Puppy Pillows

So, I have to start off by clarifying the term puppies. I call all dogs puppies regardless of its age, whether it is 3 months or 3 years or 13 years. When we delivered these to Wayside Waifs, the kennel section of the place was closed, but I asked if there was any way to sneak in and see the “puppies” and the woman we chatted with said that they didn’t have any puppies. I had to explain to her the same thing I just wrote; ‘puppies’ just mean dogs, young and old.

So you know that I have been on an active quest to get my garage to a point where I can actually store a vehicle in it. Novel concept, I must admit. Well, after much work and quite a few projects completed, I am successful!

img_3866This is the larger side of the garage and you can see my little SUV is safely snuggled in. There are still a couple of projects that still need attention, but this is relatively clear for me!img_3865This is the smaller side of the garage and my little sports car tucked in for the winter. You can see the wonderfully organized shelves that The Kid put up to replace all those mismatched shelving units. So neat and organized!

img_3880The next step was to clear out the attic closet space so that I could clear more of the space in the guest room and I figured out a way for The Kid to store most of his collection of military uniforms.

Now that his closet is cleared, we’re going to frame the floor of the attic space behind his closet. I’ve been referring to it as the ‘Cave’, and we should get about ten feet by fourteen feet of room (at least 6 feet high). It’ll be perfect for whatever he wants to do with it, I think storage but who knows.

In clearing out the attic closet, I had to do something with the bed pillows that I “collected”. Whenever I replace bed pillows in my household, I can never bring myself to throw out the old pillows, so I don’t! Actually completing a project using them is the step back from edge of being a hoarder!

So instead of throwing them away, I create covers for them and donate them as dog beds. This time, I was able to use some of the upholstery samples that I picked up a while back from CraigsList. Its a simple design and I use Velcro to close it.

So, I will just cut to the end project photos:img_3867I was going to try and make a few bed quilts using the upholstery sample books, but many of them (and of course, the ones I seem to like the most) are not machine-washable… which is a neccesity. img_3873The shades of black and white is my favorite (this is four regular sized pillows). img_3872I saw this pattern in the latest copy of one of my quilting magazines and did spend some time creating the patterns using denim. Here I thought I’d make one and then reverse the colors. Kind of interesting though and it made for almost the perfect size for the pillows. They’re stuffed in there pretty tight. But I am hoping some little dog can beat down the perfect little spot to snuggle.img_3871My plan was to use this as a backing material for one pillow, but I had more than enough and it was just happy and cheerful, so I went for it.img_3870Leftover upholstery fabric in black complimented this set of fabrics.img_3869Tried to do as many different colors as I could. And use up more of the samples.img_3868I had all of these oranges sewn into a nice little patchwork, and with a little rework, was able to make two orange beds. I keep stumbling over fabric that I had tucked away that was perfect for the backings on these two. I tell myself that this is why I hang onto ‘stuff’, because someday I will have a use for it! (I did throw out a bit and gave away quite a bit more in this recent spate of organizing, however.)

The Kid and I drove out and delivered them yesterday. Hoping to see the ‘puppies’ but the place was closed to the public and apparently ‘quiet hour’ for the dogs as well. Oh well, it will just give us an excuse to go again another day.

julie

Save

Save

Some progress this weekend, but mostly about organization. You ever have those ‘little things’ on your ToDo list that never seem to get done and drive you crazy?

First, some major cleanup and organizing of the furniture projects. Since there is one really big project that is this close to being done but has to wait on one final piece, I wanted to get it out of harm’s way (and my foyer)… so the project of the day on Saturday was to get the garages organized. The weather was gorgeous! I think it was about the only way to get The Kid out there to help!

Anyway, we took everything out of the garages and put it on the driveway. In the middle of all of it, we had a couple stop by thinking we were having a garage sale! I suppose from the fact that I use those plastic tables for everything. (Its the only way to work if your knees are unable to bend!) They were supposed to come back and take two dressers that I had identified for a CraigsList giveaway, but alas, they never returned. It actually might be okay, as I found a project that I had printed out some time ago to do, but never did. The larger of the two dressers might be perfect for this!

