Jitney's Journeys : Rustic Wooden Frames (Chalkboard & Photos)


One of my closest friends is expecting!! She's still keeping it hush-hush but she gave me permission to post the chalkboard I made for her. 

Here's our conversation via text that led up to this marvelous piece:
Her: Any ideas on where I can find a neat chalkboard?
Me: I would try Etsy first, Hobby Lobby or even TJ Maxx.
Her: Thanks! Let me know if you see any while you're out and about.
Me: Thought... So I can probably make you one.

Please note that we've never built a frame before (we leave that to the handyman, my Dad), especially not a chalkboard with a frame from all bare wood. But we're always up for learning something new and trying to conquer a challenge. The result?

Not to step my bounds here, but I was kind of obsessed with how well this turned out. She wanted something rustic and with a chalkboard size of 11" x 14". So JD and I rummaged through our scrap wood, found a solid 2' x 4' and cut it ourselves. The frame looked awesome as we pieced together the first three sides... but then we got to the fourth side and the measurements were way off. I'm not even sure how we could be off by that much.

So we went back to the rummaging pile, found another large 2' x 4' and walked it up to our neighbors for a more precise measurement. Whew. It worked that time. 

I sanded the boards after they were cut to the right size, distressed them, stained them, then nailed in some massively intense nails to keep the frame intact (nails also courtesy of Julia, our awesome neighbor). The final dimensions are 17" x 20".

Voila!

I left one nail head jutted out a bit to give it that rustic vibe.


After making the chalkboard, I covered it with paper and drilled a few screws in the back to hold it in place. I also added some wire for hanging and later added a photo hanger in case they wanted to hang it vertically.


Before she came over (and knew that I wrote "Coming in September"), she asked me to write "12 Weeks, baby is size of a lime". So I erased my previous message and went with this instead...


I think she would've been pleased either way but oh well-ity. The saying turned out super cute too. I'm just an all-around pleased designer today. :)

I've also decided that this is the technique I want to use for our dining room photo wall. Whoop whoop!! Finally. Some more clarity in home decor.

Here are a couple of other chalkboards we've made recently using antique baseboards but both have been sold...



End Note:
I'm thinking we'll start carrying the thick wooden frame as a new line for Jitney's Journeys in the Todd Nest Shop and our Etsy Shop. Both chalkboards and photo frames. What do you think?



Jitney's Journeys Products : Halloween 90th Birthday Surprise Party


My sweet friend, Kandess, asked if we could make some special accents for her grandfather's 90th surprise party. 

Theme : Spook-tacular Halloween 
Location : Gorgeous Barn

As with all of our products, all of the goodies here were custom made and passed by Kandess first to certify perfect satisfaction. 

Not gonna lie... I had a pretty difficult time figuring out which direction I'd like to go when designing these products. The original thought process was chalkboard-inspired but then I thought that maybe I should go a little more grunge or even maybe a little more cute-sie. After hours of that not working out, I decided to try proceed with the chalkboard-look. 

That's when I designed this lovely banner...
and kept pressing forward.

Inspiration, achieved. :)


{happy birthday banner}


{up-close of the birthday banner}


{table goodies}


{menu cards - Kandess did an amazing job coming up with fun names for all of the food and drinks!}


{table numbers via papergravy.com / thegraphicsfairy.com}


{assorted signs to display}


{up-close of rosettes}


{black and orange striped straws via The Charm House}


Kandess and her husband dressed up as a gangster and flapper girl. 
"Ridiculously cute" cannot express how amazing they looked!!


{Daniel & Kandess}


{table set-up - isn't that cake fantastic!?}







The Todd Nest : Composing the Built-Ins with Color & Themes


We were so excited to walk up the stairs in our new split-foyer home and see these lovely built-ins just waiting for a special touch of lovely.

Here is a "way before" photo from the first time we looked at the house with our realtor. Beside it, you will see a simple "before" photo of what the built-ins looked like as I unloaded our boxes and tried to gain a little inspiration.


As I was procrastinating from packing at the apartment one day doing research, I saw this post from Young House Love and decided we MUST paint the backs of these built-ins. 

I gathered a few vintage inspiration pieces and decided on the color "Cooled Blue" from Sherwin Williams. 


I turned on some awesome jams and began painting away. 

Then they sat there for a few days. Some shelves were empty, some lined with bottles. It was a mess. In between dealing with plumbing issues, utility transfers and all of the other luxuries of home ownership, I kind of gave up on decorating for a few days.


{notice there is no logo on this photo. that's how embarrassing it is.}

Fortunately, my mom would be making a special trip up to Huntsville for a few days to help rescue us from the overwhelming stress of unpacking, organizing and cleaning up the messes we had already made.

First priority? 

Unpack the boxes in the living room, store the painting supplies and decorate the built-ins.

One of mine and JD's favorite things about moving has been to unpack boxes and find things we had completely forgotten about, such as all of our vintage cameras we bought for crazy cheap at a yard sale.

 

Mom and I pulled those babies out, cleaned 'em up and used them as one of our themes. 


My awesome mom was the megamind behind the themes and most of the setting up process. Could I have done this all myself? Probably. But would it have looked nearly as amazing? Absolutely not. At least, not in the state of mind I was in. 

Not sure if this happens to anyone else, but I get stuck in the same decorating process as I was when we lived at the apartment. I want everything to be placed the same way and have the same themes. It's so annoying. When you move, you have all of the freedom in the world to redecorate how you'd like but I was really stuck. 

The world needs great momma's and I'm so thankful for mine!!

She helped to get my out of that rut pretty quickly when she swiped my bottles off the decorating list (except two wonderful milk vases).

But back to the built-ins....


Here, we used a vintage Westclox, a chalkboard I repurposed, the TODD letters Chase and Jackie gave us as a wedding gift, an old Polaroid, a Mason jar with an old camera lamp sitting in it, and (to the far left) a mixed media piece I made. 


We carried the theme of the vintage clock, Mason jar / camera lamp, and mixed media piece to the third shelf for cohesiveness. 


The top shelf has a small, vintage chandelier piece and my two favorite birds plates on display. 


The bottom shelf displays a couple of pieces from our wedding - the chalkboard and the rice jar from our rice ceremony. Of course, we carried the theme of the nest and birds throughout, as this is, after all, the Todd Nest. :) Both of those pieces are stacked on vintage greeting card boxes and Reader's Digest books. 

[photo by Kike Morales] 

[photo by Kike Morales]

If you haven't stopped by our wedding page, check it out here.

We are still getting our annual Jitney CDs ready so be on the lookout for a giveaway on that in the very near future. 

In the meantime, head on over to Ruthy's giveaway at Discovery Street. You can enter to win a $60 gift card to one of our favorite stores, Target!! If you follow Jitney's Journeys on Bloglovin' or any of the other amazing bloggers sponsoring the giveaway, you will automatically get 3 entries for each blog you follow. Oh yeah!!!

So do the happy dance and go enter!

DIY : Antique Door Chalkboard and Inspiration Board Tutorial



There are TONS of tutorials on how to take an antique door and transform it into a chalkboard but I've had this baby tucked away for about a year now... and, well, it felt like it was finally time to piece it together and share it with y'all.

So grab your electric sander, paintin' pants and some good tunes.

Let's rock 'n roll. 


Supplies
electric sander
sand paper
several old rags
roller brush /  big-bristled paint brush
paint
antique glaze
[i also used the antique glaze from the Caromal Colours Reclaim line]
painter's tape
chalk


Step 1
Find an awesome antique door for a super low price.
Bring it home and set up shop.
My vision was to have a five panel door so that I could make four panels into chalkboards and create a cute design for the middle panel. My parents actually found this for me at an antique shop about an hour away from Huntsville.

Step 2
Paint the door the color of your choice.
I placed painter's tape over the door knob plate because it would add some contrast to the door.


Step 3
Break out a piece of sandpaper.
Sand the edges, corners and even brush along the surface in some falt areas to create the distressed look.
I love the rich brown of the original paint color that appears under the white.


Step 4
Wipe the debris of the sanded door away with an old, dry cloth.


Step 5
Paint antiquing glaze over the entire surface of the door and wipe away quickly with a damp cloth.
Paint the sanded areas more heavily if you'd like a deeper distressed look.
You can also use a flicking motion with a coarse-bristled brush to create splatters (see the example in the bottom three pics -- I blotted the the splatters so that they looked more natural and not so heavy).


Step 6
Place painter's tape around the edges of your panels.
Paint the magnetic primer on first if you'd like a magnetic chalkboard.
{I used the Rust-oleum Magnetic Primer but it doesn't hold magnets very well...}
Roll on the chalkboard paint (follow directions on the package for drying time and coats).


Step 7
Remove painter's tape after about a day of drying.
If you're lucky, the tape will remove some bits of the painted surface so that it gives even more of a distressed look - and you didn't even have to work for it!
Draw over entire chalkboard surface with a piece of chalk and erase.

Step 8
Nail some hooks and wire on the back, find the perfect place to hang it and...
voila! 




Hammer a decorative upholstery nail onto each side of the door and loop a string of twine around each one.
Hang inspiration pieces (such as buttons, ribbons, paint samples) and there ya have it: inspiration board, chalkboard and gorgeous piece all-in-one!


The Epic Shabby Chic Bridesmaid Luncheon for a Dear, Dear Friend

My mom and I hosted a bridesmaids' luncheon for my first "BFF", Emily Perry. We met at the age of two and have been friends ever since... yeah, 22 years. THAT is sisterhood. Her and her sweet new husband, Brian, dated for eight years and have finally TIED THE KNOT!!

Anyways, I have been so. stinkin. EXCITED. to show you photos of all mom and I put together. Among many other things, Mom (referred to earlier posts as "Mama E") set up all of the centerpieces and decorated the mantel; while I made the chargers, mason jar glasses and table runners. 

Meet Mrs. Gardner...


Mama E: "Tomorrow, call me 'Mrs. Gardner'."
Me: "No mom! We're not going to call you 'Mrs. Gardner'. That's going to be Emmy's new name."
(I was thinking it was a game she was wanting to play.)
Mama E: "Yeah. Call me 'Mrs. Gardner'..."
Me: "No, mom. Seriously, we are not calling you 'Mrs. Gardner' all day."
Mama E: "I'm talking about what you should write on the chalkboard!!"
Me: "Hahaha - oh. Well, maybe we should write, 'Tomorrow we shall call her Mrs. Gardner' instead...?"
Mama E: "Oh yeah. That would be much better."


The bride and bridesmaids' table. 
Notice there is an old school desk to the bottom left-hand corner. That's what you throw in when you miscount the number of guests coming. 


Mom used kitchen towels for the napkins to provide a more aesthetically pleasing presentation.

The bridesmaids and bride sat at the "groom" table, and the families of the grom and bride sat at the "bride" table. Thank you, Scrabble.


These lovely monogrammed jars with a chalkboard lid will be sold in our Etsy shop SOON!!


Drink Options:
Cucumber Water 
water with slices of cucumbers and branches of mint and rosemary - this refreshing water ran out QUICKLY
Virgin Mimosas
orange juice and sparkling grape cider
Coffee


The "marriage" mantel. Mom set all of this up. Isn't it lovely? We threw the vintage book wreath together in no time!


Menu Options:
Various flavored muffins
Mini pecan pie muffins
Heart-shaped fruit with dip
Egg & bacon casserole
Egg & sausage mini casseroles
French toast casserole
Italian cream cheese cake

My parents' neighbor, Amy, helped out with some of the delicious menu options!



The entire luncheon was a HUGE hit! 
Brian & Emily's wedding took place Sunday night. 
The wedding was beautiful and flashbacks of our childhood created kiddie pools of tears in my eyes.
Emily is such a blessing to my life. 
JD and I wish them both a lifetime of pure bliss!!


"This way... to happily ever after."