Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Wood on Wood is Good!

Ya’ll, I”m not even gonna lie, I did not think this would come out as good as it did! I tend to stay away from staining wood if at all possible UNLESS it is only a part of the piece that is being stained and my heart screams for me to stain it.

Refresher: this is what I had to work with:

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My aunt Rita purchased this for her guest bedroom and wanted it to be more of a red oak color to match her current furniture style.  She gave me one of her bed spindles to match the color with.  I have to say, it wasn’t that dramatic so I seriously doubted myself in getting the color dead on. The other problem, which is my sole hesitation in restaining anything, is that you have to really get everything off before applying the new stain or it will show right through. So every little nook and cranny you see here, had to be sanded.

Now, I don’t know if there is an easier way to do this but my first step was to sand all the flat edges. Thank goodness they came off like a charm! When I got to all the rounded edges, it became more difficult so I went from my rotary sander to hand sanding everything.  That was more tiresome obviously but over the course of a few weekends, it eventually came off.

Oh and I bought some sand deglosser that my Home Depot guy said would help with those hard to reach places…DON’T BUY IT, HE LIED! It didn’t do anything at all!

And now here she is in all her Red Oak Glory!

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At the end of the day, my Aunt Rita was happy, her great niece Rita was happy and I think if this dresser (who in my good opinion should also be named Rita) could talk, she’d be happy too!

In desperate need of a massage,

Rita

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

For My Friends!

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There comes a time in your life when you need a friend.  If your lucky, you are already surrounded by them. If your even more fortunate than that, they are the really good kind of friends. Not just the ones that go to the movies or go shopping with you, but the ones that feel what you are going through and they listen and empathize when life is just too much to handle.

And if you are truly blessed, you have the type of friend who changes the course of your life forever. They don’t just empathize, they don’t judge you, and they don’t just offer support.  They are tough, they are wise and without them, that glimpse of a silver lining would never come into fruition. They keep you sane and keep you on a healthy path that you might hate at the time, but that you so desperately need to be on. Without them in your life, you simply could not handle the curveball life will through at you and sometimes turn your world upside down. They keep you grounded, keep you focused and all the while, cry with you and hold your hand. They are your back bone when yours just doesn’t work anymore. They are the little angels who’s wings work over time because not only are they carrying their own load, but sometimes yours as well.

Today, I’m in such a great point in my life and it’s hard to believe that once upon a time I felt that bad. I have a friend of mine who is going through a tough time in their life very similar to what I went through ten years ago. It brought back so many emotions for me,  but the one thing that has hit me the most is remembering the dear friends I had that kept me afloat while I was drowning. I wasn’t just led to the light at the end of the tunnel,  but sometimes gently pushed there by them.  I would have never in a million years imagined that I’d be the one holding hands with someone walking in the same shoes I was in at that point in my life.

Today was another day of me trying to smile and help my friend. It was so much that I felt the need to get some of it out and write which is what I tend to do (sorry world) but it helps.
So while I’m trying to be strong for my friend, offering what I once deemed “harsh words of wisdom” in order to help them, let me also say this, because you never know who needs to hear it and because that someone just may be you:

We all have CRAP in our life.
Crud doesn’t pick whose life it hits- we can only hope it skips our lives but chances are it doesn’t.
And for whatever reason we go through what we go through, you have to find the smallest little tidbit of hope because I promise it is there, you just have to find it, and I believe you will!

This is when my “make your own sunshine” motto reigns true. It sure as heck may not feel like it but there are little rays of sunshine all around you. If you can’t find them, make them!

We all have strength within us, sometime we just need to be reminded of it. Believe in yourself because sometimes you’re all you’ve got and you ARE important!

Today, I can only hope I can be the friend I need to be and if I’m lucky at all, I can be an ounce of what my friends were to me!

To Cindy: I love you, thank you for forever changing the course of my life! I wouldn’t be in this lovely spot without you!
To Andrea: For everything, for always and forever, I love you and Thank you!
To Maricia and Claudia: I think it goes without saying that our friendship has come full circle and we know how lucky we are to have each other!
And to my Debbie (Debs, Deborah Lynn): With out a doubt, because of you, I’ve never stopped believing!

Love you all!
Rita

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Dreamy Dresser

Yay! She’s done and she was so much fun to help dress up!!

