Thursday, 27 November 2014

I Love Lamp.

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Yes, I just wanted a reason to quote Anchorman. Also, I really do love vintage lamps. I've had some inquiries about a few of my pieces lately so I thought I'd take this opportunity to enlighten (ha)! I have three favourites. Two are genuinely vintage and one is a vintage design.

I got the vintage ones around the same time, December of last year (2013). It started by Ashlie posting a pic of this incredible globe lamp from our favourite Brydges Street Merchant Market. I loved it immediately, but with it being so close to christmas I didn't think I could afford it (or if it would even still be there). Clearly we had to investigate. Just as I was giving up hope, we round the last corner of the last room. Lo and behold, there it was in all it's splendour! It was even cooler in person and I just couldn't leave without it. A couple of fiercely fashionable gentlemen even tried to swindle it from my clutches, but I wouldn't budge! They were pretty fabulous and we kinda wanted to be their new best friends, but that lamp was mine. She's a beauty.

Around the same time Ashlie posted that one, I fell in love with another I saw on Kijiji and shared the link within that same post on Facebook. I inquired about it before we went to Brydges, but sadly it was already gone. This also aided in my determination not to pass the first one up!

Then Christmas day rolls around and to my surprise, what does Mr Geoff come out with? THE KIJIJI LAMP! I freaked out! I was SO happy and couldn't figure out why he wasn't excited, then I noticed the lamp was missing the globe shades. He sheepishly tells me that just one of the globes had shattered and that these particular ones were super rare and hard to find. I didn't care, I had THE lamp and that's all that mattered! We'd figure it out, they couldn't be that hard to find right? Wrong.  Not only were they a frosted matte finish, but they were also 'neck-less' and an oddly unique diameter. Triple-rare, ugh!

Whilst we searched, I used one the globes from the other lamp to cover up the sad little naked bulb. Which only created another naked bulb. So finally I just grabbed a cheap plastic globe shade with a neck from Home Depot until we could find a replacement. After months of searching, I finally found one that wasn't ridiculously expensive and was almost exactly right. Of course it wouldn't ship to Canada, clearly. So I have Ashlie order and send to a p.o. box in Port Huron that she just happened to be visiting within the next few weeks. Easy as that, pfew! I now have a beautifully intact tiered vintage globe lamp that I will cherish for eternity (and that Geoff refuses to touch, move or breath on for fear of a repeat tragedy).

Clearly your hoping this ridiculously long-winded story has a side-note, yes? Well you're in luck. About a week or two after I get the precious lamp, doesn't Ashlie just spot an almost identical version in an episode of Mad Men behind Roger's desk! I had missed it the first time around, so clearly I re-watched and paused the scene to take a photo, as you do.
Completely normal behaviour.

Last but never least is my 'vintage inspired' hanging pedant. My super-funky, long-awaited gorgeous Sputnik Chandelier. I searched and searched for an authentic one that I loved, but to no avail. Even when I found something close (new or vintage), the cost to ship it to Canada (if they even could) was ridiculously expensive and totally not worth it.

My realtor Scott is also a big fan of the MCM (Mid-Century Modern) items and had a couple of super cool pendants himself. He pointed me to Quantum on Richmond St and it all fell into place. I'm really glad I visited the website first as most of the items are not 'in-store' and have to be ordered. This way I was able to price out exactly what I wanted and what they had to choose from.

I recently moved and now have an appropriate place to hang a cool pendant. As luck would have it, I was also able to partially-parlay this purchase into a house warming gift (thanks Mom and Aunt Gloria)! I paid half-down and half upon pick up, so it worked out just lovely! I love it so much, it was so worth the wait!

So those are my adventures in lighting thus far. Have you discovered any funky-finds on your treasure hunts? Do tell!


Monday, 3 November 2014

Jdub's btdubs - Vol1 - Fun with Chalk Paint

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This past weekend I attempted my first, long-awaited chalk painting project(s). Like many born in the glorious 1970's, I had a white five-piece 'princess' style bedroom set which consisted of a canopy bed, hutch dresser, night table, desk and deacon's bench. The bed is long gone, but my awesome mom saved the rest of the pieces for me. Now that I have a house big enough for all of my old furniture, I finally have a place to refurbish it. During my angst-filled youth I sadly painted the bench and nightstand an awful glossy jet black, so clearly these were the first up.

I asked around for the least painful way to accomplish this makeover and the resounding answer was the magical 'chalk paint'. Apparently this paint adheres to anything without any prep work, so I thought 'sign me up'!

So first I had to find out where they even sell chalk paint in our fair city, which was more complicated than I anticipated. I finally stumbled upon Stan Portley's on the corner of Horton/Richmond Street (in the plaza across from the Labatt's brewery). They were super helpful, showed examples of previous pieces and introduced me to their colours. They even let me take home some colour sticks so I could make an informed decision. I decided I needed something neutral for my first try so I went with 'pajama weather' because, of course. Doesn't everyone choose their paint colours based on the name alone? I believe this can was around $30.

After watching countless how-to videos and reading several tutorials on the subject (I found this one 
and this one quite helpful), I spent the majority of Saturday painting each piece. After lightly wiping down the bench and the nightstand, I applied two coats, leaving about an hour dry time between each (though probably only needed 30 minutes). It definitely adheres very well, and a little goes a long way (I still have half of this can left). This is what they looked like after the two coats.

I was pleased with how they looked so far, but thought they were too pale and matte and wondered why I had gone with such a light colour (as I bought the paint two months ago). Then I remembered I bought the lighter shade because I had opted for the darker wax. I like the weathered look the darker wax achieves and it was the only option available in the small tub, thus less expensive. The clear wax only came in the large tub, and I didn't know how this project would go and if I wanted to commit to that much wax. The nice gentlemen helping with the purchase thought this was a 'bold choice' and slipped me a small tester of the clear wax as well (thank goodness), but we'll get to that.

I waited until the next day before I tackled the wax, a wise decision. I quickly discovered that the real work comes after the painting portion, with some mild sanding and a lot of waxing and buffing. I used a cheap paint brush and whisked on the wax in a circular motion, and wiped off quickly with a soft cloth. It was all very Miyagi. The dark wax is MUCH more labour intensive as you have to use a lot of strength and repetitive motion to buff it out to the desired colour depth and texture. Believe me when I say this is LOT of work and VERY time consuming. I also really wished I had worn rubber gloves with this dark wax as my hands and nails were a disaster, one of the many lessons learned. Totally worth all of the effort, but clear your schedule. Now in saying that, if I had went with the clear wax I probably would have been done in half the time as you're only contending with sealing the piece and buffing it to a sheen. I am very glad I was given a tester of the clear wax, as it also acts as an 'eraser' or 'diffuser' for the darker wax and lets you further control the colour and saves you a tiny bit of buffing.

I also did not go as far as taking a course sand paper to the edges to achieve a truly 'weathered' appearance as this would have added time as well. I really do like that look, but I wasn't sure I wanted it for these particular pieces. The nice part is I can add this step at any time and simply buff some clear wax over it to seal it up again. 

I'm sure I'm forgetting a number of details and steps, but that is why I included the links to the proper tutorials. This is only a mere btdubs from me to you.

After all was said and done, I was very pleased with the way these turned out. There were definitely some lessons learned and things I will do differently next time, but mostly just proud of myself for accomplishing a project I've wanted to do for years! Hooray! 

I hope you found this mildly helpful and informative. Have you had any adventures in chalk paint? What projects have you tackled lately? Please share your btdubs with me to keep me inspired!