Friday, January 6, 2012

A Fairy Tray

I transformed a silver tray and a vintage picture by combining them.

I had a lovely antique picture of fairies.  The original frame was broken.  I put the print in an old, heavy, beautifully tarnished, silver tray using decoupage medium.

It was a match meant to be - I didn't even have to trim!  It's sooooooo pretty.  I wanted to keep it, but forced myself to take it to the booth, where I hope it will find a home with someone who'll love it as much as I do.  Or maybe I hope that it sits there unsold and I have to bring it back home.  If it's still there the next time I go over, I may have to bring it back home.  I'm having seller's remorse!

Isn't this picture enchanting?

A Mantel and a Ladder

I am trying to get better about posting my projects.  Here are two that I took over to The White Booth just yesterday.

The biggest project was a very simple vintage mantel.  By simple, I am referring to the lines.  There are no frills or extra ornamentation on this one.  I like that.  It makes a wonderful stage for putting together a fresh, simple mantel vignette.

I also took over a ladder that I finished in a cottage-y style.  I wish I had the before on this one.  I love how fresh and clean it looks.  Mind you, it was a dirty ladder, but it had no character before.  By the way, if you want to see why I get excited over ladders, take a look at this post.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Distressing Furniture with Denatured Alcohol

I have always enjoyed exploring new ways to refinish furniture.  I try them out hoping to hit on a new favorite to add to my bag of tricks.

Distressing is wonderful but I do it with sandpaper.  By the way, the furniture in my house might as well be distressed.  Our furniture tends to have more battle scars than most from encounters with our crazy dogs and cats.

Sausha at Show and Tell refinished a chest of drawers using 0000 (super fine) steel wool and denatured alcohol to distress, allowing the wood to show through. 

This technique looks like it may give a better look than sandpaper, but it does require a finish coat of poly (she loves Wood Classics poly from Sherwin Williams).  The finish coat is needed because the alcohol leaves a cloudy, dull area.

Sausha learned this technique from Christa at Stories of a House.  Christa has a short video tutorial on the technique here.  She also describes the technique in this post (with a few extra tips) here.

I can't wait to try out this technique.  I'd also like to experiment and see if a coat of finish wax would do as well as a final coat of poly.  I guess denatured alcohol will be on my next shopping list.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clean Look Didn't Last Long!

Well.  If you didn't see the clean look header on my blog, it's too late now.  I took a look this morning and decided the header had to have something more... anything.  Since it's January and many years of teaching taught me to dream of snow days, I decided to pull out a pretty snow photo from 2010.  It's my new header background. 

I no longer have to wish for a snow day, though they are amazingly pretty.  I can have a holiday almost any day I choose.  Retirement is fantastic and the younger you are when you do it, the more amazing it is.  I never understood people who have a fear of retirement.  They wonder what they'll do.  I tend to have so many things going that it's hard to reign myself in and focus.  I never had trouble entertaining myself. That's obvious - just look at how much entertainment I have had thinking about my blog header.

By the way, here's the photo I used on the header. The snow made our little pond look quite magical.   Does it make you wish for snow?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fresh Start for the New Year

Happy 2012!

Did you notice my very plain blog header?  You probably thought you'd come to the wrong site!  I had been perfectly happy with my previous header until today.  Suddenly, it seemed very wrong.  I have so many nice photos of our property.  This photo certainly doesn't do it justice.  And look how dark it is!  What was I thinking? 
Previous Header

I need something different and I have no idea what.  I played around with a number of styles and colors. I created a number of designs - from wild to chic.  Nothing seems quite right.  It seemed like a good idea to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, for a little while.

I changed to a simple black on white title, a white body background and charcoal gray around the edges.

Maybe this change is stemming from some deep-seated yearning for cleanliness and simplicity.  Oh, I hope so, because my house is a big mess!  Maybe, if I get the house really clean, I'll be able to focus and come up with a fun new blog header.  Let the cleaning begin!  (Tomorrow.  It's time to get ready for bed.)


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