Creative Kristi

has been moved to new address

Sorry for inconvenience...

Creative Kristi: February 2010

Creative Kristi

Friday, February 26, 2010

White Washed Brick

So my fireplace is about as done as it can get for right now! I only say that because it would be 100% done if I could decide on what type of mantel I want to add. Right now we have a mantle of brick but I would like to build a wood 'cover' to make it wider and more substantial.

Anyway here is what it looks like now:
Sorry the photos aren't the best but my computer isn't liking my camera card right now so these come from my iPhone. See how I didn't white wash the top brick? That's the mantle so it'll all get covered up anyway. I am so happy with it- even if it does look a little pink in direct sunlight! haha!
Here is a close up of the paint finish:

Also while this whole brass fixture/red brick makeover was taking place we added a new pet to our house. Since Lil Man loves fish we got him one and he named him Hollis (where he got this name I do not know haha). Hollis lives on the mantle so that Lil Man can see him all day everyday!

And just because I love a good before and after- here is a picture (the only full fireplace shot I could find!) I took two Christmas' ago of the fireplace before:

And again the After:

So much better don't you think?
A little info about the paint: 
 I used a little quart of Behr Swiss Coffee and poured a bit in a paint pan then added the same amount of water and mixed them together. I used a brush to put it on the bricks and then a cut up flannel pillowcase to wipe some off. Easy Peasy! 
If you have questions about the paint or process used on the lights & fireplace surround check out these posts.

That's it for today! Happy Friday!

I am linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick's Before & After Party!   

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dog Food

Hi all! Just a quick little post today.

I have a tiny kitchen with almost no 'wall' space due to the door to the outside, door to the basement, door to the dining room, large window/pass through to the living room and a weird built in drawer/closet thing.  So storage is an issue (and one that my nesting self is determined to tackle before baby #2 arrives!). We have a dog and the kitchen is where we keep her bowls for food & water. We wanted to keep her dog food close by but couldn't keep the giant dog food bag right there or she would tip it over and eat it all. Seriously. She knows how to get dirty dishes out of the sink. I'm surprised she doesn't open the fridge and help herself.

Anyway we started by pouring the whole giant bag into a tupperware tote know the storage ones.
Well that works ok but isn't pretty and takes up a lot of room. So I was browsing last summer at TJMaxx and found an adorable container with a cute little stand for about $10-$15. I bought it and dug out some rub-on letters I had and Voila! here is the kitchen storage for dog food (the tote is relegated to just outside the kitchen door in the 'mud room'). I love this because it holds just about a week's worth of food, is functional and pretty!

Now if you are really picky (and I usually am but having a toddler forces you to just let some things go) you can spray this stuff on top of the rub-ons to give them more lasting power. But I like my rub-ons getting kinda 'chippy' looking like worn off old paint so I didn't seal them.

Just wanted to share with you all that you can have functional and pretty out in the open storage for all those annoying things that are necessary! 

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Get Your Face On Party!

So I decided to join Beth's (from The Stories of A to Z) challenge & show my nakey face, share a makeup tip & then the after. It is not something I would usually do but since she is good at pressuring/guilting on Twitter (hehe just kidding Beth!!) I decided last minute to join in. Her linky party needed some more links. 

So here is my just out of the shower face with just moisturizer on:

Now that is what the world sees about 99.9% of the time because I just really don't think to put on makeup unless it is an 'event' I'm going to. Which is sad considering I am a consultant for Pink Papaya and we sell color as one of our lines. Oh well.

So I start with Pink Papaya's Pore Perfecting Face Primer all over to just 'smooth' my skin and usually that's it for an all over face product because I don't really wear foundation.
Then I use a brown eyeliner pencil on both the upper and lower lids but only from the outside to about 3/4 of the way across and I drag my finger across to 'smudge' it so it isn't a harsh line.

My tip is for mascara. I always suggest women put on one coat the way they usually do- just a little wiggle/sweep upwards under the lashes then turn the want vertical and do a windshield wiper motion with just the tip of the wand. Like this:

I know that's hard to see but you get the idea. It's really hard to put on mascara, take a picture and not look like an idiot anyway lol! The reason why I do this is that it coats the entire lash (the sides of each individual lash) not just the underside. I finish with one more swipe the 'normal' way to 'un-clump' any lashes that might have stuck together. I do NOT put the wand back in the mascara until I move to the next eye- no spider eyes/clumpy messes!! I use-what else?- Pink Papaya's HD Mascara in Carbon Black

Anyway, after that I'm usually done but today I decided to pop on some lip color. Pink Papaya's Lip Rougue in Melon Sorbet

Here are the products:

And the "after"

Not a whole big change but it makes me feel a little more 'put together' 
(Just a note- I did nothing to my's still straight out of the shower/air drying)

Don't forget to go check out Beth's Linky party for "Get Your Face On!" to see all the other links!! :)


Ok so if you are interested in trying any of the products free (and live in my area) please visit my Pink Papaya site and contact me. Or you can also shop online too.

Labels: , ,

Friday, February 12, 2010

Painting Laminate Countertops- Part Two

So I've been getting a lot of requests lately for more detail on my countertops that I painted last summer. Some wanted close-ups, some wanted the specific paint colors I used and still others wanted just more detail in the process of it. You can read the original post here if you have no clue as to what I'm talking's ok go read it....I'll wait.......

All caught up? Good. Now here are the product basics:
1. One U-G-L-Y laminate countertop (mine was blue)
2. A cleaner of some type and a rag (I used a 50/50 mixture of vinegar to water- as I do to clean most surfaces in my house)
3. 1 Quart of Kiltz primer (this is what I used, feel free to use whatever you like or if you want ask the employee at the paint desk- just a warning they will look at you like you have 8 heads and probably try to get you to go to the countertop section to buy new countertops...just ignore them. You know what you are doing!)
4. Acrylic Paint in colors to match a print out of granite you like. (Just google granite countertops and find an online store that has close ups of the granite...find one you like, print the picture and head off to the craft store!)
         Here is where people wanted to know the EXACT colors I used so:
               I used FolkArt brand (made by Plaid) and the colors I used are: 938-Licorice, 425-Medium Grey, 2381-Battleship Grey (I did one section of my countertop in this and didn't like it so used it very very sparingly after that), 450-Parchment, 602- Country Twill, and applied with an old toothbrush to just lightly mist the countertop: 660-Metallic Pure Gold.
5. An old toothbrush
6. paper towels
7. a piece of cardboard or something to squirt your paint onto.
8. Foam brushes (for clear coat application)
9. Some form of high gloss clear coat (The name of mine was Polycritic or something similar-I didn't write it down Sorry! and I'm not sure I still have it but I only bought a quart of it and didn't use even half)

Here is about the only 'before' shot I got of the countertops. That is Mr. Hubby sanding our floor which we found out was orginal hardwood under 3 layers of vinyl! Woot!
Ok so you cleaned your countertops really well and you can lightly sand them if you like, I didn't because that would've been an extra step and I'm just lazy like that. Pull out your stove & fridge, tape off your sink, cabinets below the countertop and walls before you start painting!
After cleaning/sanding/wiping down you can use a roller and/or a brush to put your primer on. I did two coats letting each dry at least overnight before reapplying. This is the part where you are rolling on the primer and in your head you are going "I can't believe I am painting my countertop?! who DOES this?! This is NUTS!" or if you are like call your hubby at work and say that while nervously laughing. I preferred to roll my primer on and only brush the edges of the countertop because I didn't want any brush strokes to show.

Primer. Exciting stuff huh?  
(I didn't tape my walls at this point because I was going to paint them later & the only time I taped them was before the clear coat)

Next you take a piece of cardboard and squirt all of your colors (except your metallic) into little puddles in separate corners, rip off a piece of paper towel (I tried sponges but it looked too 'uniform' for me)- scrunch it up in your hand until you can grasp the whole thing just with your fingers (not like balling it up in the palm of your hand but just your fingers so you can 'pounce' the paint on) and dip it into whatever color is the 'main' or 'base' color in your sample. I started with the grey because the sample I chose had either grey or tan as the base color (more of that then any other color in the sample). So I dabbed on the grey all over the countertop leaving a lot of white space in between. Here's how awful that looked:

Then I just proceeded with the tans, blacks and more grey until I got the look I was going for. It takes a bit of time and a lot of stepping back and looking at it (You know how when you pluck your eyebrows if you don't lean back and look at the whole picture you can end up overplucking? This is kind of like that). I asked my hubby a LOT what he thought of it because I wanted 'fresh eyes' to see if part of it looked more blotchy.
I went over and over the countertop re-scrunching the paper to get a different "pattern" so that it didn't look like one big blob of color. I also had to replace the paper quite frequently because the paint would soak into it and it would start ripping. I didn't think I would leave any white spots when I was finished but I actually did leave little peeks of it here and there and it lightens up the look a lot. I also made sure that there were only little spots of black and layered tans or greys over it because the black looked too harsh if there was a lot of it in one spot. Keep in mind that your paint is matte & the colors will POP when you gloss coat over it.

Ok so now you have the look you want- you can stop here and just start clear coating it or you can do what I did and squirt a little bit of your metallic paint onto your cardboard (we should call it an artists palette or something to sound more professional don't you think?? You could even cut a hole for your thumb if you wanted haha) anyway, dip the bristles of an old toothbrush into the metallic paint and then hold it over your counters and run your thumb along the bristles to get the paint to "spray" onto the counters in tiny droplets. I only did this here and there not all over but again it's personal preference.

Now you can use your foam brushes to put on thin coats of clear high gloss sealer. Make sure you allow it to dry the recommended time in between coats and if you want you can lightly sand. I did this once and then decided to not do that in between coats (again...I'm lazy). I did 7 coats letting each dry 2 hours and the last coat I pretty much globbed it on. Your acrylic paints will POP when the clear coat is dry so if you think it looks a little dull before the clear coat- trust me it will look like someone buffed it to a high shine once that clear coat is on.
This is after 2 coats of clear gloss and in the high shine spot you can see that the sanding in between caused some 'lines' which I hated so I stopped sanding.
You can see above that I mixed grey and tan acrylic paint together and painted myself a little 'seam' where the 'backsplash' and countertop meet. The laminate actually curves from the backsplash to the countertop but real granite doesn't do that so I made it look like a seperate piece that they 'caulked' the seam with like colored caulk. Sneaky sneaky!

Now here's the hard part: don't touch your counters (keep cats away from the room & keep dogs from jumping up) for at least 3 days and don't put heavy objects like your microwave, stand mixer or that HUGE crock of cooking utensils back on it for at least a week. We had our coffee maker, microwave & toaster on the dining room table lol

This is halfway through- I did the little countertop to the left of the stove completely first before moving on to the rest of the countertop. But you get the idea that this is what your house will look like while you do this right? MESSY! Out of place! Disheveled! If you can't handle that for a week + then this is NOT the project for you! :)
Your kids may even eat like this for a week. Or maybe you'll just have PB &J.....personal choice!

I had a minor heart attack one day when I walked in and saw that some water had been left puddling on the countertop and when I wiped it away the clear coat had become cloudy.....then it just dried up nice and clear! This kept happening whenever water got on it until about mid-Sept. when the temps outside cooled and the humidity dropped. I think this was caused by the top coats not 'curing' properly until the humidity dropped. If you have A/C in your house good for you...I don't. But if you attempted this in the winter, it would probably work out fine. Just open windows when priming and clear coating!! I don't recommend putting anything hot directly on your painted countertops or cutting directly on them and since I only use vinegar/water mixture to clean with I can't say for sure if a chemical will harm them but everything I've read online doesn't seem to suggest it would unless you use a really abrasive cleaner like Softscub or something.

So there you go. The step-by-step to paint your countertops, fool your vistors & give your hubby a heart attack when you announce you are going to 'paint over the ugly countertops and yes you are serious!'

Have fun and please send me pictures if you try this yourself! I'd love to see!!



ETA: You could always get a piece of poster board in white and 'try out' the acrylic paints first to see if you like the pattern you are getting or to show hubby that YES you can do this & YES it will look good ;) I did that but it ended up not looking a thing like my counters looked BETTER :) Happy painting!

Linking Up to The Frugal Friday Linky Party at The Shabby Nest!

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Papertrey, Ink Challenge- Emboss Resist!

Ooooo! Have you heard?! Papertrey Ink is turning 3 and are celebrating in a BIG way! Prizes & Challenges galore! Head on over to Nichole's Blog to get the day to day updates and surprises!

Today she announced that starting in the spring they will be having "Make It Mondays" featuring a new technique video every Monday! So exciting! To start off she posted a video of a technique I actually had never heard of: Emboss Resist. I watched the video and thought it was the coolest thing! So I went and dug out all my old embossing stuff and tried it out. LOVE! L-O-V-E! So fun!

This is my VERY first time posting a card and linking it to anyone associated with Papertrey, Ink (always intimidating!) but there is $200 of emboss resist goodies up for grabs! I had to at LEAST take a deep breath and hit the 'publish' button for this one!

So without further a-do here is my very first emboss resist card!

The bottom half of the card showcases the emboss resist. It is the Background Basics: Spots & Dots stamp set embosses on Sweet Blush cardstock then rubbed with Berry Sorbet ink.

Let me know what you think!

All supplies are Papertrey, Ink unless noted.
Paper: White cardstock, sweet blush cardstock, vellum 
Ink: Berry Sorbet, Summer Sunrise, Clear Emboss it (manufacturer: Ranger)
Embossing powder: Antiquities Frosted Crystal (manufacturer: Ranger)
Stamp sets: Background Basics: Spots & Dots, Heart Prints
Other: Cuttlebug swiss dots embossing folder, corner rounder, Scor-pal, adhesive,dimensional pop dot,  scissors 

Labels: , , , ,

V-Day mantle!

I am excited that my fireplace re-do is finally done so that I can join Beth at The Stories of A to Z's Friday Mantel party!!

So here is my on a budget and don't feel like going to the store with a 2-year old Valentine's Day mantel!


And yes I know my tv is off center and the cords are showing (I'm working on that- the tv is off center because the power cord is too short to center it) but this is my REAL mantel- exactly as all my guests see it so that's how you see it- no photoshopping! Although I was tempted......
Here are some close ups with links to where to get the *free* printables!

V-day banner and happy heart day circles printed, trimmed, hole punched and hung with dental floss (mmmm minty!)

Painted wooden letters from Jo-Ann's last year. They came white and I painted one X & one O red and placed them on the mantel so they spell out XO XO on either side of the tv :)

These are hanging from my sconces and it's the same Happy Heart Day circle with a heart freehanded on  heart paper and cut out.

Everything that is printed is printed onto white cardstock and hole punched then hung with dental floss (this is stuff is so strong plus it gives a minty smell when my heater comes on haha) I taped them where necessary with regular scotch tape.

Go check out all the other (much more impressive & festive!) mantels over at Beth's Mantel Party!!

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fireplace Before & After

Woohoo! The shiny polished brass is *almost* gone from my house (have to switch out the dining room chandy for one I bought almost 2 years ago, oops). But at least I can say it is gone gone gone from my living room! Woot!
Here is the shiny offender before:

And here is the lovely after (2 coats of heat resistant paint in the only color they had: satin black):

And now my nesting has turned on the brick. I want to white wash them, and don't tell me I can't or I shouldn''s my house- I live here. :)

So hope you like the transformation! 

Labels: , , , , ,

Monday, February 1, 2010


I am in full on nesting mode and it's happening much earlier in my pregnancy then with my first child. (I'm only 22 weeks!) While I love the extra ideas and plans floating around in my head and the energy that helps to make some of those projects come to life...I don't think hubby shares my enthusiasm. Oh well, he humors me.
So first up is something that has been BUGGING me since I moved in: Two sconces (one on each side of the fireplace mantle) that match the sconces my parents had/have in their bathroom while I was growing up.I'm not a fan and I'm totally not a fan of feeling like I'm in my parents bathroom while I'm in my own living room! haha! So this weekend I fixed it!

Using this: Rust-Oleum American Accents Metallic spray paint in "Oil Rubbed Bronze"

Taped off around the fixture (& taped the part where the bulb goes in and where you turn it on)
Sprayed two coats, added the bulb back & then added a little clip-on chandelier shade to finish it.

Can I just say: LOVE IT!! Love love love love love it!

So apparently that didn't fix my 'nesting' instinct for long because now I want to use this post by Our Suburban Cottage blog to take my hatred for all things brass out on this:

My fireplace surround. *sigh* this is the best picture I could get & it's pretty fitting that the sun GLARING off of it is abundantly clear.
Anyway, because I have to wait until the little one is in bed to paint it I decided to enlist the help of hubby in peeling up some ugly peel & stick tiles in our bathroom. They were put in by previous owners about 10 years ago.

Here is our bathroom 'before' (keep in mind I am standing in the hallway to take this picture-that's how TINY our bathroom is)
Note: The floor is clean in this picture-it's just not a great color lol...also note the over abundance of caulk around the bottom of the sink too....will be fixing that with my new caulk remover ;)

Here we are 'in progress' The hairdryer worked great in making the tiles pliable enough to peel up.
Beneath the tiles is original hardwood floors that are in pretty decent shape...just painted green. I have an idea for how to make 'em look good AND be sealed properly against water damage without spending a lot of money. Let it be known I would much rather have a crew come in, remove the fixtures, rip up the floor, lay a new sub floor and tile then replace the fixtures. But that's not in the budget right now...and since its our only bathroom if we ever do that we need it to be a warm season outside so that using the rented port-a-potty wouldn't freeze our bums off! Lol!

Anyway. I'm nesting and there are more projects that apparently I NEED to have done before the baby comes so please send loving thoughts to my husband as he *patiently* deals with my prego nesting hormones.


Labels: , , , , ,