Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Image Transfer Video Tutorial & Trade Secrets

The image transfer process has become a hot topic on my blog and social media pages over the past couple years and I felt it was time for another tutorial! With every project, I learn a little something new and I wanted to take this opportunity to share my tips and trade secrets with you! Over the years I have had my fair share of transfer project fails and I am hoping that you can learn from my mistakes!

I know I've shared a lot of tedious tidbits in this video, so let's break it down in a "Cliff's Notes" 
10-step version for ya!

1. Prepare your surface with a matte paint, preferably a light color, depending on your image.

2. Choose an image! This is the fun part! I will share links to my favorite sites for images at the end of this post!

3. Print your image on a laser printer (think Kinkos, Office Max, UPS, FedEx...usually the businesses with big commercial printers have laser printers but ask them, just in case!)

4. Ask for a medium weight paper, something around 26lb and make sure that if your graphic has words that the image is printed in reverse!

5. Apply your Transfer Gel with a quality brush that leaves minimal brush strokes. Apply a full, even coat.

6. Immediately put your paper image down into the gel and smooth out the backside with your hands until all of the air bubbles are worked away.

7. Allow your gel to dry for 24-36 hours (I like to give it three days, personally).

8. Dampen the back of the paper with a sponge or damp rag.

9. Use your fingers to gently rub away the paper fibers.

10. When the surface feels smooth and you can no longer see a paper film, your transfer is complete and you can either distress lightly with a fine grit sandpaper, layer on a glaze or other medium or simply seal your project with Artisan Enhancements Clear Finish, Clear Topcoat Sealer, or a Wax.

Want even more guidance and inspiration? Check out this step by step transfer tutorial on the Artisan Enhancements site!

And if you're wondering where you can get your hands on Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel, this page will point you in the right direction!

My favorite resources for images:

Project Printable - This is where I purchased the "Flakes of Snow graphic", "Christmas Magic" and many more for Image Transfer projects. Let me just say that Samantha is not only incredibly talented but she is a super sweet gal too! Be prepared to spend a good hour or two perusing her gorgeous graphics. And...you won't believe how reasonably priced they are! By the way, she is not paying me to sing her praises...I just really love her work, and enjoy doing business with her!

Verdigris Studio - Most of my favorite "Vintage Women" color images were purchased from Rebekah. The colors are amazing and the images are sharp! Her prices are also incredibly reasonable, and she has a wide variety of graphics to choose from. Check her out!

The Graphics Fairy -  And of course there's The Graphics Fairy site where the images are all free! This angel graphic is by far one of my favorite images I have downloaded from this site. This particular project is from the transfer tutorial archives and you can check it out here if you'd like!

I sincerely hope that you feel inspired and empowered to try this image transfer technique if you have not already done so! Please feel free to pin the below image so that you can easily return to this post for future reference.

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

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Ikea Hack! Chic Desktop Storage - Video Tutorial

If you're like me, you navigate the never-ending aisles of Ikea looking for useful items that you can completely customize and make your own!  Also, if you're like me...you have oodles of craft supplies, crafting tools, jars of glitter and random bits scattered everywhere.  And if you're like me, you gravitate towards organizers, things with little compartments and little drawers that might help you keep those odds and ends in one place.  (I said might...that doesn't mean it always happens that way, but hey!...our intentions are good.)

This raw wood 6 drawer desktop organizer came home with me from a recent, random trip to Ikea and I couldn't wait to transform it and fill it up with all of my crafty treasures!  I hope you enjoy this tutorial.  Keep in mind that these techniques and products would look beautiful on a myriad of furniture and accessory pieces!  And next time you're at Ikea, keep your eyes peeled for things that you can customize to reflect your own artistic style!

Feel free to pin this post for future reference!

Artisan Enhancements products are available from retailers worldwide. To learn more and find a local retailer, visit the Artisan Enhancements Find a Retailer Map.

If there is no local retailer in your area, you can shop online here!

Thanks so much for your visit today!
Best Wishes and Blessings,

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Fall and Halloween Displays and Decor

Our Harvest Market event at Camas Antiques earlier this month was a great success!  Our vendors put together Fall tablescapes for a friendly little display competition and customers voted for their favorites!  What a fun way to kick off the Fall season!

My table decor was inspired by Limelight hydrangeas and a silver, gold and cream pallet.

I painted a few new pieces to add to my display.  I wish I would have gotten some better photos of this tiered table.  I had painted it in Duck Egg Blue Chalk Paint® and accented with gold gilding wax.  It sold pretty quickly and I have to say I was a little sad to see it go!  It was a great piece for display!

This classic vintage dresser is available in my booth now.  I have really gotten bad about taking before photos and always seem to be in too much of a rush to get pieces into the store to do the staging and photographing at home...which I typically love to do!  
I kept this one simple...French Linen Chalk Paint® with white wax.

This past week I transitioned my Fall tablescape into a spooky Halloween display!  I love how a follower friend described my Halloween style as "Elegant Victorian Lady-in-Mourning." A lot of my inspiration for displays comes from movies and books. I don't watch scary movies, but films set in the Victorian era are my absolute favorite! So, it makes sense that I would lean towards the lady-in-mourning side of spooky! 

While I was prepping items for my store display, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and decorate our mantle for Halloween at the same time!  The little end table or bedside table on the left was painted in Graphite Chalk Paint® and I stained the top using Roasted Pecan from Bio Savvy stains.  It is available for sale in my booth now.

Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!

Best Wishes and Blessings,

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Florentine Inspired Finish - Video Tutorial

I just love the look of old, chippy, glamorous Florentine tables with their gold legs and wonderful patina!  I am always on the lookout for them!  For sometime now I have wanted to try my hand at recreating that beautiful Florentine look and finally came across a little table that had the right lines and details!  I am pleased with how this piece turned out and am enjoying it in my home for the time being!

This layered technique would be great on a wooden tray or even a dresser front!  If you give it a try, please send me photos!  I would love to see your 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!

Feel free to pin this post for future reference!

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

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

What a Day! - Downtown Camas Vintage & Art Street Faire Recap!

Another wonderful Downtown Camas Vintage & Art Street Faire has come and gone!  What a great day!  My heartfelt thanks to all who came from near and far to shop and spend the day with us!  I loved seeing so many lovely friends!

I shared this before and after photo on Facebook last week but thought I'd throw it in here too!  These sweet little repurposed tables found a new home on Saturday.  This was a bigger project than I had anticipated!  Thankfully my handy father in law came to my aid!  I am so pleased with the results.  The pretty vintage pink paint color is a custom mix of Annie Sloan's Scandinavian Pink, Country Grey and Old White, finished with Annie's Clear Wax, Dark Wax and Bright Gold Gilding Wax.

This doll house was the first project I had finished and put aside for Street Faire day!  I sure enjoyed having it in my home for a couple of months.  The woman who bought it plans to decorate it for the holidays.  How fun is that?

So many great vendor booths at the faire this year!  The live music was so fun and the food was wonderful!  I am already looking forward to next year!

I couldn't do this show without the help of my beautiful mom!  We make a great team and always have so much fun together!

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

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Street Faire Projects...It's Crunch Time!

The Downtown Camas Vintage & Art Street Faire is less than one week away!  It really is crunch time and I am checking projects off my list left and right!  I thought I would take a moment to share a couple of my favorite projects with you.  

This started out as a $2 cupboard door, plain as can be!  I used Artisan Enhancements Transfer Gel to apply the beautiful image.  The image was a digital download I purchased on Etsy and enlarged and cropped to fit inside the cupboard door.  I added the "frame" with pieces of appliques I had in my stash and then painted it in Old White Chalk Paint® followed by Clear Wax, Dark Wax and Gold Gilding Wax to highlight.  

 I have had lots of questions about the transfer process I use since I shared the cupboard door project on Facebook and Instagram, so I thought I would include my Image Transfer Tutorial Video in this post.  I hope it sheds some light on the technique for those of you who were interested!

Earlier this week, I also shared the above collage of photos.  I used the photo from Pinterest for inspiration when transforming my hardware that was just a little too new for the look I was after for my dresser project.   I used Annie Sloan's Graphite, Florence and a little Lem Lem, followed by Dark Wax and a hint of gold gilding wax to recreate the patina'd effect.

And here is the completed dresser!  The color is a little darker than it appears in the photo.  I used Scandinavian Pink, Country Grey and Old White...a mix of the three and then a bit of blending in some areas.  After a coat of Clear Wax, I accented with Dark Wax and highlighted with Gold Gilding Wax.

I look forward to this event every summer!  Although I still have loads to do before Saturday, I feel like things are finally falling into place.  Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for more project updates and sneak peeks!  If you're local, I do hope you'll join us on Saturday!  It is such a fun day and I love visiting with everyone who stops by my booth!  Hope to see you!

Best Wishes and Blessings,

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 hours...so 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 but...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,