Tuesday, October 29, 2013

DIY Chalkboard Fridge with Jute Handles and Custom Magnets

So, after moving into our new house about a year ago our "to do" list was pretty long...  We tackled the main things like flooring, painting the walls, etc. and now have moved on to the little details that make our house feel more like our "Home."  The fridge that came with the house works fine, but after painting the walls and kitchen cabinets a fresh coat of a creamy white, the fridge immediately stood out since it was a brighter shade and didn't quite match.  There were also a few dents and part of the plastic handle was missing, but I just couldn't justify buying a new fridge just because I didn't like the way that it looked.  Here is the "before" pic:

Hubs and I wanted to do a weekly menu for the kitchen anyway, so I decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone and go with a chalkboard fridge makeover.  I did some research on Pinterest and found a few tutorials on chalkboard paint and decided to give it a whirl, adding my own touches to the mix along the way...  Here is what I used and how I did it...

1.  Valspar tintable chalkboard paint - I bought this at Lowe's and had them do a custom color mix for me.  The regular chalkboard paint is more of a blue-black, but being the color freak that I am I wanted a warm-brown-black to match closer to the color I used on the kitchen counters (another DIY that I probably won't ever attempt again in my lifetime, but that's another story...).  There are about 10 colors on the paint box to choose from, so I picked the brown color and just had them add as many shots of black to it as the can would hold.  There are some really fun paint options to choose from though, I think it would be so cool to do this in the pink or green or blue!

2.  Mini roller (and plastic tray) - Lowe's/Home Depot/Hardware Store

3.  Painters tape - Lowe's/Home Depot/Hardware Store

4.  Jute rope - Michael's/Hobby Lobby/Online Craft Supply Store

5.  Magnets (7) - Michael's/Hobby Lobby/Online Craft Supply Store

6.  Unfinished wood letters (M, E, N, U)- Michael's/Hobby Lobby/Online Craft Supply Store

7.  Unfinished wood discs (7) - Michael's/Hobby Lobby/Online Craft Supply Store

8.  Mini tart tins (7) - I found some cute and inexpensive ones on Etsy

9.  Chalk marker - Michael's/Hobby Lobby/Online Craft Supply Store.  I really hate how chalk feels, these pens are a life saver!  They also dry nice and don't smudge as easily as regular chalk...
IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!  If you leave the chalk pen on the fridge for an extended period of time it will not come off like regular chalk!  This is fine for the quote part that I did on the left side because I want that to stay up there, but for the menu part it is back to regular chalk for me...  Craft Fail.  You live you learn, right?

Step 1:  Clean fridge and tape off any areas that you do not want to paint (ice maker).  I realized at this stage of the game that I would not be able to paint all of the fridge unless I unplugged it and could leave the doors open to let the paint dry...  So, I just decided to live with seeing a white line in between the front of the doors and on the sides...  Not a big deal, but just something to think about if that kind of thing would bother you over the long-term...

Step 2:  Remove the handles and decide what you are going to do with them...  I wouldn't suggest painting them, because after daily use the paint will more than likely rub off (like it has done on the door knobs that I spray painted last year- lesson learned!).  You could leave the handles the original fridge color, or mix it up like I did with the wrapped jute.  I knew the white was going to be too stark, and I had some jute I'd been hoarding for another project so I decided to try it...  freaking LOVE the way it turned out!  I simply wrapped the jute all the way around the handle with a little high temp glue gun action on the front and back to hold it in place.  When I was done I sprayed a few light coats of Scotch Guard to protect it from dirt and every day wear and tear.  I also added the chalk paint to the ends of the handles to blend into the fridge and figured that would be ok since that is not where you grab the handle to open the door.  The verdict is out how these handles will hold up down the road, but it didn't cost me anything to try it so I'm super happy that I did!

Step 3:  Ok, back to the painting the fridge...  the online tutorials showed using Magnetic Paint Primer before putting on the Chalkboard Paint.  I had bought the primer, got ready to use it, then decided I better read the small print directions and warnings before I poured it in my paint tray.  Glad I did because apparently the Magnetic stuff can cause "Cancer, infertility, birth defects, etc." and although I'm sure it's a small percentage risk I didn't think that was something I wanted to use, and especially not on something that stores food.  So, I skipped the primer step and went right to the less toxic Chalkboard Paint.  I put about 5 light coats with the roller letting each coat dry about an hour in between.  It did take some time, but I'm hoping those extra coats will help the paint stay put longer since I didn't use a primer...  We'll see... *fingers crossed*

Step 4:  Here comes the fun part...  I went to Michael's (in between dry times) and found some wood letters to create the "Menu" part.  Instead of buying all of the same style, I picked letters from different sets to give it more vintage-y feel.  I painted the letters with cheapo acrylics and then distressed them with my Dremmel (sandpaper would work just fine too).  Then I used the high temp glue gun to attach the magnets to the back.  For the "Days of the Week" magnets I painted wood discs and hot glued those to the inside of the tart tins, and then glued magnets to the backs of the tins.  If you don't have access to the tins, you could use smaller wood letters to represent the days, or even just the painted circle discs by themselves would be cute too!

