Thursday, February 28, 2013

Public Service Announcement Post/ Excuse for Cute Beagle Pics

If you would like a house-related post, I could blog about how I managed to wash a rug today and dust the library. No? Okay, how about a bit about dogs then?

I have had four dogs in my adult life, and they've all been rescue dogs. First there was Oliver. I got Oliver from the animal shelter when I was 20 and he was a teeny tiny puppy. Here we are, both of us very young:

That's me in the panda t-shirt. Oliver is the one who's a dog. And the other person is my friend/former roommate Suzanne.

Here is Oliver when he got a lot older:

Oliver was the best dog ever. I was that obnoxious person who brought my dog to parties. I took up jogging just so Oliver would have a hobby. Oliver's obedience teacher said of him, and I quote, "He's obviously VERY quick and VERY bright, and you can see that in everything that he does." Yes, I memorized it, because I was so, so proud. Oliver is the reason Dave likes dogs. I got Ollie just before meeting Dave. Dave had never had a dog; when I told him about Oliver he said, "he's going to stink; all dogs stink." But then he loved Oliver. Because: greatest dog ever.

Let me preface this next part by saying that I love all of my dogs very much.

The next two dogs were....not like Oliver. They are lovely dogs in many ways, but they both have their share of issues.

Here is issue ridden Lucy:

Sorry, Lucy; I picked a pathetic, unflattering picture of you. This is when she had her second ear hematoma. Poor dog. No one talks about how quick and bright Lucy is, although she is. Instead they say things like, "sometimes a wire just gets crossed somewhere" (her obedience teacher) and, "this is the most interesting case of dog inter-aggression I've ever seen" (expensive dog behaviorist #2). But, let me reiterate: we love Lucy. She's 14 1/2 now. She's been around for a LONG time.

Then there's Gable:

Right? We couldn't leave HIM at the shelter. Gable is less....complicated and mysterious than Lucy, but he still has his problems. He gets testy at times. He steals things off my counters. Etc.

So I was one for three with rescue dogs, and I was starting to feel like a cautionary tale. I was ready to say to hell with it and buy a Corgi puppy next time we got a dog. (I had a list of dog requirements....good with kids, other dogs, cats, and chickens (we had chickens at the time), and can't reach the counters. I narrowed down my list of acceptable breeds to: Corgi).

We weren't planning on getting another dog until Lucy died, but I was already feeling kind of guilty about wanting to buy a Corgi instead of getting another rescue dog. I mean, the dogs in the shelters DIE if no one adopts them. I know; I wrote a report about it in 7th grade. What would my 7th grade self have to say about this whole Corgi buying plan?!  But then, fate intervened and presented an alternative. And now I am here with a handy tutorial: How to Get an Awesome Dog That You Don't Have to Hire Fancy Dog Behaviorists to Fix for You Without Buying a Corgi Puppy.

For reasons that I can't explain, I started getting itchy about getting another dog last summer....even though I knew I was going to be getting a new baby--almost as cute as a puppy--in January. This worried Dave a great deal. So much so that, after a trip to the Humane Society where I made him try out puppies, he agreed to let us foster dogs. If we fostered dogs, we would not get a puppy. This was the idea.

I picked a rescue organization called Angels Among Us mostly because it was local and wasn't focused on a particular breed. I wanted mutts (or Corgis). Our first foster dog was named Cocoa. She was very, very timid, not great with kids, but immediately became very attached to me. We had her for a few weeks, and then she found a great home with a family with high school age kids (they also adopted her sister, with whom she'd lived her whole life until their owner had to give them up and they went to separate foster homes).

So, with one positive fostering experience under our belt, we were ready to move on to the next dog. I got an e-mail asking if I would take a little beagle who had just had puppies a few weeks before. The puppies had just been weaned, and they were going to stay in the current foster while their mom moved on to a new one. Sure. I told several people that there was no danger I'd be tempted to keep this dog because, "I don't even like beagles."

The kids and I went to pick up Fiesta. We got to meet her adorable puppies. We brought her home. I took pictures of her and wrote up a nice description for Petfinder. I wrote it from Fiesta's point of view, even though that made me feel goofy, because people seem to like that sort of thing.

Fiesta had been picked up as a stray, very pregnant, and taken to a high kill shelter.  Here she is in the shelter with her giant belly:

Angels Among Us pulled her out of the shelter, and she had her seven puppies not long after.

Fiesta had pretty much all of the traits I thought I didn't like in beagles. She didn't come when you called her if she had something better to do. She sometimes got loose and ran (I was used to dogs I couldn't lose if I tried). She could never, ever be trusted off of a leash. And we were completely charmed by her anyway. She was an excellent cuddler (but--bonus!--not a licker).  She loved everyone. She wore Gable out encouraging him to run big sweeping circles with her in the yard. She was amazing with the kids. She wanted us to be happy. Before long, she won everyone over.

Gable was easy:

But then we caught Athena the grumpy cat cuddling with Fiesta:

And then Lucy?! AKA "the most interesting case of interdog aggression I've ever seen"

It was official. There was no one with whom The Beagle would not cuddle.

But we were just fostering. We didn't want another dog. I dutifully took Fiesta to adoptions on the weekends. And then....I found myself getting sort of offended when people didn't adopt her. What was wrong with people?! Couldn't they see how clearly perfect Fiesta was?

And, at the same time, I was starting to approach adoption days with dread. I couldn't believe she wasn't already adopted; she was little and cute and friendly and I had written an adorable description of her in the first person for Petfinder--it was just a matter of time. Every Saturday might be the last time we ever saw her.

I finally brought it up with Dave. "Do you think we should keep Fiesta?" He was surprisingly open to the idea. And that was all it took. The decision was made and I e-mailed Angels to find out what we needed to do next (which was filling out an adoption form and sending in a check for the adoption fee; we had already done a home visit before we started fostering, so everything else was set).

And, just like that, the best little beagle in the whole world was ours to keep.

To sum up, here is a step by step tutorial:

1. Call up a rescue group and start fostering dogs
2. Do that until you happen across one that you can't live without
3. Keep that one.

I feel kind of bad that keeping Fiesta meant not fostering anymore for now (three dogs is my absolute limit).  But once Lucy is gone we will probably be ready to start again.

The main thing we've learned through our brief but satisfying fostering stint, though, is that we'll never adopt a dog again without fostering first. We got to see Fiesta's personality (and annoying quirks) and could tell she'd be a good fit for our family before we committed to her. If we hadn't kept her, she would have been adopted by another family, and all would have been well. And I can't imagine that we could love even an adorable Corgi puppy as much as we love Fiesta (not to mention that, while not cheap, Fiesta's adoption fee was considerably less than a Corgi puppy).

One note: some rescue groups look negatively on (or even outright forbid) adoptions by foster families. I guess the reasoning for this is that once someone adopts, they likely lose them as a foster family (which is, indeed, what happened with us). It seems to me that it's better to have someone foster one or a few dogs and then adopt one than never foster at all. Angels Among Us has a very positive view of "foster failures."  So just a note of warning to make sure that the group you work with is open to foster families adopting (I would make sure of this even if we didn't go into it with the intention to eventually adopt (which we didn't, officially, this time). Just in case).

We've had Fiesta since August, and we're thrilled that we kept her. If we hadn't, this never would have happened:

And a postscript: the other day the woman who fostered Fiesta and her puppies before we got her posted on Facebook a picture she'd received from the people who adopted one of Fiesta's puppies. Here she is, 7 months old:

It's like a Fiesta with terrier ears! I think you'll agree that we showed amazing restraint not ending up with one of those puppies, too.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A New Life for Ari's Desk: Pinterest Challenge!

