Monday, April 18, 2011

The Teenager Turns 16

Well, the teenager turned 16. 

I met the little toe-head when he was 5 years old.  Then hubby and I married when he was 8.  Then he came to live with us full-time when he was 10. 

I tell everyone, I probably would not have married hubby if he had a bad kid.  But T has always been so caring and sweet.  Now he has his teenager moments, and I have my step-monster moments, but overall, he's just a good kid.  (knock on wood)  He is smart, and makes honor roll each report card.  He is very active in his theatre group at school, and a great actor.  We are very proud of him.

We had originally tried to plan a surprise party, but ended up having him invite his friends.  We went with a Hollywood theme, and asked the kids to dress up a little.  You know, make it an event.

Here is his cake.  He asked for chocolate, white, and strawberry--so everyone would have a flavor they would like.  (I told you he was a good kid)

The entrance into the clubhouse... 

J & J Party Planners!
(Tyler's mom:) 

T directing everyone singing Happy Birthday to him 

A few of his friends 

Thank-you speech 


Lots of dancing with the DJ 

Even hubby and the princess danced 

Aunt Vickie, me, T's mom Jennifer, and the birthday boy 

Oh yeah...we danced, too! 

Good times!  It was fun.  He had a blast. 
You only turn 16 once, you know?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

New Master Bedding

I've painted and decorated every room in our house.  Except for the the Master Bedroom.  I've been trying to analyze why this is, but I'm just not sure.

I'm pretty picky about bedding.  Most of the time I have a vision in mind, and know it when I see it.

Here is our 2nd bedding set (no pics from the 1st).  I was trying to go for the blue/brown thing...

It was a nice set from Stein Mart.   Iwish I had more pics from when the bed was actually made.  I even found matching fabric at my favorite fabric store and made some window treatments.

I got over the blue/brown thing pretty quick, and went to my comfort zone of red & green.

You can't see the comforter, but it matches the cream shams.  I got it at Kohl's.  For free.  Long story. 

Anyhoo, lately I wanted to go towards a relaxing, neutral palette.  Not so 'decorated'.  Calm.  Relaxing.  A retreat.

No pics to show, but I couldn't pull it off.  It wasn't 'me'.  You know?  It seems to work for a lot of ya'll in blogland, but not me.  Remember my style?  I'm traditional & rustic, with some romance.

I didn't know what I wanted, but I knew it would hit me when I saw it.

And I found it--at Sam's.  The whole set was $100.  The set included a comforter, bedskirt, 2 shams, plus 2 Euro shams, plus 3 throw pillows.  Talk about a good deal.  And it does NOT look cheap, or feel cheap. 

I had been holding some visa gift cards from christmas, and this was what I was waiting for.  It's called Montana.  Hello?  How rustic can you get with a style name of Montana?  Check it out:

I would have never gone for the 'rust'.  But with the blue and brown, I love it.

While planning my 'calm, relaxing retreat', I bought 2 of these fluffy SOFT white pillows from Tuesday Morning.  LOVE LOVE LOVE them!  I like how the break up the brown and rust.

We have also changed the orientation of the bed. Instead of between the 2 windows, we moved it to the far wall. It's a pretty big room anyway, but moving it to the end wall really opens up the room. Plus it's good to have a change of scenery, too, you know?

(dang flourescent bulbs!)

So you can see I've still got some work to do...picking a paint, choosing window treatments (other than the blackout liners up now :), and a couple five other projects planned for the room.  Lots to do! 

Stay tuned!

I'm baaack....with a before & after story...

wowza.  The past few weeks have been pretty crazy.  With projects going on, planning a 16th birthday party, going out of town for a reunion, and oh yeah...working with 2 toddlers and 1 teenager and a hubby to take care of...I've been a little scattered to say the least. 

My last post was a teaser for you.  But I'm sure you could figure out I was re-doing some kind of piece of furniture.  You are smart girls.  So sit back and let me tell you a story about this project.

Once upon a time, there was a girl and boy who got married.  Instead of buying a new bedroom suite, they kept the boy's bedroom suite.  It was a perfectly functional suite, but the girl didn't really care for the honey oak color. 

She lived with it for a few years, then decided to paint it black.

(disclaimer:  these pics were taken in 2008, before the girl knew they would become public in blogland, otherwise she might have cleaned 'staged' the room better)

The boy didn't really say much about it.  He said he preferred wood grain, but again, he never really said a lot so the girl didn't think much about it.

Fast forward another 3 years.  The boy and girl were at a party, and the boy mentioned something to somebody about how the girl paints everything!  He also said something again about painting his bedroom furniture black, but she didn't paint her furniture.

The girl asked the boy, 'did it really bother you that much that I painted the bedroom furniture?'  The boy replied  'Yes'.  And for the first time, the girl felt like crap about painting his furniture.  It really bothered her.  She knew what she had to do. 

The perfect time was coming up.  The boy was going out of town for 5 days.  The girl would strip the black paint from the bedroom furniture, then restain it a darker wood tone, and surprise him when he comes home.  Yes, that's it.  Easy peasy.

She gathered up her supplies:
Citristrip Stripping Gel- since it's safe for use indoors
Citristrip After Wash
Plastic scrapers
Steel wool
Minwax Gel Stain
Minwax Wood Conditioner
Plastic Tarps
Sponge brushes
Paint brush

One thing was missing.  A camera.  The boy took the camera on his trip, and the girl couldn't find her memory stick for her camera.  So there are no pictures of the process. 

But here is the quick & dirty rundown (more dirty than quick):

-Apply Citristrip and wait 30 minutes
-Use plastic scraper to scrape paint off
-Apply afterwash and scrub with steel wool
-Let wood dry, then sand wood with 120 grit, then 200
-Use tackcloth to remove dust
-Apply wood conditioner with paint brush
-Apply gel stain with sponge brush, then wipe with clean cloth. 
-After stain dries, apply poly

Sounds easy, right?  bwahahahaha.  Multiply this process by a headboard, footboard, dresser with 8 drawers, and a nightsand with 2 drawers.  And oh yeah...keeping a 2.5 and 4 year old occupied during this whole process.

After 5 days of a MESS (to say the least), everything was cleaned up minutes before the boy came home from his trip.  And the girl PRAYED he would like it.  And he did.

The boy said that the girl didn't have to do that, but he was very appreciative.

Here is the (almost) finished product.  Staying true to character, the girl still hasn't poly'd anything, and is still trying to figure out what hardware to use on the dresser and nightstand (instead of the brass batman pulls).

What do you think?

(this is the actual color--not the orangey brown above)

Which hardware do you like?  Not committed to either of them, though.

The headboard and footboard are not perfect.  But it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful, right?  The girl's ADD really kicked in when trying to strip all those spindles!

All in all, it was a messy learning process.  A literal labor of love.  Just a few more projects, and I hope to reveal the whole room.

Let the girl know what you think!  She's been missing ya'll!!!