Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pearlized finish~a new look!

 You might have noticed how enamored I am of metallics
when used in furniture finishing~
 You have seen my projects with gilding pastes and waxes~
 I was introduced to a new product that creates a pearlized finish~
 It gives a silvery sheen to a surface and you create different looks with it.
This was my first attempt at using it~I painted this cool table with 
Coco Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan.  Then I dry brushed on quite liberally,
the pearlized product. I really love how it looks!~its hard to see from a photo,
but its quite sophisticated and you can change the look with dark wax over the 
pearl~I have been playing around with it for a few hours and wanted to share it
right here with you! So let me know what you think?
 I plan to stock it at Maison Decor~
anything that I love using 
I want to bring to you,
so you can create high end finishes on your pieces that
don't have to come out of those
high end stores or cataloques!
 Before~the Duncan table was an old fashioned but 
interesting mahogany table~two coats of Coco
and then some pearl magic gave me this fabulous result!
 I now sell this magic pearl potion in both my stores and online.
Click the link above to take you there~
Use it to create a magical effect on your furniture!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkins say Fall

 What is fall decorating without the pumpkin?
It's the must have accessory for welcoming the autumn season~
I spent a good part of the day outside yesterday
and it was a picture perfect fall day in New England.
The leaves are turning and some have fallen,
and many homes have fall decorations signaling the change.
 A simple grouping of pumpkins is the easiest way to decorate for fall.
 A more elaborate farm stand look can be achieved
 by loading up the pumpkins
and the potted mums. The front door is graced by 
dried corn stalks and wreaths.
 I found these images inside this issue of Cottages and Bungalows.
There are lots of great ideas for fall decor inside.
 Love this simple idea of using thumbtacks to create a monogram.
 A rustic table is set on this covered outdoor porch, 
complete with pumpkins. 
I joined the throngs at the supermarket this morning as a hurricane is headed 
our way~so while I waited in line, I looked through Cottages and Bungalows
and had to add it to my cart!  Today is my day off and I was looking forward to actually cooking a meal, after I replenished our empty shelves. I used to do this all the time, but these days those domestic moments are few and far between.  So even though there were crowds at the market, I really didn't mind. I hope the storm just blows on through without causing harm or damage.  
 And even though it was my day off, Boston was OPEN
 for business~soI stopped in the shop to check it out and 
say hi to Justin. We are turning over stock pretty quickly, 
and when larger items sell, the small store gets a new look!
The wall banners have been a big seller, 
both online and in the shop.  
As far as decorating with pumpkins goes~
we have a couple of small white ones in the shop.
A silver and gold leaf garland too~
 Our (orangeless) Maison Decor fall style.
Back at home we indulge in the traditional fall colors
of orange~it may not be my favorite color, but 
it feels right between summer and winter.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Customizing your colors using Chalk Paint

Custom color mixing
Of course I paint many pieces straight out of the can, but when 
I want to create a customized color for a piece
of furniture I mix my own recipe.
Before we get to that I wanted to share
the red table above from the Annie Sloan website~
this is also a way to get a custom look using Chalk Paint
by applying soft dark wax after you apply the clear wax.
Dark wax can dramatically change the appearance 
of Chalk Paint.  Experiment with the changes by using it
on a wood sample to see the effect of the dark wax over clear wax.
One of my favorite colors to use the dark wax on is Antoinette.
Pale ballet pink Antoinette turns into a sophisticated antiqued pink!
I often use gilding wax with this combination to finish my pieces.
 You can easily mix your choice of Annie Sloan™
colors with Old White or Pure White to get a range of colors
as shown in this example from Annie's website.
The starter color is Emperor's Silk, a bright fire engine red.
Adding Old White will make your colors more vintage,
and Pure White gives a modern look.
Annie shows ratios of paint mixed above
in 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, and 1:4 with the largest
swatch being the 1 part red 4 parts white.
Using this simple method of mixing whites with colors
gives you a much greater choice when deciding which 
paint color is best for a project.
You can also mix colors with colors~not just colors with whites.
 Check this out~I recently mixed up a custom color 
for the shop walls in Boston using Paris Grey and Chateau Grey. 
Using equal parts of both I created a beautiful grey green shade.
 I eyeball my measurements and mix enough to finish the job. 
 Using these quart containers that have measured markings you 
can easily do this too. After pouring in the Paris Grey
 I poured Chateau Grey right on top of it.
Then I stirred it all up creating my own recipe.
The wall in progress with my recipe color.
I will be sharing more custom color recipes and techniques
with you right here on the blog.  I hope this inspires you
to think outside the box and get mixing up your colors~
and visit AnnieSloan.com for all kinds of color ranges
by clicking on the color swatch you like.
Annie shows how it looks mixed up with whites
and gives tips on complementary colors as well.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our ten thousand dollar wall and Industrial Chic stock

