October 9, 2013

A New Place for Coffee (and other stuff)

So excited about my recent build! We have a new coffee table. YAY! I've been dreaming of this one for awhile and finally built it while Jesse was out of town last Friday through Saturday. I wanted it to be a surprise for him and he didn't disappoint. He came home late Saturday night and immediately found me upstairs in bed to tell me how much he liked it. Good man.

The table plans came from Ana White. It's her Lego Table plan, which is a little different on her website versus in her book. I followed the plans from the book and modified the dimensions to fit in my living room. And to fit the wire baskets I bought for it!

I like how the wire baskets complement the design and I like how they add something different to the living room. I'm not sure yet what to put in them, but I'm sure inspiration will strike eventually.

When I was envisioning the table, I wasn't sure what color to paint or stain the table at first. I almost went with dark brown stain, but the vision started to feel a bit heavy for the living room. I don't know. Maybe because I knew it would sit between two dark brown couches. One day I thought of using the white/brown combo and that's when I started to get excited about building it.

The top compartments are designed to lift up/out to store ... well ... legos, of course. I like the way it looks and even like the handles on top even though we don't (yet) have the lego conundrum going on in this house. Again, I'm sure we'll find something to fill this space eventually.

I used more of the cedar that came out of our creepy sauna in the basement. I only have one more wall of boards in that space to pry out and use up. What will the next project be?!

August 25, 2013

Bristol Lounge Chairs & Love Seat

I've been off learning a new hobby! I'm happy to finally share the results here. Introducing my new porch furniture (and porch, which is 75% complete) ...

Yep! I taught myself how to build furniture. It's a hobby that's been on my wishlist for a little over a year and I think it was these very chairs that made me want to start. I found a really cool website called www.ana-white.com and I immediately started dreaming of what I could do. She makes it look easy and doable. I caught her bug, bought a few tools and now I have furniture for my porch! Yippee!

I had to resize the original plans because they were written to fit cushions from Restoration Hardware. Lord knows I don't have the cash for that, so I resized the chairs to fit cushions purchased from Walmart. (See dimensions and cut lists at the bottom of the post)

I resized the loveseat and used Walmart cushions for the seat backs and a crib mattress for the seat.

I picked up fabric from JoAnn's (50% off end-of-season outdoor fabric. Wee!) and recovered the cushions so that it would all match nicely. Mom and Dad came into town last week (so fun!). Mom recovered the cushions for the loveseat. She did a perfect job, as always. I always realize I still have a lot to learn when I watch her sew.

My Dad is a fabulous woodworker. He gave me so many great tips about using my table saw and how to prevent splitting the wood. Loved spending time with him.

The chair design does not yield particularly sturdy chairs. Others had worried about it in the comments of the plans. And I experienced the cause for concern - after a couple of uses I had both a chair arm and a loveseat arm pop off the front. That's not good. Mom and Dad brainstormed with me and suggested some metal brackets to help hold things into place. We added "L" brackets to all of the arms.

We also added "mending braces" to the backs of all the back/seat joints. It seems to add a sufficient level of sturdiness.

I also added three more cleats to the seat of the love seat. It originally called for a cleat on both ends, but the boards really bowed in the middle. I added three 2x4s throughout to provide a total of five cleats for the seat.

I'm a bit wary still about the sturdiness of the chairs (as any chair builder is, I'm sure), but they look and feel great. Here's to hoping all of the concern is just in my head.

The old porch was such an eyesore! I hated it! While the parents were in town we tore down the screen and old railings. We still need to add the top of the railings and add some paint.

Nevertheless, I'm ecstatic about this new space. It's perfect for quiet mornings, evenings and dinnertime entertaining. It just might be my new favorite part of the house.

So, for those who may care, here are my revised cut lists:

Bristol Lounge Chair using Walmart Cushions

Seat Cushion - 24" x 24" x 5.5"
Back Cushion - 21" x 21"x 4.5"

Two 1x8 @ 21" (front and back of seat)
Two 1x4 @ 9.25" (back legs)
Two 1x4 @ 21" (front legs)
Two 1x8 @ 24" (sides of seat)
Four 1x3 @ 2" (leg attachments)
Two 1x4 @ 26.5" (sides of back)
Six 1x4 @ 21" (back slats) - .75" between slats
Two 1x4 @ 28 1/8" (arms)
Two 2x2 @ approx 24" (cleats)
Six 1x4 @ 26.5" (seat slats) - .6" between slats

Bristol Loveseat using Walmart Cushions and Crib Mattress

Seat Cushion - 27" x 52" x 5.5"
Back Cushion - 21" x 21" x 4.5"

Two 1x8 @ 45" (front and back of seat)
Two 1x4 @ 9.25" (back legs)
Two 1x4 @ 21" (front legs)
Two 1x8 @ 26.75" (sides of seat)
Four 1x3 @ 2" (leg attachments)
Two 1x4 @ 26.25" (sides of back)
Six 1x4 @ 20.75" (back slats) - .5" between slats
Two 1x4 @ 30 1/8" (arms)
Two 2x2 @ approx 26.75" (side cleats)
Three 2x4 @ approx 26.75" (middle cleats)
Seven 1x4 @ approx 50.5" (seat slats) - .5" between slats

February 14, 2013

Valentine Craft Fail

Happy Valentine's Day!

Over the weekend we tried a little valentine craft. I enjoy thinking up these little crafts for Jude. Hopefully someday he might spend longer than 5 minutes actually doing them, but nevertheless I get a kick out of it.

We sent valentines to our grandparents and great-grandmothers this year. My little craft idea was pretty simple - print hearts (4.25" x 5.5"), outline in white crayon, let Jude paint with watercolor and cut them out.

It was pretty successful for a toddler project. Well, minus the fact that he kept choosing black paint over and over again! How are you supposed to wish someone a Happy Valentine's Day with a black heart?!

Oh well. You can't micromanage the creative process, right?

After the watercolors we also tried some potato stamping.

As you can see I cut the heart stamp a little too short and fat. Unfortunately it looked more like a butt when you stamped it on the paper. Bummer.

Black hearts and butts. Welcome to valentine's day at the Tinks.

Jude smeared it all around anyway. Course, when you think about it, smearing red paint on cards is not exactly a great solution. Turns out smeared red paint looks like blood. (You would think I would have learned my lesson last year?)

Wow, I am just now realizing in this very second, we reached a whole new low with this project - black hearts, butts AND blood.

Official Valentine FAIL.

Yes, we did actually send them.

Hmmm ... how do I redeem valentine's day after such a craft fail?  Oh, I know, how 'bout an adorable picture of our 3 month old . . .

Yes, those are heart sweater tights. Phew ... valentine's day is saved by sweater tights. Thank God for little girls.

February 10, 2013

Clothespins and Twine

While feeding Ellie sometime last week I came up with an easy idea for adding one more element to her room.

I had originally planned to hang the poppies here, but decided against it at the last minute because I didn't want to hang something so heavy above the changing table - made me a little nervous. So, this wall was left empty and it felt that way. 

I already had the twine and clothespins on hand, so this project came together quickly and free! I printed out the letters of her name on half sheets of paper. Then put some nails in the wall (measured and leveled, of course), tied the string and added the clothespins. Easy peasy.

I like it!

February 9, 2013

Twiggy Starburst

I found this post in my queue and, although it's from Christmas, I thought I would post it. I have no shame. Hey, things move slowly around here with two littles in my midst and I'm not afraid to admit that!

Before Christmas I made this twig wreath and hung it in my dining room. Cost me nothing and I think it's quite fun.

I saw this picture through pinterest and thought it would be a fun project to tackle. I found the twigs while walking with the kids through the neighborhood. Took a couple of trips to the park to collect enough.

I felt rather sheepish being the crazy lady with the sticks in her stroller, but I try to convince myself that when I'm eliciting judgmental stares it's usually worth it. (The chalkboard for Jude's room is a perfect example.) Sometimes you just have to be the crazy lady, you know?

It came together rather easily with some cardboard, twine and lots of hot glue. The hardest part was cutting the twigs to the right length. Part of my problem, though, was not having the right kind of shears on hand. I made do with a handsaw. Is that one word or two? Hmm.

With a few scraps I created a couple twig stars too and stuck them in the the Christmas tree.

