Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mammabellarte Giveaway!

Rita Reade of Mammabellarte is having a GIVEAWAY to celebrate her 500th post!

Her heartfelt theme for Giving Back is "Sharing is Caring."

If you don't know Miss Rita, you are missing a little sunshine from your life.  This little Italian is one talented and busy woman!  Not only is she a co-host of the best show around, "The Vintage Marketplace at The Oaks", she makes beautiful birdhouses, signs and soldered jewelry and bottles.  She also teaches classes.    And her accent - adorable - I could listen to her all day.

Be sure to check out her blogs:

Here are the awesome giveaway prizes:
(There are six!!!)

A copy of Somerset Home Magazine and one of Rita's Heart Pendants.

A Soldering Kit and a Mega Pack of Copper Foil.

No Sew Sealah Tape and an enamel house number sign by Ramsign.

Is this an incredible giveaway or what?!?!

Click here to visit Mammabellarte and learn how to enter.

And just to remind you to mark your calendars for the next show...

September 9 & 10

Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red Hen Home Giveaway!

Korrie at Red Hen Home is having a GIVEAWAY in honor of her 1 year blog anniversary.  I discovered her inspiring blog not too long ago and was just smitten over this awesome coffee table she hand-painted a French label on. 

You can check out the full story here.  She has done a couple more since then, so just click away when you visit her blog.  You'll find all sorts of cool things she creates. 

Then be sure to check out her blog post here to get the details on how to enter to win her one-of-a-kind custom GIVEAWAY prize.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Almost Before and After

In my last post I mentioned that I'd share some before and afters of some of the things I made for the show.  Well, I'm sort of doing that here only I discovered I actually don't have any "before" shots of it...oops. 

These photos are from the show.

Oh, just to warn you, this post is more wordy than usual because I'm giving a lot more how-to information than I usually do so bear with me ladies....

It always seems like I'm half way through a make-over when I realize I forgot to take any "before" shots.  Once, at a show, I actually asked a customer, as she was walking away from my booth with her new purchase, if she wouldn't mind setting it back down and moving out of the way so I could get a shot of the really cute vintage, metal vanity chair I made over.  Hopefully she wasn't too offended.  I was polite about it, really.

Even though this is a mid-project shot, this is my "before."

Let me at least give you a mental visual of the actual before (without my feet of course).  This started out as your typical French provincial, dark stained, double bed.  Yes, I had the headboard, footboard and side rails.  So why did I not just keep it as a complete bed?  Well, as you may or may not be able to relate....we had soooo much junk many treasures that some things had to be stored on my Mom's back patio and the footboard sustained a little damage from the elements.  (of course I haven't thrown it out, I'm sure I can still do something with it!)

My first plan was to just fix up the headboard with some paint and appliques figuring someone would buy a headboard by itself.  Then when I saw my friend, Margaret, make a chalkboard from a headboard for her daughter's wedding I was so inspired that I had try it and of course take it a few steps further.  ;).  I can't just keep it simple.

I began by very carefully taping off the curvy frame part with blue painter's tape.  I used a flat black spray paint as a primer before I spray painted it with 2-3 coats of chalkboard paint.  When I was ready to paint the rest I removed that tape, then taped off the chalkboard part this time (see pic above).  I wanted the painted frame to have a crisp and clean edge around the chalkboard so I didn't want to take any chances without the tape.  I'm just picky like that. 

I then whipped out my trusty, crusty can of the now famous, Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint in Old White.  When I originally sanded the headboard months ago, I didn't know about this paint.  I'm not a cheesey sander, I really get in there and do it right when the piece calls for it.  Trust me, I would NOT have spent all that time sanding, especially the curvy parts, had I known it would not be necessary.  

We added a shelf and trimmed it with nice, detailed moulding.  I went back and forth on either adding appliques or hand-painting some words since there was such a large blank spot under the chalkboard.  I decided appliques would appeal to more customers.

I already had the curvy brackets (see why you shouldn't ever throw anything away?) and they fit perfectly on the legs of the headboard.  I also loved how the curvyness worked with its shape. 

We also added a piece of wood across the bottom (under the shelf) so we could attach old, vintage door knobs for hooks.  I actually didn't have time for the knobs when I took it to the show so I wasn't very disappointed it didn't sell.  I really wanted to see it completed the way I had envisioned it.  Can't you just see this on a wall in a mudroom or entry way with a purse, coat and back packs haning from it?
And wouldn't you know it?  It sold just three days after we put it in my booth!

This project was another learning experience with the Chalk Paint.  I'm still getting used to using the dark wax rather than the antiquing glaze I normally use with regular paint.  At first I really didn't like how dark it got but after playing around with it, I learned that you can lighten it up by going back with clear wax - it sort of dilutes it.  I just kept working with it until I got the look I was going for. 

There are all sorts of Chalk Paint techniques on different blogs and you can even go directly to the Annie Sloan web-site as well.  But for some video tutorials, check out Mustard Seed Interiors
For this project, I just painted it on with a cheap brush, followed by a smaller, nicer brush for painting around the taped areas.  It does dry pretty quickly so you can actually sand and distress it the same day without it rolling up and peeling.  After some distressing, I rubbed on a clear wax with an old terry cloth washcloth.  A tip I can offer - make sure you are watching carefully that you do not miss any spots with the clear wax.  I have made that mistake and it makes the dark wax look really muddy and grayish brown everywhere you missed.  The paint just soaks it up and it doesn't look pretty, trust me.

You can see how I left it a little heavy in the corners and around the applique where a piece would naturally get sort of grimy over the years.  You just have to work with it yourself and do what you like.

Please pardon the kids' play table and sidewalk chalk art.  ;).

A great tip I learned from Miss Mustard Seed - to avoid "burning" words on your new chalkboard, you should always "prime" your chalkboards.  You do this by taking a piece of chalk on its side and rubbing it all over the chalkboard.  Wipe it all off afterwards of course but don't worry about trying to make it perfect.  After all, it's meant to be used, right?

I like to have fun and write on my chalkboards when I put them out to sell.  I think it helps people visualize the use they can have in their homes.

Jack likes it, too!

So, there you have it.  An almost before and after of my chalkboard headboard.

Linking up with:

Please visit the blog parties to check out all the creative talent and be inspired!

Have a great weekend everyone!