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Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic

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I am always amazed at what I find at garage sales.  At the time I was at my latest garage sale, our house was being inspected so I wasn’t sure if the house would pass.  I had already told myself we were killing time, not buying.  I did pretty well… except for two milk glass mugs and a wooden bowl until I spied something I had never seen before.  It looked like a desk, and I could tell it was old, but what  clinched it for me was the fact that it expanded to become a six foot long table.  What in the world?  The leaves were missing but I had to have it for my long hoped for my craft/ Murphy bed room I am planning at our new spot.  When the bed is set up the table can collapse to be a bench.  

   
  

   

  

  

The price on the desk thing was $25.00, and I couldn’t resist. 

When I got home I started checking online to see what I had.  It took some searching but I finally found it.  Saginaw Furniture Company Expand-O-Matic.  It was probably from the late 40’s or early 50’s. They changed the name to Expandway later but I love the older name.

They were made for New York apartments and were sold up until the 60’s.  The top drawer is lined  and divided to hold silverware.  Apparently the morning mini home market has made these cool again and these puppies are selling for $600.00 complete.

  
Mine is going to get stainable leaves.  The top and leaves will be dark walnut..  The base is going to be painted teal.  I already have the perfect chair for it when it is a desk.

  
Here are some shots from Etsy.  All I could find were sold. 

   
I wish I had those leaves but we should be able to do something that looks nice.

  

  

Mine only expands 6 feet.

 

I also am changing jobs so the suitcase wall will be moving into the craft room along with the sewing cabinet.  As soon as the leaves are done and the Murphy bed built, the room will be done.  This may be the easiest room to put together at the house.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Blessings,

Karen

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Weekend Finds

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Saturday, before I found out that The sale of our near the lake house fell through, I took off in search of treasures for the home we hope to purchase.  (It is funny how attached I am to that place.  If it doesn’t work out I expect sympathy cards ūüėä) My buddy, the social planner, and I took off in search of treasures mainly for the Guest Shed and the outdoor kitchen.  

Our first spot was my honey hole.  A church thrift store where a ton of my treasures came from. 

At the honey hole I spotted these two mid century pieces.  

An iconic pink swan planter.  I picked up this one in perfect condition for 50 cents.  A succulent is going in it out in the guest shed.  What a fun piece.

   

A vintage bamboo planter. Shawnee Pottery is very popular. I like the subtle color of green.  I especially liked it for 25 cents.  I am planning to put some sort of succulent in it, too.  

   

 

My final purchase at this stop was a small white pitcher.  I collect them.  I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to pass them up. It was 50 cents.  

  

Our next stop was new to me but I loved it and will be going back. 

Two etched glass mirrors.  The rectangular one will be going in the guest shed bathroom and one will be part of a mirror wall going in the guest bathroom in the main house. ( I have a mirror problem.) I hope it looks something like this photo I found on Pinterest.

  

The link to the picture is broken or I would provide the source.

 I picked these two beauties up for 3 dollars each.  I know what you are thinking.  I absolutely take the worst photos of mirrors.

   

   

The social planner spotted this cream and sugar set in the most amazing teal color for me. I got them for another 3 bucks.  

  

The social planner found stuff at the first stop too, then found a teapot to match her dishes and a salt glaze cow pitcher.  Her stuff was a little pricey but was a steal for what she was getting.  At check out she found out it was a cash only spot. We pooled resources to get her treasures.  After she checked out she spied an awesome walnut mid century side table for me.  It was marked 20 dollars but the owner offered it to me for 15.  We reminded her that we didn’t have another  15 dollars between us.  She asked if we could scrape up 10 and we were able to cobble it together. I love having a buddy who enjoys shopping at the same places I do.  I also love that she and I are good enough friends that we are able to share resources. 

   

   

     

By the time I got pictures of her treasures she already had them working. 

The clean lines on the table will be perfect in the guest shed just as it is with a little waxing.  I am getting excited about the treasures I am collecting for this space.

   

 

Our next stop was a church garage sale.  We picked up 4 gallon sized glass jars for 50 cents each.  They are going to be squirrle feeders.  Our hubbies are going to make the four of them. One for each of our houses and one eac for gifts.  I am thinking my grand dog needs one so she can have squirrels to chase in her yard.

