{Alley Picking} Girl Meets Spray Paint!

I grew up in a home where my parents encouraged exploration and creativity. We had buckets of crayons, rolls of paper, paints, and anything a little girl could dream of to create art. My Dad was known to bring home odds and ends. He has a collection of old doors, windows, pieces of floors and random boards that he will one day use. He is pretty crafty and my Dad is always willing to help me with my projects. Big or small he is there taking it over and telling me to get out-of-the-way.

I inherited my Dad’s ability to see a diamond in the rough and the ability to turn someone’s trash into a treasure. The last weekend of every month is a wonderful time to live in Uptown. Hipsters move out and in the alley they leave their “trash” behind. I have been known to haul home all sorts of things. People in my neighborhood are used to it and they offer a hand when I want something that’s to heavy to carry. I’ve been know to trudge through garage sales and thrift stores looking for unique finds. In addition to dragging things home, I also rehab items that I all ready own. A fresh coat of paint can go a long long way.

My Ex-husband got the house and all of the furnishings in our divorce and I was left with basically nothing. I had to start from scratch. At the time I bought what I could afford and a few classic pieces. Over the years I have switched a lot of things out and repainted items that I loved. Take my bed, I paid $89 for the frame at IKEA and I love the design of it, just not the color. White was the only color choice and I lived with a white bed in a white room for 4 years. It became mundane and I knew I wanted to keep the bed, I just didn’t want the white staying.Bed1

The white had over stayed its welcome and I was ready for a change. I knew I wanted to paint the bed a shade of blue, I just didn’t know which one. To be honest there are way to many choices in the spray paint isle. Seaside blue spoke to me and I walked out with four cans. The manhuman graciously helped me out with my project and it took us about an hour to paint the bed. My bed is now the focal point of my bedroom and I wake up every morning with a smile on my face. Life is best lived in color.Bed2

My Bed is not the only thing that got a shade of color this summer. I bought a bird-cage candle holder thing at a thrift store last spring and of course it was white. I felt that the white was just to darn lame and I wanted to brighten it up. Mostly I had been scouring different shops looking for a unique side table that would compliment the lines of the cage, I came up empty-handed. Bird1 That is until one day I was out walking the muppet like dog and there was the perfect table just sitting on the curb. I drug home that scratched up wobbly legged side table. Sure she was rough-looking, however I loved the lines and it was exactly what I had been looking for. It was the right sized and with help from my Dad we tightened the legs right up. I Chose golden squash for the bird-cage candle holder and cornflower blue for the table.
Bird3

Speaking of my living room I have been on the search for the perfect coffee table for months and wouldn’t you know the perfect one was right behind my building. I came home on a rainy afternoon to find a scratched up coffee table with its glass intact propped next to the dumpster. The coffee table was to heavy for me to lift, so I ran through the building got the Prius and loaded it up. Table3The coffee table was dark brown and that did not go with my decor, a little spray paint would make it fit right in. I decided to paint it the same color as the bird-cage candle holder. This way it would tie into the existing design of my living room. My Dad took over the painting, he always does. My mom and I came back from the beach to find the table half painted. Five cans of paint later and I had the perfect rehabbed coffee table for my living room.Table2

Girl Meets Spray Paint is exactly what happened this summer. Why throw something out if you can simply grab a $4 can of spray paint and make it new again. We have become a throw away society, no one is resourceful anymore. If it’s scratched, dinged or if we do not like it, we throw it to the curb. One woman’s cast off will always be another woman’s treasure. Take a few moments, look around you and find that diamond in the rough that is waiting for you to make it shine. Trust me they are out there and it is extremely worth it. My shabby chic DIY furniture makes my apartment a home.

{Darby Smart} #Catweek Canisters

Darby SmartI grew up with a crafty father. My dad who I happen to call Pete, in which Pete is not his name. His name is actually Greg, but I prefer to call him Pete. My dad is a visionary, he can see a fishing lure in a piece of drift wood. A gate out of old metal head boards, and a greenhouse out of salvage windows. My Dad is famous for dumpster diving and picking things up from the curb. In one man’s trash he sees potential. Potential for something great or it just collects dust in the garage.

My sister and I grew up in a home that was filled with antiques and other questionable items that should have died in the seventies. Example “who has a couch with bridges and trees on it?” My parents, that’s who. Anyways, My dad spent his spare time teaching us that we could make everything out of nothing. I watched as my Pete carved fishing lures, built tackle boxes, and many other countless creations. He once made a swinging grill for the fire pit from an old fan grate, a chain, and a metal fence post. It worked beautifully and provided us with many grilled hot dogs.

Little did I know that Pete was instilling in me a never-ending desire to create and to contribute to the world around me. In high school I dabbled in clay, my projects line the shelves and walls of my parents home. Painting and drawing are not my forte, yet clay captured me, it allowed me to create and convey my emotions to the world. I haven’t worked with clay for years. I actually stopped creating and found myself thrown into the black and white world of corporate life. My soul needed to create again. Writing soothed me and allowed me to share my story, yet my heart it wanted to look upon my latest DIY project.

Last summer with the help of Pete I turned two side tables into a padded topped bench, an IKEA table went from light blue, to berry, and my black lamps were painted the perfect shade of apple green. My heart was happy, my hands were creating again and I felt whole. One night I was once again on my never-ending quest to find the best subscription boxes on earth, when I came across Darby Smart.

Darby Smart sends you delightful DIY Kits. When you open your kit, we want your eyes to twinkle. When you finish your kit, we want you to feel proud. To achieve that, we work hard to find uniquely chic materials. We obsess on writing fun, simple instructions. I am on my third Darby Smart Kit (I know, I know, I have been holding out on you), I am in love with this company. Darby Smart has a diverse selection of kits. They have one to tickle every fancy and to satisfy every whim. Darby Smart customer service is amazing, orders are processed at lightning speed, and are on your door step faster than you can spell MISSISSIPPI.

I have always seen mason jar canisters in the store with embellishments on the lid. I just didn’t want to fork over $10 to $30 dollars for one. I knew I could probably make one, yet I was too lazy to go out and gather all of the needed supplies. Enter Darby Smart, they have an Animal Canister kit for $19.00 and I had a $15.00 of coupon. Which made my total cost $4.00! $4.00 was a deal I could not pass up, so I placed my Oder and waited.
Cats & Jars

Darby Smart ~ #Catweek Canisters

Project Includes:
Cats (plenty)—–> I got four
2 Mason Jars
Super Glue
Krylon Spray Paint in hot pink
DIY Instructions

According to my instructions I could complete the project in 20 minutes. I wonder if they timed it at 1:30am when you are hyped up on caffeine? Anyways, at first I had a little trouble getting my chosen cats to stick to the metal lids. Never fear, I used a lot more glue and called Pete. Pete told me to apply more glue and to hold them in place for a few minutes. It worked the cats stuck and I set out to spray paint the lids.
Pink Cats

Score, I didn’t get any spray paint on my kitchen floor. That right there called for a 2am happy dance. Once the paint dried I realized that I did not paint the cats bellies and I missed an ear on one. With a second coat of paint they were good to go and I was ready to hit the hay. I said goodnight to my new painted friends and let them dry over night. In the morning the looked great, all was covered nicely in hot pink paint and I was ready to slap them onto the jars.
Cat Jars

Ta da! I am now the proud owner of two very whimsical jars and I am pretty darn happy with how this project turned out. If you are in need of internet rehab I command you to truck on over to http://www.darbysmart.com. Your DIY kit is waiting for you and remember to use the code HOWDYDARBY to get $10.00 off, yes I said $10.00 off of your first order. Have fun and DIY my friends.

**I was not compensated for this post. Reviews are my own.***