Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Movin' on up!

The big Persnickety's move kept me busy, busy, busy!  I was able to help out my girl Mandi and her family and we seriously busted a**!  We managed to move the whole shop and completely set up the new space in about a week.  There were lots of long days, repetitive singing of random songs, laughing from exhaustion, and coffee, LOTS of coffee!  But I tell you what, it was SOOO worth it.  The new location (1117 Main St. Sumner, WA) is AMAZING!  If you're local you really should check it out. 
I have never felt more proud to be a part of something so cool!  So many awesome people coming together in one place is truly inspiring!  There is definitely something for everyone, furniture, handcrafts, hand painted artwork, vintage finds, pillows, home decor, snarky greeting cards,  you name it, Persnickety's has it.  And if they don't have it, there's a good chance you can ask someone to find it for you :) You can always check out their fb page to see what's new in the shop, or shoot Mandi an email if you need something specific or have any questions of any kind!
Anyhow!  Here are some pics of the things I got done in a mad dash for the grand opening that happened a few weeks ago....hope you enjoy them!!
Super cute dresser from 1904, redone in red chalk paint.
There are actually 2 of these super cute green tables, such a happy color!!
I also do a little bit of sewing...there are a set of these cute 18x18 floral pillows.
Who doesn't love a french inspired mirror?
Of course I did aqua pillows :)
And an aqua farm house inspired table.
Cute 18x18 graphic blue and aqua pillows....
Staying true to myself and getting away with as much aqua as possible :)  I'm currently working on several other projects for the shop and hopefully I can remember to take some more pics!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Feeling "great"ful!

Holy jeebs have I been busy!! 
Things are going amazing at Persnickety's!!  I couldn't ask for a more rewarding experience, for reals!  When I first started doing this I thought that it would be fun to grow my "hobby".  I never in a million years thought that it would turn into something I can call a job.  Well, not really a job.  Job sounds like something you HAVE to do.  This is something I not only want to do, but really enjoy doing!  I know, I know, totally cheesy, and I don't do expressing my feelings well.  Sarcasm is the pool I prefer to swim in.  But it must be said that I was really given a great opportunity at exactly when I didn't know I needed it.  I am so grateful to Mandi and her family, granted I have known them forever, this is a whole different direction our friendship has gone in, and it's awesome!
OK, I'm done now.  Back to the being busy part.  The shop has been humming along and I've been doing my best to keep up with the demand so I haven't been all that great about documenting the before and afters of the pieces I've done.  So I thought I'd just show you some afters of said pieces.  Who doesn't love to just look at pictures of furniture anyhow?
Super cute aqua 3 drawer dresser.  This one was done in Valspar's swim turned chalk paint, and I swapped out the hardware for some cool vintage pulls I found at an antique store.
I have definitely taken back up with my paint the world aqua cause.  Got this vintage mirror and it immediately told me aqua was the way to go :)
I love this french inspired beauty!!  It was of course, an awesome shade of gold, circa 1970's...we've all seen these, and I knew I could give it a new life with some paint.  This guy literally sold within 24 hours of bringing it into the shop.
And last but not least this AMAZING buffet.  It's a 1920's-ish B.P. John piece.  It was rough and as much as I would've loved to just restore it, paint was the way to go.  In this case I didn't want to duplicate any of the other colors I'd done recently, so I played mad scientist and mixed a bunch of colors together and came up with this.  Of course it's a shade of aqua.  Aqua is always a good choice :)
So there you have it, most of the projects I've worked on in the last few weeks.  Now to come up with some more, especially for the big move.  That's right Persnickety's is moving from the current location in Pacific, to downtown Sumner, right on Main.  The whole Persnickety's family is so excited to be part of such an awesome community.  And personally I can't wait to see what this new location will bring for all of us!!
Stay tuned to see what's next!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Miss Isobel

Miss Isobel may be a vintage reproduction, but she is all french!
I generally get so excited to start something that I take really bad before pics.  Clearly I've pulled the drawers out and started taking the hardware off when I realized I should snap a picture.  But this is pretty standard 70s-ish awesomeness, check out that gold!!
I decided I would go back to my "roots" and use chalk paint on this one.  Mostly because the top is that crazy high gloss finish and I didn't want to experiment with milk paint and make myself totally crazy.
Off I went...
This is just one coat, but it covers pretty well, can't even see that gold anymore!
And a 2nd coat and it's completely transformed!  I did end up doing 3 coats total and a few touch ups.  I really only wanted minimal distressing on the edges.  I also decided where that once gold detailing was needed some attention.  Since I was doing the drawers in white, I wanted those areas to pop in white as well.
Just a quick tip....after trying to use a kid's paint brush with major error...think trying to stay inside the lines using your non-dominant hand with your eyes closed.  I discovered a Q-tip fit perfectly and my stress decreased 100 fold :) 
Love the contrast between the slate grey and creamy white drawers.  I did paint the hardware too, just one quick coat of the grey. 
Isobel is now down at Persnickety's, go check her out!!

She really is so pretty, and all her drawers glide like butter!!
Isobel has a sister, a long 6 drawer french inspired dresser that I will be working on soon.
Stay tuned!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Milk paint part deux/Meet Chester

In my last post I said I had another project lined up and ready for round 2 of MMS milk paint. 
Meet Chester....
Found him on Craig's list of course, and I couldn't walk away.  Such an awesome piece with great curves.  The guy I bought him from said his parents bought it used in the 50s....I couldn't find a maker's mark or any other info, but I did search some google images and figured he was probably a 1940s Duncan Phyfe-esque reproduction.  Regardless, he is ALL wood, super massive, and VERY sturdy. 
And the 2 small drawers are even lined with purple felt, how cool is that?
I was pretty sure I wanted to paint him up in the linen color milk paint I already had on hand.  But as you can see from the picture, his top needed some help.  So I busted out the new palm sander I got for Christmas and went to work!
Got that guy all the way down to the raw wood.  Initially I thought that it was covered in veneer, but I was wrong.  Just LOTS, and LOTS of really old stain.  Once I got the sanding out of the way I mixed up my milk paint and away I went.  Well....more milk paint lessons learned on this guy.  The raw wood just LOVED to soak up the paint.  After 3 coats it still looked like primer and once again I was bugging out!!
I didn't sand the parts that had detail, and I knew I wanted the wood to show through somewhat.  But I wasn't loving how it was going.  I didn't snap any other pictures along the way because I just kept adding coats until I thought it looked right.  Honestly I lost count after 4 coats, I think I ended up doing 5 or 6 on the top.  Then came another moment of panic.  I chose the linen paint because I wanted this piece to be neutral.  But with all white paint it looked too washed out to me, and totally not my style.  So I decided to paint the 2 center drawers in my "custom color" grey chalk paint that I always have on hand. 
Once again the milk paint did it's unpredictable thing where it chipped and cracked where it wanted, but it was perfect on this project.  I only wanted a little bit of distressing.  I didn't want to distress so much that it detracted from the shape and details of the piece itself.  When I was done I decided to use dark wax anywhere there was detailing, and clear wax on all the smooth surfaces.  I did 2 coats of wax total and gave it a good buffing.  Luckily it came with really great vintage hardware that had the perfect amount of patina, so I left those alone and just put em back on when all was said and done.  Ready to see how he turned out??
Adding the grey to the center gave him just a little contrast, but still neutral enough that he wants to live in any room in your house :)
All dressed up and down at Persnickety's now, go check him out!!
Hoping to have more projects in the works very soon, stay tuned to see what I come up with!!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Working with Miss Mustard Seed....paint

Oh how I wish I worked with the real life Miss Mustard Seed.  I blog-stalk her daily and scour her fb page every chance I get.  She does amazing work, and I'm pretty sure if I met her for reals I would pee my pants!!  But for now I will settle for my journey with her milk paint.  I hadn't worked with any milk paint prior, but had been on the fence about it for quite some time.  So when I finally got the courage to give it a try I knew that I was more than willing to work with a product backed by the furniture-painting icon herself :)  So I ordered some paint and waited not so patiently for it to arrive.  I had already found a dresser on cl (of course) and thought I was going to paint it red.....but red is scary and takes LOTS of coats to get just right.  Plus this guy is shiny wood and brass hardware.  I knew no matter what I decided it would take a little elbow grease!
 So I stalled, and then the holidays hit and I don't think painting anything even crossed my mind for at least 2 weeks.  In the mean time my paint arrived.  I chose 2 colors to start, linen and kitchen scale.  I watched Miss Mustard Seed's tutorial on mixing the paint and I was off.  Or so I thought....I think the beauty of milk paint is that it's really "workable".  But that can also be the downside.  You have to kind of mix it up until the consistency "feels" right.  Too much water, and it's like a color wash, which is great if that's what you're going for.  Not enough water and paint kind of "globs" up.  I found that using a disposable plastic cup and a mini wire whisk were my best tools.  And I also discovered that mixing in smaller batches makes it easier to control the consistency, and stir, stir, stir!!  So after some trial and error I finally figured it out.

This is how the milk paint arrives, or for now.  Originally Miss Mustard Seed was packaging her milk paint in these bags and the bags were then put in a box, but if you follow her blog at all you know that she's changing that up.  I decided that this dresser needed to be layered in colors, starting with kitchen scale.

Mixed up my batch and got started.  I know this doesn't look like a lot but milk paint goes really far.  That is one of the things that is similar to chalk paint.  For those of you who paint furniture and have used chalk paint I will say in my experience the similarities are few.  It goes really far, you don't HAVE to prime before painting, and the dry time is pretty quick.  It does go on pretty smoothly like chalk paint also, but again that depends on your consistency.  If you're doing more of a wash, you have to watch for drips and runs.  Anyhow!  I slapped a first coat on and waited anxiously...

Not too bad, but a little more aqua than I was hoping for.  Plus I was looking for a little more coverage.  Miss Mustard Seed does sell a bonding agent for her milk paint line.  You can add that to your batches of paint if you're not wanting any kind of chipping or cracking, but I wasn't using that.  So I added a second coat and got really excited cause this started happening....

Can you see the crackling on the edges there?  Well here's the other thing about milk paint, it's REALLY unpredictable.  And I knew that going into it, but still wasn't fully aware of how unpredictable it would be.  After 2 coats half of my drawers were chippy and crackled and the other half, and the dresser base itself were only slightly chippy.  Plus I decided I didn't want the dresser to be an entirely aqua-ish color.  Enter linen.  I thought hey, why not do a wash of a delicious creamy white over the kitchen scale?

Well, 1 coat of linen turned into 2 coats of linen, and this was the result.  This color is not bad at all, it was just kind of too washed for the whole piece.  I started to panic in true furniture painting fashion.  You know that moment where you think you've completely ruined your project and have to walk away to get some perspective?   After begging for opinions and stressing myself out I decided that 1 more coat of kitchen scale on the dresser base should hopefully ease my pain :)  When I'm using chalk paint I generally use a really fine grit sanding sponge between coats, but this did not need it.  This milk paint dries so smooth it's really unbelievable.  Feels like you've sanded and waxed after just 1 coat.

This was so much better!!  A little contrast between the drawers and base, and so much chippy goodness!!  I will say that even after all the layers of paint only some of my drawers were chippy on their own.  So I did take my sanding sponge to some of the edges, to gently ease some chipping, just so that the dresser looked "uniform" and not just like I was a sloppy painter :) 

See?  Chippy goodness abounding!!  I do heart it so :)
Ready to see the end result??

