Monday, August 31, 2009

Furniture Transformations

OK, I have had many house projects planned for a few years now but over the course of each season, I manage to come up with just as many excuses to not get them done. Most of them need to be done outside during nicer weather and when I don't get them done, I sit all winter lamenting the fact that I wasted my summer doing nothing. I have now decided to kick my own butt and get some things done before the weather turns. In the front yard, I set up a cheap canopy I got for $30 at Big Lots. (protection from rain and sun).

Last week I began with the coffee table. I got it off Craigslist for $30 - a Queen Anne style with a dark cherry stain and 2 drop leafs. I lovely table, although the top was scratched up. Well, my house is blue and white and not suited to dark wood so the table was destined to become white. I spent a few days preparing it - washed with TSP, then sanded and primed with KILZ. Then it received 3 coats of white latex paint.
I use the same white throughout my house: Waverly's "Cottage Linen White". It's a lovely shade of soft white - not a cream but not too stark either. Then I coated the painted table with gloss Crystalfin lacquer. I always protect my painted furniture with this acrylic lacquer which cleans up with water and soap. It comes in several sheens from matte, to satin, gloss and hi-gloss. So the next project in line was the round table that sits in the corner in the living room. I bought it to sit at and read or drink tea. It was hard to find one that size for a good price. It's a 36" round for $160 from Target. Quite sturdy. here is what it looked like when I bought it. The base (hard to see in the picture) was a dark, dirty cream (very unattractive) and the top was a darker wood. It's been out under the tent for a week now, going through it's transformation. In a few days I will post a picture of the finished piece for comparison. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Pippa!!

Wishing a dear friend a heart-felt Birthday greeting and wishes for a wonderful day.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Vintage Laura Ashley in Navy

Remember when we still had Laura Ashley shops in the U.S.? I worked for the Seattle location, on University Street, for awhile. It was one of the best jobs I ever had.
I was young, newly married, saw the world in a romantic light and hadn't a care in the world.

I lived close to the shop, on Capital Hill. I would dress in a flowing floral dress (made in Wales), cotton canvas espadrilles (made in Spain) and straw hat (made in Great Britain) and float down the hill to work every day.
Things really changed when the company was sold to an Asian buyer. Suddenly all the beautiful fabrics were gone - fine wools and polished cottons - and the European craftsmanship was replaced by Asian sweatshop cheapness.

I was so sad to see it's North American demise and have never forgotten it. I still have a large box full of dresses and hats and scarves I wore all the time. I still cherish them.
Laura Ashley was not just about flowery dresses. There were wonderful softly tailored suits and silk scarves and sweaters knit in Scotland. And let's not forget the parfum...

If I lost a few pounds, I'd probably wear those stored dresses again!
My friend Pippa had emailed me the other day, talking about wearing classic navy and white and how it never seemed to go out of style and one always feels fresh and put together in that color combination. I whole-heartedly agree!

I have been wanting to post some Laura Ashley clothing images for some time now so that gave me a theme - vintage L.A. in navy. Still classic, still fresh and still on my mind!