Monday, June 26, 2017

The Unexpectedly Wonderful Day

Every once in a while, you have an experience that absolutely astounds you and restores your faith in humanity.  On Saturday, my husband and I had one of those experiences.  
It was the perfect summer day, sunny, temperatures in the 70's, and low humidity.  There was a garage sale I was interested in and we didn't manage to get there until after 2:00 in the afternoon.  The man who owned the house was very friendly and we struck up a conversation.  I commented on the beautiful view of the lake and he invited us to go around to his deck and enjoy it.  We said we didn't want to impose, but he insisted and the next thing we knew we were sitting on the deck chatting like we'd known each other for years.  

We introduced ourselves - his name is Gene and he told us that his house once belonged to his mother and was very tiny. Over the years, he added on to it using wood and rock from the property until it became what it is today - a 5 bedroom, 2 bath house with a huge deck.  The picture above was taken from that deck.  The inside was finished with wide pine boards and some of the walls were finished with stone.  It was amazing! 
Yes, he invited us inside to see it.  At one point, someone came to the door and asked about something he was selling.  Gene went out to deal with that and told us to stay put.  We were astounded - we had just met him and we were invited into his home like we were old friends!  
When he returned, he told us we had to see the beach, so, off we went. 

His two dogs were the sweetest, but Sophie was the lovebug of the two.
Gene went on to tell us that he was battling cancer but this place was his dream and his 'healing'. He's not able to do what he used to, but he takes time every day to sit on the deck and walk down to the beach and enjoy the lake.  There is a boat that he still takes out and a fire pit for the evenings.  I can tell you that it was so peaceful and I was content to sit in an Adirondack chair and listen to the lake water lapping at the shore.

We were invited to stay for burgers on the grill, but we didn't want to over-stay our welcome.  Another friend had stopped by, so we said our good-byes, but not before we were invited to stop by anytime.  

I don't know about you, but it isn't often we are invited into a strangers home to spend the afternoon.  It wasn't just 'an afternoon', It was a truly remarkable day and we came away with a new friend, whom I'm sure we'll visit again soon!

One last note. Gene sent me home with a cutting that had been rooting from one of his plants.  The original plant (that was sitting in the window) belonged to is aunt and was from the 1920's.  He called it "Moses in the Bullrush".  There is a story behind it, but I'll let you Google that one!

I hope this little story restored your faith in humanity as much as it did mine - have a wonderful week!

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Art Deco Clock

There was an Estate Sale today and the owner must have been a clock maker/repairman.  I decided I wanted an old junkie clock to repurpose, so I dug down deep into a box in the basement and found this:
Yes, it is the most disgustingly dirty clock ever, and I even scraped off several dead bugs before taking this picture! 

The first thing I did was wipe the whole thing off with a damp rag. It immediately started looking better.
Don't you love the Art Deco look?

Here's a look at the back:
The electrical cord was cut off, but, no worries, it's not going to be used as a clock anyway. The next thing to do was remove the back...
...and have a look at the 'works':
More on that in a later post!

The glass and trim were also removed and the trim was labeled for future reference.

Here's the case:
A little sanding with some 60 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper resulted in this:
If you know what type of wood this is, please let me know.  I know it's not pine and it doesn't have the grain of oak.  It is fairly heavy, though, so could it be mahogany?

The face is made of paper and I'm thinking of using it as a background - maybe?  

Now for the big question.  Does the case get stain or paint?  Also what shade or color.  Weigh-in everyone, I'm on the fence.  I still want an Art Deco look, so, what do you think?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. I will follow-up soon and show you the final result.

Thank you so much for stopping by and I look forward to your suggestions.  Have a great week!

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Upcycled Apron

It was time to upcycle this old apron.  I haven't been a consultant for the company for about 3 years now and anything with a little weight that hangs on my neck causes me pain.  Soooo, it was time to turn it into this:
This is how it started:
The first step was to draw a chalk line and cut it in half.
I found some scrap fabric and cut it into 3 long sections that were about 7" wide.  After they were sewn together end-to-end I folded the entire piece in half lengthwise and pressed a small hem along each edge.
Next, I marked the middle of this piece and the apron, placed the unfinished edge of the apron along the fold,folded it down, and pinned the entire piece.

