Monday, July 28, 2014

Tour Through Blogland with Me

I got a pretty cool email last week from my friend Kim from Reposhture Studio. It was an invitation to take part in A Tour Through Blogland. The tour is a cool way for us bloggers to introduce you to blogs that we read and are inspired by. 

I'll be honest, I was kinda disappointed to be asked to join by Kim. Disappointed because I couldn't ask her to join! I love this girl and her work! If I had to have someone else create furniture for me, hands down I would choose Kim

She has a special knack for finding the cool in something. She is a queen at upcycling and refinishing. Not to sound rude, but there are A LOT of furniture ladies out there. Kim's work totally stands out. Its always unique and right on trend. For example:

Now its my turn to answer some questions about me.

1. What am I working on?

Its been a while since I've done a furniture make-over, so I decided it was time to paint something. I've had this little dresser in my garage for a while, but I was finally struck with inspiration. Here's a sneak peak.

Also, while attending SNAP, I met the ladies from Floracraft and discovered a couple of their new products. I've been having fun playing around and will have a super cool project to share with you soon. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I love just about every period of design and furniture. Honestly, my taste is like a mix-tape. Currently, I'm very inspired by anything Vintage Industrial. I've talked about the little mining town of Globe that I love to visit. If I see something I like, and try to replicate a part of it in my furniture. Even if it's just the patina, or scale.

Mr. Don Draper Desk
I think my posts are a bit more technical than what other bloggers offer. I try to make my tutorials super detailed (for anal retentive people like me). I focus not only on making things pretty, but making things work. I have a lot affair with power tools, and offer posts explaining tools and their different uses. 

Occasionally I will use a more difficult or specialized technique, like welding. The point isn't to impress you with my skills, its to show you that if you study, practice and have confidence there isn't anything you can't do. Seriously, I know it sounds cliche, but we hold ourselves back all the time. Why can't girls weld or dovetail? 

3. Why do I create what I do?

Alright, I'm going to let it all out with this question. Despite what some people may think, I don't view myself as an artist. I like to label myself as a "technician". I'm a perfectionist and very stubborn. I was raised by parents who were the ultimate DIYers. If they didn't know how to do something, they figured it out. I love learning and I want to know a little bit about everything! If I see I piece of furniture, or stare a blank wall I see it as a challenge, something to be tackled. 

I share when I've learned with you guys so you can have the confidence to tackle your own challenges. 

4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Most of my projects start out as steam drawings on my shower door. With my twin boys running around, I don't get much quiet time to think. Shower time is about the only time I can be alone in my thoughts. Once I can master (or even somewhat figure out) Google Sketch-up, I want to start sharing some of my drawings I've scribbled on paper scraps, but in clear, easy to read plans.

I think I prefer taking an inspiration piece, removing what I don't like, and adding what I do, than pulling a design out of thin air. Although, I do plenty of that too.

Now that you've heard enough about me, I'd like to introduce you to three SUPER talented ladies. You have likely seen their work filling up my Pinterest Boards. I love just about everything they do and consider their blogs HUGE inspiration for my work. You guys are going to love them too!

"Hey there! I'm Allison from Two Thirty-Five Designs. I blog from a tiny, flat area of Texas where I am constantly carpooling a gang of kids. I have a slight addiction to painting and DIY'ing, feeding my need for change. I have a slight obsession with gadgets, glitter and fashion. If I am not juggling the not-so-little's around town, you can usually find me in my garage building or painting, with the husband and the offspring in tow. I am so happy to meet you guys and huge thanks to Elisha for having me!"

Kayla from Home Coming:
"I'm a DIY and home blogger who teams up with her carpenter husband, Justin, to update their Minneapolis home on a budget. They've been blogging on Home Coming and sharing their home remodeling stories and inspiring DIY's."

Adrienne from Dream Book Design:
"Dream Book Design is a DIY Home Design and Parenting blog. We are a husband and wife team, that have a passion for creating a stylish home, but on a tight budget. We love creating our own things ranging from furniture, to arts and crafts. We also have two little boys and love chronicling the crazy journey that is parenthood!"

So stop by and check out Kim, Allison, Kayla, and Adrienne's blogs. Bring napkins though. Drooling is likely to occur. 

Let's be friends! Follow along, so you never miss a post


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Counter Top Make-Up Storage

If you are new here, I have been sloooowly updating my master bathroom. In addition to darkening my stock vanity cabinets, DIYing concrete counter-tops, and upgrading my lighting and hardware, I've been trying to spruce up the decor a bit. 

Back when I was a teenager, my mom had a best friend that I idolized. She was only like, 12 years older than me, beautiful, and hilarious. I remember one day when I was in her bathroom, I discovered that she kept her make-up in a decorative chest on the counter. Great idea! Kill 2 birds with one stone. Free up scarce drawer space, and add a cute design element. I was using the same, dirty chest I bought for my first apartment. Time for something new. 

I know a few ladies that use little plastic drawer things to hold and organize their make-up. Since this is going to be on display, I think I can do better than that. 

I started with my favorite reclaimed wood substitute, AKA fence boards. I used the wider of the two commonly found sizes, approximately 5.5". 

I cut two pieces at 17" and five at 11" long.

Assembling the frame is pretty basic. Its like building a basic box, you just add more dividers. For an easy way to ensure the bottom board is square, use a scrape piece of wood as a spacer block. This way, you are sure your board will be joined at the same height on both sides.

I used wood glue and 1 1/4" brad nails to join the pieces, starting with the bottom, then the top, and finally the 3 center dividers.

Now that I had a frame, it was time to make the drawer boxes. Do these look familiar? They were made from the same plywood and in the same manner as these 30 boxes. Once again, pretty easy.

Now that everything was built, it was time to start the finishing process. The first step was to brush all the wood with  homemade oxidizing solution. The next day, I gave both the frame and drawers the worst paint job ever, using a bluish gray, latex paint. I knew I was going for a super distressed-reclaimed look, so I intentionally was very sparse with my application.

Once that was dry, I pulled out some Antique Crackle from Old Fashioned Milk Paint. This stuff is fun to play with. If you aren't looking for large, 90's-ish cracks, I have a little trick that I share here.

 It does create cracks, but more importantly, it causes this great, antique texture in the paint.

After the crackle medium, I applied another crappy coat of paint, this time in white.

I placed everything outside to dry, which in Arizona during the summer took about 3 minutes. Next, I went crazy with the sander and some 60-grit.

I intentionally took off the majority of the paint. I wanted to see the wood underneath. I sealed everything with a coat of wax and allowed it to dry. Once dry, the last step was to attach the label holder pulls, which were generously donated by D. Lawless Hardware.

Here is the final result. It looks like it was drug behind a truck, AKA, perfect.

It gives me TONS of storage, and I love how the 4 drawers help me organize my make-up. Before with the chest, everything was just thrown in and eventually got broken and covered in the remnants of 100 different types of powder. So much better this way.

Okay, I have a confession. I ordered the label holder pulls in black. They looked fabulous, but a little too "new" next to the super chippy wood. I fixed that with a little of this and a little of that. Mostly, gray primer, black spray paint, and aging dust. They still look black...just old black.

And here is where my new storage box will stay. Proudly out in the open. My make-up hiding in plain sight.

What do you think? Would you "hide" your make-up this way? Or, do you have any other clever ideas for make-up storage?

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Easy HEAVY-DUTY Shelving (Plus Giveaway!)

As a blogger, I have the chance to work with brands and try out new products.  Some bloggers try to hide the fact that they are working for brands. I'm not here to trick you, just being real.  I can honestly say that I only work with companies and products that I believe in and use personally. Its pretty exciting when I get an email from a big company who has been following my little blog. I probably should act cool and not tell you this, but I still freak out every time.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

How I Mask Off a Circle

I have a quick tip to share with you today. Ever try to mask off a circle using painter's tape? Yeah, its not fun. I came up with a little trick that works much better.

I have this little table clock that my mom "antiqued" several years ago. I decided it was time for a quick update.

The first step is to determine the size of the circle. The best way to do this would be to use a compass, but if you don't have one, look around the house for something the same diameter. It will work fine.

Now, here's the secret. Trace the circle on a piece of contact paper. The contact paper will take place of painter's tape.

Pull back about 1/3 of the paper backing. Starting along one edge, align the circle and pull the rest of the backing off as you smooth the contact paper down.

Now, rub like crazy. Make sure all your edges are smoothed down and you don't have any gaps.

Now you can spray or brush almost any coating without fear of bleeding.

You can see in the photo that I still have some paint nibs that I need to sand, but the face is looking great.

So do you have a mirror or clock around your house in need of an update? Dig up some contact paper, bust out some paint and voila! 

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