It’s time for another installment of the series formerly known as Get Inspired and now known as Things As Beautiful As My Sisters. Read the rest of this entry
Tag Archives: furniture make over
As you know from reading this blog my family is creative, fun and totally supportive.
When I was home recently I talked to them a little bit about both how great it is to have this business and to write this blog . But I also confessed that sometimes project ideas were few and blog post inspirations were occasionally hard to come by.
My sisters, Paula (charming, vibrant and extremely youthful*) and Phebe (smart, clever, creative and equally young and vibrant) came up with a great idea. They would scour the net looking for fun and interesting ideas and put them on a shared Pinterest board. Then, once a week, I could do a post called…..
…..well, we weren’t sure what to call it.
I tossed out “Sister Sunday!” but we decided that might make people think it was a nun convention.
I also contemplated “Stuff My Sisters Found Online When They Probably Should Have Been Working” but, strangely enough, that too got voted down.
Finally I settled on Get Inspired!
They’ve actually provided me with a lot of choices but I just want to show three of them this week.
This tin ceiling tile end table from One Shabby Old House looks terrific and gives me some great ideas for two little end table I have:And check out this amazing Ikea makeover from Better After. I have a dresser quite similar to this in my bedroom and it may get this treatment soon.And finally, in the “that’s insanely clever” category this magazine holder used as a shelf from Design Sponge!
OK, I’m ready to attack the week with new ideas and inspirations. Thank you Phebe and Paula!
*As are my other sister, Sally, my parents and numerous cousins.
Hope everyone had a good weekend!
It was gloriously rainy and cold in Los Angeles so I was forced to be inside getting my act together.
I failed. My act is very, very not-together. Ah well
But, it was still a nice weekend!
Actually, I’ve been on quite a text-on-furniture kick of late and wanted to share another table I made recently.
You may recall I picked up this little guy about a week ago. I’m not quite sure what the original owner’s plan was there with the blue top and the one blue leg nor was I quite sure what I wanted to do with it. But the little shelf there on the bottom got me to thinking about my family’s deep and sincere love of books.
My grandfather’s basement had a book collection so large that there was actually a card catalog! My Uncle Chuck is a terrific author of everything from mysteries to a wonderful book on the History of Advertising.
And, throughout my childhood the Sunday routine was to go to church, go to brunch and then go to a bookstore wherein each member of the family would go off in different directions and bury themselves in books. The Hardy Boys were my literature of choice for quite a while and there was nothing better than a new adventure.
I still love books and spend huge hunks of time happily wandering the ever-scarcer book stores in the area. So when The Muse gave me the following quote I knew it was destined for my little table:
I just have time for a quick post as I’m scrambling to get everything together and ready for tomorrow’s Rose Bowl.
I seem to be on a text kick. Subway Art, letters etc etc.
I either know exactly what I want to do with a piece of furniture or I have no clue what to do and it has to sit in my garage for a while before inspiration strikes.
When I saw this woebegone piece in the thrift store I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.It was in bad shape. Wobbly legs, and ton’s of splits along the rim but I really liked the shape of the top and the curve of the legs.
So, after some serious patching and priming I got to work with my blender pen method and one of my favorite Shakespeare Sonnets and headed for the romantic side of furniture.
OK, off to sand things, staple things and general finish all the things that really should have been finished two days ago. Wish me luck! (and, of course, if you’re local please come on by the Rose Bowl tomorrow. It should be a beautiful day!)
It’s the big Rose Bowl run up. One piece of furniture down……several to go……..
However, my sister Phebe wisely weighed in on that idea.
You see Phebe marches to a different drummer than I do.
Phebe’s drummer is way cool and waaaay together. Her drummer leads her to have alphabetized spices and to never be late. My drummer…..probably got fired from the band for missing rehearsal.
Anyway, Phebe pointed out that as a mom of three she wouldn’t have been thrilled to find chalk dust all over her children’s clean clothes.
I really couldn’t argue with her reasoning and so a new idea was born.
Or rather a recent idea was expanded.
I seem to have a thing lately for old postcards. So after some mad downloading from the Graphics Fairy and a few other sources I came up with this.
It’s Fresh Start Monday!
Well, I’ve dubbed it that after having a kind of haphazard weekend wherein I sorta got things done, kinda got organized, and almost ate well (I say that because I managed to eat an entire pie….in one sitting…..I have a pie problem…..).
So, welcome to Fresh Start Monday!
The house is clean and my workspace is organized. Well, lets be honest – organized-ish – meaning it looks organized but several things just got moved to another room and stuffed in a closet… which will probably lead to a blog post titled “Tragic Tuesday!” wherein I recount my trip to the emergency room after having heavy things fall on my head when I opened a certain closet door.
Today is all about production line. Make a 50 coasters. Cut out three HOME signs. Paint the ceiling. Mail out orders. Cut wood for chalkboard bunting. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Since photos of my assembly line arent particularly arresting I thought I’d share a before and after I did on a little dresser I happened across a while ago.
Here is the (almost) before. I seem to have a hard time remembering to take pictures as I go along. So I guess this would be mid-before- meaning I had taken the drawers out, sanded and primed it grey (it was handy).
I finally settled on a two-tone color scheme and added a little detail to the front and some white knobs.
OK back to the assembly line!
Hope everyone else has or had a great Monday!
It happened again!
The Rose Bowl suddenly snuck up on me and I was (wait for it!) UNPREPARED!
So I ran around like a crazy person finishing up tons of projects while – never one to focus on just one aspect of my life at a time – simultaneously closing the run of the play I was in.
Planning? I don’ t need no stinking planning!
I decided to make use of the natural outside light rather than trying to stage something indoors but I think all I managed to do was make it look like they had just escaped and were making a run for it.
Keeping with my Frenchy theme I had some solid oak chairs that I had purchased for a song a very long time ago. In my homage to Miss Mustard Seed I had splurged on some French Grain Sack material and gave a shot at that vintagy, frenchy, shabby, look (apparently the chairs also made a break for it).
Some vintage Halloween goodness,
And I was all set.
The people showed up!
Nobody bought anything!
I went from September being my best month ever to October being my worst month ever. Ugh.
I understand markets are unpredictable (hello my 401K) but sheesh!
Ah well. Onward!
At least Etsy sales have been robust and now, when I suddenly realize in early November that, “oh my god the Rose Bowl is next week!” I won’t have to do much!
(that would be the lemonade-I-made-from-lemons-half- filling-my-glass perspective)
Shall we link?
Some of my days can only really be described as a little schizophrenic.
This was my day.
Up and to the gym at 5.
A couple of hours of mod-podging coasters and projects and answering some emails.
Shower and dress as “an intellectual archivist” and drive over to Hollywood to audition for The Office.
After the audition it’s back home to
A) Remove the carcass of the dead rat from the garage
B) Continue to make coasters and HOME signs
C) Send out Etsy orders
D) Memorize my lines for my other audition
Then shower, change clothes to be “an incredibly dull physics professor” and back over to Hollywood to audition for Parks and Recreation.
Then back home, change clothes and out to the garage for candle block drilling.
See? A little random!
As I was driving back home from audition number 2 my ipod – as it often does – played the perfect song:
Good Life (by OneRepublic):
What there is to complain about
When you’re happy like a fool
Let it take you over
Oh this has gotta be the good life
This has gotta be the good life
This could really be a good life, good life
And it really is a very, very good life! (the rat’s feelings about the day may differ)
This is exactly what I wanted my life to be when I decided to leave the 9-5 world!
But enough about that, I promised an update on my French Label Table. I’m very pleased with the results this time.
and my intention was to add this graphic from the Graphics Fairy collection
using a Blender Pen made by ChartPak that I found out about via the terrific Villabarnes blog.
My first attempt at the label transfer was spotty at best and failed completely when I tried to seal it with wax and it washed the whole design away. Ugh.
So, this time I vowed to do better – here are the steps I took:
1) I repainted the top with a flat white ceiling paint and then gave it a light sanding.
2) On the computer I reversed the label and upped the saturation so that the black lines were really, really black.
3) I wanted the label to end up being larger than 8.5×11 (the maximum size I can print) so I broke it up into sections and blew each part up to the size I wanted and printed them out separately on my Laser Printer. NOTE: This technique only works with laser prints – apparently- ink jet prints will run.
4) I then laid each piece face down and taped it to the table so it wouldn’t move.
5) Then it’s just a matter of rubbing the blender pen over the paper. I found out that you really need to rub aggressively to make the transfer really work. It may look like the ink is bleeding but that’s OK.
6) A couple of sections didn’t come out as dark as I wanted but it was easy to re-print that section of the label, line it up and do it over again.
I’m pleased with the results but I’m going to wait for it to dry very, very thoroughly before some further distressing and a sealer coat. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I think this technique has lots of possibilities and the Blender Pen was only about $3.00 so it’s pretty affordable (and kinkos or staples can give you laser jet copies if you don’ t have a laser printer).
So all-in-all a very good day!
Hope everyone else also had a good Tuesday!
I wasn’t prepared for the photography.
You see beautiful pictures in magazines or on blogs (I’m lookin’ at you Miss Mustard Seed) and they seem so natural and easy. Just snuggle your piece of furniture up against a wall, add some stuff and viola – awesome picture.
Not so much.
I spent my morning trying to figure out where I could photograph this blue table I finished this weekend.
So I wandered from room to room wondering, among other things, why there is never an electrical outlet where I need one but there is ALWAYS one where I want to take a picture?! There is always either an electrical outlet or a vent. And to add insult to injury the vents don’t even work anymore – a vestige of an old system.
I also speculated on why I am driven to paint things colors that don’t go with any of my walls or props. Or the flowers that grow in the yard.
That was my morning.
Long story short. I failed. No blue props. No wall that looked right. But I haven’t given up! So we can all look forward SOMEDAY to a charming picture of a blue table and its best friends the electrical outlet and the vent. If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em.
In the meantime I’m going to show off a desk and a couple of chairs I worked on that are black and, therefore, go with the green wall in my sunroom. I need to remember this lesson.
This desk arrived in pieces (well, actually I bought it in pieces so I really can’t pretend to be shocked. But, bottom line. Pieces). It wasn’t the most elegant of things – one of those functional, Ikea-ish numbers but it was solid pine and the price was right ($25!).
I’d also, fairly recently bought a family of chairs that were down on their luck.
So I got to work.
I have this thing about taking the backs off of desks and making some pattern back there. It’s not the most practical of decorations – I mean, if you use the desk how often do you see the back of it? Seldom. But, I don’t know – perhaps it’s a nice little surprise when you clean it and say “oh, I’d forgotten there was that pretty pattern back there.” Kind of your cleaning reward.
So, a little sanding, a little patterning, some minor upholstery work and……..
Shall we link?
This may not be the best way to follow up my “I stole from the Salvation Army” post because now I seem to have done a similar thing at Goodwill and you’re going to start wondering about my moral center. But I swear (again) it wasn’t intentional!
A friend tipped me off that there was a Goodwill outlet nearby. I had no idea that Goodwill had “outlet stores” and I must confess the idea of a place filled with items that are so bad that they didn’t sell in a regular Goodwill didn’t sound all that promising but I had to check it out.
It turned out to be a warehouse filled with unsorted piles of clothes with a small area of housewares and random furniture. And I saw this:
Bad paint job, lots of dings and scratches and whoever had owned it was a big fan of chewing gum (previously chewed and “saved” portions were in every drawer and under the top edge). They were also waaaaay into the Little Mermaid with stickers of Ariel and friends everywhere.
But there was lots of potential! It was solid wood with dovetailed drawer joints.
However, there was no price on it or, in fact, on anything in the store.
It turns out that, at the outlet, the check-out people call the price based on some secret rubric that only they know.
A woman ahead of me in line held up a chair and was told “three dollars!” The next woman’s basket of mis-matched glassware went for “two dollars!”
It was my turn and I pointed at the desk and the cashier said “twenty five dollars!”
It seemed like a good deal to me but I’m a little math-challenged and I had to take a second to calculate if, in the end, that price plus the work it needed would work for me.
But the cashier confused my “math-challenged” face for my “that’s too expensive” face” (totally understandable as both involve brow-furrowing and a general appearance of unhappiness) and she immediately countered her own offer by saying “ten dollars!”
Startled, I tried to explain that I wasn’t actually trying to haggle with Goodwill (which seemed like it would be another bad-karma move) but she just repeated “ten dollars” in a kind of adamant way so I paid and hightailed home.
I had first imagined the desk covered with maps or maybe Hardy Boys book covers but the more I worked on it the more I came to feel it was more of a little girl’s desk. And after seeing this in a Restoration Hardware catalogue
I decided to go with a classic pink, white and brown scheme.
I thought the drawers needed a little more dimension so I added some wooden plaques from Michaels to the fronts along with some pink crystal knobs.
And it came out like this:
I thought it would look good in some little girls room but, surprisingly, I sold it to a grown (albeit tiny) woman whose only real concern was if her computer monitor would fit. You just never know….