Birds on a Wire

Funky Junk Interiors… http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/   is hosting a “Bird themed projects” link party today; so, I thought I would do a feature on a fun little lamp I created to go in the Recycled Life booth at The Factory antiques store where I sell my creations.

 

(I always forget to take “before” pics; but you get the idea here.)

I had purchased this vintage lamp a while back, holding on to it until I could decide what to do with it.  I also collect old lamp shades & shade frames, hoarding holding on to those until I am inspired as to what to do with them.  Recently, I thought it might be fun to do a bare shade frame on the lamp, with some birds attached to the shade frame.  That was about as far as I got, except for some reason, being drawn to doing the lamp pink.  Having these ideas in mind, I went on a hunt for birds that might work for the shade.  This proved to be a harder feat than I imagined, as (here in Athens, at least) the selection of “faux” birds was limited. In fact, all I could find that I actually liked were small birds sold in sets of two, with the predominant color of… pink!  ( I knew it was a sign good idea!)


Next was to decide what color – and paint – to use.  I am an avid fan of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP).  I must be since I drive an hour – one way – from Athens to get it!  It is expensive, but amazing paint; and it will adhere to any surface.  I love the ease of working with ASCP, but since it comes in a fairly limited color pallet, I knew I’d have to mix my own colors to get the shade I wanted;  so, that’s just what I did.  The color turned out an amazing shade of deep pink, really rich and vibrant.  After getting the right color mixed up, I painted the lamp all over, including the finial on top (which didn’t originally come with the lamp, but matched the pattern in the shaft of the lamp wonderfully.)

Next, I was on to the shade. The frame and harp on the lamp didn’t match, nor did the light socket or key switch, and I wanted all the metal shade parts to have the same metallic finish.

Three mismatched metal finishes needed to come together.

(Three mismatched shades of metal needed to come together.)

I went to my trusty metallic wax to do just the trick.  The lamp harp, shade frame, bulb socket and key switch all got a pretty new silver finish which gave them all the same look.  I also used the silver finish wax (Rub-n-buff brand), to highlight the features on the lamp base and finial.  I really liked where this lamp was heading.

Then, the finishing touch… Adding the birds (wired to the frame), which finished this pretty little lamp off in the “tweetest” way.    (Oh yes I did just say that! ; )

(It’s a bit hard to photograph as, since it’s just the wire frame, you see everything in the background.  Trust me when I say, it’s adorable in person!)

One of the things I love about doing what I do, is putting together a piece such as this, or painting a fabulous find, and then putting them at a price point ($49) that makes it a win/win for the artist and the customer.  After completing Birds on a Wire, I found this lamp at The Conran Shop, an on-line store.

http://www.conranusa.com/31808/VOLIERE-TAMBOUR-DRUM-TABLE-LAMP/Product

Very cute; but it weighs in at the whopping price of $595! Wow!  What a value those little pink birds on the wire are!  And the best part is, every time I walk up to the lamp, I get the feeling those birds are just going to lift off – all together – and take flight;  and this makes me smile.  And isn’t  the point of good design that it should be enjoyed?  I think so!   : )

Be inspired, be inspiring…

Tori

One last look…

Shown here with a cfl bulb (required at the store), but a filament bulb would make a softer & more stylish look.

The perfect accent in a room for every age girl.  How cute would this be in a nursery or in a pink-themed teen’s room? Answer…. VERY!

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Birds on a Wire lamp

Birds on a Wire lamp

Tried to post a complete how-to blog about this “tweet” little lamp; but WordPress isn’t letting me load pics within a blog post. Check back to https://recycledlifeinteriors.wordpress.com/ for the complete story the transformation.

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May 12, 2012 · 4:18 am

Just DO IT!

This weekend, I have learned a lesson… At 48, I can’t push my body too hard and not expect consequences.  Working really hard these last few months to get things up and running, and battling with a dresser on a custom job for a customer this week, has taken its toll. Not to mention, being out in my workshop in this Georgia heat hasn’t helped a bit. Muscle aches and fatigue have slowed me down the last few days; so I decided to work on some smaller projects until I am up and running again.  One of these is the “dream” banner, below.

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I made my first one last week and took it over and installed it in my booth at The Factory late Friday afternoon.  It sold Saturday morning.  I can tell you, it makes this creative girl a happy camper when that happens!  I originally made it thinking it would go in someone’s bedroom over the bed, or in a nursery, etc.  But the lady who purchased it bought it to use at a wedding reception.  Since then, I have learned these are really popular at weddings and other events right now; so, of course, I decided to work on some more this weekend.  After all, it’s wedding season!  Strike while the iron is hot, you know.

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(Two finished & one in progress)

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(I love these vintage materials…linen, mother-of-pearl buttons and French ribbon)

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(adding a Duck Egg blue version…so pretty)

 

Much like when I created the beloved Cinde (see previous post), in making the banner, I went off an idea in my head… and the inspiration of colors and materials that I knew I liked.  I thought both the bed and the banner would look good when finished; but I really didn’t know until I put these ideas into place.  Until executing them; they were just concepts in my head.  For too long, I have carried around concepts in my head without doing anything about them, for fear they wouldn’t come out like I thought they would.  Fear… it is the killer of creativity…and dreams…and so many other things.  But really, what was there to be afraid of?  You paint something…  It doesn’t turn out like you think it should…SO WHAT?!  Paint it over!  Rethink an idea…redo a technique.  Failure at a creative endeavor is not the end of the world.  But FEAR of failure can be…maybe not of the world; but certainly of a dream.  Fear keeps us from doing so many things that might otherwise bring us such joy.  Then, mustering up your courage, you go out on a limb and you know what’s waiting there?  Success!  Even, if it’s just success in your own heart.  Having that beautiful headboard…and that sweet banner…sell within hours of becoming available to the customer is rewarding and brings its own sense of success with it.  Having Cinde’s new owner buy a matching nightstand 24 hours later and ooh&ahhh over it at delivery, wasn’t bad either!  😀   But the bigger achievement, is to produce what you design in your head… and then LOVE IT, yourself!  I hoped these things would sell; but whether they did or not, I loved them anyway.  That is success to me.  Overcoming the inhibition, “What if it doesn’t turn out like I think it should?” and moving into JUST DO IT!

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(Cinde’s matching nightstand)

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The purpose in writing this isn’t just to give you my success story; because honestly, that is still being written…but to hopefully inspire you in yours.  What have you been thinking of doing? What desire have you carried around in your heart but haven’t started on yet?  What fear is keeping you from “just doing it”?  Whatever it is… LET IT GO!  Go for it! There is much joy in just doing what you love; whether anyone ever validates it for you or not.  But chances are, if it’s a passion you have carried around for a while, it isn’t there by accident.  It’s part of who you are…who you were created to be.  So use it!  Overcome the fear and step out on faith.  I read a quote recently that said something like this…We are not what we do. We do what we do because of who we are.  I paint and create and decorate because these things are part of who I am, who I was created to be.  Look at your passions…those things that come naturally to you…that you love to do…and DO them!  They are a part of you for a reason.  Give yourself the freedom to fail and you just might find success right around the corner.

 Don’t just ….

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Don’t just….

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DO IT!

 

Be inspired…be inspiring,

Tori

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Cinderella is ready for the ball…

I get a feeling of great satisfaction in bringing an old piece of furniture back to life… in walking into a thrift store or garage sale, or driving by a curb-side “treasure” and seeing potential in what most people might not even notice or consider redeemable.  It is apparently a quirky trait I was born with.  I have always been drawn to such things. Leave the fine things for someone…my heart wants the “junk.”

Such was the case when I entered the Atlanta Union Mission here in Athens last Saturday.  I had been at a ladies brunch at our church that morning, and on my way home got a call from the hubs that I NEEDED to come by the store.  He would wait.  Needless to say this peaked my curiosity.  When I walked in, he showed me a couple of things which were definitely candidates for a re-do, but nothing I couldn’t have lived without.  Then, he took me to the back, pointed, and said something like, “This is what you’ll want to see.”  Oh that man knows me TOO well!  After years of my rubber-necking as we drive by a Goodwill donation box, or sometimes by a dumpster, he has learned my  “style” – which runs the gamut I might add.  Anyway, there she was…Cinderella – the one in the ash pit;  NOT the one in the coach.  She was very sturdy, had good bones and a crazy vintage style which I fell in love with.  But in truth, she was pretty ugly – sporting a 1960’s “faux” finish, sort of a chartreuse – with black splatter spots.  Then, when we took the price tag off, which had been stuck to the front, the finish came off with it.  This girl needed a make-over…bad.  And there I was, just the girl for the job.

Here are a couple of “before” pics to give you an idea…

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Getting Cinde ready for the ball was a laborious process.  That girl needed serious help:  Two coats of base color, two coats of accent color, a thick application of paint to certain areas to give them texture which the dark wax would emphasize… plus applications of clear & tinted wax and the addition of a metallic wax application in some strategic areas… then, a lot of buffing. Three days of intense “beauty treatment” and she is finally ready to be revealed. 

 Ladies and gentlemen… the belle of the ball…

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Cinde is so proud of her new look, she even agreed to some indoor close-ups, with lighting, to emphasize the details and metallic accents….

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In a separate blog, I will provide some before & after pics of the paint treatments.  Seeing things in progress lets you understand how the end product develops.  But I didn’t want to make this blog too long; plus Cinde gets to be revealed without giving away all of her beauty secrets right off the bat!  : )

I leave you with one last shot of the beautiful Cinderella, just before she steps into her carriage to go to The Factory Antiques…and then, hopefully home with someone who will enjoy her transformation as much as I enjoyed giving it to her. Beauty from the cinders…Sound familiar? 

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Be inspired…

Tori

 

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Treat yourself to a little color & a lot of smiles :D

I thought I would start off the first of the week with a reminder to everyone to take the time “to smell…or at least enjoy looking at… the roses.”  Roses, in this case, meaning any flower that you enjoy.  Last month my husband Greg & I celebrated our 27th anniversary.  We were both crazy busy with work; he with his usual 60-or-so hours a week and I camped out in my workshop painting up inventory to stock my booth at The Factory.  We really hadn’t planned to do anything much for each other, as money was a bit tight and we were both so busy.  So imagine my surprise that, while I had come inside to fix a quick lunch, my sweet husband came around the corner with the sweetest card and a beautiful bouquet of hydrangea and gerbera daisies…two of my favorites!  It was such a sweet and simple gesture that totally made my day.  He knows me well; and it meant a lot that he picked flowers he knew I would love.  When I thanked him for buying “me” flowers (me, here, being an adjective), he knew exactly what I meant.  : )

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As you see in the pictures above, I divided the bunch into two separate arrangements and flanked either side of our fireplace mantel with them.  They looked great…for a couple of days.  Then the gerberas just sort of bowed their heads in defeat and went the way of all cut flowers…to the compost bucket.  The hydrangeas were hanging in there though, and since I had loved their cool blues with the vivid pink, I decided to try and replicate a similar look.  Here is the good part….  I went to Kroger to pick up a few things, and there in the “reduced” bucket in the floral area were these beautiful hot pink alstroemeria lilies…FOR A DOLLAR!  I decided to go for it, and brought home the bunch, which joined the hydrangea until they keeled over a few days later.  The lilies were still looking great, so I kept them in the two separate containers and thoroughly enjoyed them until they died…TEN DAYS later!  I had them on the mantel; I moved one bunch to the plant stand on my front porch, along with a silver bowl of eggs for Easter, put one on an indoor plant stand…pretty much wherever I wanted to add a punch of color. 

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A sweet & simple Easter welcome on the front porch

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I love seeing these through my foyer window everytime I walk by.

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Just a spot of color by the French doors that lead to our backyard.

 

I love fresh flowers and try to treat myself with them whenever I find a good deal.  If you love them too, don’t think they are just for special occasions!  There are always great deals to be found to give yourself a treat; you just have to look for them.  Admittedly, ten days for a dollar is about the best I have ever done!  But I will stay on the lookout for good deals to bring this little touch of beauty – and a lot of enjoyment on my part – to our home.  Hope you will too! 

Hope today is a great start to your week!

Tori

 

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Sassy Coral Bentwood Chair

Sassy Coral Bentwood Chair

Featured this photo on Miss Mustard Seed’s blog for Furniture Feature Friday. Coral is one of my favorite colors and I love this bold fabric. What do you think? I would love to hear your comments. Have a great Friday!

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April 20, 2012 · 2:39 am

Welcome to Recy…

Welcome to Recycled Life Interiors!  RLI is the beginning of an adventure that I have looked forward to for a long time.  My name is Tori Rowland and I am a decorative artist.  I love to reclaim old – but interesting – furniture and accessory pieces and transform them into something beautiful.  I have always been drawn to vintage and antique furniture and accessories.  I have also loved art, interior decoration, and design since I was a girl.  How I ended up an accounting major in college I will never know!  But at last, after raising our two girls and following my husband on our moves with his employment, I am finally fielding my passion for paint and décor into this business I call Recycled Life Interiors. 

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What RLI will consist of fully is yet to be seen.  However, I am getting off the ground with booth space at The Factory antiques in Statham, GA – a mile off of Hwy. 316 (which is also called Hwy.29) between Athens and Winder.   I also do custom paint finishes for clients who are looking to bring new life into an old treasure. In addition, I am beginning this blog to share not only my home goods with you, but also hopefully provide helpful and creative ideas for you and your home.  You are very cordially invited to join me on this journey!

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The idea for – and even the name of – Recycled Life Interiors (I will share more about the name in a future post) came to me a couple of years ago when we still lived in Gainesville, GA. I had begun collecting pieces to paint and had planned to put them in a shop there that a friend had just opened.  About a month into getting ready to launch, my husband got a job with a new company and we were transferred to our hometown of Augusta.  I loaded up prospective treasures into the moving van and popped them into a storage unit in Augusta, thinking I would find a shop to sell them in while we were there.  Five months after our arrival in our hometown, my husband was again transferred…this time to Athens.  So (can you guess?) the same treasures, minus a few sold at a pre-move sale, were loaded again onto the moving van (this time by quite capable movers!) and trucked to Athens with all of our personal things.  It has taken a while to find the right place to start, but I believe The Factory is just the venue for RLI to begin the journey.

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Our booth space at The Factory opened yesterday and we are very excited to be a part of this fabulous venue of antiques and vintage furniture and accessories.  We will be adding more items each week so check back with us often.  Until then, thanks for joining us here and I look forward to connecting with you through creative and inspiring posts on home décor, decorating on a budget, thrifting, and more.  See you soon!

 Tori

For directions to The Factory Antiques, click on the link below and enter your starting point.  Googlemap will do the rest! 

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April 20, 2012 · 12:54 am