finding inspiration

November really brings a battle between Christmas enthusiasts and those standing-up for Thanksgiving from a decorating/shopping standpoint, doesn’t it?  I mean who doesn’t love Thanksgiving?  No one wants to skip the feast.  However, some are overlooking the cornucopia for the twinkling Christmas lights immediately after Halloween.  I’ve always been a fan of keeping autumn harvest decor fresh, until the day after Thanksgiving when it is game-on for Christmas decorating.

As I’ve ventured further into the retail world I can understand why Christmas comes immediately following Halloween.  It is a very glitzy, very short selling season.  A lot of effort goes into merchandising for the holidays yet the season is definitely shorter than autumn harvest.  Perhaps that is why we’re seeing it grow just a little more every year, annoying as it may be to poor Thanksgiving.  With that said, I may even be behind the eight ball in getting all of my holiday inventory on the sales floor.  Yes, I surely am.

For me, November is all about balance.  Autumn harvest at home with Christmas on the brain and in the store.  While looking for inspiration for the season, I found some of my favorite holiday themed signs that I’ve painted over the past four years.  Here are the highlights…

Santa on a barn door is definitely a favorite which I’ve replicated again and again.

rustic santa barn door

Holly Jolly Christmas is indeed available now at The West End Garage.

holly joll christmas sign

Believe is always a crowd pleaser.

handpainted believe sign on reclaimed wood

The deer is a favorite from last year and it ended up in the home of a family member.  I may just have to make another one for 2015!

oh deer

Probably not my favorite work but any reference to classic Bedford Falls is a winner!

wonderful life sign

I love the juxtaposition of the message and the rustic canvas here.

rustic joy to the world

Moose Lodge is another one that I’ve done a few times.  Not necessarily reserved for Christmas either.

moose lodge

How’d this one sneak in here?

Painted Signs on Reclaimed Wood - maryland crabs

And the original “On the Way to Cape May” sign!  This one started it all.

Cape May Sign

Well, we’re most certainly off of the Christmas track now and perhaps back on harvest.  The sunflower seed packet resides at my parents.  I didn’t have the heart to sell it.  It’s possibly my all time favorite.

vintage sunflower seed pack reproduction sign

I’ve got a thing for fonts and vintage inspired signs which led me to start a pinterest board dedicated to other handmade holiday inspired signage.  Check it out here.

Where do you stand on the whole Thanksgiving/Christmas decorating debate?

thoughts on pink

Sometimes pink is just that. Feminine, girly, frilly.  Pink!

arabesque french dresser-275

But sometimes it can be quiet, subtle and almost neutral.  I don’t dare say masculine because we are programmed to believe that pink is the opposite of masculine but perhaps in a room full of dark wood or ornate antiques it can balance out the masculinity.

salvaged baluster lamps arabesque french dresser-273

I’d like to think that the less-than-precious finish on this French provincial piece can lend to a variety of settings from the obvious choice in a little girl’s bedroom to a dining room sideboard stand-in or and entryway piece.  The latter is how I would choose to use it.

arabesque french dresser-278

The body is painted in MMSMP Arabesque while the eight drawers are layered in Marzipan which is a warm neutral in and of itself.  Between the layers of Marzipan is antiquing wax and light distressing for an imperfect finish.

arabesque french dresser-292

The body of the dresser chipped on its own revealing hints of brown.  After some subtle white waxing on the pink, the entire piece received a top coat of MMSMP Tough Coat for durability.

shells - arabesque french dresser-283

The inside of the drawers is undeniably feminine with a surprise pop of vintage floral wallpaper!  The original hardware is on six of the eight drawers with a hint of gilding wax to bring out the detail.  The smaller top drawers received a knob since one pull overall was missing when we found this dresser.  Since taking these photos I’ve since switched out the pink knobs for brass ones.

vintage wallpaper as draawer liner - arabesque french dresser-287

Here is how it looks staged for sale at The West End Garage.  I love that original tin wall.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before!  It is funny how Arabesque sometimes reads as a lilac and less pink.

WEG arabesque dresser

Also, did you see those lamps?  Another set of salvaged baluster lamps created by Ryan.  This pair is also less than precious with chipping paint and fractures adding to the awesomeness!

salvaged baluster lamp

I am not sure that I ever shared on the blog the pair of green salvaged baluster lamps that Ryan made.  These sold some time ago but were another favorite!  We opted to make the white pair a little bit more industrial with the hardware exposed since the top is where most of the detail of the white balusters lie.  Otherwise the lampshades would have covered those curves.

green salvage baluster lamps-096

And speaking of pink, here is a pink baluster lamp that Ryan made and we’ve decided to keep for our own living room.

pink salvage baluster lamp-159

Tell me your thoughts on pink.  Is it feminine all of the time?  Neutral?  Can it go masculine?

schloss telephone table

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

What color is schloss anyway?

It can be so unclear on the milk paint samples and bags in store.  Schloss is actually a bit of a chameleon color much like grainsack, in my opinion. It changes with the light and based on the surface you’re painting.  The latter is true with most milk paint colors actually.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Schloss is from Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint European color line that came out earlier this year.

Schloss Reinhardsbrunn
Schloss Reinhardsbrunn

It is named for German castles.  The color itself is meant to represent old stone fortresses common in Europe much like the one pictured here.  Sometimes it turns up gray and sometimes a weathered brown exactly like the patina of the castles.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Hopefully this clarifies the nomenclature of this color.  Either way, schloss is a great neutral.  I’ve been using it lately layered with other grays (coming soon) and on its own like in today’s feature.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Shown here is a vintage telephone table where two coats of schloss were applied without bonding agent.  It was topped with furniture wax to protect and bring out the color.

Schloss Telelphone Table-227

The piece was a bit raw and worn as it was pulled out of a barn where it was in hibernation.

telephone table before

The side in sets are more than likely a veneer.  Those areas on the side are the only place the paint chipped adding character.

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp

Telephone tables are certainly becoming extinct, but why?  This one serves perfectly as a nightstand or end table.  It is available for sale at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown along with the great vintage carriage blanket and p.f. candles too!

Schloss Milk Paint Telelphone Table- the nomenclature #mmsmp