Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our Playroom

Our shop is where my husband and I hang out and play.  We play at fixing and revamping furniture, creating stuff and things, and working on our cars (OK the last is really "Mr. in the Styx's" thing).  We just got done adding some decorations to it, totally my husband's idea, so I thought it would be a good time to show it off.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Revamped Bookcase for a New Home

My sister and brother-in-law just moved into their brand new house.  It is beautiful and just right for them.  They downsized from a four story home to a rancher, so they needed to also downsize their furniture.  This bookcase caused a little bit of contention.  He said is was a piece of junk (and should just give it to me to revamp & sell), she loved it and new just where it would fit in the new house.  Well you know who won this one, of course.  I held on to it through the summer until she decided how she wanted it refinished.  Her new decor is leaning toward the peacock blue & green tones, and she also has a large brown leather sectional.  She wanted this painted an aqua or teal to go with everything.  I suggested that we leave the gorgeous front pieces and the top stained to tie in with the couch.  I didn't get the before shot, but here is some during pics.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Table

Happy Halloween!  
I'm already into my first big bag of candy and am sure I will need to get a second before the 31st.  Of course Halloween is just an excuse to have candy around the house since we don't get any trick-or-treaters up here in the styxs. 

A couple of months ago I revamped a great mid-century modern table, you can see it here two very different tables.  I mixed up some homemade chalk paint in Behr's "glowing firelight" and finished it with a satin poly.  My husband thought I was nuts and didn't think it would sell.  Boy was he wrong!  Not only did it sell fast, but I had quite a few people in afterward wanting to buy it, so I new I had to find another MCM table to paint orange.  I picked up this little cutie at a garage sale for cheap.  Sorry, I didn't get any before pictures, but the table tops were in that 60's veneer that looked more like wood grained contact paper, and the legs and spacers were pretty scratched up.  I started sanding it and realized the legs and spacers weren't veneered and the wood was pretty cool, so I refinished them with Minwax Jacobean.  I primed and painted the tops and then finished the whole thing with a gloss polyurethane.  I don't usually use a gloss finish, but everyone loved the finish of the other table even though the shine was the glass tops.  So what do you think?  Sorry about the fuzzy picture, you're probably wondering what the little sign says.  It says "You say I'm a witch like it's a bad thing".  Cute huh.
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Wood Pilates and a Desk

Wood Pilates?  I'll get to that, but first let me show you my little desk.  Last February I revamped this desk chair that you can see here the rusty leopard.  I brought it in to sell and it is still sitting there, so I thought maybe if I could bundle it with a desk it might go.  I found the desk at a garage sale for $10.  It needed some re-gluing, one of the drawer spacers was completely off, and it was missing a pull.  It had a kind of weird paint-stain job on it that needed redone (sorry no before pictures).  I thought maybe I would paint everything but the top, but my hubby got to the sander before me and ground down a little to much on top.  What he did reveal were these great drawers.  See the dark detailing and distressing, I didn't do any of that, it was already there.  All we did on the drawers was wipe them down with about 3 coats of MMS hemp oil.  The rest of the base I finished the same as the chair with a soft black paint, and Martha Stewart dark coffee glaze.  Oh yeah, I also put some casters on the chair (probably why it hasn't sold).  I think they look pretty good together, I have them marked as a set, not sold separately so hopefully someone will love them.

Now for the wood Pilates:

Who needs a gym when God gives you all this!
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Sunday, September 22, 2013

Bunny's Bling

My mother-in-law Bunny, is in an assisted living facility awaiting a hip replacement.  The public areas are beautifully decorated but they leave the residents rooms pretty simple so they can add their own touch.  Bunny had already changed out the bedding to a happier floral print, and added a few other bright accessories.  Her space is pretty cramped, and there has to be room to move around with a wheel chair, so she was using the bed table for all of her makeup which gave her no room for her kindle or snacks or anything else.   My sister-in-law Carmen found this school desk that she thought would work in the corner, the only problem was that it was really ugly.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Two Very Different Tables

The great thing about buying, revamping, and selling furniture is that you get to work on pieces that aren't really your style.  Take these two side tables, one is a little too early American, and the other mid century modern, neither fit into my eclectic mix.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Little White Cabinet

I almost drove by the yard sale where I found this great little cabinet.  It looked like it was going to be one of those sales that is all toys and clothes, which is great for moms with young children, but not usually so good for a picker like me.  I'm not sure what it was supposed to be used for originally, the guy I bought it from said his mom used it in Japan as her sewing cabinet, but I thought it would make a great little kitchen cabinet. 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reading to Olivia

