Sunday, January 29, 2012

Slow Weekend in TheSmithGarage

We were down a leader at the Smith household this weekend (Mrs. Smith is sick) and some things had to get done around the house to prepare for another week in the lives of our children. So instead of spending most of my weekend in TheSmithGarage, I spent some time in the kitchen baking bread and a pie for a youth auction on Sunday.

Really? Mr. Smith is a baker? Ah - yes - I am able to actually admit to being a fairly talented baker. I have made my share of scratch pies for Thanksgiving and other events. I also hold the "Best Looking Cookie" award here in the Smith home. I will eat Mrs. Smith's cookies, they are good, but mine are better looking when they come out of the oven. One thing I must confess - I AM NOT a cook. I cannot come up with a recipe out of nowhere as Mrs. Smith often does - and have it taste equally delicious. I can measure, mix, set the oven to the exact temperature, and time it - all things that are very factual and precise, therefore - I am a baker.

No pictures - I guess my hands were messy with dough - but I made three loaves of bread that will be used for the coming weeks for sandwiches, and on occasion toast for breakfast. I also threw together (precisely measured) two pumpkin pies, one for the auction and one for us to eat. I make my crust from scratch, and the pumpkin puree was from some pumpkins we had for decoration in the Fall and later baked. I did find a two-egg recipe online at where you can type in the ingredients you have on hand and it will bring up ideas of what you can make. Great place when the pantry is sparse.

I also had a chance this weekend to take Shelby out to Hooves for Harmony, a place that she volunteers that helps kids with special needs through horse therapy. Shelby has volunteered there for over a year. She used to work with a special horse named Peanut.

But late in the Fall, Peanut was agitated and gave Shelby a little scare. Shelby had worked with Peanut since she started volunteering there, and was Peanut's first rider that we know of. Needless to say, Shelby was not getting back on horses for a while. She continued to love and care for the horses, just didn't want to ride them. Most of the horses are rescued, a couple of newer horses were recently donated to the program that Hooves for Harmony puts on. Saturday was the day that Shelby decided she was ready to get "back in the saddle again." Here is Shelby on Rockie - the Arabian of the group.

I also got out on Sunday and pruned our fruit trees. We have pear, apricot, nectarine, orange, lemon, lime and several maple trees. Now is the time, so I figured while it wasn't raining, I would get right on that. So as we close out another weekend in the books, the only thing I made any progress on in TheSmithGarage was a little nightstand that we picked up at a thrift store - I'll give you a peek so you can wonder what becomes of it. So many pieces like this are out there right now for really cheap - and I like cheap.

I already have a coat of paint on it - it will be grey. I will try to finish it up next weekend and show off some pictures. Hoping that Mrs. Smith is on the mend and will be better again in no time.

Mr. Smith

Friday, January 27, 2012

Union Jack revisited

You may ask - revisited?

The first Union Jack dresser was done in a bit of haste - I had a great piece that was in miserable shape. Mrs. Smith pointed me to a great blog -  - so I looked at a picture and painted my impression of a Union Jack flag on it - my son loved it so much, it went in his room. On this next attempt, I did a little research and found that my impression was somewhat incorrect.

Here is the first before and after:

As handsome as it may look, there is some history behind this flag. And my son reminded me that I should have done some research before making my mark on this piece of furniture. So let me give you a bit of a history lesson before showing you the newest piece.

When the kingdoms came together back in the late 1500s / early 1600s, St. George's Cross and St. Andrew's Cross were combined to create the following.

St. George's Cross (England)

St. Andrew's Cross (Scotland)

Union Flag of 1606

Then, in 1801, the Cross of St. Patrick was added in, but not with equal measurements, rather with a pinwheel leading in the clockwise design - almost as if it is spinning - like so:

St. Patrick's Cross (Ireland)

Union Flag of 1801

So, my newest artistic impression of the Union Jack on a dresser is a little more correct then the first. Keep in mind, both of the pieces were found at garage sales. Here are the before and after pictures of the newest piece:

So - there we have it. This one will go in the store in February - so you have a chance at bringing this one home. Stop by Oregon Street Antique Mall in Redding and ask for TheSmithHotel booth. I anticipate it going pretty fast - after all, it has a certain level of coolness. Thank you Miss Mustard Seed for your inspiration and I hope someone in Redding, CA will find this piece a warm home like yours. Maybe a little boy named Jack.

We will have to see what this weekend holds in TheSmithGarage. I still have a few old pieces that need to be worked up before the shows start up in March for Mrs. Smith. I hope you enjoyed the history lesson as well - you can thank my son for that.

Mr. Smith

Linked to
The Vintage Farmhouse
At The Picket Fence
Miss Mustard Seed
Decorating Insantiy

Monday, January 23, 2012

Retro Water Ski Shelf

This past weekend was another busy time in TheSmithGarage. While Mrs. Smith was away with her mother on a trip, The kiddos and I stayed home and I got some work one in the garage. After 8.5" of rainfall in 3 days, the sun shone on Saturday enough for me to open the garage and get a coat of paint on the next Union Jack Dresser - from purple and pink to navy blue.

On Sunday afternoon, I had a thought - what could I do with a couple of old Vogue Water Skis that I picked up at a thrift store (thanks Wanda)?

Why not make a retro style water ski shelving unit for my teenage son? Now my son used to be into trains - still is - but when he was young, I build a train table that so he could play with his Thomas The Tank Engine wooden toys. It was cool, but it has been sitting in the garage unused for many years now. We even tried to sell it at the last two garage sales. So I proceeded to dismantle the train table and use the wood and screws for the structure and shelves of my new dream creation.

Here is what we came up with...

Cleaned out TheSmithGarage just in time for Mrs. Smith's VW to fit nicely back into her parking space that evening. Did I mention it started raining again on Sunday and we had another 3 inches that day. Might need those water skis after all this Summer when the lake is full.

Until next weekend.
Mr. Smith

Linked with At The Picket Fence and Funky Junk Iinteriors

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bikes hit TheSmithGarage

Well, it is finally rainy season. and last week sometime, the wind hit (bringing in cold air from the North and rain). So, I had to lower my makeshift backyard garage (EasyUp) and bring the bikes back inside. okay folks - I have to determine if I am ready to do this - I am going to show you a few pictures of my garage (wish I had a barn). Don't judge me, just remember great things come out of this organized chaos.

You can comment on how many bikes you think there actually are in these 3 shots. You also now get to see how I can get my yoga session in each day as I meander through my garage. Yes I can get through here without getting hurt, now Mrs. Smith is another story. I need to move things around for her to get out here. So if you see a bike you like, comment and let me know if you want it - I can arrange for a good price on most of them. Have to keep my MTB, Roadie, Son's MTB and Daughter's cruiser - the rest are up for grabs. The tandem bike is one I picked up from a farm in Iowa on one of my travels - I of course upgraded it from rust to rideable.

Let's hope I can hang a few more from the ceiling in the next few months so I can get around in the garage a bit more. There are two bikes not pictured - a 24" Schwinn Spitfire and a 1959 Dunelt 10-speed roadie (both are being upgraded from rust to rideable). All the bikes pictured are already rideable.

Please forgive the mess, it wasn't much better before, but when Mrs. Smith started the business 2 years back, it all got just a little more cluttered. I love her - she has an eye for just about everything.

I will leave you with one last picture of the Vintage 1960s Montgomery Wards Tandem Hawthorne -

Monday, January 16, 2012

Two out of Three

Well, this weekend was a cold one in Redding. Sunday night we had some really cold wind come in. I did finish up one piece on Saturday and got most of the way through the Union Jack Dresser on Sunday evening. Also had to take down my easy-up in the back yard so it would not blow away. All of the bikes got moved back into TheSmithGarage - where the room was, I don't know.

Here are a few shots of the finished cabinet and the UJ Dresser - enjoy.

I will let the paint cure for a week on this one before I rough it up a bit and put a coat of wax on it. Also needs some minor repairs to the drawer bottoms and some glass nobs and it will go in my son's room. I actually feel a little more like an artist after doing this piece. I'll post a picture when we get it all squared away.

I think I will be doing the same pattern on this purple dresser - and this one will go to a show with us in the Spring - so if you are interested, make sure you let me know.

Mr. Smith

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ready for the Weekend

So looking at TheSmithGarage on a Friday night - we are prepped and ready for a long weekend. There are three pieces in the hopper, I know at least one will be finished for sure, the other two pieces have some woodworking required before painting.

It is always interesting digging into an old piece of furniture. Lots of time and energy is put into creating a custom piece, and there are a few old pieces here, one which had some major modifications made over the years. The last one in the above picture (closest to the garage door), was originally an oak dresser, but someone along the way removed the bottom three original doors and transformed it into a two-drawer bookshelf. Then someone added cabinet doors to the bottom two shelves and a drawer to the top shelf. So it is now a cabinet of sorts with an original oak frame and two original small drawers.

The piece in the middle is my Union Jack Project from an earlier post, still gluing back together pieces on it. The purple dresser is still in the dreaming stage - need to pick a color - any ideas from you would be great.

I did finish the buffet on Tuesday night this last week. Before and after pictures below.

Come back soon to see what's next - and to see some finished pieces hopefully in a few days.

Mr. Smith

Union Jack Dresser

Thank you for your inspiration for my next piece.

I have a really old piece, and it just needs some pizzaz. Here is what I am starting with:

Check back in a few weeks to see the progress. I think my teenage son is going to want this when it's finished.

Yep - back after two weeks of work/wait/work. Waiting for the paint to cure so I could rough it up a bit. So the sun broke through the rain just enough this weekend for some more work in the garage. Here is what it looks like now - ready to move into son's room. My daughter just informs me today she wants her dresser painted with the flag of France. We'll see when we get around to that - although it would be easier.

missing one brass keyhole, have to think of something clever to put in there.
Mr. Smith

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Garage

Always a busy place - TheSmithGarage has plenty of new projects passing through on the weekends. We have started getting ready for the 2012 season, and we have lots of furniture that you will be seeing at TheSmithHotel in the near future. From what Mrs. Smith tells me - Orange is the color of the year for 2012. Here are a few items that will hit TheSmithHotel in February. We have started using some Annie Sloan paint - and although it is pricey, it is extremely easy to use and covers very well.

Nightstand and Child's dresser before

And after in Barcelona Orange

Paris Gray Console

Paris Gray Chairs recovered with Burlap

Cabinet top before

Paris Gray Cabinet after

50s Hawthorne Tandem Bicycle - found in Iowa and worked on this for 6 months.

Until next time.