Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Crown Jewels, Artistic Paint Finish Video and Tutorial



Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone is a plaster product with a stone like texture.  I came across a photo once where an artist had used this medium to incorporate sea shells into an artistic paint finish and the thought crossed my mind, why not jewels?


Ever since the idea came to mind, I have been dying to create a bejeweled crown using Artisan Enhancements Crown stencil and Fine Stone!  Here's the short video I made of the project unfolding.  Make sure your speakers are turned on.  I found the perfect song to go along with this piece!  




If you enjoy this video, I hope you will consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel!  I am in the process of filming more projects that I hope will spark interest and inspire others to try their hand at some new paint finishes and techniques!

Now, if you were intrigued by this video and really would like to create your own bejeweled crown or put some of the techniques I showed to use, I am going to walk you through the steps with a little more detail here.



1.  Paint a wood cabinet door on off white color, creating texture in the paint finish by moving your paint brush in various directions as you cover the door.

2.  Once the paint has dried, lay down the Script stencil from Artisan Enhancements and stencil a few areas of the door to create a backdrop for your crown.  I used a lavender paint color with the Script stencil.

3.  When your stenciled areas are dry, you can position your crown stencil.  It's a good idea to also lay out your jewelry on the stencil at the this point to get an idea of the design you want to create.  I used three strands of pearls, parts of a head band, a vintage brooch and an old shoe clip.  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen where I played around with the arrangement of these pieces before I set them into the Fine Stone.  

4.  Artisan Enhancements Fine Stone is naturally white in color.  You may want to tint it with a little paint for your crown.  I added a small amount of dark grey paint to my Fine Stone before smoothing it over the Crown stencil with the Color Shaper tool.  As soon as you have covered the stencil design completely with Fine Stone, remove the stencil.

4.  While the Fine Stone is still very wet, position your jewels into place, setting them directly into the Fine Stone.  If you can, go ahead and allow the bejeweled Fine Stone to dry overnight.  By this time all but one of the jewelry pieces were completely secured to my crown.  I simply added a little epoxy to the back of the one piece that didn't adhere well and then gave it several more hours to dry.  I had time to put this aside and wait, but if you were in more of a hurry, a hairdryer would help speed things along.

5.  Artisan Enhancements Scumble is a tintable glaze.  To add dimension and play on the texture of the painted background, create a grey glaze by mixing 5 parts Scumble to 1 part grey paint.  Brush this mixture over the entire door, wiping it back immediately with a damp sponge.  Have a clean, damp cloth handy for the remainder of the project in case the glaze or any other product clouds your jewels.

9.  Allow the Scumble glaze to dry before applying Artisan Enhancements Leaf & Foil Size to select areas of the crown design and the border of the cabinet door with a small paint brush.  Choose areas that you will want to highlight with metallic foil.  Allow the product to tack-up.  This takes about 20 minutes.

10.  Lay down pieces of metallic foil, shiny side up over the areas where the Leaf & Foil Size was applied.  Gently burnish the back of the foil with a stiff brush and remove the foil.  I used the Silver and Pewter foils for this piece.

11.  Finally, seal your entire piece with a thin application of Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer, using the designated Top Coat Brush.



I love this photo of Marilyn from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!  My best friend and I watched this classic movie many times during our high school years!  It made us feel especially glamorous as we did our hair and make up for school dances!  The song brought back such fun memories!

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




Thursday, January 21, 2016

Romantic Shabby Fabric Flowers



Sometimes I get so caught up in painting that I forget how much I love the little crafty projects too!


Earlier this month I shared that I recently came into a great deal of beautiful fabric.  I wasn't sure what I would do with it all but I knew I couldn't pass it up.  For weeks I have been enjoying it, just propped up in the corner of my dining room.

(Photo via Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic)

In the fabric post I also shared that for Christmas I received a couple of Rachel Ashwell's latest books that I had been missing from my collection.  I was so inspired by Rachel's fabric flower brooches, not just for wearing but for dressing up pillows, lampshades and adding a bit of vintage romance to the home.


I decided to put some of that fabric to use and ended up creating several fabric flowers, adding a bit of tulle and a vintage earring or grouping of pearls to the center of each.


I am still smitten with my dress form and have no plans of selling her anytime soon, but she is revisiting my booth at Camas Antiques at the moment as she displays the flower pins and corsages so beautifully!  I wrapped a piece of wire in tulle and pinned the flowers to it for display.  Now my pretty dress form is all dolled up for Valentine's Day!


I brought a bunch of new found treasures into my booth last night!  It ended up being a very late night of fluffing, rearranging, tagging inventory, and of course visiting with sweet dealer friends.


I have to say, I am loving my flower draped form next to my pink wardrobe full of lacy frocks!


