Wednesday, January 30, 2013

That Romantic time of Year!

I opened up today after John tended the shop on Saturday to find a few holes that had to be filled.  

First the wall beside the counter, my favorite combination: aqua and red,   canning jar with roses; old aqua, ruffled top vase; plus a bit of glitz in the form of a silvery shade with crystal prism accents.

Then back to our romantic area, this beer crate end with the romantic lady was rearranged by John after I already shot the photo.  Then he was concerned that I might think he was spending too much time with the barmaid. 

She'd be a nice addition to your bar area just in time for Super Bowl Sunday.  Also shown is part of one of a set of 8 really good condition tin trays if you are looking for some enhancements for Valentine's Day.

And, finally, the gate outside the entrance of Just A Second with its silverplate wire heart basket, crystal prisms, and heart ornament all anchored with a burlap sash.

Remember there is always a taste of chocolate waiting for you at Just A Second.  Looking forward to your visit!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I'm a convert to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

The saga of the breakfront started almost a year ago. It was huge (what was I thinking).  Needed neighbor's truck to load and move the top. It was stored in our garage from last April until mid-January of this year, carefully wrapped in cardboard by husband John, glass shelves, glass doors, and all.

I fully intended to paint it during the summer, but it was too darn hot!..would have had to do it in garage, but frankly, couldn't even get to it, and the heat took away any ambition I may have had to have John move it.

John moved the bottom over in December, and I actually grew to really like it as it was, with its scuffed finish.  However, when it was crowned with its top last week, again with help of same kind neighbors and their truck, it lost its appeal - just too dark and heavy and BIG! 

 Started looking for inspiration, and saw this. Loved the pale grey/blue and the golden touches.  Didn't love the too distressed look of the sides and bottom, but did like the color combination.

Had been hearing about, and reading blogs about Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint. Checked it out and saw that it was $32.00 a quart!!!  Could it be that good?  There were many positives and a few negatives.  There were imitators and Do-It-Yourself Recipes.  Those recipes had their plus points - cost, and minus points - not as smooth, needing sanding, etc.  

Bit the bullet and decided to take the plunge and buy some. I found it at Twigs and Twine in Capron, IL.  They didn't have a huge selection, but I looked at the boards they had painted, and loved the Duck Egg (blue).  It covers wonderfully without priming or sanding and comes out in such a soft dull finish.  It dries quickly and goes really far.  For what I have painted thus far - the whole outside of the breakfront, it took between an eighth and quarter of the quart.

As you can see, it is turning out beautifully.  Today John will come over after I unload the contents, to remove the glass shelves (he doesn't trust me:).  I will be painting the inside back dark turquoise and finish painting the inside of the doors and glass side panels the same duck egg color of the outside.  This is all old news to those of you who follow me on facebook, but didn't want to leave the blog followers in the dark.  The whole point of this is to voice my opinion that for the time and effort saved, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is worth the price!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Evansville WI and 2 shops

Had a wonderful day visiting Evansville, WI yesterday.  Very cute little town with fun shopping. It was a beautiful drive with the snow cover...old barns, fences,etc.  First stop Vintage Birch Barn.  Promised a couple of photos of our goodies, so here goes. (Husband John is upset with himself for not taking photos while we were there.) 

Shops were open only until 2, and we didn't leave as early as planned, so our time was a bit limited, but we filled it well.  Met Erin and two of her daughters and her husband - beautiful family, wonderful shop. Erin had to apologize for it being a bit sparse.  Nice problem to have: busy Saturday with lots of purchases. I followed Jeannie Labelle's advice - the bit of shopping we did was for us, not for our shop. Otherwise it's a work day not a play day.

Part of January's organizing goal is to do something about my home office desk.  It is always stacked with things I avoid, like bill paying and note writing. Do you notice how every year all the January issues of magazines focus on organizing?  I'm getting the message.

Here is first purchase. As Erin explained, it is a stackable section of an old metal pharmacy cabinet. The front of the cabinet drops down to reveal the sections inside. When closed, all looks neat and tidy. And putting wire basket of "to do's" on top of it doesn't take up more space on the desk top. The goal is to deal with it instead of letting it overflow. We'll see.

Also purchased some wonderfully fresh and clean scented soy candles to make a closed up winter house smell like a early Spring day.

Got recommendations and directions from Erin's husband on where to find another shop and where to go for a late lunch.  Stayed too long at the second shop, Studio Repeats, visiting Sue and sharing difficulties in trying to use Quick Books when just about every item of inventory is one of a kind. Got to the late lunch place late, and it was closed:(

Back to the fun stuff.  Found a really cute primitive white table at Studio Repeats for our eating/tv-watching/family room area off the kitchen. 

Wanted something tall enough to put a laptop on, so I don't feel too guilty watching a Hallmark movie, since I can productively use the ad times. We can also put our dinner plates on it if we want to eat while watching a movie or the news. Her shop is home to Fancy Farm Girl. She had the cutest glass fronted small cupboard made out of barn boards and an old chippy white framed window for the door.

These talented shopkeepers have a real knack for putting things together in a new way and finding up-to-the-minute industrial and farm style cool junk. My own style is more of a mix of English country cottage and refined primitive, but I love adding touches of the rusty, shabby elements to the mix. We were tired but so happy with our Sunday drive. Thank you, Nellie's Barn Sale for spreading the news. Happy Junkin'.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Getting set for the New Year

Cannot believe how long it has been since I last blogged.  Guess that tells you how busy our holidays were, including a delayed Christmas celebration on December 29 to accommodate schedule of out-of-town visitors and then on New Year's Day another gathering for extended family and a few friends.  All in all, a beautiful Christmas season, and. as is our tradition, the tree will be up until the Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas on January 6. 

Will be taking over the top half of the piece shown to the shop.  We (John) will have to use our neighbor's truck since the piece is too big to fit in our van.  (I want an old wood sided pick-up.) Actually saw one at a farm auction.  Don't know that I'll ever have the courage or the funds or another opportunity to bid, but it is definitely on my mind. 

The scuffed breakfront will be a display piece with its glass shelves and doors and working light. Perfect for the glitz and silver of winter and Valentine's Day coming soon.  

Display ideas come a piece at a time, first in my head, then in reality.  We'll keep you posted.

Reminder:  I am closed this week, but if the car is in the lot, I'll be there paint clothes and all.