Back when I talked about our plans for Ari's room, I mentioned how much I loved this two toned dresser at Simply Klassic Home:

....and how I planned to redo his desk in the same style. Fortunately, I also pinned it to my board of ideas for his room, so when I saw the announcement for the Pinterest Challenge (hosted by Michelle at Decor and the DogMegan at The Remodeled LifeSherry at Young House Love, and Katie at Bower Power), it immediately jumped to the top of the list. Truthfully, it was already at the top of the list, but the Pinterest Challenge assured that it stayed there and that it actually got done. 

(Someone really needs to Truman Show-ify the internet for me so that every week a new "challenge" shows up that just happens to be about something I've been meaning to get done: "Oh, look, what a coincidence! It's the 'move a couch out of your garage and into the sunroom' challenge!")

(I am worried that Kristin is going to think I'm completely copying her whole (fabulous) room, because there's also a plank headboard in there. But, while it is worthy of copying, I would like to state for the record that I posted my plans for a plank headboard or wall for Ari's room a whole day before it appeared on Simply Klassic. But that dresser? yeah, totally copying. Because it's awesome).

I have a different plan for Ari's dresser, so I decided to give the two tone treatment to his desk instead. Here's what his desk looked like before:

More of the orange-y maple, like his bedside table. First we wanted to take the mirror off. It had more of those scalloped edges interfering with our modern aesthetic, and we have better things to do with the walls. Dave remembered trying to take it off at some point in the past (maybe when we moved?) and having a terrible time and giving up. But he went into Ari's room ready to do battle with the mirror and came out 15 minutes later looking very confused. "It was just held on with regular screws," he said, "I have no idea why we had trouble before." Don't question it; just be glad! 

We took all the drawers down to the basement to sand them down. The finish came off super easily. Even a child could do it! No, seriously--our kids did it:

Then I painted the rest of the desk with the same Valspar High Speed Steel (mixed with some plaster of paris to chalk paintify it) that we used on the bedside table. Two coats of paint, then I distressed it (this is the point where I realized that the sanding sponge I bought to do the bedside table was complete crap (or, at least, inappropriate for distressing). I got tired of it, found a piece of sandpaper, and things were much better).Then a coat of polyurethane. 

For the stain, I mixed together the dark walnut we already had with some weathered gray. I brushed it on each drawer then immediately wiped it off with an old t-shirt. After they dried overnight, I screwed the rest of  the "hydrant" knobs from Hobby Lobby in and put them back in the desk.

Then I took pictures three separate times over the course of the day, trying to get perfect lighting, because I felt like the desk was So.Much.Prettier. in real life than it was turning out in the pictures. But I think, with the help of the late afternoon sun through the west facing windows, I finally got a  pretty good representation (it's those dark walls again! If I just painted every room white, I'd have much better pictures, I think). I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and Ari loves it, too. He's getting pretty into the room redecorating, which makes me happy. Especially since he likes most of my ideas.

I was so proud I even dragged stuff from other parts of the house to style it all fancy-like:

Mostly only the globe was from other parts of the house. This stuff was already in the room. In fact, we found the pencil holder at the dollar tree the other day. The Eiffel Tower and little viking are both from Epcot.

I moved one of the Tabouret chairs from Overstock in there. These were originally supposed to go with our farmhouse kitchen table. But, uhh, we still haven't made that table. So the chairs have just been knocking around the house, and now I'm thinking I might want to go in a different direction for kitchen chairs (if our table ever actually exists). Ari asked if he could have another one (there are 4 of them) for when he has a friend over, so we'll probably put another one up there. And then maybe paint them? Red? Silver? I'm not sure. Thoughts?

