Monday, May 30, 2011

How Very (P)Interesting.

Hey crafty pals--long time, no see!  At this time, I'm going to ignore the gap in posting (sorry, sorry, sorry, but we'll explain later) and talk about my new obsession favorite website....

Drumroll, please...

It's Pinterest

Are you surprised?  Probably not.  I think every blogger in blogland is talking about Pinterest these days because it is quite possibly the most amazing thing ever.


Pinterest is a site in which you can catalog all of your wonderful inspiration.  It's easy to use, free, and you will fall totally head-over-heels in love with it, pinky promise.

You do have to have an invitation to join--you can request one on the Pinterest site or get one from a member.  Because it's a federal holiday and I'm feeling particularly nice today, if you leave your email address in the comment field I'll try to get you an invite ASAP!

If you want to check out my boards, here's my Pinterest address:

http://pinterest.com/tristinw/


Happy Memorial Day, pals.

Tristin Signature

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Linky Love: Colorful Dining Room Chairs Edition

Those of you who know me personally know that my dining room has been under "construction" since early November.  Yeah.  Like six months.  I just cannot seem to finish this project (though truthfully my husband has done the majority of the work)!  In order to inspire me for the big reveal (don't hold your breath) I have been gathering inspiration from other {COMPLETED} colorful dining room sets.

(It just so happens that Sharon shared her awesome table and chair makeover this week.  Purely coincidental, folks.  It is crazy how we stay on the same wavelength without even trying.)

I'll first start with the dining room that inspired my transformation.  Apartment Therapy always provides thought-provoking ideas and this dining room is no exception.



Brooke of All Things Thrifty has two beautiful and colorful dining sets displayed on her site.


This one is her dining area.

 

This one is a fixer-upper that Brook and her husband reluctantly sold.




I love this Quaint Vintage Kitchen by All You Magazine.  When you choose a "vintage" theme, you really open yourself up to a lot of thrifty possibilities.  The blues and yellows in this room are SO cheerful!



And just for fun how about these funky colorful chairs at a wedding?  I love the spunk they have while remaining uniform. 

So, I'm off to go finish my dining room project!  (And by "finish my dining room project" I really mean "procrastinate".)

Happy Saturday,


Tristin Signature

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Table And Chairs Revamped!

Refurbishing furniture is one of those hobbies that I wish I did more often. I have only tried it a couple of times, but I just love how a worthless piece of furniture can suddenly be transformed into a beautiful masterpiece that demands your full attention when you walk into the room. I also like to think that I am giving life back into a piece that is precariously toying with death. Furniture death, that is. This post is quickly getting morbid.

Dining table and chairs revamp

Here is a piece that I did a while back. It's a dining room set - table and chairs. I purchased the whole package for $20 on Craigslist. (Craigslist is just like thrift stores and garage sales - you have to sift through a whole lot of junk before you stumble upon real treasure.) This table is a real beauty. I am a sucker for antique-style furniture. And when I saw the curves and the detailing on the legs, I knew I had to have it. Not to mention the adorable tiny drawer! It has so much character! Even though we already had a perfectly good dining room set, I knew I had to get this table and fix it up.

Table and chairs refurbishing

$20 is pretty amazing for all of that, but boy was it in rough shape. The pictures don't do it justice. It was depressing. Crayon scribbles everywhere. Large, deep gashes randomly throughout the surface. Even chunks missing here and there. It had definitely been through battle and nearing the end of its life. And that's when I enter. Stage right. Sander in hand.

Furniture sanded before refurbishing

Warning: Please check for lead paint before you attempt to do this step. Inhaling dusty paint chips is bad enough without adding poisonous lead. Also, wear a face mask and goggles. Place a drop cloth under your piece before continuing.

This is after I sanded the first layer off. I just tried to sand it down so that the chipped layer of paint was fairly even and smooth. This definitely took some time because I was dumb and too lazy to buy an electric sander, so I did the entire thing by hand. What a poor decision.

Refurbishing furniture-table top

This is the surface up close after the initial sanding. You can see one of the major gashes really well here. There were very deep cuts and chunks missing throughout the surface. So I had to sand the whole table top down pretty deep in order to have a smooth, even surface. This is exactly where the electric sander would have come in handy.

