23 Dec

DIY Lego Table for Her

DIY Lego Table

Just popping in to post some project photos before jumping head-first into a much needed vacation from the workshop. While I realize I have yet to post any of the awesome commissioned projects from last Christmas, I had to get this one up for you to see. Partly because I’m so proud of it but mainly because it’d be poor form to let my client do all the pimping out of my work (even if she is a really good pimp-er!)

Amy tasked me with creating a Lego table for her two daughters. Here’s what I started with (all curb-surfed):

DIY Lego Table

She had her heart set on the Lego table made from a converted dresser that another blogger completed this summer. I {subconsciously} opted to create the exact opposite of Gail’s boy’s table set. (Am I the only one who cringes when a client says “I saw this _____ on Pinterest…??)

After some major refabrication, paint (in official Lego Friends colors) and fabric this is what is patiently awaiting two little girls in the morning:

DIY Lego Table

DIY Lego Table

DIY Lego Table

DIY Lego Table

DIY Lego Table

Think they’ll love it? I sure hope so. As for me, I love that this project is done! Now, to get last year’s projects posted…

27 Nov

A Tale of Thanks Giving

It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was stuck at the office.

Hours after everyone else had gone home, I braved the cold towards the parking garage, hopped in my new Honda Civic and threw it into drive. As I made my way to the grocery store, I gave thanks for great friends willing to open their home to us the following day. Read More

14 Nov

How you doing?

I got an email the other day from a reader asking if I had given up writing blog posts and project tutorials. She’d noticed the website redesign (still in progress) and assumed by my latest Facebook posts that I had gone back to work full-time. After assuring her that the blog was still a go (and realizing I completely missed its second birthday last month) I sat down to whip up a new post. And had no idea where to begin…

See, she wasn’t exactly wrong in thinking the focus of this blog had changed, it has. And she wasn’t wrong in assuming I was working full-time again, I am. And if I’m being honest her “its okay to have nothing to say” felt like the out I’ve wanted to give myself for some time now.

But I won’t because, as I told my sister the other day, I am not a quitter.

I am, however, real enough with myself (and complete internet strangers) to admit when something isn’t working. And I guess not saying anything came through as loudly as spilling my guts (which I was avoiding) would have.

And I have plenty to say. So here goes…

Read More

30 Sep

Under Construction

…bear with me as I make changes to the site. ūüôā In the meantime, you can find me on Facebook (click here). Feel free to make suggestions or share ideas – things you’d like to see on the site – or give other constructive feedback.

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05 Sep

When Bold is Beautiful

update table & chairs

You know that clich√© “go big or go home”? I’ve been in restaurants with tables smaller than the one Misty commissioned me to update for her busy¬†family. She and her¬†husband, a local church Pastor, entertain often and loved the size of their second-hand dining room set but knew¬†it was in need of an overhaul.¬†So when she asked, I was happy to see what I could do to help.

Because theirs is a home full of activity Рwith three young children and a constant flow of visitors Рtheir tabletop had seen better days. The clear finish had gummed up and worn away in several spots. Misty gave up trying to get it clean and opted for a large tablecloth instead.

dirty table

the infamous ‘before’ picture

The chairs were in pretty good condition. A bit of glue to tack down the splat veneer, lots of paint and new upholstery would freshen them right up. They felt solid and were heavy. And once I’d stripped them of fabric and foam¬†I knew why.

veneer chair

guess what the seat is made from…

I guess over in Malaysia it’s common to repurpose laminate countertops into seat bases. It must also be standard practice to secure fabric with¬†108 staples per chair. Have you ever tried to pry staples out of MDF? I don’t recommend it. Especially not eight times over.

Another lesson learned on this project was that attempts to spot-bleach wood will fail. Miserably. And since the top was composed of thin sheets of veneer an all-over-bleaching would soak through and compromise the substrate glue. That meant my plan to restore the natural blonde wood tone was out the window.

wood bleach

spot bleaching is bad!

See, originally Misty and I both assumed the filmstrip-like border was a sticker or paint and would easily remove when the table was stripped.¬†I was surprised to find¬†the checks were built into the tabletop itself and¬†couldn’t bring myself to paint over the gorgeous ebony wood inlay.

black dining table

color: caviar & paint minerals

So, I taped it off and painted over. Three times.

ebony wood inlay

salvaged ebony wood inlay

Stunning right? I love how the skirting’s dentil molding pops against the checkered pattern that¬†ties fabulously with the polka dots on the chair seat fabric (that is on sale right now.) Seriously, I love when project pieces just fall together.

Speaking of chair seat fabric, the very day I planned to haul these puppies out of the garage for delivery I had an unexpected challenge to overcome.

reupholstered chair pad

Why is there a gap under the chair pad?

The original screws seemed to have grown a¬†1/4″ causing the space¬†between the chair base and seat. Apparently, eliminating the fabric-wrapped piping from the finished design meant I’d need (32) shorter screws (and a fancy new screwdriver) to complete the project.

painted veneer chair

paint: caviar black / fabric: wizard graffiti

But look at that chair. And those chairs down there! Gorgeous.

painted chairs

paint: lime rickey

Personally, I wasn’t sure if it would all come together. See, when we first discussed paint the plan was to finish¬†the chairs in pairs with (4) different colors (red, green, black, cream) to tie in the bold fabric. Along the way, Misty decided to streamline the palette.

modern dining set

the glorious ‘after’ shot

And it works. Now the fabric takes center stage.¬†Removing the captain’s chairs all together changes up the look too.

black kitchen table

not bad in all black

Now Misty doesn’t have to cover up when guests come over. Her fun, inviting table will no doubt make everyone feel right at home.

painted dining room table

back at home 

black kitchen table

(pin this)

29 Aug

Mission Complete – Barn Red End Tables

mission style painted tables

When I first picked up these mission style end tables the plan was to paint and sell them as bedside tables. I had envisioned them in a creamy antique white with a French-inspired ink transfer or postmark or something romantic and swoony on top.

mission style painted tables

But after I got the primer and two coats of paint on I was out of steam and didn’t feel like working on them anymore. So, I set them aside¬†and moved on to other projects.

mission style painted tables

A few weeks months¬†later my girlfriend, April, asked if I had any small living room tables.¬†AHA! So that’s why I’d lost my mojo on those suckers. We agreed they were a perfect compliment to¬†her glass-topped coffee table.

mission style painted tables

So, the white was replaced with thirty-two coats of barn red. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that many coats but it sure felt like it.

mission style painted tables

At one point, I snapped a pic of the table top and texted it over to April. It was just about then that I decided ‘progress photos’ were not my friend. The next time we got together she cautiously asked if the tables had turned out orange. Apparently, the flash on my cell phone didn’t do the paint color much justice. I reassured her that the tables were, absolutely, positively, barn red just as she’d requested. I think she believed me…

mission style painted tables

What I didn’t tell her was that I’d taken some design liberty and added matte¬†black around the lip of the table top and antiqued the sides with stain and dark wax.

mission style painted tables

mission style painted tables

The tops got the full poly-plus-wax treatment and now these tables are sitting pretty in April’s living room – where her coffee table awaits a similar paint job.

mission style painted tables

I don’t know why I ever thought they belonged in a bedroom. ¬†(shrug) What do I know?

mission style painted tables

(pin this)

14 Aug

Sound It Out

I don’t know about the rest of you but I love music. Not just the beat or the rhythm but the lyrics themselves. When I have something to say – something really important, more often than not it’s already been said and set to music. If I can’t find the words, just the right song seems to be waiting for me to come across it to fill the void.

A lot of songs, I take to heart. I’ll apply them to my situation and if they fit, they become part of the soundtrack of my life. Typically, I can recall where I was when a song impressed itself upon me. Humming the tune, I can usually insert myself into the time & place that the song represents. To me, music is the portal that allows for travel back to enjoy happy times, reminisce sad moments and even relive bad days that I may have willingly forgotten. A simple harmony can bring long lost friends back for a moment and fill my heart with their memory.

There are a lot of things I could live without in this world. If I had to choose, I’d willingly give up television and the Internet, my home and my car. Take away my music and I’d feel lost and alone.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach
Without music life would be a mistake. ~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. ~William P. Merrill
When words leave off, music begins. ~Heinrich Heine

This is the song in my head today.

I originally posted this on a site I didn’t even know was called a blog back in 2009. It came up in conversation tonight and was oddly appropriate for the way I felt today.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is better.