Sewing Room Update: Finally Finished!

2014-10-27 19.52.50Well, I say “finished” but is anything ever really finished?

So, way back I showed you the new cabinet added to my sewing room. Because it came with a plain front – rather than the beadboard finish that is on every other cabinet in the room – I attempted to change the doors on this new cabinet to match.

At first, we tried to use the thin sheets you can get from any hardware or big box store.

First we cut them to size for each panel:

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Then we slathered on the glue, placed the beadboard and then weighted it down with whatever we had in the garage. You can see we used paint cans, a small anvil – even boxes of Diet Coke.

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2014-10-12 13.38.30After leaving it overnight, I came out the next morning to find that the glue hadn’t ‘stuck’ to the door panel, only the beadboard. Back to square one.

I did some investigating and ran across a wallpaper that looked like beadboard. It couldn’t hurt to try, right? I ordered one roll and waited. It finally came and attempt number two was started.

Since I wasn’t using much, I opted for premixed wallpaper paste. Using a four inch roller, I slathered it on heavy.

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Rolled the wallpaper on top and smoothed with my hands. Then using a sharp blade, I cut the piece to size using the edges of the trim.

2014-10-22 18.36.30Wiped up any excess paste…

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…did all three panels the same way…

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And here’s how it looked. Left it to dry overnight and went to sleep with my fingers crossed.

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Here is both doors (three panels):

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Came out the next morning and it looked great! Yay! However, as I kept looking at them, I felt like something wasn’t quite right. The bounding trim was very glossy but the paper had a matte finish. I thought I would just set them up and spray paint them glossy white.

Good idea, except the paper never really dried. It was just sort of sticky. In a room where dust and material fragments and threads would be everywhere, I knew this wouldn’t be good. I opted to spray it with a glossy clear sealant. Now, there was a chance here that this would only make things worse and not resolve the issue. But I figured I could just stick The Kid in the truck and point him in the direction of IKEA and get him to buy replacement doors. It was worth a try.

And it worked! Next morning the stickiness was gone and the doors were all shiny! Next step, installation.

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Doesn’t it look like we bought it that way? I love this idea and may be looking for more ways to use this!

A couple more pics of the new cabinet and some of the other changes as a result:

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Added some more “buttons” and one still not up yet:

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New shelf along the ceiling line… those boxes hold so much! I have completed quilt squares and lots and lots of cut pieces just waiting to be turned into more quilts.

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Had to turn the button board vertical to fit. Had to move some other pieces, like the tack board, to another part of the room. Added some new things as well to the mix, such as this “puzzle box” of sewing attachments made by Singer in the early part of the 20th century.

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Here is where the tack board went. The top is a photo of The Kid when we had just adopted our puppy.

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Here is an older shot of the cabinets along the back wall and turning up to the window. You can sort of make out the beadboard fronts.

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Okay, now that this is done… I need to turn my attention to the third stall of the garage. It is where my sports car needs to be housed during what we expect to be a pretty snowy winter. I need to get the STUFF either done or out of there. I really just want to play in my sewing room… I just bought that new embroidery machine and can’t wait to get started. But first things first.

Julie

Organizing More of the Garage

I find sometimes that if I have too much to do, I tend to find a reason to organize. This weekend, I was frustrated by trying to find the right hardware to finish my sewing room updates and overwhelmed by how much I had to do, I instead opted to tackle organizing the front five cabinets of my garage. I even just jumped on it so quickly that I was nearly completed before I realized that I hadn’t taken any “before” photos. Sigh. Trust me when I say these cabinets were a mess and this really had been a long time in coming.

When we moved into the house over ten years ago, I spent the first year making the house exactly as I wanted it. And that included cabinets from here to Sunday to keep things neat and organized. The garage was no exception. But time takes its toll and before you know it, things are a mess again.

I will just show you the “after” shots. We (me and The Kid) added shelves and additional organizers. Total cost about $200.

DSCN2746These are the existing cabinets… they run across the entire back of the garage. We had them installed by California Closets when we first arrived. There is nothing better than having cabinets with doors, so when everything isn’t perfect you can just hide it from the world!

 

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The first cabinet got the most in the makeover. New organizers for nuts, bolts, screws, nails… all those little pieces of hardware necessary to build, assemble and fix.

DSCN2749Second cabinet… luckily the rags and paint cloths were already in a fairly neat pile in the drawers. The upper cabinet was rearranged, moving most of the nuts and bolts from this cabinet to the next. I re-used some of the old organizers here and left untouched the scoundrel piece that started it all: that little drawer unit in the bottom cabinet.

 

DSCN2751Another cabinet without much updating. The one thing I did do was add additional shelves to all the cabinets… that is the most amazing trick to organizing that I know.

DSCN2752Another trick is to throw out stuff you know you will never use. Or collect what is still useful and donate it to your favorite thrift store or give it away on CraigsList.

