Friday, June 28, 2013

New Dining Chairs

Now that we have the table and the bench to match we HAD to get new chairs for the other side. I said HAD because I'm not sure Nick would consider the chairs a necessity in the same way I did! Anyway, I wanted to share the new chairs with you as we love them and are so pleased with them.

These are called Tabouret chairs. This particular color is "Vintage." We debated for a while on whether to get silver or vintage, but in the end vintage won out and I couldn't be happier after seeing the contrast of the metal against the wood table.

The chairs themselves are more comfortable than I had anticipated. We didn't try them before we bought them! We bought them on and we were a bit worried, but the Tabouret chairs have soooo many positive reviews we decided to go ahead and trust the rest of the world's opinion. Also they were only $200.00 for all of them with free shipping!!! Chairs are expensive so this was quite a steal!!! And can I just add I was so excited when they arrived two days after ordering, they were supposed to take a week, so that was a pleasant surprise.

And actually there are four chairs, but I took one out for the pics. I put it at the end of the table near the buffet, but it looks kinda ackward for pictures. And it sort of acts as a child proof lock so Jake can't get into the buffet. Seriously, if you look closely at our buffet you will realize that there are no drawer pulls, this is because in one week Jake broke two mugs, one wine glass, two salad plates, and a bowl. In his defense when I saw him come around the corner with the wine glass I did tell him to put it down and he listened, he just listened too well.

No drawer pulls.

And here is Jakey helping me take pics for this post. He thought it was hilarious to stick his face in front of the camera.

Jake was right, it was pretty cute!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

This is the Bench that Nick Built...

The original plan was that we would build the bench together, Nick and I, but we were running short on time (we had family come to visit and needed the seating since we got rid of our old table and chairs with the addition of the new table). We were going to build the bench on Mother’s Day and Nick ended up doing it all on his own because Jakey was being a big butt head. Isn’t that how it always is? Murphy’s Law. Jake is such a happy kid pretty much all the time except for Mother’s Day. Nothing helped, he was just all around in a bad mood. So I manned the kiddo, while Nick built. 

The construction was pretty much like the table so it went fast. We got the blue prints from the same website as the table: here or here. And we had learned a lot from the table so we didn’t make the same mistakes. For instance, the angled boards on the bases we added those last this time so they would sit flush. 

The other thing we did differently which I think was actually a mistake, was that we added the top before staining. With the table we stained the base and the top pieces individually and then attached them. But the bench we didn’t do that and I don’t think the stain went on as nicely. I stained and polycoated, which took a week to do because I had to do it during nap times and this particular week the kiddo missed three naps!!!

All in all I love our new dining room set and can’t wait to add the chairs once they arrive which should be any day now!

Anyway, I know this wasn’t really a tutorial but I hope you enjoyed the post.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Farm House Dining Table

I would like to say that we came up with the idea and blue prints for this table all on our own, but we didn’t. I came across the blue prints for this table researching another project and fell in love with it. The plans can be found here or here. Why reinvent the wheel when someone else already made a great tutorial. So instead of this being a tutorial I’ll just tell you where we ran into trouble and how we overcame it. Oh and also how we modified are table to suit our aesthetic. 

Here we started with the basic build of the ends. We had trouble lining up the boards. Our top boards do not sit flush, we actually had to use some shims in various places to make the top boards sit flush. In hindsight, we should have added the angled boards at the sides last to avoid this problem, but alas we did not. The bases took us about a month to build not because of the difficulty, it’s very easy to follow the plans and build, but because we were working around the kiddo’s schedule. He doesn’t like the sound of the saw and he’s very hands on. So we mainly did our building during his nap times. 

Next, we added the long board to the two base pieces and spent an entire week staining and poly-coating.  

The table then sat untouched for about two weeks until we got around to getting the pieces for the top. I was worried that the table would look like more of a picnic table than a nice dining table because of the four separate pieces on the top. We discussed the possibility of using one solid piece of plywood for the top, but the wood was not as nice and the table top would be thin and disproportionate to the chunkier bases. In the end we decided the four 2X10’s the original blue prints call for would be best. But Nick’s stepdad had the brilliant idea of cutting just a smidge of the edges of the 2x10’s to help them sit more flush and create more of a solid look, as opposed to four individual pieces of wood. 

So again the table sat for a few weeks until Nick’s stepdad came down with the table saw (he lives several hours away). And the two of them spent an hour or so making the cuts while I made sure the kiddo was no where near the saw. (Jake really wanted to touch it). 

The other modification we made is on the bottom of the top (if that makes sense) we added some wood slats on either end to help hold all four top pieces flush. We clamped the top to make it as straight as possible and drilled the piece of wood from underneath. 

There you have it. The table that only took five months to build! But I would do it again! I love this table and am sooo happy with how it turned out. The best part is we can now fit everyone at our table when we have a BBQ.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Driftwood and Seashell Wreath

This seems to be a favorite among visitors to my home. Although I think it’s because it’s right on my front door so therefore, it’s the first thing you see when you walk in. This wreath is a favorite of mine too, but then again I think I say that about every project!

I started with this hoop I found at Michael’s Craft Store. The hoop was about $4, although I had one of their 40% off coupons, so it came out to just over $2. I wrapped the hoop in burlap because I knew some of it would be seen between the driftwood. And the hoop itself is some sort of harder form of cardboard. Very sturdy but not very pretty. 

I hot-glued down the first strip and just wrapped around the rest and hot-glued the other end. 

After, preserving my driftwood, which you can learn to do by checking out this tutorial here.  I evenly spaced out some pieces of driftwood and glued those down. If you start just lining them up right next to each other I have found that your circle starts to get crooked so I’ve found it’s best to work on the entire wreath at once. Once those pieces were glued I just filled in with more driftwood, glueing as I went until I was done. 

Lastly, I glued the shells. I just played around with the shells until I found a design I liked and glued them on. I glued a pearl in the middle that I also picked up at Michael’s Craft Store. I actually got a whole strand of pearls for .99 cents.

Nick and I toyed with several ideas on how to hang the wreath but decided a piece of twine would be the best way to hang it. We tied the twine around the hoop and knotted it, then we made an additional loop for the nail. 

You can see the twine in between the driftwood in this pic.

This wreath looks a lot more difficult than it was. And I'm glad my door is blue, because the color goes so well with the color of the shells!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Driftwood Heart Wreath

This is probably one of my all time favorite projects. I started by preserving my driftwood; that process can be seen in this tutorial.

After the preservation process I had to cut some pieces down to size. To do this I just simply used a hack saw. Driftwood is very easy to cut and a lot of pieces will break so be gentle. 

Next, I drilled holes in the middle of the wood. 

And finally I put them on a piece of welding steel (three feet long) that I have shaped into a heart. To make the smaller wreath simply cut the welding steel into two pieces. The welding steel does not have to be perfect, the imperfections will disappear as you add the pieces of driftwood. 

For the end piece, I drill the first hole through the top, longways. Then I look to see where the other end meets that piece and drill a half hole there. The hole should be big enough just enough for the end to go in, but don’t go all the way through because both ends meet in this one piece of wood. Sorry if that’s confusing, it’s probably much easier to do than to say. Next, I add glue to both ends, put the last piece on and hold it in place with a piece of twine for twenty four hours. 

And here it is the driftwood heart. I think it's just such a pretty piece. If you don't want to make one, you can buy one at I Hearthandmade in Ventura, Ca. Or message me for details. 

That frame unfortunately shattered in a dog chasing the cat accident, but the wreath survived unscathed so it's also very durable!