Sunday, June 28, 2015

Card Catalog Coffee Table

For those of you who love antiques/old things, there is that one thing you've always wanted.  For me, it was a card catalog and I wanted to make it into a coffee table.  I've been actively looking for a few years now and I've had no luck.  Either I just can't find one, or when I do, it's REALLY expensive.  My theory is:  "If you can't get it for a good price, it's not worth getting".  

A few weeks ago, we had lunch with some friends.  In the course of the conversation, I mentioned that I was looking for a card catalog. My friend looked at me and said, "I have one in the garage, you can have it."  I nearly fell over!  When I saw it, I couldn't believe the shape it was in - take a look:
Pretty sweet, huh?

I have to admit, the top was dirtier than this picture shows.  My husband had already started cleaning it with some rubbing compound by the time I took these photos.  The little square thing on the top was where a pen had been attached.  It came right off!   I decided to put casters on the botttom and my wonderful husband volunteered to attach them for me.

The only thing left was cleaning the drawers.  They were pretty dirty, so I used Murphy's Oil Soap and some fine steel wool.
Before & After

It now sits in our living room:

If you look carefully, you can see where the pen was attached.  I think it adds character.

I am one happy gal!  I found that one thing I'd been looking for and I couldn't ask for a better price. 
Now what do I want next........??

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Vintage Screen Redo

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this, but the screens (and windows) at the cottage are original.  That's right, 75 years old - and to be honest with you, I think they have 75 layers of paint on them, but that's another story.  The biggest problem was the fact that the screens had holes in them - not very effective at keeping out the bugs!
Let's not overlook the paint that was all over the edges:
The first order of business was removing the thin moldings around the screen - no rubber spline here, folks, this is VINTAGE!  The goal was to remove it without cracking, splitting, or breaking it, soooo, I started by scoring through the 75 layers of paint...
...and gently lifting the moldings:

A few of the finishing nails stayed put, so they had to be pulled out
Along with the staples - there must have been 100!
The frame and moldings were scraped, painted and left to dry:
It was finally time to rescreen!  The new screening was layed across the frame, stapled, stretched, and stapled again.
The screen was trimmed and the freshly painted moldings were reattached:

The screen was finished!

DISCLAIMER:  I can not take full credit.  I have a wonderful husband who also worked on this project.  He helped remove all of the staples, did the scraping/painting, stapled, while I stretched the screen, and tapped in those tiny nails that reattached the moldings.  He is the BEST!!

People ask us why we don't get new windows and our answer is, these are just too cool!  To be honest, with a little love and attention, these are just as effective as new ones.  We are inspired by Nicole Curtis - she always tries to keep things original.

That being said, thank you for stopping by the Cottage.  I hope you'll stop by again soon!

Have a great week!

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Shabby Chic Planter

Good Morning, Everyone!  It's a rainy Monday at the cottage, but I'm not complaining.  We had a beautiful weekend with lots of sun and mild temperatures. Yesterday was spent with friends on their 10 acres - a little slice of heaven - so, a little rain?  All of my plants are smiling!

My latest project was reinventing a planter for the front porch:
Are you ready for the 'before' shot?
I'm sure it came directly from 1970.  It even had a flower decal (that was removed before this pic).  If you look carefully, you can see the outline.  I layed a wet cloth on it for a few minutes and the decal came right off - with the help of my spatula.  Yes, I was too lazy to go downstairs and get a scraper! 

Over the years, this little treasure had some wear & tear.  The legs were loose and the top corner had a chunk missing.  Nothing a screwdriver (with some toothpicks to fill-in the hole that was now too big - my hubby's trick) and some wood putty couldn't fix.
I bought a wood embellishment and gave it some dark stain so it would match when the piece was distressed.  
I did not attach it at this point.  I just rested it there to see how it was going to look.

Since it was going to live on the front porch which is open to the elements, I painted it with 2 coats of exterior house paint.  The wood embellishment was also painted.  Everything dried overnight, and the next day, the sandpaper came out.  I sanded in various spots and when I was happy with the look, the embellishement was glued on with E6000.  
The entire planter was sprayed with 2 coats of Krylon sealer and it was time to plant!

This is the first thing you see as you come up to my front porch.  Isn't it amazing what a little paint and sandpaper can do?

Thank you for stopping by the cottage.  Have a wonderful week and be sure to stop by again soon - I picked up another treasure and I can't wait to get started on it - and share it with you, of course!

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Monday, June 8, 2015

Trash Can to Planter

That's right, my friends.  An old metal trash can was left behind at the cottage.  It looked like this:
Yes, I forgot to take a 'before' pic!
 I had some leftover spray paint from the bar stools, so, I got to work and sprayed the entire can.  Easiest project ever!!!  

I put some plastic containers in the bottom (reused those empty laundry & milk bottles), so I didn't have to fill the entire can with soil (makes it lighter, too), added soil to the top, along with plants and some mulch - project completed!

There was a big dent on the edge that I couldn't pound out, so I turned it to the back.  Here's a peek:

So, there you have it - my upcycle project for this week.  Proof that you 'can' turn trash into treasure.

Have a wonderful week & thank you for stopping by the Cottage!

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Thursday, June 4, 2015


I'm still here - been feeling a little "under the weather" this week, so I haven't had the energy to do much blogging.  In spite of that, I just had to share what I found in one of my hanging baskets this morning:
I can't tell you how much I wish the neighbors would STOP FEEDING THE SQUIRRELS!!!

I'll be back next week with a great upcycle - you don't want to miss this one!

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