Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It all adds up

I want to start by thanking Sharon of Elizabeth & Co., for the feature of Hard Candy Christmas!  I am happy to report that I found the perfect little stool to go with that Desk/vanity and can't wait to get it finished.

Numbers have never been my favorite thing before.  I was more of an English lit, history, social sciences kind of gal.  Math and Sciences intimidate me, well, that might be a bit strong but I never really enjoyed those classes.  Which is why you should never, ever schedule your math classes as 8:00 a.m. classes in college I tell you!

I love numbers now, the graphics at any rate.  Look what you can do with them!
This nice sized mahogany cabinet begged for something special on it's nice flat front.  I toyed with subway words (still going to do one soon), but then I ran across this, and remembered this, and I knew that I wanted to do another numbers project like I did here.
Paint is always humbling I think.  I had rather forgotten that latex paint does not like to have something peeled out from under it (reverse stencils) once it has dried. Yeah, I kind of kicked myself, then I decided to go for it, and just made the uneven look part of the distressed look.
How's that for a recovery!  Whew...
I followed the numbers theme all the way into the drawer with some fun fabric.
Obviously "Quality Control" did not follow up on the Minions "help" cleaning the inside.  It will be remedied!  2 shelves for lots of storage.
If you add it all together I think we have some success to celebrate!

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Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hard Candy Christmas

First off, a big THANKS to Jenny from Days of Chalk & Chocolate for her feature of my Peacock feather dresser.  I am always so flattered that someone likes something that I've done!

Now on to today's reveal, I've told you before that I sing while I work a lot of the time.  It's usually the piece that makes me think of a song.  I bought a can of AS Antoinette, a pretty soft rose color a few weeks back and decided to make it my Susan G. Komen pink piece for this year's proceeds donation.
I chose to paint it on a 1920-30's style waterfall vanity with gorgeous pulls and a full moon mirror.
While painting the thought "cotton candy" kept crossing my mind.  I also like to think up scenarios for what this dresser might have been through in it's "storied" life.  I gave it more "living" than the previous owners would probably appreciate when the song "Hard Candy Christmas" sprang to mind with this delightful candy colored paint!
That song was from the musical, "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas", which is based on the true story of the famous Chicken Ranch Brothel in LaGrange, Texas.  Imagine this dresser left behind in one of the "girls" rooms when it was forced to close in the 1970's by some of the very same state legislators that used to visit it frequently. 
I distressed it very heavily and imagined it's storied history, and tried not to dwell on the tales it could tell!  Hey, it's lonely and quiet out in the workshop!!  Anyway, if you haven't seen the musical a few, probably very few, of you may have seen the movie starring Dolly Parton that came out in the 80's with the same title.
Look how royal this hardware is! Love it, love the way parts of it are worn off with time.
Obviously this dressers story is a total figment of my imagination!  A very nice couple, who I don't believe have ever lived in Texas sold this to me.  But a dressing table much like this one might have lived a glorious life in Texas at The Chicken Ranch.
Anyone else out there make up Furniture Tales?  It sure makes the sanding go faster!

This dresser will be listed on my Pieces for Sale page in a few days.  The proceeds from it's sale will be donated to the Susan G. Komen foundation to help support breast cancer research in the search for a cure!  Please contact me if you live in the Omaha area and are interested in Hard Candy Christmas, which would make a great dressing table, desk, or dresser, please contact me.

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Have a great day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

It isn't always pretty

What a day!  I am covered in sanding dust, probably have a swipe of something in my hair, and my hands have been washed so much they are beginning to look like alligator skin.  On the up side it was a gorgeous day to spend out in the workshop.
And proving once again that I have some form of ADHD when it comes to my projects, I had at least 3 things going again. 
Filling holes and rebuilding missing pieces in this foot board.
There were the almost finished projects, the new starts, and, are you ready for this?  Could it be....SATAN!  I was doing my best Church Lady imitation at one point today!
This sweet little desk that I'm working on for a friend ended up giving me fits today.  Solid wood, no problem, sure I can refinish the top and remove those scratches.  Factory finishes...the bane of my existence I swear!  3 applications of Citrus Strip, and a LOT of sanding blocks...and sweat...and Church Lady improvisation, and I prevailed!  Now to make it look pretty again.  It'll be nice Julie, really!

I do have a fun little finish to share with you tomorrow.  All these fits and starts are starting to pay off!
Have a great night!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Fan Your Feathers

Lots of little technical difficulties kept me from this post, but you can tell me if you think she was worth the wait! 
I'd been wanting to try CeCe Caldwell paints and wax a try and thought this nice big 1958 Ethan Allen dresser might be the perfect piece for some experimentation.  For me there is always a strong "learning curve" to get the results that make me happy.
At first I had thought that I would do little or no distressing on this piece as I wanted it very clean and straightforward.  You know, best laid plans and all that...for me the CeCe Caldwell paints need some sanding and distressing to feel right.  My opinion only, and I've not been solicited for an opinion for that matter.  The color is Alaska Tundra Green, lovely huh?
I was lucky enough to find these cool pulls.  Aren't those tied up branches the bomb?!  See, even the hardware was telling me to distress a bit. 
Lately I've had a strange obsession with peacock feathers!  So many furniture bloggers have been adding them to pieces.  There are stencils out there, but I wanted to hand paint mine.  Many eons ago I took some painting lessons, but I haven't done much with it lately.  I have to say, even though it took some time, it was very satisfying work for me.  Rather soothing even to spend more time on a piece than I usually do.
Here's the closeup, and while not technically fabulous, I think it adds something special to this piece.
I found the inspection date stamped on the back, August 1958.  One thing Ethan Allen does is make a solid piece of furniture!  This thing is heavy so we've added some hidden wheels to make it easier to move about.  When you pull open a beautiful dove tailed drawer it looks practically brand spankin' new. I see this working wonderfully as a console piece in a family room or entry hall, as a fun side board for the kitchen or dining area, or, of course, as a unique dresser.

Where would you use it?

Have a great week!!

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Monday, May 7, 2012


I'm working on a project that is taking a bit longer to get the details taken care of so I thought I'd give you a fairly quick finish done a few weeks back to tide you over.
No before because I just randomly plucked this chair out and started immediately one morning.  But imagine a 1966 special order (the tag with fabric swatch was still attached on the bottom), pickled oak chair with avacado green pleather.  After a coat of AS Primer Red, a top coat of AS Old Ochre, and a coat of CeCe Caldwell's clear wax (love it) this is what you've got. 
I've had this fabric on hand for a long time, but I thought I'd give this chair a little shabby cottage look that would work in lots of rooms. 

Some distressing added.
And there you have it.  Sometimes a girl just needs a nice, quick, straightforward piece to work on!
For all the locals, I am almost finished updating the Pieces for Sale page.  You can find the button at the top of the blog and take your time browsing.  All of these items are for sale all the time, you don't have to wait for the next Prairie Market if you need it now!  Just give me a call or shoot me an email.
Thanks!  Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sarah, Percy & Bill

My family had a wonderful opportunity last night to join some friends as they banded a nest of owlets from a nest in their backyard!  How cool is that?!  Mr. Dave is an avid bird guy, there is probably a better technical term like aviarian or something, but we'll go with bird guy for now.  He helps band, and thus track, migratory birds like the Orioles.  Here is where it all started.
An Owl House for a pair of Barred Owls high up in the tree.  Mr. Dave is wearing a lot of protective gear, goggles, helmet, 2 coats for good reason, Mommy & Daddy were not happy we were poking around the nest.  They swooped down and will injure you with their talons given the chance.  One of our jobs was to yell where they were, what direction they were coming at him from so he could wave them off.  Crazy!

There were 3 owlets in this nest.  An owl lays an egg every day or so, thus they hatch a few days apart and were very different in size and feather development.  They were calling them "Sarah, Percy, & Bill" characters from the book, Owl Babies
The purpose for collecting these little guys was to band them so they can track them if they are ever captured or found again.
My Mr. was handed the pliers and task of banding the birds leg while Mr. Dave kept the talons and beak safely away.  Even as babies their talons are huge and sharp.  And you can hear them snap their beak together.  As a matter of fact, that's one of the ways we could spot the parent way up in the tree, we could hear him snapping in agitation.
Here's little Bill waiting his turn.  Is that not adorable?!!!  Their feathers are downy soft.
I can not believe that we were able to get this up close and personal with an owl.  Most of the older kids took turns holding the owl after donning the protective gloves.
This is about as close as Ellie thought she should get.  This might be Sarah owl.  She had many of her flight feathers in already.  It was so neat to see them at the various stages of their development.  Sarah was definitely a tad bit more feisty. 

Once the owlets were all safely returned to the nest we went back to the house where one of the "traps" (perfectly safe and humane, trust me) set up to catch the Orioles for banding had netted a female Cardinal.
Gorgeous salmon/coral colored feathers on the underside of their wings and tail.  Mr. Dave showed the kids how the feathers on their tummy molt off so they can more efficiently warm their eggs in the nest.  She was safely released right after this photo.  The Orioles return to NE in May typically so we really hope that it might work out to go back and help with the banding at that time.  I believe Mr. Dave banded around 380 last year. 

What a treat to be so close to nature last night.  Thanks Mr. Dave & family!!!
It is difficult to see, but smack dab in the center of this photo is Mommy or Daddy owl is watching all of us and wishing we would just move on.  As we were getting ready to get in the car we could hear it crying out, "Who"  "Who's cooking for you" .  That's what it sounds like anyway! 
Have a great day everyone!