Dining Table Reveal

I finally finished the last of my four major summer furniture projects! Yay!  This French Provincial dining room table set was the last thing on my list.

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I bought it from a lady on a Facebook garage sale site who was selling it for her elderly mother.  It had the hallmarks of furniture purchased in the sixties/seventies;  honey colored stain and powder blue cushion covers.  Unfortunately, I didn’t grab any great “before” pictures.  By this point in my furniture re-do marathon I was running out of steam.

You can see in this picture though a little of that original light stain:

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Sorry for the blurry pictures.  It was a little chaotic around here for awhile.

Here is a hint of those powder blue seat covers:

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They’re flipped upside down, but you get the drift.

I started out by giving all four of the chairs two coats of Annie Sloan Aubusson Blue.   Then my plan was to sand down the table top and stain it with Minwax Classic American.  My goal was to have it coordinate with my Empire Buffet I made over a month earlier.

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The table sanding was a beating!  It took me forever to get down to the natural wood, and once I did, I discovered my cheap palm sander had gouged out the wood in several places.

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I took the plunge and purchased a higher quality orbital sander to get out all of those gouges.  Thankfully, it did the trick.  After sanding on and off for 3 weeks, I was finally able to give in that new coat of beautiful stain.

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Isn’t it gorgeous?  Then the bottom of the table got the same Aubusson Blue treatment, and the chair cushions were updated in a modern, coordinating fabric.

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I’m very happy with the final product.  The buffet is still for sale in my space, but I’m hoping once I get the table up there later today they will enhance each other and both will find a new home soon.

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Everybody is waking up from their naps.  Gotta run!

Linking up to Furniture Feature Friday

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Henry Link Lost & Found

Several months ago while I was working on my Duck Egg dressers, I  decided to paint one of my own pieces while I had the extra Duck Egg Annie Sloan paint.  It was this piece, given to use for free back when my husband was getting his Master’s Degree and we were pinching every penny we had:

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It was a neat piece, and I liked the distressed look of it, but it was a little too distressed if you know what I mean.  It looked like a dog had chewed on one of the front legs, and there were several big dings out of the wood.  But again, it was free! It hung out in our guest bedroom for awhile, and then it found a new home in this awkward corner by our entryway.  I was doing some rearranging to get ready for the arrival of #3, and I decided to use the small chest that was in the awkward spot as his changing table.  So, the free yellow chest of drawers was put in its place, and ended up fitting the spot quite well. Unfortunately, the distressed yellow was almost the same color as our walls, so it definitely needed a new color to make it sing.

Here is what it looks like now:

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Much better!  I was going for shade that matched the gray/blue in my favorite home decor piece, my Pottery Barn wool rug.

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I use that gray/blue as an accent color throughout my main living space.

Well, here’s is where the story gets fun! Last week, I was looking around on Pinterest to get some furniture painting inspiration, and spotted a chest that looked exactly like mine! I made my way to the original blog and discovered that it was a Henry Link piece from his Bali Hai collection, made popular in the 1970’s.  There is quite a following out there for this specific vintage line, and here I was with my own piece!  Who knew?

Now that it’s repainted, I think it is truly beautiful.  I ended up going with a custom mix of Duck Egg blue and French Linen, topped off with Antique White accents and Dark Wax.  I love now how the detail of the faux bamboo really stands out.

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The original hardware is also fantastic.

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And now since I’m in the know on Henry Link, I have been keeping my eye out for pieces for sale.  I found this cute little nightstand for $20 on CL earlier this week.

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I’m not sure if it’s for real or a knock-off, but it has that same great hardware and faux bamboo detail.

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Maybe I’ll start my own collection.

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Update on my French Settee, it sold 3 weeks after putting it in my space, along with the matching chair I reupholstered!  I had the privilege of meeting the customer who purchased it.  She was a sweet young mom, who was expecting her second little girl.  She was putting together a french themed nursery, and thought both pieces would be perfect.  One day she envisioned her two little girls curling up on the settee reading books together . . . I love it!  It was a joy to get to hear how my work was going to be used.  She said she would email me some pictures of the nursery when it was all finished.

