Thursday, September 20, 2012

Hall Wall

I was just writing a post about whitewashing the wall in the office and I realized I never told you guys about the wall I stained! This was one of the first projects I did in the house. I was obsessed with the idea of preserving one of the original wood paneled walls. The entire downstairs was the knotty pine paneling, and although Ian and I both appreciate things for their original beauty, we did not want to live in a dungeon. So we did paint most of it; however, we decided to keep the hallway wood. I wanted a rich deep tone but was NOT looking forward to sanding the entire wall. So I scoured the internet for an easier option and found that with a little patience and a steady hand I didn't have to sand the wall to achieve the look we wanted.

I read up on Minwax Polyshades and decided to give it a try.
**This technique is not for everyone or every surface!

The Polyshade can end up streaky if you are not careful and patient. Luckily the wall I was working on was knotty pine so it already had some grain and knots built in so it disguised any areas that may have ended up streaky.

Please read the directions provided by Miniwax on their website. They spell it out for you better than I could, and if you mess up you can blame them. Ha. 


Here are a few of the tips I would like to add -
  • Although the polyshade is thicker than stain, it will still run a bit so do not apply it heavily and work steady. I taped along the wall an laid a border of plastic and paper towels to absorb any drips (paint thinner did clean up any stain that got away from me). 
  • I used a VERY soft bristled brush made specifically for stain and varnish. This is necessary to minimize any streaks. The polyshades are thicker than stain, and since you can't rub it off like you normally would, you have to make sure you are applying it evenly and smooth. I did clean the wall and give it a light sand before I started, but that was it.
  • Only move along the grain! I worked one panel at a time. I dipped the brush and applied a stroke at the top, then dipped again and came up from the bottom. I repeated many strokes up and down pushing the stain along the panel.  The stain smoothed and softened with each stroke until it was evenly distributed along the panel. 
I love how the wall turned out! No matter which direction you are walking from in the house you can see this wall. It is truly a focal point and I am so glad we decided to preserve some of the character of the wood in the house. 

We still need to do something about the door you see in the picture. That will come when we update the bathroom behind the door. I am thinking maybe a sliding barn door? I can't figure out what will look nice with this wall. Ian and I have to brainstorm a bit.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Candy Apple Trifle

Finally we have been experiencing "fall-like" temperatures this week and it has me in the mood for some fall treats. So I went back to my old blog to pull out some of my trifle recipes for all of you. I will be taking my recipes from that blog and posting them here on DIY with my GUY. They are too good to be lost in the blogosphere where forgotten blogs go to die.

I keep warning Ian that we NEED to start sticking to a workout routine because the fall is coming and I will be cooking!!


Candy Apple Trifle

  • 6 Green Apples
  • 2 tbl or so of Brown sugar
  • 5 count of Bourbon (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • Apple cake or Apple cider doughnuts
  • 2 pints of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Candy Apple

Base layer:
I really wanted to use fresh apple cider doughnuts, but due to time constraints, I was unable to go to the nearest orchard. Instead, I used an apple cake which turned out to be a delicious substitution. You can either make this from scratch, box or pick one up at the market.
Cut up whatever you decided on for the layer and divide in half. Layer the bottom of the trifle dish with half of the cake.

Second Layer:
This is where the apples come in. I really didn't know what I wanted to do to the apples. I just kept thinking about what goes into an apple pie. Do whatever you want. Just keep in mind the moisture from the apples when cooking. Do not add too much additional moisture.
 How I cooked the apples...
In a large skillet I sauteed about 6 green apples, sliced and peeled. I chose green because of their tartness. The cake and whipped cream layer were going to be sweet enough.

First add about 2 tablespoons  of butter to a large skillet and about 2 tablespoons of brown sugar (I really just added whatever amount I felt like. Remember...I wing it). I also added a little bourbon because I had some in the cupboard, but you don't have to. Cook down and add the apples stirring frequently until they look like they would if they were inside of an apple pie.
Cool slightly before you add to the trifle.

Third and Top Layer:
I went with homemade whipped cream this time. Depending on how much time I have I may cheat and use cool whip, but the consistency and flavor of homemade is so much better. 

It is pretty simple to do.
Easy Homemade Whipped Cream:

  • 2 pints of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (vary depending on how sweet you want it to be)
Whip the mixture with an electric hand mixer until raised peaks form in it and hold their shape. It should take about four minutes (or much longer if using a manual hand mixer or whisk).

Back to the trifle- Add the whipped cream layer and then repeat all 3 layers finishing with a top layer of whipped cream.

As a garnish I sliced a caramel candy apple and placed it around the top. You could make them yourself, but if your sole purpose is for this trifle then just pick one up at the orchard when you get your apples. 

I am really looking forward to making this trifle again for Ian. We'll be making a trip to the orchard here in the next few weeks (maybe next weekend). There is nothing like going to the orchard on a crisp fall day to gather pumpkins and apples! I'll pick up some freshly dipped caramel apples and try out the fresh apple cider doughnuts as the base layer for this trifle. If you make it there before I do, leave a

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Birds of a feather...

During the first week Ian and I began dating we wrote a lot of emails.We worked opposite schedules and did not live right down the road from one another so emailing was really our only option as we eagerly awaited the weekend and our 2nd date

After we had been dating awhile I made sure to print out the emails so I could always remember how we started, but I didn't want to just toss them into a box only to be stumbled upon during random cleaning sprees.

I went through several different ideas trying to figure out something that would fit into our decor and not stick out like a shrine to our relationship. When others pass by they wouldn't even know what it was other than just some artwork on the wall -unless they read this post of course.

I came up with sort of a newsprint backdrop with two birds on a branch. The print is small, so small that you would have to really stop and look to read everything - I did this on purpose. I fiddled with the margins and font size in Microsoft Publisher for awhile until I was able to fit everything within the dimensions of the frame.
I also separated each email with the date and "he said or "she said' in bold print to show the progression and length of our emails during that week. We immediately felt so comfortable sharing so many details about ourselves and our lives with one another. Ian told me all about the job that he loved, his goals and how hard he worked to get where he was. I went on about my huge family and how important they all are to me -my mother is the oldest of eight...

After I printed everything out I mod podged the emails to the cardboard backing that came with the mat. Allowed it to dry overnight. I mixed some brown acrylic paint with acrylic medium to thin it out and make a glaze. I then lightly brushed the glaze over the print to give it a slightly aged look.
I hand-painted the birds over the background. Again, it is not the specifics of the emails that I wanted to concentrate on. The actual emails are behind the frame so I can pull them out whenever I want to read through them.
It is more about the significance and impact these early words were going to have on our lives. I see this picture everyday and remember how we began. The excitement I felt when I saw his name in my inbox. I remember telling one of my girlfriends as I received an alert on my phone, "this one is different", and he surely is. It is also helpful to pass by this picture when he is being especially different and I need the pleasant reminder :-)