Dickey's Decor

Home, Garden and More

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Finding Your Niche

I can chalk up eight shows to my hobby business career. I will admit that all but one of those was worth my time. The school bazaars were a bust. No one in my neck of the woods seems to want vintage inspired crafts or repurposed furniture. The sales I did at a local nursery were packed, but apparently Portland Hipsters who drink organic beer aren't into my wares either.
I decided to give it one last shot.
Camas Antiques is one of my favorite places in the entire world. I heart going there by myself to peruse. My friend's mom, who I also call a friend, works there and for a few years they have tried to convince me to get a spot. I can't bring myself to commit.
This year I decided to give their Vintage Faire a chance. I figured worst case scenario I would be out $100 for the spot. I prepped a little for a month painting furniture and such. The week before the sale I buckled down and prepared. I was excited to entire the majors of local bloggers, collectors, crafters and repurposers, but I didn't set my hopes to high. Yep, I'm a pessimist, or a realist as I like to say.
Mr.Dickey helped me set up and just as the floodgates opened headed home. I was on my own for awhile.
The day was busy and well worth my time. I admit I am hooked and realized I had been barking up the wrong tree with my past shows. I had to find my niche. I will be going to discuss setting up a booth in Camas Antiques soon. I am going to pursue some similar shows in the near future as well. Niche. I like it.

Glassy Table

In a previous post I wrote about a trip to the Goodwill Bins where I stuffed my car with finds. This table was one of them:

I loved the shape and it had every piece of glass still in tact. It was heavy and solid. I decided to paint it with my metallic blue paint and top coat it with dark wax. Again, I sort of hoped it wouldn't sell at my sale because this baby would look sweet in my living room. Why is it that the furniture in my house is NASTY and doesn't have an alibi?

This is what it looked like when it was finished:

Aren't those legs sexy? 

This table sold at the last minute at the Vintage Faire. I should say my husband slamming the price down sold it. I was happy with the price and was glad we didn't have to drag it home, but it would have been a nice place to kick up my feet for all that relaxing I do. 

The House of Ill Repute

There is a house about three miles from me that is well....a crack house. Not sure how I can sugar coat that one. About a year and half ago I was driving by and saw they were selling some things in front kept going until I saw an awesome cabinet in my rear view mirror. I headed back and dealt with the "character" who was selling a bunch of random stuff. I think it is safe to assume this piece was not stolen (I mean how could you steal it?). Like most things, it sat in my garage waiting for inspiration. I realized it was an old radio cabinet someone had gutted and added a shelf to.
I finally painted it with my favorite metallic blue paint by Ralph Lauren and top coated it with dark wax. It went to my big sale and I sort of hopped it wouldn't sell because I had the perfect spot for it, not to mention I have a wall painted in the same color. It sold within the first hour and I had to part with it.

I never got any good shots of this piece when it was empty. I managed to snap a few pictures when I was at the show. It had awesome detailing and the wax really made the things pop.  I'll be honest my garage was so crazy I couldn't figure out how to stage anything for photos. It looked like an episode of Hoarders.

Speaking of Hoarders, the other night we were driving by the house I talked about above. There was a sign that said, "Free Sh&%". Except it really said the word. There was also a lady tweeking out and screaming on her phone. My husband (who was a cop in his past life) turned around and headed back to look at the free stuff. I know him well enough to know he really wanted to see the circus act. The free stuff was really as it was described. Too bad they didn't have another radio cabinet.

To Paint of Not to Paint?

I spotted this hutch on Craigslist one evening while sitting in the stands at a baseball game. Directly after the game I drove to Washington (okay so it is directly across the river) and picked it up. The people selling it were very nice. The man was concerned about scratching it and even gave me an old blanket to cover it up. I didn't have the heart to tell him I would be painting it.

I posted a picture of it on Facebook to drum up some business and several people suggested I leave it as it was. It is in pristine condition so this is an option BUT Ethan Allen decided to go cheap on the back wood panel. Because of this I decided to paint some of it and leave part of it the original wood.

