Jun 17, 2013

How Pinterest and I Get Along

I don't mean to brag but I pretty much rock.

You know all those cool little DIY crafty projects on Pinterest? Well, I finally lost myself on Pinterest and just emerged with some pretty great crap.

Not only that, but I am providing you with step-by-step instructions, Nancy- Style. Prepare yourself and follow the instructions EXACTLY. Or you'll mess it up.

First, the photos:
Roxie is the neighbor's dog. If I don't "remember Roxie," she will spend all day in her doggie cage in the garage without food and water. That might be a bad thing.

The 13 year old is going to scout camp. He's supposed to be taking care of Roxie. 

And my last creation:

Total cost for all of these decorations (which are going to my work office) = $0. Don't worry. I'll let you in on the how to do all this great stuff. Step by Nancy-Step.

So the decorating style I'm going for at work is old fashioned and barnyard. Surprisingly, I don't have a single chicken or any rendering of our feathered friends. I suddenly got this hankering to make a chalkboard for my office and I was going for the last photo: You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. 

I wanted it on chalkboard paper. I hunted all through Pinterest and couldn't find it but I found ALL kinds of chalkboard ideas. Including a scrapbooking type page which I imported into Paint and added some new, fun fonts and, without having a clue what I was doing, I made this:
A good *TADA* would be good right about now. 
And I sent it to the UPS store to be printed.

Meanwhile, my inner 8 year old boy kicked in and I was going, "That looks fun! OOoh! So does that! I really ought to do THAT one, too..." and suddenly I had a few projects going on. Which leads me to my little Father's Day present for Scott:

Which is just black and white photos on thinner photo paper, cut up and modge podged onto canvas then covered in wood stain and modge podged again. I didn't really like how it turned out so I did another one and painted the white part black. So he has two to choose from. So I guess the copies did cost me $.54. 

Sorry about that lie.

So I found that you can make a chalkboard without all that fancy schmancy paint. All you need is a tablespoon of tile grout to one cup of any kind of paint. Like I'm going to measure paint and grout any more than I measure flour, yeast, sugar and water when I make bread. I do measure the salt. I don't know why. But we have grout. We have paint. And we have wood. And this is where the instructions come in. Pay attention. This is important.

Starting with the wood:
  1. Be a dumpster diver.
This is oh-so-very important when your creativity is screaming "good intentions." Rarely does my creativity actually get out but I always want to be prepared! Which leads me to neighborhoods where homes are under construction. That's right. That beadboard was found. . . in a dumpster. All that wood and finish carpentry MDF - in a dumpster.

Just to be clear, there is a right way to do dumpster diving. I'm not really sure what that right way is but I'll tell you how I do it. With good planning. I generally choose to go on Sundays when nobody is working on construction. Ideally, you want to avoid evenings as people in neighborhoods like to walk around, talk to neighbors, and get to know strangers who might be thigh high in a dumpster. You go when there is a high probability that the entire neighborhood is at church. Best time is right after your own church. Best clothing for this activity would definitely be your high heeled sandals and maxi skirt. Find a house that might be doing finish carpentry and stop by dumpster. Climb up, look in. If it hasn't been recently dumped, dive in. Avoid nails but as a precaution, make sure your tetanus shot is current. Best pieces are usually 13 layers down, wedged so that you have to stand on them in order to pull them out which only adds to the excitement as you snag your maxi dress, trip on your high heels, and land on your bottomotomous while praying the nails are facing downward when you land.

In that regard, sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. 

In the good news department, I do not wear pantyhose, therefore, I have never gotten a run in my hose from dumpster diving. So there's always that.

Back home where you are suddenly possessed by the must-make-chalkboard demon, you already have the wood, the paint and, thanks to your husband's thoughtful Mother's Day present, a miter saw. Yes, I really did ask for a miter saw for Mother's Day. I can't begin to tell you how much fun I had with it. Also, I used my husband's nail gun which I am conscientiously wary of using. The large, square-ish frame I made for the huge and heavy chalkboard is made out of some kind of hardwood. I used the big nail gun with the long nails and discovered that the laws of physics changed. When I shot the nail straight through to attach to the other piece of wood, it hit that other piece of wood, bent, and emerged from the wood which is usually a bad thing. Particularly when it comes out next to your thumb. It did hurt. I did yank my hand back. I did see that the skin was broken and feared a puncture wound. I squeezed for about five minutes, trying to get blood from the wound before I realized it only went through the first layer of skin.

"Scott!" I yelled, "No segue here, but when did I get my last tetanus shot?" I admit I was only slightly insulted when he asked if he needed to drive me to the emergency room. Always assuming the worst. 

So all that super cool stuff from one Sunday afternoon (not including the many Sundays in the dumpsters) and I didn't even include one gorgeous frame I made from 6" pine floorboards that I will staining and hanging on the garage wall after I paint a rectangle of chalkboard black and grout for messages within the Taylor tribe. 

More pictures coming when the crafty demon emerges from dormancy in another year or two. I'm so excited!



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