Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Today's Score - Cancer: 1 Girl: 0

Well, crudnuts in a bucket. I'm flopped sideways on the couch wanting to paint furniture, but laying here seems all I can do right now. I'm facing a new phase. All the new doctors I've seen have been astonished (and more than a little disbelieving) when I tell them I've not had a blood transfusion. Not during my transplant, even. Yay me! But it looks like tomorrow I break my 4 year record and have to do the transfusion thing. I'm a little wigged out.

I'm sure folks who've been through it would pat me on the back and say, there there, but seriously. I am so extremely squeemish that I'm bug-eyed with fear. Phobias have no logic.

postscript: my neighbor just told me that people she's known felt on top of the world after a transfusion.

Okay then, with that, back to furniture.
One more time with feeling

I know, from reading other blogs, that I am not the only one to have second thoughts about a project. Sometimes the warm and fuzzy feeling just doesn't come. I've had projects go into the ugly phase, which they all do, but some never come out of it. There have been times when I've wanted to have "Revert to Saved" or "Undo" work in real life.

I've been working all week on redoing some pieces that I just didn't feel the love for.

Remember my hopeless little table? I really didn't like that sheep. There's primitive - and then there's Paleolithic.

So I fixed it.

We had a mirror in our entry way that I was tiring of quickly. Then I got my card catalog and there was no place for the mirror. It was in the garage a few months so I thought, oh, what the heck. And I grabbed the chalk paint.

I was going after what another blogger called that "Pulled from a french barn after the fire" look. But I keep thinking maybe this mirror needs to be simply distressed white. There might be another redo in the offing. 


My 'over the top' bench needed calmed down some.

I ended up calming it down a lot!

The redo of the century has yet to be done. Ive been procrastinating, but it might be the perfect project right now since I can sit and work. Plus, no heavy lifting. Cool!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cover your eyes! Another Union Jack!

I think I confessed to this obsession early on. I am totally enamored of the Union Jack. (Did I hear someone say "duh"?)

A couple years ago when I lost my hair to chemo, I had an etsy artist make me a cotton headscarf using my favorite image - a watercolor style Union Jack. Lately I've been pondering how to repurpose it. I tried to use it on a vanity bench but I wasn't loving the bench's style. Then I remembered I had this little hooked rug stool, and I thought, hmmmmm.

Easy as pie! I painted the legs brown and sanded them back to show the original metallic gold. I added some foam because the seat was a little hard. To give the scarf more body I applied an iron-on interfacing. It turned out just right.

I attached the fabric to the stool and used jute for the trim and that was that. While I was working I watched a couple episodes of Nate Berkus. :-)

The colors in the scarf are rich and varied. They range from plum to aqua to olive to chocolate and back again.

Finished. All in all, a very pleasant afternoon! And I have another piece of Union Jack furniture. yay

Linking to these creative folks. Go see what they are doing!
somewhat simple
crafty scrappy happy
my 1929 charmer

Who doesn't love Bullwinkle?

Ahhhhh, the simple pleasures.
We have drafty doors. The house is 25 years old and here and there it is showing its age. I've been wanting a Union Jack draft-blocker for ages and didn't want to spend the money (they are a little spendy, if you can even find one) and also, I didn't want to drag my sewing machine into town to get fixed.

Then, out of nowhere came an idea. Make my own using plush animals. NO, wait! Make my own using Rocky and Bullwinkle characters! Brilliant!

It took a few weeks but I finally collected enough plush characters to cover the door jam. I found them on ebay for about $5 each, plus shipping. Not cheap but this is ART, baby, not just a draft-blocker. (snort)

At a thrift shop, much to my surprise, I found a simple draft-blocker to use as my base. It's cuteness made me think I'll try a chicken draft-blocker soon.

I wanted this project to be super easy so I used velcro dots to attach my little characters. They each got a dot on the bum. Snidely was a little scared. He turned green.

I moved them around a few times before I stuck them to the draft-blocker. I didn't want the obvious pairs together. Finally, there it was, my kooky, one of a kind (art, baby) draft-blocker.

It isn't really done yet. Turns out the little velcro dots aren't substantial enough to hold the plush dolls. The heavier ones fall off when I pick it up so I'll look for heavier velcro next time I'm in town.


So, what will be next? Hedgehogs? Chickens? Platypus? Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs? That would be soooo cute! I'm thinking hedgehogs, though. Or Platypus.

Or maybe just a rolled up bath towel, and I'll get back to painting.

Linking up to more creative types:
the trendy treehouse
somewhat simple
crafty scrappy happy
my 1929 charmer

Monday, December 5, 2011

Well, RATS!

Hmmmm, a hitch in my treatment, so I'm going to bore you with what I'll be doing when I'm not painting. Sharing the joy, people, just sharing the joy

As it turned out, the clinical trial I was to join closed suddenly and I'm not doing junking and treatment in Portland after all. It came as a surprise to my doctors. So, now we wait and wonder some more. Sheesh. We've had at least three new drugs disappear off the radar just when it was getting to be my turn. Much as I adore my doctor here in Medford, a new face and new junk in Portland would be nice.

Meanwhile, we're going Old School! Drugs, apparently, go out of fashion sorta like shoes. The hot new ticket comes along and the old perfectly good model is forgotten. Because they've exhausted all the Hot New Drugs, the only choice now is to go back and re-look at some of the old meds that worked perfectly well....back in the day....

And I might lose my hair again - just in time for winter.

So, here's a brief glimpse into what I do when I'm not painting. It's not so bad, really. Lattes are delivered to your chair. What can beat that? The downside is how many hours it takes, every Friday. But again - JUNKING! I hit the thrift stores on the way there or on the way home. Whoo Hoo! When you live as far out of town as I do, any excuse to get to a thrift store is GOOD.

Here's the first step. Suck blood. Usually 4 vials or so.

Then, three or more hours of joy. My Honey bought me a Nook and I use the heck out of it.

The room is shaped like the Bridge of the Starship Enterprise.

YIKES! Paint and stain on my fingers. Oh well, what can I say? I'm BUSY.

I'm one of the lucky ones - only a few hours a week. Some folks have to do 8 hours, several days a week.
But really, who wouldn't rather be painting?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Vintage school chair fun!

I have a zillion vintage and antique children's chairs from when that was my obsession and many of them are school chairs. So, I grabbed one of them and got my flat black spray paint and I was off! Whoo hoo, playing with kid's chairs! They are so much fun.

Here's what I did.
 I'm on a nursery rhyme roll.

 Who doesn't love a little lamb?

And the pair:

Missing my junking partner

Last week I lost my junking partner to old age. He went on all junking expeditions with me. (He had exceptional taste.) Well, he actually went almost everywhere with me. His leaving has left a huge emptiness in our home.

Miss you, buddy.

The reward for hard work is hard work

I get my booth at the antique mall on Thursday! There is soooo much work left to do. I have to make a sign. I have to make my hang tags. I have to finish painting a couple things. I have to figure out prices for new things.

Since I didn't have a clue how I was going to set up, and I didn't want to stand in front of an empty booth, dumbstruck, I decided to stage my booth in the garage. Using a buffet as the back, I taped off the dimensions and started hauling furniture out there.
 My creative neighbor and her creative daughter came by and helped figure out the best arrangement. Then, after a lot of 'No, put it here' and 'Ewww, let's move that', we got the first rendition of the booth done. Without walls, of course, but still.

This is the hypothetical left side of the booth.

Do you see the new chair?

And the right side. I have lots of antique mirrors to hang, as well as Christmas bling, so the wall won't be the blank spot you see here.

Closer. This is so "before." Before polishing, before ironing, before painting (the vanity).

So, there's your sneak preview. If you are close to Medford, Oregon on Thursday, come see my progress at American Mercantile. I won't make you work. Honest.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Some fun with Chalkboard Paint

I have 2 of these antique school desks that I used as nightstands in the guest room. Since the guest room is now my work room and we have the Giant Wall of Murphy Bed, I haven't needed them. This one doesn't have its original seat so I thought, hmmmmm. I've wanted to do this 1st-grade-primer-look on a childrens' school chair for ages but never got to it. So I thought it would be perfect on this desk and I could make a chalkboard out of the top. The back and the seat are flat black paint to match, but sprayed with a flat sealer coat. I did the lettering with a seamstress pencil because chalk didn't work, but I really wanted that chalk look. This was an absolutely, totally fun project. Now I'm going to do more - I have 4 old school chairs in my storage room. FUN!

I am crazy excited to do a series now. Geez, the work just piles up!

Linking up to these fun creative types:
crafty scrappy happy
chic on a shoestring decorating  
a diamond in the stuff.
diy by design

Friday, November 11, 2011

On the bright side!

Besides chalk paint, besides BIG pieces of furniture, there are these whimsical, crazy pieces that aren't getting much attention lately. The bright colors and patterns are the result of me channeling Alice in Wonderland and especially the White Rabbit. The White Rabbit is my muse. You should see my house - there are white rabbits everywhere. yikes

This is my Circus Box. I did this one for myself but as my house filled up with painted furniture
I had to
make hard choices. This is now on etsy.



This stool had 700 layers of old scary paint. It was nasty.


and after:

My Pin Up Girl bench is unlike anything else I've done. Va Va Va Voom!


 and after:

Check out the fabric:

My little coffee bean shaped bench was done for charity.



and after. A terrible picture but you get the idea.

and finally, for today, my wacky doll highchair. (That is used as a plant stand.)



and after:


The crazy fabric was designed by Jay McCarroll, the very first Project Runway winner!
Check it out: