Success!, Antiquing, VIntage, Yard Sales

Saturday Haul

Today we took Marnie’s daughter, Aryn, to a bunch of estate and garage sales so she could see how it’s done. We went to quite a few sales, but we started at one that was supposed to have been the estate of a lady who had once been an antique dealer. She had a lot of Asian art and things and Aryn found a beautiful kimono for a very reasonable price. Marnie got a few things too, and I ended up with quite a selection of goodies from that sale. And we all got quite a selection of goodies throughout the day!

One of the things I brought home from the first sale was a “grab box” full of random things for $5.00. After unboxing this box I wished I had bought all the other grab boxes they had as well! Here are the unboxing photos:

This is how it looked when I got it.

Here we go!

Red Mystery Tin

I poked it with my finger and I still don’t know what it is. The red came off on my finger, so ink pad, maybe? It seems to be Chinese.

Very cool stand-up magnifying glass for beadwork, etc.

Brand new rubber stamp shaped like a calendar.

Silver cord. I don’t know what it’s made of, but it would be great if it was conductive!

Brand new set of tiny 8mm letter stamps.

Brand new stamp pads, green and black.

Very handy file set.

Bondic. I think it’s a glue thingy? I will have to Google it.

Rub-On metallic colors. I can think of some projects I might use these on.

Scratch Removal Cloth – removes scratches from paint. Maybe I will try one on my van.

Yoku Moku tin. Probably originally contained cookies.
Kind of a tangle.
Besides the tangle of jewelry pins, a bag of jewelry pins, a nickel, a pushpin, safety pins, a tangle of gold wire, jewelry clasps, a necklace with knots in it (says “sterling” on the clasp) and some black cord.

Paint palette, I think.

Watercolor paints.

Pretty neat stuff, huh? The magnifying glass and files alone are worth much more than $5.00. If you know what is in the mystery tin, do tell!

The pièce de résistance of our day for me was this:

Finally, I got an old typewriter!! I’ve been looking for one for a long time that was in good shape and the right price. Yay!! (It’s still in the car because it weighs a ton and I need to clear a space for it before I have The Hubs bring it in.)

So a great day for estate and garage sale-ing! Success!!

Backpacking, hiking, Success!

New Boots

I got new hiking boots! I went to REI because my old Ahnus have a lot of miles on them and are looking a bit wonky, and I needed some new waterproof boots for fall, winter, and spring hiking. I was looking for a pair I saw advertised in an email I got from a different outdoor gear company, but REI didn’t have those. I tried on a pair of Altra Lone Peak mid-high shoes and although I wear regular Lone Peaks for summer/dry weather hiking, I didn’t like the mids as much. Then I decided to try a couple of other pairs and liked the La Sportiva pair. Then I tried the wide women’s size and I liked that better for the wider toe box. Then I was disappointed because they only came in brown and not black, but THEN I realized that the men’s version came in black/gray and would have a wider toe box. And THEN the lady helping me told me that she has these same shoes, and they are very grippy and she loves them. So I was sold, and I can’t wait to wear them on Friday for our hiking adventure! (And if they don’t work out, I can return them, that’s why I buy my shoes at REI!)

Ahhhh…nice, peaceful, goes-with-everything black.
Grippy Vibram soles — look at those lugs!
DIY, Furniture, Oops, Projects, Success!

Finally…Results!!

Don’t forget to read the other installments in this saga — (1), (2), and (3)!

First…my oops. I couldn’t see into the magazine pockets of the table while I was staining it outside. I had brought my flashlight out to shine into the pockets to see if I missed any spots, but its batteries were dead and I didn’t go back in and get another flashlight. When I brought the table in to the house, the light illuminated a couple of glaring spots that weren’t stained. So when I should have been applying poly, I had to spend more time staining. Arrgh!

How did I miss that?
Hard to reach area.

After I stained the entire inside of the magazine pockets I checked the table and found other places I had missed, so I went after those spots. Many of them were cracks and crevices where I had to use my thumbnail in the rag to push stain into the ridges and crannies. This was made easier, however, by the fact that after rummaging around in my sanding/refinishing bin I found a whole box of gloves that are a more normal size than the yellow ones I bought. Yay! I really need to take a good inventory before I start a project, don’t I?

See that small orange area in the crevice?
A box of gloves. They are size XL (belonged to The Hubs) but still better than the yellow ones.

I went to the TV tray to start with the poly on it but when I looked at the top there were areas where the honey oak color was peeking through the kona stain, so I wiped more stain on it and left both projects to dry AGAIN. Sigh. It’s weird, because the top of the tray was pretty much bare wood, and I don’t know how that honey oak showed through. It’s hard to get rid of, that honey oak.

Why, honey oak, why? It also looks like there are “rag strokes” on the top. SIGH.

I went out to check the projects AGAIN, and saw that the top of the table just didn’t look right. I got out the stain AGAIN, and used a slightly different method to do the top — I glopped on a ton of stain and just wiped it from end to end with the grain of the wood without leaving any stops in the middle of the top. The stain is fairly fast drying so doesn’t give much wiggle room when you are trying to get a smooth surface. WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT?!

Since by the time the stain was completely dry it was the end of the day already, I didn’t get poly put on the projects that day. Finally on Monday after my errands I put the first coat of poly on the projects. In the meantime the projects were sitting in The Hubs’s small office, which I’m sure crowded him a bit!

When I finally had time again to work on the projects, I started to wipe the poly on the TV tray. I did the top first and did the legs when I did the second coat on the top. I planned to put three coats total on the TV tray top for durability since I anticipate it will be used for food and drinks. I did a first coat on the whole magazine table, except I forgot the inside walls so I did those when I did the second coat on the top. For the magazine table, I’m only doing two coats on the top and the shelves, and one coat on the rest of it.

When applying polyurethane, you are supposed to sand with 220 grit sandpaper or fine steel wool between coats. The can of poly says it should dry in two to three hours, so I waited three hours before sanding, wiping off the sanding dust, and then adding another coat of poly on both projects. I used some synthetic extra fine “steel” wool that I had and that seemed to work well. The table and tray both do look better with the polyurethane on them.

Last, I put the third coat of poly on the TV tray. Once it was dry I folded it up and put it away until we need it! It turned out well and I look forward to using it someday. I put the magazine table to use right away in back of the couch where the magazine basket used to sit.

Next project will be the kitchen table. I have to wait to start that until The Hubs has his days off, since it’s a big piece of furniture and I will need help moving it from the kitchen to the patio and back again. I’m trying to figure out whether I want to take the table top off the leg to be able to get at it better, but haven’t decided on that yet.

Here are the before and afters!

Looks lots prettier than it did, but not as good as I’d hoped.

Very big improvement, turned out great.

Takeaways from these two projects:

~ Have better tools to prepare furniture for refinishing if I ever decide to bring home something with a lot of detail again. These tools here would be very helpful. Each one has a different grit of sandpaper and it looks like you could really sand out those small spaces with these.

~ Bring your glasses when you shop, so you won’t waste money buying the wrong thing.

~ Check the supplies you already have carefully to see if there is something you can use there before buying something new.

~ Get gloves that fit, if they exist. It’s hard to get into small spaces and do detail work with giant floppity gloves on. (And check your stash to see if you already might have some gloves that fit okay.) Remember to actually WEAR the gloves the whole time once you get/find them.

SO much easier without the gloves, though.
And then remember not to rub your face. I’m not exactly sure how this happened…

~ Sand a lot more than you think you need to. I think I should have sanded the magazine table before I put the stripper on just for good measure, or maybe I should have just skipped the stripper altogether for this project and all its nooks and crannies. For the kitchen table project I will have to use stripper since the tabletop is painted and I want to get the paint off, but I think it might not have been necessary for the magazine table.

~ Practice furniture redos on items that were free or cheap and that you aren’t too invested in, because things don’t always turn out the way you want even when you follow instructions.

And finally:

~ Even if your project doesn’t turn out quite the way you’d hoped it would, be glad that you learned something!

Animals, Doing Things Differently, Food, Hmm..., Pets, Philip

Adventures in Eating

When I was at Copper Creek Mercantile the other day buying cat food, Jen told me that they had something new. When she showed it to me I knew I had to get a can for Philip to try.

Can you imagine?

Here is what the food looks like:

Pretty normal looking pâté-style cat food.

Now, I don’t know if Philip’s mama kitty ever brought him a mouse to eat when they were still living outside, but Philip didn’t want this. He would barely even get near it. He jumped down and went away until I got out some of his regular, non-pâté food. He likes his food to have chunks, like real chicken or fish, and he has never been a fan of the pâté style. There really isn’t any way of knowing whether he rejected it because of the mouse, other ingredients, or the style of the food, but Philip says no, thank you.

Fall, hiking, Photos

Hike – Sahalie and Koosah Falls

Yesterday we hiked the Waterfall Loop at Sahalie and Koosah Falls, near McKenzie Bridge, Oregon. You walk on the McKenzie River Trail for a couple of miles and then turn back to do the loop.

It was a beautiful day weather-wise, but so chilly in the morning that I had to start out in my puffy coat! Marnie’s car told us that it was 39 F while we were on our way to the falls.

We parked at the Sahalie Falls viewpoint parking lot. There is a convenient restroom there. Walking from the parking lot you shortly get to this Sahalie Falls viewpoint.

Kangaroo, Ninja, Sweet Pea at Sahalie Falls

Sahalie Falls

After Sahalie Falls, the trail follows the McKenzie River down to the Carmen Smith Reservoir.

McKenzie River

There are quite a few stairs to go down on the way to Koosah Falls, if you do the loop in a clockwise direction.

Kangaroo and Sweet Pea descending the stairs.

The Trail

Kangaroo gets the shot.

Sweet Pea admires the riverscape.

Neat hollow log.

McKenzie River

It isn’t long until you get to the viewpoints for Koosah Falls.

Koosah Falls

Koosah Falls

The sound of the river and the waterfalls is loud but soothing during this hike.

Here the McKenzie River flows into the Carmen Smith Reservoir. The Reservoir is stocked with trout so is a good place for fishing and boating, but it is closed until sometime in 2023 to address sinkhole concerns. You go across the reservoir road bridge to get to the trail on the opposite side.

Carmen Smith Reservoir

There is a convenient restroom available near the reservoir and right next to the trail that continues around the loop. We took a restroom and snack break before heading up the trail on the opposite side of the river.

Convenient restroom.

Trail goes this way.

Wasp nest (?) in the cleft of a tree. Thankfully, nobody was home.

The trail.

A bit of fall color coming out.

Tiny plants on a rock.

Then we came at Koosah Falls from a different angle:

Mist from Koosah Falls.

Koosah Falls

We followed the river back to Sahalie Falls:

A picture of Kangaroo taking a picture of Sahalie Falls.
Sahalie Falls from the other side.

We could see that some kids had gone down to the bottom of the falls. It is generally thought to be unsafe to do that. When they started slipping and pushing each other, we couldn’t watch lest one of them go in the water. Without a miracle it is doubtful one could survive a fall into the McKenzie River here, especially without a life jacket!

Below Sahalie Falls — some kids had gone down from the first viewpoint area.

The McKenzie River above Sahalie Falls.

Bridge back over the McKenzie River.

McKenzie River flowing under the bridge.

Big log jam in the river.

The trail.

We eventually came back around to Sahalie Falls, where there is another viewpoint deck.

Sahalie Falls from the upper viewpoint.

Below Sahalie Falls from the upper viewpoint.

Unfortunately some people had carved or written words all over the railings of the upper viewpoint, which we didn’t consider kind, good, or loving no matter what their words say.

The view from the upper viewpoint was great and none of us had ever seen that view of Sahalie Falls before. None of us had hiked the Waterfall Loop before either, so that was new and fun to do. Kangaroo and I had hiked at Sahalie and Koosah Falls a few times, but had never gotten around to doing the Loop. We enjoyed our little hike and were glad to see things we hadn’t seen before! Kangaroo has expressed interest in backpacking the 25-mile-long McKenzie River Trail, and we did see some campsites available along the trail.

After our hike we decided to eat lunch on our way home and went to Takoda’s restaurant in Rainbow, after a stop at the Obsidian Grill to find that they weren’t serving lunch that day. Takoda’s is nice and I think we will stop there again. They had a big Jelly Belly jelly bean machine and since there were cream soda flavored Jelly Bellys I had to get some. They were delicious. I didn’t get a photo of the jelly beans or the little dwarf African froggies in biospheres that the restaurant had for sale. I’m sure those froggies would be a whole blog post in themselves!

My grilled cheese with bacon and apples
Kangaroo had a turkey club, and Sweet Pea had a black bean burger.

We enjoyed our day and have planned a pretty hike in the same area for next week. There are several trailheads in the central Cascades that require permits, and I was able to get one for the trail we chose. Tune in next week to read about that hike!

Just keep walking!

~Ninja

Decor, DIY, Furniture, Home and Garden, VIntage

Table and Tray Progress

And now for some results of the magazine table and TV tray makeovers. Don’t forget to read the first and second pieces of this saga.

I got out the Polyshades stain I bought and dipped an old t-shirt rag in it to wipe it on the magazine table. As I was applying it the first thing I noticed is that it didn’t go on as dark as I had hoped it would, and just made the dark spot on the top even darker. Also, it didn’t seem to go on very well. I got my glasses and looked at the can and on the back it said…”Apply with high-quality brush.” Oh, for heaven’s sake. I didn’t have my glasses at the store and thought I was buying a wipe-on stain. Arrrgh. That’ll teach me, I guess.

Stain not dark enough to cover spot.

So I went back to the shed and got out my old can of Special Walnut wipe-on Minwax stain and poly in one that they don’t make anymore. It is SO much easier to apply stain and poly by wiping them on than by using a brush, where you get all the brush strokes and have to keep a “wet edge” the whole time. I wiped the Special Walnut all over the table, including on the parts I had already put the Espresso color on. Here are photos of that result.

Blargh! It was not dark enough to cover any imperfections and didn’t stick very well to some places. At this point I considered this project a FAIL.

But wait! I decided to go see if I had anything else in the shed, and what do you think I found? A brand new can of this Varathane wipe-on wood stain in Ebony! That should be dark enough! There is also a can of Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona, which is a nice dark stain as well. Dries in one hour! Aha!

Dries in one hour! (It really didn’t, but…)

I left the magazine table to dry overnight and got back to it bright and early this morning. After scuffing the table up with some fine steel wool and wiping it off with a tack cloth, I got out the Varathane and started applying it with an old t-shirt scrap. (Keep in mind that at this point I’m sort of making things up as I go along to try to salvage the table.)

Scuffing up the top.

Hey, the ebony stain mostly covered the spot on top!

Will it cover the scratches?

It mostly did cover the scratches!

After I gave the table one coat of ebony stain, I decided to let it dry and come back for another coat. The front sides of the table that were sort of an orange color didn’t take the stain very well even though I scuffed them, and the inside walls and outside ends didn’t take the stain very well either. Here’s how it looked with one coat:

With one coat of stain. Better than before.

You can see how it didn’t take the stain very well on these pieces.

