Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year!


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The fat lady has sung—

It’s all over but the last cleanup, and I’m sooo tired.

Last year, when it was all over–I rested.  I wrote in a post to you how, “all the work leading up to it is utterly exhausting, so this morning, I slept in, then camped out on the sofa watching movies, watching backed-up shows on the DVRwatching the back of my eyelids.  Played samurai sudoku, & now playing on the computer—a much earned L-A-Z-Y day!

But there’s no rest yet—

I have to get the first project going for the One Month to Win It contest.

The 1st project is due Friday!

I got my demo and construction done today.  Tomorrow, I paint.  I can’t tell you anything else–and I can’t show you anything.  It’s the rules.

But I sure hope you’ll all go check it out on the day voting begins!


Until then—







All the pillows and blankets I made for the little kids were a hit!



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Merry, MERRY Christmas!

Wishing you all the

Merriest Christmas!


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1 early Christmas present!

One of my nieces (and her little family) live in a small, old house–with NO CLOSETS on the entire 1st floor.   –Huh?

When you live in the Midwest,    a coat closet is a must!

So, her husband and I conspired to remedy the situation for Christmas—

and we installed it today while Brandee was out shopping!

I started sketching ideas–based on their family needs.  And this is my crazy thought process getting worked out.

Since time was of the essence, I had to begin with a crude plan—ehh–!

1st–some corbels. 

Made from what is known as 5/4 board I had on hand!  I guess some are too lazy to call it 1¼” wood.  Mine, however, is actually closer to 1½”—I found it at the ReStorecheap!

Here, already cut, you see me sanding the profiles “perfect” on a drum sander.

I needed to dowel two pieces together to get the needed depth.

Another ReStore find, is this frig cap–$5.  I used to design custom kitchens, this is a very expensive add-on and was a great find!

The Top Section—

The face frame is made of scrap wood, the sides are old cabinet doors (ReStore, again).

I wanted the “hall tree” to install flush on the right so I cut off the right side crown return (besides clipping the depth).

My finished scheme is Farrow & Ball’s Off Black, an Early American stain, and Annie Sloane’s Dark wax.

The Trunk—

The top is cut from a 1½” glued-edged board.  It’s got a “sort-of  butcher-block” look, and stains nicely.

I routered the edge with a 1″ ogee profile for a nice detail.

Two 8ft pine boards, close in the front and back of the trunk, plus a ½” plywood board for the inside bottom.  The facing & foot details are from more leftovers.

Concerned about potential damage from wet shoes & boots, I used my new drill press (early Christmas present!) to bore ventilation holes, & heavily coat the board w/a rubbery spray paint.

Here you can see the left side waxed.      It gives the Off Black paint a beautiful lustre, and the stain more depth!







My Their finished piece!

I forgot to mention that after building a simple door frame, I changed my finish to a chalkboard face so my niece could leave messages for her boys!

And I added a kitchen cabinet under-mount light!

1 present done –uh, down, several to go!



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One Month to Win it!

Omgosh!  I’ve been chosen to be a contestant in the

One Month to Win it, Season 7 contest!

Yikes-ies!  Uh, I mean, YEA(–yikes!)

I’m still a novice to the blogging world, and only found The Shabby Creek Cottage a couple of months ago!  I saw they were auditioning for contestants, and sent in a project—but had no real expectations for anything more to happen.

I’ve been sooo busy getting ready for Christmas, and when I saw an email from them, I just figured it was to say “Thanks for trying out,” and delayed opening it.  When I read their email before heading to bed that night–boy was I surprised!

And nervous–two of the projects listed are things I don’t do.  At first I was going to disqualify myself, but I like a challenge–

so I’m going for it anyway!  Wish me luck, please!

The contest rules won’t allow me to show you anything in advance, or tell you which is my project–

but I sure hope you’ll follow along to see all of the challenges–and VOTE!

–Let’s see how far I make it!–

Go meet my very talented competitors!


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My urn tree-stand

Not thinking mom would try to wrestle with another real tree again, I took her array of tree stands to donation.  Then–Surprise!

Hey, let’s put up a real tree for the kids this year!  Uhh-boy.

You know what they say about necessity!  I pulled this garden urn from storage–but needed to alter it to make it work  (I was always intending to re-finish it anyway).


A simple–but messy–project of    painting and waxing!  Et, voilà!
















—I wasn’t trying to fully cover it with paint, I wanted the pits and crevices of it to add “age” and depth, and some dark wax for that final finish!

With a bucket for water, the tree is set for the season!








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We are a large family. 

My mom,

brothers and sisters-in-law,

nieces and nephews,

great nieces and nephews

–oh–and me!

16 adults and 18 children.    

We always gather in Mom’s small’ish   2 story house (thankfully, there’s also a finished lower level).  In summer, we can spread out on her over-sized, 2-tiered party deck, and the gardens of her huge city lot!

But at Christmas, it’s up and down, and all around the three floors—it gets pretty warm!  Plus, we tend to have aunts and uncles and cousins join in, so Christmas is a crowd, to say the least!

To keep things “organized,” the kids have a tree downstairs, the adults have one upstairs.

This year I decided on a small, real tree for the kids!  But having donated all the tree stands, I had to improvise–and I love it!

The Kid’s Tree began with gum-drop lights, and stayed with a whimsical direction!  But the garden urn was a peculiar green–so I painted and waxed it!


And when none of the tree toppers looked right, I cut the bottom off a snowman container–it was perfect!








The Upstairs Tree has a very “old” feeling this year.  Loaded with varying shades of whites, pearls, golds, with a splash of red, and hydrangea heads from the garden.

It still looked “flat” to me, and I noticed a faint musty odor.  So I came up with a totally off-the-wall remedy.

I sprinkled the tree with a lavender baby powder!  My own twist on flocking the tree— and the room smells really nice!

Ho-Ho-Ho!       Catherine

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