Monday, November 29, 2010

Storage to the Max

I just spent two entire days in a 40” x 10.5 ft space.

No, I wasn’t serving time for cutting lines on Black Friday or anything like that.  Heck, I didn’t even venture out into the fray!

I was building shelves in my new storage space.

Good thing I’m not claustrophobic.

You see, the wall of doors looked great, but inside the space was still not very usable.  Oh, I know, I could just pile everything back in on top of each other, leaning against the wall and such, but really….that’s what I was doing before and it didn’t work out so well!

My goal in the first place is to get all the unsightly stuff out of the laundry area. 

Speaking of laundry, have I mentioned lately how much I love my new washer and dryer?


I really don’t mind doing the laundry anymore. 

That’s a total turnabout for me!

But I digress…

Back to my cell…uh, storage space.

You all know I’m terrible about taking pics during a project, right?  This time was no exception.

I know I’m supposed to, and I even had the camera in my pocket.

But I get working along and before I know it all the photo ops are gone.

So we’ll have to settle for some very unsatisfactory pics of the before, then skip to the near end.

Sure wish I could have done that in real life!

First off, I started on the easy end, the one with no obstructions to the left of the doorway.

This is what that corner looked like before I even walled off the storage space.


This is what it looked like after I partitioned the area off.


So anyway, armed with some new 2x4’s,  my framing nailer (I just love that thing) and whatever materials were in my basement already, I set to work carving maximum space out of the 40 inch deep room.

Simple 2x4 shelving, tied in to the existing wall framing did the trick here.

I gained 4 shelves of storage here! 

(This is the point where I finally remembered I had a camera and should probably take some pictures.  Oops!  )



After it was built I decided to paint the walls and framing….it would have been so much easier if only I had painted the dang walls before I started!



The paint made a world of difference.  You can see the line here…..


There was 16 inches of space between the door opening and the new shelf unit.  I decided to add some shallow shelves between the studs to hold cans of spray paint. 

I did not want to obstruct access to the new shelving on the end in any way!


Searching through my stash I found enough scrap wood to do the job.




Sigh, yeah, I know, that’s a ton of spray paint!  I stock up on it when I find it for a dollar a can at my local Real Deals store.



I’m calling this end of the storage room done!  That concludes Day One.   

Tune in tomorrow for the continuing saga of storage shelving, part 2.

I’ll leave you with this (not so) delightful  mess to contemplate…


This is why piling just doesn’t work out!




Linking it up to Cindy’s Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts

And to Transformation Thursdays at the Shabby Chic Cottage

Gail’s Catch as Catch Can Party at My Repurposed Life.  She’s also giving away 2 rolls of Scotch Blue Edge Lock Painters tape to 8 lucky linkers, be sure to get over there and join the party!

Catch As Catch Can

Linking to Saturday Night Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

and to the Power of Paint Party @ Domestically Speaking

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Wall of Doors=New Storage Space


I cannot believe I am showing you these before photos, but actually, it gets worse. 

I’m just not ready to go there just yet.

(Let me just apologize in advance for the horrible quality of these pictures today.    There just wasn’t enough light when I took them, and the Picasa program can only fix so much.)


This is the end wall in my laundry area.  See how it had become nothing but a place to pile stuff up against?

It had a window in the wall, and this lovely old pump from a long defunct well. 


Then there was the pile in the corner……lampshade anyone?


Well, happy to say most of the stuff in the piles is now gone, sent out to the curb and happily carted away by fellow curb shoppers!

In my master plan for the laundry area, I wanted to have storage that was out of sight. 

This area is definitely not out of sight!

So what to do? 

Enclose it!

I had Mike pick me up 10 2x4x8’s and went to town with my framing nailer.  (no in-progress photos, sorry!)

And then gathered some doors that were already stored in the basement to finish the wall.

An old screen storm door made a perfect entry door for my new 3 ft deep storage room.


The screen enables natural light coming through the window to reach the laundry area. 

The fact there is a light fixture in there is a bonus when trying to find something.

Wish I could say that it’s done, but alas, I still need to build storage shelves in there.  (ran out of 2x4’s). 



Actually, after I built this wall last weekend, I hated how it looked.  The doors were very grungy, and all different colors.

I really tried to like it in all it’s shabbiness, but alas, my head just couldn't get around it.  I started thinking it was a big mistake.

Don’t get me wrong, I love shabby and chippy and all that, but this was just too much. 

I didn’t bother to take any photos of that stage.  I hated it so much it was this close to being torn back down! 

So after a week of contemplating the situation, enough was enough!  I pulled out some white primer intending to just give a light coat to make the doors match, and maybe sand it back.  The pics above are taken after adding primer.

Still not loving the shabbiness, I got out some flat white paint and covered everything with 2 coats.

Ahh, much better.


Next came some black paint with a coffee scoop of grout added to it.


You see, I had remembered reading Gail’s post about making your own chalkboard paint.  The recipe calls for 1 cup of paint and 2 tablespoons of unsanded grout.

Uh-oh, my grout is sanded!


But since I’m trying to use what I have on hand, I decided to take a chance and go with it.

This door on the left of the screen door was originally the swinging door between our kitchen and dining room.  It had been removed before we bought the house. 

Since then we took down the dividing wall between those 2 rooms, so that door had no chance of being put back up.

The one panel style was perfect for making a chalkboard to list all the stuff that can be found in the new storage room.    003-3

The paint was real gritty because of the sand in the grout, so I sanded it back after every coat to smooth it out. 

Guess what?

It worked! 002-2

I got to hang my antique drying rack on the other side.  I just love this thing, I used to use it all the time for hanging sweaters and other line dry items.  

