Lately, I Have Been So Distracted!

There doesn’t seem to be any ramp up time for me when I start thinking about going back to work. It goes from a fleeting notion to a full blown hunt in a snap. Much of my time lately has been taken up with the construction of a job hunt. I have had a few minutes here and there, but it seems that once I get things organized and ready to work, I am tired or distracted by a phone call.

But, with that said, I have finished a couple of projects. The first one is something I’ve done before, but I never seem to get bored with the idea. The suitcase dresser is a very popular style, especially when you’re looking at a piece that may have damage or isn’t the highest quality. I’ve probably done a half dozen of this style now, and it always comes out great.
Although these are difficult to do, they tend to take some time to complete. Especially when the cabinet requires work as well. The Kid was much more involved in this one, as all of the drawers had to have fronts placed and supports both front and back of each drawer. One drawer had to almost be rebuilt from scratch, the one good thing is that all the pieces were there and just needed to be put back together.

I created a tutorial some time back, you can see it Suitcase Dresser Tutorial. I didn’t take many photos, since I’ve done the tutorial. I will tell you that if you have dedicated space to work on it, it helps. I did most of the work in the kitchen and dining room, and had to constantly move the drawers as I progressed with the work.

DSCN3560I tend to work on it ‘assembly line style’, that is, I glue the fabrics on all of the drawers first, then glue the tucks on all four sides. Since each side needs to be clamped while is it drying, I can only do one side at a time. So I have to find a way to stack them out of the way while the glue dries.

I’ve gotten some things done with the container gardening… if you recall, I am attempting to grow tomatoes on the deck. So far, so good.

DSCN3564That’s The Kid’s one stalk of corn, he wanted to try just one. He also planted corn in his backyard garden.

DSCN3565We’ve had so much rain that everything is so green and the grass around the garden seems to have overtaken much of it. On this side, we attempted to build a small berm; the yard slopes such that when it rains, we end up with a little stream. I call it “a river runs through it’… and we’ve now figured out to avoid it, but with the ridiculous amount of rain we’ve had, it has widened. We experienced standing water around the seeds and we worried that nothing would ever sprout. But it does finally seem to have a foothold and now we have to watch the garden to make sure it gets the proper amount of water.

DSCN3575And speaking of growing… I rescued this little violet when it was on its last leg about a year/year and a half ago. Someone had left it behind when they left their job and it sat for nearly two weeks without being watered or attended to. It was sad. I brought it home and repotted it in a larger pot in MiracleGro soil. And almost immediately this thing started sprouting new leaves and flowers. It has given me almost nonstop flowers ever since. Don’t those little purple flowers just make your heart smile?DSCN3571On the other hand (or should I say knee), I am now forced to ice or apply heat to both knees almost daily. The ice packs that I’ve been using have started to leak and I never really liked them anyway. They never really fit right against my knees, consequently, I did not get the full benefit. I had seen this ice packs using rice and you can both heat them up or cool them down.DSCN3572 I actually had bought two bags of rice awhile back and with so little crafting time, I thought maybe if I just cranked out a few smaller projects, I might feel like I am accomplishing something. The project is simple enough… I would cut some muslin fabric and sew the edges together leaving one open side; to keep the rice from bunching up on one end or the other, I added some baffles. Then using soft fleece, I made each one a cover. I used velcro for the opening – this way if the covers get dirty or wet, then can just be thrown into the washer/dryer.

Front of Denim Hems BagSo, I’ve also attempted to use up some of the denim that I cut up a few weeks ago. The main bulk of the denim is going into one or the other of two main projects: a braided rag rug and reupholstering a wing chair.

That leaves me with pant leg hems (2 per each pair of jeans), back pockets (2 per) and a waistband. So, I took the plastic bag of hems and sat down in front of the sewing machine and started sewing them together. Once I had a sizable piece of fabric, it hit me… this would make a terrific all purpose bag!

Back of Denim Hems BagI have always been a fan of canvas bags – we use them for groceries and I carry them into many places that I shop. I had found one that was about the right size of the piece that I had sewn, so opted to use it as sort of a lining. With it in place, I then used a waistband to finish the bag.

