It actually worked!

Did you know that the expensive “crackle medium” you buy in cans is really just plain old white (elmer’s) glue? Any white glue will work just like the really expensive stuff in cans.

We all love the “shabby chic” look of old crackled paint. When we’re lucky, it happens naturally. But most times we have to help it along.

Crackling is great for covering up flaws. If you’re considering sanding off old layers of paint, crackle instead – it’s much faster & gives the item a lot of character.

How it’s done:

 

Method 1: Color underneath

1) Primer your item if it wasn’t previously painted (I used steel wool to rough up the varnish)

rubbed with steel wool

2) Paint it with the color you want to show in the cracks (use a color with a lot of contrast to your top color if you want your effect to be dramatic.)

2 coats of red

3) Paint the glue on. You can dilute it a little to make it easier to work with. Use a brush, not a roller. Cheap brushes work better – they leave more lines & therefore more detail in the cracks. PUT IT ON THICK! Thin coats don’t crack well

Experiment – the more glue you put on, the bigger the cracks.

I like to use a funky, random pattern so the cracks aren’t all in nice neat brush lines.

And I like to vary the thickness of the glue from one part to the next so the cracks look natural. (What they don’t tell you is that the thinner parts will dry faster so you end up guessing when it’s really time to paint the top coat!)

TIP: Thin coats work best on vertical surfaces. This is true for both the glue and the topcoat. If you paint them on too thick, it will all run down & be a gloppy mess. (TRUE…but still cool).  You can turn your item on it’s back, crackle the front, turn it on the side, crackle the side, etc. I did this on an armoire. It’s time consuming, but works great.

about an hour to dry
thinner coat of glue would have been better
It still turned out cool

4) After the glue is set up, but still tacky,(more than 1 hour, but not more than 2 or 3 – depends on your thickness & weather) paint on the main color. Don’t let the glue dry too much – it won’t crack if it’s too dry. (The glue will streak in the top coat – you’ll see white cracks before you see the paint underneath…don’t panic like I did. It’s supposed to spread with the top coat!)

slightly worried about painting on top of glue

As the top color(and glue) dries, the underneath color will be revealed in the cracks.

It worked!
Definitely worth it!

The Bachelorette

As this blog is very much dedicated to walking the road to Beautiful, it’s just fitting to have a running commentary on what the world views as “beautiful”, “true love”, and “reality”.  Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t put it past 2 people to fall in love on a tv show any more than eharmony or dating for 4 years.  But watching the world’s view of reality makes me A. laugh and B. scream for a reality check.  So let the reality begin:

1. Guys will do anything to impress. so ridiculous.  so competitive.

2. They’re showing a guy working out, he just found out who the bachelorette is, and he says “I’m gonna win her heart.  She’s gonna fall in love with me”,  as he does push ups.  I don’t think it matters who the girl is, he’s got his game ON.

3. “I’m definitely not afraid of all the other guys….I mean…I’ve killed a bear…”  best. line. ever.

4. Do these guys have laser hair removal? I’ve never seen so many hairless chests….

5. “I know it’s going to be hard, but you have to go through the fire to get to the happy ever after.” Yeah, this looks like pretty tough fire to go through…I’ll bet those new clothes and hot guys fighting over you make it a little easier….

6. How exhausting to have to laugh at all 25 guys’ jokes.  All night.

7. This girl gave up her job, moved out of apt, “got my priorities straight” – “if I find a husband, it’s all worth it”.  I’m afraid she might be disappointed, even if she finds a husband here….there’s one huge priority missing….

8. She mentions giving up her fears and insecurities for this….all the woman out there just gazed longingly at the beautiful woman and 25 datable men on the tv screen and thought “I wish I could get rid of MY fears and insecurities….”  YOU CAN! But Jesus is the way.  No datable man or beautiful hairstyle will fix that common thread we all share in this fallen world.

9. It’s like the battle of the worst pick-up lines EVER. Who will win?

10. Is it a good thing to have said of you, “she’s like the girl next door”?

11. A.W.K.W.A.R.D.

12. Oooooh that guy just spoke Spanish.  Nice one.  Better than any other pick up line.

13. I’ve counted at least 6 pink shirts and 4 pink ties.  Manly men wear pink.  And they want her to know they’re Manly apparently.

14. 3 guys now have climbed on top of the limo.  Men and women truly are different.

15. I like how they all keep saying they’re happy she’s so career-oriented….wait…yup…pretty sure she “gave up that priority”…oops.

16.  How do men stand to be on this show? It’s just not in their nature to have to sit back and watch a girl they’re trying to “date” flirt with another man….

17. Rose Ceremonies have so much tension!

18. Aw. That guy thought she was the one.  And now feels like a failure. I want him to know there’s more out there than a one-time chance encounter!!!

19. Frank or Roberto.  That’s as close as I get to calling it.

20. I’ve never been happier letting God direct my life.

Tales of June Bugs and SuperCuts

Today was an adventure in some of the smallest portions, but an adventure none-the-less.  It began with a visit from the lovely local plumber, who has the no small task of creating awkward situations while tracking mud into your home.  After an hour of me trying to make small talk about plumbing and hose clamps, I moved on to my next adventure…

June Bugs are my nemesis.  My arch-enemy.  There is only one bug I despise more,  but I won’t mention it’s name because it makes me shudder 🙂  I have no idea what purpose June Bugs serve on this earth, but I would like to ask Jesus one day exactly why He created them.  Never the less, June Bugs are actually April Bugs in Houston, and they are everywhere.  Dead or alive, they freak me out.  During the evenings, they collect around my front door as they frantically attempt to fly into the porch light over and over again.  So one of my tasks this morning was to sweep them (dead or alive) away from the door.  Otherwise, I jump 3 feet over them each time I go out the front door – a task that is not easy when carrying groceries or cats.  I was brave.  I was quick.  I defeated the June Bugs.  At least for this morning….

After filing my tax return and paying said taxes (enough said on that subject…), I headed to my favorite hair salon for a long over due hair cut.  Hair cuts relax me.  I am notorious for yawning during hair cuts…the hairdresser is used to it and takes my yawns as compliments.  It’s the next best thing to getting a massage.  All this anticipation built up after bugs, plumbers, and taxes….only to discover the hair salon is now closed on Mondays.  Well by now, my hair feels 14 inches long, heavy, and looks worse than it did when I left – I HAVE to find a hair cut.  After driving and searching, I finally settle on SuperCuts.  Several significant steps down the hair salon ladder, but hey, I paid taxes today – I can use something cheap right?  I walk in to a completely empty salon, save for a little Chinese man.  Who proceeds to yell at someone in the back…who turns out to be a Hispanic woman that only speaks Spanish.   How these two business partners EVER communicate is beyond me.  They both look at me and the lady says, “Hair cut, yes?”.  Good.  At least we’re on the same page?  I am quick to discover there is not going to be my beloved hair washing ritual that I so treasure at hair salons.  Oh no, out comes the spray water bottle…my hair is semi damp when the lady begins to cut.  A very sweet lady, but I really have to paint the picture for you.  Chinese Guy is watching the all-time India channel on tv behind my chair.  Hispanic Lady is speaking rapid Spanish to him, to which he is not responding.  She has a raspy “I’ve smoked a lot of cigarettes” voice.  And did I mention the teeny tiny black mini skirt? And the protruding tummy roll? I keep my eyes closed, partly so I don’t stare at her (as you know, hairdressers have to stand uncomfortably close to their clients) and partly so I can’t see what’s happening to my hair.  Literally 10 minutes later, she hands me a mirror and says “Good, yes?”.  Uh huh.  I look like a wet dog…and there’s no offer to blow dry hair in this hair salon.  I pay my $14.95, get a very awkward hug from my apparently new friend The Hairdresser, a wave and something I can’t understand from Chinese Man, and I step out to my car.  I’m not sure what just happened, and even though my hair looks horrible, I somehow feel like I experienced something really really special….but what was it?

Ah well.  Enough adventure for today.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring? 🙂

He gives and He takes away, Blessed be the Lord

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve attempted a blog post…but do you ever feel that there’s just too much happening in life to summarize into a few paragraphs? I definitely don’t have the energy or willpower to begin to process the thoughts it would take to document the last few months of my life.

So, for those of you who know the curve ball life threw my way, you’ll understand. For those of you who don’t…well…you may have to wonder a while longer, until I feel the strength to tell the world.

All in all, I have many many questions that remain unanswered. I get the impression that I may never get an answer to some of them. And others, I’m just going to have to wait for. I feel as though I woke up and found the dream I was having is suddenly a bad reality…that I turned around and found myself in a battle for my heart and everything I knew to be true – but I can’t find my way through the fog to know who’s the enemy and where to swing my sword. I almost feel like I’m just ducking behind a rock with my shield, waiting for the storm to subside. Perhaps that’s the low road and perhaps others would have opinions about what I should and shouldn’t do…but my world is suddenly upside down and I don’t really know how to turn it right-side up again.  The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy…and he has.  Or at least, he is trying and seeming to succeed.  My heart cries out that the battle is the Lords and He will have the victory, but it is still on its way.

All I do know is that somewhere in this awful mess, my Jesus stands ready to save, rescue, restore, heal, and make all things right. I know He see’s every tear, hears every prayer, knows every thought, and every desire of my heart. I know He knew this day would come, He knew how I would feel, and He knows the exact moment He’ll make everything new. I wish I could see what He sees – but my mind wouldn’t be able to take in the awesomeness of His great plan.

Many many dear friends and family have been a great support and many have been praying without knowing the details – and you are all equally needed. Many of you have your suspicions about what’s happened lately, and I guarantee you that it’s not quite what you think, but yes, you are right. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you haven’t asked me questions – I can’t hardly bear to talk about it right now. I can’t tell you how much I covet your prayers, for me and also for all involved. I promise to explain at some point, but please know there is much need for healing (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) and that I have not stopped loving, not even for one moment, the people involved in this major life change. I pray with all my heart that the Lord heals and restores what has been broken by the enemy. But even if He chooses another way than what I hope for, I will yet praise Him. He is the lover of my soul, my all in all, my everything, He is jealous for me, my comforter, my Redeemer, and Friend.

Love you all,

Charity