Wednesday, March 31, 2010

little miss sunshine...

My friend Annie, over at The House That Jade Built, graciously awarded me with the...

Why thank you, is so nice to know I bring a little "sunshine" into your day! She has such a fun and colorful blog, speaking of sunshine, so pop over and pay her a visit!

So I am adding my own little twist on this award post. I had many readers email me after my last post to as about my furniture painting business. So I am going to give you a few answers...but I'll skip typing out the questions...because it is late...and I am tired...and I inhaled a lot of paint fumes today so my brain needs a rest. Here it goes...

1. I have been in business for 10 years - this month is actually my anniversary. Most of you seem interested in how I got started doing this, but that is a whole other post - long story. Lets just say it involved a car accident, a foot surgery that kept me from going to work and a girl that can never sit still.

2. Yes, I paint furniture as my full-time job. I give a makeover to around 60-70 pieces per month. 

3. When I am not painting rest of my time is spent dumpster diving, cruising Craigslist, stalking the neighborhood on trash day, going to yard sales, auctions and flea markets, prepping, finishing and selling the pieces. I hope that helps explain why I hardly ever show photos of my work. It is out the door as soon as it is done...and quite frankly who has the time? I'm wiped out by the time it is ready for delivery or shipping!

4. The color of furniture the most popular with my clients is...white. A crisp, clean bright white.

5. No, I do not spray my furniture. I have tried it in the past, may try it again in the future, but my clients have come to expect a certain finish from me...and I am not one to disappoint! I find the extra time it takes to use a good quality primer, brush and paint is so worth it. But who knows, I would love to spray to save a little time...but we will see.

6. Yes, my husband helps me. And no, he never complains. He has his own busy career, but if I need a repair or a custom cabinet built, he is right there to help, no questions asked. I swear I could never do this business on the level that I do it without a helping hand now and then. But I will say, he refuses to paint. He is my handy-man and my delivery help. It ends there.

7. Yes, I do ship my furniture and it is much more reasonable than you would think!

8. The furthest I have ever shipped something is Asia...I have a store there that buys from me regularly. It is so weird to see my coffee table in an ad with Chinese lettering all around it!

9. No, I do not paint in my garage or my basement. Thank goodness! In the early days I did but I hated the mess and I never had enough room to work. I had to rent 3 storage units just to keep my stock in - crazy! So a few years ago I had to move the operation to a warehouse. Much better.

10. YES! All the furniture in my house is white. All but one gorgeous European pine sideboard from the early 1800s...I could never paint that!

I think that should cover all the questions I received, if not...remind me and I will post the answer!

I am off to bed. I have a list of estate sales to make the rounds to tomorrow and an afternoon date with an armoire!

Sounds like a perfect spring day to me!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

weekend furniture painting...

Thanks to your emails....all the furniture and the frames shown in the photos in this post are SOLD! (Thank you Sharon, Elizabeth, Cammy and Barb, they will be shipping early next week!!)

I will be posting more photos next week when I get the next "batch" of furniture done. I can't wait to show you...I have the most beautiful Frenchy bedroom set I am painting this weekend!

It is going to be a busy month, I can just feel it...I have my first show coming May 1st & 2nd and I am starting to feel the pressure...but I am so excited at the same time! Selling at the show is always so much fun! I love meeting the people...and there is nothing better than seeing my furniture being loaded up and on its way to its new happy home! I sell quite a bit of furniture for little girl's rooms, and it feeds to soul  to see how they light up when the get a new dresser or desk. Never fails to make me happy...I am not so sure a piece of furniture would have thrilled me like that when I was a kid!

Here is a little of what I worked on this weekend...

A few vintage frames...

and a few more...they always fly out the door on the first day of the show. I will have 30 or 40 there for the first show, so there should be plenty to choose from!

a full size for a princess!

and a gorgeous, solid mahogany tall dresser

This cabinet I actually did last fall but it never made it to a show with me. It will be there in May, but I take custom orders for these, too. They are the perfect size for an over-the-toilet medicine cabinet, or at least that is what most of my buyers tell me they are using them for! I use a salvaged window for the door, and build the cabinet around it. The old locking mechanism is the pull for the door on this one, but each one is different.

And of course a bookcase...I can never, ever bring enough of these to the shows. I usually leave with a "waiting list" for bookcases. I think maybe I am should start building a few of those, too!

And last...but not least...YES...I will have my letter necklaces there again this year! Thank you for all the inspired me to bring them again this year! I have a few in stock and ready to go...$15 let me know if anyone is in a hurry and needs one before May. I will be happy to drop it in the mail!

I hope some of you "local" girls will stop out at see me at the show! May 1st & 2nd at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, IL. I will be in my ususal spot...and have 4 booths stuffed with furniture! Things goes fast, so if you are looking for something specific, be sure to get there on Saturday!

I have a date with my paintbrush again today, so I guess I better get away from my computer and get on it! I have a desk and a dining room set with 6 ornate chairs that need to be done before my head hits the pillow tonight!

Happy Tuesday, girls!

Monday, March 29, 2010

diy kitchen love...

I'm doing a little happy dance for Kristin over at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia!

She just heard she is going to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publication...
Kitchen & Bath Makeovers!

Have you seen her kitchen???

Really, if you have have to.!

I'm even giving you a little preview below...but you can get all the details on her blog.

I was going from blog to blog a few months ago, and stumbled on her kitchen redo...and about fell off my chair. I could not believe the kitchen she has now started out so 'builder basic'. Since then her blog has become one of my favorites, I am always checking in to see what she is up to.

The space was done on a budget...and was totally DIY...well, she had a little help from a painter friend, but who can blame her! Look at all those cabinets! It took a little time, as all good DIY projects seem to. But, she did it a step at a time and the space has evolved into an elegant, comfortable space.

Can you even believe this gorgeous space...

 started out like this????

And she didn't get new cabinets...nope...she used what she had an made them better.

Not just better...incredible!

Seriously, Kristin had a vision...and it was perfectly executed.

I have seen a good make-over or two, but the change in this one is fantastic!

It is so bright...and is it just me...or does it seem about 10x bigger than it started out??

I am loving her floor...and the big window above the sink is fabulous!

On her blog, she even shows step by step how she created that gorgeous island!

And the part that I find more wonderful than the kitchen is that she was lucky enough to have one of the editors from Better Homes & Gardens find her blog and fall in love with her kitchen like I did! That would be the best job ever! sit at my desk and blog-hop all day looking for rooms that make me swoon.

Congrats, Kristin. I am glad your hard work is going to be shown off for the world to see!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

old painted cottage giveaway!

Jen at The Old Painted Cottage is having a giveaway!

Laurie, from Bella Inspirations has offered one of her gorgeous burlap table runners to one of Jen's lucky readers.

Jen's blog is one of my favorites! I have been following her from the very beginning...and it is amazing what that girl can do with a room! I am in love with her kitchen and living room...this girl is amazing! Oh, and she has a little online store, too! Packed with some of the most amazing finds I have ever seen! I want one of everything! She has some serious eye-candy over on her blog, so click over and take a look!

But please, try not to drool on your keyboard.

So pay a visit to Jen's blog by clicking here and follow her instructions.
Maybe you will be the lucky winner of the burlap runner...
(but secretly, I hope it is me!)

Good luck, girls!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

chandelier heaven...

Yesterday the hubs and I took a little "field trip". He needed a break from building and repairing furniture...and I needed a break from painting it. So...we headed over to see my favorite "chandelier guys". They are two men that clean and restore vintage chandeliers and sell them to women like us that just can't get enough of them!

I was lucky enough to make it into the treasured storage space for all their chadis. I swear as I made it to the bottom step and into their basement angels started to sing...well, not really, but they may as well have!

