Friday, August 29, 2014

D.I.Y. Antique Mirror

I have been looking for something new to fill a big frame in my living room. I liked the idea of a mirror, but I didn't want to have to see myself in it every time I walked past or sat down to play the piano. So I decided to try to make something that resembled mercury glass.

Have you heard of mercury glass before? It's gorgeous.

I had a big mirror I wasn't using, so I decided to try to antique it and give it that bubbly, divine mercury glass texture.

The first thing I did was read 1,001+ tutorials online. I found plenty that turned regular glass into mercury glass using Looking Glass spray paint (HERE and HERE are two examples). I even found some that antiqued mirrors (HERE and HERE). But I didn't really like the blackish finish that many of them had.

So I did what I always do... just started working with no clue what I was doing or how it would turn out.

I removed the grey paint and copper layers from the mirror using spray-on paint remover. This stuff was majorly toxic, so tread carefully here, people. It ate through my rubber gloves and started burning my skin. Luckily there was a garden hose nearby and I washed my hands like a crazy lady while thinking about that scene from Who Framed Roger Rabbit where the toons get "dipped." Anyone know what I'm talking about?

After the paint and copper layers were gone, I was left with just the reflective silver layer of the mirror. I tried sanding it, but you could see every little scratch and it wasn't pretty. I tried spraying it with bleach. That made it turn black, which was not the look I was going for. I eventually used fine steel wool and tried to make natural looking holes in the silver finish. This was incredibly hard to do and it just didn't look quite right.

So I sprayed the glass side of the mirror (not the silver side that I had previously been working on) with water, then did the finest layer of metallic silver spray paint possible. I immediately blotted it with an old rag, removing a lot of the paint and giving it an uneven finish.

I didn't think I liked how this project turned out until I put the mirror in it's navy blue frame and hung it above my piano.

Splotchy, aged, interesting, image-obscuring but still reflective? Just what I was hoping for!

I am so glad to finally have something in that poor frame that's been sitting empty for so long.

This project is totally impossible to photograph, just so you know. Here's a close-up of the finish to give you a better idea of what it really looks like.

Once again, my hairbrained persistence paid off. I love the finished product!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Flip Flop Invitations

 I made flip flop shaped invitations for my daugter's Splish Splash Birthday Bash last week.

Here's how:

1. Print the invitation wording onto cardstock. Trace a shoe shape onto the paper and cut out.

2. Cut out the other side of the shoe from patterned scrapbook paper. Thicker paper works best. Make sure to flip the shoe around so that the words show on the back and the pattern shows on the front. If you cut them both facing the same direction, they won't fit together!

3. Punch a hole (I used a pencil) and thread two pieces of ribbon through. Use hot glue to secure the ends on the back side of the paper.

4. Hot glue the other ends of the ribbon on the sides of the shoe, leaving enough slack that the ribbon sticks up from the shoe.

5. Use a glue stick to glue the front piece of the shoe to the back. This will hide your ribbon ends. You may need to use a touch of hot glue where the ribbon is to get it to stick securely.

And that's it. You're done! Easy and unique. These would also be super cute for a pedicure party. Oooo... I think I need to throw a pedicure party. That sounds fun!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Splish Splash Birthday Bash

Summer may be winding down, but my daughter still wanted a summery birthday party. She really wanted a water theme, so we decided to call it a "Splish Splash Birthday Bash".

Let's start with the invitations, shall we? They were shaped like flip flops. Tutorial coming in a later post!

We got this adorable fish pinata from Shindigz (available HERE):

Because a birthday party is always better with a pinata, am I right?!

We set up a snow cone station:

Recognize the weatherproof tassel garland? I made the sign, borrowed the snow cone machine, and used Torani syrups for flavoring. The paper cones were clearance from WalMart and came with scoopy straws. Love those.

One of our main decorations was the wave wall. I got a 50 yard roll of bermuda blue gossamer (available HERE) and stapled it to the fence to mimic water waves. The staple gun worked like a charm and came out super easy after the party. Now I can reuse the gossamer for another party! Then I hooked fishing line through the nozzle of a few beach balls and hung them on the fence.

The food table was bright and cheerful.

Don't you love the huge paper lanterns (purchased HERE)?! They added so much color and pizazz!

I got to reuse the picnic set I bought at a thrift store and painted.

I made simple cupcakes, piped on aqua frosting and added cute paper umbrellas (available HERE):

I made a sucker bouquet in a sand bucket by putting a piece of florist foam in the bucket, covering it with crunched up paper, then poking the sticks down into the foam. Suckers purchased HERE.

And the last snack we had was fish crackers, also served in a sand bucket.

All of the party activities involved water. We did a slip-and-slide, played a relay game involving very wet sponges, and played one of our family's favorite games, The Water Game.

The Water Game Rules

* Choose a category. Some of our favorites are: zoo animal, state in the U.S.A., candy bar, color, Disney movie or superhero.

* One person is IT. They choose a specific item in the category. For example, if the category was zoo animals, they could choose giraffe.

* Going around the circle, each child thinks of a zoo animal and says it out loud. When someone guesses "giraffe", the IT person gets to throw water on them!

* The person who guessed correctly gets to be the new IT.

I had so much fun planning this party. There were so many great ideas that I dedicated a whole Pinterest board to it! You can check it out HERE for more pool/summer/water party ideas.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Emily's Favorite Banana Cake

When I get too-ripe bananas, I used to always make banana bread. Until I tried this recipe for banana cake. It is so moist and delicious, I have pretty much forgotten about banana bread. I made some for my my friend, Emily, and she loved it so much she hid it from her kids so she wouldn't have to share. I totally do the same thing. She's been asking me for the recipe, so I thought I'd share it with her and with you too! You have got to try this recipe!

Emily's Favorite Banana Cake

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Combine dry and add to wet. Stir in bananas. Pour in greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Frosting *
1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-4 cups powdered sugar

Cream cheese and butter until smooth, then beat in remaining ingredients, adding only enough powdered sugar to give it a good texture.

* Regular buttercream frosting is also good, depending on your mood (or what you have in the fridge).
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