Steps To Transforming Vintage Furniture

“So, that piece you did. You just paint it, right?”  I tried not to choke and laugh all at once and instead I did some kind of unladylike snort thing.

The person was asking about a cute chair I had recently finished.

Ok.. before I go on… if you’re just joining the party this is a kind of a Part 2 to my post from yesterday, The Art Of Flipping Furniture. You can find it here if you wanna catch up, if not, continue to read on…..

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/22/the-art-of-flipping-furniture/

As I’ve ventured into this interesting hobby/growing side business, I’ve learned there are all kinds of interesting variables going on.

The first being, it could be assumed that I go buy a piece of cast away furniture, run home, and slap paint all over it.

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Just another sunny day dragging home some of my prizes

 

 

That being said, there are people who do that. It makes me sad to see a gorgeous piece of furniture that has obviously been hastily painted, and before paint has even dried they have snapped photos to put it up for sale.

It’s usually still sitting on a trailer, the back of a truck, in a yard or garage on concrete blocks with random junk around it.  But my favorite was a beautiful vanity piece ( originally it was beautiful) sitting in a dirt yard on cardboard with crunched up soda or beer cans behind it and a tire to the side of it.  No hardware back on drawers.

Sigh.

I am setting myself apart with other furniture artists who invest ourselves into our pieces for the pure love and joy of it understanding we will on some occasions, not get a dollar amount equal to our investment of time and resources.

We love making things once tired, bland, broken and ugly, beautiful with a fresh new life to give.

So, I thought I’d kinda conclude this topic by sharing a little of what goes into the process so when you see a unique, old, hand painted piece of furniture for sale you can also understand the price that may be attached to it.

We just don’t take it home and slap paint on it.

Get comfy, it’s time to go on the journey.

The Hunt

The first time I called it that, my family laughed. But really, I do view it as a hunt. I have several places I stalk online and really, if there is something super cool, and if it happens to be a good price, it’s gone instantly. You have to almost see it the second it’s posted to get it.

There are so many things that I don’t want, or that are not that old or even that impressive. I know what I like when I see it. I also consider what it’s flip ability is. If it’s something I want personally, well I have a little more wiggle room ’cause I don’t mind paying a bit more for something I’m keeping.

Now I’ve learned the hard way, just because I’ve found an item I want, confirmed with the seller, set a time for pick up and got an address doesn’t mean I’ll get it.

Without blinking an eye people have sold things out from under me. I try to understand if they are that desperate for money from someone else who gets there an hour before I do… well they must need it really bad.

It is still ridiculously frustrating when that happens.

But when I find the item I want, and arrange pick up with seller it’s time to do what I call …..

Go bag the game

As a hunter, if you’re successful you get what you’re hunting for. But here’s the deal, once I score a piece of furniture it’s rarely close by. I’ve driven one way over an hour to get pieces.

All the cool stuff is a good drive away.

So, there’s time and gas going to get the prize. I’ve gone to some seedy kind of places getting stuff. I usually am the one helping load or doing it alone ( yay for girl muscles)

I take blankets or something to put down because the furniture has usually been stashed or stored somewhere, it’s old, total filth, sometimes it has an odor and desperately needs cleaned.

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Inside the 1900s gentleman’s dresser I dragged home… waiting to get cleaned

 

I’m thrilled, load it up and head home. That’s when I can officially let my ideas start forming.

I have it.

Nothing is worse than seeing a piece I want, having ideas, then not getting it.

The preparation

Usually when I get a piece home I do an assessment of it, what it’s needs are. Some pieces are pretty straightforward and don’t need much more than a light sanding and washing down to prep them.

That is really, the rare thing.

Most pieces need anything from a lot of sanding, to sucking leaves out of the inside of a cabinet and removing years of dust, dirt and grime before I can even consider painting.

Sanding. I do most of it by hand. It’s off the charts messy.. for me and the furniture 😉

I’ve bought pieces with veneer damage so I need to set aside time to do repair work before anything else can happen.

Some areas have cracks and holes that require wood filler. Once that’s placed it has to dry, be sanded, and often filled again to the area is smooth and level.

Have I mentioned my carpentry skills have increased a 100% doing this work? haha

Old furniture is cool, but age has caused the varnish to get dry and brittle and it’s often flaking off. This all has to be sanded before any painting begins.

I’m going to use this chair that I’m currently working on as an example….

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Flaking varnish and chipped legs all need sanding.

 

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Definitely some glue and clamps coming up for repair on this leg
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You can also see because the corner is loose, the support block for seat is out and will need to be put in and glued at the same time, It looks pretty bad, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

Sometimes, as in the case of chairs, the legs or connections are loose or separated and need glued and clamped to make them more secure. The seats are usually original wood and have become weak and brittle.

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After sanding and repairs, the piece gets washed down to get all dust and grime off

 

 

New seat bottoms need cut…oh but that means a trip to local hardware store to get some plywood for new seats. Time to spend some money.

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And it’s sporting a new seat.. thanks hubby for cutting that 🙂

 

Can’t have my potential customer falling through, can I ?

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Shhhh a sneak peak of the new project. It’ starting to look a bit different now

Ah! And now, we get to paint! The chair has been sanded down removing all old flaking varnish, I’ve glued and repaired legs and support bar, washed the piece, air dried then sprayed with a Matte shellac to prevent any bleed through from dark areas.

Once that set, the chair got it’s first coat of slate blue that I love. Once it dries  ( chalk paint has a fast dry time) it will get touched up in areas that were missed, allowed to dry, lightly sanded, then I will clear wax it and go back with a dark wax that will accent and pop all of its unique details out. While that settles, I will take it’s new seat, add the new foam and fabric I purchased to make a bright cushion for it. All that will remain to be done will secure the seat back to the chair ( fortunately it had all it’s original screws)

After that, it will finally, be ready for a new home.

Other stuff in the process

 

Sometimes, on furniture a piece of hardware or fixtures are missing so I have to hunt it down which depending on age is tricky, again another cost involved in process. The perfect piece has all of its original fixtures.

Oh speaking of the hardware… all that is usually tarnished and dirty from years of neglect so it needs taken off and cleaned. Sometimes, it’s an easy job, other times it’s time consuming and frustrating.

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This 1900 cabinet has all of it’s original hardware which is stunning. It’s also been quite a challenge getting it cleaned!

 

Some pieces have bad veneer damage and I’ve made the decision to take it off.

Can you say, work? It’s a ton of work scraping off glued on veneer. However, if the surface is especially bad it’s worth the time to get to a fresh smooth surface underneath it.

Other times, I’ve tackled the veneer damaged and focused on repairing it, especially if I’m painting it.

Some pieces like a desk I did recently, require being totally sanded down, which I do by hand.

One table I recently purchased, it’s so cute, it opens up and the closes back to a half table. I wanted to try and sand the top down and re stain it and perhaps do a color on the table. Hubby got a good start on it but I’ve been working on all the edges this week, Do you know how tedious it is, sanding those edges? Or how careful you have to work with the veneer so you don’t chip or crack it in the process?

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So close to finishing the sanding on the top!

 

This is just a slow, time consuming process, but the end result will be so worth it.

Some recently finished work…..

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So back to that original question….

“So you “just” paint it, right?”  Well, as you can see the painting, new stain, or whatever look it gets, is really the last part of the process.

It’s the fun part.

Picking up and purchasing the piece, cleaning, repairing, sanding, prepping, painting, then top sealing with wax or a poly top coat, cleaning hardware, making new cushions etc. are all a part of the unique process of renovating antique or vintage items.

Besides the cost of the actual piece, the time and gas to get it, the supplies needed to do the job, and the hours  and labor the artist puts into it may help you understand better the pricing on a unique, one of a kind, piece of hand painted furniture that you won’t be able to find at your local furniture store.

Thanks for hanging out with me in this two part special! I hope this gives you a little more insight into the topic of “renovated” or “upscaled” old furniture. I hope that it has also given you a better idea of the labor of love it is for so many of us.

Do you have any hobbies or projects you enjoy that you do as a “labor of love” and enjoyment?

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The Art Of Flipping Furniture

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.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/21/monday-musings-12/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/23/monday-musings-10/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/04/02/monday-musings-8/

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.

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The Charger never gets to go on furniture runs with me. On this day, I had to get creative….

 

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.

Go figure.

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.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/12/22/favorite-things-of-christmas/

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.

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Now… now I can cheer and let those visions and ideas run loose. I bagged the game!

 

The visions

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….

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Before…. old original cushion, flakey finish and paint splatters from someone else’s project… but isn’t she sweet under it all?
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Look at her new beauty revealed 🙂
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I didn’t NEED another project chair, but as you may guess, the details drew me into this one…

 

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….

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Tired, worn, faded yet still have life lurking underneath….

 

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Yes. Pink. I love how the dark wax softens it while still letting it be bold. My free spirit wanted to do this piece
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Those legs….
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A playful cushion to go with it’s sassy color

 

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.

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Thankfully he had the beautiful scrolled wood piece to attach to top of mirror. The mirror is filthy. It also weighs a ton. I’ve been cleaning hardware and it’s actually shiny under that dirt and grime!

 

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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.

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Cute early 1920s’ serpentine dresser… but in needy shape

 

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Smooth silky chalk paint and an ebony stained top gives this a fresh new look for years ahead… I loved this piece… it’s now in my entryway 😉

 

Ok a peek at one I finished up this past week….

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it started off looking kinda like this….

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….

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Chalk painted in slate blue with black wax

 

 

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I love it’s little claw feet 🙂

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.

What next?

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?

Monday Musings

So it’s Sunday evening and I have to say, it’s been the most bipolar, weird weather kinda weekend.  We got a unexpected cold front down here in the deep South, say what??

Spring is in the air and all that.. but no… we got some really crisp, chilly air over the weekend to liven things up.

Of course, by this afternoon I was out cutting grass in shorts and a tank top 😛

This last burst of chilly air let me wear some of my fav clothes before they got put away for the season.

Well, I honestly thought they WERE put away….but then…..

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Got spring like…. while I’m wearing my fav flannel and beanie one last time for this season… I think…

Speaking of grass… with spring and some rain comes grass that show’s up faster than relatives for dinner.

Today was the first venture into this seasons grass cutting. I like cutting grass.

Weird, I know.

I also use a push mower, which I view as extra cardio work. Grown men tell me I’m crazy. For some reason they seem to prefer their “riding mower”.

I have like 80 acres to cut so it is a bonus workout. Well, perhaps I exaggerate a wee bit, but I do have over a solid acre and a half of wilderness to cut back.

I have my ipod in, and am usually in shorts and my bikini top so I get to work on my tan too. It’s kinda of a win/ win thing.

There’s something really satisfying about doing it and seeing it all neatly clipped and tidy that makes it all worth it.

Till next week….

Do you like to cut the grass?

And meanwhile, some of ya’ll are digging out of snow… snow. Good heavens.

As things go in the South though, we will move from spring to baking heat in a swift time leaving these cool days a distant memory.

For now though. we enjoy.

Mild weather does make for enjoyable outdoor exercise

Last weeks athletic shenanigans had me on the road on foot and bike. The mornings were cool enough to make me appreciate the spring day, but had me working up a decent sweat by the time I got back home.

A week in my fitness life isn’t complete without some strength training days. I tried out a couple new things which I always enjoy. Not only does it keep boredom from setting in, it’s a good way to constantly be working different muscle groups. I’ll share a couple I tried…..

 

It looks kinda innocent right? But if you’re crunched for time, this 15 minute workout will, work you out. When you’re under the gun to get in as many rounds as possible “amrap” you stay focused to task at hand.

This was another I had “fun” with.  Those kettlebells will get ya every time. If you don’t have kettlebells you can use a dumbbell.

Keep in mind, you can always modify these exercises to your personal fitness level. I use a 35 lb kettlebell and I do butterfly situps with a 25lb weight plate to make it a bit more challenging.

That’s how I modify it for myself. You might need to do less reps to start or with no weights in the beginning. Don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you. You can always increase each week.

These short timed exercises work all of your body, fire up your metabolism and keep it burning long after you’re finished. These sessions are great when you need to make use of a short amount of time.

The week in food

exercise isn’t the only thing I experimented with. I tried out a few new recipes on the fam. Either they are extremely grateful to eat or it’s really good I’m not sure which but everything was devoured so I think it’s a good sign.

this broccoli beef recipe is so ridiculously easy and so good. The broccoli gets tossed in while the rice cooks and it’s on the table.

http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/slow-cooker-bbq-beef-145861.aspx?cm_mmc=Social-_-Pinterest-_-CPC-_-SlowCookerBBQBeef&pp=1

And who can resist a pulled meat sandwich? this was super simple by tossing a couple chuck roasts in on low all afternoon then having it ready for an easy simple dinner.

In the way of “foods I haven’t experimented with yet”

Chickpeas.

