Mar 27, 2013

Cute and Simple Spring (or any occassion!) Burlap Banner

I'm always looking for cute and simple ways to accent my spaces and I have a fondness for banners - especially those made out of burlap.  Well, a fondness for almost anything burlap!  I've made several of these for different occassions, but this time I found a really simple way to put it all together. 

 Now, I know my mixed-media friends are thinking "that is way too plain!".   Possibly so, but I really love simple and this is so easy!
First, choose a size and shape that you want for the letters.  There are SO many resources on Pinterest filled with ideas.  I chose to just go with triangles.  Once you cut one to your liking, take that and use it as a guide for the rest.  Of course, you could also create a pattern out of cardstock, but I really didn't need to with this. 
Cut the number of shapes needed.  For this project, I cut twelve for two banners. I then iron them (THIS IS IMPORTANT!) with a little steam.
Lay them all out on freezer paper, but wax paper will also work. This is necessary because you'll want to coat them with decoupage and the waxiness (is that a word?) prevents them from sticking to the work surface.
 Pay special attention to the edges, but slather and dab all over. This will give a nice stiffness to them. You'll only need to do this only on one side, then let them dry for at least 2-3 hours.
   I have found that when they dry, they may pull out of shape a bit. Just trim until you get the edges to the way you want. If it looks too straight and clean compared to the other sides, you can pull out the outer thread to give it more of an unfinished look.
While the burlap was drying, I created little flowers with twine for accents. 
Start with making the circles.  Since I have lots of Modge Podge around, I just used that as the bonding glue - but if you can use others if you have a favorite. Just roll into the form below, using glue along the way.
Lay to dry on the wax paper.  For the flower petals, take more of the twine and loop back and forth, pinching the middle with your fingers.  Make it whatever size you want.
Take another short piece of twine and tie the center.
Pull the "petals" around to form a flower.  I secured the center with some glue to help hold the shape.
Once the round centers are dry, secure to the flower with HOT GLUE. Flowers are ready for your project!
After the banner pieces are dry, stencil away!  There are so many possibilities for these...birthdays, weddings, showers, welcome home...etc!
I used these handy little ink pads that I picked up from JoAnne's.  The stencils are from WalMart.
I attached the flowers and added these sweet paper butterflies from Hobby Lobby using hot glue.
To secured the banner pieces to a piece twine, I used these ADORABLE miniature clothespins that I found at WalMart in the Office Supplies section!
The cool thing about the clothespins is that you can actually leave the twine hanging and change the words!  Have a stash of letters around and make a new message whenever you like!

That's it!  Easy Peasy!! 


Mar 26, 2013

The Little Empire Chest

I really don't have a favorite paint to use - it just all depends on the piece.  I love chalk paint for some projects, straight latex for others, and milk paint for those special ones.  As I've mentioned before, I let the pieces "tell" me what they want to be, then I try to work some magic.
I've done several pieces in milk paint, but I think this one is my favorite so far. 

I found this little beauty on Craigslist.  I didn't take time to take a before shot - but here it is from the ad.  I have to slow down! You can't really tell by this picture, but it had been painted a brown - this is not the wood showing.

I let it sit in the foyer for a few days until the inspiration to hit.  With Spring coming, it wanted to be green! :)  What better color than
MMS Lucketts Green?
I wanted some chippiness, but not a lot.  Of course, that is totally up to the paint. However, I chose not to use the bonding agent to see how it did. 
No disappointment!  It did exactly what I wanted it to do!
Gorgeous legs!
I found the perfect knobs from where else?  Hobby Lobby!
The interior of the drawers were painted a creamy white and I did two coats of Minwax clear paste wax over the entire piece.

It took it to my booth the day after I finished it....isn't it just stunning with this bed!
It didn't last long and sold to a vendor friend of mine for her TV stand.  PERFECT! 

(NOTE) I got in a little bit of trouble from my hubby on this. I went to the lady's house (complete stranger) and picked it up by myself. It was totally fine, but he reminded me that not everything is what it seems on-line. I believe most listings are legit....just be careful and you should always take someone with you or have someone with you at home if you are selling something!


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Shades of Amber



Mar 16, 2013

Thrift Store Chairs and more MMS Milk Paint

When I get the chance, I love hunting through thrift stores!  I almost always come out with something in my possession.  A few weeks ago, I scored this fantastic and VERY sturdy pair of chairs.

By the time I got around to taking the "before" picture, I had already started taping it up.  These are heavy oak chairs that had a faux tiger oak grain paint - but the backs still had the original leather in fairly good condition and I wanted to save them.  The paint had stood it's time and the chairs needed a facelift.
No question, the seats were nasty. So, I tore off the filthy material (which I did outside!) and replaced all of it from the webbing to the burlap seat covers. I eyeballed the nailheads and as you can see, they didn't come out too straight....those little things have minds of their own. However, I really like the way it turned out with the rustic feel of the chairs. 
I chose to use Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Shutter Grey for this project. I went back and forth on the color for a while. At first, they were going to be white with a toile seat, but these just have a more masculine feel. Since I just received my MMS paint in the Shutter Grey, I thought this would be the perfect first project in that color.  After removing the seats and before replacing them, I painted away.
The paint did it's job and chipped up very nicely!  I sanded it in some places for a little more distressing and love how it turned out. I put a little MMS dark wax on the carving and gave the chairs a couple of coats of clear wax.
All in all....I think this turned out to be another great transformation!
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Mar 12, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

As I begin to write this post, my birthday will be in 12 minutes.  It's sad when I think about how excited I would get during my youth while counting down the hours until "my" day.  It was like a Christmas morning all over again, but my birthdays were all about me.  However, these days I would  prefer to forget about them and act like they're just another day.  More often than not, I'll shed a tear...or two. 

I don't know why I get all emotional now, but I can only guess that subconsciously, I know I'm gradually getting old.  Why I let that bother me, I don't know.  My life, thus far, has been wonderful.  Always surrounded by family and friends and generally happy all the time.  Yes, I have my moments...

I really couldn't have asked for much more.  I was born into a wonderful family.

I married my best friend and soul mate, thus becoming part of another fabulous family.

Watched our beautiful daughter get married and gained a son.

Then was blessed with the most handsome grandsons ever!

 So, in reality, I need to count my blessings and thank God for another year.  I just hope that the next 29 years are just as happy!  :)


Mar 8, 2013

My Sweet Molly

This post has absolutely nothing to do with furniture or painting, but about something that has been on my mind a lot lately.  It's about my "little" fluffy girl, Molly.

Miss Molly came to live with us on my birthday in March 2001.  We had just lost my pretty boy, Rocky, and I am one that always has to have a cat around.  So, for my birthday, I decided that the only thing I wanted was a kitten.

My husband, being the best one in the world, took me to PetSmart to personally pick out the perfect gift!  As we walked through the area with the cages, only one sweet kitty came forward to say "hello".  That face stole my heart immediately!  She was not a kitten, but a full grown beautiful muted Torti Persian estimated to be around five years old.  I did not hesitate and we filled out the paperwork and left with our (my) new fur baby!

I've had many cats throughout my life, but never one for this long and I have grown so attached to her - especially since she came to our home soon after our real baby girl had left for college.  She's my snuggle bunny, talker and clown.  I seriously believe that she is developed beyond the average domestic cat and has a real language! :)  She definitely knows how to ask for what she wants.  Cute to me, very annoying to the hubby.

This past August, Molly started showing signs of pain in her hind leg.  After tests from the vet, we found out it was bone cancer.  As one option, Dr. Debbie did surgery in September and removed most of the tumor.  The healing time was slow and obviously painful, but she is so much better now!  The cancer is still there, but as of today, she shows no sign of pain.  We do have the option for amputation....but I am so torn about that decision. Right now, she seems very happy and, I think it's best to leave it in God's hands.  Dr. Debbie says she is doing remarkably well and could potentially live for a few more line with her old age.  She still loves to run and play, especially with any paper that makes noise or a balled up paper towel.

When you bring a pet into your home, you know it will not live a human's life span and you always have to remind yourself of that.  However, I feel so lucky and blessed to have had her this long and just hope she has a happy and pain-free year or two.  She is getting nothing by LOTS of love. 

I know that I will have to say goodbye in the not-so-distant future, but for now, I am enjoying every second I have with her - and I thank God for every day that He leaves her here with me. 

Mar 1, 2013

Waking Up the Fainting Sofa

I'll admit.  I have a problem.  I'll collect some of the most unloved (or perhaps deeply loved) items that I can it seems.  I don't see them in their current condition, but what they could be.  Not a lot frightens me, though a lot of times I'll see my husband's wheels spinning while he's calculating how much time HE may have to spend on it. 
I LOVE to relove furniture.  The things that just look so sad and seem to be begging me to take them home to breath in new life. Yes, I'm a sucker for these pitiful pieces.  A broken leg, torn upholstery, bad can all be fixed. 

For instance, how could I leave this beautiful fainting sofa behind?

We got her, loaded her up and brought her home.  I am not going to say that this was an easy job.  However, it is at the top of my 'most satisfying' list.  I dived right into the project, tearing the old upholstery off.  Lots of not-so-nice words came out....but I got it done.  It still has it's old horsehair! 
So, here we are, three days later.  ISN'T SHE PRETTY?? 

As a little extra umph....I added blue toile on the back and side panel.  With the leftover toile, I made a complimenting pillow.

And NO paint!!  The wood appears to be in original condition, so I just shined her up and how beautiful it is!

I find that with each new transformation, I gain more satisfaction from saving yet another thing from the landfill.  The craftsmanship that went into these old pieces is timeless and sometimes the right thing to do is to respect a piece and restore it as much as possible. 
But, I am always looking for that next project to paint!  :)

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