Saturday, October 31, 2009

Projects and Home Stuff

Now I will interrupt my travel journal to share some creative-type home stuff that has been going on around her lately:

So what do you do the weekend before your out of town family comes into town to visit? Clean your house? Grocery shop? Wash sheets? How about start a new quilt? Well, that is what I did three days before Nana and Papa were set to arrive. It was conference weekend and I figured that on Saturday while I was listening, I might as well be cutting out squares as well! I've been wanting to make a quilt with fall colors for a while. I don't know why I can't seem to get the concept that in order to use something that I've made during a season, I have to actually make it before that season starts. The problem is that during the season is when I'm in the mood to do it. I have to say though that it was kind of fun to be working on this quilt with all of the golds, browns, and reddish fabrics and look out my window and see those same colors outside. So anyway, I pulled out all of my fallish colored fabrics that I've been collecting for a while and got started. I wanted it to be the more muted fall colors, like when it's starting to fade a little- kind of how it looks here right now. I wanted it to be really simple patchwork, but it will have a double border on it. Then I will quilt it with just simple lines going through the squares. Hopefully I'll finish that in the next week or so, so it can be used while it actually is still fall!

So here are a few of my fall decorations on the NEW/OLD DROPLEAF CURBSIDE FIND TABLE that I finally finished fixing up:

(I should have moved that horse- another project I'll have to tell you about later)
My inspiration photo:

Remember what it looked like before?
Electric blue paint all over, yucky plywood sticky stuff covering the table top. In a word, ugly! It may not be perfect now, but it's a huge improvement.
So let me share with you some of the details of the project. I had been putting off finishing it for a while because there was really nowhere to put it. It was just sitting out on my porch looking pathetic for a couple of months. However, I decided to edit and change my living room around and make it so the table would fit.
I think later today I'll take some pics of that whole corner of the living room because it is looking so much cuter and way less cluttered and chaotic after removing an old sewing machine table and a kid play/craft table I had crammed into that same corner.
So anyway, I had already power sanded all of the flat spaces on the table, but I still needed to sand off as much of the blue as possible. Remember how I said how much I loved the table's cute little turned legs? Well, that was before I had to spend about 8 hours sanding them. A whole day! I always underestimate how long something like that will take. I figured, sand for an hour or so, prime, paint, done, in like a day or so. Well, of course it always takes 3x longer than you think.
So, after all of my sanding, I primed with regular white primer. A couple of tips, I usually turn stuff upside down and spray the legs first. I usually use Kilz spray- on white primer. I like spray paint because it is fast drying and doesn't have brush strokes in it when you're done. So, then flip it back up and do the top parts. I can't remember if I did two coats or not but I probably did. I always sand the primer down some to get rid of the little rough chunks all over the surface after the primer dries.
Then I used spray paint all over it, let it dry well, and then I distressed it some on the edges to give it a little more of a worn, antiquey look. I think I may redo some of my distressing on the legs, it's best to do just little lines on the edges. Mine got a little chunky looking.
So, a word about spray paint. Part of the reason I put off doing this project is that I was trying to decide what color to paint it. Isn't is WHITE, you may ask? Yes, it's white but I wanted the perfect SHADE of white! (my husband doesn't get this concept at all, to him white is white) The plain white spray paint that you get in the can is too bright and harsh looking. I've tried ivory and even sprayed my two other living room tables with it, but that has kind of a yellowish tint that I don't love, so I may have to redo those in the heirloom white. So, I thought of using real paint and got a bunch of chips, but that is such a pain.
So, I was reading another blog and this gal kept mentioning how she uses HEIRLOOM WHITE to paint everything. It's the perfect color white because it is a little bit creamy, but not too yellowish. Kind of a milky color. At first I couldn't find it, but then right there in my own town's Ace Hardware, there it was. And it comes in a can- major bonus! It is by Rustoleum. So I have now stocked up on it in case they discontinue it or something. I used satin finish for this project since I knew it would mostly be just for decor and stuff, but for a highly used piece of furniture, it can be better to use a glossier paint, and I'm not sure if this color comes in a glossier version. You could always go over it with a clear finish though too.
So anyhoo, I guess I have gone on long enough about my little white table! Not bad for a curbside find transformation. I'll probably take some more pictures (without the horse in front of it) and do a whole post for the diy day on Kimba's blog sometime soon.

Now, onto my NEXT finished project:
This post is basically to show you that yes, eventually I do actually finish some of the things I start!
So, I don't know if you remember a while ago I said that I was going to finish up some things that I had started- like, before I allowed myself to start anything new? Well, of course I couldn't stick to that completely, in that time I've started 3 new quilts. One was a Christmas gift though and it is now FINISHED, like way early for Christmas so I'm pretty proud of the fact that I won't be up all night Christmas eve doing quilt binding! (not for that quilt anyway)
Then I started the fall quilt, plus another one, BUT I also finished my Chistmas Star quilt. Finally- it only took me almost a year! I sent it off to my quilter in Utah just the other day, and hopefully I'll have it all finished up pretty soon to show you. She has a really fast turnaround for getting quilts done, so I'll bet it will be back within a couple of weeks. I also got the borders done on my pinwheel quilt, and sent that off to another quilter. AND I fixed this quilt and sent it off with the pinwheel quilt. There was one fabric in it that had bothered me since I finished it, so even though it was a huge pain, I took it apart, and got rid of that fabric. I'm so excited to see it finished, since I made the top almost a year and a half ago, and it's just been sitting there mocking me as another unfinished project for all that time!
For these two quilts I used the same quilter as Vanessa from V&Co (my favorite blogger ever), because I love the way she quilted Vanessa's pinwheel quilt and I wanted to use a specific design I'd seen on one of her quilts. I'm hoping that I'll have these back in the next few weeks or so. This other quilter is super busy so has a slower turnaround time. I actually sent those both off over two months ago, but I think she'll get to them pretty soon.

And if that weren't enough, I also finished my triple treat quilt and sent it off to a quilter in Maine. It was mailed back to me Wed so I'm expecting it to arrive TODAY! Hopefully anyway. So I guess I'll be spending the month of November binding quilts! It's good timing too because I've heard that this is supposed to be a hard winter- it's already snowed here so I believe it! So at least we'll have lots of quilts to snuggle up under.

Ok, well I didn't mean to ramble on so long, but I thought you might like a break from all of my vacation pics. I'll have lots more project photos coming up in the next few weeks!
ps. One important thing I forgot to mention. Did you notice anything new in my living room? Maybe not, because I have tried not to photograph the floor much in the past. That is because the carpet was stained, filthy, and hideous! Well, you might notice that now we have lovely, clean new carpet. What is something else that I do the day before out of town guests arrive? Move all the furniture out of the living room and get new carpet of course!! I can never seem to do things the simple way. And of course, as soon as we moved out all of the furniture, I noticed how awful looking the white paneling on my walls looked. So, what else would I do but paint them?! (When I started taking out paint supplies the night before, as he was ripping out the old carpet, my husband was like, oh, no- you're not! but of course, yes, I was!)
So, with newly painted walls and new carpet, I have to say that my mood has lifted a lot. I didn't realize how much this living room was bringing me down. The carpet was 10 years old, the paint was filthy and scratched up, the furniture was too much, too dark and made everything feel cramped and claustrophobic, and it was time for a change.
Now as I sit in the room I actually feel happy and calm, it was totally worth the craziness and I wish that we had done it a year ago! This carpet is awesome, it is a berber with a couple of colors in it, so we've only had to vacuum like once since we got it almost a month ago. How great is that.
Well, I could go on and on about my new carpet but I'll spare you. One thing I've learned though, is that you need to be happy with your environment at least to a degree to have a good mood overall. At least I do! I won't go so far as to say decorating=happiness, but it definitely has an effect. Everything doesn't have to be completely perfect but a little bit of beauty goes a long way.
Now if I could just get these couches, I'd be REALLY happy!

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