Will there be more fabric flower making in my future?  We shall see!  They are sure fun and easy to make and I certainly have enough fabric to work with, but there are always a million other projects on the table.  And today the table is covered with a paint splattered drop cloth!  

Back to painting!

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
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants

Friday, January 8, 2016

My First Video! The French Bee, Layered Technique - Painting at the Dinner Table




It's a new year and what better time to try something new!  

So, I have stepped way out of my comfort zone and created my first video!  

This is something I had been thinking about, probably since I first started blogging.  
I knew I wanted to do things a little differently than the typical how-to, DIY videos.  My idea was to create a video that was informative and inspiring but not too serious or drawn out.  

What you will see is the progression of a layered art technique.  It's really just me, painting the day away at my kitchen table.  Yes, a whole day...but you get to see it in just 2 minutes!  Well, the camera was on all day, but of course I didn't paint all day.  There was plenty of time to catch up on laundry and cook meals while I waited for layers of product to dry...but all that happens behind the scenes.

I chose music that I typically listen to while painting (that is, when I have control over the Pandora station!)  I hope you enjoy it.  I think it goes well with the speed of production!  Unfortunately using copyrighted music on YouTube means an ad might pop up in the middle of the video.  Just click on the "x" in the right hand corner and it should go away.

Keep your eyes peeled for my sweet little Greta Garbo kitty who makes a few brief appearances! 





Now, I know that the video goes fast!  If I slowed it down and explained each step, it would be two hours long.  But now that you've seen the progression of techniques and how they are simply layered on top of each other to create this finished look, it doesn't seem so intimidating, does it?  

 I also wanted to show you how I paint and create right smack dab in the middle my home, complete with kids and pets running around.  I love that I don't have to worry about anyone in my home being exposed to harmful chemicals or toxic smells from the products I use.  Artisan Enhancements products are eco-friendly and have low-no VOCs which I consider a huge bonus!  

For those of you who would like more details and maybe want to give this technique a try...here is a complete list of the steps involved:

1.  Paint a wood cabinet door in Paris Grey.

2.  Once the paint has dried, lay down the Bee & Laurel stencil from Artisan Enhancements and use their color shaper tool to smooth a thin layer of VP Antico over the top of the stencil.  Pull the stencil off immediately.  Do not wait for the product to dry first.

3.  Out of all of the products used, VP Antico takes the longest to dry.  This is where you have time to do some laundry and prepare a meal...or whatever else you need to do!  You can also speed up the dry time with a hair dryer, if you wish.

4.  When the VP Antico is completely dry, lay the (clean) stencil back down and add some color to the design using a stencil brush.  I chose Versailles, Graphite and Provence to accent the Bee and Laurel design.

5.  Once that layer of paint has dried, apply Artisan Enhancements Crackle Tex over the inset area of the board.  I chose to leave the raised edge simply painted, to act as a frame for the design.

6.  Once the Crackle Tex is dry, apply a quick, fairly thick layer of Old White over the surface.

7.  As crackles begin to appear, grab a damp sponge and gently push the paint away from the raised design, distressing and creating more texture to the piece.  This is the step that probably takes the most thought.  Once you are happy with the overall look of the crackled and distressed areas, allow the piece to dry fully once again.

8.  Brush on a thin layer of watered down French Linen and wipe off the excess immediately with either a lint-free cloth or a clean sea sponge.  This is called a paint a wash.

9.  Wait a few moments for the wash to dry before applying Artisan Enhancements Leaf & Foil Size to select areas of the raised stencil design with a small paint brush.  Choose areas that you will want to highlight with metallic foil.  Allow the product to tack-up.  This takes about 20 minutes.

10.  Lay down pieces of metallic foil, shiny side up over the areas where the Leaf & Foil Size was applied.  Gently burnish the back of the foil with a stiff brush and remove the foil.  You might have noticed in the video that I came back and added more Leaf & Foil Size a second time.  After applying the first layer, I had decided it needed a bit more metallic.  I simply applied more Leaf & Foil Size, allowed it to tack up again and came back with more foil until I was happy with the overall look.

11.  Finally, seal your entire piece with a thin application of Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer, using the designated Top Coat Brush.


Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope you enjoyed my first attempt at creating a video to showcase some of my favorite products and techniques!  And, I hope you came away with some new ideas and inspiration for your own projects!

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
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants


Monday, December 28, 2015

Shabby Chic Inspiration and Possibilities


Last month we made the 5.5 hour drive to visit my parents for Thanksgiving.  My mom and I managed to sneak away for a few hours and shop a handful of thrift stores she had been telling me about.  One of these stores had recently received a large donation of fabrics leftover from an older upholstery shop that had closed.  My mom and I pulled out the prettiest pastel bolts of fabric, studied each of them in the dim light and made our selections.


