wonderful

One of my all time favorite Christmas movies has got to be “It’s a Wonderful Life”.  It’s not even specifically a Christmas movie, is it?  What a great life lesson George Bailey learns.

We recently watched the movie and a brief documentary about the making of it as well.  Would you believe that it wasn’t initially the hit that it is today?   I was surprised by that.

wonderful life sign

At any rate, I was inspired to paint some Wonderful Life signs.  With an oak cut out and some milk paint, I came up with this…

wonderful life sign painted with miss mustard seed's milk paint by circa dee

The base coat is a wash of lucketts green allowing the oak grain to come through.  It looks more green in person.  The lettering is painted in typewriter and tricycle.  I used furniture wax and a hint of antiquing wax in the top coat.

wonderful life sign milk paint

 I am still working on decking the halls here.  We’re planning to trim the tree this evening…perhaps we’ll watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” again.  It never gets old!  What is your favorite holiday classic to watch this time of year?

This sign will be up for grabs at West End Garage this weekend.

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my current crushes

I am so into everything in this photo right now.  Deep boxwood green, warm brass, a very old typewriter that has been in my family and turquoise peacock feathers.  But one of the most seriously underrated colors in the milk paint palette has got to be that Boxwood.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I took the liberty of pairing it with Artissimo…one of the other warm milk paint colors I’m crushing on.

boxwood milk paint dresser

This chest was a dark nearly cherry stain.  A light color wouldn’t have provided great coverage over that finish.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I painted the first coat of the drawers in Artissimo with bonding agent.  Artissimo is a nice rich navy.  It feels wintry especially combined with Boxwood.

boxwood milk paint dresser

After the first coat I tried a technique that is a little bit out of my comfort zone.  I created a controlled resist by applying hemp oil around the drawer pulls between the coat of Artissimo and the coat of Boxwood.

boxwood milk paint dresser

The technique created a worn finish around where the drawers would naturally get the most wear and tear.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I like the controlled resist technique.  Moving forward I may try it on another area like around the base of a table or the edges of drawers.

boxwood milk paint dresser

For the top coat, I also used hemp oil.  The stuff is so versatile!  We are now carrying it in a larger size.  It is even food grade.  I am going to use it on my cutting boards soon.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I am a fan of the matte finish the oil provided over Boxwood.

By the way, all of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint products are now available online here.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I’m also a fan of the giant book page wreath.  I started cranking some out this week.  They seem to have a holiday feel without being too over the top.  Plus, there’s no guilt if they stay up through January!

boxwood milk paint dresser

And that rug!  Guys, I am completely obsessed with the over dyed blue kilim rug.

boxwood milk paint dresser

I dreamt up this hand woven gem and then it appeared.  Just like that, out of thin air.  Well, sort of.  I got it at an estate sale.  The same one where I got the orange kilim that I shared last week.  I actually thought the blue would go in that space and was the finishing touch I was dreaming about but once I got both rugs home (thank goodness I bought both) the orange was better under the storage bench.

boxwood milk paint dresser

Now the blue one is in our den and I can assure you that you’ll see more of it in furniture staging pics so hopefully you love it as much as I do!

boxwood milk paint dresser

The Boxwood dresser is for sale and headed to Serendipity Shops of Doylestown this weekend.

As am I.  On Sunday, I am hosting another free milk paint demo.  I will mix milk paint and explain the different finishes.  No need to register.  Just bring questions about your own projects.  Cell phone ‘before’ pics are always a plus.  After the demo, I will help you pick colors and top coats if you’d like.

Denise from The Painted Home will also be giving advice on creative holiday wrapping.  Join us at 1 pm.

demo

window turned sign hooks

I never shared this super fun and easy DIY tutorial with you here on the blog.  I know, seriously, how could I keep this from you??

There are a ton of fabulous ideas out there about how to decorate your home with old windows.  And I have a stash of windows just waiting to be DIY-ified.  I’d like to add yet another idea to the mix that encompasses both acrylic and milk paints.

repurposed window  song lyric

This is a three part project yet you can easily adapt any of the parts to suit your own style.

