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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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Ham & Cheese Scrolls

If you've been looking for an hors d'oeuvre recipe that's easy and delicious, have I got the recipe for you!  This one has been in my recipe book since my kids were small and it's always a hit - even with the kids!  Take a look:
Now, before you think, "This looks complicated" and leave, hear me out.  This is all you need:

Basil Pesto - just a few spoonfuls
A tube of puff pastry - I use croissants
6 thin slices of Swiss Cheese
6 thin slices of ham

That's it!

Here's what you do:

*Smack that tube of croissants on the edge of the counter and roll them out.  Pinch the edges together so you have a rectangle of pastry on the counter. 
*Spread a few spoonfuls of pesto over the pastry.
*Lay the 6 slices of ham and cheese over the pesto.
*Grab one edge and roll the whole thing until it's  a log.  If you want to get fancy, roll one side to the middle, then the opposite side to meet the first roll.
*Slice (with a serrated knife) into pieces and put them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
*Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.

This is what you'll find on your cookie sheet:
These are best served hot, but I've eaten them cold too.  It's just like pizza, delicious at any temperature!  If you have leftovers - not that that happens very often, you can reheat them the next day.

Now that I've written the post, I think I need to make a new batch. I'm off to the store for ingredients and I hope you are too! Let me know how you like them.

As always, thanks for stopping by.  Have a great week and please share, pin, comment and follow.  I love having new friends at the Cottage!

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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Repurposed Glass Furniture Coasters

Today is all about a little 'find' I made at the Cottage.  Tucked in the back of a cabinet were these little glass cups:
I knew exactly what they were because I saw them under my grandparent's furniture legs when I was a little girl.  They are called 'furniture coasters' or, sometimes they are called 'casters'. They were used to protect floors and were very popular at one time.  

Hazel Atlas was a popular brand of coasters and I'm guessing these were made by them.  You can see the 'H' etched in the base:
These coasters were certainly used - notice the scratches - but, were not abused - no chips or cracks.  
They needed a new life, so they became tealight holders!  A tealight fits perfectly inside.
Did I mention the glow of the flame shows off the beautiful green glass?
So, the next time you're in a thrift store and see these, grab a few.  You'll have some new tealight holders!  

What have you repurposed lately?

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