I Like My Version Better

I was exploring Kijiji earlier today as I do from time to time, when I saw something that caught my eye. I wish I could say that it caught my eye because it had fabulous lines and was just itching to be made over. I can’t. This piece caught my eye because the lines on it were quite familiar to me.

Remember the TV console I refinished last year?In all it's gloryClose up of the brass hardwareWell, someone is selling the exact same piece only they had a slightly different take on how to make it over.

Kijiji Hutch - front

sellers picture

Kijiji Hutch - handles

Sellers picture

Kijiji Hutch - tile

Sellers picture

I realise that everyone’s taste is different, but I like my version so much better. What do you think?

BTW –  Here’s the ad if you’d like to see more.

Aren’t I Spiffy?

I’ve been a little incommunicado over the last little while and I apologise for that, but I have a good reason – I promise!

I’ve been working on a little makeover which I’ve been plotting for quite some time – I’ve updated the look of my blog.  Yippee! Those of you that get my posts by email or through a reader won’t notice anything different, but those of you that visit my site will notice a completely new look, and I hope you like it!

When I moved from WordPress.com to being self-hosted in January I had my first real experience of trying to design a blog, and in all honesty it was hard. Playing with code is rather difficult and very confusing when you’ve never done it before, and after a while I just gave up trying to make it look perfect and learned to live with what I’d created. It wasn’t all bad, but it was nowhere near the level where I wanted it to be. Now 11 months later I’m a little bit more comfortable with playing with css and php code so I decided to take the plunge (and by a little I mean a very little – at least I now know where to find it).

This time I was a little more prepared when it came to designing the look I wanted –  months ago I created a Pinterest board where I put pieces of blog design inspiration and tutorials to create some of the things I wanted on my blog, and I’ve been adding to it whenever I spotted something I liked, or wanted to remember. There are quite a number of great tutorials available for blog design and I used a few.

Another great resource is the forums on the WordPress.org site. A few of the coding issues I discovered while working on my new look were easily fixed with a quick search of the forums as chances were someone had already answered the question. In one instance an answer wasn’t already there so I posted the question detailing my problem, and within hours I had a coding fix that worked perfectly.

Anyways, shall we reminisce about my old look for a bit? This was the old landing page. It had a slider image at the top which featured some of my past projects. I didn’t really like it but couldn’t figure out how to turn it off (silly css and php), and I never remembered to update the slider images with more recent projects.

The main blog page looked like this. Nothing really exceptional about it, and the subscribe/follow section was a little amateur looking. I’ve updated the subscribe/follow section for my new look. Here’s the before and after – much better now isn’t it? Now you just need to click on the circles to see my Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest pages, send me an email or follow the blog through RSS.

The old and new subscribe/follow panels – the new one is much better isn’t it?

I also changed my header image. The old one was a bit busy. I like the new one quite a bit more as it’s simpler.

The old and new header images – the new one is simpler

Here’s my new main page – which is simply my blog. I’ve done away with a separate ‘landing page’ in the hopes that the new look is simpler to navigate. I have added one new thing which I’ve been meaning to do for months – I’ve created a project gallery page. Here I’ve posted images that link to some of my favourite past projects, crafts and recipes. Fingers crossed I’ll remember to keep adding to it! So there it is – my new look. There are still a few quirks I need to fix, but for the most part it’s done. I should thank D who put up with a number of panicky phone calls when things weren’t going well, and helped me get things moving in the right direction again. It’s rather handy to have a boyfriend who knows a little about coding and Photoshop.

What do you think of the new look? It’s a step up from the old one isn’t it? As a reader would you change anything?

Linked to: Creations by Kara, The Shabby Nest

Refinished Living Room Media Console

You may remember back in May I introduced you to the new-to-me console for my living room that I bought on Craigslist. After it’s introduction I worked on it pretty steadily, and it began its new life as my media console in July.

Here’s how it started:

My new Craigslist console

My new Craigslist console

Here is the little piece of missing trim around the front:

The damaged trim on the front - I have no idea how I'm going to fix this.