I found an older bag that had a beautiful handle and removed the rivets that were holding the handle in place. I cut four pieces of leather as the support of the handles. I couldn’t get the rivets to hold with my home kit, so I’ve opted to find some place that does leather work. I also want this place to stitch the bag pocket, as there is too many layers for my sewing machine. That is the thing with denim, it gets too thick very quickly. In fact, during this entire process, I broke 18 needles! And these needles were specifically for denim and other heavy projects. It is just as you work, the layers can add up very quickly… especially when you’re talking about seams!

DSCN3570On the other end of the sewing spectrum, I’ve been doing some hand sewing. I just start a with a circle of felt – whatever color I have on hand – and start adding stitches and have been using beads on many of the pieces. I didn’t have a specific project in mind, but while perusing Pinterest, I saw some pin cushions that looked similar. So, violá!

DSCN3569Won’t these be the most adorable little pin cushions?

DSCN3568And the great thing about this, is, this will give me a chance to use up much of my scrap felt. I can sit and watch television and stitch to my heart’s content. (Someday I will get back to working on my My Huge Cross Stitch Project. I just had to take a break from it for a while.)DSCN3567And the last little project… My son built this in his wood shop class a couple of years ago and I never knew exactly what to do with it. But working lately in my home office lately has shown that for the health of my knees, I need to have my feet elevated. And what better way to do it than with this little footstool! I painted it my signature red and I had just enough fabric to cover the foam that I added (material is left over from re-cover my dining room chairs and pillow covers for the couch). Don’t you just love it when things come together?VioletsSo, I am going to leave you with another shot of my happy little violets!

julie

Another Saga in The Never Ending List of Projects

I feel like I haven’t written anything in a long time, and if you don’t count the last two quick posts about my “ible”, it has been more than a week. Doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten things done though. I think I may just be getting a little lazy about documenting it.

So, a couple of previously finished pieces have been sold and making a bit of room in both the house and the garage. It almost seems that there is a ebb and flow to how the pieces sell. I will have a few pieces for a while, adding to them as I complete projects and then all of a sudden a bunch of things will sell. But sell they have and I am happy to have some cash to begin new projects.

First up, I wanted to provide an update on our gardening. We finally had a break from the rain and we were able to get the corn planted into the garden. We stacked grass clumps around the two sides to help deter the little rain stream that is created every time it rains. We also planted additional seed, such that we could get some kind of result.

2015-06-05 17.46.42

The Kid wanted to keep one stalk in a bucket, sort of as a control subject. I like to have him take an interest in something other than his constant computer use. I am trying with all my might to make him a well rounded young man.

My tomatoes have also been transplanted into their containers. Its has been a hit or miss with the watering so thankfully I started with more starts than I will eventually need.

I still need to complete my plan for the supporting structure, what I plan to use in place of tomato cages. They are still quite little, so I have some time.

The next project that I am working on is another ‘suitcase’ dresser. I love these and have quite a bit of the materials on hand for them. They always seem to sell quickly, too. This one I opted to paint the box in the aubergine color (used on the little Aubergine Victrola cabinet remake).

2015-06-12 18.45.17And here are the drawers in progress…

One of the things I love the most about this particular project is that it allows so much creativity! There is something deeply satisfying about picking out the fabric, being able to look and touch all the different colors, weights, weaves and styles. And because I use a heavier fabric – usually used in upholstery – it is a whole new set of fabrics.

The particular dresser that I had picked up, wasn’t the best quality. In fact, the drawer fronts were molded plastic! I only found this out but attempting to remove the quirky design on all of the drawers. I am so mad at myself for not taking a “before” photo! These two dressers sort of resemble the style of the drawers – not exactly, but it gives you an idea of what it looked like:

The drawer fronts, once I removed the molded plastic section – turned out to be nothing but 1/2″ fiberboard (and not in very good shape with what it took to remove the drawer front). It took a few days of thinking, considering and exploring, and in the end I opted to just leave the fronts and cover it with a solid piece of 1/4″ high quality plywood. This would make it perfect for then doing the fabric “suitcase” fronts.

2015-06-07 17.43.56I also have been working on the very beautiful waterfall dresser. I had high hopes when I bought it that the veneer breaks could be repaired and  with only a little effort, it could be restored to its natural beauty.

Unfortunately, as I started attempting to re-glue the veneer, it literally just fell off. All the drawers were the same and I was just heartbroken! Unfortunately, after sitting in garages and basements, the elements were just more than that poor veneer could deal with. In my estimation and my opinion, the veneer – and more importantly the glue used to secure it – just dries out. There was just enough contact to make getting it off in single pieces impossible. If it had, I could have simply reattached all the pieces. It was just not to be. Sadly.

