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?

My Recycle Project: Blue Corian, Singer Sewing Base and Metal Chairs

Whew! We’ve finally completed this project. It has been a long time in the making, but I finally was able to get it done with the help of The Kid.

DSCN2792So, you can see the starting point here, but I will give you a quick catch up. Months ago, I picked up several pieces of blue Corian countertops, including a smallish rectangular piece that I think was the counter surface for an island. Wasn’t quite sure of what I was going to use it for, but when something like that pops up on CraigsList, you get it while the getting is good.

I had the sewing machine base from one of our abdandoned house hunting trips and had spray painted it white, sort of as a primer. But once I saw the countertop, I knew it was a match made in heaven. Literally, all I had to do was set the top on the base and I could see something really unique.

Initially I was going to just make and sell the table, but I figured it would be cooler if there were a set of chairs to go with it. I kept an eye on CraigsList and almost like it was scripted, a set of four popped up. Now they needed work (of course they needed work, else they wouldn’t be on CraigsList for free) and I opted to pick them up, thinking I could get two good ones if I used the other two for ‘parts’. As luck would have it, three were salvageable.

DSCN2734After removing the seats, I then spray painted everything with high gloss white spray paint. This was not an easy task. It seemed every time I thought I was done, I would turn it upside down or stand at a different angle and would see areas that I missed. I think I have them completely painted now.

I used the seat that came with the chairs as a template and we used more of the Corian countertop for the seats. The Corian worked much like any hard wood, and we were able to route the edges and drill holes to attach the seats to the chairs.

DSCN2774The one thing that we did notice, however, is that working with the Corian results in a LOT of ‘saw’ dust. The workshop looked like it had snowed!

DSCN2775I didn’t want the seat to sit directly onto the base of the chair seats; since the previous seats were actually upholstered, the flat pieces didn’t exactly line up right with the exposed hardware on the chair.

DSCN2770By having and using the right tools for the job, the project went very well. Here is The Kid using our newest addition to the workshop, the drill press. SUH-weet!

DSCN2790Here he is in the final assembly. Note the nice, smooth, rounded edges. And interestingly enough, by routing the edges (top and bottom), it actually gave the edges a polished finish. Nice, happy accident!

DSCN2789By using some spare hardware(found when reorganizing the garage a week ago), I was able to give it a little more ‘polished’ look. And gave the necessary height for sitting at the table. The final detail was to add rubber ‘feet’ to the chairs, to protect the floors that the chairs would sit on.

DSCN2780More about the table: we had previously cut and glued a 1″x8″ on the back side of the table. Then two supports were added to the top of the sewing machine base, allowing the table top to be bolted onto the counter surface. This could be beneficial for the person or family that buys it, allowing for easier transport. Did I happen to mention that this stuff is heavy! And it has a nice solid feel as well.

The Kid’s help was immeasurably helpful in completing this project, and heck, I just like hanging around with him. 🙂

DSCN2779In between helping him, I was also prep’ing an additional 5 or 6 more projects… here are the drawers all being sanded and hardware holes being filled. The Kid has been tasked with putting the first couple of coats of primer on all of these now that I have gotten the prep work out of the way. All of these pieces of furniture are all wood and it makes the chore of preparation that much easier. Oh, and by the way, real wood pieces are light. I think a lot of people mistakenly think something is more ‘solid’ or more ‘wood’ if the piece is heavy and that generally is not true. What weighs so much is the glue and the layers of particle board or composite wood. Most of these pieces I can move by myself if I take the drawers out ahead of time. Another thing I really like is that some of the older pieces come with wheels attached and you gotta love that!

So, a few more photos as I close this post. If you recall, the third stall of the garage is where my sports car (you can see it in the background of this first photo) is stored once snow has fallen. And I’ve heard that there is an “arctic blast” predicted for the end of November, so I have to get projects done and sold (and delivered) very soon.

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DSCN2797Off to get this listed for sale on CraigsList. My kitchen is red (as you may know) or I might be tempted to keep this one for myself!

julie

 

 

 

31.5 x 39

The Tale of Two Bentwood Cases

On occasion, I get the desire to acquire something unique. (Okay, that’s about every other day, but who keeping track?) Recently, it was an old Singer featherweight in a bentwood case.

99K Singer Hand Crank Sewing MachineThey look something like this. These machines were so well made that many of them are still in use. And I found quite a few that were absolutely in perfect condition – both machine and case.

