July 20, 2013

The Strange Thing About My Family and I

If you've read more than one post from this blog, you already know that I am pretty strange. I even had a slight breakdown the other day, losing all self confidence and happiness for about 45 minutes because I was temporarily unhappy about my strangeness and incapability to be normal. However, my family is strange too.

So, yesterday, at about 6:00 in the morning, my mother left the house to go on a trip with her cousins. They grew up together and are all really good friends, so every year they vacation together for a few days. My mom won't be back until Monday, which means that I will be the main woman in the house for a total of 4 days.

Usually, when everyone is all together in the house, there is quite a bit of bickering. Me and my brother. My brothers with eachother. Me and my parents. It happens. Nothing major, but sometimes people get their feelings hurt. Now, here's where the strangeness comes in. When a single person in gone from the house, everything becomes perfectly fine. There is a significant drop in the amount of fighting. The house becomes more peaceful. Everyone is (for the most part) happy and content.

Of course, this doesn't just happen when my mom leaves. I could leave for a sleepover and the same thing would happen. My brother could go to camp and it would happen. Its just strange like that. Its like 5 people is too many to have in such a small space together. Well, actually, I know that one to be true. I cannot tell you how many times bickering or upset feelings have started just because we're tired of living in such a small house.

Anyways, I might as well give you all an update as to  what has been going on in lie recently. First of all, my boyfriend and I broke up. Then, my youngest brother turned 7 and we went to Chuck-ee Cheese's for his birthday. My grandparents are going to be in New Mexico for a few months. My grandpa dislikes my hair color and wants it to be more blonde (he even offered to pay for me to get the color professionally done). My birthday is in less than 10 days. I have to figure out a way to finish my driver's ed course online before July 29 (STRESSFUL!). I just now figured out what I am going to vlog about for the 365 Nerds channel on youtube (my video will be out on July 29!). I've started drawing characters from the anime shows I watch. Oh, and I fell in love with Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club. And don't say that you've never fallen in love with a cartoon character.

Oh, isn't he adorable?! Dang, I watch too much anime!

So, yeah' that pretty much been my life lately. See you all later!

Elizabeth W.

July 14, 2013

Triple Bunk Bed

Okay, I know that I have been gone for a while, but  I promise that I have been productive. I have some stuff that I haven't yet finished, like a music video that I filmed about a week ago but still haven't edited. However, I have finished some things, one of the main ones being the triple bunk bed that my parents and I built!

First of all, we went out and bought all of the supplies. We used some wood that used to be part of my brother's bed (before we took the bed apart), but it wasn't enough to build the whole thing, so we made a trip to home depot (I think) and purchased about 35 boards that were 2x4x8 (if I am remembering correctly).

 The first part of the actual construction was the two ladders/ends for the bigger and sturdier of the two beds. We actually forgot a rung during this part and had to add it later on. These were a little wider than the mattress and as tall as the top of the bunk bed.

 After this, we stood them up and bolted them to some more boards to create the rails and boxes for the mattresses. You can't see it here, but we added small boards on the inside of the four lower boards show here (on the left and right sides of the bed) to help hold up the mattresses.
 Once the first bed was assembled completely, it was my job to sand the entire thing. I used a small orbital sander and quite a few pieces of 60 grit sand paper to get all of the corners rounded and the edges smooth so that none of us would injure ourselves climbing up and down. The whole thing took me about two days. In the meantime, my parents assembled the other part of the bed: a loft bed with a bookshelf on one end and an empty space underneath.

 Once I had sanded, I wiped the wood down with a wet cloth and then a tack cloth to make sure it was free of all dust, then began staining it. Since this was a rather light pine, we used a dark ebony stain. Surprisingly, we only had to use one coat, and it took just one day with my mom and myself both working on it.We did the same thing to the other bed. I got stain all over my hands and legs. I soon learned that paint thinner was a really good thing, and using little cotton pads (or cotton balls) soaked in paint thinner can help clean it off of your skin in a much easier manner.

Thanks to the smart thinking and fast work that my parents did, we moved the first bed into the house within about 30 minutes or less. The bolts allowed the bed to be more stable and be able to be taken apart and brought inside. Shortly after the second bed was done, we brought it inside also.

For three kids, I think it makes a pretty good bed. My bunk is the top left, John Thomas lives in the loft next to me, and James gets to spend his nights smelling both of our farts from the bottom bunk. If you see this picture floating around elsewhere, my mom posted it.

So, that is our triple bunk bed story. It was a pretty good idea that my mom had, plus she's great at drawing up plans.

Well, until next time, my dearies.

Elizabeth W.

July 2, 2013

The Dresser Hunt

Buenos dias my friendliends. Or should I say Buenos noches, for I am typing this from my phone, in my bed, at 9:34 pm...

This morning started off at about 9:30 for me. I've been sleeping in a lot lately, probably due to staying up too late. I took a shower, then for ready. My mom and I loaded up the black plastic bags that we had collected over the past couple of weeks into the back of our family vehicle and set off for Operation Refuge, our town's thrift shop.

I've always  loved going through belongings and giving things away. In the process of renovating each room in our home one by one, we have been doing quite a lot of that lately. I think it is refreshing to get rid of stuff and know that you are helping others. Our thrift shop helps out local needy families through their profits, which means that we take the items nowhere else but there.

We dropped off a bunch of clothing and toys and even a really ugly chair near the back of their building in town, then came around the front of the store to start our real mission.

My mother and I have not only spent a lot of time working to improve our house, but we have spent a lot of time on pinterest getting ideas on how to do so. It's both motivating and rewarding to find the various DIY instructions and pictures.

This morning, our mission was to find some old furniture to flip/repurpose. The thing about old stuff is that many times its beat up on the outside, but the inside is still good. Almost like people. They can look rough on the outside but their soul is still good. While others may look good on the outside, but have a shoddy inside.

Our first stop, the thrift shop in town, was a bust. Nothing looked like we could use it. What we really wanted was a dresser that we could repurpose into an entertainment center. But, alas, no cigar.

Next, we headed to another shop nearby. A resale shop that sells clothing, furniture, toys, and all kinds of knick knacks - CBS Resale. Out in front of the store, which is right beside the highway, they always put the most interesting items and those items are almost guaranteed to be sold within 24 hours. Once, I saw a magnificent, vintage-looking pink upholstered loveseat in front of the shop. We were just driving by, but I was in love with this piece of furniture. Sadly, it was gone soon after and would have been way out of my budget anyway.

Today, the only interesting pieces outside were a picnic table (the usual wooden kind) and a small gaming chair with red chevron fabric on the seat instead of fake black leather. Inside wasn't much different. There were a few dressers, but most were shoddy or overpriced. There were some adorable headboards that could have used some love and paint, but still too pricey, not to mention we didn't need a headboard.

At this point, my mother had pretty much given up hope, so we went in search of another treat. Within rhe past week, I found the facebook page of a shop in our town called "The Spot". It was supposed to be a vintage/consignment clothing shop, but some of the stuff they had looked pretty cool online.

So, my mother and I drove down San Jacinto Avenue or whatever until we found the store. I could tell from the signs outside that I was going to like this place. The store was packed from wall to wall with racks and shelves of shoes and purses and clothing and whatnots of all shapes and sizes. The clothing ranged from juniors extra small to women's plus and ranged in style from ugly to cute to vintage. And when I say vintage, I don't mean HIPSTER, but truly "this has been in the back of a closet for 25 or 35 years" vintage. And everything was decently priced and good quality stuff too. Some of the stuff was even brand new. I ended up walking our with a purse and a new pair of boots. The boots only cost me $15 and were almost new. The bag was merely $25 when I knew it was at least $100 to begin with because the name brand was "The Sak".

A short ways down from The Spot was another resale or whatever you want to call it shop that was basically just a barn full of old furniture. My mother and I stopped inside to take a look. Towards the back were several dressers that looked promising, but they were TOTALLY overpriced. Who would pay $200 or $300 for a piece of furniture that still needs to be completely redone before it is worth anything. Blech. Those kind of prices make me sick, and just when o thought we had hit the jackpot!

My mother and I went to a furniture store immediately afterwards and saw that the previously mentioned shop was selling used stuff at the same price as brand new stuff. That and a bad attitude toward customers is defibately not a way to move inventory, and that barn was packed full.

My mom and I came home shortly afterwards and hopefully we will be going to find the furniture we need soon at another location. We have to do some research first. I will definately keep you updated on our ventures.

Elizabeth W.