feeling a bit like. Last year it was three rooms upstairs that played the switch-a-roo game. This year there have been lots of projects brought right up to the brink of completion but then quick-like plopped down; in working order-not gracefully completed. It is more of an "it'll do til I can get back to it" sort of order.

We live in an old home. It has come to us (rather,  we came to it) knowing it was filled with challenges. We saw the charm while others just saw a hot mess-minus the hot. The main floor has three rooms, one kitchen and a half-bath. You walk into the front door facing a central set of stairs flanked by a room on the right and a room on the left. Behind the stairs sits the third room. That was the room we used as our dining room when we moved in but I wasn't convinced it was where I wanted the dining room to be.

                                                 Don't hate me for using a Christmas photo.

It was sold to us labled as a "colonial-cape". I guess it gets the "cape" classification because the ceilings upstairs are low and sloped and the windows are little and low to the floor. It gets the colonial label because from the street the exterior is symmetrical (almost) with a center entry. Originally, from what we have been able to find out through historical information, the house did not have a front porch. It probably had a more prominent front door with some sort of pediment but with the addition of the front porch it was sacrificed. That being said, I love the front porch and have no plans of reverting back.  The colonial label also comes with the idea that upon entering the front door you can head upstairs or turn to either side to enter either the dining room or the living room (parlor). 

The room to the right is our living room and because of that it made sense to me that the room to the left should be the dining room. There is a built in cabinet in the room. The top part at one time had glass panels with drawers below. When we moved in the glass was long gone. We used the room as our home school space for years and I used the cabinet as supply and book space but always thought replacing the glass to display my great-grandmother's china was in its future.


When we renovated the kitchen I thought it was a perfect time to switch things up. My girls were older and our home school materials have managed to migrate to every other room in our house so I thought I could eventually clean it out. I stenciled the walls (in lieu of wall paper) and hung bold green curtains. I found a used table online and refinished it and was happy with the results... except I couldn't do the glass inserts yet...still too many unsightly books and supplies need to be housed in the cabinet.


Mister was a good sport but never really liked eating dinner where we could be seen from the street. These older homes were often built close to the road. We live on a small street with little traffic so it didn't really bother me. I enjoy driving by homes and seeing families at their dining tables-homey and comforting but when it is others looking in on us... well, Mister wasn't on board. And, we never really figured out what to do with the old dining room except to house my crafts and desk. It was always an untidy, disarrayed collection of stuff staring at me as I sat on the couch. I tried to keep it neat but it just never happened. 


Fast forward to February of this year. Our tv went on the fritz and we bought a new one. We decided to hang it on a different wall and that led to a whole big mess; redoing our master bedroom, living room and yes, dining room. We took down the cheap bead-board that covered the lower half of the walls both in there and in the living room, replaced the baseboard, moved the chandelier and painted the walls a yummy color. I thought I wanted the downstairs to remain neutral in color. I tried... really I did but when you walk into the paint store and there all those colors.... I caved!

I used  Dragonfly by Benjamin Moore for the walls. On sunny days the color looks more green than blue. On cloudy days the color looks more blue than green. Bonus: I was able to use the old window toppers which I love and Mister loves not having to buy new ones.

                                  Image result for paint color dragonfly

The color looks similar in certain photos to the color that it used to be which was more of a gray-blue color but in reality that is not the case.

I still have some things to hang on the walls in there and am toying with building something to house my serving platters. I am still thinking about painting the buffet and I have yet to paint the silly chairs but they'll have to do til I can get back to them. (I think that is how I started this post.) I am presently using the stenciled room for an office and craft space and yes, it is a mess. Project after project-weddings, work for others, and anything else I can find to do to avoid it.... It will go through some more changes in the next couple months but that will be for another time.

This does seem to be a better place for the dining room. Not exactly sure why but it just feels right, like an old familiar song, gracefully danced... which is music to my ears.

Don't stay away too long...you never know what room we will move next!

Party Time!
Life With Lorelai

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dunn Collecting

Hello, lovelies!
Today, I wanted to share with you a recent find (for me). You're probably way ahead of me on this.

If you visit often you know I am a Fixer Upper fan groupie. For a couple years I have coveted the simple, white mugs with black words on them that Joanna uses in the kitchens they remodel but had no idea who made them or where to find them. It never occurred to me to Google them. (I think my generation often forgets that just about anything and everything can be found that way.)

A few months ago a young woman in our church mentioned that she liked Rae Dunn ware.  I was not sure of what she was talking about but tucked that name away for a search when I got home. They had just moved into a new home, had another baby and I wanted to find something I knew she would like. Imagine my surprise when I did an online search and found the mugs I'd spied on Fixer Upper! If you've heard of Fixer Upper (and who hasn't...they're  were on People magazine last month), you know anything they touch turns to gold! Still, I was surprised by the prices I was seeing in my online searches. All the usual purchase places had the mugs but the prices were way out of my comfort zone;  online sellers are asking between $15 and $30! Crazy!