Linking with:
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
Monday Funday
Under the Table and Dreaming's Sunday Showcase Party
TwelveOEight's Pretty Things Party
Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z
Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits at Stone Gable Blog
Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths
Somewhat Simple
The Inspiration Gallery Link Party
The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday
Tatertots and Jello Weekend Wrap-up Party

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Chore Chart for Free Spirits

Okay, not really. A REAL free spirit would live in her van and not do ANY chores EVER. But maybe, say, you might have been a free spirit in a different life, but in this one you have four kids, three dogs, two cats, and two and a half baths in your big house, so you HAVE to clean stuff, but maybe you don't want to clean the bathroom counter every Tuesday just because your chore chart tells you to. Maybe it's Tuesday and you feel like vacuuming the living room instead. What then?!

Well. Last week I was sitting around thinking, "I really should be folding laundry." Only I didn't want to. So then I thought, "you know what's way more fun than folding laundry? Concocting an elaborate system to remind me to do laundry." And then I spent the rest of the week getting more and more behind on laundry while coming up with this chore chart.

I've made lots of chore charts for both grown-ups and kids in the past, and obviously none of them was a huge success, or I wouldn't be back here trying again. The remnants of the last chore chart, now existing mostly inside my head, were serving us fairly well for the most part. I have a list in my head of stuff we need to get done, and, when we have some extra time, I do some of it or Dave does or one of tells the kids to, and most everything gets done....often enough that no one feels the need to report us to the authorities. But I can feel things slipping now that there's an infant around. And the less frequently done tasks tend to get completely overlooked.

The idea here, the thing that's supposed to make THIS chore chart the one we stick with, is that it does not designate a particular day for a particular task. It's broken into weekly and monthly jobs and then we can do whichever one/s we happen to feel like doing, as long as everything gets done by the end of the week or month. Also it's fun because there are magnets involved.

I spent the week slowly figuring out exactly how I wanted to do it. I knew I wanted magnets to be involved and I knew I wanted things not tied down to a specific day. First I made the master list of chores. I decided not to do daily stuff because all of that is, or ought to be, pretty well a matter of habit at this point.

Once I had my list together, I stopped by Office Max and picked up a pack of printable magnetic sheets. This was the most expensive part of the project, at around $8.50 for 5 sheets (I used 4 of them).

It took me forever to figure out what to stick the magnets to. I thought about getting sheets of galvanized steel at Home Depot, then framing them out to keep the sharp edges from stabbing anyone. But that sounded like a lot of work. Then I thought, "cookie sheets!" and considered painstakingly collecting enough cookie sheets from thrift stores. But this sounded time consuming.

It finally occurred to me that this might be exactly the sort of thing the dollar store was good for, and, sure enough, google revealed countless dollar store cookie sheet turned magnet board projects. So off to the Dollar Tree I went to pick up my cookie sheets, plus a little metal basket to hold all my magnets, and a sticky hook to hang my little metal basket from. One more stop at Hobby Lobby for heavy duty double sided tape (which I had to pay the full $5 for because I'd forgotten my phone and couldn't pull up a coupon. Blast it all!) and I was all set.

I spray painted all the cookie sheets purple with the paint I had left over from my schoolhouse light fixture. Then I typed up all the jobs and printed them out. Everyone got their own color (well, except for me and Dave. We're sharing gray):

The gray turned out lighter than I wanted it to, but since the sheets are nearly $2 each, we're going to live with it for now. All the kids' pages are the same, although they won't each get every chore every week (like they clean their own bathroom, but rotate jobs: one kid does the toilet one week and then the counters and sink the next week, and so on). So I can set the boards up with jobs at the start of every week and put the right jobs on there.

I set the boards up with their magnets, put the tape on the back:

....and hung them up. They're hanging on the wooden box that's built around our refrigerator:

So sort of in a mostly unused little corner right off of the center hallway where our half bath is. The wall next to this, by the way, is where I'm thinking of doing a chalkboard wall. Once I had the boards all hung up, I hung up the hook and the little magnet basket.

The idea is that when I say it's time to do chores (or if the mood just happens to strike) they can go pick one off the chart, do it, and put the magnet in the bucket.

Now all that's left to do is to sit back and watch my house magically become perfect. Oh, also I have to do all those gray chores on my chart.

Cost breakdown:
magnetic sheets: $8.50
cookie sheets: $4.00
metal bucket: $1
double sided tape: $5 (still have most of it left, though)
hook for bucket: $1 (for 4)
paint: already had
total: $19.50, with some stuff leftover.

Update: Since I wrote this draft, the hook holding up the basket has fallen down a dozen times. I cannot recommend the 4 for a dollar adhesive dollar tree hooks. I'm going to buy a name brand one, and I'm confident that will fix the problem.

Linking with:
Clean It Challenge Link Party
Monday Funday
Under the Table and Dreaming's Sunday Showcase Party
TwelveOEight's Pretty Things Party
Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories A to Z

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weekend Lovefest

Maybe I will do this every weekend! Or I might not. I like to keep everyone guessing that way. But, anyway, here's a list of stuff I'm particularly fond of this week:

1. Babylegs

Babylegs are baby (and toddler) leg warmers. I had a pair for Gus, but not until he was a bit older. I put a pair on Abe this past week, and adorableness abounded! This would be a perfect place for me to insert a gratuitous cute baby picture, except that I, uhh....didn't take one. You'll have to take my word for it. I often have him in just a t-shirt around the house to make diaper changes easier, so leg warmers are very practical in addition to being adorable. I sound like I'm making a commercial but no one is paying me (or giving me adorable free Babylegs) to say that. 

2. Abe's little wooden cars

My friend Sarah's father made these! Out of scrap wood! I am in awe of how many amazing handmade gifts Abe has gotten from talented friends. He is a lucky baby. 

3. The mudroom at Nalle's House

It's been so much fun watching the projects roll out and then seeing the fabulous final reveal! I love everything about this little space--the colors, the subtle but perfect embellishment on those baskets, that amazing light fixture (a Restore find!)....

4. Primitive and Proper's Project Hallway

Every project rolled out on this hallway project is more fun than the last! I thought it had peaked with the chalkboard wall and perfect shade of aqua door, but then these sheep showed up! Can't wait to see what comes next.

5. Cloth Diapers, specifically Fuzzi Bunz

Another baby thing--but I mixed things up by throwing two non-baby things in there in the middle! All of our cloth diapers seemed HUGE on Abe when he first got here, so we did mostly disposables for the first few weeks (not to mention that he seemed to poop every 30 seconds for awhile, so we would have been washing diapers constantly had he been in cloth). I was amazed at how fast we went through disposables, how quickly they filled up our trash cans, and how much we spent on them. 

We have a bunch of different kinds of diapers for him, mostly hand me downs from friends. But whenever I put him in anything else, I'm reminded that Fuzzi Bunz are my very favorite. All four of our kids have used them, and I always come back to them. The inside is fleece, which wicks wetness away from the baby (and keeps him from waking up when he pees!), they fit really nicely on all my babies, and they dry super fast. And then I went to their website to find a picture for this post, and, OMG--that's a WHALE diaper! I'm going to need a few of those, I'm pretty sure.

View Along the Way has an excellent Cloth Diapering 101 post this week that gives a great overview of/introduction to cloth diapering and also extols the virtues of my beloved Fuzzi Bunz.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Few Things: Sofa Scheming, Something to Paint, and Much More!

This is my 100th post, so I tried to think of something really amazing to post about. Instead, I have a collection of small, random things for you. I did my best.

Random Thing #1: As I reflect upon my plans to redo every piece of furniture in Ari's room, make a new headboard for him, create some fabulousness for his wall, and make him curtains and curtain rods, I am reminded of what this whole plan started out as, back when I made a list of house-related goals for the year: Finish painting trim and hanging art in Ari's room.

Yep, that was it. Things have gotten a little more....grandiose since then. I'm surprised I didn't even mention painting the furniture. At some point, I was thinking I'd just give it all a quick coat of gray paint and be done with it, but now I have separate plans for each piece. Which brings me to.....

