Chests of Drawer

Barbara Bell haunts Goodwill stores and garage sales for old furniture, such as chests, cupboards, and dressers, that have surfaces on which she can paint various scenes. It’s a folk art medium that peasants in Europe and early American settlers used to brighten up otherwise dreary rooms. Bell practices the same art today. She’s just finished painting hearts and flowers and polka dots on an old doll dresser with a tilt mirror for a child’s room, and is currently painting a headboard with an underwater scene. The artist strips, paints, decorates, stains, then coats the furniture with polyurethane. She paints only furniture she herself has purchased. Baby chests are around $100, medicine cupboards $175 and china cupboards $250. 526-3240 or 827-0133

Bike to Basics

Fred Time keeps his bicycle under his desk whenever he cycles to his downtown law office. His desk isn’t that big-his bike folds. Time is the man to see about the Bickerton, an aluminum folding bike that comes with its own canvas carrying bag, designed to fit under the seat of an airplane or bus. It sells for $350-400. It comes in single or three-speed models, and can be folded or unfolded in a minute. 741-1716.

Something to Hide

Lucia Refoy, an interior designer, grew weary of having expensive suede furniture irreparably damaged by baby formula and wine. So she set out to find an affordable, durable substitute. She found skinners to provide specially treated pigskin hides, which she sells in her shop for $28 each. Her staff makes lamp shades and folding screens and covers marred surfaces. Just about anything – like Lucia’s own office door – can be covered in the hides, which come in 16 earth-tone colors and measure approximately eight feet. There are also suede-covered wall tiles. Garment weights are available too. Lucia teaches suede crafts in two-hour sessions, $10 each. Lucia Leathers, 32 Dal Rich Village, Richardson. 231-8214

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