Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Tin" Backsplash, finished?

Ta-da, wa-la! It is finished. Took 2 coats of the paint and shines pretty well when the lighting is good but when it's gloomy it's kind of dark....so, jury is out on if it will stay as-is or get a makeover....as in a lighter coat of paint matching the walls and "wiped" over before it's dry for an antique effect. I think it would look nice with the tin color showing through the paint making it look old and worn. We all have more character when we're old and worn, right? 

Here's mine.  In triplicate.  Not sure if it needs a coat of polyurethane (acrylic) or not for some wipeability? We'll see. I have more home improvements to show you but got a busy week going with work and preparing for shearing this coming weekend. They'll wait for now. 

Here are the tiles you can buy and I see these are cheaper than the ones I saw at Dome Hepot, but I'm happy enough with the Paintable Solutions solution. No big commitment and it was a fun project. Happy trails...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Tin" Backsplash Day 1

As you know by now, I'm in full swing on doing some updates to the house. This all started out with the laminate/wood flooring we installed throughout the main living area of the house this winter. We had 2 colors of carpeting which included the dining room and old mobile home type linoleum in our kitchens and baths, so the new floor was a big undertaking for us. It was worth it...I really like it a lot. While the carpet was torn out and we were prepping for the laminate (which we installed ourselves), DH said "do you want to paint the walls while the floor is torn out?" Why, sure...all while my mom was ill....

So, I painted ahead of hubby laying the new floor. My mom was a "doer" type of person too so she enjoyed listening to our project progress during each visit. That would be her first question..."got the floor done yet?" We would laugh and say "nope, not yet." I brought her pictures on the digital camera to show her our progress. Once the floor was all laid, we took a hiatus on the baseboard trim. We're waiting for warmer weather to paint it all in the garage. So, here we sit with bare newly painted walls and a clean slate so to speak. We went from colorful, deep chocolate and wallpaper bordered and sponge-painted walls (in different rooms of course) to "fresh linen" eggshell finish paint. It's off-white and everywhere! Aaahhh, simple and fresh. The kitchen needs SOMETHING more but not much. I fell in deep like with the tin backsplash panels at Dome Hepot and decided they cost too much at about $31 a pop (18" x 18" I think). I was thinking "backsplash" in the kitchen. Hubby's raised eyebrows made me rethink that one...no way Jose. We just put in new floors and painted. No budget for a fancy backspash. 

Enter Stage Right (yes sitting on the new floor too!).....Paintable Solutions and Ralph Lauren's metallic paint! An 11 yard roll of this paintable embossed, self-pasted wallpaper cost a mere $12, yes. The paint cost more than the paper at $12.99 a quart! That's enough paper to backsplash my whole kitchen and then some. 

The paint mixer lady at Dome Hepot helped me choose a color and told me "I had thought about doing that...tell me how it works out." So, doubt she knows about this blog, so she's probably out of luck. 

Here's what I did on Day 1 of this project and keep in mind, I'm doing a test wall first...straight shot with one outlet to work around. If I don't like it, down it is coming and we'll do a Plan B. But here's what it has taken so far. First, I did a swatch sample on the wall to make sure the pre-pasted glue would be enough to stick to the eggshell paint finish which is pretty slick. It worked fine.  Then I took a square of the paper and painted it to see if I liked it even a tad...I did. Moving on....
Measured the wall area. Paper is 20" tall or so. My backsplash area between counter and cupboards is almost 15". Length was 84" so I cut 87" and will cut off the excess. Since the paper looks like a square tin, there is a whole tin that starts at the bottom and I wanted that to be at the counter top edge as I would end up with a partial square due to my measurements up toward the upper cupboard side. 
I rolled out the paper, paste side up and marked 15" from the edge I described above (whole square) at regular intervals in pencil. Then I used a yardstick to join the marks and make a straight line. Then I cut with sharp scissors on this line. This particular brand called for a 5-second soak in water, unroll out of this bath and "book" for 10 minutes before hanging. I just used my kitchen sink instead of a wallpaper water bath thingy. Booking the paper is folding it paste-side together in the middle from both sides equally and then upon itself a couple of times. Like this (above.)
BEFORE ABOVE --This is a pretty long piece to work with all at once but I didn't want any seams showing. But guess what? When this stuff gets wet it's pretty fragile. I ripped it unrolling it. Oh well, we'll see how it dries and I won't quit now! Nor waste the paper to start over. Started on the corner wall and kept the paper very even with the counter top edge. Went up great, fixed the tear fine (it was up top toward the cupboard so no worries) and here it all is drying. Note that it is darker than its dried state and it's sort of cool looking like this but about 3 hours later it was all white again as in when we started. Day 2 will bring the paint job. Wish me luck! AFTER ABOVE RIGHT

