Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Preservation Story: The Faded Ticket

At 12 years old I was invited to my first real concert ever!!!......Alanis Morrissette on her Jagged Little Pill Tour. My sister and 2 of her college friends took me.  I felt so cool to be with the college kids AND I get to see an awesome concert.  Obviously it left an impression and soon afterwards it lead to a long string of concerts through my high school and undergrad.  I had my prized Alanis ticket thumb tacked to a board in my room.  I was young and didn't understand that the sun bleached things if left in the suns exposure.  As you can see from the picture above that the ticket is left unreadable.  Luckily I have 3 other people to back me up on my actually being there.  After this I learned the importance of preservation.  There my journey began.......

I was never someone who really damaged their toys.  My American Girls Dolls from the 90's are still in pristine condition.  I started to be better about it when I took photography in high school.  From there I went to Art college where the importance of archival and preservation was key especially in the Fine Art Photography degree.  My senior year I interned at the wonderful Govinda Gallery in Georgetown, Washington, DC.  The gallery specialized in art made by and/or about musicians.  There I fell in love with these priceless pieces of art of my favorite groups growing up.  Donovan, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Miles Davis, John and Yoko images....just tons of unbelievable imagery.  That's when I knew I had to be in the business of preserving art for the rest of my life.

I went on the get a MA in Museums Studies from the Johns Hopkins University where I concentrated on Collections Management.  There I learned the process of accessioning and deaccessioning art, donations, deed of gift and handling of priceless objects.  I keep these in mind while creating each and every one of my 3D Scrap Boxes and any other item I create where memories are meant to be stored, kept and cherished.

LeslieGallery combines the designer decor with the stability of preservation.  That is my preservation story and like all great stories there is no ending.  My journey is still in progress and as new items are created there I will be with my acid-free archival supplies in hand.   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Cloud 9 Design Fabric Stickers

Whenever I am at any craft store I have to wander through the scrapbook sections because there are always fum new products.  This trip to Joann's was no different.  Cloud9 Design by Fiskars has a lot of great scrap booking supplies that I can use for my 3D Scrap Boxes.  I use the embellishments, flowers, ribbons, scrapbook paper.....etc.  Last night I found FABRIC Die Cut Accent Stickers.  It was $3.99 for 12 Accent Fabric Stickers. 

Why Am I So Excited?

All my 3D Scrap Boxes are covered in Fabric book cloth.  Sometimes the embellishments doesn't look so great on the outside of the box. The one that I found never looks good is putting flimsy paper on beautiful book cloth.  It just doesn't look right.  Now with Fabric stickers I can achieve a professional, clean and funky product to sell.  The die cut fabric stickers are in varying shades, tones and tints of white, grey and black. The details large and small are crisp and could possibly be colored in with markers.  While I have not tried this myself I think it would be a great experiment with such a fun new product.

Check out Fiskars.com and Fiskars on Typepad for more exciting product.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Handmade Holidays: Items for the Children's Chorus Brunch

I sent a text to my sister asking the size of the Granny square blanket I made my niece Taylor for Christmas last year.  I asked cause I needed a mindless craft project I can do in front of the T.V.  She calls me back and tells me about the Children's Chorus Brunch and the fundraiser they're doing.  My sister is assembling baskets and needing donated items to fill them with.  Needless to say I was Ecstatic!!  I love having an excuse to knit or crochet especially if I get to learn something new, work on something I am rusty at or getting to do one of those fabulous patterns I'm been dying to make.  That night I started with a beautiful set of wrist warmers.  The easiest way to make quick and easy wrist warmers is to knit a rectangle.  I know, not very exciting, BUT.......when you're stitching up the seam leave about 1.5"- 2" hole where you can stick your thumb out.  Well she only told me this about a week ago and I have completed 2 sets of wrist warmers (pictured above), flower pens, and knitted flower pins.  I wanted to donate something that was a bit more towards LeslieGallery so I am currently experimenting with pamphlet stitches and fun cardstock.  I have about a month left and the amount of quick and easy projects is endless.

If you're in the Springfield, MA area check out Children's Chorus of Springfield, December 2, 2012.  And check out my lovely sister Katie's online magazine, BYO Family for all things family fun in Springfield, MA and the surrounding area.

Happy Crafting :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Crafty App Review: Michaels "Where Creativity Happens"

Like any true crafter I make sure I go to my craft stores with coupons in hand.  I happily/unfortunately live about 2 miles from a Michael's so the temptation is always there.  I love that store.  The paper, the smells, the sparkly things, the new craft tools you never knew existed.

I had a craft mission that day.  I planned my route, had my list and was printing out the latest Michael's coupon.  Who doesn't love their 40% Off Any Regular Priced Item?!  Anyway, once again like any good crafter I also reuse when I can.  If I print out a pattern and it doesn't work out then I use the back side to print on again.  Having worked in retail I knew if any lines got in the way of the bar code you're SOL.  I frantically though "What do I do?" this was not part of the plan for that day.  Then like a light bulb above my head I remembered Michael's has an App for smart phones.  I grabbed my phone, went to the App store,  searched for Michael's and like that the FREE (Yes FREE!) Michael's App showed up.  I quickly downloaded it and was thrilled to have not only my 40% off coupon but every other coupon and the deals for the week.  I knew I was ready to shop with my smart phone and my smart brain.

I recommend any crafter and frequent Michael's shopper to download this App and have it ready at all times.  As I mentioned you get all the coupons for the week and their weekly deals, which by the way sows more than the fliers do.  You can also find other Michael's locations, make your crafty shopping list which will go great with the Projects feature they have as well.  Good thinkin Michael's!  The other part I love is the Products section.  You're able to navigate by category or search bar.  Each category tells you if there are new items and how many new items.  Once you have found your product, tap on it to get reviews, images and details.  Plus you are able to add it to your list so you're prepared when you just happen to find a Michael's location cause you typed it into the location finder because you saw that there are new Martha Stewart products AND it just so happens it's Buy One Get One Half Off on all Martha Stewart crafts.  Hey that sounds like a good time...mind if I join :)

So to all those crafty geeks and nerds or the techno-savvy or just anyone download the Michael's App and have a great time!

Happy Craftin :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Quick Craft Tip: Rulers and Masking Tape

Don't you get frustrated when you have lined up your ruler to then have is slip while you're marking or cutting?  Simple solution....Put Masking Tape on the back of all your rulers, triangles, and straightedges.  Do not use scotch tape because it is too slick.  Masking Tape is the Winner!! My small metal triangle would always slip.  Now that I put masking tape on the back it no longer slips while I'm using it. 

OK so Masking Tape on the Back of All your rulers.  I promise you, you'll love it :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Item Posted to LeslieGallery

Black & Robins Egg Blue 5"x7" 3D Scrap Box

 I am excited to introduce the First of a new line of boxes with Hand Dyed Fabric! All fabric for this line will be hand dyed by me using Procion MX dyes.  I love these dyes.  For the Black and Robins Egg Blue box I was unsure how much the name of the dye came out looking how I wanted it to.

Keep checking LeslieGallery's Etsy site to see new additions and fabulous colors :)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Paint Test! Valspar vs Benjamin Moore

Are You READY!??! For the Main Event!

 In this corner weighting in at 1 quart, eggshell finish, Valspar!!  And in this corner weighting in at 1 quart, eggshell finish, Benjamin Moore!! Who will be the Win? LET’S GET IT ON!

SO I recently had a coat closet built in my townhouse because the house didn’t come with one and the only closet was in the master bedroom on the 3rd floor.  Who wants to walk up there for a jacket?  I needed a White Eggshell finish so I could paint the interior and exterior.  I bought 1 quart of Valspar Signature Paint + Primer.  I felt I only needed a small amount because it’s a small closet.   I know I had written that post  about the awful Valspar spray paint but I really wanted to believe the can paint would be better.  The Valspar was runny.  I didn’t even load the brush with a lot and it still dripped off the brush.  It spread horribly, too thin and way too many applications.  While you’re painstakingly spreading the paint if you happen to lightly touch a place that’s about 60% dry it will come off onto your brush requiring you to have to paint it over again.  I used the whole quart for the smallest closet in the world.  The like ray of hope I remembered I had half a gallon of Benjamin Moore White Eggshell Paint + Primer in my garage.  Benjamin Moore to the rescue!  I painted over all the Valspar with the Benjamin Moore.  It spread great and gave a nice coat to the interior of the closet, the exterior and even the closet door.  I probably used less than 1 quart to redo the mess Valspar left behind.  I now have a great base coat and I am looking forward to going to Benjamin Moore and picking out a great color for the exterior of the closet.  Hmm Maybe something in Dark Blue.

