Cheeky Chairs – can you say Chic-a-fied?

After a year and change at my booths, I’ve learned a few things – first and foremost – dining room chairs do not sell in the summer! We’re all thinking about outside eating and spending as much time in the great outdoors as possible. But along with the change in temp comes a change in our thoughts and now is the time for rekindling memories of long lazy dinners surrounded by friends and family inside our cozy houses.

Break out the chairs!

As many of you already know I have had an ongoing love affair (aka addiction) with chairs for as long as I can remember. I did not realize I had a problem until my husband; Mr. B posted a count of wing back chairs in our house and it came a staggering 9 … not like it’s nice to take someone else’s inventory but sometimes a gentle nudge is all one needs, so now when I see a lovely stack of chairs that want a new life and a serious chic-a-fy I do not hesitate to bring them home!

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Hailing from  the rock’n ’70’s these funky chairs really needed some love’n when I first spied them –  it’s amazing what a curtain from Value Village can create and Lucy seems to agree!

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As you can see, my assistants sometimes get in the pictures, and in spite of the hand made sign warning strangers not to stick their hands inside the door these 2 guys; Leonard and Winston really can’t read all that well.

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Found abandoned on a road side, this little chair was in perfect shape aside from a ripped seat cover. Nothing that a little paint and fabric can’t fix – now it’s set to be the focal point of some lucky owner’s office!

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And speaking of office chairs …

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I’m picturing this next piece stretched out on the lawn with a pillow and blankie draped over the top. The perfect place to relax on a crisp autumn afternoon.

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The handsome and talented Barty displaying what the chair looks like folded up …

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and then demonstrating the correct way to poof a cushion … thank you Barty.

So from me and my gang, hope you all have a super weekend!

andi

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Just Call Me Red

When I was a kid my Dad retired from the army and we all moved into a big farm house in the country. It was old and grand with high ceilings, arched doorways and wood floors. It was my first experience with decorating and I have my Mom to thank for that. We had a blue room, a red room, a meandering creek that my Dad built a flat bottomed boat for, and with my twin brother by my side we explored miles of farm land. It was an idyllic childhood with summers that lasted forever and allowed me free license to tap out my own sense of creativity. I started collecting dog food and tomato can labels and I wallpapered my closet door. I experimented with making beaded curtains with frozen corn kernels and peas – and when they dried out, lost their color and size, I fed them to the birds.

I don’t recall red before the red room was completed – but it sure made an impression on me! The energy, heat and love that came from that space has stayed forever, it was the TV’s home, the place where the Christmas tree went, and even though it wasn’t called it, it was a true family room. It is because of those feelings that my love for red has never gone away.

Today I have a red kitchen floor, red gingerbread all over the outside of the house, red patio furniture, red bee balm planted everywhere and oodles of red accents inside and out. It’s the color that I am most drawn to when shopping and my “go to” color when I can’t think of what shade to use on a piece. Simply put; red and I have history.

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Union Jack red. The color of power and frankly, one of the coolest flags around. This is a solid oak card table that was given to me, that I gave away, then given back. It may have found it’s final purpose.

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Last week I had time to do some shopping of my own at the market. One of the outside vendors had this very beautiful fish pail lid. The advertising and the art work jumped out at me -so I snatched it up before someone else did.

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Complete with an authentic reel and lure it’s all ready for the fisher person’s hat!

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I am the chair chick and who doesn’t want a matching pair of red parlor chairs?

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This fabulous little step stool was painted red when I found it, but was also splattered completely with white paint. So in sanding off the white I discovered the green and the original oak. Beautiful!

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Yeah, I know you don’t all love red the way I do … so here’s a little shabby white thrown in for good measure.

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And upon closer inspection there may have been some red there at one time!

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Finally, one last image to leave you with that shows how red envelops us in warmth and love.

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My little peanut Bart.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a lovely weekend!

andi

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Don’t Step in the Tea!

People tell me all the time how creative I am … “thanks!” I say, but I really don’t see myself as all that. In fact, if you were to ask me I’d just probably tell you that I have made myself look at things differently. It’s one of those things that allows me get beyond the stereotypical rules that we have placed on an item and turn around and use it as a piece of furniture. You’re seeing it everywhere right now – from  the old wooden ladder that is now a towel rack to the 3 drawer dresser that has become a kitchen island. Thankfully, this wonderful, wacky world of recycling, and reinventing furniture is now a world wide movement, and every piece – big or small that stays out of a landfill makes a difference. We all have the ability to recreate, rejuvenate and reuse old things – we just need some practice … right? Right!

