Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Day at Alcatraz

Some of you may know, I'm on vacation in the San Francisco area.
Saturday we spent the day going into SF and visiting Alcatraz!

The views were really gorgeous, and I want to share them with you!

The view as we stepped off the boat onto the dock

I learned a lot about the history of Alcatraz, like how Indians occupied it in the 60's just after the prison closed. There's still painted signs all over the island from them.

The cells were teeny tiny!
Room for a twin bed, toilet, sink, and small folding ledges that acted as a desk and chair.

In 1962, 3 men successfully escaped from Alcatraz. (never to be seen again and presumably drowned) This was the cell of one of the men. You can see the chiseled out air vent where he escaped from, and his fake head in which he used to fool the guard during the "head counts" throughout the night!

I couldn't stop taking pictures of the views!! 
(Just ask my hubby as every time he turned around I was off somewhere taking another pic!)

The Golden Gate Bridge as we were leaving.

One last view of Alcatraz Island

And back to San Francisco!

I'm loving these new experiences!! Hope you enjoying seeing the pics! :)

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Green with Envy

I'm so excited to share my latest project with you!

I keep an ad out on Craigslist for my painting services. It has been there off and on over the past year. I get inquiries from time to time, and at least half of them turn into actual jobs. (Apparently not many people are on there that do what I do) So, the most recent job was courtesy of Craigslist.

The task:
Re-finish and distress this hutch for a baby's room!

The couple brought the piece over that day along with a swatch of the green they chose (Heartland Frosty). I got to work sanding the pieces down that night and the next day. 

I had recently gotten a new gravity fed paint sprayer that hooks up to the air compressor. I was eager to give it a shot!

We had to change some settings on the compressor - thank goodness my husband was around!!
We filled the pressure up to about 150-200 psi, then used the pressure regulator to only allow a max of 40 psi to the gun (per the instruction manual). 
*Note* Air will need filled up several times during the job.

The gun was pretty easy to put together and understand. Once the paint was in and ready to go we testing on a piece of cardboard and played with all the knobs on the gun until we liked what we saw! :)

I pulled out all the pieces to the side of my backyard along with a massive plastic drop cloth and scrap wood to hold it down.

First side done!

All sides done!

Close up views on how it looked after painting.

It was a bit difficult keeping all the nature bits from falling onto the hutch pieces while they were drying! I was running around checking them all!

By the end of the afternoon my sprayer and I were in love...

And by the end of the day my sciatica was flaring up and the ice pack and couch were calling my name!!

Over the next few days it was time to distress! 
I use a mix of tools to distress. The orbital sander, Rigid oscillating tool, and regular sand paper by hand for the fine detail. I use #220 fine grit for this so it leaves a smooth finish.

It's rare I show anyone what I look like while working, but here you go! 
Hair up - out of the way and off my back! Tank top - it's getting hot here in TX!

*Drum Roll Please*

I'm actually not so sure the pictures do it justice. The piece is actually pretty awesome and I love it! My sister even tried to steal it. (she loves green!)

Here's a professional picture of the Heartland Frosty on walls. May give you a better idea of the nice green color. :)

Hope you loved this project! Leave me some comment love below!

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Nailhead Stools

I haven't shared many projects with you lately. To be honest, that's because we haven't finished any of the projects we've been working on! We have 2 projects in the works, and I had to squeeze in these stools and get them done!

Here's a pic of the stools before, in my client's home. 

Last year I re-finished her dining room table, doesn't it look great in her house?!

The goal was to re-finish the stools to go with her new look.

After painting the chairs a pure white flat paint, I distressed them and finished them with a matte water based polyurethane t protect them from wear and tear. 

I used a ruler and pencil to mark the placement for each nailhead.

 I placed the marks for the nailheads 1 inch apart, which left about 1/2" between the nails.

All done! So happy with the results!

I hope you enjoyed seeing my latest project!
This week I'm re-finishing a hutch for a baby's room. A cute green color with lots of fun distressing. Check back soon for pictures!!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Start Writing Your Family History

Hey there! It's been a while since I've posted about family research. I came across this article and wanted to share! I hope this inspires you to write down your findings to share and keep forever.

genealogy stories wedding photo

We research our ancestors for lots of reasons. For me, it's so they'll be known and remembered—not just by me, but also by my family.

Lots of us genealogists have a goal to write our family history. It's one of the best ways to organize research finds, draw conclusions, and neatly package our family history (instead of delivering it in a pile of records, notes and sources).

But we can't wait until we're "finished" researching to start writing. All genealogists know you never finish researching: There are always more relatives to discover and brick walls in the way. So how do you know when it's time to start writing? Here are eight tipoffs:

1. People are curious. For me, it was when people in my dad's family started asking about my research. I brought my binder of records (this was before I kept most documents digitally) to a family gathering. I promised copies to my aunts, and it occurred to me that I should add some context. Their paternal line was small enough that I could write a simple narrative in a Word document (here's more on that), put it on CDs with PDFs and JPGs of records, and hand them out at Christmas.

2. An important anniversary is coming up. Your parents' Golden wedding anniversary, or a 25th annual family reunion, is a great occasion to put together some form of a family history book. Or consider current events: The upcoming WWI centennial is an opportunity to share the stories of ancestors of that era.

You don't have to write a complete family history—you could undertake one of these smaller, more manageable family history projects. Just give yourself enough time for whatever you plan to do.

3. You've found a story that wants to be told. Maybe your Civil War ancestor's pension record is a windfall of information about his experiences, your father or grandfather told you about surviving the Great Depression, or you strongly identify with your pioneer great-grandmother. My grandfather who died before I was born grew up in an orphanage and put himself through college. These stories hold important lessons.

4. You're at a brick wall. You might think you have to break through the brick wall first, but this is actually one of the best times to start writing. Writing about a research problem will help you analyze what you've found and come up with new ideas. Plus, if you wait until you solve every question, you might never start writing. You might even invoke Murphy's Law of Genealogy: The moment you finish writing your family story, you'll find the record you've been after for years.

5. You solved a brick wall or achieved a research goal. If you finally found your immigrant ancestor's passenger record or identified a mystery photo, celebrate by writing that story and how you solved the problem. It'll help you take stock of your research and figure out your next goal.

6. You need a break. If you're feeling burned out on doing research, or you need to refocus, stop looking for new information. Instead, look through everything you already have and start writing.

7. You feel like you should be writing this stuff down. If you have a nagging feeling that you should be writing about the family history you've learned, there's a reason for it. Obey the voice in your head!

8. You've done some research. You can start writing a story at any point—no need to wait until your family tree is yay big. If you've only gotten to your grandparents, write about them. Or go closer to home and write how your parents met, or how you met your spouse.

In fact, this may be the best way to do it. As you continue researching, connect these smaller stories together and you'll have an ongoing narrative of your family history.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Destination: West Coast

Hey there!
I'm so excited to tell ya'll what I've been up to lately!

All my life anytime someone starts talking about California my first thought is, I've never been there! 

Well thanks to a good friend, that is finally going to change! 

In exchange for dog-sitting services I get a flight out to the San Francisco/Oakland area and a free place to stay! I added a flight for my hubby and with less than a month to plan, we are quickly deciding how we want to spend our time!

Some things we plan on doing/seeing:

1. Monteray Bay

2. Alcatraz

3. Giant Redwoods
Muir Woods National Monument maybe?

4. Golden Gate Bridge
(because we can!)

5. Sonoma Wine Country

6. Pier 39

7. Point Reyes National Seashore

8. Trolley Ride

 What do you think of my list so far? 
Any suggestions to add? 
Or to remove? 
I know some of these things are very touristy, but hey...we will be tourists!

Coincidentally, this trip will fall over my birthday this year! I can't think of a better way to spend it! I'm so excited to be crossing something off my would-be-a-bucket-list-if-i-had-one list!

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