Archive for July, 2011

Yes, We’re Still Alive…

Hi friends!  Sorry for the long blogging pause.  We took a road trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons (which were absolutely stunning), and along the way…we lost our camera.  Yup.  It’s a trip of all mental snapshots for us.  If you’re interested in the whole story, see my “P.S.” at the bottom of this post.  Needless to say, it’s difficult to blog without a camera, and while I probably could have dug up some old photos, I decided that since I’m on summer vaca it couldn’t hurt to take some additional time off.

Now that I’m done rummaging up excuses for my absence, I have some exciting news to share!  Remember the desk I scored at the ARC (which is a killer thrift store in the Springs, similar to Goodwill, but better)?

Well, I finally posted it on Craigslist and it sold today!  I literally waved goodbye to it not ten minutes ago.

As it turns out, the desk was pretty popular.  I had lots of people emailing and asking if it was still available.  Unfortunately, as many of you know, Craigslisters tend to be a bit wishy washy.  One minute they’re “very interested” in your stuff, the next they’re not even returning your emails.  I suppose you could say I have a love/hate relationship with good ole’ Craigster.  In the end though, it was worth it to be patient.  Julia, a beautiful, sweet college gal had apparently been hankering for a desk of this type for months, and she was smitten by this one.  She said it’s going to be the “apartment desk,” which I’m guessing means it’ll be used communally by all her roommates—love that idea.  She kept running her hands over it and saying how perfect it was.  Yay, right?!  When she and her mom drove off after picking up the desk, I could still hear her squealing with delight over her find.  Honestly, I think she was the perfect person to buy it.  Julia, if you’re out there, it was so fun to meet you!  Wishing you the best as you enter college!

We didn’t make out too badly in the end either.  I bought the desk for $15, purchased paint supplies (which I’m not counting, since I have tons of product leftover and will definitely use those supplies for a plethora of projects in the future), and sold it for $75.  Not too shabby!

Really, I’m thrilled with the way this experiment went.  A few things I learned along the way:

1.)    Painting/updating furniture is fun for me, so it didn’t feel like work—that’s a plus when you consider that time is money.

2.)    I learned new painting techniques (see this post for more details); even though it’s going to be a continual learning process, I had to start somewhere.

3.)    Having a decent storage space is essential.  Fortunately, we have a detached garage and a basement, so the project didn’t encroach on our personal space.  Still, I realized that I probably should sell the desk before buying too many other potential projects…

4.)    There are loads of people who liked the style of the desk—let’s call it slightly distressed shabby chic.  You might even say it has a cottage feel.

5.)    Being patient and waiting for the right person to come along on Craigslist is a must!

6.)    It was worth taking the risk.  Now I have the courage to try again!

Some of you may be wondering what I plan to do with the $75.  My plan is to give 10% of what I earn via refinishing furniture to a home related cause or charity.  There are a lot of ways this could go.  I’ve considered Habitat for Humanity, The Alma Project, Casa Vida y Esperanza in Magdalena, Mexico, and Gateway Woods.  I’m leaning towards Gateway Woods, which provides a home for “lost and wounded children.”  My family has been strongly involved in Gateway Woods for many years, and I truly believe in the work they’re doing.  The rest of it will go back into our home, which supports my DIY hobby, helps complete our home, and provides a bit of blog fodder.  One of the reasons I wanted to sell something on Craigslist in the first place is due to the fact that we have a limited budget, and I have to be creative in finding the $$ to splurge on my wish list.  While that can be challenging and sometimes frustrating, I think it gives me a greater appreciation for what I earn.  You know—like when you had to save your pennies as a kid.

About an hour before Julia came to claim her “new” desk, I decided that it would be fun to snap a few photos of the desk, so I ran around our house grabbing random items, which I then arranged on the desk in an attempt to make it a functional, yet cozy and personalized, workspace.

The first arrangement has a clean, breezy feel.  (Pardon the washed out look against the wall…twas a bummer I didn’t have a colorful flower handy to pop in the white bottle.)

The second one is a bit more rustic and warm.

Hmmm…I’m feeling inspired to tackle the desk in our guest bedroom.  (Sorry, but I don’t have a good shot of the inside.)

We don’t currently use this desk much, but in the fall I start a new teaching job where I will teach a few days in the regular classroom and the rest online.  It’s completely new for me—so exciting and so scary—but I can’t wait to try on more flexible hours.  All that to say, I think having a comfortable and inviting workspace is really important, so I’ve been brainstorming ways to make that a reality in my own work-from-home-space.  More on that later…

P.S. So here’s the missing camera scoop… Our third year anniversary fell over our trip to Yellowstone, so Matt sweetly planned a surprise overnight stay at the Lake Hotel, complete with a romantic dinner and dressy clothes to boot.  (We were camping, so a shower sounded like bliss!)  Since we were traveling with another couple and their 14 month old daughter, they were going to drop us off at the hotel and pick us up the next morning—such great friends!  We had spent the entire day taking in the geysers and mineral basins, and we were running a tad late for our dinner reservation.  As we careened down a curvy road trying to make up for lost time, our friend’s poor daughter threw up her entire day’s worth of food…all over everything.  Needless to say, we pulled over and it was all hands on deck as we cleaned everything up.  After fifteen minutes we were back on the road, and about two miles later we spotted our first grizzly bear!  I was freaking out, because I wanted so badly to see a bear on our trip.  Of course, I’m screaming, “Get out the camera, get out the camera!”  *Crickets.*  No. camera. to. be. found.  Long story short, we went back to look for the camera multiple times on the side of the road.  Nothing.  We even filled out a lost and found report, but so far we haven’t heard anything.  Our final conclusion is that during the crazy puke pullover, we probably placed the camera on top of the vehicle and drove off with an unsecured camera.  So sad.  The good news is that we still had a great anniversary, and now our friend is lending us a camera that her brother won.  But that’s actually another story for another day…