Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Channeling my inner Gigi

Estate sales depress me.  The bargains I often get there are great, but there's just something about seeing someones half used bottle of shaving cream for sale that causes me to dwell on my own mortality.  But I digress.  I have found quite a few awesome pieces at estate sales and today's post is about one of those deals.  I call him Gaston.  (yes, I love the movie Gigi.  Don't judge me)

When I found him it was obvious he'd had a hard life.  His top was peeling and had some major finish issues and there were quite a few dings and scratches.  But you can't hide style, and Gaston had it.  I snapped him up and took him home with me.  I'm afraid the garage accommodations were a bit low brow for him and he had to fraternize with some less distinguished guests, but he managed.



After a quick sanding up on top and a good clean, he was ready for painting.  I made up colors similar to old ochre and Louis Blue in my homemade chalk paint and got started - no primer needed with chalk paint!  I loved the wire on the side of Gaston but I have to say that painting all those little wires was sort of like herding cats.... with rabies.




I think what makes Gaston such a looker is the highlighting with the Old Ochre and the dark wax.  I can just see him nestled in a Parisian flat, sipping champagne and cheating at cards.  And then he gives me a beautiful diamond bracelet and we live happily ever after together.  I mean, then I sold him to someone and he lives happily ever after at their home.  I think I may need to lay off Turner Classic Movies for awhile.



I'm linking up to:

Here's an assortment of projects.  And I'm putting them under the projects tab because I was lazy and didn't take photos until they were finished....therefore they are not blog post fodder.  Darn it.  Anyway..hope you enjoy!

Simple folding chair - painted Emperor's Silk mixed with a little Primer Red and dark waxed.  I also used some graphics from The Graphics Fairy to give it that french bistro look.




Here's a little table I picked up at Market Days.  She's painted in Old Ochre and has a great graphic from The Graphics Fairy

Before:

And after:

 
 
 









Monday, August 27, 2012

Bittersweet

Well today is the day...the kids are back in school, starting fourth grade.  They woke up this morning jumping and yelling with excitement.  And no..that wasn't sarcasm, they really like school.  I am blessed and I know it.

But I'm also a little sad this morning.  I always am on the first day of school.  It means they are getting older and I'm that much closer to losing them.  Not as in, oops misplaced the kids at Walmart again...but as in they think I'm an idiot and an embarrassment and avoid my hugs and kisses.  I know it's coming and I can't stop it.

How did we go from this....


to this!
 
 
 
So as I walked away from their classrooms today, I didn't get a hug or a kiss but I got two wonderful smiles, full of excitement and joy at being back somewhere they love and only just a little bit of me broke.

 
But they will mend that part of me tonight with stories of the first day, giggles and obnoxious boy things they do (often taught to them by their father) and this mommy's heart will get a little tougher and ready for the inevitible. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'll buy that for a dollar!

I can really be cheap sometimes.  Not cheap as in loose morals cheap, but cheap in that when I go junkin' I want stuff REALLY cheap.  That's why more often than not I come home with very little.  I"m usually looking for pieces of furniture to paint and tend to avoid the small stuff.  But lately, I've found a new appreciation for the small stuff.

Because I make my own chalk paint, I usually only mix up a half a cup at a time to keep it fresh and not too clumpy.  Leftovers just really don't work with homemade chalk paint.  But I just hated throwing away those little bits of paint I had at the bottom of my fancy painting bucket (also known as a plastic measuring cup from Dollar General).  So now when I go out junking, I look for small pieces that I can paint whenever I have some left overs.  It really does make my inner scrooge happy when I can do that.

For example, at a local estate sale where I was rolling my eyes at the ridiculous prices on the furniture, I found two small wooden pieces for a buck each.  I then TRANSFORMED them (yes, I'm still typing that word in all caps....see earlier post).



So the first item was a really worn cutting board.  I threw one coat of leftover paint on it, slapped on a great graphic from The Graphics Fairy and a coat of wax and it became a cute addition to the kitchen.  The second piece was a wooden letter holder with 60's mushrooms on it.  It was hideous in a retro kind of way.  I had some left over old ochre and added some frenchy postal graphics from Graphics Fairy again and it's reborn. 

Embrace your inner cheapskate and don't ignore the $1 table when you're out junkin' because you never know what treasure may be lurking there. 

Linked up to the following link parties:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Topless

I've started the annoying but somewhat endearing habit of naming the pieces of furniture I'm working on.  I don't necessarily share that information with the owners of these pieces because they might not ever come back again.  Anyway, I was asked to paint this lovely drum table and when she arrived at my home she was TOPLESS.   Yep, brazen hussy.  Actually she had a marble insert for a top and it seemed much safer for all involved for that particular piece not to come into a house with twin 9 year old boys.  They break things.  A lot.

So here she is, minus her hardware ( I always forget to take the initial picture before I start dismantling!)



She had some really rough spots on the top edge and built up goop, but I loved her lines and dainty feet.  She had sort of a french feel to me so I named her Gorgette.  I knew I wanted to use at least two colors and that the primary color should be what I call Louis Blue.  So I started blocking in the colors.

Please don't judge my photography.  I know it sucks but I'm working on it.  Sort of.  Honestly, I just keep hoping that suddenly my photos will just improve but it ain't happening.  Anyway, Pure White did not agree with Gorgette...it just seemed too stark, so I went with Old Ochre instead.  Muuuuccchhh betttteerrr.


I roughed her up a little, gave her a coat of clear wax then dark and then finished up with a final coat of clear.  Her bling (also known as hardware) went back on and she was ready for her close up.  I really think she's transformed and although I never got to see her with her top on.....I hear she's a beauty.


That'll do Gorgette, that'll do.

Linked up to the following link parties:




Monday, August 20, 2012

Beginning at the beginning...

I'm not quite sure how to go about this whole blogging thing or if I'm really even up for this, but after forcing my husband to set it up for me, I better finally write something.  It's not that I hate writing or lead such a boring life I have nothing to write about.  Well, actually I do live a pretty boring life but that's not important now.  I wanted to start this blog because I found something I'm pretty good at and love doing and when you're lucky enough to find something like that, you want to share it.

I've always enjoyed making things.  I grew up in sort of a hands on family and realized that if you saw something you liked, don't go buy it....make it yourself.  Except for sweaters and such.  I don't do knitting.  I tried but I'm just not coordinated enough.  So over the years I've made a quilt top (note I said only top...it's never actually been quilted), appliqued t-shirts, stitched samplers and at one point I think I even tried to make flowers out of ribbon.  That was a failure.  Not gonna lie.  Anyway, I had the mentality that I could do things but not always the success and it really kinda bummed me out.

And then I discovered chalk paint.  Or rather, the recipe for homemade chalk paint.  And then, right there in the middle of my garage under the frosty glow of flourescent lighting and surrounded by the spiders and spider webs my husband obviously was ignoring, I found something I was good at.  And it was fun and it combined my love of finding junk at a good price with my desire to TRANSFORM stuff (I put TRANSFORM all in caps because that's the buzz word at work nowadays and I always say it in a booming voice every time I read it....so it really did need to be in all caps).  Now I have cans of paint everywhere, a laundry basket full of my painting supplies and a dining room that  doubles as my painting area.  My garage has furniture stacked ready to be painted and my children know that when I put on the hot pink painting shirt and ugly black shorts, Mama's gonna be busy for awhile and they better fend for themselves out of the pantry or die of starvation for the hour at a time I spend painting and ignoring them.

Anyway, so I guess this blog will be about what I'm painting and any other projects I find my way in to.  There will probably be lots of sarcasm too, because that's a pretty integral part of who I am, and references to my growing-up-too-quickly twin boys and my dear husband.  By the way, why do women bloggers always give their husbands a nom de plume when they write about them.  That annoys me.  My husband's name is JASON.  I will henceforth refer to him as Jason.  Ok....and maybe doofus, but only on occassion.

So to tempt you into actually coming back to read more, here's a quick before and after shot of one of my first pieces.  Hope to see you soon

Lovely 80's shiny oak round table.....




And here she is after.  She has two coats of my homemade version of Old Ochre, two coats of clear wax and one coat of dark wax.  She's topped off with a stencil from the Graphics Fairy done with Citra-Solv.



I feel like I've done a good deed for mankind by ridding the world of one more shiny 80's table. 

Come back soon!