My husband was a bit flustered when I came back to the house and asked if we had enough room in the car to bring home a few extra purchases.  With 3 kids and a dog on our journey, the vehicle was already quite packed.  

"What did you buy?" he grumbled.  

"Just some fabric," I responded.

"Oh, well...we probably have room for some fabric."


And then he saw the 7 large bolts of decorator fabric I had just bought.  

No way were they going to fit, at least not without making the already cramped quarters even more uncomfortable for everyone.


And so, all of my beautiful fabric purchases had to stay with mom and dad until this last week when they came to visit us for Christmas!  Unloading all of my pretty fabric from my parent's car was like getting a big bonus Christmas gift!


Now, you ask...what will I do with all of this fabric?  

I honestly don't know.  I haven't gotten that far yet.

But...


My mom and dad brought me another Christmas gift.  This one was wrapped up with a bow and everything.  I shared on Facebook and Instagram today that I was embarrassed to admit that my Rachel Ashwell library was incomplete, up until this week.  These titles have been on my wish list for a very long time.  I fell in love with Shabby Chic 14 years ago when my husband and I were just married and bought our first house.  Rachel Ashwell's style drew me in right away and it was like I had found my own personal style while studying the beautiful photographs in her books.  

I have spent every free moment of the past few days reading my new books and staring at each and every photo.


After having been so consumed and wrapped up in Christmas, I don't have the usual feeling of sadness now that it's over.  I think it might have something to do with the inspiration I have gained from my new books, and the anticipation of future projects as I glance over my stockpile of fabrics!  In that same light, a brand new year begins in just a few short days.  A new year sure to be filled with so many new ideas, inspiration and possibilities!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Cozy Christmas at Home...


I love how cozy our home feels at Christmastime!  Twinkly lights and flickering candles certainly set the mood.  My father in law has a Christmas tree farm, so we are lucky enough to have first pick of the trees each year!


I love a tree with a layered look, spindly branches and plenty of space to drape my "crystal" garland!  I made most of our "white" ornaments when my husband and I were first married, 14 years ago!  Our Christmas trees were decorated in purple and white, and then pink and white.  I have been loving a more neutral look in mostly white and gold this year and can't believe my homemade paper flower ornaments from so long ago still look good and that I haven't grown tired of them!


I think my favorite Christmas decor is this vintage white nativity.  It was a wonderful church sale find!  I am sure I've shared it before, but this is the first year I have displayed it here on this sideboard in our front room.  I think it works well here.  


I am still so happy with my fireplace mantle makeover!  If you missed that post and would like to see the before/after and read about the project, you can do so here


I ended up decorating the mantle mostly with things I already had, lots of candles, a few greens, pinecones and ornaments.  I am enjoying the look but am still on the hunt for some extra special Christmas decor to put up here...maybe on clearance after Christmas for next year!


You might recognize these cuties?  I featured them here on the blog three years ago!  I had painted them in Paris Grey and Old White Chalk Paint.  I remember debating on whether or not to sell them.  I am pretty happy I decided to hold onto them!


After most of her bling had sold at the shop, I brought my dress form home for the Holidays and bought her an early Christmas gift...this vintage beaded fur collar!  So fun!


I am certain that my family thinks I am cheap and boring with my Christmas gift wrap but I really do love the simplicity of packages wrapped in brown shipping paper.  I bought a huge roll of vintage cream and gold trim at a thrift store not long ago that I have been using to tie up each gift.  The bow is made from glittery tulle ribbon.  


I so rarely show this room where we do most of our "living."  I love this room.  It's cozy and inviting and so very relaxed.  What I don't love about photos of the room is the big glaring black box and the speakers everywhere.  But...I love that I live with a wonderful, patient man who puts up with a lot of pink and feminine decor.  So, when he wants to put speakers in the wall and hang a flat screen over the fireplace, what can I say?


While I was busy making our home festive and ready for the season, my booth at Camas Antiques was being emptied out (yay!) and ended up looking rather pathetic (boo)!  Last week I was able to get a few things around to spruce it up including this vintage dining table and pretty painted stool.  

Now, back to the gift wrapping, card writing, baking and such!

What a wonderful time of year!

Thank you for blessing me with your visit today!  I hope this season finds you filled with hope and peace, in a warm and cozy home, sharing in the joy of Christmastime with people you love!

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
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants








Monday, November 30, 2015

Christmas at The Shop




Once again I am playing catch up here after a very busy month at the store!  Thankfully I took lots of photos of my booth display.  It sure has undergone a lot of changes this month!


This was photo was taken just before the annual Holiday Open House at Camas Antiques.  It was a very busy weekend at the shop!


I really tried to focus on having plenty of smalls to offer in my booth.  I often get so caught up in painting furniture that I run out of time to spend on those little creative touches.  These ornaments turned out prettier than I had imagined and they were so much fun to make.  I need to order more supplies so that I can craft up some more for my own tree!

I was so happy to have a back up dresser waiting in the garage when my first dresser sold!  I added the applique to this one, changed out the knobs and painted it in Old Ochre.  After a little distressing, I sealed it with Annie Sloan's Clear Wax.  I wish I would have gotten a few more photos but there was just no time!


Bringing the new dresser in meant shifting things around a bit.  I actually like this look a little better than the first!


I had no idea what I would do with these cute rusty chairs when I bought them.  It was when I realized that I was short on surface space to display my smalls that I thought to attach a shelf and hang them on the wall!  


I added loads of vintage flatware to my display and so much of it has sold.  I am always on the hunt for more!


I really love how this display board turned out!  It started as a discarded cabinet door.  After layering a few colors of Chalk Paint® along with Artisan Enhancements Leaf & Foil Size, Gold Leaf and Crackle Tex, I did a little stenciling in Graphite and added the cast iron hand.


This formerly oak sofa table worked so perfectly in my booth!  I wish I could have held onto it a bit longer.  It too has gone to a new home!


Here is my sweet Gretta kitty showing off the details of the paint finish on this piece.  I layered Graphite, Old Ochre and a little French Linen to achieve this look and sealed it with Clear Wax.




The bed, the little cream table and the pink wardrobe are the only furniture pieces left in my booth at the moment!  I am working on some new pieces and plan to restock mid-week!  Stay tuned!


Thank you for your sweet visit!

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
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants




Friday, November 6, 2015

Art Finishing Products for a Safe and Pretty Mantle Makeover




Our front room fireplace surround has been shiny white and boring, builder-grade style since we moved into our home several years ago. Recently, I came across an antique buffet top for the mantle that inspired a complete makeover of the entire fireplace surround.


This before shot shows the original finishes that I was planning to pull together. As you can see, the fireplace surround was too shiny and white to work well with the vintage look I was going for. At the same time though, I wanted to stay neutral and white seemed a natural choice against my creamy walls and with all of the grey painted furniture in the room. After much deliberation, I decided to stick with white but do away with the shine and add a grey glaze for a more weathered, vintage aesthetic. I started by painting everything in Pure White, including the fireplace surround.


When I mentioned my idea to “age” the fireplace surround to my husband, his mind immediately went to “dark wax.” Obviously wax would not be a safe option for a fireplace surround due to the heat exposure. I had contemplated it long ago and then felt how hot my mantle actually gets when the fireplace is on and immediately concluded that wax would not be a good idea.

Artisan Enhancements Scumble is a clear glaze-like medium that can easily be tinted with paint! I mixed 5 parts Scumble to 1 part Paris Grey to achieve a lovely grey glaze that would give my fireplace surround and mantle pieces the aged, vintage look I was after.


I applied the tinted Scumble mixture with a brush and then wiped it back with a damp sponge. Unlike most traditional glazes, Scumble has no odor or harmful VOCs, so I was able to do all of this inside, on a cold, stormy day surrounded by kids without worrying about any of us breathing in harmful chemicals!  In addition, Scumble has an extended open time meaning that you can come back to it even 20 minutes after application and continue to adjust your finish. This was especially important to me as I had lots of interruptions in the midst of this project, what with of all of those kids running rampant, needing snacks, homework help and so forth!


Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer is exterior grade which means it provides protection that will withstand heat! It dries to a matte finish which was exactly what I wanted...no more shine! It also has no odor or harmful VOCs, so once again a safe product to use in the home! This sealer should be applied in two thin coats, waiting 24 hours before applying the second. In order to get an even, thin coat it is essential to use an appropriate brush, such as this “Top Coat” brush from Artisan Enhancements. I love this brush so much that I find myself using it for paint as well as
sealers. There is sealer on my brush in this photo. Notice that my brush isn’t dripping with product. The key is to apply thin layers.


When I asked the experts at Artisan Enhancements how long I needed to give my “new” aged finish time to cure before actually using my fireplace, they said it should be good to go in just one week!


I am really looking forward to some cozy evenings here this winter! And, I can’t wait to decorate the mantle for Christmas!


If you have plans to change the finish on your mantle or fireplace surround, be sure to choose products that will hold up well to the heat. If you’re like me and worry about exposure to harmful chemicals and odors, you will also appreciate the nolow VOC qualities of the Artisan Enhancements line! Visit their website to find a retailer near you! www.artisanenancements.com.



Thank you for your 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
What's it Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants