Playing Catch Up: Garage Cleanup!

Oh my heavens! It has been weeks and weeks since I last posted, but trust me folks, I’ve not been lazy! I have so much to write about! I will try to catch up in the next few weeks, trying harder to be attentive to the blog!

Like I said, lots of things have been completed. Not working (again) has helped a little. I managed to finish up on the contract that I had a few months early – I was never good about pacing myself! I just jump in with both feet and work away!

Some big things and some small projects have been completed. Even more have been started! I’ve been trying to finish up anything that needs to be worked on in the garage and/or outside, since the temperatures have been falling steadily.

I’ll start first with the garage. I’ve been wanting to re-arrange the west wall of the garage since I don’t think I am using that space to its full potential. And once this side is done, I am going to do something similar to the other side so that I can park my little sports car in the garage for the winter.

Here is the before picture:

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That little red contraption is a high powered washer. We bought it when we lived in California for the hundreds of feet in wood fencing we had around our lot. We don’t have a fence now that we’re here in Missouri and I love it! Just makes the yard look larger and more friendly somehow. We hung the washer on the garage wall back in 2004 and never used it once since! It has been donated to our favorite thrift store. We took down the random hanging tools and sorted through the odd wood and metal pieces stacked in the corner.dscn4751

We then configured the upper space for shelves to essentially mimic the space behind the upper cabinets to the left. I searched for months to actually purchase the same cabinets, but could not come up with matching size/depth. I was kind of surprised and figured that they were like standard sized cabinets meant for garages and mudrooms.

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I replaced our old and broken recycle bins with new, sturdier ones and mounted the top two using cleats. The new cabinet is being used for The Kid’s latest hobby, welding and this cabinet is intended to keep all the necessary gear and tools for it together. It is on wheels, so he can move it to wherever he needs to work. I got the cabinet on sale at Home Depot for 25% off and an additional 20% off since it was the floor model. Perfect!dscn4824

The shelves are perfect size for the ‘paper boxes’… and I have a standing order at our local print shop for when they have spares. Just phone them and ask! Something they don’t have to recycle!

Next up – and already in progress – is the other side of the garage. This is where my sports car lives in the winter, but still a valuable space during the warmer months. I keep all of my furniture pieces stored there, as well as using part of the space as a ‘paint booth’.

The large cardboard piece helps control most of the errant spray paint. The other side holds furniture, like I mentioned, as well as other materials. I’ve collected a variety of old – and unfortunately – ugly shelving units and now am planning to replace those with a floor-to-ceiling set of shelves. I’ve begun the job of painting the boards and this weekend, we’re planning to install them.

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I gave away quite a few ‘project’ pieces, as well as a lot of fabric upholstery sample books. I try to glean my project pieces each year as I move to ‘indoor’ projects… hoping that since I didn’t get to them within the span of many months, that perhaps someone else may. No problem seeing all of this valuable material disappear!

Another small project completed was transforming this small wooden box into a small stool for my sewing room. I covered the box with vintage clothing patterns, added the small feet and then added a fabric covered seat.

So, that’s it for today’s update. We’re considering allowing my son’s best friend move into the spare bedroom which means the spillover from my sewing room will have to be dealt with. I think I am going to up stairs and stand in the doorway for a while to see if I have any flashes of genius as to where this might go (or if it too needs to be donated!). When we moved into this house and our square footage literally doubled, I never dreamed that I would ever run out of space!

Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Next Steps: Prime and Paint

So plans are moving forward. As many of you know, I am looking at dual knee replacement surgeries in about six weeks. For that reason, I am attempting to complete all the projects that I have planned or in progress and – hopefully – get them sold before I have those surgeries. I have to get my house and garage clear, so I am not tripping or falling over anything while I do my physical therapy. I also need to get my hot little sports car into the garage before snowfall – I am working diligently on keeping the mileage down and its value up.

Have I shown you my little fun car?

1010169_10201532414372325_693955612_nIt’s a rear wheel drive car with very little clearance, so it doesn’t really work well in winter. So, when the cold whether arrives, I cover it and store it in the garage. If it hadn’t been for the fact that the temperature has been unseasonably warm, the rain that has been falling for the last three days should have been snow.

The third stall of the garage has been holding the dining table and its chairs along with the matching sidebar. I have a great story about it, but am saving for another day this week. But once that is gone and I disassemble the ‘paint booth’ that I set up, the third stall will be mostly empty and James (my Mazda RX-8) can roll in.

So, The last couple of days, The Kid and I have been working on the re-assembling the pew. When a catholic church downtown shut down its school, I picked up a bunch of great pieces… including the parts to assemble a pew. Unfortunately, as we’ve been working on it, we’ve figured out that they are the pieces of the same pew and as such, they aren’t going back together easily. The funniest thing is that the ends and the seat/back were numbered… I think they did that when they took them apart. Unfortunately, when I sent The Kid down the second time to pick up the pieces we couldn’t fit the first time around, I made a last minute decision to get pew and neither he nor the gentleman there paid attention to numbers and we got mismatched pieces.

So, after some thought and some fumbling, I used a router to make the necessary adjustments to the channels where the back and the seat set into the sides. Today, The Kid worked on assembling the pieces together and adding some supports to make it really strong. I need to pick up some wood filler to finish off those areas where adjustments left some gaps, then I can get it primed and painted.

2015-12-14 19.13.59 copyThis is one of those projects I plan to keep. The current plan is to paint it my favorite shade of red and it will sit in my foyer. I imagine it won’t take long until it is covered with supplies for new projects, but I think it will be gorgeous and unique!

As you can see, this side of the garage is still filled with a bunch of projects we’re working doggedly on finishing. The name of the game this week is: “prime and paint”! Closely followed by “list and sell”! 🙂

I don’t ever expect the garage to ever be empty or stay very empty for long. Expected therapy and recovery is expected to be somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks with a complete recovery within six months. Then there is no stopping me!

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

Work Continues… We’re Drawing Closer to the Finish Line

I’ve always been a bit myopic in my posts, especially this one. I have always sort of seen the value of the completed project over the path of creating it. I know that it is wrong, that one thing people search out is the process of creating, in addition to the beginning and end projects. I just haven’t been the best at doing it… and I am always trying to address it.

I have several projects in the works, I talked about them in my previous posts. These particular projects have many steps, and often each step is but a few minutes and then waiting. Painting and waiting for it to dry. Staining and waiting for it to dry. Waiting for the staining and painting to attach the legs. Waiting to attach the legs so that the skirt can be attached. And it goes on and on. I’m sure you get the bigger picture.

So, today seemed to be momentous. It seemed that real steps forward were taken and results achieved. Still not done yet, but we’re getting there.

DSCN3768The door (for the dining table) has been stained and polyurethaned with two coats each. In between each coat is a light sanding. The coloring turned out gorgeous! (I am telling you, this particular project is going to be very hard for me to part with!) In this photo, you can see the underside of the door… I had to flip it over to finish – silly me, not thinking – since the door has a large piece of glass in the middle of it, you will be able to see through it! Duh! So, the table skirt also had to have more painting… again, not thinking! But the red against this deep stain color is just stunning!

DSCN3759The top of the sideboard has gotten the same treatment, although because the type of wood differed from the door, it required an extra couple of steps and some experimenting to get the color to be the same. All in all, it turned out perfect!

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We moved the sideboard (sans top and drawers) into the garage. The drawers has all the previous holes filled as I’ve finally made a decision on what hardware is going to be used. So, it took a little sanding and then re-priming and re-painting the drawer fronts.

DSCN3762DSCN3765I cleaned and painted the hardware, which was salvaged from an old piece. I used a deep metallic brown that has just a hint of sparkle to it and I think it will be spectacular when we get it installed. It has a bit of a fifties flare, I think.

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I am considering using the same paint for two additional head chairs and did a color test. I want to give it a chance to dry and perhaps a second coat before I make the decision. Light might help too. 🙂

DSCN3766Next up, the six chairs have been moved onto the driveway so that I could complete the priming. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous and I wanted to take advantage of the sunshine and mild temperatures. The fresh air helps when doing all the painting as well. Six cans of premium white paint and the six chairs are finally ready for their color.

Our neighbors to the right of us are having their house painted, so to protect our cars from overspray, we moved them down to the street. Thank heavens for the large circular semi-cul-de-sac that we live on, having them parked out there doesn’t interfere with traffic. Its almost too funny to think that when we bought a house with a three car garage, we thought we would actually park the vehicles in them!

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The wood appliques that I ordered online finally came so that I could finish the pink ombré head- and foot-boards. I like the appliques, but wasn’t paying close enough attention when I ordered them. I thought I was getting 7″ x 7″ but in reality they were 7 cm x 7 cm, so much smaller than I thought.

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But they are just enough and add that something special that I was looking for. Now to get the side boards done. They actually came with a different head and foot board – I was just naive enough to think that they would work on any old antique bed frame. Nope! Different attachment mechanism entirely. Now I have to figure out if I can modify the ends of boards themselves or the connecting hardware in the bedframes. Sigh. Nothing ever seems to be easy.

Shown with the bed side boards on top of them

So, with that, this day is coming to a close. I am beat! Now all I want to do is take a shower, put my feet up and finish the beading project that I’ve been working on. I am this close…

julie

 

 

Off The Radar For a Bit! Update of Beading, Gardening and Painting!

Things have been a little hectic for me, as of late. Of course that means my project work sort of falls to the wayside while I attend to other matters. It isn’t anything very interesting or even all that important, but it – along with the fact that my son has been unavailable to me – makes the project work get set aside.

Its funny how much we tend to take things for granted. Well, okay, so I should correct that and say how much “I” take things for granted. My son has been involved with something new for him and it has taken him away from home last week, first for five days and now again for 8 days. It really hits home that I don’t have his help – from simply helping me move and pickup items, but also his expertise and knowledge in the work we do. He also has a great sense of humor and fantastic ideas and I miss not having him around for that and for so many reasons. But mostly because he is an awesome kid and I love himIMG_1934.

I’ve been doing a little handwork with sequins and beading, just to keep my hands occupied. Sometimes it is funny how I will pick up a new hobby or skill, this time, just by making a small purchase to repair something. Now that I have the supplies and material, it seems a shame to not take full advantage of it and use more of the supplies. In this case, it was a great little case of a variety of sequins – colors and shapes – and seed beads. You saw one of my attempts a few posts back, but have been doing a little reading up on how to use seed beads and tube beads and have completed a couple of more projects.

I also have an update on our container gardening. I don’t know why I can grow my indoor house plants without even trying, yet when I make a obvious choice to grow something in a garden or container, I don’t seem to have much luck.  Here is the latest shot of my container tomatoes:

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I actually did manage to get my first ripe tomato, albeit a little small. Oh well. IMG_3291

There are some tomatoes… but they don’t seem to be getting very big. The Kid isn’t faring much better with his sweet corn, the one in the container just dried out and the ones out in the yard are packed a little too tightly (I think). I haven’t been out lately, but once I was out to check on the corn, I took a look at my strawberries. IMG_3293Earlier in the year, I knew that they wouldn’t be doing much this year, so I let them just got to seed. Hopefully get some strong daughter plants and have better luck next year. Amazingly, 90% of the plants were gone! Most of the bed was littered with grass, but I was surprised to see that the plants literally were gone! There was a row of strawberries along the house’s foundation, and they had two mature berries. Okay, you want to see sad?  Here was the total “harvest” from the corn and berries. I told you! Sad.

On the subject of plants, however, I picked up a really big, very healthy plant from CraigsList. Somehow houseplants fare much better. In fact, even trying to kill a houseplant intentionally won’t happen. When we moved from California to Missouri some years ago, I just stopped taking care of the houseplants since I knew they would never survive such a trip. But even after weeks of inattention, they were still going strong. I moved them out to the yard when we had our huge garage sale and offered them to people as incentive for buying our other stuff!

So, this plant I picked up from CraigsList was a schefflera. Only thing “wrong” was the fact that it was growing too tall for the office waiting room it lived in! A bit root bound, so I replanted in a new larger pot with some Miracle-Gro soil and it is now a new center piece in my foyer. The first couple of times I caught the plant out of the corner of my eye from the kitchen or coming out my bedroom, it scared the life out of me, thinking it was some big hulking man or something! You can get an idea of how tall it is by how it dwarfs the china cabinet (which stands about five and a half feet. And during the pickup, I managed to snap off about two feet of the center stalk. It recovered nicely and is already sprouting new leaves and one at the base.

IMG_2375I had to move one of my golden pothos over by the door and now it is going crazy with all the indirect sunlight!

photo 1A quick peek at my garage… I’ve prep’d pieces for painting… the head board and foot boards in the picture will be given the “ombré” effect in pinks. I am hoping to be able to go back to all of my customers who bought dressers and nights stands and vanities and coax one of them to adding this to their current pieces. My first thoughts were that the spindles should be given the same paint scheme, starting at the top with the lightest color pink and then at the rings, switch colors, but that might be overdoing it a bit. (In fact, can’t even find a quick image on Google!) The Kid thinks that each spindle should be a different color, and even did a quick mockup for me:

IMG_0434I think I like that as it goes to the simple and clean look (like the dressers) and it is a lot less work! For a “guy” and for as young as he is, he has pretty good taste. I guess the apple didn’t fall from the tree. 😉

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

Projects Underway, So I Will Show You My “Gardens”

I honestly have no idea how this happens! I just finished five fantastic pieces and I turn around and the garage is filled to capacity with new ones!

