Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tea Cups and Saucers ~ Where Will They Show Up Next?

Don't you think everything presents a little better when displayed upon a pedistal?

I make these sand candles and sell them in my shop. However, especially on a humid day, I found the need for something to display them on. I also thought it would be nice to offer a type of candle holder to complete "that perfect gift" idea, for my customers. I have been saving odd tea cups and saucers for a while, just waiting for the perfect thing to do with them. Pictured below are some of what I came up with:

The sand candle holder was made from a tea cup saucer atop an old Sandwich Glass candle holder. The votive candle holder was made from a demitasse saucer and an old milk glass salt shaker.

Basically, this is what I did. My dear friend, Estelle, brought me this milk glass salt shaker, missing its peppery mate. I have chosen to use this particular glass glue, that dries hard, permanent, and with a slight amount of flexibility....Done!

The hardest part is making sure the chosen pedistal is centered. Make sure you let them dry thoroughly and on a level surface. You laugh, but I didn't know that my mother-in-law (to be) had an uneven table and my pedistal kept moving!

I like the fact that these little beauties have many uses...

...Nice soap dish, don't you think? Also, can you see this on your dresser holding jewelry? Or, how about setting a lovely table with one of these little cup cake holders at each setting? Cute!

I just think they are so pretty. And next, is a project I have been meaning to get to for a while...

Tea cup and saucer lamps! About a year ago I ordered little candle lamp parts from the CWI outlet I get my glass knobs from.

I had this idea after watching Wayne repair old lamps. I thought I would cut off the plug and temporarily remove the switch. Then I get a ceramic drill bit to drill a hole in the cup and feed the cord through.

Wayne helped me drill the hole in the cup. Here's a tip...Keep dipping the ceramic drill bit in like a charm! Then we fed the cord through the hole, replaced the in-line switch, attached a new plug and glued everything together.

I am so happy with the out come of this project. I think they will go just perfectly in my shop!

Speaking of my shop, I am not there right now. Both Wayne and I are in Long Island caring for Wayne's Mom. She has just completed 8 weeks of radiation and a form of kemo. Since we are treating tongue cancer, her mouth is in terrible condition complete with painful thrush. Although the burned skin on the side of her face and neck is better now, it was quite distressing a week or so back. She has a feeding tube and we are doing our very best to pump lots of protein and freshly juiced fruits and vegetables, while keeping a nagging fever down. Please keep our dear Marge in your prayers.

Sending out all our best, to all of you!

Pieces of Dreams

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quick Fix ~ Quick Post ~ Twig 'N Vine Window Treatment "How To"!

Here on Cape Cod, we are bracing for an uninvited guest...His name is Earl (Wayne calls him "The Duke of Earl"). This means potential victims of this force of nature, will have to go around to all their properties, picking up and storing anything that could become a potential projectile....Tediously annoying!!!!

However in doing just that, I found some great twigs graciously dropped from my favorite tree, just perfect for creating my shop's, back bedroom window treatment. Now that I have sold the pink and green dresser (slotted for pick-up after the storm), my vision for this bedroom will have to be adjusted slightly. But, there is good news! This window dressing will go with all my ideas!
Here's a quick "How To"!

Gather and wire twigs together that measure slightly beyond the window on either side.

This is a close-up of the wiring. Notice that I wired an additional branch on the right side for balance.

Next, I added this floral garland that I had from the other shop.

Before I added the lights, I hung these curtains. Actually, if I had been that good a planner, I would have hung the curtains before putting everything else up. When I stood back, I thought the window needed something to mask the fact that I didn't want to paint the window at this time. So, I opted to hang four panels so that I would have the option of changing how I tied them back. Then, I wove the lights in and out of the twigs and vines. I am very careful to intertwine the lights so that the wires are nicely hidden. Why don't I put the lights on first, you ask? Well, trust me when I say that you will regret not doing it this way, if and when your lights burn out!

As you can see here, I have made tie backs from sections of garland.

And here you have it! All tied back and lit up. Notice from the picture that all the lights are within the vines and not straggling down the side.

Here's the trick. Get a short extension cord and using cup hooks, lead the cord up to the top. This way your lights are where they are supposed to be.

So, we have softened a harsh look and since there isn't any overhead lighting in this room, we have solved a lighting problem (especially since, all too soon, it will be dark at 4:00 pm) and added ambiance to the room!

It's just started to rain (sigh)! Time to go to the shop, work on some furniture, and hope for some customers. If people aren't fleeing the Cape, I am sure they will be buying up supplies at Stop and Shop. I'm probably the last stop on the list, but one can hope!

To answer some of my commenting bloggers...Yes, I will be posting some furniture painting tips in the near future. So! I'm off to work, with camera in hand, sending out wishes for safety and happiness to all!

Pieces of Dreams

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Week In "The Cottage Life" ~ Part Two

Well, what do they say about the best laid plans? I really did intend to post earlier, but the week I had last week was extremely busy and complicated. For some reason, business really picked up this month...kind of like an explosion. And, although it is something we all pray for in this business, the mad scramble to keep up with inventory can really prove exhausting. Lucky for me that Wayne and I do this together. We share the work, treasure hunting and the total experience, making us very in tune with one another.