Step 5:  After all of the paint is dry, remove the painters tape, screw the handles back on, add the magnets, and chalk it up!!!

The finished product...

I'd rank this project on the easier side of DIY, and I'd say the biggest hurdle is having 5+ hours to spend between dry times, so I'd probably tackle it on a weekend.  The other thing I should mention is the vent at the bottom of the fridge could be left as is, or if you want to paint it I would suggest an appliance spray paint.  I think it would be pretty difficult to paint the vent with the chalkboard paint, so I just got a basic black appliance spray and put a few light coats on it.  Since it's at the bottom you don't really notice it, and it doesn't bother me that it isn't a 100% match to the fridge color.

Ok, well if you have any questions please feel free to leave it in the comments section, and Good Luck if you decide to try this at home!  I'd love to know if you decide to tackle this project or have any other unique spins on it!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

Wizard of Oz Themed Mini Garden!

Y'alls creativity never ceases to amaze me!  Check out this incredible Wizard of Oz themed mini garden by Dana Foster.  I have always been an "Oz" fan, but never in a million years would have thought to mix my Gypsy Garden mini pieces in a setting like this - so stinkin' cute!!!

Would love to keep seeing what you guys dream up with this line, so if you have any pics please shoot me an email or message me on FB!


P.S.- for all of my fellow "Oz" peeps out there, if you haven't ever seen this pop up book by Robert Sabuda check it out, it is AMAZE.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vacays are Good for the Soul

Hubs and I trucked it down to Florida this week for a little R + R.  Sun and sand and salt water were just what I needed!  To my readers in the States, hope you are having a great Holiday weekend!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Clementine's Garden

Cuteness!  Received the nicest message on Facebook from a lady named Laurie who wanted to share this video with me.  It's of a precious little girl named Clementine enjoying some of my Gypsy Garden pieces.  So sweet.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Gypsy Garden with Studio M Hitting Store Shelves!!!

My miniature garden collection with Studio M / Magnet Works, Gypsy Garden, is finally starting to hit store shelves across the country!!!  One of the best parts about what I do is seeing the products I design out in the real world :)...  I came across these awesome pictures the other day on Tuesdaycat's instagram feed, and thought the way she put the pieces together was incredible!  A purple wheelbarrow?!  Too much cuteness, I can't even handle it!

Anyway, if any of you out there are making mini gardens out of my "Gypsy Garden" line I would love to see them!!!  Thanks for all of your support and for embracing my new line of mini products!


PS - If you are a retail store interested in carrying this line, please contact the great Folks at Magnet Works! 1-800-886-3121

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Art Studio Remodel Inspiration

So... I got some really good news from one of my licensing partners last week and it looks like within the next month or so I will finally have the funds/opportunity to remodel my future Art Studio!!!  Heck yeah...  I have pretty much waited my whole life for this moment and busted my tail to get to this point so I'm very excited...  A real-life-grown-up Art Studio...  Don't get me wrong, I had a room in our last house that was definitely a great beginning.  I was thankful to at least have some kind of work area and actually had dreams of fixing it up right before we decided to move.  My main problem was space though, as my projects definitely tended to outgrow the tiny room and overtake other parts of the house for days/weeks at a time...  So, to have a building completely separate from my home where I can detach from everyday stuff and strictly focus on art stuff, as well as have the room to spread out and work on multiple projects at the same time is a dream come true. But... it's definitely going to take some work and time to get there...

Here is the building as it sits now, and below are my ideas for expanding/remodeling...

Pinterest has once again been my go-to for inspiration and I've been a pinning maniac on my Studio board.  So far I've come up with the following materials/colors/textures/accents that I'd like to incorporate into the remodel:

Floor:  Vinacork (cork on bottom, vinyl on top) is what I'm going with for the flooring.  The picture on the Mood Board above "Industrial Metallic" is what it looks like.  Cork is a great insulator and vinyl cleans up nice, so put the two together with an industrial type design/finish and I'm sold!  Actually, I was sold a few months ago when we first bought the house, so I went ahead and pulled the trigger since they were discontinuing this style and put it on Closeout.  Not to mention Hubs and I can also install this ourselves since it's a floating floor and save some cash-ola!

