June 27, 2012

Indoor/Outdoor Table

With our temps dipping from the blazin' 100s down into the mid 70s, (my favvvvorite range), I got inspired to work on a fun indoor/outdoor table that's been in the garage well over a month now. Already painted a creamy white and in excellent sturdy condition, there was little I wanted to do to change this cutie.
I grabbed my brush and dug around in the back of my stash of paints for the perfect color I knew would be fitting for this piece. It's a very light grayish-blue, (Bayou by Behr), and I dry brushed it on to stay consistent with the already weathered look. Once dry I lightly distressed all angles and edges to allow an outline of white to be seen.

I used a fine sanding block to give a more worn look to the top.

It was fun 'staging' this little table/bench outside and just letting the surrounding nature act as the decor. My Shire had some staging ideas of her own as well.:)
 I confess I've never done her hair this way, but I love it! I usually pull it back tight in a secure hairband. I was thinking that I don't want her to end up like me, always having to have her hair completely off her face. I like this softer look on her. :) But I digress...

Pretty cute little table, huh? Or bench.:)


June 23, 2012

Aged to perfection

Hi! It was my sincere pleasure this week to work on such a fine piece. A thoughtful friend brought this beautiful sideboard over recently that she's had for 15 years! It served its purpose in her home and she was ready to part with it, so I became the lucky beneficiary of this beauty set on original wooden casters. Do you believe in love at first site? I do.:)

For me the highlights of this piece lie in the stunning original hardware, the delicate curves of the legs, the size, and the old casters. I have been searching high and low for old wooden casters so when this piece rolled in I was pretty smitten, to say the least


{such sweet little casters}

 {beautiful, unique, original hardware can act as an exclamation point to a piece}

 {use a small platter or tray to collect smaller non-like objects to create a cohesive grouping. Thank you to my dear Grandma Livi who entrusted me with this original photograph of her grandfather -my great-great grandfather!}

{I used two colors for this piece. The first: Duck Egg blue by ASCP. The second: A thin layer of French Linen gray, also by ASCP. I used a sanding block to rub down the French Linen so that the Duck Egg could really peek through. I find when I am working with chalk paint that sanding blocks work the best to give me a professionally smooth finish and just the right amount of control when I want to distress certain areas. The last step was sealing it in clear wax which not only protects the piece from staining or scratching, but also highlights the distressed areas making them polished and pop. I adore this piece and every little nick and chip that tell its story.
Soon it will begin a fresh chapter in a new home}

I hope you are having a fantastic weekend out there!


June 18, 2012

Happy (belated) Father's Day!

~My Dad and me, Summer of 1986~

My Dad is just awesome. I have nothing but fond memories from my childhood and in honor of Father's Day I thought I would share just one involving my Dad. We were living in New Hampshire and my talented Momma was out getting ready for a big play that she was directing, (I think). It was cold and raining and my Dad was alone with the 3 kids, (ages 10, 7 and 4) for several hours. He copied a chart on 3 pieces of paper and labeled the columns Heat, Width, Length, Taste, and the rows McDonalds, Wendy's, Burger King, and KFC. The title: French Fries. He gave us each a chart and a pencil and loaded us up into the van. We drove all over town, splitting a small fry at each restaurant and rating each category on a scale of 1-10. Burger King won, for anyone interested :) But seriously. Who does that with their kids?!? It was such a fun memory and such an example of how my Dad just loves to play. He is SO much fun, always has been. But, he also listens. He loves to call and just check in and catch up with us. I love that. I am so grateful for him and for the way he loves and cares for us. And he is so encouraging of my little furniture refinishing business. In fact, he is a regular follower of my blog, so I know he'll be reading this - Hi Dad! :) I love you!


June 14, 2012

~Dresser no more~

Hi! Well, I am so excited to show you our most awesome transformation yet to come out of Chelsea's Garage, but first I must give credit where credit is due. A long time ago I came across this post from Sausha at Sweet Pickins Furniture. I kept coming back to this ridiculous transformation she did of an average 8 drawer dresser turned TV console. I had to try it! But, I also needed the right client to come along who wanted this. After nearly a year, finally one did:) I showed this sweet person the post of the TV console I had my eye on and they gave me two thumbs up, (four if you count her husbands)! So, I scored this perfect 8 drawer dresser on craigslist - almost identical to the dresser Sausha had redone.

For the most part I followed every step-by-step instruction that Sausha explains in her post about the same transformation, so I'm going to refer to her instructions if you'd like to know exactly how this transformation was done. Thanks, Sausha!
 *Notice something missing? My clients have had a challenging time finding hardware that they like and is in stock, so this piece may be naked for a bit longer. I just couldn't wait to show you the almost finished product anyhow:) I'll update again with a couple pics once the hardware is on!

 *Shelves in the upper corners are the perfect size to store the media boxes, while the cubby in the middle is great for holding a basket of remotes/cords/controllers, blankets, pillows, or whatever else their heart desires!

 *I love the color combo this client chose! Charcoal gray, (Valspar Semi-Sweet in semi gloss) with black undertones, (sealed in Minwax Polyurethane Clear Semi Gloss). Not something I would have thought of trying myself but now that I see it in person I am in love!

*Of course, staging is always my favorite part. This is where I see refinished pieces come to life.:) {Creative tip} - turn your books with the binds facing in for a striking visual effect. The books are all different heights, widths, and best of all, different shades of white/off-white. Now the books look like a textural piece of art!

