School Desk Chairs to Outdoor Bench

First, I have to start this post with an apology. I normally think of myself as a very organized person, but when I sat down to write this about two hours ago, I found that my photos are anything but organized! To compound things, I have two cameras as well as the camera on my iPhone and I use three different computers based on where in the house I am and what I am doing. Those two hours were spent trying to locate the photos to go along with this post. (I guess I know what I am going to work on next!)

I cannot even locate the ‘before’ photos. And I know I have them. Somewhere. Sigh.

I found one!:

So, while this is not the actual item, it does represent what I started with. Or rather with four of them:

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I picked these up a year ago this past summer and have been moving them around in the garage waiting for both inspiration to strike and some free time.

The middle of November found me done with my professional contract and now having time. The ultimate goal was to clear out the small garage stall in order to bed my sports car down for the winter and these chairs were currently taking up a lot of space. I had moved them to the larger side of the garage and I had lined them up, hoping for some inspiration. What happened was they were bumped around until them ended up out of line and that is exactly when I got my idea. A curved bench.

Since there were four, I figured I could use one as ‘parts’ to fill in the gaps between the chairs. (I swear I have some really good photos of this process!) I disassembled the most damaged and least attractive, but they were all really in good condition. Using just my eye and a band saw and sander, I started to fill in the space between the chairs. Once I had the pieces cut and sanded, The Kid drilled holes and we used wood dowels and glue to attach the dowels to the chairs and then attach the chairs to each other. (Dang, I wish I could find those photos!)

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This was way into the process – almost done, in fact, but you can see what I mean about filling in the gaps between the chairs. The front of the chairs actually touch, so I used a couple of metal straps to attach them.

At that point, the whole assembly was sanded, primed and painted. I used the deep red/burgundy color as it was intended to be placed on my front entry and my door is this color. (Or at least it was when we bought the house… it too, needs a paint job.)

Then came the process of creating the seat. I started with two 12″ wide boards which were glued and joined together. I placed the original seats into their original location and then laid a scrap piece of wood across them and screwed them into place. Then I placed that assembly onto the wood prepared for the new seat.

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I then traced around the seats so I would know where to cut. It did take a little finagling to get the new board into place but it eventually got there. Then I made a line on the front and sides, allowing for about an inch overhang. I kind of do this with guesswork and experience from other projects. I also like a little extra to allow for sanding and possible re-cuts.

The Kid then gave it a nice rounded edge using the router, and then it was a matter of sanding all the edges smooth as well as the seat top. I didn’t worry too much about the underside, since it wouldn’t be seen. It was given three coats of a medium/medium dark stain.

To help protect it from the elements, it was given not just two or three coats of polyurethane, but five! This included the actual chairs as well. While there is some protection from the elements on my “porch”, it is outside and I’d like to last for a while.

Then it was just a matter of placing the seat back onto the chairs assembly and using the original screw holes, attach it nice and firmly.

Viola! It was moved into place and we were done!

Now, I don’t claim to be an expert, I am more like my Dad who just tried things and learned what works and what doesn’t. I am not a stickler for the details, so don’t look too closely! 🙂 There are places where just a little more level or a little less sanding might have added to the overall project, but I like how it turns out and that is what matters!

dscn4822You can see that the door has faded… come next spring, that is on the list!dscn4821You can see the slight curve of the seat… I wanted something different from what everyone else does and I like how this worked.dscn4820For the seat, pine was chosen for the 1″x12″ boards. You can kind of see where the saturation of the stain soaked dark on the edges and where I missed cleaning off all the glue on the seat. But that is what makes it unique and special.

The front entry has a tiled ‘floor’, which i did when I first moved in. It gets slick in the winter from water, ice and snow, so we put down nice mats to prevent falls.

By the way, I still have the four original seats and desk writing arms which are from a very nice solid hardwood. If you have ideas on what I could do with these, I am all ears!

julie

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Another Dresser Experiment: Pattern Tissue

Wow, I did it again! I have been so busy at work and all that it entails as well as trying to finish up some projects. Then, too, The Kid and I got hooked on watching “Games of Thrones” – I know, I know, way behind the rest of the world! It has seriously eaten into my online time!

