My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box
somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be
wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From
your thoughts, you can create greatness.This is what I need to remind
myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with
gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes
to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create.
Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but
how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around
you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgmental,
love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are
love.


Monday, August 18, 2014

confessions of a thinkaholic: Ferguson, Missouri: Right Around The Corner To Hom...

Here are a few words about Ferguson, Mo. I urge you to read if you have heard of and formed opinions about the crisis happening here.





confessions of a thinkaholic: Ferguson, Missouri: Right Around The Corner To Hom...: What can I say? This is right around the corner to home. I work in North County, St. Louis. Many of my Facebook (and now, true) friends wo...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back from a much needed vacation...

Hello Everyone!

I have been away for a while...10 days in Florida! Did you miss me? I missed you, and blogging. I will be posting my adventures very soon, so just bear with me. Our house is getting under way for a major remodel, and my suitcase isn't even unpacked yet! It's super busy around here, and it's about to get busier, but I'm glad to be back home. Our weather here in Illinois has been fabulous; we have all the windows thrown open and can fall asleep listening to the Midwestern bugs outside in our yard. I LOVED Florida, don't get me wrong, it was a dream vacation, but I can't live without my husband, son and little fur girls. See, I went on vacay with my sister and niece. A "girls getaway", if you will. My sister and I have had this planned as a "relief tour" after all the disorder and heartbreak we have gone through these last two years; sort of a closure to our mothers death.

I thought about my mom a lot. Every moment I had, she was with me. She would have loved this vacation. We did things that would have thrilled her, like it did me. I can't wait to share it all with you. 10 days worth...don't worry, it won't be like the 70's when people used to drag the movie projector out and make their friends watch all their boring vacation movies and photos after dinner...lol!

So, I'll get on that...I'm going to break it up as an 'each day' kinda thing. That way, it's easier on the both of us ;)

I also will have remodeling tips and, I'm sure, trials and errors to share along the way, as well.

Until next time!

Nanette

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Side Table beautification using, you guessed it, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®


Hello again!

I have one more Annie Sloan® project to share with you before I delve into the chairs I want to work on. There's so much going on in this house, I don't know when I'm going to be able to get around to them. Besides, I need the practice, so I'm starting small...

I also need to upload the photos from our Fourth and share where we enjoyed the fireworks this year. 

But, first, this table. Here is the only *before* photo I had, but you get the idea, right? This table actually came from my mom's house; I brought it home after she passed. It's just a cheap little table that I think she and my dad put together from a kit then stained and poly'd (quite heavily), but I couldn't part with it. It was still in great shape and it held sentimental value. 

I hadn't attempted to paint it in the two years I've had it, it just seemed like too much work. Now I know why...it was meant for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®! I just had to wait until I discovered it and how easy it is to use.




So, here is the before:







And, here is the *After*:




And here is all the {in-between} 

Unfortunately, I don't have any progress photos. I sort of explain why that is at the end of this post...


To get the grasp on how to prep (surprise! There is none!) and paint this piece, you can check out my very first project using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® paint.   

This time, though, I went ahead and purchased the medium sized Annie Sloan Paint Brush. All of the tutorials I have watched really praised the dynamics of this brush. I wanted to see for myself. I tried the flat brush I used in my last project, and the round ASCP brush. Lo and behold, the AS brush won out. It really did cover the best and the brush strokes were more random, unlike the "too uniform" flat brush. Does that make any sense? ASCP is meant to have texture, brush strokes, and look shabby chic. The beauty is, you get to choose just how shabby, or chic, you want your finished project. And, if you don't like it, you can just slap on another coat, and start all over again! (Which is what I actually had to do this time).


Take a look at the post linked for you above. Go ahead, I'll wait...

        You back? 
                Okay, so, after I put two coats on, with a very short drying time in between, I went ahead and sanded using my 220 sanding block. Now, you can wax it first for a less distressed look, or just go for it before waxing. I just advise to go slowly until you reach your desired effect. However, you can always go back over your project with a little more paint and start again from scratch.



This table came with a lot of detail that was perfect for sanding to show wear and tear. I just sanded all the edges, went over the screws, and along the grain on the table top and flat bottom piece. 



I went all around the table edge, lightly at first, then adding more distressing where I wanted it. 


I then waxed the whole thing. I used a soft wash cloth and the small stenciling brush shown in my last post.  I will be getting a waxing brush very soon, but for this project, I did ok with the smaller brush, as my surfaces were smaller, but for any bigger projects, I will need the ease of use that the waxing brush gives. I've seen a few on Amazon, or you can visit your local Annie Sloan stockist. Don't know who sells ASCP and supplies in your area? Just do a quick Google search!

As I brushed on the wax, I buffed it in and wiped off the excess with an old wash cloth. I let it set up over night before I set anything on it. You want to be sure to let it 'dry' all the way before you set anything atop your furniture, as the wax will still be soft and you probably don't want little *divots* in your surfaces. 









After it was dry, it was good to go. Or so I thought. I had these beautiful orange lilies (no pictures, sorry) that I separated from a larger bouquet that I placed in a vase on this table. Now, with this paint and waxing technique, you are supposed to be able to live with it as normal as a "dipped" piece of furniture. Practically indestructible. 

IF you wax it correctly. 

Which I apparently did not. 

I think I must have put too much wax on, or didn't buff it enough. It was a tiny bit 'sticky' when I was done, but it dried up really well. Maybe I just shouldn't have put one of the most pollen dropping flower I have ever had in my house on this table. Then again, maybe it's just the flower, and not my table. Apparently, you aren't supposed to rub or wipe the pollen off of the surface. (Learn how to remove your own pollen stains here).

Anyway, I did just that. And smeared it. A lot. Then I tried to wash it off with warm water and a cloth, a magic eraser, paper towels, all of which made it much, much worse. I even tried to lightly sand it out. When that didn't work, I just rolled up my sleeves and started sanding away. I just sanded the areas with the dark orange smears as much as I could. I knew I didn't have to go overboard, because, with the miracle that is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®, you can just paint right over any mistake...wax or not. 

So, I did. I just opened my can, dipped my brush in a little, and swiped a little coat of paint right over the pollen stains. I set it in front of the window to dry, and rechecked it to be sure no stain was seeping through. It didn't, so I moved on to waxing. 

I just put a light coat on with the cloth and buffed it in really good. Let it dry, and it is perfect. No stains, no stickiness. And I'm able to set anything on it.

Well, I think I'll pass on the lilies....




I'm sorry I don't have more pics showing the process, but I didn't know how it was going to turn out. I wasn't even sure I was going to share it. But, I am happy with it, and I now have the practice, and confidence, to jump into those big projects that are waiting for me.

I can't wait to get the chairs done. We have a ton of other projects we need to get under way, including a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom...

But, I'll continue to share as we move along. I hope this encourages you to try this painting technique for yourself. It's so much fun, aside from being easy and quick. There's nothing like instant gratification!

Thanks for reading today and have a great weekend!


Nanette







*The opinions in this post are entirely my own. I have not received any compensation from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® or any other company mentions in this post.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Is That Chicken...?! (No, I don't eat meat and why it's totally not a big deal...)


Hi Everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Fourth! I will be posting a little about ours here later in the week, but until then, here is a little recipe that has been sitting in my queue and I wanted to share it with you real quick.

Now, I am a vegetarian. I have been for a little while. Why? (Everyone wants to know why.) I know it's mostly curiosity, especially because I come from a place where almost no one ( if anyone) is vegetarian. 

Small. 
    Rural.
        Country. 
               Cow town...
A place where people love their biscuits and gravy, bacon and fried chicken (and pork chops and corn bread and ham and beans, etc. etc...) 

Anyway, I was raised on meat. I've been a vegetarian before. But this time, it's for different reasons altogether. 

Don't worry, I won't preach. I won't try to gross you out with all the Peta enhanced documentation of animal cruelty cases and big corporate no-no's of what you are all doing wrong (because I don't think you are wrong...). I care, but I just don't have the stomach for it. (For now...*big cheesy grin*) But, it is the reason for my conversion. The cruelty in which manufacturers pump out the production of their "product" is just so wrong, and all for money. That goes for product testing, too. Who can stop it? Who can restore the balance between necessity and gluttony? Only us, the consumers. That's all. Opening our eyes to the possibility of a kinder way of doing things. *Big happy grin* heart heart rainbow rainbow butterfly butterfly kiss kiss 

Now I'm done. Soapbox put away....

Ok, so...that's why I am a vegetarian. It's simple. I can no longer eat animals. That's it. If you know me really well, you know that I love animals, have rescued all of ours, feed the birds outside, compost, save worms and turtles, and even feed the slugs outside. I do. Am I weird? Maybe to you. But to me it has always been a normal way of life. Is it so weird to love that much? I'm still working on the human to human love. It's a bit harder, sometimes. Animals are innocent, most humans are not. But, I'm learning and growing and realizing everyone has pain and reasons for being the way that they are. Love and patience; it is a very good start to a wonderful recipe for life, I think.  

All of our animals have lived to ripe old ages, except my little tadpole Grow-a-Frogs. Something was up with those. So I won't have anymore. The one I had years ago when Tyler was about 10 years old would have probably lived to 25, but my cat, Thor, climbed up on top of the huge entertainment center, knocked his habitat down, and ate him. I was very mad. And I looked for that frog all day, in hopes of finding him. I didn't  :'( 

But, I digress. Since my spiritual shift in 2008, and then my total transformation after our mothers passed, it's been a change in the making. But I was never a big meat eater. I loved bacon, and I was a cheeseburger connoisseur. I really, really loved both of those things. But, over time, it just left me. How can I feed the slugs outside bits of banana and turn around and use leather, or animal tested products and eat meat?! 

I can't. So, the natural progression for me was to stop. And I did. Just like that. No missing it. No problem finding something to eat. In my house there is no meat, except the turkey meat breakfast sandwiched Noah buys for himself and Tyler. And I buy cruelty free dairy ( Organic Valley milk-NOT Horizon organic milk because it is not cruelty free.) And Cruelty free eggs. Preferably from that small town I live in. (We are allowed to have chickens in our yards right in town. Cool. And these people LOVE their yard birds. They are pets, not really 'eating' chickens).

So, how do I get around this? No meat? What about protein?! What about NUTRITION?! Oh the horror!!! 
My sister insists that I will starve to death and be protein deficient. *SMH* Human beings really need about 46 grams a day (for your daily needs, and a little info on protein, click here, if you like).

So, I get more than enough. Most food has a bit of protein, and I eat soy protein on top of that, so I'm loaded. I'm good, really. I eat enough, believe me!

Now, for a typical dinner to show you I am not starving my family or myself, I'm not a "fad" lover, and not falling in the "trend" category of what's popular at the moment. How many of you even knew I was vegetarian? My own best friend didn't know. Our closest family friend didn't know, I bet none of my family knows. It's a private choice that does not need to be broadcast. So, why am I broadcasting it now? Because I have awesome recipes to share if you dare, and I wanted to clear up any questions and get it out of the way. And to shed some light on the not-so-weird personal choice of being a vegetarian or vegan. Some people just have allergies and have to be vegan. As I've gotten older, I've started having funny break-outs and it could be a dairy thing, who knows. And, yes, some people latch on to whatever is trendy at the moment, maybe for attention, maybe because they are just not satisfied with whatever, but who are we to judge, right?

There, out of the way. 

We can begin. 
Whew!


 "Chicken" and Quinoa with Mushrooms, Broccoli and Brown Butter Balsamic Asparagus



Yum. Seriously. 





Now, what does that look like to you...?



Smells like it, too...



This is the magic maker...




Looks like chicken, doesn't it? Tastes like it, too. Smells like it. Feels like it. Grills up like it. It's a miracle. Here's the breakdown of protein on this ONE plate. All of our plates were the same. Yep...Noah and Tyler ate this, too. UNFORCED. 

And they loved it.

Soy protein "chicken": 20g
1 Cup Quinoa: 24g
1/2 C Broccoli: 1.3g
1/2 C Asparagus: 1.5g
1/2 cup Baby Bella mushrooms: 2g

Our ONE meal had just under 50 grams of protein in it. More than my daily need. That's strong. That's pure muscle building healthy protein. And it was SO gooood!

I love this balsamic brown butter asparagus. Here's how to make this up for your family. Go ahead and use chicken if you want. I used to eat chicken, but when I did, I always bought antibiotic free, steroid free, cruelty free chicken. Hard to find? Not really. Our little "mom-and-pop" grocery store in town carried it, so did the local Wal-Mart and Shop 'N Save. If you live near a Dierbergs, Schnucks, or Whole Foods, they will definitely have it.

Here is my asparagus recipe from Allrecipes. I just washed and cut up the broccoli and roasted it in there with the asparagus and covered it in the same sauce. Oh, so delish!

I followed the directions on the bag for the Chick'n and grilled that up and then, I sauteed the mushrooms in a little butter and salt and pepper in the pan right after the Chick'n. I bought a box of quinoa and cooked that right up according to the directions on its box, and viola! Done. Time to eat. They loved it. It was delicious, filling and good for you. You can even have dessert.

Interested? Let me know if you try it and how you like it. You know, I've read for years in magazines (Woman's Day, Family Circle, All You...) to cut down your grocery costs and try to have at least one or two non-meat meals per week to be healthier and save your hard earned dollars....

Give it a try!

Have a fab week!

*Hearts*


Nanette




*All opinions are my own. I received no compensation and am not affiliated with from Deirbergs, Walmart, Schnucks, Shop'nSave, Gardein, Grow-a-frog, Allrecipes, Woman's Day, All You, Family Circle or Peta at the time of this post.

















Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Burlap Wreath For All Seasons


Hi there!

Here's a project I did this past fall (I know, I know...) and I wanted to share it with you (finally)!

Better late than never, though, right?

It's actually a wreath that can easily be transformed to fit whatever occasion you need because it's so easy to change up!

The things I used were really quite simple to come by. I like to try to pick up some rolls of burlap whenever I am at Hobby Lobby. It's cheap ($4.99 for the natural color, but they sell other colors, too and if you happen to have a 40% off coupon...why not get some?) and they keep it stocked. 

Even Walmart has been stocking this now in different widths, colors, and even patterns, but I'm sure with the massively growing popularity of burlap, you should be able to find it anywhere. Bridget, of LittleLovelyLeaders.blogspot.com, a blog for teachers, made the tutorial I used and she got her burlap from Michael's.

Anyway, my point is, I've always got some on hand. I also had the brown chenille ties, so that's what I used to hold it all together. The only thing I had to go out and buy was the metal wreath form. That was at Walmart for just a couple of bucks. 

That's it! No glue, and hardly any scissor use, except for cutting up the chenille stems into 3rds...


I got a little ahead of myself before I took the first picture, but you get the idea of what the wreath form looks like, right? 
This is how I attached my burlap...

I didn't use as much burlap as Bridget's how-to, so my instructions are a wee bit different than hers. If you don't have as much burlap ribbon on hand, or want to save a little money, this is what I did.

I followed the tutorial exactly and attached the end piece of my burlap to the wire using a piece of the chenille tie by poking it through the burlap on either side of the wired wreath form and twisting it tightly in the back.

Then, I just scrunched up the burlap, making loops in the size that I wanted, and attaching those as close to, or as far away from, the last piece that that I had tied onto the form with a chenille stem, until it looked good to me. I just sort of pinched my burlap, pushed the chenille through the holes in the fabric and slid it up and down on the wreath form until I liked where it sat, then just twisted the chenille tightly in the back to secure.



