DIY Ladies, have I got a “guy” you need in your life. No, I am not talking about my Hubby. You have to find your own handy husband. I am talking about Fat Max by Stanley. Remember, I do not get paid by anyone to talk about their products so it has to be good for me to talk about it. Okay he is not a guy, he is a toolbox. Seriously, if you are like me and have to work in less than ideal locations ( like the back porch) at our house you need to get one of these bad boys. They roll, are easy to use and open, and they hold a ton. Here it is opened up. Closed and ready to roll. The handle pulls up just like a suitcase in the back. There is a funny story behind my pair of Fat Maxes. Yep. I have two, I did not plan on getting two. My husband took me to Home Depot recently to look at one. I was so happy that he felt I needed my own tool box. In our family a toolbox is a rite of passage. To me it meant he thought I was serious about repurposing furniture. That makes me happy, and a little scared. I am not always sure I am serious about what I do and frankly I am plagued with self doubt on every single project. But, back to Fax Max and the story. At Home Depot, we checked out Fax Max and I knew it would work well. To the left of the floor model was a box with a picture of Max on it. We took the box to the front checkout. The box was opened and Max was scanned. Only when we opened the box again at the lake house did we discover that there were two. We were shocked and planned on returning the extra as soon as we got home. The only problem with that plan was that by the end of the weekend I knew we would be keeping both; one for the lake house, one for the suburban house. Convincing Home Depot that we wanted to pay for the extra Fat Max turned out to be tricky but we convinced them that we paid for one and got home with two and had decided to keep the extra. At the lake house the chest is filled with three sanders, sand paper, basic tools like a hammer, pliers, screw drivers, drill bits, stains, and containers of screws. It allows me to roll everything out on the porch at the Garagemahal. I do a lot more construction type work at the Garagemahal than I do in the burbs. At our suburban house it is my mobile paint and prep shop. My sanders, brushes, Citristrip, scapers, paint tape, clean rags, stir sticks, paint openers, empty jars, and the paints I am currently using are all stored inside along with a container to keep the hardware to the piece being worked on together. I love that it slides open, it rolls, and has divided containers to keep all my mess separated. I can easily move the tools by myself from the garage to the driveway or back porch when I get the urge to paint something. Everyone is happier here with my new set up. The night I got Fat Max, there was a crime scene on the news and guess what the CSI folks were dragging into the site… Fat Max. He really gets around.
July 26, 2014
July 24, 2014
If you are too busy to read my wordy post today I put a quick DIY with photos at the bottom of the page.
My brother in law and sister in law built a home recently in Durango, Colorado.
In case you are counting, this is home number four for them. We stayed at their vacation home in Costa Rica over spring break,
they have a beautiful, huge hilltop home in Austin that is currently for sale,
and are building a new home in one of my favorite small cities near our home in Montgomery, Texas.
Their plan is to live in Durango half the year and in Montgomery the other half. They rent out the Costa Rica home most of the year but visit frequently. It is a tough life, but someone has to do it.
When they moved into the home in Durango three weeks ago, they literally moved up to the 2600 sq ft home with what fit in a UHaul and their car. We arrived for a visit to find that they didn’t have things like mixing bowls, or an egg turner, or spoon rest. They have been so busy getting settled in that cooking wasn’t high on the list. They were also a little short on furniture. They had purchased or brought beds, two couches, chairs, barstools, a dining table an outdoor bench, and a bookcase. I was proud that they had been shopping at local resale and thrift shops for items and had purchased a few accessories at the shops. I think I may be wearing them down… a little bit.
What they did not have were end tables and coffee tables in their main room or the upstairs den. We set out shopping for stuff our first day there. They took us to the shops that they like. I liked the stores, too. They were unique and interesting pieces, but wowser, the tables were very expensive. Like $900 to $1200 per table expensive. I would much rather spend that money on supplies and thrift store furniture and a whole lot more.
When I saw a little $20.00 solid pine toy chest that had several of the most unfortunate paint jobs, I knew it would work as a coffee table with some love. It was painted with a really thin blotchy black color. Someone along the way had painted it white, and there was also an attempt at painting flowers on the chest with red streaks.
The steps are simple:
Strip down to smooth, but not bare wood. Wipe it all down and get clean. I used Lysol wipes.
