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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Blitsy Bandit Strikes

I love Blitsy. If you're not familiar with Blitsy, it's an online discount craft retailer. The website is full of helpful tutorials, and they offer daily sales. I spend the workweek in a very urban environment, which translates: craft supply desert, so being able to buy supplies online, from stores like Blitsy, is wonderful. Well, the other day, the Blitsy Bandit struck in my building!

Here's a picture that shows what I would rather be doing, instead of
 going through security cam footage, looking for the Blitsy Bandit.

Blitsy recently held an amazing warehouse sale, with items up to 70% off! They had stamps and dies and papers, and punches, being sold for a song. I ordered from their sale on multiple days. Imagine my dismay when a package I'd been excitedly awaiting, was stolen from our mail room. Heart. Breaking.


I posted this security camera image, of the Blitsy Bandit stealing my package, on my Facebook page the other day, and the nice people over a Blitsy heard about it and contacted me. They were so sweet -- insisting on replacing the items they could replace, and offering me a store credit. This was above and beyond. I told them I did not expect anything, as this was just an unfortunate incident that occurred after the box was delivered to my building, but they insisted.

I've loved Blitsy since I first discovered it at the SNAP blog conference, but now I am a devoted and forever loyal customer. Their's was the best customer service I've ever experienced.

I want you to love Blitsy the way I do! You can use this referral link to get $10 off your first order of $40 or more.  I do receive a small store credit, when you use my link, however I would recommend the company, regardless.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.

~Amanda



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Creating an Art Index Card A Day!

Are you doing the Index Card a Day challenge? This is a challenge to create a small piece of art on an index card, every day, for the months of June and July.


This challenge is the brainchild of Tammy, over at Daisy Yellow Art. You can go to her website for challenge details.


I tend to arrive late to most parties, so I did not even get started until mid June. Since I was already behind, before I started, I decided to create all my backgrounds at once, to sort of kick start my project. I suspect, that's not technically following the rules, but I'm sure Tammy won't mind.


The idea behind using index cards is that they are not precious. If you mess them up, you haven't wasted any expensive supplies.


The problem I had with index cards, is they're not very substantial anymore. I wanted to beef mine up a little bit, so I glued some ugly cardstock, from my stash, onto the backs of the cards.


Next, I added layers of book pages, scrap book paper, and gesso to the fronts of the cards, so they would be ready to "grab and go".


I will confess that, even with my backgrounds already finished, I am having a hard time keeping up. Still, it's a fun project, and it's a great way to experiment and stretch yourself.


You can do anything you'd like, on your cards. If you enjoy stamping, then stamp. If you're a painter, paint. Mixed media? Absolutely!


The idea here is to get creative, without fear of messing up precious materials.


Would you try index card art? Daisy Yellow Art will be doing similar challenges each summer, but you don't have to wait for a challenge to break out those index cards and start creating!

To see how I find materials for mixed-media art, click here.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.
~Amanda

Saturday, July 16, 2016

DIY Patchwork Rugs for Cheap!

We own some boat slips in our condo marina. Along with the slips, there is a condominium clubhouse in the adjacent building that is jointly owned by all the moorage owners.


It's basically just a giant concrete room. A few years ago, a sump pump that serviced the residential portion of the building malfunctioned and flooded the entire space. The carpets and portions of the gypsum board needed to be removed. It was ugly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Star Tutorials You Must Try for Fourth of July!

Are you ready for the Fourth of July?  It's always been one of my favorite holidays. In the sweet little Colorado town where we raised our kiddos, there was a kid's parade and an orchestra performance in a lovely old town park.  In the evening, families would grab their blankets and walk up the hill to the golf course for a great fireworks display. Here in Seattle, the best viewing is from a boat on Lake Union. Folks take their boats out early and anchor. They swim and cook on the grill during the day, then snuggle in for the fireworks at dusk.


If you've read my blog for long, you know I love stars!

Star Tutorials You Must Try for Fourth Of July!

Are you ready for the Fourth of July?  It's always been one of my favorite holidays. In the sweet little Colorado town where we raised our kiddos, there was a kid's parade and an orchestra performance in a lovely old town park.  In the evening, families would grab their blankets and walk up the hill to the golf course for a great fireworks display. Here in Seattle, the best viewing is from a boat on Lake Union. Folks take their boats out early and anchor. They swim and cook on the grill during the day, then snuggle in for the fireworks at dusk.


If you've read my blog for long, you know I love stars!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Make Your Own Pottery Barn Inspired Faux Coral

This tutorial originally appeared in House Revivals in the summer of 2012, and continues to be one of our most popular posts. Enjoy!
Are you still loving all the faux coral decor we've been seeing at places like Pottery Barn and Horchow?  I know I love it!



By using faux coral, you can enjoy the casual beachy feeling of decorating with coral, without worrying about how the coral was harvested.  Sometimes that faux coral comes with a pretty steep price tag, so I've come up with a way to create beautiful faux coral using very inexpensive materials.


My faux coral was created using paper mache pulp.  Although you can purchase paper mache pulp in craft supply stores, I make my own pulp using toilet paper!


Start by unwinding about a half a roll of toilet paper into a bowl and soaking it in hot water from the tap.


After a few minutes, it should look really disgusting.  Next, drain off your excess water if it's really soupy, and agitate the toilet paper with your fingers -- toilet paper is made from really short fibers so that it will break down easily, which is why it works great for paper mache pulp.


Now, add a giant handful of joint compound and about three-quarters of a cup of flour to the bowl.  Mix it all up together with your hands (or use an electric beater).  Some people like to add a giant dollop of glue to the mix at this point.  I add it if I have it, as it really does strengthen the final product, but you don't need to use it, as the flour is your "glue".  I also sometimes add talc to my mix (the kind we used to put on babies' bottoms) if I think the mixture needs more "body".

(The talc and the joint compound act as "filler", while the paper fiber adds strength.  The flour and glue cement it all together.)

Congratulations, you have just made paper mache pulp!


Now you need to create an armature to apply your paper mache pulp to.  Here, I created an armature from florist wire I had on hand.  Baling wire would probably have been a better choice, but I didn't have any when the "inspiration to create" struck.  For smaller projects the florist wire is fine, but for heavier projects, you will want to use a heavier gauge wire.


Because the paper mache is wet, it can cause the wire to rust and stain your pulp, so I wrapped it all in masking tape.  This also gives the armature some "tooth" for the pulp to hang on to as you apply it.


You may need to do two or three coats, depending on your project.  Allow your project to dry completely before adding another layer of pulp, or you might end up with a wet moldy mess.  In Arizona, a layer might dry completely in a couple of hours, while here in the Pacific Northwest, I wait at least a day for a layer to dry. Sometimes I can hurry it along by placing a project on a rack over a heating vent. After your final coat is partly dry, you may want to experiment with adding texture to the surface of your project.  I poked at mine with a wooden skewer to make it look craggy.

If you would prefer a smoother surface, be sure to smooth the wet pulp as you apply it (you can use a little spatula for this).  You can also sand your project when it is completely dry.


When your sculpture is completed, add a coat or two of gesso and any sealer you like.  I actually used an antiquing glaze on my faux coral.  I wanted it to feel like an antique specimen you might find in a dusty old library.  If you like the sun-bleached look, you might want to skip the antiquing step.


If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Learn to make faux starfish by clicking HERE!
Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Easy Pineapple Casserole Recipe for Lazy Cooks!

This is one of my most favorite and most versatile recipes. It is wonderful as a brunch dish, a side dish for your ham dinner, or as a hot dessert served with a scoop of ice cream!


I first tried this dish waaaaaaaaaay back, when my husband was a young lieutenant at Ft. Riley, and I was home with three tiny babes. It was a lifesaver for a busy mom, and it always impressed our guests.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Make This Pillow Box -- Free Print Out!

Mother's Day is just days away! For a special way to package gift cards, homemade cards, or treats, get this free pillow box printable template, below.


What mom wouldn't love one of these sweet hand made gift boxes?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Create This Folding Flower Greeting Card!

Here is a great card idea for Mother's Day -- or hang the card from a neighbor's doorknob for May Day.


It's simple to make using our free template!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Best Ever Smoked Salmon Fillets!

I don't do a lot of recipes on House Revivals, but every now and then, something turns out so amazingly well, I just have to share!


My husband and I love to fire up the smoker on the weekends we spend at the beach house. We often hit the grocery store when we pull into our little beach town and grab something that we think will taste great smoked, but won't require watching the smoker all day long. Salmon fillets are perfect for this, because they don't need to sit in a brine or dry pack for very long, and they usually cook pretty fast.


While my husband usually mans the smoker, I usually choose the preparation method. I've experimented with dry packed salt and brown sugar, for a sweeter product, but this time I wanted something a bit more savory and less sweet.

To start, you will want one large salmon fillet, cut into about four pieces.  Next, pour about a half cup of hot water into a measuring cup. Now, add salt to the measuring cup until the level reaches three-quarters of a cup. Put this mixture into a glass dish (a baking dish works best), and add a couple quarts of cold water (enough to cover your fillets).  Add a generous amount of garlic powder or minced garlic (I added about a tablespoon of powdered and a tablespoon of minced), and add two or three tablespoons of sugar (or less). Experiment with seasonings you may like, such as onion, cumin, cilantro, or paprika. Add a generous amount of pepper, if desired. Mix everything together and add the salmon to the dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or two.


Heat your smoker to 225 degrees before adding the salmon.  If you'd like a "candied" crust, sprinkle the tops of the fillets with brown sugar right before putting in the smoker.

When the salmon reaches 140 degrees, it is done. Smokers vary, but in our electric smoker, a one inch fillet usually reaches 140 degrees within an hour.


While you're waiting for your salmon to brine, you might want to try this recipe for the Best Bloody Mary Ever!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to your favorite social media sites.

Thanks so much for stopping by!