Monday, February 16, 2015

Octopus Canvas Art DIY


With all of the painting, projects, and renovations that we have going on at our beach condo, we were in need of some inexpensive wall art.  We have some big walls, so I wanted something larger than would make an impact.  We didn't have a lot of time before our renters would be in town, so I needed some artwork that I could make quickly as well.  I needed a beach theme and I loved this octopus I found on the internet.

To make this DIY Octopus Canvas print you will need Mod Podge, a foam brush, a canvas size 24" x 36" inches, and a black and white graphic drawing.  I had a canvas frame that I took off another canvas that I spray painted silver, but you could also hang it unframed.  Paint the edges of your canvas a coordinating color for the framed look without the expense.

Source: The Graphics Fairy Octopus
I found this Octopus graphic at The Graphics Fairy.  I saved the graphic to my computer.  I then went to Staples online print shop and ordered an engineering print 24" x 36" of this graphic.  The site warns that this type of copy is not suitable for photos, but this octopus graphic came out great.  Cost: only $4!



To attach your print to the canvas, use your foam brush to apply a heavy coat of Mod Podge to your canvas.  Press your print onto the canvas, smoothing out the bubbles.  I wish I had put a heavier coat of Mod Podge on my first layer.  I think this would have helped it adhere better and reduced the number of wrinkles.  Allow to dry and then paint a layer of Mod Podge to the top of your print.  Allow to dry and continue to add Mod Podge until it is securely attached.  


Now you can frame your canvas and hang it on the wall.  I love how big this print is.  Plus, after a 50% off coupon from JoAnn's, my canvas was under $15.  Making the total of this project Under $20.  Looking for a different theme?  I'm sure you could find a great black and white graphic for whatever look you need.


We've done as much work at the condo that we could before the renters came.  While we won't be able to visit for a couple of months, I'm looking forward to getting back there to actually enjoy it soon.  Of course, there are still quite a few projects we would like to do as well.




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Thursday, February 5, 2015

And the Winner of our Free Spartan Race Entry is...



Thank you to everyone that came to enter my giveaway for a free entry into a Spartan Race!  I'm so excited that someone gets to do one of these crazy, challenging races.  Everyone should have a goal to aim for and these races are definitely a big goal to work towards!  If you missed our giveaway, you can still find out more about the Spartan Race!  Check out their new Spartan Up Podcast as well.

Congrats to our winner Angela R!!  Best of luck in the race and let us know how it goes!

Not everyone can win a free entry, but we can all be winners.   Use Code SPARTANBLOGGER to get 10% off any race.  

Congrats!



Wood Plank Accent Wall at the Beach Condo


We knew we wanted to make a statement on the staircase in our new beach condo.  A big impact, but still be simple and beachy. This Wood Plank Accent wall was just that.


This was our Before staircase.  Still don't like the yellow and the table with lighthouses seemed like an accident waiting to happen.  Plus it was just cluttered looking.  The first thing was to paint!  We didn't have to paint the whole back wall since we would be covering it up, but we did paint into the edges a bit to make sure no yellow showed through.


I found this plank paneling at Lowe's.  Each pack come with six pieces of 8 foot tongue and groove paneling.  We were able to do our stairway wall and another smaller project for a little over $100.


Starting at the bottom of the wall, we lined up our pieces with the base board and nailed in place.  The pieces had to be trimmed in order to fit our six foot wide area.  Stack your next panel in place with the grooves and nail in place.  Continue up your wall.


Once we got to the top of the wall, we were left with a small gap.  It wasn't big enough to add another strip of paneling, so we found a piece of quarter round molding that we were able to nail in place as well.


After all pieces were in place, we stained the wood with a medium/light stain.  Do a smaller section at a time so that you can keep your color relatively even.


We also used this wood plank accent on the wall above our fireplace in our Family Room Makeover. I love how the two projects tie together.


After the stain was dry, we hung our flamingo canvas and added a large vase.  A simple and inexpensive project that we completed in about half a day.  I really think it makes a big impact for the money we spent.  Love how it turned out!



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Monday, February 2, 2015

Tennis Ball Bin Dog Memorial


Most of you have already heard me talk about our first furry love, Tyke.  We wanted to pass along his memory to other dogs and their owners.  Just wanted to send out the message to love your baby and enjoy this time that you have to play together.  Tyke loved to play ball when he was a pup.  He would run and chase the balls, but he was never too good at giving it up.  Part of the fun was trying to wrestle for the ball after he brought it back.


We wanted all dogs to have a tennis ball from Tyke and a fun time with their owners.  I found everything I needed at the dollar store.  We bought a small plastic bin, plenty of colorful pet balls, and a foam board.  At home I printed a picture of Tyke along with the message, "Please help yourself to a tennis ball for your dog to play with.  Keep it or drop it back in the box for another dog to enjoy.  Love this time with your pup and enjoy this day you have together."  I used packing tape to attach the paper to my foam board.  I covered the paper completely with the tape to help laminate it and make it last a little longer.  I poked small holes in the bottom of the foam sign so I could zip tie it to the basket.  Finally, we filled the basket with the balls.


We took our tennis ball bin to our local dog park and left it under a large oak tree.  I know that more than a few dogs have been able to enjoy a day at the dog park with one of Tyke's gifts.  It's been nice to see him among the dogs at the park.  Whether you post your own picture or message along with your bin, I feel like it's a tiny way to give back and help some pets and their families enjoy their day.




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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

NEW Spartan UP Podcast & FREE Race Giveaway


The new year is in full swing!  Have you already lost sight of those New Year's Resolutions?  I didn't make any resolutions, but did try to recommit to my workout schedule and healthier eating.  It is so easy to get out of the loop around the holidays.

If you've already given up or maybe you hadn't even started thinking about your goals, perhaps you just need a new goal to work towards!  The Reebok Spartan Race Schedule is just getting started!  This could be the goal you need to work towards.  Whether just starting out or a serious competitor, Spartan Race has what you are looking for.  There are races all over the US and now on an island!  Check out the Spartan Cruise Bahamas!  There are even Spartan Kid races for the smallest competitors.  One race not enough?  Sign up for a Spartan Annual Pass!  Unlimited racing and travel discounts.  


Check out the new Spartan UP! Podcast!  Meet Joe DeSena, CEO of Spartan Race, as he travels the globe to interview the experts in all aspects of life.  Find the answers to inspire, to make you think, to make you laugh, and to help you succeed.  Check out all of the episodes!

Are you ready to sign up?  What if you could get a free race entry?  Sign up now to win a FREE entry into any open heat Spartan Race in the continental US!  Spread the word and earn more chances to win!  Can't wait to sign up?  Do it now and use code SPARTANBLOGGER and receive 10% off of any race.





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck and let's start training!




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Monday, January 26, 2015

Beach Condo Family Room Makeover


On New Year's Eve, we finally closed on our beach condo.  This is going to be a place that we can use for family vacations, but also a place we can rent out to help cover the costs of owning it.  Our first day as owners was not as exciting as we thought it would be.  Our New Year was saddened by the loss of our first furry baby.  We had to say good-bye to our beloved Tyke.  We miss him, but remember him as the loving pup he always was.


Despite the cheery yellow color, we were not too enthused by the bright decor of our new beach house.  It will definitely be a work in progress.  The progress will have to halt for a while too since it is booked for the next two and a half months.  However, we did have most of a month to get some work done.  I wanted to share the hard work we have done so far.  Our first task was to tame the bright yellow and to get rid of that mirror above the fireplace.  The mirror was quite easy to remove, but the color was not.


It took quite a few coats of paint to cover the yellow.  The blue plaid couches weren't our favorite either.  The biggest pain was the fact that all the moldings, fireplace, and doors were a dirty color. Painting all those items will probably go unnoticed now that they are done, but had to be freshened up with some white paint.  The little details took a lot of work, but they will be worth it in the end.  It really does make the place look so much cleaner.  So glad we were able to change out those couches!


We can't really afford to do everything at once, but we knew we wanted to make a big impact with what we could change.  Other changes will come in time.  Can't say enough about how much you can change with some paint.  Love the new color!  A few accents to make it our own and it is starting to feel like home.


The wood accent wall above the fireplace was pretty simple, but gave a great beachy touch as well.  We did the same process up the stairway landing, which I will share soon.  


We have been working like crazy and I'll be glad to have a normal weekend again, but I'm sad that we will have to take a break from this place to share it with some renters.  I hope they enjoy the place as much as we have so far!




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Monday, January 12, 2015

Framed Puppy Paw


Every morning and every evening I'm filled with a sense of loss. During the day I can stay busy, for the most part. There are times when I walk by his bed or an abandoned bone that it hits me as well.  I still miss my furry baby, but I hope in time it will be easier to see these things and think about him without the pain and only the smiles.  If you missed Tyke's story, you can read it Here.

It's been about a week since we said goodbye, but I've started to do what I do to cope. I craft little mementos to remember my baby by.  I want to remember him in good ways and keep his memory close. I'm a sentimental person that likes to keep little things as reminders. I still have the collar of my first dog, Sugar. I got her as a present for my 10th birthday. Now Tyke's collar hangs next to hers in my closet.


Before Tyke passed, I took his footprints. All you need to do this is some non-toxic ink and a piece of card stock. My hubby held Tyke while I dabbed his paw with ink. Then we simply pressed his paw on the paper. I did a few prints to make sure I got a good one. After it dries, you can also make copies of your print or even scan it into your computer to keep it safe.


There's a saying that "Dogs leave paw prints on our hearts."  I definitely think this is true. Tyke will forever be in my heart. While he may not be here in our house anymore, this will always be his home. I still want to see him when I look around.  Although it is still tough, I know in time that seeing pieces of him will bring back the good memories.