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"Where better to care for the soul than in the details of our daily lives?....The soul has an absolute, unforgiving need for regular excursions into enchantment. It requires them like the body needs food and the mind needs thought... An enchanted world is one that speaks to the soul, to the mysterious depths of the heart and imagination where we find value, love and union with the world around us. As mystics of many religions have taught, that sense of rapturous union can give a sense of fulfillment that makes life purposeful and vibrant." ~ Thomas Moore.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ethereal Bedroom Successful

I wish now I had done it sooner. I just was too stuck in the thought of "not in this house, its not mine".
Now that I've slept in my "new room" for several nights and woken up in a room that feels like a French something or other because everyone keeps telling me it looks French....I can only agree with the proverb, Hindsight is 20/20 Vision. I wish I had done it much sooner. It explains alot of my discomfort over the years, not being able to pinpoint why I feel a certain dissatisfaction....
it was because my environment didn't reflect me, didn't speak to me, didn't feed or nourish me through reflection.....didn't mirror what I have inside. I will never settle again.
But its done now and here are some very unprofessional pictures.

I talked about the inception of this room makeover, that I am "going white", and why I wanted to do it here  . Then I talked about its update here with the progress of the walls and what happened there. Then I talked about the next step in painting some of the furniture here.
And then I talked about the major chalk painted "armoire" here and how lovely that turned out. So with those, if interested, you have most of the process, not including all the time and work.

This project cost me $60.00 for the Armoire.....yes, Anita thanks for the correction lol.....and $35.00 for the Modern Masters White Pearl Paint, the other paints were bought for me by John in an exchange for what I bought him.

Before,,,, which I did like! loved the green and garden theme, but now it was too much, too busy, and since I wasn't moving away I finally gave in to fixing it up...., but now that I've fixed it!.....
I tried to put the same angle shots here....

In this below I didn't have the bed in yet....

 Side wall with shelves I removed.....and purchased an Armoir from Craigslist for $60.00


...... painted

 and all of the things from this wall are now in it........

Same wall....all of the above things that were on the shelves etc are now in the French Armoir......and I have extra room!


The left side of the room......

and now....still not finished, I have to find a nice way to display my earrings and yet put them away. And I have to put the large plant on the top shelf, I must have plants in my room, but I need to get a good pot for it now....but there are roses and other flowers there now. I love the airy feel. The radio is hidden under the lace and the CD"s are in the large basket also covered with lace.

 Bed side before.......everything about it is the same, but looks different against the silver grey walls!


In this picture you can see the prisms I love so much, from 3 strands of Swarovski crystals I have in the window sheers...moving with the breeze through the open windows....

I wish you could see these prisms dancing on the walls and smell the lavender!

Some random pics......before I put the bed back in.....

 Prisms! :D:D:D

This below is where I'm putting the Crystal Tree when I make will be a source of light and sparkle....

 like this video.

When I went to this company's site, Ethereal Decor , and read that they didn't do any special effects to this video, just put lights onto the moving strands, I knew these were for me. I already have some swarovski crystal prism drops in the four corners of this house  I play with every morning and love their light, color and sparkle, so I have to make this tree. I have 3 strands hanging on the sheers and they do indeed produce those sparkly prisms which I caught on camera!. ..... and these crystal strands are what produce the prisms that shine all over the room and dance on the walls every afternoon LOL!

A bright pretty shot of the room in the afternoon with rainbow prisms dancing all over it into the hall.....

I have to say the best thing and surprise were the walls.....I was going for a pale grey/white pearl wall for a Mother of Pearl effect.....and I got silver walls which I absolutely adore.

Everything that came in after the walls were done were simply icing on that cake.....because the entire room got a beautiful foundation which makes everything else nice. Painting the furniture was critical, and using the same color theme of whites, silver and pinks brought it all together. I had beautiful things, only they were not seen because there was too much going on. Now I just need to get a bench for under the window as the one there is too small and I need a place to throw my things at the end of the day LoL.

Since I have done this, and though have suffered a great deal with pains, I did see how I need to keep going and am now going to tackle the living room. Last year I told my housemate John who owns this house that I wanted to do it  but now that I've seen how I feel in my room I want to keep going now and extend this pristine and pretty feeling into the living room.....and more waiting, for him or anyone. So I had a ''sit down'' with him and told him I will need help this time, and if he could help me paint or hire someone to paint the walls because I can not do this again alone, he said he would help paint the walls a little at a time....."a little at a time" 'a little at a time' in his world means taking months, I will have to help him see new shores LOL :D This will all be done by Thanksgiving. But I'm going to paint all the furniture myself which is currently all dark brown wood in beautiful neutrals of greys, whites, and taupes chalk paint style thanks to Annie Sloan's inspirations. The pale yellow walls he painted them 10 years ago are going to be Heirloom White, and everything in there will be harmonious too, and it is this harmonious blending of soothing colors which creates serenity.

I will start that project next week, but will also take more time doing sections so as not to hurt myself again.

I hope this has inspired someone and helped to encourage you to make any improvements you can now where you live now, and not wait.....its a waste to is all we have....and I love what I did!


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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hutch Makeover Chalk Paint, Wax, etc

Hello Everyone!

I'm typing with one finger seriously bandaged so is going a bit slower than usual, but will do my best.
This post is about the Monster Hutch I showed in my last post which looked like this...a much desperately needed makeover. I wasn't really in the mood but had no choice. But it is done, and there are lots of pics and I will show how I did it trying to use the famous chalk paint without having tried the original one by Annie Sloan which I do intend to one day. But this is how to do it with what one has.

These are the before and after. If you are interested in how I did it, please read on. Warning, lots of pics LOL.


One thing I knew was that regular paint was not for me, since I did use chalk paint on my garden gate
and I loved it. I've seen what so many women are doing using chalk paints for their furniture giving average pieces some serious upgrading and artistic touches. I especially love what they are doing with so many hutches or armoires like this one above.
After searching with no luck for 2 weeks, on the day I needed to work on the items going into the armoire, I got back online and found one for $60.dollars on Craigslist. I knew when I finished with my room makeover I wanted to put as much ''away'' as possible, to keep my things clear of dust and to have an easy on the eye simplicity in the room. The hutch or cabinet was the way to go. I lucked out that morning at the last minute, with this one. It has pretty little legs, a light inside, good hardware, a few nice details, but the price was best.

 So. the first thing was to decide what colors, and that was easy because my entire room is based on whites, silver and pink. I already had palest grey for the walls in a fresh can by Olympic called "Moondance" and for pink I'd have to mix some red into it to get a shade I liked. Mixing the red with the grey was good because I wanted a muted shade of pink, not a bright one which is what would happen with red mixed into white. I mixed an old bottle of acrylic engine red by the drops, with the grey till I got the shade of pink I wanted, then I mixed in some plaster of paris, about a third to the amount of paint and mixed very very well. It thickened up a bit and then I added tablespoons of water as needed to get a nice thick kind of silky paint consistency. I found that after a few minutes I'd have to add more water as it thickened up as I used it but only for the first 15 minutes or so. I began painting the inside with this and let me tell you it did not look promising!
It was very streaky and I thought I'd made a mistake.

I got scared and left it.

What a disaster! Nobody says how bad this is going to look with just one coat! Also you can not go over the same places more than a few strokes because it then begins to peel off.
So I got nervous and let me tell you it was a scary thing after all the work I've been doing to come across something that was NOT going to work out as everyone said! So I left it as I researched some more, and did not have the stomach to see it again, until the next day. When I saw it dry, I saw how much blended it became, all by itself! and so I decided to finish the first coat on the rest of the inside.

After that first coat dried, hours later I did a second coat and from the first stoke I could see complete coverage and thought how relieved! nice that something was actually working out as it was supposed to! I got heartened and finished up the inside of the top part.
This first below is with the inside light on, the next one it is off. This is just 2 coats of the chalk paint. I did touch ups here and there.
Nice huh?


This bottom one, the bottom part of the hutch has only one coat. You can see the difference. Also because I  didn't put enough red in, but the 2nd coat I mixed more red and it matches better when dry.


Drawers with one coat.....

 ...with 2 coats.......coverage is good with two coats once the first has dried. It was scarey before ! LOL

Bottom inside with 2 coats.........


 Inside all done with 2 coats of the mixed paint.....engine red drops into "Moondance" grey paint for Pink...

So in between everything I browsed on line for all I could find on those women using homemade chalk paint to learn all I could, I read their how to's and read all the comments for all the helpful advise that come in there too. I kept learning and relearning. I was doing it right, but it looked terrible. I decided to continue to search online for more information on chalk paint on furniture of all kinds. And I came across some beauties.
One site in particular was very helpful by Maison Decor and her helpful hints which I definitely would pay attention to. However, she is describing her experience with Annie Sloan's paints, and I was not using that, so in the texture and mixing etc I was on my own. I had nothing to compare it to because I had never used Annie Sloans paints, so I had to guess what the right consistency was. It turns out to be a matter of preference mostly. But I will surely buy Annie Sloan one day to know what it is really like. But Amy has done some gorgeous pieces!

Some others online....these two below from here


these below from

 And this below....from here


And I even found one who had the same exact piece as mine and her version is beautiful too!. She used Annis Sloans' "Duck Egg Blue".
 First thing I did when it was in my room was yank out that chicken wire! lol....not for my bedroom....:D


Back to was to decide on the outside color which I wanted grey but the grey I had was too light, and the pink needed something more substantial than the whitish grey, so I had to mix that color too. All I had was "midnight" in an acrylic which is a deep deep dark blue. I wanted black to make a true grey but I didn't have it and had to use the "midnight". I put some "midnight" into the Moondance into the mixing container until I liked the shade. It is a gorgeous bluish grey. When I look at it, I am very pleased :D

Scary people! One coat is definitely scarey!~~

When it dried it was still too light, so the 2nd coat I had to mix more and made that a bit deeper in grey.

