Monday, January 31, 2011

Let The Sunshine In

Here in Jersey we've been getting hit by storm after winter storm but today there seems to be a break, and the sun has been shining all morning! So in the spirit of the approaching Spring season I felt the need to make a delicious smoothie for lunch. Combine and blend 1 banana, strawberries, blueberries, and about a cup of milk:

Poured into one of my mustache glasses

And although this break won't last (we're supposed to get another storm tomorrow) I am going to embrace what little sun we have. So in the words of my mother, Come On Sunshine!!


And for those of you who don't speak Italiano (myself included) that means Finished! And I am so happy to say that I am completely finished with my bedroom dresser refinishing project. After a long seven months I finally have something to show for all that time and effort. Here's the bummer though: I never took before photos! I don't know what I was thinking but I just never got around to shooting any before shots of the two dressers and one nightstand. Bummer. So here's the only thing I have to offer in terms of Before photos:

This is the tall dresser, there is also a low three-drawer dresser and of course the nightstand.

The Before color, similar to this:

I even checked back on my parent's computer since I was doing most of the refinishing at their house, but no photos there either. Oh well, these "Befores" will have to do.

As for the color I chose, I decided to go with Minwax Red Mahogany after seeing how beautiful it turned out over here. I applied two coats, about five hours apart, of the stain and then two coats, about five hours apart, of the polyurethane. For the top coat polyurethane I used Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane.

And just as another reminder, here are our previous hand-me-down dressers:

And here are the Afters of our new dressers:

Dan's dresser

My dresser

The nightstand, which lives in our closet.

Don't let the color of the stain fool you. The "Red" in Red Mahogany is very subtle and the color truly turns out to be a nice rich dark brown with hints of red in the sunlight. So there they are- my four year, seven month project that has finally come to an end, and I couldn't be happier to finally have a set that I love. And although these dressers may seem smaller than the ones we used to have, they actually hold a surprising amount and we had no issues whatsoever moving and fitting our clothes into the new dressers.

Check back tomorrow for the entire bedroom reveal!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ping Pong Pad

Okay I just saw this on Yahoo and thought you all might like to see just how creative some people are!

"Daniel Arsham’s apartment in Brooklyn is a mere 90 square feet. The apartment’s a loft attached to the offices of Snarkitecture, the cool-kid architecture firm where Arsham is a partner, and it’s basically just a room that serves two functions: sleeping and dressing. The walls look like great big, pixelated screens that fade from gray to white as you approach the ceiling. On closer inspection, the pixels are actually ping-pong balls -- a whopping 25,000 of ‘em. The rest of the place is a study in simplicity. Arsham’s got a bed with some built-in shelves and a dresser, where he keeps a few clothes. To enter the loft, he climbs a ladder through the office’s employee bathroom." source

Check out the apartment:

Talk about minimalistic living! Anyone into the whole "living in simplicity" thing? Obviously this apartment isn't suited to normal every day living, since there isn't even a kitchen or bathroom, but it's pretty darn creative!

A Temporary Fix

In case you hadn't heard, I am on the perpetual look-out for something similar to this lovely brass coffee table:

Or this one
Or even this one

And since I haven't had much luck finding one, and our current coffee table is a too-small square coffee table, I decided to do a little DIYing. See down in our dusty basement laundry room there sat this dusty desk for as long as we've lived here and probably longer even. 

I believe it may have belonged to my sister-in-law (Cindy, yes?) but I decided it needed a home in our living room. So we simply chopped down the legs to the same height as our other table, cleaned it up, and brought it into the room.

If you look closely you may notice the front had a small desk which is missing. 
I think I may just cover up the opening with a simple piece of wood.

I know its not the highest quality piece of furniture but I can't help but love the table's nod to the mid-century modern aesthetic which is oh so prevalent around the decorating world these days. Oh and the fact that it was F-R-E-E! It actually turns out this one is slightly too tall since we mistakenly measured just the legs and forgot to take the top into consideration (duh). So we just need to go back and shave about an inch off the bottom. But for now I'm loving the new FREE coffee table and it's nice big surface since we tend to eat dinner on it every night always sometimes. Happy Friday!

P.S. Having to work on the snow day pushed back the big bedroom reveal, but I promise there will be plenty to see next week!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fabric Warehouse

I suppose this post could double as a Store Review but I really just wanted to share about the Fabric Warehouse in Rahway that we went to over the weekend. It was incredible. My friend Liz tipped me off about the big sale they were having, 50% off of EVERYTHING, so I knew I couldn't waste the opportunity. My husband Dan actually agreed to go and was excited about it due to the fact that he was in need of thick upholstery fabric to cover the bench seat of his 50 Chevy Pickup. So we went, along with my sister Donna, her husband Max, and our brother Nathan. The boys were happy they actually had something specific to look for, since all men pretty much hate browsing. And we girls were happy to look through aisles and piles of discounted fabric! {Warning: These photos are from my phone}

Donna showing off a print she likes

If you can't read the sign, it says "Assorted Prints $2.00/yd"!

And here are a few shots of some prints I especially liked:

LOVED this pale green/gray quatrefoil.

Donna pointed out this navy and white beauty.

Someone must've been planning a baby girl's room since these two were found together.

Also loved the black and white stripe. Reminiscent of this photo I am more than slightly obsessed with:

Which ties in very nicely with what I actually did go home with:

Blue Ikat, 3 yards, Originally $7/yd-50% off= 3.50/yd= $10.50
Red Flowers and Bows, 3 yards, Orig $2/yd- 50% off=1/yd= $3.00
Black and White Houndstooth, 2 yards, Orig $2/yd-50% off=1/yd= $3.00
Grand Total= $16.50!

All of these will most likely wind up as pillows. But we shall see...

A close-up of the Ikat that had me at Hello. I actually found it and loved it but didn't pick it up and decided to walk around a bit more. But right before I went to check out I just had to go back and get that beautiful Ikat which is oh so similar to my inspiration room above, and here:

I can't wait to get started working with these fabrics. I actually am completely clueless when it comes to the sewing machine but I think I'm gonna give it shot, probably with the help of my mom and sister. If that doesn't work, I may resort to iron-on hem tape. I'll keep you posted!

And if I were to give this a Store Review rating, I would rate it a B+
{The sale prices were definitely an A, but the regular pricing earned it the B+}

P.S. Just in case anyone is wondering, here is the After of Dan's bench seat:

It's Here

And by "It" I am of course referring to my Ikea Kajsa Blad duvet cover E-bay impulse purchase. Although it wasn't completely an impulse buy. I had been to Ikea earlier this month with the intention of purchasing this bedding set which was a total steal at $14.99 for a Queen duvet and two pillowcases. But alas, it was the only queen set out of stock of all the sets they had! Then came E-bay where I quickly found the set and payed the same amount in shipping which still added up to only 30 bucks and is a great deal when it comes to duvet sets.

Here are a few images that inspired my purchase:

You can read about the whole shopping and purchasing story here in this post. We've had it for a few days and are loving it! So without further adieu:

You only get a sneak peek for now because the whole bedroom is about to be revealed. Stay tuned!
{And yes I am aware that all my pillows are off-centerd. Will correct that for the final reveal.}

Happy snow day! Now go out and build a snowman, drink hot chocolate, or organize something.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I've Been Up To Something

Yup it's true. I have been up to something...for the past seven months! I started a project way back in June that I still have not finished to this day. But I have made a lot of progress and I think the end is in sight. See it all started with a set of hand-me-down furniture we got when we first were married. We inherited a bedroom set from a good friend of the family that served its purpose for the past four years and it was time to upgrade. The furniture was actually nice, solid, well-made Bennington Pine furniture that will probably out-live me. But it was a colonial-style which isn't really my "thing" so I was done with the hand-me-downs and wanted to get something to call my own, and didn't just inherit.

Lookin' pretty dusty and naked without its drawers. 

They were fine while they lasted.

So in came good ol' Craig and his lists and I found a set of two dressers with a nightstand for 90 bucks that needed a little TLC. Sweet. We picked them up the next day and I got busy right away sanding, staining, and finishing one of the dressers and the nightstand.

Then, I ran out of steam. And school started. And it got colder. And I'm lazy. So the last dresser sat, unfinished, for the past seven months. Then finally (like a week ago) my motivation kicked back in gear and I decided to finish the set once and for all! On Saturday I brought all 5 drawers and the dresser frame down the four flights of stairs to the porch to complete the project. But I'm pretty sure I'm a total lame-o because I don't think I took any before photos. I have to double-check that though. But for reference, this is the color wood I was working with, although not at all the style:

This may be the only before I have...but I'll check again...

Me in action. I have on about 5 layers and Dan's Russian hat. It is 20°at midday.

These are a lifesaver. I have one in each glove. It is THE only way I could have finished sanding in this weather.

And here it is, all sanded and just waiting to be finished.
{It even LOOKS cold out there, and it sure was}

I filled in all the little cracks with Elmer's stainable wood filler. Waiting to be sanded.

The day ended with a celebratory bowl of Ramen Noodles and a hot shower.

I cannot wait to finally get this bad boy stained and sealed and after seven months and four years I will finally have a new bedroom set. Wahoo! As to where the other set went, my brother inherited them from me and he actually loves them. It's a win-win. I will keep you posted if I find more Before photos and reveal the finished products. Anyone else ever taken FOREVER to finish a project of their own?

P.S. My new bedding came in and we've been loving it! Check back soon for all the afters.
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