I was in h.e.a.v.e.n.

Now, be warned. These photos are not pretty, but the chandis were. Taking photos in a basement just does not do these beauties justice, and I couldn't bear to ask 2 men in their late 70s if we could haul each one upstairs so I could get better pics outside. So, they are what they are...but I wanted you to see what they had.

This was just one corner...the chandis went all down one side of their basement. There must have been 75 of them too choose from...and their prices were very, very good.

All I heard from my husband behind me was "Oh, boy. Here we go."

There were chandis that were all glass and crystal...I always love those the most.

Some heavy on the crystals...some a little more simple.

There were some reeeeallly cute petite chandis, too. I would LOVE a little one like this is my bathroom...or above my kitchen sink as a pendant. I am going to have to remember this one since I will be starting a kitchen reno in a few months.

This one would be great in a does hang straight, but the crystals are so heavy it won't be straight until it is up on the ceiling.

This is the one I bought for my office. I think it am going to paint it gray and distress it. My office is all white, so I think that will be perfect!

And these two were my FAVS! Seriously, I stared at them for so long, my husband finally just said, "so why don't you buy them so you can stare at them at home". I love that man. He is just the best!

But, I have a house with ceilings too low to handle these, and I am still sad about it this morning. I asked my hubs if we could move just so I could have a place for it. He agreed.

Isn't she a beauty???

The metal that holds the crystals is my favorite part. All made by hand. This chandi is stamped with the manufacturer name and the year it was made on the inside. I believe it was 1927.

This style is called a 'wedding cake chandelier' that. Can you imaging the house this came from? It bet it was stunning!

This little mini one matched it. I love the bits of old paint on the ceiling cap.

I really, really, really wanted this one for my he didn't want to separate the pair.

I love days like this when I can escape the paint fumes and sawdust and go look at beautiful things.

A wonderful friend I have made here in blogland reminded me the other day just how lucky I am to be able to what I do for my job. I am so glad she did...because it is so true! I would be so unhappy working behind a desk all day. This is what feeds my soul. Searching through old barns, finding those out of the way junk shops, meeting people unexpectedly that sell great things out of their is so much fun!

I can't see mylself doing anything else. My little biz is celebrating its 10 year anniversary April's hoping for another successful 10! Because I will take wearing my favorite dirty boots over heels any day!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

weekend finds...

Ok, girls...I was at it again!

I just can't help myself.

This stuff seems to find me, rather than me finding it. I swear.

I hit some estate sales and thrift shops this past weekend...and here is what I dragged home with me.

Here's the low-down on what I am going to do with it all...

The 3 white enamel dishes with lids will hold clutter on top of my desk...frames will be painted and sold at my first show at the Kane County Flea Market in May...the grain sacks will be used to upholster chair seats...

the ironstone pitcher is going in my collection...I think the little ironstone sugar bowl without the lid will work as a vase for my kitchen window...the bottles are going in my bathrom...

and the clocks, scale and fan will be at the May show, too.

Oh, and I can't forget the vintage metal number 8 and letter G...I buy those whenever I find them, too.

 And my favorite find of the day....drumroll please....

22 MATCHING vintage locker baskets!

Love the patina, love the cream color paint...within 2 seconds I had a project for them in mind! I just haven't told my hubs yet...but he is going to make me a long...low...cabinet to hold these in my work studio. Then my sister...she does all my sewing...gets the task of making me 22 liners that fold over with litte ruffles out of some white vintage linen I have been stashing. I hope they both still love me after this project! I think it will look fabulous...and will be perfect for sorting and storing all my fabric!

I love the weekend. The junking bliss starts on Thursday & Friday around here...thats when the estate sales happen...and I usually make the rounds of my favorite little junk shops on the weekend when they are getting the most donations.

Now, I am off to see the 2 guys I told you about a few weeks ago that have a basement full of vintage chandeliers for sale! I really hope it won't be too dark for photos...I know its going to be I have to show you what I find!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Marley & Lockyer giveaway!

