Monday, December 24, 2012

Oh Christmas Card, Oh Christmas Card

I have a true and genuine love for stationery. I love all types from the finest, most luxurious engraved silk correspondence sheets to sweet delicate little girl note cards to bold bright highlighter-colored informal cards (in the 80's we called it neon, but my daughter tells me those colors are called highlighter now - pardon me). And of course it must be personalized. Full name, first name, last name, initials, family monogram, whatever, personalization is the cherry on top. I can't remember when I started loving stationery, but I remember getting a box set from my mom when I was in the 6th or 7th grade. It was white paper with a pretty floral border. It had blue envelopes and it was in a beautiful blue box with a gold satin ribbon tied around the outside. I wrote notes, just to write notes. I also remember trying to be dreamy and spray a touch of perfume on the paper before I sent it to that special boy. Here's the kicker... I never had a special boy I was sending a perfumed note to. And more than likely I didn't have stamps either. So, perhaps some of my friends may have received a nonsense note with just a hint of Jean Nate' or maybe Avon's Sweet Honesty. Perhaps.

When Mike Richardson and I tied the knot, it was stationery heaven for me. A fully compiled list of addressees and multiple reasons to send notes? Ahhh heaven! I made our wedding invitations and thank you notes from cream colored card stock with green ink, Celtic font and a Celtic knot work border. Irish and stationery together? Heaven for sure! Of course every envelope was handwritten, and each thank you note included my sincerest appreciation for both my guests attendance and any gifts they so kindly gave us. I wouldn't even think about or consider using a label back then. Everything had to be handwritten. Although......I do have a did take me 3 months to get my thank you notes out. Yep, 13 years later and I'm still a little embarrassed about that, regardless of whether or not they say you have a year.

Prior to getting married I sent out Christmas cards, but it was to  a small list of close friends. Now I had a fully comprised Butler-Richardson family and friends list?! Oh yeah, it was on!

While insisting on making Emily Post proud, I made things so much more difficult on myself. For some unexplained reason, I let the thought of things I'm supposed to do paralyze me and inevitably stop me from doing anything at all. Shamefully, I didn't even send out Christmas cards the last couple of years. I did an electronic card one year, that was funny, but didn't quite cut it. The truth is...I knew how much time would be spent handwriting each and every envelope with a personal note to each recipient  and the thought was a daunting task that I decided I didn't want to do. Actually, that's a lie. I wanted to do it, I love doing it, and I had full intentions of doing it, but because I waited until the last minute (no surprise) I ran out of time and just didn't do it. To quote my dad "the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Ok...cue the guilt. 

I love getting holiday cards in the mail. I smile every time I open the mailbox and see a card. I love the newsletter updates, the funny cards, the serious cards, the cards that are handwritten or printed on a computer, and the cards with pictures, . I love to see pictures of my friends and family and their families. Whether it's a picture of the whole family, just the kids or even just their pets. As the recipient, I don't care if it's handwritten, I don't care if there's a label, none of that matters to me, I just love getting them! That is not say that I do not acknowledge or appreciate the time and effort of those people who do go to the lengths they do with their Christmas cards. I do! Boy do I ever and it does not go unnoticed. However, it doesn't make me less appreciative of any other card I get.

So let's get to the point already!

This year I decided it was time to get back to the Christmas cards. I intended to have the remarkably talented Michelle Wolf come to the house to take family pictures. I love decorating for the holidays, I love my tree and holiday decor, so I wanted to get a family photo at home. Of course I ran out of time and poor planning let that opportunity slip away. She took some amazing pictures of my girls in a sunflower field this past fall and those were the most recent pictures I had on hand. So, I uploaded one of those pictures to picMonkey and changed the picture to black and white. Then I turned what was once a purple bow in Julia's hair to red. Yes! Now it's a Christmas picture.

I have some friends who get their photo cards done conveniently at Costco for a great price and they look awesome! So I thought I would give it a shot this year. I ordered my photo cards on Costco's website and a day later they were ready for pick up. This year, I did not hand write a thing. I used a label on the front, a label on the back and added our Christmas greeting right on the photo card.
Ahh Simple.... stress free...relaxing...

I could've been done...

I really could've been done...

BUT, I wasn't done yet.

Since I started my little blog, I've stumbled on many wonderful and extremely talented and creative bloggers. I am absolutely amazed and awed at the creativity some people have! While browsing some blogs I came across a couple who send out a little gift every year in lieu of a Christmas card. The gifts they've sent out are so elaborate and beautifully executed and just wonderful. Once I saw their ideas I was inspired to include something handmade, something small, but something that each person would be able to use or appreciate with my cards. I knew I didn't have enough time to make a gift for my entire address list, but I wanted to do it for those to whom I would hand deliver a card. This included some neighbors and a couple friends at work. I didn't go crazy on my count because you have to know at this point I was already in the weeds. I also had to finish teacher gifts, individual gifts for each child in Julia's 1st grade class and Mikayla's 5th grade class, as well as 16 bottles of the homemade Bailey's I make every year for my husband's key employees. Yes, I waited until this week to cram all of this in. And this is just the short list!

I decided my little gift would be a magnet. And because I didn't do any personalization at all on the card, I wanted to make the gift special.

I found a pretty black and white damask picture online and I copied and pasted it into a Microsoft Word document. Then I added a one inch circle and a text box. I inserted a red initial in a pretty font in each circle and printed it on photo paper. I used the photo paper I get at the Dollar tree (a pack of 8 full sheets for $1). That is a better price than any card stock I've found, so I use it for everything. Next, I cut out each circle and Mod Podged it to the back of one of the glass stones I bought at the Dollar Tree. I also printed out some other ideas I had for magnets that are pictured below with all of the supplies.

Once it was dry, I glued a magnet to the back and instant monogram magnet.

Instead of writing the recipient's surname on the outside of the envelope, I wanted it simple. Just the  magnet with their initial. To give the magnet something to stick to, I taped a metal washer to the inside of the envelope.

Simple...very simple and understated. 

I delivered all of my cards on Friday, yes that's correct, December 21st, four days before Christmas. The following day I received both an email and a text from neighbors who enjoyed the little Christmas card surprise. That makes me smile!

Maybe next year, I will get it together a little bit earlier. Maybe I will hand write my cards. Maybe I'll get a family picture. I may even begin this little tradition of a small little something included. Who knows! I feel like I took a shortcut this year, but hey, my cards went out.

From the Richardson home to yours, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Dad's Chair

I have been fortunate enough to have a sewing room in the last several places I've lived. As a matter of fact, the only place I didn't have a sewing room was at my parent’s house. Now, when I say sewing room, some of these sewing rooms have been mere spaces sectioned off in basements. I even had one when my sister and I were roommates in the "not so nice" part of town. That was in the early 90's when stenciling was big and she stenciled purple grapes and green vines all around the cinder block walls. She did that for me as a surprise and I loved it. Having a dedicated room to sew has always been very important to me. It is my sanctuary. One of my favorite places to be, and if life wasn't happening around me, it's a place I would never leave. There have certainly been times I've been in that room from sunup to sunup for days. I recently saw this quote someone posted on facebook “nothing motivates me more than the last minute". How fitting for me?! That definitely sums up the reason for the hours on end I have spent in there. This house is no different, Mike Richardson has been working on our basement and he gave me a grown-up sewing room. It has a door and a window and closets and it is just perfect! My current set up for my sewing machine (The Husqvarna Viking - Ah Ahh Ahhh) is an old vanity that was in my brothers’ room when they all lived at my parent’s house. My dad took the mirror off the back and I've been sewing on it since I was 14 years old. The chair I use is an old wood kitchen chair. Now that I have more space in my new sewing room I bought a large used desk that I'm going to refinish (which will likely be the subject of a future blog) but I need a better chair.

I went to my Mom's house recently and she needed some help in the basement, so down we went. I asked her if I could go into my dad's office because I wanted to find this old map holder he kept in the car with a bunch of city maps inside. I don't know why I expected that my mom would have kept it, but I walked into his office thinking it would just be sitting right there on his desk. Somehow I was surprised that almost all of his stuff is gone. But it is. The desk is pretty much empty, his typewriter is gone, and the maps were nowhere to be found. His desk, his chair, and a few of his accessories are still there, but not much more than that.

Also sitting on the desk was his AM radio. When I walked into that room I swear I could hear the sound of WJR with the static of the AM radio in the background. The room still smells the same. Of course it has the smell of a basement, but the smell of the big metal desk and the vinyl on the chair is the same. Exactly as I remember it. It's amazing how certain smells can bring memories flooding back. My mom gave my niece one of my dad's handkerchiefs as a gift for her wedding and when she opened it, both my sister and I tried to smell it to see if it still had his smell.

Here is the junky radio that provided the sounds of the Butler household for as far back as I can remember. It was either WJR talk radio or Ernie Harwell announcing a Tiger baseball game. Actually, the one pictured below was the "new" radio. I can still vividly see the old white one sitting on the counter in the kitchen.

I tried to pull myself together because I was overwhelmed with nostalgia and thoughts of my dad sitting at his desk with me right by his side. I remember sitting on the corner of the desk while he worked. He would let me answer his phone as if I were his secretary. I remember reading Treasure Island for a school project at that desk. I remember punching holes in paper with his funky hole puncher and we all sharpened our pencils on the sharpener he had on the wall. It's funny the things you remember when you stroll down memory lane.

Here is a picture of the funky hole punch.

My Mom added interesting little anecdotes while were down there too. She said she didn't even know my dad was getting a desk until he came home with it one day. She said he got it from a buddy and she was sure he didn't pay anything for it. The fluorescent lights were free from somebody who was throwing them away. And all of the doors that are in the basement were from a job site that our old neighbor Ronnie Simmons was working at and my dad said he wanted them. I loved hearing those stories because I realized that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! He loved free just as much as I do!

Finally, I asked my Mom if I could have my dad's chair. I barely choked out the question. She said "yes of course, take it and take anything else you would like. I can't take it with me and it's not doing anybody any good just sitting down here".

As you can tell from the pictures the chair is showing its age. I don't remember when the seat split and the duck tape was added. I remember it always being in great shape. When I was little I thought it was so cool that the back rest part of the chair flipped completely around. I did many a spins in that chair and almost fell more than a few times. The bones are still great, it rolls like a gem and I think it will look amazingly fresh and retro in a damask fabric.

I was happy she said I could have it, but then I became filled with anxiety. I knew that once I got my hands on this chair, I would change this picture forever. The scene will be altered. And it isn't just my scene or picture. I was going to alter this for my brothers and sisters too. The picture in their heads may now change. The smell will go away. I tried to take as many pictures as I could so I can always remember. It sounds so silly.... it's just a desk and a chair in a basement. But to me and my siblings it is so much more.

I loaded the chair in my car and I took the funky hole punch and the pencil sharpener and I even took the dictionary. Yeah, the 5 pound giant dictionary. I don't know why I took the dictionary! Why the hell did I take the dictionary???? I needed to take it. It has some large colorful botanical pictures in it, I'm not sure what project that will be yet, but I'm sure I'll need it for something.

I got the chair home and it made it as far as the garage. It looks different in this scene, which is good.

I think I need to just keep looking at it.

I'm not ready to rip it apart and reupholster it yet.

I need to keep it just as it is for a little while longer.

I can't do it.

Not today anyway.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Laundry Room Makeover

I decided that if I makeover my laundry room, the new surroundings will make me want to do laundry. That makes sense right? Someone please tell me this is true. Please??

This is what my boring laundry room looked like when I started this project. Drab, builder grade off-white paint and super small.

Before I get into the makeover, let's talk about my sheer distain for both my washing machine and dryer. 

