Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's About Time

I've been wanting to paint this clock for quite some time

I finally found some time to paint it a few months ago. I chose to paint it black, but then didn't care for the way it was looking.

I sanded it down to the bare wood so I could start over. 

Lots of time passed before I was able to paint the clock again. This time I used Annie Sloan's chalk paint in "Old White."  After painting, I sanded it for a slightly distressed look.

I applied a coat of clear wax, and then brushed on a coat of the dark wax. I was kind of digging the look of the dark wax, so I applied quite a bit. It looked pretty cool from this angle...

From this angle... not so much. Sort of looks like my 2-year-old painted it.

The great thing about chalk paint is that it's really easy to experiment with. It dries in no time, so you can paint, sand and wax quickly.

I lightly sanded, applied another coat of "Old White" and clear wax. This time I blotted most of the dark wax off of the brush and then lightly applied it. It's a much more subtle look.

All I can say is... it's about time I finished this project!

I'd love to hear how you find or make the time to get your projects done :) 

Linking to:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The B$#CH Is Back...

and better than ever. You may recall this bench that was a real "you-know-what" to sand and refinish. This is what she looked like when I last showed her to you.

I left her alone for several weeks before trying, once again, to convert her into the sweet piece of furniture I knew she could be. I scraped and sanded her within an inch of her life, until I got her to look like this.

As you can see, that awful black paint was still soaked into part of the seat. There were also a few small areas where the varnish wouldn't let go.

I have been wanting to try the Annie Sloan chalk paint for quite some time, and several of you suggested I use it for this project, so I figured this bench would be my guinea pig.

I originally intended for the bench to be painted black so I chose "graphite," which is described as a soft black.

Annie Sloan Graphite

I loved the way it covered. It was very easy to work with and dried very quickly. It did take 2 coats (more in some spots), but I still have 3/4 of the paint left over. I used the brush recommended for chalk paint use, but got frustrated with the way it was shedding and switched to my good ole Purdy brush. 

This is how she looked when the paint dried. 

As you can see, the chalk paint leaves a very matte finish. In this light, it does appear to be a soft black. I used wax to protect her from the inevitable dings and scratches that 4 boys leave in their wake.

I haven't worked much with wax, other than occasionally applying it to my pine farmhouse table. I didn't really know what I was doing, so I just put some on the brush and worked it into the bench. When I was done, I started buffing it with a rag and noticed that it seemed tacky. Lint from the cloth was also sticking to it. 

I sent the paint stockist, Patty from, an e-mail asking her what I had done wrong. Apparently, the wax should dry for at least 24 hours before buffing. OOPS!

I suppose I could reapply the wax and buff again, but I actually think she looks fine the way she is now.

In this light and with the sheen of the wax, I would describe "graphite" as a gray with blue undertones.

Can you hear my sigh of relief?  I am so glad this project is finished! 

I'd love to know... Have you boarded the chalk paint wagon yet?

Sharing at ...

Debbiedoo's Newbie Party
Metamorphosis Monday
Tuesday's Treasures
Sizzle into Summer
Wow Us Wednesdays
It's A Party at A Creative Princess
Transformation Thursday at  The Shabby Chic Cottage

Friday, June 17, 2011

Be Our Guest... But Not Just Yet

My guestroom makeover is underway, and I've got the mess to prove it. Luckily, there are no guests in our immediate future, because they'd be tripping over junk and finding drill bits in their beds.

I'd like this room to have a light, airy, feminine, French vibe. If you missed them, you can check out my inspiration photos here.

Today I thought I'd show you some of the elements I'm incorporating in the room. 

This French Provincial armoire was given to me by my Nana when she downsized from a house to an apartment.

I debated about painting it, but decided to try to work with it the way it is. 

She also gave me a headboard that sort of matches the armoire. I purchased new bedding at Cible (that's a fancy French word for Target... at least I hope it is. I studied Spanish. I don't know the Spanish word for Target.) Anyway, I'm trying to keep up the French vibe, so work with me here, people.

My fine french linens are Simply Shabby Chic.

Yes, mom, I do plan to iron the wrinkles out and cut the tags off.

I would LOVE to find a small vintage aubusson pillow for each of the beds. I've been stalking etsy and ebay, but no luck yet.

One of the first changes I made to the room was replacing an ugly brass flush mount fixture with this tole chandelier that I bought on ebay ages ago. It hangs in the little alcove/entry of the room.

I'm still looking for another chandelier to replace the large ceiling fan over the beds. 

I added a drapery panel to the one and only window. It's a natural raw silk drapery from Soft Surroundings. I love the texture it provides and the way it allows the light to shine through.

This mirror was another Springfield flea market purchase. 

I love the intricate detailing of it.

But, my favorite addition to the room thus far is this clock.

I have been coveting mora clocks for some time. 

via Decor de Provence


Of course, I haven't been able to find one locally, and I'm sure they are waaaay out of my budget! So, I nearly flipped when I found this...

Okay, so it was probably made in China last month instead of Sweden in the 1700s, but I love it. And my kids can still go to college.

Did you like the white ethereal glow around my pictures?  Makes everything look pretty dreamy, doesn't it?

A little prettier than the reality, huh?

Have a wonderful weekend :)

Linking up to Feathered Nest Friday

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Friendly Places: Third Edition

Today my sweet friend Dorelly is graciously allowing us a look at her newly constructed cabin in Bryson City, North Carolina. Dorelly and her husband Shannon built their getaway home less than a mile from the Nantahala River, where they fell in love years ago on a kayaking adventure. How cool is that?

They bought the land before their twin daughters were born 4 years ago. They knew they wanted their children to have a place to explore, and to enjoy all that the outdoors had to offer, far from city life.

When they decided to bite the bullet and build, they scoured every house plan, catalog, and book for design ideas. She wanted rustic. He wanted modern. The search ended when they found a cabin designed by an architect at Bauer Askew. The design was everything they both wanted... timeless, rustic, modern and unique.

The original Bauer Askew cabin was built in Monteagle, TN for the architect's dear friend. He put his heart and soul in the design and won several awards for it. After initially declining Dorelly and Shannon's request to design the same cabin for them, the architect ultimately decided that there were things he would have done differently the first time around, and made a modified version for them.

The couple used hardiplank, lots of reclaimed materials, stone, iron and wood. The idea was to bring the outside in.

Despite having a great GM, Dorelly says that building a second home from a distance is a lot harder than she thought it would be. Making detail decisions regarding plumbing and electrical was difficult. 

This photo was taken before the cabinets were stained.

Dorelly is planning to decorate with a lot of timeless, vintage accessories. She is hoping to have the home completely finished in about 5 years. I'm looking forward to checking back in with her as she "feathers her nest!" In the meantime, I'll take a glass of wine and a chaise right here...

It's like being in a treehouse!

Dorelly described the cabin's setting to me. "No matter how many times I have been here, there is always something new. It's a gorge, and no matter where you look, it's picturesque and serene."

I agree. Don't you?

Linking up to Open House Party at No Minimalist Here

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Favorite Room, More Flea Market Finds and a Great Book

Hi. Remember me? I fell off the blogosphere for a while. Blogger wouldn't let me leave comments on other blogs and my computer was having internet issues, so I shut down my laptop and picked up a book. And, then I couldn't put the book down. 

If you're looking for an incredible read, might I suggest "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. It is the unbelievable true story of Olympic runner and WWII POW, Louie Zamperini. I promise that you will LOVE it, and you will want to discuss it. So, go read it and then come back here and talk to me about it :)

Thought I'd share with you one of the rooms in my house where you're likely to catch me reading. Just through the french doors in the master bedroom is our sunroom.

I love spending time in the sunroom because, well, it's just so darn sunny in there.

As you can see, my new dry sink found a home in this room.

Did you spot my other flea market find in the photo? It's a vintage egg crate.

I realize the paint is not vintage, but once again, it was the turquoise color that got me. I think for now I'll use it as a magazine holder.

These Ball jars were also from the flea market. I've seen them overpriced in local antique stores, but they were a bargain in Springfield... and there were TONS of them from which to choose.

Here's a view of the other side of the room.

I know that fake flowers are a major faux pas, and they were all banished from the house with the exception of my peony arrangement. I don't care. I like it :)

The only real plants that survive around here are my succulents.

And, there's always the low-maintenance rock collection option.

This is the kids' art table, which is being outgrown much too quickly for my liking.

My oldest has graduated to the easel. One of his latest creations is on display there now.

Hope you've enjoyed your visit to my sunroom. It's really a great space to sit in the sun, have a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy the solitude. Oh, who am I kidding? I am never alone.

But, at least I have really cute company.

The sunroom is also accessible through our family room, which you can catch a glimpse of here.

I'll show you that room some day. Right now the floor is covered in legos. 

The sunroom is my favorite reading spot. Where do you curl up with a good book?

Linking up to...

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special