Monday, August 29, 2011

Summer's End

I don't know about you, but it seems to me that Summer is over as soon as the kiddos head back to school.  I don't feel like waiting until September 23 to start getting geared up for Fall.  I really felt though like this latest piece needed to have that easy, breezy summer feel to it.  That mellow, melting last of the sunny yellow days feel.  I gave you a sneak peak of this sweet little 3 drawer chest that I picked up a few weeks back.  Remeber this?
I worked on this last week and finished it up to show you today.  I just have to say that I might have a really, really hard time letting this one ever leave.  See what you think.
She truly is so sweet.  She was base coated in ASCP Cream, then highlighted in Old White.  When I finished I really thought she needed something on the pretty side panels.  I found more inspiration in Country Collectibles #65 2011 Decorating Shortcuts/Quick Updates.   These techniques were tutorials taken from
Quick & Easy Paint Transformations  by Annie Sloan, CICO Books, 2010, 160pp.

I simply followed the simple directions for painting the cow parsley as Annie outlined.  The technique is simple enough for those with no fine painting training or skills to accomplish.  Your tools are a little paint (I used some decoart that I had on hand in a soft gray), torn pieces of cardboard from a cereal box, and a matchstick.  I'm telling you, I have got to get this book! 

Another shot of the other side.

New hardware and very light distressing with a clear wax finish complete this piece, which may need to live at my house for a long while!

I have to confess to being a DIY/Decorating Magazine junkie.  I pick up a lot of them along the way to oooh and ahhh over the inspiring photos.  I really do buy a lot of them, but I have never dog-eared so many pages as I have out of this Decorating Shortcuts edition.  I'm finding tons of inspiring ideas in here.  So I have to know, because so many of you out there are so UBER CREATIVE, where do you find your inspiration?  What makes your head spin with fresh ideas?  I have to say, it sometimes seems daunting to try and come up with something fresh when so many have already gone before you.  I check out tons of blogs everyday to feed my creative fires, I buy a lot (sorry Mr.) of lovely magazines, and I've even joined the Pinterest hoards and am learning all about "pinning".  Heaven help me!  Tell me what you do to stay fresh, to push yourself to try something new, to stay energized??

Have a happy week!
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beauty & The Beast

This "tale as old as time" could be said to be true in my house.  My husband likes to jokingly refer to us a Furniture Rescue.  Give us your tired, your broken, your chipped up, stained, burned, gouged, and dusty/dirty furniture and we will shelter it, repair it, clean it, beautify it, and find it a new loving family.  (I think he likes that last part the best.)  We found The Beast in great need of all of the above.  As a matter of fact, when my husband picked it up I was frankly quite shocked that he had loaded up this puppy to bring home instead of turning it down!  The Beast was a large table, 7 chairs, 2 leaves, and 1 broken chair.  It came from a house of 6 children.  Children who evidently were allowed to use markers on the table and cushions, use glitter glues on or off the paper, paint their nails, and perhaps try to clean up a spill with remover that the poly coating really didn't like!  There was dried up cereal stuck to the legs of the table and chairs.  It looked as though no attempt had ever been made to clean up any type of mishap.  But enough of that, because it had pretty features and was a solid piece it was worth the work we put into it!  It took quite a while to complete so that's why I've been pretty quiet on the blog lately. 

The chairs lined up in the march to the photo shoot.  Can you just hear..."Be our guest, be our guest..."?

And The Beast turned into The Beauty!

The broken chair was not repairable and gets added to our parts to pillage pile, so we went with the 7 chairs.  The table is large, 43x68 without any leaves in it.  One of the 2 leaves was sacrificed so that we could repair some of the broken beading around the table and remaining leaf.  I also tried several strippers on it in the hopes of being able to salvage the wooden top on the table.  This is not a vintage or antique set and I don't know what kind of protective finish was applied but that stuff was like kryptonite.  Holy smokes, no amount of chemicals or sanding was going to give you a stainable top.  So, I painted it to hide the hideous mishaps. 
Some gratuitus pretty leg shots for ya!  The carving details and turned legs were so nice on this piece it's why I sent the Mr. after it.  Look at the chair backs...

I chose to use Annie Sloan's Old White paint on all of the pieces.  They are distressed and waxed with a clear wax except for the table top which has several coats of poly to keep it looking pretty for a long time. 
All the seats were recovered in a pretty "duck egg" blue fabric with ivory, mocha, and darker blue flowers and leaves running through it. It is 43x83 with the remaining leaf in it. I'm very pleased over all with how this group turned out.  I truly hope it ends up in a nice home where someone will appreciate it's beauty.  Sorry about the photos and poor lack of staging.  We were running out of light and I wanted to get this ready for a post and move on to more projects!  I am surprisingly not as patient as I thought I was.  Huh.
Wouldn't it be pretty though all set up for a lovely outdoor dinner party?  Hopefully next time...
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Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Paris Gray & Old Violet a` la deux!

Well hello there!  I have to apologize for being so neglectful l of the blog while I spent the last few weeks of summer outfitting my chicks for school, having some fun camping, and getting pedicures, going out to lunch, and catching a few last minutes at the pool and hanging out.  Now, they're all off to school full time!  My baby started kindergarten today, and we were both so excited.  She is very ready, which made it so easy for both of us to leave with grins on our faces. 

I'm also sorry for few reveals lately.  The big project languished while I played, and then I finally ran out of paint before finishing.  More has arrived and I hope to have it ready to reveal later this week or early next.  In the meantime, I snuck in an amazing pair.  Painted first with Old Violet Chalk Paint, and then topped with Paris Gray this Vanity/Desk/Hall Table and Dresser/Buffet turned out so lovely.  Sigh, I just love me some Annie Sloan chalk paint.  Here is the Vanity both with and without the mirror.
I purposely distressed enough for the Old Violet to show through.  This is a lovely Mahogany top re stained and sealed with Antique Oil.  The drawers are all dove tailed and it is in beautiful condition.  Wonderful storage for either a dressing table or as a pretty desk.  I can also see it in an entry way as a place to catch keys and the daily mail.  So much versatility!  Here it is with it's companion piece.

Aren't they pretty together?  The dresser also has a mirror that has been refinished also.  It was missing a finial though so we are on the search to recreate the missing one, or replace it with something very similar.  It would be just as useful without the mirror as a stunning buffet piece, or below the flat screen TV to store the remotes, and all the other things that clutter up our family rooms.  It has been finished identically to the vanity in the event that someone wishes to purchase them both for an elegant bedroom.  You can't beat the storage in this dresser/buffet, with the nice deep dovetailed drawers. 

Love, love all the detailing on these 2 pieces.  So pretty without being overly feminine.

These two pieces were a pleasure to work on and I hope to find them a lovely home to move to at the Prairie Pickers & Peddlers Market in October if not sooner! 
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Hope you all are having a terrific week!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Fabulousness!

Is fabulousness a real word?  Doesn't matter because I call like I see it!  I had some fun checking out a local show of wonderful 'Junque', then hit a few garage sales on our way home.  Our church had a great sale and they were to that point that they were handing you a bag and everything you could get in it was a $1. Woa, that's a challenge that is hard to resist!  Here's what made it into my 2 bags.
SCORE!  Ice skates, I've been wanting a pair for a Christmas wreath for, well, foreveh (as my little one says)!  A vintage makeup case, only the plastic needs cleaned up and then I can have some fun making this one special.  Old flash cards, YES! 

Look at the pretty embroidered vintage apron.  Love the bluebirds! 

Some wire baskets will be fun to decorate or repurpose, more vintage linens...see the pretty hankies in the background?  Sweet.

More frames to have fun with, and of course I found some tins to spray up and decorate with my Silhouette.
As if the weekend couldn't get any better I also managed to score a Craig's List find. 

Here's the "before", along with the legs of lots of other projects waiting to be Niced up!  I think this will be a cute little piece and I'm itching to get started on it!
Hope you all had a great weekend, and are off to a productive week!  I'm headed out to put in some time on my big (FOREVEH) project, then on to some smaller finishes I hope to have ready to show soon!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wild Thing You Make My Heart Sing

When coming up for a title random songs seem to run in my mind.  Have you noticed I'm doing that??  Strange!  When I first told my parents about my new adventure in furniture rescuing and restyling they didn't jump up and down with joy, they started emptying their basement out and bringing it to me.  I'm ok with that.  One of the things they unloaded on me was a vintage blond oak magazine rack.  It weighs a TON and it came with the motor home they bought a while back.  Since my Dad is always trying to get my Mom to "lighten the load" (for those of you who have seen Lucille Ball in "The Long, Long Trailer" you get why) she decided it must go.  I set it in a corner, loaded it full of stuff and waited for some kind of inspiration to hit.  I waited quite a while.  I should have taken a "before" while I waited, but I didn't.  Sorry.

I'm a magazine buying fanatic and the other day I picked up a copy of Country Collectibles #65 2011 Decorating Shortcuts.  One of their quick updates was a stencil project on a cute, but plain dresser.  It was the perfect plan for my magazine rack!  They made their own masking stencils with contact paper.  I lazily used my Silhouette to cut out shapes and a saying that I liked.  I primed and painted the magazine rack in Heirloom White by Rustoleum and let this dry overnight.  This morning I placed all of my masking cutouts on the rack and sprayed it again using Rustoleum's Aqua.  After that dried I removed all the vinyl and Voila!, Instant Cute!
I think this is a technique I'll be trying again once I find a perfect dresser or table.  It was a lot of fun, and I just love how whimsical it turned out.  Mom just might want this back!

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Have a great day!