Sunday, June 1, 2014

Birdcages & Picture Frames

I want all the birdcages.  They're beautiful and graceful, adding a sweet detail to whatever space they occupy.  I've slowly accumulated a few birdcages with grand designs of hanging them in my garden where they'd add a pop of whimsy as they overflowed with flowers. 

These types of things always look better in my head.

But sometimes you get lucky, and your mom finds you a silk hydrangea pin at an estate sale, and the latest birdcage sitting on your kitchen table looks a little less pathetic.

 I also started my picture frame collage this weekend.  It's something I've wanted to do for a long time, and I've collected some really great frames.  I didn't intend to actually start hanging them, but it served the purpose of getting them up and out of the way for the time being.  All the frames are white, with the exception of the two I've yet to paint.  Right now they're hanging along the steps leading into the basement.  This will not last forever - the first time I carry a piece of furniture upstairs, it'll be game over.  

My favorite:

And the detail...

My attempt to get the full picture:

It's ok, I only almost fell down the steps and died four times.  And that was just trying to take the pictures, you should have seen me trying to hang these suckers.  As you can see I've got a couple more to paint.  I wanted them white, but that's because I have far bigger plans for these frames than just hanging out by my basement stairs.  However, I kind of like the white on white.  Sure they'd pop more on a colored wall, but they add a subtle dimension to an otherwise blah space.  

The countdown begins now to see how long they stay up before Terry hits his head on one.  Or before I break my leg falling down the stairs trying to hang more.  

Monday, May 26, 2014

How I Spent My Memorial Day Weekend - 2014

Last year I spent my Memorial Day weekend frantically preparing for an upcoming show.  I was a machine, cranking out piece after piece, and when I finally surfaced from the basement bleary-eyed from not having seen the sun for days, my long weekend was long gone.  

I promised myself that wouldn't happen this year.  This weekend was the weekend I was going to wrap up all of my little half-finished projects.  That vintage make-up case that I've had since January was finally going to get the ribbon trim needed to be complete.  That upholstered bench that I have sitting in my closet was going to get the touch-ups needed to be done, so that it can be listed for sale.  The cookie tins that have been waiting for months to be painted with chalkboard paint would finally reach their end.  And in between it all I would enjoy cook-outs and sunshine and Summer.

Well.  None of that happened.  

No, that's not entirely true - we did enjoy a cook-out, see?

That was on Saturday, and the weekend held such potential then!  The potential to get things done, while doing a little bit of nothing in between. I had three whole days - I was going to accomplish EVERYTHING.

And then I got distracted and there was OTHER stuff that had to be done.  A dear client who we've done several pieces for found a beautiful china cabinet, a piece that she had been looking for forever.  She called and asked if I'd be available to refinish it and make it a little more her.  Always happy to do it, we agreed to meet her Monday morning with our truck to move it and talk finishes.  With a hope and a prayer this beast fit with an inch to spare, and is now hanging out downstairs.

This is quite possibly the largest piece I have ever done.  It's huge.  It's Mahogany.  It's heavy.  But it's delightful, and I'm anxious to get started.  This sweet client has waited so long for the perfect piece, and I'm thrilled to (hopefully) give it to her.  And of course, you can't come over and hang out in the basement and leave empty-handed!  She fell in love with this sweet little pitcher, so I'm happy to say it's now been sold and has gone to a good home!

While we were picking up the china cabinet for our client from the woman who was selling it, there was another piece.  A beautiful piece.  A buffet.  It was old, and lovely, and I've wanted a buffet forever.  Well, luck was on my side, and this beauty is now mine:

But of course to put her there, I had to move what was our old "buffet".  This sweet dresser now lives in our bedroom:

Naturally in order to put that there, we had to move the piece that was there, which we will eventually get rid of but for right now it's sitting behind the sofa because my God I am tired of shuffling furniture.  

While my newly acquired buffet is amazing and everything I could have ever wanted, there is one problem.  It's massive and makes our kitchen table look like doll-house furniture in comparison.  See?

Yea, that's not cute...  And then a suggestion came from the most unlikely source - my fiance - who wisely pointed out what I spent all morning saying to my client.  To tone a piece down, paint it.  To make a piece blend and not appear as massive as it really is, paint it.  A piece that stands out (and not in a good way) can complement any space quite nicely simply by painting it.  I know it's gorgeous as is, and to some people painting a piece like this would be the furniture equivalent of kicking a kitten, but for now it will be painted.  While I know how to paint, I also know how to unpaint and I can always return her to her natural state.     

So folks, there you have it.  Not only did I not complete one single project this Memorial Day Weekend, but I took on two more.  Two massive undertakings await me; the end results will be unrecognizable transformations in the best way possible and I am beyond excited for the opportunity. I just hope it all happens before Memorial Day Weekend 2015.   

Sunday, May 18, 2014

How I Spent My Six-Week Blog Sabbatical

I waited patiently for these...
to turn into these!

And with more to come!  They make me so happy.  Stop and smell the peonies!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Meet Sophia

The other day Terry sent me this picture with the following text message: "New at the Depot!  Woo!"

Curious, I joined him on a Home Depot trip one evening last week so I could check it out.  Like other branded Chalk Paint, there aren't a ton of pre-mixed colors available, but I was told it is mixable.  In stock, my Home Depot offered a blue and several variations of white.  They also sold an accompanying wax.  I was a little salty because I wanted to try it but I didn't have anything to paint, which is a total lie, because I have a basement full of furniture.  But none of the pieces waiting for me downstairs have told me what they want to look like yet, so I'm in limbo and without any furniture to paint.

But then I bought this table this weekend:

So I promptly went out and bought this paint in color Lace:

And with that Sophia was born:

Tell me you don't love her.  She really is breathtaking.  I've taken to repeating to myself "don't get attached"every time I sneak a glimpse of her from the laundry room.  She still has a little repair work that needs to be done, and I need to wax her, but her overall appearance will not change.  As far as the paint - it worked nicely!  I'm pleased with the finish, I think it's on par with other chalk paints.  That 8 oz. container cost me about $9.  I did two coats on the table and used a little more than half the container.  Once lightly sanded upon completion it has the same soft, velvety texture of other chalk paints.  I don't always use it, but certain pieces call for chalk paint.  For those that do, I have no problem using Home Depot's brand again.

Unrelated, but what a difference 24 hours makes.  This time yesterday, there were snow emergencies being declared and the rain we'd endured all weekend turned into a wintry mix and then eventually all snow.  Minor accumulation, but it was cold, wet, and windy.  Today - sunny and 65.  Kenny got to assume his position, ready for Spring.

And despite all the crazy weather, these guys are still hanging out in my backyard.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to Chicago to hang out with frozen lower extremities. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

What I Thrifted This Weekend - OMG Edition

OMG.  It's been like, forever since I've blogged.  Work has been work with one meeting leading straight into another combining post-meeting recon with pre-meeting prep.  Attempting to be witty and profound is difficult when you don't even want to think.  In short: blogging's hard y'all.  I leave for Chicago this week but I did want to sneak in a quick What I Thrifted update.

The above OMG is the cover of this sweet book picked up an indoor yard sale/estate sale this weekend. 

Also found this weekend at the same sale:  ALL THIS AWESOME STUFF!

A table, and an upholstered bench all in need of some TLC.  And the detail!

This sweet little tin cannister - you call it rust, I call it patina.  I'm not sure if those are cherries or strawberries but I don't care because I like both.  This guy is going to be a fun rustic planter, if it ever actually warms up to plant anything.

More awesome, more patina, more rustic, more future planters.  

This sale was the type of sale that didn't have anything priced, the house was trashed within an hour of opening (but not as bad as others I've seen), the signs for the sale were pointed in the clear opposite direction of where the sale was located, but it was awesome.  Lots of vintage treasures at good prices, even if nothing was marked.  A good haul overall and I have to give all credit to my mom for scoring the table.  We went to our first rummage sale of the season last weekend and walked away relatively empty handed.  This sale more than made up for it. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lucky Charms

Since I won't have blogging capabilities on St. Patrick's Day this update is coming a few days early.  While out and about this past weekend Terry and I stumbled upon a local florist that isn't local to us but is local to where we were for the day, and my God this floral shop was excited.  Excited because Shamrock Plants!

$7.50, cash and carry.  And in case you missed it the first time:

There were also signs hanging in the shop windows proclaiming SHAMROCK PLANTS ARE HERE, but I couldn't take pictures of those signs because they were right next to the NO CELL PHONES sign.  Although after chatting with Ricky who worked in the floral shop he explained those signs were really meant for the roving band of young people that are always texting and talking too loudly, so I think I would have been ok.  Anyway, Ricky and his flower shop were excited to have Shamrock Plants and I was too, so I asked Terry to make an illegal u-turn so I could purchase one.

Ricky offered to wrap this guy in foil for me, complete with a bow but I declined insisting I wasn't worthy of foil.  While discussing the No Cell Phones sign, Ricky shared with us his own horror story of going to church on Palm Sunday last year forgetting his cell phone was in his pocket, and he was so distracted through the service worried that it would ring that he forgot to pray.  But God and luck were on his side because his phone did not ring while he was in church; he'll be sure to leave his phone in the truck this Palm Sunday.  And with that he handed me our plant, "May it bring you both good luck!"

Monday is when we all get to be Irish for the day.  People take this to mean they need to drink green beer in excess, when in reality being Irish for the day means people butcher your last name and ask you why you don't tan.  

Whether you're Irish for a day or for a lifetime, the key to being lucky is perseverance and resiliency.  If you stick around long enough you're bound to get lucky at something.  My people almost starved; fought the Vikings, the British and each other; drank too much, and still considered themselves lucky at the end of the day.  

I'll spare you all the "May the wind always be at your back..." stereo-typical St. Patricks Day malarchy (see what I did there?).  If you really want to be Irish for the day, make your own luck.  And if you're not feeling particularly lucky, sit down and count your blessings.  

If you still don't feel lucky you didn't count long enough. 

 I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.    James Joyce