Finally! The Grand Reveal of the Church Table

I have a bad habit (sometimes) of starting projects that take me a while to get around to finishing. Actually in this case, I actually did finish it, but have been wafting back and forth about a final finishing piece. That, and I never got around to taking the final pictures either. And because of its sheer combined size, it isn’t like I can just drag it out and set it up and shoot the photos… and I always used the excuse about that final flourish to put it off.

Well, time is up for procrastinating. This coming weekend, my neighborhood is having one of its two annual garage sale weekends. I’ve combed the house and really collected from every nook and cranny anything that I could live without. I have to admit that lately the house has been creaking from the excess that I’ve collected these past years. We’re going to have a really big sale!

So, since we’re already using the driveway as a sales floor, I might as well as to it some of the furniture projects that I’ve recently completed. Including the dining room table and its eight chairs, as well as the the matching sideboard. So, me and The Kid dragged it all out and arranged it artfully on the lawn (partially on the neighbor’s lawn too) and took photos.

I’ll just start with photos… now that I have them!

DSCN4529The table was made by combining a salvaged door that I picked up from a Catholic church that was closing its school. The door was from the main office and I could only imagine had been pushed open by the hands of hundreds of little kids in cute school uniforms.

I removed the hardware, replaced the holes with wood and sanded, sanded, sanded. The more layers of varnish I removed, the more beautiful the wood I was revealing. The Kid helped in creating the skirt and attaching the legs, but we simply recreated the same mechanism that held together my original oak table that was purchased when I first got married (it still is working to this day!). Before we attached it to the door, it was painted my favorite shade of red. (Have I mentioned that I love red?)

The chairs were all from the same Catholic school… all of these were well worn, used and loved by students from that school. It took hours of sanding to remove doodlings and scratches but unbelievably, there was not a single wad of gum stuck under the seats!

As you can see, six of the chairs became red, but wanted to create accent piece (or in this case, pieces). What better color to contrast with red than turquoise?

Even better, I created a piece to accompany it. A mid-century piece, this is all wood. The drawers have dove-tailed construction and great detailing typical of the fifties. I love the spiral details on either side and I was able to fit it with a great set of vintage hardware that I painted black. The Kid and I have refurb’d many dressers and desk drawers, so bringing this piece was no challenge. The drawers glide beautifully and silently on their tracks and fit within their frames nicely.

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This is one of those times when I wish my house was empty (and I didn’t love my replacement round dining room table)! This sideboard rivals even my newly built piece, although mine has a little bit nicer top.

DSCN1864So, finally, I can mark this one off the list. Now just to get it sold and be able to reclaim the space in my garage would be the icing on that cake!

julie

Next Steps: Prime and Paint

So plans are moving forward. As many of you know, I am looking at dual knee replacement surgeries in about six weeks. For that reason, I am attempting to complete all the projects that I have planned or in progress and – hopefully – get them sold before I have those surgeries. I have to get my house and garage clear, so I am not tripping or falling over anything while I do my physical therapy. I also need to get my hot little sports car into the garage before snowfall – I am working diligently on keeping the mileage down and its value up.

Have I shown you my little fun car?

1010169_10201532414372325_693955612_nIt’s a rear wheel drive car with very little clearance, so it doesn’t really work well in winter. So, when the cold whether arrives, I cover it and store it in the garage. If it hadn’t been for the fact that the temperature has been unseasonably warm, the rain that has been falling for the last three days should have been snow.

The third stall of the garage has been holding the dining table and its chairs along with the matching sidebar. I have a great story about it, but am saving for another day this week. But once that is gone and I disassemble the ‘paint booth’ that I set up, the third stall will be mostly empty and James (my Mazda RX-8) can roll in.

So, The last couple of days, The Kid and I have been working on the re-assembling the pew. When a catholic church downtown shut down its school, I picked up a bunch of great pieces… including the parts to assemble a pew. Unfortunately, as we’ve been working on it, we’ve figured out that they are the pieces of the same pew and as such, they aren’t going back together easily. The funniest thing is that the ends and the seat/back were numbered… I think they did that when they took them apart. Unfortunately, when I sent The Kid down the second time to pick up the pieces we couldn’t fit the first time around, I made a last minute decision to get pew and neither he nor the gentleman there paid attention to numbers and we got mismatched pieces.

So, after some thought and some fumbling, I used a router to make the necessary adjustments to the channels where the back and the seat set into the sides. Today, The Kid worked on assembling the pieces together and adding some supports to make it really strong. I need to pick up some wood filler to finish off those areas where adjustments left some gaps, then I can get it primed and painted.

