milk paint workshop at Clover Market

How much do I love Clover Market?

Clover Market

I can never stay away.

Although Circa Dee will not be present as a vendor at the Winter Market on January 19th, I am excited to tell you that yours truly will be there leading a DIY workshop.

Yep, Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint at Clover Market!  You’ve asked for it!

Clover

Clover Market hosts just one Winter Market a year.  It is located in Philadelphia at the 23rd Street Armory.  The Winter Market packs in all of the vintage and handmade goodness that the outdoor markets are known for; plus a ton of other perks including early bird admission, tasty food trucks and DIY workshops.

All of the FAQs can be found on Clover Market’s website.

But I can answer a few regarding the DIY workshop that I’ll be hosting….

milk paint

Introduction to Milk Paint

Sunday, January 19th – 2:30-3:30 pm

You’ll learn what makes Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint paint unique and how to properly mix it and apply it  Experiment on sample boards before you complete your own finished picture frame (your choice of paint color and top coat) and leave with the know-how to tackle larger DIY projects at home – plus a cheat sheet in case you forget!  Fee includes all materials and instruction.  Just $25

If you’ve been to one of my free hands-off demos but you still haven’t taken the plunge, this just might be the push you need to do-it-yourself!  Or perhaps you have been DIYing with milk paint but want to spend an afternoon crafting and shopping with some friends…bring them!  Purchase tickets here and check out the other great DIY workshops planned.  There will also be a limited amount of milk paint products available for sale.

Hope to see you at Clover Market!

P.S. More details about milk paint hands-off demos and hands-on workshops can be found here.

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

well loved chairs

We had three cast off dining room chairs that had lost their luster long ago.   Their bums were sagging and needed more than just a nip tuck.  An upholstery lift wasn’t going to cut it with these babies. There was nothing worth saving except for the sturdy wooden frames.

chair befor

Good frames that they were, made them quite the perfect candidates to upcycle into an upholstered bench.  I painted each their own happy hue in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (Emilie, Florence & Duck Egg) to complement the recurring aqua blue color scheme in our home.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

We headed straight to Lowe’s for lumber.  This was the easy part. We selected a piece of plywood and had the fine folks at Lowe’s cut it free in store. Did you know Lowe’s offers this service? They’re pretty flexible on how many cuts they’ll do too. We had selected the length and width we wanted the bench to be prior to our trip to the store.

turning chairs into a bench

We based this off of the trio of chairs and their seat width. It was easiest to then take the wood home and measure the notches that needed to be cut between each chair back.  Ryan made these detail cuts and rounded the corners as well.

building a bench out of chairs

Not only does Lowe’s cut lumber but they’ll also cut mini blinds, pipe, rope and chain. And this is news to me, Lowe’s also offers FREE pipe threading and cutting for any size galvanized or black iron pipe. Say what!  A Do It Yourselfer’s dream.  Lowe’s is seriously full of easy solutions for your projects.

Check out this six second Lowe’s video that will pretty much change your life. Trust me.

[unrulysponsored code=138606190 align=center]

Being a visual person, I love the no words simplicity of their new animated video series on Vine.  I definitely learned a few new tricks.  The stripped screw solution is genius!  Lowe’s has several more simple, creative and life changing improvement videos like this on Vine.  Check them out!  I can’t believe I never thought of the coffee filter one.   #lowesfixinsix  Holler!

Yes, I just hollered…back to the bench at hand.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The seat needed to be firm but plush.  Somewhere to linger longer so we picked up two-inch thick foam cushioning.  Using the neatly cut lumber as a template, I traced the shape.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

Here’s another tip for you that I’ve learned along the way:  Ready for it?  A quick and easy way to cut foam cushion is with none other than your electric knife.  The same knife you carve the turkey with.  So easy.

tip: use an electric knife to cut through foam cushion

Next comes the fluffing.  This is where you wrap the seat cushion with poylfill.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

No more saggy seat.  This bench is looking firm and inviting.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The final step was the upholstery.  Instead of going with some sparkly new fabric, I obviously opted for two dingy, old seed sacks.  I’ve been holding onto these waiting for just the right project.  Their time had come, my friends.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The trickiest part of this entire bench building business for us was sewing. Yes, sewing a straight line. Now you stellar seamstresses out there may find this comical but firing up the actual sewing machine was our biggest challenge. No joke.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

But my husband came to the rescue with a triple stitch combining both grain sacks to make one piece of fabric wide enough to cover the entire seat.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

We embraced all the wear and tear in both the fabric and chairs and are pretty excited with how the upcycled bench turned out.  Funny enough the only new materials used are in innards.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

It complements the well-loved and repurposed vibe that is growing in the beach house kitchen.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

This is a view into the eating nook as it is today with our vintage enamel table.  The roman shades are also a new addition.

upcycled chairs turned custom bench

The bench adds lots of extra seating for visitors at our kitchen table.  It faces the galley that we have been working on updating as I posted about last week.

kitchen

Some other areas I hope to update are the walls, laminate floor and lighting.  I think I got my point across last week about my lack of interest in laminate and desire to resurface all of it within a 30 mile radius.  But all in due time.  We seem to be working on this space upside down or inside out…details first.  It works for us!

