A New (Old) Obsession: Monopoly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

julie

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?

End of the Year: Projects Six and Seven

I think these are the last two projects to report on. Geez, if I could only get them all sold, I’d have both my entry hall and garage back!

The last two projects are a fall back to the Midnight Mosaic blue that I used on the two drawer antique dresser a while back. You can see it here:

Project Six: Buffet Makeover

photo 1This photo is actually flipped upside down so that you can get an idea of what it looked like. We picked it up free from Craigslist, as it had been used for a child’s art center or some such thing.

photo 4The outside was covered with sticky letters, which were quite a chore to scrape off, making sure to remove all of the adhesive.

DSCN2895I sanded the top to remove the old finishing. Trust me, I built some great muscles doing this! But under all of that was beautiful grain.
DSCN2909Again, as with all of the blue pieces, the top was stained with a natural color and sealed with three coats of polyurethane. The base was painted the Midnight Mosaic blue. The Kid did the honors of placing the brushed nickel cup pulls. I think this piece turned out exceptional.DSCN3021

Project Six: Coffee Table Makeover

The final makeover piece, a beautiful sofa table or coffee table. This was acquired in an auction some months ago. It was quite a nice piece with the exception of some peeling veneer on both sides of the drawer. I was able to repair it, but it wouldn’t hold up to re-staining, but would work with being painted.

DSCN2904Once again, Midnight Mosaic blue was the star. Not only did I much love the hue, the paint flowed nicely and adhered well. As with the other blue pieces, again the top was stained and sealed.

DSCN3014This piece did not originally have a knob or handle, but in keeping with the style, The Kid placed a single brushed nickel cup pull in the center of the drawer.

With this, I have wrapped up all of the projects that I had started. And just in time to ring in the new year!

3D-Happy-New-Year-2015May your festivities be joyous and safe! See you next year!

julie

End of the Year: Projects Two, Three, Four and Five(ish)

In order to get everything written in the last two days that still remain in this year, I am going to have to include more than one; so much for spreading them out! LOL! So…

Project Two: Rustic Bench from Two Footboards

I have wanted to do this for so long, I can’t even remember. I never seem to find the right headboard or footboards to suit my taste. Recently in picking up pieces from Craigslist, these footboards were included in the pile (!), so I opted to do a test run using them.

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The pieces had an odd number of spindles, so we cut almost in half, just each side of the middle dowel. Then we set it up to see how it would look:

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It was easily assembled, with four screws for each side. We used a countersink bit so that the screw heads were well concealed. As this was quickly turning out to be child sized, I wanted it to be safe for little fingers.

The Kid took the lead on this, God bless that kid. He added supports and then included the board for the seat. My suggestion of putting a smooth lip on the front of the seat was done by way of a router.

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It was then the usual process: primer and three coats of paint. Since we were working on a multitude of pink projects, it just made sense to include this one as well.
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I wanted to add a big cushy pad, but a 39 inch piece of foam was going to cost almost $40, so I went with a little thinner pad (using quilt batting) and a multi-pink colored piece of fleece. In the end, I think it came out okay, but the next project like this, I hope to have a little more fanciful head/foot boards. I’d like to include on in my master bedroom makeover.

Project Three: Turning a Sad Little Desk into a Vanity

You cannot believe how many times The Kid suggested that we junk this piece or throw it away.:-) In the rush of things, I again, forgot to take the ‘before’ photo. This is almost it, although I had already removed the drawers and started working on them.

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The idea from the get-go was to turn this little desk into a vanity. It would entail simply moving the middle drawer down a few inches. It was pretty easy, these older pieces were assembled with minimal glue. Once the top was removed, it only took removing four little screws and it all came apart.

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With a few well placed holes, the whole drawer unit went right back into the lowered space. Using the existing desktop, a piece was cut to fit and placed. Edges were given rounded edges – much like the bench above.

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The remaining sections of the top were also attached and a brace across the back to help stabilize it and make it more sturdy. Then, the usual, the 3 P’s: patching, primer and paint!

