Sunday, July 27, 2014

Grey & white Nursery

Baby J. will be here soon.
His parents are eager to meet him,
and truth-be-told his Mom is a bit uncomfortable
in summer's heat and humidity.
I think that's why she called on me to help paint her nursery.
She had an idea,
but didn't know to get it from her imagination to the wall.
Baby J's Mom shared her inspiration photos with me.
 She wanted a white tree in the corner behind the crib,
 but as you can see in the photo,
 the room has angles and slopes to navigate.
No problem. 
 My "Low-Tech" overhead projector
would get the design onto the wall. 
 We moved it around until we found just the right spot. 

Then it was a simple matter to trace the design
and paint inside the lines!
Here we go!
Little blue owls (like the one hanging on the crib) and a bird house
added a touch of color to the grey and white scheme.
How cute!

I really like the crib floating in the middle of the room,
don't you?



Sunday, July 20, 2014

Picket Placemats

I'm not a crafty person. 
Artistic, yes. 
Crafty, no.  
Oh, there are clever people
who make their own lipstick from crayons
and cute little bracelets from buttons,
but I'm not one of them!

However, my creative itch
does beg to be scratched occasionally,
so when something looks interesting,
I have to try it.
A few months ago,
I jumped on the burlap and ruffle bandwagon
and made this table runner.

While I was at it, an old wooden lazy-susan
got a splash of simple black and white checks.
Continuing with the rustic table top theme, 
I decided to make........
Gosh, what would you call them?
Trays? Chargers?
How about Picket Placemats?

I stumbled upon this clever idea
 at Claire Gillam's She Knows.
Thanks for the inspiration;
you provided me with an evening of entertainment!

Here's how I made my Picket Placemats.

The mats are made from 15" red cedar wooden shims.
The shims are readily available at any Big box Store
and cost $3.98.
Two placemats can be made from one bundle.
What could be more economical?

I lined up 12 shims,
then used 3 shims across the back to brace them.

Gorilla Glue held everything together.
The 2x variety dries extra fast --
letting me assemble 8 mats very quickly.

Adding 4 shims on the front, created a frame.
Once the edges were trimmed, 
I sanded the wood to soften the edges
and prevent slivers.

White-washing the wood gives a distressed Picket Fence look.
I recommend sanding after painting
 to eliminate any roughness. 
A clear cost of poly to finishes it off nicely
and makes the placemats easy to wipe clean. 

Once dry, it was time to set the mats the table.

True to form, anything new in the house
has to be thoroughly investigated
by Murphy,

who decided these placemats were just right.

 With her stamp of approval,
 I'll use them for a  "gal-pal" luncheon next week.

Tied up with ribbon or twine,
and a set of napkins,
wouldn't they'd make a great gift?


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Room al a Mondriaan

When a designer brought me this inspiration photo,
I was intrigued.
It reminded me of Mondriaan's paintings,
but with more color.
Her client's son wanted all four walls colorfully striped,
but we worried that might be overpowering.
We compromised on two walls
and painted the other two walls his favorite color,
bright green.
To begin, the striped walls were painted Charcoal Grey.
Then the painters tape rolled out.
Lots and lots of tape.
The design was finessed to fit the scale of the room better,
and I freely admit that I grumbled a lot about
the red paint that didn't cover well.
After 5 or 6 coats of red, the room was done,
and the result was perfect for him.
(note:  new bed linens are on the way!)
What did I learn on this project?
I came a way with a sense of satisfaction
knowing that a child's vision had been fulfilled.
He wanted something bold,
and thanks to a Mother who understands,
this young boy's room fits his personality just right.
Have fun Scotty!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Lamps 1 and 2

Usually, I'm not looking for anything specific
when I'm poking though estate sales
but if something interesting appears,
who am I to refuse it a ride home? 
This beauty caught my eye recently.
It's not my normal purchase - or style,
but it seduced me.


