I Am Seeing Dots! And Now So Will You!

News flash! I have gone back to work and am officially off the rosters of the unemployed. Yay!  But boo, that means I have less time for making beautiful things :-(

I spent last weekend trying to get everything finished up that had been started and I got a big dent in the list. I now have five pieces listed for sale and have decided that with the money I earn from their sales is going to be used for something extravagant for me. To celebrate. That, or for a new air conditioning unit for the house. Which one do you think will win out? It can’t stay cold and snowy like this forever!

Just a quick show of the “before & after”s of what I finished over the weekend. Here is one of the pink dressers on the kitchen island “during”:

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And this is the other one (and some of the other’s drawers) in the entry way:

 

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And here are the results:

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To shake things up a bit (a very teeny bit), I also finished a dresser in yellows:

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I particularly like this one for some reason, it just seems so light-hearted and fun, like it won’t ever take itself too seriously.

The Kid, who has been helping me all along, decided to give the ombré a shot on his own. I did help and guide him through the process, but in the end, he did most of the work. I am seriously impressed with the results. We started with what I was calling “the really ugly dresser”, so to see the results is really astonishing.

Here is the before:

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The person who owned it had tried to do something with it, taking off the mock plastic pieces of trim and gluing on what appeared to be wallpaper onto two drawers. We actually had to make a second trip back to get the fifth drawer, it looked much like the top two drawers. But the cabinet was in decent shape, so it was just a matter of removing everything, adding a new front to each drawer and after much sanding, wood fill and glue, we had a pretty awesome piece of furniture. He then gave it the standard black and four shades of gray to the drawers, our favorite Deep Space black to the cabinet. The crowning touch was some beautiful black onyx drawer pulls. And viola!:

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A little side-by-side comparison:

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Wow! What a difference, huh?

I also finished this little gem… it had been almost done for a while, just waiting to put the final touches and handles and get it ready:

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You might notice that I have two of the drawers out of order…. I didn’t notice that until I had the photos taken and the pictures uploaded. So you will have to use your imagination to see them in the correct order.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I couldn’t resist and picked up two more pieces to re-do. I guess I just can’t quit cold turkey! So, even though my days are now filled with a steady nine-to-five, I will have things waiting for my weekend. Yay!

Thanks for dropping by as always, stick around, one or two more posts and I hit my 100 milestone! Must do something really big!

And remember to keep making beautiful things!

julie

More Dots, This Time in Yellow!

I warned you that I was smitten by the dots style and since the pink one I did sold so fast, I thought I would try it in another color. And since I had quite a bit of the paint leftover from the yellow ombré lingerie dresser (you can see it here), it seemed a no-brainer to do it in yellow.

Since I have transformed so many dressers, the process is also pretty routine. The dresser came from a gentleman who was clearing out a floor of an old warehouse and apparently had many pieces of furniture to sell. I am definitely going to go back to this man again. I picked this piece up for ten bucks! It did require a little work, as there seemed to have been something that gnawed at the bottom of one side, but this is what wood filler was made for! Two of the drawers required a little glue and one drawer needed a new bottom. All easy-peasy, as me and the Kid have become quite adept at fixing drawers. I think the only thing I really need more of is long clamps, as I resort to using paint cans to use as weights when I’ve used the two clamps I do have that are long enough to stretch the width of a drawer.

Once the drawers have been worked, it is back to the process that seems to work the best: repair, sanding, priming and then painting. Again, to paint the “dots” on the fronts, I laid it on my ottoman in front of the couch and painted them by hand while I watch a movie. Again, it was only the darkest shade of yellow that required a second coat, all the others have a built in primer that seems to help then get really solid coverage.

When the dresser had dried, it was time for handles. I had picked up really nice ceramic knobs from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore for fifty cents a piece and they had cleaned up very nicely. They were a nice crowning touch.

So, like I said, ‘easy peasy’. Here are the results:

Yellow Dots Before&After

So, tomorrow I start a new job. I’ve been off for the last siz months or so and frankly had really started enjoying the break. But all good things must come to an end, so one of the “projects” I did today was to return my dining room, kitchen and entry way back into their respective rooms! Cleaning and clearing and organizing and putting tools back out in the garage. It might seem funny, but I miss being surrounded by my projects. It isn’t all put away, though, as the dresser the Kid has been working on is still in the house, it just needs handles. I moved all the completed projects out into the third bay of the garage, now awaiting new owners. And we won’t even talk about the insanity that has overtaken my sewing room!

Okay, dinner is just about ready, I just wanted to get this post completed and published. I am just two or three posts from my “100th” post and I’ve been trying to figure out what I am going to write about. I am excited to hit this milestone in blogging!

Thanks for dropping by! Keep crafting and creating beautiful things… it is what keeps us sane!

julie

From Done To Sold In Two Hours

An idea that stemmed from the desire to avoid repetition in painting and decorating the dressers that I have been working on lately, resulted in the quickest sale to date. Dare I say that the paint was barely dry before we were loading it into the back of the new owners’ truck.

I knew that the pink ombré style was successful, and was looking for something similar to do and still sell easily. While browsing Pinterest looking for ideas, I stumbled onto a great idea: dots.

So, without spending a lot of time writing, I will just show you in pictures. Started with one cute but pretty rough little dresser and performed the usual work.

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The drawers were in pretty sad shape and all of them required gluing and/or nailing to make them stronger. You can see in this photo, the back of this drawer was completely missing!

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Removed all the hardware (oh how I have come to dislike that style ubiquitous to the seventies’ furniture) and did a quick sanding of all the surfaces. Moved inside and applied two coats of a primer followed by two coats of a new shade of pink – “Be Mine”. I had been using as a base a lighter shade of pink called “Barely Pink” (how apropos!) but had come to feel that it was too light. And it photographed as white. I didn’t want the base to be overpowering, so I only stepped up one shade. I think it was a good call.

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Also, because the interiors of the drawers had been so dirty and had tape residue, I opted to line them in a cute pink and white fabric. Pretty simple process, but the glue saturated the fabric and left some discolored areas. In the end, it turned out okay, but I don’t think I will do that again. Or will use a less porous type of material, like a cotton duck or light vinyl.

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Then, it was onto the dots. This is the photo that inspired the whole idea. You can see more of it here.

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It looks like she used the same sized circles but I wanted to do something a little more lively. I rummaged through my cabinets until I found four sized round objects to use… goes to show that you should never overlook the obvious nor do you have to use a “tool” like a stencil. Sometimes anything will do.

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I find that placing things randomly usually provides a more pleasing effect than an organized placement. So, I simply laid down the cups/bowls and started drawing ovals. I liked that most of the dots were restricted to the right side with one random dot that strayed to the other side. Each specific size was assigned a color, the darker compliments of the pinks above:

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It was just a matter of painting them in. I mulled over a couple of options, but in the end, just opted to paint them in by hand with a paint brush. It was actually relaxing.

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I was able to lay the dresser on its back on my ottoman in front of my sofa and watch a movie and paint them in. Quite enjoyable. Once I was done, I simply left it there to dry overnight. The next morning, only the darkest pink required a second coat and it was just a matter of minutes to complete it. Then added my trademark white ceramic knobs and the masterpiece was complete.

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Once done, a quick couple of minutes to take some pictures, write a description and post it to Craigslist. It wasn’t but a matter of a couple of hours and I had two parties calling interested. And, like I said, later that afternoon, the Kid and I were loading it into the back of a SUV on its way to a new home. Barely had time to admire it! Actually had several more calls about it, of course convincing me that I must paint a couple of more in the same style. :-)

So, a quick before and after:

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I’ve got a couple of similar styled dressers already repaired, primed and have their first coats of paint. I was thinking of repeating this style, but not exactly, maybe larger circles or even stars or hearts. I might even try it with a blue cabinet and shades of blue dots or maybe something more ‘boyish’ like squares or stars. Maybe more neutral like green or yellow? Or perhaps a white base with more basic colors like red, yellow, orange, blue and green? Maybe try them all!

