Finally, Work Has Begun on the Denim Rag Rug

I seem to be guilty of working on many projects at once, and because of it, they seem to get completed at the same time. When that happens, there seems to be a roller coaster effect on the blog… many posts in a row, then nothing for a bit, then more posts. I wish I was better at planning or managing my work, but it is what it is.

Right now, my focus is getting things done that will be a) in my way once I have my double knee surgery and b) those projects I won’t be able to do because of the recovery. So, the garage is once again full of multiple projects being sanded and readied for priming.

Let’s see… there is one dresser, one chest of drawers, that little vanity that is about to become a pair of nightstands, my entry way pew (I can’t wait!) and headboards and foot boards waiting to become a couple more benches.

I am also determined to finish a project that I started about a hundred years ago… a table sized regulation Scrabble table!

DSCN4206This is the table base. The top is almost done, its been painted and the striped… all it needs is the special squares marked (you know, “double letter score” etc) and a finishing edge to the table. I’ve made the Scrabble tiles and the holders and then just to put it all together. I can’t wait to actually play a game on it… its going to be awesome!

I’ve been working on a couple of other small projects in between the big ones. One is for The Kid and his recent love of vinyl. As in music records. Whenever we hit the second hand shops and thrift stores, there is always at least one or two worth buying. His 45 collection is growing quite nicely and he needed somewhere to keep them, rather than in a flat pile on the desk. So, I am building this:

DSCN4207Its been primed, and I am going to finish it with a coat or two of my favorite Deep Space black high gloss paint. I made this in a day using scrap lumber (the bottom is actually paint stir sticks!!).

Whenever I get overwhelmed with how much is going on in the garage or it is a bit too cold to work in the garage (note: buy kerosene for garage space heater), I escape to my sewing room. I’ve been purchasing and prep’ing old blue jeans in anticipation of making a denim rag rug. So, after removing waist bands, pockets, zippers and seams, I have a nice pile of denim. The next step is to cut it all into 3″ strips in preparation for braiding.

So, I spent many hours tucked safely in my warm sewing room watching streaming television. I am having a difficult time estimating just how much is going to be needed to make the rug I want… or how large of a rug I can get with what I’ve got. I guess I will see when I start braiding. Saved for recovery time!

And speaking of, I am also planning on hand quilting that quilt I found some time back.

2015-02-18 16.45.07I’ve replaced the torn patches and added a new border and have a great backing material. Then I went out a purchased a hand quilt frame in anticipation (along with the wool batting) for time to hand quilt it and have been mulling over what pattern but right now, I am leaning towards just ‘stitch in the ditch’ of each and every triangle. Maybe I am overestimating how much free time I might have?

julie

P.S. I’ve been thinking about redesigning the website, mostly because the design blocks reader comments. I’ve been wanting a OMCS logo for a while, to start attaching to photos mostly – as they are popping up all over the internet, many without redirection back here. I’d love to hear from y’all… suggestions?

A Fairy Tale Bedroom Set in Pink Ombré

So I managed to dig deep for some ambition and found a little. I coaxed The Kid into helping and we spent the better part of the morning photographing finished projects. So now I just have to get them written now.

Today’s reveal is actually two pieces. Once again, I have reverted back to my other signature painting style in five or six shades of pink. It seems to be a style that sells easily and quickly and has a timeless sort of appeal. What little girl wouldn’t love to be surrounded in a sea of pink?

It started with the acquisition of an old headboard and foot board. I originally planned to turn it into one of those benches that are so popular, but once I started looking it over, I realized what solid pieces these were and how beautiful they could become. I hunted for sideboards and found a pair, but wasn’t until they were primed did I realize that they had the wrong connecting hardware. Back to the hunt. I actually had to place a “wanted” ad for the pieces specifically asking for the right hardware. Who knew that there were more than one design?

I finally did find the pieces I needed – along with another headboard and foot board. I almost didn’t want to have to deconstruct the side boards, but they were in pretty rough shape. I am planning to use the head and foot boards to make that originally planned bench seat.

In the meantime, the hardware was attached to new 1 x 6’s and a piece added to act as a lip to hold either a box spring or slats for the mattress. Then everything was primed… you can see a couple of other projects in the following photo as well:

photo 2Following the primer, the base sections of the headboard was painted in the standard base color… the pink in its lightest hue. Then it was on to painstakingly hand painting each post a different shade of pink.

