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.

baby blue chandelier

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So I took a class. Encouraged by my Mom and Husband in the form of a birthday present.  Once upon a time I knew how to weld, but I definitely needed a refresher.  Despite the anxiety of once again entering a school I persevered, poor me I know. If you are new to reading my blog then you need to know I have a lamp obsession. An obsession that depends on using only found and recycled materials, however this is difficult sometimes when there is a specific request for size.  The armature required to build lamps is hard to find in a thrift store. Even though tearing apart ugly lampshades is kind of rewarding, I don’t like to be limited in size.  I bend my rules and learn to bend some metal.

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I constructed three squares of metal for a three-tiered square chandelier (I was getting tired of circles)

My chosen material for the shade which has been in the back of my car for at least a month for fear of delving questions; is baby blue venetian blinds.  I have been hunting these down for a while, but I can’t even begin to explain why.

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I am not sure if they were ever used, but they were at The Habitat Home Store. If you have ever been to one of these they don’t sell anything unless priced. My beautiful baby blues were not price marked, but apparently marked as “no one will ever want these” and I scooted out the door only having spent 1 buck.  I bring them into the house and leave them on the kitchen table for at least a day. When I sit down with my tin snips and my ruler nobody pays me any attention at all.

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me- snip snip snip

The Teenager- Hi Mom.

me- Hello Love.

The Associate- walks by with nary a glance.

we sit down to dinner as I sweep my blinds aside, nothing. We finish dinner and I sweep my blinds back onto the table. nothing.

me-You know what I love?

Family- ??

me- not a single one of you thought it was at all strange that I was cutting up a set of old blinds on our kitchen table. I have finally reached the status of “we know it will be something cool” YES FINALLY.

The Teenager – but mom we don’t need anymore lamps.

me- too bad.

my next step after cutting them is to figure out how to punch holes in the very thin metal. A drill is overkill and hammer and nail is too loud, ah thumb tack!  Unfortunately for The Associate she broke a cardinal rule and left something in my studio (she does all the time) and her new calendar was put to use.

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I marked some lines and went to town poking holes.  I then rigged up the smallest square and started winding 18 gauge metal wire around the frame and sort of sewed on the blinds.

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After all three layers are done I attached the to smaller squares to the largest with metal clips and more wire, trying to make it all even takes some time, but I think I have it.

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It isn’t quite done because I have to find a place to hang it before I wire it, but I think it will be cool. I even have enough metal to spare to make another. Sorry Family. xo

 

 

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!

 

 

guess what this is gonna be?

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This is what is left of The Associate’s rocking chair.  Much loved and much rocked.  When I tried to tighten it’s many loose screws I realized it’s time had come. I quietly removed it from the living room so as not to make her mad. Then it sat in the basement for a spell. Now it will be something else.  Now if I could just get my work table in order I could start.

big girl desk.

Sooooo. my associate is in first grade now. I can’t believe it.

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A couple of years ago I found her this cute little desk for a dollar at a tag sale, and I painted it orange.

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Alas, my rough and tumble cohort has banged it up pretty bad.  So because I had nothing else to do in the race to get ready for school I decided to give her an upgrade.  As you know I never throw anything away, and I had stashed this desk when I took it out of my teenyboopers room. Here is a picture of it when it was in her room.

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It is huge and begs for clutter, and the drawers never worked properly, so I went for simple. I ditched the drawers and the keyboard thingy.  Using my table saw I cut off 11 inches on both sides and the top, effectively removing all of the schmutz that the previous owner (Ruby) got on it.

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I obviously could not reuse the legs but luckily I had some extras from a million years ago from another Ikea purchase.  I then put it back together using the same holes that were already there.  I added some support with these braces that were left over from last weeks basketball hoop installation.

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I attached the braces with screws and washers and reinforced it all with this Elmer’s product that I just learned works best joining two different materials.

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Finally, I put the original cross support back on using regular Elmers, clamps and a few screws, to avoid the back and forth movement.  I was just imagining her standing on it, I don’t know why she is so well behaved. hee hee. For drawers I rolled in this cute little Ikea storage compartment that I have had for years and has been in almost every room of my house at one time or another. Luckily it slipped right under.  She appears to like it. I do.

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sad lamp, now happy

I found this lamp in pieces on a tree lawn and I thought it deserved another chance.

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I took it apart and cleaned it thoroughly then checked the wiring which was remarkably intact.

I then gave the metal pieces a light sand to take down the glossy finish so paint would be able to stick to it.

choosing the colors on hand in my paint arsenal, two Krylon and one Rustoleum.

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Luckily I had the the colors that match the new pillows I made for the porch (update pictures to come later)

and put it back together, now it is happy again.

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dance with me?

On the 1000th day of porch renovation I found a new dance partner. She is very forceful, and definitely takes the lead.

I have a tendency to not stop when I get started and getting the proper gear on was no exception.  A combination of sweats, goggles and my daughters purple lace Air Jordan’s sufficed, but it wasn’t pretty.  She didn’t notice my get-up, she is an animal, a mechanical sanding, resurfacing machine, but an animal I wanted to tame.

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At this point I have done my research, called up the manual online and studied the technique. Now is the hard part. With my daughters high tops covering my ankles and my glasses and gloves on I set about making this machine do my bidding. After wasting a few overpriced pieces of sandpaper we fell into an easy rhythm that was very much like a dance. One-two- three-four. One-two-three-four.  One-two-three-four.

I must give credit to the men working and renting from my local handy rents.  They call me Ms. Morris and never doubt that I can handle any machine I rent. thanks…

not finish with you yet.

I couldn’t resist using the last piece of the old ugly lamp.

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so I collected some more odds and ends from the bottomless pit of my basement.

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chose the location and installed a recessed light to pendant light converter.

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and walla

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I will probably have to adjust it a bit because anyone taller than I hits their head on it. (which is kinda funny)