May 30, 2013

Have You Had Enough of the French Post Mark Tables Yet?

Graphics Fairy
Courtesy of Graphics Fairy
click on image to go directly to her printable version

This has been one of the more popular graphics that Karen from the Graphics Fairy has had over the past couple of years. I know anyone that sees it on my projects just go CRAZY over it. I have to admit that it's also one my own personal favorites as well. 

This was the first table I used it on. 
I apologize for how dark the photo is. This table sold in the first hour of the craft show I had it in, and I think I could have sold it a dozen times over that day. If you want to read the story behind it, feel free to go check it out here.

I figured I was onto something after all the rave reviews I received on that first little table. 

So I made another one, and that one proved to be a phenomenal success and I'm kicking myself for selling it (I knew I would). It has been repinned so many times and still continues to be every single day. If you want read about how it came to be, you can read my post from last year here.
The table itself was a great style to begin with, and adding those vintage metal accents just took it over the top.

I used the freezer paper transfer method for both of these tables and it worked fine for the most part, but I found it limiting and I didn't always get good results, which required me to quickly wash it off. My printer has waterproof ink, so if it came out a flop, then I have to be quick with window cleaner to remove it before it sets.

I contemplated getting an overhead projector & I even found one for sale cheap, but being basically lazy like I am, I didn't want to go that route, because you have to trace the entire design by hand each time. Nah. Not for me, plus I have to have some place to keep a large projector. I think I may have mentioned a time or two that I have some slight hoarder tendencies...hence my blog's name "Under A Pile of Scrap!" and there's just no place to keep one here - and they're a bit heavy.

My next idea was to use my new Silhouette Cameo that my darling son got for me for Christmas. He is such a sweetheart & so generous.

With using the Design software upgrade for my cutter, I thought if I could trace the design and kind of clean it up a bit, it might work out better than all the other options. Then I can save the design once all the initial effort has been put into it, plus, I can make it any size I want (for the most part anyway) without having to reinvent the design every time. I just cut it out with contact paper or stenciling vinyl that Silhouette now offers.

Can I just say that I hopefully never have to resort to the old way again! Not that this method is perfect either, but it's easier to get the results I'm after than the others.

But this post isn't just about creating the image to cut with my Cameo. It's also about how I made a table out of 3 different things.

You see, I sold the table that I'm kicking myself over to an acquaintance. She loved it so much that she asked me to find & make her 2 more tables, only they can't be any wider than 18"! Really? 


I thought I found 2 tables, but one ended up being a total nightmare & I notified her that I gave up on it as a table and will have to find her another one. And the other one? Well, I didn't really find her a 2nd table, but I had a plan to create one out of bits & pieces I had.

The top was a just one of those lightweight pine trays that sits on a criss-cross wooden TV tray type base. The legs used are from some sort of little bench or seat that had a ripped out cane seat. I felt that tray was just a little TOO lightweight to use as a side table, so I decided to add some stability and, if I'm lucky, create a more rustic look to it by adding.....

Paint Stir Sticks

Yep. The longer, thicker ones. I got them at Walmart.

I seen them being used on some other projects at a few blogs and on Pinterest (of course). These were the perfect thickness I needed and if I was lucky, which I'm usually not, they might be the perfect width to fill the tray, without having to cut any lengthwise to fill an odd gap. Guess what? 

I was LUCKY!

It's a tedious job and for those that have made the amazing herringbone designs with them - I bow to you and your determination! I had to test each one out in the tray, as some had a slight bow to them and needed to placed just so or replaced with one that would fit properly. Then they had to be sanded individually, then stained, keeping them in proper order the whole time. 

Next, I glued them in place with E6000 glue, except for an inch on either end. I did that so that I could add some a little more rustic look. Not sure it was the best idea, but it is what it is.

I added some dark brown tack nails at the ends of each strip. Since the paint sticks are thin and I was nailing so close to the edge, I needed to drill pilot holes for each one so the sticks wouldn't split. I forgot on the to do that one on the first stick & realized it was splitting.

So that I could keep the tacks in a straight line, I first put down a piece of painter's tape to use as a guide.

After all that, I finally applied the Postmark image that I worked so hard on to perfect. There's lots of tiny detail weeding to do on this image, but the end results made it worth it.

graphics fairy table

If you look closely, you can see where my husband got just a little carried away with getting the tack heads set flush and some are actually more recessed than I cared for, so I had to go back and touch up those spots with more stain so they're less noticeable. 

The blue design in the top left corner is not really that bright blue, but I just couldn't get the color adjustment right in Picmonkey.

I painted the base using home made chalk paint, then aged, distressed it & waxed over the entire piece.

postage table

I don't think this will be the last Post Mark table that I'll make and I think my customer is just as thrilled with it as the other one she purchased from me. Since she wants one more smaller table, I'm on the hunt for one more.

Non-furniture related topic... is my daughter's last day as a 3rd grader and it's her first night of rehearsal in the children's choir for the play Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She's so excited! I'm also going to try my best to go have lunch with her today. PB&J's! Yum!


 Parties I'm linking to:

Funky Junk White Party

Furniture Feature Fridays 

May 21, 2013

A Pretty Garden Chair

I kind of want to call this post my "Un-Craigslist" chair find. I choose to give it that name based on a recent encounter with a Craigslist seller that pretty much left a bad taste in my mouth (& he wasn't the first either). If you want to read an entire post about it, you'll want to go back to my March 27th post. Since I tend to go on & on about things enough as it is, I won't bore you with repeating that story here.

But, I do have some good news! I did manage to have a BEFORE picture of this chair. If you read my blog enough, you know I'm really bad about getting, or finding Before shots of the things I refinish.

Craigslist furniture
There is actually 2 chairs that I found at the curb of the before mentioned Craigslist deal gone wrong, along with some other things you see here.

I just want you to know that I braved the mosquito infestation this morning to take these pictures. I think it was the quickest photo shoot I've ever done.
painted chair

The one I worked on first is one that had a broken leg brace. So I fixed the break & decided to make it a garden chair. The chair is still pretty sturdy, but I don't want to take that chance with anyone's safety, but it will hold a heavy planter of pretty flowers just fine.

I wanted to make it bright enough that you could see it out in someone's garden or a shady porch (like mine-not shown). 

decorative chair

Using my Silhouette Cameo cutter, I made this design. I've always loved the quote "Time Began In A Garden", because my husband always thought that me having flower gardens was kind of senseless & a waste of time. I felt it was necessary to remind him of where time began. He doesn't say that anymore.

painted chair
I think this scroll bracket was a freebie from the Silhouette store a little earlier this year. Did you know that they offer one free design each week? They choose the design, but they do pretty good about selecting decent ones. Anyway, I felt this one was perfect for the front of the seat. It fit the curve nicely without getting blocked by having a potted plant or vingette sitting on the seat. 

The blue is more of a teal blue color and I just used a Glidden sample bottle that I got at Walmart. The color is WGB09 Deepest Aqua. The green is an Apple Barrel brand acrylic paint in Pale Green, also from Walmart.

I love those set-back spindles and I wanted to accentuate those by painting them in the green accent color.

If you look closely, really closely, you can see the break in the "cr" letters of the word Scrap in my watermark.

stenciled furniture

I traced the Petunia/Morning Glory image from clipart I found online, as well as the butterfly, in the Designer software add-on for my Silhouette.

The font is Guttenberg MF and can be downloaded for FREE at

This is just a close up of the white accent painting I did in the grooves at the back of the chair.

I sprayed the entire chair with Krylon Clear matte spray sealer and called her good and took a day of rest (actually I didn't rest, I have more projects to finish).

This project has been featured at these blogs:

PJH Designs
PJH Designs

Photobucket Parties I'm linking to:

PJH Designs

Furniture Feature Fridays

Ivy and Elephants

May 17, 2013

New Life for a Henredon Coffee Table

Does it seem like it's been FOREVER since I did a post on my blog?? 


Don't feel bad, it seems like it to me too. 

But I have lots of really good excuses! 


Take for instance that my repurposed items have been selling pretty good lately, especially for the piddly bit of effort I've put into "putting it out there." I've even developed a few "regulars."

Keeping up with the supply & demand at this point, has been quite time consuming, but it makes me happy & worth it!

Excuse #2 - And since I was pretty successful in the majority of my craft shows last year, & then hearing all the inquiries as to where "my shop" is located and how I SHOULD get one, I've finally taken the leap of Faith and going to give a try. My husband has been trying to talk me into it for 2 years now. He apparently has SO much faith in me, that he's dropped ALL existing projects to build my shop here on our property. Wait. Is it faith? Or just the mere fact that my stuff is pushing us out of rooms in our house? Maybe that's it. Naaaah!

We priced having a building built and delivered, but we did the calculations and realized that we could save at least $1,000 by doing it ourselves AND I could have a larger building to include a workshop and finish it on the inside for that same price. Ummm, no brainer there.

Excuse #3- since I've been selling things and trying to think ahead of what I might want or need in my little shop, I've been working on my own projects of refinishing tables and cabinets and finding other display pieces. So I've been hitting the garage sales and thrift stores and that takes up at least half a day 2-3 days a week.

Excuse #4- I also had some special orders to work on as well. I hate to admit it, but I've been doing really bad about taking any pictures of them, let alone my usual - no "before" pictures. 

But today! 

Today I have something to share with you and I love it! My husband must love it too because he said the only way we're getting rid of it is if someone pays $300 for it. This is coming from the guy who said he doesn't even care to have this piece of furniture because it just gets cluttered (and he's so right). So I guess, technically, it's for sale.
pssst...I seen a used one eBay for $399 & others for much more, so this is a pretty good price IMO.

Henredon cocktail table

I wish I could find the Before pictures of this, but I bought it exactly 2 years ago, so those pictures were probably 2 memory cards ago, mixed in with about 6 other memory cards. It had some major water damage on the top, which had the finish looking opaque & flaking. The wood was rough from swelling & then drying. But it's a solid piece and made of solid oak. The entire piece was stained a single dark oak color. I love its design. Simple, yet unique.

There was a nice little surprise while I was painting on the underside. 

I noticed this mark.

Henredon mark

Of course, I had no idea who the Henredon company was, but soon learned that they are a high end U.S. furniture manufacturer. I guess the business had fallen on hard times and might have been recently been bought out (not 100% sure on that, so don't hate me if I'm wrong). From what I've seen of their pieces, it's superb stuff and waaaay out of my league price-wise. I bought it at a moving sale at a mansion that belonged to the daughter of a local successful business owner. I didn't find out about their sale until the afternoon, and this was the only thing left that I found to my liking, and the price was more than right.

I decided to paint the base and legs a Natural Wicker color, then sanded & "antique" it, because I like that look.

Painted table
Yeah. Don't make fun of my sculpted shag carpet. Since it appears to be ORIGINAL from when the house was built back in 1978, I guess that makes it vintage, right??? C'mon, work with me on this, K?  Cuz, it's going to be a while before I get new carpet in here. Saying it's vintage makes it sound more acceptable. yep.

I decided to paint the skirting around the top black, as an accent, kind of like I did with the Clock table I made that you can see here. And I stained over it after that.

Here is a close-up of the inlayed wood. Not my best photography skills, since the light coming from the windows is creating a glare on the wax in the grain of the wood, making it look dried out. 

I used Minwax Aged Oak gel stain for the darker color & Varathane Natural gel stain for the squares/diamonds. I was shooting for a noticeable, yet subtle difference in the pattern. 

When it was all painted, stained and sanded, I finally put a coat of clear wax all over. Don't think that ain't a task! Wax on...wax off, but just once. 

(A little tidbit about me and waxing on, waxing off. Back when the movie Karate Kid came out and the whole wax on, wax off became a well known phrase, I was doing a job that would have made Mr. Miyagi proud. I was 19 and worked in a Fiberglas tub & shower manufacturing plant. My job was to wipe on & wipe off 4 coats of wax on each tub and shower mold that came through before getting the color gelcoat applied. It was not uncommon for me to have applied & removed 100 coats of wax in one day. And yet, I had the tiniest arms with no noticeable muscle tone. Not right...)

unique coffee table

So there it is. One of my better pieces of furniture that I like to think I made even better.


Parties I'm linking to:

mop it up mondaysThe Chicken Chick

PJH Designs
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