Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Crafty Side: The Barn-Craft Room: Trundle Bed

After completing our Barn: Craft Room, we wanted some type of couch/seating area in the room. We had an extra set of twin mattresses and box springs. The original "couch" had a daybed type of feel. This provided the wanted seating and the sometimes-needed sleeping space. I placed some of my Mom's old quilting hoops on the wall, along with a heart-shaped wreath and a few accessories. It was comfortable, and fit with the decor:

After several months of barn fun...it became apparent that we were going to need more sleeping space for weekend guests. I started trying to figure out how to make our twin-size space into a pull-out king sized bed. The answer was a trundle unit.

I shopped for different daybeds with trundle pull-outs. But, nothing fit the decor of the room. Well, I say that...but what I mean is that nothing affordable, fit the decor of the room. So, of course the logical answer to the problem: make something!

I wanted a Victorian/Rustic/Front Porch type of bed. I know, I'm just a little crazy when I start getting ideas... Here are the pictures of how I built the bed:

For the back posts of the bed, I used 2" x 4"s attached to the wall. For the Front Posts, I wanted something more decorative. I went to Home Depot and looked at 4"x4" posts. I looked at landscaping timbers, and I looked at Porch Posts. The landscape timbers were "treated wood". I didn't want those in close proximity to sleeping guests. The Porch posts were tempting. But, they were wood core, with a white painted/laminated exterior. I didn't think the white would be a good match for the room. So...I found these Newel Posts. They were natural wood, not treated or painted, and they had a nice "turned" section.

The only problem with the newel posts was the heighth. They were 54" tall. So, I used 2- 2"x4" boards screwed together to match the dimension of the newel post, and achieve the heighth that I wanted.

I stripped the padding and fabric from the one of the box springs to reveal a wooden frame. Who knew that there are actually no springs, in a "box spring" foundation? I needed something to finish out the desired porch-look at the top of the newel posts. The exposed box spring frame was perfect. And, it provided a base for extra storage on top of the bed, as well as, a support for the roof of the actual bed.

I attached the bed rails to each post.

Because I was going for a "porch" look bed, I used turned spindles on three sides of the bed. I then placed a "hand-rail" along the top of the spindles.

For the ceiling of the bed, I used 2 pieces of left-over corrugated tin, framed in with 1"x4"s.

I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to fit for the top mattress.

I had to purchase the "trundle" unit. That was the most expensive part of the whole project. This unit was $75.00. The unit raises up to the same heighth as the stationary twin mattress. This makes a full King-sized bed, when needed.

I added some small details to the front posts: iron scroll brackets, and wood-burned Texas stars.

I think the bed turned out perfect! All-in-all, I spent less than $200 for the whole project. But, I had access to the mattresses, and lots of scrap material. I have plenty of storage on top of the bed. And, it could have been easily finished out for a bunk, on top. I think I achieved my desired goal of the "Front Porch" feel. The bed is king-sized, when needed; and, twin-size seating area most of the time...No wasted space. I am using one of my Great-Grandmother's quilts for the bedding. I Love It!

Till next time...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Crafty Side: Family Recipes as Kitchen Decor

As I said in my "About Me" section, of this blog, I am passionate about a few things: Family, History, Crafting. This project blends all of these into one fantastic creation.

After Christmas, this past year, I wanted to do something with the plate-shelf that ran all around the top of the kitchen cabinets. Over the years, I had displayed plants, knick-knacks and dishes on the shelf. I really wanted to do something totally different. I've looked at the trendy decor: Roosters, Tuscan, Contemporary. While, I love many of the looks of those styles, it wasn't what I was looking for...

So, I came up with something that would blend Family, History and cooking!

I asked each of our family members what the one thing was that they remembered Mom, or Grandmas, cooking? I printed those recipes on scrapbooking cardstock, along with a picture of the cook, and their complete names (including maiden). I cut each card down by a couple of inches, all around the edges. Then, I used a special punch to create a cut-out design, at the top and bottom of the recipe card. Next, I mounted the cream colored recipe card onto a textured red cardstock, that just happened to match the wall color, perfectly! I bought 8" x 10" unpainted wooden frames from the local Dollar Tree store, and wooden embellishments from Hobby Lobby. I spray painted all the wooden parts, an off-white/cream color. Then glued the wooden embellishments to the frames.

I then displayed the recipes along the plate shelf with some family china, a small metal wall sculpture that was painted cream, a store-bought "Family" sign and a few other red/cream what-nots that I found at Hobby Lobby.

I have a double window in the kitchen. I made a valance out of scrap styrofoam sheets; covering it with red toile and dark red fabric. I used window sheers, along with a lacy tablecloth fabric, to make the curtains. Red/White China was placed above the valance.

I love the very personal look to my kitchen decor. And, I like that some of our family's most loved recipes are on display, not stuck in a box or a book.

Till next time...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Barn: Craftroom

The Barn: Craft Room- Honoring our Past; Creating in the Present; and Preserving for the Future

I have always dreamed of having a place to do my crafts. If the project is D-I-Y, I'm in! I guess it's in my blood. My mother, and hers, were both ultimate crafters. Actually, my Grandmother was a seamstress for Neiman-Marcus, back in the day. My mother was also a seamstress, quilter, dollmaker. My sister is a certified "Floral Designer". And I just like to create!

For so many years any, and all, creativeness was done in a spare bedroom, or on the kitchen table. The door to the bedroom could be shut; the kitchen table cleared....This all changed when we built the new Barn. A brand spanking new space dedicated to creating! YAY!

