No, not that kind of stripping.

I was doing my nails and set my little cup of acetone down on my desk without realizing some had overflowed and was on the bottom of the cup. By the time I realized what I’d done a few seconds later, it had very effectively stripped the finish off my desk in a ring.

2015 05-25 Desk 1I was upset at first, but then I realized that under the grungy finish, my desk had some really pretty wood.

This is what the desk top looked like:

2015 05-25 Desk 2You can see the acetone ring, and a lot of other scratches and marks.  The whole thing was just vaguely greyish and not very pretty.  I didn’t mind how it looked too much, since it was a nice, solid wood desk that I’d been given by relatives, but once I realized how much nicer it could be, I checked out some tutorials on refinishing wood furniture.  The process seemed like something I’d find fun, so I decided to go shopping.

2015 05-25 Desk 3Stripping the old finish was a pretty easy, though tedious, process.  First I applied the Citristrip and left it to do its business for half an hour to an hour, then scraped the resulting goop off.

2015 05-25 Desk 4It was just as gross in person as it is in the picture.  Once I’d gotten the majority of the old finish off, I wiped the desk down with acetone in order to take off any remaining bits of finish — it had worked very effectively before, and was just as effective this time.

Now my desk looks like this:

2015 05-25 Desk 52015 05-25 Desk 6I was pleasantly surprised how few of the scratches on the desk’s surface had actually damaged the wood.

Next, I’ll be sanding the surfaces and refinishing it.  I still haven’t made up my mind whether or not I’m going to use the red oak stain I got on it, or just leave it the natural color of the wood, but I’m leaning towards using the stain.

This project has taken up a bit more time than I had initially thought it would, and has disrupted some of my other crafting, as my desk is out of commission, but I’m really enjoying it and can’t wait to see the final version!

Oh, and here’s the manicure that started this whole thing, because I can’t resist showing it off:

2015 05-25 Nails


Holiday crafting progress report

Well, I’ve made a fair bit of progress on my brother’s fingerless gloves, although I’d like to be further along:

12-8-14 B glove

Part of the issue is that, now that I’ve finished Lily’s bed, I’m not feeling like knitting as much anymore. This means I’ve gone back to my Morning Flight cross stitch and made quite a bit of progress:

I’m realizing that the blues I’ve been working on are make up a huge part of the cross stitching in that pattern, so while I’m only barely into the number of colors I need to work, I’m pretty far into the total number of stitches

12-8-14 Morning Flight.

Rug, week 6

This past week, I’ve taken the rug with me on a couple of days when I knew I was going to be sitting around for quite a while.  I ended up putting in about 3,000 stitches on each of those days!

Rug Wk 6It’s now big enough that I’ve been leaving it on the floor when I’m not working on it.

Also, I realized I’ve not linked to the pattern in my last couple of updates.  It’s the Ocean Currents Rug, just a little bit larger (details on my Ravelry project page if anyone else is thinking of doing similar).

Hardanger embroidery

Today’s post brought to you by the serendipitous discovery of both a hardanger tutorial on YouTube and hardanger cloth in my cross stitch fabric stash.

11-5-14 HardangerIt was my first time doing any sort of cut work embroidery, but I think it came out really well and it didn’t take very long.  I did adapt the tutorial slightly, as I wanted my piece a little bit larger than it would have come out, and I wanted to preserve a section of the cut and pulled threads show the texture.  I highly recommend the tutorial if you’re interested in giving hardanger a try!

Rug, week 5

I missed last week’s rug update due to being sick over the weekend, but I did manage to do some work on it that weekend and some this week (plus I wove in all the ends).

Rug Wk 5It’s finally big enough that I can really step on it and feel how it’ll be — it’s super squishy!  I was a bit worried it’d be too thin since it’s knit, but the slip stitch rib gives it a lot more bulk than I was anticipating.

Rug, week 2

I haven’t made as much progress this past week as the week before, largely due to my renewed interest in cross stitching.  However, I did finish the initial dark-to-light sequence and am about halfway through the return.

Rug Wk 2Knowing that I wanted to post a picture this week did make me finish a repeat and a half that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise, so I’m planning on keeping this up until I finish the entire rug.

Rug, week 1

It’s been a while since I last updated (major understatement).  In that time I’ve moved to a new apartment with faux hardwood floors, which means I need some sort of area rug, but I didn’t like any of the commercial ones I found at a reasonable price.  Naturally the solution is to knit one. (Naturally for me, anyway.  Maybe not for anyone else.)

I’m using the Ocean Currents rug pattern I found on Ravelry — it’s a great pattern, but the original rug was made with yarn the designer dyed and spun herself specifically for the rug.  I opted for cheap acrylic as I’m trying to get this done in a reasonable amount of time at a reasonable price.

This is the result of my first week of knitting:

Rug Wk 1

The colors aren’t quite as nice of a gradient as I would like — because I am using Red Heart, I have a limited color palette to choose from.  Interestingly, every time I start a new color (so far I’ve used four of the five I will use in total) I’ve hated it and thought it was way too extreme of a color change.  However, when I come back the next morning and look at it, I think it looks pretty good.

Rug Wk 1b