Archive of ‘Happily Ever After Project Gallery’ category

Can you paint feathers?

In addition to sand dollars, the beaches were covered in feathers! Got paint? Got feathers?

While it is illegal to collect many wild feathers in the US (seems odd but its a protection for our wildlife-yay!), you can buy feathers from loads of places online.

And in a rental house, all we needed was a glass and some sand off the beach to have gorgeous center pieces for the table!

Painted Sand Dollars

I went into this year of homeschooling our son and daughter-my first with both of them-thinking we would make this the EPIC YEAR OF HOMESCHOOLING!!!! I figured as my son healed we may never do this again so should take advantage of things like not being tied to a location. Wanderlust, it’s never far from my surface.

How ’bout that view? Fort Morgan, Alabama

So, I planned a month at the beach in Alabama near my family. Of course, this year didn’t go exactly as planned, but, man…. am I glad I made those beach plans! It was so lovely to spend so much time with my mother and our family. Not to mention spending February on the beach during an outrageously warm winter!

We played and walked and learned. It made me realize how true it is that kids can learn anywhere! We found more dead sand dollars on the beach than I have ever seen! We had so many and so much time we started painting them with water colors. It’s such an easy craft and we loved watching the ways they just soak up the paint, I thought I’d share the idea. Maybe you’ll find it rather summery and zen, too.

And a quick PSA for sand dollars, please buy your sand dollars at a shell shop if you’re not finding dead ones! If it looks greenish-yellow and furry, put it back in the water, that one might still be alive. If they are white to light gray (put it in the sun on a porch and it will bleach white quickly) those are already dead so no murdering guilt for you!

Click here if you’re still not sure how to tell. 

And now we have a sand dollar tree center piece!



Because Dirty White is Not a Color


When we first bought our place in Florida, I went down for a weekend to hire contractors and get things moving. A neighbor was having a yard sale and I bought two awesome patio chairs. This was before we had toilet seats. I think I spent $30 for a beachy bedspread, 2 chairs and a roll of fabric (to recover the seats of the chairs-not my style). Before I got in the door at my place, someone yelled at me from their car-I KID YOU NOT, this woman followed me as I staggered down the street with my chairs because she wanted to buy the bedspread from me for her 90-year-old mother. I felt like a bandit already, so I just gave it to her. A few minutes later my doorbell rang and she pressed a twenty in my hand insisting I take it. Um, okay. The whole thing was very hilarious and rather sweet.

The chairs have held up really well considering I’m not sure they were really meant for outdoor use, let alone by a pool. The slip covers are a heavy off white canvas. It’s washable, but….. has gotten pretty disgusting over the two years we’ve had the chairs sitting outside getting used by people in wet bathing suits.


This was after many attempts to clean them-dry cleaning and bleach included!

I shopped all over town and online with no luck finding cushions or affordable covers to replace them. And spending hundreds of dollars on cushions or custom slip covers that would continue to sit outside and be exposed to the elements just wasn’t gonna happen.

Maybe we can dye them? I had asked the cleaners about this and they said they could but it would be darker in spots where the stains were. I figured I didn’t have anything to lose and would just try it myself with my favorite dark color: navy blue!


Supplies: 2 stained slip covers, tongs, 4 bottles of RIT dye, salt, hot water, and a large tub

The RIT dye website is awesome! And no, this is not a sponsored post. They have lots of tips and directions. Enough information that I ordered up my four bottles and got to work! And really, that’s all I needed-4 bottles of dye for 2 large chair covers, lots of salt (thanks mom for the tons of salt you left when you moved), hot water, and a husband willing to schlep everything to the backyard so I could watch the kids in the pool and he could cook dinner!


Thanks, hubby!


Dark clothes to go with dark dye! Stir the salt into the hot water first so you can see that it is all dissolved.


Add the dye and stir again.


Keep mixing it up so you get even coverage. Our fabric was really heavy and large, so I kept moving it about the whole time as it tended to fold up a lot. Time varies on how dark you want your color.

 Much improved! I’ll let you know how they held up when I get back down there. But over a few days of use with wet bathing suits and white towels/clothes, nothing rubbed off and they still looked great! blue-cover-pl

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