Spray Paint DON’Ts

by Lucky Red Hen on January 9, 2013

spraypaintdontsnot the charm for me, but I’m pretty sure the next time I’ll be more successful because I made ALL THE MISTAKES possible already.

Spray painting tips (borrowed from Krylon’s website; my DON’Ts are in green):

  1. Choose your location. Make sure you work in a well–ventilated area. Spray outdoors whenever possible or when using spray paint indoors, make sure the area is well-ventilated by opening doors, windows or using a fan. Avoid painting in direct sunlight and in hot, humid weather.
    DON’T: use your windowless laundry room with the door closed (so overspray doesn’t end up on the hardwood floor in the hall), even if you’re using a fan. A fan will blow all the neon green paint particles around the room and onto every surface, including your walls, tables, expensive washer and dryer, bamboo floor mat, sink surround, electric cords, linoleum floor, clothes, hair, skin, bottom of feet, white towels, dirty clothes, and stainless steel table). And the hairdryer that I thought would help speed the dry time ended up in the garbage because the vent got covered in the paint and it won’t come off.
  2. Protect from overspray. Overspray can occur both indoors and outdoors. To prevent overspray onto other surfaces, use newspapers, painter’s tape or drop cloths to cover surrounding areas. You can also create your own “spray booth” by turning a large cardboard box on its side and place objects inside when spraying.
    DON’T: think that all that plastic sheeting you taped against the wall, table, and up the sides of your paint area will hold your neon green spray paint. Those little buggers thought my “spray booth” was the entire laundry room (thank goodness I closed the door – I may have ruined my lungs but at least I protected my hardwood floors.)
  3. Prepare the surface of your project. Paint only clean, dry surfaces. Ordinary household detergents or mineral spirits are great for most surface cleaning. Glossy or hard surfaces should be sanded to improve adhesion. Use a primer whenever possible as it creates a clean, smooth surface, increases paint adhesion, seals the surface and ensures the true paint color is achieved.
    DON’T: use a bristle brush and paint stripper on a vintage metal item because those tiny flecks that hit the wall, fixtures, washer/dryer, and bamboo floor mat probably contain deadly lead paint and is a beast to get unstuck.
  4. Read all directions. Before beginning your project, thoroughly read all directions on the can. Pay particular attention to safety tips and recoat times. Always follow label directions and warnings when using any aerosol paint.
    DON’T: figure that just reading the directions means you’ve absorbed them and will follow them properly. Pay attention.
  5. Test your spray paint. Shake the can vigorously before spraying. Test your paint or spraying technique in an inconspicuous area or on a piece of scrap material before beginning your project.
    DON’T: be overambitious and skip this test. Luckily me skipping it this time didn’t ruin my project. Everything else did, but not this one.
  6. Apply multiple thin coats. Once you have completed your paint test and are satisfied, spray your project using several thin, multiple coats instead of one thick coat. Begin and finish your spray pattern off the object, releasing the button at the end of each pass. Use an even side-to-side motion with each pass overlapping your spray pattern by about one-third. For best results, always apply a coat to the entire project as opposed to completing parts of the project in stages.
    DON’T: think they’re kidding, they’re not. I’m kind of impatient and impatience equals a thick coat that dribbles like candle wax.
  7. Allow project to dry. Check the directions on the back of the can for a recoat window. A recoat window identifies when additional coats can be applied within a certain timeframe. When you are finished applying all coats, do not handle the project or surface until it is dry.
    DON’T: expect the paint gods to smile upon you and let you pick up the project so you can move it to a secret hiding spot to finish drying. Leaving your fingerprint on Santa’s gift to your child is evidence admissible in a court of North Pole law.
  8. Clean spray valve after use. Before storing your aerosol cans for future use, clean the spray valve by turning the cans upside down and spraying for 5 seconds.  This helps prevent the spray tip from clogging.
    DON’T: worry about getting to this step because, if you’re like me, you’ll run out of paint just before you’ve finished the last two inches. (By the way, cursing absolutely DOES please the paint gods because that last 2″ got barely covered… barely.)
  9. Celebrate your success. Enjoy your newly painted project. Feel good about yourself knowing that with a little work and very little money, you were able to finish your project.
    DON’T: expect too much pride or pats on the back when you’re not ever going to get credit for all that work and mess because a fat guy in a red suit that breaks into your house once a year will get all the glory.