You saw her before:
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(Pardon Chrysanthemum’s tail in the photo)

But just so you get a better picture of what I had to work with, let me show you a close up of the top. I call this OFR- Old Furniture Rash! That is not a technical term, but it’s gross and looks like a rash for old furniture. Hence the name!

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It’s basically what people who paint furniture usually hate! I myself have a love/hate relationship with it. I hate it because it makes life harder when painting it, but I also love it because it makes the finished product THAT MUCH more amazing!

AND THIS MY FRIENDS IS THE OOOOHHH, AHHHH MOMENT WHEN THIS OFR COMES OFF!

….AHHHHH IT’S REAL WOOD!

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The second small complication is my friend wanted the bottom two drawers removed. The thing is, older furniture is always solid so it is a bit more difficult to remove.

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They definitely didn’t mess around back then did they? I had to pull out the big guns in order to remove that middle piece and what I found out was that the back piece in the way, way back was part of the back brace so it needed to stay.

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And once again, this is what she envisioned (via her rendering because she is a designer and they always come prepared):
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The only change we made (besides keeping the back bar) was to paint it a lighter shade of grey which I think looks awesome!! I chose Annie Sloan Paris Grey. The dark gray just didn’t do this piece justice.

And here she is now!!  Pretty close don’t you think?

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And NO MORE rash crap!!  That top is as smooth as a baby’s bottom!!

Have to say it was wonderful getting to play around again with my paints!  I love it! What do you think?

Rita

Monday, June 23, 2014

Beauty In The Blooming Blog Tour

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Have you stopped to ask yourself how you’re living in the now? What are you doing for yourself for your own “happiness”?

The question was asked on  “Oh My Homemade Goodness” for a blog tour they are having and the topic really struck a cord with me because it’s basically all I’ve been writing about lately. I started this blog years ago with the hope that one day I’d have this grandiose furniture business and life would be grand.  Needless to say I didn’t think about all of the specifics on how I’d accomplish that goal, I just prayed one day I’d get there.

During these years, you’ve read my posts on my weekly furniture projects, my year spent at renting a spot at Lula B’s Antique mall, my crazy and stressful previous day job and now my great new job, and finally where I am today with Curbside Creations. Basically you’ve lived my struggles with me and the path that I’ve paved.

The difference however in what I thought would make me happy then and what makes me happy now is that I feel like I do live in the now, rather than just a vague hope for the future.

If you’re not following where I’m going with this, let me explain.

I believe everyone has a dream to be “something” when they grow up and probably 8 out of 10 times people don’t actually accomplish that goal.  I used to want to be an architect and now I work for a graphic company and paint furniture. Once I realized I loved painting and updating furniture, it became my dream to do it for a living. The problem is that when it didn’t pan out like I dreamt it would, I knocked myself for not reaching that goal. I never had a brick and mortar business and painting furniture was only my weekend hobby. It ended up making me feel like I’d constantly failed.

If you’ve read my other posts on “life” you’ll know my decisions for staying in a full time job and continuing to only paint on the side. But in the end, painting is still a passion and it remains a constant in my life. I love it and it completes me :)

It took me a while but I finally figured out that not fulfilling that dream didn’t mean that I had failed.Not for a minute!

I’ve made so many friends with this blog.  I’ve encountered so many people and have painted their furniture for them. I’ve sold pieces I’ve recreated on Etsy. But most importantly I’ve touched a life from someone as far as Alaska and that’s saying a lot for a little girl in Texas, and made great friends all over the US including Australia. Not to mention I’m always honored when I randomly get asked about my furniture tips! I may not get paid to advertise or promote paint or tools but it doesn’t mean I don’t use them for the projects people have paid me to work on; which has paid for said product or tool numerous times over! That in itself feels great!

So no, I don’t have my own furniture business per say but I still paint furniture and as long as it makes me happy and is done on my time, I will continue to paint furniture and then let you read all about it. 

I’ve said it before – we are all capable of greatness and we all have a spot in the world created specifically for us for a great purpose! We don’t fail, we live for the moment and choose our path for tomorrow. Today I’m living for mine and I’m LOVING doing it!

#Beautyintheblooming

Rita

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Job if I Choose to Accept…and of course I accept…duh!

