Dresser Conversion to Dress Up Cabinet

Tonight’s reveal was inspired by a friend’s little girl who loves to play dress up. Her mom indulges her with a more than abundant number of costumes, dresses and accessories. The mom’s main complaint? An easy way to store and organize all of them and still let the little one get to them easily.

I’ve seen this adaptation before. Simple enough. I recently picked up a decent little dresser that I thought would turn into just this handy play center.photo 13I know I had a better photo of the dresser, but after hours of searching my computers, I can’t seem to locate it/them. (Another project on the list: organizing and backup of all my photos!)

Anyway, it was a pretty quick transition – simply removed the top three drawers and their tracks. The dresser had a simple construction and side tracks, so once those were removed, it was just a matter of adding a ‘bottom’ just above the bottom drawer. The Kid is getting so good at understanding and following my absurd instructions lately, its kind of scary!

Once he had that in, it was just a matter of priming and painting. This one was painted all in the lightest of the pink shades – blush pink – so, no taping or switching of rollers or brushes. Once that was done, a standard closet rod was added (so many leftover from previous closet remodels) and then picked out a pretty drawer pull. And it was done!

2015-11-14 13.29.48As you can see, it matches the other pieces, this beautiful shade of pink is so subtle yet so feminine.2015-11-14 13.30.06The newer construction of the piece means a clean simple interior on easy gliding tracks.2015-11-14 13.30.16I love this hardware… especially combined with the back plate. Simple yet elegant!2015-11-14 13.30.32Small children-sized hangers included! :-)

This piece sold almost as quickly as I had it listed. I had an idea that at this time of the year, it might be a popular gift. I may try and do more of these before Christmas.


A Fairy Tale Bedroom Set in Pink Ombré

So I managed to dig deep for some ambition and found a little. I coaxed The Kid into helping and we spent the better part of the morning photographing finished projects. So now I just have to get them written now.

Today’s reveal is actually two pieces. Once again, I have reverted back to my other signature painting style in five or six shades of pink. It seems to be a style that sells easily and quickly and has a timeless sort of appeal. What little girl wouldn’t love to be surrounded in a sea of pink?

It started with the acquisition of an old headboard and foot board. I originally planned to turn it into one of those benches that are so popular, but once I started looking it over, I realized what solid pieces these were and how beautiful they could become. I hunted for sideboards and found a pair, but wasn’t until they were primed did I realize that they had the wrong connecting hardware. Back to the hunt. I actually had to place a “wanted” ad for the pieces specifically asking for the right hardware. Who knew that there were more than one design?

I finally did find the pieces I needed – along with another headboard and foot board. I almost didn’t want to have to deconstruct the side boards, but they were in pretty rough shape. I am planning to use the head and foot boards to make that originally planned bench seat.

In the meantime, the hardware was attached to new 1 x 6’s and a piece added to act as a lip to hold either a box spring or slats for the mattress. Then everything was primed… you can see a couple of other projects in the following photo as well:

photo 2Following the primer, the base sections of the headboard was painted in the standard base color… the pink in its lightest hue. Then it was on to painstakingly hand painting each post a different shade of pink.

IMG_0434The fifth and darkest shade was reserved for the side boards. I had specifically purchased appliqués to use on the both the headboard and foot board, the wide expanse of plain color seemed a bit too plain for me. The appliqués when arrived were a bit smaller than anticipated, apparently I was thinking inches but they were actually centimeters, but I opted to use them anyway. I like the way they turned out to be ‘dainty’ in the end.

The matching dresser was a great accidental find and apparently I was so excited that I forgot to take any pictures of it before working on it. It was found in an abandoned farm house and had a rather extended family of mice living in the drawers. It had some water damage to the drawers as well and it took a lot of sanding, gluing and strengthening to bring this piece back to its original glory. Originally, the dresser had wood wheels, but water, weather and time had degraded them past saving, so they were simply removed. I love the idea of how tall this piece initially stood.

I sanded every surface, including the drawer sides and bottoms and it was almost like building from scratch considering the amount of glue that was used to put it back together. A lot of love and sweat went into restoring this piece. I think that is why I opted to use the pink ombré paint on the dresser. Its such a classic look that I knew it was the right decision.

2015-11-14 13.23.58 2015-11-14 13.25.45And here is photographs of the bed frame:

2015-11-14 13.23.02

The bed and the dresser… note the styles really compliment each other without being an exact match. Both have those charming appliqués which are just the icing on these cakes!2015-11-14 13.23.12

A little tough to see but the same appliqué on the headboard also appears in the same place on the foot board.2015-11-14 13.23.18

The great design of the bed frame is that it is adjustable for both a full and a queen sized mattress without any work, other than moving the side boards to the separate set of slots.2015-11-14 13.23.44A shot of the foot board appliqué. The lighter two colors of pink were used on the posts on the foot board and the two lighter on the headboard posts. The sideboards have the darkest color.

2015-11-14 13.22.49

I sometimes wished that I had a daughter that I could have spoiled with this type of bedroom furnishings. Perhaps she would have been more like me growing up and be a tomboy and hated everything pink (like me!). I love being able to provide this to some other lucky little girl. I can see this being a very nice Christmas present!

Here it is stored and waiting delivery!

photo 14A few additional photos. It was a beautiful day here in the Midwest, with great sunshine. Felt great to get these photos taken!

I used hardware that I had salvaged from a previous piece and painted light pink. The top drawer received two glass knobs that had just the slightest pink hue to them. Perfect jewelry to this wonderful piece.

I did want to point out one unique feature that I was unable to completely erase while restoring this piece. I like to think of it as the signature of the former occupants and sort of a fairy tale component of the magic in these pieces. You see there are little nibble marks across the bottom of the top drawer face…

Mouse Bites Pink Mousejulie

Pink Ombré, Er… Upside Down?

I had one more piece to finish and wouldn’t you know it, I am all out of my base color (pink blush). So, I opted to go bolder, and use a color that doesn’t get used a whole lot. It is my number five color, so it only gets used when there are at least five drawers, which many times they aren’t. So for this little four drawer beauty, I did the cabinet with the number five color and then four drawers in the “normal” colors.

DSCN3729Isn’t it just adorable? I love when I pick up pieces like this, made sometime in the forties, they are just the minimum of materials, light and well built. And the classic white ceramic knobs just pop on these colors!

A while back, I had created what I called a ‘bill pay center’ from a turn of the century Victrola cabinet which I ended up selling. You can read about it here:


So, to replace it, I updated a new hi-fi cabinet. I actually like it better, I think the newer styling – I’m thinking fifties, maybe sixties – and I accented the speaker covers with a simple fabric. But it is just gorgeous and goes really well in my space.

DSCN3724One might think I like red! ;-)  The wood cover cleaned up beautifully with a good sanding and a light coat of varnish. It is just gorgeous! A couple more shots as I close today’s post:

And one more of the little dresser:

DSCN3730(My plants are just growing wild!)


Pink, Pink, Pink and More Pink! (Can You Stand A Little More?)

A few more pieces of pink. I hope you can stand it. Just a little more.


I repainted the night stand (shown on the most left in the photo above) to match the other night stand. The two dressers were project pieces – the intent of six drawer dresser when I picked it up was to separate it into two smaller dressers, but I think The Kid and I were just getting tired of the work and opted to sell it as originally designed.

Here are some more photos:

We did take the smaller dresser and add the trim around the base and the applique to give it a little more oomph, but structurally it is a great piece.DSCN3722

DSCN3607An update to the vanity: I also took an old wooden chair, cut it down, painted it and put the softest pink fabric (I am always amazed at how soft some of the new blended fabrics are!) on the seat and added it to the vanity. Perfect!

I am getting so bad about not taking the “before” photos as of late. I have one more dresser that is almost completed, and after that, I think I will work with something else for a while. Do you ever get tired of working with a single design/color scheme? I think I am there with the ombré pinks. Even though I have a lot of pink paints left, I think it will go on the back burner for a while.

There is one last piece to debut tomorrow and I already have one furniture project well underway. And I’ve been doing some more beadwork. I also have (more than) enough denim to start working on the rag rug. Oh and to upholster three chairs (with denim)! I am going to start with one and see if I can do it and if I enjoy it. I may just re-give away the other chairs if I find I don’t have a knack for upholstery.

Okay, time to ice the knees and enjoy my Sunday!


From Pink to Black! A Dresser Makeover

Second only to the pink ombré color scheme, is my favorite color black. It is actually called “Deep Space” and has just a hint of blue in it. In the semi-gloss finish, it just makes pieces absolutely stunning!

I first used this when we re-decorated The Kid’s room. The room had been first decorated when we moved here from California. At that time, being nine and all, he was fascinated by everything to do with the military service, but aren’t most little boys? Two walls (and a closet wall) were painted with camouflage  in three colors over the base coat of tan. But about the time of his 16th birthday, he had grown tired of the scheme and wanted something more “grown up”. Thus was born the “industrial chic” look.

DSCN0828I really loved the way this turned out. We used pipe fittings for the handles of this converted sideboard, effectively making it a great entertainment center. He has flat panels for gaming systems as well as television. The drawers and cabinets provide a lot of room for the games and controllers and manuals. The point of all of this was to show you the beauty of this color. (If you’d like to see more and the final reveal, you can The Kid’s Room Unveiling.)

Recently, I ran across an ad on Craigslist listing some free furniture. We were quick to head over there.


Looks like some good stuff, right? Well, it was, in fact it got better after we got there. Some of these pieces were already gone, but I did get the chair and the side table (the two most left pieces). But as we pulled up, the woman living next door came out to meet us and told us that she was coordinating the removal of everything from the house, as the renter that lived there had died.

She escorted us into the house and we were able to get an old 50’s blonde dresser with mirror and a blonde desk (which the chair in the picture above accompanied). I was trying not to be too greedy, as there had been someone else who was returning for other pieces. We didn’t have room for everything in a single trip, so we agreed to return the next day. I figured by then we could probably have whatever was left!

So, here is the dresser as we picked it up:


It was in absolutely great shape for its age… although the drawer tracks needed a little work. Oh, and there was some damage to the back where the mirror was supposed to be attached; it looked as if this piece didn’t originally have a mirror due to the damage. Glue, sanding and priming were the first order of business.

It sat a while as I tried to decide what to do with it, although really not long at all. As I was arranging and taking inventory of what paint colors I had available, I found a brand new, unopened can of the “Deep Space” black. It was like lightning had struck!

DSCN3703Didn’t that turn out beautifully? We had originally wanted to re-insert the metal decoration but found that the space for them had too much paint to accommodate them. We spent a little time trying to clear the channels, but in the end it was going to completely too much work. I added fairly simple knobs in a silver finish as the final touch. And in the end, I love the clean way it presents.

This is another of “those colors” that just don’t photograph to show the true depth of the color. In person, this is just majestic! The same with my son’s piece.

I was almost finished working on this piece, got the photos and writing the text when it occurred to me that I forgot to show the mirror! Its a wonderful frame-less mirror with rounded corners, which attaches to the back of the dresser. I am thinking now, that I don’t think I will include the mirror. I suspect that this would most likely sell to a man and am pretty sure the mirror would just be unnecessary. Maybe I will hang onto it for a future piece.

I am on the last steps to several projects, so this week the blog posts will occur with more frequency.



Overdosing on Pink? Can’t Happen!

I love pink. It is such a happy little color and is feminine and yet, can be tough. I wear lots of pink. Which is kind of funny, since growing up surrounded by brothers, the last thing I wanted was to be “girly”. My mom tried a few times, but it just wasn’t going to happen for me. I remember one time she hung these gauzy pink curtains in my room and I just hated them. They didn’t hang there long – not sure what happened to them, but I am sure my complaints about them quickly became old. I was a tomboy from the get go and still am, I guess. But I like pink a little more now. (Not enough to decorate my bedroom with it, but love working with it!)

So, I had mentioned in an earlier post that we restocked the garage with furniture pieces. I am in the midst of doing a little test: I want to see if I can really earn enough money from the furniture makeovers and projects to allow me to skip the normal ‘nine to five’. I’ve never been one to sit around all day, but this sabbatical has shown me that I am a little more ready for the slower pace, even if I am not ready to actually “retire”.

