Monday, February 28, 2011

headboard and footboard

Bought this from a garage sale, covered in cobwebs and seriously neglected. But really truly old, at least fifty years.

I fixed a few things on it, fitted it for a full size bed frame, and painted it a soft gray blue color.

Love it.

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

dresser and desk

So busy... here are my latest projects. No before pics. Dresser sold tonight, desk selling tomorrow.**SOLD**
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011


My mo-in-lo graciously gave me this bookshelf. It's enormous, heavy, and SOLID hardwood. It came unstained, and bare without the crown molding you see on the top. We hauled it home and Newell tacked on the molding. It was much harder than we were expecting.

I painted it red and distressed it.

The before picture came from the original email so its grainy ...**SOLD**
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Another little black desk

Desks are hot sellers as long as you keep them under $70. I have a guaranteed sale with a desk but the initial cost has to be very low, like under $20. Rolltops go for more, but they cost more too, unless you get lucky. The other benefit is that they are very quick and easy to refinish.

This one was so adorable to start and a high quality unit. With dove tail drawers and solid wood all the way through. But the girl I bought it from was a single mommy with two very young kids and they had had their way with it.

Painted it black and distressed the edges. Love it.**SOLD**
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My Favorite Dresser

I found this on CL using my fabulous craigsnotifica app. I emailed the guy a minute after the thing was posted. He called me and said he came home from work to a long list of emails for this dresser. He had it posted for A STEAL.

It was in scottsdale, fully an hour from where I live in queen creek. I thought I might be disappointed in the actual piece. Sometimes pictures can be deceiving.

But I wasnt. I fell in love with it at first sight. Neglected. Scraped. But fabulous. **SOLD**

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Friday, February 18, 2011

My Rapidly Disappearing Desk

I bought this desk for $20 from CL. As I was driving home in my husbands truck, singing to Bonnie Raitt (sp?), blissfully unaware that my new desk was shedding drawers along the road.

An older lady (who happened to have an impressive beard and mustache) started honking and shouting at me. I did what any motorist would do, I gave her a dirty look and sped up. Then I realized what was happening. I pulled into a gas station, losing another drawer as I turned.

I assessed the damage. I had lost the three top drawers. I ran into the intersection and grabbed the one that had just fallen, then drove back for about a mile, to no avail. Two drawers were gone. I cursed a little, I won't lie.

There aren't very many things that I can't do when it comes to fixing furniture. Making drawers is one of them.

I morosely drove home and thought about what I could do. The top middle was a pencil drawer. I unscrewed the frame for the drawer and it looked like there was never a drawer there. Then I cut a piece of thin MDF or particle board, I can never tell the difference, and out it into the empty opening of the other drawer, on the left. I painted the whole thing and distressed it. Lastly I took out seven different knobs that I had lying around and spray painted them all Heirloom White from Rustoleum. It's more like cream.

I listed it on CL and am actually currently racing to meet a lady who wants it. **SOLD**

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


At SAS with Molly (who does weddings and has a website at the other day I picked up some burlap. I also found this ribbon that happened to be the exact right color of my boys room, kind of a silvery periwinkle, but it said Densply Rinn on it. So weird. But it intrigued me. I liked that it was bot traditional and it wasn't something you could find at Joann's. I bought three yards at 69 cents a yard, and bought six yards of the burlap at $1.99 per yard. So with tax it was about $15. I wanted to make VERY simple panel curtains that went to the floor. As I said in my previous post, I am not great on a sewing machine.

So I sort of stumbled through the process, reminding myself that this aint yo mama's sewing project. When you are going vintage or shabby, you almost want it to look like someone made it before the Industrial Revolution, with limited supplies and limited tools. It hearkens back to a simpler time. So instead of a croissant, you are making a dense loaf of whole wheat bread, with some un-ground berries that stick in your teeth. I love it, but my mom would not have approved of the haphazard way I threw those babies together.

I also decided I hate working with burlap. It's so messy and has a strange feel on your skin. I guess I am too soft. I also looked up the Dentsply Rinn reference. It's a dental supply company. WTH???

I got the curtain rod for free from my mo-in-lo (mother in law, Debbie Slade, awesome lady).

Sewing... um.

Not a big seamstress. My mom is really great at it. Her sister, my aunt, is really good at it. My grandmother was the regional manager for Hancock Fabrics for a really long time. My mother in law and her sister and mother are uber-quilters and also make Elli her seasonal dresses.

So... I am literally surrounded by master seamstresses. Whenever I need help, I only need to call one of them up. And I have. Newells aunt Lorene helped me make a KING size quilt, all the squares were like one inch.

So endeavoring anything like this on my own is literally like riding a bike for the first time without training wheels.

Molly and I went on a junking trip all day on Monday. We hit a bunch of goodwills and went to SAS fabrics in Tempe. That place was a trip.

I picked up the material for the shiny, darted pillow for $3.99. Then at goodwill I got the stuffers for the two pillows for $4 for both. Then there were two thick woven cream place mats for $3.

I made these two pillows in about 15 minutes. The total cost was $11. For me, that's a little bit of a splurge. But they turned out nice.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Update on the big white piece

I have had thing piece posted for several days. I decided the thing that may be throwing off potential customers is the rosettes. I love them, but I am narrowing my options with them. I removed them and painted over the area. I think it has more broad appeal now. Posted on CL now for $120. Hopefully it sells soon. It's a beast and it needs to go. Here's a photo.**SOLD**
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Desk I forgot to take a picture of before AGAIN.

It turned out nice, but it started out mainly a bright yellow, with purple legs and sides. It also had badly stenciled roses and bright shiny gold hardware. I sanded it a little, but found this paint job was several layers deep. I just painted over it with a smooth layer of creamy white, the last of my $2.50 Walmart OOPS paint. I was sad to lose that stuff. I sprayed just the gold on the hardware with a can of Krylon Metallic in oil rubbed bronze. It's basically black with little bits of brown and gold flecks. I tried to distress it a little, but that darned bright yellow kept peeking through, so I just left it. It's currently for sale for $60 in CL. Any interested parties here can email me.**SOLD**
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Friday, February 11, 2011

A rose by any other name...

I bought this at Goodwill for half price, though even at half price it was about $15 too much. But I took a chance on it, seeing that it had good potential.

Don't even get me started on Goodwill prices. Sometimes there will be an end table with dog chewed legs and warped laminate top for $150, and sometimes there will be a whole dining set for $25. Is it a calculated choice made by some manager? Or just over-worked warehouse guys marking randomly? Who knows... the mysteries of the universe.

So I brought this baby home and had my freakishly strong 12 year old daughter help me carry it in. It was super heavy.

Took off some ugly scalloped deals from the nineties, sanded, painted, painted, sanded, painted, sanded. Then I decided to doors needed something. I love this blog called the graphics fairy. She scans actual paper and cards and stuff so that she can get a large file so that her readers can print in larger sizes. It's all genuine vintage. I found a rose design from an old perfume ad that she had posted. I cut and decoupaged it onto the front, then used my cream paint to make a glaze to fade the colors. Then added many layers of clear matte spray paint.

I posted it on Craigslist an hour
... wish me luck...
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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Black Roll Top

You can see in the after pictures I am messing with staging and lighting... quite frustrated with the while photography angle. I am not a photographer, and never will be. I don't have the talent.

This roll top I bought for $15 at a yard sale. It was a sort of medium maple color. It sold for a nice increase a day after this picture was taken. I had a nice streak of good luck.**SOLD**

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Entertainment Armoire

I bought this piece right after I delivered another piece (black rolltop, post forthcoming).

My "work space" is ok for certain things, but the lighting is just about as bad as it could possibly be. There are sharp angles of light and shade, with no place that I can stand and get a good clean shot. My Evo has a good 8mp camera, but for some reason it doesn't take the best pictures. So bear with me.

This one sold just today. I went with a new cream on the outside, a good amount of distressing (I would call it a 7 out of 10) and a nice deep red for all the inside parts.**SOLD**
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I forgot to take a before picture of this. It was a kind of rustic, raw, southwest dresser. It actually looked good already.

I added a layer of my cream $1 paint and sanded it down, then tried my hand at glazing. I loved the way this turned out. I wanted to keep it. But I posted it and sold it pretty quick for a tidy profit.**SOLD**
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Desk I Needed Bad

I had been looking for a desk that I could fix up and keep.

I found this at a garage sale down the street. I picked it up for $35, down from the $50 he asked for. Am I proud of my skills? Yes.
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Post Tax Filing Armoire

I discovered this app for my HTC Evo, which runs on the Droid operating system, which I love almost as a son (it seems like a boy) called craigsnotifica. It's a really weird name and I suspect the author is foreign. But this app simply rocks. You enter your criteria for Craigslist, as in location, price range, keywords, etc., and this app notifies you the second something is posted.

So if you browse Craigslist often, you know that there are a lot of folks out there who just don't care to make money, they just want to get rid of their stuff. One guy posted a whole bedroom set for $45, and I missed it. The good stuff goes in minutes, sometimes seconds, if the seller will hold the item for the first guy who calls.

Well now I get the ad in my phone in seconds, and I click the number and reach the seller in seconds. I have a supreme Craigslist advantage. At least over people who don't have this app. I realize posting this info may tip a few people off, and I may lose some of the edge I feel I have, but its worth it. This app must be shared.

So Newell and I were getting our taxes done, and the dude helping us was supremely slow. A process that should take an hour, tops, is taking more like three. I get my first craigsnotifica ad. The magical little peace sign that pops up in the upper left hand corner of the screen.

I start panicking because its something I really want at a price that I love. But we are stuck with Mr. Tax Man in a too warm H&R Block, and I know the clock is seriously ticking. So in between deductions and credits and income questions, I am desperately texting the seller, telling her I am coming soon.

Finally we get out of there. My husband is not too happy about what I call my "furniture habit." He was kind enough to help out though.

We picked up this little cream colored armoire. I was a little disappointed to discover that it was, in fact, not solid wood, but laminate over MDF.

But the price was still right.

I painted it black, then distressed it. It sold within a day or two.**SOLD**

Here is the result.
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giant Desk with Painful Results

I watch a blog called and one day as I browsed through I noticed the author, Tara, was selling a desk that looked quite old and had a true primitive shape. Sort of blocky, with a large, deep surface. The price was great and I knew I could fix it and turn a nice profit.

So she very kindly delivered it to my house, even though I happened to be gone when she got there. My 12 year old daughter helped her. In retrospect, I cannot fathom how two little women managed this thing.

I got home and loaded it onto my furniture dolly, or as I like to call it, my second husband, and started dragging it through the yard to my work area/back porch. I hadn't yet discovered the magic of the strap that this dolly has, so the desk was riding bare back all the way. It tipped and tethered but I managed to get there without incident.

Then as I am attempting to gently ease it down, I lost control, and it seemed to suddenly become ten times heavier then it had been a moment before. My nine year old son, Ethan, was standing nearby and it fell, top down, onto the top of his foot, near his ankle. The darn thing didn't even pause in its descent. It slammed hard onto the concrete and Ethan proceeded to scream like a siren for a full sixty seconds.

I picked him up and took him in the house, lest a neighbor think someone was being tortured, and gingerly removed his sock. It looked bad... real bad. For the first time since I became a mother 9 years ago, I realized I was going to have to take a child to the emergency room.

I loaded him up in the van and drove to Banner Ironwood, a brand spanking new facility serving the greater san tan valley area. I was surprised at the ... well the customer service. They were friendly and the male receptionist did not even breathe the word "insurance" just gently clipped Ethans bracelet on and sent us to the comfy waiting room.

After an hour of waiting and x-rays ( and a pretty nurse bringing him PB&j and an orthopedic nurse doing a Patch Adams impersonation, making Ethan smile for the first time since we got there) they determined that the bones were sound and that he needed to stay off of it and wear a splint and use crutches. He could not have been more delighted. Especially since he was flying high on Tylenol with Codiene ...

I digress. I mustered up the courage to press forward, despite serious fears that my hobby was going to hurt my children, and came up with a game plan.

I decided to keep the weathered siding and simply brush it lightly with some cream latex paint I found in the oops paint section of Home Depot for $1. Then I sanded and mended the top, stained it a dark brown, with no red in it, and added a coat of high gloss, oil based poly. The contrast of the smooth, yet still rustic top and the super weathered distressed sides came out nice.

I posted it on Craigslist and it sold the next day.

My son has forgiven me, but has since developed a fear of large furniture.