makers

This week has been all about making.  And pricing but we won’t talk about the endless task of tagging holiday inventory.  Making, however, is one of my favorite things to do.  My second favorite actually.  Buying, sourcing, picking, whatever you want to call it…that is my very favorite task in this business.

When sourcing vintage inventory it is common for us to come across old wood, doors, trim and the related that can be used to paint a vintage style sign.  I can get lost for hours sketching, painting and conceptualizing these signs.  This week they were primarily holiday specific.

Ryan prepares the surfaces, cuts and secures boards and attached the hardware.  Some are simple but evoke the spirit of the season.

handpainted holiday "Believe" sign on reclaimed wood + driftwood tree

Painting smalls like these signs presents a great opportunity to use leftover milk paint mixed from a larger project.

handpainted vintage style Santa sign on reclaimed wood

The Santa is permanent chalk over rustic old boards with great texture.  I achieved the look by using a fine flat brush and grainsack milk paint applied over the initial chalk sketch.

handpainted Santa Clause sign on reclaimed wood

I think this board was part of an old cupboard door.  The green streak of paint was already there along with the texture and smudges.  I took a lead from those colors when choosing the aqua and brown acrylic paints for my design.  I painted a similar Moose Lodge sign a few years ago.  I always loved it so decided to replicate it with a different color palette.

handpainted holiday sign on reclaimed wood-Moose Lodge

I went over the moose with white wax to blend it into the old paint job on the door.

handpainted holiday sign on reclalmed wood-Moose Lodge

This Silent Night sign is a piece of scalloped trim.  Nothing fancy.  I like the muted color scheme provided by a wash of shutter gray and navy lettering.

handpainted Silent Night on salvaged trim #mmsmp

Another project on tap this week was turning a salvaged column into a clothes tree for retail display.  We’ve had a pair of salvaged white Cape May porch columns for several years.  They’ve made cameos a number of places including in our salvage style bedroom (which is currently getting a more sophisticated re-vamp).

salvaged column clothes tree painted with mmmsmp kitchen scale, retail booth display

I decided to paint one in kitchen scale and topcoat it with antiquing wax.  Ryan built a tiered support system on the bottom and secured a trio of iron hooks on top.

salvaged column clothes tree painted with mmmsmp kitchen scale-5064

The new and improved salvaged column clothes tree will be popping up in a retail display this season!  All of the vintage style signs will be available for sale.

linen stockings + salvaged column clothes tree painted with mmmsmp kitchen scale-5066

bringing out the blues

I’ve got a good old-fashioned ‘before and after’ to share today.  Here is a 1960’s barrel back caned chair.  I love the shape of these chairs and the upholstery is in excellent condition.  The problem was the dark, shiny finish.  It was muting the pretty blue fabric.

chair before

With the addition of lighter paint, the texture and colors of the fabric pop and give this chair a fresh look for 2014.

barrel back caned chair-5033

First, I applied a coat of Artissimo (navy) with bonding agent while carefully getting the paint in all of the crevices of the caning.

barrel back caned chair-

Next, I used the wax puck in a few places around the edges and raised areas to create a resist between layers of paint which is evident in the final distressing.

shutter gray chair leg #mmsmp

I brushed on a coat of shutter gray over the entire chair carefully applying it lightly over the caning so the navy would really peek through.

painted barrel back caned chair-5036

The final steps involved lightly sanding back the wax puck to reveal the navy blue under the gray followed by topcoating with furniture wax.

The upholstered back of this style chair is one of my favorite features.  Such a great shape.

barrel back caned chair-5047

I’m not usually a glitter and gold kind of gal but I’m loving these pinecone branches which are popping up in our holiday displays and juxtapose rustic accents well.  They’re festive and easy to mix into a vase arrangement, mantel or wreath.  What do you think?  Love ’em?

glitter pinecone branches

Here’s a look at how the Circa Dee holiday window display is evolving at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown along with the barrel back chair.  Speaking of Serendipity, I’ll be conducting a Milk Paint Demonstration there on Sunday at 1 pm.  Be sure to join us as this will most likely be the last one of the year.

holiday window display

The Sleigh Rides sign did not last long so I’m off to paint more!  Hope to see you at the demo this weekend.

glitter and rustic holiday vignette

 

merry christmas

And the winner of the Merry Milk Paint Giveaway is… Jena.

Enjoy!!!

