Monday, January 28, 2013

From Shabby to Chic

It started out rather miserable looking.  Poor dear!  Wrapped in worn and natty looking fabric which did nothing enhance its rather peculiarly shaped body.  It's feet had seen better days as they were covered in old furniture polish and just general dirt and gunk.  But it was a footstool that spoke to me, even in that condition, as I could see beyond its tired looking exterior.
this is one refinished foot
It was a piece I had bid on in a country auction in Iowa.  I knew it had good bones! It was solid as a rock... no structural tweeking necessary.  And what I discovered when I started pulling off the fabric, was horsehair.  This was a true vintage beauty!  

It was only recently that I decided it was time to bring this gem out of hiding for a make-over.  First up, were the feet.  This is my favorite product to use to get grim and old polish off of wood.
Using triple 000 steel wool, saturated with the antique improver, and some elbow grease, the wood was quickly brought back to life.
Now the carvings and detailing just popped!  With all four feet revived, I knew exactly what fabric I wanted to use to cover it.

Several years ago I went to Round Top (woohooo! another flea market ticked off my bucket list!) where I had purchased a roll of vintage homespun linen.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Entering this particular tent, on a most beastly hot and humid Texas day, I was greeted by roll after roll of vintage homespun linen. Up until this point I had never seen a sight like this before.  It was heavenly!  After much deliberation, I decided that one of those needed to be mine.  Pointing to one of the smaller rolls, I asked the woman, "How much are you asking for it?"  With a bit sadness in her eyes, she looked at me and said, "I really don't know the exact prices.  You see, my husband was the one who did the negotiating and he recently passed away.  I'm just trying to get rid of them."  My heart broke hearing her words... seeing that the light had dimmed from her face. That roll of homespun linen, that I carried under my arm the rest of the day, came with a story I will never forget!

So there you have it!  A memory of an Iowa auction married to the memory of woman I had only met once. Both left indelible impressions!  Without further ado, I give you.......
my sweet footstool!  I love its simplicity.. the full gathered skirt. Perfect for resting my feet on when I sit in this chair and read.  Perfect for resting my feet when I watch tv.

Place a quaint side table next to it and the vignette is complete!


Linking up to Blissful Whites Wednesday  http://www.timewashed.com/



34 comments:

  1. I love the story of the linen.

    A "bucket list" of flea markets - how fun!

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  2. This is beautiful - both the story and the footstool! Thanks for the tip on the Antique Improver. Gorgeous end results, and a great memory to go along with it. Have a wonderful week - Tanya

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  3. The linen story... very touching. Beautiful work on these pieces!

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  4. Wow, it turned out so beautiful!!

    Blessings,
    Amy Jo

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  5. You've created a snug and cozy little corner! The facelift to that little footstool is wonderful, as is the story behind it. I love Round Top and Fredericksburg--my bff lives in Houston and we make jaunts over to the hill country every chance we get together. Happy Monday!

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  6. Beautiful transformation! I want to learn how to work with furniture. Thanks for the tip on the polish remover.

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  7. Want to thank you so much for signing in at my blog,
    and your kind and relating comment !!
    I love the result of your work...the footstool,
    and the story that goes with it, is so special.

    Will soon be visiting again, to see more of your beautiful blog.

    Blessings,
    Wilma, Shabby Royale.

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  8. I'm sorry, I wanted to sign in on your blog too, but I have to wait.....something's wrong with my
    laptop....See you soon (I hope :).

    Wilma.

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  9. question -- when one encounters horsehair, pitch or conserve? (love the linen and the furniture tip)
    Sue

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    Replies
    1. I tried to find your email but no luck. So, I will answer you here. As horsehair is so rare and was such a wonderful filler, I kept it and just added to it with new material. It gave a great base for the new! Thanks so much for dropping by, Sue! Greatly appreciated and I hope to see you again!!

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  10. Kadee that footstool is fabulous!! OMG, the sewing looks perfect!! You are one talented lady!! Makes me want to make one!!
    xo,
    Karen

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  11. I love your Round Top story and what you did to the foot stool.

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  12. Hi Kadee -- thru the magic of google, your email came directly to me -- thank you for the explanation on the horsehair. look forward to your future posts!

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  13. I gave away a similar footstool a few years ago. Who knew it could look so good!!!

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  14. Wow Kadee! You certainly transformed this old beauty into something spectacular!! It looks absolutely charming! I'm like Karen...I want to do one now!! Such a lovely place to sit and watch TV!!

    Thanks so much for linking up to Blissful Whites Wednesday! It's so great to meet you!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs,
    Becky

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  15. Such a beautiful job! I love the deep ruffle!

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  16. Kadee, You have incredible vision and talent to be able to imagine and then complete this transformation. I love the way you write too. I am hurting a bit after reading your loving story of Annie. I too am Mom and constant companion to a 12 year old dog. I will be back to see more of your lovely blog. Linda

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  17. What a gorgeous footstool! You did a wonderful job!!

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  18. Wow, I sure am impressed! It's gorgeous.
    xo
    lynn

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  19. What a transformation - came out gorgeous.
    Hugs,
    Marie

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  20. I love the transformation and the story behind it. Great job!

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  21. wonderful basic piece, sad story, but wonderful how your piece turned out.
    what a sweet corner.

    glad I found you.

    blessings
    barb

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  22. great transformation. your footstool is gorgeous.
    rita

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  23. Oh my gosh, Kadee! What a beautiful job!!! I love the transformation - and the fact that you recognized a good thing beneath that shabbiness! Kudos, girlie!

    xoxo laurie

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  24. What a gorgeous ottoman! You did a beautiful job reviving it and making it chic! I love that it, and the fabric you used, have a history, that makes it even more special. Oh, love your beautiful chair, too!!

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  25. Hi Kadee ~ Thank you for stopping by, I almost hesitated on buying that old wedding cake topper, I have learned to not second guess myself ~ I hope you find something similar to the one you missed out on. Love that Old ottoman, you have a creative eye to see the good bones, love that ~ I never heard of that Antique Improver, where is that from? (or is it a secret?) Have a wonderful week,
    Cheryl

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  26. thanks for the visit today! I love your blog...you have some fun things happening on here! I love junk...the more the merrier! lol You did a great job on the ottoman!

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  27. Hi Kadie, I love the hand spun linen fabric for this piece of furniture, it is excellent quality! and the product you used on the legs to make them so beautiful is amazing! I need you on my team the next time I decide to re-upholster anything! I am now following your blog as Simply Nordic Designs! xo Pam

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  28. What an absolutely beautiful blog! I'm ever so happy your book recommendation left a trail by which I could find it. Am already thinking of ways to make a mini footstool, hmmmm.....

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  29. Ooh, I love your newly restored ottoman and that fabulous homespun linen on top! It looks wonderful. What a touching story about the linen, too. It makes it a bit more precious, I think.
    Thanks so much for visiting my blog recently,
    Susan

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  30. Kadee,
    Here I am, returning your visit. I see you love simplicity, also. I love the textures and designs you combine in your creations. Texture is another favorite thing of mine. I see we are going to get along famously. :) The love for what you do shines in your blog posts and images.

    Blessings,
    Fay

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  31. Oh that is stunning! Well done girlie! In my house, I would have to have a towel over that or else it would be covered in cat fur...... eh gawds, my whole house is covered in towels and blankets lol

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