Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A finished project





I've finally finished the table project. It took awhile due to high humidity. I had to wait for days between coats of the gel stain so it could dry properly. It's just a simple, but sturdy, table. It does have a leaf to make it larger, but this is the size I will use most often. The plates are Currier & Ives dishes I have collected for 25 years. The red bowls are my favorites from Williams-Sonoma. The napkins are from Pottery Barn. The napkin rings are small grapevine wreaths I got at a craft store. Notice the little brown wren. I have a few of them and I like to move them around the house (and driveway).

I've linked this post to Nesting Place where lots of others have posted their favorite posts of 2009. Check out all of their great ideas.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another project.


One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Half stripped and half finished

I can't stand to see things go to the dump just because they have a little bit of wear and tear. I found this table before it was picked up by the garbage truck. I loved the legs. It is VERY heavy and I was happy to have my strong son and his pick-up truck on hand. I'm not sure what it is made out of, but when I stripped off the finish, I found a yellow surface that was as hard as a rock. I used Minwax gel stain in semigloss pecan to finish it. Gel stain is good to use when your surface will not absorb a regular stain (like fiberglass or MDF). I'll post pictures when I am completely done. My daughter has already claimed the table for her new home when she gets married next year. In the meantime I'll use it to stage a home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Spraypaint: A girl's best friend.


Before


After



Now that the weather has warmed up, I'm in the mood to do some quick projects. I've been collecting these projects in my garage for the past few months. For each of these projects, I've only spent a few dollars and some of them were free.

My first project was a $2.98 table I bought at a thrift store. I took it apart and sanded the metal stand with steelwool. Then I spray painted the stand (outside) with Rust-oleum hammered finish spray paint.It only took about 5 minutes and the results were good. I used the dark bronze paint. Of course, I also cleaned the glass (top and bottom). I'm using the table in my back porch right now, but if I need to I can use it when staging a client's home for sale. I love projects like this because they are instantly gratifying.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What do I do with all of the schoolwork my children bring home?

As we come to the end of the school year, we're faced with a dilemma. What do we do with all of the schoolwork our children have brought home from school. If you're like me, my sentimental side wants to keep everything my child has touched. However, the practical side of me screams "what do I do with all of this stuff?" I'll give you some ideas to keep both sides of your brain happy.

1. Label a small file box for each child.

2. Label several hanging files for different areas of paperwork you might want to save for your child. Each child will be different according to their age and activities. Some examples are art, handwriting, poems/stories, awards/pictures, research etc.

3. Every time your child brings home a paper, decide first if it is a keeper. You don't have to keep everything. In fact, if you try to keep everything, you will be overcome with paperwork very quickly.

4. If you love it or your child loves it then you might consider keeping it.

5. Once a month, go through what you've kept and decide if anything needs to be thrown out. Maybe your child has a final copy of a poem he wrote. You can safely throw out the rough drafts.

6. At the end of the school year, go through your files and keep only what is special and represents the school year. You should have enough to fill a large manila envelope or a 2 pocket folder. Label the file/folder with the child's name and school year. Place it in a rubbermaid bin and store in a dry place. At the end of 12 years, your child will have a bin of memories to enjoy.

7. If your child has a large piece of artwork or a bulky project, the best thing to do is take a picture of the item. Maybe you can take a picture of your child holding the item. Some artwork is nice to frame. I've seen some very simple artwork matted and framed and it looks beautiful.

8. Now that my children are leaving the nest, I've given them their keepsake bins to keep. Some of the items were kept, but some were thrown away. I feel like I've done my duty and protected their childhood memories. Even so, some of my favorite memories were not my children's memories.

9. If my child made me a mother's day card or a special picture that was just for "Mommy" then I have kept it in my own keepsake box.

I hope these ideas will help you get a handle on your child's paperwork.

Keep on organizing,
The Tidy Brown Wren