Sunday, June 23, 2013

Day 51: My Shabby Chic Cottage project has begun

Last fall (while still in the U.S.) I had the opportunity to purchase the kit for Lisa's Country Cottage for $26.94 (including shipping!)  Not sure if you were aware of last weeks sale that I DIDN'T take advantage of (The Retro Gas station was 75% off for $49.99, but to ship it to me was going to be $114 and then I just know customs here would have flagged it and charged me a minimum of $16, soo I had to forgo it, even though I have a future project that I just know it would be great for...but I have to watch my budget sometimes :( BTW, that wording is changed to ALWAYS if my husband is around)

  ANYWAY, I received the cottage kit, and decided because I was soo into Sophie's that I would just put it aside and then when I went to Chicago for the Tom Bishop show and Minneapolis to Little Enchantments in April, I made a list of everything I thought I would need to complete the cottage, and purchased it.  Of course we all know what happens once we start a project, it can take a different direction, but so far the only off course way I've gotten has been the idea to add a few things I will need to hand build anyway, and to me, that's fun and making it mine!

So last week, on June 18, 2013, I pulled the kit out of the box and started this project.  

I'm beyond excited to tell you about a new tool and process I've discovered, 
but 1st I feel the need to document the initial pictures.

Here is the kit, as it arrived....Super exciting I know!
The 1st thing I did was take everything out and dry fit it.  I LOVE to kit bash, but there really are only a few minor adjustments I plan to do to this...strange!

It's just always been my desire to do a cottage, maybe it's the girl in me, or maybe it's just that desire to run away over a weekend to an adorable little cabin in the woods, but something has been tugging on my heart strings to do this project.

Step 2, I did research on how to prep the MDF board, I have never worked with MDF before, so I didn't want to mess it up.  In fact my only history with MDF was something else I tried to build years ago, and all I could recall was it getting mushy.  After much research all I learned was to seal it with something that's not water based.  Not having immediate access to anything else, I tried my trusty gesso.  The test seemed to go well, so I set out to coat it all...not a quick thing when all you have is 1 bottle of gesso, and no idea where to buy more, so you HAVE to not have any I brushed it.

Step 3 was I glued the base together and then used my stone template on it.  

Now comes the FUN part!  I have my plan and it includes some wall paper.  My husband just happened to be working on his hobby at this time (which is card tricks) and he recently purchased dry mount tissue and a mono cote iron, which he uses to make Gaff Cards.  When I did Sophie's Coffee Bar, I had used his iron and tissue to adhere the menu to the outsides of the counter and worked it awesome, so I had the great idea to use this process for the wallpaper.  It worked like a charm!!!
I had only purchased 1 sheet of wall paper, so I had to make it fit, so I was forced to piece it together on the wall that will have some things covering it (hence the open spots).  The coloring of my picture isn't good, and obviously you can't touch or see the results up close, but let me tell you, it works great.  The best part, its a completely dry process, so no bubbles, wrinkles, or shrinking! 

I'm going to jump a head of a few things I've done to show you the amazing idea I had last night for the mono cote iron (that's the iron down below)

While trying to decide what to use for my deck boards, I recalled a roll of unfinished wood laminate I had purchased last summer.  My idea originally was to use it to make some baskets, that didn't work great, so it's just been sitting waiting for a purpose.  Well it met it's lucky day.  I pulled it out the other day and was soo excited, it cuts easy and is very thin, so doesn't add a lot of thickness to my deck or weight to the project.  So last night I was sitting down to install it, with not really thinking a head of really HOW I was going to install it, when I had a great idea.  It has a glue like backing on, so I think maybe it's a heat thing, so I rev up the mono cote and iron, and guess what?  It worked soo freak'n awesome!!!  I had such a blast doing the deck. 

Ya know the best part to finding a new toy (tool :) and process you love to do, now I want to find more projects to use it!

