As Long As The Bones Are Good

This is gonna be a quick reveal. I have spent tons of time looking for a ‘before’ photo and I just can’t find one. I’ve got loads of photographs on several computers, my phone, The Kid’s phone and a camera; someday I am going to have to get serious about how I manage all those photos. And get into a regular routine on when and how to take photos.

Anyway, back to today’s reveal. It was a cute little piece, had to be the 70’s timeframe judging from the styling and the use of a slab of granite. LOL  All we really did was to clean it up, fix and build up the drawer supports, then prime and paint. Gets to be a regular routine. This time I went with the high gloss ultra pure white. The Kid put in a small lip around the original opening where the granite went, and I cut and then covered with felt a thin piece of veneer. It was then attached from beneath. This piece was fitted with my favorite hardware: simple and clean white ceramic knobs.

One more step to this one, was to cut a 3/8″ clear plastic piece to go where the granite had once sat. This gives the new owner a place to show off some small special pieces… there is about an inch or so there. I drilled a small finger hole in the upper right hand corner to allow one to easily pull off the top, but no so apparent that small hands would get in and play with something that wasn’t meant to be played with.

Enough gabbing… here are the results:

2015-03-24 16.10.33My light wasn’t the best, storms were moving in about the time I pulled the camera out.

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Here was a test of the depth… it easily held a hotwheel car (this was part of my Monopoly collection). It wasn’t deep enough for a PEZ dispenser though.

2015-03-24 16.10.45Another angle. That plastic is really nice. As nice as glass, but far more durable.

2015-03-24 16.09.44One final shot. If you can imagine this in the 70’s signature dark brown with a piece of brown granite on top, there’s your ‘before’ shot. I very much like the ‘after’ shot myself.

More coming. This is feeling very refreshing, my personal quest to finish projects already started before beginning anything new. Now to just get them all sold so I have money for more projects! Ha!

julie

Sneak Peak: Horsey Tales (Tails?)

There is this project in that I have in mind, sparked by something I saw a while back on Pinterest. And I happened to see the exact thing I needed for free today on CraigsList.

photo 2So, this guy is now going to be hanging around until I can get the project completed. (The Kid thinks he is a little creepy!)

But now, I KNOW your interest has been piqued!

Its Amazing What Removing A Little ‘Can Do’ Can Do!

If you’ve read my blog before, you know that my son and I have developed a system for taking those long dressers apart and making them either into two smaller dressers, or simply create a single small dresser. Well it got me to thinking that there are other pieces that would benefit from a little modification. You know?

So, with this in mind, I picked this piece up.

2015-03-02 17.37.57We had already removed the doors at this point (and try as I may, I couldn’t find a “real” before photo). I suspect that as the flat panel televisions replace those monstrous behemoths, the need for those huge armoires to house them will drop and we’ll start to see more and more of them available. And some of those will be great candidates for makeovers.

DSCN3153I started by removing the trim on the sides. I had an idea about how to reuse it later, once we had the top cut down.

DSCN3152So, it was turned on its side and I carefully marked where it needed to be cut. The Kid did the cutting, using a circular saw and made quick work of it.

We flipped it on its other side and repeated the cutting.DSCN3151Now it was my turn. Lots of sanding was involved and a little patching. It wasn’t a tough job, but wasn’t quite as easy as I had hoped. I reapplied the trim on the side and then placed a new top. Actually, it was an old top, salvaged from another project, but it fit wonderfully. A little sanding and primed the entire piece and the drawer fronts and it was ready for painting.

DSCN3154We were missing one drawer glide, but thankfully, I had one that worked with just a minor modification.2015-03-23 21.28.25Two coats of paint in my signature pinks and then The Kid installed our traditional ceramic knobs. I just love the way those very white knobs just pop on all that color!

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Ready to be listed on CraigsList for sale and to go into some little girls room! Actually with the height and dimensions of the top, it would actually work perfectly as a changing table in a nursery.2015-03-23 21.28.41WooHoo! Another one done. We’ve got a few more in the works, still waiting for finishing touches.

julie

More Pink (And A Little More Room In The Garage)

Wow! Have I been a busy little creator. I think I have said this a few times, but just for edification, I’ll say it again. I am not starting anything new until I make a significant dent in the projects I have started. And boy have I been getting things done. :-)

Here’s one of the latest. Just finished loading the ads on CraigsList – I just LOVE the CraigsList community in Kansas City! I hope to get it sold (along with a lot of other stuff) so that I can get the garage cleared out. The end result has been identified as something special and I am determined to get to that point. Until I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, I am not going to announce it to the world. Just yet.

So, as you may know, I am big on restoring and upcycling old furniture. I stick (generally) to the well built pieces of furniture from about the time span of the forties to the sixties or so. They really built furniture to last using quality components – these things should last just about forever! The only bad thing is the style may not.

I run an ad on CraigsList almost constantly looking for parts to restore old furniture – like drawer glides and tracks – sometimes the embellishments and sometimes its feet or whole drawers. Sometimes its something as simple as a back or a matching pull. I have carefully worded the ad to say that I am happy to help make space in a garage or basement or give an old piece of furniture new life and to give the owners a little less clutter in their lives. It has netted me some great pieces.

Like this set:2015-01-27 14.09.49Who among us remembers the ever popular blonde furniture? I do… I remember at least three sets in my family alone. This set which had been sitting in a basement and then moved to a garage, had been unused for some time. It also included a head- and foot-board:

2015-01-27 14.14.27Yes, this set had been loved by someone. :-) And it had seen better days. Even after getting to my garage it took awhile for me to get to work on it. But once we did, it was smooth sailing. Mostly.

So, the dresser had a missing drawer – completely gone – and a second one that had been reduced to just the drawer front. We opted to take the head- and foot-board just to serve as replacement fronts for the missing drawers. I normally don’t do the headboards as most people (at least those I know) don’t. But as we set about to work on the dresser, it quickly became evident that this would be way more work than it would be worth. So, The Kid opted to cut it down to just three drawers – a sort of mini chest of drawers.DSCN3135He kind of likes to work alone, just listening to music, so I didn’t get a whole lot of photos. :-( But basically, he took off the top, cut just to the right of the center support on all the drawers; then removed all the supporting pieces from the right side and re-attached it. Then cut down the kick plate and added a back. While he was cutting down the top, I worked on the drawer fronts. The curved pieces were held in place with just two staples and a dab of glue, so they came off easily.

DSCN3155The curves almost touch in the center, but not quite; turned out pretty cool if you ask me. I used the shade of paint of the drawer beneath to come up and paint the curves, likewise brought the color of the drawer above the curve down. Turned out pretty neat.

Okay, here is the before:

2015-01-27 14.09.49And the after:

2015-03-20 14.33.48Nice, right? I can never get enough of this pink color scheme either. I have no doubt these will sell quickly. The head- and foot-board are being painted the same blush pink as the cabinets and will be offered to whomever purchases the dressers. I wanted to try my hand at something unique for them, but I am coming up blank. I half jokingly told my son that I wanted sprinkle pink glitter all over the wet paint, but he gave me “that” look. You know that look… the one that says he thinks his mom has gone off the deep end! Ha!

Here are a few more photos for your enjoyment:

2015-03-20 14.34.35 2015-03-20 14.34.24 2015-03-20 14.34.16 2015-03-20 14.34.07 2015-03-20 14.33.58Lots more things on the verge of being done. This has been some busy days and I am looking forward to all the upcoming posts. Hope you are too!

julie

A Day of Completions

So, I have tried to take the path of getting stuff done before I start anything more. I really don’t have it in me to not start stuff…but I am getting stuff done. Ha!

First, the Lego Mini-Figure shadowbox is done. Here are the little fellows sitting safely on their 2×2 blocks on the black foam core. You will note the large blank space at the bottom, this is for the pieces that will sit on the inside bottom shelf.photo 2

And here is the foam core sitting snugly inside the shadowbox frame. The glass is throwing some reflection, but you can see the pieces sitting on the bottom ledge.photo 1I have some more mini-figures that I want to add to another shadowbox, as well as a truck (Indiana Jones series) and a camper trucker as well as some small Star Wars pieces. Then I have to find wall space in the house.

The other thing that I worked on today was the preparing the remaining quilt tops for getting sent to get quilted. As you may recall, I had 51 tops (paired with their backings) that were awaiting quilting and binding, but as it would go, my quilter is hanging up her quilt hoops. So I am trying out someone new and sort of local, so I shipped her two of my quilts and see how she does. In the meantime, I am getting more ready for her. LOL

So, I did manage to get five more ready and I have four more. I don’t often piece backs, but since I have time and the fabric, I wanted to try some ideas that I had. I should be able to finish up the other four tomorrow. Then there are about four or five denim quilts that need backs and then I have at least four or five quilts that need to be finished. Of course, after that, I think that there are three, four or maybe five hundred quilts I want to make!

julie

Addendum: Second Life for One of My Quilts

Just a little note. I received a note from a reader who asked if they could purchase one of the quilts that I showcased in this blog. Wow. Nice.

Strippy Sash QuiltShe even offered a very respectable amount for it. But then I heard what it was for. And then, I realized that there was no way I could sell it to her.

She wanted to use it as part of a project for some local (to her) kids in seventh grade that are making a “Peace Quilt”. And I just wanted to be a part of that whole thing. So, I donated the quilt to the kids. I am hoping that some photos will be snapped and some words written about what they are trying to achieve and what Peace means to them. Mostly, I hope they win! LOL

I have always been a staunch supporter of public education and have always tried to help in whatever way I could – mostly around my son, but inevitably to benefit all students in their class or school. Now that my son has finished his primary studies, it tends to get a bit tougher to do that, although I do have a quilt that I made for him that I am going to donate to his school (since he has graduated):

DSCN3118Along with the quilt, I have a TON of school supplies that I am going to deliver as well… as cheap as school supplies get, there are always students who never get what they need or want. And if I have more than I need, why not?

Okay, hopefully Claire will be sending me updates soon. I am anxious to hear more!
julie

My Little Lego Friends (They Need A Home)

I have always been a Lego freak. Way back when my brothers used to get them for Christmas, I was the one who played with them long after the decorations were put away. And always had them on my desk at work. In my apartments. Love those crazy little mini-figs the most.

When The Kid came along, we invested heavily in Legos. Not stock – as most of you may know, Lego is not a publicly traded company – but rather by buying a zillion dollars with of the bricks. He went through Thomas the Tank Engine phase and the Hot Wheel/Matchbox phase also, but the one standby was Lego.

In fact, for a while when we commuted, I would pick him up from half day kindergarten and he and I would have lunch and I would drop him at daycare and head back to work. He went to school and I worked nearly 60 miles from home. (Ah, life in Silicon Valley. A story for another time.) But we usually ate at a fast food place and I really did not want to have those horrible little toys that come in those meals all over the house. So, he could trade them unopened to me for a puzzle piece and when he had the right amount, he could trade them in for a small, medium or large Lego package.

Once he got interested in computers, he decided he wanted to sell his Legos for cash (we did it on eBay). He had 8 sixty pound boxes that he sold to a collector for a little over $3000. He did keep a bunch of completed pieces that he loved and special pieces that were gifts and a ton of mini-figs.

I, of course, also have my own small collection of mini-figs. Recently I stumbled onto the box while cleaning/organizing and decided that I wanted to do something a little more “grown up” and mount them in a shadow box.

photo 1Here are most of the ones that will go into this first box. I realized as I started laying them out, I had way more than I thought. Or I thought they were smaller. Or that the shadow box was bigger.

photo 3I wanted to include these two vehicles, but they are wider than the shadow box. So I guess I will have to do something different with these and a few others that I have. On the bottom inside, I am putting some mini-figs that are more than just the figures, ones on horses or a bike or whatnot. Not sure if that Ogre is going to fit once the back is on. We’ll see.

photo 5So, with the gap for the figures that will be standing on the inside of the bottom of the frame, I laid a rule and started gluing (used my wonderful E-6000 glue) on the 2×2 bricks that the mini-figs will stand on. And then it was just a matter of continuing up the black foam core board until I had four rows of bricks glued:

photo 4Once this had dried over a 24 hour period, I will simply place the mini-figs on the 2×2 bricks, put a dab of glue on the mini-fig plates at the bottom and assemble. Violå!

I think I have enough to do at least 2, maybe 3 more of these. Now, where to hang them? That is the one thing about being a crafting-type person, there is just never enough wall space to display the work you make!

Come back and see how this finishes up.

julie

Started A Hundred Things… But Getting Nothing Completed!

Ever have one of those days or weeks or maybe even months? Ever since I’ve been back from vacation, it seems that I have been having the hardest time keeping on track to completing projects.

Lots of things started… between the new furniture pieces and my quilting, it would seem that I have a hundred irons in the fire. But there seems to be so many things preventing me from getting the projects completed.

So, first up is the blonde bedroom set we picked up about a hundred years ago (it sure seems like it!!). We had a chest of drawers, a dresser with a mirror and a head- and foot-board. All was in pretty good shape with the exception of a missing drawer and another drawer broken (but it at least had the drawer front). In trying to determine if we could recreate the missing drawer (we had taken the head and foot boards for just that purpose), we determined that it would be too much work. So, we’re going to cut the dresser in half, going from a six drawer to a three drawer unit.

2015-03-02 17.37.32While The Kid works on that, I have taken the other drawers and chests and head- and foot-boards and given everything a nice sanding and patched holes and gouges. It is really a very nice set, well built. I remember my parent’s having a similar set, I would place it sometime in the 50’s, when blonde furniture was all the rage.

2015-03-02 17.37.42

Here’s the headboard… I think this is going to be finished in pinks, they seem to sell well. I think the wood corner pieces will be one color and the remainder of the drawer a lighter color.2015-03-02 17.38.20In addition to this piece of furniture, we have a three drawer dresser with a different feature. Originally, there was a large slab of granite on top, which had broke. We’ve fit the top with a bottom and then it will have a clear plastic top, in essence creating a narrow shadow box. I think it will also be the pale pink, and for photos I am going to use doll clothes or something to show off the use of it. I think that this will sell quite quickly.

One more piece that we’re working on is a media cabinet that will become just a three drawer dresser. I really like this one, mostly because it was made using mostly wood and not a lot of that junk fiberboard. We’re going to cut at the top of the inside drawer and once again, sand, detail and paint it. This might be a more neutral color, perhaps white.2015-03-02 17.37.57Oh, what else? I feel like I’ve been so lax in writing lately, and that there is so much to get caught up. Let me show you a couple of pics of the garage:

2015-03-06 18.44.29 2015-03-06 18.44.19Oh yes, I won two sets of headboards and footboards from an online auction place, we’re going to use them to make those cute little bench seats. The last one I did sold very quickly and had a lot of interest and was so easy to put together. You can see them in the photo above to the very left.

At least the weather has been very nice the last few days. Which was great timing since we just ran out of kerosene for our garage heater!

In the house, I have a couple more projects in the works. Of course, you all know about the cross stitch. I suppose you are all just sick of hearing about that! I warned you!

But I also started digging through the junk in my home office recently. You all know that at times I will get frustrated with a mess and will stop working just to get things organized. Well, my home office had finally reached mission critical!

I have two boxes of the stuff that I take to my “real” jobs… the kind of things that make computer work just that much nicer. For instance, I have a custom keyboard and mouse, photos of The Kid, my own pens and markers and calligraphy pens. When I finish a job, I just throw the stuff into a box and wait for the next job. But they’ve started to drive me crazy, as once there is one or two boxes, they seem to just invite more clutter.

One of the things I had under all that clutter were my Lego Mini-Figs. If you are not a Lego fan, just do a Google search on the words “Lego Mini-Figs” and you will see what I mean. Along with PEZ dispensers, it is one of those things that The Kid and I collect together. He plays with his, mine are meant to be showcased.

So, now that I had a decent amount, I started to work on putting them into a shadow box. I ordered black 2×2 blocks for the mini-figs to “stand” on and once they arrived, I started working on the layout. Ever notice that when you’re anxiously awaiting the delivery of something it seems to take so much longer than it should?!

2015-03-06 18.44.57I’ll give you an update when I get closer to being done.

Another collection: cut glass crystal. I found that I had some pieces without lids and some lids without bottoms. So, now I’ve begun this whole other search to find mates for these pieces. Yeah, like I don’t have enough to do already. <<Sigh>>

2015-03-06 18.44.48I did manage to find the right pieces, though, for another small cake/cupcake tray. That ostensibly was the reason for looking for doomed lids, in order to create these small cake/cupcake plates. But I don’t really need a reason. Now do I?2015-03-06 18.45.07And of course, the faux stained glass jars. I’ve done quite a few of these, and because we tend to find these bottles when we’re out abandoned house hunting, it is fun to turn them into night lights or ambient lighting. I thought I would do one in shades of pink. Offer it up when someone buys the furniture pieces we’re doing in the ombré style using pink. I like it even more with the micro-glitter with the faux stained glass.

Another development on the quilting front. I am a pretty prolific quilter but recently the woman who does the longarm quilting for me, my friend Gloria, opted to retire from providing this service to me. I’ve been doing some searching and also some investigative work into whether I might just invest in a longarm machine and do the quilting myself. I pulled together all the incomplete quilt tops that I could find and I have just over 50 tops (with their matching backs) ready to be quilted. This doesn’t include 6 denim quilts that are a special challenge. And today, I uncovered a bunch (maybe as many as 20) of tops that don’t have their backs prepared yet. And I know that I have blocks cut for probably another dozen or so.

Okay, so, I think I found a young lady kind of local who I am going to take for a test drive. I’ve sent her two fairly large quilt tops and backs and given her carte blanche to do what she wants with them. If it works out – and she does seem to have the most infectious energy! – then I am going to drive down and meet her, delivering to her another 50! (Hi Becky!!) I have such good feelings about this.

Whew! After almost nothing from me for weeks, I think I might have gone a little overboard! Ha! Feast or famine! I will try to do better about providing more consistent updates.

Oh, one more thing and then I will be done. Promise. One of the cut glass crystal pieces that I found and bought was for trifles or layered meat dishes. I had always thought they were called “truffles” but I am wrong. I have a recipe for a potato and roast beef thing, but of course, I started with a trifle. Oreo Cookie Trifle.

2015-03-06 18.26.21

This has Oreo cookies, vanilla cream, crushed Oreo cookies, whipped cream, mini Oreo cookies and an Oreo cookie crust bottom. This should probably be called “Death By Oreo Cookies” or something. My blood sugar is rising just thinking about cutting into it!!2015-03-06 18.26.05Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Cross Stitch: Update

These past couple of weeks since we arrived home from vacation, it has been hard to get back in my grove. For anything.

Well, not everything. I have been indulging my Netflix streaming account and my cross stitch project. I spend long days curled up on the sofa watching movies and making that needle go down and back up.

Here was the last update…

2015-01-18 20.04.59

Here is what it looks like now…

CrossStitch UpdateI’ve almost completed the lower left quarter. For the very first time, I feel like I made real progress. Still a lot to go, but I feel there is real momentum.

I am still in a quandry about the quilt tops and buying a long arm quilting machine have been about every third thought. Would love to hear the opinions of other quilters out there.

julie

Uh Oh, I Think I’m In Trouble Here

So, when I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I tend to stop creating and start cleaning and organizing. Yesterday was no different. I am a bit overwhelmed in the garage – to the point where I can now not get my car OUT of the garage. Sigh.

Also, my home office was rife with clutter, to the point where I couldn’t hardly get to any of the computers. Much less sit down and try to be productive.

So, out came the organizing bins and with that, the ‘attic closet’ that I store them in had to be organized so that I could get empty ones out and full ones back in. We started there. Pretty much pulled everything out of the ‘attic’ and made quick decisions on what could be kept and re-stored and what could be donated or thrown away.

With much of that done, I had the boxes I needed to work on the office. All the empty boxes that had been collected in my office were sorted by which ones needed to be kept (and organized in a container) the ones that no longer needed were broke down and readied for recycling. That was pretty easy. Carried the containers up to the ‘attic’.

Next came putting everything back into the attic storage (quick definition, the ‘attic storage’ is not actually the attic, but space behind the closet in the guest bedroom. It feels like an ‘attic’ because it is unfinished and cold, but the real attic is a floor up.)

We had a pretty large pile to be donated and that went into the truck for the next trip. The containers all went back in nicely organized by size. But then the brakes were hit!photo 4

Quite a few months ago, I organized the quilt tops that had been finished and awaiting quilting. I sent one large box off to my friend Gloria for quilting and set the other box back into the guest bedroom closet (closet, not the ‘attic storage’). I really had thought that there was only one box left. I really felt like I was making a dent in getting quilts quilted and then bound and completed.

In yesterday’s flurry of organization, more boxes were uncovered. First it was one. I sighed. Then another was uncovered (it began to feel more and more like an excavation). I called The Kid over. We removed more boxes and there was number three and four. Holy cow!

I also took one box and loaded into it all the denim quilts awaiting the discovery of someone who is willing to take them on. I think I broke Gloria’s machine with one of the last denim quilts she quilted. :-( For this I feel really bad.photo 2

So, I moved all of these boxes into my sewing room. I have to figure out something. And until I do, I cannot – CANNOT – start any more. This is nuts! I also have a large armoire in the guest bedroom which was my baby’s storage in his nursery. It stores TONS of quilts. It is now pretty full. And another dozen or so finished (at least they are finished!!) are sitting on top of the guest bed. I suppose this is where I am grateful that I don’t often have guests!!

I am planphoto 5ning on counting all the unfinished quilts which should allow me to do some math. I am beginning to believe that I could invest in my own long arm machine and would be cheaper in the long run than paying someone else to do it.

Oh, by the way, I did some searching on the internet to find someone to hand quilt my rescued quilt top and I found one woman who priced a queen sized quilt at $15,000. No, there isn’t too many zeroes or any typos. Good grief… if I thought I could get someone to pay me those kinds of numbers, I would totally do it! I can’t imagine! Can you?

I am hesitant to even mention the dozen or more quilts that are already in process… I’ve either cut for blocks or have the blocks and just need to assemble. I am so overwhelmed by all of this that I have decided to go watch a movie and do more cross stitch. Right?!?!

julie

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