Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Meet Fiona, the side table

Fiona was a shy girl.  So much so, that when people talked about her, that would be the first thing they would remember.  "She's that shy girl, right?!?"

Not anymore.

Maybe it was going off to Smith College, where she started to feel comfortable in her own skin.

Perhaps it was the two years of roller derby where she was hailed as Punky Bruiser.

Or maybe it was just settling into life, doing what she loves, hanging with real people, and being happy.

I'm a little late to the party, but I had to paint something emerald as it's Pantone's 2013 color of the year.  I do love the pop of color it would give to any room.  And it looks particularly handsome paired with the wood top.

Fiona will be at Robin's Egg a little later this week, looking for her new home.

Have a fabulous day,

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What to do with those scraps

I have a lot of scraps.  You know, the cut ends of wood that you end up kicking around the floor.  Mine were piling up and they made me kind of sad.

Heck, I sell under the name, The Reclaimed Life, so I had to give them another purpose.

I took some random discarded pieces of pallet wood to make this lovely doggie:

I used some old weathered scraps to make this fun fishy:

I love this moose and I'm keeping him all to myself:

Kind of seeing a theme here?!?  Well, I do live in New Hampshire where we love our dogs, fish and moose.  And it wouldn't be New Hampshire without a bear or two:

I used much smaller scraps to make these bears.

You can make your own "scrap animal" too.  I stayed with my New England theme, but you can choose any animal, or object, you like.  Stay with a silhouette you would find easy to cut with a jigsaw.

I used my Silhouette Cameo program, but you can just put the outline of your object in photo editing software or a word processing document, enlarge to the size you want, print out the multiple "puzzle" sheets and tape it together.

After you have cut around your template, trace it onto 1/4" plywood wood, then cut out your object with a jigsaw.

Of course, I forgot to take more "during" photos.  But the rest is really easy.  Here's what you need to remember:  after you adhere your wood scraps, you will cut around your template again.  So you want to go past the edges when you glue the scraps to the 1/4" plywood.  Now just lay your small scraps across the wood, going over the edge of your cutout.  I like to vary the color and length.  Adhere the pieces with wood glue as you go along.  When I finished gluing all my pieces, you couldn't even tell it was a bear -- it just looked like a mess of wood.

After the glue dried, I flipped the bear over and put 1/2" staples in the back to make sure the wood scraps weren't going anywhere.  I kept the bear on it's back and cut around the wood template again.  This "shaved" off the ends of the scraps that were overhanging.  And that's it!  Just add a hanger and you're good to go.

I feel pretty good about saving some wood with character and making something new out of what was heading to the burn pile.

The bears will be making their way to Robin's Egg next week.  :)

Do good, save wood.  (**I made myself giggle**)

Have a great day,

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Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Mermaid & Pirate Party

The little girl was turning 5.  FIVE?!?  When did that happen?  I think I say that every year.

Well, she wanted a mermaid party.  Luckily, it didn't take a lot of convincing that her male friends would prefer to be pirates rather than mermen.  So, I started by compiling a list of ideas on a board in Pinterest.  This is the best way for me as I can get a little scattered.

The tails were made using bright colored towels from Target.  They were cut to shape, stitched a design in the tail and added ribbon so they can be wrapped around our mermaid's waist.  The girls also got sparkly crowns and necklaces made from shells that the birthday girl and I picked from the beaches of Cape Cod.

The boys had eye patches and skull caps.  I thought about swords . . . . for about three seconds.  That was an easy no.

We had to have a "Walk Da Plank".  .  .

. . . . a treasure hunt . . . . 

 . . . and mermaid manicures.

Haley is obsessed with Teen Beach Movie by Disney.  She loved the scene where the actors get behind the mermaid cutouts.  So I put my nieces to work when they were visiting and they created some pretty awesome art.

Check out this GORGEOUS cake created by my friends Kristy and Tina.

You can see more of their fantastic designs on their Facebook page.

My pretty little mermaid.

Perhaps a Mermaid gang sign?

Exactly where the parents should be.  :)

Make a wish birthday girl!  

Have a lovely day,


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A New Sign for Robin's Egg

I have found the BEST shop to sell my wares -- Robin's Egg in Milford, NH.  You walk in and feel right at home.  And Robin, the owner, wouldn't want it any other way.  All the vendors make it feel like a community and it's such a joy just to be there.  

At a recent dealer meeting, it was discussed that the sign for the business did not truly reflect what was sold in the shop.  We were a lot more than just an antiques and collectibles store.  And the light blue color would often blend with the skyline and we felt the sign just washed into the background.

Before I could control myself, my hand shot up and I volunteered to make the new one.  Two actually -- one for each side.  **gulp**  And so the process began.

We decided to keep the light blue, the "Robin's Egg" lettering and the phone number.  So, I would use all the space in the middle to add the new wording.

Luckily, if I cut a piece of 8' X 4' plywood in half, a 4' X 4' piece would fit perfectly over that space, which was cost effective.  So, cut it in half I did.

And then I put on layers of primer.

Decided after that I wanted to round the edges, so I cut them and primed again.

Not only did the sign no longer reflect the personality of the shop, but Robin had changed her logo.  And I had the perfect spot to add the logo to the sign.  I mean, what's a sign without it's logo?!? I took her graphic, enlarged it with my handy-dandy projected, and cut it on wood.

 I then used a variety of colors to get the birdy's nest just right.  Nests, as there are two sides.

Now comes the part where I cursed this project.  After painting the signs with the font color (black), I started the painstaking process of adhering the contact paper stencils to the board.  I use this method all the time, but for some reason, the contact paper was not wanting to stick to the paint.  I wished I had punched myself in the head rather than raise my hand that day.  But eventually I got it done.  Both signs.

I chose a very bright green as the top coat and added layers of exterior urethane.  As you can see, this baby won't blend into the horizon anymore.

I feel this sign better reflects what we, as a community of dealers, can offer our customers.  And I can blind you in the process.  ;)

Making this sign was like having a baby; you soon forget all the pain and want to do it again.  

Have a fabulous day,


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A New Life for an Old Crib

Stop!  Don't throw away that crib!  The crib you hold dear because it saw those treasured first years of your children's lives.  Even the times when they reached into their diaper and . . . . . I think you get the drift.  But still, they hold memories.  You might think it's insane to store it for your grandchildren, knowing you can't pass it down because infant safety regulations practically change on a daily basis.

A friend of mine was thinking the same thing.  She gave me the two longest ends of her crib.  And it was a beauty.

She wanted me to make a bench out of the pieces, knowing I had tackled the project before with numerous beds.  She was looking to use greys and browns and keep it rustic.  I hope I delivered.

Sorry about the sun spots, but this baby was a beast and I couldn't drag it out too far from the garage without calling 911.

I decided to keep the sides extra long as the look of the piece lent itself to a more "majestic" design and I wanted to keep the integrity of her crib, so she sees it every time she looks at the bench.

After attaching the sides with pocket holes and building in the seat base, I coated the whole thing with a dark brown paint/primer.  I then haphazardly brushed on dark grey paint then rubbed in lighter grey paint.

After some light distressed, I coated with a furniture wax that I added a bit of stain to, creating a darker wax.

The "established" was hand-painted to give it a more personal touch.  And just in case her husband forgot their anniversary year.

So, think twice before you throw away those memories.  You can always upcycle into something new.

I promise the next time I make a bench from a bed or crib, I will make a tutorial.  It's a promise.  :)

Have a splendid day,