Saturday, November 19, 2011

New Project In the Works!

I've had this little chest since the summer. It was a freebie - another treasure from my church. I finally decided to make it my next project, and today I'm showing you the before photos.

I have no idea how this piece began - what it was originally made for or intended to be. It appears to have been stripped partially of gray paint, then "faux" painted a sort of mauve marble.

There was a time I would have probably done the same thing. Now, I wish they would have stopped with the partially-stripped gray.

It has panels on it, but the wood doesn't appear to be fine wood. It has handles on both ends, but they were probably added later. 

You can tell they were "pre-faux" since there's faux on them.

There's also a hasp. I think that's what you call it - hardware used to attach a padlock. The handles and hasp are more utilitarian than decorative. There is no ornamentation on them at all.

There was a little surprise on the bottom of the trunk:

It may have been a crate for a clock or something fragile. I would say it's a crate, except for the panels. You don't see many crates with panels. What do you think? Any ideas?

Whatever it was, I'm glad to have it, and I hope it turns out like I see it in my mind's eye.

Since I'm more a "painter" than a "stripper" I opted to paint it. I've had a certain finish in mind. I'm experimenting, and you're my guinea pigs. Yes, I also use my dinner guests as guinea pigs. I know that's a "faux pas" but this post is sort of celebrating a little faux. My plan for this little chest is a sort of "nouveau faux" treatment. (That's for all my Francophile friends.) 

Hint: It will not be white! 

Another Hint:  It will work beautifully in a white environment.

Word for the Day:

Philippians 1:6

 ...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Finding Just the Right Words - Vintage Book Bundles

My church friend Marilou recently gave me several boxes of books from her garage sale. Many were a bit water-damaged, and covers were coming off. I had stopped by her garage sale and had gathered a box of goodies to purchase when she offered them to me. I knew immediately what I would do with them! 

I have admired book bundles on other blogs, and I know they sold for $29 at Restoration Hardware. I LOVE all my old books, and didn't want to harm them to make a book bundle. 

Yes, they appeal to my love for texture and yes, they are another way to use a different "white" element. But my constructive nature was at odds with the deconstruction of a perfectly good old book!

Marilou's offer of already self-deconstructing books was the answer! I set to work ripping off covers and searching Google to see what methods of binding appealed the most.

I purchased a spool of twine, unwrapped some vintage seam-binding tape from my stash of sewing supplies and set to work. Some of the contents pages were highly decorative, offering a little color to the predominately white and tan constructions. That opened up another possibility; embellishing the strings with found objects!

I decided to let the books dictate what might be attached, and took cues from the wording or the colors found on the cover pages.

It was fun digging through my boxes of old buttons, rusty washers, keys, seashells and beads! 

Some were left plain. Plain is always good. Basic is always right, especially when the book is really special.

During this process, I couldn't help but wonder who had purchased these books. How did they end up at Marilou's garage sale? Some had cryptic notations penned inside.

I focused on mixing a variety of textures and values on the spines, since that is what might be seen on a bookcase. I also tried to use a charming top page, in case they were used in a table top vignette.

These bundles only cost a couple of bucks for a spool of twine. I already had the other items.

I plan to post these bundles on etsy and ebay - a new venture for me. If any of you have any words of wisdom, I am all ears! (or eyes, since this is a blog. You get the idea!)

In my Google research, I also found book covers and spines used in collage-paintings. So, I rummaged back through the garbage bag of these, and found several that might work in some work of this sort. I've begun a couple of them, but they're not yet ready to show. 

Word for the Day:

Ecclesiastes 12:9-10

 9 Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people. He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs. 10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

May all your words be right and appropriate. May they bring hope, joy and healing to those you spend time with today!


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