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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Liquid Gilding a Frame

We've all been going crazy with our Rub 'n Buff recently, right?  Come on, you know who you are.  That little tube of magic has been turning everything in our homes gold, brass and copper.  Well I think I may have found something even better.  I know, I know.  It's an impossibility you think.

It's Martha Stewart Liquid Gilding.
It goes on with a soft brush and is just like paint except maybe a bit thinner.  There were brush marks on the first coat but nothing after the second.  It's stinky so make sure you work in a ventilated area and you need to clean up with mineral spirits.

 A little pot of gold.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Make a Christmas Wreath

The Christmas wreath went up this weekend so you know what that means?  It's Christmas, for real!  This is the wreath that I made last year after being inspired by Eddie Ross' beautiful creation but never satisfied with last year's goods I had to scour the web looking for what's new.  And because sharing is caring I'm going to share with you.

My version of Eddie Ross' ornament wreath


Wood Wreath

Monday, November 19, 2012

Painted Bentwood Rocker


I'm on a roll with the acquisition of Bentwood pieces.  After my recent score of dining chairs I stumbled across a Bentwood rocker.  Since I've been in the market for a reading chair for my daughter's room I couldn't resist dragging this girl home.

A little paint and wax and it's the perfect addition for Young Miss.

I forgot to take a photo of the before but found this photo on the web and mine was exactly the same.  Love the curves and the caning.  Do NOT love the boring brown wood.


I used my trusty Frog Tape to tape off the caning that met the parts I would paint.  If you use a good tape it will seal the edge that you want to protect and I don't think you need to bother covering off the rest of the seat.  Unless you're a sloppy painter and then you might want to go the extra mile.  


Here's my roundup of the goodies involved in the transformation.  I had some leftover chalk paint but it was a bit too dark for this project so I added some white paint.  Have you ever wondered if you could lighten your own chalk paint?  Well, now you know...yes, you can.  I l-l-love the finish that wax gives but I will say that it's a pain to wax something curvy like this chair.

Don't you just love how fun and girly it looks now?


This is a sponsored post brought to you by FrogTape. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Move Over Dragon, There's a Peacock in Town

Well Schumacher has done it again with their new fabric sensation Shanghai Peacock.  It might just be the end of an era for last year's "must have" Chiang Mai Dragon fabric that stole our fabric loving hearts.
Cerise - I predict this to be the "go to" colourway

Brass

Cinnabar

Here's last year's beauty queen.  Enter the Dragon...

Not completely dissimilar right?  At first I thought "what's the big deal?  It's the same thing as their dragon". But that's actually brilliant.  We're not sick of the dragon but they are required to come out with something new so that all of us fabric obsessed can get a new fix.   

Last year I made a pillow using Chiang Mai Dragon and I still love it. 

According to the Chinese Zodiac calender it's the Year of the Dragon but my prediction is that it's about to become the Year of the Peacock.

BOOK CLUB-DECEMBER SELECTION

Now that summer is long gone, it's time to snuggle up under a blanket and get back to reading.  Heather at Interior Groupie and I are excited to bring the next selection for Bloggers Book Club.  Drumroll please.  We will be reading Long Way Down by Nick Hornsby.  We'll be reviewing it on December 17 so you've got plenty of time to get reading.  So go on, get reading.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Business Bits - Logos & Websites

The alternate title to this post could have been "Business is Hard" or "Who Knew There Were So Many Choices Out There?"

If any of you have started a business with an online presence you know that there is a LOT to consider.  I've been working on getting a new business up and running and didn't realize how many layers there are to graphic design/web design.  I thought I'd share 'cause I'm kind hearted like that.

BRANDING vs LOGO DESIGN
This is a big decision and forces you to take a look at your business goals.  Are you looking for a logo and some business cards so that you can get up and running?  Are there numerous places that your business name will appear (packaging, advertising, etc) in the future?  The answer to these kinds of questions will help decide how much time and money to spend on this element of the business.

My interior design company needs only a website and business cards so I hired a graphic/web designer to do both and I was very happy with the results.

This time round I hired a branding company to create my brand.  My name will be on packaging, business documents and various types of advertising so it's important for me to have a cohesive and highly defined look so that I don't go off track down the road.  With this type of service you will receive the logo but more than that it includes your colour palette, font palette and photography or illustrative palette.  

WEB DESIGN vs E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN

This has been the biggest lesson learned through this process.  When I had my website built for my interior design business I hired a web designer.  I got a functioning site with a few pages and a portfolio.  That was exactly what I needed.  My needs are a bit more advanced as this time round I need an e-commerce site.  All the same, right?  Not so much.

