An Eastport Coffee Table Finds a Home

Hey friends!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ve seen me post a couple of sneak peeks of this piece and that is because I’m SO excited to finally show this to you. Especially since I completed this project 6 months ago, and just got to take photos of it last weekend!

Since moving to Annapolis, I’ve fallen in love with the historic homes, life on the water, manicured lawns, and flowers galore. To a Texan, every bit of green feels like a piece of paradise. Within Annapolis, is an adorable little community (with a lot of pride and great people) called Eastport. Without going into a ton of history or facts I may very well have twisted, Eastport is almost like it’s own little town within Maryland’s nautical capitol.  I live very close to this community, and I love eating, running, playing, shopping, grabbing coffee, and just being in Eastport.

So back to the table.

Last May, I was camping somewhere in Virginia with spotty service. I was attempting to unplug and just relax with some old friends for a couple of days. But somehow, my cell came into range and I received multiple texts from friends who live in Eastport that there was a cool looking coffee table on the side of the road. Seeing that I was no where close to being able to save the “trash” furniture kicked to the curb, my incredible friend saved the day, and somehow got the large, heavy piece to the safety of her backyard. She informed me that it was REALLY great, however there was dog poop on the leg, rust on the iron work, and all kinds of creatures living on the splintered wood.

Perfect.

It stayed in her backyard for a while before it made it to my garage. You know you’ve found your tribe when your friends don’t judge your weird habits….


AECTFaH_before3-1-835x1024_07082019.jpg

This was in May, so it became a project during the time we decided to move. We ended up making an offer on our first home in June, with a move date in mid-to-late July. This time of life is a blur in my brain.

AECTFaH_after7-786x1024_07082019.jpg

But look at the difference! I LOVE the rustic iron work. I scrubbed it with a wire brush to knock off the loose paint, I then proceeded to spray it with a heavy-duty rust primer spray to stop the rust. I finished by spraying it black.

From potential risk of tetanus….

To smooth, beautiful woodwork, iron detail, and a custom glass top!

This is where the story takes a bit of a funny turn! As we were renting the current home we were living in, the owners of our rental decided to sell. We constantly had people coming in and out for showings, inspections, repairs… you know the drill. But then, we finely met the buyers of this beautiful home in Annapolis, and guess who saw me working on the table in the garage, and were over-the-moon excited that they found a coffee table for their brand new home?

Now it sits perfectly in this dreamy sun-filled living room (which was ours for over a year!) and is surrounded by beautiful art, a warm fire, and the sweetest couple. It just makes my heart happy! It was also so fun to go back to my old home and take photos of this incredible piece in a place I used to dwell in. The new home owners did an incredible job with their updates and renovations.


I sanded down the wood on the table, filled and repaired major cracks and gouges, and obviously cleaned the crusty dog poop off the leg…

I stained the wood to create a nice rich base color, and then washed it in a General Finishes Driftwood Gray Milk Paint, sealing everything with a General Finishes High Performance Top Coat for protection.

This technique created such a nice rustic look while still looking as stately as the piece feels.

AECTFaH_before5-1-686x1024_07082019.jpg

The turned legs had large cracks in them from being left outdoors.

I used wood-filler and sanded the repairs down to a buttery-smooth finish.

The wood was very dry and damaged at every corner.

AECTFaH_after9-593x1024_07082019.jpg

In December, the new owners of this lovely table invited us over for dinner and lots of yummy wine in their new home. It never gets old seeing a piece I dreamed of, and worked hard to make come to life, being used in a home -perfectly incorporated into the design and style of the space.

This was the last project I did working from home as well, so it’s a little bitter sweet! I definitely miss that two-car garage workshop I had!

A big thank you to my new friends who bought this piece, who saw the potential it had even before I finished it, and for allowing me to come take photos of it in their beautiful space; and secondly, thank you to my friends who told me about it, and rescued it for me when I was far away! It was so great to see the vision I had for this road-side find come to life, and I’m happy I’ve saved one more piece from a landfill!

Thanks for following along, friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Becoming Like New, and 2018

Hello, friends! And Happy New Year. I can’t believe it’s 2018.

2017 was one. full. year. Anyone else? Our small family experienced a lot of challenges, successes, joys and sorrows. Some of the big moments that stand out to me are:  starting my studio, buying our first home, moving to a new neighborhood, watching my siblings graduate, get married, and get engaged, (there’s a lot of life happening in our big family half a country away) we had my brother live with us for 8 weeks, friends and family visit Maryland, we had to say the hardest goodbye to our sweet boy, Titus (click to watch the most beautiful Christmas gift I’ve ever received made by my husband), I ran another marathon, and we traveled quite a bit. I feel tired and emotionally drained just thinking about all those wonderful highs, and moments of growth in the belly of the lows.

What about you? I’d love to hear your favorite story, or a way you grew personally in 2017.

