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Car show 

When we were down at the shore for a long weekend recently, right across the street is a country club and on a Saturday they were hosting a car show that went to benefit veterans.

Kevin and I biked over to the club not knowing what to expect. But we had seen an ad asking people to come out and vote for your favorite car. We are always up for a car show. We were pleasantly surprised to see so many old cars. There were so many. We hadn’t expected that. I have a thing for old cars. 

When I was a kid my grandmother drove an old Plymouth – I remember the push buttons on the dash and I think the car was green but I don’t recall much else I was so young. I can’t believe I remember that much. But later she got a 1966 Mustang. It was a hard top with black interior and it was canary yellow. She had that car from 1966 until she died in 1987. It had 40k miles on it. My dad sold it after she passed and I was very sad to see it go. 

I remember her driving me around in it for years and then later I drove her around in it. I remember her turning the wheel with her gloved hands (because you always wear driving gloves) around and around like she was fighting with the car to get that car to turn and she was because it had no power steering. Later when I drive her I was surprised that she was able to fight so well with that steering it was hard for me to steer! And it no AC. How did we survive without AC in cars? 

Fast forward to my adult life. I don’t know when I became enamored  with old cars. Maybe it’s the memories of past rides with my Nana. Also I dated a couple guys who had a love for old cars and another friend who was a mechanic and maybe it was back then that my interest grew. I would sometimes go sit in his shop and watch him tinker with cars -old and new but I liked the old ones best.

Have you ever watched a car auction on TV? Well I have and love them! 

I don’t know the first time I went to a car show but we’ve had monthly meet ups ( where people with old cars meet up to show them off) in a local shopping center in our town of Mount Airy,MD.  The center houses an iconic(to locals) ice cream shop named Jimmy Cone. Often over the summer the cars will meet and folks from town would come check them out and also enjoy ice cream and sometimes music. 

For me there is art in these old cars. The color and curves and lines, the polished chrome and knobs and dials are all part of an era of cars that focused on beauty and performance. A car was a “she” for sure. 

Kevin would say way back when that when I turned 50 he would get me an old Mustang. Well I’m nearly 54 and that hasn’t happened. That’s not because he didn’t want to get me one it’s because it doesn’t make sense to have such a car while we are raising three teens and managing a small farm. It’s not in the budget now. But that doesn’t mean that sometime someday we won’t get a shiny old Mustang. In the meantime I get to drool over the ones I see occasionally at cars shows or on the road. 

Kevin and I both had different votes for our favorite car. I voted for the one I would most want. Bet you can’t guess! And he voted for the coolest beachy one. Another hint!  So here is a gallery of some of the cars we saw and I took photos of some of the parts of these cars that I found beautiful. 

Enjoy. Answers way at the bottom! 

My Vote the black 66 Mustang!

Kevin’s – The Woody

Building a chicken coop by non-handy people – part 2

Read Part One here!

Well here we are back again for part 2 of the chicken coop build.

We left of last time after we put up and secured the wall frame. Once we did that part we left it for a few days in the rain (its been a rainy spring in Central MD.). And the good news is that it didn’t fall down.

Roof Joists – After the wall frame went up Kevin cut the joists for the roof. It can be a little tricky. It is very clear in the plans and once you get the hang of it things go smoothly. One thing about putting up roof joists- they need to all be even. Later when we put the roof sheeting on we had a bump – a gap- whatever – a leaky place – which occurred bc one joist stuck up a little higher than all the others. We made it work as I will explain later. But just be careful so you don’t have to stress about this later on!

img_3871Pre-painting – I decided to paint all the trim and siding before we put it up. I knew we would have to touch up the paint once the walls and trim were on but it would be much quicker than starting to paint it from scratch when it was up. I have bad shoulder and it would have been too hard for me to do it that way. So pre-painting ended up working really well for us.

Choosing the colors is much of the fun for me and I chose a pretty golden yellow and a blue/green for the shutters and a basic white paint for the trim. I had the paint mixed at ACE. I can see where some might opt to stain the T1-11 siding as it sucked up a lot of paint- thus increasing the cost of the project (we used 2 gallons but bought a third for touchup etc. $30/gallon – yikes!). Again in hindsight I should have either stained it (if I could have found a stain in a fun color) or I should have gotten a cheap tinted primer first and then painted it with the paint for the second coat. We used rollers meant for rough surfaces and I still had to brush in the grooves of the panels. Painting the trim was straightforward.

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Siding – The plan calls for T1-11 siding. You could use whatever you like really. We stuck to the plan bc we are novices. We ended up getting the thickest of the T1 siding. You can opt for thinner. I just wanted to be sure we got a product that would not break down and this stuff seemed very durable. It was $30 a sheet. So it wasn’t cheap.

We made an error – well I made an error and it turned out ok but lets me tell you what we (I) did so you know what you are getting into if you make the change. When we went to cut the siding I wanted the siding to match our other coop and the other coops T1-11 siding has the panels running vertically and not diagonally. So we made that change. When we went to put up the siding on the sides of the coop the pieces were was a bit short bc there is a lip on one end that is meant to be used to join the pieces together. On the plan it said to cut that lip off- I am so glad we didn’t otherwise we would have not had a piece that fit at all. In our case we could still put the piece on and then cover the small gap with trim..it was a small gap.

In hindsight this is where I learned not to make a change unless you think it out or have more experience. Had we planned the change the direction of the siding from the start we would have been able to adjust the wall dimensions some to accommodate the change in direction of the panel. Which would mean making the side wall a tad less than 4 ft wide and the front and back a tad less than 8 ft wide. See how accurate I am being?! OR you can make the dimensions the same and use an extra piece of T1-11 and close up the sides using 2 sheets on each side. Or better yet just use the T1 in the horizontal position!

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Trim – The instructions say to cut the trim to fit the dimensions needed. So you need to measure and cut. The reason for this is that there is a variation in thickness of T1-11 siding. So we measured for our trim and we changed it up by putting the side trim up first and then the front and back pieces. It was working better for us because we needed some forgiveness on the side since we had short siding (see above under siding). Make sure you cut the back pieces at the 15 degree angels as noted. ALSO make trim flush with the siding which is hopefully flush with the roof trusses. We had a little issue with the roof board laying flat – see below.

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Roof – So the roof- that feels so great getting to the roof. Its like so close to the end right?  Well the roof was a pain. I don’t know if it was because we turned the siding or our measurements were a bit off but we could not follow the roof directions as explained in the plans. We could not cut three pieces of plywood and make the roof fit. So we ended up having to get another piece of 1/2″ plywood and we made the roof out of two pieces cut to fit. We almost had Armageddon over this issue but in the long run who cares what went wrong- we just needed to get a roof on and thats what we did!

So once the roof was on we realized that one of the trusses was a bit higher than the others so a gap was created in the roof. Gah! It seemed like it could be a big deal but we solved it but adding a drip strip to all sides of the roof. It lays on the roof and helps direct the rain off the roof. It also hid the gap in the roof – yay!

We were lucky in that we had some roofing paper and shingles already in our barn. This is why you never throw stuff away on a farm! So we laid the paper on and I think Kevin put the drip strip on after the paper. Except the back side where the issue was – he put the drip strip on just before the final shingles went on as we had not planned on having a drip strip in the back at first. (hey we aren’t roofers lol!) Kevin watched a number of videos on laying roof shingles. Youtube was a huge help during this project! Once the paper and drip strip were down Kevin put on the shingles. The roof came out great. You could choose do cover your roof with many different materials I am sure – I kind of wanted a metal roof but we had over spent on the project already so using the existing material was a must.

I will report it has rained a ton since that roof went on and there have been no leaks. Yay! I do think in the winter I may add a layer of insulation to the underside of the roof to add some warmth for the girls.

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Door/ Chicken door – For the front door we pieced to leftover T1-11 siding that i painted in a pretty blue green. You must measure your door and if off square build to fit. Our door was not square we built it 1/4 smaller (see directions in this blog for help).  I bought Kevin a small Kreg pocket tool for this project. It is the mini one and it worked really well for the door frame assembly. We also had a sander to help if there were any sticky parts. But the door went on really easily. Kevin got some nice hardware for it. Kevin had been stressing about the door and he did a great job on it. In fact he took what he learned and applied it to build a new chicken door on my run that is part of the other coop.

I built and installed the chicken door. Well Kevin cut the hole but I painted the trim and door and installed it. I attached a hook and eye so the door can be latched in the open position. I think it is so cute.

Can you see how cute this coop is?

Shutters – For the shutters the original plan was that we would put mesh screen across the windows and have working shutters that cold close in the winter. Again – I learned something in hindsight. I went to build the shutters and realized we would either have to cut a piece of 1×3 in half to make two shutters that would fit together (so 4 1x3s and 1 1×1.5). We didn’t have a table saw to make a clean cut like that so we had to go with shutters that were too narrow. Had I planned this all out better we could have set the trim pieces in more on each side of the window to allow the shutters to fit.  I made the shutters after we installed the trim – and yes we could have unscrewed it and moved it but I was too lazy. We decided to just live with the shutters that don’t close well and in the winter plexiglass the windows – leaving some ventilation – for warmth and protection.

I will say I had fun building the shutters. I winged it – not like me – but the plans didn’t really explain how to build them. This is the first time I ever used a chop saw (Miter saw) and I must say it was fun!

For the shutters I took 1×3’s cut to length and measured a cross piece (x2 for each shutter). I lined up the pieces- used glue first and laid the cross piece on top and then nailed it together. My son, Zach, gave them a sanding since furring strips can get splintery. I painted them and let them dry overnight. We installed them and added hardware and aside from the fact that they don’t really fit they are super cute!

So now we are just about done! I went back and painted the trim and touched up the siding.

Kevin added nest boxes for me. I bought big plastic nest boxes that were going to mount inside. He hated them (they were ugly). We opted not to have an external nest box because we were not feeling 100% confident building something that hung off the coop. So Kevin built three nesting boxes inside. It may be hard to collet the eggs since they are so low but I have some ideas if that is the case. Think doors like the chicken door!

Kevin added a couple roosts above the nesting boxes. I hope they work but we can always move the roosts if needed. I wanted to leave them above the nest box platform in hope that maybe I could clean that platform often and the rest of the coop less often – but we will see!

All I can say every time I walk by the coop is “It’s so cute!” and to be honest I still cannot believe we built this and it looks so great. Is it perfect? No! But we learned a lot in the process.  I think in the end I may have enjoyed this project more than Kevin did. But he did the bulk of the work and he did an awesome job. I think there could be a she shed in my future- just saying.

But in the meantime isn’t this coop stinkin’ cute?

 

 

 

 

 

Tea cart anew 

My latest furniture painting victim is a tea cart I got from my sister-in-law Leslie. It was in her family I think for a good while. She didn’t have room for it anymore and asked if we wanted it. I am not sure she knew we would transform this piece and maybe that is better…often we get used to seeing a piece of furniture in one way and it might seem horrifying to think of it being painted over and transformed anew. I did send her photos as the transformation was underway and she was sent back her thumbs up.

This was one of those projects that took a while. I began last fall in the garage/studio. But the weather turned cold and I didn’t want to work out there – plus paint dries slowly in cold as I learned on a couple short attempts to work on the cart on cold days. I was able to get it nearly complete out there thanks to some indian summer days.

The project got tabled (no pun intended) for a while over the holidays and early into the year. The top of the cart was ready for its last coat of paint so I got inspired and asked my husband to bring it inside so I could work in the warmth of the house. Originally, I wasn’t going to paint inside the house but one day in January I looked at an old piece of furniture and I realized I needed to paint it bc I really didn’t like looking at it anymore (see my post on that project here) and I brought paints in from the garage and painted the small chest into a new piece that I now liked again.

So the painting studio had moved inside. Chalk paint has no odor so nobody was being bothered by the smells- but the clutter – well – thats another thing entirely. I certainly am not the biggest messer-upper in this home so I will not listen to any complaints about my paints and supplies covering our dining room table!  And the TV is not blocked in any way so all is ok in Sweeneyland.

For the tea cart I had an inspiration piece that I found online.  I wanted to just have at it with no cheating(surfing the net for ideas) but I had no idea what I could do with a tea cart. I also thought there might be some way to deconstruct it and make it into something else – but as soon as I saw this picture below I decided I wanted to do something like this.

 

Inspiration Piece- loved the red wheels!

I used Maison Blanche Paints and for this project I used their Maison White – which is whiter than the paint in this picture – in hindsight I might have used their Vanilla color but I like my results. I also used a grey color called Hurricane as the base coat on the top. I crackled the top using their Crackle Extreme product. The top coat is the Maison White which cracked well and exposed the Hurricane color underneath.

Here is the cart as I received it- it wasn’t in bad shape at all – it was well cared for- it was just a bit boring:

The Process was as follows:

  • Took apart the piece as much as I could and  wiped it down to get all the dust off.
  • NO Sanding needed with this chalk paint and so far that has rung true.
  • I began with the bottom part and painted it with three coats of Maison White.
  • I distressed it using a medium grit sanding block. Mine dried for at least a week bc I was taking my time- but it can be distressed within a couple hours of drying  even sooner probably.

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  • I added a stencil and after it dried I distressed some more.
  • I then varnished it with two coats of Maison Blanche Varnish. I didn’t feel like waxing this piece and I like the varnish finish.
  • I took the top and painted it with a couple coats of the white on the underside of the top.
  • Then when dry I painted the top with the Hurricane color and let that dry. I applied  a crackle medium (Crackle Extreme by Maison Blanche) and that sat for a month or more waiting for me to finish it with a top coat of Maison White.
  • I added the top stencil after the white paint dried and I sanded a bit as there were a couple areas that felt lumpy- probably from the crackle medium where it was put on a little to think by yours truly.
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  • I finished the top with three coats of varnish.
  • I spray painted the carts big looking wagon wheels with blue Rustoleum Paint. I had two very nice days in the last few weeks that allowed for me to spray paint in the garage.
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Wagon wheels before paint

  • The small wheels and drawer pull I painted with a hammered metal finish spray paint also by Rustoleum.
  • I put everything back together and Voila…a new trendier tea cart.
  • Here it is completed(click on the photos for a larger picture):

 

Every time I tackle a new painting project I learn something. This time I learned that you can take your sweet time doing something and not stress about it. I really enjoyed the process. The other thing I learned is that if you make a mistake- I make some each time I work on furniture piece – that you can undo most of them. Paint is more forgiving than I thought. AND if I end up hating the entire thing I can always start over!

I showed my sister-in-law the finished tea cart and she loved it. I asked her if she would like it back – but she didn’t have room for it. I am glad bc I sort of become attached to these pieces as I work on them. This will not bode well if I keep accumulating furniture as we have a small home and not much room! I have no idea as yet where I might put this cart.

And if I ever want to sell anything I paint I will need to release my feelings for them and let it go out into the world. I have had to do this with photography as I have sold a few of my photos lately and at first it was a little hard to see them go but now I am glad someone somewhere has an “Anne Sweeney” on their wall.

I have always longed to be creative because it was what my heart told me to do. I fell in love with photography early in my 20’s. After I got that bug I never looked at the world the same. Every field became a scene for a photo- I looked at the light in a new way.  I began was writing as a kid and I journaled my way through high school. My favorite part of my job way back when I was a programmer/software engineer was creating the processes which drove the program.

