Thursday, September 29, 2011

Play Room/Den Progress

Who knew that throwing a window seat in here would make me want to completely overhaul this room?

After installing the window seat, I realized that this room REALLY needs to be painted. So... We painted.

This is the color that makes me want to dry hump my walls. Seriously... I can't imagine a more perfect color, and I wish I'd have found this before making the blue mistake in my living room. It's Benjamin Moore's "Revere Pewter". In my kitchen, it looks beige at times... but mostly grey! In my den, however, it is a true grey and I haven't seen it look anything BUT grey. It's just a sexy wall color. *sigh* I heart it. Anyhow, this is still the play room... and grey walls don't exactly say "Hey! I'm a fun room! Come play in me!" - so I made them a little more fun :-)

The stripes were really easy and difficultly tedious at the same time. I was over them after I'd measured everything off. But they're done, so if you don't think you can do stripes, THINK AGAIN! Because I'm psychotically impatient (should I mistype "inpatient" for a little more stupid Gina-humor? :-p).. And I still managed.

Oh! Let me show you some more photos, since I took them!

absolutely disgusting!

I never claimed that I was good at dusting. EVER.

This room looked SO small after I took everything out! And can you believe those dusty baseboards? GROSS!

And I wasn't too thrilled to have toys strewn about the entire house. 

But eventually, everything got dusted and put away.
I hate when people say something "pops" - but it does. This system looks absolutely gorgeous against the grey wall. Oh.. my computer's back, by the way.

Anyhow, I'm working on a window seat cushion right now, so let's check somethin' off that li'l ole to-do list...

*Make seat cushion  in progress
*Build table
*Build additional seats
*Buy accent pillows
*Paint room

Friday, September 23, 2011

Come on in and have a seat

If you follow me on Facebook, you'll have seen my updates on my window seat. You'll also have noticed how LONG it's taken me to complete! I think from start to finish, it's taken me 13 days, but it's definitely a project that should have only taken 2-3.

After all this build-up, let me show you the finished product!

Ok, finished-for-now... but I'll get to that later.. And I'm also going to note that we're all good friends, so you already know that I'm a slob. And I don't clean my house for my good friends :-)

PLEASE don't laugh, but this is the best "before" photo I could get (taken over a year ago). I've always been kinda ashamed of the "play room" so I never really took full room photos.

You'll see that the entire left side of the room was taken over by that enormous train table.

That table has served little-to-no purpose, and I've wanted to get rid of it for AGES. Finally, I photographed it and put it on Craigslist, and it sold within hours!

That sale also funded this project :-)

To start, I played around with the proportions & sizes and shapes I would want the window seat to be, and this was what I settled on.

amazing cell phone photos - sorry - i don't have a lens wide enough to take all of this in from the doorway

I wanted both outside corners to be angled to maximize seating, but not visually "take up" the entire room. The angle on the left is also a 90 degree angle from the wall that the computer is against (the desk leg is the brown piece in the left of the picture). I wanted something to give me a visual on table size, and luckily I just happened to have a pettiskirt that came in the circumference I was thinking. Oh, I love having girls :-). With the angle on the right, it gives room for another seat without this whole area taking up a majority of the room.

Ok, dimensions taken (and edited/altered/rearranged so that I could fit everything onto 1 sheet of 3/4" MDF), basic plans drawn up, and a trip to Lowe's later... I was in BUSINESS!

Let me tell you, though... I should have drawn this up in SketchUp. I've had so many little things go wrong that I SHOULD have thought about, but didn't, really. Usually, I'm good with just quickly drawing up plans and going for it (actually, the slipper chair had no drawings... I kinda winged that one!)... but this time... ugh. There was a reason it took nearly two weeks to finish this!

Here I was, dry fitting the pieces. I had managed to over-think the smaller piece on the right, and ended up trimming 3/4" off of the height. To this day, I can't explain my thought process... I'm just gonna blame it on the AZ heat and leave it at that. I had to make up for that height by creating a plank out of 1 x 3s and cutting to the shape of the piece.  (find about my Lauren Hill mirror here)

This looked SO pretty, I had a hard time not scrapping everything and going with a wooden top for both pieces. Alas, I'm too lazy, so it got painted.. This was where primer revelation came from.

WOO HOO! Time for install! I bought shims, figuring that I would have to work with both pieces to get them level and at a consistent height, but somehow everything fit together beautifully without having to use them. SCORE!

I just used my magnetic stud finder to find the studs, and screwed 'em in using 3" screws.

This one just happened to be where a knot in the wood was, and it was becoming annoying to try to screw through it.

Then I procrastinated like nobody's bidezz because I was afraid to try my hand at baseboards. I had only bought one 8' trim piece, and I really didn't wanna screw it up. SOMEHOW, I managed to not screw it up too much, and got this whole thing trimmed out with that one piece.

If you'll notice in the photo below, the trim on the window seat doesn't align with the trim in the room. When the previous owners of the house had new carpet installed, they didn't bother to remove and reinstall the trim. So our baseboards appear to be about a half inch smaller than they actually are, because they're below the carpet. I didn't want to remove the trim for the entire room (which would have led to the entire HOUSE) to properly align it (because... as I've already noted... I'm lazy)... so that's just gonna have to stay. I'll figure it out later :-p

Here, I dry-fitted the pieces before installation.

And then installed! There were places where everything fit together AMAZINGLY (above).

Then... not so much! (below)

But I have a secret bff when it comes to things like this.

His name's Alex, and he hides my mistakes REALLY well! :-p

I caulked all of the seams, and... to be honest, I'm still amazed at how well everything turned out.

Remember that big gap? ^^^ You TOTALLY can't tell!

In the pic above, you can see the boards I screwed in for the corner piece to sit on. I cut the piece to size, cut a half-circle to use as a handle and as access to the electrical outlet.

And that finished it off!

Now for my (surprisingly short!) to-do list!

*Make seat cushion
*Build table
*Build additional seats
*Buy accent pillows
*Paint room

**EVENTUALLY** I plan to add doors and/or drawers, but I need to get comfortable with the beveling aspect of my circular saw.

I think when that's done, this'll be the first "finished" room in the house!

Here are a couple of my fabric choices for the cushion (I'm sure I'll make a few cushions eventually, since I get over things so quickly)

So! What do ya think?! Do tough-builds drain you, like they do me? Are you comfortable with trim? Are there toys in nearly every shot of your house, too? :-p

Sunday, September 18, 2011

My Thoughts on Primer

It is 8:16pm MST.

Before 7:30pm MST, my thoughts about using primer on wood were as follows

"If I have it, I'll use it. If no, oh well!"

AFTER 7:30pm MST, my thoughts on using primer on wood are

"If I am out, I will go to Wal Mart in my pajamas and end up on this site, just to get primer."

Why the change of heart, you ask?

Yesterday, I finished one part of my 3 part window seat, and used two coats of primer before painting. The primer didn't cover well, and it didn't look pretty at all. HOWEVER.. I was able to completely cover the piece with two coats of paint. Easily.

Tonight, I tackled a smaller piece without using primer.

5 coats of paint later, I'm still trying to cover up some of the knots in wood.

'nuff said?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blogging VS. Real Life

I'm still "new" to blogging (in the sense that I know that people are actually reading this, and that I need to make sense to them... people that I know, KNOW how I talk. They know my inflections, the insane amount of sarcasm I use, and that I make fun of you - in jest!). To be honest, I'm kinda struggling with this. I try to bring my whole, real self to my blog.. But I really don't want to offend anyone. I edit, re read and rephrase a lot of what I'm going to say. And parts of my blogging are making their way into REAL life.. So I'm coming up with some comparisons that I've noticed between blogging & real life.


BLOGGING: you have to punctuate                  REAL LIFE: no one notices run-on sentences
BLOGGING: bragging is expected                    REAL LIFE: bragging... is not so cool!
BLOGGING: you have to wait for feedback       REAL LIFE: feedback is immediate
BLOGGING: pictures                                      REAL LIFE: hand gestures (lots of them!)

