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Archive for February, 2011

Mini-Dreamer Reminder

Just a reminder (especially for our RSS followers) that the weekly bump photos continue… however, they’re not set up to automatically update the RSS feed.  Check them out every Monday under the “Coming Attraction: Mini-Dreamer” tab.  Or through this link: https://ourdreamforeclosure.wordpress.com/coming-attraction-mini-dreamer

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In my head, the mini-Dreamer’s nursery is perfection. There’s just the right balance of patterns: soft and tough, sophisticated and childish. The image in my head will be featured in magazines. Bloggers will repost it for years. HGTV will stop by for taping. It is THAT GOOD. In reality, the image is very difficult to bring to life.

WAH!

(Better get used to that sound, right?)

For example – the curtains. Oh, the curtains. Curtains-shmurtains. If you know me and we’ve had a conversation – via phone, text, email or actually face-to-face – in the last month, you’ve endured my wailing over these DARN curtains. I’d already decided to put large silver polka-dots on at least one wall. The curtains are on an un-polka-dotted wall and I thought I’d shake things up and do bold, vertical stripes – like six inch wide stripes – silver (or light gray) and white. The valance above the curtains would be a different, yet equally bold pattern – like, plaid, checks, or horizontal stripes – in the same color palette.

Here’s the LONG (you’ve been warned) list of road blocks to my Dream curtains:

  • Plan A) Buy Fabric, make curtains myself

Problem with Plan A) The gray/white striped fabric in my head does not exist in ANY FABRIC STORE IN GREATER PHOENIX, ARIZONA. Nor on any online retail site that I could find.

Problem with Plan B) The gray/white striped print in my head does not exist in ANY STORE THAT PILFERS SHEETS AND/OR DUVET COVERS IN GREATER PHOENIX, ARIZONA. Nor on any online retail site that I could find.

Okay, FINE! We’re going to have to get crafty.

  • Plan C) Buy white curtains, use silver fabric spray paint to create the highly-desired stripes.

Problem (s) with Plan C):

C-1: This fabric spray sucks.

C-2: Spray costs $4.99/bottle and ONE bottle will get you ONE coat of ONE stripe. DUMB.

C-3: This “spray” doesn’t actually spray, it sputters – leaving spots here and there and rarely an even tone.

C-4: The prep work for this Plan is ridiculous. It involves painters tape AND a drop cloth cut to size.

C-5: Don’t bother trying “real” spray paint. That little devil will deceive you! Looks so pretty going on – all nice, even, and non-sputtery. Then, like MAGIC, it disappears when washed (not to mention the toxic fumes that are no bueno trapped in fabric meant for a baby’s room).

don't be deceived!

Cost associated with Plan C FAILURE)

5 bottles of crappy spray paint = $24.99

Returned 2 bottles of crappy spray paint because one just didn’t work and I realized this was a complete failure before opening the last bottle = -$9.98

White curtains from Ikea $14.99, but only used one = $7.50

Drop cloth (that wound up utterly destroyed) = $2.98

Tape (already had)

TOTAL = $25.49

  • Plan D) Use white curtain not already damaged by spray paint experiment and use fabric paint (you know, with a brush)

...and the bump makes a cameo...

Problem with Plan B) At first, I thought we had a winner. This stuff went on really smooth, fast, easy. The color was a bit darker than I’d hoped for – but, let’s be honest, I was starting to care less and less. I painted one stripe – let it dry for a couple of hours, then raced up to the nursery, CONFIDENT that this was the ticket. However, when held up to the window – with the light shining through – you could see each and every DANG brush stroke. UGH!

Cost associated with Plan D FAILURE)

White curtains from Ikea $14.99, used other one = $7.50

Fabric paint = $6.99

Brush (already had)

Tape (already had)

TOTAL = $14.49

  • Plan E) Just BUY gray fabric and white fabric and use that thing called a “sewing machine” and create these suckers yourself. DUH.

Problem with Plan E) I’m pregnant. And tired. And I don’t want this to be hard anymore. Also, I’m very nervous about cutting 6 inch wide strips in actual straight lines – how would one do that?! So, this plan was ix-nayed, thankfully before the nursery budget took another hit.

