pushin’ along

We raised an impressive $500 through the Petal Pushers fundraiser last week for our Bike MS: City to Shore team!  Just a gaggle of ladies happily arranging flowers while making a difference…

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I am so grateful for this community, family and friends for all of their support!  We couldn’t have done it without our fearless leader and professional floral designer, Renee Tucci, the mastermind behind Petal Pushers.

We have about 6 weeks to go until the actual Bike MS: City to Shore ride and most of our riders have met or exceeded their minimum fundraising goal.  You can check out our team’s progress here.

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Multiple Sclerosis is a real part of our everyday life and business journey.  Those things are closely intertwined therefore I choose to share personal updates such as these here.  I hope to educate or empower someone by letting you in on our lifestyle.

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Ryan’s MS diagnosis has shown us that life truly is a gift.  MS has taught us to live for today and not put things off for ‘someday’.  We’ve become more adventurous and courageous.  Within reason, of course.

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It has been a year since we moved to Cape May and slowed down our pace of life while eliminating some stress and ‘stuff’ along the way.  A year!  Already.  And two years since Ryan’s diagnosis.

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I’m not sure that I ever made it explicit but Ryan has officially come on board with Circa Dee.  He is doing very well in this new lifestyle that we chose.  It seems to agree with him.  And me too.  Although change can be terrifying at first, it is certainly good and not to be feared.

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try something new

Oh, August!

This month has snuck up on me and it is moving way too fast.  I feel both a sense of panic and a sense of relief at this point in August.  Mostly just panic though.  The summer days are dwindling and there are far too many things I’d like to accomplish in the next two weeks.  It has been a busy summer nonetheless but there is still time to squeeze more in and try new things.  Cook new things.  Explore new places.  Take more pictures.

Please summer, don’t go!  We’re just getting acquainted…

Exploration

One of my friends dove into milk painting this week.  She is an experienced furniture painter but wasn’t into the notion of mixing her paint – a common objection with milk paint that can easily be overcome.  Well she decided to try new things and it has really paid off for her!

Check out this beautiful washstand done in Apron Strings.

Apron Strings Washstand

Apron Strings

This coffee table went from mid-century to farmhouse with Mustard Seed Yellow.

Mustard Seed Yellow Coffee Table

Musard Seed Yellow milk paint

This evening is the Petal Pushers floral design workshop at The Rhoads Garden in North Wales, PA.  We still have a few spots open and would love to have you if you’re local.  Come early so we’re sure to have a space set for you or send an email today letting us know you’ll be attending.  Try something new!

Petal Pushers Bike MS Fundraiser

 

come and knock on my door

Last weekend was wet and gloomy.  We’ve had fantastic weather all summer with very few rainy days so the gloomy weather was welcomed by me.  I found myself lounging on the couch and indulging in a Three’s Company marathon on TV Land.  If you know me, you know I never lay around and watch TV.  I can’t sit still long enough so this felt like such an indulgence.  Listening to the rain and giggling over the antics of the three “kids upstairs”.industrial pallet coffee table-4223

I completely forgot about Mrs. Roper’s style.  It is pretty fantastic!  She really pulled off kaftans and muumuus as much as one can.  I found myself wanting to wear a ridiculous amount of bright bangles and baubles.

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(BTW if you Google ‘Mrs. Roper’ you’ll see so many guys dressed as her presumably for Halloween.  Go ahead, try it!  It’s a great costume idea.)

We also finished up the industrial pallet coffee table.  I really love this quirky upcycle.  I know this look isn’t for everyone but it can certainly work in the right home.

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Industrial Rustic is how I’d classify this table.  Or Rustic Industrial.  To-may-toes, to-mah-toes.  I find my own style has been swaying more and more towards rustic & industrial lately based on the finishes and images I’ve been most interested in.

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This industrial pallet came out of an old sewing factory.  Last you saw it, it looked like this.

vintage industrial factory skid

We gave it a thorough cleaning and sanded the top.  I had planned to stain the top but once it was sanded all of the beautiful age and wear became apparent.

sanded pallet

I knew this was the perfect job for hemp oil.  Oiling the piece made all of those scratches pop in the best way possible while darkening the raw wood just a bit.  It took three coats of oil until it reached saturation.

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I didn’t stop oiling at the porous wood surface though.  I decided to oil the metal base as well and it really highlighted the faded blue paint.  Who knew that great color was under there?  The metal only needed one coat and took longer to dry.

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In order to elevate the pallet to standard coffee table height (16-19″), Ryan created custom legs.  After much thought and consideration for aesthetics, he came up with legs consisting of a steel rod, caster, pipe and locking bolt.  He carefully drilled through the metal base of the pallet to attach the industrial leg.  I love casters on coffee tables.  I suppose it is the industrial influence again.

