Thursday, July 28, 2011

Confessions of a Repurposing Junkie

I decided on a whim to visit our favorite architectural salvage space this morning for some inspiration and relaxation.  My family finds it strange that I find peace among other people's junk, but I love the feeling that I am stepping into the past. And we can't help but love the uber-cool employees who impart details about the items that make them even more interesting.  Our friend Mike is my first stop when I arrive, and I ask him a most important question, "What's your favorite thing here right now?"  A big smile appears on his face
and he walks me to something spectacular.......

A huge Catholic Confession Booth from the old Sisters of the Providence Hospital on top of Beacon Hill in Seattle.  If you've driven through town before, you can't miss it.  Mike and I shared that neither of us have ever been inside of a confessional before, but something strange happened.......Mike started confessing things to me.  He revealed that he loves working at this place because it feeds his addiction to all things vintage , but he also gets first dibs on the coolest of the cool stuff. His genre is mid-20th Century.  His house looks like the set of "Mad Men". I shared that my favorite cocktail is a Gin Martini, straight-up with 3 olives. He shakes his head "Yes".  We have bonded.

Next on Mike's favorite list is a Cupola. Don't know where it came from, but it is a beautiful piece of architecture that may have served as a decoration, a belfry, a window.  The scoop he gives me on this piece is awesome.......he confesses that the two ornaments on the very top are actually toilet floats painted a copper color. Talk about repurposing!

Mike is passionate about putting landfills out of business, a sentiment that Cheree and I share.

Here are some other things, big and small, that caught my eye today.

Chalkboard rails from the remodel at McDonald Elementary in Wallingford.

Old Stoves.  How did they cook in these things?

                            My favorite I know that's weird. I am comfortable with that.

I'm sure Cheree and I could figure out a way to repurpose this!

This little cutie almost made it into my car.  But I didn't feel like aggravating my husband today. It has such potential, though.  Maybe next time, I can't wait to take the sander to it!

Unfortunately Cheree could not join me today so I couldn't justify visiting the yummy Puerto Rican restaurant without her. Sometimes we wonder if our dumpster diving trips are just a front for eating!
Stay inspired!

Jill and Cheree

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Discovering Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!

To say it has been challenging for Jill and I to get together once a week and dedicate an entire day to With A Twist would be a pathetic understatement!  I mean, its SUMMER!  Our kids are asking us to drive them this way and that way, we both work outside the home doing various things, and heck, come sundown, I'm cuddled up on the couch, ready to read my favorite blogs (see list in the bottom right hand corner of this page).  Can you say, "run-on" sentence?  Sorry!  So, today I woke up with very low expectations of crossing paths with my business partner of two+ years/BFF of fourteen.  Lately, we are like strangers in the night! That doesn't sound right, does it?  Anyway, to my surprise it only took a quick phone call (and a little rearranging of schedules for us both), to free up our day! 

Mission: to purchase our very first bucket of  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.  Destination: The Bella Bungalow (  I've been dying to get my hands on Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint and Wax, but something always comes up.  Not today!  Only about three stores in the entire state of Washington carry it.  And, one of them is only a 30 minute drive from my house!  Lucky me!  If any of you Pacific North-westerners are out there looking for someone who knows their stuff when it comes to painting furniture...Kellyanne from Bella Bungalow is your girl!  Her shop is currently ran out of her home, but she is hoping to be in her retail space sometime in September!  Tell her With A Twist sent you :)

Anyway, here's what our day looked like via the lens...

Getting it on camera...I was like a little kid on Christmas morning!

My dad built our family a gorgeous new home in Bothell, Washington the year I graduated.  These staircase spindles were salvaged from that home in 2000 when the house was badly damaged from a fire that began in the chimney and spread throughout the upper level of the house.  Thank goodness my parents were not injured and made it out safely.  My dad had saved these spindles and has allowed us to create some beautiful candlesticks from them. My parents rebuilt their home and still live there today.  For obvious reasons, I want a pair of these candlesticks in my home ASAP!  I'm guessing we will be making a few more of these for my parents and my sister as well.  Gifts with sentimental value are truly the best!
P.S.  Beth (Jill's sister) yours are in the works too!

Jill begins to work on a spindle we originally painted in a black matte.  Mind you, the entire time I was saying "I love this paint!  This is my new favorite product!  I'm in love!  Don't you just love this?"  Two hours of this would probably drive anyone else crazy, but ...she's use to it!

Spindles galore! 

Two different types of spindles using the Paris Grey chalk paint.  The one on the left was painted directly on top of black matte, the one on the right we painted directly on top of the original finish (shown in the picture that has the spindles bundled together).  The best feature about AS chalk paint is there is no need to sand or prime!  You paint it directly on the surface and only one coat is needed!  We waited for it to dry and then applied the wax (we used AS clear for these spindles).  We continued to rub in the wax until the look we wanted came through.  It will darken up with even the clear wax, almost becomes "softer" looking.   See below...

A little power drill and some screws later...tahdah!  The picture doesn't do it justice, but trust me, we are thrilled with the way it turned out.  If you aren't thinking of whipping one of these up on your own, you may purchase these from our Etsy shop!  Hot off the press!

And lastly, these kids had a great day! For most of the afternoon we had the rare, but more than welcomed-visit from the sun, which made for a nice walk to the local Jamba Juice!

Look for future projects from us using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Wax!  We are hooked!  Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!


Cheree and Jill

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Boldly Repurposing

My husband is a die-hard Trekkie, so when Cheree and I found this beautiful, classy decoupaged Star Trek plaque at a second-hand store he was ambivalent.  He tried to hide his excitement about this treasure, but was soon deflated when he learned we had PLANS for it........yes, big plans!

"I'm a Doctor, not an upcycler", said Dr. McCoy
Even he can't save this patient!

Recycling surgeons to the rescue!  Cheree and I consulted with eachother and developed a new vision for this beauty. Our Goal:   To go where no" upcycler" has gone before.

Beam me up to Paris, Scotty!

Yes, my husband is upset at the "desecration" (his term) of this memorabilia, and even suggested that we had actually lowered the value of this piece of junk. But he's not on the payroll.

Let your mind envision new frontiers and get out there and create!

Have an inventive week!

Jill and Cheree