Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Stepback Cupboard Makeover

I recently purchased this stepback cupboard. It wasn't very attractive with its red stain and thick layer of varnish but I new it had potential to be beautiful.

I always jump right into projects forgetting to take before pictures. This was taken after I had already stripped the top. Cupboards seem to be a slow sell right now, but buffets are popular and usually move quickly. I knew this piece would be great for a kitchen island, a sideboard for a T.V. or a buffet for a dining room. The top was removed and will be used in another project.

 Citristrip is an amazing product. (This isn't a sponsored post.) I wish I had taken a picture of the buffet top before I stripped it. It was so ugly with a really thick varnish. There was no wood grain showing through. It took three applications of Citristrip to remove it all. I hate to sand and with Citristrip I didn't have to.

I couldn't believe this gorgeous wood was covered up under that ugly red stain and varnish. It was so beautiful that I decided not to stain it. I only rubbed it with Howard Feed-N-Wax which left a beautiful finish. (Not a sponsored post.)

 Because I have a very tight budget, I am always checking the oops paint section when shopping at hardware stores. A few weeks ago I found a gallon of  lovely Behr paint that was almost a perfect match to a popular chalk paint color. This was a premium exterior paint with primer that I got for $5.00! I added a little Calcium Carbonate to a smaller container of paint and it went on like a dream! Amazing coverage!

Here it is again. Such a fun project! Now I need to figure out what to do with the cupboard. Any ideas?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hot Pink Cutie!

I got this vintage Sears French Provincial desk at a garage sale a few weeks ago. It obviously had been used as a makeup vanity and years of makeup were caked on it. It was so dirty.

It got a thorough scrubbing inside and out.

It had dirty wallpaper stuck inside the drawer that I could not remove. I remembered seeing a handy tip on Pinterest about removing wallpaper with fabric softener. The tip was 1:1,one part fabric softener to one part water. I didn't measure, I just put water and softener in a spray bottle.

I peeled the top layer off the wallpaper and generously sprayed the drawers. 

I was amazed at how easily it scraped off. My daughter also used this technique to remove the wallpaper border in the house they just purchased. She first tried a commercial product which didn't work well at all. It was a piece of cake to remove the border with this stuff!

Another plus was the wonderful fragrance from the fabric softener masked the smell of the old makeup and musty drawers.

At the vendor mall where I work, I had been overhearing little girls talking to their moms about wanting hot pink in their rooms. So I knew I wanted a touch of hot pink on the desk. I painted all of the drawers pink and the desk a lovely creamy white. The quality of this picture isn't good due to the lighting. I've got to remember to get pictures of items in better lighting before I put them in my space!

Here it is again! 

This little cutie only lasted a few days in the shop before it went home with a little princess!

Next time, let's talk paint! I have some tips that will save you time and money!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Kind of the Same but Different

I started Robin's Nesting Place in April 2007. I was a homeschooling, stay at home mom who had just begun learning photography. I had a passion for gardening and nature and this was a place to share those hobbies.

My life is quite different now. My children have graduated our homeschool and are happy, busy adults. I started working over two years ago in the neatest vendor mall in our small town. About a year ago I obtained a small space of my own to sell my photography cards and repurposed  items.

I haven't had much time or energy to blog and, honestly, I've been trying to figure out what direction to take this blog. Previously, most of my followers have been garden bloggers, many whom I still follow on Facebook and care about. But...I am no longer the passionate gardener I once was. In fact my yard is a wreck and to continue on in the same vein would be impossible for me now.

It is always difficult to decide how much to share of one's personal life on a blog but a bit of sharing is necessary to gently guide this beloved blog of mine to the path that I am now on so that we are in sync together once again.

Those who have followed me for a long time know that my husband was in an industry hit very hard by the economic downturn. You know that he had a few layoffs, but I never shared the extent of this. My husband lost six jobs in less than seven years. I know, it's hard for me to believe this could happen to anyone as well. How is that even possible?

 His first layoff was after being happily employed for over fifteen years with a wonderful recreational vehicle company, (it no longer exists). The next job lasted almost three years before he was told they could no longer afford to keep him. He was well known and well liked in his industry and another company quickly created a position just for him. Six months later they had to cut costs and let him go,(it no longer exists) . Once again he quickly got another job this time in a different industry, (medical sales). He was there about two years before they drastically cut their sales force to a bare minimum, and once again he was unemployed. This company no longer exists as well. Another, and yet another devastating layoff. Six in less than seven years!

With his career in absolute shambles and now unemployable to most companies, my dear husband spent several months unemployed. At this point, his MBA and his previous success mattered very little to anyone. Thankfully, about two years ago, he had a wonderful friend who took him under his wing and gave him a new business opportunity. It has taken a while for him to be educated in this new field and get established and things are finally gaining momentum. I feel like I can finally breath again. I think we are going to make it!

Why am I telling all of this to you? It offers a little explanation for my lengthy absence, (I've been in survival mode), and because it has a lot to do with the direction of this blog. I've learned a lot during these last few years. I've learned how to survive unemployment six times over. I've learned how to live on the bare minimum. I've lived through some of the darkest days of my life and survived. I've been the wife of a man who has faced devastating loss time and time again and our marriage survived! The stress and pain of unemployment is unique and isolating. It isn't really talked about much. I have a lot I want to say about it, I'm just not sure if I want to do it at Robin's Nesting Place, but if I decide to, now you are prepared.

I just want to start blogging again! What will Robin's Nesting Place look like now? It will be kind of the same, but different. I am no longer just a "garden blogger". I paint furniture now for my little shop and I want to share the before and after pictures. I enjoy being creative and making things, I want to share that process. I still enjoy photography and I will continue sharing my pictures, hopefully they will still bring pleasure and joy to others along the way. For the most part it will remain a hobby blog that I will tie into my little shop. At this point, I don't really know how Robin's Nesting Place will evolve from here, but I hope you will be along on this journey with me and hopefully be blessed and inspired along the way!

Thank you for reading and following Robin's Nesting Place!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Winter that Never Ends..

 Did you or your children ever watch Sherry Lewis and Lambchops? If so, do you remember the "Song That Never Ends"?  "It goes on and on, my friends! (Sorry for getting that one stuck in your head!) Anyway that is how I feel about winter! It seems never ending this year! We actually had snow flurries and sleet again yesterday morning!

 Desperate for a bit of color, I bought these lovely hydrangeas at Sam's Club and decided to do a little photo shoot with them.

I have a small shop at a vendor mall and this perfect chippy door is in one of the spaces, (White River Mercantile). It just begs to be a photography backdrop!

 I have sorely neglected my blog, and a couple of days ago I decided to check my stats to see if I even had any hits. Much to my surprise, I did! I checked my referrals and saw that many of them were coming from Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating.

 15 Outdoor Projects For Your Back Yard

She had done an outdoor post May 2013  featuring my brick birdbath.

Her post is still generating a lot of interest! I feel bad not knowing sooner about the feature. Thank you Kristi!

When it warms up, (and hopefully that will be soon), I have a ton of projects waiting to be done. I plan to share many of those with you!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Winter Bird Photographs

So far this winter has been one for the record books! It looks like we may break the record for recorded snow fall. We have also had record breaking lows and wind chill. My poor birds are having a hard time surviving the cold. In less than twenty-four hours I found three dead birds on my patio.

There were two house sparrows and a male cardinal. It makes me incredibly sad to see this. The temperatures are dropping even lower tonight; I hope I won't find more.

The birds are staying closer to the feeders as the temperatures plummet. This has provided some great backyard bird photography opportunities for me. Here are some of my favorites from today!

I was shooting from my kitchen sliding glass door, which was hazy from the bright sunshine.

The sunshine and the reflection from the snow made it so much easier to capture their dark eyes. It is frustrating trying to photograph them on the dull gray days, which seem to be almost every day during the winter!

 I love using dishes for their food. It makes the pictures a little more interesting than regular bird feeders and they enjoy eating from them, actually preferring them over the tube feeders.

My neighbor's wood fence makes a great backdrop!

 I thought I would have a little photography fun and put out a few stems of fake spring branches. It took a little while, but finally a few of the birds landed on them!

 This is my favorite shot of the day! I used this image tonight for my new business cards. I love my little chickadees! I hope they survive the weather!

I can't wait until spring!