Thursday, May 23, 2013

North Carolina Here We Come...

We've been busy packing, cleaning and getting ready all week because tomorrow we leave for North Carolina! Tomorrow afternoon we'll join the rest of the country in the typical holiday weekend tradition of sitting in traffic. I know, I know...traveling this weekend is CRAZY. We normally just stay home, but my brother graduates COLLEGE (WHAT?!? time flies) on Saturday. We figured since we were making the drive anyway, we might as well make a vacation out of it, so after his graduation we're heading east to the Outer Outer Banks y'all....

That's the cover of the booklet we made my parents and Sean for Christmas when we told them we rented a house there for all of us. Happy Graduation little bro! We're very excited, albeit a little stressed about the trip. We're taking Oats (eek) and driving a (normally) 10 hour drive in our old rickety truck on Memorial Day weekend. Pray for us. Please. If we make it there I'll update with graduation and vacation photos as soon as I can.

Hope everyone has an FABULOUS holiday weekend! Try to remember the purpose of this holiday - thank all the veterans you know for their service, and pay tribute to those who gave their lives serving our country. Happy Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pottery Barn Knock Off: Wooden Shelf

So I told you we'd finished a few projects for the living room and I'm finally ready to introduce my favorite...our big beautiful wooden shelf. I'm so excited to have this hanging over the TV so I can stare at it while David watches boring fishing shows or playoff hockey. Nobody cares about hockey Boomer.
Here's the inspiration from Pottery Barn, which I've admired for a while:
Pottery Barn Shelf $399
But there are two issues with Pottery Barn's version. 1) It's four hundred dollars, so no. 2) It's just a little too much for me...height-wise. I like the style but I only wanted two levels, so David and I designed our own version using crown and base molding.

The bottom part is a simple piece of upside-down baseboard from Home Depot, but for the top we needed a large piece of crown and neither Home Depot nor Lowe's carry any that are big enough. We ended up finding this one at Ring's End Lumber....a local lumber shop David frequents for work.

He cut and backed both with supporting pieces of just scrap wood, all of course while I wasn't there to photograph it. Then he put a piece of wood on top of the crown and this what it looked like at the corners:
We attached a 2x4 to the wall to screw the shelf into from the top and put it up there to make sure we liked the position and size.
And there it sat. And sat. And I debated what to do with it....
Originally I planned to make it look just like the Pottery Barn version, which meant staining it, covering it with a layer of paint, and then sanding it down to essentially shabby-chic it up, like I did with our nightstand trays.
But that project taught me that shabby-chic is not really my style. I do enjoy these trays, but I don't have big plans for shabby-chic-ing again. So then I thought about priming and painting the shelf white, but the idea wasn't thrilling me for some reason. A little too boring I think. That would also make it very matchy-matchy with the crown molding above and the TV stand below.

Then the inspiration came, and I'm so glad I waited. One of my favorite bloggers, Katie Bower, posted a tutorial about whitewashing. It immediately hit me that that's what I wanted for the shelf. I was thrilled. It was perfect timing and the simplest tutorial ever. And the best part? I already had everything I needed for the project....water (check), white paint (check), a paint brush (check) and paper towels (check check check). So thank you Katie for the most perfectly timed inspiration and for being so freaking fabulous.

So I sanded the shelf down until it was completely smooth and then followed Katie's simple tutorial for whitewashing the shelf.
I made my paint by mixing equal parts water and white paint (the same color we use on all our trim - Valspar's Snowcap White) and stirring it very well. (Nice basement/painting area rug huh?)
Then I coated the whole thing in my white-wash and David helped by continuing to stir it as I painted. Here it is after one coat.
We decided there wasn't quite as much coverage as we wanted, but it dries very quickly so we gave it an hour or so and did another coat.
Here's what it looks like up close and personal after the two coats. Oh my goodness it's gorgeous with the wood grain showing through.
Then we hung her up...
...and added some summertime decor.
There's the Made With Love and Oats version of Pottery Barn's Decorative Ledge. And the living room redesign slowly progresses....

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

An Update

I have about ten unfinished blog posts right now. And a thousand unfinished projects (although that's nothing new). I had grand plans to finish several in the last week. So I suppose I should let you know what's been going on and why my mind is elsewhere. Our sweet puppy has been sick. For a good couple months now...on and off. We've been back and forth to the vet multiple times, but haven't gotten any answers. They don't know what's wrong with her.
It's been frustrating, draining, stressful...there's a thousand adjectives. None of them matter because we just want her to get better. She keeps getting an upset stomach...where she throws up frequently and wretches the rest of the time. When that happens, we put her on a "bland diet" of chicken and rice, then slowly transition her back to dog food. We were feeding her Nature's Recipe...high quality food. Once she transitioned back, she got sick. So we went back to bland diet and then transitioned her to Science Diet Sensitive Stomach, then to Blue Buffalo, which is also for dogs with food sensitivities and is literally the best quality (and therefore the most expensive) dog food on the market. We have been unsuccessful with all of them.
Throughout this process she also developed a mass in her throat, which they believe to have been nothing more than a reaction to an airborne bacteria, which could have been from anywhere. Now she is back to her stomach issues, in addition to a new constant itching. It's all or nothing I guess.

Therefore, she is going back to the vet. We were trying to hold out in hopes that changing her food would solve the problem, but it's not. We are at a loss. And tired, and sad, for our little bear who just can't seem to break this, whatever it is. We will soon be starting her on a homemade food diet, so I'll give updates on how that's going.

Right now, we're trying to take it easy and keep her relaxed so she can feel better.
Most projects are on hold for now. And our bedroom is half painted. It looks awful. She (and we) spends her days watching Animal Planet....reading get well cards....
...sleeping and snuggling. She does better when she's calm, so we're trying to keep her that way.

So that's our update.We'd be very grateful for all your prayers that Miss Oats gets better soon, and that we can figure out what's causing the problem so we can correct it. And eventually I'll paint the bedroom. And the rest of the house.
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