Chalkboard cutting board DIY

www.nestinthewest.comAm I the only one still loving the chalkboard paint trend or do I have some company? There are so many fun projects to take on (as you may have seen here, here and here) that I’m still rolling with it. This weekend I whipped up a couple of chalkboard painted cutting boards which I think are ideal for labelling your offering at a pot luck or for a fun message at snack time.
The supplies are simple and readily available:

  • A cutting board
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Paint brush
  • Painters’ masking tape

www.nestinthewest.comUse the tape to mask off a portion of the board for painting. With larger boards, I left about a 3″ strip on one long edge. On the snack board I did a narrow strip on each short side following the pattern of the board. Wrap the tape all the way around the board as you’ll be painting the front, sides and back. Burnish the tape well onto the board. Now you’re ready to paint! I did 4 light coats allowing each to dry for about an hour between coats. Don’t be alarmed if your first 2 coats are a bit streaky. The later coats will even this out. You can set the wet board on top of the roll of tape to lift it off your painting surface and allow all painted bits to dry at once. When the final coat of paint is dry, remove the painters tape carefully. Allow the paint to cure for a good 24-48 hours. Then condition the chalkboard portion by rubbing a layer of chalk over the entire surface then brushing it off. This will leave a bit of a cloudy finish, which is good. This step is important! If you skip it, the first message you write on the board will never completely erase. Once you use the cutting board, just wipe it clean with a damp cloth, do not soak or put it in the dishwasher. How easy was that?
www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comThis is an ideal project for a day off. You can get all 4 coats of paint on in a day then let it dry overnight…or 2. I think they’d be good presents for weddings, housewarming or just for foodie friends…be sure to pass on care instructions too. I’ve had great luck finding bamboo cutting boards at the dollar store for less than $5 and I use Martha Stewart’s chalkboard paint, bought at Michaels with a coupon. Economical, functional and fun…my favorite kind of craft!

Family of friends

www.nestinthewest.comLast week sucked. Family drama. Migraine-inducing weather changes. Bad news. Financial stress. The kind of week that makes me want to cocoon away indefinitely. But I didn’t. My friends wouldn’t let me!

Like many others, I grew up in a dysfunctional family. We’ve come a long way but unfortunately we never seem to completely outgrow our old roles and hurts so spending time together can still be challenging. Thankfully I have some amazing friends! You know that old saying that our friends are the family we create? It really hit home for me as I made my way through a rough week. Unknown to each other, my friends showered me with support.

  • One coworker brought me a super thoughtful Valentine’s gift. Friends that remember their single friends on heart day are a special kind of awesome.
  • My unofficial-book-club friend sent me 3 books by a new author. So sweet and appreciated by this bookworm.
  • My far away bestie somehow knew that an email wasn’t going to cut it and called at the exact right moment. She has the uncanny ability to send love. A parcel or hand written card arrives with wishes straight from her heart to mine. So fortunate.
  • My close friend just moved into a new home and sent me off with fresh-baked cookies when I visited her new digs. We meet for coffee regularly and sort out all the problems of the world. Is there anything as heartwarming as a chat with a gal pal?

And it doesn’t end there. My neighbor sent an encouraging comment about the blog, which she has supported since it’s beginning. Ditto for my fitness friend and my new friend from my recent getaway. Another coworker gave me a little extra mothering and also encouraged me to work it out in the gym.
www.nestinthewest.comThank goodness for the kindness and understanding of friends near and far, new and old. I am so grateful for their support. The thing is, our friends see us as we are while our families tend to see us as we were. I hope you have a wonderful family of friends in your life. Now I’m off to show this week what I’m made of!

Saved a fave – t shirt upcycle

Do you ever find yourself emotionally attached to a piece of clothing? I know it’s silly but I have this long sleeve t-shirt that I just love. It’s the perfect weight to wear under a cardigan, on its own or over a tank. I’ve worn it a lot. So much so that I noticed this hole. Dang!
www.nestinthewest.comI just couldn’t part with this one. We’ve spent a lot of quality time together and travelled to London, Hawaii and Seattle at least. So, instead of throwing it away, I followed a whim and gave it a new life, actually two. I cut the shirt just under the armpits and presto-magic, had an infinity cowl. But wait. There’s more. I cut each sleeve, also just below the armpit and had instant leg warmers! These are great for keeping warm while letting newly painted toes dry or for an extra layer with skinny jeans or tights. www.nestinthewest.comwww.nestinthewest.comNo need to pull out the sewing machine, the jersey knit fabric doesn’t fray and just kind of curls in on itself making a finished enough edge for these casual projects. I wear the cut side of the cowl closest to my neck while the finished edge is at the bottom. For the leg warmers, the cut edge is on my foot and the narrower finished edge holds them up on the calf.
www.nestinthewest.comIt’s times like these when I almost wish my Scottish parents read the blog – they’d get a kick out of my resourcefulness. Must admit that I didn’t actually reach for the scissors until after I’d found this replacement!!
www.nestinthewest.comWhat about you?…any clothes you just can’t part with? How do you prolong their life?

All shirts are from the Gap.