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Thursday, August 28, 2014

a woodsy get-away

We are getting ready to take a vacation. No weddings, no events, no plans other than five nights of camping in our beloved Adirondack mountains.  And boy, do we need it. Since opening the shop in February, JR and I have had precious few days off, and those were thanks to our girls for taking over while we were away. These days, we are feeling overwhelmed, overworked and ready for a change of scenery.

5 nights camping in the mountains in a tent. And I don't' even care if it rains. We'll take a puzzle, books and Scrabble. I will have a knitting project. To me, that's the most ideal way we can spend our time.

I'm a little obsessed with that whole vintage camp thing. We redid our front window several weeks ago with a camp fact, lots of people invited themselves to just sleep in the window for the summer!

Right now, it's all about campy, woodsy colors, and paint by numbers.


plaid,  and outdoorsy.

Well, someone bought the bed this week, and a few other elements from the window. So while we are away, we'll be dreaming up a fall dispay while we sit in front of a campfire, eating s'mores.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

inspiration abounds

Someone painted this bed:

which inspired Miss Mustard Seed to paint this bed:

which inspired me to paint this bed:

It's not the usual furniture makeover I do, but this one was special. It was a custom order for a cute couple that is furnishing their new home. Rather than buy new stuff (or even our restyled stuff) I encouraged Callin and Camille to use what they had and let me give the pieces a new look.

After a total makeover of their bed and dressers for the master bedroom,  we did their guest room furniture. They had an old bed and night stand which really, really, REALLY  needed freshening up.

I suggested to Camille that I do some hand painting on the bed and showed her some inspiration photos. She was completely on board with the symbolism and special meaning for them personally.

After chalking on the design, I went to work with my artist brushes, and did a very rustic rendering. Then the whole shebang got sanded for an even more rustic look. Sanding and a dark wax mix completed the look.

They  were so happy with the result.

 It has just the re-purposed and personal look that they wanted for their new home. I'm sure their guests will feel love, comfort and inspiration when they share life with Callin and Camille.

"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Monday, August 11, 2014

Our Dining Room Table

The first Home DIY Project is complete!
I'd like you to meet...

Our dining room table.

Remember my inspiration photo?  The Restoration Hardware table that had those chunky angular lines?And while I wasn't looking for an exact match, I was inspired by those legs and the washed out layers of paint over wood.

My table came from a thrift store for $24.99.  I had JR bring it straight into the house and I started painting it. Layers of paint...shades of beige and greige and ivory and brown.

As I layered the paint, I imagined, as I always do, what years of wear and love may look like. How it may have started as one thing, but over time, was worn down and freshened up with whatever was on hand. That means layers of paint then sanded off in strategic places,  washes of paint to replicate darkening from use, dry brushing of paint to bring highlights and low lights to create yet more interest and layers.

Then more sanding, washes, and dry brushing.

I left the legs darker than the top, and when it was all layered up with paint to my satisfaction, I gave it a good sound waxing.

Let me tell you something about the process we use to paint.  When a piece comes to us, first it must be structurally sound. JR does his thing...fixing drawers, replacing veneer and sometimes even rebuilding parts. Then, I literally channel those years of use...I know I can't fully explain it, but after deciding on an appropriate color ( I swear, the furniture speaks to me what it wants to be!) I try to think of how that piece may have aged over time.

Were there other colors under the final coat of paint? Oftentimes, yes.
Where does the piece naturally show wear? Edges? Around handles? Carved details?
Would the paint have changed in texture or appearance? Crackling? Grunge? Thicker buildup?

All of these questions go through my mind as I lovingly revive an old brown  dresser. Or a painted washstand. Or a boring table.

When it's completed, it's not really complete until it's protected with hand waxing...and I don't know if you feel it, but there is something deep and beautiful about the process of waxing a piece of furniture. I am connected to it with my hands. It's a process that melds paint and wax into a lustrous yet subtle finish.

You see the difference between a piece that is lovingly finished with layers of paint and hand waxing and say, a piece of furniture with a coat or two of latex room paint...not that there's anything wrong with latex room paint...we use it on certain pieces, too!

I'm just saying there's a difference, that's all. That's there's a lot more invested in thought and process and I believe it shows, and it elevates.

It reflects a love for history, the passion for repurposing and the joy of painting from the heart.