Monday 29 September 2014

Dresser with a secret

I was out "looking" for stuff for winter. 

Stocking up during the summer is what I do. 

I came across what I thought was a dresser. 

 Solid wood and wonder. Great shape and all original pulls. Loved it.
When I tried to open the top drawer I found that it pulled open to reveal this wonderful secretary.

I should have guessed, but it always seems to take me by surprise. 
So I brought it home and got to work. 

Stripped, stained, painted and painted some more. 
Ta da

 I tried leaving the inside natural. But it was just to dark. It didn't sit well with more painting. (hint, when doing all those slots, it's much easier to remove it and re install after)

 All the pulls were taken off, painted, sanded, glazed and sealed before re installing them. I love this antiqued look.
 And I love that solid walnut top, I just didn't have the heart to cover it in paint.
And now he is ready for his new home...does that home belong to you? 

It is now in it's new home :) 

Miss Mustard Seed
36th Avenue 

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Rustic Coffee table

Even if something isn't old it sometimes needs a makeover anyway. 

Case in point. 
This coffee table. 

Ignore the dog food. I just unloaded it in this pic an snapped the "before" with my cell phone. 
Anyone else like that? Grab the phone take a pic before you forget. 

So most of my before pics are not so great...and that's an

Seriously if it wasn't for my phone I would have less than half the pics I do. It's my life saver. :) 

As soon as I posted this pic I had several interested people. First come first served right? So the new owners and I talked about their vision for this piece. Then they left it up to me completely to do it over for them. 
I am always blown away by the trust people put in me and I can't tell you how humbled I am. Seriously! 
So I got to work. 
And of course have after pics (which are wayyyyyyyy better than the before ones) 

 I was totally terrified that the top was so damaged I wouldn't be able to strip it down and re stain it.
 But it's made of layers of wood. I don't think I've seen it done this way before.
 And because the drawers are pull out from either side, the front and back of the table look exactly the same.

 Handles are the same ones...but I painted them black...a much better look for this rustic table.

And what rustic table is complete without a cannon? 
Found that in South Carolina...wood an brass and very very old! I bought it to sell in my booth, but Hubby somehow managed to snag it and, well I guess we are keeping it. I am beginning to think he's more addicted to history than I am! ;) 

Off to the next project. Have a great week :) 

Elizabeth & Co.
Savvy Southern Style 
Miss Mustard Seed 

Monday 22 September 2014

Paying it forward.

There have been a lot of stories in the news lately about paying it forward. Things like Star Bucks and Chick-Fil-a, and here in Canada we have the same thing happen at Tim Hortons. 

I'm a big believer in paying it forward. Maybe not in a "news worthy" kind of way...but in small ways, that normally only involve me and someone unknown or little known to me. 

You see I've been very blessed in this life. I have a wonderful husband and amazing children, I have a roof over my head and food on the table. I know that sounds trite, but I really believe that. Everything else is icing on the cake so to say.  

Why am I talking about this? 
My pay it forward philosophy is part of my business life too. See, every time I am given something I have vowed to do something or give something back. It may not be right away, but it's always in my mind. I look for ways I can give back. Sometimes it's through local auctions or simply dropping something off at a local charity. Something that is not money. Something I have to put effort into. It's just something I do. 

I'm not trying to pat myself on the back, nor am I looking for accolades. I am however looking for ideas. 

See this cute bench/stool?

I went to my booth yesterday and this was in my space. Sometimes people shop and change their minds, and just dump things in the nearest booth. No big deal, I wanted to see where it belonged and was going to return it to it's proper booth. But see the paper on there? That is a note, and it was addressed to me. 
The note says "Dear Titia (that's my actual name, I'm not actually called Crafty in Canada to those that know me..shocking I Please take me home and make me beautiful" "free from Gail" 
I laughed as I've talked to her a couple of times and never dreamed she would just give me something as special as this. 
I felt honoured. Really. 

So now I have this. And as much as I would love to keep it, I want to do something with it. 
Make it over of course. Tighten it up (it's a bit loose) paint it and recover it. 
But then what? 
Should I place it back in her booth and let her profit from it?
Or should I take it to someone else in need. 

Monday 15 September 2014

The rebuild has begun!!!

Or crazy me. 
Building a couch......again. 
I think it's been three years since I've done the last one. And in that time I've learned a LOT. 

I've learned that if you search hard enough you will eventually find what you are looking for. 

Such as this Couch

Lovely right? 
You can read about it HERE

I tore it apart, painted it and have finally started the rebuild! 
Hubby is excited. (to finally get this thing moving) 

Started with bare springs and wood.
This took probably 10 hours to this point. Tons of ripping and pulling staples. If you don't want to get blisters pulling thousands of staples, don't even attempt this. The ONLY thing that kept me going was the fact that I believe it will be beautiful in the end...oh and the fact that I'm a stubborn dutch girl! I'm not kidding...I'm stubborn! 

 I started out covering the springs with burlap. This protects the foam from getting worn through by the springs. It wouldn't happen right away, but after years of use it would become a mess.
 Then cutting and shaping the foam, covering it with batting and material.
 I used a complimentary (yet simple) material for this part. If you go look at your couch and lift up the cushions, more than likely you will see a plain material there. That's what this part is.
 Then I took more batting and shoved it between the material and the wood. You won't see this, but it will protect the final material from rubbing against the wood and wearing a hole through that. Trust me you do not want to recover it all again in a material down the road that probably won't exist anymore.
 So don't skimp on it right the first time.

 Then more burlap for the back springs. This part does not have to be perfect. It's there for protection only.
Then the foam for the back. 
This is how far I've gotten today. I have to shape the foam now to fit the back, then more batting and material. 
I'm actually really happy with how it's going so far. Crossing my fingers we don't hit a big bump tomorrow. 
Now for a bit of sleep..

Factory cart love!

It's the only "before" pic I have of this piece. 

I went to my local "re store" back in the spring. I've seen this beauty being use to move things around there and have often asked if it was for sale. I've always been told "NO" But I'm persistent! 
I must have caught the manager on a good day because he relented and finally said yes!!
Did my mental happy dance and loaded it up along with the cabinet on it. 

The cabinet found a home quickly after a makeover.

But I put off finishing the factory cart. 
Two reasons.
1. I had a lot of "must do" projects.
2. I knew it was going to be a lot of work to get it taken apart and finished...and there are just times that I look at something and think...that's a lot of work! 

But I finally did it. It was taking up way to much space and I wanted it done!

So everything came off, was scrubbed, sanded, stained and sealed. Then put back together again. 

Once I got to wasn't nearly as intimidating as I thought. And I'm so glad it's ready to find a new home. 
Hubby and I sat and looked at it and both of us were trying to picture it in our home. As much as we love it, it doesn't fit in with anything else we have. 
We hope that the new owners will love it as much as we do! 


Thursday 11 September 2014

New to me Stove.

I'm out and about a LOT. 
Seriously...if more than a few days go by at this time of year and I'm not stocking up for winter, something is seriously wrong. 

So a couple of weeks ago, I was driving along one of my main roads at the cottage and keeping my eyes open for "junk" that is often found there. 

And I spotted it. A stove! 

If you've been following me for a while now, you know we have been slowly updating our cottage. As time and funds allow. 

This is what we started with. Nope...not a proud picture moment, but's 

See that old stove? Ugly as sin, but it worked GREAT! 
So I saw no reason to get rid of it till we could afford to get something else. 
Hubby on the other hand was DYING to get rid of it. 
So we looked on and off, but nothing to seriously...again that whole being able to easily afford it before getting it thing stopped us. 
So this stove was awesome. 
Wanna see? 
 Can you believe someone tossed this?
 It's only maybe 5-6 years old. We were skeptical. I mean who would throw this out?
 So before getting rid of the old one, we made sure that everything on this one worked..and it did!!
It looks so much better now (notice the new paint on both the walls and the cabinets. 

Hubby then told me to go out the next morning to see if they tossed the matching fridge.....funny man. (I did go, but they didn't toss it) 

My eyes will continue to stay open though, you just never know! 

Miss Mustard Seed
36th Avenue 


Tuesday 9 September 2014

More Benches (from tables)

Tables make the best benches. 
So do dressers....but lets focus on tables today. 

My sister called and said she had a coffee table for me and sent me a couple of pictures.

 Great pics right?

Looked pretty disgusting right? But it looked like heaven to me. Yes I'm 
I knew I could do something with it. 
I had no idea. 
The top was in two pieces, and it was held together by a few screws. 

So with hubby's help we ripped it apart, I dealt with the top and made it pretty again. Hubby took the bottom apart and put it back together again properly and re-enforced it. 

Now it's GREAT. 
Ohhh and it's no longer a table. 

 A bit of black chalk paint (diy) Some distressing, some amazing material.....and we have something that anyone would love to display in their home.

 Do you see the lovely curves on the top? Serious swooning going on here. 

At the same time I finally figured out what to do with another small(ish) coffee table I had sitting in my garage for MONTHS. 
Gave it the same treatment
I started with this. 
Cute right? 
I love it...but again it was just to small. I wanted desperately to keep it as a coffee table. But every time I tried picturing different colours or designs on it, it just didn't sit well with me. 
I was getting desperate. 
I wanted it to shine again.....then inspiration hit. 
Another bench. 
And it took no time at all. 
Ever get that? Once you have a picture in your brain of what it will look like, it's easy to get it put together. 
 I loved the flowered material of the first bench, but it didn't seem right for this one...then I saw it...this material and it seemed to fit so much better.
 Dark and faded lines were just perfect!  and the colour brings out the black paint, the distressing and the wonderful feet.

So two wonderful benches from tables that just didn't make sense anymore. 

I can't decide which I love more. Which would you choose?