Sunday, May 5, 2013


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This is another buy from the lady that bought a storage unit just like on Storage Wars.  Here she is before:

I remembered to snap a picture just in time.

I thought about painting it a really fun color like orange or  bright blue but since I have no room in my house for it, I decided to go more simple and neutral.  I painted it with ASCP Coco and highlighted it with Old White.   It was a pretty easy project. It was missing one of the pieces of glass but the very friendly people at Valley Glass  cut a piece for me on a Friday afternoon.  Thanks, Scott!

The inside has a couple of secret compartments.  I'm going to put all my Diamonds and Rubys and Pearls in them.  Don't tell anyone.  I did find a a stamp from Poland hidden inside, along with a Blue Cross medical card, I'm assuming from the owner.  Always makes me a little sad when I find the owner's things.  I hope I can find a good home for her.

Sunday, March 31, 2013



Last fall I saw a dresser for sale on Craig's list.  When I got to the woman's house to look at it, I found a whole garage full of furniture and stuff.  She and her husband had won the bid on a storage unit - sight unseen.  I ended up buying the dresser, an antique secretary and two pairs of chairs.  A couple of weeks ago I decided it was time to try re-upholstering.  How hard could it be?

STEP 1 - Removing the gazillion staples holding the fabric on the chair.  The experts on YouTube use a handy-dandy upholstery staple remover.  I called Jacobs Upholstery and luckily they had one for sale.  He said they sell them to the people who take their upholstery class.  Hey, maybe I should take a class!  WHAT?  There is a two year waiting list for the class.  Ain't nobody got time for that!  The remover worked like a charm.  I now had a naked chair.

STEP 2 - Painting the chair.  I decided to paint the chair with ASCP Paris Grey with a light and dark wax and then silver leaf the details.  Zip Zop the chair was painted and silvered.  That was easy and I didn't even get any paint or wax on the living room carpet where I had decided to work so I could watch HGTV.

STEP 3- Fabric  I went to JoAnn's and Hancock Fabrics.  I didn't really know what I wanted except it needed to be cheap.  Not that I doubted my skills or anything but I didn't want to spend a fortune on fabric. I found the perfect fabric on sale at Hancock for only 7.99 yd.  I could afford to screw it up at that price. I found cording to match the fabric which meant saving lots of time not having to make my own.

STEP 4 - The Pattern.  I used the old pieces that I had carefully removed to cut the new pieces.  I cut them a little bigger to leave room for stapling.

STEP 5- The Staple Gun - Back to YouTube to see how to staple.  Hey, I want one of those cool pneumatic staple guns.   It looks like fun and so much easier than manually stapling a gazillion staples. Off to Home Depot. I was really excited to use my sweetie's air compressor and he enthusiastically brought it from the garage to the basement where it was warm and light. Oh, I couldn't wait to use it.   Hmmmm....  Something wasn't right.  The staples were way to thick.  Hey, YouTube guy, what kind of stapler do you use.  Oh, there is a special upholstery staple gun that you can't buy anywhere but on line.  That makes me sad.  Well, how about the electric stapler?  That would be easy.  Bummer, it wasn't strong enough to get the staples in tight.  I had to do it the old fashioned way with a manual stapler.

STEP 6- The chiropractor for my aching shoulder and arm.

Step 7 - The cushion and the cording.  I love my hot glue gun!

Final Analysis - I had fun and learned a lot and will probably do more upholstery projects, but I'm keeping my day job.

Cost $35.00

Chair $10.00
 Fabric 15.00
Cording 20.00
I had the paint and wax and silver leaf

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pallet Ottoman

Pallet Ottoman

It's been way too cold to paint anything out in the shop.  I've learned how to crochet thanks to my very patient DIL and have made two (actually 1 1/2) afghans.  I needed an indoor project and since DIL Lucy and I gathered a million pallets last summer, I decided to use one of them.  I found a tutorial for an ottoman on Shelly Miller Leers blog.  It turned out great and will be a nice change from the table I usually have in the living room.  The only thing I would do differently is find a supplier of wide foam.  The fabric stores only sell 24 inch wide foam so I had to use two pieces.  It's also really expensive. Luckily, it was 50% of at JoAnn's.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Anyone who knows me knows that I love, love, love summer.  I love the slower pace, my gardens, the lake, eating outside and the warmth of the sun.  So, anyone who knows me might be surprised to hear that as the nights start getting cooler and the days shorter I am actually looking forward to the change in seasons.  I painted a new piece of furniture for the living room with fall colors and got out all my fall decorations. Bring on Fall!  Just don't expect this type of enthusiasm for winter!

DIL Lucy and I bought this piece from a lovely lady who was downsizing.  No before picture.  Why can't I remember to take a before picture?  Anyway, it was brown.  You know, brown and brown and all brown.  I started by painting the entire piece ASCP Barcelona Orange so it could peak through when I distressed back.  Then I painted over with Chateau Grey (I think, I painted it a couple of weeks ago so you can't really expect me to remember details that long ago) and then dry brushed several colors.  I think I used Coco, French Linen, Paris Grey - you get the picture.  I clear waxed then dark waxed and lightly distressed.  I love the orange coming through and it looks fabulous with the fall decor.

See what I mean about it coordinating with the fall colors?

The orange really makes the details pop!

Barcelona Orange, Chateau Grey

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Only 12 more hours left of summer vacation.  Tomorrow, it's up at the crack of dawn and off to school.  This will be year number 33- hard to believe.  It has been a fabulous summer filled with boating, eating and drinking, friends, eating and drinking, painting, eating and drinking, shopping, eating and drinking.  Did I mention eating and drinking?   Wonder what I'll wear the first day of school.  I'll check and see if I still have the muu muu from Hawaii.  

Last week, Kim (designer and friend) and I did a room intervention for our friend Robbie.  As you know from my previous blog, Robbie was diagnosed with breast cancer this spring and just moved into a new house.  I painted her the red dresser but as she says, "My house looks like I've moved into an apartment."  She hasn't had the energy to decorate.  Kim and I decided she needed one room that felt finished.  We went over in the morning, made a plan, bought paint and furniture and accessories came back, painted the room installed curtain rod and curtains, installed a chandelier and hung pictures.  I'm happy to say that Kim did not suffer any permanent injuries when the chandelier fell on her head while I was wiring it.  Robbie loves her room and we had so much fun doing it.  As a matter of fact, we had so much fun we've decided to start a business.  We had our first business meeting Sunday night on the boat.  We boated, ate and drank, bbq'd, ate and drank, and came up with our business plan.  More about our business in my next blog.  Be looking for the introduction of:

                             PROJECT ROOM THERAPY                                      

Here are a couple of pictures of Robbie's bedroom.  We painted the walls Benjamin Moore Buttered Popcorn from the best paint store in the world

In the meantime, I've been working on some furniture.  One day last week my good friend Annie came over to paint.  No, not THE Annie.  She painted a darling coffee table, a little chair and a bench.  Silly me, I didn't take pictures.  We had tons of fun.  So much fun, I forgot to feed her lunch.  It's really not like me to forget to eat! I painted this little desk I got at Goodwill.  No before picture - sorry.  I stripped the paint off the top and stained and sealed it.  I painted with ASCP Versaille and dry brushed with Old White then clear and dark waxed.  I found the cute new nobs at Hobby Lobby.

I bought this little nightstand/commode a million years ago.  The last time I painted it I used a metallic gold and it's been in the guest room.  Out with the gold, in with the new.  I painted it with ASCP French Linen on the doors and drawers and Chateau Grey on the body.  I dry brushed with graphite, old white and maybe something else then clear and dark waxed and distressed.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Nightstand

Another Goodwill find.  This little chest was in the back when I dropped off a donation.  Can you believe I took a before picture????

