Thursday, July 28, 2011

Candy the Chandy......Um, A Reveal?

We've covered this before. I don't like brass. But this chandelier didn't work for more than that reason alone. With the striped wall and long table, it just looked way too small. I considered painting it until I found this beauty on Craigslist for $30.

It was at this moment I nearly peed my pants with excitedment. I held my breath when we flipped that breaker. She actually turned on.....

and it was at that moment I promptly changed my mind. Something wasn't right. Was she too big for the room? She seemed so imposing. Beautiful, but imposing.

I went to bed so I could "sleep on it". The next morning I realized what was wrong. She was too white. And being as big as she was and as bright white as she was made her look heavy and imposing. I immediately knew the solution.

Glaze! I didn't glaze all of her. I like the white (just not quite so much of it).

I only glazed the detailed areas.

Much better! I don't know how to explain it but something about glazing those small details tempered that bright white so that it wasn't quite so imposing. Not that you can really tell here in these pics. It was just something you had to see in person.

All done! Right? Well. I'm really considering putting lamp shades on her. With all the hard lines in the room; the striped walls, the large rectangular table, I think she (and the room) could use a little more softening up.

Fabric shades would do just that. The problem is, I found the perfect color but they were too small. I found the perfect size but they weren't the right color.

So. For now she'll stay like this.

And I'll love her just the way she is.

Because she is beautiful, isn't she!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Child's Artwork Gallery Wall

I've been meaning to do this forever. I have saved every single piece of artwork my, almost, 8 year old has done since before preschool. There isn't a wall in the whole house that could hold it all at this point. It has gotten so out of hand I had no idea where to start.

He recently drew a collection of ninjas and a bad guy. That, coupled with my very first trip to an IKEA store, more on that monumental occasion later, sparked an idea. What better place to start than with the here and now. I vowed to get started as soon as I got home. My attic can only hold so much art and I'm too sentimental to throw any of it away.

I got four sets of these inexpensive, 3.99 for a set of 2, NYTTJA picture frames. I don't know about you, but I thought the NYTTJA frames just screamed NINJA pictures.

I used the clear plexiglass to trace around the picture. Then cut it out.

I placed each one in a frame and then laid them out on the floor until I had the pattern I wanted.

I put them on a wall in the hall just outside his bedroom using 3M Command Adhesive Strips. They make it super easy to rearrange or remove later. Plus, I like the look of the frames flush to the wall.

I feel like such a better Momma now!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Candy The Chandy - A Partial Reveal

I knew immediately upon taking the picture that this tree in my backyard needed a chandelier, too. I mean, could you imagine....a nice garden party with that thing all lit up on a summer's night! Mmmmmm

But this big gal is going in my dining room so I'll have to scour Craigslist for the outside one later. Because, yes, I really meant that my tree needed a chandelier. You thought I was kidding?

But before Candy takes her place above Shelia, she must have a makeover. She had a little rust that needed removing with a wire brush but I've gotta tell ya, I found myself hoping that the spray paint would eventually flake off the rusty areas because I couldn't help thinking how pretty that might look. However, Krylon is awesome so no flaking here.

Gaaahhhh! Isn't she pretty! This is just after one coat. I wound up putting two coats on her which took 5 1/2 cans of Krylon Gloss White.

I'm calling this a partial reveal because after I we got her all hung up, and I almost peed my pants she was so gorgeous, I decided she wasn't quite finished yet.

She needs just a little something more and maybe a little something more after that. Hopefully she'll be all gussied up soon because I can't wait for you to see her. She might just be the prettiest thing in the room. Maybe. Shelia isn't speaking to me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vinegar & Steel Wool Wood Stain

It is no secret that I like "old" things. My child used to make me pictures at preschool then crunch the paper up into balls and unfold them again before giving them to me because as he said, "Mommy, I know how you like old looking things". Gahhh I love that little boy!

It isn't just about how old things look, though my favorite color is 'chippy blue' because it isn't my favorite unless it's chippy, it's also about the story old things tell. They are so much more interesting than something shiny and new.

I saw the coolest thing on DIY Network last night on This NEW House (Japalachia - Episode DTNH-201H). A man who was building his house in the North Carolina mountains wanted his wood exterior to have an instant weathered wood look. I wish I could show you a picture of that house. It was huge! And each and every board had been treated with a vinegar and steel wool stain.

Vinegar and Steel Wood Stain

Man. I wish I had known about that a month ago! I would certainly have used that technique on Sheila. For now, I'm wracking my brain for a project I can use it on. I think I have one in mind. For now, I thought I'd share with you what I learned about this technique. And I beg you, if you use it, or already have, let me know. I would love to see how it turned out!

