Wednesday, February 19, 2014

From Junk to Funk

These drawers were given to me by someone who knows I like to redo stuff. God knows where he found them, probably abandoned somewhere. Anyway. I painted the frame white and the drawers a turquoise color. Then I stenciled a white design. I had never done that before but I wanted to try something new and tie in the turquoise drawer with the white frame. Then I added clear vintage knobs.
That's it. 

Oh yeah, there was a lot of sanding involved, as usual. Also, I used a wipe on poly to finish it. It's much easier than wax.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Shutter Redo & Side Table Too

Here are my last two projects. The first is a shutter from Berkeley, Urban Ore. A salvage store. It's now used as the center piece of a photo wall in my house, that I clip favorite photos to, or Christmas Cards, Birth Announcements, Save-the-Dates, etc. I never knew what to do with those things, and my SIL suggested the shutter. They came together, so one went to another project.

Here it is before:

Every time I do a piece with slats, I am sorry I did. It's so time consuming and rough on the fingers & nails.

Voila! After much sanding, and sanding, and sanding, then a wipe on poly and more sanding, and sanding. It's smooth as ice!

Here it is in it's place:

Here is the second shutter.  

The next thing I needed was a small cabinet to hide all the crayons, rainbow looms, Icelanders, etc., that  are constantly all over the place in the "kid" room.
 This piece was picked up at Goodwill for about $ 15.

Little helpers.

This is as stripped down as I took it.

I added this gray/blue primer so when I distressed it, it would have another layer to it. Although Annie Sloane paint doesn't require primer.

The Final Result:

 Much more in keeping with the style of the rest of our furniture. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The 5 Month Table Project Comes to an End.

Before I explain the what/why's/ and who's. Here's the before & after:

I could see how the change does not seem crazy drastic. As my daughter stated, after months of hard labor, "It looks like you didn't even do anything." 
She likes to boost my ego, obviously.

Here are some table facts:
It's an English Antique, brought to the USA by the Irish Priest who baptised me.
It had been refinished before at some point in it's life, pre 1970's.
It was high gloss finish, no me gusta.
My kids did a serious number on it, kid damage + high gloss= not a good look
Baby food was petrified under the table. It had to be sanded off. Gross.
Designy pedestal legs with thick gloss lacquer= seriously intimidating.
I just made up the word 'Designy'.

 I used a chemical stripper, then got a little over zealous with the stripping and caused some gauges. oops. Then lots and lots of sanding. The table here shows the variation in table grain, which shows it has layers. My uncle suggested I sand it down to a uniform layer, for aesthetics. I said I liked it this way. I got the feeling I was the only one who thought that was a good idea. I can't help it! I like all things abnormal. That's why I shop at Ross. Just kidding. Except I do love to shop there.

As predicted these were a real P.I.T.A.

I decided to stain the top, based on this pinterest inspiration:
I had to call on an expert, to step up my game. Because it appears as though staining is a little more involved than painting. He's my brother's FIL, aka, Ron Swanson.  He makes some real amazing stuff. I bought the products he uses and sanded by hand per his suggestion. I wanted to do each step in exactly the same way he does.  I love to power sand, but per his advice, I sanded by hand. You can really tell the difference. Now I know that great results come from skill and not products, but I have to say it really stepped up my results. This table is smooooth like butter! 

Not to toot my own horn, but I love it! I almost want to run my cheek against it's smoothness, just because. I might later, when no one is looking. Don't judge.

Thank you Mr. Cummings! Your advice undoubtedly helped me do my best. You can expect more e mails from me in the future, I'm sure.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The End is in Sight

We have 8 more school days.
It always brings about so much emotion in me.
Actually, a couple months before the end, I can almost start crying over the thought of my 8th graders graduating and moving on to the High School.
And, ok, maybe not almost, maybe actually crying.
I'm such a sap.

We work so hard, and they grow so much.
It's intense when you have 10 students, for up to 4 years each.

This guy really gets me.

I remember his first day 4 years ago.
He was crying his eyes out and clinging to his mom.
He would not talk. To anyone. Ever.
He wouldn't look at you when you were looking at him either.
If you asked him anything, he would immediately put his head down on his desk.

And now? 4 years later,  he runs the show. We can't get him to stop talking!
We call him "El Jefe", because he likes to boss us all around, and loudly too.

I will try to hold it together during graduation, and the talent show, and our end of the year activities.

Today I was on the phone with a Dr. of one of my students.
She told me "Thank you, it's rare for teachers to get everyone involved like this."
It was a simple thing for her to say, but,
I almost started balling right there on the phone,  I told her 
Thank you too, for talking with me.

My sister likens the school year to a marathon that lasts 10 months. Where you shoot out of the gate and work like a maniac for 10 months, with such intense situations, day after day.

So when someone recognizes how hard you work, it can almost cause a total meltdown of appreciation for being recognized. Especially by someone who sees it, 
and not just your mom.
(Thanks Mom, you always have my back -xo).

I always remember the last time a student walks out of my door.
After years of Good Mornings and See you Tomorrow's,
I give them one last wave goodbye, and inside my wave I am sending them hope for
success, and a prayer for the World to be kind to them.
Dear Lord, please watch over them.

This year I am saying goodbye to all of my students, as I am changing grade levels from Middle School to Elementary. It feels a little like I lost all the eggs in my nest.

But I know I will love my new eggs just the same.

And now? Summer time.

Let's do it!