Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Challenge....

It dawned on me as I was creating and dreaming about the design of my four year olds' bedroom that I could not possibly be the only mom out there that hated the 'bed in a bag' selection offered by the typical retail stores. And, on Labor Day weekend, while my kids were at the cottage with their grandparents and my husband and I were working all weekend - hence, the reason the kids were at the cottage- we decided it was the opportune time to get Gabriel's furniture painted. So, in our downtime from working our respective jobs, we had four pieces of furniture in the playroom in various stages of sanding, painting and antiquing. What a task!! I thought the assembly line type set up would be the easiest way of tackling the project....well, I was crazy!! It was a lot of work with very little time to get it finished before the four year came back after the long weekend. And, with work everyday, we found ourselves neck deep in sanding and painting at very strange hours of the night that weekend....our motto all weekend long was, 'for the love of the child'....and that kept us going. To see his face when it was all complete was going to be priceless, right? He would finally have a 'cool' room to replace the room he lost to his baby brother.....
Somewhere along the process that weekend, I realized that it was a bit therapeutic to be crafting a room for a little boy that I love so much. This would be a really cool job....creating rooms for little ones....making really creative spaces to fit with the little personalities I am creating for.  But, how do you go from restaurant manager to childs room designer? At forty years old and with two small children, can you even make that transition? I am so at peace when utilizing my creative outlet.  I needed to find a way to transition from one job to the other without losing income and without sacrificing time spent with my kids.....

And, so, here comes the challenge....on a whim, I found a table that was slated for the landfill. I rescued this little table from its impending doom, brought it home with me and left it on my husbands work bench in our garage. On the back of an envelope I wrote the following:

The 52 week challenge:

I, Rachael, your wife, challenge you to recycle and rehab one piece of furniture a week for one year using as many different painting techniques as possible.  You can learn as you go and sell the pieces as they are completed, using the money to put towards the next furniture purchase. If its a mess, thats ok, its how you learn. Please remember to take before, after and during pictures. Here is $10 for materials. You have one week to complete this table!! Ready, Set, GO!!   Good Luck!

I taped $10 and the envelope to the front of the table and left it there for him to find the next morning. I have to admit, the idea of him finding this 'gift' from me made me nervous....was he going to be mad that I would just assume he would want to do these projects in his spare time? Would he be into it? Would he even 'get' it?

Well....the first table is complete. He 'got' it. He understands where I am going with this....thank God!! I think it looks pretty good. And, I feel that with his carpenter skills and great knowledge of wood, my design ideas and some hard work, we may be able to create some really great pieces and eventually some amazing spaces. Here it is:

Now, we just have to get it sold....thats my part of the equation.

This is a good start. In my haste to get started we forgot the before pictures....duh!! However, the next project is in the garage and is a bigger, hopefully in another week we will have before and after pictures of this piece.

I can't tell you how excited I am to begin something new, fresh and ofcourse with the love of the child in mind.....

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Novice....

Hello!! What a week!! First of all, I will tell you that being that this is only my third post EVER, I have diligently been doing my homework and I promise to become a better blogger as time progresses!! My first couple were a bit rough, but, onward and upward....things can only get better, right.
The first thing that I learned this week is that my pictures needed some zip to them...and, as I am not a photographer but do have a decent camera, I spent some time taking some random pictures and editing them to make them look more professional....I will continue to practice...I need it!! However, I also figured out how all you practiced bloggers' get your before and after pictures up. Yes, I made my first before/after collage.
Look!! There it is....the dresser that I obtained off of my local and upcycled it into my little boys firetruck and dalmatian dresser. I think it got a nice face lift....and, its a great little dresser....just perfect for a little guy to be able to even put his own laundry away!!

So, I am feeling a bit accomplished making my collage and all!!

I have also finally completed the first of two Halloween costumes that I am making this year. The Tin Man is complete as of last night. The scarecrow will begin....soon?? I hope. Let me just say that I am a novice at patterns. I use them only for costumes...honestly, I never make clothing, so, costumes are like clothes....more complicated then pillows and curtains and the types of things that I typically sew. Anyway, has great patterns that are very easy to understand.....with that said, Mr. Simplicity Pattern Maker, could you please give better directions on these collars!! This is year number two that I have been so proud of my costume, only to have the collar all wonky (spell check didn't catch the work wonky, so, it must really be a word :)) I think I need a tutorial on how to make a collar that looks finished. It looks great until I attach it and then it looks, more practice on the collars for me. But, aside from the costume looking a bit "Michael Jackson-esque," it does look pretty cute. I hope the scarecrow is as easy....I'm sure I will let you know.
But, here is a picture of the top:
Your comments, critiques, helpful tips are very welcome!!

And, for the last update for the week, I have gotten all of the fall things out of storage and gotten the inside of my home decorated. The outside is a work in progress, hopefully to be finished tomorrow. The hay, cornstalks and mums are accounted for. The wreaths didn't quite survive the year in the attic, so, I am going to redo them and take the opportunity to do my first step-by-step blog....told you I was learning....