Counting the Days!

My first flea market day at the Somerville Flea is two weeks away!  I can’t wait!  My apartment is bursting with flips…mostly finished but several pieces waiting their turn.  I have no room to work on them!   My “real” job has been keeping me VERY busy the last few months so I’m really glad I was able to get ahead and have so many pieces ready to go.   So here are a few of the latest!

Someone sent me this suggestion/idea last year.  It took me a while to finally find a suitable table, but I did!  It’s a great place for playing with LEGO’S and for storing them!  Easy -peasy clean up!! Just toss them all in the basket.

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The next before and after is a great little table…in my humble opinion.

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okay, so I don’t know what that weird black squiggle is on the AFTER photo, but I assure you, it’s not there in person!

I really wish I could find the before picture of this table.  It was nothing exceptional, nor was it in horrific condition.  It was just a plain piece of brown furniture.  Now it has some personality!


Speaking of brown furniture.  I have a friend Ron, who I met when he taught me how to re-cane chairs.  He HATES painted furniture!!  I get it.  I have a degree in the history of decorative arts, and although furniture was not my interest or focus of study (ironic, I know) I DO have a great respect for the natural beauty of a piece of wood. I love the beauty of the grain and the finish of unpainted furniture.  I know that in the antiques and auction world a piece of furniture in it’s natural state is always much more valuable than a piece that’s been altered in ANY way.  But I’m not working on museum pieces.  I wouldn’t consider painting a piece that I have if the wood is good and is still beautiful.  If I can clean it up, maybe restain I’m happy to do so.  But the fact is the pieces I work on are the ugly, beat-up, discarded, mess of a remnant of a once nice piece.  So I can leave it on the side of the road or in a thrift shop, ugly and unloved, and probably headed to the dump, or I revive it and make it wanted and desired again.  The fact is, these days most people don’t go for what we call “Brown Furniture.”  So I paint.  Or decoupage.  Or both.


Tables and chairs and things…oh my!

My first flea market date is supposed to be mid June, so I’ve been busy flipping.  My job keeps me very busy beginning in May so I’ve been trying to get ahead of things.  I have more time and energy to flip now than I will later, so…

his is my dining room today…well what used to be my dining room. Everything except two chairs in the foreground is flipped and ready to go. You can’t even see the right side where there’s more!  The funny thing is I have two out of town trips coming up, and my suit case and carry on bags are in the far left corner.  OOPS!!

It occurred to me the other day as I was shopping for more items that I need to slow down; my first date is still two months out!!  So I guess I need to slow down since I have no more room to work or store pieces.  My work space is pretty full too. It’s actually all good because my work schedule is starting to pick up and will steam roll from here on out, so all the hard work the last couple of months and getting ahead was a good idea!  It’s just  hunting for new things is addictive!!  But I have no more room, so the hunt must stop for a bit.

In the meantime meet some of my newest and most favorite flips!


I’ve been looking for a dresser that I could try out an idea on.  I have to admit, it’s not an original idea but I saw it somewhere else and loved it and couldn’t way to do it.

What do you think?  I LOVE it!!  It’s one of those pieces I’m tempted to keep, but if you’ve ever seen my apartment, you know I can’t.  Unless I get rid of something else, sigh.

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This next piece I’m really proud of because I had to stretch my upholstery skills and knowledge.

n ugly chair, but with good bones and was in good shape.  It just needed a make over.  However, it took a lot of work and thought.  I wasn’t worried about the seat, it’s like every other chair seat I’ve done, but the back was a different story. I’d never done a back before, so I had to take it apart carefully and figure out how it was done.  The curves added another tricky element!


Naked chair!!

I figured it out and I am so proud of it!

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t’s beautiful if I do say so myself!  I did have one little issue concerning staples… but I think I resolved it, or at least covered it up so it’s not a problem unless someone looks REALLY hard.

And finally a nice triple mirror.

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More to come!


A couple of months ago, I had a dream…yes I know for all of my musical theatre friends that’s a song cue!  But in this case I did have a dream and it was about me adding pillows to my inventory for flips by phipps.  Last year I started trying to add a few things to my flea market spot that weren’t furniture–smaller things– like clocks made out of records, lanterns made out of wine bottles, so why not pillows?  And the fun thing is you flip them…

One one side it says…

pillow1And on the other side it says…






Get it??  These are just the prototypes.  My sewing skills aren’t great but I think once I get the hang of it I can make them and make them look nice.  There is also quite a bit of hand finishing.  The real issue is the letters are iron on, and I can get a packet with all the letters I need except one.  In the packets there are two of each letter except for “F” how annoying!!!!  And the packets aren’t cheap.  So I figure I’ll make a couple more pillows and see how they do at the market this season.  If they’re a hit, I’ll look into having the wording silk screened.

What do you think?  Suggestions??

A Tale of Two Tables

I mentioned in the last post that one poor little table was having an identity crisis because it was supposed to be one thing, but then I changed my mind.

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I loved the curved legs and thought it would be perfect for a top that Gus gave me.  But as I progressed, I decided proportionally it wasn’t ideal.

Here’s the top:
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What a mess!!  This Moorish looking table top has silver filigree apron that is beautiful and so delicate.  I’m pretty sure at one point in time there were some sort of plaques or inserts in the oval openings.  I thought about trying to put something back in, but decided to let it be. It keeps it looking lighter. As you can see the metal was rusty and corroded. I attempted to polish it up, but after a while, I realized it was an uphill battle.  I was going to break down and just spray paint it silver. Done.

The top was another problem.

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It was really just a big piece of 1 inch thick particle board with lots of missing chunks and chips all over the top along with what looked like a little bit of water damage.  All that gray you see around the edge is wood fill, lots of wood fill!  Oh, and don’t miss the two large holes in the center.  They were filled too. Obviously something thick and heavy probably topped it originally, but what was I going to do with it?

I hoped with all the wood fill I could get a relatively smooth surface and not have to put anything else on top.  It wouldn’t be perfectly smooth, but smooth enough.

I found another small table that was a little bigger and studier for this top and voila!!


I love my Moorish table!

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Lots of paint on the table, more sanding, and lots of polyeurothane (no I can’t remember how to spell it) to help smooth it out and give it a glossy top.

It was a LOT of work, but some lucky person is going to have this one of a kind piece!  Will it be you???

These Can Be Yours if The Price is Right!

The snow if finally melting and spring is in the air even if is 23 degrees outside!!  I guess I’ll be working on furniture INSIDE for a while!!   I’ve been busy.   I’m trying to get as much finished now while I have a little time before my job starts to take over my time and energy.

Here are the latest pieces I’ve finished.

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I’m the first to admit that the photo doesn’t due justice to this pair of tables.  The color looks wonky, and they’re much cuter in “person.”   The orange isn’t as sherbert looking when you see them its more of a peach.  You can put them side by side or stack them; they’re great for small spaces as most of my pieces are.


The next piece is another from the “Sousa Collection” as I’m now calling pieces given to me by my friends Gus and Ann.  It’s a great table, but was just sort of …blah.  Inspired by the shell carving, I tried to give it a little “beachy” feel to it.  The top actually looked pretty good so I left it as it was.

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Moving onto upholstery:  Okay so you may remember that I took an upholstery class a couple of years ago.  I learned how to redo an ottoman.  Not hard, but frankly, most of the steps I’ve forgotten.  But I found this horrendous ottoman in a thrift shop and thought I might be able to manage re-doing this one.  I did!

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I told myself when the day came that I could move some things around in my work room and get to my mom’s old sewing machine I was going to TRY and start doing more upholstery.  Well, the time came and I was able to open it up.  I’ll skip the long story, but let’s just say I decided not to try and use it.  Instead I went out and bought myself a new sewing machine.  I figured why not, it’s never a bad thing to have and it will allow me to try and do more things.  So now here’s my very first attempt at sewing to do some upholstery work…oh and keep in mind, I haven’t used a sewing machine in about 35 years!!  So my skills are pretty bad and the results aren’t great.  But…

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I found these God-awful stools on the left several years ago in an antique mall long before I ever thought about flipping furniture.  I just thought they’d be good things to have.  They’ve been waiting for several years to have a make over and now that I had sewing machine, their time had come.  What a difference!  I think it’s really weird that the proportions even look different.  I didn’t replace the cushions, just recovered.  Over all I like them, but up close my novice sewing skills are obvious.  I just hope someone will still appreciate and want them.   A lot of work went into these little stools, much to my surprise!

