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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our coffee bar

It's been hard these last few days to think about anything besides the tragedy that happened in Connecticut last week. My heart goes out to those whose lives have been changed forever, and we have been praying for their comfort and healing during this time.  There really are no words to say how I feel about it, and as a mom I have been hugging my loved ones closer ever since.

I wanted to share our little coffee bar that's up and running now.  I think what I love most about it is that it holds pieces that have special meaning to me.

While it's by no means finished (hello tape "handles"), I'm happy to have it set up and I'll slowly add in pieces (I have my eye on artwork that would be perfect here) over time.

Even the little espresso machine has a story behind it. When Cam and I were first married and dirt poor, I saved up every penny I could and bought him this Delonghi machine.  It was around $100.00, but at that time, it seemed like a huge amount of money to me and I was so proud of myself for surprising him with it. I even picked up the little shot glasses, wrapped them separately, and made him open them first as a hint at what his real gift was. We still laugh about it today.

The china set was passed down to me from my mom. It was given to her and Dad as a wedding gift from my great uncle and aunt who lived in England. Every Sunday, Mom would make a huge (delicious!) dinner and we would set the table with this china. There are a few missing pieces, since with 9 kids at the table, there were bound to be a few accidents! I loved the china as a kid and would often be found rearranging the pieces in our china cabinet.

The creamer set is from my grandparents.  I love the gold finish and the way it stacks together!

The rest of our shelves are perfect for storing syrups, our coffee grinder, tea set and more. When we built the bar, we added outlets to the back of the shelves and wall for the appliances, so they could stay plugged in. So handy!

Most evenings after supper, we find ourselves steaming eggnog, making tea or other coffee drinks here.  Once we're able to entertain more frequently, it'll be put to use often for our guests!

Even if you don't have a built in coffee bar, there are other ways to set up something similar to this. 

Head over to my Pinterest board (HERE) for a few ideas!
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A mirror becomes a chalkboard

I wanted to share how I turned my Grandma's gilded mirror into a giant chalkboard, giving the ornate piece a modern look. Here's how it was done!

I started out wiping down the mirror with glass cleaner to remove any dirt or dust.

Then, I gathered the supplies needed for the project.

As you can see, I used Rust-Oleum chalkboard paint and also primed with their magnetic primer. Since the mirror is gilded, I used a light pressure when taping the edges of the frame so the gold wouldn't come off when the tape was removed.

I started rolling the magnetic primer with a small foam roller and used a foam brush to cut in the bevelled edges of the mirror. The primer wasn't the easiest to work with. It was stinky and thick as tar! This stuff doesn't clean up with soap and water either, so you'll need mineral spirits or paint thinner for that.

I should mention that priming isn't required with chalkboard paint, unless you want it to be both a magnetic board as well as a chalkboard.

The primer calls for 3 coats with time to dry in between. When it was completely dry I did sand out a few uneven spots, although I don't know if it's recommended.

Once that process was done, I started painting with the chalkboard paint. This was easy as could be, as it is a thinner product and rolls on smoothly. 

I followed directions on the can of paint which called for at least 2 coats and used a foam brush and roller here as well. Thankfully, clean up was easier with just soap and water for this paint.

Once the paint is fully cured, it needs to be rubbed down with chalk. Use a stick of chalk on it's side to quickly cover the entire piece. This prevents ghost lines from any writing you do. later on.

I then wiped off all the chalk with rag (it gets a little dusty and messy, so you'll want to have a vacuum handy!) and was ready to scribble away.

We hung it in our dining room and I wrote this quote on it from C.S.Lewis, as it's a much needed reminder for me. How easy is it to get caught up trying to find joy in material things and "stuff" instead of what matters?

To the right of the chalkboard is our laundry closet where I just painted black and white stripes.

The can of chalkboard paint goes pretty far, so for $10.00 you could do quite a few projects or even whip up a couple of gifts for Christmas!
Monday, December 10, 2012

A stripey closet!

There's my fun little laundry closet!

It looks a lot more exciting then it used to, don't you think?

It was a little more tedious then I expected, but worth the effort!

Here's the basic steps we took to complete this project over the weekend.

First we measured from floor to ceiling and then found a number that divided nicely into that to give us the width of our stripes.  Our ceiling was 105" and 7" goes into that 15 times.  So our stripes are 7 inches wide.  It also helps you know how many stripes you'll have on the wall if you need to visualize it first.

Next, we measured and marked every 7" with a pencil in the corners, all the way around the room.
After that was finished we used painter's tape and started at the top of the wall.  We found it easiest to start in the corner and run a continuous piece of tape around the top and bottom of each stripe.  Having someone hold the tape at your first mark, allows you to unroll the tape and pull it taught, then set it where your next mark is to get a straight line.

Once all your tape is on the wall, take a credit card and run it along to make sure there are no bubbles or gaps that will let paint seep through.

The next step I took was to "dry brush" some paint along the tape to help seal it and prevent leaks.  I may not have had my brush quite dry enough, as there were a few spots it seeped a little. I also cut in the corners too, and then was ready to roll.

Using a small foam roller and working from the top, I started painting! It was clear that two coats were needed, so I let the paint dry over night.

Once you apply your second coat, you need to remove the tape while the paint is still wet. This helps to get a crisp line and prevents paint from lifting like it could if you waited until it was dry to remove it.

Did I mention we used almost 2 rolls of tape?

In about a week, our washer and dryer should show up! Then someday, we'll have flooring, shelving and doors! But for now, I'm happy to look at these stripes!

Here's the link to my post about our new appliances if you want to see what's coming:

Hope you like it as much as I do. Or more then Cam does. I asked him what he thought and after a long pause he replied "it's really stripey."  Stripey. Is that even a word??
Tuesday, December 04, 2012

an upgrade, stripes and more

Thanks to the recent Black Friday sales, these two appliances are soon to show up at our house.
You know you're a grown up when you get very, very excited about new appliances. 

It might have to do with my dryer being an ancient (but appreciated) hand me down, with one setting (extra hot), and a door that won't stay latched.  Not only that, but the washer and dryer we've been using has been "temporarily" set up in our "someday" master bathroom.  Since it was meant to be temporary, the dryer isn't vented to the outside. I am forever trying to clean up dust.

But thanks to the recent Black Friday Sales at Home Depot, this set of LG stacking, front load washer and dryer are coming to stay with us.
They're going to live right here.

This closet is off our dining room, making it a convenient, main floor laundry space.  Once we have a dining table (we plan on having a really large one), it'll be the perfect spot for folding laundry, but I'll also be able to tuck away any mess behind the french doors we'll install.

But for the fun part.
Stripes. Bold black and white stripes. Something like this.

Cam thinks I'm crazy.  "Why would you go to all that work for a closet?"

But I love when tiny spaces have as much thought put into them as large rooms.  And I like black and white, I like stripes and I do a lot of laundry. So that's why.

I have already painted the white base coat and am giving it a couple days to cure before I go to town with tape, a level and black paint.

We'll also need to build in some shelving beside the stacking appliances (they're too wide to fit side by side) to store laundry essentials.  I'm hoping for something similar to what happened over at YHL.

Our appliances won't be delivered until the week before Christmas, but I'm hoping to at least have the stripes painted to show you before then.

And by the way, you might have noticed my grandma's mirror turned chalkboard.  We finally got around to hanging it.

I'll show you the steps it took to complete it sometime.  A little practice is needed with my hand writing skills, but for now it's fun for jotting whatever quotes I come across and enjoy.