There’s so much about them and they are supposed to be really good for you so I’m thinking this will be a topic to explore soon.

Have you tried them?

and if you’ve been following my furniture flipping adventures….

wow… I actually finished off another piece this week. I’m so in love with it. I scooped it up at this dive thrift store a month or so ago. I love the sweet classic style and adorable fixtures on it.  It’s a early 1920’s serpentine drawer dresser. It was missing one castor ( the wheels they used to put furniture on back in the day) thankfully, I can order some through the beauty of Ebay to fix that little issue. As you will see it was a bit needy looking when I dragged it home.

Those are my most favorite pieces…

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the top was a bit of a mess…..
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In the works! The top sanded down pretty well, testing out the new color 😉

 

And finally, ya’ll say hello to Olivia 🙂

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She still needs a wheel 😛
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Ah! Look how beautiful the fixtures cleaned up
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I try and leave as much original as I can… a peek at the drawer sides…

I always thought this piece was so feminine. The colors and look were very visual in my head for the longest time. Olivia seemed a perfect name for this project with pretty lines and hardware. Therefore, it sorta surprised me that as I cleaned and worked with the drawers the scent of sweet tobacco was very present. It reminded me of what my best friends dad used to smoke in his pipe.

I thought it was me, but my kids smelled it and agreed it smelled like sweet tobacco.

A bit to late to change it to something masculine haha…

Anyway, this is by far, one of my most favorite finished pieces. Both my daughter in laws asked me “are you planning to sell this?”

When I told them no they were happy to hear it as it seems to be their favorite so far too. Besides, it already has a perfect place to live in my home. 🙂

I have a couple other things that are soooo close to being done. You’ll get a peek next week at those.

I need to cease my chattering at you and get moving towards my bed. It has been a long…day…

I’ll leave you with this,

As we head into a new week there are so many things to look forward to and new opportunities for us. I’m always grateful for the chance to experience new things and to appreciate the “normal” things in life as well.

Tell me, what are you looking forward to? What opportunities do you have ahead of you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings

So another Sunday evening and I’m attempting to unwind after a long evening and a busy week. I have coffee by my side, my warm solace, as a sit here letting out thoughts from the day and  the week gone by.

I may regret all this coffee later, but for now, it’s delicious and soothing, an enjoyable way to end a rather long day.

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Speaking of my day. My daughter has decided she wants to start cooking a meal during the week and Sunday is the day she’s chosen.

Is that ok with me? Huh? Say what?? Food I don’t have to cook? I’m down for that. Soooo down for that.

I actually think she’s showing off her potential future wife abilities to her boyfriend who enjoys her efforts.

It’s like he’s studying and taking notes… “Can cook, check.”

Anyway, it is nice to sit down and eat and not have to do it. It actually gives me more time outside in the lovely afternoon working on my projects without stopping to make dinner.

In the process of watching all my kids ( who are adults) roam in and out of the kitchen and put dishes in the washer, I am semi-amazed to watch them barely crack the door open and work their plate or cups in without pulling out the rack and doing it you know, the easy way.

Like, “Hey, we paid full price for a dishwasher that completely opens to allow you to easily put your dishes in!”

I’m not complaining, I mean at least they are making the move to not leave them on counter.. but still I find it amusing…

Stupid things heard in the news this week….

Well, truth be known, I’ve heard a lot of stupid things in the news. I’m left wondering “did someone read that out loud before they decided to use it?”

For instance… “ The foods you choose to eat can impact your health”

Like really Susan? You mean if I choose to eat Cheetos, cheap convenience store hot dogs and wash it down with a Big Gulp Diet Coke followed by a King size candy bar for dessert it’s not the same as having a Salad loaded with colorful veggies and grilled chicken breast or having a whole grain sandwich with a side of fruit ??? And that will have an impact on not only my health but my ability to wear skinny jeans?

You don’t say.

Ah, there are so many other cheesy things. I need to keep a journal and write them down. I don’t know, maybe the world just lacks common sense and the news needs to remind us of that.

So yeah, whole colorful healthy foods are better for you than colored Cheetos AND your fingers won’t turn orange either…

In the ways of things that make me laugh….

I like to laugh. I love people who can make me laugh. We can be friends if you do that easily. If you happen to have my off beat, quirky sense of humor, that’s even better. Sometimes I find humor in the most unexpected things.

For instance, I was randomly trolling a online site looking for my next potential furniture project when I came across this photo….

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Photo bombed by a leg… no it’s not mine.

Ok, my first thought was, ” another poor  victim of that awful blue paint”. But then I was thinking, why on earth is her leg just stuck in that photo? Certainly she is aware that her leg is in the photo before she posted it, right?? Like, how do you miss it?

So I read through the brief description of table for sale. At the end it says “it goes to my knee”.

This dear reader, if you’re not following yet, is her unit of measure.

That is how tall the table is.

It goes to her knee.

I happened to have taken a sip of coffee the day I saw this and almost choked on it from a very un lady like outburst of laughter that was more like a snort.

I’m giggling sitting here writing this thinking again how insane that is… I mean.. my knee to floor ratio is like… 22 inches.

So, I don’t even know how tall you are Karen. How the heck am I supposed to know the length of your leg from floor to knee to know how tall that table is and if it would work for me ? IF I did want it in that awful color….

you’re laughing, right ? 😛

New things I’m perusing….

I got this book recently. A friend was reading it and I thought it sounded interesting so I grabbed a copy.

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One of my fun spring time pleasures… coffee and reading on the patio at my fav coffee hangout

 

 

I am in the first chapter. He talks about the hierarchy of order in creation. He talks about lobsters of all things. Do you know if a lobster loses a fight with another lobster he not only loses his confidence but something more extreme happens. If a dominant lobster is defeated its brain basically dissolves. Then it grows a new, subordinates brain one more appropriate to it’s now lowly position.  It’s original brain just isn’t sophisticated enough to manage the transformation from king to bottom dog without dissolution and regrowth.

Isn’t that crazy?? Yeah he does have footnotes to support that although I haven’t, you know, checked his sources.

That’s all I have to offer now on it. Lobsters can grow new brains. Ha who knew?

So the guy writes in a fun way that is already making me laugh ( see above how I feel about that) while getting his point across.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes life is busy and sometimes it is chaotic and well, rules are good to help keep balance, right? So I’m slowly picking my way through this when I’m not running.. or working on one of my many furniture projects…

Speaking of….

Hubby tells me today on his way out… “Now no new projects ok?”  Of course as he says it we both know…well yeah… he’s likely to find something new soon… haha

I however, smiled and told him probably not….I mean… unless something reallllyy awesome showed up 😉

Ok so, he’s  a pretty cool guy and he really does encourage my shenanigans. He is my creative carpentry assistant when I encounter something that I can’t fake or learn on the fly… like.. building in the lower part of a drawer on a 1930’s vanity I scored last month.

Belle, as I named it, is almost done and will be ready for her debut soon and I’m so excited at how it’s turning out.

Not only did hubby create the bottom half he had to do some dovetailing on it ( that’s what you get with older furniture, those cool interlocking drawer pieces.  Check it out…

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the light board is what he did… pretty cool eh?

 

 

So now Belle has a repaired usable drawer. I’m always amazed at the stuff he knows how to do…. Nifty right?

I also got to spend some time outside enjoying our emerging spring weather working on my antique Sligh dresser I got last weekend. Poor baby, it’s gonna need a ton of work. It’s pretty low on my project list right now, but I am going to try and do little things on it mixed in with my other stuff.

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All that hard bumpy stuff is old paint that needs scraped. The smooth part is it’s original finish.

 

 

And I did get a new piece this week. The sweetest night stand that matches my project dresser, a real fixer upper, Eleanor that I mentioned in previous posts.  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/26/monday-musings-5/

In the beginning, I totally wasn’t feeling the love with Eleanor and almost considered flipping her in “as is” condition. I got it for 50.00 and in serious need of lots of veneer work. I’ll say this… I’m now done with the repairs (yay) and she’s ready for her new look and I am totally in love with it now.   Both are a French provincial style and both will be painted the same colors.

Just look how cute this nightstand  is…..

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And I’m pretty thrilled it doesn’t require any repair work,  it’s just ready to have it’s face lift 🙂

What about that cute little door on it? I love it.

Alrighty well that’s a wrap on my musings, thoughts and various fun projects. I can hardly wait to show you some more of my transformed sad pieces in the upcoming weeks.

Tell me how your week went. Have you read anything interesting lately? Are you enjoying spring weather yet or are you still trying to escape the clutches of winter?

Monday Musings

Welcome to another edition of Monday Musings.  You know what’s been on my mind this week? Wondering how much wet, sloppy, soggy, foggy, soupy grey weather you have to be in before your feet start getting webbed.

I’m seriously so over it. I took off for a run on Friday, like I just don’t care anymore. Either run, or lay on the sofa and drink coffee.

Nah not really.

I’d do strength training or some other indoor activity. Ha rowing! That is an appropriate activity for such hideous weather.

We’ve had more grey, wet weather than sun this year.

South Texas people. This isn’t Seattle but the weather gods don’t seem to know that.

But today… as I write this… we had sun.

Sweet glorious, beautiful sun. Blue skies. Warm air.

I wanted to just act like a huge lizard and lay out in it but alas, I had projects. Fortunately for me, I could do those projects outside AND enjoy the spectacular day before it’s creepy counter part returns soon.

What projects you may be pondering?

If you’ve read the past few weeks I’m having fun doing some furniture flips.  You can find more on it in this post….https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/19/monday-musings-4/

I should be noted that I only seem to manage to go get said furniture on some of these sloppy, grey, foggy days.

I’m becoming a pro at it.

So my recent acquisition I scored this last week.

I had been stalking a dresser on an online site. I loved the lines of it and the cute, big mirror, not to mention the nifty vintage hardware that it had.

Oh and she wanted 100.00 for it. Of course I was fully planning on negotiating that price with her. I can bargain like a fisherwoman 😉

Anyway, I was asking her a couple questions on it one morning and she just changes the listing price to 50.00! Ok I couldn’t message fast enough I was coming to get it.

Coming to get it in the wet, cold, pouring rain.

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Dragging home my newest find

 

So I got the piece and headed home to unload it in the rain and I realized that I wasn’t “feeling it” and by that I mean when I get a piece I usually am already formulating a plan or vision for it. I’m excited over it. I am eager to get started.

It bothered me that I had gone through all of that and wasn’t feeling in love.

It was like trying to feel something in a relationship and nothing is there.

Oh no!

I decided to wait a day or so and go back and look at it again to see if I felt differently. I thought the weather was putting me in a bad mood ( haha) I made the determination if I didn’t start “feeling it” I could just flip it in it’s existing condition ( I bought it knowing it needed repair but that doesn’t bother me) and at least double my money.

Ok well…. after a day or so going by… and looking at it again… I saw it with fresh eyes. All the things I loved about it to start with. I realized what was bugging me was the horrible re done stain and varnish job someone had done to it. I also realized that with my skills it would look totally different when I got it finished.

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A 50.00 vintage find… and it does look cute and I can hardly wait to start

 

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Then there’s the cool hardware. I loovveee the lion heads 🙂 All they need is a little cleaning

 

Ok and one other object I acquired this week. A friend actually gave it to me, it had been her mom’s, and her grandfather made it. It’s like a little kitchen type thing. She knows I have girl grandbabies and thought I might be able to fix it up… I’ll let you take a look at what I started working with….

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I’ve lovingly named it the Green Goblin

 

So I do have a vision for this piece and I think it will be SO cute… but first… I have to get it to a place a can work my magic on it… so I spent the sunny afternoon outside making it look like this….

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Better now, yes? That orange and green was awful to cover up

So now I have a clean slate to work on, more or less. I can hardly wait to transform it. You’ll have to check back to see what’s up with it.

Gathering up furniture is work…

One thing I’ve learned I am grateful for… being strong. I’ve been dragging things around and sometimes I don’t have much or any help so it’s nice to handle things when I can.

One thing I’ve been focusing more on are movements that are good for upper body/core strength.  I’ll share a few moves I’ve been adding into yoga for that…

 

I’ve been focusing on moves that really target my shoulders and upper body… planks and push up’s of all kinds are also kinda handy for that 😉

I wanna make sure I keep building upper body strength for life AND fetching old furniture 😉

Doing all that work makes me hungry….

Can I share some new recipes with you I experimented with this week that everyone went crazy over? Tasty and overall pretty simple… even better.

 

 

So

 

Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve figured out if I throw something in the crock pot, I can work on my projects longer and not stop to do a lot of prep for dinner… shhhh 😉

Really though? A hot tasty meal that’s slow cooked all day? How can you go wrong?

Speaking of meals, this week we’ll look at tasty inexpensive ones that are also healthy. Of course there will be some more spotlight posts, fitness stuff and whatever other goodies may come dancing out of my head.

Tell me. What’s been new in your week? Tried any new recipes? Do you use crockpots?  Pushed yourself a little more athletically or tried a new workout? 

Antiques And Old Junk

So this is just gonna be a fun post. I’d say random, but it’s not really “random” as I’ve had the idea on my list for awhile…. 😉 ( Yes, I have this idea list for when my brain refuses to produce something for me when I demand it or the day hasn’t inspired something, or there aren’t loose thoughts begging to escape my mind… I go to the “list”…)

Todays topic : old junk.

Also referred to by serious people as “antiques”. I guess I loosely think of it as old junk when one of my sons gave me a hard time years ago wanting to know why I wanted “old junk” when I could get new stuff ?

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like new stuff. I have no trouble buying it. But what I tried to explain to them was the fascination I have with the “old junk” … how I wonder about it’s history, where it’s been, who’s had it, the “life” that it’s seen. I especially love being able to restore, clean and salvage something that otherwise might not see another day. It can be a rewarding project.

You may have read my blog around Christmas time on my collection of cardboard houses ( go find it ) , a definitely antique Christmas village with the “youngest” piece being 50ish years old, to the oldest pieces coming in around 85 years. It’s amazing to me cardboard pieces  have survived that long.

So I thought I’d share with you some of my collection of “old junk” … some of you out there might relate and even have an interest in it yourself.. if so please share with me .

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I’ll start with this… what I just mentioned… the village… you can still go find my blog on it 😉 All are pieces I’ve scraped and fought for over the past few years( and by that I mea outwitting big collectors with lots of money on Ebay)  The orange church in the back was an Ebay purchase for 9.99. My family teased me unmercifully about it as the windows  and part of the back had been chewed out by mice and I had to rebuild the structure around them it had no steeple and I had to make that as well as make stained and aged cotton for the cotton roof. I wanted to maintain the integrity as much as possible of the original look and not change it.  The steeple I painted… the church is original color. I think I got it pretty close. Most of the pieces have just required careful cleaning or some window replacement as those don’t weather so well.

I have bigger pieces in my “old junk” collection. Like a trunk I got at a garage sale for 15.00. The lady told me her dad had used it in the service… she didn’t think it was a big deal.

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I googled it up when I got home, found someone who dealt in old trunks and found out it was a steamer trunk made in the 1880’s!  Score me. I cleaned the moth eaten paper out of the inside, cleaned it up somewhat and left in as original as I could. It works great holding old photos for me now.

My son dragged home for me one day a Coca Cola ice box someone had given him. He knew I liked “old junk”. It turns out the thing really is a pricey antique. Again, score me 😉

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One of his friends had a steamer trunk and didn’t want to mess with it… guess who got it ? 🙂 This nicely holds the various exercise equipment I use when I do quick workouts inside.

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Oh and then there’s this cool little table with a glass tray that lifts off. It was supposedly used when guests came. You used the top as a serving tray.

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I’m fortunate to have my grandparents bedroom set. I refinished it and have repurposed various pieces around my house.

 

One great find was an old table and chair set my neighbor was selling for…5.00. Yeah. 5 bucks. It was water stained, dusty, dirty, and had one leg off ( I felt pretty confident my amazing hubby could handle that part of repair) it had been her mothers, she had grown up with it, and was tired of looking at it. I loaded it up and took it home. With a little hard work it is a fun usable piece in my home now. She couldn’t believe what it looked like when I showed her the finished result.

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A little look at what the condition was before I started…

 

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This was after a little work on it 😉

 

And my recent acquisitions…. I was coming home last Sunday from a road trip and my neighbors down the road were cleaning out their barn ( the family has lived there for years) and they had a big “Free” sign by it all.

Of course… I had to stop…. after 3 1/2 hours on the road… of course I had to stop and look 😉

I couldn’t drag to much home as I had my bike and other stuff still loaded up. What I did walk off with ? Yet another Coca Cola ice box that desperately needs cleaning, an old croquet set, and a cool window frame ( I secretly hope Pinterest offers up some clever ideas for me to resurrect it with 😉 there were a few other things I wanted… of course when I went back later they were gone…. oh well 😛

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My collection of cool free stuff…weird dog not included….

 

 

Anyway, that’s a little of my favorite “old junk” now tell me if you like stuff like this (antique) ? Do you have any favorite finds ?