Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Bar Cart Makeover

Back in August, someone had gifted me a few pieces of furniture during their downsize/move. This bar cart was one of the few and for the first time ever I thought, “I’m doing this one for me.”

The thing about moving into a new cabin in the Texas Hill Country is that believe it or not, I didn’t have a whole heck of a lot of furniture. I had done a huge downsizing myself just a year and a half before. I mean, I had all the furnture in my shop but… the bar cart is the only thing I saw coming into my home. The funny part of this is I don’t drink anymore, but I sure need the extra storage!

The Bar Cart Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of what TLC this bar cart received:

  • Removed warped top and all hardware
  • A quick sand and a coat of white paint
  • Cut a new top down to size
  • Stained entire piece with walnut tinted wax
  • Replaced all hardware including door latches and stops

Here she sits in our front entrance way under the shelf I made with the same stain and all my house plants.

Before & After, custom, furniture, Updates

The Workshop is Open!

I have yet another exciting announcement to make: The workshop is now open! I know I’ve posted a few chairs here and a bench there, but the workshop is now fully operational and ready to take on larger pieces for custom refinishing work.

What does that mean?

What does that mean exactly? Well, if you have a dresser, a desk, perhaps a dining room table set that is in need of some TLC and elbow grease, it means that I now have the space to be able to refinish these pieces. It’s very exciting!

The Perks

My previous shop was a great place to get started and I rented it for years. I had great company, views, and space. While the new shop is just a little bit smaller, I have to say the perks are worth it. It is bright, has windows, airflow, cabinets, and most importantly, it’s sealed off from the elements. And… I’m rigging it up for AIR CONDITIONING! I cannot tell you the number of times I have dripped sweat into a finish and had to start over. This is so exciting. The best part? It’s right outside my front door. I can have coffee and stroll just a few feet to the shop and go back and refill on coffee in seconds. (Clearly, the coffee is important.)

All this being said, bring your rundown furniture to me for a furniture makeover. C’mon! Keep me in the shop as much as possible!

Before & After, furniture

Pride Bench Transformation

I’m continuing with the PRIDE theme over here, as it is PRIDE MONTH! Plus I still had some of this fabulous fabric left. So far, I’ve created a PRIDE Embroidery piece, plus a pair of chairs, but what I’m most excited about is this bench. It’s definitely a huge transformation for this piece.

PRIDE Bench IMG_3872

Several years ago, the owner of the bar I managed gave me this little bench. It’s been sitting in my studio for quite some time. I thought about redoing the original seat, but I decided to really give it a big makeover using the rainbow fabric. I’ve never really done a lot of reupholstery other than the occasional seat cover. Let’s just say I have a whole new appreciation for those that reupholster furniture. Between the corners and covering some of the structural work… I learned a lot.

The Process

  • Removed the original seagrass seating and swept up piles of dust
  • Sanded down the bench and filled in holes
  • Put in seat support framing and fitted a new seat top out of wood
  • Painted the bench a mustard yellow
  • Installed 3″ foam cushion and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

This bench is for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! It needs a good home! (Let me know if you need a pillow to match… I think I have enough fabric left.)

Before & After, furniture

The Prideful Pair (of Chairs)

I posted just the other day about PRIDE in my “Embroidery with Pride” post. Well, I didn’t think of any reason to stop there. I wanted to keep the theme going for the entirety of June as it is PRIDE Month. That being said, I’d like to show off this fabulous set of chairs I recently refinished.

IMG_3912

The Prideful Pair

FullSizeRender

Several years ago, I refinished a rocking chair right after David Bowie’s passing. I reupholstered it with this loud rainbow fabric. I’ve been holding onto the remainder of it waiting for the perfect time and pieces to use it. PRIDE seemed like the only appropriate time to me. In my mind, these chairs were the perfect choice. Their simple build allows a lot of room for loud paint and the rainbow fabric.

The Process

  • Removed the seat, sanded, filled in holes and dents, then continued with structural repairs
  • Applied sky blue base, then an overcoat of purple and sanded down to achieve the distressed look
  • Continued with a polyurethane topcoat for maximum durability
  • For the seat, I removed two layers of upholstery, including countless staples and upholstery nails
  • Put in new seat padding and reupholstered with rainbow fabric.

These chairs are for sale. If interested, please feel free to comment or email me! They need a good home!

Before & After, custom, DIY, furniture

Raising the Bar

Raising the bar… or at least, trying to.  It’s been a little bit of a nutty week over here and I feel like I can’t quite seem to bounce back from last week.  Why am I so flustered? Well, my truck got broken into, laptop stolen and much more. As someone that lives out of her laptop between blogs, marketing, social media, editing pictures, etc. it’s been a little bit of a whirlwind with changing passwords, locking screens, and calling all sorts of agencies from banks to the IRS and everything in between.

With all the craziness, I’ve been trying to focus on the things that matter.  A laptop and window can be replaced. While the majority of my pictures and documents were online or backed up, some of the most recent work wasn’t. Therefore, I’ve just been focusing on creating new things to share. Some of the images that I can’t get back are the high resolution pictures of this new bar I refinished.  I think the iPhone pictures will work for now though.

This little bar cart was a curbside find by it’s current owner.  It was in need of some serious structural work, before receiving a light sand and a coat of paint. After the repairs were made, the first coat of paint was applied only to discover Home Depot mixed me the wrong color! Now, knowing that there is no return policy on paint, I decided to improvise and mix what paints I had in the shop instead.  I ended up with a cool charcoal grey coated with an ebony stain.  A much better fit rather than the vibrant navy that had been first applied.  The hardware was upgraded and she was ready to return home!

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Before & After, DIY, Garden

Down & Dirty

IMG_1016The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and, clearly, reorganizing my shop wasn’t enough in the getting dirty department. This past week I brought in four yards of dirt to revive what once was a kitchen garden.  

It needed a little love, but after cutting down the three-foot tall weeds, laying down cardboard, layering leaves and compost, I laid down the dirt, with a little help from the manpower on the property.  What can I say, I’m not in the shape I used to be, after hauling 3.5 yards with a shovel and wheel-borrow, I was a little tuckered out and needed to call in reinforcements.

The manpower also framed in our garden gate, restructured our compost bins, and got the worm farm constructed and operational.  

While we are not quite out of the clutches of the late winter freezes, (it was 20 degrees here two nights ago), we’re looking forward to seeing the following lovelies in the sprout for eating, canning, and more: beets, basil, carrots, collards, and rainbow chard!

 

Before & After, Uncategorized, Updates

I’m Back. Really.

img_1369Really.  To say that I’ve been a little quiet may in fact be the biggest understatement since my last blog post and should cover the understatement bases for the remainder of 2019.   I have come back to life.  In fact, Life is kind of what got in the way.  So much has changed since my last post, I don’t even know where to begin. Rather than recapping and rehashing the last year or so, what I will focus on are the things that have recently taken place to get me back on track.

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

I have found my tribe.  I have teamed up with some amazing people to help push me forward, grow, learn… and learn things that I really needed to know to help grow laura lee… like that online store, a better website, etc.  It’ll be a slow process to build, but I’ll get there.  Despite sometimes what I think, I can’t do everything by myself.  This team is the A-Team.

New Home… New Homestead

To wrap up 2018… I moved.  I left my adorable little apartment that I’ve called home for five years and completely uprooted myself to a little home in the country.  I’m surrounded by hundreds of acres of rolling hills, cows, pastures, some trees, and John Deere tractors.  I’m greeted by the wagging tales of dogs every morning and coffee already brewed.  (*note: we have not trained the dogs to make coffee yet) I will start prepping my garden beds this week so that I can start growing my own produce for my canned goods!

More Updates:

  • I have not forgotten about Kickstarter Incentives. I have learned that I signed myself up for too complicated of incentives, which is taking me much longer to fill. My sincerest apologies… thank you for your patience.
  • I’m still working on the cookbook.  I will post a teaser soon.
  • I now live on the same property as my furniture shop, you can expect to see more updates about that once I finish unpacking boxes.
  • I’ve fallen in love, despite my greatest attempt not to.
  • I am working on a new line of embroidery goods.
  • There are workshops/classes being planned.
  • Keep your eyes peeled for a made by laura lee Youtube channel coming soon.

If any of ya’ll are still reading my humble little blog… thank you.  It’s good to be back.  I appreciate you.

Before & After, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Chair SALE


Chair Sale. That’s right, I said SALE. I’ve never had to have a studio sale but my workspace is flooded with one off chairs. These babies have yet to be refinished. I will finish them to your liking. You can buy one or two or all six. (One chair, Chair 6, is already refinished.)
I’m desperate to make space for some bigger pieces that are needing to be refinished but I can’t do it with these lovelies taking up valuable space.
I will be selling these babies for $50 a piece.
Contact me ASAP to let me know what chair you’d like and how you’d like it. lauralee@madebylauralee.com

Before & After, furniture, Uncategorized

Ready, Set…. Desk!

What a month!  From mid-June to today, I have had the most amount of custom work I have ever had!  I love it.  Nothing makes me happier.  I hope the custom orders just keep on coming. So tell all your friends!  (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

That being said, I wanted to share with you a couple of the pieces of furniture that I have just wrapped up.  These pieces consisted of a desk and chair to match.

I was gifted this great little desk from someones garage and the chair was a curb side find.  I stripped them of their finish, sanded, sanded, and applied a white paint with my favorite walnut stain over it to give it that aged look.  It’s the perfect finish for the farmhouse that they will be calling home!

Not only are the desk and chair creating a fabulous new office space but the bookshelf from my previous post (Furniture for the Fight: May)  also made it’s way into the mix.  Check it out!

If you are in the Austin area and are interested in having a piece of furniture that you already own refinished, please feel free to message me at lauralee@madebylauralee.com

Before & After, furniture

Furniture for the Fight: May

Okay! I am, admittedly, a little behind on my blogging.  The hustle continues though: crafting, creating, custom orders, playing music, Kickstarter stuff, etc.  I have not given up on my Furniture for the Fight project!  I may have fallen a little behind, but this project is so important to me.  I had the month of May carved out in honor of Immigrant Asian American Month and a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.

A little back story…

I found this handmade bookshelf at the side of the road.  It had a lot of texture and personality.  It was solid, for sure.  I pulled over, put her in the back of the truck, and brought her straight to the studio.

After stripping off the drab brown paint, I got her a good sanding.  I applied a creamy white paint with my go to walnut stain.  The grooves in the wood held the stain nicely to accentuate the unique texture of the wood.  My favorite part of this piece is the vibrant Japanese paper applied to the back of the shelves. The red and the gold really give this simple bookshelf a lot of personality.

If interested, go ahead and contact me.  Again, a percentage of the proceeds will go to National Immigration Forum.  Email me if you are interested (lauralee@madebylauralee.com)