So, in this experiment, the first pieces to be completed and be listed for sale are, of course, pink. There is something so sweet about the pink ombré color style that just appeals to people. It is so happy and fun! So, here we go:

We actually picked up four of the pieces from one place. I love happy coincidences like this. My general approach to these giveaways is to be kind, considerate and make it convenient for the giver. So, by replying and telling her that I wanted the pieces and that I would be able to pick up at her convenience, I was the receiver! We scheduled the pickup for the next day at noon and when we arrived, we were greeted by two young men who helped us load. I love when things go like this… feels like good karma.

So, there was a six drawer dresser and a matching nightstand and another five drawer dresser also with a matching nightstand. We had picked up a four drawer dresser a couple of days before, so in all, these five pieces became a single project.

Everything was primed… previously, I had purchased a good primer and had it tinted pink. It turned out a little darker pink than I had really wanted, but it has turned out to be a great color; it is more than obvious if you’ve missed a spot!

DSCN3604Here was the garage following the priming. The weather has turned very hot and even our unusually cool garage has heated up. So much of the painting occurs either very late in the day or very early in the morning. It doesn’t take much to work up a good sweat!Five Before&After Three Before&After Four Before&After Two Before&After One Before&AfterThen it was just a matter of painting the bases and then I organized the drawers to be painted by color. One drawer on the six drawer dresser would have to be painted the same color as the base, since I have just the base and five colors. I did the same on its matching nightstand, well, to make it match!

As the drawers go, there was one drawer to be painted the base coat, five to be painted Pink 1, five to be painted Pink 2, four to be painted Pink 3, three to be painted Pink 4 and two to be painted in the deepest shade of Pink (5). I use Behr Paint from Home Depot.photoThese have been my much used paint colors. The base coat is the Barely Pink, skipped Be Mine and then used Scented Valentine, Pink Chintz, Springtime Bloom, Fuchsia Kiss and Hot Pink. I originally started out using a matte finish, as early on the sample colors only were available in matte. But as I progressed, I found that I preferred the High Gloss finish – not only did it add a shine to the pieces, but I believe it would be better as far as fingerprints go. I still roll on the paint, I love the soft finish it leaves behind.

Here are all five pieces completed. There are so many times I’d wished that I had a reason to keep these pieces (or simply make them for myself), but alas, a daughter is not to be. I am very happy with my son, and he let’s me decorate his room to my heart’s content, but there is nothing like these gorgeous shades of pink!

DSCN3629These five pieces aren’t exactly the same style but very close. I believe that they are circa 1950’s, and are mostly made of wood. The tall six drawer and its matching nightstand are Broyhill brand, so you know that they aDSCN3637re quality. I really like these pieces for a number of reason, including that they are sturdy and quality made yet inexpensive enough to appeal to folks on a budget. Making them over is a breeze and doing 5 pieces at the same time is like a small assembly line for me and The Kid.

Because we’ve done this before, we had all the paint and rollers ready to roll. For some odd reason, I had been on eBay and come across these round ceramic knobs and had ordered 30 of them (they came from four different Chinese vendors) and took a while to get here from overseas, but were ready and waiting to be installed on these pieces. Kind of a coincidence, as I needed 29 – I could have used the final one on the top five-drawer dresser (the right-most piece in the photo above) but elected to use these faux lock piece instead there as well as on the four drawer top drawer. I really kind of like them and will need to hunt down more of them. They were the original “dirty brass” color, which I have come to dislike a great deal. I think all of those old hardware pieces are just too common and cheap looking.

As a side note, I have collected an almost insane amount of old hardware. Most come with this familiar and ubiquitous “bat wing” pulls, which I have actually come to loathe. I have to find a way to unload these easily. Not only are they bulky, but they are heavy as well and sometimes trying to sell them online ends up costing the buyer more in shipping than the hardware itself is worth. As a consequence, they often do not sell.Batwing Dresser HandlesI love to use updated hardware on the furniture pieces that I refinish. And I love the simplicity of the ceramic handles that I’ve used here and the ones I have used previously, which are just slightly different. But the pop of the white against the pinks are wonderful, especially the darker pinks.

Okay, I’ve rambled on enough for today. I still need to write the ads to list the furniture for sale. Wish me luck that they go quickly. I already have another five projects started in the garage… but these will be other than pink! I am even thinking of some black!


PS…for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products or stores in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share.

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!


Ivory Dresser, Thunderstorms and a Nap

Although today was one of those laid back kind of days. I did manage to finish one project and continue making strides on another one.

