Friday, October 28, 2011

Reclaimed wood...

I spent a week in September visiting my daughter in Northern CA.  Oh, the plans we had!  Console tables, shoe cabinets, rustic tables, too many things to recall right now!  AND WE DIDN'T BUILD ONE OF THOSE THINGS!  We were busy, though.  

Let me back up a bit.  My daughter and son-in-law (the "loggers" from here on out, LD and LSIL will be your individual tags!) bought their house 10 years ago.  It was one 1100 square feet of what I think is called "HUD housing".  Very basic, cheap materials.  The floors tilted and squeaked horribly.  The rooms were so tiny.  But, they soon filled it with kids and all the stuff that comes with kids.  

Back in 2007 they had an opportunity to do a major addition to their home; plans were drawn up and approved to more than double the size of their house.  They now have 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, a beautiful modern kitchen, and fairly large living dining area.  My WH did a great deal to help them complete their home.  He installed cabinets, put up crown moulding and door trim, hung doors, and did a bulk of the painting.  He also built and installed custom closet organizers.  But, they were pretty basic, just lots of shelving and double rods.  We all know, kids suck up space!  So, while I was at Christy's I moved rods around so that kids could easily get to their hanging clothes, added additional storage in the closet for toys, and built drawers to fit into those existing closet organizers.  

Things are sometimes a bit more expensive in their little Northern CA town, including lumber.  They also carry different types and cuts of wood than I am used to using down here in Southern CA.  Since the loggers are frugal and have all sorts of wood available, my LSIL and I went on a hunt for 3/4" lumber.  I was excited to find lots of it that I felt certain would work for our needs.  

I learned while making these drawers, that using reclaimed lumber takes a great deal more work than just buying something from the local lumberyard.  Some of it had been stored in an outdoor shed and was filthy and had signs of mold.  It wasn't all straight either!  I spend a great deal of time sanding the boards to remove the dirt and mold, and just to make it safe for the little hands (and not so little hands) that would be pulling and pushing these drawers every single day!  The result isn't very pretty - I call them rustic looking.  But, they work and hold tons of PJs, underwear and socks, and lots of summer shorts.

 These are in Bobby and Jack's closet.  The extra toy storage faces these drawers.  They have huge closets!

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These large drawers are in Brook's closet.  We also added some storage in a niche that faces these.  We used laundry baskets on wooden runners that we attached to the walls.  One of those large baskets hold all of Brook's shoes, the other holds her capris and shorts.

I started another project while I was there, but was unable to finish it.  I'm hoping to finish that when I'm visiting for the holidays.  It's a neat thing, and something LD really wants.  I hope to have pictures of it to post soon.

It was a great week.  The kids were so excited to be able to reach their hanging clothes and have real drawers to put their clothes into.  They don't have dressers in their rooms because the dresser tops just seem to be holders for everything! My LD says that the kids are doing pretty well at keeping their closets neat - that's a huge plus!  Good job, kids!  

Love you and see you soon.
PS:  (I'll give you fair warning so you have time to spiff things up for Grandma!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Funny thing about old age...

Don never could bring himself to say he was old - he would even say "I'm 61 years of age", never "I'm 61 years OLD".  I used to think that was funny.  I still think it was a funny way of saying your age!   But, I can relate to not feeling old.  I usually don't even think about my age.  But, recently I've noticed that there are times I feel my age.  Especially when I've been pushing and pulling and lifting and moving the heavy pieces that I'm working on.  For example, consider the day bed I'm currently working on.

I know it doesn't look like much right now, but these pieces will sit next to each other to form a platform that is 72" long X 30 inches deep X 19" high.  By building it in three pieces I can, without assistance, get this into a small space.  Then, an upholstered foam mattress will make this a daybed that my good friend, Judi, can use for her little grandchildren to sleep on when they're visiting.

These things are heavy!  They each have a drawer and those are heavy, too.  Put them together and believe me, I'm struggling to move those suckers!  I have to remind myself to use my legs to lift and to push not pull!