June 29, 2009

Yes, Another Chair

I couldn't help myself - it was only $4!! I plan on stripping, and refinishing in a dark walnut stain, and doing something fun with the seat (not pictured because the foam was disintegrating and I needed to remove it asap) like a quilted cover, or super colorful fabric. It's a vintage piece, but kind of cheaply made, so I want to do something fun.

I also finished the seats of the 2 danish chairs I've been working on at refinishing class - The bone colored DesignTex vinyl looks great with the richness of the wood. I also used quilters batting instead of foam, and I'm sold - it's cheaper, easier to work with, and has a nicer padded feel - not so springy. We'll see how it holds up. I have 2 more coats of oil, and then I'll post the finished product!

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June 25, 2009

Wishful Wanting & New Sites

Lighted Carnival Letters

Bee Stinger Playing Cards

Power Grips

Historic Bottle Website - Help Identifying Old Bottles

MagCloud - Self Published Magazines

The Cloud Society - A shared creative exercise

** UGH - So Urban Outfitters is selling the same light up marquee letters as well, looks like I'm accidentally trendy. This is off topic, but I LOATHE UO - they are nothing but a cheap crap selling, knock off factory. There have been so many recent occurrences where I find that UO is selling knock off copies of items easily found on ebay or used for many times the vintage price. I know it's nothing new, and many other stores do it, but for some reason, UO really annoys the hell out of me.

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June 24, 2009

Furniture Finishing at the Eliot School

So I haven't been remembering to bring my camera to finishing class, but here are some shots of the bent wood chair. Since it had been refinished before, but had a lot of leftover paint and a mystery clear coat, I had to use a heavy duty, toxic stripper. Which I promptly donated to the school because I never want to use it again - it smelled like dead things, and burned my skin! Nasty, nasty stuff - I'd rather sand. It did do the job, however, and got rid of almost all of the finishes. I did some sanding, but left a lot of the scratches and marks - evidence of it's previous lives. This is one coat of a basic brown stain, which came out lovely - next is a satin finish clear coat.

Sadly, I didn't find any evidence to date the chair - "Made in Poland" is stamped underneath, and "SEPT 22" is stamped one of of the bayonet braces. I was thinking though, that since it has been painted at least 3 times - if there ever was a paper label, it probably would have been removed. I am still convinced that this is an old chair - so many signs of wear and age.

Here's one of the before pics - quite a difference!

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June 23, 2009

Garden in the Woods

On Saturday, during the brief respite from all this RAIN, a friend and I visited the New England Wildflower Society's Garden in the Woods, in Framingham, MA. It's a "living museum - the largest landscaped collection of native plants in the region" with paths, trails, exhibits, and an education center.

It was a really nice way to spend a few hours, walking along the paths, I'd like to go back earlier next year in the spring to see more blooms.

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June 21, 2009

Score of the Decade! Panasonic SG-J500

I scored this awesome c.1984 boom box over the weekend from my go-to thrift store - it's wicked awesome.

So you're thinking so what? Its a boom box, big deal! But wait! That compartment on the bottom?

IT'S A RECORD PLAYER! Yep, that's right! After pressing the small button on the bottom, a shelf slides out to play records!

It works great, and is my new favorite thing! I've kept a handful of records, including my mom's old Beatles albums, for years, and can now finally play them! I can also start digging in record bins at flea markets! Woo!

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June 19, 2009

Friday Inspiration: 50s Kitchen Done Right

I love late mid century, sleek, danish inspired, minimalist design - EXCEPT - in the kitchen. The fondest kitchen memories I have are in homey, cozy, clutter filled, cheery leftover kitchens. The kind most people rip out to put in matching stainless steel and granite. Gotta have that hideous granite!

I'm also usually not a fan of "retro" remodels, where people try for that clich├ęd "diner" look. It's always pink and blue, and poorly made replicas of things that would not have actually been in anyone's home. Terrible!

So I surprised myself by really digging this kitchen from Berkshire Living Home + Garden magazine - they really got it just right, and avoided the cheesy mistakes most people make trying to get a look like this. The owners sourced vintage cabinets, appliances and fixtures, and carefully mixed in modern materials.

THE BRICK HOUSE clued me in that this is Pam's kitchen from the Retro Renovation blog .... and has been featured on many other blogs and publications, turns out I'm pretty late to the party, ha ha ha!

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June 16, 2009

Rearranged Design - My House Tour!

Check out my house on Rearranged Design! In fact, check out all of the house tours that Ana has posted - I'm in some good company! Thanks Ana.

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June 14, 2009

Handmade Wedding

I've been reading a lot of posts on other blogs lately about handmade and diy weddings, and I wanted to share some of the handmade details from a close friends wedding. She and her husband put a lot of care and thought into their wedding - friends and family all pitched in to create a really personal, memorable wedding.

1. Custom designed letterpress invitations, designed and printed by friends
2. Custom designed name pins in wedding colors, blue for groom and yellow for bride, designating bride or groom party made by a friend
3. Handmade hair pins from SF's Chinatown, for bride and close friends
4. Bride's bouquet made by her mom
5. All of the plates and china was bought second hand, in cute vintage patterns - some sent from friends in Germany, Florida, and San Francisco
6. Centerpieces were made by the bride's mom, in vintage china, flower's from bride's yard and from on site
7. Vegan/seafood dinner was provided by a local non-profit "Food Project"
8. Gifts were at each place setting, vegan donuts in handmade gift bags
9. Napkins were all second hand in vintage patterns
10. Paper globe lights in blue and white were strung over the dance floor
11. The bride made her own custom topper, on top of the vegan cake
12. Vintage typewriter used for guests as a sign-in/message book, and handmade origami table assignments

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June 11, 2009

ReadyMade's Ready to be Read?

I used to love ReadyMade (2002-2004 ish) - it made me want to make stuff! I was just getting back into sewing and crafting and making art in general, and ReadyMade was a source of inspiration. I had a subscription for a while, then I let that lapse after moving, and would occasionally pick it up at bookstores, and then finally I just stopped being interested. Most of the projects seemed like too much effort and expense for too little result. I didn't want to make any of it - eek!

However, while cruising around the web, I read this post on ReadyMade's blog about four of the editors sitting down to "dream up a bright future for the magazine and then begin to hatch a plan for how to get there." Even though there seems to be some ire over the publisher's recent relocation of the magazine, I'm hopeful it might result in something even better? maybe?

Anyway, it's an interesting blog, and looking around in the online archives - I think I might spend some time seeing what I missed these last few years.

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June 10, 2009

Window Shelving

I scanned this image from the TOC of Renovation Style magazine as inspiration to add some shelving to a couple of my windows. I love having plants and pretty glass objects in my windows, but I get frustrated having to move items to open and close the window. I love how this house has a dedicated shelf for their bottle display that doesn't interfere with the operation of the window.

My grandmother used to collect small bottles and fill them with water and food coloring, and set them on the sash, it was so pretty in the sunshine!

I was thinking of white shelf brackets from Ikea, and some wood cut to size from Home Depot, painted white. I'd like to install it in this window in my kitchen, as well as the one above my sink.

I was also excited by this post on Apartment Therapy. This would work great for plants, but less so for pretty objects. Maybe one window with plants, and one with a shelf?

Is there anything you can't do with a BYGEL rail? I've used them for craft supplies, purse storage, craft storage, and as a wall rack.

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June 8, 2009

Thrift Art & Coffee Table

Last Thursday, Design*Sponge posted my thrift art project, and I wanted to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who left such lovely, generous comments! It's really been wonderful!

I've also gotten emails from folks looking for advice on some of the other projects I've posted here. In particular, I've gotten a few emails about my coffee table.

The table is a Pronomen counter top (though I can't seem to find the size I used - maybe discontinued?) from Ikea which I lightly finished with a walnut stain and a satin finish polyurethane, and the legs are 16" steel hairpin legs that I bought on ebay and spray painted a gloss white.

I blogged about last June - here are the posts!

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June 6, 2009

More Friends With Talent: Derek Aylward

Another friend of mine, Derek Aylward, has (finally!) gotten around to updating his online portfolio - awesome work - go visit!

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