Women Are Winners







 

March is Women's History Month. I support all things that empower women.  Period.






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Can You Wear Pearls Everyday


Can you wear pearls everyday? YES! I like how pearls accentuate any outfit. I've considered myself a "pearl girl" since high school. 


During my early days of working in the corporate world, I wore pearls every day. Pearls made me feel empowered and very feminine. Single, double or triple strand; I wore them all!


So it should come as no surprise that I would endorse the wearing of pearls with flannel or other casual wear. Pearls will take any casual outfit to another level. 

My red and black flannel shirt is one of my favorites to lounge in. It sometimes doubles as a jacket. But when I add pearls, it becomes flannel-chic! Flannel-chic...that could become a thing! Haha!

Pajama Party Pearls

Several years ago, I coordinated a pajama party for our church's women's weekend celebration. We had rented space at a lodge in the Pocono Mountains and the event was awesome!  All the women attendees dressed up in their favorite and most comfortable pajamas. 

My pajamas were a little on the dressy side, so you know I just had to wear pearls, right? 

I slayed!

Conclusion

So, I don't think there is a wrong time to wear pearls. The only decision to make is size and number of strands!

What I'm Wearing In Top Photo:
Pearls: Thrift shop
Levi's Flannel Shirt: BonTon Stores
  



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Understanding the Introvert







I'm an introvert. Most of my days look like this and that suits me. I enjoy my own company.

Introverts make great leaders, organizers and friends, but it takes a lot out of us just to get "up" for an occasion like a meeting, party or any gathering. 

Oh, we'll do it and do it well! But it can be draining. Afterward, an introvert will need quiet time to recharge.

Sound familiar?



I've been like this as long as I can remember, but I wasn't aware of the "Introvert" tag until later into my adulthood.

Conclusion

Check on your introverted friends, Fam! But keep the conversation short...we need our space! Haha!

 



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20 Random Thrifting Facts You Should Know

 






How many of these random thrift facts do you know? Test your knowledge!

20 Random Thrifting Facts

1). Thrift shop – noun - Merriam Webster Definition of thrift shop: a shop that sells secondhand articles and especially clothes and is often run for charitable purposes

 2). August 17 - National Thrift Shop Day

 3). 1879: The Salvation Army comes to the U.S

 4). 1902: Goodwill Industries is founded in Boston

5). 1919: The term “thrift shop” is coined.

6). 1974: Buffalo Exchange opens first store in Tucson, AZ.



7). 1984- NARTS-- The Association of Resale Professionals. Founded in 1984. Has noticed an increase in resale shops. Helps members (shop owners) with educational and professional development.  Also provides consumers with an online SHOPPING LIST to locate shops in their city or towns when visiting.

8). 1995: eBay and Craigslist are founded



9). At a garage sale in 2000, a Fresno, California house painter noticed images of Yosemite National Park on glass plates of old photo negatives. After some negotiation, Rick Norsigian bought the lot for $45. He had a hunch the images were by the iconic nature photographer Ansel Adams, so Norsigian asked some experts. CNN reported that his find may have been worth than $200 million.

10). 2006: Nashville, Tennessee thrift shop find for $ 2.48 turned out to be a copy of the Declaration of Independence. Sold for $477,650

11). 2009: thredUP is founded ---an online thrift store for women’s and children’s clothing. 

12). 2011: The RealReal and Poshmark are founded for the resale of luxury goods, and as a peer-to-peer social networking resale platform, respectively.

13). In 2015, Zach Norris paid $5.99 for a watch at Goodwill, Phoenix. The watch was later discovered to be a rare 1959 Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm. It sold for $35,000 

14). A bargain hunter picked up a $20 blue and white teapot in an online auction.  It turned out to be one of the first pieces of porcelain created in America. It was the work of John Bartlam, a well-known artisan from nearly 250 years ago. Though broken, the teapot sold at a  2018 auction for about $806,000. 

15). Re-wearing clothes reduces waste and pollution

16). Second-hand clothes are less likely to end up in landfills

17). Thrift stores make it easier to know where your money is going


18). Many thrift stores directly support charity 

19). Thrifting is cheaper

20). Second-hand clothing is often higher quality than comparatively-priced clothing

Bonus facts:

21). Thrifted clothing offers more room for uniqueness

22). Thrift shops allow for more creativity




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Easy DIY Wooden Lantern






Lanterns have become popular in modern farmhouse decor. I believe lanterns can add interest to any decor style. 

When the invitation came to participate in a recent Youtube decor challenge using lanterns, I was hesitant to join because I did not have the type of lantern that I thought was worthy of sharing. 

So I decided to make my own.

I searched the internet for examples of simple do-it-yourself lanterns and soon gained enough knowledge where I felt confident that I could produce a decent-looking lantern.

Honestly, I was looking for something easy to make. This was not going to be my life's work, right?

Materials Used

The materials used:

Wood Strips for Sides - 18" (4 )

Wood for Top and Base - 6"x 7" (2 )

Wood for 2nd Top Layer  4"x 5" (1)

Wood Glue

Wood Filler

1" Nails (or wood screws)

Wooden Finial (with pre-fitted screw)

The Process

I used scrap wood from my garage to fashion the top, bottom and sides. Hubby helped me make the cuts. 

I used wood glue to hold the sides and base together while I nailed the pieces together. The finial was pre-fitted with a screw which made it very easy to screw into the top of the lantern. Wood filler was applied around gaps, followed by light sanding over the entire lantern. 

I made two lanterns: 18" and a smaller 12" lantern. Now that I've finished, I'm definitely thinking about making a third lantern to complete the set. You will not believe how easy this was!


Conclusion

I finished the project with white a Chalky Finish Paint. The results were stunning! 







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Comparing 6 Popular Chalk Paints






I love chalk paint! I bought my first quart of chalk paint from Home Depot in the color Linen White. I painted everything! Then I discovered chalk paint at other hardware and retail stores. That's when I decided to do a comparison. 

I had heard about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and seen the paint demonstrations online, but I knew that this paint was only available through distributors. I didn't have time for that!

How I Conducted My Demo

I bought six different chalk-style brands from various retail stores. Using popsicle sticks, I performed a very un-scientific paint demonstration. Basically, I dipped a popsicle in each container and recorded the paint's consistency--thick or runny. 

I'm not saying that runny paint is a bad thing! In fact, some users routinely add water to their chalky paint. I rarely do. I like the thickness of chalky paint.

The beauty of chalk paint is that it covers most surfaces without sanding. And it's very forgiving. 

                                              


Most chalk paints brands make claims that they will cover in one coat.  It has been my experience that two or more coats are always required to get the desired coverage. 

The paint dries so quickly and smoothly that it makes most defects almost disappear. The end result will be a chalk-like matte finish.


During my comparison, I documented the price of each brand and where brands might be purchased. I was surprised to discover that a higher price does not guarantee a more superior product. 

I compared brands that ranged in price from $9 - $30. One of the best brands, surprisingly, was the $9 paint. The consistency was great! Check! Drying time was great! Check! The color was solid, as advertised. Meaning, it was advertised as white and it turned out to be white. Not off-white. Check! The best thing was that I could find this paint at my local store. No ordering or distributors involved. This inexpensive paint checked off all the boxes!

I created a little cheat-sheet that contains price, where to buy the paints that I tested and my own rating system. These opinions are my own and are by no means scientific. It's a great reference tool for chalk paint novices.

For a FREE copy of my cheat-sheet, email me at lifeongreenwood@gmail.com or use the CONTACT US tab to reach out.

Paint Comparison Video: 

https://youtu.be/PNBirCHvITU

Things to Consider Before You Start Painting

Some tips: 

1.  Determine the type of surface you will be painting

2.  Determine if the location will be high traffic

3.  Set a budget. If cost is not an issue, there are plenty of options

4.  Decide if you have time to shop online or find an authorized distributor or if you want to shop your local hardware or retail store






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Chalky Paint Recipe Using Calcium Carbonate




 If you follow me on social media, you know that I love to paint furniture! Chalk paint is one of my favorite kinds of paint. 

I love the matte finish that comes from chalk paint. It's so easy to use and in my opinion, it's hard to mess up. Seriously.

I have tried several different brands of paint that advertise a chalky finish. I've even done side by side comparisons for price, consistency, availability, etc. 

But that's not what this blog is about. 

At the request of one of my Youtube followers, I decided to try and make my own chalk paint using calcium carbonate. 

Calcium carbonate is a white powdery substance that can be purchased at your hardware store or online. I bought mine online.


Recipe for Calcium Carbonate Chalk Paint

My recipe is as follows:

2 tablespoons - Calcium Carbonate

8 ounces - Latex Paint

1 tablespoon - Water

Mix calcium carbonate and water together and stir well. Pour this mixture into the 8 oz paint and mix well.

Conclusion

The result is a chalky-like paint that can be applied in most cases without primer and dries to a matte finish. I love it! Bonus: this is much cheaper than paying retail!

Tip: Store your homemade chalky paint in a sealed glass container, unless you plan to use it right away. I used a recycled pasta sauce jar for storage.





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How to Use Napkins to Decoupage a Tray - Get The Look For Less


This tray was originally dark brown, dirty and had some kind of floral applique on it. It was a $3 thrift find. It was sturdy. It was so ugly, but I knew that a little elbow grease and paint could make a world of difference. 

My inspiration for this tray came from a Pinterest post showing similar trays for $186. Can you believe that price? 

After cleaning the tray, I painted it using Waverly Inspirations Chalk Paint, Ultra Matte White. 

Once the paint dried, I used blue and white floral paper napkins to cover the inside of the tray. The process, called "decoupage" is simple.

The napkins were an Amazon purchase that I used previously on several other projects, including a decoupage pumpkin and Easter egg.


How to Decoupage

First, tear several strips of fabric or paper.  Apply glue or paste (I used Mod Podge), to the flat surface inside the tray. Cover the tray with those strips of paper.

Finally, give the napkin-covered surface a generous coating of Mod Podge. 

One of the great things about Mod Podge is that it dries clear, so it's very forgiving.  

Conclusion

I sealed the entire project with a coating of  Clear Enamel Spray Paint. This is what I call "the look for less"!


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No-Sew Spring Table Runner





With all the snow that we got over the last few weeks, I wanted to bring a touch of Spring into my home. I headed to Walmart and bought two yards of pre-cut duck fabric with the idea of making a runner or table cloth. 

I wanted something that would give my dining room a little Springtime flare. 


To me, the colors in this fabric scream Spring! 

I also bought a few yards of pink satin ribbon. With glue gun in hand, I was ready! 

The Process

I cut the fabric into a 2' x 6' strip, hot glued a strip of ribbon on each side, and fashioned a hem on each end using hot glue. 

For less than $10, I had beautiful Spring table runner! No sewing required!







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Homemade Chalky Paint Furniture Makeover



 After living with this chest for many years, I knew that I had to make a decision to keep it or let it go. The original dark color no longer fit in with my current aesthetic, but it was serving us well as a entryway table. 

I loved that it had drawers that we could drop our keys and sunglasses into as we walked into the house. It was the perfect height.

Decision made. I had to keep it! I decided to use some homemade chalky finish paint to make it pretty again.


Recipe

My paint recipe was simple: 1 part Plaster of Paris, 1 part water and parts latex paint.  Mix the water and Plaster of Paris together and then add this mixture to the paint. 

This paint dries quickly and no sanding is necessary.  The only sanding that I did was when I had to fill holes and sand when I replaced the drawer pulls. Easy!





Conclusion

Basically, this do-it-yourself project required two coats of  my homemade chalky finish paint and four new drawer pulls. The drawer pulls were about $2.00 each from my local big box hardware store. 

Another quick DIY in the books!





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Table Makeover Using Chalk Paint

 



I purchased my second-hand cherry wood dining room set online several years ago. I liked the deep, rich color, but I knew I would paint it white. I  eventually painted and upholstered the chairs, but I was hesitant to paint the table.

I really don't know why. 

Maybe it was its size or the fact that if I screwed up, I would  be stuck with a mess in my dining room. Any way, I eased into the project by painting just the table legs and sides. 


I lived with that for two years until I finally got the nerve to go all the way and paint the table top. 

How I Did It

I used the color Saw Mill Gravy. It's an off-white, but has grey undertones, in my opinion.  I watered down the paint just a little because it was so thick. 

I started the project with a paint brush and finished with a roller. To be honest, the paint roller should have been my go-to method from the jump. It was definitely the way to go for this flat surface. 


Conclusion

I love the results! The table has a nice chalky matte finish. What a difference! 

Now that the table top has a light color, it opens up so many decor possibilities for me. 

I've tried several different tablescapes since painting the table top, and each one is prettier than the one before it. I'm mixing and matching all kinds of plates and saucers. Flowers with checks.  Reds with browns. 

Now the colors in my plates and glassware really seem to pop! 

I can't believe I waited so long to do this!





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Flip This Thrift - Ginger Jar Makeover




I knew when I saw it that I had to have it! I walked into the thrift store and saw this beautiful brown ginger jar on the shelf just waiting for me. 

As an avid thrifter, I knew that I had to act fast or risk losing this beauty to another seasoned picker who could see its potential. 

The color brown was probably off-putting to some, but I could see beyond that.

What I Did

Paint has always been my friend and I knew exactly what I was going to do. In this case, I used a Gloss White Spray Paint, and the rest, as they say, is history. 



Stunning results! Thrifting is a  great way to uncover hidden treasures and give a second chance to home accessories and furniture. Go forth and thrift, my friends!





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