Sunday, February 17, 2013

DIY and the future of Grass Harp

Grass Harp was on a long hiatus and before it went into semi-retirement, the blog was dedicated to food, either making of food or memories attached to food. While this blog will mainly be dedicated to food, I will also be adding some household projects and stories. Owning a house has been fun and a challenge. When I lived in an apartment, food, especially cake decorating, was basically the only creative outlet I had; now with a garage and a power sander, my creative nature has expanded. My office is the outcome of the sander and creativity.

In our apartment in Morganton, my office was literally a desk in a corner against a curved wall with some pictures hanging above it. I loved every tiny inch of that corner and wrote some of my best blog posts there.

Mona relaxing in my corner
 Now with the house, I had a small room to turn into an office; however, I didn't want to spend a lot of money on making it look great. I began to pour over decorating blogs and pictures of offices; after looking at the inspiration I decided on a purple and silver color scheme with splashes of blue. I also started scouring Craigslist for furniture. My first break through came from an old abandon elementary school (ironically enough the school's name was Bynum Elementary!) that had been purchased by two brothers, and they were selling all the stuff that was left over in the school. I purchased two wonderful bookcases that I will eventually stain a darker color, an old globe just like the one my father has in his office (it even has the Soviet Union on it!), and a chalk board. The chalkboard was your average wood with green board.
I am posting the side view so you can see all the little rods I had to sand and paint.
I put the sander to work and decided to spray paint the wood a dark purple, the rusted hinges silver, and the board black. The sander did the work in no time, expect for those stupid skinny rods. I had to hand sand those. To finish the look off, I placed two magnets I purchased in Vietnam over some of the screws. (And yes, I am aware that my cursive M looks like an N.)

I love the finished product. I will admit, however, that the chalkboard paint does not like to erase the best. I think I need an official chalkboard eraser.

My next major project was a new desk chair. My old desk chair was my grandfather's chair and it never fit under the desk. With such a small room, I could not have a chair that was floating in the middle of the room. I fell in love with a chair at Pier One with the lovely price tag of 120 dollars. Don't you just love it:?
Hello, my name is Dream Chair. Don't you want me in your home? 
You know the Pier One commercials were the merchandise talks to the customers and they bring the stuff home? Yeah, those commercials are not fictional. I promise this chair asked me in a very seductive voice to take it home. If a chair could have the mysterious-Fabio appeal then it would be this chair.

I almost fell prey to Fabio chair, but thank goodness logic took over and my mind reminded me that leather and cats are a no go. Instead, I went back to Craigslist and found a dumpy wooden chair with a huge bubble/ crack in the seat. (Sadly I don't have a before picture. It is safe to say it was ugly and covered in dog hair.) My sander and I went to battle. A couple of blue spray paint coats later and I had Fabio Jr. I still have to make a purple seat cushion for Jr. but I am in love with him. He is the same color as the original chair and as odd as this sounds, I love the way the chair creaks when I move around in it. It is a reassuring sound, reminding me to work or write.

Fabio Jr.

My next big find was an Ikea chair on Craigslist with the matching footstool. I am thinking about making a slipcover (aka, asking my aunt very sweetly to make) in purple.  I also got two old timey gold picture frames at a yard sale for 3 dollars that I spray painted silver and turned into mini cork boards.


 The circle frame needs to be finished. My favorite part of the whole office, however, is the wall of inspiration. I have a collection of black frames of all shapes and sizes. I have room to add more as I find more inspirational pictures and things. But for now the office looks like:

This is the view when you walk through the door. To the right is the wall of inspiration and to the left are the bookshelves. The Ikea chair is on the same wall as the door.

The bookshelves and globe came from Bynum Elementary School.

The Ikea chair. (My awesome aunt is making a slip cover for it!) My Beauty and the Beast poster had been in a closet for five years or so.

Sorry! A little blurry. It has my Vietnamese currency, a picture of Dr. Bennett, my grandfather's wire ring he made, and some other fun things.

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