Friday, June 21, 2013

Oh, this old thing .... had it forever ... found it in a barn after a fire

I painted this kitchen stool while Mr. Bad Rabbit was gone for a couple days. When he got home he was amazed that it was freshly painted. That, my friends, is the wonder of Milk Paint.

You can have a smooth finish or a primitive finish. Or both.

I didn't use the MMS Hemp Oil or the Bonding Agent on either of these projects. With experience you can tell by the finish on the piece of furniture how the paint will react.

That nasty finish on 80's honey oak furniture will repel even Bonding Agent so expect to sand the bejeezuz out of those things. Early on, I had the paint peel off in strips and learned an expensive lesson. Luckily, most 80's honey oak furniture is too unattractive to even consider painting so it's not an issue.

This stool had that nasty finish at one time, but most of it had long been rubbed off. I knew I would have good adhesion over most of the stool but chippy-crackly in spots. It was what I wanted so I went for it.

I started with one coat of Luckett's Green, then added random blotches of Mustard Seed Yellow, Flow Blue and Kitchen Scale. Then I did a wash of Luckett's Green over the entire piece.

I left it alone overnight and in the morning I had cracks, chips and smooth areas, exactly as I'd hoped. I did a really, really light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and then put on a thin layer of clear wax.

 Here you can see yellow and blue peeking through.

Lastly, I applied the Antiquing Wax. The AMAZING Antiquing Wax. It is so unbelievably awesome! I pushed it into the crevises with a tiny stiff brush and wiped off the excess. Perfection. I couldn't be happier.

I left the dark wax a little heavy in corners where dirt would naturally build up.

The two faces of Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint.

Linking to:
miss mustard seed
finding fabulous
its overflowing
the dedicated house

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A room with a view

Or: What a weird place to design painted furniture.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

I was cleaning off my old laptop and ran across some pictures that I'd kinda forgotten about. They were from 4 years ago this month when I had my bone marrow transplant. It started me wondering if I should do a post
about that experience.

Should I or shouldn't I? Should I or shouldn't I?

Monday I was chatting with a fellow patient as we waited for our infusions and she was clearly bald under her neon green and all blinged-out hat. She told me the hat made her approachable and everyday people came up to her asking questions. They were frightened and with her bubbly personality she was able to ease their minds.

Well, I don't have a neon green hat but I have a blog with some neon green in it! I started this blog to share what being positive and engaged in life has done for me in my battle against cancer, in hopes of inspiring others. Maybe it's time to get down to it and speak frankly about
getting a bone marrow transplant.

First, it was anti-climatic and that in itself might help someone, somewhere feel a little less fear. Really, it was not even close to what I had pictured in my mind...
So here goes; the story of how I went from this:

to this:
in just two short weeks.

Imagine going to the doctor because you think you've severely pulled a muscle. Instead of saying 'Here's a prescription, you'll be just fine,' the doctor says you have incurable bone marrow cancer.

As you climb back up off the floor you say "I'm sorry, for a second I thought you said INCURABLE bone marrow cancer."

My life took a sharp left turn when I'd planned on going straight ahead. I was sent to an oncologist who immediately sent me down the hall for a bone marrow biopsy. I knew how horrible those were! Mr. Bad was out of town so I was facing it alone. I was shaking so badly my legs were bouncing around in my boots.

I was literally shaking in my boots!

Many icky things (24 hour urine test) and very few painful things (again with the bone marrow biopsy) followed until I was stable enough to travel to Portland for a transplant.

Step one was gathering my stem cells since I was going to be my own donor. Step One of Step One was giving me a series of shots in the belly that gave me lower back pain bad enough to make me whimper. The purpose was to collect my stem cells into one area for easy harvest.

The actual stem cell collecting process was easy. The only scary part was before hand, when they told me to drink lots of water - that they needed me really hydrated. Then as I was being taken to my room, they said the process would take 4 hours during which I wouldn't be able to use the bathroom. Seriously? NOW I was scared.

Here I am, all hooked up and settled in for 4 hours.
There were no 'accidents' or bed pans. The process was like a transfusion but they "spun" my stem cells out and put back the remaining blood. It was a big loop - out one arm, through the machine, in the other arm. They showed me the bag of stem cells because they were so excited about how bright and healthy they were.

I'm squeamish.
It looked like a bag of orange fish eggs when I took a fast peek.
Exhibit "A"

About a week later we were back in Portland for the transplant.

 I got a room with a view! (Actually, at OHSU all the rooms have a view)

Settled in doing, guess what? Designing furniture go-bys! I actually used them to paint furniture when I got home. I am a dedicated furniture painter, hear me roar!

Mr. Bad Rabbit was able to stay with me the whole time. He uhhh, customized the TV so he could play xbox and not get bored.

They provide a comfy bed for advocates. snort

I received heavy duty chemo for about 3 days and had my barf-bucket close at hand. The nurses cut my hair down to about an inch when it started falling out. Mostly I slept. And slept. I'm told that I sounded pretty loopy
over the phone.

A spoon full of sugar ......

Then it was time for my transplant. The heavy chemo had done it's job and we were hopefully starting with a clean slate.

Yep, it was exciting. I slept, a doctor stood looking at a monitor and a nurse looked at me.

 Here's an action shot. I think the nurse bent over to check a tube.
See my green bucket? Never out of arms reach.

Then one morning I woke up looking like this:
ACK! Crimminy, what am I going to do about that? Call my friend Lisa, that's what! And while Mr. Bad was out running errands Lisa got busy on my hair.

 Doing what?

She dyed it green. And I look like a crazy woman.

Mr. Bad Rabbit came back and thought it was cute!

After that I stayed in the hospital until most of the rejection danger was over. It was days of sleeping, being herded around the unit, pushing our IV stands, for exercise and working on my laptop. There was that one exciting time when I caught my robe in the treadmill and accidentally hit the high speed button in my attempt to untangle. Yup, that was a good one. I didn't even rip IV's out in my mad escape. It was a miracle. :-)

We then moved into an extended stay hotel and took walks. I had to wear the platypus mask always. With my scarf, mask and sunglasses I only startled two people. Go Portland! Honor diversity!

After a week of daily aftercare we got to go home. YAY! It had been three weeks, which I was told, was an exceptionally short time.


A few weeks later I returned to work with an inconvenient pict line hanging out of my arm and a brand new hair style.
Check out the name plaque the guys made for me.

My transplant worked for about four months and I was back on chemo. We
knew it might not work, but one has to try.

In short, it wasn't a horrible experience at all. My advise if this is in your future, believe them when they tell you not to bring PJ's you love or your favorite blanket. You won't be able to look at them afterwards without thinking about the hospital. Same with broccoli. In fact, don't order broccoli while in the hospital for chemo. You'll be grabbing that bucket so fast ......

I hope I took some fear of the unknown away of someone. Please share this with anyone you know who is facing something that scares them. Things aren't as bad as we build them up in our mind.

And tell them NOT to look up anything on the internet. I would be dead 27 times already if I'd done that.

Instead? Yup, you got it.

REMEMBER: You can purchase
the little hopping bunny here at Forest
Blue Factory.

Linking to:
my uncommon slice of suburbia
finding fabulous
my repurposed life
shabby nest
its overflowing
the dedicated house
be different act normal
someday crafts

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My funky little red cabinet

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paints come in wonderful colors and they have the most fun names! This little pie-safe-thingy was painted in Tricycle. Isn't that the best name for a red? The black is called Typewriter. The light gray is Grainsack. One of my responsibilities back when I worked at the Big Corporation was to help name roses. In a committee. I shudder at the memory. I would so rather be a party of one naming paint.

The Tricycle pie cabinet:
I whitewashed some laminate flooring that I stumbled upon at a yard sale. I'm thinking about painting my other flooring dark brown for a barn wood look. I seriously don't care for the golden oak color it is now. That particular stain will always remind me of the 80s.

 I left the back of the doors and inside the cabinet as I found them. I experimented with white paper before I committed to paint and it looked goofy. Not to mention the moire effect that would drive anyone wild.

 I used wet scrub pads to do the light distressing. So easy!

 Old mirrors make reflections into works of art. I might do a photo collection - I sure have enough mirrors for it. As well as a lot of collectibles.

Empty. And look! I bought a fake antique horse! (I posted about my search for a real antique horse here.) I'm an obsessive geek and HAD to have one. Now. And even though I bought it off Ruby Lane I knew it was fake. I mean seriously. The horse is super shiny and after 100 years it still has all the wheels? Back to the pie-safe; it looks soooo much better not white inside.

Still Life with Firkin. I didn't know what a firkin was. Never heard the term before. I got the rundown from the seller at a sale and I'll never call them little wood buckets again. :-)


REMEMBER: You can purchase
the little hopping bunny here at Forest
Blue Factory.

Please join me as I link to:
the dedicated house
my uncommon slice of suburbia
miss mustard seed
funky junk interiors

Friday, June 14, 2013

MMS Milk Paint

Yay! Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint is in Southern Oregon!

I've used Milk Paint for a few years so I'm used to the cracking but now I'm learning how to use the Bonding Agent and the FABULOUS waxes. I love the wax. There is no odor. I can wax in the house without feeling guilty.

For this little wash stand I used Kitchen Scale mixed with Shutter Gray, and Linen. And, of course, both clear and dark waxes.

Inspector 19 giving the cabinet the once-over.

Love the light.

Normally I let Milk Paint do what it's going to do but this time I used Bonding Agent. I used Vaseline as a resist but I wasn't sure what would happen with the combo of the two.

It was a surprise.

I might tweek the distressing some more. I dunno, I guess I'll sleep on it and see how I feel tomorrow. And I might change the knob. It's so much easier to critique a piece when I have a photo. So I'll stare at this for a while and then take a break until morning.

What will I do? It'll be a surprise.

Friday, June 7, 2013

What I did on a blistering hot day

I thought I was building a better stool. Mr. Bad Rabbit thought I was building a death trap. I'm still not sure he's right but I changed my plans anyway.

I had this stool.
Ugly boring stool.

And I had a pouf.

Cute Union Jack pouf.

I thought I'd attach the pouf to the stool, put casters on the legs and have a fun Union Jack stool. That's where Mr. Bad weighed in with the whole 'death trap' thing. He was convinced the stool would go flying out from under whomever tried to sit on it, resulting in a broken tail bone for the poor unfortunate. Huh. Can't say I thought of that. But really? Would that happen?


I had this other stool. A stumpy version of the first one. It would have to do.

I painted it red and put black caps on the legs. I went back and forth between ivory and red and red won out.

The tips are to protect the hardwood floors I don't have.

I didn't want to attach the pouf permanently to the stool, so glue was out of the question. There were holes in the seat so I thought, hmmmmm, and decided to sew the two together.

I marked where the holes lined up with the pouf with a sharpie
and got going.

I lined everything up and using an upholstery needle and carpet thread I started wishing I had just glued the damn thing.

I went all the way around doing as many passes as I could with each
pair of holes.

I cut the thread long so it wouldn't pull through as I moved around the stool. I actually did that after I pulled my first stitches out and was done cussing.

I pulled all the threads tight after I was done and tied them off.

 I can't trust my knot tying skills so I globbed on some hot glue.

And painted it red so it wouldn't show. You can't see it, right? Because it looks kinda disgusting.

Flip it over, add a bear, and

I have my OSHA approved Union Jack stool!