Sunday, July 29, 2012

Big Bertha the Basket Tray

First, Riverfront Antique Mall is moving next door to the "big" side.  (It used to be a K-Mart.)  I will be moving the three of my booths over to the two booths I had previously when we were on the 'big" side.  (The "small" side was an Old America Store once - like a Hobby Lobby.)  Last year in January and February, we moved from the "big" side to the "small" side so they could complete some much needed renovations.

Those of you who are dealers know that it can be a vagabond life.  Some travel from one antique show to another.  Others like me are moved from one mall to another.  I started this full-time in 1998.  I have been in four different malls.  In the one I am in now, I have been in several different spaces.  I am keeping my same booth number which means I will not have to re-tag anything - just take down my old doors and pack up my items and hauled it about 50 yards down the sidewalk.  Most of the dealers are extremely happy because the spaces are larger with wider aisles.  I can't wait to start anew!  And Chucks is so delighted that for the fifth time he will get to unscrew my six heavy doors to move and then screw them back together. (I use them for dividers.) Oh, also, 12 sheets of pegboard.  All of this to say my blog might suffer a drought in the coming weeks! 

Back to Big Bertha the Basket Tray.  There is probably a fancy name for her, but I don't know it.  You will recognize her from Happy Hunting.  See that post here!  She was infested with baby roaches.  To wreak havoc on those critters, I first douse her with roach spray, put her in a black plastic bag tied tight, and placed the bag in direct sunlight.  I do this with all my iffy pieces and always with pillows and other soft materials.  It will kill even bedbugs. (I don't spray softs directly with insect spray - they might stain.)  

For the next two days she was rigorously hosed down and put in the sun with a wash of white vinegar to kill the smell.  Finally I spritzed her good with a mixture of eucalyptus oil and alcohol - rubbing, not drinking!  Her nasty body odor and the vermin were vanquished!

Two coats of Rust-Oleum Ivory Silk Satin - all over front and back.

Just how big is Big Bertha?  A whopping three feet long, two feet wide, and four inches deep.  The bottom is wood.  The basket part is tightly woven rattan. She weighs about ten pounds!

Okay, okay - I went to Hobby Lobby and bought not one, but four new stencils.  The one for this project is by The Crafter's Workshop and is called Harlequin.  I was looking for this pattern and liked this one because it was cut to resemble a distressed faded look.

I decided to use it down the center of the tray. One full sheet in the middle with two partials overlapping on either end.

First line it up and tape it down.

First coat Folk Art raw sienna.   You can see the distressed-looking pattern.

Move the stencil up about an eighth of an inch and pounce on Folk Art Sea Mist.

Move the stencil up and very lightly pounce with a bright white for highlights.

Yes, I had to wash the stencil and dry it each time I changed colors.

I wasn't satisfied - it needed something more.

I retaped the stencil to fill in the design blanks.  Basically I put the solid part of the stencil on top of the blue.

First, raw sienna

Second, sea shell pink

Third, highlight with bright white

(I have at this point stenciled this thing SIX TIMES!!!)

Was I satisfied?  Not quite.  It needed something else.  Just a little decoration.  

It needed The Graphics Fairy!!!!

I found a pretty pink rose on a blue background that matched perfectly.  I Mod Podged it on and let cure before adding a top coat.


Next I took a fine grit sandpaper and distressed both the rose image and the background.  You will notice that I really took it down.  I like a lot of distressing.

Next a glaze of raw sienna - I wanted Big Bertha to really show off her age!

Then three coats of a satin varnish.

Here she is in all her new-old loveliness.  She turned out much prettier than I thought she would.  I now wish I had given her a better name than Big Bertha!  Well, while I am watching the Olympics tonight I will print some lovely torn muslin ribbons to fill her up!  I will wait to take her to the shop after I have moved!

So if you are in the neighborhood and have a strong back and a dolly, come on by to help drag my junk, er, treasures over to the "big" side.  

A tribute to Sherman:  "We're moving on up to the Eastside to that..."

See y'all!

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  1. Deluxe the sky-high-high...!!
    Your basket is beautiful. I cna't believe what you did to her to make her romantically pretty...the rose graphic adds a lot of charm. I hope you find success as you move booths spaces!

  2. Hi Donna: What a beautiful basket tray! And it sounds like your new location will be lovely as well. Take care, and have a wonderful week--thank you for stopping by my blog today!

  3. great tutorial. Love the basket. What a change. Good luck with your move. Where is your shop located?

  4. Holy moly that is one very LARGE tray. Love what you did with it. Looks like it was worth all of the effort you had to put into it. Thanks for sharing at Etcetorize this week!

  5. The original tray looked great. I can see why you fell in love with it, but you went through a lot (great tutorial) to get it to the beautiful end results. Not sure I would have left that in the car though with the baby r.....s. Maybe it would help to keep plastic bags on hand. Can't pass up the bargains to reap the rewards. Simply beautiful!!!

  6. Big Bertha is looking really pretty. Thanks so much for the tutorial! The rose graphic really does add a lot of charm! So very pretty! So glad you shared your creative inspiration with Sunday’s Best – your creativity helped make the party a success!

  7. ficou linda, você é muito criativa, parabéns pela postagem!

  8. Big Bertha is lovely, Donna! I love the way you distressed the image!

  9. Yes, poor thing named Bertha--she is too lovely! You did a fantastic job with that stencil! Thanks for the tutorial! Thank you for linking this up to Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  10. WOW What a transformation! It looks great, though I must admit, the first roach I saw on it would have stayed on it, I would not have bought it. Bravo for seeing it's potential :0

  11. What a story and it turned out quite nice. Some true grit and determination?

    Enjoyed the tale of the move and movin' on up as well. Take it easy on the move and hope it goes well!

    Happy Pink Saturday!

  12. PS How 'bout "Good Golly Miss Molly" for a name for the tray? ;)

  13. A real beauty! Glad to be here tonight. You are a creative genius with a beautiful determination for beauty beneath the surface! Enjoy!

  14. How lovely!

    My PINK, your comment is always highly appreciated! Have a great weekend.

  15. Donna this is an amazing piece. LOVE the painted details you creating inside WOW!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  16. It's party time over at Debt Free Mommy Blog! Please come by and link up your spaces with Making Space Mondays link party #10. I hope to see you there at! -Tabitha

  17. An apt name for a big gal Donna. She looks fabulous now!!
    Thanks for linking up at Shabbilicious Friday.


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