Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I should begin by saying that this was not an original idea of mine.  I found this idea in a Leisure Arts Publication called Flea Market Finds. 

 When I bought this book, it had so many ideas that I wanted to create my own treasures.  The fact that this project involved using nostalgic Valentines ready hit home with me.

  Finding the base elements for this project was probably the most challenging.

The window used for this artwork looked like it could have belonged in a 1930's bungalow.  In those homes,  the living room had a brick fireplace on the opposite wall as you came in the house.  Flanking the fireplace were two bookshelves, one  on each side that had a windowed cabinet door.  Are you following me?  Anyway, as houses were updated, many times the doors were removed and discarded.  So for about 5 years I would wander into one restore shop or flea market searching for one of these doors.  Nothing turned up until I was in Little Rock about 5 years ago.  I was searching through old kitchen cabinet doors when I paused to find this beauty.
(This picture shows the added crystal knobs and towel bar already added.)

It had been painted off white.  It was very chippy (that I love!).  The best part of this door was that it still had the swing arm closure attached.   It was perfect.  All the glass was intact.  This beauty cost $15.00.

Now that I had the major element, it was time to find the secondary piece of hardware.  It was a glass towel rack usually found in the 30's.  Because of breakage, they are  now few in number.  I did find one on eBay and for $30.00 it wasn't the greatest price, but I wanted to complete the project. I have since found the same glass bar in Cullman, AL for $12.00.  I grabbed it just in case I wanted to make another one.  This towel bar adds so much character to the piece. I did think that as nice as the glass bar was, it certainly was not practical item.  I'm sure I would have to replace more than one glass towel rack in my house in a year with kids tugging on them or just hanging their towels up.

In the back of the Leisure Arts Publication, the images are available ready to be copied with permission from the publisher as long as you don't use them for profit.   I used good quality card stock for this purpose.

 I mounted the individual picture on a lovely scrapbook paper with golden embellishment to unify them in the space.  To this day, I can't find this particular paper anywhere.  It was one of my most favorite papers.

Burnished gold frames were absolutely necessary to tie this project together. 
A side note here:  This same book contains the clock face that I used for my mantle clock redo on the blog dated January 15, 2012-A Winter Wonderland.

After that short infomercial, let's get back to the window project.

Instead of adding 3 crystal knobs, I used the metal latch that came with the door for the middle hook.  The other two hangers are vintage glass pulls for drawers.  The latch still had old paint splayed on the hardware. Many people might clean that off.  I look at that and see---character.

Two found vintage glass knobs.

Once everything was together, it was relatively easy to finish this project.  The pictures were put in their frames.  I used glass since this piece would hang in a bathroom and I didn't want them affected by moisture.

The  towel bar was screwed in along with the glass knobs.  Now I hung my  pictures.  I used satin pewter colored ribbon.  Decorative towels coordinate with the gold in the frames.

I think it is a stunning piece.  I could also interchange the pictures for other holidays. 

The frames and towels were purchased at Tuesday Morning. I hung the heavily decorated tasseled towels in the winter months. 

When living in Little Rock, I preferred hanging this window on a wallpapered wall.  It seems to be more elegant that way.  In the future, I would like to stencil a damask design on at least one wall in my current powder room.

I haven't found wallpaper similar to this particular kind.  However, with a variety of stencils, I think I could recreate it.  Oh my, another project in the hopper!!!


Friday, January 24, 2014


After reviewing my posts, I noticed that I forgot to post this one.  So sorry.

After dropping off my younger daughter at a birthday party and having a few hours to spare, my other daughter and I searched for some thrift stores.

Pulling into the Mission Mart, we both began our search through the aisles.  Immediately, I found one of the ugliest night stands that I had ever laid eyes on.  The strange thing is that I have been looking for a nightstand to paint for our bedroom.  You see, right now my husband is using a nightstand that he bought in Korea years ago.  It is a great night stand, but it just doesn't fit into the décor of the rest of the room.

