Thursday, September 26, 2013

Antique Dresser Turned Kitchen Island

Here's a fun project I just finished. I purchased the antique c.1920  oak dresser at the flea market about a month ago. I removed two of the drawers and used lovely pine boards for the shelves and top. The case is painted in antique white. The overhang can accommodate two bar stools, and there's plenty of storage from the drawers and shelves. Perfect for a small kitchen!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fun with Folk Art Wall Hangings

I love these big wooden cut outs, graphically painted and used for any number of things in the early 20th century including lawn ornament, advertising, circuses and fairs etc etc. I scored a fantastic pair of large wood ducks, probably dating to the 30s or 40s at the July Brimfield. They were $10. I couldn't pay the lady fast enough. They now hang prominently in my kitchen where I admire them frequently. You can find these whimsical bits of folk art at tagsales, flea markets, craigslist- really anywhere that used stuff is sold, and they're often far more affordable (at the moment) than comparable signage or artwork. These pieces are bold, impactful, and cheeky. I predict in the next five years they'll take off and will be even more expensive than antique signage, which is getting a wee bit overplayed at the moment.
Here are some great examples.
This striking cutout of firemen at work is intriguing
This  amazing and slightly frightening  antique lion cutout is from a circus.
It would look utterly spectacular in a lounge or "man cave"

A classic ice cream sign would look so stunning in a cottage kitchen. 

This vintage cutout of Africa is so unique and funky.

What a beautiful space! I love the diving lady.

I passed this pair of shorebirds at the Brimfield flea market in May. I wish I'd purchased them.

Here are my ducks, proudly displayed in my kitchen. I often wonder what their original purpose was-
 maybe for a nursery.

And finally another diving lady from the 1930s. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Autumn!

      It's officially Fall, and it sure does feel like it. I'll be bundled up whilst working on my furniture today. We put our deposit on the studio on Saturday (hurray we're broke now!), and by some engineering wizardry our designer managed to raise the cross ties on the second floor up to 9 feet rather than 8. I'm giddy with excitement about this. I think it's going to give the effect of a very lofty interior. If all goes according to plan we'll have the new structure built before Christmas.
     With that in mind I thought I'd show you the space that will be my workshop, as I don't think I've ever shown you interior shots before. It's currently my husband's music studio/mancave, but that will all be going into the new building once it's complete, freeing up this oversize garage for my business.
If you want to see more about what I plan to do with the workshop, you can visit this post that I did a few weeks ago.
 Also pictured is my next project that I'm working on today- a solid cherry Ethan Allen table with five matching solid cherry chairs.
     Happy Monday!
So almost all this stuff is going into the new studio space. I'll have a big open space to start.

I really want to replace the hideous garage doors with pretty double carriage doors.

This desk, which weighs the same as a baby elephant, was made by the previous owner and is almost 50 years old. I'm going to sand and re-finish the top is a darker color, paint the base white, and then jack the whole thing up on great big casters. It will serve as a work island in the center of the workshop.

The hutch top that sits on it is also staying. I'm going to paint it black, and put it on top of my antique counter (when I get one) and use it to store all my stain, paint, and poly.

And here's the table I'm working on now.

with the beautiful matching chairs. This one's gonna be very handsome when I'm done.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Flea Market Finds and Late Summer Flowers

Summer ends this weekend, though it's really felt like Autumn for the last few weeks already. Yesterday evening I gathered up a bouquet of the last of my flowers to add a little color and cheerfulness to the kitchen. After I photographed it I realized I also never showed you what I bought at the flea market this passed weekend. Those pictures are included too. I hope you all have a very pleasant weekend. It's supposed to be just spectacular up here in New England!
Here's a little collection of flowers from our garden.

I picked up this small green demi john. I think it's mid 20th century.

This antique abacus was a great deal.

I think it completes my Autumn mantel quite nicely.

This large piece had such a warm rustic feel I couldn't resist it. The painting is on fabric.

And I snagged this beautiful vintage oil painting that perfectly captures the feel of New England Fall.

It's really well done!

And finally I got this wonderful vintage copper weathervane. I think it dates to about 1950 or so.

One way to tell the mid 20th century ones from the earlier 19th century weathervanes is on the quality of the impression. Do you see how soft and nondescript this horse is. The 19th century vanes were hand hammered into beautifully detailed molds and the result is impressive and highly detailed. By the mid 20th century they had gotten a bit lazy and the pieces are machine produced. All the same- it's a nice weathervane and I don't own a horse vane yet!

A Farmhouse Trestle Dining Set

       I think it was less than a month ago that I showed you a dining table I'd refinished for myself. I loved it but in the end I could only fit four chairs instead of six around it and that bothered my a bit. As luck would have it, at the very moment I started contemplating a new table, my dear friend from down the street swooped in with a FABULOUS solid pine trestle table. And it was already sanded!! I also purchased a set of six Queen Anne chairs that I absolutely fell in love with. I recovered the chairs with a mossy green velvet, and painted the table base and chairs in a custom mixed color that reads as cream with just the slightest hint of celery. Isn't it delicious! Also- my cats are both featured in this post because they're little attention seekers.
The set is a bit big for the room but my husband and I are actually planning to change out the floor plan of our house in a few months, using a different and larger room as the dining room.
         On an exciting note- tomorrow we put down the deposit on the studio/guest house. It's a big deposit and we're basically going to be broke afterwards, but on the bright side, in 10 weeks we'll have an amazing studio that will make both are jobs soooo much easier.