Saturday, May 28, 2011

Little red chest and a darling wicker love seat

I absolutely LOVE wicker love seats. The one I found had really great bones but not a lot to "say" to the world. Wicker is sort of hard to paint. If you use a brush then sometimes the actual "fabric" of the wicker gets lost in globby paint. If you spray the wicker it tends to lose some of it's character. I have done both and sold both, so it's a personal choice. When I can, I use a dry brush technique. If you look at older posts, you will see that dry brushing is picking up paint on just the end of your brush and then sort of brushing it over your canvas dropcloth or towel until there is still color but not a super wet application. Then you just brush it over your project to give color but not cover. In the case of this little love seat, I did a dry brush of sage green and then added elements of denim blue over it. The brown of the wicker came through beautifully to add to the charm of the piece. Here is the before and after.
This is how I found the piece. Purchased off of craigslist and in really great shape. Sturdy with only the tiniest bit of wicker damaged on the front.
Here is how it sits in the booth at A & J's right now. The denim touches can best be seen on the top left side of the back of the piece. I bought some Waverly red striped fabric from another dealer and recovered the cushion and then added some beautiful red floral pillows to complete the look. Really having a hard time parting with this one!
The next project was a little brown chest of drawers that I picked up at a thrift store. I painted it a tuscan red. I just love that color and I am best known around the antique mall for it. Here is the before photo.
Not much to look at but it is solid wood and the drawers are all in tact and open properly. This little chest just wanted to be more. I used two coats of tuscan red Americana paint and then rubbed a stain mixture of raw umber and water over it just to age it a bit. Distressed the corners and edges and here is the after.

Super cute and in the booth at A & J's waiting for a new home!
Happy Thrifting! XOXO the thrift addict

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Antique Window turns eclectic artpiece

Lots of people have done creative things with antique windows, so I am not re-inventing the wheel here, just showing you my particular twist on it. My friend Sheila showed me this antique window with panes missing and asked if I was interested in it. She gave me a great price on it and I set out for my adventure.
I am new at this, so I will show you a couple of projects that were fun and easy to do. I love that vintage..."I've been somewhere and have a story to tell," look when it comes to wall art. I have always had a problem with store bought art because being an artist, you just never capture the true essence of the artist's brush, so my walls are sprinkled with photos of my family and friends and original art by me. A true eclectic mix of things that I love and an expression of myself. I will never have a room in "Elle Decor" or "Verdana" magazines but our home expresses our family's love for color and our laid back lifestyle. Here are two examples of re-created vintage windows. I had so much fun doing these that I am sure there will be more to come in the future. I am not sure why  both of them have heart themes. I get an image stuck in my head sometimes. I have some future pieces planned with flying clocks, arrows, alphabet letters and birds. For now...hearts LOL!!!
This window was my first effort. I may go back and add some cool elements to it now that I am feeling a bit more confident, but this is how it hangs on the wall now.
I got this piece of garden edging from a friend's trash can. I forbid her to throw it out. LOL! Look at how it is still usable to make a cute statement on this piece. Soooo not trash!

The scrolly piece of metal at the top was given to me in exchange for painting for a friend of mine. She gave me four pieces. Two short and two long...this is one of the shorter pieces. It fit perfectly at the top!
Old wooden heart that I had in my garage. Painted and everything. I ran some rusted wire through some holes that were in it and made it a cute hanger. Added a screw to the window frame and voila!
Notice how cute the little latch is on the right hand side of the window. Love it! The buttery yellow walls come through as well to make this a cute piece. I left the window frame as I found it with a little bit of brownish red paint still showing at the top.

Here is the second project. You can tell I got a lot bolder with this one. I drew it out first on a piece of paper. I wanted a winged heart from the beginning so this piece had a little more intention than the first one.
Found the perfect pre-cut heart at Michael's Craft Store. Painted it Tuscan red and then dabbed with my palm some of the creamy yellow I painted on the re-cycled corrugated cardboard wings. Also found a piece of beaded board paneling in the garage and painted it sage green. Dabbed some yellow on it as well.
Added detail to the wings with some black spray paint and dry brush in denim then sanded them a tiny bit for distress.
Added some rusted wire and a mother of pearl accent that was in my trinket box from a broken necklace for detail.

Used a metal scrolly piece to add the "stencil" effect. Laid it on the frame and then sprayed black spray paint over it. The brown peg board was a scrap that I had in the garage. NOTHING is trash!!!!!! I am not a pack rat, but some things I don't let go of knowing that they will have a future purpose in life!!!
Thanks to my friend Sheila for chatting with me about my plans for windows. She had some great ideas that she followed through on and I am excited to say that I have a new art adventure to pursue now.
I am working on several more window projects and plan on showing them at an upcoming open air market next month!!! One of a kind art pieces. Possibly also offering them in my Etsy store I am about to open (30 days) and of course selling them at A & J Antique of my favorite places on earth!
Happy Thrifting XOXO...the thrift addict

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

From drab to GoRGeOus!!!

