Monday, March 28, 2016

I'm Done... Sneak Peak!

Guess what??!!

I'm Done



But I have ONE more thing left to do!

So until then, here's a sneak peak!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Happy Easter! #Hallelujah!

Hey everyone, it's Easter time!!!

I haven't done much in the way of Easter this year, in fact, I'm pretty sure my kiddos have not understanding of the concept of an Easter bunny... Seriously. no idea what-so-ever... Not that it's really a bad thing, but it kind of shows how much effort we've put into it this year.

Really though, it's not all about the (often creepy) bunny and the eggs and candy.

It is about Christ.

It is about how he died for every single person so that we could all live again!  So we can repent and be clean from our sins!!!

In Primary we have been working on singing a beautiful song called "Gethsemane" by Melanie & Roger Hoffman and it is amazing!  I have never seen the children be so calm or felt the spirit so strong as when they are singing this song!

The lyrics to this song really tell the story so well, but the sweet melody is also so calming and peaceful.

This one has the lyrics.

When they sing this song and can feel their testimonies shining through and can't help but know that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer and he died for us that we might live!

Happy Easter Everyone!  #Hallelujah!  He is Risen!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Grandma's Washstand - I Stained it!

So, Originally I thought I would just paint the washstand white, like it was originally... well, originally for me.  (I think it was originally stained something, then re-stained, then painted rose, then white, probably twice.)

But then I got all that paint off and I just couldn't!  The wood was just too pretty!

That being said, there were also several dark-water stains that just wouldn't come out.  So after several trips to the hardware store to look over the color choices,

I decided to go with the Espresso color!  I chose it because it is a rich brown, but also a very dark brown.  I felt like the black stains would still look good.  In fact, the sample square at the store had black in the grain lines!

I don't know if you've ever opened a can of Espresso stain, but holy-moley!  It was sooooo dark!  In fact, the stain looks pure-black in the can!  

So here is what you need:

*Something to stain - Sanded and then wiped down with a damp rag, no dust!
*Stain!  This time I used just plain stain, but I've also used the stain-poly mix.  It has a more rustic finish, so either is good.
*Rag.  I like applying the stain with a rag, it goes on smooth and I can just throw it away when I'm done.  Today's rag was a sock in a former life.
*Gloves.  Seriously, this is sooo worth it!  Especially a large project like this.  A small project you can wash it off before it dries, but this much I didn't want to permanently stain my hands!  You can get vinyl/latex gloves at the dollar store in the laundry section!  Totally worth having for this and a variety of other things!

Let's Get Started!!

It really is simple!

First you want to make sure your wood is freshly sanded with a very fine sandpaper (like it doesn't feel like it will even take anything off-fine)  

Take a barely damp rag and wipe all the dust off the wood.  You don't want any sawdust left!

Let it dry while you put your wood somewhere it won't stain/ruin anything!  Today I did it in my garage (with the door open for ventilation!  This stuff is stinky!) on newspapers.  Outside is a great option too, assuming you have a place where you can leave it a long time and it will be safe and out of the weather! Ideally you should leave it overnight before touching/moving the furniture.

Put on the gloves and open the can of stain.  Stirred not shaken pretty please!  If you shake the stain you will get bubbles, use a paint stick and stir the stain so you get an even color.

Then make the jump!

I generally wad up the sock with a smooth side and just dip and wipe the stain on the wood.

I have never been so scared to put stain on wood!

But it turned out amazing!

You will want to wipe with the grain of the wood.  (though I sometimes wipe contrary to that rule, but I always wipe with the grain on my final wipe.)  You will be able to see streaks if you don't go with the grain.

You can put more and more stain on, but there is a limit to what the wood can absorb at one time.  If it is not dark enough for you, let it dry and add another coat later.

Let the stain sit for 10-15 minutes and then wipe the excess off.  You really don't want to leave un-absorbed stain on the wood.

That's all there is to it!  When you're done close up the stain can (a light tap from a hammer or mallet will get it on good) and throw away your sock and gloves!  Easy clean up!  Once the stain is dry it's either ready to go or ready for a polyurethane coat (or other clear-coat of your choice)

On the other side of this piece I stained around the original label.

I also decided to stain the inside of the drawer, mostly to hide old stains that wouldn't sand out, and to protect the wood.

Yeah... that top door, had a piece that had been replaced prior to me, so was pine instead of oak.  The stain took.... funny to it. I'll probably sand it down a bit tomorrow and see if I can even out the color a bit.

The leftovers...  four gloves, one very dark rag, and of course, a diaper wipe! (best clean-up tool ever!)

I wore the gloves to keep from staining my hands black, which worked pretty well, except the stain did something funny to the vinyl gloves I used and the finger-tips wore through... so I got a little on my finger-tips, but it came off all except for my cuticles, I think they'll be brown until they get trimmed...  

Coming soon.... A coat of polyurethane, and then putting it all back together and it will be done!  Getting so close!!!

Grandma's Washstand Part 2
Grandma's Washstand Part 3

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Grandma's Washstand - All Ready to Paint!

I finally did it!  I finished sanding my Grandma's washstand! Good Grief, only took me 8 months!!

If you remember I started last summer by taking it apart, then stripping the paint, and finally sanding it.

I started with a super-duper rough paper, and finished it off with a super-duper fine one.

If you notice, the piece on the left, there is a label that was there originally so I sanded around that.  Next thing you know, I will have to stained!  Wahoo!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

New Life to Old Jewelry - Making Earrings

My Husband's Grandmother passed away last fall and this winter we helped to clean out her house to make a guest house (her house is attached to his parent's house).  While we were cleaning we found this necklace, one that everyone recognized and remembered, but was very broken.

It has sat on the counter since in a tub.  A family member is getting married soon and turquoise is one of the colors in the wedding.  I was looking at them and realized the beads would make gorgeous earrings.

So I set to work!  First I picked up a few items.  You will need:
-Head pins -or- eye pins
-Fish-hook ear wires (the earring part)
-Round nose pliers (or Needle nose pliers)
-Wire cutters

First, thread the beads on the pins.  I used the head pins for most of them, but the eye pin was necessary for some of the beads due to the size of the hole through the bead.  

Use the round nose pliers/needle nose to make a loop at the top of the beads and clip the extra off.  


Then open the loop on the earring a little pit and put it through the loop you just made.

Sorry the picture is upside-down.... it didn't want to flip...

 Close up the loop and push the bead and spring back into place.

First I created these four designs.

Then this bracelet. 

Then this necklace!

Overall I am very pleased with the outcome!  One necklace has turned into 7 pairs of earrings, a bracelet, and a necklace!  I used fashion wire and twisty-clasps to make the necklace and bracelet.

I would love to see your creations!

Friday, March 4, 2016

How to Refinish Your Door

We are the first renters in our house since the current owners purchased it, and they purchased it as a foreclosure.  Our house could have been on one of those HGTV shows where they flip the house or convince the couple to buy a fixer-uper and then remodel it top to bottom.  The house was built in the early 90s and really hadn't been updated since.  It had baby blue and pink carpet throughout, mirrors all over the place (like big, cover the hole walls, feel like you got lost at a dance studio mirrors), and the wallpaper!  Oh the wallpaper!  By the time we moved in the wallpaper was gone and the walls are a crisp, clean white (well, off-white).  The carpet has been replaced by tile through most of the house and new carpet in the bedrooms.  The mirrors are gone and the walls have been retextured and painted so you would never know it was there!  It really looks fantastic!  (oh, I almost forgot, the curtains!  yuck!  The living room looked like it was always decorated for Independence day and the rest of them were, well, stuck in the 90s.  You know, those awkward pastel hues that should never go together...)  

One thing that has needed done since we moved in was the front door.  The rest of the renovations were finished like 3 days before we moved in, and once we got there, things kind of stopped.  Well, sort of, we spent 8 months fixing the jungle of a yard, but that's beside the point.  The people we rent from bought a can of stain for the well weathered front door, but that's as far as it got.  Well!  I found that can of stain yesterday and took to the front door!

You've probably noticed that our front door always kind of looks like this in all of my pictures.  You probably just thought, too much light exposure, bring it down a notch.  But no, that's just how it looked...

So I was pretty excited when I found the stain for the door!  I took to the internet to figure out just how to do this, the right way!  I used a ployurethane-stain combo.  I'm not sure (based on my research) if that was the perfect thing to use, but it actually worked out for me.  If you know you have a fiberglass door, I would look into a gel stain.  If you have a wood door, the stuff I used is probably fine.  

First I took the finest sandpaper I had and did a super light sanding of the door.  Make sure you go with the grain!  My goal here wasn't to scratch the door at all, just to rough up the old finish a little bit and make sure the stain would take.

Next I wiped everything down really well with wet paper towels to get all the dust, dirt, cobwebs, etc. off the door.  You want it to be totally clean.

I would suggest wearing gloves for this project, because your hands will get stain on them, and it won't come off easily!  Just take a clean rag (that you don't mind throwing away) and start with any decorative areas then fill in the flat stuff.  Make sure you go with the grain as you will be able to see if you don't.

See!  It's not just a lighting issue!  The difference is amazing!

When you're done, just let it dry :) I actually have a fan on it right now to help blow the smell out the door and to help it dry.  Make sure you do it early in the day so it has time to dry and on a day that you won't freeze to death or bake if the door is open all day long. 

Seriously!  That was super easy and it looks fantastic!  If I have time I'll do another coat.  If not I'll do it another day just to make sure it's good and sealed.  Enjoy!  Show me your before and after pictures, I can't wait to see them!