Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Girls

Earlier this year, I acquired a vintage mannequin or dress form and then a short time afterwards, was given 3 bodices from modern mannequins.  The vintage dress form is quite old had a wooden stand and the body was a  hollow paper mache form and covered in something that was meant to look military-ish, but was just rather ugly instead. The modern ones were just plain white like those in most retail stores these days. 

Like I often do, I hung on to them for a while until I got 'the vision'.  Then I went to to work. The vintage dress form had been a bit weak and was in two pieces, bosom and abdomen   So  I gave her 3 new coats of paper mache to not only strengthen her rib cage but also to make it one piece again.  The paper mache was a lot of work, but I found it therapeutic some how.  She was then given a shabby chic makeover with bits of lace, a large floral decal and a burlap flower at the neck.   I also transferred the word vintage on her decolletage.  Now that she is rebuilt, she'll last for many more years and she is really beautiful, must more so in person.  A great way to display for vintage jewellery or lingerie.

The 3 modern mannequins were going to be a little bit more of a challenge.  But after giving it some thought, I figured that if I could paper mache the old one, I could paper mache the new ones as well.  Each one was given 2 to 3 coats and then embellished.  I named them and then transferred their names onto their decolletage as well.  They have such a beautiful vintage inspired style about them.  I love the way they turned out.

So.....Meet the girls.....they are from the closest, Rose, Spice and Girly Girl.  Rose (my personal favorite) was sold at the 2012 Vintage Chicks event to a lovely young lady that is opening her second jewellery boutique. 

Any my vintage girl....isn't she lovely?

One thing I learned in this process is that fabric decoupages onto curved items  much much better than paper.  It also stands up better in a damp or humid environment.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Vintage suitcase

So once again I've forgotten to take a before picture.  This vintage suitcase was really in need of some love.  It was black vinyl but much of the vinyl was coming loose and it had been used to haul around books, so it's sides were coming unglued in several places.  After doing quite a bit of repair work, I taped off all the buckles and the handle and then painted it with Annie Sloans pure white chalk paint.  Afterwards I distressed it a little to give it an aged appearance.

Now the fun part; I went to the graphics fairy. website and selected several images of lovely ladies.  I printed them onto waterside transfers and using the manufacturers instructions, randomly applied them to the case, sort of travel sticker style.  I also used the word Beauties taken from a music sheet and a few other small graphics all also found at the graphics fairy.  Several clear coats and voila'!

So pretty......what do you think?

This will be heading to my booth at the 2012 Vintage Chicks Sale held June 8th and 9th.  If you're local to Calgary make sure to come by.

Tea Trolley

I remember a while ago I found this really cool vintage tea cart while thrifting.  By really cool I mean it was old, cheap but not pretty, so it needed my love.  But for whatever reason, I left the store without it.  So for the rest of the day I was kicking myself, and of course by the time I went back, it was gone.  I know you've had these moments.  However, a few weeks later I came across another old tea cart and this time I didn't even think twice.

If you are a regular reader (one of my 3, ha ha), you know that like many crafting bloggers,  in my excitement to start work on it I neglected to take a before picture.  The below picture is similar, only trust me, my tea cart was not anywhere near this nice.  The main frame was an ugly pearled bandaidy kind of flesh tone and the trays were an almost black fake wood arborite.

Mid way through this project, while disassembled, I wasn't sure it was going to turn out very well.  But check it out....

The main frame was painted in ivory; then I decoupaged music sheets to cover the ugly arborite trays.  For the final touch I went to my favorite place for vintage graphics and chose several pretty images as a final touch.

Now that it's reassembled I am so happy with the way it looks.  It has a lovely shabby chic look to it.  What do you think......I'd love to hear your feedback.

This piece will be heading to my booth at the 2012 Vintage Chicks Sale on June 8th and 9th.  If your local to Calgary, make sure to come by.

Thanks for taking a look.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Memory Box

I am forever coming across these old silverware boxes, minus their silver.  Where does that all that silverware go I wonder???

This is the before, not very impressive is it.
make sure you read this entire post to find out how you can get a FREE digital graphics collage, like the one above.

But there is potential and that's all this artisan needs for inspiration.  So I decided to try a makeover on this one and see what I could come up with.  I'm so happy with the results that I've picked up 3 more to work on.

Gutting the inside is the tough part.  The bottoms of these boxes are almost always made from a stiff cardboard.  When pulling out the cutlery holder you don't want to weaken the cardboard bottom or there goes your box.  Very tricky!!!

As you can see from the inside of this box, even though it's finished, the interior was pretty rough after it was gutted.  But I like the shabby look that it took on once it was painted.   If you look really closely there is a faded Paris address on the bottom.  This was my first attempt at nail polish remover transferring.  The roses are a waterslide transfer.  If you're not familiar with waterslides, they're a fantastic way to adhere an image to a project, decoupage style.  Waterslide paper is available online, but I must say, it's a little pricey.  Just print out your image, follow the waterslide instructions provided and adhere to your project.  The image is printed onto a fine clear plastic and the paper washes away, so it doesn't have the thick bulky look of a typical paper decoupage.

And now for the outside!!

I made this collage using photoshop and layered several images obtained from the Graphic Fairy's blog (just love her fabulous site).  It is also a waterside transfer and looks just beautiful on the top of this distressed white box.   Gorgeous!!   Like most of my work lately,  this will be going to the June 2012 Vintage Chicks Show in Priddis, AB.


Thanks for stopping by.

Vintage Inspired French Sign


A cupboard door...right?  Well, yes it was a cupboard door, but that's not what I saw.  I saw the vintage french sign I longed to create and on top of that, the door cost me just $1. 

The final result of this was in part planned and in part accidental.  Some accidents are happy, and this was one of them.

I should have sanded this, but I was being lazy and I didn't.  I also didn't use chalk paint which will stick to anything prepped or not.  Nope, not even primer, I just used regular latex paint and slapped it on that baby.  Of course it really didn't want to stick at all.  I suppose that was part of the happy accident as it gave the door a yummie weathered look that I love,

Here's where it get's kind of interesting.  I chose a graphic from my favorite website, the graphics fairy.  I then reversed the image and printed it out on a laser printer in the 14 x 20 size.  This was going to be an experiment really.  I placed the image ink side down on the door insert and using my nail polish remover method, I attempted to transfer it.  A tutorial for my nail polish remover transfer method can be found on my French Magazine Rack post.   I'm planning on doing a 'consumer report' sort of thing on all the transfer methods out there.  But for now, trust me that transferring is not a perfect science and doesn't always work the way we expect it to.  Nail polish works best on ink jet prints and while it worked here for me, it doesn't always work for laser ink.  Anyway, the remover turned the laser ink turned into a gummy vinyl mess and only partially transferred, leaving just enough behind to give the impression of an old weathered french sign.  WOW, another happy accident!!!  A touch of distressing and a couple of satin coats of varathane and.....VOILA!

I absolutely love the results.  This sign is definitely going to The Vintage Chicks June 2012 show.

And these two I made later as a thank you for Karen of Circa Interiors and her sister Kim.  Kim wanted to buy above the one that was at the sales event and didn't.  I feel that kind of remorse on a regular basis.  The one I made for her was actually prettier than the original I think.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Vintage Cup Hanger = New Jewellry Stand

Okay, so I'm getting really annoyed with myself!  I forget to take 'before' pictures of my projects way, WAY to often as is the case with this project yet again.  Anyway, I found this fantastic vintage cup holder recently and, it's in great shape.  Best of all, it was made right here in Canada.  Gotta love that!

The original colour was honey gold, as in wood.   I'm not a huge lover of wood, you know, because it's gold or brown, ugghh!!!  So I used about 3 different shades of blue green to achieve some depth of colour on this, and then gave it a healthy amount of distressing so just a little of the wood tone would show through.

This is going to make a great display for my floral cones at the June 2012 Vintage Chicks show in Priddis.

OR, just look how pretty it would be dressed up some bangles.....

I love this piece....of course it will also be for sale at the show.

Thanks for stopping by.

Chunky Candle Holder Makeover

Chunky Candle Holder Makeover

I found these great chunky candle holders recently.  As usual, I got so excited to get started working on them that I forgot to take a 'before' photo.  But, they were completely black and quite dated looking.  If you know me at all, then you know I love colour; so I knew I would make them prettier with colour.  Here they are in their new look.

This look was achieved with 5 different shades of blue green, a very light dry brushing with Annie Sloans white chalk paint, some distressing (but of course) and a coat of satin varathane.  I'm in love with these, they look fantastic on my coffee table so it's going to be hard to part with them, but.....they are off to the June 2012 Vintage Chicks Show in Priddis, AB

BUT, maybe you could help me with something, I had an idea......and could really use some feedback.  What if I made them into pedestaled vases (also good for pens, paintbrushes or candles) using vintage creamers?  What do you think?  Kind of pretty eh?

OR.....what about plate stands (vintage plates of course)?

So what do you think, candle holders, pedastaled vases or plate stands?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Crates are Great!


Don't you just love old crates?  They are so great for organizing things, and also add a touch of vintage fun.  Recently I had the good fortune to stumble upon several crates in assorted sizes.  They weren't really as pretty as I would have like, but I wasn't deterred.  They all started out slightly different, but the picture below gives you the general idea.  Ughhh!!!  This is not very pretty!

I started out by dry brushing them with one coat of Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in White.  Dry brushing just means you have very little paint in your brush.  It gives things a weathered chalky look that I just love.

There, already looking a little better.

Then, I went to my vast saved selection of vintage graphics that I've gotten from the Graphics fairy website.  If you enjoy crafting or are a scrapbooker, this is a site you should definitely visit.   Once I chose the graphics I wanted to use, I printed them on my home printer and decoupaged them onto the ends.  I also put some transfers on the front side of some of them using my 'nail polish remover transfer method' (if you look closing you can see a few of the crates have words or Paris on one side). You can find the tutorial for my 'nail polish remover transfer method' here  Once I was happy with the final product, they were given a clear coat of varathane in satin finish.  I prefer varathane for protection, but like the look of wax.  I find I get the best of both, with varathane's satin finish, as the final product has a pretty, waxed look to it but offers better protection.

AND...voila......the finished products.  Aren't they pretty?  These will be heading to the June 2012 Vintage Chicks show in Priddis, AB.   If you live locally, you can check this event out here

Thanks for stopping by!

Shabby French Magazine Rack Makeover

Well, I'm finally trying to do some actual blogging about my current projects and hopefully some tutorials for you.   So as I'm preparing for the 2012 Vintage Chicks show held in Priddis, AB this June,  I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to do just that.  So here is my first blogged project and one that will be in my booth.  This magazine rack has been given a pretty french makeover and would be great for incoming mail or take out menus as well.   The photo above is the finished product.

and a couple of closeups

The graphics image above was printed on my home inkjet and transferred in place.  Instructions on how to do this are listed below.  You can find this graphic as well as the pretty rose postcard on the graphics fairy blogspot.  if you are crafty you will love this fantastic website (click here for link) where you can download free vintage graphics.

In my excitement to get started on my projects, I tend to forgot to take a before picture and a search online failed as well.  This dates me some, but I remember my Mom collecting this stuff back in the 70's.  It's called coppercraft and the finish was much like the wall sconce below.  Ugggghhh!!! I must admit, I have NEVER been a fan of coppercraft.  It's so much prettier now.

I take great pride in my makeovers, so I like to make sure the back side of my sale items is pretty too.

So here is how I transferred the french image on the bottom front.  This method does not make a really strong image, it tends to provide a more weathered and worn looking image as seen in my photos.  For those of you that have heard of the citri-solv transfer method this is basically the same thing.  Citri-solv has not been approved for importing to Canada yet.
  • Choose your image; size it based on what you need and then if there are any numbers or letters, you will need to reverse it horizontally so it's a mirror image.
  • Print it out on an inkjet printer (this doesn't really work for laser ink, you can use paint thinner though) using a slightly heavier paper, like letterhead.  Don't use printer or copier paper as it's not heavy enough and will tear or stretch during the transfer process.
  • Put your image print side down on your project and tape the edges in place.  Make sure the tape isn't on top of any parts of the image.
  • Saturate a cotton pad or ball with nail polish remover and run it over the back side of the image just until it's damp, be careful not to saturate it.
  • Use the back of the a spoon and burnish over the entire image for several minutes.  The more you burnish the better the image.  No peeking, or you could smudge the image.
  • When you thinks it's ready, lift the tape and gently remove the paper.  VOILA,  your image has transferred.  As mentioned earlier, the image will be soft and weathered looking, this method does not create a strong solid image.  However, some of the ink may still smear or wipe away.  So if you prefer the stronger image and want to avoid the risk of it smearing, best use a spray varathane rather than a brush coat.    I prefer to wipe mine with a damp cloth to soften the image slightly.
  • Clear coat with varathane or wax if preferred.