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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super Size

A pint of paint? What's the point?
A quart? Well, that's a bit better...

But sometimes, a girl just needs a GALLON!

As soon as I laid eyes on this color on a piece of furniture,
I KNEW we'd be using it a LOT!

It's stunning.
Rich, saturated...
teetering between vibrant blue and turquoise
It's perfect.

I'm in the midst of doing a BIG piece in this color...

The last two pics show still-wet paint...and not yet waxed
We used soft wax to finish off the milk paint

Do you LOVE this Cobalt Blue Milk Paint?  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Getting Buggy

Although I do try to keep our Blog focuses 
on the fun stuff
Sometimes, things just BUG me
and I am compelled to share...
and then I wonder...
why share?
so it can BUG you, too?
Now, that just seems silly, right?
Guess I'm silly, cause here I go!

I was just perusing my newsfeed and my eye wandered down to someone's rant.
 It's not someone I follow, but someone I do follow must have "liked" it or commented on it. 
Basically, it was criticizing large, successful bloggers. 
One got the impression that the writer found them to be lacking because they hired out the work,
 or their sponsors paid for it. 
I haven't a clue who the person was speaking about
or the actual circumstances

Firstly, even when the writer has a point,
 it's virtually impossible to not come across as catty and jealous
Why not celebrate others success
and applaud them?
I think this is especially true with Bloggers
Even the mega-huge Bloggers started out with a few words on a page
they were sure no one was even reading
Who am I to fault them reaping the benefits 
of their hard work, good luck, and creativity?

But aside from that, I was left wondering,
after I read the rant and the comments...
What's so wrong with hiring someone to execute your vision
or being successful enough to have sponsors willing to foot the bill?

In any industry or business venture, there (hopefully!) comes a point 
when you are so successful, you HAVE to get help

Now, to be clear, if said Blogger(s?) claim to have done the work themselves,
that's a bit of a grey area (to me, at least)

Let's be realistic:
Do you think every famous (or even not so famous)
chef, decorator, stylist, designer
does EVERYTHING you see their name attached to?
I'm guessing not. 
I'm pretty sure Martha Stewart doesn't personally make EVERY single item
you have ever seen photographed for her books or magazine
She probably has the concept 
(the vision is the part that is hard to teach, right?)
and someone else executes her idea
(the execution of the idea can be taught, usually!)
but I wouldn't expect Martha to tell everyone all about it
(Martha is just the best example I could think disrespect meant!)

so what do YOU think?
Is it completely wrong for famous Bloggers to get help to see their ideas come to fruition
or do you expect that they had help
(personally, I love to think they had help because then I, 
by way of comparison don't seem like a total slacker!)


Friday, January 18, 2013

Coral Hotness

I've been pretty busy with my "day" job lately
so I haven't gotten much painting done

I tip-toed back to my "other" job
with this sweet little Drexel nightstand

It didn't come with a dresser,
so I decided to just make it fun!

I've been lusting after Coral lately
(as evidenced by my Pinterest board!)

so I mixed up a small batch using chalk paint
and here is what I ended up with!

I do love's rich, bright, and sexy!

I was torn on what to do on the interior, 
and on a whim, I mixed up this lovely Robin's Egg Blue
it's a nice accent, don't you think? 
Makes it a very lively piece!

The gilding adds a bit of glam
and it all came together perfectly!

You can find this in our Etsy shop

Vibrant Turquoise Hutch

We finally got around to finishing up this gorgeous hutch...

The outside is GORGEOUS Cobalt Milk Paint
I have to admit, they are my favorite milk paint company
The colors are fresh, vibrant, and original
and the paint mixes up like nobodies business
Plus, they are just nice folks
and Stiltskin Studios likes to support nice folks

 We love, and use, all sorts of paints
nothing distresses as authentically as Milk Paint
The pics don't lie...
it's hard, if not impossible, to recreate this look with other types of paint
We keep our technique a bit of a secret, so I can't share that with you,
but we sealed this with clean and dark wax  glaze on top (very, very thin!)

Oh, did I mention it came with the original key??  

Inside, we chose a crisp, clean white lacquer
It really sets off the heavy distressing, fretwork, and glorious, vibrant color
plus, the lacquer is hard and durable, 
so you can pile in the dishes without fear of scratching the surface

I'm presently working on a chunky farmhouse table in the same Cobalt Milk Paint...
cant' wait to share that with you!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Crave-worthy Color

I feel like we haven't painted in ages...

so we were quite pleased to be able to steal away a few evenings
and work on some fun new pieces...

Here is a little sneak preview...

the blue on this piece, Cobalt from Real Milk Paint Co
makes me so very's almost electric, it's so vibrant
just my speed!

Are seriously, how much do you LOVE all that chipping, 
cracking, and leathery texture?
It's divine

Kenny fought me so hard about using this color on this piece...
but clearly he caved in and has been working on it for nearly two weeks

Now that it's about done, he LOVES it....
like, he wants to keep it

Of course, we are not keeping it...but it's completely amazing
 and I can't wait to share it with you!