Finally, we stopped at a church bazaar where we literally had to collect coins in order to buy two old colanders for an upcoming craft night.

All in all it was a great time shopping.

On the way home the social planner got busy looking up what we purchased.  Here is what we would have paid online for the items:

I guess if this whole selling the house thing falls through, I can start selling my treasures!

   

          

  

  

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

If you are new to my site, welcome.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

Blessings,

Karen 

My Most Popular Posts

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Well hello there.  If you are new to the blog, welcome.

In the last week I have a lot of new friends who have chosen to follow my little bitty minnow of a blog  Thank you for choosing to follow along.

It is winter here in southeast Texas. That means high humidity, rain, and lots of days I am not able to do any furniture work. Add to that my full time job is at its busiest an that adds up to not much getting accomplished.  The garagemahal is loaded with projects just waiting for a warm sunny day to come along.

I thought you might enjoy some of the most popular posts that you might have missed in the past. ¬†If you are one of my long-time followers, indulge me as I take a walk down memory lane. ¬†ūüôā If you click on the underlined writing¬† by each number it will take you directly to the post about the piece.

1. Mudroom Bench ( You probably found me through this piece but I am including it just in case you found me some other way.)

Finished Mudroom Bench

2. Beverage Station ( Old sewing cabinet and stainless sink make parties more fun.)

beverage station 1

3. Green End Table Makeover (Yes, Virginia, there is a Junk Fairy.  From time to time she drops things off at our house.)

Junk Fairy End Table

4. Buffet Table¬†(My son’s favorite piece.)

buffet table

I hope that each and every one of you is inspired to look at furnishings differently and see the potential in even junk pieces.

(There may be a treasure hiding in there.)

Have a wonderful day.  I love hearing from you.

Blessings,

Karen

100 Thousand Thanks

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Ever since I started blogging,¬†¬†I have stopped¬†25 thousand page views to look over what happened since we started. I just¬†hit 100,000 page views. ¬†I had not been paying much attention to the stats so this one was a bit of a surprise. ¬† It used to take a long time to reach 25 thousand page views. I mean a really long time. This time took 5 months. I was worried that in the last five months I wouldn’t have much to show you guys. It felt to me like we were sort of stuck and not getting a lot done. The kids moved out of the country, the garage¬†is full of unfinished projects, school got started, life happened.

When I actually looked back over the last five months , I was pleasantly surprised. We got a little more done than I remembered.

My favorites from the last five months are below.  If you click on the link below each picture it will take you to that actual blog, complete with DIY and pictures.

Our biggest project was updating our suburban bathroom and figuring out how to get that restoration hardware weathered wood look on a dresser.  Board and batten, cool shelf, zinc finished towel rack and chandelier made to look like wood beads.

bathroom makeover

Bathroom Makeover

beautiful chandelier

Chandelier

The next big thing was creating a fun office at work that included a reclaimed wood wall, suitcase wall and a giant marquee letter.

suitcase shelves

Suitcase Wall

We made one of my favorite benches from a queen sized bed.

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Bench

We finally got started on our pile of cedar and are making headway with projects there.  My favorite so far is a cedar barn door.

close up of the door

Cedar Barn Door

I repurposed a 1980’s dresser hutch top to look go with our green buffet table. ¬†I now have a place to display my milk glass that makes sense.

hutch on table

Hutch

I worked off and on for a while on a funky dresser that is now 99% complete.  I love the look of this piece that is going to be an entertainment center.

funky dresser

Funky Dresser

I tried my hand at painting fabric.

lime green legs

Painted Fabric Chair

and finally…

I enjoyed making a rustic Christmas mantle.

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Rustic Deer Head

Not too bad for a “slow” few months. Being a weekend country girl is a great life. ¬†I am blessed to have the opportunities that I have.

Thank you all so much for joining my husband and me on this empty-nest, third quarter adventure. Repurposing furniture and blogging has helped me to stay active and has enlarged my circle of friends.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and travel with us on this adventure. We have a lot in store and look forward to the future.