My sister-in-law and her husband are getting ready to move into a new house, and in the process they are getting rid of some of their furniture.  She made me a great deal - she gave me a really big old dresser in exchange for painting this bookcase for her granddaughter Olivia, and refinishing another bookcase for herself.  She wanted a gloss white for the main part and then do whatever else I wanted to it. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Doesn't it seem like once in a while the garage sale gods are on your side?  I found this chair at a community sale in newer housing addition. I don't normally have very good luck at these type of sales because they are younger families and have mostly children's clothes, toys and nick knacks, but this time was different.  I got this chair for $5.  The husband said they had just marked it down from $10, so it must be my lucky day.  Now it wasn't in the best of shape, but it was structurally solid (sigh of relief from my husband), but it looked like a cat had used it for it's scratching post.  The rattan was good, but the wicker was shredded in quite a few spots, luckily not all the way through anywhere.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Reading by Lamp Light

I named this post "Reading by Lamp Light", I should have added "sort of".  Our power goes out a lot here in the styx of Idaho so we have quite a few Colman lanterns for back up lighting, plus a few here and there just for looks.  After going to the Farm Chicks this year I had an idea of what I wanted to do with one, but didn't want to sacrifice one we already had in case it didn't work out.  Garage sale to the rescue!  I found this one (sorry, no before pics) for 75 cents, so no problem tearing it apart.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Leave Well Enough Alone

Another lifetime ago I worked in the quality department of a large corporation.  One of their mantras was "continuous improvement".  They felt that everything could & should be improved upon.  Sometimes corporate ideology is just wrong !  Take this old mantle/wall shelf that I picked up last year for $2.  Sorry, this is obviously a during (stripping) shot, I lost the last two years of pictures that weren't saved on my Picasa Web Album, but it pretty much looked just like this minus the peeling paint.  I've had a lot of different ideas for this baby, first I was going to paint it aqua, then I figured it would be great in chalkboard paint which really needs a smooth base, so I went ahead and stripped it.

Here is what it looked like after one coat of heavy duty stripper.  People spends hours trying to achieve this look, so why should I try to improve on that?  The only thing I did was spray three coats of polyurethane on it to try to seal in the paint (I think it might be lead).

Next, and probably the hardest thing to figure out was what to use for hooks.  At first I was just going to use these simple screw in hooks, but they were too plain and too small.  Then I thought spoon hooks would look good, but when my hubby tried to flatten the bowl the spoon broke all apart.  Seems like the great (hah) set of silver he bought me awhile back is silver plated pot metal.  Then my husband suggested railroad ties but we didn't have enough, and they were too long.

 So a few days ago I was saying how I wished I had picked up some glass insulators at a sale for $1 a piece (I know...woulda, coulda, shoulda), when a light bulb went off in my husbands head. He goes over to the shop and comes back with these:

Do you know what they are?  They are ceramic insulators for electric fencing.  We have a bunch that we used to use to keep the deer out of the garden.  So a little polishing up, and some 14 cent screws and...

Dang, isn't my husband great.  A year ago he would have thought this was nuts, but now he is starting to see what revamping is all about.

So here is the shelf that I pretty much left well enough alone.  What do you think, good chippy or not?

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekend Finds

I know this won't be one of my hotter posts.   I rarely view other postings about garage sale finds, but I wanted to show a few people some of the great things I found this weekend, including a birthday present for my youngest granddaughter.
My shed is so full of future furniture projects that I am trying to limit myself to only buying smalls right now.  Do you know how hard that is?  Luckily most of the furniture I found this weekend was out of my price range, so I stuck to my guns and only brought home small pieces.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Gilded Lady

A couple of months ago I saw a great blog at Hospitality Designs (metallic paint project ) using Martha Stewart Golden Pearl paint.  I immediately knew I had to use this on something.  I found a waterfall highboy dresser and vanity that were in pretty bad shape that I thought might work, so off to Home Depot I went for my paint.  On the way home I stopped at a yard sale and found this little skirted vanity table from the 1940's or 1950's.  Doesn't she have beautiful legs?  I knew she would be my golden pearl project.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rattan Chairs Two Ways

      We have a little pub near us that reminds me of Cheers.  I worked there for a few years in my early 20's, and as the song goes, everyone really does know your name.  I don't go there much now, but every summer they have a big yard sale I can't miss.  Last year I picked up four of these rattan and wicker chairs for $15 (total!). 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Paris in Springtime

Last month I was having picker withdrawals.  You know the feeling, too early for garage sales, no estate sales happening, nothing much on Craigslist.  I was on my way to lunch with my mother and sister, when I saw a sign in front of our Salvation Army store that said all furniture 1/2 off.  Woo Hoo! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sunflowers in Spring

Springtime in North Idaho can be anything from snow, to thunderstorms, to beautiful sunny days (OK wishful thinking on the sun).  Since it's way too early to think about gardening I thought I would paint something a nice sunny yellow.  Jeez, you'd think that would be easy enough don't you?  Well this little chair gave me so many fits that it almost went in the burn pile.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