I let the table dry while I went on some errands. When I got back I put another coat of stain on. Here’s how it looked after the second coat of stain:

Eh, still about the same. Not great.

Meanwhile, during the second coat’s dry time, I started on the TV tray. I chose the Varathane wipe-on stain in Kona for the tray. It is a nice dark brown. I started on the underside of the tray:

Underneath first.

Once I stained the underside and legs of the tray, I let that dry and then flipped it over and stained the top side, and touched up in areas on the legs that needed it. It looks good and the next step for both projects is the wipe-on polyurethane to protect the wood.

Not bad.

I decided to try the wipe-on poly on the magazine table to see if it improves the look of it. There are a lot of weird spots where the stain is darker or lighter than other parts, and I’m hoping maybe the poly will at least even it out so it will be all one sheen. I had about half a can of the poly and needed more to apply multiple coats on both projects, so I ordered it and some more tack cloths since the items have to be sanded between coats. Since I am using oil-based stains, I will use this oil-based poly.

The stain on both projects needs to dry for awhile and tomorrow I have a hike planned, so I won’t get back to these for a couple of days.

Will the magazine table ultimately be a success or a fail? Will the TV tray turn out the way it’s supposed to?

TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE REAL, ACTUAL END RESULTS (I hope)!!

DIY, Projects

Magazine Table 2

I got outside about 8:00 yesterday morning and started sanding on the magazine table. I thought I would just do hand-sanding with pieces of sandpaper and sanding blocks, because it was still early for many people and I didn’t want to wake anyone up with my loud electric Mouse sander. But, when I looked in my sandpaper stash, it turned out I only had one small piece of 100-grit sandpaper and the next one up was 220. I was using the 100-grit on the top shelf of the table, but it wasn’t even doing a very good job, and it especially didn’t seem to help on the edges of the table. I had to go to Lowe’s to get some wood conditioner so I put sandpaper on the list too. While I was there I bought some Minwax Polyshades stain and poly in one can, in the shade Espresso, because I wasn’t sure if the old stain I had in the shed would still be good.

When I got back from my shopping I got out the Mouse and started on the top of the table. I sanded it smooth, but the big dark spot wouldn’t sand out. I hoped the stain would be dark enough to mostly cover the spot.

Dark spot won’t come out.

Although the table has two “good” sides – meaning that it’s finished on both sides instead of having one side you would put against the wall – one of the sides is more dinged up than the other and has the deep scratches seen here. I’m hoping that the stain will cover these as well so they don’t look so glaring.

How do things like this happen?

For now I plan to use it as an end table in the living room with one side against the arm of the couch, and I will put my magazines in it instead of in the two-tiered metal basket I’ve been using for years for magazine display. I love the basket, but I think it’s time for a change.

Since I was sanding the magazine table, I decided to go for sanding this folding/TV tray I got at a garage sale as well. It once had a honey oak finish (can be seen underneath), but it looks like it was left outside and the finish is worn away on the top and the legs. I debated painting it with an off-white chalk-style paint and then stenciling the top, or just staining the top and painting the legs, but at this point I’ve decided to stain the whole thing the same color as the magazine table. The top is such nice wood that I thought it would be a shame to paint over it. It must have cost someone a pretty penny at one time! (I mean, have you priced TV trays lately? Even on Amazon the costs are prohibitive! Plus, the stencil I liked would have cost $22 with shipping.)

I sanded and sanded and sanded some more. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies in the magazine table and it was hard to get at many of them. I also found some stripper that was still hiding here and there and had to use my steel wool dipped in mineral spirits to get that off. I usually don’t sand with gloves on, so I kept forgetting to put my glove on when I was using the mineral spirits. Oops! Of course, if they made chemical-resistant gloves that would fit my short little fingers…

Once I thought the table was sanded enough, I started on the TV tray. That one was easy and zoop zoop it was done. I used the tack cloth to get the sanding dust off of both projects and then I was ready to stain the magazine table.

How do you think the projects will turn out? TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR RESULTS!

Antiquing, Decor, DIY, Furniture, Projects, VIntage

Magazine Table

I got this cute little table for free on Facebook and it is in rough shape, although not too dinged up except in a couple of places. The woman who gave it to me just left it outside on her porch in the rain for me to pick up, so that didn’t help its condition. The Hubs said I should refinish it instead of painting it, so I’m giving it a go. It will be a “practice run” in anticipation of refinishing the top of our kitchen table.

It’s called a “magazine table” because it has the pockets on the sides where you would put magazines or newspapers (if anyone subscribed to the paper newspaper anymore at home).

Here is the table before cleaning (I did take some change, an earring, a lot of dust fluffs, and an old baseball card out of the magazine pockets. The Boy was glad to have the baseball card!)

Here is the table. Can you believe someone let their kids scrape the finish off and drip nail polish on the top?

Top of table. Ouch.

Bottom shelf.

Inside magazine pocket. There is a bit of wood missing from the curvy part, but I’ve decided to just stain over it rather than try to repair it. The sides of the magazine pockets are very thin and fragile.

First, I gathered my supplies. I chose to use Citristrip as the finish remover for this project, as it doesn’t have toxic fumes to worry about. You need a brush to apply it and a plastic putty knife to scrape the old finish off. Since it is a strong chemical (even though it is citrus-based) I got some gloves and wore safety glasses while applying the stripper. I used the instructions from a blog called DecorHint as a reference for the job.

After cleaning it with a damp rag, I set the table on some cardboard and brushed on a thick layer of Citristrip with a chip brush.

Next, you let it sit until it dissolves the old finish. Since the finish is fairly thin, in some places it was already working by the time I coated the whole table. I scraped off some of the stripper on the bottom shelf and one of the sides and the finish came right off.

It’s working!

I tried the top and the finish wouldn’t all come off, so I re-coated it and thought I would let it all sit for about three hours. To be effective the stripper has to stay wet, so I checked on it occasionally to make sure it hadn’t dried out. You can use plastic wrap to cover the stripper to keep it from drying out, but I decided to just monitor it and see how that went.

Re-coated the top.

I went out after two hours and checked the table, and it was pretty much ready to strip at that time. At least most of it was. The top seems to have a different finish than the rest of the table, so there will be more sanding there. It should be fairly easy because it’s mostly a flat surface. The edges of the top will also need more attention.

The top – still looks pretty dark.

These side pieces and the sides of the pockets turned out this color after the stripper was scraped off. I hope I can sand out and cover up the gouges in this side piece.

After scraping most of the Citristrip off, I wiped the table down with paper towels and cleaned it with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Here is how it looked after its mineral spirits bath. There is a bit of gunk still lingering, but it will be removed in the sanding step.

Sanding, and hopefully finishing, will happen tomorrow. I have another little project I’m going to interject as well while the magazine table is drying, I think.

Antiquing, Fun, VIntage, Yard Sales

Treasures

Here are the little treasures I got this weekend. Marnie and I went to Blackberry Junction, a vintage and handmade goods show, in Albany on Friday. I found this green vintage ladle that matches my kitchen theme, and I will hang it on the wall. Then on the way downtown we stopped at a couple of garage sales and I got four of these white plates for 25 cents total, the salt and pepper shaker book, and the Moleskine notebook, still in its wrapper, for free! We went on to the antique mall and I found these green Tupperware measuring cups, which I will sell in my Etsy shop. Linda and I went for a walk today and found a garage sale where the lady was liquidating her collection of frogs, and I found the adorable toad! I’ve been wanting one like that for a long time. They have so much personality! Someday I may get a really big one for my garden. Linda went back to the garage sale with her money and bought a bunch of stuffed froggies for her doggies. They like to destuff the stuffies. Not as much of a haul as last time, but still pretty good!

Well, hello there!