First the washer. There is no soak feature! What if I want to dye something, which let's face it, there is a good chance I will. Too bad! I'm screwed. The absolute worst feature about this machine is that you have to load the clothes, shut the lid and let it lock before the water starts. I mean really???? I HATE it!! I want to start the cycle and load the clothes while the water fills. Is that too much to ask? So right off the bat, frustration sets in every time I start doing laundry.

On to the dryer. The lint trap is located on the top of the machine, so every time I clean the trap, lint is all over the place. I tried my boss's trick of running the dryer while I clean the trap, but it doesn't work for me. Is it better? Yes, but it doesn't solve the problem. I want the lint trap in the bottom of the dryer door opening. Maybe the lint just goes right back into the dryer when I clean it, I don't know, I'm really not sure I care. I can't see it therefore it does not exist. (Again, my ability to reason is second to none).

So why, why do I put up with such crap? Mr. Mike Richardson said this was the best washer and dryer at the time we bought them, so that was that, end of discussion. I personally think I should have been consulted on the type of washer and dryer we bought as I am the one who does ALL of the laundry, but I guess my preference while doing ALL of the laundry doesn't matter. In my opinion, we overpaid for junk.

So... off my soapbox and onto the makover...

First things first, I painted the room Palladium Blue which is a pale greenish-blue. The color is by Benjamin Moore, but you know I did a color match at Sherwin Williams and used a coupon to save a buck. Even though I broke up with Sherwin Williams over the garage door project snafu, I forgive them and we are back together again. They didn't know we broke up, but I did. Actually, I'm not sure they knew we were together in the first place. Their paint is excellent, the coverage is great and the price with a coupon is right.  

The paint looked great, but now I had to have hubby put some crown molding up for me. was I going to convince him I NEEDED crown molding in the laundry room? Honestly, I don't know how I did it, I'm not sure what I said, but he did it!!!!!! YAY! I can't believe it! He probably just wanted me to shut up about it and he finally gave in. Whatever it was, it worked!!!

I knew that the horrible light fixture had to go. There was no polishing this baby up.

Originally, I wanted a simple chandelier, but I've noticed that iron-like pendant lights are all over the place. Ballard Designs, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware all have a version of what I think once was popular as a foyer fixture. I picked up this groovy piece at a local Habitat for Humanity Store for $11.50. Check out the etched starburst on the glass panel! I bet this was quite the light fixture back in the day. I felt bad when I saw it lying on the shelf looking sad and junk-like. I knew I had to buy it and give it a good home.

I took the fixture apart, spray painted all of the brass pieces a black satin and I removed the glass starburst panels. It looked great. I thought about leaving it without glass panels, but that thought lasted about a hot minute. My new mission? I needed clear glass. Where was I going to get it on the cheap? I could've gone to a glass shop, but I knew that wouldn't be the kind of cheap I like. During my lunch hour I headed over to Home Depot and found replacement glass for picture frames. I needed 4 panels and I needed them cut to size, but they didn't come in the sizes I needed. What was I going to do? Buy a glass cutter of course! I've never cut glass before, but why not give it a shot. I bought one large piece of glass for an 11 x 14 picture frame and the glass cutter. That night I was cutting glass! It's not hard at all, it's actually kind of easy. So now the $6 glass cutter is an investment in my future (or so I told Mr. Mike Richardson).

Check out the light fixture! I'm really happy with it!!

My laundry room is tiny-tine! It looks like there is lots of storage, which there is, but there are partially filled cabinets that are really not practical in that room. The biggest problem? There is no where to hang anything. UGH! That is so frustrating! Mr. Mike Richardson likes to have his shirts hung to dry. He doesn't want them to go in the dryer. The room is so narrow I can't even put up a rack. I thought about removing the center set of cabinets, and putting a pole in between, but there is no way on God's green earth Mike would remove cabinets for me... not a chance. I can only push my luck so far. I had to be creative, so I found the Instahanger online. This little gem creates instant drying/hanging space and collapses neatly against the wall when not in use (said in an As Seen on TV voice).  It's ugly... but I have plan! The plan includes a little homemade artwork.

I took a crappy piece of thin wood and Mod Podged the Sunday comics to the whole board. Then I put down letters I printed in Algerian font and cut out and spray painted everything black.  

I lifted the letters and it looked kinda cool as some of the paint bled underneath. It still needed a little something so I painted a creamy white line around each letter. A few layers of spray gloss and good enough.

I took my little masterpiece and velcroed it to the Instahanger to cover it up. It looks great! I love saying Instahanger! Every time I say it, I say it like I'm Billy Mays (God rest his soul).

Here is a pic of the finished artwork. Ugh! I'm the worst at taking pics! I should really take a class!

Here is a pic of the Instahanger in action:

I also added a wall decal to the large blank wall. After all.... everybody's doing it! Why not me?

The finished room:

I'm pleased with the finished room, but very sad to report that this does not make me to want to do laundry. Not at all. Not in any way shape or form. Not even sorta. Not even kinda. Not even a little bit.


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Friday, November 2, 2012

Mmmmmmmmm BOP!

My grandfather (aka Bop) lived to be a 101 years old! Who does that??? I hope not me! That is soooo old! Ugh!

When he died several years ago, many of his belongings found a home at my Mom's house. I eyed up a cabinet she kept in the front bedroom and when I moved into my new house she begged me to finally take it away. So the story goes: my mom, her sister and her brother all pitched in and bought Bop an RCA Victor record player console. I did little to no research on this piece, but from what I Googled I'm guessing it was made some time around 1949-1951. Not super old, but old.

I can certainly see why nobody but me was really interested in the piece. I saw the potential as soon as it came to her house.

Of course, because I'm horrible at the before pictures, this is a pic I found online. It is an exact match. The condition of mine may have been slightly better, but not much.

Yep, she's a beaut!

I found this pic online to show you what was inside:

To those people who are offended by anyone who would "destroy" an antique by not restoring it to its' original glory, you may want to look away....

Although I have a great appreciation for the beauty of original pieces, for the most part I will paint it, hammer it, glue it, put glitter on it, you name it, and I will do it. (Oh and for the record while I’m at it, I will also paint oak trim AND brick)

That was your warning, because here it comes.... my trash to treasure....

So what did I do? First let me say this was another project that took FOREVER! Mainly because I just cannot make things easy on myself. If the shortest route between two points is a straight line, I can assure you I will take the curviest line possible. I'd like to think that it has been during these long curvy routes, I've learned a lot along the way.

Yeah. Sure. Ok.

I started this project in the summer of 2011. Yes, you read that correctly... over a year ago. Now it didn't take me a year to do it, in reality it probably took me a week or so, give-or-take. First I ripped out all of the guts. The radio and record players didn't work, so I didn't feel bad getting rid of everything. Then I tore out the lovely gold speaker fabric with metal accent thing (not sure what to call it). Then I applied the first coat of stripper and scraped it off.

The project came to a screeching halt. Why? Because stripping wood SUCKS! I mean, it really sucks! But like all projects, I invested, so I had to finish the job.

This summer I was back at it and I stripped and stripped and stripped. Then I sanded…A LOT. Finally, I was able to stain it with left over stain from the work my husband is doing in the basement. I'm not sure what kind of stain this was, but I like to call it “magic stain”. Because it looks like stain, but goes on like paint. I really, reaLLY, REALLY wish I would have known that before I spent hours stripping this piece. I'm not 100 % certain, but in hindsight I think I could have probably gotten away with giving this piece a light sand and then applied the stain without all that stripping. I can't even begin to tell you how comforting that thought is! It’s so nice to know that yet again I’ve wasted tons of time.

Anyway, here's the project cost break down:

Bin pulls (Home Depot) ..............$20
Knobs (Ikea) ................................$6
Basket (Meijer).............................$15
Total Cost.....................................$51

Not bad for a new cabinet! I'm very pleased with the finished project. I think it's a total transformation.


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Friday, October 26, 2012

Dora...Dora...Dora the Explorer!

One of my best friend’s daughter turned 3 and the theme of the party was Dora the Explorer. Well, any good Mom knows that you can't have a birthday party without having a perfectly coordinated outfit. So a tutu it is!

She found this adorable appliqué online. Turns out I could have made it for her myself, but the price was right and it became the inspiration for the party.

When I originally started writing this post, it was a tutorial.

Screw that... I don't want to give step-by-step instructions. I want to talk about what the inspiration was and what the final project looks like. Simple, right? The only problem with that strategy is that when you don't give the details of the project, there really isn't much to say...

Uh Oh......

Ok, so who am I kidding? I have plenty to say.

I started this project with the following supplies: Pink & blue tulle cut into 6" x 20" strips, 1" elastic to fit for the waistband, blank white shirt & the iron appliqué.

First, I measured the elastic and stitched it closed. Then I put the elastic around a container (I like to use a gallon size paint can) to hold in place while I tie each tulle strip to the waistband with a slip knot.

Of course I can never wait for a finished project, so midway through I had to lay it out to see how it was coming together.

Once I had all of the tulle on, I went back through and tied a variety of different size ribbons alternating colors throughout. Finally, I added a big bow at the waistband and the skirt was done.

Oh, wait... because I can't leave well enough alone... I added glitter fabric glue to all of the white areas in the appliqué. You can't really tell in the pictures, but it added just the right amount of sparkle. Who doesn't love a little sparkle? I also added little bows at the ends of the sleeves. Umm...super cute!

And of course, no outfit is complete without a big fat matching hair bow. The bigger the better I always say.

Here is the completed outfit. Love it! I couldn't wait to show my BFFL!

As if this was not sweet enough, check out her little girl on her birthday sporting the outfit. The shirt is a bit big, but still adorable!

She said Taylor kept jumping around all day saying "it's my birthday, it's my birthday"! That kind of excitement is what it's all about!

Go ahead girl... get comfy, relax on your birthday!

I just love this sweet little pic of Taylor opening her gifts with her cousin and friends.

Happy Birthday Taylor!
I hope you had as much fun twirling around in this little tutu as I did making it.

I mean, I wasn't twirling around in it when I was making it... I just mean I had fun making it... you know what I mean, right?


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Just a Quickie - I Have a Thing for Light Fixtures

Almost all of my projects become projects because I'm too cheap to spend the money and buy anything brand new. I’d much rather find a way to make something myself than buy it. A long time ago I had a friend who told me to quit admitting to everyone how cheap I am. She said I should be embarrassed to say it out loud and I should just say that I'm frugal.

Well, I suppose that sounds better, but bottom line is…I'm cheap.
There. I said it and I feel no shame or embarrassment whatsoever.

It seems as though the barrel shade has made a comeback. Gone are the days of the long seventies style barrel shade. Today’s version is short and sleek. A while ago I updated a lamp in my living room with a linen barrel shade and it gave the lamp just the lift it needed.

One day while perusing the lighting aisle at Lowes (I have a thing for lighting) I noticed they had linen mini-barrel replacement shades for pendant lights. So of course that inspired a project. What could my love of Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint and the newly discovered linen barrel pendant shades mean to me? Kitchen light fixture makeover of course!?!? Why? No reason!

The fixtures I had were fine. There was nothing wrong with them at all. I actually think they were quite nice. They came with the house and I'm sure you can buy something similar at Home Depot or Lowes today. I guess I just wanted a fresh updated look.

Below is a before picture of the light over my kitchen table and one of the light over the island. These are horrible pictures, but of course I didn't think about taking before pictures until after hubby took the lights down. As a matter of fact, I think I already spray painted them when the notion occurred to me to snap a photo. Thankfully, I found some pictures that featured the lights in the shot.

By the way, this is yet another project hubby shook his head and said "you’re going to do what"? Luckily, he just just took the lights down for me and didn’t give me a hard time. Mind you, this was going to save him some money, it's no wonder he didn't put up that much of a fuss. Mike Richardson, Richardson Family CFO likes to save a buck. That’s for sure!

Kitchen Table Light

Island Light

In order to find enough shades for both lights I had to go to three different Lowes stores. Of course it couldn’t be easy! I couldn’t just find all five at the same location, could I? But it was too late, I had my target in sight, I did what I had to do in order to get my hands on those shades!

