August 8, 2013

Gallery wall refreshed, (and a temporary peace out)

Hi friends! In my last post I talked about our upcoming dining room overhaul. We're working on getting rid of {almost} everything and starting afresh. 

While the process of selling what we have and accumulating what we'd like may take some time, the first step I've already checked off the list is giving our gallery wall a little face lift. 

I love a good gallery wall. They're intimate, personal, whimsical and a wonderful statement of one's past and their hopes and dreams. They act as a large piece of art that sparks wonderful conversation. As I spent some time image browsing various gallery walls, I started pinpointing commonalities that appealed to me:

-Scattered frames as opposed to perfect, straight rows and columns.
-Gallery walls in spaces that are not too heavily decorated
-Monochromatic frames for a clean, crisp look

Here is our gallery wall before I tweaked it

 And after a few coats of glossy white spray paint

This project was as easy as it was satisfying!
1. Take all the frames down and remove the photos/objects
2. Lay out a couple large pieces of cardboard outside and place the frames on top, face up
3. Thoroughly shake a can of high gloss white spray paint
4. Evenly spray each frame, including the insides and along the outer edges

5. Let dry
6. Replace all the photos/objects back into the frames
7. Hang and enjoy!

I know this isn't for everyone - but it's a great first step in getting our dining room headed in the right direction for us! Next up: painting under the chair rail, (after settling on a color, I'd say the hardest part is done)!

This may be my last post for a few weeks. It's time to take some time. I'll be stealing a small portion over the remainder of August to enjoy some time away with my family, and the rest to explore some new and exciting business opportunities which I look forward to sharing with you soon! And of course, I'll come back with a few fun projects that I'll finally have some time to complete!

Au revoir mon amis!


August 5, 2013

Dining room mood board

Well! So much for lazy, summer feet are hot from chasing around my kids and working on projects when they're asleep! Aside from several recently dropped off custom orders, Matt and I also have some home projects going on. Some big, (I'm an eighth the way done with painting our kitchen cabinets. An eighth people. After a month.), and some not as big.

We've recently had some discussions about redirecting some areas of our home closer to what our style truly is. I think it is hard to stay true to ones style when you're making some living off of painting furniture. The feel of painted, distressed furniture tends to lend itself to a cozy, cottage-y style. I love painted, distressed, rustic looking furniture. But I think for us, pieces like that look best when surrounded by slightly more modern, industrial elements.

We have been chipping away at achieving that balance in our home and have made our next stop at our dining room:

I don't hate this; in fact, I think the various elements going on here are individually beautiful! Together, they just don't represent who we are very well. So, we're selling it all. The distressed cream pedestal table, 6 matching chairs, (you can see one in the corner in the picture, the rest are in protected storage), and the 4 solid oak chairs. Whew! If you are interested, please contact me!

Alas, we've been dreaming up what our ideal dining room would be within our budget, (and we're hoping that the profit from the current dining set covers most of it)! And since I just figured out how to create a mood board, I just couldn't resist...

(I love Picasa for creating mood boards - for anyone interested in trying it out!)

The breakdown:

China cabinet that I refinished last year in Duck Egg - currently in our dining room and staying!

Garner Extension dining table from World Market

Reidar black metal chair from IKEA

Refresh all the frames on the gallery wall in glossy white, (sorry so fuzzy!?)

Spray paint our current chandelier in flat black, (similar style to this one)

Repaint under the chair rail in a French Linen latex color match
And that's it!

No telling when this project will be complete but it's fun to have the final look organized. I'm looking forward to some of the simpler projects within the vision that I can work on until the table and chairs switcharoo is complete.

Thank you for reading!


August 2, 2013

Subtle stripes: An accent table transformation!

Hey there!

I had a little fun the other day with an accent table that I've had since college...

A few heavy coats of Old White by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, some very soft grey stripes, plus a lot of sanding later, and my old college pal is fresh and sweet as can be:

This piece is perhaps too fresh and too sweet for an already light and airy room coated in whites and creams. It may be soon time to part ways this one if I come across the right replacement. Nevertheless, it was fun to play with!

