Sliding into home base… we’re this close!

Okay, I know, I’ve been chanting this for a few weeks now, but short of a couple of minor details and finishing the play microwave, we are so close. Nothing like a long four day holiday to really get things done.

In the meantime, I thought I’d show you the wrap up of a couple of the smaller projects. One is the pair of sofas. I showed you earlier the start of the project. You can see the beginning here.

Once I cut it in half and ended up with two smaller sofas, I have wavered on whether to include one or both. But once I took the pieces upstairs to upholster them, I knew what I wanted to do. I found two pieces of fabric that I picked out earlier for the basis of my master bedroom makeover: pale turquoise and chocolate brown.

By virtue of trial and error, I figured out how to get the fabric in place. I started with the pattern that resembles paisley and it turned out pretty good. I made a couple of mistakes with the other one (the one with stripes) ending up with a seam in the front and the side stripes being a little wavy. I guess that is the difference between no noticeable nap in a fabric to one with obvious nap!

DSCN1878I set them in the dollhouse and realized that they seemed just a little ‘unfinished’. So I decided to add legs to both pieces and a skirt. Now I had enough fabric for the ‘paisley-ish’ fabric, but I really cut it close with the striped fabric, so I decided to do them both the same. Found a nice fringe that matched both fabrics but they had exactly what I needed… it always makes me nervous when I cannot buy a ‘little extra’ for that ‘just in case’.

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I also found these little candle holders that when cut down and spray painted black, turned into the perfect legs. A little Elmer’s glue and it was good to go.

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DSCN1887Then, using a glue gun, I wrapped the fringe trim around the bottom. Viola!, I have the perfect little sofas.DSCN1919That pretty much wraps up the projects needed to complete the dollhouse. Later this afternoon, once I have all the photos taken, the dollhouse will officially go on sale on eBay, Etsy and my local Craigslist. I am hoping to sell this quickly and then work out the details with delivery.

It has been a fun project, but I am so ready to be done and move this out of my entry way and into the home of some little girl and her dolls.

The Finish Line is Within Sight!

So me and The Kid have been putting some real effort into finishing this dollhouse and we’re getting very close. I am hoping to have the bulk of it done by the end of the weekend. I am so ready for this project to be done and over with… and I can get my entry way back!

So, updates: The floors have been done in the bathroom and the bedroom. Laid 2″ square tiles in the bathroom and then grouted with caulk. Because the house still needs to be delivered and therefore undergo some critical traveling, I didn’t want the grout to break or crack so thought that the caulk would be a much better solution. DSCN1853Here is a quick shot of the tile installed. I used Liquid Nails to adhere it, not standard practice for the installation of tile but a good solid decision based on the size of the room and the number of tiles.

DSCN1855Here is the floor with the caulk ‘grout’. I am really liking the clean look of the tile.

DSCN1857Here it is with the baseboard trimming. Isn’t this sweet? And The Kid did a great job of making a door transition and gluing and then grouting the space between the bathroom and the bedroom.

DSCN1858A little bit of clean up to do and it is ready to be staged. You can see in this photo that the floor has been stained (two coats) and then polyurethaned (two coats) and the trim also installed. It, too, is ready for furniture!

DSCN1836You may recall that I started work on the love seats, I wanted to show you how I applied 1″ foam to the pieces to get ready for upholstery. One piece wraps up from the seat and over, all the way to the bottom. A couple of staples and lots of glue, a few clips to hold it in place while it dries.

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Next, I wrapped both arms with the same foam. This time I used clamps in addition to the staples, clips and glue to hold things together until they dried.

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Both loveseats got similar treatments with the foam on the front (forgot the photos). But they have been relocated to my sewing room for the upholstery work. Probably won’t get to them until we finish the work on the house and its ready to be furnished. Additional photos promised.

DSCN1850This is the side and back view of the third floor. Slowly this piece is coming along. You can see that I am toying with ideas for how to “roof” the angled pieces, and at this point, have not settled on a solution.

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I stumbled across the most wonderful little piece of furniture. It actually had three small photo albums in it, but it is going to be transformed into a fireplace. Which means, at some point, I need to scout “fire wood” for it. I also need to figure out how to put floor moulding with the tricky angles, but The Kid thinks he has a way. Ah, I love that Kid!

I won some glassware at a local auction, in additional to a 12 foot x 30″ purple counter top (all for the grand sum of $15!) that I have plans for. But… like I have said many times, no new projects started until this doll house is completed. Now that I have this quick update written, I am going to go work on the kitchen’s lower cabinets and get them ready for installation. Once that happens, then I can do the tile countertops, get the sink installed and complete the trim around the edges. Then its just a matter of details! I can see the finish line!

Once this has been done, it is going up for sale. If you are in the market for a custom doll house, watch this space. I have been thinking about the logistics of getting this shipped or (my choice) delivered, I know that whoever is the recipient of this gift is just going to love it. And just in time for Christmas!

Okay, thanks for stopping by and for following my progress. Remember to keep making beautiful things for the sake of beautiful things! And of course, I’d love to hear any ideas you might have for finishing touches!

Thanks again!

julie

I Am Seeing Dots! And Now So Will You!

News flash! I have gone back to work and am officially off the rosters of the unemployed. Yay!  But boo, that means I have less time for making beautiful things :-(

I spent last weekend trying to get everything finished up that had been started and I got a big dent in the list. I now have five pieces listed for sale and have decided that with the money I earn from their sales is going to be used for something extravagant for me. To celebrate. That, or for a new air conditioning unit for the house. Which one do you think will win out? It can’t stay cold and snowy like this forever!

Just a quick show of the “before & after”s of what I finished over the weekend. Here is one of the pink dressers on the kitchen island “during”:

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And this is the other one (and some of the other’s drawers) in the entry way:

 

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And here are the results:

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To shake things up a bit (a very teeny bit), I also finished a dresser in yellows:

Yellow Dots Before&After

I particularly like this one for some reason, it just seems so light-hearted and fun, like it won’t ever take itself too seriously.

The Kid, who has been helping me all along, decided to give the ombré a shot on his own. I did help and guide him through the process, but in the end, he did most of the work. I am seriously impressed with the results. We started with what I was calling “the really ugly dresser”, so to see the results is really astonishing.

Here is the before:

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The person who owned it had tried to do something with it, taking off the mock plastic pieces of trim and gluing on what appeared to be wallpaper onto two drawers. We actually had to make a second trip back to get the fifth drawer, it looked much like the top two drawers. But the cabinet was in decent shape, so it was just a matter of removing everything, adding a new front to each drawer and after much sanding, wood fill and glue, we had a pretty awesome piece of furniture. He then gave it the standard black and four shades of gray to the drawers, our favorite Deep Space black to the cabinet. The crowning touch was some beautiful black onyx drawer pulls. And viola!:

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A little side-by-side comparison:

ReallyUgly Before&After

Wow! What a difference, huh?

I also finished this little gem… it had been almost done for a while, just waiting to put the final touches and handles and get it ready:

Tall Chest Before&After

You might notice that I have two of the drawers out of order…. I didn’t notice that until I had the photos taken and the pictures uploaded. So you will have to use your imagination to see them in the correct order.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I couldn’t resist and picked up two more pieces to re-do. I guess I just can’t quit cold turkey! So, even though my days are now filled with a steady nine-to-five, I will have things waiting for my weekend. Yay!

Thanks for dropping by as always, stick around, one or two more posts and I hit my 100 milestone! Must do something really big!

And remember to keep making beautiful things!

julie

More Dots, This Time in Yellow!

I warned you that I was smitten by the dots style and since the pink one I did sold so fast, I thought I would try it in another color. And since I had quite a bit of the paint leftover from the yellow ombré lingerie dresser (you can see it here), it seemed a no-brainer to do it in yellow.

Since I have transformed so many dressers, the process is also pretty routine. The dresser came from a gentleman who was clearing out a floor of an old warehouse and apparently had many pieces of furniture to sell. I am definitely going to go back to this man again. I picked this piece up for ten bucks! It did require a little work, as there seemed to have been something that gnawed at the bottom of one side, but this is what wood filler was made for! Two of the drawers required a little glue and one drawer needed a new bottom. All easy-peasy, as me and the Kid have become quite adept at fixing drawers. I think the only thing I really need more of is long clamps, as I resort to using paint cans to use as weights when I’ve used the two clamps I do have that are long enough to stretch the width of a drawer.

Once the drawers have been worked, it is back to the process that seems to work the best: repair, sanding, priming and then painting. Again, to paint the “dots” on the fronts, I laid it on my ottoman in front of the couch and painted them by hand while I watch a movie. Again, it was only the darkest shade of yellow that required a second coat, all the others have a built in primer that seems to help then get really solid coverage.

When the dresser had dried, it was time for handles. I had picked up really nice ceramic knobs from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore for fifty cents a piece and they had cleaned up very nicely. They were a nice crowning touch.

So, like I said, ‘easy peasy’. Here are the results:

Yellow Dots Before&After

So, tomorrow I start a new job. I’ve been off for the last siz months or so and frankly had really started enjoying the break. But all good things must come to an end, so one of the “projects” I did today was to return my dining room, kitchen and entry way back into their respective rooms! Cleaning and clearing and organizing and putting tools back out in the garage. It might seem funny, but I miss being surrounded by my projects. It isn’t all put away, though, as the dresser the Kid has been working on is still in the house, it just needs handles. I moved all the completed projects out into the third bay of the garage, now awaiting new owners. And we won’t even talk about the insanity that has overtaken my sewing room!

Okay, dinner is just about ready, I just wanted to get this post completed and published. I am just two or three posts from my “100th” post and I’ve been trying to figure out what I am going to write about. I am excited to hit this milestone in blogging!

Thanks for dropping by! Keep crafting and creating beautiful things… it is what keeps us sane!

julie

From Done To Sold In Two Hours

An idea that stemmed from the desire to avoid repetition in painting and decorating the dressers that I have been working on lately, resulted in the quickest sale to date. Dare I say that the paint was barely dry before we were loading it into the back of the new owners’ truck.

I knew that the pink ombré style was successful, and was looking for something similar to do and still sell easily. While browsing Pinterest looking for ideas, I stumbled onto a great idea: dots.

So, without spending a lot of time writing, I will just show you in pictures. Started with one cute but pretty rough little dresser and performed the usual work.

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The drawers were in pretty sad shape and all of them required gluing and/or nailing to make them stronger. You can see in this photo, the back of this drawer was completely missing!

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Removed all the hardware (oh how I have come to dislike that style ubiquitous to the seventies’ furniture) and did a quick sanding of all the surfaces. Moved inside and applied two coats of a primer followed by two coats of a new shade of pink – “Be Mine”. I had been using as a base a lighter shade of pink called “Barely Pink” (how apropos!) but had come to feel that it was too light. And it photographed as white. I didn’t want the base to be overpowering, so I only stepped up one shade. I think it was a good call.

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Also, because the interiors of the drawers had been so dirty and had tape residue, I opted to line them in a cute pink and white fabric. Pretty simple process, but the glue saturated the fabric and left some discolored areas. In the end, it turned out okay, but I don’t think I will do that again. Or will use a less porous type of material, like a cotton duck or light vinyl.

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Then, it was onto the dots. This is the photo that inspired the whole idea. You can see more of it here.

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It looks like she used the same sized circles but I wanted to do something a little more lively. I rummaged through my cabinets until I found four sized round objects to use… goes to show that you should never overlook the obvious nor do you have to use a “tool” like a stencil. Sometimes anything will do.

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I find that placing things randomly usually provides a more pleasing effect than an organized placement. So, I simply laid down the cups/bowls and started drawing ovals. I liked that most of the dots were restricted to the right side with one random dot that strayed to the other side. Each specific size was assigned a color, the darker compliments of the pinks above:

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It was just a matter of painting them in. I mulled over a couple of options, but in the end, just opted to paint them in by hand with a paint brush. It was actually relaxing.

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I was able to lay the dresser on its back on my ottoman in front of my sofa and watch a movie and paint them in. Quite enjoyable. Once I was done, I simply left it there to dry overnight. The next morning, only the darkest pink required a second coat and it was just a matter of minutes to complete it. Then added my trademark white ceramic knobs and the masterpiece was complete.

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Once done, a quick couple of minutes to take some pictures, write a description and post it to Craigslist. It wasn’t but a matter of a couple of hours and I had two parties calling interested. And, like I said, later that afternoon, the Kid and I were loading it into the back of a SUV on its way to a new home. Barely had time to admire it! Actually had several more calls about it, of course convincing me that I must paint a couple of more in the same style. :-)

So, a quick before and after:

Dots Before&After

I’ve got a couple of similar styled dressers already repaired, primed and have their first coats of paint. I was thinking of repeating this style, but not exactly, maybe larger circles or even stars or hearts. I might even try it with a blue cabinet and shades of blue dots or maybe something more ‘boyish’ like squares or stars. Maybe more neutral like green or yellow? Or perhaps a white base with more basic colors like red, yellow, orange, blue and green? Maybe try them all!

Thanks for dropping by and remember to keep creating beautiful things for the sake of beauty. The world is a little nicer to look at all decorated… :-)

julie

Inspiration Comes in Many Forms and Unexpected Places

Inspiration has a way of sneaking up on you from different places and in different ways. Feeling like I have sort of worn out the ombré style and that I wanted – nee, needed, to do something different, I found inspiration. In a crayon box.

I was cleaning out the cupboards upstairs in the hall which has been a holding place for school supplies for the Kid for many years. I had sort of made it my mission to help all his teachers and their students by always buying more than I needed during the back-to-school sales and stashing some away so that the Kid would always have supplies, and also donating at least two or three students’ worth of supplies to his new homeroom teacher. Needless to say, as we near the end of his K-12 school days, I needed to get rid of some. And that is where I saw the Crayola boxes and found inspiration.

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I had picked up a dresser that was the perfect piece… solid and wood, but with absolutely no personality. Well, here it is, a bit of personality now!:

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I am so pleased with how this turned out. The base color – something in between orange and yellow – was a real bear to work with. No coverage whatsoever and even in priming the cabinet first, it required no less than six coats of paint. The other colors, even the yellow, were dreams compared. The black stripes and outlines were done with my favorite Elmer’s paint pens. I struggled for a while on what to use for handles, I wish this had been a piece that had built-in drawer pulls, but in the end, I just used wood round knobs painted the same color as the drawer, hoping to make them blend-in. I think it worked! What do you think?

Here’s a quick before and after:

Crayola Before&After

Another project done this week is a gem that I found at a storage center. The owners were clearing out a few of the discarded or left behind items, including this lovely little beat up piece:

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But if you can see past the flaking, dull paint and the horrible hardware to see the beauty that lies within, you are off on the right foot. The lovely curves of this dresser tell the real story. And in sanding the chipped and flaking paint off the top of this lovely, I found the most beautiful wood. It took nearly eight sheets of sandpaper and some real dedication and time in removing it all, but it was worth the effort.

Dresser Top

This is three coats of a natural finish, followed by two coats of polyurethane. It just shines and should last another fifty or sixty years! I didn’t spend as much time with the body, but opted to apply three coats of the antique white (one of my favorites) and then add the six ceramic knobs painted a deep chocolate brown. The perfect crowning touch. And here is the result:

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And so that you don’t have to scroll back up to see the before photo, here is the before and after:

Ivory Before&After

These are the kind of results that I love and only hope to achieve with every piece that I work on. But alas, there are two more pink ombré pieces waiting, one to be delivered and the other to be sold. Additionally, work continues on the doll beds and their matching dressers, armoires and night stands, as well as clothing. I hope to have quite a nice inventory when I am ready to start selling. It is turning out to be a little more work than I thought, at least taking more time than I anticipated. But it is fun and has been rewarding as I put my creativity to work in a smaller scale.

Thanks for dropping by! And keep the crafting and inspiration flowing!

julie

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:

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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.

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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:

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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)!

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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.

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

And Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

Yellow Ombré! Sunny and Cheery!

What people learn about me, is that I love to do just about anything, just dislike intensely having to re-do something. And that is what is happening here. Spent the better part of two hours writing the blog and yet, in a blink of an eye, it disappeared and I hadn’t saved it before publishing. Now I have to re-write it. Grrr.

The first piece completed is this cute tall cabinet with five drawers. I finally broke out of the routine of the black/gray and pink ombrés and am very happy how this sunny yellow works on this piece. There is a very subtle shift in the shades to make it flow very nicely. I reduced the visual clutter on the front by only adding a single knob on the slim top drawer, as each drawer already has a built-in drawer pull.

Yellow Ombre Before & After

The next piece was a treasured find. The first edit of this post had a well thought out discussion around the finding of this piece and perhaps, at another time I will feel the urge to come back and regurgitate those thoughts again.

For now, I will tell you that I found this little piece quite accidently and happily. A solid piece with those required ‘good bones’, it received a quiet little transformation, destined to grace the room of a little girl. So, the cabinet was painted a very pale shade of pink, one of my favorite shades. And the top received a pink just a few shades darker. And to add the ‘jewelry’ to the dresser, simple glass knobs… and viola!:

Pink Childs Dresser B&A

A quick update on the special project: The cabinet and the drawers have gotten their first coats of ‘Watery’ blue. This is a different brand of paint, provided by the client, and thus far, am not overly happy with it. The Behr premium paint that I have been buying comes with a built in primer and makes it thicker and gives a more rich color in less coats. I fear that the result of the first coat is going to require more than I normally have to apply. In order to acheive the rich ‘Begonia’ pink on the top, it took no less than 4 coats.

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The drawers have gotten two coats and the richer color is obvious. I have painted around the outline of the flower, you can see it talking shape below:

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I pulled this flower shape directly from the sheets that are being used on the bedding in the room. Can you see it? I still have to purchase and paint the flower, right now it is absent any color (what you see if the primer). I want it to have the same full painted feature as the rest of the dresser.

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I went on endlessly about more things, but right now I am not in the mood to try and recall all of it. Frustrated by the disappearance of more than a thousand words and a few more photos has me being brief.

Thanks for dropping by! And as always, Happy Crafting Y’all!

julie

Work Continues on the Special Project

Once again, the temperatures in this part of the country have dipped below freezing. On Saturday, we enjoyed temps in the high 60′s, nice enough to work out in the garage with the door open! But as it is popular to say in this region, if you don’t like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it will change! Well, I guess that works in reverse as well, so when the weather is good, you really have to take advantage of it.

I completed work on another beautiful dresser and there is quite a story behind this one. I was contacted via Craigslist by a guy who had been left high and dry by his girlfriend (and her five children) and left nearly everything behind in their shared rented house. But not before nearly destroying the house. Anyway, he was looking to try to recoup some of the money he was going to lose in deposits and damages and wanted to sell off whatever furniture had been left behind. So me and the Kid trooped off to take a look.

Most of it wasn’t of very good quality, but there were some salvageable pieces. The only problem was that he had caught me in a tight spot with money, I didn’t have much cash on me and wouldn’t have any until I made a sale. I told him I could come back in a couple of days, he even offered to trust me to take some pieces and come back with cash. There are some good guys still left in the world.

We had shown up with my little truck though, and to get everything that I was considering, we’d not only need the pickup, but maybe a big truck. I told him that I had a ten spot in my pocket he offered the big dresser from one of the bedrooms. I had a photo from our correspondence, but once again, I didn’t keep it or take a ‘before’ picture before jumping into its restoration. Just trust me that this piece had gone through some abuse before I was able to rescue it. (He had arranged for someone else to take the rest of it, when me and the Kid returned a few days later.)

I was really happy how I was able to replace missing trim that I saved from the other dresser that I rescued (you can see it here) which although not exactly the same, was the same style. I had removed the trim from around one drawer as it had disappeared from the top and one side of the top drawer, and it proved to be very helpful in restoring the trim on the top drawer. The finish had just been beat and scratched and dented and it took no less than 6 coats of primer to cover the marker or paint that had been used to draw on the top of it. I actually used the same antique white paint that I did on the other dresser and it, again, didn’t fail to impress.

So, without further ado:

2nd Draped Dresser

Didn’t it turn out gorgeous? I swear, most of these I really want to just keep! I would totally do this for my own room, if and when I get ready to redecorate.

Worked a little more on the special project dresser, fully primed:

SP1 Primed

…chalked in the outline for the flower:

SP1 Outline

…and the took out the top drawer and taped off to paint the top of the dresser. Using the ‘Begonia’ pink paint for the top and I think that the base cabinet is going to be the ‘Watery’ blue and flower shape in white. (See the color scheme here.) I will provide more detail as I get closer to reveal about the work with the flower and getting the shape onto the dresser.

I also primed and started work on two more dressers – one to be in yellow ombré and the other in a soft pink with a darker shade of pink on top. Seems I can’t keep any inventory these days and but trust me, I am not complaining!

The Kid had the day off for MLK Day, so last night and this morning we spent working on the doll furniture that we started a few nights ago. We’ve completed one bed and dresser – sized for 18″ dolls – and all I have to do is to make bedding (mattress, sheets, quilt and a pillow or two.

Here is the Kid working:DSCN1125

And here is a shot of the bed I am working on:

Garage Sjpt 2

We actually hauled out the big tools – a band saw and a belt sander – and it was well worth the effort. I enjoy having good tools to work with. I just wished I had a real workshop to work in, so I wouldn’t have to always be putting things away and then having to drag them out each time I want to work.

Okay, need to spend some time in my sewing/craft room working to complete the linens for the completed bed. We’re going to be doing some investigation as to the best way to market these pieces; we’re considering Craigslist, eBay and Etsy. Actually, I might also list on dollabee.com (billed as “Like Craigslist, but for dolls”). Hopefully this will be a successful venture in addition to the furniture. All I know is that I am keeping busy, busy, busy!

Thanks for dropping by and taking a look! Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

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