Friday, November 29, 2013

The annual trip to Reno

We were in Reno last weekend, it was our usual November trip with the in-laws. There is an Antique Arms show there that Mr. Really Bad (father-in-law) shows at. He is an edged weapons expert. I talked about that in this post.

Anyway, I get bored just thinking about slot machines so Mr. Bad and I took off to Silver City one day, doing some exploring. Silver City is pretty much a ghost town but we found a little antique/steampunk store and spent some time chatting with the natives. I found a couple frames, so I was happy. Plus I went around taking pictures of the dilapidated buildings.

We also went up to Truckee and on the way I checked garage sales on Craigslist from my phone. I couldn't help myself! Honest! And Mr. Bad was cool with it, so we went to an Estate Sale. Wow, is all I can say. Retail prices all the way through. Truckee is a wealthy community so maybe that's why the prices were so high, but it was surprising. I did come away with a cabinet with nice details, so I'm not complaining too loud.

Here I am bundled up in Truckee at the coolest gas station ever.

Between Reno, Silver City and Truckee I came home with some fun things.

More typewriters? A disaster of an old frame, a picture, little table, AWESOME suitcase and the Truckee cabinet.

 I love this frame but it falls apart a little more every time I look at it.

 This will be fun to paint.

 Really fun to paint!

 Can you believe those casters?

Last but not least, this incredible suitcase that my father-in-law gave me!

The following guide is for when/if you are put in a room on the Oncology floor.
If you are put in a dedicated infusion room, well, you lucky dog!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tell me I'm not the only one.

Does everyone pull out the drawers and inspect before they buy a dresser? Look under and behind and in nightstands? Check that doors close easily on cabinets?

Because I do NONE of those things. None. I'm trying to change my habits but I get so EXCITED when I find something I like at a good price. I grab it and run. Then when I get ready to work on it I notice, oh crap, all that veneer is coming off, there's a crack all the way across a panel, 300 nails must be on that edge. Why, oh why did I buy this piece of crap?

Seriously, I'm trying to change. Meanwhile I have some furniture in my storage room that I am sure is keeping deep, dark secrets.

Like this dresser. Cute little thing isn't it?

I don't even have before pictures because I was sure this would be an easy slam dunk. But no.

Someone had previously done major repairs with duct tape. Duct tape! Outside and inside the drawers. Old duct tape is hard to get off. Old duct tape makes me weep.

Somewhere along the line the drawer bottoms slid out of their slots. And someone nailed them that way.

The bottoms on 3 drawers had all-the-way-through gouges from years of dragging across the metal stops.

Oh, it got worse. Somebody put plastic wood in the gaps where the trim didn't meet the corners. I ended up removing the top so I could glue and clamp and mutter under my breath.

So my plan of quickly painting something to take to the booth became a time consuming repair job that I wasn't in the mood for. Because it took me by surprise. I was seriously cranky.

I painted it with milk paint which cheered me up.

I mismatched the knobs which cheered me up even more.

I stenciled. Neutral feelings on that. I wanted to do a raised stencil but was too chicken to push my luck.

And I ended up with a sweet little dresser. It pays to just hunker down and DO IT.

The paint? I used MMS Dried Lavender on the drawers and panels. The trim is CC Caldwell Seattle Mist and an antique white. Two washes of antique white went over everything, followed by clear wax and a very small amount of dark wax.

In Other News: Inspector 19 returned to work in a limited capacity.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

All hail the mighty freezer paper!

There are so many tricks and methods of doing transfers that it's hard to remember them all. At least it is for me. I forgot all about freezer paper! Completely and totally forgot. Then one day I was visiting different blogs and came across a reminder. Oh yeah! Freezer paper!

Freezer paper transfers are great for those of us who need instant gratification. There is no leaving the transfer to dry overnight as with the mod podge method. And anyway, when did I ever let a transfer dry overnight? Never. I always start rubbing the paper off within hours. Hour. I meant to say hour. Maybe 10 minutes with a hair dryer.

So for those who have never heard of a freezer paper transfer and are the impatient type, here's how to do it.

First I did a simple black text transfer - just to refresh myself.

I have had a peeling brown step-stool ladder for a couple years. It has moved from one place in the garage to another. I could never decide what I wanted to do with it. Finally I decided to just keep it simple, but do something!

So I painted it red.

Then I painted it white.

And then I did a transfer.

What you'll need:

inkjet printer, printer paper, freezer paper, tape or glue stick and a
heavy spoon

Trim a piece of freezer paper to the size the printer paper. Trim a little bit more off the top to accommodate the tape. Tape the freezer paper to the regular paper wax side up. Trim any extra tape so you won't have a paper jam. Place in paper tray.

Print your image, remembering to reverse it. You need a mirror image, otherwise your transfer will read backwards.

Trim close to your 'live' area so you can better see what you are doing. Tape or pin the transfer down securely.

Burnish hard with a spoon. Hard.
I'm not kidding.

You can peek under the freezer paper to check your progress. 

And what have we here?

Zebra stripes!

Fixed. If you miss a spot just go back and burnish more.

The finished stool. Simple, shabby and white. So much better than brown!

COLOR TRANSFER - Now the REAL fun begins!

You'll use the same steps for a color transfer, just remember to transfer onto an object that is lighter than your image.
This is what happens when the colors are too close together. It's not
very compelling.

Here, the toy horse pops off the white box even though the horse is white. The black outline saves the day. And notice the reversed transfer paper, although, without words it really doesn't matter if a transfer is
backward or not.

The freezer paper gave better detail to the transfer than I thought it would. There is just the right amount of rusticness (that's not a real word, is it?)
to match the box.

This box was another piece of clutter sitting in my work room waiting, waiting, waiting for an idea to strike. I love when inspiration finally hits!

Even with the horse the box had an unfinished look to it so I decided to add some faded text to the design. Something to anchor the
horse to the box.

I was really careful to make the text unobtrusive. I used a light caramel color and it was perfect.

In person the text shows up perfectly faded. Taking a picture to capture it was a little challenging.


I didn't bother to frame this shot because I thought no way was it going to be successful. Wouldn't you know this is one where the text shows
up the best.

I think it has that 'look what I found stuffed in the wall' look to it.

The text is a poem about an old wooden pull-toy horse - perfect, or what? I used google to translate the poem into French, then I formatted it in a pretty script. When I burnished the text down I was careful not to go over the horse (which showed through the freezer paper, thank goodness). It actually turned out exactly how I wanted it.

Truthfully, I am so pleased with this box that I'm going to gather all my boxes and all my antique toys and do a series.

That's the plan, anyway. Unless I fall asleep.

The finished box.

Linking to:
nifty thrifty things
funky junk interiors
be different act normal
a night owl blog
miss mustard seed
savvy southern style
french country cottage

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Patience or obsession? Three years stalking a table.

A few years ago I happened to notice a really fabulous iron table base with a really ratty table top in a local salvage store. It was love at first sight but I couldn't find a price tag on it. The table was hidden in a far corner holding up a dehumidifier which, of course, was my first clue. I knew the table wasn't for sale but there's no harm in asking. So I went downstairs and talked to the owner, which started a pattern of me asking about the table every time I stopped in there. Lest you think I was a pest, I didn't go in often. Maybe every 6 months or so. Let's just say 'overpriced.'

One day I stopped in and learned the owner was retiring and selling out. So I asked again about that table and this time it WAS for sale and at an incredibly low price. As low prices were unheard of at this particular business, I snapped it up before anyone could change their mind. (The owner had once hunted me down at a neighboring business to tell me a piece I was going to buy was not for sale. It was out in his parking lot sale, for pete's sake. Wha' dya mean, not for sale?) I made my getaway all the while imagining the store owner running down the road, waving his arms.

The first thing I did was replace the ratty top with the super distressed bottom of an old wine barrel. And after much thought, I painted and distressed a celtic knot on top. 

There are the remains of a manufactures label still attached so I googled for info. Well, well, well, turns out these table bases are quite desirable. huh

Look at that amazing texture! 

I found a sheet of teal press board with fabulous water stains at the ReStore. For a long time I had been wanting a background that would suit my industrial stuff. I have a thing for chippy paint and rust on metal furniture and I wanted to experiment with photographs of some of those pieces. The contrast between the paint, the rust and the metal can be so dramatic, especially in black and white. It excites the budding photographer in me.

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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Back in Black

Looking around it seems to me that black is the new black. For such a long time white was the new black, red was the new black, vampires were the new black. For about a minute orange was the new black. I am so glad black has escaped from where-ever they were keeping it, even though there is one more challenger. At some point black is going to have to arm wrestle zombies for dominance. Because zombies are the new black.

This week on Houzz there was a feature on black rooms. Oh goodness, they look so awesome!
I've seen black kitchens out there and I love them. I even looked around my house for a wall that could be painted black but it's not gonna happen. North side of a mountain, you know. I cherish my 15 minutes of natural light when it comes through the livingroom windows. I scramble to get some photos done, running around carrying little tables. Everything has to face the same way, toward the windows. Well, unless I want that mysterious, shadowed look. So if you ever wondered why I always seem to have furniture facing to the right, now you know.

If I were to paint walls black I'm sure we would turn into Incredible Mole People. So I'll paint small stuff. The other day I amused myself by painting a frame black.  I antiqued the mirror and spray mounted a crossword puzzle to the back. It's been a while since I played with mirrors, so it was time.

There isn't a lot of black in our house. I've always felt black is a contemporary color although the rooms pictured above are more traditional. Regardless, around here black = Mole People, so it isn't going to happen. Even small black decorative accessories are scarce around here so when I decided to take some fun pictures I had to scramble to find fun props before the light went away.

Grouping old, black stuff together.....Addams Family? Or a good idea? Maybe as long as one doesn't get carried away and use, say, black candles.....

But when it comes right down to it, the color that makes me giddy when I spy it at a yard sale is green. Old, 1920's green. Be still my heart. Maybe a green wall? Maybe green will be the new black.

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