Vinegar Steel Wool Stain How - To

Start with unfinished wood. If you'll be refinishing an already stained or painted piece make sure to remove all traces of the previous finish. Wipe the wood down. **NOT INTENDED for antique pieces. The wood may not be able to handle the acidic process. Do not use if your piece is priceless or irreplaceable.

Apparently using different vinegars can produce different stains. For example, an apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar, though apple cider seems to produce quicker results, some say it's the extra acidity of the apple. The DIY guy used Apple Cider Vinegar) makes a slate gray stain (think Restoration Hardware!) and with a nice Balsamic you get a brownish green color. Some folks even mix tea or a Rit dye to vary the color results.

So. Choose your vinegar.

Wash steel wool in warm water to remove oils used to prevent rusting.

Use REAL steel wool. Apparently there are generic versions out there that aren't the real thing and that just won't work.

Choose 00000 steel wool. Completely cover steel wool with vinegar of your choice. Some variations say to use half water, half vinegar but that might water the color of your stain down - again, the DIY guy used just vinegar and steel wool. However, if you find that your stain is too dark, you might decide to add a little water. Keep in mind though that you'll be sanding the final product and that will lighten it up a bit as well.

Soak your steel wool overnight covered tightly in a glass jar. It may take up to 48 hours but if you've used the right steel wool (remember real steel only) and washed any oils from it prior to use, you should see results pretty quickly. The stain is ready for use when the steel wool has completely dissolved.

Test your stain in an inconspicuous spot or on a scrap piece of wood. Just be sure to use the same kind of wood. As with different vinegars, different woods will respond differently giving you different colors.

Brush or wipe stain on in even strokes just as you would any other stain. Wipe off any excess. If you find you want a deeper/richer color tone, try soaking the wood in the stain.

Allow the wood to dry completely then sand lightly with 220-grit sandpaper. Seal the finished product with an oil, such as Tung oil or a natural wax. Be sure to research which of these would work best for your project and the finished look you desire as some of them can change the color or finish when applied.

Oh. And I guess I should tell you, it stinks. Alot.

Finally, and most importantly, send me some pictures or a link! I wanna see!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

More Craigslist Awesomeness

This dresser is not from Craigslist. But it is still awesome and I have grand plans for it. Really, I'm showing it to you to give you some perspective on how awesome the thing I did get from Craigslist is.

This beautiful monster is taller than that awesome dresser and it was $30! I saw it on Craigslist last week. It had been listed on May 24th for $50. I figured there was no way it was still available (I hate it when people don't delete their sold postings on Craigslist because you get all excited only to find out it already sold). But then I get an email from the seller telling me that not only is it still available but that I can have it for $30.

Now. I never intended to pay $50 for it but I have to admit having the deal made for me caught me a little off guard. And, I guess, for that reason it never occured to me to ask for dimensions.

She has a little rust but that's ok, she's getting a makeover anyway

When we went to pick it up my husband was the first to lay eyes on her. He promptly walked back to the car and said, 'J. You have to see this. I don't think it's going to fit'. What? I drive an SUV. Granted there are groceries and a stroller in the back but how can it not fit? Then I saw that monster box.

And I thought our table (seating for 10) was going to be the centerpiece of the room. Well, Sheila's got some competition!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our Handmade Farm Table

It's hard for me to imagine a pile of wood becoming this...

It amazes me everytime I look at it.

Our very own farm table and we made it ourselves! Farm tables can be expensive. I've seen tables range from $500 to upwards of $2,000 and that's without the chairs. Sometimes I'm glad I don't have lots of money. Otherwise, I might not have discovered what a pleasure doing it yourself can be. Of course, now that I've learned that lesson it won't hurt if I win the lottery.

Our fingerprints and date inscription underneath the table

When I was pregnant last year, after I got over all the sickness that sometimes goes with pregnancy, I started nesting. Hard. It's crazy because my child is nearly a year old and I'm still doing it which isn't a bad thing because we've lived here for four years and I'm just starting to feel like the house is mine.

Our dining room, in addition to a new table, is getting a complete overhaul. It is so exciting! But so much work! I really hope to be completely done with it in the next few weeks so that I can share it with you all. Of course, we have a few more things to build and it took me two years to convince my husband we could, in fact, build our own table. Hopefully he's still enjoying the high of having done so and I can squeeze a few more things out of him.

I can't wait to show you what I found on craigslist for $30 tomorrow. It's almost as big as my 7 year old {who's almost 8!}.

By the way, I've named the table Sheila and everytime I think of her I sing this little song in my head. I thought I'd share the video so it can get stuck in your heads, too. Enjoy!

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