Tuesday, April 11, 2017

We're Moving!

Hello, dear readers! I'm back with some exciting news today. We have a new house! We are still in the process of selling our current one, but with a bit of help from our family, we were able to secure a lovely new home which curiously enough is about four streets away from the house that I grew up in when we moved to WA in 1990. Once upon a time, the new home stands where once a thick forest of evergreen trees lived. Sadly, shortly after I moved out of my parents home, the forest was cut down and then the economy plummeted with the land sitting vacant for over a decade waiting for a new buyer/developer. The same year that I got married, the houses were finally starting to be built and we actually toured one of the model homes. We loved the neighborhood and we've come full circle.

Western Washington is growing by leaps and bounds with lots of out of state license plates on our freeways and in our neighborhoods. The Seattle suburb where I live is centrally located near several main freeways and in between two major cities. It seems that everybody (and their brother) wants to live here with our natural beauty and strong economy. The housing market has gotten very competitive and there isn't a lot of inventory available with homes selling within a matter of 24 hours. Great for us when we finally list ours but not so great when it comes to planning/buying. Every time I found something that would fit our family, it would quickly disappear. I was starting to fear that we would sell our house right out from under us without a place to go. However, my in-laws stepped in and made sure we have a place to call our own for which I am forever grateful. I truly do have the most amazing in-laws and I am so fortunate to have them in my life. Anyway, we have some linoleum in the bathroom to tack down, the pantry door to fix, a few more areas to de-clutter and then we are ready to put our house on the market. We have our final walk-through with our real estate agent next week and then it will be listed! Finally.

I am ready to turn the page on the past few years and start writing a new story. It's our five year anniversary this year and I feel as if we've lived under a cloud of what once was and near financial ruin, neither of which was my doing. This new home is all ours and it offers us a desperately needed fresh start with all new possibilities.

I've included a few photos from the listing, it's truly lovely and I can't wait to make it our own. I ADORE the entrance to the master bedroom with it's lovely archway. The orange wall and accent wall will definitely need to go as I'm more of a neutral loving girl at heart. I'm excited to fill it up with love and happiness.

That's it for now in our little corner of the world, but I will be back soon to share the sweetest drum table makeover and some plans I have for that amazing kitchen.

Until next time, Frederica

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Ugly Ducking Desk

Hello Friends! It's been a while since my last post as it's been a busy time in my little corner of the world. We are getting our house prepped to put on the market within the next few weeks. It seems like once we finish fixing/replacing/touching up, we find yet another little thing that needs attention. I knew that my husband's house was quite roomy at almost 3,000 sq. ft., but it seems endless as I try to remove all the clutter and find temporary homes out of sight for the everyday things that normally live on our counter tops.

I really hate moving, I moved almost ten times as a child (no, we weren't military) cross-country and back again. I just want to put down roots somewhere and call a place home. Luckily, the houses in our neighborhood are literally selling within a matter of days which is really great for us as a seller, but not so great when it comes to planning where our next home will be. With three kids of my own, a stepson and animals, well, I've been a bit stressed out to say the least. My stress reliever the past few years has been puttering around in the garage painting furniture in an effort to fill the empty spaces of my husband's house as it has many. It got too cold for painting here in the Seattle area for the past two months, but it's finally warmed up and I'm back today with a new post on the project that I had to take a wee little break from while the weather wasn't cooperating.

My little guy is five, and I'm afraid to admit that he is still sleeping in the master bedroom with my husband and I. Our older boys each have their own rooms, and Andrew could have easily shared a bedroom with either of them. But. He's still my baby in my eyes and I've been reluctant to move his little bed from the corner of our room that it currently resides in. Realizing that he's now a young boy and in need of his own space, I've been on the hunt to find him some furniture for his very own big boy room for when we finally move.

I found the saddest looking desk on one of my favorite apps called OfferUp for $20. It looked pretty awful, but the bones appeared to be good and I loved the shape of it. I knew with a little bit of love, it could be a darling piece for his room. It's a smaller sized desk. But even still, Andrew has a little bit of growing left to do to be able to use it once he starts school this Fall.

I started by washing the whole thing down with my favorite cleanser, TSP and found a couple of used cigarettes in the bottom drawer (so gross!). Once I opened the drawers, the whole thing started to reek of cigarette smoke. I got every crook and cranny with TSP and then let it air dry out for a few days in my garage trying to eradicate the smell which was a success. The top was riddled with lots of little dents and chips. I decided to sand it down trying to smooth things out a bit, but I actually like for my furniture to have some "character" to it since most of my pieces are vintage. After I sanded down through not one, not two but three layers of ugly paint to the bare wood, I was still left with one or two deep gouges which I did decide to fill with my newest favorite wood filler, Rockler's. It is a liquid-y texture that dries quickly and sands down like a dream.

