Sunday, July 13, 2014

Tips for Drying Roses

 
I love using dried roses in my Fall crafts and décor.
 
 
The actual process of drying them is a lot of fun too.  I have found that certain varieties of roses dry a little better than others.
 
 
I have the best luck with my Bonica rose...it grows in clusters of small pink blossoms.  I pick the buds that have not yet fully opened.
 
 
Picking them early in the morning is best, and after a couple of sunny, dry days so that there is no moisture trapped between the petals.
 
 
I like to bundle my perfect little pink buds into pretty bouquets and hang them where I can enjoy them as they dry.  Finding a dry spot, out of direct sunlight is important.  Within a couple of weeks, I have sweet little dark burgundy rose buds that will last and last!
 
How about you?  Do you dry roses from your garden?  Do you dry any other varieties of flowers?
 
Thank you for your sweet visit today!
 
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda
 
 
 
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Floral Memories and Wrapped up Paint Projects

 
If you follow me on Facebook, you might recognize these photos I shared not long ago of the bundles of roses I hung to dry on our breakfast nook chandelier.
 
 
My Eden roses don't last long outside because I run out and cut them just when they hit this stage of partially open.  Of course I enjoy them in vases around the house, but this is also the ideal stage in which to dry them.
 
 
Dried roses are especially fun to use in Fall décor!
 
 
Just before my parents left their beautiful property and headed South for a new adventure last week (that might be a post for another day!), I had my last chance to enjoy some flowers from mom's garden.  I cut as many blooms as I could and hung them to dry under a patio umbrella I had set up in our garage (I wish I had taken a photo...it was quite a sight.  I am sure any neighbors who peeked in when the garage door was open thought I was quite eccentric!)
 
 
Some of the flowers dried beautifully, others are marginal.  This bunch of peonies and wisteria are my favorite and I really wish I would have cut more of them!  They will definitely be on my wish list for our garden in the future.  I had no idea they would turn out this lovely!
 
 
I will treasure this piece of my mom's beautiful garden...a wonderful keepsake.
 
 
For those of you who visited me at the Chalk Paint® demo at Camas Antiques last Saturday, here is the completed suitcase that I was working on for the demonstration!  Actually, the chair was another piece that I had started during a demo at a previous event.  I guess this week was one for wrapping up unfinished projects!
 
 
I painted the chair in Old Ochre and finished it off with Clear Wax.  The pad I covered with a piece of drop cloth and a crocheted doily found at an estate sale this last weekend.  I love the monochromatic look here with the mix of texture and details.
 
 
I am headed to the shop tonight with these pretty treasures and a few more!  Now that I've wrapped up those projects that were sitting around taking up space in the garage...I can go out hunting for more!
 
Thank you for your sweet visit!
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda
 
 
 
 
Sharing with:
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Simple, Stately Buffet Makeover

 
You all know I love a dainty piece of furniture and like to make a fuss over the delicate details with my little brushes and a myriad of paint techniques.  This stately buffet practically begged me not to overdo it's makeover.  Sometimes a piece this large needs to be softened, and simplified...and so I pushed aside any ideas of painting out the accents, and decided to really tone things down this time around. 
 
 
I started with two coats of French Linen, with rough, uneven brush strokes to create a rustic effect.

 
When the second coat of paint had completely dried, I applied a wash in Pure White.
 
 
After some light distressing in areas where natural distressing would occur over time, I applied a coat of Annie Sloan's clear wax.
 
 
This lovely buffet along with the gorgeous lamps you see here are available now in my booth at Camas Antiques.
 
 
One of my very favorite pink roses called Ballerina, is a hybrid shrub rose.  I look forward to it's clusters of sweet pink blooms every year!
 
 
In case you've been wondering how in the world I managed to get that mirror to hang so perfectly in the hedge for this photo...I'll let you in on my secret!
 
 
I had a willing and able (and goofy) photo shoot assistant (Thank you, honey!)
...and a few photo editing tricks up my sleeve!
 