I love to hear from you,

Blessings,

Karen

The Finished Funky Dresser

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Painting furniture in the Garagemahal during a southeast Texas winter is tough. It is either too cold or too humid to dream of painting. I usually take on smallish projects that I can finis in the house during winter. This fall I found a dresser that I wanted to turn into an unusual entertainment center. It was $20.00 at Huntsville Goodwill. It is a 1950’s wooden dresser that probably went in a boy’s room.

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I had been looking for something to turn into a funky dresser after finding this dresser a year ago at the Mainstreet America Christmas home tour.  It was over a thousand dollars but it was so cool.

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The dresser was originally destined for my brother in law and sister in law’s ¬†new house near us. It took me so long to surprise them with the piece done that they already bought a beautiful entertainment center out of whiskey barrel oak.

I wasn’t sure what I would do with it at this point, until I sanded the top corner. There it was: “I love e b”. My hubby’s first and middle name begins with e and b. ( In his family he goes by Eddie Ben.) ¬†I knew it would have to be something that would end up with us.

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I struggled with what to do with each drawer and redid three of the drawers at least twice, one of them three times.

I determined that I did not want to spend much on this project. I have a large collection of hardware, a pile of paint and everything needed to give the wood a weathered finish like the inspiration piece. A bonus is that the colors on the piece will be colors I already like and have in my home.

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What you see above is just a small sample of the hardware I have. Notice how many of the pieces I photographed I actually used in the final shot.

Saturday afternoon the skies cleared, the humidity dropped and I had about two hours to work.

The dresser went from looking like this Saturday …

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To this by mid-day, Sunday.

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I glazed the turquoise because it was a little too bright for the rest of the piece after this photo and I added  a license plate and some letters.  I am not sure it is finished but it is coming along.

Soon, I will tell you where I hope it gets to go.

Here are a few close up shots I took after adding the license plate from 1969 that we found in the dirt at my husband’s family farm. ¬†The numbers are the year of his birth and the S ¬†is our last name initial.

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Did you notice I used a different license plate than what I pulled originally? ¬†I decided that I wanted to use the one with browns and yellows. ¬†It is great that I have options. ¬†I collected quite a few plates from my husband’s farm.

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I love it. ¬†I am proud that I did this almost all by myself. ¬†I cut trim, drilled holes, selected colors, and rethought it when I wasn’t happy. ¬†I did have a meltdown on the white bottom corner “drawer” (it is actually one long drawer made to look like two) and had to get help on that one. ¬†I could not get the trim to line up. ¬†Thanks, Hubby.

All in all I have less than $10.00 in supplies in the dresser along with the $20.00 investment for the dresser I think it turned out well.

Funky Dresser dresser with different drawer colors painted mulitcolored dresser

I have a random bunch of french provincial hardware that I would love to do a little girl’s dresser with one day. ¬†The possibilities are exciting.

Thanks for reading my blog.

I would love to hear what you think about my funky dresser.

Blessings,

Karen

Suitcase Shelf Wall

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When I took the job as principal in the suburban city we moved to there just was not time to do much to my office, which before I came on board was a storage closet.  Yes, I felt pretty special, but in the rapidly growing district I work in, I am thilled to have a space at all.

The “office” was the most awful institutional blue color with very little light. The light situation probably had something to do with the fact it was never designed to have someone working in the space.

I did what I could  (not much) last summer then got busy opening a school.

This summer I had a little more time to work on making the space more inviting. The finished office is coming soon.

Today, it is all about my suitcase wall.

I have wanted to do this wall somewhere since I first spotted it on PInterest two years ago. The long blank wall in my office seemed to be he perfect location.

First, I collected suitcases.

I had the blue suitcase in my stash and planned to use it once day to make another chalkboard. I paid two dollars for it at a thrift store.

I found the dark green travel case at Goodwill for $2.99 a while back, the alligator suitcase was in rough shape. I bought it for $5.00 off Craig’s List. I got impatient to get the wall done so when I spotted two suitcases at a local resale shop, I paid too much. I got the last two suitcases ( a hat box and a leather men’s suitcase) for $50.00. I know what you are thinking. Yes, I did pay too much….but I wanted them and the blank wall was staring at me.

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All in I have $60.00 invested in suitcases. Not bad for a whole wall of joy.

Hubby chopped each suitcase in half on the table saw. No pictures of that part. I was at work when he got that done.

suitcase for wall cut suitcases

I then ripped out all the loose lining.

