Coffee & Crates

After a fairly lethargic few days last week, I figured out why I felt so run down… I woke up today with a nasty cold.  But I am trying to look optimistically into the coming week because it is the week we get a garage space!  Woo!  So a lot of our week will be moving things out of the apartment and reworking the space once we both recover from being sick (yes- Walker is sick too).  But before the madness begins, Walker and I were able to sneak in a project yesterday that we have been wanting to try for a while.

A while back, Walker came up with the idea of using wine crates as shelves over the TV in the living room.  Totally on board, I started looking around for wine crates everywhere with no luck at all.  Unless I wanted to spend a ton of money online, there were no crates to be found.  Then finally on one of my trips to Joanne Fabrics, I happened to see a large wood crate for $10.  It needed to be roughed up a bit but it was perfect.  A few weeks later I saw some smaller crates at Michael’s for $6.99 a piece (plus I had a coupon so I paid less!) so we had all of our supplies.

P.S. Ignore the yard in the pictures below.  We are well aware that the yard work has fallen by the wayside. Bo loves it though… it’s like a jungle for him.

In order to age the wood, we started out by sanding and beating up our crates with a hammer.  This was the fun part! :)

Since we didn’t really want to change the color of the wood, we decided to use coffee to stain it a bit (think back to elementary school when you would age your Declaration of Independence project paper with tea or coffee then burn the edges to make it look old… same idea).  We figured it would warm up the wood a bit and bring out the flaws.  I found some gross instant coffee I bought for a camping trip ages ago and mixed several packets with a teapot of hot water.  Using an old paintbrush, I applied the coffee to all sides of the crates.

When I was finished, we still thought that they could use a bit more so I applied a second coat and then poured the remaining coffee onto the crates (to make things more uneven).  It was perfect so we let them dry outside for a few hours. When they were dry, we used a lighter to burn some areas of the crate, especially the edges. Minus a few finger burns, everything came out like we wanted.

Once we were done, we used a stud finder and some nails to securely fasten the crates to the wall. Getting the hammer in there was interesting but we managed… probably should have used screws!  Live and learn.  Our sad, old drill is probably too lame to have worked anyway! Finally, we filled the crates with sentimental things and put Walker’s watercolor painting of a tree in the center to bring everything together.  Now we want to put crate shelves EVERYWHERE!

Out of the Closet

I have been highly unmotivated all week.  But after Monday’s post, I realized I needed to do something about the lack ‘o garage disaster situation (ok, Erika, let’s not be dramatic) instead of just complain about it. So we decided to clear some space in the kitchen to make room for one “for the garage” pile that is mostly out of the way.  This way, we can clean the rest of the house and work through weeding out our stuff at a less scary pace (versus doing everything the weekend we get the garage).  So I started sorting through the two closets in the apartment to remove anything that we will put in the pile.  Then it makes things easier to reorganize from there.  I haven’t made a TON of progress but I feel better in the apartment already. It had some claustrophobic juju going on before!  Alright, so our kitchen looks like a mess but I can ignore that for the most part since I can’t see it from the living area.  :)

Hey Erika! Sorry this was taken in a mirror… :)

We both have already gone through the keep/toss game when we moved in together a few months ago so there isn’t much we really want to throw out.  So over the next couple weeks we are going to be reorganizing to better use the space. After our garage pile is gone, I am excited to tackle bigger projects like the new desk and perhaps a little kitchen island/cart?  More juicy details to come.

Flowers… by Walker: January 23, 2012

I would love to pretend that I did something useful with my weekend but it would all be a sham.  Let’s be honest… all I did this weekend was eat food, drink wine, hang with friends, and watch football.  It was delightful.  But now it is a rainy Monday and our apartment is a disaster.  I thought I would be fine waiting until February to get the garage space (remember I mentioned it here?) but we are slowly being buried alive in piles that are “for the garage.”  Between Christmas and birthdays, our apartment hasn’t quite recovered.  I think we were full to the brim before all of the holiday gifts!  Anyway, we only have to deal with it for a few more days but in the meantime, how about a distraction from this rainy, messy, gloomy Monday?

First, “Flowers… by Walker.”  Between the two football games yesterday, Walker came in from the backyard carrying what he calls the tiniest bouquet in the world.  He made it out of things he found in the yard, wrapped up in a pretty little red leaf (obviously the dandelions are a reminder I need to do some yard work…).  I laughed so hard because it was unbelievably adorable.  Also because it was made out of weeds and dead herbs.  This bouquet may not be his most impressive, but it was so darn sweet and made me laugh until my stomach hurt.  So I think that makes this pretty memorable and brightens my Monday the tiniest bit.  :)

Second, photos of Bo’s little grey mustache always make me happy.  Enjoy!