Thank you for your kind visit!
 
Have a fabulous day!
 
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda
 
 
 
 
Sharing With:
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow
 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Girly Dresser Makeover and Piles of Roses

 
Finding beautiful, quality furniture pieces to paint has been a little more difficult for me these days than it used to be.  I don't get out to shop the sales and thrift stores as much as I used to.  So, when I get a call from a friend who has a piece of furniture for sale, I am pretty excited...and when said friend says I can have the cute piece in exchange for a few days of pet sitting...even better!
 
 
(A favorite Instagram shot of our little house guest)
 
Just look at that sweet face!  And now take a look at this sweet dresser!  Did I get a great deal or what?  Thanks a bunch Mrs. G.!

 
I have been long overdo for a girly pink furniture makeover!  This dresser seemed a good candidate for a soft, feminine look!

 
I chose Antoinette for the exterior of the dresser.  Two coats covered it well and I painted it on thickly and unevenly for a rustic look that would later be accentuated with a paint wash. 
 
 
I purchased this gorgeous Do it Yourself Chic applique at The Purple Pear!  I applied it to the drawer front with an epoxy and allowed it to dry completely before painting the drawer.  Old White and Pure White were mixed to create the off-white color for the drawer fronts.
 
 
I used the same paint colors and techniques on the hardware, and then distressed them back to show off the pretty details.  They were then clear waxed for durability.
 
 
I had fun painting out the details in this beautiful applique.  Many colors were used here...are you ready for the line-up?  Louis Blue, Antoinette, Cream, Old Violet, Paloma and Versailles, followed by a wash in a French Linen/Pure White mix! 
 

 
The French Linen wash was also applied to the entire dresser.  It softens the look and gives it a nice aged patina.  I used only clear wax to finish off this piece as the wash provided an aged look similar to what I would normally achieve with dark wax.
 

 
My Eden roses are out of control right now!  I just can't get enough of these beautiful blooms!  I look forward to them all year long!  It was fun having piles of them to use for a little photo shoot.  Of course I don't let them go to waste.  All of the blossoms you see here are now hanging in little bundles to dry for Fall crafting.
 
 
I am excited to unveil this pretty, completed piece to it's former owner when she picks up her precious pooch this afternoon...and then it's off to Camas Antiques to beautify my booth and wait for the right customer to come along and whisk it away!
 
Thank you so much for your sweet visit today!
 
Best Wishes and Blessings!
 
Amanda

 
 
Sharing With:
Inspire me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life 
 Before and After Wednesday at The Decorated House
What's it Wednesday at Elephants and Ivy
Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guest Post at The Purple Pear!

I had the great honor of writing a guest post for The Purple Pear blog this week! 



Please head over to read about my inspiration for this little table makeover!

 
 
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda
 
 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mystery Paint Finish for a Pretty Provincial Dresser

 
Yesterday I put the finishing touches on this French Provincial dresser and delivered it to Camas Antiques.  I had purchased it just a few days prior to fill an empty space in my booth after having sold a large table. 
 
 
I liked that it was in good condition and ready to paint and I knew I wanted to do something unique with it, as the style is not uncommon.  I also knew I wanted to keep the color neutral so as not to limit it to a bedroom.  It is really a great size and shape for a dining buffet or even a console for a large TV. 
 
 
I started by pouring a little French Linen, Country Grey and Pure White onto a paper plate.  I played with these 3 colors a bit on a sample board and eventually came up with this finish simply by brushing a little of each color in the same direction, overlapping in places and working quickly before the paint dried.
 
 
The drawer pulls were a little brassy and dated to start off with.  I dry brushed them with each of the three colors, then waxed with both Annie's clear and dark wax.
 
As you can see, I did a little distressing around the edges of the drawers and the base of the dresser before sealing with clear wax.  I also added just a touch of dark wax in a few places. 
 
