Tuesday, March 29, 2011


As a police/911 dispatcher, our days are typically long. Some are longer than others when you have back to back shifts. By the end of most days, I'm pretty pooped (this pun is hilarious if only you'll keep reading). And working with a bunch of guys, well, sometimes it can get pretty raucous at the station. Especially after a long night.

Take, for instance, one particular day I worked 17 hours. I was tired, physically and mentally, and I'd been cooped up in the comm center (which we lovingly refer to as "the box") for 17 straight hours. I came in before the sun was up and I was leaving after the sun had set. So... I was pretty much a walking zombie when I gathered my things to head out for the night.

On this day, we had cake for an officer's birthday of which there was 1 single piece left at the end of the night. So, I decided to take it home for my daughter. It was in a cake holder container -the kind that had those useful little handles on the lid for easy toting. I figured I'd just take the whole thing home with me, wash it, and bring it back to it's owner the next day. Unfortunately, because I do work with a bunch of neanderthals men, someone hadn't secured the lid properly after having their share. And when I picked it up the bottom fell off causing the piece to tumble down and plop squarely on the floor- frosting first.

After half the station finished guffawing at my blunder and I picked up the cake it left this:

Which pretty much sent all the men back into fits of laughter as they decided it looked like a big fat piece of poo on the floor. So, they all started making jokes.

And one officer wanted to add to the effect (much to the delight of the other officers):

That's toilet paper in case you're not quite envisioning his masterpiece. Of course, their 5 year old kid glee was complete when he acted like he was gonna lick a piece of it...

To be fair, I was laughing just as hysterically as they were. I blame my lunatic hysteria on sun deprivation and lack of any outdoor contact in more than 17 hours. The officers? Well, they had no excuse other than they are all overgrown boys at times.

Which can be quite entertaining when you've had a long day and you're tired and you just wanna relax a little. Sometimes immaturity and delirium are just what the Dr. ordered.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Taking a Decorating Risk...not my forte

I decided to participate in a link party that The Nester, over at the Nesting Place, was having. She blogged about taking risks in decorating. After all, it's a creative outlet, and what's the worst that can happen? You can waste 3 hours of your life and cry like a baby when it doesn't turn out the way you want it is what can happen. Here's her original post.

Okay, get ready for a picture heavy post. Because I mucked this up really well (hey, it was a risk!) I want to take you through every.single.agonizing step I took to result in this creation. First off, the inspiration:

You can find the step by step that Centsational Girl took to achieve this beautiful piece here.

I started with my Craigslist nightstand for 10.00:

First, it was a cheap dresser so it was good to experiment on. Second, it had very pretty lines that I loved. Third, it was NOT real wood (I think mostly MDFor particle board). So this was an okay risk (perfect for the control freak in me).

I started by taking off the hardware (which I will replace since I don't like) and filling in the holes :

I bought a paint sample for 3.00 (Walmart) in the color I wanted (Glidden-Deepest Aqua):
My first mistake was mixing it with too much water vs too little color ratio.
Resulting in a very light "stain", if you will, of the piece.
Oh, and see those markings on the lower right of the stand? Yeah, that's how bad of shape this piece really was (not real wood).
So, I painted another coat with more paint/less water ratio.
Problem was...the brush strokes showed so easily-it ended up like this:

But I forged ahead thinking the other coat of different paint would cover that up.
So, this is where I veered off a little from her tutorial by mixing a dark grey and a light grey I already had from Glidden (sorry I can't recall the names) which made a muddy stone color rather than her silvery light grey she used:
 It's slightly watered down here in the pic and i dry brushed that on which resulted in this:

UGH. Still streaky and looks like I just poured water down the side of it. So, I went to sanding it which made it slightly better but...not really great. It just looked trashy. See?

At this point, I pretty much gave up for the night (it was late). And sure, the lighting is bad. The drawers for the night stand aren't even done (have yet to sand down the holes I filled in-or paint them). And yes, I started out with a white dresser, not a "wood tone". So it's bound to look different than my inspiration. I will try and salvage this piece (or repaint it). I don't have an official "after" pic. But what I saw I didn't like. Still, I'm glad I did it. And I will definitely take another stab at it (maybe with more patience and attention-to-detail rather than the laissez-faire attitude I started out with). This was definitely a risk though (out of my comfortable, white, white, white).

When I'm truly finished I'll post the after product but I wanted to start this post so I could link to her risk party.
Stay tuned for the update!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Quick Change

What do you do when you're expecting guests and you've been so lazy that you haven't changed any decor since Valentines day and you realize that its all been half-assed anyway and really, your house hasn't been people ready since, like, before Christmas?

You fake it, that's what you do.

At least, that's what I think you do. Cuz that's what I did. So, we're just gonna say that's what you do 'mmmkay? I threw together a display for Spring. Something green. Something fresh. Cuz at spring you always think fresh. Alive.

Anywho...here's my 5 minute makeover, literally, 10 minutes prior to people arriving.

I wish I had a before pic so you could see how much of a hot mess it was. I'm pretty proud of my quick throw together. And because I'm lazy it will probably stay that way until summertime. I should really tweak it but I tend to have the mentality of, "Meh, good enough."

Browsing with Craig

Lately I've been obsessed with browsing Craigslist. I'm always on the hunt for something (currently it's dresser/nightstands or a headboard) and I always find something (though not typically anything I need LOL).
For example...I could find somewhere to put all of these things in my house.  Truly, I look at CL now every.single.morning. and I always fall in love with one piece or another.(My husband should be thanking his lucky stars right now that I know the meaning of restraint!).

On with the pictures.

This cane chair is only 15.00 I think it would be adorable with a punch of color...maybe a pretty yellow-gold (I am sooo into spring mode right now!) and a nice patterned fabric like this:

or even this:
Or this fabric with basic white paint:

I can even envision a vibrant turquoise:
 With a bright fabric like this:
The possibilities are endless with such classic lines. And 15.00? Sheesh! I would only spend about 30.00 on this piece in total and it would be beautiful!

Anyhow...moving on...
This was listed as a "french sofa" for 170.00 I think I would ask for lower price. I love the arms and legs (though the fabric is definitely nothing to look at). I figure that, again, would be a simple fix (if you have moderate sewing skills) to bust out new covers. This really makes me think of this great look by Centsationalgirl (btw, I am totally infatuated with her blog right now) :
Another thing I saw on CL made me think of her blog:
It was advertised at 200.00-a little steep (for my cheap ass) but I don't know much about this "Dorothy Draper" style so maybe it's really popular? Here's Centsationalgirl's after pic to get an idea of how nice it could be:
 And let me tell you--her before was identical to the pic above (but she said she got it for 13.00 at a thrift store). So, I stick by my comment that 200.00 is steep.
Anyhow. Isn't the after gorg? You can check out her before/after and the steps she took to create this lovely here.

Next, I spied an end table with purdy, purdy legs...
For 25.00. I'm trying to get out of my comfort of painting everything white, white, white...but that's how I see this piece. A soft white. Distressed.
And this as well, A vanity for 50.00

 My favorite find, that I drooled over and am still drooling over is this hutch. And let me tell you--I wouldn't change a single thing on it. As is it is beautiful!

It's going for only 125.00!!!! No hardware so I'd have to add that but oh my! It had me at Robin's Egg Blue...Lordy, am I smitten.
And yes, sweet husband, I know you're thinking, "Where in God's name, would you put that thing?" My response is (to quote my fav movie), "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn [where we put it so long as it's somewhere in my house cuz it's such a beautiful piece that I just gotta have it]" See why you should thank me for showing restraint?
Here are a few similar pieces from all over the net (basic google search):

And I'm done with Craigslist for about 2 hours for today. Still on the look out for the perfect nightstand/headboard.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stripping...a difficult journey

Ha, ha. I gotcha there. Now all the pervy people who just viewed my blog due to it's title...leave now. (Or stay for an education on sanding/stripping for dummies).

This is only a progress report on the sanding of my dresser. I've been doing it in increments and it's been very very slow work. I started out using a stripper **insert tasteless joke here** but it just wasn't working that well.
I used citristrip:
It worked ok on 1 drawer, but not the other. I don't know if I'm just doing it wrong (yes, I followed the directions accordingly) or if it's just not that great (though the reviews I read on the product say it works well). Anyhow a fair amount of elbow grease was involved so thank goodness for my handy-dandy palm sander.

Here it is in the middle of sanding that stubborn finish off (and the sticky stripping gel too):
And to point out how stubborn and difficult it was:
Part of the problem (I think) is that the gel never fully dried (even after 24 hours - the max amount per directions).  Stripping it off was like old hard candy-you know how it gets kinda gel-like and sticky? Like, gooey? Ick. Trying to strip off the gel to get to the actual finish to strip was obnoxious because it was sticky.Like dried jelly. There. That's a better analogy than old hard candy. Does any of this make sense? UGH. It was just ick. So, I sanded. And the above pick shows the difficulty in that endeavour.

Here's the beauty (after I sanded):

Hello gorgeous. You look splendid nekkid.

I ran out of sandpaper so I was unable to completely sand the second (stubborn) drawer. But here's what they look like now:

I am so excited to see what the final product will look like! Of course, at this rate, it'll be for-ev-or before I'm done. but no worries. I have all stinkin' year, remember?

Happy Birthday! and other sarcastic things to say to my sister...

Just a quick shout out to my big seester since it's her birthday. She's ancient...uh....1 year older today and I figured this summed up how I feel about that:

So, I suppose I should just be gracious and say, "Happy Birthday!" But do I really mean it? Sure, I want her to have a happy day but how happy can it be when she doesn't have her lil' sis there to bug her? And by lil' sis I don't mean this kind:
I mean the kind who will eternally bug her and love her even when she's old and decrepit (so, like, in another year).
Just kidding sister.

It kinda sucks that I can't be there on her birthday to cry into drinks together celebrate because she's old(er). I guess I'll have to resort to crying into drinks by myself. Which either makes me A) a truly dedicated alcoholic B) a truly dedicated sister or C) a dedicated alcoholic sister. You pick. No, on second thought, don't pick. I'll pick for you. I'm an awesome sister and just want to have a drink in honor of my awesome sister. There.

So, here's a shout out to the blonde bombshell that is my sis-Happy Birthday! Have a great day!