Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy 2015!

I'm looking forward to a new year -- how about you?  Wishing you all the best in 2015!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Holidays

The halls are decked, the gifts are bought (although not wrapped yet, I confess!), and it's time to wish you all the happiest of holidays!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Bits and Pieces of Fall

It's finally Fall -- my favorite time of the year!

The crisp air.  Cozy sweaters.  Hot apple cider.  What's not to love about this season?  (Other than the thousands of leaves that will need to be cleaned up soon around here, but we won't think about that!)

I have bits and pieces of Fall d├ęcor scattered throughout the house.

For the mantle, I started with a base of vintage books...

Added mini pumpkins, a couple of vases, some votives and some faux foliage, and there you have it.


One of the advantages of having a neutral color scheme is you can add any colors you want to reflect the season.

This year I stuck with orange, yellow and white, which are in abundance this time of year.

Today the weather is sunny with just a bit of chill in the air -- the perfect Fall day.

So enough about the inside -- I'm off for a walk with the dogs!

Hope you have a great season!

Sharing at:
Coastal Charm Show and Share

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Table Redo and Making Things Simpler

I'm all about making things easier, and I just found a couple of products that are going to do just that.

I found this little table at a thrift shop, I think.  It's been sitting in my "to do" stash for awhile now.  We won't mention how long, or the fact that half of our garage is still filled with "to do's!" 

I loved its lines and the applique detail, but it obviously needed some love.

One of the reasons I appreciate finding things to make painting easier is I always seem to run into complications.  I've had some bad painting mojo recently. 

On this piece, I wanted to paint it in ASCP Old White. But as you can see, I had some major bleed-through.  So out came the shellac. 

After the shellac I gave it another couple of coats of Old White and that took care of it. After a light distressing it was done. 

Now on to my new finds.

My first new item made clean-up much easier.  It's this Wooster brush cleaner.  No more picking at paint with my fingernails!  This baby gets down deep into the bristles and really cleans the brush.

My second new find is Shabby Paints Vax.  I have never been a fan of waxing so I was excited to try this product.  I've been looking for a good topcoat for awhile now.  Especially one that won't yellow on white.  This stuff is great! 

You dilute it, and put it on with a wet sponge or a rag (I used a craft sponge).  It goes on easily and best of all, no buffing!  I used Sheer, but it also comes in a variety of finishes.  I bought some in Pearl, which I'm looking forward to trying. 

I also bought some Shabby Paints paint in a couple of cool colors.  I haven't decided what to use them on yet, but like I said I've got plenty of options in the garage!

I love the way this sweet little table turned out!  It will be going to Mr. P's soon.

(I'm not affiliated in any way with these products -- just wanted to share a couple things that may make your projects simpler too!)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Newest Addition ot Mr. P's

Hey there!  It's been awhile.  Today I thought I'd show you the latest piece I've added to Mr. P's Emporium. 
I got this dresser on Craigslist, and like the space cadet I am, I didn't get a "before" shot.  Picture it your basic brown wood with a scratched-up top.  Got that in your head?  Great.  Here it is now.
It may look innocent, but this baby gave me a world of trouble.  All my own doing, of course, but still.
After sanding the top, I painted it in the sun, on a hot and humid day. Which thickened the paint, creating blobs and bubbles.  Do not try this at home, boys and girls.  It was a mess. So I had to sand all that off the top and paint it again. (I'd painted the sides and drawers previously and luckily they were alright.) 
Then I tried a new topcoat (General Finishes in Satin).  I applied it with a sponge brush, and each stroke from the brush showed when it was dry.  I've heard good things about this product, so I have no idea what I did wrong.  So ... yep ... I sanded it down again.  Then I painted it again.  I ended up finishing it with two coats of American Paint Company clear wax.
For a simple little dresser, it took me forever! But it's finally done, painted in ASCP Paris Gray, and distressed.  I delivered it to the booth today.
And here's how Mr. P's is looking now. 
If you're in the area, come by and see us!  We're located in the Home Store, 9720 Liberia Avenue, in Manassas, VA.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy July and a Desk Makeover

Wow, it's July already.  Happy new month!  I'm particularly glad to see it, although it's not usually one of my favorites.  Here in Northern VA,  July is typically hot and muggy and buggy.  Not my favorite combination.

But this July is different.  You see, a couple of weeks ago I had a numerologist give me a reading at a Solstice fair in Shepherdstown -- an adorable little town in West Virginia.  The woman looked at my numbers and the first thing she said was, "Have you been having a bad year?" 

Honey, you don't know the half of it!

But the good news was that my year was almost over, and would change in July, my birthday month.  So here I am, ready for new energy and positivity!  (Is that a word? Well it should be if it isn't!) 

One of the good changes we've had around here is we've taken our house off of the market, and have decided to stay here awhile.  That means no more getting up early every morning to make sure the house is sparkling clean by 9am for showings. No more gathering up the dogs and trying to find something to do with them for an hour while people were looking at the house.  Sometimes we had to do that two or three times a day.  What a hassle that's been -- especially when my foot was broken!

So although I was kind of looking forward to a new place to decorate, I'm really glad we're staying.  That also means I've been able to start painting furniture again. 

Like this desk.  I got it a couple of years ago at a thrift shop.  Yes, it's been sitting in my basement, then garage, for more than two years! 

It needed a lot of work.  When we pulled it out of the pile in the garage for me to get started on it, part of it fell off!  So first it went to my furniture repair guy, who knows much more about this stuff than I do.  He took it apart and re-glued and nailed it back together.  Luckily I got it cheap!  Now its as sturdy as new, but the top was badly scratched and some of the veneer was coming off on the side.

So I sanded the top until it was smooth and patched the veneer.  Then I gave it two coats of ASCP in French Linen, lightly distressed and waxed it.  I replaced the original hardware, which I left with its original patina.

Here it is now, at my booth, given a new life.  I love taking sad- looking pieces and giving them a second chance! 


Next up is a dresser which I'll get started on soon.  The weather today is hot, humid and labeled "unhealthy" by the weather service, so I won't be painting.   A typical July day!

Hope your month is off to a great start! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Little Dresser Makeover

I found this little vintage dresser on Craigslist.  I love its lines and the size  ( 24" high, 41 1/2" wide) makes it perfect for a bedside table, in the foyer, or even in the family room to put a flat screen TV on.

It was in good shape when I bought it.  Just some stains on the top, and some holes where some sort of attachment used to be.  It might have been a mirror, but since the dresser is so short it must have been a tall one. 

I filled in the holes, cleaned it, and gave it two coats of ASCP in Country Grey.  Then I lightly distressed it and waxed it.

I'm not going to lie, waxing is my least favorite job when it comes to painting furniture.  But this time I used my new wax brush, and what a difference!  I usually just use rags to wipe on the wax, but the brush made the whole process much faster and easier.  After letting the wax cure I buffed it with a cotton cloth and put back the original hardware. 

It's just a simple little dresser, but I think it's adorable. No time to bring it inside to style it for a photo --  it went straight off to Mr. P's Emporium!

Speaking of Mr. P, thank-you so much for the kind comments about his passing.  We miss him every day.  We did get the vet to acknowledge he shouldn't have been given the medication and waive their charges.  They also posted a notice to stop giving it to small dogs, so hopefully we saved another dog from experiencing what Pepper did.  It turns out the pharmaceutical company had changed its recommendations, but did not do anything to formally notify vets.  A complaint is being filed with the FDA.  According to the FDA, over 3,000 dogs have died from complications related to the medication. Again, a cautionary tale to make sure you read the information on any medication you're given for your pets.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Good Bye Mr. P

It has taken me awhile to write this post because I tear up every time.  Our beloved little dog Pepper, whose nickname was Mr. P, died last week.  He was prescribed medication that we later found out isn't supposed to be given to dogs under 12.5 pounds and he died from the complications.

Mr. P was the inspiration behind the name of my booth, Mr. P's Emporium.  A portion of the sales proceeds go to the rescue organization from which we adopted him.  A photo of him is on the back my price tags.

Pepper climbed into my heart the first time I saw him.  He was a cuddler, a killer of dog toys (which he would try to shake to death) and a joy to be around.  His antics and personality always brought a smile to my husband and me.  To say he will be missed is an massive understatement.

If you have furry child, hug them close.  And if you are given medication for them, always read the product insert or check online to make sure it is appropriate for your dog or cat.  Ask lots of questions. That's something that I wish every day we had done. The company that makes the medication was very specific on all of its materials that it wasn't to be given to small dogs, and that a blood screening should be done first. After doing some research online we found out we aren't the only ones who have gone through this with this medication. Vets don't always get it right.  We found this out the hard way.

Good bye Mr. P.  We love you.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Pretty Porches

Now that summer's here, it's time to sit out on the porch! One of the things we're hoping to find in our new house is a front porch. We don't have one in our current home.  I'm envisioning how I would decorate it -- with a little help from Pinterest.  Here's some eye candy I've found.





I'm hoping we sell the house and find a new home soon so I can get started decorating!

All photos are from Pinterest.  You can find the sources here.