My friend and fellow coworker Vanessa, asked if I’d help her with a piece of furniture she had and wanted to keep for her new house.  Without even looking at it, I of course said YES! I wouldn’t be me if I said otherwise! 

I just got it today and HAD to share it with you.  Also, the thing I LOVE about designers is they’re details. She gave me a rendering of what she had in mind:

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Here’s what it actually looks like:
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You can’t tell to well from this picture but the clear coat on the top is pretty damaged which gives it that shattered glass look.  I’m actually super excited about that part because it comes off really easy and it’ll make the finished product that much sweeter!

Oh and last thing is that the two bottom drawers will have to be removed and I haven’t yet inspected how I’ll do that but I”m sure it’s nothing a hot cup of coffee can’t solve!

I’ll be back with the finished product next week!
Rita

Friday, June 13, 2014

Pallet Art

I’ve always wanted to create “something” from a pallet and I finally got my chance when my friend Cindy asked me to be on the look out for a piece of wood we could make a sign out of. She sent me a picture of what she was looking for so I knew about what size it needed to be and began my hunt.

I ended up finding the perfect piece the other day at Home Depot while Sam and I were looking for flooring. Yet another project we’re working on around the house  Anyway, I found this small pallet (smaller than the typical pallet size) but it was perfect! I talked the guy in to letting me take it (thank you Mr. Kind Home Depot Employee) and sent a pic to Cindy for her approval.

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The sign needed to say “Smith Fab 5” and the colors she wanted were blue and brown.  So my original idea was to stain it and paint the face blue with wood stain coming through. It didn’t quite work that way and I ended up going a different route but in the picture below you can see the stain I started out with. It looked pretty nasty!

Since I would be painting this freehanded,  I drew myself some guides so that  it wouldn’t look too terrible.
(tip: I used a chalk pen to draw my lines and letters so I could erase them easily)

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I know that looks really gross but I painted over it so we’re good now!

Here’s the result.  A rustic pallet wall art! 

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Pallet art…CHECK!

Have a great Friday and a Happy Weekend!

Rita

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

I’m Gluttonous…hear me roar!

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Day two of empty nest syndrome and I have indulged in the picture you see above.  These are chocolate chip croissant’s that Sammy tortures me with, and though I know I can’t eat them,  I do …every last one of them! Every melt-in-your-mouth-morsel-of-chocolaty-goodness-sent-from-God.

Seriously though, I’m adding this to my list of “what not to eat while I’m alone at home”. The rest will include things like, an art’s and craft project, furniture project, make a home cooked meal…and whatever else I can come up with along the way. So far, I can scratch Laundry off my list!! I was behind in that department and now I’m all caught up (remember standing ovation). But don’t worry, every fun thing that gets crossed off, gets a blog post, so fair warning for the next two weeks! You can choose to stay away …but do you really want to? I hope not!!

Later Alligator,

Rita

Sunday, June 08, 2014

While The Kids Are Away…I Need to Organize BIG TIME!

 

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via Pintrest

Tomorrow I will be kid free for two weeks (Major Woo-Hoo)!!!

They leave first thing in the morning to go to California with their grandparents and for the first time in years, the house will be quiet and peaceful and bliss…at least that’s what I’m hoping anyway!

BUT

There’s always a “but”. What does that mean for me??  Well, I’ve actually thought about what to do during that time to fill my days and that whole thought process can be overwhelming in of itself! I mean, really, have you ever thought about having time to yourself, then start to think about what you can do, then come up with this ridiculous list in your head, then almost pass out from pure exhaustion just from the thought of it, then….boom… you’re spent!! Done!!  It’s just too much and you’ve killed the ideas before they ever really started.  I know you have because so have I.

The point is there is ALWAYS something to do:

  • Things you never got to
  • Things on your life’s “to-do list”
  • A mound of laundry
  • Projects you’ve either started or haven’t started yet…

So when it boils down to having free time, it sometimes just hurts to think about it. Ok, sure we can sit and read all day and forget about everything else but then there’s the whole guilt factor that comes along with it, and that simply won’t do. Bottom line is Organization is key in this overwhelming venture and in many cases, ORGANIZATION is not very friendly either. 

