Monday, August 12, 2013

Around The Clock Bridal Shower

My mom and I hosted an "Around the Clock" bridal shower for my cousin's fiancée. This shower tended to be a little more difficult since the shower was in Indiana and we live in Tennessee. 
I think everything came together very nicely in the end.

The basic premise of the around the clock shower is that each guest is assigned a time of day or a theme that they are responsible for. Each time is a jumping off point to be creative and design the shower gift around it. Here is the list of times that I picked from for this particular shower:

Disney (they are getting married at Disney World)

Here is what I made for the bride to be...mine was "dessert time." I went with a trifle theme.
I made several recipe cards that had various trifle recipes, added some kitchen towels/pot holders that she actually registered for, a big trifle bowl and 4 mini-trifle bowls.

I actually etched the trifle bowl with her new last name.
Here is one of the mini trifle bowls that I etched with their initial.

Another guest had holiday time. She got inventive and gave a holiday craft book, cookie cutters for Easter, Halloween, Christmas and a package of very cute tea towels for each holiday.

Our welcoming table designed to look like a clock.

We asked the guests to bring a favorite recipe to share with the bride to be.
We got a nice binder for the recipes for them.

I made a guest book/gift book for the bride to use at our shower and future showers.

We opted for a dessert bar for the food choices.

We made fruit salsa and served it with "brownie brittle" we found at the store and cinnamon pita chips.

My cousin and his fiancée are getting married at Disney World (in the Japanese Gardens at Epcot). Due to their affinity for the Japanese culture, I made some dessert sushi to add a little fun to the table. The ladies weren't too sure about eating sushi at a bridal shower. I had to assure them that they were only made of rice krispie treats and candy. I took that as a good sign that they thought it looked real. 

Up close view of the sushi. I used laffy taffy and swedish fish on the "sashimi" and some white icing and orange sugar sprinkles on the rolls. I rolled the outside in crushed chocolate graham crackers. 

I made strawberry lemon trifles in cute little shot glasses and tiny spoons.

What's a shower without cupcakes?

Spumoni cupcakes...the cupcake is half cherry and half pistachio topped
with chocolate icing and a cherry on top.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Crate Coffee Table

I have so many little projects that I want to do once I move into our new home. I also have so many things that I want to try before we move. This is one of the projects that I was able to get finished (with a lot of help from my handy dad). Giving him little projects has been a win-win situation for all of us!

I had found this great little coffee table on Pinterest a while back and was waiting for the opportunity to work on it. Michaels had a great 40% off your entire purchase sale a couple weeks ago that I jumped on. Buying all the crates at one time was so much easier than buying them one at a time, making multiple stops here and there. Again, I'm not great about taking step-by-step pictures because my dad moves so fast. here are the ones I was able to capture. It was really pretty simple to put together.

I was just going to stain the crates as-is, but at the last minute I decided to add our last name and the year we were married  on the end of each crate to add a little interest. Using my trusty Silhouette, I made a stencil and used black craft paint that I had on hand.

I originally bought only four crates to make the square table that I had seen in the Pinterest posting. My husband thought a longer table would look better in our living room along our couch. I went out and bought two more to see how it would look all put together. This was what we came up with. We both decided it would be good and we could proceed from here. 

The next step was to stain all the crates. We had an electric paint sprayer on hand so dad sprayed each crate and it was my job to make sure everything got wiped down and fully covered.

After staining, we put them in an "assembly line" and put two coats of polyurethane on each crate. This was probably the most time consuming part of the project due to the dry time between coats.

Once everything was dry, we put everything together. First, we used a pin-nailer and later for stability, we used the screw gun and put it all together for the long haul.

My sons are inspecting what will become the middle of the table (filling the massive hole where I know remote controls and a myriad of toys would end up eventually).

 I even took a turn with the nail gun.

Our finished coffee table. I'm so happy with the way it turned out. We put five casters on the bottom of the table as well so we will be able to move it around easier.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Phone Restoration

My grandmother had this old phone hanging in her dining room as decoration since I was a little girl. Several years ago, when my husband and I were first married I asked her on a whim if I could have it for our house. She said yes. It never got hung in our house and just sat in a box waiting and waiting. When we sold said house, I brought the phone with me in hopes of restoring it so I would DEFINITELY hang it in our new house when it is finished being built.

I need to learn to take more before pictures of my projects. Once we decide to do something, the project takes off quickly and normally finishes  quick too.

My dad and I decided to see if the black paint would come off the phone and we longed to see what was underneath. Therefore, my one "before picture" has the nice wood "stripe" down the side. 

Dad took apart the phone for me. I was in charge of putting all the parts and screws in a safe place for later.
This was still inside the phone. I took tons of pictures of this because I was pretty certain that this part was not going to be able to be salvaged in the restoration process.

First step was lacquer thinner to get the black paint off. It started off well. Later, I decided to go with an actual paint stripper and that worked much better.

After all the paint was stripped, dad took the sander to the wood for me.

After the black paint had been stripped.

We decided it would be nice to stain the piece. I used the Gunstock stain for this project. I think it will go very nicely in our new home eventually.

I did about 3-4 coats of polyurethane all over the phone after all the staining was complete. 

Here is the finished result. I am in love with it.

Dad shined up the bells the best he could for me.

I know EXACTLY where it will hang when we move to our house.
Now, I just have to store it once again till then.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

DIY Train Table

My two year old is OBSESSED with trains right now. I thought about scouring Craigs List for unused train tables that would fit the bill. Last month we moved and in the process I saw my coffee table that I've had for many years. I thought this table would be ideal for a table that may or may not be a hit for a two year old.
 First coat. I figured out that the foam brush wasn't cutting it very well and switched over to an actual paint roller. It gave a MUCH better look in the end.

My five year old wanted to help so much. I gave him the task of painting the lake for his brother's gift.

This is what it looked like before lines were added to the street and the rail road sign finished. I also added about 5 or 6 coats of polyurethane to the top to try to protect the surface a little bit.

I love the finished product. Instead of the round railroad street sign that normally has an "RR" on it, I put my son's initials on the sign to personalize it a little bit.

The finished product.

Both the boys enjoying the table. They can't get enough of it! I'm happy to say that the table will be around for a while and used daily.