Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ladder shelving

This week has been full of ups and downs.  Monday morning found me chased and attacked by a gaggle herd swarm of yellow jackets as I blew the leaves off of the back porch. Stung 9 times, mostly on my legs.  (Note to self: go back to NOT cleaning, it's safer!)

Wednesday, Sassy went to the vet to check out a large, egg-shaped knot on her back.

They took a sample to send out and had to shaved her back to get it.  Sassy was not amused by this haircut, but was pleasant and didn't complain until we got in the car.  Then she swore she wouldn't ever go to that hairdresser again. I didn't tell her it wasn't actually a spa.

While we are still waiting on the pathologist's report, the vet took a look at the sample and said there was some indication that the bump might be a mast cell tumor.  *Cancer*  BUT, I will not borrow trouble until the fat lady sings!  At least Sassy is her usual happy, demented self!

Friday looked to suck as well when I was stung by a wasp while repairing the compost bin.  Seriously,  I think I need a bee suit to work outside this year!  So just when I thought this week was going to end on a bad note, the Fedex man arrived and brought me this!

A new Shark vacuum to test drive for a consumer panel I'm on. For free.  And I get to keep it!  It has a removable dirt canister and it swivels to get around and under things.  The cord is nice and long (avoiding a pet peeve of mine) and you can even adjust the suction so I won't throw my back out trying to push it on my area rugs.

Of course, I whipped it out of the box immediately and set about playing with all the cool attachments.  And I vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed my doggy house!  I even (*gasp*) vacuumed the lampshades.  However, I refuse to show you how much dog hair and dust this thing took out of the house!  Let's just say, I emptied the canister 6 or 20 times.  We'll leave it at that, except to say that I think I'm loving this vacuum!

I haven't gotten much done on the things I picked up in the last post, because I've been working on a big project for Liz's apartment.  We liked the look of some re-purposed old wooden ladders on Pinterest, but never could find one to convert.  Furniture stores offer a newer version, but for lots of money.

Back to the internet and I found plans on Ana White for a short model using plywood and pine boards.

Photo by Ana White

Liz wanted the shelves to be 6 feet tall, so I had to make a few changes.  I really wanted to keep the unit from sticking out into the room too far, but just couldn't wrap my head around changing all the geometry, so I just went for it.

This was the first time I've built a frame that had angled cuts in it.   A bit scary, but I finally pulled the trigger.  There would be 5 shelves instead of 4, each one deeper than the one before.

The whole project took a number of layers of  stain and paint.  First went down 2 colors of wood stain.  Then I added random strokes of turquoise blue.

After that dried, everything was dry-brushed with white paint.

After the shelves were assembled, I decided that it wasn't "white" enough to go with the television stand in Liz's living room.

So a heavier coat of white paint was added.  That's the great thing about this kind of creating and re-inventing!  If it doesn't quite look the way you want, just keep adding and sanding off paint!

Here it is in place.  We tried it in a couple of different spots and came back to the first place in the end.  I'm sure the items on the shelves have been changed already.  

Pasquale insisted on being moved to a higher, more prominent shelf.  In return, Liz insisted that he wear a sign!

After this project, I had lots of wood scraps piling up, but I got an idea.

I found this metal file cabinet at a thrift store for $5.  I took out the shelves and attached wheels to (what was) the back.

Now I have a wood bin that rolls! And maybe I can quit tripping on wood scraps and get to more projects!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thrifty finds

I went out on Wednesday for a little thrifting fix.  Usually, I have a couple of things I'm hoping to find, but the real thrill is in not knowing what surprises might be waiting for you.

This time, I was looking for some candlesticks, photo frames, possibly some hinges or knobs for future projects and then hoping for something neat.

This is what I found:

Some cute spice jars with ceramic tops.

An extra long loaf pan (heavy), some Mardi Gras beads (I have a plan for these!)  and some photo frames.

I found a decoupaged box with some missing metal trim.  I'm sure I can redo this, but if nothing else, the hardware can be reused.

The metal tray is probably 18" across and has some detail that is hard to see on the surface.  I think if I polish it and maybe glaze over it, the pattern will show better.  For $1.99, I couldn't leave it behind!  There is a metal cash box in the back, and a ceramic bird sitting on top.

This electrical box jumped into my cart!  Really!  Somehow, I saw a vintage-y first aid kit out of this.

There are a lot of pre-fab holes in the back and side, but the creamy color and keys are winners.  I will probably going to have to clad the inside with something and make a shelf for it, but I can already envision the graphic painted on the front.

The "neat" find was this Asian-inspired chest.  It is is about 15" inches high and 2 feet wide, with 3 small drawers.  This one is destined for Courtney's house, after some touch-up, of course.

I did find more frames and some candlesticks, but was so excited to start the project, I forgot to take a "before" picture!  I saw this idea on the internet and had to try it for Liz's house. (Shh!  She doesn't know yet!)  Basically, you glue the frames to the top of candlesticks and then paint everything.  These candlesticks are metal, but were a horrible gold color with hot pink accents.  Now they are sparkling white and ready for her photos.

Speaking of Liz's house, I went over on Thursday to take a few things and go shopping with her.   First up, a little metal footstool that originally was so frugly, I couldn't risk breaking my camera taking the "before" shot!  Picture a black frame and worn-out, avacado green/gold fabric.  Yuck!  The frame was also missing one of the metal leaves that graced the top of each leg.

I trashed the cushion and cut a new piece of plywood (cuz...ew!) then covered it with new foam and some leftover fabric from her desk chair makeover.  I cut some metal flowers off of one of those wire letter thingies little girls hang in their bedroom, and glued them to the footstool legs.  Everything was painted ivory, but then the flowers didn't show up much, so I dry brushed some Oops blue paint over it to match the blue in the fabric.

I painted a candle tray blue (by request) to hold the decorated mason jars in her bedroom.

This is the formerly peach lamp base, wearing distressed blue-grey paint and a new shade.  Which isn't really crooked, BTW, and the base isn't really this dark.  I just suck at photography!  And lest you think I am the only one doing crafty things for this apartment, Liz painted the pink mason jars next to the lamp!

She also mounted black and white photos on canvas and hung them on this hook rack in her guest room hall.

Tiffany, Liz's house guest from last week, brought her two of these really cool bottle mounts on distressed plaques, that she made herself!  The hardware is so neat and industrial looking, but my close-up came out blurry.  I told you my photography blew the big one!

Anyway, I bought two glass bottles at Hobby Lobby because nobody drinks wine around here! We hung these above the bedside tables in the master. 

And then we went shopping and out for lunch.  After our shopping trip, the new footstool has a friend!  This is Pasquale the Porcine.  He's French and very snooty and currently demanding a tiara, because apparently he's also gay!

Liz found some bird coasters that had so far eluded her.  I don't have a picture of them, but Tabitha checked them out and gave her approval.

Liz and I bought some other things, but we'll talk about them later.  Or maybe Liz will!

Monday, July 16, 2012

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming

Sorry for the recent blogging delay.  Liz had her girlfriend (and former roommate) Tiffany come out from Vegas for a visit and things got sidetracked.  Okay, not really their fault, but I'm going with it.  Actually, I kinda hit the wall for a bit.  First it was the oppressive heat.

Then the never-ending rain.

And then there is the matter of my need for clean underpants. 

So, Tiffany came for a visit and flew in through Nashville, since Southwest Airlines can't won't refuses to fly into Memphis.  Courtney, who also shared the apartment with Liz and Tiffany,  drove down a couple of days earlier to see Liz's new apartment.  She brought Liz's cat the evil one to my house on Friday and Liz crawled in after working til 11 PM.  The next morning, the girls drove another 2 1/2 hours to Nashville to collect Tiff and return to the farm to eat BBQ and crash.

I was summoned by the cat in the morning to come upstairs and visit.  She does that.  The cat, I mean.  She sends me text messages indicating that I need to pay homage and admire her beautious-ness.  When I arrived, I tried to sneak a few pictures of Liz and Tiff.  It was not well received.  In fact, there were threats of bodily harm if I posted the pictures.  So I will crop them and only show you parts of the scene.  Like this:

Nobody appreciates my efforts to be a stalker, but I think I'll get to keep my kneecaps! Courtney had to leave early to make it back to Saint Louis in time for a Cardinal's game, but Liz, Tiff and I went to Besso's for lunch.   Here's a better picture of the two of them at the restaurant:

When we arrived at Besso's, there was a sign on the door saying that they were closing the doors on this location effective THAT night!  WTF!!  Criminal!  Where am I going to get my chocolate cheesecake fix??

And do you know what restaurant is opening up soon in the former Besso's space??  A country place called Greens, Beans and Taters.  No shit!!  Could my life get any more redneck?? (Don't answer that!)

Anyway, I have been working on a few things in my furniture workshop garage that I sent home with Liz. She flaked on the photos and blamed Tiff for it, so I had to drive out and take some myself.  (You just can't find good help these days!)

The black typing table magically turned yellow.

We thought she might put her printer on it but it made that side of the room too cluttered.  It doesn't have a permanent home yet, but I'm sure it will soon.

I made a cover for the basic desk chair and now it isn't scratchy anymore.

I really like the fabric Liz chose!

Remember the frugly throw pillows that came with the sofa?

 I could. not. stand. them.  So, I made new covers.

Hi, Tiffany!!  Lookin' good on the sofa!

I found a folding table at Chez Goodwill for $2.99.  I know!  I'm a big spender and nothing is too cheap good for my little girl.

I tried something I saw on Pinterest about adding Plaster of Paris to paint to avoid having to prime.  I thinned some Oops paint and mixed in the PoP and a bit of white paint.  And it worked!  I also tried my hand at stenciling with the undiluted Oops paint.  Kinda liking it!

I think Liz will use in next to a reading chair in her bedroom, but she hasn't found the right one yet, so the table would look pretty silly standing by itself.  She made it feel better by putting it in the closet, where I am sure it is trying on all of her shoes!

While at Chez Goodwill, I also found a lamp base that needed a little help.  Of course, I forgot to take a "before" picture, but here's the after.

The base originally had a funky yellow cast to it.

I found another lamp base just the other day, so here is it's "before," wearing a pearly apricot color.  I'm still working on this one.

And now for something almost completely different, I painted a mirror with chalkboard paint and got rid of the gold paint on the frame. 

I sent it to my friend, Awesome Ann, as a wedding present. 

So there you have it.  Oppressive heat, endless rain, visitors and apartment projects.  Oh!  And clean underpants!  Can't (and shouldn't) forget those!

Edit:  I'm told that an evil cat is on her way over to cut off my fingers for posting the stalker pictures!  Hide me!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The guest room continues.

I might just have to claim the guest room at Liz's apartment for my own.  I figured, since I made all  almost all the furniture in it, that made it mine. Right?  No?  Okay, fine.

A narrow coffee table was needed next to the picket fence bed, and the interwebs didn't let me down by way of ideas.

Liz wanted the table to have a wood-tone top and cream/white legs. I think it looks pretty good next to the bed.

We worked on the bed canopy too. I scrounged through the shop building and found a net canopy that used to be tied to a large hoop. We hung the crown thingy I got from the Goodwill from the ceiling with fishing line and looped the net through the crown.

Liz found a fun canvas of a bird and hung it below the canopy.  Tabitha approves!

I've also been working on a chest of drawers that I got at a garage sale a couple of weeks ago for Liz's room. The previous owners had slapped a coat of gray paint on it, but of course, I couldn't leave it like that.

And those drawer pulls? Original, but too masculine for my girl.

I painted the chest a lovely gray-green and went on the hunt for new pulls. Just my luck that the original holes were closer together than is common these days! I did find 6 pulls with the right spacing at a thrift store, but I needed 10 pulls total.

I ended up puttying over the holes in 2 drawers and getting 4 single knobs from Hobby Lobby. I painted all the hardware white and then distressed them. And just to add that little extra girly-ness, I lined the drawers with some Laura Ashley wallpaper I got at another thrift store for $1.

I'm feeling my age because I can remember, as a child, always picking out new drawer liners when getting furniture.

Looking good, Liz!

Okay, the bookcase.  This was in her room here on the farm. And then down in the shop when we changed her room to put in a stripper pole  office.   Liz and I loaded it into the truck (where it barely fit!) and hauled it to her apartment.

Once there, we COULD NOT get the tailgate to open!  We pushed, we pulled, and we practically gave ourselves strokes struggling with the dang thing in 102 degree weather!  We even drove to a self-serve car wash so we could work on it out of the blazing sun. But the truck was having none of it,  and I had to drive for an hour to haul it back home.

The internet intelligence saved the day.  Based on what I read, I took the tailgate panel off and found that the driver-side latch rod had disconnected from the handle.  No amount of tugging would have fixed it!  So, problem solved and I delivered the bookcase this morning.

The next project is this cute little metal typing table I found at my favorite junk store for Liz to put her printer on.  I remember these from typing class.  (Uh oh!  My age is showing again!) 

It has fold-up arms and even a little drawer.  But the black (glossy on the side arms, flat on the top) has to go.

I'm thinking...yellow!!  What do you think??