Tuesday, January 31, 2012

~Marie Antoinette chalk painted tray~

Hello friends...I'm back and still playing with paint.

I watched Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette again the other day.
I love that movie...
the clothes
the hair
the food
the furniture
and then there is 

What a stunningly beautiful Palace
It put me in a very French mood

Remember the wood tray I painted last week and I told you I had two of them.

This is the smaller of the two.

Well I decided to 'Frenchify' (is that a word?) the 2nd larger one.
I had my brand new preview can of Annie Sloan 
Oh my what a gorgeous color!
I like to refer to it as.. 
"A pink for us grown up gals".

Are you ready for Annie's newest color???

Hello Mademoiselle Antoinette!
I know...the police are at the door
because it is a crime to be this beautiful!!!!

I trimmed the tray in Coco
which is the perfect compliment to this stunning pink.

To achieve an antique look, I crackled the ASCP 
(no crackle medium needed)
and finished with clear and dark wax.
I applied extra dark wax in the cracked areas.
To get the crackled look..lay, don't brush, the paint on thickly using the flat side of your 
Then hit it with your blow dryer on high.
Watch the magic happen.
Try that with latex...I don't think so.

I love this look...instant age.

I would proudly serve little cakes and pastries
 to Marie with this tray.
I think she would approve

Maryann from the great blog
The Power of Paint
is featuring my lovely tray this week!
Thanks Maryann!

Domestically Speaking

Until next time...be kind and stay creative.

Now don't you leave without entering my fabulous
It is open until Feb. 8th 2012.
You can find it

no..not down here....up there..click on the blue word!!

I'll be sharing with these fun blogs:

~Fashionable Fabrics Fabulous Freebie~

Try saying that 5 times fast!!
Hello my friends...good to see you again.
If you are a new reader here at The Empty Nest
you are just in time for a fabulous 
last week I ordered some beautiful
fabric from an online company called 
Fashionable Fabrics

As I was filling out the order form I noticed a comment box.
You know me...can't keep my mouth closed..had to comment.
I suggested that Fashionable Fabrics and The Empty Nest 
would be a great team and suggested a
What the heck...all they could say is
Guess what?
My new best friend
Dennis from Fashionable Fabrics, said
Looks like I'm giving away lot's of pretty fabric to not one winner, but
Isn't that so generous of Dennis?
Fashionable Fabrics will be sending
two lucky winners
gift certificates for $30.00 each!

They are currently having a $4.95 flat-rate shipping special
 and the International shipping rates are Very reasonable.
You can read about them 

So start browsing their site for some new fabric.
You will find lovelies like..

Bird Paisley by Nest Collection
You know I'm a bird lover !

Farmdale Blossom by Alexander Henry
I love this vintage inspired small floral.

Kumari Garden by Free Spirit
Great colors!

Pear Tree Main by Andover
Yummy green!

I have found this beautiful Tanya Whelan print on another
fabric website for $10.50 yd.
Only $8.75 at Fashionable Fabrics
You will love their prices.

Maybe you would like a new sewing book?

Or a few wonderful new patterns

remember when I conquered my fear of zippers?
Maybe you want to whip up some pretty zipper pouches as gifts.

Or create a lovely fun apron

Fashionable Fabrics also offers trims, notions, remnants and organic fabrics.
I promise you will love the huge selection of 
 great fabric designers and beautiful prints for all your sewing creations.
Ok...here's how this will work.

Yup...all good things in life seem to have a few rules:
1. be a follower of The Empty Nest Blog (thank you)
2. visit the Fashionable Fabrics website and tell me what your favorites are 
3. follow Fashionable Fabrics on Facebook Twitter  or Pinterest (or all three)
4. leave lot's of comments!! (ok, I threw that one in there because I just like reading comments)

That's it!
The Fashionable Fabrics Giveaway
will run until 12 midnight on Feb. 8th (wed)
Good luck to everyone!!

Until next time...be kind and stay creative!


Sunday, January 29, 2012

~Paint Transformations...following Annie Sloan's lead~

Hello friends.....it's very early Sunday morning 
and I am sitting in my favorite chair (Salvation Macy's) 
and quietly enjoying a hot cup of coffee. 
Miss Carmen has developed 
a habit of nudging me in the face every morning at 4:45 am.
Don't adjust your screen....
I did say 4:45 am.....Sheesh!
And you wonder how I manage to snap so many gorgeous Virginia 
sunrise photos??

Orange juice anyone?

This week end I hid myself in my basement while working on 
my newest dresser restyle.

Pardon the photo quality..these were taken in a basement with a cell phone.
I found this little children's armoir
at my Salvation Macy's.
It is solid maple from the 1960's.
I know that because someone wrote on the inside door:
"Solid Maple from the 1960's"
I am such an astute detective...I see clues others miss.

Love the little pull out clothes hanger rack....too cute and very functional.

This is a great piece, just very ....bland and very orange.
My inspiration for the color came from one of my students at my Annie Sloan workshop last week.
She had painted a sample board in Coco and Duck Egg Blue.
When the piece was distressed, the two colors were so beautiful layered.
I knew that was going to be my next color combo.

so I took her from this....
to this...
What do you think?
I knew right away that I wanted to paint something on the door.
It was a blank canvas in my eyes.
While trying to decide what to paint, I remembered seeing a simple, but beautiful design that
Annie Sloan had demonstrated in her book,
Annie called it "cow parsley" but we in America know it as
Queen Anne's Lace.
It was so easy...I'll show you how I did it.

I took a cut piece of cereal box and tipped the edge into some Old White.

Then I simply made long loose stems..no perfection here please!
Rustic charm is the goal..keep it loose.

I made the dots with the end of a match stick.
After my cow parsley dried thoroughly..the dots might take a little longer, so don't rush, I lightly sanded to make it appear worn.

Nice touch...don't you think.
Anyone can do this and you don't even need a paint brush!

I did the same design on the large wooden knobs, 
but I used Coco instead of Old White.
The old knobs looked chunky and dated
now they look stylish.

I love the Coco peaking through the Duck Egg 
and the patina of the clear and dark wax.

I painted the drawer sides in Coco
 for a nice visual when you open one.

Love it when I can salvage the original knobs.
See the subtle Coco underneath?

I am really happy with the pretty simplicity of this piece.

So that's my latest.
I can see this armoire in a child's room or maybe a farmhouse kitchen.
You could hang your vintage linens and dish towels on the pull out rack.
Thanks for the inspiration Annie!

I will be sharing my little dresser with these lovely blogs:

Stay tuned my friends...I have a fabulous 
planned for this week.
You are going to love it!!

Until next time...be kind and stay creative.


Friday, January 27, 2012

~A Painted Tray~ Carmen the Warrior Cat~ASCP Event Big Announcement~

Hello friends...I'm back and I've been very busy!
A few weeks ago, I found two very cool wood trays at a local consignment shop.
Normally I don't waste my time in those types of shops 
because usually they charge too much for their  items.
Having a middle man always bumps up the prices.

These two large trays were an exception.
This is the smaller one...think Bombay Co.
Very well made and beautiful lines, 
but no distinct wood grain to make me put the paint brush down.
Oh...and the price was right!
Out came the Annie Sloan chalk paints and after playing around with color mixing, I now have ..

Isn't she pretty and she has so much more personality, don't you think?
To get from plain to pretty

I mixed ASCP Antibes Green with Aubusson Blue
As I have said before, Annie's paintes mix like a dream.
Never muddy, just another dreamy color.
This one is darker than Provence and greener than Duck Egg.

You guys know that you don't have to prime or sand with ASCP...right?
Of course you do...silly me, I forgot you guys are 

My tray is trimmed with Old Ochre.
I waxed with clear, distressed and then another coat 
of clear with some dark on top of that.

On the base of the tray, I painted using an Impasto technique.
I let the paint thicken a little and brushed it on in a flat sided choppy way.
I guess not really brushed, 
but really lay the paint on and then hit it with the blowdryer to speed dry it.
The added texture looks great with dark wax,
it gives it something to grab onto.
I love the look.
Instant age.

And what has not been already said about 
the buttery glow of Annie's waxes.
I truly don't understand those who say they find these waxes hard to work with.
They practically apply themselves.
I believe most users who are having a hard time are simply applying too much wax.

Not too heavy on the distressing

Now I am ready for a proper cup of tea and a little Elizabeth I.
These trays are great when placed on a large ottoman
Perfect for serving company or just pretty when used in a vignette.
Hey Kim...Vignette this baby for me!!!!
Kim is the Queen  of Vignettes.
I will restyle the large tray 
and both of these beauties will go to my shop and hopefully find good homes.

While I was in the basement
Miss Carmen was keeping busy doing battle with a fly in the window.
Poor fly...he never saw it coming.

Miss Carmen was plain tuckered out after all that warfare..

I will be sharing here this week:

A reminder:
Annie is coming to the USA!!
Annie will be coming to 8 American cities to speak and conduct workshops.
What a day this will be...
This one day event will include 
Attend a 2 hour technique and color demonstration given by Annie herself
Join a break-out group for a 4 hour painting workshop with all paints and supplies included
Enjoy a hosted lunch
Annie will join each of the workshop groups for one on one talks
Enjoy a fabulous book signing/social hour with Annie at the end of the day
If you love ASCP..this is the event for you!!
Hey Guys...want to give your wife/girlfriend the Perfect Valentines gift?
All this for only $350 !
Imagine if Eric Clapton spent the whole day with you and taught you how to play the guitar..
including all his secret techniques..
And only charged you $350!!!!!
Thats exactly how I justify the cost...so worth it and it could be your only chance to meet Annie.
This will be her last international tour for a while.
**Here is the Big Announcement**
To sweeten the pot..those that register by Feb. 14th, Valentines Day
will be eligible to win a prize of ..
Are you ready for this?

You get to pick the colors awarded!
29 quarts of ASCP!!

One winner for each city Annie is visiting
So what are you waiting for?

Until next time...be kind and stay creative.