I am taking this moment to spread the love...

Marley & Lockyer is having a giveaway!!

Her Etsy shop is loaded with so many beautiful things...

and she is kind enough to offer not one...but 2...of her gorgeous pillow covers...


a set of your favorite clay tags from her shop!

So head over to her site and pay a visit!

There is so much eye candy, stay a while and look through her past posts. Ness' blog was one of the very first I ever followed, and I love every second I spend there!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Ok, ok...I know I keep going on...and on...and on...about that slightly-oversized Opera House cabinet I have been working on for my living room, so thought I would give you a little sneak-peek.

It is in the home-stretch...I have to do a little distressing...install new glass shelving...and put the sliding glass doors on the front. But I could not wait to show you a little peek.

I am soooo happy I decided to leave the areas that were raw pine natural!

 It is such a beautiful contrast to my white ironstone collection that will be on display inside.

I am in love with that bowl in the center. I have never...ever...seen another one like it. It is a rather large size and has a metal cool! Anyone out there know what it was for? Maybe it had a lid??

I am not sure about the handles...I left them in their original state for now. They look black in the photos, but they are old, and solid brass, so have a great dark brownish-bronze patina to them. I may keep them this way, we'll see.

The inside of the cabinet has a little writing here and there. No idea why...but I love it. I could never paint over it.

Now, did I happen to mention that my beloved cabinet seems a bit too large for my room??

Yeah. Just a little snag in my plan.

It is just so massive, it makes everything else look a little small. I had a feeling that would happen when I bought it, but had to take the chance anyway. My room is 33ftx16 rather bowling-alley-ish. The scale of the cabinet really needs a much larger room...but it is what it is.

And I love it. So it is staying.

For now.

I'm off for another day with the paintbrush. I have a coffee table, 3-drawer bombay chest and a full-length mirror to get done today.

This is a piece I delivered yesterday. Let me tell you, there is nothing like a girly white dresser to make a little girl soooo happy!

 Oh, and Happy St. Patty's Day, girls!

Monday, March 15, 2010


You girls are the best, you know that??

Thanks for all the "where have you been?" emails...I really didn't think anyone would miss me if I was gone from blogland for a week! You sure know how to make a girl feel good!

I have had a lot going on around here...some small things...and some really big things. I am trying to tie up loose ends on something super-exciting so I can make a little announcement to you all next week.

It is something fabulous but scary all at the same time. Aren't those kind of things just the best??...ok, for me only when I look back on them, NOT when they are happening! 

I've been trying to get a few new projects projects started...and finished...around the house...

I've been painting furniture for clients like a crazy woman...I just finished piece #13 this morning...I need a break. And some Girl Scount cookies.

While the paint is drying on those pieces...I try to sneak in a little work on that g-i-a-n-t cabinet I told you about a few weeks ago...I am soooo close to having it done. Hoping to finish it tomorrow and so I can have new glass shelves cut and have it loaded by next week. Here's hoping...

On top of house projects and furniture painting...spring is right around the corner and I am trying to figure out a landscape plan. Lets just say I am much better at painting furniture than designing a landscape. I decided today to hire someone. I just don't have time to do it all. I do need sleep, afterall!

Note to self: Next time I buy a house, I will NOT rip out every plant, every bush and every weed until I have a plan on paper for how to replace it. My poor old house was being swallowed by bushes when I bought it, and I got a little happy with my girl-sized chainsaw.

(all photos from here...I am totally obsessed with her work)

Oh, and I am on the hunt for a spiffy new pair of Hunter rain boots...did you see the ones on Oprah last week with warm little liners you can take out? I fell in Zappos, here I come! I will be needing them when show season rolls around for me in May! It always seems to be cold and rainy that first show of the year! Now...what color to get...hmmmm....

Happy Monday, girls.

Its good to be back.