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

Reclaiming and Restoring an Old Quilt Top

Our vacation was pure joy and absolute fun! But there is always the let down of returning home when it is all over.

But!… always so much going on and never enough time to get things done. But always enough time to get things started! LOL

A few months back, on one of our abandoned house hunting trips, I found an old quilt top. It was absolutely filthy but through the dirt, I could see the beauty and the talent and the resolve that someone had spent in hand stitching all those triangles.

2015-02-18 16.45.07There was no cheating in this quilt, this one done one triangle at a time, producing those pinwheels. Often, there wasn’t enough fabric to complete a full square. Some of the squares have faded and there are places where the fabric has split. Most of the squares are not really square, and have puckers, but I think that just adds to the charm of the quilt.

There is the remnants of a border on one side, which I am planning on removing, perhaps using some of it to replace faded triangles. I am going to use this as my hand work while watching television – in addition to my humungous cross-stitch that I am still working on. Always have to have something to work on, just can’t sit still and do nothing while watching movies.

Let me point out some of its quirks and charms. First, here is a block that needed a bit of help to fit into the triangle, and the maker didn’t match the pattern quite right:

photo 4

This block is demonstrate that our sewer was definitely short on matching material. In this block she uses 6 different fabrics:

photo 9

This block is another example. Although the sister pieces are the same, She uses four different fabrics here:photo 8

This one only has one nonmatching triangle and she did a good job with color value:photo 7

This block is an example of the fading that is evident in this quilt. I don’t know if it is sun damage or it was just time and washing… either way, it does change the color value:photo 6

Just one more example of how our quilter ‘made do’ with the materials she had. Although the color value is essentially good, there is a definite change in color:photo 5

Here is but one of many examples of the damage to the quilt. Like I said above, this entire quilt was sewn by hand, mostly with the neatest little stitches. Because I have no history of the quilt top, I don’t know if it had been used for warmth while unfinished or if he had been damaged more by animals or insects or just the ravages of time.photo 2

This was a worse example, this isn’t simply where seams were pulled apart but actually damage. Not sure how to proceed with repair of this block. It also has unmatched colors and fabrics, and there is fading damage. These are the sort of block I almost think should be replaced.photo 1But that brings me to the essential question, should blocks torn or faded be replaced? What about simply mismatched fabrics? Should they be left alone or also replaced? To what extent should fabrics be replaced if they are faded or damaged? How should damaged fabrics be repaired? I am planning to do most of the repair by hand, just to keep the look and feel the same.

And another question about repairing the quilt, with the hand sewing, the quilt doesn’t really lay flat. After washing it, I attempted to iron it as flat as possible and there is just so many puckers, I know this would be difficult to quilt. I am tempted to simply tie it, but I really want to do as much as I can to be able to make it wear well. But I don’t want to change the essentially of the quilt, instead opting for as much of its originality as I can.

So, fellow quilters, help me out. Give me suggestions or hints or ideas. How should I approach this delicate challenge. I will be sure to share my progress as I go.

julie

 

 

Rescued Wardrobe… Finished At Last!

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will remember that quite some time ago, I started work on rescuing an antique wardrobe. Well, since my last contract ended, I took the last push and finished it. Put the handles on it last night and wiped down the interior and took the final photos.

DSCN2270So here it is, it all of its black, white and shades of grey. Oh and the smallest touches of turquoise. I think it quite striking and I wish that I had a place to display it and keep it in my home. It is that beautiful. Oh, and did I mention? It weighs like 300 pounds, which means, that me and the Kid gotta pick it up and deliver it somewhere. And if luck holds out, it will be on a second floor somewhere. Whew!

DSCN2269I got lucky and the doors open and close easily, no sticking or creaking. This piece was absolutely a gem in its heyday, it is just too bad that the previous owner left it sit in a garage and made a mess of the walnut veneer. I imagine it was an absolutely gem.

DSCN2271As you can see, the interior escaped most of the damage that incurred on the outside. A thorough cleaning of the interior and the replacement of one trim piece and it sparkles like it must have always.

DSCN2272Last shot, you can see the multiple coats of polyurethane just shine in the evening sun… I just love the way this turned out. I especially enjoy the color scheme that was chosen. The stark contrast of the black and white with the shades of grey are stunning. I debated about the accent color, but in the end, I went with a favorite of mine – a deep turquoise.

If you care to see the previous blogs, you can see them here, here and here.

Now, to get them sold and move on to the next projects… picked up these lovely cabinets thanks to the generousity of a gentleman who only wanted the guts of the old record players. I think these will turn out to be very lovely pieces.

ALL

I’ve also started on the third piece of stained glass, after thinking long and hard, it hit me… it has to be my logo for the doll accessories and clothing and furniture that I’ve been creating. Lends itself perfectly to stained glass. I still have to show you the last one I finished, although I think I realized that the image I chose was much too intricate and am not very happy with the way it turned out. But we can talk about that more in the next blog post.

julie

Wardrobe Redesign

Months ago, I ran across a beautiful old wardrobe that had been handed down to someone who apparently didn’t appreciate what they had. It was relegated to a corner of a garage and because of this, the front doors and bottom frame sustained some pretty extensive damage. Sad face.

But, that also meant that I picked it up for a song. The interiors are immaculate and the back and top are in really great shape too. But that left open the question of what to do to “fix” the damage. It sat unattended for some time while I finished other projects and even when I went back to work (funny how a full time job with a lengthy commute can eat into my spare time), I tried to re-sell it to someone else who might want to take it on as a restoration project. No luck.

But this might work out to my advantage. Now on evenings and weekends I am going to set to bringing my own special touch to this piece. I searched high and low for walnut veneer, without much luck, as I didn’t have to want to travel too far or pay too much. So, again it sat in my garage, although in much better surroundings.

And I have stumbled onto the design I want to take it. And there is a nice little tutorial on how to approach it. If you’re interested in how to do it, just visit the website.

abstract-painting-pop

I am going to rebuild the base with the help of my son and then I am going to strip the veneer off the doors and sand it down to a nice solid finish. Then it is going to get painted in a beautiful high gloss black and then the doors are going to get a colorful abstract painting in bold beautiful colors. The interiors are simply going to get a cleaning and a sealer to protect the still beautiful finish.

So, here is the before:

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And I will provide updates as I progress. There is no hurry to getting this project done and I want to take my time with it. In the meantime, I am also working on the other American Girl dollhouse project. This one will be sold when done, and I expect it to command a pretty penny. And it will be a fun project as I work on it.

Here is the work so far:

DSCN1714

Basically it is a big box. 🙂 It measures 48″ wide by 48″ high and is 24″ deep and the shelf rests at 24″ and is built out of beautiful cabinet grade plywood (I’m thinking hardwood floors throughout). Yes, this is the beginnings of the most amazing dollhouse for 18″ sized dolls, ie. American Girl dolls. Although there are a wide variety of popular dolls that size, including Our Generation, Madame Alexander, Favorite Friends and so many more, that would feel just as home in this doll house. Intentions include a base which should be a small lawn and an attic. The kitchen will be to-die-for… boasting turquoise appliances and a plethora of cabinets and I am hoping for an adjoining dining room. It is also to have a bathroom (you should see the toilet!) and a bedroom. I have so much collected already, I am excited to see this come together.

Thanks for dropping by and taking a peek. And apologies for being so absent lately. Come back soon!

julie

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