Sanding Here, Priming There, Gluing Over There

I think that we’ve fallen into a groove. We are working on about five or six projects, and every day we do a little bit of work on each. You know how it gets, you have one project that has been strengthened and glued and now has to dry and set. So, you go to the next project and again, you get to the point where you have to stop and wait. We’ve gotten to the point that we have five or six ongoing projects and we quickly bring each one up to the same point every day.

The Kid Puts New Fronts on Drawers

Working On A Dresser

Right now, we’re working on getting everything to the priming stage. Planning has to be done to make sure that you’re not sanding on one project while you’re waiting for primer to dry on another. Sometimes it means that one project doesn’t get worked on because it is ready for a stage that will conflict with another. And for whatever reason, it seems to take more time this way. Seems, anyway.

So Many Projects In Process Makes for a Big Mess!

What A Mess!

On top of it, working on so many projects at once, the garage gets so crowded. We keep moving tables to give us access to one project, just to turn around and move it back to regain access to the first thing. And I keep tripping over the compressor cable and the extension cable threaded between the tables for the sander and the circular saw and the jig saw. I took a few minutes and swept up the tool counter of all the saw dust. Whew! Whenever I am overwhelmed, I always seem to revert to organizing or cleaning. :-)

I did begin work on a special project. I don’t know exactly why I decided to do this, but it is something I can work on outside of the garage. Not only fun, but it is something that I think The Kid might like. He is way into MineCraft – this online gaming and building program, where everything is in 8bit graphics. He has been playing and programming ‘mods’ (don’t ask me, I don’t exactly know) for this game since its inception, I guess. Something like 5 or 6 years. Had briefly toyed with the idea of a Halloween costume, but he was too old for trick-or-treating before I thought of the idea.

This is what a pile of gun powder looks like in the game:
imagesSo, I am making him a “real” 2D version of gun powder. I think I am going to either mount it on a base and he can set it on his desk or we’ll hang it on the wall. This is it, so far:

DSCN2950And just wanted to show you, he has a tiny version of the gun powder on his key chain:

photoWell, that’s today’s update. I’m close to revealing quite a few makeovers and re-do’s. I hope you come back to see them.

julie

Working for a Livin’…

So, maybe I forgot to mention, but I am currently not working. As some of you may know (or not), I have a full time job that I usually do as a nine-to-five. I finished my contract the week before Thanksgiving, so, I have had more time than usual to work on projects.

A week before, me and The Kid had put the final touches on five projects. And we both took a well deserved break. In fact, we went to the movies three days in a row. And that’s unusual for us, we’re generally home based kind of people.

But, we’ve picked up several pieces and once again, we’re up to our elbows in furniture again. Let me give you a quick rundown of in-process projects:

Number One: We ran across a beautiful nine drawer dresser at a second hand shop. What I have found lately, is people want the tall chest of drawers and not the long style. But in looking at this piece, what I hoped to do was separate the single piece into two pieces.

Dresser with Dotted Lines

Also, I have been working on a little project of my own. I picked up a sweet little wood children’s desk and am transforming it into a vanity.

DSCN2852I had a mirror left over from somewhere and I am lowering the middle ‘pencil drawer’ down, to create the look of a vanity. Its been kind of fun. The whole thing needs some serious TLC, this thing has been used to almost death! But once this gets its bumps sanded out and the typical pick ombré paint style, this is going to be sweet!

Third project is this beautiful buffet. Well, it isn’t beautiful now, but it has the best bones. Some little person(s) had a great time pasting stickers and letters all over it.

photo 2I “almost” didn’t get a before picture. I had it sitting on its top to protect it from any dings or gouges just from being in the garage.

This is one of those pieces that I can envision well, and would love to keep it, but since the house really cannot take one more piece of furniture, I am going to paint it in the same colors as the little 2 drawer dresser that I did a while back:

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Number Four: DSCN2903I picked these headboards (footboards?) a while back. In fact, at one point in trying to clear the garage, I couldn’t give these away. I just had too much to do at the time, but now, with a little time, this is going to be really cool.

Number Five: DSCN2859The easiest and quickest project, this one is already done. A couple of coats of my trademark “blush pink” and this one was done.

Number Six:

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Not sure what I am going to do with this. I got this in an auction, initially thinking I would use it in my house, but now I’m not so sure. I got it into my head that I would do the blue and natural combination, but The Kid pointed out that it was in pretty condition already. I did some veneer repair and it might be possible to just strip it and then restain it. Guess time will tell.

