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Friday, February 25, 2011

Chevron Dresser (I’m back!)

I’m 16 weeks pregnant today!  I can safely say that I am done with the “morning” sickness now.  Hooray!!  And I’m back with my first official project since I went down for the count around Christmas time!  (Thanks to Cara for holding down the fort in my absence.)

For my first project back in the saddle, I chose to tackles this great dresser I picked up for $15 (I know!) back in December.  (I’ve had lots of time to think about what I wanted to do with it with all that laying around and moaning on the couch.)


I decided to do something I’ve been wanting to for a while now… chevrons!!  Chevron is the new quatrefoil didn’t you know?  Or was that the new damask?  I can’t keep up.  All you have to know is that chevron is in the NOW people.  :)  Taping off the pattern was extremely tedious.  It probably took me two hours of taping, no kidding.


Then, after I was all done, I check the TL facebook page and my friend NataLee from Designed to the Nines told me that she did a chevron pattern and made a cardboard template and it saved her tons of time.  Now you tell me?!?!?!  ;)  But, really, that sounds like a killer tip, so if you attempt this kind of chevron pattern yourself, I’d give the cardboard template thing a try.

I painted it “Thistle Blue” from Martha Stewart and painted the chevrons and stripe with a hand mixed gray.  The top is stained my good ol’ fave, Minwax Dark Walnut.  It’s difficult to tell in the pictures, but I added some beadboard paintable wallpaper to the side panels to cover up some less-than-wonderful veneer.  Since it was missing one of the original pulls, I used some knobs from my (large) stash on the top drawer, and used the original pulls on the bottom three drawers.  I sprayed all the pulls with some Oil Rubbed Bronze from Krylon.

Here it is!  I LOVE it!!




This pic is a better representation of the stain on the top:



Killer casters!

So I’m feeling pretty good about my first project back in the game.  Not too rusty.  :)  And I picked up three fantasticly french chairs the other for $15 (yes, for all 3!!!), and although upholstery usually gives me panic attacks, I’m actually pretty excited to tackle them.  I have some great ideas and already bought some fabrics.


Those on top of the wardrobe/armoire, fancy desk, LARGE dresser that I have big plans for, and I’m going to be a busy, busy woman for the next few weeks.  I’m going to be participating in the Junrestore Vintage Market again the first weekend of April!  And this time, we are bringing the wares to Scottsdale’s Simple Farm.  I’m so excited about it!!  If you’re in the valley, make sure to mark your calendars and tell everyone you know.  ;)

That’s it for now!  Thanks for hangin’ in there while I was a sickie.  :)

Linking to:

Funk Junk Interiors, Tatertots and Jello, Under the Table and Dreaming, C.R.A.F.T., House of Grace, Sassy Sites, Primitive and Proper, Domestically Speaking, My Backyard Eden, Somewhat Simple, Chic on a Shoestring, My Repurposed Life, The Shabby Nest, Miss Mustard Seed, 3 Meadow Lake Cottage, Thrifty D├ęcor Chick

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nursing. Staring. Nursing. Staring.

For the past 2 months, I've been sitting on my couch. Oh-but I nurse. And I also stare at my dam-(man) coffee table. I'm losing my mind. I am constantly staring at that coffee table while I nurse. And nurse. and nurse. And now I'm thinking the brown color is only one step above grotesque.

 It IS! Look at it. (I do). And I'm wondering, while I nurse, if I should paint that build-a-dam coffee table again?! Is it worth painting a coffee table AGAIN? For the THIRD TIME? Because my baby doesn't DO this:

all the time. And sometimes a house needs to be cleaned every once in a while. Hello, coffee table? Are you hearing this?!! Breathe. Yes. I officially have lost my mind. BUT... thankfully I only need to sit and nurse, and that only requires boobs. And later I can regain my sanity by ooh-ing and ahh-ing at other people's coffee tables. Once I become mobile again. That's going to happen again, right?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Botanical Serenity

Ever since I found a cream sofa slip cover for $20 from Target, I've been focusing on making my living room into my true love: a peaceful retreat with quiet organic colors. Yes, believe it or not, I have a mature, adult side. This coffee table was turned into a play table for my play room, but in all honesty, the loud colors and enormous size were engulfing the entire room. So I moved the coffee table into the living room and decided to have it as a unique focal to the room. I really wanted to paint all the walls this chocolate brown color, but since we rent, I was stuck with the white walls. So, I put the color into the larger pieces of the room, including the entertainment armoire. I painted some pale blue leaves with touches of lime, and included some accent colors of hot pink and red in the flower. Again, the colors in these photos don't quite capture it, but...