But with The Kid’s help, have finished another dresser. I actually am able to work on some of these projects while watching streaming television, I’d have a little more room to work if I gave up and admitted – at least temporarily – quilting defeat! The rescued quilt from that falling down barn is going to have to wait. For now.

I picked up this little dresser at one of my two online auction sites. I love when people overlook these pieces because they seem so flimsy, but in reality, they are quality pieces. I got this one for five dollars, just because no one could see past the missing back, broken rungs and the massive spider egg and web colony being built in it!

A quick cleanup and help from The Kid to fix the rungs and put a solid back on it and it was ready for my magic. After making the Monopoly Dresser, I wanted to try my hand at another cover: sewing pattern tissue paper. I recently inherited some pretty old patterns – circa 1940’s/1950’s in which I placed a couple of the pattern covers in frames to hang in my sewing room.

As most of the patterns were used and cut, so I didn’t see any way to actually use them to make the clothing, so I thought of decorating a little drawer unit to store things in my craft room.

I used thinned Elmer’s white glue and a 1″ paint brush to layer the tissue. I simply kept an eye for more interesting elements in the patterns and layered until I was happy with the look. I like how there are some areas that are a little lighter than others and the old style patterns had heavy cut lines that showed nicely.

I created the handles after a lot of thought as to what to use for knobs. I thought about buttons (very BIG buttons) or other things common to sewing. I had painted some big round wood knobs black, but the paint job wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked, so I scrapped them and went back to the drawer board.

Then inspiration struck! I had The Kid pick up some wooden spools and cut them in half. He ended up with a groove running down the middle, so he cut thin wood to place on the back. Then he added some half inch thick cuts from a 3/4″ dowel, glued it all together and let it dry. Came back to do a little sanding and then a couple of coats of semi-gloss black spray paint and a little more time for the paint to dry.

Aren’t they too cute?!

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So, I’ll keep this short from here and just show you the photos!

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Whaddya think?

julie

Lately, I Have Been So Distracted!

There doesn’t seem to be any ramp up time for me when I start thinking about going back to work. It goes from a fleeting notion to a full blown hunt in a snap. Much of my time lately has been taken up with the construction of a job hunt. I have had a few minutes here and there, but it seems that once I get things organized and ready to work, I am tired or distracted by a phone call.

But, with that said, I have finished a couple of projects. The first one is something I’ve done before, but I never seem to get bored with the idea. The suitcase dresser is a very popular style, especially when you’re looking at a piece that may have damage or isn’t the highest quality. I’ve probably done a half dozen of this style now, and it always comes out great.
Although these are difficult to do, they tend to take some time to complete. Especially when the cabinet requires work as well. The Kid was much more involved in this one, as all of the drawers had to have fronts placed and supports both front and back of each drawer. One drawer had to almost be rebuilt from scratch, the one good thing is that all the pieces were there and just needed to be put back together.

I created a tutorial some time back, you can see it Suitcase Dresser Tutorial. I didn’t take many photos, since I’ve done the tutorial. I will tell you that if you have dedicated space to work on it, it helps. I did most of the work in the kitchen and dining room, and had to constantly move the drawers as I progressed with the work.

DSCN3560I tend to work on it ‘assembly line style’, that is, I glue the fabrics on all of the drawers first, then glue the tucks on all four sides. Since each side needs to be clamped while is it drying, I can only do one side at a time. So I have to find a way to stack them out of the way while the glue dries.

I’ve gotten some things done with the container gardening… if you recall, I am attempting to grow tomatoes on the deck. So far, so good.

DSCN3564That’s The Kid’s one stalk of corn, he wanted to try just one. He also planted corn in his backyard garden.

DSCN3565We’ve had so much rain that everything is so green and the grass around the garden seems to have overtaken much of it. On this side, we attempted to build a small berm; the yard slopes such that when it rains, we end up with a little stream. I call it “a river runs through it’… and we’ve now figured out to avoid it, but with the ridiculous amount of rain we’ve had, it has widened. We experienced standing water around the seeds and we worried that nothing would ever sprout. But it does finally seem to have a foothold and now we have to watch the garden to make sure it gets the proper amount of water.

DSCN3575And speaking of growing… I rescued this little violet when it was on its last leg about a year/year and a half ago. Someone had left it behind when they left their job and it sat for nearly two weeks without being watered or attended to. It was sad. I brought it home and repotted it in a larger pot in MiracleGro soil. And almost immediately this thing started sprouting new leaves and flowers. It has given me almost nonstop flowers ever since. Don’t those little purple flowers just make your heart smile?DSCN3571On the other hand (or should I say knee), I am now forced to ice or apply heat to both knees almost daily. The ice packs that I’ve been using have started to leak and I never really liked them anyway. They never really fit right against my knees, consequently, I did not get the full benefit. I had seen this ice packs using rice and you can both heat them up or cool them down.DSCN3572 I actually had bought two bags of rice awhile back and with so little crafting time, I thought maybe if I just cranked out a few smaller projects, I might feel like I am accomplishing something. The project is simple enough… I would cut some muslin fabric and sew the edges together leaving one open side; to keep the rice from bunching up on one end or the other, I added some baffles. Then using soft fleece, I made each one a cover. I used velcro for the opening – this way if the covers get dirty or wet, then can just be thrown into the washer/dryer.

Front of Denim Hems BagSo, I’ve also attempted to use up some of the denim that I cut up a few weeks ago. The main bulk of the denim is going into one or the other of two main projects: a braided rag rug and reupholstering a wing chair.

That leaves me with pant leg hems (2 per each pair of jeans), back pockets (2 per) and a waistband. So, I took the plastic bag of hems and sat down in front of the sewing machine and started sewing them together. Once I had a sizable piece of fabric, it hit me… this would make a terrific all purpose bag!

Back of Denim Hems BagI have always been a fan of canvas bags – we use them for groceries and I carry them into many places that I shop. I had found one that was about the right size of the piece that I had sewn, so opted to use it as sort of a lining. With it in place, I then used a waistband to finish the bag.

I found an older bag that had a beautiful handle and removed the rivets that were holding the handle in place. I cut four pieces of leather as the support of the handles. I couldn’t get the rivets to hold with my home kit, so I’ve opted to find some place that does leather work. I also want this place to stitch the bag pocket, as there is too many layers for my sewing machine. That is the thing with denim, it gets too thick very quickly. In fact, during this entire process, I broke 18 needles! And these needles were specifically for denim and other heavy projects. It is just as you work, the layers can add up very quickly… especially when you’re talking about seams!

DSCN3570On the other end of the sewing spectrum, I’ve been doing some hand sewing. I just start a with a circle of felt – whatever color I have on hand – and start adding stitches and have been using beads on many of the pieces. I didn’t have a specific project in mind, but while perusing Pinterest, I saw some pin cushions that looked similar. So, violá!

DSCN3569Won’t these be the most adorable little pin cushions?

DSCN3568And the great thing about this, is, this will give me a chance to use up much of my scrap felt. I can sit and watch television and stitch to my heart’s content. (Someday I will get back to working on my My Huge Cross Stitch Project. I just had to take a break from it for a while.)DSCN3567And the last little project… My son built this in his wood shop class a couple of years ago and I never knew exactly what to do with it. But working lately in my home office lately has shown that for the health of my knees, I need to have my feet elevated. And what better way to do it than with this little footstool! I painted it my signature red and I had just enough fabric to cover the foam that I added (material is left over from re-cover my dining room chairs and pillow covers for the couch). Don’t you just love it when things come together?VioletsSo, I am going to leave you with another shot of my happy little violets!

julie

Another Saga in The Never Ending List of Projects

I feel like I haven’t written anything in a long time, and if you don’t count the last two quick posts about my “ible”, it has been more than a week. Doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten things done though. I think I may just be getting a little lazy about documenting it.

