Sunday, July 21, 2013


Don't worry it all turns out beautiful in the end.

So about a year ago we bought the world's trashiest house.

SEE WHAT I MEAN?  Feel free to be appalled.

Most people are without words at this point.  We picked up this beauty and 5 acres for next to nothing, and then proceeded to gut it down to the studs. The outside still, sadly looks super similar, but the inside is super swank.

This is what the kitchen looked like through the living room wall.  That was before we knocked out a wall, and made things crazy awesome.

So we totally needed an awesome kitchen. I mean I have five daughters! So what makes a super duper awesome kitchen?  A ginormous island.  I need space for all of my minions to work.  We want to eventually put granite on it, but until then we put a wooden top on it.

A plain wooden top would be boring, and I refused to paint even one wall white.  I couldn't have a boring island top.  So first we primed it and painted it a blue, and that was 4 months ago. Have I mentioned my intense tendency to procrastinate?

and that white patch on the wall would be the painting I have yet to finish...because I'm lazy.

So like 4 years ago I picked up this super rad stencil at Hobby Lobby (my favorite store EVER). It was so pretty, and even though I had never stenciled before I just knew it couldn't be that hard.

First I needed to prep the surface. 

I used this to fill in the few holes that escaped our notice when we first painted it blue.

Then I sanded back over to make everything nice and smooth again.

Then came back, and spot painted it.

So in my brilliance I decided that I should practice my stenciling.

I liked that it was more faded in some areas than in others.  I wanted it to look somewhat aged, and not like it was brand new.

It was at this point that I discovered I am horrible at stenciling.  Don't worry I get better before it is all said and done.  The stencil pattern had to fit just perfectly, and it was a really tight pattern.  So after I did about half the table I would get off big time, and need to paint over everything...three times.   Did I mention that our island is 5 feet by 9 feet long?  So that was four and a half feet of defeat. So about 3:30 am I called it a night.

So the next morning my super awesome friend...the math teacher...I like to call her Awesome Kristie, helped me figure out something more feasible.  Using her mad math skills she helped me come up with something a bit more geometric.  I figured out that my super awesome stencil would be way more awesome and easier for me to use if I cut it up.

It made four smaller and more manageable patterns. So we then proceeded to practice again on some boxes. To tweak our pattern, and solidify our color choice.

This turned out so well we went large scale! We decided that gray was going to be a better choice over the white ivory I had initially bought for this project. Then we started taping off the island.

This took us about 15 minutes, and thankfully Awesome Kristie was here to help me because I'm not sure I could have turned done this by myself.

Then we put a small dab of paint on every diamond that we were going to paint a solid color. 

All the blank diamonds would be getting the stencil treatment.

Here is how it turned out prior to the tape removal.

From first tape to finished product took us two hours. I painted each of the stenciled areas, and Awesome Kristie, did all the solid diamonds.  I wanted to diamonds to look kind of streaky.  Not sure why, but I was loving it.  Awesome Kristie was not, but was kind enough to do it anyway.

We were initially intending to then re-tape off, and connect all the diamonds with even smaller baby diamonds. However, two things changed my mind. One when we removed the tape some of my blue base coat came off with it.  I'm blaming the humidity, and two I was tired and feeling super lazy.

So I cautiously taped off some of the worse areas after everything had dried for a bout 12 hours, and did a touch up of the paint.  When that also removed some paint I free handed everything else.  Did I mention the raininess and humidity.  

It was then that I decided the contrast was a little more than I was wanting.  I wanted something much more muted.

So I poured some of my blue base coat into an ice cream bucket, and mixed in a liberal amount of water. I then applied with a foam brush. I would load my brush then apply it to the surface.  After that I would dry my sponge brush on a paper towel, and then drag it through the same area again. It gave it this fantastic streaky look that I love as it seems to add just the right amount of texture to it.

I used polycrylic to seal the top.  I like that product mainly because it is water based, and much easier to work with. It can be reapplied after 2 hours, and doesn't stink the place up if you do it in doors.  Also it cleans up super easy with soap and water.

So now we have a pretty non-boring island top that is one of a kind, and washable which is a must in our house of ladies. Next I need to get my stools painted...when I'm not feeling lazy.  Who knows when that will be.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fun at Grandma's House


  • 9 big kiddos can all sleep in the living room of my childhood home. It takes some mad tetris style skills, but it is possible.
  • Cousins will fall back into an easy friendship even when they haven't seen each other in many years.
  • I have missed my sisters terribly.
  • Dramatic tantrums are so much more dramatic when you can throw yourself on a set of stairs.
For example...

See what I mean?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Please Excuse The Mess

The children are making memories, or are pint sized toy hoarders bent on making our house into a cuddly version of a crack house. You know without all the drugs and disease, and unsafe structural stability. I'm fairly sure that some of this may be part of a greater elaborate boobie trap.

Someone once told me to enjoy it because one day I would look back and miss this. I'm not sure if I'll miss THIS, but I will miss seeing the 5 young beautiful faces of my mini female horde when they are all grown up. I won't however miss almost going septic when a puncture wound from stepping on a Lego goes south. That I will happily leave behind.