Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sideboard Dresser

I love to find great deals on Craigslist, but to find the good deals you have to be a stalker..or get lucky. Well, sometimes I'm both. In this particular case I was out of town visiting my sister (2 hours away) but checking Craigslist anyway. What did I think I was going to do if I found something? Call my mom and husband to go get it for me, that's what! So, what did I find? This beautiful sideboard dresser for...... $25! 
The pictures, not so good, sorry about that. I'm working on it.

So I sent my mom and hubs, as previously mentioned. I love my hubby, but he has no clue what to look for, mom on the other hand, well, she taught me so I had no worries. So the criteria...
  Do the drawers pull out nicely? (yep)
  Are the drawers dovetailed? (not a requirement but highly recommended! ....check!)
  Is the wood in good shape? (woo hoo)
  Is it from a clean, smoke free home? (Yes!)

Now, these things are not all required but make your life much, much easier and lets you know that your piece is going to hold up over time. I really wanted to try out the chippy blue look on this dresser. My inspiration comes from many places but particularly Miss Mustard Seed. She is a PRO at the chippy, aged look (& everything else interior decorating!!). If you haven't been to her blog before, you MUST check her out. Per her suggestion, I decided on milk paint which often does the bubbly, chippy thing on its own. So here are the products I used:
Old-Fashioned Milk Paint in Slate & Oyster White
Fiddes & Son Wax Polish in Light (clear) & Rugger Brown
I ordered all of these from John Millen Hardware.
So here is the final product (and the explanation follows).

See the difference the picture changes make in the color? The first two are 'pretty' but the last is
more of the actual color.
Now to the 'How To'- I started with the Slate milk paint (which comes in a powder & you mix yourself but it's really easy & directions are included!). I painted the whole thing with Slate & then went back and put a streak of the Oyster White here and there. No rhyme or reason, just what I thought would look good. Forwarning- it looks really stark and streaky which is a little alarming at first. I did go back with a little more Slate and covered some of the white. I went back and distressed the edges and corners with some mediucm grade sandpaper. 
Next is the key to make it look more natural- after letting it dry for 1-2 days I wiped on the Rugger Brown wax with a soft cloth. It goes on quite dark but the trick is to go back over it with the Light wax. Even if it is dry the dark wax will wipe off when you put the light wax on. Just play with it but in general, the more light wax you use, and the more you wipe it, the more dark comes off. It's up to you what you want the final look to be. Go with your gut!
The handles I spray painted with Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB). After it dried I added just a tiny little dab of Rub 'n Buff in Antique Gold. Warning: a little bit goes A LONG way. Just do a little dab and immediately rub around/off. It gives the handles a little bit of an older look.
That's it! Hope you like it.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When to accept defeat .. Blog Design 1, Brandi 0

You may (or may not) have noticed the changes in my blog design. I just can't seem to get a good "fit" for what I think it represents. This is hard for a stubborn gal like me, but I think I'm going to have to admit when I've been beat (but do NOT tell my husband). I have spent countless hours trying to figure out a nice blog design/template, to no avail. Instead, it has caused serious frustration and perhaps some cursing.

All these hours have led me to the conclusion that there are times when me must consider the value of our time when determining to pursue something, and when to leave it to the experts. Which leads me to the question...when have you decided to throw in the towel? And what led you to it?
(And-if you can develop a sweet blog design for me- email me immediately)
Until next time...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Florida vacation, life changes and some good ol' procrastination

Hey there, fellow blog fans.
First, I want to apologize for my absence! Oh my, it's been crazy around this house. A vacation to Disney with the kiddos, some life changes for my parents-requiring oh so much work on my part (but I'm so happy to help..I love my momma!), and some serious procrastination on my part. Please forgive me.

Maybe a picture of the happiest place on earth will help...

Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Our happy little family at Clearwater Beach.

This was our first trip as a family and it was great. However, I definitely needed a vacation from the vacation. It was exhausting! I can't even tell you. There are several things I would definitely do again and others that I would change next time. So in case you need some ideas, here they are:

Definitely DO:
-Plan ahead but allow flexibility (don't under estimate the toll it takes on everyone to spend a day (or 3) at the theme parks
-Rent a condo/hotel with your own kitchen (a washer/dryer is a definite plus too!) This saved us a ton of money. We then found a Wal-mart near by and bought most of our food/snacks for the week.
-Plan on a few "down" days between parks (lay by the pool, watch movies,...whatever your family enjoys)
-Consider the ages of your children and plan theme parks accordingly (Disney rides seemed more oriented for smaller children but the Princesses were a hit with all our girls; Universal was much more fun for our 9 year old)
-See the Harry Potter is amazing. It is located at Universal Islands of Adventure (one of the Universal Studios parks..but different entrance/ticket than Universal Studios)
-Rent a car and drive to the ocean for a day or two. We drove to Clearwater, spent half the day there, and then drove down the coastline to check out a few different beaches. We also asked locals where to go for supper to get fresh seafood (we wanted something original, not a chain). Best.idea.ever.
-Shop around!!! We bought airline tickets & car rental through Allegiant and the condo via BookIt
-Consider the season/time of year that you are going. Is it peak season, off peak, etc.. This can really change the way you look at theme parks. We went during the slowest season(Sept) which was wonderful. 1. It was cheaper (love!) 2. Lines are much, much shorter (we waited an average of 10 minutes per ride & sometimes not at all). Downsides- had to take the kids out of school for a week and it was hot in early September.
-Relax and have fun!

-Buy 5,6, or 7 days worth of theme parks ahead of time. You may change your mind. We did 3 days of parks and that was MORE than enough. The local Wal-mart had discounts and it worked out fine to buy them the day before we went to the parks.
-Go to theme parks for several days in a row...unless you are superhuman. It takes so much stamina to go all day and did I mention, it's HOT in Florida.
-Pack too much. The trip was relatively stress-free except for at airport security. Oh my. Getting a family of 5 through security (think 5 carry-ons, diaper bag, purse, liquids that must be taken out of the bags, removing shoes on the kids, stroller, car seat and kids running off). My anxiety level just went up thinking about it.

Ok, with all of that babbling, I hope that you got some good tips out of our experience. I'm so glad we went. With that, I will end with a few more photos and a promise that more furniture posts are coming soon!
 The Harry Potter castle and my two little wizards.
 Pier 60, Clearwater Beach, Fl
Bahama Bay Resort, Davenport, Fl (our condo)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Faux Wood 'Buffet'

Finally! I said I would show you the end result of the custom project I have been working on. It may have taken me longer than expected to get it posted, but the wait is over. (I know you've been on the edge of your seat for days)

If you recall, this is the before picture...

Kind of looks like the same color base but it's really (REALLY) not.

The nice gal I'm doing this for wanted a stained wood top and a creamy, aged/distressed bottom, unfortunately, this baby is made of pressed wood or some other low quality 'wood,' (although it is very sturdy & well made!) so I couldn't simply strip and stain it to give it the look she wanted.

Plan B- ok, I didn't have one, but I soon came up with one. I talked to my resident expert at the local Woodsmith Store and she and I came up with some colors that just might get to the look I wanted. I came home and nervously gave it a whirl. It's much more nerve racking when it's not something I thought up. In this case I had the deposit and was challenged to replicate an idea that was in someone ELSE'S head. So here is what I came up with using brown and black paints and glaze...

She wanted the original divots, dips and imperfections to be used and show through. She also said her dining room furniture (where this will be placed) is a darker wood with black glaze on it. 

They are coming to pick it up and see it for the first time tonight. I hope they like it. If not, I might just have to keep it (although the hubby would probably have something else to say about that). Also shared on Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday.

On a side note, I have been playing with the photo editor on Picnik and I think I'm getting better. I tried some different effects on these and they turned out better than the original. Still so much to learn!