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Grams yarn hangersI am taking a chance and posting this before Christmas, hoping that my nieces are not reading! This is all about Gram’s hangers. Now, I know my Gram wasn’t the only person out there making these, but she was the only person out there making them for me when I was younger… hence, Gram’s hangars.

When I got a bit older (I’m guessing 10 or 12 years old), she taught me how to make them. I searched all of our closets looking for one of Grams hanger. Do you think I found one? NO!  I just wanted to look at it and work out how I was going to make them. Do you think I remembered how to do them?  Yes, and no! I worked it out rather quickly, but I knew mine are a bit different. In fact, when I took the hangars I finished to MN this past fall to wrap them up and stash them away for my nieces, my mom came in to see what I was doing and then started pulling hanger after hanger out of her closest. All Gram’s hangars! She has all of them! I couldn’t help but laugh.

Started at the base of the hookWhat I love about using these hangars is that my clothes don’t slip off the hangar (and I made them by recycling old wire hangars and gave them a new purpose in life)

You start with two metal dry cleaner hangers that are of equal shape and size.  Tape them together in a few spots so you are fighting to keep the hangars together as you are working your yarn around them. You need two balls of yarn. They can be the same color or different colors, that is completely up to you, but the yarn does need to be in balls (not skeins). I could not remember how much yarn it took to make a hanger, so I bought two skeins of blue (for one niece) and two skeins of pink( for the other niece) and started wrapping them into balls. Make your yarn balls a manageable size so you can handle it easily enough and not be fighting with it to get it through the triangle form of the hanger at each pass. I made two hangers for each niece and have TONS of yarn left over. I could probably make them two more hangers each year for several years and still not run out (and hope they still like the colors I have!)

Make a loop

Make a loop

I started at the bottom of the neck where the hanger branches out and the worked my way around the hanger ending up back at the neck and then worked my way up to the top of the hook and back down to the neck. I know working my yarn over the hook and back gave it a bit of extra bulk, but I didn’t want to end at the top of the hook and have loos ends and knots up there where it gets most of its wear as it is put on your clothes rod and taken off over and over.

pass you yarn over the hanger and through the loop

pass you yarn over the hanger and through the loop

Tie both balls of yarn onto the bottom of the neck of the hangers leaving about a 6″ tail to work with later.  You want to keep one ball of yarn on one side of you and the other ball of yarn on the other side of you. I hold the hangar between my legs so that my hands are free to work with the yarn balls. I will mention that the chair that I sit on in our living room is an old swan neck rocker. It has open arm rests which isn’t the best situation because there isn’t much room on either side of my body to rest the yarn balls without them falling through the arms rest, off the chair, and unrolling out on the floor.

Pull tight

Pull tight

To make a “stitch” make a loop with your yarn and then pass your ball of yarn over the hangar and through the loop. Now pull it tight. The tighter you pull the more loops you will need to make to cover your hangar. The loosen your “stitches” the lass yarn. I made mine rather tight. From time to time you can also push your “stitches” so they are tighter together also. There are no rules here, do what ever you are comfortable with.

You can do one “stitch” with each color yarn or more. I did one hangar with single “stitches” and the other with two “stitches” with each ball of yarn before working the other side.

used single stitches on left and double stitches on right

used single stitches on left and double stitches on right

I finished by knotting my ends together and leaving about a 6″ tail on each end. I added pom poms that I made out of the same yarn and used the tail ends to attach them to the hangers.

Crossing my fingers that my nieces will love them.

Have you ever made yarn hangers?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

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I really enjoy giving handmade gifts (like the fabric napkins that I posted about last December.) Those gifts are usually made by me. One of my nieces has a birthday at the end of November. In fact it was just a few days ago so I had to wait until it was passed before I posted about her gift this year.

Since she was very very young I have always made her pillowcases. A pillow case for each season plus summer, winter, fall, spring themed ones as well. I can still look into my magic ball and see more pillowcases in her future, but wanted to come up with something different for this birthday.

As I was snooping around a thrift store a few weeks ago, I saw a small jewelry box. It was pretty plain (sorry, I completely forgot the “before” photo) but it had potential. I knew I could give it a facelift, but it also appealed the the frugal and thrifty side of me as well.

My original plan was to paint the entire jewelry box white and then “white-wash” it with a metallic silver to give it some pizazz and sparkle. I started with the white. I found a can of white spray paint in our garage and decided to use it to make quick work of covering the whole box. It needed two coats and even then the spray paint wasn’t covering the wood very well.

not covering the wood very well at all

I decided to get out my acrylic paints and go for better coverage with those. That worked a lot better, but the spray paint left a glossy finish and the acrylic paints left a mat finish, so I knew then I would need to apply a clear glossy top coat in the end.

Once the paint was on it was time for the silver metallic “white-wash.” I started wiping the silver on and instantly was not happy with the look at all! It was not looking all shiny and sparkly like it was in my vision. As I wipe it off for the full “white-wash” effect, it even looked worse. Again, sorry, no photo because at this point I knew I wanted to get as much of the paint off as I could and needed to work quickly.

So I just took one huge step backwards and needed to paint those surfaces white again and come up with another plan. By the way, this was Tuesday and I intended to mail the box on Wednesday. Nope, that didn’t happen! Not with another coat of white paint, plus dry time, plus what ever design I was going to paint, plus dry time, clear coat, dry time – you get the picture. I knew if I wrapped it up in one of my fabric gift bags before it was completely dry that the bag would be stuck to the box when my niece went to open it – not good.

The jewelry box did have a cut design into the wood so I felt I was a bit limited and so I decided to follow that pattern with dots. Dots are super super easy to do, if you know the trick. Use the end of your paint brush – the end without the bristles. Dip it in your paint and then touch it the surface you want the dot on. The size of the end of your brush will determine the size of your dot. Be sure to do a few test dots before you do this on your actual project and depending on the medium you are using you may get 1-2 dots before you need to reload the end of your brush, or you may only get 1 dot. The silver metallic paint I was using was pretty thin, and I wanted a substantial dots with a sparkly impact, so I needed to dip the end of my brush in the paint for each dot.

I did get the front and top of the box done and was going to move onto the sides, but time was not on my side.

I hope that my niece will like her new jewelry box.

Have you ever given something old a much needed facelift?

Sincerely, Emily

You can see what else I am up to over at Sincerely, Emily. The topics are varied, as I jump around from gardening to sewing to making bread or lotion and many things in between.

 

 

 

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Credenza \kri-ˈden-zə\ noun

  1. A buffet, sideboard, or bookcase, especially one without legs.
  2. A piece of office furniture having a flat top and usually file drawers.

I was saying to myself the other day

Kim you need a new credenza, every farmer must have a credenza.

But when you live in the sticks where does one go about buying such a piece of furniture?  How does one explain to small town store clerks what a credenza even is?

So I figured it would just be easier…and cheaper to make one myself.

Credenza old re-purpose paint

I have finally done with this project something that has eluded me until now…

I finally painted something white! You see I adore white furniture but every single time I go to use white paint on furniture something more flashy catches my eye…yes I’m a sucker for turquoise and fuchsia and all such bright colors!

Credenza chair paint old

Take this chair for example…it was going to be white. Then this great melon color seduced me and I could not resist.  I was determined that I would not be dissuaded this time…no I would be strong and stay the course…white it would be!

Credenza started

Life for this particular credenza (what a fun word) started out as an old dresser with three drawers.  Baby Boy decided to use the drawers for a step ladder a few months ago and broke the middle support.  It was either repair or move on…move on it was!

Just for a little history, when hubby and I were pregnant with our first child (25 years ago!) We did not have a lot of money so we bought a crib, highchair, and dresser/changing table from a neighbor.  This is said dresser.  It has held diapers, itty bitty baby boy clothing, teeny little booties…I have changed 1000’s of diapers upon its top.  I could not get rid of it, too many memories!

But re-purpose it I could handle!

Credenza table saw shelf

I removed the supports and runners for the top two drawers, lightly sanded the whole dresser.  Then I then cut a piece of 5/8″ plywood on the table saw for a new shelf that would replace them.

Credenza jig saw shelf

Next I got out my handy little jig saw to notch out the corners…I love my jig saw!

Credenza corner shelf

I put the shelf in and screwed it into place…

Credenza unfinished shelf

Next I glued and nailed a small piece of molding to cover the seam between the shelf and support piece…and primed the whole dresser and the bottom drawer

Credenza molding primed

Credenza primed

Next was my folly…

Credenza italian olive green paint

Instead or reaching for a can of white paint another little can caught my eye…how can one resist a color called ‘Italian Olive’?  It was left over from another project and was sitting there just beckoning to be used…really it was!

I painted the whole thing with one coat of this great green color…how funhow different!

Credenza italian olive green paper

It would look so fun and classy with this great shelf paper that I had left over from the farmhouse remodel.

But…

What about my determination to paint something white?  Did I have no self-control?  Could I never say no to the bright and the funky?  Could I not in some small way be traditional…even classy?

So I went to the shelf and bravely picked up a can of creamy white paint and with a slightly heavy heart did this…

Credenza green white paint

As you can see I could not bring myself to paint it all white…I just could not! But I was satisfied that this was as close to all white as my color-lovin’ heart would ever come.  So two paint coats later I had my white credenza.  But something was just not right.  It was all shiny and new…too shiny and new.

I took out a piece of 150 grit sandpaper and proceeded to sand all the corners and some of the flat surface until the green paint or bare wood shone through.  Yes a little distressing is good for the soul!

Credenza drawer distress antique

Credenza antique edge paint

Then I put back on the cabinet pulls, the ones that I had touched so many times over the years in caring for my children…when they were just babies…now they are in college…sob.

Credenza handle hardware

They were old and dark and I thought just right.

When I brought the piece in the house I knew it would be perfect for my hubby’s binders, he is urber organized and has much of our important paper work in matching binders.  These binders are all white and all UGLY!

I could not put such ugly binders on such a pretty little piece of furniture so I decorated them…yes I indeed spend part of an afternoon when I could/should have been doing laundry cutting out little pieces of shelf paper, adding stickers, left over from my calendar project, and slipping (actually wrestling) them into the edges of the ugly binders.

Credenza binders paper stickers

Aren’t these fun? They almost make going over the budget something I would look forward to…almost.

And as if I didn’t already have better things to do, I decided the ‘Cars’ binder which holds all of our maintenance records for all of our cars dating back to 1992 (yes he is that organized) I decided to jazz it up even more with hubby’s favorite car…’58 Corvette anyone?

Credenza binders corvette 58

And wait…

Credenza drawer folders paper

Matching paper in the drawer!  I may not be as organized as hubby but I lay a mean shelf paper!

So there you have it, my first white piece of furniture, my first credenza, but certainly not my last piece of re-purposed furniture.

You see I have 3 more pieces of old furniture waiting for me in hubby’s garage…sorry sweetie, I’ll get them out soon!

If you want I’ll just skip the laundry and get right to them…really I would do that for you…I love you that much!

Credenza chair paint old

Although next time I think I’m going to go for plum, or moss…or melon!  A girl can only do so much white!

So what about you?  White or Colored…Cream or Fuchsia…Chalk or Italian Olive?

Kim can also be found at the inadvertent farmer where she raises organic fruits, veggies, critters, kids, and…a camel!

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I must admit to a slight obsession.  I love glass containers.  I especially love old blue glass containers…

You know the ones our grandma’s had!

I use them for all kind of storage.  I have one in my sewing room with old buttons in it.  But I mostly use them to store food in.  This one is destined to store orzo.  I think the little glass lids are just too cool!

Beautiful, simple and made to last!  I find them in antique stores, second-hand stores and at garage sales.  They are great for storing things that you buy in smaller quantities, like chocolate chips.

Since I have switched to exclusively storing in glass everything except my very large bulk items like grains I have had to figure out how to label all my containers.  I wanted something that could easily be changed.  I have tried the making tape and marker labels but hated the sticky residue it left.  I tried paper labels but they got torn.  I finally hit upon something that works great for me…chalkboard paint.  It is inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to apply.

If you have a smooth clean glass container it is as simple as masking off…I purposely wanted the edges uneven so I ripped the tape down the middle.

Apply the tape…

Just a little side note, it is easier to do with your jars empty.  I of course did not heed this bit of my own advice and did it to a jar full of  rolled oats…proceeded to forget them out overnight, it rained and I had to be creative with using up this many oats in a very short period of time as they got damp.  So try for an empty jar…and a sunny day!

Apply your first coat of paint…

I learned that I needed 3 coats of paint for this project.  I also learned that I needed to remove the tape after the first coat was dried.  If you left it on for all three coats when you removed it tended to peel up the paint.  Since I wanted a ‘rustic’ edge anyway painting coats 2 and 3 freehand was not problem.

I also painted each coat in a different direction, vertical, horizontal, and then vertical again to get a crosshatch look otherwise you tended to notice the brush strokes more.

Let dry well and voila!

Jars that have easily changed labels that hold up to hand washing and just are fun!

I have found glassware that is made in the USA by at a few shops in the big city but for me I get mine on amazon.com, I hate driving to the big city.  They are made by Anchor Hocking and for the very large jars like I store my oats in you will pay $23.95.  

 My airtight jars are from Ikea they were not expensive but they are made in China…I am on the lookout for domestically made glass that is also airtight and easy to open and close.  If I find it I will pass it along.

So next time you are at a garage sale keep your eye out for some great glass jars, they will be a great addition to your food storage plan!

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