Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More Inspiration

There are some special times when cruising blogs that I hit the jackpot.  This is one of those times.

Making it Homey is sooooo good!  I will post before and after pics below to display her work but please visit her blog to see all the other work she has done.  She scrapes, sands and strips with the best of them.

I am adding on this pic because I think it is cute.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

More Stuff and a Decision

Sometimes there is a little story that goes along with my finding a piece.  In the summer I wrote of a house that had many, many puppies, goats walking through and a horse in the side yard.  This new story is not as sweet as the animal house story.  Actually, not sweet at all.  The picture below is of a cabinet with two doors on the top and two drawers on the bottom.  It is painted two tone green.  Not a bad looking piece at all.  I saw it on trash day in my community on the curb with trash bags around it.  I turned around, parked in front of it and determined it would fit in the back of my car.  I have a PT Cruiser - the back seats fold down for extra space.  Despite the fact that I look strong as bull, I am not.  I have arthritis all over the place which reduces the strength.  So, I wiggled it over to the back of the car and thought that I could lift it from the bottom and just slide it in.  No, no, no.  It had to make it over the hump created by the back of the seats and I couldn't get enough leverage to do it.  I went into the back of the car from the side door and tried to pull it from there.  I broke two nails, said nasty words under my breath and finally got it over the hump.  Back to the outside of the car to push it in.  No, no, no!!  A nail on the back of the piece was sticking out and got caught on a loop in the carpet.   More nasty words under my breath and the biggest heave ho I could manage and in it went. 

Now, this all took some time.  Only one car drove by so I thought
I was relatively free from humiliation.  No, no, no!!!!  I was just about to drive away when a man opened the door of the house I was taking from and gave me a big smile and wave!!!   He was probably watching the whole time and never offered to help.  Jerk!!

When I arrived home I asked Chris to take it out of the car but did not tell him my story.  He did it, came in the house and told me it was "trash".  Nasty words NOT under my breath!!  End of story - we will be restoring this piece.

Not bad looking, right?

We have decided to sell our furniture at the Renningers Antique Extravaganza in January and February.  People come from all over the country for this shopping experience.  It is about 30 miles from us.  There is an indoor flea market, an indoor antique market, little outside antique shops and a place outdoors for vendors such as us.  It takes two days to go through this sale.  It is unbelievable!  I will post pics of what we will be selling as they are completed.  I cannot wait!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Most of the blogs that I follow are somehow connected to interior design, decorating, diy, crafts, cooking, etc.  I am always impressed with the work of these bloggers and sometimes a bit envious of what they share.  Today, however, I am so proud of the work I am sharing not only because of its excellence but also its origin - my daughter, Karen.

Karen is an interior designer in NYC with the Jeffrey Beers International design firm.  They specialize in "hospitality" design - hotels, restaurants, clubs, etc.  She has been with them for about a year and today is the opening of her first NYC project.  It is the expansion of the Todd English Food Hall in the Plaza Hotel. Not a bad way to start off.

This pic was taken last night as the chefs and staff were getting the place ready to open.  To think that she designed where every piece of silverware is stored, every liquor bottle is placed, every plate is displayed  - amazing!

Bravo, Karen!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thank You

Since starting this blog I have been surprised and delighted at the data regarding the audience.  There are not 10,000 pageviews as on other blogs but the 500 or so are appreciated more than can be written.

Even though I have been computer literate for a number of years I still don't understand how radios and t.v.'s work.  That being said, it is amazing that there are people all over the world reading this blog.  Whether they are return visitors or one-timer's, they are greatly appreciated.  I wish I could talk to every one of them.

Take care.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Painted - Disappointed

Chris and his friend went to retrieve our pieces from one of the shops.  I didn't feel that we should visit each shop on any regular schedule because we trusted the owner to do her part - sell!  Long story short - she had our pieces hidden or covered with her stuff.  Our tables were being used to display her things - couldn't even see the tables.  The day after the pieces were brought back, a customer was here to pick up an order.  Her friend bought one of the tables in 15 minutes!  Arrrggghhh!  A lesson has been learned.

Going forward.....   Another "furniture guy" said that the wicker pieces would sell very quickly if they were painted black.  So, we are going to give it a try but not today.  It is very windy and humid (this is November but I live in Florida).  Tomorrow is my checkup with the neurosurgeon so we won't be doing it then.  Maybe Friday.

Here is the before pic.  Please feel free to comment.

Have fun and take care.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Painted - Tutorial

Hi again!   I have always intended to post a tutorial on painting old furniture.  Today I came across such a thing and thought that there was no reason for me to do it any differently.

