Jeff and I took another trip north looking for the elusive fall foliage.  The warm spell put a halt to the colorful progression.  If you want to follow what is going on with fall foliage, check out his page.

We stopped at one of our favorite spots on Route 16, Our Favorite Things Collectibles in Albany NH.  We love to stop because the proprietor is such a delightful, spitfire of a woman.  I also wanted to stop because I saw something there last year that I didn’t pick up and was hoping it was still there.

And it was!

This is a milk crate from Ferland Dairy in Mexico Maine.  The importance is that’s my mother’s maiden name.  They aren’t direct relations, and I am still working to find the family connection.  All Ferlands in North America descend from one Ferland who immigrated to Canada in the 1600’s.  So, I have my work cut out for me to locate this one!

Collecting for a farmhouse look is great, but when you can do it with a family connection, even better!

Advertisements

My latest project was a makeover for a sad little box that I got at the thrift store so long ago and sat in the basement forever.  I think I paid less than $5 for it and it is a good thing because the supplies cost a little more than I would have liked.

But, boy, do I love the results!

ugly-duck-box

Here are some of my inspiration pictures.

picmonkey-image

Here is the before.  Sad little duckies…..

img_0943I took the whole thing apart, removing the hardware and peeling off all the lose paper.

img_2717What a mess!  But in that mess was pure French gold!

I applied plain brown kraft paper to the inside of the chip board pieces using a watered down wood glue.

img_2718And added a French script fabric to the outsides and trimmed with a faux leather fabric.  Both of these fabrics were on the clearance rack at the fabric store.

I reused some of the hardware, which I repainted with a faux rusty effect using black and copper spray paint.

Added black upholstery tacks  found at the hardware store to the faux leather strips and Voila!  Ugly duck to French swan!

ugly-duck-collage

 

 

Doesn’t every kitchen need more storage?  I have this alley way of a galley kitchen that is sorely lacking in the storage department.  So what to do?

I ‘inherited’ this extremely ugly but utilitarian storage cabinet.  Oh, no! There was no place in my renovation plans for something like this!  Here is a cabinet that is exactly the same as the one I had.  No, just no.

old-pantry

So, in shopping for a replacement, this was on  my pin board:

And this one:

No, can’t justify paying those prices for a pantry cupboard, not while we are still in renovation mode.  And we scrounged the thrift/antique places with no luck in finding a suitable replacement, at the right price, without having to do some work on it.  If I had to paint it, might as well paint the one I have.

So, after some chalk paint, some graphics magic from the Graphics Fairy, and some added molding,  voila!  Old store sign fancy pantry!

Old Store Sign Pantry

Old Store Sign Pantry

 

Before and After

Before and After

Still have to add some handles, but so happy with it!

#GraphicsFairy

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

It doesn’t take a lot of fancy, expensive paints to make over an outdated chandelier.  Don’t let them fool you!  You can get great results from simple, cheaper options.

Chandy Finished makeoverSo, if you’ve been looking into doing this, you have probably found other blogs who have used various name brand chalk and metallic paints. Here are a couple I loved, Diane’s at In My Own Style, and Amy’s at Maison Decor, and a zinc look makeover from Leslie at Colorways, whose chandelier’s style is much like mine was.

Sometimes you have to leave your chandeliers attached to the ceiling while you paint, but we were moving our light (along with the dining table) across the room so it was coming down, making the make over so much easier.

I also love to take apart my electricals and play with them!  I get so excited to start my projects, I always forget the before pics, but you’ve seen enough of these outdated shiny brass chandeliers, haven’t you?

My chandelier being taken apart.

My chandelier being taken apart

But take pictures of any funky ways things are assembled, like the way this wire goes around this part, so you can reference them when you put it all back together.

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

 

I took the whole chandelier apart and taped up the sockets to keep the paint out.  Then, started it off with a shot of Rustoleum antique bronze spray paint…. not much of this shows at the end, but I like having that dark base.

Then, I started layering my home-made chalk paint.  Here is my recipe:

Chalk Paint

For the painting process, I have some pictures from a lamp I painted the same way.

Shiny brass lamp to make over

Shiny brass lamp ready for make over

The paint I used on this project was made with a sample of Behr Chenille Spread, which is an off-white.  I used a chip brush and instead of stroking it on, I stippled it, which is a fancy way of saying I dabbed it on.

