Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year & Monday Muse & Gift-A-Way!

As this year comes to a close, it's amazing for me to look back over this year and see how much I have grown.  My business has settled in a good bit from the first time the doors were open and every day I am thankful for the wonderful customers who visit and shop my small business, and truly all small businesses!  To all the customers and friends who shop every week or just once in a while that keep my doors open and I am so thankful for each and everyone of you!  I pray this year holds wonderful and exciting new endeavors and we can continue to share our stories! Happy New Year to You my sweet friends as we welcome 2013! 

On to My Monday Muse! AND this is the last Monday of the month not to mention the year!  That means a random guest will receive a very special something from Carter's Cottage the shop~ and it's a surprise this time!

I don't know what the electric feeling is when I see someone has shared a new use for something old!  I LOVE how Emma Kate of Painted Style uses this ol printers drawer for her amazing vintage ornaments!  And a vintage chocolate box, well I love that as much as I love chocolate!

Painted Style


I can't wait to see what you link up in 2013!

Here are the rules for My Monday Muse…

1.) Please feel free to share about a piece you have completed, restored, renewed, recycled, re-purposed, or anything that inspires you!  A dresser, a sign, a cloud, a picture, restaurant, house, or a person.

2.) Post a permalink (the link to the post), not the link to your blog or Pintrest.

3.) This party will close Sunday at midnight CST and I will choose my favorite and feature their piece on next week’s My Monday Muse.

4.) Please link back to My Monday Muse and visit others sharing their inspirations!  Grab a button from the right--->

5.)  Give-a-way links, links to Pintrest, and other links that do not fall into the above category will regrettably be deleted.

And don't forget, it's Gift-A-Way time! 
On to the party!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Getting Started: Sanding

A recap:
Getting Started we looked at mixing the paint properly, cleaning your surface, and creating the French look.
Getting Started: To Prime or NOT to Prime
and this week is
Getting Started: Sanding

Tip #4 Throw out traditional ideas/processes about furniture prep, especially when it comes to sanding.

Now when most people think sanding in the traditional painting furniture sense, they grab their orbital sander and sand down to the wood.  EEK! DON'T DO THAT!  When we chat about sanding for use with Chalk Paint®, it really means to give the high gloss finish a haze.

Also, most people use a too aggressive grit sandpaper when prepping the surface.  Just because it's a poly finish doesn't mean you need a 75 grit sand paper.  It is very easy to actually scratch the surface by using the wrong sandpaper.  When a scratch results, it can be very laborious to correct, and though paint covers a multitude of sins, it may not cover deep scratches.  I typically only use 220, by hand when prepping my surface.  It's quick, easy, and I have full control of how aggressive I haze my piece.

Here's what Annie has to say about sanding:

There will be times when you will need to sand your piece of furniture or other object:
  •        Use 100-220 grit sandpaper to get rid of loose paint and other debris.
  •        Use 220 grit sandpaper on shiny or glossy surfaces (these can include melamine and laminates)
  •        To remove rust, sand the surface with 100-220 grit garnet sandpaper; wash the surface with soap and water, rinse well and quickly and thoroughly dry the surface (a hairdryer is useful): use a metal primer to seal.
 Here's a quick guide of the different types and uses of sandpapers I use:

220 grit- it's your new best friend!
  • To haze a glossy finish
  • Knocks off loose paint and dirt
  • Gently distress the edges of a finish
  • When using a circular motion, flattens out the brush strokes and other imperfections in the paint
350-1000 grit

  • Prior to using wax, further enhances a modern finish
  • Buffs the paint on frames so no wax is needed

I almost never use any sandpaper with a more aggressive grit than 220.  In addition, I almost never use 600+ on pieces I sell in my shop.  Most people will not be able to tell the difference for the increase in price using a higher grit sandpaper will require. 
On a side note, 600+ grit sand papers are:
 1. More expensive
2. black, which will not affect the paint
3. clog up quickly

Tip #5 use a dry paint brush to dust your surface after sanding/distressing. 
If you typically use a damp towel, don't!  The paint can reconstitute itself and may alter your finish.

This pretty much wraps up the Getting Started series.  Next we will look at distressed finishes
Until then, 220- your new best friend!





Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Monday Muse



Cathedral Nativity SceneWith tonight being Christmas Eve, I thought it would only be fitting to focus on the real reason for the season.  I understand may of you may be working on projects and would love to share them...but this week I am choosing to honor God and take this time to be with my family both in my home and in my blog world.
And though next week is another wonderful holiday eve and many will be celebrating the excitement of what 2013 has to hold, we will have the My Monday Muse Linky party and Gift-A-Way :)

I pray this so very special Christmas season brings you much joy and wonderful memories of time spent with loved ones near and far.

Merry Christmas my friends!
Christie

Friday, December 21, 2012

Getting Started: To Prime or NOT to Prime

This is where the teacher in me comes out.  Speaking from personal experience, it's always easier to remember something important if it can be tied to something you already remember...so this is my lame attempt to get you to remember about priming. 

To Prime or NOT to Prime, That is the question!
YOU NEVER PRIME!  That's right, NEVER prime.  You see, priming doesn't work because it's all chemical.  It doesn't have a foundation for wood to respond to naturally which is why priming never works.  Especially the water based primers...these simply draw out the tannins or natural pigment in the wood. What does work is shellac.

Shellac is a sealant & finish for raw wood for protection against water & humidity.

Tip #2 be sure to mix the shellac up properly according to the manufacturers recommendation.  If you don't, it will not seal the raw wood properly and can potentially ruin your painted finish.  It can take up to 2 coats for the best results.

Tip #3 Shellac comes CLEAR and TINTED.  Unless I'm using Pure White, I always use CLEAR.  This allows me to distress darker colors without seeing a halo of white tint.  Not very attractive when wanting to achieve a modern finish with Graphite~



Shellac functions as a tough natural sealant, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, and high-gloss varnish.
It can be used for the following purposes:
·       Use one or two coats to remove musty smells on untreated wood.
·       Use one or two coats to prevent the tannins within knot holes or open grain from bleeding through.
·       With some pieces of furniture, typically pieces from the 1930s & 1940s, after painting the first coat there is either a yellow or pink stain, which bleeds through the paint. Resist the urge to apply another coat of paint. No matter how many coats you paint, the stain color will continue to bleed through. Use one or two coats of shellac to block these bleeding stains. Annie recommend wiping it on with a cloth pad. It dries in minutes and you can get on with painting almost immediately!
·       Shellac preforms best when applied with a rag or brush.
·       Get in the habit of dating your can; shellac has a shelf life of only 6-9 months.

 Shellac is HIGHLY flammable as it's key ingredient is denatured alcohol.  Be sure to use in a well ventilated area away from flame & spark!  On the upside of this, it dries in minutes!  You know, pros with the cons always! lol~

Next week, we will talk sanding & sand papers.
Until then~ Happy shellac-ing!

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Monday Muse


With not even a flurry so far this month, it's hard to believe Christmas is just 8 days way~  So to inspire me, us I thought what better than this really cute Joy sign by Daisey Jane, and a sweet holiday front porch by Stephanie!

I've been wanting to make a large sign, but it's a really intimidating job!  Now that Daisey shared her source for how she makes hers, I'll be trying it soon!

Keeping in the spirit, I couldn't pass by Stephanie form Cozy Old Farmhouse front porch.  Nothing sucks me in like a vintage little ol' truck and Coke crates! 

It's crunch time for shopping, cooking, family, and fellowship, I understand all to well~  I hope you take a moment to remember the real reason for this most wonderful holiday season!

Here are the rules for My Monday Muse…

1.) Please feel free to share about a piece you have completed, restored, renewed, recycled, re-purposed, or anything that inspires you!  A dresser, a sign, a cloud, a picture, restaurant, house, or a person.

2.) Post a permalink (the link to the post), not the link to your blog or Pintrest.

3.) This party will close Sunday at midnight CST and I will choose my favorite and feature their piece on next week’s My Monday Muse.

4.) Please link back to My Monday Muse and visit others sharing their inspirations!  Grab a button from the right--->

5.)  Give-a-way links, links to Pintrest, and other links that do not fall into the above category will regrettably be deleted.

And don't forget,  we will have another Gift-A-Way  LAST Monday of the month!
On to the party!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Introductory Chalk Paint® Workshop in January

Part 1: An introduction workshop

 
In this workshop students will learn the basic Chalk Paint® technique, smooth, and a textured finish using Chalk Paint® and how to properly apply soft wax.

Class size is limited to 6 for each date. All supplies needed will be provided.  Workshop guests will leave with sample boards of the three techniques achieved during the class and the KNOWLEDGE to complete their projects!  Please wear appropriate attire. Classes will be held at Carter's Cottage in DeKalb. 

Six seats are available and will be filled on a first come first paid basis. A minimum of 2 attendees will hold a class.
Cost of the class is $95 and must be paid prior to class. 

Please call the shop at 815.754.9700 to reserve your seat today!

January Dates

Tuesday, January 22nd
9:00-12:00

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Getting started using Chalk Paint®

As most of my sweet readers in blog land know, I sell Annie's wonderful paint in my shop.  The steady stream of questions frequently asked is the reason I'm starting this new series of blog posts.  Hopefully, this will help answer most of everyone's burning questions, give helpful information on uses, tips and tricks, as well inspire you to create something beautiful!

It only makes sense to start at the beginning

Prepping your surface

Tip #1  to properly & easily mix your can of paint, turn your can upside down for at least 20 minutes.  This ensures the more solid contents at the bottom of the can mix with the more liquid contents at the top.

While you're paint is mixing, grab a bucket of HOT water and a sponge.  Completely wipe down the piece, dry with a lint free cloth.  If you choose to clean with a TSP type cleaner, I do suggest you rinse the surface twice.  Chalk Paint® decorative paint doesn't like to stick to TSP or other degrease-ing type cleaners.  Grab your brushes, paint pans, drop cloth, and a damp paper towel.


You're now ready to paint

For a French Look

  • Apply two coats of Chalk Paint®, moving the brush in multiple directions.  The first and second coats should be coordinating colors.
  • Apply the second coat thinner than the first.
  • Apply Clear Soft Wax witha lint-free cloth or brush.  Work the wax into the paint like you would apply hand cream, making sure to remove any excess.
  • Use a fine or medium grit sand paper to gently and artfully remove a little of the paint. (I recommend using 220-450  grit sandpaper when distressing)
  • Re-wax and polish.  You can polish again the next day for more sheen.
 The next post in this series will be To Prime or NOT to Prime, that is the question.  Yep, we will cover priming and sanding next week!
Until then, Happy Painting!


Chalk Paint® is a trademark of Annie Sloan Interiors, Ltd© 2012 Annie Sloan Unfolded  All rights reserved



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The stolen idea~

Ok, so I've been on Pinterest a bit lately and have noticed several of my pictures "repinned" and liked.  I am so flattered so many love what I have created!  It is truly an honor and fills me with such joy!  I've also noticed several of my blog friends upset over "The Stolen Idea".  You know, their original idea replicated, duplicated, re-created by someone else and then pinned.  Well, here's what I have to say about that.

"Let’s also think about how to motivate each other to show love and to do good works." Hebrews 10:24
Christie's translation:  Inspire Others to Inspire Others
Yes, there is much debate over original ideas, trademarks, copy rights, watermarks, and licensing.  In a perfect world, everyone would be honest.  Not everyone is.  As for me, I find such un-measureable joy inspiring others.  So my numbered secretary is sitting in my family room in all her glory and I created a beautiful finish on a beautifully American made antique piece of furniture which will adorn my home for many, many years.  And if it inspired someone to create something beautiful in their home for themselves or someone they love, then I am leaving my legacy of inspiring others to inspire others. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Monday Muse is Back!

During my unexpected leave, My Monday Muse also took a temporary leave.  We are back in action though and I am excited to see all that everyone has to share!

Here is where we left off:
Daisey Jane shared a tutorial on how to make a Christmas stocking.  I did try this, and it was super easy!  Now if I only had time to make 4 more lol~  Thank you so much for sharing!
 

Here are the rules for My Monday Muse…

1.) Please feel free to share about a piece you have completed, restored, renewed, recycled, re-purposed, or anything that inspires you!  A dresser, a sign, a cloud, a picture, restaurant, house, or a person.

2.) Post a permalink (the link to the post), not the link to your blog or Pintrest.

3.) This party will close Sunday at midnight CST and I will choose my favorite and feature their piece on next week’s My Monday Muse.

4.) Please link back to My Monday Muse and visit others sharing their inspirations!  Grab a button from the right--->

5.)  Give-a-way links, links to Pintrest, and other links that do not fall into the above category will regrettably be deleted.

And don't forget,  we will have another Gift-A-Way  LAST Monday of the month!
On to the party!

Pinterest-ED

Everyone's sharing the most beautiful mantles, trees, entry's, and party ideas.  It's so fun to glean ideas from everyone...and everywhere!  A friend of mine Ann, aka Nelly's Barn Sale, posted a pic from Pinterest about adding glass ornaments to your chandi and I was totally intrigued!  


There have been a few lights switched out in my home recently, and this was a new addition.  This little chandi graces my entrance with pride!  I rescued her from a flea market in So. Illinois.  I do sincerely mean rescue as there was not one customer who stopped to admire this Bella the whole time I was there.  Not everything has to be bought, but at least do a little window shopping when you see a true beauty!  She still has her made in Spain metal tag attached!  Bellissimo lampadario! Such a treasure!  ...i digress....   So, after seeing Ann's Pinterest link, I thought I could SO do that!  And I did!


I understand you most likely can't see the original chandi with it's arms dripping with ornaments, but you get the idea right :)  No, not one of these ornaments are vintage.  AND not all of them are glass.  There are a total of 42 ornaments hanging from this little chandi....8 are plastic but you would never be able to tell!

What have you Pinterest-ed around you home?  I'm not "hooked" on Pinterest...just enjoy the window shopping from time to time!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A New Look, and a New Outlook

Perhaps you noticed the new look my little blog is sporting!  Talk about a labor of love~  This has taken me an entire year to complete!  Well, Melanie over at Elegant Custom Blogs over a year!  A busy life has kept this simmering on the back burner and after much determination it was implemented.  I can't say enough about how sweet Melanie is to work with!  To survive this process with me for an entire year, she is a saint!

As many of you have noticed, I unexpectedly took the month of November off.  My sweet friend Laura from Whimsical Perspective and I did Kane Co. Flea Market, then we had the annual Holiday Open House at the shop, followed by some devastating news that my best friend, stand in Mom, business partner & mentor was moving back to Oregon State.  Pam's home had sold and it was time for a new season of life to start, RETIREMENT!  I wanted to spend every available moment with Pam and I did.  Not blogging afforded me the precious luxury of sitting by her fireplace chatting about nothing inparticular, family meals, treasure hunting, and plans for trips out west to the Oregon Trail. 

Pam and her husband are my friends who became our family.  They would cart the kids to and fro events and school, attend football games & dance recitals, share Thanksgiving & Christmas Day with us.  I would often find myself parking my car in my drive way only to walk across the street to Pam's at the end of the day to see what's for dinner and find my kids, especially Holly, our golden bustling around their kitchen. 

I know this is not good bye, but life has changed for me, for us.  Yes, Pam's only a phone call away....I've been chatting with her as if nothing has changed, but we both know it has.  When I pull into my drive, habit forces me to look to her old driveway only to find her truck isn't there and that reminds me things have changed. 

In 6 years, my husband and I moved 6 times, cross country twice.  I'm not used to people moving...I'm the one who's supposed to leave. Putting down deep roots and having neighbors who become family are what I've come to enjoy.  At Thanksgiving, there are old neighbors, new neighbors, and co workers who come and out number my traditional family.  It was a little hard for my traditional family to get used to at first I think, but now with this years Thanksgiving being the last with Pam's family, it was bitter sweet for everyone.  Having moved so much, I understand all to well how difficult this is on Pam.  So I always smile and talk about her new adventure and how exciting it will be!  And most importantly, the reason she is moving, BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE :) 

As I've said many times before, I am back...just a little melancholy.  I am truly looking forward to what's to come with the dawn of a New Year just around the corner.  No, I'm not rushing Christmas the most magical time of year...just working on my new outlook on life.

ps the pics are from Thanksgiving.  When I need a little comforting, its the smell of Thanksgiving that floods my memory and wraps itself around me and reminds me of all that I love in life...