Which reminds me of that one time I made myself a dress from scratch. ONE TIME because it was not worth it when I could get a dress at Ross on clearance for under $15. Sometimes it’s best to pay a professional to do the job right.

10. Save spray painting projects for warmer weather. This is my personal tip. Don’t spray paint indoors (unless you’re a professional with proper gear), even if you think opening a door is enough ventilation (it is not), do it outside (if in the garage, the door must be open). Even though you think you’ve protected all surrounding surfaces with plastic, you didn’t do it well enough. It’s preferred to be completely outside, in decently warm weather, where all those noxious fumes can go into the atmosphere (instead of in your lungs) and contribute to global warming with the ozone-killing can (at least that’s what the internet tells me).

I am new at the pinning of my stuff on Pinterest, so I wonder if you’d pin this post if you think the tips would be helpful to others? Thanks!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

SLC Home Show : 10 Things

by Lucky Red Hen on January 5, 2013

Thanks to a super friend (and that her kidlets are sickly so she has to stay home and gave me her tickets; thanks, Becky – hope the kids are better quickly, but not fast enough that you’ll take the tickets back, hehe), Lindsey and I will be wandering around the Salt Lake City Home Show at the South Towne Expo Center tomorrow (Saturday; but it’s also open Sunday) and


might run into Ty Pennington SQUEE!!!

Who’s going? I’ll be back to report on the funness that we are expectantly going to have, you can bet on that.

Stuff that I’m interested in learning more about for our home:

  1. eventual remodel on the main level adding a gas line to the kitchen so we can have a gas stove
  2. building in a corner fireplace in the living room
  3. building the 2nd story deck finally (we’ve only had this house 9 years sans deck)
  4. splash pad in place of the hornet-infested sand box
  5. refinishing the wood floor on the main level (it’s basic oak that’s been distressed and stained dark)
  6. fancy carpet in the living room and office
  7. new furnace system
  8. master bed BED (oh how I want a Sleep Number; my number is the same as the Bionic Woman)
  9. window blind replacement on the back of the house where the sun BEATS THE BEJEEZIES out of them
  10. and TIPS TIPS TIPS on home organization and DIY stuff because I DO own my own drill (although it pooped out on me, RIP Makita, so I’m borrowing my husband’s)

I’m going to take a pad and pen to take some serious notes. When we have money to do any of the remodeling (hahahaha), I’ll be ready.

Do you want me to scope out vendors or products for you if you can’t make it? But, really, you should come because it’ll be information overload and you know what Oprah has said… “When you know better, you do better.” Or something like that. You catch my drift.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Doing Good Deeds

by Lucky Red Hen on December 21, 2012


Can I tell you about the night I had?

It started out as an informal demonstration of how to use the new Cricut Mini cutting machine at the Provo Craft office with a few bloggers and Nathan, the PC social media manager.


As we were being schooled on manipulating one of the thousands of designs (bigger, smaller, mirrored, weld, omit parts, etc.) we got word that help was needed to create decor for the upcoming funeral of little Emilie Parker, one of the victims of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut.

Nathan jumped into action providing us with several Cricut machines, matts, tools, and artwork so we could assemble as many decorative hanging balls before the building lights went out at 9:30 p.m.

If you want to get familiar with a new-to-you machine, busting out 5,000 cut flowers in a few hours will do that. We learned how to tell if a blade needs to be replaced (snags the material you’re cutting), the tension needs adjusting (a little more if the paper slips), or the blade depth isn’t deep enough (your cut pieces don’t come easily apart from the material you’re using).

After the lights went out, we cleaned up our paper mess (I wrote “I elephant Cricut” on the white board) and hauled the supplies over to Cobi’s house to finish the assembly (and some more cutting – those poor blades and cutting matts are trashed after so many cuts in the same spot over and over). A few more ladies joined us there until almost 2 a.m. so we could finish.


One of the ladies is related to little Emilie. As we worked together, she shared little bit about the family (Emilie was the oldest of three kids; children process death differently than adults and each other), their faith in Jesus Christ (Emilie’s grandfather, to whom she was very close, died recently from a freak accident; the belief that they are together in heaven is comforting to those still here), and how the chaos of that fateful day unfolded (waiting hours for confirmation of the whereabouts of their daughter).

I am grateful for the network of bloggers I am involved with and the amazing companies that show they care about their customers. Not only did Provo Craft bend over backwards to support the Parker family and those of us who wanted to help, but the kind manager at Hobby Lobby authorized a sweet discount for the supplies (pins, paper, styrofoam balls, ribbon).

We hear all the time about negative experiences with products/services and companies, so if you like the idea of supporting positive experiences with your voice or pocket book, consider dropping a tweet, email, Facebook comment, purchase, or compliment to Provo Craft, Cricut, and Hobby Lobby soon.

By the way, after purchasing and assembling the decorations, we estimate it cost about $20 each (retail) to recreate these pretty hanging flower orbs. If you have a lot of the supplies already, you could do them for much less.

Happy crafting!



  • Orbs (like styrofoam or green flower foam balls)
  • Card stock in your preferred color
  • Cutting machine/punch (Cricut)
  • Pins (with a decorative head would be prettiest)
  • A lot of time
  • Ribbon
  • Long dowel, knitting needle, or something to push
  • ribbon through the orb so it can hang
  • (Optional: paint the orb the same color as the
  • card stock to avoid seeing foam between the flowers)
  1. Cut 1-3″ flowers enough to cover orb twice
  2. Stick pin through the middle of two flowers
  3. With your fingers/thumb, rub the top flower
    petal upwards to create a soft bend
  4. Stick the pin all the way into the orb, flush
    with the bottom petal
  5. Continue #4 overlapping slightly with the
    nearest flower so the orb isn’t visible until
    the entire orb is covered
  6. Push your desired length of ribbon through
    the middle of the orb out the bottom and
    double knot the end so it stays in place
    (like you would the end of a hoodie string
    so it doesn’t slip back up into the pocket)
  7. Hang and admire


{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Precious Pet Paradise Dog Grooming

by Lucky Red Hen on December 19, 2012

Our pooch was born in the home of a Utah groomer and has been professionally groomed once a month all her seven years. I don’t spend that much money on my own hair, but she can’t take care of it herself and my back isn’t keen on bending over to do it either.

Luckily we have Precious Pet Paradise in American Fork, Utah to take care of her. She’s gone there since we brought her home as a puppy and we missed them while having to take her to a sub-par place in Washington until we got back.

When we tell her we’re going to get her a bath, she gets overly excited, dances around, and runs to potty before hopping in the car. Her heavy breathing during the drive isn’t great (stinky dog breath, ugh) but I deal with it because I am glad she’s so excited instead of scarred/nervous.

I’m glad we love our groomer(s) and they love us. We did a trade, pictures for grooming and this is what I eventually accomplished after trying to get 12 people and 10 dogs to all look at the camera at the same time while having their best smile/expression inside a fluorescent-lit room because it had snowed the night before (sweet run-on sentence, eh?) I didn’t realize I had enough Photoshop skills to pull this off (surprise!)

(pardon the weird pixelated background; compressing for the web must have been confusing)

Here’s the before…

Before Photoshop

…and after adjusting the lighting, coloring, cloning, head-swapping, and background erasing…

Then a few of them needed head shots for display next to their grooming license. This is Ali with a clients gorgeous dog.
Ali at Precious Pet ParadiseSabrina has her two fur babies in her shot.

Morgan is holding a shy little one of Cherie’s (another groomer).

And Elle holds the less timid sweetie of Cherie’s.

Kristina is cuddling a client’s adorable fluff ball.

Sarah’s Lincoln is so adorable, like a live teddy bear.

If you’re in the area and need your dog groomed, try Precious Pet Paradise and tell them Posie’s mom sent you!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Gymboree Rewards + 25% Off

by Lucky Red Hen on December 3, 2012

This post is sponsored by Gymboree Children’s Clothing. Bring a friend to a Gymboree store and sign up for Gymboree Rewards together and you’ll both SAVE 25% off an in-store purchase.

Today’s post IS sponsored by Gymboree, but the thing is is that I LOVELOVELOVE their clothes so it’s almost as if this ISN’T a sponsored post and just me telling you about another great company/product that I’d recommend.

I have NO bad things to say about shopping here (and y’all know I am honest and would divulge to you anything I’m not happy about.) Really. I sat here and thought and thought if there’s something negative to mention but there isn’t. Service has always been great, helpful, and not annoying (you know those places where you’re annoyed with the pushy or snotty sales people; not this place – and I’ve been to many across several states). Returns aren’t a hassle like other stores, as long as you’re following their policy (I don’t remember the details, but haven’t had trouble).