In the midst of all that life, I found the ability to keep growing as an entrepreneur and was able to complete some really incredible pieces for sweet clients. This, is one of those:

I actually spotted this bench on a buy-sale-trade site (that I addictively monitor multiple times a day) and made an offer on the bench. The woman (my future client) responded with “no way” to my offer. I laugh thinking about it now. I responded logically, with why my offer was lower than the asking price, what I planned to do with it, and how much time it would take to salvage the piece. She then proceeded to ask me to do all of that for her. She was wise, because this piece is absolutely precious and will be a timeless addition to her home.

What a difference a bit of time and attention can do in the areas of our life that are broken-down and worn out. I constantly meditate on the fact that every piece of broken, old, and trashed furniture I’m able to restore and give “new life” to is a constant reminder of God’s offer to restore, love, and give purpose and true new life to all humanity. We just have to say “yes” to begin the process. Alas, this kind of restorative love makes me sappy every time.

I’m not going to lie, I actually liked the wood before I touched it. But as a bit of a modern/industrial/farmhouse kind of girl that I am, I understand the importance and desire to have fresh, clean white furniture in my home. I haven’t seen the bench in its rightful spot yet (my client was remodeling and building her dream home) but I’m sure the design looks so perfect in its space.

The design plan was to whitewash the piece. It really let the perfect amount of wood grain show through. I used Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Paint in Linen -I love this stuff because it’s so great to use on multiple kinds of projects; I use it for signs, pieces I want to easily distress, and, of course, whitewashing.

The carvings are so beautiful.

BLNa2_after4-1024x480_08172019.png

Shout out to a good friend who happily gave me the PERFECT navy gimp after I had no luck finding the right match. The trim was truly a match made in heaven.

The legs on this piece were dreamy.

I love all the soft curves and detailed woodwork. The white really did clean and brighten it up, but it’s just an added bonus to the beauty that was already there!

One more glance back at the old… (and 2017)

BLNa2_before2-1024x747_08172019.png

And hello to the new.

I hope this finds you 19 days into the best year yet. I want to say a thank you to all my clients, family, and friends who encouraged and supported me in starting my studio last year, you truly changed my life.

All the love,

Beth

A Sweet Find at Dixon’s Crumpton Auction

Y’all. Let me tell you that I CANNOT believe I haven’t shared this with you before now. And I have to get it out for your enjoyment before Christmas because I staged this piece (and antique dresser) with Christmas decor and it looks so darn cute! I also wanted to write one more quick post in honor of all the pieces I restored (and places these they took me) this year!

If you haven’t heard of Dixon’s Crumpton Auction in Crumpton, MD than you are missing out! It’s a collector, picker, and antique-hunter paradise.

Image source: Crumpton Auctions Facebook page

Image source: Crumpton Auctions Facebook page

Aside from 4 Wednesdays a year, the Crumpton Auction is every Wednesday rain, snow, or shine. This company has the auction down to an art and I was in heaven as I drifted through warehouses and literal fields of furniture as I scouted the goods and decided on the pieces I would bid on.

Image source: Crumpton Auctions Facebook page

Image source: Crumpton Auctions Facebook page

You can get some INCREDIBLE deals, but also have to be careful if you’re competitive and get in a bidding war over a piece you feel (in the moment) that you can’t live without. It’s so fun to see all the different types of furniture, art, and collectables.

Image source: Crumpton Auctions Facebook page

Image source: Crumpton Auctions Facebook page

The one day I went this summer  was a miserably hot/humid day; but so worth being in the heat for the 3 pieces I acquired!

The piece I’m excited to show you today is an antique oak dresser I currently have for sale in my studio. I fully restored the piece and painted inside the drawers for a fresh feel.

Here are some before pictures from the day I found it at “Crumpton” in August:

I love the fact that each piece at the Crumpton Auction is gone by the end of the day. Their website states that they move 3,000 – 6,000 lots of furniture a week. Talk about saving a lot of furniture! I can’t imagine the brain power it takes to organize all of the consigners, buyers, and staff to make something this large scale run!

I purchased this dresser for $90. I didn’t realize it needed a new drawer since one had a hole in it. I just knew that despite the little bits of damage and amount of work it would take to sand and restore the piece, that these kind of classic, solid wood pieces just aren’t available in stores anymore! My word of advice is to make sure you check out ALL the drawers, wheels, and doors on a piece before you bid on it (I know, you’re probably thinking “duh!”, but I forgot!)

The top and sides had the normal wear and tear a piece takes on after life is lived on it. I was able to restore the entire piece. Check it out!

Let me show you what a lot of love, elbow grease, time, attention, and the right supplies can do to recreate a classic piece of furniture!

Every piece used on this dresser is solid wood. Everything but the bottom of the drawers is a beautiful oak.

I love that the key holes were brass and cleaned up so well!

The broken drawer bottom was rebuilt and each drawer was painted and glazed so its’ new owner would feel confident that though the piece is antique, they wouldn’t be putting their clothes in a used, scary drawer!

I used General Finishes’ Java Gel stain on this piece to bring the rich, beautiful oak back to life. I wanted to restore it to as close as the original as I could. I did have to add new casters as one was broken.

I hope  you enjoyed this transformation. If you’re interested in purchasing the piece just let me know! I’d love to show it to you in my studio.

I want to say thank you to all of my friends, family and clients who have supported me this year. I grew so much as a business owner and person, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures and projects will come my way in 2018!

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

-Beth

A Snow White Kind of Day

Hey friend,

I wish you were here with me, sitting by the fire listing to holiday tunes as I watch the snow dance as it falls outside my window. Let me tell you, today the stars aligned. Because not only is it a Saturday, it’s a rare one in the way that I have no plans (at least that I can remember) and it’s the first snow fall of the season. So I’m doing what I want to do everyday but can’t -staying home. The crockpot is stewing and I’ve had mugs and mugs of cider, coffee, and tea. I’m a happy woman.

This week took Dean to Florida and found myself starting another kitchen cabinet job on the eastern shore of Maryland (a blog post will most definitely follow). Happily reporting that after 5 long days and another head cold I’m still standing!  I somehow managed to get a couple of projects done, Christmas shop, and decorate too. I’m feeling pleased with this restful day and overjoyed about the winter wonderland outside my window. The purest white is blanketing the ground of our new home and it inspired me so much I thought I would share this beautiful white dresser with you I just finished for a lovely client.

My client told me this hand-built piece has been passed down in her family for generations. I believe it was said to be a great grandfather’s who fled Germany when he was morally convicted about having to serve in the Nazi Party during WWII. He left all he had known to start a new life in Canada. Decades later, it found itself in my studio right before my client’s move to Michigan.

I want to note to all my woodgrain lovers (I hear ya) that no one disagreed that this piece was BEAUTIFUL as is. Gorgeous and quality craftsmanship. But the stain color was out dated and the top needed some attention as most of our dressers do. My client wanted this piece to fit into her home so she could enjoy it for years to come.

One of the best parts about my job is taking a cherished family heirloom and transforming it into a piece of art that speaks about the new generation of owners as much as it tells the story of the last.

The pure white of this piece definitely reminds me of this snowy winter day. Fresh and beautiful; making everything around it look its absolute best.

I lightly distressed the curves of the piece to make sure each detail was highlighted and noticed. I took the casters off as I felt the design of the legs looked better on solid ground than little wheels.

Don’t ever underestimate the powers of fresh white paint and beautiful lines on a piece of furniture! The finish was as smooth as butter.

Wherever this post finds you, I hope it’s with the excitement and joy of the season in your heart and loads of hope for a beautiful and bright new year! I have so many projects to share with you and I’m sure a new years resolution or two of mine will to become a better blogger and social media expert. You can follow my journey on Instagram to catch my stories or see my other projects.

Happy Snow Day!

A Spooky Secretary Desk

It’s my favorite time of the year. Fall has come in with the cool northern breeze and the Maryland trees are slowing giving into the season with pops of orange and vibrant reds. The nights and mornings are cooler and I have bright yellow mums and pumpkins on my porch. As a native Texan, there isn’t a fall day that sneaks by without me being fully caught up in the magic of the change of seasons. I’m seriously loving ever colorful leaf that falls from the trees around me.

I felt inspired by the season while photographing this sweet secretary desk that I just finished for a new client. It must be the mix of the old claw feet, smooth black milk paint, and the deep grain of the wood that has me swooning over mystery that this piece holds. I LOVE it and it’s just fitting for the month since the claw feet give it a creepy-factor that’s very Halloween.

I don’t photograph a lot of my custom work. Not because I don’t want to, but it’s simply just hard to keep up. Between running a business, working on my projects, and trying to keep a blog going, I often forget to grab a before photo, or the editing process takes too long. I’m learning and getting better, but my only before picture of this one is TERRIBLE quality. However, I’m still going to share it so you can get an idea of the red mahogany that was this secretary desk.

My clients had purchased an industrial dresser I finished at the end of the summer. They loved the black milk paint mixed with the beautiful natural wood drawers, which is exactly what they asked I recreate for them on this piece. I used General Finishes Lamp Black Milk paint and their satin High Performance Top Coat to achieve this finish.

ASSD_after2-1-940x1447_07082019.jpg

This antique desk had been in their family for generations, and now it’s ready to keep serving the family and to be proudly displayed.

ASSD_after3-1-457x1024_07082019.jpg

The soft distressing really brought the curves of the dresser to be the star of the piece. I love the way it ties into the drawers as well.

I was entrusted to be the keeper of the key to this piece -no pressure! This was my first piece of antique furniture to have the original key to, which totally made me geek out. Most keys get lost after 50 years or so. Even the key -alluding to the fact that there is something that needs to be locked up, gives this piece a hint of spooky mystery.

I could go on and on about how long it took me to hand paint the inside of this, but I’m sure you can imagine so I’ll spare you the interesting details. I love how all the wood of the inside drawers was different. I thought about staining them all to match, but something about their differences spoke to me; the contrast in wood was part of their history and I wanted that to speak for itself.

Do you have a piece of furniture that’s a little on the spooky side or an antique heirloom? I’d love to hear about it!

Take time to enjoy the season my friends; pick some apples, bake a pie, watch an Alfred Hitchcock movie with a friend…  life is too short to not stop to enjoy it!

Thanks for reading!

-Beth