Friday, June 28, 2013

Bike Parking

I have two vintage Schwinn bicycles - one from 1969 and the other from 1976. Currently, I have no garage or shed for storage for them so they have been incorporated into my home decor. Yep, two bikes park in my living room! The other day, I was looking at them and thought I need a way to really make them more like I intend for them to be decorative pieces. The perfect solution - art!

I realized I had a long, narrow picture frame that I'd picked up for less than a dollar at a yard sale. It had a  cardboard backing so I took it out and started working. If it had not had this backing, I would have cut one to fit from a box. I have alphabet cookie cutters that were the perfect size to use as a pattern for the sign. I spaced them out on the cardboard and traced around them. I intentionally varied the spacing and didn't try to  keep them on a straight line. I wanted the appearance that the sign was hand painted.

I painted the letters with white acrylic paint. Again, I did not strive for perfection. So much less stressful this way! After the acrylic paint had dried, I watered down some brown latex paint I had on hand. Using a paper towel, I daubed the watery paint over the entire piece. I used a clean towel to take off some of the paint to ensure a variation of color. After it dried, I decided another coat would be good, so I repeated the process. Once it was completely dry, I slipped it back in the frame and hung it behind the bikes. It's perfect!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mom's Telephone Chair

I've had my mom's telephone stand for some time. When I lived in the antique house it was perfect. We also had corded phones back then! When I moved to a more modern house, the chair when to the attic. Then it was stored in a shed and an unfinished basement. In other words, it didn't look very pretty anymore! I was way too ashamed to take a before picture.

I've been decorating my current house in an eclectic style. And wow, my creativity in working in overdrive! I brought the telephone chair down from the attic and cleaned it up. I gave it a coat of nice, dark brown paint. The table part has separated where two boards had been joined. Although the gap didn't bother me entirely, I knew it could look better.

As my daughter was growing up, we enjoyed jigsaw puzzles. We worked on them together but I must admit, she did the most! I had a small puzzle of a collection of postage stamps that I had picked up at a garage sale for a quarter. I invited my daughter and grandson over and we had a delightful afternoon together assembling the puzzle. Once it was together, we glued it to a piece of poster board. After allowing it to dry thoroughly, I cut it to the size of the table top. It wasn't wide enough to cover the entire top so I centered it and glued it in place. A couple of coats of clear polyurethane will protect it from spills.

I covered the seat area with a nice soft butter yellow fabric and the transformation is complete. I can't wait for Mom to visit and see her once again beautiful telephone chair!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Vintage/Retro Unite

What's the difference between vintage and retro? I'm not really sure how the experts define the words but this is my personal interpretation. I consider vintage to be older but not antique. It would come from the 1950 - 70 time period. On the other hand, retro is something that has been made recently in the vintage style. These are the definitions I will use while writing this entry.

I have a very small dining space in my home. I was lucky enough to acquire a vintage table that is the perfect size for the space. It has a pale pink top with random think black lines running through it. The walls throughout the house are a nice happy green color. This table really fits not at all! But I love it and its time to make it work. I already owned some retro chairs that work well with the table. As you can see in the before and after picture below, the seats are a stark white.

I selected a fabric to recover the chairs that had a vintage feel as well as the colors in the room. I left the original black back piece. I found the fabric on clearance at our local Hobby Lobby store and purchased one yard. I highly recommend measuring the seat bottoms before heading out to the store to make sure enough fabric is purchased. For five dollars, a bunch of staples and about an hour of time my chairs have a whole new look! And the dining area looks pulled together.

I am so pleased with the end result! My small house is becoming a home. My eclectic decorating style allows me to explore my creative, artsy style. My projects certainly are great conversation starters for my guests.