Thursday, April 1, 2010

Special Handpainted Armoire

I found a new little thrift store last fall while driving home from taking the kids to preschool. I stopped and found one of the best deals ever. I found a 1940's ish armoire. It is made of hardwood and was missing two drawers. This didn't bother me because I knew I could make it open shelving. He asked me if I'd take it for three dollars. I tried to not let my mouth hit the floor and told him I would take it. He took only cash and I searched my wallet and couldn't even come up with three silly dollars. So, I had to tell him to hold it and I went across the street to the grocery store and bought some licorice and got five dollars back in cash. I wasn't too surprised that I didn't have that much cash because I don't carry it that often. But, it did seem funny to me that I find the best deal ever and don't have three dollars to splurge on it. LOL

My kids lovingly called this peice the bath tub and shower. You did it get that name....well, it came by this name by the way it was shaped. The tall door to the left was the shower and since the drawer was missing on the right, you could open the door on the bottom, climb in, shut the door and it was a small bathtub. It's been in the garage since last fall and I couldn't decide what to do with it until I started it in January. The kids loved to play in it so, I didn't want to redo the peice until I absolutely knew what I wanted to do with it.

I painted the armoire a light ivory color. It was from a gallon of paint that I already had so it didn't cost me anything. I had to buy some high density fiber board (about $4.95 for a small pre-cut board) to build the shelves out of because I wanted them strong but not very thick. I used acrylic paint from the craft store to paint the green design so that cost me around a dollar. I bought the glass green knob pulls on sale for $1.50 a peice bringing the total for all the knobs $4.50. So, all-in-all I think I spent under twelve dollars for this project besides the baskets and I found those at Hobby Lobby and used a coupon. I bought the baskets, which I thought were cream color until I got them home in the same lighting as the armoire and realized they were a lot whiter than the armoire. So, I painted them green and love how it brings out the green in the painting. I love a good mistake. I distressed it so the peice would look "well loved".

To get the hand painted design I used some wax paper to first sketch out how I wanted the design to look. I used a magic marker to draw on the wax paper and then could reposition it to get to the exact angle. Then I would lift up the wax paper and use a pencil to trace the design. By having a rough outline of where I wanted the design to be, it made it easier to hand paint the design and make sure it would be right where I wanted it.

I used the wood to build in two shelves where the drawers were missing. I moved the only drawer left to the bottom spot so that the baskets would be together. I liked the look of the baskets in the two top spots better and I was lucky that the drawer could move to any of the spots except the top one. The lip on the drawer was wrong to fit in the top drawer spot. So, it was moved to the bottom spot. 
I left the inside of the armoire the original wood color. The outside of the armoire was really nicked and needed some paint but, the inside shows the beautiful woods. It even still had the cool metal coat hanger in the top so it still is a really functional peice. I distressed the outside only because I "felt" like it needed to look that way. I love how it looks.

I want to explain a little bit about this special peice. This armoire was painted with love. I used this peice to get away and have a moment to myself to be creative and find some happiness. It helped me to be able to get a little peice of myself back when my life was so unpredictable. It was the first peice that I had done "just for me" since we had been given the news about our son that he would not live. It was really hard for me to do anything and I hadn't done a project in months.  My husband moved this peice into the basement for me so I could be able to work on it even though it was cold outside. I look at this peice as Jacob's and Mine because we did it at the end of my pregnancy with him and finished it days before he passed away. At the end of my pregnancy, I was so physically exhausted that it took me more than a month to finish it. I would work on it a little at a time when I felt good. I think he knew how important this was for me to do something I loved because he always seemed happy when I was working on this peice. I definetely needed this little boost for my emotional well being. So, I wanted to show this special armoire that I did during a very sacred and difficult time of my life.This peice is different than other peices I had done yet, it is perfect. It looks "well loved" and is a one-of-a-kind with the hand painting. I will always look at this peice and know this one is special to me.  


Ruth H. said...

Cassandra, you do such beautiful work! I discovered your blog a few months ago, after seeing something of yours on Lil Red Cottage. It's been a few months since I visited. When I read this morning about the trial you've been going through, I wanted to reach out to you. My youngest daughter died almost two years ago, just after her first birthday. I also carried her knowing that she probably wouldn't be with us very long. Sometimes it felt as if I were the only young mother who had to plan her baby's funeral--it isn't easy for many people to relate, no matter how good their intentions are. I hope you will continue to be blessed with peace and comfort and happy memories.

Ruth H. said...

Hi again! Just wanted to let you know that I featured some of your cute ideas on my blog today!


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