Monday, October 24, 2011

Nate Berkus is My Sugar Daddy

Let me preface this by saying, I used to think Nate Berkus was my boyfriend. I was wrong. Nate Berkus is my Sugar Daddy.

In July, on a day that was hotter than the Hot Place none of us wants to end up in, my friend Kim and I went to an estate auction. Outside. In Kansas. It was approximately 425 degrees outside and miserable.

But the furniture was so cheeeeep that I thought that it may be worth the possibility of my children being raised by a single father if I didn't make it out alive. It's ok, he's a good Dad.

While I was waiting for the auctioneer to auction off the mile long table of glass and other things I unfortunately know nothing about, I met Mildred, she was 74 and sweet. We sat on a broken couch and talked about nothing and Nate Berkus. In Nate, we had common ground and a mutual love. She loves his fashion and bargain hunting tips and I love his furniture makeovers.

I also love that he provides for me. I can't tell you how many jobs I have done that have begun with the words "On the Nate Berkus Show...." I just kind of love him.

I told Mildred that Nate was my boyfriend, that he comes over 5 times a week for an hour. She kindly explained to me that he was not my boyfriend, he was my Sugar Daddy. If he was my boyfriend, I could see him anytime and call him whenever I wished.  A Sugar Daddy comes over much less often and provides for you financially.

 Being a nice Christian girl, a Pastor's Daughter no less, I have never had a Sugar Daddy before. I think I like it. Thanks Mildred.

It was at this relationship defining auction that I bought this table for $5.00. Five Dollars! See why I stayed? The coolest thing about this table is that the center section SPINS!

The least cool thing about this table is that it weighs at least a million pounds. It took 4 of us to load it into the back of my van. I think I might take it apart, there may be gold bricks inside.

My husband decided that we should keep this one, it spins, it is dude furniture. Since I knew it was staying, I decided to play a little more than I might if I was selling it. The look I was going for was Grungy French "Found-in-an-old-French-barn-after-a-fire".

The best choice I have ever made, (aka My Husband), chose the Annie Sloan colors Olive and Arles. I have had an unopened can of Arles sitting on my shelf for a few months waiting for the right piece, today was the big day. I opened it and it looked like, well, it looked like snot.

Something was seriously wrong with this paint, I shook it up and even stirred it with a shim (my favorite stirring stick) and it was still watery. In a flash of brilliance, I thought maybe I could speed up the thickening process by microwaving it, in a microwave safe bowl of course! Not really brilliant after all. It was just hot and drippy.

I wiped it off and started again with ASCP Cream. A little tame, but it could work.

Because it was a little lighter than I was going for, I dry brushed a little of the watery Arles over it and squirted it with a water bottle and rubbed and blotted it until it was aged looking and darker.

Most of the time, I hand sand because it is a finer finish to me, but for this one, I busted out my palm sander with a 220 grit sanding pad. When I am working with an electric sander, it definitely takes more of the paint off, exposing the wood underneath.

Because I don't always follow Annie Sloan's rules and use wax, I used a water based urethane to finish it and then glazed it with Valspar's Asphaultum glaze and re-coated with urethane twice because I know where this piece will live. It will thank me later!

 So here she is in all of her "Found-in-an-old-French-barn-after-a-fire" glory. A little crazy looking, but she fits in here.

And here are the socks my son stashed on the other side. Just keepin it real.

And thank you Nate Berkus, for being my Sugar Daddy and not my boyfriend. I think this could work.

I am linking to these parties:

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Primitive and Proper

Perfectly Imperfect

Nifty Thrifty Thursdays

Restored it Wednesday

Beneath My Heart

Funky Junk Interiors SNS

Between naps on the porch

Friday Redoux

Wow Us Wednesdays Pin It

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Frenchy Hutch

Dear Sweet Frenchy Hutch,

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Well, I just do. I do love her!

This hutch was the second piece of furniture I bought with the intention of painting and reselling. It was $75.00. Six months ago. Since then I have been unable to bring myself to paint her. She just sat in my garage patiently waiting her turn. Tucked away, behind several other pieces and broken bikes. A LOT of broken bikes.

The problem? I loved and wanted to keep her. The bigger problem? I didn't need another hutch and really, it didn't work with the table and chairs I had, and the table was a definite keeper. I built it myself when my husband said we needed to "teach these boys manners". He went out of town and I built "The Manners Table". I love The Manners Table. It doesn't work (for bestowing manners anyway), but I love it. Here is the table with the old hutch and chairs.

Besides, the hutch I had was fine. I had just redone it when I built The Manners Table, for crying out loud! But, this one? We had a connection! So, I did nothing. For six months. Until, on my birthday, like a sign from Heaven (que the angels), these chairs popped up on Craigslist. Here was the bridge between my table and the new hutch! They had a sweet little carved basket design, just like my hutch!! Happy Birthday to meeee!

Once I finished up some custom work, it was finally my turn. And wouldn't you know it? I couldn't make up my mind what I wanted to do with it. I knew I wanted two colors and something different on the back. I bought some wallpaper thinking that I could pull colors from that. Not so much. Finally, I settled on Chalk Paint in Old White and Coco. Coco seemed just frenchy enough, and I love, love and want to marry Old White.

The first thing I did was pop the back off of the hutch part. Did you know you could do that? Just tap it out with a rubber mallet. It makes painting the inside so much easier, plus, I knew I was doing something to the back, I just didn't know what that was yet.

I decided on Old White for the body and Coco for the moving parts and the top trim. Once it was painted, I did some pretty heavy sanding and distressing. I have always been a fan of seriously distressed. We buy scratch and dent furniture. Things in my house end up distressed one way or another. I would rather do that intentionally and not freak out when someone bumps into it with a skateboard or lands on it while going for a "record breaking catch". We definitely "live" in our house.

After the painting, distressing and waxing was done, I was still a little stuck for what to do on the back. All of the wallpaper I had was too fussy. I thought about stenciling it. Nah, still not right. I tried a few fabrics from my stash when I remembered this one. I am not even sure what I bought it for in the first place, but I was feeling the love! I took it outside and sprayed the back with adhesive spray and smoothed it into place. Easy Peasy! I didn't remove the staples when I pulled the back off so I just lined them up with their original holes and tapped them back into place. Done and done.

I have decided that my style is "Grungy French". A little girly with plenty of boy mixed in.

The rest of the room is definitely in progress, but not close to done. I'd show you, but what a mess!

I will be partying here this week;

Savvy Southern Style Wow Us Wednesday

Three Boys Chalk Paint Party

Primitive and Proper

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

 Alchemy Fine Living ~ From Trash to Treasure

Friday Redoux

Kammy's Korner Trash 2 Treasure Tuesdays

Savvy Southern Style  Pin It

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Introducing Maude

 This is Maude. She's a dirty girl.

    Look at her torn clothing, held together with pins, barely hanging on.

When I got her, she had no legs, she was in pretty rough shape. She came in a box from New York City, from the Fashion Institute of Technology where she had been used in a video. She has lived a hard life. I gave her coat rack legs and a clean (relatively) place to live and love. She keeps me company and shows up in pictures every so often. She creeps my children out. I love her.

    This morning, she had new clothes.

    Nicely done boys. Nicely done.

Linking to

Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Concussion and the Wrong Dresser.

This has been a painful sort of week in our house. Football season in a house of boys = aches and pains, bumps and bruises. It also means that my boys are happier than in any other season of the year. In crazy boy world, a bruise is a badge of honor and "I was BEAST" is a proud and proper sentence. It also apparently means, if an 11 year old complains of a headache, he may have a concussion. Which means STOP. Stop playing in the game, stop playing outside later, stop doing chores. Lay down and rest. Right now. At least that's what the Dr. told me on Tuesday. Three full, bad mom days after he was hurt. The good news is, he will be fine. Lesson learned.

The painful part of my furniture painting week involved this dresser. I bought it an auction and can you believe it, I bought the wrong one! There were two very similar dressers, one broken, one not. Guess which one I bought?  Yep! The broken one, ugggghhh! Well, onward and upward. I got out my clamps and wood glue and got to work.

My first thought was paint it a creamy white. It had beautiful pulls and would have looked lovely painted and shabbied up a bit. But I was seriously irritated that I had the wrong dresser so I decided to punish it by painting it a new color to me, Provence in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Don't get me wrong, Provence is a beautiful color, I am just reaaallly comfortable with a smooth, creamy white. After the first few brush strokes, I actually had to force myself to stay sitting down and finish this piece in Provence. I literally wanted to grab a rag and wipe it all off. This color goes on blindingly bright but does dry darker, thank goodness!

After it dried, I did some sanding and distressing with 220 grit sand paper and guess what? I didn't hate it! I finished it with Aqua Zar Antique Flat Water-Based Urethane. I sometimes use Annie Sloan's clear wax, but I really like this Urethane. It's not super shiny and it feels really nice to the touch. Plus, I found it at my favorite "crap" store for less than $20 for a gallon. Score!!

After I refinished the top and added some sparkly crystal knobs, I took it to my booth at the Lone Elm Antique Mall. It was there all of a day when a lady walked in and bought it! It reminded me of when I was younger and had just started working at a jewelry store, I got some valuable advice from an wise lady I worked with. She told me to "stop selling jewelry out of your own wallet". That meant, just because you can't afford it, doesn't mean someone else can't. For this dresser, that was good advice too. If you are selling your items, paint some that are outside of your "go to" colors, someone will love them!! If you are painting for yourself, do what you love!!

My next project is in the works and it is just for me! I am sooooo excited!

I am linking this to the following parties;

Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Funky Junk Interiors Saturday Night Special

The DIY Showoff Project Parade

Between Naps on The Porch

Savvy Southern Style Pin It

Monday, October 10, 2011

The one that is staying


I found this buffet on Craigslist, like most of the other furniture I buy. When I emailed for a time to pick it up, I requested my usual "after 3" time so my son could go get it with me. The owner suggested that I might need more than a teenage boy and his mother to pick this up. I kindly informed her that we were a pretty good pair and could likely handle it.

Ummm, wrong! Not happening. This mamma jamma weighs at LEAST 4247 pounds, without the drawers! But, for the love, it was not much money and I needed it.

So what's a girl to do? I hired myself some movers! Minimum of 3 hours. I can move a lot of things in 3 hours. All I can say is that these boys were good sports and I learned some new ways to string four letter words together as they moved furniture up and down the stairs. 

The buffet had definitely seen better days, it had the infamous "good bones" but for whatever reason, the previous owner had let her cat use it as a scratching post. A 4247 pound scratching post. And I thank her for that, otherwise this would have been out of the realm of affordability for me.

About six minutes after the moving boys left, I busted out my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I was dying to try the new can of Coco that had been calling my name. My favorite thing about the deeper Chalk Paint colors is how they cover, often in one coat.

Because I was going for a frenchy look, after the Coco dried I watered down some Old White and brushed it on. I let that set up for a few seconds (like 15) and spritzed it with water, then I took a rag and rubbed, blotted and smushed until I liked the way it looked. 

Next was a light sanding,  because the top coat of Old White wasn't thick and I finished it off with Clear Wax and a bit of Dark Wax. I don't always use wax with ASCP (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint), sometimes I use a water base floor urethane or a poly acrylic, it really depends on the piece. If you stick around, you will find that I love ASCP, but I don't always follow the rules. Yep, I'm an outlaw.

Here she is, and this will be her permanent home, right here on this wall. Mostly because I can't move her. She was painted right here and here she stays. She weighs 4247 pounds, she's a chunk!

Thanks for being a part of my first furniture blog post! I have lots more to come and I am excited to be here. I think I'll link myself up in a few places, if only I can figure out how to do that :-)

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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Last, First Time.

This is my last, first blog post. Ever! Pretty excited about that!

I have been so inspired by other bloggers and have learned so much. I just want to be one of the "girls" that blog, so here I am. My dreams for this blog are many, but I hope that some day, someone can gain a little from me as I have gained through the generosity of so many. Because of those others who have inspired me, I have a business and a new passion. I feel incredibly blessed. Thank you. You don't even know who you are yet but, thank you.

Well, since you (all zero of you today :-) don't know anything about me, I copied one of those Facebook "25 things" quizzes that pretty much sums up who I am.

1) I own power tools. Lots of them. And I know how to use them.

2) I need coffee every day. Not like, but need.

3) I call Starbucks coffee "a good day in a cup". Because it is.

4) I love being home with my kids. Realllly loved working full time, but this is better.

5) I have no idea what my natural hair color is. I know what it says on the box, but that's it.

6) I married my best friend's brother. Now, he's my best friend, but I still love her bunches.

7) I never liked pink until I had four boys. Now it's my favorite color, mostly to annoy them.

8) I had a Barbie cake for my birthday, 4 years ago.

9) My first car was a 1972 Chevrolet Impala. My grandparents totalled it so they gave it to me. It had plastic seatcovers on the seats, they were immaculate. It was a lovely shade of brown. I called it the septic tank.

10) I love Chick-fil-A. I think my husband has the greatest job in the world and I am secretly jealous, but very proud of him.

11) I played a lot of instruments growing up. Flute, piano, saxaphone, french horn, violin and clarinet. God bless my parents for being so patient, and deaf.

12) I went to four different high schools. This was not fun but it made me a better person.

13) I love having four boys. God certainly had a good plan for me.

14) I can't stand to hear people chomp cereal. It disgusts me.

15) I have moved more times than I can keep track of.

16) I still can't figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

17) I loved selling jewelry, especially at Christmas. I kept track of how many things I sold every season and it made me happy every Christmas morning.

18) I am very competitive. I have to stop myself from cheating to win.

19) I love to remodel. Demo is the best, just give me a mallet and I will break something on purpose.

20) I flooded my house and had no idea where the main shut off valve was. The fire department knew just where to look... 45 mins and $27,000 of damage later.

21) I am a great shopper. If there is a bargain I will find it, even if I don't need it.

22) I sing in the shower, in the car, and when nobody is home. Sometimes I sing church songs like opera.

23) When I was in high school I had an imaginary twin sister. This caused a lot of problems as I forgot to mention that she was imaginary.

24) I am addicted to HGTV. We had no cable for a few days and I thought I would die. Really.

25) If it stands still, I will paint it!

So, thanks for being part of my last, first blog post. Next time, I promise, it won't all be about me!

Linking this to 

Perfectly Imperfect 25 Random Things Party Pin It