Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Texas bound!

Hello friends....welcome..welcome!
Monday night I returned home from a lovely memory filled trip to Texas.

Chelsea and her Dad
My son's best friend from childhood married his beautiful lady.
The ceremony was held just outside Austin, at a place called Camp Lucy.
The quaint little French Colonial stone chapel was relocated to Texas from Vietnam.
It was a really lovely venue for a wedding and the weather was spectacular.

Wedding photos by Sean Metzger
Matthew and Chelsea Wright

Yeah...they do look happy, don't they?

They little stone floored chapel was so romantic and quaint.
The ceremony was sweet and simple.

I really loved the Hydrangea filled mason jars hanging from the chairs by
 luscious pale pink satin ribbon

My son Sean snapped a few beautiful photos. 
I think he captured the magic of the moment quite nicely.
But then I am his mother and a bit partial.

The little flower girls were so cute in pretty white chiffon dresses.

The pretty lady on the right is my dear friend Toni, or as I like to call her 'Paula Dean'
Toni is an authentic Southern Belle from Louisiana.
It was so great to see my friend again.
Her Matthew and my Sean were inseparable  as youngsters...
and then we moved to Virginia.
They had not seen each other in almost ten years.
It was a very nice reunion.

The plane ride took me up into the clouds that I normally can only enjoy from my back deck.
It's nice to view them from the other side.

When I left Virginia, the leaves were just beginning to change color.

After a few chilly evenings it seems the leaves took on much more color.
It was quite beautiful during the approach to Dulles Airport.
Lot's of color.

Now that I am home, I have been busy stocking my two spaces at the 
I have also been busy working on two vintage dressers.

This is the dresser I took a hit for...remember me texting the Craigs List seller while going for a ride in an ambulance....ahhhhh  fun memories indeed.

This dresser is a rather hefty and manly style.
You will have to come back to visit again to see the transformations.
What thought I was going to reveal them now....silly people.
What fun would that be???

Please forgive the photo quality.
I have had to resort to using my iphone.
I seem to have left my camera behind in my Texas rental car.
Happy to say they have put it in the mail to me.

I'll be gone again this's a big surprise.
I will be meeting some very talented ladies 
I hope to return
with some exciting news
and a big smile
on my 

Until next kind and stay creative.

Sharing Here:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Surprise..Some Crafty Sisters and A Table

Hey pleased to see you back here.
Remember my sorry looking, very NON seasonal front door?

Not very indicative of the Autumn season, is it?
Well my sweet sister Maddy, who is a very crafty gal, read my post and
 took pity on me 
and made me ...

This gorgeous Fall inspired wreath!

Isn't it beautiful?
Thank you Maddy..Love you lots.

Now on to the Surprise part of my post.

 These pretty ladies are my two younger sisters
Joanne and Maddy.
They called one day and said they were coming to visit on Oct 14 till Oct 17.
"WooHoo" was my response as usual.

Then my older brother Bobby called and said he was going to visit Oct 14 till Oct 17.
Again a big WooHoo!
Now Joanne and Maddy have not seen Bobby since my sister Mary Sue's funeral.
Being the devious women that we are
we decided not to tell Bobby that the girls were coming
Yeah...I know, we're bad girls.
The photo above is Bobby entering the guest room and seeing my sisters
He looks happy, although I'm sure his first thought was
"Snap, I have to share a bathroom with two women"
...or maybe
"Shoot, there goes my quiet weekend"

Bobby had fun posing with the apples I was peeling for deep dish apple pie..he is not shy  around a camera.

Ok...will someone please take the camera away from him!!!!
You should see the pic's I deleted

Whenever my sisters come, I make them encourage them to do a craft with me.
Last year we painted gourds
This year I had them playing with Mod Podge and wallpaper.
We made super simple bunting using wooden tags.

I had some folkart inspired wallpaper border leftover from a bathroom years ago.
All we did was trace the tag shape..cut out the wallpaper design and Mod Podge it to the tag.
We hot glued twine around the edges 
Super easy!

We used a Cropadile to punch holes to string them with twine.
Joanne is going to hang hers on her mantel.
Very cute!

To keep my company busy I had some little trips planned for them and asked them what they would like to do while here in Virginia.
Guess what they chose to do???

Salvation Macy's !!!!!!
Bobby at the Manassas Civil War Battlefield
Bobby came away with a great lambskin bomber jacket for only
Joanne found a large sterling silver pitcher that was gorgeous.
And Maddy........well Maddy spotted a trio of solid oak accent tables.

Isn't this a great table?
I love the curved legs and the soft rounded edges.
This is the second table.
A lovely piece with sweet kitten feet and a nice functional drawer.
Oh...and that grain!!!!!
Really love the beautiful oak grain on these tables.
I forgot to take a photo of the third table in the set.
It was similar to this one, but it had drop leaves on either side...very cool.
Maddy took that table back to NY and I kept the other two.

