I Took The Advice and This Time I Used Maps!

After I finished the last dresser – covered with vintage dress patterns – someone made the suggestion to try maps. And I just happened to have some old road atlases from those days before GPS (do you remember that far back! LOL), so I plunged in.

For the life of me I cannot recall where I picked up this desk, but it has been sitting in the third stall of the garage for a while. Its decent quality – inside one drawer is marked ‘Broyhill’ – so I figured it would be a good starting point.

As you can see, I almost forgot about taking ‘before’ photos… I had it already up on the table with the drawers removed!

DSCN4704Somehow these days, desks just aren’t in much demand. I guess with everyone having a laptop, sitting any where works and you’re no longer chained to a desk.

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So, with the help from The Kid, we removed the extra legs and shortened the desktop and turned it into a nice sized little chest. The bottom drawer is nice and deep, great for storing bulky stuff.

DSCN4712I sold the sewing pattern covered dresser to this great couple for their daughter. She is into fashion, so it really appealed to her. When they came by to pick it up, they mentioned that they were looking for something for their son’s quite extensive Lego collection. Dad was a bit annoyed from stepping on those little plastic bricks in the dark as he was trying to check in on the kids as they slept – I’ve been there myself and it turns a very quiet excursion into some mighty loud yelps! So the very deep drawer might be just the thing for the family!

The whole process of adding the maps was the easiest and funnest part. I just sit and watch television and cut and paste. I did some strategic placements, on one side is the state of Missouri and Kansas and on the top is a nice map of the states. Following two nights of drying/curing, I applied two coats of polyurethane to give the maps a little staying power. It could even take a little scrubbing if it gets colored on.

I had the antique hoop knob pulls, rescued from a previous project that with a little green spray paint turned out quite unique!

The drawer that was removed from the desk section turned out to be the perfect size for a replacement drawer in a sewing cabinet that I am transforming into a little entry way table. Don’t you just love it when things come together? If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you know that I hate to waste anything… and when it can be reused and saved from the landfill, I am a happy recycler!

Tomorrow, The Kid and I are making the trek out to meet Rebecca “Becky” Collis of Collis Country Quilting! I am so excited to meet Becky and check out her setup. Most excited about finishing some of these quilts that I have been working on for the past three years!!I have another idea for a dresser makeover… would make the cutest storage piece for a little boy’s room. Have to keep my eyes open for the next perfect piece!julie

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A New (Old) Obsession: Monopoly

I don’t know about the rest of you, but Monopoly was a staple in my house growing up. We always had to have more than one game at a time as pieces – and especially tokens – were always walking off. So, we’d buy a second to replenish the first. Or vice versa.🙂

So, it was no stretch of the imagination that I had to collect Monopoly tokens. I have quite a few now, I am guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 or more sets, and some are super neat! I have learned much about the game’s evolution as well… did you know during World War II they didn’t use metal tokens (they needed the metal for the war effort) and wooden tokens were used in the game.

I will have to take some time to photograph all my sets. Most of them live on narrow little shelves in my home office, but recently I have started collecting again, so quite a few reside around the little free space I have around my keyboard.

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But along with collecting the tokens, I ended up with lots of other Monopoly pieces. Game boards, property cards, Chance and Community Chest cards and dice. But mostly? Monopoly money. And I just knew there had to be something fun that I could do with all of it.

I started kind of small, using some of the money to cover a star, boxes and tins. This was easy enough and once dry, I sprayed several coats of an clear sealant over the top.

But, I knew that I had to do something bigger. And once I found an older but sturdy four drawer chest, I knew what was going to happen next!

I started covering the sides with the Monopoly money and realized that covering both sides, the front and the top might be a bit too much. I finished the front and sides and kind of liked the plain white top (primer) but wanted to see what paint I still had in my arsenal. When I kind of squinted my eyes, I could see a lot of yellow/gold and the white, so I wanted to play one of the other three colors: pink, blue or green. When I checked my paint stock, I found a perfect blue (and there was plenty of it!).

There was, of course, the drawers that had to be covered as well. This was all well and good, as I was able to watch movies and do the gluing.

BTW, I simply used slightly watered Elmer’s glue, applied with a 1″ brush. Simply brush on the glue, lay on the bills and brush more glue over the top. It takes a little effort to make it look random and still cover all the surfaces. I tried not to get anything repetitive or lined up and tried to get as many upside down and sideways as right side up.

I left the bills overhang the edges and sides and once dry, simply used a single edged razor blade to make a nice neat edge. I couldn’t believe how easy this was!

Then I moved the cabinet into the garage and painted the top blue. It took several coats to get it saturated and looking really good. I also painted the inside edges of the drawer opens blue as well.

Once it was good and dry, I rolled polyurethane over the entire box and drawer fronts (twice!) for a really glossy finish. It will make everything last a long time too!

Now it was time to put drawer pulls on. It was The Kid who had the idea of making larger versions of Monopoly’s classic houses and hotels. And the houses were cut from 2″x2″ and the hotels from a 2″x4″ that we had in the garage. It was a fairly simple construction using the band saw. I then sanded them smoothly and painted them their iconic colors (standard Rustoleum high gloss paint from The Home Depot).

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We realized that they would need to stick out from the cabinet in order to be grasped, so The Kid cut 1″ dowels into 1/2″ segments and drilled through the centers (and of course painted). They were then glued into the centers of each ‘house’ and ‘hotel’ and by the time I got home from work, they were ready to be attached.

This is one of those jobs that I keep The Kid around for! He is so good about measuring and taking care of the fine details! All that was left was to move it into the sunshine and take photos!

And there it is! I think it would be great for a kid’s room, especially one who loves to play games (real games, not on their computers and phones) or to help organize a family room or rec room. It was just so much fun to make!

This particular piece was made using Monopoly Deluxe Edition money, but I have several different editions (including Junior Monopoly) that I still want to use for something! So much fun!

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Have you done something like this? I’d love to see what you’ve done!

julie

More Intermediate Work

Again, the way I work is very energetic and a bit haphazard. I start working on multiple things at once and then wrap them up almost all at the same time. I am making progress on another pink ombré dresser, a couple of nightstands and began the process of putting together my pew (a bench for the foyer!) So, yeah, tons of stuff going on all at the same time.

2015-12-11 22.00.02Additionally, last weekend I was the recipient of a ton of wonderful stuff from a woman who, along with her family, were clearing her grandparents’ home and her grandmother was an avid sewer and crafter (like me)! I brought out two truck loads of ‘stuff’ – and I have spent the better part of the last five days going through all of it!

Seven large 55 gallon plastic bags, five more 33 gallon bags and a ton of other stuff – including numerous rolls of upholstery fabric! Initially, I was worried as Laura warned me that both of her grandparents were smokers, but this stuff was really clean and only smelled of fabric and crafts! LOL!

2015-12-11 21.58.47There was some really awesome retro and vintage fabrics. Colors straight out of the seventies: gold, green and oranges! But there are tons of it, some cuts were multiple yards! There are gorgeous cuts of pastels and children’s prints. Lots of whites and blacks – staples that I can always use. Laces, ribbons and threads. A bunch of real wool felt… red, blue, brown, greens, yellow and more! Velours, brocades and lace. Such awesomeness!

2015-12-05 20.27.47I’ve chosen a huge selection of the fabrics and extras, and am donating a large selection. I don’t usually work with knits or corduroys, but did select about two dozen cuts of fabrics that will make lovely blankets. I sat one day (and evening) hemming and have made a whole bunch of blankets that will be going to my favorite animal shelter: Wayside Waifs (along with some other stuff I’ve collected for them).

2015-12-11 21.59.44Oh and about another twenty pairs of jeans! Yay! More denim for my rag rug! So, I also spent more time deconstructing all those jeans and preparing them to be cut into 3″ strips. I also managed to sneak a little time sewing and have started sewing denim patchwork squares (7″)… I think I have about 50 so far. Might be looking at maybe ten by ten initially, and with all this leftover scrap denim, I think I could probably get at least a half dozen quilts out of it all!

