May 27, 2009

Thrift Art Saved

I've had this large, sort of cheesy piece of art hanging above my desk for a while, and I wanted to paint the frame white to have it pop off of the wall color in my bedroom. (Plus I love painting things white) So I took it down, and started to mask the image with blue painters tape - when it suddenly occurred to me that it might pull up the image with it - it did!!

Since I'm bizarrely attached to this print (reminds me of the pond on my grandmothers property) I "framed" it freehand using white paint. I used a water based gloss enamel, and did about 5 coats - I wanted it to be super thick and opaque - like shiny marshmallow!

Pin It!

May 26, 2009

Short Sleeves

While watching The Fashion Show on Bravo (kind of lame, I know, but I got hooked for an hour) - I got the urge to sew! I've had this jacket from Uniqlo since the winter, but never wore it because pf the sleeves - they were to tight around my upper arms and pinched in the pits!

I cut the sleeves just above the elbow, moved the cuff up, and added a gusset in the armpit. I added a large gusset so that I could make a large pleat, giving the sleeve some fullness and detail.

Came out pretty snazzy!

Pin It!

May 23, 2009

Foggy Boston Town

Last weekend, my friend and I took a walk over the Longfellow (salt & Pepper) Bridge. It was one of those crazy spring days - alternating sunny warmth and foggy breezes, with the unfufilled prospect of rain.

That's it - just wanted to share.

Pin It!

May 22, 2009

Bentwood Chair - Thonet? Fischel?

I found my next project for finishing class! I nearly walked right by this bentwood chair at Savers, but luckily I snapped it up for $10. I don't know much about bentwood pieces, but I can tell this chair is OLD - it has been painted and stripped (sloppily) and least once, and then painted brown (?? wha?) and stripped again. It's solid with no breaks, and is marked "Made in Poland" under the seat. Someone painted under the seat and rim with blackpaint, so I can't find any other mark.

The wood is gorgeous - nice aging and color - the seat in particular has a swirling grain pattern that is just beautiful, but hidden under some layers of a poorly applied clear coat of some kind.

I did some digging on the internet, and a lot of these chairs had paper labels, which may be why I can't find any maker marks. It also has "bayonet" coupling holding the back to the seat, which indicates it may be a Fischel or Kohn made chair. I am having trouble finding a matching image of what I have, so I can't really identify what it is. There are books and catalog of Thonet's work, but I'm not sure I want to buy a book just to identify the chair.

Regardless, it will be a great refinishing project! I debated whether to keep it in it's aged state, or refinishing it - which may decrease any value it might have. I decided that since I can't clearly identify it, I'd rather restore it and use it.

MoMA Thonet Page

La Stanza del Re Page

Pin It!

May 21, 2009

Furniture Finishing at the Eliot School: Class 3 &4

More Repairs

After stripping, I had to fill the holes I made taking the chair apart. This involved sanding down some commercial wood pegs/caps, as my chairs are metric! I used a belt sander to carefully sand off about a 1/16 of an inch, then gently hammered them in, and sanded. The fills are oak - but I don't mind.

Filling Small Holes

There were a few small holes and a knot that had fallen out to fill. I used a shellac stick, and a small hot iron - like a woodburning tool, but wide and flat. This is like melting wax - use the iron to get the shellac to drip into the hole, smooth as best as you can. Finish by using a SHARP chisel to smooth, and sandpaper to finish. This was addictively fun, and much better that wood filler.


First pass with medium and second with fine grit paper. There wasn't too much finish with these, so I got off easy.


To finish the chair in a traditional manner and to learn how to use oil, I decided to use Tung Oil. This is the first coat, and it was fantastic! It immediately brings out the walnut's richness and grain - unbelievably satisfying. The first coat is a flood - goop it on, wait 15 minutes and wipe off excess with a rag. Next class I will learn to wet sand in the next coat. The oil smells like peanut oil - but it can be overwhlming.

Pin It!

May 14, 2009

Yet more blogs to keep me online

This is just an amazing, wondrous, entertaining blog. I can't say it any better, go visit NOW.

We Love You So: "In October 2009 Spike Jonze’s feature film rendition of Maurice Sendak’s classic story Where The Wild Things Are will hit movie theaters worldwide.

The film represents years of work from hundreds of different artists, writers, photographers, musicians, actors, and creators of all degrees.

This place has been established to help shed some light on many of the small influences that have converged to make this massive project a reality"

I love old staplers, I have four, which is more than any one person needs, but less than the owner of this very awesome blog: Stapler of the Week.

If you ever run across a heavy metal stapler, buy it, it will staple better than any of the junk plastic ones sold today. Blog located via A Continuous Lean

Pin It!

May 12, 2009

Carboy Ideas

I spent a bit of time looking around Flickr and the internet for some some ideas using my new carboy. Most of which were filled with wine and beer!

Seaglass via Green Wellies

Paper Stars via szeretlek_ma

Buttons and Spools via littlethings1

Monochromatic items via sunshinesyrie

Crafty Bits via One Good Bumblebee

Golf Tees via Apartment Therapy

I like the idea of thread spools, or something natural like twigs - maybe lit from inside?

Pin It!

May 11, 2009

New Loot from the Giant Yard Sale

My weekend scores from Chelmsford's Giant Yard Sale! A gorgeous glass water cooler bottle (Made in Italy!), a partitioned wood box, and a wood file box - that is perfect size for holding sewing patterns. Also - a bike rack for the Honda!

I don't know what I'm going to do with the partitioned box yet (a shelf most likely) but the pattern box is going to get refinished, and used for my patterns!

As for the jug.....predictable coin jar? buttons? lights, marbles? feathers? paper? what to fill it with?

After some internet research, this jug is a "carboy" and was most likely used for home brewing - and it's not vintage, though it looks like it is.

Pin It!

May 6, 2009

Furniture Finishing at the Eliot School: Class 1 & 2

Remember these? These are the two chairs that my landlord gave me, they were sitting out on the front porch and starting to look pretty sad. They've been hiding in my back storage room until now! My friend and I signed up for the Furniture finishing class at the Eliot School.

Class 1: Repair

The chairs were in decent shape, but loose and wobbly. I took them apart, and re-glued and clamped the joints. The backs were a bitch to get off -turns out they were held on my nuts and bolts hidden behind wood pegs! Unfortunately this discovery came at the cost of one of the round "spots" on the front, but the instructor is going to help me make a new one. I also discovered that the chairs are marked "Yugoslavia" so they are knock offs - pretty, solid walnut ones, at least!!

Class 2: Stripping

Stripping is easier than I had imagined, glop on the Citrus stripper with a paint brush, wait 30 minutes, scrub off with #2 steel wool. Then splash on denatured alcohol, scrub with #0000 steel wool and wipe with a clean rag. (I must admit that these chairs had a minimum amount of finish, some of my classmates were using putty knives to scrape through a lot of thick finish.) Now they look clean and pale!

Next step - Sanding! I'm so excited I finally got around to doing this, I'm finally going to learn the right way to restore furniture. I talked with the instructor, and I'm going to do a period appropriate oil finish. I'm also planning of recycling leather coats for the seat covering.

Psst....aren't these G10 images amazing?????

Pin It!

May 5, 2009

My G10

I am now the extremely happy owner of a Canon G10! My Canon SD600 has treated me well, but it finally began to get glitchy (hello stuck in video mode), and just couldn't compete with the kinds of images I'm seeing around the web.

It's rainy and grey today, but I wanted to show some comparison shots - I took one this morning before rushing to work. Here are my baby seedlings. Not the best pic to showcase, but I wanted to post my new camera! I have a LOT to learn about it's many many features, these were shot on Auto mode, because the manual modes don't make sense to me yet.

G10 - sharper, brighter! wide angle!

SD600 - blurry, grainy, dark

Detail - G10 on left, SD600 on right

Pin It!