Thursday, May 26, 2011

map art

After seeing the really cool map art that Nester made, I searched on the internet and found beautiful art paper with this map print on it and made some of my own.

I wanted to keep the map intact, so I glued the paper to a thick sheet of foam and then framed it with some scrap wood I had laying around.

It was a really simple project, and the cost was less than $5 for the paper! The rest of the materials I had on hand.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

kitchen chairs

the chairs that came with our kitchen table were small and starting to break. I've loved these metal tolix chairs for a long, long time now, but didn't even want to pay the knock-off price. I saw these on Overstock and bought them, even though they only had the black ones in stock at the time. (I'm a bit impulsive, in case you didn't know.) They were a very good price, only $150 for 4 of them, and I figured I could spray paint them silver.

Well, no matter what anyone tells you, silver spray paint looks like just that, not like real metal. So, after ruining one of them, I tried to sell the other six (another one had been sat on wrong or dropped in shipment and the back was bent - not unusable, but different looking) on Craigslist so I could just bite the bullet and buy the ones from Home Decorators or even Crate and Barrel. No takers from Craigslist, and since I am impatient, I decided to strip them down to the metal.

Well, factory powder-coated finishes are really, really tough, and it took me a LONG time to get the paint off. Many, many coats of stripper and long hours in the garage with my respirator on.

But, in the end they look FABulous, and I learned my lesson, I think.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

kitchen table

My mom and dad came out for Jack's baptism, which happened to be the week before we left for spring break. My dad likes to stay busy, so I thought we could refinish my kitchen table together while he was here. I ended up having a TON to do (of course, what was I thinking!) and couldn't help him much, but he got it mostly sanded down and then when I got back I finished the project.

Here's what it looked like before:

We bought it from our neighbor before we left Utah, she didn't have room for it and we loved its big bulky sturdiness. It came with different chairs. The chairs are another story for another post.

After sanding it down, this is the beautiful wood that we found. I think it is alder, and it is such a gorgeous color. Well, I wanted to keep it very close to the natural color, so I went to the little woodworking store here in town to get advice, and I was told to use an oil-varnish blend for a finish. I bought the stuff, came home, mixed it up and put it on, but as it dried it turned very very orange.

I cried. And then had to wait over a week for it to cure before I could strip or sand it off again.

In the end, I used a milk paint white wash and then went over it with wood stain in a driftwood color. I then finished it with polycrylic and wax.

I LOVE the way it turned out! And, I love the way it looks with my chairs. It only took me 5 weeks.

I linked up to MISS MUSTARD SEED

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Spring!

Here are a few pictures from my yard from a few weeks ago. We have had so much rain, and it has been hard to have to stay indoors so much, but the plants have been loving it!

I planted tulips for the first time in many years! I didn't even want to bother because of the deer, but my neighbor had gorgeous tulips, and told me the trick was to sprinkle the deer repellent around the shoots as soon as they started to come up! I did, and then repeated the application after each rain (which was pretty much everyday!) and it worked!

These hellebores are so gorgeous and easy, and start blooming in February!

I love these magnolias, they make me so happy!

And of course, life would not be complete without bleeding hearts!

These pictures are actually from a few weeks ago, the garden looks totally different now!