Sunday, October 23, 2011

Grown up organization

Now that I have a grown up job I have to deal with 401k's and medical benefits and blah blah blah. Its all very overwhelming and confusing. On top of that I have grad school to attend to. Because of this my desk has become a huge stack of nicely sorted papers concerning all my grownup decisions. I needed a storage bin to get them out of the way (and out of my eyesight...). Last week during a trip to Goodwill I found this gem:
 Now I did not like the colors, but I did like the price!
 And it came fully loaded with files!
 I had some leftover fabric from another project and cut it to the size of the top of the container.
 I used a hot glue gun to attach the fabric to the lid. I folded over the sides like wrapping a present.
 Tada! I am organized! Now you can all stop losing sleep over my unorganized life :)

Crate Shelving

 Once the office got painted I moved over all of the 'office' related junk into the room. This room would function as a craft room and study room. I wanted to organize my crafting material so it would be easy to get to. I bought some crates on Craigslist a few weeks ago, dusted them off and brought them up to function as crafting storage.

 Here is the (newly painted) wall to house the shelving right next to my desk and awesome chair that my little sister found at a garage sale last spring. At first I defiantly wanted to recover it...but the pattern is growing on me....thoughts?!
 I organized the shelving to how I wanted it to look and located the studs in the wall. The crates were pretty heavy so they needed to be connected to a stud.
 We connected the crates with these L shaped connectors my father had laying around.
 Here it is! I love the weathered look and imperfections in the crates. Great shelving unit for $30!

Lo(n)g Time Coming

 As the following pictures indicate, this project started around April and just ended in October. I needed a side table in my bedroom for zero dollars. I came home one Sunday and my father was chopping down a tree. I grabbed a sled and rolled a log up the hill (not as easy as I am making it sound.)
Once we got it up the hill we needed to strip the bark. You want to make sure the log sits out for awhile (months) to dry out. Also make sure there are no little friends living in the log :)
 We stripped the bark off the log and rolled it the rest of the way up the hill into our garage, where it sat all summer...
Once we stripped it I sanded the bejesus out of it for about four weeks. I used about 40 different kinds of sanders, if you are curious about this step... ask my father.

 My dad took the chain saw on one side to work. I wanted to cut a section out for a few reasons. One, this thing was heavyyyyyyy...and two, I wanted a little ledge for my phone to charge on. I also might sew something into the side so my iPad can slip into it. But that's a project for future Jenn.
 I added leg raisers from Ikea, but later took them off. The log was tall enough without them once I placed it into my room. I stained the log dark to hide some imperfections in the wood. I also added a 'plastic' coating to protect the finish and add shine. Here is the final product in action!

Vase Update

 I stop at Goodwill about once a week for little projects, inspiration and super cheap material. I found a few vases for .99 the other day but wanted to add some color to them. I used some of the left over sample paint from the office, poured it into the vase and swirled it around. This works much better than a paint brush since it doesn't leave any brush marks.

This is a great way to add color and modernize old outdated glassware. I have also seen people spray paint the outside which I hear works just as well. I decided on paint because I wanted to keep the exterior glass to keep the shine.

And then there was color!

The longer I stay living with my parents has a direct correlation with the amount of space I take up. I started with a bedroom and have recently added an office (and perhaps some garage space...). This office was my sisters old bedroom before she moved to Arizona (but will finally be returning in the spring...perfect timing to renovate her!). When we moved into our house she painted the room gold. About 6 months ago we moved some things around in the room and my mom wanted to touch up the paint...which had been sitting around for about 8 years. So, that didn't work and the room needed a paint job. Here are some samples we tried: 

 We decided we didn't like any color we sampled and pulled the plug on a swatch we kept going back to. Here is the finished product: