Refinished Estate Sale Stools

I just renewed my WordPress domain mapping for another year and paid $13. I figured this was a good reason to actually update the blog and get my money’s worth.

Aaron installed the dishwasher two weeks ago! This has made our lives SO much easier. We’ve been doing dishes by hand since we moved in a couple of months ago. Not a fan. I did that the whole first year and a half of our marriage. I don’t ever want to go back. This new dishwasher works better than the one in our old house too.

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Aaron works for a mortgage company and has been going to open houses in the area the last two weekends to try to meet real estate agents and people shopping for houses. I made chocolate chip cookies for him to take along the first weekend and then mini vanilla cupcakes this past weekend. I got two mini cupcake pans a few weeks ago at an estate sale for $1 each and wanted to try them out. I love them! I had been wanting those pans for a while but couldn’t justify paying full price. Definitely worth the $2 though. I made about 5 dozen minis. I doubled a recipe for 12 full-sized vanilla cupcakes and then made one large batch of vanilla buttercream.

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I cut little flowers out of fondant and put a sugar pearl in the center of each.

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Frosted with the Wilton 1M tip. These were fun to make and I’ll definitely be making them again. I just wish I had more than 2 mini cupcake pans now. I’ll have to look out for some more at yard/estate sales.

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On Tuesday, Aaron had surgery on his deviated septum and has been resting up and recovering this week. He’s currently camped out on the couch with gatorade and a bag of prunes. Poor husband. Hopefully he’ll be feeling better in a day or two!

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Two weekends ago, Aaron and I got up early on a Saturday morning and went to 2 estate sales in Mt. Lebanon. I don’t think we got anything at the first one but at the second one I found these lovely stools in the garage of the house. I was so excited!! I’ve been stalking craigslist for weeks trying to find stools for the kitchen. I saw them at the sale, went and found a measuring tape in the garage at the sale and measured the height. They were about 2 inches taller than I was planning but we decided to go for them anyway.

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They were $15 each and they’re from Pottery Barn. They’re sturdy and solid wood. They were seriously dirty though. They were covered in dust and the cushions were gross.

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I went out to Jo-Ann Fabric to get some new upholstery fabric and found a clearance fabric for $9 a yard. Of course I didn’t measure the seats and the ladies at Jo-Ann cutting the fabric looked at me disapprovingly when I asked them how much they thought I would need to cover two stools… I ended up with 3/4 of a yard.

Then I went to Home Depot to pick out spray paint for the chairs. I almost got the Rustoleum Primer + Paint spray in gloss but then saw this Lacquer and decided to go with that. I’ve never used lacquer before but it said it would result in a very hard, durable, factory-like finish. Plus it was half the price of the other Rustoleum.

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Aaron unscrewed the cushions for me and I cleaned the chairs. I didn’t do any sanding before painting. The Lacquer has the old school tiny spray nozzle which turned out to be horribly uncomfortable because I ended up having to spray paint for about 1.5 hours straight. It turns out that the lacquer runs/drips REALLY easily. You have to do the thinnest coats or else you’ll have drips in a second. Plus it doesn’t cover very well until you’re about 5 coats in.

After lots and lots of spray painting, the chairs started to look really good. The lacquer dries very quickly so I could just do the coats one after another without stopping. I ended up using two cans total – one on each chair. I would have liked to have another can for some touch ups but 2 was all I had.

I recovered the cushions with my new fabric (I’m on a navy and white kick), and after letting the chairs dry for a day, Aaron screwed the seats back on for me.

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We love them! The lacquer is way harder to work with than regular spray paint but the finish is amazing. It doesn’t even look like they’re painted plus it feels really durable. I’m not really concerned about chipping as much as I normally would be because the finish seems very hard.

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Here’s a close up of the fabric:

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Cost for this project:

  • 2 stools – $15 each
  • 3/4 yard fabric – $7
  • 2 cans of lacquer – $8

Total = $30

This past weekend I did some more spray painting. I have to get some pictures of those things and then hopefully post about it. I did attempt to spray paint a lamp shade. It didn’t really work out… It looks okay with the light off but when you turn the lamp on, it’s all splotchy.

On the agenda for this weekend… putting up doors on our bedrooms. We’re currently doorless because we threw away all the old doors before the floors were refinished. Aaron will probably work on that and I’ll hopefully finish painting our bedroom and get the extra bedroom ready for my mom’s visit next weekend. We have the baby shower next weekend! I’ll be 33 weeks on Saturday. I can’t believe we’re only 7 weeks away. Baby very soon!

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House Updates and 28 Weeks Pregnant!

Good Morning!

