Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Who is Ms. Green?

Well, it's been a busy holiday season and I, for one, am glad it's almost over. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas and the whole holiday season! But, it's kinda like when you eat too much of something you really love; you don't want to see it again for a while!
Over the last few weeks I have been doing some serious thinking and planning....where do I want all of this to take me? How do I make an actual impact? And, who is going to care? What I decided was this: Although I LOVE vintage, I also LOVE raw and salvaged materials, I also LOVE the EARTH! I want my children - and their children to come - to grow up on a beautiful - not wasted - planet. I decided to put the emphasis on being "green". This is why I changed my name to Ms. Green Designs. Of course one of my main focuses is still vintage furniture (because I LOVE it and because keeping old peices out of the dump is a good thing), but I will also be showing you and talking about some of my designs from recylced materials or eco-friendly materials. Let me show you some things I have been working on lately:

Reclaimed board/vintage hardware turned into "Beach" sign/hanger

Dessert Tray made from vintage chrystal plates and stemware

Remember the "German Ladies"? They got a "Shabby Chic" makeover

And, Lastly, I got what I wanted from Santa this year - a Baby Lock "Grace" sewing machine - and I am working on this recycled sweater blanket! (This is just a few of the peices I have sewn together)

Be sure to check out what comes next from "Ms. Green Designs"!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Year's Resolutions - Creating BALANCE

First off, I have to apologize for not posting in a while. Things around here have been BUSY! In case you are not aware, I have a 3 year old daughter and an an almost 10 month old son. Between pre-school, dance, gymnastics, taking care of the household, and my own project deadlines, I have become a bit scattered. YIKES! But, no excuses, I won't let it happen again! I am going to come up with a better schedule. My New Year's resolution is to create some BALANCE (I keep putting that in bold for emphasis!). Usually I am a very organized person; I mean, my calendar and day timer are color coded! Now, I have half-finished projects in the garage and in the basement, pages from magazines (inspiration) torn out and sitting in a pile on my desk, lists with, again more inspiration, stuffed inside my day timer, library books on upholstery and sewing under my couch and a box full of receipts from projects - I had good intentions of book keeping! Now to top it all off I have to return to my "real job" (I am a nurse) in the new year. To be perfectly honest, I do like my "real job", I like that I get to help people who need help and , of course, I like the constant learning curve. BUT, if I had it my way, I would only work at my "real job" when I felt like it and work on my "passion" (my vintage furniture) in every spare moment (like during naps and after my kids go to bed, LOL!). The problem is that "Vintage Revised" does not make quite enough money at this point to help sustain my family and our current lifestyle (which presently allows me to purchase furniture and supplies to work on my things, oh and helps to support my passion for lattes) See where I'm going with this? Well, if determination alone can build an empire (I don't know, can it?) then I surely can! But first, I'm gonna focus on balance; once I get that figured out then I can work on "empire".
I will keep you posted in the new year on what I am doing to create balance and how it is working. In the mean time, here are a few pictures of my "true" passion: my family.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Inspiration: Where it all began

 I have been asked more than a few times where my inspiration comes from. Just what is it that lit the spark that has now turned into a full blown forest fire? Well, I know the answer to that question; I know the exact moment it happened. Over the summer I was visiting my family in Alberta and I finally got a chance to go to the farm where my younger sister lives with her husband (fiancĂ© at the time). On their property is the little house they live in - with it's, shall we say, eclectic style, - a barn, and the old homestead house that my brother-in-law's ancestors had settled in a century ago from Poland.
The blue barn and red homestead house

 My sister led us on a tour through her house, the barn, and finally the old homestead. I was so drawn to the peeling wallpaper, the rickety chairs, the fur coat, and skeleton keys in the closet. I was envious that she got to live in a place so rich with history. We spent the day with our family on the farm playing frizbee, chasing her farm cats, and just enjoying eachothers company. Later in the day I decided to go for another tour through the old homestead house - I just couldn't get enough - that is when I found an old wooden window resting up against the wall. I knew they didn't even know it was there, and if they did, they didn't care. I looked at it differently, I knew I had to "steal" it. My sister was getting married in a month and I knew just what to do; I turned this old window into a beautiful mirror for their wedding gift. I wanted them to be able to keep a piece of that history on display in their home and pass it on to their children.


And, like they say,"the rest is history". Ever since then I have been addicted to all things old; I want to revive them, I want to give them a second chance at life, make them different and relevant, give them the opportunity to please once again.

Here are some of my sister Jen's wedding photos taken at their farm out near Camrose, Alberta.
My sister Jen and I
Inside the old homestead house

Another one inside the old homestead house

Wedding party outside of homestead house

And of course, a rickety old chair (love)

These photos were taken by Brianna K Photography in Edmonton.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Before and After

Hello, Hellooo,
I am excited to show you some AFTER photos and the comparison between before and after. I just love making ugly things PRETTY, chairs especially.

