Thursday, May 12, 2016

A before-and-after 3 years in the making

I love auctions. Like, really love them, which is why I'm so sad that I haven't been to one in probably 2 years. The timing just hasn't worked out with my work schedule, but when I was in grad school, I could go much more frequently. (There's an auction house about 5 minutes away from where my parents live and they sometimes have some really great deals.)

During that time (3+ years ago), I stumbled across this desk. I didn't pay too much attention to it until after the bidding started. "$2...$ I have $3? Anyone? $3? Going once..." - I had to snap it up for that much. It had good bones and I figured I could redo it to use as a sewing table. 

My  mom thought I was crazy, but I knew what I was doing. I faithfully brought it with me to grad school, then to my first apartment back in Chicago, then to my house...And all the while, it sat there sadly as a an ugly reminder of my failure to compete my to-do list. 

Despite the delay, I was making plans, slowly. I initially thought that something like this would be cool, but didn't have a projector to be able to accomplish that. I knew I wanted something travel-themed to fit in with the rest of my decor, but wasn't quite sure what kind of blue to use yet. At one point, Ace Hardware had a really great deal on quarts of paint (only $1 each, limit 10!), so I stocked up on probably 8 shades of blue. Finally, one day I stumbled across this pin on Pinterest and knew it would be perfect:


I "discovered" this pin nearly a year ago, and yet, it still sat, and sat, and sat. Finally, this spring, I stumbled across this map craft paper at JoAnn:

It was decided. The first warm weekend after I found that paper, I was outside getting everything ready. I used a new sander my parents had bought me and some primer I had on hand...and then promptly ran out. I decided to do the rest without primer, and you know what? It worked out just fine - that paint has really good coverage!

Once I had the base coat done, it was time for the next step - the decoupage. I was nervous about this, because I pretty much always manage to screw it up, and this time was no exception.

That happened after I tried to even up some of the rough edges before it was done drying. Luckily, I fixed it up, and I have to say, I'm pretty darn happy with the results! 

Those knobs don't match completely, but I still think they're a great touch. So happy I stumbled upon them in the Hobby Lobby clearance section!

So glad that I finally got this done! What's the longest you've waited to check a DIY project off your to-do list?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hello hello!

(Not the Adele song.) So...I was gone from the blog for a while. Obviously. But I've still been making things! Albeit a bit more slowly...

First up, a matching cowl and ear warmers:
 (This is really just a sneaky excuse to show you my Iceland pictures, hehe. This one's at Kerid Crater Lake.)

This cowl was originally supposed to be a shrug along these lines, but...that didn't work out so well. It was so ill-fitting that I don't have any pictures. (I'm still confused about how a seamed-up rectangle could fit so poorly, but...) I un-seamed it and re-seamed into this big, cozy blanket cowl. The thing is huge, but it certainly kept me warm in the cold and wind!

(At Gullfoss, Europe's most powerful waterfall. I stood there and stared for quite a while, feeling it rumble under my feet.)

I'm glad I made the earwarmers, but I wish I'd made them a bit wider. They had a tendency to fall down and/or not quite cover everything they should have. 

I also started making a matching hat before I left. I didn't get it finished before leaving, but faithfully packed it in my suitcase, thinking I'd have some time to finish it on the plane, or at the airport, or at night during the trip. I seriously overestimated my energy level (hiking + driving every day was incredibly exhausting). 

This cable-tastic hat was actually pretty easy...I think I finished it a week or two after Iceland, once my jet lag subsided. (I was mostly just tired of seeing it sit on my coffee table...)

When oh when will I learn that last-minute vacation projects never work out all that well? Have you fallen victim to the vacation trap? How did yours turn out?