Sunday, December 28, 2014

Side table complete

This table was given to me in shambles a year ago. The lady was in the middle of restoring it. I tried with all my might to piece it back together but it did not work out. The thin sides were falling apart and having not seen how to taken apart, I was not able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

So I did the next best thing! I kept the legs and mounted a new top. Just a pine round, but it works and is sturdy. This is how I got it.

And here it is now. I have it posted on a Auction site in my town with a starting bid of $30. The buyer will have the option to add more details for an extra fee, or to simply have top coat applied for free. 

I bought the pine round at Home Depot last year for $5.00 and have had it kicking around ever since. It is screwed onto the base of the table and is very secure. 

Simple yet nice, is what I was going for. It will make a lovely table for someone, hopefully soon! 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


From the moment I moved into this rental, the drapes in the living room have irritated me. The old curtain rod, was a white one, with the little rope to pull them open. The rope was broken, and the center support was sagging due to losing the screws to hold it up.

I have loved the idea of using a painters drop cloth, paint it pretty and use fabric tape to 'sew' the hems, but alas, I have not made them yet.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit is 45 miles away so I don't go often. While there I Picked up their cheapest curtain rod, and ring clips as these are what I will be using with the painters drop cloth when I get that ready.

However, my biggest dilemma was that all of the holes for the hardware were extremely worn and would not likely hold my new rod. So in the name of saving money, I had an idea..

Cut a thin block to attach over those spots using drywall screws, and Then attach my new hardware. I was not sure it would even work so I didn't take the time to paint them. Now that they are actually up and doing as intended, and partially hidden, I will wait until my arms recoup...LOL

See that little block up there? I made 3 of them. They have two drywall screws holding them up. The curtain rod is attached with a drywall screw as well. 

Now the other issue I have is the drapes are pleated, and I wasn't sure they would okay on ring clips. I decided to go for it anyway. If it drives me crazy, that will be my motivator to get busy and pretty up a drop cloth! 

Overall, the pleats aren't causing the issues I expected. My drapes meet in the middle and overlap enough that it doesn't feel like people can peer in, and they are straight. 

What?? I made them straight? ME??? That's a first! hahaha! Ummm yeah, I can't draw a straight line to save my soul, so for the drapes to be hung straight is a Huge accomplishment for me! 

Now to clean up my mess and enjoy them....Would you hang pleated drapes on ring clips? And would you use these little blocks to support your drapery? I would love to hear suggestions and input on how you would handle this situation in a rental! !

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pair of chairs

I am sure you have probably seen them all over Face Book already but I decided to write about them any way.

I am in love with this pair of chairs! Partially for the soft color, which is Persian Blue by General Finishes. And partly because they are exactly what I envisioned them to be. With the white stenciled designs against the Persian Blue and not having both chairs decorated the same.

These two chairs were part of a set of 4. One chair had a broken seat that I opted not to repair and the 3rd chair I sold as is. These two are destined to be a part of my home for years to come.

First I cleaned them up, and primed then with Zinsser primer. After priming I gave a light sanding, followed by painting. After painting, I used General Finishes High Performance Top Coat to seal the paint. Once that was completed the real fun began!

I picked out a design in my Silhouette software that appealed to me and cut a reverse stencil. For this first chair I cut the stencil 3 times, using vinyl. I use vinyl because it seals well and there is no bleed through. I applied my stencils, and painted them one at a time, because each stencil had some intense weeding to complete after painting over them. 

My second chair was easier to weed, but delicate. For this chair, I cut the stencil into three parts. I did this After the stencil was cut on my Silhouette rather than to to try to adjust the stencil in the software.

For both chairs, after weeding my stencils and giving ample time for the paint to dry, I applied a second coat of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat. This will seal my stencil onto the chairs and ensure these two simple yet appealing chairs perform in my home for years to come!! 

I hope you like them as much as I do! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

My First build!

Please don't laugh at me for this build. It is my first and my measuring skills need improvement to say the least....

But I need desperately to replace this:

See how crooked that table is? It was in this house when I moved in. I tried to make it better but the fact is rebuilding it would be the only way to do that. It is press board and who knows what scraps the 'legs' were made of. 

So, awhile back I scored three door frames. The glass has been broken out of all of them. I decided one would make a fabulous base for a new table to replace this with. I also have at least a dozen pallets taking up space in my garage, so why not pair the frame and some pallet boards together for a new table next to my dryer!!

Now, as I said, my measuring skills are not perfect, and cutting straight lines on my measurements is a challenge too. But, I have been giving this my all. Last night my brother brought me a good deal of firewood, so today I built a fire and started putting my vision together. 

I have a shelf/coat rack  that needs to be finished as well, and it is longer than this door frame is wide, but I think I am going to attach it to the top. I will apply pallet boards all the way up, with the shelf on top. At this point, it has all been sanded down. I have not decided if I am going to paint it or not quite yet. I am also giving thought to adding a bottom shelf to it. It would probably look more 'finished' with a bottom shelf, don't you agree?!

I am pleased with the progress at this point, as it is a first build for me. It is Awesome experience and I look forward to building more things in the near future! 

Now I know that I am getting bad about promising that I will complete a project for you to come back and see in a few days, but for this one the build will be complete tomorrow for sure. I will update this post tomorrow evening with the final pics of this shelving unit. 

Until then, I would love to know what you all think...

Paint? No paint? Poly as is? paint the door frame and poly the pallet boards? Please leave a comment and let me know what I should do with this piece! 

Oh wait....I also built a pallet tree this I guess this is my second build. Still decorating this, but the sentiment is the same! Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Goals for Give Me A Paintbrush

Yes, I have new goals! 

You see, when I first started this blog over a year ago, I wanted to be just like all of you. A DIY'er, painting furniture and making money doing it. 

I soon came to the realization that this was probably not going to happen. Not the way you all do it anyway. In the beginning, my dreams were big. In reality, those dreams are far from achievable living where I do. This is a small historic town, where there are a lot of older folks, who do not care much for painted furniture. Due to the history of this town, old furniture is either very expensive or very damaged due to prolonged use. 

While I have finally settled down in a rental house, I have to have a stable income to pay the bills and that boils down to a real job. I cannot make a market for painted furniture here when most residents do not like it. They also like things to be cheap. I Once had a gal tell me she would pay maybe $5 for a telephone table that I paid $20 for plus my time and material to paint and decorate it. My need to live on  my own as opposed to with a relative meant facing reality. That meant facing the fact that your market is not one I can easily bring to my town. That also meant I had to find a job. 

The one thing I have done for the past ten years is something I did not want to do in this region. I have been a flagger or traffic control person for road work. I was highly concerned about the extreme difference in weather here in comparison to Washington state weather that I was accustomed to. In Eastern Oregon, it is much hotter in the summer and much much colder in the winter. Yet, it was easy to get a job doing what I know, and I am just off from my first season here doing traffic control. I survived! LOL

So, I moved into this adorable little house in March. As most of you know I have two German Shepherds that need a large yard, and this house that and then some. It is a 2 bedroom, one bath, with lots of neat amenities. For instance, it has a garage with a wood stove in it-perfect for projects! It came with appliances that we all need including a washer and dryer. It has two storage units out back-one I believe is for canning goods and one is for tools and the like. The later has a dirt floor, the other has a concrete floor and super thick door. It stays very cool in there; it's very well insulated. Being this is my first winter in this house, I am still learning about it. So far, so good! 

Now for my goals:

My landlady is absolutely The BEST! In a recent chat, she basically gave me permission to do what I want to the house and property. Of course the first thing I did was to put up a fence for my dogs, but we were talking about the house mostly. For instance, I thought that perhaps a door between the kitchen and 'pantry' would help keep the heating costs down during the winter. I also wanted to install a door there to stop my cat from going in that room. I also asked to replace the linoleum in the room. 

My dad recently removed carpet from his family room, and gave me what I needed for the pantry. I installed it myself, and it is definitely Not a professional job. It does keep the floor in the warmer. I am using the pantry as my craft room. 

Yes, there are things that need to be changed, but it will happen in due time. Like that trim!

Next I tackled the doorway. I put my shutters up to keep the cat out, and the following week came across 3 door frames. I am now in the process of painting the door frame I will use in place of the shutters.

These are purely for the purpose of keeping the cat out. They clearly will not help with the heating bill and I think it would be a good idea to let 'some' heat in here because the water heater is behind the shutters (when they are open).

My new to me door frames had glass in them prior to becoming mine but it had been broken. So I am going to use material in place of the glass, and then use lattice to protect the material. It is going to be sooo cute!!!

As time goes on, I will be fixing the house and yards up and sharing that progress here. This way I will not feel the need to keep up with or compete with all of you professional furniture restoring folks out there, and my cute little house gets cuter as I work and care for my pets and my family. It means I won't feel like I am neglecting this lil ol' blag of mine, but simply blogging about my home and life.

Personally, this is a relief. I won't feel like a failure of a flake this way (Yes, I have been having those feelings a lot lately). My inspiration  & motivation comes in spurts and leaves just as fast. I want to create, but not under pressure.

I want to decorate, garden, build, collect, paint, draw, and so much more! I want to make cool stuff with my Silhouette. I want and need to use up the 12 pallets I have collected! However feeling like a failure because I am not keeping up with all of you, steals from all of my desires. Changing directions for Give Me A Paintbrush is like a breath of fresh air.

That door frame is nearly ready for the material, and installation, so my next post is not too far away too!

Meanwhile, I hope you are all staying warm and safe with winter fast approaching, and that you will come by from time to time to see how things are going in my little neck of the woods!

Here are a few pics, from my front yard to places I have worked this summer that I wanted to share with you today!

My view on one of my jobs

A Mule deer in my neighbors yard

Another view at work

Sunrise at work

Some of my flowers this summer

Hope to see you soon!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Personal Makeover

There is something different about you, they said.

It's not your hair, or eyes, but something.....

I embarked on a personal journey this summer. A personal makeover. I didn't change hair styles or makeup, or the way I dress.

All of my life since leaving the comfort of my parents home, I worked as a waitress and bartender, and later as a flagger for road work. In all of those years, health insurance was non existent. Especially dental. And I hated the dentist due to terrible experiences as a child, and through all of those years getting regular cleanings was impossible. I did my best by brushing and flossing, but the reality was, it was simply not enough.

As I turned 50, I began to notice that my teeth were in bad shape. Well, I knew it was not good prior to then, but it really hit home at 50. About that same time, I adopted 2 German Shepherds and one was lacking training and self control. As I worked with her, she repeatedly bumped my front teeth, and it wasn't long until on of my upper teeth was quite loose. Combined with lack of proper dental health, this was extremely bad for me.

Here I am in 2007. That's the year I adopted both of my dogs.

Here I am around that 50 year mark.

Finally this past summer it was not something I could ignore any longer. That tooth was so sensitive and painful that I could not eat without enduring pain. I managed to get health care, including dental, and went in to discuss what to do. At that time the tooth was abscessed, so I was given antibiotics and my dental office applied for approval to extract the teeth and provide me with an upper denture.

I also went to work here in Oregon about the same time so was doing my best to schedule my dental appointments around my work schedule. It took many appointments to accomplish this makeover. And I have to say here and now, that the dentist I found was awesome! This was the first time in my adult life that a dentist was able to get me numb enough to actually do the work!

So, I decided to get the extractions done first with the end goal of getting the tightest fit possible with my new dentures. After that, I worked, talked, shopped, and ate with no upper teeth for two months. Meanwhile there were 4 appointments; to take impressions and to try on the initial plate, etc.

The day finally came when I was supposed to get my teeth. I was nervous and uncertain. Skeptical. I had heard from a variety of family and friends that I would not like them and it would be tough to adjust. By the end of this appointment, when I should have had my plate, I was in reality, scheduled for a surgery. The plate didn't fit because my gums had not healed as expected, and to make the plate fit I would need oral surgery.

I was told by my dentist that following this surgery I would not feel like doing anything the next day. He said that on the day of surgery I would get my plate too. He told me it would be bad, but not as bad as the extractions.

