Apr 042015
 
Memory Quilt Polaroid Style

Today I want to share with you  a fabulous way to preserve memories, especially if you have a ton of t-shirts or jerseys just laying around taking up drawer or storage space: A Memory Quilt.  This one is designed around the shape and design of Polaroid photos!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

The finished quilt. Source.

Memory Keeper

Memory Quilt Polaroid Style

LOVE LOVE LOVE IT

It appears I am a real sentimentalist.  Perhaps a bit more than others.  Since I began blogging here at Nicer Than New, I have had a few posts about preserving memories and memorabilia.  The first was called “The Memory Keeper” back in May.  In it, I related how 5 amazing kids grew up on my little court and are now all in university.  I was always the neighbourhood photographer.  They always knew I would have a camera in hand to record their shared events.

The next entry also had to do with photographs when I asked “Are Photo Albums a Thing of the Past?”   I sure hope not but I will keep filing pictures away in hopes the next generation will appreciate the effort.

I also shared a Photoshop creation of my daughter in a ballet pose.  I made it look like an oil painting and printed it on stretched canvas.  A most treasured creation.

My 18 year old daughter has grown up in the digital age.  Memories are shared instantaneously and then  left out there in cyber-world.  Lovely Miss Nice danced on a competitive dance team for 12 years, performed in small plays, public speaking events and many other activities where you get a T-shirt.  They were all stuffed in a drawer.  We also still have team track suits, bits of costumes etc. 

Knowing she was off to university last September, I wanted to send her with some cozy piece of memorabilia to remember her pre-uni days.

My lovely niece, Sheilagh (yes, we are of Irish decent!), who loves to quilt  agreed to help me out.  By day, she is a commercial  interior designer so of course I left the design up to her.  She had always wanted to try a Polaroid design and I agreed.

Be sure to visit her blog: Lay it on Me Baby and check out her post on this design.  Be sure to look at all her GORGEOUS designs!  BTW:  Isn’t that the best blog name for someone who started out making Baby Quilts!  Love it!

Memory Quilt:  Polaroid Style

I raided Miss Nice’s room to dig out t-shirts and other stuff we have both stashed away over the years… Montessori pre-school t-shirt, dance competition t-shirts, her dance team track suit, t-shirts from voluteer activities including her trip to the Philippines and swatches for dance competition costumes to name a few.

I did not tell Miss Nice of our plan.  My niece lives in London, Ontario which is a couple hours drive from Toronto.  When I delivered to her the fabulous Mid-Century coffee table I refinished for her last spring, I also passed on a garbage bag full of all the t-shirts etc.  Miss Nice was with me and had no idea!

I asked for a “throw” sized quilt and I wanted one side to be a soft “Minky” type of fabric. 

The end result is so fun and quite artistic.  Since each piece is small, she “cropped”  the t-shirt in some interesting ways.  Others may not know the significance but Miss Nice does. 

Here are a few:

Montessori Pre-School.

They had a t-shirt they wore on school excursions.  Yup!  I saved it!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

The insignia from her Montessori Pre-School. She thrived there!

Dance Studio Track Suit

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

Competitive dance for 12 years.

 

NBA Raptors Mini Dance Pack

This was so much fun for her and her best friend to be selected to be part of this team when she was 10 or 11.  Yes, she danced on the basketball floor at quarter time!  Funnily,  to this day, she has NO CLUE about basketball!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

NBA Raptors Mini Dance Team

Swatch from her School Uniform

Miss Nice attended a designated Arts School for 6 years.  She owned only ONE KILT for all that time.  No regrets having that thing cut up!

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

A swatch from her school kilt.

Swatch from Summer Camp Hat

Miss Nice attended the Centauri Summer Arts Camp four summers.  If your child is interested in the arts and you want to give them an amazing experience with professionals in their fields, be sure to check out their website.   If you go the the Musical Theater page, Miss Nice is pictured in the banner.  In summer of 2016, she hopes to be a counselor there.

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

Fabulous Arts Camp near Niagara Falls, Canada

Service Trip to the Philippines

When Miss Nice was in Grade 11, over her Christmas break, she traveled with a group of students and teachers to assist in building houses and working with kids in the slums of Manila.  It was rewarding and life changing.

Memory Quilt  Polaroid Style

Life changing experience

Intricate Stitching

Beyond the very clever design, you can see in the photos the intricate stitching Sheilagh used.  Working with t-shirt material was a bit tricky but we think the end result is PERFECT:  A cozy back with all sorts of special memories on the front.

What a lucky girl!

What do you do with t-shirt and other textile memorabilia?

Ever thought of having a quilt made?

I look forward to all your comments
and be sure to follow me any way you wish!

 

Joan

Mar 182015
 

I love typography art and I also love a great DIY Knock Off.

Left $2.00. Right $260 on sale for $130! (source)


Ever since I absolutely fell in love with this creation by Virginia at LiveLoveDIY, I knew I just had to “do” an ampersand art piece.

Isn’t this GORGEOUS!

I love her idea of a simple white background and a design created with only thumbtacks.  Brilliant!  And one day I may borrow this idea for a piece of my own.  A monogram perhaps.  We will see.

Then last fall, I received a home decor flyer from one of Canada’s biggest and most iconic retailers, the Hudson’s Bay Company.  There on page 3, just inside the cover was this great, mid-century modern inspired room.  As a furniture painter, I was immediately drawn to the chest of drawers with different stains and THEN, I saw the ampersand print.  (Note:  there are NO AFFILIATE links in this post… just the facts!)

ampersand001 bay ad

I love the multi-stained drawers of the dresser but the ampersand print drew me in

Again, I loved the simplicity of it.  However, when I saw the price in “the fine print”… $130!  on sale from $260!  My mind said

“Hmm… I think I could make this with my Silhouette Cameo and a cheapo dollar store canvas!”

I stashed the flyer on my desk but the plan was always in the back of my mind.  

I found the exact font on Google and some time ago, I picked up some black and white wrapping paper I thought would make a great pattern.

I didn’t get to this project until I was struck down with bronchitis a couple of weeks ago.  Bored out of my mind and not able to do anything too “busy”, I decided to tackle the project. 

I loaded and sized the ampersand font in PhotoShop, saved it, then imported the file to the Silhouette software.   I tried to cut out the black and white wrapping paper only to find it was just too thin.  You see, I am a newbie Silhouette user who, if I continue to screw up like this, will need a new mat.

IMG_0547

Isn’t that pretty? Pretty YES but far to thin for this project.

Next, I checked out my stash of scrap book paper.  Why I have this stash is beyond me.  For years, I thought I would try scrap booking and 10 year later… not a single page.  Regardless, I did not find a suitable monotone paper but I did find paper in my favourite colours.  Colours that made me think about spring! 

The first paper, I ruined because like I said I am a newbie Silhouette user and I have the settings wrong. 

Next page was MAGIC!! and gorgeous!

IMG_0552

The sewer in me told me to use pins to keep it in place. Go figure?

 Using Mod Podge, I glued it into place.  Easy Sm-easy!

For the label, I picked a nice simple font and, similar to the stencils I used for my glass etching gifts, I created a stencil out of cheapo dollar store contact paper.

IMG_0564 copy

Stencil made with Silhouette Cameo and dollar store contact paper

First, I painted over the stencil with Mod Podge to seal the edges before applying the paint.  This step is IMPERATIVE to have crisp edges with no seeping.  Mod Podge dries very quickly so I was able to start to paint the letters.  I was thrilled to find I had the perfect green in my stash of craft paint.

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It took about 3 coats of paint to make a nice solid colour.

I was SO PUMPED with the outcome.  Even with the mistakes, it took me about 2 hours of elapsed time! 

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How cute is this on my mantle with my favourite green bird. I LOVE APPLE GREEN accents!

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What a fresh addition to the mantle!

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It even ties into the dried hydrageas I pilfer from my neighbours bush. (With their permission of course!)

 

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Like I said the scrap book paper had my favourite colours in it. How cute is it on this side of the mantle with my turquoise squirrel?

 

So let’s re-cap the costs incurred:

  • 12 x 16 canvas from Dollarama   $2.00
  • scrap book paper  $0.00
  • craft paint $0.00

So if I bought the print on sale for $130,
I guess I saved $128

AND I think mine is more fun!

 

Do you love it as much as I do?

I am thinking of doing a “set” of labelled symbols  and putting them in the main / guest bathroom, a room in need of some colour!

Love to hear from you!  Would love it even more if you followed me on Pinterest or Bloglovin’ or whatever!

 

Joan

 

 

Nov 212014
 
Mid Century Pinterest 2 copy

MCM tables with classic MCM update

This past  summer, I picked up two blond wood step tables for less than $10 for both.  They were not the typical “country” look but rather, a  sleek look with nice lines and angles.  Very MCM / Mid-Century Modern!  However, they were not especially sturdy or heavy duty.  Regardless,  they have survived years and I was smitten!

mid century step table mcm geometric

Great lines and angles!

I hummed and hawed about how to paint them.  Two-toned?  Two toned with dark and light stained wood?  Plain single colour? 

I tried out a few MCM patterns in Photoshop but they didn’t grab me.

I love playing in Photoshop!
pattern for tables 3 copy

Geometric 1

pattern for tables 2 copy

Geometric 2


 
 
 

 
 After some research on Google and Pinterest, I found the perfect inspiration I needed!
Check out this super cool Mid Century Plant table. 

MCM Plant table

How cool is this mid century plant table?? I was crushing on the black surface! Source

I loved the black level and decided to use narrow painters tape to tape off the angled lines and let the wood show through. Then add colour in random triangles.

To begin, I stripped the tops and stained them with my go-to walnut stain to darken up the wood. I just love the rich brown it produces. Then rather than trying to plan a pattern in Photoshop, I just grabbed the roll of tape and went to town, randomly taping various angles. The result is the two tables are completely different. 

To get crisp lines, you must ALWAYS paint the base colour over the tape to seal it. But since I wanted wood to show through and not paint, I used Mod Podge to seal the tape edges.

mid century step table mcm geometric

Taped and sealed with Mod Podge to get crisp lines

I love the cool tone of SW All Purpose Enamel in 6990 Caviar,  which I used to paint the base colour.  For the splash of colour in the random triangles, I used craft paint in MCM colours I had on hand. Finally, I topped it all off with a couple coats of Varathane Diamond non yellowing finish.

 I just love how they turned out!  

mid century step table mcm geometric

Mid-Century Geometric Design

 Mr. Nice thought they were brilliant!

mid century step table mcm geometric

The designs were random and different on each table.

 

Mid Century Pinterest 2 copy

MCM tables with classic MCM update

 

 If you are in the Toronto area, they are for sale!  Email me. 
Or they may go in Miss Nice’s first apartment when she leaves university residence.

 

What do you think about this revival of Mid Century style furniture? 

I think the show Mad Men has helped make it more mainstream. 

Betty Draper would love these!

Do you have mid-century pieces in your home?

Joan

Nov 032014
 

Just before I delivered a few pieces to my client she had someone drop off a super cute  vintage magazine rack made of dark wood with brass pulls and brass casters.  The client simply said…”Get rid of the dark wood and have some fun!”.  This is the same client for whom I transformed her old toy box to a very cool Union Jack coffee table.  She liked the blue and this magazine rack was for another room so it did not need to match.

This magazine rack was cute but a bit fiddly and spraying it would be faster and easier.  I happened to have some dark blue spray paint on hand.  However it was Rustoleum Tremclad Rust Paint. Although the piece was wood,from experience, I knew this paint would cover and adhere well.

I removed the brass pulls from each end as well as the cute little caster wheels from each of the legs.  I updated these brass coloured pieces with some brass spray paint I had on hand.

BTW–NO affiliate links — Just facts!

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Brass caster covers updated with paint.

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The pulls at each end were also renewed with brass paint. A lovely contrast to the royal blue.

I  then primed the piece with a spray can of primer I also had on hand because  I did not want the dark wood to bleed through.

Once dried,  I applied two to three very light coats of Rustoleum Tremclad in Glossy Dark Blue.

I love any dark blue with brass and this application did not disappoint.  The client just loved the finished product and so did I!

IMG_2901

Royal Blue and brass is such a winning combo!

IMG_2900

Such a cute piece! Any colour would be nice!

I have a couple of pieces of  campaign style bedside tables in my garage and I am thinking royal blue, like the Union Jack chest, will be perfect with the brass embellishments. Cannot wait to start them.  The only problem is they are the heaviest night stands I have ever encountered.  I will need Mr. Nice to help me get them into the basement workshop!

Stay tuned for more BLUE and BRASS!

Such a simple project and it looks so pretty and updated now.

Have you ever used Rust Paint on Wood?
What was the outcome?
I would love to hear from you!

Joan

 

 Posted by at 2:31 pm
Mar 242014
 

Okay.  I love this table.  It is in my living room. I have had it listed FOREVER! on Furnishly, Kijiji and Craigslist.  But no takers!  It is listed for $65 .  It is the most solidest table ever.  Did I say I love it?  BUT it has NOT SOLD!!! 

Paris step table

Paris step table

Tres Belle table!

Tres Belle table!

Paris step table

Distressing on top shelf

STEP TABLE

So I ask myself:

  1. Is Toronto not interested in “Shabby Chic”  ” Midcentury” or what???
  2. Is the price not good?  PPPPLLLLEEEEEASE!  No Chinese made table even comes close to this baby!
  3. Is it my workmanship???  I truly hope not!
  4. Is it just meant to stay with me!  Adorn my living room with it’s loveliness and it’s tribute to my love of Paris?
  5. Ohhhhh… Maybe Toronto buyers HATE Paris?  It could be!  We often have an issue with anything French! LOL

Talk to me!  I need to know.  Was my refinish choice POOR?  No feelings will be hurt. 

OR was the timing wrong or my design sense out to lunch??

I really thought it was

Nicer Than New

HELP ME!

Mar 202014
 

Monday, while walking my big doofus of a dog, I saw this table curbside.  It had an interesting top but was in BAD shape!  The base was broken and it was really beat up with nicks and gouges.  Tuesday is trash day so I walked home figuring it would be gone by tomorrow.

IMG_0021

Nice top but beat up and damaged.

All day Tuesday, I thought about that table.  However, my daughter had taken my truck to a school function and I could not go and pick it up  even if it was still there! 

Along comes Wednesday morning and my time to walk the dog.  Lo and behold, it is still there.   Toronto garbage pick-up is very particular (read: “union”) and this table was not “tagged” nor was it at a true garbage pickup spot.  Regardless,  I took a closer look….

“Hmmmm… Big round table top and 4 nice legs…..” 

“Hmmm FREE.”  Shall I repeat “FREE!!” 

My DIY persona got the best of me!

Yes of course I took it home and dismantled it! 
The drawers were also there but rather useless without a solid frame.

Dismantling took about 20 minutes

IMG_0024

Thank goodness for my drill, allen keys and crow bar!

This is want I am keeping.

IMG_0026

The top and the legs. I am sure the curved bits could be useful but I just have TOO much stuff!

I do have a plan for the top and I am thinking the legs could be used to build an upholstered bench!

Stay tuned!  It may take me a while but these lovelies will make an appearance in the near (or far) future and I am sure they will be

Nicer Than New!

Would you pass by this broken, cruddy table?  Or are you a true “curbside rescuer”
or “dumpster diva” like me??

I would LOVE to hear from you and your tales of random finds on the side of the street!!

Joan

Mar 162014
 

Earlier this week, I shared my “Clamping Adventure” where I used elastic bands to clamp the legs for a tri-legged pedestal table.  As silly as it sounds, it worked! IMG_1593   IMG_1604

I didn’t really have a plan for the tables until last week. While drooling over items on the Joss and Main website, I spotted this cute table and thought AHA!

Jessa+Side+Table

Jessa Side Table Regular Price $152
source

My little pedestal tables would look amazing in ALUMINUM!

I also found this steel table at Overstock

Bailey from Overstock 72

Bailey Table
$110
source

If you follow me, you may recall last December, I experimented with brush on metallic paint on a mirror frame.  I used a rust inhibitor paint in an aluminum  shade and I still had 3/4 of a can left.

Rust Paint in Aluminum

Rust Paint in Aluminum

One coat was all that was needed!

One coat was all that was needed!

I have been waiting for a project to come along so I could try this paint again!

To prepare the tables, the tops needed to be smoothed out.  The finish was bubbling and peeling so I used a stripper on the tops and then gave the tops a good sanding.  For the base, I did some light sanding and applied a de-glosser.

This paint is very thin compared to latex and a little bit of this paint goes a long way!  For the mirror, it went on so smooth, covered well and left no brush strokes but that piece was carved.

However, unlike the mirror frame, the surfaces of the table are smooth.  I found the paint ran easily on the vertical surfaces so I applied a very light coat.  Surprising it still covered well.

After First Coat
IMG_1621    IMG_1622

For the next coat, I developed a technique where I brushed the paint on with one sponge brush and then dry brushed over the paint with another sponge brush.  This really helped to smooth the finish and pick up any extra paint before it dripped.  I ended up doing 3 coats.

The final result was gorgeous!  However, I did note the pieces needed a topcoat because the finish was easily scuffed. 

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This was taken before the topcoat and shows the light scuffs.

The final results are AMAZING!!!

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Soft and subtle finish

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The wood grain is still slightly visible.

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The pedestal detail pops

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IMG_1593

BEFORE

IMG_0007

AFTER

Have you used metallic paint on wood?  Was it successful? 

I’d love to hear about your experience or your feedback on my little project.

To recap,  I had the glue, paint and topcoat products and the tables were $20 each! 

Lovely and unique tables for $40!

And So Much Nicer Than New

 Joan

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