Monthly Archives: September 2012
I have been sick.
Not just a little under the weather, but full out flu SICK. It has not been pretty around here. It’s been the high fever, chills, body aches that-make-you-want-to-die sick. My hubby would come home from work and find me still in the jammies I’ve had on for two days and have a shocked/pity look on his face and say “You look….not so good”. Now my daughter does not put things quite so delicately. After I go pick her up from school, which takes every bit of energy I can muster, she says “Wow, you look like crap. I hope none of my friends see you”. Thanks dear. They both were right though, I looked like walking death. The house is a mess, dishes piled up, laundry overflowing and my daughter’s clothes everywhere.
Here’s the problem with being sick when you work from home, everywhere you look you see your job. Now if you work outside of the home and you take a sick day, you can stay home crawl in bed and away from all the office tasks. Not me, every time I hobbled down the hall, there is my studio — with projects I’m getting farther and farther behind on, and it’s been making me crazy. Besides the house looking like a bomb went off.
So as the days wore on (and I had taken about four NyQuil flu pills) I began to think “Maybe I’m feeling a bit better, I should get to work”. Bad idea.
After I work for a few minutes I start to realize that four NyQuils throw off your coordination a bit: My painting looks sloppy, my distressing looks weird and as the NyQuil starts to wear off I realize “I.am.freaking.sick.” So as I lay there on the floor next to a headboard I’m working on, I dump a can of paint. It flows everywhere. All over the floor, all over me, on the nicely groomed white dogs… So there I am, laying on the floor in my 2 day old jammies, dark rings under my eyes, pale as can be, in a cold sweat and my I-just-escaped-from-an-insane-asylum hair, covered in paint. On that note, I decide that I surrender. That is until the next day, and I do the whole thing over again.
I just don’t have time to be sick and it makes me crazy. This has lasted a whole week! Sunday was the first I felt slightly human again. So my husband is trying to get me to ease back into my projects instead of killing myself to make up time only to end up right back in bed.
I think today I might be adventurous and actually get dressed today. I might even throw on a little makeup just to spice things up. Maybe I’ll even leave the house. Or I could could just stay in my jammies all day and distress a great big bookshelf. Probably the latter will win out.
I hope everyone stays germ free. Make your spouses wash their hands before entering your house. Hose your children off before they can come inside. De-germify your teenager’s cell phone. Trust me you do not want this bug.
Too sick for new projects, here is a little side table I did for my cousin a little while back. I got it at a fundraiser garage sale for the humane society. It was a bit scratched up and dated, but it had good bones. I used an ivory chalk paint and distressed it. I didn’t glaze this one, it was one of my first projects and it was before I had tried glazing. I think it turned out pretty cute!
So … I’m going to show you what I got for my birthday, but don’t be alarmed OK? Don’t say “Shanna what the heck? Your family got you crap!” No need to pity me, I received just what I wanted. Sometimes what DIY’ers ask for might be a little scary to “normal” people.
Let’s start with number one: A vintage typewriter to decorate or stage my furniture pieces. When I take photos of the furniture I’m ready to sell, I like to “stage” it — make it look like it might if you owned it, and it was in your home. It makes the piece more inviting than if it was setting up against a stark white wall with nothing on it.
2. Old cruddy bookshelves! Oh yeah! These babies are going to be great when they’re finished! Now these are going to take a little bit of work. I’m intend to paint them ivory and distress them. I’m also going to paint the back of the shelves turquoise (because there is no such thing as too much turquoise). Plus, I have some great silver, white and turquoise accessories to decorate with. And once they’re complete, I’m setting them in my basement (as you’ll see in the photos). I’m excited to clear away some time to work on them.
3. Some vintage hardware for a dresser. Finding a dresser from 1910 with all of its hardware intact is a rare thing, and replacing old, authentic hardware does not come cheap. That’s why it’s so exciting to find a piece of furniture with all of its original knobs or handles.
4. Some old furniture pieces. A couple of dressers, an old vanity, a small bookshelf, and a couple of neat tables. All with such potential!
