Biggest Build Yet!

Nope, we didn't build a house.  Or even a play house. We built a table!  I know, I know, you have probably seen a MILLION table 'how to's' in just the past week alone.  And honestly, that's why we thought we could do it.  After all, according to Pinterest - anyone can build a table, right?  All you need is screws, a drill and some wood...right?  WRONG!  Ok, so maybe McGyver can build a table with less than that, but we quickly learned that even though we thought we had all the tools needed, we actually needed more (yay! more tools!!!)(not being sarcastic, I do love my tools!).  Perfect example, I have asked for (and received) a table saw, wet/dry vac, nail gun, and a composter - ok so a composter isn't a tool necessarily, but still!)

Ok, so back to why I am writing this post.  The table.

As long as I've lived on my own, I've used an antique table that was given to me by my aunt.  It wasn't a family piece, but it was still special and I love having something different than what I could find at a big box store.  It was always big enough for me and a few friends.  JD and I even used it after we got married.  All in all, I'd say I've had that table for about twelve years.

Here she is in my first house...not a great pic...unless I wanted a pic of my dog licking her butt...
We were still unpacking {current casa}
another stellar photo.....

and the photos of when I listed her for sale
Apparently I don't believe in using my shmancy-fancy camera to take photos....


After we remodeled our kitchen and opened up a wall, our dining room felt even larger than it was and the small antique table just didn't quite fit any more. And like any other person, we took to Pinterest for ideas.

We loved the farmhouse table look - I know so original these days.

I saw tons of plans on how to build various kinds, but none of them looked like what I had in my mind.  I finally found a photo of the perfect table, but sadly it was just a photo with no directions.  We looked around at several stores and all of the tables we liked were at least $600! Just the table, no chairs!! And those tables were still not the 'perfect' vision I had in my head.

ah, the 'almost' perfect table.  

Backstory time.  Once a long time ago (before Pinterest- circa 2010), I wanted to build a window seat and didn't have any plans. So, I made my own and with JD's help, we built the window seat and I have to say it turned out pretty well.  So well that two different owners of a past house of ours, still have it in their bedroom.  OR maybe they just can't find the right replacement.....anyways, it has survived 3 families and 7 years.  Not too shabby.

designed by me! Built by JD and me!

Fast forward to present day (ok, not present day, but March of last year - yes, I am a little late on this one....).  I kept going back to that photo of the table that I realllllyyyy loved that had no directions...I did what I did back in 2010 and drew up some plans on how to build the table.  Not the prettiest sketch, but it gave us a rough idea of what materials we would need to build our dream table.

I think we got the point...
And so we bought the materials, borrowed a Kreg Jig and built ourselves a table.  Start to finish, I think it took us between one and two weeks to finish.

experimenting with the angles

Once we had all of the base parts cut and sanded, we stained the wood with Early American wood stain from Minwax.  A few lessons learned, don't use plain wood putty, it won't take the stain the same as the wood.  Try to find a wood putty that is already tinted and that closely matches the stain color you are using.

After the base stain color had dried, I rubbed some random areas with vaseline (where it would normally show wear and tear), then we used Valspar Chalky Finish paint in Kid Gloves and painted the entire base.  Once the paint dried, I sanded the areas to reveal the stain.  The paint came off super easy in the areas where the vaseline was, almost too well and I had to go back and repaint a few of the larger table looked like a giraffe! Not a good look.

I might have been a bit messy...
Now time for the top of the table.  We used four 2x12's.  We tried to distress aka beat them up as much as we could and then used the same stain as we did for the table base.  After a couple of layers of the stain, we used a clear coat of prolycrylic (Minwax water based in clear satin) to seal the wood.  You know, to keep it looking old....

No horrible smell *BONUS*
Now time to assemble the top.  We made a big mistake here.  Before we distressed the wood, we should have run the planks through my table saw to get them nice and straight....DO NOT SKIP THIS, IT WILL SAVE YOU MAJOR HEADACHES.  But since we did skip this, we had the headaches.

We thought we had purchased the straightest planks of wood from the store, and we probably did...but once we tried to join them together we found out we were wrong...big time wrong....Instead of going back and redoing our table top, we fought with the planks until we got them right.  This fight involved the Kreg Jig (we have since bought one, love it!) and strapping the wood planks together and using all the brute strength we could muster.

we had to use some extra wood to screw all of the top planks onto

Once the top was complete, we attached the top to the base, and voila! We had ourselves a table! Almost...

We adjusted the length using the 2x6 under the table

the non-painted stripe is where the table legs should have been - easy to fix - thank goodness

Ok, now we have a table!

We still need a longer bench for one side, but other than that, it has held up pretty well.  Meaning, it hasn't fallen apart on us in almost a year..

We do have new chairs that replaced the black ones.  They were Target purchases - four for $100! The fact that they were so cheap, might explain why I can't find them anymore to post a link here....but here are some similar ones. And the cloth ones on the ends were an Overstock purchase.  We got the pair for $75, they were in the 'AS IS' section - we still haven't figured out what was wrong with them.

We love our table, we love the way it fits in the dining room, and we especially love the fact that we built it ourselves.

comparing the new chair with the old chair

suggestions on a longer bench??? chair

The Target chair

So there you have it, our biggest build yet.  What's next?  You never know in a house as old as this one!

Oh - sorry for any grammatical proof reader is on a 15 hour flight to S. Korea....and as a UGA Alumni, he's extremely upset he's missing the college football National Championship.  So in his honor ~ GO DAWGS!!!!!


Are We Crazy?

This is going to be a random one folks.  And yes, I realize it's been a bit since I've posted, but here goes.

JD is upstair sleeping and I've been awake since 4:30 am....thinking about houses.  A particular house in fact.

Before I get into the details of that house, let me tell you about our current home.  It is a two story, 1908 Queen Ann Victorian Cottage (or so I'm told).  We have 3600 square feet of living space,  downstairs we have a large, mostly open floor plan with a {recently} remodeled kitchen - with a side deck and exterior entry, a library, a sunroom/playroom, two bedrooms that share a Jack-n-Jill style bathroom, a half bath in our hallway, and a mud/doggie room.  We also have a walk in butlers pantry area, all wood and tile floors, high ceilings and original moldings, pocket doors and trim work.  The upstairs has two more bedrooms, one of which is the master suite.  The master has a large bathroom with a shower, double sink and whirlpool tub.  Our room also has a walk in closet and a small sitting area with a separate door.  The other room is on the small side, but our girls currently share it with a small, modified bunk bed.  They love sharing, for now, but I have a feeling soon they will want their own spaces.

Outside we have an amazing wrap around front porch with tons of room (porch swing, large patio set, and two tables for eating), the front yard itself is nice and flat with great grass.  The backyard has alley access and a 2 car garage attached to the house, but with only exterior entry.  The yard is also large and flat, we have a gazebo with lounge chairs, a fire pit and a even a garden area with three really large planters.  Want to see photos of our current home: kitchenand the rest of the house.


It all sounds so amazing, so am I crazy for wanting a smaller house?????  We have three dogs, 2 girls (one is here every other weekend) and family that comes often to visit.  But I still want that smaller house.  Part of me thinks having a smaller home will mean less to clean, less to maintain, less projects, and more time spent doing things as a family.  That sounds great too, right??

Well, to make matters even worse, I've found quite possibly my dream home.  (I thought our current home was our dream home too....)

It is the most adorable little cottage/farmhouse in an adjoining neighborhood that is still in our current school district.  The house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small {gorgeous} kitchen, nice size living room and a basement.  Two of the bedrooms are upstairs and share a hall bath, the third bedroom is currently being used as a playroom and is a bit on the small side, but it is downstairs and has a full bath nearby.  This house has the best curb appeal.  And it has a basement that has tons of storage and isn't all creepy at all.  And I haven't even mentioned a HUGE bonus.  There is a carriage house on the property!!!!  And it is just as large as the main house, and by large, it's really not that big, each building is 1400 square feet.  But back to the carriage house, it has a large open concept first floor and then another living area on the second floor with fireplace, two bedrooms and one shared bathroom....I'm in love.  

**All of the below photos were provided by the listing agent and are not my own**

Amazing curb appeal!

Main cute...

Carriage house in back

Main living area with *working* fireplace!

Second floor of the carriage house

I actually did take this one.  First floor of the carriage house.

So what's the problem??? Well, we area bit spoiled by our current location.  We can walk to several restaurants, the zoo, coffee shops, and a brewery.  And more stuff is coming!  The cutest little dream house is probably a mile further away from all these it worth it?? I DONT KNOW, but I wish I did.

So am I crazy to want to go from 3600 square feet to 1400???? Am I just a house nut that the grass is alway going to be greener in the someone else's yard??? Or do we just need to suck it up and move??

And these are the things that keep up at night.  Anyone made the move from a larger, what you thought was your dream home to smaller, might could be your dream home place???

I welcome all thoughts, crazy like mine and sane too.

Spicing Things Up

Oh man, it's been a while.  My apologies, life happens, what can I say.

Anyways, I've had a project that I've been wanting to do for a while, and when I finally sat down to do it, it took all of 2 days.  And that 2nd day was because I had to go shopping for more bottles.

Ever since our kitchen renovation, I've been wanting a way to display spices in a fun, cute way.  My kitchen Pinterest board shows that and more.  Maybe too much....

Several months back a guy in my neighborhood was selling vintage Coke and Pepsi crates for $10 each. I bought 7 of them!  I ended up passing along most of them to my mother and kept just a couple to use in our house.  

The coke one was used to store our spices and I loved the way it looked, or could look.  All of our spices were various brands, various bottle types and sizes.  So it just looked a little messy.

After few hundred hours (I'm kidding...maybe) of searching for online ideas, I found a few doable ideas.  Since our kitchen is pretty much all gray and white, I wanted to inject some color into the decor.  

I bought spice (here) jars from World Market many, many months ago.  And they've been sitting in their bag on the floor in my hobby room ever since then.  I chose these jars specifically.  I wanted glass jars and most that i found (Amazon, Target, etc) were glass but had a plastic lid.  And well, plastic doesn't last long in our house (thanks for JD for that).  And these jars from World Market were perfect, they had a stainless steel lid and they even came with the little plastic lid with holes in it for sprinkling your spices!  The link above has a set of 5 for $5.94, but you can also buy them individually for $0.99 each, not a bad price!

I used my Silhouette Cameo program to design the spice labels for the top of each spice jar, apparently we have A LOT of spices (is 37 a lot???).  

I purchased full size shipping labels from my nearest office store.

 And then I sent it to the printer

Not too bad, the colors were a tiny bit off from my computer screen, so I'm not sure if that means my computer needs to be tweaked or if my printer ink is running low...

Since I used my Silhouette, I was able to use the print and cut feature.  The black square and lines you see above help the machine know exactly where to cut.  I usually always do a 'test cut' to make sure I have my blade set at the right depth and the speed as well.

There you can see the test cut I did in the upper left corner...So then I tried to send it to the Silhouette to cut the circles, and it wouldn't do it! It said it couldn't read my registration marks (those black lines and squares).  Great, now I'm going to have to cut it out by hand.  Silhouette fail.  But then, I thought, maybe it was because I did a test cut? Maybe that screwed it up?  I printed the next sheet of labels and promptly loaded it into my Silhouette, it cut like a dream.  No issues what so ever.  So note to self (and anyone else trying this out) don't do a test cut if you are using print and cut!  I wasted paper and ink. And I hate wasting stuff....

Time to stick 'em onto the lids. (and yes, I did wash everything first)

And here they are, all cozy in their new Coca-Cola box home.

And a few up close and personal with the jars.

But of course, that's not what my kitchen normally looks like.  I have a kid and a husband after all....

This is how it looks today and yes, I guess I could use a few more jars...Can't say I mind a trip to World Market.  Oh, and by the way, just to put this out there, World Marked in no way sponsored this post.  I don't do sponsors, I only do what works for me.

If anyone has a Silhouette (or if you want to cut them out by hand) and would like for me to send them the labels, let me know. I'm all about sharing!

And yet again, JD is not here...I'm beginning to see a theme, I write when he's gone, maybe because he's not here to distract me?  Maybe...
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