Finally! The Grand Reveal of the Church Table

I have a bad habit (sometimes) of starting projects that take me a while to get around to finishing. Actually in this case, I actually did finish it, but have been wafting back and forth about a final finishing piece. That, and I never got around to taking the final pictures either. And because of its sheer combined size, it isn’t like I can just drag it out and set it up and shoot the photos… and I always used the excuse about that final flourish to put it off.

Well, time is up for procrastinating. This coming weekend, my neighborhood is having one of its two annual garage sale weekends. I’ve combed the house and really collected from every nook and cranny anything that I could live without. I have to admit that lately the house has been creaking from the excess that I’ve collected these past years. We’re going to have a really big sale!

So, since we’re already using the driveway as a sales floor, I might as well as to it some of the furniture projects that I’ve recently completed. Including the dining room table and its eight chairs, as well as the the matching sideboard. So, me and The Kid dragged it all out and arranged it artfully on the lawn (partially on the neighbor’s lawn too) and took photos.

I’ll just start with photos… now that I have them!

DSCN4529The table was made by combining a salvaged door that I picked up from a Catholic church that was closing its school. The door was from the main office and I could only imagine had been pushed open by the hands of hundreds of little kids in cute school uniforms.

I removed the hardware, replaced the holes with wood and sanded, sanded, sanded. The more layers of varnish I removed, the more beautiful the wood I was revealing. The Kid helped in creating the skirt and attaching the legs, but we simply recreated the same mechanism that held together my original oak table that was purchased when I first got married (it still is working to this day!). Before we attached it to the door, it was painted my favorite shade of red. (Have I mentioned that I love red?)

The chairs were all from the same Catholic school… all of these were well worn, used and loved by students from that school. It took hours of sanding to remove doodlings and scratches but unbelievably, there was not a single wad of gum stuck under the seats!

As you can see, six of the chairs became red, but wanted to create accent piece (or in this case, pieces). What better color to contrast with red than turquoise?

Even better, I created a piece to accompany it. A mid-century piece, this is all wood. The drawers have dove-tailed construction and great detailing typical of the fifties. I love the spiral details on either side and I was able to fit it with a great set of vintage hardware that I painted black. The Kid and I have refurb’d many dressers and desk drawers, so bringing this piece was no challenge. The drawers glide beautifully and silently on their tracks and fit within their frames nicely.

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This is one of those times when I wish my house was empty (and I didn’t love my replacement round dining room table)! This sideboard rivals even my newly built piece, although mine has a little bit nicer top.

DSCN1864So, finally, I can mark this one off the list. Now just to get it sold and be able to reclaim the space in my garage would be the icing on that cake!

julie

Thinking Big… Maybe Too Big?

I have a bad habit of always going big when I take on a project. My first quilt project was to contain 2,000 different fabrics in a charm quilt to celebrate the new millennium. (That one isn’t done, BTW). The first time I wanted to really try a cross stitch project, the canvas was two feet by three feet (that’s big for cross stitch). That one too, isn’t done. My first (faux) stained glass project was about six foot by three foot… that one did get finished. The American Girl doll house I built was 48 square feet and stood over seven feet. Also done (and sold)! Even if the projects are quite so big, I tend to go a little overboard on the project materials… you’ve seen photos of my sewing/quilt room, yes? I literally have enough fabric to open my own shop.:-)

So, one of the more recent projects that is in progress is a braided denim rug. One of the things I like to try to do is having little projects within the bigger one that I can write posts about. So, this one started with how to harvest the most denim from old blue jeans. I actually wrote that one up as an “instructable” and you can see it here. Then over the course of a couple of months, I collected used blue jeans and harvested as many three inch strips as I could.

DSCN4263.JPGIt was a long process, but I was able to do most of the deconstruction while watching old movies or binge watching my favorite television series. Over a hundred pairs of jeans (lost count during collecting) were used and I was able to sell the carefully removed back pockets on eBay for almost a hundred dollars!