After it was sanded down, I took a damp cloth and wiped all of the paint dust off of the surfaces. You can also use a tack cloth to clean. You want to make sure the surface is clean so that the paint adheres well. You also want to wait for the furniture to be completely dry before applying paint. 

Dining table and chairs revamped2

Then start painting! I applied 4 or 5 coats, letting it completely dry in between each application. This may take a few days to complete. I also painted the chairs black, applying 4 to 5 coats. (I love the contemporary look of dining chairs not matching the dining table exactly.) Make sure you don't become overzealous and glop on too much paint at one time. You will have major drip-age and the end result will look messy. Apply multiple thin coats.

Dining chair refurbished

Finally, apply a couple coats of polyurethane or any other protective sealant. Please be warned that if you are painting your furniture white you need specific types of polyurethane or another sealant made for white paint. I made the mistake of putting regular polyurethane on the table, and within a day the whole thing was tinted yellow! It was so frustrating. I had to sand the whole thing down again (and those detailed, spiral legs are NOT easy to sand) and repaint. If you are using white paint, please learn from my mistake!

Dining table and chairs refurbished

Again, the end result. The original plan was to reupholster the chairs with a chic, modern fabric that ties in the white and black. But we'll see if that actually happens any time soon. I am very happy with my $20 dining room set. It has character and charm. And I can say that I gave it new life. Now it has a happy home and many more years of use.

What do you think? 
Have you ever given new life to an old piece of furniture?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

French Press gets Cozy

Once you go French you never go back... French press, that is.  I am so in love with my French press.  Many of my overnight guests fall in love with my French Press, too.  Why wouldn't they?

French Press Cozy 007

One person I know in particular needs a French press.  It's my sister-in-law, Angie.  Since she makes a single cup of coffee everyday, she opts for the convenience of instant coffee rather than making a whole pot.  Poor thing.  Don't you think she's deserving of good coffee?  Well, I do.  So she's getting a French press.  With it's own accessory.  Naturally every inanimate object needs accessories.

French Press Cozy 002

All I did to create this awesome cozy was make a chain equal to about 3/4 of the press' circumference.  Then I single crocheted into it to create a rectangle in the height I desired.  For the thin end, I single crocheted into the vertical side and decreased until I was happy with the "fastening strap" and added a button hole by adding a few extra chains to the end.  Then I sewed on a button.  Easy peasy, right?  I realize that these are not detailed instructions, but if you can crochet, you can figure it out.  If I can, you can.  There's no right or wrong.

French Press Cozy 004

I thought that a nice handmade cozy added just the right homemade touch.  Not every gift can be fully handmade, but I do have a reputation to uphold as a crafty girl, right? 

French Press Cozy 011

There's nothing like a great cup of coffee... or a great faithful friend who loves being with you, regardless of what weird task you're doing.  Man I love my little doggie!

French Press Cozy 014



Tristin Signature

Monday, May 2, 2011

Think Thrifty


Do you ever see something in the store and just fall in love with it? I mean the must-have-right-this-second kind of love? And then you get a glimpse of the price tag and suddenly you don't really need it. This happens to me all the time. Call me cheap or fickle, but I think I'm just being thrifty.

Think Thrifty.vase 

Most recent example... I saw these beautiful garden urn vases at Jo-Ann. I wanted them. I needed them. Until I peeked at the price. $39.99? Uh.. maybe they're not that beautiful. Needless to say, they did not make it home with me.

I'm so glad I didn't buy them. When I got home I remembered a thrift store piece that I had purchased months ago, and it was just sitting on our bookshelf being used as a book end. It looked just like the garden urn vases from Jo-Ann. Duh, because it was a garden urn vase. I think it even has more character than the other ones I saw. And I bought it for $3.99. That's right, $3.99.

Thrifty Ceramic Vase2

Add a couple of faux ferns from Hobby Lobby, and I think we have a winner! I love it! As a side note, I have been looking for a classy and elegant way to bring greenery into our living room, and I think I just found it. It doesn't have a permanent home yet. We are holding out on getting a gorgeous buffet style TV stand and a flat screen TV until after we move in a couple of months, but I think the urn vase will go beautifully on the stand next to the TV.

I found thrifty inspiration by looking at higher priced items and thinking of ways to mimic the look without having to spend those dollars. Luckily, I had the answer sitting on my bookshelf the whole time.
I hope you find your own thrifty inspiration!


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