2015-12-07 23.12.13Yeah, I’ll sleep when I am dead! And when I am recovering from surgery (oh yeah, attended an information class today about joint replacement therapy too)!

julie

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

Assessing Value and Value Added! What is it Really Worth?

So, I recently had an email conversation about a piece that I had completed and listed for sale.

One of the things I learned very early in life, is that something is only worth the amount of money someone is prepared to pay for it.

Value can be a difficult thing to assess. What someone might deem value as one thing, I might think it is something else. But in the end, it will be worth what I am paid.

I’ve done many things in my life to earn money. From my youngest jobs of “walking beans” and “de-tassling corn” in Iowa, to a range of professional jobs, starting with secretarial work to my technical career as a quality assurance engineer. And the salaries have been all over the board. In the end, what I was willing to do to earn money was the value of my work. Experience has taught me what is in my own best interest.

So, when it comes to pricing the pieces that I create for the blog, it becomes a grey area. Obviously there are some very concrete costs that go into any pieces that I work on, including but not limited to, cost (if any) for the piece  plus a lot of smaller costs that shared across projects, like primer, paint, rollers, drop clothes, sand paper, tools etc. and also some soft costs, like my garage space, electricity, gas, phone and internet expenses.

And then there is time and talent. I spend a lot of time hunting down pieces, hours and hours spent on CraigsList and eBay and running all over Kansas City. And the time that it takes to complete each piece, and the process of deciding what I am going to do and later, writing about that experience. It has taken a lot of years to develop the experience of creativity. I think back now on some of the things I did then and laugh at my inexperience. Sometimes I realize that talent is a lot about experience, but some of it just comes naturally. And while I have always had a “knack” for creative endeavors, I just never could figure out how to turn that talent into cash, so for most of my life, I just did it for me and those around me.

So, when I started writing a blog, I wrote about projects and pieces that I did for myself. If you have ever been in my home or seen pictures (there are a few on this site) you know that my house is a lively, creative dwelling! Inside and out. When it got to the point where my home could no longer could hold anything new, I started giving away items to friends. As time allowed me to work more on my creative side, it turned out that I could turn those items into cash, allowing me to fund bigger and larger projects. And to allow me to add great tools to my workshop and my sewing room. As I worked and sold pieces, I realized that I could be underpricing many of my projects.

It has occurred me that I perhaps was undervaluing my work. After all, a lot of things go into every piece I do. I list a price, which yes, is subjective, but you have to start somewhere. If it doesn’t sell, if there isn’t any interest, then I will lower the price and entertain offers. At times I will offer these pieces to someone who cannot afford even these prices.

But back to the conversation. Somehow, at times, someone can say something that isn’t meant to be offensive, but does come off that way. You see, the piece that I had recently showcased here was for sale. And I provided the link in the ad, so a certain someone followed and read the blog. Awesome! Right?

Well, that person then seriously offered me much less than asking price. When I responded and let this person know that I couldn’t accept such a low offer, this person than countered with a slightly higher price. This person also provided a little insight to lack of funds, which could very well have sealed the offer, if this person hadn’t also said, “but I also know you got the dresser for free”. I have to tell you that I was very offended by those words. As if the only value that this person saw was in the actual physical piece. But not really in everything that went into it – as I’ve outlined previously.

Not sure what I am looking for with this post, other than to maybe explain what some people do not see in the finish project. And maybe, just maybe, one more person can truly appreciate what goes into a project piece.

julie

From Pink to Black! A Dresser Makeover

Second only to the pink ombré color scheme, is my favorite color black. It is actually called “Deep Space” and has just a hint of blue in it. In the semi-gloss finish, it just makes pieces absolutely stunning!

I first used this when we re-decorated The Kid’s room. The room had been first decorated when we moved here from California. At that time, being nine and all, he was fascinated by everything to do with the military service, but aren’t most little boys? Two walls (and a closet wall) were painted with camouflage  in three colors over the base coat of tan. But about the time of his 16th birthday, he had grown tired of the scheme and wanted something more “grown up”. Thus was born the “industrial chic” look.

DSCN0828I really loved the way this turned out. We used pipe fittings for the handles of this converted sideboard, effectively making it a great entertainment center. He has flat panels for gaming systems as well as television. The drawers and cabinets provide a lot of room for the games and controllers and manuals. The point of all of this was to show you the beauty of this color. (If you’d like to see more and the final reveal, you can The Kid’s Room Unveiling.)

Recently, I ran across an ad on Craigslist listing some free furniture. We were quick to head over there.

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Looks like some good stuff, right? Well, it was, in fact it got better after we got there. Some of these pieces were already gone, but I did get the chair and the side table (the two most left pieces). But as we pulled up, the woman living next door came out to meet us and told us that she was coordinating the removal of everything from the house, as the renter that lived there had died.

She escorted us into the house and we were able to get an old 50’s blonde dresser with mirror and a blonde desk (which the chair in the picture above accompanied). I was trying not to be too greedy, as there had been someone else who was returning for other pieces. We didn’t have room for everything in a single trip, so we agreed to return the next day. I figured by then we could probably have whatever was left!

So, here is the dresser as we picked it up:

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It was in absolutely great shape for its age… although the drawer tracks needed a little work. Oh, and there was some damage to the back where the mirror was supposed to be attached; it looked as if this piece didn’t originally have a mirror due to the damage. Glue, sanding and priming were the first order of business.

It sat a while as I tried to decide what to do with it, although really not long at all. As I was arranging and taking inventory of what paint colors I had available, I found a brand new, unopened can of the “Deep Space” black. It was like lightning had struck!

DSCN3703Didn’t that turn out beautifully? We had originally wanted to re-insert the metal decoration but found that the space for them had too much paint to accommodate them. We spent a little time trying to clear the channels, but in the end it was going to completely too much work. I added fairly simple knobs in a silver finish as the final touch. And in the end, I love the clean way it presents.

This is another of “those colors” that just don’t photograph to show the true depth of the color. In person, this is just majestic! The same with my son’s piece.

I was almost finished working on this piece, got the photos and writing the text when it occurred to me that I forgot to show the mirror! Its a wonderful frame-less mirror with rounded corners, which attaches to the back of the dresser. I am thinking now, that I don’t think I will include the mirror. I suspect that this would most likely sell to a man and am pretty sure the mirror would just be unnecessary. Maybe I will hang onto it for a future piece.

I am on the last steps to several projects, so this week the blog posts will occur with more frequency.

Goodnight!

julie

A Most Adorable Vanity (Yes, More Pink!)

I had a big chunk of this post written when my computer decided it would rather do anything but let me write! So, this is “take 2”.

The Kid and I have been running all over Kansas City picking up treasures (and some not so much). In the process, I met Brittnee (Hi Brittnee!) and was introduced to this little gem:

00t0t_heezBoCqAMt_600x450I so love this design, which reached its height in popularity around 1939/1940. These are fairly simply built but usually had a veneer with a nice design. Finding this particular piece was especially nice as it included the mirror. Considering that the mirror is about eighty or eighty-five years old, it is in amazing condition. It did have its faults, though and I will talk about how to deal with them.

Let me show you some of the close ups before we really got started:

First and foremost, I attacked the drawers. In relatively good shape, all that was really needed was glue!

DSCN3646I am so glad that I invested in a large amount of clamps and clamps of varying sizes. Makes work like this a breeze.

Next came the cabinet. There were really only a couple of places that needed special attention: there was a piece of trim missing on the inside right cabinet. The other was left front cabinet… almost looks like a puppy cut her teeth on this! And the whole thing needed a good sanding! There was almost a nice veneer under that coat of paint, but it wouldn’t have been worth the effort to sand it down and varnish it. There just were too many dings and marks.

