Friday, May 31, 2013

A China Press Make Over!

4 or 5 years ago I came home from college for the summer, looked around my bedroom and decided, "This furniture needs to go!"
It was black with mirrors covering the front of every surface and while it had been awesome for sleep overs in middle school when we'd do make up and hair, it just multiplied any mess in my room because of the mirrors all over the fronts of the drawers and cabinet doors.  
So I took photos of it, put it on craigslist for sale and got it gone!

And with the cash I made combined with some of my savings and some $ from my parents, I revamped my room for under $500. One of those purchases was this lovely China Press that I found on Craigslist and paid $115 for!

I really liked the color it was but it smelled of smoke and the inside was too dark so I took to it with a bucket of hot water and Murphy's Oil and scrubbed the dickens out ot if!

Seriously, I scrubbed that thing all over at least twice and went through about 50 q-tips cleaning decades of grime out of all those intricate nooks and crannies. Needless to say, there was a lot of junk that came off of it. 

Than I painted the inside white. I knew from the moment I'd seen this cabinet online that I wanted to use it to display some of my pottery and vintage cameras and that if the inside was white everything would stand out much better!

I put two coats of primer on and then used some left over white with a pale pink hue that I had gotten for another piece of furniture to paint and went to town. 

The end result was exactly what I wanted!
 It brightened the whole piece up and gave me a great way to display some of my collected treasures!
Not to mention became a favorited piece by all of my friends! I have had at least 4 friends ask me to please let them know if I ever decided to sell it because they would buy it from me. Cool! But no thanks gals, this one is a keeper for sure! :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My 1st Wholesale Order!

So I actually got this order back in the beginning of April, but it is now finished and ready to share! 

After doing my 1st show back in March I received an order for 10 yarn bowls from one of the other vendors who was there and runs a fiber mill! Fortunately she didn't need them til June so I was able to approach my 1st big order with some time and thought. I threw 14 bowls so I would have some cushion for any mishaps like broken bisque, over fired kiln or warp. Of the 14... one of them broke in bisque (its fixable but a project for later) and one of them really warped in the kiln so I had 12 good bowls to choose from! Perfect! 

Here's some of them in greenware stage drying on the shelf waiting for bisque fire. 

And now all 13 of the ones that made it glazed and ready to be downsized to 10 and packed up!

Here are a few up close! 

It was a fun challenge and gave me a much better idea of how working on a wholesale scale works. And I am now on the hunt for my own Kiln so I can have better control of my roll over time even though the studio where I work was and has always been very accommodating to me and other artist who sell their work.

So if you like what you see and would like to order something, please don't hesitate to ask me! :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank You, Thank You to all the incredible men and women who bravely fight and sacrifice time away from their families to protect the United States of America so that I and everyone else may live in a free world! And Thank You also to the many wives, husbands and children of those service men and women who sacrifice having their Mom/Dad/ Spouse with them at home. 

May God bless you abundantly for your service and sacrifice.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Waiting Game Paid Off!

So, now, I am not talking about the waiting game as in the waiting to meet Mr. Right. I'm still in the thick of that wait, but I am talking about waiting to find just the right (look & priced) wrought iron bed!

I know, you are like seriously? A bed? Why are you so strange Sarah!?

Seriously though, for the past 3 years I have really been wanting to get a real antique wrought iron bed. I'm a romantic, its true, so there is just something about the idea of a beautiful old bed that makes me happy. Not to mention feels like it would complete my collection (until I get a place of my own) of old and distressed furniture. 

So, over the past 3 years I have been looking. And I have found. A lot of beds actually. But some were just so expensive I couldn't even start dreaming and others just didn't have the "WOW" factor I wanted. My ideal bed was to be old, definitely pre 1950's and preferably very feminine with scrolling soft lines and details. 

I turned down many a bed I found through online searching and thrift and antique store shopping from VA to NY to AR to FL.  Mostly because if the price was right the bed itself wasn't and if the bed was right the price was just not comfortabley within my budget for a luxury purchase since I don't need this bed.. I just wanted it.

Then, this past Wednesday night I couldn't fall asleep. So I at 1am I got on my iPhone's craiglist app and started searching and I found what seemed to me the most unbelievable price. 

$25 for an antique fixer upper wrought iron Full size bed. Exactly what I was looking for. 

I called the next morning and amazingly, the guy still had it! Not wanting to miss out on this rare find I said I would come that day to pick it up and through the bribery of buying him both McDonald's breakfast and Chipotle lunch, dragged my brother along to help. We drove up to Crozet, Va and packed it into my little Hyundai Santa Fe. It just barely fit!

Now if I include the cost of gas to get  there & back and my brother's appetite, it really came to closer to $70 however that is still $70 less than the best finds I've had in the past and was considerably below my $125 budget.  Not to mention, once I sell my current bed I will end up making all of that back plus a but of a profit! So if you're in the market for a double bed frame I have a black metal sleigh bed to sell you! ;)

 Ironically, it is not the scrolling curvy lined one I had always imagined. However it does have beautiful scallop shell detailing where all the bars meet and since I have an overall aesthetic for beach shabby chic it felt like the perfect addition to my collection of furniture!
It has both a headboard (below) and footboard (above) along with the rails. And it is definitely rusty and paint chipping and needs some love but I'm never afraid of a little sweat equity to get something looking fabulously newly old!

And boy oh boy is it heavy! No doubt about it being a real wrought iron bed! I can't wait to show you how I clean it up and then transform it! But for now, I just couldn't wait til Thrifty Thursday to share my awesome find! 3 years of being picky about what exactly I wanted and was willing to pay for it really paid off! 

I'm hoping that means that really waiting and being selective about who I date will really pay off in the future too ;) Hehe!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Tea Room Luncheon!

My mom and I are pretty close and we try to spend at least one Saturday a month doing a girl's day. 

Today, we went to Petersburg, just a skip down the road for us Richmonders and discovered a delightful city full of old brick, beautiful civil war era architecture and amazing antique shops!

And then, we discovered the most charming little Tea Room ever! I couldn't have imagined something more charming! This is seriously my new favorite place and I believe I will be taking many a girl friend to check it out with me!

 We ordered the Full Tea, which serves 2 and came with scones, a cup of the soup du jour, and a 3 tier selection of dainty sandwiches, canapes and sweets! 

 I was definitely cheating on my no gluten rule but it was worth it :) 

It was the perfect Saturday girl's day full of antique treasures, a bit of exploring the beautiful if somewhat forgotten city of Petersburg and finding such a charming place to have lunch!

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Salt & Pepa's Here and We're In Effect"

Ah, Push it!

Sorry, just had to complete that lyrical thought! ;)

This post is for one of my very best friends. A girl who put up with me in small living quarters for a whole year when I lived in Arkansas and who has continued to be one of my dearest friends ever since, putting up with many a long phone call full of giggles on both ends!

Kari likes to collect Salt and Pepper shakers. So lately whenever I'm in a thrift or antique shop I try to take a few minutes to look over the salt and pepper shakers. Mainly to get ideas so that I can make her some using my skills as a ceramic artist! 

But the Gulfport Beach Bazaar had soo many salt & pepper shakers that I just couldn't help sharing the images I snapped for Kari and any other collectors to enjoy! 

 This eggs in a basket is definitely one I'm going to recreate in my own style at the studio! 
 And I loved these petite little shimmery orange ones which in hindsight I kind of wish I had just gotten but felt like they were too much at $8. I know, I'm a cheap scape! But they were missing the corks in the bottom and were literally an inch and a half tall! Sorry Kari! 

Also, because the glaze was shimmery I am pretty sure it was a lead glaze on them which would have made them unsafe for food, and if I'm anything as a ceramic artists, it's that I am a stickler about food ware ceramics being food safe.

 I'm not kidding, there were soooo many! I could have stood there for an hour just trying to take in the individuality of each set... so instead I snapped a few pics! 
See anything you like Kari!? :)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Thrifty Thursday- Saturday Morning Garage Sales and Tips!

Taking a break from my adventures in Florida for a Thrifty Thursday- Garage Sale share!

A few Saturdays ago back in April it was Yard Sale Day in my community! I had 30 minutes before I needed to be downtown to open the studio so I had a time limit which I really liked because it made me look more intentionally and not get stuck on the maybe's. If it was a maybe it was a pass. 

In 30 minutes of hopping around to about 10 neighborhoods in my community and about 15 separate garage sales, I spent $7 and found two great leather bags.

I've been using this messenger bag as my purse ever since and I seriously LOVE IT! It was my 1st find of the morning and cost $3!

I love garage sales! Its funny because for all the time I might spend one saturday morning perusing as many as I can I often walk away with nothing. And that is a GOOD thing! It means I'm not impulse buying but instead being thoughtful about what I'm purchasing. 
Does it really have a use? Will I actually use it? Do I have something similar to this that I am just not thinking of?

Garage sales are fun, but they are also a place where hoarders hang out. Not trying to be mean, just stating a fact. I'm sure you too have seen beat up old trucks with trailers packed to the gills with well worn furniture and other knick knacks hopping from sale to sale. There are a few of those regulars where I live. And thats cool, to each his own, but what I'm trying to say is that if you aren't intentional when you go garage sale-ing its easy to come home with buyers remorse. 
Its easy to impulse buy because its cheap and you want it right now and it won't be there tomorrow or even 30 minutes from now.
Its also easy to come home and look at your cache and think "I already have that" and "Why on earth did I think that would make a good DIY project!?"

I knew I'd be going to Florida in a few weeks so when I saw this leather duffle bag for $5 I knew I'd be able to put it to use! It was perfect for my 4 day mid-trip visit to St. Petersburg while in Florida a few weeks ago!

Have a plan. Much like thrift store shopping I set myself a budget. Budgets are your friend! My Garage Sale budget is the same as thrifting... $10-$20 depending on my cash flow for the month. In fact its the same money for both so really it $20 total for Garage Saling, Antiquing and Thrifting. Of course, if I find something great that's more than that and which I really need that's different but when its just for fun and to look... its a $20 max for the month budget! 

That may not seem like a lot but if you use it right $20, even $10 can go a long way! 

In 30 minutes of hopping around to about 10 neighborhoods in my community and about 15 separate garage sales, I spent $7 and found two great leather bags. Which left me $13 left to spend for the month. I used it pretty quickly because the next weekend, while hanging out with my friend Gillian, I got a Rusty old iron "S" from my favorite store in Ashland, Class & Trash on sale for $12! Score! 

Too bad they didn't have an "E" and an "H" cuz if they had I would have bought them and had SHE to hang up! But instead I'll keep looking for two other unique ones to create a fun collection!

Hope you picked up some tips! I'll be compiling these and more into a go-to list some time soon so if you have any questions or tips of your own please leave a comment and I'll add it to my list!

Happy Garage Sale-ing!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Gulfport Beach Bazaar

No, despite the name this is not a festival or Bazaar in the it happens on Saturday mornings sense. In fact the Gulfport Beach Bazaar is a local retail shop right along Beach Blvd in Gulfport, the street that I showed pictures of in my last post. 

The location was originally the U.S. Post Office of Gulfport and the retail shop was added in 1972 and then most recently its been taken over by its current owners and turned into an awesome antique/thrift store! 

I had quite a bit of luck here, finding 3 elephants to add to my collection and a set of 6 small brandy glasses that were a match to the very unique one my parents were given early in their marriage by an elderly couple they were friends with who traveled all over the world. Needless to say I was SOO excited when I stumbled across the set. I hadn't been looking for it, but one of the glasses in my parents set had broken during the holiday and I felt it was fitting to just get the set as a replacement! Also, I have literally never ever seen them anywhere except in my parents house so it felt like one of those "you'll never find these again" kind of finds!

I'll do a post of my purchases later. For now... I just want to share all the eye candy there was to see! 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Cute & Quaint Little Town of Gulfport!

So while in Florida, I also visited St. Petersburg. I prefer to drive and the bonus of driving is that I have the freedom to go beyond my primary destination. My grandmother resides for about 70% of the year in  St. Petersburg and the other 30% in NY at our family cabin during the summer. 

Within walking distance of my Gram's condo, like literally 3 blocks, is the beachy town of Gulfport!
I love visiting this little 1 street town and taking a stroll down the sidewalk on a 1st Friday or 3rd Saturday night when all the local artisans are out!

I happened to arrive at my Gram's on the afternoon of May 1st, so after a stop at my favorite clay shop we went to Gulfport for an evening stroll and some dinner. 

 Normally when I've been here in years past the sidewalks are lined for 4 blocks on both sides with vendor tents but because the forecast had been rain a lot of the vendors had apparently chosen not to come. 
 There were a few out though, the fella who had this abalone shell jewelry stand was quite the salesman, but I just looked. He actually had really reasonable prices with nothing being over $20 but I'm just not into this kind of stuff any more. But I do enjoy looking! :)

 If there was anything I'd have wanted to buy on the table.. it was the shell itself! Haha.
 Gulfport has a lot of great little eateries with pretty outdoor seating areas and this Italian restaurant had the prettiest flowers and bright yellow tuscan exterior. 
 There was even a little Yorkie King outside a local fro yo shop... I snapped a pic mainly because it made me miss Fritz, though he is much cuter that this guy!

 Despite the forecast for rain, it never did rain, in fact it was a gorgeous evening with a nice cool breeze from the ocean which is just behind that green building (the Gulfport Casino) at the end of the street!