Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Terra Cotta Terror

I'm not sure how many plants need to die before I admit I do not have a knack for gardening. I cannot grow something from the very beginning, a seed, but if you have a plant already growing and need help keeping it alive (by simple watering) then I am your gal. I recently decided that I would forgo buying dried ingredients to use for cooking and just grow (maintain) my own. I had seen little herb plants in the grocery store and Home Depot and by God my homemade marinara deserves fresh oregano. But those terra cotta pots are pretty ugly. 

It's easiest to spray these upside down so I flipped them and covered them with primer spray paint. The containers around them are to hold down the paint tarp. It was windy that day.

Only the top rim parts were being painted. I used painters tape to section off where I wanted the paint.


Now all top sections are painted. Per usual I used Martha Stewarts All Purpose Craft Paint from Michaels.

Once the paint had dried, I used more painters tape to prep for the chalkboard paint I was about to apply.

Chalkboard paint is becoming pretty popular in the craft world. While I used it in regular bottle form, you can also find it in a spray paint.

The instructions stated that at least two coats were needed. I did three coats on two and four on the other one (the yellow, being light, needed a bit extra).

Each pot received a stencil as well, you know I can never resist.

The chalkboard paint needs 24 hours to dry before it is ready to be used. Once the chalkboard paint was dry, I removed the painters tape and "cured" it by rubbing chalk across it a few times, then erasing.

It's been almost a week and my herb plants are still alive!

Moral of the story, even if you cannot grow a plant to save your life, just buy them already grown and make a decorative pot to put them in to compensate.

~ B

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Decorative Dish Soap

There are certain things you don't really know about yourself until you live with someone. Everyone has their quirks and while I am no neat freak (far from it), I am a bit obsessive about keeping dishes from sitting in the sink and my counter top clear. People say you should have serious talks about kids and finances before you marry but nobody warns you of dish washing. I am an instant scrubber/washer and my husband gives dishes a lengthy soak before scrubbing and rinsing. Because of this he requires the dish soap to be readily accessible (on the counter top by sink) while I like to hide my dish soap under the sink as fast as humanly possible (I told you, I'm a bit obsessive). A wise person once said "marriage is about compromise,"*  so I set off to find a way to keep the dish soap handy without me being tempted to squirrel it away.

* Another wise person once said "Love is a Battlefield" but we'll stick with compromise for the sake of this argument.

I keep a lot of containers to re-use. Most of the time I don't know what I'll be using them for so I wash and dry them, then store them away. I saved this squiggley glass bottle just because it was different.

Before painting glass I wipe it down with some rubbing alcohol and let it air dry.

Any type of glass container will do. This one happens to be from Rose's Cocktail Infusions Blue Raspberry Martini, if you must know.

Here are the supplies I needed:
~ Stencils 
~ Pouncers (or brushes)
~ Stencil adhesive
~ Craft paint (I use Martha Stewart's multi-surface paint from Michaels )

The letter stencils happened to be self-adhesive so I only needed to line them up where I wanted on the bottle.

The usual rules with stenciling: A little goes a long way. 

No matter how careful, mistakes can happen. The great thing about stenciling on glass is that most mistakes can be removed just by using a toothpick.

Stencil adhesive is not always necessary. I have used painter's tape to hold stencils in place previously but this particular star stencil had thin cut outs and I wanted to make sure the paint would stay within the stencil.

Most stencils can be cleaned with windex and a paper towel.

I put stars above and below the lettering as well as along the back of the bottle.

Once all the painting was done, I took the bottle outside and sprayed it with a clear sealant.

So, at the end of the day. I did concede to leave the dish soap on the sink counter top. But instead of this:

We now have this:

You can paint any glass bottle you have to hold dish soap, olive oil, or anything you want to keep handy when cleaning or cooking and still keep your counter top looking a little fancy.

The soap bottle has been out for a whole week and I haven't attempted to hide it once. 

~ B