Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So geeky on so many levels…

My dear husband sent me this link. You see, it has come to his attention that there is some sort of event going on this week. He was made aware of this fact because he is assuming all parenting duties on Thursday so I can spend all evening with my friends doing girly things like eating at Pei Wei…and watching Eclipse. This becomes even better if you ever played old-school 8-bit games on the Nintendo. Enjoy—and see if you can avoid death!

(It's interactive, so you can choose from the options at the end of the scene.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

On Losing a Parking Space...and Gaining a Desk

Just over a month ago I finally finished all the projects I had going on in the garage. Everything was sanded, painted, and put neatly away. The tools were hung, the strollers stacked, and the garbage can was precisely positioned in its proper place. Even the floor was swept clean. I pulled the van in and was able to park in the garage for the first time in…I have no idea how long. This blissful state lasted less than 24 hours. I woke up the next morning to take the dog on a walk, and I spotted something. There on the side of the road was a desk. This desk was shabby. In fact, she was abused. But she had nice lines and seven drawers. And she had something else going for her: a sign saying “Free if you take it away.” You hear about this happening all the time on HGTV. “What, this complete wicker dining set? It was free on the side of the road.” But that only happens in ritzy neighborhoods. Anything that’s ever been put to the side of the road as trash in my area is just that: garbage. But not this desk! It had potential! I ran home immediately (poor Lando’s walk was cut very short) and forced Aaron to come with me in the van to pick it up. And so I lost my parking space. Again.

Here’s my diamond-in-the-rough:


Nice orangey wood color. Brass knobs. The desk top is warped, so it wasn’t sitting flush. (I couldn't actually fix this problem, but it's not noticeable at all anymore.)


Yikes! Faux leather top has been gouged to reveal a lovely cardboard underneath. (As you can see, this was taken mid-sanding. I almost forgot before pictures!)


This was the most difficult problem. An entire piece of molding was missing from the desk drawer. Tricky.

And now, here’s my Cinderella desk, transformed from firewood into a new sewing desk for yours truly:


I painted it Decorator’s White by Benjamin Moore (already had it, the primer and the polycrylic lying around the garage). This was made much easier thanks to my friend’s paint sprayer. Loved using it, but there were a few drawbacks:

1. BM paint is THICK. This would occasionally cause clogs, which would leave a lovely spurt all over my fresh paint job. Next time I would either water the paint down or use a thinner paint like Olympic. But I was trying to redo this as cheaply as possible, so I didn’t want to buy different paint.

2. You have to have a large space to work in because there is a lot of overspray. This meant that our driveway was covered in desk parts and tarps for an entire day. Not only were we not parking in the garage, but we were parking in the street.

3. It was difficult to get inside the deep file drawers with the sprayer. I had to do quite a bit of touch up by hand on these.

4. The sprayer is a pain in the rear to clean. I spent at least an hour trying to get the paint out of every crevice. I probably wouldn’t have been as thorough if it were mine, but I wanted to return it in pristine condition.

But it saved me a LOT of time, even with the excessive cleaning. So if you paint a lot of furniture, I’d looking into investing in one of these small sprayers. Or borrow your friend’s.


My original idea was to replace all the hardware, but when I got home and started looking at it, I actually really liked the design of the handles. They’re quite unique, and the slightly floral design gives it a feminine look. So I found a brushed nickel spray paint and just painted them. I don’t know how long it will actually last, but $6 for spray paint is a lot cheaper than new hardware. So I’ll just spray them down every once in a while if they start needing it. I love how they turned out.


The missing molding took some hunting to solve, but eventually I got a piece of trim at Lowes that was close enough. It took quite a bit of sanding and a LOT of wood filler to get it looking decent, but now that it’s painted, you can hardly tell.

And here’s my favorite part:



This wrapping paper was on sale at Hallmark for $2 a roll (my mom and I went to about 4 stores looking for just the right paper). Not only is it the perfect color, but it’s adhesive on the back! It made positioning this so incredibly easy. And for now, the drawer liners only have double-sided tape on the corners. I’ll break out the big guns if I need to keep it in place, but for now, I’d like to keep it as non-permanent as possible.

I called around for quotes on the glass top, and was able to get this one with the seamed edges for only $50. I love the polished look it gives the desk.

So total breakdown:

Desk: free

Primer: free

Paint: free

Polycrylic: free

Spray paint: $6

Wrapping paper: $2

Molding: $5

Glass top: $50

Grand total: $63

A “brand new” Pottery Barn-esque sewing desk for only $63! A cute new lamp and an organizing system are on my wish list, but they’ll have to wait. I wish I could celebrate by parking my car in the garage tonight, but other projects have slowly worked their way out there…

Friday, June 25, 2010

Modesty is good and all, but…

Sometimes I think it’s taken a bit far.  This, for example:

Behold the fashion atrocity that is the culotte swimsuit.  From the website: The original culotte swimmer is modest swimwear for the more active swimmer. This design has a body fitting undergarment made of Spandex for maximum flexibility. And the looser fitting taslan scoop-necked romper outer garment gives a stylish modest look.

Culotte?  Romper?  STYLISH????

My eyes!!  They burn!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some things I’m loving right now

Peonies. If this flower were a dress, it would be by Carolina Herrera. Classic, feminine, and gorgeous.

Grace Kelly. If I could come back to life as a different person, I think it would be her. We watched Rear Window last night, and I think I spent more time drooling over her dresses than I did watching the movie.

Ginger Mentha Body Lotion. Aaron got me this for Christmas, and I melt away every time I put it on. I’m a firm believer that every girl should own a lotion she truly LOVES. It makes everything so much nicer.

Basil. Is there another herb that smells and tastes so delicious? I just planted four plants in our garden (my seeds never sprouted when our sprinkler system died for a few weeks), and I rub them every time I walk past. I can’t wait to do a grilled margherita pizza this summer with fresh basil and tomatoes!

Front porches with swings. Oh, and front porches overlooking the sea are particularly charming.

Hoop earrings. They can make you look pulled together in any outfit, especially when paired with oversized sunglasses. No makeup needed! I’m in mourning since BOTH of my pairs are now broken. Guess who’s going shopping!

Albuquerque Botanical Gardens. We go to the Aquarium for the kids, the Botanical Gardens for Mom. I could spend hours looking at the different plantings. If you go right now and look at the garden in front of the farmhouse, that’s how I want my front yard to look. Drifts of penstemons and California poppies, half barrel container plantings, informal paths…I came back with so many ideas!


This girl. She’s going through a stinkin’ adorable phase right now. She’s starting to speak quite a lot, and she has the best nature. I just love being around her and don’t want her to grow any older!

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Some recent layouts:

Sweet Cheeks


 Happy Days

 Joy School Graduation


Puppy Love

 Show Us Your Muscles