Linking up to Furniture Feature Friday

Dog Days of Summer

We’re in that end of the summer “survival mode” around here, so it’s a little chaotic around my house.  It’s been 100+ degrees for 13 days in a row now, and we have 13 more days to go before school starts.  We’ve done about all the fun things you could possibly do in the Dallas area, so now we’re just cranking up the AC and watching movies to make it through each day.

I thought I would give you a quick snapshot of what things look like around here right now.  I’ve got several big projects going, and because it’s too hot to work in my garage, my business stuff has taken over my living room.

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There’s the set of 4 dining room chairs that are getting painted and recovered.  The other two are sitting in my kitchen.

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Here’s the table they belong to, on my back porch.  I try to grab a few minutes each day to keep working on sanding down the top.

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And then there are the boxes of vintage fabric the mother of a  friend passed along to me.  I’ve been sorting through them, pulling out what I can take up to my booth, and figuring out how to pass along the rest to someone else who would enjoy it.

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Here is the stack of what I pulled out for my booth so far.  It needs to be measured, tagged, and priced.

There are also non-business projects lying around, like this chest of drawersI bought for my husband’s clothes about 3 months ago.

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It will eventually be painted to look more manly, but right now its being used in all its ivory floral glory.

It’s time to pack up a bunch of toys and clothes my kids have outgrown, too.  Here is a small pile in my bedroom, which is representative of many other small piles scattered throughout the house.

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On top of these assortment of projects, there is always something crazy going on in the background.

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Yep, that’s a baby with a bucket on his head . . .

Lastly, I’m smack in the middle of my marathon training, which doesn’t pair well with the 100+ degree heat.

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I’m getting up there in my mileage, and it’s hard to get out early enough to run it all before the tough heat sets in.  The weather man said it’s only supposed to be in the low 90’s this weekend.  I’m hoping his predictions are right.

So that’s a peek into our last weeks of summer. Are you also in summer survival mode?

Unbound Book Stack How-to

I have written before about how I love to decorate with old books.  Sometimes I love the distressed hues of the covers, but other times the books are in really bad shape, or the covers are not very attractive.  In those cases, I rip off the covers and binding and make these great book bundles.

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I first saw these books bundles in a Ballard Designs catalog, and then I saw some stacked in a basket in a Pottery Barn catalog.  Ballard Designs actually used to sell them, but for an astronomical price, and I thought, “gee, I could make those!”

So here is a quick how-to guide on how to make your own book bundle.

First, gather your materials.

DSC04229You need at least two old books to make a bundle, plus some sort of twine and scissors.

Next, begin removing the covers and binding from your books.  Some come off easily, and others not so easily.  But really the more ripped and shabby the spines get the better.

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Sometimes the glue on the spine is still pretty strong, and you wind up with this:

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That does not make for a pretty bundle, so keep working on pulling off as much of that glue as you can.

Now, a quick note for those book lovers out there who are cringing at the idea of me ripping apart books . . . Always give your old books a good once over and make sure you don’t have any valuables in there.  I usually look for old textbooks, because those typically are of no value and I can rip them up with a clear conscience.  Keep an eye out for authors that sound familiar to you.  In this stack of books I got for $5 at a garage sale, I spotted one that caught my eye:

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I looked it up online and turns out it was a rare vintage copy, worth about $80.  So, that one stays intact.

After you have ripped the covers off all of your books, start separating each book into about 1 in. sections.

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Once you have a bunch of these sections, start stacking. I look for sections that are similar in width and stack them alternating with spine and page edge facing out.

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I also try to reserve for the top of the bundle one section that is a title page, or has something particularly interesting on it, like this inside cover that a young lady doodled on many moons ago.  It adds more visual interest to your bundle.

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Once your books are stacked 4-5 sections high, tie them up with the twine of your choosing.  I double wrap the twine around mine, again, just to add more visual interest.

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And your done! Here is my finished stack–4 book bundles from the stack of 8 books I started with (minus the valuable one!)

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I love the spots of glue and strings all sticking out–they add texture to each bundle.

Use them to decorate on bookshelves, table tops, or group a whole bunch in a basket by your fireplace.

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Here they are piled in an enamel basin in my shop (along with a GIANT lightbulb!).  They all sold within a week! Time to find more old books.

Try making some for yourself!

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