This had to happen so I could knock down the thick ridges from the painted flowers. I used Citristrip on the whole thing to knock off the black layer and then focused on the flowers. (As usual, I forgot a before picture.) Here it is with the first layer off:
Spray paint the whole chest. I sprayed the chest twice, letting it dry completely between coats. The paint color was Rustoeum Seaside.
This is a project I did on the fly with very limited supplies or space. All the spray paint work was done across the street in a vacant lot because the valley where the house is located was windy and the thought of getting turquoise paint on the car or house was scary.
Not a bad view while I worked. I understand why they have moved to Durango.
Sand away at the paint, following the wood-grain. You will know the paint you are sanding is dry if what you are sanding off looks like chalk dust. I hand sanded using this awesome sanding block with a handle. (You can see the sander in the box to the left of the chest.)
In some places go all the way to bare wood and in others go down through paint to the colors below.
Once I was pleased with the amount of sanding, I stopped. There is no magic formula.
Once I wiped it all down again I rubbed in glaze mixed with dark brown latex paint. The gaze to paint ratio was about three parts glaze to one part paint.
I used a dampish cotton cloth to literally rub it in. It did not take very much at all with each coat. It took two coats for me to be happy with the look.
I rubbed it down with paste wax when I was finished to give it a luster.
Here it is finished. I really like the look. All in all it cost about $20.00 in supplies which were all bought at a pretty small Walmart so they are readily available.
July 17, 2014
33 page views. That was a watershed moment for me. I blogged about my family pictures (you can go to the post here) from the beach Christmas before last. In 24 hours I had 33 people look at the pictures. Wow. I was really proud of that number. Up to that point I was averaging about 18-20 page views per day.
This week I crossed the 75,000 page-view mark. Thanks for sticking with me or for finding my blog and joining in. I know in blog land 75K is nothing, and I mean hardly a blip on the great blogosphere radar. It is just an ordinary week for Remodleaholic, Shanty 2 Chic, or Roadkill Rescue, but it is a big deal to me.
Because I am an educator, I thought that you might like to know this about blogging:
In 1999, there were just 23 blogs. Today, there are over 1.5 billion blogs on the internet. ( Now you see why I am so impressed you even found my little bitty blog?)
WordPress.com alone has over 60 million of them. Every half a second, a new blog is created. There are about 31 million bloggers in the US. ( I personally read about 10 blog posts a day so I am not even keeping up with one minute of the blog world per day.)
1 in every 5 bloggers updates his/her blog daily. (Man, I stink in this area!)
If you have read my blog for any time at all you already know this, and I would like to apologize in advance for retracing this well beaten path, but here goes…
I do not get paid to blog. I do not have advertisements on my blog. I do not get free stuff to try out and talk about on the site. I am not opposed to getting paid, and any company that wants me to try out their stuff if free to send it my way, but blogging is not my job. I blog, and repurpose furniture because it brings me joy. I especially like trying new things out to see if it works. I started blogging so that I could show you guys what we were up to at our weekend home, Star Hill. We were setting up a home on a shoestring budget and I got hooked looking for things to fill the home with up there that were functional, creative, and fun to have around. Along the way I have met new friends. I love hearing from you in Canada, and Spain, and other parts of the U.S. I am thrilled when I can show off a project I have done to my friends who do not live near me. I have a full time job that I love and I get paid well to do but I am thrilled to have a hobby that fills my need to be creative.
A year ago I got a Facebook page for the blog. It is a fun place to talk about what I am doing in small snippets. I do try to check in there daily. If you are one of the 381 folks who like my Facebook page, thanks for checking in on me from time to time. I enjoy what you have to say and I value your input. ( Because of Facebook I am now trying to replicate a zinc finish on furniture.) I am also working on posting to Instagram more often as I see things that I think might interest you. It is my goal to continue to improve as I go along. Twitter still vexes me. I seem to have two Twitter accounts set up, but this is the main one, here. It depends which device I use where it goes. Sorry. Still learning.
This year we moved from our city house of 14 years to a suburban home. That is no small feat for two 50 somethings who had lived in the same community for 24 years. We have been super busy changing jobs, setting up a new home, learning the new area and I have taken a big leap. I have actually sold some pieces of furniture. That was scary stuff for me. I am riddled with self-doubt when it comes to the work I do and up until this year I would never have considered doing what I do to furniture for money. It made me feel good to have someone appreciate my work enough to pay for the projects. Here is a sample of what I have sold in the past few months:
I am redoing a whole mid-century bedroom set. This night stand, a headboard and a dresser.
