Redo of Vintage Suitcase

This vintage suitcase has been on my list for a redo for years. It was for sale in my shop  for a while but I knew no one would buy it in the condition it was in.  The problem was the inside had a vey bad musty smell. I tried to get the smell out with dryer sheets, baking soda, and febreeze but to no avail.  I was able to get out the original lining fairly easy by tearing and cutting it out. (sorry I didn’t get a pic of that stage) There was wood underneath part of it and it was in good shape. It still had some of the musty smell so I tried putting Kitty litter in it for a while and that worked.  (Thanks Pinterest for that idea!) The before pic shows it with the litter in it.

before after collage

New Phototastic Collage

I gathered the materials I would need such as papers to decoupage, ribbon and gel medium. I wanted it to have a music theme. I had some music wrapping paper and vintage sheet music. The liquid leaf paint is for some extra embellishment and for the handle of the suitcase.

putting ribbon

A lacy type ribbon was hot glued at the bottom of the suitcase. At the top I hung a piece of twine and put mini clothespins on it before putting the wide burlap ribbon around the edges. I thought it would be nice to be able to hang pictures and the original key from it.

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I put a copy of vintage sheet music, “Jambalaya” by Hank Williams at the bottom of the suitcase. To make it look more vintage and match the rest of the suitcase I tore the edges and put distress stain and then used Mod Podge Antique Matte over it.

New Phototastic Collage 2

I put  2 coats of the gel medium and 1 coat of the mod podge antique matte to seal it.  The bottom pic shows it in my shop on top of a suitcase holder. Notice in these pics the handles. I did paint it with Liquid Leaf Florentine Gold and added some streaks here and there in the inside of the suitcase. I left the outside of the suitcase original except for the handle.

 

 

Wall Coffee Mug Holder made from old scraps of wood

Our daughter is back in her home that flooded and this is one of the projects that we did recently for her house. She found the cute table to use for her coffee station in New Orleans. She lived there for a while in a hotel since her house was under construction.  She got the idea of the coffee mug holder from Pinterest.  She saved some of the boards from her house, bought a couple of them at a reclaimed store, and used parts saved from a very old cabinet that was her vanity prior to the flood.  My husband cut the pieces various lengths and put them together on a piece of board with a nail gun. I put on a clear coat of satin polycrylic to seal it and to keep the loose shavings of paint from flaking off.  I found the perfect hooks for it at Wal-mart (6 to a pack).  My husband came up with a great idea of putting the screws in the piece to hang it up where some of the hooks would be, so they would not show.  We put 12 hooks on it but plan to add two more to the bottom later. Our daughter is very pleased with the way it turned out and plans to collect mugs from places she visits in the future.  It’s been a long, hard ordeal for her house to get completed ( contractor problems, 100 year old house problems,  etc.) but it is coming together and looking like home again.

Close up of the finished piece.

Custom painted pieces for a friend’s vacation home

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My friend asked me to paint some furniture pieces that she owned for her family’s vacation home they just purchased.  I don’t do custom pieces too often but I decided to take on the projects.   It was a challenge with the pieces being so massive but somehow it all got done within 2 weeks.   She picked out the colors for all of the furniture and sent me pics of the bedspreads that would be used on both beds.

The first piece I worked on was a King size headboard and footboard. I painted it Sherwin Williams Drizzle made into chalk paint. Then I distressed it, then sealed it with clear and dark wax.  We decided to leave the metal lattice the way it was. I love the designs on the sides of the headboard and how they came to life when distressed and waxed.

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The after picture of the King size headboard

before and after of the footboard

before and after of the footboard

The footboard was so thick and solid it could stand up on its own. This made it easier to paint because I didn’t have to lean it on anything.

 

 

 

img_2837The next piece was a dresser that my friend wanted to match to the bed even though they originally didn’t go together.  I first planned to paint the entire dresser but as I examined the wood I didn’t want to cover it all. The top was in great condition and had such a shiny varnished surface.  I knew it would be better to leave it alone. The parts of the dresser that framed the drawers were also left with the original wood .  I experimented with leaving the middle panel of wood on each drawer and the cabinet with the original wood but ended up painting that later.  I kept on the original hardware & added some rub on bronze to help them tie in with the bronze accents on the metal lattice on the headboard.

This was what it looked like when I experimented with leaving some wood on the drawers. It was interesting but not what the client had in mind.

This was what it looked like when I experimented with leaving some wood on the drawers. It was interesting but not what the client had in mind.

img_2898_collage-before-afterimg_2901_collage-before-after    Next I painted a matching nightstand and mirror.img_6492_jpg

Here is the picture of the complete set in her vacation condo. I think the colors she picked really work well with the bedspread.

 

 

 

 

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img_6495_jpgAnother furniture piece was this headboard for another bedroom.  It is a very unique piece and had bamboo inserted in the center ovals. I painted both front and back with Sherwin Williams Viva Gold.  I sealed it with a clear and dark wax.

I was very relieved and happy when I finished all 6 pieces and they were picked up from my workshop, just in time for Thanksgiving.  They were able to set up their condo and enjoy it Thanksgiving weekend.  It is always a learning experience to do custom pieces and it was great to work with such high quality furniture.  It is rewarding to see the pieces in their new home and one day I plan to go see it in person.

 

 

Refurbished Rocking Chair

img_3550This poor rocking chair needed some serious TLC.  I have a friend who sells me furniture and other items. She has been in charge of an estate in North Louisiana and also picks up projects for herself to work on here and there. Months ago she unloaded a trailer full of stuff  that she needed to get out of the way and didn’t have time to get to. She was trying to help her daughter who flooded also. I wasn’t there when she unloaded the stuff into my workshop otherwise this rocker probably wouldn’t have made it into my workshop.  My husband said I should throw away the rocker when I asked him if he would reinforce the seat.  He didn’t want to put the work into it. Well it sat in my workshop for about 5 months taking up space. I kept looking at it and I could see potential in it.  I knew  I couldn’t repair the ugly holes in the wicker part but I figured I could make cushions to cover the back and the seat.  When you sat in the rocker it was sturdy even though it doesn’t look like it in the picture. It has many layers of the wicker.

I  decided that I would redo this rocker for my oldest daughter to put on her porch when she gets to move back to her home that flooded.  She loves sitting outside and drinking her coffee. She lost her two rockers in the flood. One had been given to her as a house warming gift (one of those nice Cracker Barrell rockers) and the other one was given to us as a wedding gift 37 years ago. I had used it in my classroom for many years and gave it to her when I retired to rock her babies in.  She would appreciate the rocker even if it does have some issues.

img_3884img_3886 My 1st step was to put some wood glue on some of the areas where the wicker pieces were coming loose. I painted the rocker with 2 coats of Sherwin Williams Essex Green Exterior Duration Paint. (No chalk paint this time) I already had the paint from repainting the shutters on our rent house.  I knew it would be perfect for using on an outdoor rocker. As you can see the paint really made a difference not only to the looks of it but helped to make the wicker stronger.

Then I made 2 cushions for the rocker. The back piece was made from a piece of foam, covered with a piece of muslin type material that I stenciled a saying on. The seat cushion was made by covering an old cushion I had in my workshop. I made the straps to tie on the cushions to the top and the bottom. This was my first time to ever do that and I really enjoyed the sewing project.  I bought a huge roll of this fabric at the thrift store where I volunteer and it is perfect for making cushions and pillows and does well with the stenciling. I’m hoping it will be durable enough to last on an outdoor project.

The finished Project saved from the garbage dump! My daughter absolutely loves it and I can't wait to see her rocking in it on her porch when her house is repaired.

The finished Project saved from the garbage dump! My daughter absolutely loves it and I can’t wait to see her rocking in it on her porch when her house is repaired.

 

 

 

Collage table with remnants from “The Great Flood of 2016”

img_3636 My daughter’s house flooded in the “Great Flood of 2016”. When the trucks came to her house and lifted the pile of household debris there were some objects and fragments of things left on the ground.  She saved these items in a bag and told me she wanted some kind of memory table or box made to put these items in.  This year for Christmas I was able to make this project for her.  These fragments hold memories  and she can now have a safe way to keep and display them.

I found the end table at a Thrift store in New Orleans. It did have an edge on part of the top shelf but my husband took that off and made sides around the top and bottom shelf. I thought maybe she had enough objects to fill in both shelves but they ended up all fitting on the top shelf.