The best part of this transformation was having the opportunity to work in the Garage with my main man, Matt. I cannot thank him enough for the work he did with all the cutting and attaching of the shelves, trim, etc. Isn't he a stud?! His handiness has opened quite a few doors for more transformations like this - it's a whole new level beyond just slapping a coat of paint on a piece! Good thing he enjoyed this; I will definitely be hiring him again.:) Thank you, Matt!

If you have any questions that were not answered by Sausha or myself, please don't hesitate to contact me!


P.S. To find out what happened to the deep drawer that was in the middle of this dresser, look here.:) Now it's a functional, (and adorable), storage shelf in our guest bathroom.

June 13, 2012

A bittersweet rearrangement

Well, the time has come. I no longer have baby babies anymore, (they will always be my babies). I have toddlers. What does this mean for me? Redecorating :) It dawned on me the other day that our little guy, Mason, now 14 months, is constantly running into his brother and sister's room because they have all the cool stuff. Toys, books, fun stuff. What did his room have? The Rocking Chair. The Rocking Chair that I sat in every day/night for almost 14 months to nurse him. The same rocking chair that we used to rock his brother and sister when they fit in the nook of our forearm and wouldn't sleep at random times of the night those first few challenging months, (with twins we were always trying to get at least one of them to sleeeeeeep and not keep the other up). I have slept in The Rocking Chair. Probably cried too :) I have stared at my babies while rocking them and just thought, this is it. I am complete. I have logged probably a weeks worth of time sitting in that chair. Good time, even when tired.

But, my babies don't need me to rock them anymore. In fact, they prefer to climb in it together and rock themselves these days :) It's more like a gym apparatus to them rather than a spot for peace and rest. Thus, time to move it out of Mason's nursery and down into the living room where it can be enjoyed by all.

I'm quite excited, actually, to have this sweet little nook to spend my quite time in the morning before the kids wake up. The morning sun comes in from those front windows, so it will always be warm and inviting. I really love how the wood of the plant stand and the seat/back of the chair go so well together!

The Rocking Chair represents such a season of our life and it kind of breaks my heart to see it slipping away.

BUT, it is so much fun witnessing every new season of life of our kids. I enjoy keeping up with their ever unique personalities and quirks. I enjoyed tweaking Mason's room so that it could be a place that he enjoys. After only one day this way, even the twins are wanting to hang out in his room, instead of the other way around :)
 ~a better suited rocker for little bottoms~

 ~cow painting from their talented great-grandma~

 ~Momma's own piece that she repainted before Mason's birth~
 ~surface covered with a receiving blanket that goes with the colors of the room - helps to add some  boyish charm to a piece that is otherwise a little shabby chic girly~

 ~tissue paper poms were the first thing I did for this room when I was so excited about picking blue and orange for the nursery colors - I also crocheted his blanket, my third one :)~

 ~rustic, uneven gray stripes on the dresser, sketches that I drew of old wrestling pictures of Matt in high school~
~a room better suited for a curious little boy who is no longer a baby baby~

"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be"


June 10, 2012

The past 6 years, to the day

~June 10, 2006~

This is the day 6 years ago that I married this guy, Matt. It was a good, good day. A day that the Lord blessed in the obvious ways, (good weather, everything ran smoothly, we had a blast, etc).

But, Matt's not just any guy. And our gracious Father has used our union to bless us far more than we could ever imagine, hope for or dream. But, let me start at the beginning.

We met in college when we were just babies:)
First thoughts: He is kind, selfless and has a huge heart. He has awesome friends who respect him so much. He's brilliantly funny. So handsome. He loves the Lord and desires to be know Him.

In October of our senior year at James Madison University he proposed on Skyline Drive in front of the rainbow of leaves on the trees and a beautiful sunset.

After our wedding we lived in Virginia Beach for several years where we truly had the blessing of time together. We got to explore a bit and enjoy the world together at our own, easy pace, (thanks to our families!)
 (London Eye in London)

(Brilliant Eiffel Tower glowing in Paris)

(Summer trip to Boston)

(Visiting my adventurous in-laws in Bogota, Colombia)

After a little while we got the news of our lives when we were expecting boy-girl twins!

It was a difficult pregnancy that was deemed high risk from the very beginning. At 28 weeks we moved several hours north to be closer to family. At 30 weeks I was admitted to the hospital for pre-term labor. I would remain there until the babies came. After he got off work, Matt came right over to spend every evening with me for 4 weeks. These hospital visits were our last times together before our family doubled in size.

Colin Joshua and Shire Grace came into our lives on October 29, 2009
~We love because He first loved us.~

Matt is the only one in the world who shares with me the exact joy....

....and exhaustion of parenting these two sweet things.

Just like that, we went from the two of us to the whole LOT of us. Our arms were stretched!

Or so we thought ;) When our babies were 8 months old, this happened:

Mason James was born on March 26, 2011. Matt was so cool and calm during the labor. I had been nervous about trying a vbac but Matt was so strong and confident that I forgot all about my fears! Praise Jesus!

(3 babies in 16 months and 27 days)

Yes, we have had a whirlwind of 6 years. Our marriage is still so young, but so much has happened! I am grateful for this man who has let me fly and be myself. I feel like I really 'bloomed' after marrying him.

We are who we are

I am grateful for this man who supports my dreams and wants to help me however he can to achieve them.

(Chelsea's Garage Opening February 11, 2012)

Without his support and encouragement these dreams would never turn into reality.

This is why God gave him such a big heart...and arms long enough to hold us all!

I love my life with him. Absolutely love it.

And I am so excited for the rest of our life together.

Happy Anniversary, Matt.

~Your Chelsea