Monday, June 11, 2018

Chalking it up

I watch a lot of Youtube videos on a variety of subjects. I like to watch DIY ones, especially about furniture refinishing. These days, a lot of DIYers are using chalk paint. Hmm. That sounded interesting. No sanding!  YAY! But man, have you seen the price for a quart? It can be as expensive as $30+!!!

What do to? I went to Etsy and found you could get sample pots of paint. I got five of them for $20. Of course, I got charged $7 for shipping, but they arrived in less than a week and I wasn't sure what to do with them. The site didn't show you the colors, just listed the names, so I chose what I thought would be "cool" colors. The ivory and sage green work best for me.

So far I've done three projects.  Yeah, no sanding. But what they don't tell you is that you need to do at least three coats of paint for everything. And then they have to be sealed with either wax or some of polyurethane product. Hmmm. For the first one, I decided to distress the little picture frame. It's plastic and looked way too shiny.

(FYI: This little framed piece of lace in the frame is about 5 inches across -- and it hangs on the nail that supports my calendar.)

Here's the second project.

Again, the frame was resin, and I just didn't like how shiny they were. I decided not to distress these.

I did one more project but it got scratched (I should have put more than one coat of the varnish on) so I have to start over on that one.  (It's the lid to a large glass (square) jar. I painted it sage green to make it look older and it worked. But like I said, now I have to start over.)

So, what do I think of chalk paint? It's a pain in the butt to use. It's time consuming, it has to be sealed or it scraches right off. Right after I bought the paint, I saw a blog post from a woman who is gutting and revamping her house (by herself!!!) and she wrote a long treatise on why she doesn't like/use chalk paint. I could have saved myself a lot of time if I'd found that blog post first.  But now I have all that paint and I feel obligated to use it up.  Oh, and by the way, a little goes a L-O-N-G way.

I've got a gold mirror (also plastic) that I thought I would like, but never did. I'm going to paint it ivory and distress it and I'll bet I still have a lot of paint left. How eager am I to start that project? Not so much. But it will be done later this summer.

Last weekend I bought a little shelf. It was in pretty rough shape, but I scrubbed it clean, bought a can of spray paint, and now it's very cute and will house some of my cookbooks.

Wow.  Spray paint is a lot easier to use. The paint hardens and is good for years and years. (Oops -- sorry. this is actualy the before picture. I forgot to take the after.)

So, what's your latest DIY project? Did it come out the way you thought it would?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


I know a lot of you have been waiting for Booktown #11 to come out in paperback. Well, today is the day!  Not only that, but the publisher has dropped the price of the ebook! You can't go wrong!

Here's the description:

Tricia Miles, mystery bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, is in for a surprise when her ne’er-do-well father, John, comes to town—and promptly becomes a prime suspect in the murder of a woman with her own scandalous past. Even Tricia’s faith in the old man is shaken when the Stoneham police break the news that her father is a known con man who has done jail time. From merlot to murder, Tricia is determined to clear the family name before another body shows up and ruins Stoneham’s first—and highly anticipated—wine and jazz festival.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A MillionChapters | Book Depository | IndieBound

Kindle US | Kindle Worldwide | Nook | iBooks | Kobo


Monday, June 4, 2018

Three months later

Grief can hit you when you least expect it. Yesterday, I opened the first can of tuna we've had since we lost Fred. Fred LOVED tuna water. He knew that if you cut up onions, that tuna water MIGHT happen. So if he smelled onions, he'd be dancing around my feet in anticipation. It would break my heart when I was cutting them for some other purpose.

So yesterday, I cut onions. No boy. Today I opened a can of tun and drained the water down the sink. Man, that was hard.

It's been almost three months since I lost my tiny son and it hasn't gotten much easier. We will have new cats sometime this summer, but they won't be Fred or Chester and that's really hard to wrap my head around.