Random Thing #2:

Michelle at Decor and the Dog, Megan at The Remodeled Life, Sherry at Young House Love, and Katie at Bower Power are hosting a Pinterest Challenge. The idea is to take something you've pinned it.

So it just so happens that the next project I have planned for Ari's room is based on something I've pinned. I was already going to try to get it done this weekend. Cheating? Naw. I think it was meant to be.

Random Thing #3: I bought a giant old dresser.

One of my favorite thrift stores is closed this week for remodeling. So when I went there last week, they had everything in the store half off, trying to clear things out. I've been looking for a dresser to re-do as a media console for the den, so this caught my eye. It quickly became clear that this thing is way too big for that space. But I also need a big piece for storage (for what? I don't know yet....extra dishes? board games? craft supplies?) for my sunroom. And at half off this ginormous old (1974--it says so on the back) dresser was only $45. Now it's sitting in the middle of my library, waiting for Dave and I to work up the ambition to move it out to the sunroom. And then it's getting painted right there, because we're not moving it again. It's REALLY heavy.

Plan is to paint it a fun color (turquoise? aqua? teal? something in the blue-green family most likely). I can't decide about the hardware. Replace it or just paint it oil rubbed bronze or something? What do you think?

The nice thing about bringing the behemoth home is that it has gotten us thinking about a master plan for the sunroom. The sunroom, pictured here before we moved, in, still with its giant leak (the leak that scared off other buyers and got us an amazing deal on this house, I'm convinced):

Other than the ceiling being fixed now, it doesn't look much different yet (and we pretty much never use it, except to lock up dogs when we need to, which is a shame because it's potentially a very nice room, not to mention one of the biggest in the house) . But we're working on a plan! More on that in another post.

Random Thing #4: I also bought this table at the same time:

It's a little campaign style end table....nothing super amazing, but it was only $12.50. I don't have anywhere in mind for it here, so I think I'm going to paint it and sell it to my mom for her shop. Because I need to make some money for the couch fund.....

Random Thing #5: Rationalizing my way to a new sofa.

When I was a kid, my grandparents had a huge, fabulous, velour (? something very soft, at any rate), leopard print sectional sofa. Yes, you read that right. It's hard to believe how amazing it was even for me, and I spent many hours sitting on it and building forts out of its approximately 34 gazillion cushions.

Perhaps nostalgia about that sofa is why I've always wanted a sectional sofa myself, even though I know it is highly unlikely I will find a leopard print one. And, really, with so many people around here who need somewhere to sit, a sectional is the most practical way to go, too. My grandparents had 8 kids and 11 grandkids, but there was always a place to sit on the sectional sofa. (okay, they couldn't really fit all 8 kids and 11 grandkids on there at the same time, but you get the idea).

We all know where you go for a stylish and relatively affordable sectional sofa, right?

Yes, I know....EVERYONE has a Karlstad sofa from Ikea. But you know what? Sometimes everyone is right. Because where else am I going to find an attractive sectional, with a cover that I can replace if/when the evil cats destroy the first one, for $900?

But I don't have $900 lying around (well, I DO, but I need it for Milo's palate expander (note to self: call dentist to make appointments for kids) and other practical things. Like our Disney trip in May). If I hadn't had Abe, with his expensive deductible, I could go out and buy myself TWO Karlstad sofas. But I don't have room for two of them anyway. And also I already did have Abe and he's not returnable (kidding! I don't even WANT to return him!)

So we need to start a sofa fund, I've decided. And live with the old sofas until then.

Oh, I forgot to explain the rationalization (this post about nothing much is getting very long. I can see how they kept Seinfeld going for so many seasons). Old plan was to move the leather sofa my mom handed down to us (that's STILL hanging out in the garage) into the den, sell the old sofas, and buy two armchairs to go in there for extra seating. But I got to thinking....if I'm going to spend a few hundred dollars on new armchairs, I really might as well spend a few MORE hundred dollars on the sectional, since that's what I really want anyway. The leather sofa + armchair plan was a temporary fix until we could afford the sectional. And this way, we still have a leather sofa to play with. And--spoiler alert!--it might just figure into the sunroom plan.

Random Thing #6: Remember how I've never been sold on my dining room chandelier?

Nice, but kind of....stuffy?

I took those little lampshade thingies off the bulbs the other day, and now I like it 254% more:

Here was my thought process after the shades came off: "duh. That was easy." pause "Maybe I should paint it purple." It's kind of cool and spidery looking now. And maybe I SHOULD paint it purple. What do you think?

Also, it looks like a totally different shape in those two pictures. I'm not sure what's up with that. I'm looking at it right now, and the second one is how it really looks. Long.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Progress in Ari's Room: a Bedside Table Made Over

My goal is to finish Ari's tween room before he's a teenager. Or, preferably, by the beginning of April, because we have a big project in mind for Dave's spring break. We'll see how things go, though, as always.

But! There has been definite progress since I first posted about the current state of and future plans for Ari's room. Like remember the half painted trim that my poor kid had been living with for months?

All finished!

I also came up with the most amazing idea for something for the wall EVER. It is a surprise, and I have no idea if we can actually do it or if it will work at all the way I want it to, but if we can and it does, it's going to be FABULOUS. Teaser!

But more on that another time.

Ari had three pieces of furniture in his room that needed some love. All of them are that old orangey wood (maple?) and pretty juvenile looking. And Ari's ELEVEN. And a half.

This little nightstand was the least ambitious project, so of course we started with it:

There it is, over by the bed.

Here it is, after we moved it downstairs to start working on it (only we'd already taken the drawer out by then, so I wanted to post that one up there so you got the whole idea):

Those scalloped edges were, I felt, incompatible with the look we were going for, so I asked Dave if he could take them off. Fairly straightforward for the front, because it was a separate piece that would break right off. But the sides were different:

Dave was not confident. "You know I'm not actually a carpenter, right?" he said. But MY confidence in Dave is boundless, so I convinced him to give it a try (and, hey, the $7.95 thrift store price is still written in marker on the back, so it's not like he'd be destroying a priceless antique if he messed it up). He got to work with the jigsaw and came back with this:

Not a carpenter, my foot! Look at those nice clean lines! (I am, incidentally, endlessly impressed by Dave's ability to figure out how to do all the stuff I want him to do. He didn't grow up learning how to do any of it; he's taught it all to himself).

Now that the power tools were safely put away, it was my turn. I had originally been thinking I'd paint this all slick and modern, in a dark gray semi-gloss, with no distressing. But then I discovered the knobs I wanted to use at Hobby Lobby and decided that distressed chalk paint would be a better match.

I picked out Valspar's High Speed Steel for the paint (and I did get it in semi-gloss, since I plan to use in on the other furniture, too, and I'm pretty sure I want the semi-gloss for the dresser) and then broke out the plaster of paris to make some of it into chalk paint.

I did two coats, lightly distressed it with a medium grit sandpaper sponge (I'm sort of terrified of overdoing it with distressing, so so far all of my distressing is "light"). Then I did a coat of polyurethane on it (instead of wax. Because I hate waxing. And because I thought the poly would be more durable). Finally, I put the adorable knob on. And here it is:

Since I didn't sand it first, the wood that shows through where I distressed it is the old orangey finish. I think it looks good with the red knob, though.

Linking with:

Paint It Project Link Party at Crafty Scrappy Happy
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday
Classy Clutter's Spotlight Saturday
Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and Dreaming
Stone Gable's Tutorials, Tips, and Tidbits
Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
TwelveOEight's Pretty Things Link Party
Tutorials and Tips at Home Stories AtoZ
Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths
Somewhat Simple
Craftionery's Friday Link Party
Inspiration Gallery
The Shabby Nest's Frugal Friday
Tatertots&Jello's Weekend Wrap Up Party