Thursday, March 22, 2012

Chalkboard Dining

It's 6:50 am. My mom wakes us up and says, "It's 7:10! You're late for school." She did this everyday. Yet, everyday, we jolt up and race to get ready because we think we're late. I guess she liked seeing us work fast.

It's 7:30pm. Mom calls out, "Dinner's ready! Come down!" We come done and dinner is NOT ready. Yet, she calls for us 15 minutes in advance so that when we actually do come down, dinner will be ready.

After becoming a mom, I understand the time constraints and the pressure to move a whole family on schedule. So, decided we're going to have a chalkboard in the dining room so that everyone will be doodling together nearby while I prep dinner.

Our chalkboard in dining room

Picked up some hardboard and trim at Home Depot and made the chalkboard.

The trim was pine white so it needed a stain...but I didn't want to buy a whole pint of stain...

So I made this concoction: vinegar, rust, and old nails over 2 days

At first, I was disappointed bc I didn't see any stain. But came back in 30 mins and WAH-LAH!
Homemade Wood Stain!

Putting up the chalkboard was really hard. Drilled 8 holes within 2 inches of each other...finally decided to use some cardboard and tape to get it level. Ugh.

Nice reminder for a cranky couple who were extremely irritable at the end of the project.

Lesson learned:

1. Should've helped mom set the table.
2. Don't do any projects with the spouse past mindnight.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Farm House Table

Before I got married, I used to live in a "half-studio" that was the size of the smallest Uhaul truck you can rent. If I lie down in the middle of the room, I could touch all four walls within one roll. And yet, it worked for me and I was happy.

Then, a month before I the wedding date, all these adults (Korean) started to say, "When are you going to pick out your furniture?" What, my twin bed and ikea dresser ain't enough once I'm married? So within a day, I picked out all the adult furniture I was supposed to have as a married woman.

However, I felt like I was living in someone else's house! With everyday, every year that passed by, we still felt like we could not comfortably place a cold drink on the dining table without a coaster. So six years later, we decided to build a table that we would love and be comfortable with.

Bought lumber from home depot, calculated some numbers, and built this during the winter.

I love the "X" legs. They were hand chiseled and fitted together.  

We rounded the corners so that we can avoid any bloody toddler foreheads.

 I stained it in weathered oak which has gray tones and lightly finished with polycrylic.

Also built a bench. This is before it was finished and reupholstered.

I made Chief cut circles for the fabric buttons on the bench.

Still got some work left to do on this bench, but this is it so far.

My favorite part of this set are the chairs. These are chairs from Restoration Hardware. They practically cost my entire Roth IRA. I just couldn't spend that much for chairs. I'm the household CEO and decide on the spending, but the guy I'm married to is the CFO and finances the spending. He has veto power.

So I sold a solid wood dining table, 6 leather chairs, and a modern bookcase through Craigslist and finally had enough money to buy the chairs and bought em.

Eventually, a rug under the table would be nice, but for now, I really like to sweep and mop under the table since we've got spillers old and young. So I felted the bottom of the legs for a smooth surface.

Our very first time using the table was with our good ol friend, Pastor Bryan!

Lesson learned:
Nice furniture is great. Good company to use the furniture with is even better.

Note: Chief asked why he is called "Chief." It's because he drives a Jeep Grand Cherokee.