IMG_0434The fifth and darkest shade was reserved for the side boards. I had specifically purchased appliqués to use on the both the headboard and foot board, the wide expanse of plain color seemed a bit too plain for me. The appliqués when arrived were a bit smaller than anticipated, apparently I was thinking inches but they were actually centimeters, but I opted to use them anyway. I like the way they turned out to be ‘dainty’ in the end.

The matching dresser was a great accidental find and apparently I was so excited that I forgot to take any pictures of it before working on it. It was found in an abandoned farm house and had a rather extended family of mice living in the drawers. It had some water damage to the drawers as well and it took a lot of sanding, gluing and strengthening to bring this piece back to its original glory. Originally, the dresser had wood wheels, but water, weather and time had degraded them past saving, so they were simply removed. I love the idea of how tall this piece initially stood.

I sanded every surface, including the drawer sides and bottoms and it was almost like building from scratch considering the amount of glue that was used to put it back together. A lot of love and sweat went into restoring this piece. I think that is why I opted to use the pink ombré paint on the dresser. Its such a classic look that I knew it was the right decision.

2015-11-14 13.23.58 2015-11-14 13.25.45And here is photographs of the bed frame:

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The bed and the dresser… note the styles really compliment each other without being an exact match. Both have those charming appliqués which are just the icing on these cakes!2015-11-14 13.23.12

A little tough to see but the same appliqué on the headboard also appears in the same place on the foot board.2015-11-14 13.23.18

The great design of the bed frame is that it is adjustable for both a full and a queen sized mattress without any work, other than moving the side boards to the separate set of slots.2015-11-14 13.23.44A shot of the foot board appliqué. The lighter two colors of pink were used on the posts on the foot board and the two lighter on the headboard posts. The sideboards have the darkest color.

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I sometimes wished that I had a daughter that I could have spoiled with this type of bedroom furnishings. Perhaps she would have been more like me growing up and be a tomboy and hated everything pink (like me!). I love being able to provide this to some other lucky little girl. I can see this being a very nice Christmas present!

Here it is stored and waiting delivery!

photo 14A few additional photos. It was a beautiful day here in the Midwest, with great sunshine. Felt great to get these photos taken!

I used hardware that I had salvaged from a previous piece and painted light pink. The top drawer received two glass knobs that had just the slightest pink hue to them. Perfect jewelry to this wonderful piece.

I did want to point out one unique feature that I was unable to completely erase while restoring this piece. I like to think of it as the signature of the former occupants and sort of a fairy tale component of the magic in these pieces. You see there are little nibble marks across the bottom of the top drawer face…

Mouse Bites Pink Mousejulie

Frustration On The Creative Endeavors – When You Can’t Get Anything Finished!

Ever have one of those days? Well, I am having one of those months! I have about ten projects all going at the same time and it seems that for one reason or another, I cannot get a single one finished! Timing or materials or weather, something seems to stand in the way of completing the project.

My big project and the one I am most excited about is now 99.9% complete! I am waiting on one more simple (or I hope simple) finishing touch and a nice day of weather to get the project photographed. Argh! It is so frustrating to be so close to completion that I have nightmares about it! No joke!

I’ve stopped picking up project pieces since the weather is going to soon become the kind of weather that prevents me from driving my little sports car. When that happens, I usually drive it into the third garage stall, cover him and put him into hibernation. Well, in order to do that, I have to get that stall cleaned out, so I have been a busy little beaver trying to get things done. It is either that or get rid of them. And I am trying to do both.

I picked up this awesome antique bench thinking it would be an easy project, but it has turned out to be anything but. Sigh. I work on it a little and then get frustrated or tired of fighting with the four million staples/nails/tacks and move to something else.

I am close to finishing the four poster bed frame that I am painting in the same pink ombré style, but of course, I had to spend an inordinate amount of time to find the right connectors for the side boards, so it too has taken a place at the back of the line.

I picked up this not-so-little entertainment center for the express purpose of harvesting pieces – like the doors and drawers and shelves – as I am planning on building a gun cabinet for The Kid’s personal collection of antique fire arms. They are very nice pieces, so the cabinet needs to be of the same quality. This thing weighed like two thousand pounds when we picked it up and much of it is turning out to be real wood (as opposed to the junk compressed wood in many) so I am harvesting much more than I thought I would be. And of course, it too, was well made with about a ton of glue, staples, screws and nails so it is taking much more effort to get it apart than hoped.

The end table to dog crate too, is almost complete. It has turned out to be a bit heavy, so as an added bonus, I am planning on adding wheels (found on the entertainment center) to make it easier to move around. Of course, the wheels are on the bottom of the entertainment center, so they are close to last in coming off, but maybe – just maybe – that can be completed today.

As I said, the weather is starting to turn which is just raising havoc with the arthritis in both knees. Did I mention that I am tentatively scheduled for dual knee replacement surgery in January? Something tells me that work with come to a screeching halt in the garage for a while then. 🙂

photo 4As a consequence of the weather and knees, I’ve been back to sewing some. I made a personal vow not to make any more quilts until I can get some of the tops completed quilted. My best guess is that there is between 200 and 300 waiting for someone to do this step and then I do the binding. I just cringe each time I think about the money that will be needed to do this. So, they wait.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on using up my scraps. I just put on a good movie and sew, really without much thinking. I’ve also been working on a postage stamp baby quilt (I think I might be able to do the quilting on my sewing machine) just to use up these last few hundred pieces. A few years ago, I ordered this box of charm pieces (2000!) that are 1.5″ squares and used a good deal of them in several quilts. I just can’t bring myself to toss the remaining, although they are what I call “the uglies”!! Does anyone else here have this issue?

I’ve also been working with felt pieces while I ice then heat my knees. I’ve made a bunch of Christmas decorations (although we don’t really celebrate or decorate in the house), as well as working on another needle book. I need to just need to finish the cover. Of course over in the corner next to the fireplace is that great big hulking needlepoint project… just sitting there mocking me.

I’ve resisted writing just this post – the one where I admit that I can’t seem to get anything completed! Its just so aggravating and humbling to have to admit to all this incompleteness! I really try to hold myself to a higher standard, but sometimes it is so overwhelming – and I realized that it has been quite a while since I last posted. But to have to post and say I’ve got nothing! Argh!

Best intentions aside, time to get on with the day. I really need to assess what is left and what still needs to be done and what is required to get to that point. And then just start tackling them, one by one.

Wish me luck! And to all those out there who think us bloggers just get things done out of discipline and attention? We’re just people too and infallible. So don’t worry that you’re project(s) isn’t getting done. It happens to all of us!

julie

Another Round of Dressers and Benches

Sometimes it seems that if I didn’t stay organized, I could easily be tempted to just kick back on the couch and watch streaming movies and work on my cross stitch. And speaking of, I have managed to get more completed – I figure I am about 30 – 35% completed. I have to make sure that I did a little work on it continuously, I don’t want it to go unfinished.

Today, The Kid and I worked on the head- and foot-boards, turning them into benches. They are turning out pretty cool, although I am having some difficulty in figuring out what color to paint them. I briefly entertained the idea of sanding them down and refinishing them, but they have those round spindles and I don’t particularly enjoying sanding, staining or painting anything round… so, painting it is.

2015-03-26 13.41.54I picked these up in an auction for a mere ten dollars. I totally could see the potential. I am now getting probably thirty or forty percent of my pieces through this auction business.

2015-04-02 19.53.18I love working with The Kid. He is so talented when it comes to wood working and he has experience with all different tools. Thankfully, we continue to purchase better and new tools all the time; with funds from sales of finished products.

6961-1This piece is a very nice dresser purchased from the auction site. After we started taking the drawers out, we found that three out of the five drawers needed serious attention. In fact, on the of the drawers actually came in five pieces; thankfully all of the pieces were there and in good shape, just a matter of gluing it all back together.

2015-04-02 19.53.47Tomorrow I get to start sanding. This purple paint on the cabinet and drawer fronts is peeling badly and I need to get all of that knocked down before I can start priming.

Another little project that I’ve been working on is another faux stained glass. I keep an eye out for interesting material; mirrors, glass, unique wood pieces, what have you. This project was a result of a large slab of glass I picked up.

