Happy February

Update: After much deliberation, waking and warmly dressing the kids, packing snacks, and losing sleep, we’re not going today after all. I would be over-the-top annoyed if they told me they wouldn’t let me return the rug, especially if I had to face bad road conditions to get there. We’re all cuddled in my warm king-size bed watching a movie right this second.

We had a cousin birthday party out of town this weekend, so we didn’t get many projects knocked out. Meanwhile, the Brakig collection (was rumored to have) debuted in IKEAs across the country February 1st. Guess what we’re doing today. Yep, mobile school is in session. We’re en route to the happiest place on earth. (Thank God for CDs and DVDs. Anything set to music is easy to learn!)

learning discsOur “local” IKEA is about an eight-hour round trip now that we’ve moved to Edmond. That doesn’t count coffee, potty, and lunch breaks.  Needless to say, we don’t make it there every week. And that is a good thing. I mean, how much would I love Disneyland if it were in my backyard?

I had already planned for a trip to IKEA this week because I was told over the phone that they would inspect my rug and decide if I could return it. Since (A)I only have five days left in my return period, (B)Brakig (supposedly) debuted Saturday, and (C)a snowstorm is moving through later in the week, it was a no brainer that we were going to IKEA today.

I have been hearing about the Brakig collection for a while now, and I’ve been trying to find prices, but IKEA is notorious for not putting limited edition collection info on their site. So, I got online to make my shopping list last night; I knew that the blogosphere would be buzzing with pics, prices, and reviews of all the Brakig items they were finally able to get their hands on this weekend.

brakig dishes brakig furniture
















Whomp whomp. More like everyone was expressing their frustration and disappointment.  Turns out North America didn’t get the collection February 1. In fact, they may not be getting it ever.

brakigikea brakigpillows

brakigdresserMostly the collection is dishes and pastel-colored accessories, neither of which I am in need of. But I am in need of dressers for upstairs and I was loving the orange base on this one, as well as the fact that it was actual wood so it can be stained or painted (much like the Rast and Tarva) for a major upgrade over the way it comes.

Even though I will not be able to get that dresser (back to the drawing board), I am still going to try and return my rug. It might just be a big fat waste of gas, but at least I’ll get to hear some amazing music about state capitals on the way. And there will be fast food and coffee. So there’s that. I also need a few smaller things, and I’m picking up a couple items for a friend, so hopefully it won’t be a complete waste of an entire day and a full tank of gas.

So yeah, I was hoping today’s post would be all about the new collection and the cool dresser I was going to upgrade, but that’s not happening apparently. Also, I can’t show you what happens around here in February since we partied hard at the skating rink this weekend, but I’ll get to that later this week.

skate cale skate corban skate cade


Side note: My kids are not the best skaters around. How did this happen? My three-year old can use power tools but my eleven-year old can hardly roller skate? They definitely got better during the time we were there, so that’s awesome! We are going to make some serious priority adjustments around here (right after we get back from IKEA and finish the 20 undone projects. ha.), starting with locating our nearest skating rink. I am not raising children that don’t know how to skate. *wipes away tears*

In the meantime, I can show you the “new” dining table that I “made.” You can read an entire novel about our last dining table here. I loved it so much that I re-purposed it to get another several years’ usage, but it was a bit cramped for our “formal” (haha…as if anything we own is formal) table.

We have had formal dining rooms before, and we have one in this house, but they never get used as such. Space is always at a premium for us (this house is bigger than any we’ve ever owned, and it is far from gigantic), and we just don’t live a lifestyle that requires a formal dining room, not to mention we like our rooms to get lots of usage! So yeah, if you’re the formal-dining-room type, that’s awesome. We are not.

(The formal dining room in this house is being used as our classroom, and when we finish some in-process projects in there, I’ll blog all about it.)

Our living room in this house is longer than we’re used to, and it is laid out with a wetbar in the corner on the same wall as the back door. It was screaming at me, “this area back here is perfect for a dining table.” But not REALLY a dining table. More like a crafting/sewing/kids’ art project table that could double as a dining table on the rare occasions that we need it.

We have eight chairs that are actually desk chairs on casters. I got them on clearance after Walmart’s back-to-college event summer before last. I paid $25 each (looks like they are back to full price online now, but not carried in stores), which is quite a chunk of change in my book ($25×8=$200!), but I purchased them with the money I made selling a dresser on Craigslist. I paid $20 for it and sold it for $250 after a coat of paint. (That is often how I have financed items that we didn’t really “need.”)

The chairs reminded me of these, which were way, way out of my budget. We have loved them! But I got a smaller, round table for the eat-in kitchen (that was thrifted and I need to blog about it, I just remembered I have pics of the process) that works better with different chairs. I decided to use those fiberglass chairs with a table at the end of the living room as a formal dining/craft area…especially since it kept yelling at me telling me that was what it wanted to be.

