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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Latex Lowdown

You know how I'm always yammering on about not painting over latex, 
even if you're using chalk-type paint?  

Here's another example of why I'm a big advocate of removing the latex, 
or at least priming over it 
(if it was a high quality latex, done properly)

Our dining table was painted in white latex
by a well-meaning seller

The next owner decided to paint over the latex with chalk-type paint and wax
(I don't know which brand)

It looked really pretty
and the blue was actually similar to 
the blue on our walls...
and on the floor...
basically, it was a whole lot of BLUE!

I decided I'd try to remove the wax and the chalk-type paint
while hopefully leaving the white latex intact

We will be stripping it back to wood in the relatively near future
but you know how that goes!
Between Etsy, the studio, and now preparing the new shop, it could be a while!

I wasn't really sure how to go about this, so I started with the least complicated method
I could think of
And it worked...really, really well

The magic concoction that removed the wax and paint?

Hot soapy water and the scrubby side of a sponge!!!

Yes, I scrubbed...
but really, no harder than I would have scrubbed to get dried spaghetti sauce off!
(imagine if this was a client table and she was scrubbing it clean when OFF came the paint!)

 It should NOT be this easy, y'all! 

Why was it so easy?  
Because stuff just doesn't bond well to latex paint
 (and this table was painted pretty well...notice the latex isn't

Had the chalk-type paint been painted over wood, 
I'd have given up this task an hour ago...
the paint wouldn't hardly budge!

Why is the latex intact?  
Because it's painted over wood that was primed first.

Latex isn't the bad guy here, nor are chalk-type paints

Latex can work if you get the best products
and prep and prime your surface properly

and chalk-type paints can be much more durable than this
when applied to a properly prepared surface

No Prep No Prime is OFTEN the case
with chalk-type paints,
but not always the best practice!

If the latex is peeling, you need to strip it off!
If the latex seems durable and isn't peeling or bubbling,
 and you can't scratch it with your fingernail, 
use a good quality bonding primer
before applying your chosen paint over the surface

When in doubt,
 take a few extra steps to ensure you're confident in the durability of your finish!

Yes, it sucks. We hate doing it, too.

Kenny and Michele

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Design Hyperactivity Disorder...

September is almost upon us, and work is starting in earnest this weekend
at the new retail digs!

While it is all very exciting, can I tell you what stresses me out

Which direction we want to do, aesthetically...
See, online, things don't need to go together, 
because they are viewed individually, on their own web page
but in the shop, they space will be viewed as a whole

The problem, as it were...
is that we LOVE so many different styles!

While I adore grey, white, neutrals, with some rustic elements,
I feel like it's been done to death

We want our space to be different...unexpected...inspiring
helping people imagine their spaces in a whole new way
(sort of like what happens to me every time I go to HomeGoods!) 

The trick, of course, it to do 
boho chic, 
mid century glam, 
French farmhouse, 
Paris apartment vibe
without it being ONE HOT MESS! 

A riot of color, texture, and pattern
that doesn't' give you a migraine! 

Here's some inspiration 

(hmmm...noticing a theme here...perhaps PINK is the key!)

See what I mean?  All over the place!
Narrowing it down will be quite a challenge!

Of course, we will have a mix of finishes and styles
and hopefully, we can somehow make it all work!

Wish us luck!

Kenny and Michele

Friday, August 16, 2013

New Digs!

As you probably already know
(because I complain about all the time!)
We've been looking for a retail space

Our criteria was making it difficult:

Lots of charm
Preferably an old building
great natural light
cute downtown location
studio space for teaching classes
doesn't break the bank!

Needless to say, the search was NOT going well!

Enter our friend Sarah...
Sarah has a cool company called
using recycled wine bottles
(they smell AMAZING!)

She has more space than she needs,
and she doesn't do retail
(only wholesale right now)

so much of her gorgeous, CHARMING space
located DOWNTOWN with loads of NATURAL LIGHT and STUDIO
was going to waste

She offered to let us take over most of the shop
and we couldn't say YES fast enough!

The "before"
(honestly, we don't even have to do very much!)

Double doors (necessary for moving furniture in and out!)
Huge front windows...that cute awning
brick walkway, new benches and old-fashioned street lamps

the front area is ideal for retail sales
(including paint sales!  Which brand, you ask? That will be a surprise!)

