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

The End of the Year: Project One

If you’ve been reading the site, you know that for the past few weeks, me and The Kid have been working diligently on a handful of projects. I want to finish them all up by the end of the year and write them up, one at a time.

This one came on the heels of the last set of projects, as I had two parties interested in purchasing the same two dressers. These dressers:

2014-11-22 09.42.34 copyLet me tell you that we looked everywhere for another matching set of dressers. These don’t come along every day. In all our looking we never ran across another. At one thrift store, though, I had an “AHA!” moment. As I saw a very nicely constructed long dresser, you know one of those 3 drawers in 3 rows that most people don’t want these day? In this piece, I saw two 3 drawer dressers. With a little work, that is.

DSCN2889We took out all of the drawers. Next, we took off the top. Then the back came off.

DSCN2891We marked the lines where we wanted to divide the two parts and then, using a circular saw, we cut through all three pieces. Twice!

DSCN2892Next, we cut new sides. This was pretty straightforward, just used the existing sides for measurements. Then brace pieces across the top to keep it together.

DSCN2908Next, came replication the bottoms. The Kid put a lot of work into recreating this exactly. I think he loves this, and he has a real knack for this. I just need to keep a fire under him to get it done.

DSCN2894We cut down the existing top to fit, as well as the back to add support. The last thing was to paint it in our signature pink ombré. And here is the Before and After photos:

Before & AfterWill I ever get tired of this paint scheme? I doubt it!

2014-12-29 20.56.36Okay, off to list these on Craigslist, I hope that they sell even though it is after Christmas. Need a little cash to finance the next wave of projects. I am heading in a different direction though, once all the projects are complete that we’ve started, we’re going to stay out of the garage for a bit.

Another project for tomorrow’s post. Come back and check it out!?

julie

Getting Ready For the New Year, Wrapping Up Loose Ends

I am this close to have a ton of projects completed. Along with everything that I got going, I am also trying to redesign the site. I want a new logo and look. The Kid is helping.

A quick couple of projects that I did complete:

First one up is a cross stitch that I had been working on during my “in between” projects time. You know, when paint is drying or waiting for something to be picked up. During those times I plunk myself down on the couch and squeeze in a little ‘me time’. I am just like my Dad, in that I can’t just sit and watch television. I have to be doing something with my hands, so I do cross stitch and embroider or making felt ornaments with a blanket stitch.

Here’s the first one. I did actually finished this a bit back, but it took a while the whole project done. You see it was intended to be a iPad case, but after adding the backing and the lining, the size got a little squeezed. So it is more of a ‘mini iPad’ case. But it was fun to do because I didn’t really have to think about it too much, color was totally random and it is a pretty simple pattern.

DSCN2985This was done using a cartoon called “Shoe”. I have always loved this series, as the writers love Macs and all things Apple. This was one of my favorites:

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 11.40.05 PMI tweaked it a little so that it fit into a single pane, added the logo to the bottom right corner:

iDebtI am really happy with how it turned out. In hindsight, though, I wished I had done a little more ‘fading’ in the blue panels, so that it was a little more seamless. Oh well, a lesson learned for next time. 🙂DSCN2987

I have been thinking about getting it framed and sending it to the authors, just for fun. I mean, I love the work and the creative part of it, but what do you do with them once you’re done?

I have a ton more projects to finish up and then get documented. I also have to list them for sale as well. Hopefully three of the pieces are claimed by the people that they were intended for when I started them. That will really help clean up the garage and the foyer. And provide a little more cash for the next projects! Ha!

Okay, gotta hit the sheets! I am wiped out!

julie

 

 

Change-Up In The Line-Up

Even though we don’t “do” Christmas in my house, there is definitely a different feel. We sort of slacked off the last couple of days in the garage, finishing up the numerous projects and spent more time just being together.

One family tradition that I still do, is our famous homemade bean soup. We have ham one day and then we munch on what’s left, in the meantime, the bone is thrown into a big soup pan and we bring it to a boil and then it simmers for hours over the next couple of days. Navy beans are soaked and then added to the mixture, and then more cooking. Finally, potatoes are peeled and cut up and added, then more cooking. We bring it to a boil and then its moved to the back burner and it simmers pretty much all day.

DSCN2979We feast on this for days… today it was breakfast, lunch AND dinner! When the level drops down too much, we add more beans and more potatoes – this time we actually added more ham. When I was growing up, this was a staple in my house. This fed us much more than you could imagine, potatoes and beans were cheap and could make things stretch a helluva long way.

I also indulged in a little baking. If we aren’t the slaves to our habits, I don’t know what. Growing up, we always kept the ends of breads and day old buns, kept in plastic bags in the back of the freezer. There were always ways to use these pieces, even if it came down to thawing and eating as is!

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Well, I still do this. Bread ends, hamburger and hotdog buns that didn’t get eaten, croissants and bagels that went uneaten. Well, I pulled them all out and sliced and diced them into small bread cubes and lay them out on baking sheets and getting them all toasted.

Then I pulled out my favorite cookbook. I think that this is the first cookbook I bought once I turned eighteen. And I’ve used it often. I mean, just check out this well worn book.DSCN2982Inside and out…

 

DSCN2983For me, this is the only cookbook for me. Including the ever popular bread pudding. The mere fact that when I was done prepping the bread cubes I had enough for 5 double-batches should tell me something, but I simply bagged up what I wasn’t going to use and pre-packaged them for ease for the next baking session(s).

It turned out really, really good. One of my best, I think. In fact, before I could even get photos for the blog, other members of the household had helped themselves to almost half of it! Good thing I made two pans, so I might be able to have some myself!

So, with that, I am snuggling onto the couch with The Kid and binge watching “Roseanne”. Hope everyone has the best holiday and celebrating in whatever way that makes you happy.

julie

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Buttons

Well, maybe not actually a thousand, but quite a few. 🙂

I was flipping through the pages of HomeTalk and Pinterest just catching up on what else is going on out there in the creative world. I ran across one post of three framed initials spelling JOY with buttons. And of course I wanted to link up with my  rendition of the same project. And after spending quite a bit of time flipping and searching through my blog, I realized that I never wrote about it.

So, here it is, about ten years late:

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My room was very nicely decorated when we first moved here – in California my bedroom was a hodge podge  of denim and white and mismatched furniture. I wanted to have a truly put together room and it helped that with this move, I had the funds to decorate.

I had purchased my very first matching bedroom set – sleigh bed and nightstands, a tall, 6 drawer dresser and entertainment center/armoire that was stylish and at the same time, impressive. I felt that a large room, one that size, needed to have appropriately large furniture. Not to fill the room, but to embrace it.

That said, there wasn’t a lot of wall space for art, so I knew what I did hang would have to punctuate the space and reflect me. I have two pieces, a large hand sculpted mirror in a heavy metal, much like a starburst. But the important piece was my initial: J.

The red fabric matches the accent material in the room, and the frame was picked up at a deep discount at Hobby Lobby. It apparently had been dropped in the store and so it was deeply discounted – since it had come apart after the glass was broken. It was a matter of just gluing and clamping to make it perfect, since I didn’t need the glass.

I found the letter in the font I liked and printed it out. It might be a little hard to judge the size of this pieces, but the height of the J, top to bottom, is 30 inches. It took a while to get the letter to the size I needed, ended up having to print it out on four sheets of paper and taping it together.

Then I carefully cut away the letter and then laid it onto the fabric using some tape to hold it in place. I started with the larger buttons and then worked progressively smaller until I was down to placing the tiny little buttons at the bottom curve of the J. Just good ol’ Elmer’s glue.

Then I squeezed the fabric into the frame and hung it. After ten years of hanging there, it still looks good.

julie

The Sea of White is Now a Sea of Color

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

julie

Sea of White (Primer)

Work continues on projects, but at least I am moving forward. There is a HUGE part of me that is ready for this bunch of projects to be done so I can do something else. As I was taking photos, I counted now, 8 projects (or 7, one project is questionable whether it is one or two). And completing these, means I will finally (almost) have my garage back. And just in time, too, as I hear snow is in the forecast in a couple of days.

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2014-12-17 14.44.28I’m now in the possession of ten or twelve quilted tops – fresh back from my friend in Arkansas. Now they have to have binding done. I understand that there are another four or five, I forget, in transit. I’ve not been in my quilting room for some time and I am anxious to head there. Sewing is so relaxing and a real catharsis for me, as I don’t really have to think while I am piecing and my brain can chill.

Another advantage? Paint and primer are reeking havoc on the skin of my hands. Not to mention the weather, as well. The dry air coupled with constant washing are drying my hands almost to the point of cracking. When I am done with this particular group of projects, I am going to indulge myself in a manicure and wax dip.

julie

 

Sanding Here, Priming There, Gluing Over There

I think that we’ve fallen into a groove. We are working on about five or six projects, and every day we do a little bit of work on each. You know how it gets, you have one project that has been strengthened and glued and now has to dry and set. So, you go to the next project and again, you get to the point where you have to stop and wait. We’ve gotten to the point that we have five or six ongoing projects and we quickly bring each one up to the same point every day.

The Kid Puts New Fronts on Drawers

Working On A Dresser

Right now, we’re working on getting everything to the priming stage. Planning has to be done to make sure that you’re not sanding on one project while you’re waiting for primer to dry on another. Sometimes it means that one project doesn’t get worked on because it is ready for a stage that will conflict with another. And for whatever reason, it seems to take more time this way. Seems, anyway.

So Many Projects In Process Makes for a Big Mess!

What A Mess!

On top of it, working on so many projects at once, the garage gets so crowded. We keep moving tables to give us access to one project, just to turn around and move it back to regain access to the first thing. And I keep tripping over the compressor cable and the extension cable threaded between the tables for the sander and the circular saw and the jig saw. I took a few minutes and swept up the tool counter of all the saw dust. Whew! Whenever I am overwhelmed, I always seem to revert to organizing or cleaning. 🙂

I did begin work on a special project. I don’t know exactly why I decided to do this, but it is something I can work on outside of the garage. Not only fun, but it is something that I think The Kid might like. He is way into MineCraft – this online gaming and building program, where everything is in 8bit graphics. He has been playing and programming ‘mods’ (don’t ask me, I don’t exactly know) for this game since its inception, I guess. Something like 5 or 6 years. Had briefly toyed with the idea of a Halloween costume, but he was too old for trick-or-treating before I thought of the idea.

This is what a pile of gun powder looks like in the game:
imagesSo, I am making him a “real” 2D version of gun powder. I think I am going to either mount it on a base and he can set it on his desk or we’ll hang it on the wall. This is it, so far:

DSCN2950And just wanted to show you, he has a tiny version of the gun powder on his key chain:

photoWell, that’s today’s update. I’m close to revealing quite a few makeovers and re-do’s. I hope you come back to see them.

julie

Yay! I’ve Sold the Dollhouse!

I had positive feelings that the dollhouse would be sold for this Christmas. And I received an abject lesson in pricing. Starting with the price of $3000 when it was first completed, it dropped considerably when the holiday season ended and it was still sitting in the foyer. A second $2000 price was presented – on eBay, easy.com and Craigslist in KC and surrounding areas – and still no bites. I was beginning to wonder if it would ever find a buyer.

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Then I let the house sit for a while. No ads, no marketing it, nothing. Just sitting in my entryway, taking up valuable space. But I did a lot of projects in the meantime. Even the dollhouse received a couple of extras… you won’t see in the picture above, but a miniature lamp was made (and it even worked!) a carpet for the bedroom and a pretty light fixture to sit next to the bed.

Dolls and cupcakes V3

In the spring, my neighborhood had its bi-annual garage sale and I put out doll items to sell. It was my first push to try the “Dolls and Cupcakes” brand and get some feedback from moms and their daughters. I sold most of the furniture I had made – beds, dressers, tables & chairs and I put a large photo of the dollhouse on an easel… I walked quite a few girls into the entry way to show them the house. All of them, including their moms were amazed by the sheer size of this thing. And the attention to all the details – especially the kitchen.

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I even had offered a discount (I should say “another” discount) and had the house priced at $1500. Still no buyers. Had a lot of interest from people, but I think the price was still more than folks could justify for a child, and if they had other children, there was no way that they could buy something like that for one and nothing for the other(s).

Over the summer, I made another stab at selling, this time setting the price at $1000. A few nibbles, but nothing with any teeth. I had The Kid give it a clean sweep (there were doll sized dust bunnies under the bed!) and took a set of new photos and presented it to my pain management doc, who has 2 young daughters who are both falling in love with the American Girl dolls. I had my fingers crossed that he wouldn’t find it too expensive and might be able to justify it for two daughters. I never heard back from him about it.

Sigh.

So, now we are falling into another holiday season and I was determined to get this house sold. Again, I dusted off the ads and up it went on etsy.com, eBay.com and Craigslist with another new price: $850. Three renews and then finally, an email via Craigslist, someone is interested. The offer is for $750. Yes! I accepted the offer. While driving to deliver it, I figured it out: the sales price was 25% of the original price. But I am more than happy that this coming Christmas, two children are going to receive a gift of a childhood!

And me? I got my foyer back. (The Kid notified me that nothing new can be placed in that are for at least 24 hours!!) LOL!

julie

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