This table is actually quite pretty. I did a glaze over the chocolate brown paint using dark wood stain. When I distressed, the turquoise from the previous paint showed through. I'm not sure you can catch that in these photos, but it's very nice.

Here is the flower table:

And now the adult botanical just for mama. I think I deserve it. I hope to show you my living room once it's all finished, hopefully when I have a new camera.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

French Farmhouse Table

Enough of my know-it-all artist blab, and back to the subject of furniture. Where is Anne Marie when we need her? We can guarantee she's lying on her couch this very minute, still sick, but slowly getting better. Bless her heart. I'll show you a few bad photos of what I've been working on recently. If you haven't already inferred at this point... hello, I'm crazy. Granted, this table is a slow work in progress--I just had a newborn (good) baby. Actually, I'm convinced these fun projects during quiet evenings are a way to keep my sanity. BTW I am so happy I am not pregnant anymore. After weeks of tents and stretch pants, I no longer struggle with fears of resemblance to a certain character on Despicable Me. What a relief. lol!

 This was the Before. I was attempting a dark stain on this boring standard farmhouse table. It just wasn't cutting it for me.

So then, as always, I decided to have some... um, fun. Don't pay any attention to those chairs. I'm open to any ideas, as long as it's not too time consuming or expensive. Here's a despicably glaring pic for you, lol.

I took a deep turquoise, mixed in a dark grey and brown, and painted it on as my first layer. I then dry-brushed some cream white over the top and rubbed it in with a damp paper towel to avoid streaks. Sanding was done before and after these steps. The curving white lines are painted on heavily, so they are left behind after sanding away the surrounding areas. I was really happy with this effect. Here's another bad picture of it with some art on the wall. I kind of like it with the deep reds.

I hope your weekend was wonderful. Cheers! Cara

Friday, February 4, 2011

Questions Answered on Paintings

Thank you for all your wonderful compliments on my paintings. I know some of you had questions about the work, so I thought I'd do a quick post to explain and give some pointers. There is actually a lot of thought (and money) that go into each one.  I don't mix my colors. They come right out of the tube. I use a mix of Van Goh H2o oil paints (which are no longer available :( and  Windsor and Newton Artisans (water-mixable oils) for quick drying. The acrylics just don't have the edge that i need, even the thicker ones. Golden Acrylic has the best hue richness, but when it dries, it doesn't have the lustery depth that the oils carry, either. And yes, I use a palette knife because it's quick, bold, and I hate using toxic paint thinner and keeping my brushes clean. Speaking of paint thinner, have you seen the safer "green" products at Home Depot? Sweetness.

Having grown up in the art world (my dad is a world-renowned artist and also owns several galleries), I've learned some tricks of the trade to actually make your art SELL (a very difficult task).

Some quick-selling tips for beginners:
-Don't chince on amount of paint you use. Load on the paint, even for detailed brushwork.
-When including subject matter, go for odd numbers
-clean colors (Only mix with side-by-side colors on color wheel, unless for shadowing)
-include purples for shadow
-reds sell
-always place your subjects slightly off-center
-include drama with lighting or texture and color, and pay attention to trends
-"artiness" and modern over-the-edge subject matter is not successful in galleries, but do what you love!
- Again, DO WHAT YOU LOVE! :)
-oil paint is successful
-when framing, go with the overall lines and style of a painting. Make sure you notice the painting before the frame, and NEVER chince on the quality of the frame.
-Your signature is more important than you realize. Practice, Practice, Practice.
-never stop--like anything, remain on task and push yourself.
-try to put in a vertical and horizontal ''line" into the format, whether it be with coloring or with shapes.
-the golden triangle IS golden. (one strong focal point, and two lesser, forming a triangle of movement)

So that's all I can think of for now. It is the greatest job EVER in my opinion, so hopefully you can find that balance between paying attention to your audience AND doing what you love.