Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bringing Sexy Back to Stationery

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Thank you, Moo.com,
for bringing sexy back to stationery!

Anyone here like to write letters? You know...like back in the day before cell phones, email, texting, tweeting, blogging, etc? And remember all those awesome black and white postcards that your grandma has stashed in her photo collection? The ones you find in antique stores and flea markets?

Well, I'm starting a revolution! With the help of Moo.com, I'm bringing sexy back to photo postcards and hand-written notes! Check out how Moo postcards make my photos look high-end and fabulous. The sleek gloss finish makes them look some kind o' sexy, huh? Wouldn't you love to receive one of these sexy postcards in the mail?


I wanted a way to capture some of my summer memories and share them with people. After thinking about it for a while, I remembered Moo.com (I've ordered business cards from them in the past and loved them) and that they had postcards. So, I thought I'd give the Moo postcards a shot and surprise my family with postcards from our summer vacation together and my junking friends with shots from Junkologie Blog Party 2010. I gathered up some of my favorite shots...most you have seen here on this lil' ol' blog...and uploaded them on the Moo.com site. Easy peasy!

Y'all want to know how I did it? Just in case you do...

SUMMER MEMORIES POSTCARDS

SUPPLIES
  • digital photos that I took (can be one photo or all different photos)
  • internet access to Moo.com
  • credit card to place order


STEP 1: If you are in the U.S., go to http://us.moo.com/products/ to see the screen above. You can see all the card options they offer. I selected "More about Postcards."


STEP 2: I reviewed the prices for the various quantities. I decided on the 20 cards for $19.99.

STEP 3: I read through the instructions in the "Making Postcards is easy" section in the center box. Then I clicked the "Start making Postcards" button.


STEP 4: Here I had to decide if I wanted to upload my own photos or pick a ready made pack (yes, they have gorgeous options that someone has already designed). I opted to upload my own images, so I clicked on the "Upload images" button.

STEP 5: Since I was ordering 20 postcards and I wanted a different photo on each postcard, I went to where my photos are saved and copies the ones I wanted to upload to a new folder.

STEP 6: I uploaded the 20 photos by clicking the "Upload your images to MOO" button. I navigated to the folder on my computer where the 20 images were saved. I selected all the photos at once by clicking on the first one, then holding the shift key and clicking on the last one, so that they were all highlighted. I clicked on the upload button. I waited until all the photos were uploaded.

STEP 6: I went through the cropping step to make sure each photo was cropped as I wanted it to be.

STEP 7: I chose to keep the back of my postcard blank except for the lines for the address and the square for the postage stamp. They do have other options for you to add text.

STEP 8: I added the pack to my "cart" and placed my order (this includes filling in name, address, shipping preference, and payment info). Soon after, I received an email with my order information. A couple days later, I received a second email saying they were shipped.


STEP 9: When I found them in the mailbox, I ran into the house and found a special spot to write my very first set of photos postcards. These will be the "antique memories" of tomorrow!



I love that Moo.com allows you to have a different photo or graphic on each card if you want. It's so great for anyone who likes to take and share photos! They use something called Printfinity. I'm not sure how it works, but I love that it does!! I already ordered a set of their Moo MiniCards for some fun fall projects. Stay tuned for those!!  This is my first time ordering those as well, but my friend, Mindy, had some great MiniCards at the Round Top show last year. I know they are fabulous!

If you'd like to try your own Moo project, check out their inspiration gallery for ideas! You'd be amazed at the creative ways that people are using them! AND, they are offering 10% off if you enter this special code at checkout through the end of September...DIYCLUB10.


Since Moo is a new DIY Club Inc sponsor, I'd love to see you link up your Moo projects to the September DIY Club Inc party starting this Thursday or the October party next month!!

What'cha think?
How are you gonna bring sexy back to your stationery?



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DIY Club

Monday, August 30, 2010

Autumn Comes in Coastal Blue Milk Paint

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This week at WhisperWood Cottage is all about projects. I've got a ton of 'em that I've been working on. Today's project is about transforming this pair of child's chairs that I found recently on a junking adventure. The orange-y dated finish was not trippin' my design trigger, and I wanted to try something that I had never tried before...milk paint.

I had heard of milk paint before but never really knew much about it. According to milkpaint.com, "The oldest painted surfaces on earth were colored with a form of milk paint. Cave drawings and paintings made 8,000 years ago, even as old as 20,000 years ago, were made with a simple composition of milk, lime, and earth pigments."

When I think of milk paint, I think of east coast cottages with their historic New England furniture. I thought I'd try the stuff and see if I could bring a little New England flavor to this mid-western cottage. I used Coastal Blue water-based milk paint from Rockler to transform the finish on this child's chair as shown below.


CHILD'S CHAIR MAKEOVER
IN COASTAL BLUE MILK PAINT

SUPPLIES

STEP 1: I gathered all my supplies.

STEP 2: In preparation for sanding, I used a hammer to hammer in any nails that were sticking out.

STEP 3: I sanded all surfaces of the chair using the Norton Sanding Bug from Rockler. I started with the heaviest grit...the 60-grit sanding sponge (blue).

STEP 4: I changed out the Norton Sanding Bug to the mediumn grit (red) sanding sponge. This was done by simply pulling off the blue sanding sponge and pressing on the red one using the easy hook-and-loop. I sanded the entire chair again with the medium grit.

STEP 5: I sanded the entire thing one more time using the fine-grit (yellow) sanding sponge attached to the Norton Sanding Bug. This gave it a really smooth finish!

STEP 6: I used a tack cloth (not shown) to wipe away any dust created by sanding. I wanted to make sure the dust did not interfere with the paint finish.

STEP 7: I opened the milk paint and stirred it with the stir stick.

STEP 8: I placed the chair on the Painter's Pyramid turntable so that I could spin the chair and get every angle during the painting process.

STEP 9: I applied a single solid coat of Coastal Blue milk paint on the entire chair using a foam brush.


On the left is the original chair finish. On the right is the chair after a solid coat of Coastal Blue milk paint was applied. I looooved the rich finish, but it seemed a bit too solid and new-looking for me, so....

STEP 10: Using the heavy grit sponge (blue) on the Norton Sanding Bug, I sanded back parts of the chair to give a well-loved and distressed look. This included the edges...

...the top of the chair, and...

...the seat.


Now, this child's chair has a cozy new home in the living room as a side table for reading materials and a warm cup of cocoa in the upcoming fall and winter month. Anyone care to join me?

UPDATE: Based on questions left in the comments, here are some extra details..
  1. PRIMER? I did not use any primer on this project. I wanted an authentic milk paint effect.
  2. WHAT DID I THINK OF THE MILK PAINT? I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the can and saw the deep, rich color of the Coastal Blue. At that point, I couldn't wait to start painting. Rockler's milk paint was high quality. I am happy with the outcome and will definitely be using it on future projects.
  3. MUST-HAVE #1: That Painter's Pyramid Turntable from Rockler is the bee's knees! I tend to miss portions of my painting projects because of all the angles. With the turntable, the project spins while you stay in place. Whoever invented it is brilliant.
  4. MUST-HAVE #2: I've raved about it before, but the Norton Sanding Bug from Rockler has changed my "I hate sanding" attitude to "Sanding is a breeze." See? Even sanding can be easy and breezy!

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DIY Club The Lettered Cottage

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Goodwill Score Saved Me $318

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Okay. I was on my home today. And guess what was on the way. Yup. Goodwill. Now, I don't really "need" anything...y'all know I find stuff left and right. But a girl's always curious about what is out there to be seen, adopted, and/or refurbished, right? Good...we're on the same page.


So, I was going to skip Goodwill altogether. But then the voice of reason kicked in. "I'm already on this side of town. It's right on the way. I won't have to waste gas on a separate trip." Yada. Yada. Yada. Since I always listen to the voice of reason, I turned on my signal and took the exit. After parking, I scampered into the store (isn't that how everyone enters Goodwill?). I started on my usual Goodwill shopping route (Y'all have one, don't you?). Skipped the jewelry section, glanced around the vintage knick-knack section, and went over to the antique-y lamp & odd finds section. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. 


And THEN...I saw a great backpack...it was a really nice one...for hiking. But I don't plan to go hiking in the mountains any time soon. Darn. Oh, there's a couple more backpacks. Another hiking one. Um...yeah...not really workin' for me. BUT WAIT! What's that third backpack? Does that say Lowepro on it? As in Lowepro camera bags? Why, yes it does!! As an owner of four smaller Lowepro bags for my camera stuff, I knew this was a quality piece. AND I have been needing a larger camera bag for all of my gear. Marked at 19.99, I was sure I was getting a deal. I grabbed it quick as can be and threw it in my cart!


When I got home, I looked up Lowepro Photo Trekker AW II online. My $20 backpack would have cost me $337.99 at full retail value. Booty pop...pop...pop! (Can't remember the show this is from...it's the lady that owns the dress shop with her two daughters...she says this all the time. UPDATE: the show is Jersey Couture [thanks, Theresa!]...it plays on Oxygen. Anyway...)

Retail price: $337.99

Goodwill price: $20.00

Lesson learned: PRICELESS

The lesson? Never skip Goodwill if it's on your way home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Salvaged Fireplace Mantel Turned Hat Rack/Shelf

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A girl's gotta have a place to hang her hats! Especially when that girl has as many as I do. Some people claim not to be hat people, but I am emphatically a hat fanatic. L-O-V-E them! They can be sassy and stylish or hard-working and practical. They can convey your mood or hide the abominable state of your hair. Three cheers for hats!


When I saw this salvaged mantel piece in a local antique store for $30, I was thrilled. I adore architectural pieces...especially if they have great details and patina like this piece. I originally was going to make a coat rack out of it, but eventually I determined that it would be perfect to hang my hat collection in my closet. Here's how I did it.

SUPPLIES
  1. 1 salvaged mantel piece
  2. 9 vintage coat hooks
  3. Bag of Rags from Rockler
  4. Deft Clear Wood Finish from Rockler
  5. 18 wood screws
  6. cordless screwdriver
  7. 2 triangle picture hangers & screws/nails
  8. 2 wall hooks


STEP 1: Find a flat open surface to work on. I used the driveway. :)

STEP 2: Clean the mantel and hooks of any dust using rag from Rockler's Bag of Rags.

STEP 3: Space the hooks evenly across the mantel piece. This mantel had existing drilled holes, so I spaced them according to them.

STEP 4: Since the vintage hooks I had showed a bit of rust and wear, I sprayed them with Deft Clear Wood Finish from Rockler to protect my hats (or anything else that would hang on them) from getting any marks. The Deft Clear Wood Finish left a great sheen on the hooks as well. Let them dry thoroughly.

STEP 5: Using the cordless drill, I screwed the hooks into the mantel. Pre-drilling was not necessary.

STEP 6: Attach the 2 triangle picture hangers to the back of the piece. Put 1 near each end. Make sure they are level.

STEP 7: Determine where you want to hang the hat rack. Measure and place your wall hooks. 

STEP 8: Hang it up!


STEP 9: Hang your hats! I placed some on top as well as on the hooks.




I'm feeling so organized! Those hats have been stuck in a drawer since last fall. It feels great to add more unexpected vintage character to the master bedroom. And now this girl's got a place to hang her hats!




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DIY Club The Lettered Cottage Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Monday, August 23, 2010

Making History in the Master Bedroom

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Ha! I knew that headline would get your attention! Don't worry...this is a G-rated post! :) This post is not really about making history as it is about preserving and honoring history in creating your home. Let me explain...

As the fall approaches, we've added some new accessories in the master bedroom. By new, I don't mean brand spanking new. You know that's not how we usually roll 'round these parts! What I really mean by "new" is that we've added some "new-to-us" vintage finds in the master bedroom. You saw the gorgeous 7-foot gold goddess of a mirror, didn't you? Well, let me show you a couple more goodies.