I think it turned out pretty cute.  I did paint the original hardware with milk paint, and loved the end result.  Kind of gave it an antiqued look that fit right in with the paint finish.  I also sealed the whole thing with wax.  Even though it dried so smoothly, didn't want all that hard work to come off :)

Apparently Miss Mustard Seed has the magic touch.  I took this dresser down to Persnickety's on Saturday afternoon and before we could even move it into somewhere other than the middle of the room it sold.  I couldn't believe it!  I guess timing really is everything!! 
So when all is said and done, I can't wait to use the milk paint again.  Now that I have a finished project under my belt, I feel ready to tackle the world!!  And I have another project in the works that I'm planning on just using the linen color milk paint.  Stay tuned to see how it comes out!!


P.S. this "review" of Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint is entirely my own opinion and not sponsored in any way :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Chicken wire frames

So here's my take on a fun tutorial.  A few people down at Persnickety's  have mentioned that they would like some card holders/displays now that the holidays are approaching.  So my girl Mandi and I thought, hey, we have some empty frames hanging out, why not try the whole chicken wire thing and see how that goes.  She supplied some frames and the chicken wire, I did the following....
First I put out a little "poll" on my fb page, asking what colors people would be interested in if I were to venture down this path.  I got a bunch of great responses and started painting away.  The one I started with was a Christmas themed was white to begin with, and I decided to tape it off so I could add some stripes.
Some cute red and green stripes to be specific.  Now I will say there was no rhyme or reason to my stripes, just kinda taped at random intervals.
Once it was all dried I pulled the tape off, did a light sanding and did a coat of wax to seal it (and all the other frames I painted) up.  When all my frames were done I headed out to the garage to start cutting the wire.  When you buy chicken wire it's all shiny and new, and that's not really the look I was going for.
See, shiny, new wire, doesn't really go well with cute distressed frames.
There are actually 2 steps to this process, but I only used 1 of the 2 products.  The "antiquer" instantly turns the wire black, which is helpful so you can see where you've applied it and where you haven't.  It doesn't stay black, as it dries, it turns a cool vintagey wire color.
I forgot to mention that before you apply this you should have cut your wire from the roll, if you bought a roll.  I didn't really measure mine, I just laid it out and cut maybe a half inch wider than what I thought I would need, just in case.  Once the wire was dry I grabbed my staple gun and started stapling away.  Again, no rhyme or reason, just where I thought it looked like it needed it.
I will say that after my first (failed) attempt at this I learned that you need to staple on the outside of the frame.  Otherwise this happens...
If you try to staple on the inside of the frame, the staples go all the way through.  Then you curse yourself and get really frustrated and may throw something....
Plus I discovered that the inside edge doesn't really provide a lot of room for cleaning up your wire.  So remember, OUTSIDE edge of the frame :)
Once you get everything stapled into place you'll probably have something that looks like this..
What I opted to do was take my handy wire snippers, trim the ones that were really long and then twist the others around the staples just to give it that added oomph, to keep it in place.

Then it looks a little more finished, and you can worry less about all that stapling being in vain.  So what I learned was DO NOT staple on the inside edge of the frame, antique your wire for a "cooler" vintage look, trim and twist your wire, and then sit back and enjoy your finished work!!
Since today is Thanksgiving, I grabbed some of my 1st grader's turkey and owl artwork and clipped them on with clothespins.
Same artwork, just a larger frame I did.  How cute would this be with all those great Christmas cards that will start rolling in soon??
Or a smaller frame for your earrings or jewelry?
I did 6 of these frames in total, varying colors and sizes, all heading down to Persnickety's for the Holiday Open House on Saturday.  If you're local you should come check it out 11-7.  LOTS of goodies like these, and SO many more!!
Hope you all enjoy the upcoming holidays!!
I was featured...
Four Marrs & One Venus