Friday, September 23, 2011

Hello Autumn !

Hello friends...YES, it's officially
image source
and I could not be happier
Yup, that's a big ole happy face.
I am in my 
element when the temps cool down
the leaves turn gold.

I never tire of my views!
I look forward to

(Oh yeah...I can bake a mean pie)

Pumpkin Bread
(my sister Maddy bakes a fabulous Pumpkin Bread)
Then, of course I love

Tutorial Here

what's Thanksgiving without Charlie Brown!
Along with Fall comes the tastes and aroma of our 
(Mr. Secret Agents favorite holiday)
I am going to get a head start on the thankful thing
and say 
Thank You...Thank You
For all the visits to my little blog and the many kind comments!

So unpack your sweaters and cozy sofa throws

Let the knitting and crocheting

Start carving those pumpkins
and ...dare I say it...
rack those leaves.
But most of all
I hope you take the 

Until next kind and stay creative.

Sharing here:
Tatertots & Jello Weekend Wrap Up

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

Hello old friends and a big welcome to all my new readers ...happy to have you back at the nest once again.
So today I want to talk about stepping outside your comfort zone. 
Whether it is trying a new craft, art form or even a new job, the idea is the same.
Don't worry about messing it up or failing, because if you never try....I'm here to tell you that you have already failed.
This week I stepped out of my comfort zone of paint colors and went bold

Have you seen this fabulous website?

These girls are so brave with their color choices and I love that!
Kind of a "Go Big Or Go Home' attitude.

 I bought this three shelf accent table of a guys front lawn.
I think he felt guilty asking $10.00 for it. I know I felt guilty giving him just $10.00.
OK...not really
Sweet little table with brass feet and an unusual trio of wide shelves.
A nice solid table....but a little boring and the top was messed up a bit.
This quiet table is about to get the shock of it's life...

 Let the 'shock and awe' begin!

Well here she is in all her Antibes Green and Paris Grey glory.
I was very nervous with those first couple of green brush strokes...I have to be honest, but I really like the end result.

I love the green and grey pairing....really love it.
After some clear and dark wax, I loved it even more.

Look how smooth the distressing a true age worn piece.

I cleaned up the lion's head just enough to let some shine come through while still leaving some of the age intact.
He looks proud to be anchoring this new bold table.
My Antibes table is headed to my Fox Den space to hopefully find a good home.

Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone?
Tell me about it!

Until next kind and stay creative.

Sharing my bold move with these fun blogs:
Hope Studios (see side Bar Button)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Three Gals Get A Makeover and My Giveaway Winner

Hello friends and welcome back. 
It still amazes me that you all come back each time and I'll try never to take that for granted.
For those of you eager to hear if you won some fabric...well you just have to wait just a smidge
Hey...come back here, no fair peeking at the end of my post.
You are obligated to sit through my table makeover..hehe..

So here we have a trio of very nice Craigs List  nesting tables.
As you can see the tops are in rough shape...some rings, burn marks and worn spots.
I think they need a little love and I'm feeling very loving today.

Are you ready to see the fruits of my love fest?

Well what do you think?
They just needed a little ASCP and a French lesson.

Instead of the typical 1-2-3 adorning each table, I chose the French version.

I handpainted the French lettering with ASCP in Graphite.
Here is a little hint when you are painting letters, use a good quality, fine liner artist brush and add enough water to get your paint to an inky consistency. 
It will flow much nicer.
I found my font on
Simply print out your words in your chosen font and using graphite paper, trace them onto your project piece.
Then you are ready to paint them...easy!

I started with Old White, then trimmed the tables in Versailles and Paloma.
I think these colors look lovely together.

Then a little distressing, a good waxing, buffing and my tables are reborn!
Now they are ready for my shop at The Fox Den.
I sure hope someone else loves them too.

Thanks Kim for picking me in your giveaway so I could  have my giveaway!

Ok...and now for the winner of the $50.00 gift certificate from Natasha at the fabulous 
 First I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all who entered. I was blown away by the number
of you that responded. 
The lucky winner is......

Congratulations Kristy!
  By the looks of your blog, you are surely going to put this fabric to good use.
Send me your e-mail and I will put you in touch with 

Until next kind and stay creative.

Ooops...I forgot to tell you something very important!!!!!
Remember when I told you how grateful I was for your participation...
well , I really meant it!
To show my gratitude, I am going to send three more followers fabric from my personal 
never ending stash!!
YAY...3 more ladies get to receive a package of beautiful fabric.
And those 3 lucky ladies are...
#1...Annette @ So Many Memories
#2...Nancy @ Atelier Conti
#3...TJM @ Quilt Artist

Congratulations Ladies!
Send me your mailing addresses.
I wish I could give you all some fabric...actually..I could, but the shipping would break me

Sharing with my friends this week:
Hope Studios (see sidebar button)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ashleigh's Cottage Sidetable ***A Cinderella Story

Hello friends....thanks for joining me again. I hope your week has been good so far and that you are looking forward to the weekend. 
So my post title promises a Cinderella story, so let's begin.
Remember a few posts back I told you that my niece Ashleigh had asked me to help her restyle her bedroom?
Well she has been texting me with ideas and
 we have been slowly coming up with a design.
Ash and her Mom (my sister Joanne) have picked out the paint color and will be painting her room next weekend.
I will be headed up to NY to work some Annie Sloan Chalk paint magic on her bedroom furniture.

This is Ashleigh's inspiration room.
Isn't it beautiful?
Looks like the restyle will include very pale green walls with a very pale yellow accent wall.
Lot's of painted furniture with some mis-matched cottage styled side tables.

I have had this little  stepchild of a cupboard for a few years. I believe years ago a mean stepsister painted it an ugly maroon-red.

My little cupboard lived her life of drudgery covered in red dullness.
Then another nasty stepsister took control of her and covered her in super glossy white latex...YUCK!
Her little eyes hurt from the intense brightness of it all.
She began to wonder if she would ever get to be a beautiful Princess.
Then one day her Fairy Godmother Annie came into her life and she soon realized nothing would ever be the same.
Paint cans were opened, brushes were produced and drop clothes spread on the kitchen table...yeah, the fairy Godmother paints on the kitchen a problem with that?
***A Princess was Born ***

Isn't chalk paint magic just a lovely thing?

Her Fairy Godmother even gifted her with sparkling jewels.

Interior painted in ASCP Arles 
Even her petticoat got the magic touch.

Now she will regally stand beside Ashleigh's bed and be proud to hold all her special treasures.

So pretty now...Bye-Bye ugly stepsisters!

Had to show of my little Meakin Ironstone vase I found at a yard sale for $2.00
Doesn't she look sweet on the table?

I hope Ash likes her new bedside table as much as I do.

If you have not already entered my SkyeReve Fabrics $50.00 fabric Giveaway, you still have a couple more days.
Someone is going to win...why not you!

Until next kind anad stay creative.

Joining these lovely blogs this week:
Miss Mustard Seed Interiors
Transformation Thursday
The Shabby Nest
Savvy Southern Style

Monday, September 12, 2011

What Do You Know About Aqua Ball Jars?

  Hello friends..welcome back to my empty nest!

So went to a yard sale this weekend and found yourself a pretty aqua Ball Mason jar.
They are all the rage now and becoming quite sought after, but what do you really know about your colorful little glass jar?
What's that you say....NOTHING!!
Well we are going to fix that right now.
First let me show you what I found this weekend...

I hit the jackpot!
I bought these from a glass guy, who as a teenager, would troll his local landfills for glass.
Man, did this guy have GLASS !!!
I bought these for $1.00 a piece....yup, you don't need to get your read right..
Aren't they just gorgeous???

Love the aged zinc tops with the Ball logo.

Some had very cool glass and wire nostalgic.
We all love these for their simple design, their functionality and beautiful color.
They can be used in a practical way as in canning.
Or for a completely stylish manner in your home decor.

Image via Pinterest
They look beautiful as vases.
So how about a little Ball jar Primer.
Ball started Making glass jars back in 1885 in Buffalo, New York.
After moving to Muncie, IN and opening a new plant, they started making jars from acquired molds.
Most of these were the normal shoulder seal variety, but they also made the 'new Improved' type that used a glass lid and zinc band.
In 1893 Ball began using the Script style BALL lettering on their jars.
sometimes the name was underscored, sometimes not.
Around 1895, Ball started using machines instead of original old blowing techniques.
 A new cursive script began to be used that was not seen on their handmade jars.
Ball jars have a few different hallmarks that help to date them.

This chart will help you date any Ball jars you might have.
I found this very informative.
The group of Ball jars I found this weekend had many of the different logos shown.

This one dates to around 1915...the Mason is now centered. No loop after the double L's and no underscore.

The IDEAL jars date back to 1915's.

Offset Perfect Mason lettering dates this one to around 1913-14. These were not mistakes as many believe, just reworked molds.
Notice now you see the Ball is underscored..again this helps to date it.

The IDEAL Ball jar with the word underscoring 1910-1923.

I love this Better Housekeeping glass top and zinc screw on.

My ATLAS E-Z  Seal jar is what 's called a 'Lightening Jar' because the glass and wire clamp made is super fast to get opened. These were popular because no food ever touched metal.
The Hazel-Atlas Gall Co. manufactured jars from the late 1800's to 1964.

 The white inside the zinc top is milkglass.
It is hard to read, but this is labeled 'GENUINE ZINC CAP FOR BALL MASON JAR'

Example of a Shouldered jar and a No-shoulder jar
My Atlas Mason jar on the right is a very old one dating back to at least 1910!
The glass is paler and all bubbly and more rustic looking.
How great is that???
Sadly Ball discontinued their famous Blue/Aqua color in 1937. The blue glass had been produced since 1890's.
Did you know the blue color came from the minerals in the sand they used in the manufacturing?
The sand came from the shores of Lake Michigan and when a certain amount of oxygen was used, it resulted in the gorgeous Blue/Aqua color we love today.
There is so much more information at this fabulous website:
Thank you Bob!!!
So there you have are so much Ball Jar smarter now.
Now go hunt down some pretty jars..they are out there.
Rumor Killer:
The #13 on the bottom of a Ball Mason jar is not a rare thing...Bob says that is an old wives tale and that they are not worth any more than a jar with a different number.
Don't fall for that story.
Good to know Bob

Until next kind and stay creative.

My SkyeReve Fabric Giveaway is still going hop over here to get yourself entered to win $50.00 worth of gorgeous fabric of your choice!!

I will be sharing my post with these lovely  blogs this week: