In it for the long haul

I’m whooped! The back aches from all the driving and I have a garage full of treasured finds that will need to go through some intense cleaning tomorrow.

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The old guy, my friend, Cathy, and myself spent the day traveling West on US-12 for the annual Heritage Trail Longest Garage Sale. It was our first time and we’ve already discussed plans to attend next year’s sale.

14030830_10207113953352552_1222459977_nI drive an Equinox so space is at a premium and we make every inch count. It takes a lot of skill to load so much stuff into such a small space but we’ve got this.

The old guy was relegated to the smaller portion of the split back seat as Cathy and I manned the front – me as driver, and she as spotter. We make a good team and the old guy tends to find the good stuff we miss so it all works out.

We were told the crowds were lighter today than Friday and Saturday and it sounded like the vendors all really enjoy the weekend and the crowds.

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Did you see those windows in the back seat? What a find! Enough for a class – six, six-pane windows and they’re in great shape! It will take a few buckets of hot soapy water to be able to see through the glass, but then they’ll be already for a great class.

vertical mirror with detailAnd mirrors; the old guy spotted so many beautiful mirrors. I think we came home with at least four and they’re all just gorgeous and very, very old. The silver is worn off one or two in all the right places; can’t wait to get them cleaned up to see what they really look like.

At our very first stop Cathy found a large coffee table (similar to the run she ran over recently. Yep; she really did – just ask her about that one).

We met some really nice people along the way and seen some things we just can’t un-see. It was a really enjoyable day and the weather was perfect.

Cathy and I prefer to eat where the locals hang out instead of the typical chain and a lovely couple manning a sale recommended Saucy Dog’s Barbecue in Jonesville. The place was really hoppin’ and once the food arrived we realized why! Casual dining but really good food – with homemade potato chips!

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As long as I get a lot of cleaning done tomorrow you’ll find the new stuff moved into the Studio come Wednesday. I’ve got the perfect mirror for you!

Securing a magnetic attraction for art and inspiration

We’ve been in our new location going on eight months now so I guess it’s really not so new anymore. I’ve always felt bad because we never had time to paint before we moved everything in and then it’s just been busy keeping up with classes, custom furniture painting and painting pieces to sell in the Studio.

This week’s workload was a little light so I got the itch to put some paint on a wall. I tested four or five colors last week and not one was well received by the majority so I finally settled on the beautiful light grey we had at our first location. There was about a half gallon of paint left and I knew it would be close, but I had a plan.

green_door_studio_magnetic_corner_tapeI taped a rectangle off and had this great plan to paint a magnet board to display all our ATC’s from club, along with my scrapbook layout class samples for Sketch your Stash and Scrap your Stash.

Rust-oleum is the only brand I could find that offered a magnetic primer and at $20 a quart I thought it was a tad pricey. I checked online reviews and they weren’t that good. I asked the paint staff at Home Depot if they’ve had any feedback from customers, but they had none. I checked to make sure I could get a refund if the product didn’t work as it said it would as long as I followed application instructions. I was told it could be returned, so I figured I’d give it go.

First off, have the paint staff shake your can for you. I didn’t have the first can shaken and it took me over 15 minutes of stirring to get a nice creamy mix. Buy a roller and brush with every intention of throwing it out when done, and don’t buy foam. My foam brush just soaked up the liquid and dropped big gobs of paint everywhere. Wear a large smock and gloves.

green_door_studio_magnetic_paint_trayI figured I’d have a 4′ by 8′ magnet board but the more grey I painted on the wall, the more I realized I was not going to have enough wall paint. I painted what I could and when it was dry I just taped off a huge area with blue painter’s tape. This would be my magnet board.

Stir the magnetic primer very well. It needs to be smooth and creamy (it looks and feels like really heavy motor oil – smells a little like it too). I lined my paint tray with foil so I could just throw it all away at the end. I used the smooth, to semi-smooth roller, like the can said. The magnetic primer spreads really well but spatters everywhere – thus, the large smock to cover all clothing. I also added gloves to my second round of painting to avoid the black speckled hands.

I eventually got three coats of the primer on my board. I had to buy another quart because my taped-off space was so large that I got one-and-a-half coats on and ran out. I had them shake the second can for me at the store and it was much easier to stir than the first.

green_door_studio_magnetic_paint_wallI couldn’t wait for it to dry to see if it worked as I hoped. It actually dries pretty quickly – in about 4 hours or so. The can says you can paint over it when dry but we liked the black. It’s a nice background for the art work that hangs on it.

Most of the bad reviews I read were complaints about the thickness, the inability to stir it easily and the fact that magnets don’t hold as they thought they should. I had read the information listed on the can of Rust-oleum so I knew it was very thick and hard to stir, that it needed smelly stuff for clean-up (that’s why I chose to buy stuff I could just throw out), and I knew it would not hold heavy stuff like a refrigerator magnet will; it’s recommended for lightweight items.

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I am so pleased with the results! I couldn’t wait to give it a try to see if it worked. I’ve used magnet tape on the backs of ATC’s and a scrapbook layout and it’s holding well. This board is going add a lot of color and inspiration to our classroom area. It’s going to look so cool when all the ATC cards are hung; they’ll create a border. It also gives me space to display our scrapbook layout samples for upcoming classes. Come check it out for yourself.

Cabinet doors are perfect recipe for boy’s rooms

Discarded cabinet doors are pretty easy to come by, especially if you have a friend or neighbor upgrading their kitchen. They’re also easy to up-cycle into a number of projects so we usually have a stack sitting around the Studio. When a client asked if we could make personalized bulletin boards for her grandchildren I suggested using the cabinet doors rather than buying bulletin boards to use as the base.

Each cabinet door got a light sanding and thorough cleaning. Instead of a cork board I split the cabinet doors into a chalkboard and a magnetic board. I used Rust-oleum’s Chalkboard Paint and painted the entire base and frame. That way the kids could even write in chalk on the frame if they wanted.

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Chalkboard paint takes several coats and it needs to dry between each. One of the cabinet doors had a divider, the other did not so I cut a piece of trim to attach down the center and help to secure the metal flashing.

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I adhered metal flashing to one half of the cabinet door with caulk and secured in place with trim. Each board is personalized with the children’s favorite hobbies. Lance is big on music and Shawn, the younger, loves Star Wars. I was able to add a shelf to the top for Shawn so he could display some small Star Wars toys. An upside-down drawer pull is the perfect resting place for chalk.

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I decoupaged vintage music sheet papers to trim out the board for Lance and added some music note stickers to jazz it up a bit.

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When they were all done I used chalk to season the boards for use. The boys loved them and because they are chalk and magnetic, no worries of thumbtacks falling to the floor!