Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Uncle Sam has Arrived!

My latest DIY Tutorial is just about the most adorable thing ever and I can not wait to have him out on my front porch!  Would you just look at him holding that cute little flag!?  I have compiled a super simple, easy to follow tutorial for even the most basic painters so you can have your own super cute Uncle Sam on your porch this summer!  You can get your copy here:  http://shopamberfostercreativity.com/uncle-sam-diy-tutorial/

If you LOVE crafting and you LOVE amazing tutorials, I would LOVE to have you join us in my Virtual Crafting Group where I offer 4 unique and relevant crafting tutorials per month for one low price!  You can find out more about the group and how to join us here:   http://www.amberfostercreativity.com/p/foster-success-small-business-resources.html

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

5 Reasons to Stop Focusing All Your Attention on Your Facebook Group

Facebook makes a lot of algorithm changes quite frequently that can and usually do affect how your business page reaches your current and potential customers.  Because of this many business people (including myself) thought I am going to be smart, I am going to make a Facebook group and then it will notify my people every time I post and I won't have to pay a penny for ads!  Genius right?  Well, it worked good for a bit didn't it?  But we are ultimately playing on Facebook's field with Facebook's ball so guess what?  They can change the rules anytime they like and if we want to keep playing, then we have to abide.

So you may have gotten a notification from Facebook recently that said "We're reducing clutter by showing you fewer notifications from some groups."  You may or may not have noticed but Facebook has just been showing the "highlights" from groups for quite sometime, they are just now actually announcing it to you!  Because of this, in addition to other reasons, I have been recommending for some time now that business owner's not rely solely on their Facebook group to advertise and connect with their current and potential customers, but instead use a Facebook business page as your main way to interact with your customers.  You should also have another website that is completely yours too, just in case, but that's a whole other topic for another day:)

So without further ado, here is how ONLY having a Facebook group or devoting ALL your attention to it is holding back your business.

#1  Some of the members in your group may not even want to be there, depending on how you chose to grow your group.  I see a lot of people do a prize to the person that adds the most people to the group.  I have also done this for my group, but guess what it is wrong and you should not do it!  Most of those people may not even want to be there and are very resentful of being added without their consent and will possibly hold that grudge against your business and not buy from you later on and please, please do not add people back after they leave. 

#2  You can't target who you want to add to your group like you can with a Facebook page.  Facebook has many options to target your audience as far as who can see and find your page with Business pages.

#3  You can't run ads in a Facebook group.  You may be thinking "Well, duh that's the whole reason I started a group because I did not want to spend money on ads!"  Then how are new people finding you?  Unless you are doing #1, which is a NO, then they probably aren't.  Running ads lets you target the exact audience that would be interested in buying your product and leads them right to your page.  Now that Facebook is not showing all the posts you post to all the members of the group, then how are you getting them to be seen?  When this happens on a Facebook page you can run an add to get your content seen, when you have a group, your hands are tied.

#4  If you have a closed or secret group your content can not be shared with those outside of the group.

#5  Facebook Lives.  Facebook Lives are amazing for extending the reach of your brand without running ads, but when you do a Live in a group, then it can only go as far as the members of the group, when you do them on your page, it has the potential to reach anyone and everyone.  Do the lives on your page and share them to your group.  This gives you the potential to grow vs. just staying where you are.

With all this being said, I still LOVE groups and I think they are totally valuable and relevant, but you must have a Facebook page as your primary landing place for your customers.  Link that group to your page and you will have the best of both worlds!

I hope this was helpful insight to some of you business owners out there!  And if you would love more insight on how to Foster Success in your business we would love to see you in my business coaching group.  You can find more info on it here:  http://www.amberfostercreativity.com/p/foster-success-small-business-resources.html

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Faux Brick Backsplash

This faux brick technique can be used in any area of the home, but today we will be using it to do a back splash.  It's an easy, inexpensive, and gorgeous DIY that any farmhouse lover would be envious
of!


Materials:
Brick Panels
Saw
Tape Measure
Construction Adhesive
Spackle
Grout
Trowel
Rag
Paint


First start with faux brick panels from the hardware store.  I used 4'x8' sheets.


Next measure the length and height that each panel will need to be cut to.


Now, mark the panels to correct size to be cut and cut them with the saw of your choice.  I used a jig saw and a table saw to make the cuts.

Cutting the panels to size is a little like a game of Tetris.  You may have to waste cut a few rose so that they line up when the are hung end to end (side by side.)

I found it easiest to lay the panels flat on the ground in a line as I cut them to make sure they lined up exactly.

Next, you need to take the panels in and mark where notches may need to be cut in order for the panels to fit under the cabinets.


I just used the table saw to cut back and forth to make a notch in the panels.


This next tip is super helpful for cutting the holes for the outlets!  Take a tube of toothpaste and squirt a little on the corners of each outlet.  Then slide your panels into place.  Then remove the again and the toothpaste will have transferred to the back of the panel showing where you need to cut the hole for the outlet.  To get the exact size of the cut needed trace the outlet cover and then cut your hole slightly smaller.



To cut the hole for the outlet first drill pilot holes in the panel and then use a jig saw to cut along the outline that your drew with the outlet cover.



Now, your ready to set your panels in place.  First, put construction adhesive on the back of the panels and then press them into place.  Use a nail gun or panel nails to attach the panels into place.



Don't worry if you have gaps or spaces between the panels.  It will be covered up in the faux finishing process.


The first step of the faux finish is to sporadically paint some of the bricks white.

Then go in and paint some of them a taupe/tan color.

Paint a few a light gray and a few dark gray.

Before the paint is completely dry use a wet rag to rub and blend the paint on each brick.

Then, take the drywall spackle and trowel in very thinly all over the brick.

Lastly, take the grout and using your fingers fill in all the lines where the mortar would be present and any gaps in the panels.  I tried several other ways to apply it, but just using my fingers seemed to be the easiest.


To wrap up, caulk around all edges and replace any outlet covers.
Finished product!  I love it!




Thursday, January 18, 2018

Popcorn Ceiling Removal


Time to get rid of those dirty, dingy outdated popcorn ceilings, because like I always say, popcorn belongs in your belly not on your ceiling.  First, things first, make sure you have your ceiling in your home tested for asbestos BEFORE you begin this project.  Exposure to asbestos is extremely harmful.


Next, you want to be sure to cover EVERYTHING with plastic.  Don't skimp on this step or you will be sorry later.  Imagine your toddler children having a mud fight in whatever room your in.  That's whats about to happen, so prepare accordingly. Remove or tape off any fixtures.  Turn off power is a power fixture is present, because you will be spraying water all over the ceiling.


Third, take a pump sprayer and spray down a small section of the ceiling with hot water.  Let in soak in a minute or so, then spray it again.  You then can begin using a metal or plastic scraper to start scraping away the popcorn.  Be sure to wear eye protection.  It will get in your eyes if you don't.


After you have wet and scraped each section of the ceiling go back over it wiping it down clean with a wet rag or a mop.  You want to be sure and remove as much of the remaining dust as possible.  Paint won't stick to dust.

Now, you may notice a few imperfections in the ceiling.  You can use sheet rock repair to smooth these out with a little scraper tool.  You can sand when dry if necessary, but I have yet to find that necessary.

Allow the ceiling to dry completely.  It usually dries pretty quickly, maybe 30 minutes time and then you are ready to start priming.  Priming is absolutely necessary.  The paint itself will not adhere well directly to the sheet rock.  If you aren't going to also be painting the walls you may want to tape them off or go around with a brush first.  I will be repainting these walls so I'm just rolling it on.

Allow your primer to dry completely and then you are ready to apply the ceiling paint.  Roll it on and you are done.  Except for cleaning up your mess.  That's always the worst part!

I know it's hard to see a huge transformation of the texture from pictures, but if you have this stuff in your house now, you know what a difference it makes to have it gone! lol

You can view the full video of this process here:


You can view the full video of this process here:

Recommended Supplies:
Plastic Drop Clothes
Painters Tape
Sprayer for water
Scrapers
Drywall repair
Primer
Paint
Rollers
Brushes
Rags/mop

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Fireplace Facelift

I just had to give our fireplace a little face lift before Christmas came!  This is a super simple project you can easily complete in 1/2 a day!  Here's what you'll need.  An affiliate link has been provided for some of the products that I absolutely could not have completed this project without.

*White Paint
*Water
*Paint Brush  http://amzn.to/2Ds30xh
*Painter's tape with dispenser  http://amzn.to/2DthAES
*paper
*Heat Safe Spray Paint  http://amzn.to/2C5k5AJ

As you can see, this girl is in all her original 1984 glory.

 The first thing I did was used my handy dandy tape dispenser to mask off all of the glass and tape paper around the edge of the insert.  I then used heat safe spray paint (link to this product can be found above) the spray paint the brass insert black.
 After that dried, I removed all of the tape and painted the mantle white.  You can sand it if you like.  I didn't.  I then took some of the left over white paint and watered it down a little to create a white wash for the brick.  Here is a video on that process:
Ta Da!  Quick, easy, inexpensive and sooo much better!  Let me know which you liked better in the comments.  The before or after?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

DIY Farmhouse Sign

This project is the perfect DIY for a quick and easy gift or as for decor for your own home.
 You will need the following:
A piece of wood-I used about a 12x12 piece
A piece of burlap
A wooden letter-I used a 10" letter
Paint
Stain
Upholstery Tacks
Wood Glue
 Paint your letter the color of your choice.
 Paint your board the color of your choice and allow to dry completely.
 For an antiqued look cover the board in a stain from the brown family.
 Immediately wipe off all of the excess stain with a clean dry rag.
 Cut a square of burlap about 1-2 inches smaller than your board (on all sides) and pull a string on each side to fray the burlap.
 Brush wood glue onto the board.
 Spread the glue to about the size of the square of burlap.
 Press the burlap square onto the wood glue.
 Put glue onto the back of the wooden letter.
 Glue the letter onto the burlap.
Nail Upholstery tacks into each corner and your all finished!