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.