The apron was basically done, but I decided the pockets needed a little 'something'.  

I had just enough scrap fabric to make flaps for them, so I drew a quick pattern and went to work.
I added a button to each flap to 'dress it up' and the apron was done! I really wanted black buttons, but I didn't have 2 matching ones in stash of buttons, so the white flower ones won.
So, now I have a new apron that doesn't hurt my neck!

I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for stopping by...please share, pin, comment, etc.  See you again soon!

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Peacock Bookcase

It's another overcast day, but this bookcase painted in Peacock should brighten things up a bit!
I needed a bookcase to store my scrapbooks - both finished and in-progress, along with old photo albums.  I used to store all of this in my hutch that was purchased in the sale of the house.  Sooooo...

We bought an unfinished bookcase that looked like this:
The top was stained with dark walnut stain and then given 3 coats of polycrylic.  

The rest of it was painted with 2 coats of Peacock chalk paint and given a light sanding.  The edges were distressed and clear, then dark wax was applied.
Now, here's a little secret....I did NOT use wax on the shelves.  I didn't know how wax would hold-up to books being slid on and off the shelves. I used a little stain on a rag and 'faked' the dark wax look.  I then coated the shelves only with 3 coats of poly.  Can you tell the difference?

One more project completed!  This also eliminated a tote that was sitting in the corner - YAY!  
I hope the weather clears up soon.  We've had so many cloudy, damp days - it's June, after all.  I should be drinking iced tea, not hot tea in the afternoon!  

I'm always glad to have people stop by - I hope you'll find the time to share, pin, and comment.
Don't forget to click the link at the top of my blog to visit Apple Street Crafts...there's a craft fair in my near future!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Unfinished Chest

As you know, we sold the Cottage and moved.  Did I mention that our buyer also bought most of our furniture?  Yes, she did, and we were in dire need of someplace to put our clothes.  After much discussion, the decision was made to buy an unfinished piece for me to finish.  Since the new place is small, we started out with one unfinished chest of drawers.

This is how it was delivered:
Yes, I forgot to take that 'before' picture again, so I had to find an image online!

The top was stained with dark walnut stain, followed up with 3 coats of satin polycrylic.
I know you've heard me say I'm not a fan of polycrylic, but that's for tables that get heavy use.  (If you want to read that sad story, click HERE).  Since this is a dresser, polycrylic is a great choice.

Once the top was done, I painted the dresser in Silver Lining Chalk Paint.  Before I started the drawers, I brushed some walnut stain on those edges so it would show through after distressing.  You can see what I mean in the picture above.  The drawers were painted with chalk paint as well, White and Silver Lining.  At this point, it was looking pretty plain:

A stencil was needed, but there were 2 problems:
1 - I couldn't find one I liked.
2 - They were EXPENSIVE!  Have you priced stencils lately??

Since I'm a problem-solver - HaHa!!  I got out my Cricut and found a vine I liked.  Hit 'cut to page' 2 times and this is what I got:

Starting with the bottom drawer, I did a lot of playing with the pieces before I got out the paint.  Since the stencil was just cardstock, I used the stencil more as a guide and hand-painted the vine.

Here's a close-up of the stencil:

Once the stenciling was done, 3 coats of polycrylic were applied to each drawer.  The knobs were spray-painted white and the dresser was reassembled!

Project complete!  We can now get our clothes out of garbage bags!

I especially love that the stencil didn't cost me a dime.  Have you ever cut your own stencil?  I'd love to hear about your experiences

Don't forget to share, pin, and/or comment.  I'd also love it if you 'liked' Apple Street Crafts on facebook!
Enjoy the long weekend and be sure to stop back again soon.

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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Red Bird or Blue Bird

Before the jig saw was packed away for the move, I decided to make a few birds.  They are about 8 inches long and 5 inches tall; perfect for hanging in a kitchen window.
They were pretty simple to make.  I drew a pattern and cut it out from an old cracker box.
The two pieces were traced on the wood, cut, sanded, and painted.  
I attached the wing with strong glue and added a small screw eye to thread a length of fishing line for hanging.  

Now tell me, which is your favorite, the red bird or the blue bird?

I hope you have a wonderful week.  Be sure to stop by again soon!

You may have noticed I added a page at the top of my blog for Apple Street Crafts.  It contains a link to the new facebook page - swing by and 'like' it, won't you?

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Monday, May 15, 2017

The Lobster Story

Welcome back!  Last week I mentioned that we were on our down-sizing adventure and were being 'Lobsters'.  I promised to share the story, so, if you aren't familiar with it, here it is...

Many years ago, I read an article about the difficulty of growth and change.  There was an analogy between that growth and a lobster. A lobster, you say?  Think about it...

A lobster is a crustacean with a hard, protective shell.  When it grows, the lobster must break out of, or shed its shell.  At that point, the lobster has no protection and is soft and vulnerable until the new hard shell forms.  

As human beings, in order to change and grow, we need to break out of our old shell and be vulnerable for a bit.  If we don't break out of that shell once in a while, we will never grow.  It can be difficult and sometimes scary, but necessary if we want to change. So, break out of that shell, be soft and vulnerable for a bit, and new things will come.

The moral of the story....Be A Lobster!

I hope you'll stay tuned for our Lobster Story.  So far, we moved thousands of miles, bought a house - and worked on it.  Recently, we cracked open that shell and sold that house.  We moved to an apartment and are figuring out the next step.  Sounds like a Lobster Story to me!

I hope all the Moms out there had a wonderful Mother's Day.  Here's a peek at my gift:
My family sure knows me!

Have a great week everyone!

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Sunday, May 7, 2017

Upcycled Curtains & Moving Update

It came to my attention last week that I never posted a moving update.  As you know, the Cottage was sold - read that funny story HERE and we had to decide what we were going to do next.  

About 5 weeks ago we moved into a small apartment in a turn-of-the-century house.  Although much of the original woodwork, etc is gone, it does have new windows, insulation, and hardwood floors.  

'Small' is the operative word here - the apartment is about 550 square feet.  I know what you're thinking, and no, we haven't lost our minds.  We really are working on down-sizing, because, let's face it, how much 'stuff' do you really need? Since it's just the two of us and we've already done the 4 bdr, 3 bath house, it was time to try something new.  

Since the woman who bought our house also bought most of our furniture, we were starting with a pretty clean slate.  This is not our forever home, so we have a storage unit for those things that just don't have a place right now. 

That being said, we are getting settled and actually loving it.  Our landlord has given me permission to use space behind the house to run my power tools and he's even bringing me a pallet later this week!

So, please join us on this down-sizing journey...who knows where it will take us next!  We are being LOBSTERS....don't know that story?  Come back for my next post!


On to the curtains.....I had lace panels on the living room windows in the Cottage, since the new owner didn't want them, they came with me. This apartment has beautiful, large windows that make it nice and bright- even on cloudy days.  I didn't want to cover them up, so I decided to hang the panels on the bottom half of the windows with tension rods. The first step?  Cut those panels in half.

Using the top half, I put them on the rods and placed them on the windows.  After measuring, pressing, and pinning, I sewed a new hem.
It doesn't get any easier than that!
Rod pocket already in place - just add hem.

There were no power tools involved to hang them either, since I used tension rods.  
My goal was to let the light in without feeling like I'm living in a fishbowl. We are on the second floor and this was the perfect solution.

Please forgive the dark pictures.  It's hard enough to take window pictures and it's  been raining for, what seems like, weeks  - I'm starting to feel like a duck!

Have a wonderful week and do come back again soon.  I have so much to share with you, from the lobster story to all of our down-sizing adventures!  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Daffodils in Spring!

Since selling the Cottage and moving, I no longer have my gardens to share, but, have no fear, I've found some beautiful Spring Daffodils to share with you.
While taking a walk around the back yard of our new place, a flash of yellow caught my eye further back, under the trees.

There were a few bunches scattered around, all with several buds and flowers.  I have no idea how they got there since this area was completely overgrown.  After grabbing a pair of scissors, I cut some to bring a bouquet inside to enjoy.  
They must be magical daffodils because they look white in photos taken indoors!  Here are a couple of more shots:

Either way, I was thrilled to find a little bit of Spring to bring inside to enjoy!
I hope Spring is in full-bloom at your house.  Have a wonderful week and, as always, thank you for stopping by the Cottage!

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