Life Happening:
Typically on a Friday I like to include some highlighted pictures from our week, completely for my sake so I can look back on my favorite photos and moments with my family. However, I don't think I whipped my camera out for anything this week, (except before and afters of furniture). It's not that I didn't have any sweet moments with the little's just that they were squeezed very tightly on either side by very tough moments. I have two 3yr olds and a 2yr old. This stage is a mixed bag of emotions for us. Anyone who has raised a toddler knows just how emotional it can be! One minute I am consumed in a moment of discipline, and then the other I am melted by two little arms wrapped around my shoulders and a pair of little pink lips whispering, "I love you, Momma". I think I'll have earned myself a degree in psychology after all is said and done! When you've got more than one kid, you try to be the best parent you can be to each individual. And as individuals go, our kids need different things from us at different times. And in this particular stage, I feel like each kid needs my undivided attention 95% of the time, which, obviously, is impossible.

We don't read parenting books, for no important reason. I am certain that with every little struggle we come across with each kid, there is a chapter somewhere in some book that we could read for advice. When I find myself tired and incompetent of the task of raising my children in the precise way for how they are each 'wired', I turn to the One who created them and gave them to us. The Lord gave Matt and me a big job. A job that is much bigger than us. Over the last 3 years as parents He has sustained us, guided our parental decisions, and replenished our strength and energy to no end. 

Today I came across this verse that was just the boost of courage I've needed lately:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the days to come."
Proverbs 31:25

For all my hardworking  girlfriends, readers, and family, that verse is for you today and I hope it gives you a dose of courage as well. Laugh on!

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!


August 1, 2013

A beautiful necklace to help a beautiful baby girl

Hi there! So much of what I write about on here is under the furniture refinishing/home decor umbrella. Now and then I include some highlighted family shots from our week, but I rarely write about Life Happening. Well, for some dear friends of ours from our early marriage, BC, (Before Children), Virginia Beach days, life happened. Big time.

Their 3 month old daughter, Ellia, suddenly stopped eating. After she stopped interacting with her usual coos and giggles and became lethargic, her parents, Tim and Emily, took her to the hospital. After a nightmare of tests and scans, her doctors finally pinpointed the beast that had taken over her little body: Botulism.

Infant Botulism occurs when a baby ingests bacteria that multiply and produce a deadly toxin in the body. Once the toxin has taken over the body, paralysis sets in disabling movement of face, limbs, and causing difficulty in swallowing and breathing. Because Infant Botulism is so rare, less than 100 cases in the United States each year, the antitoxin treatment is not readily available. Little Ellia had to be intubated and put into a medically induced coma while awaiting the antitoxin to travel to her, (in Virginia Beach), from California.

The ordeal was extremely scary for Ellia's sweet parents and family, but God answered the thousands of prayers for Ellia very quickly - she is already on the road to recovery, much to the amazement of her doctors who expect her to do very well in the long run. Praise the Lord!!!

So, now the Petersen family is facing $50,000 in medical expenses. (!!!) There are dozens of fundraisers going on to help these dear folks cover the extreme financial burden, including donated profits from this necklace by Premier Designs:

The proceeds from this beautiful $24 'Token of Love' necklace will be donated to the Petersen family to help ease this financial blow. My prayer for them now is that they can bask in the miraculous recovery of their baby girl whom they feared losing forever, and be free from worry over this major financial burden. 

Ordering this necklace is very easy! Email Lindsay, (the Premier Design rep who has organized this fundraiser), at with your address and email, (or you can contact me). And she will email you an invoice with the simple instructions to make a secure online payment.

Even the box is fun! What a great gift idea, too!

Praying for you, Ellia! 
Your parents are some of the best we've had the pleasure of knowing and we hope to meet your sweet smiling face someday!
*Not interested in a necklace? Here are some more fundraisers going to help this precious family!