We have also had family visiting while we work. All I can say is, they have been very patient and understanding. The pictures below somewhat capture the changes in my shop during this past week:

I was just starting to get the back room set up and the pink striped vanity and chair sold. Luckily, Wayne found and painted this lovely wicker one, from the 1940's.

He also found, rebuilt the bottom of the seat, and painted this lovely settee...Already sold!

Another new lovely addition is this wicker chair is from the 1940's...This chair has six legs!

Wayne also found and painted this lovely old Victorian wicker table...Already sold!

We had this solid iron bench (Victorian) for two days. Every time we get something special like this, it really brings people into the shop...We like that!

Wayne also painted this black chest. It hasn't sold yet, but it's sparking a lot of interest...

...And, here's why. It has this little writing desk inside the top drawer.

We got this Victorian bird cage at the same yard sale we got the Victorian bench. That surely was a sale worth stopping at!

We were able to get our hands on two Jerry Howes paintings. His artwork is incredible. You can just about pick those cherries off the table!

This is the second Jerry Howes painting. Wayne and I just love his work.

Remember this table from the previous post? Here it is all dressed up with the hydrangeas.

This is a close up of the top of this piece.

I love folding the artwork over the side of my pieces.

And, this is a close up of the hydrangea I painted on the bottom shelf.

Yet another view of this piece. I try to make the artwork make sense and look attractive from every angle.

Remember this piece from the previous post? Before starting the artwork, I dry-brush striped and created a dry-brushed doily on the top of the piece and drawer. Here is a picture of the piece in process.

Here it is with all the detail work added to the flowers and vines.

Side view.

Close up of the left top and front.

Here's a close up of the top on the right side.

Hydrangeas, ribbons and vines tumbling down the other side of the piece.

This a view of the top of this piece. I put this piece outside while I tried to figure out where to display it. I never got the chance because it sold immediately.

So, now we are back to needing new inventory. Pictured here, are some of the "wanna-be's" that are next. My focus for this week is the table turned upside down on the vanity, my custom ordered bookcase, and the vanity.

We are having much needed rain on the Cape this week. Since we are not having "beach days", I will be entertaining my customers, while I try to squeeze in some work. Our customers are great! They completely understand my being covered in sanding dust and paint.

Wishing all of you a happy, creative and productive week!

Pieces of Dreams

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Week In "The Cottage Life" ~ Part One

Since I was about 7 years old, it was always my dream to live on Cape Cod and have a business where I could create a little shop offering "sentimental enchantments", (being lovely treasures from yesteryear), unique smalls/ accents (usually something made from something else), and have a place to display and sell what has now become, "Pieces of Dreams" hand painted, chic-tique furniture. All these years later, I'm here, on the Cape, and doing just that.

Although I am very thankful, it's not as easy or glamorous as it looks. Of course, anyone who does something similar knows the lugging, sanding, priming, painting and time involved. I, for one, am usually a complete mess (nice fingernails...what are they?), while all the vacationers are on the beach or getting dressed up to go out to eat and shop. I find the book work to be very tedious and spend long hours during the day being "on", to keep the dynamics of my shop visitors positive and pleasant. I have to constantly worry about getting the right inventory and keep the shop full and looking nice. Since, I don't order my offerings out of a catalogue, I have to hunt it or create it...And here, within these words, we've come full circle...hunting, creating, displaying, decorating, etc....(happy sigh!) I'm doing what I've dreamed of doing!

So, here's part one of "The Cottage Life" ~

Here, we find the back bedroom formerly closed last year to the public. We needed it for storage and eventually, the overflow of moving out of the Chatham location. It's really important to have this open for keeping the shopping flow interesting, so as to capture the attention of my visitors. Along with finishing up with some trim painting, I had to get going with my backlog of "wanna-be's". Pictured are some recent inventory projects that are in the brown, ready-to-be-sanded form, as well as some pieces that have been sanded and primed.

These two pieces have already been painted (the yellow one has been striped and taped off for more detail). I had this blue piece in the Chatham house and didn't feel it was necessary to repaint the whole thing all over again, so I gave it a quick sprucing up of dry brushing on the legs, and here it waits for some stripes and artwork.

So, for the past week while no people are in the shop, I've been busy painting the room and base coating some of the primed pieces.

I've picked up some nice bedding at a tag sale and am trying to re-create the pink and green theme in the bedroom I had before. The dresser was done previously, but the matching nightstand, with the drawers and body done opposite of what is on the dresser, was sold. I found this cute little piece and thought it would do the trick as a replacement.

It's painted and shabbied off in this place and that. You can really see how charming the piece is, now that it is no longer brown and scratched...Shabbied, Yes! Scratched, No!

And, here is a table I had that used to be a shade of yellow. When I shabbied this one off, some of the yellow paint and white from the primer show along the "shabby line". I love pink and yellow!

Although it's not quite a bedroom yet, the room is open and sales have improved! Perhaps this week, I can get the bed I painted in here. In the meanwhile, I have placed furniture and wicker around so that it is presentable enough to be open. Now comes the fun of filling it and keeping it that way!

Before I could get all the pictures taken, I sold the Victorian what-not that I had in this corner, so I had to do something make-shift with the chair.
It's the beginning of a whole new week. Let's see what can be accomplished for "part two"!

Wishes of peace and happiness to all,
Pieces of Dreams