Sunday, September 30, 2012

Painted French Table

French Table 019

Well I have to say I had fun painting this one but it took most of my Sunday.   Come to thing of it, a good part of my Saturday too.

French Table 005     French Table 010

I painted a beat up small oak table with some black chalk paint.  Pretty ugly n’est pas?    I painted it on Saturday and I brought it inside the house to work on because it rained for most of the day. Not a bad way to spend a rainy Saturday.  Watched a movie while I painted.  All was good.    I gave the table two coats of paint and let it dry until Sunday when I got busy with trying to figure out a way to get some French writing on it.

French Table 011    

I ended up finding this great fine wines graphic   from The Graphics Fairy along with some tips about how to make a graphic bigger than what your printer can print on one sheet.  Check out the link to Block Posters .com which can help you change the size of your graphics.    After printing it out, I took some white chalk and rubbed it on the back side of the paper behind the letters. Then after centering the printout on the table and taping it down, I took a ball point pen and traced the letters on the front side of the printout which left the white chalk imprint on the table of all the lettering. I then painstakingly :) hand painted each of the imprinted chalked letters. It took a while but it was exciting to see the words start to take shape on the table.   (And Yes, that is an Oreo cooking sitting on my work table!)

French Table 021

One of the hardest parts (at least emotionally) for me was to then take my little black French table and beat it up and add some distressing to it.  But, it had to be done so with a small piece of sandpaper I sanded the edges and a few areas on the top and on each of the legs.  After wiping the paint and chalk dust off, I was ready to give it a coat of wax.  This photo is of it before I waxed it.    After the wax dried, which took about 15 to 20 minutes, I buffed it all out and the table now had a rich sheen to it.  It was coming to life!

French Table with Lamp

So here it is next to a chair that I am currently working on.  The chair still needs another coat of paint and I was also trying to get a feel for what to recover the seat with.  That is a scrap piece of burlap that I loosely wrapped over the seat and I think I like the beige/brown burlap next to the black so tomorrow I’ll be picking up some more burlap.  Anyway, I am happy with how the table turned out.  I combined the chalk transfer method with some bits of another stencil that I had and I also made my own stencil for the “Vins ~ Fins”  part.    It’s going to be hard to know what to place on the table because I don’t want to cover up any of the words! 

Not sure if I am keeping this one yet or not.  It seems to be taking me a few days after I am finished to be able to part with any of my projects.  :)

I am linking this post up to Brag Monday over at the Graphics Fairy.   More projects to check out there.  Stop by when you get a minute!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sea Salt and Black Pepper Peanuts

Peanuts Sea Salt and Black Pepper 044

I can’t explain why because what could be more simple than salt and pepper, BUT these peanuts are seriously delicious.

Peanuts Sea Salt and Black Pepper 050

And addictive.

Peanuts Sea Salt and Black Pepper 045 

If you see them or anything similar to them in your favorite food store, buy at least four cans of them.  Then remember where you got them because everyone will want to know where you got the peanuts and why are they so good?    Seriously, sea salt and black pepper.  That’s it.  It’s hard to explain.  :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Refinished French Night Stand

Painted Furniture 001

My  garage and driveway have turned into my painting workshop.  I found this wonderful French nightstand and refinished it.  It  turned out so nice  that I can’t seem to part with it.   I drove it down to Rustic Romance this afternoon and couldn’t bring myself to pull it out of the back of the car and put a price tag on it!  So I brought it home and it’s still sitting in the back of my Explorer. Maybe I’ll try again on Monday. I need help.  Serious help.

Do they offer therapy for something like this? :)

Painted Furniture 007

Anyway, my mini van days are behind me and although I wasn’t too crazy about my new Ford Explorer at first.  I have to say it has grown on me and I love it now.  It would be hard for me to part with it at this point.  I no longer haul around kids. Just furniture and the occasional dog.  And now it’s the perfect vehicle for hauling around and storing the furniture that I can’t seem to give up.  

Painted Furniture 009

I painted the nightstand with white chalk paint, distressed it with gray, and finished it with some wax. So French!

Elle est si jolie, n'est pas?

So, if you live in the Greensboro, NC area and you see this little gem up at Rustic Romance with a price tag on it, you’ll know that I sought out and found the proper help for my “I refinished it to sell, but now I can’t give it up”sickness. :)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Jumping Into the Painted Furniture Pool


Painted Furniture 045

I finally did it.  I see great pieces of furniture all the time in my travels and I always think to myself that I really need to give this Chalk Paint thing a try. 

Here is my first piece!

Painted Furniture 041

The first of two I should say.  I found a pair of chairs at a local thrift shop and loved the shape.  The color and the fabric on the seat…not so much.