Lesson Learned: DON’T BUY VALSPAR! Unless you feel like wasting your money.  You may think “But I’m here at my hardware store and it’s so convenient.”  You tell yourself No.  Buy Benjamin Moore!  It will make you smile :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Product Photos..More More More!

4"x6" Cherry Blossom Scrap Box

I am always looking for ways to improve my Etsy shop.  Right now it's making everything cohesive.  I made these white washed wood backgrounds for my product photos.  I was inspired by Anthropologie and their wonderful catalog.  I have been trying to convey that my product is a box that folds out flat.  Once I think I have photographed it from every angle I stumble upon a new on my accident.  All I did was set the box down to move my cat, looked through the screen on my camera to reposition the box and saw it laying there with the flap open and into the box.  Well wouldn't you know it was the perfect angle I have been searching for.  I love those moments.  So when you read all of those "Featured Seller" and "Quit You Day Job" posts on Etsy and they say "take lots of product photos" boy they know what they're talking about.

I hope some day in the future Etsy will allow us to upload a video of our products in use, on a model...etc.  Like a commercial for ourselves.   My mom says "no one knows they need it until they have been shown why they need it."  She's such a smart cookie! Pssst Etsy!

So lesson learned......Once you think you've done it all there will always be something new.  I am looking forward to having my cohesive shop all set cause then I get to focus on new products :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Candid Cat

Ranger...My Man
What do you get when you combine a curious cat and a product photo shoot? This super cute picture!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Craft Project! Ribbon Blossoms

Any crafter will tell you the details are important.  It’s what makes your items stand out from the others.  One of my Favorite books is “Delight in the Details” by Lisa M. Pace.  This book is loaded with embellishments and accents to keep your glue busy and cover your self in glitter.  Today we’re making Ribbon (or Paper) Blossoms!  Lets Get Crafting.....

  •  Ribbon or Paper.  The Book has you use ribbon but I have found it works with paper as well.  Lightweight paper would be best.
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Awl, Hole Punch or Crop-a-Dile
  • Embellishments: I like to use Brads for this project. As you make these your mind will go crazy with the possibilities.


  1. Cut six strips of ribbon, or paper, 5 ½” long and basically any width you want.  I like to make then 1” wide.
  2. Place three strips of ribbon, or paper, face down on your work surface.  Layer two of the strips in a cross shape and one strip down the center.
  3. Fold the end of the bottom strip toward the center, and secure with a dot of adhesive.
  4. Fold the next strip (in the middle layer) toward the center and secure.  The fold the strip on top and secure it.  You should now have a flower with six “petals.” Repeat steps 2-4 to create another flower.
  5. Stack the two flowers, staggering the placement of the petals.  Punch a hole in the center using you Awl, Hole Punch or a Crop-a-Dile and insert a brad to secure the stack.
  6. Enjoy!  If you use a decorative brad you’re basically done.  If you are using a plan brad you can glue a rhinestone, button, something cool from a paper punch or whatever you want to embellish it with.

The scrap box pictured above I entered into a Holiday Craft Contest.  The Blossom gives the box that just wrapped present feel.  Perfect for Holiday treats and treasures.

