Saturday, April 27, 2013

A Weekend on the Coast

Brian and I flew to south Texas last Friday to spend an extended weekend on the coast.  We got to see family, friends and some pretty water.  Rockport, Texas is a quiet coastal town that is mostly made up of retirees and winter Texans.  Coastal Living Magazine had a great article about Rockport a few years ago.  Check it out here.

Brian and I are going to retire here  :)  It's never too early to start planning right?!  For us, it is in Texas, close to family and on the water....Perfection.  Rockport has a super cute road named Austin Street that has all kinds of shops on it.  Of course we checked out the furniture scene as well as ate some great food.  And I might have drove past/stalked George Strait's house hoping that maybe he would be outside and I would catch a glimpse of him.  He wasn't home.  Just devastated me more since I didn't get to see him in concert either.  Sigh.  Overall it was a great little coastal getaway.

Here are some photos from the trip.

This was our morning view.  Isn't it great?!  We stayed in a downstairs studio apt to a larger canal home. It was so quiet and peaceful in the mornings.  Rockport is known for its bird watching and they were all over the place.  Other than them and a few boats going through the canal to go fish, it was very quiet in the mornings.

Blue Heron in the neighbors yard.

White Heron

This pelican let me get so close to him.  I love watching them fly just a few inches over the water.
Something about them fascinate me.

Rockport is one of the windiest places in Texas.  There are several wind farms in the area...where they have fields of huge windmills.  Due to all the wind, the Oak trees along the water grow to the side.  It looks like someone used a trimmer to shape them with curved tops but its just how they grow in the wind.

The birds were all in the tops of the trees.

On Sunday, we decided to drive down to Port Aransas to check out the beach and how much the town 
has grown.  We haven't been down there in 4 or 5 years so there were a lot of changes.  Even on the
bridge you can tell the water is probably going to be clear at the beach.

I know its not Florida or the Caribbean, but for Texas, this is fairly clear and pretty water.  We were afraid the cold front was going to have the water murky and brown but it was very pretty that day.

Hopefully I will have some furniture pictures in the next few days.  I am finishing up a few pieces today and have some more custom pieces to follow but the weather forecast is rain all week!  YUCK!  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Custom Dresser B&A

Hi all.  Even with the humidity this week, I finished up a custom dresser.  This is a client piece that was purchased at a resale shop several years ago.  Dressers like this are hard to find and finding them in a resale shop really never happens.  Here are a few before pictures:

Isn't it gorgeous?!?!  Solid wood top.  Solid wood curved drawers.  Pretty handles.  Just lovely.

Lets talk about handles for a minutes.  Looking at these handles one would think they will have to be painted to be salvaged but if you ever come across a solid wood, quality old dresser like this, there is a good chance the handles are solid brass.  To check use a magnet from your refridgerator.  Brass is non magnetic so if your magnet does not stick to the handle, it might be solid brass.  I use Brasso to polish brass.  If just wiping the handles with Brasso doesn't help try paint stripper on them or some other paint remover.  A lot of times the handles have been clear coated or painted in the past so that has to be stripped off before polishing will work.  These handles looked kind of gross up close. 

Years of tarnish had covered up everything shiny and pretty about them.  After I confirmed they were not magnetic I was positive they were solid brass.  I stripped the clear coat off then polished them and this is the end result.

Can you believe?!  They are so beautiful!  So glad I know how to identify brass and I didn't paint them!

Now on to the rest of the makeover.  The dresser went from having beautiful shape and curves with blah paint and yucky handles to looking glamorous and rich.  I LOVE IT!  More importantly though, my client loves it which makes me extremely happy.  Here are the after photos:

So pretty!  I love makeovers like this.  I love bringing pieces like this back to life.  Hopefully it will be a treasured piece for a long time.

The Humble Brag Supporting Habitat for Humanity

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Coastal Love

I will start off by saying there is not a furniture transformation in this post.  This yucky weather has slowed my productivity and is depressing which makes me want to run away to the beach.  I LOVE the beach and the coast.  Love doesn't even really describe what it is...maybe an obsession?   I will live on the water one day, hopefully soon.  My husband isn't as obsessed with the beach as much as I am but he is obsessed with fly fishing and being on the water. Lucky for me, where there is pretty beach, there is fly fishing for bonefish so getting him to take me to the Caribbean isn't that hard. :)  Here are a few pictures from some of our trips.

Tropic of Cancer Beach,  Little Exuma, The Bahamas
Us on some beach in Little Exuma, The Bahamas
Long Island, The Bahamas 
Shallow flats for as far as the eye can see.  Amazing.
Somewhere off of Long Island, The Bahamas
5-prong and 6-prong starfish
Great Guana Cay, The Bahamas
Great Guana Cay, The Bahamas
Treasure Cay, The Bahamas
Grace Bay Beach, Turks & Caicos
The Caribbean really is one of the most beautiful places ever. From all of our trips, I have had tons of inspiration for decor in our home.  In the past few months I have had several clients and customers comment and ask about some of our decorations so I thought I would let y'all know more about them.   I have collected and inherited several items over the years.  For us, we want our home to reflect things that we love, be filled with memories of our trips, and reminders of our family.

Lets start with the entry.

I have my grandparent's dresser that I refinished as the main focal point.  

The "Wind", "Water", "Waves" signs I found a long time ago.  I have only seen them at that one store, which is now closed, and I instantly fell in love.  My mother bought them for me as a wedding shower present and I was so excited.  

The latern and vase are Pottery Barn.

The metal bonefish was made by a local New Orleans artist.  I can not find his info right now but when I do, I will add it.  He has a booth at the Art Market and does some amazing work.

The canvas on the left has cocktail napkins purchased in Great Exuma that I glued to a white canvas I bought at Michael's.  I stained the bright white canvas with coffee to give it a little bit of an aged look.  The map is a map of the Caribbean I bought on one of our trips and I modge podged it to a blank canvas.  The picture in the middle is a picture I took and had it put on canvas through Canvas on Demand.  I have another picture in my bathroom over my tub that was put on canvas by them.  It is a lot bigger as you can see!

We have a strange niche in our entry so I decided to make a subway art with our trip destinations on it.  Now I need to update it since our last trip but this is an easy and inexpensive project.  I got the idea and followed the instructions from this blog post.  

Our living room has a lot of art and pictures.

  All the beach photos were taken by the same photographer, Gwynemark Photography, during our Destin vacation a few years ago.

We bought this redfish painting at Winnie Trade Days (a once a month market in Winnie, TX) from an artist named Brooksie.  He is not there all the time but we lucked out one weekend and saw him there and loved his work.  This painting is on an old piece of paneling.

This sailboat was a model my paternal grandfather had.  He loved model boats and trains.  It is discolored but I don't care.  I love it and it fits perfectly in our home.

Mr. Pelican was bought at Molly's across from Central Mall in Nederland, Texas.

The huge tarpon over our double set of french doors was custom made for us by an artist that works here in New Orleans.  We originally saw his work at Avenue Art and Framing in Lakeview.  The owner of the shop called the artist to give our preferred measurements and a week later, we had our fish.

These shutters were in my parents home but they had to tear down the house after Hurricane Rita. I took the shutters to use as decoration. They are a great backdrop for another vacation photo.  

I am hoping to post a furniture before and after tomorrow but it really depends on the yucky humid weather.  It is making dry times super slow.  On a positive note, Brian and I are headed to south Texas this weekend for a little getaway for his birthday.  I am super excited!  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Quick Trip & Quick Flips

I don't usually put personal stuff on here but I only got a few pieces done last week and the trip is why. A few weeks ago my husband had to go out of town for work so I decided to go out of town for play ;)   My best friend lives in Houston and I only get to see her a few times a year but we talk on the phone 4-5 times a week.  My Sprint bill can get out of control if I am not careful.  We have known each other since 1st grade and I honestly don't know what I would do with out her.  I flew to Houston for several days to spend time with her and her family.  She has 3 kids and 1 on the way so that is a lot of spoiling I get to do!  Here are a few photos:

Rylee and me playing with the Easter stuff.

Rylee driving me around the cup-de-sac in her Caddie she got for Christmas

We went to Kaily's school to watch their Easter egg hunt.
 L to R (Rylee, Bretton, & Kaily)

Jessica & Kris took me to the Cheesecake Factory in The Woodlands for dinner because
it is one of my favorites and we don't have one in NOLA.

Jessica and me.  This is the only decent picture we got together.  

Heaven on earth.  That Oreo Extreme Cheesecake will change your life.
It is my new favorite.

When I got back from Houston I had a few quick flips to do for a friend.  She had a few old blah brown pieces that were in great shape but needed a facelift.  I do not have a before picture of the bed but I do have a before of the little dresser.  The bed matched it so just use you imagination for the bed before:

The client wanted a soft white/cream with a little distressing on the bed and an ombre look on the dresser.  I love how they turned out and I have never done an ombre dresser before so I was super excited she decided on that.  Here are the afters:

I love the final result.  So much so that I think I need to paint an ombre dresser for myself :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Grey and White Dresser

I really didn't know what to title this post so I went with how I feel.  I love how this dresser turned out!

Dressers are always a popular request.  In the past few weeks I have come across several great ones and have had a lot of fun giving them new looks and new homes.  Last week, I had a customer come in to look at some dressers I had available and neither really worked for her.  So I put her on my shopping list to find her a dresser with better dimensions and then refinish it custom for her.  Luckily the next day I found the perfect piece and got to work! (If that could only happen every time!) The dresser was blah brown and dirty when I bought it but I could see past all of that.  It is Dixie, solid wood, and sturdy and they don't come much better than that.  Here are some before pictures:

Love seeing this stamp!
The top was in decent condition which is always a plus.

Solid wood drawers with dove tail joints.  Perfect!

 My client wanted something that would coordinate with her current bedroom furniture...something with soft white and grey.  Here are the afters:

Grey stained top.

 The final product is so light and pretty especially compared to that blah brown I started with.  This beauty was picked up today and is already set up!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  I love seeing my pieces when they are in their new home and I love having a happy client!

SIDE NOTE:  This dresser has a matching end table that my client did not want.  Here is the before and after for it.

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