More Pink (And A Little More Room In The Garage)

Wow! Have I been a busy little creator. I think I have said this a few times, but just for edification, I’ll say it again. I am not starting anything new until I make a significant dent in the projects I have started. And boy have I been getting things done. 🙂

Here’s one of the latest. Just finished loading the ads on CraigsList – I just LOVE the CraigsList community in Kansas City! I hope to get it sold (along with a lot of other stuff) so that I can get the garage cleared out. The end result has been identified as something special and I am determined to get to that point. Until I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, I am not going to announce it to the world. Just yet.

So, as you may know, I am big on restoring and upcycling old furniture. I stick (generally) to the well built pieces of furniture from about the time span of the forties to the sixties or so. They really built furniture to last using quality components – these things should last just about forever! The only bad thing is the style may not.

I run an ad on CraigsList almost constantly looking for parts to restore old furniture – like drawer glides and tracks – sometimes the embellishments and sometimes its feet or whole drawers. Sometimes its something as simple as a back or a matching pull. I have carefully worded the ad to say that I am happy to help make space in a garage or basement or give an old piece of furniture new life and to give the owners a little less clutter in their lives. It has netted me some great pieces.

Like this set:2015-01-27 14.09.49Who among us remembers the ever popular blonde furniture? I do… I remember at least three sets in my family alone. This set which had been sitting in a basement and then moved to a garage, had been unused for some time. It also included a head- and foot-board:

2015-01-27 14.14.27Yes, this set had been loved by someone. 🙂 And it had seen better days. Even after getting to my garage it took awhile for me to get to work on it. But once we did, it was smooth sailing. Mostly.

So, the dresser had a missing drawer – completely gone – and a second one that had been reduced to just the drawer front. We opted to take the head- and foot-board just to serve as replacement fronts for the missing drawers. I normally don’t do the headboards as most people (at least those I know) don’t. But as we set about to work on the dresser, it quickly became evident that this would be way more work than it would be worth. So, The Kid opted to cut it down to just three drawers – a sort of mini chest of drawers.DSCN3135He kind of likes to work alone, just listening to music, so I didn’t get a whole lot of photos. 😦 But basically, he took off the top, cut just to the right of the center support on all the drawers; then removed all the supporting pieces from the right side and re-attached it. Then cut down the kick plate and added a back. While he was cutting down the top, I worked on the drawer fronts. The curved pieces were held in place with just two staples and a dab of glue, so they came off easily.

DSCN3155The curves almost touch in the center, but not quite; turned out pretty cool if you ask me. I used the shade of paint of the drawer beneath to come up and paint the curves, likewise brought the color of the drawer above the curve down. Turned out pretty neat.

Okay, here is the before:

2015-01-27 14.09.49And the after:

2015-03-20 14.33.48Nice, right? I can never get enough of this pink color scheme either. I have no doubt these will sell quickly. The head- and foot-board are being painted the same blush pink as the cabinets and will be offered to whomever purchases the dressers. I wanted to try my hand at something unique for them, but I am coming up blank. I half jokingly told my son that I wanted sprinkle pink glitter all over the wet paint, but he gave me “that” look. You know that look… the one that says he thinks his mom has gone off the deep end! Ha!

Here are a few more photos for your enjoyment:

2015-03-20 14.34.35 2015-03-20 14.34.24 2015-03-20 14.34.16 2015-03-20 14.34.07 2015-03-20 14.33.58Lots more things on the verge of being done. This has been some busy days and I am looking forward to all the upcoming posts. Hope you are too!

julie

Working for a Livin’…

So, maybe I forgot to mention, but I am currently not working. As some of you may know (or not), I have a full time job that I usually do as a nine-to-five. I finished my contract the week before Thanksgiving, so, I have had more time than usual to work on projects.

A week before, me and The Kid had put the final touches on five projects. And we both took a well deserved break. In fact, we went to the movies three days in a row. And that’s unusual for us, we’re generally home based kind of people.

But, we’ve picked up several pieces and once again, we’re up to our elbows in furniture again. Let me give you a quick rundown of in-process projects:

Number One: We ran across a beautiful nine drawer dresser at a second hand shop. What I have found lately, is people want the tall chest of drawers and not the long style. But in looking at this piece, what I hoped to do was separate the single piece into two pieces.

Dresser with Dotted Lines

Also, I have been working on a little project of my own. I picked up a sweet little wood children’s desk and am transforming it into a vanity.

DSCN2852I had a mirror left over from somewhere and I am lowering the middle ‘pencil drawer’ down, to create the look of a vanity. Its been kind of fun. The whole thing needs some serious TLC, this thing has been used to almost death! But once this gets its bumps sanded out and the typical pick ombré paint style, this is going to be sweet!

Third project is this beautiful buffet. Well, it isn’t beautiful now, but it has the best bones. Some little person(s) had a great time pasting stickers and letters all over it.

photo 2I “almost” didn’t get a before picture. I had it sitting on its top to protect it from any dings or gouges just from being in the garage.

This is one of those pieces that I can envision well, and would love to keep it, but since the house really cannot take one more piece of furniture, I am going to paint it in the same colors as the little 2 drawer dresser that I did a while back:

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Number Four: DSCN2903I picked these headboards (footboards?) a while back. In fact, at one point in trying to clear the garage, I couldn’t give these away. I just had too much to do at the time, but now, with a little time, this is going to be really cool.

Number Five: DSCN2859The easiest and quickest project, this one is already done. A couple of coats of my trademark “blush pink” and this one was done.

Number Six:

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Not sure what I am going to do with this. I got this in an auction, initially thinking I would use it in my house, but now I’m not so sure. I got it into my head that I would do the blue and natural combination, but The Kid pointed out that it was in pretty condition already. I did some veneer repair and it might be possible to just strip it and then restain it. Guess time will tell.

Number Seven:

This was a quickie project, one I have wanted to do for a while. When sewing (yeah, can you believe how long its been since I had a chance to do any sewing?), I like to do scrap piecing but this always requires many trips to an iron. It would make things so much easier if I had a small ironing surface next to me.

A while back (a really long way back) I had purchased an ironing “set” – an iron storage bag, an ironing board cover and a table mat – all in the same cheerful fabric. The ironing board cover was short lived and the other two pieces went into a cabinet. Recent rummaging uncovered the table top mat and my brain immediately to the television trays that we have and how there is a whole set not being used in the basement.

Long story short:

DSCN2885And I actually carved out a little time to sew Sunday morning and it really came in handy. And if I need the space, it is still collapsible and can easy be store out of the way.

Things have been going out the front door almost faster than we can complete projects. Its great! 🙂

julie

Still Keeping Busy at Work! But Getting Some Things Done at Home…

This past weekend was interrupted by a request from The Kid to go ‘abandoned house hunting’. Seems he has been collecting a few military surplus items and really wanted to go camping, but now with the overnight temperatures falling down to the 40’s, I am thinking it is a tad too cold for overnight. As a compromise, we stayed in a 4 star hotel! Now, that’s my kind of camping!

This hunting trip was unusually disappointing… most of the homes we ran across had been abandoned some time ago, some were even a little too scary to go into… the biggest thing I worry about is having the floor give way on us as we explore.  We did stumble onto one house that had their tornado shelter in amazingly good condition, although it seems that it had already been scavenged. It was nice to spend some one on one time with my teenager, though, and he did most of the driving.

Short of that, there wasn’t much time for anything else. I did manage to coerce some small things out of the Kid in order to be able to justify the trip, like this wonderful installation in the garage.

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We found the cable kits at IKEA last weekend and I picked up a couple just because I knew they would come in handy somewhere. And here it was! I am still stomping my feet to get everyone to put tools away after using now that we’ve completed the garage makeover, and I figure this might just make it a little bit easier. If you can just reach over and hang something, that has to be easier, right?

We made the first attempt at placing beadboard into fronts of the cabinet doors for the new cabinet in my sewing/crafting room, but sadly, it just didn’t work well. The beadboard comes in these huge sheets and it was just too thick to a) get good adhesion and b) look nice. Thankfully, it was easy to pull the pieces off and clean up what little glue was left behind.

I found a faux beadboard wallpaper at Home Depot (online) so, now am waiting its arrival for ‘take 2’. This is what the online ad looks like, so I am hopeful.

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This entire wall of cabinets already in the room have beadboard fronts, so I want this new cabinet to match. (BTW, those cabinets store 95% of my fabric stash, most still on the original fabric bolt). I love that I was able to do this when we built this house.

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I have also been slowly working on the two Singer featherweight sewing machines I bought via eBay. I am combining the best of the two into one working on with its beautiful bentwood case restored and varnished and poly’ed. Very close to having those done as well. I doubt that I will sew with it, what with the four other computerized machines I have, but I just love the design and simplicity of the machines and wanted to have one. Who knows, maybe after the apocalypse, it will come in handy!

Two smaller things I was able to get done were more decorations for the sewing room. One is an “accidental” collection of sewing machine feet, some from my mother’s sewing machine, some from my machines and some that came with the the recent featherweights that I recently purchased. Some of them are so intricate that they needed to be displayed. So here they are:

photo 1I love the variety of these and most of them I have no idea what they are used for. I think the one in the upper right corner was used for making/sewing ruffles.

And the next one is something that surprised me, but these are the bobbins for the older featherweight machines. I just loved the idea! So, yes, I had to go find more. 🙂

photoOkay! Yikes, once I got going I couldn’t stop! LOL. That’s enough for today, much to do this week in preparation for this weekend.

julie

Tale of Four Victrolas, Part Red

So, with the last post, I began telling you about four old Victrola cabinets that I picked up for free from CraigsList. I showed you the first (along with a purple vanity makeover) and here is the second Victrola cabinet.

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Technically, this cabinet isn’t a Victrola, but the brand name is Cecilian. Personally, I’ve never heard of that brand, so out of convenience, I will just refer to as a Victrola cabinet. 🙂 This one is the one of the left in the picture above.

This next cabinet was destined for the same treatment as the turquoise one, until it hit me one day. I have a little area of the dining room table where I do bills and mail. I have, for some time, been trying to get the dining room table cleared, so that we could, oh, I dunno, eat dinner there?

So, I opted to keep this one and turned it into a mail organization station. I think it was kind of inevitable, considering that it was already painted the perfect red (remember how much I love red?)… which, I assure you was coincidental.

This particular cabinet started out much like the last. The body was in need of some real reconstruction, but the top was in pretty good shape. So, the body was primed, sanded and painted and the top got the customary two coats of walnut stain (with a light sanding in between) and then two coats of polyurethane. Once I decided to keep this one, I opted for some really nice hardware (read: paid some real money!) and got just the right look.

The inside was finished, again, much the same way as the first. Hate to be redundant because I am feeling like I am starting to sound like a broken record, but the inside was so nicely preserved that really a good wipe down with cloth and then a very light coat of poly to seal it all.

DSCN2397Then, with the help of my handy assistant, we installed two metal rods to hang folders in the open side. It was really very easy and inexpensive. The 5 foot steel rod was a mere two and a half dollars at The HomeDepot and The Kid was able to cut them easily and a couple of drilled holes and they were installed. I had this little pencil holder gadget from something I had taken apart in the past, and I thought it was the perfect finishing piece to keep a pen or two handy.

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The other side, I left without any changes (I think this was where the records were kept when it was a music player), so I can keep whatever I need close at hand.

DSCN2398So, after completing it, it was a matter of pushing it into place and loading it up. I know that I have a habit of filling up a space (and then some!) and I am worried this is a little much for the space. I’d like to think that if it helps me organize the space, then it should be okay. What do you think?

DSCN2396So, originally when I thought that the piece would be for sale, I painted a matching mirror. If you recall, I picked up three of these mirrors from the Penney’s Outlet store for a pittance and the idea was to include one with each of the cabinets.

I definitely don’t have space for a mirror in this room, since this one is pretty much filled with windows. So, I will either include this with something else or sell it by itself. Either way, I love that red! 😉

DSCN2406Okay, now I am down to the last two cabinets. One will require that we build a new lid but I am excited that the Kid and I have the skills to do this. I promise I will take more pictures!