The damaged trim on the front – I have no idea how I’m going to fix this.

Here is the damaged piece of veneer on one side:

The damaged veneer - it's about the size of a deck of cards

The damaged veneer – it’s about the size of a deck of cards

And here it is, in all its refinished glory:

My refinished Craigslist console

My refinished Craigslist console

The damaged trim – fixed. Repaired front trimAnd you’ll never guess what I used to repair it.

Chopsticks to repair trimYup, those are wood chopsticks. I had been planning on using wood dowels, but they were just a wee bit too thin. I always have wood chopsticks around because I use them to stir small cans of paint and varnish. The chopsticks were the perfect size – I just cut them down and attached them with wood glue. After staining they’re not a perfect match as they’re a different type of wood, but from a distance it’s not really noticeable.

Chopsticks cut down for the repair

The damaged veneer has been fixed as well. I replaced the entire section which was a little bit of an adventure. I definitely learned some things. Here too it’s not a perfect repair, but given it’s location on the piece I’m not at all concerned.

Repaired veneer prior to staining

Repaired veneer prior to staining

One other thing I did was build a shelf for the inside. I knew there was originally a shelf inside, but when I bought it there were only the supports remaining the shelf was removed at some point. I carefully measured the inside of the cabinet and then had Home Depot cut down a piece of plywood to fit.

The plywood shelf before staining and edge band

The plywood shelf before staining and edge band

I then used the walnut edge banding left over from my dresser project to finish the visible edge of the shelf.

Applying the Edge banding
After being sanded, stained and protected I can now use the entire space again for storage.

Console with new interior shelf
And now a few more pictures as I’m pretty happy with the end results.

In all it's glory
Close up of the brass hardware
So there you have it – my second furniture refinishing project completed. What do you think – not bad for a $40 Craigslist find is it?

Ready for its new role

Linked to: Primitive & Proper, The Kurtz Corner, {Primp}, Beyond the Picket Fence, {AKA} Design, Addicted 2 Decorating, Craft-O-Maniac, Sumo’s Sweet Stuff, Polish the Stars, Coastal Charm, The Kurtz Corner, Mod Vintage Life, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Polkadots on Parade, The Shabby Nest, Miss Mustard Seed

Almost Free Bird

Sometime last year I was browsing one of my favorite blogs -‘The Art of Doing Stuff‘, when I came across a post where Karen took an inexpensive dollar store ceramic bird and transformed it with a quick spray of paint. I decided right then an there that I was going to do the same if I was ever so lucky to come across a ceramic dollar store bird of my own. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?

It took a while, but eventually my local Dollarama had some birds I could try my hand at spraypainting. They had three styles, and when I first saw them I have to admit that I didn’t even remember my plan to copy emulate Karen’s idea. By the time my brain kicked in, all my local Dollaramas were completely sold out of birds, and I had to Google the store to find some locations in the far reaches of suburbia. Okay – it wasn’t that bad – I just had to travel about 30 minutes by bus. That store had one version of the bird left so I scooped him up, and brought him home where he resided wrapped in tissue paper for months. (I need to work on my idea/plan execution – this isn’t the only project that’s languished as I twiddled my thumbs – but that’s a different blog post).

Dollar Store Bird – Before

Anyways, after my successful first two forays (one, two) into the magical world of spray paint I decided to unearth the bird for his transformation.

Three coats of spray paint later, and a little white felt on the bottom and he’s been transformed.

Dollar Store Bird – After

What do you think? As I already had the white spray paint and felt from my bookend project, this little bird project cost a whopping $2.26 (Incl. taxes). Pretty good right? My bird wasn’t as cheap (cheep – Ha!) as Karen’s, but I blame that entirely on Dollarama switching from the everything for $1 pricing model, to a few things for a $1, and most at $2.

Linking to: {Primp}, Addicted 2 Decorating, Coastal Charm, Thrifty Decor Chick, Remodelaholic