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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black Night Stand

This is the story of a perfect little black night stand.  It is a LONG story.  It was supposed to be a short story, but that is my life.

The black night stand was the very last piece of furniture I wanted for our bedroom.  Next week it will be 4 years since we moved into this house and (as usual) our bedroom is always the last one I decorate.  Next time we move, I will not wait 4 years to complete our room.  (I lie, it will probably be the last one is a moving habit now, I can't help myself.)
 So, I found the perfect little 3-drawer dresser at a local antique/flea market.  The shape was perfect, the size was perfect, everything was perfect!  Well, the color was not perfect (cream), and the smell was not perfect (decades of cigarette smoke which I didn't realize until I got it out of the musty flea market), and the top was not perfect (plastic laminate under the cream paint), AND the price was not perfect given the last three things that were not perfect.  The price WOULD have been perfect if I only had to slap a coat of black paint on it, which was my grand plan when I purchased it.  But, alas, when I arrived at home and started painting, the strangest thing happened.  As I painted, the cream layer of paint just started bubbling up and coming off with every stroke.....grrrrrr.  So somewhere in the life of this little dresser, someone had ignored the rules of layering oil base paint and latex. What is that rule anyway?  Oil base can go on top of latex but not visa versa.  Or is it latex can go on top of oil base but not visa versa?  I understand the confusion, I really do. 

Now I'm just discouraged.  Most of the time I relish a project but just this one time, I wanted an easy project.  This was not to be.  I was relating the story to my husband while we sat on the porch one night and telling him that I just wanted to cry.  (This was practically my FIRST flea market faux pas, you least that I can recall, wink, wink.)  And now we have a dilemma because I absolutely HATE stripping furniture!  I mean, I really, REALLY hate it.  And the dresser is sitting in the garage in my parking spot so it has to be completed soon because we have teenage drivers and all that moving around of cars so someone can get out to go to work or the movies or TJMaxx is just ridiculous.  I had to sleep on it and figure out what to do.

I don't know when it happened, but the next thing I knew, my darling husband was stripping my dresser for me!  He had gone to Lowe's and asked the guy what he needed and got the stuff and was STRIPPING MY DRESSER FOR ME!  Let me just say that my husband hates stripping furniture maybe even more than I do.  But he really, REALLY loves me (obviously).  Again, I wanted to cry...happy tears this time :)  I vow to keep quiet in the car while he is driving in honor of his act of undying love and devotion...starting tomorrow because I already screwed that up yesterday, blurg.

Over the long weekend we completed the dresser.  We had to prime (with oil base primer just in case...everything sticks to that) and paint EVERY surface of the blasted thing (because of the cigarette smoke) but between the two of us we got it done.  It is so beautiful I just want to cry every time I see it (I cry a lot, apparently). 
It all started with the bed

My darling husband, DW's nightstand.  His is new, albeit deeply discounted ;)  He likes new, I like old.

Both dressers are DW's, both are old.  Sorry, DW.  It's all about the design plan, baby.

Evidently the design plan...
was all about...
the curvy,
lines.  I love it when a plan comes together!  Amen.  Maybe I will get the pictures hung this year.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Pink lace

Last week I conquered my fear of the stretch stitch!  I don't know what my phobia was about, except that I remember the year I thought I was going to make myself a swimsuit....pssshhhhhttt.  There was lots of stitching and stretching and tearing out of stitches and re-stretching, re-stitching, and tearing get the picture.  I think I may have actually cried that day.  I found the mutilated fabric and pattern the other day when I was cleaning out my fabric cabinet.
I am slow, but I CAN eventually conquer my fears.

I have a really good client, I call her my "original" client, who lets me experiment on her and her daughter.  She brings me clothing items she has found on sale along with fabric and I get to duplicate the items.  Sometimes we use sleeves from one item and bodice of another and add or delete ruffles.  It is so fun!  Last week I told her that I found some pink stretchy lace and bought it for another project but had a lot leftover and did she want me to make her daughter a lace blouse to match hers that had been hanging in my sewing room as a prototype for something I was working on for her?  She said that would be fine.  I love her.

So, I took a deep breath and switched my machine to "stretch".  A really crazy thing happened.  I had so much fun with the stretch stitch!  It is amazing!  Did you know that if you use a zigzag stretch stitch @ 3 on the edge of unfinished stretchy lace it will actually "eat up" the lace and finish the edge?!? 

Just like that!  I did not know this...until I tried it.  I want to use it on everything now.
So here is the finished blouse.  It's really cute.  You will probably see more stretchy stuff in my repertoire from now on (wink, wink).

Friday, May 6, 2011

first painting

A couple months ago my friend, Teresa, came over to paint with me and give me instruction on palette knife painting.  She's been painting canvases left and right and displaying her beautiful works all over her house and I wanted to copy her :) 

This is what I ended up with.

 I like it.  So, I had this great idea to paint a "messy portrait" of each one of us to display in our living room.  I was really inspired by the cover of one of my favorite magazines.

Let me first start by saying...I am NOT a portrait artist.  But I do love fun and messy paintings and when I saw this one something just came over me and I wanted to do one...or two...or five!  So, I am unveiling my first "messy portrait" of Eden.  Some say she is recognizable.