Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pieces of the Past~

  Since I was a young girl I have loved antiques, old houses, and places with a sense of history. Maybe that is why I am attracted to antiques and vintage furniture as my canvas. It is usually the shape that captures my attention first. An elaboratley turned leg, a curved drawer or the entire form of a piece in general will strike me. I am a romantic at heart and perhaps my need to “rescue” these  pieces of the past  and give them a new life in these modern times is my way of preserving ( or holding on to ) the past in some small way.

“Creative Recycling” has been alive and well in my family for as long as I can remember. It’s just more fun to rearrange the things we have than to go out and buy something new...My Great Grandmother, Lucille once spray painted her entire car in an afternoon back in the 70's but that's a story for a different day!
When I was a young girl my mom shopped flea markets and yards sales long before it was the "green" thing to do. She brought pieces home and worked her magic on them in our suburban two car garage. I distinctly remember spilling nail polish remover on the top of the freshly painted yellow desk she created for me just days after it was moved in to my room. I cringed as I watched the paint bubble and then peel…And that’s the way it stayed until I gave it new life many years later. My daughter has that very desk and dresser to boot in her room now. They have been reincarnated to suit her taste and she loves that they used to be mine. I hope she will treasure them as I have and with a little luck perhaps they will find their way into her home some day.

We still recycle furniture for fun! We call our pieces Painted Ladies. 

Old Oak Chair gone wild ~

We never quite know what each piece will look like until we are finished! We always start out with a specific color palette in mind, but in the end it is the pieces them selves and the way the colors "talk" to each other that tell us what to do next!

This vintage china cabinet came to me by way of a local consignment shop! As soon as I saw it I knew I had to bring it home and paint it. I loved all the regal details on this piece so I decided to make a departure from painting with latex paints and grace this piece with the glory she deserved! I used metallic paints and variegated gold leaf flakes for the decorative work.  
This Painted Lady goes by the name Lady Violet now! 

                                                Doesn't she just sparkle? 

I think living with one -of -a -kind hand painted furniture, brings character, charm, and  a uniqueness to your home that simply cannot be manufactured. Each piece brings with it a sense of history, but lives on to tell new stories through the use of color, pattern and function.

Ultimately your hand painted furniture will be what ever you want it to be… A fun conversation piece, a family heirloom, or perhaps it conjures memories of places traveled, or un- traveled. You decide!

Best of all, they don’t have to match. In fact, it’s better if they don’t!

I'm conjuring up some new fresh designs for spring using Old Fashioned Milk Paint. In the meantime tell me, what have you clever farmgirls creatively recycled lately? I'd LOVE to hear about it! 

To learn more about the metallic paints that I used go Royal Design Studio and click on Modern Masters under the supplies tab. I have gleaned much info from this site for my decorative painting endeavors.
 Melanie has a You Tube instructional video on her blog about how to using sheets of gold leaf with stencils. Go to Melanie's blog for amazing decorative arts ideas and inspirations!

I'm linking up with Miss Mustard Seeds Furniture Friday!  Go check it out for more fun re-purposing ideas!

Deborah Jean 

1 comment:

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

I love the story about your grandma spray painting her car! That's just awesome! I also love your theory on recycling what we already have! What a sweeet story about your desk that is now your daughter's! Lovely work, too!

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