I took the fixtures apart, ditched the glass shades and went to town spray painting everything in sight with my favorite paint. 

After letting them dry overnight, hubby hung them up for me, I added the mini barrel shades and viola! LOVE them!

The shades were $12.98 each and I used almost a whole can of spray paint which cost $5.77. Are you kidding me? Two updated light fixtures under $75.00? Not bad!

This was a super quick and really easy project that totally updated the room. All I have to do now is update the light over the sink.


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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Time Underestimated - Faux Wood Garage Doors

After we moved into our new house a few years ago, I wanted to have real wood garage doors installed. Well...I didn't get them, it turns out they are really, really, really expensive. But, I wanted them. So, I found a tutorial online on how to paint faux wood doors. That was it! The seed had been planted, this was now on my to-do list of projects and I couldn't forget about it. I was determined. About a month ago, I finally had the opportunity to start this project. So, I was off to the local Sherwin Williams store with my paint colors picked out, my printed tutorial in hand, and tons of excitement to start this grand project. When I started telling the man behind the counter about my plans, I felt it going south pretty quickly. The more I was excited about what I was going to do, the more he explained the impossibility of the whole project. He explained how difficult it is to do faux painting and that I would probably not be able to do it as the average DIY'er has a hard time.

...Enter doubt stage left...

I ended up leaving the store that day without the paint and enough self doubt to bring me to the belief that I was not going to be able to execute this beautiful door I had pictured in my mind. Shortly after we got into the car, boy did my husband get the worst of it! I was happy to let him know that the man behind the counter did not understand my skill level. I was furious that he would even suggest that I would not be able to pull this off. Didn't he know who he was talking to? I can make anything! Just ask my 10 year old daughter! How dare he??? By the time we got home, I was mad enough to want to prove him wrong. I WILL DO THIS GARAGE DOOR AND I WILL SUCCEED! I went back to the same store a week or so later and I kept my mouth shut. I ordered my paint, waited patiently until it was mixed and quietly left with renewed excitement.
This is how it started...

Step one was to paint the entire door a base coat color called Tatami Tan. This is where the neighbors had to be excited. The best way to describe this color is... hmmm...peach! Ok, maybe a caramel colored peach. After I painted the base coat, the next step was to tape off vertical grain areas. This was a very important step as it gave the illusion of perfectly mitered joints.
Below is what the neighbors were left with at the end of Day 1. WOWZA!

The next day I got up bright and early and ready to finish this project off! Yay me! Let's do this!
It was at this moment that I seriously underestimated the amount of time I needed to complete this project. After 8 hours of carefully taping each panel, painting each vertical grain with a layer of brown called java, then a mixture of java and black, I had to call it a day. I was exhausted.
The neighbors had to be really excited now. I actually had one guy come down to find out exactly what I was doing because he wanted to make sure I wasn't painting my doors peach. Um...yeah...ok buddy... get some landscaping, then come talk to me about my garage doors!

This is how Day 2 finished up.

You can tell from this photo, darkness had fallen... I painted the bottom row so that hopefully my neighbors would see where I was going with this monstrosity.

Monday came as it always does and my project had to wait until after work. It's fall here in Michigan, so I was racing against the clock for both sunshine and decent weather. I was still excited about my project though, so I was back at it as soon as I got home from work until darkness forced me inside.

After two weeks of this relentless schedule and life creeping in here and there, the excitement started to diminish. I can't believe how long it is taking me to do these doors!

I completed this project yesterday, but not without cursing this door the entire day. I just wanted to be done. I questioned over and over and over again, why I started such an enormous project.
And then...
I stepped back...
snapped my photo...
and there it was, everything I had pictured in my head.
My wood garage door.
I did it!
Take that Sherwin Williams guy!
How ya like me now???????

Excited and overjoyed, I said to my husband "what do you think? Do you like it?" His response: "Are you going to do the front door now?"
We'll see...I can't even think about it right now... we'll see.

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