Gallery

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

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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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

Hobby by desperation- part two 

Whew! That painting project was quite fun and tiring! The bedroom set still has one piece left to go but since 3/4s are done I decided to share the results thus far. Read Part One of this series here.

So when I left you in part one of this saga I noted that I was in the thinking phase of the project for much longer than my normal thinking usually goes. I have been known to be impulsive in my life and this is something I have tried to fix. Being impulsive isn’t bad all the time but I am finding thoughtful consideration is often a better way to approach things that are new to me. Though I had painted outdoor furniture before I was not concerned about sanding and finish as much as I was with the bedroom furniture that we’ve had for over 15 years – I wanted it to look good – so I think planning it out (maybe procrastinating) was ok.

I read up on painting furniture on the internet and realized I had a lot to decide. Sanding or no? Paint sheen – Satin, Semi-gloss- or glossy!? Would I need a poly coat on the top? The poly coat question didn’t even surface until I was reading about proper sanding during a break in the project. I have to put a poly coat on? Really. But I decided that yes I should do this since the furniture will be home to water glasses and contact lens solutions and face creams. So that would delay getting the project done by a day but I am trying to learn patience. Normally I would have just blown off this step bc I would have wanted to get the project done fast. This time I was willing to wait.

IMG_0552In the end I chose to use a satin paint by Clark and Kensington. I got this from our local Ace Hardware. I like to use our local small shops when I can and I have been having them mix paint for me for years. I chose Designer White and Drift for my colors. I wanted the bulk of the pieces (4) to be the white but I wanted one to be different. I chose to paint my dresser the Drift color.  I went with satin at the advice of the sale person at the store. I had wanted Semi-gloss and in hindsight I think I might had liked that a tad better. But just a smidgen.
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As I set off to work I had help. My son Ozzy, as he is know to those of you who read my blog, was very eager to help me with the sanding and since we were planning on doing two nightstands and my large dresser there was a good amount of sanding. His efforts were rewarded with an IPod shuffle- which he has since gotten and I haven’t seen since. (His last one took a swim with him in the ocean and did not survive – so I am hoping this new one – which was given to us for free- is still with us. )  I will just say this- having a helper with a project like this is really a plus. He saved me a lot of time. Kevin helped paint between doing other projects that are needed on a regular basis around this farm. Painting is really taking time off from the real stuff that needs to be done here! So I guess this was a vacation for me!

I wont go bore you with the stroke by stroke details but I have a couple things that are of note- I had to water down the Drift color -maybe it was the air temp that first day when I began working but adding water created a more forgiving paint. I also learned that rolling was better for me. I used a foam roller and I had brushes for details. I learned to use a light touch with the brushes. I also realized early on that I was going to need 3-4 coats of paint – so again my patience was being tested.  Getting good brushes is a must. I spent a whopping $20 on my brush I was going to use for the poly coat…and I am hard on brushes but with that brush I treated it like a baby. I plan to keep that as my topcoat brush for some time(I hope).

Here are a few things I learned on my painting journey-
1-I am a messy painter. Worse than when I paint walls. It was all over my feet legs hand and clothing. It was on the driveway and on the garage floor. I had it on my leg when I went to church on Sunday- yes I bathed. I tried to be neat and yet it just doesn’t happen for me. I had it on the bottom of shoes and then went to bare feet and stepped in it. Really I am like a child and I suppose I should just embrace it.

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2. The first day was great. Great weather – hot but low humidity. I was patient. Very methodical. On Sunday – day 2 – not so much. It was hot and humid and my patience was not great. I was cranky and snappy but I pushed on and practiced patience physically as in I painted slowly – but mentally I was like when is this going to be done!?!”

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I tried very hard not to get snippy with anyone but alas poor Ozzy got a few snaps at him but he is pretty understanding bc he certainly has his moments – so he had some grace for me.

3. I added water to the paint – as I mentioned above adding water to thin out the paint is good in that it allows the paint some viscosity to smooth out. I felt bc of the hotter temps that the paint was getting gummy quickly on the surface. This was on a warm day with low humidity.

4.IMG_0326 Egg crates make great knob holders. – My husband is a genius. We had to paint the knobs and that was a pain. He brought out egg cartons (we always have a bunch bc of our laying hens) and we kept the screws in each knob and stuck them into the crates for painting and drying.

5, I hate humidity- on day 2 the humidity was brutal and if I could have moved the operation indoors I would but there isn’t room in the inn for that big dresser. So I sweated it out in the steam.

6 . Patience- I am trying to learn it and sometimes I surprise myself and actually achieve it – maybe for a short period but I do.

7. Sanding before and between coats – I had never taken the time (see #6) to sand before. This time my son did the initial sanding and between coats I sanded the piece using a fine grit sandpaper. I wiped it off after sanding and then applied the next coat.

IMG_03308 . I read about doing a top coat as I mentioned above. I decided to go ahead and do it and I chose to use a polycrylic. It has low fumes and is easier to use. I bought a very nice brush (2.5 inches) and I put it on in thin coats. I think the top coat will help protect the piece. I need to learn how to apply it better- I was not very good at evening out the coat from on side to the other – but for my first time it was pretty good.

 

9. Mistakes will happen.  I was being pretty picky about this project – I really wanted to do a good job – but mistakes do happen. I had a big issue where I went to sand off a lump and it tore off a large piece of paint down to the wood. I stayed calm – maybe I was delirious bc of the heat! I wasn’t sure I could fix that but I kept going back and painting over the area and was able to get it to a point where it is hard to see. I know its there but I am ok with it. I just realized I am not going to paint to perfection and really the stuff looked much better and a little imperfection is ok.

