So it's November now. And when I think of November, my mind immediately goes to the subject of thankfulness.
Partly because plans for Thanksgiving start to kick up a notch, partly because most of my friends are listing daily thanks on their facebook statuses, and partly because it starts to get really cold (it snowed today!) and I remember how thankful I am for things like heat and an oven for baking.
But when it comes to being thankful, I confess that I don't always take it far enough. And especially these last few months, I have been struggling with some major discontentment. While it's all well and good to proclaim thankfulness to the world about something in particular, I think that in order for it to be true thankfulness, it also has to include contentment.
I am thankful for my warm and cozy house, but I have been struggling with discontentment that it is not bigger and more grand and that I can't afford all of the new furniture that my mind's eye INSISTS that I must buy. So am I really thankful for my house then if I spend so much time thinking about everything that it's NOT?
This last week I have spent a lot of time thinking about areas that I may claim to be thankful but certainly not content. After realizing how far short I fall in this area, I decided to dedicate this November to making the most out of what I already have instead of longing for new things that I think would make my life better. My goal is to focus on contentment along with being thankful instead of pretending that life would be somehow magically be all better if Pinterest was an online store and everything was free.
So while I was looking around my house, pouting that I didn't have the budget to buy new Dining Room furniture, I tried to think of how I could do my best towards better using the space I DO have along with the furniture that is ALREADY kicking around my house.
My eyes settled on this little problem right here. This is a buffet table that I bought years ago BK (before kids). The problem? It is so low that the kids swipe off anything that I might DARE put on top of it so I can't decorate it seasonally. Also, I couldn't figure out a way to childproof the sliding glass doors, so more often then not I would come across the twinsies having their own little tea party, banging delicate china on the floor and onto each other's heads.
I then remembered this beautiful dresser that my friend Lydia graciously passed along to me when she moved out of state. I loved the dresser, but the colors fit in her little boy's nursery and I hadn't found the time to repaint it in order to put it to good use, so it's just been hanging out in my garage these past months (duck head in shame).
I decided that if I was going to paint it, I wanted it to be trendy-looking and fun so I went to Pinterest and searched specifically for dressers with chevron stripes. I took inspiration from this pin and this pin.
Friday during nap time I got to work (in my kitchen because that's as far as I could drag it into the house and plus I could still watch the kids play over the barricade while I worked for a bit after they got up from their naps)
I sanded down everything I was going to paint, wiped it down, and then painted two coats of primer (While listening to loud music and drinking a LOT of coffee...yes, this is life on the wild side).
I then painted everything with two coats of the white paint that I already had in the basement because it's the same color that all the woodwork in my house is painted (I did purchase the yellow paint for this project)
After all the paint dried over 24 hours, I then tried to tape it up myself with just eyeing it. That did NOT work.
So I brought in the big guns and had Aaron measure it out for me.
And then we taped it up.
(By this point, I was feeling like this project would never end)
Oh yeah, I painted a boring ol' white wall yellow in my kitchen while I was waiting for the paint to dry.
I was going to paint the stripes black, but when I opened my black paint, I discovered that it was moldy. So I went instead with leftover dark purple which incidentally is the color of the wall that this new buffet was going to go in front of.
This is what it looked like when I let it dry overnight and then took the tape off (I had to do some slight touchup on the white)
And then this is after I added in the yellow knobs:
This trendy, chevron-striped look is EXACTLY what I was imagining in my head (happy dance). Now when you imagine me typing away on blog posts, you can imagine me right here with the cup of coffee, wrinkled tablecloth, and chevron striped dresser. The great part is, there's so much extra room in this new buffet that some of my office paperwork will fit nicely in the extra drawers instead of staying on the table all day. (yes, I know we have to get the bottom trim back on the purple wall)
My total cost of this project?
The dresser was free (Thank you Lydia!),
the white paint and purple paint was leftover from other projects, I borrowed the electric sander from my in-laws,
I bought one can of Primer, a few new paint rollers, and the yellow paint.
In addition, it cost me one very long weekend, some bartering with the husband for his help on the measuring, a redesigned house by the kiddos, and a lot of paint highlights in my hair.
I'm going to say: worth it.
(but could I please have a weekend to recover from my weekend?)
(but could I please have a weekend to recover from my weekend?)
Oh, and I drizzled some extra paint on a blank canvas I already had for some extra kitchen artwork to match my new yellow wall. This represents my life. Messy but somehow fun.
This is NOT a "I-have-two-toddlers" friendly project. It was WAY more work that I thought it would be. But I was very pleased with my efforts to make the most out of what I already had instead of trying to buy something new.
These two seem to approve as well. Although they seemed very thankful when Grandma brought them over some food because Mommy's usual output from the kitchen slowed down a touch this weekend:
So yes, I'm making a noticeable effort this month to appreciate what I DO have instead of focusing on what I don't. That might include a little paint, some extra effort towards the housework and laundry, some small purchases to spiff up existing things...but overall just allowing thankfulness for the life I have been given to blend into contentment that it isn't more. Should be a fun month. (-:
The winner of the T21 necklace is Kristine Winkel-Leddige
and the winner of the book Gifts is Deena Stuart. Email me! (firstname.lastname@example.org)