Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Flower Power with an Irish Rose Pillow

I love the Irish Rose crochet pattern! I took it to the extreme and made a 10 petal layer pillow front with it and a solid spiral for the backing. The yarn it Baby's First and so so soft. This pattern is so adaptable and lots of versions can be found lots of places online. I love it!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vintage Grocery Sign and Distressing Tips

...or at least I hope it looks like it! I've been enjoying doing some crafting for my real life home and signs like this are my new obsession. Once I found the key to getting the lettering to look the way I wanted, I was off and running!

I used to print the lettering on the computer and try to transfer the design by using pencil on the back and pressing hard. Uh... not very effective! I saw a tip online to use a ballpoint pen and create an indent in the wood but found it just wasn't distinct enough. I finally tried using my stylus (like for scrapbooking or other paper crafts) and found what I was looking for! The indent was deep enough that even I could see it and paint it.

One little painting tip: I added paint thinner to make the painting easier but found that it really soaked into the wood this way and the distressing was harder. If you really want a weathered look, you may want to play with paint thicknesses to get the effect you want.

For weathering:
- I used a mixture of india ink and alcohol to grey the wood before painting and make it look older.
- For more blotchy areas where you want the top coat of paint to flake off completely, use your fingers to apply a little wax (like mini-wax), vaseline, or even chapstick! Paint right over it, allow the paint to dry COMPLETELY and then scrape it off. Voila! Blotchy paint!
- To "sand" it, I used a steel wire brush from the electronics section of Home Depot (the guy though I was crazy). I have no idea what they use it for, but I've commandeered it for a much more fun purpose!

Happy Distressing!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Waiting in the Wings; Beacon Hill Girl's Bedroom

If you're like me, you often have a mini collection of items for a room long before the room is really prepared to feature them. If you are really like me, it's because you like to flit back and forth between projects! :)

I have a dedicated shelf in my craft room with simple foam board partitions to separate "rooms." It just makes me happy to see my minis on display even if the house is still under construction.

Here's a walk about the furniture and pretty things for the girl's room in the Beacon Hill School.

The daisy bedding is a twist on a technique by Brae at her wonderful Otterine blog. Thanks, Brae! Take a visit!

The rocking horse is an old metal pencil sharpener. I love the patina just the way it is and will not be painting it.

By the way, you can still see close ups of pictures even though blogger has changed it to the slide show format that makes it so tiny! Here's how:
1. Click on the picture as usual
2. Right click on the picture with your mouse and select "Open in new tab"
3. The "new tab" version is zoom-able :)

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beacon Hill Classroom Progress

Happy New Year, everyone! I know I should be posting on resolutions or reflecting back on this year, but the light was coming through so beautifully, I couldn't resist taking these pictures. :)

This is the main classroom in the Beacon Hill Girls' School. In the foreground is a small teaching area (what subject, I don't know yet!)with a standing chalkboard on the right that I'll show in more detail later. In the background, you can see a hint of the traditional American schoolhouse desks sitting on some checkboard patterned paper. That's my way of trying out different flooring ideas.

The top picture also shows my crown moulding shortcut. After wasting many pieces trying to cut the proper angle, I finally decided to cheat and make the corners square cut and put a section of wood block in the corner. A fancy finial will come later. You decide: crafty or cheating?

Again, blog friends, Happy New Year! I hope that 2012 is full of everything that is good and lovely for you and all your loved ones!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

School Necessities

I thought you'd like to see some of the school furniture I've been building. Someone is really struggling with her spelling... :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Built in Cabinetry and a Mystery Gap

I wrestled with whether to make the final room in the Beacon Hill first floor a kitchen or a library. Then I looked at this Home Economics class picture above from my 1920's textbook and I realized that no education for girls of the time would be complete without a teaching kitchen! I already had the Chrysnbon stove below and it certainly fit. Decision made, I moved ahead.
There is a strange gap between the windows and a support structure in the Beacon Hill that has always bothered me. If I did ceiling trim, where would I put it? Inside? Outside? I could do ceiling beams but that didn't fit the Beacon Hill's architectural story in my mind.
I put in open shelving below the windows, but the gap still drove me crazy.
Well, what kitchen can't use more storage? The solution: Cover it up as built in cabinetry! Here's a preliminary mock up using foam board. Purchased shutters from would function as panels for the cabinet doors.
I built a simple table and covered all of the foam panels with balsa, the shutters and pieces of trim wood. Wondering what the opening cabinet door is for?
It's a drop down ironing board, also authentic to the very modern 1920's kitchen.
Here it is covered with a cute fabric that will have to be changed out because it just doesn't match!
Now the next question is paint or stain? To be continued...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Built In Bookcase for the Beacon Hill School

You spoke and I listened! Thank you all for the input on the bookcase from my last post; you said that a big bookcase overwhelmed the space and blocked the stairs. Oh, my...this non-builder then had to build something a bit more custom to allow for display space and an entry area that worked with the architecture of the Beacon Hill rather than against it! Well, how did I do?
I'm planning on a combination of faux boix effects and paint to match the existing paneling and to cover all of the random wood types that I had to use. (I told you I'm not a builder!)
That fiddly bit of cut arches and flat topped post were meant to match the existing stairs. Lots of finish work to do!
View from the front door:
I can picture students stopping here to set down lunch pails and remove wraps before going to classes.
Thank you all for pushing me to stretch my skills! I'm so much happier with this version :)


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