Sunday, June 28, 2009

My first home improvement project

I mentioned in my last post that I recently purchased a chest at a garage sale for $5.00, along with a few other treasures. I decided to go ahead and share with everyone my first home improvement project.
This the trunk (minus the lid) after Dad chemically removed the first 1 1/2 layers of paint with a chemical varnish remover. The chest is approximately 3 1/2 feet wide and 3 feet tall and I think its made of either cedar or pine under all the paint.
More close up picture of the chest, I created a mini carpenter's shack outside to work on my treasure. Mom and Dad bought me a hand sander and some other supplies to help me get started on my project. I was able to get down to the last blue layer with my hand sander and about 5 hours of work. It just so happened that I chose to do this work during our "wet season" and had to bring in the contents of my shack every night because of the overnight downpours.

The top of the chest was sanded, the old hinge screw holes were filled and I stained the lid a cherry stain with 2 coats. The little bits of blue paint that I couldn't remove with the sander just added some character to the lid, by making it look weathered and antiqued. The actual color of the trunk is not this red, its actually a claret wine color. However, the satin tone makes appear red with the flash of my camera.

This is actually a better representation of the actual color, the inside I found a pretty textured contact paper that is applied similarly to actual wall paper. I may choose to paint this eventually - but not for awhile. I also painted all the support boards the same red color and bought new screws.

This is the finished product. Obviously not perfect, but not bad for my first project. We decided to put it in the spare bedroom, and it matches very well with the brown comforter and curtains in this room. Eventually I plan to make a cushion pillow for the seat so guests can sit and tie their shoes, etc. on this. However, I do not own a sewing machine - so this project will have to wait.
I will admit, it will probably be awhile before I tackle another project - but I can finally say that I put all the skills I learned on the farm and the summer at the EXCEL plant to good use!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Amazing weekend with family!

So this weekend was one of the most wonderfully refreshing for me. My mom, dad and little sister, Kait came to Lincoln to visit for a few days. Ben had to leave for a conference in Arkansas on Saturday morning, so he missed out on the fun this time. They haven't come up for just a weekend to visit without an occasion in a long time - so we enjoyed every minute of time we had together.

Saturday morning (bright and early) we headed down to the Haymarket District to the Farmers Market. The market is held every Saturday from May to October and has many fruit, vegetable, flower, baked goods and craft vendors lining the streets of the district. I highly suggest a visit if your in Lincoln on a Saturday morning - especially a visit to Burkey's Baked Goods for the Sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls.

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in Lincoln is also a good time to seek out local rummage sales for treasures. Mom and I (of course) love to find deals, but I had to teach her a few things about "bartering". She did find a couple of antique apple boxes for yard planters for $5 total and I found a $5 cedar chest which will be the focus of an upcoming "home improvement post" in which I plan to show you how I re-furbished this trunk. Dad even got into the garage sale mood and even sought a few out himself. I think Kait had the most fun finding treasures, which she will regret in 15 years, because the bible, ring and snowflake christmas ornament for $0.50 total is hilariously ridiculous!

Today we spent the morning in the tool store finding me a sander, picking out decorative hinges and scoping out paint and stain. Finally this afternoon we visited the Nebraska State Museum and that was fantastic - seeing a variety animals, dinosaurs and natural features of Nebraska history. So, no one can ever say I didn't learn a thing or two about home for the past two years. We ended the weekend to a trip to Culvers for ice cream, a quick trip to Sam's Club and Wally-world and sent Mom, Dad and Kait on their way.

I wanted to send a shout-out to my folks and little sister, thank you so much for visiting! It totally helped me clear my mind of all school and life worries and just enjoy some time together. I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did!

Finally, Ben and I also celebrated a milestone today, our 1st year Anniversary has already came and went. Happy Anniversary Babe, here's to many more!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wonderfully crazy life

We just finished a short weekend trip back to Iowa to the New Sharon festival. Grandma Williams was honored as the grand marshall in the parade, so we spent Saturday enjoying the festivities and Sunday at a BBQ at the Owens. I stole a few pictures from Amanda's facebook page - she was coined "The Paparazzi" the whole weekend because she had that camera clicking away the whole time. Now looks who's laughing right Amanda? Good photos. Although you won't see it in the pics I'm posting, Ben made the observation that most of the pictures I am in is someone in the near vicinity of the babies, huh? What does that tell you Ben?

Although these pictures are out of chronological order, please view with discretion. We enjoyed some time at Pizza Ranch after the day's festivities pictured is Craig (Ben's dad)'s family, from left to right: Curtis and Dee, Christi and Larry, Anna Mae, Craig and Regina, Cindi and Larry.
I realize there is no way you can see everyone in this photo - but this is the whole Williams' crew minus the two Montanans. I'd say that's a pretty good turnout!

Ben and Uncle Curtis enjoying the program in the park. It was fun for awhile, but let's just say the queen contest was a "interesting."
Some of the Williams' girls enjoying the program. Front row: me, Lyndsey and Amanda Williams; Back row: Jill Van Soelen, Anna Williams, and JessWilliams.
Evidence that I would know what to do if and when I happen to be blessed with kids. This is Addison, she's an absolute doll.

Finally, this picture would have ideally been added first, but I'm not a master at this blogging stuff. Maybe when I finish my thesis I'll have a chance to look into programming and formatting more. But this is Grandma Williams in the parade. She had an absolute blast and I'm glad we were there to help her celebrate her accomplishment.
We have no exciting life news to report. Ben's applied for a couple of positions (stay tuned to see how that turns out) and I've considered my options in those locations and have a few calls into some people. I officially turn in my thesis on Friday - so if I'd stop procrastinating and finish revisions - I could go outside and enjoy this beautiful day!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I have more important things to do - but they aren't as fun as this.

I should be studying for the one of the most important exams in my life right now - but I think I've managed to find almost everything absolutely possible to NOT study, so now that I'm almost done procrastinating I thought I'd tell you the ten best ways to procrastinate at the Williams' ranch.

10) Wash every piece of dirty laundry, dish and surface in the house, including the sheet sets that already get washed once every 2 weeks, jeans I wore for 45 minutes and the towel that just got used once this morning. Everything just smells so nice with my Snuggle fabric softener.

9) Watch the same House Wives of New Jersey, Make Me a Supermodel, The Fashion Show. etc. episodes on BRAVO channel for the fourteenth time in 3 weeks. Oh my new obsession is True Blood from HBO - but make sure you have the parentals controls on if you choose to watch this one - it's not for the kids people.

I think my new favorite line is from Teresa off of RHWNJ who justify's every major choice she makes by stating, "HAPPY WIFE - HAPPY LIFE." I think I'm going to implement this into my everyday dialect. I'll let you know how this goes.
7) Catch up on everyone and anyone's BLOGS from friends, random strangers and my favorite characters on the above mentioned shows.

6) Stalk for Rob Pattinson news or anything remotely related to Twilight or the series. I'm counting down the days until New Moon comes out - Williams' beware, it during Thanksgiving - so I'll probably be dragging a few of you to the theater with me, so you better watch Twilight before Thanksgiving.

5) Repaint my fingernails and toenails for the 3rd time this week and tweeze my eyebrows for the 2nd time this week. My new favorite colors include mauvi pinks matching on both my fingers and toes.

4) Take a 2 hour nap, since I intend on studying into the late hours of the night

3) Check potential jobs on various websites, then rationalize the pros and cons to getting a PhD - yet still make no decisions about our life beyond July 31, 2009.

2) Check facebook every 30 minutes to see how many other pathetic people like me sit around and facebook update 4 times a night.

1) Rinse and repeat.