Friday, October 14, 2016

Dining Room Table Makeover

How to paint a piece of furniture that sees a lot of use.

You'll need:
Steel Wool
A clear polyurethane varnish
Paint Roller

My dining room table was looking pretty sad. Over the years, several incidents with hot beverages and nail polish removers had left the top looking pretty bad. Additionally, the part I use most no longer matched the extra leaves. I usually keep it circular, but it turns into an oval with the leaves in, as you can see, the part that had seen the most use had become discolored.

 I decided to paint it because it's faster and easier than stripping and re-staining it.

First, I carefully cleaned all the surfaces and used steel wool to really get into the crevices. then I used sandpaper to lightly sand everything. I wasn't trying to be thorough, just wanted to, "scratch up" the surface to make the primer stick.

Next, I coated it all with a coat of white primer.

I decided to flip the color scheme. The top had a clear varnish and the legs were painted a pale cream color. Making the top light and the legs dark seemed like a great way to update it. I chose a cooler cream and a grayish taupe to switch to a slightly more contemporary color palette.

Once the primer had dried thoroughly, I began painting, starting with the legs.


With just one coat of paint, the color still not fully opaque:


I had let the primer dry overnight, and painted thin coats on the legs, doing both throughout a single day, with a few hours of dry time between them. There is enough design on the legs of this table that I had to layer very thin layers, lest I lose some detail in the gloopy paint. I used two different brushes to get a thin finish, a bigger one to get some paint on, and a smaller one to clean up drips and spread any paint that puddled.

Next, I started on the top. I used a roller for the top, and the first layer of paint went on with just the roller.

For the second layer, I used the roller to layer the paint on but went over it with a brush to even it out, as the roller surface doesn't lay the paint down smoothly.

I left the whole thing to dry overnight once again, then added a thin coat of clear varnish. I layered a second coat of clear on the top, leaving the legs with just a single, thin coat. I found that it was more challenging to get the varnish off my brushes, so I'd recommend using old brushes for this step if you have any.

I let that dry overnight, then pulled the leaves back out of the table. Here's the finished project:


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Quick and easy Valentine's Day Cards

Hey all,
this is just a quick, silly project. Some years it amuses me to make cards for the people I lurve and mail them in the snailmail. Not a complex project by any stretch of the imagination. I don't really do much with the holiday, but I sorta miss how in school we always got all those cute little valentines. So sometimes I make some or buy some and send em out. ;)

If you're like me, you have loads of random paper, stickers, glitter, glue etc just hanging out waiting for the next crafty inspiration to strike. This year I decided to combine highbrow 'crafty' with lowbrow 'kindergarten' ;) meaning I used fancy papers in tandem with disney princess stickers and other such silliness.

 I had prepared by using a cute heart shaped template and cutting out hearts from pretty pretty papers. I'd also cut down some heavier cardstock into card shaped sizes, although I also used some lighter colored paper. Then I got crafthappy with the stickers and such. ;) Et Voila!

 I'm actually sort of loving the mixture of high end crafty crap with ultra low. Also Disney Princesses.

This last one is for my lady love, who is herself a pretty pretty princess. ;)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

quick no sew tutu tutorial

I'm sure y'all have seen this floating around the internets, and its quite simple to do; so I won't spend too much time on it. But here is my quick and easy no sew tutu tutorial, and there will be a few pointers at the end. cheers!
You will need:

ribbon or elastic
a crap ton of tulle
(its easiest to use a 6in wide roll and cut the length to your specifications)
scissors or blade
measuring tape
that's it!

I chose to also employ a mimosa, this step is optional.

Ok, so you choose the length you want your tutu to be (usually 10-15 inches) and then double that. It depends on how tall you are and what look you're going for, the shorter length will be more of a classic sticking way out but not really covering your butt style; longer will hang differently and give you a very different look.

Once you have your strips, you attach them by looping them over the ribbon or elastic. If you pinch the end with one hand while pulling to the top with the other, it helps to keep the length even throughout the process. You can either tie or loop the ribbon or elastic over your leg or onto something like a chair back.

You basically loop the piece through and then pull it tight, keeping the knots all facing the same way and sliding them down to the end of the elastic or ribbon. With this first one I alternated a few different colors to nice effect, basically by counting them out. I was typically using about five or six strips to a section (i think) whatever it was, I just kept the pattern consistent.
here you can see a switch from pink to grey. pretties!

The final effect was quite nice!

And here are a few with me wearing this puppy, which I ended up alternating pink, grey, sparkly silver and sparkly white tulle. ;)
goes so well w my t shirt, no? ;)

Ok, so a few final notes:

Some folks suggested using elastic and sewing the ends together, others suggest one of those elastic headbands. What I found while doing this is that I actually prefer just using ribbon. Because you end up stretching the elastic so much while making that puppy, by the time its finished its all stretched out. During this one I actually snapped the elastic during an early stage, which meant I had to start over. Not cool.
Ditto with the hair elastic bit. It gets so stretched out as you go that its super stretched out by the time its done.

 For my second one, which I'll show another time; I used ribbon instead. I put the ribbon around my waist and figured on some extra length to tie it in a bow. Then I just tied a knot on each end at the right place. That way I can just tie it on, super easy and tying it with a big bow looks lovely. It makes little difference what kind of ribbon you use, although a thick grosgrain ribbon with make for a thicker waistband and will also tie into a loverly bow at the back. ;)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

quick update

I know I've been terribly remiss, I actually do have a few recent projects I want to document and I'm just a smidge behind getting everything together. Soon! I promise!! I've been putting together the Pride2013 outfits and can't wait to share what's going on behind the scenes. I also have one older project I want to put up because I'll soon be doing another based on that one. So give me just a minute.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

diy cat ears!!

You will need:
Fake fur
Scissors or a box cutter
Hot Glue gun
Cotton batting or other stuffing
Hair clips or headband

Start by drawing a basic template of the ear you want. It could be bigger or smaller than the one I used here, just keep in mind that the actual ear will be slightly larger than your template. Also since its going to executed in fake fur and felt, any tiny details, like an extra pointy top, might get lost in the shuffle.

Use the template to cut out the inner ear out of felt-I used pink for the inner ear, you could use another color depending on your color scheme.

Now use your inner ear as a template for the outer part, the part in fake fur should be bigger on all sides than the inner part. I didn't get too picky, just cut about a half inch wider around the whole thing. Cutting really thick fake fur can be a bit tricky. I combed over the fur part away from the cut to avoid chopping off fluff. It might've been easier with a box cutter to cut the backing without losing fluff.

Once you have two inner and two outer parts glue the inner part to the back of the fake fur, the side that's showing will be the inner ear. This mattered on mine because I used a sparkly felt.

Once you've glued the felt on, bring the edges of the fake fur over the edge of the felt and glue it down on all the sides except the bottom. You're leaving the very bottom for last. It should start looking more earlike right about now. :)

At the very top you'll pinch the excess fabric together, to get that little bit of bobcat ear tuft. You can then glue that pinched part so it doesn't show.
Once they're all glued down, add a little stuffing-I used some cotton batting, you could also just use cotton balls. You won't need a whole lot, cat ears aren't super thick but they also aren't completely flat. Add a little and spread it evenly. When you like the shape, you can fold up the last bit of fluff on the bottom and glue that to complete the ears.

The one on the right has some stuffing, the one on the left doesn't. I think you can see the difference.

I wanted to have clip-on ears, so I hot glued alligator clips to the bottoms. Unfortunately, because of the size I'd made these (4.5-5in) they just didn't sit right when clipped on. :(

 The size and weight made them hard to maintain upright. I looked less like a cat, more like a kangaroo rat.

Ah well, you live you learn. :) I ran to the nearest drugstore and found a decent sized headband; neither the thinnest nor the thickest headband, this one was probably a half inch thick. I hot glued my ears down where I wanted them and used a little extra fluff to disguise the band between em. Et voila!

They are still a smidge large for cat ears, but I like em! :)

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


So, I've made nothing of note lately. But my beloved baby sister, Katey, has. She's created a perfect new little tiny person. Anyone who knows me knows that my kid sister is the standard by which I judge all things. She is, as a dear friend commented, inherently good. Thus any child of my darling Kate is bound to be also a golden child, and lo and behold. Thus it came to pass.

So for those interested, here are some pics of me and Katey-mouse (I call her that because she was so very small once upon a time) and some pics of the new baby, Jackson Alexander Sargent. Jackson is my mama's maiden name, and the name I also had at birth.

Here is a pic of Katey and I at christmas a few years back.

This is me and Katey, her first christmas.

This is me and mouse when she was a teenager.

 One of her at new years a few years ago.

 The two of us at pride the summer before last. As you can see, while she used to be much smaller; she's now the taller of us.

And this is Jackson, who is clearly righteously pissed. He was overdue, he really didn't wanna come out. And who can blame him?He probably had everything arranged just so.

Jackson again, like I said; he's basically perfect.

In the fit my moms knitted for his arrival. :)


Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I love collaging things, I guess you could call me a collage/decoupage junkie. 
This is an alter I've been reworking for a dear friend. And its way overdue. She was supposed to get it for her wedding, then I thought maybe it would make a lovely housewarming gift. Now I'm wondering if I can finish before she decides to have a child.  This is a fun and easy item to make. You start with a wine box, the little crates that hold three bottles each? Paint it and collage the inside. I'm going to add some more 3-d decorative stuff, fake flowers and crap like that. Its my take on a day of the dead alter, kinda..sorta. I'll update when this puppy is finished.  Which will be soon, I swear!!