Archive | April, 2012

Maptly Put

17 Apr

Stevareno and my one year anniversary with our house is coming up.  We moved in last year at the end of May.  To be exact, May 20 was the day we closed on our house and the first night we slept here.  My parents were coming the next day and we wanted to spend our first night in our house just the two of us (and Reggie).

I was happy we were able to move in during the nicest weather of the year.  There really isn’t a better time to move since it’s still cool but there’s no snow on the ground.  But, one of the sad parts of moving in at that point is that we had a TON of yard work to catch up on.  Plus, we missed some of the early blooming plants in our yard.

So imagine my surprise when this April, the tree that was planted way to close to our garage, flowered!

That hottie with a body in the flannel is my hubby. What a fox.

I think it’s so pretty

But the tree is not really what this post is about.  I wanted to show you guys what I bought for myself for my birthday/built this weekend.  What I bought is: a gigantic map!  What I built is: a frame for a gigantic map!  Actually, Stevie Wonder built the frame (mostly) but we are both going to reap the rewards.

When we bought a new mattress in January, we decided to pull the box spring from our old queen bed apart and use the wood for other projects.  We ended up building a bed for the mattress that didn’t need a box spring so it was no loss.  And we used part of that wood for this framing project.

First we measured the map and then Steve McQueen cut the wood at 45 degree angles so that they would fit together well.  We laid them out and squared them up.

Then, we glued the corners together and put them in our corner clamp while we screwed into one side.

We also added a center support for extra support of the frame.

After building the frame, we laid the map face down and centered the frame on top of it.  We wrapped the map around the frame and stapled it to the wood.  After that, we had this:

Here’s a close up shot:

We are going to hang it in the hallway by our front door so that we can use it to give directions if we need to but that project is on hold because we’re waiting for a Dremmel bit to make a T-slot that we ordered online to come in the mail.  Long sentence.  Sorry.  I’ll post some final “after” pictures once we hang up the map.  Incidentally, that map will be the FIRST thing we put on our walls in this house.

I’ve heard hanging things on your walls makes your house your home but I think our house became a home when we put in 100+ hours to take down wallpaper.  We know this house intimately.

On a side note, we had to lock Reggie out of the living room while we were working on this for fear that he’d come in and step all over the map and put his toe nails through it.  So we blocked him off with some chairs.  He was in the dining room which is right attached to the living room and could see us the whole time but he still whimpered and whined like we’d left him forever.  Then, he tried sneaking under the chairs and through the chairs.  Then he did this:

What a boy!


Rast Hack

2 Apr

If there was ever any doubt in your mind about how much I love my dog, you may have missed this post.

But enough about Reggie for a moment…Stevie Wonder and I have been busy as bees (so the saying goes) these past few weeks.  For one, my parents came to town three weeks ago to help celebrate my birthday.  They brought with them a veritable bounty of delights and my parents and I spent the day running around town checking out some local shops and spending money on home decor items, deli salads, and old post cards written in German. We also took a weekend trip down to Madison to see some friends and Don’t Stop Bein’ Steven’s parents came into town for a weekend and we did a BUNCH of yard work.  I’ll detail some of this later on but I have a project to share with you first.

Back in April of 2011 (April!), Steve and I purchased an IKEA Rast dresser.


I’d seen this picture on the interweb and thought, “Hey, I could do that.”



And do I did.

I first put the dresser together and wiped it down with a damp cloth.  Then, I used a washcloth to wipe wood stain on the top and sides.

The stain sat overnight and was followed by a sanding, another coat of stain, another sanding, and three coats (with sanding in between) of polyurethane.  I used Minwax Wood Finish in Jacobean and Minwax Water Based Polyacrylic in Clear Sating.  I’ll spare you the play by play but here she is after two coats of stain and three coats of poly.

While I was staining and sanding and polying, I was also applying five (five!) coats of white paint to the drawers.  I used Behr Premium Plus white base.  It took a number of coats because after the first two, I could still see a yellowish undertone coming through.  And, since I am a glutton for punishment, I decided to continue painting and painting until I got a pure white.  Five coats (with sanding, of course) later, and we had three finished drawers.

I’d scouted a few places for handles but the winner ended up being my mom.  She found an outlet in Milwaukee where she was able to pick up 6 new drawer pulls for me.  They’re a tiny bit smaller than I would have liked but they have a diamond detail in the back that I think is rather neat.  These were beastly to put on since I had to take a bunch of measurements so they would be straight and then drill a tiny pilot hole for the top and bottom screws but in the end I was happy with them.

I’m embarrassed to admit that I started this project back in December after we hosted my family for Thanksgiving.  With all the dry time in between coats it took me about a week to complete the project.  But, when I screwed in the drawer pulls, I dinged some of the paint.  I wanted to repair those nicks before I blogged about it and didn’t get around to doing so until my parents impending visit was nearly upon us.  (I am a WORLD CLASS initiator but TERRIBLE with project follow through.)  But, I got it done for their visit and now two sets of parents have used this little night stand since.

Here she is (kind of) in use.

(Check out that hot striped wall paper!)

We’re working on another little project up in that room which is not complete yet so unfortunately you can’t really see her in use as a night stand but you can get a view of my little project.  I’m quite smitten with her.

What do you think?  Anyone else have a neat IKEA hack?