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Pumpkins One, Two, and Three (and Me)

when I started the blog...

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Entries in furniture (2)


A vision.

The other night, Charlie mentioned how difficult it must be to live inside my head.  I know that might sound harsh to some, but trust me, it wasn't.  You must imagine him saying it in a caring voice.  He is never snarky, that one.  It's just simply the truth.  Especially when you consider my crazy DIY ideas and projects that stretch us thin at times. 

Case in point:

Two weeks ago we were out running errands and decided to treat the gang out to lunch.  The boys were in the backseat, so excited to pick a place.   We settled on burgers and set off.  While driving through a neighborhood a few streets over, we couldn't help but notice a pile by a curb.  The stack was massive--broken bikes, a dented metal file cabinet, a spare tire--all heaped randomly with bits of stuff jutting out.  As we drove by, we surmised that the poor residents were likely evicted.  Just as we passed the house, Charlie and I both saw something.  He was the first to speak of it.

"There's your dresser right there, isn't it?" He sighed.

I nodded and held my breath like I always do when surprised.

You see, I had for months, searched and scoured Craigslist for a dresser to refurb into a buffet for our dining room.  I wanted a certain look, a certain size, a certain price point, and, most certainly, a certain level of quality in the construction.  It was no wonder I had yet to find anything suitable.  But suddenly--I felt--there it was, winking at me from beneath a crooked stack of magazines.

So Charlie backed up the SUV and I hopped out, making my way through the muck to the dresser (to add to the ambiance, it had of course just  rained).  I checked the dresser and found, to my utter delight, that it was in solid condition.  And the perfect size.   And I adored the shape. was made from 100% maple.  With dovetail joinery.

Even Charlie knew there was no option.  We had to rescue it.  So we shuffled the carseats and after promising the boys that Fuddruckers would not give away all of the french fries, we zipped home and dropped off the piece.  Did I mention that the dresser was cloaked in mud?  Because of course it was.

Over the next two weeks we hauled it in and out from the garage.  I worked on it as time permitted.  Unfortunately, I was not the picture of health during this time and Charlie was away so I never found a good chunk of time to get it done quickly.  So back and forth it would go, attracting visits from curious neighbors (although they are getting used to seeing my latest WIP strewn about the yard). 

I first had to thoroughly clean it (lots and lots of Murphys Oil soap).  Here it is all scrubbed...

Next came the sanding.  And then finally my favorite part:  painting.  I used my trusty Rustoleum spray paint in Navajo White (High Gloss) and my love-at-first-sight "spray grip" attachment.  It took four cans of paint and two coats of wipe-on poly.  After a quick trip to Home Depot to pick out hardware from Martha's new line, guess what?  I moved in the buffet of my dreams.

It fits our bay window perfectly.  And it has room to hold an amazing amount--I'm thinking my entertaining ware.  All of it.  In one place.  Here's a closeup of the hardware.  I am in love with the squared-off bin pulls...

I even dressed it up by stitching a runner out of precious fabric I've hoarded for years (Garden Trellis by Paula Prass for Michael Miller). 

I don't think Charlie ever questioned my vision with this piece.  But he did, no doubt, question the timing of it coming into my life.  In retrospect, I am so glad we stumbled upon it when we did.  The goal of having it ready for the gingerbread party created a sense of urgency.  There was only one thing I rushed due to the time constraint--I did not repair one drawer with a chipped corner.  It goes on the "eventually" list.

But I am so happy with it, missing corner and all.  I would have paid a handsome price had I found it like this.  But I'm tickled pink that the out-of-pocket cost came in under $60 for the paint and hardware.  Plus, I get to talk about rescuing it.  A favorite topic of mine if there ever was.  I made nearly every grown-up guest at the gingerbread party come meet the new buffet.   I wanted it to feel at home. 

I thought this was the perfect craft to share as we close out the year.  I truly hope 2012 is filled to the brim with projects, in everything that I do.  No matter if the task is related to parenting, cooking, crafting, or working...I believe that most things are possible if you can imagine it and are willing to put in the effort.  So here's to having a vision.  But more importantly, here's to taking the actions necessary to move towards it.

Happy New Year. 



Catch up.

I know I need not tell anyone else who has a children-centric schedule how there are some weeks that whiz by impossibly fast.  The kind that during the week, you do not know if you're coming or going and there are just too many things written down on the calendar.  In pen.  And yet, when you finally sit down at the end of it all, you cannot--for the life of you--piece together the blurry bits to figure out what, exactly, you did.  Of course, what you did not do (ahem, posts...weed the garden) is plainly obvious.

And so, since I am playing catch up all over the place anyway, here is something I meant to post.  It is a dresser I recently refinished.  It used to be my brother's--the ubiquitous shelf/dresser combo that every boy had growing up.  It matched his bunk beds.  And I'm pretty sure it was standard issue during the late 70's...boys got these sets and girls got the frilly canopy set (mine was painted cream and yellow, I think, with touches of gold).

When my parents moved last summer, I saw the dresser sitting in their garage and I asked if I could have it.  They were more than happy to oblige--my brother did some serious damage to it! 

My original plan was to paint it a fun color for William's "big boy" room.  But as we were sprucing up the living room for my brother's party, I thought it would make a nice beverage center.

I don't have a real before picture (specifically, I failed to capture the dated brassy hardware and scallop trim--Charlie just hacked away anything too "country").  But here are some shots I took during the sanding and wood-filler process, which was fairly painless (despite my brother's heavy hand at carving his favorite band's name all over the wood.  Really, John?  Really??).

And here it is after three coats of Rust Oleum Ultra Cover in Navajo White, plus new hardware.  It took three (!) cans of spray paint--thank goodness I picked up a reusable "spraygrip" attachment for the cans.  I also used a couple coats of hi-gloss wipe-on poly.   

I removed the middle shelf to make it look more like a hutch.  And I may eventually paint the back a different color.  But for now, I just propped up a print we like and stocked it with everything we need for impromptu entertaining.  I just love how it turned out. 

cheers, Sandra

*I'm linking up over at...