Sunday, May 5, 2013

Projects Past

Before I begin, I'd like to thank Enchanted Seashells and this post for inspiring my post today.

I've had to learn over the years to entertain myself. Having a husband in construction means he works long hours, sometimes out of town, and I'm left to my own devices. So, I've developed hobbies. One of my favorite activities is turning the old into something new again. I could spend days rummaging through thrift shops. I often wander my own house looking for something that needs new life. I scrounge through the scrap bins at work, looked for tossed out items that still have life in them. Basically, I drive my husband crazy because I have "stuff" stashed everywhere that is on it's way to a new and purposeful life. And, at any given time, I have numerous projects in some state of rehab. Some get done quickly, others get put on the back burner to be finished...eventually. As we speak, I've overtaken his garage to build a clothes rack out of reclaimed lumber I ferried home last summer. And I have the ingredients for four more projects crammed into my shed outside. As those are finished, there will be pictures posted. But for now, here are some of my favorite projects from the past.

A couple summers ago, the owners of a local gas station retired and sold off everything they'd accumulated over the years. After the sale ended, I was invited down to rummage. These are a few of the things I came home with. Just look at all that potential!

A little cleaning, a little paint with no pattern whatsoever, and I have a porch full of pots. The great thing is they are portable and their locations changes every year. My favorite is the mop bucket. Don't mind the blue ribbon. That was a failed experiment of a way to keep the dogs from bailing off the porch THROUGH the flower beds. I don't want to put the money into anything permanent for that because the porch is on the rehab list and will be torn out and rebuilt. But that's another story. 

We have a wood stove and occasionally some rather large pieces make their way home with my guys. Last year, we decided to open up this side of the porch for easier access to the yard. But alas, we had no lumber to build steps. This was my solution. As my husband would rather I not operate the chainsaw for craft projects, I enlisted my oldest son. He cut ginormous slabs and notched them to fit together. I left them unfinished to dry and they are ready to be sealed this year. I love the natural look, but if I don't seal them they will eventually fall apart and become firewood. Now if only my husband had let me sand off that old fence wood he used to close that side of the porch. Maybe this year. 

I found this old glass jar languishing on a back shelf at the thrift store. I believe I paid about $.25 for it. It's large, like about a gallon. I have no idea what it was in its former life, but it is pretty. The glass on two sides is textured, though you can't see that in this picture. About all you CAN see is the dust. Eventually, as I root more cuttings, I will add them in to fill in the space. And by the looks of it, I need to spend an afternoon cleaning my plants. Dust. One of the nasty byproducts of living in farm country and having a wood stove. 

I found this unfortunate little stool at the thrift store for $7. Scarred wood and the ugliest vinyl covering. 


Just 24 hours later, it has been transformed! A good sanding followed by a new coat of varnish, and a $.25 pillow case from the same thrift store, in colors that happen to coordinate in my living room. It usually sits near the aquarium and has become a favorite perch for the cats to stalk the fish. 

And now I'm off to work on current projects. Because I just can't get enough!!


  1. OH gurrrl! I knew we had a lot in common! I'd love to go scrounging around thrift shops with you. So many projects, so little time! Can't wait to read more. (PS my ex was in construction, too--he and hubs are friends, yes! and ex has helped build stuff WITH hubs and has taught him a lot. NO kidding!)

  2. How awesome that they are friends!

    Last summer, my cousin and his GF who live in Philly came to visit. So we girls planned a thrift day. Lunch, three thrift stores, and a glass of wine at the bar afterwards. Perfect!! I really have thrift store envy of her; Philly! SO many awesome vintage and thrift stores.

  3. I entertain myself, but I'm not nearly as crafty as either of you two. I do love thrift shopping though. And smart about the pillowcase. I wouldn't even have thought of that. Love all the pots for plants too. And the steps. Love it all!

    1. Thanks. I just wish all my projects turned out so well. Live and learn. :)