A Quick Reveal

Hey guys!  We’ve been battling twin fevers, teething, and little head colds over here and losing so my plan to get up a post on the finished desk chair will have to pick up a rain check good for a couple days.  For now though, I thought I’d give you a quick glimpse anyway.  I’m a sucker for sneak peeks and Instagram, so if you follow our Instalife, you got a peek last night.  It really turned out awesome!

What once looked like this:
 photo (3)

Now looks like this:
dandc 016light

Anyway, I’m off to shower with my allotted time of three seconds and muster up the energy to face those fevers again after nap time.  Here’s to hoping we don’t have to get the doc involved.  It’s so hard to know when to go to the doc, no?  I mean, I want to alert the proper authorities if something is really wrong and can be fixed but I also don’t want to pay $80 ($40 copay x 2) to be told it’s teething…  Ugh.  Wish me luck! 

Guess What?

[ 20.5 weeks ]

Yep, bring in the blue…or the jade!  That’s what I’m already dreaming up for HIS room!  What I’m not dreaming about is how different it’s going to be raising a boy!  I can’t even wrap my head around it!  I’ve heard they’re easier (are they really?) but we’ll just see about that.  I guess after having twins everything and anything is easier though, right?  ;) 

I had this great idea on how to announce whichever sex we were baking and it involved the four of us sitting like ducks in a row and just getting one long photograph of our feet upon the bottoms of which would be written (there’s 8 feet fyi), “I t s a G I R L” or “I t s a B O Y !”, but Anthony Realist Tobin told me it wouldn’t work.  “You’re never going to get the girls to sit still for that.”  Maybe he was right but I told him to humor me and try it…well, we didn’t get that far so I whipped up the above little pictograph for you.  :)

So, that’s that.  It’s a boy folks.  I’m still a little shocked, so very excited, and just a tad nervous at the adventures he’ll bring.  :)

.           .           .

P.S.  So how crazy is it that Camille (Life In Mod), Mary (Atelier), and I are all due within a month of each other with boys?!  Must be in the water…  Anyone else?

Five Favorites >DIY Web/Blog Design<

Join me in my first-timer excitement as I link up with Hallie at Moxie Wife with lots of others and share five favorites.  Five favorite what?  Well, pretty much anything you want.  I’ve been reading the posts linked to this little party for some time now and I’ve always found them really entertaining, fun to read, and sometimes really helpful.  I think it’s one of my favorite link-ups in the history of link-ups…such a great idea Hallie!

So, my faves this week (assuming I find time to list my five every week…here’s hoping) revolve around blog design.  I recently gave the blog here an overhaul and I did it all myself…read, free.  Everything was free.  I didn’t pay a cent to anyone to do anything.  And granted, it’s not the most high-tech, glamorous design in all of blogland, but I like it.

It took a lot of googling and a lot of html and CSS learning to stash away all the design knowledge I’ve packed in my noggin’; much of that said learning happening during the couch-sitting later months of the twin’s pregnancy.  So, without further ado, I give you my five favorite websites that give tips and tutorials on DIY web/blog design:

1.  Design It, Love it
image_3 Carolynn’s web design blog is my favorite favorite.  She’s all for helping you make your blog “pretty” and she also has another website devoted to finding and sharing free design tidbits along with free labels, printables, etc… – Fab 'n’ Free.

2.  Helplogger
Helplogger is where I find any technical information I might need like how to add social media icons and how to move certain aspects of your blog to a desired location.  They take the intimidating front of HTML and make it a piece of cake for people like me.  :)

3.  Freckles In April
Besides having a blog I get sucked into for nap times at a time, Kayla has a series on her blog, Freckles In April, called Blog Therapy where she gives hints and helps to a better blog.  She details process steps so well with pictures and explanations that she makes almost any web design tweak a walk in the park.  I’m about to head over and hit her up for her tutorial on making a customized navigation bar.  Should be fun…and up soon! 

4.  Something Swanky
Ashton blogs about dessert and design, two of my favorite things and what a happy pair they are.  She has a whole tab devoted to diy blog design.  I found her blog while searching for a tutorial on image-mapping.  Satiate your sweet tooth before you head over though or you’ll be wiping drool from your keyboard.

5.  xomisse 
I recently found Ellie’s blog after googling tutorials on how to move my date header and I found lots of great explanations and tutorials there.  On top of paid custom web design options, she has great freebie and downloads section I’m excited about.  I haven’t had much time to explore but I look forward to using her blog as a go-to when the design bug strikes.

.           .           .

Just an FYI, I use the Blogger platform to run my blog but I know some of these websites have tutorials for WordPress as well, in case you’re looking to do some blog tweaking yourself.  :)

Do you have any others to add to the list?  Are you the sole-designer of your blog or would you rather hand the tech work off to someone else?  Or do you have any questions?  I love answering questions!  No secrets here!

It’s Like Flooring for Drawers

Or it’s a little dose of happy every time you open a plain ‘ole drawer, and who can argue against that? 

Remember the sneak peek of the drawer liner I threw into the last post on the coral desk?desk 028 

Well, here’s how they went down (all about puns over here):desk 026pixlrd 

First, I grabbed a measuring tape and measured the width and length of the bottoms of my drawers.  All the drawers on this desk are the same size so all it took was one measurement.  Easy.

Then I made and cut out a paper template using some printer/copy paper.  Laying that over my fabric (and trying to center the design of the fabric with my template), a simply cut the fabric along the template.  I didn’t trace the template onto the fabric but if you’re worried about your cutting, you could turn the fabric over and trace your template first with a pencil, then cut along your lines.desk 010

Next I generously sprayed each piece of fabric with some starch and ironed them so they were nice and flat.  To ward off stains and dirt, I then sprayed them with some Scotch Gard (get it at Wal-Mart in the craft section).  Make sure to spray this stuff outside.  It’ll burn your nose hairs right off if you don’t…it’s strong.  Whew!

desk 011

Then I grabbed some Elmer’s glue and made a few dots of it around the edges of my drawer bottoms…desk 014

…lightly pressed the fabric in and… desk 015

Wala!  An easy and pretty update that took me 15 minutes plus a little Scotch Gard drying time, not to mention it only cost the wallet $4.  As far as glue, you could also use some spray adhesive and spray the whole bottom of the drawer.  I went with good old Elmer in case a cleaning was in order or a change of mind occurred.  :)

The best part is that the fabric I used is the same fabric that’s going to be covering the seat of the chair I’m working on to go with this desk.  :)  As long as the rain doesn’t delay me anymore than it already has (outdoor spray painting + rain all week during nap times = no go), I’ll have that seat up and parked this weekend!  Stay tuned!

desk 013

Salsa Dancing With My Paintbrush

Before we start dancing to the rhythm of a spanish techno beat, I just want to thank you all of you who commented, sent emails, and wrote messages after my little heart to heart Thursday.  I think I had tears coming out of my eyes ten times that day just because of the overwhelming love and support.  You have no idea how good it was to hear over and over that, even though my life can come across as always neat, always perfect, and always sunshiney via a “pretty blog”, that you don’t take me as some self-centered, creativity junkie with an immaculate home.  Seriously!  You are all so amazing and I thank God for you!  :)

So, dance with me.  I’ll explain why a little bit later.  It involves the desk and that my friends, is done. desk 025

I LOVE how it turned out.  A big, big thank you to Sarah Dorsey and her amazing blog (seriously, if you click over prepare for hours of gazing) for the inspiration, her coral nightstand in particular.  I wouldn’t normally go to coral as a furniture paint color.  It’s bold, real bold, and I love it! 

Before I get to the details of how I primed and painted and all that jazz, here’s a picture I pulled out of the cobwebs of this old HP of the desk in the state Anthony bought it in:guest3 ip
This is how our guestroom looked a few days after we moved in and threw it together for company.  Pretty, no?  Off-white trim, stained walls, and mismatched everything made for a straight shot to House Beautiful.  I kid, I kid.  Anyway, the desk was stained an ugly blackish color with red streaks…perfect for an Anthony Bachelor in college, not gonna fly with me.

Soon after our guests left, it was one of the first things I tackled.  I wasn’t sold on a color and wanted to wait to see how the rest of the room evolved before I chose that, but I took some primer to it which brightened it up a thousand times.  I didn’t care if it was streaky (don’t they call that shabby chic?), it was tons better than the black-red.  Well, that was four years ago and I never did get around to painting that baby…until now.

Here ‘tis, moved to our room (the new workshop in this casa), ready to be painted:  desk 001

One big mistake I made in priming this thing, way back before I knew any better, was that I used water-based primer instead of oil-based.  Nor did I sand it down even the tiniest bit.  Not sanding wasn’t a huge deal considering it didn’t have a sheen to it at all but I definitely should’ve used oil-based primer because it blocks out stains and wood can tend to have spots/stains that seep right through water-based anything.  (Lucky me they stayed put in this case.)  FYI for any of you looking to paint any wood furniture.  Always use oil-based primer!!!  You can used water-based paint on top of that (but you can’t used oil-based over water-based!) and all will be grand.

So, moving on, before I got to painting I made sure to stick some tape over the backs of the hardware holes so no paint dripped through them and into the insides of the drawers.  Two second protection.  You can also see the existing hardware holes I filled in in the pic below.desk 005

Here’s where things got a little dicey.  I used a pre-mixed sample of Coral Reef by Valspar (Lowe’s) to paint the desk.  At jar’s glance, it looked like the perfect coral color.  However, after I got the first coat on…
desk 003  

I had a desk the pink panther would be jealous of.  Definitely not was I was going for.  (Bummer because then a few days later I came across this desk via Instagram that Krista at Goodwill Glam painted with the same exact color.  Hers definitely comes off as a little pink too but doesn’t it look gorge?)

I didn’t even try a second coat but instead loaded the twins up and off to Lowe’s we went where, after much deliberation, I decided on getting a test pot of Valspar’s La Fonda Spanish Dancer.  Nothing like that name to make you wanna dance, no?  I wish I could say I salsa-ed while I painted but I’m not quite that good…almost, but not quite. ;)

Here’s an in-progress picture that shows the difference in the colors:desk 006

One quick aside, I’m really picky about painting furniture and the direction in which my paint brush moves.  Using a roller is a different story since you don’t see “roller marks” but paint brushes can tend to leave faint lines, which I don’t mind, but which you have to work with.  So…desk 004
The above diagram shows how I do.  Generally, I paint in the same direction as the longest part of the area I’m painting.  Makes sense?

So, desk painted and dry, the last step was to put a coat of Polycrylic on just the top of the desk for added protection against coffee mugs, pens, the normal destruction that comes with working at a desk.  (P.S.  I let the paint dry for a whole 24 hours before this step.)desk 007

First I taped off the top. desk 008

Then, using my paintbrush, I painted on one coat of the Polycrylic.  Side note:  Don’t use Polyurethane!  It tends to yellow…I found that out the hard way (sorry Maria!).  Polycrylic does not.  Clear acrylic would also work.

A few hours after I painted the top:
desk 017 

While the poly was drying I wasted no time in putting the hardware back on the drawers.  I found these pretty silver and white darlings on a 70% clearance end rack at Target a few years ago ($3.99 each marked down to $.99).
PicMonkey Collage

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the desk is antique – dove-tailed drawers, casters, and all – so it’s been roughed up in the past, hence why in the above pic you can see some dents and scratches.  Character is what I call it.  :)


And finally, you ready for this?  My favorite desk of all time:desk 022 

Here’s a sneak peek of the fabric-lined drawers:  desk 028
Tutorial on those coming up this week.  Super easy.

And now, it’s off to freshen up the chair that’s going to marry it.  Should be fun!desk 023


Have a great weekend everybody! 

.           .           .

P.S.  Anyone else ever painted a piece of furniture?  Have any tips you want to share?  Comment them!  Also, I’m a fool for pictures!  I don’t have time to make this post a link-up so post your pictures on Bean In Love’s facebook page!  :)