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

 

autumn transitions

Being that we’ve reached mid-November, Christmas decorating is at full blast in the retail sector and even in some homes.  Remember when Thanksgiving was strictly a fall decor holiday?  Now it seems like it can go either way – burnt orange and crunchy leaves on the last Thursday in November OR a red and green feast.  Me personally, I am ready for Christmas decor and have been decking our retail halls.  The selling season is really short after all.  However, I don’t switch our own home decor until after Thanksgiving.  The best of both worlds!

Here are two fresh and fantastic wreath ideas that lend themselves to either holiday.  Better yet, they can don your door for both – more bang for your buck!

Southern magnolia wreaths are pretty much season-less.  Their rich green leaves dry out and get better looking with age.

Southern magnolia wreaths

The green leaves contrast against the coppery underside in such a beautiful way.

coppery magnolia leaves

The silver dollar eucalyptus wreath is an oldie but goodie in terms of style.  This silvery-blue-green wreath can take you from Thanksgiving all the way through the winter months.  It can easily be dressed up with burlap or velvet ribbon.

silver dollar eucalyptus wreath

What holiday spirit are you in?

 

DIY pumpkins

Halloween is just a week away!  Fall is my favorite season and about a decade ago, Halloween was my favorite holiday.  Although celebrating Halloween has slipped from my radar, fall decor has not!  Earlier this season Ryan and I made pumpkins out of materials we already had on hand.  They are a bit abstract but they were fun to make none the less.  Check them out…

crafty DIY pumpkins-4897

Ryan cut a few logs to create wood slice pumpkins. Using a drill press, he made a hole in the top to insert the branch stem.  So rustic!

wood slice pumpkin-

I put a monochromatic spin on the popular fabric pumpkin by using just burlap and jute twine.  You’ll never guess what I stuffed the pumpkin with…shipping peanuts!  The shapes on these guys greatly varied just like in nature…

Burlap Pumpkin

In addition to DIYing pumpkins, we’ve been working with real ones as well – mostly in the kitchen.  This season we’ve enjoyed spiced pumpkin bread, pumpkin pizza and pumpkin pizelles. Yum!

What pumpkin inspired crafts & treats have you made?

DIY pumpkins-4900

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

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

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.