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)


Monday, May 20, 2013

Simple Things

I love how even the simplest and most humble of things can bring beauty to our lives.  Like burlap for example, who'd have ever thought back in the day, that potato, grain and feed sacks would become the huge home decor trend they are today?

With my booth opening on May 1st and my family (including my precious 2 year old granddaughter) visiting just one week later,  I really haven't had much time for blogging lately.  So,  this is just a short, but sweet little blurb about a simple makeover to the humble bushel basket.  

Obviously once used for some sort of Christmas decor..... but it has definitely seen better days.

Just a little paint, a pretty fabric sash and of course, bling, is an absolute must!!

I like how the original red has bled through the white paint to give it a soft pinkish glow.  Happy accidents are just the best, aren't' they?!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The upcycling of a sap bucket

I was out exploring a trendy older business community with my 'aspiring photographer' hubby a while ago.  While he was happily snapping urban landscapes, I wandered into a great shop that up-cycles and re-purposes old broken down furniture and what-nots.  Since I do that also, but on a smaller scale, it's fun to see what other recyclers are doing.  Most everything in the store was well above my price range, especially being, shall we say, a value conscious DIY Diva;  but I did find this great old sap bucket from Quebec for under seven dollars.  The Hubby wandered in just in time to hear the sales person tell me it was from Quebec, and I saw his eyes light up!  Montreal, Quebec is where he grew up and he's pretty sentimental about that.

I can just picture it full of soft pink peony buds.  Of course, I couldn't just leave the bucket as it was, that would not be in my nature.  So I started by adding some burlap and lace.
That wasn't quite enough, so I added more lace, some gold french ribbon and a few jewellery findings.

Hmmm....not sure I like this! How about with some flowers?
I don't have enough pink roses kicking around so I tried it with blue hydrangeas.  That is SOOOOO not working for me!!!!  So....back I go to the old drawing board.  I pulled of the gold french ribbon and findings and added a cream fabric rose. just makes me crazy when what's in my head doesn't play out in reality!!  You know what I mean, I know you do!!  This still isn't doing it for off comes the burlap and all.  In my frustration I tried out a vintage graphic from the Graphics Fairy and that just wasn't it either.

So.....the once again naked bucket was put aside for about 3 months until I finally took it up again tonight!!

A little burlap, two vintage crocheted doilies, a pinch of floral ribbon, a dash of bling and one pink cameo later and voila!!!

Now THIS I can live with!!  Well.....except it's actually not for me so I won't be living with it. Now that I'm finally happy with the end result,  this 'pretty' will be heading to my antique market booth opening in May!

So pretty with a bunch of lavender in it! 

This was going to head to my booth, but my darling Mama who wanted to be my very first customer fell in love with this bucket. 
SOLD - I love you Mama!!


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Beyond The Picket Fence

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Third times the Charm - End table Makeover

I've had this end table kicking around my house for about six years now.  Unfortunately I don't have an original picture of it; but do you remember back in the late 90's when this sort of stuff was in style?

Yes, it was a pretty style, but it has had it's day!!   My end table was finished with something that looked like a crinkled brown leather and then had a rose painted in the centre of each door in the same style as the boxes above.  I bought it because it was a good price, on clearance as I recall, but never really liked it's finish, only it's lines

So it became the victim of this first badly failed makeover.  I lived with this for at least four years, until last week when I decided I could NOT stand it for another moment!!  Ugghhhh!!!

I had to scuff up the clear coat a little (I clear coat everything to protect it).   I first painted the bottom apron and legs white and then did my usual layering of blues and blue greens on the body.  I never really have a recipe, I just keep on layering until I'm happy.  You can't tell in the photo but because of that crinkled leather look, the paint actually layered in an interesting way.  After I gave it a light distressing, I transferred a vintage graphic from L'Hotel Victoire onto the centre of the two doors.  Since there is a raised edge that borders the doors, I new it wouldn't come out really well, but I love that it looks old and distressed.   

And here it is....third time's the charm! Very pretty, I took it to my booth at the local antique market where it SOLD.

If you'd like to get the graphic, follow me on pinterest and check out my 'crafting - free downloads' board where you'll find this one and many more.

You can find the story of the chair shown above, along with it's graphic image here.

Thanks for stopping by.  Caio!

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Centerpiece Wednesdays Button

Barrel of Fun - Barrel Chair Makeover

I am a sucker for anything with caning on it.  My only condition is it must be in perfect shape, no punctures allowed! I don't have the patience to redo caning and it's quite expensive to have re-done.

When I found this dated chair with it's perfect cane, I new that it would be a beautiful makeover.  Actually, there were a pair,  but sadly only one had the cane intact.  My upholstery skills are limited, but I find that with most things, if I take it one step at a time and be sure I remember how it came apart, I can usually get the job done.  I didn't even have any left over pieces.  Yaaaaay!!!

The before pictures......

 taking it apart

Don't you just hate trying to remove those darn upholstery staples? There were three layers of staples on this baby.  Oh my poor beat up hands!!

Finally, down to the bare bones of it!!

and here it is painted in Behr's Polar Bear White

I felt that the look of the separate cushion was dated and I wanted a cleaner look.  So I merged it with the base by wrapping them together with two layers of quilt batting. 

I used a drop cloth for the upholstery, but I washed it several times to soften it.  Now,  here is where I ran into trouble.  I went to Staples and printed a mirror image of the vintage french graphic I was using.  It came from the Graphics Fairy and though I've attached the jpg for you below;  do check out the graphics fairy website as its a fantastic resource for copy write free graphics.   I'd planned to use Citri-solv to transfer the image,  but it wouldn't budge from the paper at all.  I've found copies from cheaper laser printers work better with Citri-solv.  Incidentally, if you're new to transferring, there are several transfer tutorials on the graphics fairy blog as well. So failing the Citri-solv method, I got the brilliant idea to try transferring the image using an iron.  This worked, but instead of transferring in black, it came out a rather ghoulish dark green.  Unacceptable!!!  So finally I went over the whole image using a sharpie black paint marker and then washed it a couple times to age the transfer for that vintage look.

Here it is in place waiting to be attached and finally attached and reassembled. 

You can read about the pretty end table shown below in this post here.

The chair will be heading to my booth at my local antique market. 

 here is the graphic for you 

Caio my friends.

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DIY Show Off