For Sale: Handcrafted Doll House and Accessories

Need that perfect gift for your little doll mommy? Built for all 18″ dolls including American Girl, Today Girl, Journey Girl, Madame Alexander, My Twinn, Our Generation, KidKraft Sadie, Gotz and Disney Princess and more. After many months of planning, shopping, designing, building and furnishing, I am offering this one of a kind dollhouse for $3000.00.

DSCN1929Designed, built, handcrafted and lovingly assembled for your princess just in time for Christmas. Give your little girl a place to play and store all of her American Girl treasures!!

Two pieces, designed for delivery, assembled stands 80″ tall. But that doesn’t include the rooftop garden! Overall dimensions: 80″h x 25″d x 48″w. This was hand built by my son and I in our home and has many extras you won’t find in any other house.

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Three levels boasts a bedroom with adjoining bathroom, living room with fireplace and a state of the art kitchen with built in cabinets and turquoise appliances. Everything pictured is included with the exception of the doll. The doll is not included.

The pink bedroom with handcrafted bed and handmade linens sewn in awesome shades of pink. Includes a pillow with pillow case. Matching dresser in shades of pink (also called ombré style of painting) with four functional drawers. To round out the bedroom, we have a deep red wood stained armoire with a bar for hanging and three small drawers.

DSCN1912Enter the bathroom through the door in the bedroom to find a clawfoot bathtub, toilet and sink. Pink towel set – bath towel, hand towel and washcloth and a small basket with shampoo, conditioner and bath soap. The room is complete with actual white square tiles and baseboards.

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DSCN1911The kitchen is like no other you will ever see! Taking up the entire second floor, it boasts built in glass door cupboards above and below. Stainless steel sink with extendable sink sprayer sits on top of a glass tile countertop in beautiful shades of turquoise. The cupboard next to the store has a solid wood surface perfect for chopping vegetables, and houses a mixer and baking pans. Microwave above the over (sorry, door doesn’t open) but the range has an opening door with two wire shelves and plastic door to see when those pastries are browned. Refrigerator comes stocked with vegetables and food for hosting that perfect holiday party. Pantry next to the ‘fridge also boasts soup and assorted canned vegetables.

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DSCN1924The kitchen floor is a beautiful hardwood floor, three coats of varnish and three coats of polyurethane. This will look beautiful for years of play.  Same floor on the third floor, and has a hand hooked rug in between upholstered sofas. Put your feet up and relax in front of the fireplace (extra firewood in the wood box). A small table with a sewing box is near for mending socks on a late night. Plenty of room to include a Christmas tree for your dolls!

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On top, we have one more relaxing space… three piece wicker set with heart motif is surrounded by pots of colorful flowers. A wonderful place to enjoy the sunshine with a glass of tea!

DSCN1927Please keep in mind that I am simply someone who likes to tinker and collect, I am not a master carpenter so this is unique albeit not perfect.  The small imperfections make it a one of a kind but built and furnished with love and laughter!

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DSCN1902Keep in mind that although lots of little extras have been provided, there is still plenty of room to add your own special touches. Pictures, posters, doll clothes, food, dishes, jewelry… all those things that will make this dollhouse your daughter’s own.

Dollhouse will be available for local pick up in Kansas City MO once payment is received. Feel free to email me with ANY questions.

With regards to shipping: I want to work with you to make this your little girl’s perfect Christmas. I can deliver locally in and around Kansas City area for $50. That includes delivery and set up in your home. I will work with you on getting it to you, inquire about delivery outside the area, please send me an email.  Of course you are always welcome to swing through town and pick it up!

Please remember: The doll is not included. Everything else is.

I would love to hear your comments, questions, your own experiences. See previous posts for more in depth instructions and photos. I’ve truly enjoyed this process, but am ready to move on to something new and challenging.

Thanks for stopping by!

julie

Color Condendrum – Your Vote Counts!

I’ve been slowly making progress on that large wardrobe I picked up off Craigslist. It had been a beautiful piece at one time, but when it was handed down, the person on the receiving end either didn’t want it or didn’t know what to do with it. As the story was told to me, it had been relegated to the back corner of a garage, and there, the weather and other elements took its toll on the facade. The interior was – is – gorgeous and will only require a deep cleaning and a wood conditioner (and a couple pieces of missing trim), but it is the outside that has plagued me.

The two broad doors had been layered with walnut veneer that I cannot find to replace it, that is, even if I knew how to work with a veneer. It, too, took a corner position in my garage for a while, as I pondered alternatives. Finally, I opted to fill the sparse areas with wood filler and sand it all, then over the course of several months applied my favorite ‘deep space’ black. My son had done a fantastic job of building a replacement footer and shoring up the overall cabinet, now a strong and sturdy piece of furniture.

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I had been doing (as I do a lot) browsing on the web for interesting treatments to these massive pieces of furniture. The very size of it indicates that whatever room this eventually resides, it will be a focal piece. So I knew it had to have a special treatment. I’d love to show you some of my early influences, but for the life of me I can’t put my finger on it. Gah! Hate when that happens!

Anyway, I tripped across some abstract painting and fell in love with one in particular. You can see her work here. I chose a piece out of her coloring book that she sells on her website and with a little resizing (the wardrobe isn’t square) I was ready to get to work.Large Bold DesignI used an old school projector that I got for free off Craigslist and by simply cleaning it, it was fully functional. Obviously that never stops me, so I had to paint it a much cheerier color than that dismal office desk gray. So I printed the design onto a piece of clear transparency film and simply used white paint pens to mark the edges.

DSCN1815The first try I was a little short – the design didn’t cover the doors – so another couple of layers of black paint and I was ready to start again. While it was sitting in the garage waiting to be remarked, I tried to envision what colors I would use. There was a part of me that thought that the white against the black was unique enough, but the lines are a bit messy and I am not sure that I want to do something so ‘colorless‘.

Last night, me and the Kid manuavered the thing into the entry way and got it set for me to work on it. Now I simply cannot close the garage door to it, it really is an albatross sitting there. Here’s the view from the home office:

imagephotoThis is going to be hard to ignore.

So, this is where I need your help. I’ve taken the template and using Photoshop, tried out a bunch of color combinations. Which one feels right to you? Let me know in the comments or send me an email which one you like. Or use the template above and do your own coloring, I know a lot of you have great artistic skills and a great eye for color

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Work continues steadily on the 18″ sized doll house and the play pieces, furniture and clothing to go with it. The Kid is working on my logo and the web site colors and today we shopped for the new backend server computer. We’re going to be running SQL – this will be my first experience as a DBA and hopefully will hone my SQL skills. While we were shopping, we stopped into the local computer recycling center and then had an honest-to-goodness LISA there. As I was oohing and ahhing over it, the guy working there said rarely does anyone recognize it. Even though my experience with Mac computers go back a ways, it didn’t go back that far, but I admire that our sleek new iMacs and MacBookPros had their humble beginnings with this computer. My son found a G4 MacBook in excellent shape to, so for historical sake and to help my son see what we once thought was the biggest and baddest. He’s been installing the OS and games and apps for the better part of three hours now, so I think he’ll at least use it enough to get the $40 price tag’s worth.

Okay, signing off for now. Come back soon and don’t forget to vote on your favorite designs!

julie

 

Seems Like Deja Vu!

Tonight’s post will be a quick one, just another example of the ombre style of painting in my favorite shades: pink. I love when I stumble across essentially a perfect dresser, both in style but also construction. Dressers built around the mid-century and before are examples of furniture built right and built to last generations. And really all I need to do is a bit of sanding, some drawer repair and slap on a couple coats of primer followed by the paint. Then replace the existing hardware with something a little more appealing – at least to me the existing Chippendale style handles are ugly and when I see them on furniture the first thing my mind screams is ‘replace them and fast’!

Anyway, won’t spend too much time on this routine process. You’ve seen the drill. I’ll just show you the before and after:

Pink Dresser Before&AfterAlthough this has become quite a routine exercise in makeovers, I am constantly astounded by the change that paint makes. What an amazing transformation for the cost of paint (and accessories) but wow, how different! And adorable. I can’t wait for the little girl who gets to put this into her room.

I will continue to do the dresser transformations, but am excited to shift focus over to the work being done towards the completion of a dollhouse for the 18 inch dolls such as American Girl. Tomorrow has been targeted as the day that much work will be completed, we plan to put a real dent in the ‘To Do‘ list.

The whole idea was really conceived when I created the play kitchen (you can see the post here). I think the most fun doing the whole project is the creativity that comes from taking something and making it into something with a whole difference purpose. And for this size project, it is all that much more fun. It comes from looking at something and seeing a whole new purpose. The scale here is somewhere between 1:3 and 1:4… sometimes it just comes down to what looks right.

I started thinking about this whole thing when some wonderful people offered me a beautiful entertainment armoire. For free! All it needed was a door hinge repair. But it got me thinking and planning. It has taken a prominent location in my front entry, so that every time I walk by it, it makes me think a little more about something I want to do.

Just to give you a peek into what has already been going on, I’ll just throw some quick pictures up here.

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Here is the first cabinet. As you can see, its a work in progress. The top shelf is a kitchen and the bottom shelf is a bathroom. Not sure that it is going to stay that way, especially after the cabinetry kept growing and growing and now there isn’t adequate room for the refrigerator and stove that is yet to come. :-(

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Working still on the upper cabinets and so they’ve been relegated to the top of the cabinet. Man, I am going overboard on this! :-)

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I hadn’t planned for a bathroom, at least not for what I will keep. This will probably go into the other dollhouse. But the pieces are just too awesome!

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There is still a lot of work to do on the bathroom, but the one thing I finished was a miniature bathrug like the one I did for my bathroom! You can see it here. The bathtub will get a painting, white gloss inside, textured on the outside – more like a real tub. I’ve started the vanity and sink, still much to do there too.

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Everywhere I go, I keep my eyes peeled for things that could work as props and supplies for the house. Sample size and hotel size shampoos and conditioners and lotion bottles are perfect size in a small basket. Still need to do towels and wash cloths. Soap has been made out of clay, but needs to be wrapped.

Okay the next series of photos are of things in progress… I will explain and given instructions later. So much going on!

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Door knob and knocker for the front door…

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The front door being glue together…

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Here’s a angled photo of the sink (filled with dishes!) and what will become the sprayer and I am holding the faucet. Still in works…

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Found these lovely little fan covers that will make nice burner grills.

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These are the two stove/oven combinations (laying on their sides while gluing in the rack supports). One will be “stainless steel” while the other is getting a retro color treatment: turquoise! The refrigerators will get the same treatment too.

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Here are the oven shelves, trimmed from various pieces found at thrift stores.

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These are the knobs that will become the kitchen handles. Something special planned for these…

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These are the handles to be used for the stove/ovens. Need to pick up a few more before I am ready to attached.

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These are the shelves for both refrigerators. They are plastic cut from a dish drainer and painted silver. Perfect! DSCN1434

This is the second doll house. Barely got started… but it will have a shelf at the bottom and two floors. Also an attic! It will have beadboard places horizontal to simulate siding and it will have the grand front door and windows.

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Here is a sneak peek at the turquoise, this is the second refrigerator door.

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Here are a couple of shots of other things I’ve been collecting, such as pots and pans and dishes and glassware. Whenever I find something that seems about the right scale, I snatch it up and stash it away. These kitchens will be almost as well stocked as my own.

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Okay, that’s enough sneak peek for now. It’s getting late and there is much to do tomorrow. I hope you’ll come back and see my progress!

And of course, keep making beautiful things just for the sake of beauty!

julie

Another work week has come and gone. Time just seems to fly by so fast these days.

I finished up a couple of more pieces for a young lady who just had fallen in love with the black and gray ombré style and I was only too happy to put my handiwork onto a couple of pieces for her.

I picked these up from a gentleman who was clearing his mother’s house. She had passed away nearly a year before and he couldn’t bring himself until that weekend to start going through her things. I know how he felt. But his mother had some wonderful things and I knew that those pieces had not only been lovingly cared for but cherished and to be able to give them a second life is something I am happy to be able to help with.

Here are the pieces in their ‘before’ states:

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This seems to be getting old hat, even writing about them is pretty routine. There isn’t much more to say than I removed the drawers and the hardware, sanded and made necessary repairs before giving everything two coats of primer. These pieces, like I mentioned, were really taken care of (or not used much) as the drawers were all solid. No repairs necessary. Then on went the two coats of Behr’s Deep Space black on the cabinets (and the bottom drawer of the dresser). Then the other drawers received their own coats of shades of gray. The young lady who requested the special treatment on these pieces (they had been destined for an antique green) had her own antique hardware, which were attached when she came to pick them up. I wished I had grabbed a couple of shots of the pieces with their new hardware – stainless steel – but it was dark and late by the time we were finished and everyone was anxious to get back to their respective homes.

A quick ‘before & after’ shot sans hardware:

Green Dresser Before&After

I also finished a tired little dresser that I picked up in my travels. It was mostly mdf (medium density fiberboard) but the top had bubbled from the condensation from water glasses, so I replaced it with a solid 1/2″ piece of pine. The remainder of the dresser wasn’t the highest quality, but it was solid and had nice construction of the drawers. I painted it a happy navy blue and added some antique hardware that was rescued from another dresser before its transformation. It had this cute little swirl at the bottom of the dresser that I painted silver to match the hardware and give a little personality to it. This was then provided to the same young mother for a deep discount, since she had become my best customer! She also asked me about doing a bed for her son in the future. On the lookout for a piece that would work for him!

I don’t have a picture of the before, but trust me, there was nothing special about it! Here is the after:

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Didn’t it just turn out adorable? I hope that he likes it!

I’ve picked up a really sweet china cabinet, mid-century styling in blonde wood that I just love. Was a real bear just to get it wrestled into truck and get it home. It is going to be one of those pieces that I would love to keep for myself but my little house just cannot hold one more piece of furniture! I thought something in a light turquoise, sort of the color of the appliances in this photo:

imagesI would love to do my kitchen over in this color scheme, but as many of you have read, I have invested a small fortune in appliances and decorations in my kitchen in (what I call) Kitchenaide red! I love the crisp clean look of this though and if I could, I’d use this in a heartbeat if I had it to do all over. Might consider this color in my bedroom, although I am wrestling with the idea of a  eggplant purple and dark chocolate, so who knows!

Construction continues on the dollhouse gifts for my grandnieces, today one of the cabinets will be getting an attic space! I really need to spend some attention to getting these completed… always more to do than time and money!

Thanks for dropping by and if you promise to come back, I promise to keep writing!

Oh, and keep making beautiful things even if it is just for yourself!

julie

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

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

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!:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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

One For Me, One For You

Sometimes, you just have to reward yourself. Often when I am working on a project or have one for sale, there is a little part of me that would really love to keep it. Before I really found Craigslist and knew that I could sell pieces quickly and profitably, I did keep many of my pieces. And my house is packed as a result. Not hoarders packed, but really, there isn’t room to add more. And sometimes I really think that I am pushing the edge on how much I have as a result of how much I keep.

My guest room, for example is just such a room. Functional yes, beautiful yes, but sometimes I think it could stand a little less. But it is where I store a lot of things that I just simply can’t seem to part with. It was designed first and foremost as a guest room and currently it holds a queen sized bed as well as a day bed with a trundle. It allows for a family to sleep there. It is just off the upstairs bath, so it makes it convenient for guests. I have a large armoire (bought and used for the Kid as a baby) that now holds the few quilts that I can’t quite part with. Or just haven’t yet.

There is also a small collection, of sorts, of sewing machines. The first is my Mom’s sewing machine and the one I used as a teenager to sew with. A light blue Singer in a cabinet, I couldn’t bear to see it sold when Mom went into assisted living. And in the days when the Kid and I used to do the estate sale circuit, I picked up a couple more, even older, Singers that I just couldn’t let go to the junk yard or sold for scrap. One is an antique treadle machine, although it would definitely require some work before there would be hope of it working, it is just a beautiful contrast to the three computerized machines I use now.

I had an older white dresser in the room to hold miscellaneous fabrics that I bought before I knew what I was doing in buying fabric for quilts or remanents of pajama making or costumes. Things that might come in handy some day (doesn’t that sound like the justifications of a hoarder?) and that I just can’t seem to part with. When I first started painting the ombré style dressers, I actually sold a dresser to two different couples accidentally, so to rectify the issue, I used the dresser and painted it for the second couple. Ever since, I have been keeping on the lookout for a replacement.

My experience, at least in the Kansas City market, is that people usually desire the taller and more narrow dressers than the long, low ones. So, when the opportunity to pick up a dresser with a great little fifties retro-vibe for free came along, I snatched it up knowing that if it didn’t sell, it could take the place of the long since sold dresser.

So, I finally finished it this week. I keep putting those projects that are for myself behind in the queue, but I finally opted to finish this one. Make some room in the garage. So, with I just set it up next to another project and really did the two projects side-by-side. I think it turned out wonderfully and yesterday, it was carried up to the guest room and settled it into its place. No repairs were needed for this piece (can you believe I got this for free?) and a coat of primer followed by several coats of ultra-bright white and some new feet just brought this piece to life. I love it!

What do you think?

RetroDresser Before&After copy

I also completed another pink ombré styled dresser, no big fan fare for this one. The one thing I did do a little differently is that instead of painting the cabinet the lightest shade of pink (that wonderful blush pink), I opted to go with the most bold pink! I have six shades of pink paint and often, this bold pink doesn’t get used if the dresser doesn’t have five drawers, so I had a lot of the pink. I didn’t think that using it would require so many layers, but having that much color required a solid four coats. Each time I would move it, it seemed I would discover another area with some white primer bleed through or a small area that I missed.

I picked up the dresser from a wonderful young couple that was making a transition from a small cramped apartment to their first house and they wanted to start fresh. I bought this and another dresser for $30. This dresser had seen better days, that’s for sure. I even had to completely build the top drawer from scratch (my first one!) and I am very happy how to came out. Looks just as good as the originals. This is a very solid but very lightweight dresser and had found a sticker indicating that it had been built in 1944. I tell you, they just don’t build furniture like that any more. I am betting this will be around another 50 years at least!

DSCN1251Found a great deal on those knobs at Michael’s, in the dollar aisle. I grabbed all that I could find. I am planning on hitting all the Michael’s and Pier One’s in my area for the clearance knobs. Can’t beat a ceramic knob for a buck!

Me and the Kid have been picking up furniture all over town. He is into finding and buying a seriously awesome video game library, and has just about every game system there is. So, he doesn’t mind going with me to thrift and second hand stores. Yesterday, we scored on this awesome 60″ round glass table! You cannot image what that three quarters inch chunk of glass weighs. We seriously wrestled with that thing! Not sure what I am going to do with it, but it was just too good to pass up. Yep, free!

Okay, three more projects in varying states of completeness is calling to me, so I will say goodnight! Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Its Getting To Be Like A Production Line

The pieces keep getting created. And they keep getting sold. I try to vary the projects so that I don’t become bored or disinterested in what I am doing. The thing that I have always loved about being able to do this kind of crafting and art is that it wasn’t a ‘job’, in fact, was the escape from what I did from “9 to 5″ and was my retreat from the normal happenings of my career. But since I have been in between contracts, this has sort of taken on the role of being my job, at least, it is helping to supplement what is being lost from a normal paycheck. So far, I’ve been very lucky in that the pieces that I create sell almost as fast as I can complete them. In fact this weekend past, I sold a piece that hasn’t even been completed! And I am going to work on another piece that isn’t even really defined!

So, a quick look at what has been accomplished since the last post. Always very popular is the ‘suitcase’ dresser, and I love the creativity that it affords me. From a standard four drawer dresser, comes a great little conversation piece. And functional as well!

Suitcase3 Before&After

As I was searching around the web for fabric examples of old suitcases, when I stumbled upon a comment. The comment was from a woman who remarked that she loved the result but could find no instructions on how to do it! And it occurred to me that I’ve done a number of these and learned the hard way how to create them. So, with the very next piece that I do in this style, I will be including very detailed steps, approaches to hardware, a guide to choosing fabrics and all the necessary info how to make your very own!

DSCN1206

As I was working on this one, I took one (only one! I know!) photo of one of the steps in creating the drawer fronts. So look for this very soon! If you’ve read many of my posts, you will know that I am not big on taking step-by-step photos, so this will be a landmark accomplishment for me! I have enlisted the help of the Kid, so that I can make sure that all the information gets documented.

Another quick project is this dresser… gone from a plain, boring white to a beautiful blue ombré. I can see this in a nursery, as the dresser height is perfect for a changing table, just add the pad! It just turned out darling!

White Dresser Before&After

I’ve been working in the wings on the doll beds (for 18″ dolls, like American Girl and My Generation dolls). I’ve gotten four built and painted, but am moving a bit slow on getting the bedding created. I’ve been assembling a collection of jewelry boxes that will work as armoires and dressers, and I’ve built the most adorable vanity table, although I still need to create a bench for it. And it needs the matching bed! My plan is to create bed and <furniture pieces> combination, so that I can offer something a little out of the ordinary. I was talking to a friend the other day about how to go about selling them and I jokingly said that I wanted to go and sit outside the American Girl store and sell them out of the back of my truck! And my friend said that was the perfect plan and that I should do it! Now I just have to get the bedding created and more outfits created so that I have more than just the furniture to sell.

Last night I had a wonderful couple send me an email and offer me an armoire (the ad on Craigslist). I had been looking for one to turn into a dollhouse for someone, but when the Kid and I went out to pick this up and I laid eyes on it, I knew it would have to be mine! This was no ordinary armoire, it is beautiful and crafted in Italy! This is one beautiful piece of furniture with only a broken hinge to fix. I can’t wait to get started on this! I know am going to go back to the smaller armoire and continue to work on that one for the other party.

I have so much going on and I love it! I just cannot wait until the weather improves and I can move some of this back into the garage. I think its the only downfall to all of this, is that the pieces found, started and completed (as well as the tools, equipment and materials) have taken over every inch of available space in my house! Most nights it feels like an obstacle course to get from the bedroom to the living room and into the kitchen!

Thanks for dropping by and continuing to come back. And reading through all this! And taking this journey with me!

Keep crafting!

julie

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