The Sea of White is Now a Sea of Color

Just a quick update. The Kid and I have been our best to get these projects completed. We’ve been hampered by a spate of rainy and cold weather, subsequently we purchased a kerosene heater for the garage. It does the job of heating, but the smell is almost more than either of us can tolerate for more than a few minutes at a time. In fact, we took the day off yesterday as both of us battle migraine headaches. Headaches, I believe, came from over exposure to the smell. We are going to look into replacing the heater with something else.

The other thing that hampers us is that now it is winter, the sun sets so early. And along with that cold and windy weather comes an overcast sky, making working in the garage tenuous. The Kid has come up with an ingenious solution:2014-12-20 18.54.20Here are some more photos of the garage as painting continues:

 

2014-12-20 18.53.54Much of the white has bloomed into one of six shades of glorious pink. Have I ever told you how much I love pink? Could have something to do with being surrounded all my life with the opposite sex?!?

2014-12-20 18.53.43What didn’t turn pink was transformed with that recent discovery of Blue Mosaic – a deep but vibrant shade of blue that’s not quite navy. Its tough to pick out with the garage being kinda dim, but the two pieces are a buffet (far left of the pic) and a coffee table (you can see towards the right, its oblong top peaking out behind the pink cabinets in front). those two blue pieces have wood tops that have been sanded and moved into the house for staining and polyurethane. When finished will look like this two drawer dresser.

2014-12-20 18.53.54One chest of drawers (also known as a 5 drawer dresser) is a request piece. The body is an Ultra White with high gloss finish – actually called a mirror finish. And they aren’t kidding. Every time I look at it I think it was just freshly painted as it is looks so shiny! The Kid in the background is actually painting this piece’s drawers, five wonderful shades of pink.

Okay, for a “quick” update, I got kind of wordy! LOL

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

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

We’re Making Headway; Pink, Pink, Pink, Pink and Blue

With everything pre-sanded, fixed, glued and primed, we jumped right into painting today. The Kid wielded the roller and worked on the five pink cabinets, while I got to do the five colors of pink on the drawers. I also, as a side project, painted one cabinet a dark blue – called Midnight Mosaic – and staining, then poly’ing the new wood top.

First, we set up tables and then organized the drawers by their order in the cabinets. Since all but one is going to be painted in the pink ombré style, it would help to keep the drawers organized.

2014-11-17 17.12.19The cabinets are sitting around the edge and we’re including that little toy box chest thing.

2014-11-17 17.12.31In the other stall of the garage is the antique dresser that we made a replacement top for. The top is being stained while the base cabinet is going to be midnight mosaic blue. I love the way this is turning out.

Here is the dresser primed:

2014-11-16 16.00.42And here it is with three coats of paint.

2014-11-17 17.12.48It looks a little purplish, but I think its just the lighting. I will take the after photos in sunlight, and the color should look more like it really does.

2014-11-16 16.02.01Here’s the top: it has one coat of oak stain and three (so far) coats of polyurethane. A light sanding between each coat will make the poly nearly invincible and will last a long time.

Once again, I started in on most of these projects before acquiring the before photos. I’m going to hunt through my emails to see if I have any from the original CraigsList ads.

Hopefully the final paint and polish will go on these cabinets tomorrow or the day following. I still have to chose hardware for all if as well.

I hear a rumor that it supposed to snow again tonight. Sigh… winter has come with a flourish and I don’t mind telling you that I am not happy about it.

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

 

 

 

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

New Favorite Color – Vanilla Custard

Had a break in the weather – actually had a couple of days with temperatures in the seventies. And then, of course, it dipped back down today to make it too cold to paint in the garage again. So frustrating. If temps don’t go back up soon, I will be bringing in the latest aquisition of a vanity to work.

I thought I’d give you a sneak peak at the pieces as they are drying their third coat of paint, using my new favorite color and sheen. I am using  high gloss paint in a shade called Vanilla Custard. It is a warmer than an ordinary white, bordering on a very light yellow. I had originally planned to use it in conjunction with some touches of Blush Pink, but now am giving that color scheme a second thought, I like the Vanilla Custard all by itself.

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The bottom large drawers have a beautiful motif on their fronts. This may (or may not) be highlighted in a coordinating pink.

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The primary body of the vanity in the Vanilla Custard. Three coats of paint in high gloss finish make this piece just shine. Love the front legs on this piece. Even though you can’t see it in this photo, the smaller drawers have some extraordinary motifs as well.

photo 9The mirror frame also has some nice carved detailing. This piece required the most work, as all of the joints had come loose or apart. Just need to reinstall the glass and re-attach to the vanity.

photo 10Small piano bench I picked up that had a warped bench top. Removed it and will be replacing with a padded cushion in the softest fabric in the same shade of white. Like the leg detailing… not too much and not too little.

Both pieces were found objects, absolutely free! The big investment besides elbow grease and some screws and glue was the paint at a hefty $17. I am tempted to keep this one, but it really is completely different than my current bedroom style.

Well, that’s it for tonight. Come back soon for the unveiling!

julie

Lots of Projects In The Works

Its been over a month since my last post. I did not realize that when I went back to work full time that it would eat into my creating so much! With the commute and the new (old) technology that I am having to learn, it really exhausts me so that when I do get home I don’t feel much like doing anything!

But I have been working on a few things. Primary focus is on the ultimate American Girl dollhouse, but it always seems that lots of thing take priority over it. One such project is this beautiful pair of waterfall bedroom pieces.

DSCN1770 DSCN1765Finishing these pieces will help fund additional projects. Sometimes I wish that I had had a little girl so I could decorate a girl’s room. My luck would have had it that I had a little girl like me who rebelled against being ‘girly’!

Here are some shots of the garage during restoration and painting:

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I found the handles at one of my favorite places, the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. They are interesting in that there is a twist in the handle and the middle twist has a nice little texture. I spray painted them a soft satin white and then applied several coats of Martha Stewart’s glitter paint, giving the handles a sweet little shimmer.

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Kind of hard to see in the photo, but it turned out nice, I think.

So, the work on the ultimate American Girl dollhouse. Here is the box finished with the added trim. I’ve divided the bottom portion into two rooms, the wall with a door, such that it will be a bedroom and a bathroom. And other than working on the small accessories, this is about as far as I’ve gotten.

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This picture shows the wall inserted. Upside down, added the bottom structure and trim… we’re making slow progress.

DSCN1721Also the work on the wardrobe continues. Wow, this one is taking a lot of effort and time. I never seem to have much time to work on it and it is going to take a a lot of work. I am convinced that this is going to be magnificent though and is destined to be a piece that I keep.

Okay, gotta wrap things up for now, gotta get some sleep and get ready to do some serious SQL testing tomorrow. I think it is really going to fry my brain before I am done with work’s project.

Thanks for stopping by!

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

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