I was recently contacted by Floor Coverings International to do a quick interview. I usually stick to projects and don't write a lot about myself so if you're interested in a little more about me and how I got started, go check it out here!
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Tuesday, June 2, 2015
I mentioned in my previous post that I wanted to try Krylon's Looking Glass Spray paint on the glass of these cabinet doors. Here is the cabinet before painting.
And, here it is now!
It has the look of an old mirror which is exactly what I was going for and it was really easy and fast. I just removed the doors, taped off the glass and sprayed a few light coats. I needed 2 cans since the cans area little small. It was all dry in less than an hour and the doors went right back on. Done!
I'm really happy with it. As you can see, the cabinet is filled with books, mostly belonging to the girls so I won't have to keep it as straightened up as much. I hope to add more embellishments and some new hardware soon.
To be continued ...
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Over the weekend, my livingroom underwent somewhat of a transformation. Not only did the furniture get rearranged, but that big armoir got a paint job. My husband actually suggested it after he saw how great our kitchen table turned out. I don't think he expected me to do the job at 9PM, but that's just how I do things. I love how it turned out and think it fits better with the idea I had in my head for how the room should look. I also painted the shelf with the baskets which was previously black and even the background of the fish tank went from black to white. Now if only I could find an Arc de Triomphe for the tank!
Here's the armoir before. It really didn't take me long to apply 2 coats of whitewash and distress. A couple of hours and I was done!
The chair in the corner is special to me. This piece belonged to my grandmother and when she moved, she gave it to me. There is a matching love seat that will be delivered next week. I'm so happy I finally found the space for it in my house.
And, the French desk. I've had this desk for several years and the top was terrible. Our guess was that there must have been a leather top on it that was long gone, but how to fix it? A leather replacement would cost more than the desk was and I wasn't willing to make that kind of investment. It finally occurred to me to get a veneer, adhere it and finish it to match the rest of the desk.
I could not be happier with how it turned out. It's not perfect, but it's a pretty close match.
My next project is this bookcase. It certainly serves a purpose for the book readers in the house, but I felt like it could be better. I added the embellishment on the bottom and ordered Looking Glass spray paint to paint the glass to be mirrored. I can't wait to see how it turns out!
Finally, it's been a while since I posted pictures of my entire house. Since I took such a long break, most of the pictures are very outdated. A house tour will be on the agenda soon but likely in a couple of weeks. Next week on June 6-7 I will be selling my the Annapolis Arts, Crafts and Wine Festival in Annapolis, MD. Come see me!
Thursday, May 21, 2015
It's rainy here in Northern Virginia today, but yesterday I cut these peonies from my garden yesterday. I don't normally like to cut them because I prefer to enjoy them in the garden for the short time they bloom but these are in a corner where they can't be seen. Transplanting them is on my to-do list.
You can also see the French desk they're sitting on that I still haven't worked on.
The plan was to fix the top somehow. I believe it was likely a long gone leather top, but replacing the top would cost more than the desk so I've ordered a wood veneer to hopefully match the top to the drawers. If that doesn't work out my back-up plan is paint. I think it would be equally gorgeous in white. To be continued ...
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Years ago, I put together this wreath to hang on my door. It had seen better days since then so I decided to spruce it up a bit.
I removed the burlap which had become pretty dingy, fixed up some of the shells and added more starfish. I really like how it turned out and I think it will be less appealing to the birds that were trying to nest in the previous wreath.
I also removed some of the Spring and added more summer to other places in my house.
In my living room ...
Dining room accents.
I changed out the heavy comforter on my bed for the lighter coverlet and added one of the Octopuses from my shop. I just couldn't resist having one for myself!
It's only Wednesday, but I'm so looking forward to the holiday weekend.
My garden, in particular is waiting for me ...
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Years ago, we purchased a table for a space in our kitchen. It has served us well and over the years the chairs went from white, to blue, to green.
Over time, both the table and chairs took a pretty good beating. The kids carved into the paint on the chairs and the table chipped badly ... and it wasn't a good kind of chipping. Whatever paint was used by the manufacturer was very brittle and came off in chips like this. An ugly mess.
Refinishing it was on my list for years, but I only now got around to doing it and really even deciding HOW I wanted to refinish it. I considered doing it the same way I did my dining room table, but in the end I decided on a more distressed, sort of weather worn finish.
Step 1: Sanding. Lots of sanding on the table. I love my Rigid orbital sander for this, but even then, it was a tough messy job getting through that thick layer of paint.
Here it is fully sanded except for the pedestal which was in pretty good shape.
Step 2: Whitewashing. I used about 2:1 paint/water mixture and applied it with a brush.
Then, I wiped it off with a sponge.
Step 3: Distressing. Next I sanded the table all over to get even more depth with the finish. This is where I started to feel like all the work had been worth it. SO much better than the chipped mess from before.
Step 4: 3 Coats of Polyurethane. I used oil poly because I think the finish is more durable, but water based is fine too. Table complete.
Step 5: Next came the chairs. I went back and forth trying to decided what to do with the chairs. I thought maybe I would just paint them from this spring green to a solid white and I even started to do it but I wasn't happy with how it was looking.
I opted to strip the chairs since my dad told me how EASY it would be to strip the multiple layers of paint compared to sanding.
This was a messy job. No matter how careful I was, I seemed to manage to get the stripper on me, but I did the best I could. Here are the chairs after they were all coated with the paint bubbling up.
After only a couple of hours, I could scrape the paint from the seat past 3-4 layers of paint and down to bare wood on the seat, but the rest was a pretty good mess that didn't come off well at all. Even where it did work well, there was still all this goo to contend with.
Eventually, I moved back to the sander once the majority of the stripper was off and the chairs were dry. In the corners I did the best I could sanding by hand. This was a long, hard job and it took several days - much longer than the table. After the chairs were stripped, I applied the whitewash, but did not remove it with the sponge as I had the table. I wasn't getting the same effect. Instead, I just sanded the chairs after the whitewash was dry which was pretty much as soon as I had finished applying it. It dried fast.
I could have stopped there, but while these were outside, we were using our dining room chairs and noticed that the finish of those chairs, which I'd distressed with stain, looked great with finished table so I decided to go a little further and use the walnut stain as I had previously.
I just applied it and quickly removed it with a rag. You have to move fast though because the stain doesn't give you a lot of time to work with it. After this, I did a little more sanding to get the look exactly how I wanted it.
For the chairs I used a spray polyurethane just for convenience sake and to avoid all the potential drips. After a couple of coats, I was finally done.
I could not be happier with the final product.
It blends great with our kitchen island and it's so nice to sit at a beautifully finished table without all those dings in the top.
I'm not sure about the dark cushions, but with kids, they're good for now. I'm hoping to find a nice cream or pale pattern eventually.
My advice if you want to tackle a project like this -
1. Get a sander and lots of 80 grit sanding disks.
2. Take your time.
3. Enjoy the results!
Linking to the Home Sweet Home Party.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
I once had an online shop and really enjoyed making and selling things for a while. Well, then life happened and I decided to take a short (um, 4 year) break from the shop and also from this blog for the most part. I was busy raising girls, performing and running races and really didn't have the time anymore, but I always felt like I couldn't just let it go. So, I never closed the shop and maybe once a year, I would blog always hoping to come back.
Then, this past winter, I found myself retired from dance, done with marathons and home with girls who were now a little more independent during lots of snow days. What to do? I pulled out all the things I had from my former life and remembered how much I loved it. I opened the online shop but also remembered how I hoped to one day do a craft festival. I made item after item and finally, just went for it and signed up for a festival - one that was low-key and not in an area as busy as where I live just to make it low-stress.
The weekend was crazy! I drove in rush hour several hours with my girls the night before and was up early to set up only to discover that I'd made the mistake I'd dreaded the most and forgotten the most important thing - the TENT. I had a moment of panic and then made decisions - I called my husband who had planned to drive over later and told him he had to come NOW. He was hours way but I prayed he would make it. In the meantime, I set everything else up and along with my dad, we planned to somehow get the tent up and pick it up over everything. Would you believe it worked??
Here is the final result of all the snow days and the late nights that followed.
I'm so very happy with how everything turned out. It all came together exactly how I saw it in my head and it's all very "me".
The vanity tray in the middle was given to me by my grandmother and it made me happy to be able to use it. I also did not do this alone. My father and husband helped me build the shelves and displays and helped with set-up. My mom was there for advice. We call her the "supervisor" but her input was helpful when I needed opinions (and when I didn't). I'm so grateful for all their support.
It was not a terribly successful day for sales since it was probably not my target market and while the festival was super busy, the only thing people seemed to be buying was food. Still, I enjoyed it and was glad for the experience.
I'm already looking into a couple more festivals that might be a better fit and looking forward to the new adventure ahead.