I Have Been a Basket Case…

Whew!  Where has the time flown to?  It has been CRAZY busy around our house the last couple of weeks.  I have barely been able to keep my head above water.  Are any of you feeling like that ?

The school year is starting to wind down and I am feeling the pressure!  If only I collected a volunteer salary…

I have also been busy with clients which is absolutely great!!!  It really is one of my passions to help someone make their space look amazing or to take a bunch of random items and make them look cohesive.  I am also planning a Retirement party for Buddy’s 3rd Grade teacher and an 8th Grade Promotion party for Buddy.  Party Central right!!!

Sooo, are you understanding the feeling of under me being a basket case and feeling under pressure?

So amongst all of that , last week I was putting together baskets for the Huntington Beach Educational Foundation’s “Home and Garden” Tour.

I was working in the “playhouse” to keep my “mess” contained.  (Let me be honest, I am taking over the playhouse too!)

Somehow this will all come together and look great…

It was after 11 o’clock at night and I have a movie playing (500 Days of Summer, LOVE IT!).   The backyard is pitch dark, the only lights on are the playhouse porch and the lights in the playhouse.  My back is to the door and I am working away, doing my “thing”.  All of a sudden, that feeling creeps up  my spine.  You know the feeling, the hairs on the back of your neck start tingling as if someone is behind you…

Now, I love to watch scary movies.  Just as long as I am under a blanket, on the sofa with the house all locked up, my dog Alexa by my feet and Mr. Cabana near by.  This was different.  I was all alone in the backyard and it was a bit creepy.

I spun around, thinking that I was being really silly and no one was really going to be there.  Well guess what?!?!

It was Baby Girl!  She had wandered outside to look for me because she did not have any water on her night stand.  Seriously?!?! She just scared the “you know what” out of me and she only wants water?  I asked her why she did not ask daddy and she said he was sleeping.  So I get her water and get her all settled back into bed.  My blood pressure has returned to normal and I finish up my work.

The next after noon, I am driving her Brownie troop to a paint class at Timree’s in Newport Beach (That will be another blog!).  Sydney wants me to tell everyone “about how she scared me half to death last night”.  I begin to tell the story when I asked her why she did not have Daddy get her water.  Her response?  “He was snoring like a motorcycle!”  (Sorry for sharing Mr. Cabana!) Well the girls all thought that was hilarious!  I then asked her why in the world she did not just get her own water. She said because it made her have to go “shi shi” (Potty).

Geesh!  Obviously, she does not know about the bladder of a woman who has had two children!

My mom and I had a GREAT time on the Home and Garden Tour.  Sorry, I was not allowed to take any pics of the homes or gardens.  But here are some pics of the baskets.

Basket Time!

All you need to make your summer garden gorgeous!

Great basket for Father’s Day.

Have goodies and wine, will travel!

“Real” men like baskets!

This would be a great basket to give your kids on the last day of school!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

PS.  On Mother’s Day, Baby Girl told me one of the reason’s she loves me is because I put her on my blog!

What a funny girl I have!

Yea~ I can’t wait to try my new Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

This past Sunday Mr. Cabana, Baby Girl and I went to Historic Downtown Orange (Buddy was at a birthday party) to make a very exciting purchase for me. ANNIE SLOAN CHALK PAINT!!! I found it at Country Roads Antiques and Gardens.

I am fortunate that there is a local distributor of the paint 15 minutes from my house.

Baby Girl all dressed up to go “antiquing”. How lucky am I that she LOVES to dig for treasures like me?!?

I am so excited to use the paint and I have many pieces that have been awaiting my attention. I am so happy I did wait (procrastinate?) to get to work on the dresser, cabinet, head-boards, bed…Mr. Cabana has been quite patient with my hoard loot freebies treasures taking up space in HIS garage.  When we married, we agreed that I “got” the house to do with as I please and he “got” the garage.

Shhh!   This arrangement has worked out very well for me.  It is quite rare that Mr. Cabana balks at anything I do with the house.  But here is the thing, I seem to be slowly taking over the garage now too!  I have an entertaining cabinet, craft cabinet, entertaining storage above the laundry area.  He even built a work space over his original workbench using our old kitchen peninsula laminate counters (reduce, re-use!) so that I had a larger work surface. What a great hubby I have.  He’s a keeper!

Ok, so about the Annie Sloan paint.  I will not have to sand to prep the furniture (unless there are stickers to remove like on the dresser I have), nor will I have to prime it.  No sanding off varnish, paint.  Nope!  I just get clean the piece, paint and wax it!  I now understand Mr. Cabana’s excitement over a new tool. I just need the time to get to work.  Maybe later today…

I was so excited about all of the colors that I had to choose from.  But as I was sticking to a strict budget, I settled for 1 color (Old White), clear wax and dark wax.  I wanted to buy another color as well, but that wait until next month.  I also did not purchase the $23 brush.  But I did “splurge” ($5) and bought a color chart so now I can prioritize my color wish list.

These samples were hung high on the wall. The color are on the right side has a clear wax finish and the color on the left has a dark wax finish.

I better get going on my chores so I can go play paint!  I will post pictures as soon as I can!

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

Before & After~

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!

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?

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

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!

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!

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

Another “Berry” Cute Basket

As I said in my last post, I ADORE putting together baskets for family, friends and clients.

I usually find one great piece to design a basket around.  For this basket, I loved that the basket (found at Shinoda’s) came with garden tools (you can’t see them because they are strapped to the back of the basket by the white and green elastic band).  I then found the adorable strawberry plate.

Ah~ A Garden Themed basket!

I love to relax after working in the garden.  Nothing like sitting on the patio admiring the work we have done with a nice cool beverage and yummy snacks! Wouldn’t it be great to have this basket to celebrate the first day working in your yard after a long winter?

This basket would make for a great “Welcome to the Neighborhood” gift for new neighbors, a housewarming gift or for a birthday.

~Bon Appetite’~

This basket cost $45.00 to put together. Most of the items came from HomeGoods and Cost Plus World Market.

The basket included: one plate, two polka-dotted glasses, two gourmet sodas, Brie cheese, two kinds of crackers, strawberry candies, glass tea light holder, picture frame, basket with garden tools.

Until next time,

Butterscotch Lady

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