Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dining room table Redo

I purchased our first kitchen table on Craigslist for a whopping $40. I knew I got a steal (for Hawaii anyway) when I learned it was solid oak. I loved it, even though it didn't come with any chairs and had quite a bit of chips in the finish, I knew someday I would refinish it. I hoped to do it before our youngest son arrived in February of 2010, but worried about the dust and fumes the little growing baby would be exposed to... then he was born and the military moved us across the ocean and the country. The blemishes have been bugging me the entire time we have lived here, and the other morning I'd had enough, I pulled our my sander and got started. I learned a lot along the way, and if I ever get to it I will write a tutorial, but I just had to share the pictures!

The ugly chips that drove me crazy...
Half sanded... this is what my sweet husband came home to...
Done sanding the top! I kept taking it out to the garage to work, just to set it up inside again... I made so much more work for myself. I loved how it looked like this, but I knew it wouldn't stay looking nice like this with a 2yr old around.
First batch of stain... I was so nervous at this point...
With good reason, it didn't turn out. So, I switched to a gel stain. And got my beautiful walnut colored table after tons of staining, sanding and polyurethane.
I love it... it isn't perfecct, but very few things are when I'm trying to wrestle an 8mo old and 2 yr old while doing a huge project. I know I'll have to do it again after a few more military moves, but I really dont mind, maybe I'll go white next time ;).
(Chairs are next, I'm picking up fabric tomorrow!)

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Wreath

Looking around our neighborhood, every house had some sort of fall decoration that made their house look inviting and festive. I especially loved all the different wreaths that have been put up. When I looked at buying a wreath for our door I was shocked at the $25 and up price tags, so I set out to make my own for under $10. So here we are at my first tutorial as a result.

The Fall Sunflower Wreath

Supply list:
3-4 bunches of flowers, both large blooms and small blooms
Coordinating ribbon
Florist wire
Sharp Serrated knife
1 1/2 inch thick florist foam rectangle
large plate
hot glue gun and glue

First, align your plate face down where you would like to cut your circle out (I plan on using the left over foam so I went as far as I could to the top)

Trace around the circle with the tip of your knife

Carefully cut out your circle with the knife.

Now cut 2 1/2 feet of ribbon from your roll, place this to the side for later. Then with your hot glue gun, secure the end of you uncut ribbon roll to the circle. Wrap it around the circle, securing it with a dot of glue every 3 inches, making sure to cover the rough edge at the start. Cut the ribbon when you have pass around 2 times and tuck the rough edge under the flat ribbon, secure it with glue. (in the image I haven't tucked the rough edge yet)

Next cut all of your flowers off of the bunches leaving thier stems about 1 1/4 inches long. Set aside the leftover bush stems with the leaves. Fluff whatever flowers need some extra attention (like if thier petals are stuck together, take the time now to fix them)
Do not start adding flowers from the center, start at the outside edge, placing the smallest blooms first about 1/2 -1 inch apart. Continue around until you complete the circle. the fill the center with your larger blooms until you are at the center flower, place this flower last, make sure it is your best looking flower since it will draw the most attention.


Now, pull the leaves off of the flower buch stems that we set aside earlier. Cut them so that you have single leaves with a small stem. Wrap and twist the floral wire around the stem with your pliers. They should look like this:

Next, place a leaf between each of the outer flowers by pushing the florist wire into the foam.

Finally, add the 2 and 1/2 foot section of ribbon to the back of the "wreath" Start at the base of the wreath and secure the ribbon with twised florist wire and hot glue, make sure the rough edge isn't visible and is tucked nicely under your wrapped ribbon. Hot glue in 2 or 3 places on the back of the wreath up to the top, Fold the remaining ribbon in half and secure it again with florist wire and hot glue.

Now hang your wreath up on your door and enjoy!

Total cost of this project for me:
Large blooms - $3.00 Small blooms- 2 @ $1.00
Ribbon - $1.94 Foam - $2.50
(Walmart for all of the above)
I already had the glue sticks and florist wire, so, in my book those are a zero.
Total: ~ $9.50 +tax

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shop-vac Hang up Mini review

Are you like me? Do you really like having a clean, cracker crumb free car? I love it when my car has been freshly vacuumed and looks nice and neat, but sometimes, with two little ones it will be weeks before I can get to the car wash without the little monsters to use one of the high powered vacuums to clean every crevasse out. I hated it, it drove me crazy, especially when I had an unexpected passenger like a friend or co-worker in the car. I couldn't use my house hold vacuum because it didn't have enough suction and I really didn't want to put it through the abuse of constantly sucking up who knows what. While working on a wood project we ran into the problem of having sawdust everywhere, it was a disaster zone and I didn't want to use the house hold vacuum for the above reasons. On a quick run to Walmart I came across the Mini Shop-vac. At $19.95 I figured it was worth a try (especially with Walmart's awesome return policy). Let me say, I LOVE IT. It has amazing suction, cleans up anything and everything (even super fine sand from the beach!!!) and I find myself using it daily. It is small enough to put into the car while I clean so I never run into not being able to reach an area, it also comes with attachments to make cleaning small spaces easier. Water messes that use to take tons of towels or paper towels now get sucked up and emptied out in seconds. It does have an auto shut off suction function if you knock it over while it is on, and that took a while to figure out what was going on, but it is to protect the electrical parts when working with water. Over all, I highly recommend it to pretty much anyone, a mommy with little kids, daddy who works with wood or other messy clean ups, or just that person who wants a shop vac but doesn't want to store something that big or the big price tag.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Who am I?

I am a stay at home mom with a 2 year old and an 8 month old. This blog was inspired by my current favorite pair of high heels, heels in which I feel like I can conquer the world, but I can't chase down my 2 year old. In this blog I hope to share suggestions for my favorite ways of coping with two little ones, personal product reviews (I am not getting paid to express my opinion on products at all, I just get a ton of questions from new parents and thought I'd complile my thoughts here), project ideas and funny stories about the daily battles between myself and our two little angels. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it!