I chose a smaller project, 
because it's hard for me to get a lot of creative time lately
My "day job" has been keeping me pretty busy

Not sure if you can tell from my photo, but I mixed up the most gorgeous coral!
The robin's egg blue interior is another custom blend,
and I'm surprised by how much I love the two together...
of course, all that gilding doesn't hurt AT ALL!

Watch for these pieces soon in our Etsy shop!

As always, thanks for dropping by 


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Circus Clowns

has it really been two weeks since last I posted?
Yikes, that's terrible!

Hmm...what's been interesting?

Oh, I know! The Circus!

In November, I entered a contest on 

The magazine offers up great things to do as a family,
wonderful articles, and lovely photos

I won the drawing
(sorry, I didn't do anything great, I was just lucky!)
and our prize was four tickets to the Ringling Bros Circus

I have to admit, I'm not a huge circus fan...
I have mixed feelings about the animals

But the Ringling Museum and Ca d'Zan are local
and the history intrigues me
(Ca d'Zan was the luxe home of John and Mabel Ringling)

Our oldest son wasn't really into it, so Keegan brought a friend
and the kids had a great time

We were about 20 rows back,
so I decided to finally try my telephoto lens
It rocks!

I hope you enjoy the photos and a big THANK YOU 

Lots more to share, but that will have to wait
until later...
It's Kenny's birthday today
and I have a cake to bake :0)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Kitchen Remodel...almost

New Year, New Projects....

fine, so maybe they are old projects that are FINALLY going to get finished....
at any rate, we are finishing the kitchen!

 (this is in-progress, so the charming orange formica and hood are gonzo!)


Here's the deal with our was heinous. It's still half-heinous, because it's only half done.

Imagine, if you can stomach it, dark wood laminate cabinets with fugly 1960's hardware, an orange and yellow formica backsplash, a giant vented hood over the stove, and really cheap, really permanently dirty laminate flooring...yep, the original kitchen to our 1960's home.

Also image virtually no budget to gut and start over...let me tell you, I've lived with that fondue-commercial kitchen for far, FAR too long!

So we ripped out the drop ceiling and oh-so-flattering florescent tube lighting. Instant improvement! We tossed around a ton of ideas before settling on tin ceiling tiles. How fortunate for us that there is an amazing manufacturer of reproduction tin ceiling tiles in Sarasota, American Tin Ceilings.

We drove over and picked out our favorite. The owner was SO nice (coincidentally, the person who helped us was Ken and his wife was Michelle...) we left with some extras to practice painting and for other projects.  They do mainly mail-order business, so if you are in the market for tin ceiling tiles, they are your guys!  Their patterns are reproductions from old tiles pulled from salvage. Cool, right?

(this is the pattern we chose)

We started putting up the wood sub-ceiling to attach the tiles to,
and of course, we need to paint and seal them before installing....but it's PROGRESS!

The upper cabinets are actually done. We removed to doors, lined the back of each cabinet box with bead board, framed out the edges for a finished look, applied trim to the shelves, and painted it all soft white. This was before chalk paint came into our lives, so we used a product made from cabinets. It was a messy project, due to sanding and priming all the cabinets, but it's held up great. We also installed vintage brackets under the shelves for a truly bespoke look.

Kenny installed subway tile where the orange backsplash once was...we chose a sandy colored grout for a bit of definition. The wires you see are for under-cabinet lighting that will be hidden from view

I was afraid of open cabinets...I'd heard they were a nightmare to keep clean! Once a week, usually after a large meal when most of the dishes are in the dishwasher, I wipe down the surfaces with a warm cloth. That's it. Easy peasy.  If you display dishes you don't use often, they might get a bit gunky, but we use just about everything in the open cabinets daily.
Did I mention we just pulled up the hideous vinyl flooring? Yep. Guess what was underneath? No, not beautiful hardwood...just hard concrete. Actually, really ugly, glue-stained concrete. Thankfully, the wood for the floors is already purchased and awaiting installation.

The hold-up is a French door. I need one to replace an ugly sliding glass door. I can't find one used that is the right size, and I don't want to spend a fortune on a new the hunt continues. I know if I am patient, I will find the perfect door...the problem is, it's holding up the entire kitchen! I think a compromise might have to be in our future!
We've purchased an undermount white iron sink (custom order return at Lowe's for $50...retail $500....SCORE), and we'll be installing our own butcher-block countertops from Ikea (that will be a blog post unto itself, I'm sure!)

Here is the light fixture Kenny rigged up for me so I could see in the kitchen

and here is the fixture that will soon be replacing it (yes, I bought new!)

Which brings us to the lower cabinets...this weekend's project! We'll be using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
this time around, sealed with lacquer.
Our initial plan was to replace the lower cabinets, but then, I saw THIS stencil and my heart went pitter-patter!  How GREAT is this?  I not only got the Bistro Lettering, but also the ancillary stencils that we're going to use all over the kitchen in lots of fun ways.
Royal Design Studio really does have the best stencils, stencil cremes, and they are ASCP stockists, too!  We LOVE them MUCHO!

When it's all done, we're hoping for something in this vicinity, only much smaller (sadly...)

(You can view all our Kitchen inspiration on Pinterest)

If we are M.I.A. for a bit, you'll understand why!

Adios for now,

Kenny and Michele