When my kidlets were in the sizes that Gymboree sells, they were mostly wearing Gymboree clothes. Even now that they’re too big for their sizes, I still stroll through the store to ooh and aah over the cute clothes and shop for gifts.

We stopped into the Riverwoods store in Orem, UT last night…

The pajama’s are my FAVORITE EVER! They fit snuggly against little baby frames and kept them cozy in cuteness. Seriously, every baby ever put in Gymboree pajama’s look AfreakingDORABLE! Their little booty’s waddling around with their feet kept warm in gripped-so-they-don’t-slip footies. Can you tell I love Gymboree’s pajama’s?!?

Their clothes are quality made. I’ve never had an issue with wear, seams, or design flaws because Gymboree only puts out well-made clothing and accessories. The tights last because they’re thick (for the cold weather kind) or tightly woven (for the not-so-cold times) with strong seams and snug waist bands. They’re clothes are great for hand-me-down’s because they stay looking good a lot longer than any other children’s clothing out there that I’ve tried or heard of.

I love how they coordinate their outfits so you can get more wear out of each item by mixing and matching. If I had a little girl to shop for, I’d get the following giraffe themed pieces (and what a coincidence that the giraffe is my favorite animal!)

Check out the close-up of the sequined giraffe shirt…

The clearance prices are always great. That’s where I’d usually get the pajama’s. And check out the FREE SHIPPING sign… they’ll order it for you and ship it directly to you if you can’t find the right size, color or style (some restrictions apply, subject to availability).

And don’t think that they only have girl stuff. The boy section has plenty of handsome shirts, sweaters, vests and outer wear to mix-and-match that are sturdy, rugged and won’t fall apart. Notice the sign in the next picture above the boys clothes that says 50% off!!! When we went there yesterday, there were several 50% off signs as well as a couple of clearance racks (which is a great place to look when shopping for a baby gift).

We aren’t having anymore kids of our own, but we have at lease one niece being born next year that would look adorable in this faux fur number Ben is showing you…

Don’t forget to sign up for the Gymboree Rewards card. You’ll get sale notifications, special deals, and reminders about the Gym Bucks redemption when you’ve earned FREE Gymboree credit to use in the store. Remember if you bring in a friend and BOTH sign up for Gymboree Rewards you’ll BOTH get 25% off your in-store purchase(s)!

Let your friends and family know about Gymboree and their great deals. You’d be on Santa’s AND your friends/families NICE list.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

What’s In A Name + Giveaway

by Lucky Red Hen on November 19, 2012

I often get asked where Lucky Red Hen came from and wish I had a fun story to tell.
The process of elimination was grueling. My actual name is already taken by a comedic actress and an accessory to a murder (two different people, not a murdering actress), so using my name was out.

Two-word phrases that I liked were already taken, so I moved on to three and made sure they didn’t come up in existing searches online. Do a Google search for “Lucky Red Hen” and I’m all that comes up for pages and pages…

Although I don’t believe in being LUCKY, per se, I like the word a lot (obviously). Being ‘blessed’ is the alternative term, but there is no way I’m going to use that word in my description/logo. {shiver}

“I’m a great believer in luck,
and I find the harder I work
the more I have of it.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“Life is not easy. We all have problems-even tragedies-to deal with, and luck has nothing to do with it. Bad luck is only the superstitious excuse for those who don’t have the wit to deal with the problems of life.” Joan Lowery Nixon, In The Face of Danger

RED is a powerful color, and known in China to be lucky. Traditionally, a red envelope is given as a gift is about 2.5 x 4 inches, are often printed with metallic gold ink with a picture of a lucky thing (such as carp, peonies, Zodiac animal or Chinese characters for positive thoughts/wishes) and should contain an even amount of money, avoiding the number four (which pronounced sounds like the Chinese word for ‘death’). You are welcome to send me a money-filled red envelope; click on the red envelope in the upper right corner for my address. P.S. Avoid giving a Chinese person money in a white envelope because they are believed to be unlucky.

My first eBay purchase years ago was a 42′ wooden rooster from Africa and it’s usually the first thing newcomers to our home comment on (the thing is seriously HUGE), but I’m not a guy so I adapted to use HEN instead of rooster. The rooster is a symbol of vigilance, courage, trust, bravery, and a good omen. To U.S. Christians it signifies the Passion of Christ. Jesus predicted Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed the following morning, which he did.

