Monday, February 28, 2011

Hi, I'm New Here!

 Care to show me around?


So it's been about a month since I started Rustic Renditions and to be quite honest, it's SCARY being the new kid on the block! 

It's also scary how much I loved NKOTB when I was younger.... (go ahead and admit it, you did too!... and I'm sure some of you still do LOL!!)  But isn't Joey sooo cute? :)

Okay, so in all seriousness, there is so much to "this blogging thing" and I've been doing my best to consume all the information available out there.  You could spend HOURS doing this.  I mean looking at all the great blogs alone is enough to take up half your day.  Not to mention trying to figure out layouts and design and fit in time to actually do some projects.  I think I've done a pretty good job so far doing it on my own.  But I still have questions that need to be answered.  Blogging etiquette seems to be an important core value amongst those BBFF's out there... and as a newbie trying to get noticed I don't want to make any mistakes. 

There's actually a great article about blogging etiquette over at A Girl And A Glue Gun that is a must read for us little fish.  While I think most of it is applicable to the majority of bloggers out there I still can't help but feel a little lost.  So I decided to post a survey of sorts for my own peace of mind and comfort.  Let's get started!

1.  Comments:  As I'm receiving more and more comments on my posts (which I totally love BTW), I can't help but wonder if I'm supposed to respond back to each and every one.  I mean, once you get like a BUNCH of them there's no way you could possibly do that.  But in the meantime what does a new blogger do?  I certainly don't expect a veteran blogger to respond back to any comments I've made on their site, unless I've specifically asked a question about a post.  But I want my readers to know that I've read and appreciate their time to leave a comment in the first place.  So to respond or not to respond, that is the question.

2.  Projects:  There are literally hundreds of DIY blogs out there.  I've seen some fantastic ideas.  While I have lots to share of my own stuff, I can't help but want to try out some of the awesome things I've seen.  However, I can't seem to remember what I saw and where to give credit where credit is due.  Like I said, spending hours and hours of searching sites, it's nearly impossible to keep track of it all.  But I don't want someone to come across one of my projects and say "hey that biotch stole my idea!".  Do you go ahead and re-create an idea as one of your own, or skip onto something else completely?

3.  This brings me to my next subject.  Is it okay to feel a little jealous when you come across a new blog that is totally and utterly out of this world, not only in design but in content and as well?   Okay so a little ranting here if you don't mind.  I saw this blog last night and first of all, it was beautiful... so my first thought was "oh she's been doing this for a while".  So I scroll down and see it's only been up since... January? What the...?!  I mean come on!  So did she have this professionally done, or is she some kind of computer guru?  Her profile read wife, mom of 3, avid crafter/DIY'er, blonde bombshell, etc. etc.  Not only that but she had like 2 posts per day (talk about blog burnout) and had about 5 or 6 "I've been featured on...." buttons on her sidebar and like 5 times the followers that any of us other newbies may have.  Okay this one is out of this world.  But how do we compete with that?  I mean, I'm pretty sure my child is sick of hearing me say "you wanna watch another movie?"  just so I have time to figure all of this out.  So how do you juggle blog time, family time, crafting time, (not to mention cooking, cleaning, showering!) and still make an out of this world blog?  If you're cheap like me you're doing it yourself.  But how many of you are hiring this out?

And just as I'm preparing to post this, another great article about all of this pops up.  Just in the nick of time!  Check this one out from Funky Junk Interiors so you don't feel down and out. 

4.  Followers:  So this is a tricky one.  I've recently seen some additional followers join my blog.  Yay!... and Thanks!  It really makes me feel like it's worthwhile if I have someone to share all of this with.  But on the other hand, I can't get everyone I know to jump on board.  I mean, if your own family and friends won't take the time to support you then is it really worth it to continue on?  I've been trying to put myself out there to get a few more blog stalkers, but how much can you really beg and plead with your posse?  Then there's the issue of, if they join my blog, should I join theirs?  How many blogs can one person follow and try to keep up with? 

5.  Advertising:  I've seen a lot of different opinions on this one.  Obviously nobody wants to work for free.  Some of you may feel like blogging isn't work.  But it does take a lot of time.... and well, time is money.  I don't know about you, but if there's money to be made I'm all for it.  Especially since I was a major source of income for our family before having Carter.  It's hard to feel like I'm not contributing.  I guess that's part of the reason I started this.  I want to make some extra money while staying home and raising my son.  Is that so bad?  I guess my question here is, how much can you really make doing this?  I know that may be an inappropriate question... but a valid one at the same time.  If you wish to share you knowledge or experience send me a message as inquiring minds would like to know.

So that pretty much concludes the survey.  While I continue "HANGING TOUGH" :) I hope that you stuck around long enough to enjoy my ramblings about all of this... and if so I would really like to get your feedback.  So please leave a comment or send me a message.  I do have some fabulous projects coming up so I really hope that I haven't scared you away and you'll stop back in for some more of my Rustic Renditions.  Thanks and happy blogging! :)

UPDATE:  So I received this really nice email from Debbie at Debbiedoos Blogging and Babbling.  She has the most awesome info for newbie bloggers, tips and tricks, etiquette do's and don'ts... and she's super funny and down to earth.  So if you're a little fish like me, go check out her Blogging Manners - you'll be glad you did!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coordinate Your Accessories

Here's just one more small example of how paint can totally change the appearance of even the simplest things.

I needed a plate holder and found this one at the thrift store for $1.

I didn't care for the plain old brown!

So I spray painted it a shade of olive green that I had leftover from another project.  After that dried I whitewashed it.  That's just basically watering down white paint and rubbing or brushing it on.  Then I distressed the edges to let just a bit of the natural color show through.

And now it matches my plate perfectly!

So simple, but now it looks like they were a matching pair. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Summer Lovin' Sun Room

Is it just me or has this been the COLDEST winter ever?  Who cares about spring!... I am so ready for summer to just get here already so I can enjoy my tranquil sun room.  Check it out!

This room didn't always look so good.  Unfortunately I don't have ANY before pictures.  Mainly because I didn't know I would be venturing into Blogland and showing off our remodel.  

But let me tell ya... this was a ton of work cause the floor was all rotted out and the wood slats all had to be replaced.

Then of course paint and decor....

And a little reading nook....

Now I bet ya can't wait for summer! :)

To be redirected to a link-up party, click the party button on my side bar.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shutters That Shine


From Oh So Hideous!


To Hello Gorgeous!

I love how they turned out! 

This was a 6 part process but well worth it!

Here's the breakdown:

I used a flat brown spray paint and gave them 2 good coats.  Then I used this deocrative crackle glaze. 

This stuff can be a little tricky.  If you apply it with a paint brush you get really large thick cracks.  I used a wash cloth and just dabbed small amounts here and there... not over the entire surface.  It gives it a less dramatic effect. 

See where it's wet?... that's the crackle glaze!

Once that dried I applied an antiquing glaze all over.  Just use an old brush and work it into the surface until it dries while you're brushing.

Next I used Valspar decorative glaze in Burnt Sienna.

A little goes a long way... so use sparingly.  Just apply with a brush and work it into the wood.

Then after that dried I used my custom black glaze:  3 parts clear glaze to 1 part black paint.  Again, a little goes a long way.  You can add more if you want a darker look... but this step is just to creat a little shadowing effect.

And finally, to give it the distressed look I used 100 grit sandpaper and randomly sanded down the corners and edges. 

To doll up the ensemble I used my favorite thrift store finds and created an expensive look for under $20!

I was Born To Party!  Click here to link back to a link up party.

