Stone Soup for Five: July 2010

Jul 19, 2010

New little side table makeover

I've been searching at the GWO (Goodwill Outlet) for a small little side table to go between the two wingback chairs in the living room (that STILL don't have slipcovers--don't ask. Ugh.) and couldn't find anything.  Well, yesterday mom came with me and she showed me a cute little table, that I liked, but thought it was too short.  It was more like a footstool height.  But she convinced me that it would work well between the chairs.  It was $10 which is kinda spendy for me at the GWO, but it was pretty cute and very sturdy. 

 Here it is, but I forgot to take a pic before I sanded the top.  Just imagine it that same color, but with deep gouges and scrapes across it.  When we turned it over, we saw it was from Lane furniture.  When I looked up Lane, the prices made me choke!  Okay, $10 was  a STEAL of a deal!  So glad mom convinced me to get it!

I sanded off the varnish on the top and sides and smoothed out all the gouges scraped across the top and spray painted the base satin black.  Then I used my same mahogany stain and stained the top and sides.  (The flat part of the table took two coats of stain, and with the sides I've learned to cover with stain and wipe off almost immediately because they really absorb the color fast!)

And here's the super cute table now!

I was going to do white on the legs and distress them, but Mr. Measure suggested black and I really like it!

See why I have such a hard time staying out of GWO?  $10 and some elbow grease and it's love!!

Jul 15, 2010

Dining room chandelier makeover

This is the original chandelier that came with the house, from 1970.  When we first moved in, I HATED the dirty brown color it was, so I slapped some wall paint on it and hated it more, but didn't really care THAT much.  It was a victim of me having 3 very young boys and not enough money to replace it.

Eight years it hung like this, with its poor paint job and smoky glass--no, it's not dirty glass, it's smoker's yellow glass.

So I was just going to paint what I had with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, until I found THIS!

It was at the outlet for $6 (with glass covers, not pictured) and was a chance I was willing to take to see if it would work (couldn't just plug it in, it had to be wired in).  So I took off the glass, covered it with Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint and prayed it would work.

AND IT DID!!!!  And is completely GORGEOUS!!!

 Love it!

Jul 14, 2010

Dining room reveal--mostly

I still have to figure out what these blank freshly painted walls need, but thought I'd show it to you so far... it's come a long way. Here's the before:
We lived with it like this for 8 years, because I was really more interested in making things easy and workable, than pretty, AND we never had the money I thought we needed to make it work.  UNTIL I discovered some great blogs like Centsational Girl and Thrifty Decor Chick.  Now I know all you need is creative thinking, Goodwill Outlet, and spray paint!!

Annnnnnnnnd now!!!!  In its current state (blank walls and dirty window), but about a THOUSAND times better!!
Early morning sun, nice and bright and cool this morning:

Here is my new $6 Goodwill outlet chandelier. I'll do a separate post on the transformation.  Love it!  That's my hutch, with its new doors of beadboard.  (we're still going to scrape all these ceilings, when I'm in the mood for an entire house mess.)

This is where the corner hutch was, but after painting it felt too stuffy, so it has a new home, and I found this chair at the outlet for $3 just like it is.  The tray and vases are also from the outlet for .89 a pound.

One more view of the before and after:

Jul 12, 2010


So I'm working on making these AWESOME huge chunky floor candlesticks out of the spindles that were by the front door...Here's the whole ugly truth of how I roll:
I used liquid nails to get the top and bottom together and it didn't squirt out well, so then I tried to drill a screw into the center and the WHOLE FLIPPIN TOP starts spinning.  Then I can't get the screw out for forever, and when I finally do, I grab the screw and it's SMOKING hot and burns my finger.  I toss it across the garage and think "bleep bleep BLEEEEEP".  Then I try to drill a hole first for the screw and can't get the stupid drill bit in there right, and when I finally do, I drill it and then can't get the hole on the flat top to line up with the hole on the spindle, so I'm really TICKED now and try to do the best I can and the flippin screw driver/drill slips of the stupid screw and jams hard into the front of my thumb just below my nail and I'm SOOOOO MADDDDDDD!!! I could have chucked that whole thing out into the driveway and jumped up and down on it!!!!  BLEEEEEPPPPPPPPP!!!!  
Just keepin' it real.  Done decorating today. >:o[

Why I love my GWO!

GWO= Goodwill Outlet

I love it because there are surprises like this, just waiting... sometimes.  And for $20!  Drexel Heritage sofa table, now at home in our entrance!!

But now I have yet another BLANK wall to decorate.  Blank walls intimidate me.  Any suggestions?

Jul 10, 2010

The $1 hutch final reveal!

You might remember this hutch I got at the Goodwill Outlet a couple weeks ago for ONE DOLLAR!

Well, last week it looked like this (after sanding, scrubbing, and lots and lots of elbow grease).  I liked it, but it wasn't quite right.

It sat in the living room for a week or so, and I just didn't bond with it, which was discouraging because of all the work.  Should I paint it a color?  What was wrong?  Then it hit me.  Stain the top!
So today I stripped the top (my first time with stripper) and sanded really well, and stained it with the same stain on the table and TV console.


In this final picture, you can see a bit of the shelf Mr. Measure built on the top of the half wall, that we removed the spindles from.  His first experience with mitered corners and he did FABULOUS!

