Friday, January 23, 2015

Blank Slate Dresser...All Prettied Up!


Talk about a blank slate!  This little dresser didn't have much going on when I brought it home from an estate sale a week ago, but I knew it had potential.  It was vintage, sturdy and the drawers opened smoothly.  No repairs or major overhaul needed...just paint and some accessories to pretty it up!


I am always on the lookout for pieces that could be transformed by the addition of a beautiful applique.  I have a sweet friend with a large selection of amazing, reasonably priced appliques not far from me and I am always looking for an excuse to visit her and her lovely shop!  The Purple Pear on Glisan in Portland, OR is my source for appliques and she offers them on her website as well, http://www.purplepearshop.com/


She does not yet have all of her appliques loaded on the site, but she recently posted this collage photo on Facebook and I know she would take a phone order as well.


I also bought the lovely new knobs from The Purple Pear, a huge improvement from the original metal pulls, I think!


For paint, I started with a custom mix of Provence, Old White and Olive.  After applying two coats and allowing them to dry, I went over them with a coat of Old White, wiping it way in places as I went along. 


I finished off the look with both clear and dark wax after some light distressing around the edges.


This lovely piece dressed up in her beautiful new finish complete with romantic applique and sweet drawer pulls is ready for a new home!
  

But for now she is sitting pretty in my booth at Camas Antiques!

Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Safe, Eco-friendly Artistic Finishes and Sealers


Several years ago, inspired by my favorite decorating books and DIY blogs, I decided I loved the look of hand painted furniture and wanted to give it a try. I soon discovered that as pleased as I was with the end result, I didn’t really enjoy the creative process. The products recommended to me at the paint store had strong chemical odors that left me with a burning sensation in my lungs that seemed to stay with me for hours even after having walked away from a project. I worked late at night while the kids were asleep because it was the only time I could escape to the garage. I did my work in the garage to keep from exposing my family to the harmful chemicals in the products I used. My creations had to spend a few days in the garage to “off-­gas” once they were completed, before coming into the house. Even then, I worried about my children playing around and eating off of these finishes created with products that were laden with ingredients known to cause potential health risks.


Imagine my excitement when I discovered Artisan Enhancements sustainable, eco-­friendly no VOC art finishes and sealers! These products have changed everything for me. I no longer have to worry that creating beautiful finishes on surfaces in my home, for my family or for resale are causing harm to the environment or people I love.


I just gave my little girl’s table and chair a makeover, which I will share the details of further down in this post. Being 2 and very stubborn she required the bribery of a lollipop to cooperate for this photo shoot. It didn’t occur to me that the lollipop would go from the table to her mouth and back again during the course of her little tea party, but it did. Watching her play, it was so comforting to know that she wasn’t ingesting any harmful chemicals from the finish on the table that I had recently created.


The fact that I can create right in the middle of my home, on the kitchen island no less, has really changed my life. I am no longer stuck out in the cold, uncomfortable garage alone, in the middle of the night to do my work. With a busy toddler at my side most hours of pretty much everyday, it is absolutely essential that I am able to work where I can be near her. I couldn't do it if I thought I was exposing her to any harmful odors in the process.


This busy toddler has a birthday coming up. We have decided to start working on her “big girl” room for this particular birthday, so I have several painting projects underway. Her little chair and drop-­leaf table were painted in Pure White and a custom mix of Antoinette and Old White.


I added a bit of detail to the table with a beautiful scrolly stencil by Artisan Enhancements.


Artisan Enhancements Scumble product is a tintable glaze medium. I recently learned that when mixed with Pearl Plaster, it creates an iridescent pearlized glaze! I used a mix of 2 parts Scumble to 1 part Pearl Plaster.


I just love the effect of the pearl glaze, especially over these pretty pastel colors. Artisan Enhancements’ 45mm Topcoat brush works well not only for sealing your finish, but for applying a smooth coat of glaze as well.


