Again, here's the link to vote: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/carols-field-of-fennel-room-room-for-color-contest-178208
A wonderful resource for anyone who is making over a piece of furniture or cabinets is Patty Henning over at Fabulous Finishes. Patty, an excellent decorative painter, is also a distributor for Caromal Colours and CC Caldwell paints. A quick stop over at her website will reveal a wealth of "how to" information about the product lines she carries. While I have never personally met Patty, I have talked to her on the phone at length about her finishes and products and have ordered custom made samples to show my clients.
Last week was a perfect example of how accomodating Patty can be. I am working with a client through an interior designer, and we will be updating his Master Bath. The last time I did this bath was back in 2004, and it has sustained some water damage and the entire bathroom is just ready for a new look.
There is a white laminate vanity and one other wall mounted, matching storage cabinet in this bathroom that are very blah. The homeowner does not want to replace, but is open to possibly painting. Some times it is difficult to convince a client of the durability of such a procedure and how it will truly look in their setting. What I love about Patty is, for a small fee, she will make a custom sample on a piece of molding, and ship it off to you.
Ask and you shall receive. I spoke to Patty on Wednesday afternoon and by Friday, I had the sample in hand! Look how perfectly it goes with the fabric and samples!
My client is away on vacation for a week, so I will meet with him and the designer when he returns and we'll see what he decides. I know he will be going ahead with one of these wall finishes, but the icing on the cake will be to do the vanity and cabinet too. I think it will just give this tired old bathroom a whole new look without the added expense and inconvenience of construction work, which is what he wants to avoid at this point. A big thanks to Patty for making and shipping this sample so quickly!
I have been meaning to share this with you for some time now. A few months ago, I finally finished my Alphabet Wall. I had been seeing this type of wall on many of the home decorating blogs and in magazines, so decided to do one in my home office. The wall took me about a year to complete, mostly because I would collect a few letters, then completely forget about this project and get involved in another project. I'm sure you know how that goes.
The "W" is a stencil I've used, the C, D,S, B, and M are metal letters I bought at the Brimfield Fair. The O is a tile, the Y was cut from a sample board, the I is a printer's block letter, the P is a wooden letter I foiled and added Swarovski crystals, and the N is a blank puzzle card that i colored in with markers.
These letters are a combination of more metal letters (T,A,Z, J,E L); the Q is something I made from picture framing wire, the R was a template I downloaded from the internet and put together; the framed letter is one I etched on the glass; the F is a letter I bought, the V is from a sample board, and the U was cut from a sample board and put in a paper frame. My favorite letter is the H, which my mother quilted for me. It's a fun project and I'm sure if you try it and stay on task, you'd be able to get it done in a weekend vs. a year.
FYI, I have reopened my Paint It... Online! Etsy store for the upcoming Holiday Season. Currently, I am featuring a variety of PetMats and KidMats, placemats for your favorite cat, dog, or kid. :-) I invite you to visit me over here:
I find this site very confusing to set up and I will not even tell you how many hours it took me to get this up and running again. :-( I do hope to add more items in a month or so and will keep you posted.
The better part of September has been spent down in my basement, cleaning up my studio. I've had a fairly busy Summer with no breaks between jobs, so things had really gotten out of hand. I decided it was a good time to organize and toss, toss, toss, since I was in desperate need of some space and order! Now don't worry, I'm not kidding myself thinking that my studio is ever going to grace the pages of any magazine featuring a before/after spread. It is what it is and it works for me.
First I started with my 2 oz. craft bottles of paints. Why do I save these dried up bottles???? They are not usuable and are taking up a lot of space. I tossed. I organized by color and retaped some boxes that were falling apart.
Next, I tackled my quarts and gallons of paint. Many cans with an inch or two of dried paint in the bottom. Tossed.
My basement occassionally gets a little wet. Ok.... frequently gets wet, so as my aging particleboard shelving disentegrates, I am replacing with plastic, utility shelving. I ran over to Home Depot and bought a new unit to replace one sad, sagging shelf unit.
Now my biggest problem was how the heck to get rid of all of the ancient oil based products I no longer use. Watertown has a not so very convenient system where I will have to visit the Town Hall for a form and a sticker and then drive two towns away on a specific Saturday in October to dispose of all of this. I guess that is my punishment for having used oil based products.
When it comes to tossing, weeding out my stencils, I just don't know what to do. Will large urns ever come back in style? If so, I have about 10 different urn stencils. You never know... I did toss some stencils that clearly should not be used again because they are so heavy with paint and cut up. Why, why do I save things like this? They are not even good for sample making. For now, I decided to just reorganize them and get a few more new racks. Of course, I needed to make some room for these new racks, which was no small task.
The last area to weed out was my very old collection of sample boards. I'm talking old. Finishes no one does anymore, color combinations that make me cringe, etc. I salvaged some boards to paint over and reuse, but most were not in good shape, textured, etc., so they filled my recycle bin.
