Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Minor Wall Repairs with Joint Compound

I have a confession to make. I haven't painted the dining room walls yet. Nope. But, there's a reason. When I got ready to start last week, I realized that the area I'd taped out and painted as a "frame" on the wall was going to show through the paint! Oh, no! What's a girl to do?!

Well, let's see. Sand it? Tried that. I now have a layer of paint & drywall dust all over my dining room...probably on my "new" chandelier as well. I know it's all over poor Scottie Dog! After sanding, I painted it and guess what? I could still see it...plain as day. So, I realized I was going to have to do a little repair. Remember this monstrosity that was over our family room fireplace when we moved in?
See that lovely "architectural detail" over the fireplace? UGH!

It didn't come off the wall without a fight. A lot of patching was required, as well as a lot of paint, but I got 'er done! I'm proud to say that now you can't even tell it was ever there (thank goodness!). I've done a lot of repair work over the years, but nothing of that magnitude with drywall and wasn't how sure it was going to come out looking when I finished up (pregnant, mind you!).

This is now:

Oh, sooooo much better!
Well, it would seem that my repair "skills" were needed again with the dining room wall. (This room has become anything but easy to get done! Can just one thing go as planned?!)

Here's what it looked like prior to starting this whole renovation thing:

See how I'd painted out a white "frame" around the artwork? Yes, it has come back to haunt me!
And this is what it looked like after priming the walls, thinking I was going to leave that "frame" and adding yet another two layers of paint to it!

Now it was about 4 or 5 layers thick! Made a nice CRISP line!
After priming over it twice, thinking I would just cover it up and paint the walls, this is what I was staring at:


So, I made a quick trip up to the building supply and got this. Those guys love me (wink, wink). I think I'm the only woman that comes in that doesn't work there! :

This stuff is just amazingly Bud-ah!

It's very important to use JOINT COMPOUND on a repair like this...not spackle! It should be quite creamy and fairly thin. Once stirred up (if needed) it should look like this:

Using the dry-wall knife, I put a glob (like that technical word?) on the end:

and GENTLY drug my knife down the wall straddling the area needing to be patched, like so:

Initial application for coverage.

Then, I started smoothing by dragging my blade at about a 30 degree angle from the wall with gentle pressure...first down, then in an "X" pattern over the area. This stuff dries really fast, so don't over work it. Dried clumps can get in it and marr your finish. Just get it fairly smooth and move on. Better for it to be too high than too low (not enough). It sands like a dream and that's how you'll get it totally smooth...not with your knife. This stuff is also very forgiving...unlike spackle.

After one coat, it looked like this:

See the rough spots from appling with the knife? Just sand those babies out till smooth as silk!

I then took a fine sanding sponge like this:

Hi-tech equipment needed here (and some focus! Had the kids helping with these shots:).

and sanded in large circles smoothing it down until it was smooth as a baby's bottom!

Sanding in large circles.
There were just a few places that still didn't seem filled in enough, so I applied another thin layer.

When dry, I sanded that layer. I wiped down with a dry rag to get all the dust off (make sure to do this between layers of joint compound as well!). Use your hands to tell you if it's even and smooth... as well as your eyes. That's the trick to stuff like this: use all your senses you can...not just the obvious. Your fingers are super sensitive and will see things the eye can miss initially.

This is what it looked like once all patching and sanding was done:

Finished patch job.

Now it was ready for paint. On went the first and second coats of primer to get it even with the walls. And now, that wall is FINALLY ready for the paint treatment!

Really boring shot, but that's the point. No lines! Smooth as silk and ready for paint.
Rediculous! If I wasn't so hard headed, I'd probably just slap some paint up there and call it a day, but I really want the wallpaper look, so I'm determined to get my dragging technique on there!
In other's a few things that I'm working on for you in the near future:

  1. How to make no pattern, pull over, dining chair slip covers,
  2. How to make a stick/twig mirror, and
  3. More furniture reveals, of course (speaking of, I may have to take a day or two and get caught up)!
I've got more up my sleeve, but I have to pace myself so I'll keep those a secret until I get to them! Now, go patch up those wall repairs that don't require tape. If you have kids, I'm SURE you can find at least one to practice on. We'll tape on another occasion (although I don't need it to be too soon....BOYS!). Are you reading this?!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Keeping Twiggy Dust Free

I'm laughing at one the comments on Twiggy right now! It's one the hubby asked and I've contemplated, but kind-of didn't really care what the answer was...'cause I had a challenge to tackle.

"How do dust this thing and keep it clean?!"

Hmmmm....... I could burn it when it gets too dusty? How about this:

Electric or Aerosol dusters!
I just figure I'll get one of the kids little toy fans that actually has some kick and blow it off occasionally. If it gets too dusty, I'll just pull this out:

 Just KIDDING! But seriously, got any better ideas?! If so, please share.

Keep your eyes open. I've got another post for today that I just couldn't get the last photo shot in with available light, so I've got to wait until morning. Then I'll post it. Two in almost one day! Boy, ya'll are lucky (wink, wink)!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Not Gonna Compromise!

"Japanese Maple in Autumn"
B.E. Interiors Photography 

This is way off topic from my normal, but it's on my mind and I felt the need to put it out there. (In other words, God's hitting me with a cattle prod...AGAIN! I think he gets his kicks from watching me squirm.)

Once again, I've got this little voice saying...put that out there in blog land for all to read. So, I'm not gonna argue this time. I don't win anyway. Here it is:

You know, it's frustrating to read what all the "experts" claim you should NOT talk about on your blog or whatever in order to be successful. See if you can guess what the two biggest were. Yep, religion and politics. I'm out to make my blog and business a success, so I hunt for tips only to find this. Lovely.

Well, I hate to break it to "them", but I'm not gonna filter who I am to get more readers (although it's always tempting because that's so much easier!). Not all of us are out to be politically correct or to get readers/followers just to win some unspoken popularity contest. That doesn't mean I don't want readers... I'd love to make a living doing this (I enjoy it THAT much!), I'm just not gonna compromise to get them. I'd love to one day be able to look back and say, "See! Who says following the blogging/business 'rules' are what will make you successful? According to them, I should be a failure, but my God is greater than any set of 'rules'! If he wants me to succeed by the world's standards...then by golly, move over! 'Cause there ain't no stopping him!"

But, it could very well be that He lead me to blogging for other reasons than worldly success in business. It could be that just one or two people needed to see my blog because of my lack of a "filter". That's reason enough for me. Heaven knows that I've been incredibly blessed since starting this five months ago. He's shown me a side of myself that needed that struggles with remembering the reason for what I do and keeping priorities straight. It's easy to get caught up in the numbers game and forget your real reason for what you do and WHO you're doing it for. I can't tell you how many nights I've gone to bed asking for forgiveness for losing focus and ashamed for patting myself on the back instead of thanking God. Success is his to give and his to take. My blogging attitude and business sales is a constant finger on the pulse of my spiritual walk. It's like a constant mirror for me to look in and see the truth...second only to raising children. That is the biggest mirror you'll ever look into! I'm just being honest, folks. It's ain't easy to always  be honest. I don't pick that road because it's a cake walk!

I've been and continue to be blessed with this new outlet to use my talents - far beyond what I ever expected! I refuse, no matter how big a struggle it is or what the "experts" say, to ever forget or quit telling the world who gave me those talents, provided me with all I need to use them, brought buyers for my pieces - readers to my blog, etc. Like the old saying goes, we tend to grow closer in the storm...and it's a definite spiritual storm. You get tempted to quit at times, then puff up like a rooster at other times. It takes daily prayer to keep you head screwed on right!

I realize I take a huge risk of losing people when I mention my beliefs. I could be like so many people and carefully monitor what I post for fear of offending, but when you do that you're just a number and you aren't sincere. In my opinion, if I'm to be good at what I do (any and all things), my heart has to be in it. In order for my heart to be in it, Jesus Christ has to be in it as well. That's just who I am and what I stand for. He's greater than any social statistic or poll and will bring the readers/buyers I need. I don't need to pretend to be someone I'm not. I'm not out to impress the world. I am out to use my God given talents to honor Him, and if that offends someone, I'm truly sorry. That's not my intent. In fact, it really saddens me, but it's a reality I have just come to much as I hate it and wish I could change it.

So let me pose a question for you:

Do you compromise your beliefs in order to be "liked" or to fit in? I'm not going to lie to you, some people will love you for being strong, but others won't. That's o.k., though. I'd rather be liked for being honest than for being a fake or ashamed of my Lord Jesus. You don't have to rub your beliefs in everyone's face to be honest. Just tell the truth when asked why you do what you do. Set an example with your actions more than your words, but if He leads you to speak, do so boldly, but kindly and not abrasively. Be more worried about offending God than others. I mean, seriously...can people just drop a lightening bolt out of the sky and zap you (not saying he will...but not saying he won't either!). Be STRONG and in the end be able to say as Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7:

"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

If you're still reading this, then I wish I could give you a hug!  Thank you! May God bless all you who read my blog and love me for desire to be uncompromised and honest as I plod through the world of design! If we don't share common beliefs, then I'm just truly honored you put up with me:)

"Sun and Clouds"
B.E. Interiors Photography

Friday, August 26, 2011

Twig Chandelier Tutorial

As promised, I've got a tutorial for you today. Wha-hoo! I've never had so much interest in how to make something before:) I could have posted it on Monday...sans pictures. But, if you're like me, you NEED the pictures. I got so tempted during the week to just go ahead and post it due to constant requests, but I made myself not jump the gun because I didn't want to put it out there until it was finished. I still haven't finished the new painted version that I'm making, so I'll post pictures of that once it's complete and fill in a few more pictures on the tutorial. It's been a busy week and this is a time consuming, although simple project. I hope this is as easy for you as I think it will be.

****BIG DISCLAIMER!!!!!****
"While I would assume common sense would tell you this is potentially a fire risk, I have come to the conclusion that there isn't an abundance of that anymore. So, let me spell it out for you....I CAN NOT be held liable for ANYTHING resulting from YOUR decision to make one of these twig chandeliers! Please realize that putting dried sticks on a chandelier near heated bulbs and electricity is a potential fire hazard. Be careful not to let any touch the bulbs! Again, you assume all risk doing this as a DIY project. These directions are based on achieving a look, not safety. Please use any and all safety precautions when following to create your own."

Twig Chandelier Tutorial
"Twig Chandelier"
B.E. Interiors

Are you ready to get “twiggy with it”? Betcha are. Let’s get to it!

  LOTS and LOTS of crape myrtle twigs!
  • These are naturally curled and the perfect length.
  • Just go look under a tree and they are all over the ground. You don’t even have to cut anything! I collected all of mine from under our three trees. I can assure you, if don’t have one yourself, you can find one anywhere here in the south and no one will mind you taking them as it cleans up the bed….just ask to make sureJ. Take you a bucket and fill ‘er up. Can’t beat free!
Inexpensive grapevine wreaths
  • Two should do it for a medium – large size chandelier. Just cut the wreath in half. Now you have your large, textural curved twigs!
    Straight sticks
    • medium thickness – enough to surround the center and/or thicken the exposed rod at the bottom (if using a chandelier like pictured)

    Bronze or black small gage wire.
    • Look in the wood working section or a craft store or the floral department. Need a good bit of this.

    Wire Cutting needle nose pliers.

    An old or cheap chandelier.

    Glass/crystal garland (NOT PLASTIC).
    • This is the only part you really spend any money on and is totally optional. I paid only $8 +/- for mine with %40 off coupons at Michaels (or Hobby Lobby). It took two 6 foot strands for my chandelier.

    Drop cloth or old sheet
    • Use it to catch all the twigs and stuff that fall while working. Clean up is a ton easier this way!

    Candelabra bulbs to fit your existing base.

    Spray Paint in your color of choice if you choose to paint when done.

    Ready to get started? Let’s go!

    Let's take this:

    to this (or similar anyway)!

    Study Chandelier
    via Deenna Wish Design
    Step 1:

    Collect your sticks and twigs. You’ll need a bunch of the curved ones from the crape myrtles AND grapevine wreaths. You’ll also need just enough straight ones to go around the center of the chandelier. If you want to make them soft and more pliable, soak overnight in a tub of water – same goes for the wreath.

    Step 2:
    Spread your sheet/drop cloth out under the chandelier to catch your mess. You’ll definitely have one if your sticks are the least bit dry.

    Step 3:

    I hung my second version from a board straddling a ladder to work on.
    Turn off the breaker to your chandelier if working in place or hang the chandelier somehow so you can
    work on it while hanging. Don’t try to do this with it lying down as the sticks will break off. If you can
    work outside, do!

    (Optional Step 4)

    If spray painting, take the socket covers off, tape up sockets to prevent spray paint from getting in them, and paint the chandelier PRIOR to applying sticks. This keeps an parts from "peeking" out through the twigs when finished.
    Step 4:

    View of the top center above the arms with straight sticks applied.

    This is an example of gluing to a ribbon. Use larger sticks for center and small like this for outer layers.
    Depending on the shape of the chandelier and if you don’t want to potentially ruin it, you can hot glue or Liquid Nail the straight sticks around the center base (most secure method) or you can glue them to a piece of ribbon to wrap around the center. Hot glue the ends of the ribbon together in place.

    Step 5:

    Start gluing small, slightly straighter crepe myrtle branches around the straight sticks to fill it in until you have the center nice, thick, and uniform in width from top to bottom. Using the slightly curled ones on the bottom will give a full base (remember, you look up at a chandelier!)

    Step 6:

    Gather your curved twigs into small bunches and wrap with wire tightly. You’ll need many of these. The more small bunches you use, the tighter you can pack them on and it’ll have a denser appearance. Bigger bundles create a slightly looser appearance. Play with each to see which gives the look you want.

    Step 7:
    Start attaching the bunches with wire or glue (if permanent) to the center base. Work around spacing evenly, filling in between those spaces as needed. Curve the sticks out. Work around in layers, not all in one spot. Keep going until you’re happy with the fullness. You’ll want to cover the center fairly well so that you don’t see through it.

    The great thing about this project is that it is totally subjective. There’s not a “right” look. Each one will be different because all sticks are shaped different. The main goal it to make it full and curve the sticks out and up.

    Step 8:

    Hot glue individual sticks onto bunches to fill in any sparse areas.

    Step 9:

    Take the grape vine and make bunches of the halves. These are your last layer. They will create the main upward curving branches at each arm of the chandelier. Again, this is subjective how many of these you use. I split one medium size vine in half then used all of it. No more. These will also give you some extra texture on the deeply curled pieces that extend up at the arms.

    Step 10:
    If desired, take some textural branches collected from the woods (green is better…more pliable) and insert sporadically to add more interest. See the study picture above.

    Step 11:
    Once all branches all the above steps are done, take the pruning snips and level off the bottom to create a flat plane when looked at from the side. See study picture above.

    Step 12:
    Remove any globes, and replace bulbs with candelabra bulbs with the correct base size for your chandelier. This was my one sticking point. When you remove a globe, you have these ugly porcelain medium size bases exposed. IF your chandelier is not hanging, it’s easy to take those bases out and attach candelabra sockets. When it’s hanging, the wires are tight and it’s nearly impossible. I decided to use candelabra bulbs with medium bases and then make a sleeve to cover the base. Here is the template I used. You can cut it down to fit if need be. I made it in Word, cut it out and then painted it to match the chandelier color (ignore the detail lines. I just used the outline of the leaves for shape). Don’t worry about a heavy coat of paint. Mottled is what you want to mimic the wood tones if going natural. Just copy and paste into word to make multiples. Cut out, wrap, and hot glue or tape, then paint. Just drop over bulbs to cover sockets.
    This is the best I can give until
    I figure out how to attach a document to a post!
    Another option might be to order wax sleeves. The issue might be the width of a globe base versus a regular wax sleeve width. One of my favorite blogs has a post on this, a retailer link and coupon.

    Step 13:
    Spray paint if desired. How heavy is totally up to you!

    Step 14:
    Take garland and make a double wrap around the candelabra base. Cut with wire cutters and crimp double pieces together. Just drop down into base and adjust little “sprigs” as desired.

    Step 15:
    Hang and step back to admire! This chandelier looks best on a dimmer switch. I just love the way the light plays off it. Enjoy!

    Extra Tips:
    Tips 1:
    Remember, the twigs don’t have to be super secure. Once hanging, it won’t receive much movement or touching, so it can be a little fragile. This would be the case if you don’t want it to be permanent… like my dining room version. I could reach up any time and simply take it all off if I got tired of the look! It’s just all wired on there. The second white version is glued, so it’s permanent and really secure.

    Tip 2:
    If using a chandelier like shown, take off the bottom parts to expose just the threaded rod (they’re just screwed on). This is what you’ll attach your bottom branches to. Run a bead of hot glue around the
    section that transitions from the arms to the rod to hold it in place (taking the finial and ball off leaves
    nothing to hold it in place).
    Use large sticks to surround it immediately and thicken up the rod. Then switch to small to keep the texture uniform when looking up at the bottom. Keep going until it’s as thick as the top section above the arms.

    *I am researching solutions to soak the wood in to make it less flamable as a safety precaution and will post any updates as I find them.*
    Good luck! If you have any questions, send them as a comment and I'll post answers. If one person has a question, I'm sure more will and that way we can all see the answers:)
    Send pictures of your versions. I'd love to see your version!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Stick Mirror

Every time I read back over my post the next morning, I am constantly amazed (and embarressed) at my stupid typos that spell check won't catch! UGh! That's what happens when you type with constant interuptions and are about to LITERALLY fall into the bed. Most nights I don't even remember my head hitting the pillow. Frankly, I'm surprised I can even type a complete thought. In the past, I'd have beat my self up for post was not perfect! These days I'm just happy it got posted! I've learned to let a lot of stuff go over the years. Kids have been good for me:) Plus, I'd wager a lot of you are busy mom's know what it's like:) It's not about's about purpose and accomplishing the goal.

Now, on to my post for today:

I'm all about knock-offs. Have you noticed? This is just a cool coincidence, though. Check out this mirror at Ballards a friend just emailed me:

Driftwood Rectangular Mirror
Ballards "Driftwood Rectangular Mirror"
 Now, check out my mirror I made for my powder room:

"Stick Mirror"
B.E. Interiors

The funny thing is I'd not seen this when I made my mirror. In fact, I'm pretty sure this is a new product for them. I got my idea from seeing this mirror somewhere on the web...I have no idea where!

I wish I could say this was my idea, but I'd seen the above image to spark the old imagination. So, just out of curiosity, I got to looking for other branch, twig or stick mirrors. Check out the options below (and their price tags!):



Urban Outfitters
Arteriors 5407 Finishes image
Quality Bath
Whew! Do you want to know how much mine cost? Whatever the price is of a tube of Liquid Nails is. I don't even think I bought it for this was just leftover. So, really....mine cost me $0. Can't beat that!

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