Friday, May 24, 2013

The something I can't describe....

That title is way more provocative that the actual subject.  I picked up an indescribable piece from Ken that worked its way to the head of the class for attention and production. I mentioned it last week but couldn't really say what it was. It is definitely handmade by someone with skills. The fold down front is off kilter and maybe it was planned so.  Here is a Before look:

And here it is after. My daughter says it is the color of her cousin, Meredith's eyes.

It is a prettier blue than shows up in the photo. Both drawers open easily and the front snaps down.  It is sort of a cabinet/bookcase/file something or other.  Heavy duty.  Will snap a photo tomorrow of the front down against the brick wall in a more natural light. It will be reasonably priced on Craigslist.  

I am working on a Union Jack coffee table.  Only partly painted then comes my favorite part-the distressing.


Time for hot malted milk with vanilla bean ice cream, a little Boz Scaggs' Memphis, and la la land.

As ever,
La Verne

Monday, May 20, 2013

Pretty little Communion girl

Little Caroline was radiant as she received her First Communion today at St. Ambrose.  Above she is posing with Fr. Bob Stec (who is celebrating 25 years as a priest next week). It was a very intimate with only 6 kids sitting with their families rather than in the large group setting.

Here she is practicing ahead of time with Mom minutes before she received....

Beautiful day, party, relatives and friends, great food.


Time to get planting this week

I didn't realize this posted.  Was not finished putting down thoughts about the kids paying Ed to fill cracks and seal the driveway for Mother's Day.  It was done yesterday while we celebrated, and looks amazing even though he ran out of sealer 10 feet from the finish line. Of late, I have been doing the bare minimum when it comes to house maintenance, yet the kids who have left home years ago and are raising their own families, take notice and save the day. I soooooo appreciate all of you and your sacrifices for mother dear.

Brunswick schools are closed this week due to a norovirus going around so the twinks will be around on Wednesday.  Hope it is just a precaution and not an epidemic.

When I lamented the short post in a text to Bethy (a paragraph ago), she wrote back...."Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Be sincere, be brief, be seated." You nailed it."  That comment leaves me to think I am normally long winded and long in the tooth.  Will try to be more succinct, hence forth.

As ever,
La Verne

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Little Bed and file cabinet

Miss Kate had a birthday last weekend and her request was a doll bed that fit her American Girl/One Direction/New Direction/Bigger than a Barbie-smaller than a baby, bed. The aforementioned are 18" plus allowing for a growth spurt, fat hair, fuzzy slippers, and bed-covers, I made it 22" on the inside. Just to be clear, I am not a carpenter. I can saw wood, hammer nails, and screw screws. This thing was a leap of faith. You Tube gave me some ideas if I wanted to listen to a really boring (but loving) dad, or make a bed out of cereal boxes and duct tape. Instead, in keeping with my logo, hope and salvage, I salvaged wood from my air conditioner platform and hoped it would appease a little 6 year old. Seriously, I think it is strong enough to stand on even if I were a Sasquatch.

I painted it in a mixture of colors that matches her new room.

I cut the platform out of the back of a dresser, lined it with batting and stapled a nice, koofy, microfiber that Ken found on a curb for me (laundered of course).  I made the ruffle out of one of the prom dresses that I altered, out of the same fabric. I've seen it more next to Kate's face than near any doll. 

Ana White of The Handbuilt Home, surely would have done a nicer job, but she has better tools, another set of hands, and from what I've seen, pretty good knees. Happy Birthday Kiddo!


Now that I have my new aluminum 'wheels', I should be back on track for finishing projects.  Last week or so I posted a photo of a/an unique file cabinet that Ken gave me.  It was painted kind of an Army barracks green, and instead of having two drawers, had a bottom drawer and a lift up top.

For an unknown reason they had the handle on the top, for a drawer that had a lift top and no handle on the bottom for the drawer that opened.  I still want to play with getting some better hardware, but I really like the piece. Therese will be in town tomorrow and I will have her move it to a better lighted location for a new photo.

There were no "guts" other than the wooden file front shown. Office Max should carry something to make it more functional, or do as I do, just put them in without it.

I stripped the top, inside and out, and all the panel pieces, which I sanded, stained and poly'd.

It isn't oak, or pine, maybe aspen, or some combination.

See how this wood has some grainy business to it.

The file plates are wood, as is the handle.

I kept the Army green-could have spruced it up, as I have a nice deep olive, but wanted to keep it more vintage looking, so just lightly sanded and glazed with a dark oak stain.

Looks a hundred times better in person.

No contrast because of all the wood background.

Before-1950's file cabinet.



I have a bunch of things in the hopper right now...the cedar chest (3/4 done), a Union Jack coffee table (half done), a Pottery Barn coffee table (2/3 done), the boat table (1/2 done) , the basket floor dresser (7/8 done), a buffet (half done), the beach coffee table (2 hours from finishing) and something that I cannot even describe (1/10th done).  It is a piece of furniture with no discernible function. Oh, and I picked up some free handmade drawers that will fit nicely into an old radio cabinet to become a linen cabinet. These are only items that I have started, not the hoard stash in my garage/studio.

Busy, 1st Communion weekend, lots of cooking, baking, ReStoring, and partying. Be safe!

As ever,
La Verne

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Stairs-knee collapse-PAIN-hospital-crutches-meds-rehab

How do you spell relief?





As ev......La V

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Running off to bed with a book and hopeful thoughts

I found this darling little infant crib/doll bed the other day that was perfect the way it was...sturdy, nicely finished, and just how I loved things....castor'd. It looked dated though, and had only one slat on the bottom and no mattress. Nothing like a little home improvement.

First, I mixed a color as close to Annie Sloan's Old White with my secret chalk recipe, and distressed it.

Next, I had a friend cut some plaster lath for slats, painted and clear coated them.

Sorry for the sideways photo-cut a 1/4" bottom board and notched out the corners for a tight fit. Cut a 2" foam mattress with an electric knife and stapled some grey naugahyde to it.  I took a look at JoAnn Fabrics first and couldn't justify spending $24. on white when I had perfectly usable grey at home-you know-the whole salvage thing.

I thought it needed the padding in case someone uses it for a little human.  I will make some crib sheets to fit it also.  I feel a little quilt coming too. Measurements are 24" tall, 31" long, 18" deep.


This simple, dusty pine bookcase (circa 1940?) deserved a better life. It is small, child-size, dimensions are 37" tall, 24" wide and 10" deep.

I liked the ridges across the top and down the sides, reminiscent of  a movie marquee. The shelves are movable.

The color is sort of a mustard seed, then distressed and with a red sienna glaze and several coats of poly acrylic.

I can picture this in a kids' reading nook.

Next to a couple of rocking chairs.....

A view of the interior, sort of rustic.

...sort of carmel, with butter brickel

On Craigslist.....


I picked this up this afternoon from my good friend Ken's house (along with many other treasures). It is a painted oak filing cabinet. The secret is the way the top "drawer" opens.  It has hinges and lifts up! Even the handles and name plates are made of wood.  I really hope to work on this tomorrow. 


Please pray for all the runners tomorrow at the Pittsburgh Marathon-the city of hills and bridges. Daughter, Alisa, and her friends, Bryan and Kathy are running it, and Bethy and Claire are their cheering section.

As ever,
La Verne