And if you like what you see and want some more please click on Follower at the top of my home page! Thanks :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Surfin' The Blogs

So once again I've been surfin' the blogs so I can link up some of my posts and thought you should check out Funky Junk Interiors where there are more great ideas at your finger tips.  Who knew junk could look so good?  Um... she did!  And it's amazing! Not only is this blog chalk full of great decorating ideas, but if you're a wanna be blogger like me she has fantastic tips on building your blog.  She's also an amazing photographer and writer.  One could only hope that a little ol' start up blog could turn out as good.  Anyway, enough of my admiring... go check it out.  Meanwhile I am finishing up some fantastic old shutters that I'll be posting next.... remember these from my thrifting finds a couple weeks back. 

Well they are looking awesome so far and I'll have some great tips for you on that project.  But first I'm off to get my taxes done in the morning.  Ugh!  And then I'm hoping to get my child out of the house for some fun time.  Poor thing is going stir crazy being inside all weekend!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cheap and Easy Storage Solutions

In this unfavorable economy, and with just about everyone and everything going green, I've been trying to do my part by being less wasteful, more resourceful and to recycle, reuse and re-purpose.  It's amazing how much we actually throw away if you think about it.  So I've been looking at things with a different eye.

Here are just a few ideas for re-purposing old junk and garbage into cheap and easy storage solutions.

1)  Turn an old shoe box into a photo storage box.  It's basically already set up for you and this box had a cute design on it.  I simply used some coordinating stickers and ribbon to cover up the the logos.  My small albums and misc. picture books fit perfectly in it.  I know, now I'm getting all crafty on you... don't mind my messy table!

2)  Don't throw away your greasy old muffin tins!  Just wash em up, give em a coat of spray paint and the possibilities are endless.  I used these to store my jewelry.  The compartments are the perfect size, plus they stack up nice and neat to fit in a small drawer.  You could also use these in an office desk, a workbench out in the garage, in a craft room... just use your imagination!

(sorry about this sideways photo!)

3)  Baby food jars are the ideal storage solution for items you need to see clearly and easily.  I use these for scrap booking odds and ends, buttons, kids' crafts, and to store leftover mixed painting glaze that I know I'll reuse and don't want to waste.

4)  So this one you get to have some fun in the process!  Use empty wine or liquor bottles as decorative vases.  Some have beautiful colors and designs so why throw them away?  You could also use a collection as a pretty display on a window sill or on a shelf. 

5)  Mint tins are great for just about any small items you need to organize.  I used this one for all the many bobby pins I had cluttering up my bathroom drawers.  Safety pins, paper clips, and business cards are just a few other bits and pieces that would fit in here.  I love this idea because the lids on these babies snap tightly and you get some fresh breath in the process!

So next time you go to toss something out, give it a second thought.  Come up with some unique ideas to re-purpose those savable objects.  I would love to hear any ways that you are reusing your things too.  Send me a message or leave a comment. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My First Link-Up

Hey everyone!  I am learning a lot about the blogging world and my most recent discovery is linking up to other great blogs.  So click here to head on over to Blue Cricket Design (or click the button on the right side of my blog) to check out the link-up party where I submitted my Trash to Treasure Chest segment.  There are so many other great ideas just waiting for you to view... cooking, sewing, home decor, crafting... you name it, it's on there.  Be sure to report back any ideas you would like to see on here as a Rustic Rendition.  Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Mirror, Mirror....

Not on the wall... as of yet!  I think I'm going to save these mirrors to put in my office.  But I have big plans for remodeling that room coming soon.  I just need to get my other to-do's out of the way first.  Yeah yeah!

So from my last post I left off with the mirrors having been spray painted (if you missed it click here for that).  The next step is glazing.  I've posted another glazing technique (click here for that).  This is a layering technique which requires a bit more work, but it's still easy! 

I'm using my go-to glaze of choice, Valspar color glaze.  These come premixed in different colors.  This one is Raw Umber.  There are several to choose from and I think I have just about all of the colors because I love to experiment with them and create unique looks.  If you want help in deciding before you buy, please post a comment or send me a message and I would be happy to help. 