The next step was to create long strips… I wasn’t – and still aren’t – sure how long the rolls should be and what would be the easiest length to work with. After all, braiding tends to tangle while working… I will just have to be conscious of it while working. I ended up creating mostly the same length… just guessing at it while I was sewing. Some ended up longer than others and there are a couple of kind of short ones. The should be easiest enough to shorten when I start braiding if they turn out to be too long.

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After this, I rolled all the strips into coils… this photo is most of them. Whew! This alone was the endeavor. I rolled about half by hand… just round and round. The Kid, being inventive and with a slight allergy to repetitious work, came up with the idea of rolling them using a power drill. I just love the way his brain works!

The next step is to turn these strips into the “yarn” for braiding. I am basically turning it into binding… folding the edges in and “setting” them with an iron. Then, I fold this in half and sew it with a long stitch. It took some time and trials to figure out how to sew over this much bulk, especially the seams, without constantly breaking the threads but using a heavy duty thread – actually a hand quilting thread – finally was the answer. That and coaxing the seams through by hand. I then let it fall over the edge and into a basket on the floor:

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So, far, I’ve managed to empty the with the least amount of coils. It is a bit of a long slow process. I don’t have the slightest idea of how to estimate the amount of yarn that I will need to complete the rug. Actually, I’m not sure how big I even want the rug to be!

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What I want to do is do a smaller, controlled experiment. Choose a specific number of pairs of jeans, say, 5 or perhaps ten and harvest the denim and create the yarn. That way, I know exactly how much will be needed to create the braids and how much it will produce as far as a rug size is concerned.

I’m also planning a very detailed tutorial, from start to finish. I guess this post is an attempt at trying to explain why lately I haven’t been able to post regularly. All the projects that I have in progress follow the same template… much too big to complete quickly or easily! And definitely too big to write about easily in a single post.:-)

But, and speaking of this blog, I do have a milestone to announce. I don’t really actively promote this blog and it was really an experiment to see if I could do this as well as learn about the technical aspects of creating, producing and maintaining a blog. Sort of helps me in my “normal” nine-to-five job. But I always am doing creative type things and if my writing and photos help or inspire someone else, then great!

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 1.54.02 PMSo, I’ve surpassed the 100,000 mark with visitors! To be honest, I thought if I could maintain the blog for a year and have 5,000 visitors, I’d be successful. Who’da thunk?

And…. She’s Back!

It is now officially five and seven weeks out from my bi-lateral knee replacement surgeries and officially I am feeling like I am on the mend!

It has been a tricky and painful journey. Especially the right leg. It was tough. I talk a lot more about the whole thing on my other blog, if you’re interested. MacCupcake.wordpress.com.

Be forewarned, I am pretty outspoken about the whole thing and really adamant that had I ever had any regrets about anything I have done in my life, this is the number one. Could ever undo something I had done? Having these surgeries would be the first on that list. I still may find that I will feel differently as the knees continue to heal and I am able to get around better and better, but right now… well, there it is. It has been seven weeks of non-stop pain of one kind or another and I am so tired of it. The worst is when it seems to seep into the bone and just throb… there is no getting away from that kind of pain.

Anyway, the point of today’s post wasn’t more lamenting… but to announce that I feel like I am ready to get back into creating. I have been prevented from doing much… I’ve been doing a lot of coloring. I love that this came right when there is an explosion in the popularity of coloring pages for adults, it saved my sanity during this time of immobility. I “invested” in this great set of gel pens – about 70 pens of multiple colors and different styles such as glitter, flat, metallic – and they blend wonderfully. I bought them when I started messing around with recreating paper dolls and it came in handy with plain ol’ coloring. I would print out interesting designs on card stock and I was good to go for hours.

I’ve collected many of these on my pinterest.com page and please head over there and check them out if you’re interested in coloring. Here is a quick shot of the collection and you can find it here:

Big People Coloring Pages

The other thing that I have been able to finally do is start working on the hand quilting of my found quilt. You can see the back story of the quilt here:

I had spent the time to carefully clean and repair it. Added an appropriate border – same fabric used for the backing as well – and then found a great hand quilting frame on CraigsList. I am really good at planning and preparing, sometimes my follow through leaves a little to be desired.:-)

I finally got to the point of being able to bend both knees so that I could get under the frame. It took a couple of hours to get into a rhythm and looks like each section would take about an hour to quilt. I’m still working on getting my stitches evenly spaced and the same sized, but you know, it really is only my second quilt that I’ve hand stitched. (I don’t mind saying that if I actually get this quilt completed, I’ll probably not attempt another.)

