Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Winner and a Rut?

So here's a big GIANT thank you to the Fab First 100 (and beyond!) folks following my blog! You guys rock! And, we have a winner of the drawing for Chick-fil-A yumminess!

And the winner is......Shiela G from Plum Doodles I sent an email through your blog, but, please feel free to contact me at!

As one a little late to the stenciling party, I have been doing my best to make up for lost time! This is the third piece in a week that I have finished with my harlequin stencil. In my defense, one was a client request based on this piece. I promise that I will give it a vacation for a while after this. This is a phase, not a rut. Right?

This one is a very common style of buffet that I seem to see a lot of on Craigslist. Pretty flat, pretty average, pretty... boring? Not so much any more! She's dripping in diamonds!

I started by removing the raised trim pieces on the large drawer and doors. I wanted to paint them gold to match the stenciling. I could have taped everything off and painted them on the buffet, but this is soooo much easier! Just slide a putty knife under the trim and gently pry it off.

The entire piece was then painted with two coats of ASCP Granite. Then, out came the stencil which was applied to the top and three center drawers. At this point the entire thing was sanded with my palm sander and 220 grit sandpaper. The gold paint was definitely harder to sand than the ASCP so I had to be careful not to over distress.

Because I wanted to darken the color, I waxed first with dark wax followed by clear wax.

Here's the best part. Instead of buffing the wax with a cloth like I usually do, I grabbed a 3M Finishing Pad. The white one, for final finishing. I just thought I'd try it, to see what would happen. Oh. My. Word. It is by far the best, smoothest, most streak free finish I have ever had! With the least amount of effort. I don't think I will ever go back to rags. I am hooked on these! I may ask for some for Christmas.

Sorry for the weird pictures. These are taken in the basement. Its raining outside and this is too heavy to carry upstairs to make pretty. I seriously need to look for lighter furniture to paint!

This piece is in my booth at As Time Goes By in Greenwood, MO

Wanna go to a party?

Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays at Coastal Charm Pin It

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Benches for the Proverbs 31 1/2 Woman

Don't worry, these are not my benches. I am pretty far from being the Proverbs 31 1/2 Woman.

These are benches I built for a friend. She is beyond inspiring to me. I call her the Proverbs 31 1/2 Woman. Most of my friends have names that they are unaware of. We will just call her P31.5W for the sake of time. P31.5W and her husband have 8 little ones. She has the patience of a saint, she homeschools and farms, she also just learned to finish drywall. I am pretty sure that she could spin gold from straw. And yet she is friends with me? I am definitely the winner in this friendship!

A few weeks ago, my son Jake mentioned that "we" hadn't built anything in a while. It seems like I go in seasons of projects. Sometimes home renovation, sometimes crafting, sometimes painting furniture, sometimes building furniture. It has not been building season for a while.

While we were painting her kitchen cabinets (did I tell you that they are renovating an old farmhouse?) my friend P31.5W, mentioned that they needed benches for their family, I was on it. I have plenty of wood scraps and a Kreg Jig!

I have a few tools that actually make me ridiculously happy, and I got to use two of them on this project. One of them, a Kreg Jig and the other a Rockwell VersaCut Circular Saw. I actually bought the VersaCut while sleep shopping. Not kidding. Don't ask.

Ready to build a bench?

Here is my cut list for this, 

(1) 56" x 12" board for the seat 
(a little wider would probably have been better, this is just what I had)

(2) 55" x 4" boards

(2) 11" x 4" boards

(2) 9.5" x 4" boards

(4) 3" x 3" x 18" legs  ** I glued and nailed (laminated) three 1 x 3's together to make these, but you can buy them premade 

These are so simple to make with a Kreg Jig!

Clamp the 11" x 4" boards in the jig and drill 2 holes horizontally into each end, then drill two vertical slots in the center. You will use these vertical slots to attach the frame to the seat.

Clamp the 55" x 4"  boards in the jig and drill 4 sets of vertical slots spaced somewhat evenly along the length.

I like to pre-insert the Kreg wood screws in the slots. It makes it so much quicker and easier to attach everything when assembling it.

Next, the 11" x 4" board is placed between the 55" x 4" boards and screwed into it. I do like to add a bit of glue here just for extra strength.

As long as your boards are cut straight at the ends, you probably won't have to clamp while you are assembling this, just make sure that the joints are lined up evenly and screw them together. Repeat this at all four corners and you will have the frame. Just be sure that the vertical slots are all pointing in the same direction, or you won't be able to join them to the seat. Not that I know that from experience or anything :-)

Once the frame is made, position it evenly with the seat board and attach it using the pre-inserted screws. Once I had it placed correctly, I had my son sit on the frame to stabilize it while I screwed it to the seat.  If you don't have your own 10 year old, I highly recommend that you borrow one.

Next drill three holes in the legs on two consecutive sides. You will want these slots headed in the opposite direction of each other so that they can attach to the sides of the frame. Use a good amount of glue here, for stability.

Once the legs are attached to the bench, you could stop and be done here if you like this look. I decided that since there are eight little backsides that will sit on these benches, I would give them just a bit more stability and add a brace between the legs.

For this, I placed the 9.5" x 4 board on the legs, leveled it and traced the outline.

Then I got out my Rockwell VersaCut,

adjusted it to the proper depth, 3/4" in this case, and started making a bajillon slotted cuts. 

When that is done, I just popped out the pieces with a screwdriver and I had this

Then, I glued and nailed the bracing board into place and it was done! 

P31.5W is going to stain these to match their table. They are ready to go to their new home, these benches are solid! 

I timed myself and altogether it took 1 hour and 39 minutes. As my son said (before being sent to his room), "Not too bad for a girl".

Now, its your turn to build something.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hippocratic Oath to Furniture

First, do no harm. Primum non nocere.

Have you ever wanted to make a true, lover of antiques gasp? Tell them that you plan to paint a piece of furniture. It doesn't matter that the veneer is peeling in 74 places and the drawers are all collapsed inward, to them, the beauty is in the age. That it has survived to be old, that alone, is a feat in itself.

Ummm, ya. Not so much for me. I often have to stop and remind myself, audibly at times, that I can not always make it better with paint. Sometimes, a piece is truly beautiful just as it is.

This wardrobe is one of those pieces for me. I love it. I love it. I love it.

Seriously, how much I love it would probably be illegal in the State of California. Have you ever noticed how many things are forbidden or cause sickness only in California?  I couldn't live there, I would be afraid of everything!

Sorry, sometimes I get a little sidetracked.

When saw  this at an auction,  I was smitten. I love the crackles in the mirror.

I can just imagine the faces of generations past looking at themselves as they got ready for the day. This piece has lived through things I never will. It existed while history was being made. And it is still here. That is amazing to me.

At the risk of sounding like an antique lover, I will leave it alone. I promise, with my hand on the wardrobe. On my honor, I will ~ First, do no harm. Pin It

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The First 100

Thank YOU!

On Sunday, this blog reached 100 followers. I am so excited, you make me all squishy inside!

Sooo... that also means that my Chick-fil-A giveaway is official! Eat More Chicken!
Next Sunday, I will draw and announce the winner of the First 100 Followers giveaway. Here are the rules. Let's call them guidelines, nobody likes rules.

**Because I am totally appreciative of those who follow my little blog and want to reward one of you with goodness and joy. I have used my massive influence (on my husband) and gathered the best gift I could think of . I would love to send one of you 25 coupons for a FREE Chick-fil-A Sandwich! 

The rules? Super Simple. 

1) You must LOVE Chick-fil-A. 
2) You must be a follower of this blog. 

Just leave me a comment telling me what your favorite menu item is at Chick-fil-A and you are entered! I will draw from these entries one week after there are 100 followers on this blog. I am excited!!

Thanks again and always. You will forever be known to me as the Fab 100. Cause, you are.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

More With The Grungy French

*Be sure to read the details of my Fab First 100 Followers give away at the end of this post!

I think I have a favorite style. It is Grungy. Grungy French to be precise.

I love the lines, the curvy drawers and arched doors. There is just something about it that begs me to Grunge it up! The unexpected, extreme distressing somehow calls my name...and makes me happy. I like to be happy.

The other thing I like is the freedom that comes from painting something that didn't cost an arm and a leg. Furniture that costs less than a meal at a so-so restaurant. This was one of those pieces. It is the bottom half of a china cabinet. The China Cabinet Fairy has not waved her magic wand over me. I can't seem to sell an entire china cabinet to save my life! But the bottom half? No problem!

I painted this with one with ASCP in French Linen and then did a wash with Old White. Then, because I seem to be the only person who has never stenciled before (unless you count, which I don't, the time I tried to stencil a border around the nursery for our first son and didn't finish it until our second was born) I thought I would stencil a harlequin pattern on the top.

Well, that gold was a little bright! I sanded it down, distressed it then topped it off with clear and dark wax.

Oooh la laa! Grungy French.

This one is headed to Lone Elm Antique Mall in the morning!

**Because I am totally appreciative of those who follow my little blog and want to reward one of you with goodness and joy. I have used my massive influence (on my husband) and gathered the best gift I could think of . I would love to send one of you 25 coupons for a FREE Chick-fil-A Sandwich! 

The rules? Super Simple. 

1) You must LOVE Chick-fil-A. 
2) You must be a follower of this blog. 

Just leave me a comment telling me what your favorite menu item is at Chick-fil-A and you are entered! I will draw from these entries one week after there are 100 followers on this blog. I am excited!!

Joining these parties;

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

The Shabby Nest Frugal Friday

Perfectly Imperfect All Things Furniture Pin It

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Whaaaat? I was featured and an award?

One of the reasons I started this blog is my home address. I live in the House of Testosterone.

My guys could seriously care less about painted furniture or home design. I have learned not to ask for an opinion. The response from almost all of them (except my youngest, who moved into his new room with a fully drawn out FLOOR PLAN!!) is generally less than enthusiastic. " Ehh, it's ok" Is not the response I am looking for after I have spent days on a project!

So, I come here. To Blogland. For moral support. I think we all want someone to like and appreciate us! I love reading every comment on my posts, they make my heart happy!

So, imagine my surprise when I was featured  here by Shaunna at Perfectly Imperfect! I almost wet myself!!! There are a few folks out there that inspire me daily, and she is high on the list! It is crazy to me that she liked something I worked on. I. Can't. Breathe. Anyone know CPR?

Then, I was awarded a Leibster Blog Award by The Vintage Shabby Chicks. Get outta here!

So here are the rules...

The Leibster Blod award is presented to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.  Leibster is a German word meaning dear, sweet, kind, nice, good, beloved, lovely, kndly, pleasant,valued, cute, endearing and welcome.  Oh to be all those things!!
Here are the rules for participating in the Leibster award
  1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you
  2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
  3.                                   copy and paste the award on your blog  
    4.                        have faith that your followers will spread the love too!!

 I have selected these awesome up and coming bloggers:

There is some crazy stuff going on over there! She adds long legs to things and has mad painting skillz!  Plus, she's pretty stinkin' funny. A win, win in my book!

Suzanne at Why Cuz I Can
Again, with the funny! Plus, she has some fabulous tutorials~I loooove her Sheet Music Frame. Add one to the project list!  Besides, I can distinctly remember answering my mom with "cuz I CAN!!"

Kristin at Chi-Chi Studio
Breathtaking photography. Really. Awesome Piknik tutorial, and totally worth reading furniture waxing tutorials which make waxing look much more glamorous than it is at my house!

Lots of great projects here! Also, anyone who calls themselves a hoarder of chairs is alright by me. And makes me wonder if she lives in my basement?

Brian and Amanda at Studio 1404
This couple does amazing work! These folks have a booth at As Time Goes By in Greenwood, MO (me too!), I always love to see what they will come up with next! 

So thanks for the love. I feel like Sally Field.

PS.... stay tuned for a giveaway when I reach to 100 followers. I need to strong arm myself a sponsor. I think I can do it. We have been married for 16 years, I think he might just like me :-) A involves food. Not food that I cooked. Because I like you!

Update on the 100 followers giveaway for one lucky follower; 

Yay! I got the green light!  The prize? Lucky you! 25 free Chick-fil-A sandwich coupons. Come back tomorrow and I will have all of the juicy details!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

In the Beginning

In the beginning, God created the heavens and earth.

In the beginning, I created nothing. I copied.

I consider myself to be a slightly crafty, slightly handy, slightly buildy (probably not a word) girl. I am a bad cook, a good mom and a copycat.

On April 1, 2011, I discovered blogs. Miss Mustard Seed to be exact. Hook. Line. Sinker. And just like that, I was in love with furniture painting!

On approximately April 2nd, my husband and I had a "discussion" about our household budget. Ever had one of those? Not pleasant, but necessary from time to time. Unfortunately, on April 1, I had already found some furniture on Craigslist that needed me to attempt not to destroy it. A Drexel dresser, mirror and chest for $150! Curvy, yummy.

I remembered Miss MS saying that she had investors, and asked my husband if I had a investor, would he mind if I started painting furniture. I think he might have laughed at me, but he said fine. My "investor" lives down the hall, he's 13, miserly, and a 20% return sounded good to him! Woo hoo! I was in business!

Inspired by (doesn't that sound better than saying "I copied"?)  this dresser from Miss Mustard Seed, I started painting using ASCP. I learned a lot painting this dresser. Like, why using a belt sander to strip the top of a veneer piece is a very bad idea.

 *Professional tip 101. An ice scraper is not the same as a putty knife.

Live and learn. It turned out ok. Not amazing, but alright.

I learned from this. And grew a little. And copied some more.

And then... I started playing a little more and listening to myself and learning what my own style of painting and decorating is. I am still figuring that out and... Loving. Every. Minute.

Linking to these parties:

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Is your Mom a Stripper?

I overhear the greatest things when I work in my garage!

Through a half open garage door, my boys forget that I still have ears.

I had been on the phone with a friend talking about different brands of strippers, and their benefits. When  I overheard this conversation between my youngest and the very knowledgeable boy down the street.

"Dude! Is your Mom a stripper?" My still sweet boy's response? "You mean, like on tables and stuff? Ya, I guess so." (I sooo love that he doesn't get it yet). I had to break in! I was afraid of where this was all headed! So I invited the two of them into the garage to "watch me strip". Whew! Crisis averted, they were pretty quickly bored and left to ride scooters.

The top was stripped with Citristrip (which I love) and stained with General Finishes Gel Stain in Java and finished with 3 coats of poly.

The body was painted with two ASCP colors. Old Ochre as the base and Old White as the top color. I love to layer colors, when distressed there is such depth and texture. This one is pretty distressed. It makes me happy!

I took this to my brand spankin new booth at As Time Goes By in Greenwood, MO. I am pretty excited about this new space, and a little nervous too. Getting things together for my space has taken the better part of  the week, but I have finished 5 new pieces of furniture and lots of other goodies.

Now I need a nap.

Joining these fabulous parties~

Restored it Wednesday

Primp Your Stuff Wednesday

Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesdays

Primitive and Proper Piece of Work Wednesdays Pin It