Knobby

I collect things. It could be years, or it could be minutes, but I will eventually use everything I find.  I have bins, lots of bins, they line the shelves and confuse my family.  I imagine I am a magpie. The items appear to be useless, but not to me.  The shape, the color, the material appeals and I stash.  The other day I cracked open the knob bin, and I was off.

First curtain rods. The curtains come together easily, I measure, iron and sew simple panels.  I want to use these cool knobs that were given to me.  I scour my stores and come up with threaded rod and cup hooks.  I hang the curtain on the rod and put two knobs on the end.  I strategically placed cup hooks in the window trim to hold the rod.  I can easily fit the curtain into the crook of the bay window by bending the rod.  I used chain I found in another bin to weigh down the hem.

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I used the rest of the these knobs in my bedroom in the unusable space next to a window and beside a closet to hang necklaces. I used scrap piece of wood (stretcher bar in this case) Using my necklaces as a guide to far apart to make the knobs I then drilled holes and tightened them on.

I replaced the knobs on the closet with the last two to make look a little nicer.

IMG_1435 IMG_1437Next I took a hammer to a hand railing in the kitchen that I have always hated.  Now that the space was opened up it was easier to plan my next move.  Dumping out the remainder of the knobs and sorting through I made a sort of pattern,  and attached them to a length of wood that I cut to fit in the space available.

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I almost used all the knobs, and I got a very excited reaction from The Associate.

Another Aisinine Adventure.

Yesterday I experienced complete cabin fever.  My brain was frozen, and my movement was strained.  I was excelling at sleeping, watching television, and giving into The Associates demands.  She is quite crafty and easily recognized her harried mothers pattern of acquiescence.

My friend Josh called, I reluctantly Facetimed with him and his phone beamed images of large tables and mannequins, and I was up and out the door in minutes. I called my friend Sarah and she was quickly on board.  Her husband soldiered on removing the mom jean wallpaper from their kitchen while I snatched her for what we thought would be an hours excursion.

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We found tables for Sarah within the first 10 minutes of wandering the post apocalyptic Macys.  I had a nagging feeling that someone was going to steal her tables so we rounded back to make sure no body else could have them.  I am pretty sure My Disorder will be thoroughly documented in medical journals soon if it isn’t already.  It is brought on by excessive estate and vintage shopping, and results in adverse reactions like paranoia and overpaying.  A secondary wave is always around the corner when you spy someone else’s name on all the good stuff.  In our case “Erik”  got there first and my anxiety spiked, I did some muttering and was calm again.  Muttering and deep breathing are the official prescription for My Disorder, in case you also suffer.  We were negotiating the price of a large industrial piece.  The price was high, it was massive and it did not break down.

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The manager wasn’t really willing to budge on the price and we were about to leave when our friendly sales lady mentioned that we should see the blue chip room.  The room was quite large and at first glance full of junk but after another turn I began to fixate on red powder coated shelving and pegboard, and guess what?  Yep.

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I have no immediate use for either of these items but they are really nice and would cost a ton to recreate.  We volleyed price quickly realizing that all of us were ridiculously bad at math and had plummeting blood sugar.  The entire staff seemed to be suffering from the same brain freeze/ blood sugar dementia and it took approximately 5 times longer than necessary to pay, only to find that our math was still off by 50 dollars.  We eventually shelled out our cash, and put our outer shells back on to endure the 1 degree weather (feels like -19.)  We hefted table number one and almost fit it in the car.  Sarah ran several miles to Sears to get a screw driver while I devoured a mostly frozen brownie that was in the car.  With brittle fingers we attempted to get the legs off of the table but they weren’t budging.  We dragged the big table back into Macy’s, put the small one in the car and I drove us back to Sarah’s house to gather tools.  After some light nourishment and our common sense restored, we drove two cars back to the mall.

I dragged my pieces from the second floor and Sarah set about taking apart her table with the drill.  Keep in mind that the staff is no longer allowed to touch the objects once they are sold so we were being observed from afar.  I was approached by a fellow customer to help with sizing.  It apparently didn’t faze them that I had both feet planted on the wall and was putting all of my weight onto a wrench to loosen one of many bolts.

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One person asked if we needed help just in time to lift the heaviest part.  I, of course I didn’t take a picture of that one. The Lack of photographic evidence will be especially damning when I go to put it back together and it is one giant jigsaw puzzle.  We laughed a lot, almost cried and froze but we got those bohemoths loaded into the cars.

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Josh- I am not sure whether to curse you or thank you.

P.S. They are still in the car…..

 

A little rusty after summer.

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I have been walking past this for two weeks now on the way to my micro studio.  It is posted on The Associates’ bedroom door as a declaration of some kind.  I mumble “fafarit?” as I meander by each time hoping to decipher it.

Today I got it!!! It reads as follows.

favorite

part of

school

yay

lunch good

eat food B+

Ok,  so we (I mean she is) are a little rusty after all good intentions of reading everyday this summer failed.

Seeing as she needs to read more I wanted to give her a bedside table to keep books.  On possibly every excursion to Ikea I have purchased book ends, but in reality the bookcases in our house are so crammed that there is no need for bookends.  I couldn’t get rid of these, and they screamed for a hack.

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I cut down a scrap piece of beautiful mashed together shreds of wood.

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Look at that quality.

I drilled holes in the bookends so that they could be secured to the “wood.”

This is before

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and this is after she got to it, not what I had in mind….

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Three days of my life that I will never get back were spent Ikea hacking The Associates room. Roughly translated this means I used all the same furniture but rearranged, cut and rebuilt it to look brand new. I was hoping to share pictures with you but she has already destroyed it, maybe next year.

 

 

 

this crazy and that Krazy glue #2 (starburst mirrors)

On a particularly deep dungeon dive I unearthed about five boxes full of discontinued countertop samples. When I have gone that subterranean  I have to use the material because,

1. justify having stored it for 1-12 years

2. and because it is awesome which is why I stored it for 1-12 years.

Krazy glue was looking for some home decor ideas, and technically you could ask your local laminate retailer for their samples and re-create this yourself so off I went.

I bought a good quality round mirror from the craft store and marked out the middle on the back (after placing it face down on a towel)

In my case I had multiple samples of each black finish so I divided them up in groups so they weren’t all grouped together when it was all said and done.

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I built on each layer and went around and around and around.

Gilded Ice Cream Mirror and Minimalist Sunburst Mirror

I made it in colors too.

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“the runt in a large family of pigs”

I am still reeling from the harsh reality. The Teenager is going to *&^%$ high school. They basically pluck them from the purgatory that is middle school and drop them into a giant maze with no school supplies! I may be over reacting, because she was fine with it despite her obvious genetic love for writing implements and notebooks.

sorry trying to think and she is listening to most horrific “music”  the “artist” is apparently turnt.  (see urban dictionary if you are as clueless as I am)

Anyway..

The Associate has a school supply list and being efficient, I first wrote it down, cursed and then copied and pasted it to my phone.  full circle. So we head out to The Big Box store that we favor, where everyone wears red, and in the short drive the The Associate is already in mini corporate lawyer mode.

TA- “So, if I am good in the store you will buy me a toy.”

me- “Is that a question or a statement?”

TA- “Both”

me- “Your good, but no. We are getting what we need today not what we want.”  (ongoing theme, I won’t bore you with the rest of this banter)

I realize that we haven’t been here in quite a while and pile on paper goods to create the perfect conditions for an avalanche.

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After the nice staff backed us out of the perfect storm we got down to the nitty-gritty.

TA- “mom, why do we need ziploc bags for school?

Me- “maybe so you can keep everything organized”

TA- “why do the boys need to bring gallon sized and the girls need quart sized?

Me- hmmmmm  “what else do you need?”

I make some attempts at good momming by having her check the prices, and compare products. This tactic also helps when she wants to bring home these types of “things.”

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The entire experience is fun except for her constant attempts to get more of everything. Like 12 pink erasers which I am pretty sure last forever already, and two rulers. Each fresh attempt at additional consumerism makes me wonder why she feels like she will never have enough. This isn’t new, just the other day she started pouring herself two glasses of milk at a time. She is in fact the smallest member of the family and almost always wants the most.

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We make it out alive, after I buckled and bought her one toy. Actually I am still not sure if I buckled or she Jedi mind tricked me. The Teenager oohhs and ahhhs over her school goodies.

Me- “I think that the TA was the youngest of 9 in her last life and never got enough porrage.”

TT- “you mean the runt of a large family of pigs.”

 

 

 

We are a Colony……

I know I am inclined to gush about my hometown Cleveland Heights, most of the time it is because of all the amazing experiences our far undervalued town has to offer. Today I am extolling its value based solely on its souls. A diverse and united bunch.

We experienced a great tragedy when one of our local business owners and community leaders was brutally slain in a robbery attempt. My first thought was for his family, friends and employees and then I thought about our community that is centered around these hardworking small businesses.  I was afraid we would see another wave of people fleeing to the outer ring suburbs, but we experienced the absolute opposite.

Every Tuesday for the last 7 years we have gathered at The Colony for girl’s night.  Ups, downs, rights, and lefts have been sorted and unconditional support has been provided. The unofficial leader of our pack, Brady, sketched an amazing design that very night and called on me to help.  We had to make hasty decisions and get started asap.  Flying by the seat of our pants, we set out to sell about 200 shirts and have ended up selling WAY more (the final tally has not been made)

Another fundraising effort rose from the ashes and raised at least 50,000 dollars for the employees lost wages, and a memorial fund was setup to get the doors open again. A dynamic brother and sister team organized a family fun cookout, while other businesses all over in different districts donated food, merchandise and services to raise funds for the people touched most by our collective tragedy.

The employees of The Colony, now our friends after so many years stepped up and toiled through their grief to save the place they work and love. The determination and tenacity of these fine young men and women is awe-inspiring.

Another friend, Shari championed a random acts of kindness campaign in honor of the departed, who gave generously to friends in need.  The people of Cleveland heights came out in droves to join together and celebrate a life and make sure we keep moving forward.  Exactly three weeks ago we suffered a huge loss. Today we are stronger, more united, and clad in matching t-shirts.

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Just like that its summer.

I woke up yesterday morning with a vague sense of dread. It’s summer. Don’t get me wrong I love summer, but what in the bleep am I going to do with The Associate. I momentarily dream of a camp that starts as soon as school ends and goes until the first day of school.  I don’t really want this but a girl can dream. The loss of my days is a blow especially because I spent a lot of the last days of freedom stupidly spring cleaning instead of making stuff.

This morning I awoke to The Associate screaming “I want to go for a run!!!!,” and just like that its summer.

me-  Sooo? Running huh?

TA- yep

me- Are we morning people now?

TA- yep

me- (In an attempt to be supportive) High five!  (deep sigh)

A little background is necessary. This Associate of mine is a night owl, some nights she is still playing as we go to sleep at MIDNIGHT! In the good morning (that’s what she used to call the morning) for school I wake her up at least 4 times, eventually dressing her as she lies limp. So, now to clarify, she is a morning person just in time for summer break, which means I am a morning person now. yay.

Bleary eyed I make my coffee and find a perch on the porch to watch my newly hatched marathon runner.

me- No, you can’t have ice cream for breakfast.

As I watch her prance down the path outside our home she becomes distracted by all the cottonwood seeds flying through the air and abruptly stops to collect them (I LOVE SEEDS.) Now this is something I could get into, while she gets her much-needed “run.”

I quickly run down all the available containers and settle on the abundant supply of prescription bottles that I collect. pills

see related post.   https://electricbelle.com/2013/06/29/lamp-jones/

So far we have collected Columbine, Iris, Delphinium, oregano, cottonwood, dandelion, and oak.  Later we will add my collection (see related posts)

https://electricbelle.com/2013/03/20/snuggling-maggots/

https://electricbelle.com/2013/11/06/more-beautiful-pods/

As we travel around our yard I am surprised at how many things we can learn from this adventure. I briefly forgive myself for the terror I felt earlier, pour myself another cup of coffee and move on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been a year.

As I continue on with my latest project I just want to say thanks to all of you awesome people who read my blog. Every time I get a new follower I get a renewed excitement for writing it and making the stuff.

This latest endeavor is a labor of love. We have lived in our house for almost 12 years, and I have been ready to do for this 12 years. The sudden decision to start this massive project was made when I drove past Sherwin Williams and the 40% sale was up. I literally screeched into the parking lot got my paint and was off. Over the last couple weeks I have been looking at colors, researching paint, and strippers and gathering supplies. I had four of the doors off and was scraping away before my husband realized what I was doing.

him- did we talk about this?

me- yes a couple of weeks ago.

him- ok?

me- love you.

1. Remove sticky wax like substance with a chemical stripper. I am using some kind of citrus formula, that sits for 30 minutes and then scrapes off like peeling skin (very satisfying)

2. Use a scrub brush or metal scrubbing pad remove residue with odor less minerals spirits.

3. Wash with soap and water and dry.

4. prime and paint using a foam roller for a nice finish

5.  let cure and put back up or on.

Repeat 36 times for doors and 10 times for drawers. ouch

The best part of this is spending every waking minute doing it until it is done, and cleaning behind and out everything. There is some nasty stuff after 12 years. I am not close to being done, but  I am trying to get as much done before spring break, so I can kick it with my family.  I hope you agree that this is a serious upgrade.

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Look at that beautiful eighties oak!

These are some in progress photos.

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I’ll let you know when its done.

P.S. If you like what I am doing please share.

deep sea dresser.

This is the first thing I see upon waking everyday.

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Actually no, the dog is usually on top of us, but I am referring to that beauty behind him.

I know your familiar with pieces of furniture that are purchased or scavenged only to be put in place to be fixed up at another time.  We have a tiny little master suite and it was quite a challenge to find a dresser low enough and with enough storage, so I was keeping this baby around.  On this particular day after several years of looking upon this ” kinda ” interesting piece I was ready to go.  As if to echo the depth of the despair that this endless winter has brought. I settled upon deep-sea maps.

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Yes, we can all thank The Associate for the lovely drawing of our family “ON MY STUFF!”

After figuring out I had just enough to cover all of the drawers (this is a big step for me. I usually just jump right in)

I gathered my supplies

-maps

-glue

-paintbrush

-little cup

-sandpaper

After a thorough cleaning the drawer fronts and dresser, I mixed my glue with a little water to make it spread on nice and thin and smooth.

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I applied a layer of glue and smoothed on the paper from the center out, I then flipped the drawer onto the front so the paper would dry flat.

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When they dried I flipped them back over and gave them a coat of glue on top. When that layer was dry I used my 100 grit sandpaper to sand the edges, effectively removing the excess paper and making a nice straight cut.  I then put another layer of glue to make sure all edges were secure.

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FINALLY!

 

 

mess managed.

My wood shop/garage is 10 degrees. I can’t cut, sand, or paint. So, as I sit on my couch lazy as can be I decide I can organize.  I am sure many are guilty of this, but I am especially because the bookshelf that holds all DVDS and games is at least 10 feet away from the TV.

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Oops. just detected an overdue copy of The Little Mermaid.

On a recent thriftaganza I unearthed this gem with the 1986 version of THE Print Shop intact.

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The Associate has reached the age that she can play on my computer. (deep sigh)  When I left the room for 5 seconds the other day she managed to print out thirty of these.

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A 2 by 3 image on a full sheet of paper. I  explained to her that this is wasteful and banned her from future printer use.  However, these once coveted sheets have been in my studio for over three weeks, and that makes them scrap.  I cut them down to squares and put them in my new organizer in hopes that they might go between the disks to prevent further damage.

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handy-dandy labeler.

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now if the discs can just make it 10 inches into here we are all good.