 

10.IMG_0360 I had fun. I learned a lot. I had fun and learned so that was great. I will not paint in that heat again. Well…we still have the high dresser so maybe I will have to be in the heat again. Or maybe I can set up in our entry way. It will be tight. The messy factor worries me about this idea – see #1 above.

 

 

 

IMG_039611. Our room is cute! Its beachy! My daughter doesn’t like the bed by the window- we re-arranged things since the furniture was out of the room. I like it so far there is more room on each side of the bed – and the windows are so cloudy bc they are so old so we aren’t losing a great view. Its a nice cloudy view! We will see- we can always move it back…but she did like the furniture!

12. I have sore muscles that I didn’t know I had. Yes- I do! But worth it!

13. Next time I will take on a piece at a time and complete it before I move onto another. This time I was working on three pieces at the same time..Dresser..nightstands..it was a a lot!

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14. I have too much stuff! I was able to get rid of some stuff and it felt great. I have more to go though but a step at a time.

15. Lastly, I am just very happy that I had the stamina to do this job. After my radiation treatment was over in 2013 it took many months to get my stamina back. I could not have taken this on last summer and I am glad my bum shoulder was cooperative and my nerve damage didn’t flare up too badly. It also felt good to have the mental drive back to want to do this project. I was in a funk for quite a while so to have this spark was truly awesome.

I will be doing my husband’s dresser next and then I have my grandmother’s hutch in my scope. I am determined to renew my tired stuff. Maybe with each project I will get better and better- but if not I think I will have fun trying. It might have been a new hobby founded out of desperation but I think I like it!

Thanks for reading (or looking at the pictures – or both!)…

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The dresser is a pale blue green- hard to see in these photos

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New hobby by desperation – Part One

I am not a patient person. Anyone who reads my blogs might recall my ongoing battle with patience. So I wasn’t sure how I’d do taking on my new hobby-furniture painting.

I watch a lot of HGTV.  A lot. I have decided that in my next house I’m either having Joanna Gaines from “Fixer Upper” decorate my entire home or Candice Olsen. I think my style is more JoJo than Candice though. The budget – well it’s more do it yourself at this point!

I’ve tried hard not to look at the tired furniture in my house. I’ve tried to cover it with knock knacks and dust. I keep the lighting low but it’s no use my furniture looks like crap.  Being that we have no money to buy new stuff (I’m saving for a new mattress-Ours matteress is crappy too) I decided I needed to do a little fixing up of what we had.  Ok also hubby and I decided that we didn’t want to get new stuff until teens had left the premises bc teens, as it turns out, are harder on furniture than little kids -maybe bc they weigh more- I don’t know but they are tough-or we have elves that are wrecking my house. Case in point: recently my son told me he broke his box spring. Ok – I asked-how did that happen. He doesn’t know. An elf named I dunno- see? Well have fun sleeping on the broken bed I hope the thing doesn’t mysteriously blow up.  I have peeling “leather” chairs and scratched coffee tables – ok the dogs may have done a bit of scratching -but you get the point. I think I’ll just live with the crappy stuff now and when the kids are gone maybe we will get some new good crap.

I realized that if I wanted some of the crappy furniture to look better I needed to fix it myself.  I decided to take me inspiration from Lara Spencer from HGTVs “I Brake for Yard Sales” and “Flea Market Flip”. Those shows show some great salvaging and repurposing of crap. (I told you I watch a lot of HGTV). I could do this. I could make our crap look less crappy.  I loved the looks she came up with on her show and man she can make crappy happy!

I decided to start with our bedroom furniture. I figured if I messed it up entirely it would be in our room so only Kevin and I would see it regularly. Plus that set had been with us about 17 years and it was looking very worn.

My planning phase began months ago. In that I began to think about painting the set. I didn’t actually do anything to prepare for the project. My thinking phase lasted a long time this time. I’m usually much more impulsive. I figured the delay was perhaps because I felt guilty about painting nice wood furniture. I really did -even though it looked bad. I pulled the trigger after I saw a friends guest room and they had taken some old furniture and painted it and the room had such a cute beachy vibe. I left their house and decided it was game on.

I’m not new to painting furniture really. I’ve painted stuff before all very poorly – no quality control-and most of it was for outside. It still is outside and a couple pieces look ok. But painting a bedroom set was a bigger deal. I wanted to make sure that I did it correctly and it would look nice. So I consulted the internet. The world of answers to all things. What the heck did I ever do without the internet? I suppose in this case I would have asked someone I knew who had done this sort of thing before. But the internet- it gave me infinite options to painting my furniture. I could watch it on Youtube, pin pages on my Pinterest, I could have glazed furniture, distressed, shabby chic…I got a bit confused! I decided for this project to go straight paint- no frills. I bought the supplies put them in the garage and went to the beach for a week. No sense in rushing it. So unlike me.

A week after my return to the beach the weather was so nice I decided to paint some furniture. I attacked the dresser emptying first. Maybe the best thing that will come of this is that I will get rid of stuff since I have to empty out all my drawers and clear the tops. That is a task in itself – I am surprised I didn’t quit for the day(weekend) after I did the emptying because it took a lot of moving around and sorting through and I had to store it in something(s). I am definitely not ready for a tiny house – (another HGTV reference).

In fact, I am so enamored with a show on HGTV right now that I will have to continue this another time…

TBC – Thanks for reading….

My dresser before. In my defense we had just returned home from the beach and I was still disorganized. I am hoping this will look much better in the After picture!

 My son was my sander and he did a great job prepping my stuff. I highly recommend and assistant if you can get one. This help earned him an Ipod shuffle. He took his old one in the ocean with him- it did not survive.