Thoughts on Blogging & Life

I’m coming up on 3 years of blogging at the end of this month and I’ve never really shared my plans and thoughts on the blog so I thought I’d take a minute today to do so.

My goals for the blog are small, in fact, I can sum them up in one bullet point:

  • To inspire any woman (or man) that thinks they can’t do something to do it anyway– whether it be to stencil a wall or climb a mountain

When I bought my house I had no idea how to do anything. None. But I read and read and read and read, and now I genuinely feel like with the right tools I am capable of doing anything I want. It’s an amazing feeling of pride and independence and I strongly suggest you find something about yourself that makes you feel the same way.

This blog is small, with 6-7,000 visitors per month, but I hope if you’re reading that you enjoy it and that you’ll engage more because I think we can and should all empower and support one another. Once I realized I didn’t want to be a huge blog superstar I began to settle into what I’m doing and what my presence is and I’m enjoying it a lot more, 1-2 posts a week is manageable and enough to keep my creativity drive engaged.

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My list of personal goals, in relation to the blog, are a bit larger:

  • There are several furniture builds I have floating around in my head and hopefully in the next few months they’ll be executed and shared
  • I wish to share more about eating and the life I want to live… I’m thrilled by growing even just a tiny bit of my own food, and beginning a compost pile. Next summer I hope to add a rain bin. When we move in a few years I want chickens. I love going to the farmer’s market and eating what’s in season.
  • I’d love to start redoing furniture for others, so if you know me in real life or you live anywhere around Central Mass send me an email if you want some help painting or staining or redoing anything. Or if you pulled something off the side of the road because it was awesome and now you don’t know what to do with it, email me about that too.

 

Is there anything you feel like Sandpaper and Glue is missing? Or anything else you’d like to know about me? Leave it in the comments, send me an email, or ask me on Facebook!

Serving Tray Upcycle

This post is part of The Silhouette Challenge, which is a group of blog friends with a hefty addiction to crafting. Make sure you scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to find links to thirty other awesome projects!

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Ever since I bought a house my parents and grandparents have gotten in the habit of giving me boxes of junk every time I see them, and because I’m such a hoarder only about half of it makes it into the donation pile.

In the most recent box, was this rooster serving tray which was in good structural condition but completely not my style and a little banged up:

serving tray before

I gave it a few thin coats of Zinsser 1-2-3 spray primer, then a few very thin coats of Rustoleum’s Lagoon spray in satin:

middle- overspray Rustoleum Lagoon

 

Once all the paint was dry, and cured for a few days, I taped off the sides and painted the bottom (which was tile) with leftover white paint + primer from when I painted my bathroom tile. It took about 4 coats because I did it so carefully and because the Lagoon color kept seeping through.

blue and white serving tray

But then I thought it could use a little something-something more so I got out my Silhouette Cameo and played around with fonts until I found some that worked really well together for my quote:

upcycled tray with Seinfeld quote

Seinfeld anyone?

 

I printed the quote with Oracle vinyl and used transfer paper to get it on straight and level, then I painted 2 coats of polycrylic on top to seal it in (make sure it’s polycrylic and not polyAcrylic so it doesn’t yellow over time!)

upcycled serving tray with Seinfeld quote

If you’re  a Silhouette user and would like a copy of the file, email me at sandpaperandglue (at) gmail (dot) com. I’m happy to share if it’s for personal use!

What do you think? I think it’s such a fun addition to my bar and a great little inside joke.

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Want to Check Out More Silhouette Projects?

My Silhouette Challenge friends and I are all sharing projects on our blogs today, so check out the projects below for a wealth of Silhouette inspiration!