Number Seven:

This was a quickie project, one I have wanted to do for a while. When sewing (yeah, can you believe how long its been since I had a chance to do any sewing?), I like to do scrap piecing but this always requires many trips to an iron. It would make things so much easier if I had a small ironing surface next to me.

A while back (a really long way back) I had purchased an ironing “set” – an iron storage bag, an ironing board cover and a table mat – all in the same cheerful fabric. The ironing board cover was short lived and the other two pieces went into a cabinet. Recent rummaging uncovered the table top mat and my brain immediately to the television trays that we have and how there is a whole set not being used in the basement.

Long story short:

DSCN2885And I actually carved out a little time to sew Sunday morning and it really came in handy. And if I need the space, it is still collapsible and can easy be store out of the way.

Things have been going out the front door almost faster than we can complete projects. Its great! :-)

julie

Done! Done! Done! Done! and Done!

Wow! And a grateful sigh.

After a final push yesterday, The Kid and I finally finished the five projects that we have been working on. I wrote up the sale ads before I sat down and did the “before” and “after” photos… it took a while to find all of the original pictures of the pieces before we started working on them.

So here they are in all their glory (and unfinished states).

I stumbled onto a new site in which to procure furniture. We have a local company in town that does online auctions for business and people who need to liquidate businesses and estates. They have a pretty good website and at this point, not too many people know about it, so you can still get reasonable prices on certain objects. I find that most people going to the site are looking more for business items, so the furniture and decorative items tend to not have a lot of bidders. And to protect that source for as long as I can, I am not going to tell you their name. :-O

The first three items were purchased from this company. There were two matching dressers, one three drawer and one with five drawers. One drawer on each of the dressers had those faux decorative panels on one drawer on each of the dressers. Thankfully, they weren’t glued on and were easily removed.

5 Drawer Dresser

All the dressers then were sanded and primed. I love the use of a primer and since I knew I was going to do a lot of pink, I had the primer tinted pink to make the job of painting that much easier.3 DrawerThe three drawer dresser had some serious chunks missing from the top, so I opted to replace it. The great thing is that being a well built (not to mention all wood), the top was easily removed with the removal of just four screws. Then we just used it as a template for the replacement top.

Another of the antique dressers needed a new top as well. We bought it from a woman who had owned it for many years and had plants sitting on top of it. At one point the water damage to the original top was beyond repair and she had someone replace it. Only it was replaced with laminate fiberboard. UG-A-LY!

2014-11-08 19.19.11The resulting top for this dresser was cut out, sanded and routed into the exact shape needed. It got one coat of oak stain and three coats of a clear polyurethane with a matte finish (with light sandings in between each coat).

2014-11-16 16.02.01We purchase 2 6′ lengths of a nice oak, 1″ x 12″ and glued them together. We used a special tool to put wood dowels in the pieces to give them strength, we’ve done this multiple times including here. I think we spent like ten dollars on this tool, but it has paid itself back many times over now.

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Midnight Mosaic Antique DresserI stumbled across the blue in a advertisement for deck repair (would you paint your deck this color?) but immediately fell in love with it. The photo above looks a bit more purplish than it actually is, the color is called Blue Mosaic. The brass color cup handles were in my inventory of hardware and just went on so easily and they just are perfect.

On occasion there are pieces that I love so much how they turned out that I want to keep. I spent a couple of days trying to figure out if I could change the color scheme of my master bedroom plan so that I could use this piece. Alas, it is not meant to be. I love this piece.

A third dresser bought at auction is this older, albeit less expensive piece. It is still all wood and I imagine that the child who gets this piece could conceivably be outlived by this piece. I try to always only work with all wood pieces, no sense in putting a lot of time and effort into restoring or making over a piece that will just fall apart.

Dresser with Indent HandlesYou can tell that it is less expensive when it was first sold, as the drawer handles were actually carved out of the drawers, rather than added later. I thought about filling in the handles, but then thought it would be perfect for small hands and there wouldn’t be the chance that the drawer pulls would come off. We painted the top section of the front the first drawer color to make it appear like there was a drawer there. I thought about adding handles, but I think it would throw the look of the whole dresser off.

