Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Hit the Door Jackpot while Curbshopping with a Friend


So on Saturday I’m driving down the main street near my daughter’s house and just happen to be chatting on the phone with Gail (My Repurposed Life) at the same time.

We were having a nice chat about our Thanksgiving  and discussing our planned projects for the day.

(Mine was to frame out a closet in the attic bedroom at my daughter’s.)

Now in case you didn’t know, we have been “online buddies” for a few years but have never met in real life, not yet anyway. We plan to finally meet each other in February at the Blissdom conference.

Gail and I often chat while I’m on on the road as I drive a great deal for work.  If you drive a lot you know it gets pretty boring!

As a result she has “accompanied me” on many of my curbshopping escapades and is rather used to my excited exclamations when I see something at the curb during our chats.

This time was no exception.

I suddenly interrupt the conversation with a shout,  “DOORS!”

If she had really been in the car with me she would have been grabbing at the armrest for dear life, as I may have braked suddenly and turned the corner without signaling, not saying I did, but there is a slight chance that was the case.  ;)

Without skipping a beat she asks, “What kind of doors?”

Me, “I dunno, looks like door doors. I just saw a pile of them up one of the side streets and I’m heading back around the block now.”

With great anticipation I drive around the block, heart pounding at the prospect of them being the real deal….not the cheap hollow core type they sell these days.

Gail’s on pins and needles on the other end too, waiting to hear if it was a real find or a false alarm.

I slowly approach the pile and as I get closer I squeal, “Oh my gosh, there’s a whole stack of them and they even have the doorknobs on them!”

At this point I said “Gotta go”, and hung up the phone, leaving Gail hanging in my excitement to get out of the car.

I opened the tailgate of the van and surveyed the space I had.  Good things doors are flat, ‘cause I was loaded up with tools, my compressor, and 2x4”s for the project I was on my way to work on.

I decided to try to fit them all.

All 7 of them!

About halfway through the loading the man of the house came out and offered to assist me.

I gratefully accepted.  He was really nice and wondered what I was going to do with all the doors. 

“Are you replacing the doors in your house?” he asks. 

Suppressing a giggle I say with a straight face, '’No, but that’s a great idea.” 

I consider a moment and then decide to share;  “Actually I make things from them. You know, furniture and stuff.”

From the puzzled look on his face I realize he just doesn’t “get it “so I quickly thank him for helping me and drive away leaving him to tell his family the tale of the crazy lady who took all the doors from their curb.

Duh, silly me, of course he doesn’t get it.  He wouldn’t have tossed them out if he did!

I immediately call Gail back to report the details. 

She’s been waiting and wondering how I was doing and how many I was able to fit.

She answers immediately with  “Well?”

“Got them all”, I crow.  “Every last one!”


We spent a few minutes more talking about all the things I could make with them.

It’s so fun to have a curbshopping partner to share the excitement of the moment with. 

Thanks for putting up with me Gail (oh yeah, and sorry I hung up on you)!

Now for the scoop on the doors…from the above photo.

The door on top is a 15 paned beauty.  By it’s width and weight it looks to me like it may be an exterior door.

The one below it is a very skinny door, probably off a pantry or linen closet.

There are 2 that must be bedroom doors and 3 more that look to be from closets.

The panels are horizontal and there are 5 or 6 per door. 

Coincidentally they are almost exactly like these 4 doors (pictured below) that  I found a couple years ago just a block away from where I found today’s doors.  (Except those all had beautiful glass knobs on them, you can read about that find and more in my I Love Doors post.)


The new ones are all painted on both sides and the paint is flaking off in big pieces.


3 of the doors had these knobs and plates on them.  The rest had none.


I didn’t get a pic of them outside of the van as I took them all over to my rented storage space until I’m ready to use them. (Mike would have flipped out if I brought these home all at once)

It really does feel like I just won the door Jackpot!

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Late to the party with My very own Tripod Lamp

 One of the things I love about blogging and reading blogs is all the inspiration that can be found out there.

I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t see something and say, “I want to make that”.

Only 99.9% of the time I just never get around to it.

Well, 3 weeks ago one of my favorite bloggers, Suzanne from Meridian Road, showed us some tripods she had found at an estate sale.

She said she would make them into lamps and I thought to myself, “That would be a cool thing to do with that silver tripod you curbed last year.”


But it was just a fleeting thought.

Then, 2 weekends ago I open up my Roadkill Rescue email and see where Susan from Homeroad actually made a lamp with a tripod she found. 

Ahhh! I love it!  I REALLY need to make one!

What am I waiting for? I was totally inspired.

This time I dug out my tripod and started working on it.

My tripod was painted silver, but I wanted it stained so I just sanded it down to (mostly)  bare wood.


Then I quickly stained it.

I wasn’t especially thorough or careful either!

(why? well, I figured it wouldn’t really show.  Now looking at the pictures I’m kinda rethinking that theory.)


That’s as far as I got that first weekend.

Come the next weekend I pull out my box of dismantled lamp parts and try to find something that works.

After much trial and error this is the configuration of parts I came up with.

011 007

I painted all the metal pieces with a hammered silver paint. 


Why? because I had a can of it and I didn’t feel like going to the store to pick up something else.

(and I could brush it on rather than taping off the parts to paint with spray paint)

Ok, at this point I stopped taking pictures, but the shade I decided to use really didn’t go with the silver metal.


It’s a fiberglass shade and has a bronze thread swirled throughout.  Call me crazy, but I just love these lampshades and pick them up whenever I find them.

I think they are so pretty when lit, the soft glow is awesome.

And it was exactly the right size for this lamp.

Crap! Now I need to paint again.

So the lamp sat for a few days waiting for me to get the right paint.

Meanwhile, out in blogland it turned out to be a week filled with lamp reveals!

Suzanne from Meridian Road actually completed one of her tripod lamp projects. It’s truly gorgeous. As in Restoration Hardware catalog gorgeous.

And Gina from Cottage3 made her own very cool funky industrial version with a windmill base. (It’s totally awesome)

Both girls showed how easy and inexpensive it was to make a lamp out of a store bought kit.

Why it only took minutes to do!


If I had only waited a week….think of all the time I would have saved.

So here I am, late to the party yet again.

With my tripod lamp made from reclaimed lamp parts and a shade I already had.

But it wasn’t free, it cost me $7 for a can of ORB spray-paint.


I didn’t staple the cord to the leg like Suzanne did, but I did tuck it between the metal clamps before adding the plug.



I love it!  Thanks for the inspiration Suzanne, Susan and Gina.

I may never have finished this without you!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Headboard to Wall Hanging and more for J

The last project I showed you was J’s coffee table. 

What I didn’t show you were the other pieces I made for him that weekend.

Remember this headboard I found a couple weeks ago?


I thought it would make a great piece of wall art.

First I cut the legs off and then I painted it black.

The cutouts were just begging for a mirror. So I grabbed the wall mirror out of my bedroom because it was exactly the right size and proceeded to take off the frame.  Only I wasn’t careful enough.



That’s seven years of bad luck there.

I had to send Mike out to Kmart to pick up another and this time I was very careful to cut the glue seal all the way around before trying to pull the frame off.


It worked and I was able to get the mirror attached to the back with no problems.

At the last minute I added a small ledge at the bottom with a slight lip to it.



Here it is hung on the wall in J’s TV room. 

The ledge was to showcase his favorite games, movies, photos, whatever he feels like showing off.


I did one more little piece for him that day. 

This little plaster base table was found curbside not long ago.  (it must have been a garage sale leftover because that tape on top says $3.)

Apparently nobody thought it was worth that much and it was tossed out and left for me to rescue.


The base is ugly but the top was a nice piece of black slate.


A little black paint and a good sanding was all it needed to make it a set with the coffee table.


The styles were close enough to use together in the same room.


Poor J didn’t know what hit him.


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Since both of these were under $100 to make, (actually total cost for both was $5.99 for the mirror, since I already had the paint and scrap wood)

I’m linking up to Becky’s 100 ideas under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence party.  Check it out!

Beyond The Picket Fence

Monday, November 21, 2011

The story of J’s Organic Coffee Table



What on earth is an organic coffee table anyway?

Got your attention, didn’t I?

My son Jason (we call him J) and I have been discussing the fact that it was time for a new coffee table for his TV room/man cave.  The one he had was a curb find I had reworked for him when he and his wife first bought their house and had absolutely no furniture yet.

Let’s see if I can pull up a picture of that.


I had added the slate tiles and painted it.   It worked fine, he especially liked the slate top.

On a recent visit I noticed it really didn’t fit with the more modern style of his room.

So I started looking at inspiration pics online and sending them to him to see what appealed to him the most.

This was the winning style, found on  He liked the clean lines of it. 

A far cry from the chunky table he had!
Jaon inspiration coffee table

About a week later I was excited to find this table at the curb.  I immediately saw it as the base of J’s new coffee table.

So I got right to work, fixing the broken off corner,


taking off the top and priming the plaster pedestal,


only to find that the lines didn’t work with the square 2 tiered base I had made for it!

I forgot to take pics of that together, but trust me, there was just a little too much going on. 

The clean straight lines of the inspiration table weren’t there.

OK, so that won’t work.

What will?

I cast my eyes around the basement and spied the shelves from this rack, all piled up.


You might remember when I rescued this last spring and made a NEST sign for my mantel.

So I cut the curved fronts off the shelves with the table saw and made a box to form the pedestal of the coffee table.

Ah, yes, this is more like the inspiration photo!


Now for a top.

I had a few leftover 13” square tiles from a long ago project.

The one thing J liked about the old coffee table was the tile top.

This would give him the tile element he wanted.



Much filling and sanding was needed to make the scrap wood I used for the base look like one piece.


Adding some trim around the top gave it that slab look.



Then came paint and lots of sanding…..



I made one of the panels hinged with a magnetic push latch for storing stuff out of the way.


The table was delivered last night.

Here it is in his TV room. (it was really dim in there so all the pics came out terrible)


He’s thrilled with it!

And that’s the story of J’s organic coffee table. (He’s taking the old one to work to give to one of his friends)

Price tag?  Absolutely free.  Even the magnetic push latch was from a curb find.

So I didn’t get to use the piece I thought I was going to, but at least I repurposed something!


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I’m linking up to Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm.  Check out the party!

Also joining Becky’s 100 Ideas under $100 at Beyond the Picket Fence


Beyond The Picket Fence