Easy DIY Jean Vest

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Among their plethora of hand-me-downs, the girls had a sweet little jean jacket from their cousin.  From Gap, embellished with embroidery, and soft; cute on the hanger but on?  Well, meet the Hulkette:
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With their tiny frames and stick arms, the girls didn’t stand a chance.

So, after procuring a second jean jacket (for $5 off Varage Sale!) that was similar because #twins, I made a few snips, inspired by Kilee, and we’ve ditched the steroids in the name of fashion:
 jeanvest3
[While saying “cheeese” and dressed in skirts their size yet way too big that I spied undies a few times and the only shoes they have right now that fit…better get on that!]

All I did was cut off the sleeves which probably doesn’t need one word of an explanation but since I am who I say I am…
jean vest tutorial

The only thing worth mentioning besides “Step 1:  cut off the sleeves” is that when you do, make sure you cut as close to the inside hem as possible so that you wont see any remaining sleeve material peeking out from under your new armhole.  I found that cutting at a slant gave me the closest cut.
photo 1 (1)
You don’t have to worry about fraying because you’re not cutting out the hem, just the sleeve material where it meets the hem.  No cutting the hem = no fraying.
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And that’s it!

It’s just now dipping under sweltering here so hopefully they’ll become our toddler wardrobe staple soon!  Until then, we do quick photo shoots in the cool of morn:
  jeanvest2
 
I had been on the thrift store hunt to grab a jean jacket to turn into a vest for my very own but then I found one on the clearance rack at Target a few weeks ago so we might possibly turn into those mom and kids that are matchy-matchy once in a while.  I’ll make sure to gram the occasion if we do and give you full permission to do an eye roll.  ;)

jeanvest

Leaky Tap

3 comments:

Hey all!  So sorry for the radio silence last week…even though I know the only one to notice was probably me.  Monday and Tuesday were busy spent with the kids before I jetted out to St. Louis on Wednesday to spend some time with my bestie, Megan, helping her plan her upcoming wedding.  I brought Sebastian along for the ride since he’s still nursing and, let me tell you, one baby is a breeze!  ;)  I mean, it would’ve been if clingy wasn’t his middle name but hey, I got a taste of what spontaneity felt like again and got to eat in an actual restaurant THREE times in THREE days!  Crazy.  And the fall:
photo (8) 
Take me back.  The only colored leaves we see down here in the south are in craft stores so I soaked up the scenery like Spongebob and made a resolution that a visit is necessary every fall from here on out.  On Friday, Grace was so kind to let me pop in and spend a couple of hours chatting while the happy couple had a meeting and it was the best couple of hours Sebastian had.  I’m positive he wouldn’t have even noticed if I had left because he took to them like a bee to flowers.  Grace (who is so awesome and sweet and downright gorgeous) and I have the same alma mater (Franciscan University), so I knew her from college but had never met the rest of her clan and let me tell you, they are the epitome of cute.  I don’t know if you read her blog but if you don’t, you should.  Lack of time has brought the unread posts count in my blog reader to an all-time high (168!), but you will never find a post from the Camp on that list.  She writes, I read, I read to Anthony, end of story. 

So anyway, I was hoping to get my act together and get some actual substance up as soon as the kids say “nap”, but until then all I have to share is our new faucet…so boring, I know. 

A couple of weeks ago I started noticing puddles forming around the base of the old faucet but just thought my sloppiness with getting water everywhere while washing dishes was getting bad.  Nope.  Turns out our faucet was leaking.  We didn’t want to rush into buying another before a good deal showed its face, so Anthony bought us some time by putting some plumbers’ putty around its joints and we just made sure to turn the water off under the sink at night.
photo 1 (11) 

Then last week, I came across this faucet on sale for $98 (marked down from $154) online at Home Depot.  Bought it, they sent it, Anthony installed it and…
photo 2 (11)
…just like that, we have running water running where it’s supposed to and only where it’s supposed to.  (I made sure to croppity-crop out the dirty dishes just for your viewing pleasure…insert over-dramatized wink.)  I love the high arch (our old one had zero arch) and how sleek it looks.  So, if you’re in the market for a new kitchen faucet, snatch this one up before the sale ends on 11/2!

And that’s all I’ve got today!  I seriously have, let me count, umm…seven finished projects waiting for a spot on the blog so there is content coming, I just have to find the time to write and it used to be after bedtime but Sebastian has thrown his out the window so just…well…stay tuned.  #socliche  #i know  ;)

Meow

4 comments:

The girls have been crushing on these Old Navy loafers ever since they spied them in-store a month ago:
leopard loafers old navy
Okay, so I fibbed a little…I have been crushing on these for the girls.  But, as much as I love my girls, I don’t even spend $20 for a pair of shoes on myself so to spend that on five-inch long toddler shoes (times two) that’ll be too small in three months just doesn’t jive with my wallet. 

So, you can imagine our delight when I found a pair of these little thangs at Goodwill last week:
photo 3 (8)
A size too big but I know two little girls who can prance around in their mom’s 7.5’s so one size up is nbd. 

The pom flowers though, they had to go.  As cute as they are on the shoes, they made them less versatile with than without.  I don’t want to have to make sure blush pink fits in with an outfit if those shoes are the ones getting worn, ya know?  They were sewn right on the toe of the shoe though so I just grabbed my seam ripper and ripped them right off.  It took all of two minutes.photo 1 (10)

Bingo.  Now we just have to find another pair.  ;)
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  photo 4
^ hashtag ootd ^

And never fear, I didn’t toss the pretty little flowers.  They’ll be married to a couple of nice hair clips as soon as I get around to it.  Tutorial to follow along with dancing and some wine-ing.  Be there.
photo 5

In the Corner

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Wow-eee.  Life is busy, no?  Places to be, things to do, people to see, thoughts, more thoughts, kids, more kids, throw in a cold or four…add yours to the list because I’m sure you can relate!  That’s why posting around here has been minimal the past few weeks and why the project I’m about to tell you about has been in-progress for a month now and still isn’t finished.  You see, we’re on a mission to re-organize our laundry room.  I’m not sure why this whole process started…it might’ve been the annoyance of looking at this to long:photo (7)
The corner in question.  It’s organized ‘per-say’ – drawers full of painting supplies, spray paint, tools, paint chips - but overall it’s just a big heap of random stuff that’s really not the most aesthetically pleasing sight we ever did see.

Enter this big lug:
 
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I found him at Goodwill a month ago.  At $19.99 his tall, dark, and not-so-handsome physique was just what we needed to take that corner of the laundry room to the next level of organization.  We removed the built-in lighting and also ripped out the top shelf, as it didn’t extend all the way to the back of the cabinet, in order to replace it with a few more shelves and left the bottom opening as it was because it’s the perfect size to accomodate our shop vac.

The plan was to paint him white before we put him in his place.  So first things first, I wanted to make him a little less country and a lot more modern by filling in the scroll work and decorative holes.
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To do that, I used a plastic putty knife with this Elmer’s wood filler that we picked up from Lowe’s:
IMG_5073 I’ve used it before (to fill in holes in this desk and this dresser and cracks in this loveseat) and have been really happy with it.  It dries nice and hard without cracking.  However, it doesn’t sand down to a very smooth finish so I usually use it in conjunction with spackle.  More on that later.
Side note:  For the loveseat, I used a tube of the wood filler and when I went to use it for the desk, I found it had hardened near the opening, even though I had the lid screwed on nice and tight.  So, since the stuff towards the other end was nice and soft, I cut off the top of the tube and pulled from there, taping the opening off and storing it inside a plastic bag for extra protection against drying.
 
photo 2 (8)
Hoewever, when I pulled it out again for this project, the whole tube was hard and unusable so we that’s when we purchased the tub of filler, hoping its fate will be the opposite.  I’ll keep you updated but so far, so good (This just in!  Kelly told me she puts saran wrap over hers before she lids it and it keeps hers nice and nothardened!  Thanks for the tip Kelly!)

To fill in the scrolls and holes, I scooped up a large chunk of wood filler and spread it over the holes like I was buttering bread, making sure I pressed it in enough that it filled the entire area.  Then I drug my knife across the surface, scraping off excess.  When you do this you don’t want to scrape off all the excess.  There should be more filler than you need over your filled areas, sort of like a miniature hill.  You’ll make everything smooth and level by sanding the dried excess off later.  Make sense?  Here’s what the top of the cabinet looked like after I was done filling:
 
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So, after everything was filled and dry (since the holes were pretty deep, I waited a whole 24 hours to ensure the filler was completely dry), I went over it all with a fine-grit sanding block to remove the excess and level the surface as well as I could.
 
photo 4 (5)

I mentioned above that I like to use spackle in conjuction with wood filler.  Wood filler has fibers in it that make it unable to be sanded down to super smooth surface.  So, using this spackle and a metal putty knife (our plastic putty knife has some tiny divots on the edge so metal was better to get a smoother finish)…
photo 2 (7)
…I went over all the areas I had filled with the wood filler using the same technique, only with spackle.
photo 3 (5)photo 1 (7)       
After that was dry (I spackled in the morning and it was good and dry by late afternoon), I got out the fine-grit sanding block again and sanded everything until it was smooth and level.  After wiping it all down with a damp rag to get rid of any sanding dust, I was ready for paint.
photo 5 (2)

The cabinet front, bottom, and shelf are solid wood; the sides are particle board.  The wood parts had a few large knots which tend to bleed through latex paint (so I’ve read).  photo 5 (1)

To keep them from bleeding through my handiwork, I brushed a thin layer of oil-based primer over them first.
photo 4 (4) 

Once those areas were dry, I primed the rest of the piece with some Kilz primer.  I reminded myself over and over to take pictures of the cabinet primed before I painted but still forgot.  Not a huge deal but just know that when I prime, I just make sure everything is covered.  Primer will probably always be splotchy and that’s ok.  Next up was paint.  It took me three hours on four different nights and naptimes to prime the cabinet so I opted to spray paint the cabinet with its final layer of latex paint.  Not canned spray paint though.  Some good friends of ours offered to let me use their paint sprayer so I used some basic white latex we had on hand (by Olympic).  This
Graco paint sprayer is what I used to spray on the paint.
graco sprayerIt was really cool to be able to borrow it so I could get a feel for how paint sprayers work and whether we should invest in one.  It definitely took me more time to set up and learn how to use it than it did to paint.   However, I apparently have a lot more learning to do because one side of the cabinet turned out really drippy…
 
photo 1 (6)
I either added too much water to my second round of paint or painted too close so next time I’ll have to pay attention to those two things to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I painted the cabinet outside and while it was drying, there were some things to take care of in its corner:
photo 2 (5)I wanted to paint the doorbell white (like I did our other doorbell), spray paint the electrical box white so that it’d blend in in with the back of the cabinet, and touch up the wall paint where we removed an old key box.
 

To spray paint the electrical box, I simply protected the area around it by taping pages of a magazine (thank you Franciscan Way) to the surrounding wall.
photo 3 (3)

Then I primed it with Rustoleum’s Clean Metal primer and spray painted it white.
photo 4 (3)

Then in went the cabinet!  We have yet to cut out a hole in the back so that we can access the electrical box without having to pull the entire cabinet out from the wall but so far so good!
 
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Like I said above, we’re not done yet.  There are still a couple more things we want to do before everything gets put back and organinzed and those things started with a bang last night in the form of a DIY fail.  Stay tuned.

Also, a sneak peek!  The french door leading from the kitchen to the laundry room is becoming a reality…slowly!  We used an old wood door we found at ReStore, cut out the middle (which is now on top of the washer and dryer working as a countertop), and hung it!  I managed to prime it while I primed the cabinet but that’s all the farther we’ve gotten.
 
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We would’ve had it finished a few weeks ago but the glass insert turned out to be more expensive than we thought so we had to postpone in order to save up.  A typical step in the life of budget-ridden folk, I guess.  :)  All the details on how that all went down up to come hopefully soon.

And that’s all she wrote…so far!  We’re moving the kids rooms around today which means that Sebastian is going to his own room and the girls are moving to another.  I’ll be crying out of sadness that they’re getting older and smiling out of happiness that I won’t have to tip-toe around my own room anymore to avoid waking a sleeping boy, all while I move furniture this afternoon.  What are you up to?  Any projects that have been in-progress for quite some time now or are you pretty good at starting and finishing without too much time in between?  Any paint sprayer users out there?  Any secrets or tricks I should know?  Spill ‘em!  I need to make this relationship work!  :)

Have a great Tuesday!

Sebastian: 9 Months

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Having sick kids is the worst, am I right or am I right?  Monday, Seraphia’s nose turned into a faucet and she alone went through a whole roll of toilet paper (in lieu of tissues because we’re cool like that) and try as we might to not let whatever she had bite the the rest of us – clorox wipes, no sharing of anything, solitary confinement (just kidding, relax) – ‘twas to no avail because Sebastian turned his faucet on full speed yesterday.  And then today, well, you can just about imagine.  Cecilia.  The days are great and the nights even better.  If it weren’t for The NoseFrida Snotsucker we know and love so much (and you should too!), they’d be even better.  Snot stands no chance with that thing.  (Link is an affiliate link but we purchased the NF and really do love it!)
  So, in light of their broken plumbing, I let the girls indulge in TV yesterday.  What do you care, right?  I know.  Well, allow me to elaborate further and just tell you that it got me thinking back to those days when I had my parenting plans all laid out…and then this morning I made this e-card:
   

Let’s just say my mouth is harboring my foot for many things besides that.  (And just in case of misunderstanding, I really don’t have anything against TV nor did I ever really think my kids would never watch it.  I just want a healthy balance and yesterday was not it.)  But, c’est la vie.  Let’s move on.

