Game Changer

You may have noticed I’ve stepped up my sign game. There’s no shame in my game! My process of making signs used to be a long drawn out process that was only speeding up my chances of arthritis! I’d print off my words and with carbon paper under the printer paper Id transfer the letters one by one pushing with all my hand strength to ensure a good transfer onto already rough and bumpy reclaimed wood – then I would hand paint each letter – going over and over trying to eliminate brush strokes and make for an even application. The process was a lot of work, and it worked fine, but i knew if I wanted to be making more signs id need to look into investing in the process!
Heres a sign I hand transferred, it turned out great but took me days to finish!

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And here are some handpainted signs I made for my nieces:

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Enter my super supportive hubby, an awesome sale at Michaels and the Silhouette Cameo! Game changer right there! I did my research and decided I really wanted the Silhouette over the Cricut – I don’t know if you’ve experienced life chasing after 2 boys (5 and 2) but i knew keeping track of extra cartridges etc just wasn’t my jam!
I love that the Cameo uses all the fonts on my computer and can trace my own pictures and I can create my own designs so easily! Here she is with a a banner I made!

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I’ve had a couple “fails” as they say, but after a couple months I think I’ve worked out most of the kinks and am feeling pretty confident with my cameo-ing abilities!
Here are a couple of my fave signs I’ve made so far

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I know there are so many more great things I can do with this machine but for now the vinyl stencils have won me – they totally sped up my sign making process but I feel like I’ve kept the creative, personal flair that comes with making a handmade sign – I love that!

Another win was yesterday I made my own pricetags for my upcoming market! Last year I spent a silly amount of money buying similar ones from Michaels (probably close to $20).
Last years tags:

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I spent $2.50 on the paper to make these!!! Holla!

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If you’re looking to speed up your crafting game i totally would recommend the Silhouette! I don’t really have an opinion on the Cricut as I’ve never tried it – I know I just took the chance with the Cameo and I’m soooo happy with it!

What a Year

Well it’s been a while…. My bad. I was talking with my friend Dee who is a great blogger recently and have concluded that the reason I have such an off and on relationship with blogging is I crave for my posts to be meaningful. Not that furniture reveals aren’t but truthfully at the core of who I am I am moved by real life transformations. I think that’s why I love the idea of unwanted, unloved furniture that has been given love and attention and being turned into something full of potential and worth.
I’m still a little unsure of how I will merge the two, and sometimes I might not, I just know I need to get back on the blogging wagon. Writing has always helped me think clearly and understand myself more so as much as this blog is for you it might be a little more for me too :).

Getting to it. 2014 was huge for me. In moments it felt slow, others zoomed by (mostly that of which included my kids, how are they so big!?), I jumped into this small business thing – somedays with a lot of hesitations and insecurities but the saying is true – fake it til you make it. Anytime it came to pricing a piece that I poured my heart and soul into I would freak out, I would harass my friends and ask them what I should charge…. I just desperately needed someone to affirm that what I was doing was worth something! It was about halfway through the year that I was preparing for my first vintage market – it felt way too big for me to take on, I felt like I was in way over my head, I cried a lot (which lets be honest, is how I express every emotion), sure that I had set myself up to fail – after all I hadn’t even BEEN to a vintage market! It wasn’t until the day before the market that I did a mock set up and my stress had lifted. I did it! I was ready. The market was the most incredible experience. I felt so supported, so encouraged…. So capable…. I had faked it until I made it…. I suddenly had this confidence in my ability.
Isn’t that how life works. It’s in the trials, the moments of darkness, when you feel the most alone, when you feel challenged and insecure but have no choice to keep moving, keep going forward, and then suddenly you come out of it, stronger, braver and more alive. More aware of what you can actually do and accomplish! I wouldn’t change those tears for anything, those moments of “what did I get myself into!?” for anything. I took a risk, it freaked me out, but I pushed through and gained more than I knew I ever would!

Here are a couple pictures from the first official year of Inspired Findings! And here’s to bigger risks and opportunities in 2015!

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Vintage Radio Cabinet turned TV stand

7 years ago my hubby and I were living in a nice apartment in Burnaby BC on the 15th floor with an incredible view of Vancouver and the mountains. We didn’t have much as newly weds in a new city… a table and chair set, and bedroom set we got at an auction in Saskatchewan and a free couch that some dear souls carried up 15 flights of stairs because it wouldn’t fit in the elevator, and a 13″ tv with no stand.

One day my hubby came inside from taking the garbage down to the garbage room carrying this little number: 20140713-165750-61070231.jpg
We were stoked on life! Who the heck would throw away a perfectly good tv stand!? We won the jackpot that day…. And we have brought that bad boy along on 5 moves in the past 7 years.

Well recently I received two pieces from the 1920’s and after turning one into a tv stand for a client, a vision hit me for the other one! It was time to move on from our Burnaby treasure. It served us well but f’real I was so over it!

Here’s the lovely little radio shell after a light sanding (I don’t have a proper before photo on my phone)

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And here she is after!

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It’s like she was made to hold our tv, everything fits perfect! And I won’t have to wipe sticky finger prints off of it for at least 5 or 6 years!

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1920s Cabinet Makeover

It’s not everyday someone gets in touch with you and tells you they’re gutting an old farmhouse and they have a couple pieces for you to come pick through! But when that happens you go! It doesn’t matter how opposite end of the city it may be… Well I walked away with these two pieces…. They fit perfectly in my vehicle like it was fate.

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The piece on the left- the Orthophonic Victrola was dated 1925 and the other I believe is an old radio turned shelf, both had been gutted of their “value” some may think but the potential seemed so obvious. So much so that within a hour maybe the Victrola was spoke for and was going to be used as a tv stand/storage cabinet!

We all know mommy brain exists, and I’m living proof of it, after talking about a specific color for the doors I had grabbed the wrong color and began painting. After I had finished I stepped away pretty proud of my work and then it hit me… This wasn’t the right color!

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So I got a good nights sleep and corrected the problem! Sometimes as mamas things take a little longer, at least around here they do!

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There, much better! I mean the other minty color looked great, but this color Tranquil Blue was perfect!

Here she is!

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After I took this pic we decided to add a little more distressing and some pretty new knobs!

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C’est fini!

This inspired me to pretty up the old radio shelf to possibly use as a tv stand around here! I’ll keep you posted!

Side table Reveal and other ramblings

It’s officially summer and I’m officially busy! I hate that word, I’m all about the quote that says something like “stop the glorification of busy”. I don’t want to be the person who neglects relationships because of being busy and I do my best to have a good balance. But being a new business and having people interested in what I’m doing is exciting! My house is currently rearranged, housing pieces that are works in progress, I have paint and primer in places on my body that i’m sure I’m not even aware of… Don’t you love that… When you think you’ve washed it all off, and you go out and realized you have a big streak of paint on the back of your arm or in your hair!? Nonetheless it’s an exciting season around here! I’m so thankful to be able to do this and be home with my boys, sure that means projects take twice as long, but is wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I haven’t been as on top of this blog as I want to be (I sound like a broken record!). So I just wanted to catch you up on a project that I’ve recently finished!

This had been sitting in my basement mostly finished for probably a month, so yesterday while waiting for a different piece to dry I finished her up and took some pics!
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I used Benjamin Moores Rockport Grey with a white underneath, and did the opposite (grey then white) for the drawer and used my favorite little dremel to distress. I finished it with clear and then dark wax.

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You might’ve seen her sister who I did a few months ago in the same style just with a yummy mint color. They’re both a couple of my favorite pieces I’ve ever done!

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Well here’s to a great summer, busy with meaningful relationships, real conversations, quiet moments, lots of laughter, fresh air and washing paint off our arms! See you around here again, hopefully sooner than later!

Guess who’s back, back again….

I’ve been a little ok a “lottle” slack on this whole blogging biz the past couple months but with summer coming and quite a few projects on the horizon I plan on keeping up… Even backtracking a bit to fill y’all in on what I’ve been up to! This past month has come with exciting new developments, I currently am selling a few of my things in the Salvage Girls store! And my website is up and running along with my rocking new logo all designed by our good friend Quincy.
www.inspiredfindings.ca

Can I just say how surreal it is that this dream has come alive in the past 8 months! It’s terrifying, but they say if your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough, so I guess the panicky feeling I get every time I put something out there or take a step forward is a good thing :).

I genuinely want to thank you all for following along on this journey I call Inspired Findings, thank you for your support and your encouragement, it seriously means a lot!

Stay tuned for lots of picture blogs of my diy attempts and creations!
I must sign off now tho breakfast is done and food is starting to fly.

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Corner Shelf Makeover

A family member handed this basic corner shelf down to me this summer, she said they’ve had it for yeeeaaars. I’m not too sure how long but it’s in great condition to have survived moves, children…. And well time! I was happy to take it off of her hands!

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Here she be all taken apart

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I decided to try out a chalk paint recipe since we had our first sticking snow this past week I wasn’t all about taking it outside to sand! So I mixed up some paint, plaster of Paris and water and put it to work. It turned out great, went on smooth and distressed like a dream! I wouldn’t use it for everything but it’s definitely a nice option to have!

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I did a couple of coats with the paint, let it dry for 24 hrs and lightly distressed it then finished it with a clear coat of Minwax Polycrylic. I’m not obsessed with the poly, I always end up with an uneven sheen and have to spend time sanding it down to even it out. I’m anxious to get my hands onto wax and figure that out, but for now, this works!
Here’s the finished product. Doesn’t it look so good! The deep grey is just so warm and chic. I don’t know if chic is the proper word for furniture but it just is! At he same time it could be totally masculine. Super versatile :) .

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Oval Damask Stenciled Coffee Table

My next project that has been waiting in the wings was this beautiful oval table that was given to me.  The people who gave it to me lent it out and received it back in what they believed to be as terrible condition.  Sure it was a little scuffed up, but totally sturdy, beautiful shape and just…. glowing with promise!

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So began the process, sanding, priming, painting, envisioning….
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I wanted to do something special with this table… well cuz really, it’s less scary to experiment with free! Am I right!?  So after a bit of thought I figured I’d try my hand at using a stencil.  So in I walked to Michaels thinking “this shouldn’t be very hard”.  I had an idea of what I wanted my stencil to look like.  So in my mind it was just a matter of finding it.  But really, I wasn’t being honest with myself, we all know how Michael’s works.  Too many options of all the same thing, making a shopping trip for one thing turn into an hour long hmming and hawing session.

Once I settled on the stencil, I went home and got to work…. at of course 9pm at night when the kiddies are in bed.  I mixed two colors to dull down the mint as I wanted it to really blend with the white, then cracked open my stencil.  Let me just say, I went with the cheaper option of stencil, over the Martha Stewart ones that have adhesive on them.  I wish I would’ve spent the extra money because this bad boy was a PAIN!  But what’s done is done and I was determined to make it work!  (And how lovely that it came in two pieces… NOT!)

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When I started with the stencil I didn’t think of how long it would take me, but let’s just say, I didn’t finish until around 12:30am.  I was too afraid to step away from it, especially since I mixed paint colors, I didn’t want to risk it drying out and having to guess what amounts of each I used to recreate the color.  Newb mistake!

I finished the table by distressing some of the top and around the legs and edges and applying a clear coat of Minwax Polycrylic .  I love how subtle the damask stencil is on the crisp white, I wish I could keep it because I obviously have a mint obsession!  I’m vowing to take a break from mint for the next few projects unless I’m asked to do it for someone else.  I just love it!

Here are some finished pictures of the beauty!

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Determined to love my Kitchen Tables: making the beast a beauty

Just under 3 years ago we discovered that our classy looking bar height table was not the most toddler friendly after our 1 year old fell off the high, but oh so chic chairs.  So we posted that bad boy on kijiji and began looking for something a little more… or should I say…. a little less dangerous for our adventurous little toddler.  I began my hunt on kijiji to replace said table, and had found a couple options for a decent price that I was interested in, so of course I emailed them and awaited their response.

Oh did I fail to mention, that somehow… I still don’t know how this happened, but I managed to delete the browser off of my phone.  I know, I know I could just get a new one… I just hadn’t at that point… and still don’t have one for that matter… but because of this, I can’t open links from my email or links that are sent to me in a text.  It’s super annoying… but obviously not annoying enough to fix.  Anyways, don’t get my hubby going about this!

So I heard back from a couple of the people selling tables that I was interested in and I began talking more seriously to the person selling the table that I thought was the perfect, safe addition to our home.  We emailed back and forth, settled on a price and then one night, I sent my hubby who was in no way involved in any of the decision making regarding the table to go pick up the table.  Cue my amazing hub-a-lub walking into the house like my knight in shining armor with two chairs over his shoulder, and then asks for my help to get the table and the rest of the chairs inside.

Once we were inside from the dark, it hits me.
This is not the table I wanted!
This is not the table I picked!
But oh, it was.  I was emailing with someone who was selling a table… just not the table I thought I was getting.  It still stings a little, but what’s done is done.

This table was destined to be in our lives.  We talked about trying to take it back, but decided that was so unfair to those people, then we tried to sell it for what we bought it for… no way someone would be so dumb to buy it for what we bought it for… I cried a little… ya i did… over a silly table.  But over the past two years I began to build up an idea of “what could this table be?”  And when the summer hit I was determined to attempt to find the beauty in this beast!

It was a big conquest but, I did it.  I sanded down 4/6 of those chairs, spindles and all…  I primed and painted, and clear coated and sanded and left it out in the rain and resanded and repainted… and at the end of the day, it’s far from perfect, it was definitely a learning project but I concluded that I hated it to begin with so if I can enjoy it just a little more then that’s a win.  And I gotta say, I’m happy I did it!  Here are a couple pics!

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Chevron Side Tables

A month or so ago a family friend gave me these beautiful tables that she just had sitting in her basement so of course I took them off of her hands! I’ve been wanting to get more practice painting, and refinishing furniture and what better way to try it out than with free furniture! It also helps that we have family who own a paint store so the discount makes experimenting a lot easier and more fun!

A thought that’s been floating around in my head lately is “if it’s worth dreaming then it should be worth the risk.” I know painting some furniture isn’t really a huge risk, but there are dreams floating around in my head that make the small risk of practise painting some furniture a step towards making dreams reality. It’s exciting and terrifying, but fear of failing or not trying because it’s scary isn’t an option anymore… Life is just too short to let fear stop me.

So back to the tables :) here are the beauties. I love anything with pretty curved legs, it just adds so much character! Being a mama of two busy boys, these sat around in my basement while I dreamed up what kind of facelift they would get!

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I’m on the chevron bandwagon, I want everything to be either minty/turquoise or have a chevron print on it… I’ve learned though, it’s one thing to love chevron, it’s another to create it! It’s not easy friends! So out came the Frog Tape and tape measure and voila! (I posted this photo and had quite a few people thinking I painted a green chevron on the tables…. Lol, I’m not that out there people!)

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Then the moment of truth… I had never used frog tape, but I just gotta say, A-MAZING! Look at these sharp lines! I’m sold!

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Then of course, I needed to rough up all those sharp lines and smooth paint! I’ve had a small amount of experience with distressing furniture, but like I said, I am learning! I was so nervous to break out my sander. I used my electric sander (a Dremel with a sanding attachment). I love it because it has 10 different settings so for nervous distressers like me you can start out slooooow. I definitely felt like an artist when I was distressing these tables. I just wanted it to be perfect: not too distressed, but not plain looking. I was kind of freaking out thinking that I did too much, but after I took a few hours away and came back IN LOVE!

Here’s le produit fini! (You may notice on the table on the left under the tabletop two yellow marks, I filled a couple holes and have yet to paint over… Just thought I’d fill everyone in incase you were wondering!)

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