Saturday, July 20, 2013

Thrifting - This Week' s Bargains

Hubby and I made our usual Saturday morning rounds starting at the local thrift shop.  It's always so packed there with stuff that I have to circle the shop at least twice because I usually miss seeing some things that appeal to me during the first round.  First purchase:  #1 - A Paragon fine bone china teacup for $5.00.

#2 -An ornate silver plated oval tray for $1.00.

#3 - A round cotton floral tablecloth with lace border for $2.50.  This I may keep it as is or cut it up because I am collecting floral fabrics - especially vintage pillow cases - for a valance in my 3 seasons room.  More on that in a future post.
And #4 - Best bargain of the day - I bought 5 sheer floral window panels at only $4.00 a panel.  And the wonderful person who donated these even went to the trouble and expense of cleaning them. Hubby and I hung them up in our parlour as soon as we got home.  Below is how they look on the big window.
The fifth panel we hung inside the entrance to the parlour.  These sheers have seriously changed the complexion of the room.  It feels light and airy in there with a hint of drama. :)  The lace valance is among last week's thrift store purchases.
The Shabby Nest

White China Cabinet in Chalk Paint

I found this china cabinet in a Restore (Habitat for Humanity) near where I live. It's a small, one piece cabinet around 40 inches wide with the most gorgeous lines, but the finish was outdated. In fact, when I started to wash it down with some soap and water in preparation for painting, the original finish just wiped off. I had left the piece outside in the heat and humidity for a couple of days and maybe that is why the finish came off so easily. I am new to furniture refinishing so I don't really know.

I had read a lot about chalk paint and the Annie Sloan brand on various blogs and thought I would like to see what all the fuss was about. I was only able to find a few distributors of ASCP in Canada. All were a fair distance from my home. Then I found a Canadian manufacturer of chalk paint, Van Gogh Chalk Paint and the best thing was that there was a retailer only 5 minutes away from me. How great is that?

Now I have to confess that I am not brave enough to tackle a big job like this.  I knew the doors and hardware had to come off and I was afraid once I removed them, I would not be able to fit them back.  I was also nervous about picking up a paint brush.  So I have a lovely friend who did all the painting for me.

I was telling him about the wonderful things I had heard about chalk paint.  Well when he started painting, he thought it was the most horrible stuff he had ever worked with.  The paint was thick, it was drying extremely fast and left all sorts of streaks.  He felt bad because the thought he was doing a lousy job.

I have a friend in the furniture restoration/painting business who kindly rushed over to have a look.  She knows about chalk paint and thinned it with water.  After that, things went along smoothly.  Sort of.

Talk about serendipity.  Underneath the white, this amazing crackle thing happened all over the cabinet.  Again my friend thought he had screwed up but then was relieved when I said I couldn't believe how beautiful I thought that effect was and how much I loved it.

After a light distressing, the next step was to seal it with Varathane.  When my friend started applying the Varathane, it went on all gummy and just created a horrible mess.  He immediately wiped it off and I called the woman who sold me the chalk paint for advice.  We both thought the humidity was to blame again.  She suggested beeswax so off to the store we went for beeswax.  Apparently you can work with beeswax in humid temperatures.  She was right.  It worked liked a charm.

Last step was to put the doors and hardware back on.  All went well, except, the bottom outside doors would not fit.  So my friend planed and repainted the sides and then they fit like a glove.

What lot of obstacles but the end result - WOW.  Everyone who has seen it loves it.

Oh and if you enlarge the BEFORE photo and look carefully, you will see the reflection of two of my dogs. :)

And here she in all her glory in white.  I have left it for a week to dry further before I start to fill her up with my china.
Here is detail of the bottom.  I have four other pieces (buffet and hutch, 2 night stands and bed headboard and footboard) waiting for their turn to be chalk painted.  They will be dressed in bright red and a mustard yellow.  I will post those pieces as they get finished.
The Shabby Nest

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Time to Revive the Blog - THRIFTING

It has been well over a year since my last post. I felt I needed a break from blogging and from my creative endeavours. Then last fall, the creative energies started to flow again but in a different direction. I began to redecorate the house and see what I could accomplish on a small budget. My main purchases were from local thrift stores. After visiting the stores weekly over a ten month period, I was able to acquire some nice furniture and pretty bone china, crystal, silver, bedding, candles, paintings, and I could go on and on....

I achieved a whole different look in my house for very little money. Perhaps it's positive karma because I have rarely sold items I no longer wanted. I have always donated them. If I see something in the thrift shops that I like better than what I already have, I replace it and donate the old item back to the thrift shop.

There will be much to share on this blog over the next few months.  So today I am starting with the thrift store finds from this morning.

How about these stunning crystal champagne flutes for 50 cents each.  There were only three available but on those celebratory occasions when we open up a bottle of the bubbly, I never seem to have enough of the proper glasses to go around.  
Another find is this lovely valance which hangs on the wall separating the parlour from the main or great room.  Ever since the redecorating began, the living room is now known as the parlour.  I bought four panels of this sheer fabric with "embroidered" lace attached to it.  Quite a bargain at $2.50 a panel.

And later in the day, a friend surprised me with the above Royal Albert Centennial Rose bone china teacup and saucer.  She is in the process of clearing out her deceased parents' house, which is where this teacup came from.  She knows how much I love floral teacups and very generously gave me this beauty.

That's it for today.  Next post will be about a gorgeous china cabinet hubby and I found and how it really came to life with a makeover with chalk paint.

 The Shabby Nest