Keep on Crafting!

by Lisa M. Pace

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Never Ending Blanket

I FINALLY finished the Never Ending Blanket! I made a super cute Granny Square blanket for one of my nieces.  It was her Christmas present.  She loves blankets (and who doesn’t) so I wanted to make her a more grown up blanket since she is now 5 years old and the others she has are from when she was born.  I made them look like little flowers cause she is ultra girlie. Wellllllllllll I severely under estimated how big she has gotten and it was too small. So being awesome Aunt Leslie I made more granny squares to attach.  Now 2 months it is done.  It went from 26”x26” to 50”x50.”  My sister has already joked that I will be making this blanket bigger until she gets married. HA! It might be a good idea to have extra squares made for whenever it needs an expansion.  I used my favorite Caron Simply Soft Yarn! I’m hoping this size will last her awhile.  I love her and would do anything to see her happy face. 

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crafty Project: Mercury Rising Glass Awesomeness

How many times do you go Target, Homes Goods or any other store selling cool decorative vases and glass vessels and think “How cool is that?!” Well now become a master at recreating those one-of-a-kind items. This one is Super Easy, Super Quick and Super Decorative. Your friends will be asking in no time “Where did you get that?” This craft comes to you courtesy of DIY Magazine Spring 2012.


Clear Glass Vessel. You can find one at any craft store or other retail location selling such items.

Spray/Spritz bottle

Krylon Looking Glass Spray Paint. This may need to be ordered but Krylon also makes Metallic Sprays and try one of those for fun!

Get Your Craft On!

1. Clean your glass vessel

2. Spritz the inside of your vessel with water. It should bead up and run out of the vessel but not a waterfall full.

3. While the water is wet spray the inside of the vessel with the Looking Glass or Metallic spray paint. Spray 1 coat and let dry before applying another coat of spray paint.

4. Once vessel is dry you are Finished! Place it where it will Sparkle in the sunlight and Enjoy.

I do not recommend filling this with water and using it as a vase since the paint will start to come off. You can spray the inside with a protective coating but in the long run I urge you against it. If you want to use it as a vase place a small container inside that will hold water without damaging your lovely piece.

Happy Craftin! And See You Next Time

Monday, June 18, 2012

Product Review: Tulip Fabric Spray Paint

Fabric is a great versatile canvas to make art and express your creativity.  My mom, the ever supportive parent, picked up Tulip Fabric Spray Paint in Hot Pick for me to try out on some book cloth I was making.  Well can I tell you how much fun I had?! I took a plain bright yellow piece of fabric I had, marked off a grid pattern with some blue painters tape and went at it.  The package tells you how to get a mist effect or a splatter effect.  I tried both and mainly got the splatter effect even when I tried the "mist" effect.  The splatter effect gave it more character I think.  In the image below you will see how the paint comes out. 

You can see it has some heavier more saturated spots but the overall look is somewhat misty.  At CraftsUnleashed Meet it Monday you can see how they use different techniques working with this paint. It works well with stencils as long as you have a good bond or seal with you stencil.  Check out Tulips website ILoveToCreate.com for colors and spray packages. So Get Your Craft On and try out Tulip Fabric Spray Paint.  For people looking for a new tool and technique to add to their textile arsenal.  

Keep Craftin!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Product Review: Blue Hawk Plastic Anchors

I like to think of myself as a pretty handy girl when it comes to tools but there is one thing I have struggled with for awhile and that's using wall anchors.  Whether it's to hang curtains, mirrors, shelves you name it I usually have to ask for help.  One of the problems is where I live, Washington DC.  Some people may not know this but DC was built on top of a swamp so it gets really muggy, hot and humid which is drywalls worst nightmare.  I love to decorate with curtains.  I find them to be better than blinds and more pleasing to the eye.  You know the weather has turned damp because one day you get home and find half of your curtain rod is laying on the floor and your pets are hiding because it freaked them out.  The solution for this problem is to get some wall anchors to give extra grip and strength to your screws and curtain brackets.  My biggest problem when it came to wall anchors is finding the right size drill bit.  I either choose too small or too big.  I looked online for some help and only got "find the right drill bit for your screws." OK so how do I determine which is the right size?  Blue Hawk to the recuse!!  The have come up with the best solution to my problem....they package drill bits with the anchors...Hooray.  Now I have the right size every time.  The set I bought comes with 2 different size screws, anchors and drill bits. Now anytime I need more I can buy the exact same size screws and anchors without guessing the drill bit.  I just moved into my first home and of course wanted to hang curtains. I made my markings, drill the hole and inserted the corresponding wall anchor.  It fit! And it was so easy.  Now I have curtains all over my house and I don't worry about them falling out anymore.  Plus drill bits are one of those things that I believe you can never have enough of.  I fully recommend looking for Blue Hawk the next time you are in need of wall anchors.  You won't be disappointed. I know I'm not.

Happy Craftin!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bias Bonanza!! The Experiment Continues....

OK so my bias tape experiments were getting pretty interesting. It’s much easier to make the tape that to use it. I looked online and tried all these methods people we suggesting. Here it goes……

1. Iron your bias tape after pinning it. Alright you’re supposed to stitch in the fold but after I ironed it my fold was gone.

2. Iron it into a curved shape before attaching. The more I curved it started to overlap on itself.

3. Ironing also melted the plastic tops on my straight pins.

4. I found 1 video on sewing “Bias on a Curve” and it just whizzed on through the tutorial with no close-ups of the machine. What’s up with that?

5. Attach your bias tape on the back first. All I can say is no cause then when I folded it over the back looked better than the front.

6. Buy a bias tape maker. I did but my bias came out all wrinkly.

7. Scrunch the tape so there’s extra in the back when you fold it over. Huh? All it did was give me folds in my bias tape that ended up getting stitched down and showed when I folded it over.

8. Lots of pins. OK now that helped.

After many attempts and lots of strange looking experiments I decided I needed to start from the beginning. I got a new yard of fabric out of my closet and made sure I cut 45 degrees of the salvage. I used an iron and my see-through ruler, lined up my ruler along the bottom of my tape and ironed it in place folding over where I wanted my bias fold to be. I took it to my project and pinned my tape in place. When I didn’t have to pull, scrunch or fold….it just laid down so nice and flat…..I jumped for joy. I didn’t want the back to get folded and wrinkle so I pinned on the front, turned it over and pinned on the back so the bottom straight part of the pin helped hold the loose fabric down. I did not sew inside the fold of the tape. Instead I watched to make sure I stayed at 5/8th of on inch that’s on my sewing machine. I it for a straight stitch and my smallest stitch length and it WORKED! Oh all this fussing and it worked. I brought it into work so show a friend and brought it to my mom to show her. Now it’s time to try it on my full size project. And I know can make my own working bias tape. What a relief.

Keep on Craftin :D

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pinned Perfection: Cork Pushpins

The craft project this week comes to us from DIY Magazine Summer Issue 2012.  So let's spruce up those works spaces, grab your supplies and let's get started!

Corks from Wine Bottles
Drill with Drill Bits
Pushpins, You can do this with either Flat Top pins or Regular Knobbed Pins
Strong Glue
Fun items to attach to them

1. Glue the Pushpin perpendicular to the Cork.  If you are using the Knobbed Pins drill a hole halfway through your cork without going through the other side and glue the knob inside your cork.
2. Let Dry
3. Finished!

Attached important papers, fun pictures, dried flowers or any other memento to display. Use you pins to create a fun design on the wall.

I LOVE fun, easy and quick crafts :)

Happy Craftin!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Product Review: Caron Simply Soft Yarn

I don’t know if I can say any more about how much I LOVE Caron’s Simply Soft Yarn. The name says it all….Soft. I have found it to be the softest acrylic yarn on the market. It’s a medium weight yarn, size 8 needles for a 4”x4” square with 18 stitches and 24 rows. For the crochet-ers an H-8 US hook is recommended. I have made this my go-to yarn for any project needing a tough, durable but lovely yarn. Some of my past projects have been potholders, blankets, scarves, bags and wrist warmers. The other plus it’s that it’s majorly affordable. AND it’s machine washable. Pop it in and it will as good as new. Looking through my local craft store flyers I found that it is one sale frequently. Carriers of Simply Soft include Michael’s Arts & Crafts, AC Moore, JoAnn Fabrics and Wal-Mart.

The color selection is amazing. They have everything from soft colors to party colors. Check out the website for their wide variety…..http://www.caron.com/color_cards/cc_simplysoft.html. Currently I am working on a granny square blanket for my niece. She out grew it and has requested I make it bigger. She went to her mom, my sister and said “Mommy, I don’t think Aunt Leslie knows I’m turning 5. The blanket is too small.” Too Cute! I am using the Party Colors Fuchsia Sparkle and Purple Sparkle, which both of us are lovin.

So the next time you want a fun and super soft yarn consider Simply Soft. I know I will.

For fun projects be sure to check out the Caron website! http://www.caron.com/free.html

Happy Crafting :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Night Of Bias Tape

Tonight I decided to learn how to make double folded bias tape.  I have never made a single fold tape let alone double fold bias tape.  My most recent project requires some bias tape around the edge but the largest size my local fabric store had was only 7/8" wide double folded.  My project is about 4 layers thick and that size bias just wasn't cutting it.  I consulted my mommy craft guru and she suggested I make my own.  So I went to the craft store (it's closer to my house than the fabric store and didn't want to drive during rush hour) to buy a new rotary blade and 2 of those plexi-glass see through rulers. Learning something new is a great excuse to buy new fun craft toys.  I grabbed some scrap fabric from my closet, grabbed my self healing mat and got to work.  Of course I needed my thinking T.V. show, Top Gear on BBC America.  I don't know what it is about that show but I always have it on in the background.  Those 3 guys crack me up!  It could also be because it is on all the time.  So.....got my supplies, got my guys and started looking on the internet for help.  First I tried a continuous bias tape, ok too advanced for a beginner.  I found a lot of videos on cutting bias tape but not a lot on making bias tape WITHOUT a bias tape maker.  That little metal foldy thingy.  I wanted old school crafting ingenuity.  Pins, Iron, Scissors and nimble hands.  After about 5 million websites, blog posts and videos I put all my knowledge together and pieced it together and I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome.  I need to use larger fabric but I was able to achieve the size I wanted...1 1/4 inch wide when finished (picture above).  I haven't sewn with it yet but I am already feeling hopeful.  The best advice I can give is keep your pieces the same width and patience.  One of the reasons I watch Top Gear is because they make me laugh which helps keep the stress to a minimum, especially when they do funny challenges.  But please if you have any suggestions, advice or helpful tips people gave you please share!  As for my night of bias tape I look forward to the variety of fabric I can now choose.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summertime Craft: Make Your Own Pinwheel

It is lovely and beautiful outside so why not make a fun toy to play with….Pinwheels! They are so easy that you’ll be making them for your friends in no time.

6" x 6" Paper. If you only have rectangular paper you can make it a square by folding diagonally so you have 3 straight sides, and cutoff the extra paper hanging off. Use any paper you want, decorative and stiff will be better but plain printer paper works well too.


2 Pencils with Erasers, one to mark with and the other for the Pinwheel stem

1 straight pin, pick one with a decent size head on it so it doesn’t slip through the paper

Small bit of tape


1. Take your Square piece of paper and draw straight diagonal lines from corner to corner.

2. Using your scissors cut along the lines you drew leaving about ½ inch to ¾ inch intact before you reach the center.

3. Bring in each corner to the center of your paper over lapping the points.

4. Push your straight pin through the points and through the backside of your paper.

5. Take your 2nd pencil holding it vertical, push the straight pin through the center of the eraser. Bend the pin downwards to secure it to the pencil.

6. Place your small piece of tape over the sharp part of the pin so you don’t prick yourself while having fun. Plus it will also keep the pin steady.

Tah Dah!!! Finished Pinwheel

Decorate your pinwheel by using a light amount of spray on glitter, attach ribbon to the pencil to make streamers, or before using your 2nd pencil glue a fun decorative paper around it.

Gift Idea!

Make smaller pinwheels, attach them to the pencil and give them out as fun summertime gifts.

I hope you had fun making and using these.

