Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
This month’s issue of Food Network Magazine is showcasing fifty different eggs from fifty different bloggers (you can now see them all online here: Easter Eggs Across America). Each state is represented! I am honored to represent Louisiana as this is the state I have lived in for the past six years. I have grown to love it here as it is a state full of it’s own unique culture and such wonderful people. I had to share a few ideas on what type of egg I could create that would showcase a bit of the state. I secretly really wanted to make a crawfish egg, but Mardi Gras beat it out hahaha. That is one thing this state is known for and we have enjoyed all the family events that come along during that time of the year. I now get to share the Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY for anyone who might want to make one or create their own spin of this type of egg. Or, as i like to call it, a Masquer-Egg…..get it? ;)

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY | happy together Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY | happy together
Materials needed:

  • Boiled Egg or Fake Egg (I used an Eggnot)
  • Mardi Gras colors of acrylic paint (purple and green)
  • 2 Paint Brushes
  • Gold Leaf Flakes
  • Gold Leaf Adhesive (my local craft stores were all out, so I used Mod Podge and it worked great)
  • Optional: One Step Crackle Finish (I used this to try to create more texture, but it didn’t make enough of a noticeable difference in my opinion)
  • Mask: black card stock, toothpick, small feathers, small rhinestones, glue, and small scissors or exacto knife)
  • Optional: Egg Carton

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Begin by painting the top of the egg purple. Allow to fully dry. I found that using an old egg carton upside down was a great way to set the egg in place during drying times (see picture further down of this).

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Once the purple is dry, paint the rest green. Allow it to fully dry. If you like, this is when you can add the one step crackle finish to one side at a time. Allow to dry.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Now for the fun part. I had never used gold leaf flakes before and was excited to try it out. It was fun! It made me want to gold leaf all the things. I painted on a layer of Mod Podge to one end of the egg. Then I took a dry brush and placed it in the gold leaf flakes and applied them. I just added the flakes until I was happy with it. Then I took the brush I had applied the Mod Podge with and added a top coating of Mod Podge to the flakes to seal them in place.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
Once that half is dry, flip the egg over and repeat on the other end.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
For the mask, I found a simple outline on the internet. I printed it to the size I wanted and used that as a template to cut out the black card stock. I had no small scissors, so I used an exacto knife to make the small intricate cuts.

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY
You can decorate your mask how you like, but I glued on small feathers and two small rhinestones for a simple look. Then I painted a toothpick black to be the holder. Glue the mask in a place you like and let it dry. Now you have a fancy Mardi Gras Easter Egg. Don’t forget to check out the Food Network Magazine to see all the other state Easter Eggs.  -jess

Mardi Gras Easter Egg DIY

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Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
Last weekend I hosted my Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop. It was so much fun and to add to the fun it actually snowed the morning of this workshop! It never snows here in Southwest Louisiana so it was quite a surprise. The locals told me the last time it actually snowed like this was twenty something years ago. It was also the first time my two daughters were able to experience snow and that was a whole magical thing to watch in and of itself. So with snow on the ground (but not the roads thankfully), I prepared for my guests and we even made them gumbo and hot chocolate (from scratch!) to enjoy during the craft night.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
I kept the decor simple since our home was already decorated for Christmas. I made a simple sign with some card stock using my Cricut machine and used paper decorations that I have picked up over the years when I see them on sale. I highly recommend doing that if you host lots of parties. Then you have a stash you can always grab from. I laid out each space with the sign they would be painting, their supplies, and fabric covered plastic candy canes with their names on it.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
Once everyone arrived, we snacked some and then got to work. There were three projects: a Christmas countdown sign, oyster shell ornaments, and water color gift tags with pom poms. While the sign and ornaments were a “do it just like me” kind of project, the water color tags allowed them to be creative and make them however they wanted. I loved seeing everyone’s creativity and I enjoyed sharing with them skills they hadn’t learned before.

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Workshop | happy together
I’m so thankful for these ladies that support and encourage me in my crafting endeavors. They make these type of events so worth it! -jess

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A Fireplace Refresh

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
A few weeks ago I was able to do a fireplace refresh and it felt so good to finish this space off for my client (at least for now haha….. custom corbels that fit the mantle are coming in soon). It was a cute space to begin with, but a few extra touches really took it to the next level.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
One of the first things I suggested was that we replace the tile on the hearth. I decided that a good way to do this was to paint the interior bottom tiles the same black as the painted brick and just redo the front part. It made for an easier job so there was no need to mess with the gas lines and it saved money on the tile. You can see in the pictures below how I had painted the inside and then tore out the front tiles. It was my first time ever removing tiles and just that little area was a bit tiring to do. It was a good learning experience lol.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
My client decided on these beautiful tiles and since it was a small space I just used a bucket of premixed mastic and grout to finish the job. Once that had all dried, I started to trim out a lot of the edges on the wall, fireplace, and bookshelf. My client had removed some sheet rock at some point and discovered all the wood underneath, so a few of us told her it would be so pretty to expose it! She had the drywall on one side wall and the fireplace all removed. While this was pretty, it was kind of rough looking in some spots since it was not installed for the point of being exposed. There were also some spots previous contractors had just left unfinished and that bugged me. Oh and there was some big gaps around the fireplace that needed to be covered up as well. I had to custom cut the trim myself from this 4’x8′ piece of plywood to make sure all the corner wall seams would be covered up. I love this type of plywood because it is really thin so it doesn’t look too chunky and is super affordable. I cut 8′ long strips of 2.25″ and installed them where needed. I then used the leftover grout from the hearth to fill in the gaps in between the bricks and the wood.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
After using a nail gun to get all the trim in place, I caulked around everything. Once all of that was dry, I went back and touched up the black paint on the fireplace sides and added a quarter round to the hearth since there had not been one there. That made for a nice finished look.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
My client then helped me paint all the wood in Benjamin Moore White Dove. It’s a pretty white that isn’t so harsh on your eyes. I noticed undertones of gray which went well with the colors in this room. She had whitewashed the walls before, but we talked and decided that solid paint fit the style of her living room more. I personally feel the painted walls make everything else pop a lot more than before.

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
Oh, and one other thing I did was add some extra trim to the mantle. She had a mutual friend of ours make the mantle and it was lovely, but she wanted it to have a little more to it to go with the rest of her decor. I added a few types of trims and then put these pretty corbels she had back up. While it is lovely, we did go and custom order some corbels that will fit the space better. Those come in soon, but it still is just lovely. Isn’t it amazing how finishing things up in a house can make a world of difference?

A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together A Fireplace Refresh | happy together
And if you’re curious, the stain used on the mantle, shelves, and quarter round is Minwax Early American. I’m really enjoying doing small jobs like these and am continuously learning a lot. And who knows, maybe one day we will get some type of fixer upper and really have some fun! -jess

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Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together
Christmas is just around the corner! If you live in the Southwest Louisiana area, I am hosting a ladies night out Christmas craft workshop “Craft, Snack, and Be Merry” that you are invited to attend. It will be held on Friday, December 8, 2017, at 6:30 pm in Sulphur, LA. The address of where it will take place will be sent once your ticket is purchased. Each participant will create three projects: a hand painted Christmas countdown sign, a gilded oyster shell ornament, and water color gift tags with mini pom-poms. All supplies are provided and there will be snacks too. The cost is $35 + processing fees and you can register here. There are limited tickets available, so make sure to get yours today if you plan on attending. I look forward to doing some Christmas crafting with y’all. -jess

Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together Gilded Oyster Shell Ornament | Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together Water Color Gift Tags with Mini Pom-poms |Craft, Snack, and Be Merry Craft Workshop | happy together

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Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover – The Maddox House

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
This past year I have started taking on some interior design clients. I love doing things well and on a budget (as has always been shown on this blog) and others have wanted me to help them do the same. After helping with doing some big makeovers at my church (which I will also get blogged about one of these days lol), I began first working with a friend on her home. She wanted a change and loves the farmhouse look but it needed to happen within a budget. So I came over and we talked about all the different type of changes that we could do to make the biggest impact to give her space a farmhouse kitchen makeover. The main obvious and most cost effective changes were to paint the cabinets and walls, add a new light fixture, and install a backsplash.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
You can see in the “before” pictures below that the walls were a bright yellow, the cabinets were really dark, there was no backsplash, and well I didn’t get a picture with the old light fixture but it was your basic builder type. She really wanted to lighten things up, so I talked to her about the colors and undertones in her counter tops and flooring and what would be good to compliment them since those things would be staying.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
The very first thing we did was paint the walls Aesthetic White by Sherwin Williams. It’s a color that compliments the other rooms in her home, which I will get to share later. That immediately changed the whole feel of the kitchen and brightened it up. Next we painted the kitchen cabinets with Annie Sloan chalk paint in Graphite. It’s a black color but it has these gray undertones so that next to the counter tops it looks like the dark gray we wanted. Now my friend did most of the cabinet painting and it was tiring, but there was little prep. She cleaned them all real good and then we both started painting them together. All in all she only used four quarts to do all of these cabinets! I couldn’t believe how far that paint went. I had read reviews about what to use as a sealer and went with a polycrylic finish. This really protects the paint and makes it super easy to clean. My friend loves it! She has two young boys and says she has had no problem keeping it clean or paint chipping. In hind sight, we should have used the matte polycrylic though lol. Her home is high off the ground, so when the sun reflects in from the front the cabinets show the brush strokes from the polycrylic. I’m not sure why we didn’t get matte or if it was an accident and by the time it was on it was too late…… but my friend doesn’t mind and it is more exaggerated in the pictures than in real life. But, if you do this, get the matte finish ;)

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
To have a less cluttered look, I arranged her shelving to hold things that she used but it looked nice as well. We did a lot of “shopping” of things she already owned. The only accents she bought were a few things of greenery.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
The backsplash was fun to install and took two days. We used this brick veneer from Lowes and used construction adhesive to put them in place. I started at the bottom and worked up. There was a small gap at the top, but I used wood trim to fill in the gap. Since we painted the wood the same color as the cabinets, it looks like a part of the cabinets. I used a chisel and hammer to break the bricks where it was needed. So that means anyone can easily do this type of backsplash without needing a ton of expensive special tools! For the “mortar”, I used this grout. Since it was a small area, we splurged a bit and got the premixed stuff which saves time and is always mixed correctly. I used a grout piping bag, piped it into all the cracks, and every few feet took a break and used a wet sponge (squeeze excess water off first) to gently dab on it to fully fill in the cracks and smooth it out. Truly, so easy to do. These two tutorials (here and here) are good to look at, similar, but use a few different items in each one. We just need to add a sealant to the bricks and then it’s all done.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
There also used to be a microwave above the stove. Unfortunately, each of their boys have accidentally used it wrong and after going through two microwaves, they don’t want one and have found they don’t really need one. So I built a hood to cover the space and left room enough for them to later install a fan. Since there is an outlet up there and storage, the top front of the hood is on hinges and can open. I forget to take a picture of that, but here is what the base looks like. Then those front pieces are the “door”.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
We continued the brick backsplash on the other side of the room and might go back and also do the desk area. The cute shelves were a find from Target and the basket was gifted to my friend. Some of the items on the shelf are family heirlooms that are now proudly displayed.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
Now, let’s just talk about this chandelier for a minute. I discovered it on Target’s website for fifty something dollars. I thought for sure it would be a “too good to be true” deal, but after reading the reviews we decided to try it. It truly is a fabulous deal! It’s just as well made as ones I have purchased for much more money. And the size is really good for smaller spaces. I installed this myself and it was really easy to do. The biggest difference I see is that the finish isn’t as matte as more expensive chandeliers, but a can of spray paint can fix that if you find it an issue. It also comes in two other colors. So if you’re on a tight budget this is a great farmhouse style light fixture to consider.

A Farmhouse Kitchen Makeover - The Maddox House | happy together
I can’t wait to show you the other rooms in her home that are almost done. And I hope this inspires you, that regardless of your budget, you can make your home yours. Take your time. This room didn’t happen overnight. It was strategically thought out and carefully done. Now it’s so welcoming and my friend and her family just love it. -jess

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