Here is a back view of what the chenille looks like from behind. When you make your loops, you want to make sure the next one is attached at least close enough to hide the stem on the last loop. Make sense? 


This is what it will start to look like. Mine is not as full, because I didn't use as much burlap, but I'll show you how I fixed that without using a ton of rolls and driving up the cost of this project!



Amazingly, I only used one roll of burlap, and this is how I did it.

I knew I wouldn't have enough to make it evenly full all the way around with just one roll, so, I gauged how much I needed as I went along. I won't lie...I did make a couple of adjustments along the way. Then, when I got back to where I started, I simply started to twist the roll on itself, like you would crepe paper streamers, and loosely wrapped it back around the wreath sort of filling in where it needed it and making sure to cover any visible chenille stems. 



When I got to the end, I poked a stem through the underside of the "tail" end and attached it to the wreath form, making sure it was hidden (even though it's the back side, I don't care for 'unfinished edges').


I twisted it onto the form and tucked it under another fold of the fabric.




                                                                   All hidden away!




Here's the back side of the wreath with the twists of burlap covering the chenille ties and exposed metal wreath form...



And here's the front all filled in! 
I just fluffed it up and it's ready to decorate.



Next, what to decorate it with?

It was Autumn and I had just gone on my yearly pumpkin and gourd picking trip with my sister. There is a little farm that grows a wide variety of  squash and sells it roadside for cheap! It's in a little town about 40 minutes from us, but the drive is lovely and I love helping a local small business out. 

Aside from all the unique pumpkins and gourds, they had this beautiful shellacked Indian corn. There were so many beautiful colors and bundles, I couldn't decide!



I finally picked this bunch; it was the most colorful.

The corn was already bound together with heavy gauge wire, so I just wrapped jute twine around the wire a few times to hide it and worked some twine through the wired wreath form to tie it on. After making sure it was sturdy, and a few adjustments for aesthetics, I tied a little raffia around it and I was done! 

The whole thing was easy to hang onto a wreath hook because the wire wreath form was so compatible. 


                                                      Just look at all those beautiful colors!



What also sold me on this bunch was the fabulous striations of purple throughout the husks! Just beautiful...



 Each piece is like a little fingerprint...no two are alike...



Is anyone else as excited as I am about each little kernel of this corn?! 





Call me crazy, but I think it's beautiful ;)



If you've been longing for a burlap wreath of your own, I hope you will try making this for yourself. It's not as hard as it may seem and is quite cost effective, since you can change it up to match whatever decor you are into at the time, so it's really worth it. Let me know if you decide to try one and send me a picture of how you decorate it!


I want to say thank you to Bridget, at Little Lovely Leaders for her original tutorial on this burlap wreath how-to. Be sure to drop on over to her blog for more great ideas!

Thanks for stopping by today, and have a great week.

Nanette


* All opinions are my own. I receive no endorsements from any sponsors mentioned in the above post:     Hobby Lobby, Walmart or Michael's.

Friday, June 13, 2014

My Very First Go With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®

Hi Guys!
I have been dying to get my hands on some of this stuff. I've heard about it for so long but never had: 

    1. the money (I thought, because you know I've spent $$ on stuff I could have otherwise been spending on this delicious paint) because at about $38 a quart, I was always too terrified guilty to buy it. Not to mention the wax, brushes, etc... 
                                                              
 2. the courage, because it looked way too involved with all those steps, and what the heck is "waxing" over paint, anyway...?  
                                  
 3. the projects. I have bought several wonderful pieces for WAY to little money at our local small town flea market, antique store, and second hand store. Yes, I said "little". I must be doing everything right, because wait until you see what I have, but that's for another post...It's just one more reason I love my little country town...


