Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Inexpensive Doesn't Equal Easy

I thought I'd go back into my archives of finished projects to see if there were any projects I hadn't yet shared since I am just now finally gathering myself together post holiday. Am I the only one that is clicking my heels together with excitement at the idea that Christmas 2011 has come and gone? I think not based on what I have read over the past few days in blogland. It seems it caught us all a little off kilter this year.

Anyway, in my traipsing around the photo folders I came upon these photos of a french provincial desk/vanity that I picked up awhile back. It was the typical white with gold trim. I picked it up for $20 with plans of renovating it in black to match my teenage daughters room.

I didn't realize until we got it home that the drawer fronts were made of plastic. The piece was solid, but even after a couple coats of primer I just wasn't liking the way the paint was going on. After much frustration I got it covered pretty well, but it was too shiny for my liking. At this point we decided it would be finding a new home since it wasn't really working as we had planned for my daughter.

On a recent trip to one of my favorite stores, Home Goods I had noticed several pieces that were accented by canvas on the drawers. This seemed to be the answer to my problem...I could cover up the curved, shiny drawer fronts. Originally I planned to put nail heads around the edge, but again the plastic proved to be a problem. The nail heads would just ricochet across the room every time I tried.

Alas, I used some heavy duty spray adhesive to adhere the drawer fronts that I had created using a Home Depot drop cloth stenciled in black. It turned out pretty well in the end but I don't think I want to bother with another piece like this again...even if it is only $20.

Linking up to these lovely ladies:


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Daycare For My Inner Decorator

Daycare for my inner decorator, that's what my new booth at "The Roost" has become for me. I can play nice there for hours tweaking this and that. I've been told by the other vendors it's a process of layering, standing back and assessing and layering some more. Keeping in mind I started with an 8 x 10 space, in a metal building, with plywood walls, and a concrete floor.

I've got a long way to go until it is where I want it to be. My biggest challenge is I have my hands in everything. I have a few things that I have bought and just used as is, but a good 90% are things that I have either handcrafted from scratch, refinished, re-purposed or assembled.

While I love this...it comes with a lot of pressure. I have recently been ill with one of the many virus' going around and instead of resting and concentrating on being well, I am obsessing over my booth.

 For anyone familiar with my profile, I have a health condition that makes staying well a challenge for me. My husband does a pretty good job of parenting me and bringing me back to reality when I'm being bad, but it is hard to admit I am not bulletproof.

So, today I decided it is what it is....for now. I am going to share photos of what I am calling "phase one". I have been a perfectionist all my life, which is a blessing and a curse all in one, so this is a big step for me.

I have a vision of what I would like the final result to be, but for now, this is it....baby steps, healthy baby steps.

Linking up to these lovely ladies:


Friday, December 9, 2011

Deco Dilemma

On my recent Monday visit to my local Goodwill I spied this cute little table. I have made it a ritual to go every Monday, they change the 50% off tag color every Sunday and it is a zoo! On Monday, I can shop at my leisure and now that I am 40-something, I find it harder to be creative in the middle of chaos. I'm lucky to remember my name some days! Anyway, it said on the tag it was a nightstand, but it seems a little tall to me. I have an inkling that maybe it was a telephone table, hence no drawer...maybe a spot for the phonebook?

It had an obnoxious heavy poly coat over it so a little sanding was in order. Did I mention I HATE SANDING? Once again, it's the impatient crafter in me. I try to avoid it at all costs, but sometimes you just have to. After the garish finish was gone I used a couple coats of Kilz primer, I have grown to love this stuff! It adds another layer when distressing and keeps me from having a pink piece of furniture that was supposed to be white. I learned the hard way not to skip this step!

I finished it off with a coat of creamy white from the oops paint at my local paint store...who can pass up a quart of paint for $1.25? Such a bargain! I sanded the heck out of all the nooks and crannies to distress it and opted to just use a coat of clear wax. I liked it, but felt like it missing something. Kind of like getting dressed up for a dinner party and skipping the jewelry. I broke my stencils out and decided to use some black acrylic paint to bring the top to life. Ta Da! She looks better now.

....oh and because I have a tendency to over think things, maybe you can help me decide. Should I just leave the opening as is, maybe stage it with some vintage books or use a basket like the one in the picture? I'm leaning towards the first, what do you think?


Linking up to these lovely ladies:


Monday, December 5, 2011

Oui, Oui!

I really should be outside painting furniture so I'll  have some back-up in the event that something sells in my booth, but the darn weather is sooo cold. I paint in our garage and the one little heater we have just doesn't cut it when it's hovering in the mid 20's...BRRRR!

I wanted to share with you this petite little dresser I acquired awhile back at the end of an estate sale. I found this and another beautiful serpentine dresser there, both for a steal. It was missing the original mirror and I thought maybe I could find a replacement, but I saw them everywhere until I was looking for one. Isn't that how it always goes? I opted to finish it without and hang onto the curvy bracket for another project and another day.

 This was a bugger to cover...the reddish stain kept bleeding through, even with a coat of primer. It took me three coats to get it looking the way I wanted. My chocolate lab, Bodie sat at my side hour after hour giving me that "are we done yet?" look until finally, it worked.

 I used a yummy aqua paint in my oops collection and some french inspired postcard paper to cover the top two drawers. They have the original skeleton key locks...minus the key.
I distressed the edges, aged them with my friend Kiwi (aka: brown shoe polish) and finished it off with a coat of clear wax. I added dainty little brushed nickel knobs. Isn't she just the cutest little thing?

In "The Roost", bad lighting and all!

Linking up to these lovely ladies:


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Eye's Wide Open

Sitting here all bundled up in my sweatshirt, double socks and slippers after spending most of yesterday outside in the crisp 26-30 something degree day greeting people at our Holiday open house at "The Roost". It went really well, beautiful people, beautiful atmosphere, just good old fashioned fun. I took my camera along to capture it for you all, but alas it died. Guess I know what just rose to the tippy top of my Christmas list. I will try to see if I can borrow some photos from the other vendors that were there.

You see, I live in very small community where generations of families live and have lived. We are said to be the Christmas tree capital of the world. My neighbors grow everything from hazelnuts to holly and raise cows, alpacas and goats. Everyone knows everyone. All three of my children have graduated here and my son works for the city. Sometimes life gets in the way and we take things for granted, but yesterday made me realize how fabulous this is. Grandma's and Grandpa's came with their children and grandchildren. They weren't just shopping for gifts; they were supporting their neighbors and friends,they were creating memories.

This has been and continues to be a tough year for us. This is the first time in 23 years I haven't worked, the medical bills are daunting. It is easy to get down and feel hopeless at times. To be honest, before yesterday I kind of just wished the holidays would come and go already. By the end of the day I realized it is more about the tradition and less about the stuff.

You see I am rich, I have a family who loves me and is always there for me when I need them...and when I think I don't. They all came to support me yesterday and I felt so touched. Our little community came together to support a local business in a day and age where the little guys are dropping like flies. It was a beautiful thing to witness that I will cherish forever.

Today, I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet.

Friday, November 25, 2011

To Hip To Be Square

One of the first pieces of furniture I decided to restore on this new venture of mine came at the mere price of $20.00. This is the cap I usually give myself when perusing Craigslist...anything more expensive doesn't usually make the cut, I don't even look at it for fear of being tempted. We're down a salary so even that is a stretch on an already stretched budget. It had most recently been used as a TV armoir by the sweet little old couple that owned it. Ethel and Burt were sweet as can be but they did some serious damage to this diamond in the rough.

I sent my dear hubby on another mission to pick her up and I'm pretty sure he's part of Ethel and Burt's family now. He knew every detail of their lives after just a half hour with them which is sweet, but also scary that they were so open with their personal details. We really need to remind our parents and grandparents to be careful now days, unfortunately things aren't like they used to be.

Anyway, Burt had drilled, a.k.a. hacked a few not so cute holes in the back for the cords and such as well as added a couple shelves crudely nailed through the sides. The doors wouldn't even stay closed without the aid of a string...this beauty was so rickety and out of square.

It took me a lot more work to bring it back to life than I had originally planned, this clearly wasn't just going to be a sand and paint fix. I had to add new veneer for the back, patch up the holes from the nails and reinvent a purpose for the inside. Awhile back I had grabbed a free table leaf from the side of the road. I was able to take it apart, create a center support out of inexpensive pine and create cubbies on one side and tall storage on the other. I figured it could be used for either clothes or even a craft cupboard.

I had a couple wall rub on decals from a past project in my daughters room that I decided to use on the doors. I used them in an unconventional way by base coating the whole piece in a light gray, then placing the decals on the center of the doors and painting over them in a citron green/yellow. Once the paint dried, I peeled the decals off and was left with a beautiful crisp design. I appologize, I did take pictures of this process but they disappeared from my camera chip. I also added citron stripes on the sides by using "the ruler on a roll" scotch blue tape.

I'm not sure what Ethel and Burt would think of the transformation. I think it might be a little too "hip" for them. I know one thing for sure though...NOW it is square.


     Linking up to these lovely ladies:



Monday, November 21, 2011

Feeling the Crunch

Does anyone else out there love to craft and create...until there is a deadline? I just about collapsed to the floor yesterday (for real) after I took back my house from the mountains of furniture and home decor trinkets piled in every room  . They finally arrived down in my booth, in one piece none the less. Thanks to my hubby and his expert trailer loading skills. I must have been a big ole' knot of stress and didn't really realize it until yesterday. I felt like  a wet noodle after it was all done. I don't know why I do this to myself, this is supposed to be fun.

I have a definite problem with things that are repetitive. I really don't want this to turn into a therapy session but OMG, I really admire people like Marian at http://missmustardseed.com/ that diligently create mountains of Christmas ornaments and the like. I just can't find it in myself to make more than a couple of  any given thing. Maybe if I had a crew of out of work elves or something. Anyway, this is a salute to all you ladies that stick it out and get the job done!

Here is a photo of what I did manage to accomplish. I made these boxes to sell at our holiday open house from the free wooden framework that our friends truck fenders were packed in. I made the handles using some cut apart canvas belts I picked up at the Goodwill for $1.99 . I incorporated some antique style papers I had along with a plaster relief technique I have used before in signs and on furniture. I figured they would be great filled for use as centerpieces or as a vessel for those that take homemade cookies and such to friends as gifts.  Pardon the corny photo...with no make-up, UGH! Well, that's my reality most days.

I will post pictures of my space at "The Roost" after I tweak a few things. We should be up and running after Thanksgiving so I think I'll just attempt to allow myself a little relaxation until then. Wishing you and yours the most wonderful , stress free holiday!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Farmhouse Cutie Patootie

Still busy as busy gets getting things ready for the opening of my booth this weekend and the weather is so not cooperating! They have a tendency to blow things out of proportion here in Oregon when reporting on the weather. It isn't just going to rain...it will be monumental,  falling in sheets, the worst we've ever seen. I don't put too much stock into it, yeah it's raining and going to rain more...did I mention this is Oregon?

Okay, enough of that already. I am taking a moment to show you a simple ole' farm style chair that I picked up recently for a whopping $10. When my hubby saw it he asked "is it for a wide person?" I had to laugh, I don't really know it's story; just thought it was unique. In it's former life it was "you need sunglasses to look at it" neon yellow and graced the front porch of an old farmhouse...problem is you couldn't actually sit on it because you'd soon find your hiney dragging the ground. Who wants a chair you can't actually sit on?

I had to fix that first thing. A little webbing courtesy of Joann's Fabrics and some black upholstery tacks to the rescue. That yellow, well it had to go. I primed it bright white and then painted it in a satin ivory color I had in my existing paint stash. I distressed the edges aged it and waxed it, but she was still naked.

The rusticness (is that a word?) of the style and the red in the webbing lent itself to a country feeling. I broke out my favorite go to fabric...a drop cloth from the hardware store. I stapled a ruffle around the bottom and fashioned a cushion for the seat and backrest accented with a touch of the red. I debated whether or not to transfer an image to the back cushion, but opted to just leave it plain. I think she looks a lot better than she did. She'll be making the journey to "The Roost" this weekend in hopes of finding a new home.
I think she stands a good chance since we live in the land of tree farms, nurseries and cow pastures.

Linking up to these lovely ladies:


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Psycho Bar

The pace has been crazy around here, I literally have been painting, sewing, Goodwill hunting, gluing, plastering...and this was just today! Oh yes, and all without water...the well shut down last night due to a yellow jacket in the electrical panel. I must be honest, my biggest concern was that I wouldn't be able to make my morning coffee (which I so badly need). Followed by not being able to wash out my paintbrushes....taking a shower should have been up there too, but I have been covered in paint and dust for so many days I don't think anyone would notice anyway.

I thought I would take a moment to share the latest project I completed, actually almost...I didn't notice until I loaded the pictures onto the computer that the back is still missing, oops. A few months back I went to retrieve my latest Craigslist score, a small old phonograph cabinet for the wonderful price of only $10...score.

On a whim I asked my mother to go with me since we've had some scary stories around here on the news as of late. Thank goodness I did, when I pulled up to the house in a not so great part of town you couldn't even see it from the road. There was a long damp, dark hedged tunnel up to the door. I thought to myself as I walked up that a person could disappear in there and no one would be the wiser. I knocked on the door for what seemed like forever when finally it creaked open. The guy was the spitting image of Anthony Perkins from "Psycho" which added to the creepy factor. It goes without saying, I lived. My mother was so glad she had come along and lectured me all the way home about never going to these places alone. I know she loves me, but I kind of felt like I was 12 again.

12 year old me

My plan was to paint and distress the base a yummy olive green and stain the top easy right? Wrong! Apparently Mr. creepy guy had used it in his garage or something because even after I sanded it down to bare wood the stain kept separating. Eventually I gave up and decided to cover the top with a leatherish mat that I found and use bronze nail heads to finish it off. I cut the old phonograph guts out and made it into a "manly little minibar". What do you think? Was it worth a near death experience? I think so.

Until next time-Carrie

 I'm linking up to these lovely ladies:


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Getting Ready For "The Roost"

Finally getting back into the swing of things after what I thought would be a simple sinus surgery ...WRONG! I have literally been down and out for a few weeks, it kicked my butt! Upside, I lost 10 lbs. downside, fever;infection;pain. I know eventually I will reap the benefits of it all, but I've yet to experience it. Time will tell.

Now that I kinda' sorta' feel like myself again I've been trying to play catch up in project land. About a month ago I applied for a booth in a little antique and crafters venue called "The Roost" at Wade Creek House. Well, a few nights ago I was invited to attend their monthly meeting and bring in some samples of what I like to do to be jurried. I was nervous, something about being judged I guess. I brought in a menagerie of things painted, sewn, assembled. I do a lot of different things,repetition bores me.

Needless to say, all my worry was for nothing. They asked me to join their group and by the 15th of November I get to start creating vignettes in my booth. I am excited, but soooo behind. My project pile is daunting and let's just say I have been spending more time studying the bedroom ceiling than sleeping! This is something I have wanted to try for some time, and now I have the opportunity. I better go bundle up and head for the garage...I hear a few dozen dusty pieces of furniture calling my name.

Until next time- Carrie