Tuesday, August 31, 2010

L's table

When I arrived home from driving carpool a couple of days ago, I had an Orphan Annie experience.  On my front porch, looking very lonesome, was this table.  With a note taped to the top.  See it?

My friend L had left it for a makeover.  But like any makeover, she had to get cleaned up first!  Boy oh boy, did she.

In bad~blogging fashion, I neglected to take pictures of this piece sanded, and then primed.  I only remembered my camera after the first coat of blue was already on.  What can I say, I was headed to another parent's night at my children's school and I was in a hurry!  But, as those of you who know me personally know, I couldn't let the available painting time pass me by.  I get nervous when I sit still for too long.  So I went for it.

This piece must have been hand-done at some point, as almost every single screw in it is unique.  Some are innies, some are outies, some are flat head, some are phillips head.  Some are stripped out completely & rusted, while others look newer.  This piece had seen some living for sure!  As in the past, the blue is awfully bright before the glaze comes into the picture.  L had seen other pictures on the blog of pieces I've done in this finish, and wanted the same finish for her special piece.
The lighting is awful in these pictures~ I am sorry!  But it is late at night, and I couldn't end the day without bringing this sweet piece inside and showing off her new look.  I hope L loves it as much as I do!
Thanks for visiting!  And, SY, if you're reading this, I had so much fun chatting with you tonight!


Monday, August 30, 2010

B's piece

Do you remember this piece?  It was screaming 'unrealized potential'!  It was very loved when it came to me, but I think it will be even more loved now
Well, here it is now!!  Can you believe it!  B wanted the color to be really dark.  It is really dark, and thus hard to take pictures of.  But that is ok, because I think she is going to love it!  Can you even believe the wood grain, and all of the different patterns??  My friend Donna commented that, historically, furniture was made with many different species of wood, as carpenters used what they had.  With a lighter color stain, you could miss the different grain patterns, but this espresso color (a mixture, back & forth, of dark walnut & ebony stain from Minwax) really highlights the patterns.

B has her own knobs for this piece, but I just couldn't take pictures without knobs.  So these are temporary.  B, I hope you love it!  I can't wait to see pictures of it in it's new space!

PS... Does anyone know why my pictures are all over the place in this post?!  I can't figure it out, as the formatting seems to have changed.  A mystery for sure, and this technologically illiterate girl sure isn't going to figure it out on her own!


Sunday, August 29, 2010

next up...

Here we have another piece that I'm going to have trouble parting with :) This is starting to become a problem for me.

This buffet (or dresser) is my idea of perfection. I'll take you through all of the steps it took to get to perfection, though.

Remember the 'before'? It came in the furniture delivery last weekend. That bunny belongs to my 4 year old niece. Apparently, the bunny is lost :)

With the top stripped & sanded...
Top taped off, ready to paint the body of it.
Gorgeous drawers, wrapped to prevent any paint getting inside. They have such a beautiful shape.
Painted & ready for stain on the top.
Top with walnut stain still wet, thus the shimmering effect in the picture!
The cabinet doors being painted & distressed. It is interesting, there is beadboard on the back of the doors. Odd?
I couldn't resist popping a drawer in, just to get a glimpse of what it was going to look like. I gave the hardware a touch of ORB (oil rubbed bronze paint) to tone down the black finish just a smidge.
And here she is, in my dining room. Don't you think she wants to stay?!

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

today's haul

My 8 year old & I went out for a quick garage sale adventure this morning. We were headed to a particular sale, which actually ended up being a 'storage unit sale'. It was unique! The sale was being held out of a woman's storage unit at her apartment complex! I'd never seen anything like it, but regardless of the venue, the loot was good and we came home with not only some chocolate frosted donuts but also these beauties...

vanity with mirror (not pictured)

matching chest
footboard~ isn't it gorgeous?!? I LOVE beds like this!
and the headboard. Swoon...
I'm excited to get to work on these, but in the meantime I have some other projects to catch up on.

First off, B's beautiful piece that I shared about the other day. I've been staining over the last couple of days to get the rich, dark look that she is going for. I think we're there, although the sunlight reflecting off the top in this first pictures makes it appear lighter than it is!

This last picture is a better indication of the color...
I also finished a fabulous table today. It was actually just fine in it's original state, but I wanted to spice it up a bit. I got so many comments & emails about the turquoise tables (thanks!) that I decided to do a repeat performance.

So, the 'before'... like I said, just fine like it was.

The top with all the stain & finish removed.
Legs painted~ see what I mean about the color looking awfully bright?! Almost neon without the glaze.
Top stained dark walnut. And, yes, I love dark walnut stain. I'll try something else one day. Maybe.
And, finished. The top is still shimmering with the third coat of poly in this picture.

Hope everyone has had a great Saturday!

Friday, August 27, 2010

the answer to the question...

So, I have been asked this particular question a number of times now by those of you who have looked at my 'complete' blogger profile. When you look there, you will see that there are actually two blogs listed on my profile. This one, A Few Good Pieces, and another one, The Dunwoody Barnetts.