Big Seb turned nine months last week:
9 mo (4)blog

He’s pulling himself up on whatever he can, da-daing his way through life, and eating almost whatever a spoon brings to his wide-open mouth.  He’s 100% more attached to me, me, meandnooneelse than the girls were (they were happy with either daddy or me) and it’s thrown me for quite the loop and has changed many a plan, many a day.  I can’t say it bothers me though because secretly I love being the sole love of his life and I pray that that affection never wavers.  :)


The girls.  They turn 27 months tomorrow.   IMG_5740
They’re cool as cucumbers most days and talking up a storm.  They can both count to twenty which I know is not really that impressive at their age but I just can’t get enough of it.  “Wun, two, chee, fo, ive, six, seben, eight, nine, ten, eweben, twelbe, serteen…”  So cute.  And thanks to Dora, Cecilia is a spanish speaker, counting up to eight in the foreign language.  She just blurted the numbers out one day.  See?  TV ain’t all that bad, huh?  ;)
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We’ve labeled them 100% potty-trained and accidents are pretty rare during the day and naptimes and if they do happen, it’s usually my fault because I didn’t get them to the toilet fast enough.  (And this is where I put my foot in my mouth because last night they both wet the bed.)  And, ehem, prior to last night, we hadn’t changed a wet sheet of C’s for almost a month and S’ in a week.  It’s really one of the best feelings ever.  Changing one kid’s diapers ain’t no big thing y’all.
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Lately, we’ve taken up walks around the neighborhood with all the kids in tow.
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All of them…
 photo 2 (3)

And we’ve also managed to get out of the house at least twice a week which is a leap and bound from where we were a few weeks ago – it was church on Sunday and thazzzit.  Cabin fever has died down to a dull roar and I’ve started collecting my marbles.  And THAT, is good news for everyone.

Faux Marble Countertops

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So I have this friend.  Her name is Jesse.  She’s really awesome.  I might’ve mentioned her before…like here and here.  Before we were “friends”, I used to see her at church and I thought “that girl is so pretty.”  Case in point (don’t kill me Jesse!):
jesse 
[This is around about when we first met...and this pic was totally stolen from Facebook.]
  She has this amazing short hair that only a few people can pull off which automatically makes you really cool and a semi-shy person like me very in awe and slightly intimidated, not wanting to risk a “Hi, I’m Sheena!” for fear that I could creep her out.  Thankfully, we started talking one night whilst our husbands had a meeting together and a budding friendship began.  She’s an avid DIY-er like me and this is the story of her kitchen countertops, previously (and technically, still) laminate gone marble of the faux variety.
 
 
before & after - jjs kitchen 

You can see her whole kitchen transformation
here but today, we’re focusing on those gorgeous countertops.  As you can see from the ‘before’ photo, her tops used to be a not-so-wonderful shade of boring cream with a matching backsplash.  Before painting, Jesse ripped off the backsplash, saying hasta la vista for good.  Then she gave the countertops a light sanding and rolled on two coats of Zinsser primer with a foam roller.  When that was dry, she rolled on a dark charcoal latex paint as her base color.
 
2014-03-25 20.47.39

To achieve the faux marble look, she followed this tutorial by Danika Herrick at Gorgeous Shiny Things.  For the veining, Jesse used Folk Art acrylic paint (black, white, and a few shades of gray) she got at Walmart and added Floetrol to it to extend it’s drying time. 
photo (6)
This was a really important step.  Acrylic paint tends to dry really fast so by adding the Floetrol, she had more time to work with it, change parts she didn’t like, move it around more, etc…

Here are some in-process shots:  2014-03-26 20.09.59

2014-03-26 20.09.10 

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After all the marbling was done and dry, Jesse poured EnviroTex Lite over all the counters to seal them and add that amazing shine.
 
