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My New Beau

August 15, 2012 in Bedrooms, Building and Repurposing, Furniture Makeovers, Gettin' Crafty, Living Room

There’s a new man in my life. There. I said it. Wow, that’s such a relief to share with all of you. It’s felt like I’ve been hiding a secret… and why should I?  I consider you friends… I welcome you into my home… I gab girl-talk and ramble on-and-on with endless stories and you are still here for me. You accept me for exactly who I am… so why shouldn’t I tell you about the new man in my life?!

I met my new beau online. It wasn’t love at first site. I had to grow into my feelings. But I think that’s true of so many great relationships. I respected him and all he stood for. It just took a little more time for our relationship to really develop. I gave him a chance because I believed potential was there. And it was!

Each and every day he puts a smile on my face. I love waking up and seeing him there next to me. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

What’s that? You want to see a picture of him?

Well…. let’s start from the beginning.

It was a fateful day… I was browsing online, shoppin’ for hotties. I’ll admit – it wasn’t Match.com or Cupid or eHarmony…  it wasn’t any of those. Promise you won’t judge? It was craigslist. Now before you get completely skeeved out, just hear me out…

So I was scrolling down the page and then… There. He. Was.

Strong.

Rugged.

…but a little rough around the edges.

He’s a man’s man. A little outdoorsy. Up for anything. I figured – why not?

So I emailed… and got a response!  We chatted briefly and arranged a time to meet up.  When the day finally arrived I was so nervous. What if he wasn’t what I expected? What if he didn’t live up to the expectations I’d dreamed up in my head?

Here goes…

It’s now or never:

It’s he dreamy?!

What? You can’t see it?

Well what if I said I turned him from rough and rugged to buff(ed) and fabulous?

Handsome right?!  I love my new beau, Jack.

He’s versatile and just the right size to double as a nightstand by my bed. I sold my bedroom set a couple months ago and couldn’t be more excited to have this new little guy! I love the feel of collected pieces. Jack’s definitely one of a kind… and oh. so. mine.

Seriously though – I loved his chunky construction and simple, simple lines. Jack is built to LAST.  Nothing on him is less than 1.75″ thick. No really. When I said solid and strong, I meant it. I can’t pick him up with all the drawers inside… and I’m no weakling!

So how did he get to looking so fabulous?  Sit back, grab some popcorn, and let me telllll you…

Lots and lots and lots of sanding on Jack’s top. It’s made of two THICK boards that had been coated with a poly/lacquer that just might have lasted another 50 years. Thank goodness for my random orbital sander!

I wanted the top to have that weathered and worn, greyish tone so I went with the good ol’ vinegar & steel wool concoction. I’ve used it on a couple other projects already and so far, so GREAT!  If you’ve never heard of it, you should give it a google… there are a lot of great how-to’s out there. The basic jist – put some steel wool in a jar and fill with vinegar. Let that sit for 24 hours and then brush the solution on the wood. As it dries, it gives wood a weathered look. Easy!


After that, I toyed with the best way to paint the dresser. I just ran out of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint a couple weeks ago and I reallllly didn’t want to mess with deglossing, priming AND painting. I’m lazy. Trust me.

So instead, I did some googling and found several recipes on how to make your own Chalk Paint. There are a bajillion out there so I can’t speak to the best… but I CAN tell you what I used and how it did!

I really didn’t want to go buy paint and/or supplies, so I dug around until I found some recipes that used only items I already had in my house. In the end I went with a mix of:

  • 1/2 cup latex paint
  • 1/4 cup (give or take) baking soda
  • Water as needed to thin a bit

That’s it! No really… it was that easy!

The colors I used were all from previous paint jobs in my house:

Ready to color within the lines?!

  1. I gave the entire dresser two coats of my homemade white chalk paint. This stuff dries quickly so be mindful of your brush strokes!
  2. I taped off the border to prevent any paint from creeping off the drawers and onto the dresser frame
  3. Believe it or now, I eye-balled the Union Jack pattern. No measuring! Using an exacto knife I trimmed the corners/edges as necessary. Then I rubbed and rubbed to be sure the paint couldn’t creep under the tape.
  4. I did my first coat of the light grey/tan…
  5. …followed up by the darker grey/tan… and then repeated steps 4&5 for a second coat.
  6. Pull off the tape while still wet… stand back… squeal in delight… jump up and down a bit… snap a 100 photos and text them to those who are forced to endure your endless photo texts of your dogs and projects.(You know who you are…)  :-)

The homemade chalk paint isn’t as smooth as Annie Sloan’s. It has a bit more grit to it, but it sands easily. For a low cost alternative, I’d say it’s worth a try! I finished up the piece with Annie Sloan clear wax all over, including the top. Buff and done!

I found Jack’s hardware at Home Depot. They’re part of the Martha Stewart line and I L-U-V them.  I looked high and low – Lowes, Target (this is a hidden gem for affordable hardware!) and finally Home Depot. I almost gave up, and I’m so glad I didn’t!  Personally I think these drawer pulls were MADE for Jack.

Okay, time for all the fun photos!

I wanted to give you a couple close-ups of the awesome solid-wood top. I can’t get enough of the grain pattern. The wax also gave the top some extra depth. McLovin’ it.

The sides have these great wooden dowels. I wasn’t kidding when I said it was SOLID! I tried to sand around the dowels just a bit more than usual so you could see the edges. I think they’re a part of Jack’s charm and character.

Want one more look at Jack’s Before and After?

My Beau Jack… oh how I love thee!

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That Trash Could Be Treasure!

May 4, 2012 in Building and Repurposing

This is definitely not my typical post, but I have to ask you a question.

Why do people throw away things that could EASILY be repurposed?

Seriously! I wouldn’t exactly call myself Captain Planet, but I can’t help but shake my head at some of the things people just toss in the trash. Furniture especially! If you don’t want it – someone else might.

Yesterday I made a run to Lowes on my lunch break.  (Side note – if you follow on Facebook, you know I was stressing about wearing a dress. Ack.)   On my way back to the office, I wound up behind a trash truck with a loaded dumpster. What did I spy in the trash??

A dresser sans drawers and what appears to be a chest!  Now I know… some people don’t want a dresser without drawers, but for all we know, the drawers could have been in that dresser too!  Blog-ville is JAM-PACKED with awesome dresser makeovers with pieces just like this. Sometimes they remove the drawers and add baskets. Helloooooo genius!

Here’s a closer look at the loot:

Be honest though – am I crazy for contemplating telling that driver to pull over? For wanting to climb up in there and dig out the chest with the scrolly legs? Is it strange that I sat at the stoplight staring at the big dresser thinking about how easy it would be to turn it into a great TV stand with basket storage and shelves for DVR and DVD players? Sigh…… they don’t look like trash to me!

Just in case you haven’t stumbled upon the awesomeness, I wanted to share one of my favorite blogs for all-things repurposed – Roadkill Rescue!  Beckie runs the show and has created such an awesome collection of projects for you to get lost in. Stop by and wander around. You’ll love it! I totally drooled over this dog bed… I know, I know, how many beds does Roxy really need!

I’m a sucker for a good before and after, and you can’t get much better than a good curbside-makeover! Last year I made over a trash-pile coffee table and am STILL loving it. So much so, that my “nice” coffee table is collecting dust in the basement.

…and I know my sister Karen is scolding me in her head right now, convinced I took these photos while going down the road. Karen – I’d like to point out the traffic light pole pictured in the first photo. I was NOT in a moving vehicle when I snapped these photos. We were stopped at the light and I took the opportunity to creep up closer. So there!

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Gallery Wall Break Down

October 19, 2011 in Living Room, Wall Decor

It’s Wednesday! Time for the gallery wall break down! I attempted pictures at all times of the day hoping to find the ideal lighting. Let me tell you… it was NOT easy!  I apologize for the poor picture quality, but I tried my bestest.

Keep in mind… this is a WORK. IN. PROGRESS.  Right now it’s pretty much just pictures of my pets (shocker)… but in the future I have plans to swap it out with some found and some made art pieces. I’m getting the itch to get crafty!

Ok… here we go!  Here’s the before of this wall.  This picture is AWFUL, but it’s the only “before” I could scrummage up. Isn’t it funny how terrible so many of our pre-blogging photos are? 

….and here it is today!

 

You can see a snippit of the SPOOL TABLE I just finished. Loving it! The dresser I picked up on Craigslist last year. Someday I’ll have to share the full story behind it. It has a LOT of history and I love it. The plant is 23+ years old and was given to me after my Grandfather’s funeral. It’s commonly referred to as “Grandpa’s Plant” in our family. The PUMPKIN on the dresser is the one I detailed how to make a couple weeks back.

 

 

This picture of the “M” is probably the most accurate picture of it’s color.  I wanted an M for my wall but was having trouble finding what I was looking for. One morning I got a crazy idea and decided just to try to make one. Probably a good thing my initial is a simple letter! I distressed the heck out of it and stained it. Doneskies!

I took this picture of Sylvester one afternoon while hanging out in the pasture. It was snapped with my iPhone, but I got really lucky with the light!

This is a reprint of a photo my Grandma has.  The picture is of a gas station my great-grandfather owned in Illinois waaaay back when. If you look closely you can see his name on the sign and even a person in the back seat of the car. My great-grandfather is actually standing in front of the station. How cool is that?!  I feel so lucky to have a photo like this. :-)

These two will probably be replaced eventually, but for now they’re happy right where they are. The top pic was taken underwater in Cancun last year. I’m riding on one of those submersible scooters! The pic of Emma cocking her head was taken when she was 4 months old. She’s sitting on the couch and I just happened to have my iPhone handy to catch one of her ridiculously-cute moments.

 

…..and now for the other side!   Quinn’s not one to be shown up, so she thought she’d try to strike a cute pose for you here.

….what a little tyrant. :-)    ….and oh WOW. Taking pictures of my wall made me realize how many of the frames are CROOKED. Going to have to fix that. ASAP.

Emma’s hanging her head out the car window in the top pic and Roxy is modeling her bed in the next.  Oh! …another Sylvester picture. (probably no suprises there).  WOW – I really need to put something other than pics of my pets on this wall!!!  I’m starting to sound like the crazy dog girl.  (Stop nodding in agreement…. especially YOU,  Karen!)

…and one last picture. Of Emma. Man, why do I have to be SO predictable?!  I love that she’s sticking her tongue out. A photographer snapped this pic of her while I was out at the barn doing some filming for work. Pretty  much sums up her personality perfectly.

So what do you think?  Is the gallery wall an improvement over the “before” arrangement?

 

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