The link for this is   The post is dated 3/5/2009.  We have never used the paint that she references but it looks pretty good to me.

Take care.

Painted - White with Navy

I have always loved the combination of white and navy blue.  The crisp contrasts in color give things a sharp emphasis on form and style.  Back in the fifties my mum wore navy and white heels that were fantastic to me.   

So, if I ever had the wherewithall I would have a room that looks like this...

I found this pic on

Take a look - you may become inspired.

Take care.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Painted - all ready

Today is a day of remembering and appreciating all those who have put their lives ahead of all others.  Thanks.....

The custom order furniture is ready for pick-up.  It all looks so pretty- subtle but grand.  Here you go.......

                                      close up of hardware

                                               closeup of hardware

                                            mirror with reflection of dresser

Ready to go out the door!  Nice feeling.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Painted - and waiting

Another day and more progress.  Since the terrible weight of the aneurysm is off our shoulders we seem to be almost skipping through the day ("skipping" is an exaggeration, of course).

Below are pics of the furniture with the final coat of paint (Sherwin Williams - Pro Classic - Samovar Silver).  It went on like "butta" ("butter" for those of you who do not speak like a Bostonian).

Now a pic of the hardware with the first base coat.  They will be a nickel color when finished.

If it stays dry today we will be able to finish it all off and deliver tomorrow.  We are pleased with the results and hope that Mary will be also.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Painted - with Roses!

This is a pic of the gorgeous roses sent to me for my recovery.  Frank and family are sooooo nice.

The next pic is of the custom order furniture in primed stage.  Chris is working on the hardware today.  Final painting will be tomorrow and then delivery on Thursday. 

I drove a very short distance on Saturday so today will be my first real driving since being home.  I am going to the library to enlarge a vintage letter written in French from Graphics Fairy.  I hope this works as a transfer.  I will show the results whether good or bad.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Painted - All Over!!!!!

I no longer have a brain aneurysm!   I am recuperating with very little pain but a lot of sore.  Everything is almost normal again.

A couple of days before the surgery we landed a custom order of four pieces.  We will be doing a dresser, nightstand, mirror and headboard.  The customer has chosen gray and white with silver/nickel hardware.  Chris took the pics below except for the headboard.  I don't know why he left that out and I didn't check because I have been in the fetal position asleep for the last four days.

These pics are before he completed all the repairs and sanding.  Today he started the priming.

I hope to be able to get back to my things in a couple of days.  It may be corny but I am in a very happy place.      Take care.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Painted - Grey & White

Thank  you for not giving up on me while I was off the blog.  It is sincerely appreciated.  Some of you may remember that I was to have surgery to repair an aneurysm in my head a few weeks ago.  That morning the surgeon told me that there was a better device to use that had just been approved by the FDA.  The hospital didn't have any so one would have to be ordered.  I chose to go with the better one so the i.v.'s were removed, the black x's were washed off and Chris and I went home.  We were not happy but that is water under the bridge.  The procedure is scheduled for 10/28 and I am not coming home until it is fixed.

On now to what I have just started working on.  I was told it was a "project" desk.  It is taller that a child's desk and designed a bit differently than a student's desk.  I have decided to pair it with a shorter stool so there will be no problem sitting at it.

These are the pieces before I started working on them.  They do not look too bad from a distance but they had about 4 layers of paint each.

This picture shows what the top looked like after applying Strypeze 2 times.  It took 4 applications!

This is the desk with one coat of Old White chalk paint and the beginning of the Paris Grey coat.

Here is the stool with a coat of Old White and the beginning of Paris Grey.

The intention is to distress and glaze the pieces.  Before the protective layer is applied I will do a transfer of either a vintage label or manual typewriter.  Time will tell.

Take care, Jeanne

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Painted - Peaceful

Once again I have fallen under the influence of the Swedish style.  This morning I would tranform my house to this in a split second.  The look is feminine but not in a way that would make men feel uncomfortable.  As long as everything is washable I would have the style with children in the house.

Although the decor is Swedish it reminds me of the American coastal cottage style.  Whatever it is called I want it.

Not that I post every day but I thought I would mention that I would be away for a few days. I am having that surgery on my brain tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed and have a great day!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Painted - Proud

This week is a little off for us because of doctor visits, pre op testing, the kids coming and the surgery.  Neither of us has picked up a paintbrush.  Life, however, does go on.

The thought of sifting through blogs or magazines or diy shows for some painted furniture did not appeal to me.  Before and after is what I was aiming for without doing too much work.  I am going to present one of the best "before and after" projects ever done.

There is an organization named "Rooms to Dream".  It is non profit and has chapters throughout the country.  It brings together construction companies, suppliers, architechts, designers and retailers to fill the dreams of a sick child through donations of their talent, time and material to transform his/her room into their fantasy room.  Sometimes they do hospital rooms if the child has a longterm stay prescribed or they do the room in the child's home.  The families of these children do not have much in terms of money, time or inspiration and fully appreciate the gift of happiness.

The room being presented is Jamie's room.  She is 13 yrs old and has severe asthmatic and some self-esteem issues.  She lives with her mom, sister and brother in public housing in Boston.  Although the gift was for Jamie, the group also transformed the rest of the apartment.  I don't have pics of the rest of the rooms.

Karen was the designer for the project. She and her team poured their hearts into this project and at the same time had great fun shopping for a teenager's dream room. 

Jamie told her color choices and interests and the team took off.  In one week the team was ready for the "reveal".  Tears and laughter filled the room and "thank you" a hundred times.  The team was as thrilled as Jamie and her family.  Fantastic job!  Now the pics!

                                                    after 1

                                                         after 2

                              Isn't it great!

I feel that this project is so very special because Karen, the designer, is my daughter.
I am not only proud of her work but also her charity.  She is a great woman!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Painted - Thrilled

There is reason to celebrate today!  It is cooler outside than it has been in over four months! We have hit 400 on blog views!  To Chris and I this is fantastic because it is unbelievable that people in Russia are checking in.  Thanks to all that do stop by.  We hope that you continue to do so.  And, we now have three members!  Very gratifying.

Those who know us personally are probably aware of how long and anxiously we have been waiting for October to arrive.  Today is officially MEDICARE DAY for me!  I will be 65 in a few days and I am very happy to be this age.  I am happy to be alive and almost well.  The thing in my brain will be fixed next week and I can stop playing Russian roulette.

I always threaten when it finally gets cool that I will go outside naked and do a dance.  It may just happen today.

Be well everyone! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Painted - Inspired

Good evening everyone!  Something so great happened today that I must share tho it is a bit premature.

My mother-in-law, Nan, has a friend who is selling a lot of her things and moving to another state.  We are sorry to see her go but we understand.  Nan, Chris and I went to her lovely house to see what she wanted to get rid of.   There is an end table, small desk, barristers bookcase and a really lovely dresser with a mirror.  Everything is wonderful.

Now it happens that "European Paint Finishes" did the exact same dresser in the most wonderful technique.  We are going to do something similar and pray that it turns out half as well as theirs.  I will post a pic of their dresser to let you know what I mean. 

Isn't it beautiful?  They have so inspired us.  Wow!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Painted - New Things

How are you all?  The New England Patriots did not win today so my spirits have sunk BUT it is only a game and they are getting paid millions of dollars even if they do lose.

With all the skill I can muster I will post the before and after pictures of two completed pieces. 

it is upside down, but you get the idea, right?

 just turn your head a little to the right...
that's better ....

This a heavy, "mid-century", maple, drop leaf table.  The top has been refinished with ebony stain and wax.  The pedestal has been painted in Old White chalk paint.  (We have to use up the chalk paint we have before we make our own.)

I must make a comment before showing the other pics.  I dislike the term "mid century" because it makes the assumption that everyone knows to which century it refers.  Whoever coined this phrase was being presumptious.  This is not a big thing but now you can imagine me gagging everytime I have to use the term.

please turn your head to the right....

I do apologize for the positioning of the pics.  I do not know how to rotate.

This side table is probably from the 80's and was given to us by a neighbor of my friend, Debbie.  Debbie has nice neighbors.

The piece was finished in old white chalk paint and poly.  Chris decided not to use wax because he wanted the finish to shine as much as the mirror top.

Tomorrow is trash day around here.  Before it gets too dark I am going to drive around to see if anyone has thrown out anything good.  Hey, at least I am not dumpster diving.....


Friday, September 23, 2011

Painted - $4 Update

I am back!  In reading the comments about the chalk paint recipe on "nominimalisthere" I found the one below from an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Distributor.  It is a bit biased but seems to give reliable information about the chemistry of the mix.  But, what do I know?  What is that saying, "forwarned is forearmed"?

"Let me declare straight off the bat that I have an interest in ASCP as the Scottish distributor, but alongside that I am a trained house painter and decorative painter of 25 years experience and have a lot of knowledge of making traditional paints and materials and I teach some of this in my classes in both Scotland and in the USA (am currently in SF teaching a class).

