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Friday, March 30, 2012

Goal Update #2

I've had so much fun painting this week. Here's another piece from the before file...I picked up this pine washstand at auction and knew it would look great in a perky color. I chose Martha Stewart's Lagoon- which is very similar to Tiffany's blue. Here she is...
I love this hardware from Hobby Lobby- looks just like jewelry.
I'll be showing my other afters next week. Have a great weekend. Love, Kelly.

How I Learned to Stain From An Ugly Office Credenza

I found an old ugly office credenza at Goodwill for $9.99.  I brought it home and it was ugly, I mean really ugly and worn out with sun spots and water damage, but still it had good bones.  It was sturdy and practical so I used it for several months as a work table in my garage.  Pulling out dresser drawers to sand and paint, the ugly office credenza was just what I need to put them on.  The height was perfect.  You can imagine after several months, it looked even worse, covered in paint, scratches and more.

Until, I had a gentleman come to look at another piece of furniture I had in my garage, but “I really need something for my home office with file drawers.  Do you have anything like that?”
“I do have this old thing,” I said, pointing out the ugly office credenza in the back of the corner.  I kicked at the base like a used car salesman kicks at the tire of a lemon car.  The gentleman pushed on the ugly office credenza and tinkered around for a minute, opening each drawer and I could tell he was wondering how such a junky piece of furniture could ever become what he needed in his home office.
Finally, he said "I think this could work, I like it."
“I could paint it what ever color you prefer,” I suggested, but he cut me off.
“I’m colorblind, so I’m really not into picking out any specific color.  Can you stain it back to its natural wood?”
I am a people pleasure through and through.  If you asked me to make pecan pie out of egg noodles, I’d try it just to please you.  It’s just my nature.

So, I said yes, knowing all to well I’ve never stained a piece of furniture in my life, let alone an old worn-out painted over piece of junk like this credenza.
Still, a promise is a promise and I told him it would be done by the end of the day because I had nothing else to do but take care of my kids, work on about 10 other projects and clean my house.

I started by sanding off the paint from about a dozen different projects.  It’s funny how spray paint flies.  I was sanding off paint even on the bottom drawers.  I cursed the fact that this piece of furniture was so dirty from my own demise.  Regardless, I worked away and finally remove the gloss to find the wood (so sorry I don't have a before picture, but I never thought this piece of furniture would be blog worthy).
Bri-wax, elbow grease and self-determination and I had the most beautiful piece of wood furniture I’ve ever seen.  
I even spray painted the brassy chipped up sun-faded fixtures black.
I can’t believe this is what was hiding underneath decades of wear.

I really shocked myself.
I called the gentleman back to tell him his credenza was ready and it was gorgeous.  I was ready to start bragging, to go on and on about its transformation.  
"You can come pick it up anytime," I said with the same enthusiasm my 4 year-old son had demonstrated earlier in the day when he finished building a Lego tower.  I was somewhere between disbelief and gloating.
“Sorry, I found another one and already purchased it.”
(Yeah, that whole part was a bummer and a bad ending to this story.)
Still, I thanked him for suggesting it be restored because I am love with staining furniture.
Here it goes on craigslist and let’s hope I get some interest in it, although I'm very fond of it and could look at it and sigh with disbelief for another few days.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Goal Update

Here's the first piece I tackled this week.A $25 buffet I picked up this weekend at a garage sale. The plan was to use a gray oops paint from home depot. After sanding the top- there were big scratches- I decided to do a two tone with lots of distressing- I just love when a piece speaks to me and tells me it wants. Here's the finished product...
I had every intention of staging this beautifully for you- but it is a beast! It was all I could do to move it with my daughter inside the front door. Here's another look...
I used minwax ebony stain on the whole piece and then Clorox wipes to remove the excess. The alcohol in the wipes takes off most of the stain and just leaves a nice finish.
I painted inside the bottom cupboards- but not inside the drawers. I'm heading outside to paint up a few more pieces- Hopefully I'll share a few on Friday. Let me know what you think. Love, Kelly.

Help painting a French Provincial dresser.

Painting furniture has turned into a passion of mine.  I used to purchase art paper and watercolor sea life and mermaids.  Here are a few of my favorites.
The more children I had, the less I painted.
But know, I've found furniture and it's my new expression.
Sometimes I paint white (this dresser was going in the dumpster when I rescued it)
or black.
Red and gray turned out cool.
Baby blue?
My personal favorite is always turquoise because the blue reminds me of the ocean.
But, this piece French provincial dresser, 81 inches long, I need your help.
Gorgeous, but I have had no interest in it at it's current 1970's colors.
What color should I paint it?  White?  Black? Something bolder?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Frustrating Chair Sales

You know the counselor is a patient man, a kind man, a man of composure and dignity; 
come Monday mornings when he starts billing.
Mondays around here feel like long weekends because the counselor “doesn’t work” on Mondays.  He starts the day getting the older kids off to school and taking the little kids on a wagon ride, but the fun stops there.  So why the quotes around “doesn’t work”?  Because he doesn’t see clients.  He works, but he works from home on paperwork.
And spends most of the day on the phone calling 1 of 100 insurance companies he contracts with.
Never have I seen the counselor lose his temper or react before thinking.  He’s as logical as he is practical.  Characteristics like this have kept him from having a traffic ticket in the almost 14 years we’ve been married.  He stays organized and has never missed putting the garbage can out the night before the garbage truck comes.  He’s disciplined as shown by his ability to eat organic healthy food (scratch that at Halloween time).  But come Monday’s, when he has to face the evil voice-activated prompt you get when you call an insurance company, he turns into a different man.
I was in the shower this morning and heard strange yelling coming from outside.  I toweled off and peeked out the back door.
“Representative,” the counselor yelled into the phone.
“Customer service!” he yelled even louder and shrugged his shoulders when he caught me spying on him.  His eyes softened.  There he is.  Still the man I love, only he’s yelling at a computer over the phone.
I miss the old days, when the automated system asked you to push a number.
“Press 1 for English, Press 2 for Spanish.”
Now, they want you to verbally say “English” or “Spanish”.  I called my bank a few days ago and the prompt said “If you are calling about your checking account, say Checking Account.”  Then, it wants me to verbally say all 16 numbers of my checking account.  Do you know how difficult it is to say all 16 numbers without being interrupted by someone shorter and cuter then me, like a child or dog.  At our house, with all the kids playing (scratch that, screaming) and yelling “Mom, can you get me some cereal,” the voice-activated prompt keeps asking me to repeat my account number over and over again.
I sympathize with the counselor, even while he wants to chuck the phone in the pool.
My work of selling trash has very few frustrating moments, although there are some.
Like the 3 trashy chairs I purchased, all of which have very unpredictable outcomes.
Sounds like a bad country song, doesn’t it.
Chair #1 was purchased for $8.00 at a garage sale.  
I thought it was amazing. It’s huge and sturdy and shabby chic.  It rocks, literally.  I put it on craigslist for $25.00 and not a single call until this weekend..  The people who came to look at it were an older married couple, the type of couple who are able to finish each others sentences in a way that says they are totally annoyed at each other, but neither reacts because they are so used to it.  In so many words, they both agreed the chair should only cost about $15.00.  I was outnumbered 2 to 1 and I wanted the chair gone.  Profit?  $7.00
Don’t get too excited for me.
Chair #2 was purchased for $20.00 at a garage sale.  
Look at this thing.  It’s so cool.  Isn’t denim still in style?  My mother-in-law has a denim couch that's totally hip.  
So, I assume a denim chair is a sure sale.  It's clean, plush, over-sized and sitting in my living room for almost a month with not a single call from my craigslist advertisement posting of $45.00.  I moved it out of my living room onto my patio and lowered my price to $25.00.  Finally, it got someone’s attention.  It sold to a mother of 6 and she was barely able to fit in her Suburban.  I was worried she might not be able to take it and at that point I can assure you I would have paid her to take it.  Profit?  $5.00.
Chair #3 was purchased for $45.00 at an estate sale and I’m not sure what to do with it.  
I love it.  LOVE IT!  So why is it still sitting in my garage?  I haven’t put it on craigslist yet because I can't part with it and want to do something amazing.  Indecisive me.
I did purchase a pizza tonight for the kiddos; pepperoni and sausage, extra sauce with a side of ranch and the total cleared around $12.00. 
I had just about that in my jean pocket thanks to my chair sales.
Sounds like another bad country song, doesn’t it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

This Weeks Goal!

What better way to make myself accountable than post my weeks goals on My Dear Trash! My garage is looking a bit like a furniture graveyard with pieces I purchased this week out garaging, a few pieces we brought home from the shop and some auction finds that have just been sitting. It's clear out time- so I thought I'd give you all the before pics today and see what I can get done this week. I'll start with my craigslist goals: Mr. Right purchased this buffet for $30 at auction a few months ago- I thought for sure it would sell as is at the shop for $150- but I haven't even had any offers on it. We brought it home Saturday to make room for new merchandise and my goal is to sell it this week on craigslist for $150- If it doesn't sell, I will go ahead and paint it up and try to sell it for $250.
We picked up this Mersman drum table this weekend for $10- My goal is to sell it for $50 on craigslist- As is. Wish me luck. Here's my paint projects for the week...Hot pink cedar hope chest. I know, what was I thinking? But seriously this was so cute in my daughters room at the foot of her bed- I'm thinking black.
I'd also like to try to line the inside shelf with sheet music to replace the blue felt that's all worn off.

This little step stool and shutter will go cream- maybe some stenciled numbers on the steps.
Pine wash stand- cream
Buffet we picked up this weekend for $25 will go gray- it's my first piece in gray and it's oops paint- I won't lie, I'm a little nervous.
This tall dresser was a $10 garage sale find- I'd love to do a mustard yellow or a fun green- we'll have to see what mood I'm in on the day I paint it.
Two stools- $4 total. I'm going black with big stenciled numbers on the seat.
2 cupboard doors- $2.00 total from a garage sale- to be transformed into chalkboards
a little petite table- maybe in turquoise?
Pine table in mustard or green
and finally 2 posts. These have been down at the shop for months and haven't budged! I'm hoping to do a distressed finish and then sell them on craigslist. Quite a list- hope all goes as planned! I'll keep you posted on my progress. What are you doing this week? Love, Kelly.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

All That Trash

The funny thing about being a trashy girl is I bring home so much stuff that it all starts to blur into one giant memory of dollar-saving sweetness.
For example, today I went out to pick a few grapefruits off my tree, but only the fruit on the highest branches are left.  I looked around the yard and found a ladder.  When did I get it?  Yard sale?  Thrift store?  Really, it’s all a blur.

Same thing with this coffee mug I’m using.  I make a wicked sugar-free hot chocolate sweetened with stevia.  I reached for a mug on the top shelf of my kitchen cabinet and was happy to find a stone-wear mug.  “Where did I get this,” I think to myself, knowing all to well it was purchased at some yard sale in years past.

When Reef came out of his bedroom today wearing a pair of flip-flops I’d never seen before, I had the same expression.  Somewhere between surprise and shock and I was happy he had a pair of matching shoes that fit him.  I probably purchased the shoes for him last summer and now it’s finally warm enough for him to wear them.

The counselor is always happy when I bring him home something special like the Banana Republic turtle tie he wore to church on Sunday.  “Wow,” I said, “I love your tie.”  He reminded me I gave it to him for Christmas and then I remembered very faintly finding it at Goodwill or maybe it was a yard sale.  Either way, I think I paid around $1.00 for it. 

I’ve spent so many years in that non-size clothing.  You know, pregnant/not-pregnant, pre-paring for pregnancy, than just waiting to lose wait stage that I have clothes ranging in about five different sizes.  When I’m nursing, I don’t like to wear dresses so I set my favorite aside for another day.  When I reached in my closet and found a beautiful dress to wear on my recent trip to Tucson I was taken back.  “Sweet,” I thought knowing I probably found it on dollar day at Goodwill. 

This little red wagon has been used time and time again.  I shop so many different thrift stores.  Which one did I get it at?
This large painting has an amazing frame, but I think the question to ask myself is not where did I get it but why did I get it?  I must have been in my hippie retro mood when I brought this home.  And yet, I still love it! I would buy it again.

A frame hanging on the wall holding my family photo, a glass cake pan that I bake a cake in to take to a sick friend, Eden’s handmade tutu all a glitter with pink lace ruffles; all pieces of trash that I purchased at neighbor’s yard sales or my local thrift store that now bless my eclectic life.  What will I find this weekend?  I can’t wait.

Carnival Spirit Mexican Riviera Cruise

Here's a little glimpse of our cruise experience over spring break. We left Sunday at 5am and started our drive to San Diego. After a short 6 hours we arrived, used park and fly to shuttle us to the pier and walked right on to our ship; the carnival spirit.
Since we weren't due to set sail until 4:00pm and our rooms wouldn't be ready until 1:30 we decided to tour the ship. I highly recommend taking the spa tour- amazing amenities, picking up your free decks of cards at guest services, and checking out all the different kids clubs. We had lunch on the lido deck- and experienced our first soft serve ice cream cones.
Here's the family on deck after we set sail. We were super happy with our rooms. We had a quad with Mr. Right and I and the little girls and our 3 oldest were right next door. Our little 3 year old loved the fancy robes, but especially...The towel animals and chocolates left on our bed each night.
The elephant was one of our favorites.

We had a gorgeous view off the back of the ship the next morning at breakfast. The food... A little disappointing. This is Mr. Rights and my third cruise- we've sailed with carnival once before and the food was amazing- The Spirit's food was very ordinary and sometimes actually tasted bad! Thankfully, there is all you can eat soft serve and the lido deck had a grill that was super good.
Here we are, arizona style, freezing on the top deck!
Favorite food item- besides the soft serve... Lobster! Now that was good.
This is me trying to get a good picture of me and Mr. Right. Somehow the double flash on the camera would cause Mr. Right to close his eyes...
Every time!
Or almost close his eyes!
Oh look! Eyes open, tongue in... I'll take it!
We arrived in Cabo San Lucas on our third day so we hopped on a tender and headed to shore. We decided to sign up for the dolphin experience. My 8 year old and Mr. Right were the only one's brave enough to go in the water...

Should I be jealous?
Mr. Right being pulled around the pool by a dolphin.

The rest of the family was able to observe and watch an amazing dolphin show at the end. Super expensive excursion, but so worth it! I hope you love the photos, because we had to pay $139 to get them! Not everything is cheaper in Mexico.
The three and me with a large parrot.
We had some great fun shopping in Cabo.
The thirteen with an iguana!
Back on the ship that night our 19 year old participated in a game show
and won a 24 carat gold plastic ship on a stick- a coveted price on the Carnival Spirit
Day 2 in Cabo led us to the hair braiding lady

And a fantastic boat tour
We spent a little time on the beach...

And headed back to the ship to indulge in some more food!
Chocolate Buffet

Tea Time! I highly recommend this one. Although the waitress thought the scones were cream puffs and the service wasn't great, we had a great time sipping herbal tea, visiting and looking out at the water
Frog Legs- Not so good! Overall, we had an amazing trip. The little girls spent a few hours in camp carnival and really had a great time. My teenagers loved Circle C- the teen club and met a few friends along the way...
All boys of course! The evening entertainment was just okay- we've probably seen too many broadway shows in New York and are a little spoiled- but the final show was worth watching- "A tribute to New Orleans" I highly recommend taking a cruise with your family- tons of treasured memories were made. Love, Kelly.