Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Elf Wine Stoppers

Click 'em together and make it happen!

Well its only October, but my studio looks like Santa's workshop! Got to get it done in time for the "holiday rush"! Which seems to start in July, but what can a girl do but try to keep up? Thes little wine stoppers were inspired and created by some antique wood finials that I got at my favorite junk store. They were very pointed and just begged to be made into Elves! (when you see something interesting, try to imagine what else it could become-shape is key!) I loved the way they looked but they just needed something extra- finally I realized it was ears! Not to worry- a couple white beans did the trick. Now my happy little guys are ready for the season!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Marrakesh inspired Media Cabinet

One of  my daughters had just moved into her new Georgetown apartment but desperatly needed help with storage and a place for her television. Nothing like a little plea from one of my chickens to get me going. I set out to find something smallish and affordable but good fortune came my way in the form of a large pine piece without a back at the Goodwill. Did the price tag really say $20? I was skeptical, but indeed it did. Talk about in my budget!! Woohoo!
It was real wood, no veneer or particle board and just needed some love. Well, that and a BACK! A sheet of furniture grade plywood did the trick. Boom-we were in business. It had wonderful raised panel doors that just begged for something special and since my cosmo/boho daughter loves bright colors and bohemian designs (think Anthropologie) I knew I could go a little crazy. Well I did!

I decided to use a wonderful stencil from Melanie Royal Designs that I had in my collection. I started by staining the wood very dark with Faux Effects Stain and Seal in Dark Walnut. Leaving the edges dark, I went on to pull a metallic plaster called Lusterstone (also by Faux Effects) through the stencil which was secured using a little photo spray mount. I used several diffferent colors working wet on wet to get the mix I liked. What's wonderful about Lusterstone is that the colors mix easily and it is creamy like frosting. But it dries rock hard and can easily be sanded for finishing. I am addicted to this stuff! 
The dark showing on the door panels is stain and the design is the lighter part done in Lusterstone. Finally, I finished with a bright orange paint-I love the color saturation in Benjamin Moore's Paints-they just seem to have a little extra oomph. A couple of  water based polyurethane top coats later and my girl had a great TV cabinet and with more storage than either of us had anticipated! Mission accomplished! Makes me want to go watch India Jones one more time!! The heroine was named MARIAN wasn't she?

P.S. these photos were taken before my hardware arrived. :-(

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wine Bar

I needed a place to keep my wine glasses because we are short of cabinet space in the kitchen- and our adult beverages were taking up space in the pantry, so the logical solution was a bar. But I simply couldn't find one that I liked or could afford-(these two things are what keeps me creative!) Naturally, I made one.

I started off with two existing components- one old book shelf that I had in the attic and a cabinet base that I found on the side of the road. The base was sturdy, but desperatly needed new doors.(the original ones were made from old shutters) I made some from furniture grade plywood and a nice moulding. For interest, I added a raised stencil using some plaster. (I prefer Faux Effect's PlasterTex because it dries rock hard and is easily sanded.)  I painted the base an off white and glazed it with an umber glaze to accentuate the stencil and the moulding texture.

Then I used two oak stair treads for the "bar" part in the middle. I stained it and used a water based poly for a top coat. Oak is nice and hard and I liked the rounded edge of the front of the tread.

The shelf didn't have a back, so I used a fun bamboo window shade glued to a piece of plywood. I screwed it onto the back after I painted the shelf to match the base. I made doors using the same moulding as the lower doors but I added seed glass inserts. Finally, I put a piece of scrolled iron from the flea market on top. I love my wine bar! It holds everything I needed and more. Think I will have a glass of wine and think about what to do with all that extra kitchen cabinet space! Cheers!

French Coffee Table

 This little baby came from the junk store. It had so much potential I just couldn't pass it up. The white patch is where I had to mend a large divot with some wood putty. I love the cut outs in the corners and the feet-they remind me of a little four leaf clover. The base paint is Annie Sloane Chalk Paint in off white.
I used an image from the Graphics Fairy for my design. After setting up my handy projector I traced the image and hand painted the letters using some umber Liquitex hard body acrylic paint. I slightly distressed it with some steel wool and added two coats of AS wax. I like to mix the brown wax with a little clear -because it is always easier to add more of something than to try and remove it! I love the old parchment paper effect on this one-just right !

French Candy Label Table

So I found this little table at a yard sale. It had great bones but had been painted badly with an ivy stencil. 
The previous owner did not apply the paint correctly and they used an acrylic paint over the white base coat which was oil paint. (If you are not sure about the type of paint on something- use the alcohol test. Rub it with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol and only oil paint will come off-acrylic won't)

This little guy needed some serious design intervention. So I stripped most of the paint off and sanded the hell out of it. The metal edge was sanded using a wire brush attachment on my drill. It works great in small areas that have lots of small detail. I also re-glued the legs for proper sturdiness. Then came the fun part! I looked on line and found a cool french candy tin label and then painted the table by hand using acrylic paint. Finally I distressed the paint using some steel wool and 240 grit sand paper. I find that if you sand when the paint is almost dry but not quite, you achieve a more authentic chippy/distressed look. 
And here is the result!  Tres bien, n'est pas?