All three words are easy to pronounce, spell, read, and comprehend; which is important when coming up with a business name. Some people think LITTLE Red Hen instead, which is forgivable, because at least it’s not FAT Red Hen. Am I right?

THE GIVEAWAY! The neat folks at www.VeryJane.com have fun stuff at discounted prices every day for your shopping pleasure. Since it’s the season for giving (when isn’t it a good time to give?), they gave me a RED bubble necklace to giveaway to one of my LUCKY readers!

If you want it (for yourself or to give as a gift), leave a comment at the end of this post. Want more luck? I want more readers! Share this post with your Facebook and/or Twitter friends for an extra entry each (leave another comment for each). The winner will be announced next Monday (since it is a U.S. holiday and busy weekend), so you have plenty of time to spread the word!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Station 22 & Provo’s Kevin Bacon

by Lucky Red Hen on November 16, 2012

When we lived here before, the restaurant market in Utah Valley was minuscule. Thank goodness others felt the same and did something about it while we were in Seattle! Now we have a lot more to choose from and to recommend to visitors and friends who may not know about the new gems.

My favorite, Carrabba’s Italian Grill at University Mall, never gets old for our family, but sometimes our dinner dates aren’t in the mood for Italian (WHAT?!?) and Station 22 Cafe in historic downtown Provo, Utah will please most palettes.

The owner describes his menu as fresh, reinvented versions of American family recipes and classic dishes. His version on the website is wonderful as he takes the reader on a journey through tradition, history, and thoughts of growing up eating grandma’s cooking. Experience it here. I admire a well-written bio.

It’s a great place for friends to gather and celebrate the birth of any friend, such as Jet Set, who made (with her own two, bare hands) the divine frock she’s wearing. Maybe when my birthday comes around she’ll make me one ;)

First time at Station 22 Cafe and you want to try a sure bet? Lisa (my birthday twin; hope you have one) excitedly shows you what ordering the Chicken & Waffles will get you… a perfectly toasted waffle with a mound of  bacon and tender, battered chicken drizzled in syrup.

The birthday girl with our design-fiend friend (no wonder she designs for a living, she’s so GREAT at it) Amelia Merritt.

Maybe you don’t know this yet, but Carina (that’s the birthday girl) is Provo’s Kevin Bacon. Apparently almost everyone in the city (and outside of it) can trace their ties back to her within six people.

The last photo is me with one of my besties, Cathy. We moved into an upstairs apartment and she and her husband lived in the basement apartment. If it weren’t for her, I would NOT have the circle of friends/family (put them together and you have “framily”) here that I do. She worked with Carina and a few others back in the day, and that’s how I met the first of my circle…

  1. LaYen/Waldo lived next to
  2. Formerly Phread.
  3. Waldo worked with Cathy, Jet Set,
  4. and Topher (who’s the husband of my birthday twin who’s coo coo for Chicken & Waffles), who’s a brother of CJane (she was with Jet Set at Formerly Phread’s house when I met them years and years ago).

There are other places in the Valley I have on my eatery list. I wonder if you like any of the same? Drop their name(s) in the comments section (maybe with a recommended food item) and we’ll see!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

I Don’t Elephant That

by Lucky Red Hen on November 15, 2012

There is a home builder in the area who has an elephant as part of their logo. A giant, red elephant. For some reason, their marketing people came up with substituting their elephant for a heart (which a lot of people read as “love,” such as in a graphic that states, “I [heart] you,” meaning I love you.) Or maybe they don’t mean for it to be a heart/love and really want us to read it as it looks.

I Elephant My Neighborhood

These graphics were so small that I spliced them together into a triple threat:
I Elephant Ivory Services
I Elephant I H
I Elephant My Home

A few of us on Twitter (and in real life) have adopted this terminology and sometimes confuse others when we use it, as in, “I don’t elephant that,” and, “I REALLY don’t elephant that.”

Does it make sense? No. But now you know what we mean when we use it…

elephant = love (apparently)

So if elephant equals love then what’s this next example supposed to mean? “I glove M J.” I’ll assume that it means that she loves Michael Jackson (although his famous glove was white with sparkles, not a red DON’T WALK symbol with a heart shape in the palm), but she should instead wear a shirt that says, “I LOVE MICHAEL JACKSON!”

But I guess it’s better than a t-shirt printed with a bunch of hamburgers or hot dogs.

I don’t elephant that.

But I DO elephant mustard.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }