Saturday, August 31, 2013

How to Keep Calm & Carry On

 Several weeks ago I picked up this $2 vintage frame at a yard sale.

After giving a similar but larger frame a recent fun makeover as a bulletin board for my girls' room, I decided to stick with the same painting technique on this frame for their room as well. And yes, I let the girls help with painting coat #1 again.

But I had a different idea for what to put inside this smaller frame. Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've probably seen these "Keep Calm & Carry On" quotes everywhere.

The variations run anywhere from "Keep Calm & Go Shopping" to "Keep Calm & Call Batman." Just the other day I saw a little gymnast wearing a "Keep Calm & Tumble On" shirt. These quotes, like chevron, are the kind of thing I've sworn up and down I will not bring into my home simply because its too trendy. And, well seriously - how does one keep calm and carry on? I'll tell you later.

But first, here I am admitting that, just like the chevron, I caved. ONLY because I happened to stumble across this "Be Still & Know That I Am God" wall decal here.

It's a quote from the Bible in Psalm 46:10. I was very close to buying the decal but decided I'd save the $18+ and just make my own instead.  So I did a Google Images search for "Be still and know..." and scrolled down until I found the same image here. I simply right clicked to copy the picture, saved it, and inserted it into a Word document. I printed it, cropped it, and secured it onto a large piece of black construction paper with double-sided tape tabs.

I needed to give it some support and make it stay in since the frame didn't come with any glass or backing. So I used the double-sided tape tabs to attach the construction paper onto a piece of cardboard and cut them to fit into the back of the frame. I also ended up using a little masking tape to hold it to the edges of the frame.

The frame also had nothing to hang it by, and its plastic, so I couldn't really nail anything into the back. So I decided to weave black ribbon through some of the holes in the scrollwork to make a hanger. I think the black ribbon I used was included in this yard sale ribbon lot I paid ten cents for last year but I recently found the piece on the floor in our house during our current moving-in process. How it got there, I don't know. "Why yes, there on the rug in front of me happens to be the black ribbon I need for my frame!" Seriously. Meant to be.

Here's the finished product:

Here are the coordinating projects. Both are the same color, just photographed in different lighting:
So to back up again, how does one keep calm and carry on?



ONLY by being still and knowing that God is God. Only when you renew your mind with the truth of His word can you rest peacefully in the fact that He knows, ordains, and controls of all your circumstances and in His love and faithfulness toward you.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul says of God, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me."

In John 14:27, Jesus says, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

In Isaiah 55:9, God says, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."

The Psalmist says to God in chapter 108:4, "For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies."

Please, dwell on those truths. You can keep calm and carry on when you be still and know that He is God.

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Friday, August 23, 2013

Fancy Framed Bulletin Board

Earlier this year I picked up this frame at a yard sale.  I knew it was destined for glory.

I thought I might hang it in our school room but I changed my mind and decided to paint it to hang in my girls' bedroom. My oldest could use a corkboard to hang special pictures, Valentines, cards, mementos, etc. ;) She wanted an aqua blue to match their fabric, which turned out to be Benjamin Moore's "in the tropics." Both girls begged me to help paint. How could I say no?

At one point they were more focused on painting each other than the frame. Had to put a squash to that.

After they started slathering the paint thick on the top and bottom, I tried lightly brushing it on the sides and loved the dry-brush look of the blue over the brown.

(Anyone else have one of these pretty little 6-in-1 hammer/screwdrivers? I use mine all the time!)

Well it was too late to go with that dry-brush effect all over. I was sad. I had to make up for this error! So I let them continue to lay it on thick and I decided to just go back over and dry brush with black later. This is how it looked when I was done painting.

I'm psyched about the reverse effect. It really made the scrollwork pop. As I was finishing up with the black, I suddenly remembered a cork bulletin board about the size of this frame that I'd seen at Sally's a couple days before. I might not have slept that night wondering if it was still there and if it would fit.

So I zipped on over that evening 15 minutes before Sally's closed, hoping it was meant to be. And it was. $2.99 was worth taking a chance that it was the right size. And it (almost) was. To make it fit in the frame I just needed to remove its original frame and a couple of inches in the length. That was easy to do with a box cutter.

But that tan cork doesn't go with the color scheme in the room I decided to spray paint it black.

(I don't recommend spraying words before covering the rest.
You end up having to spray extra layers, including random lines and swirls, to cover it up.)

After a few layers of the black paint dried, I literally squeezed the perfectly fitting corkboard right into the back of the frame. I tapped in a few new nails around the edges to secure it in place Thanks to the original wire hanger that's still in tact, she's good to hang. Ta da!

Pay no attention to the bubble in the cork. We'll tack something right over that. Now to find some fun pushpins.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

2 Lovely Ladies Get the Black Spraypaint Treatment

Last year I got these two matching prints at a yard sale for a quarter each. Yup. $0.25.

Wait, wait. Don't judge.

Yes, the yellow plastic frames are horrid. But I totally fell in love with the girls and their baskets and pots of flowers and the wicker stool and their embroidered and lace aprons and the checkered skirt and their blouses and their rosy cheeks. I want to be them. I knew from the moment I picked them up that I would somehow make these work in my house somewhere. Lucky for me my girls think these pictures are just adorable as well.

And well, well! Just look at that. Wouldn't you know it - they happen to coordinate oh so nicely with the fabric for my girls bedroom makeover!


Seriously, the color scheme is practically a complete match. Meant to be.


...those frames. They unique, that's for sure.

I opted for black spray paint since I'm trying to infuse a lot of black into the room to make their black rug work.

Final result:

Better, right? I can handle the frames now. Whatever it takes to get those lovely ladies on the wall.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Break From My Yard Sale Break

It had been at least a month since I'd been to a yard sale. And I was doing so good focusing on projects instead of buying more stuff. But I had this long-scheduled yard sale date with a new distant friend, Annie, when she was going to be in MA. She wanted to learn the ropes. And she requested that all my girls come along because she's got 3 little girls too and she wanted to see how we all do it together.

My girls were not too happy when I announced the night before that I scheduled this yard sale trip the same day as their daddy's annual softball tournament and they were going to miss cheering his first couple of games with their friends - a tradition they much look forward to. I encouraged them to instead think about the great stuff they might discover and asked what they hoped to find. My oldest said she would like to find more Tinker Toys because the ones we got at a yard sale last year were missing a lot of pieces and they didn't really have enough to build much of anything good. So as I prayed with them before bed, I specifically asked God to help us find some Tinker Toys at a yard sale.

Saturday morning we drove around, hitting up a bunch of sales on my list for over two hours but it didn't take me long to realize that Annie didn't need to learn anything from me about scoring a good deal. She boldly low-balled every seller on every item she wanted every time. She proved that, hey, it can't hurt to ask. They just might say yes!

Annie's best score was a $2 Lenox Beatrix Potter pitcher she bought for her niece's Peter Rabbit themed birthday party that evening.  Annie texted me that afternoon that she discovered it was worth almost $100 on eBay!

I didn't come home with anything of value or to jump up and down about but I found a few things. And even if I came home with nothing, we saw a lot of cool stuff had fun. Annie - I think we need to make this an annual tradition!

Here's my meager loot:

$1 for a frame and $2 for a brass hand-held mirror:

I picked up the mirror because I've got this idea to hang a tight grouping of random small mirrors somewhere in lieu of one large one. The frame is already undergoing a makeover for the girls' room. Details to come.

$0.50 for a bag of PartyLite and Yankee Candle tea lights and votives. Perfect for fall just around the corner!

This bag of jumbo corn-on-the-cob handles for kids was in someone's FREE box. My kids thought they were "COOOOL!!!"

Here's something I didn't realize I needed until I saw them. Set of bed lifts for $2.

The only bed frames I have that work with the girls' "new" headboards (which I finally finished, pics to come) do not lift their beds up high enough to look right with the headboards or to have any storage underneath. I hadn't really thought much about a solution to this problem yet (we moved in October and the girls' mattresses are still on the floor) until I saw the box of bed lifts at the yard sale. Seeing them reminded me that I actually have another set at home from my old bed. Sweet! So I now have 2 sets of bed lifts and am motivated to finally get my kids mattresses up off the floor.

The girls picked up a nice doctor kit to supplement the one they already have. Then, at the very last yard sale we stopped at, what did the girls discover?  Oh yes! A whole bag of Tinker Toys and a box of Lincoln Logs as the icing on the cake. OH YE OF LITTLE FAITH! "You do not have because you do not ask God." - James 4:2   Thank you, God!

The girls were eager to share with their friends when we arrived at Dad's 3rd (and final) softball game.

So that was it. I still browse the yard sale listings I get in my email every Thursday and Friday, just in case anything specific catches my attention, but I haven't really been out much. I'm trying to crank out as many projects as possible, even though 3 kids cramp my productivity rate. I've got some fun stuff to share soon though!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Updating Yard Sale Silhouettes

Back in the Spring, I picked up this pair of round, chunky framed vintage silhouettes at a yard sale for $5.

My plan was to use them in my girls' room. I've been trying to find several things in pairs to create small, complementary displays over each girls' bed. I knew I'd paint these frames and I do love vintage silhouettes but wasn't sure if I'd replace them with something else. (Like doodle stitching, my new dream hobby!! As. If. I. Have. Time.)

Either way, I knew I'd use them to compliment their rug, which so happens to be black...because its the room my hubby grew up in, and back in the day his parents let him choose black. We're not spending money replacing carpets now so I'm choosing to embrace the black rug and work with it. It's actually turned into a fun challenge!

For now, I've opted to keep the vintage silhouette prints - both for vintage charm and because I don't have anything else ready to go.  I simply painted the frames a bright pink to match the new room colors.


Not a bad custom match paint job, eh? The ladies at the local paint shop rock my world. I was going to paint the hooks...handles....whatever they, but my eldest said no, keep'm gold.

Now my girls get to fight over who gets the picture with the girl that has the fancy hat and parasol hung on their side of the room.
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