Friday, October 2, 2015

Life, Rummage Sale Madness, & Tool Hauls

Life. Life has been busy and full of some crazy ups and downs this past month!

What do I mean? All in good time... ;)

I'll be able to divulge some of what has been going on, and other things will have to remain private from blog-land, but there's beginning to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and I'm excited to have the last pieces fall into place in the next few weeks so I can spring the news!

If you have been following me on Instagram, you may have been seeing these last few snippets from when hubby and I were in Pittsburgh for a weekend visiting my bro and sis-in-law:

My sis-in-law C and I share a love for a bargain, negotiating, and anything yardsale/estate sale/sale-sale. She is also an amazing detailed planner, and had all sorts of fun bargain festivities planned out for us to go check out that weekend. One of them was a barn sale:

The fact that they actually call it a barn makes me question everything I've ever known about barns.

Then there was another day for a church's "day on the lawn" rummage sale in the town of Sewickley. Sewickley could be described as the Main Line of Pittsburgh, comparable to Phila's Main Line. Thus, there was bound to be some awesome finds at this sale!

It was raining the morning of the rummage sale, so as we rounded the last bend with umbrellas bumping each other on our walk to the location, I was expecting there to not be as many people as my bro and C were describing from past years. 

I was mistaken. 

A HUGE crowd was waiting around the taped-off (yes, they had tape up) perimeter before the 10am start time. There were different tents for different items, such as a furniture tent, book tent, outdoor gear tent, etc. - It was a lovely sight for these bargain-loving eyes.

[All pix of the rummage sale hence are from the Church's FB - credits to whoever took them, as I was busy scoping out the sale & forgot to take my own!]

people lined up around the perimeter
 Now I've been to years of Black Fridays at 2am with people pressing into you when the doors open, and library book sales where you are packed like sardines and squeezing by people in tight aisles and fights have broken out to the point that police have not failed to henceforth have a presence at these book sales each year to monitor (don't mess with bookworms?).

This was even more intense.

On the awaited day at exactly 10am, they cut the tape, and...

...madness ensued! It was a mass of bodies rushing into the lot and hands scrambling to grab the item they'd had their eyes on.

how did I miss this room?! 

Unlike the wild-eyed masses, we four had come just for the fun of it and walked leisurely in, though I do admit that once in I made a beeline for the furniture tent. It was hard to even see what was there for all the bodies there. 

For good or bad I didn't find anything that I had to take home with me in the whole of the sale (and I made several loops to be sure), but it was certainly an experience!

Once back home, I've been having some good fun at a few recent estate and yardsales and scoring some awesome tool hauls. We've been in need of expanding our tool-set, and at an estate sale I found a circular saw with charger & 2 batteries, Craftsman tool box, sander & sandpaper, all for $55!

All this for $55!!!
Last weekend I also attended an auction and nearly broke the bank when I won this fantastically large steamer trunk for...$9.

You guys, I wish there were more auctions like this one. Desks, hutches, tables, and chairs were all going for mere dollars. As in $5. Or even $2. I think the most expensive thing there was a tall and beautiful custom hutch that went for $175! It was nuts.

At another sale, got these 2 wooden-handled shovels (my preference over fiberglass), 2 new brad nailers & box of nails, and mouse sander with a lifetime supply of sandpaper for a total of $15!

Oh and fun fact - the same weekend that I bought the steamer trunk and the yardsale haul of tools for $15, I also sold some things and made $35. Yup, I actually made a profit, lol. I'm still grinning about that one.

Updates will likely be sporadic still this month because of the earlier-mentioned event/s taking place right now that I will spill the beans on soon.

Till next time! :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Featured Site: Knockoff Decor

Hi guys! Wanted to share a great way to both get inspired and increase your blog traffic.

No, it's not Pinterest.

Beckie of Knock Off Decor has a great resource for finding DIY knockoff projects for just about any brand you can think of: Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware, West Elm, Crate &'s a treasure chest of goodies.

She also provides an easy way for bloggers to share and submit their own knockoffs to be featured on her site. Simply find "submit a knockoff" on the top menu and follow the directions for the submission form.

That's it! In usually less than 48 hours you'll hear from Beckie if your project meets their qualifications and to let you know it's live on the site.

Knock Off Decor has been kind enough to feature several of my own knockoffs through the years, such as...

West Elm Tall Tufted Headboard

RH Wood & Metal Bookcase

RH Antique Grey Dresser 

Every time one of my knockoff projects have gone live on her site, I've received a nice amount of traffic, and they continue to residually bring in monthly traffic as well, which is the best thing for a blog.

Have fun on her site, and enjoy finding new bloggers through her as well!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Tale of Two Rose Headboards

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair..."

Dramatic, yes?

This is a tale of two headboards.

...and why custom paint colors and wind don't play nice.

Indeed, they had their share of highs and lows, glamour and woe.

It all started off innocently enough.

The headboards were destined to be rose-colored. They just were. It was a matter of fact.

So that is what I did.

I whipped up a custom color of my own combining General Finishes milk paint's Red pepper with Snow White to get the light rose hue, perfect for making the headboards into a sweet pair.

They turned out awesome.

However, their rosey happiness was taken away all too soon.

The headboards had just been beautifully finished. Leaning them against some tables outside on the driveway, I was able to stand back and admire the handiwork. As fate would have it, I had just temporarily given my attention to something else when out of nowhere a sudden gust of wind swooped in and knocked them both carelessly face-forward to the ground.

They got royally scuffed by the pavement.


Cue despair.

How was the custom color ever to be found again?

Admittedly, they were left in the garage in that state for a few months before I could muster the time or will to try again.

Somehow, surprisingly, amazingly...I was able to match the former color. 

Here they are, looking once again like the charmers I remembered them to be.

They'd look so dear as two twin beds for two sisters, or for when a friend comes for a sleepover, or for when one has grandkids visiting. 

I do hope to see them in a good home. So-so-so happy that they turned out the way they did again!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Because It's All About da Brass...Or How to Quickly Transform Your Hardware from Blah to Bling Bling

Please feel free to virtually slap me for this post's title. I can't stand that song and now I know I just got that torturous song in all of your heads as well.

Earlier this week I shared the newest project, my slate blue Martinsville side table, and a quick bit about cleaning the brass hardware for it with this before and after pic:

Amazing, right? Who knew such a beautiful finish was hiding underneath all that?!

The product I used was Bar Keepers Friend's amazing fairy dust of powerrrrrr.

Note: do not brush your teeth with this stuff. It will not taste good. In fact, you may not be able to taste at all after... ;)

I'd seen several recommendations by my fellow bloggers about this lil charmer, and this was the first chance I've had to truly try it out.

First, the cons:

For all it's cleaning power, it is decidedly not a product you would say is healthy for you and I highly recommend taking some precautions. I wore cleaning gloves for the whole project, and even washed the hardware with Palmolive after using BKF on it. It was also something that I did in my open garage for ventilation - I am super sensitive to chemical smells, so I needed a lot of fresh air for this.

For the rest of the setup I laid down some newspaper, sat a disposable bowl of water near me and had a cheap toothbrush as my tool (dollar store pack of brushes ftw!).

I used the powder form of BKF , so my method was I would dust the hardware with it, dip the toothbrush in the water, and then scrub the grit away. The original shine started to show up with just the first few strokes.

Pros: I am wholly impressed. It took some time working that toothbrush into the grooves, but the effort paid off rather easily.

It's no wonder BKF has been around since 1882 (yes, 1882!). Not to mention it's still produced here in America. It has a wide array of uses, even taking rust off of lawn furniture, grime off of your stainless steel, BBQ grills, car name it! Their tagline should be "bringing back your bling since 1882". 

Or maybe not...

And that, folks, is how you clean your hardware.

* This  post contains affiliate links. I was not paid or given samples of this product, these opinions are 100% my own. If you purchase through these links, you'll help support Draven Made (at no extra cost to you) and you'll have a great product you can use for your DIY projects! Thanks! :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Slate Blue Martinsville Side Table

I'm baaaaaack!

Boy oh boy it's been awhile, eh? July turned into August way too fast, and now it's already nearly the middle of the month! Dang I hate how fast summer flies by, don't you?

The commercials are finished and out, but I'll have to save all the yummy behind-the-scenes scoop for another post.  Here's a teaser:

To y'all who have been following me on Instagram, you've already seen that pic and are probably less than fazed right now. So here's a little bonus for yas:

Mickey wasn't doing his job of censoring that day...

I kid.

It was a good experience and I got to meet and work with some cool peeps, so I am looking forward to sharing it all with you guys! But for now...

...the newest piece makeover!

I bought this table from a nice lady a few weeks out from filming, and it patiently waited for me to wrap things with the production before I started in on it.

It was dinged and had awful wear and scrapes all over the top's surface.

To its advantage though, every bit of this piece is SOLID wood, being made by Martinsville. Its original fixtures were also a heavy brass that simply needed a good cleaning.

This baby had tons of potential.

First order of business was the top. I elected to use my trusty orbit sander (Tip: don't bother buying new power tools - go for used. You can always find quality used power tools at auctions, yardsales, and craigslist. Test them and make sure they work and haven't been misued of course, but otherwise you can't go wrong. I bought my sander a long time ago from Habitat for Humanity for a whoppin' $15, and it's been worth every penny).

As with any sanding project, you're gonna get dirty. Always wear protective glasses and a dust mask, and cover anything in a 15 foot radius that you don't want getting a layer of dust on.

I forgot to cover things other than myself. So learn from my mistake.

My fingers tingled after the 30-or-so mins of sanding that it took, but it was well worth it!

I went over it again with some finer grit sandpaper by hand to make the surface extra smooth. I was pretty excited at how much more the wood grain now showed.

I painted it with my faithful General Finishes Queenstown Grey, a color I used before on our own nightstand. It's such a lovely grey-blue color. [Check out my Paint Prep Tips for your own project]

After a few coats, I applied GF's High Performance topcoat to seal. I liked the natural look of the wood top so much that the top received a very natural stain that brought more depth to the color and grain, then sealed.

I cleaned the brass fixtures and re-attached them (how I cleaned them will have to be another post).

Here's what it looks like now:

Such a difference a little muscle work will do!

Glad to be back! I have posts lined up as there is much to catch up on! See y'all again at the end of the week!


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