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So there you have it.  From the sewing factory to our living room!  Trash to treasure.  This one-of-a-kind will be going up for sale soon.  And I am off to find a Mrs. Roper inspired kaftan…

Industrial Pallet Coffee Table by Circa Dee

 

 

custom mix: slate

We have a new DIY project under way in our home.  We’re creating a custom hearth in the corner of our living room.  Once that is complete we’re having a wood burning stove professionally installed.  (We know our DIY limits!)  We’re hoping to have this project finished in time for a fire on the first chilly September evening.  We started planning early so let’s hope we stay on track with the timeline.  In fact, we’ve been talking about executing this for a year, at least, but you know how house project timelines can go…

After much pinning and deliberating we decided on natural slate for the hearth.  Most of the pins on my wood burning board seem to just reflect beautifully stacked wood which I am certainly looking forward to aesthetically, however the end result will hopefully be a combination of the following photos.

source: Apartment Therapy

source: Apartment Therapy

Source: The Kitchn

source: The Kitchn

The slate arrived today and we’ll begin the project next week.   All of the slate discussion seemed to seep into my painting world though.  Completely unintentionally too!

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I scored a beautiful old chest of drawers at an estate sale. It actually has the original tag still intact on the back.  (Sorry for the poor quality phone pic.)

Dresser tag

The previous owner had sanded down most of the cherry finish.  Can you believe that?

Dresser before

I proceeded to use milk paint without the bonding agent and expected decent adhesion since the glossy surface was sanded.

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Beginning with the drawers, I originally thought I’d paint them typewriter (black) as I knew I wanted to head in a masculine & sophisticated direction with this piece.  However, black wasn’t giving me exactly what I wanted.  On my work bench I had a little artissimo (navy) left over from these nightstands.  And a little boxwood (green) left from this sideboard (which I haven’t blogged about yet).  I went ahead and mixed all three colors together producing such a beautiful deep color that immediately reminded me of slate.  I did not measure but if I had to guess, I would say it was three parts typewriter to two parts artissimo and two parts boxwood – give or take.  Mixing paint colors can be so satisfying at times!

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The body of the dresser was painted trophy (gray) which mimics the color of the grout we chose for our slate hearth project.  The entire chest has a durable coat of furniture wax.

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The glass knobs pulled the piece together and seem to make it sparkle.  As much as slate can sparkle, anyway.  Tell me what is inspiring you this week!

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The chest just landed at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown where you can also find all of the paint colors mentioned and those glass knobs.  I must say that it looks spectacular in the window on Oakland Street.  Go check it out!

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I’ll be in Doylestown for another Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demonstration on Sunday, August 24th at 1pm.  Save the date!

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summer breeze & dried lavender

Summer breeze makes me feel fine!

This morning was one of those fantastic summer mornings that left me in a really fabulous mood.  I woke up to a chilly summer breeze blowing in from the sea.  The sun seemed a little late to peak.  Just a subtle amount of light streamed in past the drapes.

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I reveled at how perfect the morning was over a seasonal breakfast of yogurt, farm stand strawberries, homemade granola and local honey.  And it dawned on me, that we’ve lived in this fantastic agricultural beach town for almost a year now.  A year in Cape May!  What a dream come true.

strawberries

I got to work capturing the calm, morning light and snapping up some photos of this now finished caned chair.

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The chair was given to me by a friend about a week ago.  It spoke to me right away.  Some just do that you know.

IMG_4061

I knew it had to be painted dried lavender and I knew the caning had to remain natural.  It is rare to find caning in excellent condition.

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Last you saw the chair, it looked like this.  Two coats of dried lavender with bonding agent.  Perfection.

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But wait!  The chair got a soft, nearly silvery glow to it with a topcoat of white wax.

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Summer breeze…blowing through the jasmine (or lavender) in my mind.

painting over the chipping

In several of my recent milk paint demonstrations while addressing “the chippy look”, people have asked what happens if you paint over chippy milk paint?

Great question!  Let me give you a visual…

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So in other words, you have a shiny or varnished piece of furniture that you paint with milk paint without bonding agent added and immediately this happens…

Lucketts Green chipping

The paint begins to flake or chip off as quickly as it dries.   Cool, right?  But maybe that is not the look you are trying to achieve.  So for better coverage with lots of texture simply paint over the first layer of chipping paint with bonding agent in the second coat.

Did you get that?  When it dries it will be bumpy and raised in certain areas from where the first layer chipped.

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At this point you will want to sand it back with a fine grit sanding sponge.  Sanding will smooth the surface out while also pulling out some of the other colors.

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For coverage comparison purposes, the chair on the right pictured below is painted dried lavender with bonding agent.

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Finally, wax your textured piece.  This is a good opportunity to mix white wax and antiquing wax since you already have various shades of paint and loads of texture.  You can’t go wrong!

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I usually have a random “experimental piece” like this sitting in the workshop.  This way I never waste leftover milk paint and I usually learn a thing or two as I play.  At some point, I deem it finished.  This particular bookshelf started with lucketts green, then got some ironstone, eulalie’s sky and linen plus all three waxes!

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Lots of paint posts lately as I’ve been plowing through so many pieces in my workshop this summer.  Subsequently they turnover relatively quickly as this is our busiest season for retail. We are planning our winter list of DIY house projects and it is looking mighty fine.  I can’t wait to share all of that inspiration as it unfolds in just a few months!  Although, I certainly don’t want to rush summer…

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