AWARD

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

'"SHABBY DABBY DO!"

I guess it is a habit with me to always be looking to "improve" something and that usually means moderately destroying it.  I just can't leave well enough alone and that can sometimes be a problem.  I purchased a beautiful pair of "french" style chairs last year at the Seattle Show.  I knew they were 'keepers' and I  had plans at one point to do a 'Shabby French' house as being around Janine was giving me French Fever and  I was wanting to do a shabby project too.  I arrived home and they went into a box, along with a bunch of other stuff that at least I had the good sense to label, because once it is out of sight it is out of my mind.  Yesterday was spent visiting and, as usual, whenever Fats, Janine and I get together, right afterwards I need my 'fix' of making something in miniature.  I had earlier given the 'Arthur' doll'shouse a good sanding and a sealer coat of Gesso and now it is quite pristine and ready for the next step.  But there is a problem:  the American Country is evolving into something else- a Hybrid!  It has taken on a life of its own!  Oh No!!...  I've told you before that this can happen to me and it is happening again.! So this is why the lovely carved wood chair HAD to become.?... yes...!!! SAY IT......!


SHABBY!!!!

Janine, ...Close Your Eyes!  I just had to do it.  I dabbed on white acrylic paint randomly to get some coverage but allowing some of the wood to show though.  I followed that with a thin wash of black and dabbed it off right away.  Before it was completely dry, I DRY brushed on some gold enamel paint but very, very faint.  I chose the same fabric for the chair seat cushion that I used for the bed cover.  The seat is NOT glued down as I am doing a trial run right now.  After the chair was painted and upholstered, I decided to add a picture for this photo shoot.

I chose a black and white picture of a old masters painting and  temporarily  fixed it to the back of an upside down resin frame that I also made to look old and propped it up against the inside of the light box.  Normally, the frame would have the deeper portion on top but I was needing height and also, I am thinking that this 'person' is already pretty daring with the bold choice of bed linen so she would not be hesitant about turning a classical frame on its head and putting in a black and white reproduction.  The more I played with this space the more I liked it and the direction it is going .  I had already butchered the bedside lamps by clipping off appendages on the resin base that made them look like cactus and lacquering them with several coats of poppy red nail polish. I had re-covered the shade from the white silk to the toile to match the cushions, and trimmed them top and bottom with the thinnest detail of red sewing thread as an accent.  Now for the shabby chair...

You know, I may NEVER have to finish the Arthur at all.  I'll just keep adding on the rooms into this box and call it a day!  I LOVE THIS!  I guess you can see that I have decided to go with the red wall paper that everyone likes best, but how about this old chair!!!??  I am so happy with the staging of this room.  I am  STOKED about the combination of ingredients and now I 'll hate taking it apart to use the light box for the next tutorial that is coming up.  At this rate there will be NO surprises by the time the actual room is transfered to the doll's house.  I will try to slow this down from here on but I think this 'Shabby American Country', is looking pretty darn chic!  Yup.
Au revoir!
elizabeth

19 comments:

  1. Hi Elixabeth, WAUW! What a make-over! The red fabric compliments the wallpaper. Looking forward to your next project. gr. AM

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    2. Thank you Am, I am now looking forward to transforming the Arthur into a Stone Cottage rather than the wood siding finish that I had originally planned. I think that I will no doubt use the egg carton faux stone finish that I have seen on other sites. I am trying to keep the costs down but I find myself always needing something expensive, like a Dremel tool. Who was it that picked up a small table saw and for 50% off and had a 50% off coupon and got the tool for free? Anyway thank you and I'll keep stopping in to see your exsqiusite Southhampton Grey!
      elizabeth

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  3. Dear Elizabeth, I love those chairs! I think you should throw out the idea of the Americana theme and just go where the combination of colors is obviously leading you. Oh, by the way, I don't think my house is shabby French. I think of it as comfortably French.
    Talk soon.Janine

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  4. Yes Janine you are right about your house, it iIS comfortable and classy and anyone would love to live there including myself. Thank you for that correction. And as far as the Arthur is concerned I am still rudderless and drifting trying to find the right direction. Good to go one minute and full of self-doubt the next. Why can't I make up my mind???? Well see.
    elizabeth

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  5. It is a very beautiful transformation, I love your bedroom scene.
    Hugs
    Wyrna