2015-05-14 17.25.52I had shown you the progress on this dresser previously. I picked it up from CraigsList for a whopping twenty bucks, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I had every intention of restoring this piece to its original glory, I had enough old veneer to replace the few places that were missing.

I was so excited about starting work on this one. That excitement soon turned to sadness, as I realized that this piece was not to be. As I started working on the drawers, lifting edges to squirt glue between the pieces, large chunks of veneer just came off in my hands. As I continued trying to re-glue, more and more pieces would loosen and fall off in big pieces.

As I continued, I realized that all of the drawers were in the same shape. So, I used the opportunity to harvest the veneer for future projects.

Fast forward to its completion. A solid layer of primer and three coats of semi-gloss latex paint in a sweet color called “Toasted Marshmallow”. I mean, that even sounds like it would be sweet to eat!


The Kid put the handles on this morning, and we moved it out into the garage and took photos. I love the way it turned out even if it meant that I couldn’t restore it.

DSCN3553 This is one of those pieces that I wished I could keep. I find that more and more I am more than happy with the way these pieces are turning out.

DSCN3552I added the little scroll at the top of the dresser, the original one had a small ornamental mirror. It was chipped on one corner and show some real age. The applique was painted the same color as the handles. I just love that shimmer!

DSCN3554So, this one is now ready to be listed on CraigsList. The garage is getting quite empty and the waiting projects are fewer and fewer. There is a part of me that thinks that this is subconscious that it might be time that I head back to work. (If you’re new here, I am a software engineer in my “other” life!)


Second Verse, Same As The First… and Charlie The Unicorn!

A little over a week ago, I easily sold both of the pink ombré dressers. I have done, literally dozens of those dressers and they never fail to surprise me how easily and quickly they sell. You can check them out all over my blog, but here is the latest pair.

Well, I had requests this time around to do complete a couple more. And wouldn’t you know that supplies of dressers have all but disappeared from CraigsList. I’ve been on the hunt big time trying to acquire suitable candidates with price tags that didn’t eat up all the profit.

Well, I did manage to put my hands on a couple of very nice dressers (or are they chest of drawers?) and we’ve started the all too familiar process. I am actually letting The Kid have a bit more hands on this time around, so that he is finally earning some of his keep!

In the meantime, I have finally finished my secret project. And I have to tell you, it turned out spectacularly! Now, I expect this project to be one of those that people feel pretty strongly about – either they will love it or absolutely hate it. I had the inspiration forever ago but I never could find just the right “animal head” to mount.

So, without further waiting, I give you, Charlie the Unicorn:

photo 2Okay, I admit it is a tiny bit disconcerting and the inspiration piece was a teddy bear, but I love this. There is the littlest inside joke that all my friends who worked on the Copia project will understand.

photo 2This is how “Charlie” started out. Quite a fascinating toy actually. I picked it up off CraigsList (of course) and it had a happy short stay in the living room for a while. As you may recall, the process of getting him to the final stage took some time.

photo 2It was quite an interesting “autopsy”, fascinating how this thing was put together. We never saw it work, but I suspect that it whinnied and blinked and “chewed” on its accompanying carrot. The little girl who owned the horse was apparently a little hard on it and broke it, pulled off one ear and the tail. It was decided that the little horse had to go.

photo 4

“Charlie” spent quite a bit of time on the floor in front of the television. The Kid found the thing to be quite disconcerting, as it would be the first thing he saw in the morning as he headed downstairs and made the first turn towards the kitchen. Once I managed to break all the connections and unscrew his support from the body, it almost was worse. Much like the scene from “Godfather” when the man wakes up to the horse’s head in his bed, this thing laid on the couch of the footstool for while as I figured out how to finish the project.

photo 3

So, with his head removed, I had to figure out how to mount the head on the board. I picked that beautiful board at an online auction, I knew it was destined for better things. It was tough, as well, working inside the neck of that thing, it really took two pairs of hands to make it work.

2015-05-12 15.18.10But I finally figured out how to get a support mounted to the base of the head. I held it and The Kid first screwed it into place and then we used expanding foam to fill up the space and to cement the connection with the head. Even though it is meant to hang on a wall, I wanted it to be rock solid and not just “fall off” some night.