So, a couple of previously finished pieces have been sold and making a bit of room in both the house and the garage. It almost seems that there is a ebb and flow to how the pieces sell. I will have a few pieces for a while, adding to them as I complete projects and then all of a sudden a bunch of things will sell. But sell they have and I am happy to have some cash to begin new projects.

First up, I wanted to provide an update on our gardening. We finally had a break from the rain and we were able to get the corn planted into the garden. We stacked grass clumps around the two sides to help deter the little rain stream that is created every time it rains. We also planted additional seed, such that we could get some kind of result.

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The Kid wanted to keep one stalk in a bucket, sort of as a control subject. I like to have him take an interest in something other than his constant computer use. I am trying with all my might to make him a well rounded young man.

My tomatoes have also been transplanted into their containers. Its has been a hit or miss with the watering so thankfully I started with more starts than I will eventually need.

I still need to complete my plan for the supporting structure, what I plan to use in place of tomato cages. They are still quite little, so I have some time.

The next project that I am working on is another ‘suitcase’ dresser. I love these and have quite a bit of the materials on hand for them. They always seem to sell quickly, too. This one I opted to paint the box in the aubergine color (used on the little Aubergine Victrola cabinet remake).

2015-06-12 18.45.17And here are the drawers in progress…

One of the things I love the most about this particular project is that it allows so much creativity! There is something deeply satisfying about picking out the fabric, being able to look and touch all the different colors, weights, weaves and styles. And because I use a heavier fabric – usually used in upholstery – it is a whole new set of fabrics.

The particular dresser that I had picked up, wasn’t the best quality. In fact, the drawer fronts were molded plastic! I only found this out but attempting to remove the quirky design on all of the drawers. I am so mad at myself for not taking a “before” photo! These two dressers sort of resemble the style of the drawers – not exactly, but it gives you an idea of what it looked like:

The drawer fronts, once I removed the molded plastic section – turned out to be nothing but 1/2″ fiberboard (and not in very good shape with what it took to remove the drawer front). It took a few days of thinking, considering and exploring, and in the end I opted to just leave the fronts and cover it with a solid piece of 1/4″ high quality plywood. This would make it perfect for then doing the fabric “suitcase” fronts.

2015-06-07 17.43.56I also have been working on the very beautiful waterfall dresser. I had high hopes when I bought it that the veneer breaks could be repaired and  with only a little effort, it could be restored to its natural beauty.

Unfortunately, as I started attempting to re-glue the veneer, it literally just fell off. All the drawers were the same and I was just heartbroken! Unfortunately, after sitting in garages and basements, the elements were just more than that poor veneer could deal with. In my estimation and my opinion, the veneer – and more importantly the glue used to secure it – just dries out. There was just enough contact to make getting it off in single pieces impossible. If it had, I could have simply reattached all the pieces. It was just not to be. Sadly.

So, now it is getting updated to a gorgeous ivory – Toasted Marshmallow, to be exact – and it will get new hardware. Oh, did I mention that the previous hardware on this dresser was immaculate! Not a scratch or break anywhere. I don’t think that hardware really matches the style of the dresser once it was repainted though. I opted to list it on eBay and they sold for $65!

I opted instead, to use hardware that I have in my arsenal. I often find hardware at different stores and yard sales and estate sales. Sometimes the hardware comes from an older piece of furniture that I rescued. In this case, these came from my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. If you live close to one, you should check them out. And often as they get new donations all the time. And you are helping your community to boot!

2015-06-12 18.45.48I had ten in two different styles that I wanted to ‘try out’. The dresser is impressive and needed something ‘large’ to compliment it. The style closer to you in the photo has won. I love this color, it is a shiny gold with a hint of pink – it is actually named “Rose Gold” (from Rust-Oleum). You can see in the corner of the photo a wood applique that I am also installing on the dresser. It too was painted.

2015-06-12 18.45.56A closer look… I love the sparkles! Its beautiful in a quiet sort of way.

2015-06-07 17.26.36Here is the cabinet ready for primer and then paint:

2015-06-12 18.45.33As I mentioned, the veneer just fell off the drawer fronts, but the veneer on the body was in pretty good shape. I only had to patch two small areas, one on either side. Here is the dresser following its third coat of paint.

Here are the drawers, prep’d and ready for painting. And with three coats of paint that followed a primer layer.

2015-06-05 22.17.43One last project in the works. These are the inner seams from all those pairs of jeans that I took apart. I curled them up and secured with a pin temporarily. I think that this will make a very interesting rug and have to figure out how to permanently secure them and attach them to a rug backing. You see in the lower right hand corner of the photo that I have some not currently curled and am hoping to use them to fill in some of the blank areas in the form of little curlicues.Denim Circle3There is a little more work to be done, obviously. This is one of the side projects of taking apart all of those pairs of jeans. I also started the project I hinted about in the deconstructing post. The problem is that working with so many layers in seams with only a standard sewing machine is that needles break. A lot. I went through 12 before I decided to order some heavy duty needles online and will wait to finish up when they arrive.

2015-06-05 17.46.50I found this little guy sprouting up from between boards in the back deck. I love how nature does what she wants! I pulled him up carefully (along with some from the front) and planted them in a long planter box on the back deck. I really would like to have tons and tons of trees on the property. And I love an underdog!

julie

A Crystal Cut Glass Covered Cake Plate (say that three times!)

The weather here in the midwest has been phenomenal! And when it gets this way, it is so hard to stay indoors, so The Kid and I have been spending more time away from home and outdoors.

One thing that I did manage to complete was ‘the accidental cake plate’. I absolutely love the crystal cut glass in whatever form, but mostly I like the covered plates or bowls. On occasion, I have an epiphany with pieces and I can bring them all together to make another item that was never expected.

2015-01-27 14.27.21This is one of those pieces. While attempting to put pieces away, it just came to me. A little E-6000 and those four pieces became this great and elegant cake dish.

2015-01-26 18.44.03So, what I have is a plate, a large bowl (pictured upside down), a candlestick and the glass cap of a coffee peculator.

2015-01-26 18.45.11The percolator is glued to the bottom of the bowl and the candlestick is glued to the bottom of the plate.2015-01-27 14.27.42Viola`, a covered cake plate.

2015-01-27 14.27.53If I hadn’t told you just now what all these pieces were, you probably wouldn’t have guessed what they were. 🙂  I’m probably going to hang on to this until a girlfriend’s birthday and give it to her along with a small cake.

I’ve also been able to get a few more quilts bound. Here is one that I finished yesterday and managed to get The Kid to help me get a photo.Strippy Sash QuiltThis is built sort of backwards, as the sashing was the part pieced, while the blocks were just plain black. I think it is stunning! I have always been a big lover of piecing and I use just about every piece of fabric that is left over, down to doing tiny doll-sized scrappy quilts. Another quilt I am just finishing up is a postage stamp quilt, the original blocks were an inch and a half, so the finished block size is 1″. Wait ’till you see it!

I’ve also been working on the cross stitch, there is a very large area towards the bottom that is deep green and although I have been working on that area all week, it still seems like I am not getting ahead. I’ll provide an update soon!

julie

 

Sewing Room Update: Finally Finished!

2014-10-27 19.52.50Well, I say “finished” but is anything ever really finished?

So, way back I showed you the new cabinet added to my sewing room. Because it came with a plain front – rather than the beadboard finish that is on every other cabinet in the room – I attempted to change the doors on this new cabinet to match.

At first, we tried to use the thin sheets you can get from any hardware or big box store.

First we cut them to size for each panel:

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Then we slathered on the glue, placed the beadboard and then weighted it down with whatever we had in the garage. You can see we used paint cans, a small anvil – even boxes of Diet Coke.

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2014-10-12 13.38.30After leaving it overnight, I came out the next morning to find that the glue hadn’t ‘stuck’ to the door panel, only the beadboard. Back to square one.

I did some investigating and ran across a wallpaper that looked like beadboard. It couldn’t hurt to try, right? I ordered one roll and waited. It finally came and attempt number two was started.

Since I wasn’t using much, I opted for premixed wallpaper paste. Using a four inch roller, I slathered it on heavy.

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Rolled the wallpaper on top and smoothed with my hands. Then using a sharp blade, I cut the piece to size using the edges of the trim.

2014-10-22 18.36.30Wiped up any excess paste…

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…did all three panels the same way…

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And here’s how it looked. Left it to dry overnight and went to sleep with my fingers crossed.

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Here is both doors (three panels):

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Came out the next morning and it looked great! Yay! However, as I kept looking at them, I felt like something wasn’t quite right. The bounding trim was very glossy but the paper had a matte finish. I thought I would just set them up and spray paint them glossy white.

Good idea, except the paper never really dried. It was just sort of sticky. In a room where dust and material fragments and threads would be everywhere, I knew this wouldn’t be good. I opted to spray it with a glossy clear sealant. Now, there was a chance here that this would only make things worse and not resolve the issue. But I figured I could just stick The Kid in the truck and point him in the direction of IKEA and get him to buy replacement doors. It was worth a try.

And it worked! Next morning the stickiness was gone and the doors were all shiny! Next step, installation.

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Doesn’t it look like we bought it that way? I love this idea and may be looking for more ways to use this!

A couple more pics of the new cabinet and some of the other changes as a result:

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Added some more “buttons” and one still not up yet:

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New shelf along the ceiling line… those boxes hold so much! I have completed quilt squares and lots and lots of cut pieces just waiting to be turned into more quilts.

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Had to turn the button board vertical to fit. Had to move some other pieces, like the tack board, to another part of the room. Added some new things as well to the mix, such as this “puzzle box” of sewing attachments made by Singer in the early part of the 20th century.

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Here is where the tack board went. The top is a photo of The Kid when we had just adopted our puppy.

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Here is an older shot of the cabinets along the back wall and turning up to the window. You can sort of make out the beadboard fronts.

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Okay, now that this is done… I need to turn my attention to the third stall of the garage. It is where my sports car needs to be housed during what we expect to be a pretty snowy winter. I need to get the STUFF either done or out of there. I really just want to play in my sewing room… I just bought that new embroidery machine and can’t wait to get started. But first things first.

Julie

Oh The Things You Can Do With Paintsticks

Those humble little paint sticks. So useful for stirring paint. And for so many other things. I had a brief email conversation with a woman who had used paint sticks and adhered them to the side of a cabinet, gave it a quaint little finish, almost like siding. It was awesome.

I got to thinking about all the uses of those paint sticks, and more specifically, all the things I have used them for. They work wonders as shims, propping up furniture so that you can paint down to the bottom of a piece of furniture, heck, I’ve even used them for fly swatters.

I wanted to share with you something I am working on now. I am putting together a tall, skinny cabinet and needed a top for it. After scrounging in my wood pile, I just did not have something that would work and I bristled at the thought of yet another trip to The HomeDepot. I looked around the garage and what did I see?

DSCN2539Yes, my trusty bucket of paint sticks. And then brilliance struck. I would make a solid piece of wood using paint sticks. So one by one, I spread glue onto the sticks and positioned them together. They are actually made of two paints sticks end to end and then side to side, and staggered so that the ‘seam’ of the two sticks wouldn’t line up in a row on the finished piece.

I could have sworn that I had taken a photo of them while the glue was drying, but cannot find it now. But once the glue dried, I removed the clamps. As you can see in the picture, the surface – front and back – was a bit rough.

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I measured out the length that I needed. I marked it with a pencil and using a circular saw, The Kid trimmed both ends. I figured it would be easier to sand the thing if I was only sanding the section that I would be using.

DSCN2518Here is the rough piece and the ends that were cut off. Not too much excess. Still trying to figure out what I can do with the leftover pieces. Hmmm….

Top Made of Paint Sticks

Then the sanding began. This was not for the faint of heart… if I do something like this again, I will definitely be more careful with lining up the sticks. Also, I wouldn’t use quite so much glue. I think sanding off the glue was the hardest part.

