Deconstructing a Begere Chair

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Wow! It’s been a few months since I last posted! I have had a really long break from working on any projects, but I am back! Last year I started with the daunting task of removing gobs of staples from a begere chair that I picked up at a local thrift store. It’s been sitting in the garage for almost a year now, which shows how quickly I became discouraged by the slow and painful (physically and mentally!) job of removing all the stubborn staples from it. beauty1

Last week I decided to tackle it again, and have managed, while sustaining several cuts and stabs to my fingers and hands, to remove most of the thousands of staples in this thing. If you ever attempt to reupholster something – especially any piece of furniture with a large amount of staples, I’d highly recommend buying a tack remover. I didn’t find this out until I’d already removed 90% of the staples, but I picked one up at the local hardware store for under $10 and it does make a HUGE difference. It is way easier than using a flat head screw driver. FYI: needle nose pliers are also a must!

I began by removing the panel of fabric from the back of the chair. I was able to preserve the original fabric enough to use it as a pattern when I’m ready to reupholster it. In some places I did have to use an exacto knife to cut around the fabric in order to remove it from staples that were just too embedded in the wood. It was really interesting (and a little scary) opening it up to see what was inside this chair. There were several layers of cotton batting, straw, burlap and webbing. I removed all of these. The straw (there are two different types) –  which, in these old chairs, was originally used because not only was it readily available, but it was extremely cheap – is a serious fire hazard.

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See how badly damaged the burlap webbing is? I bet your wondering what the pink and black material is on the chair. This was quite well glued on, but I managed to peel a little section away, only to discover that the material is covering a repair to a hairline crack in the wood. This means that this chair has been reupholstered before.  I decided to leave the fabric, not only because it’s really stuck on there, but also because the the original crack does not need further repair. You may notice the crack below this fabric on both sides DOES need repair. This damage was most likely caused after the last reupholster job, and is a result of pressure on this part of the frame where there are two dowels – one on each side – the wood cracked around each dowel. This is nothing a whole wack of wood glue won’t fix!

IMG_0960IMG_0965The seat had three layers of cotton batting, followed by the two types of straw, a thick layer of felt like fabric, and burlap covering the coils.  IMG_0976The nine coils were in good shape, with only two of the ties that had broken off. Once I had removed all of the straw, I gave all the webbing on the bottom (which is in good shape) a very thorough vacuum. IMG_0975I’ve now begun some of the repairs to the frame (gluing and clamping) and have starting painting. I’ve decided to layer on white milk paint with CeCe Caldwell’s Pittsburgh Grey.

Here is my deconstructed begere chair! It still needs some repair work to the frame, but it’s starting to come along.

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IMG_0978Stay tuned for the reupholstery job coming soon!

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Spoooky Pillows

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My son is a little obsessed with Halloween. I have no idea where he gets it from (hee, hee). He keeps asking me to “put up more spooky stuff” in the house, and I always aim to please!

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I went shopping a few weeks ago, looking for some halloween themed decorative pillows for our living room sofa, but did not find anything I liked. I ended up, however, finding enough left over linen from these pillows to make two more covers and then chose some spooky images from the graphics fairy and transferred them (see how I do this here). My son loves skeletons, so the skull image was an easy choice…

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and I love crows… I added the October 31 text myself by uploading the image into Picmonkey and editing it that way. freakyHe seems satisfied… for now.

 

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Ikea Expedit Bookshelf Transformed Into Custom Kitchen Bench

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WOW. What a summer it’s been here in Vancouver. Possibly one of the best ever  - we had so much sun, sun, sun! I wish it could continue a few more months, but already it’s starting to feel a little cooler…. SIGH. Anyway, I have been a little absent from the blogging world trying to take advantage of the great outdoors with my family, and it’s been a blast. Now it’s getting back into the regular routine! I did get a few projects accomplished around the house this summer, and one of them is a new seating bench for our small kitchen. Here’s the BEFORE and AFTER:beforeafter

It can be challenging to find a workable (and aesthetically pleasing!) solution for small spaces. Several months ago, I had swapped out our original oval table and chairs for an oak pedestal table that I found on Craigslist and had painted in old white.IMGP9644

I really liked this table and chairs, but after using them for awhile, my family and I realized that it was just too big for this small space. A friend of mine suggested that we get a bench (she’s European and they are very common there) and I thought that might just be the way to go, so I started consulting Pinterest for ideas.That’s when I noticed “custom” benches made out of Ikea Expedit bookshelves… AND it just so happens that the length of the Expedit EXACTLY fit with the space I had to fill. SOLD! I picked up a white one and also purchased a piece of foam (1.5″) from Joann’s to fit. IMGP1110

I upholstered the foam with Home Decor fabric from Joann’s, by purchasing a thin piece of MDF from Home Depot (the same measurements as the foam and bookshelf), and stapling the fabric to this.

IMGP1107I’m loving the new bench and the storage is fantastic. Before, we had all of my daughter’s art supplies on top of the fridge where she couldn’t access them. IMGP1111I also bought a new kitchen table at Ikea. This one folds up to almost nothing, with 2 drop leaves, yet has 3 storage drawers on each side in the centre. Perfect for this small space!IMGP1113
We also decided to go with stools on the other side of the table instead of chairs, as they are easy to tuck away. IMGP1118Here’s what this area now looks like most of the time, with one leaf up and one down. I also lucked out and found these green outdoor pillows on clearance for $3 each!IMGP1119Here’s the table with both leafs up. The bench is great for kids, because now we can easily fit three back there!IMGP1120I also couldn’t resist the aqua vintage clock.

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Shabby White End Tables

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I have to thank my step mother for these end tables, as she is the one that ran down the block in her pyjamas one night to pick them up from a neighbours curb side for me. They are solid, in great condition, just in need of some paint to liven them up. IMGP0588

Here they are in all their wooden glory:

IMGP9407I used white Fat Paint and lightly distressed each table and coated them in latex polyacrylic. I love the knobs  - they totally make tables in my mind. I ordered from Vintage Sky on Etsy. I just noticed that her shoppe is closed because her daughter was killed in a car accident a few days ago… please send out all your warm thoughts to her.IMGP0589IMGP0591I took them with me to the Deja Vu Vintage Market, but they didn’t sell. I’m guessing it’s because they are quite big, but nevertheless I was surprised, because I thought for sure they would be one of the first things to go…

The good news is that they just sold to someone who does staging… so they will be going to their new home very shortly!
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Get Schooled Saturday

DejaVu Vintage Market

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I got to be a part of the fabulous Deja Vu Vintage Market on the grounds of the Wellbrook Winery this past weekend. It was an amazing day, and even the weather cooperated! There were so many fabulous vendors, and it was so nice to see some familiar faces! The Wellbrook Winery is in Delta, B.C., which is about a 20-30 minute drive from Vancouver (depending on traffic). I ended up renting a Uhaul cargo van, and am glad I did, because I didn’t want to make more than one trip!

I didn’t have a lot of time to do a mock set up, so here is some of my stuff piled into the back yard getting ready to load it in the van. This past week, I was furiously trying to get all the pieces finished, waxed, hardware added, and so on.

IMGP0537Here is my booth just before the market opened:

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The pedestal table and chairs sold almost immediately… in face the lovely woman that bought them almost cleared me out! IMGP0555

The mason jar soap pumps were a hit again. I think I sold all but 2 of them. Almost every single person that stopped at the booth picked up the mason jars to look at (yes, we started keeping track!).

IMGP0550I had a few aqua lovers like myself come in and purchase these goodies…

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It always surprises me what sells and what doesn’t. These white end tables are the perfect example – I thought they would go right away, yet they didn’t sell. Same with my grain sack rocking chair!
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My soy candles were also popular.IMGP0559

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My french inspired trunk sold to a lovely woman…

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Here is my mother-in-law Frances and me near the end of the day. She was such a big help loading, unloading, setting up the @#$$@#$$##! tent (that I am returning today!!), and keeping a sharp eye on the cash box!

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Now onto some other vendors…

Here is Destin’s booth from Simply White. What a breathtaking display she had. Can you believe this was her first market?! I am blown away by her talent and so glad she’s decided to do this full-time. Her husband was also very kind in helping us unload and haul several heavy items from the van. Not surprisingly, she sold almost everything by the end of the day.IMGP0562

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Here’s another vendor that I wish I’d had more time to spend browsing her booth…
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The CeCe Caldwell gals were also there in full force!

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Here is the winery and food vendors:

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It was a great day and a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun too. Thanks Maris and Antonella for organizing this market!

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French Linen Serving Tray

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This tray has come a LONG way looks wise. A friend of mine was moving/purging a bunch of stuff and passed on this tray to me. It was originally a pine colour with brightly coloured painted fruit on it… no, I didn’t get a picture – I guess I was in such a hurry to cover up the ugly fruit!IMGP9752I painted it in ASCP French Linen and added the same french stencil I’ve used on many of my projects. IMGP9753IMGP9952Here it is with a couple of cool jars/vases I picked up on a recent trip to Lynden Washington. IMGP9950

This little beauty will be coming with me to the DejaVu Vintage Market on July 6th at the Delbrook Winery. That is, unless I decide to keep it for myself. I have been known to do that on occasion!

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Aqua Dipped Demilune Table

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I love little demilune tables. They are small, light and are so versatile. Here’s one I picked up recently and will be bringing with me to the Dejavu Vintage market in July. I painted it using Fat Paint in warm white and the dipped legs are Caribbean blue.IMGP9964

Here’s the before:IMGP9571I used a Martha Stewart stencil and very lightly distressed the edges and legs of the table.IMGP9958IMGP9960IMGP9610

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Another little Cradle: Antoinette

Happy Friday everyone! I don’t know about you, but it’s been crazy busy around here lately. May is a huge birthday month in our family, and on top of that there are several other birthday parties for my daughters classmates this month…. AHHHH! The weather has been beautiful here, so I did try to get out and do a little painting this past week and here’s what I was working on.IMGP0002IMGP0001

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This little cradle will be coming with me to the Deja Vu Vintage Market in July. I really love the ASCP colour Antoinette – I bought a little tester on my last trip to Grandiflora in Lynden (love that store!), Washington. I have enough left over to add it to part of a little secretary desk I”m working on for my daughters bedroom. IMGP0034

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A few people have asked my about my stencils. I get almost all of my stencils from the dollar store here in Vancouver  - usually Dollarama has the most selection, but with any store like this, it can be hit or miss. IMGP0058IMGP0059

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Singing in the Rain: Canvas Art

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My three-year-old son loves singing and probably before he was even two, he decided that Gene Kelly’s Singing in the Rain was his favourite song. He loves to watch the clip of Gene Kelly on youtube and has more than once been caught outside with an umbrella singing the song and imitating him… it’s seriously cute, and no, I have not yet been able to catch it on video (his impromptu bursts of song always catch me unprepared).prom09-22-2 I wanted to somehow incorporate this song into art for his bedroom. I can’t take any credit for this idea – it’s one I pinned from Southern Belle Soul Mountain Bride Heart. I just put my own spin (or tune) on it! I used some of my sons’ favourite lines from the song: I’m laughing at clouds (so dark up above); the sun’s in my heart (and I”m ready for love);  Dancing and singing in the rain.

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I had four blank canvases that I had purchased at Michaels’ a while back  - one of which I used for my Pottery Barn Santa. I loved the idea of using wood, but had these available and they were the size I wanted, so I decided to use them instead. I also had on hand one roll of music note wrapping paper that I had picked up from Ikea at Christmas. I love this paper and wish I had bought more… there are so many things you could use it for! I used mod podge to stick it to the canvas and basically wrapped each frame like a present.

IMGP9618IMGP9619As you can see, I tried a few different colours of wrapping paper, but ended up liking the music sheet best and ended up re-doing the other one. I bought some vinyl letters (3 inch I believe) and carefully placed them where I wanted them and painted over top. One word of advice – if you are going to do this, I would strongly recommend buying at least two packages of letters. I only bought one and quickly realized that I did not have enough of the letters I needed, so I had to do the canvas in sections. It was a pain!! IMGP9625All in all I’m happy with how they turned out and I like having something personal like this in my son’s room. I think he does too!IMGP9980Almost time for a haircut!!IMGP9978

I think my favourite part of this project is that the music note paper shows through in words of the song. How fitting!IMGP9967IMGP9991Sharing here:

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A Cradle Fit For a Doll

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My little niece celebrated her first birthday last week and I got this doll cradle painted for her just in the knick of time! It was already a creamy white to begin with, but a little blah, so I layered it with Duck Egg Blue and then distressed it a bit. I added the bird stencils,  and then waxed it. It matches her rocking chair which I posted about last year, I think that one was for Christmas. IMGP9678IMGP9680IMGP9702IMGP9682IMGP9688IMGP9685I can’t wait to see a picture of her playing with new baby doll in it!

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Another Chair And Some New Chalk Paint

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I had a lovely visit to New Westminster the other day. For those of you not familiar with Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, New Westminster is well known for it’s antique shops along Front Street. I took the kids bike riding along the Quay and then we stopped in to meet the lovely Victoria at the new FAT Paint flagship store. I absolutely love the space for their new store  - all exposed brick – it’s just beautiful. I picked up a couple of new colours as well, Jute and Antique Wedgewood. We also popped into a thrift store a few blocks away and I found this chair. Here it is crammed into my trunk along with the bikes and stroller (hehe).IMGP9886

IMGP9885IMGP9884I haven’t been entirely happy with my office chair – not only the colour scheme I chose, but I’ve also discovered that it’s a little bit too high for my desk and I’m getting a back ache when working at the computer.IMGP9524

I love the curved lines of this other one and tried it at my desk and it’s a much better height. I decided to try painting this in the Antique Wedgewood. I love this colour and it coordinates really well with my kitchen. I only used one coat and then distressed it and waxed it with clear and dark wax. IMGP9891IMGP9911IMGP9917IMGP9920IMGP9893Like my Baked Freshly sign? I just got it in the mail from Decor Steals. I’m waiting until I repaint the kitchen (a slightly lighter blue) to hang it.IMGP9897IMGP9932IMGP9887I’m loving it. I still think I’m going to paint the other one in a different colour… maybe Jute?!

Happy Easter everyone!!

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Antibes Side Table

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A few weeks ago I left this table at the thrift store, and when I went back a week later it had been reduced to 50% off, so I picked it up!IMGP9704

I felt like something bright and cheery was in order… antibes is a colour I’ve been wanting to try for a while and it felt like a good choice for spring.IMGP9728I think it looks nice with my fern too! I used dark wax to tone down the green a little and give it some dimension.IMGP9738

IMGP9730IMGP9741Cheery isn’t it?

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My Chalkboard Backsplash And Some New {Old} Kitchen Chairs

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It seems like forever since I last posted. I’m sure it’s been less than two weeks, but in the blog world, that seems like forever. I have been busy working on a few different projects, but just haven’t had the time or energy to upload and edit photos. Sometimes these things just have to be put on hold for awhile (I’m sure you can all relate)! IMGP9630 IMGP9628

I thought I’d give you a tour of my kitchen… I’m planning on a few changes in here – the walls and ceiling both need new coats of paint  - I like the colour and think I will stick with a fairly similar shade of blue. The most recent “update” is the new chalkboard backsplash. The backsplash and countertop is laminate that was installed in the 70′s. I’m not a big fan of laminate, and the colour doesn’t make it any more appealing in my opinion. A few years ago, I painted over the laminate with the same paint I used for the walls (sorry, no photo). It held up quite nicely, but was starting to show wear in a few places, so I figured it was time for a change. I applied three coats of chalkboard paint  - no primer! I think it’s a big improvement and am loving my French Menu!! The countertops are really bugging me now though!! I’m not sure what to do with them… I’d love to see some butcher block there and maybe a new farmhouse style sink, but I will have to do some more research. The cupboards also need hardware – I”d like to find some simple black knobs. IMGP9640

I’m a big Decor Steals addict… like my countertop storage? I’ve also ordered the black and white bakery sign and can’t wait to hang it somewhere in the kitchen. IMGP9637

I absolutely adore my West Elm owl salt and pepper shakers. IMGP9670

I realized when I was photographing the kitchen that I forgot to post about my new chairs. I picked these up on Craigslist a couple of months ago and painted them to match my pedestal table.

IMGP9641IMGP9642IMGP9649One of my next projects in here will be a drop cloth ruffle valance for the window. The pictures on the wall also need to go, and the fridge needs to be moved to where my desk is, but I’m getting too far ahead of myself, so we’ll save it for another post!IMGP9647I’m also toying with the idea of installing some Ikea shelves {with drawers} on the wall to house some of my daughters’ art supplies. I’m not super fond of storing it all on top of the fridge, but right now there’s no better alternative. We’ll see…IMGP9651Sharing here:

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Grain Sack Upholstered Chair

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I picked this chair up recently at my favourite thrift store and couldn’t wait to start painting and upholstering it. IMGP9499I recently purchased some grain sack inspired fabric from Decor Steals, and have been looking for a chair that would work for my computer desk. The fabric has a blue stripe, and I wanted the chair to have layered blue underneath, so I painted the base coat in a mixture of blue acrylic paints around the house. I don’t normally paint furniture with acrylic paint, but wanted to use what I already had on hand and figured since this was only a base coat, it would work just fine. IMGP9502IMGP9503After one thick coat of blue, I painted over it in ASCP Old White. I did 2 coats of this and then distressed it quite heavily, so that the blue would be quite visible. Then I started on the upholstery. These types of chairs are very easy to do. I bought a piece of foam, which they cut to size for me and used a little spray adhesive to attach it to the chair base. Then I added some batting to the top and stapled the batting on the underside. IMGP9510It must have been my lucky day at the foam store… the owner was having some surveillance cameras installed and I think didn’t want to bother ringing in one piece of foam, because she said it was “on the house”! I don’t think that’s ever happened to me before! She also gave me a huge piece of free batting.IMGP9511I positioned my fabric with the stripe running down the centre of the seat, and then began by putting one staple on each of the four sides. I’ve always found corners a bit tricky, but if you cut a little  triangle out (see below) I’ve found it gets rid of unneeded fabric and makes it easier to staple.IMGP9513IMGP9514Here it is now with a coat of wax and the seat re-attached. I’m not sure that I’m loving it… I’m wondering if it would look better with white as the base coat and blue on top? I can’t make up my mind, so I think I’ll live with it for a few weeks and see what happens. I’m leaning toward repainting it though… IMGP9519IMGP9521IMGP9523IMGP9528Any suggestions?

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My Favourite Thrift Store

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As many of you already know, thrift stores can vary greatly in the kinds of things they carry. Some are better for clothing, others for books or toys, and yet others for furniture and home decor. In Vancouver, I have my favourites that I try to hit regularly, but there’s one that always seems to have the best selection of furniture. It’s also the store that is just a little bit out of my regular route and has very hard to find parking! I was able to pop in this weekend, however, and was not disappointed.

One of the first pieces I spotted was this waterfall dresser. I’m not a huge fan of this style, but I did like the detailing on the top drawer and even though you can’t see in the photo, this dresser is on castors, which I love. The hardware is falling off, but that’s no big deal as it would be replaced anyway. It’s quite scratched, but overall in pretty good condition. I could just picture this in MMS Flow Blue Milk Paint with a lovely chippy finish. I didn’t take this one home with me, but was tempted! It’s still bothering me a little that I left it… maybe it’s still there.574702_10151338423753462_335455782_n I’ve been looking for an armless chair for several weeks now to use with my small secretary desk. This one caught my eye and was in great shape. All it needs is some paint, new foam and fabric – an easy update. I took this one home.538084_10151338423353462_900540978_n These little side tables caught my eye as well. I love the legs on the little one. That’s a piece of marble (I think) on top, which has come unglued. I’m not sure if I like the larger one, but it could look good repainted in the right space. 482528_10151338424983462_1557563162_n I think this is a sideboard… I like the glass door in the centre with the detailing. The two different sized drawers would be great for storing cutlery, or possibly media storage. I think this would look lovely in a pure white or even something vibrant like the La Craie St. Anne (see below).261241_10151338424288462_1006177123_n

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Photo by: Vintage Charm Restored

I totally fell in love with this little secretary (in fact I didn’t leave it’s side until I flagged down the store clerk to let her know that I wanted this). This desk is child sized and my daughter immediately commented that she could put all her art “stuff” in the drawers. She was quite excited about the whole thing until I told her this meant that we will have to let go of another piece of furniture in her room to make room for this one. Tough choices! Needless to say, this baby came home with us.485260_10151338423193462_1614157738_n

Here’s some of the other pieces I’ve picked up here in the past:

My Coffee Table with Storage

Mason Jars for Etsy 021

Secretary Desk
secretary desk 013Damask Cane Chair
Young Wheat Table 006French Provincial Coffee Tableoval1Not too shabby!

All in all a very successful day at my favourite furniture thrift store!

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