Thursday, July 12, 2018

DIY Layered Art Finish Video Tutorial

Thanks so much for stopping in to check out my latest video!  This one is a little longer and more in depth than some of my others, so you may want to grab yourself a cookie and a cup of tea!  Or...feel free to pin this post for future reference!  

Consider the possibilities with the vast selection of stencils available and paint colors to choose from. This finish would be amazing on walls, furniture, art canvases and more! I hope you picked up some fresh ideas and inspiration for your next makeover project!

I offer Artisan Enhancements products and workshops at Camas Antiques in Camas, Washington! Please join me for a workshop if you're in the area!

Artisan Enhancements and Bio Savvy products are available from retailers worldwide. To learn more and find a local retailer visit:

If there is no local retailer in your area, shop online:

I get a lot of requests from international painters looking for products. In Scandinavia and UK, contact distributors of Artisan Enhancement and Bio Savvy Products for more information!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Stain and Foil Tutorial: A Table in Need of a Little Drama!

It’s been such a long time since I last wrote a blog tutorial!  
I have had several questions recently about some of the products and techniques I use.  
I thought it would be fun to walk you through the makeover of this sweet vintage table and share
a little insight and tips along the way!

I have gotten out of the habit of taking before pictures, so you’ll have to forgive me for this partial,
mid-project pic!  This table started out with a well worn, dark brown finish.
I started with a coat of Country Grey Chalk Paint® with the intention of doing a two-color wet
distressed technique.

I opted for sanding and staining the top.  This isn’t something I usually do!
I have never cared for working with furniture stain at all!  
My experiences with traditional furniture stain have left me with brown fingertips,
ruined paint brushes and horrible headaches.  I have always been sensitive to the harsh
chemical odors emitted from those little cans. For that reason, I have pretty much avoided stain
at all costs, until…

I was introduced to Bio Savvy Stain!  This stain is completely non-toxic and fume free!  
It also cleans up way easier than traditional stains!  
No more stained fingers and ruined paint brushes! Dark Walnut is my favorite of the 4 Savvy Stain
colors and the one I chose for this table top.  You simply brush this stain onto your raw wood surface,
no need to wipe back! The stain penetrates the wood, leaving a beautiful rich color behind.  
Your stained surface does not necessarily need to be sealed, but I have used Annie Sloan’s clear wax
as well as Artisan Enhancements Clear Topcoat Sealer over my stained surfaces for added protection.  
Both work great!

Bio Savvy Stains can also be used like a glaze!  I still use Annie Sloan’s dark and black waxes for
aging and adding richness to my paint finishes.  I chose to do a glaze technique here instead,
for two reasons…

First of all, I loved the idea of glazing my Scandinavian Pink over Country Grey paint finish with the
same Dark Walnut color that I had used to stain the table top. It pulls the piece together for a
cohesive look.
Also, I really like the matte finish I can achieve with the “stain glaze” technique.  
As you can see, I just brushed the stain onto my dry paint finish and immediately wiped it back with
a lint-free shop towel.  I also used baby wipes in some areas where I wanted to remove more of the
If you’ve been with me for a workshop, you know how much I love my Kirkland Signature wet wipes!  
I used them to do some wet distressing on these table legs as well.

After having stained, painted and glazed my table, I decided those fancy legs needed some metallic
accents!  You’ve seen me use a lot of gold gilding wax on past projects. Leaf & Foil applications
create a different kind of metallic finish.  Metallic foils offer more of a dramatic effect, where gilding
waxes are softer and more subtle.

I felt like these table legs were in need of a little drama.

Artisan Enhancements Leaf and Foil Size can be used to apply metallic leaf or foil.  Foil is much more reasonably priced and less messy to work with. Although there are a lot of foil colors to choose from, my absolute favorite is Soft Gold, especially with pink!

A word to the wise...Leaf and Foil Size is super sticky stuff!  Be very careful opening that container. If you end up with Size on your fingers (which you probably will) or any other surface you didn’t intend to apply it to...hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol should help with removal.  Don’t use your favorite, high end paint brush to apply Size or you will certainly regret it. I use cheap chip brushes for larger applications. For more detailed projects, Artisan Enhancements has very reasonably priced small stencil brushes, which is what I am using here.  I was able to remove most the size from this brush by soaking it in rubbing alcohol after use, but it will probably be my designated detail Size brush from here on out.
Simply apply the Size to the areas you want to be gold (or whatever metallic foil color you choose).  Apply Size sparingly! A little goes a long way. After about 20 minutes the size will be tacky and ready for the foil.  
Note: Artisan Enhancements Size will remain tacky for at least 20 if you have to walk away from your project for longer than 20 minutes at this point, it’s not a problem.  Unless your cat rubs up against said project… That would definitely be a BIG problem. I honestly worry about this every time I step away from a Foil project! Thankfully it hasn’t happened yet!  (knock on wood!)

This is the fun part!  Metallic Foil is sold by the roll or by the foot.  I like to cut my foil into strips. Here I’ve wrapped a strip of foil around a table leg where the Size had been applied and allowed to tack up.  You must apply the foil SHINY SIDE UP! It seems completely backwards, but this is just how it works. Sometimes I just use my fingers to rub the foil onto the surface, other times I might use a dry paintbrush or a scrubbing brush to “burnish it.”  
Instant gratification!  This is such a fun technique to teach in workshops.  
There are always lots of “oohs and ahhs” as the foil is pulled away!
If you feel you’ve missed a spot or wish there was more foil left on your piece, you can always apply more Size, let it tack up and lay your foil back down.
If you end up with a bit of foil in a spot where you don’t want it, I find the best way to remove it is either a light sanding or just covering it with a bit more paint.  It’s pretty forgiving. Just work with the finish until you love it!
After having accented all six of my table legs with foil, I was ready to seal my paint finish.  As mentioned before, the Bio Savvy Stain can be sealed with Annie Sloan wax or Clear Topcoat Sealer.  I prefer a brush on sealer such as Clear Topcoat or Clear Finish over foils. Although Clear Finish is great for enhancing the sheen of metallic foil finishes, I didn’t want my overall paint finish to be shiny, so I opted for the matte Clear Topcoat Sealer.  If you’re not familiar with Clear Topcoat Sealer, here’s a brief video explaining the product and how to best apply it.
I hope you’ve gained information from this tutorial that will be useful to you in your future projects!  Are there techniques you’ve seen featured on my blog that you have questions about?
Please don’t hesitate to email me!  I would love to hear from you!

Thank you for your visit!
Best Wishes and Blessings,

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

A Collage From the Heart

I spent an evening last weekend putting together a little project that's been on my mind and my heart for several months now. This beautiful antique oval frame came complete with the original convex glass but no portrait or painting inside. It was a garage sale bargain at $10. I rarely find these frames with the curved glass intact and always thought how fun it would be to create a dimensional collage to display inside.

I had so much fun putting this together and it's a sentimental piece for sure. The boy in the photo is my grandpa and the skeleton keys are a part of his extensive collection which I inherited when he passed away. I featured them in a blog post 6 years ago here. Although I have enjoyed the keys in various vignettes around our house over the years, I am so happy to have my favorites displayed with grandpa's photo.

Being a bit of a ham, he would have gotten such a kick out this little project of mine.

Currently the collage is hanging in my studio.  The small cabinet is another recent addition and although it probably won't stay here, I am liking this little vignette, until something else comes along.  Of course I love the cabinet's style and the wood is actually quite beautiful, so I probably won't paint it's a humidor!  The inside is actually lined in marble.  It's a sturdy piece and incredibly heavy, but it has a few condition issues that I haven't figured out how to fix quite yet.  So, I'll just enjoy it for a while longer!

Thank you for your sweet visit!

Best Wishes and Blessings,

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A Little Princess Window Display

I so enjoyed putting together the May window display at Camas Antiques again!  Last year my theme was the Secret Garden.  This year I went with another Francis Hodgson Burnett classic, A Little Princess.

So, as you can see it was all about pale pink paint finishes, ruffles, frills and flowers!  The featured Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® mix - Old White with a dash of Scandinavian Pink!

Pretty dishes, of course!

A beautiful antique secretary in Paris Grey Chalk Paint® - Read more about this makeover project here.

Stacks and stacks of luscious bed linens!  Many have found new homes but there are still a few lovelies available!

Urns, tables, chairs, topiaries, dresses, glitter book stacks, concrete birdbaths and more...

It came together so beautifully.  But I can't take all the credit.  I had some wonderful helpers!

My 6 year old daughter punched out dozens of pink paper butterflies to glue to the tree branches donated from my in-law's farm.

My husband loaded and unloaded the heavier furniture and concrete pieces more times than he cares to remember!

And my sweet friend Deanna of The Dollhouse at Camas Antiques spent the day helping me haul loads of goodies from my house to the store.  She also helped me arrange and rearrange things throughout the day until everything fit just right!

Taking photos of a window display is tricky business.  The only way to get photos through the glass without the glare is to take them at night.  Unfortunately the lighting isn't ideal in the dark.

So, here we have a few photos taken during the day from inside the display!

The window has endured many changes since these photos were first taken, but the larger pieces are still there, even the bed which has sold.  Fresh merchandise has been added throughout the month.  Just 10 more days until everything changes!

These sweet bedside tables painted in a mix of Scandinavian Pink and Old White were a late addition to the display.  They have since sold and left the window.

I will be working on more projects to add to the display this week and hope to share the details with you here over the next few days!

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Not my Grandma's Secretary

This is not my grandma's secretary. It looks A LOT like my grandma's secretary...the one she bought as an antique nearly 70 years ago and has probably been her most treasured possession ever since! I was nervous to show her that I had painted one just like hers. 

Guess what? She loved it! And trust me when I say that if my grandma thought that painting this piece was a mistake, she would not spare my feelings! I would hear about it! All done in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® ...  Paris Grey exterior, Country Grey interior, a little Old White accent, some light distressing followed by Annie's Clear and Dark Wax.  

Currently for sale in the window display at Camas Antiques! 

Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!  

I am so sorry that I had to turn off commenting on my blog.  I love hearing from so many of you but the amount of spam comments I was receiving was overwhelming.  

If you would like to reach out to me, please find me on Facebook, Instagram or shoot me an email at

Best Wishes and Blessings,

Friday, April 20, 2018

My Creative Space...Always Changing

Though not perfectly staged, I am sharing this photo of my creative space that I took a few days ago when the lighting was so pretty. I wish I would have taken a few moments to straighten the rug and put some of the clutter away, but here you are...a very real, in the moment shot of the space I use to gather my finds, photograph furniture, price treasures and dream up displays. 

I am so glad I took this photo though, as this room will not likely ever look the same as it does now. Now is when the chaos begins, more items pile in as the date draws near. Soon enough, this room will be mostly cleared out and the window display will be filled with treasures. 

I do love this stage...this moment in time when I get to enjoy all of these special things in my home, before we part ways and they go on to be loved by someone else. 

Thank you for your sweet visit!
Best Wishes and Blessings,

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Another Frances Hodgson Burnett Inspired Display {in the works!}

My next big project, my focus as of late is a window display coming to Camas Antiques, first part of May! Once again, I am using the inspiration from a film that will be shown at the Liberty Theatre. Last year my theme was The Secret Garden. Families gathered on Mother's Day to see the film and enjoy treats and giveaways at the store afterwards. A Little Princess, also by Frances Hodgson Bernett is the inspiration for this year's display and the 1995 version will be shown on Mother's Day, May 13th. I have mountains of projects in the works for the display and hope to keep you posted with updates and sneak peeks as the days tick by! I am so very excited about the treasures I've gathered so far and how well things are coming together! Thank you friends for your encouragement and for following along with me on this fun journey! More to come...

Thank you for your sweet visit!
Best Wishes and Blessings,

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Trestle Table with a Stencil Surprise

It wasn't until I loaded this console table into my truck at the estate sale that I noticed the leaf tucked up inside! 

I thought it was such a neat feature that I decided to stencil the leaf...and further enhance the surprise. I started with Annie Sloan's Coco followed by a blended wash technique in Old White and Country Grey.

 I used the Trellis Stencil from Artisan Enhancements in Old White. White Wax gives the overall finish a soft effect.

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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Dear Blog Friends: Thanks for not Giving up on Me!

Once again I find myself really really behind on blogging!  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, consider this a quick recap of the past three months.  And if you just follow along here and wondered where I went, thank you SO much for hanging in there and not giving up on me! 

This first photo is a fairly recent shot of our front room.  That beautiful green door is new, well new to us!   I purchased it from my best friend's parents who tell me that it was the original front door to the 100 year old family farmhouse in Winlock, WA. They recently discovered it in the rafters of an old barn on the property. The fabulous shabby green paint is original and all of the hardware is intact! I think it works well in that corner but I'd like to raise it up a bit so we can see more of it. I think it's pretty fabulous...and oh so special!

Here's a favorite mini-project completed in January.  An old wooden tray got a beautiful update in Annie Sloan's Paris Grey and Old White.  Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel was used to apply the beautiful typography.  Want to learn more about the image transfer process?  Here's a link to a video tutorial:  Image Transfer Sign Video

In January we started transforming our dining room into a home office/studio space.  It made a lot of sense for our family and although it's still a work in progress, we are loving it so far.  I shared this little gem that although I've had for some time, finally feels at home on our desk/work table.  I shared the back history on this very special family piece here:  Throw it on the Burn Pile

Our little Basil dog turned 13 this month!  He made a big impression on social media with this pic!  We just adore him and feel so blessed that he's still with us.

This beauty stopped me in my tracks at an estate sale last weekend! She was priced a little higher than I had wanted to pay, so I walked away but couldn't stop thinking about her. On the last day of the sale she was still there, waiting for me...meant to be! After a good cleaning and some touch up work here and there, she is ready for her debut at Camas Antiques.  I wish I had a place for her in my home.  She is really something special.  I believe her to be from the 1920's.  I wish there was a manufacturer marking somewhere, but unfortunately there is not.  If anyone has a similar piece or has any information to offer, please share!  I love researching my vintage and antique finds and feel like I've hit a dead end with this one.

I am knee deep in projects for a very special window display!  I will try to keep the blog a little more current, but if you're at all interested in daily sneak peeks, before and afters, more pet photos and so forth...come find me on Instagram!

Thank you so much for your visit today!  I wish you many blessings and much happiness!

Until next time!