Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Well, Fredericksburg was really interesting.  I never intended to keep doing Fredericksburg more than just this one time.  I don't have one weekend a month to commit nor is that enough time to come up with enough inventory.  My end goal is Roundtop Warrenton. It's twice a year for 10 days.  I think I need to wait til my kids are a bit older to do that, but that's the dream.  For the locations I'm dreaming of being in (Zapp, Sommerfeld, Marberger or something similar), I need to have pics of my space to submit with my application.  That was my absolute main goal here, and I got it!!  My friend Stefanie does beautiful work.  Unfortunately, I only sold one thing.  One.  Not gonna lie.  It was hard.  I made pity brownies and ate them.  In the tub.  But I'm moving forward now!

Here's what all I learned:

- I want to be at a show where people come with trucks, prepared to buy furniture.
- There were not many people in my intended market at FTD.  There were people who bought walking sticks.  They bought burled wood back scratchers.  They bought painted gourds, leather chaps, pillow pets, and older 70's oak furniture.  These are not my people.  Even the higher end shoppers were there just to get candles and clothes.
- My prices were not the problem, as I marked them down a ton just to see what would happen.  Nada. Wrong people.
- I know if I have help I can easily set up and take down in one day.
- All my stuff for a vendor space is now made and I can use it whenever.
- Several vendors there also do Warrenton and told me to bring a bike to get everywhere quickly.  Good to know.
- Thanks to my friend Crystal and her mom, I now know how to build a shop counter.  Or a table.  Or a bench.  Awesome.
- If I want to be super obnoxious, I can repeatedly and loudly ask people if I can "Earn their business today!" like the guy across the way did all. day. long.
- I also learned which local auctions are the best.  Nice info to have.
- I have friends who love me.  A lot.  Crystal and her mom came down and built stuff and put everything up.  Kelly and Stefanie stayed with me all weekend to help and encourage me.  I couldn't have done it without them!!

Crystal also said to be prepared to hear criticism or constructive feedback as people were browsing.  They talk to each other like you're not sitting right there.  And they did.  But I did not hear one single negative thing.  That was soooo encouraging!  I have confidence in my pieces, now to just find the right venue.   Lots of people took cards, so hopefully I'll get some custom work out of it.   For now, I'll be listing the furniture on facebook and craigslist until I have enough cashflow to consider Warrenton.

Here's the pics from the weekend:

 That is the piece that sold, btw!

 Kelly, me, and Stefanie

My wonderful set up crew: Stefanie, Crystal, Candie, and Cullen!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

China Hutch of Much Toil

Here she is!  Excuse the less-than-ideal lighting, it was the best I could do while perched on a step ladder 10 feet in front of my workshop.  I need a wide angle lens.  News flash:  I am spoiled to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  In gearing up for Fredericksurg Trade Days, I have spent all my money.  Well, I have about $4 left.  So, everything else I am painting will have to be with what I've got.  So this is Behr Pot of Cream left over from my kitchen cabinets, and a blue chalk paint custom mix.  Usually with chalk paint I can just start painting.  No sanding.  No priming.  For this, I sanded a little, used 2 coats of Bin Zinzer Primer, then 3 coats of Behr.  Then I glazed and waxed.  That's a lot of man hours, folks.  The most chalk paint I've ever had to use was 3 coats, without primer, and I was painting white over dark wood.  Never again will I gripe about the price!
Here is what she used to look like:
 LOVE this hardware!  And brass is back.

 This is a great neutral piece.  I tend to like chunky, masculine pieces with a hint of femininity and this fits the bill perfectly.  Hope somebody snaps it up!  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Morrocan End Table

I think this table is adorable.  I actually envisioned this piece looking crisp and modern with no distressing.  That is not what the piece wanted to do and it doesn't take long to learn to work with a piece and not against it.  When I pulled the stencil off the top it ripped some of the veneer off with it.  So, instead of fixing it, I just roughed it up everywhere, all over, and I think it looks perfect. 

Here is the before:

I kept the original hardware.  Old brass is back, baby.
 Love how weathered it turned out.  Looks beachy.

So, I have another table identical to it.  Should I do it the same way in case someone wants a set or it's just so cute 2 people might want the same thing?  Or something totally different?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

King Sized Headboard

I have finally finished both doors that I turned into headboards.  Doing crown moulding was MUCH harder than I anticipated, and my lack of being able to understand it made me really frustrated.  I just knew my Trigonometry and Calculus teacher could feel my failure and was shaking his head in disappointment somewhere... but I finally figured it out.  Turns out my saw is just not really right for the job.  It needs to be bigger and I would love to have a compound miter saw.  I'm not saying I'll never do crown moulding again...but I'll never use my saw for it again!  
Having said that, didn't this turn out GORGEOUS?  LOVE the color combo Sheala picked out - Pure White over Provence.  For the medallions I painted them Provence, waited til dry, then painted white and rubbed it through to the blue with a damp cloth.  
 In case you forgot what the original door looked like...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Old White table

Here is the sister to the aqua cabinet table I just finished.  I made this one a little more refined and neutral.
Love how the glass knob is perfect - I wanted the wood to be the focus of the piece, not the knob.
 This was a bit too plain jane, so I added a wodden applique to paint and distress.  This is Old White over Graphite, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
 Here's a close up of the wood.  It is reclaimed barn wood with several coats of dark wax on top.
 Isn't it just deliciously weathered?  I think this would be a perfect entry table with a bit of storage underneath.  This piece will be for sale in October at Fredericksburg Trade Days!  Click here for the link.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Union Jack

There's no shortage of union jack items these days... I see it all over the place on blogs and pinterest, and I love it, being quite the Anglophile.  I just had to try it on something.  I thought this nightstand was perfect.  Here it is, and I find it drool worthy!  Yummy!!
 I never noticed the stripes on the British flag weren't symmetrical until attempting to tape them... it was much harder than you might think!

I used Old White, Aubusson Blue, and Emperor's Silk Chalk Paint, then I put a dark glace on it that I made.  I like the cool tone of the glaze this time vs. the dark wax, but glaze goes on semi-gloss much better than it does flat chalk paint... something to remember.  Then I clear waxed it.  Look at the lovely sheen the wax gives it!
This piece will be for sale at Fredericksburg Trade Days in October!  I have not decided on a price yet (I find pricing things very difficult!  Any suggestions?) Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Entry Table

Now this was a fun project.  My brother gave me a custom built desk someone was giving away that was black with gold trim and had been built from cabinet bases.  Weird.  So,  I took one of the bases and made an entry table.  First I painted it Provence.  Then, I took a random chair spindle (my brother Roger's idea, and a good one!) and cut it into fourths to make my own bun feet. 
Then I took an old pallet apart.  This took an inordinate amount of time and muscle, since I couldn't find our crow bars.  Some kid of ours probably chunked it into the woods.  So, one hammer, a chisel, one hour, and sore arms later, I had some pallet wood.  I cut them to length and nailed them on top, using rusty old nails. 
 I just used clear wax on top, so the difference in color in the boards really stands out.  I kept the original hardware.  I think this is such a fun, funky piece.  I can see it being used as an entry table, in an office, or even the kitchen as a little island...  I did decide the top was too wide, so I went back with the skill saw and shaved an inch and a half off both sides.

Here's before I shaved more off: *ignore the coloring!*  It is aqua, but I took this pic with my cell phone:
 And after.  See?  Small change, big difference.  I think it looks much more balanced.  In fact, I didn't mention what I didn't like about it, and Kyle immediately said, "Well, the top's too wide..."

This will be at Fredericksburg Trade Days in October!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Duck Egg Blanket Box

I fully admit, I have been working on this thing since January.  Do not expect to ever see nailhead trim here again!  It was such a huge project.  I would work on it for a few days, get entirely frustrated with the nailhead trim, want to roll it into a ditch and burn it, and have to set it aside until I wanted to work on it again.  I am not a meticulous detail gal.  That is so obvious for those of you who know me.  Here's the deal with nailhead trim: 
     - you have to make sure each small box of upholstery nail exactly matches in tone.  There is a lot of        variation according to batch.
     - First you have to measure out and transfer an exact pattern from graph paper
     - To nail it in, you have to hold it with needle nose pliers with your left hand while hammering with your right
     - Many of the nails are weak and immediately go crooked and you have to pull it out and start with a new one.
     - For each parallel set, you have to use a level and make minute adjustments with the hammer.  So just know that I used the level about 5 million times.

 I will say that I LOVE the way it turned out... and I put the nailhead trim on front and back so that this piece could go against a wall or be used as a coffee table.  This is Kyle's favorite piece.  It will be for sale at Fredericksburg, but he made me promise to put a ridiculous price on it so that if it doesn't sale we can put it in the cabin.

When I got this blanket box, it was plain jane light colored box with clunky seventies wooden pulls on the sides.  The top was so fun to transform.  I sanded, then I pickled, I took my creme brulee torch and burned streaks into it, I whipped it with chains, dropped tools on it, hammered the edges, and finally put 3 coats of dark wax on it.

The color here is Annie Sloan's Duck Egg with dark wax all over.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Big Announcement!

I am thrilled to announce that I will be at Fredericksburg Trade Days this October 20 and 21, Saturday and Sunday only.  I getting so excited planning how my stall will look, and planning all the pieces I'm going to sell!!  As much as I love doing custom work, it is especially creatively fulfilling to get to do exactly what I want with a piece.  I am still taking custom orders, but you'll be scheduled for after FTD!!  Here's a couple of pieces I just finished for the show:

This is a kid's picnic table, in case you're wondering about scale...