Category Archives: Crafting

Serpentine Dresser Reveal

The Serpentine dresser was finished quite awhile ago.  I cleaned out my garage (where it lived while I was refinishing it) and was able to park the car in there (which lasted until I pulled out all the Christmas decorations).

Since the Serpentine Dresser has 9 drawers I wanted to utilized the space really well (I’m really geeky like that).  I envisioned that it would be able to house my dainties just like you see at Victoria Secrets.   And now the vision has come to fruition!  No more crammed lingerie.  No more socks tangled with the bathing suites.   Everything has it’s own place.

2 drawers dedicated to brassieres – Victoria Secret style (love)

1 drawer for panties – I have a system of folding them so they all fit neatly in one drawer (geeky)

1 drawer for socks

1 drawer for camisoles

1 drawer for bathing suites

1 drawer for T-shirts

1 drawer for work out gear/yoga pants

Here’s the final image of the dresser in my tiny bedroom.  The dresser works so much better since its around the same height of my bed.   It’s a large piece yet it doesn’t overwhelm the tiny space.  The drawers glide smoothly, everything is accessible and I’m loving, loving, loving it!
 photo SerpentineFinal_zps6d00c2a5.jpg

Enter The Blue Door

Project Number One on the Lake Balboa Bungalow was painting the front door.

The Lake Balboa Bungalow came with a hunter green door and matching wood shingles surrounding the entry way.  The house definitely needs some new stucco and exterior paint – but it was obvious that when they went to sell the home, they gave the shingles and door a brand new coat of ugly green.


It’s dark, heavy, depressing and stiff.

It had to go.

Without a second thought, I knew the front door would be a blue!  A bright, happy, make-your-heart-sing blue!

Picking the blue was serious business.  I first researched blue paints online – narrowing around 50 blues,  ranging from turquoise to aquamarine, down to 10.  At the paint store, I narrowed it down further and selected three colors in sample size.  The doorway and entryway has a deep overhang so the color needed to be a little brighter – it is always going to be in the shade.

When I got home with the three test paints – I could see that one of the colors was just outside the turquoise/aquamarine line – it was more sky blue than I was looking for.  Immediately rejected but reserved for future craft projects.


Peacock or Mediterranean Blue?

The other two were tested, opinions were gathered but it was pretty unanimous which blue made the cut.  The Benjamin Moore Peacock!

The trim around the door was also painted with the dreaded green.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted the trim to match the door (as they had done with the green) or if it should be white.  The trim around the windows is painted white and in general, I prefer white trim.  White frames the colors (like black frames artwork) and allows the colors to stand out.


50 Shingles of Grey

A warm and neutral grey was chosen for the shingles.  It allows the white trim to shine and sets the foundation for the blue door to charm all who enter!



Peony Pink of Perfection

I LOVE pink, so much I even painted a car pink once.  It was a 1969 Firebird – and technically – the color was a raspberry red.  But the color transformed that classic muscle car to a super awesome chicks car.  It said “bad ass” but “pretty”.

The Firebird is gone – but my love of pink sure isn’t.  Craig Olsen transformed my thrift store couch into a prim yet punky pink settee.  They were inspired by my favorite piece of artwork – Rites.  It’s by an artist named Guillaume Azoulay.  I admired this guy’s work while I was still in college.  I’d never seen someone who could say so much with a twist of simple line.

I always wanted to bring some of the pink that’s in the Rite’s onto my walls.  I didn’t dare at the apartment, knowing I’d have to paint over it someday.  The dining room in the Lake Balboa Bungalow was the perfect spot to go pink.  My paint colors are chosen from trial and error.  I tried to match the vivid tones in the artwork and came away with Benjamin Moore’s China Berry, only to be completely disappointed.  ­­The longer it was on the wall the more I hated it. It was too dark.  Thing 2 said it looked like it belonged in an old ladies house – ouch.

Then I did what I should have done first – cruised the internet for what professional designers are using.  Pink is more popular than you would think.  The top choices were Crushed  Berries, Razzle Dazzle, Spring Azalea and Peony.  As soon as I viewed the paint swatches at the local hardware store – I knew I would love Peony.  But I dutifully tested the samples on the wall.

Peony is everything I wanted it to be.   A strong, bright feminine color – more than Barbie could handle but less subtle than the 80’s.   This color really woke up a space that was almost hiding.  A lot of crafting and sewing happens on my dining room table.  The pink walls will be inspiring and comforting.  Next to come are Roman Shades.  I’ll have to make these myself but there are some excellent tutorials out there – my Pinterest Sewing Tutorial board has a great selection of them.


Benjamin Moore Peony Pink

Serpentine Dixie Dresser

I occasionally suffer from furniture envy.  My friend Kat once had a tall serpentine dresser that looked like it had been painted over about 10 times.  It had this cool aged patina that was mottled with different colors showing through the top coat.  The drawers bowed outward so it had a lovely curvy figure.

I admired that dresser of hers.  She sold it long ago (the multiple colors probably messed with her OCD) but I’ve been on the lookout for my own.  I scoured thrift stores, estate sales but never seemed to find the right one.  Came close once – and for $35 bucks in pristine condition –it was a steal.  But it was too long and it never would have fit in the apartment bedroom.


Early into moving into the bungalow I found this one.  I knew it was the right one.  Not too big – not too small.  Just the right height – (slightly higher than my bed foot board)  A pretty curve to the front.  Nothing too crazy on the woodwork.  Perfect.  Except… the finish.  And that can be fixed.

Buying the dresser soon after I moved in had its challenges.  I had just cleared the garage of boxes only to now store this sizable piece in there.  My car would have to wait – the dresser has to live there until I can finish sanding it and painting it.  It’s also been hot as hell this summer.  106 in the shade…   The only time I’ve had to work on this piece is early weekend mornings.

Here it’s sanded– the bare wood almost ready to accept a first coat of white primer.
The dresser came missing one pull – it will need a replacement or maybe find new ones.  One of the bigger drawers was coming apart – easily fixed with a little wood glue.

But painting process has been painstaking slow.  Essentially, I’ve been painting one thin layer on a Saturday morning, one thin layer on Sunday, and using a fine sand paper grit in between.   I started with thin coats of Kilz primer as I like the way it coats and hides the areas that resisted sanding.

I love white furniture but felt this piece needed a little something (not “bling” not “pop” please stop using those words, they are over used, tired and need break).  Just a little hint of color and sparkle.  I’ve been using a Benjamin Moore pearlescent glaze called simplicity (pink), applying one coat at a time.  Frustrated with the heat and the lack of progress I brought the drawers inside.  They needed to be cleaned from the original sanding and dirt anyway.  I discovered that someone had used this dresser or arts and crafts or sewing storage.  I loved that there were sewing pins stuck in the cracks and flecks of crayon and paint.  A generous coat of wood wax was applied to the sides of the drawers –  protecting the unpainted part of the drawer and giving it a nice, buttery finish.  Lastly – I’ve been spraying thin coats of clear lacquer to protect it and give it a super shiny finish.  It’s almost done!