One last piece for this post is this little table.  Poor thing was suffering and identity crisis, it couldn’t tell me what it wanted to be.  That was partly my fault.  It was slated to be the base for another table top I was working on, but I decided it’s just little too small for what I had planned.  So it got put aside for another.  It just sat there for a week not being able to tell me what color it wanted to be, or if it wanted to be painted, or decoupaged. Finally we came to an agreement, he got a little bit of both.

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I have more to show you but I’ll leave you for now.  The next post…maybe later today will show you that table top this little table was supposed to go with.  I think the final result is pretty nice.  Stay tuned!

The Snow Has Kept Me Productive!

Here are three new pieces!  All adorable, in my humble opinion!

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This sad looking little piece needed a lot of love!  The top was unattached, but no more!  It needed a lot sanding and love but now it just needs a great home!

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I’ve had this piece for a while and have been stumped on what to do with it.  It’s a storage unit but for what…that’s up to you!  Blankets?  Shoes?  Fire wood?  Toys? ANYTHING!

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I didn’t touch the inside, so it’s still all brown wood.  Yes, the snow did provide some inspiration!

The sad little table below was found on the side of the road in Ipswich.  The bottom part of the legs look like they had been chewed on by some animal.

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I ended up cutting off the bottom of all the legs and added new ones.  It’s a low-ish table, but very usable!

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New legs!!  They aren’t PERFECT, but they still look cute!!

What do you do when you have 6 feet of snow in three weeks?

You flip!!

Yes, I’m back!  As you know I took a little break over the holidays.  It was nice to make a little bit of room in my apartment and to not feel like a hoarder for a bit.  I’ve had some pieces waiting to be flipped and since we’ve had so much snow the last three weeks I figured now was a good time to get some pieces done.  Also, I’m not working at the moment so I had to take advantage of being house bound!!  Here’s what I’ve been working on:

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This ugly little dresser is something I’m very proud of.  Not only did it need cleaning up and painting but pieces had to be replaced.  The backside was rotten from water damage so I made a new back for it.  The bottoms of two of the drawers were splitting, falling apart and were unusable, so I had to replace them too.  Do they look perfect?  No. I’m not a furniture repair person and I don’ t have the equipment, space, or tools for perfection but I was able to pull this one off somehow.  Here’s the final result:

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Pretty cute if I do say so myself!

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This piece was something I found at a thrift shop.  It was already some sort of a flip, the iron object used to make the base for a table with a laminate table top added.  The problem was it was top heavy so you couldn’t really put anything on it.  But it was too cool to pass up; I just decided it needed another piece on the bottom to make it stable.

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This is definitely one of favorite pieces ever!!  I love it!!  I’m hoping a Steampunk fan will love and want this piece.  Or anyone interested in ships…or just cool tables!   I still wasn’t sure what the iron part of it was, but last summer I was at another flea market and I came across a couple of old guys who had a couple of them (minus the added table top).  I asked what it was and they sort of chuckled to each to each other and said “You’re too young to remember.’ Yes, they were condescending old coots.  So I said “Well explain to me, I like to learn.”  They said they were used as hot water heater stands.  Assuming it’s true now I know and I feel like I see them everywhere!

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Another cute little table from my friend Gus.

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This hutch piece was probably once attached to some sort of sideboard or kitchen table.  People are always looking for additional storage space, especially in the small apartments up here in the Boston area, so now it can be hung on the wall.

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And here are a couple of small random pieced that didn’t need much work.  The mirror backing had to be replaced (the support not the silver) so once again I managed to do that with my limitations but now it’s safe and secure.  Then I just put a light coat of red paint over it. I liked that you can see the wood grain so I left it.  The chair just needed to be cleaned up, restained and the seat needed to be recovered.  I wish I had two instead of one.  Oh, and yes, it folds up for easy storage!

So that’s what I’ve been up to.  I’m working on more pieces now that I’m getting back into the swing of things, keep checking back!  Spring is coming….so they say!


Do you need a great little piece of furniture???

Just because my flea market season is over and I’m taking a break from flipping doesn’t mean I don’t have anything for sale!!  Do you have a spot that just needs……something?  Do you have a child that asked Santa for his or her own chair??  Check out the items here!  They’re all for sale and I would love to see my dining room!!  I don’t ship so you’ll need to be local, or willing to come pick it up!

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Before                                                                 After

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A cute child’s chair with various sea creatures on the back and seat.

It was a boring square table, but now it’s not!  And it turns out it’s probably a game table because the top swivels.

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Anyone need a rocking horse?  Kids love it!

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This is a small bamboo and wood table with a pink marble top.

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An okay table with a messed up veneer.

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My friend Rodney once asked me if I’ve ever had any “flip flops!”  The answer is YES!!!!  This is an example, but as my other friend Dave would call these, they’re “double back flips” because I hated how something turned out so I started over again.  This great little chair wasn’t being clear in telling me what it wanted to be!  But now it’s wicked cute in my opinion!

On the left is Mia modeling the fact that the yellow chair matched her eyes.  I was inspired by Jackson Pollock and decided to make a Splatter Chair.  It was too much.  So then I painted it a pretty robin’s egg blue.  Meh.

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Finally it wanted to be periwinkle blue and to have fish on it like the child’s chair.

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Everyone needs a bar cart!  Love this piece. It used to be a TV stand, but I think you need a bar cart more!

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These two tables just needed to be cleaned up!

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There’s more, but I hope you’re like something you see and decide you HAVE to have it!  Let me know.

I Can’t Wait for November!

Why can’t I wait for November?  Because flea market season will be over, Salem will return to “normal”,  my work schedule slows down, and HOPEFULLY I can get my apartment back to something livable!  I hate feeling like a hoarder and with so many projects and messes all over the place!!  I really do have a great apartment, but this is what happens when I’m not home very much and my apartment is my workshop!


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This is/was my dining room!  Underneath all that furniture is a beautiful wood paneled room that was the “selling” point for me when I saw this apartment.  It has a real arts and crafts feel which I love!    Somewhere in there is  a large dining table and six wrought iron chairs with cute upholstery!  I hope to see it again in the fall.  Lots to flip and sell!!


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This is my living room.  Sorry, it’s sort of a blurry photo.  Granted last night when I took the picture it was worse than usual.  I do TRY and keep the living room and bedroom free of flip stuff.  The bedroom is safe, WHEW!!  But last night small projects found their way into the living room.  Hey, it was cooler in there and the clock,  lantern, and cork board projects could be worked on easily in there.  Tonight it is almost back to normal!

No, I wasn’t drinking multiple bottles of wine, they’re lanterns….REALLY!!  🙂

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The workroom.  It used to be my guest room and library.  Ugh.  It will likely remain a mess for a while.

So, welcome to my world and the mini tour of my very full apartment!!  I think maybe this will be fodder for another Before and After post!!  What do you think???



For Sale Now!! But also Sunday.

These are going to the flea market on Sunday!  Of course if you tell me you MUST have one of these pieces before I load them up on the van tomorrow it can be yours!!  I realized that most of my pieces have a feminine feel to them, so I’m trying to make some a little more masculine, or at least neutral! 

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A child’s chair.  Cute!

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A grown up’s chair!  I found this perfectly fine chair by the dumpster of a thrift shop.  It’s not old, and the earlier paint job was pseudo marbling.  I tried to make it less country looking.  I don’t know that I love it, but it’s better than it was!

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I think this is my new favorite flip!  An adorable dressing table in  mint green and black.  VERY GLAM!!

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Mia, my Director of Quality Control inspects.

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Kind of dull to begin with, but much better now.

More to come!