Something's gotta give... Or atleast go

Yesterday I took the ferry to Gibsons with the plan to see friends and to grab my 3 metal chairs from Gibsons Recycling Depot. Funny to think it'll be a year since I left the coast and moved back into Vancouver. Time has flown by! Atleast I can go back and drop by my old haunts. Speaking of which - I meant to take photos of my favourite haunts but ran out of time! I'll plan to do that on my next visit.

This morning my friend Marnie and I hit the Gibsons Recycling Depot. We took her 2 girls with us, Maaike and Pippa. I told Maaike we were on a secret adventure. FYI I don't have kids so maybe the recycling depot isn't an 'exciting' place for those under 5 years old. Maaike actually had a lot of fun and ended up with some 'treasures' - phew! And we got a tour of all of the bins.

A couple of potential items we came across - this kid's play kitchen was super kewl but sold. And I saw a couple of chairs that would be fun to update - I could remove the vinyl and add some swanky fabric.

Everyone got something out of our adventure... Maaike got this basket with a few things in it. Pippa got some Timbits... She actually only licked the icing sugar off but was very happy. They were expensive Timbits!

And you guessed it... I got the chairs. And Marnie is the best packing accomplice ever. I got 5 chairs in my car! Unbelievable!

After grabbing the ferry, I got the metal chairs to my parents' house, unloaded and started on the wicker.

It took me awhile to remove the wicker from the 3 chairs. Not the most exciting job of the weekend but the wicker is no more.

Next weekend I'll hopefully have the upholstery updated on all 4 chairs then tada - I'll be done!

So now I have 10 chairs at my parents' house - 2 I updated last weekend, the 4 metal chairs and these 2 freebie chairs.

I was going to work on these this afternoon then noticed the seat on one of the chairs had a crack. I decided I'm going to just get rid of these instead of spending time on them. Something had to go and these are it!

I haven't brought these out - they're still 'hiding' in the trunk so really next weekend I hope to have 4 of my 10 chairs gone then I can bring these out of hiding.

Yup it's true - I have a lot of chairs!


A day without injury

Today I finished hammering in my upholstery tacks on chair 2. And I am happy to report - I did not injure myself! That's a bonus! After finishing up the seats, I then screwed them onto the chairs and am officially done with this update. I might touch up the finish on the chairs but I think they look gorgeous now.



I love this fabric! The colour and design are FAB!

And then last night I started painting. First I did a quick sketch of my design... One painting will be 'ORANGE you great' and the other will be 'you are BERRY sweet'... Just like my pillows! But these will be paintings for a kid's room. Bright and fun!

Man I forgot how much I hate acrylic paint. It's so flat and sort of yucky. But I'm only beginning with a few layers of acrylic then I'll be using other media to make the finish more vibrant.

Here's to working on stuff without injuring yourself and to making pretty paintings - happy crafting! :-)


Rainy day projects

Well it's June... Really... It is! Sure it's pouring rain, cold, grey, etc but it apparently is mid-June. You'd think it would be the perfect time to work on furniture outside but nope it's too darn cold. So I picked up some upholstery tacks and got to work on a couple of chair updates instead. I've been meaning to finish off these chairs for AGES.

Yesterday I picked up art supplies at Opus Framing & Art Supplies - I'll tell you more about that later. And today my big purchase included 4 packs of upholstery tacks and a tack puller. The upholstery tacks were super cheap - $1.55 per pack. I used to pay over $5 a pack in Gibsons - small town prices I guess! Oh yeah and Home Depot has no selection for upholstery tacks so I had to hit Rona where they had TONS of sizes, etc.

I like using tacks versus staples. Oddly enough I find them easier to use. The fabric is from Dream Designs on Commercial Drive. I bought it for another project but decided to use it for these chairs.

Here are my tacks... I pretty much battered and bruised myself today. I even hammered my finger super hard - thank goodness for bandaids!

Here's chair 1 complete. I think I'll touch up the finish on the wood but this one is close to complete!

I managed to get most of the upholstery done on chair 2 - I need to hammer the tacks in a bit more then it's good to go.

Here's what they looked like last summer when I bought them for $5 each. Super yucky, dirty fabric.

Tonight I'm staying in and relaxing from my day of hammering. I'm going to work on my canvases that I finally feel inspired to paint. Yesterday I bought some art supplies from Opus Framing & Art Supplies - I'm very excited about working on my canvases! But man I forgot how easy it is to drop a bunch of money in an art supply store!

These uber dark paintings are going to be super bright and fun soon enough! :-)


Mr. Personality

Mr. Personality is my Dad. He really is larger than life. He's been my frontman with the few items I've sold on Craigslist. And seriously I usually hear back from people saying how much they enjoyed meeting him. Some of the emails have been quite lovely and touching. As you know, I do realize just how very lucky I am to have him... And my Mom! :-)

The whole Thrifty By Design adventure has been quite humourous especially when it comes to my Dad. He's great for the 'unsolicated guidance' when it comes to the furniture updates and home decor (among other things). Nothing like a 71 year old man telling you that turquoise is a horrible colour for furniture. So he's my Craigslist frontman, my assistant on some of the updates and now he's finding free furniture for me! His repertoire of TBD skills is getting quite extensive. Works for me!

Yesterday, as I was finishing up my free table update, he scoped out these chairs on our neighbour's driveway. They were gathering a few items from their background that they were ready to let go of. He of course pointed them out to me then approached our neighbours about grabbing them. We're both going to get quite the 'reputation' soon!

I'm going to clean these chairs up next weekend. Maybe tighten the screws, sand the wood and then add some tung oil. Not sure if I'll keep them or even give them to a friend but all they need is a quick and dirty update.

And I think I have some more free furniture coming my way... Thank goodness summer is here and I can get going on all of these projects!

Free table update - day 2

There I was hiking with some girlfriends this morning when I knew how to proceed on my table update. After a bit of thought, I decided the bottom needed to be black. A solid black. And that the top I would keep au natural but I would add a darker stain. Initially I used tung oil but I knew I had some darker Danish stain I could use. I was super pumped to get to work this afternoon and make my free table gorgeous!

This is how it looked this morning...

My Mom let me know that it looked 'diseased' - AKA the paint effect I tried looked pretty darn lame and even bad. The 'disease' comment is her way of letting me know that I'm not finished yet. And yes I had to agree - it was time to paint the bottom black and forget about the grey/black combo thang.

First I painted the bottom black and covered up my 'experiment' from yesterday. Then it didn't take long to clean up the top and add the darker stain.

I then added a couple of coats of varathane. It looks great now especially when you compare it to the before shot.



Another furniture update done in a jiffy... And this one was uber cheap since the table was free and I used supplies I already had. Love it!

Weird things people do - item 1

So after a day of sanding, painting, oiling, etc, I came home and removed old, dirty fabric from 3 of the chair seats I want to reupholster. Man it really is a dirty job. And I pretty much blistered and scratched up my hands in the process! This is dangerous work! :-)

The seat from the metal chair was a bit bizarre. Someone covered the bottom of the seat with fabric. Seemed strange to me since no one would check the bottom of the chair.

And not only that but they used a ton of staples and super long staples. Luckily the cushion was quite thick so no one would have known the staples were sticking out of the wood. It could have been a little painful!

Last night I tore the fabric off then today I'm going to get out my hammer and get rid of all of the staples. Soon enough I'll be able to reupholster!

These chair seats are good to go plus the seat from 1 of my metal chairs. I'm hoping to reupholster the 3 seats next weekend then have all of the chairs updated. And hopefully I can make it to Gibsons to pick up the other 3 metal chairs from Gibsons Recycling Depot.

Soon I'm off to finish up my update on the free table. I think I'm pretty sure how I want to finish it up. Here's hoping it works out as planned!


Free table update - day 1

Today I started on my free pine table. Boy I hate shellac... It's the worst finish ever. Glossy and icky. So this afternoon I started scraping the top of the table.

Once I scraped and sanded for a bit, I added some tung oil to see how it's going to look. It also helps me see what spots I missed in the scraping/sanding process. Tomorrow I'll tweek the top of table.

After working on the top for a bit, I primed the legs. The table is a bit dated looking so I figured I would paint the bottom and the leave the top au natural. I soon realized this was a great plan for minimizing my time on this update. Sanding the legs would have taken AGES. Yippee for shortcuts!

After priming, I then started painting the legs with my stash of grey paint - I have a ton leftover from my mirror/night table/table updates. I thought I would start with grey then add a coat of black for more drama.

So next I grabbed my black and a sponge then rubbed the black paint over the grey. It actually looks kind of neat - like a granite finish. But tomorrow I may change my mind! Maybe soften the effect then finish the top and be done.

And here I am... This DIY-ing thang is super messy, isn't it? :-)

Tomorrow I'll finish off the table update and find a new home for it. Love free stuff, making it pretty then passing it on! And tonight fun times indeed - I've decided to stay in , watch a movie and remove fabric from chair seats. I know - can a girl have more fun than that?! I think not... ;-P


The dirty, icky side of DIY-ing

Last weekend, as I was struggling to remove wicker from my metal chairs, I had this thought that just popped into my head - thank god I'm not into manicures. Seriously! What a waste of money that would be considering my panache for sanding, painting and just plain ole putting my hands through the ringer.

From there I thought about all of the icky DIY situations I've encountered in the past while. I'm not too squimish these days... Furniture peppered with dead bugs, spiders and really all sorts of 'mysterious' items. You really do see it all when updating furniture. And you soon realize, some people do super strange stuff to furniture. It's true!

Right now I'm stripping these chairs of their old and truly disgusting fabric... Disgusting because it really is pretty darn dirty. The seats on these chairs were added after the fact so I'm going to reupholster the seat then secure it back on.

I guess it's good these are dirty and a bit destroyed since I only paid $5/each for them.

This is the real work too! It's been a lot of work removing the staples. Ah well they'll look lovely once they've been updated... And refinishing the chairs was pretty easy. Sometimes updating furniture is easy breasy and sometimes, hopefully not too often, it's real work.

I'm counting down to the weekend... Gonna get outside and make things beautiful! Can't wait!


Feeling inspired

Here's the inspiration for my update to the metal chairs. It's from the June 2011 issue of Style at Home. I love the print against the grey chairs!

The black fabric with my metal chairs will look stunning! Or so I think... ;-)

More Free Stuff!

Today I got this delivered. It's a pine table that's seen better days. Next weekend I'm hoping to update it along with many, MANY other things!

I'm wondering if I should sand and stain the top - leave it au natural - and then I can paint the bottom an off-white with a slight shabby chic finish.

And Even More Purging...

My baby blue cabinet has found a new home. I ended up giving it away via Craigslist. I just wasn't happy with the end result so I purged it instead of working on it any longer. As Kenny Rogers says in his song The Gambler... 'You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.' I folded this one. Onwards and upwards!

Hope everyone had a wonderful, sunny weekend!

Oh joy... I got some gorgeous fabric

What a great trip to Fabricland! I went yesterday with my sewing buddy Thelma - she's my sewing guru whose helped me actually develop some sewing skills... Well enough to make a few easy breasy projects!

Fabricland had a sale for members only which totally worked in my favour! I needed a bunch of outdoor fabric for my 4 metal chairs that I'm updating. The latest issue of Style at Home had a photo that totally gave me a vision for this update. I'll post a photo later of my update inspiration.

Some of the outdoor fabric was on a better sale than others but still pretty darn cheap considering. They either had buy 1 metre and get 1 metre for free or buy 1 metre and get 2 metres for free. And they had so many great fabric options available!

I liked these fabrics but I wanted something more graphic and only a 2 colour design with no gradients...

I loved these especially the turquoise version of this design...

More funky fabric! The yellow was a bit too busy...

The green Damask-type design was super intriguing...

I ended up getting the black with the geometric pattern. I think this fabric would work well with the metal chairs - the colour would make the chairs look very sophisticated and I like the idea of using a design with straight lines to balance out the curves in the metal chair.

Now I need to transport the 3 other chairs from Gibsons to North Vancouver. I wish I had space for these because they're going to look beautiful when I'm done!