The following pictures don't even do our space justice...but, it's a glimpse inside our perfect craft room, and some of the projects that have already been done:

The Beginning: the room is 10' x 15' with 10' tall walls. The walls are 1" x 4" pine, and the ceiling is corrugated tin. At one end of the room the "working space" was installed.

Now, I want you to keep something in mind as you read this...I did these shelves all by myself. I planned, measured, cut and screwed every single one of these BY MYSELF. That top shelf was a 2' x 10' x 1" solid piece of board. I had to climb the ladder and wedge that board into place, before screwing it into the supports. I did this twice...even though I measured everything accurately, the wall gave me fits. I would get the board up the ladder, and it wouldn't wedge into place. At one time, I really thought I was going to stand on that ladder until someone missed me, and came looking for me! These shelves were a real challenge; that I did manage to conquer. Will I do this again (by myself)...absolutely not! (Edited to add: Never say Never! Read the blog post on the "The Barn: Kitchen")

Everything is starting to take shape! BUT, those blue plastic totes just did not fit in with the whole rustic/Victorian theme...

The farmhouse table is the first table my husband, and I, ever bought. It was a perfect choice for the new craftroom. The top is small white tiles, and the trim is natural wood to match the walls. I bought "shoe-box" plastic organizers at the dollar store, and labeled them to hold all of our craft supplies.

Wooden "Bushel Baskets" took the places of the blue plastic totes. As well as, providing the perfect space for some of my grandmother's crocheted doilies; they also store fabrics and plenty of silk flowers for future projects.

Craft Room: Ribbon Caddy: Over the years, my sister and I have managed to collect quite a lot of ribbon. Over the years, we have managed to have that ribbon scattered everywhere...from plastic shopping bags to an obscure place in the closet...you name it, we've got ribbon. We really needed a place to keep all that ribbon! Here is one of the first "projects" I created for the new craftroom: A Ribbon Caddy!! I internet-researched a lot of ribbon caddies...nothing even came close to being big enough. We had a 2' x 2' space on the left-hand side of the farmhouse table to accomodate my ribbon caddy. I then proceeded to build the perfect place for all our ribbon:

I will include a more details on the ribbon caddy in another post.

Craft Room: Gift-Wrapping Station: On the other side of the farmhouse table, I wanted something to house all of our gift wrapping supplies.
I will put a more detailed tutorial on the re-purposed Gift Wrapping Cabinet in another post.

Craft Room: Drop-Cloth Curtains: We wanted some way to close off the "working end" of the room. While this is a space dedicated to crafting, I do have grandchildren and an occasional overnight guest that spend time in the room. I wanted to be able to hide all our "mess", if needed. And, I was also a little concerned about little fingers playing with the sewing machine, or exacto knife, or... The solution was to make curtains to close off the room. I used painter's drop-cloth, battenburg lace valances, and aluminum conduit for the rod. I will provide a more detailed explanation of the curtains in another post. But here is the "working end" of the room, hidden behind the curtains:

I didn't realize this post was going to be so long, or have so many pictures! I think I'm going to break this up. But, I'll include here the many "things" that make this room so special. As I mentioned, I'm not the only crafter of the family...it's a generational hobby. Over the years, as we've lost our beloved Mother, Grandmother, and several Great-Aunts, we have accumulated many of their sewing, quilting, crocheting, and decorative items. What better spot to pay homage to these special ladies, than to place their possessions in our craft room...

Next Post: The Barn: Craft Room - Trundle Bed Project.

Till next time...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Barn

The Barn: The Beginning

I wasn't really sure how to present our big family project...Sometimes the best way to start something is to jump right in!

In September 2008, Southeast Texas was hit hard by Hurricane Ike. We live almost 100 miles north of Houston. So, we didn't suffer near the damage that a lot of our Southeast Texas neighbors did. Our Barn took the biggest hit.

We decided to build a new "bigger/better" version. Plans were drawn, and contractors called. In our new barn, everyone had their favored spot. My sister, and I, wanted a dedicated Craftroom, My brother, and sis-in-law, wanted their own room to stay in when they visited. We all wanted a common Game room/Gathering place, and a huge porch. And we also wanted a bunk-house for any weekend guests. We needed dedicated "Barn" space for the tractor, 4-wheelers, lawnmowers, tools, etc. I used a very inexpensive software program to draw the plan, at the top of the page. It really helped in being able to plan out the spaces.

We came up with a plan: 40' x 60' metal pole barn, with a 20' x 40' covered porch. We would use half of the barn for "barn" space, and the other half for all of the rooms we wanted. Work began on the new building in October, 2008. We had the shell of the barn built. And, finished the inside rooms ourselves. The rooms would be as follows: 20'x 30' Gameroom; 10' x 15' Craftroom; 10' x 15" Bunkhouse; 10' x 17' Brother's Weekend Hide away; 10' x 6' Bathroom; 10' x ~7' Tool Room. The other half of the building would house the true barn.

We were going for a very casual, rustic, grown-up "Playhouse". After all, it's "just a barn"! :)

In the next few posts, I will describe all of the rooms, with pictures, in detail. Throughout our rooms, we used 1" x 4" pine, for the walls. The absolute lowest grade of boards we could find. We wanted all the knot holes and bark-edged boards to add to the rustic nature of the space, and give it a log cabin ambience. All of the rooms had ceilings made from corrugated tin. The walls are 10' tall throughout the building/barn. This really opened up the spaces.