Monday, April 30

Coffee Shop Exterior - Painted

I had time yesterday to apply one coat of paint on the coffee shop exterior.  It took me forever to decide on these colors!   

The Ebay bench will not stay where it is.  I may not even use it?  I just liked the design.

I'm trying different colors for the window trim.  My original idea was to paint them black and add MS metallic glaze.  Now I think white might look better?

The shop looks too flat to me.  I think it needs something?  I'm still planning to add stucco to the walls.  I'm undecided about adding stone.

The homemade paper clay recipe #1 worked great!  When the stones were completely dry (about 36 hours) they were hard as rocks.  I accidently dropped some on the floor and they didn't break. 

I painted them with ModPodge matt sealer and then added some sand for texture.  Not sure I like them for this project...

Since this is my first real build,  I'm not really sure how to proceed?   I'm planning to change the roofline, should I build those windows next?   When should I add the lights?

Do you finish the interior walls before you put a kit together? Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated!

Hope you have a wonderful day and thank you SO much for your comments!

Sunday, April 29

Not a Mini Weekend

I haven't done much mini-wise this weekend.  There are just too many real life projects that need to be done.

My neighbor is leaving today for Portland and I will be helping him do some final packing and cleaning.  I really scored at his garage sale yesterday!  He had a beautiful antique vanity and bench that I absolutely LOVE!  

My bathroom does not have an electrical outlet so I have to do my hair in my bedroom.  My "new" vanity will be perfect!

I gave it a good scrubbing with Murphy's Oil Soap and then wiped it down with Old English Scratch Cover.  It will be easy to recover the bench.  :D

I'm re-thinking the coffee shop floor plan again and have decided I need more tables and more chairs!  More of the same and some new ones.  :D   The Coke cooler was an Ebay splurge.   So cute!

Hope you have a beautiful Sunday!

Saturday, April 28

Homemade Air Dry Clay

I found this video today that explains how to make your own air dry clay.  It looked easy enough so I thought I would try it. 

I followed Chelly's recipe for a double batch.  I also added about 1/2 teaspoon of one of my coffee shop paint colors and 1/4 cup of beach sand.  Real beach sand.  :D

The clay is soft and fun to work with.  After I kneaded it for a while,  I rolled it out between two pieces of waxed paper.  Then I cut my "stones."  I need to work on getting them the right shape and size.

Now I'll wait for them to dry.  Then I will glue them on wood to see how they look.   If this works it will be really easy to add stone to the exterior of the coffee shop.  Easy and practically free!  Love that.

Right now I'm going over to my neighbor's garage sale.  I'm sad to see him move,  but I can't pass up the chance to see what he might be selling!?

Hope you have a great day!

Later thoughts.  My stones are almost dry but are very fragile.  I tried sealing a few with matt ModPodge.  That helped some.  I'm going to try another recipe too.  You can find it here.


Friday, April 27

"Are you going to raise the roof?"

Here is what I accomplished yesterday.

I cut the new windows and door opening.  I still
have some sanding and trimming to do.

Casey's quick comment on yesterday's post saved me from a disaster.  She asked me if I was going to raise the roof?

If I had cut the door opening by my original measurements, it would have been too low.  Thanks Casey!

Here is the left corner window opening.   I plan to frame it out with "glass."

This kit is quite small.  I'm not sure all of my furniture will fit?

I  will need to extend the floor out a few inches.  I want to add a patio downstairs and a deck for the apartment upstairs.

I am going to raise the roof.   This is the plan for the windows.  The roof will be flat so I can add exposed duct work and lights to the ceiling.

I still have a lot of work to do!  It was nice to have the day off yesterday.  Sometimes it's good to be nice to yourself and just take a day to play!

Thursday, April 26

Bashing The Kit

This is my project for today.  I will be cutting a new door and larger window openings in the coffee shop.

I measured twice. No. Three times! 

This will be the door to the apartment upstairs.

I'm not planning to use the loft that came with the kit.  I'll need to fill in the spaces here so I can add a new second floor.

I've never cut MDF before.  I've done some research and learned a lot.  Hopefully, I can do this!   :D

Time to fire up the saw!   Cross your fingers for me.  I hope I still have all ten of mine left at the end of the day!

Wednesday, April 25

Trees On Streets

According to the Spokane WA municiple code, "Tree grates are required for street trees along arterial streets."  Say that five times!  :D

I know I'm getting ahead of my self again.  I'm planning the landscaping for the coffee shop before it is even built!  I found these images at the Spokane WA website.  They are great inspiration.  I really like this photo below.

This one is helpful too.  Now I know how wide my sidewalk needs to be and the correct size for my trees and shrubs.

Of course, MY trees will be palm trees!  I love making them.  I've never made any this large so that will be a challenge.  I'm thinking that I could use a carved wooden dowel for the trunk?  Martha Stewart has some cool "fringe scissors" that I might try for making the palm fronds?

I'm taking a "mental health day off" from work tomorrow.  I'm planning to get my kit out of the box and cut the new windows and door. If I can get that much done, I'll be happy!

Hope you have a great day!  I'm starting to figure out this new Blogger post editor.  I think I like it?!

Tuesday, April 24


When I opened my blog this morning Blogger had changed everything with their new layout.  I'm confused and really don't know what to do about this!

How do I go back to the old Blogger?  How do I use this new one?  I can't even see all of the tool bar!   The preview looks "okay" so this is a test post.
If anyone has any helpful suggestions, PLEASE let me know!

Monday, April 23

Back to the Build

Here is the finished coffee bean dispenser. I think it will look cute on the wall behind the counter. :D

Speaking of the counter, I have a tip for you. DON'T use "Poly Stain." It has the stain and finish together. I thought I would save a step by using it. What I did was make a whole lot more work for myself!

Now I'm trying to sand off most of this finish and try to salvage the counter. You can see how this stain didn't go on evenly. I hope I don't have to resort to painting this?

I've been working on furniture and accessories for a long time. I think it's time to start building! is shipping a brand new kit to Carmen. I hope she receives it soon.

After trying foam core to make new build, I realized that won't work. The foam core really warped when I applied the paint/stucco. Now I have the original kit to work with. :D

I will need to do some kit bashing. THEN I can start building. I'm really excited about that!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, April 22

Early to Rise

Arthr woke me up this morning earlier than usual. "Arthr" is what I call the arthritis I have in my hip, back, jaw and neck. It's nothing serious. Sometimes when the weather changes or I do too much, Arthr reminds me that getting up and moving helps.

Getting up early also gives me more time to make minis! This is a coffee bean dispenser I'm working on this morning. You may recognize the little knobs I made for my kitchen. Glad I made extra ones. :D

We reuse, recyle and restore a lot of things, don't we? Happy Earth Day!

Saturday, April 21

Coffee's Almost Ready! (update)

I just need to plug it in. :D

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Update: I just realized that my coffee urn is too short. I need to make it taller so I can get a cup of coffee under it!

I am also trying to make one of these.

More on this later. Photo from IDM Idea Development Manufacturing Ltd.

Thursday, April 19

Don't Shake Stain

I started staining my display counter this morning. I'm using MinWax chestnut. I stirred the stain first just like you are supposed to. You don't shake the can because you will get little bubbles that will effect the finish.

When I was finished (for now), I tapped the lid back on with my rubber mallet. I thought it was on tight.

Since I wasn't going to use it again right away, I took the can out to my laundry room and gave it a good shake. Bad idea! The lid flew off and I had stain everywhere! On me, on the floor, on my Swiffer mop and on my trash can!

Note to self: If you are going to shake a can of stain be sure you have a BIG can of paint thinner and a nail brush handy!

BTW. If anyone knows how to get stain off plexiglass please let me know.

UPDATE: From How Stuff Works

Hard Surfaces
Follow these steps to remove oil-base paint stains from Acrylic Plastic, Plexiglas, Polyurethane, Vinyl Clothing:
Wipe excess immediately with a cloth dipped in warm sudsy water. Oops. Too late.
Rinse thoroughly with warm water and wipe dry. Do not use a thinner on these materials, as it will eat through them. Unable to rinse said object.
If necessary, dip a cloth into a dry-cleaning solvent and quickly but gently dab at the remaining stain. Do not have any dry-cleaning solvent. Think alcohol might work? Q-tip and "warm sudsy water" nine hours later????
Rinse well and wipe dry

I'm going to work now. I've done enough damage around here this morning...

Wednesday, April 18

I made a supply dispenser for the coffee shop today. The second photo is from The WEBstraunt Store. Mine is smaller and needs to be restocked.

The Webstraunt Store has everything you might need for a real shop or store. They share the dimensions of each item. I love it when websites do that!

They also sell boxes of 500 wooden coffee stirrer sticks. I may order some if StarBucks stops giving them to me for free. :D

Hope you have a nice evening!

Tuesday, April 17

I have a long, long list of things to do for my coffee shop. I've finally decided on the colors I will be using. I found this interior design idea online. Love the ceiling!

I want to try making these things in miniature.

The coffee dispenser reminds me of the little hot water heater I made. I bought this display cabinet. I'm not sure if I will use it. I may just build my own counter like the one in the inspiration photo above?

I purchased some of Blake's handmade donuts and pastries for the shop.

I have had no success with clay! I know there are many great mini food artists out there, but I want to support a young man who is just getting started. Blake's Etsy shop is "A Bohemian Bazaar."

I received GOOD NEWS from yesterday. They will ship a new loft kit to Carmen at a much better rate that the post office or UPS! :D

Hope you have a lovely day!

Monday, April 16

Shipping to Spain

I'm late in shipping Carmen's give-a-way gift to her. There is a reason for this!

UPS Worldwide ExpeditedSM
(This is a zone 603 shipment)
Delivered By:
By End of Day
Tuesday April 24, 2012
UPS Worldwide ExpeditedSM
224.10 USD

I went to my local UPS store on Saturday, gift in hand, expecting to just leave it and send it on its way to Carmen. When they told me how much it was going to cost, I walked out, with my package, crying!

UPS suggested that I try going to the US Post Office and getting a quote from them. I will do that today.

I have also contacted to see if they will ship a new kit to Carmen? I am waiting on their reply and estimate of the cost.

For now, the kit is in my car all ready to go. I just need to find a way to get it to Spain without emptying my bank account!

Hang in there Carmen, I promise I will get your gift to you as soon as possible.

I am so sorry it is taking so long!

Sunday, April 15

"Stuffed" Animals

Did you every wonder what stuffed animals might be "stuffed" with? I found these two cuties at my local thrift shop. Cheap cheap cheap!

They felt "squishy" and I was hoping they were stuffed with beads. They were. Lots of little beads! They are a bit larger (4mm) than seed beads and have no holes. I think they might make great pillow stuffing?

My dogs will love what's left of the toys. They always rip the stuffing out of them anyway!

Hope you have a beautiful day!