Monday, October 31, 2011

The tale of a poor little hopeless table

When I found this little table at a local thrift I was pretty darn happy -
someone had put the first coat of paint on it for me! 

That was short-lived. I started to sand and the paint rolled up into goo. I have heard that
latex paint has to "cure" for a month before it can be sanded.
Fine. I put the table away for a month. 

Then I tried sanding again. And got goo again. Plus, whoever painted this table used the
paint to fill breaks and cracks, instead of repairing the wood.

Argh. I had to use stripper. And guess what?
The paint turned to EIGHT LAYERS OF GOO!

 I've never seen anything like it! It WOULD NOT come off. Seriously, who has time for this?
I got out my friend.

I accidentally set the table on fire and my first Blogger Thought was 'I need to get
a picture!' My second Blogger Thought was 'Don't burn down the garage'. 

I can't even remember how many rounds of stripping and sanding I did after that.
I was not going to let paint get the best of me.

And finally, 37 years later, it was good enough to repaint.

And so I got on with it. ASCP in Paris Grey and Emile did the trick.

Monday, October 24, 2011

You don't know Jack

I've been asked where the design of the Union Jack came from so I thought I'd post a little history link. The Union Jack design is an elegant solution to a design dilemma that, as a graphic designer, I think is fabulous.

Here is the basic time-line: First, add Scotland to England, then later add Ireland to both.

For a quick history lesson, please go the the source of this graphic:

Seriously, it's only a few paragraphs and then you'll know Jack.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I get an idea and have to see it through RIGHT NOW. I call it "Being spontaneous". My Honey calls it "Going off half-baked". Whichever it is, it's how I found myself out in the driveway painting a drop cloth. I have been wanting a canvas Union Jack rug for ages but they are crazy expensive - over $200. yikes. I thought I'd make one myself, but there never seemed to be enough room to spread out something like that. So my Ah HA moment was to just run outside and paint some canvas.

I had lots of fabric paint left over from when I was painting denim jackets. I had a drop cloth. Off I went.

Getting started

What I used

Blocking and painting

I crumpled the canvas and sprayed sidways to get some faded "wrinkles."

A few coats of polyurathane and I had my floorcloth.

I am the Olive Union Jack Queen! Or is it the Crazy Union Jack Lady?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Old time sepia

Until I get some photography lessons, I'm having fun in Photoshop. Is it just me or does a sepia tint make vintage items look more interesting? I really like the way old mirrors look in a sepia tint, especially when a cracked filter is added. Glassware also seems to get more interesting. Maybe it's just that I love old sepia photographs. 

Maybe it's just that I love old STUFF!

I'm off to the Friday Estate Sales this morning, getting a jump on the weekend. The weather is still lovely in Southern Oregon but it won't last. And when it goes, so do the sales.

When I get home I want to try out my paint sprayer with Chalk Paint. I'm more excited about that than the Estate sales!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And now, for something completely different

I found this old sewing cabinet at a thrift shop in Roseburg and thought it would fit my sewing machine. We'll see about that - I haven't taken the old one out to try it yet.

This cabinet had in the drawers all the machine attachments, owners guides and the original receipt from 1940! With the purchaser's name and address. And it had mouse poop! Lots of it! Picture me doing the Eww! Eww! Eww! Dance.

I had a wild urge to do something really rustic and there sat this cabinet.... maybe not an appropriate candidate but it was handy.

And so I began.

And continued

And the details - after sanding and waxing

Until I had this

Now that I'm more comfortable with the Totally Rustic look, I'm ready for the next project. I found this little goody at the GW and I can hardly wait to dive in. Rustic is what this little guy is all about.

So, now I have around 7 things that are "up next." Hmmmm. Better get to work!

Linking up to these creative folks:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I seem to have a one track mind.

I can't help myself. I really can't. Remember when I said I wander around the house asking every piece of furniture "Wanna be a Union Jack?" Well .... so there I was. There was a giant blank piece of wood looming over me .... I can't help it. Really.

UPDATE! I was in a big fat hurry and didn't mention this is a mock-up in Photoshop. I always do a mock-up if my idea is something I really need to see before I dive in. Usually I just dive in, which is why I was in a big fat hurry. I had to rush outside with drop cloth and paint because I had an IDEA.

I'll be posting a tutorial of said idea soon.

Other ideas include:

And I still am considering just adding molding.

Such a huge canvas! So many possibilities!

I'm doing a guest tutorial at Muse!

Pam at Mercantile Muse invited me to do a guest tutorial (my first!) and today is the day it's posted. I showed the step-by-step for creating these vintage advertising trays:

So please visit Mercantile Muse at
and get some tips on making your own custom tray.

These two trays will be available for purchase on soon!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The bed that ate my work room.

I need some advice. We installed this murphy bed in my work room so we wouldn't have to make guests suffer on an airbed - even tho it was a NICE airbed.

What I didn't expect was the murphy bed swallowing my room. It is so big and in-your-face. So, my question is: has anyone out there ever painted a murphy bed? It IS a big canvas just waiting ....... for something. I am considering adding molding to give it more character and interest. The front is sooo flat.

Meanwhile, it looms over me like a giant while I work on other projects. So paint? Stain a GIANT Union Jack? hahhahahahah. yikes.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When the cat's away .......

When my honey was on a business trip a few weeks ago, I had a thought. Which led to more thoughts. And that led to me digging out the paint rollers and tray, unearthing a drop cloth and grabbing all manner of paints. The hutch was going to be transformed. I'd been dabbing test spots on it for a year, looking for the right color. Time to Just Do It.

Here is a "before" shot of the dining room. The only reason I have it is I was looking for a new light fixture and took some pictures to help me decide. Notice the mass-produced, super shiny finish on the table. Ugh. Notice the hutch is actually a Black Hole of Doom, sucking in all light. And, especially, take note of that wallpaper and trim. Ten years ago I happened to see our wallpaper featured in the "before" section of a magazine story. This year the wallpaper turned 25! Yikes. It's about time I did something about it.

Here's what I started with.

And another "sorta before" shot of paint daubs. The WINNER was Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Paris Grey, Old White and Duck Egg Blue. But I get ahead of myself.

First I covered the entire hutch with a special blend of oops paints. The color is a soft sage-gray. I painted the inside a brilliant white. Then I got too excited and experimented with glaze around the glass. Which I had to sand off.

Not that it happened to me or anything, but if you spill stain or glaze on the carpet while Hubby is out of town, Professional Strength Goof Off takes it out. Just sayin'.

Enter the Chalk Paint. I added a coat of Paris Grey to tone down the green, then used Old White and Duck Egg Blue for the trim.

The next step was dark wax tempered with clear wax. I found rubbing on dark wax, then taking some of it off with clear wax worked well for me. Are you lovin' the wallpaper yet?

Time to start distressing. Chalk Paint distresses beautifully. A light touch goes a long way.

We're getting there! No hardware yet and that wallpaper is still there!

The final details.

Before I added the pulls I rubbed the drawer and door panels with Old White. I also went back and softened the screaming white interior with a soft cream for the sides and sage green for the shelves. Much better!

Ahhhh, the sun came up as I took this shot. I found these awesome glass pulls at VanDykes online, after looking forever. Now the hunt was on for the knobs.

I finally settled on a shape and picked these knobs from Lowes. I used short shots of 3 different spray paints, then glaze and finally a coat of polyurethane to get the look I wanted.

AND IT"S DONE! Complete with my little brass bat hanging on the side. Now that the wallpaper is gone, hmmmm, maybe get rid of the icky wall to wall?

Don't forget - any furniture you see here is for sale! Contact me for info or click on the Etsy link.

Linking to:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back from the coast

My Honey, Blu (the dog) and I went to the coast for a few days of 4-wheeling in the dunes and junking. We had a lot of fun and a couple hiccups, just to make it interesting. Well, maybe jack-knifing the truck and trailer wasn't just a hiccup. Whatever. We got over it. Then, way out in the dunes, we realized the fan had punctured the radiator on the Jeep during one of our, uhhh, bumps. YEEHAW! We raced back to where we'd left the truck and trailer with radiator water to spare.

My Honey dropped me off in the antique district of the little town we were staying in and took off to fix the radiator. Well, he had to replace the passenger window crank too, but that wasn't entirely my fault.

Anyway, the point is: Look at what I found! I'm going to start painting this little honey today (after I clean the dust off). I'm also going to teach myself a new technique for repairing plaster. I am sooo excited!

I'm also going to start painting this little Las Vegas cutie-pie. I have to have at least 3 things going at once or I get impatient and do something silly, like start sanding before the paint is dry.

Oh. Right. I know the table is missing a top. I haven't decided what I'll do ...... glass maybe? dunno

Okay, off to my workroom I go! Happy dance happy dance.