Do It Yourself

6:30 PM

The weekend before my parents arrived for Thanksgiving, my studly husband told me he was going to make me a table and asked what I would like. Seriously, how great is he? I requested a copy of the end table we constructed over the summer (read about that time here). After he sawed the boards he bought to size, we beat them with a hammer for a weathered look before sanding. After some trouble, he managed to drill it all together the next day, ready for me to condition and stain. I fetched the stain we had from last time down from the top of our closet only to find it had clumped up. It must have been the heat from being up high all summer that caused it. This was the day before my parents arrived, and I wanted it finished, so I tried to make it work. Upon drying, however, we could see the clumpy stain did not give the same effect. With only a single coat, it already looked much darker than our previous table, and was completely matte. The stain was a stain and finish in one, and the finish is what must have been what hardened in clumps, because there was absolutely none visible. If you can go negative on the shine scale, it went there. Our plan is to sand it back down and re-stain it with a new can when we have time. For now though, it looks decent enough and we used it while my parents were here.

I also managed to get our Christmas cards put together and sent out before my family arrived! Electing to do it myself this year, I had thought I would be saving money, but I am pretty sure it ended up costing more than last year. Oops! We took our pictures on self-timer mode at White Sands National Monument and I opened a picture in Photoshop and designed my own card. The plan was to order regular 4x6 prints since they are much cheaper than ordering custom cards and use them to make my own. I had a coupon for 100 free prints from Shutterfly, so I figured we'd get these done with basically only the cost of the stamps. The pictures arrived, however, and we saw instantly that the quality was terrible. The photos were blurry and the color was off. I decided to order one print each from Walgreens and Sam's Club in town to compare and see if either were better. Walgreens' was atrocious, I'm not sure if it was just this store's printers or what the deal was. I suppose you pay a price for cheap. Sam's was much better, but the color was still off and we could still see blurriness. I started to wonder if it was the picture, but upon re-inspection, it looked perfectly sharp on my computer. Snapfish gave me a coupon for free prints, so I decided to get a few and give it one more try. Luckily, they were better than the rest and we had just enough to send out. We bought red construction paper, different colored ribbon, and a hot glue gun for me to cutesy them up. I used leftover photo double-sided tape from our wedding invitations to tape the pictures to the construction paper backing I cut out before gluing ribbon around one side. With all the measuring, cutting, and gluing it ended up taking much longer than I originally anticipated. I wanted to make my own envelopes out of sheet music we bought from Goodwill, but I didn't feel up to it after the amount of time the cards themselves took. So I origami-d a few, but bought envelopes for the rest. YouTube taught me how to make an address list with Excel and open it in Microsoft Word to print the addresses on the envelope for me. Last year I had done it solely with Word, but it did not save correctly so I had to input all the addresses again. Excel should serve this purpose better, and speed up next year's process. Next year should be much smoother, too, as we will know where to order from the first time. With as much time as it took, I still enjoyed it immensely, because I know how happy Christmas cards make me and I like to hope they bring joy to our loved ones to whom we aren't near. We still have last years' cards that were sent to us taped to our wall and are loving finding more in our mailbox.

I will post our Christmas card photos soon!

What a hottie.


Honestly, does it get more handsome?


Before the stain


This was the first table we made. I love how weathering the wood makes it look like an old piece of furniture.


Spencer started doing hot work! Big for him, and he's proud! I try not to think about the high voltage he's working on.



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