Clear Finish, an all natural, no VOC, water resistant varnish is ideal for sealing shinier finishes. Both Artisan Enhancements sealers, Clear Finish and Clear Topcoat Sealer are perfect for sealing those projects that will be used by and/or around children. Baby cribs, high chairs, and other surfaces that small children come in contact with should be sealed with a product free of harmful chemicals. Artisan Enhancements sealers are not only VOC free and sustainable but easy to use and very durable as well.


I love being able to create beautiful finishes in the comfort of my own home. I couldn’t do so if I thought I was exposing my family or the environment to harmful chemicals in the process. I am so thankful to have access to products that make it possible for me to do what I love to do and be present for my family at the same time! 




Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda


Disclosure: This is an Artisan Enhancements sponsored post, however the opinions and ideas expressed here are mine and I will only ever promote products that I enjoy using and feel may benefit my readers.



Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Downton Abbey Drawing Room Desk


The first piece of furniture I purchased last year and tucked away for the Downton Abbey window display was this very large, ornate desk.  I am afraid I don't have a before photo to share, but I can tell you that it was a faded, light oak piece with a tiny round brass knob and the carvings were all but lost in the dull oak finish.  Not an antique, but a good quality piece most likely from the early 90's, I loved the details on the legs and the overall curvy, majestic lines.


Two coats of French Linen provided a completely new look for the oak desk.  I accented the beautiful leg carvings with a custom mix of Old Ochre and Old White.  After applying both clear and dark wax over the entire desk, I used Gold Gilding wax to further highlight the details.


A more substantial and gorgeous drawer pull found at The Purple Pear in Portland replaced the former small round knob that had seemed so inadequate for such a large and ornate piece of furniture.

I have just learned that the desk sold this week!  Thankfully the woman who bought it has graciously agreed to let it stay in the window until the end of the month when I take down my display.


If you follow me on Facebook, you've most likely seen these photos already, but I wanted to go ahead and share them here as well!


The Downton Abbey window displays will be up until the end of the month.  This was such a fun way to start off the new season of Downton Abbey!  Are you watching?  Are you loving it as much as I am?


On the Friday before the season premiere, we had an event in downtown Camas where customers came dressed in vintage attire, wore tiaras, discovered their aristocratic name, drank tea and tested their Downton Abbey knowledge with trivia about the show.  I even had the theme song playing in the window display to get shoppers in the mood for the new season!  It was so great to see other Downton Abbey enthusiasts join in the fun!


You may recognize a couple of projects I have shared here on the blog.  I wrote tutorials last month on how I created the Downton Abbey Drawing Room Doors and also for the Concrete Finish on the Resin Lions.


I also created a series of photos featuring some of my very favorite quotes from Downton Abbey.  These were printed, mounted and hung on the walls of the window display.  I hope to also offer them on Etsy sometime in the near future, either as prints, posters or downloads.







Did you miss the post about my Downton Abbey Servant's Quarter's window display?  Find it here!


I love pulling inspiration for projects, displays, art and decor from favorite TV shows, books and movies.  Downton Abbey offers so much beauty and history, not to mention fabulous entertainment!  I have enjoyed it so much over the past few years and was thrilled to have had the opportunity to share my love of Downton and the abundance of inspiration it supplies me with!

Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda



Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 



Thursday, January 15, 2015

Patched up Hearts: An Outdated Country Hutch Makeover for the Downton Abbey Servant's Quarters


I have some catch up posting to do!  Last month I did couple of big furniture makeovers that I just haven't had a chance to share.  Shortly after Christmas, I put together two window displays for Camas Antiques.  If you follow me on Facebook, you know what I've been up to, and  you've probably even seen a couple of these photos already.  In anticipation of the new season of Downton Abbey, I designed a window display to represent the servant's quarters and another inspired by the Abbey's drawing room.  I knew right away that I wanted an open hutch full of ironstone for the servant's quarters.  Finding one that fit into my budget was harder than I had thought it would be.  When I came across this outdated country hutch with it's little heart cut outs, I thought maybe...just maybe it could work!