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My 1st step was to stain the new wood that he added to it so that when I distressed it a pretty wood color would show through. Then I painted it Pewter Gray and distressed it.

img_3623_collage-of-putting-objects-onThis collage shows the process of putting down the objects on the top shelf. I hot glued the objects down to the table so they wouldn’t move around. Then I poured 1 quart of  Park’s Super Glaze on top. I waited 24 hours before pouring on another coat and really thought this would cover all the objects but it did not. The 1st coat went on smooth and didn’t have issues with bubbles. The 2nd coat did not do so well – it had a lot of imperfections and bubbles that showed up too late for me to do anything about it. But for this project it was okay. It looks like the objects are in a flood and it certainly was not pretty and smooth when all these objects went through the real flood.  I may end up putting a little more glaze on it.  (Warning – this stuff is expensive!)

final-collage-of-bottom-shelfThe next step was to do something special with the bottom shelf. I decided to decoupage pictures of her house during the flood, her debris pile and a Louisiana map. I stenciled the word STRONG across the map to show that we are Louisiana Strong.

 

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On Christmas Day I surprised her and the grandkids with the table. It was very emotional for her as her and the kids started pointing to the objects and naming them. A lego, a paint set, paintbrushes, Mr. Potato Head glasses and a ear, a spool of thread, a piece of the tile floor, knobs from furniture, a spindle from a chair, video tapes of her 1st child’s birth are just a few of the things in the collage. One day she will be able to look back and see how some good things did come from this experience and she can still hold on to some of the memories from before the flood.

Ireland Memories Decoupaged Table

img_0211 This table (cart) on wheels caught my eye at a church garage sale and I knew right away I wanted it for my patio.  I loved the rim around the top and thought it would be great for decoupaging.  My family was planning a trip to Ireland so I decided while on the trip I would look for pictures and postcards to put on this table as a memory of our trip.  I have done one before from my trip to Hawaii years ago.

Here is the finished table on my patio.

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img_0757_collageFirst I painted it green to match my other furniture on my patio. Then I put a coat of clear wax (CeeCee Caldwell) and dark wax (Annie Sloan).

 

 

 

img_2254steps-to-make-top-partNext I laid out all the pictures, postcards and euro (coins) on the table.  It always helps to take a picture of the layout so when you move them you will remember where they go.  I used Mod Podge matte finish to decoupage the pictures onto the table ( a coat under and over). After drying I used Valspar Antiquing wax to make the pictures look old. You do have to wipe it off as you go with cheesecloth.  A few days later I poured on the Pour-on epoxy which makes it have a thick high gloss finish and really helps to protect it.  It is expensive but worth it especially if you are using the piece outside.

The table is very functional since I can move it easily around my patio.  We will always treasure this table as it will remind us of our great trip to Ireland with our two daughters.

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Here we are in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher.

 

 

 

Painted & Distressed China Cabinet

img_2170_collage-with-writingThis china cabinet has been in my shop for a few years now.  We really needed to use this area for extra seating for the restaurant so I was glad when a friend called up and was interested in it for her mother who lost her china cabinet in the recent flood.  I should have painted it a long time ago – I think it would have sold much sooner. It was my first large china cabinet makeover and it was hard to stop once I got into it.  I basically did the whole piece in one day with the exception of the added decorative piece on the drawer.

The first step was to take off all of the hardware and the bottom cabinet doors and to take out the 2 long drawers.  My husband lifted the top part of the cabinet off and put on a table so it would be easier to reach and paint.

img_2179_collage-final-with-titlesMy friend and I were texting back and forth all day trying to make decisions about the project.  Her mother wanted it painted Duck Egg Blue which is comparable to Sherwin William’s Halcyon Green color and one of my favorite colors too.   We came up with gray for the inside of the upper cabinet and the drawers. I chose Sherwin William’s Morning Fog which complimented the Halcyon Green color and  I figured her white china would show up well with this background color.

image2_collageI didn’t even notice this beautiful flower carving on each side of the cabinet until right before I painted it.  It really stands out after it was painted and distressed.  My friend had asked if I could add some decorative pieces to it and I sent her this picture to show that it had some already on it.

 

 

 

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I took out the old felt lining and replaced it with some new gray felt.  My husband had to make a new piece under one of  the drawers for it to slide in and out on.

 

 

 

 

 

filigree-2I felt like it needed one more decorative piece on the long drawer that only had two handles.  I found this one at Michaels Craft store and it was already painted gray. All I had to do was add a few touches of metallic rub to tie it in with the handles on the drawers. I glued it on with cement glue.

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A close up of the finished cabinet with the decorative piece added.

A close up of the finished cabinet with the decorative piece added.

To complete the project I put Cee Cee Caldwell’s clear wax on the entire piece and then put the original hardware back on. I can’t wait to see a picture of it in it’s new home.  It was such a great stress relief for me to work on this project and I sure hope it will bring some joy in a difficult situation that she has been in with losing her home and belongings in the flood.