Random Saturdays – Lego’s New(ish) Desk

Ah Pinterest.  The place where dreams and imaginations run wild while my actual butt sits in a chair.  I do use Pinterest for inspiration for plenty of things that I actually do, but that hasn’t really been much in terms of home improvement projects.  I’m always sick, working, trying to sleep, or otherwise busy.  However, I am here to make an announcement.

I have completed my first furniture makeover project!

*and my mom slow claps* 

*and the crowd goes wild*

Lego had a decent desk, but it’s ugly as crud.  It’s been through some incidents including candle wax, paint or nail polish of some sort, rogue screws, and who knows what else.  I wanted to redo this desk for him for awhile and thought it would make a great birthday present.  When his birthday came around, I was tied up in the middle of nowhere, watching three other teams play football while their parents yelled things like, “Hurt ‘im good!” until it was Lego’s and Minecraft’s turns to play.  Then, Ben and I went to Lowe’s to get a few things and I saw some Oops  Paint in colors that Lego would like.  I decided that since I kinda had a window of time, I might as well redo the desk.  So, I bought the paint.  Researching the desk, I decided to use this plan on Pinterest with these points in mind.  Before starting, these are the supplies I gathered:

Piece of crappy looking laminate furniture
150 – 220 grit sandpaper that my husband had sitting in a filing cabinet
Tack Cloths
2 cans of Rust Oleum 280715 American Accents Ultra Cover 2X Spray Paint, White Primer, 12-Ounce
Paint
6 in mini roller
Paint pan thingy (I just bought a kit – easy & cheap)
Mini foam paintbrushes for tight spots (I had some already in a drawer for another craft that I never did.)
Top Coat (My husband’s had good results with Minwax in the past, so I just got that.)
Plastic tarp, plastic bags, old fabric, or cardboard to lay under your work area
Respirator or face masks (I didn’t realize that I needed these until after I did the project and my nosehairs were covered in primer.)
Screwdriver, Xacto knife, and hammer (depending on what kinds of pieces you have on the desk)

Step 1 – Tell your stepson to take everything off of his desk except for his computer if he wants a surprise from you the next time he sees you.  You may have to do this twice in order to get him to remove 75% of the stuff from his desk.
Step 2 – Remove all the crap off the desk when your stepson is gone.  Shove it all out of the way.  Shove any other furniture as far as you can get it from the ugly desk too.  Pick up all the crap on the floor around the desk and vacuum around your work area.  Remove any hardware or broken parts from the desk using a screwdriver or sledgehammer.  I ended up with lots of screws and hinges to donate to future projects, a door that will be turned into a shelf in another room, and some junk to throw in the trash.

Step 3 – Ask your husband to move the pallets he painted out of the way so you can get to the plastic sheets you use for painting.  When he doesn’t do that, tear apart some large cardboard boxes from stuff he’s ordered and place it under your work area.  This will assure that your husband finally gets your plastic wrap out for you to use.

Step 4 – Lightly sand the desk.  When you find crud on it, use your handy dandy box cutter to scrape that junk off the ugly desk.  You may discover that large chunks of fake wood are missing from the desk as well.  So, you’ll probably have to go downstairs and ask your husband where the wood filler is.  If you’re lucky, he’ll know where it is off the top of his head.  Now, you can go back upstairs and fill that fake wood with faker wood.  (Follow the directions on the bottle, more or less.)
Untitled Step 5 – Use tack cloth to wipe down the desk.  This is where you remember you were supposed to wipe down the desk with vinegar and water or something before you sanded it.  You’ll also forget that you had that wood filling stuff that needed to dry before you did anything else to the desk, but that’s okay because it’s in an inconspicuous area and will be hidden behind another piece of furniture anyway. Untitled

