Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Chippy" distressed technique found by mistake!

WOW!  It has been a bit since I last posted.  I am still here....really!  

I have just been crazy busy.  Outside of my regular work schedule, being a wife and a mom, attempting to slow down for a moment and enjoy the holiday, shopping for Christmas, attempting to clean the house, I have been busy in the garage finishing up Mr. T's Pottery Barn table and chairs find from the goodwill, refinishing an end table and making 95 "Ball of Notes" ornaments (Mr. T helped....thank you!) for a church here in Indy.

Here are some pictures of the end table that I refinished in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint-Cream.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, this paint. Plus, due to the fact that I was out of sand paper (GRRRR, not sure how that happened) I found a new way to distress....a much more chippy look!  

Out of necessity comes great results!!

The pictures are not the best.  I forgot the camera when we went to the booth on Sunday and didn't have time to take "a styled shoot" I took the pics with my cell phone and then sent them to my brother to email back to me.  
Yes...I am a little technologically challenged.  
Yes... I still have a basic phone (no iPhone).  
Hey...I am excited to have a camera on the thing and actually no how to work that!

The drawer front was sanded by hand with a TINY piece of sand paper that I found in a drawer in the garage, but not enough to do the whole table.  You can really see the difference in this pic on how different the distressing looks.
Yes...I also forgot to take before pics.  Sorry...I know this is bad, but I was in a hurry!  I have another one just like it, so I can show you a before pic later?   It was a basic cherry end table with brass drawer pull (which I painted with oil rubbed bronze).  Great condition!  I just decided it need a paint job.  So "Annie" and I had a date.
I painted the entire piece with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in cream (2 coats).  Then I painted the edge of the drawer and table with a pewter buff-in-rub diluted with lacquer thinner.  Then I waxed the entire piece with clear wax.  This is when I learned I was out of regular sand paper.  I could have used the palm sander, but this paint tends to kick up a lot of dust when sanded.  We had just pulled all of our Christmas stuff from the attic (which still needs to be put out) and I didn't want it covered in dust.  So I decided I would hand sand...problem sand paper (again...not sure how that happened).
So I decided to use a scouring pad that I had for my mouse sander.  
I used the pad on the right, much like you would find on a two-sided sponge
 It came with the sander when it was given to me 8 years ago and I always wondered why you might need a scouring pad with a sander...I am glad it existed.  I found a whole new distressing technique.  It gives a much more "chippy" distressed looked than sanding does.  It's also was a lot less messy than using Vaseline, candles wax or the palm sander with sand paper. 
Try it...I think you will like it.  
I don't think it won't work with regular latex paint, but if you are using Chalk works BEAUTIFULLY! 
Again, sorry for the blurry pic, it's from my cell phone
So what do you think?  Do you like the way it distressed?

Remember, I mentioned that Mr. T found a Pottery Barn table and chairs at the Goodwill.  He bought it at the beginning of summer, but I am just now getting around to refinishing it.  It was one of the DIRTIEST things I have EVER cleaned.  However, in the cleaning process, I found the original price tags still intact. Total price for this set was over $1300.00!!!  Trust me, Mr. T paid NO WHERE near that.  So here is a sneak peak of the before....
I have just a tiny bit more to do and this will be done!  Just in time for our open house on December 10th.  If you are in the Indy area, please stop by and say HI!  Mr. T and I will be there from 12-5pm.  We would love to meet you!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thankgiving

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? 

I am thankful for many things, my fabulous husband, my awe inspiring daughter that reminds me daily of the simple pleasures of life, the rest of my wonderful family, our warm home to live in, the food on our table, our jobs that provide for us, the many opportunities we have been given, our health, our God,...too many to mention, I think this sums it up very nicely. 

Many blessing to your and your family this Thanksgiving Season!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Salt Dough Snowflake Ornaments

 Most everyone has memories of the Christmas tree they had when they were little.  I have a lot of memories about what ours looked liked.  It was a fresh tree that my dad and I would cut down. Then I would sit for hours and watch my dad untangle and then try to make our flower petal-muti-colored lights work. Hours of pulling light bulb after light bulb to make sure they all worked and replacing the ones that didn't.  I thought we would never get to decorate the tree.  Thank God for the lights we have know if one bulb burns out they don't all go out!
We would string the multi-colored lights, gaudy gold or silver garland and of course tinsel icicles! The ornaments were a collections of my great grandma's vintage ornaments that she had passed down, a collection of handmade school ornaments and salt dough ornaments that my mom had made when parents first married.  I remember thinking that we had the best tree ever.  I especially have a fond memory for the salt dough ornaments (my mom will never understand why). So I decided to bring back some of that vintage flair!

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know that I wanted a Christmas tree for our space at the antique mall. That meant having ornaments to sell.  Here are some that I made.

The last ones I made were the salt dough snowflake ornaments.

Salt dough is super easy to make, a very CHEAP...maybe I should say FRUGAL, sounds better!  It's perfect to get the kids involved and turn the family Christmas tree into a family work of art.  Not to mention wonderful memories you create, plus you save a TON of money in the mean time.

What you will need:

4 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup table salt
1 1/2 cups warm to hot water 
(I would lean more towards hot than warm)

Add ingredients in the order given and then stir.  It will begin to form a ball.  Once it's to this point, start using your hands and knead it like you were making bread.  If the dough is too sticky...gradually add more flour. If the dough is too dry, gradually add more water.  There is not an exact science to this.  The amounts above are just a good starting point.  Once you have your dough completely's time to create.  Sprinkle your work surface with flour, roll out your dough with a rolling pin and use the cookie cutters of your choice.

Bake in a 250* oven.  Bake for 30 min. on one side, flip your ornament and bake an additional 30 minute. This is an important step. If you do not flip them, they tend to want to puff up.  They are not as pretty when they do this, plus it makes them more fragile.  I found the snowflake ornaments took any where from 1 to 1.5 hours.  These baked much faster than others I have done.  I am assuming it's because I cut out the small shapes in the center.  The "Giving Thanks" garlands took almost 6-8 hours to bake. 

"Giving Thanks" salt dough garland.  Painted with water colors
Needless to say, bake in 30 minute increments and check for done-ness (is this a word?.. for today it is). You will know when they are done because they will be hard.  If they are still soft or look wet they need to bake longer.  Here is the completed project.

I decorated mine with Tulip fabric paint (silver and pearl) and rhinestones, but the possibilities are endless.  Use your imagination and start creating memories today!

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Hand Made Christmas Ornament Tutorial-Ball of Notes

Supply List:
  1. Clear glass ornaments.  These can be found at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Jo Ann's, etc.
  2. Old music sheets, scrapbook paper that is music printed or print vintage music sheet from the Graphic Fairy.  This is what I did.  Then I copied the paper so it was double sided.
   3. Scissors
   4. Pencil or pen for rolling paper around
   5. Ribbon (optional)
   6. Ornament Hooks


Decide what paper you are going to use.  Again, I printed mine from the Graphic Fairy and printed it so it was double sided.   
   Trim the paper so that you are right next to the music print.  By doing this you eliminate any blank areas once the paper is curled and inserted into the ornament.
 Then cut your sheet music into 1/4 inch wide strips.  I cut the strips starting at the bottom of the longest length.  I did NOT measure these into exact 1/4 inch sections.  I simply eye-balled it and cut.  If they aren't exactly straight that's OK. You won't see this once they are curled.
 Then starting at one end, roll your paper around your pencil / pen.
 Remove your paper spiral, keeping it as rolled as possible.

Remove the ornament top and insert your paper spiral into your ornament.  Continue this process until the ornament is filled to your likings
 Replace your ornament top, add an ornament hook and tie a ribbon (optional) around the hook at the top

You may have noticed a snowflake in the back ground....these are the snowflake salt dough ornaments that I made.  I will share about those in another post. Super easy,  very inexpensive, and they look FABULOUS!

That's it!  Your done.  Now you just need to make about a dozen more and decorate the tree!
 Ciao! for now, Kellie

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