Problem is, the table was only long enough for three chairs on each side and a chair on each end, which has worked fine for the last couple of years. Since the space where I want to put the dining table is in front of a wetbar (that will get an overhaul/upgrade/re-purpose at some point) and the door that leads to the backyard, having chairs on the ends of the table looked weird to me. There was enough room for the door to function, but it just looked too crowded.

I didn’t want to store two chairs in the garage and make that table less useful for guests, when I could easily just get/make a new table top. So I decided to turn the one into a coffee table and just get a simple door for a new table. Nothing fancy. Definitely not formal. But the dimensions would be perfect, I wouldn’t have to build it, and I knew I could find one super cheap.

The previous table had a few transformations, as I mentioned in that novel I wrote last week. The last being new legs, which I didn’t show you yet. Last you saw, it had legs similar to these. They were wood and were connected at the bottom. They were fine when the table was dark and shiny, but once I sanded the top, the table was looking a little too country for my taste. So, I started the hunt for something more modern.

old dining table ou property label









I found a conference table at a surplus sale when the OU College of Architecture was being redone. It was hideous…a very dated laminate conference table in an off-white/mint color, with a 70’s pattern. The legs were chrome and I thought the juxtaposition with the sanded wood top would be perfect. It was the last day of the sale and OU’s lease was up in what would later be the new Sprout’s. I tried to talk them into me just removing the legs and leaving that top there, but they said if I paid them five bucks for it I had to take the whole thing. DEAL!

I also got chairs there for $5 each which we used for a while until I found the fiberglass ones (I had sold our previous ones and we had none). We are using some of those chairs again in the kitchen right now.

So, I had table legs that I loved and chairs that I loved and I already knew I just wanted a simple top, probably just a door slab if I could find one that wasn’t just hollow luaun so that I could attach the legs. (Yes, I just used the word “just” three times in that one sentence…this blog is written in conversational style and apparently that’s one of my favorite words.)

I knew that Habitat Restore would be my best bet for a cheap door, but I also knew that it might take several tries to find one without a hole for a door knob (they’re used doors donated by people who are remodeling). It did. I tried the Norman store a few times when I was down there. No luck. I tried the OKC store a few times when we happened to be anywhere near that area for any reason. No luck. Edmond, sadly, does not have a Restore.

I was about to just break down and build a simple table top when we went to the Restore to kill some time (when I found the writing desk that became the base of my coffee table). Right at the entrance they had five doors that had been donated without ever being used, apparently. Not hollow? Check. No door knob holes? Check. No hinge cut outs? Check. Cheap? Check. For sale? NOPE! Already sold! Bleh. I hate that feeling.

I did find another door there that day, though. It had hinge cutouts (easy enough fix), but not a door knob hole. It did have a small hole where it looked like they had some sort of pull instead of knob, but it was $5 (I’m not making this up, I swear $5 is the price of everything in this post) and it was dang heavy, so surely I could drill holes for my table legs.

leg base

I just filled the hinge cut outs with wood shims left over from my starburst mirror and put wood filler around the edges since it wasn’t a perfect fit.

hinge cutout shim in hinge cutout

new table

See the light part on the edge to the right of the picture?

I filled the little hole from some sort of pull/handle with wood filler and tiny shim scraps (to make the wood filler stronger).

fill hole dime size hole

Then I just had to stain those shims to match. That little sentence makes it sound so easy. It is deceptive. It was not easy. If you’ve ever tried to match stain, you know what I mean. Dark is usually no problem because it covers the grain, but something this light can be a real pain in the butt. I tried what I had on hand (Golden Oak and Golden Pecan). They were both really, really close, and probably would have either one worked. But, this door is likely birch (I’m just guessing), and my shims were pine. The shims were showing the grain differently, and you could see the outline of the wood filler, even after I got the color to work.

golden oak stain shim

So, I dry brushed a tiny bit of paint on and then wiped it down quickly for just a sheer covering that would hopefully camouflage the grain and outline of those shims. What do you think?

rustic oak drybrushed

Meh. It is what it is, and it will definitely serve its purpose as a sewing/crafting table. If you don’t look up close, you don’t even notice, but I can see it and I don’t love it. But neither do I hate it, so it’s working for me for now. That’s just real life, people. Sometimes this DIY thing doesn’t always end with a project worthy of praise.

door table

I’m leaving it “natural” for now which ties into the starburst mirror as well as the floor. Once the living room comes along more, I may change the color which might make me love it. We’ll see.

table door

So um, in summation, IKEA is frustrating the heck out of me, my kids can’t skate (i.e. I’ve failed as a mother), I don’t love my latest project, and we’re about to get a lot of snow. Happy Monday, y’all.