Thursday, September 14, 2017

Forever and Ever Chalkboard Art Tutorial

I have a couple chalkboards in my home. I have one in the bedroom.


I have one in the kitchen.


I made both using old frames. The one in the kitchen has a little something extra. I used a piece of metal purchased from a hardware store, making the chalkboard magnetic, too. See how I did it here.

Recently, a sweet girl in our church asked to borrow it for her wedding. The couple was having an ice cream bar at the reception and they wanted some chalkboard art identifying the station. Because it was to be left at the reception hall the day before I worried that the chalkboard art might not make it until the reception; it might get smudged or erased as it was being set up at the facility. (My inner skeptic is alive and well.)

The following was my solution:
(Note: I am showing photos from 2 different canvases because I always forget to take pictures the first time around.)

I pulled a canvas wrapped board from my stash. You can purchase these at Michaels, A.C.Moore and the like. I buy them when on sale and keep them around for my hair-brained ideas. I painted the canvas with chalkboard paint I had on hand. This took two coats. Black acrylic paint would probably be fine for this application, too.

While that was drying I pulled out my sketch pad and went to work. I did a couple of Pinterest searches for ice cream signs and mushed my finds into one drawing on my sketch pad. I tweaked it until it was what I was happy with it. I texted a picture of my drawing over to the bride for approval.

When the green light was given I went to my copier and enlarged the print. I had about 4 pieces of paper when all was done and I taped them together. (This is where I forgot to keep taking photos.)

On the back side of the taped copies I rubbed a stick of chalk all over the areas where my design was.

I delicately placed the print, chalk side down, on the dry canvas.

With a pencil I traced the printed image leaving a chalk outline of my drawing on the blackened canvas. Up to this point this is often how I will do my chalkboards in my home. but they are meant to be erased and remade. For this project I reached for a one of my chalkboard pens that won't come off so easily.

Trace over the lines with the pen, filling in the fatter lines to resemble calligraphy. Sometimes, I have to go back over the white once it's dry to get good coverage. When the chalk pen ink was dry I did have to go back to the canvas and do a little clean up. Remember your paint pen takes some time to dry and if you rest your hand in it while writing you will make little messes on your canvas that you will have to clean up.

To erase your original chalk trace marks or chalk smudges you can use a soft paint brush and lightly brush the board after you are sure the chalk pen ink is dry. To clean up paint pen smudges a q-tip and a little water does wonders!

 In the Ice Cream piece I used a red piece of red chalk to fill in the heart and the cherry on top.

To use it with my pre-existing frame I hot-glue four magnets to the back corners. You can mount it in your own frame or just lean the board on a mantle or a shelf.

For me, the artwork can attach to my chalkboard. Finally, to protect the work, spray it with a matte sealer. I used Krylon Matte Finish. Now it won't get smudged and the happy newlyweds got to take their artwork home where they can frame it or stick it on the fridge ... Maybe it will be around when they are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!

And, my chalkboard is ready for the next thing my mind can conjure up!

Thanks for spending time with me today.  I would love to see pictures if you decide to 
make one of your own! 


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Musical Chairs In The Dining Room

Remember the game musical chairs? You start on one chair, move til the you're forced to stop somewhere else, and try to plop down before anyone else does-never gracefully. I had a love/hate relationship with that game. Recently, I started thinking that is what my home was feeling a bit like. Last year it was three rooms upstairs that played the switch-a-roo game. This year there have been lots of projects brought right up to the brink of completion but then quick-like plopped down; in working order-not gracefully completed. It is more of an "it'll do til I can get back to it" sort of order.

We live in an old home. It has come to us (rather,  we came to it) knowing it was filled with challenges. We saw the charm while others just saw a hot mess-minus the hot. The main floor has three rooms, one kitchen and a half-bath. You walk into the front door facing a central set of stairs flanked by a room on the right and a room on the left. Behind the stairs sits the third room. That was the room we used as our dining room when we moved in but I wasn't convinced it was where I wanted the dining room to be.

                                                 Don't hate me for using a Christmas photo.

It was sold to us labled as a "colonial-cape". I guess it gets the "cape" classification because the ceilings upstairs are low and sloped and the windows are little and low to the floor. It gets the colonial label because from the street the exterior is symmetrical (almost) with a center entry. Originally, from what we have been able to find out through historical information, the house did not have a front porch. It probably had a more prominent front door with some sort of pediment but with the addition of the front porch it was sacrificed. That being said, I love the front porch and have no plans of reverting back.  The colonial label also comes with the idea that upon entering the front door you can head upstairs or turn to either side to enter either the dining room or the living room (parlor). 

The room to the right is our living room and because of that it made sense to me that the room to the left should be the dining room. There is a built in cabinet in the room. The top part at one time had glass panels with drawers below. When we moved in the glass was long gone. We used the room as our home school space for years and I used the cabinet as supply and book space but always thought replacing the glass to display my great-grandmother's china was in its future.


When we renovated the kitchen I thought it was a perfect time to switch things up. My girls were older and our home school materials have managed to migrate to every other room in our house so I thought I could eventually clean it out. I stenciled the walls (in lieu of wall paper) and hung bold green curtains. I found a used table online and refinished it and was happy with the results... except I couldn't do the glass inserts yet...still too many unsightly books and supplies need to be housed in the cabinet.


Mister was a good sport but never really liked eating dinner where we could be seen from the street. These older homes were often built close to the road. We live on a small street with little traffic so it didn't really bother me. I enjoy driving by homes and seeing families at their dining tables-homey and comforting but when it is others looking in on us... well, Mister wasn't on board. And, we never really figured out what to do with the old dining room except to house my crafts and desk. It was always an untidy, disarrayed collection of stuff staring at me as I sat on the couch. I tried to keep it neat but it just never happened. 


Fast forward to February of this year. Our tv went on the fritz and we bought a new one. We decided to hang it on a different wall and that led to a whole big mess; redoing our master bedroom, living room and yes, dining room. We took down the cheap bead-board that covered the lower half of the walls both in there and in the living room, replaced the baseboard, moved the chandelier and painted the walls a yummy color. I thought I wanted the downstairs to remain neutral in color. I tried... really I did but when you walk into the paint store and there all those colors.... I caved!

I used  Dragonfly by Benjamin Moore for the walls. On sunny days the color looks more green than blue. On cloudy days the color looks more blue than green. Bonus: I was able to use the old window toppers which I love and Mister loves not having to buy new ones.

                                  Image result for paint color dragonfly

The color looks similar in certain photos to the color that it used to be which was more of a gray-blue color but in reality that is not the case.

I still have some things to hang on the walls in there and am toying with building something to house my serving platters. I am still thinking about painting the buffet and I have yet to paint the silly chairs but they'll have to do til I can get back to them. (I think that is how I started this post.) I am presently using the stenciled room for an office and craft space and yes, it is a mess. Project after project-weddings, work for others, and anything else I can find to do to avoid it.... It will go through some more changes in the next couple months but that will be for another time.

This does seem to be a better place for the dining room. Not exactly sure why but it just feels right, like an old familiar song, gracefully danced... which is music to my ears.

Don't stay away too never know what room we will move next!

Party Time!
Life With Lorelai

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Dunn Collecting

Hello, lovelies!
Today, I wanted to share with you a recent find (for me). You're probably way ahead of me on this.

If you visit often you know I am a Fixer Upper fan groupie. For a couple years I have coveted the simple, white mugs with black words on them that Joanna uses in the kitchens they remodel but had no idea who made them or where to find them. It never occurred to me to Google them. (I think my generation often forgets that just about anything and everything can be found that way.)

A few months ago a young woman in our church mentioned that she liked Rae Dunn ware.  I was not sure of what she was talking about but tucked that name away for a search when I got home. They had just moved into a new home, had another baby and I wanted to find something I knew she would like. Imagine my surprise when I did an online search and found the mugs I'd spied on Fixer Upper! If you've heard of Fixer Upper (and who hasn't...they're  were on People magazine last month), you know anything they touch turns to gold! Still, I was surprised by the prices I was seeing in my online searches. All the usual purchase places had the mugs but the prices were way out of my comfort zone;  online sellers are asking between $15 and $30! Crazy!