Hand Quilting 1

The frame is a little awkward, specifically with the back cross support pieces, so there has to be a lot of planning when I am stretching the quilt. I think what I have decided to do is quilt the four piece square all the way across and then adjust the quilt and continue.

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Just for fun, I am planning to keep track of just how much time I spend quilting. So far, after four sessions of work, the total is just under ten hours. As you can see, it is going to take a long time. It will just be my “go to” project when I am tired or stressed or just want to work on something that doesn’t need a lot of thought invested. I might look into a different quilting frame if I don’t find it becoming easier to work on.)

What’s next? I don’t know… I’ve been watching styles and trends during these past couple of months and I have some ideas but nothing big has captured my attention. Probably more importantly is continue with my physical therapy and get my doctor’s stamp of approval to drive again and more importantly, going back to work.

I appreciate everyone’s kind words and continued support these past weeks. Thank you!

Creative Update, Medical Update

Well, no, not really a creative update… but rather just let everyone know how things have been going. Two weeks ago, I had the first of bilateral total knee joint replacement surgeries. The plan then was to wait for a week and then have the second surgery. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a little too aggressive for me so we bumped it back one week. Which is tomorrow! Yikes!

But I really feel in a good place, pain levels haven’t topped four for the past week and usually it is just a little stiff from lack of use. The thing that bothers me most, though, is that I feel so prohibited from doing the things I want and love to do. I’ve been joking with The Kid by saying “… I feel like someone just chopped off me off at the knee…” ha, ha, ha… but it really does feel like that kind of limitation. I’m making light of the restrictions, but for me, it is like typing an arm behind my back. And now I am looking at starting it all over again, this time with the right knee! I only hope that having learned from the left, I can make it go a little more in stride for the right.

I had been working on getting the hand quilting rack set up so that I can enjoy some of my downtime on putting some real time and effort into hand quilting that old quilt top that I rescued during one of me and The Kid’s “adventures”, but am finding out the hard way that it isn’t really as easy as you might think.

I thought I’d start with just pin basting the quilt and then working on the hand quilting from the center of the quilt top out. But laying the backing, the batting and the quilt top out on the kitchen island and then starting to pin, it isn’t as simple as one might think.

2016-02-06 20.21.58First, it takes a small pyramid of safety pins to do this. I had maybe a hundred – who wouldn’t think that would be enough for a small quilt top, right? Well, wne through them very quickly. I purchased another 6 hundred and really pushed to get the half triangles all basted and a row around the border.

2016-02-06 20.48.23But when I went to transfer the quilt onto the basting frame, I realized that I no longer had the quilt top centered on the backing. I thought about it and tried to find solutions without having to unpin every single one of those safety pins and had almost convinced myself to just modify the border when it got to that point… unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) I had managed to pin baste a couple of very large wrinkles into the backing material.

2016-02-08 22.04.09There is just no way around it, I am going to have to start all over with this effort.

But of course, since in the morning I will be once again looking at another few weeks before I can put any real effort into undoing and then starting again. If I had really been thinking, I would have had this ready prior to the first surgery. And all in all tonight, I am getting really tired and need to get things lined up for tomorrow.

Wish me luck!

The Hallway is Clear!

So, I finally have some clarity and time to write this post. If you’ve been reading, you probably realize that the first of two knee replacement surgeries has been completed. I am writing this from my hospital bed!

I finished up the last of crafting organization, ostensibly to clear all the walking obstructions since I will be using first a walker and then crutches during rehab and recovery.

I have a bad habit of collecting too much whenever I start a new project. So, when I found a very cheap way of getting jewelry supplies, I really overdid it. My initial project to display this was novel idea of using an old typesetter drawer and small glass bottles.

What I found however, was that it didn’t even put a dent the amount of supplies that I had. I’ve been working on more of these in the past months,

DSCN4326And all of this was after I created several more shelving units similar to that first one. But I kept pushing and finally have the majority of it stored. Along with the new cabinet that I made (more later on that project) and got it all moved down to the landing to clear the hallway That effectively leads from the master bedroom to the kitchen.

Checking into the hospital for surgery really threw a wrench into plans, but I think it works for now. Or at least until the majority of my recovery is complete.

Wow! Completing the list! (I’m Really Doing It!)

I have been running around like a crazy person, completing all of my necessary pre-op work and tests while trying to complete my own personal project list.

When I realized that I would need to do certain things in my house to make it easier for me to get around once I have both my knee surgeries, I made a list. I think originally, there was about 12 or 14 things and I may have added one or two while working, but I am down to really only one big thing that needs to be done. For me, that is nothing short of amazing! Of course, I have had to pour on tons of self restraint not to pick up more projects or supplies, but I have been able to do it! Wow! I am very pleased with myself (if I have to say so myself!!)! Ha!

So, tonight, I check off three more projects. Its sort of more projects but in the end it is three end pieces, so I will call it three.

First, I picked up a dresser-styled chest of drawers a while back that I knew I wanted to keep. Somewhere in the past couple of years, a chest of drawers that I brought with me from California that was part of my quest suite got sold. It was a weird set of events that had me selling a project dresser twice – so the piece I already owned was substituted. Ever since that, I had been on the lookout for a replacement. I knew it had to be very high quality and had to have tons of personality. I had a cheap piece, more of a dresser, in the bedroom for a while, just to have a place to store crap.

So, the piece I eventually found was this:

Can you believe this? Someone gave this piece away! I was so lucky to have been watching CraigsList almost at the time he listed it. He said my email came less than six minutes after he posted the ad and he had gotten over two dozen responses!

There was only one small repair necessary and the top was in sad shape. You can’t really tell from the photos, but it was beyond saving. But since my guest bedroom is white with blue accents, it was destined to become white anyway.

RetroDresser Before&After copySo, this dresser was picked up along the way and painted white just as a place holder. So, over the last couple of days, I emptied the drawers and slowly brought it down. Trust me, when you are working with two bad knees and a stair case, everything becomes slower!

The new piece was painted carefully with the most purest white in a high gloss finish. To get it even and covered, it took five coats! I didn’t want to rush it though and wanted to do whatever it took to get it right. This piece was for me and I want it to last a long time.

I went back and forth with how to paint the top of the chest. To keep the drawers working the best (behind the doors) I finally decided to keep the wood stain. But in figuring out how to paint it so that it was all white with the doors closed, it took a bit of figuring. But at long last, it was done and moved into its home back in the guest room.

2016-01-23 22.44.13Here are a few more photos of the finished piece:DSCN4296

With that done, I need to get rid of the first dresser. Because the pink scheme sells well and I have all the necessary paint and tools, it was an easy decision.

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(In the middle of writing this, I had to upload all my pictures from my phone and camera and then organize them! It can take so long to get a single post written!)

Next up is a cute little end table that I had hoped to become the base of a small cabinet. It didn’t quite work out, so I opted just to paint it and I’ll get rid of it on CraigsList.

DSCN4323.JPGNext, is the little cabinet next to this table in the photo above.

It started life as a blonde desk:

2015-07-16 19.54.53With The Kid’s help, we were able to convert it into just a cabinet, sans desk and legs. It was finished in my favorite shade of glossy red and fitted with new legs and matching cup holder pulls.

DSCN4319Well, this has been a long day and an even longer week. Still so much to write about too! And I am nervous about next week and the dual surgeries and important that I get lots of rest. So I am going to put my feet up and watch some mindless television while I go get some more ideas from Pinterest!

julie

Two Words: Prewound Bobbins

So, I am working diligently to get everything done and organized before surgery, now just nine days away. Wow… I am both so excited and terrified at the same time!

But work continues on the braided rug made of old jeans. After finishing cutting and harvesting denim from more than a hundred and fifty pairs of jeans… probably closer to two hundred. I’ve sold the back pockets on eBay for a nice little bit and I’ve sewed together all the inseams and bottom seams and have (mostly) fashioned them into bags and purses. I say mostly because I’ve still to find a tailor or perhaps shoe repair place that can do the final seams and attach handles as my somewhat specialty sewing machines just can’t do more than twelve layers of denim and/or leather (handles or straps). I am excited about finishing them though, they are going to be tré chic when they are complete.

The three inch strips of denim are, for the most part, now combined to form reasonable lengths. It took some time and experimentation to figure it out, but I’ve landed on a length that I think will be most productive when I start braiding. I’m taking lots of photos and making tons of notes, I think I am going to do a in-depth tutorial on creating these rugs from start to finish, that is, starting at the very start to include collecting jeans and harvesting the fabric all the way through to the finished rug. So, I won’t put too much of that into these posts pre-tutorial.

IMG_3480But I did do something that I thought I’d never do while in the process of turning the three inch strips into the finished strip for braiding. And that was to buy pre-wound bobbins.

s-l1600I don’t know why, exactly, I hesitated to do so, maybe something leftover from an early home-ec class or something about being thrifty and always winding your own bobbins. And heaven knows that I have enough bobbins and don’t really need to invest in more. But I found that with all the basic sewing that I’ve been doing, I have been just going through tons of bobbins and to sit and wind bobbins seems to be the most essential waste of time. Additionally, the pre-wound bobbins that I purchased seem to be wound very efficiently, that is to say, it seems to be twice as much thread on the bobbins than when I wind them, so I find that I am not changing bobbins as often. Which is awesome… again with the amount of basic sewing I am doing, nothing is as irritating just getting into a groove of sewing just to have the bobbin run out. And as my machine is overdue for maintenance, the bobbin sensor is getting in the habit of not alerting me and I find that I can run through feet of sewing before I realize that its not stitching! Argh!

So, here is officially my stamp of approval on pre-wound bobbins. They’re not overtly expensive (I get mine off eBay), they save me both time and frustration and they are help saving my sanity! Can’t think of better reasons to use them!

So, do you use pre-wound bobbins? I’d love to get the impressions of others who do a lot of sewing. Ever tried them? What’s your take?

julie

 

Forever in Blue Jeans

So, I’ve finished (for now) cutting all the blue jeans collected into three inch strips. I had set aside all the remaining pieces for making jean quilts. I’ve been working up the courage to start the rag rug… for whatever crazy reason, I always seem to go overboard when putting together the materials necessary for a project. Based on the tutorial I saw online for the rug, I now estimate that the amount of material that I have put together, I think I will probably end up with a forty foot diameter rug! I don’t know what it is that always makes me overestimate everything, but it seems that every project I work on, I do this.

DSCN4264This is the strips I’ve made… this has got to be the result of at least a hundred pairs of jeans and then some. I pick up pairs of jeans and just the denim material where ever I go, and recently procured a bunch when I picked up all that material free from CraigsList. And it was only recently that I started saving the back pockets – and I now have more than 100 pairs – so, I know that there were more pairs of jeans than those.

I made a “test” rug using 1 inch strips, that did not pan out too well. However, I think that fact that it was smaller was part of the problem. I need to fold the three inch strips into itself, so that the rough edges are hidden. I have been considering doing the folding and sewing it closed that way, but just haven’t decided.

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Anyway, I sat down and just started sewing the denim scraps. At first, it was just to get an idea of how well it would work, but after a while, I just got lost in it. I started watching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950’s series and kept sewing. I was working with 7″ cotton squares as a starting point. On and off sewing over the past week or so, and I’ve finally made my way through the majority of the denim scraps. I didn’t want to make any squares with too many seams, the denim gets thick quickly and I know longarms don’t love to hit those seams where the material is thicker than four layers or so. I decided to make the squares as simple as possible and to keep those intersecting seams to a minimum.

IMG_6897Yesterday, I used the last really good piece of denim and stacked them and did a count.

IMG_0296That’s 422! At 10 x 10 squares – about 70″ x 70″, that would make at least four quilts! I was thinking about working with some colored denim – red, I think – as a medallion pieces and then placing the blue denim squares on point around it.I briefly considered double sided quilts, but then I would be right back to the problem of thickness and seams. And that each quilt would weigh like a hundred pounds! Ha!

