Monday, September 30, 2013

My latest finds...

I have a friend who had some older furniture for sale, and I thought this would be a good place to start now that I am home. So here are my latest finds...

First is the sewing machine...very old sewing machine. Talk about heavy! The cabinet it is in is nice though. If I recall correctly, the machine itself does not work any longer. Since I have another older sewing machine, I want to make this sewing machine cabinet into a small craft table for my Silhouette. I think it will be fun to make a box to fit inside where the sewing machine is and that will be where I store my Silhouette when not in use. I can paint a decorate the cabinet, and add my own style to it overall.

Next up is a nightstand, of which a good picture I failed to get due to where it is sitting in my mess of a room. My friend was doing her own refinishing, etc so had already done some sanding on it. Sweet! A small step ahead for me. She is no longer doing the refinishing as she has just learned she is pregnant! I am soooo very happy for her and her family! I benefit by getting my hands on a few pieces to work on.

This last piece is complicated. At one time it was a stand with a round top, that contained a drawer. The stand is still in nice shape and so is the drawer. The round top is in pieces. So many pieces in fact, that I am not sure I can reassemble it correctly. I am going to try, but not holding my breath. In the event that I can't reassemble the round top of this piece, I am going to make a good effort to building a new top to fit the pretty drawer in. I just Love the legs on this stand, so just about anything would work in building something new for it. I love the legs of the stand though and can't wait to see what I can come up with to make it look fabulous.

Here is the round table top in many many pieces. Being that I got it this way, I have no idea what goes where. I also did not have time today to really examine it. This pieces was actually free, and I paid $15 each for the other two pieces. 

The drawer for this table ahs good bones. It will be a great part to use in another table table top without a doubt and that, along with the legs made it worthwhile to bring it home. 

I know $30 is a lot for pieces that are so far gone. But I mean it was my friend and I know she will use the money to put towards all things baby ;) and I certainly don't mind helping a friend. In return, if I need help with my dogs like I did last Thursday, she volunteered to come take care of them. I had an incident this past week where one of my German Shepherds got out of the kennel somehow while the other couldn't do it and was screeching all day cause he was jealous. Lucky for me, this friend knows the breed having two of her own, is not scared of my two & knows their traits, good and bad, and she lives just 5 miles away.

So in the long run, I feel like it was a great deal! I got a few pieces to work on, and found someone to call in case of emergency with my dogs. Now all I need is a spare weekend of free time to get busy with these pieces!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

My personal Buffet

After moving back to Washington in late August, I discovered that the mobile I rented had very little storage and I was regretting leaving my buffet there. A friends daughter was selling one though, for a mere $15.00, so I snatched it up.

The very next week after arriving, I went to work so it has taken me what feels like ages to get this baby done. I had fallen in love with the one I did in Oregon and also wished I had brought it, and when I was lost for a color scheme to use on this one, I fell back on that color scheme to see if it worked as well. For the moment, this will do, but I do reserve the right to change it in the future.

At one point I tried to decoupage material in a green checkered pattern on one of the larger bottom drawers. It worked alright, but I think I needed a glossy Mod Podge, not the Matte. I removed the material, stripped that drawer down and repainted it. Maybe that was my excuse to use my most favorite paint ever…Pure Earth Paints! For this piece, I used PEP’s Champagne Ice for the base coat. I needed to lighten up my ‘new’ space and this did the trick! Then to add character, I used Miss Mustard Seed’s Luckett’s Green, very watered down, to make it appear to be closer to a water color. In some places I washed away the green to make it even lighter. Lightly distressed in some places and heavily distressed in random places combined with the washed out green gives my buffet more of a weathered look, while still being fresh and bright.

After waxing the top, I placed a faded runner on it, set up my microwave on that. I wanted another shelf on top but finances were running low so rather than trying to buy fancy legs I picked up 2 cinder blocks, painted them and propped a shelf on top for now.

The drawers contain every day silverware, utensils, tea towels and miscellaneous items like my gravy strainer. Behind the doors, I have room to store storage containers, my crock pot, and other small appliances that are not used daily. All of the hardware is new. I made the mistake of not double checking the measurements of the drawer pulls and found when I got home, that the big drawers take larger pulls. This means I will be making another trip to town to exchange them so this piece can finally be finished and functional. While it is not perfect, and not necessarily a piece I would offer for sale due to its imperfections, I have grown rather fond of it. This is the first piece I have actually kept! 

To be sure it has the used and loved look, this piece even has water drops and other 'stains'.  Distressing was a breeze with the paints I used,  and overall I like how it turned out. owever, I have failed to tackle the veneer at the bottom of the piece. 

Once the veneer is done and I exchange the handles, this piece will be 100% complete, finally! I wish I could have completed it sooner, but to be honest, I simply had no energy. 

I am now starting to find that balance so desperately needed to work and 'play' so hope to get some more projects done in the very near future! I also have a good internet connection, Finally, so I can post things as I get them done. Verizon Mobile Hot Spot is not only expensive to use on a regualr basis, but it is slow like old dial up! Definitely blog friendly! 

So watch out my friends, I will be back in the business of painting and crafting in noooo time now! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Internet Woes!

Just want to let you all know that I am still alive.

I am having Internet woes, due to living out in the country L I will hopefully know in a few days if Century Link is going to do right by me or not. They are telling me ‘I will be lucky to get service this far out’ despite the fact that my neighbor has it, from them! So time will tell. Thursday will be the day I know if they are going to hook me up or if I have to dig my heels in for a fight. I dislike having to do that, but I know they should not have a problem, and will fight to get my order completed. Meanwhile my access to the Internet is sketchy! I am using my tablet to hot spot (via Verizon) and it is slow, does not load pics well, and costs a fortune. I am also having issues with my cell phone, overheating and not holding a charge well, so I have a new one coming, thanks to my warranty, and because some Verizon people don’t know what they are doing, I also got a ‘power pack’ for free, although they failed to send it’s charger and instructions. I also dislike when people don’t take pride in their job and do it right, causing the customer an extreme amount of grief.

Meanwhile, I went back to work, full time. I wasn’t going to share this pic, but this is me, the first day I started with an old friend of mine on her job site.

The hours were excruciating the first week…11 hours a day. On my feet. After a year of no work and doing whatever struck my fancy! The day starts at 7am on the job; living in the country means planning ahead to have plenty of time to get to a job site. This one is an hour away, and we can’t get there at the last minute, so I am typically there no later than 6:30. So I get up at 4, leave at 5 or a little after and hope traffic is light. Then getting off work at 6 pm, and home by 7-7:30 and it is already dark. Ughh! But the money is good and makes the travel well worth it.
I have been working on my buffet in my spare time.
Here is the before.

And the now.

Definitely not finished. I just didn’t know where I was going with it, and between working and trying to find a new balance, felt like I Lost my creative streak. My biggest problem is deciding what I am going to do with that bottom part, where the veneer is peeling away. I still have not touched it, so that will be the last thing I do…I always do things backwards anyway, and this piece is not different.

I have a friend holding few pieces for me that I will pick up next weekend too. Smaller pieces that will be a breeze to do. I need to figure out how and where I will be organizing a craft room, and get that done. I think the need to work to be self reliant, financially, messed me up. I normally unpack as soon as I get into a new place, but my brother was here for a few days, then I worked my first day a mere week after arriving back in Washington. The owner’s of the mobile came to fix a leak, pest control came, yard maintenance came….getting a new place set up and working is busy. Then there is dealing with my pets…2 dogs n 2 cats…the dogs barking at horses; a nasty neighbor who was angry when I came to move in; you name it! Unpacking just hasn’t ever taken this long!

I will be back as soon as I find that new balance..and I do apologize for it taking me soooo long to get a post up! I cannot come close to expressing my gratitude for all of you who continue to stop by! It means the world to me to know someone still looks :)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Job Hunting ... and Spice Racks

Job hunting is so time consuming! Moving was difficult enough, but job hunting here is a complete time consuming bummer! I can't begin to tell you how many hours I have spent online filling out application after application! But of course, first going to each of these stores only to find out that they only accept applications online! So not only do I spend a good deal of time online, but I also spend a good deal of time going to individual establishments. This has never been my favorite part of life! I would rather paint...anything!

The worst part of it is how much time it takes away from painting and letting my creative juices flow! Once I get home from going to all of those establishments, get home, look them up online and fill out the applications, the day is nearly shot.

So I thought I would paint on Saturday. That plan came to a screeching halt when the owner I rent from informed me that she was having Pest control come out Saturday morning. Yes, pests are something one has to deal with when living in the country. She was also having the Glass Doctor come to replace a window at the same time. So Saturday morning, I get up after a bad night, not in the best of moods, and face the activity. Once these two are gone, I am set to paint....While the pest control guy was here I did manage to paint a spice rack. Then I wanted to work on my buffet, once everyone was gone. Well, once the window guy left, the yard maintenance guy came, and by the time he left it was after 2 in the afternoon, and I was starving. My dogs have to be crated when there are strangers here, because my is truly a guard dog. (she even lays in the hallway 'guarding' when I soak in the tub). All I can say is that I didn't get to work on my buffet on Saturday :(

Sunday I was cleaning house as I awaited my son and his family to arrive, only to find out they weren't coming after all.

Today, I went back to job hunting. Spent the day in town, went to the post office, ran errands, and got home late in the afternoon. This evening I finally got some paint onto that buffet. I have decided that it will have a good coat of Pure Earth Paints Champagne Ice and then who knows what I will do with it. I want it to be light, because I am living in a mobile covered in paneling ...ughh!

So I AM working on the buffet, and it is taking longer than ever due to so much going on. It will be done soon, and I promise to post and share it, the moment it is ready for public viewing :) Hopefully that will be in just a day or two now that things are starting to settle down!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Painting tool I can't live without!

My paint kit tip… A painting tool I can't live without! 

As we are all painting stunning projects, I am sure you have each found what works best for you as far as must haves in your daily ‘kit’. I am going to share an essential in my paint kit today.

First, the reason for this item to be included:

I have dogs. Two Long coated German Shepherds. One that sheds year round. She has a very fine under coat. That means very fine, wavy crinkly hairs floating all about, all the time, and at times landing on fresh, wet paint. There is no way around this problem right now because I work in my home and/or on my deck. No matter how much I clean prior to starting each day the hairs are still floating.

So I had to find a way to get those fine hairs off of my wet paint without creating a mess, or ruining my hard work. I also have an occasional paint brush hair fall off as I work which needs to be removed and this little tool helps with that as well.

It is a pair of household tweezers! 

I keep one next to me any time I paint. So when a brush hair comes loose as I am painting or a dog hair lands in my wet paint, I simply grab my tweezers and remove the hair that moment. This makes my projects continue to run smoothly and look their best. After all, with so many of doing this, it would be so terribly embarrassing to have someone see I was lazy and left a hair on a piece. The tweezers are cheap and come in a few different styles. I have one pair that has a pointed tip so I can grab my target usually without disturbing the paint! 

I also have the flat headed style that I can grab an end of a bristle with fairly easily. I think my tweezers are as important as a paint can opener and sanding block!

And here is a pair of tweezers that I want to try because sometimes a magnifier would help me to see those fine little dog hairs even better! 

So that is my paint tip of today as random as it is. Hope you find it helpful! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A simple old plant stand to add a pop of color

In my last post, I told you about retrieving my old plant stands from my daughter. They were so simple, but they were dry, untreated wood.

Yesterday was the first time since moving two weeks ago that I finally managed to pick up a paintbrush! Ahhh the stress relieving paintbrush. I needed to add a pop of color to my mobile filled with brown paneling. The stands can be used for more then just plants of course, and having moved here with literally no furniture, I took everything my family and friends were willing to give back to me. I decided to use milk paint on this natural raw wooden stand. There are two of them, but one was in far worse shape than the other. See the one my TV is sitting on? This is the better of the two!

I sanded it down, then cleaned it with several methods to get the dust and dirt off. Mixed up some Sea Green from the Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company, and went to work. Once it was covered with paint, I distressed it a bit, and waxed it to a beautiful sheen. I added a lamp and a basket and this is the end result. The wax used here was a house wax I picked up from Orphaned Decor awhile back. It smells like pine and buffs out wonderfully!

Now to do something about that Walmart lamp!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Working vs furniture makeover's

This has been a busy week, in trying to get back to work and following up on places that may be looking for help in my expertise- I work in traffic control for road work crews, as a flagger. I am Union, and take a  lot of calls from the hall, but can also look on my own. I was back in Washington for exactly one week, not even unpacked yet other than essentials and went to work for two days for a company that was doing a paving job. It required an hour and a half drive to the job site and too 2.5 hrs to get home each evening. The job itself was a mile and a quarter long, and I was giving lunch a bathroom breaks the first job, walking the whole 1 1/4 mile hill a total of 6 times in all. From sitting on my butt for a year to this, was hard! 

After that two days job, I decided to go back to the company I worked for prior to moving to Oregon. Now I have all my ducks in a row and should go to work on Tuesday and can only say I am extremely grateful! 

As for my furniture makeover's, I am getting there. I never knew how hard it would be to find a happy balance in doing both. I have so many things I want to do! I have everything but a piece of plywood that I need to build an Armoire out of shutters. I also have a need to build a hutch top to set on top of my new to me buffet. I have paint on the way for the buffet and it is sanded and ready to paint as soon as it arrives. Then, hopefully my son will be here next weekend and I intend to put him to work helping me get the topper built. My kitchen is teeny tiny and there is really no place to put drinking glasses. Odd, I know. So we will get this built as soon as possible. I also want my son to help me build a gate for my deck. I will be usig the deck for my dogs to stay on while I am at work. They will be dry, safe, and have shelter from the sun all in one! 

Today I went to my daughter's and retrieved a corner table that I had given to her 6 years ago. It needs TLC. It has a glass top and the wood of the table is in rough shape but my daughter doesn't want me to paint it. Silly girl! She will get over it eventually, but for now it is clean and covered with a table cloth. 

Once I get her over the 'don't paint it' phase, it will get the work it needs done and I will share. 

In other news, the days I moved...the day we pulled out from Baker City, Oregon, I disconnected my TV set. Took the base off of my flat screen TV and promptly lost the screws. So I have been trying my best to find screws to fit for two weeks now. 

Well, today I also went to my son's house which is a 40 mile drive and takes an hour. He & his girlfriend were having a Labor Day party and invited me out. While I was there, I got screws from him that worked beautifully! Finally my TV is on it's stand, not leaning against the wall. I also got most of my high visibility gear back from him for work. I gave it all to him because I wasn't going to stay in this line of work after I moved. I never saw moving back as an option back then. 

So my new place is beginning to come together. My pair of German Shepherds have their own bedroom, LOL This mobile is a 2 bdrm 1 ba with an add on. The add on is my bedroom, the smallest bdrm is where I set up the dogs crates. It is just right for two crates and room in between. It also has built in drawers and closet so all of the dog related items are in there. Organized!

One of my kitties, Pepe, found a cupboard over the dryer in the bathroom to sleep in, and my old fat cat shares my room. That leaves the back bedroom for my craft room. For the moment, my vintage sewing machine, all of my paints and supplies are back there along with a lot of boxes that still need to be unpacked. I keep that door closed to keep the animals out of my mess. I have a good sized yard and a storage shed, and of course the deck. Not sure where I will be painting yet, and I am thinking I might need a desk in there for other crafting stuff, like my Silhouette. 

At the moment, I have limited Internet access because I am hot spotting off of my tablet. That makes uploading pics very time consuming and posts take a lot of data to write, especially pic heavy ones, so that's why I have delayed writing posts lately. As soon as I get back to steady work, this will change, so please please please...bear with me! 

Check back for some painted pieces coming up soon as well as my two custom builds! The Armoire and the buffet topper will be done very very soon if I have my way!