Sunday, January 15, 2012

Apothecary Jars and the curse of OCD

I've been having so much fun messing with this and that lately.  I've been all over the board!!!!  If a person could get inside my mind, I'm certain it would make them dizzy.  I probably need to take a few steps back from the World Wide Web.  There are so many ideas out there, well, it could drive this girl over the edge.  Not that I have all that far to go, mind you.  I have a "touch" of (actually full blow) OCD..  I get all these projects in my mind going and then the fact that they are unfinished haunts me.  The OCD makes me work very slowly because every detail must be precise.  Therefore, every piece I've bought and stored away calls my name.  Then there's the fact that my house looks like a cross between Hobby Lobby and a wood shop which is driving me insane.  You've got the obsessive....  which is the buying and creating and then the compulsive which can't tolerate disorganization.  It's a double edged sword people!!!  I'm working my way through it though!!  Believe it or not I've mellowed in my old age.  LOL!!!! 

When I walk into a thrift store, I can't stay focused on searching for just one category of items.  I see this and go  "oooooh!!!" and I see that and go "oooh!!!"  I really need to learn to talk to myself before entering the doors.  The conversation needs to go like this, "Okay girl, we're looking for furniture today!  Do not approach the glassware, picture frames or ANYTHING other than furniture".  Gotta work on that! 

BUT, I've been seeing all these pretty DIY apothecary jars on the Internet like these. 

And these

I really wanted to make some.  They are just TOO cute!!!!  So, in my thrifting travels, I was on the lookout for candle sticks that I could paint and then add empty jars with spray painted lids.  Much to my surprise, I stumbled upon some REAL apothecary jars.  You'd have thought I just hit the million dollar lottery!!!!  Then, my whole mindset had to change.  Searching, searching for candle holders to fit the jars.  Luck would have it that I have found the honey hole of thrift stores!  There are shelves of stuff packed so tightly that you are afraid if you move one item, the whole thing will come tumbling down!  (taking Pig Pen in there makes my hiney tight and sends shivers down my spine!!!)  Stuff has probably been there for 10....  20 years.  It's a "picking" experience not a thrifting experience!  That's one of the perks of living in a rural area with so many tiny towns nearby. 

So, after finding the jars, I lucked up and found these.

My stars must have been aligned perfectly that day!  The one in the back was a ceramic class creation by Dot circa 1967.  It was orange but I had already hit it with primer before I remembered to take the picture.  The other two were the EXACT same style but in two different paint finishes.  What are the chances of that?  Ideally, I would have liked all three to be different since the jars were all different but, hey, thrifters can't be choosers! 

I primed them and mixed up a concoction of chalk paint using plaster of paris, water, and Martha Stewart's Seaglass.  I painted them ,waxed them and glued the jars on.  And TA~DA! 

The second picture is more true to the actual color (a seafoam green).  My photography skills plainly suck!  But, I have to let that go!  Can't get obsessed with THAT too! 

Here's the kicker.  These apothecary jars and a little light house votive candle holder project I'm working on have sparked the idea of a bathroom makeover.  (big sigh).  Adding ANOTHER project to my scattered brain's agenda!!!! 

It's all good!!!  While I do drive myself crazy, the truth is I ALWAYS have.  No matter what I'm doing, whether it's designing a custom kitchen or painting a thrift store find.  I'm always my own worst critic and over analyzing every detail.  The beauty of my life today is, I CAN slow down to the pace that I'm comfortable with and start taking life in stride.  The "business politics" end is out of it and now it's all about the creating.  I still have alot of work to do in the "not driving myself crazy" department but atleast now it's just ME doing it! 
That's right folks!  I'm a little crazy but the first step is understanding and accepting your "issues" because we all have them.  Next step is finding your place in the World where your "issues" work for you rather than against you.  I've NEVER been more content!  I've been blessed with two guys who love me for who I am...  they always have.  I just had to learn to love and accept me too.   

Embrace and love who you are!! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Black Distressed Chest of Drawers and Bookcase

I'm on a roll!!!!!  Two posts in less that 24 hours.  I know you are grabbing your heart Fred Sanford style at the amazement of it all.  :-)

I recently re-vamped a couple of pieces for a friend.  This girl has an eye for decorating that is beyond description!  Her house is simply gorgeous so I was quite flattered that she asked me to paint a chest of drawers and bookcase for her little boy's room, which she is in the process of redecorating. 

Here's what they looked like before. 

The chest of drawers had been previously painted white and lived in her daughter's room.  The bookcase had a coat of gray primer when I picked it up.  Stephanie wanted them painted black and distressed.  Distressed is always best when living in a room with an 8 year old boy!!! 

So, I got to work.  First step was to strip the white paint off the chest.  I believe it had been painted with floor paint, and while durable, it had a texture that I wasn't digging. 

