Friday, August 22, 2008


Happy Friday! It is a busy day for me, but I wanted to take a few minutes to show a couple of little things and answer a few questions. We have spirit night tonight at the high school and I am taking a friend to lunch today whose daughter left yesterday for her first year of college. They are very close and my friend is sad. It is hard to imagine that chapter for me, but it is only a few years away! And, of course I need to get some painting/work done.

I've had a few questions about what I do so I thought I'd answer them here for anyone who might be interested. If not, move on to the pictures Ü. I do not make a full-time income selling my junk, but hope to some day. My dream is to own my own shop, but the timing isn't right yet, although getting closer (youngest will be in school full-time this year!), plus the economy isn't great for starting a new business. In the summers I do make enough money to qualify as a full-time job, but that is from Farmer's Market. I only attend about 8 of those. I haven't found another venue that I can sell my things as well as I do at Farmer's Market. Any suggestions, let me know! I do have a booth at an antique place and I do fairly well there--not as well as I would like. I haven't been there a full year yet, so it is still growing. I have been asked by another antique place to go in there as well, so I am considering this option. I have been able to send a lot of my Farmer's Market customers to my antique booth because I always get asked if I have a store somewhere. Hopefully they will continue to frequent it during the year. As an aside, I have also had quite a few designers buy pieces from me this year and take my card for future work so that is another way to build my business.

Time--I don't keep great track of my time. I only hunt for things usually once a week, maybe three hours. I go to garage sales early in the season, before Farmer's starts and sometimes on Saturday mornings. Garage sales are definitely your best deal, well beside free, roadside junk! This year I really am trying to use up more of what I have. The first two years I did this, I bought anything that was wood that I could paint on, and some things were dumb purchases. I need to get rid of some of it! Also, once people know what you are doing, they give you all kinds of stuff. Time spent working on things is varied. I put in some long days if I have been busy and haven't been able to work consistently. I try to work 3-4 hours a day, 5 days a week. This includes several interruptions to make food for children (in the summer), change laundry, etc. I really do try to keep track of how long a piece takes me and charge at least $20/hour for my time.

I am a magazine-a-holic and I watch color trends, plus look at what is out at Target, etc. Living in Montana, we seem to be a bit behind the color/trend curve. Black always seems to sell and red is still very popular too. The blus and browns are just catching on here. Some colors I refuse to do (unless it is a special order) because I just don't want to encourage people to decorate with hunter green and maroon anymore. I free hand paint everything and am inspired by many things--movies (great colors in Mama Mia!), fabric, clothing, scrapbooking supplies, nature, etc. While I am not by any means a great talent, I do believe I have anatural eye for balance and design elements such as placement and color. Hope this answers a few questions, let me know if you have more.

Now on to a few non-earth shattering projects. I made this bench for a someone who needed a little bench for her entry. Nothing new, but it does show off well the black paint, sanded down, and stained over the top. I use either walnut or early American stain.
Here is the nightstand I showed earlier. It is the same design as the black tables, only in the blue and brown. I love this particular blue and I mixed it using several different paints. It has stain over the top, which makes the blue a little more greenish in tint. This was the last of what I mixed, but I saved the container I mixed it in to try and match it at Lowe's.

Hope you have a great day, filled with family, fun, and maybe a little junk!


  1. Oh I love the night stand! very cute love the colors. I would love to something like this full time but who has time:)she says laughing
    have a great weekend

  2. Thanks for all the info! It was very helpful. I was afraid to ask exactly how much you charge ;-) I didn't want to seem I appreciate you sharing. I was thinking $10/hour for myself, but it didn't seem enough. $20 sounds better.

    I bought a several pieces today at a yard sale...all for 9.75! I also found a flea market nearby that's cheap, open year round, and rents by the weekend or long-term. Thanks for all the inspiration, I'll definitely be back!

    I did have one more question...what type of pieces do you find sell the fastest? Side tables, benches, etc.? Thanks!

    Oh, by the way, my 5 year old daughter loves your nightstand. I showed it to her as an example of the kind of thing I'll be making, and her response was "No! Don't sell it, I luff it!" I can see this may be a problem. ;-)

  3. Thanks for sharing!! You always make the neatest things! I wish that I had my own store too. We all have to have dreams! I think that you should sign your pieces. You might open your own store one day and it would be neat for a customer to say that they have one of your originals! Good Luck! Oh yeah,please come by my blog and visit sometimes. I have you listed as one of my favorites.

  4. I love the top of the blue nightstand! Jen r

  5. Wow....I'm glad I found your site. I'm fascinated by your work!

  6. It looks like that took a long time! It looks great with the stenciling.


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate your kind words!