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It was serendipity: Jute Easter eggs

14 Apr

So my morning began like most others: harass eldest child for 30 minutes until she is finally out the door, drop her off at school, race home, get other kid ready, run her to school, come home, pour coffee out of travel mug and into *regular* mug, sit down, turn on CNN, grab my laptop and check out what’s going down on Twitter…  But today was no ordinary day.  I didn’t know it yet, but I was about to be slapped by the back hand of serendipity….

Now let me explain.

When I go in my kitchen I can’t turn around without seeing this sight – I refer to it as the “craft counter”:

This is only the *half* of it 😦

It’s really bad.  Really…  But, for now, it’s the only large flat surface where I can stand and comfortably do crafts.  Anywho…  See those things in the middle?  Yeah, those egg things?  Well, several weeks ago (yes, several weeks ago) I decided I would do a project using these:

.96¢ at Wal*Mart...

I was going to paint them my favorite *non-colors* (lol) – cream and beige because, well, I don’t do *real* colors very well (no, not even for holidays lol).  I’ve painted plastic before with regular paint and it’s worked out okay (if the item was just going to sit somewhere unmoved/untouched).  Thus, I began….

Hmmm... how many coats is it gonna take...?

As I added on coats, I realized that the darn things were impossible to paint without touching them to something – my fingers, the counter, the other eggs – and each time they touched all the paint just scraped right off.  Yes, I knew I was painting plastic, but I just figured they were such small pieces and, knowing they wouldn’t be touched, I thought I would just slap some paint on ’em and they’d work out fine.

So totally wrong.

They ended up looking more like *hot mess* than *haute home*…

So I ended up throwing them in some bowl.

Where they sat.

For over 2 weeks.


I saw this post this morning from Jaime over at “that’s my letter”!

I immediately thought of my horrible little Easter egg painting project and dashed in to the kitchen.  And guess what I saw sitting there?  Let’s take a second look at the “craft counter” shall we?

That’s right, y’all!  Eggs and jute!  Just sittin’ there, side by side, as if to say (in a French accent, of course.  I don’t know why, but just… imagine…) “we’ve been waiting for you…”

And to further the weirdness of it all, the mini glue-gun I haven’t used since moving into this house 2 years ago?  Sitting right on top of a bunch of nonsense in the basement, along with glue sticks, in perfectly plain view – I didn’t even have to dig for it!

Apparently, the universe knew what I was going to be doing today, lol…  And I absolutely swear I didn’t set up that picture.  It just… was… serendipity.

And the result?  Amazing little jute wrapped Easter eggs!

Okay, so I don’t have any egg cups to show them off in, but I DO have a shot glass that will work fine!  Hahaha…

They know they're awesome. I think they're Vogueing...

It was SUCH an easy project!  And, at this point, because I had everything, it cost me ZERO (or .96¢ if you count the cost of the pack of plastic Easter eggs, which is the only item I bought specifically for my “egg” project).

I won’t bother with a tutorial because Jaime has a GREAT one on her blog, so go check it out NOW (she is actually wrapping papier mâché pears in her tutorial, which I think are pretty neat).

I love my little jute Easter eggs!

I put some of the eggs in a glass bubble vase on the entry table:


I put the rest of the eggs in a hurricane on the coffee table:


(Who would leave their remotes in a picture for their blog?  Well, me lol.  Because unfortunately I don’t live in a magazine, I live in a real house with real kids and dogs and t.v.’s with remotes…)

Anyway, hop on over to “that’s my letter” and learn how to make these cute little things!  Have you tried any other jute projects recently?  Share them with us!!

Until next time,

xx and oo’s


DIY Linen jewelry pin-board

11 Apr

I’ve been m.i.a. over the past week because I’ve been trying to get a few projects finished around here.  You know, projects that I was interested in for about 10 minutes, projects that have been going on so long I have to take frequent brakes to keep from going insane (the basement), projects I was *this close* to finishing when I ran out of some item I needed to get the job done and couldn’t find exactly what I needed… anywhere… to match what I was already using (GRRRRR).

My linen covered jewelry pin-board falls in the latter category…

This is a super-duper easy project to do, you could do it with a spare hour (or less!) if you have all of the materials.  Also, it is really nothing more than an upholstered message board, I’ve just left off the crisscrossed ribbon, and replaced tacks with extra-long pink pearl pins ~ corsage pins work awesome, too ~ you can find either at your local fabric or craft store.

