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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!
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Treasure Hunt

I planned a date with my friend to attend the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea market.  It’s always fun to attend and I just happened to have a list of several things I needed to get there – like two crystal drawer pulls for my entry way desk (it was missing two) and one drawer pull for the serpentine dresser (it came missing 1 out of 8 pulls).


Thing 2 and I have also been looking for the perfect mirror to put over the Grady Hunt desk .  Not even five minutes in, I found an adorable round vintage mirror.   It was a great deal so I went ahead and bought it.  That’s a little hasty but I knew in my heart it was right.  During the rest of our trek around the bowl I never saw another mirror that would have worked as well.


Then we came across a vendor selling vintage knobs and pulls.  I easily found two crystal knobs that matched the ones I had.  They also had a box of brass pulls and while I found several very similar to the Dixie pulls, none were an exact match.  I resigned myself to finding something new.  Finding the exact match might be impossible.

The other cool thing about the Rose Bowl Flea Market is that you get to see some creative uses of vintage treasures and furniture and other odd bits.  There’s also some interesting people there.  Like the character that was selling mismatched vintage jewelry.  My friend and I got waylaid at his booth.  He was hawking his wares like a seasoned Carney – yelling out different prices depending on the person who approached… In the end, he made us a great deal and she and I both found some great pieces.  I think I’ll incorporate mine into a bracelet or necklace…. or maybe even a purse.


I’ve been on the look out for a vintage bottle rack – I’d love to leave it on my counter.   This would be a quirky drying rack since I don’t own a dishwasher.

LOOK at these rusted horse heads – they were solid iron and weathered and just gorgeous!  I think I need one, my carousel horse needs a friend.


How lovely are these lighted pieces from Coppersmith Designs?  They  look simple in design; the lights are set in wood with a metal frame housing.   But when you turn the lights on, the lights reflect inside the frame.  I’m sure you could make one if you’re the slightest bit crafty, but they were so reasonably  priced.  The star might have to live on my back porch.  It would be a fun way to add lighting back there.

Not on my list but definitely fun were these tables made from metal saw blades.  I didn’t particularly like the base they were set on but the blades used as a table top had a great patina and a lot of interest.

Up for consideration were these steel cases with metal drawers.  Each drawer is wide enough to hold  8 ½ x 11 paper.  The kids always need lined paper or printer paper on hand.  Think of all the craft supplies that could go in here!  Their pieces ranged from $200 to $500.  While I love the industrial look – I’m not in love with the bare stripped finish.  Maybe a deep golden brown finish would blend it in a little better?  Or painted a bright color?  Open to your suggestions here.

At the end of the day we stopped by one last vendor and searched through his bins of mismatched pulls.  Unbelievably, my friend’s quick eye found the EXACT match!  That’s why she’s my wing man for Rose Bowl!


Can you tell which one is the original?

I can’t wait to go back!

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!

Wine Box Ribbon Dispenser

Somewhere in early history of Martha Stewart I saw Ribbon Management ideas.  Martha demonstrated how to turn an ordinary shoe box into a ribbon holder, the tips of the ribbon perkily poking out from grommets or slits on the side of the box and the ribbon reels neatly contained inside, hidden from sight.  Martha later went on to sell this product through her sorely missed Martha Stewart Living Catalog but happily now sells new versions at Michaels.

Browse through any home/living magazine or surf the internet and you’ll find lots of other ideas to contain the unruly, tangly mess of ribbon.  One popular idea (another Good Thing by Martha) has been to store ribbon on a dowel, mounted in a closet or the back of a cabinet wall.  This was the method I adopted, installing a long dowel in front of a shelf in a large closet.

But if you’re a true crafter, you’ll know that this isn’t the best solution.  Spools of ribbon defy Newton’s first law of motion which states “An object at rest stays at rest”.  Anyone who has ever stored ribbon this way knows that ribbon has a mind of its own and that the 2nd part of Newton’s law “an object in motion stays in motion” takes over.  That damn ribbon will start spinning itself off the reel.  Then you have the fun and time consuming job of winding it back up and figuring out some way to secure it.  I’ve also seen chicken feeders or rain gutters used to store the ribbon but those storage method depend on the box always being stored vertically.

Tired of fighting the ongoing ribbon rebellion, it was time to upgrade to the newest method of ribbon management.  Basically – a simple box with a dowel across the front to prevent the ribbons from rolling out.

You can easily build a simple wooden box but thanks to Dr. Malibu and his passion for Pinot I already had something fabulous that I could use.   Very awesome wine comes in wine boxes – the better the wine, the better the box.  Dr. Malibu gave me a particularly nice wine box and it had just been sitting around as a junk box for various craft items.   It never really worked well for that application and I always felt it had a higher calling.  Transforming the wine box into a ribbon holder seemed the perfect solution.  And it easily only took 10 minutes to do.