Thursday, March 22, 2012

Stripping can be a good thing!

Stripping can be a bad thing.   Like the time on vacation when we got caught in a downpour while horse back riding, and when we reached our car deciding to change out of wet clothes, and not bothering to look behind me before pulling down sodden pants.  That other group of drenched riders got to see the full moon during the daytime.  Not a good thing!  But it made for memories!

But this stripping is a good thing indeed.

I bought this lamp at Goodwill for around $5.00.  I hesitated because it was so layered in paint it was hard to tell the design of it.  The paint was in bad shape also, peeling, cracking, and dingy.  But it was a nice heavy piece so I decided to give it a try.  Before I could get to working on it I used it as a weight when I was adding a silver cloth lining to the drawer in my buffet.

This is the only before photo I have, and it has a lot of glare on it, but you can maybe see how the design is so clogged with paint layers that you can't tell what they are.

Then came the stripping.


and scraping, and stripping and finally a good scrubbing with a brass bristle brush.  A new cord, plug and socket, along with a lampshade I already had, and I have a new lamp to fit on the bedside table I made.





So would you buy something that you couldn't even really see all the details in?  I'm glad I gave this one a try!


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Friday, March 9, 2012

Good Night




I have wanted for a while to change out the nightstand on my side of the bed.  It was one of those make do things that you think you'll just have for a few months and it ends up there for years.  One of those pressed wood round tables with the table skirt.  I did like the skirt I had made, linen with a green velvet square topper, but it was way past time to change.

Before Pinterest came along, it was tearing pages out of magazines or copy photos and save in a folder on your desktop.  When I finally made the time to replace the nightstand I looked at all the photos I had saved, and this is the one that caught my eye.

The only problem was I didn't mark or make note of where I found it and haven't come across it since to give them credit.  I decided it would be the perfect piece of furniture to try to make.  So the next time I went to woodworking class with my kids I asked Mr. Bruce about it and he said it would be easy.
I saw on Graphics Fairy today how to do an image search, and when I did, I found a link back for the photo to Ballard Designs, though they no longer carry the nightstand.

I started out with a $25.00 piece of cabinet grade plywood from Home Depot.

I came armed with measurements of the height of my bed, and the size I wanted the night stand to be and I sketched out what I wanted my nightstand to look like.

Then the cutting began:
I started off with 2 rectangles cut to the depth and height of the nightstand.  Then we used screwed the 2 panels together and cut both curves at the same time to ensure they were identical.

Next we cut a groove in the sides for the shelves to slide into.  And we decided that it was too deep, so we started to cut some off.  But it was the wrong end.  So we had a cut down into the sides of the  nightstand.  Filled in with popsicle sticks and wood glue, then filled in with wood putty, and you can't even tell where the mistake had been.

We used a template to cut the curves for the top and shelves and also a trim piece to go under the shelves.  Now sand, sand and sand some more, it took a while to get the curved edge smoothed out.

Top and shelves in, trimmed to fit around the side supports and trim pieces added to the curved area to make it appear thicker.  Sand and sand and sand.


Added legs by cutting 2 pieces of plywood one more square, one rectangular to attach under the side pieces, then tapered (that was a fun one to figure out).  Then lots of little miter cuts to trim out the top of the leg.  I actually liked the miter cuts.
Strips were added to make the shelves look like they were the full pieces, not the sides.  Then trim pieces were added to the curved areas to finish off the sides along with trim to the top and back edge of the sides. Now LOTS of wood filler to cover over the "ply" in the plywood and all the other mistakes I made.  SAND, Sand, Sand again!
2 coats of primer, and I decided to paint it a dark brown almost black to remind me of tree bark to go with the green color we have in our bedroom.  I found Rustoleum's Painters Touch in Satin Dark Walnut.  It went on very well and I loved the color.  Once it was painted it was a little harder to see all the accent pieces on the sides so I decided to distress just a little.  Sand some more, and use a Qtip to apply some stain I had, to tone down the white primer coat that came out with the distressing.  At first I thought I'd just have to paint back over it, but it showed up the detail so much better, I just decided to not worry about the white, and now I love how it turned out.







After adding to it's place by my side of the bed I decided it needed the back on it to help cover the cords, but I don't know yet if I'll paint the back the same color or add some fabric to it, or something unexpected.  

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Window Shelves

 Time flies!  Holidays, teenagers, homeschooling, a surprise trip to Paris (my husband plans the BEST trips!) and life in general have kept me so busy, I don't have much time to blog.  But when I saw that Donna at Funky Junk Interiors was having her weekly Sat. Night Special Link Party and that the theme was old windows, I found my self at almost midnight sitting down to write a blog post.

Last year I found some old windows in a neighbors remodeling trash pile.  In South Florida you rarely find old wooden window frames, they just rot away in the rain and sun here.  So when I saw these I grabbed them.  It stayed in the garage for a while, much to my husbands annoyance, before I had a brain storm one day.  I had some shelves that I had found at local thrift stores, I thought they would be the perfect partners for my window frame.  L-brackets and holes drilled into the frame attached the shelves to the window, and then the window to the wall studs so that it would be very secure.  Now loaded up with my crafting supplies it sits next to the table where when I have some free time (which is very little these days) I can just reach out for what I need.




And see that little nail at the corner?  My favorite number is on the nail that the railroads used to mark the dates they installed parts on the line.  Why is it my favorite number?

My Grandfather Floyd was born on April 28th, his daughter (my Mom) was born on June 28th, I was born on Oct 28th, and my daughter was born on April 28th (also my Mother-In-Laws birthday).  Four generations born on the 28th.  Next time I'll have to let you know where the Dove Nest part of the blog name comes from.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Finery

I am told often that I'm "so creative".  I have always felt I'm more of a good copier.  Seeing what others are doing  I can take apart the pieces of what they have made to see  how they make it and then use it in my own way to make something (like using and old dress to make a new pattern).  Especially these days with homeschooling 2 high schoolers (Chemistry, World History, Compositions, and the worst Grammar) along with an 8th grader (U.S. history, General Science, Pre-Algebra, etc.), along with volunteering at a free clinic once a week and a husband that is gone for weeks at a time leaves me little time to "create" let alone "think" up new things to do.

Enter a challenge.  Donna at Funky Junk Interiors, is one creative person, and she wants to foster that in others, not to be afraid to try new things and just create.  How could I refuse?  (I never have been good at saying no!)

The assignment was to find something around your home and to use it in a fresh new way.  Hmmm, I have to be creative myself.  Okay, after reading the blogpost
 I happened to see a pile of things my daughter weeded out of her bedroom and set aside to be donated to the thrift store.  I spied something kinda furry and spider leggy looking...

It was a vintage ladies hat that I bought at a thrift store for her to play dress up with (sadly she is too old for that now :(.  Well, I thought maybe I could do something with this.  The spider idea had me thinking...

... of Fall, turn it upside down and it becomes a cradle for a pumpkin.
Add some other fall items, pinecones, gourds, leaves, feathers, and place them all on an old tarnished silver tray that just perfectly fits on the base I took off from a terrarium (or birdcage?).
Just one more thing to make it perfect (well in my eyes) a branch off the oak tree with a bit of Resurrection fern on it.  Resurrection fern will turn brown and look dead in dry weather, but with a little rain (we have had lots in the past few days) and it comes alive again.
A nice little Fall welcome for my front porch.

What have you been creative with lately?

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Restoring or Refinishing? & How to Clean Marble

My favorite local treasure store is the United Methodist Thrift store that is only a few blocks from my front door.  They are only open Tues, Thur and Sat from 8am to 11:30 am, so you need to work it into your schedule to make it when they are open.  It is worth it though, they have the best prices, and I think, the nicest volunteers that staff the business.  

I always try to go to the furniture building first, really just a small room, but they have had some great bargains there.   Like this for example:


At first glance it looked like it was in great shape.  Looking closer though I found that it had some "repairs" (like the keyhole in the drawer that was patched) 

 and the finish though not bad would need to be worked on, and the front left foot was off, but was in the top drawer.

 The worst part was the marble top (which was not attached, maybe a marriage from another piece?), it was really stained and dirty looking, and I wasn't sure that it could be cleaned.  My friends husband worked for a granite company for years though, so I knew who to go to for advice.  


The price tag was only $20.00. What would you have done?  The same as me?  I bought it!  After some "discussion" with my husband.  I can't blame him, I do have a tendency to start projects and not always finish, and he likes things spare and open, while I like to fill all available space.  He did reluctantly give me the green light on this one though.  Another lady was right behind me when I was paying for it, making sure I would buy it or she would have had it.  When I got it home I noticed one other thing wrong with it.

See the carving above, it's missing on the other side.  How could I have missed it?  Excitement does that to me!

Well this is how far it's come.


I "restored" the finish.  While doing the restoring I learned the difference of restoring and refinishing.  Restoring means keeping as much of the original finish as possible, and just "restoring" what is bad, while refinishing means to strip it down and create a new finish.  It was amazing to me how Mr. Bruce (see more about him here) showed me how to just clean the original finish with fine steel wool, then add 3 coats of wipe-on poly, and before the final coat to use acrylic artist paint to touch up the original finish, and to blend in the wood filler and new pieces we added to make up for broken or missing pieces (I still have to do a coat of wax to complete the finish).  Just wish I'd have taken photos of that part, but I was so into what we were doing I forgot.  He just mixed different wood toned browns with a little black and red, and a smidgen of orange to mimic the finish already there.  I can't tell the difference and I saw where it was painted on.  Amazing!
I still have to plug the hole the lock was in (not an antique or vintage looking lock) and then we'll cover it with a escutcheon.  And find 4 knobs that match, and do some work on the inside.  Oh, and carve a new piece to match the other carving.  Mr. Bruce is sure I can do it, so why not try?