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As a side note, the drawers all required new fronts. Once I started sanding them, the veneer had become so thin, they simply disappeared! A piece of paintable veneer was applied to each drawers front with glue, sanded to make the edges even before prep for painting.

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I have this little vanity mirror picked up in my Craigslist travels. It doesn’t exactly match the style of the vanity, but with the paint style, it could. I will offer it to whomever is interested in the vanity at no extra charge, so that the vanity does have a mirror.

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Either way, I think it would be so cure in a little girl’s room!

Project Four: A Straightforward Repainting of a Chest of Drawers

Last year, I had a young couple purchase an ombré dresser in blue for their newborn son. She contacted me recently for another in pink for the upcoming arrival of her baby girl!

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I was able to procure a very nice chest of drawers – manufactured by Broyhill – and although it isn’t exactly the quality of furniture I am used to working on – but The Kid put some extra care into beefing up the drawers, making sure they slide well.DSCN3002

Normally, I would paint the cabinet in the blush pink, but the request was made to paint it white instead. I love the new white paint that I have been using, it has a really high gloss finish – what is called ‘mirror finish’. I absolutely love it!DSCN3001

I keep going back and forth on that little ribbon that bounces playfully between the second and third drawers. I want to paint it some color of pink, but not sure which. And there is another part of me that just likes it like it is, more subtle.DSCN3000 copy

It could easily be done at any time, but easily undone. So we’ll see!

One last thing, sort of a “Project Five-ish”:-)

Project Five: Painting a Large Mirror in Pink

A while back, I purchased three fantastic large mirrors regularly price at $200 for a mere $15, due to the frames being all scratched and dinged. Two were painted and shipped out with their respective victrola upcycles, but a third one remained unclaimed.Square Pink Mirror

I thought with all the pink pieces being completed, any one of them could use a big beautiful mirror!

Whew! So that does it for all the pink pieces. Tomorrow, the last day of 2014, will be a quick rundown of the ‘blue’ pieces. Thanks for hanging in to the very end!

julie

The Sea of White is Now a Sea of Color

Just a quick update. The Kid and I have been our best to get these projects completed. We’ve been hampered by a spate of rainy and cold weather, subsequently we purchased a kerosene heater for the garage. It does the job of heating, but the smell is almost more than either of us can tolerate for more than a few minutes at a time. In fact, we took the day off yesterday as both of us battle migraine headaches. Headaches, I believe, came from over exposure to the smell. We are going to look into replacing the heater with something else.

The other thing that hampers us is that now it is winter, the sun sets so early. And along with that cold and windy weather comes an overcast sky, making working in the garage tenuous. The Kid has come up with an ingenious solution:2014-12-20 18.54.20Here are some more photos of the garage as painting continues:

 

2014-12-20 18.53.54Much of the white has bloomed into one of six shades of glorious pink. Have I ever told you how much I love pink? Could have something to do with being surrounded all my life with the opposite sex?!?

2014-12-20 18.53.43What didn’t turn pink was transformed with that recent discovery of Blue Mosaic – a deep but vibrant shade of blue that’s not quite navy. Its tough to pick out with the garage being kinda dim, but the two pieces are a buffet (far left of the pic) and a coffee table (you can see towards the right, its oblong top peaking out behind the pink cabinets in front). those two blue pieces have wood tops that have been sanded and moved into the house for staining and polyurethane. When finished will look like this two drawer dresser.

2014-12-20 18.53.54One chest of drawers (also known as a 5 drawer dresser) is a request piece. The body is an Ultra White with high gloss finish – actually called a mirror finish. And they aren’t kidding. Every time I look at it I think it was just freshly painted as it is looks so shiny! The Kid in the background is actually painting this piece’s drawers, five wonderful shades of pink.

Okay, for a “quick” update, I got kind of wordy! LOL

julie

Sanding Here, Priming There, Gluing Over There

I think that we’ve fallen into a groove. We are working on about five or six projects, and every day we do a little bit of work on each. You know how it gets, you have one project that has been strengthened and glued and now has to dry and set. So, you go to the next project and again, you get to the point where you have to stop and wait. We’ve gotten to the point that we have five or six ongoing projects and we quickly bring each one up to the same point every day.

The Kid Puts New Fronts on Drawers

Working On A Dresser

Right now, we’re working on getting everything to the priming stage. Planning has to be done to make sure that you’re not sanding on one project while you’re waiting for primer to dry on another. Sometimes it means that one project doesn’t get worked on because it is ready for a stage that will conflict with another. And for whatever reason, it seems to take more time this way. Seems, anyway.

So Many Projects In Process Makes for a Big Mess!

What A Mess!

On top of it, working on so many projects at once, the garage gets so crowded. We keep moving tables to give us access to one project, just to turn around and move it back to regain access to the first thing. And I keep tripping over the compressor cable and the extension cable threaded between the tables for the sander and the circular saw and the jig saw. I took a few minutes and swept up the tool counter of all the saw dust. Whew! Whenever I am overwhelmed, I always seem to revert to organizing or cleaning.:-)

I did begin work on a special project. I don’t know exactly why I decided to do this, but it is something I can work on outside of the garage. Not only fun, but it is something that I think The Kid might like. He is way into MineCraft – this online gaming and building program, where everything is in 8bit graphics. He has been playing and programming ‘mods’ (don’t ask me, I don’t exactly know) for this game since its inception, I guess. Something like 5 or 6 years. Had briefly toyed with the idea of a Halloween costume, but he was too old for trick-or-treating before I thought of the idea.

This is what a pile of gun powder looks like in the game:
imagesSo, I am making him a “real” 2D version of gun powder. I think I am going to either mount it on a base and he can set it on his desk or we’ll hang it on the wall. This is it, so far:

DSCN2950And just wanted to show you, he has a tiny version of the gun powder on his key chain:

photoWell, that’s today’s update. I’m close to revealing quite a few makeovers and re-do’s. I hope you come back to see them.

julie

Working for a Livin’…

So, maybe I forgot to mention, but I am currently not working. As some of you may know (or not), I have a full time job that I usually do as a nine-to-five. I finished my contract the week before Thanksgiving, so, I have had more time than usual to work on projects.

A week before, me and The Kid had put the final touches on five projects. And we both took a well deserved break. In fact, we went to the movies three days in a row. And that’s unusual for us, we’re generally home based kind of people.

But, we’ve picked up several pieces and once again, we’re up to our elbows in furniture again. Let me give you a quick rundown of in-process projects:

Number One: We ran across a beautiful nine drawer dresser at a second hand shop. What I have found lately, is people want the tall chest of drawers and not the long style. But in looking at this piece, what I hoped to do was separate the single piece into two pieces.

Dresser with Dotted Lines

Also, I have been working on a little project of my own. I picked up a sweet little wood children’s desk and am transforming it into a vanity.

DSCN2852I had a mirror left over from somewhere and I am lowering the middle ‘pencil drawer’ down, to create the look of a vanity. Its been kind of fun. The whole thing needs some serious TLC, this thing has been used to almost death! But once this gets its bumps sanded out and the typical pick ombré paint style, this is going to be sweet!

Third project is this beautiful buffet. Well, it isn’t beautiful now, but it has the best bones. Some little person(s) had a great time pasting stickers and letters all over it.

photo 2I “almost” didn’t get a before picture. I had it sitting on its top to protect it from any dings or gouges just from being in the garage.

This is one of those pieces that I can envision well, and would love to keep it, but since the house really cannot take one more piece of furniture, I am going to paint it in the same colors as the little 2 drawer dresser that I did a while back:

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Number Four: DSCN2903I picked these headboards (footboards?) a while back. In fact, at one point in trying to clear the garage, I couldn’t give these away. I just had too much to do at the time, but now, with a little time, this is going to be really cool.

Number Five: DSCN2859The easiest and quickest project, this one is already done. A couple of coats of my trademark “blush pink” and this one was done.

Number Six:

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Not sure what I am going to do with this. I got this in an auction, initially thinking I would use it in my house, but now I’m not so sure. I got it into my head that I would do the blue and natural combination, but The Kid pointed out that it was in pretty condition already. I did some veneer repair and it might be possible to just strip it and then restain it. Guess time will tell.

Number Seven:

This was a quickie project, one I have wanted to do for a while. When sewing (yeah, can you believe how long its been since I had a chance to do any sewing?), I like to do scrap piecing but this always requires many trips to an iron. It would make things so much easier if I had a small ironing surface next to me.

A while back (a really long way back) I had purchased an ironing “set” – an iron storage bag, an ironing board cover and a table mat – all in the same cheerful fabric. The ironing board cover was short lived and the other two pieces went into a cabinet. Recent rummaging uncovered the table top mat and my brain immediately to the television trays that we have and how there is a whole set not being used in the basement.

Long story short:

DSCN2885And I actually carved out a little time to sew Sunday morning and it really came in handy. And if I need the space, it is still collapsible and can easy be store out of the way.

Things have been going out the front door almost faster than we can complete projects. Its great!:-)

julie

Done! Done! Done! Done! and Done!

Wow! And a grateful sigh.

After a final push yesterday, The Kid and I finally finished the five projects that we have been working on. I wrote up the sale ads before I sat down and did the “before” and “after” photos… it took a while to find all of the original pictures of the pieces before we started working on them.

So here they are in all their glory (and unfinished states).

I stumbled onto a new site in which to procure furniture. We have a local company in town that does online auctions for business and people who need to liquidate businesses and estates. They have a pretty good website and at this point, not too many people know about it, so you can still get reasonable prices on certain objects. I find that most people going to the site are looking more for business items, so the furniture and decorative items tend to not have a lot of bidders. And to protect that source for as long as I can, I am not going to tell you their name. :-O

The first three items were purchased from this company. There were two matching dressers, one three drawer and one with five drawers. One drawer on each of the dressers had those faux decorative panels on one drawer on each of the dressers. Thankfully, they weren’t glued on and were easily removed.

5 Drawer Dresser

All the dressers then were sanded and primed. I love the use of a primer and since I knew I was going to do a lot of pink, I had the primer tinted pink to make the job of painting that much easier.3 DrawerThe three drawer dresser had some serious chunks missing from the top, so I opted to replace it. The great thing is that being a well built (not to mention all wood), the top was easily removed with the removal of just four screws. Then we just used it as a template for the replacement top.

Another of the antique dressers needed a new top as well. We bought it from a woman who had owned it for many years and had plants sitting on top of it. At one point the water damage to the original top was beyond repair and she had someone replace it. Only it was replaced with laminate fiberboard. UG-A-LY!

2014-11-08 19.19.11The resulting top for this dresser was cut out, sanded and routed into the exact shape needed. It got one coat of oak stain and three coats of a clear polyurethane with a matte finish (with light sandings in between each coat).

2014-11-16 16.02.01We purchase 2 6′ lengths of a nice oak, 1″ x 12″ and glued them together. We used a special tool to put wood dowels in the pieces to give them strength, we’ve done this multiple times including here. I think we spent like ten dollars on this tool, but it has paid itself back many times over now.

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Midnight Mosaic Antique DresserI stumbled across the blue in a advertisement for deck repair (would you paint your deck this color?) but immediately fell in love with it. The photo above looks a bit more purplish than it actually is, the color is called Blue Mosaic. The brass color cup handles were in my inventory of hardware and just went on so easily and they just are perfect.

On occasion there are pieces that I love so much how they turned out that I want to keep. I spent a couple of days trying to figure out if I could change the color scheme of my master bedroom plan so that I could use this piece. Alas, it is not meant to be. I love this piece.

A third dresser bought at auction is this older, albeit less expensive piece. It is still all wood and I imagine that the child who gets this piece could conceivably be outlived by this piece. I try to always only work with all wood pieces, no sense in putting a lot of time and effort into restoring or making over a piece that will just fall apart.

Dresser with Indent HandlesYou can tell that it is less expensive when it was first sold, as the drawer handles were actually carved out of the drawers, rather than added later. I thought about filling in the handles, but then thought it would be perfect for small hands and there wouldn’t be the chance that the drawer pulls would come off. We painted the top section of the front the first drawer color to make it appear like there was a drawer there. I thought about adding handles, but I think it would throw the look of the whole dresser off.

The last dresser was given to me by a wonderful guy who contacted me through Craigslist. We never got to meet, but exchanged several emails over a week. In the end, The Kid and I picked it up from his driveway, where he left it for us, since he had to leave unexpectedly. I regret not being able to meet and thank him properly, but hopefully he is watching the blog and will see this: Hi, Eric! And thank you!

When I was able to get a really good look at this dresser, I realized that someone had spent some time trying to remove past layer(s) of paint. They had done an admirable job thus far, and I looked it over and considered just how much time and effort would still be left to restore it. There is a fair amount of ornamentation on this piece which equated to a lot of hand work and in the end, just opted to paint it with the same pink ombré scheme that I have come to love so much.

4 DrawerAnd in the end, I opted to use white ceramic knobs on all of the pieces. I love those knobs… they are simple yet elegant and not cheap. And easy for small hands to clasp.

We moved all of the dressers into the foyer and let me tell you, two days of this and I am ready for them to be sold so I have my entry way back!

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This has made a huge dent in the third garage still. Today’s plan is to move what is left to the other side of the garage and prepare the space for storing my sports car for the winter. The car cover came on Friday, which was the last thing I need to properly store my baby. Once it turns cold and wet (or snowy) my car no longer is practical for driving.

The first thing I plan on doing, however, is to go and take “before” photos of all of the projects left. I think I have finally learned my lesson, since scrounging all emails and websites hoping to get the ‘befores’ for these posts were a real pain and took a few days.

Hope you’re all staying warm and comfy this weekend.

julie

 

Organizing More of the Garage

I find sometimes that if I have too much to do, I tend to find a reason to organize. This weekend, I was frustrated by trying to find the right hardware to finish my sewing room updates and overwhelmed by how much I had to do, I instead opted to tackle organizing the front five cabinets of my garage. I even just jumped on it so quickly that I was nearly completed before I realized that I hadn’t taken any “before” photos. Sigh. Trust me when I say these cabinets were a mess and this really had been a long time in coming.

When we moved into the house over ten years ago, I spent the first year making the house exactly as I wanted it. And that included cabinets from here to Sunday to keep things neat and organized. The garage was no exception. But time takes its toll and before you know it, things are a mess again.

I will just show you the “after” shots. We (me and The Kid) added shelves and additional organizers. Total cost about $200.

DSCN2746These are the existing cabinets… they run across the entire back of the garage. We had them installed by California Closets when we first arrived. There is nothing better than having cabinets with doors, so when everything isn’t perfect you can just hide it from the world!

 

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The first cabinet got the most in the makeover. New organizers for nuts, bolts, screws, nails… all those little pieces of hardware necessary to build, assemble and fix.

DSCN2749Second cabinet… luckily the rags and paint cloths were already in a fairly neat pile in the drawers. The upper cabinet was rearranged, moving most of the nuts and bolts from this cabinet to the next. I re-used some of the old organizers here and left untouched the scoundrel piece that started it all: that little drawer unit in the bottom cabinet.

 

DSCN2751Another cabinet without much updating. The one thing I did do was add additional shelves to all the cabinets… that is the most amazing trick to organizing that I know.

DSCN2752Another trick is to throw out stuff you know you will never use. Or collect what is still useful and donate it to your favorite thrift store or give it away on CraigsList.

DSCN2753This cabinet isn’t my stuff… this is plumbing supplies that belong to the resident plumber. Rather than try to do too much here, I simply removed anything that wasn’t plumbing supplies and added the third shelf. If nothing else, it looks more organized!

Lastly, I did actually do some work on one small project. I have four very large and spindly plants that need to be re-potted and provided with some nutrients and fertilizers. To get started I bought a very large clay pot and saucer and primed them and then painted them red. Once I allow them to “cure”, I will transplant all those plants into that pot. And get healthier, I hope.