I did some research and realized that people selling online were called "up-sellers". They go to the store, buy all they can get their hands on, then resell them at inflated prices. Ugh. "Well, that's not going to happen", I thought. Then I read that these little treasures were sold in Home Goods, Marshalls and T J Maxx! That started a most unfruitful search. I walked out of every store empty handed and discouraged.  Then, a little ray of sunshine lighted onto my Facebook feed-not sure how or why... A local yard sale site popped up for people who liked the pottery but didn't want to pay crazy prices.

I just wanted a few pieces as gifts....

And that's how it began.

Turns out there is a huge following, nationwide, of people who collect and trade this stuff. It is more than mugs. There are bowls, plates, spoon rests, canisters, pet dishes, serving pieces.... you get the idea. Collectors call themselves Dunnies. If they see items in the store they will pick them up then offer them to the group at cost if it is not something they want to keep. If you're looking for something in particular just post it and you'll have lots of help finding it!

Now, I am old enough to know to not spend too much money or time on all of this. Cabbage Patch Kids, remember them?  I was the mom who bought every Holiday Barbie because "they were going to be worth something some day". I bought too many Dreamsicle figurines in the 90's. I bought "collectible" Beanie Babies for my child. They are all in my attic! Nobody wants them and my kids have long forgotten about them. So, with an understanding that my taste will change or that I will spend too much time arranging my cups into sentences I tread lightly into the Dunn-o-sphere. 
                            Image result for dreamsicles figurines                

My little collection makes me smile. I share my finds with others because I like to see them smile. The online group has allowed me to meet other people who live close to me. There are some pretty enthusiastic women there that spend their free time looking for ways to help others with their collections. They trade pieces, sell pieces, meet at different locations for coffee and exchange, ect. I have not paid above retail for any of the pieces I have gotten and in a world of opportunists it is nice to meet others who just want to help people make their homes happy places.

Decorating around the pottery has driven me a little bonkers.

To be honest I have been in a decorating slump lately. These last several photos were taken with my phone, hence the grainy quality. We do have some big stuff going on outside and I will share that soon. Inside, I have struggled getting my living room back in order since tearing the walls down.... And then there is summer and the beach that casts it's spell on me.

Now when I walk into my kitchen it talks to me! I am reminded by the first mug I bought for myself of my condition/status, whether there is one mug, 30 mugs, or no mugs at all. I am blessed; blessed to have a cup or anything to put in it, blessed with old friends and new friends, and blessed to be able to bless them. Mostly, I am reminded of my status before God because of Christ...blessed. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Free Tickets-My First Giveaway-And Still Holding On To Summer

I am enjoying summer and hope you are, as well. As the days fly by I am keenly aware that school starts for us in a mere four weeks! This will be our last year of homeschooling. It is hard to keep focused on the here and now with such a monumental year ahead of us but I am determined to squeeze every last drop of sunshine and beach weather from summer. Usually, I go into fall kicking and screaming but this year is a little different because it is our last year and also because of some happy news a friend shared with me a while back.

Trisha from The Vintage Prairie Home told me she had collaborated with some other local business owners to pull together a fall market in our area. I love Trisha's style, kinda farmhouse chic... I've shared her market with you before, HERE and HERE. She said an announcement would be made when everything was set. Two weeks ago I received a message from another friend, Kim, at Laurel Grove; one of the business owners Trisha had mentioned. She told me another Kim, from Purple Rose Home, was sending me some VIP tickets! (Happy dance commenced here.) Thank you, Kim, Michelle, Kim, and Trisha!

The market will be September 30 and October 1 at Kalon Farm in Lancaster, Massachusetts! 

I received the happy mail and decided to wait to open the box once in my happy place... the beach! You can see the video on my Facebook page

When I opened the box it was contained two tickets for me and two extra tickets to giveaway! Kaboom!

And so, that was the catalyst for my first give-away on the blog! Go easy on me...just some brief guidelines for this giveaway:

1) You must be local or traveling in the area the dates of the fair: September 30 & October 1. It would      be unfair for the tickets to go to someone who couldn't get there. 
2) Please follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or subscribe to the blog in the side column. 
3) You can ONLY enter through the blog. Enter by leaving a comment below. One per person please. 
4) If you win I ask that you kindly share a photo on social media tagging the pro.found vintage              market and While I Linger. ** This is not mandatory but please consider. 

Not terrible, right? 

If you agree to the terms please leave a comment below and I will assign each eligible comment a number. All numbers will go into a hat and the winner will be picked August 22nd! I hope to see you there! For now, you can find me at the beach.

**Updated 8/7/17

Friday, July 7, 2017

Gallery Wall Tutorial

Remember this?

Remember this?

In case you're scratching your head a bit, yes, I did post a gallery wall tutorial just a few, short, 9 months ago. Since then our living room has gone through a bit of a face lift. You can read why here. And you can see some of the progress here. I still have not done a final post on that whole thing-procrastination is the name of the game there.

The wall that my gallery wall was on now houses the television and I decided to move the gallery wall pieces to the wall behind the couch. This area is flanked by two windows, leaving me less usable space. Because of where the curtains will eventually hang (I haven't found them yet) I don't want this arrangement to go up as high as the last arrangement did. With all that running through my head I grabbed the painter's tape, measuring stick, tape measure, level and chalk. Go get yours together. I'll wait ....

Start by looking at the space you want to dress. My space has windows on either side. Because my couch sits against the wall I know that I will hang curtains only on the outside of each window (maybe).  I do not want my arrangement flush against the trim so I determined I should have a 10 inch space between the edge of the arrangement and the molding. There is no rule here; just what you are comfortable with. I measured out from the trim on both sides and marked the wall with chalk. I also decided I did not want the arrangement to extend too high. I measured up from the floor 84", which is where curtains will hang-once I find them (maybe). I marked the wall at that height.

A good rule of thumb is to have your main piece at eye level; a good rule for any piece of art work. In this case I want the center of my arrangement at eye level. My husband is taller than me so I tend to hang pieces just a little higher (inches not feet) but still at a good height to relate to objects below, like a table or couch, yet comfortable for the average viewer. Because the piece I am using as my center is larger I decided to hang it so that the top reaches just above the window molding but below the rod height and I marked the wall with chalk again.

Sitting on the couch, I took notice of where my arms were when I stretched or had my hand on the back of the couch. With that in mind I decided I wanted the bottom of my arrangement to be 10 inches up from the couch and again, I marked the wall with chalk.

Now I have top, bottom and both sides marked. I pulled out my measuring tape and measured the space I have to work with. I marked the center point of the space. Now, I move to the floor and measure out a space on the floor. Using painter's tape I mapped out the same size space as my wall space. This is my/your playing field. Here is where you are going to lay pieces out, arrange, rearrange and play with your pieces.

I am a lover of symmetry. I like balanced arrangements. I can appreciate others who can make asymmetry work but I have yet to master it or be comfortable with it long term. Try to keep your spacing between pieces consistent. Do not leave too much space between pieces as it starts to look disassociated. One to two inches works well for me.

I could not use all the pieces I had originally used since the area was smaller. I had to pick and choose and I know that the other things can be used elsewhere. Once you get it the way you want, take some pictures. This is an important step. Look at them closely, study them. Notice spacing, colors, ect. You don't want to get it up on the wall and then realize all your dark pieces are on one side, making your arrangement look like it will tilt. Take more pictures. Do this until you're satisfied.

Now that your are happy with your work, take that center piece to the wall. Hold it in place and mark where the top of the piece hits the wall. Measure where you hanger is on the back of the piece and use the measurement to put in your first screw or nail. Hang that piece!

Some pieces are easier to hang than others. My shelf, made from store bought brackets and an old shutter, is one of those pieces. I use a piece of painter's tape to mark where the hangers sit, making sure to line up edges and top of tape to the piece I'm hanging. I use my pencil to punch in holes where the screws should go. I hold the shelf to the wall, making sure it was level, and marked the wall using my chalk. I can then remove the tape and place it along my markings on the wall and drill exactly where the brackets will attach.

Now you can work out from either side using the same technique. Remember to keep your spacing in mind.

Before you know it your gallery wall comes together and you look like a boss! I don't know if there is an official, professional way to install a gallery wall but this what works for me and hopefully, for you, too!

You did it!

Thanks for stopping by and taking time to read through this post. If you enjoyed visiting with me please consider subscribing by email or following along on social media. All the links can be found in the column to the right.

Hope you have a great day! ~Jolena

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Arm Chair Makeover

A while back (like maybe early last fall) while utilizing my time wisely... okay, while perusing the Facebook yard sale sites, I found a set of wood arm chairs that stopped me in my tracks. I have been looking for a chair to pair with my grand-mother's French table.

