Friday, December 20, 2013

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!!

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Are we all hustling and bustling with the best of them?  I went into full blown panic mode around December 5th when everyone I met wanted to know if I was about done with my Christmas Shopping?
Say what?!  I thought I'd have all of December to take care of that!  Needless to say, I've been all over it ever since.  Little things get completed in the workshop over the Holidays.  Which is as it should be.  I've been spending time completing a few non-furniture rescue projects, working on a few hand made gifts, and trying to add some Christmas cheer to my home decor.  January, after I catch a few bowl games, I will be back in full production.  I do have a fun reveal though for you here at the end of 2013.

 Remember those Sorority desks?  They've been good to me this year.  When my Mr. was home in October due to the "Sequester" I kept him occupied bringing to fruition one of my ideas for some of the desks.  Here is #1, a lovely lady who transitioned from desk to bar/kitchen cart with an industrial feel.

She now has locking roller wheels for instant mobility, 2 removable shelves for storing some wine bottles, ice buckets, or extra serving pieces, and loads of drawer space for the straws, stir sticks, glass ware, and napkins!

This photo more accurately displays her true color, a soft cream.  And I have been in love with these chunky knobs from the beginning and can't seem to ever want to replace them.  Which really isn't like me at all!
And, pardon the dust that I forgot to remove before photographing, but the new top is sporting a dark walnut stain over oak, and many (MANY) coats of glossy poly.  What do you think of the industrial handles on each side?  Perfect for mobility, and handy for hanging up a bar/kitchen towel.  
This particular cart is spoken for.  She will be part of a raffle/door prize in January.  I have one more of these bad boys to work on someday and then there are no more.  I do have some of the great dressers from the house so hang onto your hats as I work my way through the last of those great pieces!  

As Christmas nears I would like to take this time to wish you and yours a very blessed Holiday!  Remember the Christ child born in the lowly stable and offering us His Grace and Salvation as the best and truest gift we may receive!  

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rip Van Winkle

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Well, that was a nice long nap!  It feels almost awkward to come back after such a lonnnnnnng break.  There really is no great explanation.  Big sale, need to get to some fall activities with the kids, new computer to figure out, some custom work to complete post sale, some relaxing girl time and some days just to veg out finally.  I'm not saying I have a handle on it yet, not with the holidays suddenly upon us, but I do feel refreshed and ready to move ahead.  So, I'm sorry if you missed me, and I hope some of you actually noticed, ha!

Here is a quick finish that I had, a bit of a success and a bit of a fail.  I will probably end up redoing this puppy so just wait for round 2, but just in case someone thinks it's just so easy peasy, and that I always get great results the first time out here is my reality check for us all.
I tried a photo transfer with some photo transfer gel.  Let me just say that it was not the product that created my problems.  It worked just as it was designed to do.  Very fun, and relatively easy.  I just kept thinking that I needed to keep working off the back of the paper.  My bad, I ended up taking off a bit too much.  This photo reminds me of a place in Colorado, Central City, and the old saloon there with a painting of the "lady on the ballroom floor".  I think her name was Dolly, and that's what I've been calling my cowgirl with her six shooter, her poker chips, and the grin!
In my defense I will say that old photos are not the most color rich in the first place.  Then blow it up to such a large size and you can lose a lot of definition.  I just was a little too zealous with my 'cleaning' process.  I could probably be happy with her, but the face lost a bit too much in my estimation.  Darn it,  I love how this could have turned out.  So one of these days I'll probably take a sander to that center panel and reprise it and blow up another picture and try it again.  Wish me luck next time!
In the meantime she will just live here with me until I can work to beautify her a bit more.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving counting your many blessings!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Prairie Market 2013 edition

What a fantastic Prairie Market we just experienced!  So much fun, so many old friends stopping to shop and chat, so many new friends we made.  It's always exhausting and exhilarating all in one!  I am so proud of our little group and how we've grown through each sale.  Here are some of the photos, but one that I regret not taking was our Photo Booth!  Laura, the photographer who shot my daughter's senior photos agreed to come and bring some props along with her.  I provided her with a couple of frames to use and we were able to persuade many of our shoppers to stop by and get their photos taken.  It was so fun, and everyone will be able to re pin their photos from her Pinterest page soon.

Here we go, these were cell phone photos, and not heavily edited.

Feeling very blessed right now!
P.S.  The photo booth photos are up on Pinterest
Here is a quick one of the Prairie Market Gals

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


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I am telling the truth when I say that upholstery projects make me sweat.  Even simple chair upholstery is going to require removing 500 million staples that someone else decided needed to be applied to keep a small piece of fabric from vacating the chair.  I'm no better, once I get started putting a new fabric on I then I feel the need to tack down every. last. square. inch of loose fabric.  Then I hope whoever owns that chair next is in no hurry to change the upholstery.  

Then there is the whole "sewn" upholstery fear I have.  Good heavens, this job will require math.  I was always better in the fine arts and humanities than I ever was in math and science.  But, when a seriously dated, but absolutely cool love seat needs some recovering I do it.  I save it for my last project, but I do it!
Da da da daaaaaa!
This one was a family piece, my parents to be exact.  Pretty wood, and pretty orange velvet cushions that needed an update.  It did require math, and about 5 hours of my day, mostly because if I figured it once I must have refigured it 5 times.  And I still had some strange results that had me refiguring things again.  But I got a zipper in, made the gusset fit just right and I'm pretty darn pleased with the end result.  
It's going to the Prairie Market because my Mr. keeps telling me, "you can't keep everything you make".  But I often want to.  I do have a strange attraction to random numbers, you've seen them on several of my painted pieces, so it should not be surprising that I chose this fabric.  The pillows were nice easy finishes with minimal math involvement, thank Heaven!

All in all I am so pleased with how this project turned out, but do not look for me to tackle many new upholstery projects anytime soon.  

Only a few more days until the 2013 Fall Prairie Market!  I'm so excited!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

SOME of the other desks

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As I mentioned in the last post, I ended up with a glut of desks in my stash.  All good, sturdy desks, and I do sell a few desks to clients who need them.  I had a lot though!  So, we began to think of different ways to repurpose some of those desks.  Today I'll show you one of the ways, which is quick and easy to do, and I have seen done on many different blogs.
Here is what we started with.  Love those huge wooden knobs.  An open knee on both sides and 2 
columns of drawers.  This is what we did.
We (and by we I mean the Mr. with my input) unscrewed the top, knocked out the center drawer, patched a few rough spots, re cut the top to fit and routed it to fit the two sets of drawers. A little paint and wax and viola`, side tables/night stands.  Love them.  I have 3 pairs, 2 of which are complete and will be for sale at the Prairie Market next weekend.  Here's what the other set looks like.
Sweet right?  Now those other desks...that's for another post.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dear Libby

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Hello to all near and far!  In the flurry of finishing and inventorying and packing for the upcoming Prairie Market (squeal), I have been neglecting the blog, the facebook page, and occasionally my family.  JK, I feed them, smile at them all the while covered in a layer of paint dust and sporting many fresh new colors on my elbows.  Today I have a post about a recent custom finish for an awesome customer, Libby.

Libby found me at NJ & Co. soon after it opened and purchased the Nail Head Buffet (one of my all time faves).  She was also fantastic enough to send me a photo of it in her house surrounded by her Christmas decor which really jazzed it up even more!  Love seeing them in their new homes.  Since that time I have been lucky enough to complete 2 more pieces for Libby, and she brought a friend on board who has also turned into a fantastic client!   

Libby loves to decorate with fairly clean lines, she is definitely not afraid to add in color, and most importantly she loves furniture that "tells a story".  Yes!  Me too!  So, here's her latest piece.
This art deco piece is huge, and heavy and so super for storage.  It also had some damage from too many people trying to lift it with their fingertips under the routed edges. 
:-(  That damage had to be removed, smoothed out and then we added a piece of trip up under the top to finish it all up nicely.  We sanded the top down and were able to re-stain it.  Lovely.
See how nicely it all turned out?  The original hardware was worn, but still very usable and it just fit this piece so we cleaned it up, sprayed the wood dowels black and put them back on.  I'd say this art deco piece looks pretty spiffy now!  Although Libby loves color and toyed with several different colors in the end she decided she wanted white.  I used Benjamin Moore Advance on it which I have really learned to love.
I think this buffet will be serving Libby and her family nicely for many years to come.  Oh, and it comes with a whole host of stories to tell.  Shhh, did you hear about the time...
Have a great week!  Don't forget to stop by the Prairie Market on October 19th!!!  We'd love to see you!
Details up above under the Prairie Market button.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Momma's Lipstick

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I had a wonderful lady ask me if I wanted some desks and dressers from a Sorority house last year, and then again this summer.  She probably didn't finish the sentence before I jumped all over that offer.  They have been wonderful and fun pieces to work on.  A while back I featured Lonesome Dove, a rustic bit of neutral colors.  Well, welcome his sister, Faded Rose.
She is blessed with ample storage, good bones, and get a load of those knobs!  I was running out of good light and this picture is a bit hyped up on the pink, but she is a pretty bright flamingo pink.  The paint is from American Paint Company, a relatively new all natural clay and mineral based paint line.  The color is "Momma's Lipstick".  Oh, yeah.
This close up is probably a closer representation of the color.  It was so bright that I decided to play with it to tone it down.  First I added a wash of APC's "Rushmore", a nice taupe color.  Then, because I am insane apparently, I decided she needed bling to go with her hot pink self and added a wash of Modern Masters Metallic Silver.  Which wasn't bad, and it did tone it down.  It just didn't feel right.  So I started sanding it down to go back to the drawing board and I started liking what I was seeing.  
Faded Rose needed to be pretty, but rustic with just a hint of faded areas and a bit of shimmer still hovering about.  It's like an old favorite pair of faded pink jeans!  I love some of the old wood finish showing through.  I love that you can see a bit of the old taupe and silver wash adding depth to this piece.  You know, these dressers have served a lot of young women and held up through it all.  She's not had an easy life, but boy has it been a good one!  

Faded Rose is at NJ & Co. in Omaha where I consign some of my furniture.  She's there because NJ's hosting a Ladies Night Out on Oct. 3rd with a percentage of the profits benefiting 'Project Pink'D'.  I hope you'll come see her, and maybe someone will need a sturdy gal with a lot left to give and take her home.  If you come by, make sure to say hello!

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


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Some days I feel terribly inadequate when I look around the blog-o-sphere at some of the amazing talent out there.  It is mind boggling how in this day and age we can literally peek into the studios and homes of people and see what they have created.  It is even sweeter when they are the type of people to share the hows and whys of their projects in order to encourage us to give it a whirl.  Shelly of Shizzle Design is one of those great people who shares, and let me tell you there is no fear in Shelly!  If you haven't visited her blog go there right after you read this so you can see her amazing furniture.  She also lived in Hawaii, which definitely endears her to me since we did also and I love it when she throws in a Hawaiian phrase or two.  So when you visit say, 'Aloha!'

Shelly worked some awesome magic on a beautiful cabinet and I was so intrigued by her technique I just had to try it out.  Here is my poor attempt to copy her technique.  Her finished product is so much more fantastic than mine, but I'll show you what I ended up with.

This was a plain Jane Octagon side table when we started.  The drawer insets were cheap, thin fiber wood and they were broken.  I replace them with some sprayed decorative metal I had salvaged from another broken piece.  You'll think I'm insane when you see what it looked like with the first coat applied.
Yep, the undercoat is a bunch of fun little colors.  I worked with Versailles, Aubusson, Duck Egg, Primer Red and Graphite in Annie Sloan paints, Amber Waves of Grain and Rushmore in American Paint Company, and some Alaskan Tundra Green in CeCe Caldwell paints.  All are no prime chalk, clay or mineral based paints.  Love them.  Slap them on haphazardly, that is a true painting technique don't you know?!  I used the Rushmore in 2 light coats over the top, though I might have been able to get away with 1.
Using a combination of light sanding and wet distressing (mostly wet distressing) I gradually exposed some of the underlying paints.  Shelly's tutorial shows you in great detail how she does this.  Check it out!

On the top I dry brushed more Rushmore on top of the Graphite.  I dry brushed in both directions and then went back and sanded and wet distressed until I was happy with the results.  I used American Paint Company's dark wax to finish her off.   Here are a few more looks at the project.

What a fun little side table!  Many Ma halo's to Shelly for being so generous with her amazing skills!
A Hui Ho!

Linking to:

Elizabeth and Co.
Furniture Feature Fridays