 The ten thousand dollar wall~
That is what Picker Paul called it after he and Justin and I spent time
rearranging the store in Boston yesterday.
I didn't add it up, but I think he might be right!
I think it looks like a ten thousand dollar wall for sure~
we moved our beautiful antique Mora clock to the left 
and placed the Brittany armoire in the center and flanked it 
with the trendy wall banners that are affordable and fun works of art.
The newest addition to MD Boston is our 
gorgeous antique grain sack chair.
 We collaborated on our layout and got the store looking
quite marvelous~it had been getting all clustered up and claustrophobic
as it is so small, and when things sell and other things get pushed around
with out time to think~well it can feel uncomfortable.
So Justin and I planned to meet to merchandise the store
and we got Paul to join us to help with the moving of the large items.
 I snapped away while during some of our before moments...
Paul is holding our junky and dangerous 6 foot ladder...
 Here Justin risks life and limb to hang a wire chandy 
from an exposed pipe at ceiling height 
while Paul steadies the ladder and J.
 Another acrobatic moment~
he was way up there hanging a sign in the window~
 We want to hang this OPEN flag so walkers will notice our store~
waiting on landlord approval.  Since our store has closed doors we think
lots of people don't realize we are OPEN for business. 
With the cold weather coming this is going to be the 
way it is all the time~so we need that flag!
 So anyway, back to our inventory~the newest item is the chair that
 you might have seen on Betsy's blog. She did an amazing job~
the best ever! It is all redone and so elegantly too, 
I am proud to have it in the shop, and I think it might 
already be SOLD~I wish it could stay longer! 
And after all that hard work I doubt I will ever see another anytime soon.
 How about this French Market Basket? Its one of my favorite things!
Authentic and vintage and in excellent shape, you won't find one
on eBay~but you will at Maison Decor Boston!
 An incredible tool chest trunk will be making its way to Boston soon as well~
The interior has sliding storage compartments that used to hold a carpenters wares.
Now you can hide the cheetos and the remote in here if you use it as a coffee table.
 Today I scored a batch of industrial and rustic items~
so I have created a new category online for just those kinds of things...
One of the items was this 9' tall wooden ladder with the fat round rungs.
 We could have used it the day before when this kind of stuff was going on~
So here was the stash~I was invited to go through the 
basement of the old brick railhouse
restaurant across the street. 
The owner collects antiques and was letting a lot of his stuff go!

 Wonderful batch of crates~
 We will use them for Chalk Paint storage in Boston until they sell out~
 A commercial grade stainless steel pot rack that is just enormous!
 Old galvanized Beer Buckets~
I can see planting small Christmas trees in these babies.
 A great looking rustic bench, an old metal sign...they will head for the Boston store.
Paul was quite pleased about the collection! 
What a ham! 
Where is our HGTV film crew I ask???
I hope you can check out our Boston store at 524 Harrison Ave. 
This is an iPhone panorama shot.
 Its a tiny treasure packed shop~
so take your time and look around...
and if you don't see what you want, 
add it to our wish list.
We have fulfilled many wishes already!

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