Monday, April 16, 2012

not perfect, just beautiful

I saw this great saying the other day that went something like this:

A bird does not sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a SONG.

I like it. I think that "a song" could also be replaced with "JOY".  
Not happiness, but joy.

Today I feel the difference between happiness and joy.  Although I have a large to-do list for the week ahead of me - one that may be stressful and will certainly be busy - my heart is full and I am content.

The most beautiful things in life are not seen, 
but are felt with the heart.

Today, the simplest things are beautiful to me.
New clothesline, dandelions, moist earth, sunshine, green grass -
such inconsequential things these are to be bringing so much joy.

clean. fresh. sunshine.

busy little fingers

exploring the world around her

picked just for me

Yes, my heart if full. It is bursting with song.

This is a perfectly beautiful moment to be alive.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Reverse Stencil Painted Table

I finished project #2, but it is not perfect.

It all started with this little $5 table that I found.  It seemed sturdy enough for kid abuse and was the perfect height for a patio end table - you know, somewhere to set you cup of tea or plate of grilled food when you're enjoying the sunshine.

The table needed some pizzazz though, 
and this is the coffee table that came to mind when I contemplated whether to stain or paint mine.

lacquered coffee table with woodgrain
I was going to both stain and paint it!
So I stained the top of the table and the shelf, since I was going for a two-toned look.
I filled the holes and applied a polyurethane over the stain.

Then, using adhesive card stock and a stencil, I cut out my bird and leaf design (here's where a cricut or silhouette would come in really handy). I placed my sticker on the table top, and covered the shelf with plastic as I wanted that to remain stained.

After rubbing the sticker for a good 2 minutes to ensure it was stuck good, I held my breath and sprayed the entire table with primer.

Not good! The sticker was not sticking!  I rubbed it back down and applied a thin coat of spray paint, then peeled off the sticker to check my work.

Darn! The lines aren't all crisp!  If you try this, I would recommend trying the adhesive vinyl ($9.99 at Joann's) over the cardstock.
Since my baby was getting fussy at this point, I stuck the table in the garage and forgot about it for a few days. After Dean assured me that it still looked neat with the soft edges, even intentional, I  covered the design with painters tape and finished the job.

It might not be obvious in the picture, but you can see edges where the painters tape was and the paint is very thin around the bird design, but thick everywhere else.

If I were to do this again, I would use adhesive vinyl and I would not peel off the sticker until I was completely done painting.  I was actually contemplating sanding down that corner of the table top and doing it again.
But, I've run out of nice weather

This is the 2nd furniture post that my kids have made it into this month.  Aren't they cute?
so it will stay as is for now.  Oh well.
And truthfully, it might just stay as is for more than just now.

Completed table! And yes, the green outdoor carpet has got to go!
Once I use it a few times, I probably won't even notice the imperfections.  Besides, by then some other crafty bee will have lodged itself in my bonnet and I will be on to something else. ;)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day trip to the Grand Canyon via Railway

Isn't it Grand? Isn't it... Hey, Donovan!

No you cannot climb the wall! 

And that is why I did not take more photos than I did.  I was kind of shooting from the hip while on the go  the entire day.
We, my sister and I with all our kids, had a blast though!

All Aboard!!!!

The kids loved the train, becoming Jr. Rangers at the Grand Canyon, all the cowboys,
and did I mention the train?

It was a great experience.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Char's makeover - a diy project

DIY project number one is complete!  I think.

Perhaps you recall me saying that I wanted to de-brownify my room (I think I just made up a new word). I thought that the first step to that would be making a quilt for our bed.  I thought wrong.
Because, Duh!, a queen size quilt will take me a year to make. That's too long to live with all the brown. Besides, who wants to be inside sewing when it's spring?!

I don't know why I didn't think of this six months ago, but a great way to de-brownify a room is to hang something on the wall that isn't brown. Duh! once again!
I have this beautiful framed needlepoint that my mother made (I'm still giddy that I got first dibs on it over my sisters).  I think it looks perfect over Elaina's changing station (and wouldn't a soft gray color on the walls look great?).

I absolutely love it! Knowing that my mother made it with her own two hands makes me love it even more.

Okay, that was an easy step towards de-brownifying.
When I got an itch to do-over something the next week, my eyes fell on my sewing desk chair.
Let's call her Char (pronounced shar), shall we?
Char is very sturdy and well-built; that's why I bought her from a thrift store years ago (at which point I just recovered her seat).  She has some pretty, solid legs as well as a nice curvy back, but it's kind of hard to get past all the scars and well-worn look.

So I took her apart and did some sanding.  I didn't worry about getting all of the old coat off because I was going to be using primer. Here she is looking kind of naked and bare.

I had used wood filler on one of the bigger gouges and then I gave her a good coat of steely gray primer. She didn't care for that look either; too harsh and cold.
After a few coats of Rust-o-leum Satin Heirloom spray paint (she took two cans), she was looking much better.

I recovered the seat with some new upholstery fabric, and I have to admit that I don't love it.  It's a bit too...Frenchy.  I'm kicking myself for not buying the pretty blue fabric I saw red tagged a month ago at Joann's, but at the time, Char wasn't on my makeover list. I'm keeping my eye out for a good deal on some different fabric.  In the meantime, here she be.

Amazing transformation, huh?!
What I can't decide on, is whether or not to 'distress' her and sand down some edges to the wood.  The scars show through the fresh coat of paint, so I feel like she's already half way there, but I am a bit hesitant to take the sandpaper to all my hard work.

What do you think?  Distress her or not?

Here is Char sitting at my desk, looking pretty, fresh, and bright.

Whoohoo, that's one less brown item in my room!

On a different note, I have done absolutely no laundry today.  How's that for balancing?  Since I had so much fun today working on project #2, finishing up this project, and sharing it with you, I do not regret it. Unless of course I hear "Mom, I have no clean clothes to wear!" in the morning.

As far as project #2, I'll come back and share that one next week.  My house could use some attention and we could probably use some clean underwear around these parts.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


For a few days now, my mind has been building a writing a couple blog posts. Finding the time to edit photos and sit down and write, however, has not been my priority. Right now, my baby is sitting on the counter beside me as I write this. She needs a nap.  Then I need to switch out the laundry. I was hoping to organize some closets today and pack away too small clothes.  I want to finish painting a chair. A menu needs to be made, groceries need to be bought.

It strikes me as funny how some days my to-do list is miles long (like today), and other days (like yesterday) I allow myself to be lazy, accomplishing nothing but not feeling particularly good about myself or the day either.

I'm working on achieving the right balance between what I consider work and what I consider play.  On making the time to do the things I enjoy, like blogging and diy projects, while keeping the clockwork of our home running at the same time.

This computer and internet throw monkey wrenches into my plan.  Facebook, Pinterest, and numerous blogs are a lot of fun, but so easy to waste time at. However, this morning, in between tasks, I struck gold.  Do you ever read something that just grabs you? That makes you think? That inspires you?

I guess I am just letting you know that my blog posts about our fun weekend are still coming.  The posts about the furniture projects I'm in the middle of are still coming.  Coming eventually. Coming as I work to balance the work and the play. So until then...have a good day!
Right now, I'm off to be a mom and homemaker.