three more finished projects

I have been working on pieces of furniture for my girlfriend and partner, Robbyn.   Her family have recently moved into a new house and there are several things she has had me on the lookout for when I am out treasure hunting.  The first piece I am showing today is an ottoman to place within the comfy sectional that is in their basement family room.  Here is the redeemed and transformed piece!

finished piece

more detail

As found shot

Quite a change huh?  Would you have bought it?  It was really clean and had no odor…Robbyn and I worked on this one together.  We cut off the old fabric, covered the cushion and base with batting and reupholstered.  The tricky part for me is always the corners, especially on a deep piece like this.  We placed the fabric over it and pinned the corners off.  We then ran a seam down each corner and clipped off all the extra fabric.  (doesn’t that sound easy?, it took two days… day to figure out how to use the sewing machine…the next to get the job done….I think we get it now :)  It looked like a slipcover, it fit snuggly right over the whole piece and we then attached it with staples…we then used tack strips around the upper and lower base unit to give it a more polished look.  I love the finished piece….really durable upholstery fabric that won’t show any stains (from three little, lively boys) and will coordinate great with her dark brown upholstered sectional.

The second find was this dresser for the new baby boy that is due in October:

Pottery Barn Kids Dresser Find Painted Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint

another angle...painted...waxed with clear wax....followed by dark wax

before shot….shortly after I had started painting!  I found this great piece right in town at our resale shop.

before shot...blond wood

Find number  3:  A small table/nightstand to place next to a chair to hold newborn baby supplies.

after shot of cute small bookcase/nightstand

Again, I forgot to get a before picture of this piece.  It was a dark brown stained piece with cute lines found at the Goodwill resale shop.  Perfect to put a couple of baskets in to store all the items you need when you have a newborn.  This is planned to go next to the chair that is in the process of being redeemed.  I hope to share that with you in the next few days.

Do you have any thoughts you would like to share?  Any ideas?


tables to benches

Do you ever look at something and see the potential of it being something different?  I purchased this vintage table thinking wow, this looks like the base of a bench that could go in an entry way, mud room, or even at the end of a bed.  What do you think?

Before Vintage Coffee Table





I also found these two little tables thinking the same thing.  These would be great in a living room, at the end of a bed, in a big walk in closet or stored under a sofa table as sitting options when you have a big group over.  I forgot to get a before shot….here is the after.  Any thoughts?  Would love to hear what you are thinking.

little table transformation

A Pair of Mid-Century Chairs

Hi there, today I thought I would share a few more of the items that I have been working on.

Here is the story on these cute mid-century chairs.  It was so crazy, I had gone to the resale shop on a Monday and picked up one of these great chairs. Loved it!  Right away I painted it with Annie Sloan Country Grey, waxed it with Dark Briwax and covered it in a neutral beige colored heavy weight linen.

I dropped by the resale shop again on Thursday and found the sister to this chair! I could not believe it, so exciting!  I hope it is obvious which chair I had already finished :)

Chair on the Left is the Before

Do you see the little wheels on the front legs? One of the many things I collect are vintage wheels….I happen to have 4 wheels that are a perfect fit. I think these chairs are so cute!

I thought this pair of chairs that were offered on One Kings Lane look so similar.  Any thoughts?

These beauties were sold on One Kings Lane..

Here is another chair that I just finished up.  I didn’t get a shot of the chair before I started working on it.  I am trying to do better is this area.   This next shot is after I had painted the entire chair in Annie Sloan Paris Grey and covered the seat in gray canvas.

And one more before and after.

Can you see the crackle finish and plastic covering

I sanded off all the crackle finish, painted with  Annie Sloan Chateau Grey Chalk Paint, then finished the frame with a dark wax.  I then upholstered the seat and back in a heavy flax linen in a natural color and then changed it up with a different coordinating flax linen upholstery fabric on the back.

 Love this fabric.  I have started collecting a variety of really high quality upholstery fabrics from a couple of great sellers on E-bay.  I love these thick flax linens!  Any thoughts?

Before and Afters

I thought I would share a few of the before and after pictures of pieces that I have recently worked on.  These I have loved so much that you will see them incorporated into our living space.

When I saw this chair at a local resale shop I really thought it had a lot of potential.   The fabric was stained and dated, but I loved the shape.  I had never reupholstered a large chair before, but I thought I could figure it out.   For some unknown reason I didn’t feel intimidated.  I Googled “upholstering French chair” and found Miss Mustard Seed’s blog giving a step by step tutorial.  Fantastic!  I followed her instructions, she really makes it look easy, and honestly it is!

Resale Shop French Wing Chair Find

removed the piping

primed and painted the frame

stapled on a linen fabric that I had purchased a couple of years ago and tacked leather onto the little arms pads

stapled and tucked front and inside arms with linen

tucked and stapled base of the seat

leather tacked onto the back

I had purchased a big remnant of full grain leather (5 ounce) and the upholstery tacks a couple weeks before to cover a little stool that I had purchased.  The piece was shockingly big and there was plenty left over from the little stool to do the whole back of the chair.  The individual tacks are tricky to work with, they seem to shift at the last second.  I have since started using the tack strips that only use a real tack every fourth tack….but I used what I had for this project.   I don’t sew, so I had the cushion professionally finished and overstuffed with down.

hot glued coordinating gimp over the staples

Happily placed in my family room

notice the little stool, very rough, but I do like it!

leather and tack back finish

Finding Miss Mustard Seeds blog in the process of redoing this chair has really inspired me to take on more and more projects.

My dining room has really benefited from all the inspiration.  Once Miss Mustard Seed (MMS) starting sharing her work with the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints I wanted to try them in this room.  Here are more before and after projects.

before buffet covered with lots of loot I have been finding at resale shops

after - waxed top - painted base with Annie Sloan Paris Grey Chalk Paint

This piece fit perfectly on this little wall too, wanting to keep it!

This next piece I picked up at a Salvation Army in Chicago with the intention of painting and selling.

at the thrift shop, do you see the potential

Finished in Paris Grey and Old White.....fitting perfectly against one of my walls

close up of the door detail

another angle

before dining end chairs

love this top detail

Annie Sloan Paris Grey with grey seat covers

I love the way this room has shaped up.  I have hung the mirrors since these shots were taken.   My daughter, Michelle, suggested that I paint the walls behind the 3 piece unit black to make it pop.  I love that idea and have purchased the paint, I just haven’t found the energy to move everything to get back there.  Painting a piece of furniture or recovering a chair is more appealing for now.  I have it on the list though.  Any thoughts?  I would love to hear your comments.

Inpatients before and after deer visit

Glorious day in Lake Zurich today, had to snap a couple shots of the flowers in my urns along our back fence….before (last week) and today!

Last Week, looking good

Urn No. 1

Urn No. 2

Ha, seems he got a little more aggressive on this one!

I snapped a few more shots to share since it is so pretty outside.

We have had so much rain this summer my bushes have gone crazy…here is a little peek of my flea market find a couple of years ago….love

Coppola peaking through the bushes

Favorite Bird Feeder

Birdhouse peaking through the trees

Everything seems just a little tilted

Home to lots of feathered friends right outside my kitchen window

Need to get out there and paint my posts

Squirrel family lives here :)

I love my Boston Ivy Climbing up the house

outside looking in

inside looking out

I’ll be working outside today enjoying this wonderful weather instead of my basement studio.  Happiness.  Have a great day too.

A Ladies Desk

My girlfriends keep telling me I need to expand my color palette…..soooooo hard for me….I really love a neutral room with just a little pop of color that I can change out every couple of months as the weather changes. Well, I came across this petite ladies desk at the Salvation Army Friday and worked on it over the weekend. Hope you like it :) I need to strengthen my staging skills.

Ladies Desk...just finished

Ladies Desk with my little pop of color

My daughter,  Michelle,  shared her latest painting with me today.  Michelle is a full time student and has been fooling around with painting this summer.  I love it!  Any thoughts?

Michelle’s Painting 1

Dining Set, Bernhardt French Table 6 Chairs

I wanted to share one of the dining sets that will be offered at our show. This was a Salvation Army find. I loved the legs, particularly the raised foot. The quality was obvious even from a distance. When I got close though, I could see the top was heavily scratched. I flipped over one of the chairs and saw the Bernhardt tag and the quality was confirmed. I believe this set was made in 1927 or there about. The chairs were in perfect condition, really solid, and they still had their original seat covers! Ugh, the padding was pretty much nonexistent, all that is easy to change.

After a long period of sanding

I didn’t mention that after all the sanding, I stained the top in a dark walnut…..awful….it was so uneven from the level of sanding that I had to do that I decided Paris Grey it will be. I like it so much. Any thoughts?  How about that Ikat fabric!

Here is a shot of the buffet and mirror that coordinate with the table and chairs.  I have worked on this buffet off and on for a month, I changed the hardware and filled the previous holes where the old screws had gone and for some reason when I waxed the painted drawer the filler would take the wax different than the rest of the drawer and stand out.  Frustrating….I finally removed the filler and purchased the Elmers brand and that did the trick.  I could still see traces so I painted the harlequin design….I like it so much!   These are all going to be hard to part with, but remember this is staged in my basement….there is no room to bring this loot upstairs!


Hope you are getting excited about the sale :)

Leather and Linen

Today I finished up a pair of vintage chairs. Ten more to go! I love the lines of these chairs.


I have purchased quite a few pieces of high quality upholstery fabric on E-bay over the last 6 weeks and also one brown leather hide. For this set,  I painted the frames with Annie Sloan Chateau Grey (which is green/gray) and then did a dark brown glaze over the entire frame so that all the detail around the back, sides, and legs would show.    I then waxed with a clear wax and buffed. Next, I covered the seats with natural linen, followed by stapling this same linen to the back and then trimming out with 1/2″  taupe gimp. The back I covered with the brown leather and nail head trim.

After front and back view

Partially staged

Fabric and Gimp Detail

More Chair Detail.

Any thoughts?

Four French Chairs and a Bolt of Linen

Oh my, I slipped out to the Goodwill last night after my husband left to catch a flight to Rhode Island. I don’t usually check Goodwill in the evening, I may have to change that strategy. Here was the find….

Four French Chairs As Found

And the fabric……

Stunning Creamy Yellow Linen Calico Corners Fabric Find

I now have 12 chairs that I need to paint and reupholster! Exciting!

Work in Progress

As you can probably tell, I am new to the blog world. I hope you will be patient with me as I muddle through learning how to do this! I love being creative and I think this may be a good avenue to share the things I am working on.

Here is a before and after of one of the pieces for the December Sale event:


I can imagine these at the foot of a bed, tucked under a sofa table or across from a couple of occasional chairs. Love to hear your thoughts.

Redeemed French Buffet

When the seasons change, I often feel like my home needs an update. That was how I was feeling about my dining room, when I came across Miss Mustard Seeds Blog on Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. She had transformed her dining room by painting her china cabinets, buffet, and table and chairs. Beautiful. I had to find out where to get this incredible paint she was talking about that didn’t require the usual prep work of priming and sanding before application. When I googled the brand and the color chart came up, I knew Paris Grey was the color for me and I immediately ordered it online.

Grandma's Dining Room Buffet Before Photo

This piece has had many homes, when it was offered to me, being the furniture hog that I am, I accepted and have stored it in my basement for several years.  I thought it was the perfect candidate for painting since the shape was pretty, but the finish was scratched and damaged.

Grandma's Buffet Makeover

Grandma's Buffet Using Annie Sloan Paris Grey

Some of the hardware on this piece was damaged also, so I replaced the hardware with modern stainless steal to update the overall appearance.   I am liking the “modern edge” it gives the piece.  Since painting this beauty I have found two more pieces for this room that I will be showcasing in the days ahead.  Loving how the room is coming together!

Thanks for stopping by.

Redeemed Vintage Winter Event Plans in the Works

As many of you know I am a deal magnet. It seems that wherever I go I come across incredible pieces of furniture, accessories, art or garden pieces selling for great prices. I love to browse the resale shops, or clearance aisles of my favorite shops in the Chicago Northwest suburbs.

A couple of my girlfriends and I have decided to purchase the items that we run across that are just too good to pass up, redeem them by, repairing, painting, staining or just cleaning them up and have a couple of “invitation only” sales per year for our friends, family and neighbors (and their girlfriends)  :)

So, the collection of loot has begun in a big way.   Below is a sample of one of my first redeemed pieces.  Stay tuned for pictures of before and after items that we are working on.

Here is a sample of the items that we are finding:

Before 3 Drawer Chest

Before Photo of 3 Drawer Chest

After  3 Drawer Chest

After Photo of 3 Drawer Chest