Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Painting myself in a Corner

(pardon the dusty steps, we are still a bit under construction, but i just had to share the progress!)

Actually, I have been polyurethane-ing myself upstairs, every night for the past 4 nights.  It is a funny feeling to be stuck in your upstairs for 8 hours, but, with 5 people living here, is the only way to live in the  house, and still do the stairs.  The stairs are really taking shape now.  It was touch and go there for a few days, wondering if i would need to just order new carpet in the end.  But now that they are gleaming from gloss and that rich honey color has sunk in, I am starting to look past some of the imperfections (like the one pictured below. . . that i found on the second to last step that I stained) that were bugging me while i was pulling out staples, and sanding the heck out of the treads. 

Since the weekend, Hubby also put up chair rail in the hallway and stairwell, and put bead board or wainscoting on the risers.  It is really taking shape now, and I am so glad i pushed passed the staining and poly stage to give it a chance, because I have hardly noticed the stairs that seemed so glaring with uneven stain soak-age, or surface blemishes.  We are still trying to decide on a color for the top half of the wall.  I want something in the brown family, but it can't be to dark, and I want it to match the existing tan that goes throughout the main level. . . . AND. . . I want to have it all done by Saturday.  Hubby and I are exhausted at the end of each night.  Not because of how much of the day we are spending on it really, but because now that school is out and the kids are home,and it is a main traffic area, only time to work on the hallway is after the kids go to bed, which lately has been 9:30-10 at night.  So, we will be glad when it all comes together. 

And since ADD always gets the best of me during projects and I can't just focus on one thing at a time; i started looking up some entryway benches wishing i had a cuter one than the one i removed to paint.  It is one of those things i got years ago at a yard sale and painted black and set there, and haven't taken a second glance at since.  But now that it is out, and everything else is looking so upgraded, I started thinking a nice cushioned, pottery barn type bench would be nice.  So I sent my hubs THIS link, and last night before i went to bed, it was put together just waiting for me to sand and paint.

 I can't wait to go to the fabric store to look for a cushion fabric!  Isn't my hubbers the best?  I love a guy that loves a good spontaneous project!  Thanks Babe! 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Call me Crazy

No, seriously. . . this time, it may be true.  This nesting stage always gets to me.  I have done some pretty wild and detailed projects during this past stage in my pregnancies, but I think this idea takes the cake for maybe one of the oddest. . . and possibly most detrimental if it doesn't turn out the way I think it will.  BUT. . . if it does work out the way I see it in my head, than I just saved myself a couple hundred buckeroos and, will finally rid myself of the horrid covering, that currently two days ago inhabited my stairway.

 Just so we are all on the same page. . . everyone think for a minute of that thing you said you would do first when you moved into you house.  Was it change a light fixture?  Repaint?  Change flooring?  Fix a hole in the wall?  Well..... is it still there????  I find I have a few simple things I thought, we can fix that, we can replace that, and some days i stare at those things realizing that it has been 3 years, and i am just as accustomed to them, as I assumed the previous owner was.  Who knows, they probably hated it too, but other things take priority, and suddenly that rusted, vent cover doesn't seem so bad to live with for a while.  Well here is a picture of what my item that bugs me everyday, but I have yet to do anything about (I really hate to even claim these):

(I was already taking a peak at what was underneath the carpet, that was actually not like that from the beginning. . .I'm not that bad) 
In case it is hard to tell the dark encrusted stains that have taken up permanent residence on them, here is another view:

And although we did take action on some of the carpet the first week we lived in the house, by getting it out of the entryway it is a long slow process to rid ourselves of all of it in a cost effective way, while keeping some sense of uniform-ism to our house.  But this staircase is that last high traffic area that has the white carpet and other day I was staring at it thinking, this. is. gross.  I couldn't take it anymore.  We caught a glimpse of the wood underneath when we redid our hallway, so I tossed the idea of ripping the carpet out, and staining the treads underneath to my Hubby and got his thoughts.  We figured worse case scenario-- we replace the carpet.  So, I started ripping.  Meanwhile, Hubby sends me this link to an awesome blog (who knew he could get into this whole blogging thing?) The Thrifty Decor Chick, and she has recently done the same thing to her stairs.  It was great to see it done, know it can turn out good, and know not to worry about little imperfections. Plus, I LOVED her walls with white and and the brown (well, she has tan, but there is brown too, it's a great combo), so I was definitely getting some inspiration from that.  So, the staircase has been my night and day project for the last 4 days, and isn't finished (not even close).  I will post updates as I go throughout the next week.  I am hoping to have the stairs and the upstairs hallways done within two weeks (we have company coming, that always speeds things along. . .no one wants to visit a construction zone ;) ).  Wish me Luck!  And if it sucks, i may need to learn how to install carpet :).


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dresser Love

Oh, was it years ago I told you I got an awesome dresser off craigslist that I was going to refinish? I had my idea in mind before I even picked up the pine-topped, crackle covered, country dresser from the house I was buying it from.  I put it in my garage, and then {let the excuses begin} winter hit, and of course it was too cold to go out, and then the holidays, and then I found out I was pregnant and was too tired, and when I started feeling better, it was spring, and I was too busy with the kids, and then end of the year school stuff. . . . aaaannd then my hubs gave me an ultimatum. . . "If it's not done by the end of May, it is going to the dump."  Well, turns out that was all I needed to get my tush into gear (He should have said that about 6 months ago when I bought it, haha).  It was finished by the end of May, I went to put the drawers in place, loving my finished product AND. . . . the top drawer wouldn't fit.  In fact none of the drawers would fit in that top spot.  It must be the warm weather, because I'm pretty sure that wasn't a problem before, but I really wanted it to be a cute AND functional piece of furniture.  So, the hubs stepped in, and trimmed down the tops of each drawer so they all slide in and out with ease.  We just touched up the paint, dusted it off and brought it to our room tonight. I have been laying on my bed trying to blur out the mess of mismatched furniture around it because it adds such a regal touch to our room.  I need a matching one now to replace our other, now sad and droopy looking, dresser.  There are so many wonderful details I didn't notice or expect until I got working on it.  Fun little holes and details that give it just the right amount of character.  Oh, and don't get me started on how much I LOVE this stain with poly combine.  It's a dream!  I was worried it would be hard to get even and the finish turned out silky and smooth.  I must say though, I had decided when I started (after seeing a table of my sister in laws) that I would try for a bit of an uneven finish to it.  I know it seems like a weird idea, but there is a depth that that sort of finish creates that I am adoring right now.  So, without further ado. . the dresser that took about 9 months to birth.  It sure does fill my room with warmth :)  I think this new arrival of mine {the baby} has taken less of a toll than this piece of furniture!    
And the AFTER......

Don't you just love those little holes?    Well, now I have a lot more furniture in my room that need the boot or a good creative eye to get it up to par with this piece of furniture or it may just drive me crazy, and no one needs a crazy pregnant lady around ;)

P.S.  Next on my list of things to finish is the girls dresser, for which, I have already purchased a fun raspberry pink, so I am hoping to knock that out this weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fruits of my Labor

Can i just tell you, I am no green thumb.  I am quite possibly the worst gardener of all time.  I am no good at watering, i never prepare the soil the right way, and i never research the plants I am putting in.  Some things turn out no matter how bad you screw them up, and other things wither and die in a days time.  You may wonder why i even do it.  It just gets me every spring, i feel a need to plant.  Not so much of a need that I actually figure out how to do it.  I just plop some stuff in the ground that I dont want to have to run out to the grocery store for during the summer, and hope it takes.    Last year, i was so excited to plant strawberries, because everyone  in our house likes them, and eats them.  Those two little starter plants produced about 3 strawberries each and the ants ate them half gone before we could even pick them!  It was a dissapointment to say the least.  But those little plants are perenials, much to my suprise, and those little guys reproduced into more than a dozen strawberry plants.  It was taking up so much of our garden bed, i had to transplant them (which i was sure would kill them) and the just took to their new spot in the garden and started bearing fruit!  For the last week or so we have been able to go out every day and gather up a bowl full of fresh, juicy red strawberries.  It is definatly a must have in your garden and definitely worth the $6 paid for both the starter plants.  Just be patient during the first year, and make sure you have plenty of room to let those guys stretch their legs during the off season, and you will be pleasently suprised!