5. A subscription to HGTV Magazine. Now this one’s not scary at all — just motivation to get off my behind and get moving on all these pieces (see bullets 2, 3 and 4).
Now I know most people would be appalled to get this “junk” as gifts, but I’m thrilled! Some of these pieces I will sell, some I will keep, but all will be better off than when I started.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder — but I may be a little farsighted.
For my mom’s birthday I had no idea what to get her. She, of course, said she didn’t want a thing (not helpful). The only thing I heard her say she wanted was something to hang over this antique secretary in her living room. I looked at all kinds of stores and came up with nothing. Her whole house has a Victorian theme so I wanted something to go along with her style.
So my daughter and I crafted her a wreath made out of old book pages. It’s not that hard to make, just time consuming. You also use a ton of glue sticks for your glue gun. You can put anything in the middle, fake flowers or knick knacks, but I used old broken jewelry. I also added a couple of my grandmother’s earrings for a bit of sentimental value. I cut out a round piece of cardboard the size of a soccer ball, then my daughter rolled all of the book pages diagonally, then glued them around the perimeter. Next, we worked our way towards the middle of the circle. Once the pages were all glued-on, we added the jewelry pieces. Three hours later, with some very hot-glue-burnt fingertips we were done. Mom loves it, and it looks great over her secretary.
Have a great weekend everyone!!!
I was thinking about some of my favorite things right now and this is what I came up with.
- My new mirror that I got at a yard sale. My dear hubby and brother put this bad boy up for me. I owe them for that.
- My new pumpkins I got for beside my mirror.
- Now I know this one is weird, lol, but I got a vintage bichon at a shop on Saturday. It looks just like my LuLu! My husband thinks I’m crazy and my daughter thinks it’s creepy but I don’t care. What are the chances of finding something like this? My hubby says there’s a reason for that. It’s so funny, when we brought it home the dogs all gathered around it and started sniffing it’s butt! So it’s now officially one of the pack.
- My new rug for the kitchen. It will look a lot better once I get my dining room table finished.
- Be Kind granola bars. They are pretty healthy and really yummy.
- Dancing with the Stars all stars. I know, I know it’s not exactly mind stimulating television but I love all the glitz.
- Orange leaf ( a frozen yogurt shop). Tonight I got snicker doodle and Oreo cookie cake flavors. It’s yogurt, so it can’t be that bad for you right?
- Joss and Main. They have daily decor and furniture sales that are fanfreakingtastic. The great part is when you buy something there you get free shipping for the rest of the month! That’s where I got my rug and I maybe bought something really cool for my wall today (don’t tell my hubby).I will show you when it gets here.
- I love the cooler weather. I love being able to take the pups on a walk without them wanting to turn back after 3 minutes.
- I love fall yard sales. The ones in the spring and the fall are usually the best. The people that have them in the scorching heat are usually desperate for money and the stuff isn’t too high of quality. In the spring and fall people are just cleaning the good stuff out, which means more new projects for me!
Here is my newest project. It’s an antique lowboy dresser. Here is the before picture:
It was in good shape but the top was pretty scratched up. I sanded it down, I mixed together some chalk paint using Sherwin Williams Jamaica Bay. I then distressed it using a glaze mixture of Valspar translucent mixing glaze and stain and then sealed it with clear Annie Sloan wax. When you wax a piece you put on a light coat and let it dry overnight. You then buff it off with a clean rag or cheesecloth and depending on how heavily used the piece is going to be used sometimes I repeat the process.
Some people just come into this world being accident prone. No matter how careful they are they just can’t help injuring themselves. Well my husband is one of those people. If there is a glass of water to be knocked over he’s the one to do it. If there are stairs to fall down, he’s your man. If there is a manhole without it’s cover, down he goes (I swear that really happened!).
There was one day when we stopped at 7-11 to get something. My daughter and I waited in the car while my husband went in. While getting out of the car he nailed his head on the roof of the car. Now my daughter and I were trying not to laugh, but you know, the harder you try the worse it is. He then got inside the store, and his shoelace caught on the newspaper stand. There he is walking, dragging this newspaper stand along with him. Poor guy! We had to watch him as he drug the stand back to where it should be. So of course that has my daughter and I in hysterics at this point. Then as he gets back into the car, he slams his leg in the door. We lost it at that point. My kiddo and I had tears running down our faces. Mind you that he never really hurt himself or it wouldn’t have been that funny — we aren’t that heartless. All three things happened within 3 minutes! How does that happen?
That’s just how it works with my husband. Expect the unexpected. He may be a little clumsy but he’s a wonderful husband and an amazing father. He puts up with all of my craziness and loves me anyway. He drives me all across town (and further) picking up furniture that he thinks is total junk. He is then very proud of me when I turn that junk into something pretty cool. He has spent hours helping me develop this blog and doesn’t even get too annoyed when I ask him how to do this or that on the blog for the 15th time. He’s the one who mixes up my paint and makes a wobbly table sturdy again. He nails together dresser drawers and is the wood putty king.
My dear hubby or Topher as I call him, is one of the smartest people I know. He’s also one of the most caring and loyal. So if he knocks off my plate during dinner or falls off the porch into my mums, so be it. I’m still one lucky lady.
I got this chandelier at a yard sale for $25. It was loaded with all different size crystals. I just didn’t love the gaudy gold. So I decided to paint it. Since I was working on another project, my husband told me he would take the crystals off. I told him to make sure to take a before picture so I knew where all of the crystals went since there were so many different size.
As you can tell by this photo … he forgot. After days of painting it (it was harder than I thought, even after priming it, the paint still didn’t want to stick) it was done. I started putting crystals on, not knowing what the heck I was doing. There were seven different sizes besides the rope crystals. It took me 3 days to get them all on right (at least I think they are right) and it looked gorgeous! None of these pictures do it justice. I’ll show more pictures once I get my hubby to hang it. I’m putting it in my kitchen. My husband thinks that’s an insane place for a chandelier but that’s okay. He has learned to trust my design choices. Here’s the finished product!
- When you have 4 pets, DO NOT walk into the hall in the morning with out looking. You could step in cat vomit (disgusting!) or worse.
- DO NOT forget that you have a dentist appointment.
- DO NOT drop a heavy sander on your toes. (Feels like it’s broken, it’s probably not, but it feels like it).
- DO NOT move a heavy dining table while trying to pull a rug out from underneath it by yourself, just because you were too excited about your new rug that came today and you couldn’t be patient enough to wait until your husband came home. It’s really pretty though. (First animal that produces some kind of bodily fluid on it will die (not really, but I will be super mad)).
- Most of all, DO NOT be around a crabby teenage daughter if she had a bad day. (Even though you stopped what you were doing to pick her up and went and got her a smoothie, she was still crabby and somehow her bad day was somehow my fault)
Wanna see the new rug?
Yay! Now I got a great old table with fantastic carved legs off craigslist a while back. Someday I am going to make it the same blue that’s in the rug. That is after I get finished with the commissioned headboard, footboard and bookshelf, the half table and mirror for my sister-in-law, the two gold end tables. the green end table, and the blue magazine rack/table. Should take me no time at all … lol! At least it’s a nice day out.
If your going to be sanding a footboard it’s good if you’re not roasting.
Well, hope everyone has a great weekend! You know what I’ll be doing!
A little green end table. I just started distressing it — and it needs glazing too. I better make a big batch of glaze!
If you read my earlier post about my first dog Gracie, you know that I am absolutely in love with my pup. She is such an amazing dog. The only problem we had was separation anxiety (on both our parts). She was (is) super clingy to me. If we would leave you could hear her through the door crying.
So at this point in our lives, we had one dog and two cats which my hubby thought was more than enough. I didn’t.
I knew Gracie needed a friend. I also knew this time I didn’t want to go through a breeder. I wanted to rescue a dog that needed a home, so I looked on petfinder.com. It’s a great site. You can type in what breed you want, what gender, what age and how far you’re willing to travel to find one.
Being allergic to dogs I have to have a hypoallergenic breed which limits things. I liked bichons and thought they were beautiful, so I found a rescue in Kansas City who had a litter of bichon puppies. I (kind of) discussed it with the hubby and he needed some convincing, but he didn’t say a flat out no — so I filled out the forms and emailed it in to see if we qualified.
A woman from the rescue called me the next day saying this litter came from a puppy mill and would be ready to go by the weekend. GREAT! Only problem was you had to commit to the dog, sight unseen. Well, what if we got up there and didn’t bond with the dog? What if she hated me? Then what? My husband would kill me if we drove 3 hours to get this dog, and we didn’t even want it.
The rescue was bringing several animals to a Petsmart that weekend to try to get them adopted and said we could pick up our pup there.
Here was my plan, we could go in and just act like we were random people, look at the dog and if we didn’t want it we would just walk back out.
Once inside, we saw the little munchkin. She was so tiny! We asked to hold her and she was so still and quiet and just snuggled up in my arms. At that point we told the woman who we were and that we wanted her.
Now bichons are usually white little fluff balls, but at the puppy mill they just had dog cages stacked on top of each other, and one dogs waste would just leak down to the cages below (sorry, not a pretty visual). So when they found all the dogs there they were literally yellow, so they had to shave them all down. So she wasn’t quite as fluffy as I expected but that was fine it would grow back.
We put her in the kennel we brought and headed back home. The whole 3 hours in the car there was not one peep from this puppy. I kept looking in the kennel to make sure she was still breathing. She was terrified.
It turns out, for the first 3 months of her life she never stepped foot outside her cage. That is the crucial time where puppies learn to bond with people and their litter mates. She did neither. So when we got her home she crawled straight under the couch. It took so much coaxing to get her to come out. If my husband came near her, back under she would go. It was really hard for him.
Once they had rescued Lulu (which is her name) from the mill they put her right in a foster home. The only problem was that the foster home had 4 small children that were constantly chasing her and pulling on her. So going from zero interaction with people, to the other extreme, she sort of had a nervous breakdown.
We have had Lulu for 5 years now. It took 2 years before she would come on her own and sit in my husband’s lap. Even now if we move too quickly around her, she will dive for cover. If anyone other than my mom comes to visit, she will race back under the couch.
It makes me sad that her terrible beginning in life will affect her forever. I think for the most part she is a very happy dog. She loves us, and she follows Gracie everywhere.
Gracie is definitely the Alpha and Lulu is fine with that. I can’t imagine what her life would be like if she was adopted my anyone but us. Not everyone would be as patient and understanding with her as we are. I guess that’s why God brought us together. She has enriched our lives and we couldn’t imagine life without her.
Speaking of family, this green dresser almost became part of mine.
I really fell in love with this one. I got it off craigslist for $25! It’s from around 1910-1920.
Now it looked pretty horrible when we picked it up. It was also very heavy. But it has great lines. The top two drawers stick out further than the bottom two (intentionally). It had fantastic hardware on the bottom two drawers, but the knobs on top were missing. I found 4 different, really cool, vintage knobs that give it character.
I used Sherwin Williams paint in Paradise as the base for my chalk paint, distressed it, glazed it with brown glaze and waxed it.
It has been sitting in my dining room for a few weeks, I’m having a hard time parting with it. If I had a speck of green anywhere in my house this baby would be mine.
I wasn’t going to go to garage sales this morning. I told myself, “I’m was too exhausted”.
I checked the ads last night and there weren’t many out there. Good, case closed.
So when my daughter’s alarm went off at six o’clock, why did I check the craigslist ads? Simply put, because garage sales are addictive. If you don’t go, you lie in bed wondering what you missed, so you might as well get up anyway.
Well I’m glad I did because I found some goodies. I was the first person at a sale, and I got all of the good stuff! (If I’m not one of the first people at a sale they usually aren’t worth it to me.)
I’m pretty particular about what I buy. I’m there for antiques and vintage furniture, and those things go quickly unless they are way over priced.
I scooped up a great old end table,
a fantastic vintage mirror,
a vintage picture frame (not sure if I’m going to paint this one or not, I kind of like it the way it is),
an old scooter (to stage my furniture pieces with)
a cool old metal container,
an old wire basket and vintage skates to stage with,
some old books to decorate with,
an old rocking chair,
and a stool.
The woman who ran the sale was super nice and very chatty. We started talking about my furniture business and my love of vintage things.
Three days ago I was telling my mom how I hate the way my mantle was decorated, and I wish that I could find a great antique mirror. Fast forward to today, the woman who ran the sale asked if I would be interested in a big, old mirror.
Of course! It was fate! She took me inside, and showed me the most fantastically ornate and GINORMOUS mirror! She told me she paid $700 for it at an antique store.
Seeing how much she paid for it made my heart sink. If she paid that much I knew she would still want a pretty penny for it.
I asked her what she wanted for it and she said “I don’t know, what about fifty?” My heart started pounding … did she she say fifty or did I miss the 2 or 3 in front of that?
So I repeated fifty? She said “would that be okay?” Let me think about this.. YES!!! I can’t believe she only wanted $50 for this mirror!
Then she mentioned it was incredibly heavy. Now heavy is never a word my husband wants to hear. But I called him up anyway. He met me there, and I told him I bought a giant mirror. (Keep in mind this is already after he looked in my SUV and saw it completely packed.)
How giant, he asked? Pretty big I said.
Again he asked how big? So I took him in to see it. Holy Mary of God! he said. Yep I said it’s pretty big.
Now I’m 5’7 and it comes up to my shoulder. It’s big. Husband’s don’t seem to care what an amazing deal you got. All they seem to hear is that you spent money, that he’s got to fit it in his car, and that it’s heavy. Oh, and then there’s hanging it up once we get it home.
Here she is (pay no attention to the shlubby dressed person in the reflection):
To some people these pieces probably look like junk, but I see potential. I love taking something that looks like it’s meant for the trash and repurposing it, giving it new life. It’s my part in recycling. Furniture, made in the 20′s through the 70′s, was just made better.
Just because a table has a few scratches on it, it doesn’t mean it’s ready for the dumpster. I think my pieces have been selling so well because people like things in their home that have character and a story behind them.
At least that’s what I like.
Anyway, I’m super happy I got up this morning. I got some amazing deals and unique pieces. I’ll keep you posted on how I transform them.
Have a great weekend!
I wasn’t always a dog lover. Anyone who knows me now will find that hard to believe. Growing up, all we had was a cat. Now I didn’t dislike dogs, I just didn’t like walking into someone’s home and being jumped on, having my legs clawed up and getting showered in slobber. Plus there’s the fact that I’m allergic to them.
When I married my husband he wanted a dog. I told him no way. I had lots of excuses: my allergies, the jumping, not enough room, the slobber. So for years we just had cats.
Back when I was working, one weekend we were setting up a booth at the Wichita Women’s Fair. It just happened to be a weekend there was a massive blizzard. My dear hubby was helping trek loads of clothes from my store to this convention in 2 foot drifts.
It was absolutely miserable.
After it was over and we thawed out, I told him the next day we could do whatever he wanted. And of course, he wanted to go look at puppies. Ugh! But how could I say no after what he just helped me do.
So I said “Fine, but we are just looking”. It seemed he had done some research and found out which dogs were hypo-allergenic, so that is what he took me to see. We went to the breeder’s house the next day, and the room he brought us in was wall-to-wall puppies. One adorable face after another. Maltese, shi tzus, malti-poos, bichon-poos. Lots of fuzzy little babies. Of course the breeder sticks them right in our arms and my defenses are weakening. I’m actually thinking about taking one home. This is not at all what I was planning.
My daughter found this little apricot bichon-poo, and she fell instantly in love. It was crawling all over her, and my hubby. It was hopping all over the floor. My husband is pleading his case: we just bought a new house with a big yard; it’s good for kids to have a dog; I have always had cats so why couldn’t he have a dog. Dang it!
So next thing I know, we are dog owners. How did this happen? I didn’t want a dog.
We went out and spent a fortune on dog supplies. That night we stuck her in her kennel and went to bed. Ten minutes later all hell broke loose. Gracie (that’s what we named her) was screaming bloody murder. I jump up thinking she must have ripped off her arm … or worse.
In a panic, I pull the blanket off the kennel, and there she sits, wagging her cute little tail. What was that? She’s not bleeding, her paw isn’t caught in the kennel door.
Then my hubby informs me that they just do this the first week or so because they don’t like being separated from their litter mates or you. Are you kidding me? He failed to mention this when he was pleading his case.
So needless to say we got ZERO sleep for three days. After that she was fine. Thank God!
Well Gracie started out as all of ours but she has turned out to be mine. She follows me everywhere. I can’t even go to the bathroom by myself! She is such a great dog though. Yes, she hates all other dogs but she loves all people.
She is now seven years old and if anything ever happened to her you would have to lock me away forever.
Now looking back I would never again get a dog from a breeder. Back then I didn’t know any better. I now volunteer at my local humane society, and there are so many dogs there that need homes, why would you intentionally bring anymore into the world?
So needless to say I am now a converted dog lover. I think until you have your own dog, you can’t truly understand how fantastic dogs can be. The unconditional love they give you can change your life. Someday I will have to go over some of the crazy stories about my dogs.
Getting back to business, this old table came from a yard sale a dirty brown.
I painted it a pretty coral, distressed it, and was ready to glaze it. I stuck the little drawer back in and this is what I saw.
Hmmm…didn’t think about the sides showing. So it took me another day to put 2 coats on the sides then glazed and waxed.
Turned out pretty cute.
Last Thursday through Saturday, I had a garage sale. It’s a lot more fun going to them then it is having them.
First of all, in Kansas you never know when to have a sale. Is it going to be freezing in in May? Or will you roast in September?
I, it turns out, roasted on Thursday, endured torrential rain on Friday, and then had a pretty day Saturday. I must say I’m pretty proud of myself for setting up and running the sale while my hubby was out of town.
I did encounter some odd ducks during the sale though. There was the man that made me hold his one-eyed chihuahua while he shopped; there was the guy who I’m pretty sure was buying my mom’s clothes for himself; there was a woman who had been shopping for 4 or 5 minutes and turned to speak to me and smoke came out her nostrils even though she wasn’t smoking; and of course all of the people who let their kids run completely wild in my garage.
Garage sale money is that hardest money you will ever make.
Last g-sale I had, a woman bought a ton of my daughter’s clothes. It took me awhile to total her up but I went over the numbers 3 times and my husband went over it twice also to make sure it was right. I even let the woman look at it and she seemed satisfied. She left with tons of stuff she got for a steal.
Three hours later she came back and said we over charged her by $15. How would she know this since we removed the tags as we totaled her up?
Anyway, we took out the sheet we totaled her up with and tried to show her. She then got right in my face and literally screamed “I AM NOT A LIAR!!!”.
What the heck is her deal? Who does that? Now I have had a lot of garage sales throughout the years, but never have I had anyone scream in my face. Then she turned and ran to her car. Wow.
So fast forward to this sale, and guess who my first customer was? Just guess? Yep, the insane screaming woman. So naturally I’m really nervous when she walks up to my house. She starts shopping, and I’m bracing myself to duck and looking around for something to use as a weapon if it came down to it.
She acted sweet as could be though, like she never saw me before, like she had never scared the bejeebies out of me. I held my breath the whole time. Then she left and I counted my blessings. Why would she come back to my house after she thought we had screwed her over before? Or does she do this type of thing so often she just didn’t remember.
Now I know there are a lot of nutty people anywhere you go, but I feel like I met more than my share the last three days. I did get rid of a bunch of stuff and made some decent money in the process. It did, slow me down on my furniture projects though.
Tomorrow I have a TV console to distress and glaze, a side table to glaze, and two end tables to finish painting. I will get you some new photos on those ASAP.
I found this two tiered table from the 60′s laying on the curb for trash pick up. Super excited, I loaded it up in the back of my car (my daughter would die if she knew I did that!)
I roughed it up a bit, used a really bright turquoise on it, distressed, glazed and waxed it. Good as new, actually better!
I took this table that was somebody’s trash and turned into a nice lady’s treasure (who probably has never once screamed at a garage sale hostess).