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

Pink Ombré, Er… Upside Down?

I had one more piece to finish and wouldn’t you know it, I am all out of my base color (pink blush). So, I opted to go bolder, and use a color that doesn’t get used a whole lot. It is my number five color, so it only gets used when there are at least five drawers, which many times they aren’t. So for this little four drawer beauty, I did the cabinet with the number five color and then four drawers in the “normal” colors.

DSCN3729Isn’t it just adorable? I love when I pick up pieces like this, made sometime in the forties, they are just the minimum of materials, light and well built. And the classic white ceramic knobs just pop on these colors!

A while back, I had created what I called a ‘bill pay center’ from a turn of the century Victrola cabinet which I ended up selling. You can read about it here:

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So, to replace it, I updated a new hi-fi cabinet. I actually like it better, I think the newer styling – I’m thinking fifties, maybe sixties – and I accented the speaker covers with a simple fabric. But it is just gorgeous and goes really well in my space.

DSCN3724One might think I like red! 😉  The wood cover cleaned up beautifully with a good sanding and a light coat of varnish. It is just gorgeous! A couple more shots as I close today’s post:

And one more of the little dresser:

DSCN3730(My plants are just growing wild!)

julie

Pink, Pink, Pink and More Pink! (Can You Stand A Little More?)

A few more pieces of pink. I hope you can stand it. Just a little more.

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I repainted the night stand (shown on the most left in the photo above) to match the other night stand. The two dressers were project pieces – the intent of six drawer dresser when I picked it up was to separate it into two smaller dressers, but I think The Kid and I were just getting tired of the work and opted to sell it as originally designed.

Here are some more photos:

We did take the smaller dresser and add the trim around the base and the applique to give it a little more oomph, but structurally it is a great piece.DSCN3722

DSCN3607An update to the vanity: I also took an old wooden chair, cut it down, painted it and put the softest pink fabric (I am always amazed at how soft some of the new blended fabrics are!) on the seat and added it to the vanity. Perfect!

I am getting so bad about not taking the “before” photos as of late. I have one more dresser that is almost completed, and after that, I think I will work with something else for a while. Do you ever get tired of working with a single design/color scheme? I think I am there with the ombré pinks. Even though I have a lot of pink paints left, I think it will go on the back burner for a while.

There is one last piece to debut tomorrow and I already have one furniture project well underway. And I’ve been doing some more beadwork. I also have (more than) enough denim to start working on the rag rug. Oh and to upholster three chairs (with denim)! I am going to start with one and see if I can do it and if I enjoy it. I may just re-give away the other chairs if I find I don’t have a knack for upholstery.

Okay, time to ice the knees and enjoy my Sunday!

julie

Second Verse, Same As The First… and Charlie The Unicorn!

A little over a week ago, I easily sold both of the pink ombré dressers. I have done, literally dozens of those dressers and they never fail to surprise me how easily and quickly they sell. You can check them out all over my blog, but here is the latest pair.

Well, I had requests this time around to do complete a couple more. And wouldn’t you know that supplies of dressers have all but disappeared from CraigsList. I’ve been on the hunt big time trying to acquire suitable candidates with price tags that didn’t eat up all the profit.

Well, I did manage to put my hands on a couple of very nice dressers (or are they chest of drawers?) and we’ve started the all too familiar process. I am actually letting The Kid have a bit more hands on this time around, so that he is finally earning some of his keep!

In the meantime, I have finally finished my secret project. And I have to tell you, it turned out spectacularly! Now, I expect this project to be one of those that people feel pretty strongly about – either they will love it or absolutely hate it. I had the inspiration forever ago but I never could find just the right “animal head” to mount.

