Monday, April 23, 2012

Jade's Drapes

This all started when I decided to update my baby girl's bedroom from baby to "big girl". I personally had loved her nursery. I loved the colors and how no one really uses peach anymore. Her paint was fabulous! I started looking for fabrics that went with what she already had because it was so pretty to me.

I love the peach walls and custom swing cover...all the baby gifts I hadn't had time to open yet

So Sweet

Just look at that awesome dust ruffle my precious mother made! Insanely gorgeous raspberry satin and top to bottom ruffles. I loved it and have never seen its equal.

The Changing table area

I thought it was great and I just needed to find a few more fabrics to go with it and some good furniture to go along with her new big girl bed and that would be that. Jade Reese, aka 'The Duchess' as she's known around here, had different ideas. She wanted her room to be pink and purple...
Yes, immediately my stomach turned. Pink and purple? Seriously??? Now I could have been mean and just done what I wanted. I mean what can she really do, pout? But, I decided I would see if she could handle actually being a big girl and earn her choices. If she couldn't do it then she wouldn't have her color choices. So I made a sticker chart and she had to keep her room clean for 30 days. The little booger did it! Not gonna lie, I was hoping that she would and purple.
So like all things good, the new scheme started with a fabric. 

This Fabric

It was great, Jade loved it, and the purple had enough grey in it that it didn't make me nauseous. Now to find coordinating fabrics and paint (insert a horror movie scream here). I didn't want bubble gum sweetness, I'm not that kind of girl myself. We eventually found other fabrics and her scheme is something I am happy with now. This fabric was well suited for drapes and so that is what I decided to make.
I don't sew, my mother is incredible and has made many things but mostly clothing. She had made a few drapes and window treatments, but never any pinch pleat. Of course I wanted pinch pleat. Hey, I like what I like. So I researched it, bought a couple books, watched a few tutorials, talked to people at the fabric store, and called to price out having them made. Um, no! The fabric was expensive enough on a half price sale and I was NOT paying $200 for someone else to make them. NO WAY! So, I bucked it up and told my mom that it didn't look too hard, and surely we could manage it together. I'm good at tricking her, I've done it a lot, and somehow it always ends up working out fine. Only when it works out fine do I tell her that I really wasn't sure to begin with. It works well for both of us :)
So we got started.

Cutting the fabric

Testing it out before sewing it down

It really wasn't too bad. I did do a lot on the first drape myself, but had to leave before the second one was completed. My mother finished it up for me and brought it over the next evening. I prefer natural light pictures, but that doesn't always work out so well with drapes. Sunlight does crazy things to my phone camera. I really need to invest in a good camera for my work, but that's another whole topic.

Here they are finally hung in place

There are no longer wood blinds in the window either, but I didn't want a black hole in the picture so I left them until I was finished. I'm looking forward to posting her finished space soon.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Gentry's Armoire

Okay, so I HAD a before picture, I did! Somehow though, I lost it. Don't ask me how, I just simply don't know. But, I'm going to guess that the cause was the same as how I've lost everything else in my life: my energy, my sleep, my clean house, my previously size 4 body...yep, KIDS! Oh well. This piece that Ashleigh wanted me to do for her precious daughter Gentry was a family piece. We call it an armoire, but I do believe the 'furniture' term for it is actually chifforobe. A chifforobe is generally a piece that has a closet for hanging on one side and a set of dresser drawers on the other, whereas an armoire is either all closet or closet above and only one to two drawers below. It had been in the family for a while and had seen some wear and tear. While old pieces like this are generally solid wood, they are also a cheaper solid wood veneered with a more expensive wood. That was the case here.

This is the color of the stain that covered the entire piece before

Ashleigh's house is gorgeous. They bought an older home in a very sought after and historical neighborhood here and have renovated it while keeping true to the period and architecture. The woman has my fantasy...sigh. So Gentry's room was getting a bit of an update as well and this piece definitely needed some TLC. After Ashleigh and I spent some time trying to decide on a color, she picked a gorgeous pale mustard color. This is so exciting for me because I've never really used much yellow before. This is another reason why Ashleigh's jobs have been so awesome, the girl loves color and isn't afraid to use it and experiment with it. So I got to painting. It's a big piece so I whipped out the handy-dandy sprayer my father bought me and went to town. I had some Darth Vader moments for sure...

...not so glamorous!

Umm, yeah. Moving on, this is the piece fully sprayed with two coats of the pale mustard color

So pretty already. Did I already mention that I LOVED this piece? I do, I find it swoon worthy really. Next came the fun part, and yes I'm being sarcastic. It's not hard or bad work really, but I had to 'distress' the piece, which meant sanding. Hours and hours of sanding. It needed to look aged and chipped. I actually did have fun trying to decide where to sand and what to make look distressed. My husband will tell you though, that everything (seriously everything) in the entire garage was covered in yellow dust. The tool boxes, the freezer, the floor, the walls. Yes, even my husbands trailer which I am still trying to make up for...he was not happy with me. I would normally have done this outside, but it was cold people! Cold and windy to boot. So, after all the sanding, I had to clean things up a bit before the next step. The next step was the true finish in the aging process. I stained it. Over the paint I rubbed on a dark walnut stain and just covered the entire piece.

The stain brushed on

The stain wiped off and the piece finished and in it's home.

I believe that it was one of the most loved pieces I did for Ashleigh's house. It was one of the most fun pieces I've ever worked on as well. It still doesn't have hardware because we just can't seem to find the perfect thing for it yet. But, it's home and loved. When it has hardware I will post a true finished picture. Ashleigh has been the most fabulous client and I'm so thankful to her for her trust and for what she has done for my business. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Table Makeover

Here's the thing, I've wanted a coffee table for just about EVER, but I always put it off because it wasn't a necessity. Also, everything I liked cost a fortune, at least to me. I loved things from Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware and the cheaper versions...well they looked cheap! Cheap is NOT where I wanted to go. So I toyed around and looked online and one fine day ran across Ana White. OH. MY. WORD! The woman is pure genius  and I adore her beyond words. I started thinking to myself, "You can absolutely do this! You can build this coffee table no sweat!" 
I had plans and I was ready to go. Then my wonderful, amazing father came to me and said he was needing to clean out a shed and he knew that I wanted my Granny's old dining table. I had a dining table, and a very small house. I sure didn't know what I was going to do with another one. So I started making plans to sell my current table and put my cherished family table in it's place. On the day my father and I put the new table into place, we shoved the old table into the living room. It hit me like a 2x4 in the head. I had a perfectly good maple table, with a nice apron on it, why not just cut it down to size and buy some legs for it? Ding ding ding, we have a winner! So out with the old and in with the new, or rather in with the old and in with the made over...if that makes sense. 

This is the old table. It was maple butcher block and when we remodeled our kitchen a few years back my father sprayed it black for me. It was all fancy for Christmas in this picture, and shockingly this is the best picture I found of the table. It's been featured in many posts because I used it as a painting surface.

This is the cut down, reassembled, sanded, and painted version from the bottom. Notice that I am lazy and since no one would see the bottom I didn't paint the underside. This is when I was attaching the newly purchased (and at a VERY reasonable cost) legs.

I flipped it over and painted the final coats onto the top.

 In it's new home and I couldn't be happier...well, that's not true. This isn't the top that will stay on it forever. I still have some plans for this one, but they will have to wait until I am less busy for now. Something to look forward to!

When I finally have the time to add the new top I will have another post just to show how beautiful the end result will truly be!