Why Are The Weekends Always Too Short?

This weekend was really about simply making progress on about a half dozen big projects. I am never amazed at the never-ending supply of great ideas and the things that inspire them.

I did this project not too long ago and just never got around to posting about it. Simple enough, just a shadow box and an old game controller. Hard to take photos of it though! ūüôā

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This next project was sparked by a lively conversation with a wonderful co-worker. She has the words “Inside Voice” written on the white board in her office and we got to talking about it. Trust me to say that she is not the only person who needs to be reminded that cubicles are not the same as walled offices and voices travel. Mine included!DSCN4715

So, I searched the internet and found a couple of compositions that might work well for a cross stitch pillow she can lean against the bottom of her monitor to remind her. I can’t quite decide which one I am going with, just yet. I know the colors and have a scrap pieces of fabric I used in making a suitcase dresser and I still have to get enough thread so that I don’t run out. Either one I use will require a ton for the background, so I am going to lay in a good supply.

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Lastly, I also had this little chair that I remade for my sewing room. Simple again in design… just painted the frame of an old chair given to me and recover the seat. The green looks more ‘limey’ than it really is, the lighting in the room made it look like this!

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Okay, back to work tomorrow! I have three days of training in anticipation of me taking over the training, so I really have to be paying attention! No way can I afford to doze off in these classes!

julie

Regal Red Benches for a Country Kitchen; Repurposing Headboards and Footboards

So, we finally finished the big project that we’ve been working on for a while. I think this one took so long because I really don’t want to let go of these benches…. I think I was looking for a way to keep them while we were working on them; it would explain why I was ‘dragging my feet’ on them.

It is what I would envision for my kitchen, if I had more of a country kitchen. Even so, I think they could work in my kitchen if I didn’t already have a dining room set that I am in love with. Sometimes I wish I could have two kitchens. We did away with the formal dining room in our house almost from the day we moved in (we had the open formal dining room closed with french doors and made into my home office), so I don’t have the room for a second dining room set. And the area that it resides in just off the kitchen is too small to accomodate anything other than the round dining room table. Sigh.

A while back, I finally took the step of transforming a head- and foot- board set into a bench. It was a small, cute little bench perfect for a little girl’s room… like a reading nook where one could curl up with a favorite teddy bear or doll and a book and be happy. That experiment turned out pretty well (at least I think so) and it sold really fast. The only thing I didn’t like was that the seat was too deep, IMHO, such that an adult couldn’t sit comfortably in it. But in the end, it really was designed for a smaller book reader or readers.

2014-12-30 16.46.34If I had made this to keep, I would have added a thick foam seat upholstered in a nice long wearing fabric.

Fast forward to today. I did the final touch ups last night (which explains the blue tape in some of the photos). Today we moved them into the foyer to allow more room for new projects; I already have two more projects underway!

2015-03-26 13.41.54 2015-03-26 13.41.38Okay, where to begin. It is a pretty straightforward task of taking the head- and foot-boards and turning them into benches. Sawing the foot-boards in half and then placing each one on either end of the head-board. Actually, learning the lesson from the previous bench construction, I realized that I needed to pay attention to the depth of the bench. It was my intention to make them benches to be used, perhaps at a big old country table, replacing individual chairs on either side.

Using one of my dining room chairs as a guideline, I marked from each end of the foot-board 16″ and then made the cuts. Each piece was then attached to the legs of the head-board. Our choice of construction is to drill through the leg and into the cut half, this seems the most solid method. We also added quarter round to add a little more strength. Then a board is cut (we used 1″x8″ pine) and attached to both ends of the foot-boards.

2015-04-02 19.53.24It was at this time we noticed something different between the two benches. Do you see it? I’ll let you in on the secret at the end, if you don’t figure out while reading this post.

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Next up was to attach a similar board to the back between the legs and then we measured and cut the seats. I knew from the start that I wanted to stain the seats, so we did not permanently attach the seats at this time.

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Both benches were then primed (I bought a primer and had Home Depot tint it red, the idea to make painting take less coats of paint. It helped, but not quite as much as I hoped. There was still five coats of paint applied! Red is a bear of a color to work with, but I think it is well worth it.

2015-04-19 13.56.14You can see in this photo that we were also working on the two pink ombre dressers at the same time. The garage can get a bit packed at times. ūüôā

2015-04-22 18.08.38The bench seats are in the forefront, I had spent this particular day sanding and edging and preparing to stain the wood that would become the seats. I think sanding is my least favorite thing to do. Necessary? Absolutely yes. Fun? Nope. The seats were then given three coats of stain with a light sanding in between, followed by three coats of high gloss polyurethane (also with light sanding in between). Whew! That’s a lot of sanding! The Kid really, really doesn’t like to sand, so I make deals with him about what he can do while I sand.

Time to assemble; the way this is designed, the seat just sits on the four bases but is not attached in any way. I think this makes it a little more maneuverable, in the event of an uneven floor or if it is to be used outdoors. Also means that there is less stress on any of the joints, which is always good.

2015-04-27 14.27.02For me and The Kid, these projects have almost become rote. However, we thoroughly enjoy all of the projects we undertake, though; especially me getting to spend time with my about-to-be-twenty year old son.

Now for the big reveal!

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A few of the pictures show a little blue painter’s tape… that was done to make a few touch ups. Its amazing how different lighting can make you see something you missed the first time through!2015-04-29 10.57.52 2015-04-29 10.57.44 2015-04-29 10.57.33Have you noticed the little difference between the two benches yet?

Red Benches DifferenceWe only noticed it just late enough that we couldn’t change it. Or, I suppose we could have, but we thought it would be fun to have something just a little different between the two benches. I think the foot board must have come apart at one time and when it was repaired, it was replaced upside down. A little extra charm!

Before&After Red BenchesI thought long and hard about making a table to go with these benches. And pick up a couple of similar, but not exactly the same, chairs for the head and foot of the table. Paint it all up to match. Seemed like a bit too much investment right now, though, see if they sell or not. Maybe if someone asks, we can take it to the next stage.

The weather is finally started to feel like spring and it makes working in the garage so much easier. We might have to take some time over the next few weeks to get back into my strawberry beds: weeding and planting additional plants. We also have to get someone to dig out a large hole in the backyard so that we can dump the equivalent of three 55 gallon barrels of compost under the garden bed. The Kid has some definite ideas about what he wants to plant this year.

So, I hope you enjoyed today’s reveal. We’ve already got lots more to share!

julie

Useful Little Red Side Table

A while back, I had to replace the sofa in the main living room in my house. Having had an active dog and a pre-teen who then became a teen, the old red couch just got worn out. So off to the local big box furniture store to pick out a new one.

I really had my heart set on finding another red couch, as I still have the matching chair and a half with its matching ottoman. I knew it was going to tough to find one that will match the chair just with the color, let alone the style. And when I didn’t find a red one that I really liked the style, we opted to go with a complimentary color, a sort of golden brown with wood accents.

Well, its not been the best decision. For one thing, it hasn’t worn very well. The Kid doesn’t like it as it isn’t very deep, such that I makes it difficult to lay on the couch, like to take a nap. And for me, I miss the flat arms. The way that our living room is laid out, there isn’t room for end tables. And I don’t have an sofa table, but rather a big soft ottoman before it.

So, why is this important? Well, the flat arms on the old sofa used to be the place I would set my Diet Coke. But since we replaced it, I have tried a number of spots to rest my can.

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There is setting it on the footstool/ottoman. But this is a soft surface and someone putting their feet up can knock this can over…

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The edge of my computer was chosen just one time. Although it is more solid, it is still sitting on the soft unstable surface of the ottoman. I knocked this can over once – all over the keyboard – and I knew that wouldn’t be doing that twice. (BTW: Computer was fine once it dried out. Whew!)

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Here was habit kicking in… back to the arm of the sofa. But the arms are rounded and nothing sits here long. I cannot begin to count the number of times I’ve knocked the can off.

photo 5So, then I went to setting the can on the floor. This is nice and solid, but also out of sight and forgotten so I am oft kicking the can over. Or forgetting it there and grabbing another.

I needed a solution to this issue. And in comes The Kid. I gave him the challenge to design me something to be able to set my can of soda. I had seen an arm “sleeve” made of wood and suggested that. He went into work mode.

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And this is what he came up with. Of course, I painted it my favorite shade of red. Then its just a matter of taking it into the living room and installing it at the end of the sofa.

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It has been working well for about the past two weeks (I know, I know, what took so long to write about it?). I finally knocked over a can sitting on the table when I tossed the pillow over to the side (see the towel sopping up spilled Diet Coke?). Before installing the table, I had probably knocked over a can at least once every two to three days. Now it took two whole weeks before I managed to. I think that is definite improvement.

julie

Do you know a princess? Are you a princess?

What an eventful weekend!

I’ve told you before about my love of craigslist, haven’t I? I’ve been able to buy and pick up a number of projects and then turn around and after applying my own brand of style and talents have been able to pass those along to others. Well, that and the happenstance of a city wide garage sale this past weekend, resulted in an abundance of project turnaround. And the influx of a little cash (never hurts!).

So let me share with you some of my projects:

I’m really getting good with the ombre style with dressers. And they seem to just to appeal to almost everyone, boys and girls. I’ve done blue and purple and pink and this weekend I’ve completed both another pink and blue. The pink was done, really, to take advantage of the pink paint that I stumbled upon at Lowe’s. What is called “oops paint”.¬† A quart of very light pink paint, one I would call ‘blush’ that was marked for $2.50 (full price was almost $15.00!). Never one to pass up a bargain, and of course knowing that pink is a favorite of mine and would make a great color for many projects to come.

I have been looking for a vanity for my ongoing master bedroom planning and ran across a cute one for sale on craigslist. Listed for $15, I couldn’t pass it up. Here it is “before”:

There was nothing to help reference the size in the photograph, but it didn’t take long once we were there to pick it up to realize it was a child’s vanity. It’s pretty small. But it was cute as heck and was so cheap that I couldn’t pass it up. So it went home with us.

I darn near tore it down to nothing in trying to restore it, but it was for the best. It think that it had been held together with bubble gum and a strong wish! I thought if I replace the bridge with something a little wider and sturdier and maybe placed feet on it, I would be able to still use it, but it still proved to be too small for my needs.

So a wider, stronger bridge was added, with a nice gentle curve on the back. I added the flower motif on the front, just seems to add a feminine touch.

I had picked up a pretty beaten up mirror at an estate sale weeks ago that I knew would come in handy for just such a project. So it was added with a little brace to the top. And what vanity is complete without a mirror? After a couple of coats of the pale pink paint, I added a single strand of “pearls” to the inside… I thought it added just the perfect extra touch of femininity to the mirror. I am still considering a top coat of sparkles to the rosette edging, but I want to be careful about taking it too far.

Everything got several coats of the pale ‘blush pink’ following a coat of primer. I know that you should use a grey primer for red, so I figured it would be good under pink as well. And considering that I had the majority of a gallon leftover from the red wall in my bathroom, that helped keep costs down. The wood used for the bridge and for the back support was wood that came from play kitchen project and a leaf from one of the two tables that I recently acquired for another project.

The drawer interiors were painted a bold purple (because little girls who love pink usually love purple too!) and the wooded knobs were replaced with a single clear glass knob.

I painted both a small chair and a bench (both free via craigslist) as I wasn’t sure which one would be most suited. I found the most lovely and the ultra-soft fleece (called ‘bubble fleece’) in almost the same pale pink and upholstered both. I think I prefer the bench, but will offer the option of either (or both!).

Here is a close-up of the bench… the proportions turned out perfect!

Love the musical motif on the chair. I may still add some detailing here, something to add sparkle or attention to the unique styling of the seat.

And there it is! Isn’t it just perfect for some little princess? I can’t wait to see the look on some little girl’s face when she realizes that this will be in her room!

So, here is a wrap up of the costs:

Vanity                 $15.00
Mirror                $10.00
Fabric                   $ 6.15
Paint                     $ 2.50
Beads                  $   1.99
Knobs                  $10.00

Grand Total        $45.64

The primer, wood, bench, chair, glue and all the tools I already had and the Kid (my wonderful and strong and helpful son) makes all of it a real pleasure and joy to be able to create this kind of magic! I have it set up in my entryway and have taken photos of it there. I will be able to enjoy seeing it there for the next few days. I love when a plan comes together!

It has been a eventful weekend, I’ve picked up another couple of dressers which I’ve a grand plan in mind for the matching pair. My collecting and work has been spreading out all over the house, so I decided to confine it to the small section of the garage (or at least try!)…

Can you believe how organized this disorganization is? (And how do you like the awesome retro leather chair I picked up this weekend?)

Well, I hope you liked the work I did. And I hope I inspired you to create. Recycle. Upcycle. Whatever you do, love it!

Happy Crafting Y’All!

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