Lately, I have been trying to work as early in the day as I can, as the weather has been hot and humid. I don’t have to be in the garage long for me to be soaked with sweat. I keep hoping that it will help me lose weight, but, alas, it isn’t working. 😦

So, the first thing on the ‘To Do’ list this morning, was to mount the circulating fan that has plagued me by constantly being in the way, to the ceiling. A fairly easy proposition and with The Kid’s help, we had it done quickly. And what a difference it makes being close to the ceiling and managing to circulate over most of the garage’s space.

DSCN3645So, as to the fact that I really don’t have anything to show because it is all in progress, I thought I would give you a look at how the container gardening is going.

2015-06-05 17.46.33These are how my started-from-seed tomatoes looked when I finally replanted them in the containers (5 gallon buckets acquired for free around my part of town). I hadn’t gotten my version of tomato cages up at this point.

DSCN3659And here is what they look like today. They are growing nicely! I have been collecting coffee grounds which I am going to mix with Miracle-Grow soil and add to each bucket. Hopefully that will give them more of a boost. I do have flowers on most of the plants, but need to check if I should pinch those off or just let them take their course. Seems that the plants are on the smaller side, at least to me. This is the first time I’ve ever grown tomatoes.

I’m also growing something on the other side of the deck. There are three trees in there, one is the tree I want to plant in the yard to memorialize our dog, who we lost a little more than a year ago. We are going to dig the hole and add her ashes and then plant the tree above it. I have been casting concrete stepping stones that have a ‘paw print’, to act as a walkway to the tree.

The other plants are ‘surprises’. I have no idea what they are or how they germinated or what they will ‘grow up’ to be. Time will tell. All I know is that I’ve always had a green thumb, even when I don’t intend to grow something!

DSCN3663And here is The Kid’s little corn patch. I cannot wait to have home grown sweet corn! (I think they should be taller, though.) This is not mine to mess with though and The Kid just wants them to run their course. It has been so wet as of late, and I suspect that is what is preventing the plants from growing “up”.

julie

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

Filling Up The Hours with The Details (Planning and Organizing)

I’ve had some seriously disconnected days… can’t seem to get anything started or finished. Sold the last of the finished dressers and am down to only having my restored chandelier left for sale. Did manage to keep an eye on the free list on CraigsList and have a garage full of future projects.

While I’ve been meandering, I have been “testing” myself on just how little I can go with fabric pieces by doing some piecing and should be ready to reveal my final decision in the next day or so. I mean, how small of a scrap piece would you save?

Picked up six more pairs of jeans to harvest denim for the rag rug I plan to make. This is what six pairs of larger than 40 waist sized jeans boils down to:

DSCN3585You can check out my instructions on how to get the most out of a pair of blue jeans here. I also have the same instructions on instructables.com and can see it here.

Other than the denim and the scrap piecing, I’ve been done a little goofing around with felt. I found a pattern online for this cute little minion (it seems everything everywhere is about those little yellow guys), so I whipped one up.

DSCN3577Some of the directions weren’t all that good and neither was the pattern… I am thinking about how I can make my own pattern for a slightly larger version of this guy. I know this photo doesn’t allow for size comparison, but he is about 6″ from top of his head to bottom. I’d like to make one maybe 50% larger… I even managed to find larger sized eyes. I want to do something different with his arms and legs, as I didn’t care for how they came out in this version. Even after modifying his boots to be more 3D-ish, I still don’t like it. I want to make his feet (boots) and hands (gloves) out of leather, which means it is going to have to be larger to work with.

I have been trying to get our workplace in the garage into order. I picked up a deeper shelved piece and want to get things squared away before we get started on the next dozen or so projects. The Kid also managed to finally get a way to store our pipe clamps so that they won’t be constantly in the way or being knocked over.

DSCN3584I am determined to get this garage into a more useable and convertible space. There is still plenty of space on this wall which is the back side of the work area.

I also have an area that I want to be able to use for a paint booth and picked up heavy plastic sheeting a while back to use as “curtains” to contain the over-spray but nothing that is “permanent” so that I can still use the stall to park my car (sometimes in the Midwest, it is important to be able to garage your vehicles, like yesterday’s tornado warnings). Once situated – and it shouldn’t take long – we can get moving on the new pieces.

You cannot imagine how long it has taken me to write these words! Geez, I hope soon to get my focus and motivation back!

julie

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