Friday, April 28, 2017

White Trunk Re-do


I can't help myself - I love re-doing antique trunks!  This is the latest one that I just refinished.  I bought it at an estate sale a couple of weeks ago and this is what it looked like when we brought it home...


This trunk was by far in the worst condition of any truck I've done yet.  I have no idea what that white crap was inside.  I vacuumed it out and then washed down the entire trunk with bleach water and let it sit out outside for a few days in the sun.  Then I ripped out most of the paper because it was in really bad shape.


The side handles disintegrated so Louie removed them and then cut new handles from an old black belt.  Once he finished that he turned his attention to the lock.  Originally we thought it was broken but it just needed to be oiled.  The trunk was missing its key but I happened to have a spare one that worked so we really lucked out!

The fabric covering on the outside bottom of the trunk was badly shredded and falling off so I took a couple sheets of paper and mod podged them over the bad areas.  Once they dried I painted the entire trunk with 2 coats of white paint, including the patched areas on the bottom.  It worked like a dream and you can barely even tell the bottom was patched.



Then I lightly distressed the entire trunk, paying extra attention to the brass rivets, and finished up with a good coat of wax.




The final thing I did was grab my favorite go-to for papering trunk interiors - vintage sheet music!  It took 2 nights to do while watching TV, but it turned out great!






Every trunk I do is my new favorite.

 Available at Antiques Et Cetera in Benton, Ky.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Book Review - New Stamped Metal Jewelry: Innovative Techniques for 23 Custom Jewelry Designs

 New Stamped Metal Jewelry: Innovative Techniques for 23 Custom Jewelry Designs by Lisa Niven Kelly and Taryn McCabe


New Stamped Metal Jewelry: Innovative
Techniques for 23 Custom Jewery Designs
Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Niven Kelly and
Taryn McCabe.


It's been seven years since Lisa Niven Kelly published her first book, Stamped Metal Jewelry.  As the owner of Beaducation she knows what she is talking about and is a wealth of information.  At that time there were only 2 fonts available and limited types of design stamps and blanks.  Now there are hundreds of letter stamp sets to choose from and design stamps and blanks are limited only by your imagination.  Lisa has partnered with Taryn McCabe to bring you new designs and ideas.  Stamping has become incredibly popular and this book will walk you through the stamping process and help get your creative juices flowing.

There are five chapters and they are loaded with information:
  • Tools & Materials
  • Basic & Advanced Stamping Techniques
  • Basic Wirework Techniques
  • Supporting Metalworking Techniques
  • Projects
The chapter on tools & materials is extensive but don't let that overwhelm you.  It's merely a guideline and it's extremely thorough, with detailed photos of each item and great descriptions of what each tool or piece does.  I found this chapter to be extremely helpful and jotted down several items that I'd like to add to my growing inventory of tools and supplies.  Don't worry, you can start your stamping journey with only a few items and add tools and supplies as you gain confidence and experience.

Novice stampers will appreciate the second chapter.  The basic techniques include how to align your stamps, how to center words, and getting familiar with the hundreds of available design stamps.  And yes, I can say from personal experience, those design stamps get really addicting!  They even include a birthstone chart in case you want to add birthstones to your creations.   I appreciated the section on the different ways to darken your letters.  A few I haven't tried yet but wondered about, so my questions were answered.  For the more advances stampers there is a great section on how to look at your design stamps and use them in new and intriguing ways.  If you want to learn more about edging and bordering, well, they have that covered as well.  Mandala stamping is big right now and the possibilities are endless.

Basic wirework techniques will help you when it comes to using jump rings,  making ear wires, and wire wrapped loops.  This is a short chapter but the photos and instructions are excellent.

Supporting metalwork techniques covers piercing, hole punching, drilling and filing.  Of particular interest to me was the section on riveting.  I cannot wait to give riveting a try.  It will add a new dimension to my work and I've wanted to learn more about it for quite some time.  Annealing is covered, as well a forming cuffs, using disc cutters, and sawing your own shapes.  This chapter will teach you techniques that will come in handy.

And last but not least, drum roll please, the meat and potatoes of the book and what we've all been anxiously waiting for - the Projects!   23 great new projects and ideas that range in skill levels from beginner to advanced.  A few of the projects include:
  • necklaces
  • cuffs
  • earrings
  • collars
  • leather cuffs
  • bar necklaces
  • chevron earrings
  • chain stitched pendants
  • wire stitched earrings
  • thick wire cuffs
  • riveted bangles
  • wire wrapped rings
  • riveted rings
  • dia de los muertos pendant - very cool!
  • flower ring
Oh my gosh, the list just goes on and on!  There are some fun projects here and the instructions and photographs will go a long way in helping you to create these items.  I already have 5 picked out to try.  There are so many to choose from that I'd be interested to see what everyone else decides to make first.

New Stamped Metal Jewelry will be released May 22.  I hope you can wait that long!

In the meantime, you can visit the Beaducation website for tools, supplies, ideas and free how-to videos.  And get this -----Right now there is a spectacular sale going on.  From April 25 thru May 1 Beaducation is offering 6 ways to save money and pick up all those items you've been dreaming about.  Sale prices are only good for in stock items, so don't wait too long to place your order.


Beaduacation also has a FB page that you should check out if you're not already a member.



(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Photo images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 




Friday, April 21, 2017

Furniture Transformations - Small Drop Leaf Table and Chair

I know I keep going back to the amazing furniture we picked up for free a couple weeks ago, but honestly, we got so much great stuff.  One of the pieces was a small drop leaf table...


Once we really looked at it we realized that one of the drop leaf supports was broken off and missing.  Sometimes my husband amazes me - he removed the other support, traced it onto a piece of wood, and cut out an identical leg.  I think he did a great job on it and I never would have thought to do that!


Then he reassembled everything...



Around the same time we picked up a cute little wire chair at an estate sale.  I spray painted it with some black paint.  The seat was shot so I removed it and re-covered it with some red and white checkered fabric.




Louie painted the table black and red so we paired them.  The chair is the perfect size for the small table!

 Available at Antiques Et Cetera in Benton, Ky.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tall Table Make-Over

We have been working fast and furious on furniture make-overs the past few weeks.  Today's make-over is something a little different.  We started with this table, which we had gotten free a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of some road side picking....


We loved the legs and decoration around the edges, but we didn't care for the in-laid design on top.  Sorry, but I can't show you what it looked like because I accidentally deleted a bunch of pictures on my laptop and for some reason I cannot get them back.  Boy, does that fry my ass!

Anyway, we started by soaking some towels and leaving them on the table top overnight so we could loosen the veneer.  After peeling it all off, Louie sanded down the top to a nice smooth finish.


I picked up a can of brown textured spray paint and sprayed the legs with 2 coats.  Then we took a deer poster and I applied some mod podge to the table and carefully laid the poster on top, where I let it dry really good overnight.  The next morning I took an exacto knife and carved the poster edges to fit the design of the table top.  I finished up by coating with 3 layers of polyurethane.  Here's the finished product....


I think it's kind of cool and very different.  We'll see if it sells!


 Available at Antiques Et Cetera in Benton, Ky.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Zibra Paint Brush Win and a Dresser Make-Over

Woo-hoo!   A couple of weeks ago I entered a give-away for a Zibra Paint Brush gift pack and I won!  I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to win these.  I am an avid reader of the Prodigal Pieces  blog and Larissa uses their brushes all the time so I have been wanting to try them.  Check out the great gift box I received....


It contained 5 different brushes....

  • square brush
  • triangle brush
  • round brush
  • palm pro brush
  • chiseled edge brush



Each brush has a specific use.  They are very nicely made and the bristles are amazing - super dense and very soft.


Here's the piece we decided to tackle - a vintage dresser that we got for free!  The dresser is very old, dating to early 1900's. 


 There is a stamp on the back that says 1905 but I'm not sure if that's a model number or the year.  However, the mirror that came with the dresser has a stamp on it that says February of 1928, so I can safely date the dresser to the late 1920's, which is pretty cool in itself.  The mid-60's year old woman who gave me the dresser   whose garbage I picked it out of, told me it had belonged to her grandmother.



The veneer on the bottom and on both dresser sides was horribly chipped.  We soaked the bottom trim with some towels and ripped off the veneer, but the sides were so bad that my husband just went and got some new wood, cut it to size and attached it with liquid nail.  We weighted it down, let it sit overnight and we were good to go.


At this point we loaded the dresser into the truck and headed to our lake house in Kentucky.  I just opened a booth at an antique mall and this dresser was slated to be one of our first items when we moved in so we decided to finish it in Kentucky.

Once we were at the lake and took a really good look at the top of the dresser, we realized that the veneer on the top was going to have to go.  First I tried staining it just to see how it would look and I hated it, so we pulled out some towels, wet them and let them sit on the veneer overnight.  When we tried peeling off the veneer, it came off in small pieces and after much soaking, waiting and chipping I was getting aggravated.  


So I pulled out my iron and we started steaming the wet towels - wow!!  That worked fantastically and the veneer started peeling off like butter...  





We had not one, but 2 layers of veneer removed in about 10 minutes.  I won't be able to use this iron for clothes anymore, but then, who wants to iron clothes anyway???




Louie gave everything a good sanding and then I stained the drawers both inside and out.  



Finally, we were able to start painting.    Even Louie, who usually doesn't like to paint, said he didn't mind it using these brushes.  The round brush works like a dream on spindles.  I could paint spindles all day!


And the palm brush is nothing short of amazing.  I should have had Louie take a picture of me using it.  My hands are small and using a regular brush is usually uncomfortable.  But the handle of this brush is wide and fits perfectly in the hand - what a huge difference!  Plus, the bristles cut in nicely for any indentations and corners.  Loved it!


Louie cleaned and polished the original hardware and then re-installed it...





We loaded it up and took it over to the antique mall...


Check out the mirror - it has these beautiful etched leaves.  Isn't that fantastic?  I about flipped when I first saw that mirror.


Here's the finished product - all spiffed up and ready for somebody to give it a new home.  Available at Antiques Et Cetera in Benton, Ky.



Thank you Zibra Paint for the fantastic paint brushes.  They are definitely keepers!  I can't wait to try out the rest of the brushes in the box.  Visit their website here.

And be sure to visit their FB page.  They have all kinds of inspirational furniture re-do's as well as occasional brush give-away contests.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Book Review - The Adirondacks: Season by Season


The Adirondacks: Season by Season by Carl Heilman II, Rizzoli New York, 2017



Have you ever visited the Adirondacks?  Did you know that they cover more ground than Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Grand Canyon combined?


The Adirondacks: Season by Season focuses on the changing seasons and how they transform the landscape.  This hardcover edition contains 208 pages with 150 color photographs.

There are 6 chapters:
  • Covered in Snow: January and February
  • The Big Thaw: March and April
  • Awakening: May and June
  • Summerfun: July and August
  • The Fall Spectacle: September and October
  • A Quiet Transition: November and December


Each chapter covers a different area of the park, featuring Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Lake George and the Fulton Chain, among others.


The photographs showcase colorful frozen waterfalls, snowy owls at the Wildlife Refuge, sand spring flowers carpeting the forest floor, and a real "wow" moment when photographer Carl Heilman captures a multitude of stars dazzled by the auroras in April.


Rainbows stretch across Brant Lake, loons dance and glide over the water, a baby fawn nestled in the thickets, cairns along a trail, trees shrouded in mist, colorful leaves blanketing the earth, icicles along the shoreline, and my personal favorite - a shot of an Adirondack chair on a dock that faces crystal clear water stretching to the forest beyond.  I can picture myself sitting there at either sunrise or sunset.


I have never had the pleasure of visiting the Adirondacks in person, but after viewing the photographs in The Adirondacks: Season by Season I know that a trip there is in my future.  In the meantime I will enjoy the book and try to decide which season and area to visit first.  

(I was given an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  Photo images are the property of the publisher and cannot be reproduced without consent.) 
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