Thanks for dropping by and remember to keep creating beautiful things for the sake of beauty. The world is a little nicer to look at all decorated… :-)

julie

Creating a Suitcase Dresser: A Tutorial

A couple of posts back, I showed you another of the suitcase dressers that I had completed. I had a comment or two from readers that said they really liked the concept but could find no instructions or tips or any other helpful information on how to recreate the look. Well, I have been working on a short console type cabinet for a client that I decided that I would do a tutorial on how to make the suitcase dresser, or at least, how I do it.

Okay, I have done this about four times (and I have another under way). The particular pieces of furniture that I chose are those sound in structure, but devoid of any real character. Like this dresser.

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I took the drawers out and removed their hardware. This left this odd bumpy pieces that under closer inspection appeared to be attached to the fronts. A little prying and they came right off. They were attached with three very long staples and made of pressed wood. Basically useless.

DSCN1246I discarded those pieces.

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You can see the long one leaning against the front of the drawer.

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So here are the drawers with clean fronts ready to be worked on.

Oh, and speaking of ‘clean’, it is always a good idea to wipe down everything with a clean cloth avoiding chemical cleaners. You don’t want anything interfering with the bonding of glue and drawer front. Wipe out the interiors of the drawers and the inside of the cabinet. Nice to have everything clean to start with.

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Next, I made a couple of trips to my local hangouts; Joann’s and then Home Depot. First I chose fabric. I knew the piece was to be primarily black (cabinet is the ‘usual’ Deep Space black in semi-gloss from Behr). I painted the cabinet and set it aside. I would have to do two coats to get a nice even coverage. Below, you will see the two fabrics I chose. I purchased the width of the drawer plus 4 inches, enough to wrap around the top and bottom edges. This will make sense when we get further.DSCN1253

The type of fabric used is as least considered an upholstery fabric. I like to use styles and colors that mimic what I think of when it comes to older suitcases, something around the 50’s and 60’s. I collected these images to give you a place to start. Let you imagination take you wherever you want to go, who is to say what is or isn’t suitcase fabric? Also, remember you can always use just about any colored vinyl. Let’s you really get a pop of color in there.

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Here you can get an idea of the weight of fabric, it does need to be a heavier type fabric. Working with a heavier and more stable fabric is easier and it will wear longer. Not all upholstery or furniture fabric will work, you have to be careful of glue saturation. More on that later.

Fabric Examples

Here are several examples of fabrics that I have purchased to use in upcoming projects. You can see the wide selection of colors and patterns.

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Next I cut off the selvage. I am also a quilter, so I use the cutting mat and rotary cutting tool and straight edge tool that I already own. You could just as easily use a scissors to cut off the edge.

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Now measure the length of the drawer adding four inches. Now cut the length.

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Now fold the fabric onto itself into about thirds. What you are doing here is to make a crease in the fabric to replicate the lid meeting the body of the suitcase.

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Pin to hold the fold. You may want to pull the fabric back and look (at the right sides together) to make sure that your fold placement looks good. For me, it was trial and error the first couple of times. For the most part, I figure as long as striped or obvious patterns look right and match appropriately.

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Sew about a 1/4″ seam. This doesn’t have to be perfect measurement, again, as a quilter, this is what I normally sew. And I don’t lose too much of the fabric to the seam.DSCN1262

Now open the seam and press. Sometimes, when the fabric is really heavy, pressing helps to maintain a nice flat surface when you apply the fabric to the drawer front.

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Now apply a liberal amount of glue mixture to the drawer front. I use a combination of about 4 parts white glue (good ‘ol Elmers, I buy it by the gallon size) and 1 part water. This makes it just a little easier to work with. Now working with the fold towards the bottom, place the fabric evenly on the drawer front folded… then unfold when the line is straight. Believe me, when you are all done and that seam is crooked, it will jump out at you and you will see it every time you look in its direction!

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Now unfold and smooth the remainder of the fabric. Start at the center and work out to ensure a smooth coverage. Be careful not to pull when you smooth and move the fabric.

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In most cases, I use those big office binder clips, to hold the fabric as it dries. You will only be doing the two long edges now.

Two things you need to be aware of if you leave the clips on too long … one, these clips can possibly leave rust if the fabric is saturated with the glue mixture. Two, you can get a crease line when the glue dries where the binder meets the fabric. These can be avoided if you leave the clips on long enough to allow the glue to ‘set’ but before it dries. Again, this is just a matter of trial and error.

Occassionally, if there is not enough ‘lip’ on the drawer to support the use of a binder clip, I will use a stapler. Just a regular stapler, not a heavy duty one. This is just to hold the fabric in place until it dries enough to remove the support.

DSCN1266 Another view of the fabric drying:

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Once the fabric has dried enough to maintain the connection to the drawer, remove the binder clips. To use these on a multi-drawer dresser, you will need quite a few of them. Allow the glue to dry at least overnight, better if you can give it the full twenty-four hours recommended.

This will be where you will see if your choice of fabric was good. I didn’t plan this, but it ended up working out okay since I am doing a tutorial. After all, a good tutorial will also tell you what not to do as well as what to do.

In this case, this fabric wasn’t a good choice after all. The glue soaked into the fabric to the point that when it dried, it discolored the fabric. It is pretty difficult to see in the photos, but where the glue was too thick, it discolored the fabric.

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I was able to pull the fabric off without any damage to the drawer front. Off to the store for a replacement fabric, this time I dropped by Hobby Lobby to check out their selection. I found a beautiful black and shades of silver/gray with circles to replace it. Back through the steps to get the second drawer caught up to the first.

Once the long edges of the drawer have been dried, you need to repeat the process to the ends. This is usually much easier since they are shorter in length. Again, another 24 hours is recommended to allow the glue mixture to dry.

Now, you need to trim the excess from the drawers. This process is dependent on the specific shape of the drawers and how they fit into the cabinet. I usually chose drawers that lay on top of the cabinet as opposed to being recessed. Perhaps this photo will help clarify what I am talking about:

Drawers Explained

Drawer styles vary, but again, I like to stick to drawer styles that are similar. I trim the fabric under the drawer first, using a sharp razor blade to remove it where the drawer front meets the drawer. Using the inside corner as a guide, pull the blade along to cut the fabric. Trim the edges using the razor blade or a small pair of scissors.

DSCN1322 Pull the fabric away as you move down the drawer. This helps to see where you might need to re-cut; remember, this is heavy duty fabric!

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Once you have the fabric removed, apply more glue to the edges, trimming away errant threads as you go. Be liberal in your glue application, you want the edges to stick well!DSCN1325

Another waiting period for glue to dry. Then it is time to install hardware.

First, let me talk a little about hardware. I think it looks better to have a variety of styles and colors. Otherwise, you are back to looking like it is just another dresser. I keep my eyes open in many places I shop for possible candidates. One place I love to browse through bins is Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. They have some awesome old and unique pieces. Often dirty and without mates or pairs, but all the better. And usually either 50 cents or a buck!

I always peruse the hardware aisles at Home Depot, Lowe’s and Ace Hardware, but you can also look at places like Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. Occasionally, I will find good stuff at the dollar stores and thrift stores. I browse eBay and Craiglist too. Because I know I will be doing these from time to time, I like to keep an eye open all the time and in the end, this gives me a good selection to choose from.

Here is are some examples of what Home Depot has to offer:

HomeDepot Selection

Position on the drawer front to suit yourself and attach. On one drawer front, I used a piece of a leather belt (picked up at Goodwill for $1.98) and two pipe straps to simulate a leather suitcase handle.

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Next, as clasps for the case I used silver window sash hardware one on each side, about 5″ from the edges:

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The other drawer was treated with a black gate handle, nice and solid:

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And it also received the window sash hardware, this time in black. Also, to vary the hardware location, I mounted these about 4″ from the edge. Just to keep from getting to repetitive and keep things looking different.

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Insert the drawers into the cabinet, take a step back and let out a long overdue and well deserved sigh. You should be done at this point. A few more photos of the completed project. First, a close-up of the hardware, you can see that things don’t line up and that is on purpose.

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A step back to view the whole thing, cabinet included:

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Another shot:

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Whew! About two thousand words and pictures! pictures! pictures! I hope this all makes sense, but if you have questions, please ask! Like I said, I have done this four or five times now and I may have taken a short cut or two without realizing it. Once you do something a few times, you kind of know where you can cut corners but is information that would be helpful when trying to show someone else how to do it.

Oh, just for fun, here are the other dressers that I have done, the first one even had a small matching nightstand:

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and the very first effort:

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This one shows you a before and after shot:

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Okay! I will say goodnight! I loved doing this tutorial but had no idea that it would take nearly 5 hours to write. Glad I was taking photos along the way.

Thank you for dropping by! Come back again!

And keep crafting y’all!

julie

Bathroom Makeover – A Trip Down Memory Lane

I have about a half dozen projects in progress, but nothing completed. I have been going through photos and ran across a project that I did for my son in our house in California. the house was new when we moved in (and was my first place as a homeowner) and it was pretty “builder” standard. As a new homeowner and a new mom – the Kid was not quite a year old – I had a lot of expenses and had no idea where to start in decorating my new place. My son’s nursery was just transferred from our old house since I had spent a lot of time and effort on planning it – it was crayola themed. I’ll add photos here soon.

It always seemed easy to decorate for the Kid, so I decided to do something for the Kid’s bathroom. The house allowed for him to have his own bathroom, so I was able to decorate it specifically for him. I went wild with the Winnie the Pooh theme. On every wall and even the ceiling was something Pooh themed. It didn’t require a new paint color for the walls or new flooring or lighting, just a shower curtain, towels and wall decals.DSCN0772

 

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DSCN0781This is the ceiling! I told you, Pooh every where!

It worked for a while… but then the Kid started to get older and I grew tired of the theme. I had started to decorate other areas of the house, painting and building and tiling and I thought it was time to do a makeover to this room. I knew it was destined when I came across a cast iron tub with a left hand spout (which is how his bathroom was setup) on sale for $50! It was a $900 tub for $50! You tell me if this is destiny or what?

So, I ripped the bathroom out down to the studs. The bathroom had one of those all-in-one fiberglass tub things and I don’t know about you, but I really dislike them. They are cheap and at first, they look nice, but you can’t scrub them without removing the top layer and they don’t stay looking clean and new for very long. I would happily replace every tub in my house with cast iron – even better, cast iron claw-foot tub. But I digress.

So, I had started quilting a few years earlier and had run across this playful underwater, sea-type pattern that I thought would translate well into a tile pattern. So I set about collecting the necessary tiles in all the colors. This turned out to be so much fun. It took two days to cut all of the tiles, over 1,000 of them in 17 colors. I laid them out on the garage floor and moved them into the bathroom in 2′ x 2′ squares to apply it to the wall. I had so much fun just working on it… took a few days off from work and over a couple of weekends completed it and grouted it. Used black glass ceramic circles for the eyes and had the insets for the bathtub for shampoo and soap. I bought a child sized toilet so that it would be easier to potty train the Kid when the time came. I also laid a new floor and in hind sight wished I had chosen a different tile. I wanted to make it seem that when you were in the bathroom, you were underwater and looking up at the sky… so the ceiling was painted a light blue and I installed a light fixture that looked like the sun. I wished that I had laid a tile that looked like sand or the bottom of the sea.

It all turned out so wonderfully. I had planned to place a half a sheet of glass with a custom edge to look like a wave for a shower deflector instead of a shower curtain but as it turned out, I made the decision to move from California and the house and didn’t have a chance to buy and install it. I think that the Kid had a chance to take one bath before we accepted an offer and sold the house.

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I put so much heart and work into that design that I didn’t have the heart to try and reproduce it in our new home. I based his new bathroom off a painting that the Kid did in fourth grade which just happened to be of fish in an underwater setting, but I think it might have been coincidence. I’ll have to take some photos and post them.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed seeing my walk down memory lane… and my stab at bathroom decorating!

Keep crafting y’all!

julie

Embroidery, Baking and Painting. Its a Trifecta of Crafting!

It has been a rough week for me, so this will be a quick post. In honor of my Mother who passed away this past week, I finished some hanger covers that I had stamped and marked and my Mom had embroidered for me. She had been a big embroiderer when I was young and she did teach me how at that time. I did a few pieces when I was young, not sure any had really survived. I’ve occasionally picked up a piece from time to time, but never have been accomplished at it. Mostly just did accents on pieces. I bought a lovely sewing machine from Singer that now does it automatically and I could never compete – time or accuracy – with its results.

My Mom had finished the pieces in the previous months, and all that was needed to complete it was to sew the seams and trim the pillow cases. And here are the finished results:

Hanger Cover1 Hanger Cover2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think they turned out quite charming. I think that I will hang one on the front of my closet door in my bathroom and the other will hang in the quest room.

Another thing I did differently was to do some baking this week. Nothing like rich, gooey, calorie laden baked goods to make the family feel better and bond me with my son. And he loved this! And it was so simple to do, I don’t know why I hadn’t done it sooner or do it more often. It is called Monkeybread and this recipe was made using Pillsbury refrigerated dough for buttermilk biscuits.

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Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 11.01.38 PMThis was so unbelievably good, especially warm! It was gone before the day’s end. And so simple to make… you should try it!

Last but not least, this simple transformation of a beautiful little piece. It was very beautiful, but the top’s veneer was seriously damaged. I spent a few hours and a hammer and a pry tool and managed to remove it all without damaging the base piece. This allowed me to then prime the entire piece and generously applied six coats of my favorite black paint to the top. the remainder of the cabinet was the recipient of this beautiful dark purple that leans toward red when wet, but blue when dry so it just looks so extraordinary with the black that has undertones of blue as well.

I cleaned and then spray painted the hardware that was original to the piece, they were quite stunning in their own right. Not often do I re-use the original hardware, usually it is those ubiquitous Chippendale style handles that I have come to really dislike quite intensely. But with a couple of carefully applied coats of metallic black, these handles just turned out fabulously.

Here is a quick before and after photo:

Purple Before&After

Much to do this week and I have the luxury of having the Kid home with me on Spring Break. So far, “spring” has been cold, cloudy and a bit precipitous. The Kid has voiced his desire to transform a dresser from start to finish… I am excited and trying to convince myself that he wants to learn the process but I know he is doing it so that he can take a bigger cut of the profit! Either way, I get his company and help and that is worth it all!

Thank you for dropping by. And keep up the crafting!

julie

Pink, pink and more pink!

It seems that everyone who sees the ombré painted dressers just love them. Especially popular are the pink versions. I think that my love of pink stems from only having a son and the lack of being able to sew or paint or play with “girly” things. I, myself, was never much of a “girly girl” no matter how hard my Mom might have tried. Growing up with five brothers just made me want to compete with them and do everything they did. For the most part, I love it. I am a computer geek, love woodworking and fast cars… those things you consider “manly”. But occasionally, I relinquish control and give into pink.

I recently bought a dresser from a struggling young man that was able to move up and better himself. The cabinet itself wasn’t in bad shape, but the drawers all needed work. In fact, the top one was just gone and I built it new from scratch. I am so proud of myself. Of course – sigh – I forgot to take a before picture, but here is the after:

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I scored this amazing deal on these charming ceramic knobs at Michael’s craft stores… these were a close-out and 50% off that price and I got 20 of them for a dollar a piece! I went in search of them at a couple of stores and cleaned the stores out… I now have about 50 more for future projects. I just love the elegance and charm that they provide.

This dresser was snapped up quickly from Craigslist and it was delivered this past Sunday. But I had another buyer who was close on the first’s heels, so I told her that I would paint another for her. I had another decent dresser that only required a little work that lent itself nicely to this color scheme. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you looked at it) I wasn’t paying attention to the order of the dresser drawers when I was painting and ended up painting them in reverse order. Without realizing it, the bottom two drawers were actually just slightly deeper than the other three and so they wouldn’t fit into the top two spots that I had anticipated. What do you think, does the “upside-down” order add or detract from the painting scheme? I have come to really like the reverse order… but if the young Mom (who is the intended customer) isn’t as in love with it as I am, I will repaint the drawers for her.

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You can get an idea of the beating my wood floors have been taking with the weather forcing me to work inside. I figure once the weather warms up and I get to move back into the garage, I will give it some real love and attention. They are solid oak wood floors, so they will take a sanding easily and I can apply another stain and sealer. Its funny that you don’t often notice that your floors are fading or being scratched or little paths are being worn as we walk in the same places year over year; one day you are looking at them and pow! it hits you, they’ve “aged”. Ha!

Have a ton more work to do, as it always seems that when I drop off one dresser, I pick up two more! I have a little project in mind for one of the two pieces I just picked up, so I will be sure to share with you the results.

Thanks for dropping by! And keep making beautiful things!

julie

Inspiration Comes in Many Forms and Unexpected Places

Inspiration has a way of sneaking up on you from different places and in different ways. Feeling like I have sort of worn out the ombré style and that I wanted – nee, needed, to do something different, I found inspiration. In a crayon box.

I was cleaning out the cupboards upstairs in the hall which has been a holding place for school supplies for the Kid for many years. I had sort of made it my mission to help all his teachers and their students by always buying more than I needed during the back-to-school sales and stashing some away so that the Kid would always have supplies, and also donating at least two or three students’ worth of supplies to his new homeroom teacher. Needless to say, as we near the end of his K-12 school days, I needed to get rid of some. And that is where I saw the Crayola boxes and found inspiration.

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I had picked up a dresser that was the perfect piece… solid and wood, but with absolutely no personality. Well, here it is, a bit of personality now!:

DSCN1272

I am so pleased with how this turned out. The base color – something in between orange and yellow – was a real bear to work with. No coverage whatsoever and even in priming the cabinet first, it required no less than six coats of paint. The other colors, even the yellow, were dreams compared. The black stripes and outlines were done with my favorite Elmer’s paint pens. I struggled for a while on what to use for handles, I wish this had been a piece that had built-in drawer pulls, but in the end, I just used wood round knobs painted the same color as the drawer, hoping to make them blend-in. I think it worked! What do you think?

Here’s a quick before and after:

Crayola Before&After

Another project done this week is a gem that I found at a storage center. The owners were clearing out a few of the discarded or left behind items, including this lovely little beat up piece:

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But if you can see past the flaking, dull paint and the horrible hardware to see the beauty that lies within, you are off on the right foot. The lovely curves of this dresser tell the real story. And in sanding the chipped and flaking paint off the top of this lovely, I found the most beautiful wood. It took nearly eight sheets of sandpaper and some real dedication and time in removing it all, but it was worth the effort.

Dresser Top

This is three coats of a natural finish, followed by two coats of polyurethane. It just shines and should last another fifty or sixty years! I didn’t spend as much time with the body, but opted to apply three coats of the antique white (one of my favorites) and then add the six ceramic knobs painted a deep chocolate brown. The perfect crowning touch. And here is the result:

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And so that you don’t have to scroll back up to see the before photo, here is the before and after:

Ivory Before&After

These are the kind of results that I love and only hope to achieve with every piece that I work on. But alas, there are two more pink ombré pieces waiting, one to be delivered and the other to be sold. Additionally, work continues on the doll beds and their matching dressers, armoires and night stands, as well as clothing. I hope to have quite a nice inventory when I am ready to start selling. It is turning out to be a little more work than I thought, at least taking more time than I anticipated. But it is fun and has been rewarding as I put my creativity to work in a smaller scale.

Thanks for dropping by! And keep the crafting and inspiration flowing!

julie

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