The garages were swept and vacuumed and all counters were dusted to remove sawdust. I find that if I don’t do this periodically, it starts to gnaw on my nerves and I don’t want to be in the garage. About 4 to 6 times a years seems to do the trick. I am an organizing freak, but not TOO much! I’ve collected old rugs from CraigsList to lay down on the garage floors. I like the feel of them and they help cut down on noise and keep the garage warmer in the winter. Since they are ‘throwaways’, it doesn’t matter what spills and I have a shop vac that can almost sucks the color out of the rugs. I like to be able to work in bare feet or run out to the garage for a minute without having to put my shoes on.

Then everything went back into the garages in a nice and orderly way. The smaller garage now holds the ‘finished’ projects and we pared down the ToDo projects to a workable amount. And my foyer is (mostly) clear! When I actually got things all done, I realized that I really don’t have many projects left to do, which is great, as 1) winter weather is just around the corner and 2) I am probably going to be going to work soon. 😦

That only left the deck. I don’t know how much of this blog you’ve read, but I compost on the back deck (just off the kitchen). It started with one simple barrel and has since moved to four! I get the most beautiful black dirt out of it and I keep all that stuff out of the garbage. When you pay for garbage and recycling, composting really cuts down the bill!

I replant tree saplings that I find in the yard to the bins on the deck for later transplant to the yard. My dream one day is to have the back yard completely lined with trees such that you can’t even see the neighbors. Its a many year project, but it is coming along nicely.

My tomatoes that I’ve been growing in containers, have finally(!) been producing tomatoes! The only thing is the tomatoes are all different sizes, but taste very sweet. I think what I did wrong was plant too late in the season. I am hoping all these tomatoes make it to ripe before the first frost.

The Kid and “my other son” (this is a sweet kid who has been best friends with my son since we moved here 11 years ago… he has spent almost as much time in my house as his, so early on I started calling him my “other son”) moved the large barrels from the deck to the backyard. As the only way off the deck is down some rickety stairs (next spring’s project), I opted to have the boys take them through the house and out the front door, then around to the back. Whew! Stinky!

They then dumped the contents into the former garden. It doesn’t look like much from the picture, but this is the contents of two 55 gallon barrels! And just look at how beautifully black!

IMG_2100Recently, our neighbor was planting trees in his backyard adjacent to ours and I asked if he would auger two holes for trees that we’ve been growing on the deck. I love our neighbors! We don’t know our neighbors all that well, but they always wave and we get visits from their little dog Cody from time to time.

IMG_2990The tree in the foreground is Ashla’s tree – for our puppy dog we lost nearly two years ago. Right after she died, I found this tiny little elm growing in an barren pot near the the area she used to lounge in the front yard. It seemed right that it appeared right after she left us. So, I transferred it to the back deck and thought little more about it. Two years later (almost) it was still growing strong, so it became her tree. In the spring, we plan to add a little bench behind it and some puppy paw print stepping stones and a little plaque with her name. Then we’ll sprinkle her ashes there.

Streeter & AshlaThe Kid And His DogWith the neighbor’s new trees and our two new trees, this will become a beautiful reflecting space. She was a pretty special little dog and my son’s only pet and I know it was hard for him when she died. We are only now starting to think about a new pet and it really is more me than him.

I also, (almost) finished up my “couch” project – what I work on while watching movies. I’ll show you that tomorrow. And then I cleaned up that area. Whew! Sometimes it feels good just to stop, take a break, assess what is going on and clean things up!

So, after all that work this weekend, I kind of feel like I need a break! Ha!

julie

Going Nowhere Fast!

I swear, the more confident you are about something, the more likely that it will soon become undone.

I titled my last post, “entering the final stretch” just in time to have a major monkey wrench thrown into the mix. I bought a 1″x8″ piece of pine 10 feet long and gave it 3 coats of polyurethane after routing a nice round edge. We had it attached as the backsplash to the butcher block top but due to not having exacting finish with our DIY wall, it was a little bit wavy. So we opted to put caulk in the small gap, just to keep things like screws and drill bits from rolling to the edge and down behind the cabinets. The built-ins aren’t exactly made to get behind or move easily, so I opted for filling in that space instead to prevent just such a need.

