Saturday, March 28, 2015

1950s Chalkboard Gets a Chalk Paint Makeover

Seems somehow appropriate that this well-used 1950s chalkboard be made over with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This nice-sized board was an estate sale find.

The actual black chalkboard looked a bit like a spider web. It had hairline cracks all over.  As I often do, I forgot to take a before picture. This is a "semi before" shot after I had painted the chalkboard section with three coats of chalkboard paint.

The wooden frame was in good structural shape, but had lost its lustre. The chalkboard was well-worn. The bottom of the frame has a nice chalk-holder ledge.

My daughter-in-law has wanted a chalkboard for her kitchen for some time, so I thought I'd give this one a makeover for Meg.

I left the original sticker on the back to preserve its vintage character.

My son had refinished a vintage hotel mailbox unit I found at a local thrift store in ASCP Chateau Gray, which they repurposed for use as a sideboard in their dining room. I decided to stick with that color for the chalkboard frame. The colors of the two pieces are much closer in person than my photos show.

First I applied a coat of ASCP Graphite. Then I applied a coat of Chateau Gray over the Graphite. I used a sponge brush, but because I felt lazy and was on a tight timeline to finish this project before the kids came to visit, I used it almost like a dry brush. It's easy to do--just wipe most of the paint off the sponge on the side of the paint container.

I was going for a heavily distressed look, which I think it created. Best of all, there was no need to sand. Basically my lazy technique saved a whole step.

Finally, I applied a coat of ASCP clear wax.

I added a pretty canvas ribbon with a coordinating stripe and a vintage mini tart tin as an embellishment.

I finished it in time for the kids' visit. And, she liked it!

Make it a great day!
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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Autumn on Our Acreage

This time of year, I know we are truly blessed to live on such a beautiful acre in the center of the city. Backing onto a steep, wooded ravine with a small creek running through it, our slice of heaven provides all the texture, color and crunch autumn has to offer.

No other explanation necessary. Sit back and enjoy the view.

Make it a great day!
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Charming Halloween Baskets in 4 Easy Steps

Looking for a simple, inexpensive way to add a bit of Halloween charm to your fall decor?

This summer, I bought up a lot of peat pots of various shapes and sizes at an estate sale. I've made simple peat pot baskets before and have enjoyed incorporating them into vignettes. With my latest acquisition of peat pots, I decided to go with a Halloween theme.

As usual, I forgot to photograph the "in progress." But, I can assure you this project can be completed in 4 easy steps.

Choose the images you want to use and print them on card stock, sized to fit your peat pots. I found my images at The Graphics Fairy.

Paint your peat pot the color of your choice. A light coat of paint works best. Don't worry if the original pot surface peeks through. The charming result is a slightly distressed and rustic appearance. Peat pots are absorbent, so a heavy coat of paint can cause the pot to warp when it dries. 

Adhere your  image to the peat pot with craft glue or Mod Podge. Again, the absorbency of the pot comes into play. It will soak up some of the glue, so cover the back of the image completely with a thick coat. Let the application dry completely before beginning the decorating phase.

Now, embellish, embellish, embellish! I used vintage buttons, paper flowers, glitter, twine, paper doilies, rick rack and vintage lace. Some pots are finished off with rustic, wrapped wire handles and vintage lace from a 1940s wedding dress and filled with Spanish moss. Others are topped with glittery tulle inserts I made from extra wide tulle ribbon.

Make it a great day!
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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bring a Hankie to the Wedding--Or Picnic

When is a handful of handkerchiefs not just a handful of hankies? When they're a stylish runner fit for the most colorful, casual picnic or the prettiest, most elegant wedding.

Hubby and I are starting to think about retirement and whether to stay in our current home. That means I'm beginning to take stock of all the things I've collected over the years and am starting to thin things out.

I have a large stack of vintage handkerchiefs that I've always wanted to put to good use. This week, I got them all out, gave them a good washing, starched and ironed them and made a couple of runners out of the white ones. I still have dozens in other colors to use on future projects.

Making a handkerchief runner is simple. Lay out the hankies in a pattern you like, using as many as you need for your table, buffet or piano top.

Sew them together by machine or hand, iron and you're set to go!

This runner looks great layered over my grandmother's 60-year-old picnic blanket and an antique French linen table runner I made for my son's wedding. My casual vintage kitchenware is a nice contrast to the elegant simplicity of the pretty hankies.

Either of the runners I made could be used for a dinner party table or a wedding cake table. The simple shades of white and off-white and the pretty embellishments can dress up a country, rustic or cottage chic setting.

I layered this one over a crinkle fabric semi-sheer repurposed window curtain and a different runner from my son's wedding (this one made of antique Belgian linen).

If you want something a little more whimsical, you can string the runners like a banner on a length of pretty ribbon or twine using mini clothespins (available at any craft store).

If you have a nose for vintage hankies, think about these versatile accessories in a new way next time you run across a pile of pretty ones at a sale.

Make it a great day!
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