My Garden

Sunday, 26 August 2012

macbeth nightstand

So this is just a quickie post about a little nightstand who went through a big change.

But before I talk nightstands I just wanted to say a big thanks to Aimee at its overflowing for featuring my plate wall project! I am a huge fan of her blog and am totally honored.  Okay, now on with the show...

I picked this nightstand up at a local thrift store. It sat in our garage for sometime before the mood struck to work on it.  I loved the lines of the dresser but hated the colour and thought it could use a little jazzing up.

Out came the Macbeth, a leftover from either High School or University English, yes I have been carting this thing around for a while. You never know when you are gonna need to do some heavy Shakespeare reading - best to keep some copies on hand, in case the mood strikes. Okay so out came the Macbeth only to be cut to pieces - sacrificed for a good cause. I hope.

With the Shakespeare sacrifice over (oh the horror) I turned to my painting bench. What colour to choose???? I am trying to resist the urge to paint everything white or grey and so I reached for the a seafoam colour.  Once on it was a little bright, or maybe a lot bright. It made my eyes hurt. So out came the walnut stain. I went over the entire body with the stain.

Back to Macbeth. I decopaged those pages right onto the top and drawer fronts of the nightstand. This presented another problem: the book pages looked way too new against the newly aged paint... So I grabbed that stain again and smashed it into the decopaged top and fronts, giving it an aged and well, dirty, appeal.

So after all these words, so much for a quickie post, I hope you are ready to see this new/old piece (sorry there is no before photo):

So what do you think?To aged looking? Too dirty looking? Not dirty enough?????

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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

milk painting diaries: chapter 3 french mustard

Okay, after a brief break from milk painting I'm back with more.

I wanted my next project to be different... I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone a little. I have been striking out in the furniture department lately, so I also had to wait until the right piece crossed my path.

 I have only published a few blog posts, but if you have read any of them before you will know that I am a monochromatic girl. I like my black and white and everything in between... but there are a few colours that I just can't get out of my head lately. One of them is mustard, I think you'll understand why when you see these pics below...

via canadian house and home

via canadian house and home

I may be a little late to this party but what the heck... Funny enough mustard seems to pair beautifully with grey...

Anyway, I finally scored a furniture piece worthy of this new colour; and here she is all done up:

and here is the a before shot:

So to achieve her new finish I did a little prep work as well and watched miss mustard seed's video tutorial on milk painting. It was great. It gave me more confidence. I then boldly tried these new things:
  1. colour: body is mustard (available here), top is dark walnut stain by miniwax;
  2. heavy distressing; and
  3. oiling with linseed oil (I had this on hand and wanted to get a deeper colour via oil)

Pure laziness dictated that I not style this little gal at all, but post her as is. I hope no one objects.

I am thinking about spraying the handle in a mat black or bronze colour - I'm not sure about this yet.

All in all I am happy with this piece. Stepping outside of my monochromatic bubble definitely freaked me out.  Btw - I loved working with this colour - it went on pretty well and because I just roughed up the piece I got more of that traditional milk paint effect of sticking more to some parts then others (I have to say this made it even more fun to work with). I was nervous about using the oil, but i was really glad that I did. It really deepened the colour.

So what about you? Have you been outside of your comfort zone lately?

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Friday, 10 August 2012

out of the cupboard

When my husband and I got married, we registered for wedding gifts at a local department store, like so many others do.  We were thinking about the life we would oneday lead and what we might need in the future; we registered and received cutlery, serving wear, table settings, linens, etc. etc. etc. Some of this stuff was practical and we were able to use it right away but some of it, well it just sat in the cupboard collecting dust and waiting to be forgotten about.  I mean when were we going to throw a dinner party worthy of bone china????

When we moved to our current house all that china came with us, still in the original packaging. It was then promptly marched down to the basement and put into storage. We must keep this stuff safe and well preserved for our fancy future... a time where we will throw lavish dinner parties, eat caviar and use very complicated words to say very simple things (all in the name of fanciness, of course).

At some point, not too long ago, I realized that these dishes might sit in storage for the rest of their fancy lives. when am I ever going to use these things that I absolutely HAD to have? Yep they sure are pretty, and no they will never go out of style, but we are pretty casual people. We throw pretty casual dinner parties (think beer/juice and pizza). We also have 2 toddlers which makes the thought of using these dishes almost comical. Our pizza sure would look elegant on these plates, if they survived a meal with the kids that is.

So I pulled out all of my beautiful china - 10 place settings worth - stared at it for a while (this is how I do some of my best thinking). I have always loved the idea of a plate wall but i don't really want to hang all this china on the wall - I still want the option of using them... So I continued to stare - I mean think - and then headed out to our local ikea (geese I love that place) and picked up some of these:

RIBBA Picture ledge Length: 45 1/4 " Depth: 3 1/2 " Max. load: 16.53 lb Length: 115 cm Depth: 9 cm Max. load: 7.50 kg
ribba picture ledge

And did this:

Now I have my prized dishes out to enjoy everyday. I will admit that we still don't use them and they are a little vulnerable in this spot, but its worth the risk to me. I get to enjoy my fancy dishes everyday.

Oh and by the way - I realize these fancy dishes are just plain white, but hey, I like what I like...

So what about you? What treasures do you have lurking in your closet?

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Thursday, 9 August 2012

milk painting diaries - chapter 2: accessories

First of all, thanks to all of you who weighed in on my sideboard project.  It seems that the baskets had 100% of the vote, so they are keepers.  I had worried that they were a little too contemporary for the piece but they have definitely grown on me and I think they might even give the piece some edge. We all want to be a little edgy right???

Now on with my next milk paint hack job... This time I did a little more research and prep, A great tutorial/how to can be found at Chrissie's Collections and many, many other web/blog sites. I decided to do a few home accessories, as I had done a milk paint wash on a picnic basket a while back and loved the effect. here it is here:

I think that it gave the basket just the right amount of patina and maybe frenchified it a bit...

So these were my next victims:

My goals were:
  1. to do at least one piece in a wash,
  2. to do at least one piece with more solid coverage, and
  3. to try to make them look nice - or at least as nice as I could...
 I used oyster white Old Fashioned Milk Paint. Yes I am still in my monochromatic bubble. I will break out soon - I promise. Well promise is such a strong word... how about almost promise...

I chose the basket and stool to do in the wash... the basket was pretty easy going as I just mixed up  a very watery version and went to town letting it dribble all over the place. I did a couple of coats to make sure I had just enough coverage. Here she is:

I would like to add a graphic or vintage looking scroll to the top, any thoughts??

Next I was going for some heavy coverage, so out came the mirror. I did several coats and let each coat dry in between. I mixed up a bit of a thicker paste this time hoping that it would give it more coverage. I got okay coverage and excellent adhesion - it stuck like glue to this wood (I had preped it by sanding all the varnish off the wood).  I am not as happy with the results here, I just did not get as much coverage as I was wanting. I don't know, there just seems to be something missing here. Don't get me wrong I like it. I just don't love it. Oh and to add a little something I stamped on a crown to the top. I think it adds a little interest.

So what do you think? What should I try differently? Am I a fool to try to get some good coverage with white milk paint (I have used grey and black before and had excellent coverage - but of course it is easy with those colours)?

Finally the stool. I decided to do a wash on this one too.  I used 3 light coats.  It was a bit of a challenge because it was a little runny on the ends and so had a tendency to drip. I was continuously dragging my little brush across the surface and corners catching drips and trying to even it out. Now I must be clear here I didn't want it to look perfect, I like a little personality in my pieces but I also don't want them to look like crap! Anyway that was it and after it dried I threw a fleur de lis stamp on there for good measure (which didn't turn out perfect either - as you can see). Then I lightly distressed the whole thing, making sure to sand out any drips that I might have missed (there were a few).

Anyway, that concludes chapter 2: the accessories edition... Again I must ask for some advice, thoughts etc...

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