Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 10 Posts of 2012

As 2012 dwindles away, I took a look at my top 10 blog posts for the year.  These were the blogs that had the most readers, according to Blogger stats.
Just in case you missed any of them--and I know you wouldn't want to miss even one scintillating sentence--here they are.  ;-)

#10 Mid Century Dresser Makeover.  This was one of my favorite pieces that I've done, but because it sold so quickly I never did get a styled photo of it!

#9 Faux Mercury Glass Tutorial.  I re-posted this from last year.  It is really easy if you haven't tried it!

#8 Valentine's Mantel.  Or why shopping at Michaels around any holiday can be dangerous.  If you read this post you'll see I had big plans for the fireplace this year.  I also had big plans for it last year.  Those big plans will now be one of my New Year's resolutions for this year!

#7 French Linen Dresser.  I asked for your input on this one. (It's for sale at Mr. P's Emporium if anyone is interested!)

#6 You Meet the Most Interesting People ... About a great thrift store find and learning about the fascinating artist who painted it -- a pick-pocket!

#5 Savings Tip.  If you're a BB&B fan and don't know this one -- you'll want to!

#4 Oo La La Coco. The first item to sell at the Lucketts market last spring!

#3 Two Befores and Afters.  It's about ... well you know ... two befores and how they looked after.

#2 Living Room Refresh.  My living room re-do on a tiny budget.  Still loving it!

And the #1 post is about how a little love (and Annie Sloan chalk paint) can turn even a burned freebie Ugly Duckling into a beautiful swan! 
A lesson to live by!
Sharing at Southern Hospitality's Top DIY Projects of 2012 Party, and Funky Junk Interior's Best DIY's of 2012

Also French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday

Friday, December 28, 2012

Just a Quick Note ...

Just a quick note to say I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas had a very merry one! 
We just got home from Seattle yesterday, so after spending some time with my furry babies this morning, I spent the rest of the the day today at the shop moving into my new location.  There's a big anniversary celebration there this weekend, and I wanted to be in my new area which is right smack in the middle of everything.
It's a bigger space, so I need to bring some more pieces in after the weekend.  Once I get everything in and merchandised I'll share photos!
This weekend I'll either be at home taking down decorations and hopefully finishing a couple of tables I've started, or at Mr. P's Emporium for the big anniversary shindig.
Whatever you'll be doing, I hope it's something you enjoy, and that your weekend is wonderful!
Have you done your New Year's Resolutions yet???

Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas - Vintage Style

I want to take this opportunity to thank-you for reading my blog, I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

May you all have a merry and bright Christmas surrounded by friends and family!

To send you happy holiday wishes, I thought I'd share some vintage postcards with a few sweet, heartfelt sentiments.

These are all from the early 1900's.  I hope you enjoy them!

And just in case you don't come back to visit before New Year's Day --

Seasons Greetings!

Family & Dining Room Decorations

Umm,  you know how on Monday's post about the living room decorations I said I'd post photos of my family room and dining room holiday decorations on Wednesday?

 The dining room was kept pretty simple this year  ...

And you notice that today is Friday?


Well I gotta tell you ...


I've been so busy, Wednesday came and went and I totally forgot about the post!


We're going "home" to the west coast for Christmas, and I've been shopping, and wrapping and packing and shipping and generally running around like a crazy lady.


(Okay, well crazier than usual.)


And to top it off, none of the photos that I took of the family room last weekend turned out.  They were all blurry -- probably from the overdose of caffeine I took trying to get everything done.


And of course the house isn't as spiffy-looking today as it was then, because that was right before we had friends over for dinner.


I scaled back a bit on the mantle too -- it was a kinder, simplier decorating theme this year!
So I just took some quick photos of the mantle in the family room and a couple of other areas today so I could follow through on showing you the decorations.


Because that's the kind of gal I am ... 

An unorganized, forgetful, stressed blogger who never seems to get her act together ... But if I say I'm going to do something I do it!

Only not on Wednesday.

If I was really ambitious I'd have set the dining room table.  But you can see what I did last year here if you want.

I'm feeling pretty happy that the whole thing got done at all!

Hope you had a great week, and that your weekend's even better!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Decorations Up!

So I finally got the holiday decorations up outside and in. And to prove it I thought I'd show you what I ended up doing! 
Today I'll show you the entry  and the living room.
Because I got such a late start, and because we won't actually be home that much during the holidays, I decided to keep things pretty simple compared to what I did last year. 
You can see last year's decor here, here, here and here.
I mostly used what I already had out and created little vignettes throughout the house.
So come on in ...

I didn't do anything special on the bannister this year.  This little vignette greets you as you walk in.
To the left is this vignette under the mirror.

And through this entrance is the living room.

I always do a little display of my favorite vintage and glitzy ornaments on the coffee table.

I love lots and lots of candles during the holidays.



Ornaments in bowls and vases (or the latest buzz word, "vessels") I already had out.

No presents under the tree yet -- I haven't started wrapping yet! (Of course!)

I'll show you the dining room and the family room on Wednesday.
Have a great week!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Faux Mercury Tutorial -- Again

This is the week I actually get the holiday decorations up! I know ... I'm a bit late (ya think?). 
From what I see in Blogland everyone else's homes are beautifully decorated, their shopping is all done, gifts are artfully wrapped and under the gorgeous tree ....

I hang my head in shame.

But I finished up some ornaments for the shop over the weekend, worked a bit on some furniture pieces, did some re-merchandising today, and now I'm raring to finally get the house in order and decorated!


So until I have something finished to show you, I thought I'd repost this tutorial from last year. It's my one and only post that's gone viral, and my most posted on Pinterest. :-)

When I first tried this last year I came upon my method by experimenting with someone else's way of doing it. I still like this way best because you spray the outside of whatever piece you're mercurizing (I think I just made-up that word!). I not only find that easier, but this way if you're doing something like a bowl or a covered dish, you can still use the inside for edible items such as candy or cookies if you wish.
A couple of tips:
  • Another thing that makes this technique a little different is the blotting.  I discovered that by accident because of the drips, but it turned out to make it more realistic, in my view.

  • I had to stop when I did these pieces because I wasn't in a well-enough ventilated area and I started to get a headache.  On later pieces I did more spraying, spritzing, and blotting, and the pieces turned out more like the Ballard look I was going for. Do your blotting randomly. I just used a paper towel.

  • I still haven't found the paint at Michaels in Northern Virginia, although I've been told it's available in other regions, but's it's available at Hobby Lobby in-store and online.

If you haven't tried this yet, give it a go--it's easy!

Take a few of these ...

Thrift store finds - about $1.50 each

Add this and a spray bottle of water ...

I couldn't find this at Home Depot or Michaels, so I ordered online from
The large size is around $17

And get this - faux Mercury Glass!

Here they are with some tea lights in them.

I first saw this done by Maury of A Fabuless Home. Mine didn't go as smoothly as hers -- I accidentally sprayed the front of my shirt with the paint (I blame a faulty sprayer valve ... not the fact that I'm basically a klutz!).

But it's easy. All you do is spray the glass piece with the Krylon paint, let it dry for about 20 seconds or so, then lightly spritz it with water. I decided to spray mine on the outside of the piece.

Because of the aforementioned issue with the paint sprayer valve, I got drips. But all I did was blot with a paper towel and spray again until I got the desired effect. Actually I should have done more spraying and blotting, but the paint fumes were giving me a headache (note to self and to you, make sure you do this in a very well-ventilated area).

The best thing about this project is you can't screw it up! The more you blot and respray the more realistic it looks. Well, maybe that's the second best thing. The very best is the fact that you can get the same look as this ...

Ballard Designs, $25 - $39 each

For a whole lot less. I'm trying it on glass ornaments next!

Sharing at the Crafty Christmas Link Party at Primitive & Proper