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Blog Posts (17)

  • How To Make a DIY Epoxy Resin Memory Table

    Hey, you! Do you like spending time with your friends and family? Do you like having a special place to put your photos and memories on display? If you answered "yes" to both of those questions, I have the perfect project for you: an epoxy resin memory table. You've seen those memory tables on Instagram, where people have glued pictures and trinkets to a wooden tabletop. They always look so cool, right? But what if you could take that idea to the next level and preserve your photos for years and years to come? Don't worry! You can! This DIY epoxy resin memory table is the perfect way to keep all your memories close by, and it's an excellent project for anyone who loves spending time in the workshop. Best of all, it's easy to make and doesn't require any special tools or skills. I promise it's easier than it sounds. So, get ready to make some beautiful memories of your own as I show you how to make a DIY epoxy resin memory table in a few steps. What are you waiting for? Grab a few supplies, and let's get started! WHAT YOU'LL NEED The best material for a DIY epoxy resin table is typically the flattest piece of live edge wood you can find, such as Yew, Elm, Oak, or Black Walnut, that has been properly air dried and the moisture level is below 20%. Properly air-drying wood can take up to a year. But don’t worry. You won’t need to cut and dry wood on your own. did mention this would be simple right? You can purchase a pretreated piece of wood at your local hardware store. When done right, using wood reduces the possibility of movement and yields a more dependable and stable material for your table project. However, many people choose to go with the characterful live edge for a more distinctive and organic finish. But, hey, I didn’t even have a nice piece of wood to start with. All I had was an old, metal bistro table I found at a local yard sale. In fact, the table top wasn’t even flat. BUT, click here to see how the heck I changed a waffle top table into a solid piece of beauty. You'll need a few supplies to make your own DIY epoxy resin memory table. First, you'll need a table or other surface to work on. I suggest using a table at least 2 feet by 2 feet for best results. Next, you'll need some epoxy resin. I recommend using a kit that comes with a resin and hardener, as this will ensure that your table is solid and durable. Speaking of epoxy resin, I'll go ahead give a loud THAT'S WHAT'S UP to Clearcast 7050 Clear Epoxy Resin. If this is your first Solely Review experience we go over our review scale and the end. Required Tools Continued You'll also need gloves, a respirator (or face mask), and safety goggles to protect yourself while you work. Other materials you will need include epoxy resin, hardener, tabletop, glue, and sandpaper, and a torch or some form of fire to pop the bubbles and the resin dries. Lastly, you'll need some decorations or mementos to put in the resin. Again, I suggest using things like shells, feathers, small pieces of wood, dried flowers and LOTS AND LOTS of pictures. Once you have all your supplies together, it's time to start! The Process STEP 1 Place your tabletop on a flat surface. If you chose fresh wood, attach the tabletop to the base using wood screws and glue. Then, apply a release agent to the surface of the tabletop. It will help prevent the epoxy resin from sticking to the surface. Step 2 Mix the epoxy resin and hardener according to the instructions on the package. Be sure to mix them thoroughly. Then, pour the epoxy resin mixture onto the table top and spread it evenly with a spatula or my favorite tool of all – A BUTTER KNIFE! Do that carefully to get the best result for your DIY resin tabletop. Allow this to dry thoroughly as this will be your base coat. Check the progress of your work. Step 3 As it dries, you will see bubbles cropping up on the surface. Take your torch or long stem lighter to pop the bubbles. Any imperfections left during this step will remain in your final finish. Step 4 Lightly sand once dry. Use a moist towel to wipe away the sand dust. Verify the dryness of the surface. Step 5 Once the resin has cured and dried, you can start adding the finishing touches. This is where you allow your imagination to RUN WILD AND FREE! Carefully add photos, flowers, flat pebbles or any other decorations that you like. Feeling pickle-lish? Thros some in there. Who cares! It’s your memory right? – LOL. Just be careful not to overload your table preview– too much stuff can make it look cluttered and messy. And voila – you've now got yourself an epoxy resin memory table! In the end, you'll have a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture that will remind you of your favorite memories. Why are you still reading, go grab your utensils, your creativity and have fun with it! Epoxy Resin Memory Table Tips & Tricks When it comes to making a DIY epoxy resin memory table, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. For starters, always use a respirator and gloves when working with epoxy resin – it's not the most poisonous material in the world, but it's still not something you want to be inhaling or getting on your skin. Another thing to keep in mind is the temperature of your workspace. For example, the epoxy resin needs to be mixed and worked at a temperature of around 75F degrees. Any colder or hotter than that, the resin will start to harden or become slushy. And finally, always use a heat gun or lighter when curing/ drying the resin. It will help speed up the process and ensure that your table is solidified and ready to use. Making a DIY epoxy resin memory table is a great way to commemorate a loved one or special event. Not only is it a fun project, but it also turns out to be beautiful, and you have a lasting memory table of your own. Well, there you have it! Our complete guide on how to make an epoxy resin memory table. We hope you found it helpful. Be sure to drop us a comment or picture of your complete project if you decide to try it out. We recommend starting with a small project to get the hang of things. And be sure to read all the safety warnings and instructions carefully before getting started. Good luck and have fun! References https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4P1vXlgMnhc Accessed : 10/9/2022 https://ourcraftymom.com/diy-resin-wood-table/ Accessed : 10/9/2022 https://resin-expert.com/en/guide/epoxy-resin-river-table Accessed : 10/9/2022 https://www.woodshopdirect.co.uk/blog/diy-stories/what-timber-should-i-use-for-an-epoxy-resin-table/ Accessed : 10/9/2022

  • How To Restain A Deck * Restore-A-Deck System Edition

    When I bought my starter home I never imagined how difficult the upkeep would be. And being a single woman made the difficulties that much harder. One day we were sitting in the living room and it started raining from the ceiling. I felt defeated and discourage thinking I'd bitten off more than I could chew. And I ain't one of those "I don't need a man type women." It sure would have been nice to have one that day - LOL. Two plumbers later, neither could find the leak. I'd paid them both fifty dollar for the initial inspection. $100.00 WASTED That night I watched about fifteen different plumbing videos. Then the next morning, I climbed onto a ladder and cut a hole into the ceiling - MYSELF. I told my son-in-law to first run the tub. Let it drain. Nothing. Pour water on the floor and NOTHING. Run the shower - BOOM the ceiling was raining again. We pulled off the quarter round at the top of the tub and there it was. Bad construction of the shower wall was the culprit. YouTube taught me how to fix it temporarily. So I took a stab at it. I know you're probably wondering, what in the hell does this have to do with how to properly stain a deck? Well, it wouldn't be a soul touching product review if you don't know how much it took to gain confidence in my home improvement projects. After I fixed the leak, I WAS EMPOWERED TO MAINTAIN MY HOME ALONE jic he never arrives. I got this! THE PORCH WAS YUCKY The following spring, I went on the patio and it looked a hot-*ss-mess. Green goop crawled up the walls. The same gunk spread all over the wood porch. Back to YouTube I went. I settled for the brand Restore-A-Deck because the steps were easy. The instructions seemed simple enough for a one-woman job. How to Prep a Deck to Paint Step One Check the weather. This brand is designed to use as a one day application. However, for proper curing, it can't be rained or walked-on for 24-48 hours. It also needs to be at least 68F and less than 50% humidity during the curing time. So if the weather isn't in your favor for at least two days - DON'T START. Step Two Remove everything from the deck and clean the area thoroughly. Be sure to sweep the entire surface to loosen up dirt and grime. Step Three Since Restore-A-Deck Stain can be applied on dry or damp wood, spritz the entire porch on low power with a pressure washer. This will get rid of more surface grime left behind after sweeping. Make sure all puddles or standing water dries or is removed prior to using the next product. If you don't own a pressure washer - no worries. You can use a regular water hose or buckets of water. Also, scrubbing with a brush will loosen the dirt, too. How to Strip and Restain a Deck If you don't have a previously stained deck go to STEP 5 Step 4 For previously stained decks, you must first use the wood stripper. It will remove oil and latex based paints and stains. I chose to use the stripper and booster combination from the Restore-A-Deck brand. It made a big difference. I could see the old paint lifting from the surface almost immediately. Step 5 Add the brightener What I liked most about the Restore-A-Deck system was the brightener. It reversed the age of the porch significantly. Restore-A-Deck instructions says to apply the brightener immediately after the stripper/booster. Be sure to do this. Don't waste time or you will need to start over as I did in this video. Let sit 5-15 minutes while keeping the deck wet with solution if needed. Step 6 Rinse the brightener with regular water. Be sure there is no residue left behind. Rinsing with water will stop the activation of the brightener so it doesn't interfere with the stain. Allow the porch time to dry to the touch. How to Stain a Previously Painted Deck Step 7 Be sure the weather will remain above 45F. Stir the product well and do no add anything that will dilute the stain. Add protection to all areas you don't want stained. Start with the banisters and gates attached to the porch first. Be sure to clean any drips or spills immediately. If not, you will see the mistakes in the end. Use a proper staining brush to apply the stain. The instruction says to go one full length of each board and do not break up your stroke. I DID NOT DO THIS. Although I didn't do as directed, my finish did not have any unsightly streaks left in the brush strokes. Apply two coats 40 minutes apart for previously stained decks. However, apply only one coat to a brand new deck. Step 8 Allow to dry 48 hours for proper curing and you will have a beautifully finished porch. If you're new to our blog, at Solely, here’s our simple review formula. If we like it – it gets a: THAT’S WHATS UP! If we don’t - it gets a: WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? Restore-A-Deck deck staining system = THAT'S WHATS UP! We couldn't have paid for a better turn out. This DIY project was more than a success. It saved us MONEY - and that's our main goal on this platform. We'd love to see your finished projects. In fact, we'd like to feature it few in a future update of this blog post. Sign up for our mailing list and send us your new glamorous porches. Wine time HONEY'S! Until next time - keep shining STARRS as we light the way to luxury at a livable cost. From Dimmer to Shimmer It Is!!!!

  • "How-to" Build Your Own Event Pillars

    During the pandemic the price of processed wood SKYROCKETED! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, “wholesale prices for plywood increased from $400 to $1500 per thousand square feet (roughly equivalent to retail prices of plywood increasing from about $12.80 to $48.00 per sheet).” The cost tripled. Bump that. At that price, we almost said forget about a decorative table. Let’s just throw the damn cake on the kitchen counter and call it a day. But that wouldn’t get the Solely Stamp of Approval now would it? We don’t practice defeatist attitudes over here. Instead we hurried over to Home Depot in search of a better solution. Particle board it was! Yep, we’d heard the horror stories. It’s cheap. It’ll chip. The paint doesn’t stick. Don’t even waste your time. However, that’s what Solely by Tisha Starr is all about – taking items from dimmer to shimmer for a fraction of the cost. How to Choose Your Wood OUR money and YOUR money are two different things. Buy what your money can afford. That’s it. That’s all. If it’s high end wood - we ain't knocking that, But we’ll always explain other cost effective ways to shine. Here are a few options. Plywood Softwoods Cedar Pine Particle board I personally don’t recommend plywood if a smooth finish is desired. Plywood is doable. We’ve done it! But, it takes lots and lots of sanding to get the results you want. Since this ain’t wood shop, we won‘t delve into each specific type of wood. So lets just move right along. How to Choose Your Tools The tools needed are as follows: Wood Glue Wood Working Clamps Nails Hammer Sanding Paper Sanding Sealer Primer Paint Did you recognize we failed to mention a cutting tool? That’s because you can ask a store associate at your local hardware to cut the wood when you buy it. Home Depot did ours. They didn’t guarantee precise cuts but they did cut it for us, which made the job much easier. Just ask. How to assemble Truthfully, it’s very simple. You just build a box. 1. Place glue on the end of one board and connect to another board. Be sure to keep the boards flush on one side and use the flushed side as the base. This will keep the bottom even and prevent wobbling. It will also keep it stabilized so your treats don’t fall off when in use. 2. Clamp both ends of the board to seal them together. Then do the same with another board on the other side (as shown in pictures). Once the bottom is flush and the boards are neatly together, clamp the three boards together and allow twenty four hours to dry. Once the three sides have dried completely you can add the final board. 3. Slide the final board between the two sealed boards on the open side. Be sure to glue both ends of the final board. Don’t be cheesy with the glue – pour enough to support added weight on top of the pillar. 4. Clamp again for 24 hours to dry (of course you can reduce the steps if you have extra clamps and another person to hold in place while you work). 5. Glue down the top. Add glue to the top of your boards and place top piece directly on the glue. If you have clamps that are long enough to seal, use them for a tighter fit. If not, nail in the top as we did. 6) Add nails in even increments along all the parameters. Adding the nails will add extra security to the box. This is great for people who will rent out their pillars to party planners. It helps reduce breaking during transport. How to Prep Particle Board for Paint Don’t skimp out here. Particle board will suck up anything you add to it. Therefore, the area needs to be properly prepped for a gorgeous finish. 1) If you don’t like the look of the exposed wood you will need to apply wood filler. Also, if you noticed cracks that the nails and clamps didn’t seal, add wood filler there, too. I suggest you do all three pillars at once. Then allow them all to dry for another 24 hours. 2) Sand entire surface of all three pillars. It will give the paint something to stick to. Use a low grade sanding paper first. 3) Clean all surfaces with denatured alcohol or mineral spirits. 4) Add a sanding sealer all over all three pillars. Read and follow the directions exactly as they’re stated on the can. If you don’t you will ruin your paint job. Allow exact dry time. 5) Paint. You can spray paint or hand paint. We decided to spray because of the colors we chose – metallic gold. Follow the directions on the can. Allow appropriate drying time between each coat. Then allow another 24 or 48 hours to set before placing any heavy objects on the pillars. At Solely, here’s our simple review formula. If we like it – it gets a: THAT’S WHATS UP! If we don’t - it gets a: WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? For this project we tested and voted for best paint. We tried two brands: BEHR Premium Gold vs RUST-OLEUM Metallic Gold for this project. Hey, RUST-OLEUM Metallic Gold – THAT’S WHATS UP! Our pillars were shiny and bright. The RUST-OLEUM stuck neatly to the stubborn particle board. BEHR is a great paint but didn’t hold up as well for the look we wanted on the particle board pillars. HOW TO VIEW PILLAR MAKING VIDEO Just click the video link to watch us in action. Please also - like, comment and subscribe to the channel. As we grow, there will be added features on each platform that will not be present on another. Don’t miss out or anything we DROP! Thank you guys for reading.

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  • Solely Reviews | by Tisha Starr

    Right Place for Reviews and How-To's they tell you WHY but we show you HOW How We Rate ​Our simple review formula goes like this: We vote THAT’S WHATS UP! if we find real value during our product testing ​ OR ​ We vote WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? if we believe there's more cost effective options available authortishastarr How To Make a DIY Epoxy Resin Memory Table Hey, you! Do you like spending time with your friends and family? Do you like having a special place to put your photos and memories on... authortishastarr How To Restain A Deck * Restore-A-Deck System Edition When I bought my starter home I never imagined how difficult the upkeep would be. And being a single woman made the difficulties that... authortishastarr "How-to" Build Your Own Event Pillars During the pandemic the price of processed wood SKYROCKETED! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, “wholesale prices... BEAUTY REVIEWS, DO IT YOURSELF & AMAZON ADDICT This crazy whirlwind we call life can spin and twirl you to places unknown. The biggest twister of my world landed me as a 38 year old empty nester. After a difficult breakup, I found myself all alone where silence was the LOUDEST part of my days. What do you do when your home is missing a handyman - YOU LEARN YOUR HANDS ARE HANDY! ​ This website isn't SOLELY about reviews and how - to's but also a safe empowerment space. We share intimate stories! We try to eliminate defeatist mindsets and uplift you to the stars! But most of all, we will teach about products that work so you don't waste money on ones that don't. Meet Tisha COME INSIDE We're here to Help You Choose !

  • How to Videos | Solely

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  • Amazon Finds | Solely

    Girl, Get Yo Amazon On We love women of all shapes and sizes. But, it's about damn time we showoff the Apple Body Type . We're tired of stylists throwing sheets & blankets over this beautiful shape in the name of " hiding the imperfections ." Amazon Highlights Don't Throw Those Booty Shorts in the Summer Bin Keep em out! ​ Snag a pair, any pair of sophisticated boots, and give your legs a makeover. We pride ourselves on truth over here. Slim legs beware - They didn't stay up on my thigh until my seamstress daughter tightened the back of the elastic. AND, if you stumble in heels don't stomp in these. The instep is REALLY HIGH! ​ Find Them Here ​ Project Name WINE THIEF - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: Wear dazzling accessories Review: I'm speechless this bag is so cute. The beads are bright and colors pop! All my winos this one 's for us ​ A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name Globe - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: Wear wording opposite of your problem area (tummy) Review: This sweater is soft and cozy. Thick, bold zipper glides smoothly up and down. Nice fall addition. ​ A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name WINTER - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: One shoulder tops/dresses draws the eyes upward Review: Soft, comfortable material. Built in thin slip - great for a summer outing. Fitted ribbed top - hugs the twins perfectly ​ A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name RAPUNZEL - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: Ruching conceals the mid-section Review: I'm a bit too mature to look like a Disney Princess. Material too shiny. Comfortable fit and beautiful color. OK for a wedding or dinner date. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT ? BUY Project Name LACED - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: A plunge neck puts your best assets on full display! Review: Leotard crouch button not uncomfortable. The thick lace pattern is gorgeous. Can pair with many different bottoms. ​ A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name Peeped - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: Flare drapes the midsection tight clothes do the opposite Review: This dress is flattering due to the peep holes sprinkled throughout. Spaghetti straps did not snap like some do A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name SLIME - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: Wear eye catching pants - draws eye down/away from tummy Review: This beauty poured on like liquid. Don't worry if your bottom is flatter - they still look sleek and sexy. Designed knee area gives extra flare A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name Propped - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: HIGHLIGHT sexy body portions w/deep v-necks Review: Extremely flattering fabric and cut. No pockets but the ruffled layers skim the body excellently to shape up your square. Add thick or thin belt to compliment the look ​ A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name PLUNGE - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: High waist bottoms tuck your pouch beneath the fabric Review: Who can't wear a two piece? We LOVE THIS SET . The frilled sleeves snatch the gaze to the top half of the body while the high waist provides support for the mid-section. For the price, you can't beat this look. A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY Project Name WIFED - Amazon Review How to Style the Apple Shape: Frilled shoulders extends the upper body horizontally giving the illusion of an inverted triangle (which provides shape). Review: We were shocked at the great quality of material. It has some spandex that forms smoothly around the body. Easy to iron and held up in the wash! A+ THAT'S WHATS UP! BUY

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