Sunday, May 10, 2015

Living in a Hoarder's Paradise

After spending the majority of yesterday working on the yard, we were finally able to get out today and finish up a couple of things that have been sitting in the garage for the past couple of weeks.

First, we have a pair of chairs that Lance found on the side of the road.  We're not sure why someone would throw them out- the seats needed to be re-upholstered and they were a little scuffed up, but overall in great shape.  We didn't get a picture of the BEFORE before, but here's what they looked like after Lance cleaned them up with some Restor-A-Finish. This stuff is amazing- it gets rid of build up and light scratches, and overall brightens everything up.  I highly recommend it!

And here they are after I finished re-covering the seats.  The chair on the right actually had the original seat- with springs. So the old fabric and foam pretty much disintegrated when I cut it off.  Luckily I did that outside because that stuff was EVERYWHERE.

Next, we have a pair of old soda crates we got at a garage sale last weekend.

One was missing it's bottom, so Lance decided to attach them together:

And he built a top that sets securely into the crates, so that it makes a rustic end table:

And finally, we have this lovely dresser we picked up for $5 at the same place where we bought the crates.

We debated what to do with it because the paint on the drawers had a great crackle to it, but the paint on the rest of it was rubbed off in weird places and at one point it had been painted a not so attractive shade of salmon pink that was showing through. Finally, we decided to leave the drawers as-is and to paint the rest.  I sanded it down to get all of the loose paint chips off, then used a spray primer (here's why I LOVE spray paint- you can prime a whole dresser in 5 minutes!)

Then I painted it with 2 coats of a light gray/blue color we had left over from when I re-did our nightstands a couple of years ago. When it was dry, I used some 80 grit sandpaper to distress it a little bit around the edges and finished the whole thing off with a couple of coats of Polycrylic.  So while it looks shabby, it is actually very smooth and clean to the touch. I wanted to do something cool with the knobs, but after my attempts at decoupage failed miserably, I ended up just painting them antique white to match the drawers and calling it good. So, here's the finished product:

I wanted something nice to line the drawers with, but I couldn't really find any cool patterns of drawer liner at the store.  Then I discovered that I'd actually bought a roll of drawer liner and a roll of wrapping paper in the dollar bins at Target a while ago for $3 each.  I knew they'd come in handy some day!

There wasn't actually enough of the actual drawer liner to cover all 3 drawers, but there was plenty of the wrapping paper.  So I cut it down to size and just set it in there, and it turned out really well.  Note to self: next time I see this stuff at Target, I am going to stock up!!!

So that's what we've been working on over the past couple of weeks.  I would like to say we are making a dent in our garage full of hoardings, but...nope.  Onward.

Saturday, May 9, 2015


I just realized I haven't actually posted anything since Christmas! I wish I could say it's because we've been sooo busy doing all kinds of cool things, but..... it's really just because we haven't really done much since then! Now that the weather is FINALLY nice again and we are back into garage sale season, we have quite a few things in the works, but none are done yet.  Soon,  I promise!

Today we spent the majority of the day working out in the yard.  I had planned on it not taking too long, but several hours and two trips to Menard's later......  Everyone who knows me knows I have TERRIBLE spatial reasoning skills, so I *think* I have enough plants, only to realize I don't have enough dirt, and then I don't have the right size pots, and so on and so forth.  I do this every year, you'd think I'd have learned by now.

Anyway, so the yard is looking MUCH better, but is still a work in progress since most of the plants have not bloomed yet, so they're looking pretty small and sad.  Meanwhile it is apparently the annual "hillbilly campout" weekend next door again, because our lovely neighbors (the inspiration for our fence) have a camper in their side yard and about 20 people gathered in the front yard yelling and crushing beer cans on their foreheads or whatever it is that they do over there.  If only we could have built the fence higher.....

So I thought I would post a couple of pictures of just a few of the plants from today.  Once everything is in full bloom, I will add photos of that too.

We have two VERY old lilac trees on the side of our house.  We actually built the fence around them so that we wouldn't have to take them out.  There is a white one and a purple one, and both are just starting to bloom.

Last summer we had herbs growing in pots on the deck.  This year we are trying something a little different and hanging them on the side of the garage.  I am planning to make some nicer labels for them, but for now they just have the store tags stuck in there so we know which is which.

This galvanized metal tub is one of my favorite planters- the plants in it haven't filled in yet, but it still looks pretty nice as it is:

And we have amassed quite the collection of Dutch kissers in the yard.  They remind me of home :)
Here's the first one we ever got- the one Lance found at an estate sale down the street and came home waving them triumphantly over his head.

This pair came from an auction last summer and they are made of cement, so they are HEAVY!

Aaaanndd here is the newest addition, purchased at an antique mall in Holland at Christmastime.  The little old ladies at the counter sold them to us with tightly pursed lips (think the old "Church Lady" sketches on SNL) which really only encouraged us to loudly pronounce that we support same sex marriage as we strolled out the door and buckled them into the back seat of our car. :)

Now that the yard is (mostly) in order, we can get back to all of the other things we are working on. So stay tuned for updates over the next couple of weeks!