So I’ve been promising this post to you for awhile and I’ve got plenty of time on my hands and ideas in my head so I’m gonna do it. Back when I started my blog I sometimes wrestled with going off the beaten path of what my brand is, what I’m about, and what the blog ultimately is about.
But then I’ve got this cool published author friend and she said “you are more than just a health and fitness whiz. There is a whole lot more to who you are and what you do than “just” that. Your readers will want a well rounded version of you. Share life with them”
Since that time, I’ve heeded her advice and will often bring posts that have nothing to do with the overarching theme of what my blog primarily is. But I do bring life stuff. And I am well rounded haha and I do have fun letting loose on other topics… so for todays offerings… here we go…
I’ve shared tidbits with you about another part of my life, my obsession, or rather “hobby”.
Yes, let’s call it a hobby shall we ?
I have offered up some of my projects in my Monday Musings just because it gives me an outlet to kinda show some of it off.
It’s a hobby that’s turning into a little side business.
Hobby. Obsession. Business.
Where is the dividing line? Questions to be pondered….
If you’ve missed it, I’m referring to my flipping vintage and antique furniture.
I’ve shared photos of horrible pieces I’ve dragged home and transformed. For some reason, the worse it is, the more I like it.
I’m pretty sure it’s ’cause in general, I just like challenges. And believe me some have presented some challenges. It makes me appreciate an easy, straight forward piece sooooo much more!
Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a stunning old piece when it comes around. But if it’s a piece that I think I’d leave “as is” then that leaves me out. I just won’t ruin something that has made it’s way through time and is still in a beautiful, usable condition.
Other things though, they haven’t fared so well. Neglect, cheap wood, flaking varnish, sun exposure, veneer damage … the list can go on…. those items are begging for a fresh look.
I’ve said it before, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s in the best shape to restore to some former glory.
And honestly today, many people don’t want bland, standard, varnished brown furniture. They want bright, crisp, clean looks in their homes.
They want something unique you can’t pick up at Ikea or Target. They want real, solid wood furniture and they want a piece that will enhance a part of their home.
Of course I also know the value of a beautiful piece, the wood quality, and that even if it stays in imperfect condition, it’s more beautiful in that look.
So what I do with it largely depends on what it is and it’s overall condition and how it can be given new life and function in todays world.
How long have you been doing this?
That’s a question I’ve fielded a lot lately since people who know me see it as a “new” thing.
Well, it kinda is. Meaning I really haven’t done this for long.
Actually, I kinda just stumbled into this arena and it turns out I’m good at it.
People actually like my stuff.
I never saw myself as the creative, artsy type. My mom was ridiculously talented in painting. I mean she could paint roses that looked like they were blooming off a plate. She had stunning penmanship when she was healthy before it became harder for her to write. She could paint outdoor scenery and all kinds of amazing things.
She tried with me. I remember one year she bought me this whole cool set on painting and flowers and all things lovely. She showed me some simple steps to making a rose.
Honestly, mine looked like those little flowers you doodle out in 5th grade art class. Why didn’t my rose look like it came off “Rose Month” magazine??
I yielded to the idea that the artsy gene skipped me. Just like the amazing green thumb my father had skipped me as well.
Plants come home from the store to die with me but that my readers, is another post for another day.
I grew up and accepted the talents and skills I had, even though my mom secretly believed I had it in me.
I do have a very creative mind. It’s just my creativity has always flowed in other directions.
I had done some creative “repair” work in the past on much smaller objects. In a post I shared about cardboard Christmas houses, I talked about doing some restoration work on a few.
Not tacky with big plastic modern day Santa’s but more of a desire to keep it as close to original form as I could.
That perhaps, was the breeding ground for where I am now. And maybe, in a different type of way, I really did get some of her art skills.
The thrill of the hunt
Part of what excites me really in this process is hunting for that piece that speaks to me.
Oh, and that I can afford. Obviously, flipping furniture I won’t pay the crazy amount some people want for stuff. If it’s a piece I personally want then I don’t mind spending a bit more.
So there’s the hunt. The looking for the right item, the right price, and then hoping I can be the one to swoop it up before someone else does. I want wood, not fake stuff and I overall prefer vintage or antique although I will take a modern piece if it’s super cool and I can see a vision for it ( I picked up a little carved table last month, did my magic on it, listed and sold it in under 30 minutes. I could’ve sold it 8 times. Go figure)
Nothing is more disappointing than starting to love a piece, seeing a vision for it, and then it sells out from under me.
I’ve told myself… “don’t start planning or celebrating ’til you’re driving home with it” then I can let my ideas out.
Ok so it sounded crazy to me until I read some other posts by people who flip furniture and they would get visions for how it should look. Sometimes, the idea is so strong and powerful in my head I act on it immediately. Last week, I swooped up this feminine sweet chair that had seen better days. I immediately knew how to do it, even stopping at the hobby store on the way home and finding the exact fabric I wanted for its new cushion. It has been one of my most favorite pieces so far.
I’ll let you take a look at it below….
I can’t tell you how vivid and clear the vision was for this. So much so that I bumped it to the top of my list to do it. I love having things come out of my head and seeing them come to life just as I imagined.
Ok I’ll share another project chair I finished this week too. I got it in a group of three. Chairs haven’t been something I had previously gone after but they are often old unmarried pieces and make fun, interesting and unique accent chairs. I love the idea each one can have it’s own look and theme,
When I saw this chair group I caught an immediate vision for one. I have a plan for a second and it is currently in the works.
I wanted to make one bold and fun. I went back for fabric I passed on when I did my telephone bench. I didn’t “feel” it for that project. But when I saw the chair I knew I had to go back for this particular material for it.
Check it out and you’ll see what I mean….
To paint or not to paint?
As I mentioned above I have a healthy respect for quality wood pieces and if they need to be left and oiled and preserved then I will do that. For instance I shared in a post about this cool, massive dresser/cabinet with a huge mirror. A stunning piece I got off Craigslist for 80.00.
After dragging all it’s parts home and researching I learn it’s made of quarter sawn oak ( such beautiful wood) and most likely early 1900 in construction. I was stunned that this piece was left behind and the other stuff he had for sale was gone.
Lucky me. I think it’s very unusual and perhaps a bit rare. I’ve found nothing like it at all in my searchings. Items similar, but nothing like this piece.
I’m carefully oiling it, cleaning it, and allowing it’s 100+ vibe to shine through. That’s it. I’d never consider painting it.
However, for so many other projects, paint is a improvement and help to it’s overall abuse and sad condition. Sometimes there are repairs that need done as well as various issues the piece may have and a lovely coat of paint and sometimes some wax or antiquing gives it a fresh new look ready for more years of service.
Chalk paint is my favorite medium to operate in. Not only is it super easy to work with, it’s extremely forgiving as well. Not only that, I make my own now so my colors schemes are endless and I can match a perfect color for a project as I did with my pink chair above. After sanding and topcoat the finish is silky smooth and beautiful.
Ok a peek at one I finished up this past week….
I bought this from a guy who was older and said he had found it in his grandmothers attic and was cleaning out. Solid wood, 2 tiered, and cute little clawed feet I was immediately drawn to it, a fun antique piece.
It also felt “masculine” to me so I felt an immediate connection with what I wanted to do with it. I mentioned enjoying straight forward pieces? This was one of those. I love how it came out… I’ll let you take a look….
Yeah, blue with black wax to pull out all of it’s lovely details. It was a good combination for a masculine table.
It’s always so satisfying seeing something drab, dirty, tired and left and forgotten about turn into a usable, fun piece for years ahead.
Well, let’s just say, I’m not at a loss for projects. I’ve got several things in the works and several in the wings waiting.
Of course, that doesn’t stop me from hunting for good deals to still drag home.
I’m working on coming up with a separate name and a separate identity for my “hobby”. I am learning new things all the time and am blessed to have connections with a few talented people who do this as well.
Tomorrow, stay tuned for the final part of my sharing on this topic. ( I was trying to not write another War and Peace novel 😉 )
I’ll share a bit more on a question that’s been posed a couple times… “well, don’t you just put paint on it?”
Well.. kinda…eventually… yes.
But what happens before the fun part of painting? This is where any creative artist earns their money… and that’s all I’m gonna say… you’ll just have to come back and find out the rest in the final part of this project 😉 Check in tomorrow….
Tell me.. do you have a favorite hobby? Have you ever started something randomly and seen it grow and take off in your life?