Monday, May 28, 2012

The Pair With French Flair

I am trying to whittle away at that stack of "to-do" pieces of furniture.  Amazing how quickly they accumulate and how much longer it takes to turn them into something usable.

This pair I picked up on the second day of an estate sale for half price. ($7.50 for the two)

Nice opportunity to do something different with the back.  I have an idea but I'll reveal that later.

Before I could begin painting I had to deal with this little elbow problem.

And this shin scrape.

Wood putty works miracles on issues like these.

I primed in this color because I already had this tinted primer and I'm trying to use things I have on hand to reduce the inventory.

In case you're wondering, I'm not trying to save the upholstery!  I plan to have these upholstered professionally and this back does not come out easily.  I'm just trying to paint without getting the upholstery stuck to the chair.

My top coat is a Devoe color called Woodsmoke.

When I finished the topcoat, I had a couple places where the paint was a little thick and I wanted to sand those parts.  Suddenly, this project took a turn.

Before I could stop myself, I was lightly distressing the entire chair.

I followed that up with a dark brown glaze that I mixed from a Martha Stewart brown I had on hand, a little glaze, and a squirt of dark brown pigment.  I applied it with a cheese cloth and wiped it off with another piece of wet cheese cloth.

Here they are side by side with the left one untouched and the right one distressed and glazed.  It's hard to see how different they look in this picture.


But it did make a huge difference.  And it works well with the fabric.  Speaking of the fabric.. I bought it months ago for two other chairs.

I planned to use it on this pair of chairs but I didn't think I had enough fabric.  So I went searching for a complimentary fabric that I thought I would use for piping.  I lucked out and found a solid fabric that was the very same as the background of the fabric I had.  Now I'm using both those pieces on a different pair of chairs.  Confused?  Me too!

This is the fabric.  The script is in a very dark brown.

I ordered it online.  I think it would have been fabulous on the handle backed chairs but...that is history.  We are moving on.

I decided to use the plain background fabric on the back of the chairs and stencil it with this pattern from The Stencil Library.

It is a 4 layer stencil but I am skipping the background and using the last two layers.

The last layer is just the three little cutouts in the first three letters.  It is meant to be used to repaint the background color after you stenciled the P,A, and R as solid.  But, because I was stenciling on fabric and not using a stencilled background, I needed to allow the fabric to show through.

I traced the 3 little cutouts onto contact paper and cut them out.

Trying to separate the backing from the sticky part can be next to impossible on such a tiny piece.  I finally figured out if I stuck a pin through the paper (non sticky) side and came up between the layers it was pretty simple.

I couldn't find an acrylic brown as dark as wanted so I added some black and also a textile medium.  (The medium might not have been necessary since this was not going to be clothing or something that needed to be laundered.)

My scientific plotting of the color I wanted.

Here you can see I pulled the contact paper off the letter "R" and my method was successful.

One down and one to go.  (This photo was taken in natural light is the true color.  Other photos were taken in my kitchen where it is impossible to get a shot that isn't yellowed.)

Now off to the upholsterer.

 Finally...I picked the chairs up from the upholsterer today.

Here they are as I unloaded them from the car.

And here they are from the back.

I was a little nervous as I drove to pick these up.  But, no regrets! I love how they turned out.

I brought them inside to take some closeups.

Now if I can sell my dining room set this weekend....

I can move on to the table I want to paint to go with these chairs.

I think it's time for something a little French.

If you are interested in this stencil for yourself, it is a click away.

I am linking to:  The Ivy Cottage
                           Savy Southern Style
                           No Minimalist Here
                           The Vintage Farmhouse

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pinterest Roundup

I'm sure you have gathered from the past few posts that I am quite a fan of Pinterest.  I question when the novelty will wear off, but for me it is still running strong.  However, I do need to tie up my running dialog about my Pinterest fascination because I have a few other things that are now ready/almost ready to be published. rapid fire.  #1

 Serving and eating utensils on weathered wood.

I found these weathered boards in an alley.

The forks?....honestly I have had them forever, and I don't remember how they came to be mine.

I couldn't resist throwing in this photo.  I had these hanging from the chandelier over my dining table for awhile.

Old luggage is popular right now and....

suitcases are showing up as a decorative item in magazines and, of course, on Pinterest.

My collection is rather haphazard.  I have yet to figure out a sensible way to use/display them.


This strikes my fancy but it seems a little unrealistic in my current home.  And secondly, I don't think my collection is quite worthy of such effort.

I also aquired this trunk via my neice.  There is one difficulty I have to overcome before it can be anything more than decorative.  It is locked, you see, and no one has the key.  I called a locksmith and he told me to bring it in and they would try the keys they have on hand to see if one works.  Crime shows make picking locks seem so easy.  I thought I would give it a try.  I now have eliminated that as an acquired skill on my resume.

Little drawers lend themselves to so many decorative possibilites.

I have this set of four that I haven't touched yet.  But, because I have another post ready and I'm trying to round this one up....I'm cheating a little and showing you my intentions.

More intentions.  I have four of these as well.  They are not a top priority just yet. 

These are a Must Have for me.

And I will... one of these days.  Just not right away.  I have some hot fires burning on another project which I will share soon.

There are so many more ideas I have snagged and started, but... I need to move on to something that is completed.  We will get back to those other things in a later post.

I will have a new post in a couple of days.  It's a start to finish project.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Buttons Galore

This is part three on the inspiration I get from Pinterest.

There is a fascination for me of jars filled with buttons.  The variation in the tones of white, the sizes, the shapes, the textures and the luminosity makes me want to find a way to display them.  Or maybe I just like to play with them.

Sometimes putting them in a pretty jar is all that is needed to display a collection of buttons.

I thought this jar worked well for these identical buttons.

I pin my button ideas to either my DIY board or my Neat Stuff board on pinterest so I have it for reference when I feel like some button therapy.

I haven't tried this one yet but I think it is rising to the top of that "must try" list.

This one is awesome.  It would be fun to do a series of dresses in buttons....if I could just stay focused long enough.

I was losing interest by the time I finished this pillow so I'm not sure I have the attention span required for a series of anything.  The blog post on this pillow can be found here.

I thought these were quite sweet and I did make 3 of them.  That project is on hold until I get the right gauge of wire but I think I'll make more.  They are easy enough when you have the right materials.

Many times going back to the origin of these projects does not net you any instructions so there is some trial and error involved. (FYI:  a dab of glue on the paper petal to hold it close to the button helps.)

Here they are in sepia...not the full bouquet I saw on Pinterest but I like this just as well.

Here is a variation on the flower idea and I will probably give that a whirl too.

This is a little country for me so I doubt I'll make this but I threw it in for those of you who might get inspiration from it.  Maybe a tree for Christmas done in all button ornaments...who is feeling industrious?

  I kept playing with my arrangement as you can see from these photographs.

I gathered the white and creamy buttons in my collection and arranged them with a few other items.  Then I played with Picasa for some different effects.

Pencil sketch is an interesting variation. I like the way it makes my vintage postcard stand out.  I saw the picture/card holder on Pinterest too.

I have several glass doorknobs and I want to make these  for sure.  Again, no instructions so I need to find the right gauge wire and....


perfect my technique.

I am still struggling with lighting techniques as well.

The effects offered in Picasa do make it easy to give some "so-so" photos a little edge.

Before dismanteling all my props, I had to snap a few with my antique sewing machine.

I played with effects here...

and here. 

and couldn't resist the pencil sketch one more time.

All in all I had several hours of cheap entertainment just playing with my stuff.  Retirement is a lot like early childhood.  It's all about playing with your favorite things.