Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas is all about Second Chances

When I started this blog, it was just a way to showcase crafts, DIY projects and ideas that preferably gave an item a second chance.  Call it recycling if you'd like but I think "second chance" just sounds more positive.  Recycling implies it was trash whereas second chance means it had value and was renewed.  As I read Christmas stories to our kids and listen to the Christmas songs being sung, I can't help but think that Christmas is the ultimate example of second chances.  Afterall, the Bible says that man had messed up in the garden (think Adam and Eve) and we were in desparate need of a second chance (a Savior)!  Being separated from a holy God and living in a sinful fallen world, what could be more precious, more important, than a second chance?!

That is exactly why Jesus came to earth to be born as a baby--to give us a second chance.  He is God and left all his rights and privileges behind to come and be born in Bethlehem.  It was for you and for me.  It was for new life.  It was to some day grow up and take our place on a cross and die.  It was to give us a second chance at a relationship with God.

Just like any present we receive, it is not truly ours until we open the package.  In the same way, Jesus was God's gift to man to make a way for us to be reunited with Him.  John 3:16 says that He was born for ALL of us, "For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."  He was a gift to you.  A present for eternity.  Don't let it sit unopened.  Receive the gift and open it to a second chance this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nautical Desk Revealed: Craft Desk Makeover

[UPDATE:  This desk was sold to a Chester County, PA family as a gift for their two daughters who love the ocean and seashells.]

Last year at the height of Christmas shopping, I brought home a stray desk (for free, of course).  It has sat in my basement until this month.  For some reason, I thought the height of this holiday season would be a perfect time to tackle this project.  Really, I'm not sure what I was thinking on the timing, but it's finished and I love it!  This one is for me.  Finally, a project that is all mine.  And here's the results....

Before and After, ugly castoff desk in Dec. 2011 and now in Dec. 2012!
So how did it go from little girl 1960s desk to modern day nautical craft desk?  First, I sanded down the top to see if I had real wood underneath.  Unfortunately, it is solid wood, but there was a veneer on top.  So I had to ditch the staining idea like I did for my son's desk
Boo, veneer.
So onward I went to priming the desk and painting it white.  In the meantime, I had to remove the blue metal insert plates on the drawers, as well as the handles and decorative moulding.  Unlike moulding in the past that is screwed in with the handles, this one had tiny nails so it just needed a little prying off to reveal a flat-front drawer.
Finally, flat front drawers!
While the paint was drying, the handles got an overhaul with Kilz spray primer (already had it on hand) and white spray paint.  Normally, I love the opportunity to shop for new drawer pulls, but I wanted to preserve a little of the original desk and they were good heavy metal pull. Plus, it gives the desk a little feminity.
Spraypainting on an unusually warm December day
Next, came the fun/hard part.  I wanted to make this desk a nautical theme.  Nothing inspires me more than the beach and if this was to be a craft desk (a place of inspiration) then I needed some images of inspiration around me.  To see how I painted on the designs, refer to my previous blog (click here).  So here's the drawers, before and after!

I can't wait to get the drawers filled with supplies and start creating. Maybe Santa will bring me some new craft organizers.
Side view with the nautical compass
And a beautiful nautilus right on top
One final view

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nautical Desk Sneak Peek: Transferring Images the Old Fashioned Way

My current project is finally for me!  This time, the desk is all mine.  I'll give you more details about that when it's completed.  For now, I want to give you a sneak peek at one of the nautical images that will be on the desk.  I do not own a fancy shmancy Silhouette Machine or a Cricut or any other time-saving, ridiculously over priced transfer tool.  Don't get me wrong, I'd love to own one, or win one from all the blogs doing giveaways.  But for now, I'll have to settle with the hands God gave me and a No.2 Pencil from Staples. 

Does anyone remember the "old-fashioned way" of transferring images?  Remember tracing paper?  Ok, so maybe I didn't go as far back to the days of tracing paper.  Here's a quick tutorial for those still waiting for Santa to bring the modern time-saving tools.

1.  Select the image you want to use.  Pick from a book, a clipart website, download and print from Google Images (which is where I got this nautical compass/star) or draw one yourself.

2.  Flip the image over and trace the reverse image on the back with a dark pencil (#2 or darker). 
The back of the paper after I've traced over it with pencil
3.  Flip the image back over and tape it to your project.  Then carefully retrace the image design.  The pencil underneath will be lightly transferred to your project. 
Tape and retrace on the original side
4.  Remove the paper and you'll see the pencil etchings.  Then choose your marker or paint to make the image darker.  I've used Sharpie markers in the past however this time I chose the DecoColor Paint Markers in Ultramarine Blue.  I love these because they glide on with the fullness of paint but with the steadiness of a pen. 

When finished, it looks like a hand-painted design!  After I finish the rest of the images, and seal the desk, I'll post the finished project.