Saturday, April 16, 2011

April least I have flowers

Feeling dull and gray today-there is a wind/rain storm outside and my mind and body are in desperate need of some sunshine.  Flowers are always a good pick me up...especially when they're in tea cups....

Or tea pots...

Or peeking out at you in all their gloriousness....

Next time you buy flowers...or even better receive flowers; once they start sagging and fading- break them up into little bouquets and put them in random household items for a few hours of fun.  A flower is not something to ever be wasted :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dresser Set # 2

I saw these on Craig's List for $40-for the SET.  I was dying inside because I know there are a few ladies in my town who redo furniture ( I constantly see their ads); and I knew these were the kind of pieces that they would jump all over.  I also know that they refurbish furniture and antiques for a living, and this is just my weekend obsession.  I don't even have a truck.  ( I need a truck, it's on my "list").
So it was to my shock and awe, that when I emailed the person who had posted them that they were still available!  I told him I would give him and extra $10 if he would deliver them.  His response was that "You should come see them first in case I changed my mind?"
Is this guy nuts?  If I don't get these tonight, someone else will snatch them up, anyone with eyes anyway!  I went to his house after work, getting lost along the way which set me back about 45 minutes.  He answered the door and said "They're in the basement."  Hmmmm, I got a little bit of a creepy feeling.  It's 8 PM, no one knows where I am, and if he decides to pull a Texas Chainsaw Massacre no one will know for at least a few hours....
He saw my uncomfortable expression and said "I'll just bring them upstairs."  With a sigh of relief I said "Yeah that sounds good, thanks!" All the while glancing back at my car parked in the cul-de-sac estimating the seconds it would take to make a run for it if need be.
He brought them up and out into the driveway and they were in terrible shape.  Yet at this point I had already gone to the bank and drawn money out for them, been lost for almost an hour, and risked my bodily harm for these things so I was taking them even if they were unrepairable. Who knows what he would do if I refused.  (Did I mention that it was 19 degrees, and there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground)?

So he said he would follow me home, (oh jeez)  I lead him astray accidentally and we detoured for about an hour until we finally reached my house.  David was home at this point (the reason for my detouring) and helped the guy unload my dressers, all the while looking at me like I was nuts.  Once the man had left, David scoped out my latest find and said in his gorgeous Scottish brogue "Those are quite nice, good job."

Sigh of relief...and bed.  They sat for a few months because the weather was terrible and I couldn't open the windows to my workshop/sunroom and we were in Scotland for a couple of weeks for the holidays.  Just last week I decided to get an electric sander rather then put myself through the carpal tunnel of sanding the things down; they were nasty.  I had to use olive oil (a trick Mike Stanclift taught me bless him) to remove stickers from them.  A little girl had written "Princess" all over the drawers, and there were knicks and dents left right and center.  I didn't even enjoy the prep to be honest-there were times when I just wanted to chuck them out, and chalk up my $50 dollar loss.

I have these up for sale on Craig's List because to be honest I need the cash more then I need the dressers....however if the buyer doesn't love them as much as I do-they've begun to grow on me....I will hold onto them for my sister or my grandma who both want them ;)

One Bathroom?

Our house has alas only one bathroom.  Not only that it is a hideous bathroom:

Left over stain from dressers and desk just sitting there threw me into a frenzy wasting away...and so I sanded...and sanded and stained them without the landlord's permission one night.
They still need a few coats; but it's a vast improvement.  I replaced the knobs too, hopefully he likes it and doesn't charge me when we move out.  I'll finish it eventually ;)

Throne for the Big Mac

My second Craig's List quest was of the upmost importance; a throne for the most amazing gift I have ever Apple Desktop.  David bought it for me as a house warming gift with underlying tones of "this is a kick in the ass, you said you wanted to learn photography and blog I bought you a camera, now get on it with this perfect computer-you basically have no excuse now..."
The poor thing sat in its' box upstairs for a few months collecting dust.  I was too scared to take it out, because even the packaging was intimidating and expensive looking.  I kept telling him I couldn't start blogging or editing photos until I had a desk for the computer; it was just too pricey to set up on the coffee table.  Finally after searching, pickiness, and weeks being a complete coward I found a desk for $40.00 on Craig's List that some competition hadn't already snatched up. I had leftover paint from the dressers, so after all the weeks of denial and excuses (you see once it had a throne I had to actually start blogging etc.) I sanded and painted the desk in a matter of an hour.
I will be honest with you-I hated it at first.  It is still not what I wanted it to be...not worthy of Big Mac.  David has a Mac 13" laptop that seems so wee compared to mine thus the nickname.  However I had to get it done and in working order....

So now Big Mac has a less then worthy throne; but hey at least I'm blogging.

Upcycled....DIY Chick in the making

My fiance and I have moved around so much in the past few years...Arizona to New York to Austin back to NY with a pit stop in point is it's been hard to make friends locally because we've had no roots.  That's a whole other blog; my actual point is that it has been a character building and inspiring experience overall.  I've always loved DIY...I remodeled a townhouse I bought from floor to ceiling when I was 21, I worked at Home Depot for years, I have a mom who can turn trash into treasure-it was going to happen eventually I just needed to be lonely enough to have the time to do it.
When we got back to NY for the second time we had moved so many times, that we had gotten rid of anything that seemed to encumber, clutter, or was too heavy to lift for that matter.  So I found myself in a 3 bedroom in Long Island (technically it's two bedrooms but the finished attic counts as a third....shit the closet counts as a bedroom as far as NY real estate is concerned) and hardly any furniture to fill it.
Thus I became a bit obsessed with Craig's List-believe me if IT checked my computer and I was any less skilled at multi-tasking I would most certainly be fired.  I began bringing pieces home to David's dismay;  he just couldn't understand why I was coming home from work with garbage, some of it even smelly.  I have never paid more then $50 for a thing I've brought home, except for one dresser set that had three pieces-it was in my mind it was a justified purchase.  That was the first thing I brought home in fact - a dresser set....our clothes were in two living room coat closets, a tiny closet in each guest room, and in shelved cupboards above a hideaway bed in the second guest room.  Laundry and getting ready in the morning was a complete nightmare, David's non-to-gentle hands would rifle through the neatly stacked piles on the shelves and wreak havoc on my hours of folding.  I knew that it was only a temporary solution when we moved in, and so my dresser search began.
I found this on Craig's List for $150.00:
It came with two dressers, a mirror and a night stand.  I bought sand paper, primer, stain, paint, glaze, brushes etc...and began my first DIY project in NY in our sunroom:
After lots of elbow grease, frustration, a Marshall's duvet cover that cost me $20, and a couple adorable vintagy looking flower prints that just happened to match my theme and be on clearance for $5 each; I now had what I think is a beautiful and welcoming guest room; even better a home for our clothes!  I finished them in one weekend while David was at work, and then using one of my mom's genius tricks lifted each dresser corner onto a sheet and dragged them from the sunroom/workshop to the guest room and had it all set up when he got home.
He was happy and a little proud-I don't know if it was because I'd found something to fill my lonely weekend or because he had a place for his socks and jeans.  Either way I felt so good, and so excited about my next Craig's List adventure that was sure to come....