Tune in Next Time for Another Fun Craft :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Product Review: Gripper Primer by Glidden

I have learned a lot about paint when doing a furniture makeover.  One of the most important steps is using a paint primer before applying your chosen color.  I have mostly used RustOleum spray primer for small jobs but found that it started getting expensive because I was using 2 to 3 cans for one piece of furniture.  To make my dollar stretch I have recently needed a regular paintable primer for chairs, tables and larger objects.  I went to my local hardware store and saw Gripper Primer by Glidden, a water-based primer sealer.  The rules to follow for primer are: 1) Use a Black China Bristle Brush and 2) Use 2 coats of primer letting each one dry 24 hours before applying the next one.  A black china brush is recommended because it won’t leave such deep ridges when painting the primer but I found this to be unsuccessful.  So I tried using some cheap brushes I got at the craft store that did not leave deep ridges so I felt relieved because the deep ridges made sanding to get a smooth surface so frustrating.  Well once I started sanding, using a 220 sand paper, it came off in weird almost plastic-y rolls.  I was so disappointed.  I had already spent days and hours on these drawers for a vanity I was working on.  So I consulted my art guru, my mother, who suggested I use Kilz Original, an oil-based primer sealer.  I tried it on a different drawer I hadn’t primed yet.  It did not leave such deep ridges and sanded to such a soft smooth surface that I couldn’t stop rubbing my hand over it because I was so thrilled at the outcome.  The odor was a bit stronger than the Gripper but any project requiring the use of paint and/or primer should wear an odor mask specifically for paint, which will also cut down on the possibility of getting a monster headache.  After reading some of the reviews on the hardware stores website it seems that more people liked the Gripper over the Kilz so it maybe one of the things to try for yourself it see which one you prefer but from my experience try the Kilz……and wear a mask.
3M Tekk Protection Paint Odor Valved Respirator
Kilz Original Pirmer Sealer
Corona Mesa Black China Bristle

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lucketts Spring Market 2012

 This past weekend I recently attended my first furniture/antiques fair provided by The Old Lucketts Store in Leesburg, VA. This is one of my favorite stores! I am able to get great pieces for little money. The Lucketts Spring Market is only once a year during the mid to end of May. What I love is it provides many vendors a chance to sell their antique and vintage items. Last year I went as a buyer and I was able to put up for sale the furniture I bought last year. It came full circle. One piece I worked especially hard on was a vanity/mirror set I had gotten at Lucketts one day for a steal!! $49!! I know can you believe it. It needed a face lift by removing the old paint, replacing the bottom of one of the drawers, needing new mirrors and a more stable way to support the mirrors. I learned so much during this project. I originally bought the vanity for me because 1) it’s beautiful and 2) it’s practical. I moved into my first house earlier this year and was disappointed that there wasn’t enough room for it, so I decided to sell it and hope someone would appreciate it as much as I do. Luckily I found that person, a super sweet girl who thought about it overnight and came back the next day to purchase it. I was thrilled that my biggest and most beautiful item found a home. It was funny to see what did sell. I had some horse shoes for $2 each, a few baskets for $2-$3 and a funny butterfly wind chime. I wish more furniture had sold but looking at other people’s booths and what people were buying it was mainly small stuff. Plus I had my mom with my both days which is always fantastic because I wasn’t alone and we entertain each other really well. She even brought a junky wooden chair and wrapped it in twine. It attracted people to my booth because they were curious as to what she was making. It’s always great for local vendors to have a place where we can all get together and create and event for people to come and enjoy. Awesome local food and a wonderful cover band who’s lead singer did a fantastic job on a couple Janis Joplin songs. I am glad I was a part of it. I don’t know if I will be again next year but we’ll see. First I need to unload what I didn’t sell. (Here’s my Segway) look to my Etsy site in the coming days for pictures and prices of the furniture. Local pick up only please. That’s the best part of working with so many different crafts and projects are the endless amount of learning that can be brought into other ideas. I am excited to get started with the next one! Stay Tuned……..


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memorial Day Craft! Lanterns to Decorate Your Holiday BBQ

I was searching for a fun and easy craft project to decorate with for Memorial Day.  I found these super cute paper lanterns! The project was created by the guru of crafts, Martha Stewart.  So get your glue and lets get craftin!


