Thursday, January 30, 2014

Out of The Box

Are we really at the end of January already?

Time sure does fly...but that's a good thing this winter with all the freezing temps we've had across the country!

It's been a long winter!

I'm secretly hoping that Punxsutawney Phil DOES NOT see his shadow this year and we will be granted an early Spring.

Anybody else with me on that? I think we all deserve it!

Before I show you my latest project, I want to give a BIG thank you to Kathryn Of The Dedicated House for featuring the mirror in my post, Annie Cracks Me Up, on Make It Pretty Monday! It means a lot when someone takes notice of something you've worked hard on! Thanks Kathryn!

With the freezing temps, I have not really ventured out too much this past week. But I did pick up a paint brush!

I remembered a small shelf that was tucked away in a closet along with bags of clothes waiting to be donated.
I rescue cast-offs from Goodwill all the time. I might as well rescue stuff from my own closet!

I also remembered the small jar of custom blue paint I had mixed before the holiday's and I decided this shelf would be a great candidate for a little makeover.

Here is the blue I mixed

It reminded me a little of denim blue. In the picture you can see clear wax on the left and dark wax on the right.

In my excitement to get painting, I forgot to take pictures of the before. Sorry. Just picture a yellow pine shelf from Pottery Barn. That's where it's from ...bought about 12 years ago.

I wanted to do something a little different so I hand painted the design with Old White. I started out with painting a design on just the two little drawers in front but then decided it needed something more so I added the "broken line" around the edges and on the shelves.

I definitely went "out of the box" on this one! I am not an artist!

Hand painting anything does not come naturally, but I had fun!

AND I am not a stylist! But when I thought of taking pictures of this little shelf, I thought about how cute it would look set up for breakfast!

It would look just as cute with trophy's or cars or doll's!

 I did not distress with any sanding and I only used clear wax.

During the process, pieces really do speak to you if you listen.

Tarnished anything always looks good!

I even re-purposed a Lenox cigarette holder into a place to hold the coffee spoons!

I must say I am proud of how this turned out!

It's good to step out of the box!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Experimenting with Chalk Paint® and Stain

I decided to experiment with Chalk Paint® and stain because I was curious how the Chalk Paint® accepted the stain and if there were any noticeable differences in the outcome.

I had bought a little wooden box at Homegood's sometime in the Fall that I used in a centerpiece at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Here it is at Thanksgiving

And again at Christmas

Although I loved the versatality of this piece, I also wanted to use it to store my Chalk paint® color boards.

I thought it was a good idea to paint the box using Chalk Paint® since I would be using it to store my Chalk Paint® color samples.

I forgot to take a picture of the box before applying the paint, hence the pictures above but I know you get the idea.

Anyway, I decided Olive was a good choice but I also wanted to deepen the color by applying stain over the paint. I was really using this box as a test because I had this same idea in my head for a chair that is patiently waiting my attention. For some reason, I pictured the chair with Olive paint and a nice wash of stain or maybe dark wax. I really just wanted an excuse to see how the stain would look over the Chalk Paint®.

I applied two coats of Olive on the outside only of the box because as I was painting I decided that the original dark stain on the inside of the box would look really nice with the Olive.

I am happy to report I was right!

I did a little distressing along the edges to give it a little rustic vibe. The addition of the stain picked that up nicely.

Here you can see the inside was left with its original stain. It plays very nicely with the Olive!

It was a very easy project to do. After two coats of paint I wiped on the stain with cheese cloth.

The stain dried fast and was a very matte finish which surprised me. I was expecting a little more shine, but the matte appearance is perfect for this rustic look.

I did try waxing with some clear wax, but it didn't do much because the stain didn't absorb the wax at all. The stain was the topcoat that protects the paint.

You can see the dings and dents and dovetail joints.

I now have lovely storage for my sample boards!

I love how it turned out! Just as I had pictured it. It was a goood experiment for me. It taught me to trust in my vision, something I am learning to do!

Have you tried something new? I'd love to hear about it!

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Monday, January 13, 2014

For Your Blog: Duck Egg Blue Social Media Icons

Furniture isn't the only place to add Duck Egg Blue! Now you can add it to your blog in the form of Social Media Icons!

Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint® has certainly taken the furniture upcycling world by storm and now, just as you can add  that lovely soft blue-grey paint to your furniture, so can you add it to your blog's sidebar!

We've seen the popularity of Pantone colored icons and now you can have your very own set of Duck Egg Blue Social Media Icons.

The Geek Fairy has created a set of 14 social media icons you can download for FREE!

 Now ... go rock your blog Annie Sloan style!

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Annie Cracks Me Up!

Happy Saturday! It was a bit rainy here today, but I'll take that over the subzero temps we had only a week ago. Crazy weather!

Rainy days are good days for painting!

Thursday I made my first trip of the year to Goodwill and spotted a mirror buried beneath a few others. I casually glanced at it but didn't think much about it and left.

It was one of my whirlwind fast moving sweeps through and out!

Well, I kept thinking about it and it wasn't until I left the store and was on my way home that I pictured what I could do with it!

But, I continued home anyway.

A good test of how badly I want/need something is if I am still thinking about it the next day and sure enough the next morning I was on my way back to Goodwill hoping it was still there. In other words, I passed the test!

After purchasing the mirror, I continued to my local stockist to pick up Annie Sloan's Craqueleur.

Remember, how I showed you in this post how beautifully Craqueleur by Annie Sloan could transform something? Well, I had plans ... and this mirror was involved!

It was in perfect condition but I was a little wary of some of the knots on the pine, so after cleaning it with mineral spirits, I gave it a coat of shellac to seal in the knots that might bleed through.

After two coats of Paris Grey I applied the Craqueleur and watched the magic happen as it dried with the heat of my blow drier. It gives it a beautiful finish that is very hard to see before the dark wax is applied, but trust me, it's there!

Then I began brushing on sticky size for the silver leaf! I decided I would silver leaf all the raised pieces like the molding around the mirror, the scroll in the top middle and the very top piece of molding. I was going for the French Tremeau look!

Once the size was set up, meaning transparent but sticky to the touch, I started to apply the silver leaf.

The above is before I applied any wax. At this point it was just paint, Craqueluer and silver leaf.

The final step is the wax! A quick coat of clear wax followed by dark and the tiny cracks start to appear as the dark wax gets caught by the crackle! I worked the dark wax in quite a bit, going in circles so as to accentuate the cracks. The size of the crackle depends on how thin or thick you apply the Craqueleur. The result is the look of old porcelain or perhaps you have seen these cracks on ironstone. Imagine how nice it would look applied over paper in a decoupage project! So many possibilities!

And here you have the final result!

Amazing huh?

This was probably a mirror from someones bedroom set.

If they only knew what they could do!

What are your plans for the weekend?

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Friday, January 10, 2014

New Year New Me!

Happy New Year to all!

Speaking of NEW, I finally got on the bandwagon and had a blog makeover! A long time coming I might add! I spent way too much time tweaking and moving things around and trying to master the language of HTML when I should have been concentrating on just writing and posting in a timely fashion. How many of you are guilty of the same thing with your blogs? You know, you think you are just going to move one widget and the next thing you know, 3-hours-have-passed-and-your-still-in-your-pajamas-and the-dog-is-whining-because-she-desparetly-needs-to-go-out-and-it-is-noon-and-you-haven’t-done-a-thing-that-needs-to-be-done-because-the-computer-is-holding-you-hostage?

Raise your hand if that has ever happened to you!

That needed to end for me, so when Kim from Savvy Southern Style blogged about her makeover from Rebekah Louise Designs, I was all ears! I loved Kim’s new look and I paid a visit to the blog and etsy shop of Le Charmed Boutique and saw some more of her work and I was convinced that was the direction I needed to take.

 So glad I did!

I purchased the Social Blogger Design which gave me everything you see here from header, social media icons, post divider, fonts, colors, facebook cover and profile pic. and installation. Rebekah contacted me right away and we got to work! She was a joy to work with during the entire process. I sent her a picture of a store that I had seen online and loved, that had a black and white striped awning, a black sign written in gold and two green topiary plants standing on either side of the entry. That was my inspiration for my header! Rebekah’s wheels started turning and she sent me a first draft of her interpretation and it all evolved from there! We tweaked it here and there until we got it to what you see here and I am over the moon happy with it!

She was patient and always replied quickly and always double checked with me on any request I made to ensure we were always on the same page since we were communicating through email.
I highly recommend Le Charmed Boutique if you are thinking of making a few changes. You don’t have to do a whole blog makeover. Rebekah has several packages ranging from a new blog header or Etsy banner or social media icons to a complete branding package which includes business cards! You name it, she can do it!

Did I mention the price? Trust me! You won’t be able to get all this anywhere else at her prices!

So, if you have a blog or an Etsy shop or both and are thinking that a new look might be in order for your brand, then go on over to Le Charmed Boutique or her blog, Rebekah Louise Designs and tell her I sent you!

I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

P.S. I have a Facebook page now! So if you'd like updates via Facebook then just click on the facebook icon at the top in the sidebar and please like and share my page! Thanks!

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