Before & After~

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One of the things I like most about what I do is finding a piece of furniture in a not so great state, and with a bit of elbow grease, turning it into a fabulous piece.  You all know about my , shall I say, “diving” opportunities to find pieces for free.  However, sometimes a girl just needs to pay a little bit of money for a piece that has great potential.

I found this piece at a local swap meet and paid $15 for it.  I have seen drop leaf tables sell for much more, so I knew I had to snatch it up.  I thought it was a great deal on a piece that is made well, but just needed to be “updated” (Painted!).   I know some people do not believe in painting wood items.  “What? Your going to cover-up the wood grain?!?”  They ask me.  Yes, yes I am!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I like wood furniture.  But I really LOVE painted furniture.  I like pieces that look like they have been around for a while, that have been well-travelled and loved.  The more layers of paint and rubbed edges, the better I say!

However, it is not always possible to find or afford a piece of “vintage” looking furniture.  So I look for a piece that has great lines, made of wood and is cheap affordable.  With paint you can make just about anything look fabulous, vintage and “pricey”.

Sorry about the flash in the frame!

I sanded the table with my electric sander to knock off the finish.  Primed with Kilz Primer and painted two coats of Home Depot‘s Behr brand semi gloss black negro (same paint I used for the outdoor buffet).  I sanded the edges a bit to bring out the lines in the piece.  Plus, with kids in the house I have found it is best to distress the furniture myself first.  It could be the, ahem, control freak in me, but at least I will know exactly how that first scratch and/ or nick got there on the piece I slaved over!

We all know things can become distressed by the “little” people”.  I often recommend distressed furniture to clients that have children in their homes.  It helps the stress level by not having to worry about the high gloss lacquer on a piece when it becomes a Hot Wheel track or a Barbie stage!  We can have the “fine” pieces of furniture when our babes leave the nest.

Source: anniesloan.com via Butterscotch Lady on Pinterest

I have many pieces sitting in my garage that need to be attended to.  I just need  some great , consistent weather and oh yea, free time to get to work on them!  I am hoping to be able to be able to place an order of Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint before I start on these pieces. I have been drooling over the fact that I do not need to sand or prime the furniture before I paint when using Annie’s paints.  I say, “Amen to that!”  Her paint is more pricey than the home store paints I tend to use ($40 vs. $20). Not counting on her brushes and waxes.  Hopefully the budget will soon allow an order of chalk paint!

On Pinterest I have found “homemade” chalk recipes.  So maybe I will whip up a batch and try it out while I am “dreaming of my Annie Sloan order…

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Lets Start Spring Cleaning!

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I love this time of year because the weather is changing from from cold temps to weather that we can open our windows and let the breezes come floating through our homes.  Here in Surf City, we are so lucky to have mild temperatures for most of the year.  Think of the Mediterranean and that is pretty much our weather here too.

Source: myseastory.wordpress.com via Joana on Pinterest

So with my windows wide open, with breeze coming in it gets me in the mood to clean and organize!  Ok, really?!?!  Well, not “in the mood”, I would rather be laying on the beach reading a book!

{Have any of you read Fifty Shades of Grey?  Oh my…!}

But I would like to be laying on a beach this summer, knowing that I have “deep” cleaned my house this past spring and all I need to do is the regular, weekly cleaning.  (At least until the kids go back toschool, but that is a post for another day!)

On Pinterest I have come across SO MANY household cleaning tips.  I have a whole board dedicated to this subject.  How sad is it that I get excited to see a tip that may make my chores easier and CHEAPER?

I have tried the “Miracle” shower door cleaning tip where you spray Lemon Furniture Polish (Pledge) onto shower doors, leave for 5-10 minutes, then wipe down.  The hard water spots are supposed to disappear and the “residue” from the polish will repel further spots from forming.  This tip failed for me.  Sure my bathroom smelled lemony fresh, but I still have cloudy shower glass!

So far, vinegar still seems to be the way to go for clear doors.  I prefer the lemon fresh scent of Pledge as opposed to vinegar, but at least vinegar is CHEAPER than furniture polish!

In a squirt bottle I mix 3 parts water to 1 part white vinegar. (I eyeball the amounts to be honest, but it works out to be about 1 to 3).

I want to buy some car wax and apply it to my glass to see if that helps.  I’ll let you know if it becomes my new “miracle” tip!

Do you have any “tried and true” cleaning tips?  I would love for you to let me know what they are!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

“An Honor Just to Be Nominated!”

Thank you to “ipinterest” for nominating me for a Kreative Blogger Award!  I have to admit that as the Oscar nominee’s always say, “It really is an honor just to be nominated!”  It makes me feel great that other’s from the “blogging world” are enjoying “Butterscocth Lady”.

