Friday, May 28, 2010

Aaaaand we're back!

I can't remember if I've used that title before, but if I have, oh well. My hiatus seems to have come to an end. Whether coincidence or subconscious, I don't know, but it has fallen on the exact same day that I am finally rid of all things bothersome concerning the dreadful fence fire.

Please re-read that last sentence out loud. With a British accent. I won't tell you how, but trust me, it is relevant to the fence fire.

Now when I say I'm back, I don't mean I'm going to write another post about how annoying that whole "FF" ordeal was ("FF" is code for Fence Fire, in case you didn't catch it...) No. When I say "I'm back," I mean, I have a new project to share! And I'm in love with it. Even KENNEDY is as excited about it as I am.

(Not to say he doesn't ever praise or appreciate my work, but I believe much of it is of little consequence to him.) Did I even use "of little consequence" correctly? I'm just in Jane Austen/proper/British mode or something....


Let's talk about this project. And while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and provide a tutorial. This project was inspired by a project done over at She did an entire board full of type-writer keys and numbers. It is amazing. I'm definitely going to be making it for our office (when I finally get around to working on it...)

Type-writer Keys Vanity Coat Rack

Materials needed:
1 - 1x8, cut to size of your preference
Black craft paint
Round things (paper plates, cups?)
Brown paint or stain
Mountable coat hooks
Some screws and stuff

I literally had everything I needed for this project in my garage. The mountable coat hooks were bought at Pier 1 a while back with this project in mind, but they were like a buck each. Hobby Lobby (aka HEAVEN) has a large variety of knobs and hooks. Knobs would be cute mounted as a coat rack (I know, because my mother-in-law did it. And it is cute.)

1. So first I cut that 1x8 down to about 40". You can do more or less depending on your space or what have you.

2. I primed the board (back and front) with white primer. Then I measured out for spacing purposes and traced 4 circles using a small paper plate.

Can you see my pencil marks? The flash was pretty bright... Just look closely. You'll see that I did, indeed, trace circles.

3. I painted the inside of the circles black. (..with black craft paint. If you have a different type of black paint lying around, use that instead! It really doesn't matter.)

Here they are all painted in. Sorry for the funky camera angles....

4. I printed out the letters in my last name to fit. Based on the size of the circles, I knew I needed letters the size of 1/2 a sheet of paper. Not to get complicated, but using photoshop, I was able to size them correctly. The font I chose was a 350 point Georgia (caps lock). 

So it was pretty big. But you want the letters to be the correct scale. If they are too small, then it won't look like type-writer keys anymore. But if that's what you wanna do, then go for it!

For some reason, the photos I took for this project look horrible. Maybe because I kept turning my flash off. So that's why.

5. Center the letter within the circle and trace over the letter using a ball point pen. TRACE HARD, so the lines show up. Then, take a slightly smaller sized circle and trace inside the black circle. (see below)

Because the paint was pretty fresh, it actually picked it up where I traced. So it's nice and easy to see. That's important, because...

6. Paint inside the letters with white paint. Also, paint over that new circle you just traced, BUT don't paint all the way around. Just do it in spots so it looks a little worn..

(Look closely at the white border circle to see what I mean.)

7. Then right after it dries (maybe 30 minutes later?)...Take it out back and rub some brown paint/stain on it. Rub lightly for less distressing. Rub a little harder for more distressing. Rub more brown paint along the edges and corners for a more aged look.

8. Once that dries, give it a quick coat of polyurethane to protect any more paint from chipping off.

So that's how you paint the sign! I gather I don't need to add steps on how to attach your hooks. 

So I attached the hooks, and I also attached a couple of picture hangers on the back so it would be easy to hang. Just thought I'd throw that out there too. But I won't hold your hand through that. Mostly because I didn't take picture of those steps.

But I WILL show you one more final project picture!

I think this project took a couple of hours to do. The thing that took the longest was painting in those letters. Is your name like 16 letters long? Then make the circles smaller. Or, just use the first initial. Or make a monogram! Possibilities are endless.

Yay for me! And yay for you if you decide to make this. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

I literally have nothing to share these days. I went on a little bit of a blog boycott while waiting for all of the fences to get repaired. FINALLY, last Friday, our neighbor's had their fence completed. Because they preferred that we not rebuild it ourselves, we had to just sit around and wait to do ours. There is still a minor gap in the corner that Kennedy is planning on finishing up, but at least our neighbors can't see into our backyard (and vice versa.) Talk about awkward.

Needless to say, we learned our lesson and will NEVER dump ashes again. It only makes for some nit-picky (or nosey) neighbors.

This past Saturday was spent out on a boat for 8 hours. We returned looking like lobsters and feeling like giant bruises. WEAR SUNSCREEN!

Perhaps tomorrow I can get back in the swing of "projecty" things. If not, this blog is doomed.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Fire aftermath

We were pretty sure we'd get all this fence stuff taken care of in 1-2 days. As usual, our project-time-estimates end up being about 3 times too small.

We still do not have a fence to enclose our yard, and are currently using slightly charred panels that the firemen chopped down to prop against the openings.

The reason being, I hate taking the dogs out in the backyard on a leash. Plus, Cece won't even go to the bathroom on a leash. AND she will only go in one spot in the yard and it happens to be right by the burnt down fence.

Well, I thought we were coming to the end of the fiasco, what with our neighbors making a claim on our insurance and getting their fence and deck repaired. (We have to wait on our fence so they can get to their deck to be repaired.)

Then Sunday, neighbor Chuck comes over and says he was talking to the guy behind him (not even on our street,) and THAT guy wants to file a claim for his tree. And by the way, his tree was fine. He had one crispy branch that needed to be trimmed. But what is this? Middle school? Come over and talk to us about it yourself!

So before we even had a chance to address that situation, I guess the guy got over himself and just trimmed the branch himself, thank goodness. I literally do not even know what this guy looks like.

Yesterday, I get a call from the neighbors behind us (not even in the same neighborhood.) We did burn their fence down, but Kennedy took the next day off work to rebuild it. Then we get a call that there are some nit-picky things with the fence that he wants fixed. Plus they say there is a patio cover with fire holes in it.

However, as soon as Kennedy had finished the fence, he had the guy come look at it to "approve" it. The guy was like "yes this looks good." NOW he has a problem with it.

Well, I have a problem with people not being direct and moving on.

MY QUESTION: Why are you waiting until 1.5 weeks later to discuss the patio cover? And how did the fire get allllllll the way across your yard and ruin your patio cover but not touch anything else in it's path?

Now I feel like we're being taken advantage of.

Is this whole ordeal going to be dragged out for the rest of my summer? Am I even going to get to use my pool or will I have to feel weird because we have a big open gap in our fence for all the world to see?

The moral of the story is, it doesn't matter if you go out of your way to make a situation right or to fix a mistake, some people are just snobby and rude and nothing can change it.

I'll blog more later when I finally get an actual project done around this place. For now I have to go be a diplomat to jerks.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"We're having a fire!"

If you know what that quote is from, I will literally make a blogging award and give it to you.

Let me just start by saying that between the smoke from our fire pit, setting our fence plus 3 other neighbor's fences on fire, and grilling burgers inside, I probably have developed an advanced form of lung cancer this weekend.

"GRILLING BURGERS INSIDE?!?!" you ask? "Why would ANYONE do something so insane????"

Well, I think the more important question is, "Why would someone set their fences plus 3 neighbor's fences on fire?"

So I'll address the latter question first.

(The damage.)

We Deans have had our share of miracles this spring, and I believe we can add this to the list.

Last night we had some friends over. We ate outside, we had a fire pit going, we had this AMAZING playlist playing ("I feel like I'm in an indie movie!"), and times were great.

This afternoon, long after the fire had died and the embers had cooled, we decided to dispose of the ashes.


Do not take 16-18 hour old ashes from your fire pit and dump them behind your utility shed where you threw all of the leaves from the previous fall. Fire may ignite and destroy property that does not belong to you!!!

We learned a lot today. Something else I learned is that I should probably start wearing a surgical mask more often (or a gas mask) to shield my now-vulnerable lungs from smoke and fumes.

The miracle lies in the fact that this could have been WAY WAY WORSE. Our neighborhood is tree-laden. Luckily, the fire didn't have time to spread through the tree-tops. Otherwise, it could have been carried right up to several back doors. Another lucky thing is that the fire department is literally 3 blocks from our house, so they came pretty quickly. We were truly lucky in this instance!

So guess what our next project is?

No, silly! Not the office! It's rebuilding 4 fences and a deck! Yaaaaaay! 

So, yeah I had to get through all of that boring stuff to finally come to answer the big question as to why anyone would grill burgers inside????

Our gas grill was out of propane.

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