Friday, June 3, 2011

Accessorizing Like There's No Tomorrow

I've been having so much fun putting the final touches on spaces in our home. For months and months, I've been acquiring the big things...sofas, rugs, homemade buffets, and dressers. Finally, I am able to add the little touches in between. I didn't dare start this process until all the major components were in place. Now that most of them are here to stay, I've gone a little crazy this week re-purposing things in my house to make them work in our new rooms.

Of course, you probably already know that spray paint was involved.

I've wanted candles on the dining table but didn't want the hassle of moving several small objects when it was time to clear things for games. Enter a frame that I found on clearance from Ross. Since the size was perfect, I used my Spray Paint X-Ray Vision Goggles to imagine what it would look like on my table in a different color. I found four wooden balls at JoAnn's and had the assistance of Hubby to hammer them in place to create little legs. Then I took things outside for a nice, fresh coat of "Heirloom White" from Rustoleum. Have I mentioned how much I like their Painters Touch series? I also spray-painted the mat around the picture and used cardboard for the inside. I like it all. And it was easy!

Years ago, I bought an awesome plant in an awful vase. It's been hiding in my laundry room, since that's where ugly things usually congregate. After I whipped out the yellow spray can, the vase became a modern, sleek vessel containing a crazy plant! It's now sitting on top of the antique table that I scored a few weeks ago for $20. I plan to refinish this piece with stain, but I'm taking a few weeks off from projects to just enjoy some down time. And the heat.

In an intentional accidental search yesterday, I found a touch lamp at Goodwill for $9.00. I brought it home, cleaned it up, and spray-painted it the same "Lagoon" color that I've added in other places in the house. The best part? After applying the coat of paint, the touch feature still worked. For a few hours, anyway. When we got home last night after a wonderful evening spent with family, the touch feature had disappeared as the paint continued the dry. The worst part is that it is frozen on the lowest setting! I wish we could manually crank it up to high and then use the switch to operate. I feel so silly for ruining it. The loss of the touch feature wouldn't cause me any stress, but having such a dim light defeats the purpose of trying to brighten up that end of the room! Oh well. A new shade from Walmart this morning made me feel a little better about it. Maybe it will just be the lamp we leave on so nobody steals our crap.

George Washington is now in my dining room. Did you know I love George? I just think he is the man, and I've had this photo of him since I went to the Phoenix Art Museum in January. This was my perfect chance to bring him into the room after I painted a frame I already owned with Rustoleum's "Eden" green. I also added a giant "W," which got some shiny satin nickel paint before being placed next to two decorative balls I've had for years. George now oversees all of our meals. What an honor.

I'm done for now. I have to call it quits every now and then so people don't wonder about all the paint stains on my index finger. "What is that girl smoking, anyway?!" I think the only thing left to figure out in the living room is the lighting fixture in the corner between the two sofas. I'm either thinking an arc lamp or a beautiful hanging wooden chandelier (homemade? or from Craigslist revamped by me?). I might take a few months to make that decision. I wouldn't want to run out of projects now, would I? The reading nook also needs a loveseat (to match the living room sofas), a rug, an ottoman, and a new fireplace mantel with built-ins for books. Hopefully those things will all happen this year. The loveseat is the only big-ticket item left to buy, and we are going to wait a while. Dang it. Waiting isn't my idea, by the way.

What have you been working on this week?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Done Dresser Deal . . . Finally!

Man, I'm sorry I've been so absent the past few days. Do you have any idea how hard it is to blog when your computer is crashed? Luckily, I'm married to a computer geek extraordinaire. He was able to transfer all of my recipes for chocolate precious documents to my external hard drive, then reformat my old laptop. 

My futile attempts to convince him that I should just get a new computer brought a smile to his face. We think my computer died because:

1) It is running Windows Vista, which has been nothing but a nightmare for me.
2) The laptop can't keep itself cool...the entire bottom of the laptop could double as an Easy Bake Oven. The convenience of making fresh cookies without leaving my desk is just overwhelming.
3) It's old. I bought this thing four and a half years ago. In technology years, that's about a Mesozoic time frame.
4) I'm always a fan of getting new toys. Nerd Alert! I'm a girl who loves new gadgets!

Despite having these legitimate reasons to get a new computer, Hubby decided to salvage mine. I'm not complaining too loudly, since he loaded Windows 7 on my laptop. Hasta la...Vista! Already, Windows 7 is a huge improvement. Nothing has randomly stopped working in the few hours that I've had my computer back. Knock on wood.

So I'm back in action in the blogging world, now that my little computer is once again operational.

And just in time. Because I completed the final touches on the overhauled dresser this very morning!

I will admit again that stripping this thing was a beast. And then the attempt to use a spray gun was a failure since I didn't have a $900 compressor that could spray a decent amount. Just when I thought I would quit, I had a lifeline thrown in by my sister. She offered to come help me paint it. Early Monday morning, we added a coat of primer. T'liese stayed long enough to help me add the first coat of paint! Luckily, I liked this color much more. Phew! She came back like a trooper the next morning and added another coat-and-a-half of paint with me. We made a great team and had it finished before the hot sun was beating down too badly. This morning, I put on two coats of polyurethane to protect the dresser for many moons to come. Then I dragged it inside and spent a few hours reassembling the drawers, dresser back, and hardware.

And I love it!

It feels amazing to be done at last. I wouldn't wish this failed project on my worst enemy. Of course I'd do it again, but I would skip the whole oil-painting-is-my-friend charade and just go right to rolling on the primer and paint. I would have been done in three days, meeting my original estimate. And the budget would have been appreciated instead of cursed! Old well. Live and learn, right?

Now I get to find some neat accessories for the top. Such a hunt will no-doubt make all the pain of this dresser disappear. Let the fun begin!

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