I started with a once awesome, but now fruit punch stained cream colored linen table cloth (the fruit punch stain has been circled so you can see it in all of it’s glory…).  I love repurposing things, so I was happy to have this as a starting point.

Found a perfect piece of 3/4″ plywood in the garage (it’s pretty big!) and some batting left over from a previous project (I had this laying around, but you could use mdf, homasote – which is good for pinning, or thinner plywood)

I Liberated some cork tiles that I’d bought years ago intending on using them for something else (I had to purchase one additional pack of cork tiles due to the size of the board I was using. You can also buy cork in rolls)

Other items I used: Scotch brand Super 77 spray adhesive (love this stuff), cream colored single fold bias tape, silver *tortoise shell* upholstery tacks, staple gun/10mm staples, craft paper and masking tape (to finish the back nicely) and flush-mount wall hooks.

Here’s how you do it:

1) Lay out the cork tiles (or cork roll) on the plywood. Use the spray adhesive (lightly) to stick the cork to the board (you’ll want to do this so you can pick it up/move it around to staple on the batting), trimming the cork to size

2) Lay batting over the cork.  Staple batting to the plywood all around the outside edge (you can wrap it all the way around to the back, but this will make the back fluffier as you lay the fabric on top, so keep that in mind if you are going to use flush mount brackets – the thickness of your fabric/batting may keep your brackets from reaching the brackets on the wall).

3) Lay fabric on top of batting/cork/plywood. wrap around the back and staple.  I was very happy to see that the board was the perfect size to miss that fruit-punch stain (in the circle) lol…

4) Flip face down and roll out craft paper on the back.  Use the spray adhesive to lightly adhere the paper to the back.  Use masking tape all around the perimeter of the paper to create a clean finished back.  This isn’t necessary, of course, but it only takes a minute.  The Dollar Tree sells 3M brown craft/post paper rolls for $1. (I buy several at a time, use them for wrapping paper, as a “drop cloth”/surface protector for small paint projects, etc.)

5) Using upholstery tacks, tack bias tape all around the edges (you could also skip the bias tape and just use the tacks.  Or you could skip this step altogether).  You’ll want to make sure that your tacks are evenly spaced so using something of desired size as a *spacer* put it in between tacks and tap tacks in only half way (this will allow you to measure from shank to shank, making your spaces more even).  Once you have an entire line of “half-in”, evenly spaced tacks, go back and tap them all in.  Please note my very fancy spacer…

6) Install brackets on both the wall and back of the pin-board if you are going to hang it on the wall.  I used flush mount brackets and careful measuring was essential.

7) Check for level

(okay, yeah, I added that because, I mean, I had to pat myself on the back for that one lol….)

…. And that’s it!

I went from this mess:

To this (with room to grow!)  Peep the old school green bathroom tiles and that 1968 radiant floor heat controller (the heat still works, by the way, but I don’t use it. I can’t imagine it’s *energy star approved* haha).  Yeah, you know you’re jealous lol…

I love these pink pearlized pins 🙂

What I learned:

i) Make sure you measure accurately to determine how many upholstery tacks you need.  I ran out 4/5 of the way through and couldn’t find the same tacks for miles!  I drove all over town (and all over the next town, too!) and finally found some at my local Ace Hardware (on Harding Pike in West Meade ~ you guys rock!).  Now I know to go there first lol, but that actually set me back a couple of days…

ii) Flush mount picture hangers require absolute accuracy.  When I put the hanger on the back of the pin board I was a nano-hair off (yes, “nano-hair” is a proper measurement!) and I spent ages up on a ladder with an incredibly heavy, cumbersome board trying to hang it while not being able to see the mounting hardware.  I was sweating – and cursing – and scratching up the wall for 10 minutes when I finally decided to re-measure and discovered I was off by 2 centimeters.  2 CENTIMETERS.  I had to remove and re-attach the bracket with all of the measuring, leveling, blah blah blah…  Very annoying…

iii) This project would work GREAT in a walk in closet lol.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one of those.  It would also work well over a dresser or dressing table, but my tv’s over the dresser and I don’t have space for a dressing table.  If you’re esthetically… um… affected… like I am – and I know you are – having all of that jewelry hanging around in a space as small as my bathroom happens to be, just might make you a little crazy.  I’m still trying to get used to it.  I LOVE being able to grab my jewelry and go (it actually saves me time when getting ready), and I’m wearing stuff now that I had forgotten about!  But with all my fab (!) green tile I had managed to create a calming space using all cream *everything else* and the jewelry adds texture and color that I guess I hadn’t really considered.

xx and oo’s

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