Friday, March 30, 2012

Distressed Crate

I got a little crafty yesterday....
I read a natural stain recipe on Lil Blue Boo recently and wanted to give it a try. If you'd like to make an aged crate, here is what you'll need:

wooden crate from a craft store
stenciling brush
distilled white vinegar
steel wool
tea bags
paint brush
protective finish 

The first thing I did was stencil the name and date on the crate using Martha Stewart paper stencils and black craft paint. I also put smudges of paint around the crate. 

While the paint was drying, I submerged a piece of steel wool in the distilled white vinegar for about 45mins. The two react creating a natural stain, which ages wood. With a glove on, I used the steel wool to paint the vinegar on the crate. 

Next up was to brew a large cup of tea. Any type of "brown" tea will do. You can probably guess what type I used.  With a foam paint brush, I painted the crate in several coats of sweet tea. Once dry, I used my clear Annie Sloan wax to give the crate a protective finish. 

I will be giving this crate to my parents as their Easter Basket. Cute, huh? You could also use this as a planter, place vases and flowers in it, condiment holder, etc. 

Have a lovely weekend! As of about 30mins ago, I started my week long vacation! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More Shabby Chic IKEA Finds

I made an unexpected trip to the Charlotte area on Sunday and was able to dip into IKEA. Here are a few Shabby Chic items that I came across. 

Metal Watering Can, $4.99
Don't be surprised if this gets a distressed white makeover!...

Planters, $2.99 each. How cute would these be with a chalk label, as a little Easter basket, desk organizers, with a pretty ribbon....

Linen Table Runner, 3.99 a yard. I will give it a good ironing, stitch the ends and embellish it. Sounds like a future post!

Aqua Blue Drinking Glassess. 4 Tall, 4.99.  4 Small, 2.99.

Don't you just love IKEA?!

 Linking up to: My Romantic Cottage,French Country Cottage , Make In A Day, The Shabby Creek Cottage

Monday, March 26, 2012

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Q&A (Part 1)

  If you're a follower of Shabby Sweet Tea or just stopped by to read a post or two, you've probably picked up on the notion that I'm currently obsessed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I have received several comments and emails asking specific questions about ASCP. So grab a pencil, your cutest notepad and listen up! and don't forget...Annie Sloan Q&A Part 2

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Q&A:

Why do you love ASCP? 
I'm so glad you asked! I am in love with the color palette, which is inspired by European furniture colors of the 1700's.

Annie Sloan
This paint is super easy to work with and dries in no time.  Not to mention it's an extremely low VOC paint and has virtually no odor. I've used ASCP several times indoors with little ventilation (I got desperate this winter). If you're into being green, this is the paint for you. I will say, the wax has an odor but it is not overwhelming like some of the other waxes on the market. 

How is ASCP different from regular paint such as latex?
Unlike most latex and oil base paint, ASCP is thicker and doesn't require stripping a piece first or a coat of primer. Also, ASCP will stick to just about anything (wood, plastic, walls, metal, laminate, etc).

Is it really worth $36 for a quart size pot?
Yes! A little ASCP goes a long way. I have used my Paris Gray on three pieces and still have over a half can left. Plus, you don't have to buy products to prep the piece beforehand.
Annie's brushes are a little pricey, about $36. I have been using a Purdy brush (best brush brand ever) to paint with and cheese cloth to apply the wax. However, I am dying to try a waxing brush and will probably order one from a stockist.

Do you need to use the wax?
I recommend using the clear wax that Annie sells for $25. The wax is soft like margarine, odor free, contains no harsh chemicals and is very workable. I typically apply two coats of clear wax. If you want to distress the piece you are working on, you can also use the dark wax. Just keep in mind that a little dark wax goes a long way!

Can you share with me the steps you take when using ASCP?
This is how I went about painting this table which, by the way, was my first time using ASCP.

Start by wiping the piece of furniture down with a damp cloth. Apply one or two coats of ASCP. This paint dries quickly, so I wait about 30 mins between coats. Next, you can distress the piece with sandpaper or apply a coat of clear wax. Annie Sloan suggests that you wax the piece, distress and wax again. This is because chalk paint is chalky and makes a bit of a mess when you sand and distress. By waxing the piece first, you will have less dust. I have found that this process is messy regardless, so I paint, distress and then wax. Keep in mind that one of the easiest mistakes to make is over-waxing. A little goes a long way. Apply one coat of wax and buff it out with a clean cloth.  I use old white t-shirts. Apply a second coat and maybe even a third if you're working on kitchen or bathroom cabinets. When you are finished waxing and buffing the clear wax out, you should have a smooth finish that is not sticky. If you desire an aged look, go for the dark wax next. I cannot stress enough how little you need! If you end up too dark, you can use clear wax to buff out the dark. Please remember to always wax with clear before you use wax with dark. If not, the dark wax will stain your paint. After you've done these steps, allow the piece to cure for a day.