Merry Milk Paint Giveaway by Circa Dee expires 12-24-13 (1 of 4)

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From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

And Happy New Year too.  We’ll see you in 2014, friends!

Thanks for all of the support and friendship in 2013.

merry milk paint giveaway

I want to wish all of my friends, family, loyal blog readers, customers and DIYers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I’d love to give everyone a gift but since that is not practical I thought it would be fun to host a giveaway.

Merry Milk Paint Giveaway from Circa Dee

You’ve most likely been following my journey long enough to know that I love milk paint, specifically Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint, so I’d like to offer one lucky recipient a package of one of the newest colors, Trophy, a milk paint brush plus a small wax and a NEW 2 oz. beeswax hand cream for working hands.  Over a $50 value for you, friend!

Merry Milk Paint Giveaway by Circa Dee expires 12-24-13

Whether you have been thinking about trying out milk paint for the first time or if you are a seasoned milk painter who wants to give Trophy a whirl, now is your chance to do so for FREE!  My gift to you.

trophy_color1

By the way, Trophy is Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint color of the month for January so you’ll be right on trend!

Have you heard about #mmsmilkpaintcolorofthemonth?

Each month a different color is featured around social media sites like Instagram and Facebook using the mentioned hashtag – #mmsmilkpaintcolorofthemonth

The color Trophy was inspired by the beautiful patina of an antique trophy like the one pictured below.  I found this awesome one on my recent trip to Adamstown.

trophy

The countdown is on until Christmas!  Here’s how you can enter to win…

Comment on this post and tell me what is inspiring you this holiday season.  Make sure your comment is not anonymous because I will need your email address to alert you if you win.  You must be located in the US or Canada.  Follow Circa Dee on Facebook or Instagram.  You can enter until 8 am EST on Christmas Eve.

Merry Milk Paint Giveaway by Circa Dee expires 12-24-13

Merry Christmas and Happy Painting!

milkpaint

wine cork ornament DIY

Tell me you don’t have a big ol’ pile of wine corks somewhere.

In a drawer.  In a vase.  In your liquor cabinet.

If you are just a little bit crafty (and like wine), you’ve most likely stashed some corks like I did, right?  Just waiting for some trash-to-treasure project inspiration.  Well, here it is friends!

wine cork tree ornament diy

Start by gathering these supplies…

cork tree ornament supplies

For the corks, be sure to use the porous ones – actual corks.  The waxy ones just don’t adhere well.

I played around with a few different layouts before I got started.  I found that the bulky champagne corks made great “tree trunks”.  Plus they tend to be more decorative on top.

wine cork tree ornament

  • First, drill a hole perpendicular through the center of the cork so you can loop your twine through.  I used 6 inch pieces of twine for the ornament hanger.cork tree ornament
  • This is totally optional but if you’d like to attach a name tag, now is the time.  Punch (or cut) a circle out of card stock.  Use the hole punch to create a small hole and loop the twine through before knotting it.  This step allows you to double the ornament as a name tag on a wrapped gift!wine cork tree ornament
  • Now let’s assemble.  Glue a horizontal line each cork and attach one at a time.  Make sure to use your ornament hanger as the top cork.wine cork tree ornament

That’s it!wine cork tree ornament

These ornaments are fun and easy to make but the best part is acquiring enough corks.

wine cork tree ornament DIY

Because you probably already have all of the other necessary materials.

wine cork tree ornament supplies

trimming the tree with citrus

The phrase “trimming the tree” took on a whole new meaning for us this year.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

We picked out a live Fraser fir tree a few days after Thanksgiving.  Shortly after getting it in the house and decorated, we realized that the tree wasn’t taking up water.  Panic set in as I recalled what is now referred to as The Tree Fiasco of 2007 when my tree was dead as a doornail 2 weeks before Christmas.  I am talking flammable.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I couldn’t live through replacing a dried out, dead tree again so we had to act fast.  At this point, there were just a few dry needles on the decorated tree.   I knew it could be revived.  This is the point where we actually trimmed the tree.  I held it up out of the stand while Ryan gave the trunk a fresh-cut.

Dried Hydrangea on the Christmas Tree

Crisis averted.  All is calm, all is bright.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Would you believe that not a single ornament moved during this swift surgery?  A Christmas miracle.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

I committed to a natural, slightly crafty and  definitely busy look this season in our living room.  I haven’t bought any new Christmas decorations and have yet to regret it.  We had burlap, peacock feathers and moss-covered seed pods leftover from our wedding.  Up on the tree they went.

Dried Seed Pod on the Christmas Tree

We live on a wooded lot now so I was able to collect fresh holly and cedar for the mantel right in our backyard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Plus twigs and dried hydrangeas for the tree.

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

Following suit with the natural decor, I checked my fruit bowl.  I bought 2 large bags of grapefruit a few weeks ago.  After we packed in as much vitamin C as possible, we were left with six grapefruit staring back at us.

Grapefruit to Garland

A wonderful opportunity to try my hand at a citrus garland with the leftovers.  I am so glad I did because they quickly became a staple of our holiday decor this year!

Citrus Garland on the Christmas Tree

First prepare the grapefruit…

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Slice up the grapefruits or oranges. Each one will yield 5-6  1/4 inch slices
  • Pat them dry with a paper towel and place on a non-stick cookie sheet
  • Lightly bake for 3-4 hours, flipping the slices halfway

Grapefruit to Garland

Next, make your garland…

  • Choose 1/2 inch-1 inch wide ribbon, twine or fabric as the base of the garland.  I chose to cut up an old flannel shirt, of course (keeping with our Lumberjack holiday theme)
  • Cut into approximately 12 inch long strips.  You will need one strip per piece of citrus
  • Tie each strip of fabric through the citrus.  Most slices will naturally have a whole in the middle
  • Then tie each piece of fabric together creating a little bow at the connection

DIY Dried Citrus Garland

The citrus garland adds a festive illumination to the lit tree.

DIY dried citrus garland

Garland your tree, mantel, foyer, whatever!  Just don’t worry about spending an exorbitant amount of money.  Re-work what you already have in your house…even if it’s edible.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

What are you making this holiday season?

home for the holidays

I’ve never thought of myself as a very transient person being that I always lived within minutes from family and close friends.  Always in the Philadelphia area.  And let’s face it, this last move to Cape May is still pretty much within the Philadelphia metro area…only a mere two hours away.  Still practically a Philadelphia suburb if you ask me.  People here are Phillies fans.  And Eagles fans.  It is definitely still like home in that regard.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

However, this is the first time in my life I’ve ever moved out of Pennsylvania.  I’m faced with learning New Jersey laws and regulations.  Most of which are much lighter and easier than Pennsylvania’s.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

It has occurred to me that I have lived in five homes in the last 10 years.  Five!  I must be more transient than I thought with that many addresses under my belt.  This is my first official New Jersey home.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

With each move, comes decorating and redecorating.  Especially around the holidays.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Questions arise like where will the Christmas tree go?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Where will the stockings be hung?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Will Santa know where to find us?

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

And with each move, comes new traditions.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

A new sense of “home”.

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

New beginnings…

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

Happy holidays, friends!

Eclectic Christmas Beach House

 

Linking to:

Jennifer-Rizzo-link-party-button-Holiday

love story

We watched another great, classic movie.  Much like “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “Love Story” is filled with life lessons related to love.  This time of the romantic flavor.  And a bit more modern.

Love-Story

Wintry New England is the backdrop making this feel like it could almost be a holiday movie.  Plus it was released in theaters in December 1970 adding to the holiday vibe.

I can’t help but wish I went to Harvard after watching this movie.  Not for the obvious scholastic reasons.  Just because.

love story

Although I own the DVD, I’ve only watched this movie once previously.  I remember being so stunned by the end that I just tucked it away feeling sad.  I think most people know what happens.  Except, well, I didn’t.

Although the movie takes place in 1970, Jenny Cavalleri could easily walk into 2013.  Her style is fabulous and nearly timeless.  Her wardrobe might just be the real love story for me. 

love story

The over sized lapels on this camel coat get me every time.

love story

Nerd chic glasses.  Yes, please!

love story

The knit hat.

love story

And let’s not forget about Oliver Barrett’s rich boy style.  Cable knits, blazers and, is that Burberry?  I sure do think that is the exact same reversible Burberry trench that I scored a few months ago.

love story

Yep, here it is reversed.  I am always researching…

love story

Did I mention that coat was much too big for me so I decided to sell it after all?  Which now makes total sense.  It must be a man’s.  Maybe I should re-brand it the Love Story Burberry jacket. 

Ahh, I sure do love settling in with an old movie on these chilly December nights…”Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

love story

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.