Disclosure:  This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.  However, all opinions and projects are my own.  And we really do think Lowe’s is awesome and their new videos are life changing.

pop goes the easel

Hi guys! As promised, I am back to tell you how we made our wedding table numbers.  I will also be sharing the secret to making them freestanding easels as I’ve been asked a few times now…

© Love Shack Photo

In case you missed them, the wedding tablescape posts are here and here.

So my inspiration for the table numbers came from those adorably rustic vintage school slates.  I originally planned to collect enough to prop them up as table numbers.  Well, I found two.  And then stopped.  Twenty slates seemed like an excessive amount to seek out.

vintage school slates

source: Pinterest

After collecting more than enough silver pitchers and aqua mixing bowls for the centerpieces, I figured it was time to straight up DIY something.  And in this case, definitely more cost-effective too.

© Love Shack Photo

With the style of the vintage slates in mind, Ryan cut plywood into twenty 5×7 pieces.  He then stained each walnut.  I love the color choice as it warmed them up just right.

DIY chalkboard table easel

He left me to the chalkboarding part.  I taped off an inch border on each board and painted the centers with chalkboard paint.

DIY chalkboard table easel

The internet is filled with chalkboard projects so I’m sure I don’t need to go into much more detail.

DIY chalkboard table easel

Speaking of the internet, this is the point where I started shopping online for little picture easels to buy individually.  I quickly found that it was going to run at least another $100 which seemed unreasonable for table numbers.

© Love Shack Photo

Enter Ryan again.  The man with the plan.  Refreshed and recharged from his bachelor spa weekend in Woodstock.  Riiight.

Anyway, his big secret to the freestanding easel…

drumroll…PVC insulated industrial staples.

Boom.

staples

Just hammer it lightly in the back, don’t staple it. These are intended for electrical use but sure do double nicely as an indiscreet easel!  I also like that they are permanently attached as it was one less thing to keep track of in wedding planning & packing.

The secret to DIY chalkboard easel

Plus, I will be using these chalkboards as price tags/signs at popup vintage markets moving forward.

So that is the answer to the million dollar question, my friends.

© Love Shack Photo

from the garden to the dining room

I know the Home Show was like weeks ago and you are probably so sick of hearing me talk about it and addressing the event as a proper noun but guess what, so many projects went into that little upcycled room.  So many hours.  I am going to talk about them until, well until, I can’t talk about them anymore and they fade into the dark night of the blogosphere.

Actually, until spring really when there is something new and fresh and worthwhile to talk about.  Or until we get married.  Yeah, the wedding will trump the Home Show for sure.

Anyway, what do you do with a garden trellis that you aren’t using in the garden?

Home Show - Milk painted dresser and trellis mirror

Turn it into a mirror of course!

Home Show - Garden Trellis Mirror

My neighbor is always finding little treasures along the way, much like me.  He handed this garden trellis over to me months ago and it sat in my garage ever since.  Until the aha moment came.  The moment I know you all wait for.  The moment Ryan cringes because I enlist him for yet another project.  As always, I promise him it is simple and will only take a few minutes…

garde trellis mirror

So the trellis got turned on it’s side.  Then we just sawed the ends off of the whole piece so it would be symmetrical.  And by “we” of course you know by now that I mean Ryan.

The great debate of January 2013 was whether or not the garden trellis should have 2 mirrors or one large mirror behind the entire trellis.  Hmmm…

Obviously we decided on 2 mirrors which gave a floating effect.  Still though, I ponder how 1 would have looked.

I speed dialed my old friends at the glass store and had 2 mirrors cut in a matter of days.  We removed the 3 middle bars from the back  of the trellis.  The mirrors rested on the bars in front.  Then we attached mirror hanging hardware in the back to those front pieces.  Finally, Ryan and I strategically screwed the back bars into place while keeping the mirrors centered.  You definitely need 2 sets of hands with this project to keep the mirrors centered and level.

how to make a garden trellis mirror

Yes, this was a team effort constructed right on the dining room table because as I recall it was like 12 degrees in the garage that day.  And you can also see how all of the projects in the dining room were evolving at that very moment.  Note the dangling new drapes over the old ones.  Hot mess.

IMG_9082

But of course, the dining room looks like this now with the mirror starring on one wall and reflecting light from the large window across the room.

IMG_9307

Which reminds me, when I posted our new and improved dining room on Monday I don’t believe I shared this angle with you which shows both the new mirror and Ryan’s vintage ball jar sketch that he made as a child.  Quite the gardeny feel this space has now.

dining room

I love how the artwork looks in the new room.  It is a perfect fit.

ball jar artwork

What do you have planned for the weekend?  Stop by the ol’ brick & mortar shop on Saturday from 10-5!

roses for your sweetheart

Hi guys. Happy Friday!

I’ve been busily preparing for the Philly Home Show up. in. here. Have I mentioned that little event lately?  Not this week.  No?  I’m putting together a bedroom full of reclaimed industrial style.  I can’t wait to share it with you all in less than 2 weeks!  Woo hoo.  Expect lots of repurposed charm and tons of vintage goodies.  There will definitely be sneak peeks on instagram while I am setting up next week.  So tune in!

In the meantime, I am running a bit of a re-run post today.  Don’t hate me.  I promise you won’t remember it.  It’s an easy-peasy 3 step craft for the ol’ V-day.  Or any day really.

Felt Heart Roses!  Hooray!

So you just need felt, scissors, glue and sticks.

Then…

DIY valentine roses

Done!  Told you it was easy.

So if you like doing crafts and you’re local, you should definitely come visit our Craft Room at the Home Show (Feb 2-10).  Denise, from The Painted Home, and I will be freestylin’ in the craft room.  We’ll be upcycling, repurposing, painting, you name it.  I will be doing mini milk paint demos as well!  So if you’ve been curious about Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint, now is your chance to see it live in person.  I might even have some available to purchase if that is of interest.  Would you like that?

how to measure and mix milkpaint

I know.  The fun never stops.

hanging drapes

So I wanted to title this post “hanging drapes for dummies” but I didn’t want to scare anyone away before reading the first line.  Another title choice was “hanging drapes for thirty year olds” because if you are an actual adult i.e. over thirty, you probably already know how to hang drapes the old school way and you will learn nothing new from this post.

But as it seems, the last time I really saw drapes in my home was circa 1989 and I wasn’t hanging them.  Then the 90’s hit.  Oh the 90’s.  Balloon valances.  Need I say more about the puffy beasts that hung over suburban windows everywhere?

Moving onto the new millennium.  Or so.

My window treatments up until recently have always involved sheer panels, tab tops, grommet tops and funky, ornate hardware.  That sort of thing.  I have never once hung a drape.  Or draperies.  That word sounds so grown up and maybe even old-fashioned.

But there is a first time for everything and that was a really long introduction to…hanging drapes for dummies.  With pictures.

Follow along as I become an actual adult and introduce drapes into my home.

First let’s review what I mean by drapery.  I am talking about heavy curtains with pleats.  Old school.

Specifically, I am talking about this fabulous pair of handmade, vintage toile drapes that I scored for a song!  The fabric needs to be attached to the curtain rod.  But how?  I don’t want to use the modern ring and clip method.

drapery pleats

We’re going way back.  This, my friends, is a drape hook.  This little device does all the work!  A package of drape hooks costs about $2.50 and can be found at your local hardware store.

drape hook

Flip over the drape so you are looking at the back side of the pleats.

back of drape pleats

The drape hook has one pointy end.  Insert the pointy end upward into the seam of the pleat so it is running parallel with the pleat.

how to hang drapes

Once inserted, the curved part of the drape hook should be near the top of the pleat.

drape hook

Repeat this process pinning each pleat with a drape hook making sure each hook is sturdy.

how to hang drapes

And that’s it.  They’re ready to be hung!

how-to hang drapes

Fun fact:  A package of drape hooks contains 14 hooks.  Each of my drapes had 7 pleats.  Coincidence?

how-to hang drapes

Stay tuned for the reveal!  There’s still a lot of work to be done in the dining room.

Signed, Your first time drape hanger

how to mix milk paint

Hello there my friends! Over the last few weeks I’ve been doing a good deal of painting almost exclusively with milk paint.  I love it.  The combinations of how it can be applied and finished is almost endless.  So today I thought I’d share the basics on how to mix milk paint.  I’ve had a lot of questions around that.  It can be a bit intimidating considering it comes in a powder form.

Let’s tackle mixing milk paint, shall we?

You’ll need the powder, a plastic mixing container and a measuring cup.  Bonding agent is optional.  We’ll get to that.

how to mix milkpaint

We make a lot of smoothies around here so I save the quart size yogurt containers for milk paint.  Save the lid too in case you have any paint left that you want to store.  It will last for a few days.

I have a 1/4 cup measuring cup that I use exclusively for mixing milk paint.  For this tutorial, I added a total of a 1/2 cup of milk paint (2 scoops).

how to measure and mix milkpaint

After the paint was measured, I added an equal amount (1/2 cup) of WARM water.  The temperature of the water really does make a difference.  I’ve learned the hard way.  It seems cold water lightens the paint pigments.  Trust me and use warm water if you want the paint to mix up true to color.  I’m mixing ‘typewriter’ here.

how to measure and mix milkpaint

I start with a 1 part paint to 1 part water ratio and mix thoroughly removing most of the lumps.  The instructions recommend 1 1/2 part water to 1 part powder.  I only add the additional half part water if the mix calls for it, as in the paint is too thick.  Use your discretion.

mixing milkpaint

You may want to stop there and start painting.  If that is the case, you’re leaving the finish of the paint up in the air.  For example, if you desire a potentially chippy look you just might get it with the water/powder paint mix.

On the other hand, if you prefer a cohesive finish, no chipping, you’ll want to add the bonding agent at this point.  Measure equal parts bonding agent (1/2 cup here) and add to your paint mix.

adding the bonding agent to milkpaint

Stir the bonding agent into the paint mix.

mixing bonding agent with milkpaint

You’ll notice the consistency of the paint will go from watery to a fuller body closer to what you might recognize from latex or chalk paint.  It reminds me of the same consistency of brownie batter actually.

how to mix milkpaint and bonding agent

Congratulations, you now have primer in your milk paint.  Go ahead and apply to your piece without fear of chipping paint.  No other prep work is needed.  Another important note is that you’ll want to apply 2 coats of paint for an opaque finish however your second coat does not need the bonding agent or primer added to it.  You’ve basically already primed the piece with the first coat.

mixing milkpaint

Stay tuned for the final result of this project in the coming weeks!  And certainly let me know if you have any milk paint questions in the comment section (or any other related topics you’d like a tutorial on).  As always, all of these products are available in my milk paint shop.

Happy Monday!

a winter wonder: paperwhites

As the holidays are quickly approaching, everyone seems to be looking for quick and easy decorating and gift giving ideas. Well look no further!

I present to you the paperwhite cocktail garden. This was originally posted here last year on the blog.  I noticed that it has been getting some pinterest action lately so I thought I’d break down the ins and outs of paperwhites.

paperwhite cocktail

First of all, paperwhites are a bulb.  Most commonly they are forced indoors in the winter and that is why they are typically associated with the holidays. Paperwhites are the cousin of spring blooming daffodils.  You may notice some family resemblance in their flowers although paperwhites are, well, white as the name implies.

paperwhite bulbs

Optimal bloom temperatures are 65 degrees.  A warmer home will have them blooming in less time.  On the other hand, if you have a cool home, they will take longer to bloom.  It is like putting them in the refrigerator to preserve the flowers.

So let’s get onto planting them, shall we?

I like to use vintage glassware and compotes like these ice cream sundae glasses.  They are sized just right for one bulb.

vintage ice cream sundae glasses

When planting the bulb, be sure the flat, basal side is down and the pointy, fleshy side is up.  The foliage and flower will grow from there.

paperwhite bulbs

Now you may have seen paperwhites planted in stones in the past.  This is very common however I am not a fan of that method.  Most people plant them in stones or pebbles to give the bulb support because the plant becomes top heavy as it quickly grows.  When paperwhites are planted in stones, you usually see the bulb sitting on top of the stones.  But because I like to plant them in small compotes, I use soil.  The moist soil and tight container help to give support.  I plant the bulb just under the soil with the point sticking out.

planting paperwhite bulbs in vintage glasses

Once the bulbs are in the glasses, I cover them with soil and make sure there is some underneath for the roots too.  You will be able to see the roots grow in just a few days if you use clear glasses like these – fun for kids!  You’ll all see the bulbs push themselves up.  There is really some instant gratification that comes with planting paperwhites.  The grow so quickly.

planting paperwhites

Don’t forget to water and garnish how ever you like!  Cranberries optional.

paperwhite cocktail

With all of the paperwhite planting I’ve done, you would think I’d have a picture of the blooms but I don’t!  You’ll have to plant some of your own to experience the visual and fragrant flowers.  We have some for sale in the shop and we’re open this weekend…

Linking to Funky Junk Interiors

Holiday