Playing Catch Up: Garage Cleanup!

Oh my heavens! It has been weeks and weeks since I last posted, but trust me folks, I’ve not been lazy! I have so much to write about! I will try to catch up in the next few weeks, trying harder to be attentive to the blog!

Like I said, lots of things have been completed. Not working (again) has helped a little. I managed to finish up on the contract that I had a few months early – I was never good about pacing myself! I just jump in with both feet and work away!

Some big things and some small projects have been completed. Even more have been started! I’ve been trying to finish up anything that needs to be worked on in the garage and/or outside, since the temperatures have been falling steadily.

I’ll start first with the garage. I’ve been wanting to re-arrange the west wall of the garage since I don’t think I am using that space to its full potential. And once this side is done, I am going to do something similar to the other side so that I can park my little sports car in the garage for the winter.

Here is the before picture:

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That little red contraption is a high powered washer. We bought it when we lived in California for the hundreds of feet in wood fencing we had around our lot. We don’t have a fence now that we’re here in Missouri and I love it! Just makes the yard look larger and more friendly somehow. We hung the washer on the garage wall back in 2004 and never used it once since! It has been donated to our favorite thrift store. We took down the random hanging tools and sorted through the odd wood and metal pieces stacked in the corner.dscn4751

We then configured the upper space for shelves to essentially mimic the space behind the upper cabinets to the left. I searched for months to actually purchase the same cabinets, but could not come up with matching size/depth. I was kind of surprised and figured that they were like standard sized cabinets meant for garages and mudrooms.

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I replaced our old and broken recycle bins with new, sturdier ones and mounted the top two using cleats. The new cabinet is being used for The Kid’s latest hobby, welding and this cabinet is intended to keep all the necessary gear and tools for it together. It is on wheels, so he can move it to wherever he needs to work. I got the cabinet on sale at Home Depot for 25% off and an additional 20% off since it was the floor model. Perfect!dscn4824

The shelves are perfect size for the ‘paper boxes’… and I have a standing order at our local print shop for when they have spares. Just phone them and ask! Something they don’t have to recycle!

Next up – and already in progress – is the other side of the garage. This is where my sports car lives in the winter, but still a valuable space during the warmer months. I keep all of my furniture pieces stored there, as well as using part of the space as a ‘paint booth’.

The large cardboard piece helps control most of the errant spray paint. The other side holds furniture, like I mentioned, as well as other materials. I’ve collected a variety of old – and unfortunately – ugly shelving units and now am planning to replace those with a floor-to-ceiling set of shelves. I’ve begun the job of painting the boards and this weekend, we’re planning to install them.

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I gave away quite a few ‘project’ pieces, as well as a lot of fabric upholstery sample books. I try to glean my project pieces each year as I move to ‘indoor’ projects… hoping that since I didn’t get to them within the span of many months, that perhaps someone else may. No problem seeing all of this valuable material disappear!

Another small project completed was transforming this small wooden box into a small stool for my sewing room. I covered the box with vintage clothing patterns, added the small feet and then added a fabric covered seat.

So, that’s it for today’s update. We’re considering allowing my son’s best friend move into the spare bedroom which means the spillover from my sewing room will have to be dealt with. I think I am going to up stairs and stand in the doorway for a while to see if I have any flashes of genius as to where this might go (or if it too needs to be donated!). When we moved into this house and our square footage literally doubled, I never dreamed that I would ever run out of space!

Thanks for dropping by!

julie

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

On Second Thought, the First Thought is Usually Right!

In my last post I showed you a neat little way to store your bits and baubles. At the very end, I mentioned that I considered adding elastic bands across the front of each shelf.

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Well, in tidying up before heading to bed last night, I barely tapped the edge of the cabinet and… well, you can see the result! I guess that “might” has turned into a “definitely” be adding it! Once is quite enough of picking up those bottles!

Saturday, I started work on painting the six chairs for the dining table. I had spray painted them white as a primer and had initially wanted to continue with spray painting with the final red color. But after spending the better part of an afternoon working through five cans of paint, I am less than enthusiastic about how it is turning out. For whatever reason, the coverage is not as good and in the process of trying to get good coverage, I am getting drips and too heavy coats. Not to mention that the overspray coated me such that it looked like I was sunburned and took a bit of scrubbing to get it all off. I had to wipe down areas on at least four of the six chairs, which then required re-priming. Sigh.

This set me back a bit. Which is why I decided to take the day off from working on it today. Just wanted to clear my head and rethink my next steps. Instead, I’ve been working on something fun and relaxing and watching old movies.

Hope y’all have had a great weekend too!

julie

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

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