Saturday, November 28, 2020

Tiered Tray Hot Cocoa Bar

 



Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Even though it's been a hard year, there is always something to be thankful for! I'm putting the finishing touches on my Christmas decorations and spending some quality family time. We are watching Noelle all cuddled up on the couch. This sounds like the perfect moment for some hot cocoa!

Speaking of hot cocoa, I have something fun to share! I've seen these tiered trays everywhere and wanted one for a long time. However, after seeing the $50+ price tag, I decided that we had enough scraps to throw one together. 





Sadly, this is the only picture I got of the build process. I really need to get better about remembering to take pictures as we build things! It was a pretty simple and quick project using scraps, wood glue and and a nail gun. Gave it three coats of white paint and it was ready to decorate!





I was so excited to decorate it for Christmas! I decided to make it a hot cocoa bar! The kids are always wanting hot cocoa in the winter. Plus it sure makes for a cute display! I added candy canes, these cute red and green striped straws, and my cute little red truck that my husband made for me!




On the bottom tier is a cute little jar of crushed peppermint, a mug with fun twirly ribbons...




... a container of mini marshmallows, a cinnamon & sugar shaker, and a Noel red beaded garland that I draped around it. I looooove beaded garlands! I already have half a dozen red beaded garlands wrapped around my tree. But every time I see one I can't help but want another one! This one and this one is on my wish list right now! 




I love this so much! Alright signing off to make the kids some hot cocoa and finish watching Noelle!


I'll be back with more Christmas decor soon!

Monique

Friday, November 20, 2020

Christmas Trees

 

Does anyone else's house look like this in the midst of decorating?


Hey you guys! I did a thing. A thing that is generally looked down upon. I decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving! I know! I'm blaming it on 2020. After the year everyone has had, I think we all just need a little more joy. Anything goes this year, right? Right? Please, still be my friend!

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I'm not fully done decorating yet. I decided to take my time and do a little bit every day. Which is driving my kids nuts! They keep begging and pestering "when are you going to put this up? When are we going to decorate that?" 


She's helping me arrange the branches


I'll be sharing the rest of my Christmas decor once it's all up, but for now I wanted to share my trees! (Yes, that was meant to be plural!) Several years ago my husband finally convinced me to buy an artificial tree instead of a live one. I told him, let's compromise. Let's get TWO artificial trees! I'm not quite sure how that was a compromise but it worked!




Well, now I have not two Christmas trees....but four! In my defense, one of them is a mini tree in my girls' bedroom. So, I really only have 3 full size trees. See, I'm not that crazy. I don't have a problem. 




My living room tree is our family fun tree. We add multi colored lights, fun and random ornaments, and our special family ornaments. Although this year, with our rambunctious kittens, we left off our special breakable ones. 



*As proof, the cats broke this ornament before we even had a chance to hang it up. After Jeremy glued it back together, my daughter still insisted on putting it on the tree. Hopefully it stays safe the rest of the season.




I added a bit of ribbon that I had leftover from my mantle this year. I've never done ribbon on a tree before. I didn't have enough to cover the whole tree with it, but I like it! Ribbon is definitely on my list for next year! 



I also threw on same candy canes for fun! You can't go wrong decorating with candy canes! I have more displayed throughout my house too.


Christmas Tree


I bought these super cute boxes from Hobby Lobby last year to hold my ornaments. I decided to put them under the tree for a bit of decoration. I never put out my kids wrapped gifts until after they're in bed on Christmas Eve. I know my kids would not be able to withstand the temptation ;) 


Candy Cane Christmas Tree


Our other living room is actually taken over by our massive dining table. But we manage to squeeze in two recliners so we can sit with our coffee in the morning, and it gives the kids a cozy place to read. I love sitting in this chair and gazing at this gorgeous tree every morning. I think this years is my favorite so far. 




My husband made me these gorgeous snowflake ornaments with the cnc. I just love them! I always decorate this tree with lots of red, so these white sparkly snowflakes really break it up. Just what this tree needed!




Aren't these candy cane ornaments darling?! I bought these from Hobby Lobby when they were on sale and I couldn't love them more! They have several options on Amazon as well! These ones are super cute!




I bought these cute red and white reindeer after Christmas last year. I love them so much! They are currently unavailable. However, now that we have a cnc machine, I plan on using it to make our own!


I'm constantly having to fix my garland. It's a good thing those cats are so cute!



I added my favorite red beaded garlands to this tree as well. I wanted to buy some larger red and white ball ornaments for this tree but I couldn't find any in the stores. I may order these ones or these ones...then again, I think I've probably spent enough. I just can't resist Christmas decorations! It's all so beautiful!




I'm trying to summon the energy to build a wooden tree collar for this tree. It would look so nice! And maybe it would help keep the kittens out of the tree! One can hope right?

I'll be back soon with the rest of my holly jolly nuthouse tour! Have a great weekend! 

Monique

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Herringbone Coffee Table


Rustic Herringbone Coffee Table


 Hello friends! I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks! Sorry for the crickets on the blog, we have been super busy making wood signs and crafts for an upcoming Christmas craft fair. 



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This one still needs a frame



A sample of some of the signs we made! 


But we also made time to make this super cute coffee table! I have been obsessed with herringbone pattern recently, so I was so excited to give it a go on this table! It was definitely a learning experience, but I am so pleased with the results. Grab a bowl of popcorn, this is going to be a long one :) 


We used this plan from Ana White for the table frame, which we assembled first.



*My husband bought me new tools! I think he's a keeper :) His drill is older than dirt and we needed a second one anyway, so he bought this Ryobi drill! So powerful! We're slowly replacing our tools with Ryobi. It makes it so much easier to have the same battery for all of our tools. And Ryobi makes great tools! You can buy this drill here. He also bought me an upgraded Kreg Jig! I have been wanting one of these for a long time! The smaller kreg jig we have works fine, but it's a lot tougher for me to use. This is so easy to use and gets the job done so much quicker!!! As you can probably tell from the picture, I love it! You can buy it here.



We got to work assembling the table frame. We followed the directions exactly according to the plan. Build the two sides.




Then connect them. 





The stressful  fun part begins, the table top! We lined up the pieces for the outside frame so we could visualize how we wanted our pieces to line up and take our measurements.




Trying to figure out how to start. We didn't know what we were doing, ha! Just winging it and hoping it turns out all right!




So far so good. Starting to take shape. 




The preliminary pattern is all lined up!




We went back and forth trying to decide how to attach all of the boards. We discussed putting a sheet of plywood underneath and gluing the herringbone pattern down to it. I really didn't like that idea. We thought about using dowels, but we only recently bought a dowel jig and we wanted more practice before attempting such a massive amount of them. 




In the end, we decided to stick with what we know and use pocket holes. We were hesitant to use them because we've heard they don't work well with connecting opposing end grains. So we made sure not to screw in too all the way to give a little more space for the wood to expand and contract. 




Lined up the outer frame to make our cut lines. I'm sure there was an easier way to do all of this than how we did it (and a way to not have so many wasted pieces). I definitely want to build this table again and perfect the process. 




The moment of truth!




One side done! Yes, I know it's not straight. 




All done! Yes....there's a missing chunk. Yes, we decided that neither one of us could cut a straight line to save our life. One more tool later. We are constantly joking that our woodworking business is basically just a tool collection business.




The plan surprisingly didn't call for cross supports. I feel like cross supports add much needed stability. My furniture needs stability, because I know the kids will dance on this table when we're not looking! 



Ah, that makes me breathe a little easier. Totally stable for my wild, crazy children.




We had some sections where the wood was damaged pretty bad. I filled in the spots with some sawdust and wood glue. 




We took off a little too much material (thanks to our inability to cut a straight line), so we had to make some adjustments. Jeremy is using a caliper to get an exact dimension




Measurements fixed, now we screwed in the outer frame to the herringbone center. We quickly realized that some of these screws would hit some of the other screws. More adjustments. It's a learning experience right? I think I've used that phrase too many times. 



 Jeremy routed the edges! So pretty!




Adding the shelf. Excuse the horrible phone pictures! We'll be deep in project mode and I'll remember that we need to be documenting it. So we end up grabbing a quick shot with our phones.  

 


 

Making sure it's lined up perfectly. 




So close to being done! I sanded the whole thing with 80 grit, paying special attention to the edges and the spots with wood filler. Then sanded it all again with 220 grit.  



Screwing on the top! 

 


 

Making sure to secure every side. 




I normally don't use wood conditioner, but I thought it would be a good idea with all of the different directions of the wood grains. 

 


Then I gave it a nice quick coat of dark walnut! I didn't want this to be too dark, so I had Jeremy follow with a cloth and wipe up each section immediately after I was done staining. I love how it turned out! That pattern with the gorgeous wood grain! I am just in love!

 

 


However, I greatly dislike plastic wood filler! They say it's stainable: THEY LIE. But hey, it's "rustic!" I think that's another phrase we use too often! ha!


We are trying Starbond CA Glue to fill in those ugly spots. The coffee table is in the garage as I type awaiting treatment. Then I need to give it a couple coats of polyurethane. I'll post pictures when it's finally done. I just couldn't wait any longer to share this table with you guys! So, here it is all set up in my living room!



 




Oh, and we never filled in that little hole. Hey, it's rustic right?


Until next time,

Monique