Re-painted furniture: tiny cottage side table makeover

Okay let’s get one thing clear: I’m terrible at “befores.” It’s not that I don’t appreciate – or want to share – a dramatic transformation. On the contrary – but sometimes I forget to take the before picture!

So for this before/after project, please imagine if you will… a tiny, dark brown side table complete with spider egg sacs on the underside, missing its center support and crying out for rescue like the sad puppies in the ASPCA commercial. (I’m pretty sure Sara McClachlan would spontaneously start singing “In the Arms of an Angel” if she saw this table.)

I acquired my little table at an auction several weeks ago… I won’t tell you what I paid for it, but I will tell you that I never… EVER… pay more than $10 for a table at an auction. (Except for that one time I did, because Greg thought he was being helpful by waving his hand with five fingers displayed, thinking he was bidding five dollars… and turned out he was waving affirmative at 25. I was the lucky winner of THAT table too, because no one in their right mind would’ve paid that much for it. Ahem. I will show you that project another time.)

So anyway, the table was cheap. Which is good, because it was awful. Greg redeemed himself (mostly) for the $25 table because he did a LOT of work to this piece. He pulled out all the wobbly bits and re-glued them, AND he rebuilt from scratch the v-shaped support in the lower part of the table using dowel construction and a hand saw. He tied and weighted the whole thing down with heavy books and some sort of secret sailor’s knot, and we left it alone for a few days. When the ropes and weights came off, it was a sturdy little table once again.

Now it just needed paint, which in this case meant two coats of “Romance” chalk paint by Americana (now called “Rouge”). And – voila – no more sad puppy!!

Hazel and Verdie | Furniture makeover - small painted side table

 

Isn’t it adorable? Look at that sweet center support!

Hazel & Verdie's | Red cottage side table

 

That little shelf is perfect for CDs, Little Golden Books, Christmas greenery, or… or… or even plain!

Hazel & Verdie's | Red cottage side table

 

At this point the only problem that remained… was that the top was a beautiful, but rather boring, expanse of red.

Hazel & Verdie's | Red cottage side table

 

Now let me tell you I debated on what to do about that for a couple more weeks. I considered adding a vintage label graphic, painting roses on it, painting a Union Jack, leaving it plain, and all manner of other ideas. I finally decided to go for the roses, but not having painted any roses for quite awhile I first needed some practice. Here are the somewhat sorry results of that effort, shown in the hideous light of my stove because the lighting here in the dollhouse is generally terrible when there’s no daylight.

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small cottage side table

 

Well it wasn’t stellar but fortunately for me my word for 2016 is “imperfect.” So off I went, and created this:

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

 

So there we are, at long last, the “afters” on a poor little sad table that certainly isn’t sad anymore!

In fact, I daresay that if Sara McClachlan could see this table today, she would likely change her tune to “How Much is That Doggie in the Window.” Arf arf!

Hazel and Verdie's | Furniture makeover: small red cottage table

 

I will be linking my sweet little cottage table at these parties, so be sure to click through for oodles of inspiration!

Make It Pretty Monday at The Dedicated House
A Round Tuit at Creating My Way to Success
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life
Home & Garden Thursday at A Delightsome Life
Flaunt It Friday at Chic on a Shoestrong

More soon –

Hazel & Verdie's

 

 

 

 

 

Little shop of who-knows-what

Since I last posted about six weeks ago, I have taken a small step toward my long-held dream of owning a second-hand shop filled with gently used home decor and accessories (including, of course – dishes!). On November 18, I committed to having a small booth in an antique mall here in Historic Valley Junction – the original “Main Street” of West Des Moines, now an antique destination in central Iowa. (More about Valley Junction in a future post.)

Hazel & Verdie's | Shop sign at Memory Lane, West Des Moines
The owner of Memory Lane Antiques & Collectibles has been extremely helpful and has gone out of his way to encourage and support my initial efforts. He advised me to start small with what he calls a “peg board space” – a four-foot section of wall covered in pegboard, and the ability to have items extend out from the wall about 24 inches. So basically, a two-by-four-foot section of floor plus the wall.

After my first conversation with Ed and his wife Betty, I went home and planned what I might put into this type of space. I decided I could afford to commit to two spaces, and with the click of the “send” button, suddenly I was a dealer in the heart of one of Iowa’s antique hubs!

My little space, of course, is called “Hazel and Verdie’s.” Greg has been super-helpful and encouraging as my carpenter and my muscle. I had a fun couple of weeks figuring out what to use for display fixtures, what I would offer, and how it would all fit – at one point I actually taped off a section of my living room and set up my fixtures so I could be certain the layout would work.

Hazel & Verdie's Shop Tip: Do a dry-run set-up to be sure it fits!
In the store, it feels more like an actual booth because on one side of me there’s a large piece of furniture extending out from the wall, and on the other side I have a clothing rack extending out. So I’ve been able to visually enclose my space even though it’s technically just a flat section of wall.

My merchandise right now is all in the vintage or collectibles categories because there are no objects that qualify as antiques (100 years old or older). My focus is on home decor and accessories, but I also have some vintage-inspired toddler dresses (because it’s Christmas and every little doodle-bug needs a Christmas dress… and plus they are soooo cute!), a few crafty items, and dishes.

Hazel & Verdie's | Christmas goodies at Memory Lane in West Des Moines

 

Hazel & Verdie's | Christmas-themed dishes, and odds 'n ends
More goodies at Hazel & Verdie's, Memory Lane, West Des Moines

It is an affordable way to get started… give it some serious thought and effort… and see if I end up having a knack for it. I have no idea if this tiny space will prosper and evolve into my vision… but, I have started. I’m excited!

If you are in the area and want to stop by, you can find Hazel & Verdie’s at Memory Lane Antiques, Collectibles & Gifts, 208 – Fifth St., West Des Moines, Iowa.

Since November 18 I’ve just about “broken even” on rent so I expect to go over the top before Christmas and hopefully won’t owe Ed any rent money at the end of the month – though I sure owe him a sincere “thank you” for all his help in getting started.

More soon,

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Pumpkin patch in the city

I’ve been somewhat obsessed enamored with “blue” pumpkins this year (like this Pin from French Country Cottage) but until recently had not really found anyplace local to buy them. Then over this past weekend I was driving to Walmart and happened to catch sight of THIS… almost missed it as I whizzed by:

Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkin patch in the city!
Now that is a city-fied pumpkin patch if I have ever seen one! About a half-acre covered with harvested pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, straw bales, dried corn stalks, and other natural Autumn items! Just look at all this loveliness!
Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkin patch in the city!

Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkin patch in the city!

Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkin patch in the city!

Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkin patch in the city!

Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkin patch in the city!

 

I picked up two pumpkins for carving, a few small white pumpkins (because I am ALSO in love with those!), a few gourds, and of course my blue prize:

Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkin patch in the city!

 

And took them all home and arranged them on the porch (okay the Indian Corn was kind of an after-thought – LOL):

Hazel & Verdie | Pumpkins on the porch

I will be ready for trick-or-treaters on Friday night!

Do you have trick-or-treating (or Beggar’s Night) where you live? One thing that seems to be unique here in Des Moines is that the kids must tell a joke or riddle to get their treat. So here is my riddle for this year, in case I have a chance to get a treat:

What is the difference between a hippo and a Zippo?
Well, one’s pretty heavy and the other is a little lighter. 

GET IT?? A LITTLE LIGHTER… a-hahahahaha!!!

*sigh*

 

More soon,

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Cottage cookbook storage

I’ve been on a mission to find some cottagey storage to hold my cookbooks, and recently came upon this little cutie at the Valley Junction Antique Jamboree here in West Des Moines. She was, of course, a tad over-priced – especially given that, upon close inspection, every leg was loose and there were some obvious places where the top had been filled/repaired (poorly) around the edge.

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet
But still, she had a lot going for her, including the pretty legs, dual doors, and also perfect height for her intended spot in the kitchen. So I haggled a bit and got her for a much better price. I did not even have to pay extra for the few tiny spiders I found on the underside. Which is good, because if there’s one thing I never pay for… it’s spiders.

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet

 

I am not a professional furniture painter by any stretch… I know enough to follow the grain (mostly), tape off the glass, and gob it on to create that “this thing’s been painted so many times over the years I lost count” look that is sooo critical in a cottage piece. (That IS critical, right? If it’s not, I’ve been doing a lot of gobbing for no reason. And that is worse than paying for spiders.)

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet

 

And, although I do plan to try both chalk paint and mineral paint on upcoming projects, for this project I stuck with good old latex house paint – a used half-gallon I picked up for $3 at my local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet
Here she is completed and sitting in her intended spot. I think she looks adorable!

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet
I also sprayed the original hardware with a pretty aqua blue. It looks okay, but as you can see it doesn’t even really fit. On second thought, perhaps that is NOT the original hardware. It is simply the hardware that was on the piece when I bought it. Anyway, I think I will be trading that out for some smaller knobs. Maybe glass or frosted pink.

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet
Here she is with a soft bit of scented drawer liner inside, loaded with cookbooks and sporting some Autumn-themed pretties on top.

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet

Hazel & Verdie: Cottage Cookbook storage

 

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet

 

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet
All set for cookbook storage duty in my cottage kitchen!

Hazel and Verdie: Cookbook Storage Cabinet

More soon,

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Vintage and Made Fair, 2015

I wanted to be sure to share with you my recent visit to the “Vintage and Made Fair” held recently in West Des Moines. This was a fun little outdoor market inspired by independent crafting and all things vintage. Booths included homemade skin care products, repurposed and upcycled junk, and what I like to call “project elements” – in other words, raw junk, ripe for the picking! This Fair is only in its second year, and has already been chosen by Buzzfeed as one of the Top 10 Indie Craft Fairs in the world!

Here are a few photos showing just a little of what we saw on Sunday morning. So much inspiration!

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

 

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

Vintage and Made Fair 2015

 

See anything you’d like to purchase? I did! I especially loved the Autumn-themed tablescape (and the big blue buffet) shown in the photos above… but all I actually bought was these two sweet little vintage tins. At just $2 each, I thought they were a great deal!

Hazel & Verdie: Vintage and Made Fair 2015

 

Have you found any awesome little treasures lately?

I’m sharing this post at the Vintage Inspiration link party on Betsy’s lovely blog, My Salvaged Treasures. Be sure to click through for creative ideas! 

More soon,

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