Saturday, July 5, 2014

Up and Running!

Umm... yeah, so it's been awhile.  Hey, what's a few years between friends?

In the past two years I've done a few things.  Returned to school - studying for my certification as a paralegal, and lemme tell ya, it ain't easy.  Keeping an average above 3.5 though.  Yay!

My son has officially moved out.  *sigh*  It's hard when the baby birds spread their wings and leave the nest, but it's a good thing.  He's involved with Heartland Master's Commission and will be finishing his third year this fall!  Then he'll be looking for a position as a worship leader.

I think the biggest issue I dealt with in the past two years is breast cancer.  Only through God's grace was I diagnosed with a non-invasive type, and only had to have a lumpectomy to remove the cancerous spot, and six weeks of radiation treatment.  No chemo!  So far, everything is great, and I have my one-year follow up mammogram in August.  Ladies, get your mammograms!

Ok, now - I'm reviving this blog because I'm getting started in a lot of DIY projects.  Painting, staining, sewing, all are on my plate for the rest of the summer, so my place of residence can look like a home.  So be prepared for (duh duh duhhhhh....) tutorials!

And here's my first - staining a basket!

I'm a huuuuge thrifter.  I don't think I've bought anything new (well, I got a new car, kind of an "I survived" gift to myself) in ages.  I find designer fashion at some great thrift stores for pennies on the dollar.  Furniture?  Ha.  Wait til you see what I'm a-gonna do.

Today I went shopping for a big basket, because I'm the type who kicks her shoes off right after coming inside.  I'm just not a big "shoe-wearer" so off they go.  And I needed a better way to keep them together.  Off to the local thrift shop, and voila!  I found a big basket for all of two bucks!  (And some toile and ticking chair cushions, but that's another post!)

I hated the color, so out came the stain!  I used Minwax in Jacobean - it can get really dark with multiple layers, but I just wanted to knock the color down a bit.

Ok, step one - make sure everything is covered with a plastic drop cloth, because this stuff... uh... stains!  You'll also need a cheap brush - you're gonna mess it up digging into all the little crevices, so an expensive brush is not necessary.  Finally, a clean rag to wipe down the basket.  I used an old t-shirt.  Of my son's.  And he's not here *sniff*....

Here is the basket, fresh from the thrift shop.  It has that almost orange-ish color that really has no personality.

I cleaned it out thoroughly, then went to town!  The stain is like water - I was really surprised how much I used, about 3/4 of a small can.  I guess wicker is dry, and soaks up the stain like a sponge!

Here's the bottom - I did this part first, then flipped it over and did the other side.  You can already see the stain bringing out some nice detail.  I only wiped it lightly with the cloth, as I wanted to keep a good bit of the stain on there.

Remember I said you have to dig in to make sure everything gets stain on it?  Smush that brush in there!

The final product!  Sitting on the porch outside, drying.  Be sure to let it dry at least overnight in a dry climate, longer in a humid climate.

What do you think?  I like it.  I put extra stain along the edges, just for... cuz I liked it.

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