Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dream Shopping Spree ~ ABC Home

ABC home is one of my favorite places to browse on-line, although a lot of their stock is out of my price range, I love to dream about what I would buy if money were no object. Today we are finally having seasonal weather in Calgary, which got me thinking about relaxing on the patio drinking lemon aid under the sun and wine under the stars. I love the idea of a patio filled with lush flowers, vintage furniture, swings, and lots of hanging candles and white lights to creates a eclectic, inviting setting for the summer ahead.

 1.Vintage Metal Garden Chair 2. Turkish tea light holder 3. The Coran Shop barrel swing 4. Vintage Suzani pillow 5. Vintage blue hardware cabinet 6. Stoneware planter

*Not a sponsored post*

Monday, May 2, 2011

DIY Silver Leaf Stump Table

About a year ago, a friend of mine brought me back a large tree stump from a ranch she volunteers at, knowing how much I love the look of natural stump tables. That tree stump sat for nearly 7 months in our basement when I tried to decide how I wanted to finish it. I wondered if it should be stained dark? maybe light? bark on? bark off?  I went back and fourth until one day it struck me that our living room needed a little lightness and some bling, and I  decided it would be silver. My next step was to decide if I wanted to keep the bark on or peel it off. Since it was going to be metallic, I decided that leaving the bark on would  help keep the rustic look that drew me to the project in the first place. I chose to cover it in silver leaf instead of spray painting it silver because I wanted to be sure that you would still get glimpses of the wood in the cracks, and with spray paint it would be too uniform.

This is how the stump looked when I got it

After some elbow grease and some silver leaf...

Tools needed
Tree Stump
Spare rags
Wood hardener
Spray Adhesive
Spray on Gloss Acrylic
Silver or Aluminum leaf
Soft bristled brush
Wipe on Poly

The step by step

  1. Use a scraper to remove any bark that can easily fall off, and any debris or sap left on.
  2. Using an electric sander  even off the top and bottom of the stump. I sanded just until the top and bottom were smooth, since i didn't mind if it wasn't perfectly level.
  3. If any areas of your stump are still soft, scrape off anything that comes off easily, and apply a wood hardener ( I used Elmer's wood hardener) and let dry for 24 hours.
  4. Because I was keeping the bark intact, I gave the entire stump a coating of spray adhesive and let it dry 24 hours.
  5. To give a smoother surface to apply the silver leaf, coat the entire stump with Krylon clear gloss and let dry for a few hours.
  6. Starting with small sections, apply your sizing and wait 15 minutes for it to cure.
  7. Using a soft bristle brush pick up a leaf of silver, lie it on over the sizing and gently brush it until it there are not little flakes of silver coming off.
  8. When applying the next leaf, be sure to slightly overlap the previous leaf, and brush until there are no more small flakes of silver coming off. I find it can help to move in a circular motion over the seams to help blend them.
  9. Repeat steps 6 to 8 until the entire stump is finished.
  10. Apply two coats of wipe on poly, and let cure for 24 hours.
  11. Enjoy!

If you prefer the au natural look, there is a great tutorial on Design*Sponge by Karen of The Art of Doing Stuff. A great tutorial on silver leafing can be found on Little Green Notebook.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Peak Inside ~ Mandy's Living Room

My best friend Mandy has always been an inspiration for me fashion wise, so it was no surprise that when she and her husband Bryan purchased their first home, I was very inspired by her design sense. An Interior Architect by trade, Mandy has always had a keen eye for detail, and pairing unexpected elements. I love how she incorporates mid century pieces that play off the architectural details in the home, while still keeping everything fresh and modern.

Monday, March 28, 2011

DIY Trays Part Two ~ Monogrammed Tray

Yesterday we covered DIY marbled clay trays, and today we move on to a customized monogrammed tray. Monograms are something I've been crushing on for a while now, and I wanted to incorporate one into our decor in an inexpensive way.

All that you need for this project is Gloss Enamel paint,a paint brush, a white plate ( I got mine at a dollar store for $2) some cotton swabs, and an oven. (Hint, dollar store cotton swabs work best because they seem to be more compact than the name brand options)

First, clean the plate with rubbing alcohol to remove any grime that may be left on it and prevent the paint from sticking. I found it quite difficult to apply the paint in an even layer ( I used Americana Gloss Enamels in Razzle Berry), so I decided to go with it and used short strokes to create a textured surface. When the paint is still wet, take the cotton swab and trace out the monogram. After the top dried, I flipped it over and painted the bottom gold, using short strokes to create texture.

After letting the paint dry for 48 hours, it was time to put it in the oven for 30 minutes.

The finished product

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DIY Trays Part One ~ Marbled Clay Tray

So this weekend I ended up going a little tray crazy on the DIY front. The first technique I'm going to feature is using oven bake clay.

I came up with this idea after wandering the isles at Michael's and seeing these three beautiful shades of purple clay, and gold enamel.

As soon as i saw these colors, I was instantly reminded of Kelly Wearstlers pink office that I featured in my monochromatic room post. I immediately got to work ,mixing up the colors to create a marbled effect. I found the best way to get a marbled look without mushing everything together into one color, was to start with long rolls of each color, and then rubbing them together in my hand, folding it over, and continuing until the colors had dispersed to my liking.

After flattening out and shaping the trays, I used gold gloss enamel paint to rim the edges. After letting the paint cure for 48 hours, they were ready for the oven.

After 15 minutes (Check your clay for specific cooking times) they were ready for a coat of clear gloss coating. I used Krylon Low Odor Clear Gloss spray, which you can get here.

The finished products

Come back tomorrow to see our DIY monogramed tray!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Brighten up your kitchen

It's finally starting to feel like spring here, which is inspiring me to brighten up my kitchen. Sunny yellows, bright greens and shades of honeysuckle will brighten even the darkest kitchen.  Adding a few pops of color , in the form of everyday accessories, is an easy way to change the feel of your kitchen and welcome a new season.

 1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer 2. Anthropologie 3. Anthropologie 4. Michelle Smith 5 to 8. Anthropologie

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Little Luxuries...Voluspa Candles

Words cannot express how much I love Voluspa Candles. If you told me a year ago that I would be waxing poetic about a candle (pun intended) I would have told you that you were crazy.

I was first drawn to how beautifully packaged they were, they are accessories in their own right. Then comes the smell...oh the smell. I have never used a candle that dispersed scent so well throughout the house, all without ever seeming overpowering. All their scents are complex ,sophisticated, and inviting.

My current favorite is the 2 wick metallo in Lichen & Vetiver. Its beautiful on my coffee table and ,when lit, the scent from just one candle wafts from my main floor all the way up my staircase to the second floor.  I have yet to have a visitor that has not commented, more than once, on how amazing it smells. I actually have to stop myself from opening it up and smelling it every time I walk by.

With scents such as  Apricot & Aiprilla, Laguna, Pomegranate Patchouli, French cade & Lavender, and Santiago Huckleberry, its very hard to choose just one favorite.

1. White Currant Quince porcelin2.  Makassar Ebony & Peach 3 wick in decorative tin 3. Gardenia Colonia two wick Metallo 4. Warm Perique Tabac Classic Maison Candle 5. Japonica travel set

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