So, without further waiting, I give you, Charlie the Unicorn:

photo 2Okay, I admit it is a tiny bit disconcerting and the inspiration piece was a teddy bear, but I love this. There is the littlest inside joke that all my friends who worked on the Copia project will understand.

photo 2This is how “Charlie” started out. Quite a fascinating toy actually. I picked it up off CraigsList (of course) and it had a happy short stay in the living room for a while. As you may recall, the process of getting him to the final stage took some time.

photo 2It was quite an interesting “autopsy”, fascinating how this thing was put together. We never saw it work, but I suspect that it whinnied and blinked and “chewed” on its accompanying carrot. The little girl who owned the horse was apparently a little hard on it and broke it, pulled off one ear and the tail. It was decided that the little horse had to go.

photo 4

“Charlie” spent quite a bit of time on the floor in front of the television. The Kid found the thing to be quite disconcerting, as it would be the first thing he saw in the morning as he headed downstairs and made the first turn towards the kitchen. Once I managed to break all the connections and unscrew his support from the body, it almost was worse. Much like the scene from “Godfather” when the man wakes up to the horse’s head in his bed, this thing laid on the couch of the footstool for while as I figured out how to finish the project.

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So, with his head removed, I had to figure out how to mount the head on the board. I picked that beautiful board at an online auction, I knew it was destined for better things. It was tough, as well, working inside the neck of that thing, it really took two pairs of hands to make it work.

2015-05-12 15.18.10But I finally figured out how to get a support mounted to the base of the head. I held it and The Kid first screwed it into place and then we used expanding foam to fill up the space and to cement the connection with the head. Even though it is meant to hang on a wall, I wanted it to be rock solid and not just “fall off” some night.

Then it was just a matter of tucking the ends of his fur and mane to make it look nice and seamless.Then it was time to turn the horse into a unicorn. The little horse actually came with a brush and a carrot, both I suspect triggered some kind of response in the piece – like a whinny or a chewing motion. We never did get to see the little guy work.

I searched and searched for something to use as his horn. I thought that a glass ornament might be the perfect solution, but in this off season, I wasn’t finding anything. Especially the scale that I needed. Then I remembered his little carrot. After sawing off the ‘leaves’ end of the carrot and making it flat, I spray painted it ivory and following by a healthy sprinkling of glitter. Then a couple of sealant coats and it was perfect! I made a slit just large enough to wiggle the end through the fabric and glue it to the framework of his head. Viola! Charlie the Unicorn was born.

I think it turned out fantastic! I did notice, however, that once the head was successfully mounted, it was quite centered up and down, so I took the opportunity to add a little name plate. I had the little wood frame and it was just a matter of printing out his name with a great font.

Now I want to hang Charlie in a place where lots of people may see him. We have a six foot tall nutcracker that always stands in the foyer and I thought Charlie would be the perfect thing to stand guard with “Arthur”. The Kid is vehemently arguing that it be anywhere than a place that he will see it constantly. Even after completing it, he says it still gives him the “creeps”.

So, I find in my experience of crafting and making things, that sometimes you may do certain projects over and over (that is, after all, my bread and butter) to generate the money necessary to do the fun projects. I still am amazed every single time I finish an ombré dresser just how gorgeous – especially in the pinks – that style is.

So, am very interested in hearing what you think of Charlie. Please, take a minute to comment? After all, as another blogger that I respect, it is the way the audience shows me love!

julie

Getting Closer to Completion (Just One More Day)!

If you’ve been following, you know that I have a small assembly line of dressers being restored/redesigned. Last night, we were able to move the cabinets into the foyer – which has now become the de facto showroom! As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, I had to do one of those little “dances” maneuvering around them on my way out the door!

The drawers are still in the garage awaiting handles and hardware – some of the drawers need a little construction work to make them easy gliding and to fit in the cabinets. That’s The Kid’s job today. My hope is that these are all ready to be posted tonight and we can move them quickly in time for the holidays. 2014-11-20 15.18.59

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2014-11-20 15.19.07We are also doing a quick update (and cleaning ) to the dollhouse we made earlier this year… come hell or high water, this is being sold to someone for Christmas! As much as I love it, I am done with it taking up so much room in the foyer!

DSCN1929And as luck would have it, I found out this week that my employment contract runs out tomorrow. So, I will have some extra time to work on projects in between job hunting. Sigh. I really loved this job and really hate job hunting.

Maybe I will have time to work on the foyer “chandelier” project that I have been designing. I promise to share all the details and steps and the wonderful online company that I have discovered that is enabling me to do this project!

julie

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