Not Quitting My Day Job Just Yet.
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Words cannot express how much I love these shelves from Pottery Barn.

Words can express, however, how much I don't love the price. I'm not sure I could ever justify spending $59 PER SHELF!

But Ana White has provided very detailed step-by-step instructions on how I can build these shelves myself at only a fraction of the cost.

SOLD! to the woman who still has over 80% of her home to furnish and decorate on her husband's dime.

I need a job.

But I'll settle for a saw. And some wood. Along with a few nails and some paint. I mean, my dad was a carpenter, and so was Jesus. If they could do it, then so can I. Right? Right!

So, let the fun begin!

I must admit, the hardest part of this project was taking the first step. Into the lumber section. It's like walking into the men's restroom by mistake. You immediately know you're in the wrong place. No fancy displays, a staleness (to put it politely) in the air. I wanted to hightail it back to the kitchen aisle and ooh and aah over countertops. But I resisted the temptation, pulled up my bootstraps, and found what I needed. Then I walked over to a couple of guys wearing bright orange vests and worked up the courage to ask if they performed complimentary cuts. One of them made a joke I didn't get before finally answering that yes they did, in fact, make complimentary cuts.

Good. Now here's my list. And make it snappy so I can stop holding my breath.

I fully expected to have the project completed in two days. A grave underestimation on my part. I realized very quickly that it wasn't as easy as making a few rounded cuts and nailing some boards together. And it certainly didn't help that I chose some of the most frigid days of the winter to be working in the garage.

The secret to successful woodworking lies in the carpenter's pencil.
Worth every penny. All 14 of them.

After a few weeks of sanding, priming, sanding, painting, then applying additional coats and finally a topcoat, I finished two Vivacious Pink wall shelves for Avery's bedroom.

They are not Pottery Barn perfect by any means. In fact, it's taking nearly every ounce of restraint I have in my body to not point out every flaw, which to me, stand out like sore thumbs. Nevertheless, I'm pretty sure I have one very satisfied customer on my hands and that's a pretty good measure of success in my book.

Now this doesn't mean I'm already chomping at the bit to complete another project. I haven't quite decided if the money saved is worth all of the extra work. But if I do embark on another woodworking debacle (I mean "adventure")--say, this lovely little dollhouse bookcase--then I will definitely apply the following lessons I learned from this one.

1. I'm probably better off making my own preliminary cuts. That way, when the boards end up a whole 1/2 inch too short, I'll have only myself at which to be mad instead of the guy in the bright orange vest who apparently gets paid to do it.

2. Driving a nail straight is much harder than it looks and requires much more planning and precision than I put into it.

3. Due to the reasons mentioned above, the power of wood filler should never be underestimated.

Mommy's New Toy
Thursday, January 6, 2011

I have a saw, and I'm not afraid to use it.

Once I figure out how.

Stay tuned for Woodworking Project Numero Uno....

(I know, I know. About as much suspense as a season finale cliffhanger. But I really do need to read the manual. Trust me, it will totally be worth the wait. Fingers crossed. And hopefully still intact).



My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771