Monday, December 10, 2012

Estate sales are wonderful yet sad places to go

I really really love estate sales. Seeing inside someone's life in such an intense way can be really cool, but also sad. What happened to the people that lived there? Are they dead or gone to a retirement home? Does it matter? Their life is spread open for rummagers like myself to find great scores and appreciate items that the family members don't want. I have found some pretty cool things over time, mostly small things. I generally don't spend more than $20 at a sale because A) I'm usually broke and B) the big stuff is not what I'm looking for. I am, or rather was, looking for a small dresser for Eddie's bedroom and a sale came up in Rockcliffe Park which is a pretty nice part of town. I didn't take a picture of the house because I thought that might seem weird, but it was the cutest white stucco cottage style house with green shutters and doors. It was quite "old" inside but not in a run down way. I fell in love instantly. I did take a few pictures inside so I'll share them with you:

this was a bright cheery kitchen. Love!!

cutest nook ever. in a bay window overlooking trees and lawns with cheery yellow vinyl seats

I don't know what this is, a dragon or a frog or dinosaur. all I know is it will be in my nightmares forever. It was $5 and even I, lover of weird shit, left it alone.

this beautiful accordion was $185 and if I was a richer person I would have bought it. I really want to learn to play one.

these six ballroom chairs were covered in deteriorating coral leather. they were wicked cool but the price was way out of my league.
As I was inspecting the dresser that I ended up buying for Eddie, a woman came into the room looking for a mitten. Apparently, she was good friends with the lady that had lived there, and who had gone recently to an old folks home. The lady was trying to find the match the the mitten ofr her friend. I didn't qwant to ask too many questions because I think that being too nosy at an estate sale can be kind of rude or at least inappropriate, so all I really said was how cheery I found the kitchen and that I had come to the sale to see it in real life (pics were posted online beforehand). She didn't offer up too much info so I left it be. I really wanted to grill her on the history of the house and the people that had lived there! However she said that the house had been sold through a private sale and I am sure that that beautiful kitchen will be replaced with granite and stainless steel. It was really a nice place. And I'm glad that I went :)

Last week I also got a rug for Eddie's room. I've been looking for two years for the ight rug, and have had zero success. Turns out a lady I know from work was selling this one through Kijiji, and it was from her mother's estate. She didn't have too much info on it, only that her mother had bought it in the 70's and it was from somewhere in Asia. It is a really fab rug, though it could use a clean which I might get done in 5 or 10 years :)

isnt it cool???

 I was also the reciever of a great score via Value Village, this teak sideboard. It has a few condition issues which are easily fixed, and I am embarking on a funky redo of those doors, and will be selling it in my shop as soon as I have it done, hopefully before the holidays lol. I'll post a link to my shop when I have it all done!!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Get Off The Pot

So I've been pretty busy lately. I've been doing a little blog stint over on the UsedEverywhere blog (check it out here) and trying to get some furniture refinished to sell on my other blog, Furniture Of A Certain Disposition. Making furniture pretty again is a lot of fun but holy time consuming, Batman. So, I haven't been up to much at the old homestead. I've been getting stuff together for Eddie's first birthday party, which will be super cute and I will share with you, and also getting Christmas together. Having two kids changes my time priorities and this is the first year that will really be sinking in.

In doing my Christmas shopping, I came across this little Russian enamel pot and I just want to show you guys! It's so sweet. Unfortunately this is not the colour I'm intending for my future kitchen but a little mismatched happiness never did anyone any harm right??

Here it is, my little Russian pot:

Eddie models pots very well I see a future in the Sears catalogue

Theres a little staining, as it's a well used pot, and one small chip in the bottom

so very pretty!!

apparently it's Russian. So says my sovietvintage Etsy seller resource!
Anyways I can't wait to make something. I was going to use it for the kids for their Christmas present, to go with their other present which is a retro white kitchen play set. But Mama is keeping this one, kids.

OMG speaking of making somehting that very same trip to Value Village netted me a Kitchenaid stand mixer!!!!!!! I had been at Sears drooling over an apple green mixer (so pretty so shiny):

Then we went to Value and found this one:

Cobalt blue but more like a blueberry
Not my first choice for colour but after my 30% off coupon it was $35 so I sucked it up and got a blue mixer. I have to order a bowl and mixer package but whatever I am still waaay ahead on buying a new one. So, let the baking begin!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teak Couch refinishing and refoaming

So, as promised, I am going to tell you all about the sweet teak couch that I found and then refinished and re-homed!

laziest cat in the world not included

It all started on a fateful Civic holiday weekend, when Value Village was open but no one really knew that. We stopped by and came across a neglected and beaten teak three seater couch. The seat strapping was missing and the previous owners had put in pieces of plywood instead. The arm on one side was badly faded and water stained. The rest of the couch was in pretty good shape! AND AND AND... it had original cushions!

I did not take any before pictures of the couch, which was silly of me, but we pretty much dove into refinishing it the day after we brought it home.

By the way, when I say "we refinished" I should say "my husband refinished" because he is way better at this stuff than I am, plus I am way better at entertaining the kids while he sands and oils. It works for us :) BUT he insists I give him the credit *dang*

Anyways, If you are wondering how to refinish teak wood, it's actually quite easy! Teak is naturally water resistant and is quite hard wood so it is easy to sand and oil and will look glowing and magnificent in no time at all. For example, the arm that was weather beaten ended up being the nicest arm on the couch! And all Husband had to do was use a little medium and then fine sandpaper. There were a few vacuum cleaner dings underneath, so those got sanded, and really that was all that was needed. Husband gave it a quick all-over sanding with the fine paper, just to keep it all matchy matchy.

sanding away while watching TVO
this is the arm that was weathered. look how pretty it is!
   Then, he followed the directions on the can of Teak oil. Basically you do a coat, wait X amount of minutes, wipe it off, then repeat. Let it stand for 24 hours. The end! Teak oil is sort of pink looking and is very red-orange when applied. It's the colour of, well, teak! Its warm and radiant and beautiful. 

greg doesnt like to smile. especially for pictures his wife is taking of him working, while she does not. love you babe.

teak oil being applied. do this outside, it is smelly and probably not great to inhale unless youre into that kind of thing

it is very sticky when wet!

wiping excess oil from the frame

The cushions on the couch were a little more involved. I took them in to Rockland Textiles here in town and they ordered me some new high density foams. Here is where I learned something (that my dear aunt had warned me about but I had promptly forgotten... oops). When u are doing cushions for the bottom, high density good quality foam is important. However, the back cushions should be less dense, so that your back is more comfortable. Well, this couch has high density on the bottom and the back, which really doesnt make it look any different but it did seem a tad stiff on the back. With time it will wear itself in though!
old cushions. smelled funny. were falling apart. 

new cushions. not smelly. not falling apart.

We also had to put strapping, or webbing, in the seats. There were slats in the frame, and these little toothy metal clips that fit in them to hold the straps. These were all purchased at Rockland Textiles as well (they do a lot of weird reupholstering I think, in any case the staff that helped me were quite knowledgeable which is nice cause when u deal with vintage items it can be hard to find people who are acquainted with them). That was also very easy to do. It was just straight across, I know some couches weave from all sides and I'm sure there are tutorials online on how to do that.

slats for straps

this couch looks naked

all strapped and ready to go

Once the couch was reoiled and restuffed we placed an ad online and sold it to UsedEverywhere for use in their booth at Blissdom. I actually have started up a new "blog" that you can check out, it's called Furniture Of A Certain Disposition. That caught the eye of Jennifer on UsedEverywhere and hey now they have an awesome couch, I have lots of hits on my blog, I have a sold couch, and a writing opportunity! This post (well, edited a bit probably) will be the start of a series I'm going to do on the UsedEverywhere blog about finding stuff and making it cool. Which is obviously what I do, every day, of my life. Because yes, dear readers, I am that awesome :)

I will miss you, Lars.

Really, go look at my new blog! Do it!  here

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

oooooh thrift store finds! My new couch and chair

I had a very good thrifting day on Monday. It was a holiday so no one was out at the stores but my most favourite store of all, Value Village, was open! We went to the one by my house and got the kids a few fall clothes and Greg got a cardigan like he's been looking for. Nothing too exciting. I got the little vanity chair that I'll show you in a minute.

If you recall, we get the "value village feeling" and it usually turns into a great score. Well my friends, I hit a mother of a score at the Value Village on Bank street let me tell you!!! Stay tuned for a sneak peak of that one...

Anyways I got this chair for $8.

orange tweed and walnut veneer. Cant say no to that!

So the chair cushions are not in great shape and don't match my room. I went to Rockland Textiles here in town and bought some cute "kiwi" coloured upholstery fabric to redo them. I would say its like a green goldenrod if that makes sense, not so kiwi-y. Whatever. Its lightweight but thick. It matches my room. It has a very vintage look. Here are some pics of the really easy recovery process:

stapling the fabric to the bottom. i usually leave the original fabric underneath for posterity

sewing chair! a place to put things. I need more places.
the colour is awesome. its hard to get it on the camera tho

all done!

The fabric cost $11 for a half yard so overall I paid $19 for this chair. Not too bad. I may paint the frame the same colour as my vanity but I may leave it as is. One day if I get bored I'll get to it :)

NOW, wanna see my couch?? It needs a little work but I think it will sell well which is good cause I have kids who need to go to school one day :)

cletus, always the couch ruiner.
TEAK! yes :) Cushions are all nice, but I need to get new foam. We are putting in the webbing in the seat as it was plywood before. I'll write a post about this guy once it's all done!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Else's Bedroom

*WARNING: this post is very picture heavy!* 

Over a year ago (I know I know.. SLACK SLACK SLACK) I posted here about doing a post on my little girl's room. Then I went and got knocked up again and didn't find the time. Until now!
Oh you are all so lucky :)

Here is the before picture, taken hastily before the new bed was brought up:

couch: hand me down from an old roomate it is actually red velvet corduroy underneath. Crib: Ikea. Love it, was under $100 after my christmas tree coupon. Wallpaper: roosters in a country toile design.

some of the art I just put up. Owl totally made of feathers, and two margaret tarrant prints from an estate sale

freecycled dresser has been most handy.

 I suppose I should show you what this room looked like before we painted it! I didn't really take any pictures of it straight out, but I have a few tucked away that you can get the feel of it from.

uuugly. i broke the light with my head. 

Delia kindly modelled some clothes for my etsy shop. you can see the peachy hue of the paint. this room was ghastly in the afternoon sun. Delia on the other hand is beautiful. even in a green pantsuit.

Ok so we painted this room before we got pregnant with Else. We did it with a guest room and nursery in mind. We had a hard time finding wallpaper we really liked until we found the chickens. The chickens are amazing. They cost us a fortune too, thanks Benjamin Moore.

So now, Else is over two years old. She needs a big girl bed so that her little brother has a place to stay as he is wearing out his welcome in mommy's bed. That is when I found this beauty on kijiji for $25, in my neighbourhood and everything:

Greg stripped it down with this metal sander thing he got for doing bodywork on his Lada. He did need to use some paint stripper for the bed rails but it was way easy to just sand that crappy paint off. It was not original paint, in fact it was only about 30 yearsd old, and while it did have a certain shabby chic look to it, it was too chippy for a little girls bed plus there were some areas that were too paint-less for me. So, we painted it stark white. It looks awesome.


Else measures

Else tries out her new bed

someone is excited for their new big girl bed..... bet you cant guess who???

detail on head and foot boards
detail on rails

painting on the hottest day of the summer thus far



no boxspring
the finished project. quilt is vintage 30's or 40's

this was only a pretend nap. dang.

 We moved the shelf that was standing upright (the tall way) over to were the crib used to be, and that was the end of Else's room. I really really like it I think it turned out wonderfully.

no more crib! for now.... eddie might come in here one day to sleep too. more on that later (and no, no more babies dont even think such a ridiculous thought)