Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Furniture Disaster. Personal Disaster?


We recently found some furniture that we decided to refinish (stain) and keep, rather than sell. I prefer to paint furniture. I have done my share of sanding, but to me painting is second nature. I know exactly how the paint will behave and turn out. The paint and I have an agreement that way. We understand each other. ;) Okay, the paint doesn't understand me at all, but I understand the paint.

Anyway, there's a dresser and a desk. They are made of solid, heavy wood. Quality furniture made by Stanley. I.e. Boy proof. Perfect for our boy, soon to be a teenager. Only they weren't in perfect condition.

Here's a piece of knowledge that I want to share with you. Because when I was a green antiquarian and finder of vintage things, I wish someone had shared it with me. Look at the knobs. Count the knobs. Are they all there? Why...do you ask? Because hardware.is.expensive. Let's just say that we spent more on the hardware than on the furniture.

This picture does not express how frigid it was this day.
So Ken spent hours. HOURS. sanding the furniture. And then he spent hours. HOURS. asking me if I ordered the knobs. And the furniture sat for hours. WEEKS. in the garage because I didn't want to stain it in the cold, and why bother to order knobs if I'm not ready to stain it? That's how we operate. If you look closely you will see the logic.

So halfway through Jackson's (our son) room remodel, I decide that it is time (finally) to restain the dresser and desk. And I stain it. And it's horrible. And I'm sad about that. Because I'll have to resand it and start again.

I'm kind of like that furniture. God has worked on me and worked on me. HOURS. WEEKS. My LIFETIME. And I'm so far from perfect. I've had moments in my life where I've been horrible. I've made serious mistakes. But God will keep working on me and start again. No matter how many times my mistakes and imperfections stain me, He will forgive me and let me start again.

Why would I bother to blog about a project that isn't done, and so far isn't going well? Because I want you to know that I am not perfect, and I have been forgiven. You do not have to be perfect to receive God's forgiveness and grace. If you are a Christ follower and you are working earnestly at an image of perfection, either on social media or in real life, ask yourself this, "Can I serve God better by sharing what He has saved me from or giving a false sense of perfection to the world?"

"Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1,2

XOXO,

Abby

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Before & After: Painted Wood Hutch

I'm so thankful for Spring. It really makes a big difference in my motivation. When it starts to really get cold again this fall, I'm going to give myself permission to forget about painting furniture until spring comes again. No expectations for myself to work in the cold, blah weather means no guilt for not accomplishing anything.

I've had this hutch in my garage. (We keep our cars in the driveway and our furniture in the garage. Don't y'all?) I hadn't planned on what I was going to do with it, but I got a burst of energy and motivation this week to just get it done.

Seriously. Ugly, right?
I think what I disliked about this the most is that there was no visual interest in the wood. I'm not against wood furniture, but this one was just like a big blog of orange-y stained wood. And the doors. Tragic. This isn't a giant piece. I've been lifting and lugging it around all by my petite flower of a self. (I really hope you read that with sarcasm.) But it is a piece of furniture that will be extremely useful to someone. Not me, though. No room in the inn.

Much better. Much, much better.
Now there is some visual interest. I left the surfaces unpainted that would get the most use. You can see a similarly dramatic difference in a before and after picture of me in makeup. #redhead

I've put some of my jadeite and jars on it so you can visualize what it would look like in use.

Hope you love it!
XOXO,
Abby

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to Plan for a Home DIY Project


Spring Break for our kids is in just a few weeks. Because of Ken's job, this means that he will have some more free time on his hands than he usually does. So what are we doing for Spring Break? The beach? Lake? Stay-cation? Not quite.

We are diving head first into some home renovation projects. Some indoors and some outdoors. These are not projects that we have any kind of experience with. None. Zilch. This could be disastrous amazing! So if we have no experience with these types of projects, how do we expect to have a good outcome? Here are a few tips for you:

  • Research. ReSEARCH. REsearch. Easy to say, but how? We are researching in these ways: YouTube, Pinterest, Blogs, Books, and Friends. Search for the type of project you are doing, and endless results should come up. This is not a "one and done" type of research. We're piecing together tips and instructions from different sources that will work best for our house and our taste.


  • Measuring. Know exactly how much of each material you will need. Guessing is going to add to your frustration when you either have to go back for more or you buy too much. Frustrations = Stress = Bad Experience.
  • Pricing. This could go along with research, but it's important enough to stand on it's own. Know ahead of time how much you're going to spend on materials. Simply deciding to walk into a store and buy what you find isn't the best way to do things. You should shop around, price materials, and discover all of the options that are available to you.
  • Gather and prep your materials. I like to think of this as making a recipe for dinner. You're going to make sure you have all of the ingredients before you start cooking it. Make sure you have all of your "ingredients" before you start your project. If some items can be prepped ahead of time, like priming something, go ahead and do it before the day you plan to do the project.
  • Make sure you have the tools you need. If you need a tool such as a saw or nail gun that you don't have, make arrangements to buy it, borrow it, or rent it before the day of the project. You don't want to spend time on the day you start your project to track one down. Tool rental places may have rented all of them out, friends may not be reachable, and impulsively buying a tool that you need will likely lead to overspending.
When you take the time to plan ahead and prepare yourself with knowledge and materials, your project is going to go a lot smoother than if you don't.

Maybe next year on Spring Break we'll actually take a break. ;)

XOXO,
Abby