Staining Back Porch Corncrete

Here is my ugly back porch. Isn't it awful?
Nothing about plain concrete is pretty. It gets stained every spring from the pollen and leaves. I'm constantly cleaning it.  I sure hope staining it will make me happy.
I'm using an etching stain I got from Lowes. The first thing I had to do in preparation was clean it really, really good. I had the porch pressure washed a month ago but the pollen stained it again.  No such luck for me! I had to clean it again. 
I scrubbed with concrete cleaner that had some sort of acid in it because it burned my hands a little. Oh well! That did not do the trick, so I borrowed my neighbors pressure washer. That did not get the stains off either. Last resort good old clorox bleach! Straight bleach right on the stains. Worked like a charm. Wish I would have tried that first!
Next step is to tape off areas not wanting to get stained like my walls and door.
Cleaning and taping took me most of Monday. (All that squatting  and bending makes my back hurt really, really bad.)
I was going to wait until the next morning to do the staining but the weather man predicted wind so I decided to do it that same night. At 7:00 P.M. Monday night I'm staining my back porch, and of course I ran out of product. One container was not enough. Luckily Lowe's is not far from my home.

I sprayed the stain on with a hand held pump sprayer. It is what Lowes recommended using. Then let it dry a full 24 hours.
The next step which I did this morning is to scrub it with a water/ baking soda mixture and a push broom. Working in a four foot area at a time and picking up  the baking soda water mixture with a shop vac. I have a small vac so another back breaking ordeal. I have to clean it again with the baking soda mixture because there is still powdery residue that needs to be lifted. Next step  is to paint on the high gloss finish. This step will probably not happen until Saturday.  I'm really pleased with it so far. The picture does not do it justice. It is a really nice rusty color and looks pretty natural. I think the gloss finish will make it look better.

Bloom Inspiration Avenue Challenge

Here is my entry for this weeks challenge at Inspiration Avenue. The challenge is bloom! This challenge was so much fun. It's  been a while since I worked in Photoshop. I found this girl a while back and have been wanting to use her in one art form or another. Doesn't she look like she is blooming right out of that flower? She is a late bloomer! I used one of my antique rose pictures, shot this spring for the background and then photoshop did the rest.
Check out Inspiration Avenue blog to check out the other entries.

Vegas And Back

Here is what I've been working on.

I'm finally able to settle down and blog again. I've been to Las Vegas and back. We had a blast. My husband won a jackpot on the slots. He hates the slots. Go figure!. I again love the slots and won nothing, nada, nilch, very depressing. I was so excited when he won, I could hardly stand it. He just sat there looking at me and said "this changes nothing I still do not like slots." lol! He is such a brat! Oh well. I'm home and refreshed and ready to get back to my art. I have a show this Sunday at a small market in a shopping center. I think it will be fun. I'm sharing space with another girl. I'll be bringing my jewelry and totes. This week I'm cranking out the pendants and trying something new. As you can see in the photo I'm going to solder a shell. This one is from the batch of shells my son found on his last trip to the coast. I really like the ones with the wings. I'm going to have to find out what they are officially called. I know they are not "angel wing" shells like I like to call them. lol!  I usually give made up names to things when I don't know what the real names are. This gets me in trouble because most people have no clue what I'm talking about.
I decided to make memory glass pendants from my ladies I painted last year......Frida and The Girl with the Pearl earring. This is something I've been contemplating for a while, I just never wanted to do it. Why I don't know. I love it when ideas come to me and I just go with the flow. Sometimes I censor myself too much, so it's nice when I just do it.
On another note I know I said I was going to blog about my back porch.....well that is a sore subject with me. I have done nothing YET! My furniture is still out in the YARD, not protected from the RAIN. The carpenters and painters took so long to finish the job. They actually came to our house to finish up while we were on our trip. It rained so hard while we were gone, leaving oak pollen stains everywhere.  Now I'm going to have to clean my porch again before I can stain it. It will have to wait until after Sunday. Weather permitting I will be working on my porch next week. As always one thing leads to another..... now I want to paint my furniture too. Will it ever end?????

I Heart Paris

I'm so happy I  finished this tote. It is my tribute to Paris. It is called I Heart Paris. It's listed over in my Etsy shop.
Most people who know me know I would die to go to Paris one day. It's just one of my dreams and I know one day I'll get there. It's not in the stars as of yet. Who knows maybe next year! We keep putting it off. There's always a better way to spend money like painting the house and going to Vegas.  Yes I'll be going to Vegas soon. Yea!!! My husband and I love to go to Vegas. Hopefully the weather will be nice because I want to go to the pool. The pool at the Paris Hotel is so awesome. And yes I'll be staying at the Paris Hotel. If  I can't go to the real PARIS at least I can stay at Paris in LasVegas. heehee! :)

Bluebonnets & Wildflowers

This is one of the best crops of bluebonnets in years. The winter weather conditions were conducive to producing an enormous amount of bluebonnets and Indian Red Blankets and all the others. It is absolutely beautiful to drive around and not just in the country either.. They are on the highways in our huge metropolis. You don't have to go far to see them. Spring is so awesome! I love it.
I hope you can enjoy them here. These pictures really do not do them justice and they smell so wonderful too. Happy spring everyone!