Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dresser and Vanity Makeover

For many years on my own with 5 kids, I became very resourceful at decorating my home on a tight budget. Even after my kids were out on their own and my income increased I still couldn't justify spending huge amounts of money on furnishing. Plus I loved finding unique one of a kind pieces and making them into something that was truly original for my home.
Then friends started asking me to look for items for them, and that is where my becoming a picker  took off.
Whenever I would see something that I thought a friend or family member might like I would buy it. Then I started to sell some of unique finds and started making a side income. I have always liked decorating and painting so upcycling some of the furniture for resale was an easy transition.
I love finding old discarded pieces that no one else wants and giving them a new look and a new life.
When I saw this yellow dresser I saw much more than the paint and what it looked like now. I saw what it could be.

Not so pretty in its present state, painted yellow and covered in crackle, not a look that flattered it

I have been painting everything lately and I decided to strip the top and see what the wood looked like. The wood grain was gorgeous, so I stained it with a walnut stain and added two coats of polyurethane. I enjoyed working with stain again, but not the stripper so much. Boy that is messy stuff. I sanded all the crackle paint down and painted the dresser in Paris grey paint.

The dresser has some very nice detail that you could not really see when it was painted yellow, all you could see was the ugly yellow paint. I also spray painted the handles black, they were a shiny brassy colour before. Forgot to take a before pic, i was so eager to paint them. ooops

And here she is all finished and beautiful, see all the gorgeous detail that you did not see before
And I think the wood grain top makes it look stunning
I am going to sell this as a dresser/entertainment centre
if you take out the top drawers on each side you would have a spot for your DVD and your cable box
and then just put your TV on top. lots of storage in the drawers for movies etc
I also finished up a vanity that I was working on
This is what the vanity looked like when I bought it, cute, but can look better

I painted the vanity in Anne Sloan Paris Grey and painted the brass handles black
But I am not done yet.........
I had a mirror from another vanity that I added to this vanity
I added this stool to the vanity and had originally covered the top in Toile fabric
But then I came across this fabric and knew it would look great with the vanity
The fabric was a pillow cover, but I took it apart removed the zipper and covered the top of the stool

And here is the vanity with the mirror and stool, I think they all look great together
I thought the top of the vanity looked too plain, so I decided to add some graphics to match the stool
I added some writing and modge podged a stamp onto the desk
And here is the vanity with mirror, stool and graphics  
I know its not the greatest staging pic, but like I said before this house is really really small
At least its a little better than taking my after pics in the garage
I enjoyed working on both of these pieces and they are both for sale
The weather is getting colder which makes it a little hard to work in a unheated garage
But as you can see I am making the best of it
Can you imagine how much work I could get done if i had a huge heated shop
I would be like a furniture assembly line
one day I hope..............
And now on to the next project
Hope everyone is having a great week
Happy Picking and Happy Painting
(her lil tongue sticks out when she is tired)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Iron Orchid Designs

Come on in

Even the cute window display beckons you to come in and explore 
 I want to introduce you to an amazing store in Kamloops, British Columbia

 This amazing store is full of unique handcrafted items by some very talented local artists.
Including the store owners

Painting by Jada Britton
store owner


Other items in the store are by local artists that have made furnishings, unique upholstered chairs, painted furniture, mirrors, scarfs, handbags, sock monkeys, benches, trunks, pens, etc.
I am in awe of the talent of these people and so are most of the customers that enter the store.
You have to take your time walking around the store because there is so much to see.
Bright coloured furniture and mirrors, unique and one of a kind furnishings.
Handcrafted leather head bands, jewelry, lamps, tables and cabinets. 
and so much more
Here you can find adorable sock monkeys Made by Marie Lebond from Beneath The Monkey Tree
sitting on gorgeous chairs by Bobby Jo Haukeness of Sew Tied Up
And these stunning chairs by Nicole Duff of Mood Design Studio
My vanity and bench sure look better here than in my garage lol
This store had given me a chance to show my projects and my talent
Vanity by Tobey of Tobeystrashortreasure
It is a store where people like me can display their creations
Where home business's are given a chance to shine and be discovered by customers who consider themselves lucky to buy these one of kind items
Jada hand painting on a dresser, this is one very talented lady
Dresser by Iron Orchid Designs, gorgeous
Gorgeous Chair by Iron Orchid Designs
Is this not the cutest cabinet you ever saw
Cabinet by Laverne Tremblay
I love this painting
Paintings by Kathryn Greener
More creations by Bobby Jo of Sew Tied Up
The store has many unique collections  
Pigs really can fly
And you will be having so much fun in here that time will just fly by
Have you ever seen anything like this
Mirror Mirror on the wall
what do you see?
I see a store where pigs can fly and sock monkeys sit on chairs
I also see a store full of talented people who put their heart and soul into their work
And most of all I see dreams coming true
All because two sisters had a dream
And now that dream has been turned into a very successful store
called Iron Orchid Designs
Thank you Jada and Wynona Britton
for letting me be a part of your amazing journey
I want to wish you all the success you deserve
But judging by the way the store has taken off, I know you ladies are going to be very very busy
and Maggie May

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

To All of my Fellow Bloggers and American Friends
I Want to wish All of you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My husband has no clue what I do

Today I realized that my husband really has no idea what goes on in the garage and with my projects. He works long hours and if he is not at work, he is sleeping or laying on the couch. He works 4 weeks straight without a day off and that is tough on your body. I understand that and I try to take all of that in to consideration when I ask for help in the garage.

Today he came out after work to help me lift a new 9 drawer dresser I had just bought. I am hoping to make it into a gorgeous entertainment centre.
I mentioned I had to wax a vanity before I took it to the store to sell. This is that conversation.

Hubby with no clue: Won't it be hard for them to write on it with chalk if you wax it
Tobey: Why would they be writing on a vanity?
Hubby with no clue: I thought that's why you paint everything with chalk paint
Tobey: You really have no clue what I do, do you?
Hubby with no clue: Yes I do
Tobey: Really tell me
Hubby with no clue: You paint stuff with chalkboard paint then you wax it
Tobey: So the dressers, vanities, dining room tables and chairs that I have painted is for everyone to use as chalkboard, have I got that right
Tobey: And everything is painted with chalkboard paint
Hubby with no clue: Well that's what I thought you bought the Anne Sloan paint for, why don't you just use regular paint then, if they don't write on it

I just stood there and looked at him, I realized that all of the conversations I have had with him over this last year about Anne Sloan had fallen on deaf ears. He had no idea why he drove with me 4 hours each month to buy paint, he did it because he had too. All the times I talked to him about waxing and distressing furniture he wasn't listening. He really had no idea what chalk paint was or why I used it. He seriously thought everything I painted and sold, was so people could draw on it with chalk
All he heard this last year was bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla

When I read other blogs about husband and wives working together on projects it makes me jealous. I want that so bad, to work side by side on something together. But I know that will never happen, not in this life time.

The garage is my domain and he very rarely comes in there, actually I think it scares him to even look in there. He will help me if I ask him if something is too heavy or I can't get a screw out or something like that. But as soon as he is done I turn around and he is gone.

Some women lay in bed at night and dream of romantic sexy men. I dream of one that will come work in the garage with me. My hubby knows this, his answer is some guys are handy and some are handsome. Apparently he thinks he is the handsome type lol
I keep telling him I am going to trade him in for a handsome and handy man, but he doesn't believe
me. But a girl can dream........................

And here is a peak at what I am working on this week,

I picked up this cute little vanity the other day, it has a round mirror and cute matching stool
I have painted it in Paris grey and hope to have it all finished this week
finished pics to come
This is what hubby had to help me with, this thing is heavy
It is yellow and crackled, not so pretty
But I thought it had nice detail and that it would make a great entertainment centre
And I got a great deal on it because the thrift store thought it was ugly
My ugly duckling dresser is looking pretty divine now
I stripped the top of the dresser and the wood underneath is gorgeous
It's been a while since I had stripped anything, I have been painting everything lately
It was nice to work with stain again
Not so much fun to work with stripper again though yuk
I painted the bottom in Paris grey
Wait till you see it all done
Should be finished this piece this week as well
Will post pics of the vanity and the dresser/ entertainment centre this week
thanks for getting to this point
and for sticking through my venting about my hubby
I hope you have a handsome and handy hubby
happy picking and painting
Maggie turned 5 on November 17th
this is her when she was a puppy
My adorable lil girl
On her birthday she got to go to the pet store and pick a new toy
Then we hung out at the dog park
she had a good day
we got her a card with a cat meowing happy birthday
She loved it
Happy Birthday baby girl
you are loved so much

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I have been a busy upcycler bee

I have been busy busy, do not think I have ever had so many completed projects and so many on the go projects as I have now.
The weather has been mild the last week, plus 6 and 7 so I was able to get out in the garage and finish some bigger projects that I could not do in the house.
Remember the Antique Vanity that was so cute but was not selling

Antique Vanity now
Vanity before pic
I gave it a new look with some ASCP pure white
This is my attempt at staging in my garage (don't laugh)
But seriously I can not carry this stuff into the house by myself
And I have no room in the house to put it to take a pic
If you know what a bunky is that is how small our house is here
I promise when we get to Ontario I will have an area to stage photos of completed projects
But for now large pieces will have to be garage pics
please don't leave my blog please please
I try, I really do
I know I know more driveway pics
but how many people have a vintage truck in their backgrounds huh
probably none
and snow lol
here is the top of the mirror
I love the distressing on this vanity, it looks so good
Isn't it gorgeous painted in pure white and distressed a little
I kept the original hardware because it suits it and it was in great shape
It is going to be hard to part with this vanity, I love how it turned out
It is hard to part with beautiful pieces that are in my colour scheme
But I keep hearing my hubby in my head
Downsize Downsize
yes dear yes dear I hear ya
And this vanity and stool is now sold
And do you remember this tall dresser that I bought the same time I
bought the union jack dresser
well it is getting a makeover too
(look at my little side kick, sound asleep, poor lil girl, watching Mommy is hard work)
I painted the dresser in ASCP Provenance blue
and dry brushed it with ASCP french linen grey
I told hubby is was finished
And he was like really, hmmm well I guess it looks nice lol
Its not finished but I like to tease him
he is such an easy mark
And here it is finished, I painted ASCP pure white over the blue and grey
And after waxing and distressing it a bit, I added round glass knobs
I think it looks beautiful and apparently the buyer did too
because this cutie already has a new home
Again don't laugh at my staging attempts in the garage
My hubby works underground in a mine 12 to 13 hours a day
Getting him to help with a rusted screw is a major chore
So if I told him I need to him to haul furniture into the house so I can take cute pictures for my blog
Well , I think he would look at me like I had two heads
Or he would stop trading vehicles with me so I can haul stuff home in his truck
And we don't want that shit happening
so garage pics will have to do for now
but just for the big stuff, I promise
I wanted to also mention that my union jack dresser has sold woohoo
I seriously felt like an artist that had just sold their first painting
I was sad to see it go, but glad someone liked it enough to want to take it home
It was for sale at the store Iron Orchid Designs
A friend of mine was in the store when it sold
She said she was so excited for me she rushed to my place to tell me
The same woman bought two of my pieces
double woohoo
Sold Sold Sold
Doing a little happy dance lalalalalalala
I plan on painting all weekend if the rain holds off and hope to have some more large furniture pieces to show you
Hope everyone is having a great weekend
stay safe
and Maggie May aka Sidekick
This is Maggie and Ricky the duck in the yard
She never chases the ducks or geese or barks at them, so they feel safe to walk around
She just watches them
They were kind of playing peekaboo around the bush just before I took this pic