If I were to type exactly how I speak.. there probably wouldn't be spaces between words (I think I talk fast), I would never use a period, my side tangents would finish more quickly, and I think I would make a lot more sense.  OOH! Which makes me think of another thing!

REAL LIFE: fumbling over yourself for words     BLOGGING: online. thesaurus. 

What else have you noticed between blogging and real life? Come on, let's compile a list. I KNOW there's more out there! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Halloween on the Brain

I can't walk into any store without seeing the Halloween decor set up and ready to eerily invite me into it's hauntings. I LOVE Halloween. Decorating for this holiday has always been one of my favorite parts of the year.

I love that summer is ending (the longest season, here in the desert) and that cooler weather is going to set in. I love the cute clothes that the cooler weather allows me to wear. I love that holidays go into full swing, one after the other after the other (and still ANOTHER). Seriously, I can't think of anything BAD about the beginnings of Fall, and the amazingness that Halloween brings (I will note that the winters here are amazing, so I don't have to deal with snow or huge storms - if you do, you may feel differently).

I can't get my mind off of decorating for Halloween. If you follow me on Facebook, you'll have already seen me talk about this. It may still seem a little too early, but with all of the decor in the stores... HOW CAN I WAIT?!

Here are some photos of my set-up last year. Keep in mind that this is the first time that I've had the opportunity to ever decorate, so I haven't bought a ton of stuff. Most of what's out there was made by me... with a jig saw.

Here's a coffin that I made... 

The graves. Mr. Goats and I couldn't think of anything witty to put on them, so we graved mythical creatures (and a random "Nemo" - per orders of the big kid).

This crate was originally built to be a wall shelf, but I never got around to building a matching one. So I put a lid on it and threw Mr. Bones inside.

The silhouettes were printed off of Martha Stewart's site.

We carved the pumpkins the day before Halloween because it's so hot here, they'd start withering if done sooner.


Now that you can see what I'm going for... let me admit something to you. It was stupid, and I'm not proud of it... but my husband and I burned that fence in our fire pit.

Slap me now.

We had our neighbors over, and we were all plastered and we were out of wood. So my poor picket fence... that I worked SO HARD ON (imagine... it was done by prying pallets apart and I cut the pieces with a JIG SAW)... burned.

Luckily, the crate and coffin remain. And.. I built a cedar raised garden bed that was never put to use... so there's plenty of wood left. And tools that will make my life so much easier. So this year, I won't have any excuse to out-do last years set up..

So.. To-Do:

* Build (ANOTHER) graveyard fence
* Add more lighting
* Fog machine?
* Figure out a way to incorporate the back wall into the scene
* Extend the graveyard by bringing the fence up to the sidewalk (?)
* Build a much larger coffin to go near the walk-way
* Hay bales? I've always liked the look of those!

Are any of you thinking about Halloween? What have you done that's set a good tone in decorating? Do you decorate inside? Have any ideas on how I can handle my yard?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Toddler Slipper Chair Plans are POSTED!

I couldn't believe the overwhelming response to the toddler-sized slipper chair. Thanks everyone! I told many of you that I would have them posted before the end of the day, and I managed!!! WOO HOO!!!

I posted the plans here, on Rayan's site. Go check out the plans, build the chair, and look at all the other amazing stuff Ry @ The Design Confidential has to offer.

For a memory refresher... Here's the chair


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Don't do as I say... Or do... Unless you wanna...

When I upholstered my full-sized slipper chair, I didn't take any photos. That was my absolute first time attempting to upholster anything, and I figured that anyone that'd done it before would know better ways.

I don't upholster.

I don't sew.

I don't know what I'm doing.

With that said, I built an entirely new slipper chair solely to document MY upholstering... uhh... "technique"... That way you can upholster YOUR slipper chair..

Because you're GOING to build one, right? :-)

(before we get started, I want you to note that I made this toddler-sized slipper chair from scraps, so ignore the random paint colors - ehhh... while we're ignoring things, I really need to replace my jig saw blade, there are a bunch of.. umm... "character" marks from my bent blade... which we're ignoring as well)


First things first... PAINT YOUR LEGS! Or stain them... but it's so much easier if done FIRST!

