Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My new Rap

Ok this had nothing to do with my Etsy Store, but it is my day Job, and I think its pretty funny.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Re sizing an old gem

Sometimes my plans for a vintage find are a bit different than a customers ideas. I had made this table. I loved it and it received over 2000 hearts on Etsy. One day I got a private message asking if i were willing to make it shorter and thinner to fit into an apartment. They were willing to pay the same price so I thought "Heck why not". This meant that I would be cutting an already finished piece. not a task that I was thrilled about, but who was I kidding someone wanted to buy my table and I was certainly going to comply with their request.

The first step was to measure it out so that the ends would remain symmetrical. Once I made the cut It left me with an unfinished edge. Since the finish is what I take the most pride in (otherwise its a door with legs...woo hoo) I was very careful in matching the finish in that edge with the rest of the piece. Lucky for me I still had all the paint that I had put on the original piece. After that I had to move the braces as they were now attached to a piece I had cut off the table.

I reattached then where they belonged symmetrical to the other legs. the legs required no re-panting as they were already the matching finish. I completed and listed the custom item 2 days later. but that left me with a half finished shorter piece. I had made shorter end tables before in a maroon finish. The trouble now was that If I was going to make this spare table top into a table I would have to finish new legs in the same style that the original table was...or just start over and re-finish the whole thing. As I showed in a previous post, I was able to put my custom teal finish (which I am still looking for a name for)onto some newer longer legs and create an end table. It took several tries to match the finish but I am very pleased with the way it came out.

So not only was I able to shorten and sell the original table but I was also able to create a new piece our of my left overs. It's like recycling on steroids. As Always please feel free to see this item finished in my etsy store. If you have Ideas for a name for this finish I am thinking about having a giveaway to the name you come up with that I like the most. We will see.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Vintage Frame Earring Holder

Easily my most popular Item and the one I make most often is the earring holder. While I can’t say that I invented it, I did Invent the Signature look I put on them. I had seen similar finishes on factory made pieces but it just looked fake. I wanted it to look more like the older items you would see at your local salvage yard, than like it was fresh off the assembly line. They key essential is that the Frames ARE actually old, they just typically have no paint at all let alone several layers.

I picked this frame up at a yard sale this summer. (A Great place for my vintage finds) It had no finish on it, just plain wood. A few years ago when we bought our house my wife found some old paints in the basement. She mixed Several together and came up with a really cool dark teal that soon became known as "the downstairs bathroom color" That is only because its the color we painted the downstairs bathroom... In case you didn’t catch that.

So I found what was left of her mixture and thought it would be a great top coat for an earring frame. I had previously done some in a lighter teal and since it was my first ever sale I thought I would go with teal again but darker this time.

I first painted a very light pink. It is actually the color of the walls in my wife's studio It made a great base coat and there happened to be plenty left over. I let it dry completely then paint over it with the Teal I mentioned.

Then I add my little touch. The whole reason I document the process is to show that I did in fact create the finish. I like to try to make it look as natural as possible, yet its actually brand new (the finish, not the frame) Using new frames would be easier, but with a slogan like “Giving new life to vintage finds” it wouldn’t really work out.

The Screen I actually get in rolls and cut to length, this is a bit tricky because I staple it to the frame. First I need to make sure that it is tight all the way around, without wrinkles. Then I need to cut it as close to length as possible while still leaving enough to fold over. I like to hide the staples and also want to tuck any shards of screen away so as not to have them poking my customers. I have on many occasions stabbed myself with the screen ends, however: to date I have never bled on a frame .

After the screen is all attached its ready to go. This one is listed in my etsy shop

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Re-Vamped Bullitin Board

Part of What I do On Etsy is "Give new life to vintage finds" This means that An Older item that has been sitting in the basement, Garage, Or my favorite someones yard sale can be given new life.

A lot of the time I actually change the use of the item. Like turning an interior door from a turn-of-the-century home in Maine, into a beautiful coffee Table

I have realized that this effect matches my Wife's style quite well, and so I am frequently tasked with Distressing something the make it look older. Kinda the opposite effect of what a typical celebrity would be going for.

And So begins the progression of a distressed bulletin board. It was in relatively good shape, but just had no personality, and looked lame on the wall.

The first step is obviously to tape off the portions that I don't want painted. (I am not that good with a paint brush, so I go through a lot of Tape)

I actually used a steak knife to make sure the tape was tucked neatly into the creases and covering all desired parts. The next part is very simple. Just paint it. You will not have to worry about accuracy because you just took the time to tape it off.. haha well hopefully you did anyway.

Because I will be distressing it, I put the paint on heavy. I want to make sure there is plenty there to sand off later.

Once several coats of the paint are dry I start the distressing. Its a matter of finding just the right amount or pressure while sanding.

It will scrape the paint off and make it look naturally distressed. Once that's done I wipe it down with a damp cloth to get all the dust off.

It was still missing something though, perhaps a little embellishment. I found these faucets at the local hardware store a few years ago and they had been sitting on a shelf in the garage ever since.

Combined with a light screw they added the perfect look to finish the piece.
So there you have it the progression of a bulletin board.