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Here’s Jesse to explain that part:

Let’s talk Envirotex Lite. This stuff is sticky & messy, kinda like tree sap, but oilier & more fluid. I recommend having a partner, a timer, lots of disposable stir sticks, foam brushes, latex gloves, disposable mixing containers, and lots of newspaper lying around to set sticky items on. The directions recommend using a small piece of stiff paper to facilitate the spreading of the epoxy once it is poured. I’d recommend a small piece of stiff plastic instead. Paper quickly soaks up the epoxy & becomes flimsy & useless.

First, I spread newspaper on the floor & taped it over the lower cabinets, under the countertop ledge to catch drips.  I still got a couple of drips on the cabinets - do your prep work.  It makes the process so much easier, especially once the stuff starts dripping everywhere!

What I did wrong:  I started with the largest counter space (2x6) & didn’t mix enough epoxy to cover the whole thing. So, instead of letting it self-level, I was trying to stretch it too thin (which left it uneven & drying too fast), spreading with a piece of floppy paper (did not work), then mixing another batch as fast as I could to cover all the bad spots. When I poured the new mixture next to the partly dry mixture, it created striations in the final effect, and slight ridges. Also, since I was dealing with a limited amount of epoxy, it wasn’t dripping over the edges in abundance, so it was harder to coat them. I think one 32 oz. size of epoxy is good for a 2x4 space.

Lesson:  Start with a small area (2x2) first, to get the feel of the stuff. Also—don’t panic! You have more working time than you think to push it where it needs to go - just make sure you’ve mixed enough!

To do it right, pour your epoxy on your space.  I poured in a spiral, so it was already over the whole space.  Hand off the empty container to your partner & get your spreader in one hand and a foam brush in the other.  Then, just move it around with your plastic spreader until there are no dry spots. You want it thick so don’t scrape it across the counter - more like skim over the top.  As it drips over the edges, try to catch the drips with the foam brush & spread it sideways to cover the counter edges.  The edges will not be as thick & pretty as the top surface, just make sure there are no dry spots.  As the epoxy dries, you can wipe/scrape off the drips from under the edge.

Ideally, I would have set up something over the counters to help keep dust from settling into the drying epoxy, but I didn’t want the hassle.  As it got tacky, I got a straight pin & picked out some noticeable dust particles.  I used a hair dryer on low to gently get trapped bubbles out.  This part was like magic!  And I blew my breath onto some particularly stubborn bubbles.

All in all, the epoxy is VERY Forgiving!  It does level itself out over the 3-day drying period.  And any striations/bubbles/dust particles that were left behind only added to the ‘real stone’ effect.  A more mottled design helps hide these thing also.

Daily use:  The epoxy scratches fairly easily - fine shallow scratches. So, don't slide heavy things around on it for fun (like full plastic pitchers of water).  Again, my design is mottled enough that I think these scratches add to the charm. The directions say if you want a satin finish, you can sand the whole surface with superfine sandpaper. I may do that one day if I feel my surface is looking shabby.  Or I could just pour a new coat on and voila, brand new shine!  The epoxy is very hard & durable, yet also remains slightly moveable.  Heavy or sharp items leave indentations in the surface, if left in one place too long.  I keep a pad under my coffee maker, so its little feet don't sink in.  If you get an indentation, don't fret, it will also settle out with time.  And I think it's needless to say, but don't put hot things on it, or chop on it - same as with regular laminate.

And that’s it!  Look how amazing her countertops look!IMG_5031 

I promise you in person they look even more amazing and unless you’d read this blog post or were some sort of marble connoisseur, you’d never know they weren’t real.IMG_5032

IMG_5037

The countertops in our guest bathroom/kids’ bathroom are a lovely cream laminate and I’m dying to use this technique to paint them…and I will…one of these days! 
guest bathroom - fsbo

So, last but not least, Jesse’s cost breakdown -->
Primer:  $0 (had it)
Base color paint:  $0 (had it)
Acrylic paint:  $5 (Walmart)
Glaze:  $0 (had it)
Floetrol:  $0 (had it)
Brushes and rollers:  $0 (had them)
EnviroTex:  $45 (2 big and 1 small carton with a 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby)
Grand total Jesse spent:  $50
Grand total you’d spend if you had to buy everything:  about $105

If you have any questions about Jesse’s countertops or the process she used to paint them, feel free to leave them in the comments below and I’ll get with her and back to you asap!  If you marble-ize your countertops or anything else, let us know!  We’d love to see!

TGIF!

.           .           .

If you liked it then you shoulda put a (digital) pin in it!
Tutorial on faux marble painted countertops

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