A Gift for the Bride-to-Be Silhouette Challenge: My Favorite Things My Favorite Things Keepsake Box Printable Tattoos for Crafters & DIYers Super Hero Backpacks Geometric Two Tone Shirt Refashion Instagram Paper Album Reasons I Love Daddy Ctrl Alt Del Pillows Outside Decor: DIY Pallet Board Sign Yo-Ho It's a Pirate Party How To Use Silhouette Sketch Pens Combining My Favorite Things, Baking and Crafting - July Silhouette Challenge Pride & Prejudice Subway Style Art Favorite Silhouette Challenge Just umm, Let it Go Temporary My Little Pony Tattoos Mike Holmes Baby Onesie Monogram It: A Memo Board Makeover Super Room Redo The Best Summer Ever Freebie and Tutorial Summertime Toes Crafty Girls Hair Accessories Holder Watercolor Wall Art Ice Cream Cone T-Shirt Sun Fun Shirt Family Wall Art: Scrabble Edition Serving Tray Upcycle Making Custom Rhinestone Designs Etched Glass Coasters Church Nursery Wall Quote

1. Just a Girl and Her Blog // 2. The Frill of Life // 3. A Time For Seasons // 4. The Thinking Closet // 5. Ginger Snap Crafts // 6. Grey Luster Girl // 7. Simply Kelly Designs // 8. Home At Eight // 9. Please Excuse My Craftermath… // 10. My Paper Craze // 11. Mama Sonshine // 12. Practically Functional // 13. Adventures in All Things Food // 14. Two Purple Couches // 15. Dragonfly & Lily Pads // 16. Sowdering About // 17. Cutesy Crafts // 18. My Mom Made That // 19. Pitter and Glink // 20. Pineapples And Pinecones // 21. Dream a Little Bigger // 22. McCall Manor // 23. TitiCrafty // 24. unOriginal Mom // 25. Persia Lou // 26. Lil Mrs Tori // 27. Home. Made. Interest. // 28. Sandpaper and Glue // 29. Silhouette School // 30. Creative Ramblings // 31. My Favorite Finds

Silhouette School: Guest Post

Hello! Today I’m guest posting over at Silhouette School all about how I added a vinyl quote to the wood slice in my guest room. Hop on over to check it out!

how to add vinyl to a wood slice

If you’re here from Silhouette School, thanks for clicking over! You may want to check out some of my most popular posts:

repurposed windows

built in desk

 

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new homeowner tips, 31 days, neutral home colors

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Stay in touch in between posts:

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Homemade Lavender Lotion

Gift certificates are my favorite, easy, go-to presents for people… but I hate to just hand a card to someone without giving them something to open so I try to add a little trinket to go along with it.

For my sister-in-laws birthday a few weeks ago I went with a little jar of home made lotion, and it was so so easy. If you’ve been following along for a little bit, you know I partnered up with Stephenson Personal Care to develop DIY soap recipes- they recently asked if I wanted to give lotion making a try and I was allllll over it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

home made lotion ingredient recipe

As far as the jar goes, I used a glass jar leftover from some roasted red peppers and just painted the lid with craft paint. I think a salsa jar would work well too– anything with a wide enough opening that you could reach your hand in. It’d work with a pump too, the lotion isn’t super thick.

You can really use any scent you want, and make it any color you want. I went with lavender because I recently gave her some DIY lavender soap so I thought they’d pair well together. Then I followed the instructions on my food coloring box to color the lotion- but don’t worry, it doesn’t make your skin lavender too. :)

 

how to make home made lotion

Once it’s in the jar and colored I add just a small amount of aloe vera gel to give it a little more conditioning (especially in the summer time!) and enough lavender drops that it was even throughout but not overwhelming. You can stir with a spoon or whatever you have on hand.

easy DIY lotion

I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out a monogram for the lid and a label for the jar, and it looks so so cute. I can’t wait to make a batch for myself!!

home made DIY lotion recipe

So what do you think? What scent would you make it? I was thinking I might try lemon, but something about yellow lotion is a little… unappealing… so maybe I’ll color it blue ;)

 

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Disclosure: I received the Stephenson’s Personal Care lotion base for free but paid for the other ingredients and created the recipe myself. And as always, this is something I’d love doing, and recommend to you, with or without the partnership.

Easy DIY Compost Solution

In my last post about my garden I mentioned that I’ve been mulling over compost ideas and locations, and I took a quick poll on Facebook to get some input as well. This past weekend I put together a solution, for free (my favorite!) and so far it’s working out great.

Like my garden, it’s not the most glamorous set up… but I mean, it’s basically a giant bin of decomposing trash so how pretty is it going to get:

diy compost bin

About a year ago my city changed their trash management system and everyone got new bins so our old trash cans were sort of just hanging out next to our shed. I decided to use the one without a cover to hold our leaves and grass clippings and the one that has a cover for the actual compost. It’s just the two of us so we’re not creating a huge amount of compost- lots of tea, fruit/vegetable scraps, and old bread. I’ve also read that you can add nail clippings, pet fur, shredded toilet paper rolls, and cotton balls so I’ll add those in slowly as well. Here’s a handy printable I found:

I surrounded the buckets with some cement blocks we already had on hand because we get some pretty rough weather and I wanted to make sure they weren’t going to tip over at any point, and I put the whole set up right next to the garden so it’ll be nearby when I set up the garden next year. The metal gate around it is, I think, an old dog pen. I found it in the shed when we moved in and thought it’d be good to keep the dog and any kids that come over from investigating too closely.

home made compost bin

For ventilation, I used my power drill with a spade bit to randomly drill holes all over the bucket- especially the bottom because you want worms and little bugs to be able to get up in there and do their work. This was super easy and took about 15 minutes. There’s a lot of different opinions about how often to stir it- for the first few days I stirred it everyday just to make sure it was mixed and now I’m going to start just once every week or two. That’s what the giant branch in between the two buckets is for. :)

We’ve got what we jokingly call the “slop bucket system” going to add compost each day. Basically, we put all the scraps in a metal bucket throughout the day (which we keep in the fridge so there’s no odor in the house and the cats can’t get to it), then at night when I water the garden I dump the bucket and leave it outside the door until morning.

So far so good, and no animals have gotten in that I know of! I’m excited to see how this comes together throughout the year, and how it’ll help my garden next year. Isn’t it such a bummer that everything you do outside takes so long before you see results?

But speaking of results… look! Tiny little tomatoes are happening!

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If you have any tips/recommendations for composting, please share them in the comments!

 

 

Salvaged Windows into End Tables

Friends! I am so so excited about this project, and it isn’t even for me. My friend Beth has a window hoarding problem like I have a chair hoarding problem… she can’t drive by one without screeching to a stop and throwing them in the trunk. And she hit the jackpot with these two old windows.

repurposed windows

 

She nabbed these two quarter circle windows off the side of the road and they were a bit worse for the wear so we brainstormed one how to make them AMAZING.
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First, I washed the street filth off them then I primed them with a mold and mildew resistant primer (leftover from my bathroom makeover) just to be extra careful.

Next, I picked up newel posts at the Habitat Restore… for 50 cents each. FIFTY CENTS EACH. I used my miter saw to cut them to the correct height, which meant trimming off a bit from either end to preserve the shape in the middle. To figure out the height I just measured my own end tables (22 inches) and mimicked that.

The legs were then attached with wood glue and wood screws (2 screws per leg, using an impact driver).

repurposed windows

 

Beth and I sanded and sanded to make sure everything was smooth, then we added one more coat of primer to the whole thing. No need to tape off the window glass, you can just scrape paint off with a razor.

I did just one coat of pure white paint, then I glazed them black to get them looking antique-y again. My technique with glaze is to add it slowly and in multiple layers- it’s a lot easier to go over everything again then it is to try to get rid of a glaze overload.

glazed end table

 

 

They’re a little tacky still, but I’m thinking a coat or two of polycrylic just to seal them up and they’ll be done! I absolutely love these things and can’t wait to see how they look in Beth’s house. I’ll be sure to share pictures of them in their new home as soon as I can.

reclaimed upcycled window turned to end table

 

These end tables are definitely oversized but will look great flanking her coat and armchair, or even paired together as a sideboard to her dining set.. I added some furniture pads I had on hand to the bottom so they can slide around without scratching up the floors.

salvaged mirror turned end tableOh, and if you’re interested you can read about the Morroccan stencil wall here and the sunburst mirror here.