This foray into the blogging community has been such a new adventure for me and one that I am still learning so much about.  I have slowly started to learn about linking things back to my page, coding, watermarking pictures…The list goes on and on!  I have to admit that there are many tweaks I would like to add to my blog (a “grab button” that others can add to their blog pages, a section to add grab buttons on my page…).  The learning curve (Everest in my opinion!) is never ending and I so appreciate you, my readers, joining me a few times each week to “sit, chat and share”.

I told you in my very first blog entry that you were in on the very beginning, the ground floor so to speak.  I hope you are enjoying the pictures, decorating and entertaining ideas and the anecdotes of my life with Mr. Cabana, Buddy and Baby Girl.  My family now loves to say to me, “Oh!  Put THAT on your blog!!!”

Source: google.com via Lea on Pinterest

Here is an example:

We were having Sunday night dinner at my parent’s house the other night.  We are all sitting around the dinner table and an article in the Travel section from the OC Register about the Titanic 100th Anniversary was brought up in conversation.

The article had interesting details about how many little things added to the tragedy.  One detail mentioned was that there was no moon that fateful night.  Baby Girl in a very smug manner said, “They should have turned on more lights to see the icebergs!”  When we told her that this was 100 years ago, she basically said that was no excuse!  Boy, how she keeps us on our toes!

I LOVE reading your comments on my blog!  Feel free to leave a comment, ask a question or just say “Hi!”

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

P.S. I love this wreath!  Wished I had been saving ribbons…

P.P.S. As soon as I have 100 email subscribers (not counting my FB followers) I will be having a great “Give Away” as a thank you for your support and encouragement.

Ummm, Thanks?

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Have you ever received a gift from someone who was so thoughtful but just not, well, your style?  Do you hide it and bring it out when the giver is on their way to your house?  Do you donate the item and hope they do not look for it when they come over?  Do you display the item anyway? Or do you hang the hand painted picture you received for your wedding in the garage?

( True story, we received a very thoughtful, hand painted picture for our wedding.  However, we just could not make the Aztec inspired fluorescent orange, yellow, green and purple colors piece work with our decor. So we have hung it in the garage. At least we still have it, right?)

I always feel guilty when someone has been thoughtful enough to buy or make something for me and I, well, um, uh…am just not too fond of the piece.  And as you can imagine, living in a small house, I just do not have that many hiding places to display everything .

Sooo, when I received a thoughtful gift recently from Mr. Cabana’s Aunt, I was again pressed with “where am I going to put this?!?” anxiety.  The piece itself was cute, though I did not care for the colors.  I could have left it as is and put it in the garden by the playhouse.  But I am just not too fond of having stuff around “just for the sake of having it around”.

So what is a girl to do when faced with a gift that just does not “speak” to her?

Spray paint it!

Yup!  I got out my trusty cream spray paint and sprayed the piece!

{I recommend gloves when spray painting so you do not spend more time on clean up than actually painting.}

I wanted to bring out the details of the piece so I mixed brown acrylic paint with a little water, brushed the “glaze” onto the piece and wiped off the excess with a paper towel.

It has more of a “shabby chic” look .  I may go back and add a bit more brown glaze to “My Garden”.   But for now, I like the piece a lot more than before. And it will look cute in the little planter underneath the playhouse window.

Have you ever come up with a clever way to “re-purpose” a thoughtful gift?  I would love to hear what you did!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Easy and Nearly FREE Easter Centerpiece

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Baby Girl and I found some fantastic sticks last week on a walk with Mr. Cabana and our dog at our local park.  I was not too sure what I would do with them, but hey, they were free and we all know I love FREE!

Baby Girl had a craft at her class party yesterday where they made little “blossoms” out of square of tissue paper and then glued them onto a tree they had drawn on a white craft bag.

After her party, I happened to pop into Pier 1 Imports while I was shopping for an Easter shirt for Buddy at Old Navy.  (Yea!  He approves of my purchase!)  Anyway, Pier 1’s Easter items are 25% off so I thought I would check out what they had.  Oh my!  They have the cutest white ceramic bunnies on a lavender ribbon for $1.46 each.

Inspiration struck like lightning~ The bunnies, the free branches and the free leftover tissue paper squares…

All I needed was:

A bowl, floral foam, bricks, moss filler, branches, zip tie, hot glue, tissue paper, glitter glue and five bunnies.

I used an inexpensive bowl ($3.95), filled it with floral foam, put two small pieces of brick on top of foam to give it weight.  Next I zip tied the branches together and stuck into the floral foam.  I then covered the foam and bricks with moss and hung the bunnies from the branches.

