Sunday, June 27, 2010

Before and After

I'm not much of a wimp (my daughter is laughing right now), but 90 degree heat in NJ coupled with 110 % humidity has done me in...I've wanted to sand and paint my rocking chair all weekend, but I'm not going out there!!

Instead, I am reminiscing with some of my "before & afters". Maybe I can start sanding at 8pm when the temperature goes down to 82 degrees...

Someday I'll have an air-conditioned and heated workspace...but until then, I'm at the mercy of the weather!

Til next time...stay cool!
Mona Kay

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Early on a Saturday

Lots of people go to garage sales. Some go early, some go a little more leisurely. However, as you can imagine, I am often met with surprise when I tell people that I set the alarm for 7am on a Saturday so that I can get to a garage sale by 8am (I have to have coffee first, after all); and people sometimes ask in disbelief..."WHY??" I never feel as though my answer: "to get to the good stuff first"; is very I'm hoping that a picture is worth a thousand words...HERE'S why:

By the way, before I knew what it was, I was planning my usual restoration and distressed white finish (I just heard a collector somewhere hit the floor from fainting)...but don't worry...I will respect the piece and leave it alone, after cleaning and polishing it. Obviously, someone has replaced the knobs, which I frankly don't love on this piece...they look so wrong. I will do a little research and try to find original or copies of original pulls.

If anyone has any information that they can share with me to help me with my research, I would GREATLY appreciate it! If you are local, (South Brunswick, NJ) don't forget to check my other blog, The Vintage Years for upcoming garage sales.

Happy Picking!!
Mona Kay

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

In case you haven't heard about the latest new venue for all things for the home, let me introduce you to My Blue Sofa, a free on-line marketplace and community for interior spaces and design, and all things home-related. It is free to create a shop and list items in that shop, and categories include antiques, garden, furniture for any room in the house, and major appliances. I also highly recommend the site's "Blug" (You got it, blog with a "u"), whose author, Arlene Grasman, provides consistently fabulous pictures of all different room designs from modern, to eclectic, to my favorite..shabby & chic.

I had the opportunity to learn more about their CEO, Manuel Garcia, who was kind enough to let me interview him. Here is a little bit more about Manuel:

MK: What do you answer when people ask "What do you do?"

MG: We do what we love. We run an online marketplace and community for furniture and decor lovers, and in the meantime we get to meet amazing people, connect with fabulous designers and so much more. We're definitely lucky enough to say we do what we love!

MK: What made you decide to create "My Blue Sofa"?

MG: It was about two years ago. My wife and I were planning our wedding, and buying furniture for our first home. My wife spent many hours on many websites searching for furniture and home decor items. So I started to wonder, what if there was a website where artisans, and small and distinct furniture shops could offer their products? That was pretty much the beginning of My Blue Sofa.

MK: Ideally, how do you see "My Blue Sofa" helping anyone who calls someplace "home"?

MG: Home is the most important place in the world, and we know how serious people can get when it comes to furnishing that special place. We try to make that process easier, simpler, more effective and add a little joy while doing it.

MK: What is your biggest inspiration/motivator?

MG: God, and my family. I like to enjoy God's creation to the fullest, and get inspired by the little details as well. I like to walk around with my wife and daughter, drink a cup of coffee and take in the little details that life provides. Inspiration is everywhere if we are careful enough to notice.

MK: What’s saved to your “favorites” tab on the internet?

MG: First of all, My Blue Sofa :) I've also got a devotional I like to read everyday ( I've got mashable and techcrunch, and about 30 blogs on decor! So besides My Blue Sofa, my mornings are pretty busy reading.

MK: What keeps you awake at night?

MG: Many things keep me awake at night (I tend to be a night-thinker) but above all the responsibility to my wife and daughter are number one on the list of things that keep me up.

MK: What relaxes or soothes you?

MG: Laying on my favorite couch, and listening to a good jazz record with my earphones.

Having a bold cup of coffee in the morning while talking to my wife.

Watching my baby grow up everyday.

I also enjoy playing guitar and piano.

MK:What is your hope for tomorrow?

MG: I have the hope of building a better world for my little Rebecca (she's 2 weeks old!). The world our parents grew up in has changed so much, and a lot has been lost. We've forgotten manners, decency, honor and respect. I want my daughter to grow up in an environment that upholds these principles. It's a challenge!

Learn more about Manuel and all the great people who support this terrific venue by visiting the on-line market at My Blue Sofa. Happy shopping and decorating!!

Mona Kay

Saturday, June 19, 2010

First Attemts

Now that I have been collecting vintage items for several months, the challenge is to find a place which will showcase these items I've fallen in love with. Some are easy (a blue shabby cabinet which landed and stayed where it is, and I love it there), some are a real challenge (a rocking chair that I love, but for which I have not found the perfect place)! Here are some of my first attempts:

I originally had the green tufted chair in a nook, and while it looked great; I wanted to showcase it a little more. I'm happier with where it is now. One I'd like another one like it, and I'm not sure there's room!

Here's my "morning coffee" nook where I can watch both the birds at the feeders, and my puppy play with her toys. I didn't like the darkness of the first look, so I made the changes seen in the second picture. I love all of these pieces separately (there's the rocking chair)...but something is troubling me about this arrangement. I plan to paint the chair white, clean and polish the metal lamp, and "up-cycle" the shade (all garage sale or thrift store finds), but I'm not sure that this nook will stay the way it is now. Gotta play some more...

I love this shabby cabinet ($8 at a thrift shop), and while I've moved it around a little, it WANTS to live in the entryway. Fine by me! I'm still playing with what to put on top of it...

This is Sydney. She doesn't really get why I jump up from the sofa where I'm watching TV and start moving furniture around. Maybe she'll get used to it!

Well! These are my first attempts. I hope that practice makes better...I'm not shooting for perfection yet! Let me know what you think!

Mona Kay

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Maybe I should stick to furniture...

So far, I have broken two mirrors, the glass from a picture frame, and two globes for the vintage milk glass lamp that I grabbed at a spring garage sale. This is the second one...purchased at a different garage sale to replace the broken one. I truly couldn't believe my ears when I heard the glass hit the cement of my garage!

I love to work with old mirrors and turn them into something different (see below), but I'm not very good at preserving the glass! I have worked on two mirrors, and have had to spend the money to replace the mirror on both of them! So here's hoping I get better at handling mirrors!

While this piece was a little more time-consuming, it would be difficult to break. It's also difficult to move...I have to admit, there are a few little details I haven't figured out and breakables are at the top of the list!

Speaking of storage, I left 4 wooden upholstered chairs at the curb while driving through my home town today. Anyone who knows me knows how unlike me that is! It is a true testament to my storage problem... I am considering building a storage shed, but I'm not sure that furniture (even unfinished furniture) will hold up through a NJ winter in something un-insulated and un-heated...what to do????

I've been purchasing less and less furniture, but there's a garage sale in my neighborhood this weekend which is featuring vintage furniture. Hmmm...I wonder what I can store in my living wouldn't be the first time!

Since it's Father's Day this Sunday, I won't be at my usual flea market at the Princeton Elks, but I hope to return next Sunday. I will post the details on this blog, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Happy Picking!
Mona Kay