May 5, 2016

my first liming wax project and a French sign

Lately, I've kind of become obsessed with limed wood.
I just love the patina it gives to vintage wood- whether it's French Oak limed floors, or 
older pieces of furniture that look timeless.

I found this great antique dresser a couple weeks ago for a great deal, and considered painting the body and leaving the top natural.  
I didn't realize until I got it home that it is birds eye maple!

As the wheels started turning, I remembered that I had grabbed a tin of Amy Howard's Liming Wax a few months ago in the hopes that I would have something to try it out on.

And then I knew this was exactly what this piece needed.  The beautiful wood would still shine through and it would look beautiful and French with some liming wax highlighting it.

Anything with wheels just steals my heart.

The process was super easy, and now that I have done it once, I can go into my next liming wax project with a little more confidence. 
Initially, I gave the dresser a light sanding just to get the finish off.  I wasn't super thorough, partly because I am lazy and didn't want to get into all the nooks and crannies on this, and partly because I wanted to see the difference of how the wax would react on raw wood vs. varnished wood.

Honestly, I'm not sure sanding this piece was totally necessary, because the wax seemed to work just fine either way.

Isn't it yummy?

The wax was more pasty than the Miss Mustard Seed wax that I am used to, so it took me a little bit to get the brush loaded up, but the results were obvious right away. I had done a little reading up on how to use the liming wax, and honestly, the process scared me a bit- using a wire brush to open up the wood, etc.  
For this project, I am so glad I didn't do that.  The piece was old enough and the wood seemed to receive the wax just fine without having to go to that length.  If you were working on a newer piece of furniture, that might be necessary, but with this, just a light sand and working the wax into the wood was just fine.
I used my electric waxing buffer (I bought mine at Harbor Freight tools- a huge lifesaver on labor!) and it now has a buttery finish.  

When buffing out the liming wax, you can put a little more muscle into it if you want to tone down the whiteness, but it would take a lot of muscle to really take it off down to the original wood tone.

I feel like that's the biggest difference to using a white wax.  
When I've used white wax before on projects, you can really knock it down quite a bit with just a little bit of work with a rag.

I'm so happy with how this turned out.  
It has a nice European flair to it, and I couldn't resist pairing it with a French 'apartment for rent' sign that I painted.

Did you know that I leave for France in a week??!!
It was fun to think about while I worked on both of these projects.
I love replicating vintage signs on old pieces of found wood.  This was painted on an old chippy cupboard door that I've had in my stash for a while.

I am so excited to see the real thing in person soon.  I'm really hoping I can find some authentic French signs to bring home.  I'll have to do a post on my trip before I leave.

I also have to highlight a fun surprise with this dresser....

When I started pulling the drawers out to work on it, something caught my eye on the underside of one of the larger drawers.

Some tattered papers depicting (I think?) a Madonna and child, and the crucifixion.
(see the body of Christ just to the left?)
I'm not sure why exactly its on the underside of the drawer, unless it was repaired at some point and they had a scrap piece that this was glued to.
Either way, I don't really care- it just adds to the charm and romance of this piece.
This is available now at The Farmhouse Show.  If it doesn't sell this weekend, I'll be dropping it off at Aunt Bee's House sometime next week before I leave.

I hope you are having a great week!

I'm off to squeeze in some yoga and go refresh my space at The Farmhouse Show.
Come visit anytime - open 10 - 6 today and tomorrow, 10-4 on Saturday!

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Apr 28, 2016

cottage vintage bathroom

I wish I could take credit for this very cute bathroom, but we were super lucky when we bought this house that the bathroom was already remodeled.

There are a few projects we did in here post-move in, but they're all not that cute to show here or so insignificant that it's not worth the photo.

The aqua color, the marble countertop, vintage look vanity....all there at move in.  
I know, don't hate us.
Super lucky.

The only projects we did in here were adding in a bathroom fan, added a hand towel bar, and replaced the faucet.
We discovered pretty quickly that even though the bathroom has a working window, it did not provide sufficient ventilation, and the humidity took forever to dissipate after a shower.  
It was going to eventually add up to a major mold problem.
The fan has helped tremendously.

I do think that the extra shower curtain over the window is pretty genius.  Also not our doing- this was already in place at move in, and saves me a lot of worry on water damaging the wood trim.

We bought a new shower curtain from Target online, and it adds a nice feminine touch to the bathroom Hannah primarily uses. 

To add a bit of warmth to the white and aqua, I added in a wood slice tray for some of the bathroom necessities.

Wood frames and a small wood bowl to the shelf above the commode.

We'll eventually take out the hooks and add in a traditional towel bar.  
The hooks just aren't working for us.

It's been a great bonus for us to have an updated vintage look bathroom!
Especially done the way we would have!

Thanks for visiting me on another mini tour update of our home.
We're always working on something.

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Apr 20, 2016

our cottage master retreat- the beginning stage

We are just having so much fun settling in and living in our new home!!
Last night we enjoyed a warm summer-like evening in our yard, and it was fabulous.  
It really is like living in a park.  
You can see the photo I posted on Instagram here.

One of the first rooms we tackled was our master bedroom.  

Yes, I do realized that our curtain rod is wonky- it's half done and bugging me, but it's slipped to the bottom of the priority list right now.

Kitchens, baths, bedrooms and laundry rooms seem to be the spaces you want unpacked and functioning first.
Am I right?

In a previous post I shared our hard wood floor project, and now I'm sharing what our room is looking like as it's beginning to come together.

This room feels great and very much like a nest in a perch.  
Our bedroom and "walk in closet" - the second bedroom up here that we are hoping to convert to a master bath down the road- are the only rooms on the 3rd floor.
It's private and has great views.

We're really only up here to sleep and dress, so with that in mind, I want to keep it simple, and relaxed.  Most of our time in our home so far is spent on the main level, or outside.

The ceilings are pretty low in here, so we faced some challenges right away.  
There's also a narrow staircase that leads up to the bedroom, which presented it's own problems getting our mattress up stairs.
The first 3 weeks living here, we were either sleeping on a mattress in the living room, or on the floor of the 2nd upstairs bedroom while we worked on refinishing the hardwoods.
Because of these challenges, we opted for a foam mattress that was rolled up like a taco to get it upstairs.  We also had to purchase a queen split box spring to fit up the stairs for our new mattress.  It was a great solution but one of those surprise expenses with moving that no one was planning on.

Since the ceilings are only 7 feet tall, the bed my dad made for us that we have used for the last 23+ years, wasn't an option.  
I was very sad, but knew that it would look like the elephant in the room if we tried.

We purchased an upholstered headboard from Wayfair, and it has been great.  Very comfy since we both like to read.  Because of the room's sloped ceilings, we decided to put it in front of the window.
When we were looking at headboards we tried opted for one that wasn't super tall, so we were only covering up the lower half of the window.  
We still get great light in here and it adds a bit of privacy as well.
The semi sheer curtains are from Ikea, and add a bit of texture.  I have plans to add another layer behind it because the window gets all the morning light and will be super bright in the next few months.

I found a great cottage style cotton rug from Dash and Albert, and I just love it! It adds a nice bit of texture to the room.

I found a gorgeous antique pine dresser at an estate sale (and spent a bundle on it) but knew it would be perfect as my bedside table.  Jon is using a small vintage desk- it's a piece I can't bear to part with, and it works for now, but I am still looking for something that is closer to what I have.  

It was time to replace our lamps, and I fell in love with these vintage looking industrial style lamps from Ikea.  The black and white cord got me.
They are fabulous, and we love the little button on the base to turn it on and off. 

The other new to me piece in here is the aqua tufted velvet chair.  
I found it at a thrift shop for $30.  
I paid $85 to get it professionally cleaned, and now it is a comfy spot to put on socks and shoes.  
I love the shabby look it still has.

Our little alcove is so cute and a space I'm not entirely sure how to use yet, but for now, I love the built in dressers, and I'm using the secretary as a spot to house all my jewelry.  I'll give it more attention after I get back from France.
I'm thinking a flokati rug and a round tufted ottoman for a comfy, luxurious dressing area. 

I'm wanting to swap out the original bakelite handles for a cottage style pull.  
I'll add a little curtain below the secretary to hide the storage area. 

I'm thinking about trimming out the alcove ceiling with some barn wood to look like exposed beams- much like you would see in a tudor style home.  
Also a project down the road.

One last highlight of this room is the chandelier.  
It was actually one of the first purchases I made for the house.  

It fits with the low ceilings and adds a bit of charm and sparkle to the room.  
The green light that was in here before just wasn't cutting it.
A sickly green hue in a bedroom just isn't very sexy.

That's where we are with the progress.
It's a nice little retreat that is comfy and bright, and will get tweaked along the way, but it's coming along!

Have a great Wednesday!

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Apr 15, 2016

some house updates and the reality of what I want vs. what is

I'm sitting here drinking some contraband coffee, looking at one of my favorite blogs.
I'm attempting to give up dairy and sugar right now, and coffee has been difficult to say goodbye to.

The question I get asked the most these days is,
are you settled in your house yet?

And my usual reply is, a sigh and a smile...
it's getting there!
And it is.  
We keep telling ourselves that it's a marathon, not a sprint.

We've only been here 2 months, but it's so easy to feel pressured into having everything done and unpacked, and looking like a million bucks, when really, there's a lot of life going on here.

We moved in, and immediately packed up for a vintage market an hour away.

Figuring out all the nuances of living in an old house (again) has been amusing to say the least.
Things like, figuring out how your queen size mattress fits up a very narrow staircase?
It doesn't.
So you go to plan B, and budget for items you weren't planning on in the move-in process.
Or finding that things don't drain so well in the laundry room or kitchen.
Or a host of other little things that go along with an older home.

My booth spaces at Aunt Bee's were minimally kept up during our move, and I was on a "no buying furniture" diet during our move.

I got sick for 2 weeks after my vintage market.

I've been planning and booking details for my trip to France.
And trying to squeeze in 2 more vintage markets before my trip for enough spending money while I'm there.

So yeah.  You can see why it's been quiet over here!

I really love what I do, and my goals just seem a bit out of reach most of the time.
One of those goals has been  to blog twice a week, and it's been tough to meet that.  
There are so many things in life that ask for our time and attention.

Some are important things, and some are only important to us.
Trying to find balance and achieve what I want has been hard, and yet I laugh when I write that because really? There's nothing that hard about it. 
It's all fun, and life is good.

I'm going to attempt to show you more of what is going on around here with our new home, and not be afraid of showing the in between process.

I'm loving it here- it seems so much easier to decorate than some of our previous places.  
I'm not sure if it's because this home is more "us" or if I am just at the point in my life where I'm more sure of my style.

I've joined some blogging groups, journaled, and been figuring out what I want the next few years to look like for my brand. 
I'm so excited about what our home and my business will offer for the future.

We've had some pretty good on again off again weather, and we've been taking advantage of sprucing up the outside.  Lots of overgrown shrubs and areas that need some TLC.

We put up a little fence for Bella so that she can have some space without wandering off and getting lost.
(it's happened.)

The kiwi and grape vines that surround the patio area are beginning to leaf out, and they are just beautiful.

Even though there's a lot of work, we find ourselves smiling a lot, and having more together time than we expected.  This house has really brought our family together in ways we didn't think it would, and we are so happy and grateful.
These are an important few years together before our baby goes off to college.

Another huge blessing has been the wonderful neighbors we've met since moving in.
That was one of the most heartbreaking aspects of moving from our last house- the wonderful people we lived near that we would be leaving.
With any move, you always hope you have good neighbors, and we feel very lucky to have a second chance at that.
Thanks for sticking with me, and I hope to be more visible here in the coming weeks!

I feel like life will (hopefully) get into a more regular routine after my trip to France.
I'm kind of holding on to the chaos until after that point! 

Happy Friday!

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