I went with a friend Friday to the Old School House Antique mall in Washington, Louisiana. Always a fun experience. If you have never been, you should check them out sometime. They have a cafe as well, so you can go and spend the day hunting for treasure and stop and have a bite to eat when you are ready for a break.
I was looking for vintage commercial wood spools and bobbins for a large jar on my living room mantel. I managed to find some and bought 19! Yay! I was very excited about that. I also picked up some anchor motif gold vintage buttons from Woolworth for some of my crafty projects. But, as evidenced by my blog post title, my biggest score of the day was a 1970s Smith and Corona manual typewriter. A lot of my online scrapbook friends own typewriters and they are definitely making a comeback across several different demographic groups, but I have been personally very skeptical about the practicality of owning a typewriter. I wondered how people stored them and if its worth the bother of getting it out to use. If you leave it out, how much room does it take up? Just a few random things that have crossed my mind.
I saw this little portable typewriter in its case and decided to check it out.
All of the keys except 2 worked. The carriage return drug a little bit and the keys were slightly gummed up. I decided that I would give the little typewriter a try and purchased it for $30 that was more than what I wanted to pay for something I knew would have to be fixed and ultimately may not work, but $30 was the lowest she would go. SOLD!! (To a sucker maybe? Lol)
I brought it home and researched cleaning it. Before I purchased it, I did look online (love smart phones!) to see if ribbon was available for it. I have made that mistake before. I bought a vintage camera to play with only to find out that film for it was obsolete… But that’s another story. I bought denatured alcohol and followed this tutorial on how to clean a manual typewriter, oiled the carriage wheel with a tiny, minuscule amount of sewing machine oil and plopped in a new ribbon. Steven was able to reconnect the “Q” and “2″ (my smart mechanical techie guy–love him!!!) and I fiddled with some of the arms that were bent to get them back into alignment.
Cleaning it with the alcohol helped a lot. It flushed out a lot of small dirt particles. Dust is a manual typewriter’s worst enemy. That is also the reason many restorers recommend you do not oil the key arms because oil + dust=a gummed up machine. I only put a tiny bit of oil underneath the machine on the return wheel. While that did help the carriage return move a bit more easily, I see that there is something wrong with the backspace key and that is what is causing the manual return to drag. Everything else is all shiny and it works great!!!!! I can’t manually return it (push on the lever and it go back to the ready position), so I have been working around that, but Steven is going to look at it and see if he can reconnect/fix whatever it is that is causing the carriage to be sluggish. Anyway, this is probably more information than you wanted to know!!!
Annnnnnd…. Here is how it types:
I have already put it to use for my scrapbook. This so much fun! It should be illegal.
I have been on the lookout for some fabric to make some kitchen shades. I wanted something unique and colorful. I happened upon some upholstery fabric at a local fabric store that I fell in love with. It took me an hour to convince myself to buy it. I was worried about breaking some type of sewing code by using upholstery fabric for window shades…lol. What convinced me though was: 1) I loved it. I am very picky and usually when I settle for something less than what I love I end up replacing it down the road; 2) it was half off; 3) Did I mention I loved it?
I came home with 6 yards for my three windows and it took me less than an hour to sew it. I am very, very, very happy with the outcome. It cost me $40 each to make. That is higher than my norm, but I could not find any that would fit my window for under $50 and they were usually a solid plain color. I really wanted pattern because the upper cabinets that are going up soon, will be a big wall of cream. I needed a focal point. Here it is with the kitchen light on and off. Even though its upholstery fabric, it filters light beautifully. In the past, I’ve toyed with the idea of not covering them at all, they are really pretty windows and let lots of light in. But, the sun goes down on that side and from about 3-5 p.m. You are just about blinded by the light without a covering which makes preparing dinner impossible. So, shades it was!
Speaking of cabinets,here is the start of them. Hoping to build the rest of the boxes this week.
My brother took the idea I had and he and Steven put together one of the front porch planters today. He cut the side slats first so I could stain and paint them. I bought 15×15 plastic plant pots to set into the planter. Here are a few pictures of us putting one together today. I still have to stain the top and feet. When I put the other three together I will take pictures and a tutorial on how we did it. Everything but the plastic liners was leftover stuff from other projects. I paid $24 for the liners at Home Depot. The side slats came from when we had to cut porch boards down to match the existing porch board size. The other pieces are left from misc. projects. The paints, stains and wood screws were leftover too.
