Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Legos - Not just for kids

OK so who didn't play with Legos as a kid? Tons of little primary colored blocks spread out all over the living room floor that when joined together created cars, castles, skyscrapers, the possibilities were endless (but confined to the 2, 4, 6, 8 peg squares that you had). Then it seemed that Lego's transformed into fantastic creations that require blueprints to create! Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman - seemed to have taken over the Lego world. Perhaps I come to this conclusion because I have a little brother who would spend hours building things like this!
But now I see that Lego has attempted to corner the girl's market and take a look at this awesome Lego set-up! A design studio! I am kinda in love with this and think that I actually need to have this on the shelf in my office area.

But aside from being a way to occupy kids for hours on end, if you think outside the box - these little building blocks can be used to build grander things! I just came across this amazing image of an entire stairwell built out of Legos! This was built using 20,000 lego blocks!

via Design Taxi
Here is another amazing Lego creation - a Lego Kitchen!! Two Paris designers designers created this masterpiece by covering a basic Ikea island in again over 20,000 Lego pieces.

And here is a board room table built for an ad agency in Dublin - this one took 22,742 Lego pieces. You can check out this cool video the design company put together showing the process of creating this - they speed it up but clearly you can see there was a LOT of time that went into this.
via abcg architecture & design
So as you can see there are some grand things that can be done with those small Lego blocks! But there are also some smaller things that can be done to re-purpose these iconic toys on a smaller yet practical scale.

                                                                    Lego Pencil Case
via BrickPlayer
Tape Dispenser
via instrucables.com
Check out this Ikea Hacker who created a light fixture out of Legos.
via Ikea Hackers
How about Lego Jello Jigglers? Wash out your legos and use them as Jello molds, a great idea for a kids party!
via Totally Kids Times

And if you have put your Lego building days behind you but still want a reminder of the good 'ole times. Here are some Lego inspired (adult?) items that are kinda cool.

Lego Backpack
via GearFuse

Lego Salt & Pepper Shaker (I love these!)
via Amazon

Lego Brick Light
via Perpetual Kid

Lego Wii Remote
via Toys R US
Lego Moleskine Notebooks
via Barnes & Noble
Lego Organizer Cubes (ok maybe these are meant to organize the actual Legos - but these couldn't these be used in an office? or a kitchen to organize other things?)
via Amazon
So have I convinced you that Lego's aren't just for kids? Will you be raiding your kid's Lego collection to create something of your own? Well happy building!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Coffee Table - Re-Vamp!

Yay! Project completed! So we have been in need of a coffee table for some time now -and I just haven't been able to find the perfect one - when alas I walked by this bad boy on the street.
OK maybe it's not quite the looker I have been searching for - but I saw potential! I somehow convinced J to let me take it home with promises of a grander finale (he is often skeptical of my "projects" because, well I don't exactly tackle them in a timely manner and they may, once in a while, sit around unfinished for some time =/ ). But it must have been my lucky day - ha! and we carted it the two blocks into our complex and up the elevator into our one bedroom Queens apartment - where I immediately got down to it!

So yes this is my work space - right in the entry way, in front of the kitchen adjacent to the dining table and overlooking the kitty litter. But hey - you gotto do what you gotto do! I sanded the whole thing down using a 60 grit sand paper and an electric sander which, by the way, is an awesome invention and smart investment (only about $30 from Amazon) . Hand sanding that would have been a nightmare. I started with 100 grit sandpaper and that would have taken forever as well, 60 grit  was much better for this project. Now although the sander has a little compartment to catch the dust there was def. sawdust all over the entire apartment - another downfall of the lack of a proper work room. But I just wiped it all up when I was done and no one is the wiser!

So here we are all sanded and looking better already.
And now it was time for the paint. I decided to go with the paint from our walls (mostly because I had just purchased a quart of it to do some touch-ups on the wall (which of course I haven't done yet) and it's a nice light blue that will really freshen up the table! Benjamin Moore Light Blue

My little helper Jules was standing by for assistance. 

I did two coats of the light blue paint on the surface and the legs (going to a yoga class in between coats allowing dry time). Then I contemplated overnight what kind of design to paint on the surface. I toyed with the idea of recreating the pattern on my curtains on a larger scale and perhaps in a one color rendition. Or mimicking the design on my rug both of which seemed to offer obstacles - in the end I decided to go with a classic chevron pattern. And I used the grey paint that I used to paint the doors here. However, J had to help me with this part and lets just say that higher mathematics were def. involved in creating this, it is not as easy as it looks.
We created a 4" grid and drew it with a pencil on the surface and used the grid to set-up the painters tape at the points. It got tricky as to what side of the points to place the tape - but we eventually figured it out and got the whole table taped off.
To get crisp painted lines I used a trick I learned when I tackled this project and the tip came from this post on Centsational Girl. To use the base paint color first along the edges of the tape before you put on the new color. It worked like  a charm!

We finished it off with a coat of polyurethane and I jumped the gun and used a can that I had on hand and half way through the surface of the table I realized that it was oil based! And I have learned (the hard way) and if you read up on it, you will see that oil based polyurethane tends to yellow and really shows up on light colored surfaces! YIKES! But the damage was done and there was no turning back. So we only did one coat and I held my breath for a few days praying to the paint gods for no yellowing. And luckily all is good! BUT if you are to do this at home def. get water based polyurethane. In fact check out this helpful tutorial from Honey & Fitz on creating high gloss finish on furniture

And here it is in place in the living room! What do you think? The person who threw this out would be kicking themselves if they saw it now! ha!