1. Glue

2. Scissors

3. A Mini Stapler. A mini is suggested because it will fit in spaces better but you can use a stand size stapler if that is what you have on hand.

4. Red, White and Blue construction paper

Ready, Set.......Craft!

Step 1: Cut construction paper to 6 by 9 inches: fold in half lengthwise

Step 2: Fold edges back 1/2 inch for rims, and crease; unfold.

Step 3: Glue a 1/2-by-9-inch strip of decorative paper on each rim.

Step 4: Cut slits from middle fold to rims, spacing 3/4 inch apart. Shape into lantern: Open paper; bring the ends together to overlap slightly; staple.

Step 5: Staple 3/4-by-8-inch paper handle inside lantern.
Step 6: Glue on construction-paper stars (made with a craft punch). A punch is suggested but I like to draw free form stars and cut them out. It has more of a fun handmade feel to it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Spray Paint Test! RustOleum vs. Valspar Review

To Spray or Not to Spray...Either way I am not buying Valspar

I LOVE Spray Paint! It's easy to use and can take any item from drab to FAB in no time.  I recently had 3 wood dinning room chairs I was making over and needed them quickly done on time for the Lucketts Spring Market this past weekend.  Out of convenience I went to my closest hardware store to pick up some fun colors.  The brand they sold was Valspar.  I have never used this brand before but I though "Hey paint is paint, right"  I was SO wrong! First it had a rounded top that prevented me from using my spray paint attachment that turns it into a handy dandy spray gun.  I found the spray nozzle producing less over time and required me to use 2 thumbs inorder to get the paint out.  The twist and lock feature of the top created problems by paint hitting the sides of the outer cap creating splatters of paint that globbed up on my smooth surface I was trying to achieve.  The paint coverage was weak and required many layers upon layers and when a few minutes of drying time is needed in between applications your project goes from quick and easy to long and frustrating.  Luckily I had a can of RustOleum in my arsenal and felt a sense of joy and relief come over me.  RustOleum has a normal spray paint nozzle that allowed me to use my handy dandy attachment.  There is a more steady stream of paint produced and had a wonderful solid coverage that hid gaps and cracks like magic.  One thing that amazed me was the difference in what is considered a Glossy finish.  Once again RustOleum wins! Valspar left a rough texture and I had to double check I actually bought Glossy.  I was painting each chair white with different colored rungs.  I sprayed the rungs their chosen color and when it dried I wrapped them in paper and painters tape and sprayed the rest of the chair white.  I allowed the white to dry over night before peeling off the paper.  Oh no! The Paper stuck to the chairs where I used Valspar.  Needless to say this was a major disappointment and made a note to no longer buy Valspar spray paint. In the future I will go out of my way to visit the orange apron hardware store (you know who you are ;)) and buy RustOleum. Plus they have better colors anyway.  I hope my Spray Paint experience will help you in deciding the right paint.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Product Review: Gloss Pearl Mist Metallic Paint and Primer in 1

I love to peruse the spray paint aisle at my local hardware store.  I found that Rust-Oleum has come out with a line of hammered metal spray paints to give the appearance of metal without it actually being metal.  I found one in particular to be something different than the norm.  It’s the Gloss Pearl Mist Metallic Paint and Primer in 1.  It gives a wonderful sparkle to your project without it looking like you spray glitter all over it.  It’s just the right amount of shine.  Now it says it’s a “Primer” but don’t rely on it like your typical primer.  It doesn’t give you a solid coating instead it’s rather see through.  I suggest applying your favorite primer before using this product.  If you want a thick coat you will need to apply several coats but be careful because the product is runny if you apply too much at one time.  The other downfall I found is it doesn’t sand well.  I made the mistake of getting spray crazy and it started to run and drip.  I let it dry overnight and decided I would sand that down and try again.  That plan did not work.  While it did sand it was sticky and took on a bit of a brown color.  Luckily I stenciling was using a darker color on top in some places and decided that would be one place I would cover up.  It gives a great sparkle….just make sure you primed well.   

Color: A
User Friendly: B  
Would I use it again? Yes
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