Pink Ombré: Can You Stand More?

I don’t care how many times I do the pink ombré paint scheme, I still love it. And so do you, judging on how quickly the pieces sell and the comments and reviews they get!

So, in case you’re new to the blog, or haven’t been here in a while, I am in the mode of completing projects without starting any new ones. In about three weeks, I will have the first of two knee surgeries  a week apart and one thing that will be important is that I have unencumbered access around my house – be in a walker or crutches. Either way, as I completed six to eight weeks of physical therapy, I need to make sure that I can safely navigate my house. And all these projects stacked up in my dining room, my kitchen, my living room and specifically the garage do not allow safe access. So, I am working diligently to complete them all.

This weekend I was able to complete two more projects. The first is this long dresser. Originally I wanted to turn it either into two smaller individual dressers or turn it into a bench with drawer space. Sort of like this:

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 2.00.06 PM.png

However, with the completion of the pew, I no longer have the space for such a piece of furniture. Although it would sell quite easily, I may try to do this later next year.

Instead, this dresser:

00c0c_aT2b4lrh71c_300x300became this:

DSCN4282Yesterday those adorable flower petal handles finally arrived via eBay. The Kid took the time to put them on last night so that I could take photos and write about them today.

I also used those same knobs on this project:

DSCN4285These pieces actually started life as:

IMG_0163This sweet little vanity was purchased with the hope of becoming a piece for my master bedroom makeover, but, well, life got in the way here too. I think this would be a great compliment to the four poster bed I did a while back. The drawers are the same colors as each post. 🙂

DSCN4242I had primed these cabinets in white, which I think were okay with the pale pink color that it was painted, but I really do need to invest in more primer for red and the darker shades of pink. I am a firm believer in using the right tools and supplies for a superior end product.

Another project that I was able to complete since I had the painting supplies out, is this little holder. I do a lot of faux stained glass painting and find that having the bottles upside down to keep the material at the tip is handy. So, I whipped out some more paint stir sticks and just sort of roughly laid them out to where I thought I needed them around the bottles. Then I drilled the holes large enough to allow the cap to sit securely without being wobbly or too tight. Then it just got a coat of red paint.

I keep threatening, but soon I am going to write a post just about projects that I made using paint stir sticks. Dang, those are handy!

DSCN4272So, here is a view of what’s left in the garage. I had to order a new pneumatic stapler to finish the bench (forefront) with denim cover and there is the other large chest of drawers. I am going to keep this one for my guest bedroom… it is needed to hold some of the specialty fabrics that I have no room for in my sewing room. Then, that leaves only the Scrabble table and one more bench (made from a headboard). This should should pretty much clear out the garage and I will be able to get my sports car bedded down for the remainder of winter. We finally had snow here in the Kansas City area and my little red guy is covered in the white stuff.

Of course, that is the garage! Now, if all my pieces sell that would take care of the foyer too. But I have projects going on in my sewing room too! But that should take care of getting safely around the house anyway!

A few more photos to close out this post:

julie

 

My Foyer Pew Makeover

So, the holidays are over. I hope all of you enjoyed your holidays in whatever way you celebrate. Things were pretty quiet around the house, we mostly just relaxed.

But there was crafting going on here as well. I was able to complete several projects, as the weather was pretty mild and allowed me to work in the garage most days. And this allowed me to complete a project that I have been looking forward to… a project piece for me!

Some time ago, a church here in the KC area was doing clean up work on one of their warehouses. They were giving away a bunch of wood items: pews, chairs, tables, trim, desks, doors… you name it. I came and went at least three times over a period of a week. One of the pieces I picked up I knew I wanted to keep, but often the projects done for me take a back seat to the projects that I sell or do for others.

But now as I am working diligently to clear out the garage and my foyer, I made time to work on this piece. A pew. This is solid wood and heavy and simple in its finish. I opted to make my bench five feet long – it could have been longer or shorter, depending on the seat, there were so many to choose from. I could have used a weight support to make it longer, but I really wanted just the five feet.

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So, this photo shows the two ends, the supporting center and the actual seat and back of my pew. We must have had these in the garage for at least six months now… it always seems that projects I do for myself keep getting pushed back on the ‘to do’ list.

Initially, I wanted to refinish the pew. After about eight hours of sanding, it was pretty clear that the wood beneath it wasn’t going to be best for staining. I debated back and forth about what color to paint it… the off-white color of my house’s interior trim, my very favorite Deep Space black or of course, “Kitchenaid Red”. Red finally won.

Now all these months later, we started on putting it together. Of course, being the optimist I am, figured we’d just slap it together with glue and screws and be done in a matter of a couple of hours. This was not to be.

