Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Guess I Will Have to Switch to Box Wine

So I quit my job.   How are you doing?  

I did, I really did.  My last day is Wednesday.  You might be thinking why in this economy would someone quit a perfectly decent job?  Some of you might be thinking that but I know some of you know exactly why.  

So what am I going to do?  I rented a space in a local shop and I am going to fill it with all the things I love to build and see what happens.  

That is my plan and I cannot wait to start.  

This is not normal for me.  My husband is the self employed, driven, risk taker, I am the one who saves my pennies and needs a steady paycheck.   But something has changed in me and I feel like if I don't do something all my creativity will be snuffed out, sucked right out of my soul.  

I will keep you updated once I get into my new space, I plan to add a shop page soon to show all my stuff.  

Honestly, I have no idea what I'm doing & I don't mind.  It will be fun right?  

Oh and just for funzies here's something I picked up at the ReStore for cheap because it had been there for 3 months and no one wanted it.  Can you see the potential?

  (weeds much?)

I had to glue and nail some loose pieces and will need to clean it up and use a little wood filler.  With some white paint, a distressed finish and a shelf on top I think she will be a beauty.  I hope to sell her since I already have a faux mantle. Even if I don't sell it I think it will make a great prop in my booth.  Wish me luck!

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

So I Collect Silver Now?

Have you noticed that since you started reading decor blogs you have starting buying things you normally wouldn't?  Please tell me it's not just me.  I have really tried to stop doing this but sometimes I can't help myself.  (I have had a cheese dome in my closet for the last year that I have done nothing with). 

I went to the local thrift store this week on my one hour lunch break because I just needed a little me time.  A little creative time out.
(serious photo manipulation going on here, hmm what am I trying to hide? keep reading)

I spotted this silver gravy boat and I thought, this looks like something Robin would buy, she would love this.  

Previously I wouldn't have noticed this kind of stuff because I didn't see how it could fit into my decor.  But Robin makes me want to try to work a little silver into my life.  

So who's Robin?  Robin writes a blog that I follow called Happy at Home and she creates the most beautiful vignettes.  

As soon as I could I emailed her and asked if I could show my readers some of her beautiful photographs. She said of Yes! Here's some of her photos.

Isn't that silver pitcher to die for? 

I love how she mixes in the silver with white ironstone and rustic frames.

So when did I start channeling my inner Robin, I don't know.  It's all her fault though.  

So now for the confession.  I was so excited to find this fabulous piece that I didn't notice what rough shape it was in. Not that I had any idea what to look for.  When I got home and showed it to the hubby all excited he took one look at it and said that is silver plated look at the green it's probably copper underneath.  (thanks Mr smarty pants) Green what green?? Oh well I don't care if it's only silver plated I mean it was $3.97 but then I started to clean it and uh oh, some serious copper coming through and those rough spots with the green, they don't come off.  I googled for a solution, everything says with damage that severe it would have to be re-dipped.   

It's really bad. You were wondering how I didn't notice aren't you.  Well it was really really tarnished this is after I cleaned it.

Of course now I was mad at the darn thing and didn't want to look at it anymore. 

The next morning I woke up and took one look at it and decided I like it anyways, It is just gonna sit on shelf after all. tarnishing more. It doesn't have to be perfect.  I'll just put it on a high shelf.

Funny I have a glitter house next to it, Robin is obsessed with glitter houses.  I bought mine five years ago for our wedding.  We were married in a Mountain Lodge in January with tons of snow and it reminds me of the place.  I took it out for Christmas and left it out because I thought it would be perfect with our wedding photo on the Valentines Mantle.

Thanks Robin for inspiring my new addiction! 

So do you collect silver pieces? Any secrets for improving the finish for cheap? Would you keep a piece that is this bad or chuck it?     

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I revealed my new kitchen Island a few weeks ago so I thought I'd share how I put it together.  Why use a door to make my kitchen island?  I purchased the brown door for $20 and I definitely couldn't buy new wood and trim to make panels for that price not to mention the time it would take.  Also I love the character of old doors.  I am thinking of dedicating all of 2012 on a blog series called 101 projects using old doors.  Not really but wouldn't that be fun?

If you have read my blog for a while you might remember I found these doors back in May.  The white one is now my dining room banquette.  I was really excited when I found them because I instantly knew what they would become. 

I started by cutting the door with a skill saw. 

The front of the island uses two of the panels. 

The third panel is used on the side. I had to modify it because of how I cut the front piece. I used my pocket hole jig to screw a 2 x 4 to the panel to make it centered.   I did the same thing when making my banquette go here if you want more info on that.

I mitered the corners using a skill saw set at a 45 degree angle.  I then glued and nailed them together.   

For the other side which is against the wall I ran out of door.  Since it would only be visible from the inside I made a faux panel by using a piece of plywood, 1X wood and small cove trim.

After building the cabinet part I flipped the whole thing upside down and glued and nailed some tung and groove boards to the bottom.  I then made a base frame using 2x4's for the whole thing to sit on. The door was only 30" wide so it needed the base to make it counter height.

To support the drawers I attached a 2x6 down the middle using pocket holes and used 2x2's across the front to support it.  I did a very simple drawer no fancy cuts here just 1 x 4's glued and nailed together with a 1/4" piece of luan glued and nailed to the bottom.

For the drawer fronts I used some old wood that I had lying around.  The pulls are from Home depot.

For the shelf I used  2 x 2’s for support and 1 x 2’s for the slats.  I used my table saw to cut a channel in the 2 x 2’s so that the 1 x 2’s would fit inside.  I had to run each 2 x 2 through the saw 4 times to get a wide enough channel.  

It took me 3 weeks to decide on a top.  I eventually decided on a desk top from Ikea that is 1” thick and comes in a 30 x 60” slab.  It’s okay with me that it is a soft wood because any dings dents will only add to the look I’m going for. 

I stained it with a mix of oil based Minwax stains I had on hand. Jacobean, red mahogany and natural. I wanted to match our hutch that is across the room, it’s a family piece that is staying.  I finished it off with several coats of Minwax semigloss polyurethane.

For the finish on the island base I first started with Annie Sloan chalk Paint in Paris Gray but it didn’t work with the dining room wall color.  Then I ordered a sample of ASCP in French linen which is a very earthy grayish linen color that I really liked.  But the sample was not enough & I ran out.   At this point I was frustrated and had seen some blogs talking about making their own chalk paint so I mixed my own using non sanded tile grout and a couple grays I already had on hand.  Then I distressed the whole thing with sand paper.

I am going to live with the color and see how I feel after all the cabinets are painted white.  I am still on the hunt for brackets to finish off the front and support the counter. 

So there’s the details of the Island.  Whew, glad that project's done!

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

My Hall Tree Plan is on

The coolest thing happened to me recently.   I got an email from Ana White. As in I was a little star struck, because I Luv her.  For those of you who don't know about her I am so happy to be the one to tell you.  Ana has an awesome Website where she shares detailed plans on how to build tons of different furniture.  For free.  Easy to follow, beautiful plans.  She has videos that offer tips on using tools and building techniques.  She is amazing.  You can learn so much from her for free, it's crazy.   

If you have been following me for awhile you know I don't typically follow a plan when I build, I like to just design as I go, but when I need inspiration or ideas on how to build something I use her site.  So you can imagine I was thrilled that she stumbled upon my little blog.  In her email she told me one of her readers pointed her in my direction when they asked if she could draw up plans for the Hall tree I built.  Would I be interested in her drawing up plans and putting them on her website giving me proper credit.  Uh yes please. 

go here to check out the bench post and here for the hutch.

Now I can add a link to her website from my post.  Like I said before if you haven't found her site yet you need to check it out.  If you love to build things you will be in Heaven. If you have never built a thing and want to start building she has easy projects for beginners.  

It's such a gift she has given me, Thank you Ana!

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