Saturday, March 30, 2013

an early easter dinner

We had a family dinner here today.  My parents, son, daughter and son in law were all here for an early Easter dinner.

I set the table in the morning so that I could get it just right.  We are in the midst of a fabulous sunny and warm Easter weekend.  A real surprise for us at the end of this month of March.

I picked up some white and pink spray roses to put in my new aqua jars from World Market.  The soft pastels just say spring to me.

Pastel fiestaware plates... white damask tablecloth...

And napkins... oops.  The napkins I really wanted were sold out at Pier 1 so I dug into my fabric stash for this cute gingham-y seersucker.  Since this was last minute I just ripped the fabric in napkin sized squares... a quick wash and dry and we were set.  Plus I kind of like the raw edges with my Grandma's vintage silver.

And for the Easter table, well some goodies too, of course.

Cute paper mache styled eggs... also from World Market.

Fun little chocolate bunnies with place cards pinned on the ribbon.

The centerpiece galvanized tray of roses nests inside another tray full of pink Easter grass.

Since the "girls" got the paper mache eggs full of goodies the "boys" got cute vintage looking buckets full of goodies... another World Market find.

Of course among the candies I tucked in a few other surprises...

It was a fabulous meal with family... just the way a holiday should be.  And tomorrow we'll head to my in-laws for another Easter meal.

So as I wind down on Saturday evening... here's a wish for a wonderful Easter Sunday for you and yours.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

are you afraid of the dark?

I am.  Yep, have been ever since I can remember... of course as an adult I keep it tamped down but every night every once in awhile I might, just might have to rush back to bed after a midnight break and hop under the covers real quick... and I never, never, never let my feet hang over the edge of the bed!  And since I have a husband and a dog in bed with me... well I don't even need those (ahem 27) stuffed animals lined up along the edges of the bed anymore either!

But that isn't the kind of dark I'm talking about.  I'm talking about DARK wax!  I picked this cute little table up at the thrift store last week for $20!  It's an old magazine table... that little drawer actually pulls out BOTH sides!  Cool huh?

It does however need just a little bit of love... and paint of course!

See that beat up top?  Well I was thinking about some ASCP in Provence... full on, not "watered" down with white/cream Provence!  But I am thinking of using some dark wax on it... and since I haven't used the dark wax at all I thought perhaps I should try it out on something smaller and less noticeable first.

So upstairs, where my recent chalk paint project rests, are three old photos of our local mountain, Mount Baker.  All three have different frames...

One is an 80's kind of oak... this one must be a reframe or was framed much later after the picture was taken since it is from the 50's... I can tell that by the cars lined up in the photo big old rounded cars with fins!

The lower frame I actually like... kind of a white wash over a medium wood.  Both mat colors are ok too.

The third one?  A thrift store find that is almost, almost beyond help.

Well all I can say is I'm really not in love with the brass... or the gray mat.  Both will have to go... I'm thinking of just taping off the brass and painting it to look like pewter perhaps?  Or zinc?  And leave the wood alone.

But I digress... back to wax.  The oak frame was my guinea pig for the dark wax tryout.  I didn't even remove the glass and picture but just taped off the frame/glass and got to work with Provence.

Some sanding and distressing after 3 coats of paint.

And then the dark wax.  I'm not sure if I love it, like it or just not.... I do think I should have used clear wax first and then just a "touch" of dark wax since I think the dark wax toned down the aqua fabulousness of the Provence paint too much.

I do like it waaaaay better than the 80's oak...

And it's not quite as green as this picture makes it out to be...

 I think the white mat looks much better with some color against it...

A side by side comparison?

So I think next up will be good riddance to the brass after I get a new mat cut for this... I'm thinking something in the blue or aqua tones....

And then full steam ahead on the little magazine table.

After my failure at painting last weekend at least I was able to put the brush to use for a few minutes after work...

Oh... and you didn't answer my question... so are you?  Afraid of the dark that is?

Monday, March 25, 2013

s & p

S & P.... nope not salt & pepper, although I am working on spicing things up a bit around here.  No, I was thinking more along the lines of sewing & painting this past weekend.

Sadly, this was as close as I got to my sewing machine... perhaps the piles of stuff still waiting to be packed up and put away after the baby shower has put a crimp in my desire to spend time in my sewing room... since it needs a thorough clean up.

So with the sun shining and the temperatures hitting 60 degrees I decided to swap the sewing "s" for the seed "s"!

 As you may recall... I plant quite a few flowers from seed.  Zinnias, sweet peas, marigolds, hollyhocks, sunflowers... those will be planted soon out in my little greenhouse.  My unheated little greenhouse... so even with a warm day or two, still too cold for planting right now.  So what did I plant this weekend?  Well the Wave Petunias for one... or 50 actually.  Ten of each in shades of white, lavender, purple and two pinks.

And of course, my specialty, pure white impatiens.  I planted 390 of these babies.... yep I meant to say 390!  And there are 60 more seeds waiting to fill in for some that don't germinate.  I can hardly wait until the first of May when I can move them out into the greenhouse for a couple of weeks before their planting into my many shady spots.  For now the impatiens and petunias are residing on my enclosed, and south facing, front porch.  Just little pots of soil waiting to burst forth with fabulous flowers.

And I wanted to share with you what the seeds look like... think smaller than carrot seeds!  This little Fiestaware fruit bowl has 90 impatien seeds in it... yes, really, you can count them if you don't believe me!  I actually have found that using tweezers is the only way to go.  The first year I did this I had seeds EVERYWHERE because you can hardly pick them up with your fingers.  And the petunia seeds are even smaller... at least that's what I'm told since they actually come coated or pelleted to make them slightly bigger than these impatiens.

So although I'm dreaming of the flowers to come in my gardens... I do have a bit of color already.  The hycinths went from this last week...

To this!  And boy do they smell wonderful!

The hellebores that are tucked next to the back porch are still going strong...

A few hardy daffodils are fully opened...

And some are still working on that opening...

Oh... and the "p" for painting?

Well it will have to wait until the upcoming weekend... since this all the farther the brush got.

Happy spring!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

another direction

I finished the painting, sanding, waxing and buffing on my Craigs list cabinet.  Like I said before, I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco (aka French  Old Linen outside of the US)... and I chose to do something a little different for the inside.

It's now residing in the spot at the top of the stairs... sans knobs and glass... but otherwise finished.

The view as you come up the stairs... this space is kind of awkward and it was hard to get a picture of the finished cabinet.  I think it took me as long to arrange everything as it did to paint!

I played around with mixing the Coco with both Pure White for one coat and Old White for another.  I also used Coco unmixed as the base coat... three coats of paint and a bit of pure Coco here and there to bring out a bit of detail.

I'll be ordering knobs from Anthro since I won't be heading to Seattle anytime soon.  I only need two so I can splurge a little.  One thing about using chalk paint was that I didn't worry about getting it on the hardware for the keyhole and locking mechanism since I could lightly sand it off during the sanding stage.

I sanded to bring out some of the detail...

Especially around the molding at the top... I also didn't work any paint into each little bit of this dental(?) molding.

The bottom or feet got a bit of distressing too.  Clear ASCP wax and a good buffing and the piece was done.  I think I've finally mastered the not too much, not too little wax step.  The first few times I used too much wax and that certainly made the buffing stage a little bit harder.

And the different route I chose for the interior?  Well originally I thought I would paint it Duck Egg Blue or Provence... then I thought I'd wallpaper the back with some vintage or vintage inspired paper... then I realized I already had the perfect linen to go with the Coco paint.  A damask pattern.

I like the subtle pattern behind the shelves... and since they are removable it was easy to add the fabric.

I just attached it along the top, sides and in the center behind each shelf with thumbtacks.

Since perhaps I just might change my mind about the interior one day.

Of course I filled the inside, top and bottom, with my favorites from the prior bookshelf.

Not quite everything fit but everything that I really wanted to keep fit just find.  The over sized books went in the bottom since it is a little deeper.

The top is full of some special white pieces like this little set of ironstone that was my grandmother's.  As children we used to take it outside and play with it.  When my parents moved into my grandparent's house and took a a huge bush... well it was inside.  See this bush was our private little place to play house since it was hollow inside!

Of course my Nancy Drew books made the cut...

Some family bibles, including a Norwegian one, are stacked on a shelf... and these two little shell shaped vases belonged to an honorary aunt.  She kept them in her bathroom for years and years.  The are California Pottery pieces and are actually worth quite a bit so they need a safe spot to rest.

All and all I'm happy with the results...
And now I just need to tweak a few things in this space and it's finished... at least for now.