Floral Print Set // August Giveaway

Craftivity Designs | 27 July 2015 | Be the first to comment
We're heading into a new month, so it's time for another giveaway!

Floral Print Set GIVEAWAY // 3 Prints Shipped // Craftivity Designs

It is kind of hard to believe; but we are creeping up on the back-to-school time of year. This print set gives a nod to back-to-school in a fresh, modern way.

Of course, the alphabet is the iconic school symbol.


Modern Floral Alphabet // Craftivity Designs
Modern Floral Alphabet

Encourage your kiddos as they head back into their school world with this scripture verse.

Be Strong & Courageous // Craftivity Designs
Be Strong & Courageous

Lastly, this number set completes the school-"ish" set.

Modern Floral Numbers // Craftivity Designs
Modern Floral Numbers

Of course, these prints don't have to just be about school... I think they could look lovely on their own, as a set, or in many rooms in the home.

The winner will receive these 3 8x10s from our Etsy Shop. I'll have them professionally printed and shipped.

Enter via the Rafflecopter Widget below. If you are reading this post as an email, you may need to click through to our site in order to view the widget.

The giveaway ends Tuesday, August 4, at 12:00 AM EST.

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Kick Off Friday // 5 Vintage Style Home Decor Projects

Lora | 24 July 2015 | Be the first to comment
Happy Friday! If you've followed this blog very long, you know that I love the character {and often, the price} that vintage pieces can add in your home. Each of these vintage -- or vintage style -- items are perfect for a weekend project.



#1 Take some basic oak shelves, and give them an antiqued white finish.

#2 Update a small set of drawers {you can get a similar unfinished set at the craft store} with leather, chalkboard paint and vintage-style drawer pulls.

#3 Replace your builder-basic bathroom mirror with something old and unique... maybe a mirror that was previously paired with an antique vanity table.

#4 Hang all your scarves on a chair back. There are plenty of old, wooden chairs to be found at yard sales.

#5 Create black and white vintage look-alike number plates for your walls.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, full of creative inspiration.


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Would I Buy Marble Again? // A One Year Review

Craftivity Designs | 23 July 2015 | 2 Comments so far
A little over a year ago, we installed marble vanity tops in our bathrooms. It took us awhile to make our decision {here is why we chose this vanity top}; but -- after living with it for a year -- are we glad we chose marble?


A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs

** Amazon affiliate links included in this post. Thanks for supporting this blog!

Let's start with this.... we use it everyday. When I say "we," I mean Mike, myself AND our preschooler. So, this isn't a "marble is great in our guest bath that no one ever uses..." post.

Both the upstairs and main level bathrooms have Honed Cararra Marble, which is a raw {or non-polished} marble. This means that it doesn't have a glossy appearance; but instead the natural stone finish and feel.

A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs

However, Honed Marble is more porous since it doesn't have a polished surface. This means that it can stain easier than polished marble. We are careful about what we leave on the surface -- for example:
  • we don't leave metal items {like razors, bobby pins, etc.} on the surface to get wet and rusty
  • I don't paint my nails on the vanity top
  • we wouldn't set an open coffee mug {or other dark drinks} out on the counter
This hasn't been an inconvenience to us at all; but if you love your morning coffee while you get ready in the morning -- it might matter.

Note: I've read that even if you do spill dark liquids on marble, as long as it is quickly wiped away, it probably won't stain. 

A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs

Interestingly, light colored liquids -- even water -- can stain Honed Marble, too. However, this is a much slower developing stain, for example:
  • standing water around the edges of the sinks
  • dripped clear hand soap sitting on the surface for days
  • standing water that repeatedly pools under cups or other items placed on the counter
To prevent these stains, we do two things. First, I place soft feet on the bottoms of any items that remain on our counters {like our toiletry basket shown above} so that they are lifted up off the vanity top.

A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs
Second, we keep a microfiber cloth inside the cabinet to wipe off water around the sink, or dripped soap, after each use.

A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs
We have gotten several water stains over the last year. However, I read that if -- when cleaning -- you scrub those spots well {and work to keep them dry} that they will fade over time. I've found this to be true, only one of the water stains is still visible.

A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs


Can you see the water stain? It is the dark spot in the corner {it could be from some dripped hand soap, as well}. In my opinion, these stains aren't even that noticeable. If you were to visit my home, you probably wouldn't notice it. Marble has a natural variation in color and tone which disguises imperfection -- simply due to it's natural beauty.

So, how do we keep it clean?

A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs

Never, ever, use harsh cleaners. When I clean my ceramic sinks, I make sure not to spray or wipe the marble with that cleaner. Only use cleaners that are designed for marble.

After some research, I chose Method Daily Granite. Contrary to the name, I don't use it daily. Instead it's more like once every week or two. We wipe the marble down after each use, so it stays pretty clean. When I use Method, I apply it with a microfiber cloth.

So, what's my verdict on marble?

A 1-Year Review of a Marble Vanity Top // How to Clean Marble // How to Protect Marble // Would I buy Marble Again? // Craftivity Designs

Yes, yes and more yes. It's beautiful and classic. I LOVE the raw, natural feel of the honed surface. We don't find the care to be a burden -- and even if does stain; it still ages beautifully due to the natural veining and color.

I'd be more hesitant to use honed marble in a kitchen, though. There are so many more dark liquids at play. In a kitchen, polished marble might be a better option for our family.

Do you have any marble vanity or counter tops?  I'd love to hear your thoughts. Would you buy it again? What do you use to clean it?

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A Peek into My Weekend // Bedroom & Hall Updates

Lora | 21 July 2015 | Be the first to comment
Mike and my 4 year old were out of town this past weekend; so the baby girl and I spent the weekend shopping and decorating {ok, maybe she was just my cheerleader}.

Vintage bench, SCHOOL sign and metal bins from Repurposed Soul

When we lived in Lexington, I loved to visit Repurposed Soul's sales. It is a bit of a drive now; but it was worth the trip. The green bench is my favorite purchase.

Plus, I think I finally finished tweaking our bedding this weekend -- thanks to my simple photo exercise.

Navy Bedroom with white bedding and green bench // Craftivity Designs

There was a 50% off sale on baskets at Hobby Lobby; so we've got the wall behind our headboard decorated {a simple DIY tutorial to come...}.

Mirror and Basket hanging over Headboard // Craftivity Designs



Baskets weren't the only item on sale {all wood, metal and framed wall decor -- 50% off}, so I started filling out the Gallery Wall above our stairs.

Stairway Gallery Wall with Family Photos // Craftivity Designs

Hope you had a lovely weekend, too!

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Kick Off Friday // 5 Easy Projects for Craft Night

Craftivity Designs | 17 July 2015 | 2 Comments so far
Maybe you can carve out a few hours for a craft night this weekend? Here's a few easy-to-complete projects:


#1 Kristin shares how to make this chic flower vase from craft store items.

#2 Tara transformed an average lantern into a photo display.

#3 Send handmade, easy, watercolor notecards using Bre's instructions.

#4 Emily's covered journals are both sweet and simple.

#5 Amy creates nautical-feel wall art from inexpensive rope and scrap wood.


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Use Photos to Make Decorating Decisions // A Simple Tip

Craftivity Designs | 13 July 2015 | 2 Comments so far
If you feel "stumped" when it comes to decorating a space in your home, turn to the camera.

How to Make Decor Choices Using Photos // Craftivity Designs


The space that I've been mulling over {and over and over} is the bedding in our master bedroom.

How to Make Decor Choices Using Photos // Craftivity Designs
Yes -- that nightstand still needs new pulls :)
Our headboard was a steal several years back when a local Sears clearanced out all of their furniture items. It's beautiful and comfortable; but it has a feminine feel due to the curvy shape. The white bedspread is something we've also owned for a while and though I like it; it leans a little feminine, too.

There isn't anything wrong with that feminine vibe; but I do want to pull in some more masculine touches since I do share this space with Mike.

So, I've been trying to figure out how to use these great feminine pieces as a base; but add interest, texture and contrast with some more masculine pieces {oh -- also -- with pieces that we already own}.

To test out several ideas I grabbed an assortment of pillows and blankets; then started taking photos.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Decision #1: COLOR


How to Make Decor Choices Using Photos // Craftivity Designs

I am -- without a doubt -- drawn to Option A. Yes, the blanket blends in with the wall. So, that  gives me two options: 
  1. Hang something on the wall that is light {a mirror, art, etc.} and let the base of that item "dip" behind the headboard -- similar to the mirror in this photo.
  2. Remove the blanket; but use dark shams against the headboard as a contrast {i.e.: nix the white shams}.

 Decision #2: PILLOW SHAMS

How to Make Decor Choices Using Photos // Craftivity Designs
I like to mix patterns; but Option A feels too busy. Solid shams will be the way to go {whether or not they stay white}.

Decision #3: THROW PILLOWS

How to Make Decor Choices Using Photos // Craftivity Designs

I like both Option A and B. If I go with white shams, I'll choose Option A. If I go with dark shams, I'll choose Option B.

_______________________________________________________________________________


Blogs, Pinterest, and Mood Boards are great for visualizing the overall feel that you'd like to create when you makeover a room. However, when it comes to the little details, I fell like it is trial and error. When I'm stumped, a photo gives me a new, and different, perspective.

How do you solve decor decisions?


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How to Paint Brick

Craftivity Designs | 08 July 2015 | 8 Comments so far
Brick can be a beautiful accent in a home. I love aged brick walls -- especially in old farm kitchens or peeking out from crumbling plaster. However, sometimes brick just feels dark and heavy. That was definitely the case in our dining room and it had to go.

how to paint brick // the right type of paint to use on brick // craftivity designs


**Amazon Affiliate links are included in this post.

I use to live in the "big city," as they say; and would always head to Lowes and Home Depot for paint. Not that there is anything wrong with those stores; but I love our local, small hardware store. While the selection is smaller, they are always so much more knowledgeable when it comes to answering our questions.

After doing some internet research, I expected to be purchasing a masonry, brick and stucco paint; but the paint tech suggested otherwise. He recommended a can of Zinnser Primer, which he tinted to match the paint. He said that after using the Zinnser Primer I could use a basic interior latex paint. As usual, I chose Porter Paints Hi Hide -- in a Semi-Gloss finish so that it would be easy to clean.

I expected to be painting this brick for weeks. All I had heard about brick was how much it would soak up the paint... plus there were so many little crevices. However, this combination of paint turned out to be very impressive.

1 Coat of Primer 

how to paint brick // the right type of paint to use on brick // craftivity designs

2 Coats of Primer

how to paint brick // the right type of paint to use on brick // craftivity designs

1 Coat of Paint

how to paint brick // the right type of paint to use on brick // craftivity designs

And we were done! There were some small touch-ups to do after the coat of paint; but that is pretty typical after the last full coat of any project. 

We used a brush to apply the paint. First, we painted the crevices between the bricks. Next, we painted the face of the brick.

how to paint brick // the right type of paint to use on brick // craftivity designs

This took some time; but the primer and paint were both easy to apply. Buy good paint! It makes a huge difference.

Now, we just get to enjoy it. The best part, of course.

how to paint brick // the right type of paint to use on brick // craftivity designs

If you'd like to see more of our finished dining room, click here.


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Kick-Off Friday

Craftivity Designs | 03 July 2015 | Be the first to comment
Erica and I don't talk much about our day jobs; but Erica manages employer relations for a university and I work as an engineer. Unfortunately crafting, decorating and shopping don't provide us a living {wouldn't that be fun, though? When I grow up I want to be a professional shopper, ha!!}.
Through the university where Erica works, she has some great opportunities to grow as an individual and in her career; but these activities are seriously time-consuming. So, just like in our Making Simple Goals series, she's got to prioritize.

So, I'll be bringing you Kick-Off Friday; and I hope that I can do her round-ups justice :)

Today's round-up is featuring crafts that you can complete with your kids over this long holiday weekend. Plus, most of these projects can be completed with items that you have on hand!

4th of july crafts for kids // easy to complete and most items you probably have on hand!

 #1 Your kids can make these stars without getting their hands messy. Yes, that is hard to believe -- find out how at The Pleasantest Thing.

#2  Crafty Morning shows us how to make these fireworks with a few items from the kitchen.

#3 My son is obsessed with pipe cleaners, so he would be a big fan of this t-shirt project from Keeping it Simple.

#4 Create cherished memories and wall art over at Ser.En.Dip.Ity with this fun take on the American Flag.

#5 Make Paper Firecrackers for the kiddos to play with all afternoon.

Happy 4th of July! See you next week.


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#DeckTheWalls, New Prints & the Giveaway Winner

Craftivity Designs | 02 July 2015 | Be the first to comment
Happy Thursday! It's almost the {3 Day!} weekend. Just wanted to update you on a few things...

#DeckTheWalls

Today I'm over at Remodelaholic sharing my DIY Map Wall. Remodelaholic has been doing a series called #DeckTheWalls. So, if you've got some blank walls in your home, go check it out! There have been some incredible ideas, along with some great free printables.


New Prints

New prints are in the shop. Here is a peek and then head over to the shop to see the rest.

Baby Monogram & Birth Date, 30 Color Choices
Kentucky Print in Chalkboard & Floral
James 1:12 in Chalkboard

Giveaway Winner

Congrats to Vanessa M; winner of the July Print Set! Thanks so much to everyone for participating. Keep an eye out for the August Print Set giveaway, which will go live near the end of this month. Also -- if you loved one of the prints and didn't win -- they are each available as printable files in the shop for $5 each.


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Main Level Bath // Updates

Craftivity Designs | 29 June 2015 | 6 Comments so far
Last summer, we bought a marble vanity top for our upstairs bathroom. Since marble comes in a slab, we went ahead and replaced the vanity in our main level bath, too. It was cheaper to do both at the same time than it would have been to replace them separately.

Even though the marble vanity top has been in place since last summer, we've just got back to working on the space. Today, I want to share a little more about our plans for the room.




Like most of the other rooms in this house, we had to remove some wallpaper. The wallpaper in this room was applied directly to un-primed drywall {in other words... A COMPLETE NIGHTMARE TO REMOVE}. The walls were pretty dinged up and we still may do some more work on them. If you are fighting wallpaper and need some drywall repair tips, head over to this post.

We painted the walls in Delicate White by Porter Paint, which is the same color that is in our upstairs bath.

In the upstairs bathroom we got a new vanity and counter; but we are using the existing vanity in the main floor bath. It has received quite the transformation over the last couple weeks {we shared a peek of the progress on our facebook page}.

The following photo pretty much sums up the direction we are going...


... or to put it this way:


The forecast for this week is only showing highs in the mid-80s {hal-le-lu-jah!}. The bath has been my project when it is too hot to be outside, so I don't see much more happening right away. Plus, I still haven't made a final decision about those dinged up walls.

Do you consider mid-80s hot or comfortable? After weeks in the 90s, a high of 75 over the weekend almost had a chill in the air.

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