a walk through the garden

A thunderstorm washed through the area last night leaving everything in the garden looking extra lush and green this morning.  So much so that I decided this was the day to snap a few photos and share a status update on how things are progressing in the garden.

annuals garden box

This is the first year we’ve gardened this plot.  It runs about 4o feet long but only 18-24 inches deep on each side of the fence that divides the vegetables from the flowers.  These border gardens get full sun most of the day.  We decided to start out with a manageable size garden and we’ll add-on annually as desired.

vegetable and perennial border garden

On the exterior of the fence I’m working on a perennial garden.  Most of the plants are immature so I’ve been filling in with annuals.  I can’t wait to see how the perennial gardens thrive over the years.  Perennials gardens have always been my favorite to grow.  I am anticipating a cottage style cutting garden out here.  The thought of garden flower bouquets all summer long is delightful.

milk paint picket fence

The other side of the fence is where most of the action is happening as the flowers get established.  We started this vegetable garden in late March mostly from seed, directly sown.  We are now harvesting the early/cool weather vegetables such as lettuce.  If you come for dinner I can assure you that there will be a salad.

lettuce salad garden

And the snap peas are just darling.  I love their little tendrils and sweet flowers.

snap peas

We upcycled a trellis out of two crib rails.  Ryan just screwed them together making an A-frame.  They’ve already grown about 4 feet tall so looks like we’ll need to give them more space to climb.  Some snap pea varieties grow up to 8 feet.

upcycled snap pea trellis - crib rails

The other vegetables include carrots, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, beans and kohlrabi – planted mostly from seed.  Plus, we have a galvanized container garden for herbs.  I want to make tea with the relevant herb harvest.

vegetable garden milk painted fence

The fence is a new addition that we added in the fall.  Would you believe we used milk paint on the fence to achieve that subtle light blue?

milk paint on a picket fence #mmsmp

Yes, you can use milk paint outdoors!  It won’t fade from UV light and will be protected when a topcoat of tung oil is applied.  We sell tung oil with milk paint for this purpose.  The color was custom mixed eulalie’s sky and linen in more of a wash consistency. Then two thin coats were applied on a raw pine fence.  Perfect little cottage garden accent, don’t you think?

the beginning of a perennial cutting garden

But the best part of the garden is definitely the bounty it produces.  This morning, I harvested my first bunch of kale to enjoy with some locally grown strawberries in a breakfast smoothie.  Life can really be that simple.

locally grown produce

What are you growing?

small wonders

We’re still digging out from our trip, unpacking, preparing for Memorial Day at the shore and working on a number of other projects.  It seems you need a staycation after a vacation but there’s no time for that now!  So let me jump right in and share a few treasures & projects…

I have never seen a sewing table like this one before.  I suppose they were prevalent when it was more common for housewives to mend and make their families’ clothes.  It is very light weight.  At one time, the legs folded up underneath it for storing such a utilitarian table.  But it’s been doctored over the years for stability and the legs are now stationary for permanent use and display.

Boxwood Sewing Table-3552

It also has a measuring tape engraved right into the top.  Oh that top!  It has two-tone wood inlay and shows just decades of wear and hard work.  There are even imprints from where patterns stuck to the table.  I love true timeworn pieces like this.  They seem to tell a story.

Boxwood Sewing Table-3544

I conditioned the top with hemp oil to let all of the scratches, patina and stories shine while also hydrating and reviving the wood.

Boxwood Sewing Table-3554

For those skinny, little legs, I applied two coats of boxwood milk paint (no bonding agent) and also topped with hemp oil.  This would make such a cute little console table.  It is definitely a conversation piece!  And it can be yours – available for sale at The West End Garage.

Boxwood Sewing Table-3546

As for this little mellow yellow nightstand, the secret ingredient is white wax.

Mustard Seed Yellow + White Wax-3555

Let me start with this before picture.  I don’t normally go for Chippendale style.  Usually it has big, bulky feet and hardware that just isn’t appealing to me.

nightstand before

Fortunately this one had turned and tapered legs and the hardware could easily be changed to a simple brass & ceramic Anthro pull.

Mustard Seed Yellow + White Wax-3561

This was a very shiny/slick nightstand so I applied two coats of Mustard Seed Yellow with bonding agent mixed right into the paint to ensure it would adhere to the finished surface.

Mustard Seed Yellow + White Wax-3558

Then I topped it with my new favorite product in the MMS milk paint line – white wax.  Move over hemp oil, white wax is taking the lead…for now.

white wax

It washes out the color just-so which lends to a summery, beachy look.  The results of white wax remind me of a sun faded canvas beach bag at the end of the summer.  I can’t believe how much it can alter and mellow any color.

This sweet little piece sold in just a few hours!

Mustard Seed Yellow + White Wax-3564

Which is your favorite?  Have you ever seen a sewing table like that?

 

chairs for all seasons

This funny thing happened the other day. It seems to occur to a lot of us in the vintage and furniture flipping industry. I finished refreshing a pair of chairs with milk paint, wax and fabric.  I posed them at either end of our breakfast table just for a mini before and after shoot before bringing them to the shop.  For sale.

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

Well…I think you know where this is headed.  As I snapped pictures to share with you here of the “new” chairs, I was growing more and more fond of them there at the table.

grainsack milk paint & ticking fabric dining chairs

…in our eclectic little nook.  Still a work in progress.  Always a work in progress really.  That is the fun of it naturally because you never know what treasures will find you next.

eclectic breakast nook

The grainsack milk painted chairs just seemed so much lighter and brighter in the space than the others we had in there.  And yes they match the table anyway!

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

The streamlined back is pretty comfortable.  And the caning allows more light to pass through.  It just feels summer-y.  We can change out chairs seasonally, right?

grainsack milk paint dining chairs

For the seats, I used Waverly ticking stripes which plays well off of the grainsack upholstered bench and linen bentwood chairs too.

ticking fabric upholstery

The walnut & mohair Ward Bennett chairs were looking winter-y there at the table.  However, they are my favorite and aren’t leaving the house.

Eclectic Flea Market Style Breakfast Nook

In fact, I carved out a little sitting area in the living room just for these chairs.  More pictures on that soon but for now an instagram shot preview…

vintage walnut & mohair ward bennet chairs

I certainly have a vintage chair fetish.  How about you?

vintage dining chairs
In other vintage chair related news, we’ll be at Clover Market on Sunday in Ardmore, PA.

Clover Market Spring 2014

And on Saturday at 11 am, I’ll be hosting another free Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demonstration at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

Milk Paint Demo

Perhaps I’ll run into you this weekend!

 

springtime potting

We’ve been spending all of our spare time in the garden lately. The passing soaking rains, followed by sunshine have left impressive growth on our snap peas and carrot seedlings among other things. We’re already harvesting salad greens. I can’t wait to share more from our garden as it matures.

lettuce

In the meantime, I did a little work for your garden.

Eulalie's Sky Milk Paint Potting Bench #mmsmilkpaint

How cute is this potting bench?  It conveniently doubles as a stand alone cocktail bar on a patio or deck too!  Also, the sides and shelves fold in for easy peasy storage.

Eulalie's Sky Potting Bench

I love the cottage blue color.  The bench is newly constructed from pressure treated raw pine.  I mixed up some milk paint in Eulalie’s Sky and applied one coat.  It absorbed evenly into the raw wood like a stain leaving a rustic finish in some areas where the wood grain and knots showed through.

Ptting Bench

To finish it and ensure durability outside in the elements, I applied a coat of tung oil.  This will protect the wood and repel water.  Tung oil can be re-applied annually if necessary.

English Ivy

The potting bench and all of the plants pictured here are for sale at West End Garage.  The paint is too!

Can’t you just smell the rosemary?  My favorite!

Springtime Herbs

 

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 :)

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