Rusty/Reclaimed Tin:  One of my favorite textures/materials of all time.  I am definitely envisioning rusty tin overhang/awning type things over the door(s).  The question is if I also want to put the tin over the shingled roof to really rust-it-up, or just put the tin on the small awning(s).  And then there is the possibility of a rusted tin wall instead of a rusty tin roof...  How freaking cool would a wall of that be in a studio?  Plus it would be magnetic so it would be functional!  The other plan I had was to just use magnetic chalkboard paint on a wall for a simpler/cleaner working wall but I dunno...  There are a lot of magnetic chalkboard walls out there which I totally love, but the tin would be something different and unexpected.  But will it be too much going on with the industrial floor?  It would only be an accent wall so maybe not...  Hmmm...  Gotta think about this one...  Oh, but I did find a guy in North Carolina that salvages old buildings and barns for a living and said Brian and I can drive up there to get some of his tin!  Road Trip!!!

Lighting:  Chandelier all the way...  I really like the contrast of rusty/industrial looks mixed with sparkly/girly things so I'm keeping an eye out for a bargain stunner piece...

Windows:  The place definitely needs more natural light.  I like the mismatched-window-hodge-podgy look but I don't want it to look too Cray Cray so it will be a fine balance I'm sure...  we have a great place here in Athens called Southern Surplus that has an awesome array of building supplies so I know I'll be visiting them a lot within the next few weeks to sort it out...

Work Spaces:  Hubs and I built a long computer desk thingy a while back out of some file cabinets his work was throwing away and some plywood, so more than likely I'll keep that.  Maybe paint the file cabinets a funky color though?  For my work table I'm going to use the super-awesome one we salvaged from my Dad's barn that I'm going to clean up and add some storage bins underneath.  I'll use this table to spread out projects, paint, work on jewelry, etc. so that will be good...  The last work space I'm thinking about would be a nook...  A little space where I could sit with my sketch book and brainstorm new ideas...  I have to see if I have the room for it, but I'm thinking it would go nicely along the back wall with shelves on either side for my art supplies and samples of my products.  We'll see...

Accents:  I'm thinking vintage accessories as well as accents in my go-to colors (magenta, turquoise, green, etc.) will help pull everything together for that Eclectic/Boho feel that I love :)

Ok, you still with me?  That was a long post!  Would love to hear any input/ideas/resources/etc you guys may have!  I'll keep you posted when all of this officially starts as I'm sure I'll be tracking the process on my Instagram and Facebook.

Talk to you soon,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Before and After: Paint-By-Numbers Horse Art


As promised, here is a quick look at some other art I just put up in the Guest Room.  I found the cute little paint-by-numbers pieces on Etsy about a year or so ago and just had to have them!  They needed to be funked-up a little bit to go with the rest of the Guest Room vibe, so I grabbed some fabric scraps and got to work.  It was a super easy project- no glue or tools required besides a pair of scissors.  Basically I would just snip a little piece of the fabric to get it started and tear the rest of the strip to get the frayed edge.  After I had my pile of scrap strips, I removed the glass and picture from the frame and began wrapping the bare frame with the fabric.  Once I was done with one strip I would slightly overlap the next strip and continue wrapping.  When I got to the end I simply made a knot on the back to secure it into place.  This way, if I ever want to change up the frame all I have to do is take off the fabric and the frame will be in it's original state.  One thing to note with this project is that the fabric did make the frame thicker, so the glass would not fit back in the frame with the picture, so keep that in mind if you are going to try this out at home.  I actually tried to get the glass back in one of them and it cracked immediately with the pressure, so lesson learned...

Overall this was a super easy, cheapo updo and I'm so happy with the way it turned out!

Now, off to work on some other projects I hope to share with you soon... :)


Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guest Room Hand Painted Wood Sign

Guest Room Hand Painted Sign Guest Room Hand Painted Sign

The Guest Room sign that I've been dreaming up in my head for months is now complete!  I was first inspired by this pin and thought it would be cute to come up with some kind of statement piece to go above the bed.  Not that it needed much more of a statement with my hot pink and gold-y damask wallpaper (LOVE)!  This is definitely my Girly-Girl room...  The one place in the house where I do not have to compromise the decorating decisions with the Hubs.  For the most part we agree style-wise, but he definitely was not feeling the wallpaper AT ALL until recently when he admitted it was "kind of growing on him" ;).

So... I made a template out of poster board, traced it on some plywood, Brian cut it for me with a jigsaw, I made the lettering layout in Photoshop, printed and traced the letters onto the wood, painted, sanded, and voila!  I'm really happy with how it turned out and can't wait to finally have company over!

I've got some other really cute art in the room I can't wait to show y'all too so stay tuned...


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

I'm on Bravo!


