Royal Design Studio Stencil Review

I met up with Regina from Royal Design Studio at Haven Conference – she had a booth and her booth was a popular one! They were doing a make and take craft, which is always popular with us nerdy blogger types. Everyone got to stencil a file folder to take with them, and that file folder came in handy for all of the handouts we were given at the conference!

Upon learning that they have a program especially for bloggers, I was pumped. After I got home from Haven and wound down a little bit, I emailed Regina and we worked it out. Their website showcased SO many designs to choose from, it took me days to decide which one I wanted. Royal Design Studio sent me a fun, youthful stencil to try out! I decided to use it on my chest of drawers in my craft room.

I knew I wanted a bright color for the chest, and was leaning towards green/lime green – in fact, that’s what I set out to buy when we headed to Dallas to buy our Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Once we got to the store, my sister and friends talked me into the Barcelona Orange. I like orange, but I don’t LIKE orange – the color orange is still growing on me, but after seeing the chest of drawers finished, I think I’m a changed woman.

The chest of drawers that was transformed actually used to be in my nephew’s room, until my sister bought a different dresser and painted it. I couldn’t let a cute chest of drawers go homeless, so of course I took it. It was boring white and was begging for color – not to mention, it was going in my craft room and I want my craft room to be a fun, happy, bright room!

Once we got this beast painted (no sanding, no priming! Thanks Annie Sloan!), it was time to bite the bullet and stencil. We had spent so much time painting this chest and I had an irrational fear of stenciling and messing it up.

Armed with Frog Tape, Martha Stewart Arrowhead craft paint, daubers, and stencils, we set to work.

Since I twitch when things aren’t symmetrical (my sister’s OCD is rubbing off on me), I decided to stick with one stencil for the whole project. The stencils I chose actually came with 5 different flowers! The one I used was the smallest one since the drawers were more narrow than I thought.

(We had to do a trial stencil on posterboard to make sure we were doing it correctly!)

Action shot of the first stencil!

One down, seven to go.

I decided to center the flower stencil underneath the knob. That way, they would be evenly placed and centered. Once I got started, it went relatively quickly – I would say I finished all 8 flowers in less than 30 minutes. They’re not perfect, I got a little crazy on a few spots, but nothing major!

(Keeping it real)

My five year old nephew wanted to help, so we had him do a “trial” stencil on the posterboard. Well, in typical five year old fashion, he did great for about 10 seconds and then started dragging the paint across to finish. No! I am a sucker for my nephew, as you can see.

*So easy, even a five year old can do it!*

(That one actually turned out to be the best one on the whole chest)

After letting it dry overnight (even though the Martha Stewart paint dried pretty quickly – just wanted to be safe), my sister and I put a coat of polyurethane over the whole chest of drawers. That took about 20 minutes total.

Why polyurethane and not wax? 1) I’m lazy, hence the name of the blog, and 2) I wanted a really glossy finish. I love the way Annie Sloan wax goes on and looks on certain pieces, but it’s not what I had in mind for this project.

I purchased cheapy knobs at Lowe’s ($1.02 each) and put them on – and it was ready to go! This fun chest of drawers will have a new life as a scrapbook paper/embellishment/mod podge organizer and I can’t WAIT to put it to use. Fun fact: I also have a second chest of drawers that I am going to paint the same way this week to hold my fabric, but I needed to get one done to see how it went. It’s a win!

And now I present to you my very first sponsored blog review item -

Barcelona Orange chest of drawers with Japanese Flower Stencils from Royal Design Studio!

* This stencil was provided to me by Royal Design Studio to review and give my honest thoughts on. My honest thoughts? I can’t wait to order some more stencils from them! Thank you so much for the opportunity, Regina! You are awesome.

Follow Royal Design Studio on Facebook

How to Stencil – lots of tips and tricks for newbies like myself! Remember – if a five year old can do it…

I also posted this at my group blog! Check it out!

Which stencil is your favorite from their website? 


Tortilla Soup, Martha Style

I am a sucker for tortilla soup. I blame my dad. He always gets tortilla soup when he goes to Mexican restaurants – and now I do too!

Tortilla Soup

For the soup

4 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lbs.)  *I would shred chicken breasts instead*

1 can (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 jalapeno chile, diced (with seeds for more heat)

6 corn tortillas (6-inch)

3 Tbsp. canola oil

Coarse salt

For the garnish

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (5 oz.)

4 large scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)

1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced *I don’t eat avocado!*

1/4 cup cilantro sprigs *yum!*

1 lime, cut in wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large pot, bring the chicken, broth, jalapeno, and 8 cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium; simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate; let cool.

2. Brush both sides of the tortillas with oil, stacking them as you go. Cut the stack in half, and then slice crosswise in 1/2 inch strips. Place the strips on a rimmed baking sheet; bake, tossing the strips occasionally, until golden, 15-20 minutes.

3. Using a large spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the broth in the pot, and strain the liquid through a sieve into a clean pot (you should have about 8 cups). Shred the chicken with a fork or with your fingers, and return it to the pot. Stir in 1 tsp. salt. Divide the soup among serving bowls, and add the tortilla strips. Garnish as desired.


Martha, Martha, Martha

I get cookbooks every year for my birthday and Christmas… even my anniversary this year! This one is a great one – at first I was worried that it was going to be all fancy and thangs, but it is NOT.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.