Oh, by the way, while working the wallpaper up on the wall, I use a clean small paint roller, paint pads and sponges. I couldn't find my wallpaper brush tool so improvised. Worked great to "burp" out the air pockets with the paint pad. I worked the bottom edge up towards the cupboard edge burping out the air.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pre-Lambing Ewe Care

Originally uploaded by cookecreeksheep
The Baa'dgirls are fed hay throughout the winter months but don't start getting grain until the last 6 weeks or so of their pregnancies. We do this for 2 reasons - 1) They are getting so full of babies that their rumen cannot hold enough hay to give proper nutrition to the growing lambs especially with multiples and 2) grain really helps get a nice full bag of colostrum built up for the lambs. In lambing, colostrum is what makes the world go round. Like breakfast for humans, it's the most important meal of a lamb's first day of life.

Back to the grain story. Well, even though the Baa'dgirls are used to being fed hay, the addition of this grain the last couple of weeks has shown their "grain is chocolate" side. Now, whenever anyone goes outside near the gate to their pasture and feeders, they all look over and if they are out in the field, they come a'runnin! These girls can be bought....the hussies are easy, let me tell you! Here is a pic from the other day when this very thing happened. Unfortunately, I didn't get my camera quick enough to catch them all running in. Just caught the hard stares and the "where's the bucket" query.

This weekend we're giving pre-lambing shots to the Baa'dgirls. We give the shots 6 weeks out from lambing (although it's really only about 4 1/2 right now so we're late this year) so that the colostrum will carry the immunities through to the lambs. It really works well.

So, busy weekend here with sheep. Tess the border collie extraordinaire will love it...she gets to moooove sheep. She loves that!
Happy trails...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A good use for a pop box and thoughts on decorating

Found this old Pepsi case in our storeroom and I saw this idea on another crafty blog and thought I'd try it out. All of my craft paints fit in the 12 partitions of the box and I've got it sitting on an antique Singer sewing table with drawers (no machine inside, yet) so I stored all of the brushes in the drawers. It is a good use for the box. One more box of "stuff" organized! I can step into my closet now but still got a bit of a ways to go until it's back to a walk-in closet! : ) 
I've been reading lots of blogs on crafts and decorating lately trying to get inspired for some of these updates I've been doing. Though they are all inspiring, as it's always fun to look at decorating ideas, many of them are too fancy for my taste or just plain too expensive to do the projects. Also, the beach house look is cute, but not my style either and this seems to be the new style at least on these blogs. I was asking a friend the other day what a simple farmhouse style is with not a lot of stuff sitting around to dust. She told me it's called Modern Country. Go figure. I'm going to call my style Modern Jami cause it's not a total style in and of itself...it's borne of pure laziness in my desire to not dust so much stuff sitting around. Floors and furniture I can do...a bunch of knick knacks...not so much! We don't have A/C so in the nicer months we have our windows open for fresh air and cool air and have I mentioned we live on a farm???? It's windy, dusty, dirty, sometimes smelly and downright farmy. Gotta dust almost every day. Honestly, in the nice weather, I'd rather be outside in the garden or yard or on a horse, so I'm over cutesy little stuff sitting around gathering dust while my stone has no moss on it. Ya know?
Well, I've rambled on enough today. I'm painting an old wooden fruit box tomorrow that I will be using for maybe a shelf or something. I'll include you in on the process just in case you've got some old wooden box around that you can transform into something useful that you're not embarrassed to have people see. : )

Happy trails until next time. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Studio Revamp

I've been telling you about redoing my studio. I have some pics of the update thus far. Now, keep in mind, I'm not done as I'm using an old sheet to cover up a table until I make something. 
So, I sold the fancy Viking machine. Using my old boat anchor Singer 15-91 and my old serger until I find the best industrial model for making the purses, bags, jeans, etc. In keeping with my simplifying motto, I got rid of my $1 desks that I got at the university surplus sale a couple of years back. They were great but used up too much room and I needed a less cluttered and packed looking space. I cannot and will not show you my closet at the moment though! LOLLL. It's BAAAAD. Excuse the sheep pun, but hey, it's all about sheep around here most of the time. 
I did finish my cutting/work table idea. Got 2 Wally World $15 bookshelves and put them back to back under the 36" tall and 36" square thrift/vintage shop table I got for $75 with 2 stools. It's a really cute table and if I ever hit the Powerball winning numbers and buy some fancy schmancy setup, I will still enjoy this table possibly by the front door near a window to play chess at or do puzzles. Doesn't that sound quaint?

Anyhow, thought I'd show you some pictures and a vintage sheep poster from the American Sheep Industry years ago. I imagine not many people have this poster anymore so I'm proud to have it. 
So far, I've recovered a lamp shade and that's about it. Just rearranged furniture and tables I had, got rid of a bunch of stash and trash and got the new table. Oh yea, put up a white board that is magnetic as well and I love that puppy! I can do "note to self" all i want. Even the pens are magnetic and stick to the board. I bought some magazine holders that are cardboard and covered them with fabric and labels using heat'n'bond ultra too. Handy stuff. Even painted my trash cans! Yes, they make a nice aerosol paint that covers plastic, Rustoleum brand. 
Happy trails....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Busy Saturday

Whoa, slow down Saturday! DH started out the day butchering a lamb for us as the freezer is empty. He ran it up to the meat locker to age and get cut and wrapped. That was one of those chores that just had to get done before the weather warms up.

Secondly, Leroy, an almost yearling ram, got picked up today by his new owner and is on his way to Idaho. He is a real nice boy and will sire some nice crossbred Texel meat lambs. So, 2 less sheep mouths to feed. That's a good thing.

My fellow shepherd friends are beginning to think about shearing so been selling a few wool sacks from the bundle I got from Will at Utah Wool Marketing. And of course, when we shepherds get together, we've got to take some time to talk sheep.

Sold a sewing machine I had listed on craigslist today too. More visitors. 

Usually I don't see any humans besides DH and the gal in the mirror over the weekends but today was a revolving door. I need a cup of tea and a nap. : )

Daisy the Boston Terrier would agree. She gets excited when I sit down on the couch....and if I get the blanket, she's in doggie heaven cuddling up so close I can't move. 

Been working on redoing my studio as well. I am trying to prioritize and focus more on my studio business and get things setup for more production oriented sewing. I am getting rid of a ton of stash...everywhere through the house. That was one of my resolutions at the beginning of the year was to simplify and prioritize...make my time count on the stuff that I need and want to do and let the rest gooooooo for a long ride somewhere and not return. 

Hoping all is well with my traveling friends and my recovering from surgery friends and in particular with my friend whose mother-in-law is dealing with end-stage cancer. Can it be that mom has been gone 2 months already? Yeppers, it can be and it is. My heart breaks for my friend going through this. If I could take it from her I would. 

Hey, I'm going to post pics of my studio re-do next week. Got a couple of fun projects to show you in the kitchen too....one is going to blow your socks off! 

Happy trails. 

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