It's a Lovely Thing!

This is the retro diner funky!

This is the Retro Chrome in it's new snake skin!

I hope you enjoy the pictures. It was so much fun transforming these chairs! More to come!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Works in Progress

So, I am really excited that I have almost completed a number of projects that I have had on the go. I made my husband a promise that I wouldn't take on any new projects until I have completed and found homes for my current projects. This is SO HARD for me to do! I love to go to estate sales and thrift stores, scour Kijiji and Craigslist for that super vintage chair, table, or frame that I just KNOW I can do something really cool with! I get really excited over little things like buttons ( I am currently working on a vintage button display in the coolest old patinaed frame). I spend a lot of time imagining different ways to use different materials like vintage lace or textiles. I come up with so many ideas and I feel like I just HAVE to get started RIGHT NOW! I can not fall asleep very easily these days either; I am like a kid at Christmas, but it is not the sugar plum faries dancing in my is the  colors and patterns of upholstery fabric and the colors of paint in distress or high gloss glory. But, alas, I must FOCUS! Work on one thing until I get it done! Not five things all neck and neck racing for the finish line. Well, I managed to finish polishing up a cool silver vintage tray that I had upcycled by painting the tray surface with chalkboard paint and I listed that baby on my Etsy shop today! Please take a boo (like my halloween humor ; )
Soon to be posted are the retro diner chair and the retro chrome.
Please keep visiting me here on my Blog! Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pictures of my projects!

Well, it has been another long night at my house. My 8 month old son has a cold and has pretty much screamed at the top of his lungs for the last 4 nights. I am tired but, with coffee in hand, I am ready to get blogging as I am excited to show you what I am currently working on! REMEMBER: These are BEFORE photos.
Kings Throne
This chair is only about 20 years old. Usually I like to work on projects that are more mid-century but I could not walk away from this one. The design of this char is so beautiful and unique; I could not let this one get away. Although, my husband was not thrilled when I told him he needed to take the truck and go pick up a chair for me because I could not fit it in my car! LOL! The piant on this chair was a bit tattered and it had some gouges in the wood; so, I filled the gouges up with wood filler and sanded the frame to prepare it for a beautiful new coat of paint. Well, It has had two different brown colors on it now and I can't say that I am that impressed with the current one. I have left this one so that I come back to it with a fresh eye.

Retro chrome
This chair caught my eye immediately as well. You don't see them like this anymore! Right now this chair is almost finished. It has been recovered with a red snake skin vinyl and the frame has been polished up. The only thing holding me back on this one is that the wood on this chair is SO old and HARD that my finishing tacks on the back are bending everytime I try to nail them in! I am leaving this one up to my husband to figure out : )

Retro Diner
This chair did not capture me at first glance. As you can see it is pretty ugly! But,as I looked around I started to have visions of what I could do with this one, and for $4.00 I thought I would take the gamble. This one is also almost completed. I have sanded and repainted the frame and recovered the seat and back with some funky black and white upholstery fabric. I just had to wait to screw the seat back on the frame before I could finish the back.

The German Ladies
I LOVE these chairs! My friend Kari says that they remind her of Germany, she should know, she went to boarding school in Europe. So, I have decided to call these chairs the "German Ladies" - as they are also super curvy ; ) Well, these chairs definitely needed a new finish. I didn't want to paint them because I loved the grain in the wood and I didn't want to rob them of their original beauty. I sanded and sanded until I couldn't sand anymore and I realized I needed to take a chemical stripper to them. What a mess that stuff is. If you knew my husband you would know that he was not really impressed with all of the goo that ended up on the floor of the garage and driveway. LOL. Even with all of the stripper I could not get all of the laquer off of these babies! So, I made my best investment yet: an electric hand sander; and I have now sanded off MOST of the finish on these chairs. Now, to stain...I can't wait to see them after their makeover!

Well, I have a LOT more projects on the go but I will leave you with this for today. If my son gets over this nasty cold soon I could finish something and get some AFTER photos up. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Welcome to my FIRST BLOG POST!

Hello everyone, I am so glad you chose to check out my new Blog!
First off, I just have to say that I am not a professional "writer". I may have slept though half of high school english - or skipped it entirely! I have recently finished a university english course and I have to say I learned a lot, but mostly that I suck at punctuation. I did pass the course (and I got an A on my final paper) but that is because I got to sit in front of my paper and edit it for weeks before submitting it. On my blog, that is not the case... SO, if you notice that I am really clueless about where I place my commas and notice that I use a semi-colon when I should have used a colon, please forgive me, and I hope my content will be engaging enough that maybe no one will notice! LOL!