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Friday, November 11, 2011

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Before I start this post, I will tell you we worked on this vintage day bed a few months back before I ever thought of starting a blog so the photos are pretty rough and were done just for my records.  I purchased this vintage day bed at an auction and it was in pretty bad shape.  I had just taken an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint workshop and I wanted to try out the paint.  My husband painted the bed with Provence Blue ASCP.  Well, we had a slight problem  The colors bled through from the mahogany.  The workshop instructor assured us that the paint would cover anything and would adhere to just about any surface.

 So when we had the bleeding problem, I immediately contacted the stocklister that sold me the paint via email.  This was in the evening at about 9:00 at night.  Within minutes, I was contacted by the stocklister, and within about two more minutes, I was contacted by the Southern California person who oversees the stocklisters and she informed me she had already talked to the corporate people in England.  How is that for service?  The following day, I was contacted by someone from England at the company's headquarters.  The explanation was (wouldn't you know it) they had had a problem with a particular batch of paint and it had been the Provence Blue.  Something about the binding agents in the batch.  As soon as a new batch was ready, they were sending out new product and my can of paint would be replaced as soon as possible. 
 Here is the bed with the foot board already getting one coat of paint and the headboard still waiting for its first coat of paint.
After receiving the second quart, the replacement, we finished the bed and it came out beautifully.  I have since sold the bed.  I will not go into the painting techniques on this post, but just wanted to let everyone know what a great company Annie Sloan is.  They stand behind their product, and I think it is a dream to paint with.  Next week I hope to have a finished dresser that I can post a tutorial on.
The paint colors and the finish give such a vintage feel to anything I have ever painted with it.  My favorite color is the old white.  It is the perfect vintage white, not too yellow, not too gray and certainly not glaring new white like so much of the whites are these days.  My only reservation about it is the cost.  So I use it on pieces that are truly vintage and worth receiving a totally new look.  I wish it was more reasonably priced, but whenever I buy regular paint in the cans these days, the prices give me sticker shock.  Of course, I try to purchase better quality paint so that my pieces will have lasting quality.  I always hope they will get another 50 years of service as the older furniture is made so much better with better quality materials.  I think they deserve the proper makeover.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dictionary Dog

This piece is entitled Dictionary Dog.  No drawing ability required, just imagination and creativity.  My inspiration for him came from a Pottery Barn children's catalog.  I bought an old desk a few months back and it had a make-shift drop leaf desk top on the side of it that just looked like an add-on.  So I took it off and saved the discarded piece of wood.  We painted it Rustoleum Heirloom White.  I had purchased a greeting card with dogs on it and chose one of the images for the sign.  I blew it up on my color copier so it was big enough to put under my artist's projector. 
Here is the unused portion of the desk.  Just slapped some paint on it and it was a blank canvas.
Using the art projector, I projected the image on the copy onto the blank board.  I sketched around it with a pencil which did not show up in the photos so I outlined with the black craft paint where my sketch lines were so it would be visible in the photo.
 I filled in the silhouette with black paint, being careful to map out the eyes that I had sketched from the dog print.  I filled in his collar with red to give a little contrast.
When I letter any sign, I map all my words out on paper so I know the spacing will be correct and fit on my piece the way I want it.
 I stenciled with black craft paint everywhere I wanted printing.  Then I went in with watered down gray paint and shadowed the letters to give them dimension.  Basically I wet the brush, blot it on a paper towel and dip just one corner of a flat brush and shade the image.  I only shadowed the left sides of the letters and the bottom.  I did not outline the whole letter.  That way the letters do not appear flat.

After all the lettering was done and the dog was painted, I sanded back the whole piece with my mouse sander and went over it with some Jacobean Minwax stain.  Just a light coat to age the whole painting.
The end result is an adorable dog painting on wood.  Doesn't he look happy to be brought to life?  Great for a child's room or family room.  I will seal this with a clear spray.  If you want to put him outside, spray him with a suitable outdoor clear spray.  He should last for years.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Industrial Strength Cabinet

Salvage yards can be a wonderful source of treasures.  I visited my favorite salvage source last week and this cabinet called out to me from across the room.  It was love at first sight.  Even my husband fell in love with it and that is saying a lot.  This is truly industrial strength.  It is actually difficult for me to sell this, but I literally have no place for it at home.  Try to find local salvage yards in your area.  You never know what you will find.  They are a great source of materials for sign making, old windows, lighting, and old tool boxes.  They can be a fabulous treasure trove for the creative mind.  I even find paint there for a dollar or two a quart or can.
 This cabinet was so tall, it wouldn't even fit in my truck bed with the tailgate up.
 I love these drawers.  There are at least 50 of them. 
Here it is in my space all cleaned up and reassembled.  I do hope it goes to a good home. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Garland from Pages of a Book and Other Fabulous Finds

