28 December 2011

Watching paint dry...

The paint is dry (well dry-ish, it takes 3-5 days before you can place anything on top of it and a full 30 days to fully cure for maximum hardness and durability), the knobs are installed and the dresser is back in the hallway. I'm going to wait another few days before I style it with a pretty dish and some accessories and then I'll take official photos of it in place. This photo will have to serve as a teaser until then. Isn't that color delicious? I have to say, I really enjoyed using the paint - Benjamin Moore's Advance - the finished product looks very professional and smooth, and the soap and water clean-up was a dream. And look at how pretty those mercury glass knobs are.

Next up is a project to fill the blank space above the dresser. We are very fortunate to live in a house with 9.5 foot ceilings so there's quite a bit of blank wall in that little hallway. My project involves a bundle of strips,

but no sewing! I will tell you that it will be my twist on a popular interior design trend. I've been working on proportions and prototypes and will be diving in with the power tools tonight.

I also finished another series of fiber postcards, this one in the theme of Houses. Another task I can cross off my list. Yippee! I'm trying to move in to the new year with as much of this year's tasks crossed off as I can.

26 December 2011

Progress - on several fronts

I have made a little progress on my painted dresser project since the last time I posted. A few things, and the holidays, derailed my timeline, but I'm moving forward again.

Each drawer in the dresser has a lovely brass keyhole and I wanted to preserve those when I painted the drawer fronts.

I covered the keyhole with painter's tape, pressing along the contours.

Then I carefully cut around the outside edge with a sharp blade.

Lifted up the excess and voila! Ready to go.

Repeat 3 more times and break out the paintbrush.

The paint, Advantage by Benjamin Moore, went on like a dream. I was little nervous when I first opened the can because the color is SO much lighter than I remembered it, but it's drying to a deeper, richer shade. Phew! The sheen is perfect too. The instructions recommend waiting at least 16 hours between coats and I'm fighting my impatience but winning so far. You can tell that I'm going to have to address the insides of the drawers. They're kind of icky. I've been browsing online for pretty drawer liner paper today and found an excellent one at The Container Store (cucumber scented even!) but they're out of stock online and the nearest store is 45 minutes away. Decisions, decisions...

On the art front, I finished some fruit-themed postcards and mailed them off. In my head they were supposed to be sliced tangerines, but after I made them I sliced a tangerine and the actuality didn't match the imagination. Now they are mystery fruit. Or tomatoes, as Carlos helpfully pointed out. I am still really pleased with the finished cards.

I'll have an update on the finished dresser in a day or so, depending on how my patience holds out. Now I'm planning the project that will hang over the dresser. Hopefully the result, unlike the tangerines, it will more closely match what's in my head, hahaha.

06 December 2011

The Artistic Life

I think that artists infuse every aspect of their lives with art, every choice affecting design and color is informed by an artist's eye and aesthetic - from furniture to clothing to the dishes on the dinner table. I'm endlessly fascinated with design, in all its many permutations. I follow lots of design blogs, am addicted to HGTV and am an unrepentant DIY-er. How about you?

I decided to start posting some of my home dec projects and before-and-afters here from time to time and I'd like to begin with this one. So far, I'm only on the "before" (yet eagerly anticipating the "after"). We have a small vestibule at the front of our house between the double glass doors that open onto the front porch and the interior door that opens into the front hall. I've been on the lookout for a small table or dresser for this space since we moved in late last year. Nearly every Sunday all spring, summer and fall, Sam and I scoured the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in New Milford CT looking for such a creature. The criteria was that it had to have good lines, be solid, sturdy and in reasonably good shape, and most importantly, be cheap (er, affordable). Over the months we saw a few that were too big, too small or perfect but way too expensive. In September we finally hit the jackpot. And look at how well it fits the space! There's about 2" clearance on each side.

It's a solid oak 1920s dresser with a couple of minor defects. The top is ever-so-slightly warped in one spot, which I think is fixable with wood glue and a strong clamp, and one of the drawers doesn't close perfectly, which you can only notice from a certain angle so I decided it doesn't bother me, since the angle involves some contortions.
My plan is to paint it a fun color. Gasp! I know that is upsetting to some people, but that's what I've wanted to do with a piece of furniture for eons and this isn't an heirloom, so I'm going for it. I love the juxtaposition between a fairly classic looking piece of furniture and unexpected color and modern touches.
I ordered some mercury glass melon knobs from Anthropologie to replace the too-small wooden knobs currently on the dresser.

I had a quart of Benjamin Moore's Advance paint mixed in a lovely tealy blue shade called Seaside (which I think will go really well with the red tile floor). I've heard so many good things about this paint - in particular that it has leveling properties that makes it ideal for painting furniture and cabinets.

Today I took advantage of the last warm day for a while (60 degrees in December, in New England - crazy!) and dragged the dresser out onto the porch and sanded that puppy down. Now it's ready for color. Or maybe I need to prime it first? I also need to look for some gorgeous paper to line the drawers. Any suggestions of places to search?

Anyway, stay tuned for part two!

05 December 2011

The store is now open!

At long last, and after some much appreciated nagging from my daughter Sam, my etsy store is once again fully stocked and ready for shopping. I added some gyotaku fish prints (which come matted and ready to frame) and some collage jewelry. I have a few more items to add this week and then I can cross something big off my ToDo list.

Please head over to Etsy and check me out!