Thursday, October 8, 2015

How Many Mandis Does It Take To Finish A Table?

I'm feeling mixed emotions of both shame and pride that it took me so long to finish my Restoration Hardware Knockoff Corbel Table. 

On one hand (go ahead and picture me weighing these up and down in my hands kay), I'm happy I took a chill pill and let this project just go with the flow, and then my get-it-done personality is just dying inside that it took me so long. 

I'm a complex person. 


I've already said that I have been obsessed with this table for years. I know.  But it speaketh to my soul. It just does. Actually anything sold at Restoration Hardware speaks to me, just not my bank account.  And when I saw this Corbel desk knock off, 

Well, let's just say it took me three years to man up and decide I could take on the jigsaw and get this done. 

Side note! If you're really digging these corbels too, know that the link up there will take you to his design that you can print out (5 pages total) and use to get exactly what he's got going on up there. What a nice guy.

Nobody gives a doodoo,

but I used his design too, with the exception of the very top of the corbel; I modified mine to have the flat top routed piece like Restoration's, so my glass could sit flat on top. 

That was like listening to the Charlie Brown principal over the speaker, huh? Sorry.

Wanna talk about price? I like talking about money. So I used 2 2x12's at 12 feet long, and those bad boys are a little over $20 a piece. $45 ish for the legs-- not too bad, right? Let us consider that buying the actual table would cost me $1200 ish. 

And these legs are crazy heavy. 

I anchored them into my wall, believe me. Can't have anyone dying when a corbel falls over. 

In hindsight, I'd have used a darker, less warm stain. This pine really took my oft used Dark Walnut very warmly. I'm okay with it, but would have slightly preferred something a titch darker/colder. 

Good thing I'm so satisfied with mediocrity 'cause this crap could keep me up nights. 

I ordered a glass top (for, cough, $40, cough

and after very serious debates on where this desk/table should go (definitely almost my LAST choice), it's ending up in my living room. Don't talk about the aquarium next door! Arrrrggg I'm going to kill some fish soon. I used to love that thing but it's the red headed step child of this space. 

So I love this desk! I'm still trying to get over where it's actually located (don't get me started) but I love this desk!

I too think something should go above it. Working on it as we speak.

And did you see I finally picked up a horse head? All is right in the world.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Follow Up.

I've said I'd do this for over a year, and today I'm sucking it up and getting it done.

But first,

can you believe it's been over 2 years that I've been taking violin lessons? Me neither.

Our lives are just a flash in the pan. Life unravels at top speeds. If you want to destroy this sweater, hold this thread while I walk away.

And so forth.


I said for over a year I'd throw a video of my, (cough) progress on here. It's a 30 second snippet, so don't get all excited or anything.

My violin teacher was kind enough to play a duet with me. I kind of idolize her, just a little. She knows it but she's too classy to show it. I looked up the female equivalent of "bromance", and it suggests either "womance" or "homance". I ain't no ho, so I'm going with the former.

We should talk about her music room because my stars, I love the board and batten with the dark walls.

I own that my bowing is backward. And intonation, or any screw ups, again all me. But what's important here is that I haven't quit! I have zero intentions of doing so! I'm still liking it! And for how much time I put into it I should be amazing but apparently there is not a shred of innate talent for this inside me.

But such is life. I hesitantly embrace my mediocrity.

So, about that other thing we talked about. . .

you know.  Plastic surgery. Milllions of people have asked me what I decided about that (cough. 2 people.), and I thought I'd follow up on that too. Absolutely zero linkage to the last plastic surgery confession. I have my pride. So to the point:

I honestly don't see it happening.

Here's why:

$4,000. Trading lots of scars for other scars. Hubby swears he doesn't care. And since I'm not one, to, you know, like, mow the lawn in a bikini, I think it's only really his opinion that matters. Let's just gather up that extra skin and pretend like it never happened.

But mainly, I don't think I can handle the down time. If you're a close buddy, you know what a complete and utter baby I am when I just get like, a cold. I cannot deal with not being fully functional. I cry when I'm sick, people. For realsies. Weeks of laying down while the house fell down around me would send me crying over the edge.

Also, $4,000. I can think of a lot of ways to spend that kind of cash. (helloooo new hardwood floors. . .)

And last but certainly the least cared about:

I still actually do run. It's been three years since I announced my intention to hit the pavement, and I still . . . "like" it.

As much as one can "like" their daily exercise routine. Also, these shoes are sooo long gone.

