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So Vain 

I have a new Vanity!!!

Ok, like most things I own it isn’t “new”, just new to me. I received this desk as a hand me down gift from Mr. Smith’s aunt. 


The sewing machine from it still works by the way. 

 

I got it sanded this spring but work stopped as soon as the heat hit and we were off running around the country. 



I finally got around to working on it in earnest these past couple of weeks. 


The verticals supports and panels weren’t sanding out as well as I liked so I opted to paint them. 


The top and the drawer fronts however  were a glorious grain so I decided to stain them as close as possible to my bedroom furniture. 


We (my mother and I) lined the drawers with contact paper to protect them from the cosmetics that will go inside.

Beemer helped too


The hardware that was in the desk to begin with matched our furniture pretty well so I just cleaned it up and reattached it. 


Before I set up my inordinate amount of makeup on the desk I placed a plastic sheet (it’s actually from a poster frame) on the desk to prevent makeup getting embedded in the wood grain. 

I finally got to take all of my makeup out of bins and put it in real drawers in a proper vanity.


And yes that is a mechanics stool. 

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Kid Stuff

Just a couple small projects this week. First up my childhood friend the rocking horse. I never gave it a name. Or a gender for that matter. Comment what it’s name should be, I think it’s about time it got one. 

This poor, 26ish year old horse has spent the last 14 or so years in a garage loft and it shows.

My grandfather built it for me before my legs would even reach the pegs. And my grandmother painted the beautiful designs. 

As you can see the varnish has yellowed over the years. In fact you can see where my little hands wore off the varnish so the blue paint shows its true color around the hand holds.

I wanted to get rid of as much of the yellowing as I could while still keeping the lovely paint that my grandmother did, so I just did a wet sanding with a 150 and 220 grit sanding pad 

Now it just looks a little more antiqued than before, but still beautiful. I will eventually need to replace the tail, but for now it’s found a home in our dining room for our friends children to play on. 

Next up a project from Mr. Smith’s childhood. 

It’s not quite as pretty but it’s a bit more practical. It was his childhood toy box and before it was his it was someone else’s… I’m not sure whose, but obviously it’s pretty old and it’s pretty sturdy. It’s made out of scrap, solid wood, tongue and groove. 

And as you can see here a 6 year old Mr. Smith painted it. 

We freshened up the paint a bit using the same red and chalkboard as I did on the bar. As you can see it’s also going to need a new bottom. 

It also desperately needed new casters as the bearings in these had seized up. 

New casters, new bottom reinforced with a center strut thanks to some scrap paneling and wood…
I think Mr. Smith is excited about his newly remodeled toy box…. Or at least the toys

And it has found a cozy home in the breakfast nook. 

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Mid Century Modification

Here is a project I’ve been working on for a while. It’s been stuck in the planning stages since we moved in. This old dresser came from my great aunt who got it from her mother (my great grandmother) it’s in pretty rough shape.

 So I took a couple of the worse for wear drawers out so I could use the space for shelves.
  

And tah dah new entertainment center.


 

Luckily we got some bed side tables that had this strange MDF packing material that was the perfect size to serve as a base for the shelves. We just glued and nailed some plywood on the top and a strip of oak on the front to help it match the esthetic of the rest of the piece. 

   
   

 
Next it was time to shore up the legs. The original lumber was pretty dry rotted so after salvaging the nut out of the old piece we seated it into a scrap of deck lumber. I don’t think we’ll have any stability problems there.

 
 

We also put a new back on it after the old one fell right off. Then cut some holes in the new back to run wiring for components. 

  
Finally it was time for paint, I originally used Valspar Chalky finish paint… Big mistake, it was so toothy even attempting to put on the finishing wax was impossible. So inevitably I just went over it with my usual satin finish latex.

 
  

 
I added a couple of orange accents as well, to the base of the legs and the backer board.

  
 
 

With everything back in place it looks pretty good. I may still refinish the drawer fronts so they match the rest of the furniture but for now I think it looks great.

 

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Hasty 

I literally just finished doing this. I’m still covered in paint and am finally out of a cross legged position only to find myself pinned down by The Little.

  
 Might as well make the most of it and do a post while I’m unoccupied. Thank goodness for mobile blogging. I was going to do a post about the ugliest cheese cake known to man. 

