Monday, 5 May 2014

From Rain-Logged to Sunshine!

Hi all!
Not very often do I get amazing free finds anymore, since everyone in town has realized how awesome upcycling is.  I'm not complaining at all, because I've been crazy busy, and don't have as much time as I'd like, so I'm glad more people are helping keep these beauties out of the landfills. But sometimes, I still hit a goldmine.

Look at this poor dresser:

This was actually taken after I took the worst of the warped veneer off.  But underneath that ravaged and rain-worn exterior, were adorable little keyholes and gorgeous wood details. First step though, was tearing off that irreparable side and replacing it.

Voila! I had a good chunk of plywood sitting around, so I just cut it to size and sqeezed it in.  Now all she needed was a clean, paint, wax, a few nails, some details... you know, just a little work.

So, we went through a few phases before I declared this little ray of sunshine 'done'.


So much better! But the green crystal looked off... even though the inside of the drawers were turquoise, it just looked weird. So, we upgraded.

All white and crystal! This looked so much better. Almost perfect, except...

There we go! That flourish at the back needed the white border.

This lovely bit of cheer is in my bedroom, now.

Shaleeta Harper,

Yellow Quail Furniture Redesign

Text LitMag

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

It's a dogs life!

A really, really good dogs life.

My sister has a little long haired chihuahua, Lola, who is super spoiled.

(Ianto, my terrier is next to her, sunbathing)

She is the epitome of a purse dog, and my sister wanted something special for her-- so we teamed up!  Since she's hardly three pounds, we didn't need anything big. We shopped all the furniture stores in Nanaimo, and ended up finding a little end table in my stash of furniture:

Made us feel a little silly for spending the day shopping, but oh well! We had fun.  We decided to fill in the little groove around the top that dated the table.

Pink was a given, for Lola-- but for the outside, we chose a slate grey that would fit into most rooms. I really love this color and have used it before.

We finished off with some oak leaf pulls, and shimmery curtains inside to enclose the space a bit better. She seems to like it!

Friday, 31 January 2014

White and Walnut Farmhouse Dresser

Some Facebook fans may remember that I picked this lovely creature up from West Coast Thrift last summer:

I started off with the intention of stripping the entire thing and revealing a beautiful grain, but it did not lurk under those layers of paint.
Gorgeous, but as it turns out, still too small for my space--also, it was painted brown, not stained. (who does that?) 
I got a pretty good deal, because the castor in the back was broken, and the knobs were all missing. (I replaced them here)

With renovation dates creeping closer, and projects piling up, I left the staining process at the drawers, and turned to white paint for the rest of the piece.

Antique white seemed the simple choice, and after just two coats it looked pretty darn good, but way too clean and fresh for its age.  I grabbed a sanding block and went nuts-- and I think that paid off. I actually wanted to go even more rough with it, but there aren't that many fans of heavy distressing in the area, and I knew this piece was up for sale.
I'll save the heavy-handedness for my own dresser :) 

Some clear wax sealed it, and it was sold before I could even blog about it! Thanks guys, you're the best :)

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Friend or Faux?

Hi all!

What do you think of the faux animal head trend?  While deer heads are the most popular, you can also find cow heads, gazelles, elephants, rhinos, cougars... even Jackalopes and T-Rexes!

They're great for adding irony and intrigue to a room, without harming any animals in the process. The only problem with these sculptures for me is the price. While not generally outrageous, and well within many peoples budgets, as a student/new homeowner, they're out of mine. If I could afford it, I would have a gallery wall devoted to them!
The realistically sized heads are usually 100-600.00 a piece, sometimes more, and then there's shipping. "sigh"

White Faux Taxidermy has a huge selection of heads, but you can find them in many places... and if you look really hard, and wait a few months, you can get one for just 40.00, like I did. I bought mine at Home Hardware:

Only downside is it's a bit sparkly, but the sparkles have rubbed off on me a bit (literally as well as figuratively) and I think I'm okay with it now.

I also tried making one, which turned out okay... but not as well as I'd like. I think I'll fiddle with it some more before trying to show you all-- it's wire and papier mache, but it currently has no antlers. Hm. It's definitely possible though, and there are some really neat ones out there that you can do yourself, like cardboard cutouts, wire, papier mache, and even fabric!  My next project is a gold wire moose I think... is there anything you guys would like to see me try?

Now, Faux is easy to accept, but what about the real thing?

While controversial, I do love the look of antlers.  I do, however, wish they were shed and not attached. This rustic look is one I really love, combined with an industrial french farmhouse vibe.
I really like this new trend, and the look they bring to my home, particularly painted a clean white.

I think I'm going to paint the plaque in a copper color to make it pop a bit more though... so stay tuned for part two where I show more of the diy side of things!
What are your thoughts?

(see, my house is a far cry from the beautifully put together magazine homes you see on other blogs!)

Thursday, 16 January 2014

And the winners are...

Hello, everyone!
I actually have a furniture makeover today-- so exciting! My Facebook fans may remember that I held a small contest recently, where anyone who had "liked" my page was entered. Well, the lovely winner decided to have me redesign a side table for her, and paid me to do a second one.  (The other options were 40.00 worth of paint, or a DIY kit with chalk or milk paint)
They were great solid wood tables with deep drawers and Queen Anne legs, and badly peeling tops:

I stripped and sanded the top, lightly sanded the rest, and washed the whole thing very well.
Since we wanted a really particular color, we opted for Benjamin Moore paint, and matched the color to 'Kiwi', which was used in this room:

The reddish stain was a bit concerning, so I double layered the primer to be sure it didn't seep into the paint.  Two coats of paint, then 400 grit sanding, then a watered down layer to minimize brush marks, and the color was smooth and even:

Then a double coating of clear wax:

And finally I messed with the dark wax until it seemed just right:

And now it's all ready for pick up!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Furniture Jewelry!

Okay, I haven't ever had knobs in stock to sell before, and it was just killing me. It's furniture jewelry, and I really wanted some! So I just bought some. Not a whole bunch, but enough so I have some choices.
Without further ado, here they are:

Two sets of four here

                                                               And two more sets of four

and FOUR sets of four

And two more sets of four
(these are the same as the blue ones, but clear)

                                                         And four sets of four. Because Pretty.

And some from buying locally:

2 sets of four 1" drop pulls, antique brass

                                                                 Six small  pulls

two sets of four Beautiful Yellow and Blues 

                                     Like distressing? Even your knobs can have it! (two sets of four)

Six (maybe more) of these high quality oil rubbed bronze

                                         A whole bin of these white Ceramic ones

                                       And the only pulls, six of these beautiful vintage bakelite

I don't know the prices yet, because I just gambled and bought from the states. (They like to charge ridiculous customs fees sometimes) but they'll be as low cost as I can manage.  By buying bulk I saved on shipping fees and hopefully the nice border people won't gouge me, so I can just pass those savings on!

I'm quite excited about this, and if you'd like to reserve some or ask about approximate costs, just ask!

I will be dipping into them frequently for my own uses, and I have limited quantities, so let me know as soon as possible :)

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Right, I bought a house last year.

I realized I haven't told you anything really about my life as a new homeowner-- I've been sidetracked with my love of furniture (which is okay!) but it doesn't really jive with my sidebar statement. As I haven't had a lot to say about the furniture side of things lately (biting winter cold is a bit dampening on my energy and happiness levels) I realized all the other parts of home ownership could use some mentioning. So.

Me and Ryan bought this home last October, so we've been here just over a year. For the most part, we have been really lucky.  We have had two very minor disasters, neither of which added up to more than a few hundred dollars. First, our hot water tank decided to explode, and then our water line jammed up.  While it sounds bad, realistically it's not too much, and it was better that it happened while we were home.

Not that we go out much, home ownership isn't cheap.

If you are considering buying a home, I strongly suggest it! But budget three times your mortgage a month. The mortgage is such a small piece of the puzzle-- heating, energy, water, garbage, insurance of all kinds, internet, phones, food, updates, repairs... it all adds up quickly.

So, we've done just a few things since buying the home besides painting and removing wallpaper; one of which was we replaced our furnace!  It was green and abut forty years old, so we decided it was one of the major things to go; also, we wanted to switch to natural gas (which is slightly more environmentally friendly) And no, it wasn't always outside in shambles, this was after our lovely installation men broke it down for us.

In the end we bought a high efficiency Trane (97%) and the house is always comfortable now-- also we no longer need an oil tank, which freed up a huge spot outside where we can now have a storage shed! Yay! The best part... our bills are estimated at 1/3 the price, and even with the cost of the furnace we're saving money. It's a great investment.

And it looks pretty.

Next step is the roof, (mossy and almost leaking) and the flooring (stained old carpet) both of which we think we'll do this summer.

Some people fix up their house, others try to pay it off quickly... the choice really depends on what you want. If you're buying your forever home, then by all means pay it off quickly to save money, but if you're just looking for a temporary place to sell as an investment, then fix it up and sell it quickly-- we're in the second category. Why we love our home, it isn't perfect for us, and I think within two years it'll be up for sale, and we'll be looking for something a little more rural.

Sometimes it takes a while to see the improvement in a home, but for the next few post I'll be showing then vs now, and I think you can see the progress quite a bit!

I feel really great having something to share, so I think I'll write the next post right now ;) (Okay, I probably should be doing homework-- I do have seven classes at the moment)

Now, that wasn't a very exciting before and after, so I wanted to share a favorite website of mine, which NEVER fails to deliver those exciting photo's (I visit it every day) Better After!