Did I Really Make That?

There is no better feeling than finishing a project, looking it over and being completely satisfied with the outcome.  Sometimes when I create things, my vision does not quite get translated as it is seen in my head.  Not so with this cabinet.  It’s EXACTLY as I envisioned it in my head and I couldn’t be happier.

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Remember this old, ratty cabinet?  Here it is all sanded and ready for a make over.  At first, I thought I would paint it yellow.  I love the color yellow.  It’s so happy, you know?  But when I thought about the tin plates with it, I decided to go with a darker color, knowing that the dark color would really make the tin pieces pop.  And, boy do they!

So, I painted it a medium blue and used dark wax to age it a bit.  I am definitely going for a more vintage/shabby look in my new place.  Then I went to work on the tin.  You can see more about that here.

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As I’ve said, the big question was how to glue the panels on so they would stay permanently.  After much debate, and I mean MUCH debate, my father decided that a mystery adhesive that he used on his tile in my bathroom would work great.  Little did I know the amount of clamping and swearing that would go into attaching these things!

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It was worth every minute of hard work.  Even my parents are in love with this piece.  And a very kind, old friend of mine told me I should be selling these.  LOL!  That was the sweetest thing to say to me and I am humbled by such a compliment.  I will definitely be proud to show off this lovely to anyone who will see it!

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Haven’t decided what is next yet.  I’m taking a bunch of stuff out of storage this weekend, so I’ll be weeding through the boxes of crap to see what is there.  I think I might need to do a craft supply purge soon…

 

 


 

Nothing Finished…

I hate it when things are unfinished.  I have several projects that are going right now and none of them are finished.  I really don’t like to share unfinished projects, but I don’t have anything else to post at this point.  So, here goes…

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The cabinet is coming along nicely.  I finished the second panel and one of the side panels over the weekend.  I also purchased some inexpensive metal knobs for the doors and drawer.  I’m so excited about this and cannot wait to see it all finished.  As usual, there is a big debate as to how to attach the panels.  I want to just glue them on, but my father says that they won’t stay on.  We have debated everything from adding a small molding around the edges to place screws within the pattern.  I’m not liking any of the options at this point, so we are doing 20140406_154742some more research.  Hopefully we will have some kind of conclusion by this weekend, but who knows.

In the meantime, I have spent a lot of time baking and crocheting.   Back in February, I started a project for my dining room table.  I didn’t expect it to go as quickly as it did, since it looked like this when I started…

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It seemed like it would take FOREVER to complete it, but to my surprise, I finished it last weekend.  It’s exactly as I envisioned it.  It hasn’t been blocked yet, so it’s curling on the edges in the photo.  I am the world’s worst ironer, so I’ve asked my mom to block it for me.  She and my dad were busy digging a giant hole in the grass to find their septic tank lid (they’re having it serviced), so I didn’t want to bug her.  I can’t wait to see it all blocked out, though.  It’s so dang pretty!1396402905876

Funny thing is that now that it’s finished, I’m thinking I might use it on the above cabinet instead of the kitchen table.  During the week, I found an amazing pattern on Red Heart for some lovely place mat
s.  I might make a couple of those and use this on the kitchen cabinet.  We’ll have to see when I’m actually arranging my apartment.

Crocheting is something I do at night after work, on my lunch break and during my free time.  I find it relaxing.  I’ve been crocheting since I was about 5 years old, so it’s really a part of who I am now.  Plus, with all of my crafting supplies boxed up in the garage, it’s the only craft I can do without making a giant mess or having to dig to find supplies.  Ha!

I’ve decided that I want to make a bedspread to match my new vintage style furniture.  I’ve looked at tons of patterns, but my mom found the most perfect one ever!  She actually was looking for a pattern for her spare bedroom.  She wants to refurbish the room I am staying in after I leave.  Anyway, when I saw the pattern, and I saw the beginnings of what she was making, I just had to make one for myself.  It’s kind of weird because I feel like I’m being a big copycat, but the pattern is so beautiful I just couldn’t resist.

20140403_171824To make my life easy, I decided to invest in all of the crochet thread at one time.  Although white crochet thread is readily available, if you’ve ever crocheted or knitted a project you know, the color and density of the thread/yarn can change with each batch that is made.  I’m sure that white is white, but believe me, not all whites are equal.

So here’s my GIANT box of 12 jumbo rolls of Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread.  That’s 21 pounds of crochet thread!  Each one of these puppy’s will make 44 motifs.  Since I need to make 462 of them, I need to have a lot of thread.  1396578875370

The process to make just one motif is long and a bit tedious.  However, it will be so worth it in the end.  Of course, the end is probably something 20140406_191026like a year or two away, but I’m okay with that.  Sometimes the best things in life come with time.  It will definitely be a treasured piece once it’s finished and an heirloom at that.  I just wish I had a girl to pass it on to.  Ha!  Maybe one of my sons will give me a grand-daughter…

For now, I will enjoy the process…

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Cabinet

Well, I’m here at work posting from my Kindle because my computer is on the Fritz.  I messed with it for 40 minutes before finally giving up and calling IT. Now they are running multitudes of virus scans and I’m out a computer for a while.  Sometimes I really hate technology!

Happily, using was able to upload my pictures from the weekend to WordPress via my phone app. Sometimes I love technology. LOL!

So, I would worked on the kitchen cabinet this weekend.  My parents were busy with water heaters and cement, so I was on my own.  Since I was unable to trim the other tin blank without my dad’s help, I decided to go ahead and paint the cabinet.

wpid-20140322_112029.jpgwpid-20140322_112020.jpgHere is the cabinet I have been speaking of. Don’t ask me why I love it so much, I just do.  And remember how I said there were two of them but I only have one?  Well, my husband told me this weekend that there are indeed two of them!  I don’t even remember this, but apparently the other one is in storage. I was so excited to find that out!

Anyway,  I decided that I wanted to paint this a nice medium blue color to really allow the punched tin panels to pop. I think the darker color around the the bright tin is going to look fabulous.

wpid-20140322_142556.jpgI’ve already spoken about painting with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in my post about the refurbished chairs.  For this project, I used Abusson Blue.  I painted around all of the edges and the top, leaving the front door panels and the side panels unpainted. I want to glue the tin panels directly to the wood.

wpid-20140323_122207.jpgAfter I painted, I began the grueling process of waxing.  I really love the effect that the dark wax gives the furniture, but the process is long and arduous!  It took me about an hour to paint two coats of paint, but it took about 4 hours to get it all waxed!

 

wpid-20140323_120230.jpgI’m really happy with the way it turned out.  I can hardly wait to see the panels installed.

Hopefully next weekend…

Boxes, Punched Tin, and a Surprise Visitor!

This past weekend was full of fun and adventure!  I revisited the boxes I finished painting last weekend.  I wanted to add some fun graphics, but wasn’t really sure how to go about doing it.  My initial thinking was that I would “trace” some things onto a few boxes.  But the more that I looked at the images, the more I realized that would be A LOT of work… and precious time, which I have too little of.  So, I finally decided that I would do a gel medium transfer instead.

First, I printed out a whole bunch of graphics from The Graphics Fairy.  If you have not seen this website before, I encourage you to check it out.  They have the most magnificent graphics for all kinds of projects.  The graphics are all available in reverse, so you can print them and transfer so easily.  Best of all, all of the graphics are FREE!  No kidding!  A virtual treasure trove, I tell you…

20140315_101650I don’t want to have graphics on all of the boxes because I think it will be much too busy.  So, I decided that I would have six boxes in my medium Expedit with graphics.  (There are 16 box spaces in the medium one.)  Once I decided which six graphics I would use, I printed them in reverse on a laser printer and trimmed them very closely.  In all of the image transfer instructions that I read, not one of them told you to do this.  Let me tell you, it makes a huge difference.  The transfer will come out looking a bit like a transparent sticker.  If you don’t trim your image, you will have a lot of gel medium around the edges that will look “milky” for lack of a better word.  I wanted these to look kind of like old advertising boxes not like I had slapped a sticker on them.

Anyway, trimmed images in hand, I chose my various boxes and went to work.  First, you slop on some gel medium.  You can use any type of gel medium, but I wanted a matte finish, so I used Golden Matte Gel Medium.  This is kind of like a paste, so you just paint an nice layer on, like you would with paint.  Brush the medium onto the printed side of the image.  I placed the images onto the box, gel side down of course.  I rolled a brayer over the back side of the image to get all of the bubbles out and to be sure that the image was on the box well.  Be careful during this step.  The wet paper is delicate and can tear easily (don’t ask me how I know this!!).

20140315_141430Allow the gel medium to dry COMPLETELY.  I am always in a hurry to get things done and this is the hardest part for me.  Luckily, it was a hot weekend, so the gel medium dried very quickly.  However, it is recommended to wait for at least 8 hours.  Once the gel is dry, you can start the fun process of removing the paper from the image.  Use water to wet the back side of the paper (the paper is wet in this image).  Rub the wet paper and you will begin to see it rolling off of the image.  I used a rag to do this because I didn’t want to have sore fingers!  Keep rubbing until all of the paper is removed.  Don’t rub too hard, especially around the edges, or you might rub your image right off!  I rubbed all of the paper off, then gave it another good rub to get all of the linty stuff off.  The results are amazing!

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20140315_150328Even my perfectionist father was amazed at the results.  My mother loved them as much as I do.  I told her that is it so good to have something that makes you smile in your home.  These are definitely smile worthy and will make me smile every day!

So, while my parents were debating the best way to add a top coat to the boxes (it’s been quite the debate in our house), I decided that I would start working on my next piece.  One of the pieces that I kept from long ago is a small cabinet.  I use it in my kitchen for extra storage.  There is just never enough cabinet space for all of my cooking goodies.  I adore this piece, but it’s seen better days.  I’ll have a picture of it when I run through the whole refurbishing of it.  Again, I don’t even remember where I purchased it – IKEA, Target… Not sure.  It’s a cheap piece for sure, but one I don’t think I could live without.  As a matter of fact, I had two of them at one time, but I left one for my ex-husband when I moved out.  Dumb move because he just sold it in a garage sale.  **sigh**

20140316_142257Anyway, I decided that I wanted to make this piece look like a pie safe.  Have you ever seen one?  They are so super cool and vintagey (I think I just made up a word!).  Originally these pie safes were just that, a place to keep your pie safe while it was cooling.  They are made with punched tin.  The holes in the tin would allow for air to flow and cool your pies.  Well, I’m not a pie girl, I’m a cake girl actually.  But obviously, I don’t have a purpose for the air flow.  So, I decided that I would just glue the punched tin onto the doors of this cabinet to give it the same look.  Oh my, is it going to be FABULOUS!

Here, my dad is cutting the tin blank down to size.  I ordered tin blanks and patters from Country Cottage online.  This place is great!  They have everything you would need to make your own punched tin.  You can also buy finished pieces from them.  Being the DYI kind of girl, I just ordered the components.  The tin comes all wrapped and super protected with instructions on how to punch and how to age it if you would like!

20140316_153548Because the pattern that I chose came in a smaller size than my door, I had to modify it a bit.  Basically, I just made it a bit longer, and I added a curve at the top and bottom border to match the way the cut out in my door looks.  I used a spray glue to glue the pattern down to the tin because my dad was very worried that it might move if I just taped it.  I think you could just tape it and it would be fine.  But, my dad is always right, so I let him use the spray adhesive.  I taped the tin with the pattern down to a wood plank (we used MDF, but particle board would work as well), and started punching.

20140316_153609If you have ever punched paper while making a card or scrapbook page, you can do this!  It’s exactly the same, except you use an awl and hammer.  The more times you hit the awl, the larger the hole becomes.  I have to say, though, that my arm and fingers were tired after all of this punching!  But the results are TOTALLY worth it!

2014-03-16Isn’t it beautiful?  I have three other panels to finish before I can start the painting and finishing.  I’ll have one in each door and one on each side (with a different design).  I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to get it done.

After we finished playing outside, we discovered that we had a not so little visitor come up to our back door.

20140315_151013It’s kind of hard to see in this picture, but I wasn’t going to get too close!  Coiled up on the left side of the image is a nice rattle snake!  This thing was rattling away right outside of our back door!  Funny thing is, my cat, Freddy, had been staring out the door all morning very intently.  We couldn’t figure out what he was looking at.  I thought it must be some flying bug that had interested him, but in hindsight, I think he saw this ugly thing under some of the patio furniture.  I guess we should pay more attention to what the cats are looking at.

Anyway, after about ten minutes of stewing and grumbling about what we were going to do about this snake, my dad took a shovel and tried to kill it.  Because the snake was all curled up, he couldn’t get to him.  So, my dad, being the brave man that he is, ran around the side of the house and came up behind it.  He… well, I think the picture speaks for itself…2014-03-15

My dad is the bravest man I know.  Even in this state, it was still spitting venom!  After the melee, my mom counted the rattles… 5.  This was a six year old snake.  Yuck!  Took a while to calm down after that adventure!

Progress on the Boxes

It was a beautiful weekend here in Southern California.  There was a nice breeze, but it was a little hot for my taste.  However, it did make for some lovely painting weather.  I’m getting a little worried that I won’t be able to finish all of my painting projects before it gets REALLY hot!  For now, I’ll just chip away at the rather long list…

20140308_100643I own several IKEA Expedits… 3 to be exact.  They are great for storing lots of crafting junk!  I have A LOT of crafting junk!  Two of my Expedits hold almost all of my crafting junk – the larger two.  The smaller one I use on its side as a TV stand (which is PERFECT, actually).

The only problem that I have with the Expedits is that they ALWAYS look messy.  No matter how much I try to organize them and keep them neat, they still just look like I’m storing a pile of junk (which I am, but I don’t necessarily want people to see that).  IKEA sells boxes and doors for the 12×12 slots, but the nice ones are kind of expensive when you consider I need to have 36 boxes/doors.  I did purchase some crappy boxes for $6, but they fold flat and have no support on the bottom – a really BAD idea for a box full of glitter containers (trust me!).

While debating this problem with my parents, they said that they could make wooden boxes for me to use.  I balked at the idea, knowing how much work would be involved.  However, they insisted, and even began making them before I knew it!  20140308_105928

At first, I thought I would just leave them natural, which is the same color as all of my Expedits.  But then, I decided it would be fun to stain them, whitewash them, and maybe even stencil on them.  I also decided, in the process, that I would paint all of my Expedits to go with the more vintagey/shabby chic/steam punk/junk style that I’m going for.  Am I a sucker, or what?

So, last weekend, I began to tackle the humungous task of staining/whitewashing the boxes.  I began by sanding all of the boxes.  THANK GOD my father had a sander because doing this by hand would have SUCKED!

20140308_114554Next was the beginning of the fun – staining!  If you have never stained wood before, let me tell you, it is a messy process!  Despite wearing gloves, I had it all over my arms, my clothes and even in my hair and on my face!  Of course, I am a crazy crafter, so that was bound to happen.

I used water based stain because I wanted to have a bit of a learning curve.  Plus, the colors that I wanted were all in water based stain.  But really, oil based stain is really stinky and can be hard to work with.  Luckily, I’m not very picky and I wasn’t looking for that perfectly stained wood look (to my father’s horror).  I think this whole process has just about put my father under!  He is a total perfectionist and has no understanding of my “sloppy,” non-perfect ways.  I’m more of a messy, slop it on kind of girl.  20140308_115924

Anyway, I watered down the colors a bit because I really wanted to have a kind of used look to the boxes.  As you can see in the picture, the colors were very vibrant (which I loved), but it just wasn’t the look I was going for.  So, I slopped some water onto the wood, painted some stain on, then wiped it off almost immediately.

The result was still darker than I wanted, believe it or not.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE how the stain picked up all of the beautiful wood grain, but they are just darker than I would have hoped for.  No worries.  That’s where the whitewashing came in.

20140308_134615Using Annie Sloan’s Old White Chalk Paint, I made a really watery paint by adding water.  I didn’t want to dump the paint out of the can because I wasn’t sure how much I would use.  So, I just painted a nice slick of water onto the dry, stained boxes, put a very small amount of paint on my brush and went to town.

Whitewashing is a lot like staining, only with paint.  I would paint on the whitewash, then use a rag to wipe it all off.  I know that sounds crazy, but it’s really the process.  It’s really great when your rag gets all sopping wet with white wash and you can use it the kind of go over some of the spots you missed.  I loved this process, even with my dad making faces behind me.

After hours of sanding, staining, painting and waiting for things to dry, I was able to complete all 16 boxes for my medium sized Expedit.  We still have 20 more to go, but my parents are still building those, so it will be a while before I start working on those.

20140309_15074820140308_161752I’m super happy with the way they turned out.  I LOVE the fact that they are not all the same color or texture.  Next week, I plan on stenciling/transferring images onto them.  Then I will seal them with a top coat for protection from dirty fingers!  I’ve already printed about a hundred and one images to pick from!

Ta ta for now…

California Rain

It rained all weekend this past weekend.  I love the rain, but it definitely stopped me from doing anything much.  I did get some baking done… 2 loafs of french bread, some yummy granola, and the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made.  Otherwise, it was an inside kind of weekend with a lot of crocheting.

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I’ve taken on the task of making a large “buffet scarf” for the center of my kitchen table.  This is made using very small thread, as you can see.  It’s a great evening project to do while I’m watching TV.  This is what the pattern looks like:

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This is only half of the pattern.  It will have a duplicate peacock facing this one on the opposite side.  I just love it and knew that I had to make it the moment I saw it on this book cover.  There are some other fun patterns in this book, like bedspreads and doilies, but this is the reason that I bought it.

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As you can see, it will be very slow going…

The Chairs

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As promised, here is my post about the chairs that I purchased.  I bought them at The Salvation Army store.  As soon as I saw them, I knew they were exactly what I was looking for for my kitchen table.  The round backs will be perfect with the round table when the leafs are pulled out.  Here is a picture of the un-restored table.

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Only one leaf is put up in this photo.  I purchased this at the Goodwill for only $35!  It’s in almost perfect condition.  I just need to refinish the top of it because the finish is a bit sticky and worn down.  Otherwise, I think I’m going to leave this one as is.  But back to the chairs…

Like I said, I got them at The Salvation Army store.  There were 3 chairs to the set, but I only needed two.  So, I took the two that I wanted and left the last one at the store.  Total cost – $12.50 for both chairs.  Score!  Obviously, they are not the right color.  I never did get a photo of the chairs with the ugly cushions on them, but this is what the original cushions looked like.

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They probably weren’t that bad in their heyday, but they were pretty beat down by the time I got to them.  So, first I painted the chairs with Annie Sloan’s Old White.

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I had to use 2 coats because I didn’t really want too much of the dark brown color to show through.  The beauty of this paint is that you don’t have to be really careful with it.  It’s actually better if you kind of slop it on.  Once it’s dry and you start to wax it, you get some really cool effects.  After I let the paint dry overnight, I used Annie Sloan’s Soft Wax and Dark Wax on both chairs.

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You can see here the difference between the waxed paint and the non-waxed paint. It really darkens it up with a nice aged look.  The key really is to be sure that you work in small areas and use a clean cloth to buff the waxed area once you’ve applied the wax.

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The chair on the right is waxed.  The chair on the left is not.  It takes some time and some patience, but it is so worth it in the end.  Believe it or not, the color turned out to be almost exactly like the table legs!  It’s like they were meant to go together.  After I was done waxing, and allowing them to cure for a while (a week, I think), I was ready to tackle the chair cushions.

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Believe it or not, I found this fabric at Joann’s over a year ago.  I didn’t buy it then, but took a picture of it for color reference.  I LOVE the fabric, but didn’t think I would actually get to use it on anything.  When I bought these chairs, I immediately went on a hunt for this fabric.  I still had the photo in my phone and I knew this is what I wanted.  To my shock and surprise, Joann’s still had it in stock – only 5 yards left!  I ran down and bought a yard and half.  It was on sale for $13.49 a yard AND I had a 20% off your entire purchase coupon. Score again!

My mother helped me a lot with this portion.  If you know me at all, you know that the sound of a sewing machine gives me hives.  All things sewing freak me out.  I can crochet, knit, embroider, cross stitch, and do just about any needle craft.  But fabric and sewing really freak me out!  Crazy, huh?  Well, we didn’t sew this, but I was so worried that I would mess up this beautiful fabric that I really needed my mom’s help!  So, she cut the fabric for me into the shape above.  Then we put the cushion on top…

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… then stapled and glued the crap out of it…

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When we got to this stage, we trimmed the excess fabric and glued it down to the wood.  This will keep it from fraying over time.  All that was left was screwing it back onto the chair.

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Aren’t they beautiful?  I wish I could show you what they look like with the table, but the table is packed in the back of the room where my furniture is stored.  But, trust me.  It’s beautiful.

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(The dark area behind the cushion is a shadow.  It’s not really that dark.)

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Next week I will go over the boxes for the Expedit.  I was exhausted this week, so I didn’t really get to doing anything with them.  Let me know what you think of the chairs!  I would love to read your feedback!