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Archive for the ‘the Journey of a Stylish Renovation’ Category

-decorating the lamps at Christmas!…as a Christmas

 hangover? 

My body, my energy, my motivation has called a big ole time out on me.  I spent the 2 days after Christmas doing…absolutely…NOTHING.  Nada.  Zilch.

It was  W O N D E R f u l !

W e l l~ I did finally do the Christmas day dishes early Wednesday morning.

I sorted and organized everything Christmas night and then decided—

I just didn’t FEEL like doing the rest.

After 2 glorious days of slackin’ off, I’m getting back in gear (uhgh!).

This year’s decorating seemed to stick close to just Reds and Whites…including decorating all the lighting!

decorating the lighting too!

decorating the lighting too!

decorating the lighting too!

...and little wreathes on the cabinet doors...

the simple extra touches~

Decorating stayed very simple–and mostly just little touches of Reds & Whites.

the simple extra touches~ the simple extra touches~

 

 

And then there were

the TREES!

the beaded tree~

the UPSTAIRS tree~

But~

If you’ve followed my blog long enough, you know I do something FuN & crazy every year for the kiddo’s Christmas tree!

I revisited the long-time-idea of going UPside down!

When I stumbled onto a stuffed lower half of Santa…well, it was meant to be!

hanging a tree UPside down!Starting with a TREE…

Couldn’t be fake—the “hinged” arms would just fall down.

Okay, REAL.  Would have to be smaller to emphasize being off the floor.  Would have to have firm branches to stay straight out.  Would need to cut the trunk LOW to the bottom branches to lay flat on the ceiling.

I screwed an eye bolt into the bottom of the trunk, and a molly bolt & strong cup hook into the ceiling~& hung it up!

The Santa came with a hook to catch the trunk, and I happened to already have a stuffed Santa Hat to poke through the other side of the tree—HoHoHo!

Santa’s legs were wired so I manipulated them to look like he was climbing in the tree.  Wait a minute~is that really Mr GRINCH stealing our tree?

I strung the lights, I added “snow,” and decorated with lots of CANDY!  (Including licorice tinsel)  The kiddos like to “EAT” the tree here!

The UPside down tree candy decor!

This is After Christmas with much of its candy eaten!  But it still looks fun!  The kids LUV’d it—and so did the adults!  I noticed several walking over to take another look at it all!

I found some amAzing lights to put on the kiddo’s tree this year—below are the color options it gives!  You can pick a color or some combo of—that’s not a filter!  There’s also a CANDY-color option of white-pink-purple-orange-red.  Then you can select solid-flashing-chasing-twinkling-fade!

~some really cool tree lights!

With just the white lights to see (what’s left) the “decorations!”the kiddo's tree!

This year we TRULY took pics UNDER the tree!

(winkwink)

Merry Christmas!

I used a softer light-scheme!
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Keep Calm.....or whatever....It’s easy to be

over-taken &

over-loaded

BY LIFE, in general.

And YES, I needed a blog-break.  But dang, I’ve just been outright neglectful, and even I’M surprised.  Well, a New Year is nipping at our heals…full of

Fresh Starts and a REfocus of Priorities and

I’m back!

Promise!

If you follow me on Instagram

you’ve seen a few things along the way, otherwise~

let me get REstarted with this quickie!

One of the best things about being a “Construction-Girl” is that when you NEED something ~you can generally just go build it!

I realized I needed a VERY LARGE TRAY to cover my tufted ottoman during our Christmas gathering.  There’s always a minimum of 17 adults and 15 big-to-little kids.  So there’s a LOT of nibbles, goodies, and dinner food to make room for!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!

I’ll use the over-sized tray for nibbles, a 5ft sofa table will become the dessert bar, and the whole kitchenette becomes a buffet-styled dinner!  PLUS, a hot chocolate bar for the kiddos, coffee bar for the sleep-deprived adults, and/OR Christmas Spirits bar~where you’ll find me by the time I’ve finished all the work it takes to get this party ready!

-getting things readied for a HUGE gathering!This picture~  trying out service pieces for the What-Why-How!

The tufted ottoman is 41″ in diameter, the new over-sized tray is 37″!

Now~how I did it!

