Category Archives: Project!

Panes in the Neck

I’m a big fan of old windows. BIG fan. I must have ten or so in my garage, all waiting to be transformed like I did the one over my mantel. I took a six-pane wood window and sanded the old paint off, then repainted it and made it look old by distressing it with sandpaper.

The irony of removing the old patina to replace with new old patina is not lost on me.

Anyway, I have plans for most of the windows in the garage. But some are what I call “redundant”. I have plans for one in X style, but have three other X style windows and NO IDEA why I got them save the fact that they are old windows. I’m all about renew, reuse, recycle, save money and use vintage. Now, vintage is “in”, so it is getting a bit pricey at the boutique antique places, but you can still find a lot at flea markets and garage sales for way less. Seriously, I found a silver-plated flute for $10 and a typewriter table for $3 at the local flea market. Boutique antique shops would sell those items at premium prices.

By the way, guess where I’m going this weekend? That’s right. I’m gonna pop some tags, I got $20 in my pocket!

Back to the point of this ramble. I have all these old windows. I also have an unremarkable backyard. It slopes in a weird way and has these weird angles. So I went to my rabbit hole, AKA Pinterest and did a search for reusing old windows. And of course, found an easy solution.

Not exactly what I want, but close. I do want one of the windows on hinges so it opens. And I want to use shelf brackets on the joints of the two windows on the roof for decorative purposes. But it’s an idea. And it would free up a lot of stuff in the garage. Um, a lot of breakable stuff.

It’s an adorable (yes, I used that word) addition to the backyard and would be a pretty focal point, as well as a nice place to display sun-loving flowers. As for the rest of the windows, who knows. I thought maybe make end tables, or mirrors, or maybe a curio cabinet.

But for now, one idea at a time 😉


Friday Sithy

Oh dear GAWD I want to make this for Halloween one year.

Steampunk Leia. Tell me that’s not awesome. I dare you 😉


Nerd Christmas

As y’all are aware by now, I am a nerd. Established 1974, when I first watched Star Trek episodes in Spanish. That intensified when Star Wars came out, and cemented for all time when Ricardo Montalban resurrected his role of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Don’t be fooled. I hate Ewoks.

Anyway, I wanted to get a black pre-lit Christmas tree for the longest time. No, not to match my soul but so I could display my space-themed ornaments, thinking the black would be outer space and the lights would be the stars. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?? But the topper….well, that was a quandary. I really wanted to get something like an exploding Alderran or the Pillars of Creation, but the ones I found were too pricey, so I made my own Death Star topper out of a styrofoam ball, felt, and pipe cleaners. It’s not to scale, but it will do until I take the time to make one with LEDs in it.

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Sew Done

A few weeks ago, I regaled you with the tale of my sewing machine redo. Fun times, right? Who can forget the spider in the glove, or the tetanus scare?

I know I can’t.

Here is the before:

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Honestly, I still like the rusty look of it. But the after is still rather stunning.

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I went looking high and low for a glass top and the cheapest I could find was $80 for a 16″x 24″ size. As luck would have it, the antique store where I bought the machine had that glass top outside and the owner let me have it for free, since she couldn’t figure out what to do with it. Totally winning!!

As I was leaving with it, I noticed she had yet another antique sewing machine, everything in good condition except the table. And my eye wandered to it. Do I have a place for it? Do I have a plan for its future use? Of course I don’t! But it can sure be pretty as a sideboard 😀


Sew Much Adventure

I began my day by tackling one of the dozen projects I listed in a previous post: the sewing machine. Mentally, I thought I was ready to clean it up and get it primed and painted in what I estimated would be a couple of hours.

Oh, I was so very wrong.

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There she is, in all her mostly clean and not as rusty glory. But the process was not as smooth as I thought it would be.

I started by setting up my cordless drill to charge. No worries, since I could go do some laundry and the bed. I come back to find the battery fully charged, and to my chagrin the part that holds the bits in place is missing. So much for using the drill. Fine….FINE!!! I will do it the old fashioned way. I go out to the garage and place the machine laying on the floor for ease of access. I get on my knees and find ten mud dauber hives. TEN!! They must have really liked this machine. Finally I see the screws, along with what seems to be an incredible amount of rust. After torquing and tweaking and squealing in frustration, I go get the WD-40™ and proceed to administer a life-giving dose to each screw. After waiting a few minutes, I begin to undo them, the oil having helped quite a bit. Finally I can remove the unusable top and in a fit of triumph I am overcome by the thought of having this chore done in an hour or so.

This is where y’all laugh. A lot.

I drag the base over to the grass, put on latex gloves and begin to spray it with Krud Kutter™. As I sprayed I scrubbed the areas with a wire brush. And scrubbed. And scrubbed. Suddenly I feel a tingle on my thumb. The latex glove is no match for the wire brush and now I have a small cut suffused with cleaner and rust.

*makes mental note to schedule a tetanus shot*

I go back to the garage and get my gardening gloves and continue to tackle the base, now free of mud dauber hives. Suddenly I feel movement inside the gardening glove. Striving not to lose my cool, I manage to get the glove off in time to see a spider crawling on my hand. This is where I jumped around and did the Tarantella, which in retrospect was rather appropriate. I calm down enough to shake out the gloves and once I am sure no other resident is inside, I put them back on and continue to scrub as much rust as I can, all the while thinking how much scrubbing needs to be done, and how suddenly the rust looks awesome and industrial chic. But no, I need to get it primed, painted and sealed. After about 45 minutes of scrubbing, I begin to rinse it off. Now it looks a bit better, but still rusty. Next step will be to sand it a bit more to dislodge as much rust as I can.

Perhaps I will get a rust-reversing primer. More and more I am liking that idea. I want to enjoy the process of upcycling, not be resentful of it. I also wish to avoid any future trips to the clinic. Getting a tetanus shot isn’t exactly how I pictured spending my free time. On the other hand, the clinic is right by Hobby Lobby, so I have that going for me, which is nice.

I’ll let y’all know how the tetanus shot goes 😉


In a DIY Mood

I went out to the garage a few weeks ago, and tripped. If it hadn’t been for a pile of clothing headed to Goodwill™, I would have been in need of facial reconstructive surgery. It wasn’t pretty, and neither was my vocabulary. But I was gracious enough to acknowledge that most of that was my fault. I have been neglectful of my list of projects and let them pile up in the garage. For a while it was difficult to get anything done due to the scorching hot weather. But this is Texas and I am not waiting for the two days of fall to get here, so I sucked it up and got back into crafting with paint.

I’ve had a small chest of drawers that have been storing some extension cords and leg weights. Don’t ask. Anyway, it was painted a celery green with butterfly handles. Perfect for a little girl, which no longer exist in this family due to that pesky “growing up” thing.

(Yes, I cried when I took it outside to prep with primer.)

Anyway, I decided to repaint and repurpose the chest of drawers. The half bath upstairs has no storage of any kind and the chest is small enough to fit alongside the wall. Now that Hubby is gone I have to keep myself busy doing all the projects I kept putting off. I had purchased some Martha Stewart Paint™ in Polished Silver because A) it was on clearance, 2) it was shiny, and iii) I couldn’t make up my mind on what color to use. So after literally months of deliberation I finally dragged the dresser outside and painted it.

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Wow, did it turn out pretty! Too pretty for the bathroom upstairs, so I am placing it in my bedroom for now. There’s an empty spot where his dresser used to be, so it will fill the area nicely until its return.

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A slightly blurry close-up of the silver. Silver leaf would have been shinier, but far too expensive to use on a cheap little dresser like this. I’m ambivalent about the drawer knobs, but they will do for now.

This was the big project yesterday, but I had other smaller ones I managed to do as well. I ended up painting vases and turning them into vahses. Yeah, I don’t get why there’s two different pronunciations, either. But it sure sounds grand, doesn’t it?

Next up will be the thrift store folding chairs. If all goes according to plan, I will have them finished by October.

Of 2017 😀


Flipping Ain’t Just for Burgers

As y’all know, I am a thrift store junkie. I’m not quite a diva. I haven’t reached the “found priceless artifact for $5” level yet. I am confident that one day I will eventually find the random Van Gogh, but until then I am quite content with finding mid-century vintage stuff that I can flip into a modern look. So far I have transformed a $10 dresser, a $2 lamp, and some antique frames. This week’s search was just as fruitful.

metal folding chair

Via Etsy

I found a pair of Cosco metal folding chairs at the thrift store for $3. That’s $3 for the pair!! Look at those beautiful lines!!! They are in very good condition, with only a couple of rust marks and of course, the vinyl needs replacing. While looking for some color ideas, I came across a listing for a pair: $75.

At which point I was all wha……??

Me: Holy cow, these chairs are selling for a lot of money.

Little One: Do you plan to sell them?

Me: No, I want to redo them and use them outside.

LO: So no big deal, then.

Me: But $75???

LO: That can get you a bunch more chairs to store somewhere while you do yet more projects.

Me: Point taken.

I admit I get swamped by my zeal to make something old ab fab again. So I shall just keep to one project at a time until I have made enough room in my garage to buy more retro stuff to flip. Hopefully I will have finished these chairs by this weekend.

Right after I finish Eldest’s old dresser.

And my sister’s old framed art.

And the cushions on the dining chairs.

*sobs uncontrollably* 😀


Do You Even Architecture??

Sometimes knowing obscure things can work against me. Last week, Hubby and I took our monthly trip to the home improvement store to pick up random stuff for the house. As always, I take advantage of going so I can stock up on industrial crap for art projects. This time, I was on the hunt for plinths.

Do y’all know what plinths are? well, here is a sample of plinths:

antique plinths

Those pictured above are antiques. They are architectural elements used usually to adorn doorways or around pediments. That style is called “bullseye”, but other popular styles included flowers, Fleur-de-lys, and even Corinthian fluting. Anyway, I know they are still in use today, so I wanted to get a few on which to practice my chalk paint techniques and maybe use them for altered art. So, I commenced my hunt for them in the lumber section, where you would expect to find you know, wood. But no luck. Rambling and dragging Hubby along, I was unable to locate them. Finally I broke down and asked a young man for help in locating them. After mistakenly taking us to the picture hanging aisle, he was finally able to understand what it was I was looking for.

Me: (explaining for the third time in my ridiculous way) Plinths are the decoration used in corners of doorways. Little squares?

Expert: Oh! You mean corner blocks?

Me: …..not sure, but maybe?

Expert: (shows me the exact item I am looking for) Like these?

Me: YES!!! THOSE!!!

Expert: At least you know what you’re looking for. I get gentlemen that are sent by their wives to get some obscure item because she saw an idea on Pinterest–

Hubby: *points to me*

Me: Hey, *I* get my own crap for my Pinterest projects.

Expert: *laughs at me*

So this Sith Got a few plinths. As usual, Hubby has no idea what I am going to do with them. Neither do I, but having them is half the battle 😀


Flowerdom

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The main bath is being redone due to some water issues and a hankering for modern aesthetics. It won’t take long for the contractor to finish so there’s that. In the meantime, I have managed to get the new(ish) car registered and clean my bathroom, and to pass away the time since the noise level is rather high, I decided to make felt flowers, including cacti. Usually my thought process goes like this:

“Hm…. I think I will make some flowers.”

*cuts felt shapes, glues, makes flowers*

*looks at pile of flowers*

*wonders what to do with finished flowers*

*throws in basket*

*sighs*

Nothing is more calming than making sure you don’t pour hot glue on your fingers. So I have that going for me, which is nice 🙂


Nothing Screams “Halloween” Like Getting Ready for Christmas

I swore I would never become one of those people. You know who I’m talking about. The people who start their Christmas decor shopping before October arrives. I went to a home decor superstore to get some artificial flowers and was bombarded by a giant air-powered snowglobe designed for the front yard. This was the first week of October. I had to pass twelve aisles to get to the fall stuff.

Twelve out of twenty-four!!

Now, I don’t criticize anyone who starts their Christmas gift shopping early. My mom is usually two years ahead of schedule with it. I usually start around February for the coming Christmas. But I do wait to get any decor until after Thanksgiving. But y’all know me: once an idea gets under my skin, I have to do it. And this year I got the idea to make a winter wreath for my front door. I have already made the flowers to use on the wreath. I made them this week while also making Little One’s costume and mum. Once the hot glue gun is on, I keep going.

flowers for wreath

The yellow one is an outlier. I had extra felt and made it because I could. Now, some people don’t think that’s a big deal because I am making the wreath, but keep in mind I have yet to make a fall wreath.

Yes, I do feel some shame.

I do have my Halloween wreath, which has been out most of the month, so I have that going for me which is nice. But no fall wreath. So in my mind I have to rectify that by making the fall wreath before I do the winter one, right? Translation: making fall flowers and buying a wreath and more glue sticks and more felt. It’s a sacrifice I am more than willing to make. 😀