I completely adore this "Union Congregational Church" sign. What caught my eye first was its shape. They just don't make stuff like this anymore! Then look at the typography...in graphic black...and those swirls...in grey. Be still my sign-loving heart! And the arrow saying 2 blocks? Stop it now! Then when you see it up close, it has a perfectly chippy and crazed texture.


That's enough reasons to love it right? Wait! It gets even better. Well, if you're a sign lover like me, it gets better. This baby is two-sided! {angels singing from the heavens} (Ha! Pun intended, people!) Yes, this baby is identically yummy on the other side. And a two-sided is sign is twice as nice in my book! While it would be cool to hang it where both sides could be seen, it was telling me it wanted to live here for right now.


"What's that?" you ask? What? That small box on the table over there? It's a gorgeous flea market find of a vintage medical sterilizer box. And it has brass, people! Aged brass. One of my favorites finishes evah! That red cross, the letters on the glass, the three shelves...this is why I love a flea market or occasional sale! You can't find this stuff at a department store!!


If you haven't guessed by now, I'm slightly passionate about finding great pieces of like these. I feel like I am capturing, respecting, and preserving the quality, craftsmanship, and history of the past. Can you imagine these on a burn pile or in a landfill? It would make me so sad! Each of us has the ability to find, salvage, and make beautiful those pieces that inspire us in some way.

Have you "made history" or at least captured history by showcasing a vintage or antique piece in your home? I'm guessing you have! And I'm guessing you have lots of favorite pieces with history and a story to tell. Go on...tell us about one!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Gorilla Glue Winner at WhisperWood Cottage

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Congratulations to


You are the winner of the Gorilla Glue pack here at WhisperWood Cottage!!
Please email your mailing address to me at alvn.mail@gmail.com.


DID YOU WIN GORILLA GLUE, TOO?

Five other people have also won Gorilla Glue packs. It might be you. Click here to see if you've won!


AUGUST PARTY WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Check out the two winners of the August linky event!! 


LINK UP FOR REGULAR MONTHLY DIY CLUB LINKY PARTY IN SEPTEMBER




DIYClub
Get your projects ready for September! Not sure what to do? Visit the FAQ page on the DIYClubinc site! Email me if you have questions!! Link up at DIYClubinc.com beginning the evening of September 2. You have a whole week to link up your project that uses any of the DIY Club Sponsors.
  • ROCKLER Woodworking & Hardware They have over 9,000 quality products to choose from! I just ordered some great hardware for a cabinet redo!
  • DiscHangers They start at $1...free shipping on orders of $5 or more. 
  • DecoArt Lots of paints and cool media to choose from. Paint on glass, wood, metal! Great for fall and winter holiday projects!!
  • Gorilla Glue So many options to enter with Gorilla Glue! Their array of adhesive products is top-notch! Check out their Gorilla Glue Guide to choose the correct adhesive for your project.
  • Cutting Edge Stencils These are gorgeous stencils...check them out. Work perfectly with the stencil paint from DecoArt!
  • Design Divas Lettering and Wall Art Everyone LOVES vinyl wall art. You can also use them on doors, windows, mirrors, canisters, etc.! Get creative!!
  • PK Glitz Their glitter is a great option for card makers and crafters. Add a little sparkle to your life! Another great option for upcoming holiday projects!
  • Olive Rue Iron On Transfers has awesome items at very affordable prices Plus if you go over to her blog you can click on the tab TRY BEFORE YOU BUY and you can download one of her designs for FREE. To purchase other items go to her etsy shop Olive Rue Etsy Shop.
  • Moo.com {see below under New Sponsors}.
  • Mythic Paint {see below under New Sponsors}.
  • Dremel Tools. Is there anything you CAN'T do with a Dremel?


LINK UP FOR THE SPECIAL GORILLA GLUE PARTY EVENT IN SEPTEMBER, TOO!

This special September linky party is for Gorilla Glue projects only. Link up any new or old project with which you have used Gorilla Glue to make it stick! Link up September 9-30. Something old, something new, grab the crew and the Gorilla Glue!