Friday, December 30, 2011

A finished headboard

When I left off, I had showed you the 4 doors screwed to the wall.  Next, hubby panelled with MDF strips to cover the gaps between the doors.

It was time to create the crown molding top.  With the purchase of a very cool saw, the two of us   mitered the corners and I left it to hubby to connect them.  

 Notice the dimension on the crown molding corners.  My husband built a shelf on top.  I haven't decided what I want to put up there. 

 We decided to use the same high gloss paint as the crown molding and baseboards to tie the headboard together in the room.
With a lot of spackling, sanding and painting, this is the finished project.  I think it is beautiful.  Thinking about the cost of raw materials, $15.00 for each door,  and $2.00 for the crown molding, the total cost was $62.00 without tax.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Headboard Part 1

When we moved to our latest home, my husband and I wanted to create a substantial headboard.  I had viewed pictures on other blogs, but just couldn't get the design right.  One Sat., we went down to our local Habitat Restore shop and started to look for some crown moldings.  Habitat Restore is a facility that acquires through donations, used house parts.  Many of them have doors, windows, moldings, cabinets, light fixtures, tile, sometimes furniture and even items like mantles.  We spied an 8 foot piece that looked pretty worn. Just remember, anytime you see wood that is so filthy, use TSP to clean it.  You would be surprised to see how well it cleans any grease or grime on wood.

In our original plan, we wanted to use MDF(medium density fiberboard) and trim molding for the   project.  After taking the crown molding up to the counter, I mentioned that maybe we could look at  the doors and see if we could come up with anything.  Once there, we looked at panelled, primed, but never used doors that were about 18 inches wide.  We started laying them out on the floor and visualizing the crown molding on top.  The idea was born.  We picked up 4 doors at $15.00 a piece, and the crown molding for a whopping $2.00.

Once home, hubby spaced the doors two inches apart.

Once up on the wall  it looked like this.

I'm going to keep you in suspense.  Stay tuned for the finished project.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Child is born

Because this special holiday is about the Birth of Jesus, I wanted to show you the process of redoing the library table where the Nativity scene resides in our home.

A few years back, at a backwards old auction outside Little Rock, I spied this library table.  It had interesting carved lines in the top.  When I bought it for $25.00, I decided to wait to work on it.  I already had one library table, and really didn't need a second one.  However, time waits for all and so on this last move, I finally found a place to use this piece.  I knew that I wanted a french blue paint on it so it could match the beautifully handpainted Nativity scene that I had.

I had been reading in other blogs about Annie Sloan chalk paint.  It's not chalkboard paint but it has the interesting quality of pretty much covering everything.  You don't have to strip a piece before applying this paint.  In the past, I had a dresser that I stripped and sanded.  When I painted it, the stain leaked through and it has a peach cast to it.  Sorry for the digression.  Anyway, with this paint, it covers all.  It is not cheap, however, it can be watered down.  It dries very quickly and can be recoated sooner than most paints.  Because this was a layered painting project, this paint sands off easily to show undercoats.  I used Louis Blue as my undercoat, sanded and top coated with Old White.  After sanding, I applied Fiddes & Sons Light Supreme Wax Polish.  After buffing the wax, you get the smoothest surface imagined.  It has a soft sheen to it.

Notice how bright blue the surface is.  After sanding and recoating with the Old White, it tones it down.

The Holy Family

Keep your heart in the true spirit of Christmas.  To all my friends and family out there, I wish you the Merriest Christmas.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Dressing up a corner

I brought this spider plant from the apartment.  It was so spindly and weak.  Once I put it in this window, I fed it eggshells, coffee grounds and fertilizer and it took off.  This cabinet isn't one of my antiques, but I can pass it off as one.  It needed something to dress it up for the holidays.

I used some old textured wallpaper that was laying around and glued it to the back of the cabinet.  I bought 3 old books from Habitat Restore for $.50 apiece and wound them up with paper lace and heavy twine, added a shabby finial and it was ready to go.  This is one of those projects that I just scrounged around to find things to put together. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Auction projects for Christmas

For some years now I have been involved in creating silent auction projects  for the schools' fundraising events.  Some schools have class projects that the students make for the events.  These items usually get  great responses from their parents.
One year, I had third graders take clear ornaments and swirl acrylic paint inside them.  They really were beautiful.  With a donated tree and handmade tree skirt, the ornaments made a beautiful presentation.   I made a set for home to go with my then shabby color scheme.  Here are the ornaments on the white feather tree.  Notice the cross in front of the tree.  This is my next auction project to complete for the January auction.  I'm anxious to see if my vision will work out.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Days of Christmas Past

When I went to the kitchen this morning, I plugged in the little trees and stopped to see the vintage scale in the foreground.  This was the scale used in my grandfather's grocery store.  On top was the old granite food container that grandma one used.  With the trees lit, I envisioned her making one of her many types of Christmas cookies.  She was always willing to let one of the grandkids help on those days.  Now that is a beautiful Christmas memory.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Grocery Bag library table

This is the tale about a lonesome table lying in an Ohio flea market booth.  While visiting in Ohio, we came upon a local flea market.  Once inside, we were hunting the booths until I came upon the top of what looked like a library table.  I inquired about the piece and the booth owner directed me to two brown paper grocery bags  full of remaining parts for the table.  I asked him if all the parts were all  there and he told me that he thought so, but it was a gamble.  I wish that I had taken a picture then of the bags.  Not feeling very confident about the piece and wondering if she could survive surgery and be remade whole once again, I asked about a price.  $32.00 was his answer. " I'll take it!"

Once home, the operation of putting the base and legs together was  a challenge.  The legs were assembled like a puzzle.  Thanks to my awesome husband, the job was completed. I don't believe I would have had the patience.  This is the pre-paint job.

The hard part was done.  Now it was on to the priming and painting.
Finally, all that was needed was a bit of bling.  The crystal drawer handle finished the table off.

This humble piece now is one of my most favorite pieces.  Life out of a grocery bag...Isn't she a beauty?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tarnished silver and burlap

Instead of going with traditional colors this year, I chose the tarnished silver and burlap route.

I found a tutorial for a burlap runner on a blog and was curious to see if it was as easy as explained.  I used utility burlap instead of normal burlap.  The utility burlap is a bit rougher.   I would not recommend using this type of burlap.   The stitches were hard to catch because of the looser weave. Once completed, it worked out and doesn't look too shabby.

It is hard for me not to get out my silver polish to clean all my goodwill, close out sale or estate sale silver. I really didn't mind all the polishing. In the end, it  goes well with the rough burlap and saves lots of time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Close up on the tree drawer/stand and then some...

I found this close up picture of the tree stand.
You can find the decorative wood pieces just about anywhere.  I found this one at an estate sale under a couple dollars.

Ordinary items are so easy to swap out for the holidays.  These 3 suitcases are used all around the house during the year.  I loved their gently worn surfaces.  I have even used them as birthday present containers. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Birth of the Christmas tree base

I need to give you a bit of background on this next project.  About five years ago, living in the DC area, there was a fabulous dump.  This dump had a special shed for used items 'too good to be thrown away'.  I would take a weekly drive out to this facility to see what I could find.  You could only stay and pick out items for 20 minutes at a time.  People would drop their junk off and minutes later, a junker, or me, would gladly take it off their hands.

One day I picked up an old buffet that had been left outdoors.  It was pitiful, but I knew that it had some life still in it.  I drug it into the van and brought it home.  I left it out in the garage for weeks, because  I couldn't envision any project.  Finally, I decided that out of the whole piece, only one drawer was salvagable, but it was  going to be a spectacular piece.  Plans began.
The family loves to put their feet up while watching movies.  This drawer was long enough to fit all of our feet.

This piece has been   very significant in our house.  When Christmas came along, we found another use for it.  This really accentuated the tall ceilings.
However, this year our ceilings aren't so high, hence off with the legs. 

I have become quite fond of the little drawer that could.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A simplified advent wreath

Amongst all the unpacking of boxes, I had misplaced the advent wreath that my Dad made for me years ago.  It was just a simple piece of wood, with 4-1 inch circles cut into  the base.  I knew that I had to figure something out quickly, so I went to the china cabinet and pulled two sets of glass candle holders and grouped them together, added the candles and it worked.   Simple and suits the purpose.

Of course, I found the advent base after we had used the candle holders.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dens gens creatifs

I want to thank Susan for giving me that little push to start my blog.  I wouldn't be here without her.

I wanted to come up with a blog name that would better describe my hobby, so Dens gens creatifs- the creative person- was born.

My house is filled with mostly furniture acquired through junkyards, estate or flea market sales or my neighbor's garbage.  This was born out of neccesity since  I purchased my first house and couldn't afford furniture.  This hobby has been my therapy for some 30 years.  I will start by posting a lot of before and after projects that I have finished.  I couldn't do this without the support of my fabulous husband, who sees my vision and helps me work through the rough patches. 

Here is a mirror that I bought at a neighborhood garage sale for $3.00.  It was missing chunks of the intricate molding.

I used spackling compound and built up the filligree and finished by silver leafing the entire surface. It looked too shiny so I covered it with a black wash to tone it down.

                               Please ignore the lamp cord.  Not too shabby for a $3.00 investment.