Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chalkboard window project revealed!

My chalkboard window project ended up taking longer then I expected but I'm in LOVE with the result!  It was fairly easy but the weather didn't coorperate with me, which delayed the project a bit. 
Note: Don't start this project if you have a projected forecast of rain for two weeks straight.

As mentioned here, I went to a local salvage yard and picked up some old windows: one which is painted white and another in a stained wood finish.  Make sure to pick a window with no panes to insure you have a large chalkboard surface to write on.

I found the chalkboard paint at Home Depot, and chose to go with the tintable version which was about $13ish.  After much debate, I decided to tint the paint in the Schoolhouse Green color, to continue the vintage vibe of the project.  

I practiced on the white window first, experimenting with different techniques. I made sure to throughly clean the window so debris wouldn't effect the smooth finish.  Even though I did this step, I still have a few bumps here and there, but it doesn't bother me too much.  I started to apply the paint and realized it goes on pretty thin, which means many coats to follow. 

I let it dry about 20 minutes, felt the paint and thought it was ready for a second coat. OH but I was so wrong. I realized this very quickly when the first coat started peeling off when I went painted over it.  This is what I ended up with: 

I sanded the spot in attempt to smooth it out and maybe, just maybe you wouldn't see my mess up.  In the end, you can definitely see the imperfection, BUT when it's against the wall with no light shining through, it's hardly visible, even when I write over the spot with chalk.  After the hiccup, I had to wait the full 24 hours it instructed on the box. I'm not a patient person when it comes to drying times when I'm in the middle of a project but I obeyed the rules and since then, I had no further uh-oh's. I guess it helps to read the directions and actually abide by them sometimes. Boo.

After about a week and half later, I was finally done applying the paint, about 5-6 coats in the end.  If I was to do it again, I would make sure to brush the paint on the surface in one direction every time.  My chalkboard has a cross hatched effect which is fine with me, but if I went in one direction the chalkboard finish would be smoother and more consistent. Also, I believe if I primed the window first, the paint would of adhered better, and possibly lessened the amount of coats I had to do.

I had the hubby pre-drill holes in the back to thread two screw eyes on each side, about 1/3 of the way down.

Then I attached some picture hanging wire, making sure it was sturdy enough to hang on the wall.

FINALLY it was time to hang it up!  As I said before, I chose the wood frame for the nursery, since the hubs thought there was too much "white" in the nursery. He's worried that the nursery is too "girly" and maybe the wood frame would make it more "boyish".   Here it is, written with 36 weeks which was the backdrop for my recent belly picture. (My dear mother demanded an updated picture)

I chose to put the white window in our screened in porch.  We celebrated my hubby's 30th birthday a few weekends ago and this is what I wrote on it for his party:

I also decided to paint the backside of our medicine cabinet with the same paint.  Much better then the yucky gray color it was before.

So there you have it, my chalkboard window project is complete and I LOVE it.  Try it for yourself and I'm warning you now that you will find anything and everything around your house to turn into a chalkboard. I promise.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Since when....

did Payless get so expensive?  I love this new ankle strap, but $49.99?  Really Payless?

However, I can handle these peep toe flats at $22.99. Cute, huh?
They come in red too!

But I think I'll be heading in for these woven wedges on sale for $16.99!

Just sharing some online shopping fun will ya'll.  How's that for avoiding work this morning?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's time to answer your questions...

As most of you know, I am having my first baby around June 22nd.  I can't even imagine how life will change once baby comes, I have a small idea, but I am not putting any crazy superwoman expectations on myself.  So you ask....what does this mean for Magpie Designz?

Answers to your common questions:
  • I plan on leaving my shop open during my "maternity leave".  Yes, I know....pretty insane, BUT, I have hired help for the studio.  
  • However, even with this help, the production time will go from 2-3 weeks to 4-6 weeks.  This extended time will give me the flexibility to adjust to my new life while juggling a thriving business.  
  • The extended production time will start at the beginning of June.  I do not have a specific date in mind yet. It all depends on my comfort level as I get closer and closer to my due date.  You will see an announcement on my home page letting you know of the extension.  You will also have a 'terms and conditions' to check before you submit your order, agreeing that you understand the new terms.
  • This means that YOU need to plan ahead and order your jewelry now!
  • This also means that if you order in June, you need to be patient.  Do not expect your jewelry right away.  It may get there fast, it may not.  Pretty PLEASE do not ask for a rush on your jewelry or to have it by a certain date. I cannot make any promises.
  • The quality and standards of Magpie jewelry will remain the same.  I take great pride in my work and will not send out anything that does not reflect my high standards.
  • I should be up and running at full speed in the Fall, just in time for the Holiday rush.  I will be back to 2-3 week production at this time.

Did I miss anything? Leave me a comment if you have a question about Magpie Designz during this transition.  Thank you for supporting my business.  You all give me the opportunity to work from home, create jewelry that is special and meaningful for you while being a new mom.  I am forever grateful for your support and patience as I adjust to this new life.  Five weeks to go!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

I've been slacking on blogging lately.  Too much to do as the weeks wind down until baby time!  However, amidst the craziness, I will always find time to be thankful.

  • Peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  Peanut butter has been my BFF though out this pregnancy.

  •  A weekend to celebrate my hubby's big 3-0 birthday.  I took ZERO pictures at his party, boo. We have known each other for half our lives now. That's pretty insane.

  • The chalkboard window project is finally done! (as you see in the picture above)  I will tell you all about this project later this week.  I love my last minute idea to paint the back of the medicine cabinet door with the same application because the hubs likes to leave sweet notes to surprise me.  No pictures of those sweet notes though, I'll save him the embarrassment.

  • We are so thankful for all the baby gear we've received as gifts.  I know you're probably sick of hearing me mention this, but I just feel so overwhelmed with the generosity. 
Swing assembly: CHECK.

So much to be thankful for.  How about you?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mulch and girlfriend's

My Dad sent me this website because he thought it sounded like my mission here on my Thankful Tuesday posts.  Remembering to be thankful and have gratitude for the little things in life (like chocolate covered raisins from Trader Joe's) has taught me to slow down and put life into perspective.  So here we go again...

Lately, I have been thankful for:
  • A relaxing day with my college girlfriend's yesterday.  It was a day of shopping, coffee sipping, baby staring at Wyatt, laughing, dreaming, sharing ideas and goals, Target strolling and constant gabbing.  I seemed to have forgotten about my camera in my purse during the gabbing and laughing. Not ONE picture. Boo.  
  •  Speaking of Baby Wyatt...his mom Kait is contemplating a new business. After leaving the Interior Design world (like myself) she realizes that being creative in her life is vital. SO, after sharing with us the artwork she did (along with her hubby) for Wyatt's room, we are pushing her to take it to the next step.  I will keep you all updated on her progress but in the meantime, check out the artwork she sketched and cut by hand out of colored paper...with a knife.  It's unreal! What a talent!
Zoom in to see the detail!

    •  A lovely family shower with yummy food, hammy down maternity clothes for the summer, Yankee's game for the hubby and deviled eggs!  We have so many wonderful people in our lives and feel blessed for their generosity towards us and this cantaloupe in my belly .

    •  My favorite herbs are finally planted and marked with my favorite silverware Garden Markers.  For the rest of the garden, this summer we decided to buy a share at a local organic farm.  With the new baby on the way, we thought this would relieve some yard work. Not sure how I feel about not having a garden right outside my door, but I keep telling myself it's just this one year.  I will have more important things to tend to ;)

    •  My hardworking man.  He spent all Saturday doing yard work.  I usually help, but with this belly and lack of energy, I was only able to do small projects. Spreading mulch was not on my to-do list, but it certainly was on his.  He finished all of our flower beds in 5 hours, with two Diet Coke breaks. It looks amazing!

    What are you thankful for this week?  Please share...

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Bunnies for Bugembe {adorable}

    Good morning friends!
    I stumbled across Bunnies for Bugembe this morning and I'm so excited to share it with you all!  For some odd reason, I have been looking for a stuffed bunny for the baby for some time now. Not sure why a bunny but now my search is OVER!

    Bunnies for Bugembe was created by Chalice, a 20 year old who is raising funds for a trip she is taking to Uganda in August.  She will be working alongside Ekisa Ministries, a beautiful organization that cares for disabled, orphaned, and special needs children.

    Each bunny you buy, a twin bunny will be made which will then be hand delivered to a child in need over in Uganda.  Can you just imagine the joy that one of these children will feel when they are given their very own stuffed bunny?  I can just imagine it now!  

    I love that each bunny has this scripture sewn on the back for a sweet reminder that God is always with them. 
    My peace I give you, I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. –John 14:27

     Consider supporting Chalice and her ministry by showing children they're loved two at a time.  I am so excited for my bunny to come- that is when I decide on what color to get- this is when I wish we were finding out this little one's gender!

    (photos borrowed from Bunnies for Bugembe website)

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Random Ramblings

    Life has been pretty boring lately in our household, which I am thoroughly enjoying.  I think we both need this down time right now before the babe comes in less then 7 weeks...ahhhhhhhh.

    We had our plaster ceilings re-done as well as the walls repaired and painted for the last two weeks.  I was stuck in the bedroom or studio while the work was s.l.o.w.l.y being done.  Maisey certainly didn't like her house being invaded and had a hard time adjusting to her new routines.  Those two weeks made me a bit anxious with how she'll adjust when her routine and wonderfully spoiled life will be less then 7 weeks.  I keep saying that, hoping it will set in and become a reality.  It's not working.

    I started the chalkboard window project, which is taking me MUCH longer then I anticipated.  However it's coming along and I am loving the result.  More to come on the finished product!

    And in other stupid hormonal news, I made a major measuring mistake.  I had a vision for the baby's collage wall for the nursery to include a canvas of Maisey, since she IS part of our family after all.  Well, it came in the mail and let's just say, it was a bit creepy.  I ordered a 16X16 canvas of a close up shot that I took this summer in Maine. WHAT WAS I THINKING??  It is about twice the size I wanted and envisioned for the collage wall. Now it hangs in our bedroom, staring at us every morning. Hubs says it creeps him out. I would have to agree.  I blame the measuring mistake on the hormones. I only have less then 7 weeks to use that excuse.  Again, it's still not working. 

    Just some random ramblings for you all.  Have a great Thursday.

    • The Lemon Chicken recipe I talked about here turned out good!  Not sure it was the hubby's favorite meal, so it may not make it in the meal plans in the future, but it was SUPER duper easy and tasty, in my opinion.
    • We had a doctors appointment to check on the 2 vessel cord situation with the babe. The echo cardio gram of the baby's heart turned out the be great news- heart looks healthy and beautiful. Baby's growth is right on track, so doc's are optimistic for a healthy little one. Praise God!