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Before and After

I’ve been hating the chair I’ve been using for my bedroom vanity.  It’s too wide, it’s always in the way and it’s too tall. It’s a good chair in the wrong place.

The search was under way for a vintage stool.  I had a really fabulous one but Thing 2 desired it for her room and it fit her bedroom décor perfectly.  Besides, I needed something with a smaller footprint that could almost disappear in my tiny bedroom.  It also needed to be a lower so I can see into my make up mirror.  I felt like I’m hunching over my mirror – something I’m not used to since I top out at 5 foot.

Last Saturday, on my way to get the Prius a badly needed wash I spied an estate sale.  I love a good estate sale.  Especially if it’s a TRUE estate sale – not a “we think our crap is nicer so we’re calling it an estate sale.”  I love to walk in and feel like I’ve stepped into the past.  The furniture, the carpet, the appliances,  Grandma never updated.  These are the types that yield treasures.

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Vintage Vanity Stool

It looked like slim pickings as I walked in.  I chose the path of least resistance – choosing the less crowded back bedroom.  There it was – sitting by itself and ignored by everyone else.  Who would want this drab little stool with its tacky brass and brown combo?  Me!  Me!  Oh, I’ve been waiting for you!

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Drab Brown Stool Seat

The vinyl brown cover was carefully removed and a pattern was made.

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Pattern from the Stool Base

The frame was sanded down and gilded with pretty silver finish.

A small piece of faux white ostrich leather fabric from my stash had been saved just for something like this.

It was sewn into shape and a new button was fashioned with pink fabric just to lighten things up a bit!

It’s sooooooooooo much better now!  The stool takes up less room.  It’s the right height and it feels oh so glamorous!

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Vintage Vanity

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Secrets in the desk drawer

Remember the vintage desk that followed me home?  The one I bought at the Grady Hunt estate sale?   I had all the best intentions in the world to sell it, but then didn’t have the heart.  Now I know why.

The Lake Balboa Bungalow has one small bathroom and with two preening girls in the house – it was mandatory that we each have an area in our boudoirs dedicated to all things pretty.

Thing 2 wanted the new desk –  the pretty, girly Grady Hunt desk.  It seemed fitting for an aspiring actress to acquire a desk that belonged to a famous costume designer.  My old, kidney shaped desk has been with me a long, long time –  it has served me well and it seemed right that I remain  faithful so I placed it in my room.

Moving is hard on everything.  I think I mentioned that I packed everything to withstand the space shuttle launch.  I only lost two cheap glass vases in the move,– thankfully none of my lovely milk glass.  But the movers, as good as they were, left a big, nasty gouge in the Grady Hunt desk, a large scrape in my kidney shaped desk and a gouge in the floor.   I sent them pictures and they sent over their repair guy who was the bomb.  Joseph fixed the gouge in my wood floor – I couldn’t even tell where it was.  I believe he’s capable of restoring historic masterpieces – so fine was his work.
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In order to fix the gouge in the Grady Hunt desk, Joseph had to take it back to his shop to sand it down.  I helped him remove the drawers since he wouldn’t be needing those.  As I removed the last drawer, I could see that there were some papers that had fallen back and got stuck behind.

Expecting just junk, I was stunned to find nothing less than the last will and testament of Grady Hunt and William Jobe, Jr.  The two wills, dated 4 August, 1956 were folded together and cited each other as the executor of their wills.  How lovely.  Two men, whose relationship in 1956 surely would not have been publicly accepted, obviously had formed a deep and meaningful bond.

I wondered about what their lives must have been like.  As a costume designer, Grady might have been suspected to be gay, possibly whispered about in hushed tones or alluded to with a laugh.  While there was probably more tolerance in the Hollywood community than elsewhere, I’m not sure that the two would have been open about their relationship.  Did they attend glamorous Hollywood parties together?

I wondered how these two met.  I searched census data and found the records of the parents William cited in his will.  William was born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma – how did he find his way to Hollywood?

And I wondered about their love.  Grady’s will is marked again at the bottom of the will with a date of February 8th, 1976.  Did their love last over 20 years?  I want to believe this!  I want to believe that these two men lived glamorous, happy and love filled lives.

And the desk, which spoke to me before, tells me this is so.
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Columbia Gorge Inspired Planters

I fell for these modern square shaped and yellow cream colored plant containers as soon as I saw them at a garage sale.  There were twelve available so I had a nice amount to play with.  Mismatched planters and pots look messy so of course I bought every one of them for a total of $20.  They are perfect for succulent plantings or ornamental grasses.

My trip to the Columbia Gorge provided the rest of the inspiration.  The hiking trails along the Columbia Rivers are swathed in vibrant green moss.  The moss covers the ancient basalt walls and trees.  Black river rocks glisten from the crystal clear creeks and streams.  I wanted to recreate that peaceful, lush, oasis at home.  My only challenge is Pepsi – or Bunn Bunn as I call him.

Bunn Bunn has free reign in my back yard – and he’s always curious when I move things around.  I’m sure he feels like you would if you friend came over and rearranged all the furniture in your living room without asking.  Bunn Bunn pretty much eats anything I grow back there.  So I thought I would try planting an ornamental grass which I’m hoping will be Pepsi proof.

Most likely, I’ll have to change my inspiration to another Gorge inspired plant – Lavender.  I know this is bunny proof and I love they way it smells and that it’s drought tolerant.

I planted these with a technique that I got from Inside Urban Green.  I’m not going to recreate what I learned from their website but I’m hoping it works.  I did mine a little differently (no drainage).  For best results check out Inside Urban Green.
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I started by taking cutting down the height of the empty plastic pots that the plants originally came in.  Some were small so I used four of them for one pot, placing them upside down.

Then I filled the container with potting soil and added one plant.
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Next I filled in the edges around the plant with more potting soil and gave it a nice watering.

I tore off pieces of moss and squished it around the plant and the sides of the container.  I added the black round river rocks to hide the gaps  and to add more interest to the planting.

Three finished planters are sitting at my front entrance – far, far away from Bunn Bunn.  One sacrificial planter is bracing itself in the backyard to see if Bunn Bunn is going to eat it or not.
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Vintage Headboard Update – make that 1890’s French Rococo Carved Headboard

Since I will sell the vintage headboard (even though I don’t want to) I decided to do a little research and was stunned to immediately have one pop up that looked really similar to mine!
Thanks goes to the Eclectic Revisited blog where I saw this.  Maureen was an absolute doll and even sent me a posting  where she found it.  While they’re not exactly the same and mine’s probably not an authentic Rococo French Walnut Headboard from the 1890’s, it was nice to have an idea where this headboard gained it’s original inspiration from.

I removed the upholstered panel and painted the outer edges in a glossy white.  The panel was probably an attempt to hide some minor damage to the wood and encouraged me to re-upholster the headboard in a more modern print.  Someone had written the date 1979 on the back of the upholstery panel, which I’m assuming, is also the age of the funky green velvet like fabric used to cover it.
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Of course, I have the PERFECT fabric to cover the panel with but it is exactly 2 inches to short to cover the entire piece.  I decided to go with this chocolate brown remnant that I found at Joanns.  Again, its not my first pick but at some point I need to get this on Craigslist.