Saturday, August 10, 2013

Something for the Grandkids

       We officially have a case of too much going on, limited time, the frustrations of home ownership and limited resources (moo-lah people, moo-lah). Such is home ownership, I'm quickly learning. No wonder people go years and years before actually making a place their own. This is proving to require a lot of determination and unfortunately, a lot of patience. Let me get you up to speed, because I know I've been quite the absentee blogger. A couple of weeks ago, we were hit with two surprises. One being that our home owners insurance policy is requiring that we do some work behind our pellet stove (that's the type of fireplace that we have) with firesafe shielding material. This is requiring some research on building codes in our area, figuring out exactly what we want to do with the space, looking for materials, etc. etc. Next up, we were hit with a crazy thunder and hail storm. That led to a waterfall weaving its way through our foundation and into our basement. Foundation issues are no-bueno (and have us wondering if we bought , so we're working on a resolution for that issue too.
       But back to our regularly scheduled program. We've been chipping away on master bedroom projects at a snails pace, but slow and steady wins the race, right? Last weekend we painted the walls, which I'll share more on in the next post. Something else that has been in the works, is two custom nightstands that will be flanking our bed.
Well hello paint can, which ended up being a color I don't love, 
which is a whole other post.
       At some point, night stands with open bottom shelves caught my attention. I liked the fact that you could use a basket or metal bin to add additional texture to the nightstands. To me they came across as a little bit country, which I like. I know, night stands are a bit of an odd feature to give too much thought, but once I become fixate on one idea, I have a hard time letting it go.
       So, in the name of doing-it-ourselves, we headed over to, where there are tons of free project plans on how to build lots of different kinds of furniture. Immedietely, I found plans for the bedside tables that I had in mind.
       I don't love the way this one is stained and styled, but I like the overall design. So Jon headed to the lumber yard with a list of the wood he would need. This is where the story takes a sad turn. I wish I had a picture of that little pile of wood to show you. 

Jon: I bought the wood for the nightstands.
Me: You did! Where is it?
Jon: In the garage. Go look at it.
We trotted out to the garage to find a pile of, oh, 7 pieces of lumber.

Me: Nice, that's awesome babe.
Jon: That's just the wood for one of the nightstands. Guess how much it cost. 
Me: Ummmm...$60.00 bucks? (because the measly pile could not have been worth more then that).
Jon: Nope. Guess again.
From Jon's tone, I figured I was low, and unfortunately not high, on my guess.
Me: $90.00 bucks?
Jon: Nope...$160.00 bucks.
Me: What!!! For one table? Ummmm....I could have bought one for less then that. And that doesn't include staining, hardware, and our precious time. Crap. 

       When I proposed the idea of returning the lumber to the lumber yard, and just buying a couple that I liked, Jon was not on board with the idea. Apparently it would be a major blow to his ego to walk into the lumber yard with a few pieces to return. So, we decided to take the price tag with a grain of salt, make the best of it, and to love that little pile of lumber, despite it's pricey cost. 
       Jon got to work on constructing the first bedside table. We customized ours to the measurements of our space, as well as one usable drawer, instead of two tiny, frustrating drawers. Jon says that any project takes sixty times longer to do if you have two kids. So changing a light bulb- usually a one minute project- will actually take sixty minutes to get completed. You might know where I'm going with this.  Yeah, it took him a while, finding time after I got home from work (letting two kids run around a workshop with power tools isn't the best idea), on the weekends, or during nap time.  Because wood glue needed to dry between various steps, that added to the slow pace.
Oh wow, here he is now, working away in his 
man cave/workshop/likes to hide in here/
still not completed space.
      They aren't even complete yet so this is a midway progress report, as opposed to a Ta-Da! report. Here's how Ms. Cost Us a Fortune in Lumber is looking so far:
       She's spacious. She's roomy.  She's really simple, but I kinda love her. So I'm on to picking stains and shopping for the I-can't-live-without-it hardware. The good thing about Jon and I, is that we have one area where we really balance out. I am not a perfectionist. I don't have the patience. I'd rather have things be done and crossed off my list. But Jon. Good old Jon. He does things right. He takes his time. He waits and waits and waits... until the glue is perfectly dry and it's time to begin the next step (I can guarantee I would be drilling away with the glue still wet and  things would be sliding all over the place. We'd definitely end up with a drawer that didn't function and a crooked shelf.) In the end, the money we spent, doesn't seem all that bad. Because we're hoping they'll live on in a future guest room, and we'll hand them down to our kids when they have no furniture in a place of their own, and maybe, just maybe, even our grandkids will hold on to them. 
       So, I'm scouring the world wide web for pulls. At first I loved these from WestElm. They speak to my love for all things nautical and I've got a gift card burning a hole in my pocket. 
But then, this finish kinda got me thinking.
I'm still very undecided on the pulls. 
And the baskets.
My gosh the baskets. 
There are so many options to think of. 
Weaved, round, rectangular, metal, printed canvas. The list goes on.
I could shop for baskets as a full time career I think.
Both from container store
       Jon and I better hurry it on up with the nightstands, because our next project is already sitting in waiting. That's right, Meg-does-Craigslist strikes again! This morning we picked up the bases for what will be our desk in the master bedroom.
       Sure, they may look hideous now, but they were $25 bucks for the pair, we picked them up in town, and I actually kinda like the hardware. Imagine them sanded, painted, a face lift on the door fronts, and they'll be looking fab. I guarantee it. Or at least, I hope it. We also have light fixtures for the master in the mail at the moment, AND I just had an amazingly rejuvenating and successful trip to Reno where I gathered lots of needed goods (with little money spent).
       As an aside, I want to mention that I wish I could blog every day. I wish I had the energy and time. Trust me, I think about blogging every day, but many days, the kids, work, a glass of wine, a book on my kindle, or a conversation with Jon win out. Some evenings, I actually do have a bit of time, but I'm moody from a long hard day, so the posts that I write don't come out right. Most days, I just can't find the time. So now that I'm back to working full time, my posts will probably be more sporadic, but I still plan to share our progress and projects, as we tackle them. Please continue to follow along, as I'll share everything I can, when I find the precious time!


  1. Those nightstands are going to be gorgeous!! Can't wait for the Ta-da! post! I love the blog for all things refinishing with furniture, it's got some good stuff.

    1. Thanks Carrie! I'm going to check out that site. We finally figured out the stain we want, but I have to find out what the best technique and products are to get it. Mid-september, dinner at our house with all the kids? I checked our calendar and I think that's the next time Jon and I are both off on the weekend :)