Monday, September 21, 2015

Never Again!

Back in May when we had our wood flooring installed and we had to move furniture out of the house,  I got to thinking about our office nook area.  It's tucked away down the hall and I had my desk and filing cabinet and printer in that small area.  It was very office looking and a convenient place for me to do paper work.  However, fast forward my life, and in a few years my boys will be wanting to be on the computer doing homework, and when they're teenagers surfing the web.  I don't want them tucked away in the back corner of the hall on the internet.  Just not a good idea.  So I thought I would make the office nook a toy area for now (and eventually turning it into a mud room type look with hooks for back packs.)  I was then on the hunt for a desk that looked more like a hutch rather than an office desk.  Something that would look decent in our living room, out in the open and in plain view of my eyes!
I found plenty of beautiful desks online but they were a couple thousand dollars!  Not in our budget right now.  I started looking at resale pages and facebook pages and BINGO, only after a couple weeks of looking, I found a desk on Craig's list!!

It had some damage on the bottom left leg but for the most part, it was great! And I saw a ton of potential in it.  I was going to use white chalk paint.  It was going to be easy.  I was WRONG!

Trying to fix some of the damage
I didn't like some of the decorative pieces on it. So I ended up taking the entire desk apart.  I bought some base boards to case in the bottom of the desk and some chair railing to put as the decorative pieces replacing the original ones.  And of course I bought new handles for the drawers.

The back was a flimsy cardboard type material so I bought wall panels to use as new backing for it.

When I started painting it, the paint would just shrink up.  It wasn't sticking.

 I tried putting several layers on but it just looked cracked

I could take my nail to the paint and it would just scrape off.  NOT GOOD when it will be in a room where kids are present!  It would surely be ruined within days...or even hours.

I had a little helper slash trouble maker as my side kick most of the time.  He mainly just made a bigger mess for me to clean up.

The desk project took up our garage for months.  After a while Ryan got tired of it taking up room and he started working on it while I was at work and the kids were at school.  No distractions or little hands getting in the way.
He took the electric sander to the desk.  And then got out the paint sprayer I had bought several years ago and never used...until now!

The finish after sanding and spraying was BEAUTIFUL!  I was in love!!  The next step was to try and figure out how to put it all back together.  It had been months since I took it apart.  We figured it out, put on the new pieces and hardware and nailed on the new backing.

Cruz of course, was right in the middle of the action.  We thought it was cute he had the rubber mallet trying to help us, until he put a small hole in the wall! Ooops.

So we quickly took that away.  And sure enough he went and found a toy tool to use.  He was bound and determined to help us.

After a LONG 3 months, the desk was FINALLY done.

The damage on the bottom left isn't very noticeable

The new backing looks fabulous and much more sturdy.

And the new pieces we added as decoration look great.  This is a picture of the base board we put just under the crown molding part that was already on the desk

So here is the BEFORE......

here is the AFTER

Ryan and I both agree we will NEVER take on a refinishing project again.  We would much rather pay the money for a desk that's already in the condition we want it in.  I'm grateful for a husband who helped me finish this and for it turning out just as I wanted it to and not a total and complete disaster. 

Now that I have a beautiful work space I will be starting up my card design business again just in time for Christmas card season!  I'm looking forward to it!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Crabby Crab Crabiness

Right after Ryan's long stint of work we left for a family vacation to the coast.  Ryan's parents stayed with us in a condo I had rented.  We drove over to Pismo after the boys got out of school Friday and by the time we had stopped for dinner and got situated in our condo it was dark but we just couldn't wait to see the beach! We were only staying two blocks from the pier so we went on a night stroll.  The boys were so excited and couldn't wait to swim in the ocean the next day.  My little hoodlums.

The condo was 2 bedroom, 2 bath with a nice living room, dining area and kitchen.  Pefect for the kids.

Ryan's brother and his wife and my nephew Ethan made the trip out Saturday morning and met us at the beach.  ALL the boys had a blast!  Seriously the best beach day since I was a kid myself.

Cruz is such an animal lover!  He was babbling up a storm trying to tell us something about this bird on the beach.  Pointing and babbling.  I'm sure he thinks he's saying "mom, look at that bird"

I showed the boys how to catch sand crabs.  Landen didn't want to do the catching but he held onto the bucket and waited for me to bring them to him.  I captured a few clams and sea snails as well (I think that's what they are called)

After awhile his bucket was almost full!! If you just gave the bucket a little shake, all the crabs would start moving around like crazy.

I even snatched up this beautiful blue/green crab

After a while he dumped the bucket back into the water but he sure had fun while it lasted.

Vincent couln't wait to fly this kite.

I called us the red wagon tribe (with a little blue tent)

We took a lunch break and then Cruz crashed for a nap in the pop up tent.

This is what I get when I ask for a smile           

After lunch the boys went right back at it.  Playing in the waves, giggling, running, crashing and laughing.

Ethan brought his boogie board.  All the boys tried it but Ethan and Vincent were the ones the really got the hang of it.

Cruz didn't bother putting his suit back on after nap.  Look at the beach babe. oh the rolls and pinch-able thighs.

Snacking on daddy's lap, I think he could get used to the beach life.

The water was freezing! I don't know how the boys could stand to be in that water for as long as they were.  But a few times they came out shivering and asking to dry off.

Are you cold Jacob?
That evening we all went out to dinner and then to a local ice cream shop called "The scoop"

 And then we headed back to the condo to watch a movie I had rented for the boys.  They watched most of it all snuggled in the queen pull out bed.  You can tell they were all exhausted if all three of them can sleep in a queen together without goofing off.

The next morning we spent some time at the Avila Valley Barn.  We have gone there the past three years in a row and it's a hit everytime.

On a hay ride.

I told them to jump and be silly.

I love watching their faces while they feed the animals.  Usually the tongue is out or they're cringing.  Cruz was trying to stay as far back as he could

Again Cruz is pointing to this Emu and babbling like crazy.  Maybe he speaks their language?

We were so glad Ryan's parents could stay with us for the weekend.  The boys sure do love their Grandma and Pi-pa.  And cruz's face......I laughed out loud when I saw this picture. Hah!

It was such a fun family vacation and so good to be with Ryan after he had been working so hard on the California fires.  We plan to make this a yearly tradition.  


Camping in our new trailer is still yet to come! Stay tuned.