But, if you are someone like me, you grasp the notion that it can be done. It takes work but it’s feasible and only you can get in your own way. Or maybe rain, if you’re painting outside : )  It’s  always easy to see the dream, then look at the dedication factor or lack there of, only to be knocked down and simply give up. So part of my taking this time to organize is starting small. I think small organizing is far better than not organizing my life!

When organizing anything, a list is key! So tomorrow (when the house is quiet- halleluiah) I plan to make a list of all the things I can do in the two week period of heavenly bliss. (Did I mention I’ll miss the girls? I really will don’t get me wrong). Then as things start coming off the list, not everything, they’ll each get a standing ovation. Why? Because it was deserved, no matter how small the feat!

Wish me luck, which I don’t think I’ll need because I got this! I’ll keep you informed of my two week non-kid life and if I inspire you to make a small list for yourself, you can let me know and I’ll send you an air hug because I’ll be proud of you!

Excited for tomorrow,
Rita

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I GET TO WRITE BLOG POSTS!!

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If you follow my blog, you know I’ve recently made a career change and it’s quite frankly been the best move I’ve made! Things are falling in to place better than I’ve expected and I’m happy!!

Insert  Beaches Quote:
…free at last…free at last., Thank God Almighty I’m free at last!!

I sure hope you’ve seen that movie so you can have the mental image of CiCi Bloom and Hillary, the way I’m picturing them now : )

Before I go further, let me add that  I’ve thought about how I haven’t really posted anything about furniture on my “furniture” blog but just know I will when I have something, I promise. For now, I’m just going to update you from time to time on my life,  secretly hoping you were just waiting for the update mkay!

OH and in case you’re wondering,I have two furniture projects I’m currently working on but  (sadly) I’m painting an old white bed frame, WHITE and a wood stained dresser, well…cherry wood! So, yeah, I doubt I’ll be posting them since they won’t look very different. But they are for a family member whom I love so I’ll just do what she asks and be happy about it.

So, On to my job and exciting news (for me anyway)!

I was asked recently at work if I like to write (no I’m not kidding). In fact the conversation went something like:

coworker: Are you pretty good at writing?
me: um I think so, yes!
coworker: How would you feel about writing a blog post or two…
me: (cutting her off due to excitement pulsing through my veins) YES I ACCEPT!!!  I’M ALL OVER IT!!! WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO WRITE ABOUT???…

You get the idea of how that went down. But yes, I get to write blog posts at work. Yippeee!!  I’ll admit some will be difficult because I have to write about certain topics I’m not too familiar with but I fully intend to liven them up so someone will WANT to read them. 

sigh…ain’t life grand?

Thanks for listening to me and as always, your support!

Rita

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Learning When To Say Good-bye :*(

 

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I found this really beautiful piece of furniture last year and had all intent and purpose to refinish it. He was to be a masculine gray color and the intricate detailing on the front drawers would have an alternate color to offset the uniquity of the entire piece.  But it never happened.  Instead it sat in my sunroom and took a beating from the Texas weather.

After feeling horrible about it being outside forever,  I pulled it inside where it sat for a while but still no paint, no beatifying, no mending or updating. I know, I know…Rita you big dummy, how could you neglect this???  I don’t know but I did...

After having it my house for way too long and STILL not doing anything, I had to put it back outside (remember my house is small). In fact, I recall even telling Sam that if I die before I refurb this guy, please make sure Cassie from Primitive and Proper, gets him. I know she would be a wonderful mom to him and actually give him the attention he deserves. 

But this weekend, I finally had to say goodbye. We did some major cleaning of the sunroom and backyard on Saturday and I had to (regretfully) get rid of unfinished projects and just crap that has sit for way too long. It was hard though…boy was it hard. I had to tell myself to face reality. He was too far gone to keep alive. Water damage was great and there were severed pieces all over the place. It was something directly from a horror film. Wood splinted, boards warped and his lifeless body sat there staring at me with a look that said “ you did this!”And in my heart, I knew I had done this…the unthinkable. After a few moments of silence I said my goodbyes and told him one more time how truly sorry I was. Then with heads hung low, we dragged him to the curb.

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I’m telling you this because sometimes we can’t save them all. Even with the best of intentions, one falls through the cracks. I had such high hopes…but there will be others.

…and I fully intend to use my new cleaned out sun room to store them all in again. Do I have a problem? Maybe…Maybe not!

Rita