A Christmas Project FAIL

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care and nary a problem......

A large piece of subway art I finished up as a gift turned out fantastic......

I managed to get all the presents wrapped and snap a picture of the tree in a sleep deprived haze.......

And then there was this....

This green monster, a dresser I was turning into a gift for my daughter.

I had excellent intentions of saving my husband time this year.  He always has so many projects to work on and it gets down to the wire.  So I decided I would just make a couple projects myself as gifts and start them in September so we didn't have to deal with that getting down to the wire part also known as saving things to the last minute.

HA.  I said HA!!!!  I didn't start this in September.  Silly thought.

The green monster would of been done on Monday if all had gone well.

But it did not go well.  It did not freaking go wellIT. DID. NOT. GO. WELL.

And this was a gift.  A gift I was not willing to not have complete.

Here it is after it's cover in ASCP, Old White.  Looking good, all laid on it's side ready to be completed.

Christmas carols playing in the background whilst I prepared to get this done in record time.

I had purchased an engineer size print from Staples last week.  Of course this project was so easy and was going to go so quick I waited till Monday to work on it.

I won't mention the 15 web sites I used for tutorials, as I am quite sure it was me and not them that caused this project to fail.

Photo transfer with gel medium onto the front of the dresser.  Easy.


It didn't transfer dark.....or transfer fully at all.  Even after I could tell the project had turned to crap, I tried to salvage the photo parts by rubbing them with stain to darken them up.

Not sure why I tried that at all since most of it didn't take and rubbed right off, nor am I sure why I took photos at night and didn't even think to look at my camera settings.

Do not lecture me and try to help me figure out where I failed.  It's over.  Done.  And I have more important things to think about now, like should I eat that last piece of triple berry pie?

My post photos turned out like $#!+ too.  That is the ones I remembered to take.

Here is part of the mess from before I had to remove all the paper.  By the time I was finished scrapping it all off the drawers it was everywhere.... and Christmas Eve was looming.  

Have you heard the football term Hail Mary Pass?  In football it's a desperation play and it applies to dresser projects on Christmas Eve as well. 

I opted to paint words on the dresser as subway art, copying my other Christmas project.  I was desperate to complete it and my ideas were empty like my head at that point. 

I had visions of no dessert after the Christmas meal, because I had not yet made them, but by golly that darn dresser was going to be done!

In the end I got the food done in time to eat both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, even though I was waxing and buffing right up till 11:00 Christmas Eve.  What I forgot to do or to clean in the house - no one but me noticed.

And no one knew I had little sleep for two days.  I wasn't crabby, in fact I felt very content because I had finished the dresser.

Bet you would like to see the dresser huh?  Maybe even the large framed subway wall art gift I made?

Here are a couple handles for the dresser.....

These were the original hardware, and of course they didn't all clean up the same color.  I told myself it added to the uniqueness of the once green monster.

I'd love to show both projects to you, but I ran into a snag.

The dresser has left and gone to live at my oldest daughters house and the subway wall art went to my sons home.  

And in true last minute, down to the wire Bliss fashion.........
I forgot to take a photo of either of them before they left.

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  1. I had intentions of completing a few projects this year but not disasters but just did not get them done... At least you turned your disaster into something beautiful....I love homemade projects.....They are always special...Blessings!

  2. Well, look at it this way. It made for a great story!

  3. I love you Bliss! Congratulations on reaching the finishing line - even if you have no photos to show for it!

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Sorry that your dresser project didn't work out. I can imagine that it was a challenge. I've never tried to do that image transfer thing before. I love the picture of your huge tree!

  5. Oh no! I would love to see them both!! You were giving me anxiety just reading this post. I'm glad you got it all done in the (st.) nick of time!!

  6. At 4 am on the 23rd. I was trying to fashion a headpiece for a Juliet costume that was a gift. I had 17 people coming at noon and expecting a full Christmas dinner. I honestly didn't see how I could get it all done or even crawl out of bed in the morning. But, somehow or other it all was done and the day was a success. Every year I swear I won't be making gifts on the 23rd. and every year I am doing just that!

  7. You're a wonderful Mom! I hope all of your hard work was appreciated. I was holding my breath until the end. I'm glad you got it done and didn't have to clean house. And now that you know that no one notices, you can mark it off your to do list ;-)

  8. Ho, ho, Oh no! You're not alone in that downhill sleigh ride without a safety belt. Christmas seems to bring out the over-achiever in all of us at one time or another. Difference is your honest enough to admit you jiggled when you were juggling! And for what it's worth, if it's truly is the thought that counts, I'm willing to bet a dollar to a donut, your kids know they are special and always in your thoughts.
    I personally thought it was a great idea!

  9. Anonymous12/27/2013

    Wow, what a lot of work you did! I hope pics will be provided from the giftees. I'd love to see the finished results.

  10. Lol - so glad I wasn't the only one scrambling! Love the photo transfer idea - wonder what went wrong? Hope you were able to enjoy with your family anyway!
    xo Heidi

  11. I'm glad you were able to salvage the project...I know it turned out beatifully and your kids loved your gifts!

  12. From what I could see your transfer design idea would have been fabulous. From what I can't see but can only imagine, your subway art dresser turned out fabulously and will be cherished by your daughter! Everyone got their gifts on time, no one had to wait to eat... sounds like a blissful Christmas

  13. Success ~ you did it!! I would not have been able to do what you did. I know your kids are thrilled with their gifts from the heart. Maybe they could take photos???


  14. NO! You don't have pictures of the finished product?

    Hoping you'll share eventually.

    Also impressed you did it in a week and made Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals!

  15. Sorry, but I had to laugh...I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who has things go haywire! I still have to finish appliqueing a table topper, then quilt it, then bind it....did I mention that I have to finish knitting a scarf too? Have a Happy New Year!

    1. It's ok to laugh, I laugh at myself all the time. Or shake my head in disbelief!

  16. I'm exhausted! Just reading about your busy days! I'm so sorry it failed the first time, but I'm positive the end result is beautiful. Hoping the kids will take pictures of their treasured gifts so you can show us.
    I tried the gel medium... major fail! and it isn't cheap!
    wishing you a wonderful and happy 2014 Bliss!


  17. Been there, done that! I know just how you feel. You're just so happy to have finished on time that taking a photo of the finished project takes more energy than you've got left in your sleep deprived body! You can always take photos of them in their new homes!

    Your tree is beautiful! Now you can catch up on your beauty sleep. :)

  18. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. This is a lecture about how you should have contacted me about this. I am an expert at putting art on the front of dressers and I could have helped you. That's what happens when you don't check with me. I could not have helped you with the picture thing however because I have exactly the same problem. I'm glad you had a great holiday and that you had a gift ready for your daughter. Your tree is beautiful!

  19. Oh dear! Why is it that when we are in a rush, everything goes wrong? Your idea looked really cool too, but I bet plan B turned out just as well and that your daughter loved it! Maybe she can take a pic for you to post and your son can take one of the subway art! Would love to see them both! Glad you survived! Hugs, Leena

  20. What gel medium did you use? I had a complete fail with one of them. I stick with good old reliable Mod Podge now. What a mess...I'm proud of you for forging ahead and not just driving off into the wild blue yonder. I know they loved it, anyway. Who wouldn't???

  21. I'm not laughing with you...I'm laughing at you. Bahahahaha!!!!

    Merry Late Christmas!!!


  22. Some people just work best under pressure. You sure believe in putting pressure on yourself but I guess that is one way to get last minute things done. Hope you had time to relax and enjoy the time with your kids. Would love to see the end results ... just know they are beautiful.
    Blessings for the new year.
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

  23. Please beg them to take pictures so you can post them here. We're all so curious to see the finished pieces now :)

  24. Well hell's jingle bells! Sorry you had a fail. Glad you were able to rescue it and have a lovely Christmas anyway. I'm giving you extra credit for using the word "whilst".

  25. Sorry you had such a rough time. I didn't have luck with the gel transfer method either. All that said, show us the finished product. I bet it turned out great after all. Happy New Year.

  26. And the moral of this story ........................... start now, you've got 12 months to get stuff done for Christmas 2014 !!!
    (Btw, your tree is A-MAZ-ING and please go a-visiting and take some photos of the subway art and green monster)

  27. I can picture it in my head and it would have been beautiful! Happy New Year!

  28. I am so glad I saved this post to read when I had a quiet moment. It was fantastic!!! I love all the pictures of the project fail. I should remember to do that, they happen more than I would care to say. I also love that the dresser and the subway art took off before you could get a picture. Yep, been there, not done that. Happy New Year, maybe we can both start getting ready for Christmas in July. Isn't that what organized people do?

  29. Oh what a shame you don't have the finished pictures! I bet they look fabulous in their new homes, maybe they'll send you a picture. I forget often, but usually the befores...
    Debbie :)


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