Dresser Rehab 2 Monday, Oct 11 2010 

is it weird that I love scraping paint? I guess it’s that sense of completion again. Wow, got that paint peeled off and am now in sanding mode. I discovered that a dental tool is great for loosening up paint in tiny crevices. But it’s sharp on both ends so be careful! The small holes poked in my hand are testimony for taking care! My husband thinks I should refinish the wood but now that I’ve gotten down to the bare wood, I see it isn’t that pretty. The sides look like cheap wood compared to the face pieces so I don’t feel guilty about putting on a fresh coat of paint. Maybe this dresser looked beautiful when it was brand-new but now it definitely needs a facelift. Tomorrow it’s back to scraping in the turned parts and then more sanding.

dresser rehab! Friday, Oct 8 2010 

I saw an old dresser sitting on a sidewalk so I convinced my husband to help me get it in the Honda. When I saw its seashell-like design I knew I had to rescue it from the landfill or even someone else!

Today I scraped paint from all of the drawers- wow I love those get strippers! I’ll leave the body for a couple days because I need to find a new top. I’m guessing the big chunk out of the top was the reason it landed on the sidewalk but we have the tools to cut and rout a new piece of wood.

Projects like this get me excited because they have concrete results. Whereas in my career counseling work, I don’t always know if I actually made an impact on someone unless they tell me so. With a furniture rehab I can see right away if I made a difference. And now that I’m laid off and looking for a new job, workign on a project gives me a nice break from the job search. Scraping paint is a mindless activity that lets my brain process ideas on where I can focus my job search.

This weekend I want to pick up some paint chips and investigate silver leaf. I’m thinking a soft gray paint would look nice with silver leaf in the shell-like design and surrounding curves. And some glass knobs could add sparkle! I did start looking at Hunt and Gather for some vintage glass knobs but couldn’t find any. That just gives me an excuse for future visits.

But now a walk to the library where I will look for some design books that might inspire a different finishing option. Gray and silver would be beautiful but maybe something else will catch my eye. I’m always open to creative options…

Penzey’s Spices crate bookcase project Thursday, Oct 7 2010 

Years ago my husband gave me a Penzey’s Spices French Kitchen crate as a Christmas gift. He thought I wanted the spices but it was the crate that really peaked my interest. I was envisioing the empty crate being turned into a miniature French kitchen. Last year I did get started on that conversion but ended up buying an actual miniature roombox kit to make the kitchen. Fast forward to this summer when I signed up for a bookbinding class at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art and Design). I taught myself how to make books in 1/12th scale- now I wanted to learn some new techniques and see if I could scale those down too. Over three weeks I made a lot of books and realized they needed a home of their own. This past weekend I turned that spice crate into a bookcase by adding a shelf from leftover plywood and edging left over from another project.

If you’d like to make your own crate bookcase, it’s very easy.

1. Find a sturdy crate. Unfortunately Penzey’s doesn’t sell empty crates but you could find similar ones in thrift stores, wine stores or other places.

2. Sand and finish the crate with either stain or paint. I left the inside as is to show off the books.

3. Measure inside dimensions for shelf or shelves. Cut shelf/shelves to size with a jigsaw or table saw. Cut braces from blocks of scrap wood to support the shelf unit and glue to bottom of shelf. measure where shelf will sit inside crate, mark with pencil and glue shelving unit in place, checking for level.

4. Add trim to front of shelf- mine is flush with the bottom of the shelf and gives a lip to hold books in place on the upper section. Paint or stain as desired.

5. Attach two sawtooth picture hangers to the back of the crate and then hang in place.