Monday, July 21, 2014

I finished the kitchen, and then we moved...

Well, folks.  We knew it was coming.  The dreaded "move" happened this last month, and in the months leading up to the move, I did so much work that blogging about it was the last thing on my mind.  Now that the dust has started to settle, I want to take the time to do the final check in from the kitchen, and I'll be back again soon to show you my entire basement that I tackled in four months before the move, plus give you a little walk through of how I left my house (that I am currently missing SO much!)

When I last left you so many months ago, I was getting ready to put hardware on my drawers, so it was pretty close to finished at that point.  Sadly, these pictures still don't show the total finished space since I took them when we initially listed our house for rent, just before I refinished the floors, and before my last face plate came in for one of the outlets (You know...because SOMEONE may have cut the tile 1/8" short, and finding an oversize plate in a switch/outlet combo was next to impossible).  But, before we get to the after- let me remind you of the before, and the road to get to this point...


Gosh.  It was so dark, and cluttered, and dated!

Then we have some during shots... 

And finally, we get through all that hard work to the AFTER!!

And here's a picture of the floors after I finished them.

I used a mixture of 2 parts English chestnut and 1 part dark walnut stain to achieve this color on the red oak floors.  As is typical for me, I jumped in with both feet and sanded and refinished the floors in the entire first floor of my house over a three day weekend while my mom watched my boys.  It was a busy, dusty, exhausting time- but I love how all of the floors flow throughout my house now, and how they no longer scream 80's golden oak.

I wish I had taken a picture of the new French doors and handles we put into the old pantry area.  It's still a pantry, but my sweet hubby wired it and I used it as an appliance pantry to keep all my appliances off the counters.  I also wish I had taken pictures of the "bells and whistles" of the room, and I definitely regret not blogging as I went because there were so many little details that I worked on in the space...but that's ok.  I have pictures, and a memory, and soon I'll be back there again.  :)

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Oh, Hey there Union Jack...finally.

I have been wanting to paint something with a big 'ol Union Jack flag on it for the last two years...but I kept coming up with reasons not to do it.  I've really gotten into a groove of a solid piece, painted distressed, in and out-- like this little music cabinet I did a few days prior to the Union Jack (it's Tricycle MMS Milk Paint).

The massive basement/garage clean out I've been working on though finally pushed me to do it.  I spaced, and didn't take a before picture, but trust me when I say this vintage buffet was begging for some love.  I picked it up for free out of someone's garage, covered in dirt, and plopped it in my garage where it stayed until last weekend.  I pulled it inside and started playing with it.  I thought I'd just do it with a navy- stain the legs, maybe stain the framed inset (it's the only detail on the buffet).  It didn't work.  It just was so blah. (And ALL of my pictures are terrible phone pics right now... so sorry!)

There was just nothing special about it, so I started looking at Union Jack dressers online again.  My mom stopped by and told me I should do it, and when Mom says to do something, I usually do.  I went ahead and covered the inset piece in blue, and started measuring and taping.  I used the template below, and did a bit of algebra to figure out how wide my lines should be.

Since my buffet was longer than would correlate to the flag, I made my "x" from the horizontal measurements for my vertical ones as well so the flag wouldn't be misshapen.

If it's been a while since you've had an algebra class- I'll give you a little refresher.  This is using the measurements along the side.  Your equation will be:
10x+2x+6x+2x+10x= The height of your flag on your dresser (mine was 22.5)
x=22.5/30= .75

So, when I measured every line, I multiplied the individual measurements by .75

I hope that made sense.  When you calculate your measurements you'll use your own dresser height, so your numbers will come out different, but this is how to actually figure them out.

Measure, mark, and tape.

After getting to this point, you use a very sharp knife to cut out the tape that's on the inside of the cross, then paint.

After the paint has had a chance to dry, you'll measure again and tape off where your red should be.

Paint inside your lines, and remove your tape.  I always remove my tape while the paint is still wet.  This gives nice crisp lines and reduces the chances of pulling paint off with the tape.  At this point you'll probably have a few bleeds here and there that you will need to touch up.  After you do that, you'll be at this point...

You'll probably have a hard time not staring at it forever and thinking about how awesome it looks.  I know I did.  It's such a bold design.  I really love it.

I went ahead and distressed the tops and sides like I normally do, and lightly distressed the front to tie it in, but not so much to ruin all that work I just did!

Then I flipped it on it's back, and sanded and restained the legs in a dark walnut color.  I sealed the whole piece with four coats of semi-gloss polyurethane, and added the original, cleaned up hardware back onto it.

It turned out fabulous, and I'm glad I finally decided to paint one of these!

For those who may be wondering, the blue is Valspar's Jazz Club, the red is also Valspar in Front Door, and the white is Ben Moore's Decorator's White.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kitchen Progress and a Couch

It's been a busy few months.  Work is still steady from the shop, and my house is still in progress.  We're getting to crunch time- six month count down to moving is about ready to begin.  The kitchen is getting SO close to being finished.  I've painted all the cabinets, granite was installed (we got a great deal, so we went this way instead of our Ikea butcherblock.  We still have it though, so if someone's looking for the discontinued Oak Numerar countertops-- shoot me a message!), and I put the backsplash in this week.  I still need to grout, paint the windows, install hardware (that's why the drawers are off in the pictures), and refinish the floors...and the pantry-- that thing's become it's own separate room from all this.  It won't take much though.  A little filling, sanding, and painting, and it's done.

My biggest project before the kitchen was this couch.  It was roadkill...found on the side of the road, cushionless- and it actually wasn't all that dirty until I loaded it into my car, and left it in my garage for TWO years.  Countdown to moving- remember?  Hubby said it needed to be out, so I finally mustered up the courage to tackle it.

I took all the fabric off, and then it sat on my porch this summer for a few days until I had room in my "studio" (aka- living room) to work on it.

Then it started to rain, so I had to resort to shoving EVERYTHING into the living room, making a giant cluttered mess.

It's been a back burner project for a while, but as Christmas came closer, and the weather has become cooler, my desire to use my fireplace, and have my living room back, and cute, grew strong enough to make me push on in the couch project.

I wanted to use a fun, bright fabric.  I chose Premier Prints Ikat Domino Flamingo.

When I finally got around to the couch, I found that it had some structural damage to one of the arms, and there was a crack running along the front panel.  A little glue and a few screws and steel plates and it was sturdy again.

I found a large piece of foam at Home Depot for cushion.  It was 3" tall, and thick enough that you didn't feel the floor when you sat on it.  This couch needed a smaller cushion so it didn't look overpowering, so once it was wrapped in dacron, it was the perfect height.  

I went ahead and paid an upholsterer to sew the cushion for me for two reasons.  First- time.  I was so crunched with my house and other projects that I didn't have the time to sit and figure this one out...which leads to Two: experience.  I've sewn a lot of things, but to date I have still not sewn a zipper.  This couch was a pretty big thing and I didn't want to do all that work to mess it up with an inexperienced rush job.  Because the couch had no existing cusion to template from, a little error on sizing from me, and a little error on sizing from him, the cushion came back a little small.  I was disappointed, but solved the problem by removing the fabric on the arms and adding more dacron to them to fill the voids.

The end result was a bright, fun couch.

I'm happy with the way it turned out, and it really wasn't anymore difficult than upholstering a chair.  I would definitely do one again, but I am glad to have it finished and out of the house!  What do you think?  Would you take a project like this on?

Featured on Roadkill Rescue

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Folk art buffet

Holy cow, guys.  I suck at updating this blog anymore.  I am so.freaking.busy.  My kitchen's still not done, but it's getting soooooo close.  Soon.  Soon.  I took a break while my husband was away for a couple weeks and re-did my master bathroom.  I've upholstered a handful of chairs, and I'm making two adorable little sheep costumes for Halloween.

Somewhere in there, we had a huge order at the shop.  A couple came in a bought a ton of furniture, including this buffet I had posted a while back:

However, they wanted it re-painted in a folk art style.  The only direction I was given was that they wanted the fun colors found in the shop, and that I had total creative freedom.  Let me tell you- that stressed me out.  Crazy bad.  I have never, never, ever painted anything in that style...and this was a big piece.

I did a lot of searching.  Lately, I love herringbone, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that.  Otherwise, I found this rug, and bought it for my own living room...only to be told two weeks later it was out of stock and my money was going to be I used it as inspiration as well.  I know it's hard to see in the pictures I've posted before, but these are "shop" colors if ever there were any.

Before I show you the process though, let me show you where we began (or close to it).

I stripped three layers of veneer of this buffet, filled it, and sanded it before it was ever painted blue.  Let's just say that when they told me I had to repaint it, and in such a crazy style for me, I wanted to cry a little.

I started out by enlarging the design, and mirroring it in half to get it the size I wanted.  Then I used carbon paper to trace the design to the top.  From there, I painted...

And painted...

And painted...

And painted (and CLEARLY did not clean...) 

And slowly...

It was transformed.

Into a crazy bright, fun, folk art buffet...complete with six coats of poly...

and big glass knobs, and original hoop pulls on the drawers.

I probably spent over 200 hours painting this thing.  In the end, I was proud of it, because it'd become my baby...but I have to admit- I have no desire to paint like this again.  I'm sad that the final picture I have of it was taken at night, blown up by artificial light, but it's what I have.  The buffet has been delivered to it's new owners, who are in love, and packing it and an entire storage shed of furniture purchased from our shop (Flea Market to Fabulous) to their new home in South Carolina.

Hopefully I'll be back sooner than later with some more updates...but who ever knows with two kids, all this painting, and a husband as busy as could be!

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