Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shelf to Shoe Cubby

Being stuck indoors for the most part this winter was "project prime time". I was painting, cleaning and dreaming during the seemingly long January & February months. One project that I am especially proud of (if I may say so) was the transformation of an old book shelf into a hip, versatile and useful shoe cubby! 

This all wood, well made book shelf housed a plethora of dust along with books, photo negatives and other old belongings. I believe you can still buy shelves like this one at A.C. Moore...just in case you want to make your own shoe cubby project! Emptied and cleaned up, it was aching to be given a second life.

So, I had an idea! Turn that shelf on its side, and what does it kinda look like? The needed shoe solution for my lovely daughter and her new fiance. If I add feet I told her, paint it and build a top would you think twice about it? Smiling, she said sure Mom....go for it! Then on a beach walk (yes, I tried to get out there as often as the weather allowed) I found my inspiration. The large chunk of weathered pressure treated wood. Perfect idea for the top–a picnic bench like seat!

Initially I could not find any wood that had rounded edges and would fit the 11.5 inch top so I took a defiant gulp and said I am not stopping now! I have this project halfway done! Onward to the basic pine, buy 3 pieces (one wider to make the fit) take out the sander and produce my own! Luckily it was a sunny day and the sanding of all edges did not take too long. A few purposeful swipes of the sander, a hammer, screw and hyde produced the weathered, banged up look I was aiming for. Two colors of stain and it was a close match to the inspiration piece.

The top was initially glued on with wood glue while the screw holes for the feet were patched. Semi-gloss black was the chosen color and finish to hide inevitable dirt from shoes and boots!

The top was then nailed on with shiny aluminum roofing nails to add interest along with their obvious job of holding the top in place.

Finished in the basement...soon to be delivered to its new home.

Finally, the cubby in place with a few happy recipients! The bench is perfect for sitting while removing boots & shoes. Overall, they were astonished with the outcome!

Oscar immediately claimed this bench as his own...

while Sally doesn't quite fit or doesn't feel the need to join her "brother".  Next time around Sal I will make you a special piece of furniture, I promise! Now onto the next project....hmmm.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Making the Best of the Blizzard

All inconveniences aside, the storm dubbed Nemo was quite the blizzard with a blizzard of awesome images on facebook, the news and every place you looked. I couldn't help but try my own hand in capturing the wrath, the beauty and the power of Mother Nature.

It started out strong. By about 8:30 am on Friday, February 8th there was already a good covering. A very dark and stormy sky warned of what was to follow.

Drifting began early on...so we watched, we shoveled what we could and we waited.

Night fall brought questions as to just how much are we talking now? The real storm had yet to begin as far as weather forecasts were concerned.

It's 5 am on this Saturday and the regular plow isn't rushing in....we woke to find a winter wonderland that was wayyyy beyond all expectations! Nurse Claire was ready early for the shift she was scheduled and we all got to shoveling in high hopes a plow just might be on the way. This drift hides (very nicely I might add) my car!

Winter Willie was having a blast while we wiggled our way down the street to see if any cross roads had been plowed. Claire stayed dressed in scrubs for quite some time still oping to get into work. No such luck. We were just snowbound all day Saturday.

Drifted snow made some unique shapes while our little Cedar Chalet hung on for dear life. I was very surprised this little structure in our backyard survived the storm!

While the sun was shining on Sunday I ventured out and my destination was as always, the beach. Soft drifts with magnificent markings, water reflecting the blue sky and gentle waves lapping the shore were all breathtaking (and so was the thigh high snow that I trudged through). I think between shoveling and walking I can truly say I experienced the storm to the best of my physical ability! Now it is time to let it melt.