Say what?!!!  No, I'm not really on TV, but one of my designs is!  I'm pretty much obsessed with all the Bravo shows, mah Boo Andy Cohen, and the Housewives, so you know I 'bout jumped outta my chair when I caught a glimpse of one of my gift bag designs on the preview for the new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills!  Not sure why Heather Dubrow looks so terrified in this screen shot so I guess I'll have to wait until the April 1st premier to find out...  Anyway, this was an unexpected/fun/awesome surprise, so just wanted to share ;)

This is actually the second sighting this month of one of the collections I did back in my former life as an Art Director/Product Designer for a giftware company.  I posted the pic below on my Instagram feed the other day...  My MIL bought me this balloon for my birthday and she had no idea I had actually designed back in 2004-2005!  So crazy, didn't know this stuff was still making the rounds!



Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Hey Guys!

Just checking in...  I celebrated my birthday last week, which always makes me sit back and reflect on the past year as well as what I want to do with they year ahead.  So I wrote down some goals...  I put some BIG/scary ones on that list - I like to just put it all out there no matter how Cray the ideas may be.  What's that saying about "If your dreams don't scare you then they're not big enough"?  So... we'll see what happens this year...  I'll keep ya posted ;)

* ...and if any of you are sitting there with a big dream on your heart I encourage you to write it down TODAY!  Put it in black and white, in a place where you can see it everyday, and come up with a plan to make it happen!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pep Talk

Because sometimes we could all use a little encouragement...

Side note: first saw this video on Kal Barteski's blog, and after doing a little more research I found the story behind Kid President which made me love him even more.  Guaranteed to make you smile...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Back from the Atlanta Mart!

Back from the Atlanta Mart, and overall it was a pretty great trip...  The biggest highlight was seeing my new "Gypsy Garden" line with Magnet Works / Studio M in person!  The way the pieces were displayed with vintage-y props and real miniature plants just really brought the whole collection to life.  The response from the buyers was fantastic, and we are already planing the next round of products- super exciting!!!

We are the first ones to do a collection of miniature gardening items with a strong focus on color and design, so it's a special thing to be on the forefront on this exciting new trend :)

Thanks to all of the retailers that will be carrying the line, and if you are a shop owner interested in Miniature Gardening and carrying the products as well then give these great folks a call!


Friday, January 4, 2013

New Partnership with Studio M / Magnet Works

Source: magnetworks.com via Genevieve Gail on Pinterest

So speaking of Happy, this news makes me really, really HAPPY!  I am so pumped to announce my new licensing partnership with Studio M, a division of Magnet Works.

First off let me say that the people from Magnet Works are some of the nicest I have ever worked with. Studio M is their new giftware division and I feel super blessed that they took me on for their debut launch.  My Gypsy Garden Collection is an expansion of my 2-D patterns turned into a whole world of 3-Dimensional miniatures!  These minis were created for miniature/container gardening which is becoming a new and exciting trend across the country.  Each piece I either drew or sculpted by hand to get the exact shape/color/texture that I wanted to come across, and I'm thrilled about the way the final pieces turned out!

The craziest part of this experience is that I used to make little miniature things as a kid, and now I'm getting paid to do it as an adult!  I remember sitting in my room 20+ years ago making tiny animals out of Sculpey (yes, I was a dork), so I just had to smile when I was sitting on my bed making prototypes of owls, turtles, and snails out of the same stuff (but hopefully less dorky this time around- ha!)...  Anyway, I hope you guys like the line as much as I do...  It's awesome to see this project come to life!

I will also have a group of Drink Blots out with Studio M.  They are super cool- each coaster has a different design on it, and they are made right here in the good ol' U. S. of A...  I'll try to get those photographed over the weekend and share some pics next week...

Anyway, I will be in Atlanta next Thursday and Friday for the debut, so if any of you guys are going to the Mart please stop by the Magnet Works booth to check out all of their new products!  There will also be a "Miniature Gardening How-To" seminar from 1-2 that will be featuring my line- can't wait to go to see  the products in action and learn even more about miniature gardening...


Thursday, January 3, 2013


This is the word I am choosing for 2013.

As simple as it is, I want to try and be Happy everyday no matter what the circumstances are.  I want to be Grateful for what I have and for where I'm at during this point in my life.  I need to have Faith that where I'm at is exactly where I'm supposed to be, as hard as that can be for me sometimes...  So I'm working on it...  I'm letting go of things that weigh me down, and making more room for things that bring me joy.  Because life is pretty awesome when you focus on the good parts, you know?

Hoping that we all have a Happy, Healthy year ahead!


P.S.- Speaking of the good parts, I'll have some fun news to share with you guys tomorrow so stay tuned ;)