Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chicken wire frames

So here's my take on a fun tutorial.  A few people down at Persnickety's  have mentioned that they would like some card holders/displays now that the holidays are approaching.  So my girl Mandi and I thought, hey, we have some empty frames hanging out, why not try the whole chicken wire thing and see how that goes.  She supplied some frames and the chicken wire, I did the following....
First I put out a little "poll" on my fb page, asking what colors people would be interested in if I were to venture down this path.  I got a bunch of great responses and started painting away.  The one I started with was a Christmas themed was white to begin with, and I decided to tape it off so I could add some stripes.
Some cute red and green stripes to be specific.  Now I will say there was no rhyme or reason to my stripes, just kinda taped at random intervals.
Once it was all dried I pulled the tape off, did a light sanding and did a coat of wax to seal it (and all the other frames I painted) up.  When all my frames were done I headed out to the garage to start cutting the wire.  When you buy chicken wire it's all shiny and new, and that's not really the look I was going for.
See, shiny, new wire, doesn't really go well with cute distressed frames.
There are actually 2 steps to this process, but I only used 1 of the 2 products.  The "antiquer" instantly turns the wire black, which is helpful so you can see where you've applied it and where you haven't.  It doesn't stay black, as it dries, it turns a cool vintagey wire color.
I forgot to mention that before you apply this you should have cut your wire from the roll, if you bought a roll.  I didn't really measure mine, I just laid it out and cut maybe a half inch wider than what I thought I would need, just in case.  Once the wire was dry I grabbed my staple gun and started stapling away.  Again, no rhyme or reason, just where I thought it looked like it needed it.
I will say that after my first (failed) attempt at this I learned that you need to staple on the outside of the frame.  Otherwise this happens...
If you try to staple on the inside of the frame, the staples go all the way through.  Then you curse yourself and get really frustrated and may throw something....
Plus I discovered that the inside edge doesn't really provide a lot of room for cleaning up your wire.  So remember, OUTSIDE edge of the frame :)
Once you get everything stapled into place you'll probably have something that looks like this..
What I opted to do was take my handy wire snippers, trim the ones that were really long and then twist the others around the staples just to give it that added oomph, to keep it in place.

Then it looks a little more finished, and you can worry less about all that stapling being in vain.  So what I learned was DO NOT staple on the inside edge of the frame, antique your wire for a "cooler" vintage look, trim and twist your wire, and then sit back and enjoy your finished work!!
Since today is Thanksgiving, I grabbed some of my 1st grader's turkey and owl artwork and clipped them on with clothespins.
Same artwork, just a larger frame I did.  How cute would this be with all those great Christmas cards that will start rolling in soon??
Or a smaller frame for your earrings or jewelry?
I did 6 of these frames in total, varying colors and sizes, all heading down to Persnickety's for the Holiday Open House on Saturday.  If you're local you should come check it out 11-7.  LOTS of goodies like these, and SO many more!!
Hope you all enjoy the upcoming holidays!!
I was featured...
Four Marrs & One Venus

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My schizophrenic project

I've had some serious inner dialogue going while working on this project, but most of it I can't print.  This dresser was a major test for me.  I wish I could say this was the first time I had to strip the paint off of something before I could start putting "my touches" on it.  But that's not the case.  Working on Alfred basically made me a professional furniture stripper, or at least I thought so.  But this sucker had nothing on Alfred.  I couldn't even name this dresser, because all the names I came up with consisted of 4 letters, and while I generally appreciate a good potty mouth, I will keep it clean. 
I found this dresser on Craigslist. 
Has such a great shape, awesome original hardware, and CASTERS!!
That's right, CASTERS!!  Good old wooden ones, attached by rusty old metal.  I love anything with casters.  So when my hubs picked this up and brought it home for me AND it had casters I was sooooo excited!
From it's before picture, it actually doesn't look too bad.  What you can't see up close is that the paint is about 4 inches thick, splattered, and bubbly, everywhere.  Once again I foolishly thought I could just sand it down and get to work.  And once again I was wrong.  Oh, so very wrong.  If my last project was painted with the devil's paintbrush, then I'm pretty sure this dresser was painted by every single member of Hell, twice!
So out came the stripper.....again!
It took me 4 flipping days to strip all the paint off of the top, sides, and 3 drawers.  Granted they weren't 12 hour days by any stretch.  But I learned that my fingers will only let me strip furniture for about 4 and a half hours straight before just giving out.  I almost cried when I got all the paint off this sucker!
Ok this is a really bad picture, but I was so excited to get the paint off, that I had to hurry up and take a picture before I grabbed the paint brush.  There were 4 coats of paint on this thing, and under all that crazy thick paint were some dings and owies that I didn't expect.  So before I could paint I had to attempt to fill in some of the dings, and give it a good all over sanding. Then I could paint...
There's lots of cute grey stuff going on down at Persnickety's, and I didn't want to be left out, so I jumped on the grey bandwagon.
But I also wanted to put my own spin on it.  So I attempted ombre drawers.  Then I got really schizophrenic and distressed the heck out of it, oh and tried using dark wax for the very first time too.  So there's definitely a lot going on, but after all that hard work I think it turned out pretty great.  For those of you looking for the specifics all the colors I used were custom mixed up by me, turned chalk paint.  Then of course I sealed it all up with 2 coats of wax.
  I also added some super cute clear knobs to the top drawer, the knobs it came with where boring icky plastic ones.  But the other 2 drawers had awesome giant knobs that were original that I actually love.  Besides the casters, the humongous knobs are my favorite thing! 
Dropped this dresser off at Persnickety's this afternoon, go check it out. 
 I am focusing on little stuff for the awesome open house next weekend the watch for a possible tutorial on something fun, I swear.... and here are the rest of the pictures I know you're dying to see :)



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's in a name?