 This dresser kind of took on a life of it's own.  I wish I could say that I was inspired by something specific to create this finish, but I really just chose the color palette and went to work creating.  When all was said and done, I was really pleased with the paint finish and overall look of the piece, but I couldn't quite figure out what it reminded me of. 
 
I posted a sneak peek photo on Facebook and asked my friends there to tell me what this finish reminded them of.  It was fun to read all of the different ideas.  I think the most popular idea was driftwood, but a few also mentioned calico cats and fur.  Our Bootsie kitty doesn't quite have the same coloration of the dresser, but I can see how the gradation of color in his fur could be reflected in the paint finish, and I have seen some lovely calico kitties with a very similar color scheme!
 
So, what thoughts or images come to mind for you?
 
 
Special thanks to Bootsie for posing so perfectly for this photo!  He was rewarded with special kitty treats and lots of loves, of course!
 
Thank you so much for stopping by!  Enjoy your weekend!
 
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda
 
 
 
Sharing With:
Inspire me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life 
 Before and After Wednesday at The Decorated House
What's it Wednesday at Elephants and Ivy
Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch To Yours
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground 
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Painting With Abandon...My First Attempt at Canvas Art!

 
 I can honestly say that up until last week, I have never brushed paint onto an art canvas.  During the one college art course I took, we didn't attempt anything beyond pencil sketches, and my struggle with depth perception and proportion discouraged me from taking any other art classes, aside from photography.  I think it was around this time that I decided I was lacking the "artistic gene" necessary to create art without some sort of a guide to go by.  It has only been within the last few years that I picked up a paint brush and really got into creating finishes on furniture.  Before then, I was merely slapping several coats of white latex paint onto every dresser and chair I could find.  There was really no creative painting in my life before I was introduced to Annie Sloan and her wonderful Chalk Paint®!
 
 
Not only has Chalk Paint® changed how I paint furniture, but Annie Sloan herself has changed my perspective on art.  Her concept of "don't think, just paint," putting the rules aside and enjoying the creative experience without confinement or inhibitions, gives me such a thrill!  It was this concept, and Annie's attitude of art being organic, unplanned and free-flowing that gave me the courage to attempt painting an art canvas for the first time.  It was something I had been dying to try my hand at for years, but didn't think I had the ability to succeed at.  Last Saturday I took my 40% off coupon to Michaels and bought a 48" clean, white canvas.  I could not wait to get started.  That night, I laid out a drop cloth on the kitchen floor, brought all of my Chalk Paint® cans into the house and spent several hours blending colors, layering, dipping crumpled paper and string into paint and marveling at the different textures and patterns they produced.
 
 
I knew I wanted to paint a floral, so I studied painted flowers in other artwork for inspiration.  I also had an idea to create some texture in the blossoms by using Artisan Enhancements VP Antico.  I troweled it on in places, put my blow dryer to it to create some crackling and then painted the flowers on top.  Once the paint was all dry and I was happy with the scene I had created, I did a small amount of gold leafing...a patch near the top of the canvas and here and there on the leaves and petals to highlight. 
 
 
You are probably wondering why I chose to start with such a large canvas!  I probably should have attempted something smaller first, but I was a little desperate to fill a large void in our family room (and cover an in-wall speaker)!  I figured I might as well go for it!  After all, paint is very forgiving.  If I didn't care for it, I could easily paint over it when I felt inspired again, right?
 
 
As it turns out, I am pretty happy with it.  And, I had more fun creating this painting than I ever imagined I would!  In fact, I've already bought 4 more (smaller!) canvases and can't wait to explore some more ideas that have been buzzing around in my head!
 
Thank you, Annie for giving me the courage to paint with abandon!
 
 
And thank you, friends for your kind visit today! 
Now, forget the rules, let go of your inhibitions and create something wonderful!
 
Best Wishes and Blessings,
Amanda
 
 
Sharing With:
 
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Home
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground 
 Friday's Unfolded at Nancherrow