Baby Girl made the “blossoms” for me while I hot glued them onto the branches.  As a guide I glued the blossoms where-ever there was a little “nub” (spot where a real blossom would have come out had the branch not been a dried out twig!).

Once the blossoms were blooming, I added a little dot of glitter glue to a petal.  I believe you can never go wrong with glitter!

Sorry for the blurry picture. But, you get the idea about the glitter, right?

So here is our Easter center piece that cost about $6 and that was only because I had to have the cute bunnies!  The best part?  Baby Girl and I only spent a 1/2 hour on this centerpiece.  Which is great because we still have eggs to color, flowers to plant, house to clean, laundry to fold, shortcakes to make…

Happy Easter to you and your family!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

It’s Here! It’s Here!

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As of today April 6th at 2:50 PM. Pacific Standard Time

is here!!!!

I am not sure who is more excited me or the kids?

On Pinterest I saw this sign and thought it was such a great idea to mark a special day. Of course I remembered this idea literally 8 minutes before I had to pick Baby Girl up from school.  If anyone had been watching me those last few minutes they would have thought I was crazy!  I grabbed paints and brushes, squirted different colors onto a plate, un-rolled the craft paper and painted as quickly as I could.  I liked how the “S” turned out, the rest?  Not so much.  Oh, I wanted  it to say “Spring Break” right?  Forgot about the “Break” part when I started painting and had to squeeze it in.  Oh, well!  I will make sure the Summer one is really well done.

Who am I kidding?  I will be running around on the last of school too!  Maybe I will give myself 15 minutes to make that sign!  (The kids still thought it was pretty cool to pull up and see the sign. Do you know how difficult it is to impress a 14-year-old.  TOUGH!)

Source: sidebysideblog.blogspot.com via Butterscotch Lady on Pinterest

I have been so busy I just haven’t done much decorating for Easter yet.  I say “yet” because I am hoping the Easter Bunny will help a “gal” out and decorate for me.  I will let you know how that works out me!

I did do a fun “art” project with Baby Girl the other day in the playhouse.

Do you remember the feeling of doing art work on your classroom chalkboard when you were young?

I always loved being able to do that!

I just loved Miss Mustard Seed’s (below) chalkboard artwork and had to see  if I could possibly imitate her artistic style.  I definitely need to practice more and use smaller chalk. I used the fat sidewalk chalk which was more difficult to work with.

 Source: missmustardseed.com via Butterscotch Lady on Pinterest

If you have never visited Miss Mustard Seed’s blog, she is one of my very favorites.  She was even on the Nate Berkus Show this past Tuesday.  Check out her site and let her know I sent you there for a peek.

Baby Girl and some of her “peeps”!

Baby Girl is the one wearing the stylish pink hat.

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Spring Has Sprung!

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My Amaryllis in full bloom. My mom gave me several bulbs years ago from her yard. I love that they have multiplied over the years. (FYI, this is the wall we show movies on for our “Drive- In Movie Nights”.)

I am absolutely, completely FLOORED that it is already spring and that Easter is less than one week away!  Where has the time gone?  Just about the only thing I have ready for Easter is Baby Girl’s outfit!  (White eyelet sun dress with a coral cardi and coral sandals.) Adorable!

Ok, I will admit it, she is ALWAYS the best dressed in the family!  I am not picking favorites when it comes to my kids, but let’s be honest, Buddy is a teen and jeans and t-shirts are his favorite!  Although I know he will “dress up” and wear a cool button down shirt for hunting for eggs.

Yes, at 14 he still hunts for eggs with Baby Girl.  Gotta keep up appearances!  Plus, no hunting would equal no Easter basket and he surely is not going to risk not receiving any chocolate! (Shhh!  Family secret, my brother and I had to hunt for eggs until he was 20 and I was 18!) We finally drew the line at those ages and made our parents and a couple of their friends hunt for eggs the next year.  Hey, come to think of it~  I think they are over due for another egg hunt….

I usually do not do too much decorating for Easter.  I did find this adorable FREE Printable on Pinterest the other day.

                                                                                                              Source: thirtyhandmadedays.com via Butterscotch Lady on Pinterest

My mom gave me this old frame that had been hidden in a closet a while back.   I just have not had the time to paint it until this past weekend.  I thought it would be perfect for the spring print.

I LOVE spray paint!  Just be sure to wear gloves so you are not scrubbing your hands for longer than it took to paint!

~The final FREE result~

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Our family had a couple of birthdays this past week.

Mr. Cabana’s  birthday was last Thursday and our beloved dog Alexa turned 10 years old on April 1st.

Baby Girl is helping me plan a “Doggy” party to celebrate with Alexa and her doggy friends.

I look forward to sharing that blog entry soon!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

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