Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coffee Table: Complete!

It's done and it looks wonderful.  It perfectly matches the color in the quilt my mom made for me and it looks great in the room.

In case you missed it: in this post I show you the coffee table and my inspiration for this makeover, in this post I tell you about sanding and priming the table, and in this post I tell you about taping and painting.

Ok, now for the big finish:
After allowing the first part to dry, I taped over the stripes I had already painted.  Then to make sure I got my herringbone pattern right, I marked which way the first set of stripes were going.  I cut more strips (thank you silhouette), put them on, painted the green, and then removed the tape.

I love how it turned out.

It is by no means perfect, but you almost can't tell because the stripes are so thin.  Also, because the whole table looks like this, none of the imperfections stand out.  A lovely commenter gave a great suggestion:  put on the tape and then paint the primer again.  That way, anything that would squeak under the tape would be the same color as what's already under there.  Then do another coat in the great.

I had also heard you can do the first coat in mod podge to really seal the edges of the tape.  Those ideas are great and I have actually used them before, but (to be brutally honest) I was just way too lazy to do that.  This weekend project had turned into a two week project and I was just ready to have my tv back.

After a clear coat to protect the paint, I put it in place with some help from my mom (told you I'd rope in the rents on this project).

I really love how it turned out.  It adds a lot of color to the room and makes a great tv stand.  Now, I just need to work on a better way to store my dvds; a way that's not so...bulky.

One last before and after:

Man, I love that green...and I love that tv.  Now if I can just talk the rents into putting cable in my room then I'd really be in business.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 18 - Sauteed Chicken

A last minute decision to make dinner had me heading to the grocery store after work.  I had already picked out some recipes so before leaving work, I pulled up this recipe for sauteed chicken with corn and edamame from Real Simple.

After a quick call to my mom to see what we already had, I headed to Walmart to pick up corn and chicken for dinner.  It was a quick trip, which is always nice when it's a trip to Walmart.  I called Charlotte to see if I could buy fresh edamame, but found out that you can't get it fresh around here.  Bummer.  There's just something about spring that makes me want fresh edamame.

While we were on the phone she said "I can tell you're getting addicted to having your dinners."  I think she's right.  There are some nights when all I want is a homemade dinner and the challenge of making it myself.  And then there are nights when all I want is someone to make it for me.

Cooking this meal was a fun change to what I normally do; a) I cooked bacon for the first time and b) the chicken started on the stove and then went into the oven (another first time thing).

I'm pretty terrible at cooking chicken, but I'm starting to know when it's done without having to slice it open. I still slice it to check, just in case.  When the chicken came out of the oven it was moist, juicy, and perfectly done.

Cooking bacon was interesting.  For this recipe, the bacon needed to be crispy so that I could easily crumble it.  I definitely burnt it a little, but with it being bacon bits you really couldn't taste that.  The recipe called for 4 ounces of bacon.  How much is four ounces?  I had no clue, so I used three strips.  The bacon was so good with the corn and edamame that I wish I would have use more strips.  It was soooo good.

I know this is not the most appetizing picture, but (unless it's rice) I hate when my food mixes.  I prefer my foods not to even touch in the slightest.  You know those plastic plates you can buy that have three sections?  I want that in normal dinnerware.  I love having a place for all my food that doesn't require any food mixing.  Food mixing only happens on my terms, folks, and never before I am actually eating it.

This meal was very good and, other than adding more bacon, I wouldn't change a thing!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Coffee Table: Taping and Painting

Last time you saw the coffee table, it had been sanded down and primed.  Today, I'll show you how I started to really makeover this table.

The first step was taping.  I bought 3in blue painters tape because I wanted my stripes to be pretty wide.  I found the center of my table and the lined up the edge of the blue tape to the center.  I used one piece of tape as a space (picture 2) and then put down the next piece of blue tape (picture 3).  I continued to move my spacer before putting down the next piece to keep my stripes even.

I used scissors to cut the putting knife just like the directions said.  Then I mixed paint and glaze, painted one stripe, and scraped the knife across my table to create my herringbone pattern.  And then I had a heart attack.

It was TERRIBLE!  Oh my.  First off, it was very difficult to pull in the same direction each time - my stripes were not on the same angle.   Secondly, because of the nature of this table, when I pulled the putty knife across it left behind green paint where it should have been completely white.  It was a mess.  I quickly wiped it off, primed the stripe again, and then....

on to Plan B.

My dad and I brainstormed many different ways to get my stripes, but each option would have given me stripes that were very thick.  To get the look I wanted I needed very, very thin stripes.

That's where violet came in.

I created this file in my silhouette.  It's simply straight lines spaced less than a quarter in apart (.1860 in to be exact).

I put my blue painters tape onto the shiny side of freezer paper.  Then I set the silhouette blade to its lowest setting (very thin) and 30 seconds later I had a sheet full of straight, thin strips.

Because the blade was set so low, it only cut through the blue tape, not the freezer paper.  Perfect!

All I had to do was peel it off and place it onto the coffee table...over and over and over again.

It took me about an hour to put all these on.

Not too shabby right?  Just don't look too close.  The lines aren't perfect; the green paint definitely bled under the tape, but I'm still happy with how it turned out.

Next step: taping over what I just painted so that I can finish the other half of the herringbone pattern.  You'll see the end result on Thursday.  Spoiler Alert...I love it!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sleepover Weekend - Top Nine

Cameron was here ALL weekend and it was wonderful.  The reason this is a Top Nine post instead of a Top Ten post is because I didn't have another picture that I was in love with.  Of the 261 photos I took, I couldn't pick a tenth photo to cap it all off?  Hmmm...I think I need a camera refresher.  Maybe I need to schedule in some exploring time this weekend.

Without further top ten nine:

the googly eyes he gives his mama

I wish I could remember what he's saying, but I can't,
so that little mystery makes this one of my favorite photos.

baby toes!  Love it.

3/4th of this little family

This had to be black and white because the water is so brown! Plus, I love the way the sun hits his little/big head.

Playing with sticks; one of the best parts of being a kid.

I love this photo because he looks so old and independent.

Beefy fingers! Dirty toes! Muscle tee!  So much to love.

Even though this is a little blurry, this is a genuine smile and I love that smile. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photo Challenge - #4

This weeks challenge had me stumped.  A sign?  Really?  Why did I pick this one?  But, once again, this week's assignment did exactly what it was supposed to do; it forced me to get creative.

I found this tin sign at an antique store in my hometown.  I did not buy it, but I did take a picture of it.  The sign itself was a little boring, so I tried slicing it into pieces and putting it back together in my own way.  I picked my favorite part of the sign to use in my own collage.  In case you are trying to figure out the words, it says "Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey."

Here's another attempt at a collage.  I took several picture of a speed limit sign.  The F and C are Frank and Charlotte.  I didn't like any of the individual picture of this sign, but putting them together worked out much better.

Onto #5 - Sunglasses!  Ooooh, this should be fun!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 17 - Honey Chicken Skewers

Yum. Delicious. Can I have another?

This week's meal from Real Simple was quite a challenge.  Our weekend weather was absolutely beautiful and we spent much of the weekend outside.   When the weather is perfect, you just have to grill, so Honey Chicken Skewers were the perfect choice.

Shopping was super fun (yes, I just said "super fun." get over it) this week because I was not alone! Char and I went shopping together.  It's a good thing, too, because I realized how little I know about picking fresh produce.  Corn, beans, and watermelon were on the list.  How can you tell that the corn is good when it hasn't been shucked?  Seems like a lot of guess work to me!

We were in and out in about 30 minutes, with one quick stop to pick up some Pepcid AC for the pooch.  It's rough when your dog gets sick because you have no way to tell what's going on.  I worried all day.  Plus, I forgot my phone so I was freaking out that my mom had tried to call, but couldn't get a hold of me.  If I'm this way with my dog, how much worse is it going to be when I have a kid?  Uffda.

Grill, baby, grill!  This was my first time using the grill and, boy, was I nervous.  The simple fact that gas is constantly flowing around had me on edge.  I learned how to turn it on, how to check the temp, and how to use very long thongs.  Though, I must admit, they weren't long enough for me; so hot!

Between Char and me, we had our hands full and were constantly moving.  I never would have been able to pull this off by myself.  While I was watching the grill, Char was whipping up corn salad, bread, and green beans.  The chicken cooked very quickly, so it would have been hard to multitask.

Gotta love natural light!  The meal was fantastic.  I had read a few reviews online that said the sauce just tasted like ketchup; I would agree with that, but it was still good.  Also, the corn had a bit too many scallions for my taste, but I also hate scallions.  So, basically, any amount of scallions is too much.  But I must say, this was awesome.  It was fun to cook for the family and have it turn out great.

Cam didn't eat the chicken.  Boo.  I would have been insulted, except that this kid doesn't eat any meat.  Look at that muscle tee.  Too cute.  See those dirty feet?  That's a sign of a very good day outdoors.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Coffee Table: Sanded and Primed!

This coffee table has been my latest project.  And as you saw yesterday, I have some pretty awesome inspiration for this little sucker.

Being that this little guy has been beaten up pretty bad, sanding was number one on the to-do list.  Plus, it has a clear varnish on it and that needed to be roughed up in preparation for painting.

This is when I'm thankful to be home.  The driveway was the perfect place to start this sanding project because it didn't require me to wipe down every surface.  If there was dust everywhere from sanding, it didn't matter one bit.  Especially because my dad had already made a mess before I even started.

Thanks to this amazing power sander, the job didn't take long at all.  Honestly, I don't think I would have done this had I needed to sand the entire thing by hand.  I just don't do that.  Sanding is ridiculously difficult, time consuming, and boring.

I'm not usually one who volunteers to wear safety goggles - but I have brand new glasses on my face and no vision insurance to buy new ones.  With all the splinters flying off this table, I figured safety glasses were a good call.

Other than roughing up the surface for painting, I'm not sure I did any good with the sanding.  This table is still a mess.  The edges are horrific, but really didn't expect anything better.  This table is super old and it looks pretty good for it's age considering all it's been through.

The next step was priming.  I used a white primer since I want the herringbone pattern to be teal and white.

This was the status of my coffee table as of Sunday night, when I finally called it quits for the weekend.  After a little inner pep talk, I walked away from an unfinished project.  That is not easy to do.  I hate not finishing my projects quickly.  Three coats of primer later (just to be safe), I have a lovely white table that is ready for the next step...

Hello Carlisle!