Here I took a shot of the hutch next to the door which is pure white for color comparison.

It dries darker which is good. After this dried I needed to give it some artistic treatments, and give it a light white dry brush wash. I tested this on the panel of the door first with a light dip of dry brush into pure white paint, mostly wiped off and lightly brushed the wood. Then with a clean damp T shirt I rubbed in the light paint and I liked this since it removed brush stoke marks and blended it in, so I went over the entire piece doing this. The "rubbing in" also took off alot of the wet paint too so I had to do it around 4 times over the whole piece, leaving some of it "unwashed", until it had enough of a "white wash" texture to it that I liked. Then I added pure white with a brush to the panels again for extra white and to the trim including the legs. A bit of distressing with sandpaper, more of this and that and rubbing and it was done. I cleaned the hinges and treated them with silver rub n buff including the hardware.

I almost forgot. In the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint world, the process of waxing seems to be critical though I cannot figure out why. Maybe chalk type paint needs a sealant which has been my experience since it scratches easily much more so than plain dried latex. Maybe the waxing process is not just for sheen but more a protection from this easy scratching, I'm not sure yet until I use her brand. But the previous chalk paint I made with baking soda, and this one with plaster of paris is certainly easy to scratch off. So I bought a wax I read was a good substitute for Annie Sloan's, and I got it from Lowes, but when I read the can it has warning as the first thing so I brought it back. I don't need anything toxic in my world. So I decided to make my own furniture paste, or wax. The most basic ingredients seems to be beeswax, oils such a olive, jojoba, coconut, carnauba, and maybe water. I felt confident in this because I will never forget while I was in Bali, and the worker/artisans were crafting their floors and wood for a new building nearby, and the floors were the most beautiful I had ever seen......they were polishing the beautiful raw wood to a most gorgeous sheen using only coconut oil the head manager told me, who was my guide while I stayed at that palace. I will never forget the beauty and efficacy of Nature's simplicity and those who are rewarded with the Beauty of it.
Here, I used what I had which was beeswax, coconut oil, olive and jojoba. I melted the wax first in a double boiler 'system', then added the oils and mixed, then let cool. The end result I wanted creamy so I could just dip my cloth in and get some to wipe on. It involved melting it several times since the beeswax made it harder which meant I kept having to add more oil, such as olive to keep it as a creamier consistency. In the end I would roughly guesstimate I used an ounce of beeswax, half cup each of olive, coconut, and jojoba oils each. I put it into a jar and its lovely to use on my hands! LOL I love when that happens!

I used a soft shoe shine cloth to put onto the hutch. It gave it a beautiful sheen!

The wax gave it a beautiful sheen which seemed to even pearlize the white parts! I didn't do it  I promise LOL

the drawer on the right got the wax, and the one on the left didn' looks flat.

 different angle same thing....

The glass was last to do and I was cleaning it with zest when I sliced my finger badly and had to stop everything. My housemate was home and I asked him if he could help finish the 2 panels of glass which he did with my careful watchful eye over this accident prone person until I couldn't take it anymore and made him wear gloves. He cleaned the glass and installed them, with gloves! and then there were the glass shelves to clean and put in. But glass was not my friend now and I didn't want to handle them nor did I want John to either since he decided to ignore my cautions, removed the gloves, and I was in no position to tend to any accidents on his part so I decided to just cover the glass shelves with more of the beautiful wrapping paper I have. I guided him to help me since I had basically one hand, so he was another lol.... we cut the paper, glued them onto the glass, trimmed them, then he carried them in (ceremoniously I might add! lol...I think he felt proud of his new found crafty abilities lol) and put them in...... he said he liked it and so did I. The pale pink paper complimented the pink interior and broke it up a bit and if the glass should break it is wrapped. :D  For wrapping it all I did was cut the wrapping paper to its size, and glue with a glue stick to the glass, and overwrap the paper to stick to the paper on the other side, alot like wrapping a gift but only on 2 sides and gluing with a glue stick instead of taping. It looks beautiful.

Here it is finished...

Glass shelves wrapped with paper......


And some pretties.....

the light is an oil diffuser and I add pure Lavender essential oil to it every morning and turn the light on....the heat from the light diffuses the scent. Every day I enjoy this scent.

I hope you enjoy your own transformations. I encourage anyone to do it even if it looks scary in the beginning, it will for sure...but keep going, its worth it. Now I have a pretty place to store everything.

Soon in a day or so, the entire room will be done.


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