So I went in to have what I thought would be a horrible experience. While I was tense and not overly thrilled I knew it had to be done. Sitting in the waiting room, I asked the receptionist for the name of the procedure. Alveoplasty is what it was called. Let me tell you....there are times when having cell phones with Internet capabilities is NOT a good thing. I looked it up and a youtube video popped up. I watched about 2 seconds of it, got grossed out, and scared, and turned it off.

After surgery, I had lots of stitches and could not put the plate in, so that was scheduled for the following week. I needed time to heal. Also, after surgery I did not feel terrible at all really. An hour later I walked down the block to find my dad and chatted with friends of his. The next day I felt so good that I went to work at noon. So as ugly as the video looked, it was far better than the extractions.

The following week I finally got my plate. I HATED it. I couldn't talk, eat or barely even swallow! I gradually started wearing them, practiced talking with them, learning how to cope with them overall. My aunt wanted me to post a picture on FB of me with my new teeth. I was still fairly uncomfortable with them, but each day was getting better.

Here is that selfie.

I have had several adjustments since this photo and as of yesterday I feel at home with these new teeth. I am able to swallow (good news there huh? LOL) to eat, to talk pretty well and the gag reflex is finally gone. 

So while I didn't change my hair color or style, or the way I dress, or anything else like that, I did undergo a huge makeover that has enabled me to feel so much better about myself. I feel my self confidence coming back. I feel ready to take on new jobs, new challenges and I am not embarrassed about my smile any more! 

This was, by far, the best thing I could have done for myself. 

I would like to give my dentist and his staff a huge shout out for making it all possible! 

Thank you Dr. Hayden and staff! 

Thanks for reading, and for your continued support here and on FaceBook! Rest assured that this winter I will be working at getting my mojo back in crafting, painting and creating!!! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Guest room dresser reveal

Today is the day to reveal my Guest room dresser! Finally!!

First let me state that I did not get any during photo's. No tutorials, because they are all over the internet anyway. Also, for some reason unknown to me, when I purchased the paint and was given the option to get flat, semi-gloss etc, I said semi gloss. Ughhh! I always use Clark and Kensington flat paint when I don't have chalky type paint in a color I want.

So here is the before....

Well, actually it is a during. I was stripping the top to get down to the wood. It had ugly yellowing yuck on it that Had to go! I ended up stripping the whole dresser. From top to bottom. Then I tried to sand all of the deep gouges out of that center large drawer. 

After washing it all down with Mineral Spirits and then with TSP, I went to work. Let me reiterate that I do not like semi gloss paint! 

I decided to restain the top using General Finishes Java Gel Stain. The stripping and the staining are both firsts for me. 

After getting the stain just the way I wanted it, I used General Finishes High Performance Topcoat. I applied three coats, allowing each to completely dry in between. 

Then I painted the sides and legs of the dresser, using Clark and Kensington Whipping Cream. Basically it is white....looks white as white can be, but with a fancy name. I also stained the frame between the drawers, making the white pop and breaking it up just a tad at the same time. 

The drawers have issues and I am not a woodworker like so many of you are. This piece needs new drawers built desperately bad. They have been through the wringer in their time, do not sit well in place, and so much more. I am currently looking for someone local to make new ones for me at a reasonable price. 

Until then, they are painted and decorated. Being it is truly going to be a temporary decoration, I didn't invest a lot of time or money into this part of the piece. I used the original knobs for now as it would not do this piece a lot of good to have new ones, until the new drawers are built. 

As for the decoration of the fronts of the drawers, I will let you guess how I managed this effect as you ponder the fact that I cannot draw a stick man! 

Here is the long awaited after! 

Here it is, in my garage before putting the knobs back on. I also still had to paint the legs because I spaced that out. 

Because the room is blue I chose purplish flowers to offset the walls a bit, This picture does not do it justice honestly. 

Can you guess how I did the flowers?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Simple day project

This is a simply day project that was fun and added some much needed color to my place. The garage is partially painted...gray. The  non painted side, or half is old brown wood. I needed to add some color to the drab and dreary!

So in the past week or so, I have cut down an old chair, because the seat had split in two. I got it down to just the chair back that needed a purpose.

So with this old chair back and the need for color an idea was born.

First I primed the chair back with spray paint primer. Then I dashed to the store to pick out a color and some flowers. I decided to spray paint the color too because, well, it is Easy and I am Lazy! LOL

The pot is new as well because I didn't have a pot for my new flowers. I do think that it would look better with the kind of flowers that grow down through the back of the chair but that can be changed with the seasons. I do not have a ladder (not one to use and stand on anyway, so it is lopsided. One side of my rope seems longer even though they were all pre measured. 

What I love most about this project: 

1) Fall colors!
2) Done in a day
3) Easy! 

As always, with every single project I do, I just had to wear some paint, because I rubbed against it right after doing some touch up. But overall, I am pleased with the results! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

$5 dresser upcycle

I recently bought a beat up old dresser for $5 at a yard sale. It was swaying to and fro as we loaded it up in the van. Extremely unsteady. The insides were not clean, the outside was made of cheap who knows what! But I had a vision.

I was told as I bought it that the lady had 'glued the top back on'. It was not level, had cracks I could see through and was in general, ready for the dump.

Once home with this piece, it sat in my garage for a couple of weeks, waiting to inspiration to strike. Here is the only before picture I have.

The first idea I had was to turn it into a folding table & storage for rags and such, but at the moment I am limited on paint colors, so decided on another way to repurpose this dresser. It is now filled with supplies for my two German Shepherd's! The top is where all of the brushes and shampoo's are kept, and the 3 remaining drawers are filled with leashes, medications and other things. 

The first thing I did was to take to top off. It looked horrid after the previous owner glued the top back on. I dropped the top down, using the top drawer for a cat bed which can be found here. 

Once the top was removed, I literally dropped it down, then used pallet wood to fill in where the drawer had been and to sturdy the unit up. That is where I now keep brushes and shampoo's now. 

After getting it stable, I used my blue and pink paints to give a fresh new look to the body of the dresser and added new handles that I got on sale at Ace Hardware. 

All that is left is trimming up the top around the shelf and decorating! I think it looks a lot better than the plastic storage bin next to it, plus it is much stronger to hold up to two big dogs and their supplies. 

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My cat is a whiner, sooooo.....

Yes, my cat is a major whiner. He meows every step he takes, everywhere he goes. Unless he is asleep. And he prefers to sleep in my recliner. Well, we can't be having that! After all...where in the world would I sit if not in my recliner!! Haha!

So a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a cheap dresser. Once I got it home and get a good look at it, I knew it would be something I did silly stuff with; experiment with, or trash altogether. It has been sitting ever since.

Good thing it was only $5!

Today I finally decided what to do with the dresser itself and once complete it will serve a purpose here in my house. And lucky for whiny Pepe, it meant I would have a drawer left over for a kitty bed.

The drawer is in poor shape at best and I apologize but no before pics. It does have dovetail joints but they look to have been remade and whomever did it, did a poor job. Even better for my idea to make Pepe a bed!

 I slapped on a coat of almost no paint and some old knobs, tossed in an old towel and set it on my cedar chest. I have some yarn I am going to make a ball of to tie onto the knobs for the cats to play with and will cross my paws the darn cat stops whining and stealin' my chair!

I chose to leave the inside unpainted, because after all, it is just a cat bed. I also opted not to add legs although I did give it some thought. 

This cat is so spoiled he won't lay on the towel alone on top of the cedar chest. But once I  put the towel in the drawer, he clearly was instantly comfy and finally content! 

Pepe is about 7 or 8 years old. I got him when he was around 2, from my son who is who named this cat. Pepe was named after the cartoon skunk due to his white stripe down his back. My mom calls him a skunk because of that stripe too. 

I am still working on that dresser to repurpose it. Between some serious dental appointments, work and the intense heat, I am struggling to stay motivated to do much of anything. 

Thanks for being so incredibly patient with me! 

Be back soon!!! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My craft room

My craft room is starting to take shape finally!  When I first moved into this house, I had a vision for the 'pantry' as my landlady calls it. I knew it would be perfect for a craft room. It has taken time to get to a point where I was able to move things around and make it just that. 

I was hoping to replace the flooring in that room first but circumstances haven't provided (cheap enough) flooring to do that with and it was time to get the room set up. 