DSCN2755But in doing the painting, I realized that I am really in need of “paint booth”. Somewhere that I can always paint, and not worry about the painting floating beyond that space and landing on things that it shouldn’t land on. I learned that lesson a very expensive way, when painting a large project – somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 cans of white spray paint – that a large portion had landed and coated my sports car, also parked on the other half of the garage. It cost me almost $400 to get that taken care of. I am a bit more careful to never have my car in the garage while painting, but it needs to go further than that. A temporary “wall” of cardboard was put up to help, but there needs a more solid way to deal with it.

Soon, I will be undertaking that project. In one short afternoon, I think I have figured out how to use PVC piping and connectors to hang either heavy duty plastic or canvas to form a small paint booth. When not in use, I will simply push the curtains back to opposite corners. I am pretty good when it comes to planning. Cross your fingers that it works like it should.

julie

Wow, How Times Flies!

Things have been unbelievably busy in my “real” job. For those who don’t know me, I work in the tech industry, I am a quality assurance testing engineer. That’s fancy words for “making sure stuff works right on the internet”.:-)

I recently took a challenging contract for American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) and I have been putting in some challenging hours, first getting up to speed and now working on the project. It has NOTHING to do with crafting – thank heavens – else I fear I would stop doing crafting altogether. Crafting and sewing and quilting have become my mode of decompression after a long day sitting in front of a computer. There is nothing more rewarding than handling fabric or sanding wood… something that brings me back to life after working in a digital world all day.

The weeks haven’t been entirely without crafting, but more from the standpoint of collecting the basics for future projects. For one, I bought myself another embroidery machine – a Singer Quantum XL-6000 – and can’t wait to get it up and running. This makes the fourth quantum series machines that I own, and I have head over heels for all of my Singer machines. Unfortunately, the latest one arrived needing a bit of servicing and I figured that I would get it tuned up at the same time. I finally picked it up Wednesday and barely had time to get it into the room.

Because I have two embroidery machines – and I plan to use both – I had to rethink my sewing/crafting room. Finally after much hunting and planning, I have a solution. I took a nice new tall chest of drawers and removed the second and third drawers and added a pull out drawer. With help from the bestest kid in the whole world (how did I get so lucky to have such a considerate and loving son?), we got it done and in place the day before I picked up the machine from the repair shop.

IMG_3624This will give me all kind of storage for embroidery thread and stabilizers and all the attachments that come with these machines. Of course the cabinet that had been there is now sitting in the garage awaiting some new plan. Everything that was stored in that had to have a new home, so I bought a new cabinet for the space between the television cabinet and the wall. Found the perfect one at the new IKEA that opened up and with a little modification, it will be the perfect addition to the room. Bottom line though, there isn’t one more square inch available for anything after this!

IMG_8689

As I look at this photo, I think I should do something different under my cutting table. Hmmm….

As you can see from both photos, there is a lot of organizing to be done. Sometimes I think being so organized is a curse, I think I spend just about 1% more time organizing than I do crafting, sewing and quilting!

We spent last weekend making the extended trip to Witchita – about 3 hours southwest of Kansas City to retrieve some goodies from an estate sale. This weekend we are heading to Iowa on another of our abandoned house hunting trips. Give us a chance to do something different – something my son is interested in. It is actually called urban exploration and can include more than houses, but in our part of the country, there is a dearth of abandoned farm houses as small family farms are being bought up by commercial farming operations. It really is quite sad, but the reality of what is happening to the business of farming. I talk more about that on my other blog – if you’re even interested enough to check it out, it is MacCupcake.wordpress.com. That blog is the place where I talk about this next phase of my life where my main role is no longer “Mommy” and what it means and what I would like to do with my years.

Anyway, those expeditions often result in finding some amazing finds – it is interesting to see what gets left behind – deemed no longer necessary or wanted. The third, smaller stall of my garage is packed with finds from these trips, estate sales, thrifting and CraigsList.

IMG_2602Like if I work on this stuff every minute I am awake, I could never use everything that I have collected. I have always said when I die, my house is going to be one helluva estate sale!

So, come back often, I promise to get more posted as I finish projects. And don’t forget to show the love, I like comments!!

julie

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