They were bright red as you can see and I decided to tone them down and went with a white washed, aqua, shabby chic look and I am happy with how the first one turned out.

Painted Furniture 054   

The original plan was to paint them both the same.  The bright red paint on the chairs was bad.  It was gummy to the touch.  And I learned my first furniture painting lesson.


A couple of Saturday’s ago, I took one of my gummy red chairs and sprayed it with a furniture stripper.  I scrapped and I scrapped.  I scrapped some more.  Major pain.  And I wasn’t getting all of it off.

I sanded.  Still bumpy. 

Painted Furniture 055

Decided that the bumps were just going to have to add to it’s charm.

I got myself some white chalk paint and gave it a nice coat.  The bumpiness was starting to turn into “chippyness” .  And I like “chippyness”.

“Chippyness” is good.

Painted Furniture 035

Behold the “chippyness”.

Painted Furniture 018 - Copy

I then diluted some aqua paint in a small amount of water and brushed it on.

After that dried, I went back and dry brushed on some more white paint here and there.

Painted Furniture 041

A coat of furniture wax and some burlap for the seat and some stenciled numbers and voila!

Since I already know that I won’t be able to get the same look on the second chair because I refuse to go the furniture stripper route, I am thinking about how I am going to paint the second chair.

Still thinking.  In the meantime,  I have two options.  Take my finished chair down to Rustic Romance and sell it OR keep it and put it in my daughter’s bedroom. 

I have some decisions to make.  :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Re-purposed Stone Coasters

Wine Coasters 009

Blogging  for as long as I have been, you would think that at this point I would have remembered to take a “BEFORE” picture of these coasters.  Take my work for it, they were ugly.  They had a snowman holiday scene on them and needed to be refreshed and repurposed!  I am VERY into my typewriter keys theme right now and thought why not make these coasters look like worn out typewriter keys.  I am pretty happy with how they turned out.  If you look closely you can still see an outline of one of the snowmen.  I am not sure if I could have sanded them down beforehand to eliminate that. Next time I will try that.  But, right now they have “texture” and I am fine with it.  Same technique was used that I helped me create my Typewriter Keys Wall Hanging.  I spray painted the coasters black.  Let them dry.  Stenciled on my letters, and then framed them with the rim of a smaller in diameter circle of paint.  They I sprayed them with a sealer.  Fun I think!

Wine Coasters 007

The only limitation on what words you can spell out is how many coasters you can find to re-purpose.  I was limited to four letters here.  Wish I was a better Scrabble player because “wine” was all I could come up with.  :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Peppadew Peppers Stuffed with Boursin Cheese


One of the things I love most about my job is getting to talk about cheese with people.   So many of the customers that I come across are very well traveled and most of them like to share about a special cheese they came across while traveling in Italy or maybe while they were in Paris.   They also like to share their favorite ways to serve the cheeses they like best or what they like to serve at a party. This is how I came across these little nuggets of  deliciousness.   I can’t believe I haven’t come across them before and they couldn’t be easier. 


You can usually find the Peppadew peppers in the olive bar of your favorite store.  I love their bright red color.  Simply buy as many as you would like to serve and stuff them with Boursin cheese.  I tried them with the Shallot & Chive flavor but really, I think any flavor would be delicious.   Goat cheese or even Feta would be nice in these too.   That’s it!  Place them on a serving plate or in a serving dish and watch them disappear.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering September 11th

Washington DC Trip 102

September 11th.

When I think about the events of that day…really think about them, it hurts my heart. 

I wanted to link to a post a wrote a few years ago about the incredibly moving Pentagon Memorial in Washington DC. 

I don’t think this memorial gets much “press” and it should. 

Never forget.

Washington DC Trip 099

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Creating New Burlap Coasters


I have been making some new coasters and having fun coming up with new ideas and creating the stencils for myself.  I dusted off my stencil burning tool and created two new stencils.  The first one I came up with were these French Rooster coasters.


And how fun are these?  These are my new Martini/Cheers coasters. 


I am getting ready to set up shop and sell them online.  For now, I’ll be selling them directly off my blog site here.  

If you want to see how make them for yourself you can check out my post from a couple of years ago that shows my Coasters with Numbers on them.


They are easy to make but I have to tell you working with burlap is VERY MESSY!  Why not let me make them for you?

Right now I can ship anywhere in the continental United States only.  A set of four hand stenciled coasters is just $10.00.  A set of six is $14.00 and a set of eight is just $18.00 postage paid!  That’s right.  No separate shipping and handling charges.  Check or money orders only.

