Friday, August 15, 2014

You're So Vain

 I've been looking to remedy the little vanity corner of my bedroom for quite a while now. I had an old sofa table that I've used for years, but the drawers in it were teeny tiny, so I compensated by using boxes underneath to hold all my stuff. That makes clutter, and I do so hate clutter.

I'd been on the lookout for a desk that was the right size and shape and price, and I found one on our little classifieds site and snapped it right up. It was almost all real wood, except for a thick piece of plastic laminate on the top and some laminate on the sides, but I love the detail on the drawers and the sweet legs. I sanded the whole thing down, painted it, and then distressed it.

I didn't want to leave the top alone, but taking it off was more of a project than I had in mind, so I decided to just make a new top and place it over the laminate. I hit the ReStore for a piece of wood and found a sheet of plywood for $1.50. It was super duper rough, but I cut it to size and then sanded it for 1000 years.
 (un-sanded back side vs sanded front side)

Once it was super smooth, I painted on a design, and then stained that baby.

I attached the new top, added new pulls, including a cute little owl in the middle (to replace the fake lock that had been on there), and the new vanity was good to go.

To organize the space, I added a few other fun details, like this old empty, painted clock I got at a garage sale. I added hooks inside, and now it holds necklaces and other jewelry.

I had this frame, already painted this color, so I stapled lace, cut from an old curtain to the back and hung it on the wall. Tap in some tiny nails, and this now holds more favorite necklaces.

An old wood box I got at an antique store in Kansas, when shopping with my mom, and a silver bowl that was a wedding gift.

An antique lamp, some vintage mirrors, and a little wood and metal tray I painted and distressed. You can't see it the photo, but there's a handkerchief on there that says "Mother". My mom has a matching one.

And here it is, all put together! I really love it. The rest of the furniture in our room is dark wood, so James was a tiny bit concerned that a painted piece would stick out or detract, but it actually looks really great in the space. It's also much more usable. The drawers are organized and everything is in its place. No clutter.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Buddy's Buddies

 During the last week of school, the J-bird told all his pals that he'd be having a "summer party" over the break. I just kind of...looked at him...and then told him that he should TALK TO ME next time, before telling half the world that his mother will be throwing a big bash. It's been a good while since school let out though, and he was missing his friends, so we invited some of the kids from the lower elementary section of his class over (and an older sibling). Not everyone could come, of course, and his class is tiny, so we ended up with a lovely little group for an afternoon of fun. I made a treasure hunt for them, and they played dress up. They had an apocalyptic water fight. They ate snacks. They played in the playhouse. They rode on all the riding toys and had a "silly contest". Then, they came in the house and made a lot of noise for the last few minutes before their folks came back. The J-bird was thrilled.

As for Miss V, well, she got a special afternoon with her Daddy, who took her out for a shaved ice as big as her head. They went a bunch of other fun places, too, and she was delighted and full of stories when she came home. (We saved her some prizes from the treasure hunt as well. Hooray for giant, novelty sunglasses!)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Go Play!

 My kids do their share of inside play

But one of my favorite things about summertime is being able to say, "Go outside and play!" Treasure hunts and jungle exploring and playing in the playhouse, running through the sprinkler, water gun fights, and bike riding. There's a whole world in the back yard.

And then, you know, they come back in and watch shows.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Problem, Solved

 In our TV room, we had this little table to hold the remotes for the various video game systems and things that James and the kids play. Over time, the number of remotes has overwhelmed this poor table, resulting in my nemesis: CLUTTER. So I fixed it.

 I purchased this little chest for $15. It had been spray painted drippy metallic silver and stenciled with the words "stop" and "go". It had plastic pulls on the drawers and plastic reflectors glued to it.

But underneath...

It was old and cool. I sanded the spray paint off and then thought about different ways to refinish it. The sides had a couple layers of oil based paint underneath the spray paint, and a) I didn't feel like stripping them, and b) I liked the way it looked when I sanded them down partway. I could've gone to the extra work to make this look like a brand new piece of furniture, but I like the old, beat up look, and this little sister didn't want to be brand new. I decided just to stain the whole thing with a dark stain, including the painted sides, polyurethane the top, and put different pulls on.

It looks old and rustic, and I love it.

And now all those giant plastic remotes have a new home, where I don't have to look at them all the time.