Stencils, Paint, & Grainsack, Oh My!

Recently, I had a client who wanted a shabby chic look for her new dining space, but she just couldn’t come to terms with the idea of using old grainsacks. Sure, she wanted an authentic look, but the thought of sitting on used (and possibly dirty) grainsacks wasn’t her cup of tea.  

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So, we went to work hunting down a few stencils to make our own grainsack. One was a stripe stencil and the other had the design. Then we selected just the right shade of hemp fabric. If you’ve never used stencils on fabric, it’s the easy thing in the world. Here’s how you do it.

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My Great Craigslist Adventures

I’ve got a problem…  It’s my ever increasing obsession with craigslist. Sometimes I drive hours away to get a good deal. I’ve known others who love craigslist, too, but not to this degree. I’ve been buying on craigslist for years long before they had posted pictures! What did I do before craigslist? I can tell you that I was a garage sale fanatic. When I lived in St. Louis they had amazing garage sales. The best day to go was on Wednesday. My friends and I would pile into a Suburban and head out for the day almost weekly to find all sorts of treasures that we never knew we needed until we saw them. That’s how I first began decorating my house. This was in the early 90s. After moving away to Chicago, I missed garage sales terribly as cities are no conducive to these types of sales. So, I found Goodwill stores and other resale stores. And then, craigslist came along. Here’s one of my most favorite sets bought on craigslist that I refurbished with the paint and fabric. Continue reading “My Great Craigslist Adventures”

How Chairs can Make a Difference for Hospice

If you’ve ever had a loved one need hospice care, you find out real quick that hospice workers are the most amazing people to ever walk this planet. About 12 years ago, my dear dad became so sick that we needed hospice to step in. The nurses supported us as caretakers, counselors, and listeners. They didn’t shy away from death, but instead helped us face it with courage. I wish I could do such meaningful work. It’s truly inspiring.

That’s why for the last three years I’ve donated chairs to a hospice charity fundraiser. Last year was my first year to actually attend the event and the keynote speaker was Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild which also was a movie with Reece Witherspoon. It was amazing to hear her personal story. This year’s speakers are the parents of Esther Earl. You would best know her as the main character in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Continue reading “How Chairs can Make a Difference for Hospice”

My Big Crush

I admit it…I’ve got a huge crush on the Kate Spade brand right now. It doesn’t matter if it’s the dishes (and I’ve got a huge problem when it comes to loving dishes—ask my family), fabric by the yard, or Kate Spade Keds, I love it all. So, when I discover a cute apron that I want—but know that I’ll never wear—I have to devise a reason for buying it.

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The Surprising Fabrics That Go with Rustic

I love all styles, but one style that has gotten me particularly excited lately is the popular modern farmhouse look. All that rustic wood has the potential to look so amazing in our spaces. Now, I live in a Victorian house and my furnishings consist of black tufted leather, French chairs, bold chandeliers, gold, silver, and copper accents, and furry pillows—just to name a few. Because of what I do, I naturally think of adding in a chair to bring in that modern farmhouse look. Continue reading “The Surprising Fabrics That Go with Rustic”

The Ugly Chair Makeover Reveal

Remember back a couple of months ago? I put out a call for for you to submit all your ugly chairs, we voted, and there was a winner! Does this chair ring a bell? It was the winner!

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This chair was one of those that has awesome bones. My rule of thumb is to always look at the shape of the chair. Ignore the wood and fabric. Is the shape attractive? Does it have potential? This one was a definite YES! Continue reading “The Ugly Chair Makeover Reveal”

What Happens When a Chair Graduates?

I often get the question, “Is it hard to let go of a chair after you’ve worked on it for so long?” My response is not typically what people expect…No, its not hard to let go. I’m not a hoarder…even though my chair stash in my storage would seem to claim otherwise! I’m the type of person who likes to finish a project and check it off my list. (Don’t get me wrong, I have some pieces that I’m not parting with any time soon. But these are NFS!)

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I like to get client’s chairs in the mail and on their way to their new home. Yes, I feel proud of what I do and I love the chairs that I work on, but there’s a time and place to say goodbye.
So, a chair gets stripped, painted, and upholstered—which takes many hours to complete—but what happens to a chair when it graduates my workshop and is ready to go to its new owner? It’s a process, that’s for sure!  Continue reading “What Happens When a Chair Graduates?”

If These Chairs Could Talk…

If you are ever wanting to find some treasures, look no further than your own furniture. It should be no surprise that we lose things inside our furniture. We put things in our pockets and they slide out. Long ago before cell phones held all my contact information, I had a tiny address book that went missing. It held all my family addresses and phone numbers. While stripping that chair—long before I really knew what I was doing—I found it wedged inside the chair. Continue reading “If These Chairs Could Talk…”