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Baby #2 should be here any day and this past weekend, we celebrated with a BaByQ and all of our family and friends.  Needless to say, the nursery was done and waiting for everyone to see!

Here are a few of the details that we added to the nursery:

These are the curtains that I purchased from Ikea and then added my own fabric for some unique embellishments.  When I did my daughter’s nursery a few years ago, I made the curtains as well and made them so they could be drawn shut at night time.  Well, I must not be a very good seamstress, because they just didn’t hold up.  For this nursery, I left the curtains stationary and added the black out shade instead.  The shade is so inexpensive and costs much less than purchasing black out materials for the back of the curtains.  I got a custom look with the store-bought curtains for less that $40!

This is a mobile from Ikea as well.  I thought it would work well as a great detail above the window (we already have a great mobile left over from my daughter’s nursery).  I stuffed it with plastic bags, a great way to recycle I must say!  My daughter points it out every time we go into the nursery.

Just a few accessories for the shelving.  I chose to accessorize with items that can be used as toys in the future . . . this is a huge money saver as they do double duty!  I also like the used items that are personal to us . . . for example, the stuffed dog was given to me by my husband when we were in college.  Now, it will be a fun and cherished toy for Baby #2.  I also like the have a few family photos around the room.  The one on the shelf will soon hold a picture of Baby #2 and there is a picture of my husband, daughter, and myself by the glider chair.

These are some adorable hooks from Ikea.  I learned very quickly from the first baby that I need to have some things easily accessible such as blankets, hats, coats, and toys for distraction.  They are beside the changing table right next to the door and they will get lots of use!

EASY STORAGE!!!  These bins were SUPER cheap at IKEA and fit perfectly under the crib.  I filled them with all of the toys from when my daughter was little.  This has actually helped her become excited about the baby’s room.  She loves to go in there and pull out the toys.  It gives her a special place in the room and I hope she uses them when I am in there caring for the baby.  These bins will also be great for the future as they can easily be adapted for clothing or toy storage.

A little green lamp on clearance for $10 at Target and a couple of picture frames beside the glider complete the accessories.  The smaller frame actually holds a “baseball card” of my husband when he was a little boy.  I love to look at it and see my daughter’s eyes reflected in his face!  The quilt was made by many church ladies when my husband was born and it also has a matching dog stuffed animal that is in the crib.  It is a great and personal accent.

BIG MONEY SAVING TIP:  Use personal items!  Don’t feel like everything needs to be bought brand new.  Contact some of your relatives and ask if they have any cherished blankets, toys, family photos, etc.  These accents make the room feel cozy and warm.  also, if you are going to buy, buy things that can do double duty . . . storage for clothing, toys, and blankets or accessories that can be used as toys later on.

I will post some pics of the nursery when it is in use . . . hopefully, that will be soon!  Enjoy!

-Amanda- High Fire Mommy

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We have been in full swing with a backyard and master bathroom renovation.  I definitely feel the hormones kicking in with the pregnancy and I am very well settled in the nesting phase at this point.  I recently purchased a 1950s American style buffet for additional storage (holds all of the crystal and china that was stored in the now baby’s room).  I purchased it off of Craigslist and admittedly, it is a little beat up.

I was looking around my house and trying to decide how to refinish the piece.  My immediate thought was to paint it “Cotton Whisper” which is the color of my baseboards.  I glanced around the house again only to realize that I have an addiction . . . an addiction to white paint!

What is painted white in my home?

*  Entertainment Center

*  Kitchen Cabinets

*  Bathroom Cabinets including the ones I just had refinished

*  Dining set in my Bridal Consultation Room

*  Mirror that I purchased damaged from Pier1

*  Fireplace and Mantel

*  All doors and baseboards

Yikes!!!  I think I am making “Cotton Whisper”  the most popular color in America because of my excessive use!  So, I am going to try something different with the buffet.  I saw a great technique on Centsational Girl and thought I would try it out for myself.  Here was my inspiration piece . . . a little too beachy for my house, but beautiful none the same.

I started by removing all of the hardware and sanding the entire piece.  I left some of the gouges and scratches, because I wanted the piece to look used and worn, but if you want a clean finish, be sure to remove all scratches and dings.  Sometimes it helps to use a little bit of wood filler for the deeper ones.

Once the piece was sanded, I wiped everything down with a damp cloth to remove all sanding dust before applying any paint.  I ended up doing this a couple of times.

I choose a beautiful denim color by Martha Stewart.  I purchased one quart and selected a semi-gloss finish.  Why semi-gloss, you ask?  This piece will most likely be the host to many different dishes as the years go by.  The semi-gloss allows for an easy clean up if anything is spilled on the buffet.

I applied one coat of denim paint using a 2 1/2 inch brush.  No rollers here!  The brush allowed me to get into the nooks and crannies.  Try to paint all in the same direction to keep the piece nice, neat, and precise.

After the first coat had dried, I looked over it to make sure there were no drips or runs.  If you have drips or runs, lightly sand with fine grit sandpaper and wipe clean before applying another coat.

I applied a second coat of paint, allowed it to dry and then searched for drips and runs again.  Looking good!  I almost stopped at this stage because I was so enthralled with the color of the paint . . . but after some encouragement from the hubbie, I pushed on.

Next comes the dry brush coat.  I selected a lighter washed blue color by Martha Stewart, purchased it in a quart, and semi-gloss.  If I had to do it again, I would buy a tester size paint sample for the dry brush, since it took so little . . . guess I have some paint left over for another adventure!

You need a good towel and a stiff brush.  I dipped the very tip of the brush in the paint and blotted most of the paint off on the towel.  I worked on the side first, just in case I messed up.  Start at the edge of the piece and gently draw the brush across the surface of the piece trying to stay as straight as you can.  Work in the same direction as you cover the piece.  ALWAYS blot off paint before applying  . . . hence, the dry brush technique.

For added character, I went back and added more of the dry brushed light blue to areas that would genuinely be worn over time.

Once the dry brush layer had dried and I felt satisfied with how it looked, I applied two coats of water-based polyurethane.  Why water-based, you ask?  Well, I am pregnant right now and that is the safer product.  If I wasn’t pregnant, I would go with an oil based to allow for better durability.

When applying the clear coat, be sure to use a very clean brush and DO NOT SHAKE the clear coat in its can.  Instead use a wooden stir to gently stir the paint.  You don’t want to get a bunch of air bubbles in the clear coat because they won’t go away when you apply it to the furniture.

Reattached old hardware or new if you selected something different and voila!!!  You are done!

I purchased this piece for $150 off of Craigslist and spent about $20 on paint.  The piece cost a little more than I would have liked to spend, but the style and size worked perfectly for my home.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a crazy, crafty person!  I have a degree in Sculpture and enjoy working in my ceramics studio on my property.  I love all types of art and have a blast doing DIY project around my house.  I thought I would try to start posting some of the ideas on the blog.  Maybe some of you will become inspired!

Check out my latest finds while garage sale hunting today!

#1:  A solid wood shelf for $5.  I loved the detail on the brackets and I intent on painting it out white and hanging it above the new baby’s changing table.

#2:  Detail of brackets.

#3:  Antique iron grate for $5.  About 2 feet by 3 feet, it is large an heavy.  The chunky wooden frame has great breadth and I intend on white washing it.  The grate will need a good cleaning, but should look wonderful on my fireplace mantel.

#4:  Detail of grate.

#5:  Set of 21 pink vintage glasses.  I purchased these for Christine’s baby shower in June.  The theme is “Pretty in Purple and Pink!”  And what better way to serve pink lemonade than in these beautiful glasses.  The lady I purchased from said that she used to eat homemade ice cream out of them at her grandmother’s house when she was a little girl.  Heavy glass that should last a life time!

Pictures of the completed projects to follow!  Stay tuned for a “Nursery on a Budget” series to begin next week!

Love lots,

Amanda- High Fire Mommy