winter blues

There’s yet another winter storm forecasted for later this week.  Admittedly, I am not totally devastated by this news.  Why?  Well, because I’m bringing the spring indoors with perky pastels and pops of color to pass the final stretch of winter.  Plus I’m planning a trip to the Philadelphia Flower Show to get an early dose of spring gardening.  Assuming the winter storm doesn’t get in my way.

Cottage Living Room - Bergere Coffee Table-5866

At any rate, I’ve been having a ball with the new European Colors in the MMS milk paint line.  Today I am sharing a coffee table updated with Bergere.  It is a bit of a smoky light blue and pairs well with white wax for a beach cottage look.

MMSMP Bergere

The table base was painted with 2 coats of Bergere with the addition of bonding agent.  The chunky turned legs remind me of a cross between farmhouse and beach house style.  Ryan built and stained the top.  It is a big, sturdy piece that will be around for years.  Imagine the hours of Monopoly that will be played on that thing.  This piece will be for sale at The West End Garage.

Monkey fist knobs are a great accessory.  I love these.  We now carry them in both locations in various colors.  They are all hand-knotted and made in the USA by a small family owned business.  Aren’t they fun?

Monkey Fist Knobs

Did that tray catch your eye?  The colors are just perfect.  It is made out of reclaimed barnwood.  We have a few of these available in the chippy blues seen here.

Cottage Living-Barnwood Tray

P.S. I am searching for the first mate that pairs with the captain lamp seen here. I put out an SOS on instagram with the mate’s picture.  Let me know if you see the first mate lamp for sale!  We need him.

Old Salt Ship Captain Lamp

 

 

 

 

 

playing dress up

Winter could also be dubbed elastic pant season.  At least for me.  Tell me I’m not alone in that admission.  Monday runs into Tuesday and Tuesday into Wednesday, all while sporting thick sweats or yoga pants (on a good day), usually paint covered and topped with some sort of crazy cat lady house coat.  The joys of working from home in a vacation community in the dead of winter warrant cat lady wardrobe status.  As soon as the season changes and I find my style senses again, please dismiss that image.  Until then, picture my XL men’s flannel and paint sweats topped with a Waldo-like beanie.

Now that you have that visual, let me tell you about what I’m working on.  I’ve got a number of pieces in the hopper in various European colors  including a secretary in Arabesque, a nightstand in Layla’s mint and a Marzipan/Schloss layered drum table, to name a few.  I can’t wait to get them finished up, photographed and posted.  The pretty pastels all hint at spring.

European colors

In the meantime, I did a little window shopping.  Clearly I’m dreaming of warmer days when I will remove some layers, wear proper wasted pants and bare a little skin again.  Eliza J dresses are modern but with a hint of vintage style which is exactly what I like.  I found a fantastic range of new dresses that correlate to the new European colors in Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint line.  I never stray far from paint and I thought this was a fun way to translate the new colors…

Eliza J

“Arabesque” is definitely a feminine, soft ballet pink just like the skirt on the right.  I’d say the skirt has a shimmer of “white wax” to it as well.

I wouldn’t mind wearing this “Schloss” faux fur now in lieu of my flannel.  Definitely no need to wait ’til spring for that greige number.  Both Schloss and the jacket are equal parts gray and brown and a bit of a chameleon depending on the surroundings.

“Marzipan” is incredibly creamy and flowy.  It is light and breezy just like this gown.  Not quite white, though I wouldn’t wear it to a wedding.

“Mora” is definitely my favorite and so is this lace dress.  That sheath really captures the spirit of the new paint color which is a light silvery gray with more than a hint of blue.  This one changes a bit with the lighting.

“Bergere” is kind of smokey blue.  Well maybe not smokey but definitely not sky blue either.  It is as if light blue has a gray finish to it similar to that flirty little dress.

“Layla’s Mint” is the final new color in the line.  I can’t quite put my finger on a description for that one nor could I find a dress to relate to it.  Stay tuned.

Please feel free to come to our next Milk Paint Demonstration on Saturday, February 27th at noon at Serendipity Shops.  Unfortunately I will not be wearing one of these elegant Eliza J dresses but you can check out the lookbook here.  Nor will I be wearing a house coat and elastic pants.  Thank goodness.

prepping cabinets for milk paint

It’s happening.  We’re milk painting builder grade oak kitchen cabinets, my friends.  It was only a matter of time! Here’s a glimpse of what we’re working with over at the cottage.  Don’t worry, that ancient stove is long gone.  In fact, the cabinet to the left is gone too as we made way for a dishwasher. kitchen cabinets before We removed the cabinet fronts and got to work prepping them for milk paint.  The doors have a beautiful, simple shape that will benefit immensely with a good cleaning, new paint and hardware. IMG_5799 Cooking grease, grime and residue all needed to be thoroughly removed.  I prefer to do this with a natural cleanser as to not introduce any harsh chemicals to the surface of the wood which milk paint may resist. I used a scouring pad to lift any grime while also lightly roughing up the current finish.  Then sprayed and wiped the surfaces.prepping cabinets for milk paint .. Vinegar is a fantastic natural cleanser.  But who can stand the smell of vinegar for very long?  Long enough to scrub 14 cabinets, 3 drawers and a lazy susan anyway.  There is a very easy fix for that…oranges! citrus cleanser-5807 About a year ago my friends introduced me to the simple concept of making citrus vinegar cleanser and I’ve never looked back.  I use it all over the house.  The oils in citrus peels also have natural cleaning abilities. DIY Citrus Cleanser Simply fill a glass jar with your orange, lemon and grapefruit peels and cover completely with white vinegar.  Seal the jar and allow the peels to soak for a minimum of a month.  You can shake it up from time to time.  The longer the peels soak, the stronger the citrus scent will be.  Figure out the ratio that you like best.  I let this most recent batch soak for about 3 months and it smells heavenly however the yield in cleaning solution was lower as the peels really soaked up the vinegar. citrus cleanser-5790 When you’re ready, simply funnel or strain the cleanser into a spray bottle and start cleaning.  The remaining vinegar soaked peels can be composted.  Smile because you just saved a ton of money! citrus cleanser-5794 Here’s a sneak peek of where the cabinet fronts are with one coat of MMSMP Mora and bonding agent…  To be continued. citrus cleanser-5801

from snow to sun

Ryan and I recently went away to beautiful Vermont.  I really, really love New England and our increasing trips north.  That part of the country boasts so many beautiful old homes brimming with character and antiques.  No wonder I feel right at home there.

Vermont snow

We stayed in a circa 1900 home that encompassed the style of the region so well.  It was at the end of a snow-covered mountain road within walking distance to town.  Every detail was perfect from the stacks of old books to the antique church pew and area rug.  I had serious rug envy!  I’m also coveting French doors.Vermont cottage

While Ryan skied in the below freezing temperatures, I explored back roads, dug through little shops and read. I had very limited access to the online world.  Sorry friends but it was great to disconnect for this vacation.

However, it is always nice to get back home to our own routine.  So long for now, Vermont!

Let’s talk New Jersey for a minute.  Cape May specifically.  A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was milk painting a cedar closet a rich navy – Artissimo.  Well, here it is!

Artissimo closet-5764

This started off as a generic old thrift store cedar closet.  They’re a dime a dozen.  I particularly liked the size of this one as I had a space for it in the cottage we’re working on.

closet before

The closet required very little prep work as the wood was mostly raw.  I used two coats of Artissimo without bonding agent.  I love the richness and depth in this color.  I probably could have gotten away with just one coat since this wood soaked up the paint so nicely.  I anticipated some chipping milk paint where there was a bit of varnish left but only one area across the front chipped.  I couldn’t have planned the placement better myself. The entire piece was finished with furniture wax.

Artissimo closet-5768

I took this opportunity to hand paint the “on the way to Cape May” lyrics across the flat closet front which is always a hit in these parts.  We finished off the front with a new glass knob.

Artissimo closet-5774

I left the inside unpainted and I swear it is not that orange in real life!  We get beautiful natural light in this room which is mostly a blessing but in this case, a curse.  This closet will function perfectly for guests to use.  I can’t wait to pull the rest of the room together.  The room will have a bit of a mid-century vibe.  You’ll die when I post pictures of the beautiful vintage dresser…

Artissimo closet-5772

 

 

an empire table

We had a great group turnout for the milk paint demonstration on Sunday. They left me inspired and ready to tackle some of my own projects!  As a result, I painted the day away yesterday using the new European colors.  Everything is “in progress” so today I’m sharing a December project that I’ve yet to post.

This table was nearly a goner.  The veneer on the base was chipped and needed some repair albeit not perfect.  We needed new molding around the column to secure it too.  It just needed TLC to inject some life into it again.

lucketts green empire table-5608

Empire style furniture dates back to the 1800’s.  Often pieces are identified by that round, circular-like foot.  I have seen dressers like this but this was the first table so I snatched it up.  Those curved feet were what attracted me to it in the first place.

lucketts green empire table-5612

The wood was very worn and raw – a perfect match for milk paint without any bonding agent.  I applied 2 coats of Lucketts Green followed by furniture wax with a little bit of antiquing wax to add depth to the color.  This table has so many possibilities for its next life.  A dining spot in a small kitchen.  An entry table in a large foyer.  You name it.  It is for sale at The West End Garage.

lucketts green empire table-5613

And these arrows.  I can’t get enough of them.  The colors are so bright and cheerful.  I’ll tell you, I become a real hoarder this time of year.  Constantly editing and re-editing vignettes at home.  It might be time to thin out this collection though.

lucketts green empire table-5616

european colors & a demo

They’re here!  The much-anticipated European colors will hit shelves this weekend at both shops, Serendipity & The West End Garage.  I can’t wait for you to get your hands on these beautiful colors.  I mixed up a few of them yesterday and couldn’t love them more.  Here’s some feedback thus far… arabesque-collage Arabesque is a soft, ballet pink.  I have a bulky beat up secretary desk that I “earmarked” for this color.  Yesterday I applied the first coat and can’t wait to work on this piece further.  I am convinced this color doesn’t have to be girly with the addition of some antiquing wax.  I’ll be sure to share the results here. Mora-Collage Mora is very possibly my new favorite!  The color is questionable.  Is it silver gray?  Is it blue green?  Even a neutral?  This one is a chameleon and changes with the light and surroundings.  I painted a sample to consider for kitchen cabinets that I’m getting ready to work on.  I think it leaves just the right pop without being in your face nor is it too quiet. marzipan-Collage I quickly mixed up Marzipan which true to its name is a creamy neutral.  For me, this goes in the Ironstone/Linen category.  Ironstone is by far our most popular seller but perhaps one can switch things up and try using Marzipan which is off white with a hint of yellow but not as yellow as Linen. I haven’t had a chance to experiment with the other 3 colors just yet but here they are, full of beautiful potential… bergere-collage layla's mint  Schloss-Collage Our next free milk paint demonstration is on Sunday at Serendipity in Doylestown at 1 pm.  Please join us, even if you’ve come to a demo before.  We’ll have the new European colors in stock and I’ll be mixing up samples for you to see! If you can’t make it on Sunday but would like to snag a new color, we are currently taking pre-sales online here. Jan demo