Saturday, March 24, 2018

Confessions of a furniture junky

Hi, my name is Deborah, and I'm furniture junky.  It started so simply; innocently really.  In my early twenties and starting out in married life;  we just needed a few things.  But it didn’t stop there.  My family grew and my need for furniture just became more and more of a problem.  Later on my obsession turned into junking, thrifting, garage sale-ing and even grabbing curb side cast offs. It's just gotten worse over the years,  now, I've even became a DIY diva.   Oh I had all kinds of excuses for my behavior.  For example, “honey, look what followed me home”.  Or “don’t worry, I’ll find a place for it”.  I sunk even lower, saying things like “I know we don’t need it, but I can make it pretty and then sell it for a profit”.     I feel so ashamed; I never thought it would come to this.

At this moment I have no less than 20 furniture projects that have taken over my shop and garage.  I’m not sure if that’s a lot amongst furniture junkies. But there are also the mirrors, old doors and windows, lamps, chandeliers, magazine racks and  plethora of other projects cluttering my workroom.   Over the last few years, I've even started dragging home pallets and other old boards.  Oh the shame I feel........NOT!!!  

There really should be a support group for people like me - we can call it junkaholics anonymous. ;-)  

Happy junkie my darlings.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vintage with Flair flea Market 2014

If you live locally (as in Southern Alberta), the annual Vintage with Flair market held in June out at Priddis is a must see event. It's really so well organized (we love you Pam), it's fun and it's well attended.   It's a ton of work for vendors, but it's always so much fun and I'm happy to say I'll be involved again this year.

Here are some photos from my booth last year.

Want more details and photos of other vendors?  
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Hope to see you there.


A year of makeovers (OR - My life summed up in a photo collage?)

OH! MY! GOSH!  I was just noticing that it has been well over a year since I last posted something for ya'll. WOW.........I've really failed you; my loyal followers of 'thirty something' strong.  You know! I know that you do!  That  life  can just get way too hectic and when it does some things just have to fall away.  But, with 2015 comes a new purpose and a new dedication to keeping my blog current and providing tutorials, or at least better ones.  So, if you did follow at one time, I hope you're still there.  If you're new, well, welcome to my blog.  Either way........I thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping in and actually giving me a reason to write.

I'm going start this new dedication off with a bevy of makeovers that is part of what kept me so busy.  No tutorials for now, just pics and few comments to get caught up.  If you love something you see and just HAVE to know more, please feel absolutely free to send me your questions via the comments.

So, all that being said........enjoy the visuals dearies:

First up is a war era china cabinet and buffet.  This piece and the companion buffet were both farm rescues.  They'd been relegated to the barn, well even worse actually, to the quonset.  They were in really sad shape, but they both restored so beautifully.

During one of my picking trips, I found this 1960's toolbox (shown open). I thought it was kind of cool because it was actually a carpenters apprenticeship test (he passed).  I put it in my booth as found, but after months it still hadn't sold.  I finally pulled it and gave it my signature restyling.  It sold within a few days of being returned to the market.  The before picture is terrible, but it was basically unfinished plywood.   Incidentally, I do a lot of transfers, but for the graphic surprise on the inside, I just used a stamp and then handpainted 'joie' (joy) in the centre.

I found two of these great vintage trays; wood bases with wicker sides while on a trip a few hours from home last fall.  I can't resist vintage trays, well among other things. But they're such quick and easy makeovers and are always useful.  I mean can you really have too many trays?   I restyled this one with a medium grey paint that once dry, was vigorously brushed with the humble scrub brush.  Is it just me or does this look like a pottery barn hack? What do you think

Vintage lamps are another one of my obsessions.  Admittedly,  I have waaay to many obsessions; well when it comes to the home anyway. Unfortunately, cooking is not one of them.  I have a sign on my stove that says 'many people have eaten my cooking & gone on to lead perfectly normal lives'. That says it all, don't you think? Okay, back to the lamp; they were a pair, but I've only gotten the one done.  I used spray paint, super easy & my favourite fair weather shortcut. I love how it turned out & the skeleton shade is just so fun and funky. Of course skeleton shades make a pretty light bulb a must.  Now if only I could find another skeleton shade for it's mate.

You've probably seen these signs all over pinterest.  I know I have and I love them so much I had to make a bunch.  I neglected to keep any for myself tho. DOH!  So now I'll just have to make another batch so I can keep one, or several!  But I think I'll do the next bunch dual sided. Maybe BLOOM, GROW or WELCOME could be opposite the Christmas side. I used old fence boards I had in my shop to make these.  To do the lettering I printed out a letter per page in an appropriate size for the finished sign.  Taped them all together and transferred them onto the already painted boards by using transfer paper. Then I just filled in the traced outline with acrylic paints and clear coated them (3 coats) for outdoor use.   Easy peasy!

For the life of me I can't remember where I found this pie safe style cupboard.  But I do remember that it was one of those unfinished pine pieces you can buy and then refinish at home.  So it had been stained with the usual boring stain colour.  I know there are lot of people that really love wood furniture and think it's absolute sacrilege to paint it.  But I'm afraid I am NOT one of them.  Unless it's a really special piece,  very old, and with beautiful wood tones, I just see brown.  I don't like brown!  Sooo...I paint over brown!

I wasn't really happy with how this cupboard turned out at ALL!  You might think I'm a little crazy, but sometimes a project has a mind of it's own and it makes me do things!  Bad things!!!  I would never distress anything that extensively, NEVER!  Really officer, I swear, the pie safe made me do it!!   ;-)

I'm happy to say that someone appreciated it more than I did and it actually sold rather quickly.

And finally, I leave you with a drawer repurposing. One of about a dozen or so that I completed this past year.  This one was rescued from the same farm as the buffet and china cabinet.  Long separated from it's dresser, I saved it from a life of slave labour as storage for mouse poops.   Ugggh!  Saving junk is really not for the faint of heart!   But all clean and gussied up, it's now a pretty organizer. 

Well, I bid you adieu till next time.  Coming up soon, a vintage headboard that's been given a gorgeous french inspired restyling.  Stay tuned!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Some More Before and Afters

It's been a busy summer and I haven't done much blogging.  But here's another quicky update on my latest projects

Reproduction Secretary

This reproduction secretary was pretty dated and though it was not solid wood, I decided it had great lines and could be really pretty. 

Before, ughhh!!!
I prettied up the drawer interior with music sheets and graphics from the graphics fairy blog.   I added an embellishment to the top as well.   I was able to reuse the same hardware (gotta love that), and they actually fit better with it's new look. This piece and the pie safe below were both SOLD to the same party!

Single Pie Safe


I used a combination of chalk paint and milk paint on this girly pie save.  It's so sweet, I just love how it turned out!

Chippendale Style Bench

Before........boring, and blah!


This bench was a makeover of horrific proportions.  The initial painting failed so I had to strip it back to bare wood and start over.  That was not a fun task on this scrolly, extensively carved piece.  Not a mistake I will quickly make again!!  But, I must say that after all of that, it turned out so beautiful and elegant that the pictures couldn't even do it justice.  I had also recovered the seat with drop cloth fabric that I transferred a french graphic onto using a laser printout and citrisolv.  I've posted the graphic below for your use and convenience, but go to for more great graphics.
 This piece is still available at the Where on Earth did you Get That Antique Market in Airdrie. 

Thanks for stopping by

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Some Before and Afters

Just a quicky.....What I've been up to lately,

some before and afters

Vintage Fleetwood 3000 Suitcase
If your observant, you'll notice that the 'before' is not the same case.  I forgot to take the before photo as I often do, but this is very similar to what it looked like, though mine was more of a deep rust colour. I usually include the jpg for graphics that I've used on my projects.  But I'm afraid that the Paris Market graphic was purchased on Etsy and out of respect for the artist's work, I cannot in good conscience, include it here.  If you'd like to buy it, here is the link.  It's a digital download and sells for $1.07, that's practically free anyway.  She has many wonderful graphics all at very affordable prices.

Mirror, Mirror!
I used rub n' buff on this mirror and it is hand's down, my favorite new product!!  If you haven't tried it, it's an artisan must!!  It's the most fantastic metallic wax, comes in wide variety of colours and trust me when I say, it's the absolute easiest way to transform a tired old piece!!! Just rub it on with a 'gloved' finger, buff with a soft cloth (I use paper towels) and Ta-dahhhhh!!!  
However, I have found it works better on textured surfaces rather that flat ones.
  Also, If you are in Canada like myself, you'll probably have to order it online. 
I ordered mine from Wallacks.

Updated End Table
 The graphic is from the Graphics Fairy and I highly recommend her fantastic site if you're ever looking for free (and copy write free of course) vintage graphics.  But for your convenience, I've attached it below, including the mirror image for doing transfers.

As much as I love these pieces, especially that awesome vintage suitcase, they are all at the 
 Where on Earth Did you Get that Antique Market in Airdrie
Hopefully they will find new homes soon.  
Take care!!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Petticoat Inspired Lamp Shade

A gorgeous and stylish woman I know recently opened a room in one of our local antique markets.  She's an amazing interior designer, so you can just imagine how gorgeous her little space is.  I saw these pretty lampshades she'd brought back from the States and couldn't help but make one for this pretty vintage lamp I have.

So pretty and so easy to cover old lamp shade skeletons this way.  To me, it's like a petticoat....well actually this particular one reminds of rag curls.  But imagine the possibilities!!!  I need to find more lamp shade skeletons!!!  So what do YOU think? Yay or Nay?


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Boyish no More! Antique Dresser Gets a Girly Makeover

You know.....maybe you can relate to this....but sometimes I almost feel silly about how girly my taste is.  I have this inner struggle when I'm working on projects.  My head tells me to try something different, try and make something that also appeals to a man once in a while.  But honestly, I just can't!!  Every time I try to deviate from my 'signature style'.....I end up having to start over. 

So, this little dresser had such a little boy feel to it and my inner girly girl just wouldn't have it.   I practically had to perform an exorcism!

I recently painted a beautiful Chippendale style bench, (a tremendous amount of work) only to have the paint fail to adhere.  I can literally scratch it off with my fingernail and that was NOT one of my many HAPPY accidents.  Normally I only lightly sand my projects.  But I was so paranoid I'd have the same problem with this antique, I ended up stripping it down to the bare wood.  Of course, as is typical, I failed to take a before picture.  But here it is after it was stripped. I added the little embellishment on the back. 

and primed, ah better already....

So here are the steps I took: 

- it was stripped to the bare wood
- an embellishment was attached to the back apron
- it was primed and the entire thing painted in white
- the drawers only were painted with a soft blue over the white
- the entire piece was sanded with my amazing new Makita palm sander.  Man I love that thing!!!
- white washed over the entire piece with Miss Mustard Seeds Ironstone Milk paint
- dry brushed the drawers only with a mix of Miss Mustard Seeds French Enamel and Kitchen Scale
 - distressed the last coats with a damp rag (you can do that with milk paint and it distresses to reveal the previous layers, it's an awesome product)
- transferred the Paris address using the wax paper transfer method
- washed the original hardware and sprayed them with metallic silver,  then sanded so just a bit of the brass shows thru
- clear coated the entire project two coats
- buffed it down to a soft sheen with fine steel wool
put it all back together!

 That was a lot of work!!!

But TA-DA!!

I LOVE THIS PIECE!!!  And as much as I love little boy's, especially my two (now grown men), this is no longer a little boy's dresser, nope, nope, nope!!  Here it is pictured in my booth, soooooo sweet!

I'm happy to say this piece is now SOLD!

The little end table can be seen here (also SOLD)