How to Create a Dipped Paint Chair {Snapguide}

Technology, social media and apps change faster than I can keep up with these days.  Just when I’m getting the hang of one thing, something else pops up to send me in a tailspin.  For the last few years, I can honestly say that I haven’t jumped on the newest things to come my way just because they are the newest thing to come my way.  Yes, I’m a blogger so those things are important, but since I’m a DIYer, I don’t spend all day long sitting at my computer.  I try to put on my blinders and do what I need to do to better connect with you.

But a few weeks ago, I did discover a new-to-me platform that I thought was really neat.  It’s called Snapguide, and it is a iOS app and web platform that lets you upload step-by-step how to guides.  It’s essentially a mini blog, which I think is amazing for those of you who do tons of projects but don’t want to have your own blog.  Think of it as Pinterest, but with step-by-step pictures and instructions – and YOU get the “credit”!

Now, Snapguide has been around for a few years (remember, I wear blinders), but I’m just now getting the hang of it.  This week, I teamed up with Glidden on a new pre-mixed paint product called Grab-N-Go and posted a Snapguide on a cute little dipped paint chair that I made in just a few minutes (literally!) for Zack’s new room.  I embedded that guide below so that you can see how it works.

Check out How to Create a Dipped Paint Chair by Lindsay Ballard on Snapguide.

I don’t know that I’ll spend a ton of time over at Snapguide, but I think there are a lot of valuable guides over there. It’s mostly the DIY/makers/crafters that are over there, but I’ve also seen recipes, gardening tips, self-publishing guides, and technology hints. I’m sure that it doesn’t have the number of users that you can find on Pinterest, but I love having the step-by-step instructions available without having to search for something that may or may not have been pinned from the original source.

I’m Featured in Austin Woman Magazine!

As a lover of all things Austin, I enjoy picking up the various local publications that we have available around town.  There are some really fascinating and accomplished people who live in this great city, and it’s always fun to read about the great things people are doing.

And then all of a sudden, one of those publications – Austin Woman magazine – lowered the “fascinating and accomplished” bar and featured me.

Lindsay Ballard of Makely featured in Austin Woman - August 2014

All kidding aside, I’m still pinching myself that I was given the opportunity to be interviewed for Austin Woman.  The writer came over to chat with me about my background and my style vision, and then a photographer came over to shoot some images in my home.  The final product is a beautiful feature, which is far too good to actually be about me.

Lindsay Ballard of Makely featured in Austin Woman - August 2014

Coffee Talk with David Bromstad

As a blogger, I do a lot of work while I’m bleary eyed and guzzling coffee – trying to get some things finished before my kids wake up for the day.  Most of those early morning hours are spent going through the previous day’s email.  Many of those emails are questions and comments from you guys (Love those!), spam comments (Hate those!), and numerous product pitches from brands all over the world.  Probably 90% of those pitches feel the wrath of my delete button.  But, some of them have presented me with some really fun opportunities that I would never have received if I wasn’t a blogger.

Like the one I got a while back that said, “Would you like to interview HGTV star David Bromstad?” Since David has been my long time favorite on HGTV, I jumped at the chance.  I have followed his HGTV career since he won the original Design Star competition back in 2006 and then went on to have his own show, Color Splash.  David has a fabulous sense of color and he is a former Disney illustrator…and we know how I dig Disney illustrators for their unique take on shape, color and whimsy.

David has designed two new limited edition bottles of Coffee-mate creamer that are only available at Target, and he is promoting a Get Inspired With Coffee-mate Sweepstakes that’s going on now (more about that below).  I was so looking forward to talking him about how the differences in product packaging design versus room design.  Just pretend that it’s me on the other end of his phone.

David Bromstad Coffee-Mate Sweepstakes

See?  He loves me!  I knew we would be BFFs if we ever had the chance to chat.

Color Palettes Inspired by Dream Vacations

I’ve been keeping a secret from you.

I haven’t been keeping it because there’s some awesome secret blog thing going on.  I haven’t been keeping it because of my fears of an ax murder showing up at my door.  No, I was keeping it because I was afraid someone might come over and try to steal my furniture.

A few weeks ago, Tom and I took a trip – ALONE – to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary.  We hadn’t taken a vacation without the kids since Zack was born (over 8 years ago), and we where thrilled to have some time to ourselves.  We all flew to Florida, handed Zack and Emma over to my parents, and boarded a cruise ship to the Southern Caribbean.

To say that we had the time of our lives would be an understatement.  We ate more than we should have, drank WAY more than we should have, met new friends from all over the world and saw some of the most beautiful islands imaginable.  Over our 8 night cruise, we visited Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, Curaçao and Aruba, as well as had 3 total days “at sea” where we didn’t get off the ship.

Map of Carnival Freedom Southern Caribbean Cruise

The time away was perfect to rest, relax and recharge.  In fact, one day at sea, we woke up at noon. NOON!  And we didn’t even realize we had slept that late until we looked at the clock.  Do you know the last time I’ve slept until noon?  It definitely hasn’t been my last 8 “mommy” years, I can tell you!

