The Prompt:

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

I was relieved, after getting this prompt, to know that I’ve been uncharacteristically productive lately in a whole manner of creative forays.  Being stranded in a new city, with no job as yet, I’ve had to find ways of passing the time.  What follows are examples of the fruits of my labor.  Be kind….I’m a beginner!

Green Stained Wardrobe Dresser

After an inexplicable series of events, my husband and brother-in-law got into an argument in our old house.  Perceived slights escalated to heated words which culminated in an actual fist fight.  Somehow, the Jersey Shore made it into my small home, and the result of the brawl between these two hooligans was the splintering to pieces of my wardrobe dresser.  After an extensive search (and a disappointing inability to find anything close to what I had had and LOVED….), I had a piece built for me in pine.  It was cheaper than a furniture store, and I was able to finish it myself.

A moss green stain called Vermont Barnboard and a satin polyurethane finish took me two weeks to complete.  I can’t say that it was fun (the sanding alone after every layer was enough to make me want to choke someone), but the finished product was exactly what I wanted, and thus, worth the effort.  I finished it off by adding an assortment of mismatched antique pulls and fits like a glove among everything else in my bedroom.  Not bad for a first foray into furniture finishing.

Vermont Barnboard Dresser

Dresser Drawer Bookshelf

Well, I had a new dresser, and the old one was sitting forlornly in the corner of my garage.  On top of this, I’d discovered that after a couple of particularly prodigious trips to my mecca of the written word (Half Price Books anyone?  Anyone?!), my book collection had far outgrown the space I had for them.  I needed bookshelves.

Genius struck, and I thought to myself:  “There has to be a way to turn the drawers out of my broken dresser into bookshelves….”  A quick ride on the interwebz proved this idea right and I began immediately to collect the materials I’d need.  After a trip to Lowe’s and then Sherwin Williams, I had the paint, primer and wall paper I needed to begin.

It wasn’t long before I realized that hand-sanding the finish off of the old drawers was the dumbest idea I’d had since deciding to pierce my eyebrow in college.  After a short go-over, I saw quickly that the primer wasn’t sticking.  I would have to use an electric sander.  And I didn’t have one.  Back to Lowe’s I went.  And then back again for plywood to attach them all together after painting.  And then back again for spray adhesive for the wallpaper.  When all was said and done, I probably spent more money on these shelves than all the books I’d fill them with combined, but it was a neat idea, and I’m in love with the finished product.  Recycle Chic.

Dresser Drawer Bookshelf I
Dresser Drawer Bookshelf II

Tante Jen’s First Ever “Not A Scarf Or Hat” Set

On my 31rst birthday, I found out that one of my oldest girlfriends was going to be a mama.  I’d been knitting for years (all scarves and hats) and I decided right at that moment that I would revive the old tradition of giving something handmade.  I wasn’t confident that I could finish a blanket, so I picked up a beginner pattern and began to work on a sweater, hat and mitten set.  It seemed only appropriate as, years before, this girl had been the recipient of my first ever scarf and hat set.

The project wasn’t without it’s problems, and there were plenty of swear words knitted it with all the love, but it turned out beautifully, and I was able to give a gift that came from my heart and not off of a registry.  I’m not a fan of baby blue, or any pastels at all for that matter, so I changed the yarn color to a Crayola crayon green, and finished the project for baby B.A.M. only shortly after he was born.

It looks like a Home Ec project gone a bit awry, I know, but I made it with my own two hands.

And there you have it, a decidedly un-crafty girl gets crafty and pulls it off.  Take that all you master-beaders!


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