November 27, 2009

And the painting continues...

Seriously, it feels like all I've done for the last two weeks is paint. I've made some pretty good progress on the furniture-- here's a preview of the hutch with its fresh new coat of paint. It's not completely done, since I still need to put all of the hardware back on, and my dad is strongly suggesting that we add a support piece in the middle of these shelves since they're a little warped. Besides this, I've got the nightstand all painted (other than the cover for the top that isn't built yet), and as of yesterday the computer desk is reassembled and has one coat of paint on it. That one's going to take at least two, possibly three. And I still have to paint the dresser that's in my room (including all of the sanding prepwork). And then there's this...

I remembered last week that I was still missing one piece of furniture-- a chair for my computer desk. So I stopped at Goodwill and found this chair for $10. It's a good height and someone had conveniently added wheels to it. I think that same someone did the paint job too, which is a little messy, and since it's offwhite it would have to be repainted anyway. Plus it's a little wobbly, so I need to fix that. I'm also going to reupholster it, since I have to take it apart anyway--it's kind of a shame to in a way, because the upholstery is in excellent condition and even sort of matches my color scheme. But the padding on the bottom of the chair needs a boost--there's no way it'll be comfortable to sit on for any length of time. It kind of feels like it's lightly stuffed with craft stuffing. So I braved the crowds at Joann's this morning for the Black Friday sale and got some new fabric that I'm really excited about, as well as some 3" high-density foam. The only thing I've ever reupholstered in my life was a folding metal chair, and I've never worked with this foam, so we'll see how it goes...

Other than that, I did finish the recoverings on the insulated window shades this past Sunday, with a good bit of help from my mom on sewing the rings on and a lot of help from my dad on hanging them. (They're both being really great about helping me out, since the reason that I'm on such a tight deadline is that we have family staying with us for Christmas.) And we've given the carpet a good cleaning. And I've put quite a bit of stuff in my closet, and am feeling quite nerdily thrilled at how organized it looks. (I've NEVER had an organized closet for any length of time. Mainly because of the extremely tight space, and that I can be kind of a slob. I'm working on that.)

Somewhere along the line, I've also finished appliqueing the leaves on my quilt. But I haven't gotten any farther than that, since the furniture really has to get done before any more fabric work. (The only thing that really had to get done prior to Christmas was the shades, since I need them to darken the room enough that I can sleep. I miss my sewing machine. Though I did sneak in one tiny quick sewing project that has nothing to do with the room that I just remembered I haven't posted about yet. That'll come.)

So, even though all of this painting is taking about twice as long as I'd hoped it would, I guess I made some good progress in my time off. Good thing too, since my part-time job is starting up again today. Pretty much as soon as I get changed and go. I should do that.

November 16, 2009

Dungeon no more!

Not much to show in the sewing department yet, though I have been making progress on two things in that. But I can show what I spent a good chunk of last week doing... remember that dungeon grey that the room was when I started?

I think this is a big improvement.
My dad and I painted the ceiling and closet (which is also tan) and installed the new ceiling fan earlier last week, and then on Saturday two of my friends came over to help me paint the walls and trim (they volunteered without my asking, which makes them both extra cool!) Not showing the floor in this pic yet, because it was a mess, but the carpet is getting cleaned tonight!

I spent most of today priming the hutch (which was 3 drawers, 2 doors front and back, the top shelving unit and the dresser-like piece, including some very intricate legwork) and the nightstand (which was much easier since it was just the two sides, the front and inside of 3 drawers, and a little trimwork--I'm not painting the inside of where the drawers go again, or the sides of the drawers, since I probably shouldn't have painted those in the first place!) There's really no point in showing pictures of that in-progress, since it'll look a lot nicer once the paint is actually done (and the primer and paint are both white anyway).

I did run into a little bit of a hiccup with the hardware-- I'd expected I'd have to paint it, since the iron-grey wouldn't work on white furniture, but I wasn't expecting to take it off and find that it was pretty significantly rusted!

So I just had to be extra-careful with the spray-paint coating. I also got some new drawer pulls for the dresser I'm keeping from my current room and painted them to match....but I just realized I forgot all about the hinges on this dresser and will have to paint them later! Doh!
I like the new finish though. I chose a hammered silver spray-paint in hopes that it would make the finish look less sprayed-on and fake. I basically spent from 9 to 4 working on all of this, so I'd say I definitely took full advantage of not having any work today!

So I think my reward tonight for making so much progress will be some quality time with my sewing machine for quilt appliqueing. Once I scrape all of the paint off of myself, that is!

November 12, 2009

Crazy...

It's not like I haven't been sewing. In fact, I've sewn more this past week so far than I have for the entire last month, since I've had the extra time.

The appliques on my quilt are going slowly, since they're all two layers. But all of the stems are done, and I'm on the second of five colors on the actual leaves (which go faster because they're not quite as intricate.)

I'm also recycling the insulated window shades that were in my brother's room by recovering them with fabric that will actually match/replacing the missing rings. It's an entirely hand-sewn job, so it's taking a little time, but I'm halfway done as of yesterday-- got one more shade to go.

