Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weaving Letters and Purses

Last Saturday I visited my friend, Melissa, who is always doing really ambitious and cool projects. She hosted a calligraphy class, which I was thrilled to be a part of. In the past when I thought of calligraphy, I imagined stuffy lettering in Old English block letters. She definitely puts the youthful stamp on a more modern version, and puts the fun back in the art of hand lettering. Take a look at this book a husband commissioned her to letter as a gift for his wife:

It takes some time and patience, but is surprisingly creative (there are rules, you know) and I can't wait to use this skill on a future project.

I brought Melissa a box of "creativity prompters" that I had pulled from my Studio Clean Out a few weeks ago. I am always drawn to interesting sweaters that I find at garage sales and thrift stores, and have done some really fun projects with them. But as I followed the "rules" of my Clean Out, I had to pass on a lot of "potential" projects, which is how Melissa ended up with a bunch of these sweaters. Look what she did with one of them:

Visit her post to get the how-to details. 
What have you repurposed lately that was a hit? Send photos and I'll share.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sweet Jammies

I've always loved repurposing, and clothing is one of the most creative (and least expensive) ways to do that. Recently, I decided to try my hand at making my little girl some jammies from a button up shirt of mine. She already owned a darling little nightie I thought would make a good "template" ( I use the word "template" because the word "pattern" puts the fear in me), so I cut the shirt roughly to match the nightie.

I worked around some of the existing features like the tiny snaps and pockets, and changed others, like cut off the collar and added a white ruffle to finish the sleeves. I also sewed up some little cropped jammie pants to wear under the nightie.
She loves them!
I come by this passion honestly--my parents are the master repurposers and I was lucky enough to grow up watching them. This is my sisters and I wearing matching jammies that my mom made for us--oh, to have lots of little girls to match! 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Typographic Chair

I've always loved typography--it just makes me happy. That's how I usually decide what trends or pet projects I'll bring into my home--the ones to put a smile in my heart, so I decided to add a little surprise to the seat of this chair. I started with a used Ikea Windsor chair that I had picked up for $5. I liked the classic lines and patina it already had, so I only had to add my detail and it would be finished. That's my kind of project.

First, I sanded the seat just a little (black paint can be tricky because sanding can actually make it look gray, so approach with a light hand).  I chose my stencil and grabbed some spare gray paint from my garage.  I just kind of dabbed on the paint and worked with it till it looked about right

I like things to look worn, not crafted, so I rubbed those smudgy edges down a little with sand paper again.

Now every time I sit down to my computer, I get to sit here.  And it's only going to get better with age.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Updating a Vintage Stool

My friend Jenny came over yesterday with this darling little trunk she had picked up for only $2.  The question:  How could we update it without compromising it's charm?  The answer:  accent it with creamy white.  There's a fine line between authentic and tired, so for this piece, we left the best part, the upholstery, and we updated the worn top and scuffed legs.


We added two coats of paint to the legs and covered the top with some soft creamy white fabric--a simple fix and a big transformation.


Monday, April 04, 2011

Inspired by Scarlett

My most recent client is 3 year old Scarlett, who needed a room to grow into as she outgrew her crib.  Together Marissa and I worked with a pink, white and scarlet color story to create a sophisticated, yet playful room.  

Marissa was lucky enough to have this amazing vintage bed just hanging out in her basement, and she dressed it with the Shabby Chic line from Target and pillows from Pier One.  I added a handmade pillow sewn from vintage fabrics to top it off.  Next to the bed is a little footstool so Scarlett can climb in and out of bed by herself.

Typically, fabric is chosen before paint because it is much easier to match paint to a pillow than it is to find a pillow to match an existing wall color.  The pale pink paint in Scarlett's room, however, was in great condition and a great color to begin with, so we worked backwards.  We scored with vintage smocked drapes in a pale pink, an amazing match for an existing paint color.

This heavy table was too large in scale for a nightstand, so it was positioned across from the bed, where it could handle the weight of the whole wall.  It actually began life as a beautiful dark wood, but Marissa coated it in white paint to make it visually lighter.  Baby blessing gowns from all the children in the family were framed and displayed with a few favorite pieces.  Next to the table lays her baby doll in a chippy-paint cradle won on ebay.  Because of the lead paint sometimes found in old furniture, it's always good to put a topcoat (or two) of clear poly-acrylic over the existing paint.

Nighty Night, Scarlett.  Sweet dreams.