Sunday, January 30, 2011

Inspired By...

This will be a bit of a mixed bag post.  A little of this and a little of that.  Hopefully, at least a little will be worthwhile! :-D

To start off with, this week I did a post for Rockin' B showing some of the benches we have in the store.  There's really an assortment of styles there.  We have several dealers who have wonderful carpentry skills and they can turn any bed into a cute bench.  One of those dealers did something a little different for his latest makeover.  He turned a set of 3 chairs into a bench.  Now, if I come across a great deal on a set of three chairs (where the fourth is damaged or missing), I'll snap them up and let Jim work his magic. 

It really turned out great and it sold within days.  I wish I had moved those pillows before taking the photo.


I have another interesting thing to show you from the store, but first, I want to make something clear.  I'm not using my blog to promote the store.  Most of the people who read my blog don't live anywhere near this area.  I really like doing a blog for the store, (you can click here if you want to see it) but I also really enjoy having my personal blog free from advertising or promoting.  This blog is just for things I find interesting.  Since I spend a good bit of time at the store, there's bound to be all kinds of things from there that I find interesting.  Believe me!

On with the story - We had three vintage/retro Formica tables sell last week.  ALL to the same person.  He scooped them up and is probably going to sell them in Atlanta for much more.  That's OK by us.  Anyway, since we now had no Formica tables in stock, the next week one of the dealers brought in this beauty.  It has a pattern on the top.  I have been waiting to find my perfect red Formica table for my loft.  I've envisioned solid red all along, but this little gem has me reconsidering.  And it's only $159!  Take a look -


Here's a closer look -


And closer, still - 
Now, you see my dilemma.  It's in such good shape, too.   Mmmmmm.  Nice.

Next, I'm going to show you the green I chose for my chairs... MY Green.  I hesitate to show it because it's not finished.  I still need to distress and do a finish, but I don't know when I'll get that done... This week?  Next?  Who knows?  At least, I'll know that when I do, the paint will be completely cured.  Meanwhile, just imagine it with a few more steps to tone it down. It appears a little lighter and brighter in the photo than in real life.  I've very pleased with it.


I found some wonderful inspiration from bloggers who joined my party last week.  This first one is from Forever Decorating.  I recently featured her creative and amazing upholstered stools.  And now, as you can see, she also paints.  This post shows some of the rocking chairs she has personalized for different children. They are all really cute.
Here's an interesting post from Single Life with Kids about starting a Mother-Daughter Book Club.  Even though I read all the time as a kid, there are a number of great books I missed.  I don't know how, but I did.  I've read some of them as an adult (they were wonderful) and I plan on reading others as the opportunity presents itself.  This summer (or was it last spring?) I came across a large set of Laura Ingalls Wilder books.    I read them all and was very sorry to get to the end of the last one.  

Oh, dear. I'm running out of time. 

Check out this wonderful garland at Jill Ruth and Company.  It's looks like it would be very relaxing to do.  It looks especially great hanging in a window with a winter wonderland view!  I'd like one in my kitchen window.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Sweet Little Hutch Makeover

I found a very tiny, slim hutch at a yard sale months ago.  It had the original maple finish on it.  I knew that with a little paint, it would be a gem.  I debated on colors.  My wild side wanted to paint it a fun color, like red or turquoise.  A practical choice won out, but only because I was thinking seriously about using it in my loft and I knew what color would look great there - cream.  

 This is the after shot.  I fell in love with this little hutch and wanted to keep it, but wasn't quite certain where it would be of best use in our home.  Then, as fate would have it, our booth was wiped out.  Several big pieces sold within days of each other and replacements were needed asap.  The sweet little hutch had been set aside for the paint to cure and harden and happened to be ready to go.  I needed to send it on with the hope that more pieces will come along that I love.  The picture above was a staging picture for me show how adaptable the hutch could be.  It would be great in a bathroom (see the toilet tissue), as a pantry (canned goods), as a bookshelf or entertainment storage area (books, CDs, DVDs).  


Here's what she looked like before.  Note the wear and tear and the outdated wallpaper border.
I love that the hutch is small and in two pieces.  It was easy for me to transport in my car without any help. I wish I could find more pieces like that.
Here she is during the painting.  I was quite careful and the end result is wonderful.  Even though I love to finish up with distressing and a stain or wax rub, I left this baby plain.  Not out of laziness or impatience - I thought it looked just right that way.