We cut boards to fit inside the suitcases to make a support frame.

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Here they are all stacked with the wood inside.

I laid them all out on the floor in the office to decide where I wanted them to go, then got busy taping it out on the wall. Toggle bolts went into each wall board. The top board was screwed to the top of each wall board, and then small side pieces were attached with the air nailer.

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bracket for suitcase toggle bolts into brackets

We slid each suitcase over the wooden support then used screws to attach it to the wood. (Air nailing would have been easier and less noticeable but I want to take these puppies with me when I retire in a few short years.)

suitcases on wall suitcase wall

Here it is all finished and dressed up!

I cannot wait to get the office  looking the way I see it in my head.

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Let me know what you think of my version of a suitcase  wall.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Blessings,

Karen

A Quick and Easy Thrift Store Chest Makeover

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If you are too busy to read my wordy post today I put a quick DIY with photos at the bottom of the page.

My brother in law and sister in law built a home recently in Durango, Colorado.

Durango Home

In case you are counting, this is home number four for them. We stayed at their vacation home in Costa Rica over spring break,

boca raca

boca raca condo

they have a beautiful, huge hilltop home in Austin that is currently for sale,

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and are building a new home in one of my favorite small cities near our home in Montgomery, Texas.

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Their plan is to live in Durango half the year and in Montgomery the other half. They rent out the Costa Rica home most of the year but visit frequently. It is a tough life, but someone has to do it.

When they moved into the home in Durango three weeks ago, they literally moved up to the 2600 sq ft home with what fit in a UHaul and their car. We arrived for a visit to find that they didn’t have things like mixing bowls, or an egg turner, or spoon rest. They have been so busy getting settled in that cooking wasn’t high on the list. ¬†They were also a little short on furniture. They had purchased or brought beds, two couches, chairs, barstools, a dining table an outdoor bench, and a bookcase. I was proud that they had been shopping at local resale and thrift shops for items and had purchased a few accessories at the shops. I think I may be wearing them down… a little bit.

What they did not have were end tables and coffee tables in their main room or the upstairs den. We set out shopping for stuff our first day there. They took us to the shops that they like. I liked the stores, too. They were unique and interesting pieces, but wowser, the tables were very expensive. Like $900 to $1200 per table expensive. I would much rather spend that money on supplies and thrift store furniture and a whole lot more.

When I saw a little $20.00 solid pine toy chest that had several of the most unfortunate paint jobs, I knew it would work as a coffee table with some love. It was painted with a really thin blotchy black color. Someone along the way had painted it white, and there was also an attempt at painting flowers on the chest with red streaks.

The steps are simple:

Strip down to smooth, but not bare wood. Wipe it all down and get clean.  I used Lysol wipes.

This had to happen so I could knock down the thick ridges from the painted flowers. I used Citristrip on the whole thing to knock off the black layer and then focused on the flowers. (As usual, I forgot a before picture.) Here it is with the first layer off:

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Spray paint the whole chest. I sprayed the chest twice, letting it dry completely between coats. The paint color was Rustoeum Seaside.

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This is a project I did on the fly with very limited supplies or space. All the spray paint work was done across the street in a vacant lot because the valley where the house is located was windy and the thought of getting turquoise paint on the car or house was scary.

Not a bad view while I worked.  I understand why they have moved to Durango.

Sand away at the paint, following the wood-grain.  You will know the paint you are sanding is dry if what you are sanding off looks like chalk dust. I hand sanded using this awesome sanding block with a handle. (You can see the sander in the box to the left of the chest.)

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In some places go all the way to bare wood and in others go down through paint to the colors below.

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Once I was pleased with the amount of sanding, I stopped. There is no magic formula.

Once I wiped it all down again I rubbed in glaze mixed with dark brown latex paint. The gaze to paint ratio was about three parts glaze to one part paint.

I used a dampish cotton cloth to literally rub it in. It did not take very much at all with each coat.  It took two coats for me to be happy with the look.

I rubbed it down with paste wax when I was finished to give it a luster.

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Here it is finished.  I really like the look.  All in all it cost about $20.00 in supplies which were all bought at a pretty small Walmart so they are readily available.

 

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