DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Spring Cleaning

With moving and sprucing up a new (older) home, I feel like I’ve actually been Spring Cleaning for months.  But now that Spring, however slowly, is on her way in, the real tidying up can begin.  In my last post, I mentioned the longing to be in my wood shop.  If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been lacking in the refinished furniture department quite a bit.  

My poor neglected shop had really become a storage unit while the dust settled on the home front.  And as soon as it settled, I went ahead and stirred it all up again, with the appropriate respirator, of course. 

This past weekend, I completely reorganized my shop space.  I mean, moved every piece of furniture, took out every paintbrush, went through every container of stain and paint.  I’m grateful for the pot of coffee faithfully by my side to help aid in the process. 

I said farewell to several pieces of furniture that were past salvaging, made a list of new items to join the shop, and have cataloged all the pieces I will be refinishing soon. 

I wanted to share with you what I have in store for these pieces!

Wood Chairs – Pair

These wooden chairs are in great condition.  They’ll be getting a light sanding, painted either red or more of a dark turquoise (still deciding) with a stained finish, and reupholstered with this Frida Kahlo fabric.  

Dresser

This dresser came from Germany in the 1960s.  It does have some water damage on the bottom and I will do what I can to salvage this part of it.  I’m thinking of painting with a dark grey and having these fabulous leather wrapped brass pulls from Anthropologie for the outer handles. 

Dresser

Coffee Table

Someone gifted me this coffee table a while back.  I’ve been so intimidated by the veneer, but I think I have found a solution.  Inspired by the painted benches at Fresa’s Restaurant on South First in Austin.

 

Chairs- Set of 6

I posted these chairs way back when.  They have beautiful yet simple carved designs in the back.  I wanted to stay true to the originals on these.  I’ve begun staining them a little darker than how they came to me.  I’m planning on refinishing the seats in a plush velvet, perhaps turquoise.

 

1916 Vanity 

This little beauty needs a lot of work.  Removing the original paint is a beast of an undertaking, and the mirror frames need a lot of work too.  I have every intent on keeping the original glass, despite its age and blemishes.  I’ve started painting it pink.  That’s not too much, right?

China Cabinet 

I’m not going to lie, I wish I had space for this piece myself.  I am planning on painting it a light grey with a walnut stain and keeping the legs with the original wood and, of course, getting glass in the door.

img_0351.jpg

If any pieces speak to you, let me know. I’d love to find a home for these gems and make more room for neglected pieces to come in for love and a spruce. 

Contact me at lauralee@madebylauralee.com

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)

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!

IMG_5908

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

 

 

furniture, Uncategorized

Star Wars & Serendipity

I was never a fan of Star Wars.  Gasp!  I know, right?  When we were kids, my father used to make my brother and I watch the original trilogy over and over (and over) again.  As a girl that was more interested in ponies than storm troopers, it was difficult to stay engaged.  Fast forward to 2016, I revisited the original Star Wars movies.  I decided there had to be more going for it than Harrison Fords ultimate babe-dom and the intrigue of the Ewoks.  Of course, there was.

It’s funny how a movie made over 30 years ago is still wildly popular as it is today.  The amazing part is that it will most likely carry on for another few decades.  Why do I think that?

This past December I got commissioned to make a stool for a little boys Christmas present.  When given the option of cars, planes, or Star Wars, something in my heart told me to go for Star Wars.  It seemed like a no brainer.  I fashioned what I thought to be a perfect gift.  Only days, after he received it, Carrie Fisher passed away.  By a twist of fait, the most bad ass princess of all times passed away just in time for the next generation to carry out their love of Star Wars.

 

Before & After, furniture, Uncategorized

A Chair that Rocks: David Bowie Inspired

I’m a few days overdue for my weekly post, but I promise I will make it up to you with the best piece of furniture I’ve refinished yet.

The David Bowie Inspired Rocking ChairFullSizeRender

I had acquired this little rocking chair probably 6 months ago.  I was planning on refinishing it in such a way that I would keep it.  Right around the time I was moving into my studio, David Bowie had tragically passed away. I thought that maybe this rocking chair had more purpose than just a plain rocking chair in my apartment. I put my feelers (aka a Facebook post on my personal page) to see who would be interested in a David Bowie inspired rocking chair… much to my surprise, there was plenty of interest.

This rocking chair went through such a transformation!  From removing the upholstery that had stain all over the edges to a lot of the structural repairs (a lot of the joints were loose), to the actual painting and learning how to reupholster a chair…. It is now a Chair that Rocks!

 

DIY, Uncategorized

“Do Your Homework”

FullSizeRender“Do your homework,” words I dreaded back in high school.  They were words I lived by in college.  Almost ten years later, I am dusting them off along with other skills from academia for my next venture. That being said, I am a planner.  Anyone that I work with or am super close to could tell you that.  I plan out my week down to the hour.  It sounds a little OCD or Type A, but it’s the only way I can work 50 hours a week and start my own business.

Yes, I said it…. Start my own business. The cat is out of the bag.

I’ve learned over the last few months that I could make money selling my crafts as a hobby, but I am sure that I can make a living if I put forth more effort.  While I am not planning on turning in my two weeks to my employer, whom I love dearly, anytime soon;  I am in the “doing my homework” phase, planning, and spreading the word.

I never thought that spreading the word would be so valuable, but it is amazing the amount of people that have come out of the woodwork to share their experiences and offer their help.  I’m so grateful for the overwhelming support I’ve received in the last two weeks.  I know it’s only going to get better, plus my creative juices are flowing more than ever and I just want to create.  If only there were a few more hours in the day!

Updates since last week:

  1. madebylauralee.wordpress is now madebylauralee.com
  2. I will be hearing from my lovely graphic designer this week with what I hope to be a logo!
  3. I have started my extensive crafting schedule for the next two months for the Starving Artist Craft Fair in San Antonio.
  4. I have acquired two “new” pieces for refinishing.

I cannot articulate my excitement  for these new projects and what lays ahead.  Thank you for your support!