Archive for February, 2011

Needing  a break and a little playtime, I spent a day checking out some thrift stores and the two area ReStores!

Next to one of the places, is a woodworker’s store I love to wander–and dream of buying some of the really cool (really expensive) power tools!  I noticed they had “parts” for making a split pediment–interesting.  Well, then how about a router bit so I can cut my own design…?  Yes–and also very expensive.  But it’s definitely something I’ll come back to.  In the meantime, I decided to buy a few of those pediment parts to try something out—and this was the start of building Sophie!

The Process & Parts-

◊ I used some veneered plywood left over from another “Mom’s house” project.  Laying the board flat, I drew out the general dimensions of the cabinet,

◊ played around with the position for the crown molding to the pediment, starting out more horizontally, slowly moving them diagonally until I liked the layout, and added a couple of small bull’s eye appliques.

◊ I traced everything out, sketched in the rest of the contours, and finally cut the backboard, revealing a split pediment shape!

◊ I glued and nailed the crown molding and appliques,

◊ puttied, sanded, and primed everything.  ◊ While I was at it, I took advantage to wallpaper, too, using a lovely old damask someone donated to the ReStore.  I love this paper, but can’t find any info on it– it’s just OLD!

Building a cabinet around a backboard was very odd~that’s usually one of the last steps!

◊ I cut sides and attached them to the backboard,

◊ built a face frame for the base around a curbie drawer,

◊ cut the balls from some porch spindles to create bun feet,

◊ and copied and re-sized the wood top design from Tolani~but I still had to come up with a finial.  I tried several I’ve collected before stealing this one, from another piece of furniture.

I wanted this little china hutch to stay soft and simple, so I opted to shabby chic it!  And here she is….!


24″w  x  48″h  x  12″d




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Now that I just love those split pediments— and have another to play with, let’s build another cabinet and do it better!






—please, bear with me—

This was still pre-Freddy & Petunia, so I wasn’t thinking consistently about before, during, and after shots.  And it was during construction of this china cupboard that the first thoughts of a business began!

My bf has the sweetest little girl I get to play “auntie” to–and this cabinet was for her!

Since the split pediment was larger, I was able to make it a bit wider and deeper for drawers!  I wished I had cut a wood top for the 1st china hutch, so I made a point of it this time.  I gave it a serpentine form, and routered in a roman ogee profile!

Although the doors are a flat slab, I applied 1/2 round strips to give it a paneled look, which allowed more play with paint.  Speaking of paint—I thought to shabby chic it white would be boring, and pink didn’t fit the style…..  My friend loves sage’y greens, which lends itself to the traditional feel I wanted–so green it is!











When I finished painting, it just looked too new and a lot like “doll” furniture.  So I distressed it and dirtied it up to seem more authentic! Yes, this was built for a special little niece—but I can build one custom for yours, too!


27″w  x  47″h  x 13″d

(would have been)  $295


p.s.  Another change for another china hutch, next post!

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I’ve never been particularly fond of the split pediment of the federal style–not that I don’t like it, it just never excited me.  So there, in one of my favorite vintage-antique stores, was a broken split pediment, federal styled mirror that (I swear) locked eyes–on ME!

I’m sure you can guess what’s next, right?

It was only a frame.  The mirror was broken and was going to be replaced, I learned.  It was relegated to a corner, where, I’m sure they never expected a customer to pay any attention–but I don’t want to miss anything!  And it was talking to me!  I had no idea of any project for it–but I was drawn to it.

They sold it to me cheap, I took it home, added it to my stash–and forgot about it.

Now, two years later, I had a ball building the little hoosier and book case for my Princess Aleigha!  Then I got an idea for a little china cupboard–and remembered that, somewhere, I had a broken mirror frame that just might work into my design.  After some digging around, I found it.  I had to alter the size of the cabinet to make it fit, but it was perfect, and absolutely transformed the cabinet! I have a new fondness for split pediments!  Which also means–I can’t find any, unless they’re super expensive!  I can’t count the number of split pediments I saw prior to this revelation–and summarily dismissed. Of course……..but, that’s how it goes, right?

Much to the chagrin of my poor nephew, Lily insisted he wear this hat to her tea party~such a dutiful daddy!

See why I loved this split pediment? I can’t imagine this china cabinet without it!

This was my learning curve–I have since built two more, and have made some changes, and I think, improvementsPractice makes perfect!  I will share those in coming posts!  But in the meantime—This one is named for my Great niece, and hostess of the tea party!


24″w  x  44″h  x  12″d

(would have been) $295


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From “Curbie” to chic!

curbie (ker’bee)  n.   1. broken, discarded, or worthless things left along edge of street.  2.raw treasures found along edge of street.

My niece called to tell me about some furniture on the curb I should come take a look at right away—I have pickers…! I wasn’t interested in what she called about, but, there were two night stands in rough shape I grabbed pretty quickly.  You know the french provincial bedroom furniture, so commonly found in thrift stores or repainted in vintage furniture stores?  One of the night stands was that, the other was just simple and boxy.  Both were missing parts, but I was only going to pilfer them further, so , no problem!  Here’s the boxy one–forgot to take a picture of the french provincial style–but you know what they look like!

I was about to start taking them apart, when I got an idea.

Hmmm–instead of a screw driver and hammer, I got out the circular saw…!  I cut the top portion off both (I was only interested in the bottom drawer down) and built hutch tops for both using a variety of other “reclaimed” parts!

I worked on these two cabinets simultaneously, which was kind of funny.  Think boy!  Think Girl!  Think boy—no, your still on the girl’s cabinet. But it was fun, and I love the outcome!

Meet my little “Curbies”—-JeanAnn and Rudy!

And find them available in my Etsy shop!


JeanAnn                                                             Rudy

24″w  x  47″h  x  16″d                                             23″w  x  45″h  x  16″d

$295                                                                                $295

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I just found these pictures digging through for something else, so I thought I would share a long-forgotten project with you!  An old friend mentioned he was in need of a new desk lamp, but his desk was kind of small–did I have any suggestions?

A lamp I saw at TJ Maxx came to mind.  Hmmm.  It fit his style, should fit his space requirements, good price (cheap, in fact), interesting shade–albeit,  boring.  That’s okay, a small amount of some really nice upholstery fabric and trim could remedy that.  In about 45 minutes.

–I traced the shade dimensions onto the fabric with chalk.  Cut it out, and taped it to the shade to double check the fit.

–I chose to sew the trim to the top and bottom fabric edges for a crisper finish.

Don’t sew? Read on for another suggestion.

–I used a stronger-bonding spray adhesive on the fabric, and wrapped it around the shade.  I found in the past, spraying directly on the shade will show through to the inside of the shade.  Also, spray as evenly as you can if you use light or sheer fabrics.  I folded the fabric end under, and used a fabric glue to secure it, and the trim ends together.  Okay–if you don’t sew–after you wrap the fabric around the shade, use a hot glue gun to attach the trim.



I’m sure I spent more time running to and from TJ Maxx (hoping they still had that lamp) than I did re-covering the shade!  Super easy project—that garnered the best reward from my friend! What a fun way to spend a little time!



If your lamp shades are looking a little dowdy–get some fabric and try this! Or add your monogram with iron on letters you can find at the Fabric and Craft stores.  Just be really careful with your iron temp, so you don’t leave a mark.  You can also glue them on with fabric glue!   I like to use this project with extra drapery fabric in bedrooms!



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Not AGAIN…..!

I was dreaming of warm summer air,

the sweet smell of flowers………

……and woke up to this.

I’ve had more than enough!






that’s me ——–>

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This is my little instigator!


She was the reason for the very first cabinet built–a Hoosier!  And, then, a place to store all her books!







I found a fabulous floral applique in a flea market, and decided to have it top another smaller book shelf.  Or should it top a china cupboard?


With each cabinet, I try to create a pattern.  So it’s easier to do it again, and a little easier to make changes, if I need to.  And, since the 1st bookshelf felt a bit too tall at 54″, I altered this next one to a height to 48″.  Aside from that, I just made subtle changes–to the valance with that fabulous applique, a recessed panel doors, and a simpler paint scheme!



25″w  x  48″h  x  12″d



At a Chicago flea market, I met a wonderful Grandmother

–with a request.  She really loved all my little cabinets

(she bought Phoebe for herself!)

butwould I build this cabinet–again–and make some “adjustments?”


We had a conversation about her very special, 2 yr old granddaughter, Sophia! Her personality, her favorite colors, how she might play with it!  We had a “plan,” & then a little change, when I found some arched window casing at the ReStore!  I thought it could be even cuter with an arched top!

I like a challenge. So–I had to figure out the correct bevel/angle to rip the wood “strips” so when they were all glued up, they would create the same arch as the casing. : / Did I ever say–math was never one of my best subjects…..?

If, at first, you don’t succeed–try, try, again.

If, at first, you DO succeed–try hard to hide your astonishment…..!

I got it!  Pretty quickly, too!  And it looks so cute!  So the carcass is roughed out, with a lower deck to accommodate a 2 yr old’s size.  I decided to build the drawer (she wanted instead) to keep it streamlined.  We have had another conversation about a potential design change….it could still have shelves–or–I could run corner shelves up each side and add a cute little fleur de lis hook in the upper back…?  Until they decide, it is well sanded and primed…!

What do you think?



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