On top of that, as of Monday, the ceiling and closet are both painted, and I've also painted the damaged wooden trim inside the closet so that the shelving could go back in. And I'm done sanding all of the furniture that needs to be primed except for one dresser in my room that has clothes in it. So, really, I've gotten quite a bit done in the past four days.

But I came to a realization yesterday--I still feel like, in a way, I'm very behind on my sewing. The reason why? Because, except for that one dress that took something like 2 months to sew because it was a total disaster, I haven't finished any clothing projects at all since the middle of August. I never finished my summer wardrobe, since I had to drop the shorts, and I didn't even really finish the last shirt I made for it, since I have to adjust the straps and haven't been able to find the time to do so yet. I mean, yeah, there was that gypsy costume, but that's not something I can really wear out in public outside of Halloween or the Renaissance Faire, you know? And it's not like I'm hating the home dec sewing...it's just not my main thing that I like to spend my machine time on. And I've got this big pile of fabrics and projects that I've been meaning to get to, some for well over a year or two, and it's mocking me.

Someone tell me that I'm not a slacker, ok?

November 5, 2009

You see what I have to work with?!

In other words, what little crafty time I've had lately has been dedicated to trying to get this bedroom makeover going. I need to try to get as moved as possible into this room by Christmas Eve, since we have family coming to stay and need one of the rooms for them to sleep in. These admittedly aren't the best "before" pics, since my brother still had a bunch of stuff in here at the time and my dad went ahead and patched up some of the holes in the walls before I could get to the picture. But this should give you an idea of what I'm working with in terms of color... I call this "dungeon grey".
And let's not forget the black window shades (that never get opened), and the dark blue ceiling...

Oh yeah, and the completely busted closet doors, which are now gone, and not coming back. I'm going to put curtains there instead. (Oh, and the cat...she thinks it's HER room now!)

Spent Monday night priming the entire room, with some much-needed help from my dad. I'm very much lacking in skills on paint-rolling ceilings. As you can see, the primer is a drastic improvement in color! (And it's amazing how much brighter the room seems already!)

So here's my plan: I'm going to paint the ceiling and closet on Sunday--those are going to be tan. Next Saturday, two of my friends are coming over to help me paint the walls. (I didn't ask, they volunteered. I have wonderful friends.) Those will be green, somewhere between this slightly too-light green and this too-dark green. The blue carpet will stay. The idea was that I was trying to match this fabric. (And, at least on my computer, the greens look a lot less olive and the blue carpet isnt' quite as dark, so hopefully it'll work!) I will have to paint the trim on the windows and closet and all, because the one window had to be repaired and the baseboards had light blue paint on them from the original paint job from when my brother was a kid. So those are going to be a chocolatey brown to try and look like the actual wood color. On the plus side, that saves me a LOT of time on taping this stuff up!

I have to admit, this project has been stressing me out, since trying to work 3 jobs and find time to do major room redecorating has been rather difficult! But I found out today that hours are being cut at my garden center job for November, due to low customer traffic and needing to save some money. So what this means is that for the next couple of weeks, I'm temporarily laid off--no need of a cashier being there all day if there's hardly any customers. But I'm actually ok with it, because that will give me some much-needed time to put all of this together. Especially since I have 4 pieces of furniture to paint too, of which I still need to sand 1 1/2 of those and prime 3, and that's the type of work that I need larger blocks of time to do well. And then on days where I've still got a good block of flute teaching time, I can focus more on the sewing end of things. So this dramatically increases my odds of getting enough done in time. And the other fortunate thing is that I don't really have much left to buy for this. I need to get two more pieces of fabric: one for curtains for the closet, since I discovered that my original idea of recycling some bedsheets isn't going to work--one of them is fitted and would end up having to be significantly smaller to get rid of those darts--and one to cover the two insulated light-blocking shades so I can recycle those. And I need to get a new ceiling fan, since in looking at the original one, it's a lot easier to replace it than to paint the blades and try and find a way to get the lights less glaring. So I'm going to see if I can find a fairly inexpensive one with a covered light, preferably one that's still Energy Star-rated. And then I think that should be it.

I did have one exciting thing happen today for this room--one of my must-haves was a bookcase. Because I have a LOT of books, and am completely tired of the brackets-in-the-wall system that I've had my entire life because my dad favors them. Let me say, bookcases are ridiculously expensive. I mean, come on, it's a box with shelves, do you really need to charge a hundred bucks or more for one that's shorter than me? I was seriously considering building one, since even the cheapo IKEA ones are a lot of dough. But this week I found one on Craigslist that seemed to fit the bill perfectly--pretty much the exact dimensions I needed (including height--it's a 7-foot tall one!), and a light enough color that I can get away with not painting it. It was picked up today, and as long as I can get it through the door of the room, I think it'll work brilliantly. (Once I clean the spider egg cases off of the base, anyway... ick.) The best part: it only cost me $26!