I love this table. I am not sure what it was intended to be. My grand-mother purchased it when stationed in France with my grand-father. He entered the military during WWII and trained as a pilot. In the 50's they were stationed in France. My grand-mother loved cooking and she loved Julia Child! I suppose I can understand though my cooking crushes are more along the lines of the Pioneer Woman.  I imagine this table would have been lovely for rolling out pastry dough because of it's stone top but it is short. Perhaps it was a bistro table of some sort? I am just not sure. I do know that over the years it was used in different ways. She used it as a sewing table at one time. At some point it was passed down to my mother and she kept it outdoors on the covered patio adorned with potted plants. When my dad downsized, after mom went home, the table became mine. It has been to France, Korea, the Carolina's, Florida, Arizona, and now Massachusetts. It should have a passport!

Being so well traveled, I think she deserves a pretty chair that compliments her. Where do I go? I'm sure you can think of some pretty nice stores or online avenues that have beautiful, worthy options but that's not my first stop. I love the hunt... and a bargain and couldn't pass up the opportunity to buy two chairs for $30. (I think that is what I has been a while.) Where? On a local yard sale site on Facebook!  I have never reupholstered a chair before but figured I couldn't mess it up too bad. Right?

Life happens and these chairs sat for months without any attention. One day in December I decided to take off the cording and fabric. This is a tedious job! The little staples are a bear to take out but I persevered and eventually I was left with a naked seat. I kept the fabric, as I will use it as my pattern for the new seat cover.

Two months later...

I would paint the chair in a white chalk paint, I decided, one snowy afternoon.  I had paint from another project on hand and went to town until I ran out of paint. Ughhhh!

It turned out for the best. As the chair sat there mocking me for not having had enough paint to finish the project I realized she was not ever supposed to be white. I purchased some chalk paint from Lowes in black. This was an expensive can of chalk paint! I wanted to try the product vs. making my own. I don't know that I would do that again. The chair ended up taking three coats. Patience is the name of the game when tackling all the little cut-out area. I kept missing places that I thought I had gotten.

I allowed the chair to dry for a few days. After I was sure the chalk paint was completely dry I gave the whole piece two coats of a clear, satin finish to protect the paint. This chair will be used and I want it to last a while.

I went to my local fabric store, coupon in hand, and shopped for the perfect fabric. Everything I was looking at just wasn't appealing to me. I don't want the chair to compete with the table. I scratched that idea of finding traditional fabric and headed to the home improvement store. I purchased a medium weight drop cloth (hallway sized) and cut it in 1/2. I laid my fabric that I had removed from the chair onto the drop cloth and cut out a piece approximately 1 1/2 inches larger.

Using my regular old staple gun I stapled the fabric onto the chair; one staple on the back, pull taught to the front and staple. I did the same on either side and then started filling in, smoothing and tucking where necessary.

Now I needed cording. Ugh. Why didn't I think about this first? I know you can make cording by cutting your fabric on the bias and blah, blah, blah but I am not ever going to do that. I know my limits. How can I get around this??? Back to my fabric store.... They had nothing pre-made that would work with my chair and fabric. I don't want it to stand out. Finally, I grabbed some cording filler; this is the stuff that you cover when making your own cording...and, again, we all know I am not going to do that.

Instead, I am going to just glue this directly over my staples! Crazy? Maybe, but I am going to make it work.

First I trimmed the excess fabric close to the staples.

Then, I grabbed my handy-dandy glue gun I glued the cording over the row of staples. When all was said and done I was sort-of happy. I could see some of my glue and I could see raw edges still peeking out.

I headed back to my fabric store and bought some more cording.  I applied a second row and that was the trick! This is just a cotton and I am worried that it may pull and come undone. Using watered down Modge Podge I brushed over the cording, not to saturate but to just seal it and bind it to protect it against wear.  Perfect? No, but for my first try I am happy with the results. I will live with it for a while and see how it goes. I have the matching chair waiting for a makeover. My plan is the sell that one but we will see how well this one lasts first. Maybe I will sell this one and keep the second one...

My table and chair work beautifully together, now. I think my grand-mother would approve. 

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