The Answer Is…

Oh my gosh, I so loved reading the questions! And here are the answers:

Nancy: If you could spend a weekend any place in the world, doing whatever makes you feel the most happy, what would that look like?

Hmmm, no money limit you say Nancy? Well I think I would go with my mom to a Parisian flea market, then we would take the tunnel over to England and go to an auction, what do you say mom?

Dale Anne: How does a person go about getting more people to visit their blog? How many feeds are out there?

I’m not sure how you all found my blog, but I find blogs by reading the comments and then clicking on the person to check them out. I usually do that a few times before I "commit" to daily reading their blog. There was this little article in Time about how to have a successful blog, and I didn’t do any of the things it said, example: "stick to one topic." Oops. Oh plus links from other blogs, and hey I just linked you! And I don’t know what feeds are!

Sue asks: Can I go thrifting with you?

Um, yes! Sue, we should so go out in the country by where you live, dude farm sales are the best! And I have a question for you Sue: When are we reorganizing your scrap space?

Julie (aka mom):  Are you going to miss living at your Mom’s? Who’s going to do your laundry?

I miss living at your house already. That second question is a bit troubling, you mean you’re not going to do it any more? That’s not cool man.

Teresa is a lurker outed, yes! And her question is:  if you were a character in any book who would it be? Now, don’t be offended but I have you down as one of my favourites, ‘Tigger’ from Whinnie the Pooh – am I close?

Actually I’ve been called Piglet more than once, but I definitely feel more like Tigger. I think though I would be Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. I tend to be a bit strong willed and I love that love story. Too bad Bj won’t let me dress him up like Darcy. hehehehe.

Kay has a slew of questions:
1. When are you coming to see me?

Dude, as soon as possible (Kay lives in England and is super awesome, plus I know she’ll take me car booting).
2. Have you made any very attractive roses out of doilies yet? No? 70’s outfits?
No doilies or 70s outfits… yet. Just wait the winter is long my friend.
3. What is the (soccer) offside rule?
4. What do you think it was that Meatloaf wouldn’t do for love?
I don’t know but his duet with Celine Dion was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, I really thought it was a joke.
5. If you had to choose, would it be singing or dancing?
Dancing, all the way.

Erika wants to know: how do you change all your electric sockets/switches to white? I have all shades of "almond" here in my house, but I’m afraid I’ll electrocute myself. (of course I could just do a google search to find this answer, but it would be more fun for you to answer.) 🙂

First things first, TURN OFF THE POWER! And I mean all of it. Because if your house is at all old, or weird then you might have the craziest combo of sockets on one breaker like me (bathroom connected to the living room?!?!). So both the switches and sockets are actually easy. First go around and count how many you need, then have some one else count because you’re sure to get it wrong, and that’s annoying, then you might have to go to the store at 10 at night and do the last one by flashlight, which sucks, I would know. Anyway… after taking off the faceplate unscrew the socket/switch from the wall so it’s sort of dangling. Then grab your new one and look how the wires are connected. There is a white wire and a black one, the black one (or black striped or, in my case, different colored fabric wrapped) is the "hot" one. This has to be on the correct side of the plug/switch so that it doesn’t fry your electronics and the current flows the right way. But since they are already on right on your fugly ones you can just look at those and have some one keep the wires straight while you switch out. Basically the switch is easy, there are like screw things on each side that the bare wires wrap around, and you tighten those down. You might have to do something extra for "three-way" sockets, I don’t know, I don’t have those. Oh, and the replacements are cheap, like a buck, so go do it!

Natilie writes: I must admit, I don’t comment very much (but I have commented before). Your blog is one of my FAVORITES! I love watching you remodel your house. I also do tons of furniture refinishing projects, but I’m still learning. Most of the projects I have done involved stripping, sanding and painting. But, I have some pieces that are solid wood, and I would like to strip them and then refinish them and not paint them…how would you go about this task???

Ugh, Natilie, so funny you should ask, I am attempting this very thing right now. For some reason certain finishes are a real nuisance to get off. Like this desk I am attempting right now:

I went for the standard Zip Stripe/sanding combo, and failed! I could not get the old finish off the fronts, instead of gelling up the stripe hardened and turned into a plastic, that has never happened to me. So I had to go the sanding route. Something I’ve learned from this is that you should test the stripper on the base before you put it everywhere. A lot of times the top is something nicer so you get lulled into a false sense of success:

and the you try the base and it’s crap. Anyways I thought you could just kinda "rough up" the old finish, but this doesn’t work. I just did it two nights ago, and the new stain doesn’t take right. Not having a true success on my hands, but know what not to do, I would say sand all the way to bare wood. Then pre-treat with a wood conditioner. Then do one coat of stain (or a stain/polyurethane mix) and after letting it dry completely sand lightly with 220 grit paper. Dust very well and either re stain (for a darker, richer color) or just polyurethane if you want to protect. Put on properly (read very thin layers) polyurethane does not have to turn out shiny. Take a look:
I’m so in love with my drafting table. Can’t wait to set up my craft room!
p.s. make some one else do this while you are still preggo!

Daria says: I see you have loads of fun thrifting and picking up all manner of odds and ends…but, do you sometimes look at all the loot you’ve amassed and have second thoughts about having bought some of it? Is there an ideal number of $1 chairs you’re shooting for? 😉 Have you ever wished you’d just bought *insert item* new? Do you think, even after fully moving in, you’ll still keep your storage unit to hold all the makings of future projects and whatnot that you want to hang onto? Can it be assumed that you’ll be holding a mega garage/yard in the near future?

You might think I’m lying, but no, I’ve never regretted a thrifting purchase. I have regretted NOT getting something, which sucks, because then it’s always the thing you talk about on thrifting days, "remember when we saw such and such for a three dollars and didn’t get it?" And since the things are so cheap I really don’t have any trouble sending them off to other homes if they don’t work for me. My mom and I always have a grocery bag out in the laundry room for Goodwill. About the chairs… I have this awesome idea for them, and it’s going to take like 15 more to fulfill that, so no end in sight there. I am not keeping the storage unit, I do have a storage room just for personal use in the basement. But my mom and I were thinking that we would have a combo trunk show (for Ribbon Jar) and finds sale in the spring. We’re going to pair down our collections before next summer so we can keep hunting. I’ll let you know when that happens! Oh and I never wish I would have bought something new, but I do wish I would have bought *insert piece of crap new thing* used, like cheapo knock offs of vintage cool things.

Ohh Dawn good one: "What’s in your purse?"
Okay first off I love my handbag, Kate Spade, got it after a fight Bj and I had, better than flowers I say…
Two check books with custom covers, one for me, one for Ribbon Jar
Vintage hankie, always have the hankie
Moleskin address book
Kiss me Philosophy lip gloss
Covergirl Wetslicks in Patently Pink (Ceara got me hooked on this)
Prada ittsy bitsy Shielding Balm (omg and they don’t make this any more and I only have like five left, and I don’t know what I am going to do when I run out)
Receipts from Bed Bath and Beyond, Post Office (Ribbon Jar), The Home Depot (actually 2 – shocker!)
Invoice from the window guy
Stub for check from the last shred of dignity, had to cash some stocks (please god do not let me get sick I can not afford it)
Orbit gum, and one stick of Wrigley’s for emergencies
A roll of 24 cent stamps for Ribbon Jar
A 1 1/4 inch glass knob from Restoration Hardware (attempting to find matching washers)
iPod with iTrip (note, not in the cute protective sock I have for it, that is floating around separately)
Booth and Bruce prescription sunglasses, actual glasses mysteriously missing
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
16 foot tape measure
Juice CS4 Leatherman
Trish McEvoy lipstick thinigie with mini brush
Bag of bolts and pieces of house I’m looking for replacements for
Super cute Coach dots wristlet, sold to me by my sister for $20 bucks. That contains:
Target receipt
Eight dollars
Frequent shopper cards
Little store rewards cards on a hoop
Umbra card case with all my cards in it
Ticket stubs from Gridiron (which sucked)
The last thing in the purse is a handmade zipped pouch which contains:
Combo codes for the storage unit
Eyeglass Cleaner
Soap Leaves (I bring my own soap, I hate antibacterial)
Lottery ticket worth $1
List of Knitting Needles I have
Little Twin Stars bandaid
Wet Ones
List of stuff I’m currently thrifting for
Empty pill case
Empty tampon case

Dude I have a lot of shit in my purse! And my phones not even in there right now!

Grace wonders: Hey there! I’m a daily reader down here in Alabama, and I’m finally commenting for the first time. Good idea to get us shy ones out there! I’m really living vicariously through you and the whole house fix-up project. I would love to do the same, but I haven’t found the braveness yet! Here’s my question (or questions!): what has been the most fun/most difficult/most rewarding things so far during your house make-over??

The most fun? Demo day, hands down, it’s quick, it’s messy and there are instant results. The most rewarding has to have been replacing the thermostat, maybe that sounds dumb, but I see it everyday and I love it. The most difficult has been going over budget and getting the little things done I thought would be easy. Like the bathroom cabinets. We can’t figure out how to hang them right, so they are just leaning up there, and I thought that would be so easy to do.

Dianne (who lives nearby) says: I call this "candle weather" ’cause it makes me want to go and light candles in every room. So here’s my questions:

1. What candle "smell" (or smells) is your favorite?
I love that lemon verbena smell. My favorite smell in the world is this Energy lotion that I only have like three drops left of and can’t find anywhere, ugh!

2. Do you read my blog? (shameless self promotion there)
Every time anyone comments I go over to their blog if they have one. But I haven’t been reading any blogs regularly this summer, I’m going to get back into it soon!

Sciarrino has a bunch of questions:
1. If we were stranded on an island together what would be the subject we talk about most.

I think we would talk about the hotness of certain guys, and art, and hot art guys (you know who I’m talking about)
2. In the Lifetime original movie of your life, who would play Sciarrino?
Alison Mack (Chloe from Smallville)
2a. Wait a sec… who would play you Jillian Anderson or Veronica Mars!
Ohhh I don’t know! Probably Kristin Bell (Veronica)
3. Would you rather go about life without candy or Diet Coke?
Dude Sciarrino, just kill me know, what the hell. Ahhhh I guess, no no I can’t choose, that question is just WRONG!
4. Where would you drive on your last tank of gas (all the gas stations—around the world—are out)?
I would go down that canyon in Utah where Bj and I off roaded (accidentally) and camp out down there.

Awesome questions guys! I have big updates on the house later, last night I started living here, like sleeping here and everything! I’m so excited!

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  1. Thanks, Amber! I will try that. I like your idea of turning off ALL the power instead of trying to guess which breaker goes to which room (or worse yet, trying to read the faded pencil writing on the door of the circuit box of some contractor from 30 years ago)
    ALSO, here’s a good one. I’ve been looking for 2″ drawer pulls for an old nighstand I repainted. Apparently 3″ is the standard width for pulls and I haven’t been able to find 2″ anywhere. Any ideas? I thought you might have run into this since you come across antique furniture.

  2. Thanx especially for the insight into your handbag treasures. So I thought this was a mystery most of us girls hide well from the rest of the world. Anyway cool stuff, Amber!

  3. There are some attention-grabbing time limits in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them middle to heart. There may be some validity but I’ll take hold opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as properly

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