Thursday, December 30, 2010

Advice to young moms

Long ago we left a familiar place with family and friends and moved to an unfamiliar land called Texas.  We didn't know a soul.  It was exciting and scary all at the same time.  My children were young and in utero and holidays were a little overwhelming.  We had to make them our own.  Our families had always handled that.  So we began celebrating holidays without much thought
except to keep our growing brood ENTERTAINED!  Without any forethought or warnings we filled our holidays with any and all activities.  Sometimes we would visit family, but mostly we celebrated with our little family.  This worked out great and our family was thriving.  But then one day one of my sweet little innocent eyed cherubs uttered the words I have come to fear, "but it's a tradition!"

But it's a tradition, has come to be a feared expression around here.  Because my children aren't young any longer.  They are teenagers and they have many activities of their own.  Tradition doesn't matter to one of my kids, but it matters very much to my youngest.  So each year I labor through homemade lasagna for christmas eve, cookie making, vast decorations, a very ugly christmas angel tree topper and other unspeakable decorations that have been around since her birth.  They are loved and cherished by some and gagged over and endured by others.  Think wisely before you begin something for the holidays, wonder if you would like to do this for the next 50 years!  Ponder if the tree angel that you can afford at the time is the angel you want to see for the next few decades slowly decay on the top of your tree.  I speak from experience and feel the need to warn any of my readers that are just starting their families.  Be careful and think about if you want to do this forever, because one of your children will and then your sunk!  Because who can say no to those sweet, innocent eyes not matter how old they are?

Monday, December 13, 2010

My sister in law looks like barbie!

Really!  She's 6 foot tall, skinny with curves (oh the injustice) and has long blond hair.  When she got married a few years back a little girl and her mom were walking by and I overheard the little girl ask her mom, "Mom is barbie getting married here today?"  The mom just giggled and they moved on.  She is sweet, she has provided me with 2 beautiful toddler niece and nephews.  And even though she is the complete opposite of me in every way imaginable, we still get along really well.  I love her, and forgive her her physical perfection, LOL.  She does have 2 flaws though, 1.  she is cheap ( she actually likes this term, I have said a frugalista, budget friendly, etc.  Nope she likes to be called cheap) and 2.  decorating is overwhelming and unfun for her??????????? I really don't get that, but it really is.  Sometimes I will ask her to accompany me and she almost has a panic attack.  I don't know if it's the possible money she might spend or what but she hates it!  Which is great for me because she is my unofficial client.

So for Christmas this year I volunteered to redo her family room.  I knew I could do it for really cheap, I mean really I love to shop.  Here is the before picture.  But before I show it I want to describe my sil's taste.  She is very modern, contemporary.  Does not like pattern, she like black leather, black decor, basically black everything.  Once again very opposite of me.  She tends to buy to small of items, when she does, because she's cheap.  

 This is her family room from left to right.  See lots of black.  Her kitchen is behind me and she has black granite countertops and white cabinets with beige stone backsplash.  It's really pretty.  She decided on a color for an accent  and we went to town.

The curtains are 20 feet tall, we really lucked out and found the material that matched the pillows exactly.  My sil bought the pillows as a jumping off point.  Remember she only likes solid color so the curtains were perfect.  The glass bottles were found at hobby lobby for $10 for all 3 in the 66% off pile.  The woven basket was all 66% off and cost $3!

The canvases are 24 x 48" each.  They were also 50% off and cost the most at 20 bucks apiece.  my sil decided on the design she wanted and we matched the paint colors with acrylics.  When I had them mapped out she came over to look and we actually changed one of the colors.  In my opinion there is nothing worse then gifting someone with a decorative item and having them feel like they have to have it displayed in their home, but they dislike it or don't love it.  She had input all along the way, plus we get along really well and she could tell me if something was not right.

She paid for the material for the curtains, and my gift was the labor.  So the total redo cost me about $57 including the paint!  She loves it, I loved doing it.  The only thing that I was concerned about is that our styles are so different that I wouldn't understand what she wanted, but we did it!  So really my sil is perfect in everyway, she looks like barbie, is sweet, provides me with new babies and lets me decorater her house!

I will be posting this at the nester and craftomaniac. 


Friday, December 10, 2010

side table

Apparently I will do just about anything to avoid my cowboy chair reupholstery project.  Don't worry I'm still working on it, but I am finding lots of stuff I would rather do also.  Today I am working on a few new projects I will be showing this weekend and doing laundry.  You know procrastination is in full swing if I prefer laundry to finishing something I'm in the middle of.

Today I wanted to show a side table I refinished instead.  This was a table I found at a flea market.  I just loved how rustic and worn it looked,  I dry brushed some Laura Ashley paint on it and changed out the know.  It had a wood knob and I found an oversized glass knob at hobby lobby 50% off.  I think it works perfect as my bedside table.  

If you notice the distortion underneath to the right, I tried to erase a black cord hanging down, but not well apparently.  

Is the knob beautiful?  I think it looks great with the rustic desk.  The boxes are for storage of books and stuff I need but don't want out.  

If you have never tried dry brushing it is very easy.  A great first painting project for furniture.  You simply dip your brush in the paint and then take about as much off as you can from the brush with a cloth and start brushing the paint on.  And when I say as much as you can, I mean it.  It's easy to overdo but you can build up the paint.  So very little paint and then brush on till you get the effect you want.  I am linking up to miss mustard seed

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

cowboy chair

For those of you wondering, I am working on my chair, but it is slow going.  Mostly because I am trying to finish up my Christmas shopping.  I've done alot of shopping on line this year due to 0 shipping fees.  But I still have to battle the crowds for somethings.  Hopefully your shopping is almost done and you can enjoy the season without the last minute shopping hassle.

So here is the chair as of now:

I sanded down all the wood.  Very quick with an electric sander and stained it with mahogany stain from minwood.  Here you can see the difference with just one arm stained.  It really made a difference.  I think it needs another stain application and then I will seal with valspar, which is not suppose to yellow with age.  

Here is the whole thing stained.  I think you can see why I think it needs another coat, but still it's alot better.  Now I want to remove the bottom cushion and reupholster it with faux cowhide.  The problem is this:

50 million rusted little upholstery nails that are just a little too pressed into the wood.  It is taking forever to remove them.  So once I get that done and reglue some of the joints I think the rest will go quickly.  Sorry it's not done yet, it's not difficult just time consuming.  

Thursday, December 2, 2010

From thanksgiving to Christmas2

I've shown this wall in the past.  It's my family photo wall in my living room.  I painted everything black and just change out some things for each season or holiday.  It's very inexpensive and it gives me the change I crave without buying new furniture or accessories.  Here it was for Thanksgiving/Halloween

And here it is for Christmas

The frame from ikea in the center was changed from leopard print to the green diamonds with a peppermint striped B.  The paper is actually wrapping paper because scrapbook paper is a little too narrow and short, but the b is from a sheet of scrapbook paper.  The cross frame has a new red and white paper backing, I don't have glass over the cross, I just changed the paper and it is never there long enough to worry about dusting.  The accessories were changed for the season also, they were all items I already had.  The only thing that I haven't changed yet are the pictures.  I plan on putting different christmas pictures of my kids from when they are younger with Santa.  A very quick and easy change, that cost less then $5 including the picture development.  I love it because it allows me to put new pictures out and add color very easily.