Monday, September 30, 2013

What's In at Mr. P's

I'm trying to finish up a project, so I thought I'd take a break and show you Mr. P's Emporium's latest incarnation.

I had my best-ever month last month.  This month ... not so much.  Oh well, I guess that's to be expected in this business. Hopefully it will pick up again for the holidays.

I'm expanding from the vintage and bringing in a bit more crafts and other items.

Like this shabby chic pumpkin on one of my "made" cake stands.

And bunches of lavender.  I also have lavender sachets, and I'll be bringing some hand- crafted candles (crafted by someone else's hands!) in next month along with some more pillows as soon as I get them done.  I sold out of the ones I had.

I decorated a little bit for Fall, and I'll probably add to here and there.

I have the dresser set I told you about, and I've marked down the buffet that I was using for display.  I want to make room for some more big pieces. Of course they're not painted yet ... but I'm getting there!  In the meantime the crew at "Hoarders" would feel right at home in my basement and garage.


There are lots of new "smalls".

And, of course, ironstone.

That's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this peek at Mr. P's!  If you live in the area, please stop by for a visit at 9720 Liberia in Manassas, VA.  If you want to see more photos you can go to our Facebook page!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

More Dresser Drama

You remember this dresser--the one I called the project from HE double toothpicks?

Well it had a partner in crime:  a matching highboy with a mirror.

I didn't get a before photo of this one either, but here it is without the drawers, after I primed it.

And here are the drawers before priming.

Learning my lesson from the first piece, I primed the dresser first with Kilz to keep out bleed-through.  I also learned something new from a comment I got from a representative of Kilz.  I always thought that if the bleed-through showed through the primer, it would show under white paint.  Apparently I was wrong, as she explains:

Hello Deborah,

My name is Katy and I'm the social media coordinator for KILZ brand products. I noticed that you said that the bleed-through was still showing even after you primed with shellac and KILZ. In regards to primer consistency, primers don't have to be opaque to do it's job. It's very common for people to look for a 'blanket of white' primer coating, but it's not specifically relevant. It's one of the most common misunderstandings. We have a product called MAX Clear that blocks stains from bleeding through paint, but it dries clear so it doesn't hide at all. You want to be concerned if the primer has a watery, milky consistency after it has been stirred. We would be happy to discuss this further so please contact us directly at Thanks!

Good to know for the next time I'm painting something white.  And if you ever have a question about Kilz, they'll be happy to answer it for you!

Anyhow, this piece went along pretty smoothly.  I primed it, then painted it with the General Finishes Milk Paint in Lamp Black, like I did its partner.  I then wet distressed it to show some of the white under the black, and changed out the knobs to some pretty vintage-looking crystal ones.  It was good to go.

Or at least I thought so ...  I should never underestimate my ability to mess things up!

I was taking the mirror off to clean it, when I had a little, um, mishap.

I forgot the "righty-tighty, lefty-loosey" rule. 

I know ... dumb. And I have no excuse other than I was watching "Love it or List it" while I was working on the piece, and I was all caught up in whether the couple's marriage would survive their housing dilemma--and if it did, would they love their house or list it?  It was a cliffhanger.

So while I was watching--holding my breath for their decision--I tightened instead of loosening. And I put a big ole hunker chip in the mirror.  Not only that, when I got it off and started looking at the damage, the whole dang thing fell apart.

Well on to Plan B, which is a dresser with no mirror.  I filled the mirror holes, and primed and painted the area that was under the mirror frame.  Then I did another couple of coats on the top.

It's really a shame, because it was a pretty mirror, but it still looks nice. 

On top of everything else, the photos I took outside today in the sun were overexposed and you can't see a thing. (My luck with these dressers has been totally lacking!) So here it is in the shop:

And here it is next to it's match at Mr. P's Emporium.  Both are for sale now.

So the couple decided to list the house (although I'm still not too positive about the future of their marriage), and now I have an empty mirror frame I need to figure out something to do with.

The drama!

Sharing at:

Elizabeth & Co.: Be Inspired
No Minimalist Here:  Open House

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fall Decor & Mantle

The house was all spiffed up for the Dining for Women dinner this weekend, so I thought I'd snap some photos and give you a mini tour. It wasn't the ideal time of day, lighting-wise, but around here I've got to grab the photos when I can.  Who knows when a random dog hair tumbleweed might decide to make an appearance?

When you walk in the door you'll see the wreaths I made (two for the double doors).  "Made" is a relative term since all I did was stuff some silk flowers into ready-made vine wreaths I've had around--but hey I did buy and arrange the flowers!

You'll come into the foyer and see this little display.


The lighting makes the wall look yellow.  It's really a pinky-beige.
To the right is the dining room. The walls in here are light blue. and match the living room across the hall.

I had the table set up for a buffet, so that's why there are no chairs.  You'll also notice a project china cabinet reflected in the mirror.  It was too big to take downstairs easily, so I'll be painting it in the dining room!


To the left is the living room.  Our home is a basic colonial with a hall running down the middle and small rooms that drive me crazy.  I'd rather have a more open layout for entertaining.  
The house was built in the 1980's, and doesn't have much architectural detail,  so I try to add some in with old doors and salvage.



Through the French doors from the living room is the family room.


This is one of my first mantle displays against my newly painted brick.  I'm so happy I painted it!



From the family room you look into the kitchen.

Nothing too exciting in here, but I did add a touch of fall with a squash and some apples.



That's it so far for my fall décor.  I'll add some things in the coming weeks. 

This weekend it actually felt like fall, after a week of temps in the 90's.  I love the crispness in the air--sweater weather!

Hope you all have a great week!

Sharing at:

The Dedicated House: Make it Pretty Monday
Elizabeth & Co.: Be Inspired
No Minimalist Here: Open House
Thrifty Décor Chic: Fall Mantle Party
French Country Cottage: Fall Abounds

Monday, September 9, 2013

They Take the Cake...And a Whole Lot More!

I recently made some cake stands out of found items from the thrift store (plates, candlesticks, etc.) and put them, along with some vintage traditional stands, at Mr. P's.  A couple sold right away, which got me thinking about their versatility.  Then I remembered this post I did when I first started my blog and I had about 10 followers. Chances are you never saw it, so I thought I'd run it again! 
I hope it gives you some ideas!


I love cake stands.  I started collecting them for my wedding; instead of one traditional big cake I set up a variety of different cakes for our guests to chose from. Now, even though I already have a collection of different sizes and styles of cake stands, if I see one at a great price I can't pass it up.  They are just so versatile ... as long as you think outside of the (cake)box!

I recently picked these beauties up from a garage sale and one of my favorite thrift stores.  New and vintage cake stands can cost you anywhere from around $20 up.  I didn't pay that for these though!

This blue china stand is so sweet.

The crystal one is pretty classic.

And I love the edge on this large milk glass stand.

In addition to looking great on a buffet table ...

Design Sponge

They make pretty candle holders.  I love this idea!


Look at this centerpiece idea from wedding and event designer Preston Bailey:

Preston Bailey

Or this one holding a beautiful flower arrangement.

Tie the Knot

I like to use a cake stand as a holiday centerpiece.  I put a large fat pillar candle in the middle of it and surround the candle with some of my vintage holiday ornaments.  I've also used them to hold hand towels in the bathroom and a collection of bracelets in my bedroom.

Wouldn't you feel elegant with a dressing table set up like this?


Apartment Therapy

Use one in the bathroom to corral toiletries.

Of course they make great candy, cookie or appetizer servers.  Pair one with a tall compote.

Pottery Barn

And this is a great idea for the kitchen! You could also use one to hold your spice containers near your stove.

Apartment Therapy

So if you have a few cake stands around you might want try one of these ideas! 

Sharing at:
Coastal Charm: Nifty Thrifty Tuesday 
Elizabeth & Co.: Be Inspired
No Minimalist Here: Open House

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Maybe I'm Worse Than I Thought ...

I've fully admitted to not being the world's best housekeeper.  With three dogs and three cats, I think I'm doing good if I can keep the hair bunnies at bay.

And I often don't.

I actually used to be a little (note "little") better than I am now, but with freelancing, painting, and Mr. P's, my time is limited.  Or at least mismanaged.

I've been thinking about this lately because I have the Dining for Women group coming over next weekend.  It will probably take me a week to get the house in order! 

So when I saw that Refunk My Junk had some housecleaning and organization tips, I was all over it.

Here's what she posted for a weekly cleaning schedule.  She got it from Classy Clutter.

I read it and my heart dropped.  Really?  Do other people actually do all this everyday?

Now don't get me wrong, we don't live in filth.  I like a nice-looking house. And I do actually wash windows and things like that.  But taking a room each day and washing the windows means you're washing windows everyday.  Everyday?  Wiping down and cleaning walls might happen during my twice-a-year deep cleaning.  I've been supposed to be doing that everyday too? 

And one day a week to clean my craft room?  My craft space and office get tidied up when the piles get so bad I have no bare space left to do anything.  I read once that a messy desk is a sign of a creative mind.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  

To be honest, right now I can't even get to my craft space in the basement because I have so much furniture down there waiting to be painted. So the crafting has migrated to the dining room.  If the dining room needs its walls washed weekly, I have a feeling things like burlap, glitter and modge podge on the table are a big no-no.

Now I am feeling totally inadequate.  Apparently I am a big ole housekeeping loser.   

I'm thinking maybe I should try this system for a week to see how long it actually takes.  If Allison at Refunk my Junk can do it with all she has going on, shouldn't I be able to do it too?

But then again it makes me tired just thinking about it ...

Please tell me I'm not the only one who doesn't wipe down baseboards on a daily basis! My self worth has plummeted!