Back in Black

Have you ever seen a DIY tutorial and thought, “That’s so cool!  And it sounds so easy!  I bet I could do that!”

I fell into that trap this week.

It’s mostly Jenny‘s fault.  She was all like, “I wrapped a table in leather and studded it with brass nails!”  And I was all like, “That’s so cool!  And it sounds so easy!  I bet I could do that!  All I need now is a piece of furniture to wrap in leather and stud with brass nails!”

So when I looked at the pictures from my last post and felt like the piano was punching me in the eyeballs, I knew I had found a piece of furniture worthy of leather and studs.

Music Room Decor

DIY leather-wrapped piano

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The little desk that could.

How would you like to win a $250 True Value gift card?  Well, I’d love to give you one!  But I need a little help first…

Bob Vila's Thumbs Up

You have to vote for my desk.  Remember my desk?

plywood desk and shelves

plywood scrap desk 3

Here’s the deal:  Bob Vila himself* likes my plywood desk so much that he’s included it in his Thumbs Up competition.

*Probably not actually Bob Vila himself, but one of his employees with exceptional taste in plywood projects.

And the winner of the competition gets a $250 gift card for True Value.  This is where you come in.  See, I’d really like to win that gift card.  But what I’d like EVEN MORE is to win it, and then give it away here on my blog.  Because let’s face it, I can’t win anything without your votes, so you deserve a shot at the prize!

The rules are simple: click here (or the image below, or the image at the top of this post) to check out the projects.  Then vote for your favorite (which will be my desk, obviously, right?).  You can vote once a day, from each device that you have…which actually means that you get multiple votes per day.  And you can keep voting once per device per day, until January 31st.

Bob Vila Thumbs Up

Now, I’ve done a little math here.  I’m guessing that I have, maybe, 100 loyal readers of this blog.  And I know that each of those readers has at least one device on which to access the interwebs, or else they wouldn’t be loyal readers.  Today is January 12th, which leaves 19 days until the end of the month.  If each of those loyal readers pitches in, every day, we’d get 1900 more votes by the end of the month, and BLOW THE COMPETITION OUT OF THE WATER!!

Because if we blow the competition out of the water, I’m going to put the prize — that $250 True Value gift card — up for grabs on this website.  Because there is no other way I could possibly thank you enough for your support, and for coming back here once in a while to read my stories.

Now let’s go do this thing!  Vote today, and vote often!

The Final Countdown

The end is near!  Can you feel it?

Music Room Decor

I’ve moved all of Chris’s junk equipment back into the music room, and I’m running low on rock music references.  Which can only mean one thing:  The Boom Boom Room is nearly complete.

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Once upon a time (last February), I made a totally rad desk.

plywood scrap desk

And the desk turned out so totally rad, that I made some totally rad shelves to go with it.

plywood strip shelves

I had made that desk and shelves because, 11 months ago, I wanted to get rid of an old table, and Chris wouldn’t let me because he wanted a place to sit and a surface to write on in his music room.  And I feared that if I let him use that table in his music room, his tornado-alley style of organizing and decorating would eventually lead the music room to look like this:

storage room with table

And the obsessively compulsive, anally retentive, a-place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place control freak in me feared that this would end our marriage.Continue Reading

One Way Out

I’ve been stripping doors again.

how to restore a door

That’s right — less than one year after I found myself in the fetal position, crying and swearing that I would never again strip another door, I have somehow managed to strip and refinish the doors in The Boom Boom Room.  And that means that today’s rock-and-roll inspiration comes from The Allman Brothers.

Because lord, I just can’t refinish another door.Continue Reading

Popcorn Be Gone! (and other awesome ceiling transformations.)

I would like to take a moment to introduce you guys to a little thing called Hometalk.  For those of you who haven’t heard of Hometalk, I think it can best be explained like this:  If Pinterest and Facebook got together and had a love child, and that child only ever talked about home-and-garden related topics, and you used that child to “clip stories” instead of “pinning images,” that would be Hometalk.

It’s pretty great.

Every once in a while, I’ll take a blog post that I’m particularly fond of and rewrite it a little bit for my Hometalk profile.  Because if there’s one thing I like more than talking about myself, it’s talking about myself more and on different media outlets.Continue Reading

Gold on the Ceiling

Imagine this, if you will:  Chris is outside, mowing the lawn, wearing earbuds, minding his own business, just doin’ chores and listenin’ to tunes.  Suddenly, I come running out of the house and scare the crap out of him because he’s totally not expecting to see me outside of the house in my pajamas at 2 in the afternoon.

“Hey, Craigslist Master!  I need you to find something for me.”

Chris: (removes his earbuds and shuts down the lawn mower in a patient and not-at-all annoyed manner, as if to say, “Go on.”)

Me:  “I need you to find me a bunch of cheap microphones.”

Chris:  “Okay………..I’m kind of busy…”

Me:  “I don’t need them right now.  I’m just telling you now, before I forget.  There’s plenty of time.  I just know it takes time to find good deals on stuff.  So, you know…keep your eyes open.”

Chris:  “Okay…………Like, how many is ‘a bunch’  Like, 5 or 6?”

Me:  “I don’t know, as many as you can find?  Like, 20?  Maybe more?”

Chris: (gives me a look that I will interpret here as, “20 microphones?  You think it’s that easy to find 20 microphones just lying around?”)

Me:  “If it makes it easier, they don’t have to all look the same.  Because I’m going to spray paint them all.  Gold.  Also, they don’t actually have to be working microphones.  They just have to look like microphones.  Like microphone skeletons, that’s all I really need.”

Chris:  (I have to give him credit, he held off asking this for waaaay longer than I thought he would) “WHY?”

This is why:

Gold Microphone Chandelier Continue Reading

Magic Carpet Ride

I painted the carpet in The Boom Boom Room!

That’s not a euphemism.

painted carpet, before and after

You know, this may surprise some of you, but when you tell people that you are going to paint a carpet, the most common reaction is a mixture of doubt and disbelief, with a little bit of “I’m not sure I heard that correctly” thrown in for good measure.

Of course, there are some of you that would be like, “Of COURSE you’re going to paint the carpet!  Because it will look TOTALLY RAD!!”

You people — the people who think that — you get it.  You are my people.  Because it looks totally freakin’ rad.

painted carpet with stencils

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Ardex counters: the honeymoon is over.

These are my Ardex counter tops.

Ardex counters

You may remember them from such posts as Faux-Crete Counters (From Scratch!) and To Faux-crete or not to Faux-crete?  They were super easy, super fast, super DIY-friendly, and — my personal favorite — super cheap.  I still appreciate them, for all of those reasons.  But do I still love them?

Folks, it’s been over a year since we built these counters and skim-coated them with Ardex, and I’m here today to tell you: the honeymoon is over.

Thanks to the magic of the internet, I’ve recorded everything important that I’ve ever said about how awesome it is to skim-coat your counter tops with concrete, even if it scratches really easily.  For instance, at the end of my last post on this subject, I included this little gem:

And you know what?  I just realized that if it gets really bad, I could always strip the wax and put on a new coat of Ardex.  It would be a one-day project, because the Ardex is so easy (and I have half a bag left over).

Well, last weekend, I’d finally had enough of the scratches, and I decided it was time to test this optimistic theory.

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Europe Lite

“Luxembourg: It’s Europe Lite.  They speak English.  They have kebobs.  The beer is shit.” — Mike B.

Luxembourg 6

And for the record, “kebobs” in Europe are actually gyros.

Also for the record, I don’t personally have anything against European beer.  What it lacks in hops, it makes up for in being the only beer available in Europe.  Luckily, Europe makes good wine.Continue Reading