Thursday, March 28, 2013

Featured on the Huffington Post

Wowee!!! I am super excited to tell everyone I was contacted by Huffington Post to be featured on their DIY Home page!!
Here’s the link everyone!!

Go Check it out!! I love REAL Easter grass and my tutorial was featured!!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/easter-ideas-centerpieces-photos_n_2950017.html



Happy Easter Everyone!
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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pine to Mahogany?

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My new studio is limited on space so I had to get real creative to get a desk in there. I had three pieces (my library card catalog, my cheese box cupboard and my antique buffet) that are going to be forever staples in my studio so I had to rearrange my studio three times to get a desk to fit and it required making a custom desk top.
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Now that I don’t have a woodshop behind my house, I had to get creative. I searched the aisles in Home Depot and found that they now carry boards already glued together. Wahoo!! The tools that I didn’t have, I didn’t need for this project. The boards were already glued! I used a pencil to sketch out the the shape of the desk. It needed it to be skinny at the far end so that the closet door would open.
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I used my jigsaw to cut the shape out. I was going to have the island part facing toward the door until my husband questioned if I shouldn’t have it face into the room for better flow. I wanted it on the opposite side of my chair so my daughter could have a space at the desk. (that’s what she asked for Christmas, a desk in my studio; which we tried but it’s just too small so I told her that we could share a desk and get her a cool chair) and it will work she can still use her chair if the island faced into the room.
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So, before I stained it, I flipped it over the way my husband suggested. It had a couple of wood knots and a few nicks that I would have strategically cut around if I had realized earlier that I would want the desk island to face the other direction. Oh well, it sanded out pretty well and I could live with the couple extra wood knots. After it was sanded I put on the first color of stain. Ummm, too light. I wanted it to match the antique pieces of furniture and it needed to be darker.
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I streaked on some darker stain, keeping with the grain. I kept added strokes of stain until it was dark enough. With the streaks, it gave a different wood grain look that looked more like mahogany instead of pine. Perfect!
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As soon as I was ready to polyurethane it, we got a cold spell and it was too cold to poly outside so I had to take it inside to do the polyurethane. (I kept the door closed and the window cracked a bit so the smell wasn’t so bad) 
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I Sanded between the second coat so that it will be super smooth. You need to use a 220 grit sandpaper between layers and wipe off the debris. You can add as many layers as you want, just sand between each layer. Always apply poly “with” the grain of the wood.
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This the modular “desk” piece from the Utah studio that I have been currently using and was too long if I tried to put it between the cubes. It made the walk space too tight. The desk was carefully balanced on top of the cubes and if you moved it too far one way, your whole project found itself on the floor. I was ready for a custom desk top.
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This pine/mahogany look-alike desk top has made all the difference on the flow of the studio. It gives such a great space to work on and fits the space perfectly!
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Now I have a custom desk ready for projects!! It’s a pine wood that looks like mahogany or another more expensive wood! It’s has two layers of polyurethane so that makes it wipe-able and super durable.
A custom studio desk-top…matching the existing antiques and custom built furniture….Awesome!
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

EASTER GRASS IN A CHICKEN FEEDER

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I love this time of year, especially because it’s time to grow some Easter Grass. Green just makes me think of spring! I made a tutorial a few years ago on how to grow real Easter grass and you can go HERE that shows my step by step instructions. I will give a few tips here but, the complete tutorial is found on my tutorial blog post.
This year I planted in a chicken feeder. I know what you are thinking….a CHICKEN feeder. But, the shape is phenomenal and fills a long table with the perfect amount of greenery. It is wonderful for spring.
I also used the chicken feeder this last week for an event that celebrated a women’s organizations birthday, so I used some simple pink scrapbook paper and bamboo sticks to complete my dessert table centerpiece.
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I used grocery sacks to cover the bottom because I had small holes in the corners of the chicken feeder. Some chicken feeders aren’t water tight so I had to use plastic to cover the bottom and corners, then filled with potting soil. I used my water bottle to wet it down with water and then spread my soaked wheat on top.
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After seven days, I had a beautiful grass centerpiece to set on a long dessert table. I picked up my camera and was ready to click a picture of the table at the event and my camera flashed “no SD card”. Grrrr  So, I didn’t get any pictures at the event. I snapped this one the next morning. Image the dessert table with all pink, black and white d├ęcor. SO CUTE!
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The paper letters were taped to bamboo sticks (kabob sticks) and stuck into the grass. The “happy” sign was held up with two bamboo sticks.
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Now that the event is over, I am using it as my centerpiece on my long farm table. After about a week, the grass will need a haircut. I trim off the top and them my whole kitchen smells like cut grass. Such a wonderful spring smell!
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A simple centerpiece, PERFECT for spring, even if it is in a chicken feeder!
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cassandradesignstudio.com

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Chalking

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Searching for Spring quotes has been fun and makes me want to see the green grass and tulips poking through the soil. I decided that even though there is still snow on the ground, I would change my chalkboard to help spring come indoors even if spring is a few weeks away, outside.
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I designed the Longfellow saying for my chalkboard with fonts and swirls in photoshop. I almost chose the saying by Percy Shelley, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?” But, after seeing the longfellow quote done by a few others, I chose to mimic miss mustard seed’s cute chalkboard from a few years ago. I went with the Longfellow quote. It speaks spring to me! Then using my handy, dandy craft projector I chalked out my saying.
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I pulled out my vintage chalk and used my water technique to get the super crisp, white lines of the chalkboard. (water technique: dip your chalk into water and it will go on really light but, as it dries, it comes out really white and bright. So, have a small cup of water around to dip your chalk into)
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I freehanded a birds nest, tree branch, flower and pendant around the “all it’s birds” to create a little distinction between the phrases.

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Happy Spring Everyone! (even if it’s a few weeks away outside)
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