Saturday, May 1, 2010

I've got a brand new blog...and a giveaway!!

Yes, it is true...I finally did it!

After a year of plotting, planning, obsessing and second-guessing myself...I have a new blog!

And the best part??....I am having a fabulous giveaway to celebrate!

Now, come on...check it out right now, you know you want to!

Urban Farmgirl

(All future posts will be at

Friday, April 30, 2010

a tiny preview...

Yesterday definitely what I would call...

"one of those days"

It started out well..I got up early...went to a yard sales for a few hours and found a truckload of fantastic things - but then it started. The downhill slide that makes your wonderful day just totally crash and burn. You know the kind...where you feel slapped in the face at every turn. Ugh.

So let me get to my point. I promised a preview of my goods for my booth at Kane County Flea Market this weekend...and I didn't want to disappoint. But lets just say an unexpected visit to the ER for my sweet man resulted in some stitches...and my photo preview idea to not turn out as planned.

But, I came through - kinda. With a photos of a whopping 7 of the 78 pieces I am bringing to the show
this weekend. I figured it was better than holding out on you completely.

But brace yourself.

You are about to view some of the worst photos in history. Bad lighting. Lots of shadows. And one very dusty floor at my warehouse. To sum it up...I had exactly 10 minutes to snap as many pictures as I could before the goods all had to be loaded into not one...but two...huge U-haul trucks.

Did I ever tell you this 'painting-furniture-for-your-job' thing was glamorous? If I did - I soooo lied.

But I love here we go.

I am totally crazy, flipping out in love with this H-U-G-E ornate frame. I just finished mounting a mirror in it...and it is stunning. Seriously. I have tons of mirrors for this show, all shapes sized and colors, but this one is just over-the-top!

And the desk...that old girl was rescued from the office at an old horse farm. The drawers were full of old ledgers from the 1950s. Those will be available at my booth at Junk Bonanza this September.

Wouldn't you have been just over-the-moon to have a bed like this as a little girl?? It has wide wood rails, too. So pretty...this one is a full size, but I have 4 twin beds and one more full size coming with me, too!

The desk on the left has a drop front- and the inside is full of little cubbys. Looks a little "Pottery Barn" to glad I chose those handles for it.

And the bookcase...well, I never seem to be able to bring enough of those. I seem to sell They must be hard to find...hmmmm.

There are actually 4 of the chairs on the left. Oh, and there is a matching chair with arms that I have priced separately. I have a dining table, too.

The desk is soooo cute! It is curved...and I had a glass top made for it, too! It dates from the 1940s and is solid Mahogany. (don't freak out wood lovers - it was way beyond being able to be refinishd when I found it.) I have 7 or 8 desks going to this show. Not as many as usual, but I just couldn't seem to squeeze another one this month. But like always, I will be taking custom if there is something you are looking for drop me a line.

I wish I could have photographed more for you! I will try to snap some pics at the show Saturday.

I can't wait to meet all your girls that emailed to tell me you will be at the show! Remember, I will be in the Arena Building...right on the main isle. I have 4 booths so you kinda can't miss me and the sea of furniture.

If you are the praying kind...please add a little thought in for me this weekend...there is a chance of rain! Yikes!

Oh, and for my annoncement I mentioed the other day...hopefully later today. Just ironing out a few check back!

Have a great weekend, girls!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

come see me this weekend!

I love this time of year.


Green grass.



That's right, girls! This weekend marks my official start to Flea Market Season! I will be at the Kane County Flea Market in St. Charles, IL this Saturday and Sunday!

Just look for me in the sea of white painted furniture. I will be the tall thing with dark hair sticking up over a pile of dresser...vanity get the idea.

My booth location is the same it has been for the last few years, so most of you will know where to find me. On the main drag, right across from the Office/Bathroom area. I am in the Arena Building, right on the isle.

I will be trying to get photos of everything as I drag it out of storage to load the truck - so look for a preview on Friday. Oh, and a little announcement from me is coming on Friday, too! So do check back!

Hope to see you this weekend at the flea!

Friday, April 16, 2010

have you ever cried over a refrigerator??

I almost did today. And I am not a crying-kind-of-girl.

Did I ever tell you one of my favorite salvage stores here in my town is in a huge old brick warehouse...and in that warehouse they used to manufacture refrigerators waaay back in the day?? Well, I have a deep love for old industrial warehouses, I always have. The architecture, the huge freight elevators...the creaky wood floors, the 25 foot ceilings. They feel so well used and well loved to me. I love wandering through them.

The city of live in was once the manufacturing capital of the US - and yes, I am serious as silly as that may sound. Before everyone pulled up stakes a few years ago and high-tailed it for cheap labor in foreign countries just about everything you used in your home was made here in my city in little ol' Illinois. Every day when you open your kitchen cabinets, chances are your handles came from here...your washers, your dryers, your Rubbermaid totes, even your fine antique furniture. You name it, we made it here.

So, back to the story about my salvage store. It has a home in one of the formerly-abandoned beautiful old brick warehouses that used to manufacturer refrigerators. Today when I was there, I decided to ask more about the building. What used to be made there? many years it was open?...I just like to know the history of buildings. I have no idea why.

The story I was told was a short one, as the person telling me didn't seem to care one ounce about this building. So let me get straight to the part that made me want to cry.

When the salvage yard took over the warehouse a few years ago, the basement was still full of retro aqua, pink and yellow fridges.

BRAND-SPANKIN' NEW, and original to the 1950s.

The factory closed before they were ever shipped to a store.

There were over 100 of them down there, frozen in time.

So....guess what they did with them............

Did you guess??

They trashed every last one of them.

Trashed. As in garbage. As in perfectly painted, never used and scrapped out for a landfill.

Uh, HELLO stupid salvage people, did you ever think of putting them in your store and making about a million dollars on them??? Yeah, go ahead and sell scrap wood and broken windows for $2...and throw away the goldmine you had in the basement. Good idea!! (Yes, I said that all with sarcasm. Sorry. I am still a little bitter. I only learned this about 4 hours ago so have yet to get over it.)


Sick. Sick and very sad.

Do you ever get the feeling you need to run the world?

Today was one of those days I wished I could rewind the clock and take over.

(photos # 1& #2 - Coastal Living #3 - unknown)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

how's it hangin'...

I love the smell of laundry that has dried in the fresh air and sun.

Sheets are so crisp and fresh...

Growing up, we lived in the country. Laundry was my chore, and to be honest I secretly loved doing it. The smell of dryer sheets still make me happy.

Weird, I know.

Anyway, once April rolled around, I was stricktly forbidden to use the dryer. It was "the sun is free and we have to pay for gas" school of thought that my mother drilled into me. Now, as an adult with my own home, I totally understand. I love to pinch a penny now and then. It frees up more cash for my "junking" excursions, right?!

(both photos from Country Living)
So here is what I just gotta know...

Do you "hang" your clothes to dry in the summer or still use the dryer?

I would love to hear your opinion. I am afraid my neighbors would hate it...I don't live in a 'clothesline' neighborhood. Then again, it is also not a "paint furniture in your driveway" or a "run your palm sander at 10pm" kind of neighborhood either, but I have yet to have a knock on my door with complaints. Ha!

So should I throw caution to the wind and do something as crazy as installing a clothesline in my backyard? Or would that give me the "hillbilly" label I have heard a neighbor or two mention? Oh, and I should clarify, I would never hang bras, undies or my hubbys boxers out to dry, just so ya know!

Personally, I think they are pretty darn cute.

Lets hear it girls, and don't hold back!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

loving this...bathroom edition

I am on a bathroom kick today, so just thougt I would share my latest loves.

I have 3 bathrooms that are in desperate need of a I am always on the hunt for inspiration. I love all of these...hope you will enjoy them as much as I do!

I am c-r-a-z-y about the color palette in this one. I am all about neutrals and natural pine. It is just soooo "me". I am seriously considering this look for my main bathroom. But I am not sure if I have the heart to cut open the top of a gorgeous old pine dresser.

Everthing just looks so casual and comfortable. I like things that are not too fussy. I can almost feel the summer breeze blowing through the window when I look at this bathroom.

I would just die to have a bathroom this large! If I put a cabinet like this in mine, I would not be able to walk in the door! LOVE the grey walls and of course...the chandi! Oh, and the whitewashed floors. My flooring guy thought I was such a nut the other day when I called for a quote to whitewash my oak floors. What does he know, anyway??

Loving this cabinet...I think I may have to do one for my show in May like this. The chicken-wire front is fabulous!

And the storage in this bath - WOW! I would love to have all those cupboards and cabinet doors to hide things behind! Oh, and of course...I am swoony over the grey walls.

This bath is my inspiration for my basement bathroom. I can't wait to do the beadboard walls...galvanized light fixtures...old farm sink. Love, love, love it!

I am a girl that is crazy about old metal...and the top of this vanity makes me just plain giddy! I need to find one. This is not a want. This is a NEED! I really think I am going to end up with beadboard ceiling in every room of my house, too!

Back to reality...I have to go clean the ugly bathrooms I have....and stop dreaming about the one's I don't.

After bathroom duty and a little laundry...I am off to paint a french-style entertainment center and the most gorgeous french-style bedroom set. Anyone out there shopping for a little girl's furniture? This bedroom set makes me wish I had one. A french armoire, sleigh bed, nightstand and vanity with a gorgeous bench that is soon to be painted a beautiful soft, off-white. It will be at the show in St. Charles, IL in May!

Happy Wednesday!

(photo credit: #1 & 2 BH&G, #3 Remodeling Center, #4 Unknown, #5 Canadian House & Home, #6 BH&G, #7 House Beautiful)

Monday, April 5, 2010

yard sale bliss...

Friday was a perfect day...70 degrees...the sun was shining...

I started out early for my yard sale rounds. Now just a tip for you all in case you are ever driving in my town...if I see a sign that looks like this...I brake. Hard.

If someone took the time to paint their sign like this...they must have fabulous things, right?

When I see a sign like this I get that feeling...a few little butterflies...I drive a little faster than I should...and watch out if you think for a second you are going to pull out of a driveway in front of me. I will go over top of you.

Because at the end of it all...I leave with my truck looking like this.

And it is so worth it.

I wish I would have taken better photos, but I was in a hurry. I had to unload my loot from Round #1 and head back out for the rest of the sales! There is so much packed in the back of my truck, I could not even label it all.

I loaded up 3 was fabulous.

And the back seat of the truck??

Well, lets not even go there. It was full. As in c-r-a-z-y full.

32 ornate antique portrait frames, old metal objects, metal baskets and old french books...oh and a few beautiful old linens, too.

It was a good day.

I have to sort and clean everything up today and start painting those frames! Maybe I will be able to snap more pics tomorrow. Most of this is going to the show with my in May, so if you see something you like..come see me!

Happy Monday...and hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

little miss sunshine...

My friend Annie, over at The House That Jade Built, graciously awarded me with the...

Why thank you, is so nice to know I bring a little "sunshine" into your day! She has such a fun and colorful blog, speaking of sunshine, so pop over and pay her a visit!

So I am adding my own little twist on this award post. I had many readers email me after my last post to as about my furniture painting business. So I am going to give you a few answers...but I'll skip typing out the questions...because it is late...and I am tired...and I inhaled a lot of paint fumes today so my brain needs a rest. Here it goes...

1. I have been in business for 10 years - this month is actually my anniversary. Most of you seem interested in how I got started doing this, but that is a whole other post - long story. Lets just say it involved a car accident, a foot surgery that kept me from going to work and a girl that can never sit still.

2. Yes, I paint furniture as my full-time job. I give a makeover to around 60-70 pieces per month. 

3. When I am not painting rest of my time is spent dumpster diving, cruising Craigslist, stalking the neighborhood on trash day, going to yard sales, auctions and flea markets, prepping, finishing and selling the pieces. I hope that helps explain why I hardly ever show photos of my work. It is out the door as soon as it is done...and quite frankly who has the time? I'm wiped out by the time it is ready for delivery or shipping!

4. The color of furniture the most popular with my clients is...white. A crisp, clean bright white.

5. No, I do not spray my furniture. I have tried it in the past, may try it again in the future, but my clients have come to expect a certain finish from me...and I am not one to disappoint! I find the extra time it takes to use a good quality primer, brush and paint is so worth it. But who knows, I would love to spray to save a little time...but we will see.

6. Yes, my husband helps me. And no, he never complains. He has his own busy career, but if I need a repair or a custom cabinet built, he is right there to help, no questions asked. I swear I could never do this business on the level that I do it without a helping hand now and then. But I will say, he refuses to paint. He is my handy-man and my delivery help. It ends there.

7. Yes, I do ship my furniture and it is much more reasonable than you would think!

8. The furthest I have ever shipped something is Asia...I have a store there that buys from me regularly. It is so weird to see my coffee table in an ad with Chinese lettering all around it!

9. No, I do not paint in my garage or my basement. Thank goodness! In the early days I did but I hated the mess and I never had enough room to work. I had to rent 3 storage units just to keep my stock in - crazy! So a few years ago I had to move the operation to a warehouse. Much better.

10. YES! All the furniture in my house is white. All but one gorgeous European pine sideboard from the early 1800s...I could never paint that!

I think that should cover all the questions I received, if not...remind me and I will post the answer!

I am off to bed. I have a list of estate sales to make the rounds to tomorrow and an afternoon date with an armoire!

Sounds like a perfect spring day to me!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

weekend furniture painting...

Thanks to your emails....all the furniture and the frames shown in the photos in this post are SOLD! (Thank you Sharon, Elizabeth, Cammy and Barb, they will be shipping early next week!!)

I will be posting more photos next week when I get the next "batch" of furniture done. I can't wait to show you...I have the most beautiful Frenchy bedroom set I am painting this weekend!

It is going to be a busy month, I can just feel it...I have my first show coming May 1st & 2nd and I am starting to feel the pressure...but I am so excited at the same time! Selling at the show is always so much fun! I love meeting the people...and there is nothing better than seeing my furniture being loaded up and on its way to its new happy home! I sell quite a bit of furniture for little girl's rooms, and it feeds to soul  to see how they light up when the get a new dresser or desk. Never fails to make me happy...I am not so sure a piece of furniture would have thrilled me like that when I was a kid!

Here is a little of what I worked on this weekend...

A few vintage frames...

and a few more...they always fly out the door on the first day of the show. I will have 30 or 40 there for the first show, so there should be plenty to choose from!

a full size for a princess!

and a gorgeous, solid mahogany tall dresser

This cabinet I actually did last fall but it never made it to a show with me. It will be there in May, but I take custom orders for these, too. They are the perfect size for an over-the-toilet medicine cabinet, or at least that is what most of my buyers tell me they are using them for! I use a salvaged window for the door, and build the cabinet around it. The old locking mechanism is the pull for the door on this one, but each one is different.

And of course a bookcase...I can never, ever bring enough of these to the shows. I usually leave with a "waiting list" for bookcases. I think maybe I am should start building a few of those, too!

And last...but not least...YES...I will have my letter necklaces there again this year! Thank you for all the inspired me to bring them again this year! I have a few in stock and ready to go...$15 let me know if anyone is in a hurry and needs one before May. I will be happy to drop it in the mail!

I hope some of you "local" girls will stop out at see me at the show! May 1st & 2nd at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles, IL. I will be in my ususal spot...and have 4 booths stuffed with furniture! Things goes fast, so if you are looking for something specific, be sure to get there on Saturday!

I have a date with my paintbrush again today, so I guess I better get away from my computer and get on it! I have a desk and a dining room set with 6 ornate chairs that need to be done before my head hits the pillow tonight!

Happy Tuesday, girls!

Monday, March 29, 2010

diy kitchen love...

I'm doing a little happy dance for Kristin over at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia!

She just heard she is going to be featured in Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publication...
Kitchen & Bath Makeovers!

Have you seen her kitchen???

Really, if you have have to.!

I'm even giving you a little preview below...but you can get all the details on her blog.

I was going from blog to blog a few months ago, and stumbled on her kitchen redo...and about fell off my chair. I could not believe the kitchen she has now started out so 'builder basic'. Since then her blog has become one of my favorites, I am always checking in to see what she is up to.

The space was done on a budget...and was totally DIY...well, she had a little help from a painter friend, but who can blame her! Look at all those cabinets! It took a little time, as all good DIY projects seem to. But, she did it a step at a time and the space has evolved into an elegant, comfortable space.

Can you even believe this gorgeous space...

 started out like this????

And she didn't get new cabinets...nope...she used what she had an made them better.

Not just better...incredible!

Seriously, Kristin had a vision...and it was perfectly executed.

I have seen a good make-over or two, but the change in this one is fantastic!

It is so bright...and is it just me...or does it seem about 10x bigger than it started out??

I am loving her floor...and the big window above the sink is fabulous!

On her blog, she even shows step by step how she created that gorgeous island!

And the part that I find more wonderful than the kitchen is that she was lucky enough to have one of the editors from Better Homes & Gardens find her blog and fall in love with her kitchen like I did! That would be the best job ever! sit at my desk and blog-hop all day looking for rooms that make me swoon.

Congrats, Kristin. I am glad your hard work is going to be shown off for the world to see!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

old painted cottage giveaway!

Jen at The Old Painted Cottage is having a giveaway!

Laurie, from Bella Inspirations has offered one of her gorgeous burlap table runners to one of Jen's lucky readers.

Jen's blog is one of my favorites! I have been following her from the very beginning...and it is amazing what that girl can do with a room! I am in love with her kitchen and living room...this girl is amazing! Oh, and she has a little online store, too! Packed with some of the most amazing finds I have ever seen! I want one of everything! She has some serious eye-candy over on her blog, so click over and take a look!

But please, try not to drool on your keyboard.

So pay a visit to Jen's blog by clicking here and follow her instructions.
Maybe you will be the lucky winner of the burlap runner...
(but secretly, I hope it is me!)

Good luck, girls!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

chandelier heaven...

Yesterday the hubs and I took a little "field trip". He needed a break from building and repairing furniture...and I needed a break from painting it. So...we headed over to see my favorite "chandelier guys". They are two men that clean and restore vintage chandeliers and sell them to women like us that just can't get enough of them!

I was lucky enough to make it into the treasured storage space for all their chadis. I swear as I made it to the bottom step and into their basement angels started to sing...well, not really, but they may as well have!

I was in h.e.a.v.e.n.

Now, be warned. These photos are not pretty, but the chandis were. Taking photos in a basement just does not do these beauties justice, and I couldn't bear to ask 2 men in their late 70s if we could haul each one upstairs so I could get better pics outside. So, they are what they are...but I wanted you to see what they had.

This was just one corner...the chandis went all down one side of their basement. There must have been 75 of them too choose from...and their prices were very, very good.

All I heard from my husband behind me was "Oh, boy. Here we go."

There were chandis that were all glass and crystal...I always love those the most.

Some heavy on the crystals...some a little more simple.

There were some reeeeallly cute petite chandis, too. I would LOVE a little one like this is my bathroom...or above my kitchen sink as a pendant. I am going to have to remember this one since I will be starting a kitchen reno in a few months.

This one would be great in a does hang straight, but the crystals are so heavy it won't be straight until it is up on the ceiling.

This is the one I bought for my office. I think it am going to paint it gray and distress it. My office is all white, so I think that will be perfect!

And these two were my FAVS! Seriously, I stared at them for so long, my husband finally just said, "so why don't you buy them so you can stare at them at home". I love that man. He is just the best!

But, I have a house with ceilings too low to handle these, and I am still sad about it this morning. I asked my hubs if we could move just so I could have a place for it. He agreed.

Isn't she a beauty???

The metal that holds the crystals is my favorite part. All made by hand. This chandi is stamped with the manufacturer name and the year it was made on the inside. I believe it was 1927.

This style is called a 'wedding cake chandelier' that. Can you imaging the house this came from? It bet it was stunning!

This little mini one matched it. I love the bits of old paint on the ceiling cap.

I really, really, really wanted this one for my he didn't want to separate the pair.

I love days like this when I can escape the paint fumes and sawdust and go look at beautiful things.

A wonderful friend I have made here in blogland reminded me the other day just how lucky I am to be able to what I do for my job. I am so glad she did...because it is so true! I would be so unhappy working behind a desk all day. This is what feeds my soul. Searching through old barns, finding those out of the way junk shops, meeting people unexpectedly that sell great things out of their is so much fun!

I can't see mylself doing anything else. My little biz is celebrating its 10 year anniversary April's hoping for another successful 10! Because I will take wearing my favorite dirty boots over heels any day!