5.31.2011

Dresser Reveal

Wow. This is my first real reveal.

Remember way back when, when I found this little lovely on craigslist?

And remember when I had no idea what I wanted to do with it? And I looked for inspiration here?

I finally figured out my inspiration for the piece and got to work. 

It went from this
 to this
 to this
 and then this
 and then, gasp!

Isn't she beautiful - especially with the green painters tape on the top.

And the finale!

Here is what I learned along the way:

SANDING: Apparently if you have a good piece of furniture that has a decent surface (aka minimal layers of paint/finish) you DON'T have to sand the whole thing down to the bare wood. This was the secret I wish I would have known from the beginning. Because sanding.was.not.fun. My arms were all tingly and shaky after hours spent with the electric sander.

But - it was good experience and I got to see the original beauty of the wood.

PRIMING AND PAINTING: You will need to exercise your patience or find it for these projects. It takes a lot of patience. Sanding takes patience. Priming and painting take patience. But every step along the way means a greater finished product. Let your primer dry and cure - meaning, let is sit there in the garage for a while. Don't rush to paint as soon as the paint is dry to the touch. It needs to cure. Or you get little spots where it isn't as smooth as you might like - lesson learned.

Again, let each coat of paint sit and cure. Patience. Ugh, this was seriously the worst part for me. Oh, and I used a foam brush - you know, those little crafty spongey brushes - for the prime and paint steps.

MORE SANDING: The last thing you want to do after sanding the entire piece down is spend more time with tingly arms, but I found that a quick sand after the primer (when it's fully cured) and in between coats of paint made a HUGE difference.

I did a dry sand after the primer. But a WET sand after the first coat of paint. Yup, wet sand. It took me a while to figure this out before I was ready to test it on my piece. I watched a few youtube videos, I called a friend, and I thought about it a lot.

Finally I grabbed a fine sand paper block from the store and a bucket of water and a towel and gave it a shot. Yes, the paint will sort of come off, and your bucket of water will be the color of the paint. But it really does make the paint super smooth. I worked on a small section at a time and wiped off all the residue and liquid with a clean towel promptly after finishing a small area.

Then more paint and wait.

DECORATE: I had seen a few fun dressers with numbers on them. I think they are mimicking a version of an anthropologie dresser. But I liked the idea - so I tested it out on a scrap piece of wood painted the same color as the dresser and stenciled on a number. I painted it with some leftover gray acrylic I had laying around the house and loved it.

I found some fun fonts on font space and printed out numbers in a good size for my drawers. Stencil. Paint very carefully. But not perfectly filled in - again, to give it a more real and rustic feel.

FINISH: Finally, when the paint was smooth and had 2-3 coats, I was ready for the finish. I used a water based Verathane as suggested by Holly over at In the Fun Lane. I used a brand new fine bristle brush for the Verathane and did two coats. It dries SO FAST. This was the BEST part for me - considering I had already used all my patience!

I also used some leftover stain for the top of the dresser - just using one coat as I wanted a bit of a rustic/used look to it. This also got two coats of Verathane.

HANDLES: Finally I needed hardware. Have you checked out drawer pulls at the hardware store lately? EXPENSIVE! Yikes - with five drawers and two pulls each I was looking at spending a.lot.of money.

Until I saw the fun idea to use rope as pulls - maybe I saw this on The Lettered Cottage. I can't quite remember.

I found some beautiful natural rope at the store and went to work double knotting and threading through holes that I drilled myself. Let me tell you, drilling holes in my masterpiece was a little scary and sad. But the finish product is totally worth it, I think!



Now the question is - do we find a home for her in our home, or put her up for adoption via craigslist?

Linking to:




5.27.2011

On Making It Count

Yesterday was a dear friends very important birthday. She crossed over from the leisurely, wandering twenties to the shock of being 30.

When I called to say happy birthday - and to ensure her that being 30 actually rocks (considering I've been here for quite a few months!) - she sounded very down. We talked for a while and she is very introspective about this milestone in her life. She feels that now that she is 30 she must now take stock of what she did during her 20's and re-access what she wants to accomplish for her 30's. It's almost as if she feels some standard of accomplishment that she didn't achieve by 30, and now must make sure that she doesn't waste her 30's but has something to show for them. I tried to remind her that she has 4 adorable children who are well-behaved, smart, athletic, obedient and loving. In my mind, that's a pretty huge accomplishment. That's way more than I ever had to show for my 20's!

After some philosophical conversation about aging and living and being the best person we can be, we decided that our 30's need to count for something - putting priorities on families and friends - things that matter to eternity. We declared our motto for our 30's "Make It Count."

I like it. We hope to live more purposeful lives. Lives that count. Making memories. Laughing more. Stopping to enjoy the everyday things that make us smile.


After all these years of talking about a girls weekend - I think we may finally be getting closer to the reality. We did have a lovely family picnic a few years ago - and a quick visit here (minus one of the girls). But we're talking girls trip - reminiscent of the days when we would just hang, just be together. Even if we just go back to the farm and do a slumber party in the barn like we did all through high school. Just so long as we are together and we get some serious girl time. 

The thing I miss most about these girls - other than the fact that they have known me since 4th grade and yet they still love me - is how comfortable we are together and can just BE together. No pretense. No expectation. It's so unlike other relationships I've had. We can go weeks or even months without speaking and pick up the phone for a great conversation without any weirdness. Sigh. Miss those girls. 

In other news - it's Memorial Weekend! A huge thank you to all the veterans who have served our country for all you've done! My dad, my grandpa, my uncle, my cousin's husband, my friends from high school - thanks veterans!

I think I'll be using the time to build something. Watch out - Erin's using power tools again!

5.25.2011

Whipped up a little something-something

Excuse the crazy hair and tired-no-makeup look. I made myself a cute little apron last night in between folding 6 loads of laundry and a few other projects.
Happy Wednesday!

5.24.2011

Getting Crafty

I've been a little crafting bee lately! Look what I whipped up last weekend

Used some scrap fabrics to make a little pleated pouch


And a little cross body bag 

Back pocket - perfect for dropping car keys so they don't get lost.


and some "milk glass" vases out of spaghetti and salsa jars with leftover latex paint





Crafting is my solace lately - my peace and quiet, my outlet and my motivator.

5.23.2011

U2

My running buddy, Daniela, is a sound engineer and has toured with bands like Three Doors Down. When the U2 tour came to Denver this weekend, she had some friends on the crew that hooked her up with some backstage all-access passes - and she asked me to go with her! Can you believe it?! ME!

Daniela, Gail and I outside Invesco Stadium


Look familiar? This is BONO'S guitar. And I'm touching it!
We got a full tour of the stage and behind the scenes engineering of the stage, sound and effects. We even got tours of the buses. And then we got to eat dinner with the crew! It was so cool to see the concert from the production end - and understand everything that went into making the concert a success. 
"The Claw" or "The Spaceship"
But the best part of the night - with our fun "working" wrist bands we had access to everything - including a private bathroom. While everyone else in the stadium had to wait in line, we went backstage and used the facilities as needed without a line or any hassle! Silly, I know. But hey, that was pretty awesome!
These passes gave us access to EVERYTHING!
The Fray was the opening band, and that was pretty awesome too. When we were standing in the inner circle and I could literally see the sweat on the guys from The Fray - that's when it hit me how awesome this was! And how lucky I was to be there with Daniela and Gail.

What a great experience!



5.21.2011

Building project - finished pictures

I was going through my blog today and realized I never posted finished pictures of some of my projects!

Remember, when I built this? It now looks like this:



Pretty awesome - huh? Yup - I built it. All without any help. Power tools and all. Plans came from Ana White - and seriously, if you don't know Ana you need to stop by her blog. She. Is. Amazing. 

I also did these shelves from Ana's blog plans. 

These shelves were a GREAT beginner project. It also taught me the importance of picking out good pieces of wood - nice and straight. And thankfully the guys at HD and Lowes are both great about helping pick out straight pieces of wood. They are usually pretty impressed that a girl is building something. Plus I told them that Seth was not super happy the last time I brought home straight wood - totally my fault of course. But they took pity on me and helped me. 

Seriously, check out Ana White. 

5.20.2011

Word Play

I've been playing today. Look what I made!
This needs to go in the kitchen

And this one should go in the kitchen/dining room

Maybe on my Ana White shelves 

For the Office

Goodwill Jackpot

After work yesterday, I decided to head on down to my local Goodwill for some rainy afternoon fun. And boy, did I have fun!

Check out all the fun treasures that I stumbled upon. I'll share my goodwill find vs. what was on my wish list from a retailer.

Silver bowl


World Market - turtle tray $8


My Silver flower bowl - $2

Wine Decanter
Pier 1 - $18


My Wine Decanter - $3
Large Trifle Bowl



Pier 1 - $12



My Triffle - $5

White Vase
Z Gallerie - $20

Jonathan Adler - $40

Mine - Shopped at home and added paint!

And the creme de la creme - a bread maker! I'm making dough as I write this. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow! Nothing beats the smell of rising bread dough.  


Oh, what a fun day at Goodwill!

Request

Keep us in your thoughts today. Seth goes in for an interview in 30 minutes. It could mean more time together and less stress!


5.19.2011

Thrifting

Fellow Coloradan, Emily over at Imperfect shared her home project list today. While I also keep a varying list of projects to do around the house - including things that may never get accomplished - I've also come up with a new "thrifting" list. A list of the things that I need to remember to keep an eye out for whenever I'm thrifting.

Pie Tins so I can make a PB knock-off tiered organizer found here at Mary Janes & Galoshes

Mason Jars so I can make these lovely outdoor lanterns found at Chez Beeper Bebe

Funky frames so I can make a jewelry organizer like the one on Cat on a Limb

An old chair that I can bring back to life to live in my kitchen. Yes, you heard me right - my kitchen. I need a place to sit and read while stuff is cooking, but I need to be close by to monitor. (yes, we have an old house with a non-open floor plan). I like what Michelle did with the yellow chevron at Decor and the Dog. 

Varying sized mirrors to make a mirror collage like on Style at Home.

Vintage desk lamps like these on etsy for the living room side tables.

A wire basket so I can make this for our basement near the fireplace - from B.E. Interiors.


That's my thrifting list! Mostly so I can remember what I'm actually looking for when I go thrifting. Half the time I walk in and get so engrossed in all the treasures that I forget what I'm really looking for!

What's on your list for thrifting?

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