Then it was just a matter of tucking the ends of his fur and mane to make it look nice and seamless.Then it was time to turn the horse into a unicorn. The little horse actually came with a brush and a carrot, both I suspect triggered some kind of response in the piece – like a whinny or a chewing motion. We never did get to see the little guy work.

I searched and searched for something to use as his horn. I thought that a glass ornament might be the perfect solution, but in this off season, I wasn’t finding anything. Especially the scale that I needed. Then I remembered his little carrot. After sawing off the ‘leaves’ end of the carrot and making it flat, I spray painted it ivory and following by a healthy sprinkling of glitter. Then a couple of sealant coats and it was perfect! I made a slit just large enough to wiggle the end through the fabric and glue it to the framework of his head. Viola! Charlie the Unicorn was born.

I think it turned out fantastic! I did notice, however, that once the head was successfully mounted, it was quite centered up and down, so I took the opportunity to add a little name plate. I had the little wood frame and it was just a matter of printing out his name with a great font.

Now I want to hang Charlie in a place where lots of people may see him. We have a six foot tall nutcracker that always stands in the foyer and I thought Charlie would be the perfect thing to stand guard with “Arthur”. The Kid is vehemently arguing that it be anywhere than a place that he will see it constantly. Even after completing it, he says it still gives him the “creeps”.

So, I find in my experience of crafting and making things, that sometimes you may do certain projects over and over (that is, after all, my bread and butter) to generate the money necessary to do the fun projects. I still am amazed every single time I finish an ombré dresser just how gorgeous – especially in the pinks – that style is.

So, am very interested in hearing what you think of Charlie. Please, take a minute to comment? After all, as another blogger that I respect, it is the way the audience shows me love!


Manners Are Still Being Taught (And I, For One, Am Thankful)

I was touched, today, by the kindness of a mother and her daughter. It would seem in this impersonal age of computers and email and smart phones, something as corny as manners are still being taught. And it warms my insides!

I wasn’t much of a ‘girly’ girl, considering that I really grew up with five brothers (more or less) and so pink and frilly and sparkly was never my thing. As a mother, I had just my son, so I never had the chance to do girly things for a child. Or live vicariously through a daughter.

As many of you know, I have a sister blog. Its all about creative stuff… and to continue to fund projects, I sell what I finish. So, often I will work on pieces that are pink and frilly and sparkly. Last week, I sold a dresser -painted in six shades of pink – to a mom and to my delight, she brought her daughter along with her to pick up the piece.

Lovely conversation followed. (Maybe I am ready to be around more people?) Morgen had an awesome story behind her name and I had remarked what an awesome name it was. I guess her age about 8 or 9, and she wasn’t shy and was quite engaging as well. So, once we had finished the transaction, I asked if she liked American Girl dolls. (And I haven’t found many at that age who aren’t just ga-ga over those dolls. Me, too, I guess, since I had actually built a doll house in proper proportions – that thing was nearly seven feet tall!). But I digress.

I have a sizable amount of inventory to a failed idea about creating affordable clothing, accessories and props for the doll line – called “Dolls and Cupcakes”. I thought it would be a great idea, as the actual American Girl doll line is crazy expensive. A pair of shoes for a doll can range upwards of $20 to $30! I hoped that I could fill that need.

Alas, it was not to be. So with Morgen and her mom standing in my foyer and finding that Morgen was, indeed, a doll enthusiast, I retrieved one of the two remaining beds that I had made and presented it to her. She loved it. I was happy to have a little more gone from the house.

Now, here is the crux of the story. Today, I received a thank you card from Morgen. Hand written on a cute card, she expressed her appreciation of not only the doll bed, but for the dresser as well. I was floored! In a good way! I cannot recall the last time that someone took the time and effort to actually thank me, and especially using the good old USPS and something as archaic as a stamp and a pencil!

What a joy! I loved that her mom went above and beyond to teach her daughter the proper etiquette and for Morgen to sit down and author the note.

Totally made my day. No, totally made my week and month! I am so warmed!

Okay, y’all can make fun of me, but this really meant a lot.

End of rant! :-)


PS If by chance you read my other blog, you may note that I posted the same story in both places. That’s how much I was pleased!!

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