Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Bureau, Bureau on the Wall

Now, I have never really said this before, but it is very hard for me to paint wooden furniture at times.  I grew up in an absolutely gorgeous log home (a dream home, actually) set in a state park, and I was taught to appreciate wood in its natural state.  

Once when I was painting a truly gorgeous piece for myself that wasn't completely made out of wood, I had to keep telling myself, "It's okay, it's got some pressed board" over and over again.  Ha!

I will say the "pain" has worn off to an extent, but when you see this next piece, you will understand why I can't bear to paint everything I get.

Enter in this gorgeous bureau...
Isn't that inlaid mahogany woodwork just stunning?
The original owner would never believe this is the same piece he sold me.  Take a look at the before...
 Obviously this piece has been forgotten in some basement with broken pulls, damage to the top, and missing veneer. 
When I had agreed to purchase this piece having not seen it in person, I was pleasantly surprised to find this desk - hence the bureau name.  The cubbies are so fun!
Cue the Mighty Mouse theme song...."Here I come to save the day!" (I know that dates me, but I don't care.  Everything gets better with age. Tsk.)

I hit this bad boy with my sander like none other, and it totally paid off.
Just swoon-worthy...sigh...
My original intent was to stain the top and faces of the drawers and doors, but the top has some peeling veneer at the one edge and was too thin to be saved.
I even tried some linseed oil to see how it wood draw it out and it was just too much.  Although it didn't work for the top, it really emphasized the woodwork on the doors and drawers.
Not only did the linseed oil draw out the imperfection, but it just didn't jive with the faces being made of a different wood.
So...I painted the top. I am so glad I did because it really set off that mahogany and now your eye is drawn to the faces instead.  

Take note of the smaller drawers pictured above.  Like I mentioned earlier, two of the pulls were missing or broken and I didn't want to replace the entire set because these are the real deal - nice, heavy brass swag pulls that are irreplaceable.

It took me a while to wrap my brain around what to do with those small drawers.  I searched over 4,000 listings on different sites trying to find a similar style or something that would coordinate.  Nothing appealed to me.

Then bingo, it came to me what to do (gave myself a head-smack for not thinking of it sooner). 

I found a couple of antique pulls with backplates that were the same length as the width of the hole spacing. Score!  To fill the holes I cut some wooden dowel plugs and glued them in, making sure to drill the pull hole before nailing the backplate on.  I've done this method before on other pieces, but those were painted.
Simple enough, right?

Love it?  It's available in my shop.  I secretly hope it doesn't sell...tee hee. Seriously though, wouldn't it make a great t.v. console or a entertaining station?

*Just a little note about my shop: We do ship and typically are able to give you a rate close to half of what it costs to freight furniture elsewhere.  Just send a convo through Etsy if you're interested.

Now I can at least say I'm a partial wood purist.  Being strictly one or the other is just too boring.  Which are you, painter or purist?

Don't forget to stop by The Boutique Showcase!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Boutique Showcase #36: The Linky Party Featuring Your Online Shop

Can you believe July is almost over?  Eek!  Summer goes by way to fast!!  I seriously would be a happy camper if winter were only a couple months each year.  But, I guess that's the trade off for the gorgeous autumn and light summers here in the northeast.

In case you missed it, last week I shared with you how my brood of 6 kids gets hands-on experience with my business to help them learn life skills & have fun while they're at it.  Stop by for a good read!
Onto the party!  I just want to take a minute to welcome the new shops that have joined in the fun.  So be sure to check out last week's showcase.

Please note, I have updated the linky button below with my new logo, so please feel free to grab a new one to replace the old.  

AND I've finally joined the Instagram bandwagon and would love to have you follow along with me and my camera. I've put off joining because I was afraid I'd get addicted...I love photography! Just click on the icon below my header at the top of the page.

Here are this week's features...
by Adirondac Girl At Heart
by Okio B Designs
#1 most viewed shop's item...
by Simply Country Home
Let's see what's new in your shop and get this week's party started!!

