Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Furniture from Virginia

Remember that piece of furniture that I packed in my luggage from Virginia?


I think it is a hamper.

I used a dresser that I saw in Virginia as my inpsiration.


That one on the left with the blue and white.

This is how it came out.





I took the knobs off of it and filled the holes. It seemed silly to have knobs when there weren't any drawers.

It is painted in Old White with clear wax. The "art" is in Provence.

I really need to improve my free-hand artistic abilities!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Finding Craig

I'd heard of craigslist. A bunch of people selling their stuff and then letting weirdos come over to their houses to buy it. Then, if you were lucky, you didn't get robbed, pillaged or murdered at the end of transaction! Okay, okay. So, even though you may have heard of that happening, like one time that is not the norm and craig has changed my life!

Here's a little peek into how the "knot too shabby" snowball happened. It started with a yard sale! And, not one that I went to but one that I had. A bunch of houses on our block were having a block sale so we decided to clean out some cabinets and get rid of some stuff. We made a whopping $150 and had a bunch of junk left over, including a porta crib that I used when I was a baby...so from the 1970's. We tried to sell it for $5. No luck. My ingenious hubby says, "let's post it on craigslist. I bet we could get $30 for it." I'm thinking, "no way is anyone in their right mind going to spend $30 on a 30 year old crib...but fine. If you want to post it and invite some craigslist killer into our house and die selling a crib, then go for it."

You'll never guess what happened. Ok...you probably guessed. It sold. That night. For $30. To a very normal family from the next city over.

My husband has a very endearing nickname for me. He calls me Starbucks..."because I always have something brewing." Well...I had something brewing that night. I couldn't quit thinking about how we took something from our yard sale and sold it for six times more money in a matter of hours. If I can do that with my stuff, I could do that with other people's stuff!

And that's how it started. With a 30 year old porta crib from our yard sale to knot too shabby in The Village.

Funny how things transpire over time, isn't it? Finding success by utilizing God-given talents and following a path with unrecognizeable twists and turns. When hindsight is 20/20, all those irregularities in the journey were obviously meant to bring us to this very moment in time and prepare us for what is to come, whatever that may be.

Here's to the continuous journey...it is so. much. fun!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Friday's Furniture

A few new pieces in the store this week!


Bookshelf with adjustable shelves painted in Old Ochre


Outdoor/Indoor Bench with storage in the seat! Old White with red peeking through. The finish on this piece will be customized depending on whether the buyer will be using it outdoor or indoor.


Small drop leaf side table painted in Antoinette and distressed with dark wax. 100% of the sale from this piece go to benefit the Samantha Rivard college account because she painted it! It just goes to show that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is easy enough for even a 4-year old to use. 

I will be working on a lot of custom work this week and can't wait to show some pictures of the transformation. Until then...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Disease

After six great days back east, we were driving through beautiful Virginia headed for the airport. While I was enjoying the surrounding countryside and charming homes I spotted a big trailer with a huge wooden sign..."FOR SALE." The trailer was loaded with a bunch of furniture. I craned my neck to check the contents of the trailer until we were too far past to see anymore. Sally started laughing. "Checking out the furniture for sale, huh?" she says. To which I reply, "I can't help it. It's a disease."

Fortunately, I do not think it is contagious because I don't think anyone in their right mind would attempt to pack the things that I found back east and bring them on an airplane.

I went to Virginia with one regular sized suitcase and a carry on full of clothes and travel essentials.

I came home with one very large suitcase full of furniture and clothes, a carry on jam packed with stuff and more clothes and an extra bag.


Nothing out of the oridinary. But wait til you see what I STUFFED into these!


All of this was stuffed in those three suitcases. Yep. Even that small cabinet.


Really! I packed furniture. The hollowed out cabinet was stuffed with dirty clothes and some of the more fragile pieces.


Like this awesome copper music box. We were betting it would break en-route but it made it in one piece and even works. It plays It's a Small World.


This coke crate with the 24 glass bottles sat nicely in my carry on. I put socks, scarves, and other clothes in and around the bottles so they wouldn't clang around. My carry-on weighed almost as much as the full size suitcase.

The rest of it was stuffed in the bag including an old tin tool box, a cute frame, a silver silent butler tray, two vintage matchboxes, washboard, two new frying pans and some souvenirs.

As you can see, I have a disease. I went back east telling myself I would exercise self control. After all, space was limited. And, believe or not, I did exercise some amazing self control After all, I didn't come home with a new door! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Open for Business

How do you entice a four year old to spend an entire day antique shopping? I let her take a lot of pictures! 


My oldest daughter and I are having a blast spending time with friends on the East Coast, visiting the monuments in D.C., going to the National Zoo and of course, spending plenty of time looking for thrifty treasures. 

Leesburg, Virginia has some of the best antique shopping...I'd wager in the country. The nationally recognized Lucketts Antique Store was our first stop.


Established at an old and creaky historical house, the store was filled to the brim with fabulous up cycled finds and refinished pieces. The outdoor area was bursting as well, with multiple out door "houses" made entirely from doors, windows, shutters and filled with furniture, pictures and an assortment of vintage oddities. 


I've never seen so any old doors and shutters in my life! I was drooling. Unable to cart these across country, I sadly had to leave them behind.


The three story abode was packed from wall to wall. 


Lots of these very old stained glass windows hanging about and priced at over $200! I felt pretty good about the three that I have in the store being reasonably priced at just $100.

Once we finished shopping at Lucketts and the surrounding stores, we drove into Downtown Leesburg, a quaint historical district with stores and restaurants lining the avenue. While we went into well over half a dozen stores, my favorite of the day was the Cottage at Leesburg.


This store just felt good and I loved walking around looking at everything.


I carried around that old wooden box with a carved inscription on the inside the entire time I was there. But, I didn't end up buying it. And, it's a good thing because I don't think I would have been able to squeeze it in my luggage. 



Note to self: Next time I make it back to the East Coast, bring extra luggage!

I arrived with two full suitcases of clothes for the trip. Adding to the existing luggage, I have to find a way to get a side table, small bench, tool box, music box, washboard, antique cameras, a vintage coke crate with the 24 bottles (HEAVY) and souvenirs home. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rustic Charm

Let me tell you, I would never have had the guts to do what I did to THIS dresser had I not taken the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop that I went to last week. This is a bold approach...somewhat daring and a completely adventurous paint technique. I know it's not for everyone, but I. Love. It.


I picked up this large dresser at the Salvation Army Thrift Store earlier this week for a screamin' 50% off! It had that traditional 1970's style hardware. It had to go. I have so many knobs and they are so much cheaper than handles, I find myself filling more holes these days to accommodate knobs.

The plan for this dresser:

Paris Grey
Old White accents
Clear Wax/Dark Wax Mix
Colored Wax for the Top
Dark Wax finish
New Knobs


I love Paris Grey. It is such a pretty grey color with almost a hint of blue when it is in its natural form. Add some dark wax and you get a completely different feel with the color.

It's hard to see the texture on the drawers, but I did a rustic finish on the them. I didn't even sand down the filler from the handle holes to add to the texture.

I left the original wood on the top, but couldn't leave it as-is because of some water damage. So, I wanted to experiment with colored wax to give it a lime-washed look. Where I got too much color, I added dark wax to soften the white. This is how it looks.


The front got a coat of a clear wax/dark wax mix and then I added dark wax to the drawers and doors so that the texture would POP!


The paint on the drawers literally started chipping off as it was drying where the fill was left on it from the handle holes. It was weird. But, I just went with it and let it chip away. I actually think it adds much more character that way.



Three different styles of glass knobs. Ovals, starbursts and circles.


Sigh.

I like it.

It was a great experiment!

I like it when things work out.

Have I mentioned how much I love this paint?

I have two paint workshops coming up. The February Painting 101 class is full but I'm taking names for a wait list. I have another one scheduled for March. Check my workshops and events page for dates and to sign up.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Painting Party

Last week was one of my busiest weeks in a very long time for a variety of reasons, one of which was the two-days I had blocked off to complete an Annie Sloan Painting Workshop.

I'm not going to lie...my thought process going into the workshop went something like this:

"Huh...ok, I will do this workshop. But how much can I really learn? I mean, I've been painting furniture for  a long time. I've used the paint. I've used my own version of the paint. I know how to distress furniture. But...whatever. If I have to do it to sell the greatest paint on planet earth then so be it."

OK...I know what you are thinking. I am completely pig headed!

The good Lord has a beautiful way of humbling his servants...and, last week was my turn to be humbled.

For starters, I had an unbelievably good time conversing with amazingly talented individuals who are in the same business as me...or similar business. Debbie from 'round the coop and Tami from Patina Decorative Finishes! These amazing women are so talented and held a wealth of information about not only the paint, but about business!

I also LOVED seeing Debbie's space! She has this amazing office/warehouse space that she uses to work and hold workshops. I managed to steal some of her great ideas...or will be stealing.

For example, she had a fabulously junky chandelier that only a painter would LOOOOOVE!


(By the way...I use the term "junky" in the most sincerest of compliments lest you misunderstand)


With just the three of us painting throughout the day, we managed to crank out a two-day workshop in just one day! And, I learned. A lot. My head was about to explode. I felt like for the last two+ years I've been unworthy to paint furniture. Limited in the possibilities I didn't even know existed. I had been humbled!

So, when it was all said and done, what did I learn?


I learned how many paint brushes, waxing brushes and buffing brushes I will need to host my own workshops. We went through all of the brushes!


I learned how to gild, decopauge, use craquelier???(spelling), spittle, lime wash, two-tone dry brushing, make colored wax, use the wax as a glaze....phew....and much, much more! Stuff that I will be teaching in workshops. Stuff that you can ONLY do with Annie Sloan Paint.

I learned that 112 cans of paint is a lot of paint!


I've learned that great displays help to sell great paint!


I already have to place an order to refill colors that are out. Can you believe that? In less than a week!

I am so privileged to sell this product and will be sharing all of the amazing techniques in regularly scheduled monthly workshops. So, keep updated on facebook for workshop dates and in my workshops and events section! Don't hesitate to call if you have any questions.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Pieces and New Paint

This week has been sheer insanity! I've been so busy with life. Kindergarten prep activities, painting classes and getting ready for the wine walk has left me no time to blog. And I have sooooo much to write about. I didn't even have time to do my Furniture Friday post. So, better late than never, right?



I managed to squeeze in enough time to refinish two pieces for this week. The first is that simple dresser on the left and the armoire on the right I finished at the wine walk during my first live painting demonstration.

The Dresser:


The weird hardware on the dresser left three holes where each knob went so I had to fill in the extra holes. I painted the whole piece in ASCP Cream.


Then, I free handed a beautiful love song on all of the drawers in French. It is versus 1-4 from the Song of Songs (along with a number of typos and duplicate words).

"Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is more delightful than wine.

"Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you! Take me away with you—let us hurry! Let the king bring me into his chambers.

We rejoice and delight in you; we will praise your love more than wine.

How right they are to adore you!"




The armoire is painted in ASCP Duck Egg Blue with a dark wax finish.


I took out the wood panel inserts so that the insets on the doors were flat and crinkled up vintage sheet music to decopauge the front.


New hardware.


So, besides the two pieces of furniture, I'm fully stocked with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and am working to put together a calendar of events. More to come on that along with our new "Painting Passports!" So, stay tuned!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Quickie Post

I've been rushing around the store this morning trying to finish up two pieces of furniture, clean up refinishing messes/toy messes/furniture clutter in the back and tackle a last minute custom framing job for a customer in a measly two hours! All I can say is, thank goodness for you tube and unlimited viewing of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to occupy the two year old!

Unfortunately, I didn't get it all done, but I wanted to update the site with my five new pieces this week.

The pictures are rather lack luster as I didn't stage and shoot them before they were placed in the store. But, each one of these will get their individual blog post as the before and after jobs are extreme! I mean....really extreme!

In the meantime, you'll have to make due with this:


This is a fabulous hutch with a butcher block top that has be re-stained with dark walnut. The top and base are painted in a taupey beigey grayish color with a dark walnut glaze there are new crystal knobs. Stay tuned for the process pictures of this piece. I will leave you with the teaser that it was originally orange, yellow, green and purple with a painted rose on the side. I'm not kidding. It was horrific.


This FABULOUS French Style Buffet is perfect as a dresser, TV cabinet or china cabinet. The base is painted in Annie Sloan French Linen with white accents and sealed with dark wax. The top has be re-stained a dark walnut and all of the original hardware is intact.


A simple but quick fix, this dresser is really well made. I used Annie Sloan Chateau Grey (which is more of a sage green color than grey) and watered it down so it went on more as a white-wash and kept the drawers the original wood stain. Honestly, I want to white wash the drawers with ASCP Old White but didn't have time to finish. So, in the meantime it will stay like this until I get to the actual finishing. And, who knows someone might like it like this.

For the next piece, you have to use your imagination...


Almost finished! It's a small curio cabinet or enclosed book case. The frame is painted with ASCP Aubusson and the inside is painted with ASCP Old White. I used modge podge to adhere a left over piece of fabric to the back that has complimentary colors and pulled from my stock of knobs for the awesome anthropologie teal glass knobs. The whole piece still needs to be waxed, the glass needs to be put back in and the doors need to be attached. By the end of the day or tomorrow it should be ready to sell.


Lastly,  I grouped all of my little round tables together and the one at the top left is new this week. Nothing overly special, just a nice wood pedestal table with a chippy distressing.

Check the for sale page for pricing details!
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