I have a thing for green mixed with stained wood. Others must, too. I have sold more green and red than any other color.
This was my first ever set that someone requested I look for to purchase. Scary!
I sold these two pieces to someone who put them in the same bedroom as night stands. If I had ever thought they would be together, I might have changed the colors. She loved them as they were and they look awesome in her eclectic guest bedroom.
Red Red Wine by Behr. I know you are going to ask the color. Someone asks every time I post these beauties. We have made four headboard/footboard beds this summer. I still have four to go. One will be finished soon. I love that they are being used by some sweet ladies and are going to be around a while.
Because I have stepped up the amount of work we are doing, I have also committed to learn to use all the tools we own. I am learning to use the drill press, the table sander, and the biscuit joiner at the moment. (My first ever all on my own construction project will be coming soon. I want it to be a surprise for the recipient and they are a reader.) When I add the tools I can already use without assistance, I feel pretty accomplished. Two years ago I was terrified of a drill. Silly me. The table saw and grinder still loom large over me. They are two tools that I fear.
Here is a sample of the projects I have completed in the last fewmonths. By far the most popular thing we have done is turn headboards into benches. As I said above, we have been neck deep in benches lately.
Roadside Night Stand– This was a gift for a cousin.
I still love the 1970″s folks!
The bathroom has been a slow project this summer.
Mainly because I cannot stand a mess in my bathroom
when I have to use it to get dressed for work.
This $15.00 mirror makes me smile every morning.
I love the look and I learned to use tinted wax on this one.
Sewing cabinet number 4. I stained the top of this one. Numbers 5, 6, and 7 are already spoken for and are hanging out in the Garagemahal.
A gift for a friend who moved away. I miss her.
We built a giant barn door for our Burb Home out of reclaimed barn wood from my husband’s farm. I treasure this and will take it with me wherever we live.
Coming up in the near future we are going to finish our master bath room. It is going from a builder basic to a rustic retreat. I am so very excited that it will be done by the end of August when Hubby returns to work.
So far Hubby put in board and batten walls, I built a shelf, we stripped, painted and stained a small make up vanity, and the dresser that is going to become the bathroom vanity and mirrors are stripped and refinished in a beautiful weathered wood look. (Restoration Hardware has nothing on me! :))
This week the electrician came to install the chandelier I made over to look like wood thanks to Life on Virginia Street’s blog.
The sinks for the vanity are purchased, the faucets are waiting and the lights were picked up this week. We are moving along.
During the last few months we have traveled to Costa Rica, been to our family reunion, and while you read this, we are in Durango, Colorado. I am excited to take the train ride and plan to go white water rafting.
Next up on the big project list is finishing the master bedroom at Star Hill. I love the reclaimed wood wall, the sewing machine night stands, and the door headboard. Still to come are curtains, wall paint, staining and painting the dressers, shelving, and décor. It will be done over two weekends,
I hope. dream.
It is my wish that if you do not take anything else away from my silly posts, it is that even a mid-life woman with no training and not many skills can stretch beyond her comfort zone and learn new things, attempt new projects, and chart a new direction in life. If I can do it, so can you.
Thank you so very much for taking the time to read about what I do, send me messages, offer advice, and make my day sweeter. I appreciate each of you and feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to share.
I hope you have a wonderful day,
July 14, 2014
Today I am going to talk about one of the problems that I totally blame Pinterest, the Internet, and HGTV for creating.
Because we humans are so visual, we seem believe that the pictures we see on those places above are how folks actually live. We buy into the image so much that we forget that it was staged, lighted, set, edited and cropped before we ever got a peek. I would say it is akin to believing that believing that I could fly because I watched Superman do it on television.
This is not real life, folks. But it is beautiful! If the homeowners live like this every day, they must be pretty neat people. With no pets. Or kids. Or food.
Recently I asked you guys to do a little staging of your own. I asked you to take a picture of your table as it normally is, then as it looks after you set it for company. If you did not participate, shame on you. Not really. Okay, really a little bit. The reason I wanted you all to set your tables is that that is home staging you do when you have company over. Do you live like that all the time? I will bet the answer is no.