Apply a generous amount of the glaze working it into the crevices.  These are metal frames so I let the glaze dry on there for quite a few minutes before wiping off.  Actually I didn't really wipe as much as I did dab.  Just use an old t-shirt or soft cloth and start slowly.  Depending on the surface of your project, experiment and see what technique is going to give you the look you want.  You can always apply more glaze and start over.

This coat took several hours to dry because, again, these are metal frames.  Here's how they look after the first coat.  You could certainly leave them this way if you choose.  They look pretty cool so far don't ya think?

The next glazing step is a custom one.  Valspar also makes a clear glaze that you can tint yourself.  Use 3 parts glaze to 1 part paint and mix well. 

Since I'm using black here a tiny bit goes a long way.  I did not saturate the brush as I did in the previous application.  And I simply just worked the glaze using the brush until the glaze dries onto the surface, no wiping necessary on this one.  So in this photo below you can see the difference between the two.

I let that set up for a couple hours and then I used a 180 grit sandpaper and sanded down the tops of the design to allow some of the original coloring to show through, see below.

Ta Da!  Here is the final result.  I will have more segments on layering glazing techniques.  You can do this on virtually anything and everything to customize your accessories!  And again, I welcome your comments and questions.

Linking up to:  Debbiedoos Blogging and Blabbing.  And if you wanna see more from Rustic Renditions click on Follower up at the top and join the fun!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Projects, Projects and More Projects

Now that my shoulder is feeling a bit better it's time to get going on some projects! 

I found these little beauties the other day at Savers.  Nice orange right?! 

They were a little more than I wanted to pay at $7.99 a piece (I know I'm cheap!), but I love the design around the frame and the mirrors are in great condition, plus I knew I could do a fabulous glazing treatment and make them look really expensive!

First I spray painted them with Krylon Indoor/Outdoor in Almond Satin.  Luckily we've had some nice weather and it was actually warm enough to go outside and work on them.  I've had to put my spray painting projects on hold because I got in trouble for doing it in the basement and stinking up the entire house!  Sorry hubby! 

So anyway, here they are with the first coat of paint. 

And here's my cute son Carter... he just had to jump in the picture to say HI!

Now he's acting all rough and tough.... "I'm going to get you mom!"

So now I bet you're wondering what the next step is in this amazing transformation.  I'm actually working on that right now!  Well not exactly right now while I'm blogging... but the glaze is drying and I think they need one more coat of a different color.  So I'll get to work on that... and be sure to drop back in later to see the final result.... and some more cute pictures of my little bully! :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nifty Nurseries - Part 2 - Boys Rock!

Happy Valentine's Day! Here's part 2 of Carter's nursery. I am posting this today instead of actually working on any of my other projects right now because I was super... or stuper woman yesterday and pulled the muscles in my right shoulder doing a crap load of yard work. So I'm trying to rest up in order to paint some really cute mirrors I got at the thrift store for the next post.

Anyway, as I said in part 1, I wasn't just nesting, I was obsessing! At this stage of the game I was 8 months pregnant and on a ladder. I know, I know! My husband got after me and said it could wait, but I knew it couldn't. So onto some more painting.

In keeping with the bedding theme, I wanted to do something cute on the opposite wall of the crib where the squares are. So I grabbed a bunch of different sized circle objects and just started tracing them on the wall. Then using the coordinating paint colors I just randomly painted each one. Sounds easy right? Well it was, but having a beach ball for a belly made it a little more challenging... but here's how it turned out.

My sister-in-law thought they looked like stickers! And I had a few people ask if they were vinyl, but that would have cost too much. I call this look sophisticated whimsy.

I know that most nurseries should have bright colors and all, but I wanted this room to grow with him and be something he could transition into as a young man (I hope!). So to add some color I popped in some red accents here and there. I found this cute old bucket to hold supplies and some red star canisters and it kind of spinned off from there.

Coming up in the next Nifty Nursery series I'll show you a girls room I helped with for my brother and his wife. It is so cute!