Saturday, December 29, 2012

Feeling Blue?

As we wind down to the end of another year, we take pause to look back on what we have (or haven't) accomplished. From an outsiders point of view, it doesn't really appear that I have done so very much. Hmmm, but those unfortunate folks who have walked in the same horrible cancer shoes, know what we have accomplished. 

This year, 2012, is the year Ovarian Cancer's butt got kicked. If you are still battling cancer, keep fighting the good fight! I pray every day for an end to this hideous beast and a rapid cure to all. This coming year will (hopefully) mark one year of no cancer. Hopefully my latest CT scan shows nothing and I can go into 2013 feeling confident. 

In honor of those who may not have outwardly appeared to have accomplished much (but inwardly totally rocked) and maybe feeling a little blue about it, I am painting a new piece this weekend. What color do you think it should be? Well, glad you asked. Teal blue is the color of ovarian cancer, so the buffet is getting a teal blue makeover. 

Want a sneak peak?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Have yourself a Merry Little christmas

A couple years ago, I found myself spending an awful lot of time on the couch. No, not at the shrinks office, although I probably need it. I had been training for a marathon and was running on the treadmill really, really fast when I lost balance and went flying off the stupid thing. If you suddenly have images of George Jetson, you would be correct. Ended up tearing my bicep and all four tendons in my right shoulder. So, while recovering from shoulder reconstruction my Dr. found a mass on my left ovary that turned out to be cancer. Why am I sharing this? Maybe a little TMI? Maybe. My point in sharing is that while recovering I watched A LOT, and I do mean A LOT of television, including the DIY network and HGTV. I also discovered Pinterest, AKA the black hole of all things crafty.

I had become a little depressed. I mean, who wouldn't if you can't do anything but surf the internet and wait until 2:00 to watch Dr. Oz? I saw a post from my Facebook pal, Nadeine (of Knitting Nadia...check her out, she's a cool chick
and she was pregnant with her 4th child and making reusable paper towels out of diaper fabric. I thought, I could do that! So, I immediately bought a sewing machine off Amazon and went to town teaching my self to sew. This successful sewing led me to believe I could do all things! I became invincible, if only in my mind.

Then, my sister suggested I check out Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, as a way to do something crafty that didn't require much energy (which I didn't have). I could paint for 10-15 minutes and then put everything away. My sister saved my life! I found a renewed sense of being and this renewed my spirit.

This is me on Pikes Peak after kicking Ovarian Cancer's very nasty butt!

We all can find inspiration in unusual places, if we only take the time to listen to subtle whispers in our ear.

I hope you all find something inspiring today and always!

Merry Christmas!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Cashmere and Coco

What an exciting time! My pal Ann has opened her third boutique Cashmere and Coco in Vail, CO.
Ann's husband approached me a little while back about doing some pieces for their store. What an honor! Most of the pieces in the photo are mine. Just a sampling of the fun colors I like to work with. Remember, 100% of my profit goes to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. So, get in there and buy so we can find a cure for this heinous disease that takes too many lives.

Speaking of fun....this is one fun, funky place to shop! Ann has awesome taste and incredible style! She has a great mix of things that range from cowboy boots to glam and glitz furs! The accessories are to die for! So, when you head to the high country of Colorado, make a pit stop in downtown Vail and go see Ann at Cashmere and Coco.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Little Pickled tables

Sometime in the early 1990's we bought the most beautiful set of tables I had ever seen. The set came with a huge, ornate, hand carved armoire for our equally as large television, two side tables, a sofa table and a hanging shelf. All solid wood and very expensive for a family making military pay. Those tables have survived multiple PCS moves (that's a permanent change of station to the non military folks), including Texas, Kansas, Texas again, Germany (two moves), Colorado (another two moves) and getting lost at sea with all our other household goods for a few months. The original finish was a lovely pickled look. OK, so it was lovely in 1992, now? Now, not so much.

The hubster wanted to donate them to Goodwill but I could not bring myself to part with them. They were the first pieces of brand new furniture we had ever bought, to include beds and mattresses which really makes my flesh crawl to think about now, but at the time we thought it was fine. Hey, don't judge. So, the little pickled tables kept on trucking (literally) to where ever we hung our hats. We made the final move about four years ago when the mister hung up his combat boots for good and we bought our toe tag house. (For those who don't know what a toe tag house is, it's the house you leave with a tag on your toe). The little tables found their way to the basement where they hung out with a ridiculously large red sectional sofa (what the heck I thinking? I should have listened to Miss Mustard Seed who advises neutral pieces for your sofas and chairs). And, they looked horrible! I could now see where four children had used them as space launching sites for their feet, and never once thought about using a their lives...and still don't! Kids, if you are reading this, would it kill you to use a coaster? So, one day when the mister was out of the country, I pulled them all upstairs and decided to start slapping on some paint. Truly, I am sorry I don't have a before photo. I'll try to find something. The first coat I put on was Annie Sloan Primer Red. Well, red next to red was too red. (Go figure) so I topped it with Olive ASCP, distressed it and slapped on the clear wax.  I liked it...for a while. See photo above.