  • Plan F) Scrap the dream. Get over the stripes. Just go with silver curtains.

Problem with Plan F) Nope! There’s no problem with this plan. This is what we’re doing. Because I’m tired and pregnant and SO OVER these DANG curtains.

Cost associated with Plan F)

Two panel curtains @ $29.99 each = $59.98

TOTAL = way more than I wanted to spend, but WHO CARES at this point?!

So… Silver curtains from Bed, Bath & Beyond it is. (Wish I would have thought of that a month ago!)

The valance… however… will have some crafty-creativity. Stay tuned!

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Those of you who are evening & weekend DIY warriors like ourselves understand how precious weekends are to get these checklists checked!  We went to town this weekend on the nursery – didn’t even realize how much we accomplished until we gleefully crossed items off of this list that we shared with you earlier.  Yippee!  Check it out:

  • Ceiling
    • Remove fan
    • Fill holes
    • Sand
    • Paint
    • Hang chandelier

  • Paint
    • Baseboards (one coat down, second coat going on tonight)
    • Back of door (one coat down, second coat going on tonight)
    • Inside closet (nevermind! – we’ve got another idea, it’s called “not painting the inside of the closet” – brilliant, no?)
    • Walls

  • Remove closet doors (negotiable) – if removed, decide on fabric/curtains (oh, they will come down – and cute curtains will take their place. Later.)
  • Dresser
    • Remove current hardware
    • Sand
    • Paint
    • Put on new knobs
    • Line drawers
    • Find organizer for top
  • Put crib together

(Why, yes, oh observant ones, that IS the same crib that John & Sherry have for baby Clara over at Young House Love!  After we read all about the research they put into their crib, we thought – “Works for us!” and we got the same one – or, actually, it was a Christmas present from Michelle’s parents.)

  • Books
    • Shelf on wall?
    • Work into closet?
    • Need to decide
  • Window
    • Pick fabric
    • Make curtains (these will be the death of me – post to follow. Right now, I hate the curtains. HATE. Mind you, there’s nothing to actually hate – but the fact that there’s nothing… nevermind, just read the rant post when it comes)
    • Make valance
    • Make pillows (for bay window seat) (Hey, Mom – if you’re reading this – this item is being delegated to you. Kay? Thanks. I have a terrible track record with pillows)
    • Get black-out shade
    • NEW ITEM: Hang black-out shade (because they don’t do much good laying on the floor)
  • Wall Décor
    • Pick Michelle/Jason baby photos for above crib – Ikea frames (craft? Decide)
    • Find silver polk-a-dot decals and order (Oh, and is there a FABULOUS story to share here!!! Can’t wait to spill…)
    • Decide where Melsie farm paintings go
  • Continue to stalk Craig’s List for Glider/ottoman (still stalking – do you know there’s at least 5 new gliders posted every DAY?!  Yep. That just makes it worse… we can’t jump on THAT one, because tomorrow there might be a BETTER one. Egads.)
  • Side table – paint? Buy new?

Whew!  So, still a lot to be done, but we are feeling accomplished.  Our “deadline” is just less than a month out and we think we can get most of this done by then.  Well, Mr. Dreamer may be on his own here soon as Mrs. Dreamer just started the dreaded THIRD TRIMESTER today.  Pop on over to the weekly bump shots to read her thoughts on that – and bring your sense of humor.

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Front Dreamy Dream

We are SO PROUD to present…. (drum roll, please)… our NEW FRONT DOOR!

This was a 100% DIY project from start to finish and we could not be more pleased with the result. Especially when you compare it to what we had before:

For 18 months, we begrudgingly sported the ‘hood’s ugliest front door.

The Dream’s previous owners painted the stained wood door an awful pink color with cheap paint that was peeling, cracking and overall just plain awful looking.

We didn’t tackle this project right away because we were, admittedly, a bit intimidated and thought it would cost too much moola. We were right on the intimidating part, but not so much on the moola. We estimate a pro would charge about $2,000 for this, while we did it for about $350. YIPP-IDDY-DOO! More on that at the bottom of this post. But, now for the intimidation portion…

We started off with this unfinished door we scored at a building surplus store in downtown (yes, a sketchy section) Phoenix. Check out the savings:

Totally worth the trip and we will definitely be re-visiting that store.

Well, that was the easy part. Buying the door.

We couldn’t even take it home the same day because we brought our “small” car. We had to pick it up a week later – only to have it sit in the garage for a few weeks – giving us quite an intimidating glare…

“Well, NOW what are you going to do with me?!” “Umm, no idea. NO idea!”

Cue: the man we turn to when the task seems impossible: Mr. Original Dreamer.

With his help, Mr. Dreamer learned many things about front door installation and together they went through the painstaking process…

making accurate measurements... (a MUST since we only had one shot at getting it right!)

using a planer to trim the width of the door...

and a circular saw to trim the bottom...

With the door resized we sanded the freshly cut edges.

Once the raw door was fully prepped, it was time to stain and urethane.

The door only required one coat of red chestnut Minwax stain, which was applied with a clean rag. Applying the urethane was more complicated. The process required three coats. In between each of the first two coats, which were applied using a sponge, Mr. Dreamer had to lightly sand the surface with 100 grit sandpaper. This step allowed for the new urethane to adhere to the previous coat. The final coat was applied with a nylon, providing a very thin layer of urethane and a “hand rubbed” finish. Admittedly, this phase took some time – applying a coat here and there after work in the evenings. Mrs. Dreamer was not allowed to breathe in the garage that week less the yet-to-be-born-Dreamer somehow grew a second head from all the fumes. Good times. But the results were worth it!

Now it was time to prep it for the hardware – first, the hinges (handles/locks had to wait until the door was actually hanging).

Here, our door-DIY’rs hit a snag.

First, they tried chiseling away at the spot where the hinge would go. (You see, you have to create a space in the wood for it to sit flush with the surface.) They quickly noted that was going nowhere fast – so, it was off to Home Depot.

This handy tool ended up being a lifesaver. With this hinge jig, they were able to quickly and easily prepare the spaces for the hinges using a router.

Once that was done – the door was ready to go up! After, of course, the old door came down…

we couldn't resist a quick side-by-side shot while both doors were "in transition"

then the old door was promptly thrown in the bulk trash pile. buh-bye!

Now… we held our breath – hoping all that measuring, planing, and sanding was spot on and…

it was a PERFECT FIT! Sweet.

Once the manly-door-makers got it in place, they set to work on the hardware. Now, a note about the hardware…do you have ANY IDEA how expensive front door hardware can be? Most of the handle/lock combos that we found and liked were north of $500! Call us crazy, but we had an aversion to paying more for the handle than we did for the door. We could have gone for a cheap $99 or so version from Home Depot or Lowes – but we had aversions to that too. Our first door & hardware lasted 24 years. We figure this new door will last at least that long too. Hardware is so specific – if you want something new, in most cases, you have to swap out the whole door. So, we weren’t going to compromise on the quality of our hardware – but there was no way we were going to pay $500, $400 or even $300 either! And thanks to Ebay, we didn’t have to.

Typically you special order this gorgeous Baldwin handle/lock for $460 – but we scored it on Ebay for $126. Oh, YEAH! Okay, now back to the project:

The Original and the Mr. used another handy tool, a door knob installation kit, to get the hardware just right.

As you might imagine… this fun portion of the project left quite a mess!

However, with a little finesse…

and a bit more time on the clock than anticipated… they had it all done!

Isn’t she gorgeous?

Humor us with one more look (as we said at the top of this post. we’re PROUD of this baby!):

Dreamy, isn’t it?!

Here’s the best part – how little we paid!

  • Door = $170
  • Stain = $7
  • Urethane= $10
  • Hardware = $126
  • Hinge jig = $25
  • Door knob installation kit = $9

TOTAL = $347

Let us know what you think!  Could you tackle a project like this?  (Let’s just say we’re glad we won’t have to do this again for another 25 years or so!)

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Goodream Hunting

Who doesn’t love a little Goodwill treasure?  Check out the fun finds we scored for the Dream this week:

After realizing we’re rotating the same candlesticks over and over, these purdy white vases are part of a new effort to spruce up our centerpieces.

Our inspiration? The CABINET of fun rotating centerpieces over at Young House Love. We entertain at least once a week and finding different ways to group the same candles was just getting old. So, these beauties should help liven things up – all for $0.99 each.

And this box-thing is for the beh-beh’s room.

It’s a similar style to a dresser that we’re completely overhauling and making into a baby dresser/changing table. We plan to paint this to match and fill it with all sorts of necessary diapering accessories of which we have no idea what those are yet, but we’ve heard rumors about Desitin, Butt Paste, lotions, potions, and other randoms that must be contained in one spot. Best part? It was just $2.99.

So, the grand total for our Goodream excursion?

Wait? What? Zoom in a little closer…

Yep! Less than $5.00 thanks to those “pricey” vases being half-off for some reason (don’t they know we would have gladly paid another $1.50 to support the worthy cause that is Goodwill?!). We’re not complaining though!

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I just sent Mr. Dreamer a list.  It’s a list of FUN things we get to do to prep the nursery for our beh-beh.  I also sent the following note at the top of the list:

Here’s the list…. Deep breath… stress is not allowed.  It’s just a list!

  • Ceiling
    • Remove fan
    • Fill holes
    • Sand
    • Paint
    • Hang chandelier
  • Paint
    • Baseboards
    • Back of door
    • Inside closet
    • Walls
  • Remove closet doors (negotiable) – if removed, decide on fabric/curtains
  • Dresser
    • Remove current hardware
    • Sand
    • Paint
    • Put on new knobs
    • Line drawers
    • Find organizer for top
  • Put crib together
  • Books
    • Shelf on wall?
    • Work into closet?
    • Need to decide
  • Window
    • Pick fabric
    • Make curtains
    • Make valance
    • Make pillows (for bay window seat)
    • Get black-out shade
  • Wall Décor
    • Pick Michelle/Jason baby photos for above crib – Ikea frames (craft? Decide)
    • Find silver polk-a-dot decals and order
    • Decide where Melsie farm paintings go
  • Continue to stalk Craig’s List for Glider/ottoman
  • Side table – paint? Buy new?

Whew!  Do we have our work cut out for us or what?  Baby isn’t coming until the end of May, but our goal to get (most of) this done is March 19th.  That’s the day my girl, Carrie is hosting a shower at the Dream and it’s a perfect opportunity to show off the “chambre de bebe.”  It’s also a deadline, and the Dreamers LOVE a deadline!

So, we’ll keep you update on how all that goes.  Meanwhile, we’ll soon be bringing you a post about a VERY EXCITING new addition to the Dream, which has a lot to do with the following object being dragged away with bulk trash this week:

buh-bye!

Happiness. Happiness. HAPPINESS!  SO excited to share… stay tuned…

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A PopDream

He’s at it AGAIN! Seriously, every time Mrs. Dreamer is away for the weekend – the Mr. gets all sneaky and crafty. IT. IS. AWESOME. Last time, he planted gorgeous rose bushes in our backyard – finishing up the raised flower bed section and creating a beautiful focal point from our back windows.

remember?

This time, while Mrs. Dreamer was away (see where on the Week 23 post on this page), he started the NURSERY!

excuse me, the "chambre de bebe" oui...oui...

He took on a task we’ve been debating for months – the dreaded popcorn ceiling:

dun. dun. DUNNNNNN.

Armed with a water bottle, a handy dandy tool from Home Depot, and a trash bag…

…Mr. Dreamer got to work and scraped that ceiling clean like the skin peeling off a bad sunburn.

and made quite a mess in the process

popcorn free!

The ceiling still needs a bit of work – but the hard part is over. We’ve already purchased the paint for the nursery walls, ceiling and a furniture-DIY-makeover project. Those are all next on the list… after a good vacuum and perhaps assembling the crib!

This was a labor-intensive and time-consuming project (3 hrs for a 10×12 room – mostly because the “popcorn” had been painted over, basically sealing it to the ceiling – how’s that play on words?!)… but cheap!

Total cost = $16.99 (for the handy dandy tool from Home Depot)

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