Friday, October 25, 2013

A dresser for Emily

My little girl is growing up, along with her wardrobe. We are busting at the seams when it comes to storage in her modest room. Emily has a decent sized closet perfect for any little lady however once some of her favorite toys and books make their way into her room along with all of the items I cant seem to part with from her baby days its a bit much. Recently we did a makeover on our little guys room Read more here and purchased a dresser from Ikea. I'm quite happy with the dresser but even pressed board furniture can be costly. I have been on the hunt for something vintage for Emily that will suit the room and also give some much needed storage. Its a crazy world out there when it comes to second hand shopping, especially online. For months I have responded to dozens of ads within the hour they were posted and had never been successful.
I was over the moon when I finally connected with a seller and it was only luck that his original buyer didn't have a vehicle big enough and needed a few extra days to pick up the item. I have my mama minivan and was able to haul it away for him immediately. He was asking $60 which was a STEAL since Ive never seen one for less than $150. If you know me by now I rarely pay asking price for anything.. so I practically screamed "start the car" when I got this baby for $35
Picture from the ad:



She sat in our garage almost all summer but finally she is done and beautiful, sorry for the poor pics Ive been addicted to my camera phone lately. We chose not to use the mirror but we may add it later when Emily is older





How to refinish an old wooden dresser

1.Remove all hardware and give it a good wipe down using warm water and an old rag. If you have any major chips or dents you may want to use a wood filler first (read package directions)
 
2. Sand down the paint just enough to rough it up a bit. You don't have to remove the paint completely, even if it is has the old school shiny finish on it! If you have an electric sander, go for it as it will save some time and sweat otherwise do it by hand.
 
3. Using a wet rag, wipe down the dresser again to remove any dust created from sanding
 
4. Prime with Zinsser. This is a special primer that can be used on almost any surface and does not require sanding (I prefer to do a light sanding regardless). I used the Zinsser with the brown label because it dries within two hours. You can use the other ones but it could take up to 2 weeks to completely dry and cure. If you do choose the brown label please note that it has a strong smell so you will need to do this in a well ventilated area.
 
 
I brushed on the primer to ensure that I could get into all the nooks and crannies but it ended up being a huge mistake. Once dry, it left terrible brush marks which were very visible on the top and sides. To repair this I did a light sanding by hand to even out the strokes.
 

 
5. Next you will want to apply paint in your preferred color. The person at the paint counter recommended using a 2 in 1 paint and primer since I would be painting over an oil base primer. I selected Behr Paint in a blue shade called Vintage. I used a foam roller brush to complete the job
 
 
 
6. Apply 2 coats to the entire dresser and drawer fronts. A third coat was applied to the top of the dresser since it will see a lot of wear and I had extra paint. I thoroughly cleaned the interior of each drawer with soap and water and Lysol wipes before lining each drawer with contact paper (purchase at almost any department store - Canadians you can find really pretty rolls at winners or homesense).
 
7. I kept the hardware however I spray painted it white and let dry before attaching.
 
That's it! a brand new dresser which could easily be purchased for $350 for only $35 plus paint!!
 


Thanks for reading, hope you like our new dresser

Amanda


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My baby turned 6! To celebrate Alex's 6th birthday he insisted on having a party at home with a Star Wars theme. We really got into the planning and had great visions for Jedi training, a bouncy house and a few other neat outdoor activities that the kids would love. We watched the weather all week and at 10pm the night before the big day we had to face the fact that the party would be a rain out. We quickly came up with plan B and hoped for the best!

While the kidlets were snoozing in their beds Mr. Bliss and I realized we were going to have no choice other than use our unfinished super messy basement as a back up. We cleaned up the space and proceeded to hang dozens of black garbage bags from the walls along with shiny silver and gold stars from the ceiling in hopes that it would distract from the typical basement environment. A few hours later we crossed our fingers that Alex would love it and not be disappointed.

The next morning when he saw his party space he was thrilled and we were relieved
 
Each guest received their very own light saber and jedi robe

inexpensive pool noodles cut in half with ends wrapped in shiny duct tape

Jedi Robes were made from strips of brown bed sheets. All you do is fold the strip in half and cut a hole for the neck, tie the robe together using string or rope. In our case we used some old macrame rope

The kids had balloons to hit with the sabers but preferred to hit each other. they had a blast!


 
 


 The Jedi\s filled their bellies with jedi juice, wookie cookies, princess lays, and other treats. Blogger fail - I didn't get a shot of the personalized Jedi Water but they were definitely cool
 
 Eventually it was cake time and we are pretty lucky to have a member of our family who makes some pretty incredible cakes. This year Alex requested an R2D2 cake and it was pretty awesome. It even lit up!!




The kids had such a wonderful time and Alex loved every second of it. I guess old school parties might still have an edge on the fancy keeping up with the Jones parties after all

Our little guests left with a goodie bag filled with a chocolate bar which had a  customized wrapper, glow in the dark stars, candy and my personal favorite a freezy with holder made out of left over duct tape and a bit of felt to keep little hands warm. Again we were so busy I forgot to take a picture.

How do you celebrate birthdays in your house?
do you prefer parties at home or do you visit different venues to make it a bit easier?
 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fence Board Art

Hope everyone enjoyed the summer! Although life is still quite busy around here we are still slowly chipping away at our to do list and more so on finding inexpensive ways to fill our walls and decorate our space.  Over the summer I have used all types of wood to create handmade growth charts and with that I have accumulated some wasted fence boards along the way. With our wasted boards I made the following art work in just an hour!

 
Fence Board Art
 
 
 
1. Cut the 6ft fence boards to the desired width
 
2. Use a smaller scrap piece of wood and nail the stained boards to it to create the face of the artwork
 
3. Almost any decor or department store carries packs of nail on or magnetic flowers, butterflies, etc and can be purchased for less than $20. We happened to have a set which once hung above the tub in our previous home. We have never found a place for them in our bungalow until now.
 
4. Hammer the nails (provided in your flower pack) into the board in whatever pattern you prefer
 
 
5.  Attach the plastic decorations directly to the nail, most are designed to just click on.
 
 
 
 6. Once your art is complete, attach picture hanging hardware to the back and hang. I think this would also look amazing on a mantle
 
 
 
It also helps to have a super cute assistant :)
 
 
 
 




Thursday, August 1, 2013

A trashy post

Mr. Bliss announced we had a problem with the garbage shed, he added a few bags of trash and a few wasps angrily chased him. Turns out our little friends felt our shed was the perfect place to build a nest. With little ones in our house and of course the safety of our garbage man we took action.

Step One
Place a sign warning garbage men and dumpster divers of danger. Honestly I think the sign could have been spruced up, perhaps some stickers and glitter?


STEP TWO
Invest in some wasp spray, we went with the Raid brand. All you do is spray the nest from a safe distance and the chemical will cover the nest and fill up the opening eventually killing the wasps.

STEP THREE
The next day we no longer heard buzzing and knew it was safe to open up the doors. We were shocked to find 2 nests!

Step Four
Using a long stick we knocked the nests down but had some exploring to do before we trashed them..
This part is kind of gross


Those pearl like things you see, those are baby wasps.. some were still wiggling. EEEWWWWW

The garbage shed has since been knocked down,  now we just need a cute place to hide our trash
I quite like these ideas found on pinterest

Snobby Garbage

Preppy Garbage

Wannabe Garbage


Creative garbage



What do you use to store your garbage? Where do you keep it until garbage day?



 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mellow Yellow

The sun is shining and the unthinkable finally happened.. we got central air! I cant express how exciting this news is. I have never had central air and the thought of never having a hot sleepless night again feels really good. AC in Edmonton still feels more like an extravagant luxury and not a necessity so it was a really big decision for our family. So far its been only a few days but already its made a huge difference. The kids are going to sleep at a decent hour again and everyone is sleeping well.
 
To celebrate the AC we added a splash of color to the exterior for under $25



Using an exterior paint made for our metal door we settled on Martha Stewarts EGG YOLK. A mini foam roller worked well and took only a few minutes to apply (we did 2 coats)
We also refreshed the white detail around the window


 
We removed the storm door (no longer needed now that we have A/C..oooh yeah baby!)  and now have a user friendly entrance with a bit of cheer

 

The bright yellow definitely reflects my mood lately and now that I know how easy and inexpensive it was to update the door,  I might just consider a new door color every year!
 
What color is your front door?


Exterior
replace fencing
plant trees
build playhouse
plant a garden
plant flowers
patio lanterns
spray mailbox
update storm door
deck update

Dreamer.. nothin but a dreamer
sliding barn doors in hall
laundry chute
central vac crumb catcher
finished basement
master ensuite makeover
play kitchen for the kidlets
landscape front yard
air conditioning
 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Green Green Green

Last year we let Alex plant a garden which he did pretty much by himself with a little direction from grandma. Read about last years garden here
We had an abundance of lettuce, cucumber, onions, parsley and of course tons of raspberries. Every time we turned around the kids were in the garden, covered head to toe in mud and it was pretty cool.

Emily last summer

This year we just didn't have the time or energy to plant the garden again, and truth be told although it was lovely the novelty wore off pretty quickly when it came to upkeep. With the kids another year older we decided we needed more green space for them to run around.  We began by clearing out the neglected garden, removing all the weeds and even some parsley that came back again this year. Last summer we actually gave away 80% of the raspberry bushes so that made the cleanup a bit easier on us


We used a rake and dragged a 2X4 across the old garden to try and level out the soil as best as we could (we only use the finest and fanciest tools around here) we then began applying fresh rolls of sod in a brick like pattern and watered for an hour or so.


It really didn't take too long to cover our 21X21 foot patch, and soon enough our dust bowl was gone


The new grass doubled our green space, but we needed something more.. especially for privacy


We planted a few Swedish Aspen trees at the end of the yard and we look forward to when they become HUGE and make a very private wall from our neighbors

 

We also planted a few on the side of the yard for privacy, the neighbors deck is situated in a way where they can look right into our yard.


The Red prickly bush is beautiful but is located directly beneath the water valve, every time I need to turn on the hose I am assaulted. The removal of this bush was next on my list.... until Mr. Bliss put a stop to the plan when he discovered this:


Until next time prickly bush, until next time....
 
 
Amanda

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Chairs

I love the table and chairs we bought off of kijiji last winter. The cane back detail was so lovely however the  best chair of all was destroyed by our tiny princess. One too many times of being told to sit on her bum at the table.. and it happened. She fell backwards chair and all. She was fine, just a little scared but the chair was not repairable (not by me anyhow) amazing how her tiny body won against the chair.


 After selling the remaining 3 chairs (making back almost as much as I initially paid for the table and 5 chairs) I found similar chairs but better. They didn't have the ornate detail on the top which I was tiring of but they had lovely legs and the cane back which I adore. The best part is I got 5 chairs for only $40 total. After a quick spray of high gloss white they looked good as new.
 I was able to get the same fabric which I have recently learned is called OIL CLOTH. This special fabric is a bit pricey as its almost like the fabric is laminated, allowing spills to wipe away with a cloth. Ive decided unless its a fabulous deal I wont use anything else until the kids are older.
Anyhow, I salvaged the material from the broken chair to save a bit of money and purchased enough fabric to cover the remaining 4 chairs. I am so happy with how they turned out




What do you think?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

He's not a baby anymore

When we moved into our bungalow I thought Alex would be upset about leaving the home he had since he was 6 months old. Our last house was a large new build where he had a finished basement and nice playroom.  Surprisingly Alex seemed as excited about the new adventure as we were and I think it partly had something to do with the fact that we have always included Alex in as many of the decisions as possible. With that said his room was completely designed by him. He chose the paint, the artwork, the decorations and if a dresser sat in a certain spot it was because he insisted on it. I think he did pretty good

Nearly 2 years later and our 5 year old is going on 15! He really wanted a new room and although we didn't cover the ceiling with wood as we had planned (due to time constraints) together with Alex we chose some new colors and created a new room for a big boy. I'm certain Alex can grow with this room and enjoy it even as a teenager with a few updates here and there.




Remember this vintage school chair I found at a garage sale last year? It makes a super cute side table perfect for a glass of water, superhero books and the little boat Alex made
The new Hemnes dresser from Ikea fits perfectly and offers so much more storage than his old dresser

We scored two beautiful wooden boats at a garage sale last month for just under $10 for the pair. The silver dinosaur we refinished last year looks right at home next to his favorite star wars poster

A pull out drawer on wheels perfect for storing Lego

These drawers can be found at Ikea however I picked this up on kijiji for a few bucks and lined it with some funky paper


We kept the closet pulls that we added when we did the room the first time, I still love them

My little guy is super happy with his new room!
Hope you enjoyed the room update, I told you I wasn't completely slacking over here!
Enjoy your week
 
Big Boy Room
baseboards
DIY bookshelf
headboard
toy and book organization
figurine display case