Top RoughAfter much sanding, it started getting smooth. I must have gone through 6 sheets of sand paper working on this. At this stage, I used some wood filler on some of the gaps and divots and areas that needed more sanding. I figured that as long as there was still filler on the board, I would know where to continue sanding to make it all even.

DSCN2535Finally, it is smooth on all sides. I don’t know about you, but it looks like a solid piece of wood with some really great grain. Heavier than all get out, but I am still in love with this.

DSCN2536The Kid came out and did the routing on three sides. Just so minor sanding and then it was ready for the first coat of stain. I used a very light stain, as I don’t want to cover up that beauty, just keep it sealed. I ran out of the stain after the first coat though, so will have to finish this later.DSCN2537

Here is a shot of the end of the wood… I just love the way that looks!

I just wanted to point out the wonderful ways to use those paint stir sticks. It is a regular habit for both me and The Kid to stop and pick up a few on each trip to the store. I never feel like I am ‘stealing’ anything as I buy a butt-load of paint from them and they offer them free to their customers.

I’d love to see what you’ve made with stir sticks. They’re really handy!

julie

 

Tiered Baking Plates… They Present Cupcakes!

Woke up this morning not feeling the best. You know how that goes. I am thinking that nothing is going to get done today, except making my way through the third (or is it fourth?) season of “Mad Men”. But I thought I would get at least one more post out of activities completed so far.

Yesterday was a bake-fest. The Kid was essential, he is going to make someone very happy in the kitchen. We made two and a half dozen cupcakes, a double batch of bread pudding (mmm my favorite) and baked cornbread muffins. I figured while the kitchen was a mess and the oven was hot, we might as well take advantage of it. The cupcakes were done specifically to show off something that I’ve been working on. Hopefully it will be successful.

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I’ve been collecting these clear plates and short candle holders from thrift stores and making these cupcake tiered plates. I love the elegant way it makes the cakes look and especially the four tiers.

Here are some more shots of the different tiered plates:

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It is what is wonderful about making these, the different styles and weights and diameters of the plates and the candle holders.

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I have endeavored to avoid holiday themed plates (like Christmas and Easter)  but there are so many styles to choose from.

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And the wonderful thing is that they can be as large – or small – as you may want. They can be two, three, four – even five – tiers and the taller they are, the more elegant they become.

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As you can see, the patterns couldn’t be more different. The largest plates, I have found, are the heaviest and therefore make a great base or anchor.

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The candlesticks are also different styles and heights. They all work well with the plates and they provide enough height between the plates to allow for cupcakes, pieces of cake or other candies or even sandwiches.

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I’ve done these with my own china pattern as well as collected a set much like the ones above. Sometimes I wished I did more entertaining, just so that I could use this!

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So, you’ve seen three and four tiered, aren’t they just fabulous? Oh, and while I do my thrift shipping I am always on the look out for certain things: clear platters and plates, candlesticks, any and all kitchen things in red; utensils that would work for chimes, sheets that work well for drop cloths, picture frames, decorative jars and cut glass, someone else’s craft materials (always a good deal) and the unusual items that would work well for other projects.

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Like these two square plates I just managed to see… I don’t know if they were once part of a larger set or someone else had found them and put them together. And just a few inches away sat a little while candlestick that screamed it wanted to be paired with the plates.

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Another quick snapshot with cupcakes this time.

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For example, I found this large jar that just called my name… I don’t have a use for it just now, but it was so cool and priced right. I have a similar jar, not quite so angular, that holds the matches that were collected for years – especially when we were smokers and did a lot of traveling. It used to sit on one end of the  fireplace and I always wanted a second one to balance it out, although the fireplace has different items now. What to put in it is still a question (if you have suggestions, lay it on me!).

Well, still have plenty of work to do and we have our neighborhood garage sale next weekend, which means I will be doing plenty of organizing and cleaning while figuring out what to sell. A fantastic opportunity to get rid of some things, maybe sell some of my finished projects and, of course, some American Girl accessories that I’ve made. I’m planning on setting the dollhouse out, just to see if I get any offers or interest. I would SO love to get this behemoth out of my entryway.

julie

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