As many of your already know; I love rusty stuff, and in my opinion this not only makes me one of the easiest human beings in the world to buy for but also very in tune to what’s hot right now.  Industrial “junk” sells for so much money that it is being reproduced … huh??? Shouldn’t those “reproducers” just be shopping at the dump?

Ok, enough chatter and behold! The new, improved and “real” versions of old stuff….

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You’ll never have to yell; “don’t climb on the furniture!” again when you use an old rusty step stool as an end table! In fact, you could theoretically change a light bulb while displaying your sea shell collection quite safely…

You smart little multi-tasker you!

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Plunk that cute little table beside a one of a kind folding chair. Originally plain but now all gussied up with a decoupaged Currier and Ives picture.

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What’s that you say? One more look? Sure – drink it all in …

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And speaking of drinking …

what do you do with that old tea trolley that Aunty Agatha gave you? Tea really isn’t your “thang” you’ve told yourself.

But what if you paired it with that rusty old suitcase and 2 drawer fronts for stability?

Presto- Instant swank!

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ok ok  ok … I hear ‘ya saying “well, that’s all well and good, but swank won’t keep me warm at night.”

HAH!

Fooled ‘ya!

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Man – it’ so hot – it’s ‘smok’n!

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Now to be truthful, this post would be incomplete if I did not mention the next items – and even though they are not in the multi uses catagories they deserve recognition.

We all know that God loves most men…but he especially loves the ones that stop on their way home from work and pick up curb side swag! Yup, Mr. B does that for me – lucky me!

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Looking all prim and proper in their new bonnets, they’ll be sure to make someone’s room come alive.

So there you have it – last week’s garbage – this week’s treasure!

But wait – one last look at the beauty of rust….

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It says; British Made.

Thanks for reading!

andi

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La Lounger

I have a friend named Paulie who is a woman of many talents. Not only does she paint the most amazing images on rocks and slate but she has a very, very good eye. Every now and then she will save something for me that she has found in the sorting department of the thrift shop where she works that is destined for the burn pile.

“If you don’t buy it it’s going in the dumpster” I get told. Sometimes they’re beyond all hope and even Dr. Shut Up can’t help but this time we all got lucky…

“I don’t know what you call this thing” she said “but it’s super comfy” as she bounced around on a 2 armed chaise lounger. It was covered in blah boring beige velvet and stained beyond cleaning. Rips could be seen all around a broken arm, but aside from that – it was pristine – “SOLD!” I excitedly exclaimed “let’s load ‘er up!”

Using that last of the Arabian Nights fabric and removing the broken arm was the only way to go and as you can see by the end result – we have achieved luxury.

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Using salvaged pieces of decorative molding from another old chair dresses up the arm less side and gives added sex appeal.

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This BEAUTIFUL vintage lamp is the perfect mate for the lounger – they’re a match made in lounging heaven!

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This next piece was one of my very first attempts at distressing furniture, and considering I used an old bread knife to scrape away the paint it looks pretty good! It has moved with us 3 times and I really do love it enough to hate to say goodbye to it … but I’m the kind of woman who is constantly reinventing rooms and with the latest reinvention of the summer kitchen alas, there is no longer enough room for it …

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The center roll top still functions and would house a PVR nicely if you wanted to mount your TV above it.

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I love these handles and the olive green in the back.

I also happen to love old rusty stuff, particularly barbed wire. Last Christmas I made a wreath from a roll and it sold immediately. This year I’m ahead of the game and have started early. Decorated with wild turkey feathers they’re all ready for someone’s front door or wall.

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So that’s it folks!

Hope you have a great weekend and thanks for reading.

andi

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Provincially Speaking…

Is it just me or do the week’s seem to be speeding up? I find myself scrambling every time a season change is upon us to get all the things done that I said I would get done at the start…”you’ll have tons of time to get the outside windows washed this summer” the little voice inside my head told me this spring! Ha! The little voice lied ’cause they still ain’t done!

Anyway enough complaining. What I did get done this summer was some pretty exceptional furniture and this week’s line ups are just as exceptional, so along the theme of everyone needing more storage and that whole back to school push I happened to stumble across a French Provincial dresser with the Sears sticker still attached (I actually remember a time when you could order real wood furniture from the catalog.) and then a new online pal had a 1970’s bookcase for sale. What can I say? Events just seem to magically happen in the world of Dr. Shut Up.

The newest “thing” right now is to take old, nasty dressers and turn them into chic, head turners to hold your big screen TV. The drawers hide all the ugly electronic necessities and the top is always long enough to house the bottom of the TV and all your essential pretties. For me, it’s a very fun transformation and while I am able to express my creativity the landfill gets one less dresser. Kinda a win win situation wouldn’t you say?

But enough blabbing and on with the show!

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One of my all time favorite things to do besides painting is to cover stuff in paper napkins. It totally looks extremely cool and gives each piece a one of a kind look. This is the close up.

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Ready? Set? Who’s got the remote control?

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Time to think back to school. Dorm room. Getting organized. I love 1970’s furniture not because of the wood they used – because they didn’t use real wood – they made ornate moldings out of plastic. Those ornate moldings look fantastic when painted and then loaded up with amber shellac.

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More use of the napkins and voila! a bookcase to design a room around.

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Amber shellac looks like molten caramel. It dries very quickly and cleans up with household ammonia. I love the stuff because I can add so much depth and ageing to a piece that is brand new.

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This next piece has a lot of history to it and an incredible story to go along with it. It’s a commissioned item that Deb (the beautiful Queen Scheherazade) and Marek (The Evil King) brought to me to have chic-ified. (Pronounced; scheek-a-fied) The material came from value village, probably dates to the 1970’s and is what makes the chair so magnificent.

Have a gander and tell me that you wouldn’t want to sit on this baby…

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Using a mixture of purple and copper spray paints I came up with this beautiful color combination.

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Everyone who sees the fabric goes a little gaga for a few minutes and after they’ve composed themselves try to determine the origin of the pattern. No one can decide on where the scenes would have come from … are they Persian, Arabian, Ottoman Empire, Mongolian? We’ll let Deb and Marek decide.

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So that’s it!

Hope you all have a lovely long weekend. Mine is all planned and I’m extremely happy to report that I’m painting the dining room!! My spectacular chandelier was put up last weekend so now its time to revisit yellow and change over to “French Vanilla” ooh la la!

Thanks for reading!

andi

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A Shut Up Salute To On Line Shopping

Local web sites offering used wares are all the latest craze right now and in my quest to stay an up-to-date kinda gal I’m doing my part to support them. What I love about the web pages is that they give me another option for finding old neglected furniture without even leaving my kitchen!

It’s a wonderful way to shop and savvy sellers are everywhere now. Included in this is the “on line auction”. A week long event that entices us all to bid on some of the coolest stuff I’ve ever seen.The majority of these ladies who run the auctions will even deliver your treasure for a small fee like Melissa from OLDEN DAZE!

It just doesn’t get any easier than that does it?

So with that being said this week’s post is all about the online auction and shopping experience, and even though I don’t have the original “before” photos, I’m hoping you will appreciate the “after” because every piece you’re about to see came from that savvy chick – the on line seller….

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Nursing a broken arm and stained cushions this GORGEOUS settee was in dire need of a face lift. Screaming “FRENCH APARTMENT!!” she now only needs a new owner to love her. Super strong now and comfy, comfy, comfy it would even work as a bench for a dining room table.

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Do you remember the first couple of pieces that I bought on line? They were a super tall tallboy that I painted celery green and another turquoise colored hutch. These next 2 items are the last from that purchase. Originally I had thought that I would make feet for them but then realized they would not be tall enough. So here they are as wall mirrors.  Each as big as a window they’re beautiful!

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A close up to show you the slight distressing.

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This last piece came from the OLDEN DAZE online auction. I loved it as soon as I saw it and really had to hold myself back when it came to  selling it or keeping it.

Thankfully there are only so many walls in this old house so it’s off to market with me tomorrow.

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The frame is an old table top that had seen better days. I think they marry very well and are a match made in potato heaven…

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Thanks for reading!

andi

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The Post Without a Title

For some reason I’ve drawn a blank this week and cannot get my brain working…maybe I’ve used it to much this week? Hahahaha!

Anyway, I think you’re going to like what you see today because there really is truth to the statement that practice makes better (can’t say perfect!). In fact, in high school art I had an art teacher named Mr. Stedman, he was very cool and used to swear which really impressed us all. He said the ONLY difference between a good artist and a great one is practice…! Seriously, what a wonderful thing to say to a group of bored teenagers! His words never left me and have encouraged, motivated and inspired me many many times over the years. I also had another art teacher – Miss Whatshername (can’t remember!) she was old, she was extremely eccentric and she had a pet seagull named Fritz. She, on the other hand did nothing but annoy me but that’s a whole other story…

Sometimes when I pick items I know exactly what they are going to be, other times their new faces will appear when I stand them up and look at them from a different angle…hmmmm…thankfully I did not take psychology!

What started out in life as a table has now become 2 items and gives hope to all those round tables out there with owners ready to toss them out. Behold! and hold yourself back as you see the new table top…….

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After painting, distressing and then adding my all time favorite ingredient; amber shellac I had what appeared to be old aged paint. Next I painstakingly cut out all the letters in a roman numeral clock face only to discover that they would not fit…nothing that a little creativity can’t solve and voila! the faux clock!

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I happen to LOVE old rusty cutlery. I use it all the time to embellish and decorate things and I LOVE old plastic hardware. The 3 pieces marry so well together and now that they are all glued in place?

Fantastico!

So who doesn’t happen to have an old mannequin sitting around in their garage waiting, waiting, waiting? AND legless, I might add?

Please meet the Divine Miss M…

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She came out of an old barn, was covered in pigeon poo and was begging for a new life. Draped in drywall tape, a 1976 Simplicity sewing pattern (that my Mom most likely owned and used) and then finally covered again in amber shellac she is certainly tres chic! Attached to the bottom of the table top she now screams SOPHISTICATION! Ahem, and will look stunning in pretty much any environment.

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Lastly, as many of you know I kinda have a love affair going with the Union Jack. What can I say? It’s just too cool and happens to look amazing on anything I put it on. Plus, my Mom and Dad are both British – RULE BRITANNIA!

So……when I bought this vintage barber chair and 2 days later found a Union Jack flag – comm’on – you had to know what would be next.

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I  kept the original manufactures tag from the bottom of the chair, along with the tag from the flag and will give them to the new owner. My youngest son Mike who has seen every Union Jack remodel I’ve done likes this one the best. Thanks Mike! It turned out well and I am excited to know where it will end up spending the next 80+ years!

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So that’s it!

Hope you all have a great weekend and thanks for reading!

andi

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The Turquoise Queen and One Year Later…

Last week’s market was completely over the top, where do all the people come from? I sold so many things that this week was spent playing catch up. But as many of you already know doing what you love makes all things possible and once again I smiled the whole time creating and painting. I even managed to squeeze in some time to get some gardening and shopping done too!

It’s hard to believe that one year has come and gone so quickly – it’s all kinda a blur. But what I’ve learned! WOW. Mr. B wants me to write a book and I am seriously giving it some thought.

Lesson number one?

Repeating success can only lead to more success!

Turquoise is a super hot color right now and it seems anything I bring into my booth in that color sells immediately.

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This is a before shot. As you can see the top had been used to hold plants and the veneer was destroyed. Can you also see that the bottom drawer would not close? Dampness and wood are not friends.

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After a week with Dr. Shut Up the bottom drawer is now permanently sealed and the top is transformed. Look at those sexy legs!

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A final close up of the cleaned up drawer pulls and the veneer design on the doors. Leaving some wood unpainted really makes this beauty shine.

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2 weeks ago I found this sweet little vanity online. It was advertised as a desk because the mirror that it originally had been made with was obviously long gone. Pairing it up again with one was what it needed.

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Embellishing it with pages and pictures from an 1894 Canadian Farmers Manual of Agriculture was all the bling it needed along with a fancy dancy little faux pocket watch that permanently reads 1:43 and 42 seconds.

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Finally this last piece was just to quirky too walk away from. Homemade and slightly off center it yelled very loudly for an update when I spied it at House of Lazarus.

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The jeans also came from there and they too were too cool to leave behind ( get it – behind??) I’ve already made a sign that I will display with this chair. It reads;

If you can’t feel the funk – then don’t park your junk.

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Now get out there and listen to some old R&B and have a super duper weekend!

andi

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Can You Say Santa Fe?

Almost 2 years ago my husband, my bestie JBro, her husband, and I went on a road trip. We drove from Ottawa to Las Vegas and man, did we have a blast! I was told that once I got to see the light in Santa Fe I would understand the colors and if you’ve ever been you know what I’m talking about.

Turquoise, copper, hot pinks, oranges the bold and beautiful hues of summer. What we only see for one season they are lucky enough to embrace  year round. Their lives revolve around these magical colors and I left promising myself that I would try to bring a little back with me. Since then I have been constantly looking for the right furniture. My search came to a screeching halt 2 weeks ago when I found 2,  1970’s I-weigh-a-ton copper plated pieces. Just screaming at me from my computer I immediately posted that I wanted them and after much driving ( I got lost) they came home with me.

This first beauty is a 2 piece tall boy who probably weighs about 100 lbs…you should have seen my son and I lifting it over the top of a banister to get it down the stairs of the house we picked it up from! I seriously thought I might not be able to do it! I chose to paint it in this celery green to make the copper pop and I’m very pleased with the results. It sold immediately last weekend and thank you Judy for loving it as much as I do.

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Thankfully the builders made the smart choice of having the bottom half ( where the lower drawer is housed) all it’s own separate piece, because lifting the 2 together would have proved impossible for me and I’m guessing would weigh in around 120 lbs.

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Gorgeous eh?

This is the one that is coming with me tomorrow….

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Can’t you just see a big ‘ol flat screen on top of this? This color is so true to the actual turquoise that I brought home with me.

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As with the tall boy, I kept the distressing to a minimum to not take away from the beauty of the copper plates and like it’s mate weighs about another 100 lbs.

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Desert flower. Flower power. Call it what you like but this is the easiest way to take a blah old dresser and turn it into the life of the party. I use paper napkins and decoupage them onto the drawers followed by layers and layers of clear coat. It’s pretty spectacular and I’m very happy with the way it turned out.
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This last little half moon table has really nothing to do with Santa Fe but it’s sweet and fancy which makes me smile.

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Free hand painting is always good for the soul!

Thanks for reading!

andi

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Here A Chair, There A Chair, Everywhere A Chair Chair…

Whew! It’s been a very hot, steamy and sticky week here in Eastern Ontario and when the weather is as uncomfortable as it has been it’s hard to keep motivated. Sitting in an air conditioned workshop is not a reality for me, but in between wind gusts I did manage to get some beautiful chairs transformed, and I’m very happy about that!

I also found a very cool site for trading, swapping and selling in my neck of the woods and thanks to Chelan I picked up a 100 year old rocker that she had no use for anymore. Plus, on Wednesday my bestie Jeanette and I hit our favorite thrift shops where I found a 1970’s sewing machine chair and the neatest bunch of fabrics! 2 of the chairs that you’re about to see are sporting this Wednesday’s fabric haul and they truly look divine da’ ling…

But enough yakk’in – lets get on with the show!

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The 100 year old rocker. Still with the huge solid copper springs and the lovely little front leg wheels. After a quick white wash and some of the newly purchased fabric; super heavy denim, it’s a whole other chair!

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Once again, I am showing you something that I really love. But I don’t sew, so I don’t need a sewing chair and I honestly have no room or need for this pretty pretty baby…

Sigh…too bad…

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These were 2 Pier 1 pillows shams that HAD to come home with me. Jeanette and I both thought that they would really bring this little beauty to life and man, did we nail it!

What a funky chair it is now.

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This next honey was just an ordinary run of the mill wooden chair. Already painted white I thought I could just distress it and have it as that extra chair you always seem to need. But when I added my amber shellac to it something happened…parts of the white turned pink!

‘Za chemical reaction…very, very inta’resting…

Knowing that the odds of selling a  pink chair would be slightly limited I quickly searched through my fabric collection. It wasn’t happening – I had nothing! Hmmm… so what to do next? Well, you look through your closet of course!

Ta da! There it was, a Bohemian style silk shirt that I loved the color of when I bought it but not so much the style…

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So enough of the freak’n chairs!

I have a neighbor at the market who continuously brings in an odd assortment of pieces specifically for me.  Last weekend she said to me “come on kid, you know you want ’em…” and she showed me the next 2 items as a dare.

Ha! I say, I laugh in the face of ugly furniture – ’cause I know how to make them pretty!

BRING IT ON…

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Not your cup of tea you say? Well, I know a young woman who is going to go gaga over it…

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In a past life this last piece was designed to hold your record collection. Still wearing the same divider inside of it’s cupbaord all it needed was a couple  of layers of vintage mac tac and green paint to show off it’s mod lines.

Too cool Daddy O, too cool…

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Hope you all have a happy weekend and thanks for reading.

andi

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