Monday, August 23, 2010

Enough Waiting

I'm sure you've all been waiting with bated breath to find out what I did with that pile of driftwood.  Even if not, I'm going to pretend you were.  Makes me feel good about myself. Some people drink. I prefer delusions.  I'm rambling, sorry. 

On a recent trip to Urban Farmhouse I came across absolutely fantabulous driftwood garlands. I had to have it.  I love the rustic look, the individualism of the wood, like snowflakes, no two chunks are alike.

Once I got the garland home I wasn't sure what to do with it.

At first I thought I would use as a garland across the bookcase in the den.  Ew.

Then I thought I'd put it in a bowl with a candle in the middle.  Eh.

Tried it as a runner down the middle of the dresser in the den.  Yuck.

I was stumped. Get it, wood...stumped.  I kill myself.

I was upset to say the least.  I had this great garland and nothing to do with it.

The DIY Fairy came down and bonked me in the head and it came to me...a wreath.  

I started with a medium foam wreath form, some left over muslin and the driftwood. 

Startling confession: I had to buy a hot glue gun for this project.  Yes, that's right, I call myself a DIY blogger and I didn't even own a hot glue gun! Blasphemy, I know.

Here's how it went down.

The garland.  And, my kitchen is not The Exorcist vomit green, it's the photo affect I used. If you can't tell I'm trying to get my money's worth out of DSLR camera and not just be a lazy blogger and rely on my Blackberry for the pictures. Now, to sell an organ or two to buy Photoshop and not just use free online programs that make your kitchen paint look like something LLOM would hork up in the bed at 3am.

I digress.

Where were we....

My heart hurt a bit to cut it up. But I did it. I'm brave like that.

I was amazed at how many chunks I had to work with.
I cut strips of the muslin and hot glued it and wrapped it around the form.  Please excuse the mess in the background but it's vital DIY gear; iPod Touch, rubber mallet and Modge Podge. I'll show you what I used the MP on soon. 
I just went with it and started gluing.  I put them on the top, then around the outside.  Once I had most of the wreath covered I started layering. There isn't really a science to it, just glue, stick, glue, stick, etc. I used all but maybe 5 or so pieces of the garland.  I'm sure I could have found places for them but I felt like it was "finished" how it was.  I did think it needed....hmmmm...something. I found a starfish and personally, I think it "makes it."

The finished product.

I lurve how it looks against the painted pine in the den. 
So beachy! Can you hear the ocean? Yeah I can't either, but I still love it.

If you want your own driftwood garland head over to Urban Farmhouse.  Lisa will ship one to you! (After you pay for it of course!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Dressed Up Dresser (Finally!)

I've wanted to call in sick all week just to sit in the living room and stare at The Dresser.  I feel that after a month of waiting, talking about it, obsessing over it it's only right from here on out to refer to it as it's a proper noun.  I have considered naming my furniture and favorite home decor pieces. I'm just quirky like that.  If I were to name the dresser I feel it would be female and something vintage and timeless. 

Blah, blah, blah, right? I only "read" blogs for the pictures, so I won't keep you waiting.

First, where we started.

Started out as a $50 Craigslist dresser, even got it delivered! The white "stuff" on the middle drawer was some demented form of wood putty. I believe the previous owner put it there in an effort to hide the decorative work. Or they were drunk. After at least two hours of picking and sanding I too wanted to drink.


photo: Life in the Fun Lane
If I knew how to embed music you'd be hearing "You are the Wind Beneath My Wings" right now.

Before I share the after pictures I want to share some things I learned.

1. DO NOT sand unless you have to.  Or, if you sand, do not go buck wild as I did. This is especially important if you plan on distressing your piece. Think it through, if you sand off the dark stain you won't have anything coming through when you distress. Yeah, that's experience flapping her "too little, too late" gums.
(Truth: I bought an orbital sander just for this process and was having an unadulterated good time with it and it got out of hand. I put myself in time out over this and it won't happen again)
2. Invest in a good quality paint sprayer or use spray primer. I had intended to use some left over primer and roll it on, uh yeah, that doesn't work well on a high shine piece as The Dresser. The primer just rolled back off or was splotchy.  I ended up using Rustoleum spray primer and it worked perfectly.  Not to mention it's only $4.00 a can and I only used 3 cans. The coverage was amazing and so much quicker than painting on the primer. I also had to brush the paint on, it was fine though since I distressed everything got a once over of very fine grit sandpaper, but a sprayer would have been a blessing.  I've already asked for one for my birthday.
3. When it's a gazillion degrees out do not hesitate to turn your living room into a workshop. We brought The Dresser in over the weekend and I painted her right in the living room. Everything (even the hardwoods) survived without problems.
4. When distressing. Do not distress. It's ok if you go too far, you can always repaint and start over. I did, twice.  Also, wear fabric gloves or use a sanding block, you can and will burn your fingertips clean off if you sand too hard without stopping.  (Yeah, I could like so totally rob a bank and never be found.)
5. Invest in good hardware. I did have a mental budget for this project ($100) and only went a bit over. Between dresser, hardware and paint $118.00.  Hardware is insultingly expensive. At least all the stuff I like is. Personally I think it's worth it.  Good hardware is like a pearl necklace, timeless and makes an outfit.

Ok, so on to the afters.
I just grabbed some things in the living room for the top, it still needs some tweaking, fresh flowers, etc.

I went easy on the distressing.  I didn't want it to be tooooooo busy and personally I think you can from looking "used" to looking "rode hard and put away wet" really quickly.

The hardware has a great pitted, rustic look.  I knew I wanted library pulls but I also wanted something with character.  I however am not over the moon for the two small round pulls.  They were the only ones that went with the pulls and personally, I think they look like some freakish mutated nipples. They make me feel dirty every time I open that drawer.  I am also convinced they follow me when I walk through the room.

Detail of the distressing. 

I won't lie.  I'm in love with her.  She's perfect.  Well she's imperfect which makes her perfect.  I think I'll name her Beatrice.

Thank you for being patient, I hope it was worth the wait. Just to keep you interested, here's a teaser for what is coming up next.
That's drift wood, piles of it. Lisa from Urban Farmhouse will most likely recognize this, please, don't hate me Lisa, yes, I cut it up.  I think you might like what I did with it though. 

Linking to

Monday, August 9, 2010

A pictureless post and a poem for you...

I went to Goodwill this weekend. 
I bought three frames. Paid $8.00.
I didn't take pictures of said frames.
I feel bad. For you. For me. For the expensive camera I don't use enough.
They are in my kitchen. They rock. Chalk. Eggs. Keys.
This post won't have pictures. You're sad. I can tell. You'll get over it.
The next post will have pictures. You're happy.  I can tell. You'll probably get over that too.
Good stuff in the wings. Factory. Cart. Table.  Soon.  Be patient. It's hard, I know.
That damn dresser will be done. Soon. I hope. It. Will.

I'm no poet and trust me, I know it.  I did go to the Gee-dub this weekend though.  I bought three nice wooden frames (one even had glass!)  After a trip to SoBo in the Short North I had to get a frame for the goody I found there.  If you haven't been to SoBo, you must go-go!  It's a bit pricey at least it is for my Two Buck Chuck budget but the treasures, oh the treasures!!

There's also an adorable little vintage place right next door called Object.  The young lady who owns it (not a day over 25) is adorable, kind, and has a great eye for treasures.  They hand pick every item and won't put it in their shop unless they'd put it in their home.  To me, that's dedication to your business.  It's not about peices that will sell it's about peices you love, right?  (Ok, so the money ain't all bad.)

I even made it to The Olde Shoe Factory this weekend (we were busy!) I got to meet Polly from Sassafras Stuff and let me tell you, she's even more adorable in person! I found some awesome treasures (mostly from Polly's booth, ironically) and can't wait to share them with you as well. 

Some of those treasures will be used in the making of that lusted after factory cart coffee table.  Now to just find some free, aged wood. If you know of any, let me know as I've been scouring craigslist and haven't seen anything that won't require a huge truck. My goals is to only use things I can fit in the car and to make that beast for under $50.  So far I'm in about $25-30 on the "wheels" so I think it's doable!  You're just dying to know more, aren't you?  Good!  Stay tuned!

AND I was considering doing a give away soon.  I have no sponsers so I'm not sure how I'll pull that off, but I'm crazy like that so keep an eye out for it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

line my coffin in eggplant please

There are few things I adore as much as fabric.  Just check the spare room closet, you'll find little clippings of fabric that I just didn't have the heart to throw out to yards of fabric that I have no idea of what to use it on but had to have it. Translation; it was on sale.

I found this Etsy seller the other day on a search for vintage fabric and fell in love.  I think you'll love it too.  I can think of gazillions of ways to use these luscious fabrics from pillows to curtains to even little girl dresses. 

Let me tease you with some of their beauty...
Foliage in Split Pea
Grey and yellow.  My heart. MY HEART!

Mum in Mustard
Curtains, glorious floor to ceiling curtains.  Huge crystal chandy. Can you see it?
Close your eyes, picture it. 
Ahhh yes, you get it now, dontcha?

Ginko in Eggplant
I die.  Seriously die.  This, line my coffin in this.  Thank you.

Oh, did I mention that this loverlyness is also organic? Oh and it's all handmade!

Yeah, yeah, it is a bit pricey.  Now keep in mind I usually only buy fabric from the back of the store (where the cheap stuff is) or when I have a 40% coupon from Joann's so in the real world, this fabric is probably "cheap" in comparison to other designer weight fabrics.

So which one blows up your skirt? What would you do with it?