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, 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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custom, furniture

Home Decor & the New Year

Happy New Year! 

I sincerely hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday and rang in the New Year surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones.  I, myself, had a very quiet holiday and spent it with friends and their family. It was filled with cooking, of course, and a little bit more lazy time than I typically allow myself.  2020 is here though and chomping at the bit so it’s back to “work”.  

Besides cooking up a storm and experimenting with new recipes, I’ve been getting a little more time in my shop these past few weeks. While the cooler weather doesn’t necessarily agree with my fingers, some of the pieces that I’ve been completing have got me, let’s say, starry-eyed. 

Request for a Galaxy Desk

One of my favorite things about doing custom work is the challenge. It gets my brain going in a different way. When this client approached me about a desk, I was over the moon. She set her parameters: purple and if you can make it galaxy-themed that would be great.  Admittedly, a galaxy themed desk wasn’t something I had done before but with a little inventiveness, I think this Facebook Marketplace find that was scuffed up, drab brown, and some minor structural damage is now sturdy, smooth, and a touch over the top.  A desk this glam needed a chair to match so I grabbed one from my overstock of chairs and threw some paint and velvet on it… BIG BANG! 

 

Midnight Blue Chair

As I previously mentioned, I have an overstock of chairs in the shop.  It’s one of those items that people gift to me to refinish and flip. This particular chair I decided to refinish and give back to the owner this holiday season. Knowing their favorite color was blue made it pretty easy.  These chairs are American-made and hard to come by. Oddly enough, it’s the second one to come through my shop.  While this one had some chew marks on the legs from a puppy, I chose to sand it down and keep the blemishes as I thought it added character and it’s something for the owner to chuckle at. After, I painted it a deep blue, applied a walnut stain to the exposed wood, and finished it with wax. 

If you’re in the Austin area and have a piece of furniture in need of some TLC, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help.

Brand, custom, Embroidery, Food, Updates

I’m Full & Ready for Tomorrow

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ll tell you what… Mine was one for the books. My jeans currently don’t fit, my cheeks hurt from laughing, and I couldn’t be more proud of the feast that I prepared. If you didn’t see what was on the menu, you can check out the list from a week ago, here.  I even tried my hand at my first cherry pie ever.  It wasn’t the prettiest, but it was definitely delicious.

Of course, I’ve already begun nibbling on leftovers with a turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce taco. There have already been mumblings of requests for more pecan pie to be made, which I will gladly oblige after writing this post.

Now that the food coma is starting to wear off, I’m getting excited about my online shop being live.  Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday and I’m feeling pretty official now that I have a humble little online store.  So, if you have been wanting to support local shops, artists, makers, and businesses, now is the time! Take a peek and get your orders in.  There is a page for embroidery, gift sets, and the cookbook.

Brand, custom, Embroidery, Food

Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness matters.  To be mindful, according to Merriam-Webster is to bear in mind or inclined to be aware, but how often are we really mindful?  More often than not I know I grind through my to do list one item at a time, responding to texts with rapid fire speed, and inhale meals without tasting it because I’m too busy to sit and enjoy it.  The only thing I mind is completing everything I set out to do, very rarely do I feel as if I am aware on a deeper level. That being said, when I got contacted for a recent commission the name definitely inspired me to get back to just maybe being a little more mindful.

Mindful Bowl
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A couple years ago, I worked at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts here inAustin.  I had no idea how many wonderful people I would meet working there.  I have stayed connected with many of the students and I can’t tell you how inspiring it is to watch their stories and culinary adventures unfold.   One student I stay in touch with, Lana, has recently started her own business.  As someone that has taken the plunge to running her own business, it’s fair to say, I have a little bit of a soft spot for other like minded lady entrepreneurs.

Lana has recently launched the Mindful Bowl project.  The Mindful Bowl is a buddha bowl inspired meal prep service.  Perfect for folks that are on the go who aren’t exactly mindful about what they’re putting into their bodies all the time…. Hmmm, like me?

Lana reached out to me for a custom towel with her branding for her start up.  I was more than happy to team up and provide a little prop action to spruce up her photos.  Although, with all the natural color from those veggies, I’m not sure how much a towel will offer. (insert winking emoji here).

Please support Lana by liking the Mindful Bowl on Facebook and Instagram (@mindful_bowl)!

custom, Embroidery, Uncategorized

Custom Embroidery? Coming Right Up!

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Every wonder what I’m up to when I’m not posting awesome things on Instagram, writing my blog, sanding in the studio, or at Barton Springs…. This is it.  I have been stitching up a storm on custom embroidery wall art.

I’m so grateful to have all these custom orders coming in. They continue to help me survive as an “old lady” embroidery artist.  It’s great.  My favorite part about custom orders is that they challenge me to think differently and keep working to create the perfect piece for a client.  Ok, the second best thing, is making someone happy.

Take a look at some of the things I’ve been working on.  If you need a custom piece of your own, let me know.  I’d be delighted to get working on one.

Contact me at lauralee@madebylauralee.com