With it's distinctive woven metal shade,
the lamp vaguely looks mid-century modern.  
I like its texture and color and size -- a whopping  32" tall.
The base is silvery-gold, almost like mercury glass,
but I suspect it is pottery with a metallic ceramic glaze.

I'd love to know more about it,
so if you recognize this style, please let me know.

This vintage Lucite boudoir lamp came from junk shop
 and now is on the bathroom vanity. 
 However, before it could make its debut,
it needed a new shade. 
A treasured friend, Sherry,
taught me how to re-design a shade.
No one does it better than she,
but I'll give it a try.
Work along with me.
Here's her tutorial.
Heat from a hairdryer releases the old trim.

Then, cut away the fabric from the frame
and use it as a pattern for new fabric.

A glue gun holds the new fabric firmly in place
and snippets of trim finish the edges.
Love my new little lamp!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Crusty and Rusty

Ian Britton @
My husband likes old stuff,
especially rusty mechanical oddities
that leave us puzzled about their original use.

Every now and again we spend a day rummaging
barn sales, flea markets and vintage shops.

He's a car-guy, so the CHEVROLET tailgate
immediately got his attention.
I knew he'd enjoy having this,
but WHOA! the price was more than I'd hoped.

4th Street Antiques
So on the way home, we stopped by a junk yard
and found just what we'd hoped for---
a tailgate from a 1963 Chevrolet step-side pickup truck.
And what luck, it was crusty, rusty and RED!
I'm sure the junk yard guys laughed themselves silly
when I told them what we'd do with the tailgate.
With a little clean-up, sanding, welding and varnish,
 this little beauty was ready to bring inside.
What pleases my husband more?
Having this hanging on the wall,
or knowing he paid so little for it.
Oh, you know it was the bargain price!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

A 1970's Family Room Update

Recently, I had the opportunity to work with one of my favorite designers
as she completed a make-over for a client's family room.
The home was built in the 1970's, and like many homes of that age,
the family room had a fireplace plunked in the middle of a long wall. 

You know the look. 
Something like this. 

Besides updating the overall look of the room with new paint and fabric,
the project's goal was three-fold:
Provide storage.
Make room for a new "manly" television.
Integrate the fireplace into the room.  
By the time I arrived the fireplace had been redesigned with dry-stacked stone,
and the carpenter had built nearly 16 feet of cabinets and shelves. 
Lots of storage here!

TIP:  Want to update your 1970's family room?
Look up.
Paint the ceiling beams to match the ceiling. 

And if removing the dated paneling isn't feasible,
paint it....oh please, do! You'll love the instant change.

Every room has a focal point. 
Here it definitely is the fireplace wall.

Using the right color ties the elements together,
 making it seem as though the stone and shelves always have been there.

 Benjamin Moore HC 103 - a dirty, grey with a green undertone does the job nicely.
It's one of the colors found in the stone.

And because the client wanted the paint to be distressed a bit,
  the cabinets were antiqued with a dark brown glaze.

I always do a sample for my clients before beginning their project.
It's as much for my benefit as theirs because neither of us wants any "paint surprises!"

You can see my sample door below.
Adding the glaze gives the paint some character.
Within a few days, the painting was complete.
Just in time for the giant TV to arrive!
While I didn't get to see the room completely finished,
I did get a glimpse of the newly upholstered chairs.
Love that persimmon ottoman! 
(and why didn't I pick up my drop cloth before snapping a picture!!!) 



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Black and White - so right!

There's been a little paintin' and fixin' at the house recently
starting with a face lift
 for my decades-old Ethan Allan bookcases,
one of which I keep in the kitchen.
Changing the dark wood to black and white,
brought new life into these faithful stand-bys.
Now the furniture looks much better in the room.
It's not as bulky looking as before.


The colors are:
Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black and Panda White.
You can see the edges of the shelves were sanded back
and the white paint was antiqued with a brown glaze,
 then "fly specked".

I'm always thrilled with how paint magically changes things!
There's two more bookcases to do,
so it's back to work.


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