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Domestic Imperfection: September 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Penny For Your Thoughts

A few weeks ago I posted about our butcher block countertops and mentioned that I had no idea what to do for the countertop on our bar area.

Well, based on the suggestion of a reader, I now know! I'm super excited about this project, I think the end result is going to be awesome and unique. Are you dying to know yet?  All I'm going to tell you is that it involves a lot of  these....

I haven't started this project yet (or even collected all the thousands of materials) so don't check back everyday hoping to see the finished product. I'm just so excited about this one that I had to share, even if it is a bit premature :)

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Not Every Project Can Be Exciting...

Great title to make you really want to read this post, huh? Well its true, most of the stuff on my nursery list isn't as thrilling as book slings. First up, diaper organization. To organize Elijah's diapers I had used these drawer dividers that I found at The Container Store...

They work really well, and this time I even found them at HEB (local grocery store) for less. Not surprising, since everything at The Container Store is really expensive (and totally awesome). 

Anyway, here is my diaper dresser all ready for two babies in cloth diapers. (If you want to know more about cloth diapers you can find the post I wrote about them here.) 
All I know is that I'm gonna be a butt wiping, poo spraying, diaper washing fool for awhile! 
So we have Elijah's diapers (same as before)...

Newborn prefolds and covers...

...and bigger prefolds, extra wipes and disposable diapers (for when we travel or I just forget to do diaper laundry - which happens more than I care to admit). 

Next up was moving Elijah's crib and name letters over to make room for the second crib. It went form here...

 to here.

Did you notice the squished baby in that picture? He has been practicing jumping for the last month or so, and about two seconds before I snapped this pic he was practicing jumping on the ottoman. I knew how it was going to turn out, but I let him do it anyway. I'll take my awesome mom points now. 

He quickly found a piggy bank to destroy and forgot about his jumping mishap. 

 I really like the crib on this wall, it opens up the room a lot. Of course as soon as I add the second crib the rooms going to feel tiny again. The new crib should be here tomorrow, so as soon as I set it up I'll let you know how two cribs in one small room looks (probably a lot like a daycare!)

Moving those letters was not an easy task. Not at all. I'm not even going to tell you how many holes I put in the wall trying to get them right. No, it's way to embarrassing. Okay, its 27.  Don't judge me, they look good now an that's all that matters!

So there we have it...and now I get to cross a few more things off the list!

I know I said that painting the closet was next, but I'm procrastinating because I really really (really!) don't want to do it.  It will happen soon though, I've already emptied the closet in preparation!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My Big Fat Nursery Chair

My nursery list is dwindling! Good thing, cause so is my time to complete it. Here is a picture of my nursery chair as of last week. It was given to me by my mom, who got it from a garage sale a looong time ago. (Update: After posting this my mom called to let me know that she actually didn't get this at a garage sale, but rather found it on the side of the road while on a walk. Just the chair - the ottoman she made. Looks like trash chairs are a recurring theme around here!) She recovered and painted it, so my before picture is her after picture....except for the big fat mystery stain on the seat. I forgot to take a closer picture for y'all...bummer, I know.

It's not the most refined chair, it's really just made out of a bunch of 2 x 4's. It's heavy and huge...we had to take off the bedroom door to get it in there. It's perfect because you can't hurt it. Well, I say that, but the second Elijah realized that the ottoman opened, he broke it. Thing wasn't designed with toddlers in mind. I ended up putting larger screws in the hinge and adding a chain to catch the lid before it opens to far.

I sanded everything down and glued and puttied where needed. I wanted to paint it white... even though it was already white. Turns out I wasn't wasting my time!

Next I recovered the ottoman lid, bringing the fabric all the way to the underside and nailing into place. I didn't want to mess with trim and I like how this turned out. Clean and simple.

For the actual recovering of the seat we packed up and went to my Mom's. I've never recovered anything like that before and she made the old cover, so I figured I'd enlist her help! I even managed to put a shirt on my normally naked boy for our trip to Grandma's...I'm not quite sure how we never got to the pants part.

To make the pattern we (carefully) ripped apart the old cushion covers and laid them out on our fabric. We pinned them into place and cut to make our new shapes.

There's even a zipper on the whole thing...I know we're going to end up with more big fat mystery stains, so being able to wash it is a plus!

....aaaaand that's the end of my how to pictures.  I had to go (dinner waits for no one) and Mom generously offered to finish it up for me.  Aren't moms great?

 I know that's DIY blog cheating. But there was no way I was going to turn her down. To finish from here basically all you do is pin the pieces together inside out, sew, and flip.

Anyway, here it is all finished!

And here it is next to the new book slings
(They actually match better than it looks like in this picture)

Next up is the closet. It's still that horrible salmon pink color from when we first moved in, so a fresh coat of white (and perhaps a stencil?) is on order. Oh, and a lot of organizing. There's a reason that door is shut!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Triple Book Slings

Do y'all remember the list I posted about all the things I wanted to finish in the nursery before the baby comes?  Well, I've completed my first slings! I first came across the idea on Pinterest and then found a tutorial here.  It's a really simple project...if you just make one. I of course had to jazz it up a bit and make three. Still a simple project, just a little more time consuming. 