I hired an e-commerce designer and found that they have very different expectations and outcomes from web designers.  While they are certainly able to make your site pretty and visually appealing, they are most concerned with the functionality and business aspect of the site.  Here's a quote from my designer that shed some light on the topic for me.
"Too many people spend thousands on websites that sit there and look pretty, but don't sell anything."
Hiring an e-commerce designer will give you a transactional site that runs exactly the way you want it to.  This is about the sales of the business.  My biggest lesson here---Be prepared to have the design elements available for the e-commerce designer to use.  They don't design them for you.  

INVEST THE TIME

I spent weeks looking at websites, portfolios and client testimonials before deciding on the people I ultimately decided to work with.  This stuff is so important because it's what the world will judge you, your product or your service on.  

Along the way I hired and then fired one designer who was not responsive enough for me. Don't be afraid to walk away from someone whose business practices don't jive with yours.  

I pinkie swear I'll start sharing some of the actual details of the new business as soon as they start to unfold.  

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I"m a Loser. No, Wait...Make that a Winner!

Do you know what the most valuable traits of a thrifter, antiquer or general bargain hunter are?  It's a keen eye and the ability to pull the trigger on a deal.  I think I have a pretty good eye but I'm not an impulsive person.  I like to think about things and this does not bode well for me when I find something at a thrift store.  Something like, um, a down filled sofa that could have been recovered and become the envy of all my friends and family.  You know where I"m going with this, right?  I went back after sleeping on it and it was sold.  Sad face.  Very, very sad face.  

I also decided against the teak table and chairs because I allowed my logical brain to win this fight.  I don't like to worry about stains.  My reputation as chill mom and chill entertainer were at risk here, people.  So, I'm 0 for 2  for last weekend's finds.

ENTER THE BENTWOOD CANE CHAIRS

So enough of the loser stuff.  After picking myself up off the ground when I saw that my beloved sofa had been sold I spotted 6 Thonet Bentwood style cane dining chairs.  I thought they would be pretty cute cleaned up and painted and I also thought they would give the family a place to plant butts during meals.

 Our new temporary chairs

A quick web search showed me just how cute these guys could be with a little paint.  So what should I do to beautify them?

1.  Paint Them and Remove Seat Pad


2.  Refinish Them and Remove the Seat Pad

3.  Paint Them and Recover the Seat Pad


4.  Refinish Them and Recover the Seat Pad


5.  Funkify (Different Bentwood Chair but Same Idea)


Monday, November 5, 2012

My Weekend Sales and Scores

Our house is starting to look a bit empty these days.  After recently selling our living room chairs and bar stools, this weekend I sold our dining chairs and with no backup plan it looks like we're getting ready to move.  We want to invest in some antique or mid-century furniture so I spent hours scouring Craigslist and my other favourite sources.  We went to a local antique shop and found this lovely set of chairs.  What we weren't expecting is that the chairs come with the table.

It looks like a teeny little table but with all the leaves inserted it's going to be 7' long and similar shape to this one.  It's a Danish-made 1960's Moller set and it's in fantastic shape.  My only concern is that I know teak can stain quite easily and I've never been a fan of worrying about that kind of thing.  Do any of you own a teak dining table and maybe have some advice in this department?

I had an hour to spare on Saturday so I hit a couple of my favourite thrift stores.  I have absolutely no place to put this but I still think I'm going back for it (please be there!).  It's down filled and super solid.  It would, of course be recovered but it's an amazing steal at $50.  It is so completely comfortable and could be used in my husband's office for his daily naps:)  I'm guessing by the fabric that it's another relic from the 60's.  I love that they made furniture so diminutive because it's so comfortable for those of us who are vertically challenged.


This is exactly the fabric I would cover it in.

Now I just have to figure out how to get this bad boy home!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

DIY / Simple Sewing - Make a Pillowcase

Why on earth would you make a pillowcase you're probably saying?  There are trillions to be had in the stores already made.  Welllll, on a recent trip to the fabric store with my daughter she spied some fabric that made her heart stop.  It's the same fabric that is used for girl's hoodies and the store we buy her clothes from calls it Minky Dimples.  Suddenly, I was committed to making a pillowcase.


1.  Measure your pillow width and length.  I cut my fabric the exact length of the pillow.  Cut 2 pieces exactly the same size.

I know this looks like a square but that's just my awesome photography skills making that happen.

2.  I used a contrasting fabric for the band to coordinate with the headboard I made for her earlier this year.  Cut one long length for back and front and add 1/2" seam allowance on both raw edges.  Cut a 6" width, fold in half and iron in place.

3.  Place right sides of fabric together and attach the banding fabric to the pillow fabric.

4.  If you want to add ribbon, do it now before all the sides get stitched.  Just lay the ribbon on the right side of the pillow and sew.

5.  Using your 1/2" seam allowance place right sides of fabric together and stitch all the sides closed (except the one side that the pillow goes in:)  And that is how you make a pillowcase my friends.

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