Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Return of creativity

In the past 2.5 months I have experienced sort of a transformation.  After resigning my job at the end of April, I was washed out inside and out. The job created stress which affected my health and well being and I didn't want to continue being in a negative non-collaborative environment.  The decision to leave was necessary and I did not know what to expect once I left.  I just knew that it is no life if you can't turn your head due to stress accumulated in upper back, and I was not able to do anything at home.  After returning from work, I would literally be sluggish till the next morning. My soul was empty. My health declined.  

The first two weeks I had trouble relaxing, and was still in physical pain.  My family visited me from Europe which put me to work to cook a lot of food and care for them, and this helped me and exhausted me at the same time.  About a month after quitting I was sort of frozen and unable to do anything.  I finally started sleeping through the night.  Relaxation was not possible in a week or two, it took a whole month to come back to myself.

And then came June, and I had this old hutch my nephew gave me.  He found it in a house he was flipping.  One of those projects you think you will do and you never have time for.  But at the beginning of June I decided to tackle the hutch and with all of my years of painting and making fine art I did not think it would be that hard!

My first project:

Hutch before 

This is a Broyhill product probably from the 70-ties or 80-ties.  Without any knowledge of painting furniture I tacked this beast.  And it was a monster to do..

 But in the end, I got it renovated with my crazy attention to details and it turned out great!

My glass collection now has a place

My second, third, fourth, fifth projects:

Next, enthusiastic about the first project turning out so great, I decided to renovate more old furniture, and all of a sudden I found it is really fun to be creative again and take something that is out of style to bring it current and make it exciting again.  Craigslist allowed me to find pieces that I thought have potential to be much more...  This is what happened in one and a half months.  I am working very hard on these projects, learning a lot, and have so many new projects in the pipeline.  But this is what I have completed thus far.

Project 2: Old lowboy chest.  

This chest was bought from Craigslist.  I liked the primitive aesthetic of it and the fact it came with a lot of dust and spiders.  This is not a valuable piece, rather one that was made to look like tiger oak by using a paint treatment.  This restoration helped me learn more about furniture history, but this piece was so cute after good cleaning and application of oils it looked good enough for my hall.

Lowboy as found
Lowboy after
I just love this piece of furniture and it is perfect storage!

Project 3: A rocking chair

This rocking chair had simple lines and I thought I could do something with it.  My office is themed aqua and pink, so it was a good addition to it.  It is a place where all the creative ideas happen!

Rocker before
Rocker After

Rocker in my office - see far corner

Project 4: A kid table and chair set

This one was interesting as I bought it in Windsor Heights and I was thinking when I came home with it why in the world I bought a kid set when my kids are 21 and 14. Nobody can fit their butt into these chairs, yet I saw potential.  The top was painted chalkboard, and the rest in distressed white with pearlescent finishes. I didn't have a place for this, so the set was SOLD. There were several people fighting to get this one. It went to a deserving single mother of 3 girls.

This is the set I found in Winsdor Heights and fell in love with
And after!

Perfect little set gained a lot of attention - SOLD

Project 5: Renovated table and chairs from 1950!

This set is only one of the multiple sets of tables and chairs I decided to renovate.  I have quickly learned all about refinishing, stripping the old, sanding and using stains and varnishes.  My art background is extremely helpful as it was easy to learn how to achieve professional results.  Creating over 300 pieces of fine art laid a good foundation for this new endeavor.  Furniture hobby will continue to make me busy until I find another employment gig.

I made this table and chairs available for SALE.  It was a lot of work, but also a lot of joy.  I liked returning life to something that looked bad but was a jewel in disguise:

Completely restored table and chairs from 1950-ties
This set is available for SALE

I won't say this restoration was easy because it was not.  But the only reason it turned out so well is because of my desire to make it as perfect as possible.  I found 4 Lyra back chairs that compliment this table to make a set.  Then I stripped most of the old stain off, sanded the whole thing both with tools and manually, and then applied multiple step professional stains and protective polyurethane. You probably can't even imagine the amount of work it took.  Alas, I need to sell this set as I have more I am working on.  

Size: 38 1/4 wide, 57 1/2 long
Set: 1950-ties
Style: Duncan Phype
Table style: Drop leaf
Chair style: Lyra back
Table material: solid wood with cherry veneer
Chair material: walnut
Seats: Reupholstered new batting and fabric
Set Refinished: July 2016 
Price: $450 - set
Table surface is amazing with the age showing but finish is perfect
I didn't believe this was possible until I did it

That's all the completed projects so far, stay tuned for more projects, many will be for sale as I won't be able to keep them all.  Thanks!


  1. Awesome work! The best part about your work...the finished product/project is steeped with love.

    1. Thank you! I appreciate the compliment. It is a lot of satisfaction to make something :)