Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Snow Days!

A couple weeks ago we had a huge snow storm here in Seattle. And by huge snow storm, I mean we had about 6-8 inches of snow and ice. It may not seem that bad to those of you that grew up in Michigan, Wisconsin or where you have snow on a regular basis, but to us "rainy" folk here in Seattle, it's a lot! Especially since Seattle is basically on a huge hill and has no infrastructure for snow (i.e., no snow plows). 

Anyways, we got a couple days off to enjoy the snow. It was all great until our power went off on Thursday about 10am and didn't come back on until we got home from work on Friday. Thursday was probably one of the most miserable days - we couldn't really venture out because of the ice covering the snow, no power = no heat, and the big window we have in our front room is single-pane, so we had to keep the curtains closed to keep the heat in, leaving us with less light. Snow just causes problems! But it sure it fun and pretty for the first couple of days. :) 

Of course, Buster was all over the snow. He was our little vacuum cleaner - went around the yard, nose to the snow. He also liked to catch the falling snowflakes and just eat the snow in general. Here's some pictures...

After 24 hours of snow and some freezing rain, the trees were heavy with ice! So heavy, that with the little bit of wind that came, some of the huge trees were losing branches. All Thursday night I heard the smaller branches fall from the trees and I was scared the whole tree was going to fall through the roof! Luckily, we came through with just a big branch leaning against the house. No damage, thank goodness!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Blog-Day!

I can't believe it's already been a whole year since I started this here blog. A whole year! Happy Blog-Day to us! It's been a great year - exploring Arizona, moving back home, baking lots of goodies, traveling to Europe, and doing lots of projects, just to name a few (see more of our year in review here). 

I've learned a lot this year, and a big part of that was through this blog. It makes me happy and I love that it pushes me to try new things and get inspired. I had gone so long without any creativeness in my life, so I'm glad this blog has brought part of that back.

I also want to give a HUGE shout out to all of YOU. Thanks for reading my little blog this past year. I love sharing my recipes, projects, travels, and inspiration with all of you and I hope you get a little inspired in return. 

Here's to many more years of enjoying the little things and getting inspired!

P.S. Don't forget to follow my blog to get the latest posts. I'm also on Pinterest and Twitter, so you can follow me there too!

Balloons, Happy

Friday, January 27, 2012

Before & After: Jade Dresser

I am so excited about this project. I've been wanting to share it with you guys for a couple weeks now, but have just been too lazy to upload all the pictures (yup, slacker). So here's the run down. I got a little excited with my spending diet money for January (read more about my $100 allowance here) and went straight to Goodwill. I was also in need of another little project. I happened to find this beauty at Goodwill for $40. 

Probably a little pricey (especially with the spending diet), but I thought it was the perfect size and shape for some good craft storage which we desperately needed (currently my craft/sewing/etc. supplies are stuffed/crammed/thrown in our office, which the husband uses for studying... so... really this was for him). :) It was also pretty solid and sturdy, and I loved the handles (which had been painted over a lovely shade of brown, but are actually metal). 

It even had some stellar floral lining. Very Little House on the Prairie.

The first step was to take off the handles. I had a hard time at first because I tried to unscrew them from the face of the drawers. After almost totally stripping the fake nail on the first drawer, I realized that oh, yeah, they are actually screwed in from the inside of the drawer and those "nails" are not real. Only took me 15 minutes of huffing and growling at the drawers to realize that one... Since the hardware was painted on, I had to use the exacto knife to cut through the paint and pry the handles off the drawer (after I unscrewed them from the inside). And no, that's not an awesome flip up pulley-thingy on the handle. It's just some very convincing detail.

Next up was sanding. I think we all know how I feel about sanding after this project and this project so I decided to just do the main areas where paint was chipping off and needed to be smoothed. At first I thought I was going to have to use some liquid sandpaper to take all the paint off, but the hubby convinced me otherwise (and I'm glad he did for the sake of time and sanity!). Smoothing out the rough patches and roughing up the rest of the surface with some sandpaper worked great, especially since I used primer before the final coat of paint. 

BBoy of course wanted to get in on the action. Forever the curious puppy.

After sanding comes... you guessed it! Priming! I ended up buying a whole gallon of primer, figuring I could use it on tons of future projects. I probably wouldn't have painted the little bit on the sides of the drawers or the inside of the main dresser like I did, but I had to cover up the gross brown color. 

I let the primer dry for about a week. I was really excited to start painting the actually color over top, so I came home early from work one day and got it done. However, I forgot to move the dresser and drawers under our covered awning in the backyard... and we live in Washington... and I think you know what happened. Yep, it rained that night. All over my freshly painted dresser. :( I was bummed to say the least. 

Crummy, right? After wiping everything down and letting them dry overnight under the awning, I couldn't wait any longer. Round two of painting. I ended up doing three two and a half coats of the jade color to get a nice even and smooth finish. And yes, that is snow in the background. I'm definitely the crazy lady outside in the freezing temperature painting my dresser green while it's snowing. 

The next step was getting the handles looking like the metal handles they were meant to be. I used this stripper (the getting-paint-off-of-things kind, not the taking-clothes-off-while-dancing-for-money kind) to get the brown paint off of the handles. I also bought some heavy duty gloves to wear while scrubbing it off, just to be safe.

I sprayed the stripper directly on the handles, let it set for about 10 minutes, and then used a scrubby wire sponge to rub it off. It took a while to get all the paint out of the nooks and crannies, but I did it!

Then I used some oil-rubbed bronze metallic spray paint for a nice smooth finish. I did about two even coasts.

Alright, enough of all this sanding and stripping. Here's the final dresser. I used Zinsser 1-2-3 Primer and the color is Cosmic Green (Valspar color matched to Olympic Satin Enamel paint and primer in one)

Isn't it fabulous? I love how it makes such a statement. It's bright and fun and houses all my crazy craft stuff perfectly. I'm in love with the jade color - it almost immediately gives me inspiration. And the husband is happy that his office is one step closer to being organized, clean, and more study-friendly.

Do you like the color? Have you painted any furniture a bright unexpected color lately?


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