There’s a certain satisfaction…

in receiving the following email just hours after a nice woman picked up this funky nightstand from me (I had forgotten to delete the listing), never once trying to haggle over my already ludicrously cheap price:

“I am very much interested in the nightstand, I was wondering whether a reduction in the price would be possible – or delivery, maybe?”

HA! Too bad, so sad, Craigslist Cheapskate that for once i can ignore :). Apparently, I’m not the only one annoyed by the hecklers, check out this Craigslist vent!

P.S. The buyer customized her new nifty nightstand by removing my shabby chic Anthropologie knobs and replacing them with some i found for free.

 

vintage night stand

 

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Save The World, One Piece of Furniture at a Time

While researching some dining chairs made by Cochrane Furniture, preparing to vastly under-price them on Craigslist to get them out of my cramped apartment, I came upon a great blog, authored by Jackie Hirschhaut, Vice President of the American Home Furnishings Alliance. This interesting post about “going green” when it comes to home furnishings caught my attention. Perhaps it was because of these whacky but cool hippy chairs:

hippy chairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just sold a lamp, and threw in the word “Upcycled” in the headline of the post. It got several hits, incurred the loss of interest or sheer laziness of several inquirees, and finally got dropped off in Bridgeport by me to the new owner. The artist was a neighbor I never met living in an art co-op near my house. He/She threw this lamp out! I’m nearly certain that this lamp was made from plastic bottles sandblasted into plastic sheets then beautifully crafted, much like the work of Sarah Turner. Here’s the “Upcycled White Daisy Lamp” that I found and sold:

white lamp3

If anyone is up for searching, I’d love to be directed to more earth-friendly furniture info/DIY projects, etc. As for me right now, the dining chairs await their fateful posting on Craigslist…

 

Rug Revival: How To Remove Furniture Indents

Well I happened upon a gosh darned so-so rug. But it was going to sell, being soft and neutral brown, and without piss stains or cigarette burns. It was an Ikea rug, and I’d had one in blue before, so the Craigslist copy was already written, sans a little smithing of the words to account for the difference in color.

But one thing was going to hold me back from closing this sale – the wretched indentations on the rug where a coffee table had once dared to stand. I thought to myself, there’s only one thing to do at a time like this: google.

Google presented two alternatives to me: hot or cold. In other words, I could use the ice method, or the steam method. The ice method didn’t sound right to me, as it entailed ice cubes and paper towels and overnight work that sounded like it could potentially damage the rug and leave weird fuzzy paper towel and/or water stains. But the steam method, that sounded like it just might work (and it did!).

So if you ever find yourself with a rug with undesirable furniture marks in it, here is what you must do.
1. Get your iron out and heated up
3. Once iron is hot, hold it down on the rug and steam baby steam – but not for too long. Chances are, you can apply the iron directly to the surface of the rug (there were some suggestions that you put a cloth or tee shirt in between the rug and the iron to prevent burning, but I did just fine without that stupid step)
4. While rug is still hot, use your fingers to pull the rug fibers back out and comb it back and forth so the rug returns to its original state
5. Repeat steps 3-4 a couple times if you need to
6. Vacuum it, for a nice and uniform look

It really works! Try it today!

The Little Red Chair That Could

When I alley-snagged this chair, I saw several angles of potential appeal. First of all, with a fresh paint-job, this sucker could be ALL RED. That in itself is cool. Secondly, with the curvature and angles of the back, it could be positioned as mid century modern (mcm) to appeal to those who like that hot furniture trend. Even if it’s not actually an mcm chair (how do i know, i found the fucker in an alley after all), it could be worded to at least give a nod to the style.  It also had “soda shop chair” coolness going on with its wrought iron shapely base.  Lastly, I sensed this would appeal to just the right hipster (which it ultimately did).

BEFORE

red chair before3

Now this wasn’t a chair in trouble, but it wasn’t a chair that was at its most awesome potential. The wood of the seat was a bit weird, kind of like a pile of wood verses a solid block, and not particularly akin to sanding.  Plus there were some decorative holes in it. So I didn’t really think about what to do, I just primed.  Not only that, I primed like a moron. I put tape on the chair’s base to protect it, when in fact, i didn’t realize i could take the damn seat off with the wee use of a screwdriver.

DUMB & DUMBER
red chair before 2

Taking off the base made painting the chair’s base a helluva lot easier!
I had a nice shade of red that i picked up at http://www.dickblick.com/, one of my former employers actually, and i just basically reapplied to the entire base, and vadda bing, shines like a fire engine!

SHINY HAPPY REDNESS
red chair before1

To really pull off this chair, something needed to be done with the seat, and that something is called “antiquing” or “distressing.” There are many different ways to achieve this look, but I chose to follow Better Homes & Garden’s Tips. The only deviation was that while they started with a wood surface, I started with a primed surface. Although, I did somewhat sand it to allow some wood exposure.

So using the BHG method, which was really quite simple, and bonus, I had all the materials in the house, I antiqued away. And my friends, this is what you call a chair.

AFTER
redchair2

SOLD FOR $35. (not too shabby, pun intended)

The Pink Princess

So I’m driving along (in an alley, of course) when a young-looking guy (approximately 21) emerges from behind a fence carrying what I knew could become a beautiful nightstand. It had one of my favorite features, which is that the drawer was on the bottom, not the top. There’s no name for this type of drawer placement, btw, at least not per the research that I conducted. He was quite nice, and even helped me secure the piece in the back of my vehicle.

“Are you sure you don’t want it?” I said.

He replied, “Yeah, it’s time for it to move on to someone else.”

ME!!!!!!

I wasn’t sure what to do with the piece at first (I never am) and then the idea struck. You will see this idea in the finished photo below. I think inspiration came from various sources, but in particular I was inspired by this site, found randomly during one of my net-surfing extravaganzas.

I had bought some pretty pink paint from The Home Depot, but at the time I didn’t have any particular use for it at the time of purchase, and I have a huge can of alley-FOUND linen white paint that has been rocking my world. So I decided to do a sweet combination utilizing both colors, that was totally not in my personal taste, or at least not meant for my current home decor, but bound to be perfect for someone else’s.

And it was. I posted it in two sections on Craigslist because I thought it would be perfect for a child’s room (which is ultimately where it went) and threw in some bemusing SEO buzz words like shabby chic and cottage chic, which the piece really was. What befuddles me sometimes is when I read descriptions of other postings that end with something like this: Perfect for your cottage beach home/romantic Parisian apartment…. etc. Who actually has these homes, and wouldn’t they be living off the beach or in Paris, and why would they be on Craigslist? But I digress. It could be more of an Etsy thing, and i don’t play in that space – not yet anyway.

My buyer might have had a cow if she saw the piece before i had done the work. it needed sanding, oh did it need sanding, but luckily I had my favorite toy, this Black & Decker Sander. I also primed the piece to make sure the paint went on as beautifully and smoothly as possible, using this good ole primer. If you ever wonder about what primer you should use, here’s a quote from one of the great employees at Home Depot: “Primer is Primer.” Sound advice, simply stated.

Then on with the paint! I had to decide where to place the linen white so that it didn’t overpower, but rather accented the piece. I think I hit the nail on the head, or the paint on the primer, so to speak.

BEFORE

refurbished nightstand

AFTER
pink1

Now folks, readers, and fans alike, I swear this piece was not commissioned. Here is a photo of it in the child’s room. Could there be a more perfect fit?? 🙂

pink princess

Transformation

This was a lot of work for such a little guy! Many angles to paint from, and much old paint to remove! The new color scheme was inspired by the SKOW desk.

BEFORE

before brown stool2

AFTER
stool4

SOLD FOR $20.

Craigslist Spammers: Their Latest Trick

Here are a few samples of the scammers/spammers to IGNORE. Can’t they at least get their grammar right?

  • Careful now pls don’t be spmming me I beg you but here is my email Foltaj80@hotmail.com
  • I guess people are just exchanging their emails due to this system blocking ours so here is mine – Mondenyo893@hotmail.com
  • Still available ? if yes i will like you to get back to me with your email address
    racheljjg@gmail.com
  • This e-mail is getting shut down end result of spam. Make sure you reach me at Cornetiq53@hotmail.com

Some Kind Of Wonderful: The Saga

I was commissioned to do this piece by someone from Craigslist. She had contacted me originally about a TV stand I was a-sellin’ that ended up not living to see the light of day, due to a Gorilla Glue mishap. Suffice it to say, the would-have-been-tv-stand-buyer and I remained in email contact, and as it turns out, she needed a desk. She sent me a picture of one that she liked, here it is:

INSPIRATION
desk inspiration

Just days later, while I was doing some errands, in a not-so-good neighborhood in Chicago known as K-town (for Kill town) I found it. The desk that would become hers.

When I found this desk, its striking resemblance to the one my buyer, Sonya, had sent me stopped me in my tracks. I had to acquire it no matter what. It was in an alley, in someone’s backyard with a bunch of junk, so I don’t know if I was technically trespassing or if it was the garbage area, but some of it was gated. The desk was behind the gate (i guess that would mean I trespassed), and I got out of the car in this ghetto hood in my fancy dress with tights on, and thought about climbing the fence. Then I noticed that the neighbors had pitbulls – and not the friendly ones. In essence, I had to work fast, and I was at risk. Gunfire could transpire at anytime. I grabbed that desk, grabbed three of the four drawers, and figured i’d come up with a solution for the missing drawer. It was just too far and the gate was locked. I tried driving around front to trespass from that angle, but the gate was locked there too.

I got the desk home, and had to figure out what to do with it.
BEFORE:
SKOW desk before
Happily, I realized I needed to use.. the saw. I sawed the crap right out of that place on the right where a little drawer would have been, pulled/unscrewed any remainder pieces, and immediately created more leg room. Nobody would ever know that a drawer had once been there.

Then I simply had to clean all that crap on top of it. I wanted to retain the neutral ivory-tone of the desk, and Sonya had told me she loves metallics, so I thought I’d keep the gold trim too. She also told me she wanted something with pastels, particularly coral, as that would match the room she was putting it in.

So I got out some Benjamin Moore paints that I already had in the house, that industriously, I had found in an alley as well, and sent her the color palette for approval, which I received. I then decided each drawer would be painted a different color, and the top drawer would be coral to pronounce its presence. I also repainted the entire base with a very neutral beige-gray paint from Behr (which I also found – crazy huh?). I’d like to take this opportunity to say that paint brand/quality does indeed make a difference. These paints looked beautiful, and went on smoothly. By comparison, some of the Rust-oleum paint I use, which is cheap, doesn’t look-a so good. Although I suppose it sometimes depends on its purpose.

After painting the base and the drawers, I then repainted the trim with a metallic gold (WHICH I ALSO FOUND), let everything dry, and put a protective top coat on (which I bought). Note: I had been making a mistake in the past, putting top coat for stain over paint. So I asked at Home Depot what to use over paint, and they gave me actually a Rust-oleum Paint Cover. Shit takes some time to dry, but is definitely worth it both for the protection it provides and the polished look achieved.

The final touch would be the knobs. This required an emergency trip to Anthropologie, as Sonya was on her way, because I discovered that the knobs I planned to use had broken. This desk would be all about the shabby chic differing knobs on each drawer. The top and bottom drawers have Anthropologie knobs, and the middle drawer has one of the antique original knobs that came with the desk when I found it. Looks very cool, methinks!

Sonya was so happy with her beautiful desk, she decided to take a glamour shot on it.

AFTER
sonya on desk

Sonya was also kind enough to send me a picture of the desk in its new home.

DESK IN SONYA’S HOME
IMAG1116

So, I am now available for commissions. woot!


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