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A Little Bit of Sanity and A Lot of Chaos: February 2011

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ask Away. Question and Answer Session with ME!

You know how if you have kind of a crappy day, sometimes it just explodes into a crap couple of days....but then fortunately it ends well...that has been the last few days for me....nothing major, just every day life crap that happened. Everything is good now! It's sunny!

Apparently this scheduled post didn't post as I scheduled it, so here it is now....enjoy. Thanks for all the questions!

So, here they are, the answers to the questions you asked....I'll split it up into two posts, because reading about me for two days is going to be super fun.
1. I was just wondering what your kids do while you are crafting/refabbing. I have only one three year old and I can't find time to do anything.
I usually do them in the afternoon when our youngest is napping. The other two play really well together and most days they play outside for a couple of hours, even in the snow, if they aren't outside playing then they are playing inside and I can quick run out to the garage for something or I paint right in our living room. Sometimes we craft together and they help me with stuff.

2. How did you get started selling your renovated furniture items? How did you know what to price the items? Do you have any advice for someone who might be thinking of doing the same?
We've always been a DIY family and quite frugal and I love getting a good deal! When we first moved to our little town two and a half years ago, I was pregnant and lonely and needed something to do, so I started scouring for cheap stuff and listed a chair and it sold within minutes....so that's how it started. Pricing first started by what I would pay for an item....I lost some money those first few items! Now, things are a little different. I price stuff based on recouping what I put into it and my time to fix it up...if I feel like it is too high, I mark it down a little. I never wanted to sell stuff that was ridiculously expensive that I myself couldn't afford it. Advice - just fix something up and list it on Craigslist and see what happens. Many of my neighbors have pieces of mine and word of mouth works wonders!

3. When will you be here with my chair? (Pick a chair, any chair.)
One day, when you least expect it, your chair will be there....

4. Have you ever had a bad experience with a customer?
Fortunately my bad experiences have been limited. No one has ever been upset with a piece.... that I know of...sometimes I have people say they want stuff and then ditch out on it and I have to walk in shame and relist it, but that happens. When I list stuff on Craig's List I get lots of spammers. That's frustrating, so I send them a very polite little note telling them that they are mean and nasty people to take advantage of others that way.... Once someone dropped off a deposit for a piece and never came back for it.

5. I'm a newer follower, so I may be out of the loop on this one...so you have three boys, are you done or do you want more??? The reason I ask this is because after having one boy (14 months) I absolutely LOVE boys and I say at this point that I want three or four kiddos, leaning towards four...but of course there's a long way to go to get to that point, ha!
I would love to have one more kiddo. They certainly are fun and exhausting and cute and frustrating, but mostly fun...I would really like a girl, but hubs isn't quite sold on one more....so we'll see.

6. Could you please deliver/ship your beautiful items to South Carolina??? :)
I am more than willing to ship! Most of the time when people find out the shipping costs, they cry....it's a tough one!

7. If you could change something about your house and/or yourself (money not an issue) what would it be?
My house, I would put hardwood floors in all over, bedrooms, hallways, living rooms, everywhere. And they would probably be recycled wood of some sort. Myself, eh, I'd really like to get Lasik!

8. Hey Kirsty! My question for you is how did you get started selling your furniture? Where do you sell it...Craigslist? Ebay? How do you advertise it besides your other blog? Thanks for being awesome...and for that amazing Carrot Cake recipe which i make ALL THE TIME!!!! Its so yumm.
I started by listing on Craigslist. I also did a bunch of stuff for some neighbors...word of mouth is amazing! I've got a Facebook page and I keep listing stuff on Craigslist which finds new customers. I'm a little nervous about doing too much, because my top priority right now is my boys, furniture is just an addition right now....when they are older, that will change. But I love being home with them and not having to "go to" work. Ex boyfriend carrot cake is the best, isn't it!

9. I love your blog. It always makes me laugh. I love the "realness". I'm a mom of three and drive an old "mommyvan"... So what kind of new van did you get and do you like it?
Thank you! We had a 2002 Town and Country and now we have a 2008 Town and Country. We had our van paid for and it had 140 thousand miles on it, we were going to drive it until it died, but I really needed something where I could configure the seats when transporting furniture and kids. The van we got has all the bells and whistles, so it's pretty fun. The first day we had it, I did a big furniture run and got three pieces of furniture in it without having to go home and take seats out and leave kids sitting in the driveway wondering when their mom would come back. It was awesome! I love it.

