Sunday, June 19, 2011

Its a sign!

This is one of those how-to projects that you'll never be able to replicate. Sorry.

A few years ago, Christian helped manage a family business, producing fancy-shmancy wood products. Seriously, that was their business plan. We came out of it with a lot of wooden signs, and I'm slowly putting them to good use.

The first one finished started with this carved pine board. I began by using colored stains to paint in the floral details, but...I left it out and one of my kids spilled green stain all over it.
(I forgot to take a before picture, but thankfully we had 2. Imagine this, with green stain covering that nice unfinished beadboard...Also, I painted one of these, but my sister-in-law, Annelise, did one, too. I honestly can't remember which is which, so I don't know whose work I painted over!!)
And so it sat for a year or two. I couldn't possibly sand it down enough to get the green out, so I decided to try something bold (Bold, that is, considering Christian is usually against painting over good quality wood).
I used a few coats of spray primer (it took a lot to cover the green and get in all the corners), caulked the wood seams for a clean look, and spray painted it white. Then, to copy a blog trend, I used a tinted glaze to highlight the carving.
Its pretty simple--I got a quart of glaze, custom tinted at the store, and painted it heavily over the white. As I painted, I wiped it off with a damp cloth, and then wiped it again with a dry, soft cloth. The glaze stayed in all the carved out details. (I think, if I could start over, I might use less glaze, because it stuck to the white surface a bit, as well as the carving). I spray painted the hooks (from gold to oil rubbed bronze). We put it in our laundry room to hold aprons, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me every day. I can see it from the kitchen and family room, and it looks so friendly!

The other little project I had was to update a Family Home Evening chart. This is another thing that we have had for years, but never used. Christian made it with 7 assignments (2 prayers, song, treat, lesson, scripture, activity) and made hearts with the girls' names on them to hang from the pegs. Once we had boys, it became obsolete, plus we could never decide how to fill all the assignments. So, in an effort to finally use what we have, I tackled the name pieces. I filled in the names with wood putty, sanded them well, and primed and painted them off white.
I cut off the raffia and retied them with brown and white ribbon.
I ordered vinyl with our names to replace the engraved names and make them all uniform (expect, for some reason, they made Daddy's name smaller than the rest. I think its kind of funny.)
For now, we won't use the 2nd prayer assignment...but I'll probably make a blank hanging shape for visitors or friends.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A distressing floor

This is an older post I'm just now getting around to posting (I waited for better pictures). I think I've decided that most of my posts might leave you disinclined to buy a home, so after this, I'll try to post something successful!

So, in an effort to finish the entry hall, we decided to refinish the golden oak wood floors. On a Saturday morning, we rented a belt sander and got to work. And realized it wasn't working.
See, its actually kind of tricky to sand evenly, and we ended up with a bunch of grooves all over, perpendicular to the wood grain. Yikes!

So, while pondering what to do about it, we decided to go ahead and stain it and see if the dark stain would cover our imperfections. We started late at night, since there's no way to avoid walking over this particular spot during the day, and stained it a dark mahogany.

It looked red. Really, really red. And it didn't cover our original mistake.
What to do?
We lightly sanded it down, and tried staining it in a darker color.
And...we give up. We'll eventually replace our splotchy, tri-colored distressing (I mean "distressed," right?) floor, but I figure it can wait a while. We didn't bother sealing the stain, but we have priced out new floors, and we'll get around to it after we recover from this week or so of staining excitement!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Something's not quite right

Apparently something less than fun happened when we were out of town. This afternoon I walked downstairs and found this:

Yep. Water damage--bad enough to collapse the ceiling (and yeah, it fell on some projects and, since I had recently gone through my college art portfolio, some of my drawings, as well).
So, guess what we'll be fixing up next? At least it will be really easily to improve the lighting (you know, since the ceiling is out of the way and all).
(While prepping for the plumber, we ripped off most of the rest of the ceiling. We are trying to decide how much of a priority it is to put it all back together again!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

A wedding

The whole reason for our trip to Utah (aside from my birthday) was the wedding of these two awesome people.
(Don't you love her dress?)

Peter (Christian's youngest brother) and Courtney were married Saturday, June 4th at the Salt Lake temple. As always, one of the best parts of a wedding is getting to catch up with this huge, crazy family. A few siblings were missing, unfortunately, but we got to see a lot of them (hey, there's 13 in all...we have to be happy with 8 or 9 at a time!).

We attempted to get a nice picture of Christian and me on the temple grounds, but had a bit of interference.
So we edited him out

Peter and Courtney were glowing as they came out of the temple. I snapped a few pictures while we waited for the doorway to free up for pictures (By the way, I think it was pure inspiration to have 2 identical doorways/stairways at the back of the temple...Somebody had to know that tons of brides would want pictures at the same time in the same place. It was also somewhat amusing to count the number of bridal parties milling around temple square that day).

Afterwards, we headed to the Joseph Smith Building for a luncheon, and then had some free time. On our way to the car, we ran into some good friends from Michigan...who know live in Utah, and have had a new baby since we last saw them! What a nice surprise to see the Rowley's!

That afternoon, we went to a few homes on the Parade of Homes tour. One was very close to where my sister-in-law wants to build a home, and it was fun to think about what they might have soon, and the other was two doors down from the home Christian mostly grew up in. Here's the view up and down the mountain he had from that house:

That evening, there was a reception in Provo. It was a beautiful evening for...more pictures!

The boys (5 of the 9 brothers, plus Daddy)

Here are Christian's amazing sisters:

Wait, now here they all are:

Catherine and baby Alice:

My talented sister-in-law, Annelise, signing:

And my sweet nieces, helping carry the train:

My father-in-law:

Brother-in-law, Adam, and my new neice, Eliza:

My niece, Lucy, holding the bouquet:

Cutting the cake:

Sending them off with sparklers:

(Side-note: Courtney is Jimmer's cousin. My sister-in-law had a small basketball and "I love Jimmer" shirt close by, ready for an autograph, but he didn't show up. I can say that I met his aunt and uncle, and they are very nice!)

I played around with a few of these pictures on Piknik, and came up with these--I thought they were kind of cool:
Original of a stream by the Conference center:

I thought it was just all so well done--and loved spending the (short) time with the family. I really married into a wonderful family!