Creative Colorado living

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Colorado Desert Beauty

This is the incredibly beautiful Colorado desert.  I still can't believe I can be in this beauty in a 5 min drive and 5 min hike!  I feel so blessed.  These pics were from a sunny Colorado February day.

The purple in the Prickly Pear cactus is incredible.

Little Lizard King Bohemian Mod Add On Pattern

This is a top I made a bit ago and never blogged about.  Well I haven't blogged in so long, but have been sewing and testing patterns a lot and still teaching art for an elementary school, and still renovating my house and being a mother of two....so busy.  Anyway, this is Little Lizard King's Free Mod On.

It's an add on to their Mod pattern and it creates a beautiful baby doll shape on the bodice and still has the flowy angel sleeves (plus other choices).  It can be a dress or a top.

My daughter and I had a great time with this shoot while visiting Arches National Park in Moab, UT.  Love the mountains against the red of the desert sand.

I'm a bit obsessed with this bohemian look.  The fabric, trim and wooden buttons all make me so happy!

I've been testing a lot for Little Lizard King and am really enjoying it.  Such a great group of designers and sewers.  They have a new website that's gorgeous and has the boho style that I'm into.  I'll keep trying to blog about my sewing creations.

Gathered Clutch Perfect for Mother's Day Gift

This is a FREE pattern that I just love.  It's the gathered clutch tutorial from noodlehead.  It really is a great, easy pattern and I've made it a few times.

This one was for a theme basket for an auction.  It was for a bike themed basket and I just had a scrap of this amazing fabric left so it was perfect.  Even though it has a zipper, it's not too tough!

This clutch would make a great Mother's Day present and this was what noodlehead originally posted it for in 2010!  Only have a month left.....

Summer Trip to China MARKET DAY

I was lucky enough to fly to Lijiang, China this summer to attend my brother's wedding.  I went with my mom and we had a blast.  First day there we went to the local market and it was quite the adventure!  

Toddlers chew on chicken feet and eat the skin.

Most beautiful and fresh veggies I've ever seen!

Pig feet and ears galore!

Lots of spicy peppers.

China has red red red everywhere.  Lucky red!

Chicken feet for a treat.

Pig ears.

Not sure what this is.

Gray skinned local chickens.  Yuck!

Such a cute girl with adorable haircut and outfit.


Cute eggs for sale.

This shop was killing chickens.  My mom and I didn't go by it.

Lots of pig parts.

Sweet cakes that I wish I had eaten!  Took pics for my kids.

Had such a great time exploring local and non touristy places in China.  Kids there pointed at my mom and I and I think had never seen a Westerner before.  Such an adventure!

CRAIGSLIST FIND Mid Century Modern Stanley Furniture Triple Slotted Dresser Refinishing Tutorial

Here's what I was working on this weekend.  Refinishing my very first piece of furniture!!!  It's my first mid century piece and I was thrilled to score it on Craigslist for $125!  I've been looking for so long for the perfect dresser for my room (although I LOVE how it looks in my kitchen, my bedroom needs it for now).

It didn't start out so pretty....

Not horrible, but definitely scratches and the finish was peeling.  It came with a mirror that I will refinish and use soon if we move the dresser from it's current location.

I knew it was from Stanley furniture since it was printed in a drawer, so I searched the internet for info and found this.  It is a Vintage Stanley Triple Slotted Dresser from the 50's made from walnut and walnut veneers.  Professional refinishers fixed up a lot of Stanley mid-century pieces for the company's heritage collection and sold them starting at $4,000 (INSANE) in Vegas in 2014.  Here's what my dresser looks like when professionals get their hands on it:

WOW!  Since this was my first try and I'm not a professional, I was aiming for something between the before and this.  I think I got it!  I was so thankful to find this blog post from Red House West and I followed all her steps.  This is her refinished nightstand.

I'm so thankful I found it since you shouldn't use regular stain on mid century pieces...

Instead of jumping in with the Citristrip stripper, I sanded 3/4 of the top with my sander and it was intense but worked well, just difficult.  Then I got brave and used the stripper and it was amazing!

I needed a metal container for the stripper so I raided the recycling bin!  Started with a foam brush but the stripping gel ate it up so I switched to an old brush I can throw away.

Surface scratches sanded right out.

So it's really easy, just brush on the Citristrip gel and let sit at least 30 min.  Then scrape off.  I had to reapply to some stubborn spots but overall it got it done.  Really great!

Then I sanded and sanded and sanded.  Started with 60 in spots that needed a lot, then 110 and 220 I think.  I used our electric sander and it was great.  Had to be careful to not go too deep since top and drawers are walnut veneer.

Top looks great.  It's coming along.... Next step is applying Danish Oil to the bare wood.  I wanted light walnut color but my Lowe's only had Natural, Medium Walnut and Dark Walnut.  I picked Medium Walnut since I didn't' have the patience to wait...

I have never used Danish Oil before (just regular stain), but I am now hooked forever.  It's so easy and is an oil so it applies perfectly and no stress about making it even.  I cut up an old kitchen towel for rag.

A few dings and veneer gone on the side.  I just used my brown Sharpie and filled them in and it matches perfectly.  I'm not advanced enough to know how to fix veneer....

So smooth and perfect color on the top.

Last step (after it dried overnight) is to apply Howard Feed-N-Wax with a rag.  Again super easy.  Let sit for 20 min then wipe off.  Really shines it up!

Before I wiped it off.

Here it is.  I just love it.  My husband was VERY impressed since he hasn't seen me refinish anything before and was unsure...but now I have finally have impressed him!

I have a campaign dresser to refinish next.  I already have it stripped and sanded, but I'm just painting.  I've had it for 2 years and am finally on a roll!

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