Well, for some unknown reason, I bought two! Based on the serial numbers, one was from the 40’s and one from the early 50’s. The older one was described as being in perfect working order too. But the other one had a foot control and a built in light on the back of the machine (to shine on the sewing area).

Well, much to my chagrin, neither of the boxes arrived without incident, shipping took a real toll on both of them. So, I opted to put together one using parts from the other to make it look almost perfect again. I cleaned the wood and lightly sanded it and then gave it a coat of stain in the same color, just to bring out the richness of the wood. I then added two coats of poly to help protect it. I also swapped a few parts, mostly decorative, as one machine had much more ornate detailing.

The other box, well, it couldn’t be saved. See how the handle sits on top of the case? Well, pressure on top of the box during shipping had literally pushed the handle through the top of the box. And then in jumbling about during transit, the connectors (where the box attaches to the base) broke and then the machine just bounced around inside the case, causing more damage. I tried very, very, very hard to restore it, but it just wasn’t saveable.

So, I opted to give it a treatment like I had done before with a dresser (and did a bunch of trunks this way ten or twelve years ago). I like how it came out:

2014-10-20 18.26.58So everything is still functional, it just now has a new look. Whaddyathink?

Oh, and worked on this photo to get my “Before & After” shot of the changes in the sewing room. The angle that the photograph was taken isn’t the best – as it is difficult to see the new cabinet on the other side of the television armoir, but trust me, its there!

Before&After

I still need to add more lights in the back corner for the two embroidery machines and that is in the works. Months ago I picked up these lovely antique hanging globes (two different sets with two lights each), but I need to get them rewired and then hung.

I found this wonderful site online that I want to order electrical cords from, I have been on this site everyday since I found it and I can’t wait to get going. You should check ’em out! It seems like their prices are extremely competitive, although I know once I get started, I am going to be sending a lot of money their way!

For the sewing room, I’ve got these in mint green picked out, the socket cover and a twisted cord:

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I also have been collecting decanters for use in recreating something like this for the front foyer/entryway:

decanter-light… except I will use red socket covers and red wires:

red_metal_covered-1_largeDIY_Pendant_Cord-12_large

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think it will look very striking! Well, you know me and my red kitchen!!

julie

 

 

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 with you!

The Always ‘Almost Done’ Status

Its been a lazy kind of weekend, it seems each time that I muster up enough energy to get started, I fizzle quickly. It was all I could do to work up enough energy to sort through the third stall of the garage. Trying to identify everything that could possibly be either discarded or thrown away. Then what was left was organized such that it is each piece is easily reached and I did a mental checklist of the projects left and their relative level of effort required to finish.

The countertops don't look nearly as blue as they are!The project that is currently under way – has been under way for some time – is the kitchen table and chairs. I don’t know if you recall, but months ago, The Kid and I picked up some Corian countertops from the friendliest woman via Craigslist. She had gotten the counters from her dad (I think she said) and she had hoped to use them for an outdoor kitchen but her husband had put his foot down and wanted them gone from the backyard. Of course, I couldn’t resist, even though I didn’t have a particular project in mind. I love it when something happens that makes it worth the gas and time to pick it up.

One of the pieces of Corian that was included, was a squarish piece that had edges, it appears to have been used for an island. And it just so happened that I had been on the receiving end of an antique sewing machine and table. I wanted to use the base for something, I love the character that comes with things that were manufactured or built in the previous century. And the square base sat perfectly onto the frame.

To be complete, however, I had to have chairs to go along with it. And they had to be similar in style. After watching CraigsList for some time, even scouring the For Sale listings, I saw the ad in the FREE section. There were four of them, although two were broken and needed repair. But I thought that perhaps two chairs were enough given that it was a small table, perhaps to be used in a breakfast nook.

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So far, I’ve been able to get the base of the table painted, as well as the chairs. To give the chairs a little more heft, I filled the tubular legs with sand. By using both broken chair, we were able to actually to get one good chair. So this table set with have three chairs.

2014-11-02 14.29.03Next up, today, we cut the rough shape of the chair seats from another piece of Corian. I had heard and read that Corian would cut just like wood, using the same tools and methods.

2014-11-02 14.29.08I was nervous but The Kid helped out and used the circular saw to cut the patterns I drew. I took a piece of Corian scrap and worked it with the band saw and the belt sander and to my amazement, it did exactly what it should. It did take a little more time (and patience) but in the end the normal tools worked.

