Monday, June 29, 2015

How to Refinish a Dated Bar Cart

Over the winter my stepmom, Sandie, asked me to refinish this cute little bar cart that originally belonged to her grandmother.

Ok so "cute" may not be how most would describe it, but there's definite potential. 

At eight months pregnant I got to sanding, but don't worry I wore a mask and sanded in a very open space. 

I thought for sure I would have this thing sanded in two hours max, but I was waaaaaaay off. As it turns out Sandie's mom had refinished this cart in the seventies-ish and painted this thing to withstand the apocalypse. It took me more than eight hours to sand the cart. I certainly didn't do it all at once, especially being pregnant. 

But once all the sanding was finally done, we took it apart and started painting in the hubby's handmade painting studio. It's green because we had painted a locker cabinet the day before. You can view that project here.

When I say "we" I mean the hubby painted both the locker cabinet and the cart because I was pregnant at the time of painting. So I was safely inside the house, away from any yucky paint smell, probably with my feet up watching TV. Lol, thanks honey!

 Here he is painting!

He even painted me love notes.

Actually, while he painted the cart itself I tackled the hardware. It was pretty discolored and I couldn't justify putting the same hardware back on with a fresh paint job.

First, I tried brasso and that did nothing. Second, I used tomato sauce to try to polish it, but the sauce just turned the hardware a pinkish color because these are brass coated and not full brass pieces. Finally, I decided to paint the hardware.

I used gold leaf paint.

And I'm super happy with the results. 

Finally, to finish off the cart we added a custom fit mirror to the top. Originally, I bought a mirror for the bottom too, but I didn't like it with both mirrors, it was too blingy. I really wanted to feature the new brass casters and the new drawer pulls that were bought for the cart. (The drawer pulls came in the wrong size so those have yet to be added).

I'm super happy with the results. And grateful to my hubby for his awesome paint job.  

Oh and here are the casters Sandie bought. She took the cart into the shop and had them sized which is always a great idea to ensure proper fit. They really make the piece in my opinion. I can't wait to add the pulls. I'll post an update picture once that's done. 

And what a difference in the look of the hardware. I'm so happy I put all the effort in to get it looking good.

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Stork Has Finally Arrived

This post is really late. The stork actually arrived April 11 with our new bundle of joy. And actually I shouldn't say finally because he came almost a month early. Ok, ok so this post has a terrible title, but the point is here's the new addition to our family.

(Photos done by Lana Estrada, check her out)

This was me in March, 2015.

And here are the boys together.

 We couldn't be happier! More projects to come!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Framed Name Letters

It's definitely been a long while since I've posted. We have lots of updates about what's been going on around here, but I'm working on a different post for that. For now I thought I'd give you a little but fun project to check out. This project could not have been any easier.

As a gift my step mom made my boys these letters.


She made them herself, isn't she talented? What a special gift this was. Anyways, these letters were sitting on the dresser in their room, but with all the diaper changing stuff, toys, etc., etc., that's already in there I was constantly moving them into the closet for fear that they would break. But I wanted to display them, so one day the hubby came up with the idea of making a frame for them.
I went out and bought some cheap molding, cut it to size, and painted it with paint we already had. Then the hubby hung them for me.

I added some command poster adhesive to the back of the letters and hung them inside the frame.

(Jakey's room has some funky shadows because of the tree house bed).

The wall above their closets was the perfect space for them. I'm so happy I can safely display them now. And by using the poster adhesive I can take the letters down without having ruined them and I didn't have to put additional holes in the wall. Now that I'm out of school for the summer I might actually have time to blog again. I've definitely been finishing up some projects around here, just haven't had time to blog about them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Rehabbing an Old Ikea Locker Cabinet and How to Wet Sand Metal

This project has been a work in progress for a year. A whole year! Longest project ever and really there's no reason for the extended timeline other than life getting in the way.

So we originally bought this locker off of craigslist for $20. The locker was not in great condition. There are some dents and originally it was white with stains. I'm not even sure what made the stains, but they were mainly pink. I unfortunately don't have a picture of the locker in the condition we originally purchased it. But when I saw it I thought it would fit great under the tree house bed (that wasn't even built yet, at the time we bought the locker the bed was still just an idea in progress). I also don't mind the dents because it's going to be additional storage in my son's bedroom, who is also very rambunctious. So if it gathers more dents over the years, I'm more than ok with that.

We originally painted the locker gray. Looking back I'm not sure why. Seeing the gray locker in the bedroom just made it look pretty bland and not much fun. We also replaced the door locks and hinges, but I don't have pictures of that. The other issue is that a little while after we painted it, the paint started to sort of look like webbing. It was very strange and weird looking. After doing a lot of research and my hubby talking to his painter friend, we discovered that some sort of oil had been spilled onto the metal and had to be polished out. My hubby's friend recommended wet sanding.