First, I picked out some wonderful clip art, worked with it a bit until I had a design I liked. Then had the design printed onto a full size sheet of paper and laid the glass on top. (This has been sitting on my kitchen island for at least two weeks and I am sure that my family is getting tired or working around it!)3Hearts 17.5x43

Then it was a matter of laying down the faux leading… this turned out to be a lot of exacting work. I made it a point to lay a few pieces every time I came into the kitchen.2015-03-26 15.51.18

Finally! The leading is done. Whew! I thought I would know what colors I would want to finish this piece with by the time I got to this point, but I am conflicted on whether doing them all red or all pink. Or maybe one pink and one red and one white. Perhaps two red and one pink? I am still thinking about it.

DSCN3236And speaking of colors, here is how the paint chip cards look in the morning light. While I was leaning to the left bottom color in evening light, this morning I am leaning towards the right middle color this morning. I am planning to just live with the chips for a while. Would love to hear your comments!

photoWell, I need to update tomorrow’s list and get ready to hit the hay.

julie

A Quick Check In Before Working in the Garage

Just wanted to check in with everyone… The Kid and I have been busy starting a multitude of projects. The collection of furniture and projects is a never ending stream. I have a bug about the next “big one” – a project that will span a fair amount of time and cost more than most. It is a toss up between the master bedroom makeover or attempting to once more finish the attic space behind The Kid’s closet. Either way, both are slated to go done while I am taking a hiatus from work and have the time.

Today, we’re working on a couple of matching benches from head and foot boards. We also got started on my latest rescue, another five drawer dresser purchased at a local auction company. We also picked up a ton of paint chip cards, chose the color scheme for my master bedroom. Which one do you think matches best?photo 1

The Kid thinks the middle one on the right, I think the bottom on the left. I am going to leave these up for a few days, look at them in different lights.

I’ve also gotten a little further on my secret project… and it is still creeping out The Kid. 🙂

photo 2Sorry I can’t share – yet – what this is going to turn out to be! 😉

We spent most of today, though, listing eBay auctions. I also spent some time up in my quilting room, finishing up the remainder of my quilt tops: matching the fronts with the backing material.I finished up the last of my denim quilts, but need to purchase some flannel for the backing. I love the combination of recycled denim and flannel – like wearing your favorite jeans and a flannel shirt. I just went through 16 yards of dark blue flannel getting five other quilts ready. Wow!

I go in cycles, it seems, where for days, sometimes weeks, working on the same sort of projects and then suddenly due to acquiring materials, I will switch to something else. And then that, will consume my time for a few weeks. The furniture that The Kid and I work on is really to fund the other projects, so that sort of goes on all the time. At least a little bit all the time.

Come back often for updates!

julie

Started A Hundred Things… But Getting Nothing Completed!

Ever have one of those days or weeks or maybe even months? Ever since I’ve been back from vacation, it seems that I have been having the hardest time keeping on track to completing projects.

Lots of things started… between the new furniture pieces and my quilting, it would seem that I have a hundred irons in the fire. But there seems to be so many things preventing me from getting the projects completed.

So, first up is the blonde bedroom set we picked up about a hundred years ago (it sure seems like it!!). We had a chest of drawers, a dresser with a mirror and a head- and foot-board. All was in pretty good shape with the exception of a missing drawer and another drawer broken (but it at least had the drawer front). In trying to determine if we could recreate the missing drawer (we had taken the head and foot boards for just that purpose), we determined that it would be too much work. So, we’re going to cut the dresser in half, going from a six drawer to a three drawer unit.

2015-03-02 17.37.32While The Kid works on that, I have taken the other drawers and chests and head- and foot-boards and given everything a nice sanding and patched holes and gouges. It is really a very nice set, well built. I remember my parent’s having a similar set, I would place it sometime in the 50’s, when blonde furniture was all the rage.

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Here’s the headboard… I think this is going to be finished in pinks, they seem to sell well. I think the wood corner pieces will be one color and the remainder of the drawer a lighter color.2015-03-02 17.38.20In addition to this piece of furniture, we have a three drawer dresser with a different feature. Originally, there was a large slab of granite on top, which had broke. We’ve fit the top with a bottom and then it will have a clear plastic top, in essence creating a narrow shadow box. I think it will also be the pale pink, and for photos I am going to use doll clothes or something to show off the use of it. I think that this will sell quite quickly.

