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, 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.

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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.

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The Prideful Pair

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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, 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)

Brand, Uncategorized

Out of My Comfort Zone

What have you done to get out of your comfort zone?  Going out on a Friday night (when you much rather be at home in your pjs eating pizza and drinking wine by yourself)?  Making the first move?  Skydiving?

Well, for me…. it’s something pretty crazy: Asking for help.

Sounds easy, right?

Wrong.

This is absolutely soul crushing for me.  I’ve always been able to take on anything: folding laundry, doing dishes, vacuuming for an entire household all at age twelve, doing the jobs of three different positions throughout my career while only getting paid for one, working 60 hours a week with a debilitating illness. Now at thirty years old, I’m getting over it.  I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and I am asking for help.  It is absolutely terrifying.

What’s all the build up?  What am I asking for?  Short answer: your money.  Long answer: I would like your help in helping me grow made by laura lee not just as a blog but as a brand and as a business.  Help me be the next Martha Stewart, minus the felony. Check out the Kickstarter video!  It’s beautiful and I am so proud.  I hope you will be just as proud as me to be apart of it.

HELP MADE BY LAURA LEE GROW!

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furniture, Uncategorized

Furniture for the Fight: April

Furniture for the Fight! Yea!  With every month that passes I am more and more excited about this project.  The entire month of April in this little project has been carved out for Earth Day.  The environment and our planet is so precious.  It’s the only one we’ve got.  So that being said, I have the following transformation below dedicated to Earth Justice.

A little backstory….

I went to the giant garage sale held at the Palmer Event’s Center here in Austin.  It was hosted by a local church and was overwhelmingly large.  It took me thirty minutes alone just to go through the furniture section of the sale.  I spotted this beauty right away.  I flagged down there nearest attendant and settled up.  I felt like she had so much personality that was just being masked by the plain wood finish.  She got loaded up in my truck and got taken to the studio.

I gave her a light sanding and applied a moss green milk paint, distressed the paint, and applied a clear wax finish. My favorite part was replacing the old hardware with the beautiful pink knobs from Anthropologie.

Seriously, I want to keep this piece, which is how I feel more and more as I keep refinishing pieces. Please, my 650 sp. ft. apartment is starting to look more and more like a furniture and home decor store!  Again, a percentage of the proceeds will go to Earth Justice!  Email me if you are interested (lauralee@madebylauralee.com)

furniture

Furniture for the Fight: January

img_5372Wow! We have survived the first month of 2017.  What a whirlwind it’s been!  Remember one of my last posts where I talked about my year long project? Furniture for the Fight? Well, I have completed my first project month’s project.  January was National Mentoring month and a percentage of the proceeds will be going to Big Brother, Big Sister.

About the Piece

This piece is a tri-fold screen.  The trim is painted in primary colors.  One side is painted cream and buffed with a walnut finish to produce an antiqued look.  The other side painted with chalkboard paint so little ones can draw, add, subtract, practice their alphabet on the other side.  (All colored paint is finished with a polyurethane finish for easy cleaning.)

This piece is FOR SALE.  If interested, please contact me directly at lauralee@madebylauralee.com