2015-12-14 19.13.59 copyThis is one of those projects I plan to keep. The current plan is to paint it my favorite shade of red and it will sit in my foyer. I imagine it won’t take long until it is covered with supplies for new projects, but I think it will be gorgeous and unique!

As you can see, this side of the garage is still filled with a bunch of projects we’re working doggedly on finishing. The name of the game this week is: “prime and paint”! Closely followed by “list and sell”! 🙂

I don’t ever expect the garage to ever be empty or stay very empty for long. Expected therapy and recovery is expected to be somewhere between 6 and 12 weeks with a complete recovery within six months. Then there is no stopping me!

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

Jewelry Making Materials – Bits and Baubles

This has been an end to a great week. Not only did I finish a bunch of pieces (and start a few more), but sold almost all of what was ready! Yay! Now I have a small foundation to start looking for the next projects. If you’ve read or followed my blog at all, you will probably have figured out by this point that I don’t do any one thing for long. It isn’t that I get bored, its that I am always wanting to try more and new things and different and better ways to do the things I do already. And sometimes it is about timing, when I get materials or furniture or inspiration!

So, there has been a project I have been working on for a while.  These are the projects I really like, that take a while and some attention, but don’t last too long and are always useful – either to keep or to sell.

I did a similar pieces a while back, but I am not sure I did a write-up. So, I will make sure I’ve covered all the bases with this one. The first one was black, but this was is my signature red – what I call “Kitchenaid Red”.

2015-03-27 19.51.02It all started with finding a printer drawer online. The person selling was only asking $15 and was close to me, so I bought it. I removed a few dividers, otherwise I would end up with too many very small sections. I primed it and then gave it a couple of coats of the red paint in a matte finish. It looks a bit on the orange-ish side in this photo, but it is the perfect red.

Sorry about the lack of focus!

Then, I set about filling it. Much like the black one, I felt it was the perfect way to store – yet display – the supplies that I use in a lot of the work that I do. I really want to do more jewelry making, I am just waiting for the inspiration. I did some way, way, way back, but haven’t done much since. Well, other than collect pretty and sparkling beads and baubles.

I stumbled onto these little glass bottles a while back when I was making food for the American Girl dollhouse. I can’t seem to locate a photo at this moment, but we made jars of pickles and jellies and jams and peanut butter, even spice bottles in a rack!

I found them on eBay and you can find bottles of every height and width – some with crew tops, or corks or droppers. I just watched for a good time to purchase an assortment and then I turned to filling them. Originally, with the first drawer, it was to store and organize what I already had. But this time, I had little left still be to stored. So, I turned to a little sneaky little way that I discovered how to get great deals on beads and such on eBay. In the wee hours of the night, I search for “free shipping” and prices between $.01 and $.25 and “ending soonest” and then I sit and watch until they are down to 30 seconds and place a single bid. If I get it, great! If I don’t, I move on to the next auction.

Now, most of these end of coming from China, so it can take a bit longer than what I would normally want to wait, but in this case, it is just fine. Little packages start being delivered between one and four weeks and it is always fun to get little surprises!

So, then it is just a process of filing the bottles and then arranging them in the drawer. This is the fun part. The colors and sizes and sparkles – its just fun! I also make a mental inventory of what I have. Once I do start jewelry designing, I will know what I already have!

So, a few more photos:

2015-03-27 19.51.32Look at all the sparkle and shine! Its like candies or chocolate, only better!2015-03-27 19.51.20I haven’t quite figured out where exactly to hang it… I had thought on the other side of the cabinet (opposite of the black one) if there is room. I’ve said this before, the problem with being crafty is finding enough places to display your works of art.

Lots of things in the works, so keep coming back!

julie

Uh Oh, I Think I’m In Trouble Here

So, when I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I tend to stop creating and start cleaning and organizing. Yesterday was no different. I am a bit overwhelmed in the garage – to the point where I can now not get my car OUT of the garage. Sigh.

Also, my home office was rife with clutter, to the point where I couldn’t hardly get to any of the computers. Much less sit down and try to be productive.

So, out came the organizing bins and with that, the ‘attic closet’ that I store them in had to be organized so that I could get empty ones out and full ones back in. We started there. Pretty much pulled everything out of the ‘attic’ and made quick decisions on what could be kept and re-stored and what could be donated or thrown away.

With much of that done, I had the boxes I needed to work on the office. All the empty boxes that had been collected in my office were sorted by which ones needed to be kept (and organized in a container) the ones that no longer needed were broke down and readied for recycling. That was pretty easy. Carried the containers up to the ‘attic’.

Next came putting everything back into the attic storage (quick definition, the ‘attic storage’ is not actually the attic, but space behind the closet in the guest bedroom. It feels like an ‘attic’ because it is unfinished and cold, but the real attic is a floor up.)

We had a pretty large pile to be donated and that went into the truck for the next trip. The containers all went back in nicely organized by size. But then the brakes were hit!photo 4

Quite a few months ago, I organized the quilt tops that had been finished and awaiting quilting. I sent one large box off to my friend Gloria for quilting and set the other box back into the guest bedroom closet (closet, not the ‘attic storage’). I really had thought that there was only one box left. I really felt like I was making a dent in getting quilts quilted and then bound and completed.

In yesterday’s flurry of organization, more boxes were uncovered. First it was one. I sighed. Then another was uncovered (it began to feel more and more like an excavation). I called The Kid over. We removed more boxes and there was number three and four. Holy cow!

I also took one box and loaded into it all the denim quilts awaiting the discovery of someone who is willing to take them on. I think I broke Gloria’s machine with one of the last denim quilts she quilted. 😦 For this I feel really bad.photo 2

So, I moved all of these boxes into my sewing room. I have to figure out something. And until I do, I cannot – CANNOT – start any more. This is nuts! I also have a large armoire in the guest bedroom which was my baby’s storage in his nursery. It stores TONS of quilts. It is now pretty full. And another dozen or so finished (at least they are finished!!) are sitting on top of the guest bed. I suppose this is where I am grateful that I don’t often have guests!!

I am planphoto 5ning on counting all the unfinished quilts which should allow me to do some math. I am beginning to believe that I could invest in my own long arm machine and would be cheaper in the long run than paying someone else to do it.

Oh, by the way, I did some searching on the internet to find someone to hand quilt my rescued quilt top and I found one woman who priced a queen sized quilt at $15,000. No, there isn’t too many zeroes or any typos. Good grief… if I thought I could get someone to pay me those kinds of numbers, I would totally do it! I can’t imagine! Can you?

I am hesitant to even mention the dozen or more quilts that are already in process… I’ve either cut for blocks or have the blocks and just need to assemble. I am so overwhelmed by all of this that I have decided to go watch a movie and do more cross stitch. Right?!?!

julie

Sewing Room Update: Finally Finished!

2014-10-27 19.52.50Well, I say “finished” but is anything ever really finished?

So, way back I showed you the new cabinet added to my sewing room. Because it came with a plain front – rather than the beadboard finish that is on every other cabinet in the room – I attempted to change the doors on this new cabinet to match.

At first, we tried to use the thin sheets you can get from any hardware or big box store.

First we cut them to size for each panel:

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Then we slathered on the glue, placed the beadboard and then weighted it down with whatever we had in the garage. You can see we used paint cans, a small anvil – even boxes of Diet Coke.

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2014-10-12 13.38.30After leaving it overnight, I came out the next morning to find that the glue hadn’t ‘stuck’ to the door panel, only the beadboard. Back to square one.

I did some investigating and ran across a wallpaper that looked like beadboard. It couldn’t hurt to try, right? I ordered one roll and waited. It finally came and attempt number two was started.

Since I wasn’t using much, I opted for premixed wallpaper paste. Using a four inch roller, I slathered it on heavy.

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Rolled the wallpaper on top and smoothed with my hands. Then using a sharp blade, I cut the piece to size using the edges of the trim.

2014-10-22 18.36.30Wiped up any excess paste…

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…did all three panels the same way…

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And here’s how it looked. Left it to dry overnight and went to sleep with my fingers crossed.

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Here is both doors (three panels):

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Came out the next morning and it looked great! Yay! However, as I kept looking at them, I felt like something wasn’t quite right. The bounding trim was very glossy but the paper had a matte finish. I thought I would just set them up and spray paint them glossy white.

Good idea, except the paper never really dried. It was just sort of sticky. In a room where dust and material fragments and threads would be everywhere, I knew this wouldn’t be good. I opted to spray it with a glossy clear sealant. Now, there was a chance here that this would only make things worse and not resolve the issue. But I figured I could just stick The Kid in the truck and point him in the direction of IKEA and get him to buy replacement doors. It was worth a try.