So I had a blog all planned about creative storage solutions, but that would require downloading and editing photos and truth be told I'm beat from another day of stripping paint off of a demon dresser. 
Instead I thought I'd talk about how my business/blog got it's name.  Some bloggers have names that describe their style like The Modern Cottage Company.  Alison at MCC likes the blend of modern in her color choices applied to a "cottage" style.  She does amazing work, is a huge inspiration to me, and someone I actually know, and not just cyber-stalk.  Then there's the AMAZING Miss Mustard Seed.  Her name comes from biblical inspiration and I am a HUGE fan of hers!!  She has her own brand of milk paint, and even just released a book, which is going on my Christmas list.  I read her blog and follow her on fb, and pretty sure I would freak out and cry if I ever met her.  Another local (to me) blogger is Rachel at Holy Craft.  To me her name is great, tells you that she's crafty and she has a sense of humor!  I met her at Persnickety's and instantly started following her awesome blog and fb page.  She gives you all kinds of tips and tricks, does tutorials on amazing hand crafts, and is generally just pretty cool!  And speaking of Persnickety's I couldn't possibly leave her out.  Such a fun name right?  Who doesn't smile when they say Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium?  It's a spin on a family business handed down to my friend Mandi.  What was once Persnickety Gifts, is now the awesomeness I LOVE! 
That's where my story begins (kind of).  When all of this was just beginning and Mandi asked me if I would bring stuff to her shop she mentioned that I should come up with a name for myself.  A way for her to know who's pieces and handcrafts belonged to whom.  Hmm.....I had no clue, not a single thought in my head about what to call myself.  Mandi says "Ooh, ooh, you should totally call yourself Good one, Den!"  I instantly start laughing and say somewhat hesitantly "OK".  The more I think about it and say it out loud, the more I like it.  But there's a back story.  I should put this disclaimer out there though....I occasionally think I'm pretty funny, and I either have really nice friends who laugh along to be courteous, or great friends who think I'm funny too.  I really only believe the latter, but you never know right :)
The last time I worked a full-time job outside of the home was 10 (long) years ago.  I was pregnant with my oldest son, worked in accounting and begrudgingly drove from Puyallup to Kirkland EVERY day.  The drive was awful, really, really awful.  For those of you from WA and familiar with the number of freeways I had to travel (4, sometimes 5) can sympathize I'm sure.  For those of you not familiar with the area, trust me, it was BAD!  So most of the time I could entertain myself with music or coming up with excuses to tell the police officer that would pull me over for illegally being in the carpool lane, "uh, I'm going into early labor", "my water just broke", "I gotta pee".  I never actually got in the carpool lane, OK, maybe just once, and I really did have to pee.  I also had all kinds of food in my car.  When you're pregnant you're hungry ALL the time, so that provided distraction as well.  But back to the story. 
One particularly bad drive home I was stuck in crazy stopped traffic.  Completely stopped.  For at least a half hour.  Who knows, could've been more, could've been less.  I was annoyed with my CD selection, out of make-believe excuses, and my box of triscuits were empty.  So I started making up conversations for the people also stuck in traffic around me.  Now I should say I also believe in "car karma".  If you put your signal on and want to get over and don't try to cut me off, I'm totally letting you over.  Cause hopefully someone will do the same for me.  So while I'm having these conversations someone in front of me puts on their signal.  I don't make a move, letting the cars in front of me inch ahead and trying to make room for the car to get over.  Suddenly, traffic starts to move and there are at least 3 or 4 car lengths of space in front of me, but my "friend" hasn't gotten over yet.  So I look over and this guy is looking at me, I smile and nod letting him know he can get over.  Not exactly sure how it all went down without causing any major accidents or more back ups, but I swear he straddled the center line and took at least 20 minutes to get over, geesh! So I say to myself, "Took ya forever to get over.  What were you waiting for an invitation, or were you hoping to get it engraved??"  Not super funny, I admit, but I follow that sentence up with(still to myself of course) "Good one, Den!"  And I gave myself a high five.  Yep!  A self five!  Then I crack up at how completely insane I sound and must look!  Because a) I'm talking to myself like it's a normal occurrence, b) I'm referring to myself in the 3rd person, and c) I called myself Den, not Denniel. I admit the story is a little anti-climactic, but when I later retold the story on myself to not only my husband, but also to Mandi, they died laughing at my idiocy.  Now the story lives in infamy.  Any time I do or say something stupid and one of them is around I get a "Good one, Den", self five included.  And when I'm being a complete dork, I'll say it yet again to myself :) 
Now you too are privy at how dorky I am, and I hope you at least got a chuckle out my silliness.
These are the first tags I made for the shop.  I even gave it a "high-five" sticker :)
Where did your blog name come from?  What inspires you?