Friday, March 27, 2015

The little blue toy table

Yes, yes, I AM taking a break, as I said in my last post. This is one of those random posts.

First off, I realize that people are assuming that cancer is the reason for me taking down time. Oh no, it's much worse than that. I was in a car crash and broke my femur. Later I'll write a post about my 15 fun-filled days in the hospital and how I've grown to love my walker. And my Grabber - one of man's greatest inventions! Who knew?

Meanwhile, let's look at furniture. I can only work on small things now, so I decided to put a transfer on this little table. This table really was found in pieces at the back of a barn. My barn. I ran across it when I was looking for hardware and looking in all the boxes. There it was, legs taken off, one leg broke in two. I have no idea where it came from or when.

There is no before picture...... again. But you can pretty much see what it looked like pre-transfer.....

because I didn't sand or paint the table. After I fixed the broken leg and put the table together, I thought it looked perfect as it was. So authentic!


We lovers of milk paint strive hard to get this patina.

 I love how the paint has chipped away to show old paint colors and two colors of wood.

Here we have the finished table with the transfer.

The chippy paint texture showed right through.

Even big areas showed through.

My learning-curve moment.
I spent a bunch of time with colored pencils pumping up the red in the spring horse, and deepening the shadows. Then when I applied clear wax all that work wiped away. I decided to just let it go. The horse would just have to be as it was.
However, not wanting that to happen again, I got online to my favorite art website, Dick Blick, and ordered oil-based colored pencils. I'm hoping that's the answer.......

The image is my own photography. i sell digital downloads of my images, some of which can be seen on etsy.

 Folded down neatly.

So the new table joins the other little blue tables that I can't seem to part with.

What to do, what to do....... I think the one in the far left of the photo will be the one I keep. I painted it a few years ago and couldn't bring myself to sell it. Since then whenever I approach it with a tag I get the screaming heeby-geebies and can't do it. Although I occasionally have it on etsy at some ridiculously high price that no one would pay. They would have to love the table as much as I do.

I have a couple more little tables coming up.

Linking to:
shabby nest
miss mustard seed
french country cottage

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The tri-color dresser comes to life

Remember this Photoshop mock-up?

Here it is in real-life, painted and ready to go.

I truly think I would have been painting and repainting if I
hadn't made all my color mistakes on the computer.

Now here's my mock-up of its little buddy.

And below is the real thing.

Who can resist a matching nightstand?

•   •   •   •   •

After procrastinating for over a year, I finally have these two out of the garage and ready to go to my booth at Collector's Market. Oh how I love seeing some new empty space in the garage. Even though I tend to fill it really fast. Infact that reminds me - I haven't looked at Craigslist yet today.

So cute together.

You can really see the change in light here. I took these pictures over the course of two days and the sun finally hit during this shot.

Normally I tell what paint I used but this time it was such a hodge-podge of custom mixes, paint samples, black washes, black glaze, pewter glaze, spray paint and heavy sighs that it wears me out thinking where to start. So let's just say I used it all. Everything within grasp. And if it wasn't right, i mixed it together. Acrylic, chalk, faux chalk, latex, you name it, it all got mixed together.
I showed no respect.

I spray painted the pulls with a dark gray primer and covered that with a clear matte poly spray.

I let the brush strokes show so they could catch the glaze and washes to add some texture.

At one point I ran out of black paint so we drove down to a local hardware store where I knew they mixed paint. The color chips only went to a dark graphite which the sales associate assured us was really black. I was skeptical. He mixed it and added extra black but it just looked gray to me. I found a can of Rustoleam black decor paint and went back to see how the mixing was going. Sure looked gray to me. He assured me it would dry to black. Hrumph. It's been two weeks and it's still gray. It will always be gray. How can a paint company not have black?

Really, to top it off, it's a very unattractive gray. Thank goodness for my can of decor paint.

Here's the finished dresser.

And its trusty sidekick.

•   •   •   •   •

A friend of mine, when she saw these pieces, said the style looks like a cross between Industrial and Vintage. Huh, I hadn't thought of that.

Mr. Bad gets home tomorrow so we'll load everything up and get it moved to my booth. Another day of moving furniture! Can't wait!

•    •    •    •    •

Sharing with:
shabby nest
miss mustard seed
french country cottage

Friday, February 6, 2015

Using Photoshop to problem solve.

I thought I'd share my solution to confounding paint dilemas. Sometimes I look at a piece of furniture and think, "Well, there's about a 100 ways I can approach this. Where do I start?"

I've just started working on a dresser that has been in the garage for over a year. It has a matching nightstand and they both have a lot of Art Deco/mid-century detail.


But I procrastinated. I had this idea that I would strip areas and paint others to have a pretty white-and-stain look. But since I hate stripping furniture, I never got started. Until about a week ago. I stripped the areas I wanted stained and discovered to my horror that every kind of wood had been used to make this dresser and the fake pecan finish had hidden it completely. The nerve!

So I gave it a shot but each type of wood took the stain differently and with a gigantic sigh I was on to Plan B, what ever it was.

I have a system for figuring out color-ways on complex pieces of furniture, using PhotoShop. It keeps me from diving into something with wild abandon only to repaint when a clearer mind prevails. 

Here's how that works. Or doesn't work.

{Maybe, but this is a manly dresser.}

It's a chance to get the crazy ideas out of the way. It's also a chance to happen across something to save for a different, more appropriate, piece of furniture.

 {Too dark}


 Winner! This is what I decided to do.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

If I'm painting something for someone else it really helps to be able to email comps.


 {Mustard on your elk, anyone?}

{Dated before it began}

This is the final painted desk, ready to go.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •


 {The requisite bad idea}

 {Metallic. I'll save this idea for later}

 {I like!}

This is the final painted desk. It's pretty darn close to the mock-up.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

I don't have all the versions I did for Walter the Clock but believe me there were many!

 This was the final Photoshop mock-up I did, from here I winged it.

 Ahhhh Walter, I miss you, clock.

Stay tuned to see if that dresser ends up looking anything like the mock-up!

Sharing with
miss mustard seed
shabby nest
the dedicated house
mod vintage life
my uncommon slice of suburbia
home stories a to z
elizabeth and co

Friday, January 23, 2015

make-over #2 for a little washstand plus a little more .....

I've been ambivalent about writing posts lately, ever since my blog ran away with me helpless on its back. Didn't feel like getting on that horse again. Some of you may have seen it - suddenly Blogger posted all my drafts. There they were, half thoughts, typos and bad ideas, posted for the world to see. It happened as I was trying to figure out how to change labels and delete some of them. Well, whoops already. It got away from me. Blogger couldn't have made it more convoluted if they tried.

I lost hours of work. I was bitter. I was eyeballing Facebook with new regard.

But here I am, back because I can't hold a grudge. Plus I want to show my childs washstand in its newest revamping.

I was searching through Graphics Fairy, looking for an image for a totally different project, when I came across this one. I was pondering how I could use it when I looked up and saw the little washstand across the room, and thought AHA.

Now the washstand has a bit of European flare.

This is one of the prettiest images I've seen on Graphics Fairy.

I took the oval from the original image and used it for the drawer.

 The graphics aren't this bright in real-life, The image of the single door panel, above, is the best representation. Now I am wrestling with whether or not I should put something in the side panels.

I'll give it another day then I'll decide about the side panels. After that, it's for sale. As always, I wish I had space for it, it's always been one of my favorites.


I knew I'd do it. I couldn't stand looking at those blank panels. But before I did anything I did some research on Swedish antiques and French antiques to make sure the side panels were painted. They were so I did.

I think the decorated side panels add a lot to the piece. Not to mention, I feel better about it.

 The side image is from the 'landscape' catagory on Graphics Fairy.

 I decoupaged the images onto the cabinet and rubbed a little too hard here. I hardly ever decoupage so I thought one boo-booed panel out of 7 was pretty good.

After my fix: It's not perfect but it's better. I should have thought to fix it before I put the top coats on. Oh well, next time. My quick fix when I rub part of an image off is to fill it in with colored pencils. It works a lot better if you aren't trying to color slippery top coat! LOL

NOW, it's for sale.