Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Little Bits of Christmas!

I like to create small vignettes throughout the main floor of our home for Christmas.  I would have decorations up half of the year if I could get away with it.  We don't have our main tree up yet.  My husband always takes the kids out to cut it on our own land.  They use a saw that belonged to my husband's grandfather:
    Our manger also goes up when the tree goes up, so it is not in place yet.  
    I wanted to do a little bottle brush scene, so I got a few and grabbed a couple of the kids' old cars and set the on this really pretty antique mirror.
    I have a small artificial tree that I got for my business a couple of years ago.  I decided that it would be perfectly fine to have two trees!  This is sitting in an old bucket that we brought with us when we came from Michigan.
    I used to have sheep, but this is the only one I have these days.
    I decided that hung on the wall with blue lights behind them was a great, safe place to keep the wings from Sissiecakes and perfect for Christmas!
    I love this little snow family on the dining room table.
    I promised my husband after he remodeled the porch that I wouldn't try to store any of my "stuff" on it, but he was ok with a couple of decorations.
    Merry, Merry Christmas to all from RESCUE REHAB!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Midnight Blue

     I usually don't name, or stage custom pieces.  While I want them to look good for photos, I just don't usually feel the need to do it.  This time though, I could just picture how this piece would look with some of my iron stone and china in it, so I couldn't help it!  I feel like Midnight Blue is a perfect description of the color.  This piece had been through some tough times before I did some work on it.  An active three year old with a ball and china cabinets don't always mix well, lol.  BUT I am so glad the owner saw that this still had life in it and could be made beautiful again.  I really love furniture like this.  It is older and was damaged but still easily made into a piece that I hope the owners will be proud of.
    This cabinet is oak and had lovely grain, but had many bumps and bruises and the finish was worn and chipped in places.  The owner wanted a painted finish and we looked at several examples and found some that were similar to what she wanted.  Matching up the color she wanted was a little more difficult than I anticipated.  I had the examples on my Nook tablet and took it with me to match the paint up.  So many of the blues didn't seem quite right.  I knew that rather than do too much sanding/distressing, which I don't always like to do on older pieces, I would be using a different method that would darken the paint color anyway, so finally chose Behr Cosmic Cobalt.  After removing the old finish, I painted the whole cabinet blue.  I then tried a walnut stain over the paint on the drawer.    I found that I didn't care for the walnut, as it gave the blue a yellowish cast and didn't darken the medallion accent piece enough.  I  went on to darken the whole cabinet with Minwax Mahogany Gel Stain, making sure to wipe the stain off after each segment that I did, after the 3 minutes that the directions suggest.  I did a wash of watered down paint after that and wiped it.  I finished it with polyacrylic.  I am really happy with how this piece looks.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A New Addition to Rescue Rehab Vintage Rentals

    I purchased these beautiful wings from a while back, with the plan for them to be available for rent.  I just love them and I have ideas for a couple different ways they could b used for events and photo shoots.  They are 33 in. tall so not a tiny difficult item to photograph.  They are metal and painted icy blue and white, with a flower in the middle of metal and crystals, just gorgeous!
    I still have a couple of windows and wanted to use one for a back drop.  The wings have tabs on the back and are easy to hang in different ways.  I will also be able to hang them on our church door that we have for rent.  This window has some cracked panes and I wanted to use lace to cover them.  The piece of lace didn't work out, so I used Mod Podge and attached doilies instead.
    If you are local and would like to rent these for your event or photo shoot, feel free to message me on our Facebook page  I did try to build a website for the rental company, but so far have not been very successful .....yes, I am tech challenged!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Sit down, or step up!

   I was asked to give this little vintage step stool/chair a make-over.  These are classic, kids love them, and I think every household has had one.  This one still had vintage stickers on it, but they were more dated than the owner wanted.  It needed some tightening, cleaning, and refinishing and I was happy to work on it.  In this picture it looks a little rougher than it was, it has stripper on it and the lighting isn't very good.  
   I hope the little guy who owns this and his grandma will be happy with the make-over, I won't be able to deliver until next week.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Custom Mahogany Dresser

    I hope you are not tired of the mahogany pieces that I have been so lucky to redo!  I never tire of them.  They are so classy and classic, and I love the deep reddish color on most of the pieces.  I showed up over an hour early to a barn sale on a very cold, snowy morning early in September to try and snag some of the mahogany furniture that had been advertised.  I got  lucky and was able  to acquire this dresser, a buffet and two end tables.  I narrowly beat one of my good customers to the sale, and when she saw the dresser she made it clear that she had dibs on it when I finished it!   I have really enjoyed redoing some really nice furniture for Jesse and Duane.  They really appreciate the quality of these sturdy older pieces and even though they will be moving in the not too distant future, they intend to take their furniture with them.
    I always start these project by cleaning them up and taking off the hardware.   The next step is to assess and fix any damage.  One of the drawers had a loose runner that needed the screw put back into it in the back.  There were lots of bumps, bruises and scratches on the finish.  My goal is not to make the piece look brand new, I just want to minimize the damage without removing the character.  With this dresser, I used Minwax Wood Putty in Mahogany to smooth out some of the deeper dings in the finish.  It is already mahogany colored and matches well.  How much damage the finish has over all will affect what fix I use for the rest of it.  I have had very good luck with Minwax Gel Stain.  If the finish is not too bad, it is possible to do a light sanding followed by the Gel Stain, without completely sanding the piece down.  I have found you must do small areas at a time, applying the stain and pretty strictly adhering to the 3 minute rule before wiping the stain off.  It will get sticky and very difficult to remove if left on too long.  I usually do at least 3 coats, each one at least a day apart to allow for adequate drying time.  With this dresser, and many others I have done, the top has gotten the hardest wear.  In that case, I usually apply a stripper then sand down completely to start the staining process from scratch.  With mahogany I have found many times that once you begin staining some lighter areas appear, which I assume must come from some previous damage.  I have had good luck with rubbing a very small amount of Van Dyke brown paint over the area to help blend the color.  Keep in mind to only use a very small amount!  I follow up with at least 3 coats of Polyurethane, also each at least one day apart.  I am looking forward to delivering this dresser on Saturday!  Please excuse the shadowing on the drawers, our lighting in the winter is awful!


Friday, October 23, 2015

Cute and Quick!

    I picked this up earlier this fall.  It sat inside a box a bit bigger than it is.
Home made, I am pretty sure they were used for mining, with this part being used to sift gravel into the larger box.  I will save the bigger box for a future project.  This is about 14 inches by 91/2 inches, and I thought with a bit of cleaning it would make a cute tray to display seasonal items.  
    I cleaned and sanded the piece before stenciling the wording and painting the pumpkin.   This would make such a cute display on a dining table, and since I already have my fall table decor, this is for sale, excluding the decor items.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015


    I finally finished up this custom dresser for one of my customers.  I want to say first of all, I love it so much I tried to talk her out of it!  This piece reminds me so much of my childhood.  In my middle- class home, the furniture that went into children's rooms were the left-over pieces that didn't work anywhere else.  My dresser, when I was growing up was actually an older buffet type piece.  It had two drawers across the top, a bigger one underneath, and then on the lowest row there were two doors, one of which never wanted to stay shut.  The paint was thick and reminded me of frosting on a cake and the handles were lacey metal, also painted with thick white paint.  I wish I still had that piece!!
    This dresser came with thick white paint also.  It had been prepped really well, in fact too well to restore the original mahogany finish.  It was sanded REALLY well, sealed and painted.  Sealed because it is mahogany and would eventually bleed tannins right through the paint.  The only way to do a good job on this dresser was to take everything off and start over.  It has a lot of detail so that made the paint removal even more challenging.
           I actually sanded, used Citrus Strip, and a heat gun to remove all of the layers. There were also a lot of bumps and bruises to be fixed, loose legs, and loose top and some missing trim to fix.  I wasn't able to match the trim perfectly.  It had jagged edges and I at least wanted to minimize the chance that it would get caught and break more.
    I actually had broken a paint brush while I was redoing this dresser and I used it to fill in some of the gap in the trim.  
    This dresser was painted with a pretty mint green paint and finished off with some poly.
    I made some fancy temporary handles from vintage jewelry and some jewelry wire I had on hand.
    Delivery Thursday!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Road Trip Part 2

     It seems that I can only post so many pictures per blog post, so here is the rest of the Road Trip
    Kelly and a friend made this piano bar a while back, I love it, probably one of my favorite things in the shop.  You can just see the back of one of the Hoosier cupboards that he brought back.  You don't find those up here!  
    Stage light, architectural cross and probably the two most coveted pieces of the day, the library card catalogs!  A die-hard customer had stationed herself  and a friend at each door, several hours before opening and they successfully snagged them up!  It was fun to watch the crowd, after I was able to snag two of the items that I wanted, seconds after opening.  These  cameras were items that I really wanted!

    These registers were on my list to acquire.  They are out of a house that was an underground slave house in Ohio.....I have some projects planned for them.
    While I was watching the fun, I was approached by a young reporter for the local paper.  I must have been looking particularly smug sitting with my cameras, lol.  I was surprised to see the article in the paper a few days later.
    I found the typewriter at a different stop while I was in the Valley, I am pretty sure these things find me, as I was not even thinking of finding one, but have wanted one for a while.  These pieces are on display at my home, but will be part of the vintage rental items, for photo shoots, etc.
    Visit the Alaska Picker Facebook page here:
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Short Road Trip

    As my Facebook readers know, I took a couple of days off earlier this month to run down to Wasilla.  My son and his family are there, so it is always a good opportunity to visit with them.  I also wanted to attend the Fall Alaska Picker Day.   Kelly Turney and Becky Green run a great shop in Wasilla, which is about 6 hours away.  Since the weather was beautiful and the fall colors were spectacular it was a great time for a drive.  I didn't take any pictures on the way down, but had a lot of fun taking them and posting to my Facebook page on the way home.

    I love fall, and we don't always have a long enough one to enjoy the colors, but they were so beautiful and this trip was just what I needed.  A peaceful, non-stressful drive on my own, in good weather!
    Kelly had recently been down to the lower '48, to gather a trailer and truck load of goodies for collectors in Alaska, who don't always have access to some collectible/vintage/antique items.  He did not disappoint in the items he had been able to acquire!
see part 2