Monday, May 20, 2013

First Nursery Project - DONE!

With Baby Carson approximately 27 weeks away (say WHAT?!?!), it was time to get started on some nursery projects! Our goal is to spend as little as possible on preparing the nursery which means plenty of DIY projects! YAY!

First up, a glider.

So Tim had this for when he and the roommates were living together. Don't ask me why 4 bachelors need a glider. Apparently a former roommate had it and didn't want to take it with him when he left. So it sat in our Great Room (or Catch All Room it should be called) for forever. Since we already had it and it was free, it became the first project!

Tools needed:
Rustoleum White Satin spray paint (2 cans) ~ $10
Sandpaper  - had on hand
Fabric - $12 for 6 yards (used about 3 yards)

So this poor rocker was pretty dirty. Sitting for at least a year doesn't do good things for fabric. Add some lovely stains and it just HAD to be reupholstered.

I started by taking the cushions off (the arm pieces snapped on) and threw them all in the washer. Better already.

I lightly sanded the entire piece (or at least the parts I could easily reach)...

and then wiped it down to remove sanding dust and other dirt.

Then I started spray painting. I did a VERY light first coat and then sprayed a second and third light coat. I've learned the hard way not to do thick coats of spray paint. Some of the angles were hard to get so I sprayed as much as I could, brought it inside to dry for a few days, then turned it upside down and spray the remainder.

While it was drying the second time (letting paint cure is the key to not having it scrap off!), I worked on the cushions which I had let air dry for a few days. I ripped the fabric off the seat cushion (after marking where the few pleats were...

... and then used it for the pattern on the new fabric.

For the seat, I just remade the cover just like the one I had taken off - pleats and all.

For the back cushion, I just made a slip cover by tracing around the entire piece on the new fabric. I made sure to remove the velcro that attaches it to the spokes and add it to the new slip cover.

The arm pieces, I slip covered too (with pleats too!) and just cut holes for the snaps to come through. All the snaps are pretty hidden so I wasn't too worried about perfection.

(And yes, I already nicked the arm. It barely fits through a doorway!)

The stripes match on the seat cushion in front but seat and the back cushion don't line up. Oh well.

I'm loving how it turned out!!!

Next project: a Bible verse sign to hang in the nursery!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New (to us) Headboard - Before and After

Two and a half months since my last post?! Good heavens!

Well, I finally have something to post about. Tim's sweet Aunt Sue asked us if we wanted a dresser, armoire, and headboard that belonged to her husband's father (or something like that) who was moving in with them. Free furniture? Yes, please! And it was BEAUTIFUL wood! YAY! I've got grand plans for the dresser and armoire but haven't tackled them yet. The headboard seemed more do-able so I started it first. Here's the before:

Loved the lines but light colored wood (with a heavy varnish) didn't really match anything in our house. What color should I do it? White of course! (My mom would be proud.) 

I took the headboard outside and spray primed it (I was too lazy to sand it), and then sprayed it white in a satin sheen. I forgot to take pictures of course but you can imagine me spraying while yelling at the curious dogs to stay away. Fun. 

Once inside, I took sandpaper and scuffed up all the edges and the center carving to bring out the lines. But strangely, some parts of the wood showed through darker than others.

No problem. I dipped a q-tip in some Dark Walnut stain and "painted" the raw wood that I wanted to be darker then wiped away the excess with a damp cloth. Much better.

I'm SO please with how the headboard turned out! Looks fantastic under the deer head that Joanna made. Now a few more pictures...

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sewing Room

We finally get to reveal the Sewing Room we've been working on for so long! There are still some finishing touches that I'd like to do but it's close enough to reveal. There are a lot of pictures so keep scrolling for the finished room.

So there is a building on our property (well, the property that our landlord owns - about 30 feet from our house) that looks like this:

Tim thinks Friday the 13th was filmed there.

As you might imagine, it is officially condemned. But do they tear it down? Nooooo. Just let it rot. Anyways, Tim and I peeked inside and despite the floor and ceiling caving in, there was furniture in there. Why our landlords don't care about wasting furniture, I don't know. Anyways, they let us use some of the furniture that was originally in our house (a couple of dresser/buffet things) so we figured they wouldn't mind if we used the bookshelf that was in the creepy house. But the backing on it was falling off so we took that off. This is what it looked like:

A fresh coat of paint helped immensely. We found some old (and I mean really old!) baseboard in the pantry:

I sanded it,

And then took all the rusty nails out. It's a surprise I didn't get tetanus. 

Tim added them to the bookcase...

And I painted them white too. Then filled in all the cracks with nail putty.

Oh, then Tim added new legs to the table he had already made to make it taller. Yup, we just bought 4x4 and painted it. We're cheap.

And now the table is awesome. Ready to see?

The view as you enter the room...

Off to the right there is a shipping station. 

Beside the table is a magazine rack (that we got as a wedding present - thanks Vance and Jenny Bell!) that I'm using to hold all my boxes, wrapping paper, tissue paper, and such. 

The finished bookcase! We added beadboard from Lowe's to the back. I like it so much I might ask our landlords if we can buy it when we leave. 

My fabulous new sewing table that Tim made. (Oh, and Tim made me that "C" for Christmas. It holds thread.)

Oh! We wanted a plexiglass top so the raw wood wouldn't catch on fabric. Tim got a spare piece from Chick-fil-A that they'd had in storage for three years. He re-cut it and it looks fabulous!

Then I have an ironing station. We stole those shelves from Tim's parents' house.

I still haven't organized the cabinet yet. Eventually, folks. 

Oh! and I found these glass containers at the Salvation Army. $1.85 for three.

A quick coat of red spray paint (leftover from when Tim painted the rocking chairs on the front step) and they look fabulous as bookends for my patterns.

Oh, and these? Squares of cardboard cut from USPS mailing boxes and covered in wrapping paper and then hung with Command strips.

I'm sure I have other tidbits that I didn't mention. Feel free to ask for more details!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Looking Back at January and Forward to February

Day 28: Blackened Chicken with Cuban Black Beans and Rice, Corn and Bread. I thought it was delicious and Tim just thought it was okay (first time that's ever happened!). His taste buds must be impaired from the sickness. Just kidding... sorta.

I also took the opportunity to clean the fridge while it was low. This was a few days ago; it's even barer now!

We did it. We reached the end of our Four Weeks of Frugality and lived to tell the story. What started as a conversation in December ("Dude, we gotta save money") has been a wonderful success. But I have a confession: I'm not sure how much money we saved. I mean, there is definitely more in our bank account right now than there was at the beginning of the month but we don't have a set budget (yet! Stop yelling at me!) to see exactly how much we didn't spend. But, we did realize some pretty awesome things:

1. You don't need everything you want.

I know, this is a no-brainer. But really, we want so many things in life. I've been amazing by how hard it was to not go to McDonald's and get a Diet Coke or not buy a York mint at the checkout counter.

2. It's okay to deprive yourself now and then. It won't kill you or your family.
In fact, it might even bring you closer together.

The story is often told of Helen Hayes Brown (an American theatre actress) and her husband entitled "I wish they were peanuts". Read the sweet paragraph here. Going without is okay.

3. We are very richly blessed.

Self-explanatory really. We have so much to be thankful for. God has blessed us with jobs, money, food, friends, and love. What more do you need?

4. We can get really creative if we have to.

It was such a fun challenge to make dinner each night using just what we had on hand. I got very resourceful and made some fun (and sometimes interesting) meals. But we never went hungry and we didn't even have to eat the Ramen noodles in the pantry that have rat marks in them (why are we saving those?). We also got very creative on the Sewing Room, determined not to spend a penny. Leftover paint, donated furniture, and some clever decorating is turning into such a cute room! Just a few more finishing touches and we can have a Sewing Room reveal. YAY!

In conclusion, January was awesome. No, we didn't do it perfectly because we bought dog food and had to buy gas. But I'm choosing to remember the bright side. We worked towards a goal to save money and did it. Together. And that's something worth celebrating. 

What's next? Glad you asked!

Faith and Fitness February!

Yup, February is the time to whip out bodies and souls into shape. Rules are as follows:

  1. Attend the gym 5 times a week (or some outdoor activity such as running).
  2. Devotions every night together (28 days).
  3. One "Date Night" each week using the curriculum we got at our Premarital weekend at WinShape. (Yes, we haven't done our "homework" yet that we got 8 months ago. We're just so perfect that we don't need help. HA. Just kidding.)
I'm looking forward to this! (Well, maybe not to going to the gym...)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Six Months!!!

Today was our Six Month Anniversary! Time sure flies when you're having fun! It seems like just yesterday I was logging onto eHarmony each night to see if this cute guy from Milledgeville had sent me another message. And here we are married and living life together! Life is so much more epic when you finally get to live it with the person God made for you to experience it with! (Yes, I just ended a sentence in "with". Sorry.)

I wanted a super special meal for tonight so I've been hoarding our good things - we can have a super special meal without spending an extra penny! I got cocktail shrimp on sale at Kroger a few months ago (50% off!) and sparkling grape juice for only $1.25. We had steak that Tim's parents had given us and brownie mix I got for $1 from Dollar General. Add some veggies and you have a gourmet meal! Candlelight is absolutely necessary.

Mmmm, sparkling grape juice.

Everything (even brownies!) is better cut into cute shapes.

Tonight Tim and I spent a few hours working on the Sewing Room. I can't wait to post an update! Hopefully soon!

Only 3 days left of No Spend January. I'm so ready to buy cheese! I miss it so much!