Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Love Thrifting Party, Portland Chapter

Everyone! I’m excited to announce that I’m partnering with the Habitat for Humanity ReStores (yes, all THREE of them!) for the I <3 Thrifty Party Portland meetup on July 9th.


thrifting portland

What is the I <3 Thrifting Party, you ask?

As Mr. Goodwill Hunting (aka Rashon Carraway) says, people from all THRIFTY STATES and from every walk of life are coming together to meet up at a local thrift store to thrift and just have some plain ole fancy fun.

Do you live in Portland? Want to participate?

Visit a Habitat for Humanity ReStore on July 9th. They’ve got some fun things in store for us!

Portland Metro ReStore
66 SE Morrison St
Portland OR 97214

Washington County ReStore
13475 SW Millikan Way
(corner of SW Millikan Way and
SW Hocken Ave)
Beaverton, OR 97005

Clark County ReStore
Habitat for Humanity Store
5000 E 4th Plain Blvd
Vancouver, WA 98661

Exciting details coming soon on what the ReStores have planned!

I’ll be at one location in my I <3 Thrifting shirt, shopping around for our next remodeling project.


That’s me, rocking the wrinkly tee and grey sweats. This is Rashon. As you can see, I need to take some ‘pull yourself together’ lessons from him!


Rashon’s the mastermind behind this party and he’s an interior design guru. Go check out his blog. You’ll be so inspired by what he does with thrifted items!

I <3 Thrifting Portland Meetup
July 9th
Habitat for Humanity ReStores

There are exciting things in store for us, don’t miss it!

I’ll update you with details soon. Check back here, on my facebook page, and on Twitter. Follow the hashtag #ilovethrifting for info on events all over the world!

Want your very own t-shirt? Interested in meetups in cities besides Portland? Check out!

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Walnut Banana Rhubarb Muffins

I made up a recipe! I’m pretty excited. Even though I really combined two of them, I’m still excited. The last time I tried to do this Matt dubbed the meal “Katie Surprise” and wouldn’t eat it :)

We got some rhubarb in our CSA box. Last week I made a rhurbarb strawberry apple crisp, but this time I wanted to make something that I could eat for breakfast and get away with it.

Plus I had some bananas getting a little too ripe so I decided to make Banana Rhubarb muffins.

walnut banana rhubarb muffins

I googled for some recipes and ended up combining a Bisquick Banana Bread recipe with a Rhubarb Bread recipe. Keep in mind I was sorta making this up as I went along so bear with me.

Also, I’m sure you could make this as bread but I don’t own a bread pan, so all my breads turn into muffins. I imagine the baking time would be longer for the bread. But keep your eye on it!

Walnut Banana Rhubarb Muffins

2 2/3 cups Bisquick
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 eggs
2 large very ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/3 cup rhubarb chopped into little pieces
1/2 cup chopped nuts

The steps are really easy.

1. Mix together bisquick, white sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, eggs, bananas, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat well.

rhubarb muffins

2. Stir in the rhurbarb pieces and walnuts.

banana rhubarb muffins

3. Pour into greased muffin tins or bread pan.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes (longer for bread, but I’m not sure because I didn’t do this). Pull them out of the oven when the edges are brown and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

5. Let them cool for a few, and enjoy!

how to make rhubarb muffins

Yum! If you try them let me know how it goes!

banana rhubarb muffins

What other recipes do you like to use for rhubarb?

Thanks for visiting Newcomb Home! If you are new here and enjoy your visit, I’d love for you to subscribe for free via email or RSS to stay updated on the latest. Thank you!

Check out other great ideas at House of Hepworths, Flamingo Toes, and Addicted 2 Decorating. Pin It

Monday, June 27, 2011

Paint Crisis Averted

Last weekend my calm husband averted a Katie freak out crisis during our bathroom remodel. Back in January, I had a coupon that was about to expire for a free gallon of Benjamin Moore Aura paint. So I picked out a paint color for the bathroom. Before we even started the remodel, and without any paint samples on the wall.

I was living on the wild side.

Usually I bring home several samples, paint them all over the walls and stare at them for weeks. So picking the paint color sight unseen was like Snooki showing up for work on time. Crazy!

So 3 4 5 6 months later we finally got far enough along in the remodel that it was time to paint the walls. For this I did not live on the wild side.

Well, I did have a little wine.

paint bathroom
A lot of wine?

Awesome shirt, huh?

Seriously though, to prep for paint we carefully mudded the drywall, textured and cleaned the walls.

mud drywall

Primed the whole bathroom.

prime walls

Painted the ceiling white, and then started applying the green paint I’d picked out for the walls. It was called Dune Grass.

According to Ben Moore, a gray undertone produces this soft, light green that's clean, vibrant and versatile. This sweet shade creates a beautiful backdrop for richer, heavier colors.

Sounds pretty, right?

It was yellow.

Not calm, spa-like dune grass, but “Am I a baby’s diaper or a rotten banana?” yellow. Enter Katie crisis mode (which is not a pretty sight). When I get frustrated or flustered I tend to do what my family refers to as PP-ing. (Short for premature panicking. We shorten things).

So as I was PP-ing, my nice, nice husband went to Home Depot to pick out some other colors for the bathroom. While he was there he had a light bulb moment, “What if its the lighting?”

We had a halogen lamp in the bathroom since we were waiting to hang the light fixture until after painting. Its a pretty harsh light, so Matt thought if he changed out the lights it might change the color of the walls.

Problem was, while he was having this epiphany at HD, I was doing this.

mixing paint

I dumped a bunch of light blue into Dune Grass! When Matt came home we tested my newly created color on the wall. It was a little better, but not much; so Matt went along his way installing the light fixture while I was making jam.

And I don’t admit this very often, would even consider it risky putting in writing :) but Matt was right.

The light made a huuuge difference!

The yucky yellow turned into a grassy green. Except now in the paint can we had Dune Grass mixed with a light blue. I crossed my fingers and we painted the rest of the room.

I love it! I kept going back and forth but I do really like the color. I like to think my mixing job calmed down the green and helped with the color, but I know it was totally the light switcheroo.

The new light fixture Matt installed.

I think I’ll keep my husband around :)

Its so hard to capture paint colors in photos but here’s what it looks like.
paint bathroom walls

So, lesson learned (the hard way). 

Only judge paint colors in the correct lighting, it makes a big difference!

Actually, I usually do this. So maybe my lesson learned should be to not live on the wild side (when it comes to paint color at least). 

Its smart to paint a swatch on the wall and look at it during all parts of the day to see what morning, afternoon and evening light does to the paint color. 

Now if only Thrifty Decor Chick’s post about caulk had been published before we caulked the shower.

paintable caulk

I would have known to use paintable caulk. The 100% silicone caulk is important to use around the tub to create a waterproof seal, but for the top of the shower I should have used paintable caulk. Paint doesn’t stick to silicone, so we’ve got some touching up to do around the shower. 

Since we finished painting two weekends ago, last weekend we were able to work on the flooring. Here’s a sneak peak. 

tile floor

I’ll share more about the new floor soon! 

So what painting lesson have you learned the hard way?

Thanks for visiting Newcomb Home! If you are new here and enjoy your visit, please subscribe for free via email or RSS to stay updated on the latest. Thank you!
Linked up to A Bowl Full of LemonsTip Junkie, House of Hepworths, and My Life and Kids Find the Funny Party. Pin It

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fourth of July Faves

The Fourth of July is about a week away, so I thought I’d share my picks of the best red, white, and blue decor (and of course, dessert!) around the blogosphere. We’re not doing anything at our house for the 4th so I’ve been lazy about decorating. Instead I just stare at all the great ideas online.

I grew up in a sub-development of a residential Portland neighborhood. I loved it when I was a kid; now I realize it was a bit Pleasantville-ish. But really, Pleasantville was a great place to grow up!

Each year the neighborhood got together for a Fourth of July celebration. In the morning kids would decorate their bikes with balloons, ribbon, and crepe paper and parade around the neighborhood, while the parents watched and drank beer at 10am. The parade was followed by a neighborhood softball game, BBQ, and of course fireworks. It was always so much fun, but now when I think of Fourth of July decor I picture a bunch of bikes haphazardly decorated with crepe paper streamers and balloons.

So I’ll leave it up to these ladies to give you some great Fourth of July decor ideas.

The first that caught my eye are these red, white and blue stars from Madigan Made.
 Fourth of July decorations
I bought some at the dollar store after seeing her post, but since I’m not doing Fourth decor, I’m going to save them for Christmas time. Check out Madigan Made for a tutorial.

Dandelions and Dust Bunnies made these cute pinwheels for her mantel. She explains how to make them here (so easy!). You could do different colors for any holiday, but they’re so fitting for summer.

fourth of july mantel

Scrambled Henfruit made these festive strawberries for the Fourth of July. Don’t you want to eat one right now?

fourth of july Strawberries

Tatertots and Jello made this fun rocket wreath out of a toilet paper roll! So clever!

wreath fourth of july wreath

Somewhat Simple shared these fabulous sugar cookies. They’re gorgeous, but I don’t know if I’d be able to recreate them (lookin’ at you, Hannah!). My cousin Hannah is a pro at cookie decorating.

4th of july cookies

Those are some of my faves for Fourth of July celebrations.
What are your plans for the holiday? Pin It

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We're Jammin' (jammin', jammin', jammin')

As I mentioned when I started this ol’ blog, one of my goals this year was to learn how to can food. Last year we subscribed to a CSA box and while I made my best effort to use all the food, sometimes we let it go bad.

What a waste! Ugh, I felt so guilty. Wasting food is the worst.

I loved the CSA box and we’ve subscribed again this year. In an attempt to avoid wasting food, I’m planning to learn how to preserve it. Last weekend was a baby step toward food preservation. I made (freezer) jam!

make freezer jam

A girlfriend and I went to a local organic farm and picked about 12 pounds of strawberries. We were WAY too ambitious when we started. We headed out to the field with 5 buckets – two hours later we’d filled only one and a half and decided to call it a day. I’m pretty sure all of the farm employees were laughing at us.

We headed home and followed the directions on the pectin container to make freezer jam (no sealing the cans yet, we’ll try that later this summer). It was actually much easier than I thought it would be. If I can do it, so can you!

How to Make Freezer Jam

We doubled the recipe to make 2 16-ounce jars. I’m not sure why, but you’re not supposed to do more than 3 batches at a time, so we did three rounds of double batches.

You’ll need (for one double batch):
Ball Instant Pectin (4 tablespoons)
Sugar (1 & 1/3 cups)
Strawberries (3 & 1/3 cups after their smashed)

The easy process:

1. Clean and prep strawberries

strawberry jam
2. Smash smash smash! I don’t have a potato masher so we used the bottom of a clean jar and it worked great.

strawberry freezer jam As you can see, we tried lots of things, but the jar smashed the berries best.

3. Mix together sugar and pectin, stir.

freezer jam 
4. Add in the strawberries, stir a lot more!

how to make freezer jam

5. Pour into jar and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes.

organic strawberry jam

6. Freeze and enjoy!

homemade jam

The jam is delicious and the best part is that there’s only 3 ingredients! I looked at the store-bought jam we have and there’s corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, AND sugar. Lord knows the love handles don’t need aaallll that stuff. Our homemade jam with good, old regular sugar will do the trick just fine :)

Can’t wait for our next food preservation adventure. Next time we’ll have to step up our game and try to can something!

Have you ever canned food? How hard is it?

Linked up to House of Hepworths.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

'Must Read' Blog List

Inspired by Madigan Made, I thought I’d write a 'Must Read' list of blogs I adore. There has been lots of talk lately in the blogosphere about support, so I wanted to share my support for these blogs I love to follow.

I purposely did not include any blogs on my 'Faves' list. These get my support on a daily basis, so I wanted to share some others that I enjoy reading every day. Please click over and check them out!

1. Hello Newman’s - Anne at Hello Newman's is the sweetest person I've 'met' through blogland. She has fantastic decor ideas and can bust through home renovation projects at an impressive speed. Plus, visit her blog and you get to see pics of her adorable tot.

2. Newly Woodwards - Kim and her hubby are renovating an entire house! If you ever need some motivation for getting remodeling projects done, visit Newly Woodwards and see how much progress they make each week (along with recipes they've tried and great decor ideas).

3. Take the Side Street - If you read Take the Side Street, you'll feel like Anna is just a friend chatting with you. She's got a great writing style and detailed tutorials to make knock off decor on the cheap.

4. DIY Home Staging Tips - I first bookmarked DIY Home Staging Tips because I thought it'd be useful down the road if we ever move. Boy was I wrong! Barbara's tips for staging a home are useful for anyone transforming their house into a welcoming, warm place for their family and visitors.

5. Serenity Now - Amanda's blog is a great resource for craft ideas, recipes, and blogging tips. On Serenity Now, Amanda shares not only her own great decor ideas, but generously features other bloggers' projects.

What is on your must read list? Pin It

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to Mud Drywall Joints

After a week month long hiatus, Matt and I are back in action fixing up the bathroom. I think we took a little break because we were stuck on the not so fun tasks. Like mudding the drywall.

I do NOT enjoy mudding drywall. I think its because I have to be careful (I’m usually not good with patience-required tasks like that), and there is no gratification afterward. No pretty new wall, just a mudded joint. But, it has to be done!

This was actually my first attempt, but a friend helped me get started and I got some tips from my SIL that I’d like to share with you.

Please note: We have texture walls, so it doesn’t have to be purrrfect :) Please be even more precise than me if you don’t!

How to Mud Drywall

You’ll need:
Joint Compound (we used pre-mixed all purpose joint compound from Hamilton Drywall Products)
Drywall tape
Drywall Knives
100 grit sand paper

The basic steps:
  1. Fill the gap between drywall boards and spread a little mud around the gap(to give the tape a place to stick)
  2. Place the drywall tape over the gap and press it into the mud using a putty knife
  3. Spread a thin layer of mud over the tape
  4. Smooth it out using the drywall knives
  5. Let dry
  6. Sand any parts that aren’t smooth
  7. Repeat steps 3-6, with a slightly wider layer each time. Three coats of mud worked for us!
  8. On the last layer of mud, I recommend using a sponge instead of sanding. It takes off less mud and will leave a nice, smooth surface.
Your three layers of mud will look like this.
finish drywall
Diagram from This Old House

For more details, see this tutorial from This Old House.

Since This Old House provides a wonderful step-by-step guide, I’m just going to give you some of my tips that made drywall mudding a little easier for a newbie.

1. It’s totally worth it to invest in a long drywall knife. Its so much easier to make one sweep over the entire wall, rather than try to make it smooth with a couple separate strokes. In fact, its worthwhile to invest tin a range of drywall knives. We used a 3-incher to fill in the gaps between the drywall pieces, a 6-inch knife to smooth it out, and then the 14 inch one to apply and smooth out the 2nd and 3rd layers.

2. If the tape looks bubbly after your first try, pull it off and start over. I didn’t put enough joint compound on the wall around the gap at first, so the tape didn’t stick very well. I tried to fix it but just made a mess. Its much better to just start over!

mud drywall joints
Sorry about the flash. Tearing off the tape and starting over.

3. If you used pre-mixed joint compound, add a little water for the 2nd and 3rd layers. We probably added 1/3 cup drywall to a full tray of compound. Mix it in really well! Using slightly thinner compound made it much easier to smooth out.

4. Before smoothing out your layer of mud, dip your fingers in water and clean off the edge of your knife. Its ok to leave the  knife wet, but the water helps keep the edge of your knife totally clean and free of little pieces that will make funny indents into your wall, and will make you totally frustrated.

5. When sanding, hold a shop vac under your sanding hand to collect the dust. This was a bit cumbersome for me at first, but I got used to it and it made clean up ssooo much easier. The first time I sanded I did not do this and dust was all over the house. Literally.

how to mud drywall

6. After your last layer, use a sponge rather than sanding. For me, using a slightly wet sponge rather than sanding took off less mud (don’t press too hard!) and allowed me to make a really smooth surface without taking off too much.

7. When you ask your husband, “Does this look smooth?”, remind him not to touch the wet mud :)

drywall mud

We’re back in the remodel game and made a ton of progress over the weekend.

Can’t wait to show you! Here’s a sneak peak…

light fixture before and after

What did you do this weekend?

Linked up at C.R.A.F.T.'s Making Monday Marvelous Party and Home Stories A to Z Tips and Tutorials Tuesday, and Hookin Up with House of Hepworths. Pin It

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Trick to Make Spray Painting Hardware a Cinch

I bought some hardware at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $1 each. Pretty good, right?

I liked the shape, but the brass finish wasn’t what I was going for and was kinda beat up.

vanity hardware

Of course, I solved this problem with spray paint :)

krylon brushed metallic
I just wanted to share a quick little trick I discovered (everyone probably does this, but it just came to me!). It’ll help you get your hardware spray painted quickly and evenly.
The trick is cardboard.
spraypaint hardware

If you use the screws to poke holes in the sturdy cardboard, then screw on the hardware, it’ll stand up perfectly so you’re able to spray paint the whole thing at once.

krylon metallic spray paint

I placed the cardboard on a crate so it didn’t matter that the screws were poking out.

Just make sure your neighbors aren’t having a little party downwind of your spray paint. Sometimes I am so unaware of my surroundings! Luckily after one spray I noticed them and hid behind the car. And as far as I can tell the car is not brushed nickel!

how to spray paint hardware
I know, I know. I should have primed them!

This worked great for me and now I have nice, brushed nickel hardware! I might use them on the bathroom vanity doors. I have to make sure they match the knobs on the drawers, but I better figure it out because I’m almost done painting. Can’t wait to show you this weekend!

What tricks do you have up your sleeve to paint oddly shaped items?

Linked up at House of Hepworths, Somewhat Simple, The Shabby Chic Cottage, Homemaker on a Dime, and The Lettered Cottage. Pin It

Monday, June 13, 2011

My First (Documented) Craft Fail

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to try out a new product, Envirotex Lite resin, and I shared with you guys wood napkin rings I made using some shims, ribbon, and the resin.

I think they turned out pretty cute.

napkin rings

The wood napkin rings turned out well but they were a bit of a bear to make, so I went for round two. I tried to make a different style napkin ring out of Envirotex Lite resin.

The results were, um, interesting. They don’t look so bad in a picture.

napkin rings  

But in real life they’re strange looking (and unsymmetrical, which really bugs). One side is nice and curved, like the inside of the mold, and the other side is concave and has jagged little pills edges.


Not only did the napkin rings turn out crappy, but I wasn’t able to get them out of the mold without breaking everything.

resin mold fail

But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, so I’ll back up a bit. I got this idea from some white napkin rings I’d seen (I think in the Crate and Barrel outlet?). They were similar to these.



I like the smooth texture and simple, solid color. So when I was on a roll with the resin from the first napkin ring project, I searched my house to try and find a makeshift mold to recreate the napkin rings above.

I considered contact solution bottles, baby bottle caps (my nephew’s, not ours!), and measuring cups, but finally decided to use some hair spray caps and travel sized shampoo bottles as a mold.

 craft fail

I used food coloring to dye the resin.

color resin

And poured the resin into the molds. About 48 hours later they were completely hardened. And completely stuck in the hair spray caps.

resin mold

I ended up breaking everything, both caps and shampoo bottles, to get the napkin rings out. In the process, my hands turned completely blue.

As I showed you before, the results aren’t great. One side looks reasonably normal (the side that was in the cap), but the side that was exposed to the air looks terrible.

napkin rings resin   Sorry, I can’t get the color in this pic to look normal.

I may try and sand them down, but for now they are not workin’ for me.

However, I think this idea has potential! First, I saw these at Target.


Its reassuring that someone’s selling napkin rings that look like my homemade ones (or at least how they looked it my head).

Second, I really like the look of the colored resin. It could be more translucent or dark, depending on how much food coloring you use.

My trouble is that I still can’t think of something to use as a mold. After a week or so, the food coloring stopped leaving marks on my hands so I don’t think that’s a permanent problem. But I don’t want to have to break whatever I use as a mold to do this again.

Also, glass objects DON’T work. The resin sticks. I foolishly used the top of a nice decanter in one mold.


Yeah… Its still on there. We’ll rescue the decanter top soon enough, don’t worry!

So there you have it. My first craft fail (well, the first one where I’ve got pictures!).

Do you have any ideas for how to make this work? Have you ever purchased a resin mold or mold-making products?

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