I think it looks good in the dining room right now because it fills the wall nicely. But, I'll probably move it to the eat-in area of my kitchen for the rest of the year. Merry Christmas! (errr . . . February?)

December 22, 2012

A Little of This and a Little of That

Ahh! Here I am back at my computer with uploaded pictures and enough energy to write a little. Feels good. As of last week little miss is sleeping through the night! What?! I know. I know. I didn't think it was possible at 2 months either, but it's happening and I am a better person because of it! She's doing a solid 8-10 hours. Crazy!

She started smiling about two weeks ago. What a joy! There's nothing like that first smile that helps get you through the sleep depravity, screaming and poopy diapers.

Yesterday we were just talking about what a good baby she is.  That was a mistake because today she gave us a run for our money. Wow. Lots of screaming around here. Hopefully we get back to "good baby" before we travel for Christmas. We'll see.

I've been fitting in a little bit of crafting/sewing here and there during the last month - mostly because it helps to keep my head on straight. It tends to be my little escape from the more responsible things in life (i.e. dishes and laundry)

Two weeks ago I designed Christmas cards/birth announcements. I sent them off to moxicopy.com to get color printed. The price was fantastic and the quality was just what I hoped for! I cut and folded them this week and finally got them sent on Thursday. Hopefully they will arrive to their destinations by Christmas.

We had a blizzard roll through on Wednesday night. So, we got a couple of days with Jesse home from work. Yay! With a little extra help with the kids I spent a bit of time putting Ellie's memory book together. My mother-in-law purchased a book from the same etsy shop where I purchased Jude's. The books is a perfect combination of scrapbooking and journaling - not too much of either. I love writing down my thoughts about pregnancy, anticipation, arrival, etc. I look forward to the day when I get to read through them with the kids too.

Lastly, I have to share one of the coolest gifts ever! A gal from our church gave us this gift:

snowman accessories! How cute is that? It came in this adorable bag:

We tried to go outside today to put our new gift to use, but the snow was a little too dry. Plus Ellie was screaming, so the timing wasn't quite right. Hopefully we can use it soon!

I totally recommend this gift if you still need a creative idea for a family. The contents of the bag include a scarf, a hat (not pictured), two buttons for eyes, five buttons for a mouth, a carrot, a pipe and a heart. The buttons and the heart are attached to short dowels that can be poked into the snowman so they stay in place. I might be late to the party, but I have to say I've never seen this idea before. It's SO cute!

October 23, 2012

She's Here!

Our sweet girl arrived on Thursday, October 18 t 8:32 a.m. She was 7 lbs 12 oz and 20.5 inches long. It took us about a half hour of staring at her to decide on her name - Ellie Ann.  We chose Ellie just because we like the sound of it. We think it's perfect for her. We chose Ann because it's special to us on both sides of the family. Ann (with no "e") is Jesse's Grandma's first name and my twin sister Emily's middle name.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. to prep for c-section and we were in the operating room by 8:00 a.m. The anaesthesiologist was fabulous and kept my nausea to a minimum. I felt good (well ... as good as you can) and alert throughout the surgery.

At 8:32 a.m. the doctor pulled her out and we heard her cry for the first time. The beauty of that sound made me cry. She is such a blessing to us!

My recovery is going really well - even better than last time.  I have my Mom in town for the next two weeks helping to keep some level of organization and normalcy to the household.  She is so good at playing with Jude, cracking jokes, driving us around and keeping the laundry and the dishes going. It's really nice to have her here.

I took a few pictures of miss Ellie today. I'm definitely no photographer, but I enjoyed snapping pictures of a new little model. (Jude is probably enjoying the break too.)

Speaking of Jude . . . he is adjusting pretty well so far. He is mostly oblivious to Ellie's presence in our home.  He has at least learned her name, which is a step in the right direction. At first, he was calling her "Bennett", which is Emily's new baby's name.  Apparently all babies are named "Bennett". In a rare moment yesterday I did spy him make a brief stop near the swing where she was sleeping (while he thought no one else was looking) and gently pat her on the chest. Made my heart melt.

The rest of us can't stop snuggling her and kissing her. We're thoroughly enjoying our new little addition.