Secondhand Surplus

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It took over eight years...

When we moved into our house over eight years ago, someone had done a quick once over on the house to flip it. Painted the walls beige, layed down some Home Depot tile, and did a once over on the hardwood floors. It was enough to give any perspective buyer a chance to see themselves living there. Nothing stuck out as an eyesore. There were plenty of things that I noted wanting to change, but nothing that I felt wasn't doable. 
The very first thing to be changed out was the light fixtures in the house. I was so excited to do so, that  I almost dropped a ceiling fan on my head, because I couldn't wait for help. That goes back to the point of the sellers were wanting to give the appearance of a freshly updated home, without actually doing things the right way. The ceiling fan was not properly mounted, and so when I was up on a ladder expecting to drop down the ceiling plate to expose the wiring, the whole fan came down ontop of me. Leaving me to hold the weight of the fan on my head while trying to get the wiring loose. 
Either way, I survived to tell the story. My boyfriend at the time, now husband, was upstairs sleeping just to show you my impatience. I had to get up and switch out the ceiling fans by myself at 6am. Good plan.
So, now when I tell you it took more than eight years to tile our shower you will understand that it was a long time coming. One of the things I immediately wanted to change was the surround in our shower. The flippers had put up some sort of laminate fiberboard, that originally looked fine until someone actually showered in it. Then it slowly started to splinter, and then peel. 
I had always said I wanted white subway tile. I never swayed from that esthetic. The big problem was that our house only has one bathroom. That is not a problem when it's your job to clean the bathrooms, it's only a problem when you need to use the bathroom and someone else is using it, and when you need to renovate your bathroom. 
Finally it was time to do something to the shower. My Mother's Day gift was the gift that keeps on giving. I was gifted boxes of white subway tile and a borrowed wet saw. I should say the plan was for my husband to tile the shower for me, but when the fiberboard came down it was clear one of the big reasons the shower immediately started to fail was it wasn't done right in the first place. 
My husband spent quite a bit of time putting up the structure to hang the proper cement board for the foundation of our new shower walls. 
We did one wall together, and when you are tiling it is really nice to have one person laying the tile and marking them, and someone else on the saw, cutting the tiles.
But after two days he had to return to work, he asked"Do you want me to show you how to work the tile saw?". Knowing that we didn't have a working shower I happily said yes. Probably for anyone that could concentrate on tiling a shower could have finished the job in a day. Me, being a Stay-at-Home mom that also has a handful of other jobs, it took a couple of days. I was able to get about 4 tiles cut and layed before I had to refill a sippy cup or change the tv channel.(Yes,I relied on my 2year old to watch a lot of tv while I tried to get our bathroom back into working order.) 
But it happened. Two weeks without being able to shower at home. TWO WEEKS. 
Since the project turned into MY project, I decided to find a piece of reclaimed marble for the windowsill. I think it added a great detail to a kind of un impressive window.

Then, I decided we needed a new(old) light fixture, and then of corse we needed to pull out the vanity and put in a new sink, then the old faucet looked bad and so on. 
The bathroom isn't finished, but the shower is in working order. I am proud of the result. 
Another skill tucked under my belt. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas

From our home to yours!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Light Filled Corner on a Dreary Day

This may be my favorite corner of our house at the moment. The large window is south facing, so it receives a lot of light during the day. The plants love it, and it maybe why we spent to majority of our time in this room(it wouldn't be because the TV is also located in this room).
Just recently I set out to tackle a little project that I had had on my list for quite some time.
Years ago I had dragged home a simple Mid Century dresser from a neighborhood alley, and even though the dresser wasn't in the best shape, it easily served its purpose.
So, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago I found a matching dresser from the same simple line of the first found piece, and even though it wasn't free, I paid $10, and felt like I still got a deal.
Now I was the proud owner of 2 simple dressers, with great lines, in rough shape.
This is what sent the wheels into motion on making these pieces more pleasing to the eye.
Dresser Drawers
It was a quick project, more prep work than anything else. Like I stated before, these pieces were far from perfect. I glued and clamped any loose veneer and even filled and sanded chunks of missing veneer.
If you are one of those types that cringes at the sight of paint vintage furniture(I myself can sometimes be that person) these dressers were never high end and one was even destined for a landfill.
I just used two cans of high gloss white spray paint to hide much of the damage these pieces had received in the last 50 years.
I also spent time with a bottle of restore-a-finish, steel wool, and wax-n-feed. This made the walnut cases look better, and what the before mentioned products didn't take care of, I also got at it a little with a wax furniture pencil.
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Yes, we do have a TV that we do watch, and it is big and ugly and requires cords and boxes and what not

Toy storage
If you live in a smaller home or older one with little closet space, you know how very important storage space is. This was a very inexpensive solution to house and hide those things that are needed but are not the prettiest to look at.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Few New Things....

I recently got a "new to me" laptop, and am really yet to learn the ins and outs. We have always had PCs before and I decided that I wanted a mac to be able to easily sink up to my Iphone. I am trying to figure this new computer out and trying to figure out the best way to deal with all of my photos and blogging.
So, while exploring Picasa and my photo backlog, I scanned pass this photo and had to stop, and thought, wow, I really like that living room. This is our living room, a few months ago, and it no longer looks like this.
Funny, nothing was wrong with the room in this photo, but I crave change so much that often I change things just for the sake of change.
Another thing in my life that is new other than my computer, is that I am also posting over at Mr. Modtomic's blog.  I'm posting about the Feminine aspects of modern design, and most of which just is photos of things in my home that help balance the 3 males to 1 female in our household. All of the testosterone can quickly take over if there isn't a constant balance.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Homecrest Updated

 Last year at a garage sale I picked up a pair of vintage Homecrest patio chairs with ottomans. They didn't come with cushions, like most of the old patio furniture, it sat out in the weather and rotted. We used these pieces as is on our deck with just a couple of new cushions thrown on the seats. I wasn't loving the look, and with the armrests also MIA, these pieces finally got stored in the garage.
I recently decided they needed a face lift, and set to work.
After both pieces were thoroughly cleaned, I sprayed both bases with paint plus primer in a flat black.
 I then took the time to carefully tape off the dry, newly painted bases, so I could begin painting the body of the chair, primer first, then gloss white.

 After the chair had dried, I attached a salvaged pair of wood arms( they came from a alley find that was too far gone, the arms were the only thing that could be saved) I used some wax-N-feed on the wood with some extra fine steel wool, to remove some of the marks from the wood arms. Then just attached the arms with new screws.

 I was also lucky enough to pick up a pair of vintage sheep skins from the Goodwill Outlet, which ran me about $4!
So, that Is my updated Homecrest patio chair. I happy with the end results, the sheep skin makes this little rocking/bouncy chair quite comfy.
I now still have the other half of the pair to work on, I am just waiting to find another great pair of wooden arms, in need of a new body!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Table with Potential

Laminate coffee table

I found this coffee table at the thrift store this week and loved the lines of it, but wasn't impressed with the laminate top. The thrift store was have a 50% off cash and carry furniture sale, so I decided to spend the $15 and try to work some magic.
I had a coupon for 50% off at Joanns fabric, and even though they don't carry the highest grade foam, I was able to get 56'' of 24'' wide, 2'' foam for $25. I also purchased a nice think batting that was already on sale, so about $5 went into that.
Little helper
Also on the materials list was this nice gray wool army blanket that was thrifted from savers, for $5. This is the only picture I snapped of the blanket before it was put into use. This also explains why I have a hard time getting any projects done lately. There is always someone wanting to "help", and believe it or not, it always makes the project harder.
When using vintage material for a project it is always important to thoroughly examine the fabric. Wool army blanket are great for re purposing, but make sure there are no moth holes. The blanket I found was in amazing shape, no holes, no stains.
It was pretty easy after that. I just detached the laminate top, cut the foam to size using an electric knife, wrapped the foam with my batting and used a staple gun to attach. I then cut the wool blanket to size and then placed it on the foam and batting upside down, pinned the corners and the used my sewing machine to sew the corners that I had pinned.
Once the sewing was done, I flipped it right side out, stretched it back over the foam and stapled it in place.
There you go. A table with potential. In all this project cost about $55 to complete, and that is including the cost of the table. It was a easy project, that anyone could complete. It gave new life to this piece of furniture that had an undesirable laminate top, but beautiful Pearsall-esque walnut legs.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A few things to spice up the kitchen

Our kitchen has gotten a few new additions rounded up from the thrifts.
"Blow Up'' bowl

This great "Blow Up'' bowl designed by Alessi was found NWT, and when I decided to keep it, I snipped the tags and it has a permanent spot in the center of our kitchen table.
Eric Magnussen Vacuum Jug
I also scored a pair of Stelton vacuun jugs designed by Eric Magnussen and made in Denmark. This designed was first introduced in 1977 and was awarded the ID-prize by the Danish Society of industrial design.

Vintage Heath Ceramics covered Casserole dishes
This pair of large covered Heath Ceramics casserole dishes were a bit of a surprise. I found one on a shelf at the Goodwill, exicted with my lucky find, I turned to corner to find a second matching one! I believe this is the largest size that was made and I've grown quite attached to the pair
Digsmed cutting board

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And last but not least, I found this huge 27'' Digsmed cutting board over the weekend at a church rummage sale, for the bargin price of 75 cents! It's missing a magnet and most likely came with a knife, but I can't seem to find a picture of one with a knife online.
So, a few new things to spice up the kitchen.( I thought I would slide this post in, without making mention of not blogging for two months)
Has anyone else being finding things in themes lately?