10. Where is a good place to find some fun, inexpensive fabric? And any tips for a first time furniture refinisher?
I get most of my fabric at JoAnn's using the 40 or 50% off. I hear that Calico Corners has good stuff and it's often on sale. I also know that Hobby Lobby has good stuff. But, those two places are an hour drive one way for me...so I don't go often. I like to use unconventional things too - curtains, drop clothes.....get creative. Tips - take a risk. Try something, if it doesn't work then you know for next time! I know you'll be surprised by this, but I make TONS of mistakes!

11. How do you get the old furniture smell/or rather old lady furniture smell out of dresser drawers?

I use a combination of fresh air, Mrs. Meyer's cleaner and fresh linen Lysol. The best thing for it is to leave it out in open air for a little while. You mean you don't like that smell?!

12. If I paint the inside of drawers won't the stuff inside of it stick to the paint?
You can paint the inside of the drawers and cabinets. I don't. But that's just my thing. Sometimes I do, I guess. But not if clothes are going to be in it, I don't want them to smell like paint.

13. Where are you originally from?

I'm originally from Bismarck, North Dakota. The best place to grow up in the entire world.

14. If someone dropped by your house unexpectedly what would they see?

That's right.

15. Which of your sisters is your favorite?
How could I choose between two beautiful, kind and caring women?

16. How can you stand living so far away from her?
 And I say, move closer to me....

17. Hey, I just kinda stumbled onto your blog by accident but I really enjoy it. I've been doing a daily blog myself for the past few months and my wife sometimes gives me grief about spending too much time blogging. Not that it's really bad grief... more like Charlie Brown good grief. Does your husband ever give you this type of grief over your blogging? How long does it take to make a typical post on average?
No grief. He's a Saint. Although he doesn't read the blog either....
Depending on the topic it can take a couple of minutes to an hour. I try not to dwell on things. I proofread and edit (I also have a wonderful set of second and third eyes that send me messages if I've made a mistake..which I love, it helps so much to make me not look like a fool to the millions that read this). I don't dwell on questioning the post...I can't, I don't have time! Plus, if you've been reading for awhile, you'll know that I don't write to please. I write as therapy and because I have a crap memory and because I think the world revolves around me.....eh, er, not really....

18. This "BFF" you reference on occasion....is she real? If so, what it is about her that you just love/hate about her? 
This BFF is the real deal. We've been best friends since one fine day in the 8th grade. I don't hate a single thing about her - oh, except her biceps. They rock. And that she lives far away. That sucks. She is an amazingly strong and courageous woman.

How fun. More tomorrow! Specifically from a single reader....

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

A funky trunk.

I found this little thing at Goodwill for $34. Pretty good price for a trunk, I think. Free is better, but I find they can get rather expensive.

I debated painting it, but in the end, I really wanted it white. So, I painted it white and did something fun with that red strip.

The red strip I painted navy and I love it! A little distressing and it makes it totally perfect, but not perfect!

That's right, that is the cowhide rug in the living room. I moved it over there and we love it there. Plus the dogs love having the furry rug in front of the sliding doors where tons of sunlight streams in for most of the day.

The boys love their treasure chest.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Ask Away....

Someone pointed out that I was really close to 500 followers. Thank you all for following! It's so fun to hear from people, to answer your questions and to visit YOUR blogs if you have one.

I figure that since there are now 500 of you that follow and 751 subscribers, although, I don't really know what that means and I don't know the difference between the two and after I said the numbers someone will no doubt unfollow and unsubscribe! Anyway, it's time to do a little question and answer session I am going to call, "ASK AWAY."

I know you are out there....don't be shy...ask me anything...I will try and be honest and not exaggerate in the least. But lets keep it clean, my Dad reads this...you do, don't you Dad?

Please come out from behind the safety of your computer screen and ask me something. It can be about furniture, house stuff, cleaning, shopping, spending loads of money, saving money, running, dieting, getting along with my hubby, where I shop, whatever.....If no one asks me anything, I may cry. No, seriously, real tears. Even if you don't want to know something, just ask, so I feel good about myself.

And, no one better "unfollow" until this little session is over!

Post your questions in the comment section and I'll respond in a post on Monday. I'll give you until Sunday night to ask a question.


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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mom Ramblings #26

I've got a bunch of things to discuss today. The most important of these is this:

1. Vodka in the eyes. Apparently all the kids in college are doing it. HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE? Seriously. Absolutely ridiculous and if my kids ever do this, I swear I will rip their eyeballs right out of their sockets. Do you hear me kids?!

2. A more pleasant topic. Yesterday I was furniture shopping at Goodwill. I went by the discount clothing bin and these pants caught my eye:

Who doesn't love a pair of Gap blue capris in the summer?! So, I grabbed them, paid my $1.54 and left. When I got home I tried them on and found a twenty in the pocket! What amazing luck! Now, I'm sure you are thinking one of two things, 1) She should really donate that money or give it back to Goodwill or 2) What amazing luck! I wish that would happen to me. Well, it never happens to me, that was awesome! And, I will have you know that I turned around and spent it at another Goodwill, so I figure I practically donated it.

3. We got our cow rug today! I'm going to show you a series of pictures. Prepare yourself. I love this rug! I'm trying to decide where to put it. I am leaning towards the office/play area/sunroom/kitchen, for practical reasons, but it does look pretty cool in the family room!

Here's the current rug in the family room, with a stretchy dog on top:

Here's the fake cow rug in the family room:

Looks pretty cool in there! But, not very practical for our family, we like to lounge on the floor....

Here's the cow rug in the catch-all room:

Of course, Rue the chair won't be there and I'm searching for a computer armoire...

Here's the furry rug in there:

Too big, right? Overwhelmed by rugs? Totally. Plus, I'm looking for an inexpensive 8 x 10 Jute rug for the dining room....ugh. Rugs.

4. One of my best clients brought me this little commode to paint for her:

I just wanted a very old look to it, so I did a little dry brushing....added some different hardware and now she will have this:

I added this little drop pull that I had leftover from a buffet awhile ago. I love this pull! One of my favorites!

She also brought this for me!

It stands at 19 inches tall. It is awesome. I love it. I really love stripes right now, so I went to town with it.

It's not painted perfectly. I know. And that's the way I wanted it. I absolutely love it like this. I added some little anthro knobs too. LOVE. DOUBLE Puffy paint heart LOVE. The boys filled it up with their race cars. Seriously. Is nothing sacred in this house?

5. I spent my free 20 bucks on this:

It's almost done. I'll show you next week!

6. That's a lot of content for 6 points. Yikes. Tomorrow, a little something...

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The chair I've always wanted.

I've wanted a chair like this FOREVER. I just love it. I got it at fifty percent off at my area St. Vinny's. So, I spent all of fifteen dollars on this girl. The fabric however, not so much lovin' it. And the cushion was a little firm. Remember how I said I swear a lot when I do upholstery. Well, I still do.

I just couldn't wait to get started on this. I really wanted to do a linen, but, I'm cheap. So I grabbed a drop cloth for twenty bucks at HD and washed it.

I was going to wait and have my friend help me with the cushion, but I was nervous and neurotic, so I started on it.

I took all the fabric off. Just grab a needle-nosed pliers and pull.

 This is what you are left with:

Save the fabric and do a small little measure. I usually over compensate because I don't want to mess up.

Then I laid everything out and cut a piece off my drop cloth.

It's important to do the front of the chair first so you can staple in the back. Some of this is just guessing at what is going to work and finding a place for the fabric to attach....

On this chair I used a combination of staples and upholstery nails. When a staple didn't work, a nail did. I like using nails better, but it takes forever!

I got my sewing machine out and did a few practice welting strips with my zipper foot. Then I measured and cut the drop cloth, errr...I mean, very expensive linen fabric.... I just ripped it apart at 5 inch strips and sewed pieces together. Then I pinned and prayed. And I got this:

Then I had to deal with that leg.

OHEMMMGEEEE....He's so stinkin' cute. It's a good thing, because he found his lungs. Screams like crazy...

I eventually grabbed my glue gun and got to work.

I started on the outside and glued and maneuvered and attached the best that I could.

When I got to the front I had to figure out how to attach the two end pieces together, so I sewed up one end and left the other end open with some extra fabric and when they met together, I stuffed the closed end into the open end and glued. You'll notice it right smack dab in the middle. (It's not perfect! I know that!)

I also had to make the cushion. I grabbed an extra pillow not being used. I wanted to do welting on the cushion too, I may do that. But, I just wanted the thing done! I cut and pinned and sewed. Then I left a small little section open to do this:

Who does stupid stuff like this? I tried to see if the pillow fit inside the cushion, it didn't work. I tried to use the shop vac to blow the feathers from the pillow case to the seat cushion, it didn't work.

Laugh. Okay, stop laughing now.

Seriously. Stop laughing.

So, I ended up grabbing a handful at a time and shoving them into the cushion and then cleaning it up off the floor and shoving that into the cushion and then grabbing another handful and shoving it in, and then cleaning the floor and then....you get the idea.

It worked. I hand-stitched (That's right! I can do that. My sewing skills are beyond good. If you believe that you haven't been reading long enough!). I itch and my lungs hurt and my back hurts, and I itch....

BUT, this is the result:

It's not perfect. But, I did it and I love it and I wouldn't want it any other way. I am so happy with the results. SO HAPPY.

Nope. Not selling. I don't think. Nope. Not selling.

Cost Breakdown:
$15 chair
$7.80 cording
$20 drop cloth (I have half a 9 x 12 left)

Total: $42.80

Can't beat that! Especially when I found this chair from Restoration Hardware:

 This chair costs anywhere from $645 - $860.

Mine, under $45.

I know there's looks better....but, mine is really better.

Happy Wednesday!

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Mom Ramblings #25

1. I have baby fever. Bad.

2. We got a new mini-van. We were a mini-van family before and we are still. Except, there was a bunch of wheeling and dealing, and I hate feeling like I'm being taken advantage of. But then! Then, we drove it on Saturday (on date afternoon, mind you) and something with the breaks went wrong, so we ended up spending our date afternoon sitting in the car dealership. Boo. And we still don't have our van! I know, feel sorry for me.

3. I am not a design guru. I wish I were.

4. I hate IKAT. Not IKEA. Ikat. The fabric pattern. Hate it.

5. I got a new chair. I don't think I'm going to share it. However you never know....

6. It was 15 dollars. Awesome. I taught myself how to sew cording yesterday, just for this chair. I'm so excited! Of course I'll show you when I'm done.

7. I also ordered this rug for our office/play area/work area:

It's from Overstock.  Emily A. Clark, I blame her. We've been wanting one for a long time, but until I saw this one, I wasn't sold. Then I saw her post about it, and I was sold. So, it should be here in a few days.

8. Home Depot is having an absolutely amazing deal on special order doors right now. Buy the hollow door and get an automatic upgrade to solid core. Guess who is gettin' new doors! Hooray!

9. That's what I've got for today. Maybe some more on the chair tomorrow. I'm going to start ripping it up this afternoon!

10. Happy Monday!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

A few furniture refabs.

For some odd reason, yesterday was filled with productivity.

I'm not sure I even sat down.

I'm pretty sure I forgot to eat lunch....oh, and supper. How does one do that. I rarely forget a meal.

I scored some sweet pieces at my least favorite second hand store during their 50% off sale in honor of Valentine's Day.

I'm not going to draw out the makeovers....I may have to save one of them for tomorrow, because it isn't quite finished, but I will show you a few. Right now. Because, who doesn't love a post filled with furniture makeovers?!

Okay, I know I'm not saving the world or curing any number of the millions of diseases, but I'm having a good time, and I think I'm making a few people happy, so, onward!

First up:

Ugly Secretary Desk.

And now. Beautiful and fun bill paying or homework doing desk. Who wouldn't be happy paying bills or working on calculus while sitting at this desk?!

And what about this desk. Eh, not too bad now, kind of a boring old banker's desk.....

And now, a hip cool teenager's desk where she will write countless love letters and draw hearts with initials of some boy, and practice writing her name with his last name....not that ANYONE ever did that....

If you've been reading for awhile I love doing what I do, and I love when people say, paint it a fun color - whatever you want......

So, I took this cute little dresser that was kind of ugly.....

And turned her into this:

Hello warm yellow dresser, with dreamy Martha Stewart for Home Depot pulls, you make me happy just looking at you. Seriously, loving this one.

And, my favorite of all favorites. I know I say that a lot. But seriously, I double heart with puffy paint love this dresser.

Before, ugly, drab, not made for two little princesses....

And now. Made for two princesses. Absolutely. Positively. Gorgeous. Dreamy. Goodness.

There you have it. I'm exhausted. I'm going to eat a few brownies and watch some soaps....