Monday, January 25, 2010

Refinishing a Cedar Chest - In Progress

I've had my mom's old cedar chest in my garage for a few years now..waiting to be re-done. She hand painted it awhile back and though it is really nice, it is just not my style.

So finally I started working on it this weekend with the help of my father-in-law who has some experience at this. It's hard to find time when you stay at home with your almost 3 year old and have many other home projects that need to come first. But I'm happy we at least starting working on it.

The original plan was to strip the paint off the chest and then repaint it but then I decided that since I am not staining it, I would just sand, prime and paint it. Step one -sand!

Here is the chest after some sanding on the outside (I forgot to take a before-- oops!)

The inside of the top drawer - before (note the felt/paper stuck with strong glue in there...not coming off)
Here is the after of the drawer (this is all my father-in-law, Rudy; I tried my best but did not have the power/patience to get it all off):

And the inside bottom of the chest - before (notice the spots and wear on the cedar):

And the after: (amazing what a sander, sandpaper, and a handy man will do for you!):

Hopefully I'll get started on priming it soon but that all depends on if I can lug this thing outside by myself while A is at school. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Old Shirt = Toddler Tunic

So I've been rummaging through my bag of clothes to donate and came across one of my favorite shirts. I really did not want to part with it. If it had not gradually started to shrink little by little with each wash, I would for sure have kept it since 1) it is super soft 2) it has an owl on it (I LOVE owls - I'm a bit obsessed these days) and 3) it's just a really adorable shirt. So rather than say goodbye I decided to turn it into a little tunic for Ava....during her naptime today.

I simply modified my pattern I use for the Griffin picnic dress and voila! An adorable toddler shirt. In less than 1.5 hours. Woo hoo!

Before (a year and a half ago before it shrunk so much that my stomach showed):


I think it turned out super cute. And Ava, upon seeing it for the first time, said, "My favorite dress! I want to put it on." I think that means she likes it. :)


I received an email with this photo from my friend who bought the Hamburger and Fries onesies for her boss' newborn twin sons. Apparently the onesies were a huge hit with family and friends over the holidays. Always nice to see my stuff in action!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Custom Storybook

So this was the year of the custom/personalized Christmas gift for me. For some reason, I decided to make 3 different handmade (and rather time consuming) projects as gifts and 2 of those went to my little 8 month old niece Griffin who lives in NYC (the last one was not technically a Xmas gift but rather a bday gift for my hubby - see previous post).

I say for some reason because I decided to start these projects a month and half before Christmas (so I would have time to do them) and then, because I felt like I had so much time (read the sarcasm here), I took on all sorts of other projects from some friends. A few dresses here, a few baby sets there, a last minute hanukkah shirt etc. None of which took that long but with Ava fighting naps daily and her little 8 hrs of school dwindling, I started to feel the time slipping away. And got stressed. But let's move on...

Anyways, what came out of that long drawn out story was that I made this custom storybook for my little niece since she lives so far away and since we probably won't see her but maybe 2x a year if that. It's a storybook I made about all her family in Texas to help her learn our names/faces. I made a similar book last year about daughter and my husband called "Ava loves her Daddy" using the same concept as this one. (Of course that book was so that Ava would think about her Daddy while he is at work). This one is better though as I had a month to work on it, typed up the words and used colored pencils to do the drawing. My previous one I did in 2 days and used markers and although it's cute, it simply does not compare to this one.

So here it is (photos don't really do it justice) - "Griffin's Trip to Texas" and btw, my sister did cry when she opened this gift. Sign of a good gift in my family. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Portrait of First Child

I've been a big believer in the handmade gift for many years now. Especially when it comes to my husband. A) He is hard to shop for. Like me, he buys what he wants and when he really wants something it tends to be expensive. B) His birthday sadly falls right after Christmas . He got the short end of the stick there as it is hard to come up with 1 gift idea let alone 2 ideas.

Having run out of things to make for him that have something to do with our daughter ( I commissioned a portrait of her for Father's Day one year, framed photos of her another, and made a storybook about the 2 of them), I turned to his other love, his first born dog, Smokey.

So this past summer I took photos of the dog outside and used this one:

in order to paint a portrait of him for D's birthday. Considering I am not a portrait artist, I thought it turned out well and of course, he loved it.
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