Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Painted Secretary

It is finished! 
Last week I wrote about how a visit to my blog reader prompted an inspiration for me to finally paint my Craigslist Secretary desk.

We had a very rainy week here in Central Texas and my husband was out of town for most of it. So, that gave me plenty of time while the kids were occupied to get to work painting.

Remember how it started?
The day my hubby left for a 4 day retreat/conference/wedding {three separate things...not a wedding at a retreat! ;) } I asked him to get everything all ready for me to paint.  I wanted to do it inside so I'd be near the kids and keeping tabs on them so he moved it into the entry way for me and disassembled everything.  Good man, Good man.

I had to prime it before painting and our primer is oil-based.  I can't stand oil-based paint.  Not because it stinks - but because I am MESSY with painting and messy with Oil-based means a lovely bath in Paint Thinner when I am ready to clean up.  So, it's not LITERALLY a bath...but really, I can get paint EVERYWHERE on my body.  It's ridiculous.  In an effort to protect my skin I covered up EVERYwhere.  Don't believe me...
And yes, that is a basketball hoop on our front door.  Somehow my boys {old and young} decided to move it here and it gets more use here than it ever did in our son's room so... it stays {for now}. Last night it provided entertainment for our college kids after dinner - competition can be found in anything!

After priming everything I let it sit overnight.

We removed the inner workings of the desk for two reasons. One: I didn't want to hand paint all those nooks, crannies & crevices. Two: I wanted it to be another color.  More on that later...

The front of the drop down desk had a ugly lovely to someone wharf scene. I'm sure someone paid a lot extra to have that etched into the wood.  But this girl wasn't a fan.  So, we used wood filler for the deep etchings and then sanded it somewhat smooth.
I was amazed that after just the primer coat how you really couldn't see the etching anymore. And after two coats of color you would never know it existed.

I bought a chair from TJMaxx that had a bit of sass with the zebra print, but still blends so well with my color scheme that's working in this room right now.  I loved the detail on the legs.
I love looking online to see if I can find where the chair originally came from.  I never found an exact match but I did find very similar chairs at some of the big name home decor places.

We also took the glass out of the doors to paint.  I wanted to remove the "panes" look that was on the front of the doors and to do that we needed to pop the glass out and then the wooden panes just pried right out of the inside of the doors. {It wasn't attached directly to the glass}

We ended up getting a new piece of glass cut & mounted inside the door after we cracked one side trying to secure it.  It only cost us about $15 and it's more professionally secure than what we were trying to do! :)

 I went to Lowe's and picked up new drawer hardware.  I settled on these because they were literally the only in-stock pulls that were the same size as the old ones.  Thankfully, I also liked the look of them.

I'm so happy with how it turned out! It's come a long way since my dad brought it to me from Houston after I spotted it on Craigslist.  I think I paid around $125 for it.  

And here it is today!

Where I happily have a new home to blog from!

And for the details:
Paint color is the same as our kids bathrom redo: Valspar Mountain Smoke
The interior part of the desk is spray painted with Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover in Ivory {Gloss}
Drawer hardware is from Lowe's
Original hardware was spray painted with Rustoleum Hammered in Dark Bronze

Linked Here:
Fine Craft Guild
Someday Crafts
Southern Lovely

Monday, January 21, 2013

Family Year Book

Now that 2013 is in full-swing and things are settling down I can finally start to think about 2012 in review.

One of our favorite ways to remember and reminisce about years past are family photo books.

I first started in 2006 after our daughter, Brooke, was born.  Back then I did the scrapbook thing and after filling up an entire album for the first 6 months of her life I realized that this was going to be time consuming, expensive and space taking.

I also became frustrated that they weren't as "cute" as I wanted them to be - mainly because I really couldn't afford all the cutesy embellishments to make them cute.

So. I. Quit.
Gave up.  Threw in the towel. Finito.

After the birth of our twins in 2008 I had a bit of mommy guilt that nothing was being documented like baby number one.  So, I used an online source to create a digital photo book.  I chose this particular company because you could use digital papers, stickers, embellishments for free and once you downloaded them to your workspace you had them forever and could use them over and over again.  Ah-ha! I could make them as cute as I wanted - FOR FREE!

I was really happy how it turned out and the kids LOVED looking at it (and still do).  After a few years I thought it would be time to make another one.  I went back to that website and started the process all over again when I noticed all my FREE things were much, much more limited and you had to buy credits for any of the cute stuff that was currently offered.  No. Thank. You.

On the hunt for another option that wasn't web-based (after an unfortunate weekend retreat where a group of us girls planned to use the internet to get caught up on our books - only to find out the internet DIDN'T WORK) I came across this.

I downloaded the free software, got to work and furiously finished a book in 2 days so that I could take advantage of the promotion being offered!

And we LOVE how it turned out! It's less "scrapbooky" and more "yearbooky" and I'm so glad I made the switch!

I promise the kids look at this book at least once a week and it's so fun to see them excited about it that it makes me stop and look with them and remember their sweetness in its earliest form.

If you're looking for an easy way to put your family photos together and have a really professional finish for a reasonable price...look no further! Blurb is the way to go! It was SOOO easy... drag and drop into premade templates (and editable!) templates.

Right now they're you can save 15% off on your Blurb Photo Book purchase from 1/8 through 2/14 with code LOVEBOOKS. YAY for discounts.  Seriously, check them out... you'll be glad you did.  I plan to start working on 2012 before too much of 2013 slips by!

Friday, January 18, 2013

I'm going for it!

Don't you just love when visiting some of your favorite blogs you get inspired to GO FOR IT!?

That happened to me last week while catching up on my blog reader. 

I came across Layla's painted secretary and FELL. IN. LOVE. 

Even more awe inspiring was the before shot.
Doesn't it look almost identical VERY SIMILAR to mine!?

When I first found this on Craigslist I bought it with then intention of painting it.  But, I could never decide what color to go with.  I'd lived with it in it's natural state for about 2 years.  I've even tried selling it on Craigslist without any success. 

Seeing Layla's finished product I was convinced.  I'm keeping it! And I'm painting it! 

I've also decided to use it as a desk (and not just as another home for a lamp and decorative accents here and there as it has been used for the last 2 years!).  I can't believe I haven't used the three drawers for storage before!

What have you seen on your favorite blogs that have made you GO FOR IT?!
I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My new chair!

I caught you up earlier this week on what my living room looks like these days. I've been so excited about the progress & the changes!  One thing that I knew once we bought a new sofa was that I was going to need a new chair for the room for some additional seating. 
 Remember what we had & sold...
Although it wasn't what this room needed layout wise - it was perfect for large gatherings and Sunday afternoon naps.  We could get at least 5 college students on it when we had different events and meetings at our house.

So, the search was on for a chair to add to the room.  Since the chair is going to go here...

I had several things to keep in mind.  The back of the chair would be seen from the entry way and the chair needed to both serve as a part of the conversation group & also be able to view the TV as well.  That left one option in my book.

I needed a swivel chair.

I don't know if you're searched for swivel chairs lately - but if you Google that term you get a lot of this turning up.
I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you that those aren't exactly the style I am going after.

Thankfully I knew exactly what I was after and where I could get it!  Best Home Furniture makes some of the most comfortable chairs around and best of all you can customize the fabric.  This great store near The Woodlands, TX carries this line (as do most baby/nursery supply stores). 

Thankfully they had several for me to sit in and test out (and also bring my husband back to do the same).  I finally narrowed it down to two options.

I needed the chair to have a skirt to hide the swivel mechanism and these were the two best options.  It all came down to comfort and the Quinn won out! Unfortunately, it doesn't also recline which was something my husband was hoping for.  Note to Best Home Furniture since I know they read this blog (haha!)

Then I had to decide between hundreds of fabrics.  I knew I needed a pattern since my sofa & existing chair in the room are both solid.  I went back and forth between two but ultimately knew that if I went with a neutral tone I could punch in color with throw pillows and blankets and change more frequently.

So, in 4-6 weeks I'm excited to have this in my slowly improving living room.

(Sorry for the awfully grainy photo! It's a screen shot from the interactive website)

Do any of you own any Best Home products?
I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Joss & Main

Have you checked out Joss & Main yet? I recently joined & added the app to my new iPad Mini I got for Christmas and started checking it out daily to see the deals.

I've seen several things that caught my eye and even things to text to friends to say "you need this" or "have you seen this?".

Well, I am excited to tell you that I made my first purchase! I can't wait to see how this pretty fixture will look in our laundry room!

It's the Fairfield Semi-Flush Mount from the Holly Mathis Interiors event.  Hurry on over and get one for yourself!  The sale ends on Thursday!

Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Candyland Theme Birthday Party

Party time at That Village House!!

Today I'm sharing some photos from my twins' birthday party.  We had a lot of fun with the Candyland theme. 
I created these invitations after seeing something similar on the internet. God gave me the ability to "do" but not really the ability to "create" on my own.
Yes this party was in FEBRUARY OF 2012.... you could say I've been a bit behind in maintaining this blog.

I was inspired completely for this idea by this post on Pinterest from Parents Magazine. 
Isn't this so cute??  So, I took it and did the best I could in a very short period of time.  On a sidenote... why do birthdays always sneak up on me??

I created this banner using the same pattern from the invitation.  I made the lollipops from Dollar Store wrapping paper tubes spraypainted white, balloons, saran wrap and ribbon. {The lollipops stood up by tying a baggie full of coins to the balloon and dropping that down the wrapping paper tube.  I suggest using Helium filled balloons... this will make it work} 
 Candy bars are almost my favorite things at parties so I was excited to do this for this party.  Keep in mind that candy is not cheap.... So, my dream candy bar remained just that, a dream!
 We played pin the candy on the house which was a simple game I made using brown Kraft Paper.  I drew a horrible simple Gingerbread house on it and Googled candy images and cut them out for the kids to "pin" on the house.
I made a Candy Walk for the kids to play.  I bought 12x12 pieces of Candyland colored scrapbook paper and taped them to the floor in a circle.  The idea was that the kids would walk around the circle and when the music stopped we would draw a color and if that was their color they would win a prize.  I never got around to making or buying prizes so when they "won" they got a turn at the candy bar.  That helped limit the number of kids swarming around the table and gave the adults helping a little more control guidance with managing the candy quantity!

The candy bar included lots of fun candy, fruit snacks & so parents didn't hate me to sweeten the deal for the parents I bought a bunch of toothbrushes from SmileMakers so each child could take one of those home too!

Lastly, we had the kids make fruit loop necklaces.  I needed an activity to keep them occupied and entertained for a while since the whole party was to be inside (remember... February).  Unfortunately, I didn't account for the boys who would have NO interest or the other kids who were just not interested.  So, that meant that I had a handful of boys and girls running wild until the next "scheduled" activity began.  Nightmare for a "scheduler" like myself.  

Note: make sure your fruit loops aren't the special edition with the red "figure 8" shapes.  

Finally we had cupcakes that we bought from Sams because this Momma was tired of making decorations that nobody only I cared about. :)
Another note: make sure you order your cupcakes ahead of time.  Sams doesn't always have plain white icing cupcakes ready for pick up.  I only had a major slight meltdown when my hubby came home with Spiderman cupcakes and these with the sprinkles.  THANK goodness the sprinkles worked.  I really would have had a royal fit had my inlaws not been there to witness it!

All in all, it's ONLY a party... Nobody really cares but the mom giving the party.  Everyone else just wants to have a good time.  I have to admit I've had party envy over some of the fantastic set ups that some of you mom's throw.  I have to remember that it's not a time to shine and make myself look good (or fail miserably at trying). 

It's about celebrating these little ones who are growing up TOO fast!
Now only a little over a month until their 5th birthday.  Maybe it won't take me a year to blog about that one! :)

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