My Farmhouse Entertainment Center

Let me just start off by saying, I love Annie Sloan chalk paint!  I got hooked on it a few years ago.  When I buy wood furniture, I typically buy it with the intent to paint it “someday.”

Yesterday, my husband reminded me of the fact I’d bought Annie Sloan chalk paint to make our entertainment center all cutsie before my sisters came to visit (1 week and 2 days and I cannot even stand it, I’m SO excited!!!).  He then proceeded to tell me I shouldn’t worry about it because it looks fine as it is and there really isn’t time to paint it before they get here.

Yeah, he’s the king of reverse psychology.  CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

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I started removing the glass panels, knobs and knick knacks like a mad woman.  I pulled out my can of Duck Egg Blue paint and my Annie Sloan pure bristle brush.  I was READY!

Then I remembered I had to wash my furniture first (wah, wah, waaaaaaahhhh).

After a good wash, I dipped my brush into the can and started slopping on the paint.

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I put a nice even coat on the entire piece.  I also decided that a little chicken wire never hurt anybody (sent my hubby to Walmart for it), and tacked some up in place of the glass that was once there.

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I then started distressing the piece by lightly sanding the edges and little random spots on the piece to bring back some of the black underneath.  By the way… I prefer to buy REALLY dark furniture. If it comes painted black already (as this piece did), it’s a winner in my book.

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Next comes the waxing.  I’ve read everywhere to “clear wax first, dark wax second.”  This is to ensure you don’t stain your paint with the dark wax.

While I agree with this approach, my small attention span does not.  I’ve found that my “secret sauce” for waxing is a big scoop of clear wax, with a teensy, weensy dab of dark wax mixed together really well.

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The little bit of dark wax “warms” the paint color a bit.  I should mention that I also don’t “wax lightly” like everyone suggests.  I actually paint the wax on, to get beautifully colored strokes.  Then I use paper towels the rub the wax off in the same direction I painted it on (the wax is worked into the piece as you do so).  In the images below, both the top of the entertainment center and top drawer are waxed.  You’ll notice they’re a bit darker than the rest of the piece and you can see the colorful strokes in the top.

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After distressing and waxing the entire piece, I added some new hardware (these adorable drawer pulls are no longer available, but I keep checking) and loaded it all back up!  I’m kind of in love with the results…

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Before…

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To be fair, our entertainment center was really dusty and I had removed the original hardware (just bronze knobs – you’re not missing much).  The piece was actually a lot cuter than the before picture makes it out to be.  But considering it is a “before” picture, we told it to frown and stick out its gut a bit, to ensure the “after” had all the wow factor we were looking for.

What do you think?  Have you tried Annie Sloan chalk paint?  Do you have a “secret sauce?” for waxing?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

 

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Samples? Why, yes… I LOVE samples!

I was recently approached by The Grouchy Garlic , asking me to photograph their latest dessert masterpiece (in exchange for a “sample”; the full batch, which is totally MY kind of sample).  Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity.

If you’re a choco-holic, you have GOT to check out The Grouchy Garlic’s recipe for Dark Chocolate, Chocolate Cream Puffs (GF) (and pin it for later, of course)!  As an added bonus, this is a Gluten-Free recipe.

PS – I’m a huge Mud-Pie fan.  Don’t you just love the little “Got Chocolate” dish and “Ah, Sugar, Sugar” scoop???

Oh and that beautiful barn wood?  You’ve seen it before!  I pulled my new Rustic Shelves off the Gyoffice wall and slid them both together for the perfect “grouchy” feel.

Worked. Like. Magic.

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Queso Blanco means “YES PLEASE!” in Spanish

Queso:  “Every Other State’s Jello Salad”

Alright, alright… before you jump down my throat, I know “Queso Blanco” doesn’t really mean “Yes, please” in Spanish.

That said, when asked as a question, “Queso blanco?”  The following response is always, “yes, please!”

See, so I only kind of lead you astray.

Here in good ol’ Texas… queso is serious business.  I once heard someone call it, “every other state’s jello salad”, explaining that you can’t go to any family gathering in Texas without someone bringing the queso.  Although I’m not a true Texan (but am most definitely a  huge queso fan), I often volunteer to be that someone.

I’ve been asked for my recipe quite a few times.  Now, I’m not going to tell you it’s the world’s best cup of queso…

But I like it.  And for that simple reason, I’m happy to share the recipe and hoping you’ll like it too.

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El Queso Blanco de TealTheThings

  • 12 oz Fresh Pico de Gallo (yes, you can make your own… but why, when H-E-B’s is fantastic?)
  • 32 oz Easy Melt: Queso Blanco (again, H-E-B, but the white Velveeta Queso Blanco will do the trick as well)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  •  1/2 tbsp Torchy’s Diablo Sauce (they actually ship this stuff… so no excuse for you not to try it)
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  1. First, cut the block of easy melt into 1-inch cubes, to quicken the cooking process
  2. In a large crockpot, toss the cubes of easy melt and add in the rest of the ingredients (give it all a good stir)
  3.   Set the crockpot to “High” and cover for 45 minutes (stirring occasionally)
  4.  Reduce the cook setting to “Low” for another 15 minutes
  5. Set the crockpot to “Warm” and serve
  6. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a dash of Torchy’s sauce (optional)

Note: If the queso is a bit too runny, give it just a few more minutes in the “Warm” setting.  It will thicken up.  On the flip-side, if it’s too thick… add a bit more milk!

Cheese!  I mean, cheers!

 

 

Ooohhh Chevrons…

A chevron is like a ’54 Chevy Bel Air… beautiful, timeless and I must have it

Who doesn’t love a good chevron?  To be honest, I only recently found out they were called “chevrons” (thank you, again, Pinterest).  Before that, they were just “the little sharp mountain-lookin’ thingies.”

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There are tons and tons and tons of Chevron Blankets on Pinterest.  Now, do you think I would have actually pinned the pattern I was using?  Well, if so, thank you… but you’re giving me far too much credit.

Note to Self: When starting a pattern, ALWAYS pin it for reuse!  Otherwise, when you decide to take a month or two break from your blanket… ripping out a few rows to remember the pattern is required. *face palm*

Anyhow, all of that aside, I’m pretty excited about my chevron blanket.

I’m so close to completing it that I can almost taste it!  But I won’t.  Because that’s gross (even if you are keeping it for yourself).

For yarn, I used the Lion Brand Hometown USA brand in Fort Lauderdale Coral, Miami Seafoam, New York White and Dallas Grey.

I used a nice big N (10.00mm) hook, which still resulted in a very thick blanket (a larger hook could be used for looser/airy stitches).

The grey and white are accent chevrons (1 row for grey, 3 rows for white), while coral and seafoam were the main event (6 rows per chevron).

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I rarely make things for myself, but this one ain’t goin’ nowhere.

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Baby Tootsies

Fact: Chubby baby feet are one of the cutest things on the planet

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Oh my goodness.  I was dangerously skimming through Pinterest yesterday (if I open that darn app, I’m sucked in for hours) and came across the most adorable pattern.

Flip flops… for babies.

Think about it.  Those little chubby tootsies… the world’s favorite footwear… put them together and they just. make. sense.

Now, the pattern is actually pretty easy to follow.  I just have this weird mental hangup with new patterns.  I convince myself they’re going to be extremely complicated and that I’ll fail miserably.  Don’t ask me why.  It’s looney tunes and I know it.

Anyhow, this was my first stab at it and I definitely made mistakes.  Now I realize, however, what those mistakes were and will fix them in my next set.  Because of course I’m going to make a gazillion of these!

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Hookin’ Around

Babies, babies… EVERYWHERE!

It’s been a while since I’ve had the chance to make baby stuff!  Dare I say, I was beginning to miss it?

Adorable patterns… brightly colored yarn that, let’s be honest, if put on display in my home might give off a wee bit of a Hansel and Gretel-ish vibe.

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I’m happy to announce that the lull is over, ladies and gentlemen! In preparation for the new arrivals of Miss Emily and Sir Grayson…

I had a lot of fun making these blankets.  Emily’s blanket (pink and mint) was created using the shell stitch and a treble crochet border.  The clasp was simply many rows of matching treble crochet stitches.

Grayson’s blanket was made up of the Basket Weave Stitch (this guy’s videos are great, btw) and a treble crochet border of that fluffy yarn that’s so ridiculously soft that it almost sticks to your fingers (and tempts you to hide it away all for yourself).  The little elephant was courtesy of a lovely lady’s great tutorial found here.  The clasp was rows of single crochets.  I’m kind of digging the rolled up blanket idea…