Antique Wardrobe: Once Again in Pinks!

I stumbled across another site in which to buy great pieces of furniture for cheap: MacsBid. I think they’re rather new and as such, you can still get great things for little money. They are local to the Kansas City area, so apologies if you cannot take advantage of this site.

A few weeks ago, I bid on and won this great old wardrobe/dresser piece. Even from just the photos (they do schedule a day for inspection) I could tell this would be a great piece to re-do.

As with most pieces of this age, there were issues with the veneer, but I am fairly experienced to handling that. On the up side, the interior of the hanging portion was lined with cedar and looked to be lightly used. Structurally, it was solid, the drawer guides needed a little love but that was it.

I removed the drawers and the door and its hardware. I taped off the door edges because I knew I wanted to maintain the interior of the wardrobe section.

I then started stripping away any loose veneer and then sanding the areas. I filled in the deeper sections with wood filler and followed with sanding. Lots of sanding! I also had to glue and clamp the trim between the wardrobe and the drawers… its expected that over time moisture and then heat will weaken or dissolve wood glue.

There was lots of sanding and I applied wood filler where and when needed. My arms got a real workout even with an electric sander! I also sanded all the surfaces lightly to achieve the best paint adhesion, including the drawers and door front.

Out came my signature pink paints: the door was color one and then the drawers in order. The cabinet was so thirsty that it took nearly six coats of paint to get good saturation and even coverage. I used the original hinges, just spray painted them silver (originally brass) and then added these adorable flower petal handles (using original holes).

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There was a little adjusting necessary with the drawers, sometimes painting will add moisture and the wood will expand. We simply planed bottoms to preserve the recent painting and they slide quite nicely.

The only thing left is to sell and deliver it to some lucky little (or not so little) girl who loves pink!

Tomorrow marks a slight change in my activities, I am heading back to full time work after being on sabbatical (and recovery from my knee surgeries) for the past fifteen months so once again my creative work will become a little less constant. Although I’ve already two more projects to show you and I’ve been steadily working on both the hand quilting of my ‘found’ quilt and that large needlepoint that I begun oh so long ago! I also have tomatoes started on the deck and this year I am growing potatoes in a barrel! Never a dull moment around here!

Thanks for dropping by!

julie

Wow! Completing the list! (I’m Really Doing It!)

I have been running around like a crazy person, completing all of my necessary pre-op work and tests while trying to complete my own personal project list.

When I realized that I would need to do certain things in my house to make it easier for me to get around once I have both my knee surgeries, I made a list. I think originally, there was about 12 or 14 things and I may have added one or two while working, but I am down to really only one big thing that needs to be done. For me, that is nothing short of amazing! Of course, I have had to pour on tons of self restraint not to pick up more projects or supplies, but I have been able to do it! Wow! I am very pleased with myself (if I have to say so myself!!)! Ha!

So, tonight, I check off three more projects. Its sort of more projects but in the end it is three end pieces, so I will call it three.

First, I picked up a dresser-styled chest of drawers a while back that I knew I wanted to keep. Somewhere in the past couple of years, a chest of drawers that I brought with me from California that was part of my quest suite got sold. It was a weird set of events that had me selling a project dresser twice – so the piece I already owned was substituted. Ever since that, I had been on the lookout for a replacement. I knew it had to be very high quality and had to have tons of personality. I had a cheap piece, more of a dresser, in the bedroom for a while, just to have a place to store crap.

So, the piece I eventually found was this:

Can you believe this? Someone gave this piece away! I was so lucky to have been watching CraigsList almost at the time he listed it. He said my email came less than six minutes after he posted the ad and he had gotten over two dozen responses!

There was only one small repair necessary and the top was in sad shape. You can’t really tell from the photos, but it was beyond saving. But since my guest bedroom is white with blue accents, it was destined to become white anyway.

RetroDresser Before&After copySo, this dresser was picked up along the way and painted white just as a place holder. So, over the last couple of days, I emptied the drawers and slowly brought it down. Trust me, when you are working with two bad knees and a stair case, everything becomes slower!

