Contact: karenhetzer@gmail.com
Got started on this little chest today....
It got my standard Behr Swiss Coffee paint job with a light distressing. I'm still undecided about whether to do some artwork on the door fronts???
Then I got started on this chest.....
Unfortunately not until I got it back to the shop did I realize the recessed base that this sits on is fiberboard.......and crumbling fiberboard at that. So, out come the power tools :-)
Once I started the demolition .....good news.....only the side pieces were fiber board so I only had to cut two wood pieces.
It puzzles me why a chest can be 90% wood and then 10% fiber board????? Do they really save that much money by putting fiber board sides on a chest when the rest of it is wood??
I'll finish up this repair tomorrow.....I had taken my wood glue home and forgot to bring it back to the shop. I'll get this painted tomorrow as well.
Went out to my local Goodwill today and low and behold.........I found a sofa for the Wanda Mini Makeover! Yeah....I'm so glad....I was so disappointed that the first one we got could not get through the door, but Wanda actually likes this one better, so we're all happy :-)
So here's the official before and after part of her until now unfinished living room. Scroll down to see the complete makeover.
BEFORE...............
AND AFTER..............
And this is how perfectly the first sofa (that didn't fit through her door) looks in its new home.......my home :-)
I'm not really a flowery sort of girl, but I didn't have a sofa........and it works :-)


Happy Holiday everyone :-)
I worked all through yesterday trying to complete the vision my client had for her wall and I'm glad to report that she was very happy with the end result. This is something she wanted to create where people could come and be still and find some comfort. Patti lost her son about a year ago in a motorcycle accident and this is a memorial to him....you'll see a small image of him on the left side.
I also got all three of the dog portraits completed in time.....one I forgot to photograph........
I'm looking forward to getting back in the studio/shop this week, it needs a bit of attention after the events of the past two-three weeks, things all out of place. The shops looking a bit sparse too having donated some pieces to our neighbors apartment and actually having a few things sell prior to that.......so I'm anxious to get back out there and hit the thrift shops, find some new projects to work on.
Meanwhile.............channel surfing looking for the morning news I came across this station playing Christmas music while showing nothing but a burning fireplace.........think I'll pour another cup of coffee and just chill today.......I've always wanted a fireplace lol :-)
The makeover day started out with me feeling sicker than a dog.......not a good start. I was pretty much useless the first couple of hours and then I finally got a second wind and was able to ramp up my participation a bit. I'm still not feeling really well so I'm just going to post some pics of the days progress without much commentary.
First task....clearing the room and trying to clean up Wanda's favorite chairs the best we could.
Next.....carpet removal and scrubbing down the floor.
Washing down the walls....
Let the painting begin.........
everyone joins in and knocks it out.........its still only mid morning folks!
Time for the carpet.........
Time to start putting everything back in the room......we brought in a few new pieces from our shops, but tried to keep as much of Wanda's things in 'her' space as possible......
BEFORE................
AFTER..................
BEFORE........................
AFTER......................notice anything missing??????? Try as we might (for an hour!), we could not get the new overstuffed shabby chic style sofa through the door, even removing part of the door frame!!!!!! One of the girls will go out tomorrow and search for a sofa for her........so disappointing :-(
HOWEVER............WANDA'S REACTION?.........PRICELESS :-)
Thanks everybody !


I'm doing a juggling act between a few different projects this week.
First.....I've got one dog portrait done and another just begun for one client......
with another waiting from a different client. I'm also working on an outdoor mural that's been difficult because of unusually cold weather and my having a cold, but here's its start. Down at the end between the last set of trees will be a lily pond and some spiritual scriptures. Also a memorial to the clients son, there will be a small motorcyclist and some dates incorporated into the scene.......
Its been two weeks since the sudden passing of our 'friend above the shops' Wanda's son and tomorrow we are surprising her with a mini living room makeover while she's at work :-) There will be several of us working on this, myself, the girls next door, the girls upstairs (Wanda's neighbors) and some of our extended family and their friends. This past week I've visited several thrift shops and managed to find her a sofa, a tall buffet for more storage and to house all her family photos that are now scattered about the room on several (un-needed and way outdated) end tables, and we're donating some of our shop pieces to the project as well. The walls will be painted and new carpet put down.....the current carpet (a multi-shade of orange shag) is at least 40 years old no exaggeration, and believe me....it lost its shag a long time ago. Her favorite and very worn wing back recliners will just be covered with sheets or throws......we can't afford to go all out, so we'll have to be creative with some of her things......and we don't want to get rid of all of her things, things that she's comfortable with.........BUT......all that 70's plaid furniture, the broken TV holding the working TV.........it's all outa there!!
We have from about 7:30am to 3:30pm to accomplish this. Here's some before pictures and I can't wait to post the afters!!
Can't wait to get started!
I did start an outdoor mural this past Sunday but since then its been too cold to continue, hopefully tomorrow will be warmer and less windy, I'm anxious to get on with it.
Meanwhile though I'm able to work on the pet portraits that need to be done by Christmas. I'm just about finished with this one.....I see a few tweaks that need to be made.
Yesterday someone stopped by the studio with yet another pet photo for a portrait (oh, and while she was there she bought the little telephone chair I just finished, see below:-).....and it was another Westie, this little cutie Bella......
So her and this other little sweetie will fill up my day today.....
A good day yesterday, I managed to pick up a few pieces at the thrift shop and I was commissioned to do a mural.
This piece I love.....it appears to be whats left of an old hoosier cabinet, lots of missing bits. There are two long narrow slits just under the top that don't show here....for cutting boards or added work space?
It looks as though someone did not quite complete their conversion, but I like that they didn't. I've already scraped off the black paint on the back down to what I believe to be the original pale yellow finish and will leave that intact. I've also removed the green paint on the legs and I've removed and will replace the handles. This would make a great desk, but I rather wish I had a large kitchen to put it in.I was happy to see this original tag still with the piece.....
Also picked up a not so spectacular (yet:-) chest of drawers.........
a small reproduction washstand complete with hideous heart panels on the front doors which were immediately removed....
and this little ugly duckling.......
Oh......and a very cute young persons desk that I gave to the girls next door (they'd been looking for one for a client)
Total spent?...........$35.15
So a few projects to work on and an outdoor mural to do as soon as weather permits.
The projects are on hold for a day or two though because today is pet portrait painting day......Christmas gifts that need to get done!
I think today I'm going to make my final trip to my favorite thrift shop before the holidays. Its a shame that now instead of looking forward to the adventure of finding great bargains, I actually dread it. The constant and conspicuous presence of the dealers and pickers just takes the fun out of it........course, maybe they say the same thing about me.
I'm wondering if this little chair was a piano seat at all, but rather a telephone chair?? The seat lifts up and perhaps held a phone book?
And notice this little table transformed with a bit of paint and some trompe l'oeil (keys).
Went for a quick search for new projects to work on out at the favorite thrift shop yesterday. I pulled into the parking lot and was amazed to see a flock of our wild Florida parrots grazing in the grass, usually all I get is a quick glimpse of two or three as they dart through the air at the speed of sound. I've never seen this many together....or on the ground for that matter.
Didn't find much in the way of projects...a few cute pieces, but already tagged 'sold'. All I picked up was a modern wood floor lamp made in Sweden and a small vintage piano seat. The lamp I just cleaned up and the piano seat is already sanded and primed ready for paint.
Today I go to the Old Key Lime House to paint a newly installed urinal and do some touch ups........do you envy my glamorous life?
Here's a picture of the hutch finally finished and dressed for the holidays.......
A couple of days ago a woman I had just done some work for (remember the 10 chairs?) gave me a few of her unwanted old dining room chairs. They were not in the best shape and I can not believe her ex-husband was duped into believing they were antiques. The chairs were poorly made and riddled with breaks and cracks and signs of previous mends. I gave two of the chairs to the girls next door to play with, one made it to the trash, and one I kept. Again forgot to take a before picture.....I've got to put a BIG sign up in my shop to remind me!..........but here's a piece that I cut off the chair, maybe it'll give you an idea of what it looked like before.
Look closely at the redone chair and you can see a clamp on the arm, it was cracked all the way through. I could see that the other arm had at one time suffered the same fate.
Today I meet with two potential clients about small mural jobs and next I need to get focused on some pet portraits.
Sad times today. Last nights event did not go as exactly planned. As I was putting on the final touches before opening the doors for the evening, our friend and neighbor who lives upstairs of the shops came home from work. She stopped in to visit for a few moments as usual, and then headed upstairs. A moment later she reappeared at my door to say she thought her son was not breathing. I yelled for Jackie next door and flew up the stairs. Wanda (75) has had her son (44) living with her off and on most of his adult life. It was true, Dean had probably passed away sometime yesterday morning shortly after waking.
We are all so grateful that we were all there to help Wanda get through the evening.....she has become a mom to all of us...me, the girls next door and the girls in the other apartments upstairs.
I'm heading back over there this morning. Later.
Its 7:30am, I've just gotten up....I consider that over-sleeping......I've got to get in to the studio and get the scene painted on the bottom of the buffet. She's standing in her assigned space but is lacking her wow factor.
There was a lot to do yesterday getting ready for tonight's city shopping event including painting up this desk I found at the local Salvation Army Thrift Shop ,while on a completely different mission mind you :-) But there it was,
and home it came to undergo its transformation.....
I was also baking cookies until 11pm last night. What a comedy of errors.....I kept reading the wrong recipes while putting the batters together and had to keep adjusting the amount I was going to make......adding two eggs instead of one.....thinking those shortening sticks were packaged as 1/2 cup rather than the 1 cup they really were! Lets just say I won't have to make any more cookies as Christmas draws closer. I must have been really tired!!

Have to show you this.....is it too sweet or what?!
I've got a couple of dog portraits to do and she is one of them....totally adorable! I'll start on these next week.
I also have two small mural jobs to look at this week. One, an outdoor mural that will become part of a small memorial, and the other is to spruce up a dated bathroom with some tropical foliage.

Ok......its back to the studio....still more to do.