Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Antique Store Finds

I finally made it out to my favorite Antique Mall, "Southworks", in Cambridge, Ontario,last week They have 100's of vendors under one roof, and I always find lots of stuff that I  love. I literally have to restrain myself from buying too much.  The hard part is that they have" runners", who cheerfully take your selections to the front for you while you continue shopping.  Not only does this deter theft, but it keeps your hands free, and you forget how much "stuff" you've accumulated.  Of course, when you hit the cash register, it all comes back to you, but they are very nice if you change your mind about something.  This trip did not disappoint, and since I had some birthday money in my wallet, I knew I'd be doing some spending.  I forgot my camera, so I didn't get any shots of the mall, but you can see it in my link above.They have a beautiful virtual tour that you can take to see how great it is.

Some of you have seen  my "Antique Flow Blue China"  here,that comes from this mall.  I also found many of the items from this post "Some of my Favorite Things", here. It's well worth the visit and their prices are unbeatable.  People go there from all over Canada and the United States. I can't say enough good things about them.   But anyhow,  I'll quit yapping and post some pics now:

 This is a copy of my grand-parents wedding photo from France. It is circa 1920, or even  earlier.

This cute litttle stool is an antique camping chair, which cost $40.00, but I just loved it!!!!! I love that it folds up, and it's curved to fit your "bum".  And the bonus is that the green looks really good in my bedroom.  I'm not sure what I'll end up displaying on it, but I posted a few options, none of which I'm" in love with". Oh well, I'll just have to shop my house for something to display there.

Next I found these great antique linen handerkerchiefs and hand towels- One bundle of 12 was only $6.00.

The lace runner is absolutely beautiful, and my mother bought that for me at $16.00.

Here's a clos-up of the edge detail.

I tried it in my bathroom, but ended up using it on my bed, over a sage green throw blanket.  I think that's where it will stay.

Then I got this pretty tea towel with blue edges,for $2.00, which I put in my china cabinet with my blue and white china.

Here's how I folded it in my china cupboard.

This is how I'm displaying it.

Then I used these pretty monogrammed hankies in my bathroom.  It's hard to tell if the monogram is an "I" or a "T", bit it doesn't matter, because neither letter is part of my name- they're  just pretty to look at.

Then I put this pretty scalloped hanky on this tray on the coffee table.

All of the pieces,except the lace runner are linen, and they washed up just beautifully.  Some were a little dingy, so I hand soaked them in hot water with Oxi-clean for 24 hours, and kept adding more hot water, as the water cooled down.  Then I gently rinsed them, pressed out the excess water with a towel, then  layed them flat on a dry towel until almost dry , then ironed them while stil damp.  They turned out beautifully.  You can also use a little vinegar or lemon juice on the whites ( it's a natural, yet gentle bleach), if you have some stubborn stains, but mine were in pretty good condition.

The rest of my "bootie" is rolled up in white acid- free  tissue paper, in storage until I find a place for them.

Well , that's my little antique "fix" for today.  I',m almost finished the transformation on my trash-to-treasures armoire, so check back in a few days for a look at that.  It's turning out pretty " fab"

Friday, March 18, 2011

White Shabby Chic Armoire - Another Trash to Treasure Project (Part 1 )

Well hello all!!!!  I haven't posted in almost a week- I have been super busy.  First of all, I've been interviewing for a new job.  After being off for one year, I've decided to go back to work.  While I love being home and looking after my husband and home, and working on lots of projects, I really miss the
 day-to-day social interaction with others.  And where is this new job?  Well, probably the best place for a
 do-it-yourself junky : Home Depot.  I will be on there Merchandise Execution Team, if I am selected after my second interview next week.  It's looking very good though.  I'll keep you all posted.

Secondly, I've been busy with my next trash-to-treasure transformation project- a White Shabby Chic Armoire.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my husband found a vintage wood armoire/wardrobe out for garbage ,at the end  of a neighbours driveway.  This along with some other furniture items came home with me to be transformed.  I've been wanting a new armoire for my bedroom for years now, and have been living with a slightly out-dated almond gloss armoire from the late 1980's.

Here's what the armoire in our bedroom looks like now:

As you can see ,it's far from the Shabby Shic/Vintage Cottage style that I love.

Here are some pictures of the type of armoire I long for in my" boudoire".

Love the beadboard panels on this one.

This one has some great distressing.

This one also has some great vintage cottage detail.

I love the cut out detail at the bottom of this piece.

My dream armoire wouold have some of the elements from all these pieces, so I was really excited when my husband found this piece.  It's vintage wood, in fairly good shape, and just perfect for a Shabby Chic paint and distressing make-over.  Here's what the little gem looked like before:

See the nice panels already there, just waiting for bead-board inserts.  And a lovely cut-out bottom

The mirror was just barely in place with masking tape and a few small nails. Very easy to remove and replace with...........? ( I'll keep you in suspense for now).

There was only one  itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny problem with my new treasure.  It kind of has a funky, old-wood smell.  Not really musty, and there was no mold in it.  But just a little something unpleasant lurking in those wood pores.  So I did somne research on the good old internet for possible solutions- Some suggested a vinegar and water wipe-down( this didn't work).  Still another suggested a weak bleach and water
 wipe- down ( this sort of worked, but I still smell a lingering old, sour odour)- does anyone know what I mean.  I just don't want to put my clothes in there until I resolve this. Yet another source suggested sprinkling a mixture of baking soda and coffee grounds over the bottom of the shelf and inside the wardrobe and leaving it overnight.  I tried this, and I really smelled coffee in the morning (better then the other odour), but after I vacuumed out this concoction and did the sniff test, I could still smell it.  It seems better, but still not good enough.  So I think I am going to go with the most drastic solution, which is to seal the entire surface with varathane when I'm done.  Let's cross our fingers and toes, and hope this works.  If anyone out there in Blog-land has a solution, please let me know.

                                                             And let the transformation begin:


First I washed the whole thing down with TSP.  Followed by all  the above suggestions for neutralizing the odour.  This has been an ongoing process for a week.

Add decorative wood applique's to the four front corners of the piece.

Remove mirror, making sure you snap it in half while your at it ( no blood was shed).

Cut and glue bead-board paneling into the insets.  The wood was too thin for the smallest finishing nail
 (3/8 ") and extremely  hard  so I ended up using a staple gun and 1/2 inch heavy duty staples.  I did this very close to the edge as I'm, going to trim the edges.

This was my first attempt at using bead-board, and it turned out pretty well.

I bought a piece of 1/8 " hardwood to mount bead-board for the space where the mirror originally sat.

Next, I mitre cut 1/4 inch doweling and glued it with Weldbond, around the ouside of the beadboard paneling, using blue painters tape to hold it in place over night.  Made sure I covered up my staples.  Some were visible afterwards, so I ended up taking them out with plyers.  The Weldbond holds the bead-board just fine. Then I  filled in any gaps with paintable latex caulking , let it dry, and sanded smooth.

Next, I took a hammer and screw-driver, and beat up the armoire a little more.  It already had some dings and dents, but a few more never hurts ( Well, maybe it hurts the armoire, but not me-hehe!!!!!) and it sure was fun.

Now for the fun stuff.

First coat of primer- it still shows some of the brown through.

This is the point where I had a  minor mishap .  As I was tipping the armoire to get it up on some wood blocks, to get it off the floor, I felt the whole darned thing falling forward .  All I heard was a smack and a crack, as the door swung open and hit against the dresser in the room I was working in.  I was a little afraid to look, and my husband, who was having a nap in the next room ,came running in to see what had happened. We tipped it back up, and sure enough, the poor door was injured.  It was held together by 2 wood dowels- one had snapped in half, and the other had come completely out.  That's what you get for trying to take short-cuts ( I thought I would just leave the door on and paint the hinges and all the same color).  But this was not to be. We removed the door, and made some minor repairs, and now she's as good as new.  I will re-attach the door after it's all painted. Well, small heart-attack averted, now back to work.

I  primed the entire armoire with my favourite primer- Zinser 1-2-3.  No sanding required, and since it's still a little cool outside, I don't have to vacuum up anything.  In all, I used 2 coats of primer, since it was a dark color to start with.

Here it is with 2 coats of primer on the outside.  I can start seeing my vision come to life now.  I'm getting excited!!!!!

Here's a close-up of the beadboard panels on the side.

Here's a close-up of the bottom where there's some nice distressing going on ( YUMMY!!!!!)

Here's the inside so far- it has a nice hanging bar, but I'm going to be adding some shelves and other goodies.

Well, that's as far as I've got with it , so you'll have to stay tuned for Part 2  and possibly, Part 3, depending on how creative a get with this.  Hope you've enjoyed this as much as me.

Until next time, Au Revoire!!!!!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

French Ephemera Table

This is just a quick post on a project I did before I started blogging.  I had a small tile top table that I bought at "Homesense" a couple of years ago.  I loved the gracefull curving of the legs, but wasn't so "in-love" with  the pattern on the top.  What to do?  Well, when I came across the Graphics Fairy blog months ago, I started downlouding lots of images of "French Ephemera" which I thought were really "cool".  I figured I'd use them some day, and here's one of the projects I ended up doing with some of the images.  I couldn't decide on just one, so I ended up doing a collage on top of the table, using Mod Podge.  Unfortunately, I don't have a "before" shot, since it was made before I started blogging.  Here are some "after" shots though, and I'm much happier with the table.

I used  a French letter, postcard, piece of lovely handwritting that says "Paris" and  perfume label.  The lighter background is just some co-ordinating paper that I ripped to look like pieces of broken china.  Then I added some lace and ribbon to finish it off.  The whole thing was done using Mod Podge, and then a spray of clear acrylic sealer to protect it - and  "voila"- a French Ephemera Collage Table in under an hour.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Some Of My Favourite Things

Well it's Friday night, and I decided to post something, even though I haven't got any projects finished at the moment.  I started the makeover on the armoire that a neighbour was throwing away last weekend, but it will probably take at least a week to get finished.  I'll definately post a "before" and "after", when it's all complete. 

I have been taking a lot of pictures of my favourite vintage, vintage inspired and antique pieces that I have around my house, so I thought I would share some "eye candy" with everyone.  I just love going to antique markets, so I have acquired quite a few things over the years.  I already did a posting about my antique "blue flow china", so I thought I'd just post some pictures of random pieces that I have.  They're not in any particular order, and I couldn't pick a favourite if I tried, so here we go..............

This is an antique oval framed picture that I found several years ago at my favourite antique market "Southworks" in Cambridge, Ontario. My living room is a  mixture of  many shades of antique white and blue, so this works perfectly in my decor.

This is not an antique, rather antique inspired, and made by me from an image I got on the internet.  The frame was from Homesense ( our version of Home Goods for those of you in the U.S.A)

I love this pretty antique plate, also purchased at "Southworks" antique market.  It sits on a shelf in my bedroom ( if you look closely, you can see that I didn't dust the shelf before I took the picture- haha!!!)

This mirror is also an antique, and I love the scalloped edge design.  If you look in the reflection, you'll see an antique floor lamp, with a small birdcage hanging from it ( I keep a small candle in it for now, until I can find the perfect antique lantern to hang from it).  Both pieces were purchased 3 years ago in a small village called Bath ( just outside of Kingston, Ontario).

I absolutely love, love, love this antique window that was handpainted by a local artist.  I bought it at one of my favourite stores" Kimberley Jackson"- you can link up to there website through my sidebar.  They make one-of-a kind furniture and accessories from reclaimed wood and antique windows/doors, etc. 

This is were it hangs in our front window.

This "chimney" cabinet was also bought at " Kimberley Jackson", and  was a real splurge at $1300.00, but I bought it with my first ever "bonus" cheque from my last job as a home furnishings retail manager.  The sconce beside it is also from the same place and is one of a pair  (the other one is on the other side of a triptic hanging on my dining room wall). They were all made from genuine antique reclaimed wood, and are extremely heavy.

This shadow box (from Ikea) holds a sterling silver fork and spoon set, with my name engraved at the bottom.  I'm from France, originally, and it is the custom to give engraved silverware to a baby at their Christening.  I left the patina on them so they look vintage ( and since they're from the 1961, I guess they technically are vintage ).

The rest of the items I'm going to show you are not antique or vintage, but they have a vintage or Shabby Chic feel to them, so I love them too.

I love this white planter, and the dried roses were the center-piece from my wedding cake.

 I love the look of hand-dipped tapered candles that are still attached.  These ones are hanging on the knob of an antique singer sewing machine that came from my husband's, grandmother's house.  This sits in our dining room with my collection of' " flow blue china" surrounding it.

Here's how it looks in my dining room.

These candles are not vintage, but I had fun with my photo-manipulating program making them look like they are lit. Gimp 2.6  is a free download on the internet, and my 9 year old nephew told me about it.

The vase is really pretty, and was about $5.00 at Homesense.  The little angel was from Michael's and cost a few dollars.  I'm not a purist- if I like it, and it fits my look, I'll buy it.

I love this rectangular laurel wreath - and I bought that at the William Ashley warehouse sale about 5 or 6 years ago.

And finally.........

I get many comments on this plaque.  It lives on our bedroom door- and it couldn't describe my husband in the morning any better.  Even he had to laugh when I bought this at a gift shop a few years ago.  It even has a vintage feel to it- I  smile every time I look at it.  And that's what it's all about, this obsession with collecting unique and pretty things.

Well, that's enough for now.  I still have lots more, but I'll save it for another time.  Have a great weekend.

Au Revoir!!!!!