Friday, May 20, 2011

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

...But if not, I will find indoor projects to work on.

First, my sister-in-law found me this adorable bench at a yard sale last weekend. It just needed some cleaning and the fabric needed to be replaced. I thought for sure I had taken a before picture, but I couldn't find it. Here is the after. Oh, I also replaced the knobs. These ones were 50% at Hobby Lobby. We put this in front of Eliza's bedroom window for a window seat/reading bench. So cute--love it! Thanks, Angie!

A few months ago we bought a "new" dining set on KSL. I SWORE I would never buy chairs with fabric seats. But, the price was right so we went ahead. The seats were already ugly, but my kids only made them worse with spills, etc. I KNEW I had to recover them, but with what? I finally chose a laminated cotton fabric that I found on

This fabric has a vinyl/oil-cloth feel to it, so hopefully spills will be real easy to wipe up. (I haven't had any yet since they've only been in my kitchen since this morning!) The whole set could use a paint job-a la All Things Thrifty--but that's a project that sounds a bit too overwhelming at the moment.

And here's my favorite. On MADE, a fabulous sewing blog, there is a tutorial for making a little dress out of a man's dress shirt! I got this mens large GAP dress shirt for $1 at a yard sale on Saturday. I think it's going to be Eliza's favorite summer outfit. (I didn't make her leggings, but I did make ME a pair of white leggings this week--sorry no pictures!) I also sewed up some baby burp cloths for gifts, and last week I finished my diaper bag that I started over spring break. I'll have to get a picture of that because it's sooo cute!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Family Picture Collage Coffee Table

As soon as I saw this coffee table at a yard sale a couple of years ago, I knew it would be PERFECT for the project I had in mind. When I was growing up, one of our neighbors had a coffee table with a collage of their family pictures. I LOVED it and I'd always wanted to do one. The design of this coffee table is just right for putting pictures and glass on top.

It took me a year before I got around to the project, and that was thanks to my hubby who got the glass ordered for mother's day last year. I've since redone the pictures twice. The first time because I was cleaning the table with the vacuum (sucking out crumbs and dust that get in the cracks) and whoosh, the vacuum sucked some of the pictures out of place. Darn! So tip #1: be sure to stick the pictures down with something (I used those scrapbooking sticky square thingies.) And the second time was because I was inspired to paint the table by All Things Thrifty. Thanks, Brooke!!

So the table itself looks awesome--so much better than the orange-ish wood finish that was there before. I used Krylon Ivory (gloss) spray paint, and then I glazed it with a brown glaze. I love how the glaze brings out all the lines and crevices. I followed the tips from the above mentioned blog for painting and glazing.

But here is the really neat, fun part of the table. The family photos:

My kids and their friends, and let's face it--just about every visitor to our home--LOVE to look at each of the pictures and find themselves. It reminds us of fun times, brings back good memories. Our 2 year old, Skyler, is always pointing to different pictures and telling us who it is of, or asking questions like, "Why does daddy have a spider on his nose?" (It's not a spider, it's a lizard).

It's just SO MUCH FUN to look at! And now, even more, because of the paint job. The only sad part of this post is that I have a really pretty wool rug that goes under this table, but I just sent it to be cleaned and won't get it back for a couple of weeks. So you have to look at my dusty, scratched up wood floor. (Sorry!)

Okay, so about the same time that I acquired the coffee table, I also bought two side tables that were the same color. I got them at DI and I don't remember how much, but I do remember feeling as though I was overpaying. (The Provo DI really does overcharge!) But, we didn't have KSL back then, or at least I didn't know about it yet. Anyway, I decided to give them a makeover along with the coffee table. Here's what they looked like before:

Same ugly orange stain as the coffee table.

Painted with Krylon's Ivory gloss spray paint, and then treated to some brown glaze. MUCH better!

I put one on either side of my couch. If only I had that rug! Oh well, I'll just have to repost when I get the rug back. :)

I bought new hardward from Hobby Lobby--50% off--so they were just $2 each. Gotta love that!

Here's a final look at the befores and afters of the side tables and coffee table.

