Friday, December 30, 2011

Reader DIY.

Dana wrote to me a few weeks ago to show me a project that was inspired by your's truly. I'm always really honored when this happens, and I love showing you guys the projects as well...

she had a little spot in her house that was not serving it's purpose well, so she and her husband got to work. She did this cute chevron pattern in gold and black on the back of the shelves, and it's so cute! To read more about it, check out her blog. Thanks, Dana, for sending it in!

If you have done a project that was inspired by my blog, or you just think you've done something I'd enjoy sharing, please send it to me at

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Table and Chairs Redo

A lot of my work in 2011 has been furniture painting - which I love! People seem to be turning over a new leaf, and realizing that you don't have to buy an entirely new set of this or can paint it instead, and save a lot of money.

That being said, a few weeks before Christmas, I painted this dining set. Before, it was a little more traditional and boring:

The table top had some scratches, and the chairs were just blending right into the rest of the set and the floor. I painted the bottom of the table, and the chairs, and did a distress all over them:


I didn't do a whole lot to the top of the table, but I did fix it up a bit. I used stain and seal (a faux painting product) to cover scratches and to darken it a bit, then did a couple of coats of polyurethane.



I painted the table at my client's house, and brought the chairs to my studio to use my paint sprayer on. Funny story: I took them into a smallish room to paint them (without much ventilation, apparently). There are 6 chairs, so it wasn't a small job. I was concentrating on painting the chairs so hard, that when I went into the the bathroom to wash my brush, I realized that all my hair, my face, my nostrils and even my eyelashes had a lovely white dusting of paint all over them. My hair looked like an old lady. I was just about to head out the door (to go home and shower!) when my landlord (and friend, so we had a laugh) came in to ask me about something. I looked about bad timing. :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Memories 2011

I have about 100 photos from Christmas Eve Eve, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after Christmas on my phone...I'm thinking about making an album of Christmas Memories (my mom has one, and it's very cute), but I thought incase time gets away from me, and that doesn't happen, I'd record a few highlights here. This is me diverting away from normal interior design stuff again. :)

the day before Christmas, Jordan and his brother exchanged gifts at our house. They both had bought each other records...we laughed when they both obviously had bought records for each other, but it turned out that they had bought each other the exact same record, which was Coldplay's new album. Funny.

Christmas Eve, we always go to my mom's house and my grandparent's house. This is me, my brother, and my stepbrother's little boy at my mom's house, about to have dinner. Don't ask me why I'm looking at the wall... at least we're all smiling.

This is my brother Andy, and my brother David. Aren't they cute? I love them.

Just a photo I took at my mom's, after lots of gifts had been opened. That's my stepdad and my stepbrother's little girl in the back. I like how it's dusk outside and the tree is reflecting in the window...pretty.

This is my stocking! Every year since I was a baby, I think. My Nana, my dad's mom, made it for me (she made them for all her grandchildren). I love it! I remember really loving all the sequins on it when I was a little girl. Why do little girls love sparkles so much? heh.

Christmas morning at our house! Mika was a good boy this year (kind of. Minus the scratches and bites he likes to randomly give). He got sardine toys and a catnip ball. mmm.

The damage after Jordan and I exchanged gifts. It was fun!

This is at Jordan's mom's house...she has about 30 people (or more!) over for Christmas dinner every year. It's fun, and the house is bustling with kids and adults. I love it. I took this picture before dinner (obviously).

Jordan and his cute niece in her Christmas dress. She is delectable.

This is me and Chase, Jordan's nephew. He's really cute! He liked the photobooth function on my phone. :)

We had brunch at our house with my dad and my stepmom the day after Christmas. My brothers girlfriend is mid-bite or something..oops.

Last but not least, did you know they had cat game apps for iPads? Pretty awesome...they are on

There's a little glimpse at our Christmas holiday - how was your's?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How I Use Wood Filler

I hope Santa was good to all of you! I had a great Christmas with my family and friends...I'm always a little sad when the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is over...but, life goes on, and there's more to look forward to.

As I was going through pics from the past few months, I realized I took some photos of a little wood-filling session I did when I was painting some cabinets, and I never shared them with you. So, I thought I'd do that today! This is just how I do it - I'm sure there are other ways, but everyone seems to like to get a little insight, so I am sharing.

I use Elmer's wood filler - the kind that comes in a tube. I think that all wood filler (unfortunately) dries out kind of quickly, so I usually just buy a small container, and it only gets used once or twice before it dries out. Annoying, but true.

here is a photo of the painted-over holes before I went back to fill them and paint over them:

before I even fill the holes, I sand down the area with my electric mouse sander. Sometimes, (especially when hardware is involved, like hinge holes) the hardware that is pressing in on the surface (the wood and the painted surface) can create indentions. It's good to sand down the indentions beforehand, to alleviate a little bit of extra work at the end.

So, after I do that, I slather on the wood putty.


I go heavy on the putty. This means that you most likely won't have to do a second round of wood filler, because you are going above and beyond with this first coat, filling all possible spaces. It takes a little while for wood putty to dry - longer than wall spackle. It's because it's thicker and stronger. Let that coat dry entirely, then you are ready for sanding.

I sand my wood filler just like I sand a piece of wood that I am trying to get smooth and pretty. I start with a heavier grit paper, like a 150 (not too rough), then move down to a 220. That way, you get the big bumps first, then you can smooth them out with a softer paper. Sometimes I just do the softer paper with my hand, and not the electric sander.

When you sand it down, there should be almost no wood filler showing at the end - this is how you'll know it's done its job. It's supposed to be completely smooth on the surface.


see, completely smooth:
(other than a few pieces of sawdust that were promptly swept away!)

Before I paint, I do a coat of primer. Wood filler can make your painted surface look matte, which is not what you're going for :) I hope this was helpful for you guys, and leave any questions in the "comments"!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hi! Just wanted to say Merry Christmas. I'm about to do some cooking and prepping for all the Christmas festivities, but I wanted to drop in and show you guys pictures of my humble Christmas decor. It's a little boring, but I thought I'd share anyway, since I've done it every year since I started this blog.

first up, the tree!

You can see my DIY hand-colored ornaments - they turned out pretty nice! Other than those, we have lots of vintage ornaments and a few keepsake ones from when I was little. I got a skinny faux green tree from Hobby Lobby this year. (you might remember my vintage red tree, and my white tree from last year. I get a new idea every year...I'm such a weirdo. I do still love all my trees, and next year I'm sure I'll put another one up! One day, when we have a bigger house, I'll have all of them out.) For some reason, I was really wanting the look of a real tree, and we debated going to the Christmas tree farm and picking one out, but the idea of sweeping needles and watering it seemed a little daunting. Plus, Mika has a real affinity for eating plants, and I'm sure he'd try to chow down on a live tree hanging out in the living room...silly cat.


I bought cute wrapping paper from Hobby Lobby. I bought two kinds - one is chartreuse green, and one is white with gold polka dots. I bought mint and kelly green ribbon to use on the packages. As the season has been coming to a close, and Christmas gets closer, the wrapping has turned into a not-so-pretty mish mash of all types of bags and bows, but I still love my new wrapping papers. Jordan always wraps his gifts in Trader Joe's bags, so there's also that :)


Here is our coffee table. I had a lot of pretty vintage ornaments leftover after we decorated the tree, so I just placed them in this big vase that we have. Simple and pretty.

On a non-Christmas-related note, I also recently bought that tray at Pier One, along with the coasters. I love them both!

I have a few vintage Christmas items throughout the living room. Here are some angels that sit on the table beside our couch. (please ignore that mirror on the sunburst mirror. I got it at a thrift store, and for some reason, the mirror WILL NOT COME CLEAN. It drives me nuts.)

vintage Santas on the bookshelves!

My mom finds most of my vintage Christmas stuff at yardsales. I think most of it is from the 50's/60's - that seems to be the time period that I love the most, when it comes to Christmas decor!

vintage trees (actually, the one of the right is vintage, the other one is from Target a few years ago) and a cute vintage angel girl. (Side note : do you love how I have a Bible and a True Blood book resting side by side? Oops)

my mom found this ceramic tree for me this year at a yardsale:
I love it, because when I was a little girl, my Nana had a few of these in her house, and we had one that she gave us at our house, too. My brother and I kept it in our bathroom as our nightlight during Christmas. The little lights come out, and every year you place them in their little holes. This one didn't have a light stand to rest it on, but thank goodness for the new battery operated lights that they make! I bought 2 sets at Target, and just placed them on the inside. It's pretty! The little deer are also finds from my mom, I think. The woman is a master yard sale hunter.

Last but not least is a tiny touch of Christmas in our bedroom. I put this little white tree from the dollar section at target on our shelf:

I placed a few color-coordinated balls on the tree, along with a vintage glittery deer

I took two shots of this shelf, and Mika was not in the frame on the first one. He quickly jumped down from the bed, and then jumped up onto the chair. He loves a photo opp.

I meant to pick up another pack of tiny white battery lights, but I apparently forgot to. Oh well, next year!

just for fun, here are all my Christmases since I started this ol' blog:

Hope you enjoyed my decor...Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hand-painted Armoire

A few weeks ago, I did some painting on an old Depression-era armoire. It was very dark stained wood, and we did a fresh, light makeover on it, with some handpainted details.

here is the before photo of it:

and here is the inspiration photo of what we were going for. I didn't want to cover the entire thing with detailing, like this, but we loved the floral detailing.
here is my after:


it took about 5 coats of paint to get that piece fully white. and that includes 2 coats of oil-based primer! those old stains love coming through paint - they don't want to be squelched. :)

Anyway, after we got it all white, I did the hand-painted detailing, which was really fun. I topped it all off with a wax sealer.


I think she's going to get some pretty glass knobs for the drawer and door.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Morrocan Stencil Tone on Tone.

Recently, I did my "Moroccan" Stencil in a tone on tone look (meaning, the exact same color paint for wall and stencil, but the wall was the flat version, and the pattern was high-gloss). I hadn't done that before with this particular stencil pattern, and it was my client's idea, but I really love the way it came out. It's very sophisticated, but still playful and interesting. Check it out:

(FYI I believe the color is Rockport Gray by Benjamin Moore)

(the paint was still drying when I took these shots!)

I did the whole wall that will be behind the beds (this is a guest bedroom, so there are two queen beds), but it was hard to get a shot this day, so I just have some detail shots. I promise to get better pictures once the room is completed! The plans are so beautiful for all the decor - I can't wait to see everything come together!


I also painted this dresser a while back, that will be in the room as well:

It was an old piece my client already had, that was completely "brown" wood....I just painted the bottom of it off white, and did some antiquing on it, as well as distress the drawers. She added the beautiful Mercury glass knobs from Anthropologie, and we left the top of the dresser dark stained.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Geometric Artwork

Hi! I've been a super busy little painter bee as of late. There are all kinds of projects going on in and out of the studio, and when I went to upload photos of recent projects onto my computer, I realized just how many things I've been doing lately. Woof! I'm ready for a little slow-down time during the holidays, but before that, I have a few projects I'd like to share with you guys.

Remember last week when I said that I was finishing up some canvases for Strongbox West? Well, they're done! And here they are:


They're sitting in the studio here (obviously). I can't wait to see them installed at SBW.

They're pretty big - each canvas is 4' by 4'.


These things took forever! As you might imagine. It was mainly waiting for paint to dry, before I could tape off another section to paint. There was lots of working on these, then onto something else, then these, then something else, etc!


I love the bright colors in these, but I think what makes them actually cool is the contrast of the bright colors with some earthy colors as well. Notice the sage green and tan mixed in with neon green and citron.

I also did this big painting for Strongbox:


This one might make you nauseous if you stare at it too much.



Incase you missed my other work at Strongbox, check it out here, here, and here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reader DIY.

I had to share this: last night, I got an email from a reader saying that she already made the antler DIY that I posted that is some quick kinda girl.

check it out:


see the little antlers at the top?


I love how her wall is cute! Thanks for sharing, Cara!

ps - if you create any of my "DIY" ideas, please email them to me! I would love to feature them here.