The new piece was painted carefully with the most purest white in a high gloss finish. To get it even and covered, it took five coats! I didn’t want to rush it though and wanted to do whatever it took to get it right. This piece was for me and I want it to last a long time.

I went back and forth with how to paint the top of the chest. To keep the drawers working the best (behind the doors) I finally decided to keep the wood stain. But in figuring out how to paint it so that it was all white with the doors closed, it took a bit of figuring. But at long last, it was done and moved into its home back in the guest room.

2016-01-23 22.44.13Here are a few more photos of the finished piece:DSCN4296

With that done, I need to get rid of the first dresser. Because the pink scheme sells well and I have all the necessary paint and tools, it was an easy decision.

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(In the middle of writing this, I had to upload all my pictures from my phone and camera and then organize them! It can take so long to get a single post written!)

Next up is a cute little end table that I had hoped to become the base of a small cabinet. It didn’t quite work out, so I opted just to paint it and I’ll get rid of it on CraigsList.

DSCN4323.JPGNext, is the little cabinet next to this table in the photo above.

It started life as a blonde desk:

2015-07-16 19.54.53With The Kid’s help, we were able to convert it into just a cabinet, sans desk and legs. It was finished in my favorite shade of glossy red and fitted with new legs and matching cup holder pulls.

DSCN4319Well, this has been a long day and an even longer week. Still so much to write about too! And I am nervous about next week and the dual surgeries and important that I get lots of rest. So I am going to put my feet up and watch some mindless television while I go get some more ideas from Pinterest!

julie

Forever in Blue Jeans

So, I’ve finished (for now) cutting all the blue jeans collected into three inch strips. I had set aside all the remaining pieces for making jean quilts. I’ve been working up the courage to start the rag rug… for whatever crazy reason, I always seem to go overboard when putting together the materials necessary for a project. Based on the tutorial I saw online for the rug, I now estimate that the amount of material that I have put together, I think I will probably end up with a forty foot diameter rug! I don’t know what it is that always makes me overestimate everything, but it seems that every project I work on, I do this.

DSCN4264This is the strips I’ve made… this has got to be the result of at least a hundred pairs of jeans and then some. I pick up pairs of jeans and just the denim material where ever I go, and recently procured a bunch when I picked up all that material free from CraigsList. And it was only recently that I started saving the back pockets – and I now have more than 100 pairs – so, I know that there were more pairs of jeans than those.

I made a “test” rug using 1 inch strips, that did not pan out too well. However, I think that fact that it was smaller was part of the problem. I need to fold the three inch strips into itself, so that the rough edges are hidden. I have been considering doing the folding and sewing it closed that way, but just haven’t decided.

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Anyway, I sat down and just started sewing the denim scraps. At first, it was just to get an idea of how well it would work, but after a while, I just got lost in it. I started watching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1950’s series and kept sewing. I was working with 7″ cotton squares as a starting point. On and off sewing over the past week or so, and I’ve finally made my way through the majority of the denim scraps. I didn’t want to make any squares with too many seams, the denim gets thick quickly and I know longarms don’t love to hit those seams where the material is thicker than four layers or so. I decided to make the squares as simple as possible and to keep those intersecting seams to a minimum.

IMG_6897Yesterday, I used the last really good piece of denim and stacked them and did a count.

IMG_0296That’s 422! At 10 x 10 squares – about 70″ x 70″, that would make at least four quilts! I was thinking about working with some colored denim – red, I think – as a medallion pieces and then placing the blue denim squares on point around it.I briefly considered double sided quilts, but then I would be right back to the problem of thickness and seams. And that each quilt would weigh like a hundred pounds! Ha!

Now that I’ve used up the scraps, however, leaves me with trying to finish up my other projects before surgery. Just three weeks now before the scheduled date and I’ve still a handful of projects to complete in the garage. I am making headway on them, but the temperatures in the 20’s have made it a bit cold to be working in the garage. It should be a bit warmer today though.

The dresser and the nightstands sold quickly, within a day of posting them. Yeah! My foyer is getting emptier although I still seem to have the red desk. Even before I painted it, it was one of those pieces that just doesn’t seem to appeal to anyone. It is a great little piece, and I have lowered the price to the point where I won’t make any money on it. I wish I had a place for it myself, as it is beautiful, but alas, I do not.

And I am just waiting on the pneumatic stapler that I ordered online so that I can finish up my upholstery projects. More denim! And that should clear the final pieces from the foyer and the garage. It should be simple at that point to re-arrange the final stuff in the garage to get two cars back into the space initially designed for cars!

I’ve got a couple of small project lined up to keep me busy while I am working on the last couple of big projects. Seems like it is both taking forever and time is just whizzing by while I wait for this upcoming surgery! And in the same way, I am both excited and terrified about it!

julie

Pink Ombré: Can You Stand More?

I don’t care how many times I do the pink ombré paint scheme, I still love it. And so do you, judging on how quickly the pieces sell and the comments and reviews they get!

So, in case you’re new to the blog, or haven’t been here in a while, I am in the mode of completing projects without starting any new ones. In about three weeks, I will have the first of two knee surgeries  a week apart and one thing that will be important is that I have unencumbered access around my house – be in a walker or crutches. Either way, as I completed six to eight weeks of physical therapy, I need to make sure that I can safely navigate my house. And all these projects stacked up in my dining room, my kitchen, my living room and specifically the garage do not allow safe access. So, I am working diligently to complete them all.

This weekend I was able to complete two more projects. The first is this long dresser. Originally I wanted to turn it either into two smaller individual dressers or turn it into a bench with drawer space. Sort of like this:

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However, with the completion of the pew, I no longer have the space for such a piece of furniture. Although it would sell quite easily, I may try to do this later next year.

Instead, this dresser:

00c0c_aT2b4lrh71c_300x300became this:

DSCN4282Yesterday those adorable flower petal handles finally arrived via eBay. The Kid took the time to put them on last night so that I could take photos and write about them today.

I also used those same knobs on this project:

DSCN4285These pieces actually started life as:

IMG_0163This sweet little vanity was purchased with the hope of becoming a piece for my master bedroom makeover, but, well, life got in the way here too. I think this would be a great compliment to the four poster bed I did a while back. The drawers are the same colors as each post. 🙂

DSCN4242I had primed these cabinets in white, which I think were okay with the pale pink color that it was painted, but I really do need to invest in more primer for red and the darker shades of pink. I am a firm believer in using the right tools and supplies for a superior end product.

Another project that I was able to complete since I had the painting supplies out, is this little holder. I do a lot of faux stained glass painting and find that having the bottles upside down to keep the material at the tip is handy. So, I whipped out some more paint stir sticks and just sort of roughly laid them out to where I thought I needed them around the bottles. Then I drilled the holes large enough to allow the cap to sit securely without being wobbly or too tight. Then it just got a coat of red paint.

I keep threatening, but soon I am going to write a post just about projects that I made using paint stir sticks. Dang, those are handy!

DSCN4272So, here is a view of what’s left in the garage. I had to order a new pneumatic stapler to finish the bench (forefront) with denim cover and there is the other large chest of drawers. I am going to keep this one for my guest bedroom… it is needed to hold some of the specialty fabrics that I have no room for in my sewing room. Then, that leaves only the Scrabble table and one more bench (made from a headboard). This should should pretty much clear out the garage and I will be able to get my sports car bedded down for the remainder of winter. We finally had snow here in the Kansas City area and my little red guy is covered in the white stuff.

Of course, that is the garage! Now, if all my pieces sell that would take care of the foyer too. But I have projects going on in my sewing room too! But that should take care of getting safely around the house anyway!

A few more photos to close out this post:

julie

 

A Fairy Tale Bedroom Set in Pink Ombré

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here it is stored and waiting delivery!

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

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

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

Mouse Bites Pink Mousejulie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

julie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shown with the bed side boards on top of them

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

julie

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

julie

Overdosing on Pink? Can’t Happen!

I love pink. It is such a happy little color and is feminine and yet, can be tough. I wear lots of pink. Which is kind of funny, since growing up surrounded by brothers, the last thing I wanted was to be “girly”. My mom tried a few times, but it just wasn’t going to happen for me. I remember one time she hung these gauzy pink curtains in my room and I just hated them. They didn’t hang there long – not sure what happened to them, but I am sure my complaints about them quickly became old. I was a tomboy from the get go and still am, I guess. But I like pink a little more now. (Not enough to decorate my bedroom with it, but love working with it!)

So, I had mentioned in an earlier post that we restocked the garage with furniture pieces. I am in the midst of doing a little test: I want to see if I can really earn enough money from the furniture makeovers and projects to allow me to skip the normal ‘nine to five’. I’ve never been one to sit around all day, but this sabbatical has shown me that I am a little more ready for the slower pace, even if I am not ready to actually “retire”.

So, in this experiment, the first pieces to be completed and be listed for sale are, of course, pink. There is something so sweet about the pink ombré color style that just appeals to people. It is so happy and fun! So, here we go:

We actually picked up four of the pieces from one place. I love happy coincidences like this. My general approach to these giveaways is to be kind, considerate and make it convenient for the giver. So, by replying and telling her that I wanted the pieces and that I would be able to pick up at her convenience, I was the receiver! We scheduled the pickup for the next day at noon and when we arrived, we were greeted by two young men who helped us load. I love when things go like this… feels like good karma.

So, there was a six drawer dresser and a matching nightstand and another five drawer dresser also with a matching nightstand. We had picked up a four drawer dresser a couple of days before, so in all, these five pieces became a single project.

Everything was primed… previously, I had purchased a good primer and had it tinted pink. It turned out a little darker pink than I had really wanted, but it has turned out to be a great color; it is more than obvious if you’ve missed a spot!

DSCN3604Here was the garage following the priming. The weather has turned very hot and even our unusually cool garage has heated up. So much of the painting occurs either very late in the day or very early in the morning. It doesn’t take much to work up a good sweat!Five Before&After Three Before&After Four Before&After Two Before&After One Before&AfterThen it was just a matter of painting the bases and then I organized the drawers to be painted by color. One drawer on the six drawer dresser would have to be painted the same color as the base, since I have just the base and five colors. I did the same on its matching nightstand, well, to make it match!

As the drawers go, there was one drawer to be painted the base coat, five to be painted Pink 1, five to be painted Pink 2, four to be painted Pink 3, three to be painted Pink 4 and two to be painted in the deepest shade of Pink (5). I use Behr Paint from Home Depot.photoThese have been my much used paint colors. The base coat is the Barely Pink, skipped Be Mine and then used Scented Valentine, Pink Chintz, Springtime Bloom, Fuchsia Kiss and Hot Pink. I originally started out using a matte finish, as early on the sample colors only were available in matte. But as I progressed, I found that I preferred the High Gloss finish – not only did it add a shine to the pieces, but I believe it would be better as far as fingerprints go. I still roll on the paint, I love the soft finish it leaves behind.

Here are all five pieces completed. There are so many times I’d wished that I had a reason to keep these pieces (or simply make them for myself), but alas, a daughter is not to be. I am very happy with my son, and he let’s me decorate his room to my heart’s content, but there is nothing like these gorgeous shades of pink!

DSCN3629These five pieces aren’t exactly the same style but very close. I believe that they are circa 1950’s, and are mostly made of wood. The tall six drawer and its matching nightstand are Broyhill brand, so you know that they aDSCN3637re quality. I really like these pieces for a number of reason, including that they are sturdy and quality made yet inexpensive enough to appeal to folks on a budget. Making them over is a breeze and doing 5 pieces at the same time is like a small assembly line for me and The Kid.

Because we’ve done this before, we had all the paint and rollers ready to roll. For some odd reason, I had been on eBay and come across these round ceramic knobs and had ordered 30 of them (they came from four different Chinese vendors) and took a while to get here from overseas, but were ready and waiting to be installed on these pieces. Kind of a coincidence, as I needed 29 – I could have used the final one on the top five-drawer dresser (the right-most piece in the photo above) but elected to use these faux lock piece instead there as well as on the four drawer top drawer. I really kind of like them and will need to hunt down more of them. They were the original “dirty brass” color, which I have come to dislike a great deal. I think all of those old hardware pieces are just too common and cheap looking.

As a side note, I have collected an almost insane amount of old hardware. Most come with this familiar and ubiquitous “bat wing” pulls, which I have actually come to loathe. I have to find a way to unload these easily. Not only are they bulky, but they are heavy as well and sometimes trying to sell them online ends up costing the buyer more in shipping than the hardware itself is worth. As a consequence, they often do not sell.Batwing Dresser HandlesI love to use updated hardware on the furniture pieces that I refinish. And I love the simplicity of the ceramic handles that I’ve used here and the ones I have used previously, which are just slightly different. But the pop of the white against the pinks are wonderful, especially the darker pinks.

Okay, I’ve rambled on enough for today. I still need to write the ads to list the furniture for sale. Wish me luck that they go quickly. I already have another five projects started in the garage… but these will be other than pink! I am even thinking of some black!

julie

PS…for those interested, I am not being paid for nor sponsored in any way for the mention of any products or stores in this post. I just like the way that these particular products work and want to share.

Finished. Again!

Just a quick post to show you the last two pink ombré dressers that have been completed and are ready for sale.

These are so simple, at least for us once we have a routine defined, to clean, fix and then paint. This time was kind of a neat dichotomy of styles in the same finishes, both have their unique charms.

2015-05-18 11.30.42I’ve always been partial to the older, antique styling of the right dresser. This was in amazing shape for its age, actually has the furniture maker info stamped into the inside of one drawer: Better Kennard’s Furniture Company. It still had working wood wheels on the ball feet!

2015-05-18 11.30.50The only work to this one was to replace missing drawer guides. Here is The Kid grinding down one of the guides so that the drawer moved more smoothly. Sparks were flying!

2015-05-18 11.21.23The other dresser is from Bassett. An name easily recognized for quality. I like the larger roomy drawers and even the smooth face of the drawers as the drawer pulls are built into the bottom of each drawer face.

2015-05-18 11.31.06I love the way these colors go on, and they are so shiny!

2015-05-16 14.47.20Isn’t that beautiful!? A couple more photos of the garage en progress:

2015-05-16 14.46.58The dresser on the far left is a beauty that I picked up for a mere $20 which has minimal veneer loss. this will be my first restoration piece in many months.

2015-05-14 17.25.52I have a nice small supply of various finished veneers that I have been collecting to be able to repair the chips and missing veneer.2015-05-16 14.47.10Garage almost seems like a small assembly line. With The Kid’s help, we are able to complete these quickly without much fuss. I love that the garage makeover has added dramatically to the ease of doing so.

A few more photos of the finished projects:

2015-05-18 11.31.362015-05-18 11.31.18We’ve been doing some work and arranging in my computer room as well. Seems my six month long sabbatical is rapidly coming to an end. For those who aren’t aware, I am a full time computer software engineer. I do these projects on the side as my way of reconnecting to my creative side (hence the blog name: On My Creative Side). The projects that I complete are usually sold simply to further fund more projects and at times, it does get expensive. So back to the daily grind.

Be sure to stop by again soon. I have the antique chandelier that is almost complete as well as a few other projects. I’ve actually managed to put some time into sewing again, challenging myself (or at least try) to use up my scrap bin. We’re also doing some gardening! Look at our starters!

2015-05-17 12.26.01Those are corn (in front) and tomatoes (in back). Now we just need to get the holes dug in the backyard to hold the compost we’ve made from the back deck to the garden and get them planted. It has been almost non-stop rain for the last two weeks and the ground is seriously muddy. I went out to weed my strawberry patch and with every weed I pulled, I took with it a baseball sized root ball! I stepped into the middle of the patch and sunk to the top of my ankle!

julie

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