Unfortunately, what we thought was tan grout turned out to be ‘liquid nails’ and suffice it to say, that it was nearly impossible to get rid of. Each time we would wipe a little, it seemed to just get everywhere. We ended up removing the backsplash and having to actually sand down about a third of the butcher block top including nearly all of the extension piece to get rid of this stuff. Talk about going backwards! Of course, then it had to have the four coats of poly re-applied and that all just takes time. So, what did we accomplish in a week? Absolutely nothing!

But we made up for that today. The backsplash has been reattached, the lighting has been installed and is even on a dimmer switch and the shelf has been installed. We put up hardware on the pegboard to hang all the yard tools and reorganized project pieces. I sorted through about half of the existing cabinets and reorganized tools and equipment and materials. On top of that, I cleared out a huge pile of ‘stuff’ that has been accumulating and gave it away on CraigsList.

FREE STUFFI always seem to have more plans and projects queued up than I have time and money and space! But isn’t that always how it goes? When the opportunity for materials and furniture are presented, you just figure you will make time. But after moving it around about 3 to 6 times, I can be quite ruthless and just put my foot down and chuck a bunch of things that I know that I will never have the time to complete. Sometimes it seemed like a good idea at the time… know what I mean?

Between me and The Kid, we are just beat! Time to put up our feet and do a whole ‘lot of nothing.

I’d really love to be done with this thing tomorrow and be able to take our “after” photos. I had no idea when we started this that it would take this much time and effort! Maybe it is just old age catching up with me.

Okay, now let’s just hope some good stuff has been uploaded to Netflix. I don’t plan on moving much in the next few hours.

P.S. I once had an asian person (Chinese I think) tell me that my name in their language would be JU meaning standing or staying in one place and LEE, meaning quickly; making my name literally mean ‘going nowhere fast’. Ha! I love it!

Rescued Wardrobe… Finished At Last!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will remember that quite some time ago, I started work on rescuing an antique wardrobe. Well, since my last contract ended, I took the last push and finished it. Put the handles on it last night and wiped down the interior and took the final photos.

DSCN2270So here it is, it all of its black, white and shades of grey. Oh and the smallest touches of turquoise. I think it quite striking and I wish that I had a place to display it and keep it in my home. It is that beautiful. Oh, and did I mention? It weighs like 300 pounds, which means, that me and the Kid gotta pick it up and deliver it somewhere. And if luck holds out, it will be on a second floor somewhere. Whew!

DSCN2269I got lucky and the doors open and close easily, no sticking or creaking. This piece was absolutely a gem in its heyday, it is just too bad that the previous owner left it sit in a garage and made a mess of the walnut veneer. I imagine it was an absolutely gem.

DSCN2271As you can see, the interior escaped most of the damage that incurred on the outside. A thorough cleaning of the interior and the replacement of one trim piece and it sparkles like it must have always.

DSCN2272Last shot, you can see the multiple coats of polyurethane just shine in the evening sun… I just love the way this turned out. I especially enjoy the color scheme that was chosen. The stark contrast of the black and white with the shades of grey are stunning. I debated about the accent color, but in the end, I went with a favorite of mine – a deep turquoise.

If you care to see the previous blogs, you can see them here, here and here.

Now, to get them sold and move on to the next projects… picked up these lovely cabinets thanks to the generousity of a gentleman who only wanted the guts of the old record players. I think these will turn out to be very lovely pieces.

ALL

I’ve also started on the third piece of stained glass, after thinking long and hard, it hit me… it has to be my logo for the doll accessories and clothing and furniture that I’ve been creating. Lends itself perfectly to stained glass. I still have to show you the last one I finished, although I think I realized that the image I chose was much too intricate and am not very happy with the way it turned out. But we can talk about that more in the next blog post.

julie

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