Whose Pantry is That??? Oh Wait, it’s MINE!

That’s right, I finally organized the kitchen pantry. Who ever thought that would happen? I still have a ton of cupboards and closets to tackle but at least one project is down!

Before (aka the disaster: where canned goods go to die):

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After (so, I’ve concluded I could probably use a larger pantry):

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And my baskets with my handmade chalkboard labels:

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By the way. These are the products I used to complete this project. These large tote baskets and these small tote baskets. I used flex tubs $5.99 at Target for plastic bags and to empty costco-sized portions of snacks into (since they are so flexible, I will be buying one more and squeezing it in to hold bottled water). I also used small and large index cards (can be purchased anywhere but I got mine at Target) with chalkboard contact paper and attached invisibly with tape and rafia.

I chose the plastic baskets in the hope that they would hold up better, I’m a little worried that they are going to be very breakable as I snagged one on something while sliding it out and it popped one of the “straws.” But, it went back together easily so we’ll see. The price has gone up since I bought the baskets as well. Overall, I’m happy with all the products I used though and I’m hoping they all hold up since the pantry certainly gets a lot of wear and tear.

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A little chalk and a little lace…

So, we did this a while back when we painted our nightstands with chalk paint but I just hadn’t gotten around to blogging it. I found this tutorial for a spray paint lace design on pinterest (where else?) and thought it would be perfect for the beat up old dresser we bought on craig’s list ages ago.

Okay, it wasn’t hideous- definitely had some potential, just didn’t really, I don’t know, go with my style. So, I went out and bought some spray paint and some lace (there is apparently only one design of cheap lace- I ended up with the exact same lace as was featured on the blog). I had never spray painted before. I was impatient and I did it on a cold windy night, which was not the optimal setting. It isn’t quite perfect (I’m a perfectionist and I never can quite satisfy myself with do it yourself projects- I tend to be less critical on others’ work I think) but I like it and it’s definitely a fun technique.

Finally, I’m starting to get to the point where I not only have a grown up bedroom, but I also love being in it and keeping it pretty (aka making the bed, hanging my clothes etc). I think I’ve finally reached adulthood, how do I know this? Because, having a nice, organized house is more exciting to me than going to HFStival.

Great idea…

lacking in execution, I think…I’m not sure exactly what to do at this point since lots of thought, effort, and money has gone into this project at this point. In fact, you’d *think* if you do something yourself, it’s usually to *save* money. Not so much in this case since I bought an “antique” birdcage (about $70?) and two strands of battery operated flower lights ($15? each). But, I had a vision and it was going to come through no matter what. Except now that it’s “finished” (well, almost =), I’m not sure I actually like it. Actually, I’m sure I don’t. But where to go from here?

Here it is, the subject of my ramblings:

Okay, okay, it’s not the light itself- which I have to say I think is looking pretty great (patting myself on the back yes I am..=). It’s this:

Now other than the fact that Anya won’t actually sleep in this bed since I added the curtains (well, at least I’ve fulfilled all my own childhood princess bed fantasies =), the light seems to hang at just the wrong place. It needs to go a couple inches down which could be easily accomplished with a chain. But, then it would hang awfully low which may pose a problem in a child’s bed. Then again, since Anya seems to prefer sleeping on the trundle, maybe it doesn’t matter after all.

Ah well, no project is without it’s set backs. It only took about 10 months from conception to implementation (we still need to put up the decorative flower ceiling mount and obviously the one chain link on at the moment is neither the right color, nor is it hanging the cage perfectly straight but considering it’s been sitting on the floor for MONTHS, at least we’re moving forward!). I’d give it another 2 or 3 years before it’s either the way I want it, or taken down since Anya will probably be bored of her princess room by then anyway.

I do love the way it looks, and maybe it will allow Anya to actually have the lights off in her room when she sleeps (yep she sleeps with her overhead light on at the moment), then again I’m not holding my breath.

It’s a door, it’s some crates, it’s a bookshelf, it’s a…

DESK! Finally! We mostly finished it sometime last week but to get around taking pictures…that was a task indeed. Partly because it involved rearranging the whole room but that’s another story entirely (which is still in the process of being finished).

So, the whole project started here. I have been needing some crafting space for quite a while and I’m finally on track to getting that (yes the desk is finished, alas the organizing never seems to be- am I the only one who has that problem??).

So, after many long hours sanding (thank you Jonathan), a couple coats of stain and polyurethane (until I realized I was using poly-stain- it wouldn’t me if my project didn’t involve at least one blonde moment…remind me why there’s black spray paint waiting to be scrubbed from the linoleum still?? =), a couple of screws, here it is.

And one of my very crooked picture wall…someone want to come straighten some pictures for me??

The only thing I don’t like about my desk’s new home is that there’s no good way to place my set of drawers at the moment like it had when it was blocking the door.

Lastly, here’s the desktop. The lighting makes it look very orange. It is actually more of a reddish brown color so I may have to retake this picture in the morning but oh well- gotta do things when the babes are asleeping =)

Speaking of the lighting and orange walls, I’m really ready for a change. I’m thinking pale blue or pale green or maybe a slight combination of the two…ah but that is a (very big) project for another day. One I will probably think about and put off for a year or two…I get to paint the cabinets too- ah what fun I have to look forward to!

Sneak Peek

Working on the desk…top still needs a coat of polyurethane (possibly another coat of stain- we’ll see when this one dries) and to be screwed down and possibly moved across the room to a new home but here’s a sneak peek at the major do it yourself desk project…

A Door, Some Crates, and a Little Inspiration

I need a craft corner. We’ve been thinking about what to do for a while now. I plan to take a sewing class soon and I enjoy crafting. A lot. So, I need a corner to call my own complete with desk, storage, and possibly an ironing top. Well, today while at the local Antique Emporium, I came across some apple crates. From there arose the idea that I should make them into a desk. Now, here I sit wondering how exactly to bring this to fruition. So far I have:

And, what I think is the design I have decided on:

Jonathan is out scraping the paint (it’s some sort of plastic-y outdoor paint) off the door as I type. But, where to go from there? Ah decisions, decisions. And the only part I don’t like- see that door peeking out beside the crates? It’s going to get covered up once this desk is done. How much is that going to irritate me? We may have to relocate it (which will be no easy task once this whole thing is screwed together as this will be one hefty piece of furniture). I’m still contemplating what to do with the door. Options include sanding it down and pretty much leaving as is (not likely), painting, or doing some sort of modge podge over top (considering using magazines or newspaper). The last option was more being considered when we were planning to use a piece of plywood as the desk top.

Oh, and I’m also considering leaving the door knob on…it’s kinda cool in an extremely rusted sort of way but wonder if that will get annoying- will have to try it out before committing…

What would you do?

Chalkpaint…what’s that?

If you’re thinking, “What the heck is chalk paint and why would you want to use it?”, you’re not alone. That’s exactly what I thought when someone posted the “recipe” for chalk paint on pinterest. My first thoughts were only confirmed when I clicked the link and found it was a blog complaining about how they didn’t actually like using it. But, Jonathan and I were in the process of figuring out what on earth to do with our night stands. I love them. They’re so cool with their very unique hardware and the design, including a hinged door that folds down and requires a key to open (not really easy to use but still very cool looking). But, I hated the color. It was just not my taste. I prefer either dark wood or light rough wood. This was somewhere in the middle. Also, they’d obviously used some sort of polyurethane to seal it but it didn’t really work so there were water stains etc on it (we found it on Craig’s list originally).

(oops I forgot to take a before picture so this’ll have to do…)

We thought about staining it and even tried it a bit but it was just not working right (I think we hadn’t sanded it enough but it was also just not a good color for the yellow almost orangish wood). So, I checked out chalk paint again and discovered that it *could* be perfect for what I was looking for. Plus, with chalk paint there is no prep work necessary. No sanding, no priming, nothing. Just clean and paint. There are a couple different recipes circulating the internet but the easiest is just plaster of paris and paint. I’m not even positive how Jonathan mixed it but it came out perfectly. I think he used 1 part PoP to 2 or 3 parts paint. I like this blog about chalk paint.

So, without further ado, here’s the finished product:

And here’s mine:

I love the way they came out aged without any distressing at all. We only did one coat because I wanted it to have a mildly distressed look and I feel like we got that with very little effort. We also finished it up with a coat of minwax to seal it. So far, I haven’t noticed any scraping off or anything. However, I do think chalk paint is probably a bit more likely to get dinged etc so it’s not for every project. But, it did exactly what I wanted in this case and I absolutely love the results.

Next up, our dresser with a chalk paint/lace technique I saw on pinterest (of course).