Here is a picture of what the wall looked like a few weeks ago. Cinder block shelves, a radio that is too far from a plug to work, and a random star (which I have plans for!) 

The colors in the nursery are tan, aqua, and green. I never planned on those being the colors, it just sort of slowly happened. I like it though. It totally works because the gender of our babies is always a surprise, so everything has to be gender neutral. Plus I'm plan on stuffing both rugrats into this room...even if they turn out to be different genders. Should be interesting. If any of you moms out in blogland have advice on having two under two share a room, please, do share!
I'm getting off subject - back to the book slings. I wanted to make three of them (we have a lot of books) and I wanted them to all be different sizes. Books come in all different sizes, why shouldn't book slings? I didn't want the giant books always looking like they are going to fall out, or the tiny ones to get buried.
After crunching some numbers (and measuring a lot of books) I came up with my three sizes. (All are 39" wide.)

Large:  42", which would make for a 8.5" deep final product
Medium: 36", 7" deep final
Small: 30", 5.5" deep final

Here they are all cut out. (Sorry the pics are dark, I did this at night while watching Band Of Brothers.)

Next, I folded them in half (pattern sides together) and sewed along one short side, the long side, and 3/4 of the other short side. The opening is left because the next step is turning then inside out (right side out?). 

Once you have them pattern side out and looking pretty, stitch closed the opening. Next I laid out my sling and dowel to make the rod pocket. I gave mine a little more room then I thought I needed and made them 2 inches. Good thing too, because I later returned these dowels and got thicker ones.

Here are the double curtain brackets I bought from Amazon (you can buy them here). They're beautiful and super sturdy, but when I opened the box I instantly thought "crap, I have to return them!" Why? They're HUGE. Like way bigger than I thought they would be. They stick off the wall at least six inches. When I got back on Amazon to try and find something that would hug the wall a little more, I found that they are all that huge. Who knew? I was actually kinda relieved, I wanted this project to be done, and not be waiting on snail mail returns. I've got a deadline to meet!

Hanging these beasts turned out be quite a task. Sometimes (okay, most the time) something so simple turns out to be a huge PITA. I knew I wanted them in studs - they are going into a little boys room, they WILL get hung on. 

As usual, here is the little man helping me with my crafts. If you are a frequent reader of my blog you may be starting to wonder if my kid ever wears clothes...

No, he doesn't... not unless we leave the house. Why make more laundry?

Once they were all hung up, I noticed a few things that were funky about it.
 The top one was way too shallow (and crooked) and the dowels were already starting to bow. 

I had a little leftover fabric, so I went to measure it. I was hoping it would be bigger than 30 inches.

It was 33 inches, barely enough to make a difference. I decided to make another anyway. Here is the new little sling next to the old little sling...

Since I hadn't cut the dowels yet I decided to return them and get something thicker. I'm not sure what size they were but I can tell you that they had yellow ends. I moved up to the purple ended ones, I think they are just a little less than an inch thick. 

Good thing not many men read my blog, they would be rolling their eyes at my dowel description. It's like when men give directions, they say "take so-and-so street west, then turn south onto whatever....". Women say, "take so-and so street till you get to the bridge, then turn right at the house with the ugly yellow trim...."

Anyway, here is the final product! I really like how it turned out, it's very sturdy and can hold a lot of books.

Elijah (clothes-less, as usual) approves as well!

And now I get to cross something off my nursery list. Crossing something off a list feels oh so good. 
(also, I've finished the ottoman, so I'm going to cross that off to. I'll post about that when I finish the chair.)
  • Sand and paint chair and ottoman
  • Reupholster chair and ottoman
  • Make and hang book slings
  • Make and hang shelf
  • Move Elijah's crib and name letters
  • Buy and assemble new crib
  • Make star decor
  • Make new baby name letters
  • Paint closet
  • Sort and organize baby clothes
  • Remove closet door
  • Buy/make and hang closet curtain
  • Make growth charts
  • Buy another dresser for closet
  • Organize closet
  • New cloth diaper set up    
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Mad In Crafts, Keeping It Simple, The Girl Creative, Dittle Dattle, Home Savvy, Running With Glitter, CraftOManiacBetween Naps on the PorchThe DIY Home Sweet HomeSew ChattyBe ColorfulMaking The World CuterLines Across My FaceSumo's Sweet StuffPolly Want A CrafterLife Made LovelyMy Uncommon Slice of SuburbiaConfessionsBella Before & AfterAll Thingz RelatedSugar Bee CraftsSassy Sites!Me and My BoysA Bowl Full Of LemonsCreative ItchNot Just A HousewifeOops I Craft My PantsHomeworkNothing But CountryReasons To Skip The HouseworkTip JunkieSweet Little GalsCherished BlissMy Girlish WhimsSavvy Southern StyleDIY By DesignSew Much AdoBlue Cricket DesignSomeday CraftsSouthern LovelyWomen Who Do It AllHandy Man Crafty WomanThe Thrifty HomeLil LunaPassionately ArtisticRaising 4 PrincessesEisy MorganCreations By KaraSaved By LoveYesterday on TuesdayThe Shabby Creek CottageBeyond the Picket FenceHouse of HepworthsThe 36th AvenueFireflies and JellybeansHappy Hour ProjectsFrench Country CottageDesign it Chic30 DaysdelicateCONSTRUCTIONShabby NestFreckled LaundryChic on a ShoestringDesign DazzleFingerprints on the FridgeFun to CraftFinding FabulousA Little Knick KnackDesigner Garden504 MainSerenity NowRemodelaholicLet Birdz FlyAddicted 2 DecoratingTatertots & JelloLolly Jane, Be Different Act NormalNifty ThriftyUnder the Table and DreamingI Heart Nap TimeWhile He Was NappingPlayful DecorGinger Snap CraftsYoung House LoveBower PowerHouse of Earne                               

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Two Weeks Of Countertops

When reading this post, you might think that this looked like we did it all in one really long day. Oh, how wrong you are. This post covers almost a two week time frame..starting with removing the sink on day two, and replacing it with a new one on day twelve. What did we do for eleven days without our kitchen sink? Well, you will just have to read on to find out (unless, of course, you are a dedicated follower, then you already know!)

If your just joining us, here is the link to the previous photo bomb post about painting and raising the cabinets.
Also, just for a refresher, here is the before picture taken just after we moved in and our two inspiration photos...

So here we go! We chose butcher block for our countertops for a couple of reasons. First, we really like the look. Second and most important, they were affordable. We got quotes for all the other types of countertops...granite, marble, corian, laminate...everything was over $2,000. We bought our counters (12ft and 8ft) from Lumber Liquidators for $750 in cherry (plus $14 cash back from Ebates!). I thought for sure we were going to stain them before sealing, but the Husband (who comes from a family of woodworkers) claims that it's a sin to stain cherry. I wasn't too sure about that, then we applied the first coat of sealer and they already looked so much better.  This is us doing the first coat on the underside using Waterlox.   

Your going to notice in these pictures that 1) I'm not in any of them and 2) all the men in them look kinda alike. Well, I had to be on toddler duty and work the camera. Plus, this task was pretty much mans work and super pregnant ladies just don't make the cut. And all the men look alike because it's the Husband and two of his brothers. Here his Adam and is older brother Keith making the very first cut. 

Inside, Taylor (younger brother) and I started demo. While removing the backsplash we noticed some pretty funky stuff happening behind them. 

And here we go, with the removal of the sink. Oh gosh, I hated that sink.

Then the rest was removed (drink in hand, I might add).

The next step was the cutting the hole for the undermount sink. I was told that this was a huge pain because we didn't have the correct tools.

What they ended up doing was taping the template to a 3/4 inch sheet of plywood and cutting that out first.

Then they used that template to cut out the hole using what tools we had.

After much cutting, routing, and sanding...we have a sink hole!

On the underside of our 45 degree joint they added these brackets...cause we like our stuff sturdy!

Here is the countertops all installed without any sealant. We ended up doing five coats of Waterlox (applied with a foam brush) and letting each coat dry for 24 hours. Before the final coat we sanded with 400 grit sandpaper and its smooth as silk!

While this was happening, I was doing dishes and all other kitchen sink activities in....

the bathtub!

After our final coat of Waterlox was dried it was really REALLY time for the sink. I only have one picture of the process because I was at a bible study for the rest. Usually you would install the sink before the counter is installed, but because of the size and angle of ours, we installed the counters first. I was told this made for a very difficult sink installation. Sometimes its nice to be a girl :)

I do, however, have pictures of the finished product!

The next step is the beadboard backsplash and open shelving. We also need to finish up some things we missed along the way - like that crooked drawer and the toekick for example.

As for the countertop on the bar area, we aren't quite sure what to do. We've though about having it wrapped in stainless steel or seeing if we can get some scrap granite (since the Husband works for a construction company). We are up for something a little funky as well, if anyone has a suggestion!

And now, ladies and gentleman - the price breakdown. Since I forgot this part in the last kitchen post, we'll start there. 

Blue/gray Duration form Sherwin Williams - $35 on sale (only used about 1/4 of the gallon)
Quart white Duration paint, also from SW - $15
New hinges - $50
Plywood for shelves in lower cabinets - $20
Butcher block countertops (including shipping and tax) - $750
Stainless sink - $145
Delta Leland faucet in stainless - $190
Quart of Waterlox - $30
Extras such as foam brushes, caulk, brackets, shelf clips, sandpaper, etc - $45

Total so far - $ 1,280

Not bad, if I may say so myself. The beadboard shouldn't be very expensive and I'm sure we can finish the whole thing for under $2000 (including lighting, shelving, new trim, everything). I think that would make for a successful budget kitchen remodel!

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