Monday, January 30, 2012

One big post ...

Here are some of the pieces I have been working on.

Kristen's bar stools

and After

A hutch that has sold

My sister in-laws end table

And, one of my favorites, this armoire, with a surprise ending

After we finished this one and posted it online, it sat for a week with no interest. I was lamenting that fact to my husband and he suddenly started planning a new use for it.

When we moved into our house last August, the weather was miserably hot. My parents bought two awesome wall mounted units which work great, but are kind of an eye-sore.

I has all these ideas for a custom built bookshelf to cover it, with receding doors that tuck into the unit during the summer, when the a/c is always always running.

But he said he could cut this piece in half length wise, like the tall way, and mount it onto the wall using screws and some table legs we had lying around.

It was genius.

Here is the result

And... here is what I finished today.

my boys room is a constant source of frustration. They have two twin mattresses ON THE FLOOR because I am a bad mom and I haven't made beds a priority.

But I saw this online today, and for the life of me I can't find out where, but I believe they are wall decals.

I love it! But I knew I could just use paint and do this project for free.

It wasn't that hard, surprisingly.

Next up my recent bathroom remodel.

Something on my mind...

I started refinishing furniture about two years ago. I started this blog a little over a year ago.

My husband has a good job, but, lets just say our income needs to be "supplemented." I come from an entrepreneurial family (my dad founded SkyMall, the in flight shopping catalog, when I was 10) and I find that my mind is often a-buzz with possibilities.

Furniture, so far, has been the only thing that I have ventured to do, that actually brought a profit.

Let me be clear, however, it is not a lot of profit. There isn't much meat on this bone.

About six months ago I noticed that my sales were slowing down, and that supply was getting harder to find and therefore becoming more expensive.

I kept plugging away, and began watching CL and the local blogs for my "competition."

Last year I counted that the competition increased four or five fold.

I don't have any hard feelings about this, it's just capitalism at work. Someone like me, maybe a mom who doesn't want to leave the home for work, sees other people doing it, thinks they are making good money, thinks she can do it too, and goes after her piece of the pie.

Not to stereotype, because there are a few men who are also doing it.

The only purpose for this post is to make something very clear to anyone who is thinking about starting this kind of business.

It's not good money. The more people that dive in, because of what is known in business terms as "low barriers to entry," the worse the money gets.

To be totally honest, I think we brought in maybe $5,000 last year in profit.

Not to mention, my husband is a big strong dude with a gajillion tools, and is very handy and works four tens at his job, leaving him three days in a weekend to help me. We have 2 work trucks and an accumulated 15 years of experience with carpentry and restoration. We have thrown out or donated more pieces than we have sold, because of the massive trial and error/learning curve of this business. It may not seem difficult, but painting a piece to sell (with paint that sticks and is smooth and durable) is actually challenging. Finding supply, especially now, is harder still.

I do this to have fun, and not spend money on fun. Most hobbies are a huge drain on a family, my hobby makes a little spending cash.

I think anyone who is doing this will agree.

My soap box is collapsing under my weight. Time to call it a day.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Laundry Room

This post will embarrass me.

The only room that we totally neglected after the move was the laundry. It is essentially an outdoor shed with haphazard electrical running through it.

It is also where the dog resides.

So, I hated this room and I hated the chore associated with it.

You can see in this photo that there is 1980 style wall board nails down. But it is covered in water stains and mold. This is a view of the room to the left when you first walk in.

The washer and dryer were actually opposite each other and skiddywompous... not sure how you spell that word. But moving the laundry from the washer to the dryer was really difficult.

This was the view further to the right.

NASTY right?

We tore out the wall board and moved all the plumbing and electrical over so that the washer and dryer would be happily side by side.

We also cleaned the bare studs and plan on painting the whole room soon.

It's not done, but its definitely improved.

Holidays Done... New Small Project

Today I did a very small project to celebrate the return to real life after the holidays. The light over my front door drives me crazy.
Anything that reminds me of the previous owners really bums me out. And this light definitely does that.
I have been waiting to buy a new one but I rarely see wall mount exterior lights that I like. I also have to watch the budget.
My husband and I spent four hours raking leaves (a very unique experience in this part of the world), mowing and cleaning the yard this morning.
I came inside exhausted but the image of that light wouldn't leave my mind.
I decided to take it down and look at it.
The glass was seriously clouded with minerals and the cheap metal was rusting. I also have a strict policy to never use one of those high efficiency bulbs in a fixture where the bulb is exposed.
I sprayed Lime Away on the glass and cleaned the spiders and dust out of it. 
Than I sprayed it with ORB.



You can also see in this photo that, after we removed the ugly security doors the frame of the door was somewhat damaged.

We nailed down some new trim and painted it a fresh white.



I love how fresh the entry now looks.

Here is a glimpse at the BEFORE before... like when we first moved in.

We actually have replaced those windows and are looking into ordering after-market mullions for them.