Well, I better get back to work....I can't believe I've only been working on this project for 7 days, it's SO far...but you'll have to wait just a bit longer to see pictures :)

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Day 50: Patio tables from plumbing finds

Nadine asked me to tell her about the patio tables I made from plumbing department finds, which made me think others may also be interested in them, so here they are:

This may seem strange, but I've always been a HUGE fan of both industrial looking things and very feminine things (I was into Shabby Chic before it was a trend :)  When I sold 1 of my homes (Roughly 2004) one of the comment I got back from someone that previewed it was "very eclectic" which a lot of people will use as a nice way to make an insult in that kind of situation, me, I took it as a compliment :) 

I made candlesticks from plumbing department finds in roughly 1997 :)

Being stuck in a hardware store while my husband daydreams about building a new brew stand is fun for me, I ALWAYS find stuff I can use, (2 weeks ago while visiting the states I found myself in a Home Depot and picked up some mirror rosettes and tried to figure out how to get some metal mesh sheets home without bending them in my suitcase (I left them at the store :( 

SO...I digressed :) 

I made these 2 tables using conduit pipe (I have 3/4" on hand, but you can use smaller).  You will need a piper cutter to cut it, but don't let that scare you, it's a small hand held tool (guessing about $10 to purchase) and it works like a clamp, you put it on the pipe where you want the cut, and then tighten and spin it (tightening as you go).  Then I just added 2 different finds for bases, and for one top I used balsa wood that I covered with a marble scrapbook paper and then added the lacy fabric, the other I used balsa wood covered with fabric and trim around the edge.

You can also find really cool stuff in copper, and it's fun to work with (Example, the base for my coffee maker in Sophie's...another 1st for me :)  I admit to having my husband help me drill the 3 holes the bullets went into though, as it required some strength and when I can get him to help me with something...I take it :) 

Hope you find this inspiring, I'm interested in any comments, feedback or suggestions you have.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Day 49: Sophie's Books & Coffee is DONE!

It's Done...It's Done...It's Done It's Done It's Done!

259 days's Done!

Sophie's Books & Coffee is finished!!!

To find more pictures or it's progress along the way, I invite you to look back through my blog.  This project involved so very many 1st's for me, and I can honestly say after all these 1st's, I now feel more confident  in my skills and talents than I ever have before.
I'm beyond ecstatic over how it all came together.

This was my 1st time building a pergola

This is a view of the loft before I attached the roof.

Landscape planning begins.  I love finding inspiration and planning things out both in my head and on paper, but the real test for me is trial and error....and this part of this project truly was A LOT of trial and error...days of it!  and 1 almost complete tear out.

As you can see from the mess here, this was after some re-construction.

The bakery case!  All of the bakery items were made by me...I'm learning clay :)

The menu is posted on the counter sides.  This project was done TWICE, because the 1st time I stuck it up with some wax to see if I liked it, then when I went to attach it (which I did with Dry Mount tissue and a mono cote iron (Another 1st)), the wax melted and soaked though (da!)

Under the counter supplies.  The brown bag coffee and teas were designed and handmade by can't see because of the size but they say "Sophie's Coffee" (Tea) on them.
Also the silver wear was made from clay, they are not perfect, but more light weight then using real and  with the small amount of visibility it was a cost decision also.

The Patio comes together!

Here is the complete interior.  

This Coffee maker was the inspiration for adding the coffee bar to the book shop, and ironically it was one of the last projects I tackled.  I absolutely love how it turned out though...and like so many other things, there was much trial and error :)

More views of the patio...I'm in love with the patio, can you tell :)

More 1st's...filling coffee and tea cups, making
2 of the patio tables from plumbing department items, 
building some chairs from scratch, 
using kitty litter in landscaping...I'm sure many more :)

Here is the patio with the lights on at night

The 2 last minute (actually last day :) touches which made a huge difference was the addition of the 2 flower boxes and the 2 lights out front. I'm absolutely in love with jewelry department finds and what I can make with them for miniature projects.

I've learned many things from this project, but the 3 biggest things I'm taking away from it are these
(in no particular order :)
If I can imagine it, there is a good chance I can make it
I CAN finish a project
No matter how large the project seems, when you break it down, it's really just a ton of little projects.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Day 48: The book shop isn't even open yet and the city is tearing out the sidewalks

Well after being gone to the states on holiday for 3 weeks, I have returned and I'm hopefully on the final stretch of finishing Sophie's Books and Coffee (mainly because I want to start my next project so bad it's killing me, and my husband has all but forbid me from starting it till this one is done :)  anyway, thanks to some faulty work, the sidewalks outside the shop have needed to be torn out and redone, so let sidewalk attempt #3 commence