Friday, September 30, 2011

Jewelry Chest Seeks Jewelry-Loving Owner

Cara and I made a trip to the the Brimfield Antique Market a few weeks ago, where I picked up this adorable little jewelry chest (this is what I'm calling it). It looks like it's in decent shape, but the back and drawers were falling apart. It had great brass detailing though that immediately caught my eye. With some negotiating, I threw it in the back of the Jeep and we were on our way! After debating what color to paint it (I sometimes let a piece sit for weeks because I can't decide), I chose a new color I haven't used before... Painted, waxed, I'm in love... again. Thank God I live in a 100 square foot cottage, otherwise I'd keep half of my pieces! I try to stick with historic/vintage colors and I love how vibrant this blue is against the brass detailing.    -Kristen

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Little About My Fabric... A Little About Me.

When people see my fabric, they often ask how I design it.   Well, sometimes, I start with a pencil and paper and other times, I head straight to the computer.   I use nature, found objects, and other designs as my inspiration or I use just my imagination.  And how did I get into this… I've always had an interest in sewing and home decorating.   And as a graphic designer, I thought it would be cool to design my own fabric.   After taking a few classes in surface design through UMass Dartmouth School of Visual Arts, I was taught the skills to enable me to do this.  I learned how to design in repeat and how to hand screenprint.   Although I enjoyed screenprinting my fabric, I felt that it was far too time-consuming.  And then, I learned about this amazing company called Spoonflower.  Spoonflower digitally prints fabric and has made it possible for individuals to design, print and sell their own fabric designs via the web.  The company was started in 2008 by two Internet geeks who had crafty wives but who knew nothing about the textile business. One of the founder's wives thought it would be a really cool idea to design her own fabric and make curtains.  She wasn't the only person wanting to do this and now the Spoonflower community has grown to over 150,000 members worldwide who print their own fabric to make curtains, quilts, clothes, and much much more!

I really love what I am doing and hope that I can turn this into my new career.  Being able to balance work, home, and being a new mom is a challenge, but one that I know I can take on.  The design process takes a lot of time and even more so now that I have Soleil to raise.   It's difficult to find uninterrupted time to design like I used to and even when I have childcare, there is still mom stuff to do - whether it's pumping, scheduling an appointment, or a task around the house.  I am adapting to this and am still learning how to prioritize in the most effective way.   Each day is a learning experience and although being a new mom and starting a new business can be overwhelming at times, it is the best thing that has happened to me, and Soleil is a new source of inspiration to my work.

Below are some of my fabric designs.  Hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happily Ever After: A French Provincial Buffet Story

Once upon a time, back in July, I was searching Craigslist for a piece of furniture longing for a little love and a new home.  I came across this beauty and knew it had to be mine. An 80's baby, this piece reminded me of my childhood bedroom furniture: that hideous gold color with darker gold trim, shiny veneer, just plain ugly. I picked it up (it was love at first sight) and took it home... and started striping it. Then two weeks later, I primed it. Then a week later, I painted it. Two weeks later, I painted another coat. And then the trim... and on and on and on... did I mention how MASSIVE this piece actually is? This is my biggest project to date and it literally took me almost three months. I'm a big fan of instant gratification and this simply wasn't doing it for me. I'd do a little at a time, then do something else... but finally, this week, I finished it. And, I have to say, I love it. I distressed it a bit, painted the trim Duck Egg Blue and painted the handles Antique White. It's happy, I'm happy, it's happily ever after.

The End.

By the way, a little note on Craigslist. This can be an awesome place for GREAT deals. Most people just want to get rid of stuff and you can really bargain with them. However, it is definitely sketchy meeting people at their homes. I prefer the buddy system! From the picture below (the actual picture from Craigslist), use your imagination at the type of place I picked this up at! 


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Hunt

People often ask me where I find my pieces? Well, the answer is, literally anywhere! I've stopped traffic on the side of the road because people are throwing things out, I've woken up at 5 am for flea markets (why does the antique world start so so early in the morning?), I've rummaged through yard sales (although this is not my favorite place... something about looking through people's belongings, with them staring right at you, creeps me out big time), people have even given me pieces they simply don't want anymore (do you know there's a company down Cape that actually gets PAID to clean out basements, garages, and attics, then turns around and sells it all? Why didn't I think of that!!). You name it, I've done it. I've even gone in abandoned houses, which is probably one of my favorites... not necessarily for furniture, but just to look around... there's so much history here on the Cape, I just love it!

Anyway, this brings me to the Brimfield Antique Show... this place is the Disney World of the antique world, one of the coolest places I've been... I'm almost positive it's one of, if not THE, biggest antique markets in the country. It happens three times a year in the Western part of Massachusetts. It's a great place for ideas, inspiration and a few good deals. I say a few because apparently re-doing antiques is hot again (I've been told it goes in waves through the years) and prices have definitely increased since May. Cara and I went to the last one of the year two weeks ago and picked up some unique and cool pieces - along with muddy feet!  Check out Cara's pretty pictures to get a taste of Brimfield.   And stay posted for makeovers of the items below!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our First Project - Desk, Farmhouse Chair & Cushion

Hi, this is Cara and Kristen and we’re teaming up creatively to bring to you some really cool and unique pieces for your home.  Kristen’s task is to give vintage pieces a new life with sanding, painting, waxing, or whatever it takes! Paired with fabric designed by Cara… we’re creating one of a kind pieces that we hope will inspire you. The purpose of this blog is to showcase and share our projects with you. We’re starting here and hoping to expand to a big beautiful retail space someday! Dream big!  

Our first project together is an old secretary’s desk and chair. It needed a lot of love… sanded, painted, distressed and waxed… we then added a wooden embellishment to give it a little more detail. Cara took one of her previously designed fabrics and made a seat cushion for the farmhouse chair. We choose a fresh color palette to compliment the Duck Egg blue inside. The studs add a bit of our personalities and give it a modern flair. Of course, we both love anything girly, the cushion is finished with a mint green ruffle. 

It's for sale too!   $275.  Email or message one of us on Facebook if you're interested!