Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The luck of the shop ...

It can get down right irritating to go into a thrift store and see an absolutely hideous chair that is marked $30. Ugh! Sure, one day it could be fabulous, but there's a lot of work involved...and tons of staples, dust, and unidentifiable objects stuck in crevices.
So, it's always nice to find a completely lovely chair for $2 (no crevices involved). I know who every priced this chair didn't think it was lovable but I don't care. I loved this chair straight away!

Still, even a lovely chair can stand a facelift. I love this technique too. I basically take fabric stiffener and soak my fabric, in this case a lovely silk plaid and then I cover the chair in it. I let it dry and then go over the whole thing with poly -- I like the water based product for easy clean-up.

A nice break from the staple gun.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is that even the same chair?

Cue the broken record, I forgot to take, before, before pictures, but I did manage to snap a shot of this chair, wearing nothing but primer. Originally it was decked out in terrible black vinyl, including on the wood piece on top. It looked like it came from some seedy restaurant, serving terrible all-you-can-eat fish and chips.I'm always looking for cheap victims on which to turn my staple gun. The nasty vinyl made this chair cheap, but it was also a bear to strip. I don't think I've ever come across so many staples. Obviously, the whole situation brought on some kind of staple-induced derangement because I went a little crazy on this make over.
She's a little over-the-top, I know... but once I started, I just couldn't stop. I don't know what happened, I channeled "Project Runway" contestants or something. Trust me, just like on the show, there was glue involved, but unlike the show, I'm certain that if this chair decided to saunter down a runway, her dress isn't going anywhere.

Why not throw in a decoupaged detail, too?

I blame this fabric, which I picked up from a thrift store. It's so Rococo, I just had to make the rest of the chair match. Now, the tough job is to find this little number a home, because she's too fancy a lady for my house.

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's still very much a basement

. . .but it is much better than it was.
I forgot to take a picture until after I started painting, so my before pictures don't quite capture the dungeony mood it had.
Now, this isn't going to be a before and after that leaves you thinking, "Wow, you can't even tell that's a basement." Turning our basement into one of those kinds of basements would have required a budget bigger than a shoe string and a general contractor, or possibly two.

That said, I think a large dose of elbow grease, paint and some organization has made this basement bearable.

This mess is what results when you have a place so dark that you don't want to spend any time down there.

Now, I've even made a make-shift little studio in an area that was once called "The Pit." Seriously, I'm not joking, a previous owner had wood-burned "The Pit" onto a little sign and hung it over the doorway. It was a very apt description. (Yeah, I even wallpapered it with some vintage paper from my grandma's attic.)

I added curtain panels, made out of red burlap, to the stairway area to make a closet of sorts.

Jack now thinks it's a special treat to go play with his train table and the train pieces don't end up all over the house.

Reed fencing helps disguise the crawlspace. It's downright pleasant down there now. The other day, I even folded laundry down there and that's just not something I do (anywhere). Just ask my hubby.

Friday, September 4, 2009

It's a before now, but ...

... one day it will be a stunning after. I couldn't believe when I saw this beautiful bench sitting at a yard sale a few blocks away from my house.

The craziest part was that my friend Katie had just visited me and while shopping at a local store, we were admiring a settee with a $2,000 price tag...Katie dreamed of a day when she could have something similar to put in her kitchen, so people could really lounge around the table while drinking their coffee (heavy on the creamer.)

Two days later, I ran into this bench with a sticker reading, "Make an Offer." I absolutely froze. I didn't know what to do... I have seen many a mission style piece in antique stores and they often carry the heftiest prices... "Maybe I should offer $50," I thought in my head, but I didn't want to seem insulting. Sure it needs work, but I knew it was a valuable piece.

I left the sale, too intimidate to even make an offer, but then I called my Aunt Lori to get her thoughts (Poor thing has been fielding these types of calls for many, many years.)

"Just ask what they were thinking they'd like to get for it," she advised.

I'm so glad I called her. They only wanted $30. I know some people will look at this bench and think... she gave them $30 for that? (I could tell that was what my husband was thinking when he came home and found it in our living room.)

Yes I did and I can't wait to turn it into a thing of beauty. Most of all, I can't wait to enjoy a cup of coffee over at Katie's while I lounge on it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Some lessons keep teaching

Hello Design Sponge fans, thanks for visiting my blog, please leave a comment, I'm always looking for other interesting blogs to puruse.
Awhile back, I was lucky enough to come across some great Sunday School Lesson Art and I've been coming up with things to do with it ever since. This is my favorite piece. I'm so into chalkboard paint... it's a little ridiculous, but hey it can be useful for telling your hubby you love him every now and again ... or if you need to get some eggs. This little lady looks right at home in my kitchen, now if she could only do the dishes too.

I made this cork board to hang over my son's little desk. Isn't the illustration so cute. Much cuter than the flannel boards they were using when I was in Sunday School.

Speaking of my son, here's Jack. He never likes to get his picture taken, unless I'm trying to get a picture of a chair.

I used this Sunday School Art for an old school desk, along with some old flash cards. I've always had a thing for maps... in fact, I once had a rather nice globe collection, until the aforementioned son got a hold of them. Any ideas for a half a globe? I'd welcome them.