Sadly, my local retailer for General Finishes products was out of stock of Walnut Gel Stain. I picked up a small can of Miniwax's Walnut Gel Stain and it's an okay product. I still prefer General Finishes stains, but this is a very similar product that's easier to find at your local hardware store. As this desk is intended for a five year old, I went a little thicker on the stain than I normally would with three separate coats letting each one dry in between applications. And that was as far as I got before the weather turned. I had never used General Finishes paint before and I was eager to play with it. It was a sad day when I had to place the can of Coastal Blue back on my shelf with the rest of my paint stash, haha!

In the interim, Andrew and I pored over knobs on Etsy to replace the ugly silver ones that the desk currently sported. Since I was using a gorgeous French/Navy-ish blue, I thought that a bright brassy gold would accent the piece nicely. He chose a super cool vintage inspired lion knob as the focal point. He does have pretty good taste for such a little man, he must get it from his mommy =)
I also found the perfect small chair to match for a whole $8 at the Goodwill. One of the drawers also had a lock with no key to it which I intended to remove. It took a little elbow grease, but I was able to pop it out of the drilled hole and then filled it with more wood filler.

The weather this past weekend finally got warm enough for me to get outside and finish up the base and legs. I didn't use a primer as General Finishes Milk Paint is supposed to be kind of a one and done type of product. I LOVE this paint. It is my new found favorite and I can't wait to add more colors to my stash. It is so smooth, self leveling, it dries quickly and very easy to apply with brush/foam brush/paint roller. Two coats, and it was silky smooth with a beautiful rich blue. This is an excellent product for both newbies and professionals. To seal it all in, I applied several coats of General Finishes Top Coat in Flat Out Flat which was also a new product to me. I've used their Satin Top Coat for most of my products that I've done over the past two years. I didn't want a glossy finish for this piece, but I love that this still has a bit of a subtle sheen.

And here is the finished product! Isn't it cute? It doesn't look anything like the sad little desk that it once was and it's something that my little guy will have for quite a few years to come. I like to imagine him doing his homework, building Legos and hiding his treasures in the drawers.

I hope that you enjoyed my first project of 2017! I am looking forward to getting back into a more regular posting schedule once we move and things calm down a bit.

In the meantime, I hope that all my dear readers are well.

Until next time.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dated TV Stand Makeover

My husband has had his tv stand since his single days over twenty years ago. It's very large, super heavy and in really good condition considering how long he's had it. I had originally thought to replace it with something "prettier" but then took a closer look at all the details. It has a very nice rope edging with lovely flower insets. It was also made of real wood which made me hesitant to get rid of it anyway. My husband doesn't usually "allow" me to touch his stuff. He's a wood person while I'm more of a paint person if that makes sense. In this case, he had grown tired of the same ol'/same ol' and agreed that I could redo this dated dinosaur.

To begin with, my husband was less than thrilled to disconnect everything from our television and accessories and then carry the heavy piece out to the garage for me but he survived. I washed it down to get rid of all the dust bunnies, removed the hardware along with the doors and then started painting. We had just bought some paint to redo our downstairs bathroom and I decided to filch a bit for this old gal. Normally, I would use a primer underneath, but this particular formula from Sherwin Williams was a primer & paint all in one. The shade that we chose is a lovely warm grey color called Adley Grey. I wanted something to go along with the neutral pieces in our home but didn't want to be too matchy-matchy. Two coats was all it took and I left it to dry overnight.

To bring out the lovely details on this piece, I decided to turn to my trusty General Finishes Van Dyke Glaze. These glaze effects are translucent water based colors used to create beautiful decorative finishes and are so incredibly easy to use. I used a cheap chip brush to dip into the product and quickly brush on in small sections making sure to get into the corners and in between decorative rope edging. Once applied, I would then go over it with a clean damp cloth and remove most of the product. I think that the glaze really makes the flower details pop on this piece. While I was rubbing the cloth along some of the edges, the paint started to chip a bit (so much for the paint & primer in one). I actually liked the distressed effect that it gave to the piece so I just went with it. I finished up the piece with General Finishes Top Coat and again let it be to dry.

Waiting for the stand to dry, I worked on the hardware that I had chosen to replace the old cup pulls and wood knobs. I found some brass drawer pulls at my local Home Depot and decided to spray paint them with Rustoleum's Rubbed Oil Bronze spray paint which is a gorgeous deep brown with little bronze sparkles in it. I've used this product on multiple projects and like to keep a can in the garage on hand for quick projects like this. Once the doors were dry, I had my husband attach the sparkly crystal knobs from Hobby Lobby for me and re-attach the doors.

She's now done, and I love how she turned out! I also love that she was redone in a paint from our house to be a special reminder of our time here after we move sometime soon. And that dear readers is how you turn a meh kinda piece into something special.

Until next time.