Friday, May 27, 2011

Two Months Down.....and I'm still not done!

Okay, time to reveal what I have done on my banister so far!  Its kinda sad to think that I have been working on this baby for two whole months and I don't even have the whole thing done yet.  But, I am still VERY proud of myself.  I have done EVERY LITTLE THING all by MYSELF!

Okay, so this is how the banister started out.  Just a bright orange color....not my taste :)

I sanded the WHOLE thing down.  Actually, not the whole thing, just the left side of it.  It took me over 8 hours and I was getting so impatient that I decided to start staining, rather than sand down the other little side.  I know, that was kinda dumb of me but I was ready to see some progress!

I chose a dark walnut stain.  I didn't realize it would take me two months to get the stain dark enough!  The original color was so bright that it took me about eight coats to get it dark enough to cover up the orange. I had to wait two days between each coat because it was still sticky and wouldn't go on smooth if I didn't wait until it was completely dry.

After the first coat

After the second coat

After the third coat
One really discouraging thing that happened was once I got it as dark as I wanted, the instructions I was following told me to use a fine sandpaper at about 220 to go over the whole banister to get the air bubbles out.  Well 220 was definitly NOT fine enough and it took off my stain and you could see orange coming through again.  I was so discouraged! I had to stain it a few more times after that and then sand it down with a 600 grain paper. Then I covered it in a satin polyurathane finish and sanded that down.

Then I didn't take any pictures after the next few coats.  This was probably after 8 coats

I was now ready to tape off the stairs and the wall and prime and paint the spindles and the base.

And here is the finished product!!  Well sorta, I still have to do the other side and up the stairs. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  How bout you?

Another note, notice in the pictures above where I was just starting out you can see that my entryway was still white walls with orange baseboards.  We have since painted the whole first floor in Antique White by Behr and ripped out all the baseboards and trim and replaced them with thick white baseboards.  Click on the photos to see them larger!  Do you like it?  Kinda funny that you can see where I stopped painting next to the banister.  I'm excited to get started on the upstairs once I finish this banister.  I really have to learn to finish one project before I move onto the next :)

Monday, May 23, 2011


 We had so much fun this weekend!  Rick's coworkers and their families went to the White Sox game together. We were so excited to take Daci to see a baseball game! We met at a coworkers apartment downtown first for a tailgate.  As we were about to walk in she said, "Does Daci like dogs?" I said, "Yeah, she loves them".  She goes, "Ok, cuz I have a dog". Then she opens the door and a huge HORSE comes running at us!  She has a two year old Great Dane and boy was "having a dog" and understatement!  Luckily, Daci LOVED him!  He would follow her around and sniff her.  She was of course a little wary, but still loved him all the same.  He was taller than her and I swear his head was as big as her whole body! Haha!

Daci and Baloo

She was giggling like this the whole time she was around him

We helped her pack up all the food and we took it up to the rooftop of her building for a tailgate party!

Daci was LOVING all the people and good food!

Micah works for the same company as Rick so Carly and Micah went to the game too!

Eating a yummy hotdog and hamburger

Then we took the L-Train  to the White Sox stadium.  Daci loved the train!

 I was nervous it would be a hard day with Daci because she was missing her nap and we weren't really in a place where I could like keep her under control if she freaked out but she was an ANGEL!  She loved the game and had so much fun with all people that went.  Don't you just LOVE those sunglasses?  To. die. for!

I just love it when she is on Rick's shoulders. Aren't they the cutest?

 We snapped some pics on the way out of the stadium with the Chicago skyline in the background.  Rick took pictures in the exact same spot when he was on his mission.  Memories :)

They had this poster you could put your head in.  Don't you just love how excited she is about it!?
Family pic in front of the train yard.  Rick also took pics here while he was on his mission.

 She tuckered out the second we got in the car.  Long day, but such a fun one!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Papercrafting Fun!

I have been in a papercrafting mood lately!  It all started with Eleni's birthday party.  I made her this banner to have hung in her bedroom for her birthday present.  Her room has bright colors and it was fun designing for it.  I embossed the design in orange onto cream cardstock to make the base paper.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Before the party, Carly and I were shopping for decorations and she kept saying she wanted to do a triangle banner.  I had a hard time keeping my mouth shut that I had the perfect thing for her so I spilled the beans and gave her the present early.  It ended up looking great with the party decorations though!

The day before the party we decided it would be really cute to have tags on each of the things that Carly made and bought for the food so I made tags for each thing using the colors of Carly's party decorations

I also made the little "Eleni's Sweet Shoppe" sign.  Carly did such a cute job with the theme of the party!

Right before the party I realized I didn't have a card to put on the present so I whipped this little guy up. I wanted it to look like the tags we made for the food.

For my birthday my mom sent me a bunch of handcrafted goodies!  She made me a set of ten cards that I can use this fall!  So excited :)

She also made me this AWESOME banner!  It says Spring on one side and Summer on the other so I can use it for seasonal decoration!  I have it hung in my kitchen across the top of the window.  I love how bright and cheery it is!

Excuse the headband mess on the table :)

I also had fun making a bunch of cards this week.  I made some thank you cards for all my birthday gifts and some thinking of you cards for some friends.  I'm happy with how they turned out!

I really love papercrafting but I think I have a million different projects going on.  My banister is still not all the way done, I'm working on some scrapbook pages, I'm doing some digital scrapbooking, I'm making cards, and I want to start on a few home decoration projects.  I think I need to finish one before I start on the next :)  What do you think?