Sunday, 25 November 2012

Poplar Market Success!

 WOW! I must admit that I am completely blown away by how amazing our little school did with our first market. Not only did our PAC do an incredible job of putting it all together, but I was shocked by how many people showed up! Truly wonderful. I was even more shocked by how well my little booth did. By the end of the day, I was left with a few small items and my Christmas decor. Which I will admit, that I wasn't too heartbroken that it didn't sell.  Needless to say, it will be used in my living room today!

My biggest surprise was this little desk.

Sometimes, after you put your time and effort into something, it's tough to imagine how it will be received. I honestly wasn't even sure it would sell, and I was certainly not prepared for how many compliments I was given. It was the first thing that found a new home, and it remained until the end of the day. Leaving so many people saddened when I would say..."sorry, that has already sold". Isn't that funny, I thought the Christmas ornaments and signs would be my top seller, and yet beach decor and large furniture was the   most popular.

I painted her using Ce Ce Caldwell Chalk Paint, (which you can pick up locally at spruce collective, in downtown Abbotsford) in Alaskan Tundra and Vermont Slate. My hubby had sanded and stained the top for me, but I wasn't a huge fan of how the stain looked with the green. So after a couple coats of the slate black, I distressed it allowing some of the stain to poke through in spots, and brought through the grain. I finished the top with a dark wax. I must say, that it turned out better that I thought it would. I was thrilled to see as many people loved her as much as I did.

I was so happy to see how many people were shopping my booth and finding gifts for loved ones. With Christmas one month away today GASP!, I am completely in the spirit of the holidays. I hope that so many of you out there are going to shop local and support the little guys this year. Thank you so much for your support and gracious compliments yesterday. I hope that I had the chance to speak to each one of you, and I thank you so much for coming out on a sunny Saturday to support our school. We all appreciate it so very much!

"What if Christmas" he thought, "doesn't come from a store"?  "What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more"? 

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Painting up a storm!

This weekend brought the West Coast a very wet, and dreary Saturday. It was the perfect day to be creative! Elisa and I took over the workshop at Spruce and taught our very first Ce Ce Caldwell Paint class. I was really surprised at how well it went, and even more surprised by how excited the girls were when they left. We started the day with 4 ladies who had never had their hands in chalk paint before, but all had a list of projects they wanted to tackle, with no idea where to start. I was thrilled to see ALL four leave with Ce Ce in their hands, anxious to go home and start painting. There is nothing better than inspiration!
The girls each were given 6 sample boards to work with, and paint how they wanted. This gave them each an opportunity to see how their favorite colors looked on a solid piece instead of just the paint chart.
        *One White
        *One Black
        *One Layered (light color over dark color)
        *One Layered (dark color over light color)
        *One Layered (any two colors)
        *Once Crackled (any two colors)

Then all the girls had the opportunity to create their own paint swatch card. This is actually a lot more fun then you would think. It's really neat to see all the paint cans lines up with the lids off. You never get to see EVERY can opened! The colors are so great, that it really allows your creativity to start matching colors that you would never think, simply because you never see them all out at the same time.

I was able to create an entire piece from start to finish, which I think really allowed to girls the chance to see how simple it was. It turned out to be a fun demonstration. I paired up two colors that I typically wouldn't use, but when I saw all the colors out, I was really drawn to Destin Gulf Green. Paired up with Vermont Slate (black), the finished product was better than I had in my head. I originally was going to pair the black with a dark grey, but the punch of color was a much better choice. Sometimes it's better to NOT play it safe. That's part of the fun.

I love how the color deepens when you add the final coat of wax to it. I did a clear wax on the table top and a dark wax on the legs to enhance the depth of the Vermont Slate. 

Elisa's drawer that we demonstrated crackle finish on, turned out fantastic. The best part is that it cost $1.25 to achieve this look, instead of the costly "crackle" medium that stores sell. Of course I'm not willing to share that little secret quite yet. For that, you'll have to stay tuned.

All in all, it was a really informative day. I can't wait to hear about the projects that the girls tackled at home. Even better, I can't wait to see what colors they mixed and matched. Sometimes the colors that other people choose can keep you from getting stuck in a rut. My best advice is to take a risk! Step outside of your safety box, and try something new. It's not permanent, and sometimes you'd be surprised at what you actually like. It's not a black and white world! Add some spice, change things up and don't take things so seriously! After all, it's just paint!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Sprucing things up!

Firstly, let me apologize about my absence.  Some of you may already know that we are expecting our third baby in the spring, and due to what some refer to as "morning sickness", or in my case, all day sickness, it has prevented me from living my normal life. Therefore painting and blogging had to take a backseat for a while until I could pull it together and be a functional human being!

But the good news is, that slowly but surely, I am coming back to the land of the living. During the course of my own personal mayhem, I have been able to watch my good friend Elisa and some VERY talented ladies open up an AMAZING vintage store in downtown, called Spruce. If you haven't already checked it out, you don't know what you're missing! In case you aren't privileged enough to live locally, you can check out the website It's worth it!

The benefit of having such great friends in this business, is having new doors open. You'll notice that the girls are stocking the chalk paint line, CeCe Caldwell. They have been gracious enough to invite me to become an educator for Spruce! I could not be anymore excited about this, as I have wanted to be a part of this endeavor from the day they started planning. But having two kiddlets and another on it's way, alas, it was just not the time for me. But having the opportunity to be involved in this avenue is something that makes my heart sing! I am so passionate about this venture, and I can't wait to get my hands in the paint and start sharing some tips.

There are so many great benefits of this line of paint, but most importantly for me, it is completely green. Having NO VOC's in either the paint or the wax is something close to my heart. With little ones at home and a baby on the way, this means that I can continue to do what I love and not have to worry about any toxic chemicals leaching into my home. This is so important to me.
I love the fact that there are so many color choices. Since you also have the opportunity to mix and create, the color options are endless! I find this so exciting. So stay tuned for tips, tricks and lots of other info as I play with the paint and learn some new techniques. I can't wait to share what I learn!

Our first paint class is scheduled for Saturday, October 27, at Spruce Collective in downtown Abbotsford. It's going to be a really fun class, with lunch provided! Check up on Spruce's website for upcoming events and classes. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bedroom Refresh

This past weekend, I made a quick jaunt over to Vancouver Island to visit my bestie. While we were on our way, she had asked if I would help her to re-upholster an old ottoman that she had been desperate to recover, but had no idea where to start. Myself, being the eternal optimist thought "why not just do your whole bedroom!". This has been a topic of discussion for quite sometime between her and I. She wanted a huge change, but was really lost as to how or where to start. Not to mention that she has repainted twice since they moved in, and has hated it each time. We were not only on a time crunch, but a strict budget....(husbands...)
A few weeks ago she found an amazing feather pillow that created inspiration for the direction I wanted to take this room make over. They key was to make it fresh, calming, and yet still maintain balance between feminine and masculine. I was really drawn to blue for this room. As you can see, it desperately needed a major overhaul.

In years past they had moved the sconces over by a foot on each side. The electrician who did the work, finished off the job by placing large round caps over the gaping holes in the wall. This has been driving Ashley crazy for years. Our first solution was to remove the caps and plaster over the holes using drywall screens and putty.

Then we proceeded to cover the wall in paintable wall paper. Those holes made a giant mess of the wall and frankly, covering them was a fabulous solution. It also created a great backdrop for the bed, and because it's textured and paintable, you are never committed to the choice of color that you have made. It's easily changed. The wall sconces were also dated and had to go! 

We found these at home depot. I like that they are contemporary and clean. The sliver pops off the wall perfectly.

We also had a bit of a dresser dilemma. Again, we were looking to stay on a really tight budget for this project and felt that painting the dresser was our best solution. The brown had to go.

 So we decided on a clean fresh coat of paint - Annie Sloan, of course. Duck Egg blue fit nicely into the color palette that we had chosen. 

I was looking for an inexpensive solution for the ottoman that started this whole shenanigans, and have always wanted to try painting vinyl with Annie Sloan. So I decided to make this my experiment.
 Of course it turned out better than I expected!

The last piece of the puzzle was to create a fabulous headboard. Although we didn't have time to complete the entire piece before I headed home, we did get the majority finished. Ashley is going to put buttons on, to created a quilted finished look.
I was really apprehensive about working with striped material. It is much less forgiving when it comes to upholstery. Since I am a newbie at it, I was REALLY intimidated. But it was worth a shot. Not too shabby?
So after 2 days of sweat and tears, and only $300.00, it turned out to be a beautiful, calm retreat for Ashley and her husband. The final test came when Shawn saw the room.....did I forget to mention that he hates blue? It turned out that he loved it, and was thoroughly happy with the finished result. Thank goodness, or I would probably not be aloud to come over to play anymore.....

Sunday, 29 July 2012

French Bench

My hubby found this great bench for me at a move he was doing. That's the best part of having a hubby who moves furniture for a living, he usually comes across items either before they hit the thrift store, or the owners are selling them really cheap. It's a great bonus!
She had lots of potential, but was really lacking in spirit. Drab and boring, in fact.
I had already started applying a coat of ASCP in French Linen to her, before I remembered to take a before picture!

I had the most amazing french inspired fabric that I had been dying to use, but wasn't sure what to use it for. 
It matched the French Linen and Old White so beautifully, and I was excited to tackle an upholstery project. Earlier this year I took a mini course in it, and was itching to use my knowledge.  However, I will admit, it was a little intimidating. 
After a coat of Dark Wax, and the upholstered bench fastened on, I am in love with how she turned out! I wish my tiny entrance way would allow for something like this. What a great way to hide shoes, or even store extra blankets in a bedroom.  She is fully painted inside and out, and waiting for someone to take her to home.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

A bed fit for a queen....or three

My grandfather had built this little bed originally for flowers....get it, a "flower bed".  He's so darn witty! However, after making a few of them, my dad discovered that his cats liked them much better. So the kitty bed was born! I have had this one booting around my house for about a year now. It has moved from room to room, until I could find a permanent spot for it. Finally last week, I found a space in the living room.
I had thought about painting it all white, or Duck Egg, but I really didn't want it to be too matchy matchy in the room, I wanted it to have it's own identity. So since we have a house full of girls, three to be exact, pink was the winner! I would have consulted with them , but clearly they were all quite busy.
Kia - The Princess
Sisters- Stella and Samson (fyi we thought Sami was a boy when she was named....)

I started with a coat of Pure White, and topped it with Antoinette by Annie Sloan. Once I distressed it, some of the pine also poked through. I had some fabulous Parisian fabric left over from my bench make over and thought was pretty, but sophisticated finished product.

Now, the question is, will Sami like it now that she doesn't match?

Ignore the picture of my husband and I making out. We like to make sure our guests feel just a little awkward when they come to visit. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Clayburn Re-cap

Whew! I am amazed at how much preparation goes into one day!
Although the day was not as successful as I had hoped, I was able to make some great contacts and share the day with some really talented ladies, and for this alone, it was all worth the effort. I was so happy to be beside Elisa from home sweet nest and was so VERY thankful and thrilled to have one of my besties, Alicia join me today. I thought I would throw together a few pics of my booth, and some of the items that are still available, should anyone out there fall in love with them and want to take them home. (wink, wink)

Due to rain, we were all moved into the Old School House. I must admit that this made me very happy. I had so many small items, that they would have been all over the ground had it not been for the ledge and shelving. Whew! Thank goodness for rain!
I just love how this dresser turned out. When I began to sand the many years of grime and paint off of the top of her, it revealed the most beautiful grain underneath. The same grain peeks through on the lingerie drawers that are hidden neatly behind the doors. The little beachy table is currently residing in my living room, and to be honest, I am not to saddened by the fact that she didn't find a new home today. The dresser has also found her permanent residence in my daughters bedroom. I am completely in love with them both. (dresser and daughter...table too) 
My husbands favorite piece of all is the little Apron Board....use your imagination, I'm sure you can figure out why. Sigh.... men.
I am so excited about how this bench turned out! I will be featuring her in the near future, showing her before pictures. I think you'll be shocked. 
As awesome as my little booth turned out, I must admit that there was something even better to end the day for me.....a little piece de resistance, you might say.

Miss Home Sweet Nest herself, playing the only song she knows. It is these moments right here that make me laugh so hard I can hardly stand it. Elisa's sense of humor and her friendship is one of the greatest things in my life.  She didn't even do half bad....mostly.

I'm looking forward to the next market and the chance to slowly branch out and spread my wings in this crazy little world I have found myself in. A HUGE thanks to Cathy and all the wonderful and inspiring ladies that I had the pleasure of sharing my day with. You girls have all brought me under your wings and made me feel like I belong. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Sunshine Award

I am blessed to live a life that allows me the freedom to do the what I love the most, and surround myself with like minded people who are creative and have amazing talent. This morning, my good friend and mentor Elisa from home sweet nest honored me with the Sunshine Award.
The Sunshine Award promotes bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the Blogsphere! To be worthy, one must answer 10 questions so others can know a little more about you and pass along the award to ten other bloggers.

1. Favorite Color - Pink! But to paint with, I would have to say that Duck Egg (Annie Sloan) is currently my obsession.
2. Favorite Animal - My three girls! (Cats)  Kia, Stella and be fair, we thought Samson was a boy when we named her.
3. Favorite Number -13 and 62. (Sorry to all the superstitious people)
4. Favorite Drink - Ceaser with a table salted rim, light on the spice and pickled asparagus! 
5. Facebook or Twitter -  Facebook 100%. I have never even looked at Twitter.
6. Good Book or Good Movie - Movie, movie, movie! I get distracted too easily to ever be engrossed by a book.
7. My Passion -  Being creative and crafty. (and being a mommy)
8. Getting or Giving Gifts - As much as I love to receive a good present, I would say that i love giving more! I get all excited when I have found something that I know they're going to love. It's the very best!
9. Favorite Day - Any day that might involve me throwing a party! But honestly, I love son was born the next day, and it has become a really huge event in our house.
10. Favorite Flower - Gerber Daisys and Tulips. (pink)

I would like to pass this along to 10 amazing bloggers that inspire me.
1. Diana - Vintage Cove Girl
3. Carrie - The Passionate Home
4. Donna - Funky Junk
6. Kim - The Tom Kat Studio
8. Betsy - Belly Feathers
9. Tracey - Raggy Girl Vintage

Here is how this award works:
  • Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
  • Answer the above 10 questions yourself.
  • Select 10 more bloggers , link their blogs to your post and let them know they've been awarded the Sunshine Award!
  • Don't forget to copy and paste the Award on your blog!