Saturday, August 27, 2011

I am blessed to have many people in my life looking out for great finds! Almost daily, I get texts, emails or calls with tips of a free this or that awaiting my creativity. A few weeks ago, one of my fabulous pickers was offered this gorgeous secretary for free.

Okay, so I admit. It wasn't a looker. The top had chipped up veneer and it was your run of the mill old-school looking dark wood.

I repaired the chipped veneer, primed and painted.

The exterior is painted in my favorite shade of red, colonial red.

The drawers are painted with antique white. The hardware wouldn't come off, so I painted over and added some distressing so that some of the original metal would peek through.

The inside is painted the same antique white and the entire piece was given an antique glazing to add an authentic aged look.

For sale: $245

Friday, August 26, 2011

It's Friday, Friday...

Ten new pieces of furniture out today and 36 total chairs, ready for custom work! Plus... stuff coming out after 2:00 pm today because stacked against the south wall of the store is the BEAUTIFUL dining room set ready for pick-up. The whole set sold last week in just two days!

I picked up my first fall leaf this week! It seemed appropriate that the leaves should start changing colors with school starting this past Tuesday. I was feeling inspired by the colors of fall...burnt orange, golden yellows and deep reds! So, keep your eyes out for some more fall inspired colors on the furniture starting with red this week!

Look at that cute secretary! It is so cheery and unique. A friendly community resident passed on to us for free!

An unfinished desk with a built-in bookshelf ready for a custom refurbishment. That octagon shaped side table on top is new, too.

Gorgeous and sophisticated writing desk. My mom and dad came across this while I was on vacation and brought it to the store for me to work on.

A coordinating nightstand for the shabby chic dresser. It's a bit shocking but a fun piece...especially for a girl who has outgrown pink! This piece was given to me as well and sold while I was writing this post.

One of my favorites this week...the red school desk with built-in bookshelfs on both sides. I haven't decided yet, but I think I may make the top of the desk a chalkboard. We'll see what people think of it first.

Pieces available for custom work: Small bookshelf, stool, bench off to the side and a retro/vintage Singer sewing machine back there.

And, a little something for myself.

An awesome French style cane back chair I'm fixing up to keep. Stripped down, de-upholstered, painted and in need of some heavy distressing, antique glazing and new upholstery. I can't wait for this reveal!

Lastly, something for someone else...

This adorable desk (which was given to me) was selected from my stock of unfinished pieces to be completed as a custom project. The only instructions were to put green and pink everywhere. I opted for more subtlety with this one and added splashes of green on the top to peek through the white, put green on the trim and pink hardware. I hope they like how it came out. I could've sold it multiple times in the day that it was hanging out in the store.

Don't forget about Flashback tomorrow night! Did you know it is a fundraiser?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

An 1800's Pipe Organ Re-Purposed

Don't you just envy people who can see a beaten down, broken up, mis-fit piece of furniture for its endless potential? Meet Laurie Theule! Shabby Chic'r Extraordinairre.

Laurie is the Downtown Glendora Grandma. Mother to beloved owner of Blue Chair Children's Bookstore, she swoons over all of the little rugrats that run amuck at the bookstore (including my own two kiddos). What you may not have known about Laurie, however is that she is crazy genius when it comes to working with furniture and has an amazing eye to see beyond the obvious.

Take for example, this 1800's antique Beckwith Organ.

Similar to the piece Laurie worked on

With missing keys, broken panels and frayed ropes connecting the pump to the pipes, few people could see this piece of furniture for anything other than a dilapidated organ.

Laurie, on the other hand, saw this.

Broken down into three major pieces, Laurie completely disassembled the organ to remove the guts...the original pump, the ropes connected to the pipes and keyboard, all of the keys. Then, she sanded the entire piece...every nook and hand. None of the electric sander nonsense! And, when she was done sanding she painted it. Then, she sanded the entire piece again...and again...and again...and hand. Over and over.

Still intact are the knobby doos and original name plate, preserving its rich history and original intent. Don't you just drool over this! I'm soooo jealous! I'm currently trying to figure out a way to make myself the proud owner of this amazing organ re-do! For a steal $850, I may be saving my nickels and dimes and taking this beauty home if someone doesn't beat me to it.

Laurie's Beckwith Organ is on sale at Blue Chair, right across the street from knot too shabby. Stop by, say hi to Laurie and run your hands over the surface of this smooth as glass furniture refurbishment. Pictures don't do it justice.

And, please leave your comments! I will pass each and every one of them on to Laurie and I know she would LOVE to hear from you.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

In Case Your Wondering...

Everyday...really, every single day I get asked, "where do you get all of your furniture?" I'll tell you where I don't get it.

I don't go to estate sales. They are usually way too crowded, offer little room for negotiating and WAY too expensive. I tried to buy a composition book at an estate sale. You know, those comp books you needed for science class in school that come in 2-packs for 99 cents at Wal Mart or the the 99 cent store. The guy told me $1. I didn't mean to, but I laughed out loud. I told him I would give him a quarter. His reply, "no you won't." I didn't bother to go inside the house to look at the other goodies. Funny thing...I just got a new composition book at a yard sale a few weeks ago for 10 cents.

I don't bid on storage units. I would LOOOOVE to do this, but it is such a risk. I've heard about some amazing storage unit sales where a unit sold for $250 and behind the wall of boxes was 18 feet of antique furniture. Oh baby! That would be sweet. My luck, I would pay $250 get a unit with 50 years worth of tax documents.  

I don't go dumpster diving. I hear of some amazing trash day finds and know there is great stuff on the curbs that people just throw out. But, if I happen to be driving by an awesome piece of furniture set out for trash day...and, if I don't have both my kids with me...and I can load it into the car all by myself...and it will actually fit in my car...and, it isn't disgusting to touch without washing my hands right away...then I will pick it up! But, I don't go out of my way looking for curbside finds.

I don't go shopping at the Goodwill store. They smell funny. Too expensive. Enough said.

I don't buy furniture direct from people. I get asked all the time if I would buy someone's antique this or that. Sorry...can't do it. The reality is, what I'm willing to pay $20 for is worth $200. If I pay even half of what something is worth, my prices will sky-rocket! I don't want prices in my store to go up. I like that I can sell an antique French provincial dining room set complete with table, hutch and china cabinet for under $1,500 (that would retail in a furniture store for over $7,500) and make enough to cover the cost of supplies, time and overhead. This is my hobby. It's furniture as art. It's taking my love of interior design and putting it into action. It's taking a piece of furniture that I spend four hours refinishing and being able to showcase it for a few days until it sells. It's certainly not a livlihood and doesn't pay the bills.

So, in my next post, I will share a bit more about where I do get my stuff. In particular, this stuff that I've been working on all week and will be bringing out on Friday (I've already sold a lot of stuff this week so there will be a bunch more coming out for Furniture Friday)!

In process-this cute Frenchy desk is a custom order. The only request, "put pink and green wherever you want." So, I have a plan and it will be ready to be showcased on Friday as a custom job.

Dresser? Desk? Chest? Secretary? You'll have to wait to find out...but I can honestly say, I love how this one turned out!

This one's a beauty. Luxurious and sophisticated.

Taste of the Village tickets on sale at the store for $25.
Flashback to the 50's is this Saturday from 6:00-11:00 pm! We're staying open until the party dies down and Ih ave $2.00 off Admission Price in the store.

See you this weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

I Named Her Christina

I don't usually name my furniture. I put that up there in the cheesy category. But, this vanity I named Christina. Christina was my Great Grandmother. She was a crotchety old lady. A lady with a tremendous history and life of hard experiences. She never shared much about her past so there isn't much known about her life growing up. In her old age, she was bitter and unpleasant and over time, we gave up on changing her overall demeanor.

This vanity reminded me of Great Grandma.

It is a very old piece of furniture. When I acquired her, she was in wretched condition, so much so that I even considered dumping her.

The veneer throughout the entire vanity was chipping away. Plan A was to remove it completely. Chiseling, hot irons, wet towels, hair dryers....nothing worked. I threw my hands up and gave up removing it and instead decided to build around the veneer that stayed intact.

The top and the sides filled and sanded.


Painted...just one coat. Crackel Coat on top.

Metallic Silver drawers and vanity top. More Crackel.

I know nothing about Christina's past and gave up on smoothing the rough edges. So, instead I embraced her history and tried to show the wear, tear and love that someone else at one time showed to her. In person, she is stunning and shocking at the same time.

Besides this vanity, check out more of the new stuff for Furniture Friday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Painted Problem

One of my business advisors (business advisor...i.e. friends, family or anyone with an opinion or advice about how I should run the business. I have MANY!) told me earlier this week, "Michele! You have to do a better job of promoting all of the custom work you can do!" So, I'm taking her advice and showing off one of the custom pieces I finised up for someone this week.

