Formerly dressed in mermaid attire:
Ready for paint
The Glories of Chalk Paint & Waxing?Now don't kick me out of the club, but for all the glories regaled in regard to chalk paint, I'm not sure I'm sold. (Granted, I made my own. Maybe that's why.) However, even using only one kind of wax, it still felt like a lot of process. Also the fast drying nature of the paint made me rush like crazy to keep it from drying before I got it onto the furniture. Too much Plaster of Paris, not enough water? Suggestions welcome.
Waxing seems time consuming. First you put it on, then you buff it off. Then you need a second coat, so you do the whole process again. If waxing was no big deal, I have a feeling my car wouldn't look quite so dull and dirty all the time. But then I do most of my furniture work outside and you get just as hot as when waxing the car, so maybe that has something to do with my lack of love for the process. Plus, if dark wax was applied as well and followed up with clear wax, I might still be waxing and buffing today!
If someone wants to share the benefits of wax over poly, please do. It seems to me that polyurethane works just as well and is a whole lot faster. But that's just me.
Low Decision ThresholdOnce the color decision was made (don't even get me started on the inner turmoil over color choices), and the furniture was painted and waxed, choosing fabric to cover the vanity stool was the next dilemma. The plan was to do a simple burlap seat cover (low decision threshold inspired this idea) and the plan was to paint something on it. It's what to paint that ended up plaguing me.
Without a stencil, a brain challenged by inability to choose and wanting to just get done fell victim to indecisiveness, again. Why can't good stencils just be readily available? There is a market out there. Maybe they are online, but I like to go to the store and just pick up what I want when I want it. Is that asking too much?
Since there were fabric pieces here on hand that weren't big enough for their original purpose, they were considered for a pairing with the burlap. No one was around to give any input, so the decision was all mine.
[insert nail more biting here. Yes, my nails are nothing but stubs now.]
Had to piece the batting together
My KryptoniteMeasuring is my kryptonite. If something has to be measured and cut, and there is just barely enough fabric and even a slight chance I might mess it up and be stuck, I will fiddle with other things and wander around the house trying to be purposeful during my inner turmoil. Back and forth, I frouff things and think, imagine, and stare. I open the fridge and consider an ice cream break, get a drink and check my mail and stare some more and make lists in my head of all I have to do until I want to shoot myself.
Talking to MyselfSo I forced myself, as I often must do in such circumstances. I made myself grab scissors and measuring tape and eyeballed the amount of fabric needed by making a mock up on the stool for visual confirmation, measured that, and concentrated on remembering to add the seam allowance. Then I told me I could do it.
Talking outloud helps. It just does.
Mathaphobia and MeI get sweaty just thinking about math and messing up the numbers and remembering to turn the fabric right side together and doing everything backwards and upside down. All of that is mental torture to a mathaphobic. So I kept telling myself it wouldn't be the end of the world if the fabric got ruined or the end result was not appealing, because that is always a possibility. Like talking a lunatic down from a ledge, but it seems to have worked. Still, how to arrange the fabric, that was the question, and I talked myself into thinking my plan was okay, just to make me do something and to keep going. The goal was to be done by that night.
Despite constantly maneuvering around all the furniture and junk that's come home to live with us, my feet beat a path back and forth through the house, weaving and turning sideways to fit past things because pins and scissors and whatever was needed at any given moment always mysteriously ended up at the opposite end of the house from where I was when it was needed. The fabric was pinned and there was just enough thread to sew most of it. The machine only started making clunking sounds at the end. The project forged ahead. No turning back, no slowing down.
Defeating the Inner WimpAfter the pieces of fabric were sewn together, there were more decisions. Another difficult part was coming. "You know you might mess it up, and you barely have enough batting as it is!" I heard my inner wimp fearfully tell me.
Of course, there wasn't a large enough piece of batting in the stash either. Why is there never enough? But I was NOT going out for more. So a few pieces were sewn together and hopefully that showed my inner wimp a thing or two.
There would be no stalling this project. Perfect or not, it was going to be done and soon.
There were just enough staples to cover the seat and the excess was trimmed down without anything being destroyed. It ain't perfect, but it'll do. That part was done.
Vanity vs The Hidden Person of the HeartOne last touch and we could call it a success. For some time, it's been my desire to place a certain verse I love in a dresser drawer. Then along came this "vanity". What better place to impart a 1 Peter 3: 3,4 reminder.
Your adornment must not be merely external,
braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry or putting on dresses;
but let it be the hidden person of the heart
with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit
which is precious in the sight of God.
1 Peter 3, 3,4
A timely reminder for one sitting in front of the vanity mirror.
Kudos to My Transfer Method MentorsThe methods for transferring type onto finished surfaces were new to me. These are methods whereby you print what you want on paper (reversing the image first, which, in my excitement to get done I forgot to do the first time and had to repaint and start again) and then burnish the ink onto the surface by rubbing a pencil over the back of the paper. I got the instructions for this dry method from Suzan at Simply Vintageous. You can also accomplish the transfer by taking an ever so slightly damp paint brush and dampening the paper until the ink releases underneath. Then you burnish the type with the back of a sharpie or other smooth rounded implement. I decided on the wet paper technique. Sarah at Diddle Dumpling was where I found the idea and her easy to follow tutorial. Hers was the technique I ended up using for this, but I have since tried the dry method on a spare piece of wood and think I will try it next time.
A wise person would have done a practice run on something before jumping in, but I was not that person. I had a little bit of concern about it bleeding too much as I was working but I knew I couldn't peek or I'd ruin it again. The image came out a bit light and fuzzy, but good enough for this application. I had to redo the reference because something happened to that, and it came out much better the second time. I think with practice this will work wonders for other projects.
Oh, and an $8.00 Anthropologie knob was in order. This was the must-have knob for this piece, so I shelled out the cash.
Dollars & CentsApproximate project cost:
$10 - Vanity
$8 - Knob
$2 - Paint and plater of paris
$2 - Sandpaper (if figure one piece of the kind for my sander costs about $2 if it wasn't purchased on sale. Definitely need to keep an eye out for that at yard sales.)
$1 - Fabric
With a leftover strip of burlap, and some other fabric purchased on sale for something else, but which I hadn't used; this seat recovering was accomplished with a couple of small strips, barely putting a dent in the paint or the Plaster of Paris. This sweet little lovely could have been embellished with one of the knobs on hand here in my stash, but she needed appropriate accessories fitting for a lady of her stature. The knob cost almost as much as the vanity. So the project came in at just over $20. Not bad for a cute little keeper like this:
So there you have it. The deadline was met. Mission accomplished. One of many. The others are all in process. Everything piling up on my to do list seems to have needed a color or supply I don't have, so I do what I can and then jump to another project. There are many, many half done projects lying on every open surface of my home at the moment. Project ADD.
So even though it may appear like my life is comprised of running around amassing great quantities of trash and cheap garage sale finds, I'm actually doing something during my blog silence. It's a lot easier to quickly show what's been found than it is to reveal completed projects! I'm working on it though.
Beautiful ChaosHonestly, it's a bit chaotic here right now. A beautiful chaos, though...to an extent.
Oh, and while the vanity was undergoing reconstructive surgery, Casey had some days off of school and work and got motivated to undertake the repainting of her room as a jumping off point to redoing it altogether.
Nice color, huh? Stay tuned - as always, our life is in process...
I'll be sharing this with: