1 05 2012

Upcyclers are often pickers

with a hunger to express themselves through design.

In  previous posts, I discussed the value of designing collections.




My last post was an easy tutorial called NIGHTSTANDS RENEWED

The above posts featured easy upcycles on furniture and home decor items

 I sell from my spaces at

Pickers Paradise Mercantile & Auction House in Medford, OR

I’m happy to announce

that all of the pieces in the silver and white collection

sold to one customer yesterday.

Here’s how the customer saw them:

We used to be brown with faux brass handles ~
Until we became white with silver handles

From worn & cream~
To smooth & metallic silver over white

I was drab tan ~
Until I became Regal Silver

 Other pieces of the collection ~

Once Pea Green ~
Now Metallic Silver

Add a few accent pieces
Repeating the colors of your collection

Prior to upcycling these pieces were purchased from different sources.

All of them were different in style and in color.

Now they are a collection!

I did it.  You can too!

With this collection sold,

I am working fast and furious to produce a new collection.

Stay tuned to find out what pieces I am choosing and what colors they will become!

Many Blessings !



27 04 2012

I won the bid on this dated set of nightstands

at the March Picker’s Paradise Auction.

Here’s the “After” Shot ~


I saw the potential immediately.

A simple renewal was in order.

 Here’s a basic “How To.”

Lightly sand the exterior.

Look!  The furniture angels sent me a little love note via the old finish.

Wipe with a damp cloth to remove excess grit/dust.

Remove hardware.

Sand & prime hardware.

Sand & prime furniture surfaces.

I use Zinnsers Water Base Prime & Seal to prime practically everything.

Spray paint the furniture.  It took two coats.

I used Rust-oleum Universal Satin White Spray Paint.

Spray paint hardware.   Two coats.  I used Rust-oleum Specialty Metallic Spray Paint

Reattach the hardware.




They’re on their way to be sold at:

Picker’s Paradise Mercantile & Auction House,

3404 S. Pacific Hwy., Medford, OR

It was an easy makeover!

I did it!  You can too!

Many Blessings!



21 04 2012

Just a reminder ~

Every surface is a canvas waiting to be created upon ~

Do what you love ~ Love what you do

I do.  You can too!


Many Blessings !



19 04 2012

I purchased a damaged-beyond-repair framed print

 from one who was in need.

Originally, I hoped to repair the damage,

but it was too far gone.

My daughter had been asking me to provide a large chalkboard for her business.

It took a bit of time for it to occur to me

that I had a chalkboard in the making.

I carefully removed the hard-board print

from the multi-colored, chippy frame.

Grabbed my paintbrush & my chalkboard paint ~

 One coat of chalkboard paint to cover the entire surface of the print.

Use brush strokes as long and straight as possible.

Let the first coat dry over night.

Add a final coat.

Let dry for 48 hours before using.



I tweaked the frame color a little

to match the black accents in my daughters spa.

Just a little black chalkboard paint on a cloth ~

Removed excess paint from cloth ~

Dry-brushed over raised areas of frame ~

Giving it a darker, aged, smokey look.

My daughter loves it!

It’s hanging in her spa:

Neesholay Skin Care

Medford, OR

It was easy!

I did it.  You can too !



27 03 2012

I realize that it cannot be a simple task, for a single, self-employed, fifty-something-year-old woman, living during a recession, in a small town in a northwestern, “wilderness” state, to start two new businesses with individually linked online stores, Facebook pages and         Blogs . . . with a capital of . . . well . . . no capital.  The challenges are monumental.  The days are long, long, long.  Paperwork is all over the place.  The stress-inducing details endlessly scream out to be handled, “Me first,” “Noooo me,” “I’m a priorty,”

In the face of life choices, like mine, one must simply continue to move forward, put one foot in front of the other, remembering that it’s the baby steps that will get one there.  Gotta continue to believe, hope and progress.     And . . . I’m good with that.  I’m willing to do what it takes to make a unique mark on my own life, subsequently the lives of others.  I’m accepting of the hard work, the challenge, the stress, the uncertainty . . . the edge.  However, I am stating for the record that  . . . last week sucked MAJORLY.

I’ve been ruminating all of the details of last week . . . It’s my way . . . spinning it all around in my head, looking at it this way, that way, the other way, under it, over it, etc. . . living in a mental state of impossible resolution until eventually, I succumb to the reality that I must look . . . right through it.   I find my balance, shift my thinking and emerge somewhere in my-own-perception of . . . the middle.  The longer I live on this earth, the more quickly I am able to do this.

I woke up this morning finding myself noticeably closer to the middle enough to ask my-own-self, “How’d you do that?”  How did I find my balance in such a relatively short amount of time?

1)  Think as much as you need to, but while you’re thinking, remember to question each thought.  Thoughts . . . they happen.  They can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.  A negative thought that is believed, becomes one’s reality.  Believing the thought that it cannot be done, that it is an impossible task, that you don’t have what it takes, etc. . . . these thoughts can only bring you down.  Continue to exercise a head-shift toward those thoughts that make you happy.  After all, what feels better, a happy thought or a sad one?

One of my favorite reads, TUT Notes from the Universe (by Mike Dooley), reminds me daily that,

“Thoughts become things, so . . . choose the good ones.”

2)  Excercise gratitude.  It becomes increasingly difficult to curse the roadblocks, when one is busy counting and being thankful for all blessings.

3)  Follow your joy. Do what you love ~ Love what you do.   The moment I try to force myself to achieve something that I do not find joy in, I end up on the familiar dead-end street of resistance.  Repeated trips to dead-end streets are the epitome of insanity.  Eliminate resistance.  Lower your insanity level.  Follow your joy.  Do what you love ~ Love what you do.

Emily Dickenson quote 5x7 Print at:

3)  Shake hands with the moment.  Just make friends with it.  Be at peace with it.  It is what it is.  It is all you have.  It is all you can bank on.  The past is gone.  The future is uncertain.  This moment is your opportunity.

4)  Imagine.  It’s so fun to do.  Write a screenplay of the life you desire in your head, let it drop to your heart and set yourself free.  You are the star of your own movie.  Make it a blockbuster.

5)  Breathe.  I struggle with this one.  I have a tendency to hold my breath when I’m focusing.  But everybody knows that the act of breathing centers us, brings us more fully into the moment and is an unparalleled force that is constantly at our disposal.

6)  If possible, exercise acceptance that . . . EVERYTHING happens for a reason, and in its correct time, whether or not we readily understand the reason . . . or the timing.  Don’t worry.  All is as its s’posta be.

It is true that last week, the thought that crept in, was one of impossibility and ultimate defeat.  It is also true, that I am back up.  And you know . . . along the journey, success is not about the ability to be better’n somebody else, it’s about cultivating the personal power to be willing to get back up for purposes of becoming better’n you actually were a moment ago.  I am.  You can be too.

8)  Primp.  It amuses me how many parallels can be drawn between the words “primp” and “pimp.”  Seems like the word “primp” is a feminine form (of sorts) of “pimp.”  Examples ~ She’s been in the bathroom primping for hours.  He’s out pimping his ride.  I don’t know, I’m no master in language.   I do, however, possess the talent to be a fairly gifted primper.  I see primping as an act of caring for ourselves.  Taking the extra time to decorate the exterior, does actually assist in my levels of confidence while mingling with fellow human beings.  Taking a little time to primp also causes me to slow down and focus on the importance of caring for the body.

9)  Put yourself out there.  When I was a child in Sunday school, we all sang a song called “This Little Light of Mine.”  The song talked about our Light and reminded us that our purpose was to illuminate.  We can’t do that if we don’t show up to the party.  In order to spread our light, we must step out and make a difference in the lives of others.  Light illumination is not always a walk in the park.  Be prepared to feel your way through the darkness at times.

10)  Keep your eye on your own MIDDLE GROUND.   We all visit the extremes from time-to-time, but it’s not prudent to move all your stuff in and live together.  My friend Karen has reminded me that . . . “Any strength taken to an extreme, becomes a weakness.”

11)  Accept Help.  Nobody goes it alone.  This past week an amazing number of people stepped up to the plate with the intention of taking a bit of the load off of me.  They miraculously appeared in the form of trusted technical assistance,  inspiration, encouragement and patience.  Nobody goes it alone.  Be willing to help ~ equally as important, accept help.

12)  Give up the fight for perfectionism.  Do your best and remind yourself that your best is enough.

Finally, commit to being continually willing and open to be inspired and to inspire others.  Create.  Share.  Intend to make a profound positive difference in the lives of others.  I do.  You can too!

Inspiration:  A feeling of enthusiasm you get from someone or something which gives you new and creative ideas.

Many Blessings ~



17 03 2012

A few months back, 4 Duncan Phyfe chairs miraculously appeared at a used furniture shop in Southern Oregon.  I recognized them immediately.  I am now the proud owner.

Duncan Phyfe Lyre Back Chairs

Although covered in a coat of turquoise paint, this set of four are in excellent condition in terms of stability.  They’re in need of no structural repair and are as sturdy as the day they were made.  Paint stripping and restaining are needed to restore these gorgeous Phyfe chairs back to their original elegance.

In the furniture industry, the term Duncan Phyfe is used to define an original Duncan Phyfe creation as well as the Duncan Phyfe style.  Duncan Phyfe, who manufactured up-scale wooden furniture from 1795 – 1848 , became known for signiture lines, shapes, architecture and woodworking methods.

Duncan Phyfe Furniture Architecture

A design element that was practically the logo of Duncan Phyfe is the lyre.

The Duncan Phyfe Lyre ~ Signature Statement


Makers Marks and numbering systems were rarely used by Duncan Phyfe.  Therefore, identification becomes tricky.  The experts look for elements that are consistently present in a Phyfe piece of furniture;  The type and quality of wood used, the architectural curves of the piece, the details, the legs, the chair backs and seat shapes and many other factors that can be found in Duncan Phyfe style.

Duncan Phyfe Curves

Duncan Phyfe furniture, most often made from Mahogany, a soft, dark, reddish brown wood.  However, there are examples of Phyfe furniture in other woods as well.


The Oregon Pick

Go Antiques by Worthpoint

Ruby Lane


Duncan Phyfe Chair Back


The Oregon Pick

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Connected Lines

How to Identify Ducan Phyfe

Buffaloah ~ About Duncan Phyfe

The chairs depicted above are offered for sale for $465.00 as of 3/17/2012 at:  Oregon Pick on Etsy

Your comments, feedback, inquiries and the sharing of similar stories are very welcome.



14 03 2012

Imagine attending an estate sale and finding a whole buncha mis-matched items that you love, but have no idea what to do with.  My work in the estate liquidation industry has helped me understand the benefit of designing “collections.”  Once I’ve purchased them, I need to liquidate them . . . or use them.  The problem is, they’re ugly together.  The solution ~ Design a Collection.

In this all-metallic-silver collection, I lightly primed each piece with a white primer/sealer mixed with a little bit of cream-colored paint, (The cream colored paint provided a warmth to the base coat).  Let primer dry.  Next, I either brushed or spray-painted each piece in Metallic Silver.  Voila!  An instant collection that is now for sale in one of my two spaces at Pickers Paradise Mercantile & Auction House in Medford, OR

The following photos depict items purchased and upcycled for very little money:









DRAWER PULLS AFTER (After cleaning, sanding, priming & painting)

Note:  These drawer pulls will show up in a future post, attached to two upcycled end tables.




I did it!  You can too!


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