Archive for the ‘building green’ Category

We’re closing in on all the outdoor chores!  (woo hoo!)   Can’t WAIT to REfocus on fUn projects!

taking apart all the picket fence sections--Last summer I was given nUMerous sections of a fallen picket fence.  A niece and nephew (in law) kept it all over winter for me and brought it over as I returned from Phoenix.

Today, I finally got to take it all apart and stack it neatly for an upcoming project—YaY!  Thankfully, I had some help for this task.  We pounded boards apart, backed out nails, unscrewed rusted screws, cut nails and screws off with the reciprocating saw and the metal grinder–and finally, we even had to sacrifice a handfull to the circular saw just to capture some good long boards.

What. a. day.


taaking apart all the picket fence sections--My magnetic nail sweep!The mess of nails and screws everywhere looked pretty daunting to clean up to all but ME!

I have a handy-dandy magnetic nail sweep in my arsenal of tools—I use it all the time, couldn’t be without it!

My magnetic nail sweep!Come on, look at that!

How could you EVER live without THIS tool!


*Worth every single penny in tetanus shots!

; D










*My Bad Kate—
These magnetic nail sweeps are fairly widely available, here’s a link to Harbor Freight’s version (since they seem to be about everywhere now)!

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Craig's list #3Worth traveling for.

Brought it back and immediately cut it in 2.

Started making repairs, and sanded and re-stained top of “new dresser.”

Made all necessary construction adjustments to the new forms.

(But one~to be made tomorrow.)

Painting.  Outside.

Almost 60° –shocking.

craig's list #3Craig's list #3

-out of the BOX!


Tomorrow, I pick up another of my Craig’s list finds!

An incredible, architectural table (to be re-purposed)!

And hopefully, that square-backed Louis chair!


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I feel like that “hump day” camel. . .

“Guess what day it is–guess what

DAY it is?!?”


Craig's list #3

Some one~has been touched by some Spring feev’a apparently

and listed some gOOd stuff of Craig’s list!    ~At last!

So I drove the 45 minutes to capture one ’60’s styled, undulating front, dark-blonde dresser–$20!

Ha! Guess what I’m doing with to it?  ; D

It’s a little rougher than the posting showed–nothing I can’t handle.  In fACt–I’ve already taken it apart and cut it into the two projects!


Let the FUN begin!

Omg–wait till you see the other finds!  An AWEsome architectural dining table, a cabinet, and fingers crossed–a square-backed Louis chair!  I feel giddy!


Craig's list-- #3

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 Okay, the Reader’s Digest version of this story is….
We moved to this little house at the end of my dad’s time in the Air Force.  Again, the house was little but they felt it had potential and raised the back roof line making the house a 1¾ story.  It made room for a much larger bedroom and bath (for my 3 big brothers to share), and an office for mom.
Our mother was a teacher.  Primarily here in the US, but even while our family was stationed in France.  42yrs.  Mostly in the parochial school system.  And that‘s why I’ve been doing all this work on her home–so she’ll have a worry-free comfortable home in retirement.

*This is a project from 2006

So–my dad built mom a private office

——where she could spread out ALL that teaching stuff.  Once retired though, I thought it would be wAy nicer to become a cozy library for her many books.  However, when (her brother) my Uncle Fred died and left his enormous Oz collection to her and there were so many incredibly valuable books–her library became more like a dedication to thatHence the eventual wall color.

*I would love to show you pictures of her in-use-teaching-office, but the computer and scanner aren’t  on speaking terms  right now~w e l l.

mom's office--

It’s a pretty nice room at 15’9″ x 10ft, and dad built-in the desk and closet to keep her organized.  One thing I learned about my dad’s construction–he built things to LAST.  I had the hardest time demo’ing it all down.  Seriously.

In addition to his built-ins, she had several store-bought DIY bookshelves and I thought they could be  salvageable.

mom's office--

becoming a library--

-After I got the room gutted I re-staged those existing bookshelves where the built-ins used to live.  See? Salvageable!

