Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I was a free (wo)man in Paris; I felt unfettered and alive!

(anyone remember Joni Mitchell?)

I never mentioned this trip because so many things could have gone wrong. I didn't really believe it was happening until I was on the plane. No way did it seem real.

We were going to France!

And what did I want to do there? Flea markets! Among other things, of course. But while in Paris I really didn't want to miss my chance.

So we went. The flea market is huge and consists of 5 or so separate markets. We did only one but it was vast!

Here I am, ready to get started.

 The first thing I realized was the market was crazy expensive. I mean beyond reasonable. We were there before tourist season but it didn't seem to make a difference. I'm a seasoned bargain hunter so I know my prices and I found I could find much of what I saw cheaper at home.

But did that spoil the fun? NO! It just made me more determined to find that One Real Bargain!

The huntress getting started.

Search. Search. Search.


I found what we came to call "The Priceless Artifacts." Two oooold ornate metal frames with tin(?) backings, aged to perfection. Okay, so I paid too much for them. I didn't care. I knew I'd never find anything like them again and I had bargained my little heart out getting the best price I could. 

I made up for it by getting this old seltzer bottled for $25. 

Anyone who has followed my blog knows I love antique toy horses. I truly thought I had a chance of finding one in Paris and I did! But holy moly! They were beyond what I could ever afford. I think I was actually stunned speechless at one point.

Our trip slogan became "What the WHAT?"

Yep. Priceless artifacts indeed.

 Okay. I could see where these would be spendy.

 Cute platform horse but really?

 Okay, maybe I'm naive but I thought $1104.00, at a Flea Market, was too much for this. Am I wrong? Anyone feel I missed an opportunity?

All spent.

But not done.

In Provence I found two goodies that I brought home and tons of other stuff I left behind. Here's an iron plug that will get cleaned up a little.

This old chair back was in the street with the trash. I can't wait to fix it up and paint it!

Doors! You would not believe the doors! But they had to be left behind..... sigh.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The good Inspector 19

Morgan Tougher was a dog stuffed into a cat suit.
He was an original, unique soul and being without him
is going to be hard.

Goodbye Morgan. Tell Blu we miss him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trying out the mono pod

I have to use a tripod whenever I take pictures because my hands shake so badly. But sometimes tripods get in their own way, so I ordered a mono pod. Finally, today I started playing with it. After trying to screw the foot of the mono pod into the camera because I wasn't paying attention, and thinking 'Geez, this is going to be a pain in the neck,' I got it together and was ready to take pictures.

Garage sale season has opened with a vengeance. It's amazing how the garage sale ads quadrupled in just a week. I, of course, was out there with everyone else, hunting for little treasures. Therefore I had a few new things to take pictures of.

This door is just awesome in person. Truly. Even Mr. Bad Rabbit thinks it's awesome. But then there's my friend next door who just didn't know what to say when she saw it. We simply agreed we don't always share the same taste.

The drawback of the mono pod - it can't rotate the camera for a vertical shot. Well, mine can't. Maybe the more costly ones can. Anyway, for this photo I had the mono pod across my shoulder and kinda held up by one elbow. Nuf said. The little tool to make my life easier? ISN'T.

Iron coffee table? I really liked the look of it and I can easily find or make a couple rusty chairs to go with it. I was angling the mono pod down for this shot and I could see everything jiggling through the view finder. I had to do the one-two-three-exhale technique to still my hands.

Pod-Thing, don't think I like you. But I wanna know for sure.
(If you don't know that song ask your parents.)

Wiggly trellis picture. Here, I tipped the mono pod backwards and well, it just didn't work. I jiggled. It jiggled. We all jiggled.

Lovely rust beautiful rust. So many colors. Someone said I could easily clean this up with a wire brush. He would be horrified to know I'm going to spray a flat protective coating on it instead. Facing straight forward and braced against the back porch, the mono pod did just fine.

Yellow stuff collected from hither and yon. I didn't do it on purpose, I was going for the patina. It just happened that my finds were all yellow.

This shot is a little blurry but much better than my shaky hands could do without the mono pod. There. That's my rousing endorsement of my mono pod: Better than nothing.

Moving indoors now. There were more treasures but some are already in my booth and others just got overlooked. It wasn't until I was setting these things out that I realized there were five mirrors. Five. My mirror obsession is alive and well. Check it out here.

This is where the mono pod worked best because I was able to brace it against and get close to the subject. So the question is - if I'm out photographing barns and there's no convenient cow to brace against, then what? Wiggly barns?

So. Where to put 5 new mirrors? Here in Mirror World, where else?

This is my hand mirror bouquet and some other mirrors ...... You know, some time ago I wrote a post about needing a 12-step program for people who can't stop buying boxes. What was I thinking? Mirrors are the
real problem!

Disclaimer. I ditched the mono pod when taking my Mirror World photos. I'm not sure the mono pod is my friend.

I didn't know there was a ball thing that needed to attach to the top of the mono pod. The ball allows rotation. No one mentioned the ball thing to me and I didn't notice anything on Amazon telling me to purchase an attachment. So now I feel silly and need to go to a camera store. Sheesh 

Linking to

Sunday, March 30, 2014

So, life is all about new lessons, huh?

So running screaming into the night isn't an option? There have been soooo many times ....... How 'bout I just crawl under a sofa pillow like I did when a bat got into the house. Did I ever tell that story? It's a lesson in cowardice. And a lesson in sofa pillows not being effective when hiding from bats.

But I digress.

I learned a new furniture lesson or two. The first was: Don't assume you can easily figure out how to do something you have had no experience with. Second: Go over a client's piece of furniture before taking it home. Be like the guys at the car rental: walk around and check off all the dings and places where the veneer is looking for a chance to escape.

I'm sure a lot of people are doing a big eye-roll right now. "It took her THIS long to figure that out?" Yes it did.

So what am I blathering on about, anyway?

Well, someone took a table like this:

 And did this to it (the folded fabric is mine):

My job was to remove the tile and paint the table. No problem. Off I went, home with the gossip table.

I googled mosaic removal.

" ......Thinset concrete attaches mosaic tiles to concrete, concrete boards or other backing material, and grout seals the gaps between the tiles. Removing mosaics involves breaking the bonds between the tiles, and between the tile and the backing material. Mosaic removal requires a significant amount of time and effort and is not a task that should be underestimated."

".......When you pry up glass tile that has been glued down, sharp pieces can break off and go flying across the room. (I try to keep my leather work glove over the tile to prevent this possibility.) You should wear safety glasses with side shields. You may even want to wear the plastic safety shield masks that are made for working with power tools. You also want to make sure anyone else around your work area has proper eye protection.

(There was another website that warned tile removal pretty much always broke the furniture but I can't find the page now.)

Then, WHEW, my client mentioned saving the mosaic. Oh thank God.

Now, I'm not a mid-century modern kinda girl so the table didn't speak to me right away. Then I thought, just go with the age of the table, so I did a mock-up of a faux zinc finish. I was thinking 50's space age.

Nope. Didn't fly.

Next, I sent her these festive mock-ups:

Nope. not white. My client sent me a beautiful fabric for the seat and I worked from that.

Then the surprise: tile removal was back on. She had warmed up to my idea of tile removal right about when I was feeling relief from NOT having to remove it.

Thinking cap, thinking cap......

I have had a lot of success sculpting new parts onto furniture with wood filler so I thought, oh what the heck. I used joint compound and a super strong sealer to cover the tile, both on the table top and the chair back.

Now, some color choices.....



Amost there. I wasn't happy with the distressing so I had another go at it.

Better. And done.

And now, on to the next challenge!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Little green tables

I have this:

Because I fell in love with this:

When we were at Ikea a couple weeks ago I saw this nightstand and it took my breath away. Was there anything that cute EVER? Sadly, I couldn't think of anywhere in the house I could put it.

A few days ago I stopped in at one of my favorite little antique stores and saw this little guy and again my breath caught. Was there anything that cute EVER?

All that 1920's patina and huge cracks? The chunks that are starting to fall off? Could it be more endearing? So I brought it home.

I made a spot for it - it's tiny so it wasn't a huge effort.

Then we had a barn sale. (Mr. Bad has a story about that.
You should ask him.)

We had fun and chatted to a lot of nice people and I was talking with a young man who noticed a typewriter stand back in my not-for-sale stuff. He asked me what it was. I told him it was a typewriter stand and he looked completely blank. I said typewriters probably aren't made anymore and he continued to look completely blank.

Which reminded me of an ebay listing I saw in which a typewriter stand was being sold as an industrial table. At the time I thought, 'Oh, please. Who's going to fall for that?' But now I get it.

And that got me to thinking about that Ikea nightstand again. So now I have this:

And that's where the story ends ... for the moment......... I'm thinking I need the top part of a school locker, right? If I could fit one into the typewriter cart I'd be a happy camper. I so doubt that will happen.

Maybe I'll just buy this:

What am I thinking? I'm not buying anything there is no room for. (snicker)
I'll just use my typewrite stand sans locker since I'll never find one much less weld it in.


I had an idea! How 'bout a spankin' new gym locker basket?

And my typewriter stand?

If I ever get to it, I think I'll like my version better.

Something to do in my copious spare time.