Still need to accessorize and stain the new shelf above, but had to share the new hutch look!

DIY simple brick firepit, in about an hour!

We built our very first firepit yesterday, with about $50 in supplies and about an hour of labor (not including the trip to Lowes)!

Here's how it went down:

1. Convince Mr. Measure that we MUST have a firepit by tonight, and bribe him with a trip to Dutch Brothers (right by Lowes).
2. Mow the lawn in 90+ degree heat
3. Convince Mr. Measure to prune back overhanging and low branches in 90+ degree heat
4. Start building!

First we laid the bricks on the ground to form the ring and be sure it's where we wanted it.

Next we started digging out around the outside and inside of the bricks, and the sod peeled right up.

Then we laid down a thin layer of pea gravel, for drainage and because I'm all about doing it the RIGHT way FIRST. (rolls eyes)

Then we placed the bricks back on the gravel and Mr. Measure got to smack the bricks with his mallet and get out the level.

 'tis exceedingly level.

and if you don't have the proper tools AT ALL, don't put off the project until you have them, whack it with a hammer! (please note: This is NOT the way Mr. Measure does things, this was purely the result of me encouraging (not nagging, thank you) him to get it done TONIGHT.  He would have NEVER done it this way if he didn't have a very impatient and rush-it-together kind of wife!)

Putting on the final top row of bricks.  And using the level again.

Then pour another bag of pea gravel in the bottom, good and thick.

And enjoy the fire!

Cost breakdown:

Bricks: .98 each, we used 43 for this pit.  $42.14
Pea gravel: 3.33 a bag, we used 2.   $6.66
Masonry Adhesive tube: (we didn't use yet, but will for gluing the top row together: $2.75 a tube
Total cost: $51.55

A year later, lasting through the long, wet and cold winter, the firepit still looks and works as good as the day we made it.  No problems with loose or falling bricks, and that is even after our boys used it all fall as a base for their plywood bike jump.  Love it!

********************UPDATE #2**********************
Two years later this continues to be one of the BEST yard investments we've ever made.  There is just something wonderful about sitting around a crackling fire with good friends.  It is still as sturdy and level as it was the day we built it.  Love it!

***************************UPDATE #3************************
Four years later, and we still use this every summer. It still looks the same, but with more ash.  The inside of the bricks show a little blackness from smoke, but the outside is just as sturdy and pretty as the day we made it.  We are still planning summer activities around the firepit!

Jul 8, 2010

The $1 chair makeover and the corner hutch

Here is another Goodwill Outlet SCORE.  This little chair (and it is pretty short and low to the ground) was marked from $5 to only $1.  Even though I didn't have a place for it at the time, I couldn't pass it up, and the boys were having too much fun pushing each other around in it.

First I removed the cushion and plywood base (someone else had made the base, thanks to them!) and primed it with spray primer, then coated it well with Heirloom White spray paint.  I found a great fabric in the accent color I guess I am going with (sea glass green/blue) and recovered the cushion.


 And I've also moved my corner hutch to this back door entrance area.  I spray primed and painted it in Heirloom White too, and turned the lower glass doors into chalkboard with chalkboard spray paint!
The interior has a coat of sea glass blue too.

Don't mind the walls, floor, or rug, this is in a room that I'm not even "officially" redoing yet!

Just gotta figure out some CLEVER sayings to put on all my chalkboards!

Jul 5, 2010

Goin' with the flow

So we went to Home Depot and got plywood and all the stuff to make a built in bookshelf for the newly opened up entrance, BUT....

I found this instead!  Gorgeous, huh?

The rail on the top drawer was broken, but easily repaired...

And it was such a steal at just $1 at the Goodwill Outlet, how could I pass it up??

It'll be WONDERFUL to hide our extra DVD's in and a drawer for more storage.  Can you believe it was only $1? Very solid and will be so cute white.  It is primed now, and hoping to finish her final coat here in another couple hours.  We'll take back our $30 sheet of plywood and spend it on something a little more fun!
I'll be sure to post before and after pics when it's all done.

Jul 3, 2010

Removing the 1970's entrance!

So our home has the true mark of a 1970's house.  Spindles by the entrance. 
(This pic was taken after we took a sledgehammer to the first spindle and whacked it as hard as we could till it was FORCED out! Mr. Measure wasn't liking my sledge hammer idea, but complied reluctantly and whacked away!)

Results of the sledgehammer work revealed that everything was screwed and nailed in good.

After we whacked it out, we thought, hey what if we removed the molding around the bottom and see what's under there?  (This is my usual way of doing things... whacking or hammering, THEN thinking.  It was a whole new way to do things for Mr. Measure. LOL)

 Ahhh... shims are holding it up.  What if we knocked those shims out and then hammered the bottom board DOWN to pop the nails up and then pull them out?  It worked.  The nails popped up and Mr. Measure pulled them out.

 Woody and Tank came to help.

Removing the nails from the bottom board.

Making sure the top is nice and loose.
Yup, it's loose.  The whole thing was assembled as a unit and then put into place, so it's SOLIDLY together.

And it's OUT!!! WHOOO HOOOO!

And this is the base.  It has an electric outlet in it on the other side, so we didn't want to mess with removing it, so instead Mr. Measure will make me a built in bookcase that is only this high.  I'm gonna LOVE it!

Wow, it already feels better!! Now to get some lunch and then head to Home Depot!