Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Project File: Dining Room Table

My dining room table has been in our garage for at least 3 weeks. During that time it has underwent various processes in an attempt to create a certain "look" that I happened to see in a recent design magazine.

I first sanded the table down- this table was bought at an unfinished furniture by my newlywed parents 30 years ago.  They finished it with a dark stain and poly.
The sanding took a lot of elbow grease to remove the color- but I did it! (I used a hand sander,  goggles and a respirator for this!)
Above is a not-so-hot-before-shot:)

Then I began the re-coloring process.  I was attempting to bleach the table- which gives the wood a worn, grayish tone.

I first tried regular laundry bleach- it didn't do much.
then I moved on to oxcalic acid- or furniture bleach (used to lighten stains on furniture)- also- not much of  a difference.

The final bleaching option is a 2-part bleaching solution that I could have ordered from a flooring supply company- but honestly I didn't want to pay the $40 haz-mat shipping fee- especially if it wasn't guaranteed to work.  So then I started looking into the "limeing" process- a certain type of wax applied to furniture to give it a whitish look- this I also couldn't find...

so here's what I ended up going with:
I simply brushed it on in smallish sections, then wiped it off with a rag while it was still wet

this is a stain product that "pickles" the furniture.  You can see the difference in the color in the shot above. It actually was super simple and quick and I love the result!

What's left to do? I need apply a water proof finish- this is the product I decided on. 
 I got mine through Amazon- I'll let ya'll know how it works!!
I chose it because I wanted a natural product, natural finish, and not super-shiny.  It should arrive tomorrow!

Then it's the rest of the room I have to decide on.
#1: a new rug (or antique rug.... possibly I will find you at Brimfield in a couple weeks????)
Here are some current contenders:

Clearly I'm leaning toward yellow- but other than that I am not quite sure

#2: fabric choice and re-upholstery of my beautiful couch (a good fall/winter project I think)
top choices right now:

#3: wall color
#4: what to do with the hideous, half-assed built-in buffet???
#5: dining chairs (possible Brimfield too?)
#6: window treatments

Stay tuned!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Capitol Exhibit

Just wanted to share with you my exhibit that's up at the Connecticut State Capitol buiding right now...it's pretty exciting:)

They are hanging in the Secretary of States office, located on the first floor, take a left once you enter the main entrance:) They did such a nice job hanging it!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I am officially annoyed with PB- no, not peanut butter...I am referring to the popular, mid-high end home decor national chain. 

I was flipping through the bed and bath catalog last night and came across these:

(image courtesy PB website)

all yours for $120- are you fing kidding me?!!!!
Ummmm- I realize that I am a quasi- DIYr but seriously people- please, for the love of being anti big-business DO NOT spend 120 bucks on faux weathered frames with out a picture, let alone glass in them! 

If you want the same look- go to a local antique store/tag sale/swap meet/flea market and pick up a few frames for a couple bucks a piece, OR go to your local TJMaxx/Marshall's and grab a couple interesting shaped antiquey looking frames, paint them white- and distress them with some sand paper, (or if you really want to go crazy get some crackle finish from a local craft store to shabby-chic them up)- this look would probably run $50 max for frames, paint, sand paper and faux finish.
I feel let down by Pottery Barn and their lack of originality in the home decor department- seriously.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OKP Hill and Beach, 2011

Old Kelsey Point beach is heaven on earth.
(and also the place where- 13 years ago D and I went on our first date, and 8 years ago D proposed to me:) so it has a special place in my heart.

Our family friends have a had a cottage here for generations, and we have been visiting them since I was little.  My parents rented the cottage next to theirs for years while we were growing up...we took a hiatus for a while, and started renting a new cottage (big enough to hold the whole fam) a few years back.  Although going overnight with the kids the past couple years was rough, especially at night) this year was wonderful. (I'm attributing it to my children being out of the ever so temperamental infant age range...)

Mornings were spent indulging in the INSANELY delicious donuts from the local Beach Donut shop (my mouth is watering as I type:) on the huge wrap around porch. Shuggie and Mosie had plenty of snuggles.

The kids had so much fun playing- without the assistance of TV- it was a refreshing, much needed unplugged vacation.

O-No a.k.a Owen;)

Dog-lovin' baby

We did a lot of crabbing (one of the classic OKB past times)...

This little guy had this glamorous sea shell ring- I had to document!

and then we had a VERY exciting crab race!!!

The kids rinsed off every night before diner in this fabulous, original claw and ball foot bath tub- such a classic!

This insane drift-tree floated in one day- it was like an underwater sea-saw for the kids to play on:)

The Grannies gabbing on the jetty

It was lovely- really lovely. I can't wait for next year!!!
xoxo M&D, 
thank you for sharing your vacation with us.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Catching up (capitol, Albany, and a couple little projects, table update)

Lots been happening- and I'm afraid to admit, but the next two weeks will be the busiest yet this summer (minus the next 3 days when we are going on a mini beach vacation!!!)- ahhhhh!  SO- try to stick with me on the whirlwind wrap-up session!!

Here.... we.... gooooooo....

Tomorrow morning, Today- before my husband left for work I brought some of my paintings over to the state capitol building in Hartford for a display that will be up for the next month or so in Secretary of State- Denise Merrill's office.  How did I stumble upon this amazing opportunity you might be wondering???? Well- my friend Alexa (Denise's daughter in law) hooked me up last minute- so I had to seriously jump on the chance!  I am so very excited and grateful!

Alexa, myself and the kiddos went over to check out the space at NAP TIME last Friday- not the best idea going- but we made it out unscathed:)  Here is the documentation...
The moving walkway was quite the rage!

as were all of the beautiful sculptures and statues everywhere.

Mr.Moses was in rare form- here's a glimpse:
Here he is with one of the various strangers that he initiated wrestling games with:)

I was super-inspired by the gorgeous architecture and beautiful decorative murals- the building is so pretty! My paintings are now up- go take a peak if you happen to be in the city any time soon!  You can walk right in- the Secretary's office is on the main level on the left!
This past weekend was spent visiting some very dear friends of ours.  Ray and Craig lived on the first floor of our old house (we lived on the top) we were both newlyweds, without children.  To this day, I miss having someone that I could run downstairs and borrow an egg from in a pinch.  Anyhow- we ended up "living together" so to speak for 4 years.  They have a son who is the same age as Mosie- who I did home daycare for when they were both infants.  We moved into a single family home and they moved away.  This was our first visit to see them up in Albany- and we had so much fun! It's so nice visiting with friends that are so familiar that they really are family- it was such a relaxing day.

Zella made this fabulous skirt the other day-
and I fashioned a belt for it out of this equally fabulous Hello Kitty duct tape.  The idea came to me after talking with an adolescent recently who said their "secret talent" was making things out of duct tape:)  It really is quite a versatile material!!


I created a little business card holder yesterday during rest time for my upcoming show.    The design was inspired by something I saw while browsing Etsy a couple nights ago.  I used an old stationary box as the base and cut the heavy cardboard into sections which I wrapped in origami paper, and then glued into this little contraption- it does the trick!


as for my table project- (bad photo, it's a dark stained, pine trestle table with 2 folding side leaves, my parents got it from an unfinished furniture store as newlyweds:))

it's slow going, mostly because of my lack of time.  I have sanded it down, and I attempted the bleaching process which I read about on line (using Clorox laundry bleach, then stabilizing it with borax/water solution)- and it didn't work:( It bleached it a little- but not as much as I'd like.  So I'm moving on to the big guns...Oxcalic acid- I'll let you know how it goes (don't worry I will be well protected with gloves, mask, goggles, and long sleeves:)  I have made a deal with myself to not start on my couch...

 until the table is complete- and I'm sticking to it!!!

Hope you're still awake;)  thanks for reading.