Hop on over to the Stencil Search blog today:
http://www.stencilsearch.com/stencil-designers/furniture-stenciling/ for your chance to win not 1, not 2, but 3 fabulous sets of furniture stencils from Victoria Larsen. Julie Kefta, creator of my website, has posted this wonderful deal on her blog and all you have to do leave a comment on her site. Now, god knows I can rarely get you to leave a comment here on my blog, but maybe the enticement of some free stencils will get you to put your fingers to the keys. ;-) Good luck! (oh, and let me know if you DO win)!
Photos from the Stencilsearch blog:
I decided to create a few new sample boards to show off these fabulous stencil designs:
Stencil: hmm... I know I ordered this quite some time ago from Kathy Carroll, although cannot find on her site at the moment.
Ok, this is life # 3 for these dining room chairs, but who's counting? I truly love the shape of these 2 chairs, so see no reason to part with them, but of course, I do tire of the same old thing, and must occasionally do a little rehab! I started off with a rough sketch of my idea and thought I'd make some slipcovers using linen and a lime green fabric.
When these chairs first arrived in my home they were a set of 4, two different styles. Two chairs were upholstered in bright turquoise pleather and two with a bright orange pleather, so I guess, technically, they have had 4 lives that I know of. The frame was painted an off white.
This will be the third time I've recovered and painted these chairs. I know I have pictures of their former lives somewhere, but am too lazy to hunt them down, so you'll just have to take my word for it. This is what they looked like just before I recovered them this time.
I removed all of this fabric and added a little more batting to the seats and backs to plump them up a bit, making those long dinners with friends and family, much more comfortable. I also decided that I would give up two of the four chairs, as I was not crazy about the overall design of these two, and had enough other chairs to go around the table.
My original sketch for the pattern had to be revised once I started sewing. I did try this, but in the end, found it too bulky with the bottom ruffle and just did not like the overall look. Discarding the one I made, I opted for an upholstered look for the backs. Oh, and instead of using linen, I found these great burlap coffee bags, for $1 each at a salvage/closeout store.
I pulled out my trusty old sewing machine. This machine has to be at least 30 years old, maybe closer to 35, because I have had it long before my daughter was born and she is 27. I should really have it tuned up, but outside of being a little slow, it works fine.
The seats are slipped cover, so can be easily removed to clean. The frames are painted with a metallic copper paint.
Here is what the backs look like.
And here they are, at my dining room table. I have two upholstered chairs at the ends, one of which you can partially see. I also have 2 clear, Starck chairs that I can bring to the table if needed.
I had one more quick job to do at the brownstone featured in my previous post. A few years ago, I had etched a simple design onto the window panes of a door. One of the panes had to be replaced, so now it needed the design to match the other windows. I know it's hard to see, but the design is missing on the top row, far left. I took the shot from the inside, looking out.
As luck would have it, I just happened to come across an envelope with some of the left over Modellos™ I had used for this job, just the previous week before I got the call to do these repairs! How often does that happen??? (never!)
I, personally, find glass etching very nerve racking! One mistake and you have totally ruined the glass and there is no turning back. So, as you can see, I taped and covered every piece of glass where I thought an accident may occur and hoped for the best.
Yay! You never really know if any of the etching cream seeped underneather the stencil until you pull it off... and then of course, it's too late to do anything about it, but weep.
Hard to see, but here it is, fitting right in with all the other panes now. :-)
The funniest thing that happened while I was working at this brownstone, was meeting this cute, little dog. It was Day 2, and apparently the dog sitter had come at some point and returned the dog to the house. The dog was not there the previous day, nor when I arrived this day. There are 5 floors to this brownstone, so I must have been up on floor 3, working on the ceiling and did not hear them come in. Well, when I was going downstairs to do the glass etching, this little dog pops out of the home office to greet me! At first I nearly had a heart attack, but once I recovered she/he seemed genuinely concerned for my well being and just followed me all about.
Some of my clients live in areas in and around Boston that are just impossible to find parking. When it's anywhere near downtown Boston, the Boston Common parking garage I usually use costs $22/day. If I'm very lucky, I will find a Visitor Parking space, which allows parking in such residential areas for up 2 hours, but a minute after the 2 hour time frame, you will find a ticket on your windshield. The streets are all one way here and very narrow. When I have a lot of supplies to unload, I have to park in the middle of the street, blocking all access, and quickly unload to just inside the door, jump back in my car and go park somewhere. Everyone is very used to this system and patiently wait if they should get stuck behind such a vehicle as mine.
I had to return to a Beacon Hill residence to do a two day repair job. A bathroom ceiling I did a few years ago had sustained some water damage and needed to be redone. I bit the bullet and parked in the expensive garage after unloading, because it was just the easiest and quickest way to get this job done. When I returned the second day, I needed a few small supplies, so I just put them in this handy little tote on wheels. I always feel like I'm in the the PBS series "Upstairs/Downstairs" when I work on Beacon Hill. There is clearly a class system. You see a bevy of services providers like myself navigating these very narrow streets with their specific tools of the trade. We all pleasantly nod at each other in passing. Then, you see a lot of government officials and politicians all suited up, making their way to the State House, which occupies a prominent space on top of the hill.
The first day I arrived, I saw the area that had been patched. I had already decided that since this was a metallic finish, it would be more time and cost effective to repaint the whole ceiling than trying to blend in a good match.