I genuinely applaud anyone who thinks out of the box, learns a little about paint technology and uses low cost materials and paints to create new and exciting finishes and this is in many instances totally possible with inexpensive materials like whiting which we use all the time. Whiting is in fact already in most house paints and adding more does change the look to be like chalk paint. However just adding more whiting to latex will not negate the need for preparation and priming. It will "stick" to the surface but no lasting bond can be made and you certainly can't paint over wax and hope for it to last in the way that ASCP can - actually ASCP is the ONLY paint I have found worldwide that will go over wax successfully. I'm not saying you can't make it look the same...just you do still need to do the prep.
Likewise in the 70's I used to make a lot of wood-wash using Plaster of Paris which incidentally burnishes beautifully however once again this will not form a bond to pre-finished surfaces without primer etc.
Adding anything to paint will probably compromise its integrity as a surface coating so it will definitely need sealed.
I am not saying not to use it, just to be aware of the limitations of what you are creating."

Incidentally Annie's paint range ...all the colours intermix so you can create a lot more than just the colour chart.

Use this info as you see fit. 

Painted - $4

'Tis the wee hours of the morning and I cannot sleep and thought that writing this post now would serve to pass the time and save some time later.  I came across a blog named "No Minimalist Here" which is probably well known to some of you but is new to me.  The info she had was wonderful for Chris and I.  She has come up with the "recipe" for chalk paint and it only costs about $4!!     The type of chalk paint we use is $38/qt.   Quite a substantial cost savings especially since we do resale.

This "recipe" involves mixing either Calcium Carbonate or whiting powder to latex paint.  Besides saving on cost it opens up the realm of color choice to the moon!  The paint we use now is limited in color choices and does not always hit the mark.  I am thrilled.  is the link to her site.  Below is a pic of a vanity she did with the formula.  Aside from the piece being gorgeous, the whole effect is grand.

Is that not beautiful?

I am going to go hit the pillow now.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Painted Ingenious 2

I forgot!   About a week ago I posted a blog "Painted Ingenious" of a 2-drawer file cabinet refurbed to a kitchen roll around table.  A wonderful idea!  Chris and I spoke of doing something along these lines and I just happened to find a cabinet at Habitat for $4.

We have a 100 yr old armoire that we are going to break down to use for the top and other pieces as well.  The armoire is in our storage place and we will be getting it tomorrow.  If it isn't too hot tomorrow we will start to break it down.

Stay tuned...

Painted Swedish 3

Hello again!   I am here to give you a very brief history lesson of Gustavian Furniture.  It seems that this furniture is the Swedish interpretation of French, Italian and English designs in the 17th and 18th centuries.  King Gustav reigned during that time and thus the title.  This design is said to be a cleaner, more refined interpretation of the Louis XV and Louis XVI (of which you are all familiar, right?).  The design maintains a "humbler yet still royal character".

Ok - enough of the formal stuff.  I did come across a company in Connecticut that makes this style furniture and had a color chart of the various finishes associated with the period.
For some unknown reason I cannot download that page to here.  It can be found at 

Take a look at the samples and let me know which you like best and why.  For those of you not familiar with commenting on a blog please look at the end of each post where it states "0 COMMENTS"  Click there and the comment page appears.

I hope to hear from you.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Painted Swedish 2

I have come back to post pics of pieces of Swedish design furniture that have caught my eye.   These are Gustavian reproductions of the 19th century.  So there is the background research and history lesson.  That's all I know.   I will be researching further to get colors and techniques used in the 19th century and come back with the info. 

For now I will present the pics and ask for your opinions.  Any and all comments are appreciated. 

The pic below is not of Reproduction Gustavian 19th century furniture.  This pic presents modern design.  I threw it in for contrast.

What do you think?   Would it be good to interpret these into a refurb of vintage pieces? 

Chris and I are going out for an early supper.  I will bring the pics for review.  Retired married couples need something to talk about at a meal and this will be just right.

Later.  Jeanne

Painted - Swedish

The websites and blogs that I have come across lately are about Swedish design and style.  Because of Google translate I actually know what is written.  I am inspired by the clean, fresh, simple statements the rooms make both in decorative accenting and furnishing.  Today Chris is painting the ceiling in our kitchen.  Even though I would be able to speak with him about this style, he wouldn't really look at the pics.  This will have to wait until tonight or tomorrow.  We have a dining room set that is waiting to be refurbed and refinished.  I would like to do it in this style and start searching for just the right fabric for the chair seats.  We haven't yet sat down to discuss this project since we rec'd the pieces so I don't know what he is thinking - or, if he did tell me I have forgotten (most likely this is the case). 

I will post some pics with the swedish style later today.

Later.  Jeanne

Monday, September 12, 2011

Painted - Ingenious

Hello All!   I follow a site that is Curbly.  Today they have a tutorial that is absolutely fantastic.  It is easy to do and a great addition to a kitchen or even craft space. 

Isn't it great!  It could be adapted for so many uses.
You can find the tutorial at curbly

Let me know if you liked it.   Take care.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Painted - Remembering

Our thoughts and prayers are for anyone out there who suffered the loss of a loved one on 9/11/01. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Painted - Enchanting

I am never going to figure out this blog.   These were supposed to appear at the end of the post.  Please, have patience.

Along the way I have mentioned that we sell our furniture through a few stores.  It is now time to show you another store that has our furniture.  The name of the store is Better Than New Furniture and the name says it all.  When I walk into the store I want to redecorate my whole house with a different style in each room.  Jenni and Ed are the owners and could not be more congenial, informative and helpful if they tried.  They stay on top of current trends and handle only quality pieces.  The store is located in Longwood, Florida.  Their website is

Here are a couple of pics of their place.  Chris took them.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Painted White Part 4

Finally!! I am disappointed with my pics but since the piece of furniture has gone to the shop I can't fix them.

To recap - the piece was painted old white chalk paint - allowed to dry - a layer of gray chalk paint was applied with a dry brush technique.  Dry brushing is applying a small amount of paint to the brush and then brushing that off on a paper towel - very little paint on the brush.  After the dry brushing was completed the piece was distressed - sanding down in different areas to make the piece have a warm, used look.  Then the Annie Sloan wax was applied.  The clear wax was used and not a heavy layer. 

That should be it but it isn't.  About two weeks ago I read the blog of a woman whose name I cannot remember but when I do I will credit her for the info on 1005 Design Aluminum Designer Backsplash Panels.  This company is about to launch their product and it seems to me to be fantastic.  Chris said he wanted to use it in our kitchen and he does not volunteer to do things like that very often so you know he likes it.  I called the company to get info on where I could purchase the panels.  I spoke to Jana Moses who told me that it was not yet available in stores.  I was so disappointed because I really wanted to try it out on this piece.  Jana, the sweetheart, offered to send me a piece to try.  It arrived and wow!  Thank you, Jana.

There are several designs shown on their website that are gorgeous.  I have a close up of the panel we received.

I wish it was brighter but the panel is on the inside of the table - to give it some updated bling.   Chris installed this and he said he had no trouble cutting and adhering (using construction adhesive).  The next pic shows the whole piece with a bit of the panel inlaid in the door.  I love it! 

We can't wait to use it again on a bigger piece of furniture (and do the kitchen).  Jana at 1005 Design will be so tired of my asking when it is hitting the stores.      Click here to link to their  website. 
This product will have many more uses than just backsplash and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  BTW - I am not being paid to say any of this - I really mean it.

I hope you like the finished product after all this time.  I think it was worth waiting for.       Be well. 

P.S.  I just took a good look at the pics again and they stink.  They looked o.k. to me when I took them but I did have my eye patch on.  From now on Chris will take the pics.   Sorry.

Painted White Part 3

I am so willing to admit that my brain is not functioning at its usual capacity because of both age and illness BUT I hate when I am just totally STUPID!!My intentions for today were to take the final pic of the Painted White table with the amazing flourish we did to it and then post to the blog.  I took the pics and then gave Chris the camera as he was leaving.  Did I download the pics? Of course not.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.   What I think I can do is show you the pic of the table without the flourish as a continuation of the process.

When I last posted on this piece it had been painted with AS Chalk Paint = Old White.  It has since been given a layer of gray and distressed.

Is that not gorgeous?   The paint technique - including the use of chalk paint and wax - gives the piece new life.  Wait till you see it with the flourish!!
I'll be back when Chris gets home.    Later...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Painted - Free Part 2

O.K. - this time we did not drive aimlessly lost for 2 hours to find this house.  It was a beautiful ride because it is the portion of the state that is horse country.  There are rolling hills, stately fences and gorgeous homes.  It seems as if the stables are as luxurious as the homes.  We found the house on a dirt road in the woods about 5 miles from the main road.    The woman was pleasant and informative.  We were gobsmacked because this woman could not have been more poor and live in a more rundown house than this.  She was, though, giving away a piece of furniture.  It is part of the freecycle thingy so no money exchanges hands. 
I certainly hope it all comes around.

We did have lunch and then home.  Before I had a chance to take a pic, Chris had the table dismantled.  It seats four when the sides are up and is a pedestal style.  We intend to stain the top dark and the base a light paint color.  Hope it comes out the way we imagine.

Here are a couple of before pics although the table is apart.

Stay tuned for further developments.