Friday, August 30, 2013

A Sweet Random Gift

I am one of those lucky ladies who gets to brag about their boyfriends.. I ran to the post office and when I came home this baby was sitting on our bed. Lucky for me the good boyfriend took a photo of the package with my camera while I was gone to document it for me. I always say if there wasn't a photo it didn't happen.. He knows me too well.

Inside was a Chemex coffee carafe, filters, and a brush! I have always wanted one and he knows it!♥

How do you try the best tasting coffee in the world? Black. Black it was. I had the jitters half way through my cup I had to stop drinking it! This will be our go-to for some SERIOUSLY quick energy. I am one happy lady.

Thank you dear ♥

Sunday, August 25, 2013

How To Make Rustic Mr. & Mrs. Wedding Chair Signs

What kind of blog would this be if I didn't give away tips, tricks, and secrets?! I wanted to show you how I make My Etsy Shop's "Mr. & Mr.s" rustic wedding chair signs!

To get started I must note that the Poplar wood comes in both 2 foot(cost $2.91) and 4 foot lengths(cost $6.94) by 5.5 inches wide. I get my Poplar craft wood from Lowe's and Wayne cuts them to size(12 inch pieces) for me. I choose poplar wood because it is a harder wood. I have used pine in the past. It is much softer so it gets marked up/scraped much more than the poplar does. Seeing as we are going for a rustic look scratches are a good thing, but I have to ship these babies so I would like to see that they hold up well.
Once cut into 12 inch pieces I measure in two inches from both sides and make a small dot. This is where the drill, and the junk slab of wood comes in. Make sure to place the slab of wood under your poplar. You need something there to take the impact of the drill bit going through the poplar wood. I use a jute twine that is found at almost any hardware store. I make sure that my drill bit hole is just a bit larger than the twine. Adjust the size based on the twine or ribbon you will be using.
Next start rounding off the sides and corners of the wood. It gives the signs a softer look, and once again better for me to ship!
The next step is to take your sponge brush and dip it lightly into the red mahogany stain. Run it on the inside rim to get as much stain off as you can. It spreads out a lot with just a tiny bit. I go for the lighter more walnut-y 'washed' look. I recommend spreading it with the flat edge of the sponge pressed down and moved side to side. Less of a paintbrush stroke, more like a wipe.
Like so..
Once dry (left in the sun for a whole day does the trick-if the sun is not an option then a hairdryer would work). You will now need your jute twine(found at almost any hardware store), scissors and I use a 6mm Zig Posterman broad chisel tip waterproof white ink marker. I have used paint pens. They do NOT even come close to being as easy to use as these markers do.
Find a typeface you want to write in. I do a lot of screenshotting of fonts that I come across. I try to change them up, and make them uniquely mine. They are mostly just a guideline.

Cut two 3 foot pieces of twine. I make my twine adjustable so that they can be hung on any kind of chair, and re-bowed. "Mr." has a adjustable bow on the left, and "Mrs." has an adjustable bow on the right. See photo's for details on stringing the signs.

I hope I have inspired some of you to get to your nearest hardware store. If this is just an unbearable amount of work.. I do have the sets available in my shop for $30 each! Stop on by at Dream State's Etsy Shop and see what signs I have available right now. They are always changing!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

DIY Coffee Table on a Budget!

I have been vocal around the house about needing a coffee table because we recently got a new rug for the living room. It just flies around. A simple nice wood table would do just the trick! I have been on the hunt at antique stores looking for one, and yesterday while I was printing orders all day- Wayne was making all kinds of ruckus and tells me he is going to build me one! I said.... "Can I document in between printing? Just yell for me!", I was so excited!
The thing turned out fantastic! He made sure to pick out the most knotty(naughty) boards he could find, and note: This was all made out of materials that we had on hand. If you went out to buy the materials this table would still only run you less than $10.00! It is 100% cedar too. He sanded 4 cedar 5 foot fence boards, which typically only run about $1.50 each. The legs and under framing were made out of a 4 foot salvaged 2x6 board from my parents porch that they recently had replaced, and a hand full of nails! A nice Lin Seed oil finish to bring out the cedar color, and Presto! All it was missing was a cute little puppy and a table top cactus!

The boy has got skills.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Family Camping & Our Before and After Yard Photos

My family camped over for a couple of nights for my dad's birthday. It was nice to not really do anything. My dad is a workaholic, and can't ever sit down so we made sure to have the wood chopped and ready for him. He doesn't like sweets so I got him a hamburger cupcake from Market of Choice(Isn't it adorable?!), and he is stubborn about cooking his meals. So we helped out, and tried to make it special. The boys shot some guns, and threw axes. Throwing axes is one thing I had no idea my dad liked to do. We are going to set up a target for their next stay. Which is apparently in a few weeks. :) I am again excited!

This here are the original yard photos from our first trip to check out the house. I wanted to share the amount of work that we have done. It always feels like we have so much to do, but looking at these photos.. This place has come a LONG WAY in a short amount of time. I tried to take the photos in the same location as the originals.

We now have a camp site, wood ready for winter, a tiny home, an orchard, a couple small gardens, a dog, hiking trails, and an improved overall landscape.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Homestead Projects

Our little birdy was taken to a wild animal rehab where she will be set free into nature when she is old enough to fly. The lady said had we not brought her in she would have died. She was dehydrated. Most of the advice we got online was 100% wrong. It's hard to trust what you read. We were giving her an assortment of crawlers mostly worms. Once she had worms she spit out the water soaked dog food(she decided she no longer wanted that). Nobody ever mentioned that birds get most of their liquid for hydration from berries. The first thing she told us was to give her strawberries, or blackberries. So there is some advice for you fellow 'birders' who may also come across an abandoned bird. They need berries!

We have started on a couple of projects around the house. The first one we found at a re-use store. Everything was half off. Wayne saw that the head of the axe was a good shape, and it had a Swedish stamp. Later did he find out it is a Gransfors Bruks axe. Which is apparently top of the line. He immediately ordered a Gransfors Bruks replacement hickory handle, and started restoring the head. Apparently by soaking high carbon steal in vinegar it takes the rust right off, and with a little grinding, and sharpening the head was like new! Not bad for a $2 duct taped hunk of junk.

This next project I was a little more involved in. Wayne cut the piece right after we moved in. The tree had already been downed and it was already dry. He sanded the top, and linseed oiled it. It started out as a plant stand. We were at the hardware store, and I really wanted to use metal pipes for something. I love metal pipe DIY projects! Here she is- our little space ship!

We have been doing an incredible amount of yard work. Apparently every time a tree or branch was cut. The previous owners made a pile of brush on the side of the yard. The area that they covered up was somewhat level. That is a rare thing in these parts, so we hauled and chipped the entire area. We decided that we would turn that area into a camp site. The campground now connects to all of my hiking trails. It is starting to really come together!

We now have the tipi set up!

We have started a small orchard! We have 3 Apples trees, and 2 pear trees.

We painted the cottage, it now has a loft, and power!

I also did some brick work. The project took 2 days! We did not have a line between dirt (which I hope is temporary), and grass. I recently bought grass seed in hopes to get these mole holes covered, and fill in the thin areas. Our dog has recently figured out she likes to dig! What perfect timing! hah. We had a huge stack of bricks under the house. The previous owners used them to keep their wood stack off of the ground. They are 8 inches long, and added up the amount of bricks we had. It was the perfect length for what I had in mind! Next stop: Ground cover, and stepping stones. :)