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Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Carpet Progression


As I previously mentioned in a post, I glued a table to my carpet. It sounds so much worse than it really was, but I don’t know enough words to try to convince you that it really was a very reasonable accident so I am just going to forgo the excuses and get to the point. WE GOT NEW CARPET! Here’s how it went…

Before the carpet installation.

The original carpet, taken before we moved in.

Oh, and this was my minor error. See? It wasn't a huge catastrophe...right?

Once they started pulling up the carpet they found beautiful floors, but I couldn't just tell them to leave, that'd be rude.

I sort of loved it. But I can always pull the carpet up once I've outgrown it.

Once I saw the wood I decided to at least keep the stairs uncovered, even though that left quite a bit of work to be done. Tack strips, staples, nails-- all had to get torn out using a slotted screwdriver, crow bar and needle nose pliers. Then I used murphy's Oil Soap and restorer on the wood.

This is how the steps looked after I did all of their primping.

This is how the room looks with lighter carpet. I'll have to update my home photos soon.

I don't know what goes on with pictures in this room, they always glare and bounce light like crazy. But try to look past all of that and look at my beautiful, dimpled carpet.

Now that there is new carpet, I guess that means no more doing stuff like this...

Or this...

Because Kyle is never going to let me forget this.

Blushing Chair


If you’ve paid any attention to the ticker to the right, you may have noticed that I have a whopping 2 days until the vendor sale. Which is convenient because I have a whopping pieces finished, and no, that isn’t an understatement. I signed up for the sale with the intention that I will be selling services more than actual items, but I didn’t plan to go THIS empty handed. You see, I planned to finish one chair and one other bigger piece today, so I would at least have four pieces to bring to exemplify my work. Well, the bees had other plans for me.

There was a freakin’ barrage of bees milling about my garage like they pay the mortgage. I didn’t sign-up to defeat the bee militia and I sure wasn’t going to allow Olivia to roam through what has now become their promised land, so I settled to run in and out of the house spray painting and waiting all day. No, seriously. I wish I was kidding.

Either way, this is what THE ONLY ITEM that I got finished looked like when I started this adventure.

Originally it started black with white microfiber seats, but you KNOW I couldn’t ever settle for a simple black and white. So I painted the black pine green (honestly, I only chose it because my mom had some leftover and I didn’t want to buy more). This was before I learned that investing a BIT of money in your furniture will save you from a) hating it and b) refinishing it every few months, which gets tiresome. Then I reupholstered it in stripes that went with the decor that the landlords found necessary to paint my rented kitchen. I knew it was temporary so it was really a half-hearted attempt to doll it up. I didn’t even remove the original fabric, see?

So obviously the white did make a brief cameo in my old kitchen, but it doesn’t take long for white to get painted and spilled upon. Whether it was from mistreatment or the sheer boredom, I found it necessary to cover the white with stripes, and now the stripes are replaced with a really neat dark blue and white pattern. Plus I added vinyl (4 gages thinner than I used in Danielle’s Chairs, and I had it right the first time with hers. My gage 4 is too thin because it’s so easy to stretch out of shape like a plastic shopping bag.) Even with thin vinyl, it is still way better than no vinyl at all!

This time is quite different than the last time I made my chair a bit more “me;” I picked my own paint color (I like to call it “Blush.”) and even tore the old fabric off of the seat! This is how you know college is over: Not everything you own/use is someone else’s hand-me-downs and you actually care about how your harebrained schemes turn out.

And this is how mine turned out!

Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire


Just a real quick pick-me-up for drab fireplace gear! At very least you should have a poker and a grabber (no, those are definitely not technical terms), but they don’t always look so fun or chic. In fact, most of the time they look like this…

Not quit the utensils you imagine in those Nora Roberts novels where a sophisticated, yet ruggedly manly college professor entertains a beautiful, wayward traveler while he tends to his fire at his summer cabin where he hopes to commune with nature and write a few chapters in his book filled with deep thoughts and soulful feelings. Boy, I really get sidetracked don’t I?

In order to make my metal gear a bit more “Ooh La La,” I decided to unscrew the handles and toss a little primer and spray paint in their direction. I know that not all utensils are made with removable handles (though many are) you can still tape off the stems to isolate the area you’d like to paint.

Once the paint has dried you can spray a little clear sealer on just for the sake of it. I don’t foresee myself using these too rigorously in the near future, but I sprayed mine juuuuuuust in case I decide to start getting cozy near a fire on a bear skin rug.

I hate to wrap this up so abruptly, but this is truly a quick, simple project that livens up your tools without stealing your focus by it’s garishness.

Just bright enough to work.

The Mother of Invention


My mom has always had antiques of some kind in our house growing up. She never seemed to have any strong attachment to them so she never had any qualms about using them as though they were everyday items. Antique tables and chairs were used as though they were just as sturdy and new as the ones made within the last 10 years. Maybe that’s why I don’t hesitate to semi-destroy them in order to put them back together. I’m not afraid I’m going to ruin something sacred, I always know it’s only a piece of furniture.

Like this 1920’s, wrought iron, ice cream parlor chair. As you can see, I usually get my cart before the horse, so the demolition began on the seat before I remembered to take the before picture. Regardless, you get the overall idea; the seat was made of thin wood and painted the same green as the rest of it. By design it can never really be boring, but I like to shake things up.

I started by taking it apart by twisting the nuts and removing the screws. This wasn’t super hard, but it was pretty violent. I didn’t realize the iron was so rigid that as soon as I undid the screws the iron swung back and happened to hit Kyle in the leg (Jeeze, why was he standing there anyway?) It didn’t do much damage to him, but it was right at Olivia’s face level so if it was her standing there then she probably would’ve lost some teeth..but I’m getting off track here.

Once it was apart I decided that I didn’t want to put a chair back together, I wanted to create a stool. It’s too high for a step stool, but just right for a foot stool or even a bonus chair when more seating is needed. So working with just the bottom parts, I soaked the old nuts, bolts and brackets in apple cider vinegar to remove rust and spray painted the wrought iron yellow.

Then the issues began. You see, I have limited tools and I really, really needed  a band saw to create a seat. I couldn’t find a wooden 14″ circle at any store that would work for it. I had even already picked the fabric and made a gosh darn cushion! But at the end of the day, you got to face the reality of a situation and change your plans accordingly. As Plato said “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And I needed to make this work.

I took a trip to the hardware store and looked for something to make this work. And wouldn’t you know, everything was either 8″, 10″ or 12″. Not surprisingly, those are standard size for pipes and ducts. But then I went to JoAnn Fabric and scoured the shelves for something, ANYTHING! And I happened to stumble upon a mirror that I almost passed up. I had played with the idea of a mirror, but I wanted a stool damn it! I didn’t want to be “That girl over there selling all the tables.” But I’d rather be that than “The girl over there with nothing to sell.” So I bought the mirror and committed.

But what about my pretty fabric? Never you fear, I worked it in. I simply Mod-Podged the fabric to the outside of the screws and tucked back the excess fabric. I also sealed the chair with Mod-Podge, because it’s water proof and basically the best pseudo-liquid ever invented. Now the screws resemble fabric covered buttons.

Lastly, I put the little guy together. If you recall the wrought iron was super rigid, so it was hard to put it together as it was standing upright like a table. I had to flip it over and set the table legs onto the table top instead of vice-versa. I had to muscle the crap out of it, but I finally got the iron in place and screwed together. And this is what happened…

This little table would be adorable inside as a colorful plant stand or even a bold bedside table. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! Because it is made of wrought iron and waterproofed with Mod-Podge (even the fabric on the button/bolts got a good coating) it would also work as a cute poolside or porch table. I dare you to tell me this wouldn’t brighten up your lanai! Plus, with it being outside, the bright colors may not be as alarming as some may perceive them indoors.

I am basically over the moon for this item. I have always felt that my unique quirks (like button bolts or an 80’s table top mixed with a 20’s design) is what drives my style. And maybe it isn’t always my brain child that causes these fun idiosyncrasies, but for me..

Necessity is the Mother of Design.

Entryway Peace


I finished my third piece for my vendor sale (that takes place in 6 days) and to follow suit with the second piece that I finished I decided not to sell it. I know, I know, what the heck am I going to sell?! Well that’s a good question. I love this new item, but I feel like it is too taste specific (my taste) and I don’t want to lug the big beluga in and out of the truck (possibly damaging it), just to have to load it back into it again. So this will just be a before and after photo at my booth, along with other before and after photos.

AND SPEAKING OF BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTOS….

This is what the “before” looked like.

It was in pretty decent shape; sturdy, solid and generally well made. Aside from the decorative moulding that once lined the top (indicated by the LACK of yellow paint) that fell off on it’s own, I really thought this whole item was salvageable. I had even diluted myself into thinking that I didn’t need to sand it. How nice would life be if I just painted over it and I could pat myself on the back? It would be super nice, but it’s also a super freakin’ daydream because the paint was crackling in a not so pretty way, even though the yellow was not crackle paint.

 

So I busted off (quite literally) the back of the unit and sanded the shelves and outside. I didn’t sand it down to bare wood, but enough to give me enough warm fuzzies and high hopes that my paint wouldn’t crackle too.

 

Then came the process that, oddly enough, took the longest; I had to choose the paint colors. I initially had the idea to do an ombre technique, but as I stared at the 12 paint cans in various shades and sizes I realized that none of my colors would allow for it. I had yellows and blues that could pass for a gradual shade progression, but I wasn’t in love with any of them. So I sat in my entryway with my paint surrounding me and mixed, matched, stared, contrasted, pored and thought. Finally I came up with a desirable palette.

Pretty nice right?

 

 

Then I decided that the piece on it’s own was pretty boring, so I had to spice it up a bit. I bought some long thin planks that were made to use on a lathe and decided to cut them to fit the width and used wood glue to adhere them to the board that I had pulled off the back. The unfinished wood (which gives a fun, casual, beach vibe) not only creates visual interest, but it also helps camouflage how badly I had beaten the backing when I was trying to remove it.

Once the glue dried, I painted the wood plank backing a very pale green, the outside of the piece grey, and the inside shelving an ambiguous light blue/slight green/vaguely grey color. Then I smoothed on 2 coats of rubbing polyurethane.

I put the hinged door back on the bottom, screwed in a new knob and added two white hooks to the side for coats, purses, scarves…you get the idea.

And this is the after!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really love these calm but vibrant colors because they look so different depending on the angle and intensity of the light. However, there are a couple of things that are really taking away from the overall beauty of this piece in the pictures. One is that these were taken while the polyurethane was still wet so it looks a little streaky in photos, but now that it is dry it has all evened out. And the other issues are that my wallpaper is a pattern Laura Ingalls Wilder would love, my light switch face plates are practically medieval and my dingy linoleum looks like it has been through a stampede. Aside from all of that, my piece is the perfect start to what I hope will become a cottage chic entryway.

 

Table of Glass!


I’ve finally finished another piece! I know it seems like it has taken forever, but the issue lies more with me starting 3 pieces and then making gradual progress on them all (I don’t recommend this in the least, but I blame it on my self-diagnosed A.D.D.)

My table made a transformation that I never really anticipated. I love it, my mother isn’t a fan, and Kyle hates the fact that the resin treatment I used has ruined our carpet. But I live in Michigan, which means projects can only be done outdoors about five months of the year (at best!) and sometimes that leads to resin trickling into the carpet and sticking to it like 44-year-old chewing gum… but I digress. Either way, onto the main attraction!

Before!

Kyle’s mom gave us this table over a year ago when we needed it in our rental. Honestly, we had outgrown it’s sharp edges and garish color, but I knew I could make it something awesome. So I disassembled the two layers and chiseled off the top layer of veneer to give me more even tops to play with. The I sanded the tops and legs.

I sanded the legs smooth and filled the cracks with wood filler. Once the filler dried I sanded the legs again and painted them grey. Next, the table tops got a boat load of attention. I painted those with the same grey, filled the holes on the top with pieces of clothesline (anything could have worked, just to block the resin treatment from dripping into the holes) and taped off the sides with a mixture of bathtub caulking strip (I know it sounds a little “makeshift” at best, but I had extra laying around and it worked well), painter’s tape and electrical tape. The outcome looked like a Frankenstein monstrosity, but it was necessary prep for the resin.


I used this resin and glass paint to get the desired affect. I followed the directions on the box (I would like to say that I followed them to the letter, but I know I didn’t stir long enough.) Regardless, once I mixed it I used white glass paint and dumped it into the mixture before I dumped it on the tabletops. The resin pours like honey so I had to spread it out with a sponge brush to make sure all areas of the wood were covered. Once the white resin had settled, I shook up my design by plopping lilac glass paint on top of the wet resin and just smeared it around haphazardly. I didn’t have a real plan, but luckily this was the type of project where a plan was not 100% necessary. Once it dried I was left with what looked like two slabs of psychedelic marble.

Then it was just a matter of sanding the edges where the resin hardened into odd shapes and jagged edges. I also sanded the sides where the resin had dripped down the sides and landed on the felt. …Which is where my ruined carpet comes in. You see, I put down felt to catch the spills, but I didn’t expect the spills to be so large that it would soak through the felt and harden to the floor. Well, my dear friend, it did. And it looks something like this.

Ick, I know, this is no good for my home decor (and for about 45 minutes it was really bad for my relationship) but damnit, sometimes risks have to be taken and mistakes have to get made! (And you didn’t even need to find those words of wisdom on Pinterest.)

My last order of business was to paint the sides of the table tops, varnish them and then varnish the table legs that I had previously painted. Finally, after all of that nonsense and messing about, I was able to put the legs back on and plop the small table back onto the big table. And this is how it turned out!

I would like to call this an overall win. It’s just like that old wedding saying “I’m not losing a carpet, I’m gaining a table.” Kyle on the other hand, may not find my logic so witty. Once again, wish me luck!

Danielle’s World


I just finished recovering my good friend Danielle’s six chairs. Her daycare really did a number on them, but I was able to take them from this….

 

to this. See how it happened here!

 

 

 

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