Open by appointment at 55 Lake Street, Nashua, NH. Contact me at for more information.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Birch Paper and Home Post

Brookline Street Studio is now Birch Paper and Home.
Start following my new blog,, for more updates on my projects!

I've been VERY negligent in posting this summer, but life gets crazy when the kids are at home!  I'm fortunate to have had chunks of time here and there (yay camp!) to start setting up my new studio and shop.  My biggest dilemma has been how to separate the "work" space from the "shop" space.  And how much of the 500 sq ft should I dedicate to each?

So, this is my starting point.

I built this divider out of old plumbing pipe and a window from the Lake Street Mills in Nashua, where I had my last studio.  My plan is to incorporate birch branches and lighting into this divider...but this is where it stands right now.

This set of drawers may be my favorite project of the year!  It required a lot of scrubbing, sanding,  However, it is a beauty and I would keep it for myself if I had the space!  I love the grey-blue paint, the open sides, the brass hardware, and the gorgeous patina on the refinished top.

Another of my favorite studio finds is this collection of antique shoe lasts.  100+ at last count.  I have them piled into an old industrial metal bin on wheels.  Perfect!

And this old watchmakers cabinet cool!  All metal, still has many watch crystals (in original envelopes) in the drawers!  The pedal at the bottom activates a mechanism on top designed to gently "snap" all of the watch components together without breaking the crystal.  It comes complete with a series of dies for different sizes and shapes of watches.  I even have a mini version of this cabinet in my space downstairs at Mill City.'s still a work in progress, but I expect to be up and running with regular "open" hours by September.  Keep checking in for more news!  Including a couple of shows in September...

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Junk Jackpot Part Two

Yes, indeed.  I had to rent a truck for this haul!  And a second storage unit...  But, hey, when junk calls, I have to answer!

So, I got a call from the gentleman who sold me my last truckload-o-junk.  He was finishing his storage unit clean-out and wondered if I would be interested in taking a look at what he had left.  Hmmm...let me think...yes please!  Here are a few pics of this truckload...

1) I grabbed this great cottage piece for my talented friend and kindred spirit, Kris, of Cricket Acres Studio.  Follow her blog to see how she transforms this piece.  I know it will be gorgeous!

2)  I loved this old work table.  No top, but hey, I can build one!  Great bones, nice and sturdy, and beautiful chippy cream paint.  What's not to love?

3)  This cupboard is a great size and in sturdy condition.  It needs a little patchwork in the back (good thing I save EVERYTHING) and a serious scrub, but it's a great, basic storage piece.  I can see this as a bookcase, pantry, bar....

4)  This little dresser is a beauty!  I love the chippy blue paint (though the pink underneath is making me think it may be a candidate for citri-strip).  It's missing one drawer pull, but I have a matching one in my hardware collection ( everything).  But the next image is what sold me...

Do you see the detail on these drawers?  This type of joinery is called a Knapp joint, or, more commonly, a scallop and dowel joint.  Knapp joints were used for only a short period of time, from 1860 to 1890.  This is a really solid form of joinery.  These drawers are just as square and true as the day they were made.  Craftsmanship.  This is what I love about old furniture.

5)  I didn't get a great pic of this piece.  It is HUGE!  I love the original hardware and moldings.  This piece was clearly an upper cabinet, but it's about 4.5 feet high, so it would make a great floor cupboard, as well.  I'm thinking of constructing a low base...  And the paint is a great grey-brown-beige color.  Perfect!

6)  A cupola!  I love it!  Can't wait to clean it up and bring it in to Mill City Antiques!

7)  LOVE this mantel!  Look at the blue and yellow paint!  It is solid, with simple farmhouse lines.  This piece would make a heat headboard, focal piece, or...well...mantel!

8)  I also love this dresser.  I am thinking of covering the drawers in vintage ledger pages.  Hardware?  Not sure yet...

9)  This old toolbox is a keeper.  It's going to get refinished and live in the new workshop.  I know my boyfriend will love it!

10)  LOTS of cool windows and doors...

11)  Don't you just love the WBCN bumper sticker?  Yeah, this piece needs some work, but I love the lines of Empire dressers.  Plus, the antique glass knobs are awesome!

12)  This old trunk is the perfect size for a coffee table.  Lots of storage, great condition, just needs a little lavender oil to remove the musty smell.

 13)  This is a TALL old cabinet.  It barely fit in the truck.  It needs a new back, but the other door is there and it is otherwise in solid condition.  I'm not inspired yet, though...not sure what the future holds for this piece...something beautiful, though, to be sure.


What great finds!  Thanks so much TM for thinking of me!  I promise to make every one of these pieces stunning!

Keep following to see how I transform these pieces...

And look out for a new business name and look...I am so excited!!!!

Happy hunting,


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Junk Jackpot!

So, I'm moving my studio.  Yup, supposed to be out of the Nashua mill space on May 31.  And what do I go and do on that very day?  Buy this trailer-load of furniture for $50!  I know, right?  Who could turn down that opportunity!

How did I come upon this jackpot?  Well, I was filling my car with treasures from my old studio to bring to my new studio.  Up the elevator, down the elevator, etc.  I couldn't help but notice a pile of cool old stuff that was accumulating on the loading dock next to me.  I finally ran into the young men hauling this stuff and, of course, asked what they planned to do with it.  They said, "it's up for grabs, let us know if you want anything."  Anything?  I want everything!  Fifty bucks later it was mine!

So, what did I find in this jackpot-o-junk?

This blue-grey wood (oak and maple) filing cabinet.  Great condition, just needs a little scrubbing.

A small set of workshop drawers.  The sides are not finished, but I like the industrial look it gives the piece.  The drawers just need a scrub and a light sanding, and the top should be easy to refinish.

Not a great picture, but I love this bookcase.  It clearly once had doors and was probably part of a built-in unit.  I love the blue-green color!  The inside was pretty stained, though, so I already started painting the piece a vintage green that will look great with the original paint showing through when distressed!  Perfect for summer!

I almost passed-up this chippy little shelf, but I know with a good scrubbing and some poly to seal the paint, it will be a treasure!

This old foresman's desk is fun!  I can't wait to clean it up, refinish the wood, and refresh it with a new coat of paint!  Color?  Not sure blue?...

I got two old office chairs.  This is the newer of the two.  I didn't get a pic of the other one.  It is oak, with unique curved arms, a real beauty!  Not much work needed on these!

This piece would make a great kitchen island, buffet, store counter...It is bead board all around.  Pretty good size (2.5 by 4.5 I'm guessing).  Four shelves.  Great old hardware.  Circa 1972 contact paper on the top...yeah, that won't last!  I plan to refinish the top, touch up the paint and add some vintage metal casters.  It will be a beauty!

Finally, I got this old White sewing machine/cabinet.  Why am I so attracted to old sewing machines?  I don't even like to sew!  I know, it is embarrassing to admit it, but I'm not exactly at home with a needle and thread.  My BF had a great idea of turning this into a bar...I'm not sure, yet, but it will become something awesome!

My amazing BF also loaded all of this stuff in his trailer and lugged it out to my new workshop for me. He is the best.  Thanks!!!!  And just wait til you see how the workshop is coming along...!!!

Needless to say, I'm still moving my studio.  Ugh.  Just another few days....I hope...

Happy hunting!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Brimfield Surprise!

Yay!!!  Brimfield!!!  I apologize if this picture is a bit fuzzy.  It was hard to keep the camera still while doing a happy dance!  Great weather, great finds, great company...what more could a person ask for?

Oh, and the surprise...

I was shopping at Mahogany Ridge when I noticed a film crew.  At first I thought it was the local news...but then I realized, it wasn't the news, it was Flea Market Flip!  Needless to say, I introduced myself to Lara Spencer and told her I'd love to be on the show with my kindred spirit, Kris!  I ran into the crew literally everywhere...they even bought one of their projects from my friend, Mike!  I can't wait for the show to air!!!

But back to the real reason for going to stuff!  I got a lot of it!  I told my BF not to bring the trailer, because I was only looking for smalls.  That was a mistake...thank goodness for delivery!

Check out this great vintage folding table!  Counter height, metal brackets, perfectly weathered, folds flat....Happy! It's already at Mill City Antiques!

This is another beauty!  I actually bought two of these sets of drawers, probably originally from an old mercantile.  The drawers are super deep and the top is counter height.  I imagine putting the two together with a zinc top.  The perfect kitchen island!  Still waiting for the second set of drawers to be delivered...this one I snuck into my friend's van.  Thanks, Hetha!!!!

I was buying this set of 8 HUGE (and HEAVY) industrial bins when I first noticed the film crews.  I love the industrial look, the handles, the label holders....everything!  Clean them up and sell them as is? Paint some white?  Paint some barn red?  Ooooh...barn red.  I like that.

I admit I didn't pick this piece up at Brimfield.  I happened across it the next day.  But it looks like it was meant to be with the bins, doesn't it?  It's five pieces:  base, two sets of three drawers, large file drawer, and set of three magazine files.  I might have to keep it...  This piece will be a labor of love, for sure.  It's covered in olive oil.  You don't want to know...

Monday, April 29, 2013


Hit my first yard sale of the season on Saturday!  The home was built in 1843 and it's owners are retired and moving to Europe (lucky...).  They are antique lovers and had great stories behind every item they sold!

The Singer sewing machine belonged to the grandmother of one of the owners.  It's been well cared for and still works!  It has the original leather drive belt and when I hooked it up and stepped on the treadle it purred into action!  

This old garden cart belonged to the owner's German uncle.  The old pet carrier still had "Fluffy"'s collar and license inside:-)  It's in beautiful condition...just needs a good cleaning.

This European market basket was purchased at an antique show in Germany.  I might have to keep it...

And this collection of hobnail glassware was set aside for the antique shop the couple hoped to open someday.  I love the pitcher!  A perfect set for serving lemonade!

Didn't get to the flea market this weekend, but there's always next Sunday...

Happy hunting!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Metal and Wood

I love the combination of rusty old metal and bare wood.  Old crusty white paint makes me happy, too! This week I refinished these three gems for my next (and last!) Barn Loft show.

First, the coffee table.  This is what the top looked like before I removed all the boards and planed them:  rough and dirty.

And THIS is what they looked like!  The metal parts got a good scrubbing with a wire brush, and I finished the boards with a single coat of poly.  I was considering keeping this one, but it sold before I had a chance to make the switch!

And here's what my work table looked like after planing all those boards.

Now that's a fun mess!  (Did I mention how much I love my planer?  And the man who gave it to me?)

Next up, the wood and metal side table.  I picked this piece at the Todd Farm flea market a few weeks ago.  The top was painted red and covered with grease and unidentified stains...yuck.

I scrubbed and scraped and sanded...and scrubbed and sanded again.  And then, voila!  Look at the top now, after a coat of poly and a quick wax.

Finally, I grabbed this little chippy table from one of the booths at Mill City Antiques.  It needed a little love.

Okay, maybe a lot of love.

But it was worth it.  The wood has a beautiful patina and the paint is just chippy enough to let the wood shine through.  I added an antique glass knob to the little drawer at the bottom.  Perfect!

I can't wait to get back to the flea market to see what treasures I can uncover next!  In the meantime, this is what I'm working on...

This is the future home of my workshop!  My boyfriend and I are converting his garage into a workshop where I can build, refinish and reinvent!  Now that's love!!!  My books, paper and creative headquarters will be moving to the Waumbec Mill in Manchester, right upstairs from Mill City Antiques!  The move should be complete by June 1st!

Stay tuned for more pictures of our progress.

Happy hunting!