DIY Vintage Frame turned Chalkboard

If you follow me on instagram, you might remember this pretty frame I found a while back.  I’ve had a lot of interest in it, but I IMG_0048knew it was gonna take time to find the right person who had the space and the vision for it in their house.  At The Vixens of Vintage Spring Fling after a bunch of ooo’s and ahhh’s the right person claimed it and requested that we make it into a shabby chic chalkboard for their kitchen!  First of all, I want that kitchen that can house a huge chalkboard like this – i don’t think my whole house has the wall space to make this frame it’s home, and second of all, I was sooooo excited to tackle this challenge!

First thing first, I went to Lowes and bought a gigantic sheet of hardboard, and asked them to cut it for me, ps. have you seen those saws they have!?  How do i get one of those!?  Also the guy who cut it for me is a ginger.  Being a mom of the sweetest IMG_9778ginger boy I feel like I have this new soft spot for gingers.  Like I want to tell them I’m on their side, I’m on the same team, I’m protective of them.  But that might be a little weird, so i stayed quiet and let him do his job, I didn’t want to freak him out!

Once I got home, I primed the smooth surface of the hardboard to ensure my chalkboard paint would stick, and I also primed the frame, both with a white spray primer.  It would be ideal to prime the chaIMG_9940lkboard with a darker primer but I just used what I had and it worked perfect!

(I hope I’m not the only person who’s projects take over their kitchen/house.  I have a great work space in my garage, but some days, the perfect time to work on a project are those quiet momIMG_2086ents when the kids are eating their bedtime snack and your hubby is out at a hockey game.  You just gotta make it work!)

I frame using MudPaint in Manor White, i pretty much just did one coat and touched up a couple areas that went on thinner.  Once it was painted and dry (the next day) I mixed together some dark glaze using Ralph Laurens Faux finishing glaze and some black paint.  I applied it with a brush in small sections and then wiped off as much as I could with a clean damp rag.  Making sure the glaze stayed in the details to make them pop.  I forgot to take a picture of the glazing process but here’s how it looked before and afterwards with some light distressing using a sanding sponge. After i had it looking how I wanted i used a spray clear coat to seal it.

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I ended up using 4 coats of chalkboard paint on the chalkboard to ensure complete coverage and then used wood glue to secure tIMG_2281he chalkboard into the frame.  I don’t have clamps for some reason but i made sure to apply pressure to the edges and let it sit for 24 hours to make sure the chalkboard was secure.  IMG_2338

Once it was all set, i made sure to rub chalk all over the frame to season the chalkboard.  This prepares your chalkboard to be used.  If you just write on the black unseasoned chalkboard – it will be tricky to removed completely what you’ve written.

Once I’ve wiped off with a dry cloth or brush the chalkboard is ready to be used!  Here are some finished pics of this shabby chic, vintage chalkboards!IMG_2364IMG_2366 IMG_2354 IMG_2349 IMG_2345Hope that all of that mumbo jumbo was pretty clear and straight forward!  Feel free to comment if you have any questions!  Happy Monday!

The Dirt on MudPaint

A few weeks ago I stumbled on the Instagram account @mudpaint.  I’m not even sure how I got there, isn’t that the crazy web that Instagram weaves!?  One follow leads to suggested users and clicking on hashtags and suddenly your liking a picture of a cat from a guy in Norway.  Anyways, I ended up checking out Mud Paint and was so excited to see their beautiful transformation pictures and was almost giddy when reading about their claim for better coverage and smoother finish than other furniture paint on the market.  I needed to get my hands on this paint!  So graciously they sent some from sunny California to pretty sunny (not as warm) Calgary, Canada.  As soon as my hubby got home I dusted off an old piano bench that I picked up from GoodWill a couple weeks ago and got to work!

I gave the top a light sanding as they suggest, but lIMG_1974et’s be honest, other peoples gunk freaks me out, especially when there’s crusty, old, stuck on gunk…. i just can’t handle it!  I guess the quicker option would be to wash it off but I just feel better hiding behind a sanding sponge, and it’s the best way to prep your piece so it works out!  So, I gave it a quick sand and THEN I wiped it down.

Here’s where I got a little excited.  The whole concept of just one coat on a piece of furniture kinda threw me for a loop.  I guess subconsciously I put on quite the thick layer.   It went on great and let me tell you the coverage was shocking.  Really just one coat gave amazing coverage, just like they claim.  I did touch up some brush strokes and likely didn’t wait the appropriate dry time.  Here’s a pic after the one and only coat plus a couple touch ups – as you can see I hadn’t even painted the bottom of the legs yet, I was that excited about the coverage.

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To my surprise – and let me be real – delight – as the piece began to dry the paint began to crackle.  This was super exciting to me, but also had me curious as to why, I didn’t expect it… thankfully it works for this piece, but I don’t think it was supposed to happen.  So I just carried on and went onto distressing and finishing the piece.

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Even before I began to distress the piece I noticed the smooth finish.  It wasn’t the same chalky, matte finish that most chalk paints have, this was smooth and only made smoother with my handy dandy sanding sponge!  Distressing was a dream.

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WhIMG_2061o doesn’t love a pop of colour?  I love a good ol’ drawer or compartment to sneak a little colour into a classic piece.  I painted the inside of the piano bench with some homemade chalk paint – a go to when I’ve found a pretty colour of flat paint in the clearance section of the paint store!
I have been in touch with the sweet people who sent me this glorious MudPaint to see if they had any idea of why we got this beautiful crackle and I’m pretty sure that it has a lot to do with my eager beaver thick coat of paint I put on theIMG_2062 piece.  A quick solution would be to lightly sand and reapply a thinner coat, but I decided to leave the crackles on this piece!  I have a piece lined up to give another go with a more of a conservative coat planned.  I’ll keep you all posted on what becomes of that!

Long story short….ish…. I’m super happy with this paint!  I wasn’t sure if I could believe all the claims, but the coverage – amazeballs, and the finish – smooth as butter!  The customer service has been great too!  Thanks so much MudPaint, I can’t wait to get my hands on Charcoal Black next!!!

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The Push

 

This past weekend I was a part of my second market and it was so much fun… and by so much fun i mean so terrifying, so exhausting, so awesome, so exhilarating, and so worth all the nervousness and hours upon hours of preparation.  I like to equate being a part of a market like pregnancy/childbirth.  Now stay with me.  When you first decide to be a part of a market isn’t it so exciting!?  You have all of these happy thoughts, “oh this is going to be so much fun!.”  you think about how pretty your booth will be, all the “oohs and aaahs’ as people dote over your precious pieces.

Then reality sets in, time to get to work, you’ll have a sore back – you’ll need help putting your socks on because you’re too sore to bend over.  There will be lots of sleepless nights as you plan what needs to be done, list upon list that result in never ending trips to the hardware store.  You’re hubby is constantly waiting in the wings – not for late night ice cream runs, but for “hey can you help me move this dresser” calls, or “babe, can you just pick up some painters tape on the way home?” type of moments.

As the big day begins to approach people will look at you and notice the paint in your hair that hasn’t been washed in 4 days and your chipped nail polish with a sweet smile and say with sincere sympathy, “how you doing?  You ready for the big day?”  and you just smile and nod and try to hide the fact that you’re freaked out.  There will be thoughts that will enter your head like, “there’s no way i can pull this off”, “how is one person supposed to be able to do this”, “I’m in too deep now, there’s no way out”.

Then the big day has come, the day of the market.  You’ll have been up all night before, and up super early, lucky to have caught maybe 4 hours of sleep when everyone has been telling you to make sure you get a good sleep – thanks tips.  You try not to think too much about what’s to happen, just head down and it’s time to push.  It’s time to set up, it’s time to work, it’s time to show the world what you’re made of.  It’s a long day, has it’s ups and downs, people will come and buy your stuff (this is unlike childbirth, don’t sell anyone your baby, no matter how much they offer!) others will walk away and scoff, and murmur under their breath about how they could do that.  And you just have to smile and be proud of what you’ve done.  Others may have done it differently, people will have opinions but you did YOUR best, and you did it YOUR way and YOU are superwoman!  Be proud of what you’ve accomplished.  Now the end part of actually giving birth is totally a million times better, bringing home my beautiful baby boys were the best days of my life.  But let me tell you, bringing home what was a fully packed trailer as a near empty trailer is a pretty awesome feeling too.

Being a part of a market is a big deal for me, if you haven’t noticed.  I’ve met vendors who do these things ALL the time.  These people are amazing.  One day maybe I’ll be that person, maybe when both my boys are in school and life looks a little different.  But for now, one or two a year is exactly what i need to push myself, be challenged, to freak myself out a little, and to grow.  You learn a lot about yourself when you push yourself, some things are things I know I need to change, some things are things that build my confidence in my ability, either way I’m learning good things come from the push.  The push can be hard, painful and scary, but without the push you wouldn’t know what you’re capable of, it’s always worth it.  Don’t be afraid to push!


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!