Yesterday I went and visited a friend at her shop Hoot n' Anny in Westlake Village.  She actually made these garlands out of book pages and hung them from a branch way up high.  They are amazing.
 She draped another one over a sofa.  You can clearly see the amount of work that goes into each garland, but the result is awesome.

 Here is another great idea.  Framed initials.  I love the galvanized letter over the burlap. 
Jennifer has a knack for finding unique items and has a real keen eye for decorating.  I love all the silver grouped with the armor piece.  Absolutely beautiful.
You have to look way up high.  There are treasures everywhere.  Aren't these adorable laundry containers?  Her assistant, Leah, created these.

 I've had my eye on this little guy for a long time.  Oh well, too late.  He's spoken for.  He is covered with some sort of seed pods.  Never seen anything like him before, and his antlers are made from branches.  So much creativity.  If you are in the area, stop by and see her.  You won't be disappointed.   Everywhere you look, it's a delight. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Plush Pumpkins at Julie O'Keefe Home and Garden

One of my favorite shops is a little garden and home decor store in La Canada, California.  It's called Julie O'Keefe Home & Garden located at 1367 Foothill Boulevard.  I stopped in last week to visit Julie, and her store is loaded with the best fall decor around.  One of my favorite things was her collection of Plush Pumpkins.  They are gorgeous and come in an assortment of autumn colors reminiscent of the fall foliage everyone loves.  Of course, Julie carried it a step further by finding a creative new use for these beauties.  She displayed her wonderful jewelry on one of the little guys and served it up on a silver tray.  One of the many reasons I love Julie's creativity.  If you are anywhere in the area, stop by and say hello.  You will be glad you did.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Poinsettias from the Page

 I love things made from book pages.  I recently went to a cute little shop in Orange County and saw a wall done with paper book flowers.  They were more springy looking.  Since it is time to decorate my space at Aubergine Emporium for the holidays, I decided to do my own rendition of a book flower.
Poinsettias by the Bunch
I started with a box I had laying around the house.  I used  a normal sized bread plate and traced it to make a back for the flower.
 I cut burlap circles larger than my cardboard and attached a ribbon on the back for hanging.
 Then I took spray glue and sprayed the burlap.  I cut slits in the excess burlap so that I could fold it over the cardboard neatly.
 Then I cut three sizes of poinsettia petals all in the same shape.  The actual largest petal was about the same length as the card board circle.  Then I made a slightly smaller petal and then a smaller petal still.  I put the patterns on book pages and cut them out.  I cut out five of each size petal for each flower I wanted to make.  Then I fan folded the base of the petal and taped it.  When I say fan folded, I first folded the base of the petal in half and fan folded out to each side.  Then I made the base of the folds flat and taped them so that I could glue gun them flat onto the cardboard.  You need to tape them so they stay flat and are easy to glue.  I laid down the largest petal first all the way around on the unfinished side of the cardboard.
 Next I took the middle size petal and folded them the same way at the base of the petal and then I glued them in between the large petals.  Be sure to leave a small circle in the center to put the center of your flower.
 Next do the same fan folding with the smallest petal and glue them in between the middle sized petals.  As you can see, I stayed in a pretty even circle in the middle.  Each layer goes directly in between the previous layer of petals.  You are still leaving that circle in the center.

Next take a little custard cup and cut circles like you did the larger back piece.  After these were cut, I took tissue paper garland (ivory color) and went around in a circle starting from the outer edge and working into the middle of the center piece of your flower.  I just used Tacky Glue to glue this down.  When that was done with the garland, I glue gunned the small circle into the center of my petals.
I purchased a sprig of red berries at Joann's Craft Store and cut off the little berries.  I glued them randomly over the center of the flowers to give them a little color.
When they were all finished, I cascaded them down my wall like a vine.  These would be beautiful on gifts at Christmas or also can be used as ornaments on the tree.  One caveat.  Each flower takes approximately an hour to make.  If you would like to use the pattern I mae for the petals, email me and I will send you the pattern.  little.miss.maggie@aol.com.

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