Sunday, January 27, 2013

[Shadow] Boxing Some Memories

I'm kind of in small-project-mode right now....doing some fun little things for the house. Yesterday I put the finishing touches on two very important shadowboxes.

For the first one, I wanted to showcase our wedding invitation and all its contents. I designed these myself and had them printed by Cards & Pockets. It was inexpensive but the quality was wonderful and I couldn't have been happier with the way they turned out.

I put the invite, the RSVP card, and the Wedding Weekend Details card in the shadowbox first, but it felt like something was missing...something to contrast the matchy-matchy-ness of these three pieces. We just used nice white envelopes when we sent out the wedding invitations, but they sent our sample in a pretty green lined envelope....perfect. I stuck that in the box behind the invitation and held them in place with tiny squares of mounting tape. I finished them off with with the pearl pins that came with the box (I purchased this shadowbox at Home Goods) and here's my first box of memories:

The second one was made for a very special puppy. David's dog Nicky passed away this past summer at age 13 and his mom gave us one of her collars to keep....the one I bought Nicky to wear when she was in our wedding. It didn't take long for me to figure out what I wanted to do with it. I knew it had to be showcased. So I bought another shadowbox (this one was from JoAnns) and started with her collar and our favorite photo of her from our wedding. David cut a whiffleball in half to fit in the box because there was nothing she loved to do more than play whiffleball. Then I had a talented Etsy crafter make us her name out of metal wire. It finished off Nick's shadowbox perfectly.
David's parents kept her tags, but that would be another fun item to include if you wanted to do this for your own pet, and anything else they loved to play with, cuddle with, chew on, etc.

I'm really happy with how these turned I just have to find the perfect place for them :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Master Bedroom Mood Board

Soooo I have a hard time staying focused on one project. I am the most extreme multi-tasker you'll ever meet. The problem with that is that I tend to start something new before ever finishing the 12 other things I'm already working on. The blog is actually helping a lot with that, because what am I going to post about if I don't finish anything? Yup, thanks blog. So our winter project is our dining room, but my multi-tasking brain is too excited with all the ideas I have for our master bedroom. So....I made my first mood board to keep the ideas fresh for a few months down the road (or years at the room rate we're going) when we get to start on the bedroom. Ta-da!
One of these days I'll get the before photos of our house up on the blog. It's coming. And so's the mood board for the dining room renovation...which we should hopefully be starting in the next week or so....stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Say Hello To My Little iFriend

I am now officially a smart phone user!

For Christmas, David thought he'd finally kick me into the 21st century with the phone I was convinced I didn't need, but now realize I luuuuuurve.....the iPhone FIIIIIVE.
I had this bad boy (2 versions of it) since 2005....the LG 8100 & 8300...and man did I love this phone. Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love my LG flip phones so I thought it only right that they had their own blog post for the end of an era. Yes...8 years is an era. It speaks volumes for how long phones used to last. You know, back in the day. In 2005. But seriously, look at how beat up these are. One of them sat in salt water once for at least a minute, and they've both been dropped thousands of times...basically every single time I got out of my car and it was on my seat, but they're still going strong. The only reason I couldn't keep using the blue one is because the charger broke, so I switched the the gray version of it a few years ago. These phones both worked for everything I needed them to for many years...until I met the iPhone.
I was determined to stick with it and not give into the smart phone phenomenon, but now I can see what all the fuss is about. I had Instagram within about 2 minutes, and I've now added a gadget to the blog so you can see all our Instagram photos too, even if you can't follow us on an iPhone. It's funtabulous. Even David wants one now....oh boy.

Pretty impressive upgrade huh?
Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Years Tradition

Since I haven't posted in over a week I'm trying to make up for it by giving you two today. Get excited.

Last year after our New Year's Eve party, we came home and celebrated the new year with Oats by taking an excessive amount of family photos. My high school photo teacher Mr. B used to tell me that you get one good one for every 100 you take, and I never forgot that. Now, I take hundreds and he's right, usually I get one frameable one, although I'm a hoarder and keep them all.

Here's our good one from last year. Evidently I couldn't wait to get my PJ pants on.
And outtakes, which I love just as much:
You can see she's uncooperative until we let her on the couch.

Here's this year's keeper. Oatsy wasn't looking at the camera but she was holding my hand, so I'll call that a win.
As for outtakes, Oats wasn't quite as crazy as last year...aka there was no flailing in our arms because we can no longer lift her. This year she was mostly just interested in chewing her toys...
So there's our happy new year post...only 10 days late. Hope you all had a wonderful new year celebration and are ready for a fantastic 2013!

Back in Action with a Tutorial

I apologize to my 3 blog readers that I've been slacking at blogging and haven't had a post in what, over a week? More? Eek. Anyway, I've been busy finishing my first furniture painting project - our bedroom nightstands!
You'll recall I started this project on October 31 when I did my sanding and priming outside.
Since I never posted about priming, here's what I used:
Soon after that, we had to move the project to dropcloths in the basement because it got too cold out for the paint to dry.
The nightstands are veneer so they took a lot of primer, paint and poly....hence a lot of work. So in this post I'm going give you the long-winded MadewithLoveandOats furniture painting tutorial. I've been reading a lot of blogs and searching Pinterest for furniture painting tips for a while, and they always make it look so easy. Just prime and paint and BAM - beautiful Pottery Barn knock off! WOW!

NOPE. LIES. Here's my furniture painting tutorial for you in real time (well, as much real time as I can get over the internet) and clearly I know what I'm talking about because I've done this one whole time and all.

1.      Buy all this stuff, plus your paint. You will need:
·         Electric sander (optional)
·         Sanding pads for your sander or sanding blocks
·         Mask (if you’re sanding inside)
·         Primer
·         Cheap primer brush
·         Floetrol (optional)

·         Paint
·         Good quality paintbrushes
·         Polyurethane
·         Wood filler if you’re changing the size of the hardware
·         New hardware (if needed)
·         Lots of other miscellaneous things I probably forgot

2.      Sand every inch of your furniture (the parts that are going to show). If you use an electric sander, you'll feel like you have Parkinson's for the rest of the day. Depending on your furniture size, this could take 30 minutes – 3+ hours. Yaaaayyyy....
3.      Clean off the furniture. I first use a wet rag/towel/papertowel....whatever's on hand. Then wipe down with a clean dry cloth.
4.      PRIME. If you use a spray can of primer and you stink royally at spraying things like yours truly, you'll need a couple coats, and yes, you have to wait in between each one for it to dry. Therefore, I recommend just sucking it up and using a paintbrush so it can be done in one coat. Wait AT LEAST an hour before doing any more steps. At this point I play it safe let it dry overnight.

5.      Next day...sand again. At this point I just use a fine sanding block and go over all the areas until it's smooth.
6.      Wipe down with wet, then dry cloths.
7.      Add Floetrol to your paint…this makes it smoother and less streaky and helps it go farther. Mix your life away because it takes a while to work its way into the paint.
8.      PAINT your first coat WOOT WOOT. Use an exceptional paintbrush for this...I used Purdy thanks to Centsational Girl's painting tips. (By the way if you're in the market for a real tutorial, she's your girl)
9.      Wait for the paint to be safe I leave it for a day. Don’t forget to clean this expensive and amazing paintbrush in between each coat. I cleaned mine thoroughly with water and then put it in a ziploc and taped it up. Thanks to Fine Homebuilding for this tip. Here’s a shout out to tips that actually work. I stored mine in the fridge until the next day. Don’t ask me if that was necessary, I just did it and it worked.
10.  Sand again with your fine, "between coats" sanding block. Wipe down with wet then dry cloths.
11.  Paint another coat.
12.  Wait for it to dry. Again, another day.
13.  Sand with a sanding block. Wipe down with wet then dry cloths.
14.  Paint another coat if needed. By the way, I used Valspar's Antique White in a flat finish because it was on the clearance rack. Gotta love a good bargain.
15.  Wait some more. Try hard to be patient.
16.  Sand again, wipe again. You having fun yet?
17.  If she looks fully beautified from your paint, you're ready for POLY!
 18.  POLY. (Ok, first, here's what not to do - do not use a foam brush to paint it on and do not brush the same spots over and over. Trust me, you'll get streaks and have to sand the whole coat off) My recommendation is definitely spray poly. As opposed to spray prime, you don't have to hit every inch because you're going to do this a few times. Start the sprayer off to the side of your furniture first and then just make light sweeping motions over it. Just do a light coat…this drys quick.
19.  Sand with an Extra-fine sanding block (this is for use before your final coat). Wipe with wet, then dry.
20.  Spray poly can do this every hour without sanding in between. Mine took 3 coats.
21.  Wait 24 HOURS after the last coat! What.....Goddddd.
22.  Attach hardware. Try to get the right hardware to match your holes if you didn't fill them in with wood filler, like me. Who bought the wrong hardware. Totally tricked by Lowes...I blame them.
Ok so real time, this is 22+ steps. It takes at least 5 working days if you only need 2 coats of paint and work on it every day. If you have a job, or kids, or a life, it will take you longer. Plus, mine took 3 coats of paint and 3 coats of poly. And of course add in all my mishaps that needed fixing plus the amount of other projects / holidays / fun stuff I was doing in between working on these. So there you have my amazing real-time, this-takes-a-lot-longer-than-the-internet-makes-it-look tutorial.

But here's our finished product....drumroll please....
Oh yeah....pretty excited to finally have nightstands. Even though it took 2+ months, it was worth it :)
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