Thursday, April 26, 2012

~ A butter yellow Chalk Paint™ rocker ~

Hello my dears...hope your week has been full of sunshine and Spring blossoms.
On Tuesday,I joined my blog friend Connie of Hartwood Roses
 and her lovely mother on a house and garden tour in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
What a wonderful treat.
Click on the Hartwood Roses link above to read Connie's post.

I took quite a few pretty photos and will be sharing them with you very soon...I promise!
With all the pretty flowering trees, shrubs and flower beds all around me, I have been inspired
 to paint something ...

I bought this old rocker at Cathy Shumate's Auction House a while back
I love is very sturdy and it was a real bargain.
Of course I can't leave well enough alone.
I had to brighten it up a bit.
Here is my rocker now..

What do you think?
I wanted to paint it yellow, so I created my own mix of 
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ 
I mixed Cream and Arles



Because no black is used in Annie's paints (except Graphite) you are able to mix them and create an unlimited number of gorgeous colors without them turning muddy.
Clean beautiful colors every time.
Please do not let the original 29 color palette restrict you....
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™
 is so much more than 29 colors.
I started with Cream and added Arles until I achieved a warm buttery yellow.
I only mixed up about 1/2 cup of paint for the whole chair.
I thinly based the chair in Cream...then applied my yellow mix.
A layer of Annie Sloan Soft Clear Wax, some very light edge distressing, another coat of wax 
and 24 hours later, a nice buffing to make her glow.

I reupholstered the seat with a gorgeous floral linen look cotton.
I purchased 4 1/2 yards of this pretty remnant fabric from a local high end
home decor fabric shop.
The colors were absolutely 
This cushion was so easy to is not screwed in to the frame..
it simply sits securely inside the seat frame on a little ledge.
So easy!

The caning was in perfect shape and I chose to leave it unpainted.
I think it adds nice texture and definition to the is more prominently featured.

Love the simple lines of this rocker...very uncomplicated.
See how deep the set in cushion is made of a very heavy wood frame and great vintage exposed hand tied springs and strapping.
Very well made.
My Sweet buttery yellow rocker will be headed to my shop
hoping for a new home...I think she would be perfect in a nursery!
Any new Moms out there?
While I was writing this post I noticed my funny Carmen obsessing with something under my Provence table...she was too cute and I had to snap a photo.

You have Pinterest...I have a dried leaf!

Until next kind and stay creative

Sharing here this week


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

~A little fabric, a little metal, a little paint and a new brush ~

Happy Wednesday my friends!
I spent the last few days painting some smaller items for the shop.
Here is just a little preview.

I bought these metal pieces a while back with the intention of adding 
some shabby chic loveliness to them.

I found this very simple wooden stool at the rummage sale I mentioned in a previous post.
The cushion was pretty ugly and the wood scraped and dark, but the stool was a good height and size and in very sturdy shape.
Also the price was VERY right!
A coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Country Grey, which has become a favorite neutral hue.
A vintage looking French Linen remnant fabric on the cushion and she is a new gal.

The linen has a background color of a very soft plaster pink with sage green leaves
and very large chrysanthemums. 
Linen has such a lovely texture.

I love the combo...quiet, but pretty.

I also changed up two metal pieces I found at a thrift shop.
This metal planter was all that dark reddish brown that you can still see at the base.
I painted it with Duck Egg Blue and dry brushed the ornate handles and the sides with Old White.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ works wonders on metal pieces.
Want to know a little secret?
You know how you can never get the clear wax out of the crevices..nooks and crannies of an ornate piece of furniture or home decor item like my planter or fancy picture frame?
You apply it beautifully with a waxing brush or a lint free cloth, but getting it out of those deep areas is imposible.
I hate seeing clumps of wax stuck in those areas 
so I went on a hunt for something to use on those spots.
I found the perfect tool.

These photos are via
Debra, an Annie Sloan Stockist and owner of, is one of two great retailers who supply me with my brushes.
I noticed on Debra's website that she was offering a Wax Polishing Brush for guess what....
getting into those crevises!!!!
Say What!!!!
So I now own one and I used it on my planter.
Bam...she hits it out of the park!!!!
Worked like a charm, was very easy to hold and is very affordable.
FYI...I had already purchased a shoe polishing brush, but it was way too soft and did more brushing over the relief design than into it..Mr. Secret Agent now has a new shoe brush.
I noticed on Debra's site that she offers another brush for buffing furniture...
might need to try that one also. 
If I do I will let you know how I like it.

I used my new brush on the curlicues also
I really love this sweet vintage looking birdcage. Again it was originally a dark metal, which I changed.
I very loosely dry brushed it Old White and then added a hit & miss dry brush of Duck Egg Blue.
Instant French heritage!
Ha! Have you noticed how my African Violet gets around...thats my idea of staging.
I don't know why Shaunna and Miss Mustard Seed need to make it look so hard and complicated.
Just buy an African Violet and stick in every blog photo!
You guys know I'm kidding....right???
For a really great video tutorial on dry brushing, check out Shaunna's Perfectly Imperfect blog
So that's it for today...I am currently painting a really pretty rocking chair and will share that very soon.
I will be getting myself gussied up Thursday,
Mr. Secret Agent is taking me out to dinner for our 37th wedding Anniversary.
My question for all of you is this.....
how many of you think my two sons will remember?

Until next kind and stay creative.


Monday, April 16, 2012

~ Me and Annie Sloan Part 2 ~

Happy Monday friends!

Well I know Spring is really here because my Eastern Bluebird boxes are full of the most beautiful Provence colored eggs ever!

This is what they look like..gorgeous!

For those of you not familiar with these lovely birds, this is a photo I took last winter.
The males are the birds in the forefront of the picture and the most colorful.
They are delightful little birds to have around.
We now have three bird boxes filled with a total of 14 eggs.
Now if we can keep the nasty House sparrows from invading and taking over, we will be good.
After the Leesburg,Va. Workshop ended, I flew to Boston the next morning.
If you missed my Virginia-Boston flight story, you can read about it here.

One of the best parts of Boston, aside from being asked to teach my own workshop class, was meeting some pretty terrific bloggers.
I have been fans of these blogs for a few years now.
Far left is Lisa Rickert of Jolie Design. Lisa is the woman who had the brilliant vision and determination to bring Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ to North America and beyond.
Thank you...thank you Lisa!!!!
Next is Jami from Freckled Laundry..Amy from Maison Decor, Patty from Classic Wall Finishes, Shaunna from Perfectly Imperfect and of course the insanely funny and talented Karen of Classic Wall Finishes.
Loved seeing them all together.
We really appreciate our loyal Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ bloggers.
Thank you all for helping to spread the word about this magical paint.

Annie and the Executive Assistant and best right hand gal you will ever meet..Teryl.
Teryl traveled with Annie and David during the whole tour and kept everything running smoothly.
I adore these two women!
Just look at those smiles.

Annie Sloan and my good friend and my original stockist, Patty Seaman of Classic Wall Finishes

Poor Shaunna...I had a grip on her and she was not going anywhere until I got a photo.
She is just as down home and authentic as she appears on her blog, 

I loved finally meeting two of my favorite bloggers.
Jami of Freckled Laundry and Amy from Maison Decor.
Amy is in the process of opening her first brick and mortar shop filled with all things French.
She is writing a blog series of posts about the whole adventure..a very exciting and fun read.
You can check it out here.

It was so much fun seeing Shaunna and Annie meet for the first time.
Annie is a big fan of Shaunna's blog and has been known to use the term 
'perfectly imperfect' 
in her presentations about color and technique.

Here is my Stockist and good friend Celeste from Creative Catfish Studios with Annie.
Notice how every photo of Annie is genuine smile...never forced. 
Never an "I wish this was over"type of smile. 
Annie loved meeting and getting to know all who approached her.
She is just that kind of Lady.

Creating the French Look by Annie Sloan
I brought along a hardcover edition of Annie's 'Creating the French Look' for her to autograph.
I found it at an antiques shop a while back and quickly made it mine.

I loved how Annie made each autograph unique to the person.
No Mary from Annie stuff

Creating the French Look by Annie Sloan
Hey Amy...look what is in Annie's book!
I believe you will be selling these chic bed crowns in your new French shop.

The after party at Sally Barker's whimsical shop, Counting Sheep Antiques, was simply 
Thats Sally hugging her very handsome grandson along with more gorgeous stockists.
Just look at the quaint!
I was in love at first sight and had the strongest desire to go home and look for a place of my own.

Snapped a shot of Amy of Maison Decor deep in conversation with Annie.
Hey Amy...might you be talking about her upcoming French/Belgium fabric line???
I wonder!

Yum...too bad I was flying and not driving home.
Some of these beauties would have come home with me.

Loved this vignette of Marie Antoinette inspired treasures along with Annie's
 'Creating the French Look' book.
This book is a big seller in my shop.

I have a soft spot for mixed media art...loved this sweet piece.
Sally is a master of this art form.

And have I mentioned how delicious the food was???
The display looked as good as the food tasted.

Well friends...that was my whirlwind long weekend with Annie and you better believe I enjoyed every second of it!

I will leave you with one more photo
We had the most beautiful crescent moon the other morning..I grabbed my little point and shoot
and tried to save it fore the day.
Have I told you that I have a soft spot in my heart for the moon...especially a crescent moon.
They just make me smile.

Until next kind and stay creative.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

~ Cracks Can Be Beautiful ~

  Happy Thursday my friends!
Things are slowly getting back to normal here at the Nest.
I am once again playing with my paint and doing my best to 
create a touch of beauty
I attended a community rummage sale a few weeks back.
It benefited the local SPCA, which I am a huge fan of.
All my family pets have come from shelters...
well except for Igor, the Iguana lizard.
But thats a whole other story!
I brought home quite a few great pieces of furniture to refurbish.
More about them in a later post.
I picked up a large frame at the sale.
Today I would love to show you some more magic that I have created with the help of
 Annie Sloan's Craqueleur™ crackle varnish.
I love this stuff!!!

Maryann was kind enough to feature my Craqueleur ™frame on her wonderful blog!
Many thanks my friend!

I forgot to take a BEFORE photo of my frame, but it looked almost exactly like this one.
Mine was a wood frame to a very awful oil painting. I knew I could simply remove the painting and restyle the frame.
It was a large frame also..not bad for $5.00

So what do you think...
I may be biased, but I think she is beautiful and will look great in my shop.
Let's look at a few before and afters of the crackle technique.

One coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Provence
After that dried, I used a damp rag to gently distress to expose the gilding.
Then I applied Annie Sloan's two step
Craqueleur™varnish crackle.
The first coat was dry in a couple of minutes and it dries check it. It will look wet, but it is not.
After applying a thin coat of step two, I hit the frame with a blow dryer and let the magic happen!
Once the crackle was complete, I applied Annie Sloan Dark Wax™
The wood was still warm from the dryer and this made the dark wax melt beautifully onto the wood frame. 
I wiped away any unwanted excess with a soft rag.
If you find you have any spots too heavy with dark wax, simply apply a little Clear Wax to remove them.

Before the Craqueleur™ and Dark wax...

double click for an even closer look!

Instant age in a bottle I tell ya!!

So you could spend $154.00 on this crackled frame....

Or you could turn a $5.00 thrift shop frame into this and save yourself over $100.00!!

Once Again...

I will go with the thrifty version any day.
Thanks for visiting today and thank Annie for a great product.
Until next kind and stay creative.