Sunday, May 29, 2011

From bed to bench.

I had trouble selling this as a twin bed, so my husband whipped it into a bench.**sold***.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Amanda's Pie Hutch.

This is a pretty little piece that a friend commissioned. I forgot the before picture. It was a natural medium oak color and the tin panels were black.

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blue Conch

I had a dream last night that I was playing on a beautiful beach with my daughter Elli. We were digging in the sand and suddenly we unburied a pile of bright blue, beautiful Conch shells. They kind of looked like this one that is glass but it was the only photo I could find. I was so happy and I gathered them all up ... what does this mean?
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Emily's Dresser

This dresser also came from Emily's grandfather. It is very high quality, made by Lexington.

I am surprised at how well it turned out, as I often am. I don't know what it says about me, but I use techniques that I trust when I paint, and I am never sure of how it will turn out. It's like waiting for a rose to bloom when you don't know what kind it is. It's a truly enjoyable process.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Costco Dresser

Musings on Furniture

Who can recall the creation of the first bureau, commode, the first bed post or spindle back chair, the first bachelors chest, hewn from mahogany or hickory? To be sure, some historian could... but not I.

The evolution of the things we sleep on, sit on, lay on, hang up and fold down... in other words, furniture... I am sure is a fascinating tale. When did they discover that dovetail drawer joints were the strongest? When did glue and nails and screws begin to be used instead of just dowels and exactness ?

My parents have a desk in their office that they bought in Europe. It came from a Monastery and was estimated to be 400 years old. If you run your fingers over the carvings you wouldn't believe how beautiful they feel and look. This thing is perfectly built, and bears no sign at all of age. It will last forever.

So why the long rambling diatribe?

I bought a dresser from Craigslist the other day. I nice little white dresser with missing knobs and some wear. The woman bought it at Costco. It was the antithesis of the monastery desk. But you know? Costco makes a good dresser. Solid, strong, heavy and all the drawers were intact, ready for ten more years of faithful service.

400 years? I think not. But there is something to be said for well made, affordable furniture you can buy on the corner, not the other side of the Atlantic. And also not have to suffer through a spring vacation to Paris.

Here she is, only after...


Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Friday, May 20, 2011

Emily's Desk

My awesome sister -in-law, Emily, texted me the other day, saying she had moved her grandpa to a new house and he had two old pieces they needed to get rid of.

I was happy to oblige.

This desk has some neat features. For some reason, the top drawer opens into a tray, and slides out, perfect for a keyboard. It's too old to have been built for a computer, but nevertheless, it's a keyboard tray.

It's also a 360 degree piece, meaning the back doesn't have to be against the wall. It can float in a room.

Audrey, a follower who has been asking for me to keep an eye out for desks has called dibs... so sorry folks, this one is not for sale.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Chandelier is Famous...

My very gifted professional photographer friend used my new/old chandie in a recent photo campaign.

It's in the upper left hand corner of the picture, almost as pretty as the subject.

Check out Kim's other work at
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Primitive Cabinet, Ocean Blue

Before and After
Love this cabinet, want to keep it.
Asking $95
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

much ado about nothing to do with furniture...

I just discovered the COOLEST thing. It's a Sally Hansen product you just pick up at Wal-Mart. It's like nails in a box. I don't even know what to call it... It's like 8 bucks and its all these little design things. They aren't stickers, its like a thin piece of stretchy material that sticks to your nail bed, and then you file off the excess. It's awesome!

Check it out, there are a bunch of designs and if it becomes popular, there will be lots more. I am already addicted!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.8

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Old House

I have stated in a previous post that we are renters. To be straightforward, almost three years ago, we short sold our then dream home in Casa Grande, becoming some of the first victims of the downward market.

We decided against any other financial maneuver, and attempted to move forward with our lives, hoping to move beyond the horror of the recession.

We have been renting ever since. I have heard folks that are upside down on their homes say that they wish they were renters. I remember feeling that way.

But, for the record, it gets old. You never can forget the fact that the place you are living is not your own. It will never be your own. And, as a nester and a lover of all things lovely, I was tortured with the fact that any home improvements would be swallowed in the renters abyss.

So I lived with white flat walls, awful gold light fixtures, cheap carpet, and many other things. I got used to them, but never overcame my craving for a lovely nest of my own.

I also got over my previous love for mansions. I honestly can say, that if someone offered me a giant, luxurious mansion or a little cottage, right now, I would choose the cottage.

So my husband and I finally reached a place where we though we could be homeowners again. I browsed the MLS (a full version for Arizona is available here.)
and found this house for a STEAL. I won't say how much, but it's a truly amazing price. So low, the folks that own homes around us will hate us. Just kidding, hopefully.

Here it is

The listing says it needs a new roof, has no a/c, and needs flooring.
We visited, and my husband, being licensed GC, said that it wasn't so bad. It will need some work, but it's all do-able.

It's a mess.  A huge mess. But all I could see was the potential. There is a massive mulberry tree in the front yard, and the walls inside are board and batten. The exterior is covered with high quality siding. I am in love. We put in an offer, and are now waiting for the bank to approve the short sale. If we get it, all my blog posts will be dedicated to the improvement of that house. I might even buy myself a fancy camera and get lessons from my talented little sis, Annie and my good friend, Kim.

Wish us luck.

Mesa Auction

Every Friday night, there is an auction in central Mesa. I have been before, but only to bid on the brand new furniture. In the beginning of the auction, they are in another room, where everything is USED, some antique. This is why I went this time.

I asked my friends Molly and Kris to come along, for moral support.

Right off the bat, they offered up this Crate and Barrel shag rug.

I knew it was a nice piece, but when it was being ignored by the bidders, I threw my hand up. I won it for $17. I looked it up later and found that it retails for $400. But I am keeping it. I love how luxurious it feels, the shag is truly deep and it's 100% wool. It's rolled up in my garage and flipping heavy... so the photo is obviously a stock photo.

Then we went inside and saw some gorgeous old blue glass globe lamps. They were oversized, ornate, even gaudy. I had to have them.

I snagged them for $20 a piece.

Here is one staged in my house.

Find an auction in your town. It's a really fun evening.

Beachy Dressers

I was driving through my neighborhood one Saturday and I saw my new neighbors were having a yard sale. It was all furniture from their recent move from Texas, where I gathered they had a larger home with more room. These two plain little dressers stuck out to me. I liked that they were solid and well made, but had no trace of the feminine lines I am always drawn to. I have so many people asking for boys furniture.

So I picked them up and got to know my new neighbors, and come to find out, fellow members of my church congregation.

These shots are taken mid-project, please forgive.

I started by using a pre-mixed "navy blue" that I found at Walmart. A-GASP! It was horrible. Slick and the ugliest teal color at first, and not improving after two coats. I threw the can away.

And then I realized I was plumb out of paint. I have been lucky so far and have not had to pay full price on one single can of latex paint. It's all been oops and found paint. I have been scouring local paint stores, and haven't found anything. I finally succumbed and bought this lovely color of light blue satin and a nice nuetral white. I was feeling anxiety about paying full price, but after it was done, I realized it doesn't raise my profit margins all that much, and I was able to scour hundreds of color chips, compare, and, quite luxuriously, pick my own colors. I am hooked.

For all you out there who are thinking about doing this, there is actually a substantial learning curve. Other people gave me advice and I quickly found my own method. I prefer my latex paint. I also MUST have satin. I have a good, smooth brush on method that I have nearly perfected and am very fast at. I rarely prime. Chippy and distressed is the goal, so why do I care if it loses a little paint after I am finished. I only prime when the surface is SUPER smooth. Once I painted a dresser and when I wiped it down for the photos, the paint was PEELING off as I wiped. To say I cursed would be accurate.

I painted the simple hutch white, and the dressers the blue color. I loved how they look coastal, beachy, relaxed. So I threw a few starfish I got for 50 cents at a yard sale on top. The pieces did not photograph well. But, here they are.