Dec 27, 2011

Goodwill and the Value of a Great Workbench

My dream is to have a barn in my backyard that I can convert into a place where I can work on my projects. For now I am using my dining room which has been converted into my workroom. The advantage to this is that I need to be around so I know what is going on in the house (I have 4 kids, 2 dogs a cat and a husband).

My husband and I bought a kit and made a workbench for my projects. I highly recommend this to anyone that needs a work space. It was easy to assemble, it's sturdy and it has a large workspace. I found a stool/chair that is comfortable (very important). 

The sign that I made for Lula Belle is made from an old piece of barn wood. I painted it and then hand painted the lettering (this took a while because I had to be very careful and slow). I added some appliqués that I made (which I sell in my shop). I then put an antique glaze on it to give it that vintage appeal, and  placed two antique drawer pulls on either side of the sign. It hangs over my workbench.

At least once a week I stop by our local Goodwill store to search for items. I am always amazed at the treasures I can find there at ridiculously low prices. I have a friend that shops specifically for designer clothing at Goodwill and sells them. She has a list of clients that let her know what they like and she searches for them. Most of her items are found at Goodwill! It's amazing what people get rid of.

I found this trunk at Goodwill. It is an antique trunk from the late 1800's. This is a Bevel Top Trunk and was made by a well known company called M. M. Secor. 

Matej Zika (1843-1911) of Strakonice, Bohemia learned the harness making trade. After settling in Racine, WI, he opened a shop there. In 1862 he commenced manufacturing trunks and his business grew into immense trunk factories under the name M. M. Secor Trunk Co., the oldest manufacturer of trunks and traveling bags in the US. The Champion Wall Trunk was a good seller for the company, along with many other styles.  

Many antique trunks that were bevel or dome top had artwork in the lid of the trunk. M.M. Secor Trunks had artwork of ladies, often referred to as "Secor Ladies".

If you ever get a chance and have some time, stop by a local Goodwill store and look around. You'll be amazed at what other people throw out. There is a lot of junk but once in a while you can find a treasure.

Thanks for visiting.

God's Blessings,

Dec 26, 2011

The Finished Product! Salvaging an Old Brass Chandelier and Turning it into a Vintage Crystal Masterpiece

I finally completed this chandelier project, and I love the way it turned out!

Above is the chandelier before I got started.

The transformation from the dated, blasé brass chandelier to the vintage crystal chandelier made this project so rewarding! This was the first time I have done a project like this and I learned a lot.  

 I added crystals everywhere I could. You can never have too many crystals!

There are beaded chains of crystals hanging under each of the 6 S-arms. 
The chains add a softness to the frame of the lighting.

There are 4 teardrop crystals on each of the 6 bobeches.

There are 6 teardrop crystals hanging from the top body dish (or bobeche).


And hanging from the bottom loop of the chandelier is a faceted crystal ball.

This was a fun and rewarding project. A lot of the information used to do this can be found on the internet. My next attempt will be to actually antique the brass using antiquing solutions...

Thanks so much for visiting and please feel free to leave comments!

God's blessings,