May 15

The Artist

Posted In Art, Budget, Craft, Decorating, Uncategorized

My daughter claims to have NO artistic talent whatsoever… at least compared to her boyfriend, who can draw, paint, sculpt and create just about anything. To prove that she too could produce a piece of art worthy of hanging on the wall, he brought a large canvas, along with 5-6 jars of acrylic paint to our back yard one day. Dressed in disposable painter coveralls, they spent the morning throwing paper plates full of paint at the canvas, and then at each other.  Awww… it was very cute…  so very “Princess Diaries!”

Yes… they had a blast, AND look at what they were able to create!  This work of art now follows her from apartment to apartment. It provides a focal point, instant color, and a reminder of the great time she had that day.

Need something big and dramatic for a wall in your home?  For under $100 you too can create your own personal work of art, complete with fun and fond memories.  Pick out your favorite colors and give it a try.  And don’t worry about the mess… it’s washable!

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Jan 10

Furniture Redo

Posted In Budget, Decorating, flea market, Old to New, Styling, Uncategorized

My friend Lisa is fearless.  She’s also artistic, creative and SO SO brave with power tools, paintbrushes, electricity and pipes, not to mention sewing machines and knitting needles. You name it, she does it. Imagine… she once tore her bathroom apart… completely… plumbing, electrical and all AND then redid it when her husband was away on a business trip.

Compared to that epic redo her latest project is extremely simple, but I am still impressed at the BIG difference fresh paint made on her decades old hutch. Here’s an email she sent me this last week about a simple paint project she took on… again, hubby was away, so Lisa played….

“I had nothing to do last week so I painted the hutch in my foyer. I’ve been wanting to add some turquoise to my color scheme and decided to be bold and paint this hutch. It was painted flat black….”
“So, I painted it with a flat paint too… a super bright shade of turquoise.  This selection was brighter than I would normally choose because I knew I’d be sealing it with a combination of clear and brown wax for a European finish.   This picture (below) shows you the process.  The item on the left was only painted with the very intense turquoise color…  it looks and feels like flat paint.  The  bottom part on the right is in the process of being antiqued, where I’m applying and rubbing off alternate coats of clear and dark wax until I get the dirty look in the place I want it.  Then I buffed the heck out of it. 
“Here is the final product.  It looks like it came out of a kitchen in a french farmhouse and has years of dirt on it…I didn’t want a fussy or a perfect look.  I LOVE how it looks with the milkglass, but now the chairs I kept on either side need to be recovered. (another project!) Yeah..you should see it in person..much more beautiful..took 3 days of hard work to get that finish just right.”

Beautiful!!
Meanwhile, now I’m super motivated, so I’ve decided to paint some some rusty white garden furniture that my neighbor just gave to me.  Here’s what it looks like after a little bit of sanding and priming.
I’m gonna spray paint them with standard black Rustoleum paint.  Glossy.  Will keep you posted, but give me a while because I’ll be reupholstering the chairs too!
I admit that I’m not as skilled or brave as Lisa when it comes to refinishing furniture… she really could be a pro. But, I’m not afraid to try a few simple projects.  Do you have any tips on how I should be doing this? Please share….!
BY THE WAY…. Lisa is the talent that designed the artwork and graphics for this website and my newest, latest, greatest business cards.  Is there anything that this woman can’t do, and do extraordinarily well???

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Apr 08

San Francisco Apartment Living

Posted In Art, Decorating, Move-in's, Travel, Uncategorized

Just back from a crazy quick “gals-only” road trip to SF.   We were 2 moms and 1 daughter with the express goal of giving another daughter, a recent college graduate and hard working city dwelling woman, a pretty place to live .

Decorating help needed here!

We arrived in a highly caffeinated and sugared-up state, ready to unload the pickup truck we’d filled with $300 worth of flea market finds.   She already had the basics…a double bed, 2 vintage dressers, an Ikea futon, several lamps and the piece de resistance…a giant work of art she and her boyfriend had created by throwing paper plates full of paint.

Paint Party

We mixed in our shopping spree finds…real personality pieces like the yellow club chair and ottoman, ($25 at the Irvine flea market!!) oil paintings,  fab formica kitchen table with 4 chairs, fabric panels and a giant pillow sewn from a silk San Francisco scarf.  Our work was fast and furious…the apartment looked great and was all ready for her when she came home from work a few hours later.  (Watermelon margaritas were ready too!)  She was SO happy.

Home Sweet Home

Happy at home

Our favorite part…of this studio was the “L” shape that allowed us to make the bedroom area look and feel separate from the living room.

Bedroom featuring the art masterpiece

Afterwards….fun dinner and toasts on Post St.

Fun time!

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