Now that I’ve used up the scraps, however, leaves me with trying to finish up my other projects before surgery. Just three weeks now before the scheduled date and I’ve still a handful of projects to complete in the garage. I am making headway on them, but the temperatures in the 20’s have made it a bit cold to be working in the garage. It should be a bit warmer today though.

The dresser and the nightstands sold quickly, within a day of posting them. Yeah! My foyer is getting emptier although I still seem to have the red desk. Even before I painted it, it was one of those pieces that just doesn’t seem to appeal to anyone. It is a great little piece, and I have lowered the price to the point where I won’t make any money on it. I wish I had a place for it myself, as it is beautiful, but alas, I do not.

And I am just waiting on the pneumatic stapler that I ordered online so that I can finish up my upholstery projects. More denim! And that should clear the final pieces from the foyer and the garage. It should be simple at that point to re-arrange the final stuff in the garage to get two cars back into the space initially designed for cars!

I’ve got a couple of small project lined up to keep me busy while I am working on the last couple of big projects. Seems like it is both taking forever and time is just whizzing by while I wait for this upcoming surgery! And in the same way, I am both excited and terrified about it!

julie

Pink Ombré: Can You Stand More?

I don’t care how many times I do the pink ombré paint scheme, I still love it. And so do you, judging on how quickly the pieces sell and the comments and reviews they get!

So, in case you’re new to the blog, or haven’t been here in a while, I am in the mode of completing projects without starting any new ones. In about three weeks, I will have the first of two knee surgeries  a week apart and one thing that will be important is that I have unencumbered access around my house – be in a walker or crutches. Either way, as I completed six to eight weeks of physical therapy, I need to make sure that I can safely navigate my house. And all these projects stacked up in my dining room, my kitchen, my living room and specifically the garage do not allow safe access. So, I am working diligently to complete them all.

This weekend I was able to complete two more projects. The first is this long dresser. Originally I wanted to turn it either into two smaller individual dressers or turn it into a bench with drawer space. Sort of like this:

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However, with the completion of the pew, I no longer have the space for such a piece of furniture. Although it would sell quite easily, I may try to do this later next year.

Instead, this dresser:

00c0c_aT2b4lrh71c_300x300became this:

DSCN4282Yesterday those adorable flower petal handles finally arrived via eBay. The Kid took the time to put them on last night so that I could take photos and write about them today.

I also used those same knobs on this project:

DSCN4285These pieces actually started life as:

IMG_0163This sweet little vanity was purchased with the hope of becoming a piece for my master bedroom makeover, but, well, life got in the way here too. I think this would be a great compliment to the four poster bed I did a while back. The drawers are the same colors as each post.:-)

DSCN4242I had primed these cabinets in white, which I think were okay with the pale pink color that it was painted, but I really do need to invest in more primer for red and the darker shades of pink. I am a firm believer in using the right tools and supplies for a superior end product.

Another project that I was able to complete since I had the painting supplies out, is this little holder. I do a lot of faux stained glass painting and find that having the bottles upside down to keep the material at the tip is handy. So, I whipped out some more paint stir sticks and just sort of roughly laid them out to where I thought I needed them around the bottles. Then I drilled the holes large enough to allow the cap to sit securely without being wobbly or too tight. Then it just got a coat of red paint.

I keep threatening, but soon I am going to write a post just about projects that I made using paint stir sticks. Dang, those are handy!

DSCN4272So, here is a view of what’s left in the garage. I had to order a new pneumatic stapler to finish the bench (forefront) with denim cover and there is the other large chest of drawers. I am going to keep this one for my guest bedroom… it is needed to hold some of the specialty fabrics that I have no room for in my sewing room. Then, that leaves only the Scrabble table and one more bench (made from a headboard). This should should pretty much clear out the garage and I will be able to get my sports car bedded down for the remainder of winter. We finally had snow here in the Kansas City area and my little red guy is covered in the white stuff.

Of course, that is the garage! Now, if all my pieces sell that would take care of the foyer too. But I have projects going on in my sewing room too! But that should take care of getting safely around the house anyway!

A few more photos to close out this post:

julie

 

My Foyer Pew Makeover

So, the holidays are over. I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays in whatever way you celebrate. Things were pretty quiet around the house, we mostly just relaxed.

But there was crafting going on here as well. I was able to complete several projects, as the weather was pretty mild and allowed me to work in the garage most days. And this allowed me to complete a project that I have been looking forward to… a project piece for me!

Some time ago, a church here in the KC area was doing clean up work on one of their warehouses. They were giving away a bunch of wood items: pews, chairs, tables, trim, desks, doors… you name it. I came and went at least three times over a period of a week. One of the pieces I picked up I knew I wanted to keep, but often the projects done for me take a back seat to the projects that I sell or do for others.

But now as I am working diligently to clear out the garage and my foyer, I made time to work on this piece. A pew. This is solid wood and heavy and simple in its finish. I opted to make my bench five feet long – it could have been longer or shorter, depending on the seat, there were so many to choose from. I could have used a weight support to make it longer, but I really wanted just the five feet.

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So, this photo shows the two ends, the supporting center and the actual seat and back of my pew. We must have had these in the garage for at least six months now… it always seems that projects I do for myself keep getting pushed back on the ‘to do’ list.

Initially, I wanted to refinish the pew. After about eight hours of sanding, it was pretty clear that the wood beneath it wasn’t going to be best for staining. I debated back and forth about what color to paint it… the off-white color of my house’s interior trim, my very favorite Deep Space black or of course, “Kitchenaid Red”. Red finally won.

Now all these months later, we started on putting it together. Of course, being the optimist I am, figured we’d just slap it together with glue and screws and be done in a matter of a couple of hours. This was not to be.

When we picked out the pieces of furniture we wanted to buy from the church, it was me and The Kid. I walked around this huge warehouse just pointing and deciding on everything I wanted. I noticed that the pews ends and seat/backs were numbered, like a giant jigsaw puzzle just waiting to be put back together. Little did I know when I sent The Kid back down for the second load, he didn’t pay attention to the numbers and just grabbed the nicest looking ends and seat/backs. Well, they didn’t go together like we hoped.

Seat EndsThe ends came with a bit of the former seat still in the grooves. You can see it in this photo to the left. I knocked those out easily enough – they were there to keep the grooves from swelling. But when it came to replace them with the seat/back that I had, they weren’t the same angle or length.

I had to widen and extend the grooves to the shape and angle of the seat/back that I had. Out came the router and other than bumping into a nail, it was a breeze to enlarge the space. The left side was first and not really knowing what I was doing, I did make the space a little too large at some points, but when it came to the right side, it was perfect. So well fitting that I could slip the seat/back into the groove and it held on its own!2015-12-27 19.03.44

I could have cut the seat/back into two and used the center support, but that would have meant having two seats of about two and a half feet rather than one long five foot seat. Its a beautiful piece of wood, though, I will do my best to use it in another project.

Now, it was time to permanently attach the ends to the seat/back. Using wood glue and screws, The Kid put together one end and then using the weight of itself to hold in place. The we flipped it over and attached the other end.

Oh, did I mention that hours and hours and hours of sanding? Thank heavens for electric sanders, for I know I wouldn’t be that enthusiastic about wood working!

2015-12-14 19.13.48Ready for priming. I settled on my old favorite (remember I’m keeping this piece!) red although I didn’t have any gray- or pink-tinted primer. I was quickly reminded why a tinted primer works best under red.

white primedWithout the tinted primer, it took more than four coats of red to cover the pew. Even after moving it into the house, in different lighting, more areas were identified and I actually ended up painting almost another full coat!

DSCN4275And here it is in all of its red beauty! I moved everything else out of the foyer to make room for this piece.

I am thinking about putting a row of low growing plants underneath it, if for no other reason than to keep it from filling up with shoes and bags and junk that gets shed when people come into the house (right next to the door to the garage as well as the front door). I am determined to keep this area clear.

DSCN4271

DSCN4274A couple more photos from different angles. Isn’t that shiny finish beautiful? I just love it.

I have more projects to unveil, it has been a busy week while everyone’s been celebrating. I’ve been having fun as well.

julie

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