Making A Dent in the Project Pile

Work has had me worn out by the end of each day. Seems like I have the best of intentions but no energy to carry out the work for the blog page. But little by little, I am getting a few things done.

The first I am going to talk about is something that I really love… from the initial idea to its completion. I am really, really in love with this project.

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The conception of this little project was picking up – for free – the sewing table. A very simple design with the flip open top, a run-of-the-mill design for sewing machine tables. But it was in very nice shape and I loved the simple, elegant design.

I began by removing the top. I also removed from the front the flip down pocket from the front. A simple wipe-down of the remainder brought it back to the deep rich original finish.

dscn4731Some time ago, like over two years, I picked up some Corian countertops from CraigsList. I didn’t know what I would use them for, at the time, but I always knew that they could be transformed into something beautiful. Part of the countertops – the island piece, I believed – became the top of a beautiful cafe-style table and chairs set.

DSCN2794You’ll note that this set’s table is also sewing related! The chairs were fitted with matching Corian seats. Isn’t that adorable too?

dscn4729Well, we’ve learned – The Kid and I – that Corian can be cut, sanded and routed the same as any wood. So, I wanted to make the top for the new table from the remaining pieces. Initially, laid out in the workshop, I drew a nice little rectangle but knew that would be too boring. I recently purchased a new template for making curved edges for quilt and the paper label was lying in the recycle bin right in eye sight! I used it to draw the nice half circles around the edges and with a little fidgeting, it turned out perfectly.

dscn4730It took nearly half of the longest and widest piece of the Corian, you can see in this picture what was left as well as the reverse of the curves of the cutout piece. This sitting like this gave me the idea to use the same design to create a matching mirror. Wouldn’t this look cute in the entryway of someone’s home? Or a little place in the kitchen to dash off a recipe or keep a computer handy?

The piece was cut using a jigsaw and then routed top and bottom. I opted to keep the inside edge of the mirror pristine, I think the routing would have detracted from the edge work. It was fitted with a mirror and backed with a lightweight backing and then taped with a finish tape.

dscn4737The drawer front was connected to a larger drawer, one that was salvaged from the desk turned small cabinet (and decoupaged with Atlas maps). It was the perfect width, just needed to be cut down to a size that would fit the cabinet.

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I love that this piece was re-made without a penny being spent! Everything is remade/recycled from free materials picked up from CraigsList. I kept the tilt-out piece and just added the drawer. The Kid was crafty enough to configure a drawer tract and put it all together!

Another project finished! I’ve also worked on a couple of smaller projects at the same time… I always have to have my hands doing something! I finished cross stitching the little pillow for Mattie (hi Mattie!) to help her to remember that cubicle walls don’t have much sound protection!

Just a little pillow, about 4″ x 7″ that sits under her monitor. She picked the colors and I just happened to have the perfect fabric to use for the back.

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I also put together this little card holder for my blog cards. It is simply two drawer pulls on a scrap of really nice wood that I had leftover. I sanded the edges into nice rounds and attached the handles simply by drilling holes into the surface and sinking them into it. No gluing, no painting, no fuss! It works for either vertical or horizontal cards. Pretty neat, if I say so myself!

And last, but not least, I made yet another little shelf with storage bottles for craft items. As many of them before, this one is made from paint sticks! I love the versatility of those free pieces of wood! And I seem to always find one or six of those little jars, so I am quickly filling up the shelves.

Well, that about does it for tonight. Tomorrow we have big plans to finish the west wall of the garage… I have to remember to take before and after photos – as well as some in between.

julie

The Hallway is Clear!

So, I finally have some clarity and time to write this post. If you’ve been reading, you probably realize that the first of two knee replacement surgeries has been completed. I am writing this from my hospital bed!

I finished up the last of crafting organization, ostensibly to clear all the walking obstructions since I will be using first a walker and then crutches during rehab and recovery.

I have a bad habit of collecting too much whenever I start a new project. So, when I found a very cheap way of getting jewelry supplies, I really overdid it. My initial project to display this was novel idea of using an old typesetter drawer and small glass bottles.

What I found however, was that it didn’t even put a dent the amount of supplies that I had. I’ve been working on more of these in the past months,

DSCN4326And all of this was after I created several more shelving units similar to that first one. But I kept pushing and finally have the majority of it stored. Along with the new cabinet that I made (more later on that project) and got it all moved down to the landing to clear the hallway That effectively leads from the master bedroom to the kitchen.

Checking into the hospital for surgery really threw a wrench into plans, but I think it works for now. Or at least until the majority of my recovery is complete.

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:

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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

 

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

Jewelry Making Materials – Bits and Baubles

This has been an end to a great week. Not only did I finish a bunch of pieces (and start a few more), but sold almost all of what was ready! Yay! Now I have a small foundation to start looking for the next projects. If you’ve read or followed my blog at all, you will probably have figured out by this point that I don’t do any one thing for long. It isn’t that I get bored, its that I am always wanting to try more and new things and different and better ways to do the things I do already. And sometimes it is about timing, when I get materials or furniture or inspiration!

So, there has been a project I have been working on for a while.  These are the projects I really like, that take a while and some attention, but don’t last too long and are always useful – either to keep or to sell.

