Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Bench Project

One of the first blogs I began to follow in earnest after discovering the blogisphere is  My Repurposed Life.  I fell in love her benches as soon as I saw her first tutorial and just knew I would be making one...never mind that I didn't even have a headboard/foot-board to use for such a project!   I read as many of her tutorials and looked at all of her posts on this kind of project as I could find as well as other bloggers over the past year.  

I was on the lookout for headboards and foot-boards at yards sales and thrift shops and could never find anything I thought would work well, and lets face it...price, cause I'm cheap...thrifty...frugal.  Whenever SF would see me looking he would ask what I was going to do with it, I would mumble 'project' and that look of "what's she up to now" would come over his face.  One day I shared some of my Pins of the benches and my need to make one...he was intrigued, but not sold.  I also shared them with my friend Liz and a few months ago Liz made me a proposition.  She had an antique bed that belonged to her daughters Paternal grandmother, the bed was broken beyond use as a bed anymore and she asked if I'd make it into a bench for her daughter.  It could never be a bed again, but it would still be a piece of heirloom-ish piece of furniture from her Grandmother.  I took the challenge!  

Then I saw the pieces!

The top rails were off both ends and all the spindles were out, the bottom rail for the spindles was broken on the headboard, and both curved corners on the foot-board were broken, again...the attempts at repairs evident.  I only had 5 of the longer headboard spindles that I was able to piece together so I could take a picture of it all.    

It also came with the side rails which were in pretty great shape still.  

I decided to use the foot-board but had to use the top rail from the headboard because the two corner pieces weren't broken.  It had the same number of spindles so I figured the holes would still line up.  

SF became my reluctant partner in this endeavor and it was right about this point that I needed his help!  We did some measuring and figuring, trying to use only the original pieces we had we began to formulate a plan.  He cut the headboard off just above the bottom rail, and then cut the end off each of the sideboards.  We had to take it in the house to work on it because suddenly it was winter!  

Totally blurry picture of the brackets

We formed the box for the bench of the base using the sideboards with the original hardware on the frontside just like when used as a bed, and we used the original brackets meant to hold the box spring frame to attach it to the back.  Once the box was fixed we had to figure out how to reattach the top rail and capture all the spindles between the rails.  Every single one of those spindles was a different length and all different in one way or another.  This piece of furniture had already been put back together several times and it was just loaded with this black stuff I had to pry off, some old wood glue and spots of Gorilla glue here and there as well.  I had to clean all this gunk off of each spindle end and out of each of the spindle holes. 

 The top rail tapers slightly toward the end so the longest of the spindles went on the outside, but it was trial and error after that.  We finally got an order that seems to work so I numbered each spindle and where it goes on the rail and I glued it all back together.  I clamped it all together and waited for it to dry for a few days.

While I loaded the bottom holes up with glue when I glued them back in the tops of the spindles were just barely seated in the top holes so I had to secure them or they would just break off again.  I brought it in and turned it upside down.  

 I made a filler using the sawdust I collected from the cuts we made and some wood glue.  I also found some plastic droppers we purchased at some yard sale...somewhere...but they worked great. 

 I squeezed some of that mixture into each of the top holes to fill in whatever gap remained .

I cleaned up all the joints and left it all to dry for a few more days.  

The two remaining pieces were enough length wise but the two of them were about 6 inches short of making the bench top, so we had to add in a non-original piece of wood.  We had to do a little adjustment to compensate for the different thickness and we had to make it a little wider so we could create a small lip under the top.

 I filled in all the holes the screws created with that wood-glue/sawdust concoction and let it took two applications to get them filled and level.  The whole piece was then given a good sanding and I had to really sand the edges pretty heavily because they were so sharp, which of course took off all of the existing color. 

I was a bit worried about how this would effect the final color and distressing but I pressed on.  It was ready for a coat of paint now.  I mixed up a batch of the DIY chalk paint w/plaster of paris in a flat latex primer/paint combo in antique white.  I was so hesitant to paint it because the color was so gorgeous but I knew I'd never match that back piece of wood...ever...even-though-I' I did it.  

I painted it!

I painted two coats of my chalk paint which covered it completely.  Once it all dried I distressed it slightly to reveal the original wood color beneath in areas it would get worn with age.  Of course my fear became reality when after distressing the piece, the areas I sanded look out of place with their lack of how to fix this?  Stain?  Paint? 

 I happened to have to craft acrylics in my art stuff so I mixed up a brownish-red and re-sanded all those edges. I then used that paint as a stain as I painted it on then rubbed it in going over all those areas I had  heavily sanded.

It worked!  I then applied a thin layer of wax all over and buffed it out.  I won't even begin to tell ya what a pain-in-the-butt it was to get into all those nooks and crannies!  I did two more layers of wax and buffed them out till the wood felt smooth as glass.

 This technique really accentuated the beautiful lines of the original piece, her legs are gorgeous.

The spindles and top rail distressed beautifully and the pictures just don't capture it well.

We were able to get it finished in time for our cookie date with Liz and I was so glad that she liked it!  The real test was if her daughter would like it as much, since it was her Grandmothers bed that we hacked all up! 

I was overjoyed when I received a text on Christmas morning from her daughter saying she loved it and thanks.  It was the cherry on top of my Christmas...

She liked it! 

Thanks to my hubby and reluctant partner SF, for making my vision happen!

Linking up to Photobucket

Friday, December 21, 2012

New Color

Last week I got another of those 'wild hairs' and decided to color my hair again.  I've always been blond of some sort but always wanted to be a red-head.  I tried many variations of strawberry blond yet it never satiated that Jessica Rabbit moment I wanted.  Soon after my hair was butchered...chopped...cut I decided to color it and even out my color since I still had some sun-bleached ends and I used Lightest Golden Brown. 

It pretty much accomplished what I wanted it to and evened my color out.  This time I decided to go just  bit darker and tried the Medium Golden Brown which I really like as well.  

It's frizzy from blow-drying which I never do but I'm kinda diggin' it!

As much as I like it however it's still a bit disappointing since I really want that WOW moment with something totally shocking.  I'm just not so sure I'm willing to suffer through a wild color just to have that moment.  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Zebra Bench-Project 50

I bought this ugly old stained bench at my favorite spot, our local ReStore. It was probably a piano or vanity bench at one point in it's life but it had good lines so I thought it deserved new life!  

 See that price tag?  Yup, $2!  How could I not buy it?

 The color is kinda yellow-creamy-dingy and old so I knew it needed to be painted.  Another project for my DIY chalk paint and I wanted to experiment with some black.  I took the top off the bench and put it to the side to reupholster another day.

 We found some Ooops paint from Menards in 'Licorice' so I whipped up a batch of the black chalk paint and got busy.  It didn't quiet cover as well as I was anticipating with the first coat but the second coat covered it completely. 

Once I got the two coats done I left it to dry while I turned my attention to choosing a fabric for me new bench.  Choosing a material and covering the bench top were next on the agenda.

Once I took the gawd-awful brocade fabric off I found this lovely green naugahyde pleather and in removing it I was gifted with yet another layer of pleather in an even more horrid color! 

Once I had it all stripped I reused the padding and added a few more thin layers of foam aka old foam mattress pads.  Once I picked out what fabric I wanted it was easy peasy to re-cover.

After a little bit of distressing and two coats of wax the chalky greyish-black paint color deepened  to a rich black.  

The animal print trend has been going strong in the fashion world for a few years and it's extended into the home-decor world as well.  Once something becomes 'vogue' I'm pretty much done with it.  Although I covet the big bold zebra, giraffe and leopard print purses I would never buy one, because I don't want to be 'everyone else'.  With all that being said...I chose Zebra!

In the end, it cost me less then $10 to finish this little project and I have a cute little bench for my bedroom!  It has really come in handy there too.  It makes me happy! 


Where is the final picture showing my new bench in it's new place in my bedroom?


Ok Ok...I'd have to clean my room first!  

Just keeping it real.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bridle Leather & Hooker Material-Project 50

I had to make a Brides Maid dress for my daughter and the colors were navy and silver.  Since I'm only a wanna-be seamstress we chose a pattern she liked and I altered it to fit her, we chose navy material and the silver we just thought we'd figure out later.  Once the dress was made I thought I could use some silver trim in a few places to achieve the 'silver' in the dress and we looked high and low for something appropriate.  I ended up with this stretch silver material that my daughter immediately nicknamed the hooker material.  Needless to say she rejected it immediately and she wore a silver broach instead.  

Now...what to do with the hooker material?  

This past summer a friend purchased a large box of leather at an auction and he gave me first dibs on it...yea me! In it were bridles, reigns, breastplates and misc. horse related pieces, all leather that I could re-purpose...which i did.

I sewed a sleeve of sorts with the hooker material and threaded a strip of leather through it, using a small leather 'keeper' for the middle to form a bow...and I have a new bracelet! The picture doesn't do it justice, the material is really shimmery. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thankful-Veteran's Day Edition

For several years I was a member of a national veteran service organization and my daughter was involved in their junior group.  We were blessed to have been able to do many things and attend our annual state conferences with our Junior group.  One of those trips took us to the Air Force Museum here in Dayton.  We were doing a self guided tour and working our way through the WWII section when we stumbled upon a elderly gentleman who was mesmerized by a plane.  He stood stoically looking up at an airplane,  I wish I had paid more attention to what kind of plane it was.As we approached him and the plane the girls were chatty and loud exuberant which broke his attention long enough to look over our group and a large smile erupted across his face before he turned his attention back to the plane. 

One of the girls asked a question about the seat located in the glass covered nose of the airplane and before I knew it a frail voice began from the elderly man in response to her question.  It turns out that was 'his' plane hanging there in that museum and his job during the war was sitting in that seat and aiming the big guns.  He began to reminisce and as his eyes glazed over he began to tell us of his downing over Germany and his eventual capture and life as a POW, he called his fellow soldiers by name as if we would know them.  His voice quivered once or twice and there were several long pauses as he appeared to get lost in his own memories but the girls seem to hang onto each word and cheered when he told them of his release and all the while his gaze never left the plane. 

The younger girls were getting restless so we thanked him for answering her question and the girls thanked him for his service and we made our way towards the giftshop for Astronaut Ice Cream.  As the rest of our group finally met up with us the girls all began to retell the story of the hero they just met and it made me so happy to know he made an impression on them.  I know he did on me. 

Thank You random Vet at Wright Pat that day, thank you to my husband, thank you to the men and women who serve in any uniform...Thank you for your service an sacrifice so we can continue to live as we do.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More Thankfulness

Now I know why I've never done any of these 30 day (insert thing) blog or Facebook  things...I get distracted too easily and although I intend to post the time just slips away from me.  I have taken a picture almost every day but I haven't gone that extra mile to actually post it.  However...this is MY blog and I can make the rules so I am, I'm posting a few things at once that have touched me over the last few days.  

 This summer I made a herb drying rack made from and old wooden frame that I stapled a piece of screen into and hung by hooks I put in each corner.  I've been drying herbs on it all summer and I pulled that last of my Tarragon and Lemon Thyme.  I still have Basil drying on the bottom so I had to put it in a box...on my rack.  I'm thankful that my Mom cooked with fresh herbs and spices and I learned to appreciate how they enhance food.  I wish I had paid more attention. 

A local grocery store had two great buys this week, one of them was squash for $ .19 lb and the other was pork sirloin roasts for $1 lb.  I love a great bargain and I'm thankful we had some extra cash to stock up.  We went and bought 3 roasts and 2 acorn, 2 butternut and 2 buttercup squash and spent less then $20, 17 and some change.  The impressive thing is what we saved, $43.03!  After walking to the car we decided to go back for more so I ran back in and picked up 4 more roasts and a few more squashes.  I spent another $21 and saved $45.75.


What the hell as I thinking buying all this squash!!??   I cut two of each in half and roasted them.  We ate half a buttercup squash for dinner that night which was yummy and I packed the rest up for the freezer!  

Thankful I have the space to freeze it all

Saved $88.00!

 Last weekend was the annual changing of the closet, you know out with the winter clothes and the summer stuff gets put away.  A horrid horrid chore and hopefully one day when I grow up and I'm rich and famous I'll have a closet big enough for everything!  Underneath a pile-o-stuff on the top shelf I found my old scrapbook and in there was a copy of my High School paper, that I and my horse Stormcloud were on the front cover of.  WOW what a flood of memories!

I'm thankful that my Mom went the extra mile to provide me with the best friend a teenage girl could have...a horse.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Thankfulness-11/1

The blogosphere as well as my Facebook page is being blown up with those joining in 30 days of Thankfulness and although I don't normally follow these trends I figured this time I know, since the intent of this blog was to help me to become more thankful and grateful.  I haven't done a very good job of it so this just may be a kick start for me.  

I won't be posting the normal "I'm thankful for my parents, spouse, kids etc..." because those are a given for me, although I could probably do a better job of showing it.  I will be posting things that make me stop, and take a breath to prolong the moment or capture the image in my mind.  If I'm lucky enough I'll be able to capture the image with a camera as well.

I should have posted this yesterday but I couldn't get it done in time so I'm cheating already...just pretend this was posted on the 1st.  

One of the chores that nobody likes to do is bringing the trash bin around back after trash pick-up day.  I don't know why, it is just overlooked often so when I went to do the dreaded chore on Wednesday evening I was rewarded with this beauty!

Late afternoon sun is beautiful on this flower
  Three solid days of rain from the effects of hurricane Sandy and 2 inches of snow couldn't stop this daisy from blooming.  


 It's striking orange, pick colors stopped me in my tracks and reminded me that Mother Nature is truly spectacular and I am blessed. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hydrangea Wreath

In my last post I wrote about the hydrangeas my co-worker brought to me so I could make a wreath with them because I've seen such beautiful ones on Pinterest recently.  Several people have asked me what I did with the flowers so here it is! 


 I hung it temporarily on the door to the man-cave because I thought the hunter green would show off the beautiful color of the flowers and it looked good.  I wasn't completely taken with my wreath, I have a 'thing' about spacial issues and the fact that my spiraled grass seed sprigs (fronds?) aren't evenly spaced would eventually drive me nuts. 

Then a hurricane named Sandy came along...but let me show you how I made this first.  Hiding behind my behemoth butterfly tree bush is this patch of wild grass.  I planted it years ago to kind this corner of the house and the gas meter...needless to say it's kinda taken on a life of it's own. 


 It produces these lovely whispy seed thingies that I thought would add a little whimsy to my wreath so I cut a bunch off and just began stuffing it into the grapevine wreath I picked up at our local thrift shop for $1.29.

My intent was to just kinda randomly place them around the outside but before I knew it my inner balancing nature took over and I found myself trying to 'evenly' place them around the wreath.  
Uggg...why do I do that to myself everytime?

After I had them all placed where I want them I pulled out this old hot glue-pot.  Yea I know it's ancient, don't be hater of my vintage tools!  I bought that pot and a whole bag of melting glue (circa 1985) for $.50 at a yard sale.  I remembered when I used this type of glue and pot years ago the glue seemed much stronger then the stuff I use in my glue gun so I chose this to put the flowers on with. 

 I began gluing the flowers to the wreath in random order because I really wanted the feel of the wreath to be free-flowing

Here it is all done and on the window of my front porch which ended up being it's final resting place. It was getting dark out so the pictures aren't that great but you get the idea.

Here it is on my front door but I couldn't leave it there for now because I don't have a hanger to accommodate the door...yet.  Perhaps if I nag ask my hubby again to replace the screen insert with the glass insert I can return it to the door.

 Looks pretty good doesn't it?  


Sandy entered our lives!

The storm of the century, Stormageddon, Superstorm aka Hurricane Sandy finally hit us.Although we're hundreds of miles from the coast the massive size of this hurricane had far reaching winds and rain and we dealt with some pretty powerful winds.  Needless to say my beautiful new wreath didn't fare so well...I looked outt he window last night to see if there was any damage I could see yet and saw this! seed thingies poofed!

Oh was fun to make!