Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A love story...truly!

Choosing happiness...and feeling very chatty today!

Elmer was a fisherman. He was born, and lived most of his life (apart from four years) on the South Shore of beautiful Nova Scotia

Elmer came back from WW 2 in 1944, having spent several months in hospital recovering from a war injury in France.

Very shortly after he came home, he married his high school sweetheart, Faithie, on December 20th., 1944. This was his wedding gift to his love, who was sixteen years old when Elmer went off to war. Of course, it was much prettier then.

Elmer settled back into his life here in Nova Scotia, and spent fifty years on the sea, fishing its bounty.

They were never blessed with children, but were devoted to one another, and lived in the same small house from the day they married to the day they both died... within six months of one another. They left their house, and all their worldly possessions, to an old friend. She was unable to keep everything. I spent some lovely time with her when I purchased this sideboard.

Sixty seven years after Elmer gave it to Faithie, I spent many wonderful hours honouring them and making it mine.

As I scrubbed it down, just LOOK at the treasure I found stuck behind a drawer! Please click on it so you can see what it says...I'm not telling you...(lol). Hint: look closely at the dates, the napkin is all wrinkly...ummm...much like my face...

Aaaahhhh, so... stripped it with Heirloom gel stripper, scraped it, sanded it, with very fine sand paper and a feather-light touch.

The top was stained with two coats of Minwax Ebony Wood Stain, then protected with three coats of Minwax Polycrylic. The top is dreadfully bowed, and the long drawer didn't fit at all...just wouldn't close. Being relatively new to all this, I had no idea how to fix the top, so I decided to sand the top edge of the drawer...and sand...and sand...and SAND...so it'd fit. Well, although the top is still bowed, at least I can close the drawer! The rest of the piece was painted, as you can see, using Martha Stewart "Heavy Cream" and "Silhouette" (black) paints. The inside of all drawers and the little cupboards are black. Very little chipping and sanding were done after it was finished...just "touches" here and there. A wooden embellishment was added to the bottom drawer, which was sanded and chipped a little. Fleur de Lis images from a great little Etsy shop, Graphique were transferred onto six wooden drawer pulls, using the acetone transfer method. The other hardware was cleaned and painted with Rustoleum Hammered Black spray paint.

Here's the first view:

Can you see the image transfers on the wooden pulls? Here's a closer image, with the disclaimer that I don't even PRETEND to be an adequate photographer.

I live in a garden level condo in Nova Scotia, and often work on my patio. As I was adding the finishing touches to this piece today , some visitors came to munch on my gardens...within a dozen feet of my patio!

What graceful creatures. I'll share my gardens with them any time. Their appearance makes me wonder whether they were little "messengers..."

...they were two of them, you know...see the top picture...can you guess what I named them?

Aaaahhhh...what a WONDERFUL distraction...life is so very GOOD and I am so very blessed.

Okay, back to the present...back to my muses, Elmer and Faithie.

I decided to add a shelf to the bottom of their sideboard, for a little more storage capability...mmmm...seriously LOVE that Ebony stain...and these are the last hydrangeas from my garden this year...

My livingroom wall colour is "Lichen Green," a Benjamin Moore colour, so I spray painted little woven baskets to match, and they (conveniently) hide my stereo speakers behind them without distorting the sound...just a little bonus.

One last look, before...

...and after. See that plant? It's called a Hoya, and I brought two leaves from its mother back from BC ten years ago...it has served me well. I have three of them now, and have gifted my friends with many, MANY of its children. I really LOVE me a plant that doesn't need a lot of attention!! (lol) Let me know if you want a cutting...

I will enjoy this piece for many years, then perhaps one of my children, or my grandchildren might want it...they all know at least the Part One of the story...I'll enjoy it for Part Two...and wouldn't that be just so wonderful if THEY enjoy Part Three?

I'm not so sure they'll enjoy THIS though (lol), and I'm really not so sure I can salvage this poor thing, but I love me a good challenge! More about this next week...maybe...

It's a learning experience...hmmm...wood hardener for rot...Plastic Wood is my friend...but how to make it stay where I want it to be?

OOOOHHH ME NERVES!! I'm beginning to think I might need a mental health consult.

Thanks so much for coming to visit, and for reading my ramblings today. It's another spectacular fall day in Nova Scotia, and I'll be out on my patio trying to restore that poor orphan above.

I'll share this post here and with these fine bloggers.

Choosing happiness today, and wishing you a day filled with the people you love, doing the things that you love.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The first piece...

This is the re-do of the first piece for my new-to-me dining room furniture. I have two of these chairs (purchased several months ago), and am looking now for four more different complementary chairs to go with my new-to-me table.

Here are a couple of "befores." The paint was tired and stained, but I didn't want to change the colour, it just needed some TLC...enter Rustoleum Heirloom White for the legs and ASCP Old White for the rest of it.

These chairs are ROCK SOLID, with nuts and bolts everywhere (lol)...took me an hour to get one of them apart! Don'tchajust LOVE a challenge?

I used this beautiful Tucker Resist Chambray fabric, ordered online from JoAnn's. Now this was a LONG process. I live in Nova Scotia Canada, and JoAnn's won't ship to Canada (siiiigh...) so an online friend ordered it for me, then shipped it to me here...it was worth the eight week wait! THANKS Ms Nancy!)

I didn't want that "dark waxy"look for this chair, just wanted it to look fresh and crisp and clean. After painting it, I sanded very lightly in a few places, for this look:

To be honest, I'm not much attracted to the current phase of dark wax over a piece...have done it several times, but my pieces just look "dirty" to me. Ack! MUCH prefer a lighter look!

Now, I have to share my latest acquisition. I've been searching for a dining room table for several months. Initially, I thought I'd like a French Provincial look...but this week, I found THIS, and immediately fell head over heels in LOVE (ummm...it is possible to truly LOVE an inanimate object??) This beauty is 42" wide by 62" long (closed) and 42" by 80" open. The leaf is actually stored inside the skirted table top, and comes up with a cranking mechanism. I'm told it's over a hundred years old, and it has the original finish, which is in amazingly excellent condition, with just a few minor "love bites" to be repaired.

Isn't it GORGEOUS!?

Now please...most of you furniture upcyclers are far more experienced than I...would LOVE to know what you'd consider doing with this table! The top, I've already decided, will remain stained, but I think I might use Minwax Dark Walnut stain on it after stripping (same stain I used for this little desk). I live in a 1200 sq ft condo; the dining area is combined with the "livingroom," so the little desk will be visible from the table and chairs. I've always thought that, once I found "the" table, I'd paint the skirt and legs some creamy colour, and have a stained top. But I am SO loving this piece just as it is, and apart from gently repairing some "love bites, I'm really torn with whether or not to do anything else to it.

Ideas? PLEEEEASE!! And YES, I'm scouring Pinterest too! ;)

I'm partying again with these fine bloggers this week. Would love to stop by your space in the blogosphere too. I read every single comment you leave, and always visit you back.

I wish you a week filled with the pleasures of creating THINGS you love and being with the PEOPLE you love...THANKS so VERY much for stopping by...and for whatever advice you have for me...OH...and one more thing...stop by Rondell's blog right here, she's hosting a Ramsign giveaway...be still my heart...

Thanks SO MUCH to Ms Christina for featuring my chair over here

Monday, September 12, 2011

Be still my heart...

It's FINISHED! And I love love LOVE this!

Here's the only "before" pic of this lovely diminutive desk...beautiful wee piece, needing just a little updated love...

I stripped it completely, sanded the top, applied Minwax Dark Walnut stain and five coats of Minwax Polycrylic. I can't get a "good enough" photo of the top, but the grain of this walnut is so VERY beautiful! She has wooden wheels!

Some cracks and scratches, but just look at that tongue and groove...

...little bit of wood filler, little bit of sanding...Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ("Old White") for the majority of the desk, with Behr Black Suede for the stencilled drawer and the accents. I used one of Ms Martha's new stencils (available at Michael's Arts and Crafts) on the front of the center drawer. First, I painted the drawer front black, then stencilled with three coats of ASCP Old White...hard to cover that black...but SO worth the effort!

Then I switched out the hardware with old pieces, freshly painted with Tremclad Hammered Black.

Here's a close up of the drawer, and a peek at the stool cushion...

I neglected to take a "before" pic of the stool, but here's the "after," recovered and painted a high gloss black. I wanted a nice contrast of fabric and colour for these pieces.

Now here's a before and after of a lamp I did to match this pretty wee desk...painted the lamp itself with Rustoleum Heirloom White...

...then coated each area of the shade with Mod Podge Matte, and carefully pressed on each section of fabric (cut with a cardboard pattern I made from one segment of the shade) with wet fingers (so I wouldn't stick to the Mod Podge). I used Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue to secure the fringe to the inside of the shade, then the same glue to secure the black trim at top and bottom.

Now here she is, sittin' pretty in front of my livingroom window. I painted the insides of the drawers lime green (lol)...to match one of my livingroom walls and my curtains...I sit here now, with my trusty little computer, looking out over my gardens...and life is...OH so VERY good!!

One last little look...before and after...

Partying with these fine bloggers this week. Would love to stop by your space in the blogosphere too. Wishing you a week filled with the pleasures of creating things you love and being with people you love...THANKS so much for stopping by!

OH! And DO visit Ms Vicky right here...she's doing a little giveaway for reaching 150 followers! WTG Vicky!

THANK YOU to the newly minted "Doctor Jaime" for this:


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Accent table phase two...

Do you ever "finish" a piece, then go back and add/delete/re-do little things? Here's the first rendition of this little accent table I did a few months ago. I LOVE accent tables with unique features! They're so versatile...easy to move from room to room, and they have a multitude of uses. I particularly like the "V" shape of the middle section of this one, and, of course, those legs...YUM! This little beauty was $12 at a local thrift store.

I primed with Rustoleum Zinsser Bin, and painted with Rustoleum Heirloom White, then distressed and glazed with brown acrylic paint mixed with water, then applied several costs of Minwax Polycrylic on the top.

I used this stencil from Dreamweaver (Dangling Heart) with white embossing paste on both ends, and applied the same brown acrylic wash over that for a little artificial aging. I LOVE the texture that brought to the piece!

I love love LOVE Fleur de Lis images, and have a growing collection of them. Yesterday, I added two large and four small Fleur de Lis to each end of the top. I did these with my favourite image transfer technique...acetone! Stinky, but works SO WELL! And it's EASY...another plus! (lol)

Isn't this just the prettiest image? I found it over at the lovely Etsy shop, Graphique.

The acetone transfer process: use a toner based copy (inkjet/laser printed images will not work with this process; I print mine on a laser printer for a nice crisp image, then take send them online to Staples for a toner copy), cut around the image, lay it face down on the receiving surface, tape with removable tape, soak a cotton ball with acetone, dab it on, just enough till you can see the image through the back of the paper, check every few seconds to be sure it's transferring the way you want it to, et voila! If you CAN, do this outside...it's REALLY smelly! I did this one in front of some open windows, and used a little fan between my face and the table to divert the fumes...works like a charm.

So that's it, I think she's finally finished...and I'm a happy old gal.

Thank you so VERY much for stopping by today. I'll stop by your place too. I wish you a happy and creative week. Stop here and by these delightful parties for lots and LOTS of inspiration!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Barley twist and stencilling

Those who know me are aware of my fondness for stencilling with furniture up-cycling; there are several posts on my blog about that. I stencil with many things...Dreamweaver Stencils being some of my very favourite tools. In fact, the most visited and commented-on post on my blog is my upcycled stencilled bed. However, I use many other things as well...handmade templates, other commercial stencils, lace, screen, basically whatever has holes in it to give me an interesting design.

I've had these two old barley twist tables for twenty years or so, and given my current obsession to paint everything I own that doesn't MOVE, I decided they need an update. Here's the before of one of them...just imagine the other one looked the same, just a different shape.

It's GREAT that I could take these tables all apart! I was able to do the legs completely separately from the table tops and bottoms. For this one, I stripped, sanded, then used Rustoleum Primer and Rustoleum Heirloom White on the legs, then used ASCP Old White on the tables. I chipped and sanded just a little, them waxed the legs with Annie Sloan Soft Wax (Clear) and finished the tables with four coats of Minwax Polycrylic, which I LOVE...low VOC, extremely durable finish, and doesn't turn yellow as sometimes polyurethane does. I didn't use stain or glaze or dark wax on these pieces because I wanted a brighter look.

Mmmm...I really liked how some of the old, dark finish came through when I sanded... I LOVE "chippy!"

For the corner table, I did the same process, and used lace as the stencil for the top. Once I'd taped the lace in place, I sprayed over it with Rustoleum "Fossil" paint...which was chosen by my ten year old grandson Morgan! Interesting, I'd NEVER have chosen that colour, but I'm just TICKLED PINK with how it turned out...so here's a SHOUT OUT to my little Shadow for his good taste! (smiles)

Mmmm, just LOVE this! It's in a corner of my "being-restyled-bedroom," which is looking more and more feminine these days.

Close up of my amateur sanding (lol); LOVE the effects though!

So now these handy little tables have a whole new look, and make me smile whenever I see them. Now if you're interested in seeing more of this technique, you MUST visit Rosemary at Villabarnes! Pure inspiration!

Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to stop by. I'll stop by your place too is I can link up. Wishing you a day of doing what you LOVE to do with people you LOVE to be around.

I'm partying with these fine bloggers.

Thanks SO MUCH to Ms Missy from the wilds of Maine for featuring my barley 'n' lace table over at her fun party right here

A Marvelous Mess

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bar stools Phase Three!

Sooo...here's one of the three bar stools I started while my three grandchildren were with me for the summer...

Littlest grand-boy Connor helping Grammie...

Stripped and sanded...

All three finished...one stool for each little boy, personalized with my "Grammie names" for them. They liked them!

Much to my amazement, these little stools won a FABULOUS ASCP contest...thanks again to Anne of "House of Anne" for the prizes!

However, summer's over, grandchildren have gone back home to Momma till next year, so it's time for a stool update! When these HANDSOME kidlets come back next summer to visit, we'll refinish other personalized things together.

I used part of this Graphics Fairy image...and some clock hands clip art I had...and recreated two of the three into lunch and dinner stools, with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Old White of course), glazed with Benjamin Moore Aqua Glaze mixed with some black acrylic paint. I did the image transfers the easiest...and cheapest...way I know how...scribble a charcoal pencil on the reverse of your image, tape it to your receiving surface (scribbled side down) and trace over the image, transferring it to your surface!) I think I LIKE them!

Partying with these fine bloggers.

THIS is what I'm working on next..."Elmer and Faithie..."a love story...circa 1944...will post my re-do by the end of the week.

THANK YOU so MUCH for taking the time to visit today! Every time I see a new comment, it's like opening a little present...so thanks for THOSE too! I'm AMAZED that my puny little blog reached two hundred followers today...four months after I began...thank you SO MUCH, and thank you thank you THANK YOU to Ms Adrianne for featuring these over at

And THANK YOU Ms Ashlee for featuring them too, over at your place...

featured I'm topsy turvy tuesdays

GOSH! Home decor bloggers sure are KIND!!

Wishing you a week filled with the things you love to do, and times with the people you love!