Country style, country love, country life. Sharing my inspired, vintage, rustic DIY designs and decor on my blog.
My DIY projects are being completed at a record pace this month, knowing that Thanksgiving dinner for twenty is fast approaching and our Vintage Thymes Monthly Market will be the following weekend! One of this week’s projects was refurbishing a cute little side table.
The original finish was a shiny scratched shellac with large milky stains on the top over a dark mahogany wood. After several unsuccessful attempts to remove the stains, I made the decision to paint and antique it instead. Since I wanted to show off the pretty delicate floral border, I decided to go with two coats of Annie Sloan French Linen for the base and a specialty deeper gray color that I created. (I’m calling it CDH Parisian Gray : ) I have been mixing my own colors and creating a chalk-like paint using a recipe I recently discovered online. LOVE it. Blog for another day.
For the finishes, I used some Martha Stewart products I discovered in a 50% off mark down bin at Michaels. Crackle Effect for the center, Antique Tintable Glaze for the contrast and a Satin Acrylic Finish.
1. Cleaned the table and remove cobwebs and dust (it was in the barn…).
2. Painted the base coat with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The beauty of ASCP is that you don’t need to prep or prime anything. Just paint and go. Two coats. 3. Sanded the edges to give the table a more rustic appearance. (You can skip this step if you want it to be a bit more refined : )
4. I had left the middle circle untouched, thinking that I would just add the crackle medium and then paint over that to allow the dark wood to show through. (For more info on using crackling medium, check out my Big Rack Attack Towel Rack tutorial)
Until I started to add the glaze. What a mess. All of the paint started coming off with the rag! Apparently the crackle medium did not adhere to the unprepped and shellacked inner circle. So I scraped it off,
5. Mixed the Antique Effects Glaze with my darker gray paint.
Remember, the more paint you use, the darker the glaze effect will be, so just use a small amount of paint. Paint it on, wipe it off with a damp rag. Do one section at a time, as this product dries pretty quickly and you want it to be blended smoothly and not leave streaky lines.
I started out with a fairly dark mixture of paint and glaze, then added more glaze to lighten up as I went on. The great part about this product is that it is water based, so just taking a damp rag to it removed the excess perfectly. You can see how the glaze enhances not only the crackling effect in the center, but also the medallion of flowers along the border. So country pretty!
6. Allowed to dry, then added the Martha Stewart Satin Finish for protection. Done. Overall, I give the Martha Stewart products two thumbs up! They go on smoothly (the crackle fiasco was my bad, not Martha’s), clean up with soap and water, are essentially odorless and a little goes a very long way, so it’s inexpensive as well. But the refurbishing of this little table cost me a lot of time. Good thing Coach got it for FREE-99!!
Nothing like a fun DIY project to get ready for the upcoming holidays! I had a box full of vintage jelly jars kicking around,
so I decided to make some candles as stocking stuffers. This is really quite easy, as most of the products I used from Country Lane
at AC Moore, but you can also buy in quantity from various candle makers through Etsy or Ebay as well. I figured I would give it a try on a smaller scale before I got into wholesale lots of wax and wicks. Here is the How-To-Do-It:
1. Wash the little jars or whatever you are planning on using. In my case, if the tops were really rusted, I spray painted them so you could see the embossed Jelly Jar writing.
The melting pot has a handle so it hangs onto the edge of the pan of boiling water. Once the water is boiling, reduce to simmer. Place pot filled with wax chips into the hot water, making sure you don’t splash any water into the melting pot!
3. Leave the pot in the simmering water until the wax melts completely. DO NOT ALLOW THE WAX TO BOIL!!! Soy wax melts very quickly on the lowest setting, so it only takes a couple of minutes to melt the entire bag.
5. Add scent and colorant to the desired colors and scent levels. Obviously, the more you add, the darker the color and the stronger the scent. The melted wax appears darker than when it cools and sets, so color accordingly.
6. Pour melted wax carefully into prepared jars, making sure you avoid the centered wick, so it won’t melt and warp. Allow to cool.
7. To create some labels, I went to Staples and got these cute little Martha Stewart Brown Kraft Paper labels numbers 72428 and 72429. (If the packages look a little ink-stained to you, that is not your computer screen. They were in a bag with a jar of black grout and I was fumbling for my keys and dropped the bag in the driveway and…you can guess the rest.)
8. Go to Avery.com Design & Print Online, and plug in the label numbers in the search box.
A template will pop up and you can design it however you would like your label to look. Remember, these are enlarged on the computer screen, so when you actually print them in sheets of 6, the print will be smaller!
10. Add the printed labels to the jars and put the tops on. Cute! And they smell great too! If you have questions or are looking for additional information, go to Soap Expressions.com and they have lots of candle-making tutorials using their Country Lane product line.
Have a fab Friday, everyone! Time to start preparing for Turkey Trot Thursday!! Susan
Sunday morning, Coach and I ventured to Todd Farm in Rowley, not as shoppers, but for the first time ever, as vendors.
Coach had been yard and estate-saling all summer long, and the barn was bursting at the seams. This weekend was the last available one for us (but the flea markets are still going on until December 1) where we could try to move some stuff, to essentially make room for more stuff. Alarm went off at 4am. Groan. Pitch black outside, damp and freezing cold @ 31 degrees.
Fortunately, we had packed both cars the night before so we were ready to travel to Rowley, arriving at 5am under the cloak of darkness. We were ushered to a row of parking spaces marked with orange cones, next to the lovely Lisa from Rita Joes Vintage, who was already set up and ready to sell! As we began untying the ropes to take down our display tables from the roof of the car, we noticed flashing lights in the foggy distance,
reminiscent of an old western where the sheriff and his posse are desperately searching for the escaped fugitive. The only things missing were the baying bloodhounds. An amazing and surreal sight. And simply AWESOME. These were the many dealers with head lamps and flashlights swarming the incoming vehicles,
checking the interiors for hidden treasures and asking “any old toys, any old artwork?”
So once we set up shop,
I strolled around to take a few photos as the sun began to rise over the fields.
Pink sky at morning…
Finally in daylight, I was able to see what some of the other vendors were offering, and discovered a few of my favorite things:
A very jaunty Mr. Snowman
I have never seen a mannequin like this one, but I would be happy every day if I had her in my dressing room…
This is an entire Marionette’s traveling road show suitcase.
As the breaking daylight illuminated the quickly-occupied fields, it became apparent that there are many levels of sellers. Those, like us, who packed their mini vans and SUV’s with household wares and crafts,
and then there are those who press their company trucks and vans into service for the day.
And then there are the big guns, the vendors who we see every time we shop at Todd Farm, with large cargo vans
Todd Farm is the place for you! And if you are interested in selling some of your prized possessions, they make it so easy. You drive up, park your car, pay your $35 and you are in business! Just remember, the early bird gets the worm,
so getting there before daybreak is the best way to showcase your wares to dozens of dealers before the general public arrives. As for Coach, what exactly did he sell? The signs in the above photo? Pretty much gone. As a matter of fact, some of the old metal auto and cigar signs were purchased by another vendor who promptly walked across the pathway and resold them in his booth! Shades of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money.
Those antique coffee grinder wheels we scored at The Elephant Trunk? Sold.
Coach did alright selling his stuff, and I loved the people-watching, the photo-taking, getting rid of a bunch of stuff and the donuts from the canteen truck that was conveniently situated nearby. The amazing Marty’s donuts. OMG.
And since Coach did so great selling his finds, I think we have may have just found his new summer job! But for now, it’s time to get out there and find some new stuff to sell! Happy treasure hunting, everyone! Susan
With stenciled holiday signs being so popular this season, I decided to decorate an old pine box for the market. The trouble with pre-made and purchased stencils? There are only a limited number of fonts available with the letter stencils.
won’t do the trick. Also, the pre-made ones that have specific sayings and designs can be quite pricey, even with a coupon from your favorite local crafts store! You can order custom stencils online as well, but again, the price could be prohibitive for one project. Unless you are planning on making a ton of signs with the same design, it is difficult to justify spending upwards of $30 on a large pre-cut stencil for just one creation. So, I decided to try a do-it-myself stencil with stuff I already had in my workshop. Success! This is the “how-I-did-it”: Tools you will need: regular copy paper, printer (ink or laser, doesn’t matter), plastic sheet protectors
spray craft bond (the kind that is temporary and moveable, like this Elmer’s),
an X-acto knife, razor cutter or small sharp scissors, a cutting surface (I used an old sewing cutting mat) scotch or any transparent tape, paint and stenciling sponge or brush and, most importantly, a pattern or idea for the design.
Step 1: On my Paint program on the desktop, I found the font I wanted and created the sign I needed: Pine Cones 5c. Saved the file. You can use your own favorite program and be as elaborate as you like as long as you can print it out and cut it out.
Step 2: Go to Blockposters.com
and download your file. It is easy and free! They customize your sign to whatever size you need. In this case, I needed a long narrow horizontal sign, so it printed out on four pieces of paper. Print it out. Cut apart the words and tape them back together with the correct order and spacing to fit.
Step 4: Spray the craft bond to the back of the transparent plastic sheet and adhere that to the paper pattern, front side up, so you can see the print. Make sure it is solidly in place there are no wrinkles!
Step 5: Take your razor cutter or knife, or scissors if you don’t have those, and cut out the stencil. (Yikes! Looking at this pic I realized how rusty that razor is! And no, that is not my blood on the mat…)
Remember, when you are stenciling, you need the little middles of the round letters to have some definition! You can do one of two things: leave a small line attached to the middle piece, or cut it away completely.
Keep the little middle pieces and glue them onto the piece separately before you paint. Step 6: Once your stencil is cut to your liking, you can peel away the white paper pattern in the back and that will leave the plastic stencil.
Or you can leave it on, as long as it is adhered solidly. Now spray the back of the stencil lightly and press it onto your prepared piece, making sure you press firmly along the cut lines so the paint doesn’t bleed underneath.
Step 7: Paint inside the cut stencil areas. I actually started with a base of spray paint, then added layers til I got the look and color I wanted. You can use spray paint, or a damp sponge or an actual flat stencil pouncing brush with acrylic paint, whatever you have available (if you have never stenciled before, then you might want to check this out for more details.)
Step 8: Stand back and admire : ) Cute, right?! Now, I realize this is a lot of steps, but I wanted to make sure I covered all of the bases. This is actually quite simple, and allows you the flexibility to create whatever style stencil you want or need for your specific project! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask here or drop me a line @ email@example.com. And if you do create a project with your own design, please send it to me or post on my Facebook page-can’t wait to see them! Happy stenciling Saturday, everyone! Susan
The other day, I was checking my iPhone for email messages when an error message like this one popped up…hmmm.
So I tried logging in again. Nothing. Investigated further, discovered that my gmail account had been deleted!!! Now, if I had received this error message,
I would have said no thank you. But I never did. So somehow, someway, someone had deleted my gmail account. It took a couple of frantic hours, the names of my first born nephew and my third grade nun (and some timely assistance from my daughter, who just happened to be dropping off the pup for a little nana-time)
to finally get this email message from Google:
the magic restoration code that allowed me to enter a new password and restore my account. (Gmail doesn’t have a customer service number to call, you just have to follow their email resolution questions or get redirected to essentially useless user forums.) Account restored, all is great….but, wait. The file categories are there, just like they were when I was so rudely deleted, but the saved emails? Gone, baby, gone.
All of my correspondence, banking, photos, shopping and blog information. All of my contacts, poof. Disappeared into cyberspace. With no way to retrieve them. Thankfully, all of my financial files had been backed up on other servers. But, if you have recently contacted me for information, an affiliation, a collaboration or just to say hello, those emails are toast. So please contact me again at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you! Ironically, the reason I have a gmail account is due to the fact that my previous Comcast account had been allowing my inbox to be flooded with spam! After a frustrating, lost weekend spending countless hours on the phone speaking to customer service reps around the world with no resolution to my hacking issue other than to pay an additional $15 per month for special security-what!?!- I cancelled Comcast and switched to Verizon. (I never wrote about it, but you can read this Forbes story about another writer’s Comcast follies to get the general idea.) But I decided to switch my email to gmail to avoid having to change over all of my accounts again, in the event that Verizon didn’t work out. But, alas, here I am, back in email hell. So…does anyone have a fool and hack-proof email system I could use? Susan