Friday, March 30, 2012

What's Growing

Took a stroll around the yard today.  Here is what's growing in my area.


Candy Tuft



Garlic in the Potager

Thyme, French Tarragon, Oregano and Chives.

Has anything started blooming in your yard and garden?
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wiring A Lamp

Wiring a Lamp....

A few of you wanted more information on how to turn a balustrade into a lamp.  How to wire it, how to drill the hole....

I will do a tutorial soon.  My second balustrade has been painted and waxed, but not wired.  So when Mr. Comforts wires it, I will take step by step pictures.

You know you can turn almost anything into a lamp.  Here are a couple of things I have turned into lamps in the past...

Teapots and Sugar Bowls

Bird Cage

You can use vases, birdhouses, planters, teacups/saucers, wine bottles, olive oil cans, picnic name it!

Stay the next week or so, I will show you how.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Let There Be Light

A few weeks back, I showed you an old porch balustrade that was all chippy and crusty.  I had been using it as a candle stick.  I wanted to turn it into a lamp and here it is!

Here is what I started out with, below....

While I loved the chippy look of the paint, the chips were actually so loose, they would fall off at the slightest touch.  So, I stripped it and sanded it, leaving just the right amount of layers of old paint on it.

You can see some blue, beige and white paint layers along with the old aged wood in the picture above.

Now, because this was going to be a lamp, I needed a wider base, so it wouldn't topple over with a shade on top.

Mr. Comforts had a great old piece of wood that a friend had given him.  He cut it the right size for a base.

But, now the edges had new wood showing.

First I sanded the edges smooth.  Then, I rubbed wet coffee grounds on all of the exposed edges...see the picture below.  The edges look like the top of the base now.

Next, I need to try to replicate the painted layers of the balustrade. First I painted a layer of Louis Blue on the base.  I just dabbed it on thickly in spots and let it dry.

Next, I dabbed on some Old White in the same manor.

Once that was dry, I sanded it and use a dark stain wax over the base, and clear wax over the rest of the lamp.  I think it blended in nicely.

This was a fun project.  I added a linen shade.  I actually have another, so there is a pair.  They will be heading to my booth this week sometime.....if I can part with them.  I think they would look wonderful on my sofa table :-).
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yard Sale Saturday....

We had a yard sale today!  It was a neighborhood yard sale. 

I hadn't had a yard sale in 10 years.  Wow, I forgot how much work they were!  Luckily our good friends lent us a couple of banquet tables....they came in very handy!  Thanks R & K!

It was raining at 8AM when it started, but the buyers were not the least bit daunted.  We sold most everything the first hour of the sale.

I am pretty sure I won't be having any more yard

p.s. if you missed it...the two previous posts were the tutorial on how I recovered the French settee.
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Friday, March 23, 2012

French Settee Upholstery Tutorial Part II

This is the second part of a tutorial on upholstering.  The first part is the previous post... for putting the fabric back on!

First the underside of the chair.  The fabric we pulled off was a black gauzy fabric.  Since we were using drop cloth for the rest of the chair, we just used it for the bottom too.
The underside of the chair was easy.  Using a pattern of the original material, I cut the fabric an inch wider all around, folded the ends under and Mr. Comforts used a pneumatic staple gun to attach it.

The rest of the of reupholstering was a little more difficult.  As you can see from the picture above, when we pulled the fabric taut, it started to fray.  Luckily it was going to be under the braiding.

What I ended up doing was painting white glue all along the edge of the fabric, before we attached the rest.  It stopped the fraying completely.  I think there is a product out there called Fray Stop or something, but I knew white glue would do the trick.

I think it is important to make sure you cut your fabric larger than the pattern you start with, so you have room to maneuver and stretch the fabric really taut.  Tauter than you think you should.

After all of the fabric was stapled on, I used a small pair of scissors (I actually used cuticle scissors) to trim away the excess fabric.

Then I used a hot glue gun to glue the braided gimp over the exposed edges.

And there you have it!  It took 5 months to complete, because the holidays got in the way.  I think if I really worked on it, I could have done it in a week, with the help of Mr. Comforts.

Would I do it again?  Probably.  I actually have a chair and matching footstool to do.  No promises when it will be finished though...
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

French Settee Upholstery Tutorial

I want to state right up front, that I am NOT an expert.  This is the first piece of upholstery that I have done other than the basic chair seat redo.

That being said...I promised a tutorial of how I painted and reupholstered my French Settee.

After Pic

When I bought this piece it looked like this.

First I carefully removed the braided gimp taking pictures along the way, so when I added new gimp, I would know how to glue it on.
It actually came off pretty easy, because it was just glued on.  I was thinking how easy this was going to be!

So I grabbed a few tools .....

Decided that it would be easiest to remove the fabric with a utility knife - to keep the pattern in tact, before removing the stables.  This was pretty easy too!  Just make sure you keep all of the original gimp and fabric so you have a pattern to work from.  And take LOTS of pictures along the way so you have something to refer back to.

Then I saw the bazillion staples....not just one row, but two or three.

  All. The. Way. Around. The Chair.

OK that was pretty ugly....for some is an inspiration piece I saw at a wonderful store in Greenville, SC called, Postcards From Paris

I tried using a screw driver, hammer and wrench to remove the staples, but that didn't work.  So I Googled and found a upholstery staple remover and ordered it.  Two weeks later it arrived.  Here it is on the left.  On the right is my favorite hammer.  It actually used to be my Dad's.  He was left handed and so am I.  When I hold it, I can actually feel where he held it for years.

The staple remover helped a lot.  It was still hard, but it did help.  After removing all of the staples, I discovered that the foam under the seat had disintegrated and had to be replaced.

After replacing the foam, I painted it French Linen which is a wonderful gray color.  After the gray dried, I dry brushed Old White sparingly on top.  The final color was a little bit of Rub and Buff in gold to highlight some of the features.
Come back in a few days, and I will show you how I upholstered it.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Haven For Vee ~ Note Card Party!

It's a Note Card Party!  Sponsored by Vee at A Haven For Vee.  

Vee wondered if you were going to create a set of note cards from those photographs used on your blog, which four would you choose? 

Here are the four photographs I would choose to create note cards. I decided to use photos I have taken while traveling in France.

Want to see some more beautiful photographs that other bloggers would turn into note cards?  Visit the linky party at A Haven For Vee!

Fried Chicken

Happy first day of Spring!

The weather has been so beautiful here, that last night we had a "picnic".

I made fried chicken and potato salad.  Yum!  Definitely not the most healthy dinner in the world, but boy was it good!

Thank you for you sweet words on my French settee.  I will do a tutorial in the next day or two.

Linking with:
Savvy Southern Style -WOW
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

The French Settee or Introducing Colette

Last October I purchased an old raggedy looking French Settee.  The fabric was stained, the paint job was a bad faux gold with globs of red.

I knew it would be beautiful reupholstered and painted.  I had never tackled an upholstery job like this before, but I was up for a challenge.

Here is Colette....all finished and pretty.

Here is Colette when I first found her, with her stained fabric and faux gold finish.

She seems very my master bedroom.  All she needs now is a pretty French painting over her, on the wall.

I used a painter's drop cloth as the looks like French linen.

Here is an inspiration picture....From Country French Magazine.

And here she is....perfect Frenchness!

If you want, in the next few days, I will do a tutorial on how I did this, including the paint technique and how I recovered her.
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Linking with:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gray Skies and The French Settee

Well the French Settee is finished!!! 

And I really, really want to show her to you.....but this is what the skies look like right now.

In fact, seconds after I took the sky pictures it opened up and started pouring....

So here is a very dark, sneak peek of the French Settee.

I promise....cross my heart to show you her in all her beauty the next day the sun shines.....

Have a wonderful weekend!  Do you have any fun plans?
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