Here are some examples of before and after photos:
The photos above are in a newly moved into home! Way to go.
I really do keep the table at Star Hill pretty neat because it is in the main room of the house and we don’t have much space. Star Hill is a study in Red, White, and Blue. And Texas.
I snapped this picture when we were having company over for breakfast.
Our back deck. It is a glass topped patio set our neighbors gave us. It is a sunbaked wilderness most of the day, but in the evening when the shade takes over, it is pleasant. We have all our large dinners here at Star Hill
I paid fifty cents for the metal yellow plates at a garage sale. The funky yellow wine goblets were in the attic of Star Hill when we moved in. I think the original owners must have left them behind. They are fun.
The Southern Belle even played along. Yes folks, she owns this beautiful custom made table and she keeps it beautiful. It is mixed with mid century chairs that are upholstered in a cool fabric. She found the chairs on Craig’s List as is. True story.
Here it is set with her Fiesta dishes and bright napkins.
Aren’t the tables great? I love the variety. If you have ever set the table for company, you are a home stager. You know how to set the scene, make the table “feel” inviting and show off its’ best assets.
The messages that made me sad when I put out the call for pictures were three that I got that told me they would not participate because they were embarrassed about their houses so they would just enjoy what others did for their homes.
If there are things you do not like about your home, you are not alone.
The vast majority of the world has something they wish they could change about their homes and things that they really don’t want others to see. I will bet that even those bloggers who have amazing rooms have some place in their home that needs work. A friend of mine years ago stuffed a bunch of things into the oven because company was coming over then forgot. She turned on the oven several days later and scorched some paperwork. I personally would be embarrassed if someone looked in my garage when we have company coming because it is usually the dumping zone.
I live in a house that currently has four adults, two dogs, a cat, and a fish. I re-purpose furniture, as a hobby and it tends to spread. My house is far from spotless. It is lived in. Every room. Right now there is furniture in our breakfast space.
I decided to show you one of the tables we set when the crowd gets large at Star Hill. Yep, it is my painting table. Just plywood painted with exterior paint. Oh, and all my paint drips.
I set the table for two. the flowers are out of our yard. The picnic basket is from a garage sale, the table-cloth was a wedding gift almost 33 years ago. A friend of my mom made it for us.
There are times that I am photographing a project when the ONLY space that is neat is what fits inside the viewfinder on the camera. To the right, left and behind me may be a mess of things I have pulled out and a mirror reflecting light into the cave like space I am photographing in our suburban home.
Photography is not real life folks. Real life is messy. Real life is imperfect. Real life is opportunity.
I hope you have a great day. Make some memories.
July 9, 2014
I actually took a whole day off. I didn’t go anywhere, have an agenda, or have company. For he introvert I am it was bliss. I have been so busy lately I haven’t had a chance for quiet time.
I got up this morning and got to work on the mirrors for the vanity. Here is a peek of how they turned out.
While waiting for stain to dry I got some projects that have been hanging out done and a few more hot worked on.
I got the vinyl lettering on a window that has been literally hanging out in my craft closet for a year. I started the project with wipe on poly for the frame then a good cleaning of the glass.
I am embarrassed how quickly I was able to finish this project. It took longer to clean the window I bought for $10.00 at Canton a while back than it did to apply the lettering. It is going to hang on the reclaimed wood wall behind our bed at the lake so Hubby remembers to always kiss me goodnight. 🙂
The rake got screwed onto a piece of barn board to hold the barbecue tools. It now hangs on the wall by the grill for the brush, tongs and spatula. Another project that has been hanging around for way too long. I bought the rake head at Goodwill for $2.00 right after we moved in the burb house and the wood is a scrap of cedar barn board.
I like the rustic look. The total cost of this project was $2.00 and the cost of three screws and two wall anchors.
I worked on a chalkboard suitcase today, too. The suitcase is painted and the chalkboard is now traced out. This one is going to look a little more decorative.
I also got the chandelier base sprayed oil rubbed bronze and one side of the beads primed but you will have to wait to see the progress until I have finished. I am totally copying the look of the chandelier from another blogger.
My battery is recharged and I am back to work.
I hope everyone has a great day!