Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The rest of the weekend projects... and lizard girl

There were a few more projects from last weekend that I hadn't taken pictures of yet.

When Erika first moved in with us (earlier this year) I really wanted to try to make her room nice and know that we respected her personal space and needs. Of course, I was on a budget, though. Furniture was all Craigslist or from family and I bought THIS bedding set from Wally World.

The sheets that come with the Bed-in-a-Bag sets are not generally the best quality, so we didn't use those on her bed. I can't let good fabric go to waste though. I knew I wanted to use some blackout lining (bought with a coupon) as she gets a lot of sun in her room. My first attempt turned out pretty stiff because of the lining and didn't really hang nice. That was scrapped. Blog-surfing, I saw this tutorial and loved the design - feminine but not overly flowy - and knew that would work perfect.

The sheets had a wavy gray line on white, so I oriented the sections so the lines were horizontal on top and vertical for the bottom. I think they really turned out very nice. I'm sure the turquoise paint is not her first choice, but it's staying unless she wants to do the repainting.

Yes, the wavy lines on the fabric emphasize that my sewing skills are not perfect, but we tend to not look that close :-) The top section is shirred and is just slightly wider than the window and the bottom section (same width as the top BEFORE shirring) just slightly gathers. This was a LOT of sewing (all those shirring lines basted, then gathered, then sewn to the blackout liner) but I'm really happy with them and think they turned out great.

The curtains were in part for her birthday coming up even though I'd been planning them since she moved in. She's starting a college art program in the fall so I'd been watching Craigslist again to get her a nice drafting table for her birthday. Scored a really nice one for $30 but then she needed a chair too. Making the bench freed up a few of our mismatched dining chairs, so one of them got a makeover with spray paint and the cushion recovered. In my book - another successful project.

And then last but not least... Blake's been wanting some kind of chair or stool for his desk in his room. We got bunkbeds a few years ago when I was pregnant with Dean (knew they'd come in handy with 2 boys) and there's a built in desk at one end. Again, super tight budget... so one day driving to work there was a little stool sitting at the curb in the neighborhood. Yes, it was trash day but I'm sure a piece of furniture as fine as this would not be considered trash. I had to rescue it!!!
I took it apart, recovered the top and added lots of extra padding (it was really flat) and used this beautiful fleece that my Momma sent me - Thanks Mom! Red is one of Blake's favorite colors, so I painted the base deep red and the lovely fabric tied in both the red base and his blue walls. Excuse the mess under the desk... he's a boy.

He loved it! Yay! Another success.
And just for laughs.... here's Paige with a lizard she caught... and I guess she's doing a lizard impression?? Love love love those freckles :-)

All of these projects have been great! I find I actually have more energy when I'm trying to keep myself busy and motivated instead of just being a couch potato. I need to figure out the next project... and the next one after that. There's a second bench waiting to be built and then I'd really like to start on a low-cost Master Bedroom makeover. We've done so little with it since we moved in... it's the most neglected room in the house.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Quite a productive weekend...

I took a few days vacation from work - had a nice long weekend - and got several projects that I've been meaning to do for a while taken care of. There are actually a few other small things finished, but I haven't had a chance to take pictures yet so that will have to wait.

We installed a pet door leading into our garage. We never really had a good place to put the cat litter boxes and we really don't park in the garage very often, so we decided to move the litter boxes out to the garage and install the kitty door. The younger cats are already in and out of it, but we're still working with 14 year old Custer. Dean was pretty fascinated with it as well...

If you haven't heard of Ana White and Knock Off Wood then you need to go check our her site NOW. I believe her inspiration was furniture from places like Pottery Barn and Land of Nod but the prices are insane. She figured she could build it herself and she did just that. She's since posted plans for many woodworking projects, using standard and easily attainable materials, and she's inspired a lot of people (like me) that were intimidated with building anything... to give it a try.

We have a long, narrow kitchen table in the long, narrow breakfast area of our kitchen. It does fit, but it can sometimes be hard to maneuver around especially when people are seated and their chairs are pushed out. Also, when we inherited the table... it only had 2 surviving chairs so we've been dealing with mismatched Craigslist chairs for a while now. We've been wanting benches for the long sides of the table for a while, but I wasn't finding anything within our budget. So, with Ana's plans for Modern Farmhouse Table Benches I made the first of two benches:

I'm pretty happy with it. It's way far from perfect, but I'm proud of it as my first (of hopefully many) furniture project and it will definitely serve it's purpose well. The kids like it and it's very handy to just slide it under the side of the table and get it out of the way.

The other major project was painting our front door. It was stained but had weathered quite a bit, so first we talked about sanding it down and just re-staining it. I'm sure that would have looked nice, but I've always wanted a red front door. Isn't is supposed to bring fortune or prosperity, too?

I'll post the rest of the weekends' projects tomorrow... I made some curtains for my step-daughter's room (she recently moved in with us) as well as painted/recovered two chairs. Oh, and maybe I'll also post some pictures of the other kids. It's not that I take more pictures of Dean, it's just that pictures of Paige and Blake usually look like this:

That's cousin Jayson with her feet. What happened to my sweet little kids?

Domo Arigato, Mr. Destructo...

It's been way too long since I've posted, I know. We've been busy, though. I have lots of projects to show over the next few days.

The biggest news, though, was that my little man turned TWO! We didn't do anything big... just had cake at home with family. He enjoyed blowing the candles out so much, we did it several times - even on just his piece of cake.
DISCLAMER: You'll notice that in every picture I post of him, he is shirtless. He's going through that independent, 'I've learned I can take my own clothes off' phase. He is often seen running around in just a diaper not 5 minutes after we've gotten him dressed. Yes, he's also discovered he can remove his diaper as well, but thankfully he brings it straight to us so we can throw it away (and get another one on him).

He's such an.... ummmm... trying child. This boy can make more messes and get into more stuff than I've ever dealt with before. Just for a bit, probably 15 minutes, I took pictures of everything he got into:
Digging in the bookshelves in the living room...

Climbing up on tables (after clearing them off, of course)....

Climbing the stairs... the WRONG way....

And even though this was 'destructive' and something he probably should have been told not to do... when I found him sitting in the windowsill, behind the blinds, with our cat Opie... it's just too cute to be upset about.

He's talking really well, but is going through that phase where he gets really upset and frustrated when he's trying to tell us something and we can't understand him. He's also having a VERY hard time with sharing... or having to give up something he wants but we have to take away because it's breakable or doesn't belong to him.
He's definitely a sweetie, though. That smile... those eyes.... I know he can melt my heart.