The top of the stand was the worst. 
The best part of this makeover challenge was that the nightstand cost only $6.99.  That's right, under $7.00.  I guess they figured nobody would buy it.    All it needs is a little(really a lot) of sanding, some lacquer and chalk paint with a pair of new handles and this nightstand will be transformed.  Let's get to work.
 Home Depot carries the Martha Stewart line of nickel drawer pulls and knobs.  I knew that after using Annie Sloan chalk paint, the nickel would add the necessary bling to the piece.
 With my idea in mind, I was ready to start.  How ironic was it that the next day, I opened up one of my favorite blogs, Thrifty Chick Décor, and this is what I saw.  My idea obviously was not original anymore.  That is what is so challenging in this blogging world.  Have all the original ideas already been used?  I hope not.  But here, was a very similar type of  pine nightstand with the same feet being recycled.  I knew that when my project was done, it would look amazing too.

So back to work.  One of the issues with this  nightstand
was that the tracks had been used so frequently, that the drawers literally fell into your hands when opened even half way.  Mr. Thrifty to the rescue.

He pulled the bottom slide tracks out of the guts of the drawer.  First, the back of the stand needed to be removed.

Notice the uneven wearing of the two tracks.  The left sides show a narrowing of the track.  These ends were located in the frontal area of the nightstand.  When you would open the drawer to the narrowing area, it would literally fall in your hands.

After removing the tracks, Mr. Thrifty pulled out the tools and began creating two new drawer tracks.

Here is another view of the worn tracks.

As you see, underneath the drawer is the channel that the track moves on to open and close the drawer.  The new tracks needed to move easily through this channel.

The saw table was plugged in and ready to go.  The previous tracks were made of pine, which is a soft wood.  The Mr. pulled some oak scraps of wood out of his wood pile to replicate the pine tracks.  Knowing that the oak is a much harder wood, it will take years before these tracks become worn.

Cuts, cuts, and more cuts.

When completed, holes are drilled in the ends to attach the tracks back to the nightstand frame.

Before actually screwing the tracks back onto the frame, they are dry fitted to make sure they move through the channels with ease.

In the picture below, you can see the newer oak track laid in the channel with the worn pine track laying outside the channel.  Notice the left end of the pine piece as opposed to the left end of the newer oak track.

I'm taking pictures as Mr. Thrifty reattaches the tracks to the frame.

 A hint that was learned from my grandparents was to soap the track to ease in gliding the drawer in and out of the channel.  I recall walking into my grandparents garage prior to buying the house.  In a old soup can lay a slivered bar of soap that was placed on the tool bench ready to use as needed. 

We keep a bar of travel soap at the hand for all of our garage projects.

Once the tracks are screwed back into the frame, I  rubbed the soap on both sides of the newly cut tracks.

Leave the soap shavings on the track and insert the drawer onto the track.  Works like a charm.

The nightstand frame is ready to accept the drawers.

Now it is ready to get a heavy sanding prior to painting.
The top is sanded.

Time to remove the old hardware and sand the face of the drawer.

Now it is time to dry fit the new drawer pull.  Notice that the holes do not line up with the old hardware placement.  Time to pull out the wood putty to fill the old holes.

Using wood putty rather than spackling compound gives more integrity to the wood , even though it is more difficult to sand down when dried.  I glob the wood putty into the holes.  Wood putty does take longer to dry than spackling compound.

Once dried, sand the putty before deciding the placement of the new handles.

I like to drill the new holes before starting the painting process.

 While sanding the left side, I noticed a whole chunk of the bottom had been broken off.

This is the stage where it is so important to take your time. Repairing this gash will set back my time, but very crucial to completing the entire project. The wood putty once again was a perfect match for this imperfection. However, small steps must be taken.  Building one layer of wood putty on another will fill in the gap and rebuild the missing area.  Here is the first application above.

After two more applications of wood putty and sanding in between,  the curve of the wood replicates the other end of the piece.

Now, more sanding to the rest of the piece.  I think the mouse sander will be very useful in sanding the remaining parts.

Its getting there.  The piece already looks sturdier to me. Maybe because most of that awful stain has been removed.

Once the entire piece is sanded, I will apply a coat of lacquer to the entire piece on all painted areas before the first coat of paint.  The lacquer will serve as a primer to close the so called pores of the wood so none of the old stain will leak through the paint.

Because we have had such cold weather here in Alabama, I can't paint this piece.  The weather calls for near cold temperatures next week too.  As soon as I can paint comfortably in the garage, I will finished this nightstand
 Stay tuned for its completion when things thaw around here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


 From reading past posts, I'm sure you have noticed that I have quite an attachment to quilts of any kind.  I needed another auction project, so I thought that a paper quilt would be just the thing.  The amazing thing about this type of project is that it is very inexpensive to create, however, it is tedious and time consuming.  Not to dissuade any of you to create your own, let's begin.
Here is my receipt on the items used in making this project.  I didn't have a frame here at home, however, with the 50% sale at Hobby Lobby, a nice frame was purchased.  Looking at the receipt, notice that there are 9 items highlighted.  Those nine pieces are all a person needs to create--well, as long as you have a paper cutter, a yard stick, a putty knife, scissors and a glue stick. 
I am always looking for the 50% off scrapbook paper sale at Hobby Lobby too.  You can't beat the price, considering all you need are 8-12x12 inch sheets.
So, for about $20.00, you can make a 16x20 inched frame piece of artwork by yourself.(That includes the frame!)
These were the 8 colors that I had originally purchased. 

After looking at them, I went up to my scrapbook paper stash and found one with circles with embellished gold glitter.  It had the added dimension I was looking for and it complimented the circles page I previously bought. Then, I found a page of aqua barn wood that really had a lot of character. 
It was a leap of faith to swap at the last minute, but I felt good about the change.  So the lime green with purple wisps was pulled from the pile.

When I mentioned that this was a tedious exercise, here goes.  Using my scrapbook paper trimmer, I cut eat sheet into 2x2 inch squares.  Each 12x12 inch sheet yielded 36 squares.  You must be so exact with the cutting.  A bit off on a square and you lose the exactness of the finished product.  So here are my 8 piles of 2 inch squares.

Notice that I have 2 lavender, 2 lime green and 2 aqua colors.  The bold stripe and colored circles compliment all of the other colors.
The  next step was to cut each square into half creating 2 triangles.   Don't give up.  The results are incredible!

These two cutting steps, cutting the actual squares and triangles took about 3 hours time-I told you it was tedious.

Now,  take one triangle from each of the cut piles.  Group them.  This way you always use the same components to make your squares, just use different combinations.
Here is the frame that I purchased for this project.
Before going on, take the cardboard back out of your frame, and using your yardstick, find the exact middle of the board.  This will be our starting point.
Always start from the inside out.  I use 8 triangles to make the first 4 squares offset of the midpoint.  Dry fit pieces first.  This is the step that is crucial.  If the first quadrant is off, the entire piece will be crooked.
Here is the beginning of the paper quilt.  Eighteen triangles are attached to the board.  Continue working from the inside out.
 I wanted to show you a mishap in attaching the triangles.  If the seams don't match, use a putty knife to remove the piece.  This process slows the work down, but you will not regret taking the time to make it right.

Cut a new piece of that pattern and continue on . 

The actual timing to set and glue the triangles at this point took me 2 1/2 hours.  I can't emphasize enough that you cannot rush a project like this.

I love the end effect.  You really cannot go wrong.  There are a million combinations to create such a project.  Anyone can become an artist.

Do you see the glint of the glitter in the picture below?

I realize there is glare in the next picture, but I love the glittered circles adding so much dimension to the quilt.

If I could say one thing about this project, I would give the following advice.  Pick 2 or 3 colors. I picked lime green, aqua and lavender in this project.  Make sure that you have a good amount of texture and design in your patterns.

I am adding this final picture as I had it cast in sunlight from the window.  The piece is sure to brighten any room.

Do I have any bids here?