Monday, February 28, 2011

She's Done! Ain't She a Beaut?

     I am always sceptical when I start one of these projects.  What can I do and still not lose the integrity of the piece? Am I going to compromise the structure?  Is the paint going to bleed?  Am I going to hate it?  Is it going to look like road kill and now I have to try to sell it?  The end result always makes a fresh believer out of me every time.  There is a beauty in that beast!
     It had feet missing and veneer issues on the top and some trim I wasn't crazy about.  I wanted a more cleaner,  lighter look so I popped the trim around the doors and drawers.  My real push and inspiration was that the veneer had to come off the drawers and to do that, the trim had to come off.  Why stop there?  Doors were next.  The top received ten pounds of filler, give or take and I was fortunate to find some pieces of the feet.  Not all but enough to make it look good. 
     After the usual sand, paint and distress treatment, she's turned into one of my very favorite pieces.  $225   SOLD

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My Sign in Cabin Life!

     I mentioned in an earlier post about some of the signs I painted and the one that started it all.  Susan Churchill was the gal with an idea.  If she hadn't walked in the shop that day,  I probably would have never started.
    As the story goes, Susan had been all over looking for someone to do a sign for her.  She was frustrated with the results of the search because all she could find was paying a lot for something that wasn't quite right.  When she described the project with the idea of using old crappy wood, I knew exactly shat she was looking for and the rest was experimentation on my part.  I could draw but I hadn't painted like this before, and then trying to turn off your emotions and scuffing it with sand paper?  There was much hesitation, to say the least.
     What if it didn't turn out right and I had to do it over?  Would I cry?  Would she cry?
     That's when I decided that I couldn't really ruin it.  Throwing caution to the wind, I got medieval on it.  I finished it with a cape cod grey stain and poly-ed it.
     I'd like to be able to say that because of me, she was featured in the March edition of Cabin Life magazine but her house is absolutely amazing and obviously didn't need my help. 
     So, Susan Churchill, I will raise a glass to you tonight and thank you again for a wonderful experience and a new discovery!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Getting to the Nuts and Bolts of Bird Houses

Last year, about this time, we started to make bird houses with the idea of keeping it simple.  I always admired the ones you can find at craft fairs with all the salvage using old door knobs, hinges and barbed wire, so we thought we would give it a try.  We divied up the houses and went to work.  Mind you, we've got salvage up the yin-yang so it wasn't hard to slap something together.  He made short work of his half, in fact, he had three done and I was still stumped.  It wasn't that I didn't know what to do it's just I didn't know what to do first.  We had accumulated so many cool knobs and hinges that it should have easy to part with a few, but I was still in the hording stage and couldn't find any I could live without.  Besides, I really wanted to do something more thought out and different.  I didn't want to just 'slap' stuff together.  So, I grabbed the nuts, bolts, washers and any unsalvageable salvage that I could part with and went to work with that.
     And we had a LOT!  We would go to these farm auctions that we knew would have rusted out hardware and buy it all.  Usually, we would get dozens of ball jars full of well sorted hardware for 50 cents.  The old duffers would laugh as they watched me carrying off my treasured bolts and inevitably say something about getting good ones at Ace.  Frankly, I didn't really have a plan back then, I just liked all the rust and knew it had it's use. That's what I envisioned on my bird houses.  Here is this year's results.   All are $30 each.



Double-Sided Bench

     I love, love my partner's benches!  He always manages to do something so original and unique from basically scraps of wood.  I've had some favs but this takes the cake.
     Do you see what it was originally?  Most of it is parts from and old crib I picked up at an auction four years ago.  I would like to add here that this is one of my purchases that solidifies my being a loony in his mind and, inevitably, I hear, 'What do you plan on doing with that?'  Little do men know, we do have a plan.  Anyway...
     The seats are from an old table top and the trim below that is from a house in town celebrating its one hundred year anniversary this year.
     There is a story behind this that you have to promise won't get back to him.  We have a basement under the shop that is his work space.  All the lumber and salvage is stored down there until he feels inspired (or until he realizes he is running out of room, whichever happens first.)  He started with the crib with the intention of salvaging all that he could.  He went out of his way to make it extra sturdy by using glue and a nail gun on most of it.  When it came time to move it to the sales floor, it wouldn't fit through the door.  Many explicatives and a few days later, we unhinged the door, removed the seats and only then did it go up no problem.
     I would normally never let him hear the end of it but I realize that this kind of thing happens to me all the time.  I can hardly point fingers.  Like the time I.....oh, you don't want to hear about that.
     Sidenote, it fits most doors just not our narrower basement door.   $130   SOLD

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's the Simple Changes

      Did you ever notice that it's the simplest things you do that can make something feel re-invented and fresh again?  That's how I feel with most furniture and, honestly, I was never a big believer until this last summer. 
     We had a vendor start at our corner shop who was an avid furniture painter and we loved having him around because he would buy up all the crappy veneer pieces we would bring in.  We laughed because we would get it ridiculously cheap at an auction and have it sold before it got off the truck.  He would be unloading it in the shop in three days painted up beautifully with a priced-to-move tag on it.  Nine times out of ten, it would be sold in three days.  Who's laughing now?  Putting it in perspective, our margin was killer but he ended up with the larger dollar amount.  Can't argue with either one but which would you rather have?  So, needless to say, we learned real quick.
     I agree that this isn't a huge transformation, but everyone has something in their house that they would love to get gone.  What if they thought about it differently and changed it somehow?  Painting is a cheap and easy option.  If you still don't like it, then give it to your nephew who's needing furniture in his new apartment. $36

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

No I didn't drop off the face of the earth!

I apologise for the no new content thing.  I have discovered the power of the Internet.  Boy, things were going fine until I decided to read a few books on media marketing and realized how much is out there.  So, needless to say, projects had been put on hold for a bit.  I'm feeling more settled and website/twitterdeck/blog/facebook page feng shui-ed so I will be elbows deep tomorrow. Hurray!!!!