•I happened to have a former table top (Craigslist-find that was gutted for parts!) that was 31″ & also an octagon!

•I ripped a long pine board to 3″w, cut 8 generous sides,

•ran them through the router to create    1-a rabbet & 2-a finished beveled edge.

•Cut/mitered each side on a 22.5° angle, and glued & nailed each piece to the 8 sides.  The rabbet gave a stronger connection and the bevel gave a finished edge!

•Finished the wood to look as much like the ottoman as possible (different woods) and added over-sized lion head drawer pulls.

A N D, things are getting finished in the lower-level!

*aka~basement

Catherine

this scrap cut shows you the RABBET & BEVEL

*you can see the Herringbone pattern through the paint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

with the new sides extending the diameter~

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THIS was Monday–

the room is ready to go!

THIS is Friday!

the newly REstyled bookcases!

And THIS is how the week went!

Monday- I finished the last of the prep work.
Tuesday & Wednesday- picked up my stained parts, propped the key parts together to see where adjustments would have to be made –just plan on it, ’cause it happens– and got to work.  All was coming together!

Uh~mostly.

I’m still not quite satisfied with the bookshelf’s natural break line.  I may be making a change.  –We’ll see.
I started painting the interior to brighten it.  I used the satin finish from the Lower Level I had mixed to match the Living Room’s suede texture.  But without the suede texture, the satin finish read too “white.”
Thursday- So I ran off to get another paint mixed just a bit darker than the walls, and got everything finished including the shelves!
While I was out, I stopped in to have a conversation with my lighting guru and made a last minute (literally) LIGHTING decision.

painting the interior~

Early this morning I gave a light sanding to a few “rough” areas and REpainted.  While it was drying, I got crackin’ on the new TAPE lighting!

adding concealed TAPE lighting

You can see that it’s very small, low profile, and concealable!  BEST- it gives a consistent –not spotty– wash of light flooding across the shelving.  I had my lighting guy make TWO 66″ lengths to go behind each pilaster, an appropriate length to feed back towards the outlet, but connected to plug in to ONE spot.  The outlet is triggered by a wall switch I added in construction.
This lighting is  so flat~low profile, it easily slips between the slight wall~shelf gap.  I only needed to drill a small hole through the lid and the center shelf to feed the tape through, from top to bottom.  It attaches by a sticky taped backing.
The down side is that it’s still a new format~meaning EXPENSIVE.  $126 + tax.  I’ll probably add this underneath the upper kitchen cabs for counter task lighting—it’s really nice!

Look at the difference—in DAY light!

Just imagine at night!

adding Tape Lighting

the 2nd life of the Shaker bookcases
Here’s the “before” to THIS project!
I have a few things left to finish, which I’ll share later, but in the mean time~

I’ll REwork and REload all the family photos~

Catherine

the NEW bookcases W/NEW lighting!

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shelves and parts just waiting~~and it’s not even finished!

Yesterday morning I anxiously headed out to pick up my parts.  The guys did an OUTstanding job and I was super happy!  Sure~the stain was a smidge darker than my plan, but, com’on—

it’s so beaUtiful!

And here we go

This is the room Monday, ready and waiting. . .

clear weather~nice day

the room is ready to go!

And Tuesday. . .the parts picked up and now just propped together for a general lay of the land before jumping in full fledged!

propped together for a general overview

Although I brought in the compressor, nailers, drill—and a variety of other accouterments, I still needed to run in and out to make cuts and router things.  And the RAIN moved in.  For the day.  Joy.

With ME and PARTS running in and out getting wet.

Some things were pre-cut and waiting, but other things had to be done on the fly.  Adjustments and tweaks had to be made~it happens.  So in the frenzy of work I didn’t get many “along the way” pics to share, sorry.

adjusting the plinth blocks and base

contouring the back cleats to hold/stabilize the pilastersThe jist of the work

–I started with the right side, attaching the cleating and base plinth.  

–The first change came once I added the pilaster, it just looked too “flat.”  So I pulled it off and ran it through the router with a trim bit to follow the contours.

–Calculate the cut and attach the top plinth block.

–Slide the right bookcase over, snug to the wall~move the left bookcase in and screw them together.