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    1. Hello Wyrna, I don't know what happened to the reply I sent you earlier. It Was there now it is not so if you get this twice, you will know why. Thank you for your comment once again, and thank you for calling it "transformation" as that is how I see it too. I think that is the craft of this hobby; to transform 'things' into other 'things' that are pleasing to us and that make us smile. Sending a hug your way.
      elizabeth

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  6. Hello Elizabeth,
    Awesomeness...pure, unadulterated awesomeness! I am not a shabby french or shabby country person myself, but I absolutely love when it is well done and this looks fantastic! THe finish on the wood looks beautiful...just enough, not too much...and the fabric is lovely.
    I think trying to hard to stick to an original idea is quite boring and not very inspiring. Especially with miniatures. I think letting the minis tell us where they want to go is part of the jopurney and is what makes talented people like you expand their repertoire.
    You go where your heart and the artur's heart lead you.
    Big hug my friend,
    Giac

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    1. Hello Giac, Do you know that as soon as I posted this blog, I began to doubt myself? I loved it then I wasn't so sure anymore. I kept thinking that perhaps it was too much, and then I that I wrecked the chair, then I loved the chair again( and I still love the chair) but then I couldn't figure out how to make it work in the Arthur, because the style of house is very North American.... I stressed myself out about it for the rest of the day and into the night. Now I'm not sure of what to do next, so I am going to stop for a while to let it 'cook' inside my head until my confusion settles down. It doesn't look 'Shabby Chic' only the chair does, and one bit of 'shabby' does not the 'chic' make!(smiles) Perhaps that is why I'm at a roadblock, now.
      Do you go through this too? I believe what you said about it being part of the journey, but why does "Tortured Artist" also come to mind?
      Big hug back, my friend.
      elizabeth

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    2. Hello Elizabeth,
      I think taking a step back is the best idea. Just remember, if you change your mind 100 times, it's your miniature house and it only involves removing a chair! The chair looks like an antique...possibly it can be an hairloom that was handed down and there might not be any need to change the style of your house completely.
      My project was originally a modest house in 1870, then, through research and as I progressed, it became huge and was pushed back to 1905. I try to be "mostly" period appropriate, but If I really like something It's going in one way or the other. It might be wrong, but Dewell manor has a pub bar in the great Room, and there will be Miss Marple novels and a copy of Gone With the Wind in the house. I spent 2 years planning every angle of every room... the house is not finished yet and I'ma llready redoingt the Music Room! One only becomes a tortured artist when you let yourself become one...I say put the chair, then take it out, then put it back...then take it out, then...Make sure you keep having fun!
      Big hug my friend,
      Giac

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  7. Most shop bought minis look too new and shiny, it throws them 'out of scale' somehow.

    A little wear improves many items and lets you make them your own.

    www.minimalarkey.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Hello Kim, Thank you for your comment. "Minimalarkey" such a cute name! I think that you have the right idea Kim as I also believe that a little wear and tear "not too new" is an improvement and customizes them and makes them personal. The trick is knowing when to stop. THAT,... Is something I haven't completely learned yet.
      I see that your work space is as 'creatively cluttered' as mine is. It is always interesting to see other peoples 'THINK TANKS'. Yours looks like things are 'going on' within it and that's what it is all about!
      elizabeth

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  8. I like the shabby chair. The bedroom is wonderful.
    Bye Faby

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    1. Thank you, Fabiola for you comment. I like the shabby chair too. I often get nervous when something looks good to begin with, because I don't know what it will end up as until it is done and there have been MANY failures and I have ruined what was perfectly good before and made it into Garbage! ( I hate it when that happens!!) There are sometimes successes too and I am happy with the results here. Thank you for becoming a follower and I look forward to getting to know you!
      elizabeth

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  9. Well done in this unusal and so cozy bedroom !
    I love this mix of different fabrics patterns.

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  10. Thank you Catherine, I am so glad that you enjoy it. It IS unusual and now I have taken it all apart to make room in the light box for other things. I shall show the room again once it is in the doll's house and all ready to go. I wonder if it will look like the photo above or be entirely different. I am as curious as everyone else! This craft is full of surprise twists and turns; wouldn't you agree?
    elizabeth

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  11. What a brave person you are to "shabby up" the chair - I'd be frightened it all went wrong! It fits in so well with your lovely bedroom and I bet you're glad you did it.

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    1. Yes Irene, After the dust settled and the anxiety dissipated, I was glad that I did it and I still am. The room itself is now history as I needed the light box again but the idea will hopefully translate into the doll's house once I get serious about IT. Lovely to hear from you!
      elizabeth

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