Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fairy Tale Ending...

“It doesn't matter if you're born in a duck yard, so long as you are hatched from a swan's egg!” 
~ Hans Christian Andersen, The Ugly Duckling

I adore the surreal, fairy tale look of taxidermy, yet there is no way I would ever have it in my my home!  Still...

I found myself perusing the internet, in search of a reasonable alternative.  Surely, if we can put men on the moon we can create a realistic looking goose or even a swan?

Enter this swan from the Linens and Things website!  He needed a bit of touching up to make him more realistic.

With a bit of black paint, Annie Sloan Dark Wax and a crown votive candle holder  I was able to create a Hans Christian Andersen fantasy atop the bibliotheque in the Library!  The hardest part was removing the base that was welded on the votive holder!  I knocked all the stars off the crown and had to reapply them with JB Weld!

I just love him!

He seems happy here...

He rests upon the story of The Ugly Duckling written by Hans Christian Andersen.
Seems fitting, no?



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Louis XVI Porter's Chair

The beauty of the porter’s chair belies it’s utilitarian history.  Porter's chairs originated in 16th-century France and England where they were often made of cane or wicker, with high backs and sides. These chairs were commonly used for hall porters to sit in while they kept watch at the doors of grand homes and palaces.  The domed back kept the drafts at bay.

You may remember this chair from the Library before I redesigned the room...Say hello to my darling Atticus!  Hi Atticus! 
 Handsome Husband surprised me with this chair on my birthday six years ago.  I think I have been allowed to sit in it once. We used to call it the Kitty Throne.

The chair found a new temporary home in Grace's playroom.  That is, until Tallulah arrived on the scene and decided she didn't like the gimp trim and removed most of it in a doggy DIY moment.
Thanks, Tallulah, for the inspiration!

Another reason the red velvet upholstery had to go...notice the similarity between this lint brush and the cushion on the chair?  Velvet was BORN to attract hair!  It is the height of madness to have this upholstery in our home!  Madness, I tell you!

I have had this photo in my files for as long as I can remember.  This has a chinoiserie upholstery but I think I would use a sage green toile.

Of course I love the grey finish on this!

These are lovely with the soft leather and nailhead trim.

This is my absolute favorite!

This would be simple to reproduce with Annie Sloan Chateau Grey and simple  off white cotton duck upholstery...

Once the chair is complete it will live among the furniture in the Family Room.  Now that Tallulah has convinced me to change it I am excited to get to it!

I merely need to decide on the finish and the upholstery...



Monday, January 28, 2013

More Amazing Craigslist Finds

I know how much my blogger friends love a good deal so I thought I would share a few of my latest Craigslist finds!  

Grace and I drove to Milwaukee for this piece but it was soooo worth it! It seats three and is very sturdy!  Perfect for the Music Room, I think!

This French hanging lantern is over five feet tall!  Once I spray paint it bronze it will hang in our Family Room!  The room has 18 foot ceilings so this is perfect!

I found this in the Summer.  It beckons on our new front patio.  I absolutely love the dog heads on the arm rests!  It was totally free! All it required was a coat of paint and some new boards on the seat! It is extremely heavy!  It took three grown men to move it!

Pair of Coalbrookdale Fern Chairs for back patio...

Three foot tall Pan statue for the back patio...

Concrete dog garden statues for the pavillion...named after our rescue Pit Bulls, Max and Lola.  This is a photo from the internet because it's just too cold to go out and take photos!  They are exactly the same.

Pair of fruit basket finial garden statues for the entrance to the potager...

This is the new Guest Room bed!  I loved the old one but it was just too large.  This is a full/double.  The man I sold my bed and mattresses to was from Pakistan.  He tied everything to the top of his small car!  The entire Queensize headboard, footboard, mattress and box spring!  You should have seen him! He said he learned to tie things on his camel when he was a boy!  It was a sight to see!
I will paint this headboard and footboard...probably...most likely a shade of grey!

Carved French gilt demilune table with marble top.  Currently on stair landing.  Please note the particle board on the landing.  I tore the carpet up on Thanksgiving Day!  The mermaid crown was made entirely of recycled boxes and seashells!

The grand total for all these items was less than $800!  I actually came out ahead!  When I see something I love on Craigslist I put two or three items up for sale in order to pay for them!  I usually buy up, meaning that I am constantly replacing so-so items with things I really want. The items I sold made more than what I spent!  I will keep that aside for future purchases!



Sunday, January 27, 2013

Breakfast Room Table

This project took much longer than I anticipated but is was wholly worth it!    Before you ask, yes, we still have our Christmas decorations up!  We don't have any trees in our yard worth mentioning and the greenery is so cheerful against the desolate Winter landscape so Gracie and I decided the decorations would stay! We don't decorate until Christmas Eve so everything is holding up well.

If you recall from my last post, I purchased this table and chairs from Craigslist with the intention of painting it.  I wanted something bright and cheerful to come downstairs to in the morning!

After some consideration, I realized the glass top would not work so I bought another Craigslist table and used the top, which I secured with Loctite.  It also gave us more surface area.  I think the original table was actually a game table.

After three coats of Annie Sloan Old White, followed by Clear and then Dark Wax, I am happy to say I love the result!

I also went over the caning with a light coat of Dark Wax.  A cheerful spot to spend family time in the morning!

I chose to paint the tabletop as well, following instructions from Amy at Maison Decor.  Thanks, Amy! I layered three coats of wax, waiting a day for each coat to cure.

I will be adding and subtracting paint in the coming days/weeks, until it is perfect!  Do you do that too, or do you just leave it alone? I love the suede leather seats but I am making slipcovers of Bosporus toile.  See the statue on the sideboard?  It looks just like my sweet Gracie!

I wanted toile for the slipcovers but I labored over the colors because I did not want the pattern to compete with the pattern on our breakfast dishes or the Oriental carpet.  Details, details!

I think it goes together very well!  

Merrie England pattern from J&G Meakin, England.

What do you think?

A close-up of the finish on the table. I studied hundreds of photos of antiques before I began this project.  I could look at patinas all day!  Handsome Husband will no longer accompany me to the Art Institute because I tend to spend way too much time "sighing over dead people's stuff".  Oh well.

I love Before and After shots!  Don't you?  Though it was beautiful to begin with, I imagined something brighter...more cheerful.  What do you think?

This project took two days, about 14 hours total. The devil was in the details!  The table was a cinch, compared to other projects I have done but the chairs were fairly labor intensive...lots and lots of details to paint around!

The electrician is coming next week! Finally, the chandeliers will be hung!  I have been collecting them  for years!  I cannot wait!

If you want to know why Handsome Husband didn't hang them, I will share a story:  
In our townhome there hung a ceiling fan in the Dining Room, where, inarguably, a chandelier belonged!  Handsome Husband was willing to do the work.  The fan came down...the sparkling chandelier went up...I flipped the switch...and...the television in the family room sputtered on.  We called an electrician that evening and the chandelier was brought to life.  Some jobs are better left to the professionals!  



Linking to:  Between naps On the Porch, Metamorphosis Monday
The Dedicated House, Make It Pretty Monday
Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesdays!
From My Front Porch to Yours, Treasure Hunt Thursday
No Minimalist Here, Open House Party
French Country Cottage, Feathered Nest Friday
The Thrifty Groove, Thrifty Things Friday
Miss Mustard Seed, Furniture Feature Friday

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Getting There is Half the Fun!

I finally found a table and chairs for the breakfast room that was within our budget!  Of course, the set needs some work.  Here's what I did so far...

I loved the set, however, there was also caning under the glass of the table.  It gave me vertigo!  I tried to remove the glass to remove the caning but the glass would not budge!

The table was purchased by the original owner in the 80's and it bore the telltale pickled finish!  The seats are covered in suede leather with nailhead trim.  I love them but I am also making slipcovers for fun.

The set originally cost over $3,000!  I bought it for 10% of that price!  It is Mabel approved!

I found this table on Craigslist for $30.  The seller was kind enough to remove the legs...

I bought a tube of Loctite Power Grab and adhered the tabletop to the original...

Handsome husband had an excuse not to work out for 24 hours because I stole his weights to help the tabletop adhere!  It was slightly warped and the weight helped it to lay flat...

Close -up of the very scientific method I used...

Inspiration for chair color

More inspiration...

I plan on painting the chairs with Annie Sloan Old White and Dark Wax.  I think I will paint the table in French Linen and Dark wax. 
Should I paint the tabletop or leave it?  Has anyone had any experience with painting tabletops that are in constant use?

I have lots and lots to share with you!  We are finally having the drywall between the living room and Music Room done and an electrician is coming to hang 20 chandeliers!  They have been in the garage for the past three years!

I love to decorate but I will be so happy when it's complete!

Also, lots of Craigslist finds...wait 'til you see!

How is the New Year treating you?



Sharing with  The Thrifty Groove, Thrifty Things Friday

Monday, January 7, 2013

Quick Urn Tutorial

Happy New Year everyone!

I received so many requests about my Holiday urns  that I decided to share the very simple method by which to create them!

Last year I used fresh greenery but it was very expensive with three urns!  Keeping them all Winter was not an option.  They dry out quickly and turn brown! I needed an inexpensive way to dress the urns for the Holidays but I was at a loss.  I almost just left them bare! The horror!  LOL!

This project took about 20 minutes total!

These are not the baskets I used.  I have no before photos!  You can use any type you want.

I merely took two metal hanging baskets from Home Depot (I found mine on clearance for $6 each).  Take out the coir and remove the chains.  Then turn them end to end and bind them together with floral wire.  My planters were gold so I used gold wire.  I used the holes left from where the chains were.  I didn't have to wire it all the way around...four equally spaced  tethers is sufficient.

I placed the newly created spheres on top of a fresh wreath that I bought at the grocery store and secured the sphere into the soil in the pot with landscaping pins.

Simply lay the wreath on the urn!

I then wrapped battery operated lights around the spheres...

The total cost for all three urns was less than $100!  I am leaving them in the urns without the lights for the remainder of the Winter!  

This idea can be used for vine topiaries all year long!  It can also be used to hang indoors with a light bulb or in a gazebo with bulbs...use your imagination!

Can you think of any other way to use these?




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