DSCN2753This cabinet isn’t my stuff… this is plumbing supplies that belong to the resident plumber. Rather than try to do too much here, I simply removed anything that wasn’t plumbing supplies and added the third shelf. If nothing else, it looks more organized!

Lastly, I did actually do some work on one small project. I have four very large and spindly plants that need to be re-potted and provided with some nutrients and fertilizers. To get started I bought a very large clay pot and saucer and primed them and then painted them red. Once I allow them to “cure”, I will transplant all those plants into that pot. And get healthier, I hope.

DSCN2755But in doing the painting, I realized that I am really in need of “paint booth”. Somewhere that I can always paint, and not worry about the painting floating beyond that space and landing on things that it shouldn’t land on. I learned that lesson a very expensive way, when painting a large project – somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 cans of white spray paint – that a large portion had landed and coated my sports car, also parked on the other half of the garage. It cost me almost $400 to get that taken care of. I am a bit more careful to never have my car in the garage while painting, but it needs to go further than that. A temporary “wall” of cardboard was put up to help, but there needs a more solid way to deal with it.

Soon, I will be undertaking that project. In one short afternoon, I think I have figured out how to use PVC piping and connectors to hang either heavy duty plastic or canvas to form a small paint booth. When not in use, I will simply push the curtains back to opposite corners. I am pretty good when it comes to planning. Cross your fingers that it works like it should.

julie

From a Desk Into A Tower of Drawers

Some time back I came up with a solution to the thousands of skeins of embroidery thread that I bought and collected over the years (and in anticipation of a very large cross stitch project) by using those boxes designed for storing photographs.

While this did work for a while, I found that it wasn’t pleasing to the eye and if you needed a color that was at or near the bottom, it became a bit of a pain to have to move all of the boxes to get to the one that you needed. I started looking around for something different.

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During one of my routine trips to thrift stores, I found a very cute and very well made children’s desk. Of course I hadn’t taken a photo before The Kid started taking it apart, but this will give you kind of an idea of what it looked like before we started. The drawers were removed and set aside for painting.

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Removing four screws and the top came right off. Then the supports between the two base sections also came right off, when you find well made furniture it doesn’t have an over abundance of glue or nails used. I suspect this is late 1930’s or maybe early 1940’s.

One half was flipper over and we removed the “feet” section. Again, four screws.

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Then one piece was set on top of the other. We simply used the same holes used to originally assemble it to attach one piece to the other. Bonus!

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There were some holes and a little bit of damage where the back support had been attached, so a little wood putty and some sanding and it was ready for priming.

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I knew I was going to paint it my signature red, so the primer was tinted almost the same color. Less coats of paint to get a rich red.

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Drawers were also prepped for painting the same way:

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We built the cabinet top from paint stir sticks. You can see the whole process here. We just laid the top down and flipped the cabinet upside down and attached it, again, using the existing screw holes. Here you can see my “assistant” helping!

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And more paint. We also had to fill in the gaps of where the two cabinets came together, that was a little trickier.

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After several coats of paint (yes, that it what is required when you’ve chosen such a deep red color) and new drawer pulls and viola! Here is the cabinet in the front entry.

Red Thread CabinetShortly after, it was moved to next to one of two re-purposed china cabinets in my living room. And all of the embroidery thread was then transferred from the boxes to the cabinet.

Since I’ve been working so much, I haven’t had a chance to finish up any projects… so am using the time to get caught up in writing about previous projects. The blog (actually “blogS” as I have another) seem to be a third almost full time job as well. But I love it all!

julie

 

 

Still Keeping Busy at Work! But Getting Some Things Done at Home…

This past weekend was interrupted by a request from The Kid to go ‘abandoned house hunting’. Seems he has been collecting a few military surplus items and really wanted to go camping, but now with the overnight temperatures falling down to the 40’s, I am thinking it is a tad too cold for overnight. As a compromise, we stayed in a 4 star hotel! Now, that’s my kind of camping!

This hunting trip was unusually disappointing… most of the homes we ran across had been abandoned some time ago, some were even a little too scary to go into… the biggest thing I worry about is having the floor give way on us as we explore.  We did stumble onto one house that had their tornado shelter in amazingly good condition, although it seems that it had already been scavenged. It was nice to spend some one on one time with my teenager, though, and he did most of the driving.

Short of that, there wasn’t much time for anything else. I did manage to coerce some small things out of the Kid in order to be able to justify the trip, like this wonderful installation in the garage.

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We found the cable kits at IKEA last weekend and I picked up a couple just because I knew they would come in handy somewhere. And here it was! I am still stomping my feet to get everyone to put tools away after using now that we’ve completed the garage makeover, and I figure this might just make it a little bit easier. If you can just reach over and hang something, that has to be easier, right?

We made the first attempt at placing beadboard into fronts of the cabinet doors for the new cabinet in my sewing/crafting room, but sadly, it just didn’t work well. The beadboard comes in these huge sheets and it was just too thick to a) get good adhesion and b) look nice. Thankfully, it was easy to pull the pieces off and clean up what little glue was left behind.

I found a faux beadboard wallpaper at Home Depot (online) so, now am waiting its arrival for ‘take 2’. This is what the online ad looks like, so I am hopeful.

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This entire wall of cabinets already in the room have beadboard fronts, so I want this new cabinet to match. (BTW, those cabinets store 95% of my fabric stash, most still on the original fabric bolt). I love that I was able to do this when we built this house.

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I have also been slowly working on the two Singer featherweight sewing machines I bought via eBay. I am combining the best of the two into one working on with its beautiful bentwood case restored and varnished and poly’ed. Very close to having those done as well. I doubt that I will sew with it, what with the four other computerized machines I have, but I just love the design and simplicity of the machines and wanted to have one. Who knows, maybe after the apocalypse, it will come in handy!

Two smaller things I was able to get done were more decorations for the sewing room. One is an “accidental” collection of sewing machine feet, some from my mother’s sewing machine, some from my machines and some that came with the the recent featherweights that I recently purchased. Some of them are so intricate that they needed to be displayed. So here they are:

photo 1I love the variety of these and most of them I have no idea what they are used for. I think the one in the upper right corner was used for making/sewing ruffles.

And the next one is something that surprised me, but these are the bobbins for the older featherweight machines. I just loved the idea! So, yes, I had to go find more. 🙂

photoOkay! Yikes, once I got going I couldn’t stop! LOL. That’s enough for today, much to do this week in preparation for this weekend.

julie

Wow, How Times Flies!

Things have been unbelievably busy in my “real” job. For those who don’t know me, I work in the tech industry, I am a quality assurance testing engineer. That’s fancy words for “making sure stuff works right on the internet”. 🙂

I recently took a challenging contract for American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) and I have been putting in some challenging hours, first getting up to speed and now working on the project. It has NOTHING to do with crafting – thank heavens – else I fear I would stop doing crafting altogether. Crafting and sewing and quilting have become my mode of decompression after a long day sitting in front of a computer. There is nothing more rewarding than handling fabric or sanding wood… something that brings me back to life after working in a digital world all day.

The weeks haven’t been entirely without crafting, but more from the standpoint of collecting the basics for future projects. For one, I bought myself another embroidery machine – a Singer Quantum XL-6000 – and can’t wait to get it up and running. This makes the fourth quantum series machines that I own, and I have head over heels for all of my Singer machines. Unfortunately, the latest one arrived needing a bit of servicing and I figured that I would get it tuned up at the same time. I finally picked it up Wednesday and barely had time to get it into the room.

Because I have two embroidery machines – and I plan to use both – I had to rethink my sewing/crafting room. Finally after much hunting and planning, I have a solution. I took a nice new tall chest of drawers and removed the second and third drawers and added a pull out drawer. With help from the bestest kid in the whole world (how did I get so lucky to have such a considerate and loving son?), we got it done and in place the day before I picked up the machine from the repair shop.

IMG_3624This will give me all kind of storage for embroidery thread and stabilizers and all the attachments that come with these machines. Of course the cabinet that had been there is now sitting in the garage awaiting some new plan. Everything that was stored in that had to have a new home, so I bought a new cabinet for the space between the television cabinet and the wall. Found the perfect one at the new IKEA that opened up and with a little modification, it will be the perfect addition to the room. Bottom line though, there isn’t one more square inch available for anything after this!

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As I look at this photo, I think I should do something different under my cutting table. Hmmm….

As you can see from both photos, there is a lot of organizing to be done. Sometimes I think being so organized is a curse, I think I spend just about 1% more time organizing than I do crafting, sewing and quilting!

We spent last weekend making the extended trip to Witchita – about 3 hours southwest of Kansas City to retrieve some goodies from an estate sale. This weekend we are heading to Iowa on another of our abandoned house hunting trips. Give us a chance to do something different – something my son is interested in. It is actually called urban exploration and can include more than houses, but in our part of the country, there is a dearth of abandoned farm houses as small family farms are being bought up by commercial farming operations. It really is quite sad, but the reality of what is happening to the business of farming. I talk more about that on my other blog – if you’re even interested enough to check it out, it is MacCupcake.wordpress.com. That blog is the place where I talk about this next phase of my life where my main role is no longer “Mommy” and what it means and what I would like to do with my years.

Anyway, those expeditions often result in finding some amazing finds – it is interesting to see what gets left behind – deemed no longer necessary or wanted. The third, smaller stall of my garage is packed with finds from these trips, estate sales, thrifting and CraigsList.

IMG_2602Like if I work on this stuff every minute I am awake, I could never use everything that I have collected. I have always said when I die, my house is going to be one helluva estate sale!

So, come back often, I promise to get more posted as I finish projects. And don’t forget to show the love, I like comments!!

julie

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