The linky party that is open to anyone with an Etsy Shop, Online Shop or Boutique. No worries, you don't have to have a blog to join in, but if you do, it would be fantastic if you would grab the marketplace image below and place it somewhere on your blog, just to let your readers know about this wonderful shopping experience.
Link party button for Prodigal Pieces
<div class="Prodigal Pieces-button" style="width: 350px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="http://www.prodigalpieces.com" rel="nofollow"> <img src="http://i1317.photobucket.com/albums/t625/ProdigalPieces/boutiqueshowcasenew_zps90d4aea4.jpg" alt="Prodigal Pieces" width="350" height="216" /> </a> </div>
The best part...You can link up to three of your individual shop items or shop blog posts. Just make sure these items you are linking are actually available FOR SALE, and link up using the permalink directly to the item or post to make it easy to find. 

A new party begins each week at 8 AM (EST) Tuesdays, so mark your calendar!

Are you here to shop?  Be sure to check back throughout the week because new items are always being added. 

Let's party!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills

Have I ever told you how wonderful it is to be the mom of 6 kids?  Let me just say it is FUN!!!  There is never a dull (or quiet) moment.

Not only am I their mother and homeschool teacher, but I am also blessed with the opportunity to live vicariously through them and share with them all the things I love - one of which is being creative!  Kids are never too young to be taught life skills.  It is such a joy to see their face glowing after they have accomplished something, even the smallest task.  To know they did it themselves.

Each one of my children is their own person with a mix of my hubby's and my personalities (as well as grandparents too!).  Figuring out what makes them tick is a treasure hunt at its best.

One of the goals for me and my business is to offer my kiddos a chance to learn how to operate and run the business, hopefully giving them a step up in life.

My oldest and biggest helper as far as furniture is concerned is my son.  Not only does he help me stage photos and move our house around all.the.time., but he also helps retrieve and deliver furniture.  That can be a tough job for a 12 year old! But boy, am I glad I have some spare muscles with him around!
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
Aside from that, he is an artist and enjoys learning the trade of reviving a piece of furniture (be still my heart!).  Here is what he is working on...
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
Next in line is my 10 year old daughter.  She has an artists flair and once she gets into a creative mode she doesn't stop till it's completed.  Hmmm...that reminds me of someone...wink.wink.
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
Her first big project was this antique child's potty chair I was given. 
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
It definitely needed love.
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
With a little direction from me, she was able to turn it into a totally useful and beautiful planter.
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
The best part of it is that it sold in only a couple of hours.  Can I say I was a little excited for her?!  Woo hoo!

My next two girls are 8 and 6 years old.  Both are itching to paint and remake a piece of furniture.  
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
They help with all sorts of projects from removing drawer pulls from a dresser to being my cheerleaders while I'm creating some masterpiece.

The littlest guy is enjoying life to the full and loves to help out in any way that a four year old can.  Got icky contact paper lining your drawers?  I've got just the little man to remove it for you.  He can even take out drawer pulls and help pack a newly ordered item!
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
My baby girl is just hanging on to mama and livin' the good life.  Sigh....baby days go waaay too quickly.  She is so wiggly it's hard to take a picture!
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
Aside from the hands-on part of the work I do, my gang is also involved in learning photography, computer skills, and people skills, all of which are important aspects of a small business.

I will never shy away from encouraging my kids to join me in the venture I've taken.  What a glorious way to help them gain confidence in what they do and how to make it in this world. 

Will each one become a shop owner or be itching to take over my biz?  Probably not, but I would rather have them alongside me gaining ever so much more than they would standing behind a counter at a fast food restaurant.  Can I get an amen?
Apprentices in the Making - Teaching Kids Life Skills by http://www.prodigalpieces.com
Until then, they are living childhood to the full and I'm ever so thankful that I have been so richly blessed.  
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