The first task was to mask those country hearts.  My father in law was sweet enough to use his wood working skills to cut out some filler hearts for me.  After a whole lot of sanding, gluing, wood puttying and more sanding, there was very little trace of hearts remaining on the hutch.  This was a bit tedious and I will be the first to admit that my work isn't perfect, but it's a pretty major improvement, don't you think?


This beautiful applique from The Purple Pear was just the perfect adornment for the hutch top.  I love the little bit of elegance it adds, and would you have ever guessed that there was once a heart cut out in that very spot?  It really changed the overall look and feel of the piece!


The hutch color is Coco, two coats, sealed with clear wax only.  It was so hard for me to restrain myself and not to work in a layered technique or some gold leafing but as this piece was meant to look like it belonged in the servant's quarters, I chose to keep the finish simple and clean.


What really makes this window display is the amazing servant's bell board that was designed and hand crafted by Tommy, husband to JoAnn who is the owner of Camas Antiques!  I was thrilled with this addition for the window display!  


I really love how this window came together.  It is even better than I had imagined it could be and I have some great friends to thank for that!  I couldn't have managed two major window displays the week following Christmas without the help of my wonderful friends at Camas Antiques!

To read more about my Downton Abbey window displays and see more of the Drawing Room inspired display, please follow this link: The Drawing Room



Thank you for your sweet visit today,

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda




Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants 





Monday, January 5, 2015

Give Resin Statues a Concrete Look and an Exterior Grade Finish in Just a Few Easy Steps!


The factory finish on these heavy resin lion statues was flat, substandard and clearly not
holding up well outside. The lions were in dire need of a facelift and were worthy of a richer,
more authentic concrete look.

With a little imagination and a few artistic mediums, these lions went from shabby to majestic
in no time at all.

Do you have resin statues or other accessories that you would like to give an authentic
concrete look to? Would you like to create a finish suitable for outdoors? If so, this is the
tutorial for you!


Start by painting your piece in a 50/50 mix of French Linen and Pure White. Just one coat
provided sufficient coverage for these once dark grey lions.


Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone is a no VOC, no odor plaster product with an aggregate
texture. It can be easily tinted with paint to create a custom color. For this project, you will
mix 1 part Graphite with 5 parts Fine Stone. A plastic teaspoon works well for scooping and
measuring. Brush this mixture onto your piece, focusing on the raised areas, leaving most of
the crevices light grey. Adding the darker color will create more depth in your finish, while the
Fine Stone gives you the texture of concrete.


Fine Stone is an exterior grade product, making it ideal for adding texture to garden statuary
and other pieces intended for the outdoors.


In it’s natural state, Fine Stone is white in color. Without tinting it this time around, add
another layer of Fine Stone to your finish, creating even more depth and texture. You can do
this while your graphite mixture is not quite dry. It will mix in places with the white to create a
third color and even more dimension.


Once you are satisfied with your finish after having applied the non-tinted
Fine Stone all over your piece, allow it to dry completely before applying your sealer.

Artisan Enhancement’s Clear Topcoat Sealer is a water resistant, exterior grade finishing
product.


Using a good quality brush, such as Artisan Enhancement’s 45mm Topcoat Brush, apply a
thin layer of Clear Topcoat Sealer to the entire surface of your piece.


Allow the first layer to dry for 24 hours and then apply a second thin layer.



A beautiful, hand painted finish with an authentic concrete look is easily achievable with the
right art mediums and tools. These lions are now ready to grace a lovely garden or stand
guard at an entryway or front gate!

Disclosure: This is an Artisan Enhancements sponsored post, however the opinions and ideas expressed here are
mine and I will only ever promote products that I enjoy using and feel may benefit my readers.

Thank you for your sweet visit today!  

Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda




Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants