Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Amy Howard Paint Hack

I really loved how my little table turned out using Amy Howard's furniture paint.  You can see that post here.  The paint was thick and creamy, and went on like a dream.  However, the one thing I did not like about this paint was that it was soo expensive.  A tiny jar of 8 oz costs $15.00.  This jar barely finished the little table I painted, including two coats.  Not a bad price if you are painting something very small, but if you have a large project, it gets very pricey, with a quart of her paint costing $35.00.

I had another area in my home that desperately needed something different. It was in my kitchen. As we were downsizing, we bought a tiny home, and this is what the kitchen looked like when the home arrived to our property... barren!  A sink and countertop was all that we had to work with, plus a difficult floor plan.

First we painted the whole home, as well as the kitchen cabinets that were just sitting in the corner. They were pretty sad looking. We also added flooring and beadboard to the bar area.

Before we moved in, this is how the kitchen/dining room/living room looked

There was no pantry in this kitchen whatsoever. In our efforts to keep from any more expenses than necessary, I made do with what I had.  

This was the area in question that I wanted to improve upon.  Better shelving in this area would open up more storage, which is needed quite badly enough in this tiny kitchen/dining room area.

I found this old worn out shelf at a thrift store for ten dollars.  I knew that trying to paint this shelf would get quite expensive with the Amy Howard paint, no doubt taking at least a quart of paint to finish it with two coats.

I mentioned that I wanted to refinish this shelf to the owner of the thrift store, and told her my dilemma with not wanting to spend so much money on the Amy Howard paint.  She told me that she paints and refinishes furniture all the time with her own concoction, and after a bit of talking with her, she shared her "recipe" with me!  How excited I was to try it out!

DAP - Wallboard Joint Compound, 1gal, Pail, White

A container of the dry wall mud (or joint compound) cost me $6.49, and a quart of paint (on sale at the hardware store for $2.99!) and I was set to try this "hack" out!

I wish Annie could tell me what information she picked up as she inspected the shelf... she sniffed it all down before I got started!  I wonder what stories it's life held before it met me ... lol!

The top of the shelf had this peeling laquered layer that had to come off.

Annie stayed patiently with me as I worked.  Such wonderful companions our furry friends are to me!

First coat on!

And now the second coat! Wow!  I was really impressed with the quality of my paint "hack" mixture!

It went on every bit as smoothly as the Amy Howard paint, covered up all the imperfections of the shelf, and had a gentle shine to it.

Here is the finished shelf... $10.00 for the shelf, I used about 1/16 of the drywall compound (about $0.43), and all of the quart of paint ($2.99) for a total cost of $13.42!  I don't know where you could get such a pretty useful shelf for $13.00... but I am quite happy with the finished result!

This space is not complete, this is just phase one!  I hope to find a cabinet something like this one to set on top of the shelf, and finish them both with an antique wax finish.

Image result for vintage cupboard with doors

Stay tuned for the part two.  But for now, I have much more organized storage, without such a cluttered feel to it, and that makes me happy.  I will have fun yard-saling this summer in my hopes to find the perfect piece of furniture to complete this little spot in my kitchen.  I'm all about bargains, and thrifting, and people in the area we live love to have yard sales, it is a big event all summer, and so I have hopes that I will find what I am looking for.   {smiles}  Plus... I always pray about these things too, and the Lord helps me out, I do believe!


I can hear some of you now saying.... what is the recipe for the paint hack? I'll be glad to share... it is so simple.  Pour your paint into a larger painting container.  (I used a large coffee can).  Then scoop out enough of the drywall compound into a larger paint container and mix with the wooden stir stick until you get a thick consistency to the paint.  The thrift shop lady did not have an exact measurement, but said to get it to a thick consistency.  So that is what I did.  I was familiar with the consistency of the Amy Howard paint, and I added drywall compound until the paint was thick and did not drip from the stick as I lifted it up.  I think I probably added at least half a cup to perhaps 3/4 cup of drywall compound to one quart of paint.  It really does not take very much!  You will need at least two coats of paint.  If your paint does not have a sealer mixed in with it, you may paint the sealer on after you are finished.

One thing about the Amy Howard paint is that all of these steps are done for you - the mixing of the paint, thickener and sealer, so that you don't have to do it.  But, if you are a thrifty soul like me... this paint hack will work just fine for you :)

 My kitchen now that the shelf is in place.  It is not complete ... yet... as I am still looking for the shelf to complete the vintage look, and so be looking for a part-2 to this post... soon :)

I just had to share this picture of the lovely flowers gracing my kitchen right now.  My family bought me some very special flowers for Easter, and they bring joy to my heart to see them!

Do you have any fun "hacks" to share... please do share... my thrifty heart is always looking for ways to save $$ and enjoy the benefits, without the price!

Have a blessed day my friends!

Sunday, March 27, 2016


The joyful refrain of those words is ringing across the world today as we remember the words of the angel that spoke to the three women, Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Mary the mother of James who came early in the morning to visit the tomb that held the body of Jesus... and as the angel spoke those words "He is not here, but is risen"... the scripture says in Luke 24:8 that they "remembered his words".

And we remember His words still today... they live on and on and on!  He is not where He was laid... but He is risen, and He lives forevermore!  Oh the sweet joy that floods my heart to know this!

Bunnies, eggs, and baskets are really not the part of the resurrection story, at least I've not found them anywhere in scripture.... but we are to honor the sacrifice of our Lord and Savior by "remembering His Words"... remember what He came to do... how He lived, loved, died, and rose again... that is the miracle of joy that we celebrate today.  HE LIVES!

An old chorus came to mind this morning as we worshiped the Lord... and I searched on Youtube to find it, and could only find one rendition of this beautiful song that I often remember singing on Resurrection Sunday.  Maybe you have heard it, maybe you haven't... but let this simple rendition of a song bless you today... the chorus is what my heart was singing over and over today... "He is risen for I feel Him in my soul"... and I am praying that the presence of the RISEN SAVIOR is blessing your soul today in a special way!


It was on a Sunday morning; 
all the world had been in mourning. 
Jesus Christ had suffered bled and died alone. 
When his friends had gone to seek Him, 
in the tomb they tried to keep Him, 
but the stone was rolled away, 
the Lord was gone. 

Yes, He's risen here today. 
He's no longer where He lay. 
He is risen for I feel Him in my soul. 
When His life on earth had ended 
on to glory He ascended. 
He is risen for I feel Him in my soul. 

Those who came were struck with terror 
feeling there had been some error; 
and they marveled at the angel as he said, 
"If it's Jesus you are seeking, 
He is gone for none could keep Him. 
Come behold the place 
and see where He was laid." 

On a lonely road was walking, 
two disciples gently talking, 
when a stranger overtook them on their way. 
It was Jesus who had risen 
that their sins might be forgiven, 
and their hearts did burn within them on their way.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Rainbow Trails When God Washed The World

God washed the world today.

I left the house for an afternoon walk, and the sun was shining brightly in the skies.

Soon, out of nowhere, this cloud grew quite ominous.

and it began to rain.

I could have turned around...

but the adventurous heart within me pressed onward...

The skies grew rather dark now and as I walked my heart wrote this...

Lifting my face as the cold wind brushes
Gently twirling, pelting in its ambush
Where did the sun go?
Hidden behind the dark slate clouds
The rain began to fall
Softly at first, just a touch
Then increasing in tempo
I walked  - matching my steps
With the pelting raindrops

Lifting my face as the cold wind brushes
Dripping now, droplets of ice cold liquid
Slip down my face in silent rivers of delight
I meant to walk in the sunshine
But God was washing the world
And I lifted my face to the sky
And savored each drop on my face
I embraced the cold, the wet
And walked on with my face to the sky.

The sun was hiding in the shadows
Playing dancing games with the clouds
Dipping, bowing, saucily enticing
The clouds to hover, then part
Oh the joy of walking and watching the antics in the sky
Reveling in the beauty, the cold wild beauty
Raindrops glistening, cold on my face
Raw wind blowing, exhilarating in its embrace.

I will not question why the sun hid in the clouds
And the rain began to fall with the cold wind
Hovering, whistling and pouncing on me
I lifted my face to the sky and I embraced
The moody weather, hoping to see a rainbow

At last, at last the clouds parted and the sun peeked
Its head out long enough to shine
A million specks glistened in the damp air
And the rainbow… not one… but two
Shimmered in the blue sky
You see, God not only washed the world
But He washed my mind, my soul and spirit too.

Thank you Lord for the rain… for without it
I would not see the rainbow
Thank you for washing the world for me today
All I wanted was a walk in the sun
But you had a better plan for me
Thank you Lord for washing me with your glory

While you washed the world. 

~ me ~

The rainbow God sent for me! 

Annie and I continued on our walk... enjoying the anxious clouds

 and the sun's filtered rays through the cold misty air

Annie spotted some turkeys on the path ahead

As we climbed, the turkeys kept a few feet ahead of us...

Can you see them? They are in the shadows, but Annie's gaze is upon them.

We climbed to a beautiful vantage point, and the rain eased a bit... the clouds parted and the sun shone bright.

But not for long!

These little white flowers were growing high on the rocks, tinier than the tip of your finger, their happy faces lifted to the sun.

The toms kept a distance from us as we climbed for a better view.

I don't need a gym membership.. I've got a free membership to the most amazing "gym" right down the street!

Another lovely flower bravely blooming!

The skies grew heavy again with anticipation.

Displaying colorful antics as far as the eye could see

My neighbor and Jaz came to meet me as I walked by.  She was walking her horse, and we teamed up to walk together.

Jaz was checking me... and my camera... out!

And the rain... it came... again! 


Another neighbor saw us out walking as she was driving by and we stopped to talk to her.

Jaz looked magnificent with the sun setting behind her! She was quite patient as my neighbor and I talked to another neighbor...

And the finale.... as the sun finally went to bed... the clouds oohed and awed and gave it their best shot... we did a bit of oohing and awing too... how great is our God!  My neighbor and I enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked... the glorious skies above us, the cool wind nipping, and the sweet joy of the Lord that we shared as we walked... how thankful I am to have a neighbor to share the glory of Lord with!

Back at home... a hot cup of tea warmed up the bones... but my heart had been washed, and was basking in the glory of a magnificent Savior whose plans are always better than mine.  I wanted sunshine... He sent rain.  I could have turned back, and missed it all.

But I lifted my face to the sky, and oh what glory filled my soul... the beauty of it all!

A life lesson for sure... storms come, clouds come, rain falls.. and we didn't plan for that... it wasn't on our schedule... but be patient, stick around, and lift your head to the sky... HE might just have a rainbow in mind for you!  HE did for me :)

I may be sharing this post with: 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Teacup Bookmarks

A while back, a fellow blogger shared her lovely idea for making teacup bookmarks.  I was intrigued with the simple technique she used, and saved the link to her tutorial.  Recently, after participating in Stephanie's teacup/mug exchange, I was excited to finally make some of these cute little bookmarks, one of which was to send to my new friend in the teacup/mug exchange.

You will want to visit Trish who blogs here and who shared this lovely template for teacups here. Trish used her template to cut the teacups out of gift bags, which is a wonderful idea, especially since there are so many pretty bags to choose from at the dollar store and no doubt in your collection... but I chose to make these cute bookmarks from paper, since paper is something I have a LOT of!    Trish shares an excellent tutorial for making these bookmarks, so be sure and visit her site to see her creativeness at work!

I had printed out the template first on plain white paper, and was going to trace and cut out the designs, but then decided it would be even better to print it right on the paper I was going to use for the bookmark.  Just make sure you print on the *wrong* side of the paper.  I used heavyweight textured cardstock for these bookmarks.

Cut out the teacup so that the black lines do not show.

Now the fun begins!  Assemble materials that you would like to decorate your bookmark with.  I tried to keep the layers as flat as possible, even though I was tempted to add bulky embellishments like buttons!  These are for books after all, and a flat bookmark is best.

I used some gorgeous lace that was gifted to me and was begging to be used on this particular teacup.

I used a circle punch to punch out the "tea bag tag".

Linen thread was used as the string for the tea tag, and while I really intended to keep this tea cup flat... well, I couldn't resist using these pretty flowers to dress up the lace.  So much for a flat bookmark, lol!

The cardstock I used is actually a very pretty primrose pink, but in some pictures it was showing up as red, or bright neon pink.  This picture actually shows the best color of the cardstock I used, although still not exact.  Light is funny that way... some colors are just hard to get right with the camera!

This little teacup turned out to be my favorite, although I really liked how the others turned out as well.

I used a white  "Smooch" dauber to add the white dots.

This was actually my second attempt at making these teacup bookmarks.  My first attempt was not documented as I made them, but you can see the finished bookmarks below.

I printed these bookmarks out on pretty scrapbook paper, instead of cardstock, and ended up having to cut them out twice and glue together to make them more sturdy.

The back of the bookmarks.

"Life is like a cup of tea... it's all in how you make it." 

"A cup of tea is an excuse to share great thoughts with great minds." Christina Re

"Sometimes all you need is a cup of tea". 

"Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book."  Bill Watterson

One of these sweet little bookmarks is making its way across the country to a dear blogger friend of mine who was paired with me in Stephanie's teacup/mug exchange... thus the inspiration for these little teacup bookmarks... oh the joys that tea and friendship bring us!  :)