60. Before and After: Antique China Cabinet

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I’ll be joining the festivities later this evening, but first, a blog post.

I promised to make last week all about furniture.  I failed to keep this promise and only wrote one post.  Shame on me!  Let’s try this again.  Hopefully I’ll find the time to write up everything on my list!

Today’s before and after is a lovely antique china cabinet I found on Craigslist.  The young lady who sold it to me only wanted $35!

antique china cabinetIt’s hard to tell from the photo, but the wood was not exactly in great shape.  I decided to paint the cabinet, and decided on a deep turquoise from Behr called “Caribe”.

behr caribe

Source: Home Depot

Jason ended up being the one who painted this cabinet; I had a lot of projects going on at that time, and we just wanted to get them DONE.  I think he did an excellent job.

antique china cabinetThis cabinet got painted almost two years ago.  I use it for storing all my yarn and knitting accessories, and the fact that it didn’t have a handle was super annoying.  Last month, I went back to Home Depot and bought an antique-style cabinet pull, drilled a few holes in the door, and installed the handle.  Much, much better.

antique china cabinetYou’ll notice that the paint job has gotten quite a few dings.  We moved since acquiring the cabinet, and it’s moved around a bit in our new place.  Battle scars, my friends.  Battle scars.  I think they add a bit of character, so I probably won’t fix them.  I also don’t have any more of this paint, so I’m sure that also has something to do with my lack of caring.

before and after antique china cabinetI seriously cannot believe it took me so long to show you this cabinet!  The worst case of procrastination if I ever saw one.  Make sure to check back tomorrow, because I’ll be showing you another furniture makeover: a set of vintage dressers!

XO,
Gabriella

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24. Made from Scratch: DIY Feather Wall Art

Happy Labor Day!

I’m at home today, but still working hard.  I’ll be teaching a lecture and lab at Carroll University this semester, and I still have a TON of prep work to do.  Even so, I thought I’d take a much needed break and show you some cool art work I made last week.  I’ll even give you instructions on how to paint these all by yourself!

DIY Feather Wall Art

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Materials:

canvas
acrylic paint
2-3 paintbrushes
paper plate (to hold paint)
plastic drop cloth (I used a trash bag laid out flat)
measuring tape
level
hanging method of your choice (I used Command strips)

Directions:

1. Unwrap your canvas and place it in the middle of the plastic drop cloth (i.e. garbage bag).  This project would ideally go a lot smoother with an easel, but I don’t have one…so you do what ya gotta do.  I purchased my canvases from Joann on sale for $5/each.  Scoreeeeee.

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8″ x 24″ canvas, $5 (sale price)

2. Using your acrylic paint color of choice and a wide paintbrush, coat the entire canvas.  Don’t forget about the sides!  This will be your background color, so pick anything your little heart desires.  I did three canvases in varying shades of blue: Spa Blue, Bahama Blue, and Desert Turquoise.

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Americana acrylic paint, $1.39/each

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3. Allow the canvas to dry completely.  Since we’re using acrylic paint, this will take about 30 minutes or so.

4. Now come the feathers.  It’s best to use three different shades in the same color family.  This will add dimension to your feathers and give them a realistic quality.  I used Cool White, Bleached Sand and Mississippi Mud.

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I think the feathers would look great in varying shades of grays or blues as well.

The base of the feather comes first, and you’ll want to use the darkest of the three shades.  Using a small brush, create a line down the center of the canvas.  Don’t worry about trying to make the line straight; it will actually look much better if there is a slight curve.  Once you have the first line drawn, slightly thicken the bottom 2″ of the line (this will be the “stalk” of the feather).  Finish off the base by using short, quick strokes to fan out the line (see closeup, far right).  Feel free to add extra paint to your brush as needed.

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5. Using the same brush, add in the medium color to the feather, starting near the center of the “stalk” and working your way out and up.  You want these strokes to be much longer, with a slight curve upwards.  I added the dark brown to my brush here and there to blend the colors and add depth.  You want both sides of the feather to ALMOST touch in the middle, making sure to let some of the darkest shade to peak through along the center line.

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6. Finally, add in the lightest color of the bunch (Cool White in this case).  Use this color a bit more sparingly than the medium shade, but the stroke pattern is pretty much the same as the last step.  Again, I added the medium shade to my brush every now and then to blend the colors a bit.

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7.  Let your canvas dry completely, and admire your work!  Feel free to sign your art. 🙂

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Hang them using your method of choice.  I used Command strips since these were so lightweight…or should I say “light as a feather”?  Yuk yuk yuk.

All in all, this project cost me about $25.  It would have been closer to $20 if I already had the brushes.  Still a better deal than buying something similar from a big box store!

I love how they turned out, and they look so pretty hanging on our wall.

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I hope I’ve inspired you to create some DIY wall art of your own!  Remember, it’s just paint…nothing to be afraid of!  If you don’t like the results or feel like you’ve made too many “mistakes”, you can always paint over them with your base color and start over.

XO,
Gabriella

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18. So, let’s be brutally honest…I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 1)

This post is the first of a series of posts dedicated to the crazy plans milling about my brain.  Please stay tuned for all FOUR posts!   (Don’t act all surprised…you read the title, folks.)

Too many projects.  And yet, I have the urge to add more things to the list.  Poor hubbins, he will want to declare mutiny one of these days.  Some of these projects are actually completed…or close to being completed, and I just need to write up a nice, tidy blog post about each of them (tidy? ha!).  Others are in the midst of being worked on, and yet others…are just in the back of my mind and don’t actually exist yet.  Yes, I am a crazy person.  I just feel like there is always something that can be rearranged or reworked or refinished or replaced (with an equal or greater thing).

Again, if you don’t know me well enough…I WANT ALL THE THINGS.  ALL OF THEM.

Let’s begin with the living room.  Here is the blank canvas with which we started.  (I know you grammar fiends out there are smiling at my beautiful sentence construction.)

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The color is staying because a. I don’t mind it, and b. you can’t tell from the photo, but the walls are textured (almost like Spanish plaster), and ain’t nobody got time for that.  Also, we can’t change anything structurally (remember, we are just lowly renters), and I also can’t paint any woodwork that isn’t already painted.  I love me some white trim, but that’s not gonna happen in this house.  That means the off white carpet and light fixtures also stay put.

Here’s what we have as of today.

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Not terrible, but it’s definitely a far cry from what I’m picturing for this room.

Plans for this room:

1. Get rid of wooden spool tables.  They are super awesome and I love them, but they just aren’t practical.  They are a bit too high to use as footrests, and that was the original purpose I intended us to use them for.  They also have holes in the center (into which lots of things get lost…remotes, earrings, crumbs, etc.) and bolts sticking out of the top.  I currently have one in the corner between the couches, but it’s a little low (you can’t even see it in the photo above).  Maybe I could add some height with a few hairpin legs?

2. Fabricate new ottoman(s) to replace the tables.  I will probably make these from scratch.  I’m thinking low, tufted ottomans with a chic print.  Maybe something like this.  I’m already cooking up some plan and a tutorial!  It will be frickin’ magical.

3. “New” stand for the TV.  I haven’t decided whether I want to hack our current stand from IKEA, or replace it with a distressed dresser or buffet.  They don’t sell the exact stand at IKEA any more, but this one is pretty close to what we have:

Source: ikea.com

Source: ikea.com

I’m thinking I might try to hack it first…and I’m sure that idea would sound better to Jason than hauling yet another piece of second-hand furniture into our house.  I’m pretty sure he gets a horrible sense of dread every time I start a sentence with the words, “So, I was looking on Craigslist…”  (The TV and stand are to the right of the radiator…just out of frame).

4. New throw pillows.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the ones we have, but I feel like the colors are clashing a bit too much.  I’d like to tone it down and have them all in neutrals like gray, white, taupe, and cream.  It’s not boring I swear!  We have a pretty big antique cabinet in our living room that houses my yarn addiction…um, collection…and it’s a deep turquoise (you can see it in the back right corner).  I’d rather let that color be the focal point and not throw in too many other crazy hues.

5. Wall art.  We don’t really have any cool pieces of art to display (besides a painting or two from my dad).  I want special pieces, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open while perusing thrift and antique stores.  We honestly have only one piece of art displayed right now.  You might have noticed it in the photos of our DIY rustic dining table.  It’s a really pretty print of “White Mums”, a painting my Neal Butcher.  I couldn’t find out much about him, so I’m not sure if the print is worth anything…but it only cost me $7 at Goodwill.  Sweet deal.  I’m debating about whether or not I should change out the frame (or at least paint it).  Perhaps that will be a future post.

6. Give our Expedit a makeover and move it into the living room.  I love the storage space, but I’ve grown tired of the dark “wood”.  We have this one:

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Source: ikea.com

I’ve seen some really cool hacks for this system whilst browsing the internet, and I’m especially fond of this one.  I’d like to paint ours gray and add wooden doors to half of the cubes…perhaps the center columns, just to do something a little different?  Another reason to keep reading my posts, I suppose. 😉

Well, that’s pretty much what I have planned for the living room!  Make sure to check back soon to read all about the plans for the rest of our place.

XO,
Gabriella

 

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