Kinda gross, don't ya' think?  Stripping paint has to be one of the messiest jobs there are but this stuff is a miracle in a can!!!!  After getting the old paint off, I sanded her down to get a nice smooth surface.  Then I applied "Gripper" primer and then flat black paint. 

Then some distressing along all the beautiful lines to make them really stand out. 

I used the same technique on the bookcase.  Because the two pieces were different wood species, the distressing didn't match and I DEFINITELY wasn't digging on that!!!!  So, I applied Cherry stain with a Qtip to all of the distressed areas on both pieces.  The last step was two coats of wipe-on Poly.  I LOVE that stuff!!!!!  It's easy as pie to apply and it gives a hand rubbed finish. 

I took them back to their home yesterday and Stephanie was THRILLED with the results which made my heart smile.  I'm always nervous when working on other's furniture but I was a little extra nervous on these because she has such beautiful taste.  So, when she was so happy with them, I wanted to do the happy dance right then and there!!! 

I'll leave you with before and afters side by side.  I have seen others post their pics this way and I loved it because I could truly appreciate the before and after.  SO, I was quite impressed with myself when I figured out how to do this!!   

Hope y'all have a wonderful Sunday!  We are having some beautiful weather again here in SC so I'm going to get busy today sanding several pieces.  Then, when the weather turns cold, I can pull something out and paint inside.  I'm getting smarter about this stuff!!!!!  :-)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chalk Paint Experiment = Facebook BLOW UP!

Yep, it's really me!  I have not fallen off the face of the Earth.  It's been a while since my last post but I have a tendency to get tied up over on my Facebook page.  I really enjoy the interaction and the amazing people that I've met!  It's SUCH a fun place to be!  I tend to get caught up and forget Blogland.  I'm going to do better though, I promise. 

Speaking of the Facebook page!  Things have really been hopin' over there.  I've had a nice steady stream of new friends since starting my page, a little over three months ago, and just recently did my first give away after reaching 200 likes.  I was tickled to death to reach 200!!!!!!  I just shipped the prize out two weeks ago to Final Touches Redesign.  Then, I posted this a couple of days ago and my page BLEW UP!!!  I'm talking about mind boggling numbers of people.  Take a peak.

This is what got people swarming over.  I was expecting swirls of smoke to come boiling out my screen!  I've had almost 30 new likes in less than 24 hours.  WHAT!?  GET OUT!!!!!  That's what I was saying this morning when I logged on.  Surely, this is a nice dream and I'm going to wake up in a few minutes.

Here's how it all came about.  You may remember that I wrote a post (forever ago) that I was going to experiment with homemade chalk paint.  I'm slow like a turtle....  it's just who I am.  Got that from my Daddy.  He never got in a hurry for anything but I loved that about him.  That was so much of his gentle, calm nature.  So, a gazillion days later, I actually got around to doing it.  I can't take ANY credit for the recipe.  2ndEssence is the one who developed the recipe I used and she was gracious enough to share it with others.  I'm so glad she did!  It's so stinkin' AWESOME!!!!!!  (I'll share it with you at the end of the post). 

I mixed it up, got out one of my little cheapo sponge brushes and got to painting.  I forgot to take a before picture of the frames but they were just your basic ugly gold frames.  After I painted them with the chalk paint, I then lightly dry brushed a couple of coats of white primer over the details.  I was fresh out of white paint (can you believe that?  Got every color under the sun but no white).  Time to take a trip to Lowes for more supplies!  To finish them up, I brushed on Minwax finishing paste (with my redneck waxing brush ~ a paint brush with a rubber band around the bristles).  Hey, I'm the Queen of improvising and doing things as cheaply cost effect as possible....  got that from my Daddy too.  LOL! 

Here are some close up shots. 

Who knew an experiment would cause such a stir???  I sure didn't!!!  But, I'm so grateful that I (little ole' me.... the Redneck Princess) was able to inspire others.  I don't think there's a better feeling in the whole World!  I've shared the recipe for this paint numerous times today and I'm going to share it again here (and 1 million times more to anyone who is interested!) 

1 1/2 cups Acrylic Latex paint (the one I used was Satin finish and I believe that's what 2ndEssence uses too with the exception of white.  When mixing white I believe she uses flat)
1/2 cup Plaster of Paris
1/2 cup warm water
First mix plaster of paris and water until there are no lumps and then mix in your paint. 

This paint gives a timeless, antique look that is very soft and subtle and its cheap cost effective.  I will definitely be using it again on certain things but will stick to my tried and true method on others.  I think variety is the spice of life!!!

In closing, I found this painting hanging on the wall of a thrift store and I COULD not leave it behind!  I had to save Miss Valda's art. 

I thought of how much love and time she put into this (just as I do with furniture) and I was determined she was going to get a better home.  While I didn't know how I would work this into my other things because it's not exactly my style, I so appreciated the skill and the colors.  Not to worry, I have two people who want to give Miss Valda a forever home.  Yay!!!!!  We love and value you Miss Valda wherever you are! 

Love & peace to all,