Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Union Jack Stool

Before the snow arrived last night and this morning,  I was able to pick up a few treasures from St. V de P (they're calling St. Vincent de Paul's in our town 'Vinnie's.'  Is this being done anywhere else?).  I can't wait to get to work on them...

For now, here's a peek at a cute vintage stool I picked up at an auction a few weeks ago. 

I'd like to say that this stool is an antique, but there isn't enough information for me...however, the lid was padded with the ol' horse hair and the covering was real if you want to live on the edge, call it an antique.

I ripped off the top and replaced it with new foam and fabric.  You can read about how I fold upholstery corners at 'Upholstery Corners...My Way.'

I used a heavy cotton with a tiny neutral stripe, masked off the Union Jack flag with tape, and sponged on muted red & blue-grey paint.  Be careful not to water down the paint too much; this will cause it to bleed past the tape lines and this won't do!  Use less paint on your sponge pouncer (or stencil brush)...less IS more in this case!  After the paint dried, I scuffed it up with some rough sandpaper. 

The bottom got a couple of coats of off-white chalk paint and was gently distressed using water and a green dish scrubby...yes!  That's it!  A green dish scrub is all you need.  No's overkill.  The paint softens when you apply water, and the dish scrub roughs away the paint in a jiffy. 

Here she is now:

Surprise!  The lid lifts off for some incognito storage.  It's painted and I added a little paper liner. 

This little guy is for sale - $50.  Check out the details here

Monday, February 25, 2013

Absentee Blogger

I feel like it's been ages since I've posted anything on here.  My apologies!  I promise that as soon as it's morning and light outside (and by 'morning' and I do not mean, now, at 12:02am, I mean 'the morning' as it is called by civilized folk who actually sleep), I will take some photos of the awesome hutch I finished up last week for a friend. 

I'm totally jealous of it and resent having to move it out of our basement. 

Actually, moving it out of the basement was fine (although, I may have given myself a hernia.  Only time will tell...).  The problem will come when my friend wants to pick it up and she'll have to drag me alongside it, wailing and gnashing my teeth.  I might even rend my clothing; depends what I'm wearing that day. 

I've been making a lot (A LOT!) of pillows...they're really popular!  Here's a picture of a custom burlap pillow I finished over the weekend.  Behind it is half of a personalized 'name' pillow.  Cuuuuute! 

I've also been working on a vintage coffee table-tray combo and dreaming up designs for a long, funky, retro coffee table.  I can't wait to start on that...

And on this: 

This dresser was made by Matt and featured on Design Sponge (a great site!).  You can read all about the details here.  My louvre doors are from our local ReStore - I got 2 panels for $10!  Great find!  They're unfinished wood, so I will need to stain mine, but that's fun, too! 

Tomorrow I've got to see a man about a horse.  And by 'man' I mean 'woman,' and by 'horse' I mean 'chair.'  Upholstery tips and tricks to the rescue!  Looking forward to it. 

That's what's keeping this girl outta trouble these days.  What about you? 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Burlap Pillows - Feeling at Home

Check out these photos of the ever-popular burlap pillows in their new homes from Belleville to Pickering! 

Pillows can be custom-ordered, too (see the stars?  That's a custom pillow!).

Get 'em while they're hot!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How to Know What You [really] Want

A while ago, I was asked by a friend to help with her daughter's wedding day. To boil it down, I get to tell people where and when to go, and what to do when they get there.  Basically, it's the perfect job for me - being bossy and ubber-organized.  I was that kid who used to direct (and show) plays in her back yard.  Not much has changed. 

Are you familiar with the tv show 'Wedding SOS?' where there is a 'wedding godmother' of sorts who goes around granting wishes to the bride and groom when they need them most?

Yeah.  It's going to be nothing like that. 

All the details are being planned by the bride and groom - I'm lending some creative services, but most of the ideas are theirs.  I can't wait!

Recently, I was over at my friend's house (the MOB) to help figure out centrepieces for the dinner table.  The bride wants 'elegant vintage'  or a 'Great Gatsby' feel and specifically said 'nothing too rustic.'  She's said she's super-keen on the idea of vintage tins, silvers, and overflowing flowers for the tables. 

Here are a recent collection of photos she sent along for inspiration:

Photo #1

Photo #2

Photo #3

Photo #4

Photo #5
Photo #6
Photo #7

Photo #8

All of them are gorgeous, right?!  YES!  But they're not all the same.  In fact, they're all pretty different.  And the reality with table centrepieces is you just can't do that much.  It's best to keep them simple - and elegant. (or simple and funky; simple and cute...whatever floats your boat). 

So how do you figure out what someone really wants? 

1.  Get an immediate visual image

If you're a visual person like me, you look at the photos for a minute and you can pick it out.  Let's play..."one of these things is not like the other."  Go on and scroll through the photos again.  Is there one photo that sticks out from the bunch or doesn't seem to belong? 

Did you say Photo #6?  (and probably Photo #3, if you want to be very particular.  Which I especially like to be!). 

Right.  Photo #6 has very vibrant colours and seems to be the only photo with vintage tins in it.  Go on and have another look.  It's true, isn't it? 

Hmmmm....let's continue.

2. Create a word map (or even a word cloud!)

Word clouds were all the rage in advertising and marketing a little while ago.  I think the trend has mostly passed...which means I'm just about ready to hop on it.  I never said I was hip, people.  I just get things done. 

You can make your own word cloud at Wordle.  Just enter in text, or, in this case, list all of the words you come up with for each picture. 

For's picture #1 again:

Photo #1


I see these words:


Do this exercise for each of the photos and then enter the text into Wordle - and create your word cloud.  My word cloud looked like this:

Based on the word cloud above, the bride is looking for table centrepieces that feature GLASS, specifically JARS, the main colours WHITE and GREEN (probably mostly from the flowers) with accents of Pink, Yellow, Blue, and Purple.  All of this will be tied together with SILVER highlights for a little 'bling.' 

She doesn't want anything: rustic, brass, sweet, bright, orange, country, modern, vintage or funky. what's left? 

3.  Figure out the opposites

If you're struggling with the 'do not's' list, think about what the opposites of these words are...and you might find some of your 'do's in that. 

Rustic /= Urban
Brass (gold in colour) /= Silver
Orange /= Blue
Country /= Urban
Modern /= Traditional
Vintage /= New
Funky /= Conventional

From the list above, Silver and Blue have been mentioned above, so make sense.  We're left with a few words that don't seem to fit into a 'vintage, Great Gatsby' vibe the bride wants.


4.  Be honest and look for more specific examples

Maybe this bride doesn't want as much 'vintage, funky' flair as she originally thought.  Maybe she wants to focus on a more traditional, classic feel, with some vintage touches for interest's sake (read: decorate silver, cut glass mixed with glass mason jars, coloured glass, silver candle sticks)

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE VINTAGE TINS!!  They're such a great idea - it would be shame to waste them.  Plus, they're cool.  Real cool. 

But it doesn't fit into what the bride envisions for her table centrepieces. That's ok.  Why not incorporate it somewhere else in the wedding? 

The bride also wants this for her dessert table:

I think it would be perfect to incorporate the vintage tins on the dessert table.  It's already got the rustic, vintage, funky vibe going on...and vintage tins would compliment, not compete, with this look.  Also, be willing to realise that the thing you didn't think you wanted (*ahem,*, mason jars) is in almost every picture you like.  Embrace mason jars.  Seems like they're also 'a thing.' 
In conclusion, this is a bit subjective...obviously, it would be best to get the bride to come up with the words for each picture; the results would likely be more accurate.  But she's in New Zealand.  Apparently there's a time difference or something.
You don't have to use this process for just can figure out your personal 'style' this way (for clothing, decor, makeup etc.).  Easy as 1-2-3...4!
Happy planning!