I hope you have found these answers to be helpful. Have any more specific questions?? I have a few more technical ones that I will address in a future post. Until then...happy painting!

Please remember that I am not an ASCP stockist nor have I been trained by Annie. These tips are what works best for me. Hope they help!

Saturday, March 24, 2012


      A new Pottery Barn magazine arrived today! Remember the excitement of the Sears catalog or the Toys'R'Us look book arriving when you were little? I freak out in the same way over PB. They have the most beautiful lanterns for sale right now. For a pretty penny of course. 
Park Hill Windowpane Lantern 
Bristol Lantern 
Graham Metal Lanterns
Pottery Barn

I happened to luck out after Christmas in a Bed Bath and Beyond Store. I went in for sheets and came out with a large lantern that was on big time clearance, $12.00

 It looks like something electronic used to be inside the lantern. The white circular piece has an on/off switch. Maybe a tacky light-up fake floral arrangement?? Lucky, I was able to unscrew the electronic panel and remove it. 

With some polished stones and candles from Ikea, I've made a cheap Pottery Barn knockoff! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Embroidery Floss Easter Eggs

While surfing Pinterest the other day, I found a fun and messy Easter craft to try out. If you would like to visit the original link, check out Crafty Endeavor .

Step 1: 
To make Embroidery Floss Easter Eggs you will need...
-Blown up water balloons
-Embroidery floss
-Liquid starch (I found a bottle at Kroger in the laundry section)
Create goop by mixing together 1cup liquid starch and a 1/2 cup flour. I ended up adding additional starch to make it thinner.

Step 2: 
Coil your floss in a bowl of the goop. 

Step 3: 
Pull a section of the floss out and scrape off the goop. Start applying the floss to the egg. It will stick right to the balloon. One skein of floss will create one egg. After making a few of these, I realized you need very little goop on the floss. Less is more because when the egg dries, you'll have to scrape off all the excess. 

Step 4:
Allow the eggs to dry for several hours. When dry, pop the balloon. I used a straight pin to scrape off the excess dried goop. 


Repurposed Furniture and Repurposed People

    This morning I received a lovely comment on my Simple Easter Decor  post from Lori over at Color it Simple. She was dropping by to take a look around and become a follower of Shabby Sweet Tea.  I sure am glad I followed her back because she has a lot of great things going on at her blog! If you have an extra minute, read her RE Words post, which really caught my attention. Lori draws a beautiful comparison between repurposed furniture and repurposed people. This post struck a soft spot in me because recently one of my personal goals has been to love people where they are at regardless of their past or current situation. We just never know what a person's life is like behind closed doors and it is not our job to judge or deny forgiveness.
At the end of Lori’s post, she asks “What are you thankful for?”. I would have to say, I am thankful for His forgiveness, family and friends, people reading my little blog, that my new cowgirl boots have shipped and so much more.

So smile, love and just let go….

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Simple Easter Decor

Last night I finally pulled out the Easter tub and rummished through it. I have a few things that I put out here and there but nothing too big or bright. Personally, I love whimsical Easter decor. Here's a little peek...

Stay tuned for an easy Easter craft tutorial. I hope to post it tonight. 
Ciao Ciao

Monday, March 19, 2012

Easter Wreath

There are so many beautiful Spring and Easter wreaths out in the blog world. Over the weekend, I was inspired to make one of my own. I used a cheap grape vine wreath, a few packs of moss, green floral wire, a stem of fake flowers and speckled Easter eggs. Working in small sections, I secured the moss with floral wire and a dab of hot glue here and there. Hot glue was also used to secure the flowers and eggs in place. 

I can't wait to display this beauty on my door. However, I have to wait until after the NCAA.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Liebster Award!

  I guess all of my hard work on the Chicken Wire Hutch paid off. It turns out that Urban Hoot loved the hutch and awarded me the Liebster Award!! I am thrilled! Thank you Urban Hoot for nominating me. Check out her blog when you have a second. You'll love the stuff she's up to.

So now I get to nominate 5 up-and-coming blogs for a Liebster Award.

{Drum roll} And the awards go to.....

At Nanns Table for her delicious looking French Macaroons.
Livin' With The Lehmans for being thrifty and building an awesome sensory table for their sweet, sweet little boy.
Pickin and Paintin for getting creative with extra drawers. I am going to take her lead and make a few planter boxes out of old drawers.
Start at Home for doing such an amazing laundry room make over. {sigh} She used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Duck Egg Blue. I instantly fell in love with this make over. I bet you will too!
And last but not least...
Sew Sweet Cottage for whipping up such a cute valence for her daughter's bedroom.

Congratulations to each of you! Here are the rules for passing it along.
  • Choose 5 up and coming blogs to award with less than 200 followers.
  • Show your appreciation to the blogger who awarded you by linking back to them.
  • Post the award on your blog. (I did this by right clicking the image and saving it as a picture. I then uploaded a "Picture" gadget in my side bar and uploaded the saved award picture).
  • Link back to the blogs you are awarding so that everyone else can pay them a visit.
Thanks again Urban Hoot!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spaghetti with Spinach in a White Wine Garlic Sauce

  What's for dinner? How about a yummy, nutritious pasta dish? This recipe is from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook. If you're in the market for a new cookbook, this is it. Vegan or not, this cookbook is filled with healthy recipes that taste great. Plus the author, Kim Barnouin, is hilarious!

Please make'll be glad you did!

I've made a few changes to this recipe and noted them in the original recipe below.

Ingredients (Serves 6)
· 1 (1lb) box thin spaghetti, uncooked
· 3 Tablespoons grape seed oil, divided
(I've used olive oil and saffron oil)
· 5 medium white or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
(Instead, I use 2 containers of fresh mushrooms, quartered)
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 2 cups vegetable stock, divided
· ½ cup finely chopped onion
· 3 garlic cloves, minced
· 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
(I use a full 10oz bag)
· 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped in large pieces
· ½ cup white wine
(I use 1 cup white wine)
· ¼ cup vegan Parmesan cheese
(Of course if you're not vegan, you can use real cheese)

1.    Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and set aside.
2.    Heat a large sautee pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tablespoon of the grape seed oil and the mushrooms.  Sautee 5-8 minutes or until caramelized.
3.    Add salt and pepper to taste, cook 1 minute.  Stir in 2 Tablespoons of stock and cook until absorbed.  Remove the mushrooms to a small bowl.
4.    Turn heat down to medium.  In the same sautee pan, add another Tablespoon of grape seed oil and the onions.  Sautee until golden brown – 10 minutes.
5.    Add the garlic and sautee 2 minutes more.  Remove the onion mixture to the same small bowl as the mushrooms.
6.    Return the pan to the stove – medium high heat – and add the remaining oil.  Add the spinach and sautée until wilted – 2 minutes.
7.    Add 2 Tablespoons of stock and cook til absorbed.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.
8.    Return the mushrooms and onion mixture to the pan as well as the tomatoes.  Cook over medium high heat.
9.    Add the white wine and cook until reduced by two-thirds, stirring occasionally.
10.                Stir in the remaining stock and cook for 5 minutes until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken.
11.                Add the Parmesan.
12.                Top the pasta with the sauce and toss to coat.

Serves 6:  210 Calories, 1.5g Fat, 0g Sat.Fat, 0Cholesterol, 45g Carbs, 3g Fiber, 18g Protein (original recipe)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Annie Sloan Table

Spring has arrived in N.C. The weather has been glorious and snakes are even out. I know this because I stumbled upon one while walking the boys and had to beat cheeks to safety. Now that its warmed up, I've started tackling my list of painting projects. First up, a wooden plant stand from an unfinished furniture warehouse. 

My dad helped me spray paint this table barn red when I got my first place 13 years ago. Last year I gave it an experimental makeover by spray painting it green and adding a white wash. This week it received yet another coat of paint. I went for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Paris Grey with clear wax. 
I just love how it turned out! Little bits of red and green show through from the tables past life. 

One thing that I've learned recently is don't be afraid to use a high quality brush with Anne Sloan Chalk Paint. The paint washes right out with warm water and mild soap. I personally like and recommend brushes made by Purdy. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Decorative Wooden Box

While at Michael's the other evening, I picked up a cheap wooden box and decal. This afternoon I enjoyed the sunshine on my porch and painted a cute little jewelry box. 

Step 1: Remove the hinged clasp and fill with wood putty. Allow the putty to dry and sand it down. You may also need to give the box a sand down.

Step 2: Add your wooden decal using wood glue. If you plan to paint the box, you may want to paint the top before adding the decal. I didn't do this and found it challenging to paint around the design. 

Step 3: Prime and paint the box. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and was able to skip the primer. 

Step 4: Distress, wax, glaze, protective finish, etc. 

Step 5: Line the bottom with decorative paper or felt. 

Such a pretty little box.