Saturday, August 28, 2010

old...and sunroom storage projects

Funky Junk Donna's themed link party this week is "old" and I really want to participate.  I haven't been able to the last couple of weeks and this theme is right up my alley.  I have so much "old" around my house and in my garage and in my garden...everything we have is "old" and I can't possible link it all up.  So, I'm combining two things into one (I think they call that 'killing two birds with one stone' but since I love birds and can't kill anything, we won't call that).  

If you've followed this blog, you know I've been redoing my sunroom into a project room.  I've complete a few projects and now I need storage for the room to hold so much junk I use for all my projects; everything from craft supplies to my new electric nail/staple gun.  So, here are two OLD things that I'm going to freshen up and use for my storage.

Here they are:

First up are these drawers I gave you a peek at in a previous post.  There are two and they are slightly different.  This one below has smaller drawers (and wait until you see them close up!).

This one has square drawers and larger drawers on the bottom.

See the little holes in the corners?  They aren't actually holes but indentions so one set can sit nice and tight on top of the other.

On the corner of this one you can see a raised spot that would fit snugly in one of those indentions.

Here are the drawers close up.  They are all galvanized metal drawers.  If you like galvanized like I do, isn't that awesome?

Here's a close up of the label slots and handles.

We are definitely keeping these.  So, here's the plan for these drawers.  I'm going to wipe them down and seal. That's it.  I'm keeping them as is.  I like the dark wood in the otherwise neutral room.  I may keep some of the labels already on some of the drawers because my dad made them.  Others will be replaced with some simple labels.
These drawers came from my dad's manufacturing jewelry shop.  My uncle originally owned the company and my dad worked there. When my uncle retired, he gave the company to my dad.  These drawers were there from the beginning.  They held many of the jewelry supplies (they called them "findings").  When my dad retired, he brought these home.  My mom loved them but never really used them in her house.  They stayed in the garage and housed some of my dad's tools along with some of the old jewelry stuff.  Some of those drawers still have all of that old stuff in them.  I can't wait for these to be finished and ready to use.  They should be done this weekend.

Here's the other old thing we're going to use for storage. This was in my parents' garage for as long as I can remember.  I think it might have been my grandmother's before that.  We called it a cedar closet. Originally, it was just cedar with no finish.  Now, I like the function of cedar, but not the look.
The red crackle finish is fake.  When my parents gave us this to use in our son's nursery, we painted it mustard, applied crackle medium and then painted barn red.  Looks pretty good huh?  Not really.  There are a lot of oops places.

These are cute though.  We don't have the key unfortunately.

It has shelves in it and a rod for hanging things.  The shelves have been covered in ticking. I think I'll leave them that way.  You can see the cedar in it's original state inside.

Here is the first oops picture.  This was our first and last attempt at crackle.

See the glops of paint?  Yucky.  I'm not sure why the color is off in this picture; sorry.

Last oops pic.  See, it's not that cute.  So here's the plan for this little piece.  I'm going to sand down the oops places.  Then, I'm going to paint it the same blue-gray color as the project table.  Donna at Funky Junk mentioned in her post that skipping some of the big time prep like sanding down pieces before painting or staining can take way the effect we are usually trying to achieve which is having pieces look old.  I've mentioned before that I often don't prep things.  I just paint or stain over it so the piece retains it's character and age.  This cedar closet will look like an old cedar closet with a fresh coat of paint that has been painted over layers of old paint.  It should chip and wear nicely so some of that red may eventually peek through.  Perfect.
I'm off to get started on these things.  I should post some "afters" later in the week.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

sunroom update: project table complete

I've haven't been posting as often as I would like.  I started back to work last week and the students return this week.  That, along with the fact that my own son begins eighth grade this week, has made for a very hectic time.  I did manage to get that old desk finished.  Here's how it turned out.
I painted it a gray-blue white and added a glass top.  I didn't sand it first so the character still shows through when you see it in person.  I'm hoping it chips and wears over the next few months.  We added wheels so it moves around easily.

I added a piece of fabric under the glass.  I may change this out later and add pictures and inspiration ideas.

As I mentioned previously, one of the original glass knobs was broken and I'm on the hunt for a replacement match.  Until, the pretty blue-gray knobs from HL look pretty good.
I slipcovered the pillows on the bench in the same fabric.  

Here are the main fabrics I'm using.  I will be adding a lot of other less matchy pillows later to the bench.
I added my favorite rug.  It's a large PB rug I got on clearance with a coupon for cheap.  It's mostly cream and blue with just a bit of red...which will be the color scheme in this room.
Love this rug.

So, we've pulled up carpet and painted the floors, completed the quarter round trim at the baseboards, recovered the bench, slipcovered the two little pillows, made over the project table and put in a rug.  There is still so much to do!

Remember these from "junkin and pickin' in my own garage"?

These are going in there for storage.  I also have an old cedar closet that will be madeover and put in the sunroom for even more storage.  I have a great cubby thingamajig that's going in and lots of decorating ideas to be done.
I have two of these stools and planned to use them as seating at my project table.  I have already recovered the top and still need to paint them the gray-blue white.  However, I discovered they are a bit too tall (like 2 inches) and I really don't want to cut them down so I may have to hunt for something else...but that's the fun of it all, isn't it?  The hunt?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My how times have changed...

Around here, the first day of school for most students is tomorrow.  I know some of you have already returned and others will return soon.  I remember when I was in school.  We were still reading Tip and Mitten, Jack and Janet stories and used the old filmstrip projectors which was always a treat.

Sometimes for big newsworthy events, they would roll a TV into our classroom and we would watch poor quality news reports...probably with rabbit ear antennas.  In high school, not much had changed as far as technology.  We didn't watch filmstrips much anymore but still used projectors with reels for educational movies and were just starting to use vhs tapes and of course cassettes. I think there may have been an early computer or two in the building but I don't remember using one.  We still took "typing" on actual least they were electric typewriters.  We didn't have cell phones or mp3 players or laptops.

My how times have changed!
My son will begin 8th grade tomorrow at a new school.  It's a public school and is billed as a green technology school.  We went to visit the other day.  When I saw the wall of Ipads in the main hall, I was speechless.  Yet, that was just the beginning.  We were told we didn't need to buy any school supplies (at all, not even a pencil) and the kids won't be issued a set of books to carry back and forth.  Nope, nothing.  They don't have teacher classrooms either but rather "student learning spaces."  I'll be honest, I'm not sure what to think about all of this.  I guess this is what they call "the future".

If you want to see it, you can watch the video below (hopefully...if I did this right) They will show a tiny bit of construction of it first before they get to the good stuff like moving walls.  Crazy.
Are you guys seeing this kind of stuff at your schools too?  Are you ready for it?

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I want to thank everyone who gave me their suggestions for redoing this old desk into my new project desk for my sunroom makeover.  I kind of had in my head what I wanted to do and had already made some decisions but really wanted to see what you all thought before I jumped in.  Some said paint and others said don't.  Some suggested exactly what I was thinking which was great.  So, I've made my decisions and actually have about finished the desk.  There are a couple of final touches I need to do before I show you the end result.  However, I'm going to give you a sneak peak and share with you how I made my final decisions.
Here is the desk in it's before.  It is at least 70+ years old and was handmade by someone in my husband's family.  It is in kind of rough shape.

Upon closer inspection, I saw this and asked my husband about it.  He said in later years, this was moved to a back porch and people sat at it smoking cigarettes.  Apparently, they didn't care much for ashtrays and just set the cig directly on the table.  These are burn marks.  (visualize a sad face)

Here are more burn marks on the other edge.  You can also see some splitting of the finish on the wood. This wood was a bit dried out.

However, it had these crazy staples in it to hold the the two pieces of wood that make up the bottom shelf.  They are either original or added fairly soon afterward.  I like them...crazy little squiggly staples.

There are old nails all over the place.  There doesn't appear to be any rhyme or reason for some of them but they are everywhere.  Here are 2.  There was little care to line them up or make them neat or even make the patterns match another set of corresponding nails.

More nails.  They are hard to see but there are about 4 or 5 nails in this picture.

The underside of the top of the desk.  I kind of wish these grooved boards had been on top.  I guess that wouldn't have been functional for homework back in the day.

So, here's my decision process and my ultimate decisions.  I have a hard time painting old things.  I've done it and done it plenty of times but it's hard.  So, I considered sanding and restaining.  The burns and poor condition and nails everywhere made me want to paint.  Paint would cover everything and freshen it up.  However, I don't want to cover up all of the character.  If I sand it in anticipation of staining, I would have sand a lot to get the burns off and the smoothness of freshly sanded wood might take away a lot of the character.  This thing is full of worm holes and dings and dents and uneven places.  I like that.   So, I can't decide yet whether to paint or restain.  

This is going in my sunroom. I want the sunroom to be fresh and light.  One piece of sort of dark wood can look amazing in a room where everything else is light.  But...I have another awesome big piece of furniture that will be going in the room and it is a dark wood.  A bunch of dark wood furniture wouldn't make the sunroom light and bright.  I can not paint the other piece so......

...enter Martha Stewart's Cumulus Cloud.  It's a soft gray-blue in the white family.  I decided to paint.  Some of those who suggested I paint it also suggested I sand it afterwards slightly to distress a bit.  I decided to just paint with very little prep.  That way, I can keep the character but cover up the stuff I don't like.  If I don't prep well, normal wear and tear will allow the paint to chip and wear in a more authentic way.  From the picture above you can see that I am adding wheels too.  
If you hate seeing old wood painted, change the channel now.  What you are about to see may be disturbing to some viewers.

We added wheels so I can easily move it around.

I wanted to keep the original glass knobs on the two drawers.  When replacing them we realized one was broken.  That's why it had been removed and was laying in a drawer.  So, I may try to find a matching one but in the meantime, I think I'm going to put two new (but old looking) knobs on it.

Some of you suggested we add glass to the top since there was a lip around it.  Well, we had already decided to do that and the glass had been ordered.  I'm doing the sunroom in neutral creams with soft blues and greens (and a couple of pops of red because it's my favorite color).  I found this pretty fabric and put it under the glass.  I may add pictures and project ideas under the glass as well with the fabric as a backdrop.

So, still left to do before I show you the whole piece:  new knobs, shave a little off the glass because it doesn't fit perfectly since the desk isn't a perfect rectangle and make a few pillows out of the same fabric and a complimentary fabric. Give me a few days and I'll show you the final product.  

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What do you think?...and a link

This is an old desk we have.  What do you think? Not too impressed are ya? It's going to be my next project for sunroom.  I have plans for this old desk and hopefully it's going to turn into a charming project table for me...hopefully.  But first, here's a little history.
This desk was built by one of my husband's family members a LOOOOOONG time ago.  My father-in-law who passed away several years ago used this desk along with one of his brothers to do homework when they were little.  Although I'm terrible at math, I think this must have been around the 1930's-early 1940's.  See the little drawer that's missing a knob?  There is another drawer on the other side of the desk on the opposite side (sort of in the area of where that little pillow is).  So, two people sat at this desk, one on each side and each had a drawer for their things.  That's about all my husband told me about this gem.
When we had our son, my mother-in-law gave my husband the desk for our son to use. It was in his room for several years as a desk.  For the last few years, it has been living in our home office which is primarily used by our son too.
The desk has a built in shelf underneath.
You can see that this desk has been "well-loved" in it's 80+ years and is in pretty bad shape.  My husband loves it just the way it is.  It has taken a LOT of convincing on my part to get him to agree to a little makeover for it.
Here's the other side.  The drawer is missing but not lost.  It's in another room full of stuff.  We will clean it out and put it back.
The drawers have little glass-like knobs that I may keep.  I'm not sure.  We've taken them off so I can do something to the desk to make it more me.
The desk is much larger than it looks in the picture.  The work surface is pretty big with plenty of room for completing projects.  So what do you think I should do with it?  I have ideas and ready to start on it right now.  I hope to have it completed this weekend.  I know what I think I want to do with it but I would love to hear any ideas you creative people have and want to share.

On a different note: Suzanne over at Meridian Road had a post today that I could so identify with.  If you  are not familiar with Suzanne's blog, you've got to see it.  She has amazing stuff and great ideas and she's funny.  The post today though was about her frustration with one aspect of blogging and I have the same frustration.  Do you?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

a small change and something for Mandi

Those of you that follow will remember my recently redone entryway.  Here is a picture to refresh your memory:

Do you see the little hooks on it?  There are three of them.  They came in kind of a nickel color and I painted them white...but I didn't really love them.  They are kind of plain.  So, I changed them.

Sundance Catalog had these chalkboard ones on clearance.
They're a little bit industrial, a little vintage, a little gym lockerish.
I think they look a lot better than the old ones.  Cute.

...and now something for Mandi:  Mandi at Tidbits from the Tremaynes wanted to see close up pictures of my newly painted concrete floors in the sunroom.  So this is for her.  Now, remember that I didn't roll the paint on for a uniform finish.  I like to swirl it around for a visual effect, sort of like a loft look.  The paint looks like a different color in the pictures because of lighting but in real life, it is the color of picture number one.  So, Mandi, here is a close up:
Please disregard the unattached quarter round molding we haven't finished yet.
You can see the finish but the color is off in this picture. (too much sun)
At the top of this picture, you can barely see the repaired floor from where we removed the fireplace tile and painted.  Blends in pretty well, huh?
If you use a roller, you'll have even, solid coverage if you prefer that.  There you go, Mandi.
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