So, now it is getting updated to a gorgeous ivory – Toasted Marshmallow, to be exact – and it will get new hardware. Oh, did I mention that the previous hardware on this dresser was immaculate! Not a scratch or break anywhere. I don’t think that hardware really matches the style of the dresser once it was repainted though. I opted to list it on eBay and they sold for $65!

I opted instead, to use hardware that I have in my arsenal. I often find hardware at different stores and yard sales and estate sales. Sometimes the hardware comes from an older piece of furniture that I rescued. In this case, these came from my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If you live close to one, you should check them out. And often as they get new donations all the time. And you are helping your community to boot!

2015-06-12 18.45.48I had ten in two different styles that I wanted to ‘try out’. The dresser is impressive and needed something ‘large’ to compliment it. The style closer to you in the photo has won. I love this color, it is a shiny gold with a hint of pink – it is actually named “Rose Gold” (from Rust-Oleum). You can see in the corner of the photo a wood applique that I am also installing on the dresser. It too was painted.

2015-06-12 18.45.56A closer look… I love the sparkles! Its beautiful in a quiet sort of way.

2015-06-07 17.26.36Here is the cabinet ready for primer and then paint:

2015-06-12 18.45.33As I mentioned, the veneer just fell off the drawer fronts, but the veneer on the body was in pretty good shape. I only had to patch two small areas, one on either side. Here is the dresser following its third coat of paint.

Here are the drawers, prep’d and ready for painting. And with three coats of paint that followed a primer layer.

2015-06-05 22.17.43One last project in the works. These are the inner seams from all those pairs of jeans that I took apart. I curled them up and secured with a pin temporarily. I think that this will make a very interesting rug and have to figure out how to permanently secure them and attach them to a rug backing. You see in the lower right hand corner of the photo that I have some not currently curled and am hoping to use them to fill in some of the blank areas in the form of little curlicues.Denim Circle3There is a little more work to be done, obviously. This is one of the side projects of taking apart all of those pairs of jeans. I also started the project I hinted about in the deconstructing post. The problem is that working with so many layers in seams with only a standard sewing machine is that needles break. A lot. I went through 12 before I decided to order some heavy duty needles online and will wait to finish up when they arrive.

2015-06-05 17.46.50I found this little guy sprouting up from between boards in the back deck. I love how nature does what she wants! I pulled him up carefully (along with some from the front) and planted them in a long planter box on the back deck. I really would like to have tons and tons of trees on the property. And I love an underdog!

julie

Fabric Storage and Organization: Reducing Exposure to Sunlight

Recently I read a couple a handful of storage methods for quilters and their fabric. There are as many different approaches to how this is handled, as many ideas as there are quilters.

Well, I’d like to add my storage plan to the mix. Much as I love the site of fabric, I know that it is not conducive to maintaining colors in fabrics, to allowing your fabric to be exposed to light, especially the rays of the sun. But the plan also needs to keep your fabrics close at hand and easy to get to. Allow you to be able to view your fabrics as a whole while still protecting it.

I’ve seen organizing from many different perspectives, such as style, patterns, colors, even sorted by the amount of fabric. Some store fabric in baskets, plastic containers, drawers and on shelves. The possibilities are endless and many decisions are based on a number of factors, such as how much fabric is being stored, how much of each fabric, how much money a quilter has to spend and also how quickly the fabric is used.

I, myself, am a collector. I have often said that I could quit buying fabric and still have enough to make quilts until I die and will still have one helluva estate sale! My quilting room has been dubbed “little JoAnn’s” as some days it seems that I have enough fabric to start my own store. I have a saying on the wall of my quilt room that reads:

Definition of a Quilter:

1. Knows what a ‘fat quarter’ is.

2. Has at least 5 projects going at once

3. Owns 65,000 yards of fabric

Well, folks, that describes me! So, let me show you how I handle my “65,000 yards”: 2015-05-24 17.56.14My quilting room is actually a converted bedroom. For resale, I didn’t want to eliminate the closet, so I converted it with storage units. On the left wall, there are both drawer units plus open shelving.

2015-05-24 17.56.25I found the baskets and they worked perfectly for this purpose, as they were the right depth as the cabinet and for nine inches of fabric (basically a quarter of a yard). They help reduce the small amount of sunlight and keep things nice and organized.  And you can see the color of the fabrics through the holes in the front, which also allow air flow around the material. And above all else, I close the closet door, leaving the fabrics in total darkness. No fading allowed here!2015-05-24 17.56.35The drawers slide in and out quite nicely and I can transport a single basket to the cutting table and back. 2015-05-24 17.56.01Here you can see the basket conveniently sitting on the cutting table. I can pull fabrics and cut what I need, then return it to the basket and the basket goes back into the closet. Almost all of the small pieces of fabric are stored here.

Any larger size, including fabric still on bolts, go into the extensive cabinetry that I had made and installed when we first built the house.

DSCN0186I have, in an earlier post, shown you my wonderful quilting room, but did not share with you what was stored in them.

2015-05-24 17.58.33From left to right: The first cabinet is black, white and black & white fabrics. The cabinets, as indicated previously, were custom built to be the exact depth of a bolt of fabric, give or take.

2015-05-24 17.57.17I tend to buy fabrics when they are on sale or clearance and keeping it on the bolts, not only keeps the fabric more organized but also cuts down on the creases from folding. Larger cuts of fabric go on the top shelves. I also moved quite a bit of this when we migrated from California to Missouri and it was so much easier on the bolts.2015-05-24 17.57.28The last cabinet contains most of my solids on the shelf and my reds and pinks on bolts. Isn’t this just wonderful? Sometimes I like to go up and open all the doors and then go through all of the fabric and admire the colors and patterns.2015-05-24 17.59.22And last, but not least, these boxes lined up across the east wall contains pre-cut squares; I most usually use 2″, 3″ 4″, 5″ and 6″. One of my favorite sizes is 2″ x 6″, perfect for the ‘fence rails’ or ‘braided’ patterns. I also store scrappy squares that I complete as I have time and scraps.So, I am interested in how you store your fabric; do you store it by color or size or something else? How much fabric do you have on hand at any one time. Is it more difficult to use up your stash than to buy more? Share your ideas!julie

OK, I Admit It… I Googled Myself! Sort of…

Something recently came across my desktop that indicated that one of my photographs that I have included in this blog had ended up on Pinterest without a link back to my site.

That gave me some thought. I had started to design a logo that I could print across photos that I posted, but then I thought it would just mean more work for me to add the logo to each and every one of my photos. And if people love the work that I show and want to re-pin it, I say ‘go for it’.

So, first I googled “suitcase dresser” and I got this:

Suitcase DresserSo my photos showed up three times in the first three rows. Woot!

Next, I googled ‘pink ombre dresser’ and I was not only first and second, but appeared five times in the first three rows!pink ombre dresserSo, back to actual projects! I did finish two more dressers, but to everyone’s credit, it isn’t very exciting. I’ve done this over and over and you know what? They are best sellers. They always are so adorable in any girl’s room, even if that girl isn’t so little!

I had opted to paint a dresser that isn’t up to my normal standards, I had picked it up debating whether to try another style, but it turned out that the idea wasn’t going to work. Since I was painting another dresser in the ombre style, I just did both at the same time.

Before&AfterWhiteDresserApologies for the bad lighting, but we had just gotten the “jewelry” installed and was late in the afternoon. But you get the idea. It was pretty much rote painting and I got The Kid to help this time. Primed, two coats of paint and added the handles.

Speaking of handles, I went online and ordered some new handles. I thought that they were a little bigger in diameter, but they are pretty. And they are appropriate for the intended buyers.

HandleSo, the other dresser was similar. I love when I get a five drawer dresser, then I get to use six shades of pink! So, not much to tell, so I will just show you photos:

Before&After PurpleYou can see that I actually have been getting pieces from a local auction site. They are sporadic as far as including furniture, but when they do, its pretty good quality stuff.2015-04-02 19.54.292015-04-22 18.09.462015-04-02 19.53.47 2015-04-19 13.56.40Most of the pieces need some TLC when we pick them up. Drawers need strengthening and re-glued. Some pieces almost need to be rebuilt, all of them needed sanding and spot repairs. But when the bones are good, it is worth it.

So, they we are. Next up is to finish the two benches we’ve been working on. They are being built using two sets of head and foot boards and painted red with stained seats. I absolutely hate working with red paint – not for the color itself, but for whatever reason this time, is requiring more coats of paint than anything I have done painted before. And I’ve done a lot of projects in red!

julie

Another Round of Dressers and Benches

Sometimes it seems that if I didn’t stay organized, I could easily be tempted to just kick back on the couch and watch streaming movies and work on my cross stitch. And speaking of, I have managed to get more completed – I figure I am about 30 – 35% completed. I have to make sure that I did a little work on it continuously, I don’t want it to go unfinished.

Today, The Kid and I worked on the head- and foot-boards, turning them into benches. They are turning out pretty cool, although I am having some difficulty in figuring out what color to paint them. I briefly entertained the idea of sanding them down and refinishing them, but they have those round spindles and I don’t particularly enjoying sanding, staining or painting anything round… so, painting it is.

2015-03-26 13.41.54I picked these up in an auction for a mere ten dollars. I totally could see the potential. I am now getting probably thirty or forty percent of my pieces through this auction business.

2015-04-02 19.53.18I love working with The Kid. He is so talented when it comes to wood working and he has experience with all different tools. Thankfully, we continue to purchase better and new tools all the time; with funds from sales of finished products.

6961-1This piece is a very nice dresser purchased from the auction site. After we started taking the drawers out, we found that three out of the five drawers needed serious attention. In fact, on the of the drawers actually came in five pieces; thankfully all of the pieces were there and in good shape, just a matter of gluing it all back together.

2015-04-02 19.53.47Tomorrow I get to start sanding. This purple paint on the cabinet and drawer fronts is peeling badly and I need to get all of that knocked down before I can start priming.

Another little project that I’ve been working on is another faux stained glass. I keep an eye out for interesting material; mirrors, glass, unique wood pieces, what have you. This project was a result of a large slab of glass I picked up.

First, I picked out some wonderful clip art, worked with it a bit until I had a design I liked. Then had the design printed onto a full size sheet of paper and laid the glass on top. (This has been sitting on my kitchen island for at least two weeks and I am sure that my family is getting tired or working around it!)3Hearts 17.5x43

Then it was a matter of laying down the faux leading… this turned out to be a lot of exacting work. I made it a point to lay a few pieces every time I came into the kitchen.2015-03-26 15.51.18

Finally! The leading is done. Whew! I thought I would know what colors I would want to finish this piece with by the time I got to this point, but I am conflicted on whether doing them all red or all pink. Or maybe one pink and one red and one white. Perhaps two red and one pink? I am still thinking about it.

DSCN3236And speaking of colors, here is how the paint chip cards look in the morning light. While I was leaning to the left bottom color in evening light, this morning I am leaning towards the right middle color this morning. I am planning to just live with the chips for a while. Would love to hear your comments!

photoWell, I need to update tomorrow’s list and get ready to hit the hay.

julie

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.

2015-03-24 16.12.15

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

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.

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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

End of the Year: Projects Six and Seven

I think these are the last two projects to report on. Geez, if I could only get them all sold, I’d have both my entry hall and garage back!

The last two projects are a fall back to the Midnight Mosaic blue that I used on the two drawer antique dresser a while back. You can see it here:

Project Six: Buffet Makeover

photo 1This photo is actually flipped upside down so that you can get an idea of what it looked like. We picked it up free from Craigslist, as it had been used for a child’s art center or some such thing.

photo 4The outside was covered with sticky letters, which were quite a chore to scrape off, making sure to remove all of the adhesive.

DSCN2895I sanded the top to remove the old finishing. Trust me, I built some great muscles doing this! But under all of that was beautiful grain.
DSCN2909Again, as with all of the blue pieces, the top was stained with a natural color and sealed with three coats of polyurethane. The base was painted the Midnight Mosaic blue. The Kid did the honors of placing the brushed nickel cup pulls. I think this piece turned out exceptional.DSCN3021

Project Six: Coffee Table Makeover

The final makeover piece, a beautiful sofa table or coffee table. This was acquired in an auction some months ago. It was quite a nice piece with the exception of some peeling veneer on both sides of the drawer. I was able to repair it, but it wouldn’t hold up to re-staining, but would work with being painted.

DSCN2904Once again, Midnight Mosaic blue was the star. Not only did I much love the hue, the paint flowed nicely and adhered well. As with the other blue pieces, again the top was stained and sealed.

DSCN3014This piece did not originally have a knob or handle, but in keeping with the style, The Kid placed a single brushed nickel cup pull in the center of the drawer.

With this, I have wrapped up all of the projects that I had started. And just in time to ring in the new year!

3D-Happy-New-Year-2015May your festivities be joyous and safe! See you next year!

julie

End of the Year: Projects Two, Three, Four and Five(ish)

In order to get everything written in the last two days that still remain in this year, I am going to have to include more than one; so much for spreading them out! LOL! So…

Project Two: Rustic Bench from Two Footboards

I have wanted to do this for so long, I can’t even remember. I never seem to find the right headboard or footboards to suit my taste. Recently in picking up pieces from Craigslist, these footboards were included in the pile (!), so I opted to do a test run using them.

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The pieces had an odd number of spindles, so we cut almost in half, just each side of the middle dowel. Then we set it up to see how it would look:

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It was easily assembled, with four screws for each side. We used a countersink bit so that the screw heads were well concealed. As this was quickly turning out to be child sized, I wanted it to be safe for little fingers.

The Kid took the lead on this, God bless that kid. He added supports and then included the board for the seat. My suggestion of putting a smooth lip on the front of the seat was done by way of a router.

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It was then the usual process: primer and three coats of paint. Since we were working on a multitude of pink projects, it just made sense to include this one as well.
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I wanted to add a big cushy pad, but a 39 inch piece of foam was going to cost almost $40, so I went with a little thinner pad (using quilt batting) and a multi-pink colored piece of fleece. In the end, I think it came out okay, but the next project like this, I hope to have a little more fanciful head/foot boards. I’d like to include on in my master bedroom makeover.

Project Three: Turning a Sad Little Desk into a Vanity

You cannot believe how many times The Kid suggested that we junk this piece or throw it away. :-) In the rush of things, I again, forgot to take the ‘before’ photo. This is almost it, although I had already removed the drawers and started working on them.

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The idea from the get-go was to turn this little desk into a vanity. It would entail simply moving the middle drawer down a few inches. It was pretty easy, these older pieces were assembled with minimal glue. Once the top was removed, it only took removing four little screws and it all came apart.

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With a few well placed holes, the whole drawer unit went right back into the lowered space. Using the existing desktop, a piece was cut to fit and placed. Edges were given rounded edges – much like the bench above.

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The remaining sections of the top were also attached and a brace across the back to help stabilize it and make it more sturdy. Then, the usual, the 3 P’s: patching, primer and paint!

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As a side note, the drawers all required new fronts. Once I started sanding them, the veneer had become so thin, they simply disappeared! A piece of paintable veneer was applied to each drawers front with glue, sanded to make the edges even before prep for painting.

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I have this little vanity mirror picked up in my Craigslist travels. It doesn’t exactly match the style of the vanity, but with the paint style, it could. I will offer it to whomever is interested in the vanity at no extra charge, so that the vanity does have a mirror.

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Either way, I think it would be so cure in a little girl’s room!

Project Four: A Straightforward Repainting of a Chest of Drawers

Last year, I had a young couple purchase an ombré dresser in blue for their newborn son. She contacted me recently for another in pink for the upcoming arrival of her baby girl!

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I was able to procure a very nice chest of drawers – manufactured by Broyhill – and although it isn’t exactly the quality of furniture I am used to working on – but The Kid put some extra care into beefing up the drawers, making sure they slide well.DSCN3002

Normally, I would paint the cabinet in the blush pink, but the request was made to paint it white instead. I love the new white paint that I have been using, it has a really high gloss finish – what is called ‘mirror finish’. I absolutely love it!DSCN3001

I keep going back and forth on that little ribbon that bounces playfully between the second and third drawers. I want to paint it some color of pink, but not sure which. And there is another part of me that just likes it like it is, more subtle.DSCN3000 copy

It could easily be done at any time, but easily undone. So we’ll see!

One last thing, sort of a “Project Five-ish” :-)

Project Five: Painting a Large Mirror in Pink

A while back, I purchased three fantastic large mirrors regularly price at $200 for a mere $15, due to the frames being all scratched and dinged. Two were painted and shipped out with their respective victrola upcycles, but a third one remained unclaimed.Square Pink Mirror

I thought with all the pink pieces being completed, any one of them could use a big beautiful mirror!

Whew! So that does it for all the pink pieces. Tomorrow, the last day of 2014, will be a quick rundown of the ‘blue’ pieces. Thanks for hanging in to the very end!

julie

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