Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oh My . . . We're Making Progress in the Art Studio This Week

Jon spent his week of vacation working on the art studio.  Oh, I cannot tell you how happy, happy, happy, I am to see the progress this week in the studio.  Lots of priming and painting ahead of me in the next few weeks.

Let me show you in photographs what we accomplished the two days.

At 55" Jon installed simple 1 x 4 pine shelf rails around the perimeter of the studio. 
This is wild--it looks so good--I giggle.

The shelf function is right on the money--a place to display finished oil paintings, that doubles as storage space for student's wet paintings between classes. 
I'll never have to put a nail in the wall ever!

Above is 1 of two cubbies for canvas storage.  In this photo I'm priming the birch plywood. 

The temporary cross braces keep the frame square through the priming, painted, and installation.  The cross braces gaves us some handles to grab hold when lifting the cubbies for installation.

A couple of saw horses in the middle of the studio hold the second cubbie while receiving two top coats of black satin latex.

This morning while I went to Stevens Point for window trim, Jon primed and painted the thin backing sheets to install on the canvas storage cubbies.

When I returned with the window trim, Jon already had the first canvas storage cubbie in position.  Then, he removed the cross braces and trimmed out the face of the cubbies.  I'll prime and paint the face trim tomorrow.

Here's a closer photo of the platform, stacked library card files, and canvas storage cubbie

Jon is tired as he finishes the cubbie installation and more shelf rails on the west and east walls. 

This north end of the art studio we are looking at is where all the art supplies will be stored/sold.  Underneath the countertop I'll install some carpet to store frames. 

Jon celebrates his long day with a Sprite.

The card files will store new tubes of oil paint, brushes, etc.   I have card stock ready to go, to start labeling drawers for the art studio supplies and for sewing notions in the west dormer sewing area.

While Jon was busy installing shelves, I filled nail holes with wood filler on the shelf rails and baseboards. 

I climbed underneath the sewing area and primed the sides of the library card files.
This is the south end of the studio.  Off this balcony we'll install outside stairs and railings this summer.

I've photographed this angle many times in different stages of construction.  I'll have to make a little slide presentation of the same angle, showing the transformation.

To the left is the west dormer sewing area.

Tomorrow I'll sand, tape, prime, and top coat of cubbie face trim, shelf rails and baseboards. 
Jon will remove excess lumber off the floors, and continue triming out the windows. 

We're tired tonight.  Having dinner right now.  Early bedtime tonight.
Fred and Rainie slept all day.  Lucky dogs!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Making Wool Cookies

Time to Make Wool Cookies
Let me show you how I make them,
why I need them.
I purchased this splendid 4-drawer file cabinet for under $100 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. 
It sits in the west dormer sewing area of the art studio. 

The wool cookies will replace the cardboard under the file cabinet.   I'm not planning to move the file cabinet again, but the wool cookies (furniture pads) will help protect the floor. 

Lesson Learned:  don't move furniture larger than you are across a new floor.  

Two 8-inch long scratches on the new floor remind me I should have made the wool pads sooner.

This is a hunk of boiled wool. 
I purchased several wool jackets from Goodwill in November. 
One evening I sat on the couch and cut up two jackets. 

Lesson Learned:  don't sit on the couch and cut up wool jackets, it makes such a mess.  It is twice the work to clean up the mess than cutting it at the work table to begin with.

I washed the cut up wool pieces in the hottest setting in the washing machine, then off to the dryer. 

There you have it, the simple steps to make your own wool felt. 

I originally made wool felt for the Litte Girls Sewing Club--a sewing group who joins me the day after Thanksgiving every year.  On that day we make (sew/craft) gifts all day long while their Moms and Grandmothers go Christmas shopping.   

The wool felt hunks the Little Girls made into drinking coasters,
and topped them with machine embroidered leaves.

I still have lots of wool felt left over, and it is a perfect material for furniture foot pads.

Two layers of wool felt + glue + weights

By the way, the nice little juice glasses I purchased (14pc) for $4 at Unique Interiors--a second hand store in Greenville, WI.  Way cool, eh?

Glued up, and ready for assembly and weights--they remind me I need to go to the store and get milk. 

So I went to the store, got the milk, resisted the temptation to buy a bag of oreo cookies.  But when I returned home--the longing for cookies continued, so I  did the unthinkable . . . I caved . . . I baked chocolate chip cookies.  It's been a week now, there are still cookies left in the jar.  They are as hard as hockey pucks.

Tell me, is it bad to feed crunched-up cookies to the birds?  Jon says I have to stop throwing peelings out the back door, because I'm attracting skunks.  Lesson Learned.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Library Card Files Recycled and Installed

I received 2 matching library card file credenzas from my neighbor--a very generous gift.  If you look closely you can see this 60 drawer credenza consists of 4 sections bolted together.  I removed the screws distmantling the credenza which included freeing the top and bottom 1-1/4" boards. 

Mom removed all the brass from the drawers (120pc) and cleaned each one with fine steel wool.

Here are 1/3 of the drawers I sanded wooden fronts, primed, and 2 top coats of satin enamel.  These vintage library card file drawers have plastic boxes with wooden fronts--easy to keep clean.

Here's what the credenzas looked like as I started the project.  Flaking paint and very dirty brass.

Other things I refurbished for the studio--four metal chairs, purchased for a couple dollars each.  I put new soy foam on them and purchased remnant fabric at Hancock fabrics--my home away from home, ha ha.

The metal chairs were so stinky, we hauled them home from the garage sale gagging all the way.

Taking the chair apart gave I got form fitting measurements. 

I recovered 2 wooden chairs--here is one after I finished the upholstery. 

Because these chairs where my FIRST upholstery projects, I photographed each stage of deconstruction, (insurance that I could put them back together again).

The two wooden chairs cost $5 each at a backyard sale.  They also smelled terrible and were so full of dander I had to put on a mask even though I did the deconstruction outside.  It was bad, very bad.

I started out with new soy based foam, and bargain fabric from the clearance section of Hancock fabrics.
Best tools: sharp scissors, electric staple gun, and confidence.

Right and Left: stacked card files.  Jon carefully removed (sawed-off) the backsplash on the countertops to accommodate 29x57 windows.  Sadly, the purple chair is going to Goodwill next week.  I'm going to buy myself a new chair!

The lights are all discontinued products (reduced price). 

Originally $49 each, I purchased the last four light fixtures at Menard's in Plover, WI for $15 each. 

But first I asked lighting clerk for a print-out of other Menard's stores that had the same fixtures discountinued/on sale--to make sure I could get all 14 fixtures I needed for the studio. 

Using the print out I called Menard stores in other states.  I purchased the remaining 10 fixtures from Menard stores in Galesburg, IL (near my parents), and had the Des Moines IA and Rockford IL fixtures shipped to me. 

Including shipping costs--I saved $450 using discontinued light fixtures. 

I'm looking at the south end (balcony beyond the double doors).  To the right is the west dormer (sewing area), and to the left is the east dormer elevator.

Any guess what this recycled item once was, or will be?

Let me begin by saying, each student will have an easel, chair, and wooden tv tray.  I bought 12 wooden tv trays at various garage sales--primed and painted them black satin.  Some of the tv trays came with their own caddy.  This is a tv tray storage caddy.

But I'm going to use it for paintings display on the countertop.

Looking north now--Jon is in the north end working on another countertop and more library card file storage.

Pretty congested space right now with the saw and rail. 

Last week I painted the platforms black for the library card files. 

A temporary stick holds countertop that is screwed to a wall cleat.  I took these photos yesterday, but today Jon added cleats to the card file sides, to support larger boards, underneath the laminate countertop-- then add an apron just behind the bullnose to hide the support boards.

As I write this blog, Jon is fabricating 2 plywood boxes that will sit on top of the left and right card files.  These two 2 plywood boxes will extend to the ceiling, and create canvas storage space.  Tomorrow I'll begin the task of priming the boxes and painting them black satin to match the card files. 

Each box will have one shelf.  The lower cubbies will be 32 inches high, 33 inches wide, and 24 inches deep--accommodating larger canvases.  Upper cubbies 28 inches high hold smaller size canvases. 

The card files have 17" deep drawers, and so the card file boxes are not as deep as the countertop.  We're keeping the space open in the back, because there are outlets just within a hands reach. 

Here's my Jon.  Always a smile on his face.  He can build anything!  I sure love him.

Looking across the room, into the east dormer.  The backside of this closet door is the elevator, accessible from the east dormer.

Here is the elevator shaft, with make-do-for-the-moment styrofoam sheets, (freezing weather outside).
No elevator yet.  We still climb an aluminum ladder to get to the art studio. 
I think the elevator will happen later this spring.   I think. 

Jon's favorite saying:  (from the Red Green Show) . . .
I'm a man,
And I can change,
If I have to.

I'll be posting more studio photos this week. 
I'm excited about the shelf rails to be installed around the wall perimeter--maybe tomorrow.

Goodnight for now.  Sleep tight.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Chipped, Stained, & Cracked

 Do you have things that are Chipped, Stained, or Cracked?  Please share your ideas how you use them, or recycled them. 

Yesterday, I recycled some "Stained" projects.  In the afternoon I re-invented an extra large white linen tablecloth purchased for a couple of dollars at a garage sale last summer.

It was very, very nice cloth, worn and soft to the touch but little yellow stains here and there.  I cut up the vintage tablecloth, recycling them into eight 16" x 20" dish towels rectangles, and one set of pillow cases.  The little yellow stains were cut away.

Recycled Dish towels embroidered yesterday.

The first thing that attracted me to this extra large tablecloth was the quality of the linen and the lace.  I admit, as I paid for the tablecloth, evil wheels were turning in my head as I thought about carving it into smaller pieces!

I serged the edges of each recycled dish towel, then placed them in the 5 x 7 hoop with stablizer sheet underneath.

 Action shot here.  Machine embroidery of vintage serving spoon and fork.

Two Spoons:  this one I'm giving to my friend Laurie--she likes old spoons.  Laurie will take one look at this and laugh, and laugh.

Machine embroidering takes about 20 minutes.  When I'm working on special projects I slow down the stitching speed on my machine.

The finished towels are plain looking, I could add a printed fabric band from scraps.  What do you think?  Plain or Peanut?


Add fabric color?

Actually my first STAINED recycling project began early yesterday morning . . .

I was folding dark clothes from the dryer.  Ah, nuts--my favorite green sweatshirt . . . there were grease stains on the front of it.  I have no idea where that came from. 

So, I cut up an old green gingham shirt to make some triangles to sew over the stained spots.  Here's the cover-up job on my favorite green sweatshirt.

I cut random triangles, stitched 1/4" on edges, and turned the edges under to press, then pinned the triangles in place and used small blanket stitch to permanently attach to the sweatshirt.  Then, I got an idea . . .

BUGS . . . that's what's bugging me!  I'll embroider BUGS on the sweatshirt, an array of colorful embroidery threads. 

Recently I discovered dark gray smoke and walnut brown to use instead of black.  My favorites: anything green: lime, kiwi, olive, fresh green, and golds, oranges, plumbs, peacock greens and blues. 

Positioning the machine embroidery hoop. 
 (iron-on stablizer . . . that's the white paper-like sheet)

The hoop slides into the machine and locked.  Ready to go.

Detail of stitching the embroidery design.

Detail of finished golden bee

Then, a dragon fly

Then a colorful beetle.

The Finish: saved the collar of  the green gingham shirt and stitched it to the sweatshirt. 
I'll add some stippling to the triangle squares--to nail down the wavy fabric.  Have you ever stippled?  Its easy and a cool way to make quilted fabric for coin purses and Kindle readers. 

Confession:  I like to experiment with recycling . . . but occasionally I make a hot mess, a disaster, something truly awful, and have the good sense to throw it away before anyone sees it.   Come on, tell me your special word for making a mess . . . extra points for two-word or three word descriptions!

Everyday is Saturday, and my favorite day of the week is Tomorrow. 
Having fun, wish you were here.