We’ve been making progress with my new studio space, but in the mean time, I have not had a chance to do a lot of art.  Before we started that project I was able to try an attempt at boiled book making.

My first attempt was not a complete fail.  What is a boiled book, you ask?

A boiled book is using flowers and leaves to create natural dyes and imprints on watercolor paper.  You can also use this technique for dying organic materials (cotton, silk, etc.) with natural materials found around your yard.

It was my first try so I threw everything in that pot of water!  The rusty iron and vinegar, the copper pipe, some avocado peels which are supposed to create a soft pink, and sumac flowers to create soft reds without needing a mordant.  A mordant is a substance that allows the dyes to be absorbed by the fabric.  Some plant dyes need it and some don’t.  I also used some ferns, bleeding heart foliage, and a handful of flowers fallen off plants left in an empty tray outside at the grocery store.  I didn’t think they would mind if I grabbed a handful.

So, I didn’t get pinks or reds, but got some interesting lilac and purple colors which I found pleasing.  There are some resists from the fern and foliage which turned out pretty cool.  I will be trying this again as more flowers are available in the garden,, and I have some time.

I hope to use these as backgrounds for future projects.

I have a lot to learn!  Here are some links I found useful:

All Natural Dying

How to Make a Boiled Book-Youtube

Boiled Book Tutorial for Beginners-Youtube



It had potential.  When I saw that on the online yard sale page, I thought this would work great for a new TV console table. (Ok, so I already took off the knobs, sanded a little, and started painting the inside when I took this pic. So, sue me! lol)

This was one of those TVs that were well built and HEAVY!  Instead of being thrown out when the TV no longer worked, someone re-purposed it by gutting the inside, adding doors and covering the speaker area with 1/4 plywood.  They did a really nice job cutting out the inset and matching the stain of the wood!

I really liked the console I had already. If you remember, that was a curbside find, and I still love it, but the open back made it hard to hide the unsightly, dangling cords.  I wanted a beauty that would hide all the mess, like a 19th century hoop skirt.

This sweetie seemed a little plain on the sides and the door fronts, so I decided to add a little pizazz before I painted.  Out came the Iron Orchid Design moulds and some DAS air dry clay!  My friend, Heather, at Thicketworks recommended this clay. She knows her stuff!

The castings were taped in place until the glue set.  I used Elmer’s Wood Glue and let it dry overnight.

Next I started layering with my own chalk paint.  I had tried more expensive commercial paints from Heirloom Traditions to paint my kitchen cabinets because they promoted the All in One as easy to use and more durable than regular chalk paint.  I had mixed results, so for furniture, I decided to go back to my own homemade recipe you can find here.  On this piece I used Behr Marquee samples in these colors: Positively Pink, Thai Teal, Fish Pond, Equilibrium and Soul Search. Behr is a brand that can be found at Home Depot, but any paint that does not have the primer included can be used to make home made chalk paint.

I also used left over Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint in the color Manor House to paint inside the console and in the frame I had created on the front of the piece.  I did also use their awesome brushes that came with the All in One paint kit from doing the kitchen cabinets.

I wanted to see if I could get my paints to do this whole Boho paint style some talented furniture painters are doing. (Niss and That, The Turquoise Iris, to name a couple) They are using clay based paints with water sprayed on it.  I knew if I didn’t like it, I could paint over it.  Well, I ended up with something totally different.  Without realizing it, my spray bottle had vinegar mixed with the water.  Oops! But I ended up with this watery, drippy result that I kinda fell in love with.



It reminded me of Monet’s waterlily paintings, and that’s when I knew what I would do for the front frame section!  Or so I thought.

I used 1 Gel Transfer and Decoupage Gel to attempt a transfer of one of Monet’s waterlilies images onto the front of the console, but the transfer didn’t work.  I think it could be because I used the Heirloom Traditions All in One paint to cover that space.  I’m not sure, and I could have tried again with a plain chalk paint, but I was in a hurry to get this done.  So what to do?

It’s been a very long time since I free-hand painted anything, but I thought “oh well, why not?”  Again, I figured I could just paint over it if I screwed up. So, in one afternoon, using the colors I had used on the rest of the console, I painted my own version of waterlilies.  Still not sure I love it, but I’ll live with it for now.  Of course, my husband, my biggest fan, thinks it’s wonderful.

After a coat of clear wax, and then a mix of wax, gold paint, and green paint on the edges, it was put in it’s place of honor.


Let me know what you think.


This article contains affiliate links.  If you click on the links and buy something through Amazon, I will get a small monetary compensation which allows me to continue writing my blog posts!  Thank you for taking an interest for what I do.

Don’t you just love spying an old brick wall with a painted advertisement?  It’s like a little surprise in a mundane urban landscape.  So when I finished my faux brick kitchen wall, I couldn’t resist.  And using a graphic with an ancesor’s name in it?  Just had to!

Using a Graphics Fairy graphic and easily enlarging the graphic with Block Posters, I printed out the graphic and taped the pages together.

The next step was to transfer it onto the wall.  I tried using transfer paper, but when I traced, the line was not showing up very well.

So, I took out a black pastel and rubbed the back of the graphic, a la kindergarten transferring!  Worked like a charm!  I could easily see my traced lines.

I used a white paint, in this case, I used Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint in Manor House (an off-white).  You could easily use a craft acrylic, but this paint is very durable, and I had it on hand, so that is what I used.  I then created a shadow on one side of the lettering in the same paint in the color Cobblestone (a medium grey).  I used a small flat artist’s brush and a liner brush for the curliques and the shadowing.  I watered down the paint a bit in order to make it flow easily for the detailing.  I admit I had to go over it twice.

My next step was to add a light coat of the off-white paint mixed with a bit of water where the grout of the bricks was to soften the lettering in order to appear more blended in those spots.

After it was thoroughly dry, I lightly sanded to blend with the brick work.

And there you have it!  The old advertisement! Subtle, but a pleasant surprise when you notice it.

*This post contains affiliate links (those that take you to products on Amazon).  If you use the links to make a purchase, I will receive a very small monetary gain which helps with my artistic pursuits!  Thank you.

How do you stop painting the furniture you already painted?  I don’t know the answer to that!  As new techniques and new products come out, I want to try them all!

I recently bought some of the new to me Iron Orchid Designs products and I had to try them on one of my ‘keep forever’ furniture pieces.  So here is the top of the dining table makeover.

Here is what the top looked like before

I used the Heirloom Traditions All in One paint in the color Polo.  The stamping was done with a custom color of half Manor House and half Cobblestone.  And here is a close up of the stamping.  I combined several of their stamps around the edge and wreath design in the center.  I also tried out their new craquelure stamp.

I also finished it off with the Heirloom Traditions Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel.  So check out the whole table with the antique paint finish on the legs that I showed on my last post with the new painted top.

While waiting for other kitchen renovations to get completed, I decided to make a change to the dining room table.

I recently ordered some new goodies from Iron Orchid Designs, molds and stencils, so decided to use them with some of the Heirloom Traditions Paint left over from painting the kitchen cabinets.

This table was given to me by a friend and it was the first project I ever did with chalk paint.  I had used a DIY paint formula using plaster of Paris.  You can find that recipe in my post about the chair makeover here.

Table Before It’s New Look

You’ll  see that we aren’t done with our kitchen renovation/new floors projects so there are tools and stuff all over. Don’t judge.  lol I’m no good at staging.

So, the process/experiment was to see if I could develop a nice old, chippy patina using the Heirloom Traditions All in One paint and some cheap crackle finish.  I have to say, the regular Heirloom Traditions paint does react with the crackle finish, the All in One, not so much.  But I did manage to get a chippy finish I am happy with.

So here are the products I used and I will list them at the end of the post for you.

Paints used for dining room tableI started with applying a light coat of the Heirloom Traditions All in One in Polo.  I wasn’t trying to get a complete coverage, just to have a dark base to start with.  This is on the leg of the table.

One coat of the color PoloOnce dry, I applied a coat of Artminds Crackle medium.  This is a Michael’s Art Supply store brand.  It is not expensive which is why I used it.  I wanted to see if it worked.

When that dried, I brushed a thin coat of the Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint in the color French Toile, leaving some of the Polo exposed, especially in the crevices.  The French Toile is was* one of their regular paints, not the All in One.  It crackled beautifully.

Crackle finish on dining room table with chalk paintI waited until it was partially dry, about 15 minutes, and added another layer of the crackle medium using the brush to lift off some of the crackling, creating a chipped paint effect.  Let this dry.

Stipple on the Heirloom Tradition Manor House All in One.  Go back over areas that are drying and re-stipple without adding more paint. Again this creates a crackled and chipped effect.  I forgot to take a pic of this before the next step, but you can see what it does here.

Close up of Finished Application

This is a comparison of the effect, new paint on the left, old on the right.

Comparison of before and after

Once dry, I applied the Heirloom Traditions Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel in the crevices where dirt and dust would normally accumulate.  I applied this with a 1 inch artist’s brush and wiped back the excess.  The Antiquing Gel is very forgiving.  If you put on too much, take a damp rag and wipe it off and start again.

On my next post, I will show you what I did to add some love to the apron of the table and table top with Iron Orchid Designs molds and stamps.


Here are links to the products I used.  The Amazon links are affiliate links where I might make a few pennies if you purchase from them from here. (Links are for 8 oz size jar, other sizes are available.)

Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint in Polo

Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint in Manor House

Heirloom Traditions Chalk Type Paint in French Toile *(It appears the regular type chalk paint in French Toile is not available.  I have included the link here to the All in One in that color.  I am confident you will get the same end results even if it doesn’t crackle as well. Just use the same stippling application I used for the Manor House instead)

Heirloom Traditions Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel

Artminds Crackle Medium (available at Michael’s stores, not an affiliate link)

If you really want a crackle finish, I would suggest using the regular chalk type paints instead of the All in One.  However, you would have to seal it with an acrylic finish or a wax when done.


This is a sneak peak because I’m no where near done this kitchen makeover and you know the saying, “It gets worse before it gets better?”

That’s where I’m at right now.

But I wanted to show you what an impact painted cabinets can make.  I decided to try Heirloom Traditions All in One Paint.  I usually make my own chalk paint, and I will probably continue to do so for small projects.  But for this, I wanted a professional product that would hold up on cabinets.

I was hearing great things about this paint. It has the primer, paint and top coat all in one product.  I can say that I am really impressed.  I used the color Cobblestone, a warm medium gray, on the top cabinets and Polo, a dark rich navy, on the lower.  I also used their Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel which I have used on other projects as well.  Their brushes are great to work with and are very well made.

I also replaced the hardware and used pulls from D. Lawless Hardware.  They have a great selection at very reasonable prices.

So take a look.

Chalk type painted kitchen cabinet.

I did a little distressing with the Cobblestone paint and added the Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel here.

Updated Painted Cabinets

Polo is such a rich color and the Weathered Wood Antiquing Gel created a degree of interest to it!

Updated painted cabinetsUpdated painted kitchen cabinets

These cup pulls from D. Lawless Hardware are just gorgeous!


Here’s a reminder of what these cabinets looked like before, just your run of the mill builder grade yellow oak.

Kitchen cabinets before renovation

So  much more to do, and I will keep you updated on the progress!

****This post contains affiliate links.  I only link to products I have used and like.  If you purchase some of these products from the Amazon links above, I make a small monetary gain which helps me with my stay at home business.*****

#heirloomtraditions  #dlawlesshardware

Now that this little guy has been safely delivered to his new home, I can share him with you.

I’ve been influenced by the holiday season and created my version of the Rat King from the Nutcracker.  Except he is more of a mouse than a rat, but who is quibbling about rodents?  Serious Sir Simon has a smirk on his face, not taking his role too seriously, standing straight at attention to respond to your requests.

I tried a new to me technique for creating this bespoke art doll and I really liked it.  I still wanted a doll that was somewhat posable, but I didn’t want the complications (read that as time consuming) of ball joints.  So this little 8 inch guy is made with paper clay head, hands and boots with a wire and batting body. His head is covered with faux fur.  He has limited posing capabilities, but his tail is posable.

He wears a handmade, vintage velvet coat with gold bead buttons, a vintage ribbon sash and shiny boots.

Definitely more of these little guys to come.

Thanks for checking out this little guy!