Blog Posts

Seeing Green?

The weather here in Ontario Canada has been crazy this winter.  Cold, frozen and snowy SpringFling WMone day and the next it`s almost balmy, feeling like spring.  This piece is an ode to that feeling, short-lived though it has been as winter rears up once again.

This is a two-piece little hutch, a bit on the petite size, standing only 66 inches tall.  It was base coated in a smooth cream before applying two shades of green (DIY Fancy Farmgirl and Mint Chip) with touches of Bohemian Blue for contrast.

I had originally intended adding some additional layers of colour but ending up falling in love with it as it was.  So…  poly added for protection.  The knobs were original to piece, just needed to be updated to black, but the bottom three handles were mismatched (and extra holes added that needed patching originally.  I think that the farmhouse pulls suit this piece perfectly!

And… as a side note, check out the tall pink blossom and artichokes that I picked up from Reclaimed Warehouse on my recent trip to Oklahoma city.  Aren’t they gorgeous?

How are you feeling about adding a little green to your life?



Gettin’ Over the Blues

It seems like everything I’ve been painting lately was in various shades of blue so, to get over the doldrums of yet more snow, I give you this sunny little piece!

YellowBlueCherry Main WM

This is an old farmhouse dresser I purchased from a young woman whose grandfather had it originally.  It was in a little rough shape when I bought it… the bottom two drawers had holes in them from wear on drawer stoppers that had been inserted on the front edge of the cross bars.  This meant that every time the drawers were opened or closed the drawer bottoms would rub on the stopper, wearing away more and more of the wood.  Over time this left big holes that were simply covered over with paper to make the drawers functional.

I am all for leaving things as original as possible but this required a little more intervention and so the drawer bottoms were replaced.  The piece was painted in a cheerful sunny yellow, with blue-grey cherry blossoms (artistic license used here… don’t go looking for blue cherry blossoms in the ‘wild’!) and then white washed for a light, soft, dreamy feel.  Waxed for protection and ’cause I love the feel of it!

Super cute and its now got me wishing for spring!

The Update…

So… you saw the before… I wanted to share with you the after!

I tell you, working on these two big pieces at once is crazy!  I had the buffet in the middle of the living room and the huge wardrobe in my office!  Both of them on the go meant that I was tip-toeing around drawers stacked everywhere, paint brushes out drying, paint containers stacked around with the colours that were ‘in use’…!!!

Now the craziness is finding a place to store them in the house (far too large to simply tuck off into a corner somewhere) while I start work on other items!  Oh to have a workshop!  I’m sure my husband has the same thought as I pull out tarps and start shifting furniture yet again!

However… check them out…  totally worth the aggravation!

Blues Buffet WM


Wardrobe WM

and… the inside of this wardrobe, which is all cedar-lined!

Wardrobe Drs Opn.jpg






Coming Soon…

Here’s a quick sneak peak at two very different pieces I’m currently working on.  Yep… at the same time.  While one’s drying I can work on the other!  Efficient you say?  Crazy you say?  Fun I say!!  What do you envision the finished look should be for each?

This lovely ornate buffet…

Ornate Buffet Start

And this cupboard/closet.  (the inside has drawers down one side and a hanging bar on the other)

Closet Cabinet Start














Blushing Tidepool…

Blush Green Stp1

Blush Green Main WMHave you ever started something with a clear vision of where you wanted to take it only to have to scrap that and let it vision lead?  That’s what happened with this piece.  It started life as a somewhat clunky and heavy looking old farmhouse dresser, complete with all the requisite spider-sacs (yuk!) and accumulated grime.  After a thorough scrubbing down we were ready to start.

Blush Green Stp2

The first step (after the removal of the hideous mis-matched old hardware and filling and sanding 3 other hardware holes) was to paint it in a base coat.  For this piece I was using Debbie’s Design Diaries DIY clay-based paint because I was interested in creating a blended paint finish.  For the base I used her Cowgirl Coral.  Note that you’re not after full coverage here, just slap some on!

The next phase was to apply more Coral to the center of the drawers and side panels and to paint Mermaid Tail (a luscious turquoisey blue) around the outer edges, blending the two where they overlapped.  Okay, so this is where things started to go a little off-plan.  The blend of the two colours looks kind of muddied and flat. And yes, I know, I should have test blended the two before painting on the furniture but, well, I just don’t really roll that way.

So, to perk things up a little I put Bohemian Blue in touches around the edges, blending it in.  It helped.  I waxed and buffed and… hated it.  It just looked a little flat. No real excitement, no zing!

Blush Green Stp3

Which, of course, that meant I just let it sit for days, okay, a week, staring at it and mulling it over.  It wasn’t all bad. There were some great looking sections!

Blush Green Stp4

Next steps then were to brighten a few sections up with some Seaglass (a lighter turquoise) and to add green.  Not just any green though, a lovely bluey green that I made by mixing relatively even parts of Bohemian Blue and Queen Bee (a golden yellow). I didn’t want solid swaths of this colour, I wanted it to float across the blues, almost like fronds of seaweed drifting with the current.  Since the piece had been waxed the paint was able to flow more readily across the surface, which was also aided with some judicious spritzing of water from my spray bottle.

The result?  LOVED it!  More waxing, more buffing, new hardware and… call it done! I love the look of this piece. The colours remind me of the blush of colour from dawn hitting the water and highlighting some of the green of the seaweed and lily pads.

Feeling a little Blue in the New Year?

DIYConsoleMainYellThis is the first time that I have used Debbie Design Diaries clay-based DIY chalk paint and I have to say that I loved every minute of using it.  I based this piece off of the work and tutorials of the awesome Turquoise Iris, Dionne Woods.  If you haven’t seen her work check her out through the links – she does some beautiful things with paint!

What I particularly enjoyed was the ability to blend and work the paint, allowing the colours to merge and blend seamlessly.  Spritzing it occasionally with water brought the paint back to life and gave me more opportunities to add in other colours (like the pink in this case) and merge them with what was already there.

I forgot to take a picture of the piece in its natural ‘brown’ state, but I started with an all over base coat in a cream.  For this I just used a chalk paint that I had on hand… you don’t end up seeing much of it at all, just a little here and there in the distressing.


Once the base coat was dry the fun began, with opening up the tins of the DIY paint.  These are heavily pigmented clay based paints that have a richness and depth of colour that I haven’t experienced in other paints which makes them fantastic for layering.

I worked one panel at a time, layering the brighter Mermaid Tale in first (into the center of the doors) and then adding the Bohemian Blue around each.  I worked one door panel at a time so that I could work the paint while still wet, allowing me to blend the colours better.  If anything got a little too stiff or dry to work with I just used my water bottle to spritz on more water to reactivate the paint.


Because I wasn’t fully familiar with the look of the paint I let it dry and then went back in and added more of either blue to the areas that it was lacking a little but, apart from this, that first coat covered everything beautifully.

I then added little touches of Kissing Booth, a rich deep pink shade, to corners and areas for highlight and contrast. This really added a subtle dimension to the piece that I loved.  This is purely thanks to Dionne Woods for her inspirational colour combinations.  This pic shows you clearly the addition of the pink which is soft but adds an additional note to the piece, bringing it a little more character.

The final step (before waxing and buffing the whole piece) was to add small little touches of gold gilding paste to strategic areas to bring a little brightness here and there.

And… finally with a few gold touches

Xmas Craft

These little ornaments were a quick last minute craft idea conjured up out of my

desperation to paint… something!  Getting ready for the holidays means less time and less space available for me to work on a full piece of furniture so I decided to play!

The appliques were all made by pressing Paper Clay into a mould. For my samples I was using some moulds from Iron Orchid Designs though you can certainly use any that you happen to have.

The nice thing about the paper clay is that you can unmold and then immediately glue the applique onto furniture or, as in this case, to your ornaments.  Because it has not hardened it is soft and pliable, allowing you to shape it to the contours of your bulb or even around the corners of a dresser!

To glue it in place you can use a strong adhesive like an E6000 but I used a carpenter’s glue – which worked just fine.  Once dry I painted with multiple layers of chalk paint, different coloured waxes for detailing and then used some metallic waxes to highlight.

Once you have the look you want coat them in a polycrylic to seal.  And… done.  Perfect for your tree or for gift-giving!  Next year I’ll think of this much sooner and maybe cobble together a video tutorial for those of you struggling to visualize the process from my description!

And… the Ending

After all of the repairs and experimentations this is the completed mini dresser.  Painted SmBlk5DrwrFull1in a rich Charcoal and lightly glazed overall with a lovely Copper wax, the bottom is the interesting feature.  To complete this look I flipped the dresser upside down to allow for the paint colours to ‘move’.  In this case… gravity is your friend.  Not so much for me as I age, but great for paint!

Three different colours of blues were used along with Bronze and Copper coloured paints.  Many were applied with syringes to help create drips of paint that flowed down the piece.  If you’re giving this technique a go just pick up some of the syringes used to give medicine to young children, no needles required!  Ensure that you add some water to your paint to thin it down just enough for it to flow easily through the syringe.

A spray bottle of paint that had been watered down even more was also used to create movement where the paint decided to be a little more ‘sluggish’ than I wanted.  In all…  I created a great mess  but had a lot of fun and enjoyed the final look and feel of the piece.  Others must have agreed because the piece sold the same day it was listed!

Quick Xmas Decoration

I love this idea of a great kid-friendly Xmas decoration from Country Living.  I remember having years where our tree was decorated solely with handmade ornaments.

My kids may be all grown now (though not all moved out!) but I have a whole new group of experiences with grandchildren to bake and make crafts with.

I think these are a very quick (in case your little ones have short attention spans) and easy craft to make.  If you have pre-cut the felt squares (colours of your choosing) they will come along readily for you!

Making (and then hanging) these adorable felt trees is an easy craft for the whole family.
Get the tutorial at This Heart of Mine.
What you'll need: Assorted Color Felt Fabric Sheets ($5;


And So It Begins…

Every beautiful piece of re-finished furniture often has a little less-than perfect start.  The small dresser pictured here is no exception.  Often these rescued pieces have been sitting in someone’s dry and dusty attic, basement, garage, storage shed or even barn collecting dust and drying out.

Early Days…

Your furniture needs a little love at times!  (don’t we all?)

This piece had become so dry that the furniture glue had separated and cracked, needing a little bit of attention.  Furniture love y’all!

That all said and done though it is going to be a cute little piece once finished.  Now the hard part begins though… so many possibilities of just ‘what’ it wants to become.  A sedate little traditional lady in soft shades of grey or cream? A little more flamboyant in reds and golds?  What about stencilling?  Decoupage?  Maybe some metallics?

This is what goes on in my head each and every piece, each and every time.  For me it’s always a toss up  between new colours, techniques and paints I want to try balanced against a ‘look’ that seems to fit the piece best.

Stay tuned to see the direction I take… but I’m open to your thoughts and input.  And bribes…  a little chocolate goes a long way in swaying my vote!