Monday, November 28, 2011

Working Holiday

Well, OK, maybe not so much "working" holiday as "playing" holiday, or "hobbying" holiday, or something like that.  Point being, we did work off at least a little bit of the turkey we ingested over the 4 day weekend...although sadly none of the pumpkin cake, stack cake, caramel cake, or 2 varieties of cheesecake, I'm sure!!

For Thanksgiving Hubs, Sweet Pea, the Little Dude and I headed up to my Mom's house in southwest Virginia, as we do every year.  My whole family -- on Mom's side at least -- lives there within about a 45 minute radius of one another, so it's always up to us to do the holiday traveling.  Not that I mind too much, though, because while I may have lived in Georgia for the last 10 years, it's still the place that I consider "home".

Home Sweet Home
NOTE:  This image from the former High Knob Observation Tower was sourced from the Spearhead Trails Initiative -- a local group that is working to expand availability and use of multi-purpose trails in the southwest Virginia area.  My aunt does a lot of work for this great cause!!!

It's just under an 8 hour drive from here to yonder, and Hubs had to work a full day on Wednesday, so we rolled into Mom's somewhere around 1am. Not too shabby considering our usual arrival is an hour or two later...and let's not talk about the fact that children who are sooooo excited to be there, and who have slept a considerable time in the car, are always wayyyyyy too keyed up to actually let Hubs and me go to or stay asleep!

So anyway, we grabbed a little rest, and while we did manage to talk a lot of shop, Thursday pretty much consisted of: cook, eat, cleanup, chat, eat, cleanup, watch a movie, eat, cleanup.  For us girls, at least. Hubs and Mom's Hubs squeezed in quite a bit of garage time, where they tend to disappear for the better part of any visit.  Plus, since the last time we were there Mom & Her Hubs have purchased a log splitter, so the menfolk could hardly be expected to contain themselves inside -- including the Little Dude.

He was taking his job VERY seriously.  He almost cracked a grin when I gave him a thumbs-up, but he quickly got his "man-face" back on.

I can assure you that the safety features of this machine were reviewed and approved by myself and four other adults before he was allowed to operate that lever, and my grandfather was poised by the emergency shut off switch the whole time.  So please, no diatribes on our egregious lack of concern for our son's safety.  (Besides, the in-laws took care of that already, thankyouverymuch!!)

The next day, while every other (in)sane person was hitting the Black Friday sales, Mom and I decided to tackle this beast:

She bought this dresser way cheap from a local hoarder, with the intent of using it as a media cabinet underneath her tv.  She and Her Hubs had already removed the damaged top, and hope to replace it with reclaimed wood.  They'll also be replacing the trim on the bottom, which is grody press wood, but for now we left it on and painted it.  The sides are that formica-y stuff.  The rest is wood, and we both love the original hardware (keyholes! squeal!!) and the grain on the drawers.  So, we decided to paint the frame to let the drawers stand out more.

I suspected there might be some painterly goodness happening this weekend, so fortunately I'd brought my trusty plaster of paris.  After mixing some moss green and blue green paint leftover from various parts of the house with a little blue and black acrylic paint and of course the plaster of paris, we wound up with a pretty gray/green color that coordinates great with her tile floor and rug.  Once we had it all painted, we distressed and applied dark wax. 

Here's the not-quite-finished product (top & trim still need to be replaced; I suggested she fine sand the drawers a little more; hardware to be put back on; and of course, all the drawers should be put back in -- the bottoms were just too full of ancient VHS tapes for me to have any desire to lift 'em back in for the photo shoot!!):

Ummmm, the newly painted formica-y sides looked the best of all, so why don't I have a shot of those??!?

After we not-quite-finished her dresser, we packed up the brood (me, Mom, my kids, and my 10 yr old stepsister, whom I love to pieces and will henceforth call Cowgirl for blogging purposes) and headed to my bestie Holli's house.  We were fully expecting to engage in some kind of project since she is kinda the queen of crafty among my circle of friends, and she did not disappoint.  We wound up painting her laminate coffee table with my POP mixture in a gorgeous, perfect barn red that we were hella-lucky enough to pluck right off the oops shelf of the local big box discount store.  We gave it 2 allover coats, and she's gonna go back and spray the top in chalkboard paint.  No pics because we were in a major time crunch (movie date with The Muppets!), so I'm counting on her to at least cough up some good afters once it's all done!!

Saturday was Flea Market day with Mom...and no kids this time!  It was a little windy and only a few sellers were out, but we did come away with a couple of goodies, including a solid wood, two-tier magazine rack for $2!  It's still at her house waiting for me to give it a starring role in a future blog post.  We also hit up the new Habitat ReStore and came away with quite a haul, including lots of vintage Christmas decor and some things Mom needed to organize her mail (also a huge problem at my house, hopefully to be resolved soon'ish!).

Saturday afternoon and evening were for hanging with family and taking kids to the fabulous Bristol Motor Speedway for some thrills on the "Chill Hill".

NOTE: Chill Hill image sourced from and in no way represents my actual family or the extreme degree of awesomeness of this contraption.

What's the Chill Hill you might ask?  Basically .... Giant county fair-type slide. Covered entirely in commercial-type plastic dishwashing mat type things. Small children, adults, and all ages in between flying down it on innertubes with a hard plastic? silicone? covered bottom sprayed with mystery slippery-solution. Total awesomeness...especially for those of us who miss all the fun of snow but not the actual, you know, SNOW of snow.

On Sunday morning, knowing our time was rapidly dwindling, we got right to work on Mom's mail organizers.  I tried to make our dresser paint more green to better coordinate with her kitchen, but with a limited supply of paint (too bad we didn't have my GA stock at hand!) and no time or desire to go out and buy some, we wound up sticking quite close to the original gray-green.  Some dark walnut stain followed by dark wax helped improve the color, although it of course looks all washed out in my hastily-propped-in-front-of-the-window-because-Hubs-is-loading-the-car-for-departure-even-as-we-speak photos:

What's that you say?  Why yes, the top photo really would have looked better with the tape removed but what can I say, it's really a wonder I wasn't trying to take those shots on zoom as we were backing out the driveway!  Mom's going to cover the original green chalkboard with black chalkboard paint.  I also think it's cool that she did the paper towel holder (bottom photo) all by herself and in my opinion it looks the best of the three!  She claims I'm the "expert" on painting furniture, but I never cease to be amazed by the fact that she can do ANYthing!  I'm hoping that the next few times we visit I can remember to snap shots of some of the coolness she's accomplished at her house -- before my young'uns and our being too busy eaking every last smidgen of fun out of a visit trash the place beyond photo-worthiness.

Oh, and here's a lil snappy of something the guys might typically be disappearing to the garage to work on:

 If Hubs were still awake, I'd give ya all the deets on this machine.  All I can tell you is that it's a vintage...probably late 60's...SkiDoo.  Er, that's a snowmobile for those who might not know :) Hubs loves 'em the same way I love faded old flower sheets and chippy layers of painted wood.  I'm pretty sure we're the only people who live in Savannah, GA -- where I've seen it flurry 3 times in 10 years -- who have snowmobiles in our garage.

And ya know, I gotta give credit to Hubs & Mom's Hubs -- I might occasionally emit just a little smidge of snark about the time they spend in the garage, but they sure do some darn good work down there. Believe me, these machines look nothing like this when Hubs drags 'em home, and their transformation on the "Mountain Doo" (as I just christened this one, since it has been gifted to Mom's Hubs who lives in the mountains and drinks Mountain Dew -- haha, I kill me!) is pretty dang impressive.  If we're really lucky, maybe Jethro's Garage might even grace us with some before shots and such if he happens to chance by here!

1 comment:

  1. That's so funny that you were painting away on your holiday! lol I'm taking a little kit of essentials (glue gun, burlap, glitter, etc.) everywhere I go now. If they read my blog, they always ask ask if I can do such and such for them. ~ Maureen
    ps - love your tiny wood cutter dude!