Trying Something Small 1:50 Scale

You know, I have no idea how I stumbled on to this little project. I ordered these little people from eBay.IMG_4224Then with a little gift from The Kid, I painted the figures. My eye sight seems to continue to improve, but this is some painstaking work and I need the magnification.

IMG_4223Then I simply built a little box – using paint stir sticks – to the size of all of them. I searched the internet for an appropriate photo, was looking for a 50’s era street scene, but I like the one I ended up using. I elongated it and then cherry picked the particular section of the photo:

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 10.20.53 PMCarefully scored the corners and folded it and glued it into place. Then I carefully glued the little people into place.

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Here are some close ups of my plastic citizens:

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Let me assure you, going smaller in scale is not for me! In fact the 1:12 dollhouse that is so close to be completed isn’t even the best scale for me, but rather the 1:3 or 1:4 which is the American Girl doll-type sized dolls. So much easier!

But it was a fun exercise and was something that I could work on while waiting on the final pieces of the 1:12 dollhouse to arrive.

Hope you found this interesting!

 

Making A Dent in the Project Pile

Work has had me worn out by the end of each day. Seems like I have the best of intentions but no energy to carry out the work for the blog page. But little by little, I am getting a few things done.

The first I am going to talk about is something that I really love… from the initial idea to its completion. I am really, really in love with this project.

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The conception of this little project was picking up – for free – the sewing table. A very simple design with the flip open top, a run-of-the-mill design for sewing machine tables. But it was in very nice shape and I loved the simple, elegant design.

I began by removing the top. I also removed from the front the flip down pocket from the front. A simple wipe-down of the remainder brought it back to the deep rich original finish.

dscn4731Some time ago, like over two years, I picked up some Corian countertops from CraigsList. I didn’t know what I would use them for, at the time, but I always knew that they could be transformed into something beautiful. Part of the countertops – the island piece, I believed – became the top of a beautiful cafe-style table and chairs set.

DSCN2794You’ll note that this set’s table is also sewing related! The chairs were fitted with matching Corian seats. Isn’t that adorable too?

dscn4729Well, we’ve learned – The Kid and I – that Corian can be cut, sanded and routed the same as any wood. So, I wanted to make the top for the new table from the remaining pieces. Initially, laid out in the workshop, I drew a nice little rectangle but knew that would be too boring. I recently purchased a new template for making curved edges for quilt and the paper label was lying in the recycle bin right in eye sight! I used it to draw the nice half circles around the edges and with a little fidgeting, it turned out perfectly.

dscn4730It took nearly half of the longest and widest piece of the Corian, you can see in this picture what was left as well as the reverse of the curves of the cutout piece. This sitting like this gave me the idea to use the same design to create a matching mirror. Wouldn’t this look cute in the entryway of someone’s home? Or a little place in the kitchen to dash off a recipe or keep a computer handy?

The piece was cut using a jigsaw and then routed top and bottom. I opted to keep the inside edge of the mirror pristine, I think the routing would have detracted from the edge work. It was fitted with a mirror and backed with a lightweight backing and then taped with a finish tape.

dscn4737The drawer front was connected to a larger drawer, one that was salvaged from the desk turned small cabinet (and decoupaged with Atlas maps). It was the perfect width, just needed to be cut down to a size that would fit the cabinet.

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I love that this piece was re-made without a penny being spent! Everything is remade/recycled from free materials picked up from CraigsList. I kept the tilt-out piece and just added the drawer. The Kid was crafty enough to configure a drawer tract and put it all together!

Another project finished! I’ve also worked on a couple of smaller projects at the same time… I always have to have my hands doing something! I finished cross stitching the little pillow for Mattie (hi Mattie!) to help her to remember that cubicle walls don’t have much sound protection!

Just a little pillow, about 4″ x 7″ that sits under her monitor. She picked the colors and I just happened to have the perfect fabric to use for the back.

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I also put together this little card holder for my blog cards. It is simply two drawer pulls on a scrap of really nice wood that I had leftover. I sanded the edges into nice rounds and attached the handles simply by drilling holes into the surface and sinking them into it. No gluing, no painting, no fuss! It works for either vertical or horizontal cards. Pretty neat, if I say so myself!

And last, but not least, I made yet another little shelf with storage bottles for craft items. As many of them before, this one is made from paint sticks! I love the versatility of those free pieces of wood! And I seem to always find one or six of those little jars, so I am quickly filling up the shelves.

Well, that about does it for tonight. Tomorrow we have big plans to finish the west wall of the garage… I have to remember to take before and after photos – as well as some in between.

julie

Antique Thread Display Box

Okay, so I want to clear this up from the get-go… its the thread that is antique, not the box. 🙂

I mentioned a post ago or so, that I had been a lucky recipient of a massive CraigsList haul of fabric. Pieces that ranged from scraps to full bolts of cotton and upholstery fabrics. Stuff that clearly ranged as far back as the seventies – lots of gold/orange/avocado green/brown combinations and newer. Such great stuff! I’ve already put some of it to use after spending nearly a week to sort through it all.

Well, in that load, there was also some other accessories. Thread, zippers, bias tape and ribbons. The thread is what I wanted to talk about.

These few spools of thread came from an era where the spools themselves were made of wood. To be perfectly honest – and I had a mother who sewed – I don’t recall the last time I saw a wooden spool. I’ve not really researched it, but I think there is some history there. And they are cool looking.

So, I wanted to be able to display them in my sewing room. I searched eBay for an antique or vintage thread holder, and one not too large, as I didn’t want this to be another one of those collections that I went out and bought a few hundred spools! (Trust me, I have been known to do dumb stuff like that!)

Well, I never did find one that I really liked, but seeing all of those on eBay and other Google searches, I had an idea of what I wanted.

Out came my trusty paint stir sticks. It is a simple enough design and I think I had everything measured and cut and the clamped to allow the glue to dry in less than an hour. I added the back, gave it a good sanding and then painted it.

DSCN4254Cute, huh? I love the simplicity of the design and there is some room to add a few spools. Down the road. 🙂

I’ve been working on my other projects as well, there is something about working with red paint that lies just this side of aggravating. It takes many coats to get the right color. The back and bottom were painted first and I finally got it back on its feet today. Now three or four coats to the front and sides and we should be in business!

DSCN4252The long dresser and the two nightstands are just about ready for their final touch-ups and hardware. Cross your fingers for me that maybe someone will be looking for a last minute Christmas gift! I’ve ordered the most darling flower petal drawer pulls for both pieces. Adorable!

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 8.44.51 PMWe’ve still had no snow, thank heavens, and I desperately trying to get everything completed and out of the garage before A) snow comes and my little sports car can be safely tucked away and B) its time for my surgeries.

julie

Priming, priming and priming.

Today, The Kid made an offhand comment to me while I was working in the garage. Something to the effect of why I was going to so much work on the pew.

Today, after finishing the sanding, expanding the slots for the bench, the gluing, the screws with the countersunk heads, the supports, the trim… I prepared to prime the bench. His comment was innocent enough, after all, this piece is for me. Why put so much work into it?

Good question. Many people would look for shortcuts. There is a paint that is a primer and paint in one. Why worry about sanding off the old paint or varnish when you’re just going to paint over it? Why not just throw a few extra nails into it and slap some paint onto it?

I was raised at the feet of a master. Nothing my Dad had ever built had been viewed by the masses or sold for money, but they were carefully and artfully crafted and loved by the recipient of the gift. He believed in what he did…if it was worth doing, then it was worth doing right.

So, I spend the time and do all the steps. And hopefully, the work and treasures I build will be around a long time down the road. From starting with great pieces to using high quality products, I hope that they, too, become treasures to those who own them eventually. And why wouldn’t I put the time and effort into something being made for me?

Today’s work was a matter of, as I said earlier, priming. Simple enough, I guess, just takes time. I always use Kilz branded products and I use quality tools – brushes and rollers. Nothing really exciting today, but you can see the progress:

DSCN4240The pew primed.

DSCN4242The vanity that was taken apart to become night stands are now primed:

DSCN4241And the drawers to the nightstands are primed.DSCN4248I also made a couple of throw rugs from a hardy upholstery material that I found in my fabric stash (see the previous post for info).

After I washed the fabric to remove sizing, I cut the piece in half. Then glued non-slip rug material on the back. Dried overnight and now they will adorn the laundry room and the kitchenette in the basement.

DSCN4249You know me, I can never sit around and not do something! I have a couple of little projects that I’ve also been working on, more paint stir stick projects, that I want to write up in a single post. Thank heavens Home Depot lets me take as many as I need!

We’re making progress! Oh, and I think I’ve sold my dining room table and chairs set! I am so excited!

julieDisclaimer

Storing Little Bits and Pieces – The Ingenuity of Using Paint Stir Sticks

Finally! Beautiful weather again. It has been either raining or seriously windy (or both) for the last couple of days. Not exactly the best weather to be spray painting! today, that changes. I am so ready to complete this big dining table and chairs project. I also have someone coming today (cross your fingers) to purchase the oh so girly pink on pink vanity!

One thing I did manage to complete (at last!) is this challenge of building something useful using paint stir sticks. I am going to be putting together a post soon on all the amazing things that can be done with those little sticks – in addition, of course, to stirring paint! Look for it soon.

But here is today’s project. Actually it was completed last night, but it was late and I was tired, so it is being posted this morning. The thing could have been done ages ago, but I had to wait for the final piece to arrive from eBay. It is both a great and a aggravating thing, buying things from eBay that are coming from China. Great, great, GREAT prices, but you have to be prepared to wait for them to ship from the other side of the world and deal with everything involved including customs on both sides. But the bottles arrived yesterday and I spent a full day organizing supplies. Woot!

