Saturday, October 23, 2010

As Promised...

As mentioned in my last post, here is my much more interesting, at least I think so, post.

When I purchased this house more than a year ago, many people thought I was crazy. Okay, maybe crazy is too simple a word. How about completely off my rocker and needed to be committed?? Yeah, that's closer to the truth. I can't say that I disagree with them, so I can't really complain.

On the surface I look like a typical girl, but never judge a book by its cover. Remodeling/tools/getting in over my head is in my blood. If you have my last name, tools are in your hand from birth on, generations back on both sides of the family. My father and his brothers rewired their home growing up every time their parents went out of town. I believe the story goes that G'ma drew the line after the speakers appeared in the bathroom. Not to worry, same story on mom's side. Is it any wonder that I managed to wrangle a new intern? Check him out organizing my wrenches after helping me install a cabinet door.

His favorite helping time is anything involving power tools. (I know you're shocked and amazed by this.) I'm seeing tools in his future...

Now, onto showing off my hard work. I know, not as interesting or nearly as cute as Z-Man, but I need some gratification too. ;)

Remember a couple of posts ago when I showed off my stripping skills? After hanging out precariously balanced in my kitchen for a while, one of the doors is completely refinished and the another is 1/3 of the way through. The painting process isn't hard, but it is annoying. Each side of the door requires 3 coats with sanding in between coats. Being patient enough to wait while the paint dries is where I fail miserably. (never would have guessed, huh?) I usually manage to repair my messes, but don't look too close at my finishes when you come over.

My house guests have been requesting a door for their bedroom for a while now. (I know, I know, I'm a bad hostess. Whoops.) So, trying to make amends, I painted the door and proudly waited for it to be hung. Recall that phrase "Pride goeth before a fall" or something like that? Yeah, during installation from the hallway I hear, "Either the door is 3 inches too narrow or the door jam is 3 inches too wide." Say what?? Sure enough in my haste, I painted the wrong door. Yeah, I know every door needs to be painted, but I was trying to do a good thing. I would just like it to go one record...

Anywho, the guest bedroom door is now on the pictured above, so hopefully it will be ready to be hung soon. Until then, I get to walk past my "new" linen closet door. It really makes that end of the hallway look much, much better.

While I had the paint out for the guestroom/closet door I FINALLY finished the built-in doors in the living room. Now that they are up, I really, really like the look. It gives your eye someplace to rest on the wall o'storage. (that's my Irish side coming out)

Like the sparkle? One of my favorite finishes ever has to be Mercury Glass. Old, new, silver, gold, copper, I love it all. To add to the shine of my accents on the shelves, I decided to indulge my fave again and used Anthropologie knobs again. I can't find anything I love as much for the price, so I'm sticking with a winner.

So, what do you think of my new Intern and our work? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Quick Project

I should have a much more substantial post this weekend, but here's a quick one to tide you over. For a Science experiment for my classes, I had to purchase a set of glass gems. After using several for the experiment, I put the rest "up" on my desk. Yes, seeing the top of my desk is a rarity in my classroom. Under some of the gems was the PTO fundraiser packet. My wheels started turning. I traced some of the gems and cut out the colorful background. Glue the paper on with my favorite Scotch quick dry adhesive and boom. Pretty gems. Add to that some magnets swiped from one of my nephews toys and Voila!

(Don't worry, the dog had already chewed the head off of Zach's toy and it was headed to the trash. I just cut up the hands and feet and pulled the magnets before it hit the bin.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Answers to the Questions...

After my last post, I had several comments posted questioning my choice of finish for the doors. Several people were certain that I meant to say "stain" instead of "paint." Let me assure you, I really did mean paint.

1980's orangey oak and I really, really don't get along. Don't get me wrong, I love wood, just not most of the popular finishes for furniture and trim. I love the dark look of mahogany and ipe wood, and plan on having dark wood floors throughout my entire house, eventually. (Most likely after I win the lottery.) However trim, doors included, is a completely different animal. I love the clean look of white trim. It makes wall colors look better, accent colors truer and appears more up to date.

Aside from the personal aesthetics, there is one logical reason. Almost all of the doorways in my home open onto the same hallway. It is a small, dark hallway and having seven doors of a darker color would further darken the hallway, instead, the white doors will help to reflect light. (It's in the plans to add can lights to the hallway, but the doors are free and I have the paint but the lights cost money.)

I also had the questions why in the world I would go to all the work of removing the original finish and then painting the surface. Remember, my motto with this house is to do it right the first time and NEVER, I repeat, NEVER do this again! Doing it right the first time means that I have to completely remove the old NASTY finish (recall the heavy smokers with questionable hygiene that used to live here?) to make sure that the new latex paint adheres well. Yes, it takes way more time and a lot of effort in the lower back, but the finished product is well worth it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bow Chicca Wow-Wow!

Can anyone guess what I'm up to this weekend?? Yup, that's right, I'm stripping!! Now, before you poke your mental eyes out, relax I'm stripping doors, not clothes! Trust me, this is not nearly as easy as the infomercials would lead you to believe. On the commercials they show you painting the gel onto the wood, scrapping up the gunk and leaving a completely clean and ready to paint door. HA.

Want the real story? (You might as well say yes, because you're getting it anyway!) I have a product that I love called Green Strip. I've touted this product before and I still love it. The bad news is that our local Home Depot closed it out and I'm almost done with the bottles I have, but I still have several doors to go. Anywho, you spray it evenly over the whole surface, taking care to get all of the grooves in the panels. After spraying the weeds and vines trying to take over your yard, you discover that the poly is lifting nicely and your timing is perfect to scrap.

To save money and the Earth, I'm refinishing all of the solid wood doors from in the house. Instead of a simple plain door, all of the doors in my house are a six panel design. Pretty to look at, a PAIN to refinish. Why you ask?? Because each panel has a ton of grooves that need to be cleaned of the old poly.

After the doors have the bulk of the yuck removed, you have to these fabulous little pieces left over that seem to migrate to the grooves. All the grooves! This is where a small pick, ask your favorite dentist, and a tiny flat head screwdriver come in handy. (Hint: Make sure the width of the flat head is the same as the depth of the grooves, your life will be much easier!)

Once the door is booger free, step back and admire your hard work and pop a couple Advil because your back and your fingers are killing you!

Think we're done yet? Nope, now it's time to sand the entire thing. Another hint, use a sanding sponge. It makes getting those grooves (grrr) all the easier. Once the whole thing is sanded, grab that pick and hit those grooves again and knock all of the sanding dust and debris out. Finally, wipe the surface down at least 2 times with a damp cloth.

Now, you are finally ready to start the painting process. Hmm, anyone still wondering why I stalled so long on getting started on this project???

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

My favorite time of the year is Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I love fall with Halloween and Thanksgiving, but by far my favorite is Christmas. Yesterday I was feeling rather cheery and decided to crank out a couple of Christmas cards. There is no rhyme or reason as to my creations. I don't usually sit down with a plan or a specific paper in mind. Instead I figure out what mood I'm in and what technique I want to use.

Apparently I was feeling in an embossing mood, hence the card. I started with a holly stamp and then embossed the image. I painted Glimmer Mist into the shapes to add some sparkle and gentle shading. The edges were inked with Charcoal and Red chalk ink. That wasn't enough, gee imagine that, and I felt a need to add the rhinestones. After placing the paper on red satin ribbon, I added it to Holly paper I had in my stash.

In an effort to get the most out of my time, I stamped multiple images to make at least two cards at one time. The first card went great. The second not so much...

It's fine now, but notice the gold band above and below the green paper? Yeah, I cut first and measured second. oops! After some quick thinking, I grabbed another piece of paper and embossed the edges.

The inside was easy enough. The paper was double-sided, so all I had to do was add a piece of white paper that I gold chalk inked the edges of. Enjoy!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Halloween Art

YES!!! My baby/right arm/computer is finally back!! It amazes me how many times a day I go to my computer, documents, pictures and music. One of the things I missed the most was all of my bookmarks and internet history. Having all of that stored for me really speeds up the most basic of chores.

Anywho, I know that means nothing to you and what you really want is for me to end the suspense of my Halloween art.
On my window wall in my living room I have 4 fabric frames. While I love them, they don't really lend themselves to Halloween.

What to do??? After spotting a gorgeous metallic blue paper and some cute Cricut cuts on the Paper Doll Dress Up cart, I finagled:

(Can you figure out what I was watching?? Sorry for the crummy pictures. Trying to get one shot with no glares and a clear shot behind the glass is almost impossible!)

So what do you think?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Another Teaser!

It's another teaser, and not on purpose! My poor computer/right arm is sick right now. Apparently the speaker jack has a tiny part that has snapped and my computer thinks that it is always connected to speakers. While this isn't a bad thing, when I'm home, and not connected to anything, my computer won't recognize its internal speakers. That means no music, no sound effects and most importantly no voice mail. Oops! I can't exactly play my voice mails to a classroom full of people.

What does all of this computer issue have to do with my teaser post?? Well, all of my "before" pictures are on it and I can't get my "after" pictures to load correctly on my loaner. Frustrating, but at least I am able to get online, so it could be worse!

The hint I will give you about my latest fall decoration is a bat, a haunted house, a tree and a spooky moon, but not in the sense you're thinking... Have a great week!!