I have been on a streak with finding amazing empire pieces. I currently have five in my stash! Now, these aren’t usually this easy for me to come by, but I’ve just been catching Craig’s List and my favorite furniture haunts at just the right time. It’s also helped to have my dad, who should win some sort of Craig’s List award for his success percentage when it comes to getting pieces I want. I just send him the link and he contacts the seller and shows up at my house with the piece. I give him refusal rights if something looks really bad in person, but that hasn’t happened, yet.
Last week, he dropped this piece off at my studio…
It’s a really pretty antique empire jelly cupboard. It’s just a little dirty and rough, but very solid. What looks like wood grain is actually brown paint. I admire the artistry in it, but brown isn’t my thing, so it’s getting a fresh coat of milk paint.
I’ve really been digging layers of paint on primitive pieces lately, so I decided to layer blues on this piece. There is a really nice texture to this piece that’s going to help me create the look I want.
I put the first coat on…Artissimo, which is the darkest blue in our line.
It looks a little lighter before a finish is put on, but it’s just the undercoat, so I’m not too concerned with how it looks at this point. While I had the color out, I painted a couple of pieces of wood to make “antique signs” for an appearance I have scheduled on the Canada AM show in Toronto (it aired Thursday.) One of them will be completed and the other will show each step, so I can show the process hands on.
I finished the signs, but I haven’t gotten further on the jelly cupboard. I’ve been waiting for Jeff to come to the studio with his camera, so I can show how to use the Wax Puck on this piece.
I’ve also been meaning to share my organized storage closet! Leslie, one of Kriste’s friends, is really gifted when it comes to organizing. I mentioned to Kriste that we needed to get things tidied up when we moved into the studio and she politely informed me that she wasn’t going to be much help on that front. She offered up Leslie as a better alternative. Kriste knows how I work, so I trusted her recommendation and Leslie came out for the day.
I’m not a disorganized mess, but I have a lot of trouble with my business clutter, because I really need to keep it for projects and photo shoots. With my personal stuff, it’s much easier. We spent a few minutes talking through all of the shelves, where the trouble areas were, what I was hoping for, etc. I left her to do her thing and I went to do my thing. I’d tiptoe through the piles and bins now and then to get something and I could see she was making amazing progress. She just went through things logically, put like things together in labeled bins and left room for growth.
It looks pretty amazing. I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find anything if someone else organized it, but she made it very “user friendly.” So, I told her I might have her out every 3-6 months to get me straight again!
It was a buzzing day in the studio when Leslie was there, because Kriste was also there and Cari (remember “The Machine”, who helped me get ready for Lucketts), my dad and even my mom! Kriste was packing things for the online shop and working with me on photo shoots, Cari was stripping chairs and sanding breadboards to help me get ready for The Chapel Market, my Dad was building things for me and my mom…
…she was cleaning windows. She just can’t help herself. And I’m thankful for it!
I thought I would share one last thing before I sign off – here is the fabric I’m making pillows out of for my family room…
I realized as I was looking around the room last week that I didn’t have a fabric in the space that tied everything together. The room was feeling a little unfinished and this fabric looks perfect. It has the browns of the sofa, the beige of the rugs, the blues from my furniture and grain sacks and even the lighter blue from the walls and some greens and yellows to give me some more color options in the room.
So, I have quite a bit of sewing to do once I get the machines set up…