Knife Block Makeover

I have been bitten by the craft bug. The past month or so I have not done much in the way of crafting but this morning the bug hit. I had already completed the first half of my knife block project a few weeks ago with the help of my hubby ( who taught me how to use a power sander!) and decided this morning was time to finish what I had started. However, my recent crafting experiences have taught me one very important lesson. I have WAY more love for crafting than talent. Actually, I have almost zero talent. I know I am have talents in lots of other areas- science, reading,  cooking…but when it comes to being artistic I am seriously lacking. The problem is- I LOVE to be crafty. And I strongly believe that you should do what you love (even if you are not particularly good at it!) so I am still going to share my crafts with you.
I had been eying all the knife block makeovers on pinterest for quite some time now and knew it was something I had to attempt myself. So a few weekends ago while JD was working in the garage I got to work on my own project- and even though it is far from perfect, I love the finished project. Much cuter than the plain Jane wood block I started with.

I love the personalized feel of the after photo- a nice little addition to my cocina Creighton. There are a ton of tutorials floating around pinterest already but I’ll give you my step-by-step as well.

  • Wipe down the knife block and SAND it very, very well. I cannot stress the importance of this step. If you do not sand it well enough the stain will not stick to the knife block. I used a power sander for the majority of the work and just a piece of sandpaper and arm strength to get in the small spaces.
  • Apply the stain with a foam brush. We had some stain leftover from our kitchen cabinets so I used that so it would match our kitchen. Depending on how dark of a stain you would like, you can wipe off the stain with a rag after letting it sit for a few moments. My stain was very light so I did not wipe it off at all. Repeat until you get the look you are going for ( mine took 2 coats, not wiping either of them off.)
  • Let it dry until the stain is completely dry (I’d say at least 24 hours…but if you’re lazy like me, you can let it sit for weeks!) For the “C” monogram I found a monogram I liked online and printed it off on plain white paper. Then I scratched the back of the monogram with a pencil, flipped it over so the scratched side was on the wood block and went over the monogram with my pencil a few times. This method leaves a faint stencil of the monogram on the wood block that you can then paint over.
  • As a side note, if I had a do-over I think I would have copied what a lot of the other tutorials suggested and used my cricut to cut out a vinyl monogram and just mod-podged that on. I overestimated my painting abilities. If you do decide to use this method, simply use a fine paintbrush and some black paint and paint the monogram. This is where I failed…I now know I am not an expert at painting curved lines. Then let it dry and enjoy! I think it adds a nice touch to any kitchen and would make a perfect Christmas, wedding or housewarming gift. Now I just need to practice my painting skills before I attempt one of these as a gift!
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Shades of Grey Bachelorette

Just like every other woman I have recently read and become mildly obsessed with the Shades of Grey trilogy….how can one man be so so wrong and so sexy at the same time?!? Since it seemed like most of the girls in my group of friends had read or were in the process of reading the books this summer, and it was one of my good friend’s bachelorette party- we decided to throw her a “Shades of Grey” Bachelorette! It was a fantastic night (Sangria + Pole Dancing Lessons + Best Friends = Hilarious Night Out). I thought I would share with you some of the little details I did to include the Shades of Grey theme. I got a lot of my inspiration from- where else?- Pinterest. Here are a couple of the links that inspired me (Gotta give these girls props- they had some awesome ideas!)

:http://inspiredesignandcreate.com/50shadesofgreydecor/

http://www.throwbackroad.com/2012/05/50-shades-of-grey-party.html

The star of the decorating was definitely the cake my friend and owner of Sophisticakes made. I just asked her for a shades of grey themed cake and she showed up with this beauty- it is a large cupcake (like what you would use for a child’s smashcake) with lingerie-clad cookies on top…isn’t it awesome?

Ignore the smudged icing- that was totally my clumsiness in transporting the cake from my car into the house. I think the runner-up for biggest hit was my DIY party favors using lip gloss & lip exfoliant from Bath & Bodyworks.

Honestly- who hasn’t been going around biting their bottom lip in hopes of attracting a beautiful, rich Christian ever since finished the books? And what better way to display party favors at a bachelorette than in a martini glass?  We also wanted to have one special drink for all the girls that night so I mixed up a double batch of Sangria and the “S&M Sangria was a huge hit!”

I was also inspired by some of the blogs mentioned above to come up with some other clever “Shades of Grey” names for our appetizers: forbidden fruit kabobs, Ben-Wah balls (AKA chocolate covered berries), Red Room of Pain Vines ( Red Licorice Ropes). All in all it was a fabulous, fun girls night out.

And here is one pic of us at Pink Fitness Pole Dancing classes….you can get a private class in pole dancing or chair dancing (or both like we did!) for bachelorette parties…I highly recommend it!

Wreaths, wreaths, wreaths….

Today was the first cool,crisp morning where you could feel that Fall is just around the corner. Fall is one of my favorite seasons and is definitely my favorite season for decorating. Something about all the earthy red, oranges & browns, pumpkins, gourds, hay & scarecrows just does it for me. So after enjoying a cappuccino and snuggling with the boys for a bit I decided I would work on some Fall wreaths.

Wreaths for me are one of the easiest ways to decorate and fulfill my crafty ambitions. Before I show you my most recent creations I’ll share with you two other wreaths I have made in the last little while. The first is a boa wreath I made for a friend’s bachelorette and it was insipired by my favorite website- pinterest! This is the pin that I used as my inspiration & tutorial:

And here is a pic of the finished product (although it had seen better days by this point…this is post bachelorette!)

It was really easy to do too- just buy a wreath form and wrap the boas around it. I used 2 black boas and wrapped them around first then layered 1 pink boa over top. The next wreath I made was for last Easter and being the crazy bird-lover that I am I decided to make an egg themed Easter wreath that I will admit has hung up on our door until I replaced it with a Fall wreath today…..I’m on top of things like that..

All the supplies for that wreath I managed to find at the dollar store- if you shop early in the season they usually have great floral pieces for $1/bunch. The total cost of this wreath was under $10!! (You can buy the wreath forms at Wal-mart or Michaels for around $5). My new Fall wreath is really just an updated version of this Easter one- I bought the Fall floral arrangements from the Dollarama and went to work- here is my masterpiece!

And then I made one more Fall wreath- wanting to do something a little different this time. I bought from burlap at Michaels using my 40% off coupon (don’t you love those??) and found those cute little Fall-colored flowers for only $1.50 apiece at Michaels as well. I just love the burlap- it just screams rustic, country vibe to me.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my recent craftiness at work. Now you know what I’ve been doing in my spare time!