  
My husband got me a kitchen aid stand mixer. It’s marvelous but there is a reason I don’t do food blogs. I love to cook and it usually tastes great but that doesn’t mean it’s pretty. Thus was the story with my improvised salted caramel cheesecake. Essentially a basic cheesecake with brown sugar and a smidge of salt in the crust and a gooey caramel topping with salt sprinkled on it. 

It was hideous and only lasted two days 

On to much prettier things. 

  
Our bar is a giant white monolith and our kitchen doesn’t have much character what with being all black and white. I’ve introduced little pops of red inspired by our China which was  handed down from my husband’s great grandmother. It’s wonderful paired with my mom’s Avon glass collection she passed on to me.

  
And we have somehow managed to have a chalkboard theme in the kitchen… It’s on mugs & glasses, picked out by Mr. Smith but I ran with it and got canisters and even have the theme  in the pantry. 

  
So now that I’ve got the breakfast nook furnished and stools for the bar we’ve decided to expand the red and chalkboard theme 

  
(Ok, admittedly the nook still needs some curtains. It’s one of the only rooms that will get them.) 

After prepping the area with tape the brackets to the bar got the red treatment. 

   

  
I thought it looked better even after one coat 

  
About four coats later 

Here is a tip, if you happen to get paint on any hard surface (laminate, hardwood, tile, stone, cured paint)  you don’t want it on, magic erasers will take it right off even if it has dried.

  
After a little clean up our bar is looking pretty great. 

  
I’m going to wait a couple weeks for the paint to cure before we start doodling on it 

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Progress update: 1 month 

It’s been exactly 1 month since we moved in and most everything is unpacked and furnished. I spent today hanging some pictures and getting a few things cleaned up So I figured I would give you a bit of a progress report while things were clean lol. 

   Our massive bookshelves are finally stocked with all of our books… Ok not all, there are a couple smaller shelves in other parts of the house.
   
  And the dining room is looking rather smashing as well. It’s just missing a mirror on that far wall, unfortunately I ran out of picture wire. 

Now that the china cabinet is in it (which I foolishly didn’t get a picture of) I’m debating whether the dining room “needs” a rug. Personally I think it might just make it busy, plus food stuffs in rugs; it is not fun. What do you guys think? 

We’ve also managed to get the daybeds in each office sorted out 

   
 
Now it’s just a matter of artwork, I think I’ll go with old botanical prints for my office (the green) and we will carry over the map theme we had in the other house for Mr. Smith. Some of the frames are already the right color. 

  
Hmmmmm I sense a honeymoon destination. 

  
The teal is going to have to have a quick repaint. 

Not too bad for a month’s work  when we started with a pretty darn empty house. 

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New Beginings

We started on a couple of new projects today. They are going to be in the works for a long time, mostly because we are still working on getting settled into our new house. 

One of them is this old mid-century modern dresser that was passed down to me from my great grand mother.

  
 We actually have the set but the dresser is going to be our new entertainment center, believe it or not.

I just removed a couple of the drawers that are a little worse for ware. 

  
See it’s better already,

Used a hole saw to cut a few holes for components in the backer board. Or let Mr. Smith do so, since hole saws terrify me after my father almost lost a finger to one. 

  
And voila 

  
I plan on painting the top, sides,  and bottom boards, as well as the vertical support in the middle. Then I’ll  refinish the drawer fronts and feet and stain them a darker wood color to match the other furniture in the house. Im still not sure what color I’ll paint the exterior. I might go with the same TARDIS blue the side table is. What do you think? 

I’ll save the other project we started on for a later post. It’s going to be quite a doosie in the long run. 

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New year, new house

Sorry for the lack of posts. It turns out moving can take a bit of time away from hobbies. As I’m dictating this we are on our way to ikea (because that’s where you go for an inordinate amount of shelving) to get bookcases.

Have you ever tried to calculate how many linear feet of book cases you might need? These are some serious book nerd problems. 

  
All of those totes, suitcases, bags and baskets are full of books. Our collection currently takes up an approximately 10×10 ft space and is stacked about 4 high. Soooooo… The calculation is a lot.  Oddly enough both of us have purged our book collections down to about half their size in the last two years… I’m slightly annoyed by what little difference this has made and by the fact that I still have books packed away at my parents house not pictured here. 
  
The room the majority of the books are going in is currently the only room with a modicum of (not secondhand or remnants from our childhoods) furniture thanks to homegoods 

I’m looking forward to sharing more of our home’s transformation with you.  I promise I have at least three large furniture remodels in the future and to top it off my own garage to do them in!!!