The questions I've gotten are about the latter.

Because it is an important part of my personal history as well as a story that should be told & re-told, I thought I'd give you a short look at that journey. Most of you who know me in 'real' life are familiar with the story.

In the spring of 2008 my sister & brother in law (Claire & Jeff) were expecting their second child, a baby boy to be named Mac. Midway through the pregnancy they were given the devastating news that Mac had some problems with his kidneys. Their perinatal specialists were able to perform an amazing procedure while Mac was still in the womb and the hope was that this would solve the problem (with the caveat that he would probably need some surgery after his birth).

They (and all of us) were cautiously optimistic for Mac's health but the worst was yet to come. Claire was hospitalized when the doctors discovered after extensive testing that Mac's kidneys has completely failed. At about 25 weeks, Claire & Jeff were told that there was virtually no chance that Mac could survive in this world. The kidney damage had caused a lack of fluid~ this lack of fluid had prevented his lungs from developing properly~ and thus he was thriving in the womb but was not expected to live after his birth.

The next 11 weeks, Claire & Jeff went about their lives as best they could. They went to work, spent time with their almost-two-year old daughter, swam at the pool, and some days just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

Everywhere she went, Claire faced the same scenarios.... "Oh, when is the baby due?!" "How far along are you?" "Bet you can't wait till that baby is born!" But the fact was, she could wait. Because we all knew that once Mac was born, it was likely he would not be here with us for long.

The process of trying to keep everyone updated was a challenge that I assumed. Claire is not only my sister, but also my best friend, neighbor, and the best aunt to my children I could ever ask for. After having my update emails blocked by yahoo (too many recipients!) I decided to create a blog. Our plan was to use it for communication with friends & family, and to take it down when we were 'done' with it.

That blog turned into the documentation of Mac's short time here with us. It shares the thoughts & prayers of some many people who were with us in so many ways during those months. The thought of taking it down makes me feel a little sick~ and we have resisted taking it down because it seems every time I think about it, someone contacts me to tell me that they, too, are facing the loss of their unborn child and it was so helpful to them to read through the blog. People hate uncertainty- I know we did, and we read everything we could find about infant loss for the same reason.

Mac was born on July 24, 2008. He was baptized in the hospital room with all four grandparents, an aunt and an uncle present. He was loved immeasurably during his time here with us. About 20 minutes after he was born he went back home to Heaven. Our very dear photographer, Elizabeth Smith, was there with us to get the most precious pictures of Claire & Jeff's beautiful baby boy.

Mac's life is a reminder to us of so many things~ life is precious, love your children, never take a moment for granted, everyone needs hope, faith can carry you through just about anything. It is also a reminder to me of a favorite saying... 'Everyone has their own reality'. We are all dealing with something, whether it is a broken heart, a troubled spirit, a loss, a hard decision... all of us. And if we take that into account when dealing with other people, how much better would we treat one another?

If you want to read more of Mac's story, please visit www.dunwoodybarnetts.blogspot.com I think you'll be blessed by the story, and I hope that the story of Mac's short life will change your life as well.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

up next: a real doozy

A very dear friend of mine brought over this piece yesterday for me to work on. It is a great, classic piece. It is special to her, but she doesn't care for the finish. So, I was ready to get to work!From the front of the piece, it looks like it is in great shape. Then you shift your perspective, and see the top. Ohmygoodness. A real doozy (Sorry, B, but I have to tell it like it is!)
First up: Citristrip. I put on a good thick coat, and then went to run some errands. It seems like this stuff really likes to sit a while before you mess with it.
I did the top first, then each side, then the front, so that I could work with each surface when it was flat. The sides & front only needed one application of stripper, but the top needed three :)
This was, I believe, after the second application of stripper on the top. You can see it is getting better, but not much yet!
There, that is better! Now we're making progress. So I started to sand, first with 60 grit, then 120, then 220.
Getting there. I did have to get out the bleach on the mold/mildew eventually, or it was going to be there permanently. You can't really see it here, but one of the marks is staying for good... turned out it's a burn, and it is pretty deep. I say it adds character!

One of the drawers, before wood conditioner.
And after wood conditioner. This wood was thirsty. It looked much healthier after a good drink.

More progress. B wants it dark, as she just had her kitchen renovated and her cabinets are espresso. I did the first coat of stain this morning, and was surprised that I was able to do another coat just now. It usually doesn't dry that fast! I used Dark Walnut, but was thinking of adding in a layer of Ebony too. Does anyone have any experience mixing these?!

Look at the grain in this wood, it is gorgeous! Funny, though, how these old pieces were made. In some cases, it appears that the wood grain in one drawer is from a totally different species than the next drawer. The differences aren't obvious in a light stain, but when you start to add color, the grain really shows up.
Phew! I'm calling it a night. More to do tomorrow to get this piece back to beautiful!