Monday, October 27, 2014

Vanity Chair Makeover - and a new venture

As I do every year as the calendar nears its end, I have reassessed my commitment to my jewelry business.  While I love the (the majority) of people I have met through "Basil the Cat" and I'm super proud of my original designs, I realize that the key element to my business, passion, has started to lack.  My creative eye has started to wander and I have fallen in love with refurbishing furniture.  While I intend to keep "Basil the Cat" open, I plan on scaling down my designs, especially my one-of-a-kind creations and focusing more on pieces that I can more easily reproduce.  The majority of my creative juices will now be cathected to housewares, as "Elie the Cat" is born.

A couple of months ago, my cousin was throwing out this vintage vanity chair:

Not being able to imagine this piece ending-up in a landfill, I decided I needed to rescue it.  It was in pretty rough shape, it has been repainted green (which has begun to chip) and the vinyl seat was stained when I used it as a step stool to strip my curio cabinet.

I decided it was time to make this piece over.  My first stop was Jo-Ann fabric where I found a gorgeous remnant of vintage fabric for $2.00.

I took the seat off and removed all the staples that held the vinyl on (which I don't believe was original to the piece).  I then used the vinyl as a template for my fabric.

Starting on one side, I stapled the fabric on in overlapping pleats

I continued this all around the chair, cut the extra fabric, and voila...the new seat looked amazing!

I then took the metal part of the chair outside to spray paint it.  I had originally purchased a blue color to tie-in a small bit of blue in the fabric but I decided on a more antique-y white.  I covered the chair in white spray paint

and then I took some wood stain in "Dark Walnut" and brushed it on with a sponge brush and wiped it off before it dried to give it an aged look.  If some of the spots looked too dark, I reapplied the stain (counterintuitive, I know) and wiped it off again.  The result is a subtle aged look which I am totally in love with.

Not feeling like the seat was finished enough.  I decided to add a dust cover to the bottom

The End

Friday, October 10, 2014

Museum Collection - Teensy Tiny Silver NJ State Necklace

Vikki, my contact at the Old Barracks Museum contacted me to let me know her patrons have requested my state necklace in silver...voila:

This limited edition necklace will only be available in NJ museums and for a limited time in my Etsy shop: Basil the Cat

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Butterfly Parade Then and Now

A very special Kindergarten tradition at my children's school is for them to raise Monarch butterflies from caterpillars and release them "to Mexico" and then parade around town as butterflies.  It is so sweet!  This past week we celebrated Charlie's parade:

Pre-Parade Photo-Shoot

Pre-Parade festivities

Charlie's beautiful MALE butterfly

The Parade Proper

Flashback to 3 years-ago when RJ paraded - notice the butterfly on his head in the last pic

Ahh, this was such a nice experience, I'm enjoying reliving it in the blogosphere!