Without free and fast phone or Internet, I thought that I might explode.  What if my blog went down?  It did, and we were able to fix it using the 75-cents a minute satellite Internet access (Tom is fast!).  What if my Facebook page went crazy?  It didn’t.  What if someone started tweeting that they hate me? They didn’t (and I probably took my “what ifs” to an insane level, huh?).  At any rate, I survived it, and I loved not being so connected.  It was really good for my soul.

But you can take a phone and computer away from a Blogger, but you can never take her camera.  I took tons of pictures of the gorgeous scenery in the islands.

Of course, I did. Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaço


Willemstad, Curaço


Willemstad, Curaço

A Paint Sprayer That Even a Non-DIYer Can Use {and a Giveaway}

Back in March, my world was totally changed when my only favorite sister moved here from Orlando. It had been been 19 years since I had lived within a two day driving distance from anyone in my family, and now my sister is about 30 minutes away from me door-to-door.  To say that this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me would be an understatement.  My kids are thrilled that “Aunt Leigh Leigh” can just stop by for dinner any time, and I am thrilled that we are able to spend so much time together after 19 years of trying to catch up over quick weekend visits.

Like many people, Leigh Ann has gone gaga for Pinterest and has found some adorable projects that she wants to recreate.  The thing is, though, that Leigh and I couldn’t be more opposite in our personalities.  She’s the numbers girl and I’m the creative one, so she was nervous to even attempt these projects.  So, we’ve had a Sister Craft Day where I’ve helped her put together the projects that she had in mind, and I have tried to teach her some things about crafting.  She’s now making cute little canvas signs for herself and her friends.

But, Leigh has never painted anything before.  So when she found a $40 headboard on Craigslist that she wanted me to paint, I said, “How about I teach you how to do it?”  She wasn’t thrilled (to be totally honest), but she agreed.  I had just gotten a HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP paint sprayer in the mail, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to use it.  This isn’t the type of sprayer that you’d use for huge areas, like walls, but it’s perfect for things like furniture and cabinets.

I set up plastic sheeting in my garage and got her headboard prepped for painting (using a deglosser to remove the shiny factory finish instead of sanding it).  Don’t you wish you had a big sister to do all of your prep work?   Ha!  Then, to try out the sprayer myself, I used it to apply a primer coat (Zinsser Bullseye 1-2-3).

HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Paint Sprayer - so easy even someone who has never painted anything was able to use it

I have a few other paint sprayers myself, and the Fine Finish Max felt different to me than the other ones.  It was much lighter weight to hold in my hand so my hands didn’t get fatigued.  I did have a hard time using it the first time because you are supposed to hold it 6″-12″ away from the item you are painting – much closer than my other paint sprayers.  But, once I got the hang of that, it was really easy.

After the primer dried, it was Leigh Ann’s turn.  I gave her a quick set of instructions (basically just overlap the strokes by about 1/3 and use your legs to move up and down instead of your bending your wrists), and I turned her loose.  Since she is not a DIYer, I had no idea how it was going to go.

HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Paint Sprayer - so easy even someone who has never painted anything was able to use it

As it turns out, Leigh Ann was a beast with that paint sprayer!

Turn Your Child’s Artwork Into a Custom Stuffed Animal with Budsies

When my son, Zack (now 8 years old), was in preschool, he hated to draw, color and paint.  I tried different methods to get him to embrace his artistic side – Finger paints! Glitter!  A box of 120 Crayola crayons! – but nothing mattered.  He’d draw/color/paint for all of 2 minutes, and then go right back to crashing his Hot Wheels through Lego towers.  As a person who thrives in anything creative, I felt like a failure as a mother.  I may or may not have cried about it in front of his teacher and pediatrician.

Moms, you know how it goes.  It doesn’t take much for us to feel like we are failures, does it?

But as it turns out, I shouldn’t have been worried.  About a year ago, Zack developed a concept that he calls a Zack Bot.  It’s a little flying robot with long arms and a big Z on his body.  He’s drawn Zack Bot books, puts Zack Bots on every scrap of paper that he can find, and creates “special edition” bots for his friends – there’s a Josh Bot and a Kat Bot, which each have different super powers.

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgifteverHis artistic vision was delayed, but it did eventually show up.  You have no idea how excited I am that Zack has finally embraced his artistic side!

So when I heard that there was a company – Budsies – that turned children’s artwork into plush, stuffed animals, I knew that I had to get one made for Zack.  After looking at their website, I was really impressed with the way they had turned other kids’ drawings into stuffed animals, down to the last polka dot and crazy detail.  Kids have some super imaginative visions, and all of the animals were really well executed.

Of course, I couldn’t order a Budsie for Zack and leave out Emma.  She drew her ideal stuffed animal, which was kind of crazy.  I was worried that it would be too much (or too abstract) for Budsies to replicate, but they assured me that it was just fine.

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgiftever

The process is that you order your Budsies through their website and then send in the artwork.  If your child needs help coming up with an idea, Budsies offers templates that they can use as a jumping off point.  To submit the artwork, you can take a picture of it and email or text it to the company or just upload it through their website.  They let me know that they had received the artwork and that it looked great.  In about a month, I got a shipping notification that our Budsies were on their way to us via USPS Priority Mail.

I didn’t tell the kids that their Budsies were on their way, since I know opening that box would be an amazing surprise for them.  And it was!

Bring your kids' artwork to life with Budsies #bestgiftever