Saturday, August 11, 2012

From Brass to Silver with Rub 'n Buff

It has been a long two weeks.  Ken is fine.  He had a very mild heart attack that was a blessing in disguise.  He was 90 - 95% blocked in the old stent from his first (bad) heart attack 8 years ago.  If it had been much longer, he could have had another bad one.

They put a new drug-coated stent inside the old one.  It is supposed to fool the body and keep the stent from plugging up.  There was no damage to the heart this time, so he was able to return to work on light duty this week.  Thank you all for you concern and prayers.

Before all this happened I had organized painting and moving crews to help a single mom with 8 kids get out of a bad situation.  They had a new home to move into, but it needed a lot of work.  I felt so bad when I couldn't be there to help the first week, but of course, my place was with Ken.

This past week I spent two 12 hour days and one 8 hour day painting.  Several others helped while I was gone, stripping tons of wallpaper and painting.  One woman, who is incredibly talented, became the "foreman" of the job, and spent hours stripping wallpaper, mudding and sanding walls, and painting.  She and I finished up most of it yesterday.

I haven't had much time to clean house, but the boys helped me today, so we got everything done except dusting.  I'm exhausted.  It's going to be a few days before I'm ready to tackle any big projects.  Our daughter, Jamie, will be home tomorrow.  She finished up her research scholarship program and will have about 3 weeks to be home.  I can't wait!  I'll be taking some time to spend with her while she is here.

I found pictures of a project that I did last winter, but never shared.  It's not my greatest transformation, but is a great way to transform brass or other metal.  Basically I used my finger to apply silver and black Rub 'n Buff to these brass horse bookends.  After they dried I used a rag to polish them to a shine.  Sorry for the poor quality pictures.  I've gotten a little better with my camera since these were taken.

On the right is the original brass.  The left one has been treated to two coats of silver Rub 'n Buff.

I smooshed black  Rub 'n Buff  into the edges and crevices of the horses, let it dry for a minute or two, then rubbed most of it back off.

You can see how the black brought out the details in these two photos.

Here is one all polished up.  I'm liking the silver better than the brass.  These were a wedding present from my Aunt and Uncle.  I've enjoyed them many years, but was ready for a change.  

Have a great weekend my friends.  I'm zoning out!

I've linked this post to these great parties:

Saturday, August 4, 2012

My Granite Find!

It is good to be home!  We got home yesterday afternoon.  Ken is doing great, and there was no further damage to his heart.  He can go back to work next week on light duty for a couple of weeks.

I slept nine hours last night and my caboose was still dragging all day.  Of course 93 degree weather didn't help!  Hopefully another good nights rest will get me back into my rhythm.

Once I knew Ken was going to be fine, I had a several hours to kill before I could check into Munson Manor, which is the hospitality house for Munson Medical Center.  It is a wonderful place, with such nice volunteers.  This was my third time there.  Anyway, Ken wanted to sleep and I needed to get lunch and some food for my stay.  After lunch at McDonald's (they have wifi), I looked up thrift stores in the area.  I found a Habitat Restore nearby, so I decided to go there.

It was more than twice the size of our local Restore.  I found some great old pieces of wood to make some signs, then I stumbled across a pile of granite tiles.  There were 14 square foot tiles.  I was ecstatic!  It is just enough to cover a counter that is between our kitchen and living room.  The laminate on it is chipped and ugly.  I keep it covered with a cloth, but wanted to someday put a new top on it.

My project list just grew...again.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Aging An Old Ladder

I am writing this in the wee hours of the morning, from my husbands hospital room.  He had a mild heart attack Tuesday night.  I took him to ER and they put him in ICU because of his past history. The next morning they took him to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, MI.  I can't say enough about the excellent care here.  They were awesome when he had his big heart attack 8 years ago, and it's even better now.

He had a 90 - 95% blockage in the old stent.  Having a very small heart attack turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  If it had blocked any further, he could have had another massive heart attack.

We will be here for a few days.  I'm "sleeping" in his room tonight (yeah right).  We are wide awake right now, after some middle of the night procedure.  Ken's watching the Olympic gymnastics, so here I am.  I tackled this project last week, and just haven't had time to blog about it.  Hopefully my sleep deprived, middle of the night rambling won't be too garbled.

I love old ladders, especially the non-folding type.  So when I came across this one at a yard sale for $5 I snatched it up.  Someone had stained it a very dark brown that looked almost black, but I knew I could fix that.

 Look at that poor grass.  We have had some rain since then, and it is slowly greening up, but not fully yet.  I wanted the ladder to look more gray and worn.  It was already worn, but that stain had ruined any beautiful patina it had developed.

I love the look of this ladder from Mia's Interior.  In fact you should go see her blog.  It is breath taking!  But before you do that, just stick with me a minute ok?  Cause I really, really want to show you mine :)

First I brushed gray primer on the whole ladder.  My huge bucket of primer will probably last my lifetime, so you will hear me reference it a lot on this blog.  I just had Home Depot mix as much black tint in a 5 gallon bucket of Kilz as would fit.

After that dried, I used a cheap brush to dry brush on some white paint.  I just barely dipped the tip of my brush in the paint, then dabbed most of it off on the upturned lid,

 then dabbed even more off on a scrap of wood,

until my brush looked like this.

In the corners of the rungs, I used a very dry brush, after already painting a portion of the side rails, so I didn't get a build up of paint in the corners.

Here's what it looks like in the middle of the process.

I intended to use this in my craft room, but we will see.  It may end up in the office instead.  We've made a little more progress in the craft room.  The framing is finished.  I don't have pictures yet, or I would show you, even though it still just an ugly room.  At least it is now a room...well sort of.  You can still walk through the walls :)

I think I'm going to lay back down for a bit and see if I can sleep at all.  Night all.



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