When we picked out the pieces of furniture we wanted to buy from the church, it was me and The Kid. I walked around this huge warehouse just pointing and deciding on everything I wanted. I noticed that the pews ends and seat/backs were numbered, like a giant jigsaw puzzle just waiting to be put back together. Little did I know when I sent The Kid back down for the second load, he didn’t pay attention to the numbers and just grabbed the nicest looking ends and seat/backs. Well, they didn’t go together like we hoped.

Seat EndsThe ends came with a bit of the former seat still in the grooves. You can see it in this photo to the left. I knocked those out easily enough – they were there to keep the grooves from swelling. But when it came to replace them with the seat/back that I had, they weren’t the same angle or length.

I had to widen and extend the grooves to the shape and angle of the seat/back that I had. Out came the router and other than bumping into a nail, it was a breeze to enlarge the space. The left side was first and not really knowing what I was doing, I did make the space a little too large at some points, but when it came to the right side, it was perfect. So well fitting that I could slip the seat/back into the groove and it held on its own!2015-12-27 19.03.44

I could have cut the seat/back into two and used the center support, but that would have meant having two seats of about two and a half feet rather than one long five foot seat. Its a beautiful piece of wood, though, I will do my best to use it in another project.

Now, it was time to permanently attach the ends to the seat/back. Using wood glue and screws, The Kid put together one end and then using the weight of itself to hold in place. The we flipped it over and attached the other end.

Oh, did I mention that hours and hours and hours of sanding? Thank heavens for electric sanders, for I know I wouldn’t be that enthusiastic about wood working!

2015-12-14 19.13.48Ready for priming. I settled on my old favorite (remember I’m keeping this piece!) red although I didn’t have any gray- or pink-tinted primer. I was quickly reminded why a tinted primer works best under red.

white primedWithout the tinted primer, it took more than four coats of red to cover the pew. Even after moving it into the house, in different lighting, more areas were identified and I actually ended up painting almost another full coat!

DSCN4275And here it is in all of its red beauty! I moved everything else out of the foyer to make room for this piece.

I am thinking about putting a row of low growing plants underneath it, if for no other reason than to keep it from filling up with shoes and bags and junk that gets shed when people come into the house (right next to the door to the garage as well as the front door). I am determined to keep this area clear.

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DSCN4274A couple more photos from different angles. Isn’t that shiny finish beautiful? I just love it.

I have more projects to unveil, it has been a busy week while everyone’s been celebrating. I’ve been having fun as well.

julie

Antique Thread Display Box

Okay, so I want to clear this up from the get-go… its the thread that is antique, not the box. 🙂

I mentioned a post ago or so, that I had been a lucky recipient of a massive CraigsList haul of fabric. Pieces that ranged from scraps to full bolts of cotton and upholstery fabrics. Stuff that clearly ranged as far back as the seventies – lots of gold/orange/avocado green/brown combinations and newer. Such great stuff! I’ve already put some of it to use after spending nearly a week to sort through it all.

Well, in that load, there was also some other accessories. Thread, zippers, bias tape and ribbons. The thread is what I wanted to talk about.

These few spools of thread came from an era where the spools themselves were made of wood. To be perfectly honest – and I had a mother who sewed – I don’t recall the last time I saw a wooden spool. I’ve not really researched it, but I think there is some history there. And they are cool looking.

So, I wanted to be able to display them in my sewing room. I searched eBay for an antique or vintage thread holder, and one not too large, as I didn’t want this to be another one of those collections that I went out and bought a few hundred spools! (Trust me, I have been known to do dumb stuff like that!)

Well, I never did find one that I really liked, but seeing all of those on eBay and other Google searches, I had an idea of what I wanted.

Out came my trusty paint stir sticks. It is a simple enough design and I think I had everything measured and cut and the clamped to allow the glue to dry in less than an hour. I added the back, gave it a good sanding and then painted it.

DSCN4254Cute, huh? I love the simplicity of the design and there is some room to add a few spools. Down the road. 🙂

I’ve been working on my other projects as well, there is something about working with red paint that lies just this side of aggravating. It takes many coats to get the right color. The back and bottom were painted first and I finally got it back on its feet today. Now three or four coats to the front and sides and we should be in business!

DSCN4252The long dresser and the two nightstands are just about ready for their final touch-ups and hardware. Cross your fingers for me that maybe someone will be looking for a last minute Christmas gift! I’ve ordered the most darling flower petal drawer pulls for both pieces. Adorable!

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 8.44.51 PMWe’ve still had no snow, thank heavens, and I desperately trying to get everything completed and out of the garage before A) snow comes and my little sports car can be safely tucked away and B) its time for my surgeries.

julie

Priming, priming and priming.

Today, The Kid made an offhand comment to me while I was working in the garage. Something to the effect of why I was going to so much work on the pew.

Today, after finishing the sanding, expanding the slots for the bench, the gluing, the screws with the countersunk heads, the supports, the trim… I prepared to prime the bench. His comment was innocent enough, after all, this piece is for me. Why put so much work into it?

Good question. Many people would look for shortcuts. There is a paint that is a primer and paint in one. Why worry about sanding off the old paint or varnish when you’re just going to paint over it? Why not just throw a few extra nails into it and slap some paint onto it?

I was raised at the feet of a master. Nothing my Dad had ever built had been viewed by the masses or sold for money, but they were carefully and artfully crafted and loved by the recipient of the gift. He believed in what he did…if it was worth doing, then it was worth doing right.

So, I spend the time and do all the steps. And hopefully, the work and treasures I build will be around a long time down the road. From starting with great pieces to using high quality products, I hope that they, too, become treasures to those who own them eventually. And why wouldn’t I put the time and effort into something being made for me?

Today’s work was a matter of, as I said earlier, priming. Simple enough, I guess, just takes time. I always use Kilz branded products and I use quality tools – brushes and rollers. Nothing really exciting today, but you can see the progress:

DSCN4240The pew primed.

DSCN4242The vanity that was taken apart to become night stands are now primed:

DSCN4241And the drawers to the nightstands are primed.DSCN4248I also made a couple of throw rugs from a hardy upholstery material that I found in my fabric stash (see the previous post for info).

After I washed the fabric to remove sizing, I cut the piece in half. Then glued non-slip rug material on the back. Dried overnight and now they will adorn the laundry room and the kitchenette in the basement.

DSCN4249You know me, I can never sit around and not do something! I have a couple of little projects that I’ve also been working on, more paint stir stick projects, that I want to write up in a single post. Thank heavens Home Depot lets me take as many as I need!

We’re making progress! Oh, and I think I’ve sold my dining room table and chairs set! I am so excited!

julieDisclaimer

Next Steps: Prime and Paint

So plans are moving forward. As many of you know, I am looking at dual knee replacement surgeries in about six weeks. For that reason, I am attempting to complete all the projects that I have planned or in progress and – hopefully – get them sold before I have those surgeries. I have to get my house and garage clear, so I am not tripping or falling over anything while I do my physical therapy. I also need to get my hot little sports car into the garage before snowfall – I am working diligently on keeping the mileage down and its value up.

Have I shown you my little fun car?

1010169_10201532414372325_693955612_nIt’s a rear wheel drive car with very little clearance, so it doesn’t really work well in winter. So, when the cold whether arrives, I cover it and store it in the garage. If it hadn’t been for the fact that the temperature has been unseasonably warm, the rain that has been falling for the last three days should have been snow.

The third stall of the garage has been holding the dining table and its chairs along with the matching sidebar. I have a great story about it, but am saving for another day this week. But once that is gone and I disassemble the ‘paint booth’ that I set up, the third stall will be mostly empty and James (my Mazda RX-8) can roll in.

So, The last couple of days, The Kid and I have been working on the re-assembling the pew. When a catholic church downtown shut down its school, I picked up a bunch of great pieces… including the parts to assemble a pew. Unfortunately, as we’ve been working on it, we’ve figured out that they are the pieces of the same pew and as such, they aren’t going back together easily. The funniest thing is that the ends and the seat/back were numbered… I think they did that when they took them apart. Unfortunately, when I sent The Kid down the second time to pick up the pieces we couldn’t fit the first time around, I made a last minute decision to get pew and neither he nor the gentleman there paid attention to numbers and we got mismatched pieces.

So, after some thought and some fumbling, I used a router to make the necessary adjustments to the channels where the back and the seat set into the sides. Today, The Kid worked on assembling the pieces together and adding some supports to make it really strong. I need to pick up some wood filler to finish off those areas where adjustments left some gaps, then I can get it primed and painted.

2015-12-14 19.13.59 copyThis is one of those projects I plan to keep. The current plan is to paint it my favorite shade of red and it will sit in my foyer. I imagine it won’t take long until it is covered with supplies for new projects, but I think it will be gorgeous and unique!

As you can see, this side of the garage is still filled with a bunch of projects we’re working doggedly on finishing. The name of the game this week is: “prime and paint”! Closely followed by “list and sell”! 🙂

I don’t ever expect the garage to ever be empty or stay very empty for long. Expected therapy and recovery is expected to be somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks with a complete recovery within six months. Then there is no stopping me!

julie

More Intermediate Work

Again, the way I work is very energetic and a bit haphazard. I start working on multiple things at once and then wrap them up almost all at the same time. I am making progress on another pink ombré dresser, a couple of nightstands and began the process of putting together my pew (a bench for the foyer!) So, yeah, tons of stuff going on all at the same time.

2015-12-11 22.00.02Additionally, last weekend I was the recipient of a ton of wonderful stuff from a woman who, along with her family, were clearing her grandparents’ home and her grandmother was an avid sewer and crafter (like me)! I brought out two truck loads of ‘stuff’ – and I have spent the better part of the last five days going through all of it!

Seven large 55 gallon plastic bags, five more 33 gallon bags and a ton of other stuff – including numerous rolls of upholstery fabric! Initially, I was worried as Laura warned me that both of her grandparents were smokers, but this stuff was really clean and only smelled of fabric and crafts! LOL!

2015-12-11 21.58.47There was some really awesome retro and vintage fabrics. Colors straight out of the seventies: gold, green and oranges! But there are tons of it, some cuts were multiple yards! There are gorgeous cuts of pastels and children’s prints. Lots of whites and blacks – staples that I can always use. Laces, ribbons and threads. A bunch of real wool felt… red, blue, brown, greens, yellow and more! Velours, brocades and lace. Such awesomeness!

2015-12-05 20.27.47I’ve chosen a huge selection of the fabrics and extras, and am donating a large selection. I don’t usually work with knits or corduroys, but did select about two dozen cuts of fabrics that will make lovely blankets. I sat one day (and evening) hemming and have made a whole bunch of blankets that will be going to my favorite animal shelter: Wayside Waifs (along with some other stuff I’ve collected for them).

2015-12-11 21.59.44Oh and about another twenty pairs of jeans! Yay! More denim for my rag rug! So, I also spent more time deconstructing all those jeans and preparing them to be cut into 3″ strips. I also managed to sneak a little time sewing and have started sewing denim patchwork squares (7″)… I think I have about 50 so far. Might be looking at maybe ten by ten initially, and with all this leftover scrap denim, I think I could probably get at least a half dozen quilts out of it all!

2015-12-07 23.12.13Yeah, I’ll sleep when I am dead! And when I am recovering from surgery (oh yeah, attended an information class today about joint replacement therapy too)!

julie

Finally, Work Has Begun on the Denim Rag Rug

I seem to be guilty of working on many projects at once, and because of it, they seem to get completed at the same time. When that happens, there seems to be a roller coaster effect on the blog… many posts in a row, then nothing for a bit, then more posts. I wish I was better at planning or managing my work, but it is what it is.

Right now, my focus is getting things done that will be a) in my way once I have my double knee surgery and b) those projects I won’t be able to do because of the recovery. So, the garage is once again full of multiple projects being sanded and readied for priming.

Let’s see… there is one dresser, one chest of drawers, that little vanity that is about to become a pair of nightstands, my entry way pew (I can’t wait!) and headboards and foot boards waiting to become a couple more benches.

I am also determined to finish a project that I started about a hundred years ago… a table sized regulation Scrabble table!

DSCN4206This is the table base. The top is almost done, its been painted and the striped… all it needs is the special squares marked (you know, “double letter score” etc) and a finishing edge to the table. I’ve made the Scrabble tiles and the holders and then just to put it all together. I can’t wait to actually play a game on it… its going to be awesome!

I’ve been working on a couple of other small projects in between the big ones. One is for The Kid and his recent love of vinyl. As in music records. Whenever we hit the second hand shops and thrift stores, there is always at least one or two worth buying. His 45 collection is growing quite nicely and he needed somewhere to keep them, rather than in a flat pile on the desk. So, I am building this:

DSCN4207Its been primed, and I am going to finish it with a coat or two of my favorite Deep Space black high gloss paint. I made this in a day using scrap lumber (the bottom is actually paint stir sticks!!).

Whenever I get overwhelmed with how much is going on in the garage or it is a bit too cold to work in the garage (note: buy kerosene for garage space heater), I escape to my sewing room. I’ve been purchasing and prep’ing old blue jeans in anticipation of making a denim rag rug. So, after removing waist bands, pockets, zippers and seams, I have a nice pile of denim. The next step is to cut it all into 3″ strips in preparation for braiding.

So, I spent many hours tucked safely in my warm sewing room watching streaming television. I am having a difficult time estimating just how much is going to be needed to make the rug I want… or how large of a rug I can get with what I’ve got. I guess I will see when I start braiding. Saved for recovery time!

And speaking of, I am also planning on hand quilting that quilt I found some time back.

2015-02-18 16.45.07I’ve replaced the torn patches and added a new border and have a great backing material. Then I went out a purchased a hand quilt frame in anticipation (along with the wool batting) for time to hand quilt it and have been mulling over what pattern but right now, I am leaning towards just ‘stitch in the ditch’ of each and every triangle. Maybe I am overestimating how much free time I might have?

julie

P.S. I’ve been thinking about redesigning the website, mostly because the design blocks reader comments. I’ve been wanting a OMCS logo for a while, to start attaching to photos mostly – as they are popping up all over the internet, many without redirection back here. I’d love to hear from y’all… suggestions?

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