Monday, February 25, 2013

Meet My Nemesis

The carrot that keeps me going!

Let me just say: "I didn't know!"

Everyone wants to paint a jelly cabinet, right? I was so dang excited when I happened across one that my brain froze up. The cabinet itself was a little rough. The shelves weren't in but they were there and the glass doors were intact. And it was old. Really old.

Mr. Bad and the seller loaded it and off we went. Now, let me say, Mr. Bad has stopped asking me if "I'm sure." He figures I know what I'm doing. So we get home and I help unload and the cabinet wiggles and twists and when set down looks like a leaning cartoon of itself. Mr. Bad Rabbit says he thought I knew how rickety it was. No. I did not because I never thought to wiggle it.

We fought got the squirming cabinet into the garage where it sat until 2 weeks ago. I had a brain-wave that the cabinet would look good in the guest bath and Mr. Bad was out of town so the timing couldn't be better. My neighbor helped me move it and when we had it in place we stood back to admire .... wait. It's TOO DANG BIG.

I slapped some paint on it to see if that helped. Nope, that didn't make it any smaller at all. It was TOO DANG BIG. My neighbor observed that the cabinet was maybe a little rickety. (sigh) Plus the drawers wouldn't pull out. And those bottom doors aren't closing. She went home leaving me tugging
on the drawers.

So it sat in the bathroom until one day when Mr. Bad was off somewhere and I was safely alone. I took all the doors off and wiggle-walked the cabinet across the hall to my work room.

Day One where I take a deep deep breath.


I whacked at it with a rubber mallet and got it to square up a little. However, the poor thing had been left in the rain for what appeared to be 50 years and the sides and back were all bowed out and warped.

When Mr. Bad got home he whacked at it with greater authority and got results. I got out the clamps and wood glue and hoped for the best.

Can you see that?

How 'bout now?

I was afraid the cabinet would fight back and send the clamps flying straight into my eyeballs.

Day Two where I find out why nothing fits.

The center rail was twisted as if someone had tried to wring the water out of it. Mr. Bad was home so he soaked the rail in water then clamped it in his vice for a couple days.

Meanwhile I worked on the doors.

Uh oh.

All the King's Horses and All the Kings Men ... oops, wrong story.

Who remembers Funk and Wagnall's?
They are still quite useful in the right application.

 Door number 2 was a little easier. But. There were actually about 30 little nails to remove. Wood filler is my friend.

Day Three where reality sucks.

I painted the shelves and interior with a couple coats of mystery latex. That really helped the look of the cabinet.
From a distance.
Up close, not so much.

All the shelves fit with this same precision.


Day Four where I don't kill anyone.

I put the glass doors back on.
Of course they wouldn't fit. Why would I expect anything different?

Mr. Bad came in and gave the top of the cabinet a good strong shove and everything popped into place.
Hmmmm, what to do, what to do? How do we keep it sorta square?

We took the top off thinking we would set it back on in such a way as to pull the cabinet square.

Naturally, the top fell completely apart when Mr. Bad tried to hand it to me. Again I had to glue and clamp and blah blah blah. What. Ev. Er. Hand me the wood filler.

So. Will the top work? Will the doors ever fit? Will I huck it out the window? Kick it down the road?

To be continued .......

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hoarder Estate Sale.

There was an Estate Sale ad on Craigslist that offered furniture for shabby-chic-style painting. I don't really consider myself a shabby chic'er but furniture is furniture and I set off to look at the sale. 

It was some 76 miles round-trip on country roads. Took forever. And when I got there, I saw stuff strewn everywhere. And all that stuff had more stuff piled on top. There was one unfortunate woman trying to organize the piles. She worked for the bank, she said. And she went on to explain about the 30 cats and the deceased being a hoarder and please don't mind the smell.

Wait. What? Don't mind the smell?

There were 4 buildings plus the yard piled with ... stuff. Most of it used be be quite valuable but ended up tossed outdoors, I assume to make more room for cats. 

There were so many unusual and exotic pieces of furniture just left in ruin. Most of it was in two barns covered in dirt, so I didn't bother taking pictures, but in hindsight .... There were HUGE pieces of mission furniture like I'd never seen before. Covered in dirt. Even if I'd just taken pictures of the hardware! sigh. But I had no gloves and well, EWWWWW ....  'Nuff said. I had no gloves.

There were two houses that smelt of cat urine so badly I could only glance around, zooming from one room to another holding my breath. One house had a room of lamps, a room of light fixtures and a room of ruined art. Fabulous art that had been used first as a litter box then as a feast for mice. It was heartbreaking.

In the second house, again, there were ruined treasures everywhere. In the kitchen were hundreds of signed Japanese pottery pieces that had been found outside buried in mud.

I would have taken so many more pictures, but the smell! I'd never been anywhere near a true hoarder's house before. Between the cat urine smell and the rat and mouse droppings I had a severe case of the heebie jeebies.

I actually was tempted by this mirror.

I've never seen anything like it.

It appeared to be made of sugar and frosting.

But the BEST - the STAR of the show - was ...

Eight feet of ... of ... desk? It filled the room. No, it ATE the room. If I had anywhere to put it I would have made it mine. It was only $150! Eight feet of odd goodness and I just couldn't think of what I would do with it. Not to even mention getting it home.

The pictures don't show the scale of this thing. We were trying to figure out what it was. The former owners were producers in Hollywood so we thought it might be a prop.

Oh look. Mouse poop.

I wish I had opened the drawers and cabinet, but these pictures were taken in 4 or 5 dashes into the house after gulping fresh air. I couldn't hold my breath long enough to snoop.

I couldn't believe they still had the key to this thing. The magazines feature the owners. Recognize them? Me either.

This awesome patina isn't paint. It seemed to be a paper covering of some kind. I'm not sure what it was.

Hindsight being all they say it is, I really wish I would have figured out a way to get that desk home. It was actually in pretty good shape, considering. I think the only thing that saved it from being shoved outside to make room for more cats was its sheer size.

That and the mirror ...... kick, kick, kick. Should'a done it. Just should'a.


Linking to:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My decision making process as shown by my mantel

Step One: Establish the need. Or the want. I'm not picky, I need what I want. Simple.

A few weeks ago there were a lot of holiday mantel images being posted in blogland and I found myself wanting needing a mantel. We have a wood stove with a chimney pipe so I wasn't sure how it would work to have a mantel behind an ugly pipe. So I looked on google for ideas. And on pinterest. sheesh You'd think me and 3 other people were the only ones to
ever want to do this.

The upper left image was my inspiration.  Then I saw the cool stove pipe cover on the bottom right image and thought "hmmmmmmm." But that'll wait for another day. You can go check it out here at Fireplace Lowdown
if you like.

Step Two: Decide what would work best. And suck it up if it's not the one you wanted.

Since I still didn't know how a mantle would actually look on our wall I resorted to mocking them up in Photoshop.

On the left is the "I just had to see" suitcase shelf idea. Mr. Bad Rabbit was not impressed. Second was a Lowes mantle. On the right is a timber beam, which I wanted. The traditional Lowes style mantel won because of, well, being easy(ish). And I sucked it up and got cracking looking for that style
on Craigslist.

Mr. Bad had to go to Portland on business so I searched the I-5 corridor.

I couldn't believe it.

Who'd a thunk?

An empire fireplace mantel on Craigslist! In Eugene!

My empire-loving-heart was beating wildly as I called the seller. The ad was posted on 12/21/12 so I knew my chances were slim. Oh please oh please oh please.

They still had it (!) and Mr. Bad brought it home.

Step Three: Figure out how this change of plan is gonna work.

I Photoshopped a picture of the mantel onto the brick wall in order to determine placement. I then dumped that plan because of not wanting to do all the measuring to determine precise scale. (Lazy? Sometimes, yeah.) Enter my trusty scaffolding.

There. I didn't have to worry about getting the mantel the right size on the brick. I took pictures from 3 angles then settled down to remove the scaffolding from the images.

Perfection. The mantel is the right size on the wall and we know where we want to attach it.

Except. The mantel looked too small to me, and sorta blah. Bloody hell. More Photoshop work was needed because I knew paint was the answer.

Step Four: Paint makes everything better.

Eeny, meeny, myenie, moe. I tried a bunch of colors and narrowed it down to three. The cream and linen mantel won.

Step Five: Attaching the real thing.

 We looked at several tutorials using bolts to attach the mantel. To me that looked like an exercise in horror if the bolts didn't line up with the holes drilled into the mantel, which seemed to happen to a LOT of the bloggers showing their experience. I could just see it happening to us, and suddenly we're encroaching on Mr. Bad's X-box time and the horrors mount. Besides, it looked hard

Instead, we used something called a French Cleat. They come in many sizes and styles. We chose two 12" sets. We used a level to mark the horizontal line on the brick and mantel and attached the brackets. What's great about this method is you can easily remove the mantel if needed. You'll find the cleats in the picture hanging section at Lowes.

 The mantel appears larger and is more of a focal point with the light paint. Too bad about that pipe ......

Let's talk paint. I used Real Milk Paint because my Miss Mustard Seed paint hasn't arrived yet. The top color is a mixture of gray, mustard, pumpkin and white. The bottom is Buttermilk. I used Milk Paint because I wanted the chippy finish. It turned out just as I hoped.

Now I have a place for my toys. See? I NEEDED this mantel.

Check it out. I found this on Craigslist in California - my mantel used to be a buffet mirror. We kinda wondered .....
Of course, now I want the buffet more than words can express but they want a lot of money and I only have a little bit of money so that's just not gonna happen. sigh

Friday, February 8, 2013

Presenting ...... Walter!

Walter is almost ready to make his public appearance. I say 'almost' because I have to have a piece of glass cut for the inside and I have to let the paint cure a little before putting poly on it.

I posted him on Facebook - a little teaser - but now heeeere's Walter.

Walter in Wonderland

So, how many remember Walter when he first came home with me?
Kinda pale wasn't he? Scary Walter we called him back then. We couldn't find a spot in the house where he could stand and not make us jump out of our skin when we caught him out of the the corner of our eyes.

How Walter Got His Name

I don't normally name inanimate objects or assign them gender. So why did Walter get a name? Well, here's why:

My Walter is a knock-off. Above is the original "Little Walter" by Judson Beaumont of Straight line Designs. Please check out his work, he has amazing whimsical furniture that will make you laugh. I love his dressers.

Now, here's Walter in full bloom!
I love the color combination. Since I wasn't going to distress or age the clock, I used latex paint samples that I had on hand. I mixed colors and it worked out perfectly. I love being able to do an entire project without having to go buy something. It doesn't happen very often.

 Walter is a tall, tall clock.

Walter is a happy clock!

Walter is also a lighted cabinet. I didn't paint the inside of the doors or any other area where there are safety stickers, Do Not Tip, etc. I want to make sure they aren't overlooked.

You can see the top shelf is missing.

Such a sweet face. Would you trust this clock?

Walter dances on these happy feet when no one is watching.

The very first bad rabbit with Inspector 19 playing the part
of the Cheshire Cat.

If I had a foyer I think I might keep Walter but since there is no room at the inn, as they say, Walter is going to my booth next week. By next weekend you'll be able to see him at the Collector's Market in Medford.

It'll be sad. We'll miss Walter lurking in the corners.

GASP! Walter is a married clock?!?

Linking to:
the 36th avenue
miss mustard seed
finding fabulous blog
shabby nest
shabby art boutique
romantic home
liz marie blog
tater tots and jello
nifty thrifty things
homespun happenings
twigg studios
the gunny sack
one she two she
my uncommon slice of suburbia
funky junk interiors
pjh designs one of a kind
crafty scrappy happy
be different act normal
i heart nap time
under the table and dreaming
the girl creative
mod vintage life
the dedicated house