The biggest difference though to me is the marble.  Remember this is how it looked?


This is how it looks now!


There are still chips and dings in it, but those I can live with, but not that nasty staining.  Want to know how I did it?  We tried lots of household cleaning products and also wet sanding with a power sander.  But these stains were deep down in the marble.  Online searches suggested 10% hydrogen solution and white clothes, but I couldn't find that strength easily.  The other suggestion?  Let it sit out in the sun and the rain.  I live in South Florida, in the summer we have plenty of both.  So I gave it a try.  After a few days I noticed some lightening.  So we carted the table with the marble in and out to the driveway each morning and evening.  Then my smart husband suggested placing it in the backyard on buckets and just leaving it there.  So it sat there for another couple weeks.  All together it was out for about 2 months.  So it produces great results if you're willing to wait for them.  I do need to seal the marble, but for now I'm just enjoying the piece as is in my dining room.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

This is What My Brain Looks Like

I was out for a day of Doctors visits with my oldest son on Monday.  Just a routine check that I had to make much harder, since my brain doesn't seem to exist.  We live in Estero, between Ft Myers and Naples, about a half hour to each city from our house.  His first appointment was at the new Endocrinologist we have been seeing, at 10am.  The second appointment was at 2:50 in Naples at the Dermatologist, and I had planned to go with him to the first, drop him off at home and have my husband take him to the second appointment, since I had a mile long list of things to do.

But we drove the half hour to get to the office in Ft Myers only to be told the appointment was at the Naples office (an hour away).  I told them I didn't even know they had an office there, and didn't know my appointment was supposed to be there, but they kindly set up with the other office for us to come in late.  So off to Naples we went.  They were very gracious in the Naples office, and I began to think on my way there, that I vaguely remember them mentioning a Naples office and choosing to come to that office since it was a slightly shorter trip from our house (haaa, haaa).  At least his visit went well, his HBA1C was 6.9 (for those who don't know that is a great number, especially for a 16 year old boy).  But then we had 2 hours to kill before the next appointment.  So he choose lunch at Five Guys, and then said how about going to the Military Mall, which happens to be inside an Antique Mall?  Sure, fine by me!


I just looked around since I was not planning on buying anything, but came across this and it just caught my eye. 

 

The color was the first thing I noticed, more green than in the photo from my phone, then what it was, had me thinking of Halloween projects since the head was hollow, but I just couldn't see spending $20 when I don't even decorate much for Halloween.  So we left her on the shelf and headed off to the next appointment and had good results there also.  I just keep wondering if my head were cut off would it be hollow inside also?

Would you have bought the hollow head?




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wrought Iron Something

I've been enjoying Would You Buy It Wednesdays over at Junker Newbies blog for the past few weeks.

Each  post makes me think about things in a new light, how they have used something I would overlook, or suggestions from readers as to what they would do with that certain odd thing.

Now, I find myself adding in.  Heaven and my husband certainly know I bring my fair share of junk home.  Most I find a use for, some sits for a while.  If it sits for too long it disappears when my husband is "cleaning".  Is it just me or when they get rid of it do you figure out what you "could" have done with such a great item?

Well, if I'm not careful, this will be the next thing to go.
 For right now it is sitting on my front porch keeping all the millipedes company (if anyone knows how to get rid of millipedes I will pay you for the information!).

I actually got it for free from Goodwill, on a half price day, with my full punch card.  It's in good shape, and has a marble top (though not my colors of choice on the marble).  But what to do with it.  Plants are the most obvious choice, but in South Florida, it gets so hot, and the plants dry out so quickly, and I forget to water them, it would just be a massacre.
 You can tell the marble doesn't quite fit, but works okay.

Would you have "bought" it?  Well how about if I tell you there was more to it when Goodwill gave it to me?


This was the part I liked!  It must have originally had glass in the sides to make it like a terrarium (or whatever word that would be).  Our kitchen is large and has this dumb soffit that runs around the whole room with florescent lights underneath and then high ceilings above that.  I have tried decorating the top to breakup the vast space, but most things just looked dinky.  I realized I needed pieces that were larger or more solid and this fit the bill.  The pieces (top and bottom) were held together with screws and nuts that had rusted, so I had to cut the screws to get it apart.

After seeing both parts would you have taken this home?  Any suggestions as to what to do with the base?  I'm also asking for suggestions as to what to do with the kitchen. I plan on painting the cabinets, and at some point replacing the laminate countertops along with the appliances as they expire.  But what color appliances? Definitely not the 2 tone I have now!  I am thinking either distressed white or black (or possibly green my favorite color) for the cabinets, something that contrasts with the wall color which I like.  Everything is too much the same tone now.

Thanks for stopping by to look at my junk!

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