I talked to a friend the other day and she blurted out that she will never ever run because it's too trendy. I laughed my bum off, I tell ya. Even the most avid runner has to admit that it's true.

And I was okay for the last 2 and a half years with my short, slooooow jog around the town. I'm shocking myself when I say that I'm kind of sort of contemplating training for just a half next year. That I will only try ONCE and NEVERMORE. I've upped my distance the last little bit and felt, dare I say it? A little bit surprised and proud of myself.

But we'll see. Don't hold me to it. I'm satisfied doing what I'm doing right now. Like I said: mediocrity.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Craptastic Projects By Mandi.

 And I thought I was so unique and creative.

Original. New.

Au contraire, mon frere.

My um, shelf liner dollar store "wallpaper"--

After googling it for just a second, I see that this has been done, and it's been done for years.

So this shelf liner from Dollar Tree-- it's basically just regular ole contact paper. Except, you know, one dollar instead of like, $5.

So check out this roundup on contact paper wallpaper:

Yeah. Look at all the funsies stuff you can do. Kinda wanna do those polka dots up there. Somewhere. If there was one blank wall left in this place.

Do you see how easy this is? This is the backing with the grid on it so you can cut it super duper easy,

and then you're just peeling the backing away and STICKING IT TO THE WALL, BABY. Boom clap. No plaster, no extra glue, no wetting it down, no nothin'. And the cherry on top is you can keep repositioning it over and over and overandoverandover.

I tried it. It works. It still sticks and stays.

And then smooth it out if there's a bubble here or there. With like your very favorite Amazon visa card like I did. It won't give you Amazon points to buy with, but it should.

And again, for funsies,

a few Dollar Tree options. The faux bois shelf liner could totally work in a quirky area, in somebody's hip house. Not mine, but somebody's. Else's.

And since we're talking about my small dark, dank, currently (and eternally) urine-y smelling powder room,

just know that I finally repainted it. No more mister nice guy.

It's now a lovely greige. You shamed me into it. And . . .thank you. Now I'll go scrape off the paint drips on the toilet tank.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Powder Rooms & Urine Cocktails.

I guess I ought to start out with a warning:
Don't you judge the paint color in my powder room. It's horrid. I know this. It's number 2 on my painting list, okay? This was back before I realized that picking a paint color was similar in complication to brain surgery.
I didn't know! I was just a child! A babe in home decor, if you will.
I still can't believe that I did this or thought this was a good idea,
(pictures from Houzz)
but have you kinda seen how people are throwing up some wallpaper in teeny spaces?
And I actually like it!

I can't believe I'm saying this, as one who has fought the good fight of removing massive quantities of 80's wallpaper from walls, I was going to do this to myself again. ?.
So it has come to this.
And it was like, way fun to search for a black & white wallpaper (isn't it like, totally obvi that I would choose black & white? Is there any other color scheme for me?) for the first couple of months.
Yeah, I'm saying I looked a looong time. Online, at a couple stores, etc.
Couple things here:
-Wallpaper can be extremely expensive.
-And then some of it isn't even washable.
HELLO. In a bathroom, where nearly every day there's a new urine cocktail of several boys' (some of them mine, some not mine) urine?
I'm going to spend like $50 ish bucks to do just one wall in my powder room and not be able to wash it?
So the plan sat and sat. And I'd browse the interwebs some more for fun here and there.
I can't tell you where I got my wallpaper. I'm too embarrassed. No! Don't ask me.
Just know this: it's removable and repositionable. I'm serious, this stuff is awesome. See the square up there? I had to try it out for a second. WE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT NOT TALKING ABOUT THE PAINT GOSH.
Alright, fine. Just drag it out of me, would you? Take it to the grave though. Take. it. to. the. grave.:
Not even wallpaper. It's shelf liner. It's so, so easy to move around and take down, and it doesn't fall down on it's own at all. I know because it's been up for a while now. And I can't say where I got it. Just one small small hint. Let's call this place, D Tree. No, no. That's too obvious. Let's call it, Dollar T.

I slapped this stuff up there with reckless abandon. I wasn't careful, I didn't try to line it up, it's so sloppy it's ridiculous, and I really don't care. Know why?
I spent $3.
And I think it's a really busy pattern, so you can get away with sloppy when it's a cray cray pattern.
I really like it and think it's funsies, but I get sick of stuff fast, and when I feel like taking this down, and that could be tomorrow, or in ten years, it's going to take me 10 minutes and we can even pretend like it never happened.
Sports guy chest bump.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Stuff I Feel Like Talking About.

Okay. First of all,
this just happened. Every single kid, in school, same schedule, all day. It's too soon to even talk about all the mixed, up and down neurotic emotions I'm feeling right now.
It's good, and yet it's sad. But it's so, so good. And yet. . . melancholy.
Check out this totally awesome apron I got for working out in thee ole gay-rage:
I love this old canvas-y leather-y thing to keep the sawdust off my person. Okay this shot isn't working for me, here. New shot.

She's armless!  Creepy. I like this apron too too much to ever like, stain or paint in it. Keep off the sawdust? Sure. My dad wears a labcoat whilst working out in thee ole shop. I should get one of those, too.
Okay, so-- here's the thing:
This corbel desk has been a strange obession of mine for years.
A blogging friend's handy dad built this (website here) and I loved it then and I STILL LOVE IT AND CAN'T GET OVER IT. He built this 3 years ago. Can't believe it's been that long, but a few months ago, I just like, had to have this desk for an entryway desk.  It's a knockoff of Restoration Hardware's fabulous desk:
Say you love it! I love it! I don't have the $1200 it takes to buy this but I do have a jigsaw and a lot of love to give.
The only reason I didn't get all up on this three years ago was because I thought it was too hard. Well I thought it through and decided to still go for it because I'm not right in the head.
Lotsa jigsawing going on here, people. This is 2x12x12's, and there's 8 separate pieces to jigsaw.
Hard to cut but definitely fun to take lots of pictures from weird angles.

(that website I linked to up there has PDF files you can print out for the same pattern. I altered mine just slightly. Kind of for a different look/laziness.)
Don't you people be judgin my garage- I got all up on that after I snapped this shot okay.
This was a lot of hours. And a crap-ton of sawdust. But I'm excited. Already stained 'em a dark color, and I'm going to attempt the glass on top. . .keep your fingers crossed. . . squeezing my eyes shut hoping. . .

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Losing My Faith In Humanity, & Other Grouchy Stories.

Before I commence flinging poo,
I do want to say first off that my summer is going smashingly. I just currently have an axe to grind. A bone to pick. Heads to bust.

(just trying to lighten the mood with gratuitous, unrelated pictures)
Do you ever feel like several related things happen at once? I totally feel like similar things happen at one time to teach one a lesson. I need to learn something real important here, and it's one of these: 
1. some people suck and I should put up a defensive brick wall and stop trying
2. something else I'm not willing to learn right now because holy crap I'm ornery.
Indulge me with a story. I'll do my best to sum up.
One month ago, I pulled out of my driveway to take my daughter to kindergarten, (yeah, we were still in school a month ago. Sad) and my neighbor directly across the street pulled out at the same time. Long story short (too late), I didn't see her, she didn't see me, and our bumpers met in the middle of the street.
Since we were going 2 miles per hour, it was absolutely minor. Little missing paint scrape on her bumper, little more damage to mine, both of us going "holy cow sorry I didn't see you!" at the same time, with a "well, no big deal! Sorry again!" and off we went. After all, we both have old cars, and what's one more not really noticeable scrape?
But, no.

(still trying. 'S not working.)

Three weeks later, the same neighbor (she's not actually my neighbor, she's like, the sister? whatevs) shows up demanding my insurance information and more accusations that no, we didn't hit bumpers, I hit her in the driver side door, and she wants it fixed.
(Really? Really?? How'd ya get out of your car so we could talk if I hit ya in the driver's side?  Why in the world would we go inspect bumpers together if you got hit on your side?? WHATEVER. ARGG)

Ugg. How are people this dishonest? I'm typically very NOT confrontational, but this one was so obviously wrong that I really let it all out.

 I spent a looong time on the phone today with my insurance company telling every detail of my side of the story, and guess what? It doesn't matter. It's her word against mine, and she'll file and get what she wants, and this is why some people suck.


One more quickie, and I promise to stop the word vomit.

For several years now, I've considered volunteering my time to cross elementary school kids across a busy street on the way to and from school. A lot of kids cross there, and they're giving me a heart attack. (No, children-- you can't push the flashing yield sign and then dart out in the road immediately.)

This year seemed like a good year to really get out there and do it, until my brother in law warned me that I could be held liable, should something bad happen.

For realsies, people? I wouldn't be getting paid, I'd be out there in sunshine, rain, butt cold conditions, whatever, on my own time, for no reason except to try and keep your dang kid safe, but if something bad happened, I should take the fall.

I'm getting all riled up right now. Okay, okay. Deep, calming breaths. Smelling the roses, blowing out the candles.

I won't torture you with my other similar occurrences, but there's several other little things that have proven to me that no good deed goes unpunished.

And I'm just waiting for one (or more!) of the neighbor moms to tell me off for how I watched their kid(s) and fed their kid(s) the whole summer break the wrong way. Keep your own dang kids, then. I'll keep mine.

Yeah, it's like that today. I should just go to bed.  I'll apologize later when I'm out of my mood.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

No Talky Talky.

Can't. . .talk. . .
doing this. . .
and this. . .

and this

intermingled with



mixed with this cuteness,

and a little a this,

with lotsa this,

and then there was this.

and there probably shouldn't have been this. . .

but definitely lotsa this.

Let's get together real soon and we'll chit chat. Kiss kiss hug hug.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Lovin', Had Me a Blast. . .

Every year I think I use that title for a post. How unoriginal.
Oh! Random side note! I actually got on Instagram. I'm shocked, you're shocked. We're all shocked. I've got that neat-o little "Follow me On Instagram" button on the side, there. Over, over- to the right- your other right. There. Let's be Instafriends.


Holy heck people, it's summer. Do you feel naughty? I feel naughty. I feel like I've blown off life and nothing really matters except for having fun. And eating. Donuts.
Said it before 'n I'll say it again:
Winter is punishment for all the fun you had in summer.
I'm planning on some serious punishment coming my way in 6 months, 'cause nothin's really getting done around here. Kids are still in school-- I'm not even asking if they have homework anymore. Don't ask, don't tell policy.
So! Every year I do this nerdy thing where I pick a song. A theme song, if you will. A summer theme song that every time I hear said song for years to come it reminds me of good times while the sweat drips annoyingly down all my cracks and cleavages. Popsicles 'n sun. Gardening and sprinklers. And so forth.

Last year, I chose this goodie:

I still love this song. And now it belongs to 2014.

This year, I choose this fabulous number:


Ack, I love it so. As always, listen to it while we chat here, because we are not done. Oh no, not even close. Got a year?


Every summer I shift my attention from the inside of the house to the outside. I'm only one person, dang it! I can do inside or out. Not both. Let's not be silly.

Did you see that picture way up there?

I showed you last year how I planted some honeysuckle and had high hopes for it.

And look how well it did in one season! Only a foot high starting out, and now it's climbing all over my arbor. Gosh, I love stuff that grows.

And that I don't kill.

This gardening stuff is totally addicting and totally expensive. Holy crap, batman, it's a thriving industry. I look at fabulous flower beds and admire them, and then the very next thing I do is start adding up an estimate on the cost of it all. We've all gone into the wrong business-- nurseries are where it's at.

I have too many flower beds. Honestly, I can't keep up with all my flower beds everywhere.

And I'm doing my best to buy pretty perennials and to buy them clearanced, but I have to take it one season at a time to not spend like our life savings on plants.

(Let's not talk about what I spent this season alone on the north side of my house. Choke. Gag. Red face and eyes bulging.)

So! Hopefully in a couple more seasons my beds will be filled out and really where I'd like 'em to be.

Small project! (squeal)

My kitchen window has a lovely view of my pergola (last season's mucho expensive-o project).

Oh, there that window is, all hidden behind the grill. So sad- no moulding. Welp, the grill got taken off the deck, and there the kitchen window sat. Naked.

So I pulled out some old cedar boards I had lying around (we're talking just cheap dog eared fence posts), cut them to length, stained 'em the same tone as the pergola, and attached them with some metal brackets and concrete anchors (they work great for stucco, y'all). Like so.

I love this totally simple shelf! I love that I can put whatever I want on it. I need extra space for food whilst entertaning out here? No problem! Set it on the shelf.

Wow this is a ghetto view. Don't you judge me. But looky what we have here:

I'm doing the dishes and I get to look at some potted petunias and such out my window now. 'N that makes me happy. I think it'd be lovely with a sweet potato vine hanging down. On to something. I just might have to do that.

Side note! Do you love the old world terracotta pot look?

A bloggy buddy has a great tut on how to make your terracotta pots look old. I didn't follow all the directions to make mine as cool as hers because I am nothing if not lazy, but for me, it was "Make It Stone" spray paint and a little bit of light sanding. Boom. Old pots. Me likey.

I love this shelf! And I need a greenhouse so I can grow my own stuff and save a wad. But that's no biggie, right?