Preppin' for First Friday

I've been a painting fool the last couple days, getting ready for my first "artist's booth" in Fairbanks' First Fridays event August 5th.

My head is still reeling a bit from this week's turn of events.

I stopped into Expressions in Glass Monday morning to visit with the shop owner, Debbie.  As we visited and I shared with her some ideas about my furniture pieces, she had an idea: Would I be interested in being the featured artist in the next First Friday event? 

First Friday's is an event our town holds the first Friday of every month.  People journey from gallery to gallery around town, feast on hors d'ouvres and wine, and learn more about local artists featured at each gallery.

Was I interested?  Of course!  But at the same time I was considering saying yes, I was frantically counting up the days until I was "on," considering 6 of them would be on a fishing trip down south. 
Five minutes later, I was walking out of the gallery with a completely new vision, suddenly overwhelmed and excited for this new adventure of face-to-face public contact and "presenting" my work.  It's all pretty scary and thrilling at the same time.

This is what my garage looked like by Wednesday:

Thanks to yesterday's garage saling efforts, and my immensely supportive mom, I have since acquired four dressers and a tall bookshelf.  I also found an Ethan Allen dining table and four chairs I'm hoping to transform into something amazing.  I only paid $50 for the set.

I started with this chunky little lady because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with her.

Years ago, and I am not kidding, I tore this picture out of a magazine.  I was captivated with the chippy pink dresser, with the contrast of the brown paint underneath and the big round brown knobs.  I also liked that the color scheme in the room is not really pink at all, which makes the dresser's presence even more powerful.

I had a bit of a disadvantage because my piece began as a whitewash finish, so I knew it wouldn't look as dark underneath, but I thought it'd be fun to try something more colorful than I usually go.  I chose Behr's Hyacinth Pink, and here's how she looks now:

  If I wasn't going to sell her, I maybe would have chipped up the paint a bit more, but she still looks properly distressed and dirty :-)

Next, I tackled two cane-bottom chairs I'd found earlier this summer at a garage sale.  I actually got three of these for $20 and they're still in great condition.  I'm saving one to paint for Amaya's room.

I was seeing a real distressed, turquoise finish on these, so I went with Behr's Embellished Blue, a color I chose based on the beautiful work of Mandie and Colby over at Altar'd Furniture:

(I placed these two chairs on either side of my living room armoire tonight and gasped.  I seriously think I may love them too much to sell.....)

And last for today, but certainly not least, is the little nightstand you see on the front right of this picture:

I ended up stripping and staining the top, painting the body with Sherwin Williams' Creamy, distressed gently, and applied/wiped off Minwax Dark Walnut to age the look a bit.  After adding the wonderful green glass knob I found at Hobby Lobby last month, this piece is a charmer.

Next, I'm gearing up to tackle some big pieces.  I'm feeling quite inspired after browsing through all my inspirational cutouts from magazines over the years.  Let me know if you have an old piece of furniture with good bones and character laying around...I'd love to come take a look :-)

And to end an already inspired story, I didn't even make it home from the shop on Monday before Debbie called to tell me she'd just sold my two of my pieces!

What a glorious end to an already wonderful day :-)