This past weekend, when we had such a brrrrrr, snowy, cold, windy, stay inside and eat chili kind of day, I got to looking at the little pickled, turned red, turned Olive tables and decided the day was so dreary and the basement so dark, these little tables needed to be bright and cheerful. So, I get the mister to haul them upstairs (except the huge armoire, which is holding our skis in the garage and is waiting its turn to be re purposed into something fabulous). Really, I love that man! He is too good for me and I don't deserve him. He only complained minimally, knowing I was going to do it anyway.  I decided on ASCP Arles. I've been on an Arles kick lately. I found this drab mid-century modern table, stripped the top (because it was so chippy), and painted it Arles. Currently, it is in the adorable boutique in Vail. It is super cute and I suspect it will sell very soon and make lots of money for cancer research.

So, I have painted all the tables in ASCP Arles and already loving them! Currently, they are sitting in the entry way of my house. I sort of like them there. But, the mister thinks they need to not impede anyone coming into our house and he is not fond of the paint splattered drop cloth as an entry way area rug.

This afternoon, when I quit procrastinating and finish the house cleaning (blech), I'll get the first coat of clear wax on, and get it distressed. They are going to get some dark wax on the decorative fronts. I'll add those photos later, but was so excited to show how pretty they are already.

Total cost? Since the tables are about 20 years old and were destined for G Dub (nickname for Goodwill in our house), I am saying $0.00. I have used about 1/2 quart of ASCP in Arles and have put on three coats ($18.50...again...go see Brad and Amber at Shades of Amber in Monument, CO...they will change your life!)

I am thinking I will spend right about $25 to redo all three tables and the shelf. Score! I totally love when you can take something yucky and turn it into a one of a kind piece of loveliness.

The final project. I am thinking I need to get a better camera and lighting as this does not do the little tables justice. Lovely!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snowy Sunday Sled

It's a balmy 10 degrees outside. That's right 10! And snowy! I suppose, living in Colorado, I really should expect snow in Decemeber,but, it always catches me by surprise. It's too cold to go out, so it's a great day to make something crafty.

I bought this old sled off Craigslist and it was in such bad shape, it must mean it was destined to become a Christmas decoration. I nailed one of the boards back on, and proceeded to paint it in Annie Sloan Primer Red. Now, if you have ever used ASCP in Primer Red, you probably get a little freaked out when you start slapping it on. It comes out looking something like a Scandanavian salmon, but just be patient. When it dries, it is this amazing dark, schoolhouse red. Next, I found some great stencils at Hobby Lobby. (Half price! Yippee!) I used two stencil packages. One is scrolly alphabet and the other was a bunch of differnt snowflakes. If you are a professional, you might tape the stencil on. I'm not. I hold them in place and very sparingly dab on ASCP in Olive for the Q, and Old White for my snowflakes. If I had taken the time to tape, I might not have had to touch up the red from where I slapped on too much white. Oh well, All's well that end's well, right? Now, again, if I wanted a professional look, I might wax over the paint, but I am going for the very rustic look, so I am going to leave it as is.

Products used: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in: Primer Red, Olive and Old White. One old, dilapidated sled off Craigslist, and two stenicl packages from Hobby Lobby. Total cost? $25. Total time? About 30 minutes.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meeting Miss Mustard Seed

Today was a Quinnspirational day! I had the great pleasure of spending the day with THE Miss Mustard Seed at my favorite MMS Milk Paint stockist, Shades of Amber in Monument CO.

Now, if you don't know who Miss Mustard Seed is, well, you must live under the decorative painter proverbial rock. MMS is a truly cool lady who turned a love of refurbishing cast offs into works of art. She inspired me and 20 something other gals (plus Brad)to go off and make beautiful things. You can check her out at

The morning was spent learning paint techniques and the afternoon we learned some great DIY tips and how MMS finds her inspiration.
I left there renewed in spirit to go forth and create beauty.

After delivering some 10 odd piece to Vail this week, I ran out of steam and this was just what the Dr. ordered to get my creative juices flowing and start thinking about finishing the pieces taking up precious garage space so I can start on the next project...making seat covers out of old burlap food sacks!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lazy Sunday

Sometimes, we find inspirations in the most unusual places or way. For example, this weekend my entire family was ticking me off. Now, I love the mister and the four people we are raising, don't get me wrong. But sometimes, just sometimes....well, you understand. I've been working on several pieces to go to Vail this week and running a bit behind. Running behind in our house translates to Mom not cooking, cleaning, doing laundry etc. The two big people are off at school and working, so it's just the two younger people, the mister and myself. How bad could it be, right? Anyway, I digress... One stressed Mom plus one messy house means Mom gets cranky, with a capital C! So, what's a girl to do? She goes to her studio, aka the garage, and paints up a storm. I angry painted and boy did it feel good. So, in a way, I need to thank the familia for irritating me (by not pitching in) because otherwise, there wouldn't be a garage filled with beautiful pieces.
How will you be inspired today?