Step 6 – Forget what the next step is and check Pinterest.
brokepinterest

Step 7 – Now it’s time to open up some windows because you are about to prime your desk.  Read the directions on the primer and follow them carefully.  When you are done, make sure that the desk is left in a ventilated room while you go somewhere that will allow you to breathe for a few hours.  This is when your husband will ask you if you need that plastic wrap stuff again.  For the second time today, reply, “Not anymore, thank you.”  Ask him if you have primer on your nose hairs so that he can make fun of you for not using any of his respirators or face masks that you didn’t realize he had.  Wait a few hours for the primer to dry while half of your brain cells die.  Go ahead and make an appointment with the respiratory therapist while you’re at it.  You might not remember to do it later.
Untitled

Step 8 – Ready to actual do some painting?  Good.  The weather probably isn’t right for painting anymore, randomly dropping 40 degrees, but once it warms up again, you can try.  Pop open your can of paint and stir it up real good with a paint stick.  The color will be completely different from the color on the paint can and you’ll understand why this was Oops Paint.  Pour your wrong-color paint into your plastic paint thingy and get your paint roller ready for fun.  Dip the roller in the paint and then roll it over the bumpy parts of the plastic thing.  Roll paint the hell outta that desk.  You will find it interesting how some parts of the desk are immediately covered with paint and other parts are not.  Paint will get all over the cardboard on the floor, but none within the bottom 4 inches of the desk.  You will keep finding places on the desk where you have forgotten to roller paint. Step 9 – When you’ve covered the desk in paint, go back over the smaller areas/missed spots with your sponge brush.  Don’t ask me what the best method is.  I approached this like a child with fingerpaints, just mushing color anywhere that my tiny arms would reach.  You can go over paint drips if they’re still wet, but will otherwise need to wait to sand them down once they’re dry (unless you’re lazy like me.) Untitled

Step 10 – Let your paint dry.  Mine only took about an hour, but I had to log on to work, so I couldn’t put the finish on it right away.

Step 11 –  If you painted the desk correctly, then you pulled a muscle in your back or something and can only sit or lay for the rest of the next day.  Make sure that water and ibuprofen are within arm’s reach.

Step 12 – When you are able to move again, go back upstairs and open up a window.  Spray a coat of the top coat over the painted areas of the desk.  It should dry in an hour or two.  If your back spasmed while you did this, then you should just turn on the ceiling fan and leave the room.  These cheap desks aren’t meant to last a lifetime anyway.  Plus, your lack of skill and broken back will ensure that the desk has that coveted “rustic” look that so many bloggers envy.

Step 13 – At some point (48 hours to 6 weeks) the desk should dry.  Dispose of the junk you used to halfway protect the carpet and try to move the desk back into place without pulling any muscles.  Wait until the last possible minute to put anything on the desk, and then wait a day or two more, especially if the desk is for your beloved stepson.  He’ll appreciate the time it took you to get distracted with work and laundry and dinner and work and more laundry and more work.  Having no desk will make him feel like a Native American, able to live off the land armed with only centuries of ancient wisdom and an iPad.

That’s it!  You’re done!  You have successfully Pinterested an ugly fake wood desk into a rustic piece of furniture that your family will cherish for hours to come.  Give yourself a pat on the back if you still have any upper body mobility!

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Random Saturdays – Plotting Baby

I keep having ideas for posts right before I fall asleep or while I’m driving home from work.  Those are not ideal times to write blog posts.  I did find this gem online today and figured it would be a nice first post of 2016 until I can find time to write something longer.  Happy New Year, everyone!

Plotting Baby

This baby is already plotting which crappy nursing home he’s going to send his mom to in a few decades.

Random Saturdays – Amanda’s Birthday 2014

Amanda and I haven’t actually had a chance to celebrate  our birthdays together this year.  When we do, I’m sure we’ll make stupid jokes that I can record on this blog for posterity’s sake.  Until then, here’s a peek at one of the birthday cards I sent her.

Artist's rendering of true events

Artist’s rendering of true events

Random Saturdays – Sharkanado Pre-Production

Before Ron left, Ronicala was going to do our own version of Sharknado called Sharkanado.  We were going to film it at the pond at work because we have so much natural wildlife around us.  I insisted on filming after someone got rid of the snake, but now we also have spiders in bathrooms and hallways that I can no longer use.  Between the wildlife and the heat, I don’t know if I could really even walk to the pond without dying of heatstroke or fear.

At any rate, we brought a souvenir from the Houston Aquarium back for Erica’s step-son.  She and I had a bit of fun with it before she passed it on to him.  Without further ado, feast your eyes upon the first pre-prod shots for Sharkanado!

 

Sharkanado Eats a Pinata

Sharkanado Eats a Piñata

 

Sharkanado Eats a Penguin

Sharkanado Eats a Penguin

 

Blurry Shot

Erica and I were laughing so hard that we couldn’t keep the camera or Sharkanado still for the picture

 

Sharkanado is Simple

Sharkanado is Simple

Random Saturdays – The Week From Hell

There are some weeks that are bad, and it feels like the week from hell.  Then, there are the weeks that leave you completely baffled as to how you survived them at all.  The last time I had a week this bad was when I was stuck in Paris with only my asthma, arthritis, and migraines to keep me company.

I thought the week of Independence Day 2014 would be a good one, but I was wrong.  My two managers were out on vacation, but our supervisor was working.  So, we all knew we’d have to ramp up our efforts a bit.  I would be covering for my managers and our supervisor would be helping with that.  Erica would have to step up in the queue.  Ron and William would have to work on patching and help Erica out in the queue as needed.  It was going to be Ron’s first week on call, so I would be his backup.  I knew it was going to be rough, but it was really worse than I could have imagined.

We started Monday off with an emergency change, which is a pain in the butt to work through and run.  I’m not used to certain meetings that I had to attend that week or the follow up work that goes with them.  I help my managers here and there with them, but was not used to working through so many of these tasks at once.  Erica was drowning in the queue.  We got dumb question after dumb question and my supervisor had to have dumb meeting after dumb meeting.  I mean, how are you supposed to reply to multiple emails from the same guy saying, “I see where Eric approved in an earlier email, but you really need to get Eric to approve these things.  You are not following process.”  What the heckin’ crazies are we supposed to do with that?!

On Wednesday, Ron quit.  Just like that.  He had his reasons and I don’t resent him for that, but it was the worst possible time to quit in relation to what was going on with the team.  William took on call for Ron.  Erica was his backup because I had alot of family stuff going on in the evenings.  When Carla came back to town on Friday, she became William’s backup for the rest of the holiday weekend.  In a way, that part was actually easier to handle than all of the, “You did what I told you to do, but you really need to do what I told you to do” junk.

Then, we got to Thursday.  Thursday was “Friday” because we were off for the 4th of July on Friday.  We had made it that far.  If we could just get through the day, the weekend would be great.  Because of the holiday weekend, things were supposed to be slow.  We could spend the first half of the day tying up loose ends and maybe leave early if things were slow enough.

Around mid-morning, Erica and I noticed a commotion a few rows behind me.  There weren’t many people in the office, but two people were running around frantically and looking at the ceiling.  Water was leaking rapidly from the ceiling.  After some investigation, we realized that the water was coming from the men’s bathroom upstairs.  Someone had flushed a urinal and the handle never came back up, which led to urinal water overflow, which seeped into the floor and spread out before starting to leak from our ceiling.  When water started dripping on the desk behind mine, I started packing up everything at my desk.  I turned around to put my laptop and phones in my bag when water dripped from the ceiling into my coffee cup.

I threw away the coffee cup and worked from home the rest of the day, but the craziness never ended.  I was so thankful to finally log off that night.

The ultra protective desk coverings

The ultra protective desk coverings

Oddly enough, a similar thing happened to my dad at work that same day.  When he came into the office on Monday, the restoration teams had been working all weekend to get the place clean and working.  On Monday morning where I work, the plastic was still covering our cubes and one of my coworkers had standing water by her desk.  Everyone’s eyes and throats burned all day.  Most of the ceiling tiles were replaced the following Wednesday, but the one above my desk has to wait since it’s attached to the fire alarm.

 

My Ceiling Tile

My ceiling tile

In the meantime, we’ll all just hope that we don’t have black lung as we remind ourselves that we survived The Week From Hell.