I found these pieces on Pintrest as inspiration:



The piece sat in my garage for almost the entire baseball season and All Star season. I have come to understand that once baseball season starts nothing else gets done. I needed some motivation and found some when I agreed to do a big sale at the end of August. Yep, all my furniture and projects had to be done by then.
I hauled it to the sale and used it to display items. It had a clear price tag on it, but there were no bites. Much to my husband's dismay we had to drag it back home. It sat in my driveway for a week and went on Craigslist. This evening I got a call from someone about 25 miles away wondering if they could come take a look. Now usually on a Saturday night I would be out on the town (or at least hanging around a baseball field), but tonight my daughter was done with strep throat and I was playing nurse.
I snuck away for a few minutes to wipe any dust off of it and they pulled up about half an hour later.
It was a lovely young couple with his parents. They are moving in to a new home and were looking for a small china cabinet. This one was perfect. We chatted for a bit and they loaded it up and took headed out.  I was excited and knew this piece had found the perfect home.

It had a beautiful side profile:

It was painted with Annie Sloan Paris Grey and Old White. I left the top the original wood color, but added a few coats of dark wax to make it tie in better. I loved how it turned out. 

Do Your Homework

It was mid-summer and I spotted a cute little pine desk on Craigslist. I was stoked when I discovered it was located a mile from my house. When I went to pick it up the seller and I began to chat and figured out her ex-husband worked with me at one point. She was very nice and even threw in a few unopened cans of stain.
The desk sat on the side of my house for over a month with the rest of my furniture collection. Generally this area is where our tent trailer sits, but the co-owner of the tent trailer has kept it at their house all summer. It is a good thing because I had TONS of project furniture to store. It is also a good thing this summer ended up being one of the driest on record so my furniture stayed dry.

Anyway, I finally got around to knocking out furniture towards the end of August in anticipation of the Camas Antiques Vintage Faire. The desk made it's way to the sale with me, and found it's way back when it didn't sell.
I knew it would go quick and after posting it on Facebook I had a bite within minutes. The buyer was a mother I have worked with through the school's parent group. I will also have her daughter in class this year. In fact, the desk was for her daughter.
I think it is funny that the desk I "created" will be where she will create essays and such for me. I know because it is so darn cute it should make her homework a bit easier to do...maybe.

I painted this desk with Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue and topped it with soft wax. I stained the top of the desk with a cherry and loved how it turned out. The matching chair's seat was covered with a steel grey burlap.

I Love My Volvo

I am a HORRIBLE driver. If you want to blame someone you can blame my parents. I was so bad they refused to practice driving with me and I essentially was taught by my high school boyfriend. I am pretty sure he still regrets that decision.
About three weeks after I met my husband I wrecked my car (this was only my second accident) with him in it. When we got married he bought me a Volvo. Since then I have always driven one because frankly they make me feel safe. I have always bought used ones because in a way I am afraid of driving a brand new car because then I would have to be extra careful all the time and they are cheaper to buy.
 My current Volvo is a low slung station wagon with super low miles. It runs like a champ, but every once in awhile my husband brings up the idea of getting me a new car. I look around, but don't see anything I like. My car is safe, gets good gas mileage and can haul a ton of stuff.
On this day for instance, I was dropping my daughter off at a birthday party for my niece on the other side of town. I was super disappointed the party was a few blocks away from the Goodwill Bins (insert sarcasm here). I slid into a compact parking spot (another benefit of my smaller car) and started searching. I got to the furniture section and angels began to sing. There was tons of pieces that were right up my alley. I began to pop some tags (thanks Mackelmore) and found myself walking out with four end/coffee tables and a French Provincial desk. I seriously debated picking up a huge buffet and two night stands, but I needed to be realistic about what I can finish before my big sale on August 31st.
I wanted to avoid calling my husband to come with the truck (I was 15 miles from home after all) so I spent half an hour configuring furniture into my car. In the end I got all but one piece in. Fortunately my brother was able to put this table in his car and I didn't have to call in reinforcements.