But, like you probably know already, I like to paint! And I like to paint with pink! Following the sanding, I prep’d it with my bold pink tinted primer. I really love the way that “mistake” is turning out. I wanted it tinted to go under my pinks and reds, but somehow it turned out super dark pink. But it turns out to have been a blessing in disguise, as you can easily see any areas that you may have missed when you get ready to apply paint!

DSCN3690While I worked on the cabinet in the garage, I opted to bring the mirror inside. Just makes it that much easier to work on. Two appliques went on this piece, one on the mirror (you can kind of see it in the photo above) and one on the face of the vanity itself.

DSCN3693I love the way that appliques make even the simplest things fancy! Additionally, I found this gorgeous beaded ribbon in pink (found it at Hobby Lobby in their Christmas section. Yes, they are already working on getting Christmas decorations ready!). After the mirror frame was painted and then the mirror placed; I simply used glue to hold the ribbon in place. So cute!

DSCN3700This photo shows not only the ribbon trim but a closeup of the applique. The little wood piece that helps support the mirror is new, to replace an outdated piece of trim. This was actually salvaged from a different dresser. Gotta love that. It is my one chance to show The Kid that I actually do use the pieces I save!

Next came the knobs. With the attention to details, I knew that the hardware would have to be special as well. I had found the back plates on eBay a while back and just happened to have four clear glass knobs (I actually had five, so now there is an extra!)

DSCN3692The photo makes it look almost gold, but it is silver. I just love little details like this!

Okay, a few more pictures of the final project:

DSCN3702(Its so hard to take a photo of a mirror!)

DSCN3698(Excuse my messy house!)

DSCN3691A little more of the mirror trim:

DSCN3701A quick ‘before and after’:

Well, that’s it! Tomorrow I have another reveal, so stay tuned!

julie

The Great Experiment Continues!

The last post I made, I explained how I was conducting a little experiment to see if it would be possible for me to simply live off the money I make “creating”. This week the experiment continues.

I had just the most awesome luck last week in running across quality pieces from a number of places. In addition to furniture pieces, we really made out with our ‘thrifting’ trips as well. I found a ton of old quilting books, one that dates back to 1949! Its really neat to see the way that women used to quilt before the adventure of rotary cutters and our fancy-schmancy sewing machines! Gives me a new perspective on just how good we have it!

IMG_8502And one of our favorites just happened to be clearing out their inventory of clothing. $1 for every stitch of clothing in the store. Couldn’t pass on that deal – so yes, I snagged another ten pairs of jeans. I have about a hundred projects going on it seems, but deals like that cannot be passed over! By now I am sure that I have enough denim to make a rag rug at least 20 feet round!

IMG_3254The Kid and I have been steadily working, but with days in the high 90’s and temps reaching into triple digits, it isn’t easy to spend too much time in the garage with heat and the paint and glue fumes. We’re made a lot of progress on quite a few projects in that time, though. I expect to have at least three or four ready for reveal this coming week, but until that I will just leave you with some parting pics!

DSCN3682Who said garages were supposed to be for parking your car?DSCN3685Part of our week long bounty. And I have ideas for all of it!

DSCN3686And yep, you’re looking at a pew! Lord only knows (pun intended!) where this will go, but it is solid wood and gorgeous! How could you say “no” to something like that?DSCN3690Projects have even spilled back into my kitchen! I can’t wait to show you this piece… it started out looking like this:

00t0t_heezBoCqAMt_600x450Prepare to be amazed! Or not. You decide!🙂

julie

Overdosing on Pink? Can’t Happen!

I love pink. It is such a happy little color and is feminine and yet, can be tough. I wear lots of pink. Which is kind of funny, since growing up surrounded by brothers, the last thing I wanted was to be “girly”. My mom tried a few times, but it just wasn’t going to happen for me. I remember one time she hung these gauzy pink curtains in my room and I just hated them. They didn’t hang there long – not sure what happened to them, but I am sure my complaints about them quickly became old. I was a tomboy from the get go and still am, I guess. But I like pink a little more now. (Not enough to decorate my bedroom with it, but love working with it!)

So, I had mentioned in an earlier post that we restocked the garage with furniture pieces. I am in the midst of doing a little test: I want to see if I can really earn enough money from the furniture makeovers and projects to allow me to skip the normal ‘nine to five’. I’ve never been one to sit around all day, but this sabbatical has shown me that I am a little more ready for the slower pace, even if I am not ready to actually “retire”.

So, in this experiment, the first pieces to be completed and be listed for sale are, of course, pink. There is something so sweet about the pink ombré color style that just appeals to people. It is so happy and fun! So, here we go:

We actually picked up four of the pieces from one place. I love happy coincidences like this. My general approach to these giveaways is to be kind, considerate and make it convenient for the giver. So, by replying and telling her that I wanted the pieces and that I would be able to pick up at her convenience, I was the receiver! We scheduled the pickup for the next day at noon and when we arrived, we were greeted by two young men who helped us load. I love when things go like this… feels like good karma.

So, there was a six drawer dresser and a matching nightstand and another five drawer dresser also with a matching nightstand. We had picked up a four drawer dresser a couple of days before, so in all, these five pieces became a single project.

Everything was primed… previously, I had purchased a good primer and had it tinted pink. It turned out a little darker pink than I had really wanted, but it has turned out to be a great color; it is more than obvious if you’ve missed a spot!

DSCN3604Here was the garage following the priming. The weather has turned very hot and even our unusually cool garage has heated up. So much of the painting occurs either very late in the day or very early in the morning. It doesn’t take much to work up a good sweat!Five Before&After Three Before&After Four Before&After Two Before&After One Before&AfterThen it was just a matter of painting the bases and then I organized the drawers to be painted by color. One drawer on the six drawer dresser would have to be painted the same color as the base, since I have just the base and five colors. I did the same on its matching nightstand, well, to make it match!

As the drawers go, there was one drawer to be painted the base coat, five to be painted Pink 1, five to be painted Pink 2, four to be painted Pink 3, three to be painted Pink 4 and two to be painted in the deepest shade of Pink (5). I use Behr Paint from Home Depot.photoThese have been my much used paint colors. The base coat is the Barely Pink, skipped Be Mine and then used Scented Valentine, Pink Chintz, Springtime Bloom, Fuchsia Kiss and Hot Pink. I originally started out using a matte finish, as early on the sample colors only were available in matte. But as I progressed, I found that I preferred the High Gloss finish – not only did it add a shine to the pieces, but I believe it would be better as far as fingerprints go. I still roll on the paint, I love the soft finish it leaves behind.

Here are all five pieces completed. There are so many times I’d wished that I had a reason to keep these pieces (or simply make them for myself), but alas, a daughter is not to be. I am very happy with my son, and he let’s me decorate his room to my heart’s content, but there is nothing like these gorgeous shades of pink!

DSCN3629These five pieces aren’t exactly the same style but very close. I believe that they are circa 1950’s, and are mostly made of wood. The tall six drawer and its matching nightstand are Broyhill brand, so you know that they aDSCN3637re quality. I really like these pieces for a number of reason, including that they are sturdy and quality made yet inexpensive enough to appeal to folks on a budget. Making them over is a breeze and doing 5 pieces at the same time is like a small assembly line for me and The Kid.

Because we’ve done this before, we had all the paint and rollers ready to roll. For some odd reason, I had been on eBay and come across these round ceramic knobs and had ordered 30 of them (they came from four different Chinese vendors) and took a while to get here from overseas, but were ready and waiting to be installed on these pieces. Kind of a coincidence, as I needed 29 – I could have used the final one on the top five-drawer dresser (the right-most piece in the photo above) but elected to use these faux lock piece instead there as well as on the four drawer top drawer. I really kind of like them and will need to hunt down more of them. They were the original “dirty brass” color, which I have come to dislike a great deal. I think all of those old hardware pieces are just too common and cheap looking.

As a side note, I have collected an almost insane amount of old hardware. Most come with this familiar and ubiquitous “bat wing” pulls, which I have actually come to loathe. I have to find a way to unload these easily. Not only are they bulky, but they are heavy as well and sometimes trying to sell them online ends up costing the buyer more in shipping than the hardware itself is worth. As a consequence, they often do not sell.Batwing Dresser HandlesI love to use updated hardware on the furniture pieces that I refinish. And I love the simplicity of the ceramic handles that I’ve used here and the ones I have used previously, which are just slightly different. But the pop of the white against the pinks are wonderful, especially the darker pinks.

Okay, I’ve rambled on enough for today. I still need to write the ads to list the furniture for sale. Wish me luck that they go quickly. I already have another five projects started in the garage… but these will be other than pink! I am even thinking of some black!

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.

Quick Update: Paisley, Painting and Scrap Quilting

Been a little remiss in writing regular posts. This does not mean that I haven’t been working hard and have a ton of projects ongoing all the time.

I am not sure that I revealed this before, but a fair amount of the work I do – in projects and experiments – are sold to fund more projects. That’s why you will see a lot of repainted furniture… I have found this to be the most reliable and easiest way to make money. As a second note, I have been on a professional sabbatical for the past six months, so the furniture projects also help to replace some of the earnings that I haven’t been contributing to my household budget.

Currently, all of the former pieces completed have sold, thankfully!

With all of that said, the garage is filled up! Kansas City has a wonderful CraigsList community, but like everything, it isn’t always consistent. I can go for months without being able to snag decent furniture and then (like last week) it turns around and we have been able to score a bunch of pieces. I had so many projects lined up, that I needed to make a physical list and schedule pieces to make the most sense and still be contributing to the household budget, while still working on pieces for the blog.

DSCN3604So, a shot of the garage… this is three dressers and two nightstands, in my signature pink primer. All five pieces will be done in the same ombré pink scheme and will be sold mix and match. We also have a project dresser and an entertainment center – both pieces that are scheduled for some transformation experimentation. There is also the leftover “hi-fi” that I have finally decided to turn into a “bill pay station”while keeping the ability to play music. I haven’t quite figured out exactly what I am doing with it, exactly why it isn’t on the ‘do right now’ list.

One of the fun things I have been messing around with is beading decoration. I have this weird love of paisley, but you wouldn’t find a single thing in my house decorated with it. It is a weird kind of love… but soon hope to integrate some of it into the master bedroom redesign. Lack of funds have put that plan on hold – the most expensive portion is the purchase of fabric.

photo 6Here is the paisley beading project. I took this snapshot with my phone in a fairly dark living room, so the colors aren’t as vibrant as they really look. The felt pieces have all been stitched onto a deep blue background and today I purchased all of the beads and sequin pieces I will need to complete it. Part of the delay is that much of the sequins came in a large collection of colors and styles and with my OCD I first had to sort it all to get what I needed to match colors.

photo 5Here I had started the deep green with glass tubular beads and then started on the turquoise. Lots to do and lots of shapes and colors to work with. I am really enjoying this project.

I have also been working on a small challenge of my own, I wrote a little about it last week. I wanted to see just how small sized scrap I could work with and still be successful. Here is some examples of pieces that I feel that I can use. You can see how small they are by the lines on my cutting mat. I can’t really work with anything less than 3/4″, you can’t get two good seams and still have much displayed in the piecing. I had two plastic boxes, about shoe boxed sized, and have used up the scraps of one.

DSCN3602I had started with a 3″ muslin square attaching the scraps. I think I’ve gotten enough to make a doll-sized quilt or the perfect center to be surrounded by larger scrap pieces. This was fun, but a bit tedious… it seemed just once you got the needle moving you had to stop! But it becomes almost cathartic along with watching old movies!

Okay, that was a quick update to the past week’s work. Lots to do in the coming weeks! Oh, and can’t forget the container gardening… one tomato plant even has flowers! I think I have to pinch back these flowers, as the plants need some upward growth before it can support fruit. I think I need to read up some more!

julie

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