OMG 1 Week Count Down

end of summer beach scene

The inevitable is here…1 week remaining on my vacation. Oh sure rub it in you think. Well as a teacher, spare time or personal time is a luxury. I’ve been out of the classroom on special assignment for four years now and excited to return to having my own students!

decisions arrows

So much to do, so little time. I’ve decided to make another website for students to access data, keep forms, and store ideas. Big question, with the nannie governing what we can access or not, do I create a blog or webpage? Decisions decisions.


To Dos

class list

check off forms

set up room – determine if additional tables & chairs are needed, library, writing center, reading center, sm group center….

word wall

spelling/word work activity sheet

spelling/word work flip cards

management system – thinking class bucks again

The list continues but must get to work setting up my home desk that’s now in box hell😉  Any ideas for communication home?

While the kid is away, the momma will play ;)

So my DS left for a 5-day visit on a houseboat on a local lake. What to do, what to do… haha, not really thinking so hard. Just waited for his next summer trip to begin the painting and design of the hallway bathroom. Up until now it was still dirty white from the previous owner (obviously not my choice). The room was so dated it had an oak ring towel bar… omg anyone old enough to remember those?


For months now I waited for him to develop a plan while I secretly had my own. Months ago I found a great shower curtain with vertical stripes and decided why not do horizontal stripes in this small bathroom. Horizontal stripes are supposed to make things look larger right. Well they certainly do on a woman’s hips so using such logic it should make the tiny bathroom appear larger!

Enough paint selections to last any DIYer a lifetime…well don’t count on it😉

Really, Ace Hardware and their Clark & Kensington paint giveaway really was a lifesaver. Throughout the past few months we’ve participated in their specials nabbing a color here and color there providing lots of great option. Thanks Ace Hardware!

Decide on three… light Forest Stone (adaptation from my favorite paint guy, from the master closet), Forest Stone (leftovers from the original house painting), and thinking I need a little grey to tie the shower curtain and reduce the amount of green. All supplies that I had on hand so the cost was ZERO! Don’t count your chickens before their hatched…needed that pale gray to balance the green. Ok so the final cost was a quart of paint! That’s acceptable😉

Prep the room, first by removing the mirror behind the sink.

That sloppy drywall job wasn’t on my watch! It’s just further evidence of the water damage and sloppy repairs on the house before our ownership. Guess it was a good thing it was hidden behind the mirror.

Another before pic. More oak…ewww! Remember when it was the thing to have. NOT!

Wish me luck and stay tuned for the final product.

Mengel calling my name

With the closet complete (for now) and reloaded I’ve returned to another project. The unfinished 1948 Mengel Stationary Desk has been calling my name for days. Check out the previous post or just use this refresher on the before shots …

Mengel 1

Mengel 3

What doesn’t appear in these before shots is the peeling oak veneer. After searching a few DIY sites, wood repair/replacement sites, and shopping replacement veneer, I realized two things…first, it’s not cheap, secondly, I don’t like the look of golden oak! haha dah right. I spent weeks refinishing the entertainment center to change it’s original golden oak appear. It’s the journey, it’s the journey, it’s the journey😉

Removing the veneer requires patience for sure. After scraping it’s a slow process. Using a damp rag & an iron (hey what else are these good for anyway). The steam from the damp rag and the iron set high on steam help to loosen the adhesive.

Mengal top

As you can see from the background I do my finest work in the house -the upside to unfinished concrete floors. Don’t worry about the iron, it did survive and is good as new (after scrubbing) in case anyone wants to use it for something beside refinishing projects.

Mengal top 2

Hope I didn’t give the impression the steamed veneer just jumped right off…lots of chiseling + a touch of blood.

Mengal booboo

After the veneer is removed the surface shows its war wounds. The reminents of adhesive and chiseling requiring lots of sanding with a rough paper. Continue sanding with increasingly smooth paper until the surface is smooth and ready for paint.

Mengal top 3

For the sides, the veneer was pretty secure so I just sanded until wood grain was smooth.

The drawers on the other hand require some pretty time consuming handy-work. Last posting I shared about the citrus refinishing product. Each drawer required scraping along the wood slats to remove previous dirt, grime, and paint. Obviously not a quick process…lather, rinse, and REPEAT.mengel drawer 1Mengel draw 3

Until they look fabulous in the raw! Even if the original nasty blue vinyl is hiding in the background. Just ignore it like we do😉

Mengel drawer 2

It was difficult deciding what to do with these. I knew I wanted a dark stain but the options are so great. You walk into the local big box hardware store and are almost overwhelmed with the selections! Wait til you see what I bought now😉

First I stained the drawers and desk top to match the entertainment center using the following stain.


Love the color of Rust-oleum Kona stain, but didn’t want too matchy matchy and love a little red. Hey JET your red is showing! Inside joke.

color paste

After staining with the Kona to my desired level (maybe 2 coats) I applied Minwax Express Color in Mahogany. It’s almost like a paste, easy to apply, very forgiving, and doesn’t make a mess. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the results!

drawer 4

Now for the hardware…scrub the grime and whatever was coating it to find brass beneath. Since the condition of the desk wasn’t valuable as an antique it didn’t matter if I slightly altered the piece. Keeping with what I felt gave it justice and made current it called for oil rubbed bronze (ORB).

I just so happen to have ORB in spray paint for an upcoming project of refinishing the door hardware throughout the house. More on this at a later time.

hardware 1

Tough decision to cover up the brass, so I lightly applied color and then rubbed the edges to let the brass peek through. Best of both worlds and loving this. Now to repeat 6 more times.

hardware 2

It’s making progress and I’m absolutely loving it. Have I said that before?😉

Next steps, paint inside desk, paint outside of the structure a soft or chalk white, then wax or poly, decisions decisions. I’m sure she’ll speak to me and I’ll post again to share the final outcome.

Poor Pup

Never a dull moment around here. Our poor little guy required surgery recently. I hated to put him through it but after two opinions and discussion with a friend about her dog’s surgery I scheduled the inevitable.

I had to, love this pic, my guy at 6 weeks.Oso at 6 weeks

“What’s wrong with my eyes, mom?” lol couldn’t help myself. Pic taken on our first day in the new house. When we arrived we found all the doors removed from their hinges and placed in front of the windows! But I love my house, I love my house…keep repeating😉 Kidding aside I really do love the house!

Apparently SharPei’s often have this eyelid rolling thing going on, Entropion, when the lid rolls inward and the lashes irritate the eye. They attribute this to the excessive wrinkling on the breed. My little guy (haha, he’s 70 lbs) isn’t overly wrinkled and is mixed with Rottweiler and Boxer. I had high hopes that the mix would decrease the health issues related to the breed. Yeah right!

Oso after surgery

Oso after surgery 3

Oso after surgery 2

Poor little guy… they say it won’t be long til he’s running around again. Oh and keep him from rubbing his eyes…haha, see me now? “Oso stop touching your face!”

Today’s lesson…

…always spot check your paint in the intended location, even if you think it’s too light!!!

So finally getting to the master closet armed and ready with my premium Behr single coat paint & primer in one. Impressed with myself for holding out for an oops paint that will be complimentary and light enough for my closet. As I’m painting I’m thinking how my painting skills have improved & dreaming great shelf organizers to complete the closet. Trimmed out, corners painted, looks great. Son comes in, admires my handy-work. I strut thinking how much I’ve completed this weekend. One wall done, two walls done, and I turn around & the wave of OMG begins. It’s not right. Check with teenager, (what was I thinking?) and decide to continue. Wall three complete, hmmm. Then the final wall…. OH NO! As it’s drying I can totally see (or not) it’s TOO DARK! How’s a girl to get dressed in a cave?

What to do? Repaint or leave it? Add more light? Make up your mind and love it anyway? The 2hr wait time necessary to repaint is just about up… now to go examine the closet again.

UPDATE – – Like a crazy scientist I sit in the closet on the floor mixing left over white paint from the pantry & linen shelves into the mix. I added and added and added more white paint. Check the color, hit it with a blow dryer, mix again. I use about 1/4 to 1/3 of the gallon and realize the color seems to have a pint hue. Surprise, check the label, the white paint is Dove White and has purple in the mix! This is just getting worse, what do my DIY idols do on this occasion?

Now how to remove the pink. Light bulb… I have a quart of White Sand I acquired for the stationary desk from Ace Hardware’ FREE quart promotion . Hesitantly I pour the paint and mix. Still too much pink. Sorry ladies, but pink is just my least favorite color ever. Maybe it just needs dry time I convenience myself.  Maybe if I cover the wall I’ll totally fall in love with this color. Trimmed out one wall, painted from ceiling to floor, stood back and ….

…nope, not loving it. This pic doesn’t do it justice otherwise I would have sent it to a couple friends for a second opinion. Since there isn’t anyone else around I refer to the Behr app on my phone. This app matches colors from pictures or photo’s from the gallery. Luv this app! It agreed and identified the paint as  Smoked Mauve and provided 2 other similar choices that were pink based…eww, not what I intended😦 Abandon this project…go back to the stationary desk or play a game on the computer… hmm decisions decisions😉

Ok so I didn’t play put my gamer hat on, well not for long. Frustrated and determined, I journeyed to my local Home Depot, hoping to find my favorite paint guy working. Tada so lucky on two fronts. First I found a can off oops Behr paint in white, secondly and most important my knowledgeable guy was working and adapted my new found prize. Finding a quality paint guy is key. He was in the private business locally for years and now shares his experience with shoppers in HD. So he added the pigments (whatever they are) of my Fortress Stone by Behr to the white to create a lighter version of the original, SCORE!!!

Final closet colorCloset colors didn’t photo well, but it is amazing!

Now from the inside you don’t realize the color is different. It’s lighter and in a semi-gloss which really helps reflect the light so I don’t feel like I’m in a cave! So grateful I found him last year!! Wonder if other DIYers have such admiration to their paint guy? 😉

Sad day when you toss your perfectly good compost ingredients in the trash

I found this great post on making a compost bin and it’s just what I needed. We left our store bought bin at the old place. Why I keep thinking? Well because it didn’t decompose and at the last minute it seemed too much to move it too. Well when you’re facing the deadline somethings just don’t make it on the truck. I admit I’ve asked JET on a few occasions to stop by (he’s in the neighborhood 5x a week), check out the situation, and if house is still unclaimed to pick up my bin. Hey it cost a nice chunk of change to replace. Well he’s a kid and somehow between high school girls and food he “forgot”. hehe what’s a mom to do.

Da tah, then I find supermom’s post! She has a great tutorial here, so worth checking out.

How to Make a Garbage Can Compost Bin

I believe I’ve found another project that pops to the top of the TO DO list. Hey tossing out perfectly good compost trash really hurts. Wonder if others push silly projects to the top of the list when there is real work to do😉

From one mom to another… THANKS for the great post.

Rub, Rub, Rub…

… and I’m not talking about 3 men in a tub.

During one of my regular CL searches for house materials, I ran across an ad for a 1948 Mengel stationary desk/ dresser. Seemed like a simple freshening up and it would be perfect for work, blogging, & couponing. After I arrived it seemed the piece had some veneer damage to the top, sides, and front trim. Hmm, after being convinced the process was relatively easy, I loaded the car (gotta luv my Santa Fe) and headed home.

Check it out… despite the poor quality photo from my phone, the Mengel piece shines with excitement for its new life😉 Check out my fabulous construction concrete floors…gotta luv it.

I searched the web and visualized the process of removing & replacing the veneer. Saturday I picked up a quart of paint during the Ace Hardware give-a-way to freshen up the inside. I’ve debated over the color of the inside and narrowed it down to tangerine or the original blue (which doesn’t excite me at all).

After serious debate (about 5 minutes) I changed my mind about redoing the oak veneer. I’ve gone to great lengths of refinishing the oak entertainment unit, why oh why would I replace it on this piece?

My current plan is to sand & fill the damaged pieces, then paint. Since the front is in excellent condition, a nice stain & wax finish should make it pop from the painted frame. HAHA guess it’s just a flip of the outside colors with a slightly darker woodtone. OK, now back to the internal colors, hmm decisions decisions.

So what about the Rub, Rub, Rub comment? Another trip to the hardware store and I return with the citrus paint remover. Rubbing off years of paint required more effort than I realized.

After three rounds of applying product, scrapping, and rubbing product off the crazy shaped drawers,  I found the original wood!

So that’s what I did with my Sunday…guess I’ll check out the other blogs and see what other DIYer’s created.

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