Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dumpster Diving?

Dumpster diving not quite, but saving a rusty crusty object from the dump on garbage day is what I did one day last summer. It was a great day for a drive to check out rummage sales and it was garbage day. As we were driving down a street, I spied this rusty ash tray sitting out with the boxes and bags. Surely I could repurpose it.

We loaded it in the van, complete with pine needles and old cigarette butts. I cleaned out the debris and it sat in the garage over winter. This summer I scrubbed her with an SOS pad and a vinegar solution to loosen and remove some of the rust. Once she was clean, I taped off the "marble-like glass section and the brass sections and coated her with a coat of Krylon Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Magically, a rusty piece of junk became a great plant stand for the patio!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

For the Budding Home Decor Gal!

I purchased an adorable antique child's cupboard when my daughter was four years old. She is nineteen now. How quickly time passes. This was one of those UFO's, (unfinished objects) that had been stored in the basement for 15 years. It was completely painted in a creamy yellowed and checked white paint. ASCP (Annie Sloan Chalk Paint) to the rescue! I thought it could be painted over if I thoroughly sanded the piece, but the old paint just gummed the sand paper. The entire piece needed to be stripped using that yucky chemical furniture stripper. I have stripped painted pieces in the past but I have never a piece like this. The paint dissolved into a liquid cream that needed to be scooped up not scrapped. My mom spent many hours stripping and getting the awful sticky mess out of the corners. After a gentle sanding and a thorough washing it was time for ASCP.

The majority of the cupboard was painted with Old White and the inside of the cupboard was painted with Louis Blue.

The drawer pulls were carved wood but I sprayed them with oil rubbed bronze by Krylon to give it that look so popular in repurposed home decor today.

I think about the joy a little girl had long ago when she received this cupboard lovingly made by a father or grandfather. The construction and attention to detail shows that a skilled craftsman wanted his little girl to have one just like her mother's cupboard. Look at the adorable pull out cutting board.

I haven't found exactly the right thing to style it with but it is now restored to its original glory and will hopefully be cherished again by another little girl.

Do you remember playing pretend when you were a child? I used my mom's doll cupboard with decals on when I was little.

I have been working on a vanity for my daughter's bedroom this week. The wax is drying and it will need buffing. It will be ready for the photo session soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another $5.00 Find & A Bridal Shower Decoration

Summer is the best time for estate sales. On a rainy day several weeks ago, my mom and I went to an estate sale and grabbed this little table for $5.00.

It was dark walnut with lots of scratches and dings just waiting for a brand new look.

We selected Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Louis Blue and Old White. The legs have beautiful spindles and the little circle appliques on the sides add an extra special touch.

Last summer we went to an estate sale of a former teacher. There was an entire bed covered with new vintage hankies. Hankies must have been the Christmas gift for teachers in the 1950's and 1960's. The designs were so beautiful so we snatched up a huge lot of hankies. We are doing Viva's Vintage Market this Saturday in Sister Bay, Wisconsin and I needed a way to display some of the hankies. I used my daughter's iron dressmaker form jewelry hanger as a starting point. The white metal form was purchased at Hobby Lobby. I selected all of the white hankies with pastel tatting or crocheting and pined about thirty of them around the base of the dressmaker form.

Next, I selected the colorful floral hankies and pinned about the same number around the waist of the form. To accent the waist, I folded a pink hankie with tatting as an apron.

The sleeves are made from three hankies pinned to the shoulders. To finish off the look, I added an antique collar.

Besides being a great display, I thought this idea could be used for a bridal shower and each of the guests could select a hankie to take home. Other party decorations could include, buntings made from other vintage hankies hanging from the trees and I have even used hankies as napkins. Recently I saw a picture of a bride who tied her bouquets with vintage floral hankies. How would you decorate with vintage hankies?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

$5.00 Purchase & Chalk Paint

I can hardly believe it has been so long since I last blogged, but I have been busy both creating and securing a new job. On the job front I will be teaching full time next year in the Science department of our local public high school. It is a great position and I am anxious to once again spend more time in the classroom.

At the same time my mom and I have been busy going to estate sales and repurposing vintage finds into beautiful items to sell at Viva's Vintage Market on July 9th in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. This great little flea market features the best vendors and was named in the latest edition of Flea Market Style Magazine. Do stop by and check it out.

After spending the last three months reading about the wonders of Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint for restoring furniture, we decided we needed to get on the band wagon as well. We ordered our paint from Delucca Designs in the Chicago area. The owner Michelle is so helpful. I wanted to order all of the colors, but my mother restrained me and we selected colors that would micmic the colors of the Door County waters.

This was our first project with Chalk Paint. I picked up this little telephone stand for $5.00 at an estate sale. The little chair was in need of some wood glue so it was thrown in with the table. I selected Provence for the table and then just had to try my hand at mixing Old White with Provence for the chair to create a bit of variety.

The pieces were distressed and waxed with clear wax followed by a coat of dark wax. The dark wax brings out the detailed ribbing on the legs and helps to add just the perfect aged appearance.

Either piece would be charming in a bedroom as a bedside table. I could see the chair sitting alongside a twin bed with a pile of books for bedtime stories on the seat.

I made the felt pinwheels using "beachy" colors and vintage glass buttons as the centers. They add a bit of whimsy to the displays for the Vintage Market.

The little cherry demitasse cup was from my Grandmother. It's a perfect accent for this table because Door County is noted for its cherry trees.

We have been painting up a storm. I even have dreams about painting. Check back to see what I have been working on over the weekend.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Figuring It Out

Over the last two months I took a break from blogging. In January I had a long term substitute teaching job and was kept busy staying on top of 5 different high school preps. In doing that, I realized what I have probably known for the last 10 years, that I love being a teacher. On the other hand, I truly missed the blog world, the world of repurposing and making something old useful. I'd race home each day after school and immediately sit down and read all of my favorite blogs and dream. A recent job loss has forced me to try to make some money in different ways. I know there are teaching positions in other parts of the country, but I have a son and a husband who are comfortable in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Maybe my new found passion will be the way I repurpose myself. If furniture can gain a new life with a coat of paint, why can't I?

A trip to Barnes and Noble last weekend has revitalized me and helped to focus on my other passion. How you might ask?

This little spot in the Latest edition of Flea Market Style.

My mom and I were vendors at Viva's Vintage Market and I had so much fun, so I thought the entire world that is hooked on blogging and decorating with vintage finds should know about this lovely little show. I submitted a little entry after reading the Flea Market Style Bog, and now on page 29, my name is in print. Pick up a copy at your local bookstore. It's filled with great ideas. Technology enables us to have contact with so many more people. The possibilities are endless.

So I am busy dreaming and planning what finds to bring to Viva's Vintage Market this year! Maybe these will be some of the special finds customers will find in Vintage Retouche at Viva's Vintage Market this year.

A Vintage Checkerboard with Embossed Checkers

A Basket of Children's Aluminum Cookware

Adorable Bisque Sailor Boy

Retro Red Kitchen Items

Mark your calendars for the Saturday after July 4th for a trip to Sister Bay, Wisconsin to attend Viva's Vintage Market. Stop and see all of the great things I have in store for you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Goodwill Transformation

Awhile back, I spotted this tray at Goodwill for $3.99. It was probably a souvenir someone brought home from Mexico or the Southwest. I loved the scalloped edges and the grayish silver patina. The bottom of the tray had a tinwork design that screamed southwestern decor. Not my taste at all. I didn't know if it would work, but I thought I had a plan.

I used scraps of vintage sheet music left over from another project and I used Mod Podge to adhere the sheet music to the tray. Two coats of mod podge were applied over the sheet music. When the Mod Podge dried, I used three coats of wipe on poly to make it durable. Here it is!

I love the combination of the more yellowed sheet music and the sheet music that has a more creamy background.

I decided to stage my new creation for Valentine's Day. A stone cherub, a vintage silver candlestick, some old millinery flowers, and a vintage valentine are the perfect adornments for tea for two. The creamy Wedgewood cups and saucers are the perfect color on the sheet music background. The napkins are vintage Valentine hankies. This is a great way to use hankies and it adds to the eclectic vintage mix. The demitasse spoons are from my flatware. Can you believe I registered for old silverplate for my wedding? I have always loved old things.

The table cloth is truly a vintage treasure. Excuse the wrinkles as I am a bit hesitant to iron it. Does anyone have suggestions? It is a Turkey Red Damask tablecloth that was never used. When Martha Stewart featured her collection of Turkey Red Damask on her show, I used the Internet to search down Claudia Glassman a vintage textile expert who was a guest on the show and a vintage textile collector and seller. After some emails and phone conversations, I had this wonderful tablecloth in my possession. Claudia told me it was museum quality. Unfortunately Claudia died a few years ago. Needless to say, I only use it for display. I don't think Martha has one like this in her collection!

"Tea for Two". Perfectly romantic!

Would you like to join me for tea?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I just can't resist vintage Christmas decorations. My largest Nativity set is displayed on the buffet in my dining room. Most of the Nativity figures are from a set I purchased from an antique dealer 25 years ago. The colors are vibrant and rich. This set is German, as the figures are not as twisted as the Nativity sets made in Italy. I have added German Putz animals to the set and a few German angels as well.

My stable is not as old. I would love to find an old German stable that was the right scale. I collected smaller sets from the thrift stores for each of my children and they would always set them up in their bedrooms under there own special Christmas tree. They would move the animals around and never put Baby Jesus in until December 24th. These are the wonderful memories of Christmas time! Figures for vintage Nativity sets were sold at Woolworth's and Five and Dime stores for less than a dollar. Families would buy a new figure each year. I can just imagine a family going downtown to look at the beautifully decorated windows and Christmas decorations and carefully selecting a new figure for their creche.

My set has some unique figures. I even have a camp fire with a soup pot for the shepherds.

If I had to pick a favorite it would be the three Wisemen and the camel. The camel is very large and beautifully painted. The set includes a camel driver as well. I added the two German composition camels. Another very unusual piece to this Nativity set is the palm tree with its wax leaves. It is so fragile and the only person that is allowed to touch it is me!

We are under a blizzard warning until tomorrow night. It rained a bit before the snow hit so the trees are just beautiful. I'm going to try my hand at "Winter Wonderland" pictures tomorrow. I spent most of the day decorating my tree in the living room with my antique ornaments. I have put several hundred ornaments on and only have about 100 more to go. I can hardly wait to share photos.