My free salvaged chair

There is one good thing about breaking up - all those half done projects are getting done in a jiffy. Instead of dragging them around, I'm finishing them up and then either they stay or they go.

This weekend, I finished up the sanding and staining on the chair I found via Freecycle North Vancouver. My free chair was pretty banged up but now looks much happier!

I cleaned up the leather then got Paul to help me sand the wood. Now the leather looks better (not perfect but 'well-loved' instead of completely massacred) and the wood looks gorgeous!


All the pen marks, scratches and icky stains are no more (OK there may be a few minor imperfections)!


I have a home in mind for this piece... We'll see if my friend appreciates the thought! What friend wouldn't like one of my 'projects'... :-)


More lamp love... Really!

I've fallen in love with another floor lamp! Seriously! I made a deal when I decided I had to have it - I need to get rid of one of my other lamps. The victim? My mahogany floor lamp is on the outs... Sad but true!

I picked up the new floor lamp at the Happy Cat Haven this morning for $20 - it's extravagant for me but well worth it! The photo may not do it justice but it's pretty darn funky. I'll polish up the brass then get Dad to do his handy work on the wiring and then track down a swanky lamp shade.

The next month or so will definitely involve tracking down lamp shades!

I decided to buy this lamp because it had details and a look that would fit with my estate sale lamps. They're going to make a gorgeous threesome! And they are all keepers!

Once I got my new love home, I revisited the mahogany floor lamp. I had sanded and stained it then Dad rewired it but it had no pizzazz. I was thinking I just needed to varathane it but then I got my Danish Oil Finish out and that did the trick!

I actually picked up the Danish Oil Finish at the Gibsons Recycling Depot for free. They have a couple of bins full of leftover paint, stain, etc. that you can take at no charge. No real luck finding exterior paint but they have tons of interior paint and primer for the taking.

Here's the lamp after sanding and staining and then after oiling - what a difference!

And now I think it's good to go. I was going to update the lamp shade but I'm pretty sure I can find a good home for the lamp without updating the lamp shade...



Recent Finds

I'm on the hunt for teak now that I know how easy it is to update! I bought these six napkin rings at the Happy Cat Haven for $0.25 this morning. I plan to sand and oil them in the next while.

My collection of teak items is adding up! My favourite piece so far is the uber kewl teak end table.


Ode to teak

I ♥ teak... And refinishing it!

Tonight I spent an hour working on the teak end table I bought last week for $15. And boy it looks phenomenal! I only sanded the top since everything else was A-OK. Then I wiped the surface and added teak oil.

Unbelievable how you can spend minimal time and effort and really turn something around! This one's a keeper!



3 down, 3 to go

Three of my six teak chairs are good to go! Or 90% complete...

I have to track down plugs for the chairs. Who would have thought this would be a show stopper but I'm having 'issues' tracking down the right size. Hopefully this week's hunt proves successful!

Tomorrow I'll do a final check of the teak end table then work on my Ikea end tables for Kiersten.


My big black heart

Chalkboard Project #1

Yup it's true - I now have a big black heart. Here it is! Ain't it cute? Fun? Ah the quick and easy updates you can do with chalkboard paint... Gotta love it!

After the chalkboard end table, I picked up a couple of items from the Lions Gate Thrift Store this week to update with the rest of my chalkboard paint. This heart wall hanging was $1...



I primed it yesterday afternoon then added my first coat of chalkboard paint. Today I added another coat and it's done. Easy breasy!

Chalkboard Project #2

I also picked up this wall organizer for $2.50. After searching for ideas for chalkboard paint projects, this fit the bill. I sanded, primed and painted this piece yesterday.


Today I shabby chic-ed it and added another coat of chalkboard paint then added a coat of varathane. Both projects were quick and dirty... And I still have tons of chalkboard paint left!


All this was done while I refinished my final teak chairs. All six have now been refinished! Lovin' the summer weather - hanging out on the deck in the sun working on projects!

A Super Quick & Dirty Update

I bought this teak bowl at the Happy Cat Haven this morning for $0.25. And now that I've refinished some teak, I know to just grab these items since it's easy to restore them. This bowl will go to Marnie - she's giving me a set of chairs so I figure if she likes the bowl she can have it!

First I sanded the bowl, wiped off the dust then added teak oil. That's it... It might have taken 20 minutes at the most. And it looks like new!



I'm done until tomorrow... I have a party to go to! :-)


My father/daughter craft date - part 2

These father/daughter craft dates are proving to be productive! Dad rewired 3 lamps for me. The 2 glass ones from the estate sale are complete and now my black metal lamp from the Happy Cat Haven is also done.

I ended up spray painting the black metal lamp with Italian olive green. I think it looks pretty fun!



Now I have the big job of finding the 'perfect' lamp shades. Not my expertise so it should be interesting...

Recent Finds

I've been finding good 'stuff' these days... I'll be busy for awhile! Yesterday for example I found a very funky teak end table for $15 from the Salvation Army in North Vancouver.

I had to get it and I might even keep this piece! But I have come to the realization that maybe I'm not quite 'normal'... Quite quirky I suppose... How did I come to this realization? Well it was as I walked up Lonsdale (if you're not from North Vancouver - Lonsdale is a main drag and it's steep) from 3rd to 14th carrying said teak end table as if it was one of those things people normally do. I guess I'm used to dragging furniture here, there and EVERYWHERE but most people... Apparently they don't do that!

Here's the end table - it was worth it! :-)

Other recent finds include these Ikea end tables I picked up for $7 - these are for my super lovely friend Kiersten. She wants a couple of black tables for her patio and these hopefully will do the trick once I'm done. I plan to have these refinished in the next couple of weeks.

I've Got a Reputation Now...

I paid $10 for this trolley at a garage sale last week. I'll be sanding then staining this baby. The garage sale was actually put on by a woman that volunteers at the Lions Gate Thrift Shop on Lonsdale. Alice is great! She's the person who told me about the Share Shed at the Gibsons Recycling Depot.

She invited me to come over the day before the sale to see if there was anything I thought I could update. That's what I mean by a 'reputation'... People are offering me furniture, asking me to find furniture, wondering if I can update furniture for them... Kind of funny since I have no idea what I'm doing!


My father/daughter craft date

Yes it's true! There is such a thing as a father/daughter craft date. Crazy to imagine but yes my Dad is a modern man. This week my Mom is away on a bridge trip (yes those exist as well) so I'm here having dinner with Dad. It's been productive!

Craft dates with Mom consist of baking, sewing and/or shopping. Craft dates with Dad include rewiring 'things' (he's an electrical engineer).

I brought a bunch of lamps home and Dad rewired one tonight and will do a couple tomorrow. Gotta help keep him out of trouble now that he's retired!

First Dad picked up the new wiring, etc then took apart one of the lamps I bought at an estate sale a few weeks ago. I cleaned it - yikes that was a scary job. Grime, dead bugs, dust... Yuck!

Once I cleaned the parts, Dad put the lamp back together. It's a tri-light now and gosh it's lovely... And safe!

Tomorrow night we rewire more lamps then I can search for kewl lamp shades. Good times are happening!

TBD - a Family Affair

Now that I have my projects coming and going, it makes me realize how this venture has created quite the odd group of co-conspirators...

  • My Dad who rewires lamps for me;

  • My Mom who just helps with anything and everything;

  • Paul, my ex-boyfriend, who reupholsters furniture for me;

  • Karen, my FAB friend, who takes me to the dump and various garage sales in her old and spacious SUV;

  • Marnie, Maaike and Pippa who are forever just being good influences on me;

  • Thelma, the friend who will listen to my foibles no matter what, who goes to the thrift shops with me every week and does the usual fabric run as needed;

  • My buddy Kris who doubted the chalkboard table... Some people are just too darn literal;

  • And Asim, my friend for 20 odd years, who never tires of my odd and sometimes wonderful adventures.

Onwards and upwards as the redos continue - it's darn addictive!


1 down, 5 to go

What a weekend plus a day... Packing, moving, freelancing and having some fun in the mix... It was busy! This morning I sanded four of my six teak chairs. Teak is gorgeous wood to work with! I was able to remove the wear and tear and make these babies beautiful again!

After sanding the chairs, I added teak oil and what an amazing transformation that had on the chairs. Paul reassembled one of the chairs for me - it looks fabulous with his ultra particular upholstery job. Who would think these are the same chairs we bought oh so long ago?! The six chairs cost $50 and the ultra suede was free. Not too bad!

Next weekend I'll plan to refinish the final two chairs and hopefully Paul will be done reupholstering then all six will be uber gorgeous again!



Anyone in need of six super swanky teak chairs? I'll be letting these go... The purging continues. :-)


It works!!

It's been a few days since I added the chalkboard paint to my end table so I dragged it outside and tested it out. Holy smokes - how kewl is this! Now I want to paint everything with this stuff... I ♥ my end table - it rocks!

From my chalkboard drawing, there is one thing people would never guess about me and one thing that is quite obvious...

  • I actually have a fine arts degree but for the life of me I can NOT draw. Looking at my chalkboard drawing, I really am doubtful about my creative prowess when I see chicken scratches like that!

  • My biggest vice and main addiction is coffee... Gotta love the cup-o-joe first thing in the morning!

Now that I've proclaimed my love for chalkboard paint, I'll move on to my teak chairs. I gotta refinish the teak since Paul's completed some of the upholstery. Thank goodness it's sunny out!

Project Update

The table is a hit! My best friend, Maaike (my friend Marnie's three and a half year old) gave the end table a test run this afternoon and well the table is a winner! What more could you ask for! Unfortunately my chalk didn't survive the test run... ;-P


From drab to fab...

OK so maybe I'm taking the rhyming too far but this piece was extremely yawningly drab. Super functional but boring. I grabbed it from the Salvation Army for $10 then decided to paint it. I'm not a big fan of painting wood but this being veneer I thought painting was a good option for making it funkier.

After sanding and priming the piece, I picked up a grey-blue paint. I didn't want anything too bright but something soft. I painted the cabinet then sanded the edges. I also bought a backing for the cabinet from Gibsons Recycling Depot for $5. I'm still trying to decide if the cabinet needs something more. I thought of mod podging some funky paper on the doors so we'll see. Maybe I'll work on that next weekend.



Project Update

Finally we're getting to the teak chairs. Paul's been reupholstering the seats for me. You can't help but see the improvement since the fabric on the chairs was pretty darn icky! We should have enough of the grey ultra suede for all six chairs. The six chairs (four of one design, two of another) cost $50 in total.



Next weekend I'll start refinishing the teak while Paul soldiers on with the reupholstery.


From junk to funk...

I don't usually use that saying - 'from junk to funk' - but this end table was truly ugly, a big-old-eyesore... But now hopefully it's a much prettier, friendlier end table.

I bought it awhile ago for $2 at the St. Mary's Thrift Store. I was going to replace the plastic top but decided it was too much work. I had to use some wood filler to fix up my initial start on ripping the top off. Sometimes you shouldn't do anything major until you have a plan in place!

I started by sanding the table then priming and then painting it an off-white. I wanted to keep it simple but it needed something. It was looking like a white blob so I got some sandpaper and sanded the edges to help bring out the details. And then I picked up some chalkboard paint and painted the top.

Holy smokes there are certain products over this past year or two of refinishing furniture that really require a place with serious ventilation. This is one of them. It might even be worse than my episode with paint stripper!



Here's the final piece. I haven't gotten the chalk out yet since I'll wait a couple of days for the chalkboard paint to dry then I'll create some chalk art on the end table. With my impending move/downsize, I'll be finding a home for this project. Any takers?

I found this link for tips and tricks with chalkboard paint. I also checked out this before & after for ideas (link thanks to Design*Sponge).

Recent Finds

I'm morphing from chair lady to lamp lady these days. I have a few lamps in progress and now a few that require the free labour of my Dad - a retired electrical engineer who rewires lamps for free for his thrifty daughter. He actually likes it (or so I hope)...

I bought the below pair of lamps this weekend at an estate sale. They're from the 60s and are gorgeous! I paid $5/each. There's some paint on the glass but that'll be easy enough to remove. I also have to clean up the years of grim on the lamps (scary to say the least). And once all of my lamps are rewired then will be the real work - lampshades!