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?

A Little of This, A Bit of That, More of Something Else

Do you ever find yourself pulled in many directions at once? Well, that’s me for the last week or so. I feel like I have so many irons in the fire and yet, never feeling like I am accomplishing anything. At least not accomplishing enough.

I will share with you a project that has been in the works for sometime. Way back, I was given a wonderful gift of four antique phonograph player cabinets. An acquaintance of mine does old fashioned Victrola type restorations and much like anyone who restores things, it often takes two or more pieces to be able to get something that old working again. So, my friend would strip the cabinets bare of the music parts and then not have anything to put back into them.

01414_146BGjp6j5f_600x450I was able to fix up two of the four I received pretty quickly. I love how they turned out. I like one so much I opted to keep it – yes, it was done in my signature red color. But it was extremely handy to have my financial information all in one place and look good to boot! You can read about it here.

This photo shows the four I received. Like I said one sold quickly, and you can see its transformation here.

I did some preliminary work on the other two, but we were pulled in many directions and the other two went into the “To Do” section of the garage. That space was arranged and re-arranged a dozen times. But I knew I would get around to them eventually.

Eventually was this week for one piece. I stumbled onto a color when I was sorting through paint chip cards and have fallen head over heals for it. It is called ‘Deep Aubergine’ and it just screams elegance. So, being (sort of) close to finishing the third Victrola cabinet, I opted for a quart of this beautiful color.

DSCN3384This is one of those colors that is just plain hard to photograph accurately. Trust me when I say that this is a gorgeous color in person. Its a deep brown with just a hint of ‘purple’ in it. But you can see the difference in how it photographs between this photo and this one:

DSCN3385Either way, it is gorgeous! I had to replace the top, it seems that the tops of all this cabinets were the first to go. The right side of this cabinet had a horn that was covered with the dropping front.DSCN3387That piece then can be slid into the cabinet to keep it out of the way (when they were listening to music). I loved the construction and only briefly considered changing it. The other side has an added shelf to use for storage. I think this piece would be nice as a entry way or hall cabinet. I think grandmother’s silver box and the good crystal would fit nicely into this cabinet.

DSCN3386So, I have a number of other projects in the works as well. I stumbled onto a thrift store that had all their clothing marked down to $2… so I snatched up all of the jeans I could find. I spent the better part of the last two days with scissors, seam rippers and razor blades taking everything apart. I am planning to use the fabric to make a denim braided rag rug. I’ve seen a few photos and they just look awesome! I have plans for almost the entire pair of jeans – I am going to use the seams and waistbands with belt loops – I even have a plan for the back pocket label

2015-05-12 21.11.10Sitting and working on this gives me a chance to catch up on some of the old movies I missed the first time around. I love streaming content! I am taking full advantage… we have AppleTV, Roku and Amazon Fire!

2015-05-12 21.10.52The Kid and I are, once again, giving gardening a try. Last year we did pumpkins and the year before watermelons. Didn’t have luck with either of them. This year I am trying tomatoes and The Kid is planting sweet corn. Which of course reminds me, I have to get down and weed the strawberry patch. This is the third year for the strawberries and this is supposed to be the year that they really bear large and flavorable berries.

Oh, and we’ve got the antique chandelier that we rescued out of an abandoned farmhouse. I’ll provide all the info when it is complete. Like I said, we have many irons in the fire… we are constantly doing something around here.

julie

And the Endeavor Continues… The List is Nearly Complete

The endeavor is to complete all started projects before starting any new. Which technically, I am still adhering to that. I say technically because I did sort of start on the benches before I swore the oath.

So, along those lines, we’re busy in the garage. I try to stay motivated, but lately that has been hard to do. The weather is see-sawing between absolutely gorgeous spring days to those hot, muggy damp days. Which just messes with the arthritis something fierce. Its days like this that I warn everyone I come in contact with to avoid getting old. Old sucks.

Anyway, on our last abandoned house hunting trip, I made a major find. Technically two, but in the end combining the two will yield one complete one.

What am I referring to? A nineteen twenties chandelier. Complete with unbroken, with zero flaws in the shades. It is absolutely a miracle that a house filled with wild animal dung and nary an unbroken window that this thing survived. Sort of.

photo 1Can you believe this? When I initially saw the shades, I thought, ‘no way‘! Once The Kid grabbed hold of it, it just all fell down around us! Luckily he had a grip on it and it didn’t hit the ground. There was another identical one in the next room, sans shades. I figured it would be to my advantage if I took both of them, to use the second one for parts.

So am in the middle of cleaning these up and they are turning out brilliantly. I can’t quite decide if I should repaint it or not. While cleaning the pieces, it was obvious that someone took paint and a brush to the pieces. The canopy’s paint nearly peeled off in my hands! The bottom piece wasn’t so accommodating… and I don’t want to scrub too hard and ruin the surface below it.

So, I took it all apart (took photos so I would know how to put it back together) and cleaned everything and pulled all the old wiring out.

photo 4I then hit the net and pulled up my favorite lighting supplies place: ColorCord.com. They have to greatest stuff! And most of it is so inexpensive (I try not to say “cheap” as it has a different connotation than “inexpensive”) and has the widest array of colors and options. Ordered enough to wire up both chandeliers, just in case. Maybe I will get lucky and run across the shades (btw called ‘slip shades’ because they don’t go over the bulb  they just sort of ‘slip’ on) and then I will have two chandeliers. I haven’t quite decided what to do with them… my house doesn’t really have the ceilings for either of them, but was toying the idea of somehow combing the two into one. I guess we’ll see.

Other than that, I’ve pretty much gotten caught on all of the already started projects. The extra large cross stitch that I’ve been working on continues, albeit slowly. I pick it up when I need to rest, like this morning when the impending rain clouds cause my knees to ache.

julie

I Don’t Have to Tell You, You Know I Love Pink!

I grew up, essentially, with 5 brothers (my two sisters are 11 years older and 11 years younger). I was a tomboy from the get-go. I had to just to survive! Although my mother did her best to try to get me to be feminine, I rarely did. When she bought and hung two toned pink curtains in my room, I revolted. For years, I hated pink.

That would all change – or so I thought – when I had children. But mother nature was tough and long story short, five years and the cost of a new house, I was able to bring my one and only child into the world: my son The Kid. There would be no pink and taffeta and dolls and tea sets and tulle and ballerina slippers. Just my rough and tumble little boy. I wouldn’t trade a single second of having him in my life, it has been the best toughest joy of my life.

But I didn’t get to do pink. 😦

Lately, a lot of the furniture makeovers have been pink. As you may (or may not) know, I stumbled over the ombre style of painting and I’ve done a bit: black, green, blue, and yes, pink. And guess what? Pink sells the best and fastest and generally speaking, for asking price. It just is so adorable!

So, currently, I have a toy box and a small desk that are just about ready to be listed for sale. And I am forever hunting for cheap (preferably free) pieces of furniture to refinish/redecorate. Last time I bought paint, I opted for high gloss, which those little paint the small paint samples don’t come in that finish… so in order to get all those shades, I had to buy quarts (and a gallon of the base color). That means, in order to get my money’s worth, I need to do a few more.

The pink is just so cheery and feminine. It looks perfect in a nursery, a toddler or little girl’s room… heck, even teenaged girls love pink (some opt for purple!). I actually know that at least one piece I sold was going into a little girl’s room who was trapped inside a 40’s something woman’s body! Ha! Power to the spirit of the little girl who lives inside all women!

Recently, I picked up a small wood dresser. I like the detailing on the front and thought it would make a good project. It was in terrible condition when I got it and even with a lot of sanding, I couldn’t get it to a clean slate. So, I opted to paint it as it stood and in the end, it turned out okay. I like to describe it as having character. A thing doesn’t exist for that many years and not take on some blemishes or dings.

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This was the last one done with the satin finish. I also decoupaged the inside of each drawer using illustrations I cut from an old children’s book of fairy tales.

Drwer InteriorIt sold quickly, like this style does. So, more are on the way. I think a few people have figured out my success as I am seeing more of the ombré style recently.

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Added a sweet touch with these crystal handles.

KnobAnd the Before/After photo:

Before & AfterKeep an eye peeled for unveiling of several pieces soon. I am also working on a desk converted to a tall chest of drawers, The Kid’s Victrola makeover and the restoration of the larger Victrola. And of course, I am always on the lookout for things that get the creative juice flowing.

julie

I Think I’ve Lost My House! (To My Crafts!)

Today is a story of what happens when you start to get successful!

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Well, that and the weather is unbearably cold and you can’t work in the garage!

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These are shots of my kitchen, living room and front entryway. They are the only place I have to work since it is too cold to work in the garage.

I have about five projects in the works and several more waiting in the garage. I love it that this is really starting to pay off. I love the creativity and the search for pieces and seeing my ideas turn into reality. Even better, knowing that they will sell and spend their lives in some little girl’s bedroom, some couple’s room or home office or wherever in homes. That people will use and cherish and love the pieces for years to come.

One of the pieces I am working on is for a very special little girl. I don’t think she knows it’s coming, or if she does, doesn’t know to what extent. Her mommy really loves her… the details that she has thought of demonstrates that. From the careful selection of colors to the specific pieces of furniture and attention to every last detail. I will provide updates and the unveiling of the piece here in this blog as I work. Maybe if Danielle (this is mommy!) let’s me, she’ll share the room when it is done. 🙂

So, today I worked to get all the pieces primed. Not too big of a job, but on two drawers there was an original blue outline detail that seems to defy primer. I’ve already given it four coats and you can still see the faint outline:

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I gave these two drawers yet another coat of primer and hopefully that will take care of it! Also got the first coat of primer on the dresser, all the little curves and layers make for a little challenge, but nothing I cannot manage. It may take at least one more coat to cover all the bumps and bruises that it collected in its previous life.

While I had the primer out, I was able to get the first coat on another dresser I picked up. It coincidentally matched the style of a tall dresser, a highboy, that I done earlier (you can see it here) and will offer it to the woman who bought it. It is such a beautiful style, I figure it is somewhere around 60 – 80 years old, back when furniture was hand crafted and a real art. And built to last. And even though it had been damaged and disrespected by the people who had it last, because it was so well constructed that damage was really only surface.

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Oh, almost forgot! There is one other project that we have in the works. I say ‘we’ because this one involves the Kid. I am trying to get him to kind of assume the lead and most of the responsibility because I think it would be a great way to get him involved in a business of sorts and I want him to understand the connection between cost of materials, involvement of labor and the end price as well as profit. Sometimes I think I make it look too easy for him, shielding him from the minutiae of all the business details.

The project is building doll beds. The size for American Girls, Journey Girls, Madame Alexander and Our Generation – among countless others. Maybe more furniture in the future. The bed comes first. We take a standard set of directions and build it. Then switch out materials, making it more conventional or antique style. First one will be the antique white that I have grown fond of and then experiment with other colors. I, of course, will be working the bedding and mattress. We’ll work on packaging and advertising later. Its a bit exciting (for me more than the Kid) at least in the beginning, but I think he will see the value in all of this as we move along. Watch for updates right here!

Okay, have a ton of stuff to do still. Gotta get moving!

Thanks for dropping by, as always and Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

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