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a NEW old armoire…and a little more on chalk paint.

12 May

Here’s my next painting adventure:

Thrift store.  $20.  Ginormous.  Weighs about as much as my entire family put together.  I. adore. that. drawer.

More Annie Sloan paint.  This time Provence with a clear wax mixed with Old White paint.  Original hardware except drawer hardware (which I haven’t found yet).  I actually timed working on this piece to coincide with my brother coming to visit so he could help Will carry it in from the garage.  Sneaky, sneaky, right?  What else are big, strong, manly brothers for???  His sweet-as-molasses girlfriend Lindsay helped me paint it and I was eternally grateful.

The best part about this piece is the inside.  It smells just like my grandfather’s old dresser.  And it has perfectly sized cubbies and 3 pull-out drawers.  Perfect for our kids’ art supplies, paper, games, puzzles and library books!

Don’t you just love it?????  Cuz I sure do.

Several friends have asked about the chalk paint that I used for the hutch.  I thought I would give you the details, as well as more specific information so you can get to painting!

The Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is from the UK.  I first read about it on the Miss Mustard Seed blog and it’s exploding in popularity.  You can use it like a chalkboard paint, but obviously you don’t have to.  It comes in 24 colors and very few stores carry it in the US, so you’re probably going to have to order it online.  I ordered mine from the Southern Institute of Faux Finishing shop because they had the most colors in stock.  But I got the paint within a week.

Costs:  The paint is $35/quart.  Deep breath.  BUT!  Usually you can get away with painting one coat if you put on a solid medium coat (not too heavy though).  The paint goes a really long way.  One of the things I really love is the wax that you apply over it.  There’s a clear wax and a rustic wax.  Each wax is $25/can.  The rustic wax, you’ll have forever.  The clear wax goes a really long way if you apply it with a brush instead of a cloth.  The only other thing I’d recommend is the wax brush ($35).  The shipping is NOT cheap (plan on $15-25 per order), but it is oh-so-worth it.

It’s incredibly easy to work with and I really like using it.  You can use a soft paint brush for applying the paint.

Tips:  So before you start, wipe your piece down.  Fix anything that needs to be fixed.  Remove the hardware.  If you need to sand any rough edges, take care of that.  Otherwise, you don’t need to do a thing.  When you paint, the color looks a good bit lighter than when it’s dry.  Also, don’t stress too much about streaks because the beauty of this paint is that it has a really matte finish.  Let it dry for a good 12-24 hours before you start waxing.  BEFORE YOU WAX, read Miss Mustard Seed’s blog entry on waxing and definitely make sure you watch her Waxes 101 video.  You’ll probably put the clear wax on first.  Let that dry for an hour or two (until it doesn’t feel sticky anymore, sometimes it can take up to 24 hours) before you start with any other waxes.  I liked using the rustic wax on my hutch piece, but you only need the tiniest amount.  I ended up using steel wool to lighten the color up a bit because I was pretty heavy handed with the dark wax.  You can also mix the clear wax with paint, which is what I did on the armoire from last week.  I painted it the Provence color and mixed some Old White with clear wax to give it a lighter finish.  The hutch was done in the Versailles color.  The wax dries in a matte finish too.  If you want a distressed look, use a fine grade sandpaper and sand away.  As with applying the wax, when you’re sanding, work in a small section and then take a few steps back.  It’s easy to get tunnel vision working up close with a piece, and it really helps to take a step back to look at the big picture.

So there you go.  Please let me know if you have any questions!  I’m working on a couple of other pieces right now and will post those another time.  I gotta get to work!


The Hutch…after.

10 May

Here’s the finished project.  I’m a little disappointed in the photos, but it is what it is.  🙂  I absolutely adore this piece!  Inspired by Miss Mustard Seed, I took the plunge and invested in some Annie Sloan chalk paint, brushes and waxes.  Yes, it is a small investment, but oh so worth it.


This is the real deal.

There is no sanding, no priming, no nothing.  You wipe the piece down and paint the snot out of it.  It dries.  Then you brush on your wax(es) of choice.  They dry.  If you want to distress it, grab some fine sandpaper and the paint just sands right off in a fine powder.  I like the original hardware, so I stuck it back on and TA-DA!!!

I have painted several pieces of furniture in the past and nothing was as easy as this.  In fact, it was the project my mom and I worked on Easter weekend.  Oh how I love it.

I love the rounded details on the doors.