The last dresser was given to me by a wonderful guy who contacted me through Craigslist. We never got to meet, but exchanged several emails over a week. In the end, The Kid and I picked it up from his driveway, where he left it for us, since he had to leave unexpectedly. I regret not being able to meet and thank him properly, but hopefully he is watching the blog and will see this: Hi, Eric! And thank you!

When I was able to get a really good look at this dresser, I realized that someone had spent some time trying to remove past layer(s) of paint. They had done an admirable job thus far, and I looked it over and considered just how much time and effort would still be left to restore it. There is a fair amount of ornamentation on this piece which equated to a lot of hand work and in the end, just opted to paint it with the same pink ombré scheme that I have come to love so much.

4 DrawerAnd in the end, I opted to use white ceramic knobs on all of the pieces. I love those knobs… they are simple yet elegant and not cheap. And easy for small hands to clasp.

We moved all of the dressers into the foyer and let me tell you, two days of this and I am ready for them to be sold so I have my entry way back!

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This has made a huge dent in the third garage still. Today’s plan is to move what is left to the other side of the garage and prepare the space for storing my sports car for the winter. The car cover came on Friday, which was the last thing I need to properly store my baby. Once it turns cold and wet (or snowy) my car no longer is practical for driving.

The first thing I plan on doing, however, is to go and take “before” photos of all of the projects left. I think I have finally learned my lesson, since scrounging all emails and websites hoping to get the ‘befores’ for these posts were a real pain and took a few days.

Hope you’re all staying warm and comfy this weekend.

julie

 

Getting Closer to Completion (Just One More Day)!

If you’ve been following, you know that I have a small assembly line of dressers being restored/redesigned. Last night, we were able to move the cabinets into the foyer – which has now become the de facto showroom! As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, I had to do one of those little “dances” maneuvering around them on my way out the door!

The drawers are still in the garage awaiting handles and hardware – some of the drawers need a little construction work to make them easy gliding and to fit in the cabinets. That’s The Kid’s job today. My hope is that these are all ready to be posted tonight and we can move them quickly in time for the holidays. 2014-11-20 15.18.59

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2014-11-20 15.19.07We are also doing a quick update (and cleaning ) to the dollhouse we made earlier this year… come hell or high water, this is being sold to someone for Christmas! As much as I love it, I am done with it taking up so much room in the foyer!

DSCN1929And as luck would have it, I found out this week that my employment contract runs out tomorrow. So, I will have some extra time to work on projects in between job hunting. Sigh. I really loved this job and really hate job hunting.

Maybe I will have time to work on the foyer “chandelier” project that I have been designing. I promise to share all the details and steps and the wonderful online company that I have discovered that is enabling me to do this project!

julie

Big Push to Clear the Garage, About 5 Projects at Once!

Temperatures in the midwest (all over the country actually) have dropped sharply with the advent of this ‘arctic air blast’. All I know is one day I am driving home from work with the windows down, temps about 70 degrees with a slight breeze, and overnight, there is a light snowfall, winds are brisk and daytime temps don’t break the 30 degree mark. Brrrr!!

What the bigger picture means for me is that I need to get the third stall of the garage cleared, get the car washed/waxed/detailed and then safely tucked into the garage for the winter. Me thinks it is going to be a cold one!

So, to that end – getting the garage cleared out – means getting some projects done (and sold) so that we can reclaim that space. Here is what the garage looks like as we try to tackle multiple projects at the same time… all with some urgency:

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I picked up this cute little trunk at an estate sale. It had a name and some flowers painted on the top, so am really just in the mode to sand the top, prime and then repaint the entire thing. I would LOVE to keep this, as it matched all of the cabinetry in my sewing/craft room, but I don’t think it is possible to square that much space out from the room!

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Dresser Number 1: This five drawer dresser is a solid piece of furniture and has a matching 3 drawer chest as well. These are slated for the pink ombré style and hopefully will be sold together.

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Dresser Number 2: As indicated this one will be finished in the most beautiful shades of pink:

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I use all of the darker shades of pink from the left card and the bottom (Scented Valentine) from the bottom of the card to the right. The cabinet color is the top and lightest pink (Barely Pink) which paints oh so beautifully over the white primer.

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I haven’t quite decided on this dresser… the drawers have ‘cut away’ handles, which I am not fond of. On occasion, I have been known to fill these in with wood filler, but the depth of these are probably too much to fill. I am giving some consideration to doing another suitcase dresser (you can see them here and here), although that process takes considerably more time than just paint. We’ll see how the rest of the projects are going before I decide.

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We needed some room to work tonight, so all of the primed drawers have been piled up on a table in my “paint booth”… no spray painted needed for the next few days, so I am taking advantage of the unused space.2014-11-08 19.19.11

Two of the dresser cabinets required new tops. It never ceases to amaze me how much damage a person can inflict on the top of a dresser. But, honestly, it is so much easier to replace the dresser top than drawers and sometimes it is all that is needed to make on older piece look brand new. We procure two 1″x12″ of pine and look for boards that don’t have too much knotting or overt grain patterns (above). Once in a while, I even just stain the top if it looks nice enough. The boards are fitted together, glued and clamped.

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Once the glue had dried and clamps removed, the board is cut to length (essentially cut in half). Then using the tops that were removed from the cabinets, the exact shapes are traced and a jig saw is used to cut them out. You can see one on the floor and the other on the table. Next step is to route a nice edge and then some sanding.

2014-11-08 19.19.00Here is the mirror and frame for one of the dressers… this is bound to be part of a pink dresser.

2014-11-08 15.23.53A shot of the “other side” of the garage… where my sports car needs to hibernate for the winter.  Doesn’t look like it, but we’ve really made a big dent. And once sold, it should be a nice little chunk of money. The Kid is hoping to use the money as a down payment for his real “first” car. It is giving him some real incentive to keep him working.2014-11-08 15.23.16We started this out on Sunday, things neatly lined up – being accessed, planned and prep’ed. If you’re wondering about the carpets, I collected them from CraigsList. They make standing in the garage much nicer, they help to soften noise and it allows me to run out there without shoes on, if I need. Plus, for some odd reason, The Kid is much more willing to vacuum the garage, rather than sweep. Go figure!2014-11-08 15.23.10Check out my work space! Isn’t it lovely? I so enjoy working here now that things are clean, organized and equipped.

Much work still to be done, but we’re making progress!

julie

 

 

 

Wow, How Times Flies!

Things have been unbelievably busy in my “real” job. For those who don’t know me, I work in the tech industry, I am a quality assurance testing engineer. That’s fancy words for “making sure stuff works right on the internet”. :-)

I recently took a challenging contract for American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) and I have been putting in some challenging hours, first getting up to speed and now working on the project. It has NOTHING to do with crafting – thank heavens – else I fear I would stop doing crafting altogether. Crafting and sewing and quilting have become my mode of decompression after a long day sitting in front of a computer. There is nothing more rewarding than handling fabric or sanding wood… something that brings me back to life after working in a digital world all day.

The weeks haven’t been entirely without crafting, but more from the standpoint of collecting the basics for future projects. For one, I bought myself another embroidery machine – a Singer Quantum XL-6000 – and can’t wait to get it up and running. This makes the fourth quantum series machines that I own, and I have head over heels for all of my Singer machines. Unfortunately, the latest one arrived needing a bit of servicing and I figured that I would get it tuned up at the same time. I finally picked it up Wednesday and barely had time to get it into the room.

Because I have two embroidery machines – and I plan to use both – I had to rethink my sewing/crafting room. Finally after much hunting and planning, I have a solution. I took a nice new tall chest of drawers and removed the second and third drawers and added a pull out drawer. With help from the bestest kid in the whole world (how did I get so lucky to have such a considerate and loving son?), we got it done and in place the day before I picked up the machine from the repair shop.

IMG_3624This will give me all kind of storage for embroidery thread and stabilizers and all the attachments that come with these machines. Of course the cabinet that had been there is now sitting in the garage awaiting some new plan. Everything that was stored in that had to have a new home, so I bought a new cabinet for the space between the television cabinet and the wall. Found the perfect one at the new IKEA that opened up and with a little modification, it will be the perfect addition to the room. Bottom line though, there isn’t one more square inch available for anything after this!

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As I look at this photo, I think I should do something different under my cutting table. Hmmm….

As you can see from both photos, there is a lot of organizing to be done. Sometimes I think being so organized is a curse, I think I spend just about 1% more time organizing than I do crafting, sewing and quilting!

We spent last weekend making the extended trip to Witchita – about 3 hours southwest of Kansas City to retrieve some goodies from an estate sale. This weekend we are heading to Iowa on another of our abandoned house hunting trips. Give us a chance to do something different – something my son is interested in. It is actually called urban exploration and can include more than houses, but in our part of the country, there is a dearth of abandoned farm houses as small family farms are being bought up by commercial farming operations. It really is quite sad, but the reality of what is happening to the business of farming. I talk more about that on my other blog – if you’re even interested enough to check it out, it is MacCupcake.wordpress.com. That blog is the place where I talk about this next phase of my life where my main role is no longer “Mommy” and what it means and what I would like to do with my years.

Anyway, those expeditions often result in finding some amazing finds – it is interesting to see what gets left behind – deemed no longer necessary or wanted. The third, smaller stall of my garage is packed with finds from these trips, estate sales, thrifting and CraigsList.

IMG_2602Like if I work on this stuff every minute I am awake, I could never use everything that I have collected. I have always said when I die, my house is going to be one helluva estate sale!

So, come back often, I promise to get more posted as I finish projects. And don’t forget to show the love, I like comments!!

julie

Oh The Things You Can Do With Paintsticks

Those humble little paint sticks. So useful for stirring paint. And for so many other things. I had a brief email conversation with a woman who had used paint sticks and adhered them to the side of a cabinet, gave it a quaint little finish, almost like siding. It was awesome.

I got to thinking about all the uses of those paint sticks, and more specifically, all the things I have used them for. They work wonders as shims, propping up furniture so that you can paint down to the bottom of a piece of furniture, heck, I’ve even used them for fly swatters.

I wanted to share with you something I am working on now. I am putting together a tall, skinny cabinet and needed a top for it. After scrounging in my wood pile, I just did not have something that would work and I bristled at the thought of yet another trip to The HomeDepot. I looked around the garage and what did I see?

DSCN2539Yes, my trusty bucket of paint sticks. And then brilliance struck. I would make a solid piece of wood using paint sticks. So one by one, I spread glue onto the sticks and positioned them together. They are actually made of two paints sticks end to end and then side to side, and staggered so that the ‘seam’ of the two sticks wouldn’t line up in a row on the finished piece.

I could have sworn that I had taken a photo of them while the glue was drying, but cannot find it now. But once the glue dried, I removed the clamps. As you can see in the picture, the surface – front and back – was a bit rough.

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I measured out the length that I needed. I marked it with a pencil and using a circular saw, The Kid trimmed both ends. I figured it would be easier to sand the thing if I was only sanding the section that I would be using.

DSCN2518Here is the rough piece and the ends that were cut off. Not too much excess. Still trying to figure out what I can do with the leftover pieces. Hmmm….

Top Made of Paint Sticks

Then the sanding began. This was not for the faint of heart… if I do something like this again, I will definitely be more careful with lining up the sticks. Also, I wouldn’t use quite so much glue. I think sanding off the glue was the hardest part.

Top RoughAfter much sanding, it started getting smooth. I must have gone through 6 sheets of sand paper working on this. At this stage, I used some wood filler on some of the gaps and divots and areas that needed more sanding. I figured that as long as there was still filler on the board, I would know where to continue sanding to make it all even.

DSCN2535Finally, it is smooth on all sides. I don’t know about you, but it looks like a solid piece of wood with some really great grain. Heavier than all get out, but I am still in love with this.

DSCN2536The Kid came out and did the routing on three sides. Just so minor sanding and then it was ready for the first coat of stain. I used a very light stain, as I don’t want to cover up that beauty, just keep it sealed. I ran out of the stain after the first coat though, so will have to finish this later.DSCN2537

Here is a shot of the end of the wood… I just love the way that looks!

I just wanted to point out the wonderful ways to use those paint stir sticks. It is a regular habit for both me and The Kid to stop and pick up a few on each trip to the store. I never feel like I am ‘stealing’ anything as I buy a butt-load of paint from them and they offer them free to their customers.

I’d love to see what you’ve made with stir sticks. They’re really handy!

julie

 

Pink, pink and some more pink!

Seems that every thing that I do lately seems to take about three times longer than it used to. I suppose that is partly due to the fact that I seem to have little ‘spare’ time to work on projects. Dang job getting in the way of my hobbies! How dare it! LOL

I did manage, with The Kid’s help, to get two more projects completed. And of course, as the title hints exclaims, both are finished in my favorite shades of pink.

First came the trunk which I imagine being used as either a toy box or perhaps a keepsake trunk. I found this on the curb about three houses down from where I was picking up some piece of furniture, just sitting there forlorn. To be fair, it had seen better days and it needed new hardware, as the lid was sitting next to it. But I could see the potential.

It got a light sanding and a base primer. Then I replaced the hinge and added a ‘soft down lid’ hinge, keeps the lid from DSCN2511slamming on little fingers. I also added felt around the top of the box to prevent it from banging when closed. Once the hardware was done, I applied two coats of pale pink in a high gloss finish. At that time, it was transferred to the ottoman in front of the couch (halfway between the couch and television), so that I could hand paint the “dots” and still watch my recent binge… “Nurse Jackie”. But that is a whole ‘nuther discussion!

Using four simple round objects – a plate, a bowl, a large glass and a small glass – I randomly marked circles over the entirety of the box. Then it was time to sit back and paint them all in. One thing I did learn was to not paint the very lightest color when the room was dim… found the following morning that I hadn’t done such a great job after all. :-) Just took a little clean up and second coats on most of the colors. But in the end, it turned out fabulous.

I added the little bun feet, just to add a little charm. I glued some more felt to the bottom to take care of any wood floors. And it would be easy to reposition, so that toys could be accessed easily. Here is the end product:

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The trunk is lined with cedar, but I am sure that it is only a veneer. Still, smells nice and I am pretty sure would repel moths.

DSCN2531Next up is the little desk that I picked up from a thrift store for $8. My original intention was to take it apart and stack the drawer units to create a tall vanity, but The Kid pointed out that it had a waterfall front and was in more than awesome shape, so he talked me into painting it too.

Once again, it was primed and painted the base coat of pink. I love the way the high gloss looks, making everything look very shiny. Then the drawers (also primed) received one of four colors of paint, the ombré style of painting. I can’t get enough of this, it makes me think of little princesses. It previously had these weird wood handles over indentions and I didn’t want to put them back on. A while back, I had purchased handles for another project that didn’t turn out, so I opted to use them on the desk.

DSCN2532Again, loved the way this turned out. The photo makes it look a little darker than it really is, I waited until evening to take the picture, so there isn’t a whole lot of natural light. And speaking of pictures, I have reverted to my old (bad) habit of not taking a ‘before’ photo. Sigh. I didn’t have pictures of either of these projects, but live and let live. I like the ‘after’ photos better anyway.

DSCN2533Another angle. This piece could easily be used as a vanity as well. A cute little dresser mirror on top and viola!, vanity!

DSCN2534All wood construction, always start with good bones. This was just too good of a deal to pass up.

Well into the next couple of projects, trying to get things cleared up in the garage, so that I can do my remodel out there. My plan is the effectively build a wall between the larger and smaller garage bays and get some vertical height in which to store things. Right now its all on the floor, which takes up more room than I want. I really want to be able to all the cars in the garage when necessary (I live in tornado alley after all) by just moving a few things out of the way. Right now, I feel lucky when I can get one of my three cars into the garage. Need organization!

julie

 

I Don’t Have to Tell You, You Know I Love Pink!

I grew up, essentially, with 5 brothers (my two sisters are 11 years older and 11 years younger). I was a tomboy from the get-go. I had to just to survive! Although my mother did her best to try to get me to be feminine, I rarely did. When she bought and hung two toned pink curtains in my room, I revolted. For years, I hated pink.

That would all change – or so I thought – when I had children. But mother nature was tough and long story short, five years and the cost of a new house, I was able to bring my one and only child into the world: my son The Kid. There would be no pink and taffeta and dolls and tea sets and tulle and ballerina slippers. Just my rough and tumble little boy. I wouldn’t trade a single second of having him in my life, it has been the best toughest joy of my life.

But I didn’t get to do pink. :-(

Lately, a lot of the furniture makeovers have been pink. As you may (or may not) know, I stumbled over the ombre style of painting and I’ve done a bit: black, green, blue, and yes, pink. And guess what? Pink sells the best and fastest and generally speaking, for asking price. It just is so adorable!

So, currently, I have a toy box and a small desk that are just about ready to be listed for sale. And I am forever hunting for cheap (preferably free) pieces of furniture to refinish/redecorate. Last time I bought paint, I opted for high gloss, which those little paint the small paint samples don’t come in that finish… so in order to get all those shades, I had to buy quarts (and a gallon of the base color). That means, in order to get my money’s worth, I need to do a few more.

The pink is just so cheery and feminine. It looks perfect in a nursery, a toddler or little girl’s room… heck, even teenaged girls love pink (some opt for purple!). I actually know that at least one piece I sold was going into a little girl’s room who was trapped inside a 40’s something woman’s body! Ha! Power to the spirit of the little girl who lives inside all women!

Recently, I picked up a small wood dresser. I like the detailing on the front and thought it would make a good project. It was in terrible condition when I got it and even with a lot of sanding, I couldn’t get it to a clean slate. So, I opted to paint it as it stood and in the end, it turned out okay. I like to describe it as having character. A thing doesn’t exist for that many years and not take on some blemishes or dings.

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This was the last one done with the satin finish. I also decoupaged the inside of each drawer using illustrations I cut from an old children’s book of fairy tales.

Drwer InteriorIt sold quickly, like this style does. So, more are on the way. I think a few people have figured out my success as I am seeing more of the ombré style recently.

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Added a sweet touch with these crystal handles.

KnobAnd the Before/After photo:

Before & AfterKeep an eye peeled for unveiling of several pieces soon. I am also working on a desk converted to a tall chest of drawers, The Kid’s Victrola makeover and the restoration of the larger Victrola. And of course, I am always on the lookout for things that get the creative juice flowing.

julie

No Drought In Kansas City

As many of you know, I am a transplant to Kansas City from Northern California’s Silicon Valley. We celebrate ten years in the Show-Me state next month. Even so, I always pay attention to the weather and wild fires out in California, which I still think of as ‘home’. They’ve been through some devastating drought conditions which have led to major wild fires. I feel for my peeps on the west coast.

But drought is one thing that Kansas City has not experienced. Well, at least not this year! Everything is greener than green and if you follow my blog, you know that my strawberry patch…

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…and The Kid’s pumpkin patch…

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….are growing like gang-busters. As I understood strawberries, the plants really don’t mature until the third year and then you can expect some decent harvests. Well, mine are only in their second year but have already harvested many quarts. And this even with me leaving about a third on the ground to help fill in light patches!My HouseI have a larger than standard lot, as our house is on a semi-cul-de-sac. I don’t know what else to call it. It is a corner where one street turns 90 degrees and becomes another street, but the corner is set back and we have a wide half-round area in front of my house and two of my neighbors. This makes for larger backyards, which good or bad, means we have more lawn.

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 6.34.56 PMHowever, the way that our property is naturally graded, all run off from the eastern neighbor flows into a little stream through our back yard and then into a underground culvert that then feeds into a (very small) lake in the neighborhood just south of us. Thankfully this ugly culvert is in the back of my western neighbor and he has done a great job of camouflaging it.

One might reasonably think that this should work well and most of the time it does. However, when we have had multiple days of heavy rain (as we have recently), it doesn’t seem to work and we get a lot of standing water in our backyard. Or as I call it, “A River Runs Through It”.

DSCN2486The small leafy patch just to the left of the tree (behind the river) is the Kid’s pumpkin patch. Lots of rain is working a minor miracle on the plants… the vines have gone gangbusters and there are hundreds of blossoms! I think we can safely expect a lot of pumpkins… not the biggest, but I am expecting numbers! So, the standing water isn’t a big deal (although it does make it tough to mow that part of the yard), but mostly it keeps the grass beautifully green and nourishes my tree line.

All of Kansas City is just so healthy and green as well. For once, I can honestly look at Kansas City and call it beautiful! I don’t dislike KC, but there is nothing to compare with San Jose/San Francisco area and the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre mountains and everything in between. I really miss California!

Me and The Kid have been slowly been working on some new projects – The Kid now more than me since I’ve gone back to work. Last night we sold the purple vanity (yay!) and I think I have a buyer for the umpteenth pink ombre dresser that I finished an evening or so ago. That leaves just the two-tone vanity left to sell and I will officially have my entry way cleared!

photoI am also about a third or so complete on a 8″ x 10″ cross stitch project, I just picked up the canvas and some thread and started stitching! I am thinking that I will make it into an iPad case when I am done. Or something. Ha! I always have to have something to do with my hands even when I am too tired to refinish furniture and just am sitting on the couch watching ‘Nurse Jackie’. (Don’t get me started talking about binge series watching… that’s another whole different post!)

Thankfully, today is Friday and the end of my first week on the new job. I am really liking it, as I have a super team and an even more super (super-duper?) manager and I am coming up to speed really quick. Which is great, ’cause I really don’t like being the ‘new’ person. I see me doing this for a while. I hope!

julie

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