I did a similar pieces a while back, but I am not sure I did a write-up. So, I will make sure I’ve covered all the bases with this one. The first one was black, but this was is my signature red – what I call “Kitchenaid Red”.

2015-03-27 19.51.02It all started with finding a printer drawer online. The person selling was only asking $15 and was close to me, so I bought it. I removed a few dividers, otherwise I would end up with too many very small sections. I primed it and then gave it a couple of coats of the red paint in a matte finish. It looks a bit on the orange-ish side in this photo, but it is the perfect red.

Sorry about the lack of focus!

Then, I set about filling it. Much like the black one, I felt it was the perfect way to store – yet display – the supplies that I use in a lot of the work that I do. I really want to do more jewelry making, I am just waiting for the inspiration. I did some way, way, way back, but haven’t done much since. Well, other than collect pretty and sparkling beads and baubles.

I stumbled onto these little glass bottles a while back when I was making food for the American Girl dollhouse. I can’t seem to locate a photo at this moment, but we made jars of pickles and jellies and jams and peanut butter, even spice bottles in a rack!

I found them on eBay and you can find bottles of every height and width – some with crew tops, or corks or droppers. I just watched for a good time to purchase an assortment and then I turned to filling them. Originally, with the first drawer, it was to store and organize what I already had. But this time, I had little left still be to stored. So, I turned to a little sneaky little way that I discovered how to get great deals on beads and such on eBay. In the wee hours of the night, I search for “free shipping” and prices between $.01 and $.25 and “ending soonest” and then I sit and watch until they are down to 30 seconds and place a single bid. If I get it, great! If I don’t, I move on to the next auction.

Now, most of these end of coming from China, so it can take a bit longer than what I would normally want to wait, but in this case, it is just fine. Little packages start being delivered between one and four weeks and it is always fun to get little surprises!

So, then it is just a process of filing the bottles and then arranging them in the drawer. This is the fun part. The colors and sizes and sparkles – its just fun! I also make a mental inventory of what I have. Once I do start jewelry designing, I will know what I already have!

So, a few more photos:

2015-03-27 19.51.32Look at all the sparkle and shine! Its like candies or chocolate, only better!2015-03-27 19.51.20I haven’t quite figured out where exactly to hang it… I had thought on the other side of the cabinet (opposite of the black one) if there is room. I’ve said this before, the problem with being crafty is finding enough places to display your works of art.

Lots of things in the works, so keep coming back!

julie

Ambient Light, Night Light or Just Fun Light

I stumbled over this faux stained glass paint a while back when I was looking for spray paint for glass. I had this spray paint from a while ago, it was from Krylon and I used it quite a bit, but when I stumbled onto a cache of those glass insulators, I went out trying to find a range of colors, to no avail.

That’s when I found Plaid’s Gallery Glass paints. They didn’t work the same, duh, obviously they weren’t spray paints. But a couple of projects in and I figured out the best use of them for me. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As you may (or may not) know, the Kid and I like to go ‘abandoned house hunting’. We drive around the Missouri country-side looking for homes that have been abandoned and we stop and look for cool stuff in the debris. On one such trip, in a big field adjacent to a couple of broken down barns, we found a huge lot of old glass bottles. Like milk or juice bottles, not really sure. Most were neck down in the dirt and were relatively clean, but some had rain water or other gunk and required some clean out. Most were gallon or half gallon bottles, the kind with neck finger-rings and most were clear.

One such bottle was green though and very clean. I decided to drill a small hole in the bottom on the same side as the finger-ring and thread a long string of green twinkly lights into it.

Green JarSo, the green one is a little too plain. The next one up, is where I stumbled onto the faux stained glass paint. I was still experimenting. I litterally used a brush and tired to brush the paint on. You can see it with this blue jar:

BlueGallonThe lights inside are multi-colored. Still not what I was wanting as you could still see too much of the lights’ wiring even when lit.

Gallon1Here is the next attempt at creating a stained glass “look”. PLAID also has this mock ‘leading’ that you can attach first and then fill in the shapes with the paint. I was still figuring out how to really use the paint for the best effect. I wished I had someone who could have told me!

This was much closer to the look I was going for. What I eventually figured out was that it was better to use one very thick application of paint than multiple layers. You have to work with the glass or bottle on it’s side and you can only do so much before you have to let it dry. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, the paint can runover the leading and splash into the next color. Sometimes you might have to do some touch ups as well.

Glitter JarsThen, after a fellow blogger’s post, I thought I would try it with glitter. Using ModgePodge, I started by putting down the faux leading and then painting in the areas with ModgePodge and then sprinkling in with glitter. It turned out very pretty unlit, not bad lit (although you can see areas where the glitter could have been thicker) but as with anything glitter, I had it EV-ER-Y-WHERE and on EV-ER-Y-THING in the house. Of course, on myself too. I think the only positive thing was that it was during the Christmas holiday season and people perhaps thought it was supposed to be on me!

Back to the PLAID paints. As is inevitable, practice helps. I love the glow of the ambient light when the Kid and I are watching movies. It is just enough to keep the house from looking abandoned but not so brightly lit that it is the primary focus.

4JarsSo, there it is. Oh and for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products in this post. They are just the products that I have found and like to use over the years of making beautiful stuff.

julie

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