 Paint the front legs from the bottom to top.

The back legs need to be painted to just above the bottom apron. Nothing else will be showing.


Step 2:

Cut your foam to size. Pretty self explanatory... I also glued mine into place. Don't know if it's necessary, but it can't hurt!


Step 3:

Cut a piece of batting large enough to wrap all the way around your seat.


Step 4: 

Fold the batting up and staple along the insides. Do one side and then the other, leaving the front and back 'til the next step.


Step 5:

Tuck the front of the side under, and pull the front down taut. The best way I can describe this would be like wrapping a present. Trim the excess.


Step 6:

I didn't photograph this, but I stapled the back down along the sides and top, and cut out a large rectangle along the back board. That will be where I will be screwing the pieces together, and I don't want fabric there.


Step 7:

Cut enough fabric to completely cover the seat. (Are you dying over this fabric, too?! I LOVE this!!!!)


Step 8:

Staple the fabric just like you stapled the batting, starting with the sides. Make sure you pull everything taut. When you get to the front, you'll want to crease the fabric (like you did with the batting - gift-wrapping-style), but be sure to pull this extra taut so the fabric stays put when sat on... staple to the bottom of the front apron at the crease. 


Step 9:

I glued my cut-edges around the legs.. I have no idea if they would fray or not, but I didn't want to risk it (remember, people, I've never done this!!!). Trim excess.


I don't know if you can tell, but i was over-zealous with my stapling, and stapled pretty much a continuous line along the back of this board. Inside my staples, I cut the fabric to allow for me to screw through this area.


Step 10:

Measure the foam for the back by placing your seat where it will sit when finished. There should be absolutely not foam UNDER your seat (like what's circled in the photo above). To solve that, I just moved the foam up and trimmed the excess from the top.


Step 11:

I'm putting 3 steps in this one, since, by now, we're all proficient upholsters.

Cut your batting so that it will cover the front and sides of the chair. There is no need to go all the way around, unless you REALLY want to. Staple along the insides of the boards. Trim the excess.


Step... Umm... 12?

Cut your fabric to go completely up the front and down the back. The fabric should be starting where your bottom apron is (and completely covering that board). Lay your fabric print-side down, and lay the chair front-down on it. Starting at the bottom of the front, roll your fabric up a tad, as shown above. This will cover your unfinished edge, and only needs to be pulled like that on the side and back of the chair. Pull to the back of the chair and staple.


(the arrow is pointing to the staple that I mentioned in the previous step - it's what's holding the "fold"

Step 13:

As with the batting, staple up both sides of the back of the chair. As long as the staples are on the back of the board, and not right near the edge, they won't be visible... so you can go staple-crazy like I did.


Step 14:

When you get to the top, tuck the sides in (remember, ALWAYS pulling taut) and staple. You want to get the tuck to where, when you pull the front down, it's a straight line along the side of the back. This WILL take a few "tries" (unless I'm an idiot - which I wouldn't argue with :-p).


This should give you a clearer idea of what I meant in the previous step.

Step 15:

Put glue along the stapled-down fabric. Get it as close to the sides as you can, without it leaking out. Pull the back of the fabric down (TAUT) and pin. Again... I may have overdone this part....


If you've done it right, it shouldn't look like this.

My fabric wasn't taut, so there's a big wrinkle.

Here's *almost* what it should look like when finished. PLEASE don't rush (should I follow my own advice, or what?!) and make sure you pull your fabric taut before pinning.


Step 16:

"Notch" out squares along the bottom. These should be longer than the sides, so that you have enough fabric to roll up.


Step 17:

Fold the fabric over, so that the fold is even with the sides. Put a good amount of glue, and pin.




Step 18:

Staple along the perimeter of the board.


Step 19:

As before, we're cutting the fabric from this area to screw through.


I didn't photograph the last parts. Just staple the bottom of the back up and assemble your chair!!!!

I think she likes it :-)


SO! What're you upholstering experiences? What would you do differently? (please, be gentle :-p). Are you planning on doing ANY upholstering projects soon?