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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My First Commissioned Piece...And Possibly My Last

For quite sometime I've thought it would be great if people brought me their trash and paid me to refinish it for them. I figured at some point I might run out of projects and this would be a great way for me to continue to do what I love. When I refinished all of the pieces of furniture for Laura's nursery, I was sure this could be a future business. Enters my good friend Lil with this amazing teacart she purchased on craigslist for $20.It fits all the requirements for a good piece. Although it had some pretty heavy damage (the previous owner used it as a plant stand- for watering and all) it was solid wood and still very sturdy. I picked up the piece and immediately began the sanding process. The varnish seemed to almost disintegrate when I applied the sandpaper- This might seem like a good thing- but it actually means the entire piece will need to be sanded down to the raw wood. Did you notice the spindles- they are everywhere. I learned a lot of different things while working on this piece but mainly that sponge sanding blocks are great for spindles and I definitely do not want to do this as a future business. I realized my excitement really comes from finding my own pieces and seeing what I can turn them into. I felt super self conscious when doing this piece asking myself questions like- Will I ever finish it? If I do, will she even like it? Can I say this piece spontaneously combusted so I don't have to keep sanding it? Luckily this is a good friend and I continued on...Slow and steady wins the race. I think I had this piece for at least 4 weeks. But here she is all done up in her finery...
We staged these pictures at the owner's house and when I uploaded them I was horrified at the color difference between the leaves and the top of the cart. You can see it even more in this next photo...
I spoke to my friend later in the day and asked if it appeared two different colors, or if it was just a shadow from the camera- Nope- They were definitely two colors. I don't know how or why that happened, but I immediately ran over, picked up the cart and applied two more coats of paint to the top. Sorry, no new photos, but she's a real beauty now, all the same color. Can't tell you how happy I am that this one is done. There's a lot more pressure when you're doing a piece for someone else. I'm thankful for the money that will be added to the Florida fund, but more importantly, I'm thankful that I've realized early on that what I really love is the thrill of the find and the mystery of how much it will sell for. Love, Kelly

Linking Up To:
Anything Related @ All Thingz Related
Table Top Tuesdays @ A Stroll Thru Life
Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
Trash To Treasure Tuesday @ Reinvented
Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junky
Take A Look Tuesday @ Craft Edition
Three Or More Tuesday @ The Gypsy's Corner
Anti-Procrastionation Tuesdays @ New Nostalgia
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Lucky Link Tuesday @ Lucky Star Lane


  1. You're so very right. Doing commissioned work is incredibly stressful. I used to do home decor sewing for a handful of designers several years back. The stress of installation was beyond description, even though I'm well-aware of the quality work I provide. Making and then selling items that you're proud of is where it's at in my humble opinion. =)

  2. I'm am totally spoiled by Goodwill dollar day, too! And the 50% off Saturdays. It has to be something really special for me to buy at GW NOT on a sale day. :)

  3. Oh my! It turned out amazing!!

  4. Definitely cuter! But oh those spindles. I wouldn't want to do those either!!

  5. Hi,
    I am new to your blog and so very inspired by your ebay posts. I have 4 kids( 2 of each gender) and just started thrifting/garage saling here in the Bay area. I can now NEVER go back to regular retail shopping. NEVER

    Anyways, thanks to your posting..I decided to start listing clothes on ebay and see what happens

    PS:My Savers had 99cents days but they took them away! :( and my goodwill doesnt have dollar days..:(

  6. Oh I just love your tea cart. I should have bought one of those a few months back when I saw one. It is so pretty painted and your teaset and servers are perfect to display on it. Love it. Thanks so much for joining the party. Hugs, Marty

  7. Oh, how I love the Tea Cart! It turned out so pretty! I know you had to be sanding the spindles for days! Love the Tea Set on the cart too.! Great job! Have fun in Florida!

  8. You did a great job. That is a lot of pressure. I"m sure your friend loved it though!

  9. Oh I have been looking and looking for a tea cart, which yes, I will probably paint for myself. It IS nerve-wracking to do the work for someone else -- too many variables!

  10. I seriously cannot see the color difference. Either way it looks gorgeous to me!


  11. Oh what a little paint can do! Thanks for joining us for Anything Related! ~Bridgette

  12. So very cool. I would never have the patience for a project like this! Way to get through it!! Thanks for linking up to "AP tuesdays!"