Thursday, June 27, 2013

Project City

I am sad to say that after two long weeks the Bence House Makeover: John Engdahl Edition (Part III) has come to an end.  However, I am happy to say that the next few blog posts are going to BLOW YOUR MIND.  Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have such a wonderful, workhorse, perfectionist father?  And an amazingly supportive, weed picker, brick hauler of a mother?  Because I am. Very lucky indeed.

Before I dive into the last few weeks of projects, though, I thought I would give you a quick share today of one of the many bonus room enhancements that were done after the repaint.  I have only shared one project so far, so here is the second that I finished up right before my parents arrived.

We have a nice coffee table and two end tables that were hand me downs from Mary, but were getting a little beat up after years of use.  I had also painted the walls brown, so I figured brown tables and tan shelves were just a little too much of the same color family.  We have so much trim paint leftover that I figured white would be a nice, cheap way of sprucing them up.

Here is the original coffee table right after I sanded the top, then remembered to take the photo.


I decided this was going to be my first "distressed" project as I really like the look and it is all the rage these days.  After spending many hours looking up tips on the web for how to do it right, I finally just went for it.  The first part was sanding, priming and painting like normal.


The next part was the scary part as I didn't really know how much to sand off/where to sand and how much to beat up the wood.  I finally just took a few wacks with my hammer and felt immense satisfaction so I picked up a bag of screws and went to town with those too.  The only other tool I used was a long straight bar which I laid down flat and hit with the hammer to create indents.  For the sanding I basically roughed up every single edge along with the dips in wood on the top of the table.  I did a little bit of scratching on the flat wood parts too, but not too much.  The last touch was to take an old ratty brush, a can of brown stain and a work rag and lightly brush some color onto the white paint to give it a more weathered look.  Basically dip the brush in lightly and wipe the excess off on the rag.  Then very lightly brush it on the paint.  I would then take a different side of the rag and rub it into the wood so it left very faint color in some spots.  This was what really transformed the piece.

I opted to get some nice handles at Anthropologie when we went up Salt Lake a few weeks ago too.  Higher quality handles can really make a piece stand out.  The one on the coffee table was actually on clearance too...yay!  I really wanted to do some fun ones, but figured I should remain neutral as we will most likely be moving back to Portland within the next two years and who knows what color schemes I'll dream up then.

Here is the finale look!


And the coffee table before and after comparison.


Overall, it was pretty scary at first not knowing what they would turn out like, but I REALLY like them.  Once I've shared my last big bonus room project, I'll show you guys what they look like in the room!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Garden Stakage

I decided that my spoon stakes I started year before last were a little too hard to see when stuck into the brown earth.  Their rustic patina with black lettering just wasn't going to cut it.  New garden boxes, new stakes, I said.  So I went off in search of the latest craze in gardening stakes, on the internet, of course, and decided that chalkboard stakes were the thing to do.

I also thought they would make a great housewarming gift for new home owners, Kristen and Eric, since they had just started planting a few things.

After looking up prices I realized there was no way I was going to buy them when I could make about 6 dozen for the price of one.  Plus, I'd always wanted to purchase chalk paint and test her out.  Here was my chance!

First thing I needed was some wood.  After searching all over Home Depot, I found some 4 x 1.5 x .5 in beauties over near the stakes area sitting in an aisle hanging bin.  I think these were the bad eggs in some of their larger bundles that had way more than I needed and were more than I wanted to spend.  There were many that looked awful, so I picked out the best ones with no holes or splits.  I managed to find eight good ones.  The awesome news was that they were only $0.55 each!  Yahoo!


Next up was to convince Chris to cut them as I had tried before to get a nice perfect point, but totally sucked at it.  Of course Chris figured out a no brainer way of doing them by lining up a piece of tape and I probably could have taken over, but really, why would I?

Cutter man Chris is very serious.


Perfect point!


All my stakes in a row.


After he was done with 48 of these babies, I got to bust out my new chalkboard paint.  I decided to get one that I could add my own color to so I could have more fun with it and be able to change up colors in the future on different projects.  I used one of my free Valspar samples to add a pretty pink color to the chalkboard paint.


After two LONG coats and one week of required waiting per the directions they were ready to be chalk primed.  To do this you take a piece of chalk and rub it on the entire piece.  Very messy, and a little icky feeling.  You know what I'm talking about.


Then simply wipe it off with water and you have a blank canvas.


I purchased some chalk markers online in a four pack so I could use extras as gifts.  I thought the markers would look cleaner and feel a little better when writing.  Here are the two chalks I used for this project.


And the finished product!



And here they all are, brightening up my garden.


So fun!

Here is my bounty of lettuce from yesterday.  I swear it regrows in a day right now.  Loving it!


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Memorial Weekend

Taking it back a few weekends to Memorial Day, I thought I'd share some photos of our trip up to the San Juan islands in Washington for Chris' friends, Grant and Kim's wedding.  Chris and I flew up to Seattle on Friday and were greeted by his friend who drove up from Portland, Alex, at the airport.  Since we got in at noon, we decided to drop our bags at the hotel and head to downtown Seattle to grab lunch and do some site-seeing.  We chose to try Lil' Woody's for their 2012 #1 in the city rated burgers.  I did not take a photo of my delicious Pendleton burger, but I snagged this one from their website.


Mmmm.  I want one right now.  This place definitely gets two thumbs up from me.

Chris' friend, Brandon, and his girlfriend, Brittany, joined us during our meal, and afterwards, we headed down to Pike's Market.  What is a trip to Seattle without hitting that place, right?

Here's a group photo.


Touring through the market, everywhere you looked were these GORGEOUS bouquets!



So beautiful!

Next stop was not so pretty, but also a must see.  We headed down the alley to the gum wall.  Of course we added our own and grabbed a few pics.


Next up a walk past the first Starbucks.  With that line, there was no way we were getting anything...


Once the market was fully toured we decided to grab a beer at one of the second floor restaurants and do some people watching while we waited for the others in our group to arrive from New York.


We hit up a few more local restaurants for brewskies and yummy food, then ended the night at another one of Chris' friends, Andy's, new place.  It had a gorgeous view from up on the roof.  Here is a very dark pic of the Space Needle.


The next morning we were up at 5am.  Ugh.  We were really hopeful that we would make either the 8am or 9am ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, but no such luck.  There was already a crazy long line when we got there, so walking on was our only option.  When we reached the dock, we hopped in a shuttle bus that drove us to other side of the island to Roche Harbor where the wedding was going to be taking place the next day.

The rest of Saturday was a pretty lazy day.  We went down to the market and got food and beverages and basically just hung out at our house that we had rented for the weekend.

Here the boys are chillin' on the porch.


The few of us that didn't go to the rehearsal dinner barbecued up some mean burgers, franks and taters.  Here are the boys before some headed to the harbor.


After the rehearsal dinner was over we headed that way to join up with them for s'mores and drinks and to take in the beautiful scenery.

Jaime and Megan roasting their mallows.


Chris, Grant (the man of the hour) and Alex.


The whole crew.


The next morning was another lazy one.  The guys had a group breakfast while the girls slept in and caught up on much needed sleep.   Around 3:45 we headed down to the harbor for the wedding ceremony.

Another guy group shot before we took our seats.


Aren't they handsome?

Stevie and I in our Sunday best.


Chris snagged me one during the ceremony.  Here is the lovely couple and their attendants with the gorgeous backdrop.


I failed to grab photos inside the reception area, but it was spectacularly decorated.  The table themes were all cities or countries that the couple had been to.  The favors were luggage tags.  Such a cute idea!  Food was delicious...appetizers got an A+ and they had one of the best wedding salads I've ever tasted.

We danced the night away until the party ended around 10pm.  Of course there was an after party at some of the other guests rented home, so we danced some more until I could barely stand I was so tired!  Success, I say!

The next morning we were up early again and headed back to the main town to grab food and catch the ferry.  After about a five hour drive we made it to P-town and headed over to see Chris' family for an early Chris birthday celebration.  A relaxing night of pizza and good company.

Tuesday I got to see my friend, Kristen's new house they moved into last month.  Yay!  So exciting.  They have already put a lot of hard work into making it their home.  She has an awesome garden area that I wish I was there to help her get going on!

We headed over to Gresham that afternoon to visit the Engdahl/Crane clan and have another Chris birthday celebration.  We somehow managed to get all of those quilt photographs squeezed in too!

It was a crazy whirlwind of a trip and we wished we could have stayed longer to see more of our friends and family.  Next trip home is scheduled for early August for another wedding and we'll definitely be making it a lengthy one!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What a Wednesday!

Well things are rip-roaring around here in Springville, Utah!  The first exciting moment of the day was the fact that I harvested our first bounty from our garden.  I picked some of those giant spinach leaves off about half of the plants and got enough to make a delicious side salad for Chris and my dinner tonight.  Yay!

Look at that fresh picked goodness!


We didn't really have many good salad ingredients, so we made due with what we had.   I just threw in some red onion, mozzarella cheese and croutons, and topped it off with some poppyseed dressing.  Yum yum!


I'll have to start hard boiling eggs and cooking bacon for the really yummy spinach salads.

The second exciting part of the night was the Springville Art City Days carnival we attended.  Apparently this week is party time in the city.  They have all sorts of activities going on such as contests, tournaments, displays, markets, food vendors, car shows, live music, a fun run, parade and much, much more.  It is craziness!  Who needs the Rose Festival when you have Art City Days, right?!

I must have JUST missed it by a week last year when I moved.  Yes, one year in 4 days.  NUTS.

Tonight was the first night of the carnival and the cheapest, so we figured we better make an appearance.  That place was packed!  We only got on three rides in three hours!  Totally worth is though, they were actually good ones.  The games weren't really that awesome and they were crazy expensive (seriously, how do normal people afford these things?), so we played just this one and managed to get a lame prize.


I was super disappointed we didn't make it on the ferris wheel for sunset...maybe when we head back for the parade on Saturday.


Also still need to sample some of the carnival treats.  Chris promised me a churro and didn't deliver...he better on Saturday!!


And yes, I know I am so lame for getting excited about this carnival, but I'm a small town gal now folks, remember?  Can't wait to attend my first rodeo...

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Garden Update

We finally got all the beds done week before last and I was able to get everything planted before we left on our Memorial Day trip to Washington/Portland.  I was absolutely amazed at the growth over the time we were gone.  It's so fun watching the ones you plant from seeds take off.  The new transplants I picked up at a Provo nursery are finally rooting themselves and starting to grow too.


We can already start picking that spinach.  Nom!


Few empty lettuce and onion spots I may try to fill, but doubtful they will grow before the crazy heat hits.


Yes, I added pots because I had extra tomato plants that I couldn't fit.  Tomato craziness!


Corn and peppers for days...

I altered my original plans a little bit because I decided not to fill the berm with flowers this year.  I've got some of the melons and extra vine plants growing there now, so I added a few new things and switched stuff around.


Perhaps the thing I am most excited about though is that black beauty in the back corner there.  Can you believe we FINALLY get to compost?!  YIPPEE!

Next week I'll post again to show you the new garden stakes I am working on.  Gonna be so cool!