Done! Done! Done! Done! and Done!

Wow! And a grateful sigh.

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

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

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

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

5 Drawer Dresser

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

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

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

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

2014-11-16 16.02.01

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014-11-22 09.44.19

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

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

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

julie

 

My Recycle Project: Blue Corian, Singer Sewing Base and Metal Chairs

Whew! We’ve finally completed this project. It has been a long time in the making, but I finally was able to get it done with the help of The Kid.

DSCN2792So, you can see the starting point here, but I will give you a quick catch up. Months ago, I picked up several pieces of blue Corian countertops, including a smallish rectangular piece that I think was the counter surface for an island. Wasn’t quite sure of what I was going to use it for, but when something like that pops up on CraigsList, you get it while the getting is good.

I had the sewing machine base from one of our abdandoned house hunting trips and had spray painted it white, sort of as a primer. But once I saw the countertop, I knew it was a match made in heaven. Literally, all I had to do was set the top on the base and I could see something really unique.

Initially I was going to just make and sell the table, but I figured it would be cooler if there were a set of chairs to go with it. I kept an eye on CraigsList and almost like it was scripted, a set of four popped up. Now they needed work (of course they needed work, else they wouldn’t be on CraigsList for free) and I opted to pick them up, thinking I could get two good ones if I used the other two for ‘parts’. As luck would have it, three were salvageable.

DSCN2734After removing the seats, I then spray painted everything with high gloss white spray paint. This was not an easy task. It seemed every time I thought I was done, I would turn it upside down or stand at a different angle and would see areas that I missed. I think I have them completely painted now.

I used the seat that came with the chairs as a template and we used more of the Corian countertop for the seats. The Corian worked much like any hard wood, and we were able to route the edges and drill holes to attach the seats to the chairs.

DSCN2774The one thing that we did notice, however, is that working with the Corian results in a LOT of ‘saw’ dust. The workshop looked like it had snowed!

DSCN2775I didn’t want the seat to sit directly onto the base of the chair seats; since the previous seats were actually upholstered, the flat pieces didn’t exactly line up right with the exposed hardware on the chair.

DSCN2770By having and using the right tools for the job, the project went very well. Here is The Kid using our newest addition to the workshop, the drill press. SUH-weet!

DSCN2790Here he is in the final assembly. Note the nice, smooth, rounded edges. And interestingly enough, by routing the edges (top and bottom), it actually gave the edges a polished finish. Nice, happy accident!

DSCN2789By using some spare hardware(found when reorganizing the garage a week ago), I was able to give it a little more ‘polished’ look. And gave the necessary height for sitting at the table. The final detail was to add rubber ‘feet’ to the chairs, to protect the floors that the chairs would sit on.

DSCN2780More about the table: we had previously cut and glued a 1″x8″ on the back side of the table. Then two supports were added to the top of the sewing machine base, allowing the table top to be bolted onto the counter surface. This could be beneficial for the person or family that buys it, allowing for easier transport. Did I happen to mention that this stuff is heavy! And it has a nice solid feel as well.

The Kid’s help was immeasurably helpful in completing this project, and heck, I just like hanging around with him. :-)

DSCN2779In between helping him, I was also prep’ing an additional 5 or 6 more projects… here are the drawers all being sanded and hardware holes being filled. The Kid has been tasked with putting the first couple of coats of primer on all of these now that I have gotten the prep work out of the way. All of these pieces of furniture are all wood and it makes the chore of preparation that much easier. Oh, and by the way, real wood pieces are light. I think a lot of people mistakenly think something is more ‘solid’ or more ‘wood’ if the piece is heavy and that generally is not true. What weighs so much is the glue and the layers of particle board or composite wood. Most of these pieces I can move by myself if I take the drawers out ahead of time. Another thing I really like is that some of the older pieces come with wheels attached and you gotta love that!

So, a few more photos as I close this post. If you recall, the third stall of the garage is where my sports car (you can see it in the background of this first photo) is stored once snow has fallen. And I’ve heard that there is an “arctic blast” predicted for the end of November, so I have to get projects done and sold (and delivered) very soon.

DSCN2794

DSCN2793

DSCN2795

DSCN2796

DSCN2797Off to get this listed for sale on CraigsList. My kitchen is red (as you may know) or I might be tempted to keep this one for myself!

julie

 

 

 

31.5 x 39

Wow, How Times Flies!

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_8689

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

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

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

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

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

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

julie

Let’s Finish a Few (Before We Start More)!

With all the work that I have been doing with furniture lately, I have developed quite the respect for furniture design and well made pieces. And nothing breaks my heart more than to see a gorgeous piece that has been not only been neglected but abused.

This weekend, I picked up a glorious old vanity. The owner told the most wonderful story, about how his parents had lived in occupied Japan and bought this pieces. Solid oak and well appointed. Well built and professionally finished.

DSCN2350

But it had been passed down to a different sibling and in the following years, this once lovely piece of furniture had been relegated to a damp, dusty basement. And if you’re reading tis, you probably know what dampness does to wood, especially on veneer. Even as we were carrying it from the basement, pieces of the basic structure were literally falling off! But we had the good opportunity to retrieve every last piece and it is now undergoing restoration.

DSCN2349

DSCN2348

From the appearance of the bottom, it almost looks like it was sitting in four inches of water.

We cleared all of the decaying, which is most of the “skin” of the piece. The next step was to start gluing the pieces of the legs back together… we used all the clamps that we had available!

DSCN2360

That is the nice thing about working with these older projects, they are all wood and wood can be made whole again. The newer furniture being churned out of the factories today are made of cheap plywood and pressboard and vinyl and plastic made to look like wood. They fall apart easily and after their initial “shine”, they really show their true bones. Or lack there of. That is what I look for whenever I am presented with an opportunity… the piece has to have “good bones”.

Which reminds me, on our recent treasure hunting, I found an old Singer sewing machine. I love those old ones with the treadle and iron base, I have one that was passed down to me from my mother’s mother, but it is immaculate and I could never do anything to damage it. One day, I would like to make the necessary repairs to get it going, I believe it only needs a belt and a good cleaning.

singer-sewing-machine-cabinet

So, I found one that the primary cabinet was nearly fallen apart (much like the vanity above). But the side drawers were in fantastic shape, so I dragged it home. I’ve since removed the base and carefully taken apart the cabinets and they are progressing.

DSCN2339

I am painting it the soft green shade that I used in my sewing room, I figured that I could use it to store bindings and elastic and those other little packages that seem to resist being organized.

DSCN2355

The sewing machine, much to my regret, was sold for scrap, but it wasn’t operational and definitely wasn’t worth putting too much effort or money in doing so. I am still trying to figure out what to do with treadle base, if you have ideas, please share.

So much more work to do, and sitting behind this computer isn’t getting it done!

julie

 

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.

DSCN1863

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.

DSCN1909

DSCN1910

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.

DSCN1920

DSCN1922

DSCN1923

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!

DSCN1919

DSCN1905

DSCN1928

DSCN1925

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!

DSCN1896

DSCN1895  DSCN1893

DSCN1892

DSCN1898

DSCN1899

DSCN1900

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.

DSCN1715

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

 

Gaining Ground on the Dollhouse Project

Today is one heckuva warm day – been this warm for several days. Makes me not want to do anything in the garage or outdoors. I send the Kid out with birdseed and water for the birdbath and regularly send him out to water the strawberries and his peppers. Just too dang hot to be out there long.

So, I opted to move the dollhouse inside. As you may recall, I had started work on a second dollhouse after delivering the first one to my grandniece. If you’ve not seen it, you can see it here.

I’ve mentioned the second doll house occasionally, my first thought was to duplicate much of the work and design from the first one, but as I’ve gotten started, it has quickly become a monster! Here is the second one in early steps:

dscn1423The top shelf was to be a kitchen and the bottom was supposed to have a bedroom and a bathroom. My plans for the kitchen soon outgrew the space and it also bothered me that the part that a little girl would play with was so high off the ground.

My son and I put together the basic construction for my second attempt at this house. Looks like this:

DSCN1714

Yes, this would give me the added space that I wanted. So, this morning I listed the first piece on Craigslist and moved the box into its space in the entry way.

DSCN1785

The cabinets that I had been assembling was pretty haphazard, working with two different pieces that I found at Hobby Lobby, I just sort of ‘put that here, place that there’ approach. I’ve had to do some trimming and adding to get everything to fit together properly and its just sort of taken on a life of its own!

These are the pieces I found and am using from Hobby Lobby:

649442_1I’ve turn the drawer unit on its side and removed some drawer supports to make the lower cabinets (where the sink is going). The window units became the upper cabinets. Its all just random and I need to reign it in before it becomes too much! They will, in the end, become white and have a actual tile counter. The cabinet between the stove and ‘fridge will have a wood top for chopping. And with mention of the stove and ‘fridge, you can see them in the photo, they are the most perfect shade of turquoise!

Here’s a little better shot:

DSCN1784I had hoped for room for a dining room table, maybe booth style, but now am thinking there really isn’t room. Maybe I’ll do a pub table with stools against the wall? Guess I will see what I find that will work. But the cabinets and ‘fridge will be stocked with polymer food and scaled down boxes and bottles. Attention to detail will be evident.

The bottom portion will be a bedroom and bath. I have most of the required furniture and pieces and it is just a matter of painting walls and installing flooring. There is yet to be an upper room/attic, in this style:

ea7ef63cdedd363d4bbf7a32079fc709I cannot locate the original link for this piece, so if you know it, please send it along (I like to give credit where credit is due.) I like the simplicity of the outside and I am actually thinking that my cabinet exterior will simply be stained, since I used a high grade plywood. Will make it more of a piece of furniture.

In case you were wondering, this piece will be for sale in the near future. I just like the planning and execution of an idea. If you’re interested, let me know. I hate to say it, but the price tag for this piece – which will include all the furniture and accessories – will be high. It isn’t often that you will find something like this for sale.

Okay, enough for now. Need to get the first coat of paint onto the cabinets as I’ve gotten it all primed. One day, I will actually get my kitchen and entry way back!

Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Doll House is Ready For Delivery

Last few details have been completed and the doll house is ready for delivery.

DSCN1498You may notice that there is a small gap between the “attic” and the rest of the cabinet. That’s simply because they are two parts, created that way for transport. Once it arrives at my grand niece’s home, I will put them together and they will fit tight. Really tight. I’ll post another few shots once it has been assembled.

Before PicsThese are the before shots… sorry about the quality of the pictures. But it does give you an idea of what I started with. I did a coat of primer and realized that it wasn’t going to be the optimum solution, so I opted to cover the box with something that resembled siding. I came up with the idea of using bead board, the kind that comes in 4′ x 8′ panels. All I needed to do is turn it sideways… and viola!, instant siding.

Siding House2Here are some shots of the process… and yes, the Kid was dutifully helping (adding trim to the doors). Looks great!

There were a lot of steps to the process and not sure exactly which ones happened first, so I’ll just post a bunch of the photos…

DSCN1434I added a drawer at the bottom, to hold odds and ends. Modified a drawer rescued from another dresser to fit, added small stoppers to keep the drawer from hitting the back and possibly knocking it off.

DSCN1456 DSCN1457 The remaining space was divided in half and added shelves; one above the drawer and one in the middle.

You can see how badly the primer was doing on this particular surface. Anytime you would touch it, the primer would scrape right off.

On the inside, I did do several more coats of primer and then a couple of coats of paint. I hope that it withstands the play it will get.

Next step was building the “attic”. It was taking shape as a ‘house, but needed just a little more to really do the trick. That’s when I came up with the idea of having an attic. Also allows for a little more play area.

DSCN1455 DSCN1454 DSCN1459 DSCN1458  I added the two vertical pieces on either side to keep it stable as it sat on top of the house. With just a tiny bit of sanding, it will go on with some strength, so there isn’t any danger in it falling off or being pulled off. Also why I opted to not photograph it with the attic in place.

I used actual shingles on the attic, cutting them down to appropriate size and nailed them on. Small wood pieces were painted white to be the trim.

DSCN1468For ease in working on this monstrosity, I added wheels. Made is so much easier to move around. All the layers were starting to add real weight to this thing.

DSCN1465

DSCN1436I built the front door in layers. I decided that rather than put handles on the doors to open it, I would place a front door on it. Made it feel more like a dollhouse. And if things got messy, my niece could just close the doors until she had time to straighten things up.

DSCN1437I found this little door knocker at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I used this knob I had and spray painted them both the same color silver.

I stumbled on all the colors, simply based on what was available. The outside was painted gray because I had nearly a full gallon of it. I like the way it turned out. The door, painted blue, because I had two full cans of blue spray paint. :-)

DSCN1505I created little windows for the house, spray painted white. I had thought about putting some sort of photo behind each one, but couldn’t come up with anything that I really like. My last ditch effort was to put a photo of mini-blinds, but didn’t like that idea either.

DSCN1438

So they just went on with nothing. I did create little windows boxes for the front two windows, also painted blue. Added some miniature flowers in purple.

DSCN1504

DSCN1506

DSCN1494

DSCN1498Okay, almost done. I added some vinyl tiles to one level and created a checkerboard pattern in red and white for the bottom level. I covered it with a large piece of plexi used to diffuse florescent lighting. I found a piece at Home Depot that had a crack at one end, but a piece large enough remained. The wonderful folks at Home Depot gave it to me free of charge. Gave the flooring an unique look.

Short of that, the doll house was complete. I added the stove, refrigerator and sink unit I blogged about earlier. Added a small storage unit and made a simple bed for the upper floor. And with that, the project was complete. I’ll let the photos do the talking:

 

DSCN1506

And some photos of the interior:

DSCN1500

DSCN1496

Here are a few more close up photos of the inside:

DSCN1502

DSCN1495

DSCN1501

DSCN1503And with that, this long project draws to a close. I think that we will deliver this in the next day or so. And then I can work on mine! Although mine will be done in a much longer time frame. No hurry to get it done, ya know!

I hope you enjoyed this and thank you for stopping to take a look. Will post more photos after it is delivered.

And keep making beautiful stuff, just for the sake of it!

julie

Doll House Sink/Cabinet and the First Food Items

I may have neglected to mention in my last post, that the dollhouse that I am building for my grand niece is for her American Girl dolls. For those not aware of the great doll wars – these are 18″ tall dolls supposed to be about 12 – 13 years of age. There are many less expensive dolls of the same size, such as My Generation and Madame Alexander as well as generic type dolls. You have to be careful when sewing clothing as there can be some differences in their body sizes, such as waist, hips, and leg length.

I have come to the conclusion that this size, versus smaller dolls (1:6 scale) or the standard dollhouses (1:12 scale). Things are so much easier to build and sew for. You actually have a greater chance of finding things in a smaller size of everyday objects that will work, like espresso cups and small bowls (like the ones used to hold dipping sauce).

In my last post, I showed you the refrigerator and stove that I build and now is the last piece of the cabinet that I will be doing for my niece’s dollhouse. It is a sink in a cabinet combination. This is a moveable piece (as opposed to the other dollhouse I am building that will have actual cabinetry built in (and that includes upper cabinets).

Without further ado:DSCN1487The basic construction of this piece is a drawer that I rescued from a seriously broken desk. It was in really sad shape, the top and sides were in deplorable condition, so I rescued the drawers (and their hardware). Who knew what can come from a lowly drawer?

I simply cut doors and the top panel from 1/4″ plywood, the doors are attached with small hinges and the top panel is nailed. Using the sink to draw the template that had to be cut in both the drawer box and the counter top. By the way, that “sink” is actually a very small steam table pan called a “ninth size” (6 3/4″ x 4 1/4″) that I bought off eBay for less than $4… and works perfectly as a stainless steel sink.

DSCN1488

I added a couple of round feet, salvaged from legs of a small table that I also rescued from Craigslist. The counter top has rounded corners and is covered in a very cool faux tile that I found at Home Depot called ‘Smart Tiles’ (you can read more about it on their website here). They’re very think and self adhesive and I think scale-wise works perfectly. I shaped the faucet and base from polymer clay and then used two small wooded knobs painted silver for the handles.DSCN1486I had accidentally cut the doors just a little narrow, so I inserted a vertical board to fill in the void and also add some stability. I also installed a small shelf to help provide some storage below. A couple of white narrow knobs following three coats of white spray paint over a coat of primer.

DSCN1489So very easy and I think it will be very durable. Here is one final picture in its place in the dollhouse.

DSCN1490The feet might have made it just slightly taller than the stove, but I don’t think that is a big deal. Little ones don’t seem to mind that the things they play with aren’t perfect. I also have collected some plastic food and pans and although they are a bit larger than either 1:3 or 1:4 scale, I don’t think she’ll mind.

Speaking of food, I was playing around with the polymer clay and created some faux food.

First up was a couple of plates of fried eggs and strips of bacon. It took a while to get the colors right on the bacon and I am still thinking it could use some tweaking. These are the plates I got about 10 years ago at IKEA and have been packed away ever since. They are perfect!DSCN1484

Then I worked on a pie, I guess it would be apple pie based on the lattice crust on too. Using a small baking dish – yes, that’s a real ceramic pie dish – I just cut a bunch of shapes that would sort of look like fruit. Then placed them on top of the bottom crust and then wove the top lattice crust. Other than not using real food, the steps were very similar to that of making an actual pie! I used watercolor paints that I thinned way down and then poured into the pie to get coloring throughout and then painted the lattice crust.

DSCN1485Oh, I also sat and rolled peas from the polymer while the Kid and I watched a movie. I had sort of expected for them to fuse together when I fired them, but they didn’t. I spread them out on a painting cloth and using an awesome green, spray painted them. I had to keep rolling them around, trying to get all of the sides and I think I finally made most of them the same color, but since variations are natural in nature, I think that the ones that aren’t solid green make the whole bunch perfect!

DSCN1491Turned out pretty cool, if I have to say so myself. I think that going forward with work on my dollhouse, I will continue to create food, both for me and my grand niece. Its fun and relaxing as well as challenging to keep coming up with more food items. Think I will work on some boxes and maybe canned food, reducing the size of labels should be pretty fun.

Tomorrow I will posting the final shots of the dollhouse. And a week later, we’ll load it into the truck and head to Des Moines and deliver it. I am planning on including some pics of the by grand niece with the final product set up in her room. I think it will be a blast.

To be perfectly honest, though, I really am ready for this piece to be done. Lots of little details and issues and I am ready to move onto something else. My own dollhouse may take a back seat to my next project, but since it occupies a very visible place in my entry way, I will be reminded of it constantly. :-)

Thanks for dropping by and remember to keep making beautiful things!

julie

Princesses Also Love Yellow!

I just finished a project and I am so pleased with the results. I love when I can take something destined for the trash and transform it into something spectacular! (At least I think it is spectacular ;-)).

A friend of mine called this ” awesome-ly ugly” and I totally agreed! But I could see past the bumps and bruises and envision what it could be. But here it is in all its ugliness:

DSCN1065

Yes, it is lying on its side, but I flipped it to make it easier to view. I think you could see that it had been well loved by some little person! I took it apart, had to repair the leg (I think I made it sturdier than it had been originally!) and sanded all the rough edges and put a couple of coats of primer on it.

DSCN1100

The doors were past repair and frankly, didn’t like the solid look of the doors anyway. I set about finding a way to replace them, but couldn’t figure out how to purchase something pre-made that would fit into the space. I checked a few places, even looked at the possibility of using something from an existing piece or used (checked one of my favorite places, The Habitat ReStore) but without any luck. But, as fate would have it, Craigslist provided me with the source. A small carpentry shop that was able to custom make me doors based on my description and the original doors as templates. Love, love, LOVE the look of the new doors, backed with pretty cotton panels. The can be changed out and customized ever so easily. And all things considered, reasonably priced and a three day turnaround. I think the more I use this company, the bigger my discounts :-)

Anyway, new doors in hand, the final color was chosen. I had done a ton of pink lately (and black/gray too!) but wanted to do something different that would appeal to little girls who might not be infatuated with pink. I was one of those little girls, being the girl in the middle of 6 boys, my mother was determined to paint my prepubescent world in pink, to which I developed a serious hate of the color. It is only recently, that after raising my son that I began to miss the joys and possibilities of pink.

I chose a very light, subtle shade of yellow. It was actually the base of the the yellow ombré cabinet I did a few weeks ago (you can see it here). Its warm and sunny, but not overpowering. So, without more fuss, here is the end result:

Closed DoorsOpen Doors

I love the way it turned out and I think the crowning jewels are the glass knobs. They are so dainty yet beautiful (and functional)!

Glass Knobx

I love when a piece turns out this great. And I cannot wait to share with someone as well. I am pretty sure that I will have no problem selling this one. Here is a quick ‘before and after’ shot:

Yellow Armoire Before&After

And of course, I have the next project(s) ready to go. Actually, I have one piece just about done, just need to install the hardware. It is another “suitcase” dresser and I think it has turned out exceptionally. I have another piece that just lends itself to that treatment and I realized that after checking out others’ treatments, I read a comment from one woman who voiced the frustration of not being able to find more explicit instructions on how to create the style. So, I decided that with this next project, I am going to provide just that… step by step instructions and photos. (So, keep an eye peeled!)

Thought I would show you my little helper (you can see the cabinet of a a pink ombré in the background). I am glad that I have this little puppy to keep me company during the day.

DSCN1217

Well, thanks for dropping by! I appreciate each and every one of you!

And Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,242 other followers

%d bloggers like this: