Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Prepping for Artopy

So, here we are. A few days before our last show of 2012, Artropy. Our online sales have been a bit slow lately, even though it's the gift giving, I was prepping myself with the idea that people don't give tables or home items as gifts.

Then the Monday AFTER Cyber Monday hit -- and we sold a ton of stuff. Depleting our Artropy stash!

No worries. We've been holding back on a bunch of stuff I'm excited to showcase this Saturday. And, we'll have some stuff that if I don't get rid of it now, I'll be using as gifts for my friends and family (you've been warned!)

Here's a peek at what we've been working on and what we'll be bringing with us.

Jeff has been working on a new table. It's a new style and finish and I'm really loving how it's turning out.

We sanded the top down to bare wood, leaving the middle panels the original color.

The original stain had a bit of a reddish tint and shine, so we sanded and distressed those slightly. It gave it a much worn look. Here it is without the trim around the door's edges.

The legs and skirt are stained a dark brown. Jeff trimmed out the edges of the door, giving it a more polished look. We'll be staining the bare wood a light color, so the table has some contrast. We'll also be placing glass in each of the panels.

I can't wait until it's finished!

I've been working on some glass ornaments. They are filled with carefully chosen creamy bits of antique books, music paper, glitter, vintage garland, glitter, old buttons and pearls. Each time you turn the glass the contents shift a bit and you see a different piece. They look so pretty on the tree.

Our wine bottle wall hangings have been very popular. We sold out at the Chandler Hill Winery event and a couple more this week. The only downside is that the more we sell, the more I have to drink (we like to use the same type of recycled bottle).

Which, I guess that isn't really a downside, is it? Would that make the wine a tax write-off?

Then, there's these little guys. I think they are the cutest in the world. Apparently I am the only one. We'll have these on-hand with some little holiday gift tags.

If you are in the St. Louis area on Saturday, stop out and see us. In addition to the dozens of amazing crafters, there's complimentary wine and beer and cats. Although, I don't think the cats are complimentary. Why don't you come on out and see for yourself?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

How to Decorate for the Holidays for $10

For the last three years, I've decorated my tabletops, mantle AND buffet for Christmas on the cheap. $10 to be exact. My secret?

$10  White Pine garland at Home Depot.

It's easy to work with, gives the house a fresh, piney, Christmasy smell, and makes a huge mess.

Three things I look for in every project I do.

To be fair, I have an arsenal of other decor I add to my piney friend. Pine cones, red berries, shells (we like it beachy around here), and DIY mercury glass with candles (click here for a's soo easy to do!) all play a part. After the holidays, they get packed up and wait until it's time to come out again.

I'm able to get alot of mileage out of the garland. It goes on the Breakfast Room table.

Breakfast Room

On the buffet in the Dining Room.


 On the Dining Room table.

Dining Room Table

 And, on the mantle.


I've been using this same theme for the last several years. I could change things up. But, I love it.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Painted Sideboard Reveal

I've been waiting all week to show you the finished sideboard! It's been so dark outside before I leave for work and when I come home, I haven't been able to snap some good pics. Until now!

This piece was found by my mother-in-law, JoAnn, who passed away last November. So, it has special meaning for us. She loved to go antiquing and we had very similar tastes. We were always sharing our latest antique store finds and this was a beautiful piece that she picked up. We miss her so much...I  just hope she likes what I did with it!

We debated keeping the top stained, but as you can see below, there are some stains on the top. And, I wasn't really up for sanding or stripping it all down. Also, some of the wood inlay was chipping off in spots and I was afraid that would get more damaged. The shelf on the inside is a little warped, too. But, other than that, it's in great shape!

sideboard with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Sideboard Before
I started by dry brushing it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White. Basically, I never put alot of paint on the brush and I didn't cover it completely. It was a pretty light coat.
sideboard with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Next, I painted it in ASCP Paris Grey. I didn't do a very heavy coat of this either. And, applied it really thin in some areas. It really helped when I started distressing it.

sideboard with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

sideboard with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

 Then, I went over it again and added some of the Pure White in different areas and the Martha Stewart Metallic Paint in Vintage Gold. I really had no plan to this...I just added it in different places.

sideboard with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

sideboard with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Then I started sanding! In hindsight, I should have done this in the garage, as it was pretty messy. And, I'm now banned from distressing in the house. But, it just isn't as toasty outside!

I heavily distressed it on the top and front. You can just slightly see where some of the gold peeks thru.
sideboard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

sideboard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Then, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan's dark wax and buffed it until it was buttery smooth. I absolutely love it! There are so many different "layers" to the finish. Hints of white, grey, gold and the natural wood coming through. The dark wax gives it a nice antique look and darkens up some of  the paint.

sideboard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

sideboard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

This isn't the ideal spot for it -- I want it in a room where there is more contrast with the walls. But, this is the only spot we have right now. It's my little Annie Sloan corner!  I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and added some of the gold highlights.

sideboard Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Would love to hear your you like the gold accents? Does it "naturally" blend in? Thanks for taking the time to stop by!

Linking to these great sites:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Painted Sideboard Sneak Peek

Last night I started working on this antique sideboard. It has some really great elements to it (carved details on the trim and legs) and I wanted to try my hand at a few new techniques. I'm hoping to finish it up tonight, but here's a peek at what it looks like so far. Forgive me for the camera phone pics...I just took these quickly this morning.

I was inspired by a couple of videos: This dry brushing tutorial from Shaunna West at Perfectly Imperfect. Also, this video by Virginia Weathersby is a great example on how to add the gold accents.

I'll be practicing my dry brushing skills with two ASCP colors and have incorporated a gold paint. I went with a paint that Martha Stewart sells. If you look closely below, you can see it in the carved trim.

distressed side board annie sloan

I love the way it is turning out...I can't wait to show you the finished piece later this week!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Tips for an Eclectic Dining Room

I love the look of a mismatched dining area. I'm talking different styles and colors of chairs. Or, just pairing two different styles together. We've got that going on in our breakfast room, where we've paired matching chairs with a bench.

I really want to get some cushy chairs in here...but that will have to wait. Until then, I wanted to give you some ideas/tips on how you can create the mistmatched and eclectic look in your favorite dining area.

#1: Select your table. It will be much easier to find chairs to go around it than try and find a table that will be a good fit for your seating. Are you going with a round or rectangle table? Or square? Choosing your table first will make finding your chairs much easier!

#2: Pay attention to chair height. You don't want your guest at the end of the table sitting down lower than your other guests. It's not only uncomfortable having to peer up at the person sitting next to you, but it makes it awkward to eat! When shopping, know how tall your dining room table is so you don't end up buying a chair that is too low or too high. And, don't forget to test it out! If it's a cushy chair, do you sink down?

#3: Know your table's dimensions. This goes along with Tip #2 -- know your table like the back of your hand! How much room do you have on the sides? Are the ends wide enough to accommodate a chair? Our dining room table is very narrow...standard chairs don't fit on the ends. Bring measurements, a tape measure and a photo when you head out shopping. It will save you less headache in the end!

#4: Don't forget your style! What will work best for your home? Do you do a lot of entertaining? Have little ones running around? You might love the idea of having a couple of cozy white chairs flanking your table. But, if you have young kids, this might not be the best option for you right now (or, get something that is washable!). If you like to have guests over (think clients, the boss), you might want to look for chairs that are comfortable and steer clear of the industrial/metal chairs. Make sure your selection fits with your style and life.

#5: Select chairs with some corresponding elements. While I like the mismatched look, I still think it's important to have SOME cohesive elements. Whether it's sticking with a similar shade, chair style, matching cushions or picking two different matching sets, you can still get the eclectic look, and have it look more natural.

The rooms below do a great job of mixing things up, without going overboard.


Etsy is a great resource for finding unique chairs. Here's a Treasury List of some of my favorite finds. Let me know your favorite!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Weekend Plans: Paint, Paint, Paint

I started this post as a way for you to take a look at what we've been working on for our last two shows of 2012. Now, it's become more of a to-do list of everything that needs to be done for next weekend's event: the Chandler Hill Annual Harvest & Holiday Market. This one is super close to our house and Chandler Hill is one of our favorite wineries. It will be a great place to meet some new people.

It's going to be a busy weekend, but here's what we'll be finishing up. We'll have alot of home decor items for this show. Chalkboards, mirrors, vintage frames. We've also put together a cute wall vase using recycled wine bottles.

Red Door Furniture Co

Red Door Furniture Co

Jeff's been working on a bar/buffet table that I'm really excited about. I'm looking forward to styling it next weekend. In the meantime, it will be getting a coat of paint on the legs. I'll be trying a new distressing technique and if I'll goes well, I'll share it next week!

If you are in the St. Louis area, come join us Saturday, Nov. 10th from 11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. There's a great line-up of vendors. As well as the usual picturesque atmosphere and fantastic wine!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Store Spotlight: Sesame & Lilies

A couple of weeks ago, Jeff and I took a vacation and headed to the Pacific Northwest. Among our stops was Cannon Beach. It was our first time in that area and it was gorgeous!

During the planning process, I stumbled upon a home store located in Cannon Beach called Sesame and Lilies. I knew from the website that I would fall in love....and I did! So, I wanted to take you on a little tour of what I saw and offer suggestions on where you can find some of the same looks.

Sesame and Lilies

They have room after room of beachy, one-of-a-kind home decor, clothing, jewelry, bath items, kitchen items and much, much more. It was a little overwhelming!

Burlap and linen (natural looking fabrics) are still going strong. I love this paired with the tufted look! It really softens and dresses these fabrics up. Here's a similar tufted chair. And, the large mirror would be an easy DIY project...distress some lumber (or use barnwood if you are lucky to have some) and make a frame for the mirror size of your choice.

Sesame and Lilies
Sesame and Lilies Tufted Chair

The raw edged stitching on the cushions below would be easy for a newbie sewer like me! And, some DIY hand stenciled pillows are easy, too.

Sesame and Lilies
Sesame and Lilies Chair and Pillows

I can't get enough of driftwood (like the bowl below). And the mini, distressed buoys were too cute.

This chandy made out of recycled bottles was huge -- a great statement piece for a dining room!

Sesame and Lilies Chandelier
Sesame and Lilies Chandelier

This collection of glass domes is a unique way to display and highlight items on a shelf or buffet. Grab the latest 50% off coupon and head over to Hobby Lobby to pick some up! And we are constantly seeing architectural pieces at shops around STL that would make a great base for a lamp. Definitely something I want to add to our to-do list.

Sesame and Lilies
Sesame and Lilies Glass Dome Display
These signs are all over the place. Make your own or pick one up.

Sesame and Lilies

These over-sized glass jugs are totally beachy...but, take up alot of room as a centerpiece. I love the colors and think I would try the same look with different mason jars.

Sesame and Lilies
Sesame and Lilies

Sesame and Lilies

 I'm always look for different chipped paint/distressed looks. Great color combs here, with the blue, green, gold and white.

Sesame and Lilies

Sesame and Lilies

Another room and another spectacular chandelier. This one looks like it had been painted. I have one in our basement that I'll be taking some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to soon.

Sesame and Lilies

 Another great table scape. I spy a burlap runner, vintage bottles, antique glass insulators and
 rustic farmhouse table.  Swoon!

 Still seeing tons of antlers out there, even in the Pacific NW! I have these that I painted a few weeks ago.

Last, but not least, another perfect paint chipped table (piled high with sweet soaps, lotions and candles).

Sesame and Lilies
Thanks for taking a tour with me! I barely scratched the surface of what Sesame and Lilies has to offer. It's definitely worth a stop...just make sure you have an hour or two ;-)

Where is your favorite local home decor shop? Would love to hear about some of your faves!