In back, a fabulous area for retail mixed with studio space
for classes and such

 (that window!)

The back alleyway is even full of character, as well as great spots for staging photos!

If you're not swooning yet...
it's even on a brick road!  

We will be working hard in September getting the space ready
and we're hoping to be open in early October

We'll keep you posted!


I grew up in the late 70's and was a teenager in the 80's...
you know what that means, right?

Lots and lots of PURPLE!

Purple eyeshadow, purple eyeliner, purple leg warmers,
purple jumpsuits with big shoulder pads...
purple bikinis with matching sunglasses

and of course, His Royal Highness of Purple...

If it wasn't purple, I didn't want it!

It's taken me quite awhile to come back around to purple...
but now I favor a more bohemian version...
with a touch of grey for a sexy vibe
This sure isn't 1980's purple!

We custom mixed this color using a little of this, and a little of that

The hardware is divine, don't you agree?

We really wanted the smokey grey trim to stand out, 
so we outlined the top and bottom lips in 
glamorous silver leaf...the contrast is dramatic and eye-catching

Wondering about that fabulous grey metallic?
It's from Modern Masters!

How lucky am I to have found these gorgeous lavender roses?
The dresser is so lush, a dozen just wouldn't do!

Love this dresser?  You can find it in our Etsy shop!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Murphy's Law

Our day started out normal enough...
we got up early to drive to Sarasota
for an AMAZING bedroom suite

We arrived without incident
the set was gorgeous
the people were lovely

on the way out, Kenny noticed the front tire needed air,
so we stopped at the gas station and filled it up

We stopped at the outlet mall
were I ogled handbags at Coach and Michael Kors
and bought an adorable shirt at Saks
(half off the clearance price, yeah baby!)

Did I mention the heat index today was 105?
Clear skies meant no rain...and also no reprieve from the sun beating down

To get from our studio to Sarasota, you have to cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The original bridge was hit by a barge or tanker  in 1980
the new bridge is VERY tall...
(431ft tall)

We paid the toll, and started up the bridge

Midway up, Kenny said
"that tire isn't good, I hope we make it across the bridge"

We did not

The tire blew


There is an emergency lane, but it is very narrow,
and you are right up against the concrete barrier wall
(less than waist high on me)

It's a LONG way down...
did I mention I'm afraid of heights?

The bridge is part of the Interstate, so cars are FLYING past you,
very close

We decided to keep rolling on the tire until we reached the end of the bridge
or until the rubber gave way and we started riding on the rim
If that happened, we'd call AAA
otherwise, we're capable of changing a tire!

Basically, I had a bird's eye view off the side of the bridge, all the way down

We saw a pod of dolphins playing, 
which lessened my panic about being so close to the edge a LITTLE

We drove the entire span at about 3 MPH
not even kidding...
about an hour later
not even kidding...
we reached the bottom, and found a spot to pull off safely

(doesn't get much flatter!)

Changing the tire on an F250 is not fun, and it's not easy
one problem after another presented itself,
and an hour later, we were finally on our way
(I had the important job of standing over Kenny w a golf umbrella to block the sun)

As we were riding along on the Interstate, Kenny laughed and said
"Hope we don't get another flat...I don't have another spare"

Well, you can guess what happened next! 

Five miles from home, a different tire blew!

We had no choice but to throw in the towel and call AAA

All this drama for what, you ask?

Made by Dixon Powdermaker, out of  Jacksonville, FL
Circa 1961

(see those details in silver?  Its' carved, not painted on!)

The Triple Dresser was simply too large to get a decent photo of
(I was willing to invest about two minutes in photos before I spontaneously combusted!)

Was it worth it?  

Heck yeah, man! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Chair Affair

I think, perhaps, we **MIGHT** have a little problem...
a penchant for chairs

Big, little, upholstered, long as they are curvy
we want them!  

Today, we purchased an entire dining set
because we wanted the chairs

Is that wrong?  
Well, if so, I don't want to be right! 

(that's my upholstery's linen)

Yeah, I love them!

The table is gorgeous, but we love ours more

Big deal, right?  It's just 8 chairs...that isn't so overwhelming!

Take a gander about the studio, though....

Still not Hoarder-territory, right?