Started stalking this hutch at a local Thrift Store about a month ago. They had a big sale where it was marked 25% off but I didn't have the cash available to purchase it at the time. That is one area of improvement I need to work on in my thrifting. To be a true addict you must pursue your addiction and sometimes I sort of just fall into it...LOL! Not an overachieving addict I must say, but nonetheless...still got a great deal on it. I sold a large piece in my booth and due to other responsibilities in my life, husband, kids etc....I didn't have another large piece ready so I had to pull my gorgeous red hutch from my entry hall at home to put in my booth to fill the space. That meant that I needed something to replace it. Long story...I went back to the Thrift Store and there my treasure still sat. I went to the counter and made an offer (25% off) and they took it! Brought it home and let it sit for about a week because I just couldn't decide on a color. The screen in the front threw me off. I love this piece. So different and cute. Curved legs, beautiful architecture and fittings but not right in it's original wood finish. Here is what I did.
It is a great piece with good "bones"
There is no glass behind this screen. It is just a screened in cabinet. It has very french styling. That is why I painted it a shabby chic white.
Gorgeous antique brass fittings.
Two coats of flat white paint. Mine is actually called "eggshell white" It is not stark, but not yellowed. Just a nice neutral white.
Two coats, let dry then use 3X sandpaper to distress edges and hardware. Didn't want to use a gripper base on this to kill out old finish because I wanted the old wood finish to come through after the distressing.
You can see the wood finish in tact under the sanded off finish.

So much more character when painted.

Cute carved feet can be seen and appreciated so much more now that you can see the architecture come out.
HERE IS THE AFTER!!! I am so happy with how it turned out. It is just gorgeous. I love it!!!
I found this piece for a good price. If it ends up in the booth, It will retail for $495-$595 which is still an amazing price for a solid wood, well built piece with such intricate carving and interesting architecture.
Happy Thrifting! XOXO the thrift addict.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What a DUMP!!!

My friend Mary B. is such fun to be around. A devoted thrifter and although I haven't suggested the intervention yet...complete thrift addict...Mary knows how to get a good deal. When she told me that she scored some free paint and mixed a custom color for the walls of her new office space, I was curious. I know CHEAP...but FREE??? She told me that we need only to take a quick trip to the landfill aka "dump" (remember that I am from to find exactly the right shade. At 8:15 a.m. she was pulling up in front of the house and off we went. You have to pull into the outside lane at the gate and then around to the metal building. You walk in and there are shelves of everything from stain to paint to cleaning products. It's all FREE! You can feel good about it because it isn't going into the soil at the dump and you are recycling other people's throw aways! A thrift addicts dream. I came home with two gallons of paint and about 7 small cans in sample sizes plus two quarts of stain. Mary went away with a couple of gallons of paint, some non-splash bleach and some fabric softener. Did I mention it was FREE! Alright you thrifters...grab your friend (the one that shares her secrets about free stuff) and head to the dump...the ultimate thrift store!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Wooden chairs become cottage outdoor treasure!

I have been dreaming of a garden room. I see them in magazines and I just think to have a room that was decorated in cottage florals and streaming sunshine would be a dream. Well, the reality is that I live in a home that doesn't have one of those so when I started planning our outdoor space, I decided to morph some cottage onto our deck and here is what happened. I picked up these clunky wooden chairs on craigslist for $40 for the pair. They had be re-done in this drapery fabric that I wasn't crazy about but I had a vision.
I loved the flair of the arms and they were really sturdy. I painted them in an ecru by Americana paints and then antiqued them in raw umber and lightly distressed the wood. I went to our local fabric outlet and found some sample suares of discontinued floral fabric and some red and cream colored ticking fabric in the remnant box. Total cost for fabric on both chairs $12. I am not a seamstress so everything I do is hand sewn adding to the vintage look. Here is how they turned out.

Here is how I made the transformation. Two coats of Americana Ecru then let dry. Sand to desired distress with 3X sandpaper and then antique with watered down raw umber. I brushed on then wiped off but you can dry brush or use a towel. Let dry then polycrylic with satin for better wear and tear.
The picture below is my front porch. I wanted a touch of the blue I have fallen in love with this season to be outside as well so I took a couple of old planters I had and dry brushed a robin's egg blue on them then did a dry brush and blend while the blue was still wet with an army green I picked up at home depot. I think they turned out great! Threw some old stems together by weaving them onto eachother to make the wreath. Super fun and easy. All reused and recycled. My favorite thing in the world! Happy Thrifting XOXO the thrift addict.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My new booth at A & J's

I have been busy working on lots of projects for the new booth at A & J Antique Mall in Fort Collins. I am putting in some items for my mom who is wanting to dabble a bit in the dealer world. I am just going to post some photos of the new booth and go over a few staging techniques as I am busy today and don't have a ton of time for blogging. Here goes. When you stage, remember three elements of design. Shine, Texture, Color. When I stage, I try to find those three elements in some form and use them together. I also use black or dark for "grounding" and to add interest. Here are some photos of what worked for me.

The closeup of this table gives the example of color shine and texture. Color is the fruit, shine is the lanterns along with a grounding black color and texture is the baskets.
Most of the items in my booth are from thrifting, garage and estate selling and buying at discount stores. It is a full time job for me and well worth the unique finds that are offered in my booth. I love to give instructions so if you have questions please ask. There is enough business for everyone! XOXO the thrift addict.