So, next up is to finish the chair seats and then attach them to the table. We also have most of the table assembled, we’re going to mount pieces of wood to the base and then bolt the base to the wood we’ve attached to the bottom of the table. This one is soon to be completed.

photoOkay, I’ve been writing while watching some old scary movies via Netflix and we’ve just started “House on Haunted Hill”, the original with Vincent Price, so I need to publish and turn my attention to The Kid and the movie.

Come back soon to see the completed work!

julie

Wonderful World of Wine Glasses

There’s this wonderful web site that auctions off items from businesses that go out of business (mostly) and they always seem to have the most extraordinary things. I like to wait until the last day and skim through and find anything not being bid on and make my selections. Recently, I won an auction for 20 wine glasses for just $5 (and a couple of dollars processing fee) and the Kid drove downtown to pick them up for me. I had no plan in mind when I bid on them, I just knew it would be a great canvas for some fun art.

Of course, I didn’t take any ‘before’ pictures, but I think in this situation, you won’t miss much. But here are my ‘afters’:

First, I had recently purchased a 30 bottle package of ultra fine glitter. You can thank one of the blogs that I follow, she was making Christmas ornaments and I immediately fell in love with the look of the extra fine glitter. So, the first set of glasses was rewarded with a thick coat of glitter on the stem and base of the glass… chose 8 different colors – selecting those with the most deep colors:

2013-12-25 17.56.50I used Modge-Podge and a brush and then sprinkled the glitter over the stem and base. I used a thick coat of Modge-Podge so it would have a nice even coat and not require patching or filling in. Once dry, I placed the glass upside down and sprayed it lightly with two coats of high gloss clear XXX, letting each coat dry thoroughly in between to ensure a long lasting finish. All in all, I think this would be pretty durable, although I would only clean by hand and never put it in the dishwasher.

An addendum: I did want to add two more to this set, one in black and another in silver, but the Kid thought that would be too ‘pedestrian’. Where did this Kid come from anyway?

Next up was an attempt to recreate a pinterest pin. I like the idea of gradients of a single color or a color ombré approach. The first one was done in shades of blue and I immediately liked the way it turned out. I used Elmer’s Paint Pens, over the years I have invested in many colors and line weights, so naturally it was an easy enough solution. I started with the darkest color and made dots and let them dry. Followed by three more layers in lighter degrees of the same color until there is a nice coverage. A few straggling dots up the stem for fun. Green, yellow and pink followed for a nice set of four.

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2013-12-25 17.58.24These also were the recipients of two coats of clear gloss coats sprayed with ample drying time in between. These, also, should be hand cleaned for years of use. I hope. 🙂

For the third set of glasses, I used a process that I have been playing with lately, a paint that dries to mimic stained glass. I’ve been playing with this for a while, first used on a large mirror and then a couple sheets of glass to actually make some “stained glass” panels. I have another project that I will talk about soon in another post, that I used this paint on a glass gallon bottle and then filled with small Christmas lights to make a nice, calming ambient light source. The company that makes the paint almost makes mock “leading” and so I simply started by laying out the “leading and then filling in the shapes. I used nice thick coats so that I didn’t have to do multiple coats, something I learned over time and experimentation.

2013-12-25 17.58.58I only made two, as I think these wouldn’t actually be good for drinking, but rather just decorative. I don’t plan on using them as glasses, but rather as an object of art. I love the bubbly look of the way the paint actually looks like old glass, the uneven and wavering surface. These paints come in many colors and I have many of them, and will continue to experiment with it.

The final set of glasses was the most fun and of course, the season lent the motif to the decoration: Christmas lights. Not the new little twinkle lights, but the lights I grew up with and still my favorite. I cut out a small template for the bulb and the rest was free hand. Again, finished the same as most of the glasses and I will handle the same way.

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2013-12-25 17.54.28And with the completion of these 6 glasses, all of my glasses had been used. And a couple of days worth of crafting time. And now I have to figure out what I am going to do next and more importantly, what I am going to do with these new glasses. My house is overflowing to spilling out with projects and there just isn’t room anymore for any more displays!

Well, I hope that everyone had a great holiday and enjoyed time off. I relaxed as much as that is possible for me with the Kid.

I hope you made something beautiful today!

julie

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