Archive for November, 2010

Snooping around a local thrift store one day

something– from the other end of the long isle I was perusing was suddenly COMMANDING my attention!  I hustled down the long isle to find an INCREDIBLE OLD DESK!

-In incredibly bad condition, and,

with an equally incredible price tag!

Come on—how’d they come up with THAT PRICE for THAT CONDITION?

No kidding—it was ROUGH, but parts were so COOL

!  Oh, God!—what to do.  Well, 1stquick, grab the tag so you don’t lose out while you try to decide!

With a lot of angst, I paid their astronomical price tag.  But only because—I justified—it had enough “parts” to pilfer for multiple projects.  So I bought it and took it apart—“limb-by-limb.”  There were several great, bow-fronted drawers, but I really couldn’t wait to capture its best feature, 8 short, squatty, ball & claw feet!


The first “parts” from the former desk became the foundation of a simple, classic design–I named PHOEBE!

Literally—the cabinet started from the bottom up with two of the fabulous ball and claw feet and a section of the decoratively carved desk top.

I found the crown molding and appliques in a ReStore!  (I try to shop these stores where ever I travel—you can find some amazing treasures among the many donations!)


This very girlie cabinet has scalloped shelves, and vintage cabbage rose wallpaper from the 1940’s found in a salvage store!

The whole piece is wrapped outside-in, with pale, muddied pink stripes.

*You wouldn’t believe the math it takes to create perfect stripes!





22″ wide x 47″ tall

**although she –SOLD– to a lovely woman in Chicago, another could be custom built for you!






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*another OLD project (I can’t find the very 1st pictures of)

I found her in a store going out of business,

shoved to the side in favor of promoting — anything else. A sweet little grandfather clock and— a petite 5ft tall.  I had to have it.  I had to rescue it.

https://freddyandpetunia.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/a-small-case-grandfather-clock/◊  I took the clock straight to the strippers to clean away all the grime and very dark, ugly, stain-START FRESH.  I’d hoped for a mellow wood to re-stain -awe dang- nothing to get excited about.  Three different woods.  Oh~that’s why the really dark stain.  In fairness, I did try re-staining before bailing in this makeover!

(Sorry—can’t find all my “before” pictures, but you can clearly see the discrepancy in woods.)

◊  The original finial was small and inconsequential so I changed it to one larger and more linear.

https://freddyandpetunia.wordpress.com/2010/11/15/a-small-case-grandfather-clock/◊  The base just didn’t feel right either, it was so understated–and boring. So I cut THAT off and added architectural legs to give the whole piece a “lift!”

I liked this clock at first sight, and with current modifications, I love her even more—but something is still amiss.

Since I love the Swedish and Biedermeier furniture I see in many of my design books I hoped it might give new inspiration and nudge this project in another direction!  -Nothing yet, but stay tuned!




Oh, yes—that base that didn’t seem quite right?  It got re-purposed into the base of a fabulous little girl’s china cupboard I named NANCY –for my mom who loved it so much!

She sold to a children’s shop owner for display—she said! She too was crAzy about it!





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It was a really fun project, with, I think,

a fabulous outcome!



https://freddyandpetunia.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/my-beautiful-bench-pt-3/Who knew working on one simple bench (a different project that also looks great!) could lead to something so unexpected!

From the very moment I saw that battered fainting sofa getting worked on at The Upholstery Place


I could almost SEE my own finished piece before it was even retrieved from storage to work on!  ~A fait accompli !

I could actually see it ~

covered in linen, deep tufting!

The linen is a rich taupe color (none of my pictures are showing its beautiful color).



I wanted a time-worn, painted finish, and I wanted it to sit on wooden wheels once again.

At 6ft long & 29″ wide

it’s almost a daybed–

and incredibly comfortable because I used the very best, high density foam!



I wish you could actually SEE the quality of this upholstery job!  If you, too, have perfectionist-tendencies, this mother-daughter team is the one for you!

Jane & Katie

The Upholstery Place !




The DIY Show OffSunday's Best Linky Party!









shabby creek cottage

 Tickled Pink at 504 MainChic on a Shoestring Decorating





RedouxFunky Junk's Saturday Nite Special




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How cool to find the original  furniture tag

still attached to the underside of the framework!

As best I can find on the internet, The Sheboygan Parlor Furniture Co. dates from around the 1860’s and actually sold a lot of their products through catalogs!

Once all the structural issues were addressed,

and I had chance to absorb how unexpected and fun this project would be, I decided all the missing ornamentation–was just one more layer of character!

I skipped a primer coat–just painting, so to let the wood’s natural characteristics show through, and add to the end finish.


Of course the air was super humid when I was working on this project.  I think it was described as “the air you can wear!”

Everything needed extra drying time–which gave me extra time to think about how I ultimately wanted to use my new BENCH, and what furniture it would be paired with.  That bonus-time lead to a few adjustments.

I started to build on the finish using a variety of products and techniques.  When I wasn’t quite satisfied one way, I’d experiment with another until it

looked authentically old!   ; D






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While I’m diverted away building a new Freddy & Petunia cabinet–thought I’d share a past project with you.

https://freddyandpetunia.wordpress.com/First, how do I explain this crazy imagination that lets me LOOK PAST  what something is, to see instead–

what something could be!

With that said–my favorite ladies at The Upholstery Place were generously teaching me how to diamond tuft an old bench!   *Yeah–it taught me to LET THE PROS DO IT!  (the more tufts = the more muscle aches)

Anyway, here’s the story.

An old fainting sofa I spied in their shop kept distracting me.

I had one.  Well–the frame of one that I wasn’t giving any real thought about, but THIS ONE was suddenly -inexplicably- calling out to me!  It was rough.  It was tattered.  It needed a major intervention!

But what   I   saw was . . . . an interesting, looong, bench.  Covered in linen.  Deep diamond tufts!   l-o-v-e  tufting!


I RAN back to pull mine from storage right away. . . . Put it up on saw horses~analyze what  I  had.



It, too, needed a pretty major intervention!

I cut off the slanted back and reshaped its new end to match the other—the easy part.  It was riddled with hundreds of old tack nails to be pulled and filled.

Rotted, splintering, and cracked wood to be re-glued and clamped, missing appliques, half “melted” rubber wheels, and a very wobbly structure.

Not a pretty wood—I’ll paint and distress it!

It’s gonna be beautiful!

Pt 1.


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