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Posted by on Nov 30, 2011 | 13 comments

The Many Uses for Chalkboard Paint, Part II

The Many Uses for Chalkboard Paint, Part II

Back in August we shared some ideas for using chalkboard paint in your home. Well, we’re back with more ideas — chalkboard paint is so versatile and so fun! I love chalkboard paint so much I used it as my kitchen backsplash. I was afraid it would make the small kitchen look even smaller and darker, but so far it hasn’t. In the corner by the stove there is an entire wall for the kids to doodle. (Don’t worry,  the kids aren’t allowed back there while the stove or oven are in use.) And if I’m cooking and I need to leave myself a note, I can just write it on the wall — comes in handy when you are inventing a new recipe. One tip: Let the first coat dry completely before applying the second coat otherwise the first coat rubs off. You’ll need 1-3 coats, but each coat dries pretty quickly. We mentioned these gift tags in our last post and I’ve been itching to make them ever since. I...

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Posted by on Nov 29, 2011 | 3 comments

Looking at the Past Through Vintage Yearbooks

Looking at the Past Through Vintage Yearbooks

This post is part of a series of stories about collections — the treasures we gather in our homes, display for our guests, and that bring us joy. If you have a collection to share, contact diydelray[at]yahoo.com. My husband Mark is a bit of a pack rat, and I mean that in the most loving of ways, of course. He collects books, baseball and football cards, bottle caps, coins, and he even has an assortment of sports-themed Wheaties boxes and Coke bottles. I don’t quite understand the Wheaties boxes, but the one collection I am fond of is his collection of old college yearbooks. Yes, they are musty and take up a lot of space, but it is fun to glance at the old photos and imagine what life was like back then. Look at these glamour shots. I’m loving the vintage 1920s flapper hairstyles. Here’s the “best athelete” and “best student” looking a little more serious than the ladies above. I can’t imagine these guys opposite today’s football...

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Posted by on Nov 28, 2011 | 2 comments

Studio Tour: A Home Devoted to Art-Making All the Time

Studio Tour: A Home Devoted to Art-Making All the Time

I want to relive my childhood in Susan Miranda’s home where art abounds and at any given time, a big project is unfolding in her living room turned art studio. Susan is an art teacher at a local coop preschool and she creates art in her free time in a variety of mediums. Susan says she “does what she loves,” which means scrapbooking, quilting, painting, quilling, sewing, embroidery, clay sculpting, mosaics, wire sculpting, and “anything else that floats her boat.” Susan took me on a tour of her jaw-dropping studio space, the first thing you see upon entering her home. Her studio takes up the entire front living room. It used to be in the basement, but when the family renovated, they realized they would hang out in the new addition in the back more frequently, and the front living room would become one of those look-but-don’t-touch living rooms. A friend urged her to set up her studio space there, and she got the okay from her husband. (The...

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2011 | 2 comments

Designing a Personalized Birthday Cake with P.S. Cakes

Designing a Personalized Birthday Cake with P.S. Cakes

Del Ray resident Sarah Savarie runs a home-based business called P.S. Cakes. She makes luscious cakes and cupcakes and she just created these adorable turkey cake pops for a client. I know how scrumptious Sarah’s cakes and cupcakes are first-hand because Sarah’s daughter Bea and my daughter Ana are in the same Brownie troop and we made pre-ordered cupcakes as a troop event. When Sarah said she’d have time to make Ana’s eighth birthday cake (triple layer no less!), she recommended that Ana design her own cake using fondant. There are several ways to make fondant, but essentially it is an edible icing that has the consistency not unlike play dough.  It is pliable and can be used to make figurines, letters, or you can use it to drape a cake for a smooth, clean appearance. Ana was so excited to spend time with Sarah and her two daughters on the morning of her birthday party, learning how to design a cake step by step. Sarah had made the...

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Posted by on Nov 23, 2011 | 0 comments

Essential Tools for the DIY Workshop

Essential Tools for the DIY Workshop

No matter  your level of skill or experience with DIY home improvements, one thing is true: You will accumulate tools. Del Ray homeowners Melissa and Bruni have so many ongoing renovation projects that they now have a well-stocked workshop in their basement. We stopped by to talk with them about their must-have tools for working with wood. First, to give you a sense of the scope of their DIY background: Melissa and Bruni bought their row house in 2005 and immediately started remodeling the kitchen. They did most of the work themselves –- the demo, including asbestos removal around the ductwork, the cabinetry installation, flooring, and tiling. They designed an archway between the kitchen and living room, as well as a bay window.              They also built front and back fences.       In their back patio, they built a green roof storage shed and they are in the process of finishing the basement, which includes a full bathroom. Melissa has also designed and built a free-standing bookshelf and bench....

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