(Oopsies...this is only a partial before picture). The task was to take this loved chest and clean it up with heavy distressing. It had been poorly painted and as a result of improper technique, everytime the owner laid pictures, newspapers or magazines on the top, they would stick to the surface literally absorbing itself into the wood. It was a hot mess! This picture was after a heavy cleaning but you can still see much of the residue left behind from magazines.

The piece had been originally painted with a high gloss Benjamin Moore paint (good paint)!

The finished piece!

There was no new paint involved in this job, just time, technique and a lot of sandpaper.

I softened the finish so that it did not look so thick and glossy and added a protective finish, guaranteeing my customer that papers wouldn't stick to the surface anymore!

On a side note, this is an extensive project I've been working on in stage two of what I believe will be a six stage process.

Stay tuned for more on this project.

And, this is the last week to be entered into my drawing for a $25 gift certificate to knot too shabby. Just become a "follower" of my website and you will be entered into the raffle. The deadline is August 23rd...or if you are already a follower, "like" us on facebook to be entered.

Good Luck.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Furniture Friday...errrrr....Sunday


I had good intentions. I meant to keep up on my blogging and updating the website. But, with all of the beautiful views and amazing things to do in GORGEOUS Maui, I didn't feel like it.

After a week of R&R...ziplining...

...the pool, the beach...

...snorkeling and more, I was having too much fun to work. So, forgive me for being several days late in this post.

For another great Furniture Friday, a total of six new pieces of furniture was brought out last week to replace the many items sold. I don't even have pictures of all of them because some of it sold before I got back. Of the few items left include a antiqued teal desk, the most comfortable wooden rocking chair you've ever sat in, a bed, chairs and some new "housewares."

Priced at just $125, the inside of the drawers are lined with matching paper and their is a glass top to protect the surface and stow away important notices, cards or pictures.

White wooden rocking chair-super cozy. You have to sit in it to believe it! $150

Twin wrought iron headboard and matching footboard $125

New Chairs-available for custom refurbishment

Vintage Hardback Books-$10 each

Before I sign-off, I have to give a HUUUUUUUGE Mahalo (Thank-You) to my parents who volunteered to work in the store while I was gone for the week and spent the last two Saturday's finding awesome inventory for my return. And, my amazing Mom and Daughter team, Patti and Macy who worked during the week to prep furniture for Friday, keep the store open during the slow summer days and start and finish and awesome bathroom renovation while I was gone-pictures to come later!!!!

Thank-you all for stopping by! Sidewalk sale is this Friday and Saturday ALL DAY! Drop by to see our first sale ever.


Friday, August 5, 2011

Another Furniture Friday

The problem with Furniture Friday is that my Thursday's are now one of my busiest days of the week. What, with being at the store during the day for normal operations, having dinner with the fam, going to my weekly Thursday night kick-boxing class, and sneaking a load of laundry in there somewhere if I'm the time I make it back to the store to clean, re-arrange and prep new pieces for Friday, it is 9pm at the earliest (yawn)! After 2-3 hours of cleaning, re-arranging and prepping new pieces, it is 11:30pm (yawn, yawn). Then, I update the website...oh yeah, did I mention I leave for Hawaii in 14 hours? 

After a couple of hours of re-arranging and a week of prepping the new pieces, it is well worth the work to freshen things up and change it around! 

The window display featuring my new desks. Note the early American two-drawer desk behind the awesome multi-colored one! The white one with pink accents is a reasonable $115. The multi-colored desk is priced at $275. 

The other window display, super sweet Frenchy desk with awesome drawers. Stop by to see the inside! They POP! $245

The stacked side tables on the left are new this week! They are super chic with the longest drawers I've ever seen! They are $75 each. 

We moved the portable wall of doors up about five feet so that there is more workspace for projects in the back and a bigger area to show case some of the unfinished furniture pieces for custom work. Unfortunately, this is what we have:

A girl can only do so much you know! I promise, it will improve during the week! And, if it doesn't, I won't be there to fret over it so best of luck to the ladies holding down the fort while I am zip-lining, sipping a daquiri, bike-riding (down a volcano I might add), sipping a margarita, tanning, gulping a beer, swimming and doing the hula (but only in the hotel room). 

Say "hi" to Patti, Macy, Mom and Dad who will be holding down the fort while I get some much needed R&R! 

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