Anyway, last week we were in one of our absolute favorite places, Historic Down Town St. Charles (Missouri), to have lunch and as we left the cafe a little shop right across the street caught my eye. Toodaloo is a shop that specializes in repurposed furniture and lovely vintage and handmade finds. They also happen to be a stockist of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® (ASCP). We had been in there before, and I browsed the chalk paint but was too shy to buy. This time I walked in with purpose. After talking to the lovely lady covered in paint (she was painting a large and beautiful dining table) I decided upon a can of "Old White", the most versatile of colors. I had already purchased some Minwax at Lowe's for other projects, so I thought that would be fine, and I didn't buy any brushes, either. I wanted to experiment first. 

So, I left with my purchase, it was about $42, tax included, and we headed for home. 


I knew what I wanted to do first, just to get a feel for the paint. I have a bunch of these resin candle sticks. I've had them for years, purchased in a group. I have 5 left, one fell and broke. I also got all of my mother's home decor after she passed, and she had a few of these in a light brushed gold color. I didn't get a picture of the two I actually painted because I literally just jumped right in as soon as I got home right there on my stove, but this is the exact color that they were; same group. 


Look at all that detail! I was so excited to get started... So excited that I forgot to show a few pictures of how I painted these. Maybe it's time I jump on the "YouTube" bandwagon. I painted these last week before I watched any tutorials. But after I painted the first one (with the WAY wrong brush) I searched out some tutorials. I found this great series from Blue Egg Brown Nest writer Christen Bensten on YouTube. I'm so glad I found this tutorial series (there are 5 videos in all for this tutorial on how she painted a dresser with ASCP) because I needed the instruction!



These are my candle sticks all painted up. The one on the right I painted with a sponge brush. *Sigh*...Don't do this. Just. Don't. Okay, it wasn't horrible because, as you can see, I got it painted, mostly. But, this paint dries fast. On your project; on your brush. But, if you've ever painted anything with a sponge brush before, you know the texture it leaves, and, with this pant, that's fine; you really kind of want a little texture, unless you want smooth, then you might want a different paint altogether ;) Anyway, the problem was that the sponge removes too much paint as you go. It doesn't leave what you want behind.
So, I watched a tutorial. Saw this big, fluffy, round, juicy brush being used...on a dresser. I'm doing candle sticks. That wouldn't work, even if I had one. But--I have a slew of paint brushes in my craft room, craft maven that I am ;)



There's my wicked little sponge brush...and my cheap little savior; the cheapest you can find. It came in a pack of multiple paint brushes, all different sizes and styles from Michael's or Hobby Lobby. You know the ones? Well, it worked just fine, for what I needed, but it shed like crazy. Last night I discovered another tutorial that I also found so helpful. Even though Christen (Blue Egg Brown Nest) said you could use a cheap brush from Home Depot, this second tutorial helped convince me with my "Yeeahhh, but...you've been doing this a long time, you could probably use any brush" mentality. Sort of a second opinion, if you will. You should check out her newly budding blog and her very informative and easy to follow YouTube tutorials. Her name is Christina--I just noticed both my little "inspirations" names are so similar and the same as one of my besties, too, lol--and her blog is Pretty Distressed. Her newest post was one of those "synchronisticmoments I'm always talking about. Anyway, you should check out her tutorials either here or on her YouTube. You won't be disappointed.

Okay, props given.
Next, I went into the "place-which-should-not-be-named"...the basement. I don't like our basement. Our house is 116 years old. It's dark, it's damp, the floor rafters overhead ceiling is low...no place for a girl.

But, down I went. I needed the wax and sandpaper. One thing that basement is? Organized. Thanks, Babe!



I grabbed a variety of what I thought I needed out of the "Sandpaper Drawer". A universal type sanding block that I could not find the grit # of on the packaging, a sheet of 220 grit sand paper, and I just grabbed some 120 sanding discs, just in case, because I didn't want to go back down there. I ended up using the sanding block and tore two little 2x2" pieces from the 220 paper for the little detail work.

I started out testing a few spots with the 220. It wasn't really strong enough. So I broke right into the sanding block. That did the trick, but I used a light hand, until I got the 'feel' for it. Then, for the smaller details, I used the little bits of 220. This will vary for each of your projects depending on how many coats you put on, how thick or textured you paint it and how distressed you actually want your piece. There will be some pieces I'll do that I won't want a lot of distressing on, so I'll either go very lightly on it or maybe not at all. There is no wrong way. Apparently you can just paint right over all of your mistakes, even after waxing. That's why Annie Sloan is an absolute genius in my eyes and my newest Hero.

Sand away until it feels right to you. I was doing such a small project, so I didn't wear a mask, but for more sanding, I just might. It doesn't create a lot of dust, but this paint is literally like chalk. Annie Sloan invented this in 1990, so it came way before chalk BOARD paint-not the same thing-so it is super soft and is just like shavings from an actual piece of white chalk. One thing to be careful of is your fingernails, if you have them. Watch that you don't scrape any of the surface with a nail as you are curving around with your sandpaper. I sanded on my dining room table over a news paper into a little bowl. The dust was heavy enough to fall right in. I also used the natural bristle brush I painted with to dust my piece as I went along (after I washed and dried it, of course).




Here are a couple detail shots of just how heavy or light you can go with your sanding. You can just nick away some of the paint so that only a little of the bottom color shows through, or go a little harder to get all the way down to the wood.


There are so many techniques to this, you really do have full creative control. Some will wax before sanding to take away less paint, some use the dark wax to distress a little more. I didn't have dark wax and was really just getting a feel for what I like, so these are the steps I used. Again, there's really no real 'right or wrong' from what I've gathered, so far, but I'm still learning...



When I was satisfied with the sanding, it was time to wax. I was a little scared, but getting braver all the while. After I watched the tutorials (that I linked for you above) and learned the ins and outs of the waxing process, I remembered I had these Martha Stewart stencil brushes. I bought them to stencil some pillows, but didn't really like the effect I was getting. Now that is something a sponge brush is good for. I went up and pick the two that I thought would work the best. There are several sizes in the pack of 6 or 7 brushes.



I opened my Minwax and discovered that, not only did it have a smell, it had a 'tint'. Not clear like Annie Sloan's. I was told by the clerk at Toodaloo's that the wax should be like Crisco. This was a bit harder than that...at first. But you know what? My brush rubbed around in it just fine. It was definitely soft enough. I just circled my brush around in it and wiped the excess off onto the side of the can from the side and 'bottom' of my brush.




I just started on the top of the candle holder, where the candle would sit, and circled the wax in. It went on exactly as the girls said it would. Though I could tell it was ever so slightly tinted, it didn't detract from the piece. I will be getting the AS Clear Wax very soon, though. I have some major projects coming up!


I would brush the wax in to an entire section, like the whole top, then buff it in with a rag. This is definitely where the elbow grease comes in. Even for this small project, it was a workout. I used a terry washcloth and that seemed to work just fine, but I'll use something softer next time. I am quite impatient and just wanted to grab what I had.


 It worked out well because I was left with exactly what I was promised.


I finished both pieces, buffed them very well, and put them out. With a bigger project, you will want to let your wax 'cure' for at least a day, but I found these to be hardened and there were no sticky or 'rubby' spots on it after a few minutes. The finish is hard as a rock.



Here are a few pictures of them incorporated into my decor. I just made those little felt flowers for the candles a few weeks ago. There'll be a post about those soon, so keep an eye out!




Wouldn't Annie Sloan Paint have been great on this Painted Photo Block project from a couple of weeks ago? I totally think so, too. The things we wish we would have known...



I had so much fun experimenting with this lovely new product. I absolutely can not wait to get going on some bigger pieces. I will give you a little sneak-peek of what I will be working on real soon...


I can't wait! Until next time, go check out those great blogs I linked up top and let me know what you thought about this post right down below there in the comment box...I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend and Father's Day! Spend some time with the daddy's in your life making memories. That is the most important thing in life...

Thanks for reading,


Nanette