Wednesday, September 30, 2020

German Display Case

    I have to say this is the most difficult, most stubborn piece I have ever worked on.  I had seen it advertised last summer and when the price dropped I arranged to purchase it.  I probably would have purchased it even if I had seen it in person, but it was more damaged than I expected.  

    This piece was supposed to be a German secretary desk.  I had seen pictures of the damage to it, and was pretty sure I could fix it.  As it turned out, I ended up removing the drop down desk front altogether.   The drop-down was attached to the desk with two pins.  The hinges that were on it to hold it up did not appear to be original as they were not attached properly and were not working.  I was unsuccessful at finding any hinges that would support the weight of the drop down and question whether it was ever really meant to be used in that way.  At some point the keys to this piece had obviously been lost, because the top of the drop-down, above the lock had been gouged in an attempt to open it.  I had originally decided to paint the drop-down because of the damage to it.  When I realized that between the damage and the difficulty finding hinges to support the weight, the piece would be better off without the desk, I removed it.  I removed the cubby holes of the desk, that look like they had been added recently anyway and painted the new display area and added Blossom Flight transfers.

      The cupboard below had it's own set of problems.  Without a working key the doors did not stay shut properly.  The door to the left has a lower latch, but without the key to lock the right sided door, it would swing open.  This is the second German piece I have had that locked, instead of having knobs that would open a door.  Without knobs and no key this can be a problem.  I ordered some keys based on measurements I took of the lock after removing it and I was happy to find that they worked!  I did use silver gilding wax on the keys, hinges, and locks, because the silver looked better with the blue painted parts of this piece.  

     The door with the leaded glass also had its lock broken at some point.  It no longer will lock, but a replacement key serves as a knob, and a magnetic catch insures that the door will stay shut.  I also had to replace part of that as the metal plate was not shaped properly to connect with the magnet.  

       Another odd problem with this was that the shelves and walls of this part of the cabinet  It was not paint that colored it green, quite honestly I scrubbed, rubbed and sanded and still could not remove it all.  In the end I had to apply multiple coats of shellac to cover it before I could stop the bleed through.  There is one transfer inside.

      Finally, the veneer on the top was in very bad condition....dry, broken and brittle and just needed to be removed. I sanded lightly, painted and added transfers

       I do believe this has turned, again, into a lovely piece of furniture.  I am glad that after weeks of frustration I was able to give this piece a chance.

Entry way table

     Wow, what a busy summer!  Our Farmer's Market, where the Rescue Rehab cabin is, opened this summer, during the Covid crisis with many concerns.  We knew that while locals might shop, we would be missing the business from the many tourists who stop at this location to mark their completion of their journey across the "Al-Can," the highway that joins the Alaska and Canada.  To our relief, many Alaskans chose to explore their state, so we were not hard hit by the lack of out of state tourists.

     First, I have to admit this little table is not "all wood."  I cannot count the number of times I have been asked, by a customer,  to paint an "all wood" piece.  I usually just paint it without revealing the truth.  Most modern furniture has at least some parts that are "wood" that consists of wood, but in glued and compressed form.  I have painted many pieces, that, like this, have wood on the essential parts, like legs, but the "aprons," are very often compressed wood.  If this piece were solid, all wood, I wouldn't have painted it and it would have been refinished and sold at a higher price point.

      After prepping, this piece was painted in Dixie Belle Fluff, which is an off-white color.  I used portions of Rose Celebration transfer by Prima, taking the design down the front and onto the drawer.  The knobs are painted gold, and the piece was top-coated in Polycrylic.

      I imagine this as a perfect piece in an entry way, where mail can be stored and essentials like keys be placed for quick access when rushing out the door.  But of course it would look lovely in several other applications also.  This is headed to Fairbanks for the Vintage Faire this weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Blossom Flight

    This is a modern, very nice mission oak table.  Other than one scratch there was really nothing wrong with it.  Except.....these tables are really common, and most people are looking for something a bit different.  I prepped the table as usually and painted it with a color I mixed myself. 
     I used part of the Blossom Flight transfer from Prima, which is one of the newest releases.  It is very popular right now and looks so pretty, especially on blue, gray and green pieces of furniture.  I have more and intend to use this transfer on the German Secretary that I hope to get to next week.  Things have been very hectic here on the farm, so I am happy to get something done to take to the cabin at all.   I will be bringing this to the cabin on Saturday, but I think it already has a new home. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Coffee Bar

I have waited quite a while to upcycle this vintage sewing machine table.  I had an idea of what I wanted to do, it just took me a while to get to it.  Several years ago I purchased some registers that had come from a house built in Ohio in 1831.  Two now belong to my daughter and she uses them on the wall by her desk to hold papers.  This register is cast iron and probably dates from after the house was built, I believe at one point I found a date of 1890. 
    It was challenging for me to cut the opening in the table so that the register would fit down into it properly.  Because this register had a chip out of the corner, I framed it to cover the chip.  While that prevents the extension from closing flat, it can still be partly closed which means that the coffee bar can take up less room if necessary. 
    I used Dixie Belle paint in Kudzu and Poppy Transfers from redesign by prima.  The top has Bombay Mahogany stain by Minwax.\
    The sign/cup holder was an old cupboard door, painted in Kudzu, with a Poppy transfer and vinyl cup and lettering, made with my Silhouette machine.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Jewelry Boxes

I have done several jewelry boxes and holders lately.  They are a lot of fun and I have used various colors of Dixie Belle paints and Prima transfers.  This peacock box is the latest and you can see the others at the bottom of the post.  This box is the largest and probably the fanciest one I have done so far.  I made a harlequin stencil with my Silhouette machine and used gilding wax for the diamonds and for the trim.  I used peacock feather transfers and the peacock I used wraps around the box at the corner.  Broken handles were replaced with new ones that I gilded after I filled and painted the holes from the original ones.  It was then sealed.

Small Vanity and Jewelry Box

    When I found this cute little vanity, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with it, even though it no longer had its mirror.  I had purchased Dixie Belle Flamingo and fell in love with the color and thought it would be perfect with gold accents.  I also wanted to use Prima Poppy Gardens transfer mixed with Prima Gilded Home and Nature.  I did an accompanying jewelry box with the same transfers and gold gilding wax.
    The jewelry box was sanded and painted.  I then added the polka dots in gilding wax after making a stencil with my Silhouette machine.  I did the drawer sides too, just for a little surprise.  There were only a few knobs left, so I ordered these pretty ones to replace them.  I layered a bee and the word LOVE over the Poppy transfers.  It was then sealed.
     After cleaning and sanding the vanity and stool I used a product to help the paint adhere to the pieces, since they were still a bit slick.  After painting I added gold details to the top and added gold to the legs that makes it looks as though they were dipped in gold.  I used Poppy Gardens and Gilded Home and Nature transfers once again.  I layered a butterfly over one of the poppies and used a crown and the word ROYAL transfer in the middle.  On to the stool, it needed to have the seat fabric replaced and then I added a transfer to the seat.  I waxed over the transfer to help make sure it was protected.  Since a vanity does not get hard wear I am pretty sure it will hold up just fine.  Vanity and stool legs were sealed and now it is waiting for my daughter to claim it.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Desk and Chair Makeover

    First, I hope everyone reading this is healthy and safe.  It is so hard to get my head around all that is happening.   We have had the worst winter in our 25 years out here on the farm.  Even though I am a homebody, even before the current pandemic, most trips to town had to be canceled the last few months.  We had record low temperatures, which for us can be -30F or lower.  Also record snow fall.  As of this writing our driveway is blown shut, our truck is stuck and our bulldozer isn't running.  Husband is working on the North Slope, and he may be there for a while because of all the current restrictions.  I am not worried about the driveway, sooner or later that will get tackled.  I am grateful that we are all healthy.  We have had two new grandbabies in the last few months.  Even though I am not seeing them much now I  still see pictures on FB frequently.  Our school aged kids are home schooled, so that is going on as if nothing has happened.  Life has been a bit more difficult for our college kids.  One, due to graduate Magna Cum Laude will probably not have a chance to walk for graduation.  In addition, instead of completing his online classes in state he chose to go ahead and leave for the D.C. area ahead of time to be in place to get a job in his field.  He will complete the classes from there.  It was an unplanned and sudden departure that was especially sad.  Our other student is in Culinary Arts school and will be completing her classes at home.  She had gotten used to the pace and challenges and is missing school.   I almost never share so much personal information but these are certainly trying times.
    This desk is 1960's-70's ranch oak.  It was in very good condition.  At some point in time someone refinished this piece.  They sanded the top a bit too much and when looking across in the right light you can see some uneven spots.  You can notice also on the edges where the corners are a bit rounded, also a sign that someone sanded a bit too much.  My guess is that it had the white "distressed" marks that were common on these pieces and the owner wanted to eliminate those. 
After prepping the desk and chair they were painted in Dixie Belle Caviar.  I don't often use black but I do really like this.  Stripes and vine stenciling around the top were added using gilding wax.  I have been using this quite a bit lately.  Different from furniture wax, once it is dry it is permanent.  It gives the user much more control than paint does.  I used it on the handles and on the floral carving on the chair also.  Five pieces from Redesign by Prima's Gilded Home and Nature Transfer set were used.  The chair was reupholstered with Waverly fabric.  Top coat was Minwax Polycrylic.  Dimensions on the desk are 45 in x 17 x 31.  Stay healthy everyone.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

New look for MCM Magazine Holder

    I remember when just about every house had one of these.  Usually it was by the head of the household's chair.  It may have held newspapers or magazines.  It has been refreshed with blue paints, gold gilding wax and some pretty Prima transfers, left over from my mirror transformation, followed by a top coat.  I think these still can serve useful and maybe different purposes.  It would look pretty in a powder room with rolled up towels.  You could keep your sewing or knitting items in it.  Or it would still hold your magazines and books.  It would also be a great place to keep your remotes in, because if you are like me, you lose them frequently!  This has transfers on 3 sides.

Monday, February 3, 2020

From Ugly Duckling to Peacock

    I bought this desk a few years ago off of one of the local sales groups.  It is the kind of piece that
I bought in the early days of my business.  Unknown maker....iffy condition, the kind of piece that could be "Rescued and Rehabed," because these often end up in the landfill even though it could still be useful.  While it has many blemishes, I have tried to turn it into a fun piece that could still be loved.   It feels  a little boho, with its blended blues and greens, gold gilding wax accents and knobs and beautiful Prima peacock transfers.  It is topcoated with Minwax Poly.  I am hoping this desk can find a home that will see past the bumps and bruises.  Paired with a mirror, it could also become a vanity.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Labor of Love Part 2

   These dressers have been so much fun to redo, and Prima came out with the transfers just in time, which gave me the idea for them.  We have had these dressers for a few years but as kids have moved out we need fewer dressers.  Very sturdy with weighted drawers they were perfect for these make overs.  This one is painted in Soft Pink paint by Dixie Belle.  I wanted to make this dresser a little bit different from the other one, so the placement of the animals is a bit different.  I was able to put the larger animals on the front of this one, because the frame and drawer placement was slightly different.  The fox hugging the rabbit wrinkled a bit when I applied it, so I gave her a little crown of greenery with flowers.  Applying the transfers can be a bit tricky sometimes, so a little creativity is sometimes needed.  I love these dressers and am so happy to be able to give these to the newest babies in the family!

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