After a coat of Versailles and Old Ochre with some clear and dark wax...
she is sporting an updated new look.

I love a little a little surprise, 
so I painted the drawer insides a pretty shade of chalk paint called Emile.

Hints of Versailles green peeking through.

 I painted over the pulls and when I sanded, a little of the gold popped through.
I like that
And that gorgeous grain!!!!
See...I know when to leave wood alone.

I love the combination of the wood top and the soft painted bottom.
Gives my table a fresh look.
So what do you think..did I do this little table a favor or should I have left her alone?
This table will be headed to my shop At The Fox Den along with the coffee table I will be painting also.
I hope someone gives them a good home.

So there you have it..
A Surprise
Crafty Sisters
A Painted Table

Until next kind and stay creative.
Sharing with the very cool {Hue*ol*ogy} Ladies

Janet xox

Monday, October 17, 2011

Are You a Master Designer?

Hello friends...welcome back.
I hope your weekend was as wonderful as mine.
You will hear more about all my fun in a post later this week.

Today I would like to share with you something my new blog friend, Darlene wrote about.
Darlene writes a beautiful design blog called 

“I am a Master Designer.
I love Beauty;
I see potential and I want to fill it with beauty.
I aim to create something beautiful that is worthy of joy.
Design is a high calling, one that can improve the lives of others, be a means to foster relationships, and add much joy to my family.I appreciate fine and lovely things, but they are not my treasures.I know what is truly important, and
I do not aim to “store up my treasures here on earth.”*
I live to bring glory to God, the Ultimate Master Designer.He created Beauty.
He created all beautiful things.

And, He created my passion for design, and set that joy in my heart.
Everything that I create,and have created,
is because I myself was created by a Master.

I am a Master Designer.”

*{verse reference, Matthew 6:19}

At first I thought to myself.."I'm not a designer like her."
 However, after giving it some thought and rereading the 
Master Designer Manifesto
I realized that anyone who creates anything of beauty, wether it be a beautiful room, 
a painted work of art,
Or like me...a lovely couture apron.
We are all 
Master Designers!
I am pretty sure that all of us are very aware that these material 'things' that we create
are nothing compared to the spiritual aspects of our lives.
That is the design that lasts a lifetime and beyond.
To lose sight of that is to lose sight of what really matters in this world.
Your God
Your Family 
Your Friendships

These are the things we should gather, cherish and keep very close to our hearts.

So I would love to invite any of my readers who, like me, 
understand that the accumulation of 'stuff' here on earth
is not what will bring you joy in this life or after, to visit
You can grab yourself a lovely button to place on your blog
to declare to other bloggers
that you too are a 
'Master Designer'

Please don't worry or feel pressured to make this declaration.
I will still and always be thrilled to see you visit here every week and hopefully find a teeny bit of
 Inspiration to take back to your world.
Until next kind and stay creative.

Sharing here this week:
Between Naps On The Porch
Dittle Dattle

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I'm In Love and My Defense Of Chalk Paint

Hello friends..happy to have
 you visit once again.
How was your weekend?
Mr. Secret Agent had the holiday off, so he was very busy doing lot's of yard work.
Don't feel bad...he thrives outside on his John Deere.
I on the other hand spent it painting.

I am so excited to show you what I have been working on this weekend.
You know those people who fall in love with inanimate the Eiffel Tower
and the Brooklyn Bridge 
Well I have joined their club...

About a month ago, I spotted this maple china cabinet at my local Warrenton Salvation Macy's.
it got my attention, but I didn't buy it.
Each time I returned and it was still sitting there, I was more intrigued.
The price was great and it was a solid piece of wood furniture.
Were people not able to see past the slightly outdatedness of it??
Couldn't anyone see it's possibilities????
Well I was going to show them what they were missing out on.
I bought that lonely china cabinet and they even delivered it right to my doorstep!
Are you ready to see what a little imagination
 and some Annie Sloan chalk paint
can do?

I had just received my new chalk paint colors and thought this would 
be a good piece to try out the Coco.
Beautiful color...warm and rich.
I knew I wanted to paint the interior a different color and had a bit of a dilema as to which one to choose.
I decided on Cream, which is really a buttery pale yellow.
Cream is a gorgeous subtle color.
It was not winning me over here.
Coco and Cream are beautiful separately, but together, they washed each other out.
On to Plan B
I went on Annie's Facebook page and asked her for help.
Now this is what I love about this lady....she answered me with her opinions.
Annie suggested to pair the Coco with either Emperor's Silk, a drop dead gorgeous red, or a rich blue.
Who am I to question the woman who developed these colors?
Are you ready to see what I chose??

I'm in love!!!!!!!
I chose Annie's Aubusson Blue to compliment the warm Coco.

I am so thrilled with this piece!!!!

Just look at the warm glow you can achieve with the clear wax.

I am so happy with this combo...Aubusson Blue is a magnificent super rich
This is my first project using AB and I know I will be using this color many more times.
I think it is especially great when painting a piece and you don't want it to look to girly, but still want a pretty look.
Husbands will love this color...Mr. Secret Agent kept commenting how 
great this piece looked.

As I painted the interior, I kept my brush strokes very loose and did a lot of X strokes.
I did not attempt to achieve full coverage, but a kind of painted canvas look.
Once I waxed and buffed the interior, it took on a crushed velvet sort of texture.
So pretty.

Here is that wonderful wax/buff glow again.
These paints just always seem to give me the look I am striving for with minimal work.

I always make sure to paint and wax the tops of these bigger pieces in case you can see it from a high landing or balcony setting.

 I accented with some of the new Pure White and then sanded off 60% of it for a nice age worn look.
I didn't want it too bright.
After the painting was completed, I applied a coat of clear wax and then did my distressing and sanding.
This really helped to cut down on the chalk dust. I worked on this piece exactly where you see it in the photos.....yeah I know, I'm crazy that way.
But I tell you this because by waxing first, I had a little chalk dust that fell to the floor which I easily
vacuumed up. I then simply vacuumed the whole piece.
Hardly any mess at all.
I hand sanded, but if you use a palm sander without a bag, it will blow that stuff all over.
I would use that outside or in a workshop space only . 

Sorry, my knee shot is a little blurry, but you get the idea.

I painted right over the knobs with the Coco and then dry brushed with more of the White.
Now the pulls really stand out.

 I can't help myself...I have to brag about the wonderful finish you can get with the waxes.
You should feel this piece...smooth as a....well you know.

Look how incredible the Aubusson looks with Ironstone plates...
be still my pounding heart!

Tell me...does this not look like a Dutch Masters still-life painting??????

So let's review, shall we?

 Here they are side by side
Which one gets your vote?

I vote for the beautiful French lady.
To all those who passed this lady by without a glance in her direction..
You should see
now! let's talk Chalk Paint shall we?
I've noticed lot's of talk on a few blogs recently about making your own chalk paint.
I have no problem with trying to save money or looking for a less expensive method of achieving identical results on a project of any kind.
I tip my hat to all the great DIY'ers out there.
This is just my opinion my friends.

It does however bother me to read that Annie is being 'exposed'.
As if the many years she has spent (over 40) perfecting her product  and brand is not genuine and valid.
Yes ASCP is more costly than a gallon of Glidden or Behr,
 but you are comparing apples to oranges.
Annie Sloan's chalk paint is NOT a latex based product.
It will NOT get a skin if you leave the can open.
Distresses like a dream which, from what I've read, the homemade one does not.
I fail to see how adding Calcium Carbonate to Latex paint will magically
turn it into chalk paint of the same quality.
It will be chalky looking, but I think the likeness ends there.
Hello Ladies...the LATEX is still there!!!!
I was just in my local paint shop and saw other very well respected and high end
 European and American
paint brands selling for $40.00 a quart.
It is not that unusual for high quality, highly pigmented paint.
There are many excellent qualities that you can not get by simply adding Gesso or Calcium Carbonate.
Has anyone tested the long term adhesion of these DIY versions?
I sell my pieces and I need to be darn sure that they will hold up and stay beautiful for many years.  
I also don't have time to wait a week for the latex paint to fully cure.
Time is money.
I even e-mailed the kind folks at Behr and asked them about all this.
Their rep. Jonathan said 
 "We do not recommend using any non-Behr additives to our paints as this may affect the proper curing and adhesion of the paint." 

Glidden and Martha Stewart said the same thing.

Many of the DIY CP projects I read about had a lot of 
I added more this.....I changed the ratio of that...I had to redo this"
For me..I don't have time for that.
 I want to open a can and GO!
The piece I showcased in this post was completed using approx. $5.80 worth of Coco and $2.00 worth of Aubusson Blue.
I'm talking $7.80 to totally restyle and have complete confidence in the lasting beauty
 of this very large piece!
Please explain how that is too costly?
Last month the blogosphere was filled with reviews of the new Martha Stewart craft paint line.
I read hundreds of adoring comments about what a fabulous product this was and how everyone was going to run out and buy some..
On HSN (Home Shopping Network) they are selling an 18 pk/2oz. bottle (36 oz) package of the stuff for 
  $33.21 Quart plus possible tax
Folkart Acrylics craft paint typically retails for $1.99 per 2oz bottle or
$32.00 Quart (32oz)
Not much less than ASCP's
$35.00 quart (32oz)

I't all relative my friends and I'm just trying to keep it all in the proper prospective.

And no...I am not a stockist of Annie's paint, but I would proudly
sell it in a heart beat.
Thanks for indulging me in my defense of ASCP.
As the Dutch are known to say

" There is nothing more expensive than cheap paint " TM

Until next kind and stay creative.

sharing here this week: