Thursday, February 26, 2015

Somethin' is Brewin'...

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Winds in the east, mist coming in.
Like somethin' is brewin' and bout to begin.
Can't put me finger on what lies in store,
But I fear what's to happen all happened before.

More news to come....

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Dump

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Sometimes I have wondered if I should just set up a little stand right outside the dump where I could look over the contents of trucks entering and save a few old beauties before they finish their last ride. The Mr. and I were at a local thrift store a while back and found, and walked away from, a vintage dresser many times.  It seemed a bit over priced considering the top was totally warped and separated from the frame a good inch in both the front and the back.  Now replacing a top does not always throw us off, but this was a Waterfall style.  Rebuilding that kind of curve could take some time and skills.  It didn't help that the mirror obviously didn't go with it and the veneer was covered, interestingly enough, in a sheet of cork glued down.  But as I looked more closely at the body of this baby it wasn't too bad, a few chips out of drawer veneers, normal scratches for it's age, pretty carved wood detailing, and all original hardware intact.  The manager saw us and told us it had been there for a while and she was about ready to send it on to the dump.  We made an offer, and she countered with a lower offer when we said we'd give her the mirror to sell separately.  And we left determined to figure out what to do with that top!

Here is what it looked like after stripping off the cork and two layers of veneer.
Nice concave top huh?!  The Mr., who must be a frustrated engineer deep inside, decided he would tackle this problem and totally ignored my brilliant ideas.   But that's OK, by adding some cleats and drawing the curved ends downward by screwing them in from underneath he made it almost level again.  Want to know why almost?  Because when the front and the back came down then all the pressure to "change" moved to the center.  Do you know what old wood sounds like when it finally gives up to the pressure to move?  A loud gunshot is what!  Scared the crud out of me, and hello new crack down the middle of the dresser top.  At this point we could have purchased some new veneer and attached it, but that old wood was never going to be perfectly flat on the top so we opted to sand off any splinters from the split (ha!) and go with the rustic look.  Now my fun begins!

I opted to use a technique my friend Deb from Lake Girl Paints has shown in tutorials on her blog.  Deb is a brilliant, and generous, artist who has used this technique on a lot of her pieces and shows step by step the process she uses.  Please go visit her site and check out her projects where she shows you exactly how to use this on your own projects.  Deb Hrabik is AMAZING!
I forgot to take a photo after the red first coat, but as you can see I decided to partially disguise the flaws in this piece by creating layer upon layer of paint.  I didn't use a brush until the end.  Want to see what I was using?
Folded card stock and a process that Deb describes as dip and drag.  Can you see those cracks in the top?  We are celebrating those baby!
Here is the 3rd coat drying.  I might have over covered a bit with this coat, but that's OK.  This is a very freeing project where there aren't many rules...just lots of coats!  So far I have used Fireworks Red, Born on the 4th of July, and Smoke Signal.  My final coat was Waistcoat, a retired APC color that I just love.
After a combination of sanded and wet distressing you can see some of all the old colors I layers on peeking through.  It looks old and rustic and added over time.

Dark wax really tones down the intensity of Waistcoat.
See the pretty little Art Deco trim.
And this hardware, oh my.  This photo really shows the texture you can create with the dip and drag technique.
I'm pleased with how this one turned out.  The Mr. even asked if I really wanted to throw a price tag on this piece.  We'll see...

Have a super week everyone!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Born on the 4th of July

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Yes, I know it is February.  At the time my heart was looking for red, I craved a deep, rich blue.  Like this...
So pretty with a snowy backdrop.  This is APC's 'Born on the 4th of July'.  It is a lovely, lovely Indigo blue with great, deep pigmentation.  It dresses things up like a classic navy blazer, or dresses them down like your favorite pair of jeans.
The original brass hardware is gorgeous against this color.  It looks elegant and sophisticated even with some gentle distressing.  Underneath a bit of Desert Cactus peeks out.
Up close you can see the subtle color movement.  It reminds me of the depth of the seas and light plays so beautifully across it.

I have one like this already or it would probably stay and live with me for a time.  But, as with most of the pieces I work on it is for sale and will move along and grace someone else's home.  What do you think of this grand French lady?

Have a lovely Valentine's Day with the ones who hold your heart!

Friday, February 6, 2015

American Home Collection

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Good Morning!  We've been busy here at Twice Nice.  Busy, and digging out from some nice little snows here this week.  Ahh, winter.  Luckily APC's paints are no VOC, so even when the snow is flying and means no opening a window while I paint or wax, no problem.

One of our projects was a bit of this...
To make this...
Which you will find in this...
Which isn't as blurry in person.  Really, not sure what happened when I enlarged all of these. #needsaphotographyclassagain

Basically, we built a new display for the American Home Collection of paint colors for the booth.
The colors are lovely and vibrant.  The paint is a newer formula release that levels beautifully and has all the other lovely qualities you have to come to know and love.  
Here is a much better photo of the entire collection.  It is a limited edition collection that is available in cute little Pint size cans and also comes in sample sizes.  I hope you will give it a try.  They are such fun colors.  Brighten up your home with a fun new piece that makes a statement!

Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 19, 2015

A long, long time ago...

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I painted a desk and chair and then I got busy, and it got cold and snowy.  The poor desk and chair were never, ever photographed.  Sad story, huh?  Many times they even sell and there is not one photo to show that I toiled, fretted, and sweated over a piece of furniture.  I have forsaken before photos a lot, but I almost always try to take a picture of my 'babies' before they leave home.  Well, the sun came out for a brief bit, warmed the earth and I moved one of those pieces into my booth and it caught it's 15 minutes of fame.

Here is the sweet little Dixie desk and chair that I painted last Fall.  The color is Amber Waves of Grain, which is reading a bit brighter than it is in person.  It is a rich yellow, but not as neon as I am seeing it on my monitor.  Beautiful lines, plenty of storage and finished on all 4 sides so it could float in a space.  So pretty with it's original hardware.  I especially love it with the globe shaded lamp on it.  The lamp is painted in Surfboard, a gorgeous light aqua.

It is one of the pieces I moved into the new space (#43, Utah Ave.) at the Brass Armadillo.

Here's how it looked when I left.  I'm rather hoping there are a few things that have found new homes tonight.  Have a super week, go create!
Joining the party!

Elizabeth and Co.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Re-do the Re-do

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Not every piece is going to be easy to transform.  Some days you are more inspired than others.  Some times the inspiration turns into a fabulous new creation, sometimes not.  I have those moments and most of you have had them too.  Here's my story of one of "those" days.

I have a nice Ethan Allen long, low dresser with a worn finish outside, but super clean and in good condition otherwise.  Simple right?  I thought so, and no I did not take a before photo because I just never seem to remember them these days.  My apologies. :-)

I chose a deep dark brown base of American Paint Company's Wild Horses.  Love that color for a base.  On top I painted a couple of coats of Smoke Signal on the body and Limoge on the drawers.  New hardware and voila`, finished right?
Not bad, but kind of blah, drab, and boring huh?  It just didn't inspire me.

I had tried a new (to me) technique to get a linen look to the drawer fronts.  It felt and looked cool in person, but the effect is totally lost when you look at it like this.  Then I messaged a fellow APC retailer, Shelly Andrade of Shizzle Design and whined about my blah piece.  Shelly was kind enough to quickly throw up some photos of dressers she had painted with plain flat front drawers.  They were fabulous, and inspiring!  If you have never followed Shelly you MUST check out her blog.  She and her sister Cathy do the most amazing things with their projects...Shizzle!

So back to work and here is what I came up with using Shelly's projects as my muse.

Now, there will be some of you, hello Mom, who probably won't like this any better than the first result.  Or maybe will like the first result even better.  But for me, it is heaven to see so much depth on those drawers now.  I have not mastered that technique by any means, but it was so fun to try it out.
Now you can see the linen patterns I had created on the base coats.  In addition to the Wild Horses, Smoke Signal, and Limoges I now have Freedom Road, Desert Cactus and more Limoges on the drawers.  I hit and missed painted I dry brushed, and sanded, I washed and I wet distressed.  I probably could have played for another week on these.
So which version do you prefer?  I wish I had some nicely styled photos for you, but the workshop is too full to set it up, the weather is too cruddy to take it outside, and my house is in full winter dark (with Christmas Decor still up, the shame of it all) to take a proper photo.  I will sit on this for a while and then decide if I want to change the body color a bit or maybe just layer on a different coat of paint.  You might get to see the Re-do of the Re-do of the Re-do.  It happens.

Have a super fab weekend!!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

We've MOVED!

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Well the booth has moved anyway.  The Twice Nice booth at the Brass Armadillo has moved to Utah Avenue, booth 43.  It's where you will find the American Paint Company paints/finishes, and some furniture pieces, and some other cool things I find along the way.  All I have are lousy cell phone photos, but what the hey, I'll show you anyway.

We started with dingy brown walls first thing this morning.  2 hours later we had this.
A nice start.  We placed 2 large book page panels on both ends.  That was a fun project.
Bleh picture!  We made it this far before we decided to call it quits for the day.  Here are some equally awful pictures for you to look at our progress.
Admit it, I make you feel better about your photography skills.  Is it the iPhone or is it me?  I'll need a new phone to know won't I?

Anyway, lots more things to take down for the walls, and a desk to float in the middle and fun, fun, fun!  Stop by and see the booth local folks!  Pick up some paint and find your future project right there in the mall.  Wouldn't the legs on the Gate leg table look great painted?!

If it seems quiet over here, find the Facebook button on my sidebar and visit me there.  I'm getting the hang of it and posting there more frequently.  I can also be found on Instagram.  I KNOW, shocking huh?  Just started over there and I hope to remember to use it frequently ;-).

Have a great weekend!