And it worked! Next morning the stickiness was gone and the doors were all shiny! Next step, installation.

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Doesn’t it look like we bought it that way? I love this idea and may be looking for more ways to use this!

A couple more pics of the new cabinet and some of the other changes as a result:

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Added some more “buttons” and one still not up yet:

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New shelf along the ceiling line… those boxes hold so much! I have completed quilt squares and lots and lots of cut pieces just waiting to be turned into more quilts.

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Had to turn the button board vertical to fit. Had to move some other pieces, like the tack board, to another part of the room. Added some new things as well to the mix, such as this “puzzle box” of sewing attachments made by Singer in the early part of the 20th century.

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Here is where the tack board went. The top is a photo of The Kid when we had just adopted our puppy.

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Here is an older shot of the cabinets along the back wall and turning up to the window. You can sort of make out the beadboard fronts.

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Okay, now that this is done… I need to turn my attention to the third stall of the garage. It is where my sports car needs to be housed during what we expect to be a pretty snowy winter. I need to get the STUFF either done or out of there. I really just want to play in my sewing room… I just bought that new embroidery machine and can’t wait to get started. But first things first.

Julie

Wonderful World of Paint Stir Sticks

A while back I ran across some decorating schemes using paint sticks. I’ve been using paint sticks for many things, from whole projects to repair. The one I am going to show you today was actually The Kid’s idea. He came up with the idea and did all the work. I am so impressed, and happy too.

DSCN2386See, this is how I’ve been storing my glass paints. I started with those tubs, left over from cookie dough, but I soon filled them up and expanded to a small cardboard box. But when that overflowed, I knew I would have to do something a little more ‘constructive’. I started talking about it with The Kid, mentioned that I had a few dresser drawers that might work, but left the design and build to him.

And this is what he came up with:

DSCN2387This is a bunch of paint stir sticks. Lots of cuts and glue. But this is so cool! I loaded it with the paint bottles head in, so that I could see the color from the bottom. It also keeps the glue at the tip, which is handy since you’re not supposed shake this paint, so keeping the paint at the tip makes it easier to use right out of the box.

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I buy paint from Home Depot constantly, so I don’t feel bad about taking a handful each time I go it. You can see the branding in orange paint.

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Here it is loaded up. The dividers are placed with just a hint of a downward angle, to keep the bottles from falling out when moving it. He added a handle to the top to move it easily.

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This is a little chart that I put together (work in progress) that shows all of the different colors of paint dry. I have found DSCN2393that this is essential, as many of the colors look nothing like you might imagine they would be dry. I have had to remove some paint on a couple of projects when I found that the color dry was nothing like the color wet. I have a list of the colors and their numbers that gets stored behind the frame. Its an interesting piece of art all on its own, I think.

So, I had promised to write a few posts about what I use paint stir sticks for. This is the first. I also used them a lot when building the doll house, especially in the kitchen. I glue them side by side and then use them as thin, yet strong boards.

In thess photos, the fronts of the bottom cabinets and the little cabinet next to the fridge were built using the stir sticks. Also the pub table and stools. They are made of 100% pine, so they are wood, and can be used in any way that one would use wood. At least in small portions. Which when working in the scale of doll houses, is perfect.

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The little wood box next to the fireplace was another project. I’ve made numerous and varied sizes of boxes, sometimes just to hold supplies.     DSCN1893

The doors and shelves were a perfect place to use the paint stick wood. Nice and thin, yet strong and paint-able. The perfect size when working in miniatures.

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Some more shots of the wood as it was used:

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DSCN1876I find that whenever I go to Home Depot – which is often – I stop by the paint department (if I am not already going to that department specifically) just for a handful of sticks. And sometimes I even use them to stir paint!

We’re having a wet and cool stormy day here in the Midwest and I am thinking that not much is going to get done. At least not anything outdoors.

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 with you!

Can You Tell I Love Red & White?

I finished another quilt and wanted to post it quick to the blog. If you’ve read much of my blog or know me, you know that I am head over heels in love with the red and white color combination. My kitchen, living room and dining room are all done in red and white.

Sometimes that spills over into other things, like my wardrobe. I am just sort of drawn to the color combination.

This time it was a quilt. This was part of that big box I just got back and because it was the biggest one, it waited ’till last. But it didn’t take long to finishing the binding.

And here it is:

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I hung it over the deck railing before the big snowstorm, just to get an overall picture. I didn’t realize that the edges had flopped over… I was holding the quilt and The Kid took the photo. I didn’t think to remind him.$_12-1Here it is in all its red and white (and a few other colors) on the guest bed. Can you tell that room is used for much more than guests sleeping? In fact, it currently houses most of the ‘Dolls & Cupcakes’ inventory, quilts waiting to be completed and other craft tools. It is a mess! But that is the great thing about that room, when it is too much to deal with, I simply close the door.

Problem solved!

Thanks for stopping by!

julie

Doll House is Ready For Delivery

Last few details have been completed and the doll house is ready for delivery.

DSCN1498You may notice that there is a small gap between the “attic” and the rest of the cabinet. That’s simply because they are two parts, created that way for transport. Once it arrives at my grand niece’s home, I will put them together and they will fit tight. Really tight. I’ll post another few shots once it has been assembled.

Before PicsThese are the before shots… sorry about the quality of the pictures. But it does give you an idea of what I started with. I did a coat of primer and realized that it wasn’t going to be the optimum solution, so I opted to cover the box with something that resembled siding. I came up with the idea of using bead board, the kind that comes in 4′ x 8′ panels. All I needed to do is turn it sideways… and viola!, instant siding.

Siding House2Here are some shots of the process… and yes, the Kid was dutifully helping (adding trim to the doors). Looks great!

There were a lot of steps to the process and not sure exactly which ones happened first, so I’ll just post a bunch of the photos…

DSCN1434I added a drawer at the bottom, to hold odds and ends. Modified a drawer rescued from another dresser to fit, added small stoppers to keep the drawer from hitting the back and possibly knocking it off.

DSCN1456 DSCN1457 The remaining space was divided in half and added shelves; one above the drawer and one in the middle.

You can see how badly the primer was doing on this particular surface. Anytime you would touch it, the primer would scrape right off.

On the inside, I did do several more coats of primer and then a couple of coats of paint. I hope that it withstands the play it will get.

Next step was building the “attic”. It was taking shape as a ‘house, but needed just a little more to really do the trick. That’s when I came up with the idea of having an attic. Also allows for a little more play area.

DSCN1455 DSCN1454 DSCN1459 DSCN1458  I added the two vertical pieces on either side to keep it stable as it sat on top of the house. With just a tiny bit of sanding, it will go on with some strength, so there isn’t any danger in it falling off or being pulled off. Also why I opted to not photograph it with the attic in place.

I used actual shingles on the attic, cutting them down to appropriate size and nailed them on. Small wood pieces were painted white to be the trim.

DSCN1468For ease in working on this monstrosity, I added wheels. Made is so much easier to move around. All the layers were starting to add real weight to this thing.

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DSCN1436I built the front door in layers. I decided that rather than put handles on the doors to open it, I would place a front door on it. Made it feel more like a dollhouse. And if things got messy, my niece could just close the doors until she had time to straighten things up.

DSCN1437I found this little door knocker at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. I used this knob I had and spray painted them both the same color silver.

I stumbled on all the colors, simply based on what was available. The outside was painted gray because I had nearly a full gallon of it. I like the way it turned out. The door, painted blue, because I had two full cans of blue spray paint. 🙂

DSCN1505I created little windows for the house, spray painted white. I had thought about putting some sort of photo behind each one, but couldn’t come up with anything that I really like. My last ditch effort was to put a photo of mini-blinds, but didn’t like that idea either.

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So they just went on with nothing. I did create little windows boxes for the front two windows, also painted blue. Added some miniature flowers in purple.

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DSCN1498Okay, almost done. I added some vinyl tiles to one level and created a checkerboard pattern in red and white for the bottom level. I covered it with a large piece of plexi used to diffuse florescent lighting. I found a piece at Home Depot that had a crack at one end, but a piece large enough remained. The wonderful folks at Home Depot gave it to me free of charge. Gave the flooring an unique look.

Short of that, the doll house was complete. I added the stove, refrigerator and sink unit I blogged about earlier. Added a small storage unit and made a simple bed for the upper floor. And with that, the project was complete. I’ll let the photos do the talking:

 

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And some photos of the interior:

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Here are a few more close up photos of the inside:

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DSCN1503And with that, this long project draws to a close. I think that we will deliver this in the next day or so. And then I can work on mine! Although mine will be done in a much longer time frame. No hurry to get it done, ya know!

I hope you enjoyed this and thank you for stopping to take a look. Will post more photos after it is delivered.

And keep making beautiful stuff, just for the sake of it!

julie

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