Wednesday, May 30, 2012

On the (little)Road

So...I haven't had a chance to work on any furniture pieces this week for one reason or another.  Maybe I just needed a breather after all the stuff I did get done last week.  But I do have something kind of exciting going on this week.  And I mean besides the multiple birthday celebrations for my almost 7 year old :)
My sister in law is the owner and creative genius behind The Little Road Said Go! and has graciously asked me if I could make some of my monsters for her upcoming Farmer's Market opening.  So "Scary Gary" is taking a road trip.  He told me he's being brave and looking forward to making new friends.  And I'm sending "Scary Mary" with him, just in case he gets lonely in the car ride.

Aren't they the cutest pair of monsters you've ever seen.  You can still pick them up at Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium too!  But I'm excited that I have a chance to grow my tiny business and see where this all takes me!  Remember to become a follower and find out where I might go next!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hold Please!

I saved the best for last!  For those of you who are my fb friends you probably remember me posting a pic like this last week.  I also got this one while hitting the community garage sale and knew I had to have it!  Look at how great this secretary is, and oh so functional!!

The lady that I bought it from said she originally bought it at an antique store in Yakima, WA.  I'm not educated enough on the subject to determine if it's a real antique or not, but it is in really great shape!  In the pictures it looks like a nice dark wood, so I initially thought, hmm, maybe I can just sand this and re-stain or wax it.  But while I was sanding I learned that this was either really old stain or paint.  And after repeated sanding to remove all of whatever it was I decided I would be painting instead.  Could've taken me days to get it back to it's original wooded glory.  So you guessed it, off to the stash of hoarded paints.  Truth be told I started painting this before the table I refinished and posted about earlier this week.  I used the Dutch Boy Chanson Bleu(with the possible mixed in other color that I can't remember).  It went on the desk so smoothly that's when I decided to put it on the other table.  But back to the dresser.
I decided I should leave at least part of this wood.  So I re-sanded the top and just did a wipe on wax to seal it.  After the outside dried it's two coats of paint I knew I wanted to paint the inside desk part with chalkboard paint.  How cool would it be to scribble on the desk while doing homework, maybe help figure out that math problem.
I will confess I am not usually a huge fan of anything brass, not new brass anyhow, like the builder grade door knobs a lot of us have in our houses.  Or the shiny brass hardware that came with this piece.  BUT...having an affair with original hardware lately I thought I'd put it back on and see how I felt.  To me it looks like cute little buttons on a shirt and I thought it fit perfectly with the color.  However, my feelings won't be hurt if you buy this piece and switch the hardware to something else.  The beauty of "taste" is that it's subjective and everyone likes different things!!

So here it is in all it's glory!!

Look at how great the chalkboard turned out!!

Can't you just imagine putting all your pens and pencils and even chalk in those cute little cubbies

I'll be at Persnickety's all day on Friday.  Come down and see me, and take this home with you!!  But before you do, become a follower and see what I do next week :)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I found this little guy while hitting the community garage sale last week and thought he needed to be mine.  I keep calling it him cause I think the hardware makes it look a little regal.  It was a serious steal and I figured I could do something to it.  It just had some scuffs and scratches so when I did all that sanding last week, this guy was in the assembly line.  It sanded nicely and then I got stuck. 

I was painting several things at once and felt like there was a lot of blue going on.  I thought maybe white?  Then I pulled out my hoarded supply of paints again and decided I would make a "custom" color for it.  So I mixed my Sherwin Williams Reliable White with a little bit of Vaslpar's Water Fountain.  It looked great going on, but dried differently than I anticipated and kind of looked like a baby nursery color.  Which isn't a bad thing at all if it were a custom piece for a baby nursery, but not what I was really going for.  Plus it clearly was going to take a few coats at the least.
Then I thought, ooh I have this great blue I used to paint stripes in both of my boys rooms.  Enter Valspar's Deep Space....
I liked this color a whole better, has some depth to.  But still looking a little nursery to me.  So I let it sit for a day or 2.  Plus that 3rd coat of paint needed a little extra dry time, which was a great reason to pause and do some research.  My version of research is scouring Pinterest pictures until I get inspired.  There were lots of versions of French Blue side tables and desks.  Check out this awesome desk my friend Alison over at The Modern Cottage Company did.  Hers is two-toned, with awesome wood drawers, but the color was what I was aiming for.  So pulling out the sander yet again, hoping to get some of that darker blue toned down, I went to work.  It looked so much better, but was still missing something.  Ooh, mahogany stain!  That's it!!  So carefully wiping on and wiping off the stain was the next step.  To keep myself sane, I let it sit for another day.  And when I went into my "workshop" it looked even better than I remembered so I grabbed the wax before I could change my mind.  One coat later and voila!!
This is my version of all those pieces I was coveting and I think it turned out AMAZING!!  I have been on an original hardware kick, not sure if it's the spendthrift in me, or just an appreciation for it.  But the original hardware went back on, and I still think "He's" pretty regal.  You'll have to come down to the shop this weekend and take him home.  But before you do become a follower and see what else I can come up with!
Look at those curves, and just the right amount of distressing and antiqued details!  LOVE!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Tale of 2 Tables...and a bench

Saturday was a crazy busy day in my "workshop".  I sanded 9 pieces of furniture....7 that will all eventually go in the shop and 2 for myself.  I had forgotten that before there was a shop I actually refinished stuff for myself.  That's where the 2 tables come in. 

One of them was my husband's grandma's and I've been meaning to redo it for about 7 or 8 years now and always get busy with other stuff.  It's a great table, and for a while I was all about red...but I decided it was time to change it up a little.

The other was from my sis-in-law who was making space in her house and handed it down to me.  Also a great table, and fine the way it is, but I always envisioned something else.  The hardware is great and I LOVE the legs.  So sanding away I went.  The red table sanded pretty easily, it's old and there was no top coat left on it.  The brown one was a little more difficult.  Not sure all the pieces are real wood, so I just scuffed the heck out of it hoping paint would stick.  Keep in mind there was an assembly line of things to sand and these guys were somewhere in the middle.  I decided I didn't want to completely redo the red table, so I scoured Pinterest for a while and settled on a chevron pattern for the top.  So I read a couple tutorials and realized they were all too many words.  I have discovered in my older age that I need more pictures and less words or I get frustrated and give up. I figured I could "wing" it.  I didn't measure anything I just's for my house, didn't need to be perfect :)  Then I dug up my box knife and fixed the edges so they were at least a little more precise.
  Then came my handy leftover gallon of Sherwin Williams Reliable White.  In between coats(it took 2) I started on the other table.  Wanted the drawer inset to be a different color so I taped some more and started painting with Valspar's Creek Bend. 

Then came 2 coats of Dutch Boy's Chanson Bleu.  The disclaimer on this color is that is that the label reads Chanson Bleu but I may have mixed something else into quite a while ago.  It was paint that was given to me when we moved into our house and I painted my kitchen with it.  Whatever the case, the color is pretty cool on wood(or not real wood) furniture.  It dries pretty quick and goes on evenly.  I also have to say that sometimes I have to make concessions...I either can afford to buy supplies or afford to buy pieces to work on.  This time it was pieces so I had to scour my hoarded collection of leftover paints and get creative, but I'm pretty happy with the outcome. 
While my tables were drying I pulled out this cute little bench that needed a face lift before it can go into the shop.  Can't seem to find the before picture, but trust me, it needed help.  This is the first coat of Valspar's Creek Bend, and a sand between coats.  It took 2 coats and after drying a quick wipe on wax.
And look at how great it turned out!!!  The top was some kind of awful brown, so I covered it in the perfect sized scrap of yellow and white floral print.  This guy is definitely going into the shop this week!! 

Oh and you probably wanna see those finished tables.  After the paint dried they also got a coat of wipe on wax to seal em up.
So the chevron isn't perfect, but I'm really happy with both tables!!  My 10 year old told me that I am UH-MAY-ZING and he understands why I make things to sell in the shop cause I'm so good at it.  I could never redo another piece of furniture and feel pretty satisfied :) 
There's a pretty good chance I'll have some more before and afters this week, so become a follower and see what else I come up with!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A week off, or an off week?

So I woke up Monday morning feeling a little, well, old.  Saturday was the Grand Opening at Persnickety's..... which was AWESOME!!!  But after that was a little celebration, and of course Sunday was Mother's Day, which involved some more celebration, and it caught up with me.  I realized I just can't roll like that anymore :)  Plus my youngest son came down with bronchitis, so he's been home all week, which means I haven't exactly been doing the things I would choose.  That being said it's felt kinda nice to just hang out....after all the hustle and bustle of getting ready for the shop to open I didn't realize that so much had been neglected around the house.  Now the laundry is all caught up, the house is mostly clean, and my kids have been happy to have mommy pretty much all to themselves.  So here we are at the end of the week and I'm feeling re-energized, I pulled out the 2 Singer sewing machines that were donated to me and was so excited to find out they work.....not quite sure what I'm gonna do to refinish them, but I'm inspired to get back to work.  Plus I have 2 benches, and a super cute phone table to work on.  AND this weekend is the Sunrise Community(where I live) Garage Sale, so I'll be on the hunt for more treasures and promise to have at least 1 before and after, if not more next week.  OOH!!  The one really exciting thing this week is that the store has a live website now, with rotating stock, so you should check it out Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium  Be sure to become a follower so you don't miss any of my (mis)adventures!!


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Grand Opening!!!

I have a million things swirling around in my brain, but thought I would do just a quick post.... Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium opens this SATURDAY!!  I can't believe it's finally happening.  Feels like it all started forever ago and yesterday  at the same time.  I'll be spending all day there tomorrow doing whatever is needed of me, and I couldn't be more excited :)  If you're local, come check it out, so MUCH cool stuff!! 

Like this cute chevron pillow cover....

This grey and wood table I refinished....

 Of course my blue dresser

And who doesn't want to stop by and say hello to Scary Gary?

 Become a follower and see what else I come up with :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

ok a "real" before and after this time

This time I actually have a "real" before and after.  While the chalkboards were fun, this one was work.  I got this dresser donated to me by my awesome friend Amanda.  I shamelessly put out a facebook post asking if anyone had old furniture around their house they were looking to get rid of and it paid off.  Along with the dresser I got some other cool stuff that will be featured in before and afters at some point. 
Anyhow.  Amanda said this had been passed between her kids and was currently living in her garage and I was welcome to have it.  It wasn't in terrible shape, some scratches and a few dings.  I have a very limited knowledge of furniture styles and my best guess says this is probably a reproduction of a mid-century modern piece.  And of course I didn't think to take a good before picture until I'd already taken the hardware off.  Most of the furniture projects I've tackled have been for myself so deciding what colors and finishes to use were easy.  This one I knew had to go to the shop so for whatever reason I struggled with color choices, and even asked my facebook friends to weigh in :)  Then I spent several hours on Pinterest looking at what is popular right now and decided aqua/turquoise with my first attempt at an "antiqued" finish.  After sanding for what felt like days, but was really just alot of hours in the same day I finally bought my supplies.

Now I know most of my furniture painting friends have moved past spray paint. But it's what I know and it gives me instant gratification.  I promise that I am navigating away from it in smaller projects as I become more familiar with other paints.  But this big guy screamed for a color I knew I liked.  After 2 cans of Valspar Glass Exotic Sea in Gloss it had exactly the look I was going for.  Then I busted out the hand sander to give it some distressing, after all in my mind it was going to be antiqued like all those great pieces I'd seen on Pinterest.  Then I had a moment of panic.  Was I setting my sights too high, could I really pull it off and make it match what was in my head?  So I put the sander down and stepped away from it for a day.  When I went back into the "workshop"(my hoarded furniture section of the garage) I was surprised that I could look at it objectively and I LIKED it!  So I grabbed my Minwax Dark Mahogany Stain and started back in.

  But of course I started to doubt myself again.  My level of refinishing "expertise" starts and stops with the few things I've spray painted and clear coated for myself.  So not necessarily my best work.  The more I rubbed on the stain the more confident I became.  I kept thinking ok this isn't maybe my style, but objectively someone could really like this.  Then I was completely done staining, and that did take a day, the ONLY time my patience worked with me...I didn't want to mess up what I had come to appreciate but rubbing the wax on too soon.  Normally I can barely wait for the coats to dry before I start on the next part.  So I did use the paste wax and this is kind of new for me, but I've come to love it!  Gives my projects that smooth finished feeling yet doesn't change the finish of the paint.  So when all is said and done and I moved it inside to put the hardware back on, I now want to keep this piece.  It turned out even better than I thought it would!  I'm feeling pretty proud of myself, or I'm still high on paint fumes.  Either way I hope you all love it as much as I do and come check it out in the shop at our Grand Opening this Saturday the 12th.

See!  I did it!!  Just a great color wash effect with some staining and wax.  Put the original hardware back on, and it's off to the shop this weekend!  Persnickety's Awesomeness Emporium check it out!!
                                                 Thanks for stopping by!  I'd be happy to answer any questions you have, drop me a line!!