Yes, they are now the foundation to her NEW BUILT-INS!

. . . .use what you’ve got ba-bie!  ; D

becoming a library--I used spacers between the units to fit new front face frames, 2×6’s underneath to boost the height for 5½” base molding and to fit it to the ceiling with a 4″ crown, and I pulled the tower unit forward.  Paint and glaze brings it all together.

becoming a library--the Library--In summary of the rest of the room–

Everything remaining was gutted–like flooring and casings, and the electricians installed spot lights for me and moved outlets around.

I built a real closet, hung a 2nd layer of drywall around the perimeter ceiling to effect a “tray ceiling,” and installed a pair of new windows (custom on my specs) to look like french doors.  Then I re-cased the whole room with moldings salvaged from a razed farmhouse.

The above view is entering the room from the stairs-hallway.

Below shows entering from the adjoining bathroom.

the Library--

the Library--

Yes, that’s my compressor in the bottom corner of the photo, I’m still working in the hall on its built-in bookcases.  And I need to get crackin’ on some proper window treatments for this room!  Btw~the shelves are in disarray because we’ve been reviewing all the Oz books and selling some to other collectors.

With the actual closet in the room now, this is legally a 4th bedroom for resale.  Although I still think it’s greatest as a private office-library for the master bedroom, wouldn’t it make a convenient nursery too-?


the Library--I’m sharing this project–

I party with Remodelaholic

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putting 2013 behind us I’ve been reading a lot of “Year in Review” blog posts…a great look back at some really inspiring projects out there in blogland!

I started thinking about a couple of mine—and was surprised at how many of my own projects I’d forgotten all about!

antq mall display cabinet

So I thought it might be fun to

RE-share them with you too!

But I’m going to start with one from Nov 2012 and something I never thought I’d be doing…TAKING A SPACE IN AN ANTIQUE MALL.  What a surprise–that I did it, that it went so well as to expand in this year, and the many projects it propelled!  Like~ building this new display cabinet from odd parts and its outcome!


~found me constructing a dresser-hutch for my very 1st G-G-nephew Brody.
~Then I finished off another children’s cabinet for my cousin’s little baby girl Emma  before traveling to Atlanta to deliver it AnD take a little birthday getaway!  Woo-hoo!

year in review projects- 2013

In February~

I decided to make several changes in my mother’s master br as a surprise while she took a winter’s rest in Florida with a friend!  It started with a fire place

Mom's surprise!

During the year I worked on a variety of projects, big & small~

my lighting projects- 2013

  1. My vintage White Globe sconces
  2. Princes Aleigha’s lamp
  3. A thrift store lamp and an anaglyptic-covered shade
  4. A lace-y chandelier
  5. A vintage bed lamp re-fashioned

my chalk boards and mirror projects- 2013

  1. the Atlanta trip windows
  2. my auction mirror
  3. making a mirror from cabinet doors
  4. a decoupaged chalkboard
  5. two more decoupaged chalkboards

And there were lots of  miscellaneous projects….

misc projects of 2013

But you all know my very favorite thing is construction!

Hmmm, I guess I make a lot of benches   ; D

my bench projects- 2013

  1. The other half of the 1st Craig’s List dresser
  2. The neighbor’s curbie
  3. A quilted slip-covered curbie!
  4. The ReStore “bench”
  5. Saving history!
  6. The 2nd Craig’s List dresser
  7. The sewing cabinet bench
  8. The Christmas built-in banquette

And furniture~

furniture projects of 2013reviving some curbies, an old camp chair, rattan chair makeovers, a thrift store dresser and bed re-furbished, the farm table, the outdoor china hutch, a 2nd Craig’s List dresser re-do, a decoupaged dresser, a bit more decoupage, re-working a curbie, Grandpa’s rockers, the antq mall armoire,

And of course–charity projects.

charity projects -2013

2 Hall Trees for 2 charities, The Habitat for Humanities Hall Tree and children’s cubbyAnd one more currently in the works for mom’s neighbor who is battling breast cancer, but I haven’t posted on any of it yet.

It felt like I was so busy all year, but it’s only 50’ish projects!

I did leave out a handful or so because I abandoned them (-didn’t like how they were taking shape, but I’ll come back to them…).  There were also many “other projects” that occurred throughout the year not listed above…

like TRAVEL and meeting some of my FAVorite bloggers!

Which you can neVer do enough of!


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a moment from a fallen treeThe tree fell in a storm. The tree-guys came to deal with the damages ~and left me with a few “parts” for mementos.  I’ve been sitting on this slab of tree for a while now and just got an idea…hmmm

How about a tray?

So I sanded and sanded and sanded to get it really smOOth!

Like butta’.

Then I stained and lacquered it to bring out the beautiful grain–did ya’ notice that double trunk?


Next I played around with hardware for handles and feet–

PLAY being the operative word~I have a LOT of cool old hardware!

...how about a tray?

I decided on the handles, but in the end, I decided to use wooden knobs for its feet.  Notice how it blends right into the wood?!

figuring out handles and feet--And here’s my TRAY!

I’m sure it’s not for everybody, but I think it’s just kinda’ fun!

And now we have something nicer to remember the old tree by!

Actually~can’t you see a decanter and pair of brandy snifters on it?


A tray from the fallen tree!

A tray from the fallen tree!~I’m sharing this project with a few good friends!


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I tried so hard to get a good REVEAL picture for you to see my contributions to the Habitat for Humanities and the ReStores’ HARD HATS & HEELS auction—

but the chA-os of my jam-packed work studio was not working for any “pretty” pictures.  Okay~although I wasn’t pushing for those BEAUTIFIED, IN PLACE, STYLIZED shots, I still just couldn’t show the dreaded chaos that abounds for the moment.

And you know it’s even tougher when mirrors are involved—you have to think about the background AnD their reflection~yikes!

Now that my Hall Tree & kid’s cubbie are boTH delivered, and their chaos is much less than mine—at LaST I can show you their outcome!  ; D

Hard Hats and Heels--Hall Tree

Hard Hats and Heels--Hall Tree

a cubbie for the kiddos!

Hard Hats and Heels--kid's cubbie-001

And there they are!

Their request was very flattering, I’m happy with the outcome of both, and sure hope they fetch a pretty price for this worthy cause!


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ReStoreIn late August, on a run through my FAVorite ReStore (and I’ve been through mANy)–the store manager grabbed me to say, “Don’t leave without seeing me.”  Uh~I promise, I didn’t do it!

The ReStore and Habitat for Humanity are holding their 3rd Annual Hard Hats and Heels Banquet November 15–would I be willing to make another “hall tree” like the one I made and donated for their Earth Day Celebration…?


working on the door/hall treeSo yesterday I made the trip up to the ReStore to pick up the door their manager and I picked out to use.  I also ran through to see if there were any other donations I could use in construction–but unfortunately, no.  We loaded the door and my other purchases and I headed home.

I finally got started around noon today~beginning with cutting it down from its 36″ to 33″.  I had two objectives in mind: I hoped to reduce some weight from this inCREDibly heavy door, and I thought it might be easier to make room for something 33″ wide.

Then I re-contoured the bottom to create “legs”…

…and I pulled another paneled door (I had in reserve for a different project) to make the box -or- seat.  The door had 5 panels, I cut off 2– one for the front and the other cut in half for the sides.  I used some cut-off bed posts for the front feet.

*I added a small bead detail at the top and bottom of the box with the router~although you can’t see it in any of these pictures yet.

creating the "box"While I was working on a few of the details to the box, I was simultaneously working on the “mirrors.”  These fabulous beveled windows were one of the main reasons I was pushing for this door selection!

You can see the “mirrors” coming to life in the collage below, and the last shot of the two parts propped together so I could get a feeling for how things were going so far~at the end of day.  Tomorrow I’ll add the crown molding, tweak a few things here and there, and get painting.  And I hope to get crackin’ on the flip lid too!


silvering the glass-

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french-y chalkboard

That cool chalkboard I made for, and just sold in the flea market was such a fUn project!

And since I happened to have a couple more doors~I thought I would create a couple more chalkboards!

So, 1st things 1st—I cut off the outer door profile that IS the dead-giveaway of BEing a cabinet door!  Plus- fresh, flat sides make it easier to add a frame (like you see on this 1st one).

*I also had to putty and sand out the routered grooves in the smaller door.

chalk boards

Next—I painted the whole door with chalkboard paint.  We’ve aLL done this so you don’t need me telling you how–

but if I could throw out these 3 helpful tips.

1) I’ve heard a few complain about their boards not being smooth to write on.  Sanding between each coat remedies the lines from a brush or the “eggshell-dimplingappearance from a roller.

2) I usually paint and sand out 3 coats.  THEN–I pour a small amount onto the board and TROWEL IT OUT WITH A VENETIAN PLASTER SPATULA.  Spreading the paint out yields the smOOthest finish, and helps to FILL ANY VOIDS missed in sanding.  I usually do 3 coats on this too–with sanding.

~Sure, it’s a little extra work, but I find it leaves me with the most durable chalkboards for lots of writing and erasing!

3) I’ve found my boards easier to write on and clean up better when they’re PRIMED!  Just lay some chalk on its side and cover the whole surface with it–then use a soft dry rag to wipe it down/clean it afterward!  I’ve never had a board leave that 1st “ghost” writing behind.

a couple more chalkboards

best way to cover the intricate applique!

Did I mention that I added an applique to each of these new boards-?!

The larger board got the “crown,” and to make it easier to cover all those nooks and crannies–I dunked it, then brushed it out!

Then~I découpaged!

more chalkboards!-






I sanded off the excess of découpage and roughed it up a bit too!  Then I miter-cut some of my extra-run of bullnose to create frames for each chalkboard, and painted them with a liquid gold-leafing paint (just like the first board-pictured up top).

You can see I also hit some extra areas with the gold!

And now they’re off to the antique mall for sale!


2 more chalkboards!

*Click on the pictures to see the details closer up!details of the chalkboards!

I’m sharing this project with this FABulous linky party!

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When I was recently shopping one of my fav ReStores, the manager asked me to come see him before I left.

My instincts were saying “I didn’t do it~it wasn’t me.”

always try to be charitableThey really liked, and appreciated my Hall Tree donation for their Earth Day Celebration

would I be willing to build anOTHer for their fall silent auction–??

I believe in charity.  I have a strong sense of Where you are CAPABLE and ABLE, you SHOULD!  So I’ll be building another hall tree for this worthy cause very soon!

I was escorted to the back staging area to get a first pick of some really cool, oLd  -recently donated-but not put out just yet-  doors.  One really stood out!

Check out the dentil molding under the beveled glass divided light windows!  O.M.G.  I have   p-L-a-n-s   swirling around in my head galore!

*Sort of ironic that I picked a door with a NO SOLICITING sign—for a SOLICITED project!  ; D

Okay, so, speaking of The ReStore—

My cousin sent me this notice from the Atlanta ReStore!  It doesn’t say you have to be local to participate–and I visit them aLmost eVery trip. . .

ReStore Events and News

Calling all you creative ReStore shoppers!

What’s Your ReStory?

We know you’ve been taking your ReStore finds and using them to enhance your home or to create something wonderful. It’s time to show off your creativity! Send or bring us a photo of your favorite ReStore item or project and we’ll proudly post it in the store. All customers will vote for their favorite entry and the most popular one will receive a $50 ReStore gift certificate! You can enter as many projects as you like, so get those photos to us right away!

FINE PRINT:  Submit entries from August 27 through September 24. The winner will be announced at 10:30 a.m. on September 28.  Please be sure to include your name, phone number, and email address along with your photo. Entry forms available at the ReStore. Also, be sure to let us know what items in the photo you purchased at the ReStore. Email entries to us at restorenewsletter@atlantahabitat.org or bring your photos by the store.

I have a FeW things to pick from to maybe send in—!  ; D


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