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Birdseye Maple Handcrafted Rocking Chair

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My grandpa has been a craftsman for over 40 years, has built multiple homes, and has handcrafted many treasures for our family. When I was much younger I begged my grandpa to build me a tree fort. He thought it might be better for him to build something I could take home with me. A couple of months later, my grandpa gave me a hope chest. He has now created hope chests for all of my cousins…. all 18 of us. Throughout the years he has built baby cradles, rocking horses, a timber frame home (and many other homes) that are all very special to our family. I have to say this is my favorite creation of his. When he brought over my parents the rocking chair he had custom-made for them, I knew I had to help him get his business going. He truly creates family heirlooms for all.

This custom rocking chair, inspired by Sam Maloof, is the most comfortable rocking chair you will ever sit in. With lumbar curvature and a hand carved seat; you won’t believe you’re sitting on wood. These rocking chairs are wonderful family heirlooms and would make a great addition to a baby’s room, living room, or front porch.
He creates these rocking chairs custom fit with custom wood and design according to your specifications (starting at $2,100). He would love to create a handcrafted rocking chair for you and your family. Please feel free to email me if you are interested or would like to see more pictures at: rex.jessica@gmail.com

Also feel free to check out his Etsy site:

craftsmanbob.etsy.com

I will post pictures of his other designs soon!

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Desk revamp

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When my parents recently moved to a new home, I couldn’t pass up this treasure when they put it out on the curb.

I wish I had gotten a before picture with the desk all put together, but here are some shots I did get:

A couple coats of paint and some new hardware:

Can’t wait to accessorize!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

How to convert “What’s a 1X3?” to a Pottery Barn Headboard

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When I went into Home Depot asking “what does a 1X3 mean?”, It was obvious I had no idea what I was getting into. Not to mention, hanging a picture is about all I’ve ever used a hammer and nail for. I learned many things while building my first piece of furniture from Ana’s plans at Knock-off Wood, but the most important things I learned were:

1. Making a fool of yourself can result in beautiful furniture.

AND

2. Measure twice, cut once.

For the longest time I have been looking at Ana’s website “dreaming” about all the furniture I wanted to build. And I can tell you one thing: dreaming will get you nowhere! I found myself 4 months later, still looking at her plans, nervous I was going to end up with really nice… firewood. It really takes a “leap of faith” but it’s definitely worth it! Print the plans and go for it. The most you have to lose is maybe ~$100 (and a little bit of pride)… but you have so much more to gain!

My biggest dilemma in deciding how to create this piece of furniture was that I love anything rustic. My fiance on the other hand, loves anything contemporary. In order to appease us both, I modified the reclaimed wood headboard plans to look something a little more like this:

Yep, that’s the Pottery Barn farmhouse bed. It only costs $1,200 +tax and shipping. So, if you have extra cash to burn, this would obviously be the easier route. However, for those of us with tight budgets, sweat and bruised fingers are a great alternative. I don’t think Ana can possibly hear “thank you” enough from her followers. She really allows us to create beautiful homes without the price tag.

Now on to the modifications:

Instead of using planks as suggested in the plan, I used one big piece of pine plywood. I felt that this gave the headboard a mix of both contemporary and rustic (dilemma solved)!

The first modification included using 1X4’s instead of 1X3’s for the legs of the headboard. The 1X3’s only came in the highest grade pine (aka: expensive). So by using 1X4’s to building the legs (during step 1 and step 3) I was able to save some money and buy medium grade pine. The second modification was this: The trim pieces (step 4) had to be 2 inches shorter because of the larger 1X4’s I substituted in Step 1 and 3. Therefore, the trim pieces were 56″ instead of 58″. I did splurge and buy the 1X3’s for the legs sides (step 5). They were still a little wider than my sides, but I really like how it looks sticking out a little bit.

Overall, it was very simple. I spent a good hour getting lessons from my step-dad on how to safely use a miter and circle saw (and other tricks of the trade). I then spent about 3 hours building the headboard… all…by… myself. I can’t tell you how proud I was!

A tip on building: Usewood glue… but keep an eye on it. I used a LOT of wood glue. Too much. Any wood glue that gets on visible surfaces will not stain because wood glue “seals” the wood. Even with a lot of sanding, I had some places that would not stain. If you do accidentally get wood glue on your surfaces, wipe it off immediately with a wet cloth. Wait until the glue is dry to sand, because sanding will only spread the glue.

The finished product!

Here are the steps I used to finish my headboard:

Step 1: Sand (electric sander is well worth the purchase) with 100 grit paper on all surfaces

Step 2: Sand with 220 grit paper or higher to give it a smooth surface.

Step 3: Wipe the wood free of dust with “tack cloth” and clean up all dust before staining.

Step 4: Stain! I used Minwax in Red Mahogony to stain (The guy at Lowe’s really liked how I called it: MINIwax. So just fyi to all you newbies… it’s MINwax.). Use a cheap brush (because it WILL get ruined). Leave the stain on for 20 minutes and wipe off. If you prefer it darker, you can do a second coat of stain. I only did one coat.

Step 5: Cover with Polyurethane. I sanded between coats with steel wool. It is like REALLY fine sandpaper and gave it an extremely smooth surface. I did 3 coats of Satin Polyurethane to give it a really nice finish. I just used cheap sponge paint brushes for the coats of poly.

One of the things i was very curious about prior to jumping into building was how much everything was going to cost me. I certainly didn’t want to make it 1/2 way through my project and decide it was too expensive.

So here is my Cost Breakdown:

Stain– Minwax in Red Mahogony-already owned (approx $10)

Polyurethae-already owned (approx $6)

Nails-already owned (?)

Wood– ($78)

Sandpaper– ($6)

Power sander-already owned (approx $30)- you can also sand by hand!

Gorilla Glue – (approx $8)

Paint brushes – (approx $6- buy a cheap one for staining because stain will ruin it no matter what!)

If you had to purchase everything from scratch it would be ~$144. What a deal. That’s a $1,056 savings!!

I hope that encourages all you Knock-off Wood stalkers (like me) to pick up a hammer and saw and do it! Thanks Ana for the wonderful plans!

Bridesmaids bouquet– the vote!

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The roses held up great! I sat them out on the counter out of water for 4 hours today, and they looked beautiful and didn’t droop at all. Here are some pictures after.

But first… I need your help. Please take a minute to vote  on your favorite look: (I’m sure some of you are laughing at me thinking they all look alike…).

Bouquet #1

Bouquet #2

Bouquet #3

Thanks for the input!

Bridesmaids bouquets

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I went to a local flower shop to get an idea for how much fresh bouquets would cost for our wedding. Bouquets at their cheapest are around $60/bouquet. For something that dies within a couple of days I was in total shock at the cost. To make things short, this did not really fit in our $20/bouquet planned budget. Therefore, we are once again doing the DIY route.

We bought 12 roses for $12.99, baby’s breath for $1.99, Ribbon for 0.59cents, and some greenery for $1.99 and a whole role of green floral tape for $1.99. The total for my bridesmaids bouquets will be ~$18.

Here is the finished product:

The green seems dominating…. you can barely tell it is a dozen roses. So I moved the greenery to the outside:

Much better :). I would love to add a little crystal onto the ribbon too. The girls will wear a chocolate brown and the guys wearing a champagne color. I thought having the girls carry the color of the guys vests would pull everything together nicely. Now to see the test of time. How well will a handmade bouquet hold up? Check back to find out!

Engagement Pictures

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We got our engagement pictures back from our photographer Ben Pancoast. He is a great photographer and has been great to work with! If you’re looking for a photographer, definitely check him out!  Here’s just a couple of my favorites :).

… it is going to be very hard to choose our favorites!!

Have a great day!

Luminaries

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In trying to think of a cheap, but romantic entry way into our reception area, I came upon these Monogram Luminaries over at Projectwedding.com. Here is my finished project. Feel free to read the rest of the blog for step-by-step instructions.

Step 1:First I printed my the L in the size and script that I liked best: Edwardian script. I then cut the template paper so that it would slide into my white paper bag centered and at the desired height.

Step 2: Slide the template into the paper bag. Check to make sure it is centered. You will want the template to be toward the upper half of the paper bag to provide a nice contrast in light. If it is too low, the L might not show up as well.

Step 3: BY FAR the most difficult step is tracing the template. If you are going to repeat this project and want to save time, I would blow up this picture and note my exact tracings. You cannot cut out the whole L shape out. Many of the loops in the L need to remain connected to the bag so that it remains looking like an L.

Step 4: Now it is time to cut. You will need an exacto knife and something hard to slide into the middle of the paper bag so that you only cut through one layer.

It took me a couple tries, but they turned out great! The best part: It only cost approximately $4 for all my luminaries!

Enjoy!