Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another DIY - Dresser Repurposing

I had been looking for a TV stand for my apartment.  I was using a bookshelf that was at an awkward height and was (still is!) on its last leg of life.  I searched for one everywhere I went -  Target, Ikea, Marshalls.....but they were all SO expensive.  Okay, they weren't that expensive, but I am cheap.  Everything that I liked was out of my price range and everything in my price range looked cheap.  So I delayed and eventually stopped looking.

They say that once stop looking, you will find what you had been looking for all along.  Yes, usually this is in the context of a significant other (which side note - is false, but whatevs), but it really applied to me in this situation.  I was shopping with my friend, Caitlin, at Deseret Industries (thrift store) for something totally unrelated to furniture.  We ended up in the furniture department and I found this dresser.  It appealed to me, but I wasn't convinced right away.  It was $40, which at the time seemed more that what I was willing to spend (see - I told you I am cheap!), but I bit the bullet and bought it anyway.  

Beautiful, right?  I thought that it had great structure (it is solid wood - just ask the guys who brought it up to my second story apartment!) and I loved the legs.  That is what sold me.  Love. The. Legs.

I planned to paint it (I didn't know what color yet when I bought it) and add new hardware.  My first stop was Pinterest.  I pinned and researched for weeks.  How did we survive without the internet?  I looked at different paint types, colors, knobs....I wanted to look at all of my options.  If you know me at all, you know that options have a tendency to overwhelm me.  If I am not familiar with a restaurant menu, it can take me forever to decide.  I WILL be the last one to order - always!  Surprisingly, I wasn't overwhelmed at all; I was excited and ready to get started.  Getting started actually was the hardest part for me.  I was busy - this summer was the summer of weddings so once that was all over, I was ready to begin.

In my research, I decided to use Miss Mustard Seed milk paint.  I loved how her paint looked and I fell in love with the color Flow Blue.  I knew I wanted a darker blue and this color was perfect.  There is a local retailer in Fair Oaks so I was able to purchase the paint and talk about my options as well.  I was also able to watch the many YouTube tutorials that the creator has on her website.  Seriously, check the website out - SO many good ideas!

The thing with milk paint is it is really easy to achieve the distressed look easily.  It will naturally flake off and distress (depending on your piece) unless you add their product called a bonding agent.  I decided that I didn't want it to naturally distress (since this can be unpredictable and I didn't want unpredictable at all) so I decided to use the bonding agent.  Plus with the added bonding agent, it required limited sanding (since it bonds well on even finished wood surfaces) so it was really easy to get started.  Laziness - sells me every time!

The paint doesn't come in liquid form, but in a powder substance that you mix with water.  The main prep that I had to do was to clean the dresser (it was a mess!) and to fill in the holes from the previous hardware.  The hardware that I purchased wouldn't fit in the existing holes so this was a must-do step.  

Wood filler
The paint, bonding agent, and hemp oil finish
Once I started painting, it was just a matter of finishing.  I painted the first coat before I went on a weekend cruise.  Then once I got back I resumed painting.  It took a few days since there was limited daylight after getting home from work.  Once it was all painted, I let it dry for a couple of days. 

Honestly, this was the point where I started to doubt.  Did I want to distress the piece?  I knew that I used the bonding agent, but I could have sanded the edges to distress it in the areas that I wanted.  I wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  I went to Facebook to get opinions, but, in the end, I decided to leave it as it was.  I am so glad that I did!

Two coats
One coat

Lastly, I applied the hemp oil finish and let it dry overnight.  After that, I drilled the holes for the hardware. 

In the end, I am very happy with the result.  It took so much longer than I intended/wanted, but I am glad that I didn't rush through it.  I am so in love with the finished product.  Everything about this dresser is me.  I love crazy huge accessories and so when I saw the flower knobs, I knew I had to have them.  Unfortunately, these were the last two in the store (and even online) so I knew that I would have to get others for the other drawers.  I found the pearl knobs on Etsy and fell in love with them instantly.  I love pearls and wear them often so I felt that these knobs fit my personality.  I found the middle drawer pulls off of Etsy as well and I knew they would tie everything together well.  

Before and after

Dresser: $40.00
Paint/bonding agent/hemp oil/supplies: $65.00
Knobs/pulls: $85.00

Total: $190.00

I recognize that this seems like a lot (mostly for the hardware), however, if I were to buy this dresser in its current state (from Pottery Barn, Etsy, or a smaller retailer) it would easily cost me between $500 and $1,500.  My version is a bargain!  Plus I was able to customize it to exactly what I wanted.  I don't regret any part of this project.  This is a piece that I will be proud to show off and keep in my home for many years to come.

What do you think?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Phone Case DIY

I don't consider myself to be very creative.  Sure, I have other talents but I don't really count originality and creativity among them.  Which is why I feel like a total fraud and failure at our semi-regular craft night that some amazingly talented friends (and I) try to get together for.  I usually show up empty handed, ready and willing to assist others in their crafts.

We got together last Saturday night and I, of course, didn't bring anything.  My dear friend Caitlin is getting married and has an endless list of crafts to complete so we all ended up assisting her with painting trays with chalkboard paint so that she can use them at her wedding reception for signs.  Suuuuper cute idea!  We all headed out to the patio and started painting away.  And let me tell you - the chalkboard paint is pretty rad.  Pretty soon we were brainstorming ideas of other stuff to paint because we loved it so much.  I suggested painting an iPhone as a joke (the back of course!  I'm not blonde....yet!), but then the grandest idea of all was born....a chalkboard iPhone case!  I had a cheap, cheap phone case that I had on my phone that I didn't mind sacrificing to the experiment.  


The case was cute, I know.  But when you are in the moment and want to paint everything in your sight with chalkboard paint, sacrifices must be made!

Action shot


Finished product!  So fun!!!

Get yourself a chalk pen/marker (or just actual chalk) and have fun with it!  The best part about it is you can change the design as much as you want.  This project literally cost me almost nothing.  I borrowed the chalkboard paint (but you can buy it at your local hardware store for relatively nothing) and the chalkboard marker I got at Target (Dollar Spot, yeah!) for $1.00.  I highly recommend this DIY project, especially you non-creative ones out there.  

"But first, let me take a selfie"

Have fun!  :)

- Katie

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Count Your Blessings

As most of you know, I started a new job up in Rancho Cordova just about two weeks ago.  It takes me about 50 minutes to get to and from work, so in that period of time there is some thinking going on in this little brain of mine (surprised?).  And today, I decided to be positive and think of all of the things that are going great in my life. (Side note: yesterday was an awful day for a myriad of reasons and there was a lot of the opposite kind of thinking going on during my commute home.  My mood never recovered the rest of the night.)  There is a hymn in our church called Count Your Blessings.  While I didn't count all of mine (because I'm pretty sure that's not possible), I thought of some of them.  And it makes it hard to have negative thoughts about yourself when you recognize what the Lord has blessed you with.  Scratch that.  I believe it is IMPOSSIBLE to have negative thoughts when you recognize how much the Lord has blessed your life in every way possible.

So, on the eve of my 27th birthday, I realized that while I am not married (much to my mother's dismay) I have a college education.  I am debt free with some money in the bank for a rainy day.  I have a good job that pays more than I have ever made before.  With benefits!  And great people who are so helpful to the new kid on the block.  I have a car that runs beautifully that I didn't even have to pay for.  I have the most supporting family who loves me and who I love as well.  I have great friends.  I can walk.  And see and hear.  I don't have gray hair (yet!).  I have all of my senses (minus common sometimes!)  I live in a country where I am free to practice the religion of my choice.  I have over 25 cardigans (silly, I know...but so important!).  I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and is always there for me.  I have a Savior who died for me so that I can return to live with my Heavenly Father again after this life is through.  There are so many more...I am just so grateful for my blessings and for the opportunities that I have had in my life thus far.  And I am looking forward to so many more years full of abundant blessings.  I just hope that as the years go on I will still have the ability to recognize them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Post-Shopping Rant

Dear plus-size clothing manufacturers,

Please stop making pants made to only fit women who are 11 feet tall. I realize that proportionately this makes complete sense, but realistically? I am in California, not the Amazon. If I have to go the extra mile to get anything altered, I will not buy it. So really it is your loss.


A frustrated shopper

P.S. I would also appreciate some age appropriate designs. I don't want to look like a grandmother at 27.

P.S.S. You really don't see an issue AT ALL with designing a bikini or shorts that look like underwear made for overweight women??? Do you you want the general population to go blind? Most of us have the sense not to wear them. Those who don't apparently end up on Maury.

P.S.S.S. I understand it takes more fabric to make our clothing. But $40 for a shirt? Let's be real here.

P.S.S.S.S. Big prints and horizontal stripes - they should NEVER be allowed on any of our clothing whatsoever. Don't even get me started on skinny jeans. What part of skinny don't you understand, sister? I don't really want to look like an elephant's backside, thankyouverymuch.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My mother is hilarious.

So, a little while ago I was complaining to members of my family about this guy on an LDS dating site kept messaging me the same thing over and over again. I found it annoying because I was not interested in him and it he didn't even change the message up at all. Like that is going to win me over! Pshh. Anyway, so my mom enters the conversation. And it goes a little like this:

Mom: "Well do you know this boy?"

Me: "Mom, of course I don't know him."

Mom: "Well I wouldn't talk to anyone on the internet who I didn't know. Don't talk to him."

Me: "I don't think you understand the concept of internet dating websites."

So far, the experience has been lame and I have decided to give it up. And maybe get a cat. Just kidding about the cat. I hate cats :)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Day I Met the Dr.

I will never forget the day. I was in the fifth grade and our class went on a special field trip to the local roller skating rink. My teacher at the time also happened to be my bishop so I made sure that I was on my best behavior at all times. My mom had given me some money to pay for some snacks and after skating for a bit the time had come to get a nice cold beverage.

Now, my parents had always been pretty strict when it came to drinking soda when I was a kid. We almost never had it in the house, only occasionally when we would have pizza on a Friday night. And when we did, it was only Root Beer and Squirt. My parents had subscribed to the idea that caffeine was bad and that there were certain drinks we did not drink. We stuck to the basic non-caffeinated beverages and that was that.

This day, however, I decided that I didn't care about all of that. I wanted to see what the harm was in drinking a soda that I was not supposed to. Would I die? Would I be struck with lightening? I made sure my bishop was not looking and I made my move. I walked up to the counter and I made my choice. I remember thinking that the soda tasted disgusting, but I had to drink it. I paid for it, after all! I immediately felt guilty. I felt that if my parents ever found out, I would be in trouble. I vowed that I would never do anything like that ever again because if I had just listened to my parents I would have chosen a soda that I actually liked. But instead, I was disobedient and had a disgusting drink.

But somehow, I ended up drinking it again. I'm not sure when and I'm not sure how, but not too far down the road I drank this soda again. And I was in love. It tasted like heaven in my mouth. It was the nectar of the gods, the elixir of life! I had met my match and it was perfect. Now if I could only find a REAL doctor to love...

Monday, August 22, 2011

This is why my life should be a reality TV show...

I just got back from a mini trip to Provo, Utah for the wedding of my old roommate, Christina. I am so grateful that I was able to go and be there on her wedding day. She looked so beautiful! And like the goober that I am, I didn't take any pictures. At all. But it was such a great weekend. I was able to see lots of people who are so important to me. They are all people who have impacted my life in such positive ways and I am so thankful to have each and every one of them in my life :) Utah is such a happy place for me that it is always good to go back and remember the great times that I had there. It was a great trip!

This was also the first trip that I have ever taken and not had to rely on anyone. I felt like such a grown-up! I drove myself to the airport, rented a car in Utah, and stayed at a hotel. It was fabulous! The hotel was like a little mini apartment and I fell in love with it! I told my dad that I would love to permanently move there in that very room. I don't think it would be very cost effective though. Bummer. It was really cute though.

This was my very first time renting a car. It was a pretty big car! They gave me a Ford Taurus. The thing about rental cars is you are not used to them at all. And they don't give you any information about them, except for the owner's manual in the glove box. But who has time to read that when they are on vacation??? Not this girl! Anyway, when it came time to turn this car back in I had to find a gas station close to the airport to fill it up. I was running a little later than I wanted to be so I just wanted to hurry and fill up the car. Only when I pulled up into the gas station did I realize that I had no idea where the buttons or functions on this car were to make this possible. But I thought to myself, "how hard could it be?" On my car there is a lever that is clearly marked to open the door leading to the gas cap. I did a quick look at the buttons and couldn't find anything. So I scanned the levers near the driver's seat. Nothing. So I looked again. And again. By the third or fourth look-over, panic started to set in. Which then turned into a little mini freak out session where I may or may not have said some words I am not supposed to. I didn't know how to fill up this stupid car with gas and I was going to be late for my flight! I was close to tears.

Then this crazy man comes up to the car (my door was open) and tries to sell me meat. I was in panic mode so I wasn't the nicest person to him. The conversation pretty much went like this:

Meat man: "I am trying to get a promotion at work and the only way to do that is to sell more meat, so do you want to buy a steak?"

Me: (What???) "No, thank you. I am trying to make my flight and I am running late. I don't have time."

MM: "Oh, but these steaks will travel well! They are frozen and you can take them with you."

Me: "Please leave me alone."

I may have left out the please...

So I decided to look in the owner's manual, thinking there would be a diagram or a symbol or even an explanation of how to open the gas door. NOTHING! I got out of the car to look around hoping it would lead to some revelation of how to put gas in this stupid thing. This woman then comes up to me and asks me if I am leaving, to which I confide in her that I am too stupid to figure out how to get gas! I would have been embarrassed but I knew that I desperately needed help. Her daughter was running late for a job interview and all the other gas pumps were busy. Only in Utah would this woman stop what she was doing and help me. But still, two minds were not better than one. We looked at the key less entry button thingy, she looked around in the car, and still we could not figure it out. Then she pointed to a man who she thought worked there. So I approached him (complete side note: He was very good looking! Tall, dark, and handsome! Yum! ...okay, I'm done now...). He happened to be talking to the meat man at the time.

Me: "Excuse me? Do you work here?"

Man: "No, but I work there (pointing to a Direct TV van, which happened to also be a Ford)."

Me: "Oh! You drive a Ford! Can you help me?"

So, I again explained my predicament of stupidity and he took pity on me. He got in the car and searched as well. Then he busied himself with the owner's manual while we continued to look outside the vehicle. Meat man then got the attention of a gas station employee who joined in our mystery search. So for a good, solid two minutes there were FIVE PEOPLE trying to figure out how to open the door. FIVE! Then, by some miracle the woman who first helped me pushed on the door leading to the gas cap. And guess what? It opened! No lever, no button, no NOTHING! We were all dumbfounded and I was relieved! In the end, we all celebrated our victory and parted ways. I was not late for my flight and it gave me something to shake my head and laugh about the whole way home. I swear things like this only happen to me.

Stupid car.