Friday, March 23, 2012

From Gma's Garage

So my grandma recently moved into an assisted living facility.  She is 96 years old and had lived on the family farm and mowed her own couple acres of yard up until last summer!!!!  When she moved the kids and grandkids got to make some picks.  I am the physically closest granddaughter, so I got permission to use up whatever was left.  Needless to say grandma was very suprised by my picks.  Here are two items I took out of her garage. 

They housed tools, chemicals, nick nacs, toys, etc. that hadn't been touched since the 80's.  My grandpa got Alzheimers and his area was the garage, so stuff just sat after that.  A lot of the items were much older than the 80's though.

(this is after I've cleaned on it awhile, lots of wall paper and dirt)

This top hutch you will see in a later post.  Grandma said it was in their kitchen, but the bottom had rotted from sitting there and no one had noticed until they tried to move it.  She kept it, said it was out in the barn somewhere, because she'd hoped one day they would restore it.  The upper cabinet was perfect to me.  I wanted it to go above my new washer and dryer area.  Everyone else that had seen the piece thought I was nuts.  But, this is for a later post...



Here I have painted one side with Caressed.


The green cabinet sat in the garage, almost under the hutch.  I thought this would be perfect in my new bathroom, since the vanity was all open storage.  I've been wanting to try the technique where you put stain on wet paint and wipe.  I thought that technique would look great on this piece.  I had leftover wall paint from painting the bathroom, which is a light tan color, Caressed from True Value to be exact.  I cleaned the piece, sanded the piece, and then painted the first coat.  I let the first coat dry completely and I didn't worry about brush strokes or streaking since I knew it would get another coat, plus the stain.  After the first coat dried, I painted in sections.  I started with the side.  Painted it, then dipped a Walmart bag into a leftover stain I had just a little left of.  I took that bad of stain and streaked it over the wet paint until I got the look I wanted.  Then, I worked to the other side, then front, then top.  I tried to look at the piece as a whole as I did it so that each side would look the same.



It took days to dry.  Not sure if it is from all the humidity because we have been getting a lot of rain or if it is from the technique itself.  The inside is plain wood though, so my daughter and I carried all of my stuff and my husbands stuff from our old upstairs bath down to our new master bath.  I wanted to put wax on the top of the pice, but I haven't done that yet because it wasn't dry when I was ready to do it!  I only have time to work on the weekends, so that will be a project for tomorrow!!  I also need to add a handle.  Grandpa has abunch of glass handles in his old workshop, so I'm going to go swipe one of those.  I'm so happy with this technique and can't wait to do it again.





And, I can't wait to get a little more done in my bathroom so I can decorate and have a room DONE!!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Slowly but surely

We are still working on our master bathroom.  As soon as our friend Marlin got the vanity table made according to my specs, I got it stained and polyed.  Then, it sat.  I guess when the top was dry the feet weren't because where it sat waiting to get installed, the floor got nice stain spots on it.  Luckily a little scrubbing and mineral spirits got it up.

See here...

and here...


My dad is a farmer and handyman.  My husband is a teacher and is NOT a handyman.  He will admit that he doesn't know how to do anything.  So, while my husband watches the kids, my dad and I work on projects. 

This afternoon I wanted to get the vanity DONE.  But, we open up the sink that we had reordered because the first one was broken, yep, this one was broken too!  So, we installed one sink and dad studied how to make the plumping work.  He did not do the plumping coming up through the wall, nor was he happy with how this was done.

The manufacturers directions for setting the sink just did not make sense.  Instead of cutting a huge hole, we cut a much smaller one.  Both dad and I felt bad about cutting into this beautiful table!



So this day turns into a day of just cutting the holes.  Another weekend, after we get another sink that is not broken, I convince my husband that he can install the faucet and set the sink.  My husband is a master of the caulk gun.  So, we get the faucets installed and sinks set so that the following day my dad can do the plumbing.


Remember, my dad is a farmer.  Here is what the work of a farmer looks like...


As we are doing the plumbing we discover why the sink manufacturer wanted you to cut such huge holes, because if you don't it is a tight fit to get everything hooked up!  Plus, guess I should have bought a faucet that was especially designed for above the counter mounted sinks because we had a hard time with the drain. 



Now in my mind when all of this was designed my plumbing was going to be neat and tidy and easily concealed with a few knick knacks on the shelf.  Hmmm... not so much now that I see the handywork.  So, the plan is to get some burlap and try to cleaverly cover the plumbing and then put beautiful stuff in front of that.  This is the view from the toilet.


Now off to get a mirror or mirrors, shower curtain, bath rugs, etc., etc.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

What I Eat #2

Ok, so I started dieting in January for my first pro figure competition in July.  I posted what I ate here.  That was basically what I was eating for the month of January, but I did sneak in some Ezekiel bread and peanut butter.  Oops!  February came and it was time to make more changes.  So here's what I did for month 2.  Remember, it is all about tapering.  You can't just cut out 500 calories one month and expect to loose 30 pounds.  You have to do it little, by little, aka the hard way that no one wants to do!  So, compared to January I cut out all PB and Ezekiel bread and carbs at night.

I wake up and had 6 egg whites and 1 whole egg with a half cup oatmeal or cream of wheat.  I like to add cinnamon, cocoa, wheat germ, and flaxseed to my oatmeal or cream of wheat.


We cook our eggs in the skillet with a little canola cooking spray.  I like a runny yolk, so this is how I do it.  Husband likes to scramble his.

Morning snack is a protein shake.  I like chocolate and strawberry the best.


This is the current stash in the bottom of the pantry.

For lunch I eat 6 oz. protein (chicken, hamburger, roast or pork typically), 1 cup carb (brown rice, couscous, or whole grain pasta), and vegetables (carrots, broccoli, green beans).


Here is some rice.  We cook everything in bulk over the weekend and put it in containers in the frig and freezer to pull out for the week.  (We make our own fast food!)

Afternoon snack/pre workout is another protein shake.  I need to eat the shakes just because it is hard to eat and teach a class at the same time.  So, I can drink a quick shake between classes to keep my metabolism up.


Post workout is a shake with a 1/2 cup of oatmeal.  I drink this immediately after my workout and then get home so that I can eat "real" food within an hour of my workout.  I prefer eggs for my evening meal because they are filling, I don't get sick of them, and they are fresh and quick.



The cats and dogs get to eat a lot of yolks, but it is cheaper to separate them all myself rather than buying cartoned egg whites.  I might have a veggie at night, normally a red pepper, or I might not.  As I cut out more starchy carbs I eat more vegetables to keep myself full.  Here is what I looked like after two months of dieting.  Butt shot, so we can compare to first month.  I never pick a time when I look decent to do these pictures!


Slow and steady.  Consistency is key.  Jeans are still tight, but getting looser....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Distressed White

I found a nice sturdy white dresser at my favorite DAV Thrift Store.  I wanted to improve it, but needed it to be done quickly so I could get a spot filled in my Junk Parlor room at the Columns.  It was dirty and had these huge weird knobs on it.  It had screw holes for a handle, but the previous owner had just put "fun/kid" knobs on it.  One drawer was a butterflies, one was just bright swirls, one set was ladybugs, you get the picture.  It was very dirty too.  I LOVED a post I saw somewhere (after much searching, I finally found it again!  Click the picture to go to the space between) that had decoupaged maps to the front of the door and then she wrote in large block letters places she had traveled that coordinated to the map.  Anyway, this would have been the perfect dresser for me to try with her style, but I didn't have the time.  So, what I did copy from her was braided rope in place of handles.  Can you believe how expensive handles and knobs are?!



I had been stripping a table and dresser so I decided to put the stripper over the dirty areas and use a paint scrapper to remove the paint.  It worked!  I love how it turned out!  While this technique works great, I really want to try the vaseoline technique that Down To Earth Style uses.  You must go to her site because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE her style.



Here is how my finished dresser ended up looking, well I guess not really.  I started with knobs and then changed to the braid handles like above.  This dresser hasn't sold, so maybe I'll get a picture of it how it actually looks!



There, here is a more current picture!
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Shaggy Lamp



As I was browsing blogland I came across someone who took fabric, not sure if it was burlap or what, but then tore it in strips and glued it to a lamp shade.  I found the perfect cream lamp at the thrift store with an old, worn out shade and thought it would be a perfect test run.  I asked mom for some muslin scraps and went to work hot glueing each strip down.  Now when I saw it on this site, sorry I can't remember the site, she had created curve to the fabric so that each piece was not straight, but very curvy.  While I did not make mine straight, I could not achieve the curvy awesomeness that I saw on my inspiration site.  I still love how it looks, but I liked hers better.  I do wish I would have put the fabric closer together because you can see the glue and original shade if you look.  My inspiration said that if she had it to do all over again she would have wrapped the shade in her fabric and then done the strips.  I'm not sure that would have changed my problem.  I am looking for more lamps at the thrift store to test this on.  I love how it looks lit or just by itself.




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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Free Table

So a coworker posted that she had a free table.  I thought, hmm... can't go wrong with a free table.  So, I replied to her email and luckily no one had taken her up on her offer.  I had just started selling stuff at the Columns, so I figured I could fix up the table and sell it.  We went to pick it up with a van full of kids... mistake.  I thought we could fold down part of the back seat and slide the table in no problem.  WRONG!  It wasn't even fitting in the van it was so wide.  So, luckily I suggested to the guys to lay it on it's top.  Yes, it fit, but... we had to put the whole back seat down which meant someone that gets car sick super easy got to sit in the back on the floor.  Maybe next time I should plan better!

No before pictures, but here it is in the basement where I worked on it.


Anyway, no before pictures, but basically the table was a family heirloom that had been sitting in the basement for years.  My coworker figured she would eventually refinish it and actually use it, but instead it ended up taking up space.  The table was WELL worn.  The top was so worn down where apparently two people sat that the table is visibly uneven. 

See the wave?

Not to mention a dog had been using the legs as a chew toy. 



But, it was free and turns out it is a round table with two leaves.  I have been wanting a round table in the dining room, so I decided to keep it.  I had leftover paint from my mudroom (see the red buffet I did in the same color here) which is a color of red I love, so I decided to paint the base in red.  I wanted the top to be a dark stain, but...


The wood was so blonde that no matter how long I let the stain set it was not going to go darker.  I liked how all the imperfections showed up, so I kept it light.



I attempted to patch up where the dog had chewed, but it didn't work to well.  Plus, I figured that my kids would just ruin the leg with their feet, so I stopped messing with it and just started painting. 

Here you can see my attempt at patching.
I love it in my dining room.  Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to do with my chairs!  That will be a later post.


Here are a couple pretty pictures. 



Color not so good :)


I did sand before painting.  I painted two or three coats with latex.  I used minwax dark walnut stain and polyacrylic on the top.  It was my first time using the waterbased poly and I'm not sure if I like it.  I thought it bubbled more.  I also let it set a few days before we used it and anything hot I sat on it stuck really bad.  I'm not sure if it's quite been a month yet, but hot stuff doesn't stick to it now thank goodness. 

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