And the beadboard on the back of the upper part.


I’ve already finished another piece with some Annie Sloan chalk paint and I’ll post those before and after pics as soon as I take the after pics. 🙂


28 Apr

sorry for the lapse in posts. i’ve been nesting.  and detoxing (from our columbia life). and my mom came to visit for easter.

so we’ve been a little busy.

i admit adjusting to life here has been a bit tougher than i anticipated.  with will’s new schedule and varying hours and varying days, finding a rhythm for our family just hasn’t happened yet. and i’m a very routine person.  every week seems to have something new that throws a wrench into our daily life. BUT i know it will happen in time. i just want it NOW!

things really are going well.  baseball season is here and the boys have started playing games.  last night we had a doubleheader with william playing @ 5:45 and zachary @ 7.  we went out for pizza afterwards (i had planned on eating at the ballpark, but a dinner of nachos and beef jerky doesn’t really seem like a “good mom” kinda dinner).  will looked at me and said, “i love nights like this. baseball, kids playing happily, buying amelia peanuts during the game and the boys gatorade after the game, eating pizza…  this is the good life.” and i had to agree.

i’m a  bit short on time b/c we’re headed to another tball game tonight, but here are a few pics from the last couple of weeks–mainly projects i’m working on.

here’s our breakfast area before the paint and curtains.  the grey was pretty dark and it needed more light in there!

we painted it bakery box white from martha stewart living line from home depot.  it’s a blue tinged white and i love it!  i made lined triple pinch pleat drapes with an amy butler fabric and am so proud of myself for how they turned out!

here’s my next project.  i’ll show you how i completely transformed it tomorrow!  it was an easter weekend project that my mom and i did together. i am in love with how it turned out!

here’s a sweet pic from mom’s visit.  amelia woke up in a bad mood, but at least the boys were happy.

happy thursday!

starting to feel normal again.

30 Mar


oh how it seems like it’s been FOREVER since we’ve had a “normal” week.  i’m thinking it’s probably been since last november when we put our house on the market.  and i guess this week won’t really count, but i’m counting it today.

dinner is on the stove.

laundry is washing and drying.

homework is done.

it’s snowing outside and i’m watching the cutest rabbit hop around in the yard.

the kids are happily watching tangled, which was amelia’s first movie theatre movie. [baseball practice was cancelled.]

will is reading.

i sewed kitchen cafe curtains this morning and am enjoying using my new kitchen timer.  simple pleasures.

and life seems a little bit normal.  i’ve craved this moment for a long time now because i’m such a creature of routine.  and i’m savoring the feeling.

will starts work on friday and he’s kicking it off with a 6 day stretch.  and our new routine will seem like old hat in no time, i’m hoping.  he’ll be working more of a shift-like schedule (mostly days with a few nights sprinkled in), longer shifts, but fewer days working overall.  like an entire week less a month than before.  different, but good.

waiting on this rug to be delivered to my front door and the decorating of the mosh pit will commence.

i located my camera the other day so i’ll get to work taking photos of our very unfinished house.  ahhhh, life in progress….

week one. check.

27 Mar

well we survived our first week of living up North!  at first the weather was warm and sunny, but it quickly deteriorated to a monsoon, a crazy hailstorm and then snow and low temps in the teens.

our house is pretty well unpacked.  some things have found a home, some have not.  the kitchen is done and i actually cooked 3 meals in a row this week!  that’s a pretty good string, especially considering i hadn’t cooked 3 meals in a row in a couple of months.  [it doesn’t matter that one meal consisted entirely of IKEA food–swedish meatballs, gravy and potato pancakes–right?  RIGHT??  EVERYONE loved it.]

the move went very smoothly.  it was chaotic that day and we literally swam through a sea of boxes and paper for a couple of days, but now we have a nice, tall, flat stack of boxes 4 feet high on our front porch.  only a couple of things were broken and it was mostly stuff that i had packed for the big red boxes.

school is going well for the boys.  we kinda feel like we’re living in the twilight zone, 

or rather pleasantville, because this little nook of pittsburgh seems so perfect.  we walked into the school on their first day and when we were introduced, multiple people exclaimed, “oh! the owens boys are here!”  their teachers already had their desk prepared with supplies labeled with their names. every single person who we met was so very nice to us.

the next day, i walked the boys to the bus stop, which is just down the hill from our house.  about 15 kids and 8 or 9 parents were there, all chit chatting and drinking their coffee.  a 5th grade girl shouted, “bus alert!” and all of the kids lined up rather orderly.  they filed on the bus and as the bus started to pull away, every single parent waved and shouted “good bye! have a great day! love you!”  i left with that whole twilight zone feeling again. crazy.

neighbors continue to walk over with muffins and phone numbers and it’s just. so. nice.

let’s see…..other things….

  • our house leans.  i mean REALLY leans.  i guess after 102 years, a house is bound to settle.  every single room sorta sinks in around the edges.  shims have become will’s best friend for stabilizing furniture.  a game of marbles is just not possible here.
  • the tire swing and playground outside entertain our kids for hours.
  • our bedroom feels like what i imagine an igloo to feel like.
  • i love having laundry in the basement.  it helps that we have a laundry chute. i went to ikea and got several bins to have an organized system.  when i find my camera, i’ll take a picture and show you cuz it’s THAT awesome.
  • stinkbugs are the PA version of palmetto bugs.
  • thanks to MB, i’m now sleeping soundly.  this house is quite loud.  and i’m a light sleeper.
  • i convinced will to have our giant picnic table that was on our porch in the old house as our new dining room table. and once the stuff gets cleared off the top, it will be delicious. i love it there.
  • doors don’t close in this house. but the kids don’t understand that, so they insist on slamming the doors shut. every. single. time. and they don’t close so they slam them again. and again. and again.
  • the different minerals in the water here have done a number on maggie’s digestive system.
  • baseball practices start this week.  woot woot!


and with that, i better run. we’re visiting our first church this morning.  i need to find the cutest smocked dress and biggest hairbow for amelia to wear.  happy sunday!


17 Mar


Our closing got delayed until noon tomorrow. We’re actually grateful it didn’t get delayed longer than that. While our hotel room is great, we started getting a little stir crazy. So far we’ve …

  • Spent the entire day at the Carnegie Science Museum and watching Hubble on IMAX. (We even got the super duper membership so all of our visitors can check out all of the Carnegie Museums for FREE!)  We left with Zachary announcing he will be an astronaut when he grows up.  Heck, now I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.


  • Visited and climbed on a giant statue honoring Mister Rogers.  Sadly, the kids have no idea who he is. 😦  I think I’ll add some old episodes to our Netflix list.




  • Spent hours at Fun Buy the Pound, playing with Legos, Playmobil & pretty much everything you can think of.


And now I think we’re about to take the kids to the pool.  Dinner tonight is popcorn and poptarts.  There’s no more free dinner or beer.  I really think Zachary is going to turn into a pizza.  No more corn dogs, chicken nuggets or pizza.  Ahhhh!!!!!


Please pray that everything goes as scheduled for the closing tomorrow at 12.  We won’t actually get to sleep in the house until Saturday, but that is A-OK with me.  I have a nice, big, cozy bed with lots of pillows here in the hotel.  Our movers won’t deliver our stuff until Monday, so I’m enjoying the bed while I have one!




Happy birthday to my sweet friend, Allison!!!  Love you!

music to my ears.

7 Mar

this weekend was crazy busy.  william had a sleepover friday night with his buddies and we had so much fun!  i’ll post pics later.

saturday will and i hit the road at noon and headed up to charlotte for the day and evening.  we picked out a couch at ikea that we plan to purchase after we close on our house [hopefully] next thursday.  the kids can sleep in sleeping bags until the truck delivers our stuff.

we met up with some friends and after a big, fat greasy dinner, we went to a really fun concert.  i’m a big fan of drew holcomb and the neighbors after i first heard ellie holcomb (drew’s wife) sing at a young life camp.  they are totally on the cusp of making it big.  they’re a great band with a unique sound.  here’s their latest video for their newest song, which should be playing on a radio near you.




the headliner for the show was marc broussard, who’s from my hometown of lafayette, la.  he’s got an amazingly deep, rich soulful voice that i absolutely love.  his biggest hit “home” is one of my favorite songs.  every single time i drive across the border into louisiana, we blare that song in the hotyssey.  and every time i run a race, that is a must-have on my ipod playlist.  the video is extra cool to me because it’s full of places where i’m from and gives me a sweet reminder of my home.  enjoy!




we celebrated william’s eighth birthday on sunday.  he’s really starting to grow up and it’s fun to watch, usually.  🙂


one week to go….one week.

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