Sunday, January 24, 2016

Faux Fireplace for the Booth

Closing in on the second month of running a booth. Its been an interesting adventure with much to learn. I'm currently working on a blog post about that experience and will post soonish.

I'm constantly asking myself, "How can I make this better? More inviting? How can I set our booth apart from the NUMEROUS other booths?" Its not a small store, its HUGE, which is great if you are a shopper...not so great if you are a booth owner. Anyways, I was totally inspired by a diy-faux-fireplace-indoor-or-outdoor found at Prodigal Pieces. Other Faux Fireplace ideas on my Booth Ideas Pinterest Board.

The idea hit that 1. a faux fireplace would create distinction from other booths, and 2. it gives us another shelf to work with.

From a design perspective, I was thinking that maybe we can create fun mantel vignettes to inspire people to buy our stuff so they can create a similar effect at home. This is trial vignette #1, not the most inspiring vignette yet, used all my creative juice making the fireplace.

(All wooden signs are my booth-mates,)

And in good timing, I found these two chairs discarded on the sidewalk. The larger one was cut up for its decorative arms and top. In the end, only the arms were added. 
Most of the wood came from my stash or other scavenged pieces, pallets, or from the 70% off bin at Home Depot. The only piece purchased specifically for this project was the mantel board. I wanted something sturdy and flat to use as a secure shelf. 

The fireplace hole is made of black construction paper with black burlap stapled on top. Tiny dabs of black acrylic paint cover the staples. EVENTUALLY, I want to add faux logs to the bottom, I just ran out of time this weekend.

And here she is, permanently screwed to the wall. The guy helping unload the stuff into the booth thought it was pretty cool. :) There is still some work to be done: the faux logs, the chimney, and the "smoke." And I want to add a small chair in front with an invitation to sit and relax for a is a big store and people will be tired from all that walking. We'll see if it works in helping boost visits & sales to our booth.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Comic Covered Cubby

Eleven and a half years ago we got married. Furnishing our first apartment was simple, we simply didn't have anything to put in it! And enter our first dumpster diving experience. My husband found a black tv console next to the dumpster, along with a cheap vacuum, both of which found new homes with us. "Its just temporary, until we get on our feet," we told ourselves. My dad got us a real vacuum for Christmas and that console kept following us from home to home.

FINALLY, we found a newer console, also a dumpster dive find, why mess with success, right?

Old console + comic books + mod podge (and sealer) = one awesome cubby/bench.

Used lighter colored pages in the back so the cubicles weren't so dark.

Totally forgot to get a picture where Batman's face is wrapped around the bottom corner. It was my favorite part of this project.

It went into the booth yesterday.
And it sold today. ~grin~

Friday, January 15, 2016

Greek Key Tray Makeover

Totally forgot to take a before shot because I wasn't planning on posting this makeover. Since opening the booth my time is limited when it comes to blogging (which I miss...). Anyways, this project turned out WAY better than I'd hoped for and just had to share it.

I found a similar tray like this one at the local thrift store. And the inspiration came from HERE via Pinterest. The only thing I did different was switch the type of tape. The painters tape on hand was too wide and I didn't feel like cutting in half, like the tutorial suggested. Time waster, right? Nope. There is always some thing new to learn.

Electrical tape was the perfect width, but little did I know that it would leave residue after removal. Extra time was spent with rubbing alcohol and q-tips to remove the goo without disturbing the paint. So much for saving time. haha

And here we are! This tray is sprayed several times with a spray sealer to make it more durable. And into the booth she goes!

This is the first time I've used the Greek Key pattern in any project. I rather like it, especially in the contrasting colors. Might have found a "pattern of the year" here, but time will tell. :) 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Year in Review: Top Viewed Posts of 2015

Wow! I have to say that this is one of my more favorite round-ups of top viewed posts. These are some of my personal favorites, too. :)

5. Farmhouse Bench Ikea Hack

We LOVE this bench at our table. I've always wanted a dining table with a bench and was thrilled to find this freebie bench to makeover! I love its look and my kids prefer to eat on the bench verses the chairs. Win-win all around.

4. Penny Topped Tray

This upcycled tray has come in handy. It sits on my current nightstand for easy use...working in bed, using the lab top in bed, reading in bed (sheesh, this makes me sound lazy! haha). Much easier on my back than piling pillows onto my lap.

3. Spindle Chalkboard

 As popular as this was in Blogland Linky Parties it has not sold in my booth. Granted, the booth has only been open a month. Currently its missing from my booth since just before Christmas, the store has no record of a sale and hasn't found it misplaced anywhere else in the store. :(    Hopefully it'll turn up soon...or better yet, get purchased!

2. Face Lift for an old Medicine Cabinet
This half-bath has no natural lighting which makes it a terrible room to take photos in. NOTHING photographs well...flash on, flash off, door open, door closed. Anyways, the color is a muted teal...the pictures just don't do it justice.

1. Anchor Tote -- Pinterest Inspired

This is one of my favorite projects of the year, too! Luckily, two more plastic totes are waiting in my basement for the same makeover. Fingers crossed they'll sell in my booth. The above tote was made for my sister who loves anchors. She is currently using it as a yarn caddy.

Top News for 2015

I took the plunge and opened up a booth in an antique/flea market mall. Its been a great learning experience already! We'll see how it goes this coming year....

Click Here to see audMENTS.
audMENTS @ Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2015

Kid's Storage Bench from Discarded Cabinet

There are a few regular places I troll for discarded items, one is behind the Clothes & Shoes donation bin in the grocery store parking lot. Many many many people "donate" more than clothes and shoes. These items get scattered around the bin since it is impossible to stick them inside the donation slots. These "donations" are illegally dumped so I just help myself "clean up" the area. This cabinet is the most random donation I have seen to date. It was in excellent shape, solid, with no funny smells or goo. Guessing its leftover from a kitchen renovation.

Doors removed, holes filled in with Wood Filler.

3-4 coats of homemade chalkpaint: white on the outside
& Rain by Sherwin Williams on the inside (my goal was to create the bench to match the Alphabet Table...maybe encouraging someone to buy both as a "set").

these would look cute as a playroom set

Joann's had an awesome sale last week on all their flannel. This Aqua Dot pattern was closest in color to matching the ABC's on the Alphabet Table.  

Two storage baskets from Dollar Tree completed the look.

My business partner made the "My Works of Art" sign. Great unintentional color match! 

The large burlap covered bulletin board on top is mine. Pennies are glued to the pushpins, the bright copper shine seemed a nice complement color to the teal edging. 

Fingers crossed that they sell soon. :)

I'm Pick of the Bunch Feature Button

Monday, December 14, 2015

Reclaimed Wood Christmas Signs

These fence boards have lurked in my spare wood stash for I-don't-know-how-long and were overdue for some attention. When the first PEACE sign I made sold in a couple of days I snatched these two boards from their spider webbed corner in hopes of recreating the same look and sales (so close to making rent for this period, so close!!). 

And who bought them? My husband. His department is in charge of purchasing and arranging holiday decor and he seized the opportunity to say, "I know this cute little boutique with adorable Christmas decorations, let's buy all our stuff from them," Ok, that isn't verbatim but it captures the sweet heart of my DH. 

psst, don't forget me!
the little pallet & spindle tree,
great project for scraps
Their theme for the holidays is "Peace, Hope, and Joy." So in addition to a sale, I also got my first commission for personalized work, which is my boastful way of saying that they asked me to make a Hope and a Joy sign. 

I was out of fence boards and needed to complete these asap, thank goodness for free pallets! There was enough salvageable wood the width and length I needed to make four more signs.

 Their theme included the Chrysanthemum flower...which confused me...isn't that for spring? Not a traditional Christmas plant as far as I knew. A google search on "chrysanthemum symbolism" enlightened me that In general, chrysanthemums are believed to represent happiness, love, longevity and joy. source
They also signify life and rebirth. Such a beautiful meaning and an appropriate symbol for the Christmas season. Its also an appropriate symbol for this physical rehab hospital.

Here is one group by the main entrance.

And the second set, with the taller PEACE sign, on the other side of the door.

 Chrysanthemum accents were added to the HOPE and JOY signs to tie in with the vision corporate set in place for this holiday season. 

I wasn't planning on decorating with chrysanthemums, but I'm so charmed by their meaning that I want to add some into our Christmas home decor. That project is pending...and may not materialize until next year. 

Life and rebirth, such a beautiful idea to attach to the miracle of Christmas. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Barn Sale End Tables Refurnished

Remember the barn sale I mentioned a couple weeks ago? Well, here are a couple tables from that sale. While in rough shape there wasn't significant water damage or evidence of nibbling rodents. Doable for an easy makeover. 


Table fresh off the farm, literally, hahahahhahaa, I crack myself up. 

Right to Left: 
The top on this table was pretty worn, I was able to scrap most of it off with my bare fingers. After washing and sanding it was stained all over with Early American (middle pic) which definitely gave it a rustic look, but I wasn't loving it. (If I've learned anything from the early years of The Apprentice, it was 'only sell what you love.') 
It needed color, 
then it needed a focal point, 
then my two year old added more color, (last pic)
ugh.....after another sanding and another shot at the focal point, it was ready for sealing. 
This table top was inspired by a Pottery Barn  knock-off at Sisters of the Wild West. They provide a printable template of their number pattern that I eyeballed while painting. To create a unique visual I used a mixture of acrylic paints so each number is unique in color and shape. 

I LOVE this table with its funky top. It was hard to part with but there was absolutely no where in my home to put it...and its doesn't match our decor.

That's what I'm most excited about with this booth: the chance to try new styles and colors.

I must have walked by this table four or five times before adding it to the growing pile. Just wasn't sure I could work with the scalloped edges or put in the effort on the worn finish. Things found in a barn can be a bit more "rustic" than wanted.

Left Picture: And this was AFTER I washed and scrubbed this table. Ewww!

It was painted the same color as the above table but toned down with some stain. To keep it from looking plain, a map was decoupaged to the top. I was inspired by this table from Brick Street Cottage.
Right Picture: The top scalloped edge has
Golden Oak Minwax stain soaking on it,
but not underneath to show the color difference.
It is soaking and hasn't been wiped off yet,
that is why it looks yellow. 

Soooooooooo much better now. Priced it at $25, fingers crossed!

Here they are, side by side, acting as "door greeters" for our booth.  

And to complement the table, a numbered box.

I was LOVING the Pottery Barn knock-off numbers and recreated the look (kinda) on this wooden storage box that I snagged for a buck at a garage sale. One side is chalkboard paint, only because the previous owners had labeled it with a sharpie. Now it has a more stylish mode for labeling the contents, or the innards (I've inhaled waaaaaaaaaay too much varnish and polycrylic lately).

This is marked at $12, a bit high because I secretly hope no one will buy it so I have to bring it home. Such a fun box! (I know, I know, defeats the purpose of shelling out rent for a booth if I want to keep half of what I put in it.)

Not a bad set up for the second week open. Thank you BlogLand peeps for taking the time to share your tips and secrets. Still have fingers crossed that I break even for this month.