Bliss Ranch 2016 Pick 'O The Litter Projects

I had my favorite projects of 2016, but that doesn't mean they were also my readers favorites.

So like the November election results, some of these reader project favorites of the year, might surprise you!

Even if they are not everyone's favorite, the Bliss Ranch Blog readers have spoken and these are the results......

The Top Eight

Bliss-Ranch.com Top Projects of 2016

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Earthy Holiday Pillows From Sew A Fine Seam

I've mentioned in the past that the colors in our family room are muted shades of rusty orange, browns, and earthy colors.

We like it that way, specially at Christmas when the pine cones are in old crates  and a fire is snapping in the hearth.

Pine cones 7 up crate, Bliss-Ranch.com

And I love these three pillows as much as the warmth of the fire and glow of the Christmas tree.

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Christmas Tree Crate Base

A few years ago I made a three sided bottomless Christmas tree crate, with a paint job modeled after one I saw on a friends blog.

Why three sides instead of four?

3 Sided Christmas Tree Crate Slides in Place, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Pine Box Keepsake Gift

I have a rather wordy post today and it might get a little long.

A story for you, but it's not really mine to tell so I won't be including many of the more personal details. 

Just enough information to explain about a stinky pine box no one else wanted at a garage sale.

We have some friends.  Close ones.

Our families are pretty entwined, we have the old friends thing, the Godparent thing, the mentor thing, the previous boss thing, the kids are all friends thing, the be in each others weddings things, etc. etc. etc.. 

Even the family tree thing - some sort of third cousin deal I can never remember.  I think the grandparents were first cousins.

Keepsake Box Painted with Country Chic Paint, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Bakery Gift Sign With Funky Junk Old Sign Stencils

Depending on the specific occasion, we enjoy making gifts around here.

And as far as we can tell, the recipients like receiving them.

You know the saying about the apple doesn't fall far from the tree right?

Well there is also another saying..... whatever sprinkles your donuts.

When one of my daughters had a housewarming and "Friendsgiving" meal to attend for a college friend over the weekend, she of course wanted to make a gift.

Bakery Sign With Old Sign Stencils, Bliss-Ranch.com

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A Box Of Fun For Thanksgiving

When my oldest couple kids were small there was no internet.

Well let me rephrase that, there might have been internet but I didn't have a computer, didn't know how to run a computer and I didn't want a computer.

My how times have changed!

Back then I had to dream up ways to be inventive either by something I saw in a magazine at the check out line, or the old fashioned way......word of mouth.

If my ideas were for throwing a kids party of some kind, then I also had to source out supplies for my vision.

I might not have had a computer to get those ideas from, but I did get tons of mail in the way of product catalogs.

Oriental Trading Co. Product Charms, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Great Grandpa Herbs Vintage Toy Box

Great Grandpa Herb wasn't a handy man. 

I remember hearing that often, but it didn't mean he didn't putz around in his garage fixing things.

Old Toy Box Painted with Fusion Brook, Bliss-Ranch.com

He could bowl a 300 with ease, sink a golf ball for a hole in one farther than your eye could see, and he was strong as a horse.

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State Of The Union Address

State of the Union Address?

Of course what I really mean is the state of the blog address, I just couldn't resist a tiny bit of presidential talk with the election coming up.

Besides, my blog is in by far better shape than the union!

It might seem like I've been sluff'n with no recent project posts, and I assure you that is the truth, that yes I have been sluff'n.

For someone who has had jars of paint on her dining room table for the past three weeks I'm sort of at a loss for what I've been getting done.  In fact it looks to me like I've been getting a whole lotta nothing done.

There is one project started that with any luck will be done this weekend.

This big black 50 year old toy box.

Old Black Toy Box Gets Update

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$3.00 Halloween Banner Glittered Up

A normal Fall usually sees me making spooky preparations for Halloween, even if it's just a fake raven with an eyeball dangling from it's mouth or a few carved pumpkins.

And some years, like this year, I use whatever is handy just to give the illusion that Halloween is right around the corner. 

(What that really means is I'm too lazy to look for the orange and black bins that house the appropriate October 31st decorations).

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$10 Pallet Topped Side Table

Once upon a time I picked up a side table at a garage sale because I thought it was interesting.

If I recall correctly the lady told me her son or husband had put the table together from other parts of tables and spare wood.

She was sort of apologizing for it, but those facts just made the table more interesting to me, no apology necessary.

Pallet Wood Top Table Fusion Bayberry, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Wooden Paint Drag For Paint Layering/Distressing

Recently Carlene from Organized Clutter did a post about a product called a layering block. 

I had never seen or heard of such a thing before she introduced it.

I was intrigued.

I was also not near a craft store at the precise moment I wanted to try the product, so I made do instead.

Making do meant making one.

Homemade Wooden Paint Drag for Distressing and Paint Layering, Bliss-Ranch.com
I'm calling mine a wooden paint drag because the wood block needs to be pulled across the item to give it a distressed look. 

It's done with paint and without sanding.

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Maple Syrup Tool Tote, Thrifty Style Team

I've got a thing for totes, and for being thrifty.

Old Wood Tool Box Maple Syrup Tote, Bliss-Ranch.com

Metal ones, wood ones, ones with wood and metal, and especially free or cheap ones, which I like to refer to as the "thrifty" ones.

I picked this one up at a garage sale a couple years ago.  It was filled with tools, which makes sense because it's a tool tote, duh Bliss.

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Readers Share Their Painted Door Mats

In July I decided to try my hand at painting a faded but otherwise intact oversize front door mat. 

The mat was a more expensive one that didn't last any longer than the cheap ones, and I didn't want to toss it out so figured I had nothing to lose. 

My mat would have actually looked better if all the color had worn off leaving it a solid  looking gray rather than the half worn off look it had going on.

But painting it worked, and I was very happy with the outcome.  You can see the whole easy process by clicking here.

Painted & Revived Front Door Mat, Bliss-Ranch.com

I didn't know that posting about my door mat was going to inspire others to break out a sponge and give it a whirl, but it did, and I'd like to show you some of the door mats that readers brought back to life.

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Rootbeer Mini Keg Turned Canister

Fusion Mineral Paint has some new colors, and I'm a lucky duck to get my webbed feet on some.

13 colors total, and I headed straight for the orange.

Fusion Mineral Paints New Colors

I've been waiting for something with orange, as well as a green that is less bright or emerald-ish, because you know... I don't often use bright colors even though I like them.

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Whipping Up September Thrift Store Decor

Thrift Store Decor is all about taking an inexpensive thrifted item and incorporating it into your decor.

You know, like taking a ten dollar gadget and making it look like a million bucks......or thereabouts.

Just for the record I don't own anything worth a million bucks, and if I did I'd sell it.

Sometimes I'll find an item and rearrange it's aesthetic with paint.

And sometimes all I've got to do is dust it off and bring it home, which is the case with Septembers Thrift Store Decor.

Industrial Mixer Whisk September Thrift Store Decor Bliss-Ranch.com

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Whipping Up September Thrift Store Decor

Thrift Store Decor is all about taking an inexpensive thrifted item and incorporating it into your decor.

You know, like taking a ten dollar gadget and making it look like a million bucks......or thereabouts.

Just for the record I don't own anything worth a million bucks, and if I did I'd sell it.

Sometimes I'll find an item and rearrange it's aesthetic with paint.

And sometimes all I've got to do is dust it off and bring it home, which is the case with Septembers Thrift Store Decor.

Industrial Mixer Whisk September Thrift Store Decor Bliss-Ranch.com

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Fusion Fever Concludes With Homestead Blue And A Custom Mix

If you've been following along then you know for the last few weeks 
I've had Fusion Mineral Paint Projects fever.  


noun fe·ver \ˈfē-vər\
: a state of excited emotion or activity
This wasn't the kind of fever that makes a person sick, nope this was the kind of fever that gets the creative juices flowing, and might just have sparked a Fall painting frenzy for me here at the ranch.

Fusion Mineral Paint Tables, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Fusion Mineral Paint Grays

Fall is approaching, kids are back to school, and I told you that my fever for all things Fusion Mineral Paint wasn't going to end just because summer was coming to a close.

Today I'm showcasing two more bloggers and their Fusion painted projects.

My hot summer fever might be cooling off, but my temperature goes right back up when I see what my fellow painters create.

Fusion Mineral Paint Grays Bliss-Ranch.com

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Tones For Tots Speckled Frog and Little Piggy

Not only do I have an end of summer fever for all the Fusion Mineral Paint projects I see, but in this 5th post I'm running extra hot for anything that uses colors from the Tones For Tots line.

Fusion Mineral Paint Tones For Tots Speckled Frog Little PIggy, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Fusion Mineral Paint with My Salvaged Treasures and Team Sutton Designs

In the past three posts I've mentioned I've got this fever, and quite possibly this fever could last not just for the rest of summer but into Winter and beyond. 

It's Fusion Mineral Paint Fever and I've got it pretty good.

For the end of summer I'm introducing you to blogs who use Fusion Mineral paint just like I do.  These are non sponsored posts, and these gals aren't slackers like I've been this summer.

When it's cold and snowy outside I'm going to be wondering why I didn't paint more this summer while it felt good to be outside.

My friend Betsy from My Salvaged Treasures, has painted a project or two and inspired me countless times - COUNTLESS TIMES I tell 'ya twice because it's worth repeating.

Guest Sign Fusion Mineral Paint My Salvaged Treasures

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Fusion Casement With Funky Junk and My Patch Of Blue Sky

Have you caught the fever yet?

This is the third installment of Fusion Fever.....
Fusion Mineral Paint fever that is.

Things are really heating up with two projects from Fusion Mineral Paint in Casement.

Fusion Mineral Paint, Casement Funky Junk, My Patch Of Blue Sky, Bliss-ranch.com
I've gone through my fair share of the neutral warm white that is Casement.  In fact it is such a go-to shade of mine that I panic if my jar starts to get low.

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Little Piggy Pink With Q is for Quandie and I Restore Stuff

I'm back with some more high heat, I've still got my FEVER!  

Call it painting fever, call it a hot fever, call it a flushed face, whatever you want, but it's all about Fusion Mineral Paints and the ladies that share the same love of this paint brand that I do.

I mentioned in the first fever post with Homeroad and Orphans With Makeup, that these are not sponsored posts, I'm just burning to introduce you to some other blogs and their Fusion Mineral Paint projects.

My fever is real.

This post is all about the pig.

The oink.

And a couple Tones For Tots projects in Little Piggy.

Fusion Mineral Paint Tones For Tots, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Fusion Paint Projects By Homeroad and Orphans With Makeup

Go get a thermometer and take my temperature!
This post has Fusion Fever.

Fusion Mineral Paint Fever that is.


noun fe·ver \ˈfē-vər\
: a state of excited emotion or activity

I am definitely in a state of *excited emotion* marveling at the pieces of painted perfections I'm going to share with you, all using Fusion Mineral Paint.

As the last bits of summer fade I'll be highlighting some Fusion paint projects each week and the bloggers who create them.

These are not sponsored posts, I'm just sharing the awesome works of my painting partners in crime who also happen to use Fusion, my paint of choice.

So while little 'ol me may have been slacking this summer, these ladies have been killing it with their paint brush.

Fusion Mineral Paint Projects Homeroad Orphans With Makeup

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Oh Hail!

This is a long post.

I'm not in the mood to do any two or three part'ers, in fact I might be downright cranky lately.

If you stopped in today to see the latest dresser I painted you will be disappointed.  My apologies to both you and my sponsors, but you'll have to get over it.  And if you don't want to read a few condensed real life chapters in the book of Bliss Ranch without pretty DIY photos, well then -  auf Wiedersehen, adiós, and sayonara.

Everyone knows that life comes with ups and downs, major and minor crisis's, and then there are the things that are really nothing more than an inconvenience and a pain in the butt.

This is a post about nothing more than inconveniences and pains in the butt.....and maybe a silver lining.

For those inconvenient things that are just more of an annoyance I am pretty able to see the humor and make a little lemonade.  Just not the kind of lemonade Beyonce makes. 

This is where I announce there is no need to leave pity comments like I'm soooo sorry you have to deal with this.  The truth is - no one is more annoyed than me that I have to deal with these messes - it's all gonna pass - and it's not a big deal in the overall picture of life, so lets laugh about this schmidt shall we? 

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Reloved Mirrors, August Thrift Store Decor

I'm not sure how it's already time for August's Thrift Store Decor, but it is.

We're in the dog days of summer.

Why is August referred to that way anyhow?

Maybe it's because by August folks have grown weary of the heat and practice more of a dogs life just laying around doing a lot of nothing?

I can't say I've been doing a lot of nothing, but I sure haven't minded taking the easy route on a few things.

Like mirrors for the Jack & Jill bathroom remodel.

Thrift Store Decor Painted Mirror Fusion Ash, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Hanging Laundry Hampers

There is a Jack & Jill bathroom shared by a certain five and eight year old, and 'ya know.... they wear clothes and those clothes need a resting place before the duds hit the suds.

Not that I know a thing or two about dirty clothes - although there were at least a few of my six kids that did actually make it a habit to wear clean ones.

Jack & Jill Bathroom Hanging Laundry Hampers with Graphic, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Desserts From Pinterest - Two Winners

Like I do every time I start a post about food I must once again announce....

Bliss-Ranch Not A Food Blogger Graphic

If you are just joining me here at Bliss Ranch, what that means is I've cooked and baked more than my fair share, but when the food is done I want to get right to the tasting, and while you won't usually find me taking pretty photos of my grub, it doesn't mean I don't know how to cook.

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Refreshed And Updated Front Porch Walkway

Over the years our front porch steps and walkway have seen a lot of use.

Everything from little kids chalking on hopscotch squares and spilling their bubble blowing soap mixture, to bikes and foot traffic.

And then there were those couple years of duck doo from the crapping quackers.

The walkway and porch started out getting a fresh coat of sealer seasonally - usually in the Spring -  and in it's first years of life it looked wonderful, but 20 years later not so much.

From time to time the exposed aggregate also received an acid wash to clean things off, like rust stains from hard water dripping when the hose was left leaking.

But when repeated rough winters caused a long crack in the walkway and some sinking, it was time to give the walk an affordable fix that would revive it.

Conrete Stain Front Porch Step Walkway before after Bliss-Ranch.com

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How To Sew An Envelope Pillow

I know what you're thinking after reading the post heading.... no way, Bliss didn't make a pillow, she can't sew!

You're right.  I have something special for you in more ways than one.

The person is special.  The fact that she is guest posting is special.

I put out a call for some guest posts - long time readers know I do quite a few of those myself - and when I need a hand I know just who to ask.

But first I've gotta fill 'ya in on the state of affairs around the Ranch.......

You see we have company coming in a couple weeks and it's time to get serious about some things around here.

Like painting that Jack & Jill bathroom remodel we started months ago.  Or sealing the grout on the awesome South Cypress subway shower tile so people can actually shower in it.

South Cypress Gray Subway Tile Pfister Faucet, Bliss Ranch.com
Also sealing the poured concrete counter tops.  Washing the rest of the haze off the floor tiles.... hanging mirrors, electrical for lights, finish the plumbing, you get the idea - the list goes on and on.

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Don't Toss Your Worn Out Welcome Mat

Welcome to July's
And boy do I really mean the welcome part this month, in fact, I'm putting out the whole welcome mat for you!

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Farmhouse Cement Plank Patio Table, Part 2

Our family is growing.  I'm not getting any older of course.

What started out as a couple of young newlyweds building a life, turned into a large family of eight.  Six kids - four boys and a couple girls.

The oldest two flew the nest, and then the family grew by a daughter and son in law, and eventually two grand kids arrived.

This August another little peanut will debut as #1 Daughter and that son in law I mentioned start their family.

Cement Planked Top Farmhouse Patio Table, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Cement Plank Farmhouse Patio Table

Math fact - most patio tables will not seat the amount of people that my family needs to seat for a meal outdoors.

Which actually means most tables won't do that for a price I'm willing to pay.

Cement Plant Topped Farmhouse Patio Table, Bliss-Ranch.com

And then there is the fact that if something I desire can be made by the man with the power tools, basically that adds up to I won't be making a purchase of the item even if I found an affordable one I liked.

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Painted Pond Fish

I get a lot of my ideas from fellow bloggers. 

You know how someone can look at something and see it in a new light, update it, and the next thing you know you're looking at something similar that you own and thinking, hey I can do that!

That was the case with this old scaly chipping fish decoration that I had setting next to our pond for ten years, and I'm going to show you how easy it is to update something with a fresh coat of paint.

Update an old fish with Fusion Mineral Paint, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Powder Coated Steel Pond Bridge....From A Garage Sale

On a recent outing with daughter #2, cruising around at some city wide garage sales in I don't even remember what town, there was nothing extraordinary going on even though we did have two large furniture pieces stuffed into the back of my vehicle.

One for me, one for her.

We came to a house that had a mattress set and a sea of pink kids clothes in the yard, and as I hit the gas to keep on going I saw it....  

is that a pond bridge sitting among-est their sale items? 

Before I even got out of the car I decided the odds were against me finding the one thing we really could use, at of all places... someones garage sale.

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Mini Dessert Banners

When I host a party I usually gather all these great ideas that I want to incorporate into the event.

Trouble is many of those ideas have to be assembled or carried out at the last minute while I'm running around making sure my hors 'd oeuvres don't burn, as guests arrive early and my hair is still in a towel, so lets just say it's not unusual for a great idea to be forgotten.

Foam Mini Circus Banner for Dessert, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Sweepovac USA Giveaway

It's time to enter a
 GIVEAWAY here at Bliss Ranch

Don't know what a Sweepovac is?

Well first let me just say you want one.

Sweepovac is an in wall vacuum unit that has helped me keep up with all the dog hair  and dust on the floor around here.

I've ditched the dustpan and I'm pretty tickled about that.

From the Sweepovac web site:
"Sweepovac is a revolutionary kitchen vacuum that eliminates that pesky dirt-line often left behind by using a dustpan! It is easily placed in any kitchen by installing it in the bottom of the cabinets and does not require a central vac system. Its strong suction, removes dirt in seconds and its sleek design allows for no loss of space".

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Sweepovac In Wall Dust Vacuum

Last week I showed you a bunch of dog photos and told you about my life as the dog whisperer, how I host a few doggie guests at a time that sleep in my mudroom while their owners go on vacation.

I also told you I would show you one of the coolest products to pass through the Bliss Ranch doggie door and I think you will understand why it's so great to have it around here.
Sweepovac In Wall Vacuum, Bliss-Ranch.com
My mudroom is a good size, it's also where I have a computer so I can spend time with the dogs when they come inside to nap.

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Kreg Jig Winner - Me!

There's a group of six ladies who host a weekly link party titled "Creativity Unleashed", and they also host giveaways.

Who doesn't like to win a prize right?  I know I do.

So when time is on both Mick Jagger's side and on mine, I cruise around to my favorite blogs.  If it happens to be a day I've got a project to link I will include it, and if there is a giveaway I'll follow the rules and enter.

For sure I can't win if I don't enter, so why not throw my name in the hat since I'm already there.

Kreg Prize, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Paper Lunch Bag Star Decorations

A week or so ago I ran across a time lapse video of how to make paper bag stars inexpensively, for decorating if you have any events like baby showers, bridal showers, kids birthday parties, etc.

I didn't think of this idea on my own, although I did have flashbacks of making paper snowflakes when I was a kid.  If you Google the idea you will find more than one video.

The stars looked fun to make, and were certainly simple enough if you had a glue gun and a sharp pair of scissors.

Not everything I make from the internet turns out, and not everything is as simple as it seems in a video.

These paper bag stars were, and they get a two thumbs up.

Star Decorations Made From Paper Lunch Bags, Bliss-Ranch.com

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How I Tamed My Wild Hair, Part 1

I got a wild hair to write this post, and that hair is on my floor in case you were wondering where it was at.

You're used to stopping in here and seeing DIY, with furniture painting, wood re-purposing, sheetrock-mud slinging, and tidbits on how to take junk and make something useful from it.

But outside of those topics believe it or not I have a regular-irregular normal-abnormal life that I don't blog about.

Cute Dog, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Inspirational Sign For A Certain Boy

When I started blogging a certain little boy was just barely 4 years old.

He's aged a bit and lost those chubby preschool cheeks.

Now he swings a bat, rides anything with wheels, and plays with his little sister, but mostly he likes to hang out with his Grandpa.

Boy Positive Quote Sign with barnwood frame, Bliss-Ranch

I made a positive inspiration sign a couple years ago for his sister.

The kind of sign I hope she reads from time to time, especially as a teenager, and takes the words to heart.

Girls Positive Inspiration Sign, Bliss-Ranch.com

So it makes sense that the certain eight year old should have a sign too, with words I would want him to read as he gets older, and to put into practice.

Boy Positive Quote Sign with barnwood frame, Bliss-Ranch

The sign started out as a smooth piece of MDF and I sponged a coat of Fusion Mineral Paint in Ash as the background.

Letters were cut and placed on the wood, (twice because I messed up but we won't go there) then another coat of Ash was applied to help with bleed under the vinyl before the top color goes on.

Boy Positive Quote Sign with barnwood frame, Bliss-Ranch

For the background color I chose Little Lamb Gray from the new Tones For Tots line of Fusion Mineral Paints.

Little Lamb is a soft gray, the paint goes on excellent, and sadly my jar of it is empty.

A rustic barn wood frame was whipped up by the grandfather.

The quote is said to be an old Indian saying, I didn't come up with it.

Boy Positive Quote Sign with barnwood frame, Bliss-Ranch

How many eight year old's do you know who has their grandfather as their best friend, and how many men do you know who can say they are their sons and their grandsons best friend? 

I hope you can answer "many" to that question.

I can.

The grandfather is still his own four sons best friend.

That is quite an accomplishment to have the people that know you the best, think you are worthy of the title.

It didn't happen by accident.

I believe it's because of the way that man has lived his life, which happens to be relevant to the words on the sign.

So for that certain eight year old boy, the grandfather is a wonderful example of the good wolf.

Boy Positive Quote Sign with barnwood frame, Bliss-Ranch

And that man - the father and grandfather - who continues to make a difference in the lives of his own sons, now has the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the grand kids he loves.

Because he only feeds the good wolf.

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