Saturday, October 31, 2015

French Pedestal

This garage sale find has been floating around my studio for years.


Every time I have a sale, I consider letting it go, but I never do.

So, after many narrow escapes to a better home, this piece is finally getting a make over.  First it needed to be glued in a couple places and then sanded a bit.

The process was not all that complicated or interesting so I'm skipping to the finished product.

I was mesmerized by the golden hues of the autumn leaves and chose an yellowish/orange color called Desert Sunset. (BM-2155-10)  It turns out it did not cover well.  I called the paint store and was told it's the nature of brilliant reds and yellows to take several coats to cover.  I'm somewhat familiar with that problem, but this was extremely thin and watery paint.  I was little (OK maybe more than a little) unhappy with this at first, but after applying a couple coats and seeing how it added a glow to the yellow paint underneath, I started to warm up to the look.  I did add a third coat...maybe even a fourth.  I lost track once I decided to go with the flow.

I added two coats of wax. (one clear and one dark)  Then I buffed it lightly and, only then did I consider where I was going to put this in my house.  Three floors and nine rooms, not counting bathrooms, and I don't have a single place where this color fits!

I do have that one room where I put all those things I like but that don't go with anything else in the house.  You might remember that room from the previous post.

By default, that is where it landed.


It does look good with this cupboard, but the glare from the window was sucking the color out of the painted cabinet, so you can't really see the true colors.

I tried blocking some of the light which helped, but it's still not like seeing it in person.

One more project is now off the "to-do" pile.

Now I just have to come up with something to replace the colorful leaves as fall slips away.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dressform Redressing



I thought perhaps a wardrobe change would be good with colder weather approaching.


 The lace is attached to the form and I just draped a few things over the lace and that's the way it stayed.  But, I saw a some pins on Pinterest where forms were turned into...well quasi Christmas trees.  That inspired me to take another look at my dress form.  Although the seasonal decorating would be a fun project, it only works from Thanksgiving until New Years Day.

 I thought it wiser to choose something that could last until I was inspired again.  I pulled a few pieces of fabric from the sewing room stash.

 I added a hem to the skirt and pinned in a couple darts.  The bodice was just draped and pined.

 I did sew the trim to the floor length shawl but that was the extent of any actual sewing.

 I cut  a piece of the bodice fabric, pulled it through a belt buckle and pinned it in the back.

A scarf and some jewelry and she was ready to grab her luggage for a trip to Paris.

I am still tempted to dress her up for the holidays.  I'll just have to see if the mood lasts.

 Right now she fits in nicely with the room dedicated to things I like looking at but don't want to rule the decor of the whole house.

 Using them all in a "themed" room on the second floor allows me to enjoy them without inflicting a period or style to the rest of the house.


As long as she does not extend her stay in Paris, you might see her in some holiday finery.

Au revoir.

Friday, October 2, 2015

My First Annie Sloan Project

I have had this table so long I no longer remember where I bought it.  When I redid the guest room I decided this would be the perfect table between two chairs in what is quite a large room on my third floor.  I fully intended to paint it along with redoing the two chairs.  Then other things took precedence and ...well you know, out of sight out of mind.  Only when I am expecting an overnight guest do I enter that room and that is just to wipe a dust cloth over the flat surfaces.

But now that the kitchen remodel is complete and some beautiful fall weather has arrived, I felt like spending some time in the studio.  This seemed like just the right size project to ease back into furniture painting.

I removed the crusty little toes from the table legs and soaked them in vinegar overnight.

A light brushing with an old toothbrush and all the rust and grime was removed.  I thought about painting them but I rather liked the natural patina so I decided to use them this way.


I gave the top a good sanding before I started painting.  The paint is a mix of two colors I had on hand.  Just regular interior eggshell paint.  (No Annie Sloan yet.  One of the reasons I have not tried AS up 'till now is that it's a little pricey for my frugal nature.)

After two coats of paint I decided this piece was really begging for a little distressing.  I used a sanding block to take some paint off the high spots.  Easy peasy.  I knew I would wax this piece with a clear wax that I had on hand but it seemed to be calling for a dark wax in the recesses.  I have darkened clear wax with rottenstone, asphaltum, and colorant but non of those ideas appealed to me for this piece.  This is the point where I broke down and purchased my first Annie Sloan product. Twenty nine dollars and change with tax!

It is hard to see that I used any because I used it very sparingly and went over it with clear wax taking most of the dark wax off.  I really only wanted it in the creases and I didn't want those to look like they were filled with grime.

I must say it went on smoothly and was easy to control.  I will certainly find other ways to use it in the future because I'm not one to waste anything.  This might be the incentive I need to attack a few more pieces that have been waiting in the wings.

The color is a little off in this photo.  It really looks more like the previous photo.  This one was taken in the guest room.


This is actually where I want to use the table but, as you can tell, I have some work to do to pull this off.

I moved the table next to the window seat for this shot.

If you are curious about the rest of the room, you can check it out here.  There was another little table at the time of that post and I blogged about it in this post.

My friend, Sally, will be visiting next weekend so it's probably time to end this post, make the bed, and swing that dust cloth around.



Thursday, October 1, 2015

Glass Tray Update

Remember when I did the final post on the kitchen remodel and I mentioned the tray with the eight white doilies behind glass?  Whether you remember or not that is not the point of this post.  What I'm trying to segway into is that I did switch out the doilies for something else.

Turns out those doilies were placed on the glass and covered with a paper backing and then painted over.  So, it wasn't like I was going to get them off.  It was easier to cut a new piece of glass...well sort of.  I made the first cut fine but cracked the glass on the second cut.  I have been saving glass for a long time so I did have another piece that would work but it was my last piece in that size.  So I enlisted Dan to cut it for me and, of course, it was done perfectly.

I had a piece of luan just slightly bigger than what I needed.  Once that was cut, I primed it and then just started adding things.

I had a small piece of burlap with some black paint on it from another project.  I added a stenciled fleur de lis and then fringed the edges.

I pulled a couple pages from some old books and added those to the board.

Next I stenciled No. 2 on the back of the glass.

There was a bit of a learning curve with this process.  I've done this a couple times before, but it was so long ago I forgot what I had figured out by trial and error, so I had relearn it on this piece.  I thought about scraping it off and starting over but....it's up so high on that shelf, no one is going to be able to inspect it without a ladder...so I accepted it "as is."

A little paint around the edges and it was ready to go back in the tray.

I rubbed a little stain on the frame to refresh the finish and cover up some of the nicks.  Then I sprayed the handles with Stainless Steel paint.

It was back on the shelf at the end of the day.

And now it blends better with the book thing I have going on here.