Monday, March 22, 2010

Time

I have a confession (I know. I confess a lot on here. But hey, that's why I write, right?) I'm a tad bit obsessed with time. More specifically knowing what time it is. I have a clock in every single room of my house (except the bathrooms, but that's because I've never found one I liked for those). Most rooms have more than one. I get really bugged when I want to know what time it is and can't see a clock. I stress when I forget my cell phone, not because I can't call someone, but because I never know what time it is otherwise.

I'm currently working on fixing up our living room (more about that another day, but lets just say my arms are REALLY tired from all the work.) Nothing would make this room more cool that a giant clock. Like this one. (the black one) Right above my piano. I might even win one. Want a chance too? Check out Remodelaholic's giveaway.

sigh. If only no one else ever entered contests. I'd get so many cool things!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

To all viruses, baterias, and other nasties in the area,

Dear Nasties,

This is your formal written notice. You are requested to leave the Hotel Euless Family immediately. Although your presence has been . . . interesting, your stay is has lead to a multitude of unwanted consequences. The family budget did not plan for four doctor visits in three weeks. Monsieur Pink Eye, Madam Double Ear Infection, Mr Stomach Bug, and Miss Strange Leg Pains are especially requested to leave the entire planet so no other occupants need be subjected to your various ills. We also request that you take all Head Colds with you. While we recognize the benefits to some bacteria in the domicile, all yuckies are no longer welcome.

Sincerely,

The Euless Family

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do you knock off wood?



A couple of months ago I found Knock off wood. If you haven't heard of this blog, you must not follow very many craft blogs. She is awesome! Basically, it's a mom that loves to make furniture. Really nice furniture. So she takes pictures of stuff from places like Pottery Barn and Land of Nod and figures out how to make them. Then she posts the plans - FOR FREE for the world to make their own.
I've been drooling. Seriously. I want to build something for every room in my house.

Well, I FINALLY got around to getting some wood. For my first project, I decided to do THIS plan: the simple easy console table. But since I apparently have an inability to keep anything simple or easy, I had to change it. I needed some shelves for this puppy. I really wanted drawers, but those are supposed to be harder. So here's how I changed it.

The original plan:
My table:
The shelves are made from (4) 1/3's cut to 38" long. The bottom one is screwed into the top of the side supports, and the upper shelf is screwed into the bottom of the side aprons. I also changed out the 1 x 4 to a 1x6 to give a bit more room for the top shelf.

I spent $27 on the wood, and another $40 for all the screws, sandpaper, glue, stain, pre-conditioner, and poly to finish it. So a total of $70 out of pocket, but I've got enough of the supplies to make another dozen things. It took me about 8 hours to build it total, but I'm a newbie to wood work, so I was slow, and I had a newborn that didn't want to sleep AT ALL that first day!

My stresses with this table: first of all, I don't have a nail gun. If I had, I would agree that this would be a simple easy table. Instead I used screws, which meant I had to drill every hole, switch to a driver bit, and then screw in the screw. Very time consuming. But it's sturdy!

Second: I'm cheap. And I bought some cheap boards for my 1x3's. I saved like $10 or something by buying the cheap boards instead of the nice ones. But added 300 hours of stress with them! They weren't quite the required 10" wide for the shelves. So I had to slightly stagger them for the shelves, which meant I had to sand them to perfection so I could stain the sides before attaching them. They were pretty chewed up in places, so sanding was a LONG process. And they were bowed in some places so getting them to attach at all was an adventure.

Third: I've never built anything in my life. I did this with Happy Mom, who had never really built anything either. So it took a long time to figure out how to do stuff. The first leg took us like 30 minutes to figure out. But then I did the next 3 in another 20. Each step was like that. The first part took forever to do, but then it got faster.
Fourth: the finish. Did you know that wood glue is not stain-able? Yah, neither did I until I stained my table. Apparently you have to buy special glue for that. So I've got white patches where the glue dripped out and I didn't sand it enough (but thought I had!). I did get "stainable" wood putty, but you can still totally see where the screws are (REALLY wish I had a nail gun!). Also, those blankety blank stupid cheap boards totally took the stain different. Here's my nice beautiful 1x12 board:(see that blob dot in the corner. That's the "stainable" putty. grrrrr!)

Now check out the legs of my table:

I console myself by saying it just looks nice and rustic. Of course that totally was NOT the look I was going for, but it works for now. Some time I'll fix it (I think I'll save staining for when I'm a bit more experienced!)

My tips: do this with someone. It's really hard to get things evenly matched up without an extra set of hands to holds stuff together. If you can't do it with someone, you need a bunch of big old clamps so the clamps can hold the wood together while you drill and screw together. Or get a nail gun. I think it's going on my wish list for Christmas! And don't save yourself $10 with cheap boards. It's not worth the stress!

Next on my list: THIS bed for Buddy's new room.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Closet Chaos

You know that one place in your house that you never seem to get to? The one that collects clutter that just sits there being ugly? (please tell me you have one of those places too. If not, this post will be very lonely!) The one you're sure is going to take a million years to fix? And/or a thousand dollars to make look really nice? This was mine:
My hall closet. When we moved in, anything that just needed some kind of home got shoved in here. I've put a couple of things in different places, but I've never really re-done this puppy. It's just sat there, cluttered, unorganized, and UGLY! I recently read a blog talking about making things "good enough". If you don't have the money to make it the way you really want it, take a step back from "perfection," to "just good enough." Well, I could do that part, and it really was driving me crazy, so I finally decided to tackle it.
First off was some major needed organization. But, it was the wrong time of the budget to be shopping for containers to coral my mess. So I turned to that old staple: cardboard boxes. I was going to cover them in fabric, but didn't have any scraps big enough. So instead I cut off the flaps, slapped some paint the previous owners had left in the basement on them, and called it good.
Next I pulled everything off the shelves. I was trying to think ahead to when my baby will be into EVERYTHING. With that in mind, I moved the cleaners to the top, and the "big people" games up higher too. I tried to make all the low stuff baby safe.

Then I took off those ugly doors. Ahh, now I can actually see what's in the other half. My closet is so big now I can't even fit it all in one shot. A bit more straightening, and Viola!
Oh, that's so much better. It's not perfect - I really want better looking baskets and stuff. But it's such a huge improvement. It's my good enough for now version, and I'm happy with it.


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