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So Vain 

I have a new Vanity!!!

Ok, like most things I own it isn’t “new”, just new to me. I received this desk as a hand me down gift from Mr. Smith’s aunt. 


The sewing machine from it still works by the way. 

 

I got it sanded this spring but work stopped as soon as the heat hit and we were off running around the country. 



I finally got around to working on it in earnest these past couple of weeks. 


The verticals supports and panels weren’t sanding out as well as I liked so I opted to paint them. 


The top and the drawer fronts however  were a glorious grain so I decided to stain them as close as possible to my bedroom furniture. 


We (my mother and I) lined the drawers with contact paper to protect them from the cosmetics that will go inside.

Beemer helped too


The hardware that was in the desk to begin with matched our furniture pretty well so I just cleaned it up and reattached it. 


Before I set up my inordinate amount of makeup on the desk I placed a plastic sheet (it’s actually from a poster frame) on the desk to prevent makeup getting embedded in the wood grain. 

I finally got to take all of my makeup out of bins and put it in real drawers in a proper vanity.


And yes that is a mechanics stool. 

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Another blue bathroom

After a long absence our cats are always very happy to see us so this weeks post will be featuring a lot of this guy 


We just got a new couch for our library he has adopted it as his own. The library is getting a minor makeover with the addition of some decor from our universal trip along with this new couch. I’ll post a bit about that later this year. 


But for now I’ve repainted and redecorated our guest bathroom. 


First it was a matter of stripping it down to the bare walls. Including taking down the horrible contractors special mirror you tend to find stuck to the walls in bathrooms. You know the kind I mean; no frame, same width as the vanity. They are super uninviting. 


As soon as I started edging I got a visit.


I wanted to see how high he would go. All the way was the answer, then he couldn’t figure out how to get down so I had to rescue him. 


There was one little spot above the toilet I couldn’t reach even with the ladder. It’s what I get for having 10′ ceilings. Luckily Mr. Smith is a foot taller than I. 


On to finishing touches 


All the stuff I hauled out had to go right back in.


The Beemer approved our new towels.  
And tah dah the bathroom isn’t so boring anymore 

As you can see the mirror isn’t hung yet, it’s just propped up. But that’s the advantage to having a husband that’s over 6′ I’ll just make him do it 😛 .

 And if your wondering about the title, yes this is our second bathroom redo (much easier than the first) and the second blue one. You can find the first by clicking here

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Where we left off

So we left off having visited the dunes, by the way these fulgurites are pretty cool. I found a tiny one once. They are very fragile and the inside looks like  murcury glass.


It was then onto one of my favorite places in the world. My grandmothers house. The above obviously isn’t her house. It’s the chicken coop. Though that’s an understatement since it’s now a completely finished building. Carpeted and all. 


Even the chipmunks love my grandmothers back porch. 

Our last day in Michigan we celebrated Mr. Smiths (along with two other’s) Birthday with friends and family 

Then it was home through the dreaded state of Ohio. This is what it threw at us this time. 


The best part of Ohio? The bridge to Kentucky. 

As you can see, once we finally got home (after going through many more states, none as bad as Ohio, lol) our living room kind of exploded. We got lots of goodies while we were there including but not limited to a stop sign as you can see above. I promise it was legally purchased. 

And look at these crochet cacti! 

As promised I have lots of projects coming up. One of my side projects is going to be restoring a lot of old photographs. I don’t know as though I’ll blog about that, but it’s a fun hobby. I used to do a bit of photo restoration and it will be nice to have some family photos in our new house. 

I’ve also started working on painting and decorating our guest bathroom. A family member made us beautiful monogrammed towels to go in it and it was just the push I needed to get it started. My office is currently full of all of the bits and bobs that will be going in there. 

My grandmother also gave me this tiny rocker. It needs a lot of repair work and a new seat but I thought it was too cute to pass up when she offered it. As soon as my garage gets cooled down I’ll add it to the list of things to do in there. 


That’s all from us for now. 

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Mass Production

Do you remember that post I did for a secret Santa, where I made an earring display hangar. I’ll link here it if you don’t. 

You should check that blog out first because this is me refining that process. Mr. Smith’s Aunt makes jewelry and owns a shop where all the goods are hand made. You can find out more about it on their Facebook page here


I thought it would be fun to get involved by making some fun ear ring cards. I’ve got a few different styles I’m working on, but the most involved ones are a variation on the one I did for my secret Santa. 

I started off by doing a color wash on the laser cut frames in green and purple; they are the primary colors of the store.


I then cut out appropriately sized sections of lace for each frame.


Then my favorite part…experimentation. I used some diluted paint to dye the lace. 


I soaked the lace in a paint and water mixture and then just gave it time to “cook”. By that I mean I zapped it for about 1 minute in the microwave and then just let it sit.


After 10 minutes or so I pulled the lace out of the paint mixture, doused it with lots of salt,  and gave it a good toss. Yup just plain old salt. It acts as a fix for most dyeing projects.


After a very good rinse in cold water I  lay the pieces out to dry. 


In my original hangar I used a second, identical frame to sandwich the lace between. This time around,to cut costs, and because the double frame was a bit hard to situate, I chose to use long slender craft sticks. 


I simply cut them in half and sanded the raw edge round to match its opposite. 


After a coat of paint on the sticks I used wood glue to sandwich the lace between the frame and the craft sticks, and clamped them with clothes pins


After a good drying period and an exact-o knife to clean up any overhanging lace on the back, the finished product is ready for the shop. 

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Kid Stuff

Just a couple small projects this week. First up my childhood friend the rocking horse. I never gave it a name. Or a gender for that matter. Comment what it’s name should be, I think it’s about time it got one. 

This poor, 26ish year old horse has spent the last 14 or so years in a garage loft and it shows.

My grandfather built it for me before my legs would even reach the pegs. And my grandmother painted the beautiful designs. 

As you can see the varnish has yellowed over the years. In fact you can see where my little hands wore off the varnish so the blue paint shows its true color around the hand holds.

I wanted to get rid of as much of the yellowing as I could while still keeping the lovely paint that my grandmother did, so I just did a wet sanding with a 150 and 220 grit sanding pad 

Now it just looks a little more antiqued than before, but still beautiful. I will eventually need to replace the tail, but for now it’s found a home in our dining room for our friends children to play on. 

Next up a project from Mr. Smith’s childhood. 

It’s not quite as pretty but it’s a bit more practical. It was his childhood toy box and before it was his it was someone else’s… I’m not sure whose, but obviously it’s pretty old and it’s pretty sturdy. It’s made out of scrap, solid wood, tongue and groove. 

And as you can see here a 6 year old Mr. Smith painted it. 

We freshened up the paint a bit using the same red and chalkboard as I did on the bar. As you can see it’s also going to need a new bottom. 

It also desperately needed new casters as the bearings in these had seized up. 

New casters, new bottom reinforced with a center strut thanks to some scrap paneling and wood…
I think Mr. Smith is excited about his newly remodeled toy box…. Or at least the toys

And it has found a cozy home in the breakfast nook. 

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We’re all Mod here

Words and things…. Ok fine, I don’t feel like writing so this is mostly going to be a story in pictures.

Sad old table…

Lots of sanding…

Oh look two different types of wood…

Ugly black legs

Let’s paint them blue and orange to match the entertainment center

My best friend tung oil

See why it’s my best friend 

Pretty table with pretty entertainment center

The End…


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Mid Century Modification

Here is a project I’ve been working on for a while. It’s been stuck in the planning stages since we moved in. This old dresser came from my great aunt who got it from her mother (my great grandmother) it’s in pretty rough shape.

 So I took a couple of the worse for wear drawers out so I could use the space for shelves.
  

And tah dah new entertainment center.


 

Luckily we got some bed side tables that had this strange MDF packing material that was the perfect size to serve as a base for the shelves. We just glued and nailed some plywood on the top and a strip of oak on the front to help it match the esthetic of the rest of the piece. 

   
   

 
Next it was time to shore up the legs. The original lumber was pretty dry rotted so after salvaging the nut out of the old piece we seated it into a scrap of deck lumber. I don’t think we’ll have any stability problems there.

 
 

We also put a new back on it after the old one fell right off. Then cut some holes in the new back to run wiring for components. 

  
Finally it was time for paint, I originally used Valspar Chalky finish paint… Big mistake, it was so toothy even attempting to put on the finishing wax was impossible. So inevitably I just went over it with my usual satin finish latex.

 
  

 
I added a couple of orange accents as well, to the base of the legs and the backer board.

  
 
 

With everything back in place it looks pretty good. I may still refinish the drawer fronts so they match the rest of the furniture but for now I think it looks great.