Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the hiatus didn't last long...

Only a week and a half after completing the new dresser, I have had a long-enough break from projects. (please don't bring up the crocheting project that I still haven't completed... and going on year 3 ;) ) I have decided to tackle something that is huge! It needs to be done (or at least that's what I'm telling myself). I have decided to reupholster my couch.

With fabric like this, who wouldn't want to reupholster a couch from hair-grabbing fabric to a sleek and smooth leather surface?

Plus, with two fluffy creatures running around the house, it would be nice to have a place to sit that doesn't leave you with a ton of fur.
It would be a big project, especially with summer school about to start. I'm taking three classes this summer, so we'll see what happens.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

This is a quilt I made for my husband when we were dating. He joked around one night, saying that I should make him a "Megaman" quilt.
He may have been joking, but I took it as a challenge. I used an overhead projector to blow up the image, then traced it out onto waxed paper, then cut out the different colors of fabric and sewed them together. I then sewed the details of Megaman (fingers, boots, etc.) into the quilt.
I used twin-sized sheets for the back and front.
I really surprised him with this quilt for his birthday one year. He still wants me to make him a "Protoman" blanket.
We still have the Megaman blanket (so he must still like it after 5 years ;) )

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Attitude at my place... maybe

Our apartment uses a lot of water. Mainly because someone who will not be named likes to take at least 2 showers a day. Not only that, but he uses a new towel every time. That, combined with the water-hogging toilet, our water bill could stand to use some help. (I would also blame my cat, who, I swear, drinks at least a gallon of water every two days, but I have no proof since he not only drinks the dog's water, but also the fish's water (mmmm... fish soup))

After reading this post from Young House Love, I decided that it's time to do something about some of the water usage. I bought one of these babies. We'll see how much water we save.

Did you know that Lowe's didn't have this on their website nor does Wal-mart sell it in-store? I think it's a conspiracy ;).

Maybe I should also look into getting a low-flow shower head.

About a year ago, I fixed the front door. I replaced the gaskets (and still had a huge gap between teh frame and the door) and added the foam-tape stuff to fill in the gaps. This helps keep the cold-air inside during the summer and the warm air inside during the winter.

Another improvement we made was turning on the air-conditioner later in the night than last year. Instead of turning it on before 10 p.m., we wait until 11:30. We are already seeing a difference in the electric bill by waiting a little later to cool the house. This past winter, we did run the heater a little more because we both caught something. Normally, we don't even run the heater.

I tried using the energy-efficient light bulbs, but I did not really see a difference in using them, other than more money taken from my pocketbook. To me, it also seems like they don't last as long as regular bulbs.

My husband will be so proud of me....

Day 1 of Cleaning out the apartment has commenced. I can't really explain it in words, but I have before and after pictures! (I even threw away my old graduation hat from high school.)

Chris helped me, but sort of lost his usefullness when he started telling me to keep stuff. I told him "You aren't helping, i'm trying to get rid of stuff". He was so nice that he even offered to throw everything away for me. I didn't want him to get overeager, so I seperated my junk into throw away and give away. The picture of the lumber and trash is just he beginning. Toward the end of the night, you could barely walk to the bedroom. I forgot to take a picture. I was caught up in the moment.

Now, the pictures!

I still have some cleaning to go, but ran out of time and steam. The next project? The kitchen shelf.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My husband must be telling on me

I'm about to partake of a project that is of epic proportions.... cleaning out my apartment. While reading this article, I realized that Chris must be telling on me because I can be caught saying some of this stuff, especially "I might need it one day".

After my husband called me a hoarder ( in a joking way), I decided that I need to clean out my closets. (well, my husband saying that and the fact that i've gone from storing stuff in teh closet to actually throwing it on top of stuff that is crammed in boxes, on top of boxes, in my closet. Plus, the fact that I am unable to freely turn around in my 6'x8' closet.

One thing I want to do is to return extra unused lumber to Lowe's. Can you even do that? Secondly, I have to bring myself to get rid of the board games that I haven't played in years. I had even forgotten about them when I had them stored at my parents' house. I recently got them back because my parents had to move and gave me my "stuff" back.

I also have two old baby toys that were mine when I was a baby (including a stuffed dog-affectionately known as Barf). I also have a ton of stuffed animals. I like stuffed animals. I always have. Some of them were made by my great-grandmother. Some of them were given to me by friends, and some of them I just like. I don't know how I can get rid of them. There is also a huge beanie-baby collection. How can I get rid of them? They may be worth money in years.

Another group of things that I can't get rid of are my musical instruments. I have a keyboard that I bought in high school. I also have a guitar that I purchased then too. I have played the keyboard in the last year or so, but I haven't used the guitar since my Junior year of college. I also have a violin that I inherited from my grandfather (can't get rid of that).

I know I have a graduation hat from high school, plus pointless certificates and plaques from high school. I need to get rid of them, but I can't. I also have autographed pictures from 10 coaches in the SEC. Many of them aren't even coaches anymore and have moved on. They may be worth some money, but who knows.

Remember the world before digital cameras? I still have developed film rolls from trips that I went on. I also still have the photos. Do I really need to keep my advantix film rolls?

I'm not even touching my Christmas decorations. I try to use all of my stuff every year. My house looks like Christmas threw up in it, but Christmas is my favorite holiday. --no compromise ;)

Clothes: Oh boy. This is a big one. I promise myself that I will wear that small skirt, when I lose weight. I haven't worn it since 2007. I also have a few pairs of pants that I am promising myself that I will need them when I loose 2 dress sizes. That's not happening anytime soon. I also have a letterman jacket from high school. It doesn't fit anymore. Am I going to wear it around when I do fit in it? I say I'm going to keep it and let my kid wear it to some "spirit day" in school.