 

So what do you think??!

 

 

Homemade Lavender and Vanilla Scrub Soap

I recently gave homemade soap making a 2nd try and decided to get a little more bold with it. For my first soap (which you can read about here) I played it a little simple just to get an idea of how the product forms and how everything interacts and blends. I learned that just adding mint leaves did not in any way give the soap the mint smell I wanted, so this time around I got myself some essential oils and went heavy on the scented ingredients.

home made soap ingredients

Recipe:

  • 1/2 container of Stephenson Personal Care Melt & Pour Soap Base chopped up and melted via a microwave in a glass container
  • 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil with 10-12 drops of lavender essential oil (I know that sounds like a lot, but this was for 5 bars so it’s really only 2-3 drops per bar)
  • chopped vanilla bean (I used leftover sticks from my DIY Vanilla Extract)
  • 1 cup sugar

And here’s a few things I learned:

  • I cut up the soap base with a serrated knife this time and microwaves in short increments, whisking lightly between each one. This helped to reduce the amount of bubbles that formed
  • I added the essential oil to the coconut oil, then stirred them into the soap mix together. Sometimes essential oils can irritate the skin, so using them via a “carrier agent” is a big help
  • The vanilla bean is super thick. I sliced it long ways to release the scent, then put it into my electric chopper to do the rest. It stayed a little chunky, but that helps with the scrub part of the soap
  • 1 cup of sugar is hefty, pour it in slowlyyyy and if you want to use just 3/4 cup that would suffice

Instead of using the soap mold I have I used a silicone mini loaf pan instead and it was awesome because it’s bendable and I got nice little rectangle soaps that were really cute:

lavendar and vanilla scrub soap

I LOVE this soap, and I gave out a few bars as mother’s day presents as well. The sugar works great as a scrub, the lavender scent is prominent but not overwhelming, and it lathers up really nicely. The melt & pour soap base makes this process so simple and fun that I if you measured and chopped ahead of time you could get kids in on it and create it together. I tried to use cookie cutters to impress a monogram into the bars, but even after just 30 minutes in the fridge they were already almost solid so I’ll have to try again next time and get to it sooner.

soap scrub recipe

What do you think? Have you tried making your own soap yet? I’m thinking of some fun beach-y summer-y themes for my next batch!

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Disclosure: I received the Stephenson’s Personal Care soap base for free but paid for the other ingredients and create the recipe myself. And as always, this is something I’d love doing, and recommend to you, with or without the partnership.

High 5 for Friday

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Another week all wrapped up- and this one was a doozy. Particularly yesterday. I really needed to reflect on some good things, so here’s my high 5 for the week:

1. Sunday Matt & I took our nephew out for a little bit in the morning and it was so much fun. He’s such an easy, happy kid. We took him to get a haircut, for a little shopping (he said “stores! aisles!”), then to an ice cream place that has some farm animal you can visit (sheeps! goats! dada cow! baby cow!).

uncle and nephew

2. Matt wrapped up his 2nd and 3rd Master’s classes this week and I am so proud of how hard he worked this semester, taking classes while in his first year as a teacher himself. Way to go Matt! xo.

3. I got rid of the chalkboard wall, which I had been dying to do for a while, and hung up so really neat and very “us” art. I’m excited about how my style is growing and expanding.

Can you paint a thermostat? Because I kind of want to.

4. We went to the dairy farm last night and picked up some good, organic local food: free range eggs, grass fed beef, and fresh milk. Now that I’ve had the real stuff, I hate when I have to get these things at the grocery store. The taste difference is amazing.

farm fresh, organic, grassfed beef, local

via my instagram

5. We’ve been listening to a LOT of K-pop lately. A lot. It’s almost unhealthy. But I dare you not to be mesmerized.

 

High 5 for Friday: VACATION EDITION

Happy Friday, all! Instead of a round up of the 5 best things from this week, I thought I’d do a quick vacation must-have round up because we just got back from a week in New Orleans.

This was actually our first real vacation, and we’ve been together almost 5 years. WOAH. It was way overdue. We stayed from Sunday-Saturday and did about a zillion things a day.

As far as travel goes, these were my top 5 must haves:

vacation collage must have travel toiletries

  • Comfy age-appropriate tops: Here’s the thing, I could have easily just worn an old t-shirt every day. I have a million of them. But I knew we’d be taking  pictures and, ahem, getting drinks, and I just didn’t want to look like I was 14. So I bought some nice Mossimo sheer tanks at Target that I can also wear to work and it was super worthwhile to feel like a grown up out on vacation and look nice while still being comfortable.
  • Victoria’s Secret Make Up Spray: New Orleans is hot. We were out from about 10am-11pm every  day. I needed me a make up finisher and this was perfect- it’s actually the same one I used on my wedding day and I love it.
  • Colgate Wisps: These little guys are the best for on-the-go tooth brushing, especially at the airport. It really helps to be able to brush your teeth when you’ve been sitting in an airport, eating airport food, during a day of travel.
  • Denizen Cropped Jeans from Target: I am 5ft tall and have never, ever, ever found cropped pants that actually fit.  Until now. These jeans were an awesome fit, had a comfortable stretch to them, and looked great. (Note: they fell about 3 inches lower on me then they do on the model above. Darn short legs!)
  • Something different: I think vacation time is the perfect time to try something out of your comfort zone. You’re in a new place, with new people and you’ve got nothing to worry about. For me, it was red lipstick. I never, ever, ever wear lipstick because it intimidates me so while on vacation I put on a bold red lip every night before we went out. I loved it!

 

What are your vacation must haves? I’d love to know!

Homemade All Natural Soap

As you may have noticed in my oil pulling posts, I struggle with some skin issues- dry skin, psoriasis, and occasional breakouts. So when I got the opportunity to partner up with Stephenson Personal Care, I jumped right on it. Knowing exactly what I’m putting on my skin seemed like a good idea, and making homemade soap? SO FUN. Seriously.

I decided to ease in to DIY soap making to get a feel for it before I get too fancy, so my first soap is pretty straightforward:

stephenson personal care diy soap homemade

 

  • I used this melt and pour base, chosen because it has all sorts of natural & organic ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons of honey, bought at the local dairy farm and from a local town
  • a handful of mint leaves, grown in my garden last summer then frozen
  • soap mold and microwaveable container (something with a spout is particularly helpful

Putting it all together was a lot less intimidating then I thought it was going to be and only took a few minutes:

how to make homemade soap

 

  • I made 4 bars of soap, so I used half a container of Stephenson’s melt and pour
  • Cut the soap base into 1 inch sections using a butter knife (serrated probably would have been easier though)
  • Melt the soap in the microwave for a little over a minute, make sure to cover it in plastic wrap
  • While it’s melting, grab your mint leaves and chop them up- we want them to go right down the drain during use, not clog it up
  • Once the soap is melted pour in your honey and sprinkle in the mint leaves, then GENTLY wisk. We’re aiming for as few bubbles as possible here
  • Pour SLOWLY into the soap base, and if you do have bubble spritz them with some rubbing alcohol, then pop in the fridge to harden

organic soap how to

I wish the mint leaves were fresh so they’d be a nice green color, but you know- it’s April in New England and it snowed earlier this week. Freshly thawed will have to do!

Matt and I are out of town this week (in New Orleans!!) so I thought this would be the perfect thank you gift for the people we lined up to help take care of our pets.

all natural home made soap

I cut out the thank you tag on my Silhouette with some construction paper, then wrapped the soap in saran wrap and tissue paper. Super simple, but a nice touch to let people know they’re appreciated. Henry sure is happy someone’s stopping by to feed him all week :).

home made soap

 

Have any questions? Suggestions? Leave them in the comments!