Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Thank You Heart

I mentioned in my last post that Shaun's father has recently passed away. We've been off work the past couple weeks on bereavement leave, but our bosses at work (we work at the same place) sent us flowers on the second day we were gone, so of course I wanted to make a Thank You card for their kindness.

This is what I made:
This was a card that was available in the "Make it Now" projects from Cricut called "Thank you from the many colors of my heart". (I believe it is user submitted because I could not find a link to the image, but here is the card on Pinterest.) I changed it somewhat but it has the same feel. And you can't see it, but the heart does have texture.

Had I known that we would have taken the full two weeks' leave, I would have mailed it. Oh well, we'll just hand deliver it when we return. At least I am getting it shared sooner rather than (six months) later...

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Beers to You, Dad

Considering Shaun's Father just passed away on July 13, this post is bittersweet to share. But I did say I would be sharing a lot of different things, working backwards and somewhat randomly. What better place to start than with something that was made for someone we've both been thinking about?

This is the Father's Day card I made for Shaun's dad this year. Unlike in previous years (where we weren't sure if he did or didn't get it), this year we know he got it because he called us when he did and thanked us for it. So at least he got to enjoy at least one of my creations we've sent...

This card is a Cricut image that was available.  I made some changes to it, to make it look more like Paul's favorite beer, Pabst Blue Ribbon. (For Comparison, here is what the original card looks like.) Since I couldn't make it exact (obviously), I made what changes I could. And the card is can-shaped, which is perfect.

Here's the inside of the card:

And the card next to the inspiration source:

Overall, I am really pleased with it and Shaun loved it. And Paul seemed to have liked it, so that makes me happy.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sewing Desk Makeover (A tutorial, too!)

My Goodness, I have been a bad little crafty girl. I have been making things, but not sharing them here. Naughty, Naughty! I would like to be better at that but it's hard because I often get sucked into the internet and do not do what I even came to do. I'll probably start sharing things, working backwards or somewhat randomly. But for now, I really wanted to share my most recent project, and my first real DIY....

My Lovely New Desk:

Isn't she pretty?!  She certainly is now, but definitely didn't look like this when I got it.


Pretty beat up, right? The desk was missing some hardware (one drawer pull, as you can see), was missing some of the trim, and was pretty scratched up. But I saw potential. And for $10, I was willing to try.

When I went to Goodwill a few weeks ago, I wasn't even looking (much) for furniture--I was actually there to drop off clothes we had sitting around--but I figured I may as well look to see if there were any good deals on any storage items I could use. I saw this and thought: "That would make a good sewing desk."  So I brought it home (which was an ADVENTURE in itself, let me tell ya), and pondered the possibilities and what I wanted to do with it.

I knew I wanted it Pink, but my friend Samantha suggested Black drawers, and I thought that sounded interesting but couldn't picture it. So I  drew a general desk shape and colored it on my computer and tested a few ideas, and decided that the black drawers WOULD be nice. I originally drew it with black hardware on the bottom drawers (I had already bought the pink knobs for the top so had included them in drawings), but Shaun asked about white. So I changed the design and it looked nice. So I guess you could say that even though I did all the work, this project was a collaboration. :)

Here is the process, if you were curious or wanted to do something similar.

Step 1: I Removed the Hardware. (Not Pictured, but it is as easy as taking a screwdriver and unscrewing it.) I also removed the trim from the inside since it was missing it on one side. I contemplated getting something like some molding medallions to replace it/even out the  space, but after I took off the other trim, I decided it didn't really NEED it, so let it be.

Step 2: I Gave it a sanding. How much you need to sand it depends on a few factors such as how beat up it is, what you're going to be doing with it (paint/stain, etc).  I sanded the surface scratches away, and decided that some of the gouges gave it charm so didn't worry about those other than to sand the sharp edges. (If your piece has gouges and it bothers you, you can always use wood putty before sanding to fill it. I chose not to take extra steps.) And the spray paint I used was Paint + Primer in one (I used Krylon's ColorMaster), so I didn't need to prime--so I only sanded enough to smooth surface scratches and to remove the shiny varnish top layer.

Step 3: Next, I painted the Drawers. 
Step 4: Now it's time to paint the desk! Once you have drop cloth/painting station set up, don a mask--highly recommended-it's one thing to paint small drawers without one where you can escape the fumes a few minutes later, but not a whole piece of furniture. Now, shake that paint like a Polaroid Picture and follow directions on the can to paint your piece. This part look a long time over a couple days.

Step 5: Relax on the couch after a hard day's painting. You earned it.
[Hubby wanted a picture because he thought I looked cute, but hey, now that my lounging is a documented step, may as well include it. ;)]

Step 6: I cleaned and pained my hardware. Originally, I wanted to replace ALL the hardware and make it more modern, but I could not find hardware that fit the mount screw holes since this desk used non-standard mount distance of 2.5" and standard is 3"--which I learned from spending way too much time looking in Home Depot and online and only coming up with 3"--and since I didn't want to have to extra steps of wood putty, etc., AND I had already painted my drawers, I said "FIIINE, I'll use the existing..." But not without cleaning it first. It was NASTY.
To clean it, I soaked it in Apple Cider Vinegar (but white vinegar would work too,  I just didn't have any on hand) for a couple hours and then took an old toothbrush to it to scrub off the remaining tarnish/dirt. This picture shows before-ish (but still after soaking) and after cleaning. That alone made a huge difference, but it still needed a face-lift. Enter white spray paint.

Step 7: Replace Hardware and put drawers back, and TADA! New Desk is complete.

Before and After:

What a huge difference! It's not perfect (but you have to look for the imperfections), but I am really pleased with the result-a great new sewing desk for me. For my VERY First DIY like this, I am very proud of myself and the result. Now... to rearrange things so I have a place to put said desk...

And just in case you were wondering, this does NOT have to be too expensive. Here's a break down of what I spent, not counting sand paper since that can be used for other projects:

-6 cans of Pink Spray Paint: $27.44 (One can was bought at Michaels a week or so before the project, $5.99 after 40% off coupon, all the rest were bought from Fred Meyer for $4.29 each.)
-1 can Black spray paint: $3.99 (On sale at Fred Meyer, normally $4.29)
-1 can White spray paint: $3.99 (On sale at Fred Meyer, normally $4.29)
-3 Pink "Crystal" knobs on top drawers: $1.50 (on clearance at Michaels for $0.50/each--this actually worked out well because I had seen them for several months at $1.50 each and never bought them because I didn't have a use for them, but the day I was there, they had EXACTLY 3 left. FATE!)
-Desk itself: $10
Total Project Cost: $46.92  Not bad for a total revamp and for something that I love and suits me well!

Hopefully you're feeling inspired! I'd love to hear if you're taking on any DIY projects, too. Thanks for stopping by!