Memorial Day Printables

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

I hope everyone has great plans for grilling and spending time with family.    But we don’t want to forget what Memorial Day is all about, remembering our heroes in the military.  In honor of that I made a quick printable. 

Well after that I was on a bit of an Americana printable roll so inspired by an image I found here, I made this printable.  Hopefully the original artist thinks that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

And then because all good things come in threes, I rounded it out with another of my favorite patriotic songs 

Hope you are having a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!

–Martta

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Glitter Candles

Well, I can hardly show off my new gold mercury glass without a few fancy candles right?  And since it’s all about sparkle and I just happen to have a jug o’ gold glitter, why not jazz up those candles to make gold glitter candles? Oh I love them so.

Ah yes, they are fabulous, they are festive, and they are so darn easy to make.  ‘Cause you know I already have the gold spray paint out…..

So take some boring blah candles, like these that I picked up at Hobby Lobby using my 40% coupon.

And shower them with a light coat of gold spray paint.  Once it’s dry, grab the spray adhesive and either coat the whole candle or do as I did and just hit the bottom edge.  Sprinkle the candle with your jug o’ glitter.

Shake off the excess and let it sit in a well ventilated area to dry and set.  Don’t bring them into the house too soon – that spray adhesive is stinky!

Now you are ready for sparkly perfection.  I will say that after I burned these for about 6 hours at Oscar Party, they did crack and look at bit funky.  I’m not sure what brought that on, but I figure more gold spray paint will cover it up!  And they are super pretty to look at when you don’t even light them.

–Martta

DIY Gold Mercury Glass

Man, you could not turn around this past Christmas season without seeing mercury glass – from those darling owls at West End to ornaments at Target, it was just everywhere.  But it wasn’t a sparkly silver Christmas for me, this year it was all about gold and red.  So how to make gold mercury glass?

I scoured blogland and read up on my Martha to find knocking off mercury glass should be pretty easy.  So I dug into my supply of glass vases and gold paint and I was ready to go.  It’s pretty straightforward really, just pick up a newspaper, tape, a spray water bottle, paint and glass containers and you’re ready to make gold mercury glass too.  You can see I’ve got a few chunky dowels here too – those are for drying the vase upside down.  After a few vases, I just skipped that step – it dries fine right side up or upside down assuming you don’t have too much water in there.

Step one: Mask off the outside of your vase – you’ll be working on the inside only. Grab a spray bottle and load it up with water.  Gently mist into the vase.  I found if the vase is really tall that it helps to start spraying at the bottom and work my way up. You’ll have to experiment with how far away to hold the sprayer – too close and your water will glob up and run in streaks, too far and you’ll end up getting the newspaper really wet.If you spray in too much water, just wipe it out and start again.  You’re going for spots, not runs of water.  Here’s what mine looks like.  Once you’ve gotten your desired level of misting, you’re ready for step two.  Pick your paint and get ready to start layering.  I experimented with quite a few different paint options: shiny gold, satin gold, and mirror paint.  I found the effect that I liked the best was having shiny gold first.  Remember, what you put on first is the color on the outside and will be the most prominent.

Spray very light coats of paint.  Just bursts of color really – you can always add more!  The look I was going for had a bit of that transparent quality and the only way to achieve that is to put less paint on the vase.

Ok, walk away and let it dry.

This is where Martha’s tutorial stops, she says ‘you’re done!’, but I wasn’t feeling it – I wanted more depth and texture.  Other blogs recommend an acid etch at this point.  Having no desire to break out the thick gloves, I looked for alternatives.

A few blogs recommend a faux acid etch with white vinegar.  This turned out to be a total waste of time – I had vinegar all over that sucka and nothing.  But I had a break through when I went to wash the vinegar off.  Yes, my little green scrubby sponge and some hot water etched that paint right off! You can go really crazy here and practically scrub off all the paint – the hotter the water, the easier it is to remove.  If you aren’t careful, the paint will come off in giant sheets (also more likely if you’ve put on a thicker coat of paint).  It’s an interesting look, but eventually, I decided a light scrub was my favorite.  In just a few seconds, I had the etched look I was after.

Now for a second coat of paint.  Again, I masked off and sprayed with water and then tried all three of my paint options.  The shiny gold was my favorite again.  Here’s the breakdown  of my paint combinations.

Go with the one you like the best or play around with tons of other options.  With a candle inside, I think it gives off the perfect gold mercury glass glow.

These vases are perfect for the holidays and of course Oscar Party!  And it’s March now, and they are still on my buffet, so it looks like they will be staying out for a while. 

Enjoy making your own mercury glass!

–Martta

Top Posts of the Year

Happy Blog-iversary!  It’s hard to believe we’ve been up to it for a year already.  We’ve loved sharing our projects and culinary adventures with you.  But which ones have been the most interesting?  Well, as voted by you, with the most number of hits, here’s our top ten parade:

10. Fabric Flower Hair Clip

7. Little Girl’s Tank Dress

6. Amy Butler Cosmo Bag

And last, but not least, running away with the top prize is………….

1. Gold Dusted Mini Chocolate Oscar Statues 

 What will the next year on the blog bring?  Who knows?  But I can’t wait to find out!

— Martta & Heather

Painted Wine Glasses

My neighborhood has a book club.

Well, it started as a book club and has evolved (devolved?) into a club where we only read wine labels.  There is no shame in that.  It’s girl time at its best and since it’s in the ‘hood, you just have to walk home 😉

As the neighborhood has grown, so has book club.  In December we had almost 30 people at book club!  As you can imagine, this puts an awful strain on the wine glass supply at any hostess’ house!  It was then that Julie, genius that she is, declared that we needed to have our own wine glasses to bring to book club.

But we couldn’t just have any wine glasses, we need to pimp our wine glasses out!  So we determined that January’s meeting would be a crafting meeting: bring a wine glass, supplies and creativity!

For inspiration, I found some wonderful videos of the Pebeo Vitrea 160 paints as well as more traditional flower painting techniques using glass enamel paints.  We were short on time so the Pebeo Vitrea paints were out and we had to make due with the glass enamels. But for my particular design, it wasn’t a problem.

I picked two blues and a gold for my design.  I came armed with an assortment of paintbrushes and a stylus and I was ready to get to work!

Oh yeah and I also came armed with the biggest wine glass in the place…..I mean if you’re going to have a pimp cup, it needs to be big!

I chose a really simple dot design.  I created three sizes of dots using the back end of my paint brushes and my stylus.  Here I had painted the large dots, medium dots and was just getting started on the small dots in the first color.

Patience and a bit of time later, I had all three colors applied to the glass. 

Now that mine was all set to dry, I could check out everyone else’s creations.  Erica went with the painted flowers  J-Lee did a drip method on her “spider man” wine glass  Sarah used the same method drip method but with translucent enamel paints for a wonderful effect.  And Julie chose to paint words on her glass…..wine themed book titles: A Tale of Two Varietals, War and Pinot, and Around the World in Cabernet to name a few. 

They all turned out pretty darn amazing! Once the paints had dried for 48 hours, it was into the cold oven for a 30 minute baking at 325.  I allowed the glass to cool in the oven and then snapped it up to wash and dry then it and was ready to go!

I can’t wait for the next book club to test out my very own “Big Carl”!

–Martta

Wrapping Paper Pinwheels

I don’t know what came over me, but this year I decided to be a radical.

What can I say?  It’s Time’s year of the protester and I protested my normal Christmas tree set up.  (hey, just because I’m not sleeping in a park for months doesn’t mean I can’t fight The Man too.  Of course in this case, The Man is also me which makes it fighting The Woman and I’m fighting myself…..whatever this is getting too complicated).

Should you decide to move your already assembled and mostly decorated Christmas tree six feet to the right over carpet, I recommend getting a buddy to help with positioning and I especially recommend not doing it AFTER you have wine.

Hilarity ensues.

Cursing ensues.

We end this scene with minimal tree damage and more wine.

On to the next day.  Ahh doesn’t it look great?  I love the tree in the center of the room.

Hmmm you know, it does seem to highlight a little bit that I’ve lived in my house for 5 years and haven’t actually made the decision to commit to curtains in the living room…..I just got some in the family room like a year ago….

Well curtains are waaay too big of a decision to make with the Christmas season busy-ness upon us, so I had to find another way.  I saw this paper pinwheel backdrop and thought it was genius. 

I know, I have it….I will make a pinwheel backdrop out of wrapping paper.  This way it will coordinate perfectly with not just the tree, but all the presents underneath it too!  The tutorial is super easy and soon I was making pinwheels like mad.

Ali’s tutorial calls for stapling the pinwheels together – I found that it was faster and created a better finished look if I used a glue stick to seal the seams….plus you know how I love a good glue stick.

Ali also used two or three sections of folded fans for each pinwheel.  For pinwheels in the 10″-20″ range, I also used three sections.  For my biggest (30″) and smallest (6″) pinwheels  I only needed two sections.  As I got lazier, I used only two sections for some of the 10″-20″ pinwheels.  It’s a bit of a stretch but it can work.  If you discover that the glue won’t hold, just cheat and put in a paperclip on the backside of the pinwheel to hold the edge until the glue sets. 

The tutorial calls for pinning each wheel to the wall.  Hmmm, I wasn’t a huge fan of a lot of holes in my wall so I rustled around in the garage and found two 8′ lengths of replacement lattice strips.  I created a rough frame of about 3’x4′ with cross braces at the corners. (It was promptly covered in pinwheels so I’ll have to take a picture of the back after I take it down so you have an idea of what it looks like).  This frame is so light I actually hot glued the entire thing together.

On to assembly!  I laid out my pinwheels to make sure I had enough (’cause you know the first two or three times I practiced layouts, I totally did not have enough….back to the folding and gluing grind).

Once I liked what I had, I hot glued the pinwheels to the frame.

To give added dimension and support to some of the larger pinwheels, I glued a paper plate to the back of the pinwheel.  This makes the pinwheel stand out from the others as well as hold it’s shape a bit better. 

The finished piece ended up about 5’x6′ and I struggled to get it hung up behind the Christmas tree.  (Pro Tip: Hang it up BEFORE you put the Christmas tree there…so much easier.)  I briefly considered moving the tree and then I remembered the hilarity and cursing (see above) of my last Christmas tree movement and decided to leave well enough alone.

I stepped back to admire my work.  Ahhh, isn’t she beautiful? 

What the crap???  You can hardly see it!  Damn it!  This tree is ginormous!

Back to making more pinwheels.  Oh, you know I was excited about that.

OK but totally worth it.  And from the front door it looks even better.

I love my pinwheels

They are super festive and coordinate perfectly! 

And if you think I’m not leaving this up for Oscar Party, you are crazy.  This is going to be on the wall for a while….mainly because I haven’t figure out where I’m going to store it in my house….it’s huge!

Happy Folding

–Martta

Linking Up Here: HookingupwithHoH