Dollhouse Reveal: The Dining Room (#11)

Another of my favorite rooms. I personally could not have a room with so much black, but I really love the way it turned out.

DSCN4943The inspiration for this room was the fabric that become the large octagonal rug in the center of the room.DSCN4944Right after that, I ran across the black and cream dining room chairs, and I knew the color direction that was going to dominate this room. I ended up having to buy two sets and one of the tables went into the sewing room as the cutting table. I used the other in the middle with a large round. Lots of seating for family and friends!DSCN4945Would you believe that chandelier is actually a car air freshener?  I had to actually shorten it, as when I initially placed it, it almost touched the floor.DSCN4946The table cloth fabric was another ‘stumbled upon’ fabric. I had initially just planned to use a crisp white table cloth, but when I saw this fabric I knew I had to use it. (Chocolate cake ready for desert for guests!)DSCN4947The china cabinets are something I picked up a long time ago seriously cheap and I ended buying about a half dozen of them. They all varied ever so slightly from one another, but the two I used were very similar. Painted black and filled with various china pieces and silver and copper work, they make a nice compliment.DSCN4948I tried using a different wall treatment in this room. For the most part, it turned out okay. The wainscotting is really siding for the outside of the house, but I like it used this way. I also used this gorgeous scrapbooking paper for the upper portion of the wall, rather than paint.DSCN4949The floor was the originally purchased real-wood floor that had been added to the collection somewhere along the line. I could actually cut it with scissors it was so thin, but took a nice oak stain.

The window treatments are the houndstooth black and creme fabric with off-white sheers. This is another set of curtains that don’t quite hang right and there is a part of me that wants to replace. If I used the same fabric as the table cloth, would it be too much? The valance has fabric that was leftover from the rug and I was able to snip out a section that doesn’t give it away too much.

So, that concludes the tour of the dining room. Come back for more room reveals.


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Dollhouse Reveal: The Girl’s Bedroom & Nursery (#9)

Hello and welcome back to my dollhouse reveal. Today, I am showing off the little girl’s room and nursery. In case you don’t know, I only had one child – a boy (my pride and joy) – so I never got to do the whole “pink thing”. All the better that it translates into many of the craft things I do.DSCN4924The only downside to my dollhouse is that it is nearly impossible to get complete shots of the rooms. I did my darnedest to get the lighting all the way to the back, but I guess I need some tips and tricks for better lighting.DSCN4925I had so much fun with this room, all the little toys and details.  And as for all little princesses, a chandelier was installed.DSCN4926I made all the little books in the bookcase, many of my and The Kid’s favorites, including Dr. Seuss.DSCN4927The curtains don’t help with the lighting, and once I get the window treatments done, I really don’t like to mess with them. Many, in fact, are glued into place.

dscn4928.jpgI made the mobile over the crib and it was so exacting, but came out exactly as I planned. And I even made small diapers piled on the changing table and there is a box of kleenex right at hand.DSCN4929Cute little matching quilts for the bed and crib, complete with matching pillows. The same materials were used for the curtains and I found this wonderful little embroidered sheer material that looks like it was made for a little girl’s room.DSCN4930The lamp, sitting atop a white mid-century dresser with pink pulls has the cutest little lamp. This was made from purse sized bottle of perfume, I ran a small dowel down the center and the topped it off with a handmade shade. It sits on the dresser with the cutest little crocheted doily and has the cutest little ceramic puppy dog.

The floor is yet one more laminate sample. The pattern makes one think of linen and is just the most wonderful shade of pink that matches the entire room.

Thank you, once again, for taking a peek!


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Just One More Homemade Wind Chime

I am in “getting things done” mode lately… in anticipation of spending much time and energy in a few months on my double knee replacement surgery and recovery. As difficult as some things are for me physically now, I anticipate them being much more difficult in the eight to ten weeks following the surgeries. So, I’d like as many projects that I have planned and/or have the supplies to be completed before that time.

I love wind chimes. Of all types and styles, but mostly those that are unique, and those made of unique and/or recycled materials. I am always on the lookout for possible materials for chimes and have a large plastic tub in the garage filled with possibilities. Every once in a while, I find a combination of all supplies needed and I put one together.

Sometime ago, I picked up a box lid filled with chandelier prisms. I knew it would make a beautiful wind chime, in fact, there are so many, I expect to make several. But last night, while being bored, I actually made the base for one chime to use these prisms.

I then drilled holes to match the pattern below:Placement Holes ChimesThere isn’t really instructions, per se, but rather its a hit or miss process. I threaded a strong red crochet yarn in and out of each hole, threading through a single prism, and then used a small bead to secure it. All the way around the base, 12 prisms in all. Then, I returned to the same holes and threaded a small plastic teardrop in between each prism.

At this point, I turned to the hanging portion of the chime. I threaded the same crochet thread through the four inner holes (san the center one) and then ran it up together and tied a knot around a round ring. Then, using more of the plastic crystals, I fashioned a length of of these to make the “clanger” (I have never figured out what that is actually called!) and secured it through the middle hole and up to the same ring, tying several knots at the top.


Its tough trying to photograph this one handed when its dark!

If all of that sounds like a whole ‘lot of confusion, it sort of is! Like I said, this is a process of trial and error and after having created more than a few dozen, I have the process sort of down pat. But each one is always a little different from the last one, and on purpose. I love having each chime have its own personality!

There are several more to be made, and with the next one I will try to do a tutorial. If you have specific questions, please ask them in the comments and I will do my best to incorporate the answers into the tutorial.


Edit: Here is another photo of the chime taken during daylight hours with the help of my son. It almost isn’t better! It’s tough to take good photos of this for some reason:

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And You Light Up My Life…. Art Deco Chandelier Restored

My creative work has suffered recently with the advent of job hunting. The good thing is that it seems I am still in high demand which always makes the hunt easier, but it is hunt nonetheless. It takes time and energy and concentration. The great thing is that I have completed most of the big projects, so, the ‘to do’ pile isn’t taking up so much of the garage.

One thing that The Kid and I did recently was a real change of styles. We were notified of an old abandoned house that was scheduled for demolition – as the farm land was being incorporated into a commercial farm.

Side note: I would love to find one of these old farm houses that is still in good shape and just buy the house and the land under it and live on it. Out in the middle of no where with just enough land to grow vegetables and a few dogs and have a barn for restoring furniture. But then I am reminded of the whole “no internet” thing and having to drive everywhere for groceries and materials and restaurants! And then I put that little dream back into the dusty recesses of my mind.

Anyway, these old houses can be a treasure trove of goodies. Sometimes you get lucky and find all kinds of wood work – such as doors and trims and moldings, even staircases and sometimes even stained glass! This particular farm amazingly had this pristine chandelier hanging in the living room… with five perfect shades on it! This is just about unheard of!

photo 1In fact, the same chandelier hung in the next room – sans shades of course – so we took that too, just in case we needed extra parts for the first one. Believe it or not, it was still wired and I am betting that if the house had electricity, throwing a switch would have resulted in light!

Once home, it was time to clean up that bad boy. I had order new sockets and fabric wrapped wiring from my new favorite lighting place, Color Cord Company. The selection available is so great, that it took me forever to finally choose a color! Great problem to have, I say!

I snapped a couple of photos of the wiring so I would know how to put this thing back together:

photo 2

You can see what decades of neglect can do to a fixture… even one of this 3I set about taking it all apart and cleaning all the pieces. The finish was word very badly in a couple of places, so I just opted to spray paint everything. Another decision that took a while to make, whether to paint it to look like the original brass or update the color. After perusing the paint aisle at Home Depot, I selected a beautiful new shade called Rose Gold.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.49.25 AMThis is similar to the brass but prettier and softer. I had cleaned up both sets, just in case we needed to use parts from one, but everything was there! Now The Kid set to re-wiring the fixture.

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We were actually able to salvage the original sockets! Talk about quality!2015-05-16 13.40.01I love his attitude when faced with something new. He researched it online and then went and bought the materials he needed and set about completing the job. Then it was time to piece the chandelier back together. 2015-05-16 13.51.16Slipped the shades on to it (they are called “slip shades”… something I learned in working on this project. No holes!) and we were done!

2015-05-16 14.52.58And here is the finished project:

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A few more photos taken to be able to list the item:2015-05-18 11.36.34

I had chosen the deep brown fabric cord and included about 8′ of extra cord so that if someone wanted, they could add a chain and hang it from a higher ceiling.2015-05-18 11.37.32

From the research I did, I was able to find that this was about 1930’s era, called ‘Art Deco’. Amazing that after 80 years this was still hanging and its five slip shades were in pristine condition!2015-05-18 11.37.46

I have been on the lookout for five more shades, up to this point, I can only locate four. If I am able to acquire the necessary five, I will put the other fixture together as well. What a bonus it would be to have matching chandeliers! I am so tempted to use these in my hallway, because they are simply beautiful and elegant, but they really do not match my house’s more modern style. And I do need two in the hallway. So, we’ll see what comes first, if I find five more shades or the first one is sold.

We’ve been trying to do some gardening but we have been having an unusually wet and cool spring. The Kid digs the hole for the compost and the rains come and fill it like a miniature swimming pool! I will share more tomorrow!


A Little of This, A Bit of That, More of Something Else

Do you ever find yourself pulled in many directions at once? Well, that’s me for the last week or so. I feel like I have so many irons in the fire and yet, never feeling like I am accomplishing anything. At least not accomplishing enough.

I will share with you a project that has been in the works for sometime. Way back, I was given a wonderful gift of four antique phonograph player cabinets. An acquaintance of mine does old fashioned Victrola type restorations and much like anyone who restores things, it often takes two or more pieces to be able to get something that old working again. So, my friend would strip the cabinets bare of the music parts and then not have anything to put back into them.

01414_146BGjp6j5f_600x450I was able to fix up two of the four I received pretty quickly. I love how they turned out. I like one so much I opted to keep it – yes, it was done in my signature red color. But it was extremely handy to have my financial information all in one place and look good to boot! You can read about it here.

This photo shows the four I received. Like I said one sold quickly, and you can see its transformation here.

I did some preliminary work on the other two, but we were pulled in many directions and the other two went into the “To Do” section of the garage. That space was arranged and re-arranged a dozen times. But I knew I would get around to them eventually.

Eventually was this week for one piece. I stumbled onto a color when I was sorting through paint chip cards and have fallen head over heals for it. It is called ‘Deep Aubergine’ and it just screams elegance. So, being (sort of) close to finishing the third Victrola cabinet, I opted for a quart of this beautiful color.

DSCN3384This is one of those colors that is just plain hard to photograph accurately. Trust me when I say that this is a gorgeous color in person. Its a deep brown with just a hint of ‘purple’ in it. But you can see the difference in how it photographs between this photo and this one:

DSCN3385Either way, it is gorgeous! I had to replace the top, it seems that the tops of all this cabinets were the first to go. The right side of this cabinet had a horn that was covered with the dropping front.DSCN3387That piece then can be slid into the cabinet to keep it out of the way (when they were listening to music). I loved the construction and only briefly considered changing it. The other side has an added shelf to use for storage. I think this piece would be nice as a entry way or hall cabinet. I think grandmother’s silver box and the good crystal would fit nicely into this cabinet.

DSCN3386So, I have a number of other projects in the works as well. I stumbled onto a thrift store that had all their clothing marked down to $2… so I snatched up all of the jeans I could find. I spent the better part of the last two days with scissors, seam rippers and razor blades taking everything apart. I am planning to use the fabric to make a denim braided rag rug. I’ve seen a few photos and they just look awesome! I have plans for almost the entire pair of jeans – I am going to use the seams and waistbands with belt loops – I even have a plan for the back pocket label

2015-05-12 21.11.10Sitting and working on this gives me a chance to catch up on some of the old movies I missed the first time around. I love streaming content! I am taking full advantage… we have AppleTV, Roku and Amazon Fire!

2015-05-12 21.10.52The Kid and I are, once again, giving gardening a try. Last year we did pumpkins and the year before watermelons. Didn’t have luck with either of them. This year I am trying tomatoes and The Kid is planting sweet corn. Which of course reminds me, I have to get down and weed the strawberry patch. This is the third year for the strawberries and this is supposed to be the year that they really bear large and flavorable berries.

Oh, and we’ve got the antique chandelier that we rescued out of an abandoned farmhouse. I’ll provide all the info when it is complete. Like I said, we have many irons in the fire… we are constantly doing something around here.


And the Endeavor Continues… The List is Nearly Complete

The endeavor is to complete all started projects before starting any new. Which technically, I am still adhering to that. I say technically because I did sort of start on the benches before I swore the oath.

So, along those lines, we’re busy in the garage. I try to stay motivated, but lately that has been hard to do. The weather is see-sawing between absolutely gorgeous spring days to those hot, muggy damp days. Which just messes with the arthritis something fierce. Its days like this that I warn everyone I come in contact with to avoid getting old. Old sucks.

Anyway, on our last abandoned house hunting trip, I made a major find. Technically two, but in the end combining the two will yield one complete one.

What am I referring to? A nineteen twenties chandelier. Complete with unbroken, with zero flaws in the shades. It is absolutely a miracle that a house filled with wild animal dung and nary an unbroken window that this thing survived. Sort of.

photo 1Can you believe this? When I initially saw the shades, I thought, ‘no way‘! Once The Kid grabbed hold of it, it just all fell down around us! Luckily he had a grip on it and it didn’t hit the ground. There was another identical one in the next room, sans shades. I figured it would be to my advantage if I took both of them, to use the second one for parts.

So am in the middle of cleaning these up and they are turning out brilliantly. I can’t quite decide if I should repaint it or not. While cleaning the pieces, it was obvious that someone took paint and a brush to the pieces. The canopy’s paint nearly peeled off in my hands! The bottom piece wasn’t so accommodating… and I don’t want to scrub too hard and ruin the surface below it.

So, I took it all apart (took photos so I would know how to put it back together) and cleaned everything and pulled all the old wiring out.

photo 4I then hit the net and pulled up my favorite lighting supplies place: They have to greatest stuff! And most of it is so inexpensive (I try not to say “cheap” as it has a different connotation than “inexpensive”) and has the widest array of colors and options. Ordered enough to wire up both chandeliers, just in case. Maybe I will get lucky and run across the shades (btw called ‘slip shades’ because they don’t go over the bulb  they just sort of ‘slip’ on) and then I will have two chandeliers. I haven’t quite decided what to do with them… my house doesn’t really have the ceilings for either of them, but was toying the idea of somehow combing the two into one. I guess we’ll see.

Other than that, I’ve pretty much gotten caught on all of the already started projects. The extra large cross stitch that I’ve been working on continues, albeit slowly. I pick it up when I need to rest, like this morning when the impending rain clouds cause my knees to ache.


Getting Closer to Completion (Just One More Day)!

If you’ve been following, you know that I have a small assembly line of dressers being restored/redesigned. Last night, we were able to move the cabinets into the foyer – which has now become the de facto showroom! As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, I had to do one of those little “dances” maneuvering around them on my way out the door!

The drawers are still in the garage awaiting handles and hardware – some of the drawers need a little construction work to make them easy gliding and to fit in the cabinets. That’s The Kid’s job today. My hope is that these are all ready to be posted tonight and we can move them quickly in time for the holidays. 2014-11-20 15.18.59

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2014-11-20 15.19.07We are also doing a quick update (and cleaning ) to the dollhouse we made earlier this year… come hell or high water, this is being sold to someone for Christmas! As much as I love it, I am done with it taking up so much room in the foyer!

DSCN1929And as luck would have it, I found out this week that my employment contract runs out tomorrow. So, I will have some extra time to work on projects in between job hunting. Sigh. I really loved this job and really hate job hunting.

Maybe I will have time to work on the foyer “chandelier” project that I have been designing. I promise to share all the details and steps and the wonderful online company that I have discovered that is enabling me to do this project!


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