How about a preview of my next project? I'll be able to get to it as soon as it stops raining! My dresser. I have never loved it or even liked it very much. BUT, it was a hand-me-down (in other words, FREE) from my sister, who got it from my grandma, who got it from I have no idea. Mismatched hardware, ugly color. But spending money on a nice, new dresser has not been a priority. Plus, I have been DYING to paint something colorful. Everything I've done so far (talking furniture) has been very neutral because of the space it was going in. My room is pretty neutral already, so I think we're going COLORFUL this time. Woo-hoo!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Painted Dresser

So I finally found a dresser that I think my daughter actually likes. (She really didn't used to be very picky. Maybe it's that she's almost 12?) She wants to see how it looks in her room before she makes any definite decisions. But I love it and I'm tempted to just use it for the baby. (But I guess I'll give Emily the first choice :) Anyhow, this dresser came from KSL for $25. When I saw the carving in the top drawer, I just knew it would be a beauty once painted and glazed. And once again, I took all my painting and glazing tips from All Things Thrifty.

(I forgot to take a completely true before picture. I sanded it slightly and filled in some spots with a wood filler. Then I remembered to take the before.)

And here is the after:

What I used: Kilz spray primer, Krylon Gloss White spray paint, brown glaze, and the handles were Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze.

PS Stay tuned...My next project is going to be sooo fun!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Craft Room/Office...Finally Finished!!!

Finally! I get to show you my finished office! This has been quite the project, taking many more weeks than I anticipated or desired.

The first thing I did was go through my stuff and get rid of a lot, reorganize what was left, and rearrange a little bit. I showed you that phase here.

The next step was the lighting. I didn't feel like I could accurately choose a paint color in this room until we improved the lighting. So one weekend my husband and his friend Chris put in recessed lighting. Now this was not an easy job because there is no attic access and we couldn't find any tutorials online to show how it's done (you have to somehow get the wires through the joists in the ceiling). Luckily, Chris had done this before and was able to come on really short notice to help Nate with it. Our plan was to put 3 lights on one side of the room, and two on the other side. We got the three in on one side, but when we went to put the 2nd one in on the other side, we discovered that we had duct work in that whole corner of the ceiling and it wasn't going to be possible to put the light there. Dang! Come up with plan b! I ended up putting in a really cute hanging Japanese-style paper lantern that we got at Ikea. The only problem with it is that it has to be plugged in everytime which is slightly inconvenient. But, I do love how it looks!

(Recessed Lighting)

After the lighting, I was able to paint. I used Valspar Crystal Aqua (from Lowes). Then of course I had to refinish several pieces in the room, including the bookshelves, the filing cabinet, the chair, etc.

Okay, so here is a reminder of the before:

And here is the after (notice the paper lantern!):

Another before:

And after of my sewing table and the medicine cabinet. I plan to put some cute decorations on the shelves. Maybe some jars of buttons or some other cutsie thing:

My scrapbooking/project table with my new organizing shelves. Also, my fabric in mini-bolts. I got that idea from Smashed Peas and Carrots. (I thought I had a lot more fabric than that. It looks a lot smaller stacked this way).

More before shots:

And after:

A close-up of my medicine cabinet and decorations. I decided to use photos of Nate's ancestors as decorations in the room. Some of the frames I purchased at Ikea, and the others I had, but painted white. Then I glazed all of the frames, following the instructions from All Things Thrifty.

Nate's great-grandparents wedding photo (Great-Grandma Lillie whose photo is shown below):

This is a photo of his great-grandma Bessie when she was a little girl with her brother. This was taken in the 1890s. I love the look of these old photos with their sepia coloring and the scalloped edges!

The top photo is Nate's great-uncle and aunt who met and married during WWII in France. They never had any children, so I have many of their papers. Finding this photo and learning their story is what motivated me to do some family history a few years ago. (I need to start again). I like to have these photos hanging to remind me. The bottom photo is of Nate's grandparents when they were a young couple.

These photos are of Nate's great-grandmothers, Lillie and Bessie:

This chair belonged to Nate's grandma Leah, who we are naming our baby after. Here it is before:

And after, using tips from--yes again!--All Things Thrifty (I LOVE that blog!):

This painting was done by my artist brother, Brett. He gave it to one of my kids on their birthday, but I've never framed it or put it up (what a shame!) until now.

Ta-da!! Now that that is done, I can take a big sigh of relief and then start the next project!