Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to refinish furniture in a vintage style

My daughter was in need of a new dresser.  The changing table just wasn't accommodating her clothes anymore.  It was time.  I have never refinished furniture before, and wanted to give it a shot.  So, I decided to shop around for a cheap dresser on Craigslist.  After a LONG time searching, we finally found the perfect piece.  A $60 dresser in need of some love.  I of course never got a proper "before" picture, but here is one about half hour into the sanding process.  You can get the gist.  
It was black and pretty scratched, but I liked the upright shape and the fact that it was solid wood!  We began by sanding the whole piece down.  We used a medium to fine grit sand paper and it did the trick.  We only had to sand it once -- mainly to remove some of the paint, buff out a few scratches, and rough it up enough to make the new paint really stick.

I don't really have any pictures of the next few steps.  Once you are in the groove, it's hard to remember to stop and take a picture of each step!  I got some Kilz2 Primer in white.  A little can provided plenty for this piece.  I tried using a roller but hated that the texture wasn't perfectly smooth, so I ended up going with a brush.

I let the primer dry overnight and the next day started applying the many, many, many coats of paint this dresser required.  I decided to paint it white, and went with Martha Stewart's "Glass of Milk" in semi gloss.  Three long and grueling coats later, the dresser was finished!  I sanded a couple times in between coats in places I noticed the paint wasn't going on perfectly smooth.

At this point I had a perfectly white, shiny dresser.  In order to antique the dresser, I got out a few pieces of sand paper and distressed the entire piece.  Distressing is actually MUCH more enjoyable than the first sanding.  Next, I picked up a can of walnut stain, and some Valspar mixing glaze from the store.  The stain and glaze will give your furniture an old antique look.  It makes it look "dirty" and...well...old.  I mixed the glaze and stain together in a plastic cup -- about three parts glaze to one part stain.  You don't actually need the glaze to do this step.  The glaze just allows you to work with the stain a little longer before it dries.  Using an old brush, apply the glaze to your piece in sections.  
After staining a section, use an old towel or shirt and wipe it off.  The longer you leave it on, the more stain/glaze will be left behind.  I found that about 7 minutes was good for my liking.  If you choose to not use the glaze, you can simply paint the stain on and wipe it off immediately.  Lynsee told me that trick!  Either way works great!
 Here's a dresser drawer pre glaze:
 And here's another drawer after the glaze has been applied and wiped off.
After staining the piece, allow it to dry.  Our dresser was dry to the touch after letting it sit overnight.  However, before setting anything on top of the fresh paint, you should really let it completely dry for a few days. 
 I found some knobs I really like at Hobby Lobby.  Cute knobs really do provide the perfect finishing touch.  All the knobs are a little different, but have the same shape.  I am so happy with the finished product!  Have you ever refinished any furniture before?  Do you have any tips and tricks to share?

Lynsee is actually much better at this than I am.  Over Christmas she was a refinishing queen.  Maybe if you ask nicely she will post some pictures of some of her new stuff.  She's done some really beautiful things!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sweet Nothings!

It is always such a task to think of cute, creative ideas for my children's Valentine cards/treats.  Especially when the two who give them out at school are boys.  They can't be too girly!  And, never, never can they allude to the "L" word!  Last year I made friendship bracelets for my sons class, but I can't do that again.  Why...because of two reasons:  he has some of the same kids in his class, and I have not one, but two in school now and there is no way I'm making 50 bracelets. No way. 

While reading a Martha Stewart Living magazine at the local library, I came across some really great ideas for Valentine cards, which led me to her website where I found many more great ideas!  Here are a few of my favorites!

I think I will do something similar to the first picture because it includes candy, which means I don't have to come up with a treat.  Perfect!  She has so many more great ideas so if you need some inspiration look here!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Only me

I just wanted to give a little update on the whole "dog" thing.  It's not great news, but some think it is pretty funny.  So, I took all of your advice and talked my husband into leaving Saturday morning at 10 to go get Molly, the Golden Doodle.  I quickly called a few friends to help with my 2 boys because they didn't want to make a road trip.  One had a football game and the other was just smart.  By 10 everything was planned and my husband, my 3 year old daughter and me hit the road.

After six hours of driving, ugly, awful driving, we made it to the Lancaster pound.  Let me just say, if you live in Lancaster, I'm sorry.  Maybe there are good parts of Lancaster, but it definitely wasn't the part we were in.  When we told my neighbor, who is from CA that we were making a trip to Lancaster, he gave us a weird look and then said it was considered the "armpit" of CA.  As we drove off, I turned to my husband and said, "It couldn't be that bad."  He was right.

Now we enter the pound.  As my daughter and I are viewing all of the sad, little puppies, my husband is informing them of what pet we would like.  I made the mistake of going down the pit bull aisle.  Not the smartest decision I've ever made, but hey, I drove 6 hrs to the pound.  That wasn't exactly smart either.  You'll understand in a minute. 

They give my husband the kennel number and we stand there thinking which of these dogs do they think is a Golden Doodle, because none of them are.  They must have the wrong kennel.  A kind man comes to help us find the right dog and, what do you know, he shows us the same dog we were just looking at.  It is in no way a Golden Doodle!  It is, maybe, one foot tall.  We say to the man, this is not a Golden Doodle.  He looks down and says, "Ya, that don't look like no Golden Doodle!"  Oh really.  I must add, we had called this pound at least 10 times about this particular dog and not one person informed us that even though the owner said it was a Golden Doodle, there's no way it actually was. 

We went back inside to tell the lady at the counter and she agreed that this was in no way a Golden Doodle.  What could we do?  We got in the car and drove back home.  We arrived at 2:30 am.  We will never be driving to a pound again unless it is within 1 hr.  Does anyone have a Golden Doodle they'd like to sell to me?

These kind of stories happen to me on a regular basis.  I have many, many, many stories that just don't happen to normal people.  This is nothing new.  I wasn't even mad because I'm used to it by now.  I should have known.  This all started when I married my husband.  It is him.  At least it makes life exciting, right?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011


I'm in a bind!  I really, really want this sweet, cute dog that my husband found at the pound.  This normally wouldn't be a problem,'s the pound in Lancaster, CA.  I live in AZ.  I have been wanting a Golden Doodle for some time now, OK, it's only been a few months.  I really do love them. 

Anyway, when my husband showed me Molly's picture I immediately said, "We're getting her!  Give them your credit card number and we'll make a quick weekend trip out of it."  Sounds like fun.  Here's where the problem comes in.  When we called them up, nope, it's not happenin'.  Not only is it first come, first serve, but Molly wouldn't be able to come home with us right away.  I'm really fine with making two trips, I want her that badly.  No amount of begging would get them to hold her for us.  Do I really want to drive 6 hrs, give or take a bit, only to have them tell me someone just snatched her up?  Is it worth it?  I'm torn!  What do I do?  What would you do?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mirrored Chests

                                              From ivg Stores

Really loving the mirrored chests lately.  I wonder how hard they are to keep clean and shiny?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Jeggings were brought on by the resurgence in style of skinny jeans in the mid- to late-2000s, when a higher demand for even tighter style of pant came about.  Since jeggings are typically made of a denim/spandex blend, they are often worn on their own as opposed to under a skirt or dress. Some jeggings have zip-flies and pockets, while others just have an elastic waistband and no pockets.

With respect to material, jeggings fall into two main categories:
1.Jeggings that are legging material made to look like denim with fake pockets and belt loops; and

2.Jeggings that are a true cross between denim and legging material. "Denim jeggings" are essentially a denim fabric with the elasticity of a legging.

The latter are more similar to skinny jeans than the former. Some designers call "denim jeggings" pull-on jeans rather than jeggings.

Thank you Wikipedia!  I have been wanting a pair of jeggings, but, to be honest with you, I don't think I can pull them off.  I'm a little too stubby.  I'm only 5'2" which means the only way to pull them off, in my eyes, is to weigh 80 lbs.  That's just not happenin'!  I really think others look good in them, but then I get into the dressing room and immediately feel like a cow.  Maybe it's not as bad as I think, but I can't get myself to make the purchase. 
One more thing!  Jeggings should NOT cost the same as jeans!  That's my own personal opinion.  Shouldn't they be right in between the cost of leggings and jeans?  Now that's just common sense. 
What do you think about jeggings?  Are they awful, or should I fork over the dough?  By the way, I used to feel this same way about skinny jeans and now I love them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Project Life Party

I'm sure many of you have heard about the amazing record keeping product, Project Life, developed by Becky Higgins.  We've mentioned it a few times here on our blog.  This year, Lynsee and I decided to try it out, and I think I can speak for the both of us when I say that we are so, so excited! I know I will treasure having all of my pictures organized in a way that we can actually enjoy them.  Both of us are going to try out the picture of the day approach (take one picture a day for the entire year.)  It's only been a week and I am already starting to look at my life differently and recognize the little every day blessings.  Because that's what this project is all about -- appreciating the every day, nitty gritty moments of our beautiful lives.

Last night Lynsee and I went to Becky's home for a little Project Life kick off party.  Here are some pictures to enjoy.  You better believe that jumping picture took about 20 tries to get right.  And I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants.  Twice. 

Find out more about Project Life here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Return Address Stamps

I love using prefabricated return address labels and stamps on my letters.  Especially at Christmas time.  I like to hand address each Christmas card we send, but I have no problem stamping on my return address.  I have been thinking of getting a new stamp.  There are many, many, many cute stamps to be found on Etsy, but today I wanted to share with you these cute options from Run, Ellie, Run. 

This one would be cute on the back of a letter.
Lynsee and I ordered a custom stamp from this shop last summer.  They did a fantastic job of creating exactly what we needed and were super easy to work with.  We highly recommend!

Monday, January 3, 2011


I must say, our family ended 2010 on a great note!  We had a very special event on December 31st for my 8 year old, which included many family members.  It was so nice to end the year with so much joy!  I did have one negative at about 11 o'clock pm when I lost a game we were playing and had to go knock on the neighbors door.  I had to ask them if they'd seen my crazy sister, while my sister-in-law ran by making all sorts of noises.  That is the last time I give in to peer pressure and play a game with my husband's brothers!  I knew I'd lose.  Really, what was I thinking?

Now, for 2011.  I have decided to only have one resolution this year.  That is, to take a picture a day and complete my Project Life.  This may seem easy, but I've already missed a day and it's the 3rd of January!  Anyway, there is a reason I'm not making any more resolutions this year.  I'm the type of person that when I set a goal, I must complete that goal perfectly.  If I fail in any sort of way one day, I completely give up and my resolution for the year is done after only a few weeks.  After missing a picture on day 1 of Project Life I almost put everything on hold until next year, but then I took a moment and realized I was being insane.  So, for this year I will be making weekly goals.  That way if I fail, I've only failed on a weekly goal and not a yearly goal.  I can start right back up the following week!  We'll see if it works!

How about you?  Do you have any goals you have set for 2011?