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)

12 Day of Crafting, DIY, furniture, Uncategorized

Blue Christmas, Blue Dresser

IMG_2753Ok, Ok, it’s no secret I’m completely head over heels, and googly eyed over refinishing furniture.  Like most projects they need a home.  A stack of embroidered towels is one thing, but a collection of furniture seems to build up a lot quicker in a one bedroom apartment.

I reached out to my friends to see if anyone was interested in having me refinish a piece for them.   I cast my line and I waited, waited, and finally got a bite, or in this case, a dresser.  I couldn’t be more thrilled!

A couple days later, Melissa dropped off this unfinished pinewood dresser.  She gave me her guidelines of what she was looking for and I ran, ran, ran with it.  I think I was just so excited to finally be able to work with an item that I could put new hardware on! I mean, let’s be real, who hasn’t stood in the home goods section of Anthropologie and ogled the various knobs and handles? I mean, I even have my best friend saved in my phone as “Lindsey Door Knobs” because of our first bonding moment of Anthropologies gorgeous door knobs.

I digress… back to the dresser.  It was fun to work with a completely blank slate. After priming it, I painted this it bright blue with a top a little bit more neutral to be able to tie it into it’s surroundings. The blue was really blue, so I put a nice coat of walnut stain over it to mute the blue and give it some texture.  I lined the drawers with the teal and white patterned paper and screwed in the glass knobs for the final touches.  This piece is so far my favorite that I’ve done!

If you need a piece of furniture refinished, contact me today! lauraleeeimhoff@gmail.com

One more thing, while I have your attention: I will be in another craft fair this coming Saturday at OPA Coffee & Wine from Noon to 4 PM.  Details here.

Before & After

A New Passion: Before & After

IMG_0001 IMG_0006In my past blogs, I have always talked about the women that have inspired me.  This particular post is more of an ode to the creative men that have influenced me .  My father and his father have always had a knack for skilled carpentry.  My Dad can look at the skeleton of a farm house and turn it into something really special.  His father, obviously taught him.  My Grandfather gave me a taste of woodworking at a young age.  I have fond memories of building toys, painting nutcrackers, birdhouses, and wooden signs with him.  I remember sitting up on a stool at his workbench in his basement workshop listening to stories about World War II and how he first met my Grandmother while Bing Crosby was playing in the background. When I came home for Christmas one year, my Papa showed me pictures of these refinished dressers, rocking chairs, and chests that he had picked up at the junk yard.   He would breath life into the old tattered pieces of furniture.  They would glow when he was done with them! I told him over and over again how much I wanted to learn how to do what he did.  A few years later,  my Grandfather died of leukemia.  His passing was very difficult for me as I was closer to him than most.  It is my biggest regret that I lost the opportunity to learn his techniques, not for passing on the trade, but the bonding experience.  I’ve since begged boyfriends, exes, and guy friends to teach me how to do it, but no one has ever really taken the time.  Fatigued with desperation, I finally picked up a book appropriately named Furniture Makeovers by Barb Blair. I have just completed my first furniture makeover.  I found a simple, easy one for a first time: a good ol’ Goodwill stool.  I learned how to strip, prime, paint, and finish.  My Grandfather was a traditionalist when it came to refurbishing wooden pieces, I decided to go a different route.  I know he might not approve of my bold colors, but I know he would definitely be proud of the quality of the work.