Making My First Needle Book

Things have been a little hectic in my life, so I thought it was a good time for a little downtime from the furniture projects and do some hand sewing. In getting all of the bits and baubles that I have finally gotten around to organizing, which gave me a central collection for all my hand sewing needles. So, then I needed to figure out a way to store them properly. It was then I stumbled onto something that apparently has been around a long time, which I’ve never heard of. Which is all I needed to jump into it with great enthusiasm.

What I am a speaking of? A simple little thing called a needle book. Did a little search on Google and then again on Pinterest, and came up with some great ideas. So, I settled down with some great movies and felt and thread and set about making my own.

2015-09-22 17.50.56I had a different cover created, one that I had started embroidering, but when it came time to put the cover on, I found that I had seriously underestimated the book’s thickness! So, instead of using it, I had to make a new cover and it was left unadorned. I really had wanted to make sure that it was going to work out, rather than spending a lot of time and effort on it and not being able to use it again. And in the end, it worked out good enough.

My initial thoughts is that it would be a small book. But as I worked on it, I added a pocket for a pair of small scissors, and another pocket for a small round container of needles. I began adding pages for the different types of needles that I have: crewel, upholstery, darning, sewing, embroidery… who knew there were so many different types? Or that I had so many of them! This was just the small collection that I had downstairs with my crafting supplies. I might be afraid if I gathered together in a single spot all the needles that I have in my sewing room!

So, several pages completed, I realized that I had four packages of unopened needles and it might make more sense to leave them in the package. So the inside pages were really pockets, opened to the top. I attached the jacket and it looked great. The closure was a simple button on the front with an elastic band to close it. The real problem happened when I put all the needles ‘away’. Now it appears that the book is too small for all of the needles and especially too small for the cover. It was fun creating it, and I learned a lot of lessons doing it, so now I will start working on another, correctly sized this time. And I will be going all out on the decorating this time; cover, pages, everything.

But, I’ll share the photos of this one. I like it for my first attempt.

2015-09-22 17.49.52 2015-09-22 17.49.112015-09-22 17.48.472015-09-22 17.48.37 2015-09-22 17.50.01 2015-09-22 17.50.09 2015-09-22 17.50.302015-09-22 17.51.15If you have suggestions or comments or photos of your needle books, I’d love to hear from you!

julie

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On Second Thought, the First Thought is Usually Right!

In my last post I showed you a neat little way to store your bits and baubles. At the very end, I mentioned that I considered adding elastic bands across the front of each shelf.

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Well, in tidying up before heading to bed last night, I barely tapped the edge of the cabinet and… well, you can see the result! I guess that “might” has turned into a “definitely” be adding it! Once is quite enough of picking up those bottles!

Saturday, I started work on painting the six chairs for the dining table. I had spray painted them white as a primer and had initially wanted to continue with spray painting with the final red color. But after spending the better part of an afternoon working through five cans of paint, I am less than enthusiastic about how it is turning out. For whatever reason, the coverage is not as good and in the process of trying to get good coverage, I am getting drips and too heavy coats. Not to mention that the overspray coated me such that it looked like I was sunburned and took a bit of scrubbing to get it all off. I had to wipe down areas on at least four of the six chairs, which then required re-priming. Sigh.

This set me back a bit. Which is why I decided to take the day off from working on it today. Just wanted to clear my head and rethink my next steps. Instead, I’ve been working on something fun and relaxing and watching old movies.

Hope y’all have had a great weekend too!

julie

Storing Little Bits and Pieces – The Ingenuity of Using Paint Stir Sticks

Finally! Beautiful weather again. It has been either raining or seriously windy (or both) for the last couple of days. Not exactly the best weather to be spray painting! today, that changes. I am so ready to complete this big dining table and chairs project. I also have someone coming today (cross your fingers) to purchase the oh so girly pink on pink vanity!

One thing I did manage to complete (at last!) is this challenge of building something useful using paint stir sticks. I am going to be putting together a post soon on all the amazing things that can be done with those little sticks – in addition, of course, to stirring paint! Look for it soon.

But here is today’s project. Actually it was completed last night, but it was late and I was tired, so it is being posted this morning. The thing could have been done ages ago, but I had to wait for the final piece to arrive from eBay. It is both a great and a aggravating thing, buying things from eBay that are coming from China. Great, great, GREAT prices, but you have to be prepared to wait for them to ship from the other side of the world and deal with everything involved including customs on both sides. But the bottles arrived yesterday and I spent a full day organizing supplies. Woot!

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If you follow my blog, you know that I have been experimenting with beading and sequins and it has been oh so much fun. And of course, I have to go overboard on everything, nothing in moderation, so I soon realized I would need a better way to organize and store all my little pretties!

I had a few of the plastic bottles, they’re plastic and 60ml and purchased from eBay. I used some for a different project and had some leftover, so using the bottle as a guide, I laid out the grid using paint stir sticks. These are the larger size and even at that, I had to join them to get the length I wanted. I started the whole thing simply by rummaging through my leftover 1/8″ plywood for a size that might work, and this is what I found. It turned out to be long enough for 9 bottles wide and 8 rows. I only had about 30 bottles, so I found the seller online and ordered the additional bottles I needed.

It was a simple project, since the bottles are so light – even with their contents – it didn’t require any massive work or planning. I doubled up on the sides and simply glued the paint sticks to the back. This is where my massive (and wonderful!) collection of clamps come in so handy! When it was all dried, it required just a little sanding and then I spray painted it black semi-gloss. The whole idea is to showcase all of the baubles, not the case, so black was a good color.

I have to admit that originally I intended for the rows to hold 10 bottles, but with the side reinforcements, it narrowed the length just enough to not allow space for that tenth bottle. It works out, though, as having a little room makes it easier to get your fingers on the individual bottle since they’re not so tightly packed in there.

2015-09-18 21.08.13It isn’t very deep either, as it is the width of a paint stir stick. And the whole thing is so light, you can pick it up with one hand. I have been toying with the idea of stretching an elastic band across the front of each row so that if bumped, everything doesn’t come tumbling out. I will keep my eyes open for something that might work while I am out perusing the shelves of Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby.

If you have done a project using paint stir sticks, please let me know! I think I want to showcase about ten projects/ideas and am looking for innovative ways that the sticks have been used.

julieDisclaimer

Work Continues… We’re Drawing Closer to the Finish Line

I’ve always been a bit myopic in my posts, especially this one. I have always sort of seen the value of the completed project over the path of creating it. I know that it is wrong, that one thing people search out is the process of creating, in addition to the beginning and end projects. I just haven’t been the best at doing it… and I am always trying to address it.

I have several projects in the works, I talked about them in my previous posts. These particular projects have many steps, and often each step is but a few minutes and then waiting. Painting and waiting for it to dry. Staining and waiting for it to dry. Waiting for the staining and painting to attach the legs. Waiting to attach the legs so that the skirt can be attached. And it goes on and on. I’m sure you get the bigger picture.

So, today seemed to be momentous. It seemed that real steps forward were taken and results achieved. Still not done yet, but we’re getting there.

DSCN3768The door (for the dining table) has been stained and polyurethaned with two coats each. In between each coat is a light sanding. The coloring turned out gorgeous! (I am telling you, this particular project is going to be very hard for me to part with!) In this photo, you can see the underside of the door… I had to flip it over to finish – silly me, not thinking – since the door has a large piece of glass in the middle of it, you will be able to see through it! Duh! So, the table skirt also had to have more painting… again, not thinking! But the red against this deep stain color is just stunning!

DSCN3759The top of the sideboard has gotten the same treatment, although because the type of wood differed from the door, it required an extra couple of steps and some experimenting to get the color to be the same. All in all, it turned out perfect!

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We moved the sideboard (sans top and drawers) into the garage. The drawers has all the previous holes filled as I’ve finally made a decision on what hardware is going to be used. So, it took a little sanding and then re-priming and re-painting the drawer fronts.

DSCN3762DSCN3765I cleaned and painted the hardware, which was salvaged from an old piece. I used a deep metallic brown that has just a hint of sparkle to it and I think it will be spectacular when we get it installed. It has a bit of a fifties flare, I think.

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I am considering using the same paint for two additional head chairs and did a color test. I want to give it a chance to dry and perhaps a second coat before I make the decision. Light might help too. 🙂

DSCN3766Next up, the six chairs have been moved onto the driveway so that I could complete the priming. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine and mild temperatures. The fresh air helps when doing all the painting as well. Six cans of premium white paint and the six chairs are finally ready for their color.

Our neighbors to the right of us are having their house painted, so to protect our cars from overspray, we moved them down to the street. Thank heavens for the large circular semi-cul-de-sac that we live on, having them parked out there doesn’t interfere with traffic. Its almost too funny to think that when we bought a house with a three car garage, we thought we would actually park the vehicles in them!

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The wood appliques that I ordered online finally came so that I could finish the pink ombré head- and foot-boards. I like the appliques, but wasn’t paying close enough attention when I ordered them. I thought I was getting 7″ x 7″ but in reality they were 7 cm x 7 cm, so much smaller than I thought.

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But they are just enough and add that something special that I was looking for. Now to get the side boards done. They actually came with a different head and foot board – I was just naive enough to think that they would work on any old antique bed frame. Nope! Different attachment mechanism entirely. Now I have to figure out if I can modify the ends of boards themselves or the connecting hardware in the bedframes. Sigh. Nothing ever seems to be easy.

Shown with the bed side boards on top of them

So, with that, this day is coming to a close. I am beat! Now all I want to do is take a shower, put my feet up and finish the beading project that I’ve been working on. I am this close…

julie

 

 

Back to My Red Roots!

I have done so much of the pink that I think I am seriously on burn out from it. There is pretty much no creative process in it any more, it has become almost an assembly line. Yes, it sells and it sells quickly and for decent pricing, but from a creative standpoint, it isn’t doing it for me! Once I have the head- and foot-boards complete (waiting on some appliques), I think the pink goes on the shelf for a bit.

So, I’ve been working on a new line of furniture. I’ve been working on Home Depot’s line of pinks and reds for a while and noticed not so long ago that they’ve changed up the colors. So, of course, I want to use up what I have left and start working with something else. Well, a red caught my eye (and you all know how much I love red) and have set out on the quest of bringing red to the rest of the world. Ha!

“No More Drama red”.  And by wonderful accident, it matches the red that Rust-Oleum has in their double coverage high gloss spray paint! How’s that for a lucky accident?

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A while back, we picked up some furniture from the warehouse of a religious school and church. I have a 8 foot office door, which is heavy duty wood with the inset glass. In the same run, we bought a 5′ pew, four wooden school desk chairs and 8 wood seating chairs. I think in all, we paid less than fifty dollars. Of course I forgot to take “before” pictures of the door, but I have already sanding down both sides and filled in the holes from the hinges and door knob. My plan is to re-stain it fairly dark, add a skirt and legs and turn it into a dining table. My guess is that anyone who ever went to a Catholic school might just love it! The legs will be this new wonderful color red that I found.

I swear I turned to The Kid and mumbled about replacing our round table with this one. I haven’t even started the paint and staining and I already know that I will love it! The wooden chairs will go with it, could probably seat eight comfortably and I just happen to have eight chairs! They are going to get the red treatment as well. Sanding the door took about four packages of sanding paper and many, many hours and really not looking forward to spending that kind of effort on eight chairs!  Maybe the two head chairs will be stained… gotta think about it though.

Here are the chairs…. does that take you back to the days of school?

My work shop/garage is always packed it seems. We’re not that far from snow and ice weather, so eventually I have to finish some projects or the cars will sit on the driveway. It is so much nicer to not have to scrape off from the windshields and protected somewhat from the cold.

I also picked up a long dresser that would become a sideboard or buffet cabinet. We are replacing the pressed wood top with real wood and it will also get the same stain as the door/table top. The body and drawer fronts are this new lovely red. You can see that I have a head start on the drawer fronts. All that red is making me giddy!

julie

 

 

 

Disclaimer! 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.

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