***Update: sorry the pics are posted in reverse order. I am still trying to figure out the iPhone WordPress app. Anyway, here is our one finished planter installed on the front porch. It looked huge on the back porch, but it looks tiny on the front!
So, the upper kitchen cabinets are planned. I sketched what I wanted and measured the wall and Steven took that and measured again and calculated the amount of materials needed. Hopefully Thursday we will make our (weekly) trip to the home improvement store. To see my inspiration pics scroll down two posts for all the kitchen talk.
I found this book recently. I have had it for a while. I thought it was time to get it out and dust it off.
I want to take all of this:
And make something like this:
I want to put them:
Instead of plain wood, I have pulled some different color stains and semi transparent wood paint from other projects. I am trying to use what I have instead of it going in to a landfill somewhere. My idea is to stain or paint each piece of wood a different color.
Here are my inspiration pics:
I hope to start them this weekend. If I do, I will post some updated pics on how it turned out. Wish me luck!
I just put the last coat of poly on the dining room floor. Both rooms are finished! It took longer than I anticipated because I didn’t plan my time very well. But it is finished now!
What we did:
Cleaned the floor and sanded with 80 grit working up to 120 grit. Cleaned the floors with a dust mop, then damp mop, then tack cloth. Stained (Minwax Red Chestnut). Waited. Put on first coat of poly (Minwax fast drying poly for floors). The next weekend we sanded the first coat of poly, applied second coat of poly. Ta-da! I am very happy with it. I really didn’t want to sand in between coats, but it was definitely worth it! The first coat was really rough. It would have been ok as is, but I wanted it to have a furniture quality finish and it last for ten years or more. I sanded and put on the next coat and WOW! I can’t explain how smooth and flawless it looks. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
I am doing finishing work in the kitchen….still…haha. One day I will be finished! I painted the lower cabinets Artisan by Behr, with a top coat of Martha Stewart metallic paint in Cast Bronze. After it dries I will put a top coat of polycrylic and paint the trim dark brown. In two weeks, we will frame up and install the upper cabinets. Steven installed the counters, trim and sink this weekend. What’s left: cabinet installation, hood installation, (hopefully) new dishwasher, finishing paint, handle on laundry room door. When it is done, I will post a 360 video tour. I’m excited! Until then, the in progress pictures are below (after floor pics)
On a side note: I ordered some dark brown RIT dye to see if I can dye my red tie up shades. The red doesn’t match anymore. We shall see what happens! $2.50 for a 25 pack of dry dye versus $60 for three very cheap looking tie up brown shades or $120 for some better quality ones….hmmm…I will try the $2.50 first. If that doesn’t work….off to the store I go! It’s worth a try! Will post the results here soon whether they be good, bad or really ugly.
So, I am here again posting my inspiration pictures for the kitchen. I am going to paint my bottom cabinets a dark color and the top will be light. I liked the way that looked in these kitchens.
I wanted to work on floors today but quickly wearied of sanding the poly with a hand sander…lol
I texted my husband and asked him to bring home a floor sander. I really didn’t want to rent one again so soon, but just can’t imagine hand sanding two rooms between coats of poly. Too hard on my back, neck and knees. I will rock on with the floors tomorrow. In the mean time, I wanted to sand something, so I decided to sand, stain and refinish the front door. Here Is how it went:
I sanded using 80 grit then 120 grit until it was smooth and the old finish and flaking varnish was completely removed. I tested the stain, I liked it. Stained the doors and rubbed the Rustoleum brand Black Cherry stain into the wood grain. Waited a bit, wiped the excess stain off with a tack cloth. Took a small paint brush and put stain in the corners and small areas my rag did not reach. I wiped off any excess. According to the instructions, I let it dry an hour (actually a little bit more than that) and put a coat of polyurethane on top. Overall, I am happy with it. I hate that the screen doors close over it and you cannot see the wood, but I know it’s there!
Tomorrow: floors and kitchen work