July 21, 2010


Nope, not talking undies here; I mean drawers from dressers and cabinetry. I picked up some solid wood dresser drawers off the curb one day, not knowing what I'd do with them, but figuring it's free so why not- they're solid wood so I should be able to do SOMETHING, right? Well, here's what I did.

I took the old drawers apart, removing the front piece of wood entirely, and then the hardware (I'll use those later for something, I'm sure). That left a couple of holes in the wood so I filled the holes with wood filler, let them dry, then sanded the whole piece and cleaned it off.

The Old Drawer front (hereinafter known as OD) looked like this:

Needs a little sump'n sump'n, huh? I picked out some cute scrap-booking paper (you might think I'm a scrap-booker given that I use the paper so much, but I haven't delved into that particular money pit YET!). I found a piece that has lots of great words on it such as Create, Giggle, Dream, Smile Often, Live It Up, Reach for your Dreams, Dance Under the Stars, etc.

(we'll just ignore my big ol' shadow in the pic, mmkay?)

I really like these happy sentiments so I cut that piece of paper into 3 long strips. They weren't quite long enough to cover the whole center of the OD so I cut a couple small pieces to flank the ends of the Happy Thoughts nicely.

I almost always manage to forget to take a pic until after I've begun a subsequent step. sigh. I used ModPodge for all of this, by the way, in case the glob of it on the wood, or the bottle sitting next to my strategically placed coffee mugs wasn't an adequate indication. 

I suppose you could use an X-acto knife to trim the edges of your papers as you go along, but since I pre-flunked right out of surgical school, I decided guesstimation and scissors were the way to go for me. It's a little difficult to tell in the pix, but the ODs are quite thick and have two "levels," the top level being the one on which I put the Happy Thoughts. :-)

Wrapping the edges wasn't difficult at all. Because in design we don't like halvsies (remember your rule of THIRDS, my friends!), I wanted the paper edges to be of two pieces, 2/3 and 1/3 the length of the OD. In the pic above you can see one edge strip is about 2/3 the length of the OD and hanging well off the edge (guesstimation is really not super precise, peeps, but that's what scissors are for). For the thickness of my particular ODs I cut my edge strips 1 3/4" wide and whatever long because I wanted it to wrap to the back enough to be a little more secure. I butted the long strips right up against the bottom of the first level so I knew it would be straight and glued it down.

I saved the shorter ends/edges for last so that I could wrap them like a present to make nice clean corners. Once the long strips had a few minutes to dry, I just trimmed them a bit so the part sticking off the ends was a little more manageable, then folded down the short edge papers just like wrapping a present.

It left a pretty smooth back all the way around, great for covering with one single piece of paper bag or craft paper or whatever you have handy. Since the scrap-booking papers are only 12" square, a single sheet would not cover the whole back, AND I think it would be a bit wasteful to use pretty papers for the back of it. Kraft paper is JUST FINE for this.

Between the levels (are you with me? I don't know the proper name for describing the "levels," so I'm just going with it), of course is wood and this wood surrounding the message area was screaming for attention so I pulled out my trusty paints and decided this little Happy Thoughts Plaque would be the "blue" Happy Thoughts Plaque and I'd have to make a little set. You can see in the following picture further evidence of my pre-flunked-out-of-surgical-school paper trimming skills. I kept thinking, "hmmm, just a WEEEE bit off here... now here... ok one more time..."

You probably wouldn't believe how long it took me to take this picture, peeps. Since I have MAN HANDS, I don't like my hands to show in pictures so I moved my hand around and around and around, tried all sorts of unnatural angles and arrangements trying to make my hand look not quite so big but still able to see the chalk fairly clearly. Finally just decided NO FEAR will rule the day and I would allow my MAN HANDS to be in the pic anyway. Besides, it's not about the MAN HANDS, it's about the project. Although now I'm sure you're noticing my MAN HANDS way more than you would have if I'd not said anything about it at all. But I digress...

Once the paper was positioned correctly and I was finished obsessing over whether I chose the right papers for every single little area  satisfied with that, a little traumatizing distressing was in order. I took my handy dandy ColorBox Fluid Chalk Inkpad (Dark Brown color, see MAN HANDS pic above) and began lightly brushing it over the edges of the Happy Thoughts area. Next I dry-brushed paint all over the papers for just a LITTLE bit more punch and to coordinate everything. ModPodge over top of all to seal it. and VOILA!

Here's the SET:

Each of them shows a different area of the paper with Happy Thoughts on it. I will hang them in the following order: blue, green, then red because "live it up" shows up fairly noticeably in both the blue and red so I'll separate them when hanging vertically. I think these would be really cute in a craft studio, kids' play area, rec room, or a child's bedroom, hung by a single large bow. Maybe I'll even post a pic when I get them hung with said pretty ribbon. :-)

Do you have some Old Drawers you don't know what to do with? Make Happiness with your Old Drawers!! 

July 16, 2010

Imperfectly Beautiful: Yard Sale Shoes Get a Makeover

Check out the latest at Imperfectly Beautiful, one of my favorite blogs! Methinks I'll have to give fabric-covered buttons a whirl.

Imperfectly Beautiful: Yard Sale Shoes Get a Makeover

July 12, 2010

Picnic, Anyone?

When my car's outside temperature thingy says it is this ROASTING BLAZING GOSH-AWFUL I REALLY HATE SUMMER hot outside...  

{{{Digression spoiler}}} Actual photo taken inside my lil' ol' Jeep Thursday. This photo has not been retouched or PhotoShopped in any way. I am serious, it was that hot out there. In fact, as I snapped the picture the temperature changed from 100 to 99. At least it was cooling off. GAG. I. HATE.SUMMER. {{{end digression}}}

...I don't want to picnic or do ANYTHING that involves leaving air conditioned comfort of home, but... the Hub and I embarked on another junk circuit adventure. We found a few things I can work with. One is this sweet little vintage picnic basket, nicely woven and with metal banding and handles, nothing to write home about on the inside (but I can change that):

You can see I snapped the picture after I'd already begun painting on the ModPodge. lol. This little project took me about an hour total, including cleanup and drying time. And it turned out pretty good. I was THIS CLOSE (holding up almost touching thumb and forefinger) to buying a set of 8 lime green melamine 3-piece place settings but I passed on that (BLAST!) because I thought I only need the picnic basket to display my papered clipboards. So here is how the basket turned out, sans plates, cups, and bowls:

And in my booth at the Buford Queen of Hearts Antiques Mall filled with clipboards:

Speaking of my lil' ol' booth.Here's what it looks like now:


Remember those 3 fugly wall sconces that I mentioned before? 

Here they are now, painted glossy black, with two SUWEET little metallic ceramic lamps on them. Vintage fabric aprons hang from teapot garden hooks, and I found the cream iron garden planter/hangers in my garage. I think they kinda sorta resemble owls so I really like them cuz I'm going through an owl thing ever since the last time I obsessively casually clicked my way through Etsy on an inspirational tour.

Here's a problem. I HAD to figure out an el cheapo way of doing a curtain rod. Since my booth is 10' wide and a real curtain rod of that length would be expensive, here is what I did. (because it is SO incredibly obvious that I HAD to have curtains hanging on the front of my booth). 

I got a 10' long 3/4" PVC pipe at Home Depot for about $2.50. Then, ya know how I like to get thrift store linens, especially flat sheets, to use the fabric to make stuff like window treatments and the like... Well I just KNEW that one of these days I'd find a use for the folded part of flat sheets and pillow cases, and here it was. All I did was cut that part off and slip it right onto the pipe, bunching it as I went. Then I was left with holes on the ends of the pipe so I HAD to stick some flowers in there (I mean, what ELSE could be done?) ;-)  I know, there are other options, but flowers were calling to me. Trip to HobLob and $4 later...

