30 December 2010

Before and After: Acadia White Console Table

Hello all! I'm feeling so much better today, nothing a little Nyquil can't cure! Here's a peek at my rush Christmas commission I've been working on for my old friend A. Here's a reminder of the before, a vintage writing desk/wash stand/console table I picked up in the fall at the Red Barn Sale.

It's hard to tell from the pic but it had layers of chippy pale green paint on it and the inside of the drawer was full of children's scribbles. After sanding it down good with the orbital sander, I primed it then painted it with A's custom selection of Acadia White by Benjamin Moore - a rich and creamy shade of crisp off-white. I added a whimsical blue green Anthropologie knob and papered the inside of the drawer with a vintage wallpaper print in the same shades of blue and green.

Now the table is travelling cross-country to A in Calgary, courtesy of my dad! It's Lather's first out of province commission and I'm so excited to send this table out to A. Hope you love it!

Have a fab day my friends - are you doing anything special for New Year's tomorrow?

29 December 2010

Holiday Sickies and Chapters Delights

The dust has settled after the bustle of Christmas. The gifts are unwrapped, the food has been devoured and much family time has been consumed. It was an extra special Christmas for me this year because my dad came in from Calgary to celebrate with us (although we were missing our stepmom Laura, who couldn't make it!). Jack took my dad out for coffee before my proposal to do a little old-fashioned blessing request, which was too sweet. Having my parents be a part of my engagement whirlwind was something I'll never forget!

Dad's headed home now and Jack is back to work today, while I enjoy the rest of my holidays (I'm back next Tuesday).  Unfortunately, not only did I get an amazing ring for Christmas - I also got a wicked sore throat and head cold. So these have been my holiday spirits this year...

It's a bummer but what can you do? At least I get to curl up at home and feel good knowing I'm not stressing about work while I concentrate on getting better! After a few stir-crazy days indoors, I ventured out early this morning for a Chapters visit. I stocked up on my latest two-gal book club selection (yes, it's a kid's book - don't judge - our minds are filled this time of year!), a self-help book from the editor of Self Magazine I've been wanting to read and a few magazines for eye candy (yes! yes! I get to read bridal mags and fantasize now!).

So here's a snapshot of what my holiday is all about right now...

What is yours looking like friends? Do you still have lots of entertaining to do or have you converted into lazy mode? Are you back to work or madly preparing your resolutions? I'd love to hear!

27 December 2010

Santa's Engagement Surprise!

I'm so thrilled to share my big news with you all...Santa brought me a ring this year!!  Jack (my J I always refer to) asked me to marry him on Christmas Eve and I of course, accepted happily. Then we got to stop in at all our family holiday parties and share the news with out loved ones. It was truly a Christmas I will never forget!

For those of you who don't know, our love story started 19 years ago. I was 15, Jack was 17 and we caught each other's eye in the hallway at our hometown high school. Teenagers in love, we dated off and on for a few years before Jack moved away to Winnipeg. I continued to pine for him and as we got older, we stayed in touch with bursts of dating during the summers I was back from University. Call it age, call it bad timing, call it immaturity, but we never quite got it together...

Fast forward 10 years later, after I had spent my years working and going to school in Ottawa, Churchill, London England and Calgary....I found myself back in Winnipeg. I came across a newspaper article about a hardwood flooring company owned by a couple of young entrepreneurs and there he was in the grainy black and white photo. I held onto that article for months...then finally sent the friendly email.  That was two and a half years ago and the rest is, as they say, history!

I'm so excited to have found a person to share my life with. Jack has taught me so much about love and trust and most of all, he makes me smile, laugh and feel wonderful. I can't lie, I'm nervous about marriage - after all, I waited 33 years to commit to someone. But I know that he and I will figure it all out together.

So as a giddy girl, I had to share some shots of the hardware! We had the ring made, so I knew the proposal was coming - but Jack made sure to make it as unexpected as possible and surprise me with the big question. I'm a bit overwhelmed with what comes next, so I'm trying to savour every moment. Here's a few more pics of me showing off my ring!

Thanks for letting me share my big news with you all and I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as mine!! Was Santa good to you?

25 December 2010

21 December 2010

Before and After: Michelle's Inky Blue Weathered Desk

I know my posts have been a little spotty lately, but with Christmas business - I just can't keep up! So I'm going to slow things down over the holidays and refresh myself for a new and exciting blog year ahead!

I've been painting like a madwoman for a few Lather Creations commissions I have on the go, so of course I have to share. Remember the stained reddish desk that Michelle brought me?

Well here she is in her full Inky Blue glory! Don't Michelle's gorgeous vintage rose pulls just totally pull the piece together?

Sorry for the crooked pics, I must have been a little tipsy when I took them (or just a bad photographer that day!). 

I absolutely can't wait for the holidays, my dad is coming in and we have tons of family time scheduled at various homes. So if I don't talk to you before then, I hope you have an amazing Christmas filled with love and family and good eats!

17 December 2010

Be Thrift My Heart

Well it's a good thing I had the day off work, or I never would have gone thrifting. And if I hadn't gone thrifting, I wouldn't have found two of the things I've been coveting on my thrift wish list.

Wish list item #1 - A beautiful vintage typewriter

This classic Royal Futura is in mint condition, works and comes in the most beautiful camel coloured leather hard case. As a writer by trade, I've always loved any kind of writing paraphernalia (dictionaries, notebooks, pencils, books and yes, anything typewriter related!). So this was the mother score!  Guess how much? $4.99!!!!  Doing the happy dance as we speak...

Wish List Item #2 - A Globe

This warm-toned beauty was also in mint condition, from the textured mountain ranges to the brass holder. J had asked for a globe for Christmas but I just couldn't wait another week, I gave it to him today!  The price you ask - $7.99!  I know, I can't believe it either.

Sometimes the thrifting gods just smile down at you...

One more weekend until Christmas! I hope you all have a very lovely weekend...any big plans other than shopping, baking, wrapping and such?

16 December 2010

Building a Biz: The Christmas Rush and New Additions

There's been a flurry of activity over at Lather Creations as the Christmas holidays approach. I don't know if it's the flowing shopping frame of mind that has people buying, but this week I sold three pieces and booked a new commisssion. I'm so excited to see all my inventory clear out so I can start fresh new projects for the new year! 

I'm humbled as I look back on the past 6 months and see how this dream has turned into a reality for me. Thanks so much for continuing to read the blog and offer your support, wisdom and kind words!

The lovely Susan took home the Beach Stripes Coffee Table and the Lemony Blue Bistro Chairs. She seems to really love colour so I'm so excited to see these pieces head out to their new home! I worried a little about the Lemon chairs, with such vivid colour combinations  I knew they needed to wait it out for that perfect buyer. Thanks Susan!


A few days ago Colette stopped by to pick up the Creamy Poppy Side Table. Her daughter's in university so this loving mom was helping her out with some new furnishings. How sweet is that? I actually always thought Lather Creations were perfect for students with our 'green' element and affordable price point. Thanks so much Colette!

My very old friend Amy lives in Calgary and came out to Winnipeg for a visit. During a studio tour, she fell in love with this vintage desk I had picked up at the Red Barn Sale.  She commissioned me to give in an upgrade and then we plan to find a way to get it back over to her home in Calgary! Thanks Amy!

 It's been awhile since I've showed you my new studio additions, so here's a peek. These are amazing pieces I've picked up over the last month, just waiting for their makeovers! *please excuse the poor lighting!

My cousin David got in touch about some items he had in his garage that were getting the boot. This lovely, clean-lined dresser was cute from afar but a nightmare up close. It had layers of chipped and peeling oil paint and all the drawers were stuck! I thought it was hopeless but J took it outside one night and proved me wrong. Would you believe he sanded every last drop of old paint off and it's solid Canadian maple? A true quality piece of furniture!

This mission style chair was another freebie from my cousin's garage. It's definitely in rough shape but it's gorgeous solid oak in a simple mission-style. A new seat cushion and a fabulous colour will transform this chair!

I've always wanted to do a half moon table so I was super jazzed to find this guy in my thrifting adventures. Another fantastic solid wood piece, this is just begging for some cool detailing, just don't know what yet.

And I also ordered some more Swanky Swell fabric a while back and forgot to show you. I love the vivid red and white print, do you see the little bird silhouette's in there? Plus I'm a sucker for a sunny, mustard yellow and I just adore the mum print.

I have 11 days off over the holidays and I original planned to do nothing...but that never happens does it!! I'm sure I'll be diving right back into furniture!

Have a lovely day friends!

