Sunday, 25 January 2015

Tucson Quilt Show

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I thought I would take advantage of living in an urban centre and venture out and see a few things. This week I took a bus trip to the Tucson quilt show, here are a few of my favourites.

This one is thread painting, absolutely beautiful!

This one is my favourite!  The designs are painted and then appliqued onto the background.  

A little bling never hurts!

Another thread painting, stunning!

The detail in the quilting is amazing!

A panorama of the quilt side...

and the vendor side.

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Being Productive, While Not Producing; Wintering in Arizona! (My snowbird life)

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Hello all!  I have not dropped off the edge of the earth, we are spending our first winter in Arizona.  Ahhh, the sunshine and warmth is fabulous!  I live in an area where we get a lot of sunshine in the winter, unfortunately it comes with very cold temperatures.

While living the life of a snowbird I am not able to keep up my regular routine of working on furniture, but I am not wasting my time down here.  I am learning some new things.  I have long wanted to learn stained glass, and now I have my opportunity.

This is my very first project.

I took an oil painting class.  I've never worked with oils before, it was very interesting.

One evening a week I sit around with a group of old guys and they teach me to carve, they are great, and very humorous!

Once before I turned two pieces on a wood lathe.  I have decided to use my time here to do some lathe work in a way that will benefit my "furniture habit" when I return home.  The picture below is a turning that I did which will be 2 legs for furniture, once cut in half.

This is a picture of 4 of the legs above and 4 shorter legs, plus one more piece of wood from which  I plan to get 8 shorter legs. You will see these used at some point this summer, maybe on a trunk, not sure yet.  I just picked up another 4 X 4 at Home Depot so I see a lot more of this in my future.

While here, I am hoping to do some work on my  photography skills, which I really need.  

I think hiking starts tomorrow, so that will give me more opportunity to practice my photography skills.

Here's a secret for those of you who stuck it out until the end, we are looking for buying a little "Park Model" (aka Tin Can Trailer) here, and if we do... the makeover begins!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  

I went out last night to a little discussion group about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which I have never tried, so we will see where that goes.

Until next time, stay warm all my friends and family at home!  I will be seeing you before we know it!
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Monday, 17 November 2014

Card Catalogue/Apothecary Cabinet, Whichever You Prefer

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Today's post is a makeover of a makeover.  Originally this was a television.  In the early 80's my husband decided to make this into a cabinet.  In those days televisions had tubes, we found out the hard way that it was not safe to take the tubes out, it blew up right at him, luckily it didn't blow up into his face and he ended up with only minor cuts.

He put a shelf inside and added doors.  He carefully covered the doors with MacTac, remember that?  It matched the cabinet quite well.  Yeah, I know it was still ugly, but it was the 80's, things have changed a lot since then.
I don't know why I took this picture with it laying on the floor, but I guess you get the idea.

I peeled all the Mactac off the doors which took longer than I expected, and primed the small pieces that I cut out.

 I painted everything with two coats of red, then I sanded it all.

This is a mock up of what it will look like.  I know that this one is laying on the floor so that all the pieces stay on.

You would be surprised how many times I second guess whether or not I should antique the pieces that I work on.  The answer is always YES, you would think I would know that by now.  Below you can see the drawer fronts before and after antiquing.

Okay, so something surprising happened, I antiqued everything, and the next day when I started to varnish the cabinet, the stain started to rub off of the cabinet.  This has never happened to me before, and I'm not sure why it did this time.  So I had to decide whether to start over, or work with it.  Since it is supposed to be rough and old looking I decided to roll with it.

I sanded it between coats of varnish to smooth the finish out a little bit.
Attaching the drawer pulls was a real pain.  I should have had some sort of jig, but couldn't quite wrap my head around how to do it, plus I would have had to make two since I had to different sizes to work with.

As per usual I couldn't wait to share this piece with you, so I am not quite done.  My next post will show what I do with the inside. Until then, enjoy a few more pics.

 I have a few thoughts but haven't quite settled on anything yet.  In the end I absolutely LOVE this piece.  I wonder how many lives this old TV will have, it's on its third right now.

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Monday, 10 November 2014

Cedar Chest Makeover; Bringing Back the Beauty!

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I was asked to refinish this trunk for a friend.  Since it is fairly flat and I could sand it, I took it on.  I have used furniture stripper on a lot of furniture over the years, but decided long ago that it is something I only do for myself.  It is a nasty job.

This piece is in great condition, it just needs a face lift.

It took quite a bit of sanding, both by machine and by hand.  I stained it with Ebony stain from Minwax.

Then two coats of varnish, satin finish.
These pictures make it look a little washed out, in person it is richer in colour.

When I put the last coat of varathane on this I thought maybe I didn't really improve it that much, then I took a look at the before picture, yeah, I changed my mind!  What do you think?

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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Vehicle Painted with Camouflage Design, Plus a Camo Dresser, Can You Find Them?

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I'm very excited about this post.   Last year my youngest son Sterling painted his Tracker in camo, he absolutely blew me away, he did such an awesome job!  I couldn't believe it, all of my kids are creative in their own way but he had not shown any sign of being an artist.  This was fabulously done!  I have been wanting him to paint some furniture for me ever since.

I bought a dresser at a yard sale and it is good and solid, I decided it was a good candidate for this paint technique.
I sanded the dresser and then stained the parts that I didn't want painted.  I then taped over the stained areas.  I did a little something different this time, I varnished around the taped areas lightly hoping that the varathane will seal the edge of the tape.  It does have a nice crisp edge so I guess it worked.

When the varathane was dry I painted it with Zinser 123 primer.

Here is a picture of the dresser waiting for Sterling's touch.

These are the paints, plus black of the same series.

The day has finally arrived. After this picture I did go over the stained areas and stained them darker.  I also varathaned the stained area.  
I wasn't sure what I was going to do about hardware, until I saw the dresser painted and then I knew...

hunter orange!

I love the way it turned out!

He did an awesome job, I think we make a great team!

The hardware turned out great!  It looks pretty light in this picture, I think the other pictures show the colour better, but look at the detail in the painting, awesome!

I hope it sells because I want to do another one, or 10, you know, why not carry on a good thing?

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Friday, 7 November 2014

An Old Worn Out Trunk Finds It's Feminine Side; Trunk Makeover

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I love trunks, don't you?  Trunks and dressers seem to find their way to me, and I guess chairs too.  Well maybe tables, and bed frames too, OK, OK, a lot of old furniture finds it's way to me.  Wow, I need to find a way to attract buffets/sideboards, because those are my favourite.  Notice I clarified that by adding sideboards?  Food buffets don't find their way to me, but I possibly may find my way to them a little too often, you know what I mean?
I digress, back on topic, I do love trunks, this one was given to me by a friend, it came out of an old cabin that he was renovating.  You just never know if someone is going to throw everything to the dump, so just in case, I told him if any of the furniture was going to the dump, please give me first crack at it.  I hate it when furniture goes to the dump.  He gave me two end tables, a dresser and this trunk, wow, great haul.
Speaking of haul, here is my husband hauling it all home for me, even though he threatens to burn all my "junk" on a daily basis.  Did I mention the cabin was on an island, ha ha, we had to get it before the ice broke up, yes that is ice, not a farmer's field.

I'm not sure why pictures never show how bad something really looks, and then later pictures never seem to do a piece justice, how can that be?  Maybe I'll ask Siri, she always bugging me for questions ;)

Anyway, some of the fabric had been torn off this trunk, which saved me from having to do it, because it had to go!

The inside didn't look any better.

I gave the whole thing a good sanding, inside and out.

It looked pretty good, those brown spots are just where snow was melting off the roof.

I had some gel stain handy, so I put that on it.  It looked great, but didn't have any pizzaz.

I added turqoise and thought I ruined the whole thing!  It doesn't look so bad in the picture, but in person it looked gaudy.

I sanded most of it away, and suddenly I loved it.  I varnished the whole thing, metal and all and it really added life to it, especially the hardware.

I still needed something to put it over the top.  I painted a flourish on the front to add just that little bit extra. 

and another on the top, ahhh, perfection. I added just a little stain on the flourishes just to tone them down a bit.

Ok, I will confess, this is not quite finished, I need to replace the handles on the sides which I will do with pieces of an old belt.  Ha, you didn't even notice did you?

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