I use my buffet for craft supplies so it got moved into the pantry today. The cupboard sitting on top is also filled with supplies. Eventually that will get painted to blends in and provide better inspiration. 

I moved my kitchen table into the pantry a few days ago to make room in the breakfast nook for a portable air conditioner. 

The table provides good work space for my printer and Silhouette. I also have a fan to set my laptop on for those heavy duty cutting jobs ;) Above the table is a set of windows that look out onto the back porch (it's an enclosed porch) and beyond that is the dogs yard, with windows to watch them out of when the weather is cooler for them to even be out. Now I am excited to get busy with my Silhouette and start creating something FUN!

There are the pantry cupboards that I honestly do not need for food storage, so as time progresses they just might be filled up with more craft supplies! 

This room has just enough room for all of my supplies to be in one place and convenient so I am pleased with it. Now my breakfast nook has a new table that I scored today for $20! It came with 2 stools. I have to move the red cart and the portable AC around but I was super stoked to get this fits the space sooo much better. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

From cabinet door to cute and quick project!

I have been MIA for quite some time and for that I apologize. It has been tough being back to work and trying to keep up with things. The drive to work is anywhere from 10 to 85 miles, one way, depending on where I am going.

Today I got a wild hair and grabbed an old cabinet door. I had started to make it into something awhile back but it didn't feel right so I never finished it. Today's project felt right!

No before pics :( but you can use your imagination .... a plain wooden cabinet door, lacking luster. It actually came off of an entertainment center.

I used General Finishes Persian Blue for the outer edges, a true white on the raised edges and a specially mixed pink for the center. Then I broke out my trusty Silhouette Portrait and cut the wording, using a shape from the Silhouette store.

I will be using Mod Podge to seal the vinyl down and a General Finishes top coat for the rest. There is a spot on the right for a knob that I will paint white and reattach, which will be a perfect place to hang an apron! 

So not a complicated project at all! A little paint, and a Silhouette is all it took to put together a cute little sign, just in time for the celebrations on the 4th of July! 

Hopefully I will be back sooner than later, depending on my schedule for work. I strongly dislike how my blog has taken the back burner and not having time to let my creative side out! 

Check back to see the final shot of the sign! 

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Dremel Saw Max review

Hey Readers! I hope this beautiful Monday finds you well!

Today I have my personal review of the Dremel Saw Max on my mind! I have waited for a year to manage to get one of these babies and I am so glad I now have it!

You see, I just got one, got it set up and tried out a few cuts. I have to say I love it! It is easy to hold, for those of use with smaller hands. So now it does only do 1/2" cuts, but for crafters, that is about all that is needed, usually. At least for me.

So, I decided to start out with pallets boards. The wood/plastic saw blade is the one for pallet boards and it cuts through them like a knife through butter. It is truly easy  to handle and comfortable to hold in my hand. You can bet that I will be getting into sign making and building boxes or crates as soon as I gather a stash of wood to do it with.

There are, of course, things to be careful of with the Dremel Saw Max. For instance, do not set the saw down until the blade is fully stopped. And when cutting pallet boards, watch closely for those small nails. I accidentally nicked one and sparks were flying. I don't want to ruin a blade already!

I didn't get the kit, but went with just the saw, which came with a blade for wood or plastic and another for metal.

 Replacement blades are not overly expensive either. 7 for $22 at Walmart.

I did notice (as the instructions said was possible) that it got warm after a few consecutive cuts, and in that case, just give it a minute or two to cool off and then continue with what you are doing. There are a couple other things I will be checking out later to talk about but so far, the Saw Max by Dremel s perfect for me and fits my needs extremely well.

There are attachments you can get and other items that will help you make the right cuts, like the trim cutting guide or the Crown moulding guide.

My biggest problem with projects has always been not having my own saw, and one that I was comfortable using so this Dremel Saw Max totally fits the bill....and my hand! 

I am excited to get started and to soon get the attachments to help me grow in my abilities! 

Rather than buying crates from Joann's for 12.99
or 24.99

I now have the saw to cut my own boards and make my own! Squeeeal! 

Yes I am excited! And off to get started!! 

All opinions are my own and this is Not a sponsored post!