This sticker is inside the drawer.  It says it's from a furniture store in England.  Wonder if it really is or if someone just stuck it there.

I love the handles and the scroll work. I painted it with ASCP Emperor's Silk and clear and dark waxed it and slightly distressed it.

Our neighborhood has an annual garage sale in June.  This year it was pouring down rain so we drove by the houses and peered into the garages to see if there was any furniture or golf clubs (son Alex was looking for a driver)  I spotted this oak chest that I think had been used for a toy chest.  The top was painted a bright blue enamel.  My plan was to strip the top and paint the body, but there was no getting that blue enamel out of the oak. 


I couldn't have done this project without my sweet, wonderful, patient, talented and smart husband.  Isn't he cute? Here he is doing his own painting project.  I found an image on Google and he enlarged it to fit the top of the chest.  Then, after I was making a huge mess of it, trying to measure, he came to the rescue and helped me pencil in the lines.  I masked and painted and masked and painted and finally waxed. I used ASCP Old White, Emperor's Silk and Graphite. I was worried that when I waxed, the red paint would bleed into the white so I called my ASCP stockist, Robin at   She convinced me that it wouldn't bleed over if I had let it dry sufficiently.  I was skeptical, but she was right.  


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hot, Hot, Hot

Charlotte and I are going on a diet next week!

I am NOT complaining.  It's hot outside.  It reached almost 100 today.  Too hot to garden and too hot to paint.  DIL came over and cleaned the house.  Yipee!  Hubby and Charlotte are napping so I poured myself a glass of wine and organized my photo albums on the computer.  I found some pics of some past pro-jects.

I love this dresser/buffet.  I can't remember if I found it at Teen Challenge or Goodwill. I painted it Arles and Lucy and Sean put it in their dining room for a few weeks.  (Only until I painted another fab dresser that they loved even more.)  So I brought it back over and put it in my guest room/dressing room. 

 This was one of the first pieces I painted.  I found it at Teen Challenge. It's part of a two piece desk/dresser/luggage stand from a hotel I think.  I used Versaille and graphite.  Since it's outside I didn't use any wax, but buffed it with steel wool.      I imagined having fabulous dinner parties on the deck this summer and using this piece as a buffet.  

Robbie's Dresser

This spring my best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I was at work one day and she called and asked if I could meet her to get a mammogram. We've been friends for 30 years, but we don't normally accompany each other for our annual exams.  She said she had a lump.  I said, "Of course I'll meet you." I'm glad I was there when the doctor gave her the news. After it was confirmed that she had an aggressive form of cancer and she would have to undergo four months of chemo, a mastectomy and radiation, I decided we needed a Thelma and Louise weekend without the tragic ending.  We took a road trip to Seattle and stayed with a friend who cooked a big pot of fresh steamer clams and Alaskan salmon for us.  On our way down to the Public Market we passed the Goodwill Outlet Store.  Who knew Goodwill had an Outlet store????  The furniture was at the back of the store and the sign on the wall said "All Furniture $1.99."  When I saw this dresser I went to the front of the store to ask how much it was.  The clerk looked at me like I was an idiot.  "All furniture is  $1.99 he said."  We loaded it up and brought it home.  I painted it for Robbie's new house. It is the first piece I panted with ASCP. I used Emporor's Silk with  Clear and Dark wax and it's living in her bedroom. 

Mr. and Mrs. Versaille

A couple of months ago I painted Mrs. Versaille  for Sean and Lucy.  But it needed a partner.  

Mr. Versaille had been patiently waiting his turn until it cooled down a little (see previous post) and until I remembered to buy another quart of ASCP Versaille.  It all came together last week. Here's the poor guy before I dressed him up.

I used Versaille for the base and Old White for the drawers and trim followed by clear and dark wax.  Pretty quick and easy.  I hope they're happy together.