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If you follow my blog, you know that I have been experimenting with beading and sequins and it has been oh so much fun. And of course, I have to go overboard on everything, nothing in moderation, so I soon realized I would need a better way to organize and store all my little pretties!

I had a few of the plastic bottles, they’re plastic and 60ml and purchased from eBay. I used some for a different project and had some leftover, so using the bottle as a guide, I laid out the grid using paint stir sticks. These are the larger size and even at that, I had to join them to get the length I wanted. I started the whole thing simply by rummaging through my leftover 1/8″ plywood for a size that might work, and this is what I found. It turned out to be long enough for 9 bottles wide and 8 rows. I only had about 30 bottles, so I found the seller online and ordered the additional bottles I needed.

It was a simple project, since the bottles are so light – even with their contents – it didn’t require any massive work or planning. I doubled up on the sides and simply glued the paint sticks to the back. This is where my massive (and wonderful!) collection of clamps come in so handy! When it was all dried, it required just a little sanding and then I spray painted it black semi-gloss. The whole idea is to showcase all of the baubles, not the case, so black was a good color.

I have to admit that originally I intended for the rows to hold 10 bottles, but with the side reinforcements, it narrowed the length just enough to not allow space for that tenth bottle. It works out, though, as having a little room makes it easier to get your fingers on the individual bottle since they’re not so tightly packed in there.

2015-09-18 21.08.13It isn’t very deep either, as it is the width of a paint stir stick. And the whole thing is so light, you can pick it up with one hand. I have been toying with the idea of stretching an elastic band across the front of each row so that if bumped, everything doesn’t come tumbling out. I will keep my eyes open for something that might work while I am out perusing the shelves of Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby.

If you have done a project using paint stir sticks, please let me know! I think I want to showcase about ten projects/ideas and am looking for innovative ways that the sticks have been used.

julieDisclaimer

Entering the final stretch…

I had no idea that this project was going to take this long. It seems that this particular project has just had the wrong timing, what with two new jobs and everything else that has been going on.

I’ve had The Kid doing the coats of polyurethane on the work surface and the very last coat went on last night. Okay, so I know that the extension doesn’t exactly match, but it is close enough considering that it will be getting dinged, dirty and resides in the garage! I am more happy that it is done.

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So, the butcher block top that was given to us is on the right and my 30″ extension on the left. This photo was taken when both had been sanded down to raw wood.

DSCN2574A closer look and you can see that the raw wood doesn’t even match. Again, I am okay with it even though it would have been much cooler if I had actually gotten closer to matching, but what are you gonna do?

You may have noticed the two holes drilled on either end towards the wall. Well, this is my system of getting rid of saw dust. Under the holes and behind the cabinets, I have tall plastic trash cans that will catch the saw dust. Once done working, simply sweep everything towards the holes. The trash cans can be reached on either end for dumping or what we’re likely to do is when the cans are getting full, we’ll just stick the end of the shop-vac into the holes and viola!

DSCN2577So, four coats of polyurethane and the pieces are becoming quite beautiful. But most importantly, the surfaces will be hard for all future work.

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The picture above shows two coats, the one below is with the fourth and final coat. Once we get the tools spread out over it, you’ll hardly notice the difference in woods.

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As you can see, I have kept collecting carpets (yes, free from CraigsList) for the garage floors. I occasionally will run out to the garage for something and I really hate having to stop and put on shoes. And it is easier to convince the kid to vacuum rather than sweep. Like rugs of the past, when I drop paint or stain on them, I simply roll them up and throw them away.

I am still working on a project that will house my extremely large collection of embroidery thread. I am also working on a thread that celebrates paint stir sticks and all the wonderful things that can be made from them.

Simply gluing them side to side creates a wonderfully thin piece of wood which has a nice wood grain… you can see it in the picture below:

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I created a template and then used to it draw the cutting lines for the drawer dividers. Luckily for me, it was The Kid’s job to make all those cuts! I will write a post from beginning to end on this storage cabinet that started life as a small desk. I love looking at something and seeing something different.

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Last quick update… Some time ago, I had purchased these wonderful cabinet knobs. I almost forgot about them as they did travel all the way from China. They arrived last night and so I had The Kid replace the knobs on the upper cabinets of my computer work office… and if you didn’t know it before, you will now: I am a huge Mac fanatic. This is just the icing on that revalation!
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A overall shot of the computer room… you almost can’t see the shapes of the knobs, but trust me, they are there. 🙂

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Okay, so that’s it for today. This weekend will be spent completing the garage project and getting it all in a post before I head back to work on Monday. I hope you’ll come back and see the grand unveiling!

julie

 

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