Tuesday, August 12, 2014

That Time a Bench Made me Cry

This bench. Our relationship was a tragic love story with a happy ending.

The short version goes something like this: I fell in love, it broke my heart again and again, I cried, we made up, and I fell in love all over. 

The longer version is a bit more detailed:

From the minute I saw I was in love.  However, the sloppy white paint job with out-dated blue and white checkered fabric (I spared you the awfulness of where it started) just wasn't doing it for me.
Before Bench
See that great white paint? Whoever painted it was on a mission to make sure the paint never. came. off.

After 3 hours of sanding with the lowest grit I could find I'd barely made a dent. At this point I was in serious need of a plan B.
Before Bench

Insert plan B. Y'all this stuff is no joke... 
Paint Stripper

Paint Stripper
(See the blue and white checkered fabric in the background?!? Yup, that's where we started)

Four bottles, 50 gloves, 2 industrial strength gloves, and 5 hours later we were left with this. Pretty right? :-/
Bench In Progress

PS: When the directions say industrial strength gloves only. They mean industrial strength gloves ONLY. It took 50 gloves and countless burns (stubborn much?) for us to finally throw in the towel and purchase the real deal. Do yourself a favor. Follow the directions!

After even more sanding we finally got a blank slate. So clean and pretty!
Bench Sanded

Now the fun part...

I had a very specific vision for what I wanted the end product to look like. Problem? I didn't know how to get it there.

We have dark floors so I didn't want it too dark, but I still wanted it natural looking but a little darker than what it was while not really looking stained at all. Confused? So was I.

I tried one stain and hated it! It was orangey redish and all wrong.
Bench In Progress

My mom suggested a light grayish wash. Had she done it it would have looked great, but I did it so it didn't.

So, the only option I saw was to re-sand and start over...again. At this point James was done. He told me to do what I wanted, but he was over it. I can't blame his at all; I was impossible to please.

After thee trips to Home Depot and 2 different stains I was done. It wasn't working and I quit.

Y'all, I cried over bench. If it hadn't been for James stepping in it would have ended up smashed into a million pieces. Have I mentioned I can be dramatic at times?

It took a few days and a "get your act together" conversation with my sister to realize I was being ridiculous crazy.

I went to Home Depot one more time picked up one more stain and was officially done. 
DIY Bench

I fell in love all over again. It doesn't match my original vision, but quite honestly it's even better. 

I told the husband I reserve the right to change it at any point. He said no. I don't blame him :)

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy Housewarming

A few weeks ago (um...a month ago!) our families threw us a housewarming party. We had lots of fun sharing our home with friends and neighbors. It's an awful excuse, but moving into our home and renovating kept us busy for a while so it was great seeing people we hadn't seen in a while. 

I'm obsessed with the invitation from AmySimpleDesgins! Seriously though burlap background and aqua? They know me so well :)

I'd say I didn't mean to match the party color scheme, but let's be honest they're my favorite colors for a reason.

Remember how I was lusting after this wreath? Well, I have the greatest sister ever and she made me one! I most definitely did a happy dance/jumped up and down when she gave it to me.

 Hi, my name is Taylor Rae and I have an obsession with aqua and coral. 

Drink Station. FYI Costco margaritas are the jam!

Sis does it again and made the banner. It's so perfect that I refuse to take it down.

Fresh flowers from my MIL's backyard. One day we will have hydrangeas in our yard and I will be so happy.

My hope for our home isn't that it's a perfectly decorate place that has to be spotless at all times. Rather, I want our home to be a place that is lived in and one our friends feel comfortable in. I love it being full of people! I want our home to be shared, open, and welcoming. 
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