I have never wet sanded anything before, but did some research before starting. I started by getting three different grits of sand paper. I started with 80, then moved to 120, and finished off with 220. The idea is to slowly buffer out the oil, scratch, weird texture, etc. My online research said that I needed to keep the area wet while sanding and then use a clean cloth to wipe away the mess periodically.

That's pretty much exactly what I did. I started with the 80 grit and moved my way through until 220. It was messy. There wasn't a bunch of dust, despite what it looks like in the picture. I actually sanded three pieces of furniture on this day. This was the only one I wet sanded. It turned out really great, nice and smooth. But the old wet paint got everywhere and I went through twice as much sandpaper because it would get so much wet paint sanded off onto it that it wouldn't work anymore. But the results were undoubtedly some of the best sanding results I've ever achieved.
 After all the wet sanding was finished, my hubby set up this awesome paint booth for me. Like I said I was working on three pieces simultaneously, so it made sense to sand all the pieces, paint one, and move on to the next one.


The painting is always the easy and fun part. Jakey picked out the color. He floated back and forth between green and orange, but eventually settled on green. I like the color, it's bright and fun! He's got great taste.

And it definitely fits pretty perfectly under his bed.

Since we had previously painted the whole locker gray, I thought it would be neat to just leave the inside and get a two tone effect. I simply taped trash bags to the bottom, behind the doors, and any other part that showed that I didn't want green. I'm so happy with that decision, I think the two-tone adds more depth and character. 

This was a fun and super cheap piece that fits Jakey's entire truck collection perfectly! Jakey loves it and it definitely helps keep his room cleaner. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How to Create a Faux Fur Ottoman For Less Than $20.

Faux fur ottomans in my opinion are to die for. I love faux fur. In fact I've had a faux fur obsession for at least the past 15 years.

So when I saw this blue ottoman at the Salvation Army for $5 I snatched it knowing that one day it would become a faux fur ottoman.

The truth is this ottoman has sat in our house untouched for almost two years. I just didn't have a spot for it and refused to give it up, although I almost did a few times. But I'm glad I kept it because once we found out we were pregnant I knew it would go in the baby's room. We held onto our glider from when Jakey was a baby, but we had never gotten an ottoman to go with it. We had intended to, but just never got around to it. And so this blue ottoman got it's faux fur transformation.

I got the fabric from Joann's. I waited for a 50% off sale, and used a coupon on top of that. So the fabric went from $22 a yard to about $6 a yard. I got two yards because I am still pretty new to sewing and wanted to give myself plenty to work with in case I messed up.

I got brown faux fur instead of white for several reasons: 1. I think brown goes better with the d├ęcor in baby Noah's room than white. 2. I wanted something that would dirt from both Jakey and the baby touching it and the hubby and I putting our feet on it.

I pretty much followed the same idea in sewing this ottoman cover as I did with Foxy's dog bed. The main difference is I didn't add a bottom piece. I was going to, but as I was putting this together I realized I didn't have to and having a removable cover would probably be best for washing purposes.

I laid my  fabric out and cut out a square for each side and the top.

Next, I pinned all four sides to the ottoman with the fabric reversed so I could sew the seams. After sewing each seam I would put the fabric back on the ottoman just to make sure I pinned correctly the first time.

After all four sides were done, I again put the cover on the ottoman, again with the fabric backwards, and added the top. I pinned all four sides and sewed up the seam.


Finally, I was going to hem the bottoms but I realized that if I folded them up instead, they didn't fall back down and because the fabric is bulky than non faux fur fabric you can't even tell that it's folded up.

And there you have it. A faux fur ottoman for less than $20. $5 for the ottoman and $12 for two yards of fabric. I'm definitely no seamstress but I think this is the nicest thing I've sewn thus far. I guess practice makes perfect!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's Been Going On Around Here...

It's definitely been a while and a lot of these pics are late. But we had such a hectic holiday season that I just didn't get around to blogging, so I figured I'd do one big post now and catch you up to speed....
We started the holiday season off right, Jakey went to see Santa and asked for a monster truck. He also warned Santa not to hit his head on our mantle. Then we headed to the tree farm to pick out a real tree. I've not had a real tree in probably around 15 years, but the hubby really wanted one so I compromised. The tree was a beauty, no doubt, but I could have definitely done without the needles falling off.
The nice part about the real tree is that the boys decorated the majority of it themselves while I watched. 

Didn't they do a beautiful job? Typically we have a star at the top, but it rusted while in our garage, sea salty air will do that! We used it last year, all rusty, and I thought I would buy a new tree topper after Christmas, when everything was on sale. I spotted a super cute owl tree topper in the Pottery Barn catalog for something like $40 or $60 bucks, way out of my price range. Well, it was sold out before Christmas was even over. But luckily after Christmas I spotted this owl at Pier One for $6 on clearance!!! He wasn't made to go into a tree, but we stuck him up there anyway.

He fits quite nicely. Next year I think I'll paint the ornaments in some brown and bronze tones to go with more of a woodland look.
I also added Jakey's artwork to our little pseudo entryway along with his pictures of him and Santa. It was a nice touch and he was so proud to see his artwork displayed. 

I pretty much mimicked our mantle from last year, because I loved it so much. The only changes were the mirror, we got a new one last February and the wreath. My dad and step-mom gifted me this really beautiful wreath for my birthday that we hung from the mirror.

For the past few years we've hosted a Christmas Eve family dinner at our place. I kept the dining table decor simple because we just had so much to do in December. Jakey and I made gingerbread houses and set up a little village right down the middle of the table.

Cute and yummy! I even found this gummy Santa at the store for a dollar and added him to the village.

I used my favorite Scavo Crate and Barrel plates, which I only use for special occasions. And dinner was really good, but more on that in a minute.

Jakey was so excited for the holidays, we added some decor to his room. Last year we took a ride on the Polar Express, a local train ride, and he got that Jingle Bell. Plus, he was gifted the nice Christmas train from his grandparents that serves as a fun momento to the trip. The pooh bear snow globe was mine as a child and even though it doesn't play music anymore, it still lights up and has a fun scene when you open it. Jakey loves it!

He even got his own blue tree. He filled it with lights and decorations and had a ton of fun decorating and redecorating it throughout the season!

Christmas Eve!!!

Despite my efforts I simply could not get Foxy and Jakey to pose together!

Remember earlier I said we host Christmas Eve dinner, well this year was the first year we actually cooked! I actually despise cooking, but the hubby enjoys it on occasion. And he got the urge to smoke a turkey and it was delicious. Here he is on 12/23 preparing the turkey in advance. The bird was so big we had to keep it in a cooler overnight inside of a trash bag with ice. Everything was clean and sanitized of course.

I did bake some really yummy peanut butter cupcakes to give to the neighbors with extras for us to enjoy, but before we could enjoy them some culprits chewed right through the plastic wrap on the counter.
I'm not sure which one it was, but I know it was one of these three!
Unfortunately, in  early December, the day of our dear friends wedding, Jakey got really sick. He had such a high fever we had to take him to the ER. Luckily, it was just a really bad viral infection and we were sent home for him to recover. Doesn't he look cute with his little hospital mask though?

He was sick for probably close to a week and our schedules took some balancing, but we managed. Of course he got sick during my finals week at school! Timing is everything!! Here he is on one of his last days of recovery! Unfortunately, after Jakey fully recovered I got sick for about five days. And let me tell you being sick while pregnant really stinks, no medications! But we suffered through all the sickness and enjoyed our holiday!

And here he is two weeks later on 12/26. Santa brought him a 6 foot cardboard train, it's still overtaking half of our living room. I don't know who's enjoying it more Jakey or the cats, but it's been a blast. If you ever have the opportunity to get a 6 foot cardboard train I highly recommend it.
We also found out we are having a boy this spring! My house will be filled with three boys (hubby included). We are overjoyed with this news and can't wait.
Jakey spent New Year's Eve at his grandparents, who took him to the Rose parade the next morning! I don't have any pics of that, but Jakey thought it was really awesome and still talks about the Dragon float and the horses! Nick and I went to dinner and a movie; we were home and in bed by 11pm. We aren't super exciting date night people I guess, but we were excited for a little time to ourselves.
And finally after all of the illnesses and sicknesses came the calm and stress free New Year! J/K we are already back to work, school, and life in general. My first week back at school was last week and I came home with a three day virus, yuck! Luckily, the boys didn't get it.
We did have an awesome family weekend at Monster Jam! Jakey loves monster trucks and for Christmas his grandparents bought him tickets, what a lucky kid! We spent all of Saturday checking out trucks in the pits.


Here he is showing off his new gear: the shirt and hat.

One of the coolest activities in the pits was the chance to ride in the back of a monster truck. The line was 40 minutes, but oh so worth it! Here are the boys about to load onto the truck. I couldn't go because I'm preggers.

Here they are about to be strapped in. Jakey had a big smile on his face the entire time and now wants to ride in monster trucks for a living. He was a little disappointed that the monster truck didn't do any jumps while he was in it, but he loved all the donuts!

Of course, living in Southern California, we picked awesome seats not having any thought about the possibility of rain and wouldn't you know it our five year drought ended on the night we went to the Anaheim stadium. We had seats in the rain, luckily I was able to change our seats to be covered and the view of the stadium ended up being even better!

The day was a blast and we want to go again next year!

Well, that was the last six weeks in a nutshell. Sorry there's no projects to speak of at the moment. But there are two or three in the works that will be coming up! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and hope to post again next week!!!