December 14, 2013

On my work table...

New mixed media.

I have a thing for rabbits and hares...clearly.
A fuzzy photo of my deer head, faux taxidermy...
I hope you are having a great weekend! It is very cold and snowy here, I am staying inside today!

December 9, 2013

A gift for Quinn...

Every little boy needs a mustache cowl, right?

Mustache is crocheted and added onto cowl, which was knitted in the round on size 6 needles. Cast on 64 stitches, to fit a toddler 2-4 years old. Mustache pattern here. How cute is that?

Three more...

Finished furniture pieces this week...
French Linen/Old White

White glaze and clear wax

ASP Graphite/Clear & Dark wax

Bohm Furniture Rochester, NY

Walnut Buffet

Beautiful walnut top/matte ceramic knobs
French mid-century hutch, mission desk c. 1910, Walnut buffet c. 1920's.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, waxes and General Finishes Poly for the walnut top.
All for sale at my studio...

November 29, 2013

Cleaning Annie Sloan brushes...

I have a nice selection of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® brushes that I intend to keep in top notch condition. The paint brushes are easy to clean and I always take my time and make sure all traces of paint are gone. To that end, I like to use a mild but thorough hand cleaner called Fast Orange®, made by Permatex,  to clean all my brushes. It is gentle on the natural bristles and rinses out completely. Most soaps will accomplish the same thing...Where Fast Orange® really shines though is when cleaning those sticky wax application brushes. I have never been satisfied with other methods of cleaning the wax brushes.

available at most home stores

Here is how I do it:
  1. Rinse brush thoroughly in hot water.
  2. Squirt a small amount of Fast Orange® in the palm of your hand.
  3. Clean your brush in your palm using a circular motion, the soap will work up an through the bristles.
  4. Rinse well...repeat if necessary.
  5. Shake your brush hard into the sink to remove excess water.
  6. Stand brush up in container to finish drying.
My brushes look practically new every time, and quickly!
Let me know if you try it.

November 15, 2013

Studio Lighting...

I purchased an old school globe on eBay, no stand, just the globe. It was a great size at sixteen inches in diameter, for making into two light fixtures. We needed more direct lighting at the cash/wrap. The counter is eight feet long, so I needed good sized fixtures...I ordered all of the light making components from this Etsy seller, Snake Head Vintage, who was very helpful.  He sells vintage style lighting cords, sockets, etc.  They are excellent quality and I will be buying from him again for sure. The sockets were solid brass, and the have screwed together much easier than the cheap pop off ones available in the home stores. I chose gray covered cloth cord, black sockets and fittings.
It was difficult to photograph them, and they look great in person, but you get the idea. There is a paper plane garland, made from vintage maps flying in the background...yep, not your typical FedEx drop-off! We are so happy to have this business inside the studio and it has made shipping a bit easier.
Please stop by and visit us if you live in the Rochester area, your first shipment is 15% off!!

On my work table today...

A baby gift for Shea Madison.
For her lovely nursery...the vintage domed glass frame was an Etsy purchase. I used a vintage, pale pink, wool blanket that I fulled as the background. A found antique knit pattern for the delicate over-the-knee bootie sock, was knit up in ivory wool. Various ribbons, buttons and crochet bits were added. The finishing touch was an old brass pin and a photo locket. Done.

November 6, 2013

Creative Lounge Night

We have a class scheduled for November so far...yay!

Mixed Media Coasters on  Friday November 22nd.

Please see the Calendar page for details and sign up on the Online Shop page.

There will be another class added for the Mixed Media Fabric Beads later in the week!

October 8, 2013

Petite French Hutch...

Another piece finished. I am fond of this one. Hand made and hand carved, well over a hundred years ago. Pretty pewter hardware and painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, "old white", distressed and waxed. Now for the really fun part, styling. More to come!

October 7, 2013

Walnut Buffet...

Almost finished. This beautiful, large buffet just needs some light distressing and waxing. I am searching for the perfect knobs for the drawers, as the original pulls were in very bad shape. The piece was bought for my daughter's dining room and was destined to be a mustard yellow color. It would have been stunning against the "Dusty Lead" deep gray walls. Unfortunately, it just was a bit too big for the room. So the search for smaller buffet continues...
My husband is set to open our FedEx® Shipping Center this week. It is a perfect fit in the studio and allows us to easily deliver and receive furniture for our customers. He is still quite enamored with the dock in the back! The cash/wrap counter and POS (point of sale) system is up and ready to go. Over the weekend we finished this great industrial piece. Mr. B. refinished the gorgeous maple top and I primed and painted the metal bottom in matte black. It was unrecognizable from its earlier state, a dreary army green, dirty and covered in stickers...We will use it as a wrapping station for now but it is for sale here on Etsy. It is also available at the studio for local pickup.
Here is the area for the shipping drop-off.
There are a few finishing touches needed, we are adding a hanging light over the counter, a runner rug, signage, etc. Definitely not your typical shipping center! We love the vintage feel of it.

The vestibule floor is completed and I have begun to style it, I will finish it up tomorrow. Here is a peek at it...
The view from outside...
Lots more to do, but my house is demanding a little attention today, along with the laundry. It is a rainy day and I am craving a home cooked meal as well!


September 21, 2013

New Stools...

I have ordered ten new stools for the Creative Lounge worktables. They are industrial, sturdy and have a nice padded leather seat. We will be up and down a lot during the sessions and these will be easy to move if needed. They also are stack-able, which was a huge plus. Don't they have a slight Tolix vibe?

Mr. B. has been down with a bug, this week. He is very close to having the worktables ready. I have to let him rest a bit. So much of the studio work has been a grind, especially on him. It is physically demanding to get a space this large in shape. We have to remember that in time it will all get done.
The mind is willing ...but, the body is losing it!
I did manage to finish a petite French buffet/hutch this week, I will share the photos when it is styled.
My goal this week is to put down a checkered taupe and black floor in the large vestibule. It was painted a few weeks ago and it will be fun to accessorize this area for the autumn season. So, I need to get this done. It is a ten by eight foot space so it can handle a piece of furniture or two.
Here are my inspiration photos...



I am going the peel and stick should be fairly easy after the existing floor is cleaned well.
It will be a nice clean start to the fun part...(oh no, I am rhyming now)!

September 11, 2013

Cash/Wrap finished...

All eight feet of it! Slowly, checking off the items on the "to do"list. Mr. B. did a great job interpreting my vision (drawn on a small piece of paper), into this gorgeous piece. Bad photos, sorry.
They were taken after a long, hot day and really do not show how beautiful this counter really is.

 The center panels are antique tin ceiling tiles, the back has open shelving and the top is oak, stained gray. The base is painted in Behr "Sea Salt" and the glazing is General Finishes "Van Dyke Brown" glaze.  The glazing has photographed darker than it actually is. You can also get a peek, to the right, at the painting that was done over the weekend.

I could use that crisp fall air, any time now! Today is a sweltering 90 plus degrees accompanied with high humidity. YUK...
I am taking a break and working on some home stuff today and hiding out with my air conditioning on. I will also be working on projects for the Creative Lounge nights at the studio. It will be fun to get this party started! Stay tuned...XO

September 9, 2013

Old Desk refreshed...

I purchased this old oak library table to use as my desk at the studio. It was in rough shape and I didn't like the orange-y stain color that it had acquired over the years. The top was stripped and sanded, and given a coat of General Finishes walnut stain. Three coats of General Finishes water based poly, and it looked great. Lots of patina and a much better color. Although in my quick iPhone photos it still looks a bit orange. The drawers and bottom were painted in General Finishes Lamp Black milk paint. I love this stuff. It went on beautifully and covered completely in two coats.
Next, I taped off the legs about 8 inches up and sprayed the bottom of them with Rustoleum's Metallic gold. It was fun and easy and gives this desk an unexpected edge. The West Elm lamp I had is just perfect with it, since there is no overhead lighting in this corner. Lots of light from the windows though on bright days.
In between getting the studio ready, I have worked on some pieces that my husband has restored, like this map file drawer, originally used by the Department of the Interior. It was also painted in Lamp Black milk paint and waxed with Annie Sloan dark wax. It was originally army green. I think it is a lovey piece and can see it being used in many areas of the home. What do you think? It is available in my Etsy store and can be shipped or picked up at the studio.

The painting was done yesterday and I am happy with, no, ecstatic about the color choice for the walls in the front area of the studio. The paint was a color match from Valspar called "Muted Ebony" we had it mixed up in Benjamin Moore eggshell...the rest of the walls are done in a cool, bright white for maximum light reflection. Photos tomorrow!!

August 26, 2013

Beautiful weekend...

Our weekend was gorgeous...sunny, not too hot, not too humid. We worked around the yard (my hydrangea were cut, now drying) and caught up on some household maintenance. We enjoyed Prosecco, steaks and salad on Saturday evening. Freshly made tomato sauce on Pici for Sunday afternoon. Espresso after dinner. Perfect.

I also harvested lots of basil and froze some pesto for those long winter months ahead. What were you up to?

Back to the studio today...lots of work ahead, this week!

August 19, 2013

On my work table today...

Bella, Ava and I made these fun coasters today. Some terracotta, gesso, black ink and matte medium!
It was fun to have a day off to play and be with my grandchildren. A very busy week ahead.

August 16, 2013

Studio News...

We have moved into the studio and we are working hard to get it into shape. Mr. B. is thrilled to have a workshop that is much bigger and brighter than his previous spot, the one unfinished corner, and I do mean corner, of our basement. All large projects required moving tools and wood out to the garage, not much fun, especially in the winter. He is most excited however about the dock out back, that allows for easy shipping and receiving.

The painted concrete floors will be thoroughly cleaned next week, (thank you, Tom) and then I will paint the walls that are dry walled, including the vestibule area, so that some things can go up on the wall. Most of the space is white now, including some peeling brick (love that). I have decided to paint some of the walls in a charcoal color. I like Valspar's "muted ebony" in satin.  Here are a couple of inspiration photos:




If you want more studio inspiration photos, go nuts at my pinterest board, Studio.

My mixed media fiber and textile work has taken a back seat lately to the painting projects. We have sold a number of library catalogs, quite quickly, via Etsy. We have to pay the rent after all!! My painting room is even has an industrial exhaust fan. Alas, no sink, yet. Here is the room and the latest furniture projects.
paint room left

paint room right

solid walnut buffet in progress Annie Sloan Chalk paint in "old white"

no veneers will be distressed and waxed with Annie Sloan soft wax

map file drawers in progress

map file base (General Finishes Milk Paint, Lamp Black, Annie Sloan dark wax)

I will be back when these two pieces are finished...they will be available on Etsy.
Oh, and take a peek at the puppies new home at the studio...a ridiculous purchase from Restoration Hardware's Baby and Child pages. So spoiled!