April 1, 2015

Because He Lives

Do you ever have one of those projects brewing around in your mind for like....EVER....and you know it won't take long to complete but you just keep putting it off because so many other things dominate your time?

Well, I finally did it. And just in time for Holy Week, too, as we prepare our hearts to celebrate the greatest Hope we have in this world:  A resurrected Savior who loves us, longs to be in relationship with us, and extends unconditional grace each and every day of our lives.

Using 650 pt, Monotype Corsiva font, I painted an old scrap of wood with these life-changing words from a song written by Gloria Gaither in the mid-1960's:

Because He Lives
God sent His Son,
they called Him Jesus,
He came to love,
heal, and forgive;
He lived and died
to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove
 my Savior lives.
Because He lives I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives All fear is gone;
because I know
He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just
    because He lives. 

I can't hear or sing this anointed song without recalling a lifetime of sunny Easter mornings, flowers, greenery, and pastel dresses, lined up in a wooden pew with my siblings, my mom and dad, and belting the words of this song from the very depths of my young child heart.

I knew that I knew, just as certain as my strong daddy and my mom's big hair, that Jesus loved me, and that He would return for me one day.  

And even though I didn't know who my husband would be, or what I would do for a living, or where I would live ~

~ I did not fear, for I knew that "life was worth the living....just because.....He lives." 

So how can a painted sign be so important?  

When I walk into our house from the garage each day, it's the first thing I see and read. And automatically my heart finishes the hope-filled first line from the chorus, "...I can face tomorrow."  

Praise be to a God who makes each and every day worth living.

****Double the joy when I hear my children singing Because He Lives as they, too, pass through this doorway several times a day.  Although our children have danced with the Gaithers from the womb, this familiar tune fills our home frequently the last two weeks, and for that I am grateful.

March 26, 2015

DIY Rustic Shelves

This home project was amazingly simple.

Usually when I have an idea, Fireman tells me to schedule double the time I think it will take.

We were both pleasantly surprised when building our Rustic Shelves took less time than we thought.

Aren't they pretty....yet rustic...at the same time?

The far corner of our living room has been an enigma to me since day one.  It's that area above the piano in the far corner; I snapped this golden picture shortly after cleaning up our Christmas decorations in January.  Although I love the DIY mirror-turned-chalkboard that was there, it still wasn't exactly what I wanted.  This corner receives a lot of sun in the afternoon and evening, so I can't place artwork or pictures there because of fading.

When the idea of open rustic shelving came to me, I knew I'd reached a fun solution I could change out with the seasons.....or as the mood hit me.  Because that whole mood/itch/gotta paint something NOW comes on me every now and then.

But you already knew that~

So here was our short list of supplies:

1 -  2x12x12 (we actually looked for a board with knots and imperfections = RUSTIC)
3 -  Pair of brackets (I found black scrolled brackets in the closet/shelving section of Lowe's)
Drywall anchor screws
Minwax stain & cheap brush

First, Fireman cut the 2x12x12 into three 4' pieces because we knew we wanted the shelves to be 4' wide.  (Sometimes math works out perfectly on projects.  This was one of them.)

He then sanded them with our mouse sander to round the edges and prepare them for stain.

We then set about "distressing" the three boards.  We did this by whacking with a hammer, hammering the side of a screw into them, and using a punch to hammer hole patterns.  There was no rhyme or reason, just a lot of banging going on.

Here are a few pictures to show you what tools we used, as well as the results we achieved from the banging.

 Here is a picture of the "hole pattern" once stained.

After distressing the wood, I was prepared to play around with stain finishes to achieve my desired result.  However, after a few sample boards, I learned that Minwax Red Mahogany, applied on its own, was all I needed for the dark, reddish tones I was after.

I stained both sides, letting them dry several hours before flipping, and then let everything dry overnight.

The next day, I was so eager to see them installed I told Fireman we'd just "hang them to see" and that I'd put a coat of poly on them later.

Using drywall anchor screws, Fireman went to work placing the brackets.  After marking where the finished shelves would go, placing the three shelves 14" apart, we measured and hung the brackets 7.5" from the "ends" of where each shelf would sit.

Our poor piano.  Not only does it need a good coat of paint, we don't even have the courtesy to slide it out of the way while DIYing.  It was free, though, so we're not too invested.

A little spring styling, and our rustic shelves are complete ~

Can you see the edges of the shelves where our distressing paid off?  Love it.

Now I'm sure you're wondering if I followed through with applying my coat of poly.

Ummm,  no.

And I still haven't Sharpie-markered the silver heads on the drywall screws either, which I really should go and do right now.

So without further ado, and my trusty black Sharpie in hand, I will bid you adieu and wish you a very Happy Spring :)