Wednesday, February 26, 2014


If you live in an old house that has shifted and sagged
over the years you know what a challenge it was to hang this
crooked old cupboard on a crooked old wall......and yet provide the illusion
that it's all plumb, level, and square.

Here's what it looked like when we brought it home.
A mere skeleton of a cupboard.

  Our daughter Julie asked if anybody wanted it and I couldn't say yes fast enough!
Somebody else may have shouted  NO!!, but with my hearing issues I can't really be sure.  :)

The old kitchen cupboard is about an inch too wide to sit on top of the dresser,
so I devised what I thought was a simple plan to hang it on the wall.

Ha!  It took three days of hoisting that thing up and down to get it right.

By the way, has anybody watched Renovation Realities on HGTV?
If you're feeling discouraged about your current DIY project, this show is
guaranteed to make your job seem like a simple task.
  It's sort of a "how not to renovate your home" featuring clueless idiots!!! 
 Friday nights at 7.  Don't miss it!

The first thing I did was replace the rusted out nails with wood screws to beef it up.
(I got tired of the thing falling apart in my hands every time I moved it.)

I replaced the bottom shelf that was twisted and warped with a piece of leftover redwood.
We were in the middle of a snowstorm, so I used whatever wood I could find in our stash.
I hope my daughter finds the 2 missing drawers in their garage this spring.  hint hint
If not, I'm sure I can construct 2 crooked drawers that will look original to the piece.

I added horizontal wood supports across the back of the cupboard,
and then nailed tongue-and-groove wood strips vertically to create a finished back.
A piece of trim hides the slightly uneven cuts of the pine strips.

I screwed 3 heavy duty metal brackets into the wall studs, and topped them with
 a section of pine stair tread cut to length for the base.  Then I nailed
quarter round trim around the perimeter to hide the metal brackets.
My master plan changed somewhat as I went along.

The doors are so darn lopsided, I gave up on my idea of installing glass
and made shirred curtain panels out of old curtains
to conceal the contents of the cupboard.

 Before stain.

After stain. Hideous!!!!!

Last of all, I mixed and matched stains to try to blend the new wood
 with the weathered old finish, but I didn't care at all for the way the new pine took on stain.

  I remembered reading about a method of aging new pine with vinegar
and steel wool, but our internet was down, so in desperation I winged it.
 I dipped steel wool into apple cider vinegar and scrubbed the already stained wood.
My technique was all wrong, but it worked anyway!  How often does that happen?
 After the vinegar treatment, I rubbed in watered down white latex paint to tone down the color.

Thank you, Julie!  I love my new wall cupboard!

The cupboard is now home to my sewing patterns and notions.
This is where I do my sewing, and I've been moving my sewing paraphernalia that was previously
 stored all over the house into cupboards and closets on the upper level of our house.
(There goes my cardio workout of running up and down 2 flights of stairs
countless times looking for this or that when I'm sewing!)

Another of my toy sewing machines.

I paid $35 for the Eastlake dresser over 30 years ago,
and it's still one of my favorite pieces of old furniture.  It will never be painted.

My dressmaker's form is wearing a vintage spring dress I
found last year.  Notice the tiny waistline of the dress.

The label says it's size 13/14, but today would be a size 6.

I found the mercury glass perfume atomizers years apart
at different estate sales, but they're a matching set.

Slightly dusty clock.  It must be the maid's day off.

The teacup is my "jewelry box".

So, what did my daughter get in exchange?

We hauled this nearly 8 foot tall door-turned-mirror on top of
our Matrix in the dead of winter.  It was a 4 hour nail-biting, teeth-grinding trip,
but the mirror made it unscathed.  Whew!!!

One daughter's trash is her mother's treasure and vice versa.
Sorry guys.

Thanks for stopping by!

I'm joining the parties at:
Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Funky Junk Interiors Party Junk

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Cat and mouse.

Before I start any "big" projects this year,
I'm forcing myself (and my assistant) to finish up all of my
small works in progress, of which there are many.

We've just finished the first and here it is:

Do you want to see the before?

Obviously, there was no cat fight over this cabinet at the garage sale.

As you can see, it's an inexpensive, somewhat new (80's?) cabinet
made out of who knows what.  Plastic?  Wood?  I still don't know!
It appears to have been run over by a truck and put back together by an amateur like me.
  Nothing is square.  Everything is warped.  You get the picture.

  Since it's not heavy duty enough to hang on a wall, I nailed round wood "legs"
 to the bottom to make it freestanding.  Sort of.

The base is slightly warped, too, so it's got a bit of a wobble character.

My assistant cut out the door panel, then I painted it, inside and out,
 and mounted chicken wire inside the door.  I would have preferred glass, but
the door is warped, too, and chicken wire is much more forgiving.
 Lastly, I changed the knob and called it a day.
 I am not spending one more minute on it!

Back to the first photo.....

Do you see her?  The star of the show?

Isn't Miss Mousie adorable?!

I think you may have already guessed who the
crochet artist is.  Yes, uber talented Tracy of Crow's Feet Chic!
(If you haven't seen her crocheted wardrobe for the cast of
Downton Abbey, click here for a very entertaining post!)

Just look at the minuscule details.....

Face complete with embroidered pink nose, whiskers, and beady little eyes.

Headband embellished with a flower.

Dress accented with vintage crochet thread flower.

And her shoes!!  So Audrey Hepburn!

She's even got her very own granny chic afghan to
keep her warm and cozy, and believe me, she needs it!
I set the thermostat to a frigid (and heavenly) 60 degrees at night.

Well, all that cuteness inspired me to pull out my
smallest knitting needles and create some magic of my own.
I bought this pattern from Little Cotton Rabbits and chose
to knit two of the dresses labeled "easy".

  The armholes were a bit of a challenge on the first dress,
but the second time around was easier.  Shhhhhhh.  She doesn't know she
shouldn't wear a pink dress with red shoes.

Does this dress make me look fat?

Of course it does when you're wearing your
red dress underneath, silly!

You know, I think it's a good thing
I stapled chicken wire to the cabinet door after all.

Miss M needs a safe haven when the cats come out to play..........


Thanks for stopping by and stay warm!

*Come join the parties at:
Mod Vintage Life Mod Mix Monday
Cozy Little House Tweak it Tuesday
Savvy Southern Style Wow us Wednesday
Revisionary Life Thrifty Life Thursday
Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

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