14 December 2010

Delightful DIY: Cute Coasters

I have really been getting my craft on lately and I must tell you - I've been loving it! Every year my office delivers Christmas gift baskets to our biggest clients and lately we've been filling them with handmade and locally bought goods (sense a theme here at Fusion??). This year, I'm contributing some of my very own Lather Creations. But not furniture silly! That's wouldn't fit in a gift basket...

I'm branching out and contributing some handmade housewares. The theme this year is 'staying cozy' so the baskets are a mix of hand thrown ceramic mugs, hand sewn cup cozies and a selection of teas and hot chocolates. I made handmade ceramic coasters! I've been hemming and hawing over how I can make some more portable/shippable Lather Creations items for my (yet to be opened) Etsy shop. So this was my first test product on something new...plus I was lucky enough to be able to put my business cards on them. Here's hoping the recipients love vintage furniture!

Now these are easy peasy to make so if you're looking for a fun DIY with the kids or even just on your own, these are very fun and simple to do!  They're not new to the craft world, but I thought I would share my personal spin on them! Sorry I didn't take step-by-step photos - I had a deadline to meet and totally forgot.  Bad blogger...

For the paper, I had some gorgeous red and white patterned scrapbook paper that was perfect for Chrismas, but would look great all year round. You can really have fun with your paper choice, look for everything from vintage maps to old family photographs to pages from garage sale books to pieces of wallpaper. Use your imagination and make it personal!

You'll need:
-a roll of thin cork
-simple white ceramic 12" x 12" tiles (get these in the tile section of your hardware store for pennies each!)
-scrapbook paper or other decorative paper
-spray adhesive
-Mod Podge and sponge brush
-Water-based Polyurethane and paint brush

1. Cut pieces of cork the same size as the tiles and glue them to the back using spray adhesive. Allow to dry under some heavy books! (I left mine overnight to make sure they were good and stuck together!)

2. Cut pieces of scrapbook paper or other decorative paper. Apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to your tile and position the paper, smoothing out any air bubbles. Allow to dry for a few hours.

3. Apply 2-3 more coats of Mod Podge, allowing ample drying time in between. I like to also do a light wet sanding between layers for smoothness.

4. Apply 2-3 coats of Poly to your finished coaster, to make it more durable for mugs and glasses. Ta da! I also dressed up my sets with raffia ribbon and my business cards as pretty packaging.  If you're giving these as gifts you can add holiday tags.

Have fun crafting!

Being creative makes me feel so good. I'm definitely putting more crafting at the top of my New Year's resolution list! Are you a crafty gal?

For expanding Lather Creations, I've also thought about painted recycled wood signs, painted vintage mirrors and frames and even small wooden items like jewellery boxes and shelves.  Any thoughts on what Lather's smaller, less expensive line of goods could be? I want to keep with my business theme but have a little fun on the side next year!

Have a lovely day friends...only 11 more sleeps until Christmas!

12 December 2010

Close to Home

Brrrrrrrrrr! Baby it's cold outside! On this fine Sunday afternoon, it's -28 degrees outside and -36 with the windchill. That's enough to make anyone want to hibernate, but J and I braved the cold for our warm holiday parties.  Last night my company celebrated with an intimate party at my owner's lovely home.

Every year, we at Fusion do a handmade and/or locally purchased Secret Santa gift exchange. Now let's be honest, the graphic designers at the agency are darn good at this task! In previous year's, I've bought my gift but they keep raising the bar, so I decided to make mine! I had seen something very cool on Etsy and decided to try my hand....here are the results.

It's a silhouette of my co-worker Flo's American Eskimo Max carved out of scrapbook paper (with an exacto knife) then paired with a map page from a vintage altlas behind it. I must say, I'm pretty pleased with myself and she seemed to like it too! I also present my very simple, very short (ran out of yarn at the last minute!) garter scarf I also gave her.  Good thing she's petite!

What did I get you ask? Well one of our designers Morris created me the most amazing original graphic print incorporating mine and Morris's favourite footwear - the Chuck Taylor Converse All-Stars...how cool is that? It's going to look fabulous hanging in my office!

And as if that weren't enough, he threw in a gift card to my favourite local bake shop, Baked Expectations.  They make cheesecakes that are to die for! I can't wait to go for some sweet treats. Thanks Morris!!

Do you do any kind of fun, special gift exchange with your friends, family or co-workers? I'd love to hear about it!

Stay warm friends!