Tag Archives: carpentry

Straight, Square, Flat, and True

As a dive into the amazing world of Fine Woodworking under the expert tutelage of Kate Swann & Franklin Street Fine Woodwork, I find myself so eager to fulfill my dreams of becoming a Furniture Designer/Fine Furniture Maker, that I’m pushing myself to be perfect right out the gate… I have to be continually reminded that it’s not a race, it’s not a contest, then I allow myself to slow down and enjoy the process… at that moment that I can see that the turning of a raw piece of lumber into a square slab of wooden perfection is incredibly rewarding. I have always been a wood lover & now through this amazing process of taking lumber through the jointer, planer, chop saw, and table saw, it seems that wood now loves me back! The grain patterns that emerge through this process conceptually mesh with the furniture design in my head, planets align, and my soul is lit on fire… time stands still and speeds up at the same time as I realize that I could (someday, with a ton of practice), actually be good at this thing that I’ve wanted to do all my life! Now if I could just turn this passion into a career, that would be bliss! :)))

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“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius

Santa’s gone & didn’t hire me on as Elf in Chief

Hey there, y’all! I’ve been taking a looooooong hiatus on my Furniture Refinishin’ since my boys have been on so many breaks at school… it has been a blast playing online, rockin’ out on video games, and ridin’ scooters all day, but I feel incredibly guilty about not working more! Actually, not sure if it’s guilt or just missing refinishing pieces! I love what I do! I will never get rich doing it or ever become Elf in Chief in Santa’s workshop (my little guys’ dream job for me), but I’m ok with that! I enjoy being a humble Carpentress & I hope 2015 is full of splinters and paint-soiled jeans for me! Reminds me, here’s a snippet of what I’m currently workin’ on… a not-even-close-to-being-done console/desk + an ‘upholster me, please’ Danish Modern chair! ;D

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Happy New Year!!!

Live Edge Walnut Slab Console Table

live_edge_3_sombSo, I’ve always wanted an entryway console table, a place to throw keys, change, sunglasses, etc. when I get home… but, it’s a little hard when you don’t have a formal foyer, lol! Despite that, I tried to create an official entryway in our home using this console table I built, shoe basket, a rug, and mirror! :D

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This was a fairly easy build… I didn’t have to chop the tree down and plane the slab, hehe! For the top, I simply found a live edge piece of walnut online, finished it with two coats of high gloss spar urethane, glued a piece of plywood under it to ensure that none of the live edge bark falls off since I don’t know what season it was cut down in + I made a cleat for the install by cutting a rectangle out of this plywood. Then for the rest of this piece, I simply built, veneered, and stained a drawer box out of 3/4″ birch plywood for my little guys’ sunglasses & attached the box with screws onto the underside of the slab. I probably would have left it floating if I didn’t have little monkeys in the house. ;) To finish it off, I added a single hairpin leg to give it a cantilevered look & a modern feel!

What feeling does your home’s entryway convey?

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Furniture Feature Fridays

Armoire Upcycled into Modern Campaign Chest of Drawers

c_chest2I’m continuing to create furniture from the bulky Armoire seen in this post! It’s been a blast to come up with new designs and upcycle this piece into modern furniture! I already built this Campaign Lingerie Chest out of it, so I wanted to create a complimentary Campaign Chest of Drawers. It was an extremely easy build, making it like you would any simple base cabinet. With 3/4″ plywood, wood glue, and screws, I slapped this bad boy together & used birch veneer iron-on edging to give it a finished look! I also had to sand, re-stain, and rub-on poly the drawer fronts and brasso the hardware. The outside of the chest was painted with Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in ‘Artissimo’ followed by hemp oil & I used the same mint green on the inside of the open shelf as I did on the lingerie chest. I painted the base and campaign T’s brass to finish this chest off. I have yet to decide whether or not I’m going to use the last of my vintage campaign T’s on the corners of this piece or use them on a coordinating bench or nighstand, so for now this chest is finished. Check out my work in picture form! —>

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I’m currently brainstorming what I can make with the doors that remain from the original armoire and hoping I find another one to upcycle soon!!! Have you dismantled any furniture lately?!

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Hope you and your family have a fun and safe Fourth of July!!! :D

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Furniture Feature Fridays

Armoire Upcycled into Modern Campaign Lingerie Chest

campaign_drawers_sombWell, it has been a long couple weeks for me! My boys have been on Spring break, so I did a lot more playing than working, hehe, but I did manage to get this upcycle finished! It all started when a friend gave me a HUGE armoire by Lane Furniture… it reminded me of a feminine version of campaign pieces + I loved it’s hardware and all it’s storage, but I thought it could be amazing split into a couple pieces of furniture. I then went on to dismantle the armoire while building a lingerie chest out of 3/4″ plywood. It was an extremely simple build that was made daunting by only using scraps I had in my wood shop. Normally the sides would just be two pieces, but since this is all scraps, it ended up being made out of many. The upside is that it was free, the downside being that it took way longer than it should of! Check out my work—>

campaign_work_somb.jpg.jpgI simply built the drawer boxes out of 3/4″ plywood interlocking the boxes with fluted dowel pins and screws, making sure to install the tracks before enclosing each box and adding 1/4″ backing. I then sanded, slapped on two coats of Behr ‘Winter Fresh’, waxed twice, and bada bing, bada boom, there she is! Ok, maybe it wasn’t quite that simple. I also had to hunt down some campaign T hardware, grind 4 of them into L shapes (for the corners), and paint said hardware with brass gilding! I also had to plane and refinish the drawer fronts since they had a black speckle finish on them. They got a sanding of 80 grit, 120 grit, then 220 grit, some espresso stain, and finally, rub-on poly to make them beautiful again! I think she turned out great and I can’t wait to make a matching dresser out of the two remaining larger drawers!

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Do you have an upcycle on your to-do list?

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Furniture Feature Fridays


Forsythia Wreath for my Barn Door

Ahh, Spring is here! The smell of flowers and fresh-cut grass is in the air, so I decided to get myself a fake forsythia wreath to dress up my barn door, hehe! It might not give me a green thumb, but it does get me in the spirit to garden!! That’s half the battle in turning your black thumb green, right? Happy Spring to y’all!

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Have you done any Spring decorating in your home? :D

Resume for Santa… Built-In Corner Media Cabinet

Dear Santa,

I know I haven’t written in a while, been super busy being a grown-up and all, you know how it goes… but now I have two little guys that are completely enamored with you. You bring joy into our home two months out of the year and I thought it would be awesome if I worked for you the other 10! I’m sure you get a ton of applications for the coveted positions in your workshop, just as I’m sure the elves aren’t big on outsiders, soooooo instead of handing you a form to read, I’m showing you this project I made. If you could spare a minute from your busy Christmas schedule to check out this corner media cabinet I built, I would greatly appreciate it. Oh, and tell Mrs. Clause I said hello!

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{ My little guys’ room was quickly becoming unorganized and needed a change… my go-to idea for making a room feel homey? Built-ins, of course!! That’s when I got online to find a corner media cabinet plan that would hide the growing number of cords for my boys’ tech. The amazing site ana-white.com had a media console plan that I modified to give off more of a built-in feel. Check out the plan here. It’s beautifully simple, using just 3/4″ plywood, 1/4″ plywood, 1 x 2s, 2″ screws, and glue. I added an extra component shelf (in hopes that St. Nick might bring my boys a gaming system), placed molding along the top, and made it flush to the walls to give it a finished built-in look.

media_work_I plan on turning the empty spaces on the sides of the media compartments into speaker boxes, adding a back piece with cord holes, and under-mounting a night light in the middle shelf soon… work is never done, lol. Finally, I topped it off by painting the whole unit with Behr’s ‘Polar Bear’ in semi-gloss to flow with the rest of our home’s trim. Now my little guys have a space for their books and tech + they’re really enjoying the extra room that they have to play! }

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 So there it is, Mr Clause. Hope you consider me for a full-time position in your workshop! My little guys & I will be putting out extra chocolate chip cookies and milk this year! Merry Christmas to you!!! ;D

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Built-In Desk – Solution For A Long Rectangular Room

deskbuiltin_sombI do love me some built-ins!! Architectural elements add a personality and a craftsmanship to your home that freestanding furniture can’t do on it’s own. That’s why I’m always looking for an excuse to build some! A perfect example is our living room, which is a long rectangle & our furniture arrangement works best as a square, giving me a few feet behind the couch to play with. In comes the built-in desk I made…

deskworkI built four base cabinets, modified from an Ana White version seen here. Base cabinets are super easy to build and of course, you can suit them to fit any dimension that you need. If you tackle cabinets make sure you take squares often and pay special attention that your face frames are exact. My slim built-in desk cabinets only needed to be 15 1/2″ deep, just enough space to accommodate my family’s laptop. I also incorporated charging station shelves in the far right cabinet for my phone and my little guys’ Nintendo + the top of that cabinet, along with the marble on top, has a 2 1/2″ hole to allow cords for lighting and electronics through. Once built, I slapped two coats of Behr ‘Polar Bear’ white paint on and waited for the granite top to be cut. The gorgeous grayish green piece of granite was, lucky for me, near free since hubby had an awesome connection to a scrap yard through his tile business. I still can’t get over how pretty the stone is! I also made myself a gallery wall with my favorite Art, (Drifting I & Drifting II by Jane Bellows from Gallery Direct) along with shelves I’ve refinished, silhouettes I drew of my little guys, and treasured family photos. Needless to say, it is now my favorite spot in our home!

desk_sombI still have to caulk some spots, fill some picture frames, and I might eventually build Shaker cabinet doors, but, for now, I am in love! Have you tackled any built-ins lately?

 

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Wordless Wednesday – Banquette 3 Months Later

laternook2Well, it has been three months since I built my family’s board & batten nook bench, originally seen here, and my little guys couldn’t love it more, which in turn makes me ecstatic! So nice to see all my hard work being enjoyed! Though, I have to admit, white may not have been the wisest choice with two little ones climbing all over it… which I knew, but the crisp white was just so purty! I found and refinished two dining chairs since the build, but have yet to find a reasonably priced upholsterer to make the cushions since a seamstress I am not! I would also love to make a more substantial & less decorative back rest the length of the wall… someday, hehe! Hope to have a completely finished ‘after’ photo soon!

Happy Wednesday to y’all!