Monday, October 29, 2012

The only thing constant is change!

My life is ever changing - just the way I like things. I embrace change better than anyone I know. I think it's evident in my art.  There's been lots of changes going on in my life and it has greatly affected my output though and this is very frustrating. I still don't have everything I need to complete my secret dresser project (the antique white one pictured earlier). I did, however, sell the chalkboard frame!

Having to babysit my 2 year old Granddaughter 5 days this past week, coupled with it being her birthday for which I volunteered to make her cake for her party on Sunday AND having to attend a baptism for my great niece on Saturday which I was asked to make THAT cake for, put me waaaaaay behind on everything.

AND......last month I was asked to blog and write patterns for a fairly popular crochet website ( That's going fairly well. I haven't seriously crocheted for a few months, but with 45 years experience, the ideas for new patterns are coming to me rapidly. I can't make the items as fast as the ideas are coming! Pattern writing is a bit time consuming though I have enough experience. I also sell my own designs on So you can guess that my head is spinning.

Tonight is the first night in what seems like forever that I've had time to relax (mentally). So hubby and I took a trip to the thrift shops - one of my fave things to do! I came home with this:

How awesome is this sweater??? It reminds me of one of my favorite artists work: Alissa Burke. AND I love checkerboard and colorful things. Now, this sweater is 100% wool. So I have the option of felting it but I'm really afraid of losing the sharp edges of the design. This will be cut to pieces before I'm done, but I don't know into what yet. I'm thinking of making the sleeves into leg warmers and maybe some sort of bag out of the rest. Any ideas? I need to do something with it quickly though before I get caught up in the upcoming holiday projects. Comments are always welcome!

Well, wish me luck. I need to go write a new crochet pattern. I'm thinking about a Christmas string of lights necklace. I'll post whatever I end up with here. In the meantime, if you'd like to see some of my new posts to  the new site, just type in my name in the search bar at Have a great evening!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Victorian "Shabby Chic" Frame Makeover - Chalkboard & Dry Erase

A Victorian "Shabby Chic" Frame Makeover

As I continue to sand down the "monster" dresser, I have need to break from it every so often - it's a bigger job than I thought. I did however pick out the paint for it tonight (can't wait to show you!). But in the meantime, I move to other projects. I just landed a blogging position with so I can fill my in-between sanding time with crocheting some newly developed designs, which I love to do. But also, I am working on some smaller painting projects. That's what I'm showing you today - a simple, yet elegant piece easily used in several decors. Simply Titled: Victorian "Shabby Chic" Frame Makeover (ok, not so simple, whatever).

I started with this lovely frame I found at a garage sale (imagine that!)

It was gold-gilded and fairly ornate - important for this project (the ornate part). It's nearly impossible to sand something like this down because a) you don't want to sand down the decorative carving and b) it's hard to get in the grooves. As I started sanding, a red color started surfacing. Not sure if it was the original color or if it was mixed in with the gold. It was kind of neat though, but not noticeable enough to leave as is. So I just gave the whole thing a good scrubbing to get the dirt off - there was  lot of that! At the very least, make sure you clean a piece like this (just some sudsy water works fine - make sure to dry it completely before painting, though).

I decided to use the same paint that I painted the coffee cart/table with. It's a nice cream color that I'm really lovin' on these days.  I also knew from the beginning that I wanted to make this a chalkboard/dry erase board, so off to Lowe's I went.  They sell a sheet of dry erase board for a little over $10.  It's a huge piece too! I know that I'll be making more than one of these, so I was glad to have lots left over.  I then bought a quart-sized can of chalkboard paint. This stuff is not cheap - around $15 for the small can. But after using it, it goes a long ways and I'll have plenty for many other projects.

I painted the reverse side of the dry erase board with the chalkboard paint. Now, it can just be taken out of the frame and changed whenever the user decides. So here's a look at the nearly finished project:

The "After" Victorian Frame Makeover - Chalkboard side

The Handmade Flower

A closeup of the framework detail

After the painting was completed, I lightly sanded over the carved details and some of the sides to distress it and bring out some of the features. I then made a flower using muslin, burlap and lace to add to the Shabby Chic look. This flower will also have a long ribbon hanging from it to attach/tie a piece of chalk or dry erase marker to (clever, huh?). I'm still debating on whether to add a few more smaller flowers - I thought this one came out really nice and adds a certain something to the whole thing- what do you think?

The back of the frame is not attractive and I hesitated to post a picture of it, but I wanted you to see the dry erase board:

I had to remove the glazier points from the frame so no one impaled their fingers, but still needed a way to hold the board in. 1/2" staples worked perfect! It would be a small task to open the staples up to flip the board, but I thought "that's what lots of people have to do to change a picture out, right?". So staples it is. But it's in their nice and sturdy now.

And there you have the Victorian Frame Makeover. Simple, yet elegant, no?

This item is also for sale at my etsy shop - talk to you soon!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Project Interruption - Butterflies and Dots

I know I said I would post a picture of the dresser in its sanded stage, but I had to change gears (the dresser project is going to be so large). I found a smaller piece at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago that I had started on before I found my dresser, and tonight I sort of finished it (? not sure if I consider it done yet). Anyways, here is the original piece.

I found it to be unusual - a wall hanging tissue box holder thingy.  Or something like that. It was copyrighted on the back in 1993 - and it looks like art work from 1993. When I bought it, I thought it would be a good piece to "practice" with. 

Here are a couple of other angles:

I suppose the artwork would work for some decors, but just not my taste. So off to sanding I went......

And the finished product....

I like "whimsy" - Mary Engelbreit was great in her day. Her designs always made me happy to look at. This piece does have some structural issues (pretty crooked here and there), but a fun piece nevertheless. I thought it would be cute for a girl's room or someone who just finds this "cute".  Rarely will you see "cute" come from me, but I felt this piece commanded cuteness. Agree?  Afterall, who wants blowing their nose to be serious? lol 

As I said earlier, I'm not sure this is complete. It seems to still need "something" but I don't know what yet. I'll give it another look tomorrow to see what comes to me.

I'm still trying to figure out what the two sections on the bottom would be used for.  I told you this was unusual!  Your comments are ALWAYS welcome!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

As Promised....

I told you yesterday that I would be adding my newest project piece today. So, without further ado, here it is.........

I spent 7 hours today to get the top, and the 3 drawer fronts stripped. My hand is killing me!!! I used an entire can of paint stripper, a scraper, and about 30 sheets of sandpaper. That was a lot more work than I expected. I still have the sides and legs to strip. The drawers are going to need some makeover as the bottoms are pulled away from the frame - I'll have to reinforce them by possibly rebuilding them. I'm going to try some glue and nails first to see if it's enough. These need to be strong for what I have in mind. As for the color scheme, it presented itself to me after I was done sanding for the day. Any ideas on what it's going to be???

I just love this piece. I especially liked the molding, legs and wheels on the bottom:

I promise I'll post pictures this time of what the sanded unit looks like - tomorrow. Have a great night.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Good "Intentions"

A trip to Goodwill landed me in the furniture department. I have a specific piece of furniture I'm looking for with a specific intention in mind. I'm a firm believer in sending "intentions" out to the Universe and then waiting for the results to be discovered.  I actually found this very specific piece of furniture at Goodwill (about 5 days after I sent out my desire), and I can't wait to show you what it looks like - and you'll never believe what it's going to be...... check back tomorrow for the "before".

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The "Coffee Center" Table

In a previous blog, I gave you a picture of a nightstand I was about to re-purpose. It looked like this:

After about four weeks of sanding, planning, designing and painting it now looks like this:

I wanted to give it a new meaning - not just a nightstand. You can place your coffee maker on top of the faux doily and the drawers can now be used to store coffee, filters, condiments, cups, etc.(or you can still put your socks and undies in there if you wish!) . The drawers are lined with a cute coffee motif fabric as well. The doily on the top is, of course, painted on and all the incredible detail shows through.

 This graphic was adapted from a vintage coffee sign

This coffee bean bag is made from burlap and has room to store towels or a couple of magazines (yes, those are coffee beans painted on there)

Here, you can see the detail in the doily - it came out exactly as I hoped it would!

I thought this fabric was super cute and definitely belongs in this piece!

I'm really proud of how this turned out and really like it's new purpose. It still needs some touch-up and a coat of clear sealer. I hope you enjoyed this makeover. This piece is available for purchase.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Little Red Nightstand That Could

Next project on the work bench..... this great little nightstand. Another garage sale find. Sturdy, well made and it's obvious someone else tried to save this little guy with some red paint - major fail..... Any suggestions on a color scheme?

With my cousin arriving here in less than 72 hours (see my post about here remodeled room, it's not going to happen until next week - maybe some special color combo will strike my fancy by then. Stay tuned........

Monday, August 13, 2012

Refinished Jewelry Box

I love paint. Paint, paint, paint! I have oil paints, acrylic paints, latex and enamel paints. I paint in watercolor, black Japanese paint and fabric paint. I just thought I'd point that out since I'm guessing that most of this blog will be about something I painted. Nuff said....

Garage sales and I go waaaaay back. It's more a part of me than the blood running through my veins. I get up early EVERY Saturday to head out and usually end back at home around 4:00pm. It's like a job, only fun. I've been an ebay re-seller for over 13 years and can't see that I"ll ever stop. So I'm always looking for, and finding, some great bargains - though I doubt I'll ever beat this one.

Found this beauty for a buck - uno dinero - one whole dollar

Yuk, right? Let me explain...... I saw the possibilities immediately (I have Superwoman vision when it comes to these things). The wood is solid, the hinges were tight and the piece is fairly heavy - and the drawers are all lined in velvet! It's really quite large as well at 19" tall.  I knew it was old but sheesh! what the heck did someone do to it??? There was this weird punched tin all over it. There was a pirate ship on the top (yes, that's what I said), a sunflower on the side, and roses on the front. What a combo! So I stripped all these tin pieces off (and most were hanging off already as you can see) and then removed all the pretty hardware - which you can't even really see at this point. So down to the bare bones it was....

See? The hardware is AWESOME!

I sanded very little because there really wasn't a lot of paint on this to begin with. Coming up with a color scheme for this was difficult because there soooo many that would have worked with it. But being the simple person I am, I wanted to make it so that it could be used with any decor colors, so neutral it was. Now, I didn't take any pictures of the painting along the way so I'll just show it to you now and explain a little of what I did..... ready???


and after.....
aaaaaaaahhhhhh...... so much more pleasing to look at.

Here are some details close up:

I used rubber stamps on the doors and drawer (no, I didn't draw those myself). I think the two-tone neutral colors work well together. What do you think? This is also available for sale in my etsy shop here:  Sorry but this piece is now SOLD!

I hope you enjoyed this little makeover - stay tuned for "The Little Red Nightstand That Could!"

Thursday, August 2, 2012

In the beginning there was....paint

Thank Heavens for paint!

My cousin called me last week to surprise me with the wonderful news that she's coming to visit me - it's been 25 years since I've seen her. I was looking around the room I had available (currently being occupied by my granddaughter) and thought "What a mess! No rhyme or reason - I think it's time to upgrade to my dream room!" So out came the paint. 

A shoji screen mural is something I thought was required to make "my" room spa/zen-like. I didn't think it would take an entire day and a half to complete though. But I have to admit that I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. (this is the same corner of the room you saw in the picture above)

The entire room needed a nice paint. It was originally a light lavender from the previous owner - 6 years ago.....  even the ceiling.  

This was the corner of the old room by the closet.... not much to say except yuk..

The corner after the mural was painted

And here is the "nearly"completed room - my "Zenspa" Room - catchy, huh? Still have a few accessories to add.

My $10 craiglist dresser with some little odds and ends I found at Goodwill and other things I had - all tucked in the right corner of the room.....

A different angle.....

This last picture was added today, August 15, 2012. I just finished making this Orchid branch using a tutorial I found online There's actually a 7th flower but it's not in the picture - but you get the idea. This is the Computer wall so I'll be looking at these everyday!

The black platform bed was only $95 at Target and I found the perfect black 3-drawer dresser on craigslist for $10! I bought "stick" roll up blinds from Lowes, and bamboo poles at World Market ($20/3) of which I used one as a curtain rod for the natural colored curtains from IKEA ($20 for the pair). I also found the perfect sized nightstand at IKEA and got this great bargain on carpeting for the room at Lowes (The had a 13'x12' remnant JUST cut off the roll that they gave to me for less than half price ($65)! The new fan from Loews was $79 (the blades are brown with black edging - perfect!) The "bed in a bag" is from Walmart ($35), mattress $60 courtesy of craigslist.  We bought way more paint than I needed ($36) but I'm going to use the remaining blue on a nightstand remodel I have going. We also had some in the garage that I used to save some money. All in all, the makeover of this room cost roughly $500 (using a lot of things I already had). I finally have my very own room - and it only took 52 years to get it! I still need another pillow and to hem the curtains. I bought some wood to make a headboard but that will have to wait until my cousin is gone.  I'm thinking of adding some handpainted words on the walls - some clever Buddha saying or "Namaste" or something. But for the most part this room is complete.  Hope you enjoyed this......