Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Little Things

I've needed something for my entryway for a long time. I used to have an over-sized black frame hung on that wall with nothing in it long before such a thing was fashionable.  When our son started kindergarten we needed a "command center" of sorts. A place to hang the monthly school calendar and write notes to each other about important things to remember. Needless to say the giant black frame was filled with corkboard and dry erase board. I was left with a naked entry wall. My son is now in 2nd grade so it was way past time to take care of this area. You all know how it goes though, kids, husband, and other more important things like renovating a bathroom took priority and the sad little entryway got put on the back burner. Then I got on Pinterest one day and saw an old picture from Martha Stewart of pretty yellow frames over a decorative bench. It all just fell into place. I had a bunch of frames and my mother had a bunch of frames so I thought 'why not?' it would make something sentimental out of it. I ended up with a mix of very sentimental frames like the one that held my brothers baby picture from the hospital and the very first frame I bought for my first apartment. But then I needed to fill in with some others. I didn't want all mass produced frames available anywhere so I went to antique shops. I found these frames:

After I got these  frames I was just positive I had enough to fill in the gaps. I didn't and ended up getting some smaller frames at Hobby Lobby and using them as filler after all.

After  I  got them all hung in their final place, some in their raw state or some already painted from a different idea, I had to come up with a color scheme. This went through many phases but what I ended up with was great!

All primed

This is what I have ended up with. I sprayed them all front and back with flat white spray paint and then glazed them with Valspar's asphaltum. I'm so glad they all turned out just the way I wanted them. 


The frames I purchased now have some sentimentality to them as well. I just love looking up at the wall and seeing frames from my parents and frames from my first place and knowing that there is history there. It may seem corny to some, but it's those littlest of things that make a place feel like home to me. When I look around my home I'm finally starting to see the same type things that  I loved growing up.The small things that make you feel warm and cozy, the love poured into the home, kids drawings on the fridge. I hope I'm instilling these same things in my own children. That one day they will look back and be able to see and feel all the little things.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Jade's Desk and Chair

Okay, so a while back I did a post on a little accent table that resulted from tearing the top off a table I adored. This is the 'sister post' to that post. The table that I adored the legs on needed a function in my house. I had originally seen it in my living room somewhere, but I just couldn't make it fit in. I HAD to use this piece! It was my favorite piece I had gotten from my mother-in-law this summer. I was about to sacrifice building my entry bench and just using the table there, when I had another bright idea. I had just put a small desk on hold at a local antique shop for my daughters room. I loved it but was going to have to pay it out in three payments. I suddenly thought to myself that this table would make such a cute desk in my daughter's room. So there it was, my idea completely gelled and the lovely ladies at the antique store were very kind about letting me out of my deal with them (I'm fairly certain it's because I buy a ton of stuff from them). So I got started! The original top was very worn and had a center seam. After I ripped that top off I made one half into a table for me and one half into a table for a friend. So now I had these awesome legs and no top...what to do?

I went to my father for brainstorming ideas and this is what we came up with to make a top on the cheap. Get two 1x10's and use biscuits to join them and make a seamless top. We honestly couldn't figure out the type of wood the table legs were. There were so many layers of finishes and even some stripper that had been allowed to dry on the piece. We ended up saying that it didn't really matter since I was painting it anyway and we went with a beautiful piece of poplar.

This is cut to size and glued with biscuits

All dry and now I am filling the seam with wood filler so the top will look completely seamless

Me trimming off the rough ends before tracing the pattern on the top. After the pattern was traced, I let my fathers very practiced hand take over...I was chicken and didn't want to ruin the piece and I haven't used a jigsaw all that much. So he cut out the shape and then I sanded the sucker down. It took a fair amount of sanding to make it look seamless and get it ready for the router. When it came time to make the decorative edge I went with something that looked similar to the edge of the original. This is the finished project reattached to the legs.

Next came painting and my daughter's joy when she came home from school and found she had a desk in her room. I had planned to stage the desk and make everything look fancy, but I just couldn't do it! This is how the desk looks daily. Jade is a sweetheart and uses her desk all the time and I thought it was so precious the things that she finds worthy of her desk.

Like mother like daughter right? I love that she has a Benjamin Moore stir stick in her pencil holder and paint chips from every store we enter that has them stacked in her bowl - it makes my heart happy!

I'm sneaking in this picture because I wanted everyone to see what her chair looked like the day I found it. I got this chair for $15 and then realized I paid too much! It was rickety and ended up requiring about 12 hours of work in order to tighten it up. But it was worth it in the end. I sprayed it dark purple and covered it in one of Jade's key fabrics from her room, then I repeated the same fabric on her pin board. I love it and Jade really loves it. All is well, and the baby girl now has a place to do her kindergarten homework.