Monday, April 28, 2014

~a curb-side attraction~

One of the organizations that I belong to, recently held a large fundraiser.    Members were given an opportunity to participate in a trash-to-treasure contest, where the “transformed” articles would be donated and placed in a silent auction.  The monies raised would go to the organization, but there were prizes to be given for the item bringing the highest bid and also for the item which fetched the most bids.

When I received the announcement about the contest, I got very excited. Being the thrifty crafter that I am, I knew I had to enter.  For weeks I pondered on what project I could tackle that might create a bit of interest.  I truly was at a loss.  Sometimes I work well under pressure, but other times, not.  My competitive nature was causing me to have a serious case of “artist cramp”.

One day while making our way to the zoo for a Saturday outing, my DH spotted a curb full of tossed “treasures”.  It’s still funny to me that he saw the loot before I did. (it was actually a couple of streets off the road that we were traveling on).  He made a u-turn so that he could get me to my “watering hole” where I could do a little “shopping”.  Amid the true trash, I found a bentwood chair, a most tacky shell-encrusted mirror and a pitiful little red wobbly shelf.  DH helped me load my stash and off we went.  At the time that I got the goodies, I had no plans for them.  I never usually do.  I mainly like the feel of getting something for free and knowing that I saved it from adding to the volume at our local city dump.

My newly rescued items sat untouched in our garage for several weeks.  I considered using the mirror for my trash-to-treasure entry, but dismissed the idea because I didn’t feel that I could to anything to it to create a “WOW” factor.

Then one day, while backing out of the garage to go to work, my eyes fell upon my humble red shelf with new interest.  I caught a “vision” for it, which gave me hope that I would be able to have an entry in the contest after all.

My first step was to try and “stabilize” my piece.  The elements had obviously gotten the best of my little wooden shelf.  Most folks would have left this pitiful thing in the garbage, but I was determined to give it new life.

I invested in a tub of wood filler and began pressing large amounts of the tan paste into the deep divots with a putty knife.  By the time I finished filling all the crevices, I think it ended up sporting more wood filler than original wood.  

In some areas the wood began to swell, so I got out my handy grips and braced it.

Next came the electric sander.  I tired to get as smooth of a surface as possible, which was difficult considering all the filler that I had to add.

I just so happened to have four wooden balls in my craft closet.  They had a flat edge to them, which made them perfect candidates for feet for my project.  I used wood glue to attach them.  One “foot" required the addition of a dowel for security, as the surface that I was trying to glue it to was solely wood filler.  It worked perfectly!  Thank goodness for all the “training” that I got in my dad’s workshop as a youngster.

One day, while driving home from work, I spotted some long pieces of wood lying in the middle of the road.  They appeared to be just what I needed for my soon-to-be bunk bed.  I made a quick u-turn, pulled along side the median, turned on my flashers, hopped out of the car and snagged the timbers.  

It’s times like this that I get so excited.  The project was beginning to come together very nicely.  

After a little sawing and sanding, I nailed my side rails to the top loft of my doll bed.


A few coats of paint later...

With the structural work behind me, it was time to tackle the textile part of my project.

I already had, in my stash of material, the perfect mix of colors and patterns for the bedding.

With a little stitching and stuffing, I made some mattresses

Then came the sheets

Some pillows

A comforter and a coverlet

My finished baby doll bunk bed.  I just love how it turned out. It was ready to be turned in for the silent auction.  I will admit, I was a little nervous about it.  What if no one bid on it?

My daughter and I went the evening of the fundraiser.  I told her to go take a peek at my entry.  I was tickled when she told me that it had already gathered a few bids.  I was satisfied knowing that someone wanted it; maybe for their daughter or for their granddaughter. My efforts were not in vain, thank goodness.

I received a phone call a few days after the fundraiser notifying me that my entry had come in first place!  

My humble little doll bed brought in the most bids. 

WOW, was I excited!!!

I was awarded a gift certificate to a local spa (actually the very place that I get my hair cut-so that was cool) 
a gift certificate to a fine dining establishment

I’m ready for my next project.  Bring her on...

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