For me art is a form of therapy – its a way to pour my feelings into something- I get something back from it as well. And I when I share my creativity it may inspire or effect another person.  I have been wondering why I have such a hold on some of my art.  I write (and that is a form of art) and I send that out into the world freely and I share my photos all over the internet where anyone could claim them I suppose. So why did I feel such a hold when it came to selling them in a frame- the original is not really anywhere except as bits and bytes on a computer why was it so hard to put them in a frame with a price tag? And now furniture? Why I am feeling so attached?

I need to ponder on this a bit more because I think the answer is important for me to know.

In the meantime I will keep doing what I do bc it brings me joy.

…… ‎”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” ~Steven Pressfield

 

 

The next furniture victim

I didn’t get good before and during photos for this project but this was another Asian piece we had. It’s not a great quality piece but I use it for storage. I fought with this from the start. I tried black semi-gloss on the body and green chalk paint on the drawers and I hated it. So I finally ended with chalk paint all over and I distressed it to reveal the black paint and I didn’t distress the drawers. I accidently Used a coat of crackle paint on top as I mistook the jar for varnish. I’ll read better next time. I sanded that coat lightly and covered it w two coats of varnish – you can see a little crackle up close but barely. I added new knobs and I like it the after much better than the before! 

–You can see the cans of paint on top of the piece in the after pics. I’m onto painting the walls – they are in need of freshening!   
   

On the creative front-Nanas quilt

This was my Nana’s quilt. It has been in our family for over 80 years. I wish I knew more about the history of it. But I do know it was given to her years ago by either her mom or grandmother. My nana gave it to me years ago,  well before I really should have had it but it has survived all these years – I have taken good care of it -as all things Nana mean a lot to me. Anything I have been given over the years that was hers is very sacred to me. Ask my kids. We have Nana’s desk, Nana’s hutch, Nana’s table – etc. My kids never met my Nana she passed away well before they were born but they know how much she meant to me. I had her in my life for 23 1/2 years. She was my Nana and a best friend. When she left this world at the age of 85 – my world shattered. But that is another story for another time.

I’ve decided to try to fix this quilt. My Nana was not a seamstress and neither am I but I think I want to take a shot at it.

There are a number of different fabrics that have been sewn in over the years. Many of the old silk fabrics have frayed.

You can see the patches my Nana sewed on the quilt as many are fabrics from the 70’s and have that 70’s vibe. She also liked velvets. I have some ideas for fabrics I want to use.

I know I could send this quilt off to someone who could fix it. But I guess I want to be part of this quilt like my Nana is part of it and all the rest of the mom’s and Nana’s before her.  So I’m going to figure it out as I go along -it’s a metaphor for my life!
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On the furniture painting front I have a bunch of projects going on. The most recent was another trunk and I painted it to go with the coffee table trunk I refurbished.

This piece began life as an Asian influenced small trunk. As with most of our furniture it had seen better days. Kids and pets and a number of moves took it;s toll on it and I was just kind of sick of the Asian look as well.

I painted it with a satin black paint. I stenciled all the fun words and pics on it and then added a couple coats of Mod Podge on top to seal it.

I like how it turned out and it looks nice in the family room.

Thanks for reading….

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I added some white paint so I could distress the piece and some white and red would show through

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The Creative War 

I have always been at war with myself. Maybe it is because I am born on a cusp between Sagittarius – the more creative sign- and Capricorn the more practical sign. But I always have felt there is this inner creative who wants to come out. She wants to wear bell bottoms and grow her hair long and keep it in a braid and maybe get a few more tattoos. She wants to have a studio where she makes cool art. The practical side of me had tried to squelch creative Anne. Miss P wants to do the more left brained things like have a proper job and be all serious. The right brained me has been writing since I was a young. I wrote poems and also I wrote for my high school newspaper. I didn’t always get published but I tried.  I never thought I would ever be a real writer it just wasn’t practical. How would I pay the bills?  That Miss P- she can be a downer.

In my mid- twenties I fell in love with photography. I got my first camera in New York City. I began taking picture of New England. I lived in Boston at the time- I worked in a practical job at a mutual fund company. But the photo bug hit me hard and when I moved back down to Maryland I began taking courses. I even took a class taught by National Geographic photographers.  This was all before digital photography came about and I wasn’t great in the darkroom and my focusing left a bit to be desired but I persisted. I even got paid for a couple small jobs for friends.

Creativity took a back seat to kids. I still felt that inner artist within and I loved to decorate the house and paint the kids rooms. I kept taking pictures but mostly of my kids and of their growing up- and really what better art is there when you are taking pictures of those you love?

I once wrote a piece for The Washington Post- just for the Health section it was a personal piece but it got published- that felt great! I still want for something more in my creative life. I love blogging and  Love taking photos. I have entered photos in fairs and won a few ribbons. But I feel like there can be more- that creative person in there is the real me. I still feel she is afraid to come out and really try. Miss P likes creative Anne to play it safe.

I think as I have gotten older the inner artist has cried a little louder. I am not sure where this will go. I have some ideas. Will they stick? I am not sure. I have been enjoying my newest creative hobby..painting furniture. I am learning a lot. I have a number of projects completed. I have a studio and I feel very calmed when I am painting pieces. It was born out of nessecity – but it touched the artist within. I never thought I would be much good at painting anything but walls- and I am very messy at that!  And maybe I am not that good at it but I am enjoying it. I think the more I try the more I tap in to the creative Anne. She wants to write, and take pictures and she wants to paint furniture and maybe fuse glass..maybe more. I want to listen to her more. I want Ms. Practical to shut up for a bit – there is a time for her but maybe it is ok for creative Anne to live out front for a while. Maybe I wont get to grow the long braid or wear bell bottoms but I sure as heck can give this inner call a listen and see where she wants to go…thanks for reading.

Here are a couple of my projects- I have many more waiting for me!

 

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A place of my own. And painting Nana’s hutch

I can’t wait to write these words. I’ve been hoping to announce this well before now but I had to wait for it to happen but now I can tell you- I Have my own studio!! Ok it’s only my garage but it’s a place for me to do my thing -whatever it may be. It’s my creative place.

It took a very long time to get a studio. Partly because I never considered using the garage for my creative space until I began to paint furniture. Also the garage was a sty. There is no nice way to put it. It was a huge mess. I couldn’t walk across the length of it to get to the extra refrigerator so I would send a teen in for me hoping they came back in one piece.  We had made many attempts in the past to move crap around and to reorganize it but it would end up collecting more and more stuff.

But last week after I had mentioned twice that I might like that space to house my newest creative endeavor of painting furniture the ball got rolling. I heard the garage open. The teens were summoned to commence removal of crap. There were two trips to the dump with our trailer filled with stuff. Kevin only asked me once or twice what id like to keep -there wasn’t much I really wanted and I’m sure he thought I might slow down the process with my considering what to keep and what to toss if he kept asking. Some things went to the dump , some to the shed in our paddock, and some down to the basement storage -another scary black hole that we need to sort through this winter. I bit my tongue when I realized some items made there way back indoors – I didn’t even ask what they were. I realized I best shut my mouth because what was happening in the garage was a miracle in the making  I know when to just let things go-sometimes!

After two days (yes two) the garage was empty. Then I heard hammering and sawing. I peaked in and legs were being made  for my salvaged countertop so I would have a work area. Yay! I thought to myself as I went down to feed the chickens and horses. Yay!

When I came back up from the barn my space was ready. My project that I was already working on was moved in. The space was mine. I have two work tables and storage shelves. I have a fan for the hot days and am planning on some type of heater for the cold weather. I figure there will be some indoor work still in the deep of winter as paint might not dry well in the cold. But I plan on spending some time out there.

Painting isn’t the only thing I hope to be doing in the studio.  I am still hoping to do some glass fusing as soon as I can buy a kiln. I may use the space to matte my photos. Who knows what else might inspire me. I probably won’t write in there but if I can figure out a way to set up a decent writing space I just might. It’s peaceful out there. Nobody (except Rudy who will have a dog bed in a primo spot) really wants to hang and bug me in the garage. It’s the only space that’s truly mine in the entire house. So I’m going to claim it. Maybe Rudy will pee on it and mark our territory- ok we won’t go that far but personal space is hard to find in my home. It’s that cherished.

I already have a plan to put my photos up on the walls. I gave it a shot the other day but an hour after I got all the pictures up on the wall they all fell down -I used painters tape to put them up. Not too bright. Good idea bad execution. So I’ll start again and either use my giant push pin and string idea that I used in my husbands office or I’ll think up something else. But I’ll put my stamp on it no doubt.

It didn’t take me long to get working in my new workspace. I had decided to take my Nana’s hutch (I guess it’s a small sideboard but we’ve always called it a hutch)- that was ever so old and ever so beat up- and paint it. I’ve been trying to get things brightened up in my house. The hutch sits against the wall under a window and is partially blocked by our pub height dining table. It was looking ragged and I had considered getting rid of it. There isn’t much of a market for antiques like this and frankly I’m attached to the thing. It’s one of a few pieces I got from my dad when he moved 20 years ago to Florida. The hutch was in my Nana’s dining area in her walk up apartment for as long as I could remember. I took China out of it for her to set her table. I put the clean dishes back in. I just can’t part with it. I could have had it refinished but I felt like it was calling out for paint. So I had my sander -Ozzy -give it a once over to get it ready. I wanted to leave the character (dents and scratches ) in it      I like patina.

I was going to use chalk paint for the first time. I was going into this process rather blindly but I had some quick instructions from my friends who owns a local consignment and new furniture/home decor store in my town. I also had the Internet. I used Maison Blanche chalk paint and their clear wax. The understanding of how wax on chalk paint works became clearer as I worked on the piece. I really enjoyed the process. The end result isn’t perfect but I love the aged look it still has. The paint did some crackling naturally and I distressed the piece some as well. I think I would have distressed it more had I understood the whole process ahead of time but it’s fine like it is and I’m told that I can go back and distress it again and add some wax to it and buff it out again. The beauty with wax is in the buffing I discovered. I used steel wool to buff (#0000). I wiped it also with a cloth. For me the wool brought up the shine faster and was easier on my bad shoulder than just using a rag. Once buffed the piece has a shine and smoothness that I couldn’t imagine before I began buffing. I wasn’t a fan of chalk paint until I finished the buffing – then the aha moment happened and a fan was born.

I didn’t paint the inside except for the inside of the doors which are I’ve 1.5 inches thick. Who makes stuff like that anymore? I painted the inside door white and stenciled 2015 on them and signed my name. The year of the rebirth of the piece. I had had visions of painting the inside entirely. I thought some fun color and then some pretty contact paper for the shelves would really be awesome But I bailed on the idea when I realized that the smell that reminds me of my nana when I open those doors might be gone if i changed the inside too much.   I swear it still smells of her apartment from 1987. It just takes me back. It’s a comfort.  Even at 51 I miss her.

The hutch now sits back inside my dining area -it looks so great. Like new but with the history that I know.

I’ve become so into reusing, updating and repurposing things. I already have two old pieces of furniture from our house in my workspace that hope to paint and maybe sell. But up next is my dining room table top and the wall cabinet and shelves (probably a real hutch ). I’m on a quest to bring in more light.

The wheels are turning in my brain at the prospect of all that I can create In my studio. It’s just a space in the garage and I’m told I may have to share it with a car if we are to get a large snow storm (we’ll see about that) but it’s so much more to me. It’s solace, it’s inspiring and it’s mine.

Thanks for reading.

These photos all fell down! I used blue paint tape. I will put up again with a better execution.

My studio! Some new projects waiting fpr rebirth. Last week you could not see into the garage!

My next project. Dining table top.

Hutch before. The detail was not easy to paint- great for the first time using chalk paint! – Not

My sander – Ozzy

In progress inside the house (my studio wasn’t complete yet)

Crackle just happened- I like it.

I painted the inner doors white.

All finished in the studio…the hutch looks greener here than it is.   



  


 Inside the house