This may be a "nicole only" thing, but I can't bring myself to give up my flower pots. I recently built a huge planter to plant stuff at my apartment and do not see me needing pots anytime soon, but I can't get rid of them. It's not like they are the expensive pots, the most expensive one costed $12.

I won't even get into all of the kitchen stuff. I say that I need to keep it for when I move into a house. That won't be for at least another 3 years. By then, I'm sure there will be more sophisticated kitchen technology.

Now that I have cleaned out my apartment in my head, maybe I can actually do it tonight.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's Done!!!!

The dresser is finally done and my living room looks like a living room. Time to take a break. ;)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm itching, literally, to finish my dresser

My arm is driving me crazy.... it's itching and stinging (which I assume is a good thing, especially since I had a plug of skin removed from my arm). Plus, I am figuratively itching to finish my dresser. It's sitting in the middle of my living room floor, right in front of the TV. Since it's 36" high, it's also blocking the TV.

There is sawdust on my carpet and on my sofa, lumber in the walkway and on the side-table, and a skilsaw by the front door... and what does Chris do? Invite someone over! My house looks like HGTV threw up in it and he has friends over.

I love friends, but I hate that my house is such a mess. At least I did pick up the plastic bags from the drawer slides last night. I also had electrical tape stuck to the carpet, but removed it.

I think now, I'm more ready to have my house back to normal than to have a new dresser.

I forgot to mention that Chris's office is also a mess since I took apart the video game shelf to construct my dresser. I had used 1x12's and 1x10's on the shelf and had planned to use the old dresser to store videogames, so I decided instead of having to store something else, I would use it in something else. Because of this, I have videogames everywhere! (tons of videogames for 5 different systems, all over the room)

I thought about sawing the lumber around 9 p.m. last night, but figured I would irritate the neighbors. (I should have, because around 11 p.m., my upstairs neighbor decided to play his guitar outside, on his porch, next to my bedroom window).

On the bright side, I picked up a new hobby... painting on glass. I found some paint at Hobby Lobby that looks like stained glass after you paint. I've been wanting to take up making stained glass creations, but it's such an expensive hobby to get into. This was a lot cheaper. All you need is stained glass paint (not sure if that's the real name, but it's what I'm calling it), glass/plexiglass, and an idea.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I hate learning things the hard way... and my shopping list for Lowe's

Yesterday afternoon, I worked on the evil dresser. It has become evil because it has consumed my life. (well, not really, but it is a really good project if you want a project to eat away at your pocketbook).

I had planned to attach the drawer slides to the dresser drawers, install the drawers, and then mount the fronts on the dressers. That's not what happened.

Word of Wisdom: When mounting the dresser slides to the drawers, be sure to mount the wheels toward the back of the drawer, not the front. An hour later and many moments of frustration later, I realized that I had attached the brackets backwards.

Secondly, I did not measure the appropriate distance to attach the first drawer. I ended up with a 1.5 inch gap at the top. (it's supposed to be flush with the top).

Tonight, I will basically restart installing the drawers and maybe get to a point where I can see what the drawers look like in the cabinet and hopefully post some pictures. Right now, it looks like a bunch of ladders stacked on top of each other.

I didn't go to school for art, as you can probably tell. I just didn't want to post another "post" without having a picture explaining what was going on.

This afternoon, I plan to run by Lowe's to get some more supplies for the black-hole of my money. It has eaten all of my screws, all of my nails, and even all of the plywood that I had purchased for it. I didn't want to have to buy drawer handles for it, but it will be next to impossible for me to make my own handles. Here are some ideas of handles for the dresser:

1. I would like this Satin Nickel Drawer Pull, but at $3.97, that would come out to nearly $24.

2. There is no way in Hades that I would buy this drawer handle, but at $.86, it's looking mighty good.

3. This is more in my price range, but I think the scroll work may distract from the art that I am going to try to paint on the front. On the bright side, the handle will match my fine china.

4. This one is closer to what I'm looking for, but it's a little to "mickey mouse-ish" for me.

5. I'm thinking about going with this one because it looks more modern. And, at $1.28, it will not break the bank.

6. I am quickly falling in love with this handle. It's shiny, silver, and only $1.37 per handle.

7. If I had $1,000,000.00, I may purchase these handles. They are my ideal handles-modern, silver, and cool-looking, but, at $15.15 a piece, there's no way.

8. I may go with this one, though, because at $.97 a piece, who can pass up this deal.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Dresser

I've been working every night this week on my new dresser. (the picture to the left is not it) I have the frame built and 3 sides of the drawers assembled. I'm waiting until I have completed the drawers until I put the 4th side on the drawers. I am now trying to figure out how to paint it. I was thinking just regular pecan stain, to match my other furniture, but now, I have a new inspiration... drawing a bird and branch on it. I don't want to paint it white, though, so I'm thinking about doing a design, using two different colors of stain. That may be hard to accomplish, but I think if I tape off my design, paint the darker color, and then paint the lighter color all over, it would work out.

The dresser to the right is sort of what my dresser will look like (minus the bamboo). The basic structure is the same-six drawers, with the fronts connected and one beam in the middle.

This weekend, I will put the bottom on the drawers and then install the drawer slides. If you hear a string of expletives, it's probably coming from me, especially since not only do you have to put them at equidistant measurements, but they also have to be level. I tried to install one, just to see how hard it would be, and boy, it's going to be a fun.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Don't know if I should post this...

but my sister-in-law won the art competition at the Gum Tree Festival in Tupelo. I'm really excited for her, especially since she is a really talented artist. I would put up some pictures of drawings that she has done, but the turkey took them off of her facebook page. Did I mention that she could also be a model?
Instead of working on my dresser this weekend, I will be going to Tupelo to see all of her winning artwork.