Aug 19, 2015

We Are Moving Right Along With the New Shop!

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind!  By looking from the outside of the building, it looks like nothing is happening.  However, we've been busy cleaning and painting, as well as getting permits, insurance, signs, display pieces and lots and lots...and lots of new inventory (all currently stored in our house and garage)!  Technically, our lease doesn't start until Sep 1, but the landlords have been kind enough to allow us access to get things ready for the big move in.  Because of this, we are on schedule to open on Saturday, Sep 5th!

For the most part, the building is very nice!!  However, the kitchen was the one room that needed some TLC.  It has been very neglected over the years with very worn cabinets and dirty floors.  I had the ancient stove removed which created more floor and wall space.  I'll be hand scrubbing the floors tomorrow to try to get the grout a little cleaner, then shine them up with my favorite floor product.

With my hubby standing there in this "before" picture, you can see how HUGE this space is and it will be a great retail area with lots of natural light! What you see is just half of the room.  See the cabinets to the left?  Yuck.  See the two cabinets to the right behind him? They are FABULOUS!  Possibly original to the home.  I will only be cleaning them up and use them for display (they are movable!!)

I got permission to paint the cabinets and went to it!  The white really make them look so much cleaner.  I still plan to do some tile work and will be heading to Hobby Lobby tomorrow for some cute knobs.

Not a great picture....but it is SO much better!!  The doors do close...the paint was still wet when I snapped the picture.  

I'm making curtains out of ticking for the window and the french doors.  I can't believe that I haven't taken pictures of those gorgeous doors from the inside, yet...but here they are from the covered deck.  

A glass panel was installed on the outside and we are debating on whether to have it removed and stored in the basement.  On one hand, we can open it to the outside and not use the common door to go out to the deck - which will be our main access route to the basement - but, on the other, this does add some security...

That mantel on the wall behind Dean is actually the original to this fireplace in the middle room.  Pine shelf mantel....not so pretty.

We took down this makeshift mantel and hung the old one its place.  I have some nail hole patching and painting to do...but believe me when I say it looks like it's supposed to now.  Pictures coming soon of that project.

We are getting there!!  The floors in the basement are supposed to be professionally cleaned, so until then, I'm holding off on doing anything down there for right now.  It will then become our storage area, more retail space and classroom.  I hope to have it all done by the 5th, but if not....soon after!

Bit by bit, it's coming together!

'til next time!

Aug 11, 2015

Accenting an Antique Dresser with MMS Milk Paint in "Typewriter"

I love painting furniture, but my first love is the timeless beauty of true antiques.  There is no duplicating the gorgeous wood grain that's found on many pieces and the patina can be breathtaking.

Then, there are some that are really pretty, but lack some 'umph'.  That's how I felt about this Empire dresser we found recently.  To be brought back to it's former glory, it will require some serious refinishing....and this piece will take a lot of bad chemicals, hand sanding and a long process to put the shine back on.  Not on my agenda....

Instead, since we had to do some repairs on the top, I knew I wanted some paint on it.
I let it sit in my foyer for a while as I studied it, stared at it and spent hours on Pinterest trying to get some real inspiration for it.  My first thought was to paint the whole piece a soft, light color, but every time I got ready to work on it, I literally could not bring myself to put my paint brush on it.  So, I came up with a Plan B.

I wanted to highlight it's handcrafted beauty, but at the same time, cover up the repairs on the top and the large veneer chips (yes, this piece is veneered), so I decided to just accent the piece with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Typewriter.

Look how the beautiful wood grain of the drawers really show off, now!  The finish on the drawers still has the alligator-ing going on, but I feel that patina just adds to the rustic feel of it.  I actually thinned the paint a little more than usual because I wanted the wood grain to show through...then lightly sanded to reveal more in places.

The whole piece got a top coat of Hemp Oil.

I know that these are not the original knobs, but are the ones that were on it when we bought it.  I had no problems with keeping them!  They are gorgeous!

So, before anyone yells at me for defacing an antique....this piece can still be refinished just as it could have been before I painted it!  I look at it this way...I am just preserving it for now. :)

This one will be heading to the new store soon as we begin to move things in!  

Aug 9, 2015

An Early American Dry Sink Makeover Using MMS Milk Paint in Kitchen Scale

Things are moving along with the new shop!  Nothing fun in the way of setting it up visually, but tackling the permits, cleaning and other necessary logistics.  I'll be receiving our first large retail order from Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint tomorrow!!  After that - it's full steam ahead as we'll begin to move stuff in!  We are still planning to open on September 5th, so keep watching.

In the meantime, I still have to back fill the space at R&R and am working on some gorgeous pieces for store.  Though we'll be moving everything out of the booth and to the new shop in a couple of weeks, I still feel the need to feather the "nestette" for the time being.

I actually just finished this piece this morning.  I decided to infuse some fun into this otherwise extremely boring piece.  Probably from the 70s or early 80s, this Early American dry sink is so reminiscent of what was around when I was growing up.  However, I do NOT feel any sense of nostalgia with this one and I seriously couldn't wait to transform it into a unique and functional coffee/wine station.

I've been trying out new colors (for me) in the Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint line that I have not used before.  I chose Kitchen Scale for this one and I think it was the perfect choice!   It's such a soft turquoise color.  I used Hemp Oil as the top coat and the finish is so silky smooth!  I did notice that it wasn't completely dry when I took the pictures...we seem to always be in a hurry to get the furniture out of the door and onto the floor!  :) 

I sanded it out and distressed it for the farmhouse feel - then added some chalkboard paint on the top for a little whimsy.

My penmanship leaves a lot to be desired. :)

I replaced the pulls with these really cool bale pulls that I found at Hobby Lobby.  Is there anything you cannot find there?  And their prices on knobs and good!

I do love the black against this color!

Now perfect for a kitchen or even a business reception area!  Available in our space at R&R Antiques.

'til next time!

Aug 2, 2015

Sharing Some Big News - MMS Milk Paint and a Storefront!!

I know that I have been MIA on my blog and other social media lately, but this has been a busy time for us....and boy, have we had a lot happen this past week!

I've been hinting for a while that big things were happening for Stone Creek....well, here we go!  I can finally let the cat out of the bag!

When we were doing the Lucketts Spring Market back in May, I left Dean alone to man the tent for a bit while I took a short break.  When I came back, he said that we had a visit from Jeff Parsons (yes, Marian's husband!).  I had finished a lot of pieces using their Milk Paint and he noticed.  He brought Marian back to our tent a little later to discuss with us about possibly selling Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint! 

At first, I wasn't sure.  We are in an antique mall and I know it really is better to be in a location where someone is available at all times to discuss the products with the customers and answer any questions.  Not wanting to pass up a great opportunity, though, I submitted the retailer application soon after.  Marian has been quite busy this summer, so I just got the final-final word this past weekend!  We are official!!  :)  I'll be ordering products this week and hope to have them in ASAP.  

Back to the antique mall location.  There are so many positives about renting a booth.  The biggest perk is that you don't have to man your booth all of the time.  However, since I knew I was going to be a Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Retailer, it was understood that I would have to spend a lot more of my time there.  

Then I thought......if I HAVE to stay at the shop all day, wouldn't it make more sense to be in my own shop?  I would have a lot more to keep me busy and expand the business at the same time.  Hmmmmmmm......on to the next...  

Since we closed our storefront almost three years ago, we've been pretty much bouncing around from mall to mall. Though we've been in some really good locations, it has never felt exactly right.  A booth is so limiting, in my opinion, in space, customer interaction, revenue and a control of your environment.  Running a storefront involves really long hours and a LOT of work, but there is a strong sense of accomplishment and pride when you look around and see what your own two hands have done.  Of course, in our case, it's four hands!  Dean is my partner in everything!

Soooooo.......drum roll, please.......we signed a lease this weekend!!!  Just a few blocks down from the antique mall, it's a GORGEOUS building built in 1782 located on Caroline Street in the beautiful and very historic city of Fredericksburg, Virginia.   I have a LOT of work to do and a list of permits, city approvals, etc. etc. to get.... but we hope to open the first weekend of September!

We have around 2600 square feet which includes the main floor and a very, very cool walkout basement with exposed brick and all.  This is where our classroom will be and more retail space.  We even have use of the deck and courtyard!  This couldn't be more perfect for us and I cannot wait to get in there and do my thing!!  It's has soooo much character and just needs some cleaning, painting and oh yes....lots of decorating!!  

Here are a few sneak peeks!

 Looking in through the three rooms on the main floor from the front door.  I'm not a huge fan of track lighting, but it does give the room a lot of light.  Anyone who knows me knows that I have to have light in my space.  We'll accent with lamps and swag chandeliers, so it will look wonderful.  Look at those centuries old pine floors!

The studio!  See the original brick wall of the original building before an addition was added?  We will be adding more lighting (of course) and lots of goodies and fun decor!  I plan to bring in a large farm table as the work surface.  This room also has two huge windows looking out into the courtyard and is just one of the three rooms downstairs.  I'm not going to lie...the very back room scares me a little. :)  Caroline Street is supposedly very haunted - but I need that room for a work area and storage, so I have to get over it!

Here's the courtyard looking down from the deck.  They just cleaned out all of the debris and weeds, so it does need some prettying up. :)

Can you see the potential?  I sure can!!  I'll be knee deep in projects and will share every step.

Lots more coming!!

'til next time!
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