Sunday, June 24, 2012

Guest room bed

Liz is expecting her first visitor, Tiffany, is just two weeks.  She needed a guest bed P.D.Q, and, of course, we couldn't find anything suitable that was also affordable.  So I got back to it happily!

After looking around the home improvement stores, I settled a section of pre-fab picket fencing to make the head and foot of a daybed.  I planned to connect them with side rails and bolt the whole thing to the metal bed frame. The store cut the 8 foot length in half for me, which is good cuz that sucker was heavy!

It took me some time to finish this. Since the bed was at Liz's place,  I had to trust my notes, but I was a bit scared to pull the trigger on cutting side rails.  The first thing I did was putty over the nail hole in the fencing.

After priming all the raw wood, I painted it a pretty rose pink, then brushed on white glue and cream paint.

The glue prevents the cream paint from sticking and makes a nice crackle finish that lets the pink show through.

Yesterday, I took the bed pieces over to Liz's and put them together.  I spent over two hours getting everything connected and secured, but she seems pleased with it!

The pictures don't show how crackly and pinky it is, so you'll just have to trust me.  After the bed was assembled, Liz and I went over to the linen store and bought pillows and sheets.  She scored a beautiful quilt/coverlet thingy that was clearanced down to $29. Whoo hoo!

I don't have a close-up of the linens.  I had to leave for home before they were out of the wash, so Liz emailed me the picture.

There is going to a canopy above the bed.  I found this vase holder at the Goodwill.  Upside down (like this) , it looks like a crown, and at $2.99,  it was perfect!

We're going to hang it from the ceiling and run some fabric up and through it.  First, to locate the fabric!

Oh, and while I was at the Goodwill the other day, I came upon these treasures.

They just jumped into my cart and begged to come home with me!  Honest!

On the Sassy front, I think she's starting to recover from her snake bite.  The swelling in her face will take some more time, but she's acting her usual playful self.

She went from this, just after the bite...

to this!

Her face got so hot with all the swelling, I thought an ice pack might feel good.  She agreed!

I'm still thinking evil thoughts about the snake that wrecked all the blackberry picking, but we both will live.  I already have my next commission from Liz, and that will take my mind off of the lost berries.  She needs a thin coffee table for the guest room so people will have a place to set a book or glass of water.  And I've already bought the wood for it!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The end of an era

Okay, just the end of blackberry picking.  And it hasn't really been an era, but a couple years at least.

I woke up this morning at 4:30 and by 6:30 or so figured I was not going back to bed.  So, I dressed for bear (or chiggers) and headed out to pick more blackberries.  It's been a good year for them, and they need picking every couple of days.

But we didn't get very far.

As I was picking the huge hill of canes at the end of the driveway, Sassy was snorfling around under the shrubs looking for fallen berries.  Suddenly, she jumped and backed out swinging a snake!  She was really beating the wang-doodle out of it!

And not a black chicken snake, either.  It was a copperhead!  Sh*t! Cr*p!  and Eeew!

Once I got Sassy to drop the dang thing, I realized that her face was bleeding and she had been bit.  Double dang!

I did what any self-respecting, squeamish farm girl would do...I ran over it with my buggy!  But the sucker was still moving!

In about 10-15 minutes,  Sassy was flopped on the lawn not acting herself.  So, it was off to the vet for us, hoping all the way that they were open at 8 AM.

The poor thing needed 3 shots and a week of antibiotic treatment.  I knew that the meds were going to be required, but didn't realize that snake bites get necrotic easily due to the filthy mouths on those beasts.  Just what she needs!  Bad enough to get bit on the nose without having it rot and fall off too.

Stud Muffin suggested that I should shoot the snake before throwing in the woods (so Nick won't rolled in snake-fume.)  I took a gun out, but was pretty sure it was finally dead.  I fired off a few rounds and only managed to shred some blackberries.  Guess hopping around shrieking really throws off my usually good aim!

So, my blackberry-picking days are over.  Studly said he would give me $1000 to buy all the blackberries I want at the supermarket, as long as I don't go picking them for myself.  It's going to be difficult to drive past all those black jewels just waiting to be picked, but then I'll think of the snakes lurking within, piss my pants, and go to the Piggly Wiggly.

Edited:  Sassy wants to know if you think this bite makes her face look fat.  She thinks so!

Update:  Had to return to the vet for pain meds when Sassy started looking like a Saint Bernard and refusing to move.

Aren't those jowls sad??  Poor Sassy!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Farm Table/Desk

In the continuing effort to outfit Liz"s new apartment, we have searched high and low for a desk to put in her guest room.  But no go.  So we did the next best (or maybe better) thing!  We (okay, I) made one!  And it was fun!

Liz had specific dimensions she was looking for in a table and wanted it to fit the retro country feel.  Sort of a work bench top with more refined legs.  So, it was off to the lumber yard for me.

While the table top was going to be kinda beat up, she wanted the legs painted cream. I bought the legs ready-made cuz, well, I can't turn them myself. Then I screwed them onto scrap wood so I could paint all sides at the same time.

While the legs were drying, I used a cool new toy tool to cut pockets in the top boards, so the screws would attach on an angle and not show. Isn't this cool? You just bolt the jig on and use the drill through the holes at the top.

Makes neat holes!

Once the legs and apron (a fancy, girly term for the pieces that connect the legs together. They don't actually wear aprons, but that might be cute!) Where was I? Oh, yeah. Once those pieces were painted, I build the table frame.

Then the real fun began. I got to beat the wang-doodle out of the table top with chains and hammers and anything else I could find! I finished each side a bit differently. I wanted one side to look like a re-purposed shop bench, complete with paint splatters.

The other side had fewer dents and dings and was painted a shinier gray.

Liz liked the shinier side, and with her help, we got the top firmly attached to the frame. And here it is!

 Isn't it purdy?? Next up... a daybed so guests can actually sleep here!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Decorating a new apartment

After searching furniture stores in vain, looking for something that "spoke to her,"  Liz settled on the idea of decorating her apartment in a "Retro Country" style.  In a way, this made things easier because we could look in junk stores and antique malls for one-off pieces and then modify them to suit her.

The first thing we found was a screen to use as the headboard of her bed.  Now, she didn't have to worry about finding an entire bedroom set that she liked.

Then we found the cast-iron base of an old Singer sewing machine in a junk store.  It had no top, so we looked for a suitable replacement.  I painted the base ivory, left it pretty "chippy" and distressed a wooden tray to use for the top.

I was worried that the weight of the base would wreck the tray if anyone tried to pick the table up, so at Stud Muffin's suggestion, I built a frame on the base and a smaller frame attached to the tray bottom to nest in the base.  (Did that make any sense?)

 And as they say in the country...Wa-la!  A bedside table with removable tray top!

We found another table that was marked way down because it had a broken drawer and leg.  A bit of wood glue fixed the problems, and she got a table for about 25% of the original price.

Another table was found at the same store that the Singer base came from. For $20, I picked up this table, painted it a pretty blue and then dry-brushed a taupe-grey paint over it.

I am seriously getting into this whole buy-something-and-distress/age it anyway I want.  I scoured the local Goodwill and found this organizer thingy on a turning base to use for the tv remotes.

I also found this organizer and have just finished painting and sanding it for Liz.

But, shhhhhh!  It's a surprise!  If she likes it, it may find a home on the narrow table/desk that I'm building for her guest room/office.  I know!  Can you believe that I am actually trying to build a table? With legs and everything?? I'll let you know how THAT turns out!