One more piece that we’re working on is a media cabinet that will become just a three drawer dresser. I really like this one, mostly because it was made using mostly wood and not a lot of that junk fiberboard. We’re going to cut at the top of the inside drawer and once again, sand, detail and paint it. This might be a more neutral color, perhaps white.2015-03-02 17.37.57Oh, what else? I feel like I’ve been so lax in writing lately, and that there is so much to get caught up. Let me show you a couple of pics of the garage:

2015-03-06 18.44.29 2015-03-06 18.44.19Oh yes, I won two sets of headboards and footboards from an online auction place, we’re going to use them to make those cute little bench seats. The last one I did sold very quickly and had a lot of interest and was so easy to put together. You can see them in the photo above to the very left.

At least the weather has been very nice the last few days. Which was great timing since we just ran out of kerosene for our garage heater!

In the house, I have a couple more projects in the works. Of course, you all know about the cross stitch. I suppose you are all just sick of hearing about that! I warned you!

But I also started digging through the junk in my home office recently. You all know that at times I will get frustrated with a mess and will stop working just to get things organized. Well, my home office had finally reached mission critical!

I have two boxes of the stuff that I take to my “real” jobs… the kind of things that make computer work just that much nicer. For instance, I have a custom keyboard and mouse, photos of The Kid, my own pens and markers and calligraphy pens. When I finish a job, I just throw the stuff into a box and wait for the next job. But they’ve started to drive me crazy, as once there is one or two boxes, they seem to just invite more clutter.

One of the things I had under all that clutter were my Lego Mini-Figs. If you are not a Lego fan, just do a Google search on the words “Lego Mini-Figs” and you will see what I mean. Along with PEZ dispensers, it is one of those things that The Kid and I collect together. He plays with his, mine are meant to be showcased.

So, now that I had a decent amount, I started to work on putting them into a shadow box. I ordered black 2×2 blocks for the mini-figs to “stand” on and once they arrived, I started working on the layout. Ever notice that when you’re anxiously awaiting the delivery of something it seems to take so much longer than it should?!

2015-03-06 18.44.57I’ll give you an update when I get closer to being done.

Another collection: cut glass crystal. I found that I had some pieces without lids and some lids without bottoms. So, now I’ve begun this whole other search to find mates for these pieces. Yeah, like I don’t have enough to do already. <<Sigh>>

2015-03-06 18.44.48I did manage to find the right pieces, though, for another small cake/cupcake tray. That ostensibly was the reason for looking for doomed lids, in order to create these small cake/cupcake plates. But I don’t really need a reason. Now do I?2015-03-06 18.45.07And of course, the faux stained glass jars. I’ve done quite a few of these, and because we tend to find these bottles when we’re out abandoned house hunting, it is fun to turn them into night lights or ambient lighting. I thought I would do one in shades of pink. Offer it up when someone buys the furniture pieces we’re doing in the ombré style using pink. I like it even more with the micro-glitter with the faux stained glass.

Another development on the quilting front. I am a pretty prolific quilter but recently the woman who does the longarm quilting for me, my friend Gloria, opted to retire from providing this service to me. I’ve been doing some searching and also some investigative work into whether I might just invest in a longarm machine and do the quilting myself. I pulled together all the incomplete quilt tops that I could find and I have just over 50 tops (with their matching backs) ready to be quilted. This doesn’t include 6 denim quilts that are a special challenge. And today, I uncovered a bunch (maybe as many as 20) of tops that don’t have their backs prepared yet. And I know that I have blocks cut for probably another dozen or so.

Okay, so, I think I found a young lady kind of local who I am going to take for a test drive. I’ve sent her two fairly large quilt tops and backs and given her carte blanche to do what she wants with them. If it works out – and she does seem to have the most infectious energy! – then I am going to drive down and meet her, delivering to her another 50! (Hi Becky!!) I have such good feelings about this.

Whew! After almost nothing from me for weeks, I think I might have gone a little overboard! Ha! Feast or famine! I will try to do better about providing more consistent updates.

Oh, one more thing and then I will be done. Promise. One of the cut glass crystal pieces that I found and bought was for trifles or layered meat dishes. I had always thought they were called “truffles” but I am wrong. I have a recipe for a potato and roast beef thing, but of course, I started with a trifle. Oreo Cookie Trifle.

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This has Oreo cookies, vanilla cream, crushed Oreo cookies, whipped cream, mini Oreo cookies and an Oreo cookie crust bottom. This should probably be called “Death By Oreo Cookies” or something. My blood sugar is rising just thinking about cutting into it!!2015-03-06 18.26.05Thanks for dropping by!

julie

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