How to Clean Dried Sap off of a Christmas Tree Stand

On Friday, I climbed into our attic and pulled out the massive amount of Christmas decorations that were in there. Y’all, we have WAY too much.  So, I started sorting into different piles – Keep, Give Away, Trash.

When I pulled out our live Christmas Tree stand, I was sort of ashamed of myself.  I didn’t do a great job cleaning it up last year, and there was sap on the bolts and in the bottom of the stand.

How to Clean Dried Sap off of a Christmas Tree Stand

How to Clean Dried Sap off of a Christmas Tree Stand

It’s not disgusting because I had wiped it down a little bit before I put it away last year, but I wanted to see if I could clean it up a little bit – I bet the new tree would prefer to not have it’s sap co-mingled with the old tree, right?  So, I pulled out my HomeRight Steam Machine Plus (affiliate link) steam mop and took out the handheld unit.

How to Clean Dried Sap off of a Christmas Tree Stand

Introducing the Colortopia Exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® + a $100 Giftcard Giveaway

Last week, I hopped on a plane for a whirlwind, fast-paced, less than 24 hour trip to the Walt Disney World® Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  It was a quick trip, that’s for sure, but there was an exciting premise behind it.

Y’all, Glidden is sponsoring an exhibit at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®!  And I got to be there for the grand opening!

I flew in late Thursday night in anticipation of the ribbon cutting ceremonies before the park opened on Friday morning.  If you have ever been to Walt Disney World® Resort, you may known that INNOVENTIONS is located near the base of the Epcot® icon, the Spaceship Earth geodesic sphere.  This sight never ceases to amaze me.

Glidden's Colortopia exhibit opens at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®

Inside the exhibit, we were treated to the fullWalt Disney World® Resort experience.  The opening was full of vivid color and magic – and the famous mouse couple in the world were on hand to usher us into Colortopia.

Glidden's Colortopia exhibit opens at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®


Confetti! I may have jumped when it went off. LOL #colortopiaexhibit @gliddenpaints

A video posted by Lindsay Ballard (@makelyhome) on

My first thought was that Colortopia was like a hand-on children’s museum on steroids.  Not only does it provide excellent learning opportunities for children, but adults will love the learning fun as well.

Glidden's Colortopia exhibit opens at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®

We all know about mixing paint colors, but how about mixing light colors?  In one portion of the exhibit, you stand in front of what looks like a white wall.  But once you block some of the light shining onto it, you see that the wall looks white because of the mix of red, blue and green lights aimed at it.  Blocking the light enables the visitor to make colorful shadows on the wall.

Glidden's Colortopia exhibit opens at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®

As we walked through the exhibit, I continued to be drawn to all of the vivid colors used throughout.  This portion of the exhibit, Spinning Spectrums, allows the guest to push a button causing these discs to spin.  They spin so quickly that they become a solid color.  But, let’s be honest – you know I kind of like just the crazy patterns and bright, primary colors on their own!

Glidden's Colortopia exhibit opens at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®

But really, the highlight to me was the Magic Paint Brushes that we got to play with.  As you can see, the bristles are made from fiber optics. Glidden's Colortopia exhibit opens at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®

When you dip them into a lighted paint can, the bristles turn the color of the paint you selected.

Glidden's Colortopia exhibit opens at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot®

Then, you get to paint this huge electronic mural on the wall with your chosen color.  Some of the elements of the mural animated once they are painted.  

Fiberfill Pillows are Hereby Forever Banished From My Home

I am an unabashedly, unapologetic, unrepentant lover of down and feather pillows.  I go out of my way to make sure the pillows that come into my home aren’t fiberfill.  Does that make me a weird, unprioritized, pillow snob?  I don’t know.  But if it does, I’ll wear that label proudly.

But, what happens when I find a pillow that I love but it isn’t feather filled?  Well, it’s an easy fix!

The first thing I do is make sure that the pillow I love has a removable pillow cover.  Because of LIFE, I need to be able to wash or dry clean my pillow covers.  If the cover is not removable, it just can’t be a part of my life.  And let’s be honest, it’s generally the pillow cover that you fall in love with – not the pillow insert.

If the cover is removable, I remove the fiberfill insert and replace it with a feather filled insert.  To make this little switcheroo easier on my wallet, I keep my eyes peeled for feather filled, cover removable clearance pillows.  For instance, I found a pair of yellow pillows at HomeGoods on clearance for $18 for them both ($9/pillow).  I took out the feather inserts, because they are cheaper than what I can find in other stores or online, and sent the yellow covers on their merry way to Goodwill.

Yellow Pillow

Then, I took out the fiberfill insert that came in this red, nubby pillow I bought for Zack’s room and replaced it with the clearance feather insert.  The fiberfill insert also went jauntily to Goodwill.

Sometimes Refinishing Furniture Makes Me Want to Throw a Tantrum

Back in April 2014, I found on bed on Craigslist that I just HAD to have for Zack’s room.  It had great lines and only needed a little work, which sounded awesome after just finishing Emma’s green bed.  I wasn’t quite ready to work on it, so I put it aside in the garage.

Two in a half years later, I decided that there was no better time than the present.  HAHA!  Procrastinators unite!

After I got the bed cleaned up, I could tell that the finish on the veneer was peeling and bubbling in places.  It wasn’t in perfect shape when I got it, but I’m sure that hanging out in the hot garage for a few years didn’t help its case.

No hassle update for a Mid-Century Modern bed

Well, it was time for me to get started refinishing furniture again.  I decided to do some light sanding on it to see what would happen.  It’s always touchy when you sand a thin veneer, because if you can easily go through the veneer.  Like this.

No hassle update for a Mid-Century Modern bed

Okay, so that’s not EXACTLY what happened.  The veneer was pretty marred in these spots and felt really rough, so sanding it down was a decision that I made and not an accident.  But, it could easily happen if you aren’t careful!

Because I just couldn’t handle this turning into a multi-day project, I started thinking about how I could save this bed.  I could paint it, but I really didn’t want a painted finish.  My friend Marian suggested that I use a chemical stripper to take the stain off the veneer (which was actually the “right” thing to do), but that made me feel like Andy from Wet Hot American Summer.

So…that wasn’t going to be the right answer for me.

Building This Adjustable Five Arm Brass Chandelier Basically Put Money in My Pocket

As is the continuing saga of my life, I fall in love with light fixtures on a daily basis.  DAILY.  And if see a homeless light fixture, it comes home with me.  Some people adopt pets.  I adopt light fixtures.  Well, I do have two adopted dogs, so don’t throw things at me.

So, when I was planning for Zack’s new room, I desperately wanted a $350 light fixture from Shades of Light.  Y’all, that’s a lot of money to spend on a light for a bedroom.  I’m okay with that kind of cash in a living room, but not so much in a room that not many people will ever see.  However, I was obsessed and really considering it, but then I noticed that it took G9 Halogen bulbs and I CAN’T GET DOWN WITH THAT.

Back to the drawing board.  I knew I wanted a brass fixture that had room for fun bulbs.  After lots and lots of searching, I came across the Odyssey 4 Chandelier from Schoolhouse Electric.  ANOTHER $350 light fixture, y’all.

5 Arm 5 Arm Adjustable Brass Chandelier DIYAdjustable Brass Chandelier DIY

Okay, so hear me out.  This one is pretty cool.  The socket connectors are adjustable, so you can change the direction of the bulbs.  Fun, right?

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.47.05 AM

But, even though I think it is cool, it is still $350.  And the fact that it had an even number of arms really bugged me.

After some more searching, I came across this post from Mandi at Vintage Revivals and this post from Kelsey at Simply My Simple.  They both pointed to a website where they bought brass parts to build their own chandeliers.

Challenge accepted.

5 Arm Adjustable Brass Chandelier DIY

So here’s what happened.  I ordered a bunch of parts and was going to do a tutorial for you on how I built it.  But, my sweet husband put it together one day as a surprise when I was at roller derby practice. I actually really loved that he did that, so sorry that you don’t have a tutorial.  However, Mandi’s and Kelsey’s tutorials will walk you through the general things you need to know.  The rest is like Tinker Toys.

5 Arm Adjustable Brass Chandelier DIY

How to Paint a Modern Ombre Wall and Finally Get Moving on a Long Ignorned Project

Well over a year ago, I came up with the game plan to transition my then 8-year old son’s room from a little boys room to one more fit for the confident, brilliant, and creative young man that he’s become.

Mid Century Modern boy's room moodboard

He was excited for us to get started on it, but then life got in the way (as it has been doing for the last few years).  And then he turned 9.  And then he was mere months away from turning 10.  And then it was REALLY time to get started, because I was embarrassed at my lack to time management, if nothing else.

So one day last month, I decided that it was time for the massive paint job to begin.  I emptied the room, taped off the trim, laid down the drop cloth, and somehow convinced Tom to help me with the paint sprayer.  We primed all of the walls and ceiling and then painted the ceiling and top half of the walls Lindsay White.  This is what it looked like – pretty and pristine on the top and full on hot mess on the bottom.

How to Paint an Ombre Wall

And Tom was all, “Good luck!”  Ok, thanks.

In an effort to give Zack’s room an ocean feel (without being theme-y), I wanted to paint an ombre wall – starting with dark blue at the bottom and transitioning to white at the top.  Instead of it being a graduated, seamless ombre, I wanted a more modern, choppy feel.

So, I divided the wall into three sections – dark blue, medium blue, and white – and marked them with painters tape.  I left a six inch gap between the two blues so I would have a space to blend the colors.  I was going to blend the white and light blue, but I didn’t need to leave a gap since the white was already painted, if that makes sense.  Probably not.

How to Paint an Ombre Wall

Then, I painted the middle section with Glidden’s Paint + Primer (flat) in Marine Blue.  I (obviously) didn’t worry about painting sharp lines, because I’ll be blending the colors together.  I just used my paint roller to slap the paint on the wall.

How to Paint an Ombre Wall