–Repeat the whole pilaster profile process on the left side.

–Cut/install hidden cleats to install/stabilize the center base.

–Install decorative header with the addition of 2 “L” brackets from behind for extra security.

–Add scribe to the center bottom-top bookcase divide, and rip/cut ¼” veneer to conceal the center bookcase connections.

–Lastly, each shelf had to be ripped down a slight bit shallower.  One of my corny big brothers noted that “It’ll be hard to keep your books straight.  We’ll have to call you Ei-leen.”

concealing the center connection and adding stained scribe to the middle

cutting the shelves down to fit behind the new pilasters/cleating

a NEW look!

The next tasks are to putty, lightly sand, and paint the whole interior.  And, REset that interior outlet and cover plate.

Plus, we’re in a full out snow storm now—w t h Mother Nature??

I need to decide on lighting -or not- and adding a top finial -or not- .

I liked it before but

I love it now!

Catherine

—there’s MORE to come & to explain!

the evolution of these bookcases!

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here's a rough idea of what's happening~

This crude drawing was the result of trying to get someone to understand the new design I was going for.

*This is what said design looks like when you DRAW on your cell phone pictures using your finger!  But you guys do that too~right?!?

To REcap

After emptying the bookcases I stripped all evidence of the Shaker styling AND my later style changes.

I cut a former fluted bed post in half to become pilasters.  I built plinth blocks.  I cut trim pieces.

I ripped a new header board to width and length, and sorted out that final design with the salvaged arched casing.

I took the left bookcase, header, new face frame parts, and trim to the strippers to work some serious stain magic with the crazy mixture of woods.  White oak, Aspen, Cherry, Birch, and Maple.  It took some playing with stain colors to find a complimentary color and tone that didn’t mean going DARK.  Whew.

REpainting!While the guys worked on their part I returned to painting.  Before Christmas I painted the bulk of the living room, but not the front wall with floor to ceiling windows or the bookshelf-side of the fire place.

The room is now 100% REfreshed and looks and feels WONDERFUL!

While I had things knocked down I took advantage to “correct” a BIG annoyance.  The wall-to-ceiling cut-in line lost its crisp edge with each new paint job, so I brushed the outer-most ceiling edge with its Ben Moore Alabaster color down onto the wall [about] an inch.  Once dry I cut a NEW crisp cut line with the suede wall paint.

OMG it looks SO much nicer!

a nice CRISP cut-in line!

newly-freshly REpainted! newly-freshly REpainted!

I finished all the detail painting early this morning and spent a good bit of time cleaning and polishing EVERYthing thoroughly before/as I REstored the room.

I’ll be picking up the final parts of this project from the strippers in the morning and spending the day “building” the new bookcases!  And painting the interiors.

Can’t wait to share with you!

I’ll post some progress pics on instagram ~hope you’ll follow along!

Catherine

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a simple pair of solid wood bookcasesThey were just a pair of solid wood bookcases.

But with all the renovations on mom’s house, they got paired together for the first time.  AND, I dressed them out with crown molding, pilasters & plinth blocks, and base molding.  I even added picture frame lighting from above (triggered on a light switch).

They look nice.  NICE.

I can do better than NICE.

Yesterday I stripped them back to the original simple Shaker-styled bookcases.  Carcasses.

Today begins their

2nd makeover!

Catherine

launching into a BIG makeover

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a little "trouble"1st, a little

“trouble!”

I found this old game board in a thrift store for $1  -because the pieces were missing.  Awwww.

But you know me—I bought a 3ft ½” wooden dowel and cut it down to a bunch  of 1 inch pieces.  20 of them –actually.  Then I painted 5 each~

red  yellow  green  and  blue!

No more missing pieces!

a little "trouble"

Blue is currently drying!

Can’t wait to play a round with the kiddos!

a little "trouble"

I actually have another FUN project I’m just wrapping up to show you—
B U T  –I’m also launching into a big

architectural bookshelf makeover!

Catherine

launching into a BIG makeoverIn terms of this project~we’ll call this Before.

But you can see by the arched piece, I’ve been kicking around ideas for a while.  Below—it’s stripped down to the carcass for me to get going. . . Catherine

launching into a BIG makeover

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