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Next came a bit of blue chalk paint, this is called Provence Blue.  I used this sparingly.  I wanted to simulate a patina on old metal.

If you do too much, don’t worry.  Just put more white on top.  I would also use a paper towel and dab off if I put too much on.  I liked how that gave it more texture.

The next layer is a bit of brown spray paint.  I kept the can about 18 inches away and let it sputter so it spattered on the pieces.

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Again, with the white, and if I wasn’t quite happy with it, I just kept adding layers until I was.  There is no right or wrong with this, just do what makes you happy.♥

To add a little shine, the last layer was a Ceramcoat Gleam acrylic craft paint in silver that I had on hand.  I used a foam brush to put it on and then used the paper towel again to rub it in.

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Silver acrylic paint rubbed on as final layer

Silver acrylic paint applied on as final layer

Now to assemble the chandelier parts back together.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the original composition of the pieces.  I played with how they went together.  The top pieces were put back the way they had been, except I turned them upside down.

On the bottom half, I wanted to eliminate the big round piece.  I just didn’t like it.  It is easy to change things up this way.  I had some threaded rods from other lighting projects, but you can buy some different length rods at the hardware store in the lighting parts department.  Lighting nipples

So I just played with the pieces and the rods until I got something I liked.

The chandelier is now going to be a plug in instead of hard wired. (The outlet was wired to a wall switch, so we can flip the switch to turn it on)  I added the chain and attached the new wire to the existing wiring in the chandelier. Wire and chain can be purchased by the foot at the hardware store.  Adding the new wire is pretty easy to do.  All the wires to the various arms of the chandelier all come together in the center.  They were held together with pigtails (those little plastic caps).  Unscrew the caps, remove the old wire that went up to the ceiling and attach the new wire, re-attach the caps.  Done!  Thread the wire through the chain.  There are plugs that you can add to the other end of the wire to plug into the wall.  Ask a person at the hardware store to help you find these.

I also added some bling with glass beads from Fire Mountain Gems.  I used a small drill bit and drilled holes in to candle holders so I could attach the bead drops I created.

Look at the bling!

Glass beads attached to the candle holders

Glass beads attached to the candle  holders

Completed chandelier makeover

Chandelier make over

 

 

 

Fireplace Collage

Our fireplace was pretty blah run of the mill.  I wanted to take our fireplace from, “Oh there’s a fireplace” to “Wow, look at that fireplace!”

We couldn’t really afford real stone, but that was my dream.  I have been on Pinterest pinning photos of country style big ol’ stone fireplaces, and boy, I loved that look, like this one:

Inspiration Fireplace

Inspiration Fireplace

(source unknown)

Or this one:

Another inspiration fireplace

Another inspiration fireplace

(source)

And this was the style I was striving for with the mantle we were going to use.  More on that later.

And this inspiration fireplace

And this inspiration fireplace

(source)

Well, in looking around Pinterest, I found a few people who used a product called Airstone that is sold through Lowes.  They don’t pay me a thing for telling you this, I just want to let you know what I used.

In particular, I used the suggestions and great how to from Diane at “In My Own Style” We used a chop saw with masonry blade (although we went through a couple of them since we did a lot of cutting).

So this is what it looked like before.  Of course, we had already started our ceiling project (which you can see here) so hubby is on the step ladder, and this is the only photo I have with the fireplace intact before I started ripping it apart.

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

It was an ok fireplace, very traditional, but not very exciting.

So I took it apart. The old mantle is on the left.

Fireplace in Transition

Fireplace in Transition

Then the fun began.  We removed the ceramic tile hearth in front of the fireplace and laid a slate tile purchased from Home Depot. Again, I don’t get paid for that, just providing the info for you.

Then, as mentioned, we used Airstone in the Spring Creek color.  I love all the variations of grey in the stone.  My only caution would be to order new boxes online.  We ended up with a box that we think had been returned to the store and the pieces were all the same color instead of the variations of colors.

 It was easy to use.   We used corner pieces on the edges, cutting them so they laid against the wall, giving a more three dimensional look on the outside edge.

Fireplace in Progress

Fireplace in Progress

Next came the mantle.  We found this driftwood plank on the beach a couple of years ago.

I knew when I saw it that it would be our new mantle.  It has so much character, and after aging a couple of years in the basement, and a couple coats of poly, it is perfect.  We built out a ‘shelf’ to help hold up the mantle and something to anchor it to.

Sorry, I don’t have much for photos on this process, but we built a box with 2×4’s and mounted it to the wall and then the mantle piece to the box to hold it up along with a couple of unfinished Stockport wood corbels.  I painted them with leftover paint from other projects which was flat black and a metallic bronze color, then a couple coats of poly.

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Here’s another close up of that great reclaimed wood!

Reclaimed wood and shell

Reclaimed wood and shell

It has all the wood grain with crevices and holes–just so much character!  Don’t worry, I sanded it very well to avoid splinters!

So, here is the before

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

And here is the after

Fireplace Awesome!

Fireplace Awesome!

I’m still working on the vignettes and this is not the permanent artwork.  The artwork going up there was in storage and I’m still rounding up all the treasures I want to display on the mantle, but I couldn’t wait any longer to share our progress.

Fireplace Collage

Let me know what you think!

The Bead Board Ceiling

Now that the holidays are over, we began the makeover of the first floor of our builder-basic townhouse condo.  We have a semi-open concept, so a makeover in one room ends up having to be a makeover for all the rooms.

We’ve started with the ceiling and are going to work our way down.  The ceiling in the living room area is nearly complete and I couldn’t wait to show you what we’ve done.  No pretty pictures here, this is the nitty-gritty stuff!

First I want to say that I got my inspiration for these ceilings from Emily and Shane over at Lifestyle & Design Online.  Their ceiling makeover was amazing and gave me the idea to redo our ugly ceilings in the same way.  We have some really ugly ceilings too.  The textured paint has been up there since the early ’80’s and there is no way to clean it!  Yuck!

We started with finding the studs with a stud finder and then snapping chalk lines so we knew where the studs were all across the ceiling.

snaplines

We then attached strapping to the ceiling because unlike Emily and Shane, we have studs under the ceiling, not lathe.  This gives a solid base to attach the bead boards.  I spent a lot of time measuring and figuring where the seams would go so that strapping would be in the right place to attach the panels.

strapping

Then the fun really began!  We put up the bead board panels.  It was a bit of work for only two people.  We created a lift from a 2×4 with a 1×4 cross piece to help lift and hold the panels in place while we nailed them up.  We used pre-primed 4×8 bead board panels from Lowes found online here.  Although they are more expensive, these panels were less flimsy than the ones at HD.  We had them,  and the strapping, delivered.

beadboard

Once all the paneling was up, we attached the molding, pre-primed 1×4’s, purchased at Home Depot.  You can see those online here.

Most of the molding is up, now all that’s left is the painting.

Molding

After we are done with the ceiling, we’ll start with the painting of the walls.  I spent so much time looking at the paint chips at Home Depot to find just the right greige, the combination of beige and gray.  I bought some samples and painted them on my walls to see how they looked at different times of the day on different walls.  Here is a close up of the colors I liked.  They look a bit more beige at night.

paintswatch

I’m going with the Filtered Shade by Valspar.   I wanted to match this fabric that I’m using for accents in my living.  I used it on the rocking chair that I refurbished.  You can see that story here.  It matches beautifully, doesn’t it!

Rocking Chair Peek

 

I’ve been working on a project and I wanted to give you a sneak peek.

I was so excited when I started working on this because while looking for fabric for this project, I can across an inspiration fabric for the whole first floor of my house.  Because it is an open concept condo, I have to take into consideration the colors of what I use.  I wasn’t sold immediately on this fabric, but the more I looked at it, the more I felt it was the right fit.

The colors are right, a blue that is bordering on turquoise, sage green, and the ‘greige’  grey-beige which is becoming the new popular neutral, all on the linen look background.   It will match the great set of Lenox “Whirlwind” china that we inherited, and the seaside accessories in the living room and all over the house.  And I like that it is an abstract floral so it is not fussy.  Although I love the look of all white/neutral rooms, I know that I couldn’t live with it, so this is a nice way to add a little color.

I bought it at AC Moore,  a local craft store which is not known for selling fabric, but my local one has started carrying those remnant pieces that are 2 or 3 yards for $5 or $6.  They had two pieces of this pattern so I only have a few yards but I will use it for accents. Maybe I will get lucky and find more.

 

So here are the crumbs.

 

Rocking Chair Peek

A completed project to follow…………..at some point in the future.