Thursday, January 24, 2013

Meet Nathanial, the dresser/buffet/console

Meet Nathanial.

Born in the 1970's, he was always a child of nature.  Rather than riding his Big Wheels down the neighborhood sidewalk, you could find him in his backyard collecting leaves and peering at insects through his magnifying glass.  As he aged, he never lost that love of nature.  Years ago people would have called him a tree hugger, but today, he's considered smart and sensible.  He recycles, and even takes the time to separate the cardboard.  Why not save another tree?

Nathanial can be whatever you want him to be.  A woodsy dresser to add that serene touch to the bedroom.  A console where your TV couldn't look more striking on top of this guy.  Or a buffet for your dining room where you hide all your fancy linens and silver.  Although he is painted grey, he is no Christian Grey, otherwise I'd be keeping him. {Oh no, I think I've revealed too much.}

I've got a thing for birch trees.  It's an illness, really.  And after seeing this lovely dresser, I had it in my head that I had to paint trees.  This 8-drawer dresser is extremely sturdy with dovetail construction.  I made a few repairs to some drawer rails, added the base trim, and waxed after the paint.  The dimensions:  58" wide, 34" high, 20" deep.

You can find him after this weekend at Robin's Egg in Milford, NH. 

Have a fabulous day,


Thursday, January 17, 2013

New items for sale!

While I'm working on another dresser (still chewing my nails deciding which direction to take it), I finished a few signs and another silhouette.  Yeah!!

First, the silhouette.  I've been looking for some new silhouette ideas and a customer had me make this for them, and I was off to the races with this new concept. 

What is different about this than the past ones I've made, is I created a box frame around the silhouette, which pulls the art away from the wall 2 1/2", creating the nice affect.  She measures 19" X 16" X 2 1/2".

Here is a photo of the art on the wall (ugh -- why don't I have the perfect lighting in my house to have beautiful photos?!?).  I've made this little guy available in our shop on Etsy. 

Now, for the signs.  Oh, how I love making signs.  So much fun, and they can make such an impact.  This Guest Cottage sign was made from reclaimed pallet wood.  It is all hand-painted and covered in a coat of polyacrylic and measures 32" X 6" X 1/2".  She can be found in our Etsy shop as well. 

I've made this sign in the past and it sold pretty quickly, so I thought I would make another.  This sign is also made the same way as it's sister above and measures 30" X 6" X 1".  She can be found at Robin's Egg in Milford, NH. 

The next two signs are made from a drawer.  Yes, I use whatever I can.

This little guy is made from the drawer front.  You can actually still see where the handle was placed.  ;)  A very popular saying currently, and just in time for Valentine's Day and for sale at Robin's Egg.  Her dimensions are 16 1/2" X 6" X 1".

And finally, this little guy just makes me smile.  Perhaps because I love lake time.  Painted in a deep blue with white lettering, she is made from the drawer bottom.  Like I said, I use it all.  ;)  She measures 12" X 6 1/2" X 1/4" and can also be found at Robin's Egg.

And finally, with love in the air (hello Valentine's Day), as well as Robin's Egg having a Wedding Vintage Weekend on February 16th and 17th, I introduce the burlap LOVE bunting.  The bunting measures over 3' wide with additional string on either end.  Each is hand painted with letters 4" high. 

This guy is available in our Etsy shop. . .

and this guy in our Robin's Egg shop . . .

So there you have it.  I finally have some smaller projects are completed.  Now to ring my hair over the dresser . . . .

Have a lovely day,



Sunday, January 13, 2013

DIY Painter's Cloth Wreath

Okay, I feel like I'm way behind the times by not making a decorative wreath sooner than this as I've seen them on Pinterest forever.  But I recently came across this tutorial and I loved the look. She used felt for her wreath, but I had tons of painter's cloth hanging around from the lovely ruffled curtains I made, so that was the medium of choice.

The mirror was screaming for a little help, so I listened.  And the dog doesn't seem to mind either.

If you'd like to make one of your own, first you need the supplies:
1.  styrofoam circle (and man these can be expensive, so use your coupon at AC Moore or Michael's).  I choose an 18" circle, but you can go smaller or bigger.
2.  scissors
3.  drop cloth (I used a good part of one package that can be purchased at Lowes or Home Depot)
4.  straight pins
5.  pencil
6.  template to make your circle
7.  ribbon for hanging
8.  hot glue

I chose to use a 4" lid from the top of a jar of nuts (and there were a lot of nuts consumed in the month of December).  Before you trace tons of circles, you want to make sure that you'll be happy with the size.  So I would make a few with the template you have, stick them on (see directions below), and then decide if you want it bigger, smaller, or keep it.

After deciding on the size of your circle template, you want to make A LOT of circles.  I don't remember how many I made, but just trace and cut.  Trace and cut.  And then trace and cut some more.  I did this over a few nights in front of the TV.  I did try multiple methods to make the tracing faster, like putting chalk on the lip of the top and pressing down to have the chalk show through, or trace one circle and stack a few cloth squares underneath and cut all at once, but I decided the best way for me was to trace and cut each one individually.

Just some of the many circles.

 Now, to make the "flowers" on the wreath, my lovely 4-year old hand model has demonstrated for you below: 

First you fold your circle in half.

Time to re-paint her nails, you think?!?

Then you fold it in half again.

Then you simply attach the "flower" to the wreath with a straight pin.  You want to fold over the bottom tip a little bit and put the pin straight through.

The top picture shows the fold.  The bottom picture shows the pin going through the fold.

 I found it easier to start on the sides of the wreath. . . . .

 . . . . and then build my way to the middle.  There is a lot of play with the painter's cloth flowers, so you don't have to fit them in tight.  You'll figure out what you like when you get going.

Now, the whole wreath is kept together with straight pins.  I decided this was going to be fine with me as it will be hanging in a spot that does not get a lot of action.  But, if you so desire a sturdier wreath, you may want to take the time to hot glue each piece down.  You can still use the pins, or you don't have to.  If you choose to not use the pins, just make sure you hot glue the fold over together (makes the flowers stand up a bit), and then glue the flower to the wreath.

To add the ribbon, you simply figure out how long you want it to hang, more than double that length, then hot glue the bottom ends together and then onto the wreath. 

After hanging my wreath onto the mirror, I found out that you could see the naked styrofoam in the mirror reflection.  So I took some scraps and hot glued them to the back.  Bye bye boring white styrofoam.  

See the white styrofoam through the mirror?  Had to go.
I like how the wreath ties in the ruffled painter's cloth curtains in the kitchen (kind of hidden by my Christmas card display). 

I really love how this turned out.  It was pretty simple to do, and once you have the circles cut, it came together fast.



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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Pallet Art - USA map

I love when people have a vision of exactly what they want.  I was contacted by a woman who saw my silhouette pallet art at Robin's Egg, and wanted something similar for her son's room.

She saw this:

But envisioned this:

This baby is gigantic at 4' across.

After finding a piece of USA clipart online, I used the Picasa program (free download) to make it into a pencil drawing (outline).  I then went to Staples with the file on a jumpdrive and they printed it out for me at the size I wanted (3' across) for less than $4. 

I then put the planks of pallet wood together by using cross strips on the back.  Next, the whole thing got a coat of dark brown stain.  I then used carbon paper to trace my USA map onto the pallet board.  Using a wash of white, I painted the background.  As you can see, my dear customer requested the states be outlined in red too.  :)

This piece is being hung in her son's room and she was thrilled with the results.  I'm kind of loving on it too.

Actually, she was happy enough with the way this turned out, that she had me make a true silhouette using reclaimed wood, on a much smaller scale, for a friend's nursery.  I was happy to oblige.

Forgive the quality as I took it on my phone.  ;(

 Kind of loving on my silhouettes.  Might have to get cracking on a few more.

Have a fabulous day,


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