like the ocean

Another project that I completed last week was giving this little oak cabinet a facelift.  Don’t be distracted by the Gorton’s Fisherman.  We’ll get to him later.

So would you believe me if I told you someone was going to throw out this little gem?  True story.  There wasn’t anything wrong with him before his little makeover yet he was cast aside anyway.  Luckily, I swooped in and saved the day…and his life.

Plus if you have been following along for a while you probably know that I love solid oak pieces.  I know sometimes oak can look a little country or dated in a bad way but they’re typically well made and sturdy.  And that loose open grain of wood.  There is something about it that I just love.  It still comes through even under a layer of paint.

I started painting the entire chest white with Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in Ironstone.  Then I decided that it would need a pop of color.  I painted Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Aubusson Blue on the drawers and to highlight the accents on the doors.  I went over the blue with a coat of white.  The results remind me of the ocean!  The entire piece got a coat of clear wax.

Queue the Gorton’s Fisherman! My parents picked up this oil painting of the sea just days prior.  Ryan interpreted it as a captain who died at sea.  My mom referred to it as the Gorton’s Fisherman.  I just liked the colors really.  What do you think?

Turns out the ocean in the painting and the painted drawers are pretty well coordinated, don’t ya think?  And I love the pop of yellow.  I’ve been on a kick with old paintings of sailboats and the sea.  I want to put together a gallery wall full of them at our beach house.  I have 3 like this so I guess it is a collection now!  I just need to figure out where to display them.

Back to the furniture at hand…I opted to keep the original brass hardware on the drawers.  They’re large unique pulls and shockingly were all there.  Finally, I lined the drawers with old blue prints.  I have a pretty great stash of blue prints that belonged to Ryan’s dad and were created by him.  They are all 30-35 years old and most are dated and even have an address.  I can’t wait to put them all to good use.

Overall, I can think of about a million uses for this curvy little cabinet – bedside table, office/printing station, extra kitchen storage, end table… I am sure it will be put to good use.  As for the Gorton’s Fisherman, I can almost guarantee that you will be seeing him again soon.  Wink.

The oak cabinet is currently available for sale at West End Garage in Cape May.  We should be receiving our shipment of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint any day now and it will be for sale in our shop and online.  Let me know if you want to reserve a color!

Linking to Miss Mustard Seed & Primitive & Proper

a vintage seed packet

Happy Monday!  I spent last week recharging creatively and I have lots to share with you this week and next!  Woo hoo!  I did quite a bit of antiquing, painting and just generally reflecting on what’s in store for this little business and blog of mine.  Plus the weather ended up being quite lousy, rainy and humid most of the week driving me to stay indoors…until yesterday when I captured this beautiful monarch on my butterfly bush.

Anyway, you didn’t come here for a weather report so onto the project!

I have had a slight infatuation with vintage seed packs for a few years now.  The graphics are always gorgeous.  Although I’ve never actually collected or done anything more than admire them.  I mean how many collections can one person have, ya know?  I decided a few weeks ago that I really wanted to paint a large reproduction of a seed packet and maybe even create a series of these seed packs.  Well, I completed the first one!

Sunflowers have always been a favorite of mine so I thought that was a good packet to start with plus the red sunflowers seem quite appropriate for harvest season here.  My “canvas” was a salvaged oval table top.  I like how the oval shape allowed the words to run off the “page”.  I used all Annie Sloan Chalk Paints and mixed colors and waxes.

This seed packet was my exact muse for the project.

You didn’t think I could freehand that, did you?  What I did was project the seed packet onto the wood and sketched it in chalk.  Then I mixed my paints and really got creative painting my chalk template.  This was a very fulfilling project for me!  I want to do a pumpkin seed pack next…

I’ll leave you with this picture I took while dining alfresco last night in the city.  The sun setting behind the buildings really lit up the sky in a fiery way.  It looks like there is a blaze in the sky or behind the building.  And I love ginkgo trees which made a subtle appearance in the photo.

How was your weekend?


Linking to Elizabeth & Co.

small wonders

Yesterday we celebrated Ryan’s birthday. His 35th! I can’t believe I am actually old enough to marry someone that is 35. I still think I am like 17. I’m not. Even Close.  Anyway, we had a nice day that ended with dinner al fresco at our favorite sushi place with our favorite dining partner.

Wilson seems a little hungover this morning.  It must’ve been all that sake.  His birthday is coming up next…

But enough about my boys, onto a before & after.  A little one.

I picked up a bland stool a few weeks back.  You know the type.  The oak ind that can be used as a stool or seat.

I wanted to have some fun with this one so I painted it in a custom mixed Annie Sloan pink.

Then I painted on tandem bike on the seat/stool.

When it is used as a seat, you can see “ride on.” on the seat back.

Wouldn’t this be fun in a little girl’s room?

Or as a stool at the sink for her?

This will be for sale at next weekend’s BRICK & MORTAR sale.  Yes, it is already time for our August sale!  The theme is Camp Vintage so there will be lots of great ideas for bringing outdoor, vintage style into your home.  Come see us August 10th – 12th.


Linking to Primitive & Proper

sweet pea impasto

…sounds like what I had for dinner last night.

Are you sick of me sharing pictures of the shop yet? No? Ok good because here we are again. In the downstairs “living room”.

I was planning to show a before and after of the secretary desk but I failed.  Miserably.  I can not find the before shot anywhere so you will have to use your imagination.  The hutch started out a mousey scratched up brown color but it is made of mahogany and quite sturdy.  Just needed a little TLC.

I decided on a two-tone makeover.  In fact, I’ve been on a kick with two-tone paint jobs lately.  So the exterior including the front of the desk door got 2 coats of ASCP Cream slightly using the impasto technique.  This is the first time I have used chalk paint as an impasto.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it but I’m happy with the results.  Basically you allow the paint to thicken up which gives thick, rich texture to the finish.  I painted this piece outside on a windy day so nature thickened the paint.  I will warn you though, impasto certainly uses more paint.  I went through about two thirds of the can on this.  The finish is unique and gives the illusion of years and layers of paint which can age a piece of furniture.  Kind of like reverse botox.  It is hard to really capture the texture in a photo.

The interior was painted with 2 coats of Duck Egg Blue. It is not quite as thick though. Man, duck egg has got to be one of my favorite colors.  It’s perfect.

I dry brushed some Duck Egg right over the Cream.  Everything was heavily clear waxed and lightly distressed but very carefully as to not to lose all of the impasto induced texture.

I did leave the original Chippendale hardware in place.  I am not crazy about that style but it seems to work with the finished piece.  I am also not crazy about the style of the crown on top.  Fortunately this can be removed…easily.  So if you are like me and don’t like Chippendale, this secretary desk can be further transformed to a more streamlined piece!

I do, however, love the new little drawer knob.  I switched out the old brass knob for sweet pea!  I bought several adorable knobs including this one from Vintage Skye and I have to tell you that I received tremendous customer service from Kristi.  I can’t say enough great things about her biz.  In fact, I want to order one of everything.

I’m really liking the versatility of a good secretary desk. It works well as a home office. At the end of the day, you can just close up the desk and hide all of your junk. Not that you wouldn’t be organized with all of those little mail cubbies. You can always use it in a dining room to store and display your China like I showed it here. Apartment Therapy did a little feature on secretary desks earlier this week. Yep, they’re all the rage due to their narrow, space saving build. And we didn’t even talk about the storage space that the large drawers offer!


Linking to Miss Mustard Seed, Restore Interiors & Primitive & Proper

happy mother’s day

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mamas out there…new, expecting and grand!  I seem to have them all in my life and I truly hope you enjoyed your day ladies.

This post is getting up a bit late because I didn’t want to spoil my own mother’s present as she is an avid blog reader.

My mom requested a new-to-her chair for her computer desk an eternity ago.  I won’t mention the fact that this was meant to be a gift for her last Christmas.  Oh, I guess I just mentioned it.  Better late than never.  She really deserves a new seat to perch herself on after all that she puts up with from me!  Let’s just say that she is a workhorse when it comes to completing projects for me, the driver.  A volunteer workhorse at that.  Thanks Mom!

Anyway, this long forgotten dining room chair made the transformation to funky desk chair with a base coat of ASCP Pure White.  The legs and top were dipped in ASCP Arles then it was all clear waxed.  Just the Arles was hit with a little dark wax. Have I mentioned how much I love the color Arles lately?  I seem to use it on every other project.  It is so versatile.

I distressed it in a few random spots allowing some white and natural wood to show through the Arles.

The seat was completely rebuilt from plywood.  Then stuffed and recovered with a fun, bright floral fabric.  Sorry but there’s no before pic for this one.  Use your imagination. Brown chair, no seat.

So tell me, how was your mother’s day?

Linking to Primitive & Proper, Restore Interiors

two timing

Here we are. Wednesday night already.  Today has been a busy day of foraging treasures in the rain. And sun. I will post some highlights of the vintage finds soon.

Anywho, I’ve wanted to get this before & after up for the last 24 hours.  Better late than never.

Take a look-see at this stunner.

I’m really happy with how she turned out.  The before is not too shabby.  Just a little blah, in my opinion.

However, I do really love the original hardware and wanted it to pop.

All violet and pretty on the outside.  Painted with ASCP Old Violet and ever so slightly distressed.

And warm Old White on the inside with a hint of dark wax to age it.


And bottom. I think the curves are the best part. The violet seems to highlight it.

This little lady is already up for sale on etsy.

P.S. You just got a sneak peek of BRICK & MORTAR!

Linking to Domestically Speaking, Primitive & Proper, Miss Mustard Seed, Restore Interiors, Elizabeth & Co.

mini mellow

Big thanks to all of you for your encouraging words on my news!  Circa Dee: Brick & Mortar is located in Montgomery County, PA in Worcester just outside of Skippack.  Don’t forget the grand opening is June 8th, 9th & 10th.  Actually, I won’t let you forget!  I’ve also added a Brick & Mortar tab up top where I will post updates.

Now onto the project…

Back in December I redid this dresser – Mellow Yellow.  She’s been quite popular – the warm yellow color, the dark ebony top.

Mellow yellow was my muse for my latest re-do. We’ll call her Mini Mellow.

Here is what she looked like before.  Good bones. 

The only major flaw was the top which was all scratched up and gross.

I knew right away the top would be sanded and stained ebony.

The drawers I decided to do in ASCP Versailles with a hint of dark wax.  This color is really growing on me.

Then I painted the sides in Arles with a lot of dark wax finish.

Do you like the hardware?  I picked up a bunch of clay knobs like this in an antique mall in Savannah and of course I am kicking myself for not getting more!  Do you ever do that?


Linking to Primitive & Proper, Miss Mustard Seed

triple play

I’ve got not one, not two, but three before & afters for you today.  Thank me later, friends.

Let’s start with this little repurposed wall hook.  It started out as salvaged, old 5-panel door cut into sections. 

One section was painted Duck Egg Blue with a contrasting Emperors Silk accent. This is what using a lot of dark wax looks like.

Then an old wooden door knob was attached to make for a unique hook.  The Welcome text finishes it off!

This chair has been floating around my garage for nearly a year. It was finally up for a makeover.

The chair originally had a caned seat but that was long gone and this wooden one was in its place.  I rolled with the new-to-it seat but gave it a light coat of ASCP Cream and new upholstery tacks.  The rest of the chair was painted in Arles with dark wax all over.

And finally I’ve got a little pine accent table for you.  It used to look like this.  Ho-hum.

Just one coat of Emperors Silk allows for the grain of the wood to show through and dark wax accents the grain even further.

Right away I envisioned a nautical compass on top.  I painted it on in Arles and distressed it giving a crackled look.

There you have it.  Three before and afters to take you into the weekend.


Linking to: Restore Interiors, Primitive & Proper, Domestically Speaking, Primp, Miss Mustard Seed

lighten up

I want to thank everyone for all of the kind words and outpour of love.  The response to our engagement as been just so overwhelming!  I apologize that I haven’t responded to each comment, email and message individually.  It is a very exciting time for us and we really appreciate the support!

Oh and you may be interested to see that I added a pic of me in the now infamous pink sweatpants on the engagement post.  You can get a glimpse of us just minutes before the proposal and have a look-see at the atrocious pants.  I also added the perfect sunset pic.  Anyway, enough out about my poor fashion choice. 

Back to some vintage treasures!

A simple project today!  A little bit of paint goes a loooong way.

A couple of years ago I picked up this large, old trunk at a yard sale for dirt cheap.  Since then it has played cocktail table on the screened in deck at our Cape May home.  It has great features and I love the big dovetail construction.  But it was the color of dirt.

On a whim last weekend, I decided it was time to de-dirtify the look of the trunk. The mousey brown just didn’t cut it. I dry brushed on some ASCP cream allowing the brown to still show through.

I went right over the hardware in some places but also allowed the grain of the wood to pop.

It really visually lightens the place up now as the cream color recedes right into the wall of the house. The trunk suddenly seems less bulky.

I love how the sides turned out.

To finish it off, I sanded with a fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface.  No wax on this rustic piece! 

Linking to:  Restore Interiors