It’s been about a million years since I posted on here. We moved into the new house! And my camera cord got misplaced in the process so I haven’t been able to upload pictures to my computer which led me to not take very many pictures. Plus we’ve been extremely busy and the house is still in shambles. We’re getting there though!

Here are a few things that have happened since I last posted though.

Aaron framed in our new bathroom window. One new window down, 13 more to go. It’s going to be a long, slow process since each window is about $200 not counting the giant one in the front that we plan on replacing with a bay window.

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We tiled for the first time! Subway tile around the shower with a little glass tile accent line and marble tile on the floor. I helped Aaron with the shower tiling but he did the marble on his own (at like 2 AM on tiling day) so I don’t have any pictures of the floor yet. We rented a wet saw from Home Depot for 24 hours and I think we tiled for about 15 hours of that time period. We got it all done in one day though. Tiling nightmare.

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We installed the pretty new toilet and the sink:

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Pulled approximately 2 million staples out of the wood floors in preparation for floor refinishing. Nightmare job #2. It took about 5 different people 2 whole weekends to complete this task. It was horrible! There were about 4 generations of staples in the floors from people laying carpet at different times throughout our house’s life. The house was built in 1949 and I don’t think anyone ever had the floors exposed before us.

The floors were in rough shape in some rooms too.

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Here is the future nursery. It was yellow. Like YELLOW. Spongebob Yellow. In fact, on the left wall, there was a picture of spongebob drawn in Sharpie… Also, what you can’t see is the ceiling is orange. Oh yes. It’s since been painted a very pale blue, gray. Oh yeah, forgot to mention… We’re having a BOY! So navy blue and white themed nursery it is. I’m looking for nautical decor. Seriously. I would like an anchor.

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This was maybe a month ago. It was before we moved in, when we were still pulling out staples.

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We ended up hiring someone to refinish the floors for us and he did a GREAT job! We decided we didn’t have enough time to tackle this job ourselves and it was totally worth it to hire someone and have the whole house done in 4 days.

They look like brand new floors now! We chose the color “Moorish Teak” by Zar for those interested. Our floor man was skeptical because I think he prefers Minwax stain but the Dark Walnut which Minwax makes, was more reddish gold and we wanted DARK. It turned out perfectly though! Definitely brown instead of red or goldish. The stain had to be purchased at an actual paint store though. They don’t carry it at Home Depot or Lowe’s.

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We also moved out of the old house, tenants moved in, and moved over to Mt. Lebanon for good.

We have this huge groundhog living in the backyard under the shed.

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And we’ve been living here 3 weeks now and it’s great! The location is awesome and the people are friendly. The commute to work takes about 25 minutes which isn’t as bad as we thought and we can walk places! We walked to a restaurant for dinner Friday night. I love the deck and backyard. The rest of the house is still a work in progress and will be for a lonnnng time. Last weekend Aaron ran a gas line up into the kitchen so we could hook up our gas stove! I had been cooking lots of things in the panini press and the slow cooker before that.

He also hooked up the washer and dryer and is continuing work on the bathroom. As of last night, we have a door knob on that door! Plus the fan is now working in there and we’re about to have a threshold. The stain is drying on that right now.

My grandma also made a baby blanket for the baby and it came in the mail Friday. Chevron! Thanks Tutu!

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And here’s the most recent picture of my belly. This was Friday so 28 weeks pregnant there.

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We also bought a dresser from Craigslist that I painted last weekend (no pictures yet!). I spray painted it white though and the knobs navy blue. I also spray painted the closet doors for the nursery white because they were yellow. AH. And I spray painted a lamp blue for the nursery. Pictures to come now that I realized I can upload pictures to the iPad, then the WordPress app, then use Ecto on the laptop. Need to find the camera cord…

Anyway, yesterday I did some more spray painting. Aaron bought two of these side tables at Goodwill for like $5 each maybe a year ago.. I finally got around to painting them. First I sanded with the orbital sander a bit then spray painted them glossy gray.

Here’s the before:

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And the in process picture. They should be done today though. I just have to add the new knobs. I bought glass knobs for the little drawers.

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We also went to a couple of yard sales yesterday morning in the neighborhood and found a hedge trimmer. We were going to buy one anyway and the lady said she had only used it once. Sold! Then Aaron tackled this beast in the backyard. We’re not sure if it’s a giant weed or a decorative shrub. Either way, he hacked it apart. I also tried to buy a frame for $1 but the man just gave it to me. Ha. Yard sales are different here than Troy Hill.

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And now it’s Sunday morning. Aaron is still asleep upstairs. We’re heading over to the in-laws house around noon today for brunch so I have to assemble a salad in a bit. Hopefully I’ll blog a little more soon. Hopefully I find my camera cord soon. We still have a garage full of unpacked things so it might be a while.

Have a nice day! Happy Mother’s Day!

Our Home is for Rent!

Hello All! Aaron and I are looking to rent our current house in Troy Hill. This post is really just to supplement the Craigslist ad so it’s just pictures of our house.

Kitchen (Renovated in 2011):

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Bathroom (renovated in 2010):

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Living Room (comes with the rug which was purchased in 2010):

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Dining Room: Very large room. Even with two additional leaves in the table, there is lots of room. Newly painted in 2011.

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No pictures of the bedrooms but they’re both upstairs. Master bedroom has a large walk-in closet. There is a full basement with a non-coin op washer and dryer included. New, high-efficiency furnace was installed in 2011. It also has a fenced in backyard with two raised garden beds that we built this past Summer.

Thanks!

Our New House!

Hello! Lots of things have been happening over here but I haven’t really been taking too many pictures. I’m going to start carrying my camera around more and taking more pictures, especially since we started the work on our new house!

But first, Christmas happened in Troy Hill. We got a tree from Home Depot this year and it ended up being great! It doesn’t look very big in the picture but it was pretty huge. Ornaments only on one side because we don’t have very many.

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We had Christmas dinner at Aaron’s parents new house which is awesome. Here is Aaron with his grandma, Dorothy. Her and Aaron are about to arm wrestle.

(that’s not true)

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This past Friday we closed on our new house and Aaron immediately went over there and started demolishing the bathroom. On Saturday I went over too and started cleaning. It’s pretty gross right now. The previous owners were smokers and it was a foreclosure so it is in rough shape. I wore a respirator and rubber gloves. Possibly overkill but I didn’t want to inhale the fumes. Plus Aaron was upstairs knocking out the bathroom walls so all sorts of debris was floating around. Aaron was wearing a respirator too. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture! His has pink filters.

The carpet in the left side of that picture is from one of the bedrooms upstairs. The house has carpet everywhere but oak hardwood underneath it all so we’re slowly tearing out the carpet and will refinish the floors before we move in.

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I cleaned for a little bit then went upstairs with needle nose pliers and spent a few hours pulling staples out of the wood floors. Oh my. I finished one bedroom and now have three blisters.

We also decided to pry this hideous wooden shelving and mirror off the wall in the dining room. If you look closely, you might be able to see the red, white and blue Americana fabric hanging from it. Shaking my head at the previous owners.

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Here is the vanity and the sink from the bathroom. I didn’t take a picture of the bathroom yet but Aaron has it down to the studs at this point so this weekend we’re going to start buying the drywall and a new window for the bathroom. The windows in the house are pretty gross and half of them don’t even open so we’re going to slowly replace them starting with the bathroom.
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Here’s a picture of the kitchen. Yes they painted the ceiling blue and the walls red. Bright blue and red. And the doors are sort of beige and gross. Every single wall and ceiling in the house needs to be painted. They painted the ceilings of each room to match the walls. For example, the small bedroom upstairs has yellow walls and an orange ceiling with orange trim. One of the bedrooms is also sponge painted.

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I’ll take some more pictures this weekend and get them up on here. I also have more exciting new to post coming up this weekend. Until then, have a great week!

Thanksgiving, some Crafting & some Home Renovations

Good Morning!

Aaron is in bed sleeping and I’m sitting on the couch thinking about what we’re going to do today. I’m thinking we may go and get a Christmas tree and put up a few decorations.

Thanksgiving happened and I did a couple of crafts for it. We had my Aunt, Uncle & cousin over plus Aaron’s parents and brother. Aaron’s dad cooked the turkey and stuffing at our house while we all helped with the rest.

I made “Give Thanks” bundting. I think the appropriate word is bundting though Ecto is underlining it. Then again, Ecto was just underlined also. IMG_7597.JPG

I used adhesive glitter letters from Michael’s, a glue stick, scrapbook paper and kitchen twine. The hardest part of the whole project was making the triangles the right size and shape to fit the circles and the letters. Once I figured that out, it just took a little time to cut and glue everything. I like how it turned out! The pictures aren’t that great because the lighting isn’t good in the dining room and I don’t know how to use the settings on my camera very well. (We also put up curtains in the dining room finally! I ended up buying them at Ikea after one failed attempt at making them myself. I now have quite a few yards of cut up linen…)

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The other little project I did for Thanksgiving was making glittered branches. Aaron and I walked over to the cemetery to gather some branches for this one. We brought them back, I trimmed them a bit then used spray adhesive to spray parts and then sprinkle on the glitter. I ended up putting flowers in mason jars for Thanksgiving and putting a couple of branches in with the flowers. Cheap Thanksgiving decorations! Branches are free! It’s rustic.

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For Christmas, I was thinking of maybe spray painting some branches white then using some white glitter to make them more wintery.

I didn’t take any pictures of the Thanksgiving table unfortunately..not sure why.. but our tablecloth was a bit short with all three leaves in the table so I bought 4 yards of pale green burlap from JoAnn Fabric, folded it in half and used it as a runner on the table. It covered the uncovered ends and burlap is pretty cool and super cheap. It’s also machine washable (which I found out because I spilled gravy all over it).

So that’s what happened Thanksgiving week for the most part. Aaron also started paint stripping and staining ours stairs and he hung new doors in the bathroom and our bedroom. Doors that actually close and aren’t hideously yellowed wood! Yay! We got them both at the ReStore in Edgewood for $10 each. The doorknobs ended up costing more than the doors!

We went shopping for the doors in matching plaid.

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Aaron painted the doors white.

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With doorknobs! (Some painting still needs to be done but we needed to have a bathroom door for Thanksgiving)

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And in developments this week… we made an offer on a house! And then they counter-offered the full asking price 😦 So then we counter-offered back! And now we wait probably until Monday to find out. It’s a foreclosure so we’re waiting to hear back from the bank as opposed to regular sellers.

That’s about it for now… Have a relaxing day!

My best friend’s wedding!

Good Morning!

I have a blog. Ha. It’s been about a month. Every time I would think about possibly writing a blog post, I would think about how long its been since I have and get overwhelmed with how many pictures I have and things that need to be caught up on since I last posted.

Well, in reality I only had 67 pictures on my camera and really we’ve just been trying to survive this last semester of school for Aaron and his crazy job. Plus we’ve been shopping for a new house… It’s been a busy time around here.

However, most of those 67 pictures I mentioned above were from my bff Gina’s wedding in October. Great wedding and here’s a little recap:

Here is the bride and mother of the bride:

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Gina’s super awesome shoes:

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Party bus.

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Party bus.

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PARTY bus. Bride and groom after the wedding ceremony.

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Me & Aaron at the reception:

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We did some dancing:
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Me and the bride!

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Claire doing her duty as a member of the bridal party:

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And that’s probably enough pictures for this blog post. I wish I had a photo of the whole bridal party but the photographers took some interesting pictures so I’m looking forward to seeing those soon. It was a great wedding! We had so much fun and Gina and Jason are an awesome couple. ❤

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Our camping trip and various other updates

Good Evening!

Aaron is in the kitchen painting right now and I’m sitting on the couch observing.

I uploaded a little video from when we first turned the water on in the kitchen (not sure why I felt it deserved to be on You Tube but I did) so here you go:

I also patched a super old pair of Aaron’s pants because he was starting to get a little self-conscience about the hole in the back but didn’t want to part with them. He suggested I patch them with a bandana that we had laying around so I did.

I folded the bandana so it was four layers thick then just sewed the edges to make a square.
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This is my trusty Craigslist Singer sewing machine. ❤

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And patched!

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My DSLR camera’s battery died a couple of days ago so I’ve had to take pictures with my little point and shoot camera. (As opposed to just charging the battery..)

Anyway, I went to upload some pictures and realized our camping trip pictures were still on there!

Here’s Aaron pumping up the air mattress that was flat by somewhere around midnight.

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And then I found a little Google program called Picnik and started editing photos. So much fun! This thing is awesome and it’s free. There are some premium (pay) features but a good bit of it is free.

We took a hike on our camping trip:
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Cooked in our new cast iron skillet. Funny story: We took this camping trip for our 1 year anniversary (because camping is SO romantic), and we both bought each other cast iron skillets! Now we have two. One is slightly larger than the other. Aaron also got me a few other things so I felt kind of bad that I only got him a frying pan.

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We packed everything we could possibly imagine (I’m a list maker) but somehow forgot plates… so I made a bowl out of aluminum foil.

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Camping was fun although we’re definitely going to buy a new air mattress before we go again and we are going again. Coming up mid-August with the in-laws. That is unless we bail and decide to book a B&B instead.

In other home happenings, I managed to finish tearing apart one of the two chairs.

Here she is all stripped:

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And then last night a sprayed on a coat of Rustoleum’s Heirloom White to the parts that will be visible after reupholstering.

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Aaron has been working on painting and building the shelves for the kitchen.

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LOVE Picnik. But seriously, the shelves look amazing! You can’t tell here, but they have decorative braces which Aaron cut out by hand with a jigsaw. Talented, tool belt wearing husband.

Okay off to watch a documentary about England’s monarchy in the dark ages because this is what we do.

Goodnight!