Sadly, I had nowhere to hang it in this house, until now!


It folds down tight to the wall when not in use.

They really had everything all figured out in those days, didn’t they?


Now I’m liking this wall a lot better!

So that’s it, my wall of doors in the laundry room.  I’m hoping to get the shelving inside built this weekend.

Then I can make it nice and neat, maybe even organized!009-1  011-1 005-4

Now for those who like shabby and chippy, don’t give up on me just yet.

I still have the shabby/chippy shutter wall on the other side of the room.  (It’s almost ready for a reveal)


This is the back side of the shutter wall.  There’s about 3 feet between it and the basement stairs.

I used to have a bunch of doors stored there. 

Well guess what?  I used them all, so now I have some extra room to work with.


Now that side looks like this!


Using everything I have to make my space organized!

Thanks for putting up with my horrible photos today. 

When I do the whole room reveal I promise to set up all kinds of extra lights to make the pictures better. 

Maybe then I won’t be working around piles of tools and other junk…. 



Linking this up to Donna’s Saturday Night Special @ Funky Junk Interiors

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quick Pleater Winner!

There were a ton of entries hoping to win the Quick Pleater tools from Angie at Sew it Yourself

Now if you weren’t the lucky winner, don’t despair, you can visit Angie’s site and order your own set.  She is now back in stock.  These would also make a great Christmas gift for any sewers or wanna-be’s on your list.


Edited to add:  I don’t know why, when I posted this the numbers disappeared from the box!  Anyway, the result was #5


My Photo

Glenda from Serendipity Cottage was lucky commenter #5

I have a cart similar to that...i think it's so cute. I could see using those pleater tools for making pillows, cushions for stools, lots of wonderful things.
Hope your week is a good one.

November 15, 2010 10:12 AM

Congratulations Glenda, I’ll be sending your email info over to Angie so she can get your address for shipping.

Be sure to show us what you make with the pleaters!



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

“You don’t sew. Really now.”

This is an excerpt from a comment made by my pal Kolein, from Kitchen Table Productions.  She’s positive I’m trying to snow you about my sewing abilities, after recently reading about my pleated liners.

As she so skeptically puts it, “You don't sew. Really now.”

She always makes me laugh! 

So I decided to show you all a few things behind the scenes and maybe then you will understand.

See this sewing machine?


It’s my mail order sewing machine purchased back in the 80’s.  My first.  And last.  And not because it’s a good one either.

For one crazy moment I thought it would be a great idea to buy a sewing machine and try my hand at sewing.  Even though I got a terrible grade in it in my 7th grade Home Ec class.

This thing was a nightmare right out of the box. 

From the get-go I have never been able to adjust the tension, stitch length, or for that matter the type of stitch. 

It came with a box of cams.

Apparently the cams were to get the machine to make all kinds of fancy embroidery stitches. 

Never happened.  They are long gone now.

If I try to adjust anything on this machine, it goes wacko and breaks thread right and left.

I hate it! 

Hence my not so fond nickname for it.  The Blue Monster.

 laundry 013

Now let’s take a look at my sewing “tools”. 

Need to rip a seam out?

No problem. 

I have this…..

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Doesn’t everyone use a box cutter for ripping seams? ;)

Need to measure something?  Got that covered with this yard sale carpenters’ folding tape measure. 

(When not put to use for sewing, it makes a pretty star shaped shelf decoration.)

laundry 012 

And then there’s my straight pin collection.  Found by frantically rummaging through all my junk drawers and jewelry box. 

I got 5.

Count them.

Five stick pins!

4 of which are bent.

That’s a magnetic key case they are stuck to. 

Just so I don’t lose any of these precious commodities.

laundry 006

Have you ever tried to sew with only 5 pins?

Not for the faint hearted!

laundry 001

My material of choice.


Drop cloth from Home Depot.

2 6x9 cloths for $9.99

My favorite part about it is the edges are already hemmed.

That and it rips in a pretty straight line.  Saves a lot of grief in the measuring and cutting area. 

And the pre-hemmed pieces are perfect for using for pleated ruffles.  (all these tidbits of info were found from reading blogs, btw)

laundry 016

The only thread I own is white.

laundry 014

So knowing I can’t really sew, why on earth did I even think to order the Quick Pleater tool in the first place?  Me, of all people, who doesn’t even own a pincushion for crying out loud?

Quite simply, out of necessity.

Meet my sweet furry girl, Sandy…..


She has just one very tiny bad habit.


She finds my furniture very tasty.



Yes, that is clear duct tape holding the arm of the chair together.  She really went to town on that one.

You would think we never fed her.


I need to make slipcovers for these 2 wing back chairs if they are to stay in my living room. 

It’s time to either save or toss. 

Personally I believe it would be a big waste of money to purchase new furniture for Sandy to snack on. 

Enter the wonderful world of blogging.

Imagine my joy to discover that for $20 in drop cloths I can make something like this beauty Miss Mustard Seed shows us. 

She did a great tutorial on using drop cloth for slip covering.  Click the picture to get to it.

Or how about this gorgeous slipcover?

Kelly at Much to do With Nothing shares many of her beautiful creations here.   She has some great tutorials on her blog, and I first saw the quick pleater tool over there. 

A life changing moment, I tell ya!  

Looks like I’ll be pulling out the old Blue Monster again…..and even though I don’t sew I will try anything once.  Or twice in this case.

But that project is for after the holidays.

Maybe I’ll put stick pins on my Christmas list.

Meanwhile, some strategically placed throws will have to mask the damage.