The Chris Madden crushed and burned-out velvet curtain panels ($5 for 4 panels- squeal!) are hung by garden hooks I found on clearance for $1.70 each. No open-ended pipes here! Not sure I'd want this in my HOME unless it were in a Boho-style bedroom or something, but in this case, it is really cute, and who am I kidding. I would totally do that in my home, peeps, although I have not (yet). :-)  PVC can be covered with fabric, paint, rope/twine, etc, and finials can be used on the ends instead of flowers, and one could use a MYRIAD of things to drop the pipe onto to hold it on the wall. Anything that will keep the pipe from falling off, basically. Just remember... make it pretty, or cute, or at the very least makes you happy just by looking at it.

So here I am awake at 12:36 a.m. "WHY, Sherri?" one might ask, "are you awake at such an ungodly time when you KNOW you'll be up for the day at 4:45am." The answer is that I got a phone call from a person of the male persuasion who decided that 11:15pm was a great time to return my 3 phone calls, 5 emails, and 2 text messages asking him to please give me a time to pick up the china cabinet I was supposed to get from him tomorrow morning. Not only was he waking me to answer all my communications, but also to tell me he had SOLD the china cabinet I was supposed to pick up tomorrow, and that he sold it to someone else "since I never heard from you about it." I was/am not a happy camper with this Person of the Male Persuasion. Sigh. Cut. Print. Moving On. There shall be other china cabinets I can traumatize distress, paper, and sell. However, the particular china cabinet pictured above in  my lil' ol' booth SOLD today so I must replace it with SOMETHING quickly; thus my multiple methods of communications to Mr. Man. What will replace it I now do not know. One thing I DO know is that rudeness and meanness does not go unpunished, Mr. Man. What comes around, goes around; and I have a feeling that a glue gun will be involved in some unpleasant way, and believe me, they can inflict actual real PAIN!  


July 8, 2010

The Happy Lamp and... How to Wallpaper a Horse

Running the junk circuit last week, the hubby (aka the Hub) and I stopped at a roadside yard sale. I found a few things like a little wooden rocking horse that was painted in an unfortunate way:

Now let me just say that when I bought the thing, it didn't have the elegant "up-do" shown in this picture, either. I just didn't take a pic of it before I prepped it for "wallpapering," a.k.a. "I'm going to use some more of my endless scrapbook paper supplies." When I was working around its tail I kept wanting to say, "excuse me." She didn't even seem to mind too much, all this ado about something; and once it was all done, she was happy. After all... no pain no gain, beauty is pain, and all that stuff we girls tell ourselves when we primp and carry on with the craziness & nonsense that goes along with being Of Matching Chromosomes.

Here is how she turned out:

I didn't take pix while I was doing this- it was simple decoupaging- but it took a LOOONG time, my friends. It was quite a pain in the butt challenge because there was so much cutting with my handy dandy trusted little X-Acto knife. Working on each LITTLE section at a time, I painted on the ModPodge with a small paint brush and then cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to somewhat fit the section (precise? I think not), then laid the paper on it. As it was drying, I did prepared another section. When a papered area was dry, I took the XActo knife and cut off excess right along the edge of the wood and it made for fairly quick & easy cutting, but I must warn you if you should decide to wallpaper your own horse, make sure you wait until the paper is DRY- it makes all the difference in the smoothness of the cuts. Makes sense, but it's worth noting. This piece had a lot of curves on it so it was  a pain in the butt challenge, not to mention it's TINY at 8" tall and 8" long, and since I have MAN HANDS working on little bitty things can be a bit annoying of an opportunity for personal growth.

While I was running around the other day in Blogland, I ran across a tutorial for making a ruffle lampshade. One must remember how long I'd lusted for gazed in awe and wonder at ruffled lampshades in the Anthropologie store here in Atlanta, where I have to admit, I could just positively DIE there. Can I get a witness?? (hand goes up somewhere in the crowd). There is not a more Very Sherri store on the planet, I'd venture to say.

As a part of our Junk Circuit Adventure, the Hub and I found a little thrift store somewhere near Tiger, GA. Apparently the thrift store benefits some sort of home of some kind. But I digress. This thrift store was the kind you probably think of when you think of a typical thrift store, complete with piles of crap stuff everywhere, and little organization, no prices on ANYTHING and no signage. UGH. But all was not lost. Because of my keen observation skills and uncanny ability to sniff out the good stuff (not an easy or pleasant task in a smelly- trust me- thrift store), I found a few worthy items:

YEAH!! STUFF TO DO!! You'll probably see these same images sometime in the future, I'm betting.

And here's what I've got done so far... The Happy Lamp!


Recall the riveting ruffle lampshade comment? Cue dramatic swell of music. The lamp now looks like this:

TA-DA!! The Happy Lamp! Ruffles are VERY quick and easy to make and I have to say I am pleased with how it turned out. I'm sure I'll make more ruffles now that I have done it one time am an EXPERT. I'll post a tutorial if you would like to see it.

Happy trails!

July 2, 2010

Refinish, Refurb... RECYCLE!

I opened a small booth at the Queen of Hearts Antiques & Interiors here in Buford, GA! To do this, I have spent the last several weeks outside in the 90+ degree heat working on furniture and accessories, which I have picked up for little (and sometimes NO) money. At least I had the shade of the garage, so it was probably only 90, not 96 degrees. Here are some of my faves:

Fugly brass chandelier, from this:

to this:

Note the bird cage on the cabinet, (which I need to hang for better visibility), that used to look like this:

In the same picture as the painted birdcage is a swirly-framed little mirror (this thing is HEAVY!), which is now hanging to the left of the china cabinet in my booth, but used to look like this (it was gold but the pic is really dark since it's kinda dark at 6:30am):

nothing a little spray paint couldn't fix, right?

Here is a dresser I picked up off the side of the road. I should've got pix of the sides and top because it was ROUGH. I had to sand this piece a LOT, and used wood filler like spackling to get this thing to even a paintable condition:

(sanded within a half-inch of its life)

But it was a cute piece, had potential- all hardwood, original hardware all in good shape, it even has all the dust covers (that's the flat pieces of wood that sit like a shelf between the drawers, on which the drawers glide), turned out like this:

Little nightstands, of which I forgot to get "before" pics, but here they are primed, and trust me they looked yucky:

You'll see them finished in a pic of the booth, but for now, another dresser...

Really happy with this piece. It was the roughest of the two curbside dresser finds and turned out well, especially considering its condition. I really had to sand it down a LOT, more than the other one- someone had literally carved names into it and graffiti-like crap nonsense. Why, I ask you? WHY?? Why do that to a innocent, unsuspecting, never-did-anything-to-you piece of furniture? I had to sand it so much the pretty serpentine edge was being sanded right off so I had to just stop. This piece is Bassett and it too has the dust covers intact and original hardware. I spent a lot of time on these two pieces, which wouldn't have been worth that much toil if I'd paid anything for them. Here is that one all gussied up:

You might notice that the upper left handle is a LITTLE odd looking in the picture. That is because I noticed AFTER I got it in the booth that the handle's screws didn't have large enough heads on them so they were up inside the handle instead of holding it in place. GADS. So for the picture I copied and pasted one of the other handles into that spot real quick so it wouldn't be too noticeable. And since I've now fixed that little unfortunate handle issue, we can just pretend it's correct in the picture, too, mmkay?? :-)

Some more accessories that needed a little pick-me-up, bought on the cheap from several different sources:

Got three of those (I meant to get four, but I'll deal) and painted them glossy black and now they look really COOL. I don't have a picture of them (blast! thought I did) but I'll take one and post it later (if I can figure out how to do that...

AND, the pièce de résistance (as I squeal with sheer delight to a degree that may make one wonder at the level of sanity I'm displaying):

I got this china cabinet for $40 at a thrift store.

Mind you, it was missing the glass shelves, but it was all wood (except the base cabinet doors), and the metal grid in the two side windows is actually metal, not painted on, like many of them are, it has a flatware drawer, AND it has two lights in the hutch. Great! I can display stuff in my new booth AND have a great anchor piece (until it sells).

Primed and painted. Note that I started painting the back, even though I'd already decided I was going to paper over the back, DOH!

The drawer sitting in front of it is the flatware drawer.

Papering the back of the cabinet was an interesting endeavor, and one I will do again. FINALLY- a project I can do INDOORS!

I used scrapbooking paper and I found that repositionable spray ahesive worked best so I could fit all the pieces, adjusting as I went along. First, I measured each of the 6 sections I would paper. You can see in the pic above that I also made sure I had plenty of the #1, absolutely essential refurb supply at 4:45am- COFFEE. Then I chose the papers I wanted to use for each section. I didn't want to repeat any of them- BOHO is the style so it's all kinds of craziness and cool. I chose 6 different papers for each of the 6 sections and laid them out on my floor, arranged according to print scale, coordinating colors, etc. This took me awhile! I don't scrapbook, but I do use scrapbooking paper and supplies for other projects so I have a LOT of paper to look through and coordinate. This is an activity I LOVE!

I taped out the size of the section I was working on first (after I did the first two sections I decided I didn't need to go to all that trouble and pretty much ignored the tape and just played)

As I worked through the project, I made some changes while putting in the papers. For example, if I noticed the middle left section had a swirl pattern in the bottom middle of my two rows, I didn't want the middle right section to have the swirl in the bottom middle; or if I had a harlequin turned horizontal in the lower right of the upper left section, I didn't want a harlequin at all in the upper right section, nor did I want another harlequin turned horizontal anywhere. Make sense?

Here I was almost finished- just lacked the last section, lower left:

The most difficult thing was getting into the corners- the far right sides and the far left sides. I was very happy I had repositionable adhesive. I should warn you if you start to use that stuff on a project- ummmm... it SPRAYS pretty much everywhere. I am quite sure the floor lamp I used for extra task lighting will never be the same; thankfully I did plan ahead enough to use a drop cloth and my very large cutting board. By the time I sprayed the last piece of paper, I had little bits of paper pretty much on every fingertip and then some.

Since the cabinet was missing the glass shelves, I contacted a local glass place and they cut two pieces of glass for me for $8 each and they had it done in a day. SUWEET! I was very nervous about measuring to the 8th inch for the length of the pieces, and to the 16th of an inch for the depth, but it came out just right!When it came time for me to put them into the cabinet, I couldn't get them in because they were so long, so I had to get them cut in half. This makes the glass shelves 4 pieces instead of 2, but it is not even noticeable.

Here is the cabinet all lit up inside. Unfortunately (?) I had to place some paper-covered clipboards in the cabinet, as well as some other merchandise, in this picture so you can't see the detail of the back of the cabinet- I'll get a pic of it sometime when I'm at the booth, though, sans other merchandise. But you get it. The clipboards need to come out of the cabinet because a) you cannot see the clipboards since they blend right in with the cabinet and b) you cannot see the back of the cabinet detail because the clipboards are in front of it. On the brighter side, though, they do blend with each other so the effect of either one is not completely lost.

And here is the cabinet in my booth, so you can see the base. I'd thought I wouldn't sell it for awhile, at least until I have another one to replace it, BUT I've generated a LOT of interest in the cabinet so I am going to put it up for sale and see what happens. Then I'll have to pray I can find another similar-sized something or other to take its place!

There it is, ya'll. Not a lot of money, but a whole Lotta SWEAT went into this. I hope these things can inspire you to look at fugly things in an all new ways!