I did some research and realized that people selling online were called "up-sellers". They go to the store, buy all they can get their hands on, then resell them at inflated prices. Ugh. "Well, that's not going to happen", I thought. Then I read that these little treasures were sold in Home Goods, Marshalls and T J Maxx! That started a most unfruitful search. I walked out of every store empty handed and discouraged.  Then, a little ray of sunshine lighted onto my Facebook feed-not sure how or why... A local yard sale site popped up for people who liked the pottery but didn't want to pay crazy prices.

I just wanted a few pieces as gifts....

And that's how it began.

Turns out there is a huge following, nationwide, of people who collect and trade this stuff. It is more than mugs. There are bowls, plates, spoon rests, canisters, pet dishes, serving pieces.... you get the idea. Collectors call themselves Dunnies. If they see items in the store they will pick them up then offer them to the group at cost if it is not something they want to keep. If you're looking for something in particular just post it and you'll have lots of help finding it!

Now, I am old enough to know to not spend too much money or time on all of this. Cabbage Patch Kids, remember them?  I was the mom who bought every Holiday Barbie because "they were going to be worth something some day". I bought too many Dreamsicle figurines in the 90's. I bought "collectible" Beanie Babies for my child. They are all in my attic! Nobody wants them and my kids have long forgotten about them. So, with an understanding that my taste will change or that I will spend too much time arranging my cups into sentences I tread lightly into the Dunn-o-sphere. 
                            Image result for dreamsicles figurines                

My little collection makes me smile. I share my finds with others because I like to see them smile. The online group has allowed me to meet other people who live close to me. There are some pretty enthusiastic women there that spend their free time looking for ways to help others with their collections. They trade pieces, sell pieces, meet at different locations for coffee and exchange, ect. I have not paid above retail for any of the pieces I have gotten and in a world of opportunists it is nice to meet others who just want to help people make their homes happy places.

Decorating around the pottery has driven me a little bonkers.

To be honest I have been in a decorating slump lately. These last several photos were taken with my phone, hence the grainy quality. We do have some big stuff going on outside and I will share that soon. Inside, I have struggled getting my living room back in order since tearing the walls down.... And then there is summer and the beach that casts it's spell on me.

Now when I walk into my kitchen it talks to me! I am reminded by the first mug I bought for myself of my condition/status, whether there is one mug, 30 mugs, or no mugs at all. I am blessed; blessed to have a cup or anything to put in it, blessed with old friends and new friends, and blessed to be able to bless them. Mostly, I am reminded of my status before God because of Christ...blessed. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Free Tickets-My First Giveaway-And Still Holding On To Summer

I am enjoying summer and hope you are, as well. As the days fly by I am keenly aware that school starts for us in a mere four weeks! This will be our last year of homeschooling. It is hard to keep focused on the here and now with such a monumental year ahead of us but I am determined to squeeze every last drop of sunshine and beach weather from summer. Usually, I go into fall kicking and screaming but this year is a little different because it is our last year and also because of some happy news a friend shared with me a while back.

Trisha from The Vintage Prairie Home told me she had collaborated with some other local business owners to pull together a fall market in our area. I love Trisha's style, kinda farmhouse chic... I've shared her market with you before, HERE and HERE. She said an announcement would be made when everything was set. Two weeks ago I received a message from another friend, Kim, at Laurel Grove; one of the business owners Trisha had mentioned. She told me another Kim, from Purple Rose Home, was sending me some VIP tickets! (Happy dance commenced here.) Thank you, Kim, Michelle, Kim, and Trisha!

The market will be September 30 and October 1 at Kalon Farm in Lancaster, Massachusetts! 

I received the happy mail and decided to wait to open the box once in my happy place... the beach! You can see the video on my Facebook page

When I opened the box it was contained two tickets for me and two extra tickets to giveaway! Kaboom!

And so, that was the catalyst for my first give-away on the blog! Go easy on me...just some brief guidelines for this giveaway:

1) You must be local or traveling in the area the dates of the fair: September 30 & October 1. It would      be unfair for the tickets to go to someone who couldn't get there. 
2) Please follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or subscribe to the blog in the side column. 
3) You can ONLY enter through the blog. Enter by leaving a comment below. One per person please. 
4) If you win I ask that you kindly share a photo on social media tagging the pro.found vintage              market and While I Linger. ** This is not mandatory but please consider. 

Not terrible, right? 

If you agree to the terms please leave a comment below and I will assign each eligible comment a number. All numbers will go into a hat and the winner will be picked August 22nd! I hope to see you there! For now, you can find me at the beach.

**Updated 8/7/17