Sunday, January 29, 2012

DIY Love Crate

Since my Faux mantle is still so new I have been having a lot of fun with it.  My last photos of it showed a small luggage stand with a few vintage suitcases.  Although I love that look the colors were to neutral so it didn't stay long.  I brought back the crate I was using with the logs in it but decided the crate was too big so I thought I'd make my own.  I was going to weather the wood using my new favorite technique but with the mirror above the mantle being weathered wood I thought maybe I'll paint it.

I was also thinking of making a sign for Valentines.  I have seen "all you need is love" signs all over the Internet and I am obsessed with them and must make one.  After I made the crate it occurred to me it would be perfect to combine the two.  If I get tired of it I can just turn the crate around or pop the boards out and use it as sign later.

The crate is 18.5" wide, 9" deep, 11.5" tall.

My supplies were:

4-1x6 pine boards cut to 18.5"(front/back)
2-1x8 pine boards cut to 11"(sides)
2-1x2 pine cut to 8.5" (feet)
1-8.5 X 18" piece of luan for bottom. 
or you could use a 1x8 for the bottom if you want but I had a scrap of luan so I used that. 

Then I glued and nailed it all together.  Easy peazy. I left a gap between the front boards to give it that crate look.  I think some fun handles or maybe rope handles would look great on the sides.

The paint I used was Old fashioned milk paint in Salem Red.  For the words I just printed off what I wanted and used the transfer method I talked about here.  Basically just scribble pencil on the back of the paper then trace the words onto your board and the pencil will transfer onto the board.  Then you just fill in with craft paint using a small artist brush.

This part took the longest.  Note to self don't drink coffee (or wine) before you try painting tiny letters.  It looks a bit rough but I planned to sand a lot of it off so I just sanded more on the bad spots.

Here's it is half sanded lookin a little better.

Yeah baby.  I love me some distressing.

My hubby cut me a few more "logs" with his chainsaw because the ones I had before were too skinny.  Can you believe these came from a branch that fell on our roof during last weeks snow & ice storm.  It was a huge branch I couldn't lift it.  

I screwed them to a board so they would stay upright.  There is quite a bit of "Nature" on them as my father in law would say.  I like it.  I lined the crate with a garbage bag so it wouldn't get ruined by the sap and water.

I am working on the mantle display but it's just not right yet.  Hopefully it will be done before Valentines but if not oh well. All I need is my love crate. (Hardy har har oh yes I did)

playing at the following parties: 

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Give Away Winner!

Today is one of those days that started very slow.  I mostly stared at things I wanted to work on but just couldn't get motivated.  So I decided to hop online and do the give away.  Well then of course I had to check Pinterest first.......... .....hours go by.............Ok now I'm ready. 

The winner is:

 Alicia @ Sweet Ava Kate  Jan 26, 2012 10:18 AM
Happy Blogiversary, Mimi! I'm so inspired by you! I know if we lived closer, we would be great friends and have loads of fun! :)

We definitely would Alicia!

Thank you to all of you for your sweet comments! 

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's My Blogiversary & a Giveaway

You know those annoying people who tell you it’s going to be their birthday the entire week prior just in case you might forget.  I’m totally that person.   I get a whole birthday week.

This week is not my birthday but it is my blogiversary week!  One whole glorious year of this here blog! 

Here was my first post on January 28th 2011.  I still love that pillow.

As a thank you for reading and to celebrate I want to  

give away a $25 Gift Card to one of my awesome readers!

I could never put into words how much I appreciate you reading my blog.  Your comments and emails are such a gift.  Thank you!
I also want to thank a few blogs for the opportunity to strut my stuff at their link parties.   There are several parties out there but here’s where I like to play every week.

My Repurposed life- Catch as Catch Can

There are so many people that have encouraged and inspired me this past year and although I can't list them all I do want to send a shout out to Gail from My Re-purposed life blog.   This woman is my hero.  She inspires me.   Her's is the first blog I found with a woman who like to build things.  She made me realize that I could have a blog of my own.  She’s also the first person I felt comfortable emailing just to ask a question.  I was a little scared cause I'm a little bit shy about stuff like that but I just knew she would help me and she has.  So thank you Gail.  I’m sure you all know about her blog and fabulous link party but if not you should play there.  

Blogging is so funny, most days I love it then some days I feel a overwhelmed by it.  Just when I think "why am I doing this" someone will leave an encouraging comment or send a sweet email and I fall in love with it all over again.

To enter the give away:   you must either be a follower or subscriber of my blog and leave a comment in this post.   That’s it.  I will announce the winner on Saturday January 28th.

Thanks again for stopping by my little blog! 

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adding a Little Storage to the Craft Room

So I'm home from work for a couple snow days so I decided why not finish my craft storage project.  I only started it in November.  The craft room is the original log cabin part of the house to read more about that go here.  All I had in there for storage was a cute little cabinet and a bunch of suitcases.  I had been thinking of building something and then I found something at the Restore that would work it just needed a face lift.   

It was solid and I liked the crown molding and the big drawers.  I added a shelf and a new back. My husband kept asking me how much did you pay for that?  He didn't see my vision for it. 

I used the can of Paris Grey ASCP that I had purchased for my kitchen island.  Then it sat for 2 months.  I just wasn't happy with all gray.  It actually looks like a lavender gray in this room.  

I decided to add a touch of Old White to the details.  I love it now, it gave it a little interest. 

I sprayed the pulls and knobs oil rubbed bronze.  I also sprayed some into the cap and used a small brush to paint the brass parts on the glass.  So much better. 

I kept the little white cabinet and just moved her over to the corner.

For this room I try to embrace the cabin feel.  I have been painting all the woodwork white in the rest of the house but in here I love the rustic wood walls and floor.  It is a cabin after all.


Furniture Feature Fridays

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Monday, January 16, 2012

How to get that Weathered Look

Weathered wood look that is.  I mentioned in my last post I was going to try something I saw on Pinterest on an oar that I have & well it worked! 

I have being toying with either painting or staining the oar because I didn't care for the finish.  Then I saw a pin titled "how to make new wood look old" from Frugal Farm House Design blog and I thought I'd give that a try.  She gives an awesome step by step with photos to see it go here.  I will just tell ya the basics. 

Step one: take some steel wool and put in a jar and cover with vinegar.  Let it sit at least 24 hours, the longer the better. (I expected the vinegar mixture to turn black or something but it didn't.)

after 24 hours

Step two: make a strong cup of tea.  I used Chai.  brush the tea on the wood and let dry.

Step three: brush on the vinegar mixture. 

The before pic above is after the tea was brushed on & it was still wet.

I expected it to happen instantly and it didn't.  I walked away and came back an hour later and it had worked. 

I'm really excited about this.  I guess it's been around for awhile but I had never heard of it.  Just wanted to share in case anyone else had never heard of it. 

**edited to addI sanded the oar down to bare wood removing all of the clear finish.  This would not work if there is a finish on the wood because it needs to soak in.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Archway to a Tiny Kitchen

Hello friends, hope your weekend is going well.  It is snowing here in Western Washington, big fuffy flakes.   Since I don't have to work tomorrow I don't mind, it's pretty. 

I did some painting yesterday and completed the next item on the kitchen makeover list.  Paint the archway, wait for it...white.   I LOVE it white.  I have fallen in love with the archway again.   

I built the archway about 10 years ago.  I confess I built it two times.  The first time I didn’t plan well and the arch wasn’t centered on the seems of the tung and groove.  Everything was off by an inch and the arch was crooked.   It drove me crazy and then one day a friend who was a “real” carpenter came over and was looking at my work.  I promptly took it down and fixed it.  

My skills have definitely come a long way and I learn something new every time I build something.  I'm telling you this because some of you aren't sure you can tackle wood working and I say you can!  Just try it.  For me all that matters is I go for it and if I mess something up or have to do it over, oh well.  

I don’t have a before picture but whatever had been covering the beams my husband didn’t like and he had torn it down before I came along.  What was left was exposed beams and not the pretty kind.

My inspiration for the arch came from an old episode of The Christopher Lowell show circa 2001.  In that episode he converted an old upper cabinet by removing the doors and putting bead board on the back of the cabinet.  Then he added an arch to the front to make it into a pretty display area.   I had not yet heard of HGTV at that time so I got my creative fix from watching his show.


The beams over the kitchen were staggered so that the bottom one was a few inches behind the top one.  This allowed me to make the cubby area under the arch for display.  

To get the curve I laid out all the pine boards face down and screwed a board to the back to keep them stable.  Then I flipped it over and put a screw in the center of the whole thing where I wanted the top of the arch and a screw at each side where I wanted the arch to end.  Then I use a rigid piece of trim and bent it around the screws. Next I drew a line and cut it out with a jig saw. 

To make the post I enlisted my dad and his table saw to help.  I didn't have one back then.  He cut down some maple plywood to size at a 45 degree angle so I could put them together to form a box.  Then I trimmed everything out with basic pine boards because it wasn't going to be painted and had to match.  The trim covers a multitude of craziness.  

Here's a tip.  I needed a piece of trim to finish off the arch and I was having a hard time bending it.  So I took it outside and laid it over two saw horses and about 4 feet apart.  Then I tied a string to the middle with a weight on it and left it overnight.  The next day the trim was bent in a curve and easier to install.     

Do you see the log to the left?  That is a support post from the original cabin and I just couldn't cover it up, gotta keep some of the quirky.

Here's a before.

Oh dear god.  There's just no contrast.  Much better white.

Things are starting to come together. Slowly my yellow pine nightmare is ending.  Ya know I only have myself to blame for all that pine, I'm the one who put it everywhere, oh well I forgive me.


I saw something on Pinterest that I am planning to try on that oar that I hope to show you tomorrow. If it works out that is.  If not let's pretend I never said anything.

shabby creek cottage
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012


My kitchen island is done!  I am very happy about how it came out but let me start this post by explaining that I am in the middle of our kitchen remodel and general de-pine-ing (as in painting the yellow pine that is everywhere) of the cabin so it's a bit odd looking in photos.  Half of everything is pine/maple half is white and now with the addition of the dark stained island top well it's kinda crazy looking.  But I have a plan.  

If you remember our home was originally a log cabin.   It consisted of a main room (which is now our craft room/office) and a loft in the back.  Below the loft was the carport.  Later the kitchen and a small bathroom were built were the carport used to be.  Eventually more rooms were added which all make up the quirky place we live in now.  I don’t think there could be a home better suited for me, I love the quirky.

I wanted the island to look like it had come out of an old store.  You know like the old mercantile in Anne of Green Gables or something.  Tell me you know that movie.  Reminds me of my mom and sister with our ginormous bowl of popcorn, popping the VHS into the old VCR.  It was fancy it had a remote, on like an 8 foot cord, attached to the VCR. Ha I'm old. (OK mom next time you visit that's what we are doing, busting out AOGG.)  So anyways I chose to make the shelf slatted because I like the way it looks.  I painted the inside white to keep it light.

I'm loving the two large drawers.  The large basket holds small sauce pans and lids the small basket holds our Food Saver seal a meal thingy.

Now you may notice that the counter only overhangs the island about 5" and you might think it a bit odd.   Well it is odd but there is a couple reasons why I did it that way.  One is space, but mostly because when I was at Ikea looking at counter tops I thought it would hang over more.  Cause I didn't do the math right.  I thought the island was 24" but it is actually 25" and also the counter needs to hang over 1" in the front so oopsy my 7" overhang turned into 5", but I think it worked out fine.  It gives enough of an overhang to get you knees under.  I still need to find some brackets, it needs a little bling in that area. I'm sure I will find some eventually.  

So what did I build it out of?  

An old door of course.  Months ago when I built my dining room banquette out of the white door above I hinted I had a plan for the big brown door and this was it.  It only took me 6 months.....

You can see what we had before was smaller and more open (and pine ugh).  The island definitely is larger and visually heavier but it works for us.  The kitchen is tiny with hardly any counter space we really needed a larger work surface.   

So there she is. I will post the how to and more details on how I built it soon but for now I just wanted to show a few pictures.  I would do it all in one post but seriously, I talk too much.  My post are too long gotta break these things up. 

Thank you so much for hanging out and for your homework go watch Ann of Green Gables with your sister/daughter/mother/niece or friend, It's good stuff.   

-new Island/peninsula
-plate rack cabinet
-paint walls & ceiling 
-paint cabinets
-paint archway
-granite counter top 
-farmhouse sink
-new tile back splash

p.s. I know it is actually a peninsula not an island because it's attached to the wall but I like the word island better don't you?

shabby creek cottage


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