Friday, September 28, 2012

Wow Us Weekends

It's time to PARTY!!! Our Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is tonight and we have so many exciting things happening! Live music, raffle drawings every 30 minutes and three HUGE grand prize gift baskets! 

Plus, next week is my two-year blogiversary! I can hardly believe that I've been documenting my furniture projects and fabulous re-sales for two years. 

One of the new things I've been wanting to add to my blog and website is a weekend link party! I've been joining link parties for the past two years, sharing ideas and posting my own projects and finding great resources for DIY projects. 

So, what's a link party you ask? In short, a link party is an online invitation for creative minded folks to come together at a designated time to "share" their projects. There are link parties for cooking, crafting, sewing, stamping, name it...there's a link party somewhere out there. 

Our knot too shabby link party is going to be all about furniture and home decorating! Whether you take a piece of furniture and re-purpose for an entirely new use or refinish a furniture, we want you to share your projects with us! You are invited to share your projects all weekend..."WOW us WEEKENDS." Our party closes at midnight on Sunday, and each week, we will choose our favorites! So spread the word, start linking and start "partying!"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Musically Inspired & Maximizing Paint

We call Annie Sloan Chalk Paint "liquid gold." At $40 per can, it's not something to be wasted! I am passionate about the product and about teaching people how to use it properly...about how to maximize their can so not to use more than necessary.
When I get ready to start a new project, there are a few supplies I always have ready to go.
1. Paint Brush
2. Bucket of luke warm water
3. Fine Sanding Block
4. Two hand towels
5. Waxing Brush
6. Paint and Wax
7. and...a glass of water.
This week, I painted this buffet. My hope was that the top was a nice, grainy solid wood. I stripped a small section to find a cheap, colorless wood...I can't even be certain it was solid wood. I'm not sure what it was, to be honest. But, stripping and re staining was out of the question so it had to be painted.
I chose Primer Red for the color. I've never painted anything in Primer Red and it's not one of my favorite colors. But, I like to have variety in the store so I went with it. Plus, the original color would be a nice contrast to the rich red. Unfortunately, when painting such a bold color over such a light finish, the coverage isn't the usual one coat application (bold and bright colors like Napoleonic Blue, Barcelona Orange and Emperors Silk often need two coats for good coverage).
Enter my glass of water. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is water based. That means it has no VOC's, is odorless, can be used indoors and can be thinned down with water. When it comes to applying second coats of paint, watering down the paint just a little bit is, more often than not sufficient at providing a solid second coat while using a minimal amount of paint. 
When the first coat is completely dry, I dip my paint brush in water, brush out the excess water on the side of the glass, dip the brush in my can of paint a couple of times and then start painting the second coat.  
That little bit of water trapped in my brush is just enough to loosen the paint. The result is about half as much paint spreading on twice as much surface. When it's all said and done, the second coat is applied much quicker, much smoother (if you like smooth finishes) with a minimal amount of paint!
For the musically inspired part of this furniture piece, I wanted to break up the primer red and add a touch of color that would compliment the "parchment" color of the original finish. Sheet music was definitely the way to go and I added a touch of free-hand scripting to the top drawer.
Prior to waxing, I treated the top drawer just like a chalkboard. I chalked out the lettering, erased it, chalked it again and then painted over with a black paint pen. I used my damp sanding block to clean off the chalk and distress the edges, then I sealed the whole piece with dark wax.
Normally, I would never leave gold brass hardware as-is...but...the gold on this one just seemed to work, so I left it in its original state.
The sheet music is vintage prints from the 1940's so the coloring on the pages is authentically aged!

I'm not in love with how the free-hand musical notations came out, but for now I will leave it. If it doesn't sell right away I will probably add a bit of Old Ochre to the top drawer.
I'll be taking a break from painting furniture in the store this week to get ready for our Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony this Friday. In the meantime, my afternoons are spent at home with my girls and I've been getting a bit stir crazy. There's only so much cleaning and laundry a girl can do, and since I hate to cook, I need a project while my girls are taking their afternoon naps and resting.
So...I'm painting my kitchen cabinets. :)
Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Knot Too Shabby Ribbon Cutting

It's been nearly two months! We're pretty well settled in the new place and seem to have found our groove. In the last couple of months, we've managed to crank out nearly two dozen pieces of new furniture, have filled the store to capacity and have a storage unit in the back bursting at the seams with projects. 

This Friday, we are officially celebrating our new space with a big Grand Re-Opening Party and Glendora Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! 

There are big things planned too...


Lots of Prizes

In fact, we are giving away over $1,000 worth of prizes! 
We want to celebrate our success with you!

Every guest will receive a raffle ticket and be entered into a drawing for one of three prizes which include:

Third Prize
Gift Certificate Good for one to our Paint and Play Workshop (worth $95)

Second Prize
Gift Certificate Good for one Private Paint and Play Workshop (worth $450)
for you and three of your friends! You set the date and time!


Grand Prize
A surprise gift basket worth over $500 in knot too shabby product!

Other Prizes
We will also be raffling off gift certificates for store merchandise throughout the evening!

This is one party you don't want to miss!  
Friday, September 28th
5:00-8:00 pm

Stay tuned for other fun things to be planned during our event. Facebook is sure to be abuzz with all of the activities so don't forget to give us a like!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting Ready...

...for milk paint that is!

It's scheduled to ship...tomorrow? Maybe Monday? Soon! 

In preparation for the new paint line and all of the goodies that come along with selling the paint (like new brushes, antiquing wax, hemp oil, etc.), I needed a new dynamic display piece. 

Usually, I just use a piece of furniture that is in the a shelving unit, curio cabinet or dining table stacked with crates and chairs. 

On two separate, but recent occasions, I got a bookshelf and a coffee table.

Nothing over the top exciting. 

Except, that I had seen one of my favorite blogs (4 the love of Wood) that I follow take a coffee table and a bookshelf and turn it into an open shelf curio style cabinet.

That's pretty ingenious if you ask me! And, it just so happened that the bookshelf and coffee table that I had were comparable in style, the perfect size for a display piece and can easily be disassembled if someone wants to buy them individually.

The end result is Tricycle Red on the frame and Annie Sloan Pure White on the shelves (I ran out of Ironstone). 

As soon as it is filled with the glorious twelve colors in all the gorgeous packaging, waxes, hemp oils and brushes, I will update with a new photo! 

Until then, it anticipation! 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Faith, Trust and a Little Bit of Pixie Dust

Last week was a big first in our family! The first tooth fell out!

Like all of my best ideas, they come at the very last minute. So, the night she lost her tooth, we had the brilliant idea that we needed a teeny tiny tooth fairy door for the tooth fairy to enter the house. Believe or not, you can buy a tooth fairy door on etsy. But, my style and my budget is more DIY. I navigated the internet to figure out how to go about making our very own tooth fairy door and found the best deal through multiple vendors on ebay.

I got the door and crown molding from one vendor, the "glass crystal" knob and keyhole from another vendor and door knocker from yet another vendor.

The whole set up ended costing just about $20.

I painted the frame and molding Old White.

Then I used Emile on the door with a little bit of Antoinette mixed in it for the pinky/purply marbly effect. Super girly!

Finally, I hot glued the accessories for the final look and voila! The tooth fairy can now get inside our house to collect her new tooth.

Just how small is this teeny tiny tooth fairy door...


On a side note, since we had to wait about a week to get the door in the mail and painted, the tooth fairy left a teeny tiny note for my daughter explaining that she couldn't get into the house and thought it fair to leave a deposit for her tooth until she returned.

My daughter wanted to put a price tag on her tooth so the tooth fairy new just how much to pay. That's my girl!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

The 15-Star Flag

I posted earlier this week about my trip  back East. Among our activities was a visit to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland.

A small historical site, Fort McHenry sits on the waterfront in the harbor. It's been preserved as a National site because of its significance during the War of 1812, and most importantly because it is the site where the 30 foot x 43 foot 15 star flag flew that inspired Frances Scott Keyes The Star Spangled Banner.   

While we were there, I was able to purchase a replica of the Star Spangled Banner flag...actually, my mom bought it for me. :) With the purchase, the Park Ranger at Fort McHenry flew it on the flagpole in the fort. 

I thought that was really cool...a little cheesy...but what a great gimmick. 

So my fifteen start and fifteen striped American Flag flew in the breeze over the Baltimore Harbor in beautiful Fort McHenry. I even have a certificate of authenticity to prove it!

Now, it flies outside knot too shabby. Until I take it home and put it outside my house. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Hippie Desk

My friend Mike scored this desk at yard sale. OK...well, scored isn't really the right word. Let's just say this...I did one of my yard sale slow down moves one day. That's where you come up to a yard sale, slow the car down and do a very quick scan to see if it's worth parking and getting out. I saw this same desk, scanned the rest of the sale and moved on. Didn't even get out. Then, Mike sends me a picture of the desk..."check out what I got." I told him he was crazy!

Well...guess where this desk ended up. First, Mike's garage where he attempted to remove the paint only to discover that it wasn't solid wood and was stripping the finish down to the heavy pressboard. Next, the knot too shabby Bazaar where it sat amidst the hay, lonely and unwanted. Finally, it landed in the storage unit behind the store, not even worthy to have its own post on craigslist or the website.

Me, being a glutton for punishment was itching for a challenge. Last Sunday, while the rest of my family took an afternoon nap, I made my way to the store to enjoy refinishing a piece in peace, while we were closed and in the glorious 76 degree store. I dragged this out of storage, took a deep breath and went to town!

The only way to salvage this desk was to mask the lovely hand paintings was to decopauge. Sadly, even the drawers had paintings in them inside and out.
Clearly, someone put a lot of time and effort into the artwork on this desk.
This was more than I bargained for. sigh.
I spray painted the inside and outside of the drawers black to cover all of the hand paintings. The plan for the bottom of the drawers was to line them with vintage sheet music, same as the drawer facing.
I used Old Ochre on the woodwork and lightly sanded the remaining paint and varnish off the top so not to get down to the pressboard.
I used dark walnut wood stain for the top. But, because this wasn't a solid, grainy wood, the stain didn't soak in and just smeared right off when I wiped it down. So, I lightly sanded the first coat of stain and tried for a heavy second coat. Fortunately, the stain I used was almost gone so that last little bit in the can was the thick, gooey stuff at the bottom when all of the sediment settles. The stain went on more like a thin paint. I decided to defy standard refinishing techniques by "painting" on the stain with smooth even brush strucks and letting it dry rather than wiping it off. It was a definite gamble...but this is how it turned out.
Mind you, it took two full days for the stain to dry, but it took to the finish and doesn't look half bad! Once it was dry, I used a fine 220 grit sand paper to smooth the finish and coated it with dark wax to seal and protect it. Then I added some distressing to the paint around the edges and added dark wax all over the desk.
It's hard to believe it is the same desk!
I added three new pieces of hardware to the top row of drawers and used vintage knobs for the bottom six. I would have liked these knobs on all the drawers but didn't have enough. So, I make do with what I got on hand.
Then, I lined the inside of the drawers.
I covered up almost all of the hand painted art...with the exception of one drawer. I left the original artwork on one side of the inside of a drawer in honor of its original artist. Just a little touch (Okay...who am I kidding? I ran out of spray paint).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Flying the Flag

Just a short eleven years certainly remember where you were, what you were doing, how you found out. 

I thought today was as good a day as any to share a bit about my most recent trip to the East Coast. It was a hugely patriotic trip and quite emotional. I traveled with ten members of my immediate family for a Memorial Service at Fort Meade, Maryland in honor of my Uncle and nine other navy officers who crash landed in the China Sea 40 years ago. 40 YEARS AGO! 

In a nutshell, my Uncle served as a cryptologist for the U.S. Navy in the Vietnam era, which was a top secret ranking and whose missions were highly classified. When his plane went down, there was little to no information given to my family in regard to the nature of his death. The Navy didn't even offer a Memorial Service for him or the rest of the crew members...until now. 

After 40 years, my 93 year old Grandfather was finally given an American Flag, in honor of the service of his first born son.

I didn't know my Uncle so his death has never resonated with me the same way it has with my Mother, who was close to him. I didn't know anyone lost eleven years ago when the Pentagon was struck, when the twin towers collapsed or when the plane crashed in a Pennsylvania field. But, I know that the unexpected, tragic demise of a loved one never leaves the family and everyone in their midst is impacted in one way or another. 

While we were back east for the service, we made the most of our time there and bounced around to the historical sites.

Being back east always re-kindles my love of American History; of the principles that this country was founded on and of the philosophies and ideological notions carried forth by the Founding Fathers...

...touring the enormous battlefields around Gettysburg and realizing that monuments have been constructed and land preserved lest we forget that thousands died to preserve those principles, be it 200 years ago or ten years ago...

...realizing that something as simple as the American Flag withstanding the bombs of battle can inspire a poem and song that will resonate with an entire nation for generations to come...

...realizing that the sacrifice of one impacts the lives of many.

Though my Uncle and his nine comrades died en-route to Vietnam during the war, they have never been given the honor of having their names engraved on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. Within the National Security Administration (NSA) however, is a memorial dedicated to cryptologists who have died in the line of duty. I witnessed first hand how viewing the Memorial impacted my family members...seeing Uncle Greg's name etched into stone, to never be forgotten for his sacrifice. 

All of this to say, that I now have a renewed interest in our fund-raising efforts to erect a Glendora War Memorial. For the last year, I've been collecting dollar donations from those interested in purchasing a "vintage" Desert Storm pin to go entirely to the Glendora War Memorial. It isn't a cause I've been super passionate about, so haven't done much "marketing" to increase sales of the pins. But seeing how a simple Memorial can bring peace to a family who has suffered the loss of a soldier who died while in service to their country has renewed my interest in contributing to that fund. 

So, anytime you see the American Flag flying proudly outside of knot too shabby, we will match your donation to the Glendora War Memorial! 

Take time to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for their pray for the families who live with the loss every day...and, to rally behind a community that strives for their recognition.

On the bottom right hand corner of our blog, you can make a $1.00 online donation to the Glendora War Memorial.

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