Trash in the Backyard turned Cool Pipe Table

I’m sure you do it. We all do it. We like to save trash! We have patio sets, tables, planters and other items that we just don’t want/like anymore. But we just can’t make ourselves trash them.

When I moved into this house there was a lot of stuff left in the backyard that was in pretty good shape. But either the items had the wrong color or were rusted or beat up.

from backyard trash to treasure

amigas4all bar height table spray paintedamigas4all spray painted table trash backyardOne example was two patio tables. These were cheapie glass tables that were rusted and were painted white.

Most people would consider that trash. I saw an opportunity.

We were lucky the previous owners left all their real iron patio furniture (the type we could never afford-See the chairs?).

Of course, they took the nice tables including a hammered copper table that alone was worth over $2000 bucks! 

Well, I would have taken them too.

So when you find stuff that has good bones but the color isn’t right, what does a girl do? Spray paint!

Good old flat black paint and trash was turned into gold, er, new black tables. Good as new and matched everything (sorry, no before pics but you get the idea)!

On to the Pipe Table

Well, like I said, that was an example. What I REALLY want to show you is how I got something from the backyard and turned it into a show piece in my home bar. There are many projects surrounding that bar but this was one of the most fun to do.

The previous owners also left three heavy umbrella stands. Two of them had these nice decorative “sworlies” on the base and I always thought it was a shame that they were sitting there unused.

Our patio is covered and we don’t really have a need for umbrellas. Except for the goose pond: they sure need shade when it’s 200 degrees outside in Arizona. 

amigas4all goose pond umbrella base

Acquiring Ideas

One day I was looking online for ideas for bar height tables for my home bar. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money and I noticed that most bar height tables with the style I needed were a little bit pricey.

Also, the room was not that big so I would need custom pieces that would not only fit the space but also the needs of the house (i.e. husband’s game day needs). More money.

So when I found pins about pipe tables I thought: Jackpot!

How cool are they? Easy to assemble, industrial chic/rustic. I had to have one…er, or two.

Planning for the space

I wanted to make a smaller table for one of the corners of the home bar room. That table would be a small square that could fit up to 4 people when pulled out of the wall.

I wanted it to match another pipe table I made for the same room. But if I made it small and square, the legs would have looked strange if they matched the ones on my first pipe table project.

I just couldn’t figure out how to make the base stable. You can see where this is going.

I was just out of ideas. Until I went to check on the geese one afternoon and there it was: My table base!

A gorgeous iron base! Heavy and decorative with all the looks I needed to make it super duper cool!!  Don’t worry, the geese still have shade and a base just like this one just for them. Here it is:

amigas4all base table umbrella stand

Materials for the Pipe Table

This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission from any purchases you make through these links without any extra cost to you. This is how I make sure my foster birds have a home until they find their forever family

The Project

After a thorough clean up, I started by spray painting the base, the pipe (after cutting it to my selected height – 40in), the flange and all screws/nuts/bolts

Table Top

amigas4all table top corner table pipe tableI used new wood boards for my table top and I personally distressed them by hammering, stomping, and using other tools to give it a “worn” look.

But you can use left over wood from your backyard. Or even barn wood from a salvage place. The sky is the limit!

amigas4all under the table brace pipe table

Putting the table top together was very easy. I just lined the boards together and screwed two boards to the back of the table (see image left) to brace top together. 

Then it was time to connect the flange holding the pipe base to the table top. I decided to use hex head screws to give it an industrial look to it.  spray painted them before attaching them so they would match the “future” nailheads I was planning to add to the piece. I know, I know, the screw could have been shorter but it was all I had and I was too lazy to buy more or cut them short. Plus no one would reach that far with their knees anyway!

Be sure to spray paint the screws before attaching them. I love how the color turned out as the screws matched the decorative nailheads perfectly.

amigas4all hexhead screw pipe table top

amigas4all flange bar height table iron base

Here’s the final product! What do you think?

amigas4all pipe table final product bar height table

So cool to be able to use left over stuff to make new things. The whole thing cost me just the pipe and the flange.

I had left over 2×6 boards already. I paid no more $20 bucks for the pipe and the flange. The flange is the most costly piece of the whole thing (if you are not buying a new umbrella stand to do this).

Tip of the day

The secret for a cheaper pipe is to get pipes from the electrical department, not plumbing.

They are of equal quality but electrical pipes are much cheaper for some reason. Some places will even thread them for you for almost nothing or free.

The one I bought was already threaded and I only needed threads on one end for the flange because the other end was just going into the umbrella base.

Even cooler is the fact that you see some of these pipe tables for sale for a FORTUNE! This table, for example, would easily cost about $300-500 bucks.

Not a bad return for $20 bucks, right?

Shop This Post

Below are some examples of pipe tables I found on Amazon if you prefer to buy one instead of making it:


Do you have any variations of backyard finds that you transformed? We would like to see them. 

Join us next time for more projects around the house. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for new project ideas and don’t forget to sign up for our email list below for news and updates!

Cheers!

 

amigas4all feature flipping the bird saloon sign

How to Make a Sign with Scrap Wood

Hi All,

It has been a busy summer and I am still trying to catch up with everything after my upstairs remodel but here is an easy project for the Summer…or year round when you need a cute sign or something cool for you house, pool, man-cave, you name it.

As you know, I am still posting all the little projects I did to decorate my home bar on a budget and still give it some character. The goal in these posts is not to reinvent the wheel but a compilation of things we can find online and that can be adapted to your everyday projects or designs. So after completing a few projects like redoing the chairs (here and here), making a cool menu with an old picture frame (here) and a corner shelf (here), my next project was to make a sign for the bar.

Before anyone gets offended with the name of the bar I have to explain the background for the name. If you read my bio you will see that I rescue birds on the side. So we get them in, rehab them and find them good homes. We call it “bird flipping” just like “house flipping” that you see on tv. Also, we have a couple of African Greys that love to hang upside down anytime they can and they swing on their feet and make these funny noises like someone is killing them. No one is. It’s just play (This is Grayby on the photo below).

Amigas4all African grey flipping the bird saloon

Anyway, so because of the birds and because, admit it, it’s funny, we named the bar the “Flipping the Bird Saloon”. I wanted a sign to have a cool factor to it and be rustic at the same time. So when I went to buy the boards to make the corner shelf (here) I went to the local hardware store and they have a session in their lumber department for rejected boards. I call it my “dream pile”: knots, dings, croocked boards! Oh, my heart beats faster just talking about it!!!.

I was juamigas4all split board flipping the bird saloonst checking to see if they had anything I could use for the sign and lo and behold I found these two boards with a split in the middle and one of the splits had a curve to it. Oh, my head!! Angels started singing! OHHHHHHH!

What?! Don’t tell me, DIYers, you never had that feeling. I KNOW you did!!

I took them home and went to work. I already decided I was going to use the transfer technique I used for my menu (here) to make the sign. I also decided I wanted the sign to pop on the wall so I stained the boards with a dark stain.

 

amigas4all flipping the bird saloon dark stain board

 

 

 

 

Once dry I secured them together with a wood strip on the back of the boards. It would serve as a joiner piece and a place to put the hanger clips. I used liquid nail but it came off so I just used a very small screw to ensure it wouldn’t fall apart. Also the boards were very fragile and I could not apply too much force for anything. I had to be careful.

amigas4ll flipping the bird saloon wood strip back

 

 

 

 

 

Using the same technique from the menu (here) I chose a nice looking lettering and I also found this perfect parrot with the eyes popping that was soo freaking cool! I painted it upside down but the best part is the eye popping because it’s almost like it’s reacting to the name. Hilarious!

amigas4all transfer lettering flipping the bird saloon

 

 

 

 

amigas4all lettering flipping the bird saloon dark contour

I painted the letters white for contrast but decided give it a countour in black. it made the letter look a little more defined. Then I painted the bird (same transfer technique). Isn’t the bird hilarious?!!

 

amigas4all flipping the bird saloon red parrot

Finally, once dried I screwed hanging picture hooks in the back. Because the whole sign was light I was able to just use steel cable so I would not have to worry about leveling when drilling holes (sorry, no photos)

 

 

 

 

Here it is! The lettering:

amigas4all flipping the bird saloon final product wood sign

 

 

 

 

The final product:

20160620_145559_1466463538037_resized

 

 

 

(lighting not great here)

amigas4all wood sign flipping the bird saloon

 

 

 

What do you think? Let me know if you have any questions too. I would like to hear from you.

Cheers!

 

amigas4all easy shelf rustic final product

Easy Rustic Corner Shelf

Hi all! It has been a while. No excuses, just busy remodeling the house. The carpet was super nasty and I had to do it. I will post pictures later but what I wanted to talk about today was this easy rustic corner shelf I made.

As you know, I was working on decorating my bar (here, here and here) and adding a few touches here and there. Since now things are getting back to normal I will be able to post more of the little projects I worked on to decorate the bar and furnish it too. Of course I added bar height tables (coming soon), knick knacks and pictures here and there (see this). I will post those soon too.

Now, certain corners in the room were a little tricky to add any furniture and as much as I looked I could not find something that would work. This one corner has the TV and I wanted to hide the wires and at the same time make that corner useful and “purdy”! The ceiling is very low in my house less than 8ft! I know!!! So the TV could not be put too high and then what could I do with that corner? I could not put a table and certain shelves looked too silly or “too polished”. It is after all, a rustic bar.

So one day strolling at the “antique joint” (it actually has a name but that’s what I call it) I saw this cute corner shelf made with rustic wood similar to pallet type wood but not quite because the boards were longer. They wanted 95 bucks for it!! What?!! No way!

The boards were good old 1x4s and I knew they were not more than $1.60 or so at the hardware store. In fact, I went even cheaper and bought the “dog eared” fence type boards. I needed about 10 boards. So 12 bucks total for it? I already had the nailer and nails. There was no way I would pay $95 for that. No way!! It was so easy to put it together. If you have a brad nailer it’s even faster but you can certainly use a drill and wood screws too. You could literally make this shelf in an hour (not counting staining and drying).

Basically, you start with the middle board and decide how tall you want it to be. I measured the height below my TV and from there I took about 4 inches from the top of the each board so they would be descending in height. I did the same for both sides.

amigas4all easy shelf rustic

 

 

 

 

After that it was a matter of putting them together. The secret is the base of the shelves. When putting it together you want to start with the side boards not counting the middle tall board. Line them up in descending order and nail or screw a board on the face of the row of boards.

amigas4all detail rustic shelf

You can add as many of these you want depending on the number of shelves you want. I just wanted 3. So I nailed three boards spaced about 1ft and 1/2 apart. I did that for both sides. Then it was time to put the shelf together. You will need some help to keep the boards at 90 degrees to measure the distance from each corner so you can cut a board with a 90 degree angle to serve as the shelf. I used the left over pieces from the cuts and used a couple of pieces to make the base shelf (horizontal). Once you add the first board and nail it to the panel of boards that’s when the shelf will finally stand on its own. 

Then the final piece will be the tall middle piece. You will nail that from the back of the shelf into the last board you used as the base shelf.

amigas4all top detail rustic shelf

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there she is! I put some painted bottles to decorate it and the top shelf holds the cable box. I drilled a hole behind it to pass all the wires and as you can see nothing is visible!! YAY!! Visible wires drive me nuts!  Oh and before I forget. I did some light sanding and used a very light stain on it. Nothing fancy. I wanted it very rustic.What do you think? I would love some feedback and I can answer any questions you may have about the assembly. Cheers!

Amigas4all corner shelf rustic with decor

Things To Do in Arizona....When you Want to Go Vintage Shopping fair AZ flag wood

Things To Do in Arizona….Go Vintage Shopping!

Vintage shopping is not always in a tourist’s mind when traveling unless you are me (hopefully I’m not the only one). Every place I travel to I like to see what local goodies I can find. And when I say local goodies, I’m not talking about the local foods and yummy drinks (well, I check those too!) but historical local goodies. For example, if you visit states in the East coast you are more likely to find older furniture (British, French, Primitives) and smalls from the Civil War (forks, cans, bags, buttons, etc). Go to Missouri or Louisiana you will find lots of French goodies (furniture, lace, etc).

But what about the West? Compared to the rest of the country the West is relatively young or so we think.

amigas4all things to do AZ old wood heartsWe know that the Spanish visited some areas of Arizona between the 1500 and 1700s with their forts and missions but this was a long, long time ago and we wonder how much of it survived. And what history can we gather since, say the late 1850s, when things became a little more official (the United States bought Arizona from Mexico in 1853)? We also know that Arizona was a territory until 1912. If you think about it, it’s not that long ago. Sorry, I must have lost you by now with the history lesson but this background is important when looking for certain antiques or vintage items. Which brings us to the question above: What kinds of antiques can one find in Arizona?

Well, most people think Cowboys and Native Americans when they think of Arizona. Sure they are a great part of Arizona’s history. Trailblazers, inhospitable heat, dryness, creatures Things To Do in Arizona....When you Want to Go Vintage Shopping fair AZ wagon wheeltrying to kill you (rattlesnakes, scorpions, Gila monsters! Yaiks!). It took these pioneers a lot of courage and it took a lot of tools to build this State! And you can count on one thing from Arizona’s vintage shops: spurs, primitive tools, cowboy hats (oldish and new), dried wood boards-the kind you can make signs with! (Heart palpitations and itchy hands just talking about it!) and lots of Native American goodies (moccasins, dream catchers, headdresses (old and new), arrowheads, turquoise and more.

But Arizona is not all about cowboys. People have been living here for a while and one thing Arizona is big with: New residents! That’s right! People who come from all over the country and the world to live in Arizona and with them: Stuff!! French furniture, British desks, the works! It’s like having the world at your feet, right in your back yard (I mean, not literally your backyard but close enough).

So with that in mind and knowing I can find all sorts of goodies from all over, what is a girl to do? Where do I go to find those things?

amigas4all things to do AZ pipe lamp

Arizona is filled with vintage/antique stores everywhere. Some of the places I like to go are not too far from me in Phoenix. But cities nearby also have great stores and some are pretty close to the “old west”. I mean, they are new cities but still growing and you still see the same buildings from the early days of the West full of vintage goodies. It’s like traveling through time!

Please note that I am not making any money telling you about these places. In fact, they don’t even know I’m talking about them but I will tell you because these are my favorites in Phoenix. I will give you names and if you Google them you will find the addresses very easily.

Brass Armadillo: They have two stores in Arizona but my favorite is the one in Phoenix.

Imagine a store the size of a giant supermarket (big box type) full, I mean FULL of goodies. Vintage, old, rusty, rustic, used, beat up goodies. Furniture of all kinds, from primitive to mid century to mid 80s. Old books, clothing (vintage and old), hats and purses (imagine finding hats from the 30s-so adorbs!).

The store is divided in stalls where each vendor displays their goodies and the aisles are given street names. Why streets? Because this place is huuuge!! If you find something you like and you can’t carry it around, you’ll need to be able to find it somehow to pay for it. Street names are an easy way to do that. They even give you a map of the store when you first come in. The map has lines for each street so you can write the vendor number, the item number and the street name so the store assistants can locate the piece and save it for you, especially large pieces. I have “lost” what I wanted many times because I forgot to write the street name. The place has so many “streets” and “stalls” that you can easily spend 4 hours there and not even see the time go by. They even have a resting area with tables and chairs by the bathrooms so you can take a break during your shopping. The only drawback is not having a coffee shop (it closed recently-sniff!).

Some of my best furniture I found at that store. Including these babies

amigas4all things to do AZ daybed

Amigas4all things to do in AZ low daybed fireplace

These were super well made 1960’s twin beds. I paid $120 for both beds and while the varnish was chipped, the wood was in excellent condition. I sanded and painted them and since I needed a day bed and a couch for two different rooms I used the two head boards to make my ultra fancy “daybed” in the “inside porch” I created in the parlor (yes, a parlor! Cute!-Left Pic) and the “couch” went to the fireplace area in my living room (Right pic). For that one, I used the foot boards so it would have lower sides.

Amigas4all things to do in AZ candle holder antique 1820Other goodies I found there were this 1820’s candle holder for $100 bucks!!

Amigas4all things to do in AZ white side table

This cute table

These salvaged doors from the 1910’s

Amigas4all things to do in AZ door mexican primitive

Amigas4all things to do in AZ valance old door

One became a Mexican primitive art project (I will soon post this step by step project) and the other became frame/valance in my bedroom.

This is the kind of place that you walk around and feel the good times come back: “Oh look! My mom had those plates when I grew up!” Or “I had that very lamp in my bedroom!”, “Grandma had that collection of pictures in her house!” It’s like walking on memory lane.

The best part is that it’s not just old or vintage. It’s re-purposed, recycled, renewed and/or ready for your own talented hands to do that same. It’s worth checking that place out.

Amigas4all things to do in AZ Vintage art

Melrose on 7th Ave”: This is not a store but several stores in one street! 7th Avenue in Phoenix (between Camelback Rd and Indian School) is a street that used to be a run down area with tire shops and miscellaneous office buildings. It was slowly revitalized and it is now a great spot for vintage, antique and all sorts of stuff to recycle and reuse.

If you like walking you can park your car in one spot and go up and down the street (bring comfy Amigas4all things to do in AZ Vintage art trunk deskshoes, it’s a long street!). The problem is you’re gonna want your car nearby because it’s impossible to leave those stores without a lot of stuff! You will find places selling just clothes, mid-century furniture (Mids are a big deal in AZ-Frank Lloyd Wright built and inspired a lot of building designs in Arizona). You will also find “Goodwill type stores” where you can buy good quality dressers and other furniture you can refurbish to give it that vintage look. I am sure you will find a lot of inspiration pieces too and lots of materials to create new “old” things.

One of the stores I like to shop in that area is Home Again. It’s not a large store but it is PACKED with stuff.                                                                                                                   

I found this screen door from the 1810’s there. Amigas4all things to do in AZ 1810 doorI use it as a display piece for my babies’ feather wreath (I have a lot of birds who shed feathers every 6 months! I can smell another tutorial right now) and I also use it as a frame for my favorite wedding photo (notice the same pic in the salvaged door above?)

Zinnia’s at Melrose: This is another store I like to shop for vintage and unusual stuff. This is a two-storey warehouse type building with soooo much stuff your wallet will be shaking in its boots (do wallets have feet? Wow, that’s deep, man!). 

There are also vintage fairs here and there, especially when the weather is not ridiculously hot in Arizona. Just two weeks ago I went to this lovely fair at the Cardinal’s Stadium where lots of vendors were showing their creations. From upcycling to recycling, from shabby “chic-ing” to plain old rusty stuff, there was something for everybody.

Amigas4all vintage fair things to do plate flowersAmigas4all vintage fair things to do vintage things Amigas4all vintage fair things to do buckets                                                                                    

I got great new connections for future blogs and inspiration for my future projects and posts. I had to really control myself not to buy everything (well, I wanted this wagonwheel for my bar decorating project-here). In the end it was a little too heavy for my ceiling (sniff).

amigas4all things to do AZ old wagon wheel metal

Well, this is just a sample of things you can do in Phoenix when vintage shopping. Believe me, I didn’t even scratch the surface.

Happy Shopping!

Amigas4all angry princess what if last days of trouble

If This Was The Last Few Days of Your…..

If this was the last few day of your problems how would you see things? …. and I’m not amigas4all big picture angry princess sunsettalking here about the last days of your life or anything like that, rather just the last few days of those things that trouble you the most, work for example, or anything else that chronically hangs over your head. Would you go about with frenzied tunnel-vision regarding your current deadline or project? Or would you suddenly more easily be able to see the big picture?

Would your fears be compartmentalized rather than controlling you? Would you finally feel that you already achieved a satisfactory degree of your sought-after success and/or moneymigas4all todos santos big picture last days of trouble …i.e., enough that you would perceive your days going forward in a more ‘content’ way, to actually enjoy them? Would the heightened anxiety and blood pressure that you often walk around with ease up a bit? Indeed, how would you feel if this was the last few days of your troubles?

Would you really be able to feel it, feel the difference, your mind and your spirit relax, your foreboding and shifting fears dissipate? Could you feel something like the serenity of say, the Christmas season, with its magic as we knew it as a grade-school kid, or if Christmas has a less than wonderful connotation for you, perhaps the magic of the days as a child experiences them before the start of summer vacation?

amigas4all last days of trouble vacation

…..Why reach back that far? …because in our youth it seemed natural to snicker at the frantic pace and gravity we observed in adults, they seemed almost like they were in a different dimension, fretting and worrying about those things which seem, with a vengeance, to have become our default settings; a state of daily existence which deep down most of us are profoundly troubled by….

if so many of us did not already sense that we have taken a wrong turn with the way we lead life at some level we wouldn’t be thinking so much of how our fondest wish would be just to get away from it someday; we tell ourselves ‘a few more years of work, and I’ll cut back’, or ‘I’ll retire’, or ‘the kids will be through college’, or ‘the mortgage will be paid off’, or ‘we’ll finally pull the trigger on that vacation property’ or whatever other vision of respite or a better way that we pursue as our holy grail.

And yet we know this very morning, same as yesterday, that even as we try to think on this and put it into perspective, that our default setting, at least for today, remains today’s project or challenge, and by God, our system still needs to be on high alert and our blinders up to block the beauty of the world so that we can ‘concentrate on getting this done’. In knowing that we are still not feeling better despite our awareness of this bigger picture, we are tossing the hook to the top of the chasm hoping that it catches so we can climb out of the rat-race.

I’m sure there are a fortunate few who have already grasped their better way and love what they do and have no regrets, etc. But I am writing here for those of us that are in the trenches, the working men and women, trying to balance our responsibilities and survival with the spiritual big picture of our existence here. 

While the solution, the balance we seek, is probably on some spiritually enlightened level achievable ‘in the blink of an eye’ as they say, in reality it is a work in progress, a daily effort to reach out and remember to feel what’s truly important.

So this morning, as you are tempted to shut everything else out while you concentrate on completing your tasks, take a minute to reflect on the bigger picture, and feel it just for a moment, remind yourself that in many respects you have already ‘won’ and picture how you would feel and conduct the day if it was all going to end tomorrow.

Angry Princess, out!

amigas4all featured image mexican flair chalkboard menu transfer stencil lettering

Chalkboard Menu with a Mexican Flair

Ah Mexican art! I love the colors, the prints, the sworlies (is that even a word?), the Catrinas…amigas4all bar decor chalkboard menu mi casa mexico amigas4all bar decor chalkboard menu mi casa mexico trinkets

You would think these things would be cheap if you are buying them from street vendors in Mexico but not quite!

First, most street vendors are in tourist areas and of course vendors will start their prices high until you are walking out of the sale and they chase to give you that extra discount. But even so, some of these items are still expensive even with all the discounts in the world! Second, carrying some of these items home can be tricky unless you are driving or have lots of money to ship them.

While I understand that a handmade art object should receive its proper value, it is still expensive if you want to add some of these things to your collection. Also, you may not be able to visit Mexico for some reason or another (not vacation time, no money, etc, etc). So what is a girl to do? Make Mexican art right here. At home!

If you have been following our blog, you will remember that I am working on a bar decorating project (here, part deux here and part three here). The theme of the bar is Day of the Dead inspired by two of my favorite bars in Cabo (coincidentally they are owned by the same person-See pics above). So far, we have the bar counter, backbar and the bar stools (at least the ones in front of the counter-here). But now I want a menu on the wall to display some of the drinks we “offer”!

For this project, I decided that a chalkboard menu would look cool. A friend of mine was downsizing his house and he gave me this picture frame a while ago (I know, not a good photo. Oh, and the green is just tape). amigas4all bar decor chalkboard menu mexico art basic pictureI liked the sturdiness of the frame and figured one day I would use it for something. Since the print doesn’t fit the style of my house (eclectic, junk, repurposed, recycled and comfy) I thought I would just use the frame. So when I decided I wanted to start the project for the menu I thought this would be perfect. Because I was too lazy to remove the print from under the glass and decided that I would just paint over everything.

First, I’m not ashamed to say that I painted over the glass. It’s a nice solid surface and I thought, why not? Of course, I used chalkboard paint since the plan is to be able to include menu lettering and a list of drinks that we can occasionally change according to holidays or party themes.                  

As to the chalkboard paint, you can amigas4all bar decor chalkboard menu chalkboard paint mexicomake your own very easily (you can find lots of recipes on Pinterest using baking soda, plaster of paris or unsanded grout) or just buy the paint at any hardware store. I was lazy (oy) and bought mine. And yes, I didn’t save any money but I used so little that I will have chalkboard paint forever!!! I know I will use it again in some other project so all is not lost.

Because I didn’t use any primer I had to apply at least 3 coats for coverage (make sure you let it dry before applying a new coat). I’m sure if I had applied a primer (black?) it would have covered a little easier (maybe). Anyway, once all the coats were done and dry  I set out to paint the frame. I chose acrylic paint but latex would have been fine too. You can certainly use fancier frames with more curves or trims but for this project the flat frame was perfect since I was going to add my “Mexican flair” and I needed a flat surface to do that.

menu yellow paint amigas 4 all second copy

I chose a strong yellow for the frame (Mexican art has bright colors, remember?) and then added a red trim on the inside of the frame and a purple to the outside of the frame for a “POP”!(I know, hard to see the purple here)

Now for the fun part: “the flair”! On my last trip to Cabo I took some pictures of Mexican art that I liked and I thought I could use some of those images to “create” my own art. I am a little challenged when it comes to drawing so having a design to get ideas from really helped.

                        menu yellow paint amigas4all transfer original photo

I selected the design I wanted for my frame and printed the image in larger scale.
I printed the image in poster size (the picture above is actually 4 pages in 8×11 with parts of the image printed in the 4 pages). Each printer has different setting to do that so check your manual if you don’t know how to do posters. You can always take your image to an office supply store too. They will enlarge your pictures in black and white for a fraction of the cost. Once printed, I put together the “poster” by trimming any edges that prevented the image from lining up and taped to keep them together.

menu yellow paint amigas4all making a stencil for menu

I turned the poster on its back and used a pencil to fill in the back of the image (you can use chalk if the base color is dark). The picture shows me using a chalk (different project) but in this case I actually used a pencil since the base was yellow and the chalk would never show on the transfer.

 

I flipped the image over  and lined it up with the frame so I could start tracing the image I wanted to transfer on to the frame. From that poster all I wanted was to copy the edge detail for my frame. The other images (watermelon, rose…) I saved for another project (coming soon!). Be very careful when tracing not to move the page around or you will lose your spot. Trying to place it back where you missed is nearly impossible. 

 

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menu yellow paint amigas 4 all transger ready on the frame

How cool is that?! No experience necessary!!

Next step is filling in the “sworlies” (trademark? LOL) by painting it. Keep in mind that even though you have a traced line to keep you within the limits of the lines you will still have some freedom to paint and add your own brush strokes to it. Don’t be afraid! The lines are there for you. The way to make it look like the professionals is to make sure that the bruch strokes are light.

In order to make these “sworlies” look right I had to practice on another surface doing  “J”s with the brush (You can use scrap wood or paper to practice). In fact, you really need to practice doing upside down “J”s and flipped “J”s.

 

menu yellow paint amigas 4 all upside down Js

Start with the small curve of the “J” with a little more paint on the brush and then as you are going up the long line remove some of the presure off the brush and twist it at the same time. You want to make sure that the end of the long line looks like you ran out of paint. A light stroke if you will (see below).

SSworlies amigas4all mexican art brush strokePractice the brush strokes for a while before working on the final product. Of course, once you are working on your surface if you make a mistake you can always remove the paint quickly with a wet paper towel or even paint over with the base color. Notice that the purpose of the “J” is to make sure that the design has a natural curve on the round part and a whispy finish. However, you will come back to the top of the “teardrop” and will fill it in so it looks like a long drop and not an actual “J”.

Needless to say, start painting the frame from left to right (or vice versa if you are left handed) but always make sure to be painting away from the place you started so no accidents happen. After the paint dries, you can clean it with a light wet rag to remove the pencil marks off the surface and voila! Or better yet: !Aqui esta¡ Su arte! – Your Art!

Sworlies amigas4all mexican art brush stroke final product

 

Looks very cool already!

Join me next time to see how I did the lettering on my chalkboard menu (Of course, if you are impatient like me, you can check Pinterest for some lettering tecniques or you can free hand it.

Until then…Cheers!

 

ngry princess amigas4all image mag bay

A Surprising Tool to Help Restore you Daily Equilibrium: …Microseconds!

Most of us are super busy. The world is super busy, and more and more things these days happen at an accelerated rate that would astonish our forebears, some even say our very molecules are speeding up, taking us as a species to the next evolution. Computers, mobile phones, instant-connectedness in real-time.

amigas4all busy lives microseconds angry princess

All very amazing, …but how do you cope, how do you set your equilibrium each day to deal with another flurry of decisions, tasks and activity, while keeping your bearings? Well that’s certainly a challenge, and not an easy one, and it’s assuredly the case that a great many of us don’t do a great job of it, and may also feel like we are treading water when it comes to keeping a healthy mental and spiritual balance and remembering what is important about why we are here and that sort of thing.

amigas4all microseconds angry princess

The point is that it’s a fast world, and it’s getting faster, so how do we keep our bearings? ………..Think microseconds! More precisely, think in microseconds. ….Ok, what the heck does that mean? To start, the principle is actually not a new one; ancient text in Hinduism tells us of spiritual ‘Enlightenment’ (‘Nirvana’ in Buddhism) that people often spend years or a lifetime trying to achieve, and goes into quite a bit of detail on instructing us toward surmounting the many obstacles to achieving an ‘enlightened’ state, yet these kind of teachings also have told us in a nutshell that enlightenment is actually attainable in the blink of an eye; in other words, the requisite state of mind for achieving it is already there if we would just recognize and embrace it [Eastern religion enthusiasts, don’t skewer me here, I’m referencing a general concept].

Thus we have then some historical perspective to ‘thinking in microseconds’, ….but what else? Well here’s one example: It seems there are a few moments when we first awaken to each new day, and unless you’re snapping-to each morning to a bugle in the barracks with Sarge yelling at you to assemble, you probably have at least a couple of minutes after hitting the snooze button on your alarm where you are just lying there.

amigas4all microseconds my beach angry princessSo there you are, and you’re probably fresh off your dream thoughts, that state of mind (some call it the ‘hypnagogic state’), whatever you call it, where the weight of the coming day has not yet hit you. ……Reserve that couple of minutes for yourself; whatever crap may be coming your way that day and even in the next couple of minutes, claim that first minute or so for yourself, and identify at least that microsecond or instant, for one thing because maybe an instant is as long as it lasts for you on that morning, wherein you have a flash of remembrance of yourself and your purpose, and what’s truly important, even if that realization is quickly inundated by the waves of responsibility that are about to wash over you; but realize that even that daily swift fading of your inspiration tells you something remarkable; the very fact that you do feel frustrated that ‘nirvana’ this morning was seemingly just another transient flash, means that you do have that awareness of what is real and you are still striving for it deep down; that it’s absence is at all troubling to you, is actually a good sign.

But how do you capture more of it? … Well that’s a mystery of life and one of the challenges of your being here and seemingly alamigas4all microseconds capture the moment angry princessso a growing challenge for us as a species, and there should be satisfaction in your knowing that you are trying to work that out, and that with practice will probably get better at it. There are other moments in the day or week that will also undoubtably be inspiring, after all hope springs eternal. But also reflect on this, because it really is remarkable: by being here, you are a warrior in a remarkable time in our evolution, …we all are: there is a quickening, and I think we all sense it on some level, there are clues that time-space as we perceive it may be changing, we are all experiencing it, it’s ‘in our face’ so to speak in this dizzily accelerating world, some say we are evolving toward a different perception of time, and ‘time’ has been a concept which for eons has been perceived by the greatest spiritual and scientific minds as involving some level of illusion vis a vis our limited perception.

The microsecoamigas4all peace microseconds angry princessnd (‘the instant’) is maybe the smallest measure of our sense of the time-line. Remember that the concept of “In the blink of an eye” conveys to us that the goal was always there or is instantly attainable, all of which seems to shortcut your laborious progression along a time-line toward that goal. So when you capture that instant as you lay there each morning, I believe maybe you have captured much more: a step or steps toward the ‘timelessness’, that, beyond just delivering us from our frenetic selves, may be instrumental in embracing our evolving selves.

Angry Princess, out!

image of bar stool redo with diy coffee bag amigas4all

Bar Decorating Part 3-Bar Stools!

The bar decorating continues with more updates to these rustic bar stools a friend found on Craigslist.

Bar stool redo amigas4all amigas4all, bar redo, chair, rustic stool, rustic chair, bar decor, burlap

I showed you in part 2 what I did to bring these bar stools back to life by cleaning them up and staining them in a light color just to give them some “hydration”.

Today, I will show you how I made my bar stools more comfy and how added stenciled letters to give them some personality! Follow me in this new and exciting chapter of my bar decorating saga (it all started with the first chapter with my bar decorating post).

Personalizing the Bar Stools

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Now that the bar stools were breathing again, I decided to hide some of the imperfections I mentioned on part Deux like the warped seat for example (see below).

bar stools redo amigas4all

To do that I decided that cushions would do the trick. I could also tell that these chairs were pretty hard to sit for a  long time.

We all know that if the game is on it can take a long, looong time to end (yes, the hubs complained also about the hard seats!). So, I figured I needed to make them a little more comfy.

At first, I thought about buying “ready made” cushions from my usual “decorating on a budget stores”. I reaaally wanted these cushions I found on Amazon.

cushions

They were comfy and the right color. And I could still personalize them.

Unfortunately, my bar stools were too weird of a size and nothing fit. Sniff! 

The seats are pretty wide and all the cushions I found for purchase were two inches too short in every direction. I thought if I used smaller cushions they would look goofy. So buying was out and I was going to make the cushions myself.

Deciding the materials for the project

When I decided to make cushions I realized that making individual removable cushions would take too much fabric because of the size of the seats. The easiest and cheapest way to do this was to just upholster the seat instead.

Since I wanted to give it a rustic look I thought burlap would do the trick. Burlap is cheap and very versatile (You can get a good quality burlap here for a fraction of the cost).

The other thing I wanted to do was personalize it and make it look like old coffee bags. Let’s get this party started!

materials you will need for the cushions: 

How to upholster The Cushions

I started with foam cut to size.

amigas4all, bar redo, chair, rustic stool, rustic chair, bar decor, burlap, foam

(notice I had to add more foam to make it the size of the chair-I used what I had a home).

Then I cut the burlap with enough material left to cover the foam on the top, sides and under. Once the burlap was lined up, I stapled it to the underside of the chair.

bar stools redo amigas4all

Be careful with the corners! They can be a little tricky to fold and staple. But if you are old school like me I am sure you covered your school books with paper to protect them. So you will know what to do with the corners.

Or if you never did that you can just fold them carefully like an envelope or a “V”. Staple them firmly so they don’t pop out or look bunched up.

amigas4all bar redo rustic bar stools bar decorating corner

It’s not the best picture but you get the idea.

So now that all 4 chairs are “burlapped TM”, it was time to give them a little more personality.

Since I used new burlap I needed to make them look a little more “used”. Or better yet, I wanted them to look like discarded coffee bags!

Of course, because us DIYers fell in love with the whole rustic “everything” these coffee bags have gone up in price. A lot! I have seen coffee bags as high as $50 a piece!!

Luckily if you go to Amazon they have a good selection of decently priced coffee bags for you. Unfortunately, because of my weirdly sized chairs, I needed everything custom sized.  So I had to make my own “faux” coffee bags. It’s all right. I like a challenge like that anyway.

materials to MAke the “faux” coffee bag 

It was actually easy. All you will need is burlap and paint! Ok, you need a few more things but here is the list:

As for the colors, since I’m going for the coffee bag look I thought I would use blacks, blues, reds and greens.

The trick to getting the “coffee bag look” right

The colors in these coffee bags tend to be bold colors. But they have to look worn too so you need to go easy on the amount of paint or they won’t look right. Like these, for example:

amazon coffee bags

Make sure when you paint that you grab just a little bit of paint first with your sponge. Then use a plastic lid or another surface to tap on your sponge before applying it on to the stencil. 

You can use ready made stencils or even print letters and other designs online. You can also create your own stencil. It all depends on the look you want and if you have the time to cut each letter (that’s a lot of work!).

I chose a ready made stencil and used the letters and the cut outs to create more letters and design different logos for my “coffee bags” like the ones below:

amigas4all, bar redo, chair, rustic stool, rustic chair, bar decor, burlap, stencil

amigas4all, bar redo, chair, rustic stool, rustic chair, bar decor, burlap, bar stools amigas4all, bar redo, bar stool, bar decor, rustic chair, rustic stool, bar stools 

Wrapping it up! Pun Intended!

For an extra special touch of Mexican Flair (the theme of my home bar), I wrapped these Mexican scarves to the back of the bar stools (see below). I saw something similar done in a restaurant in Cabo San Lucas (my favorite place in the world!) and I wanted it for my own bar.

It was so cool to bring a little piece of paradise into my home!

amigas4 all, bar redo, stool, rustic stool, chair, bar chair, bar stools

And here are all my “pretties” together, singing in harmony!

amigas5all, bar redo, stool, rustic stools, bar stools, bar chair redo

You can certainly create even more designs and use different style stencils. For my bar I wanted them rustic, “beat-up” and “worn”. I think it’s pretty close.

And yes, I know none of them have coffee written on them but you get the idea. Aren’t these chairs the coolest?! I hope you liked them.

Join me in the next episode of the bar decorating saga. I will show you how I transformed some run-of the-mill bar stools into more seating for the bar. And without taking too much space.

You will use the same concepts we learned today (yes, more stools! and yes, it will be worth it!) .

Cheers!!

 

 

 

How to Care for a Pet Bird

amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue

Caring for a new pet bird is a challenge! When bringing a bird home (by bird I mean a parrot) one must consider several things before doing so.

First and most important, you need to know that unlike a dog or a cat, parrots in general will live for a long time. The average lifespan for a parrot ranges from 30 up to 80 years old. There are stories of birds living even longer than that in captivity.

Age Matters when caring for a pet bird

With that in mind you need to consider how old you are, how old your kids are and possible changes in your life that may make you reconsider getting a bird in the first place.

Of course, age per se is not a problem unless you are 80 and in bad health and is now getting a baby bird which very clearly may outlive you. You should consider: “Who’s going to take care of it should something happen to me?”.

A lot of my rescues come from families whose parents died or were involved in accidents and the children (even adults) were not able to take care of the bird(s).

If you ever heard of the term “trust fund babies”, you should think about talking to your estate planning attorney or if you don’t have the means, at least consider talking to your family about what to do if something happens.

Maybe even contact a rescue willing to accept the bird and instruct the family about contacting them if something happens. That way everybody can rest assured that your pet bird will have a place to go.

Lifestyle and your pet bird

corky and dog amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue, pet birdSecond thing to consider is your lifestyle. Do you travel a lot for work? Are you retired and trying to “see the world”?

One thing is to take a vacation here and there but what if you are constantly traveling for work?

Do you think it’s fair for the bird to be locked up in a cage and being cared for by someone else? Is that someone experienced?

Is Your pet bird safe?

Third, is your house safe for a bird? Do you have cats? Dogs? Reptiles? Are you still cooking with nonstick pans? Do you like to light scented candles (or those outlet scented ones)? Do you smoke (even if outside)?

All of these items should be considered. While not all cats or dogs are dangerous for birds, you still need to supervise their interactions. Those cute videos you see online of dogs or cats interacting with birds are the exception, not the rule.

Especially the ones with dogs sleeping near the bird or cats roughhousing with the birds. First, despite what you heard cats are not the most dangerous for birds.

Except if a cat scratches a pet bird it may die within 2 hours.

So ALWAYS supervise. Dogs are the ones that are most dangerous to birds. Especially, bird dogs. Yes! your nice Golden Retriever may be one of them. But there are other breeds that can be dangerous to birds too.

Always research and always supervise. If you know your dog cannot be trusted with the bird but you still want a bird, always keep the bird locked safely in a good sized cage when you are not around.

Sometimes even lock the bird cage in a separate room. Seems pretty obvious to say this but you would be surprised how many injuries occur to birds because people trust their animals too much. You just never know.

Interacting with your pet bird

amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue pet birdFinally, make sure you will have time to interact with your pet bird. If you still want a bird but don’t have that much time, consider getting a companion for that bird.

Ideally, you do not want to breed the birds but most females do well with other females (they are also sweeter) but males can be buddies too.

If you do have the time, play time and just hanging out will make most birds happy. They also don’t mind stealing food from your plate.

Just make sure they are eating safe and healthy things (no chocolate, chips, fried stuff, avocados or coffee). There are other plants and food that are unsafe. Also most fruit seeds can be dangerous (especially apple, cherry, pear, among others).

When in doubt, research

Well, these are a few things to think about. This post was not meant to discourage anyone from getting a bird, just to make sure that you think hard before you get one.

They are a lot of fun if you spend time with them, but they do take some work too. Not only noise, cleaning and attention. Oh and don’t forget, a lot of people don’t know this but there are a lot of bird rescues out there and they are full of very good birds for adoption.

Some require a class (which is excellent to learn a few things about bird care-believe me-the more I know, the less I know) I learn new things everyday and I have been doing bird rescues for years!.amigas4all, bird care, pet care, rescue, animal rescue, bird rescue

Other rescues will require you to volunteer in exchange for the bird. That way they learn if you will do well with the bird of your choice and also bird care in general.

Sadly, others will just take your money and will say that any bird that sat on your hand is the perfect bird for you. Be careful!

In the next post I will talk a little more about rescues and my experience with them. Always remember: Don’t buy. Adopt!!!!

Feel free to ask me anything you need to know about bird care. Whether you own a bird or you are thinking about getting one.

Tati

pet for christmas

Gifting a Pet for Christmas

During the holidays parents are tempted to give a pet as a Christmas present. You need to be sure that the kids are prepared for the responsibility of taking care of an animal. Or that at least you, as a parent, will take care of it if the kids lose interest.

Teaching to care for an animal early in life will teach kids not only responsibility for another life. They will also learn to love a creature that completely depends on them for everything.

Always research pet breeds for hardiness, common medical issues and grooming requirements. Make sure the new family member will fit your lifestyle and budget.

Always remember: Adopt your pet, Don’t shop!

If you are interested in a particular breed, there are many rescues that focus on that breed. If not, a good mutt at the pound will do just fine. They often come with a history that tells you how they are like already. Unlike a puppy or a kitten who can turn into anything because you did not have the time or skill to teach them the basics from an early age.

If you do decide that a pet will be a great addition to the family there are great sources online for pet rescues. There are great pets waiting for a good home out there.

Buying a pet can come with issues such as medical issues because it’s a from a puppy or a cattery mill that exploits animals into breeding non-stop for profit. Then you are dealing with vet bills and unexpected expenses. Plus the heartbreak of a potential loss.

A lot of these sick animals end up in rescues because a lot of people don’t realize the expense they got into after they purchasing an animal from a mill. Eventually they choose to give these pets away because they can’t afford treatment. So again: Adopt, don’t shop!

Finally, always make sure your pet has a good supply of toys to play and a good source of nutritious food so it can thrive.

Happy responsible pet ownership and may your pet bring you many years of happiness and companionship!

Tatiana