Horse Before the Cart (part deux)

I shared news of my good fortune the other day on receiving this fabulous bar cart.

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After realizing the brass couldn’t be salvaged I meandered on down to the local hardware store (re: Lowe’s) and picked up not one, but two cans of painter’s delight- otherwise known as spray paint of course.  I used rustoleum’s hammered copper and their frosted glass product for the glass shelves.  If you’re going to redo something you might as well touch every aspect right?

Due to torrential downpours the realization of my bar cart dreams were put on hold until yesterday.  After the sun finally peaked it’s lovely face from behind the clouds I gave my cans a good shake (read into that what you will) and went to work.  While I would admittedly have the cart remain brass, the remade version ain’t so shabby.

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Until we move into our new place (yes, we are moving again but more on that later) it will simply hold court on the front porch, serving as a resting spot for some home decorating magazines and a cold glass of white wine in the evenings.  Cheers!

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The Horse Before the Cart

I’m baaaaaacckkkk (said in Jack Nicholas’ creepy voice of course)!  So it’s been a while since I have posted.  Why?  Because I was busy enjoying myself immensely along the sandy shores of South Carolina.  Salt air, ocean breezes, sand between my toes….is it any wonder blogging was postponed? Thoughts of my pending house, craft, art, and yard projects nevertheless niggled at the back of my brain.

I have been crazy busy painting and landscaping, but-until those projects are complete- let’s discuss my newest acquisition:  a fantastic midcentury bar cart.

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A family friend was cleaning out a closet and decided to part with the cart (yay for me!).  Considering that new versions- like this West Elm beauty- are going for $399 I am super happy to have one myself for FREE.

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(Click Here for Source)

Or this one selling for $999 by Williams and Sonoma.

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(Click Here for Source)

 This ole girl is a beauty despite the fact the brass plating is corroded in multiple areas.  I thickly applied tomato paste in the hopes that it was just surface rust ( the tomato acid eats through it leaving behind shiny brass),  my wishful thinking was a bust.  The rust was too deep too leave the cart as is- unless I wanted the down and out look ( note: I don’t).

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I sanded the metal using 400 grit sandpaper to remove the bubbled texture and then spray painted it using a hammered copper hue.  The results? The big reveal will be later in the week.

Mothers’s Day Gift Like a (em)Boss

Mother’s Day is coming up and whether you wait until the last minute, prepare months ahead, or forgot altogether I still have an easy gift idea for you: spoon plant markers.

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I picked up two spoons for a quarter each at the local thrift.  I would have gotten more, but they only had two spoons.  I hammered them both flat against a concrete surface- a process that took less than a minute for each.

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I then hammered the plant names using a metal letter/number set I have had for years.  You can pick up a similar one for less than $10 at Hobby Lobby- don’t forget the 40% coupon!- Amazon, Michael’s or other decently stocked craft store.  I didn’t bother marking a straight line since being disheveled is practically my motto.

A few drops of your hammer and the the stamps appear.  There’s no need to beat the dickens out of it, particularly as this will have the likely consequence of making your stamp slip and ruining your spoon. 

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At this point I like to rub a little black paint in my embossed letters to make the words pop.  I use an acrylic paint in Mars Black, but that is just my preference.  Smear it on, wipe it off, and -wahlah!- cute plant markers that are perfect for a housewarming, hostess, birthday, Mother’s Day…you get the point.  And you are welcome.

 

Spring Inspiration

Thanks to a college friend I learned the love of walking.  Not just any old stroll, but miles of placing one foot in front of the other.  While it began because her car broke down miles from our then apartment, it continued because of the wonderful chats we had and exercise’s magical ability to ease stress.

Fast forward to present day and I still enjoy my epic walks.  I try to go several times a week if schedule permits.  I’ve since discovered an added benefit: feeling a part of the changing of seasons.  Frequent walks clue me in to the caucophy of wildlife in the summer, subtle changing of leaves in the fall, expose forests in winter, and showcase new life in Spring.  Recently on a walk I came across several robin egg remnants on the sidewalk, striking because of their brilliant blue hue.  I knew immediately I had to paint my own rendition.

While Aaron took the kids to the dentist I had a free moment to render my vision.  It still needs a frame, but- just like a good walk- painting it washed away a whole week of stress.

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Take a look, it’s in a nook…

We have been out and about having fun at local museums, parks, and farmer’s markets, but I did remember to take any pictures?  Of course not.  I have a tendency to get lost in the moment as opposed to capturing it for posterity.  That means I will just have to follow up on my last week’s to-do list– specifically item numerous dos:  dress-up the home office.

First of all, this little cranny in our upstairs attic bedroom was a closet when we moved in.  I made the executive decision that it would be put to better use as a home office for Aaron. Eventually we will undertake a more comprehensive remodel upstairs, but I couldn’t stare at this any longer without taking action.

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Between the the fake paneling, cheap carpet and pure ugly of the space it was depressing to say the least.  My initial plan was simply to paint the cubby and be done, but me being me, that is never good enough.  So I ripped up the carpet.  Painted the walls. Painted the floor. Stenciled the desk top (a repurposed door).  Added a cork board and stenciled that.  Made curtains to conceal my hoard of magazines.  And…fell into a heap of exhaustion and questioned why I spent so much effort on something that will eventually be redone with the rest of the room.  Let’s see the results shall we?

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Though this is Aaron’s space i couldn’t help but add a few sentimental touches.  Like the plein air painting I did on a piece of found slate while we camped on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

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Or a little bowl of shells and sea glass from some of our favorite places: Prince Edward Island, Dominican Republic, and various Charleston barrier islands.

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Considering that this whole effort utilized materials leftover from other projects, I will consider it largely a success.  At least I don’t have stare at a nook of despair any longer! On a side note, did anyone get the Reading Rainbow reference in the title? I doubt I will ever forget that song- well played LeVar Burton.

Keeping (a) Score

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I adore trash hunting.  I don’t mean literal dumpster diving –yet– but driving around the area the day before trash pickup is a regular occurrence.  It’s rare that I don’t find at least one discarded gem every hunt.  My treasure this time admittedly smelled like smoke and had a disturbing grimy feeling to it, but it’s nothing a quick Dawn soap wipe down couldn’t eradicate.  Here’s my new-to-me throne freshly picked from the curb:

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It it had been visibly repaired on the legs and I needed another chair in the house like  a hole in my head.  Solution? Make it an outdoor perch since I had sold all our outdoor furniture to the folks who bought our last abode.  Two coats of leftover Annie Sloan’s  French Linen and stripes in Aubusson Blue had it looking better.  I would have preferred another color entirely, but it didn’t seem worth it to buy a new quart for a piece that I want that fond of. (Sometimes I think I only pick up other people’s discards because they are free and I love a deal!)

I always tend to go for shabby chic as opposed to a perfect, smooth finish when I use Annie Sloan.  My three kids wreak havoc on furniture as my sofa knows all too well- it had to be rebuilt after one too many run-ins.  I beat my kids to the chase by roughing up my trash rehabs first.  That way, any damage they add only adds to the “look”.  The end result?  Another perch to execute some front porch sittin’ and sippin’.

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It makes a fitting addition to the hodge podge collection on the front porch if I do say so myself!

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Goals of the Week and *BONUS* Table Revamp

Every week I begin with a list of goals I want to accomplish.  Most are house and/or art related.  I do. It always accomplish everything on said list, but it does tend to keep me more focused on productive use of my “free” time (is there really such a thing when you have kids?).  My list for this week is-drumroll please- as follows:

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My lists tend to be a reflection of my squirrel brain- all over the place.  From making macarons to lots of paint projects,  I can keep myself pretty darn busy.  I hang this on our community cork board where I am reminded of it frequently as another assurance my ideas come to fruition.  Added bonus?  I also have plenty of blog material to push on share with others.

But on to brighter things- literally.  I had been given a dining table by my fabulous MIL. We had used it for years as our primary meal space until it was usurped by another table found in an attic.  So I had a dilemma.  An extra dining table with no place to store it, but I wasn’t willing to give it away (sentimental value, ya’ll).  Solution?  Turn it into an outdoor table.

I completely forgot to take a photo before I sprayed the legs yellow so this is the best shot I got.

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I wanted to retain some of the natural wood while still getting a coasta cabana vibe so I taped off for some stripes- one of my many obsessions.

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After two coats and a quick water-based polyacrykic sealant, my former indoor table became decidedly outdoor.  After a week and a few rainstorms its repelled water just as expected and holding up marvelously.  This girl is certainly anticipating lots of al fresco dining in my future.