Archive for April, 2011
Woop, here it is. Our monthly
“thank you” to our sponsors for making the other 30+ posts possible and keeping food Easter candy on the table. As usual, we’re sharing items that catch our eye from each one of ‘em – not that we’ve been gifted anything (here’s our no-swag policy). Don’t forget to peep the special discounts blossoming (just a little spring humor) at the end of this post. Hoppy hoppy joy joy (yup, I switched to Easter humor).
- Fresh, inspiring, and luxurious textile collections from Lacefield Designs
- Fun collar and leash options for fido (like this bloom design) at Hollywoof Styles.
- The unique glass tile options from Design for Less, like this aqua weave pattern.
- The sweet look and sentiment behind this dandelion art from WallQuotes
- Every single droolworthy item featured in the latest Shades of Light catalog cover.
- The jaw-dropping and eye-popping tile statements in The Tile Shop‘s online gallery.
- Z Gallerie‘s new collection of pillows that make us smile. I mean, how fun is that?
- Speaking of… Hometalk‘s $250 prize to Z Gallerie (you can win it for taking a poll).
- Spotting a few new items at Cardboard Safari, like this fancy fleur de lys wreath.
- All the cool number options from Frame The Date to commemorate that special day.
- A colorful smattering of new deliciously eco-friendly paper goods from Smock Paper.
- This “Pinch of Salt / Dash of Pepper” art pairing from Freshline Illustration.
- This bold and colorful stencil inspiration (among others) at Royal Design Studio.
- Lisa Leonard‘s charming creations that go beyond charms (like earrings & decor).
- Contemporary photo display options from CanvasRox, like their Chromaluxe Panels.
- Colorful antiques found browsing Ruby Lane, like this turquoise tea set.
- Fun towels, aprons & gift bags from House 8810 that have us in the birthday mood.
- The fact that even Liberty Hardware is feeling spring-y with this decorative hook rail.
- The beautiful array of Mother’s Day-ready options at Heart & Stone Jewelry.
- The good times to be had browsing FLOR carpet tiles by color on their site (wheee).
- Design advice, mood boards, color help & more from experts at My Design Guide.
- That this week’s giveaway host Trendy Peas is rocking the robot theme in this print.
- A modern take on the baby portrait via this watercolor from Hoot Design Co.
- Tons and tons of digital scrapbooking elements thanks to pro Ali Edwards.
And now for the JUICY DISCOUNTS:
- Shades of Light: 10% off using code YHL0215
- WallQuotes.com: 15% off with the code YHL15
- The Tile Shop: 10% off when you use the code YHL10
- Freshline: 10% off any orders with the code YHL10
- Heart & Stone Jewelry: 10% off your purchase with the code YHL10
- My Design Guide: 10% off your purchase with the code YHL10
- Royal Design Studio: 10% off stencils with code YHL10
- CanvasRox: 10% off your order with code YHL10
- FLOR: Click for details on how to get 15% off
- Hoot Design Co:10% off custom orders with code YHL
- Hollywoof Styles:10% off your order with code YHL10
Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner. Click here to see if it’s you.
Raise your hand if you think I’m anal.
(I’ll pause while you do that).
Well, I probably am. I’m definitely type A. But I think there might be a misconception that our house gleams and the faucets are always shined and there aren’t any toothpaste splatters on the mirrors. Yeah right, I wish. We tried to disprove the whole perfect thing with this video (yes, we leave clothes on the floor and mail in a pile like the rest of the population- haha) and it seemed like the masses were relieved.
We’re human I promise (although I’m pretty sure if I weren’t human I’d pretend that I was for assimilation purposes), and my dirty goo-related secret might just prove that once and for all (prove that I’m human, not prove that I’m an assimilating robot). Check out this lamp – from Linens N Things back in the day – that I’ve had for over four years. That’s more than 1,460 days. Yup, that’s the sticky rectangle left by the clearance tag that was on there when I got it. Yes, the goo is practically an antique. I’ve just never scrubbed it off.
Same with the back of the ceramic container (from Target) from at least two years ago that we use to hold our serving and cooking utensils. I just turn the container sticky-side-back so it faces the wall and go on my merry way.
Of course outing myself makes me feel like I should remedy these two sticky situations (my mom does occasionally skim the blog- hi ma!), so with a little bit of soap (Dr. Bronners if you’re wondering, the almond kind) and some water I’m off to get my scrub on. Let’s hope in ten minutes I’ll be singing “ding dong, the goo is gone.” I have to admit that I’m worried that it might be a bit rough to remove thanks to years of dormancy. So that’s what I’m up to this afternoon (along with continued console bid-ness and some post writing). Whew, outing my sticky secret feels kind of good. I can’t be alone in this can I? Please tell me someone else out there just rotates things so the “flaws” face the wall.
What do I look like, a woodchuck expert? I have no idea. But I do know the answer to a related yet far lesser known riddle: how many pallet planks could a Petersik pry free if a Petersik could pry free pallet planks? You practice saying that five time fast while I walk you through the answer.
You know by now that the plan for our mondo 12′ long DIY console table (last shared here and here) was to build a rustic weathered-looking top out of some old pallets left in our yard by the previous owners (spotted in the background of this post).
So last week I lugged them into my basement
lair workshop so they’d dry off (“lugged” is the operative word because after a few days of rain, the heavy soaked wood made it quite a back-breaker). But since rain this time of year is frequent and sometimes unpredictable, I wanted to get them inside so I didn’t have to worry about a sudden spring shower thwarting my plans and soaking them all over again.
There were five pallets in total. Considering how much wood is on each one, I quickly thought to myself “self, this is way more material than I need.” Somewhere in the distance the universe began laughing at me behind my back. Hold on, we’ll get to that.
After a few days of drying out, Clara went down for a nap and I took my cue to start breaking down the pallets so I could start building our giant 140″ long console table top. My tools included work gloves, a crowbar, a hammer, a hand saw, a flat head screw driver, and a mask (since pallet sawdust isn’t thought to be part of a healthy diet and my wife is a worry wart like that).
It didn’t take long to figure out this would be harder than I thought. Mostly because each plank was nailed (or stapled) in three spots, and each spot apparently required 3 – 5 nails or staples to keep it in place. I first attempted to cut boards off with a hand saw, but since they were stapled on each end and in the middle, it left me with dinky little unusable pieces, so prying was a better bet. But it took a lot of effort to pry off a piece – and the process frequently resulted in cracking the wood (which pretty quickly rendered the entire piece useless since we wanted long-ish boards to work with and not small slivers).
I’m no stranger to elbow grease so I stuck with it for the length of Clara’s nap (about 90 minutes). In that time, my nail and staple pile grew to look a little something like this:
And my pile of usable pieces of wood looked like this:
Fourteen usable pieces in 90 minutes wasn’t that discouraging at first… but then I looked closer at my definition of “usable.”
Notice how each piece of wood is a slightly different width? Since my tabletop would be comprised of 4 or 5 planks laid side-by-side, I realized that inconsistency would make achieving a consistent width across all 140 inches of tabletop very difficult – especially when I was looking for a very specific width (and don’t own a tablesaw to help me achieve that width artificially by cutting the boards lengthwise).
But I gave it a try and was able to find 5 pieces that gave me exactly what I was looking for (16 and 7/8″ of consistent width if you’re wondering):
But only 5 pieces of the 14 that I fought tooth and nail (literally) to free would work to create that width. Meaning that in one and a half hours I had only wrestled enough wood to make about two feet of tabletop. Wop wop. By my math, that means it’d take me about 9 hours to get all 12 feet of tabletop free. And that’s only if my 5 pallets actually contained enough “perfect” pieces to provide all of the wood I needed to get the exact same width all the way down the 140″ countertop (an unlikely scenario considering I had already stripped one palette entirely to get these
14 5 usable pieces).
So as much as I loved the whole “reclaimed pallet wood” idea, all signs were pointing to “give up on it already.” And when I told Sherry about my doubts – how much time it would require, how much wood was cracking and breaking, how difficult it was to achieve the right width (only around a 33% success rate), and how I was running out of material – she basically said the same thing: “oh well, you tried – give up on it already so we can figure out a plan B.” Plus she added that it might have been a sign from the universe since there are more and more health concerns over the sometimes-toxic chemicals found in pallet wood (some contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen) so although we planned to seal the wood with an eco-safe poly (by Safecoat) to keep things baby-and-rest-of-the-family friendly, the whole leave-the-pallets-alone-and-move-on-to-Plan-B thing was probably for the best.
And happyily, Plan B is already underway. We’re hitting up a few local places in search of reclaimed wood and might even use store-bought white wood like we did for the entire console base if our search for something “recycled” backfires (hooray for consistent sizes and no prying necessary!). Heck, if we went with the same wood that we already used for the console base, we could even
beat the heck out of it distress it ourselves (I’m not gonna lie, the idea of “testing” a number of techniques involving hammers, screws, and crowbars appeals to me). It’s not quite as cool – or as free – as the original plan, but at least we gave the pallets the ol’ college try. And who knows, I might end up using them for something else or giving them a second life thanks to freecycle or craigslist.
Update: We’ve made great distressed wood progress in lieu of pallets for the console top. Here’s a quick sneak peek. We’ll share waaaay more info/details/videos about that process when we put everything together and reveal the finished console. Hopefully before Christmas. Just kidding, hopefully by early next week (is it just me or is this project taaaaking forevvvvvver?).
In other news – we (and by we I mean Sherry) finished staining the exposed sides of each console. You know the ones that have little shelves for easy-access storage that were last seen here.
That picture above is a little dark just thanks to the angle. Here’s a more true to life shot. Yummy and warm, right? Wait, are grown men allowed to
say type yummy?
The staining part of the project was 100% free since Sherry was able to use leftover materials that we already had on hand: Minwax stain in “Dark Walnut” and Safecoat Acrlacq (which is basically the water-based eco version of polyurethane).
Since most of the console will be hidden behind Karl or under the eventually-completed tabletop, the only thing that needed to be stained was the shelves on the two exposed ends (once it all gets put together all the other exposed parts will be stained as well). So Sherry parked herself in the sunroom – which is sealed off from the rest of the house so she doesn’t have to worry about Clara inhaling anything – and did two coats of stain (which she applied with a foam brush and wiped off five minutes later with an old rag). Find more how-to-stain details here.
Then the next day she added two “thin and even” (her favorite words to describe anything involving paint or stain – she stressed them like you wouldn’t believe because they can make or break things) coats of the Safecoat Acrlacq with a brush. This seals in all the gross stain fumes and creates a water-based low-VOC and non-toxic “shell” that protects the wood and blocks off-gassing (as opposed to high-VOC oil-based poly) so it’s nice and kid friendly. You might remember that we (Sherry) also used it to refinish Clara’s dresser here.
We’re glad that the wood grain shows through for a varied and rustic look. Since the living room is a bit more modern than we’d like, adding hefty pieces with “authenticity” like this will help balance things out.
So we’ll hopefully be back with a big the-console-is-fiiiiiiinally-finished post as soon as we make some headway on the top. In the meantime I can be found murmuring sweet nothings at those freshly stained shelves. Seriously, can my wife work some serious magic with a rag and some stain or what?
Pssst- Confused by the console? Learn how we built it here and here. And of course we’ll share even more details when we finally piece this thing together and call it done. Soon hopefully, because I am so ready to stick a fork in this baby.