Monday, January 30, 2012

New Light

 So, this is a before and after post, but I don't have a before picture.  When I first started this blog I thought it would be all about what Little H and I do all day.  Turns out we can be quite boring sometimes.  How often do you want to hear about playdates or story time or going to the park?  Yeah, that's what I thought.  So, I thought I'd start including more about our entire life, which includes my home improvement projects and craft projects.  Hubby just does school work which isn't the least bit exciting, so we'll just ignore him!

Anywho, now that I intend on posting my projects I will be better about my photographs.  But I'm sure you can picture this one for yourself.  I picked up a brass lamp from Goodwill for $1.99 probably a month or so ago.  It sat in the living room for a while.  I was busy working on the desk project.  But the day I spray painted the drawer pulls I was in a crazy spray painting mood and pulled the lamp outside, too.  It got a coat of primer and a few coats of Valspar Golden Maize spray paint in Satin.  Perfection!  (to spray the lamp base protect the bulb unit and the cord by wrapping with a plastic bag and taping it in place).  I then found this gorgeous lamp shade at IKEA.  Doesn't it make you happy?

A little more work needs done on it.  I need to cut a piece of felt to glue to the bottom to protect the surface I rest it on.  And then it needs to find a home (other than on the dining room table).  I'm thinking it'll end up in Cupcake's big girl room one day.

I'm very happy with the finish I got from the Valspar spray paint and I really like the way the "cap" just twists into place, but I did find the nozzle quite difficult to press down.  I have another project that I hope to get to soon that I will be using a different can of paint and I'll let you know if it was a fluke.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rainy Day Fun!

What are two girls supposed to do on a gloomy, rainy, yucky day besides hang out in their pajamas all day? Make play dough!!! Cupcake has never played with play dough and I've never made it, so I was worried that this would be a fail, but alas it was a success!!! We found an easy recipe for homemade dough and we were on a mission! I was a bit nervous because they recipe called for Cream of Tartar and I thought I had some in the pantry, but I wasn't positive. Luckily after digging to the bottom of my spice jars I found it!! So here's what we did:

In a saucepan we combined 1 cup flour, 1 cup water, 1/4 salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar and 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. We added a squirt of gel food coloring and mixed. Cupcake had fun mixing (though she kept trying to take the spoon out of the pan and eat it or hit me with it or put it in the flour jar). I then headed over to the stove and warmed it on medium, stirring constantly. Eventually it thickened up until it stuck to my spoon. I then kneaded it for a bit and let it cool. And moved on to the next color! It was THAT easy!!! I had purchased these little plastic containers from the dollar store (6 for $1) specifically for this purpose and they work great!

At first she was  quite confused as to what to do with the dough, but with a little demonstration from momma she was ready to dive in!  I have some not often used cookie cutters that I dug out of the basement and some plastic utensils so she had something to cut the dough with.  I'm going to have to find her a mini rolling pin for future play.  And there will be lots more play with this stuff!  It was super easy to make and she had a blast.  She's not that great with the knife (she's only 20 months!!!), but she figured the cookie cutters out real quick!

You could also add glitter into the mix if you want sparkly dough or you could use Kool-Aid for the color and it would likely be scented.  I didn't want to make it smell good, though, as I didn't want to encourage her to eat it (although the lack of good smell didn't stop her from trying!).  So, I declare this adventure a success (minus the part where Oscar snatched some off the table and ate it!) and we will definitely have more play dough fun soon.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Naptime Project

It all started with this.  I found this desk cheap on Craigslist. It's old. It's wood. It needed some love. I needed a new desk for my new office.  So Cupcake and I went on an adventure, hoped we wouldn't get kidnapped and picked it up.  It had a little bit of water damage on it (look at the bottom left), but I thought I could handle it.  So it came home with us.

It sat in the garage for a few weeks, causing me to have to park in the driveway (and scrape ice off my car when I left the house in the morning) and I worked on it while Cupcake napped.  I started out with some eco-friendly paint stripper that didn't smell.  It also didn't work well.  Or really at all.  I was scraping, scraping, scraping and the paint was just sticking, sticking, sticking.  I took the orbital sander to it, but that just made a huge mess (and who knows how old that paint is, lead maybe?).  It was off to the home improvement store for me to get some real paint stripper.  What a difference the stinky stuff made!  That paint was just falling off the desk!!!  I should have used it sooner.  It would've gotten my car back in the garage one, even two weeks sooner maybe! 

4 layers of paint later, the desk was stripped! There were a few spots where I had to smooth out where there was water damage.  And then it was time to remove the gold paint off the drawer pulls.  I decided to keep the existing pulls because they were kind of funky, they were silver underneath and I didn't want to fill and redrill holes in all the drawers.  These pulls require two holes that are close together. Definitely not a standard size.  I soaked those bad boys in the stripper, but they also seemed to have 4 layers of paint on them.  It was a mess!  I scrubbed and soaked and scrubbed and soaked and unfortunately when I got down to the metal I just couldn't get it shined up.  Blah!

So the desk was stripped, patched, sanded, and cleaned and brought inside to paint!  I couldn't handle freezing my butt off in the garage (December in Ohio, not the best time for a furniture stripping project) while working on it............and I didn't want to have to deal with a freezing cold car anymore (I'm spoiled).  Here is the finished product!

Excuse the mess!  I was excited to move in right away.  I painted it black in eggshell finish.  I think used a overhead projector to project the swirl image onto the desk.  I outlined it with pencil and then painted the design with black, satin paint. I also painted the top of the desk with the satin paint.

I didn't plan on having such shiny drawer pulls, but they needed paint. There was no way around it.  They got a coat of primer, followed by a coat of metallic spray paint (because that is what I had on hand).

I had originally intended this desk to be a sewing desk and a friend is supposed to give me a desk to use as my office desk, but I need the office desk more so this will do for now.  If I get another desk this one will be headed to the sewing room.

Now I just need to finish working on my chair........................

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stir Crazy

 Ah, winter. The time in which you see all 4 seasons in a days time. You're afraid to leave the house for fear of a sudden blizzard. The kids go stir crazy.  It's happening here.  So, we try to get out of the house on occasion.  The other day it was 60-ish degrees so we took a walk to the park.  We go to tumbling class once a week. We go to story time at the library. We even went for a hike one morning.

At home we throw all the cushions of the couch and use it as a trampoline. We hide under tables. We play peekaboo in the corner cabinet.  We color. We read. We put stickers all over everything.  And to kill two birds with one stone Cupcake chases Oscar around the house with her cart and then everyone is tuckered out.

I'm ready for warm weather and days at the park.