King Me

 I guess I could have called this post "Checkmate" instead of "King Me", but I never really learned chess, checkers was more my game.  I found this little table last year at a garage sale for $2.00.  I mean who can pass that up!  It had one broken leg, but nothing my hubby couldn't fix.  It was also missing the inserted top piece, someone had thrown a peel and stick vinyl square in there, thank goodness not stuck yet.  Originally I wanted to paint this yellow and transfer The Graphic Fairy French Bee in the center.  I still think that would have been cute, but I decided to go natural instead. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lenora's Sonora

   You know how one thing leads to another, and pretty soon you've remodeled your whole house?  Well that's what happened to my brother-in-law and his wife Lenora.  It started with wanting to put in a wood stove, well then you have to have a hearth, then the walls look a little drab so now you paint the whole house (different great colors), and now the decor is all wrong...well you get it.  In the midst of all this, they moved around some of their furniture and her Sonora phonograph didn't fit where it was anymore.  Lenora asked if I wanted it, and as great as it is (now!) I just don't have room for it.  I could tell she really didn't want to part with it so I said "how about if I fix it up to match your piano so you can put it next to it?"

Monday, February 25, 2013

Amarrei's Rocker

     Am I reverting back to my childhood, or channeling my inner child?  It sure seems like it, my last three posts have all been about things for kids.  I swear this should be the last one for awhile.
     Last summer my mother-in-law bought a cute little rocker at a yard sale for her newest great granddaughter.  Now it wasn't bad to start with, but it had that '60s French provincial thing going on, so I thought maybe we could bling it up a bit.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Zara's Apron

 Well, I thought I was done making aprons.  Don't get me wrong, I love making them, but I just didn't think I would need anymore, anytime soon.  Last summer I wrote how to make 3 aprons out of a shirt and a pair of jeans 1-shirt-1-pair-of-jeans-3-aprons .  For Christmas I made my daughter and two beautiful granddaughters aprons out of one shirt, and my son-in-law a barbecue apron out of some canvas with a duck on the pocket that I printed off the computer.  Sorry, no pictures of theirs, I was in a hurry to get them mailed off for Christmas.  So, like I said, I thought I was done until a friend called up and asked if I could make an apron for her granddaughter Zara.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Children's Rolltop Desk

 Late last summer I stopped at a church rummage sale looking for Christmas Decorations for our space at Paris Flea Market.  I had no intentions of buying anymore furniture since our shed was already pretty full of projects to work on during the winter.  Now some people I know won't go to a sale unless they can hit it early in the morning on the first day.  Not me!  I'm one of those crazy people that make quick turns anytime I see a garage sale sign.  Don't get me wrong, I do plan out my Friday mornings so I can hit the best sales first, but I also love catching sales late in the afternoon of the last day when everyone is ready to shut down.  That was the case with this adorable little desk.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Selling a Piece of My Childhood

    You know how it is when you go to an antique store and see an old toy or something marked "vintage", and you think "jeez I used to have one of those, am I considered vintage?".  Well I guess the answer is yes.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Rusty Leopard

The Rusty Leopard - Sounds like the name of a great cocktail doesn't it, but no it's my name for this old oak desk chair.  I picked this up at a really good yard sale last summer for $10.  The cast iron mechanism was all rusted on it but worked, the caning on the seat was shot, and someone had already stripped the wood. (Sorry, I thought I had a before picture but I guess not.)  My husband thought it would be nice refinished back to the original oak, but I've seen too many around like that for sale so I wanted to do something different.  He also thought I was nuts when I said that I wanted to leave the mechanism rusted, but I knew I wanted a more industrial look to it.  My first thought was a Pottery Barn knock off black with some type of upholstered seat.  It sat around for months until I finally found this wild fabric for $1 at our local thrift store.  It got a couple of coats of black paint that was leftover from some other projects and then I wove some nylon straps around the seat frame and upholstered it with the faux leopard.  When I went to put it all together the shade of black was too soft and didn't go well with the fabric.  I figured with the rusted cast iron, and the colors in the fabric it could use a little brown tint, so I glazed it with some Martha Stewart Black Coffee glaze.  Have I told you how much I love this stuff?  I used it with a gray base coat for my zinc dresser, RH Style Zinc Dresser and know I got a completely different look on black.  Well my wild white bench that was upholstered in a faux snow leopard sold in a week, so hopefully this will have the same results.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wild White Bench

 Awhile back I posted about this vanity which I painted the perfect shade of white.  I custom mixed a Swiss Coffee White with some brown to get a nice cream color.  I brought the vanity and a really cute sewing chair into the store to sell, and wouldn't you know the chair sold within a few days.  Luckily I had this old bench to replace the chair.