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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

“The Great Flood of 2016” in Louisiana

img_2019It’s been a long time since I posted a blog on my website because here in Louisiana we experienced a devastating flood in August called “The Great Flood of 2016”.  It has affected everyone in our area whether their house flooded or not.  Two-thirds of our parish’s population ( 30,000 to 40,000 homes ) were impacted by historic floodwater. Nearly 800 businesses were affected.  Thank God, our businesses – “Country Kitchen” and “Ginger’s Attic” were not flooded. It was very close; the water was up to the top of the “New River” that runs in front of our business by the railroad tracks and some houses two blocks away on each side got water.   We are very blessed!  We were able to open on most of the days even when the flooding was happening around our area so that we could get food out to people.  Some meals were delivered and some of the area workers and rescue workers such as “The Cajun Navy” came out and we gave out many free meals that first week.  We have also been giving out free meal coupons to those affected by the flood to come get a good home style cooked meal. Sometimes people need a boost and comfort food will help.  When people check out at our restaurant we hear stories of the problems people are facing. It is heartbreaking! Since this flood was unexpected and historical many people who flooded were not in flood zones and didn’t have flood insurance.  People have had to throw out all or part of their belongings onto the street and then watch trucks come by and pick up things they have accumulated during their lifetime. Many are having to have their home bulldozed.  It is especially hard on the elderly. How do they start over at this time in their lives?   Our family was personally affected by this event with our two daughter’s houses flooding and our rent house where my sister and brother-in-law live.  It has been a whirlwind of packing, gutting, cleaning, insurance and FEMA  issues, and hard, hard decisions that have to be made, especially with my daughters.  We had family living with us and they brought along an animal family of 10 guinea pigs, 3  dogs, and a cat!    I personally feel like I have moved 3 times in the last month with all the packing  sorting, discarding, and storing of 3 households of stuff.  I didn’t do much gutting in houses – we had help doing that.   We are so blessed with many people that have come forward to help – friends, family members, church members, golf buddies, groups from other areas, donations from people – even strangers!  Louisiana is very proud of the way we have come together to get through this strategy and we are relying on God to continue to guide us and get us through it.

My workshop where I do my crafting was loaded with stuff of my daughters. It was all disorganized thrown in whatever could hold stuff, mostly garbage bags.  So when I finally got it packed in storage containers and moved to other areas of storage I had to do some crafting. Crafting is my STRESS RELIEF and boy did I need it!  The idea of making some plaques about Louisiana and what we were going through had come to me during the 2nd week of it when I saw sayings all over media and facebook about Louisiana Strong.  I ordered some Louisiana stencils on Amazon.  About the 3rd week of recovery I was able to take a break and do some crafting and it was a comforting, release of stress.

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I used my cricut machine to do some of the lettering. I already had the wooden plaques. My husband had made them months ago and I was just waiting for the right project to use them on.

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Another hard thing to deal with was the losing of almost all of the furniture that I have made for my daughters the last 5 years. When I look at my blogs and my “Gingerly Refurbished” page I see so many projects that I did that had to be thrown out. I was at my daughter’s house (the photographer)  and witnessed the truck scooping up her furniture and things into the dumpster. That was hard to watch.  I know it is just things and we shouldn’t be attached to things but it is still hard seeing your labors of love go in the dumpster.  Two sentimental pieces were saved at my other daughter’s house – the coffee table and end table that I had in my house growing up. Those were the only pieces of furniture she put up high before she left.  Neither of my daughters thought their house would flood.  They were out helping with flood relief the day before their houses flooded.

Here is my daughter bringing supplies to flood victims. Little did she know the next day her house would be flooded.

Here is my daughter bringing supplies to flood victims. Little did she know the next day her house would be flooded.

We have seen a lot of good come out of the “Great Flood of 2016”.  We pray for the people of Louisiana and know that we will recover and we will be stronger for it. It is just going to be a long road for a lot of people and we have to be patient and trust God. He will provide!

 

 

Antique Singer Sewing Machine

image2_collageMy sister and brother in law found this 100 year old sewing machine at a garage sale about 2 years ago and gave it to me to refinish.   I finally got around to giving it some TLC and some much needed sprucing up.   I just love the old pedal sewing machines and I can’t help but think of how exciting it was back then to use one of these for the 1st time.  This one still had a lot of the parts, bobbins, etc. in the drawers and the pedal on the base still works fine but unfortunately the leather treadle belt is not attached anymore. I did not refurbish the sewing machine other than to clean it with some polishing cream.  I just wanted to make it presentable where it could be used as a table.

IMG_0787_collage My first step was to work on the 4 drawers. I decided to paint them a light teal color, distress them , and then seal them with a coat of clear wax and then dark wax.  The dark wax toned down the bright color and made it look more natural for an old piece of furniture.  When I placed them back in the cabinet I saw how the original wood looked great next to the drawers so I decided to not paint that area.  I knew from the beginning that I needed to salvage as much as I could of the original piece.  As you can see in the 1st pictures the veneer was missing on most of the top so that part had to be painted.

The cleaning of the machine with the polishing cream.

The cleaning of the machine with the polishing cream.

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IMG_0856_collageI kept the part that folds out to display the sewing machine with the original finish. I refreshed it by staining it with Minwax polyshade.

 

 

IMG_0862_collageIMG_0871_collageThere were some places where I had to scrape and sand the veneer to make it smoother. I was not able to get off all of the veneer but I knew it was going to be painted and distressed  so I figured it wouldn’t matter.  I painted the top surfaces just like I did the drawers,  sanded, and then clear and dark waxed.

My favorite part was clear waxing on the original wood on the holding areas for the drawers and inside the drawers. It really made a change in the wood and was exciting to see it come to life.

 

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Here is the finished project. It is now in my shop and I am putting some of my sewing related items for sale displayed on it. The sewing machine is priced at $120.  Update: This sold after being in the shop for only a week.

 

Red Rooster Chair

IMG_4478One of my latest projects is this Red Rooster Chair.  Before the makeover this chair was very plain and not very attractive and I came close to giving up on it.  My husband had to work really hard to get it reinforced and sturdy again.

IMG_0765_collageI took off the seat cushion and the next step was to go through my upholstery material to see which one would go with this chair.  As soon as I put the rooster material up to it I knew this had to be it.  I had just the exact amount needed leftover from a project I did years ago and I have always loved this material.  I sanded it some and then painted it Sherwin Williams Intellectual gray made into chalk paint and put on a clear wax. The next day when I set the cushion on top to see what it would look like I really liked the gray but I decided to go forth with my original plan of painting red on top of the gray to give it a two tone effect.  I painted a thin coat of Sherwin Williams Antique Red made into chalk paint and sanded in some places right away because I wanted it to be heavily distressed. The wax I did the day before also helped the effect of it looking very distressed without having to do a lot of sanding.

 

IMG_0776_collageIMG_0782_collageI clear waxed the chair, let it seep into the wood for a day and then dark waxed it the next day. You can see on the close-up picture of the back slats of the chair the difference it made with the dark wax. The 1st two slats have the dark wax.  I love doing simple projects like this and seeing the results right away.  Sometimes people come into the shop just wanting a single chair for a kitchen area or a desk.  This one is available at “Ginger’s Attic” for $48.

This shows the before and after of the chair.

This shows the before and after of the chair.