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

.Color Voting

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

 

Almost Forgot, Making Money Before I Even Got Started!

This occurred to me on my way to work this morning. I had totally forgotten to put in my last post about how I made $50 before I even got started!

Yes, those “ugly” handles really were worth the price of both the vanity and chest of drawers (or dressers… but that’s another whole discussion). Yes, picking up those two pieces only cost me $50 and the cost of driving about 60 miles. I took all those handles and pulls off and immediately put them on eBay. I held out for $50 and I got it easily. There is something about those period designs and the bakelite portions that make some people get goose bumps! Not me, so much.

But like I said, that made the “cost” of the dresser and vanity a great big ZERO! And now that they are ready to sell, everything is pure profit. Had the paint and the rollers and blue tape, so whatever comes out of this is pure profit. Of course, I am one of “those people” who will turn around and invest it in another project. :-)

Here is a shot of the hardware:

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I can imagine at one time that these gleamed and were quite beautiful. Just not my taste.

Thanks for dropping by!

julie

The Kid’s Room Re-do, Nearing the Finish Line

Wow, this has been a very productive day. I not only sold three of my dresser make-overs yesterday, but sold three more pieces today. And one person who bought yesterday, emailed about having another piece done for her!

On top of this, we worked on the Kid’s bedroom today, or to be more exact, on his bed. I had a specific look in mind and missing just the ‘perfect’ bedding, I think we got it done today. First, let me apologize that, again, I didn’t get enough pictures. I did better than usual, though… I’m trying!

The bed is essentially three parts: the narrow headboard, the wider side (right) board and then the L shaped frame on the left and bottom of the bed. We started by placing the head board against the wall and then placed the L-shape right up to it to give us the necessary height. It was then screwed into place.

The Kid’s room is fairly shy of electrical outlets and I knew the bed would go across one, so I put in a flat-head extension cord so that we could still use at least on outlet. I plugged it in and then just set it aside.

I almost forgot to tell you about the feet on the L-Shaped unit… I had been looking for something that would give me a relatively short rise, but everything I was seeing was either too feminine (like round or frilly) or too short or just way too expensive. Some were as high as $30 a piece, and I needed 3!

As the Kid and I were walking through Home Depot brainstorming, I caught out of the corner of my eye these lovely pieces. They are the newell posts for outdoor fencing and there were just three – enough for the project. And when I found the price, I couldn’t believe my eyes! They were only $2.99, so I got all three for less than a ten spot! Painted them black and they were ready to go.

Next we put up the long padded/tufted piece against the back wall. We struggled with this a little more, but in the end, we got it to work. Then it was just a matter of attaching the L-shaped piece to bed and the wall. Thankfully this wasn’t the prettiest installation, but most of it will be hidden by the mattress and/or the bedding.

Here it is after we screwed into place the cross pieces to support the mattress. We could have done without putting down a full sized board just resting the box spring on the boards or even just using slats, but I didn’t want to chance it. Luckily I had a full sheet of pressboard in the garage, which cut down nicely. That was screwed into place. This makes the bed more stable and less likely to push the the L-shape away from the headboards.

Here is the Kid finishing the job tacking the support board. What a great help! (Never complained once!)

From here it was just a matter of dropping the box spring and mattress into the frame.

And here we are with the bed made using his old linens. With everything that I have been doing, I haven’t had a chance to shop for new linens and a comforter. That is going to have to be something pretty spectacular considering how the room is turning out.

We moved his nightstand into place and added his lamp. I need to do posts with instructions on both of these pieces. I love how they turned out. Actually, I need to do a long post about how I did the leather covering and the tufting. Everything was done by me, spending countless hours with a staple gun and glue!

A little vacuuming, picking up and putting away tools and we started to move some of his computers & monitors back into the room and then we called it a good day done. I was actually able to get the trundle and mattress he has been sleeping on back in its place and straightened up the guest room.

A couple of quick shots of the desks, since it was already dark, I thought I would give it a try with taking better photos without the sunlight overexposing everything.

Excuse the mess, but as you can see, the room is still a ‘work in progress’, but at least I feel like we are making progress. The Kid gets to sleep in his own bed tonight – which is great – and I’ve got my sewing room (where I built his night stand) and guest bedroom (which housed everything while we were working on the room) cleared and back to useful states!

But mostly, I love that this is coming together for my son. He is such a joy and really likes to spend time with his Mom. I am enjoying ever minute together while he is still willing, but even better that at age 17, he is still the happy, well-adjusted boy that he is. I don’t know how I got so lucky to have such a great Kid come into my life.

We also had help in the form of our dog, Ashla. The feather mattress that used to be on the Kid’s bed was a queen sized that I cut down to fit on a twin. But with the new bed, he got a new feather mattress. And once the old one was dropped on the floor downstairs, the dog has laid claim to it! I may have to figure out how to create a soft cover for it for her.

Sorry about the quality of the photo, but I still had the memory card in the computer (and out of the camera), so I used my iPhone to snap this in very low light. I dragged the feather mattress into the office and just had to show you a picture of the world’s most pampered pup!

Well, thanks for dropping by. And Happy Crafting Y’All!

The “Genius” Behind the Black Ombré Dresser

I realized that I needed to expand a bit on my last post. I just sort of threw it up here without any discussion at all.

So here is the before picture:

As you can see, this is a magnificent piece, made of a beautiful wood with gorgeous grain. I was hesitant to paint over it, but it did have scratches and stains and a crack in the base, that although could be repaired, the finish was beyond repair in its natural state. But, oh, such wonderful bones!

Here is the before and after photo:

The black has become my new favorite, we’re using a lot of this in the Kid’s room makeover. I especially like it with the shades of grey (please no reference to “fifty shades”!!) in the ombré style. So stunning and sophisticated, yet still playful in its appearance.

Here is another piece that was recently completed, almost an identical in appearance to the first, albeit a bit smaller:

I love the slim handles that I found on eBay, and I got quick shipping and a great price. You can check it out here, it’s called Marnyn12. I think that the handles are like the candles on a cake!

Here is a quick ‘Before & After’ photo:

There was something else that I wanted to share with you today. Although I consider myself organized and a neat freak, I am not a cleaning nut. And nothing dampens my creative nature than cleaning. So when painting, I was determined to figure out a way to reduce – if not outright eliminate cleaning – from my painting process. At first, I used inexpensive materials, so when I was done I could just throw them away. But I didn’t like that idea for a number of reasons, the two main reasons being that I wasn’t happy with the results of “cheap” materials and the second, I didn’t like the idea of throwing away so much and adding to the landfills. It did get to be expensive as well. So there had to be another answer.

I had heard, with painting, that you could simply freeze the brush in between uses, which did work, but it always took time to get them thawed before I could use them again. And frankly, having all of that mingled in my freezer with my food and ice cream wasn’t sitting so well with me. One weekend while working, I forgot to put the brushes and rollers in the freezer and found the next day that they were just fine. In fact, they were better than fine. They were ready to go when I was, and they retained both their use and their paint color. And it seems, that as long as you have the bags sealed tight, they seem to be lasting quite a long time.

I also found that if I left the paint in the trays that I used when painting, I could simply pour more paint into them on the next painting session and when I was done, I was able to simply peel the paint off the tray! I couldn’t ask for a better system.

This really works for me since I use about the same dozen or so colors. For drop cloths, I have purchased old sheets from thrift stores, averaging about a dollar for a queen or king size… so often you see wonderful patterns under my work in my pictures.

Well, I’m about ready to start working and finish up the final pieces. Three pieces are already being advertised for sale and hopefully I will be delivering them soon.

Happy Crafting Y’all!

And Ombre Continues… More Pink and Now Green!

Quick update with what I’ve been up to.

The furniture painting continues. The ombre style of painting has been very popular and very successful, so I am thinking, why not keep doing something that works really well?

My new daily ritual now starts with Craigslist.org. I’ve been pretty lucky about finding quality pieces to restore. And it is a real labor of love when I start sanding and filling in the holes and cracks and then start with priming. The real fun comes with the first coat of paint, when the beauty of the transformation starts to shine.

This is one of my new favorite results, two night stands and a matching headboard. The night stands were pretty standard, run-of-the-mill piece of furniture cranked out by the thousands in the seventies and eighties. The only saving grace was that they were all wood and some pretty decent construction… dovetail drawer fronts and wood drawer runners. Makes them easier to restore and to give them a second life.

In addition to the night stands, I stumbled across a headboard in a corner collection one night. You know, where the ad reads “you must take all” and I was out for something pretty specific, that I don’t even remember now. In the mess was this headboard with the worst plastic curlicue decoration highlighted in gold paint. My first thought was to just drop this thing in the nearest garbage dumpster I could find. But I opted to bring it home and store it in the garage. For months now, I have been moving that thing out of my way and knocking my elbow into it.

Well, I finally brought it out and took a good look at it. I thought I might be able to use the back of it and just paint the ugly gold decorations a solid color and face it against the wall. But once I hit it with the scraper, I could see that the first piece of curlicue wasn’t securely attached and a little prying with a screwdriver and it came out easily. This left years of dirt and grime, but a blank canvas perfect for my shades of pink!

I am proud to show you the end result of once almost became firewood:

The insets are painted in the same shades of pink as that of the dresser drawers. I think that this set is just adorable! I listed it on Craigslist this evening and almost before it actually appeared in the list, I had several contacts and it has been sold. For full price. And this is the highest listing yet. Sometimes I think that if it continues like this, I could actually begin to really subsidize the household income and maybe I could really think about making this a full time gig.

So, I will quickly show you the second set I worked on. I make it a habit to always check the “oops” paint shelf whenever I hit my favorite hardware stores. On a recent trip, I found a $30 can of paint marked down to $6 and was a pretty nice shade of green. I wanted to try something other than pink and blue and purple and here was the perfect opportunity. So, I matched it to a paint chip card and bought three additional shades and brought it home.

In a rushed Craigslist transaction, I ended up with a dresser bought for twenty dollars. Turned out what initially looked like a quality piece, turned out not to be. But not knowing what to do with the dresser, I thought I’d use it as a “guinea pig” for the green ombre paint style. I thought if it didn’t turn out well, then I would donate it or relist it on the free page of Craigslist. And a few days later, I repeated the error and picked up a headboard not realizing it too, was pressboard with a laminate finish. I thought it would work for a test run of a new primer that I heard would work well for painting laminate. I won’t mention the brand name here, as it wasn’t a very good experience, but suffice it to say, I will not make the mistake of trying to paint over laminate again. Primer or not.

So, here is the end result. I have listed it on Craigslist with a full disclaimer and really just asking for the basic cash that I put into it. Actually not even that much. If handled with kid gloves, it might be a decent set for someone, even maybe a guest room that didn’t get constant use.

I do love the colors and I do have enough for another project. I promise, I will be doing this color combination again.

Well, that is the update for today. Glad to see y’all stop by and hope that you are enjoying the projects. I have some more in the works and can’t wait to share. One big one is that we’ve been starting to clear my son’s (referred to as “the Kid”) room that we decorated when he was eight and loved camouflage. It’s getting a whole new ‘grown up’ and sophisticated remodel, and of course, some of my handiwork is featured. (Haha… who am I kidding? It is ALL my handiwork!) We’ve been working on it for the last couple of weeks and right now, he is down to sleeping on a mattress and has a small table for his computer! But it will be worth it, and he knows it! :-)
Thanks for dropping by! And happy crafting y’all!

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