Just a Normal Sunday… Right?!?

So, I managed to find some get-up-and-go and brought my current projects just a bit closer to ‘done’.

First up are two dressers getting the standard pink ombré treatment. Both are five drawer chests of drawers, I love when I get five drawers, that gives me the chance to paint with six different shades of pink! Pink, pink, PINK!

Here are the befores:

2015-04-19 12.58.586961-1They both were sanded and primed and today they both received their first coats of pink. Of course this followed the tedious hours of sanding… did I ever mention that I hate sanding? LOL

2015-04-19 13.56.40And… we’ve been working on turning two pairs of head and foot boards into benches. We totally lost momentum last week, but now we have found a new push to getting them completed. I have been debating on whether or not to build a farmhouse style table and maybe add two ladderback chairs before selling. Haven’t quite decided.

2015-04-19 13.56.29And speaking of undecided, we put the first coats of red on the benches. Holy cow! I don’t think this is the right red… it leans way too much to the pink spectrum that I am thinking a new deeper shade of red. I could have sworn that the paint was the same thing I used when painting my own pieces (you know that I love red, right?) but obviously it wasn’t. In fact, I started wondering where so many of my gallon paint cans came from… time to purge!

Spent a bit of time working the cross stitch project too. Now that day light is around longer each night, it gives me more time to work on the project. For some reason, I cannot accurately do the stitches by lamp light, only day light. Totally weird, huh?

I’ve just about made it through my list of started but unfinished projects. Crazy thing is, I don’t really have any new projects in mind! What ever will I do?

julie

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

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.

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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

The Sea of White is Now a Sea of Color

Just a quick update. The Kid and I have been our best to get these projects completed. We’ve been hampered by a spate of rainy and cold weather, subsequently we purchased a kerosene heater for the garage. It does the job of heating, but the smell is almost more than either of us can tolerate for more than a few minutes at a time. In fact, we took the day off yesterday as both of us battle migraine headaches. Headaches, I believe, came from over exposure to the smell. We are going to look into replacing the heater with something else.

The other thing that hampers us is that now it is winter, the sun sets so early. And along with that cold and windy weather comes an overcast sky, making working in the garage tenuous. The Kid has come up with an ingenious solution:2014-12-20 18.54.20Here are some more photos of the garage as painting continues:

 

2014-12-20 18.53.54Much of the white has bloomed into one of six shades of glorious pink. Have I ever told you how much I love pink? Could have something to do with being surrounded all my life with the opposite sex?!?

2014-12-20 18.53.43What didn’t turn pink was transformed with that recent discovery of Blue Mosaic – a deep but vibrant shade of blue that’s not quite navy. Its tough to pick out with the garage being kinda dim, but the two pieces are a buffet (far left of the pic) and a coffee table (you can see towards the right, its oblong top peaking out behind the pink cabinets in front). those two blue pieces have wood tops that have been sanded and moved into the house for staining and polyurethane. When finished will look like this two drawer dresser.

2014-12-20 18.53.54One chest of drawers (also known as a 5 drawer dresser) is a request piece. The body is an Ultra White with high gloss finish – actually called a mirror finish. And they aren’t kidding. Every time I look at it I think it was just freshly painted as it is looks so shiny! The Kid in the background is actually painting this piece’s drawers, five wonderful shades of pink.

Okay, for a “quick” update, I got kind of wordy! LOL

julie

A New Twist To An Old Dresser

Welcome back folks! And Happy New Year!

Today I am presenting a rescued dresser (or chest of drawers… not sure what the difference really is). I did something of this nature years ago with trunks and it was a huge success. I remember one of the last ones to be completed was a present for my niece, about 3 at the time – she is now over 20! But it seemed a good time to resurrect an old tried and true technique.

I picked up an old dresser that, in its heyday, must have been absolutely beautiful. But it had obvious signs of living in an atmosphere of dampness and as a consequence, most of its beautiful veneer was peeling away. This piece had some heavy duty damage, but luckily, the bones were still solid. And the price was right… two things I look for when rescuing a piece of wood furniture.3J23p53H55G25H75Jcccdaf7f97ae0dd41ca1

As you can see from the photo – this was the photo used to list it on Craigslist – this piece was a hurting. I think the graininess of the photo helps to hide just how much was damaged to the surface of this piece. But I liked it size, so home it went with me.

The first order of business was to start removing the warped pieces of veneer. I had hoped to be able to recover some of it, but as I worked it was becoming obvious that the majority of it was not going to be salvageable. It was then that it dawned on me that this piece would need a real creative solution to rescue it. And that is when I remembered the the trunks that I had done back in the 90’s. I would clean the trunk down, line the interior with fabric and then spray paint the metal frame. Using a coordinating fabric, I would then glue using a process much like decoupage. It was a labor of love and I really loved them for the decorative storage that they provided. And the trunks were generally very affordable. Here is one of the only remaining trunks that I still have. Most of them were given away and many were sold when we made the move from California to Missouri:

DSCN1055

So, this process is one that I thought I might be able to replicate on this dresser. Since all the veneer was essentially stripped, I knew it would call for extreme measures for covering the surface. This surface – sans veneer – was pretty rough and wasn’t looking forward to all the filling and sanding that it would require and then still not be sure how it would come out.

In my early days of dresser restoration and the excitement of the ombré painting style, I used two dressers that I had previously had in my guest bedroom. In the back of my mind I know I have to replace at least one of those pieces eventually, as a huge pile of stuff that had been stored in those dressers seems to be either migrating or replicating (or both!) on the floor of that room. They need to be tucked away gently, away from sight. Knowing this I rationalized that if this process didn’t work out well enough, it could just get tucked away in the corner of the guest room and no one would be the wiser.

So off to my favorite fabric store for inspiration. It didn’t take long. Essentially, the guest bedroom is decorating in white with cobalt blue accents. Above the window, I built a shelf curtain hanger that displays a respectable collection of blue bottles – large and small. And the first fabric I saw was this gorgeous geometric pattern of blue and white!

The pattern is actually called “parterre” which is a formal garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging, and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern. And that lends its name to this fabric design:

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I did do a quick look around, but nothing could even begin to measure up to this. My first instinct is usually right, I like to go with my gut. So, two yards later I was heading to Home Depot for matching paint. Its difficult to match paint to fabric and my first selection (and two coats of it on the dresser) before I decided to get the slightly darker shade and repaint the whole thing. It was a good choice.

So once I painted all the surfaces that I expected to show, I used a slightly watered down mixture of Elmer’s white glue and water to adhere the fabric to the sides of the dresser and the fronts of all the drawers. To get the fabric on the drawers to match up with the sides, I put the drawers in, and placed one long, narrow strip of glue on the front of each drawer. I then wrapped the fabric around and secured it on both sides.  Waited for it to dry and then carefully cut the fabric along each side to release the drawers. Then it was just a matter of gluing and trimming to get everything just right. A touch up here and there and viola!, it’s completed.

So, here it is:

DSCN1046 DSCN1047 DSCN1048 DSCN1049

I think I forgot to mention that the bottom drawer is a cedar drawer… the bottom and three sides are made of cedar and it smells so good. Its a nice little extra!

And so you don’t have to scroll up and down, here is a ‘Before & After’ picture:

Delft Dresser B&A

I don’t know if you noticed the ‘other project’ in one of the pictures above, I always have at least a couple or ten projects going on at all times! LOL

Well, thanks for stopping by! And as always, Keep Crafting Y’All!!

julie

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