happy earth day

Most of the projects we do around here are “green”.  We love to recycle, upcycle, repurpose…whatever you want to call it.  We generally try to use what we already have and consider what the impact of buying new may have on the earth.  Not only is recycling earth-friendly but it is practical on the wallet in most cases too.  It is incredible to think of what we’ve repuposed in our home for a look that is uniquely ours.

Here are a few of my favorite earth friendly choices that we’ve made…

In our kitchen, we have a recycled pallet wood backsplash that has been going strong since day one.  We still love it.

kitchen (31 of 33)

Recently we wallpapered our dining nook with old blueprints.  Love!

Flea Market Style Dining Nook

Our headboard is made from a recycled old interior door.

architectural salvage bedroom

Once we rescued this old chair from the curb and gutted and upholstered it, it was good as new.  We couldn’t part with it!

Rehabbed Club Chair

We’ve started working outside in the vegetable and perennial gardens.  We’ve began composting all of our kitchen scraps and seeding veggies for a summer harvest.

beans

We’re also working on cutting back on unnecessary garbage wherever possible.  We recently switched solely to fabric napkins.  They’re no longer just for fancy occasions!

Spicy Tortilla Soup

Habitat for Humanity’s Restore recently launched a new blog with all sorts of DIY tips and ideas on this very topic.  I contributed this post regarding repurposing a small window.

Habitat for Humanity

Did you know that most counties have a Habitat Restore that will take your donations?  If you are renovating, do the responsible thing and  donate your old cabinets, doors, hardware and fixtures plus furniture and other household items.  It’s better than these items ending up in a landfill.  Find the Restore near you!

How are you making an impact in your home, garden and community this Earth Day…and everyday?

 

 

 

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where has the time gone

Wednesday already?  Mid-April?

Oh my, the usual Clover Market hangover has lingered an extra day or so this time around.  Being the first market of the season, I seemed to forget how much work goes into the prior days of preparation, early morning day-of setup, evening break down and clean up for such a popup.  Not including the actual 7 hours of selling and schmoozing!  I think many shoppers probably don’t have a sense of what goes into an event as epic as Clover Market.  I try to price my items fairly so it can be frustrating when someone asks for a big break on a price in the first hour of the market after I’ve already put in about 5 hours of work.  I certainly understand the sport of haggling and it can be fun but I prefer to wait until later in the day to make a deal.

Clover Market Spring 2014

At any rate, we had a great turn out in Chestnut Hill on Sunday and absolutely stunning 80 degree weather which, by the way, where did that go?  I was happy to see so many familiar faces in both fellow vendors and regular shoppers.  Everyone was ecstatic to be out and about after the long winter.  Would you believe I didn’t take a single picture?  I really have no excuse.  #livinginthemoment  There are plenty of photos posted on the Clover Market facebook page along with new previews.

The market will be back at its freshman location in Ardmore in two weeks.  Circa Dee will not be at that event.  I have a spa date!  But we’ll be back at the May 18th Ardmore market fresh from a trip to Brimfield so who knows what goodies we’ll have.

West End Garage April-3443

So what’s next?  Well this weekend is Easter, duh, so we’re working on stocking some new plants and other spring holiday & gardening pleasantries at The West End Garage in Cape May.  Stop by Friday through Monday if you find yourself at the shore.  The adorable Ribbit succulent gardens will be back in stock.  Perfect for a beach house!

ribbit succulent garden

Can I digress a bit?  I haven’t mentioned Houndstooth in a while – Ryan’s West End Garage venture.  We’ve been adding new inventory there weekly.  The latest additions are yummy beach themed dog cookies.  Perfect for your pooches’ Easter basket.  Do people do pet Easter baskets?

Houndstooth - Cape May dog cookies

The cookies look and smell so good that I want to taste one.  They are made from human grade ingredients so why not?  Ok I won’t but Wilson goes nuts for them!

Wilson

Finally, I’d like to add that on Saturday afternoon at 1 pm I will be popping into Serendipity Shops of Doylestown to talk milk paint.  Stop by for a free demonstration while you’re out running your errands.  Bring project questions, before pics, etc.  If you can’t make this one, next month’s demo is tentatively scheduled for May 17th – time TBD.  You can always check milk paint demo deets here.

Serendipity Shops of Doylestown

So that’s what’s in store for this weekend and beyond.  Do you have an Easter egg hunt planned?

clover preview & lucketts green

Do you want to see the haul of treasures we’re bringing to Clover Market on Sunday in Chestnut Hill?

Clover Market Preview-3465

Well this is merely a sneak peek of what I could fit into one frame. I feel a bit of a Robin Hood theme going on between the emerald-green trench, the arrows and antlers. Right?

Clover Market Preview-3468

There are lots of outdoorsy spring items like the large and in charge rear bike basket, plenty of McCoy planters and some beachy accents as well like wooden and glass buoys.

Clover Market Preview-3462

So the question is, are you going to the season opener of Clover Market on Sunday? This one is located in Chestnut Hill. All the logistics and details can be found here.

Clover Market Spring 2014

Let’s zone in on a few of my favorites items here, shall we?  Check out this fantastic champagne bucket.

Clover Market Preview-3444

When I found this it was extremely tarnished.  Like completely black.  I like a little tarnish on my silver but it was so far gone that the beautiful detail around the rim couldn’t be appreciated.  Gorgeous, right?

Clover Market Preview-3458

It needs a swanky mcswankerson new home.

Clover Market Preview-3456

Did you notice the table it is on?  That cute little side table was in need of some TLC and a pop of color.  First, it received a base coat of MMSMP Trophy and a 2nd coat of MMSMP Lucketts Green.

Clover Market Preview-3447

The gray is producing such a subtle sliver of silver poking out.  After some light chipping, it was finished with antiquing wax and a bit of white wax.  This too is on the truck for Clover.

Clover Market Preview-3449

Can’t wait to see you Sunday!

P.S. Follow these tips from Philly Mag’s Shoppist on how to tackle Clover.  We certainly agree that you should stop by Circa Dee first :)

on stocking books

After only sourcing vintage for years, it has been very exciting to choose a selection of new products to bring into the shop at The West End Garage.  Similar to my approach when buying vintage, I simply buy my favorite new items to stock.  I ask… Is this something I would want in my house?  Is this something I truly love?  Is this something I will be sad to see go?  The answer should be yes!  (Hello, turn of the century oak harvest table pictured below.  I really, really love you!  I will be sad to see you go but you deserve a good home.)

West End Garage April

This approach to buying inventory is something that I have been reminded of lately and have found myself telling others who are just starting out.  I think it is really important to love what you are selling.  Don’t choose it or make it just because you “think” someone else will love it.  Now granted, not everyone will have the same taste as you.  For example, I have a growing collection of old ship captains, ahem.  However, I believe the authenticity of your merchandise will show through when you are passionate about what you are selling.  It’s hard to honestly sell something you don’t believe in.

West End Garage April

With that said we’ve stocked a few choice cookbooks and gardening books to keep in line with the garden to table collection we have at The West End Garage.  I am really excited about the line up. We have Deep-Rooted Wisdom, a new release authored by blogger Augustus Jenkins Farmer.  I am about half way through this book and I’m loving the gardening tips, stories & characters.

Deep Rooted Wisdom

People have asked me how I chose which books to carry.  Well, I initially took the lead from a few tried and true favorites in my own kitchen stack of cookbooks and cocktail books.

Kitchen

The Kinfolk Table has since been added to that stack.  It has quickly become a favorite for two reasons.  One, the photography and stories are beautiful.  Of course I love a good aesthetic!  Two, the recipes are really approachable made with pantry staples that we pretty much always have on hand.  Essentially the book lends new ideas with classic ingredients.

Kinfolk Table in my kitchen

I have been inspired to make many of the soups and stews outlined in The Kinfolk Table.  A few weeks ago I made the Wilted Greens & Potato Soup on page 287.  I hadn’t thought to put kale in soup until this recipe.

Wilted Greens & Potato Soup

  Great idea.  We loved it!

Wilted Greens & Potato Soup Kinfolk Table cookbook

What is your favorite gardening or cookbook?

creating age & patina

A few months ago, my sister-in-law and I tackled this large hutch for their home “landing area”. It was the perfect candidate for milk paint. An older, well made piece with slightly porous wood in most areas and a dulling finish left on it in others.  We predicted the dulling finish would create a resist and cause chipping.  Sorry, I can’t seem to track down a before picture but it was looking slightly dated.

Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint Hutch-3415

We chose to use “half strength” bonding agent. That’s a term I sort of made up meaning I don’t measure the recommended one part bonding agent to one part paint ratio. I don’t recommend “half strength” bonding agent until you really have a feel for how the paint works on different surfaces because it can be a bit of a wild card in terms of adhesion.  Of course, that is the fun of it!

Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint Hutch-3419

For the look we were going for, it worked out just right. We did little to no prep on the piece other than removing the hardware. We applied 2 coats of Mustard Seed Yellow with some bonding agent as described. We used antiquing wax around the edges, handles and details and waxed the rest with furniture wax. This created a perfect warm patina on the yellow.

Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint Hutch-3425

We were thrilled with how natural the chipping looked as if this hutch has been gracefully aging in a farmhouse for decades.  It chipped a little further after the piece was moved into its permanent place.  Once they felt the finish was just right, my brother applied flat polycrylic to those areas to stop any further chipping from occurring.  This essentially locked the age in.

For the inside shelves, we applied 2 coats of Linen. We thought the yellow undertones in the neutral would be a nice complement to the Mustard Seed Yellow.  We used regular furniture wax on the linen to keep it bright.

Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint Hutch-3426

When evaluating whether or not to paint a piece of furniture and what color to paint it, I feel you really have to honor the style and era of the piece.  I’ve learned this with trial and error of course.  But not every piece can handle every color.  This hutch is just perfect in a warm chipping yellow.  It has a nice farmhouse feel.  Yet, it can also complement some contemporary homes and decor as well.

I really love how this one turned out!  I’d love to see your latest milk paint project too!  Email pictures or tag @circadee on instagram with your finished project.

Mustard Seed Yellow Milk Paint Hutch-3428

a one year party

Hello, hello!

Exactly one year ago, Serendipity Shops of Doylestown opened its doors.  The quaint, historic town of Doylestown has treated us all well and we are returning the favor this Friday, April 4th.  Come celebrate the shop’s first anniversary from 6-8 pm.  There will be food, drinks, deals and giveaways.

Yes, giveaways!  Your chance to win free merchandise from one of your favorite boutiques.

Serendipity

I’ll be stopping by with some new spring treasures including this adorable Apron Strings + Linen milk painted dresser.

Apron Strings Dresser-3377

I have been painting up a storm lately and have been inspired by nature and bright spring colors.

Apron Strings Dresser-3382

The April colors of the month are Dried Lavender & Lucketts Green.  Yes, two this month.  They’re that good.

April MMSMP

I’m loving the texture on this old, oak dresser.  Sorry for the shadows and lack of staging.  I was anxious to move onto the next project!

Apron Strings Dresser-3379

Speaking of, check out the layering on this ladder back chair.

Apron Strings Dresser-3368

The base layer is in Apron Strings, my current fave.  It’s so feminine on these pieces.  For the chair, I created a resist with hemp oil and mixed a coat of French Enamel and Linen which actually sort of resembles dried lavender.  I love mixing leftover colors.  You never know what you’ll get.  Isn’t the crackle effect fabulous?

Apron Strings Dresser-3371

All of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint colors are in stock at Serendipity.  Stop by for the party tomorrow evening.  Let’s talk colors, technique and top coats.  Or just shop for clothes.  Either way, it will be fun!

Serendipity Shops is located at 33 S. Main St. Doylestown, PA