Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Woah it's been awhile!

Just like me keeping a journal, being an up to date blogger is next to impossible. I'd much rather create on a whim and get around to documenting the creations when I feel up to it. I also find that I am a pretty random creator. Most people find that they like doing certain things like painting, cooking, music and then stick to that genre. I get obsessed with one kind of creating and go crazy, and then get bored of it and go crazy with something entirely different, and then get bored, and go a whole different direction. The nice thing is that I have the ability to do this, not some boss telling me to do certain things by a certain time frame. In the end I do a project when I have an idea and the time to do it. Needless to say, since my last post I have done a lot of things to keep my creativity level of happiness up. Here's what has happened since:
I found this ugly beast at the side of the road, a few houses down from us.
That door with the huge hardware slides from left to right, and was supposed to cover the box in the middle. Unfortunately I grabbed a quick "before" shot with my phone while the table was on its side, ready to begin the transformation process. (Oh and it totally stunk too! I mean really bad. My husband was afraid of what it would do in our house, but I assured him it would be ok by the time I was done with it. Thankfully I was right! No more death smells!)
 I tore off the fake plastic? leather? hideous black piece on top. Took off the bottom square base, and put on feet, turned the interesting carved corner pieces upside down (right side up?) since they seemed upside down to begin with; took off the sliding door, put wood putty in the grooves that allowed it to slide, knocked off the backing (which is still shown in this picture because I was undecided as to whether or not to keep it or not at this point in time), and spray painted it an off white (with my somewhat new Wagner paint sprayer...I will do a shout out for that lovely product at another time).
To replace that horrible topping, (with the help of my wonderful neighbor Diana,) I cut a wood piece that would fit down within the top to give the individual wood pieces stability and strength, and cut pallet wood pieces to the right angles using my miter saw. I thought making a herringbone pattern would be way easy. It. was. not. Pallet wood pieces are various levels of thicknesses, as well as cutting them all at the same angle you would think would create a puzzle like effect....for some reason it didn't. This was an all day process and very frustrating at times. 

I then glued each piece down with wood glue, and using the old topping, I put it on top of the fresh glued pieces and put all of our dumbbells on top to help it to dry strong. After it was dry I put wood putty in between the small gaps.

Lastly I put the wood piece on top of the table and put a few screws in underneath. Then to finish it all off I went to Michael's and took advantage of a 40% off sale on their baskets. Gotta love sales.

Voila! I love how it is on the smaller side so it brings our small room together, but doesn't overpower it, and it allows us somewhere to store toys for the kids and the dog (I'll get to that in a second).

This lamp was another project I did around the same time. Can you tell I have been obsessed with wood and all of its rustic glory?! We had an aspen tree in our backyard that had long since been dead. With the help of our neighbor Robert, we cut down the tree and cut it into handy little sections to use for future projects. This was part of that tree. Can you see the crazy grooves in it? Those are trails from the beetles that killed the tree. At first I wanted to sand them away, but I am glad my neighbor convinced me to keep them there. It will be fun always having a keepsake of our tree. This was a day's process to create as well, and there were a lot of lessons learned along the way. To make it I took apart an old outdated lamp we had, and drilled a hole through the wood to put the cord and lamp mechanisms through. A lot more work than we expected, but next time we will know how to do it much better. If you would like to do this yourself, please comment and I will write a post on the how-to's so you don't have the same headaches we did.

Next was an ugly frame. Unfortunately you can't see all of the hideous combo with the canvas covered in this picture. I had already covered it up to prep it for painting, but you get the idea of the gold and turquoise combination from who knows what decade. This was a painting my great grandmother painted when she was probably in her 30's? I wanted it because I had no idea she painted, and I thought it would be nice to have it as a keepsake. We have had it in our garage for years, gathering dust, wondering if we should just give it away to Goodwill. So glad we didn't. 

You can't even know what a transformation this was without having seen this painting with the old frame combo. All I did was barely sand the frame and then spray paint it with my handy Wagner. It took 5 minutes, and then dry time, and it was ready to hang. I highly suggest you re-looking at things around your house that look horrible, but have some memory or significance, and see if there might be a simple fix for them as well.

I hate to even include this before picture of our bathroom. Yuck! But here it was, brown and yucky. I didn't even bother having decent towels because the bathroom was so boring already. It would have stayed the same if I hadn't broken the mirror above the toilet. I was trying to do a bun in my hair for the first time in my life, and had jimmy rigged the mirrored medicine cabinet to stay open so I could use the other mirror (not shown) to show the back of my hair as I tried to attempt the bun...which I still can't figure out. Anyway, I had given up on the bun and went to close the mirror forgetting that I had put something in it to keep it open. Crack!! Mirror broken. Who knew how much a stinkin' mirror was to replace!? Just a plain Jane mirror, way more boring then the one I broke, was going to cost $70! And that is not even with them putting it back on the medicine cabinet! I tried to think of everything, but nothing easy existed. In the end we had to buy an entirely new cabinet, and instead of going with the old outdated oak, we decided to go for an espresso. Now mind you we rent, so I wasn't going to really go all out on updating the bathroom (although I have been tempted to for years!), but we needed to change things to match the new cabinet. We got approval from our landlord to stain the cabinets to match and here it is:
This is another picture from my phone so I apologize for the lack of detail. But can't you tell what an improvement that was? If we owned this home I would have gone all out on the baseboards, flooring, countertops, mirrors, you name it, but for now this simple fix works and someday when we own our own home I will get to have that kind of fun.

Then we got a puppy. An 8 week old fluffy, soft puppy, that was too adorable to pass up. After a couple days of me majorly regretting my decision, I embraced the change and we love our little Porter and the fun and crazy he adds to our family. He put my creative pursuits on hold for a little while too.

Then in the last month a super fun lady that goes to our church came up to me and showed me the above picture from 71toes.com, and asked if I could make a birthday sign that she could put in each of the young women's (from our church) yards (ages 12-18) on their special day. I was excited for another project since having the dog and the holidays had put me on a major creative hiatus and I was going a little crazy wanting to get out and make something (snowy, cold weather doesn't help either). So I went to Home Depot, bought some wood, hinges, and chains and went to work to make the sign. Below is what I came up with (made two exactly the same), and put a chalk banner so that each girl's name can be filled in.

So that's it. I think. I am forgetting Christmas presents that I made for everyone too. Many of which were candle holders made out of our tree with our friend's and their spouses' initials woodburned into the wood. I also made a giant ruler growth chart that I really liked. As well as wood-burned spoons and little things like that. It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Now that I am caught up with the last 6 months I hope to stay a little more current.

Thanks for reading!

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