Interested?  Send me an email.  Thanks!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Desperation Tarts

Mozarella, Tomato, and Pesto Square Tarts

You’ve heard the phrase “Desperation Dinner” well these were my “Desperation Appetizers”.  After accepting an invitation to watch the Michgian vs Alabama Football game last Saturday, I went the whole day not registering the fact that I needed to bring an appetizer.  And the last thing I wanted to do was head to the store about an hour before kickoff when I realized that I needed to bring something, especially since I had no idea  what I wanted to make.  So, I guess you could say I challenged myself to come up with something made with ingredients that I already had.  The pickings were slim shall we say and I stood for many minutes with the doors of the refrigerator wide open and stared at the sad assortment of ingredients that I had to pick from.

I found half of a ball of mozzarella cheese, and I had some Campari tomatoes sitting in a bowl on the counter.  And in the freezer I had a one of the last jars of pesto that I made last year that I pulled out to thaw and a box of puff pastry.  I was good. 

Mozzarella, Tomato, and Pesto Desperation Tarts

1 package of puff pastry, thawed

Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Pesto sauce

Small tomatoes, sliced into thin circles

Parmesan Reggiano cheese

After the puff pastry was thawed out, I used a fluted cutting wheel and cut the pastry into appetizer sized squares and moved them to a foil lined baking sheet.  I should have used parchment paper because I did have a few that stuck to the foil. 



I spread each square with pesto sauce and then sprinkled on some mozzarella cheese.  I topped each square with a tomato wheel.  After all of the squares were assembled, I sprinkled Parmesan Reggiano over top of all the squares.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes.  I used both pieces of puff pastry that were in the box and it took two baking sheets to get them all baked. 


We were a little late to the party, and missed the kickoff because I still had tarts in the oven!  But off we finally went to watch Michigan get humiliated by Alabama.  Michigan played terrible!  Let’s hope they play better today against Air Force.  BUT, the real game  today is on at the same time.  Central Michigan University vs Michigan State at 3:30pm.

All I can say is Fire Up Chips!   (and Go Blue!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Queen Bee Pillow


My Queen Bee stencil from Maison de Stencils is starting to get a work out!

Last week I used it on a vintage galvanized watering can and this week I used it on this pillow. 

Hmm…has me thinking about getting an early start on a few Christmas gifts.

I know a few Queen Bee’s.  How about you?  :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Typewriter Keys


I have been blogging for a little over three years now which is kind of hard for me to believe!  One of my first projects which still happens to be one of my most popular blog posts is the tutorial I wrote on how to make this Pottery Barn look-alike Typewriter Keys Artwork.  If you go back and look at my original post you can see how I made it.  This one pictured here today is painted on a piece of wood.  My original post shows how I made it by painting a piece of premade art canvas.  To tell you the truth, I like the one I finished today on the piece of wood.  I like the colors better and it looks more “vintage” to me.  It also was a bit easier in that it eliminated a couple of steps and it was less expensive.  



To start, I stained a piece of wood that I purchased from Lowe’s and it measured about 24” by 24”.  It’s important to use a square piece so that all four sides are equal because you are going to divide it into 36 equal sized squares.  One square for each letter and number.    So one evening I stained my piece of wood, front and back with a wood stain color that I liked and I let it dry outside overnight.

The next day, I used a yardstick to divide my piece of wood into 36 (4” x 4”) even sized squares.

Then I was able to paint my circles by hand with black acrylic craft paint.  Find yourself something round like the rim of a drinking glass for your circles.  Trace around the rim lightly in pencil and then fill them in with paint. 

After all of your circles are painted, let them dry.  Now you are ready to stencil in your letters and numbers. 

I have the best success stenciling when I don’t use too much paint on my brush and when I use a “pouncing” motion.  Make sure your stencil is secure so that it doesn’t shift because you don’t want to smear your paint. 


Now comes the fun part.  I dipped the rim of a smaller size glass in some parchment color acrylic craft paint, made sure it was not too “gloppy” (keep some paper towels handy and do a couple of tests before you start on your actual project) and I carefully brought down the rim of the glass inside of the painted black circle being sure to encircle the letter or number.   Apply unequal pressure in a unique way to each circle so that the paint grabs in some places and not in others and is different on each key. 

IMG_2050     IMG_2058

I used two paper plates.  One with a circle of paint squirted on it and the other for dabbing the rim on to get any excess paint off



Et voila!  Here it is finished!!  It turned out better than I expected! 


I am also excited to announce that I am going to be selling some of my projects, including this one over at the delightful shop that just opened in Greensboro called Rustic Romance!  If you live in the area, stop by and take a look at all the great items for sale there.  In case you missed my last post on this great shop, you can click here on Rustic Romance and check out what the shop is all about



The paint on this one is still drying but I should have a price tag on it and have it hanging over at the Rustic Romance shop in the next few days. 

Thanks to all of you who read my blog.  I may not say it often but I appreciate every one of you!!

Have wonderful Labor Day weekend!!