I wish I had taken a photo of it once in the booth.  It looks really nice with colorful glassware on the shelves.  It will probably sell pretty quick so I need to be on the lookout for more replacements!


Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster,  
RE-member, RE-finish, RE-purpose, and of course, we love to RE-lax!   
This party celebrates ALL the RE-'s in our lives!  

I'm linking this post with 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Auction and Estate Sale Finds

I am not a cut-throat, every man for himself thrifter.  My motto is more like, "It's not business, it's personal.  So when people I know are at an auction with me, I generally can't bid normally against them.  I have come home from the last few auctions feeling very frustrated.  This weekend was the most frustrating of all.  I only came home with a few small items.  Nothing big.  A number of things I would have liked to have bid on were snagged by friends and fellow booth renters.  It's not their fault.  It's my own.  I haven't quite developed my "auction code of ethics". Just how far am I willing to go for a deal?  Apparently, not far enough to make a deal at all! I don't think of myself as a wimp, but I've been acting like one.

After being so frustrated from the auction, I made a snap decision that I just wasn't going to go to any more auctions where I was apt to see people I knew. Now that I've calmed down, I've reversed that decision.  But, Sunday, I was convinced I just needed to find more remote places to bargain hunt in the winter.  Auctions or estate sales or flea markets much further away.  Sunday afternoon I went to a very picked over estate sale further away from my normal zone.

On Monday, I unpacked my weekend finds and began the task of sorting, researching and pricing.  I discovered I actually had some interesting things from both the auction and the estate sale. None of it will make me rich, but nonetheless, they are interesting.

This ironstone plate dates back to the late 1800's.  Only a few companies had permission to use the royal coat of armsBurgess and Goddard were one of those.  Most of the B and G pieces I could find online had a stamp that did not include the top header, "Prince of Wales".  I can't find whether that header is more  important or less.  This plate wouldn't garner much attention in my booth or on Ebay.  On Ebay, the ironstone pieces that get the most attention are pitchers and tureens.  A single, very plain ironstone plate with a good bit of light crazing wouldn't sell for much at all or, more likely, wouldn't even be noticed. Dear hubby thinks we should just keep it and I agree. Who else would appreciate this old plate the way we would?   Are we on the verge of becoming hoarders?  

 At the auction, sometimes they sell a whole shelf of small things together.  I got a shelf-full for next to nothing.  The B and G plate was on it and so were these glasses.  After tons of Googling, I found that these glasses are by Colony - Color Crown pattern # 77 in blue.  The line is discontinued.  I can't find when it was made. I got 10 pieces in all - 5 wine glasses and 5 champagne / sherbet goblets. The wine glasses sell for 8.99 each on Replacements.com and the goblets sell for 6.99 each.  I'll put them in my booth for much less.  I'll make a small profit and somebody will get a good deal.


I like to think of my booth items going to a good home where they will be loved and cared for and enjoyed.  I guess I'm not a ruthless business person.  Don't get me wrong - I would like to make money. But it's about so much more than that.  I guess I'm a sentimental fool.




The biggest purchase of the weekend was a toy.  A 1956 Tonka firetruck.  Dear Hubby collects old Tonkas.  It takes him back to his childhood.  He has two firetrucks already so I thought I'd be able to sell this one, but noooooooooooo.  He took a look and decided it was a keeper.  It needs a couple of replacement parts, which are rather easy to come by, and then it will be in really decent shape.  It has never been restored, yet it still has the stickers intact.  I could have made a nice profit off this purchase.  Oh, well.  Not only am I a sentimental fool, but I'm married to one as well. I knew full well what would become of it when I bid.  And let me tell you, it was the most assertive bidding I did all night!




I found a small collection of silver and silver plate items.  My fav is an old basket with a hinged handle and lots of detail. I found a home for it on my hutch shelf.  One of the birds I bought at another recent auction fit perfectly inside. Too bad I'm keeping it.  It would be great to put in the booth for either Valentine's or Easter.

I'm definitely keeping the two very heavy cement pots in the photo above.  The green one is perfect as is, but the brown one with great bones needs a paint job, preferably in some other color. I found two pottery pitchers with blue lines.  I'm sure they have a name and I really do need to research them more.  I had a larger one already.  The two smaller ones are going to stay with me awhile. A group of three looks nice.  One day, however, I'll likely sell all three. 

I came across two very old seed packets at the auction - they were part of the shelf lot.  They are quite pretty.  The pillow made from a quilt is fairly charming.  The lace needs a minor repair.  Then, I'm thinking, it might look nice on the chair I slipcovered last week.  It's still not the perfect pillow, but it's more suitable than what I'm using.

There's another auction this weekend.  Same place.  They're calling this their cleanup auction.  Dealers are invited to bring in things, too.  Will I go?  I don't know.  If I do, I will need to be a bit more assertive, otherwise, I might as well stay home.  Maybe I can bid and not look around the room to see who's bidding against me. :-D

Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster,  
RE-member, RE-finish, RE-purpose, and of course, we love to RE-lax!   
This party celebrates ALL the RE-'s in our lives!  

I'm linking this post with  -

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Valentine Ornaments + RE-Party 13

I have a metal tree at the booth at Rockin' B.  I put a hefty price on it because I don't really want it to sell.  I envisioned hanging seasonal ornaments from it year round.  For Valentine's I want to make stuffed hearts from fabric samples. I was thinking some could be quite simple, with a few special ones.  For the special ones, I'll need some inspiration.  Here's what I found -


This is from Nedra at Cactus Needle Quilts.  She used textured fabric for the insert.  That doesn't look too time consuming, but it really adds pizazz. The stitching on the ribbon is a wonderful addition as well.


I found these next two on Etsy sites that, unfortunately, no longer exists. 




 Georgetown Cottage Crafts has some lovely handmade ornaments listed on her Etsy site for five dollars or less. I love this little pink one.  Hand-stitching is so much  prettier than machine stitching, don't you think?

Here are some hearts that are made special just by cutting with pinking shears and using jute as the hanger.  These are for sale overseas on Folksy.

BlueGirlxo has a post with a number of pretty, artsy hearts.  Loads of inspiration there!

Hearts made from quilts are always sweet.  Mamie Jane has made one even more special by putting it in a paper mache cone with additional embellishments. 

Before the party starts, I just want to say that I can't believe I haven't posted since last Sunday.  This has been such a strange week - full of ups and downs.  On the up side, I am RE-focusing and RE-balancing my life and  should be able to get back to normal posting!


Time for another RE- Party!
It's number 13, which is a little intimidating.
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster,
RE-member, RE-finish, RE-purpose, and of course, we love to RE-lax!   
This party celebrates ALL the RE-'s in our lives!  


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inspired By

I came across lots of inspiration this week and several of them are from last week's RE- Party!  I'm starting with this clever idea from Very Merry Vintage Style.  I have all my Christmas decor packed away nicely and now, thanks to this idea, I'm going to have to go unpack some ornaments!  She filled valentine boxes with ornaments and it looks wonderful!  A bit of low calorie bling!  What a sprightly idea.  I have decided to try to expand my vocabulary for awhile.  I tend to use the same adjectives over and over. I can't ever remember myself describing anything as sprightly... until now!



I came across this wonderful post from Show and Tell - a furniture glazing tutorial. She demonstrates the glazing process on a blanket chest and it really turned out great.  The paint she used for the base is oops paint she describes as blue/gray/green. Dang!  Another blogger with amazing luck.   All I ever see are really, really bad colors or beautiful colors in paints that I can't use on furniture.  Anyway, take a look at her blanket chest - 




I am really enjoying the painting inspiration from Mike and Melanie Gardner's blog - The Frosted Gardner. Just take a look at this wonderful hall tree.  Click here to see the before and after's and all the details.  




Next up - Terry at Forever Decorating really takes recovering a stool to the next level.  My recovered pieces tend to be pretty simple, but she uses trims and paint to make hers really special.  Here are some from her post:

Simply Bungalow redid a vignette in her shop with whites and creams and burlap. She performed a bit of magic by adding curly willow branches, and now has a wonderful look.  Where can I get curly willow branches? Those branches make a very pretty vignette even more dramatic!  Just try to imagine the space without them.  And by the way, I want that birdcage!

And now, for a major pillow fix...

Amy at Into Vintage makes fabulous pillows - mostly from vintage tablecloths.  I first saw her tablecloths on Teresa's blog, Meadowbrook Farms. Teresa posted about the pillows here.  Amy sells her pillows and more in her Etsy Shop - VintageHome.

I love this flag pillow, also made by Amy.  I can picture that on my porch in the summer.

While browsing through The Cottage Nest, I came across an old post from July that mentioned this pretty lovebirds pillow from Garnet Hill. Jen said the pillow sells for $78.  I'm into birds and love the pillow, but my thrifting moral code just wouldn't allow for an expense like that.  I will allow myself to admire it and picture it in my room!


Stop the presses!  Take a look at this delightful row of houses pillow made by Melissa at My Favorite Things.  She has sold some on her Etsy Shop - MelissaDanner, and I am begging her to list more of them.  I saw this pillow on this post from The Cottage Nest.  It would look wonderful on a bench on my porch this summer!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tacky Blue Chair Gets a Makeover

Yahoo!  Another finished project!  Back in June, I bought a very homely ladderback armchair at a yard sale for $5.  I shouldn't have paid even that much, but I felt compelled to rescue this little sweetie. I'm sure some people could have made her even more glorious, but still, I'm pleased with the end result.  This was a thrifty re-do in terms of money spent.  It did, however, require a bit of time - more than should be spent on a piece that ultimately won't have a very high price tag.  Let's just say it was a labor of love.




It's hard to show just how sad she was when I bought her.  The webbing was gross, the foam cushion worse, and the ugly upholstery fabric that was stapled down with all the staples showing was hideous!

 I cleaned her up, got her painted.  She looks so much better in this off white color, but I was just a little too heavy handed with the sanding.  I apologize for that. Then, I began the foufing up phase.  Spell check is clearly not up on decorator technical terms.  It doesn't understand that fouf (or foof? or phouf?) is a word. 

First up - new webbing.  I tried my staple gun. It didn't do well at all.  Then I used tack nails til I ran out. Then, my wonderful hubby, who is the Mac Daddy of Tools, introduced me to his little friend - the air compressor staple gun.  Oooohhhhhh!  I'm in love.  It would have been so much better if I'd only used that for the webbing.  Oh well.  Next time. I forgot to take a photo of the webbing after I finished, but it looked very nice!!!  That was my first experience with webbing.  Even though it was ridiculously easy, I am ridiculously proud of myself.

And then, the crowning glory - the slipcover.  I seldom redo anything in a way that is not washable.  Since our house is raining cats and dogs, slipcovers are the best thing for maintaining at least a moderate level of cleanliness. 

I didn't get all hung up on perfectionism.  I chanted Nester's philosophy that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. A non-sewer would be highly impressed with my work.  A professional seamstress would turn up her nose. But I must say, it's not to shabby - even the underside looks nice. The fabric was from a really nice curtain panel I had picked up at a yard sale.  I loved the fabric and knew that one day I'd be able to make use of it.  By the way, the fabric doesn't match anything at all in my house, but why get hung up on inconsequential details like that.

I love the tie details at each corner and the ruffle adds such a sweet touch.   Before making these ruffles, I had been entertaining the thought of making a drop cloth ruffle bedskirt for the king sized bed in the master bedroom like the one I featured on this post.  Hmmm.   I don't know if I'm up to facing that challenge just now.

I added a few accessories.  The chair begs for a pillow.  This little chenille pillow is the best I could do with what I have on hand.  It clearly isn't a great choice on this chair so don't judge my decorating skills by it!  I'm picturing a wonderful little needlepoint pillow.  I'm heading out later today for an auction.  Who knows.  Maybe a lovely little pillow (or needlepoint picture I can turn into a pillow) is waiting on me there!  


The books are my effort to keep this chair from becoming a fancy cat bed.  So far, it's working.  I'm not taking any bets about the ribbon staying in place.  Our little darling kitty, Sissy, really knows how to entertain herself with ribbons and bows!


The chair is now the sweetest little thing.  It really belongs in a little girl's room, but I just can't give it up yet.  It is replacing another chair in my room that is in need of a redo.  I'll make do with this little chair til something a little more adult looking comes along.  Meanwhile, I'm going to enjoy it for a while. This is a wonderful job perk of being a booth renter at an antique mall!!!
 
Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster,
RE-member, RE-finish, RE-purpose, and of course, we love to RE-lax!   
This party celebrates ALL the RE-'s in our lives!  

I'm linking this post with  -

Friday, January 14, 2011

Smitten with Green

At some point in the last few years I have become smitten with green.  Most of my life, my favorite color was blue. I still like blue, especially in clothing, but for decorating, I'm keen on green.  

I've been wanting to find a nice shade of green for painting furniture.  I'd sort of been keeping my eyes open for pretty greens.  Now, I've decided to get serious about it.  My kitchen counter has now been taken over by Project Green.

He [She] had that curious love of green, 
which in individuals is always 
the sign of a subtle artistic temperament, 
and in nations is said to denote a laxity, 
if not a decadence of morals. 
~ Oscar Wilde ~ 


The main thing I want to paint green are my dining room chairs.  I don't have MY dining room chairs yet. I have two sets of chairs I don't like in my attic. They will be sold.  First they need some fixin' up. One set of them are going to be part of my green experiment.  I'll paint them green and use them for a bit to see how I like that color. If that color isn't My color, then I'll paint chair set number 2 a different shade of green.  Then when I find MY chairs ( I know they are out there somewhere - maybe at the next auction I go to) surely I will know which way to go.  Who knows, I might even decide that green won't work after all and I'll go in a completely different direction.

I had been considering green for our chairs and then I came across Erin's dining room chairs.  She shows before and after's and by looking at those photos, you can see what a difference the green chairs made.


Erin's green is perfect for her room, but I think I need a different shade of green.  Greens are very tricky. I found that when I picked out the color for the exterior of my house.  I'm certain that whole experience took years off my life. 


Karen's hutch that I blogged about yesterday is another wonderful green that I'm drawn to, but again, it's not MY green.  


So - where is MY green?  Is it one of these?


Or maybe one of these?


Or one of these?


Greens can be so peaceful... or lively... or retro and fun... OR the wrong green can be totally jarring and horrible and remind you of bad childhood experiences with vegetables.  I want a happy green, a soothing green, a lively green.  You see, that's my problem.  I want a green that is everything good. If there was such a green, everyone would use it. 


Green is the prime color of the world, 
and that from which its loveliness arises.
  ~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca ~


Here's a white kitchen with just a few touches of green.  Mmmm.  Nice.  But I don't think I can be that restrained.  I like other colors too much.


Greens can be very energetic, especially the citrus-y greens.  This is pretty and fun, but it's not MY green.


I came very close to having retro green countertops in my kitchen because of the photo below.  The kitchen is in the beach house of the owners of the t-shirt company - Fresh Produce


Tina from Cherry Hill Cottage has a kitchen island with a shade of green that may be pretty close to what I'm thinking of.

Sometimes an unexpected green surprises everyone at how perfect it turns out to be.  This room from Country Living (I think - it's a pretty old scan) would be much less interesting without those painted floors.  And would you just look!  Those chairs don't go at all - it's such a different green.  But the whole room works and makes you want to choose colors that clash!  Maybe I don't need to worry so much about which green I choose.  I just need to find a green I like and use it with attitude!


 Here's another example of several greens being used together that are not in the same color family.  If they were closer on the color wheel, it wouldn't be as interesting.  Oh yes.  I am definitely not as worried about my color choice now.

Now I can just find a green I can enjoy.  Meanwhile, enjoy these other Green photos from my files.  These are very old - before the days when I kept up with where I got them from.  If anyone knows the source, I would love to give credit.





Hmmm - This may be the green I'm looking for!!!
Or maybe I need to layer on several greens using dry brushing and/or sanding to allow each to show.  Looking at a number of greens together is rather pleasing. That may be the best idea for me! 


Be sure to check out the latest RE- Party!
We RE-do, RE-decorate, RE-organize, RE-pair,  RE-upholster,  
RE-member, RE-finish, RE-purpose, and of course, we love to RE-lax!   
This party celebrates ALL the RE-'s in our lives!  

I'm linking this post with  -

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