Thursday, March 3, 2011

When Pigs Fly!

The table and chairs are done!

I have a few little quirks with it that if I had all the time, paint, and patience in the world, I would do better...but I've made "more-than-peace" with my paint job and this little set and I are actually bordering on LOVE.

No,... it's not bordering....who am I kidding?
It's love.

What started as a rather  plain and ugly little table and chairs from Ikea (plain because of Ikea; ugly because my kids had dumped, spilled, scratched, drawn and destroyed it in any way that struck their fancy-- their ketchup, play dough and sprinkles fancy that is) has become a little spot of exuberant art in my kitchen.

First I scrubbed the whole thing clean and primed the pieces. Then I painted them in the leftover paint from the kitchen which is CILs deluxe in Antique white.

Then I sat and pondered them for a while. I had so many, many, many, ideas of neat things to do (and maybe those will make it into future furniture projects?)  But this time around, I was inspired by the lovely artwork of Erica J. Vess; particularly her "Up Up and Away" collection.

My kids love hot air balloons. We have this awful My Little Pony Hot Air Balloon that plays a tinny little song everytime you push it, hold it, or look at it the wrong way and both of my kids ADORE playing with it.

But annoying jingles aside, I also think Hot Air Balloons are pretty cool. You will NEVER find me riding one, but they are cool.
They have this adventurous "Round the world in 80 days" vibe and belong to an era of big hats, wagers over cigars and the dawn of photography....
I digress...

Well, I thought up this little pig to fly in his hot air balloon and the more I thought about him the more I liked him. He has a big hat, is probably off on some adventure waged over a cigar and looks forward to having his photo taken upon his glorious return....

His name is Vern (like, as in Jules Vern)

I painted up the illustration for the center of the table while the kids were having a nap and I added some embellishments to the sides of the table and chairs later while they were cranky and wanting juice (my attention to detail diminishes greatly by the end, but we just tucked that bit next to the wall).

Each chair was adorned with a little hot air balloon (alternating blue and red) and the sides of the table mimic the patterns in Vern's Balloon.

The table still needs some varnish and perhaps even a plexiglass or plastic sheet to sit atop the illustration. Even though it is painted in hard-core acrylics (professional grade), I would hate for Vern to be chipped or to have an overturned cup of  apple juice dampen his spirit of  adventure.

I'm happy with the little table, I'm happy with the little chairs, and I was happy to have a project that involved my painting skills ( which are few and far between these days).

A truly successful makeover!

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