I came into this cute little square window.  I love the size and shape but not necessarily the lack of character that the newer finish evokes.  It is from an Ikea cabinet.  It is simply preference but I prefer the aged look of an old chippy window as opposed to the more modern Ikea style.  I’m sure that is not surprising.  But this window was a great candidate for antiquing and aging.

repurposed window  song lyric DIY

But before we get into aging the window frame, let’s talk about dressing up the glass pane.  This is a fairly simple project that you can do at home!

repurposed window  song lyric DIY

1. First select your favorite quote or song lyric.  I chose to use the catchy lyric from Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros popular song Home.  Type it, choose your layout and preferred font.  Once you’re satisfied, print it out and tape it to the underside of the window so you can read it through the glass.

repurposed window  song lyric

The next step requires some patience and a steady hand.  I promise that this is the most tedious part of the entire project.  And the most satisfying!  Take a fine paintbrush and simply trace over the letters printed beneath.  Do this until the entire lyric is painted on the window.

repurposed window  song lyric DIY

An alternative to painting the words is to use a paint marker.  You may find that you have more control over that rather than a paintbrush on glass.

repurposed window  song lyric DIY

Once your lyric is dry, you have a totally custom piece of art for your home from a discarded window!

2. You can take it a step further and age a newer window frame like I did here.  I started by removing all of the old window hardware.  Then simply apply milk paint.  I used one of my favorites – Lucketts green.

repurposed window  song lyric lucketts green

The milk paint did what it is known for and chipped off in a few areas giving an authentically aged look.  I added an antiquing wax topcoat to add to the aged charm.  This technique made a newer window look truly vintage without leaving any questionable lead paint chips behind.

repurposed window  song lyric lucketts green

And finally, I chose to remove the original knob from the center and move it over.  Plus, I added two additional mismatched old knobs to the group.

lucketts green window

Together the three knobs create little hooks.  Now the discarded window isn’t just a custom piece of art but it is also functional creating a place to hang your keys, jacket or dog’s leash.

repurposed window  song lyric DIY

What quote would you paint on an old window for display in your home?

alligator dresser

I fell in love with the texture of this little chest of drawers.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

In its previous dark stain, you couldn’t really see the texture though. I decided to paint the entire thing in a coat of Typewriter which just happens to be Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint color of the month for October.  (Tweet/instagram/pin/post/share your Typewriter painted pieces using hashtag #mmsmilkpaintcolorofthemonth)

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

Buuut I didn’t stop at Typewriter because that wasn’t very different from where the dresser started.  I went over it in a coat of mustard seed yellow.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

I painted the coat lightly and wiped off any excess paint allowing the yellow to settle in the crevices and the black texture to pop creating an alligator effect.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

This was a fun one to paint.  The texture of the previous finish really did all the work in creating the antique effect.  I applied a top coat of hemp oil and slightly distressed it further revealing more of the typewriter base coat.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

I finished it off with shiny white ceramic knobs for a bit of a farmhouse feel.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

The size of this chest seems perfect for a kid’s room.  The drawers aren’t too wide but are nice and deep.  Plus I lined them with maps!

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

Turns out the leftover atlas pages from our wedding place settings were cut to just the right size to fit 3 in each drawer snugly.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

It is headed to Serendipity this afternoon…along with lots of other inventory.  The milk paint mixers are in.  You’ve got to try them for mixing a nice, consistent paint.  I’ll show you how next Saturday at our free milk paint demo!

MMS October flier

In the meantime, we’re getting ready for Sunday’s Clover Market.  Let’s just hope this rain goes away!

Before you go, I could use your advice.  I have a new little workshop space that I’m pretty smitten with. Last week, I instagrammed my newly organized paint brushes. Swoon.

brushes

Possibly more exciting though is that once I finish painting a piece, I can just turn it around, stage and snap pictures like this.  Except not quite like this.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

I am trying to decide how to “decorate” the background so it looks less workshop-y and industrial.  I considered staining the raw wood with milk paint, of course.  Or hanging fabric or paper.  Maybe doors or reclaimed wood planking.  But my favorite idea is to layer all of those things so I can switch out the background according to what I’m staging.  Think paint, fabric and then wood.

Tell me, what would you do?  I’d love to hear from you.

mustard seed yellow & typewriter milk paint dresser by Circa Dee

dried lavender rocker

This sweet rocking chair is looking for a new little girl to love it!

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

It started out with a bit of an orangey finish.  That had to be remedied.

rocking chair before

I imagined giving it a bright new paint job along with a story.  Perhaps it was passed down between siblings with an updated coat of paint in between.  And now, due to wear, the layers are starting to peek through.

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

So I started with a mix of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Eulalie’s sky lightened with some grainsack.  I mixed that with the bonding agent and applied the first coat.

eulalies sky + grainsack

Next, I liberally rubbed the wax puck across the seat, arms and back to create a resist for the 2nd coat.

wax pucks

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

The next coat I applied was dried lavender milk paint.  I gave it a good sanding and distressing to reveal the layers of color beneath.  It came out quite girly and I like it!

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

I sealed it all in with a tiny bit of antiquing wax on the high points and furniture wax on the rest.

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

Do you love the little throw pillow?  It is the perfect size for this petite rocking chair.

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

My friend found a bunch of vintage sugar sacks and gave me one.  Lucky for me, I have a husband that sews!  I stuffed it and he stitched the top so now we have a new tiny throw pillow out of this old fabric!  I love the graphics.

Vintage Sugar Sack Pillow - Dried Lavender Rocking Chair

The chair is for sale but the pillow is not!

Dried Lavender Rocking Chair by Circa Dee - Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint

milk paint madness

On Monday I mentioned that I was headed to a retailer workshop for Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint.  And boy did it deliver!  My mind is in overdrive.  Seriously, I couldn’t sleep.  I just want to go paint.  And I will as soon as I’m finished with this post.  I stockpiled a few “raw” pieces in anticipation of going mad for milk paint this week.

Lucketts Green crackle over Typewriter

Lucketts Green crackle over Typewriter

A few things to note that may be of interest to you if you are using milk paint or considering it…hand mixers are out and I will have them on shelves in just a few weeks.  They are low-cost and are an easy way to mix paint.  I know that mixing the paint can be intimidating to a newbie.  This is probably the simplest and quickest way to get a nice even mix.  You can also refer to my step by step tutorial on mixing here.

mixer

I love the newest color, Apron Strings, which is scheduled to be released later this season.  Expect to see it in November.  Bold colors are appealing to me and this one has already proven its versatility.  It can be darkened as pictured below for a warm, fall or winter look.  Here it is layered over another soon-to-be released color called Curio which is like a walnut.  Curio makes a great base color.  There is also antiquing wax over this combo to increase the warmth.

Apron Strings over Curio with antiquing wax

Apron Strings over Curio with antiquing wax

However, Apron Strings can be paired with beachy blues and white wax for a summer look.  Can’t. Wait.  Get excited, friends!

The third newest color to be released is called Trophy.  It is a true gray or pewter.  Here I experimented with it under Ironstone.  This is a very soft and beautiful combination.  I am looking forward to using Trophy as a stand alone color for a more modern look.  Gray is so on trend at the moment.

Ironstone over Trophy

Ironstone over Trophy

With the addition of those 3 new colors (Apron Strings, Curio & Trophy), that will round out the current MMS collection to 18 colors.  But the options for custom mixing colors is pretty much endless!

Hometalk asked me to put together an inspiration board featuring milk paint projects.  Check out a few of my favorites bellow!  You can see each project source by clicking through to the clipboard.

HOMETALK MILK PAINTWhat are you considering painting?  Do you have a color in mind?
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