27 May 2014

THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD, Part 1


Our little dining room has been a work in progress for several years.  If you have read my blog for a while, you know that the walls started out army green from the previous homeowner with ugly old louvered ill-fitting blinds.  We had to use our breakfast room furniture from our last house because the larger dining room furniture works better elsewhere in the house.  

There is not enough storage anywhere in our house, so there is really more stuff in here than one would normally put into a room this size.  We papered and painted, moved things in and out, trying to make it work.  

There is a hutch, an armoire, an iron and glass console, an iron and glass tea cart, not to mention the table and eight chairs.  Let's don't forget the grandfather clock. A lot of stuff.  It makes for intimate dinner parties.

Why on earth would I bring in something else, you ask?  Well, so glad you asked -- I will tell you.  I needed the drawer space, and I already had some drawers.  

This dresser was an important purchase for me when I got rid of the Sperm Donor a long time ago, my abusive ex-husband.  I went out and bought something I liked.  It has been with me all the ensuing years, and some years ago when we moved to Birmingham, I painted it antique yellow.  
The aborted new top finish which wouldn't dry.
Trying to work in that Radiant Orchid in a creative way.

When I painted it antique yellow, I gave the top a fancy faux marbre
rose finish.  I did this same paint treatment on two night stands and a vanity.  It was a lot of work, and it has held up very well over the years.  
gilding the lily
When we moved to this house, the dresser went into the Master BR where I often kept a runner or table scarf over the top, finding the rose "marble" a little too precious for my taste now.
the rose faux marbre finish
We bought some new dining chairs last year around the holidays, so the large green estate sale dresser I had in the DR wouldn't fit anymore.  It came to the BR, and the smaller yellow dresser went to the LR for a bar.  
1
Done, ready to go into the house
At another estate sale a few months ago, I finally found the piece I wanted to use in the LR as a bar, and we moved that forlorn little yellow dresser to the garage studio.  I covered it with a sheet, and kept looking at that can of Emile chalk paint every time I opened my paint cabinet.
This is only one coat of the Warm Silver.
It got another.
After eyeing the DR, the space under the mirror, measuring, and wondering if I could possibly cram something else in there without getting hauled off in a straight-jacket by the decorating police, I took a deep breath and painted it Emile.
here it is in place
I hit a snag when I tried to remarbelize the top, going over that slick finish I had applied long ago to seal the faux finish.  I will spare you the gory details, but I had to use a wire scrub brush and a bucket of Krud Kutter, then Dawn and really hot water to get the whole mess off.  It just wouldn't dry!  I think it had to do with an extender that I put into the paints to facilitate the blending.  Back to the drawing board.


I really like it!
I went ahead and finished up the body and drawers with two coats of Emile, a coat of clear satin sealer over all and then covered details and hardware with Benjamin Moore's Warm Silver (metallic).  This is my favorite metallic for curtain hardware, too.  It looks like french leaf -- silver that has a slightly gold bent.

Then it hit me:  why not do the whole dresser top in this metallic?  I did (2 coats), and I love it!

What do you think?  Would you use this color in your house?



Come back next time for part 2 of this epic saga to see the accessorizing dilemma and how I finally finished it off.  (And I do mean finished.)

I am joining Best of the Nest for the May review over at Simple Details. Of course, to  Roeshel at That DIY Party! 


I am linking this post to Kim's Wow Us Wednesday; Elizabeth & Co. for Be InspiredJennifer Rizzo  for her creative party; Miss Mustardseed - Furniture Feature Friday and Redoux - Friday Link Up Party.



23 May 2014

HAPPENINGS ON THE BACK PORCH


Summer is bookended by Memorial Day and Labor Day with July 4th in the middle, the place where we dog-ear another page in our days here on earth.  The times in between are themselves the books between the bookends, the places where we write large the memories of the lives we are living so that we can look back during the dreary winter months, and say, "Wow, didn't we have a good time?"  or "Do you remember ...?" 




Here at our house, we are rocking right along, getting things done prior to my first knee replacement.  This weekend is Memorial Day (celebrated).  I wish the powers that be could have left well enough alone, with Memorial Day on May 30 like it was supposed to be.  Monday holidays will out, however, and it is what it is.





Many things around here are getting painted, cleaned, organized -- are we getting too persnickety around here with a deadline looming?  





Today I painted a dresser which you will see later.  There is detail work still to be done, and then a sealing finish to be applied.  The estate sale lamps are finished and in place, and I will show you those later.  (They turned out fabulous!) I am a MACHINE, I tell you!





Of course, Sweet Husband does a lot of the dirty work and heavy lifting for me.  He moved the stereo system out to the studio so I can actually enjoy it as I indulge my artsy urges.  I like to read in total silence when in our bedroom, or we watch a little TV.   We hardly ever listened to the music system in there.  It was really fun today out in the studio, painting with the subwoofer going nuts!  (I am sure the neighbors were loving it, too.)



Our plans for the weekend include grilling out a time or few and doing some plant shopping, just typical retiree stuff.  Most everyday is a holiday now, so it won't be much different from any other day.  What will you be doing?

We should all take time to remember all our soldiers who served this country, which is the purpose of this holiday that we embrace as the beginning of summer.  There were many on both sides of my family who served our country with distinction, as well as my father in law who retired as a Colonel from the Air Force. 



These photos you have been looking at are the screen porch this year.  I have shuffled a few things around and moved a few things in and out.  The decor out here is usually a pretty fluid process.  We added one of the outdoor wicker stools similar to the one we put in my shower.  You already saw the white panels we put up earlier, recycled from our old sunroom.




So, summer's almost here -- are you ready to rock 'n' roll?


Because most everything on this porch came from estate sales or from another thrifty source, I am 
linking to That DIY Party! ,
Rhoda's Thrifty Treasuresand Between Naps on the Porch

20 May 2014

SPRUCING UP THE PERGOLA and painting some of the cushions






After I took most of these shots, I remembered this brilliant inspiration I had in the wee hours the other night.
I should have written it down, since I find that I tend to forget my brilliance in the light of day.
Put the market umbrella under the pergola over the glider!!!

Now it's shady enough to sit there most any time of day.

(Except from 5 to 6 in the afternoon)








The monsoon season took a short break, which gave us the opportunity to do a little cleanup out in the pergola.  Last winter's  severe cold, snows and the protracted rains of this Spring had left quite a residue of dirt, pollen and weeds all over the place.  




I set up Sweet Husband with a bucket of Krud Kutter and a scrub brush, along with a long list of orders.  He ignored most of them. He did pull out the weeds (I told him it was OK to leave the wild violets and the lichens), and he moved all the furniture around in a rather helter-skelter fashion.  (I fixed the typo, Rita!)   


I need to find a top for this set of nesting table bases.
I think a metal grate would be great, don't you?

Today, I rearranged it all.



After I conducted my inspection, I pointed out that the furniture did not look clean enough to re-paint.    He said, "Well it was really really dirty."  So that will have to be done again.  It looks like we have a week or so without any heavy rain in the forecast for a change, so maybe we can get painting that done soon. 




There was a wasp nest in this one!

The outdoor cushions never got brought in for some reason.  I don't really know why -- they just didn't -- and they were somewhat worse for their time out in the wild weather since last year.  I ran them all through the washer a few at a time, and left them in the garage to dry during another round of monsoons.  Most did not come terribly clean.  I brushed them which released some more dirt.  Since they looked so ratty, I decided to paint some of them.
...but I didn't paint the ties or the underside...

My plan was to give them all a coat of different colors of Design Master spray paint because it works really well on fabric.  However, at $8.50 a can, I knew it was going to take quite a lot to do this many cushions.  Back to the drawing board.  I went through our left-over latex paints, and decided to try that.  

I painted the two for the ice cream set Apple Green and the six dining chair pads yellow.  They look O.K., but they are very "crunchy."  I may have screwed up their ability to shed water or drain water or whatever it is they do.  The books on painting all say not to use wax on anything that will be out in the heat.  I figure they at least look better, and they don't get sat on very much anyway.


I need a fern for the urn.




As you can see, I need a few more plants -- I sent Sweet Husband to get some, and he came back with a few he liked but not what I asked for.  I suppose I will just have to go myself...  Sigh.


Today I straightened up the furniture and took these photos for you.  I wish I could tell you we are going to have a Memorial Day blow-out, but we are not.  It's just us chickens.  Do you have big plans?  Do tell!



Sweet Husband knocked a few wasp nests out of the umbrella, too.



Linking to:

Tweak It
Inspire Me
Wow Us



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