Here is one of the pieces I picked up all done:

There are two of these and they started out like the picture above. These tables are SOLID. I know people say this all of the time, but they don't make furniture like they used to. In fact, I have used this table as a place to sit throughout the summer. I wanted to paint these with one of my favorite colors, Watery and add cream accents, but alas I am still have another set of end tables in those colors I can't seem to sell. I decided to go with two shades of grey instead. I have them listed on Craigslist and they still haven't sold after two weeks. Mmmm. 
I know this is an outdated style, but I still think they are cute. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pink Power

The Portland Metro area is fairly large. I live on the Eastern edge of the suburbs and find that many of the items I buy or sell are located on the Western edge about 25 miles away. With the price of gas, and taking my time into consideration, there are times I let great deals pass me by. This was one of those deals.

After school I checked Craigslist quickly and someone had posted two grainy pictures of a dresser and vanity. They wanted $100 for both of them. I emailed to ask where they were located and low and behold it was only 18 blocks from my house and a three minute drive. I asked if I could take a quick peek at them. When I saw them I was stoked they were better than I imagined they would be. I did not have the truck with me and I needed to make sure I had the cash at home. Could I call them back in a few minutes to let them know?
I realized these people were desperate to get rid of these pieces. They had to be out of their duplex by 11:00 the next morning and I was the only one who had contacted them (due to their horrible photos). After a half an hour I called back and offered them $75 for both pieces. They agreed and within an hour both pieces were sitting in my driveway. These pieces were structurally sound, but they were dirty (dust, dog hair, grime). In fact, the old owners accidentally left two drawers crammed with clothes and prescription pain killers. Uh oh. We returned everything, but let me just say if these pieces could talk.

I know I could simply clean them up and sell them as is and at least double my profit, however I wanted to do something more. I kept hearing the words, "Antoinette" in my head. You know Annie Sloan's Antoinette. I decided to try and match it to the best of my ability and went with Sherwin William's Rose Bud. Here is how they turned out:

This is the mirror that attaches to the back of the vanity. It is currently on my kitchen table. I had to reglue it to the frame. I wanted to avoid attaching it just for the sake of pictures. This piece is old and I don't want to risk breaking one of the brackets and having to redo the mirror. Yep, I'm lazy. I realized I didn't get a picture of the two pieces together. They are so sweet and are just begging to be put in a pretty bedroom suite that nods to yesteryear or in a cute little girl's room. I am hoping they sell fast as they take up space. I am sure they will find a new home and I hope they have exciting tales to tell!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Contestant Number One

I was strolling in downtown Camas last week as I had to pick up more Annie Sloan and this is my closet option. The Purple Pear in Northwest Portland may be closer, but then I would have to deal with parking and it is a great excuse to visit Camas Antiques. If I could drive as the crow flies Camas would be ten minutes away, but instead I have to get on the freeway and cross a bridge and essentially backtrack....argh. I digress.
So anyway, I wasn't in my normal harried mode and decided to check out a few shops and came across a lovely shop, Lizzabeth A. I was drawn in by the April Cornell products, but soon found myself fawning over beautiful papers. Lizzabeth asked if I was planning to enter the contest. "What contest?" I asked.
She explained that if I used the papers, which were 30% off, in a project I could enter to win a gift certificate prize (actually there are three prizes). You probably can guess what happened.
Yep, I bought three different papers and headed home.
I found this table a few weeks ago at a garage sale. I bundled it with several other items so I can't even tell you how much it was:

It was in great condition, but the top is this awful faux (it may be real) leather with gold trim. It reminds me of....well baby poop.

I decided this paper was perfect for the project. I painted it Annie Sloan Paris Grey and highlighted a carved line with gold to bring out the subtle gold in the paper. I also painted the knobs gold. Next, I decoupaged the paper to the top. It was a perfect...

I ended up getting honorable mention in the contest. My prize is a box of Moonstruck chocolate. I am a bit disappointed, but I'm sure the chocolate will cure my blues. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Little Red Cabinet (Woowoo)

Did you get my title reference? Little Red Corvette was running through my mind the entire time I painted this cabinet. I was super stoked when I saw it on a Facebook page, but disappointed when I picked it up and the top was laminate. I didn't let it get me down because the size was awesome. I have found that my smaller pieces often sell quickly because many people don't have room for huge furniture. Anyway, I painted this red and left the back cream. I had another piece of paper left from my trip to Elizzabeth As that matched it perfectly. I decoupaged it on the back and loved the results.

I posted this and expected to get a lot of calls, but alas my phone never rang. It seems like my sales are feast or famine. I am selling things super fast or not at all. Today I ended up selling this and a dresser.
I am a painting fool right now as I am trying to get my garage cleared out of all the furniture I was collecting at the end of the school year. I will be finishing two big pieces tomorrow so there is a light at the end of the tunnel!

A Happy Mistake

My husband isn't a fan of picking up things I find on Craigslist. He wasn't amused when I asked him to pick up a dresser on his way home from the mall. He is a good sport and gave in to my request a few Saturdays ago. When he brought it home I was in love with the size of the piece, but it was pretty rough. It had at least three coats of paint on it and I didn't want to spend the time to strip it. I will be honest there is no profit in stripping (hahahahahahahha).
I decided to paint it with the last of my Peacock paint. This was a mistake. I literally started scrapping the bottom of the paint container. OF COURSE I hadn't stirred the paint well and it began to get white at the bottom. I realized this too late and had already slapped the paint on the several drawers (Attention: Do not paint with sunglasses on). I decided to go with it and figure it out later. In the end I loved the results.

I distressed parts of the dresser to show the black and red underneath. I posted this on on Facebook and within a few minutes I had several people inquire about it. I ended up selling it to one of my son's baseball teammates. I love it when my pieces stay close to home. In the end I am happy with this mistake. I think the white adds another layer to the dresser and makes it look beachy and worn.

You may have noticed the pots on the side of the dresser. My yard gets very limited sun and as a result I can't grow my favorite flowers, dahlias. I decided to try growing them in pots on the side of the house this summer. We shall see what the results are.
In other news I have been absent from the world of blogging because I haven't had a computer and I was out of town for a work trip. We finally bit the bullet and bought a MacBook. I think I am in love. I am excited to do several blog posts in the next couple days.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Wish...

I picked up a unique piece of furniture back in May. It was a crazy busy Saturday and I raced across town to pick it up. The guy who sold it to me was finishing cleaning out his aunt's house. They had an estate sale the weekend before and this piece hadn't sold....crazy.
The man told me he thought his aunt had cut the legs down, but I didn't find any evidence of that. It was shorter than a typical buffet or credenza which made it a perfect modern day media console. I knew this baby had to come home with me.
His strapping son, and I, loaded it into my trusty Volvo (#ishouldadvertiseforVolvo) and I drove straight to the baseball fields.

Then this lovely lady sat in my garage for weeks. I finally got around to fixing her up after school got out (thus the blog hiatus). I painted her with Annie Sloan Paris Grey and accented with Old White. This piece had lots of fun details. Finally. I top coated her with soft wax.
She sold quickly and I almost shed a tear when we dropped her off. Her new mistress loved her as much as I did and I know she is good hands (after all she had a cow skull hanging on the wall). I wish I could have kept her...sigh.
  I am without a computer right now and have to do all my blogging from an IPad which isn't ideal. As a result I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Beachy Beauty

This is another one of the tables I picked up from my co-worker who is China bound. This table was from her grandparents and survived her, two sisters, college parties (and adult parties I have attended),  her own three kids, and numerous foreign exchange students.  I am not gonna lie this thing was beat up, gauged, scratched, and more. However, it is still sturdy as all get out.

I love the big chunky legs on this table...they remind me of my own! This table screamed beachy to me so I decided to paint the legs with creamy white (again thinking of my own legs) for a whitewashed look and the top in my fav, Sherwin Williams Watery. I distressed it a bit and added a top coat of Annie Sloan Soft Wax.

This baby would be perfect in my beach house if I owned one. Since I don't I will be selling it.

I also painted two side tables to match. They have great storage and style.

The funny thing is while I don't own a beach house a co-worker does. She saw these and wants to do a trade for these. It is a win-win situation. I get two nights in her beach house, she gets the tables. In a way I guess I do get to enjoy them in a beach house!