Today was an ‘off’ day, I think that the Kid and me deserved to sleep in late. Right back at it tomorrow though!

julie

 

A New Direction for a Dresser: A Doll Dresser

Finally making some real headway on the myriad of projects that I have been working on. Finished a couple tonight and have a few more that are but details from completing.

This first project described tonight is kind of fun and only time will tell if it is successful in selling. I had seen something similar on Pinterest, but in a smaller scale. The project was to turn a dresser into a doll house/storage.dresser-to-barbie-house-after

This one, like I mentioned, is a smaller scale, intended for Barbie size or 1:6 scale. It has been a while since I’ve been around little girls to really know just how popular Barbie and her friends still are, but my own experience with my grand-nieces (ages 6 & 10) is that the American Girl dolls have taken a solid lead in little girls’ favorite playthings.

I spent a few weeks over the summer sewing clothes and bed linens for these adorable 18″ dolls. I found that I really liked sewing clothes for this size much more than the 11″ doll size. Being larger in size, they are easier to piece and they have a much nicer flow/hang on the doll. And the girls (my grandnieces) absolutely loved them. I think that being larger makes them much easier to dress and play with.

So, as I said, the project was intended to be a dresser converted into a doll house. Something like this photo. So, I started looking for dressers that might work. I knew it would have to be a bit bigger than most of the dressers that I’ve been working with, but didn’t want to go too big, like a entertainment center. After all, it was supposed to be for a little girl/girls and didn’t want to make the top half of it unreachable.Grandview MO

And then as fate may have it, I stumbled across the posting for this dresser, ready for a transformation because it was already missing a drawer. But overall, it was a beautiful piece of furniture and I wouldn’t feel bad for transforming it by ripping most of its interior out of it.

Happily, the drawer above them missing one was the same size and fit into the opening. Then it was a matter of sawing out the horizontal supports and sanding it done nice and evenly. DSCN0948

Here is where my inability to take enough pictures kicks in. I think I get on a roll with working on a project and just forget to stop occasionally and take a photo! But I built a large box out of a decent plywood to fit into the remaining space. This is easier said than done. It took a few attempts to get it just right and even at that I had some space at the top. But rather than rebuild the whole thing (I was running out of wood), I opted to leave it and just put a trim piece around the edge. I really like how it turned out.  AG Doll Dresser3

The shelf sits at 22 inches, which is about 4 inches higher than the height of the dolls. That left an awkward size at the top, but wanted at least one space that reflected an accurate height for the dolls. In hindsight, I probably should have removed the bottom drawer, but did like the concept of having it there to store the myriad pieces that come with playing with dolls.

Next order of business was a couple of coats of primer, considering that this was a very dark finish, followed by two coats of pale pink. The inner trim around the box and the interior was finished with a off-white color, something that would be very neutral for the future owner to be able to decorate. A nice blank canvas.AG Doll Dresser

For the pictures, though, I wanted to be able to accurately depict the height of the space. Since I don’t have any of this scale doll furniture (I only have one knock-off doll for clothes fittings and a great little clothes rack I made), I went with the second best idea, props. Searched Google for the right image of kitchen furniture and scaled it for the 1:3 ration of the dolls and printed it out. I then glued it onto poster board and set it aside to let the glue dry. I also printed out some checkerboard in black and white to represent the floor. Looks pretty cool, huh?AG Doll Dresser2

I’ve been watching a new series on Netflix (thank God for Netflix!!), so I opted to watch while I sewed. easy enough to create a cut little quilt, pillow and sheet ensemble for the cardboard box bed with headboard. I think the top section will make excellent place to store a doll or two.

Added ceramic handles to the drawer and this piece is ready for some little girl to enjoy this Christmas. So you don’t have to scroll back and forth to compare, here is a handy ‘before & after’ photo:

Doll Dresser B&A

I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out… and I hope at least one other person thinks so too (so they buy it!).

Thanks for stopping by and Happy Crafting Y’All!

julie

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