Friday, May 27, 2011

Losing focus and gaining perspective

Do you find yourself seeing other people's projects, etsy shops, consignment booths, or business ventures and think, "Hey! I could do that!"? This happens to me every single day. My problem is that I start losing focus and can't decide which road I want to take. What will I enjoy more? Is my idea unique or does it already exist out there? Can I do it better than everyone else? What will make me more money? Will I be successful? And what do I consider success? I think that question confuses me the most.

Sigh. These aren't bad questions to be asking yourself. It's a sign that there are opportunities available to you and ultimately you have a choice. But, I think we all realize that you can't have everything. Now I know there are amazing bloggers out there who seem to have it all, but are they actually doing it successfully? Sure it may be the business/career they've always dreamed of and they're making $$$ to help pay the bills, etc. but if they have a family (especially a relatively young and new family like mine), are they spending as much time with them as they would like? I find that most of us out there are stay-at-home mothers and chose not to work a 9-5 job to raise our children. I know this is not everyone, but it seems to be the majority. But at what point does the crafty-artsy-blogger go from full-time to part-time mom? It seems to happen overnight for those "successful" ones. If I take on a new venture, how do I make sure not to compromise and ultimately defeat my initial purpose of being a full-time mom? But also how do I fulfill my own wants and needs as, what I would call myself, a creative person?

This is what's on my mind today before the long weekend. Usually I don't write posts like these, but I have a feeling I'm not the only one out there who's constantly battling these questions. And unfortunately for those who are seeking closure at the end of my post, you won't get it. I think I will have this internal conflict for a long long time! But I think it's always best to be self-aware and stop to gain perspective, or else you'll get swept up in a whirlwind of regret.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thrifty Frames and Bye Bye Veneer

Yesterday my mom and I went to a thrift store that was rumored to have the best furniture around. I saw a few nice things, but nothing spectacular and nothing in the price range that I was looking for. They did however have picture frames at the cheapest prices I've ever seen. I bought these two 8x10's for a total of $.60 (including tax). The one on the left was only $.06. Crazy!!! I really like the one on the right, but it was made with two different colors of wood (not sure if you can make it out in the pic, but you can see the separation line on the bottom towards the left).

So I decided to paint both in Sherwin Williams Mineral Deposit Interior paint. It's another one of my free grey paints, but this one has a bit of blue in it. The left frame I finished with some Briwax that contains a dark brown stain in it.

The right frame was finished with regular Briwax. I actually think the inner layer of the frame was leather, but it was dirty to begin with so I didn't mind painting over it.

I really like how the grey turned out on these! Can't wait to put new pictures in them for little Annie to look at.

And I can't believe it myself, but I got the veneer off my curbside dresser! You might remember the top of the dresser started out like this:

 And yesterday I left it at this:

Well after taking a putty knife and a hammer to it tonight, I got it all off in about 15 minutes! No iron needed! I figure that's some kind of record. I think I got lucky though, the veneer was desperate to get off.

The first drawer is missing a little bit of veneer, but my plan is to sand it down and paint over it instead of tearing it all off. The second drawer however was not as fortunate. 1/3 of the veneer was gone, so I took the rest off. The stuff was so thin and crackly, it was almost like paper.

And here it is all naked without the veneer. Woo-hoo! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. But I know it's because my dresser was in such terrible shape and had been neglected for a long time. Water and humidity got to the veneer and essentially made my job easier. 

Now I don't think the last two drawers will be going back into the dresser. Not only is there a lot of veneer missing, there's also a lot of wood missing underneath that. No amount of sanding will help. Instead I plan to make two open shelves and put some baskets in there. What a shame though. I forgot to show you before, but this is why the dresser is my best "FREE" find.

Dovetail joints! I'm thinking I can find a way to save the drawers. I keep changing my mind! We'll see. For now, I'm using one of them to collect all the veneer I've pulled off!

Lovely ain't it?

Linking to:
Transformation ThursdayChic on a Shoestring Decorating

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another Curbside Rescue and Getting Down and Dirty

So yesterday I politely asked (and by asked I mean forced) my husband to get a dresser that we saw sitting on the curbside the day before. I was hoping against all hope that it would still be there, and it was! What luck! My 3rd FREE find this week. This may be the most pathetic-looking of my finds, but in my opinion the best.

This poor girl was left to fend for herself. Lovely Beasts to the rescue! Well technically, the husband to Lovely Beasts to the rescue!!!

As you can tell, she ain't pretty. The veneer is missing all over the drawers as well as flaking off the top. She must have a terrible skin condition and dandruff! Also, she only has 4 of her original pulls (4th one not in picture).

The legs are in decent shape, but completely filthy and one side has a shallow slice through it and needs some wood filler. I've never used the stuff before but I think I'll be able to figure it out.

To clean the dresser, I used a vaccuum hose to suck up the sawdust that was inside. The vaccuum was also the perfect way to get rid of spiderwebs and a few spider egg-sacks I found underneath the dresser. Pretty nasty stuff. Next I used a mix of vinegar and water to clean the inside and outside. She looked a little better afterwards, but still sad.

And of course, I decided that I couldn't go to bed tonight without tackling the veneer on the top. I started slowly pulling it off with the help of a small flat-head screwdriver. The veneer was already warped and dried-out so most of it pulled up pretty easily. But the middle portion is being stubborn so I'm going to have to break out the iron.

But that's for another day. Right now, I should really be in bed. Goodnight!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Curbside Saves: French coffee table and chair

I always seem to take a 3-day break between projects, hence the lack of posts lately. But today I'm happy to share with you a couple free finds I picked up!

I drove by a yard sale near my house a few times on Saturday, but refused to stop because I told myself I had enough furniture to work on right now. On about the third passing around 4pm, I noticed a few things they just put out on the curb. I didn't take any of the pieces made of particle board, but I did take these.

French coffee table with great legs and a great shape, it's just missing the top. This will be a perfect bench project for me!

And a ladder back chair missing the seat and one rod. Some people use these as planters for the garden, but since I don't have a garden right now, I'm going to try to bring this chair back to it's original purpose. I told my husband he'll have to help me with both these projects so...wish him luck putting up with me!

Also in case you're curious, they were looking to sell these for about $1-2 each. I probably would have bought them if I saw them, but it just shows that good things come to those who wait! Or maybe more like those with self-control...