May 11, 2011

Ugly Duckling Makeover .....

I still have the paints out today ... but I've switched gears from boots to furniture ... Here's a "before" shot of a petite dresser I worked on. I know what your thinking ... "Why bother!?" .... because tomorrow is the French inspiration party "VOILA!" over at the French Cupboard blog I host EVERY Thursday ... and ... well ... I needed something to blog about!!
Would you like to see the "after" shot ? ... well, you'll just have to join me tomorrow at The French Cupboard ... and, if you want, bring something French inspired you'd like to share!

You want a little sneeky peek? Okay, okay ... but, this is all you're gonna get until tomorrow ; )

Hope to see you there !!


May 10, 2011

What's on Your Plate Today? .....

 Me? Boot painting .... since I'm leaving in a week, heading to the heartland and the big Na-Da farm event .... I thought I should get out my pile of cowgirl boots and get busy!!

This photo is from Texas last fall ... getting ready for the Junk Gypsy's prom night ... girl's night out!

That's Beth above and Amie below

So ... today I'll be painting more gypsy boots to take to the Na-Da sale and adding some finishing touches to mine to wear to the Boho ball Friday night !!
 Would you like to fancy up your heels for the ball? ... here's a simple tutorial for the method I use to paint mine ...
Gather these supplies:
Leather boots
Acrylic craft paints
Paint brushes
Water, paper towel, paint pallet
Cotton Balls
Fine grit sand paper
Acrylic sealer

1.) Find the perfect pair of boots at a reasonable price. I’m still experimenting with ones I find at my local thrift stores. Keep in mind that you will be able to paint over minor scrapes and flaws. I would rather make a mistake or two on Italian leather I’ve paid $8.50 for and not $850 for! Once you have a few under your belt, then you can move up to a more expensive pair.

2.) Prepare your leather by rubbing the finish with cotton balls soaked in acetone. This is only necessary on the area that will receive paint and is done best outside or in a very well ventilated room. This step is crucial if your boots have a high polish on them. Continue rubbing with acetone until dull. I have also chosen boots that don’t have any finish left on them … then you can skip this step.

3.) Use extra fine sand paper and gently rough up the surface you wish to paint.  Again, this is only necessary on the area that will receive paint … no need to sand the entire boot if you will not paint it.

4.) Think a bit about your design … if you want. I’m a freehand girl, so I usually just “go for it”. However, if you’re more of the planning type, sketch out your idea.  When designing what you will paint on your boot be careful to notice where your boots naturally flex, your paint will eventually wear and crack quicker at these stress points than others … so plan accordingly.

5.) Now you are ready to paint! If your boots are very dark in color you may want to begin with a priming layer of white.  This will help your colors pop better and not soak into the leather as much. Make sure you let the paint dry completely. Now is also the time to use a pencil to draw your design on your boot, if you’re not going to paint freehand.  Start painting and creating!

6.) It’s important to let your paint dry completely in between coats and it’s always best to build up light layers of paint rather than thick gloppy ones … take your time and have patience for best results.  You can also flex the boot several times in between coats of paint; this will help work the paint into the creases and give longer life to your paint job.

7.) When you are completely satisfied with your boots you can seal them with clear sealer in a finish of your choice, my preference is matte. I like to put up to three coats of sealer on my boots, letting each one dry completely in the sun in between coats.
8.) Hope to see you at the ball wearing and enjoying your "new" boots!!



May 1, 2011

Porch of the Month ... May

Welcome to Sweden and the porch of Therese Martensson and family.
{all photography courtesy of homeowner}

Therese describes her decorating style as ... "... a mix of everything that is old-style and in light coulours, I'm very inspired by Shabby chic, French country and Scandinavian white. But I'm also very fond of the 40's floral style (love those beautiful floral barkcloth fabrics). My home is a mix of everything and anything but not modern. My stepdaughter says that I only have wretched things in my home. I'm an notorious collector of anything that amuses me or is a bit odd. Fleamarkets and yard sales is my market. I rather not paint furniture if they're not damage in any way."
Therese and her family have lived here for only one short year ... originally the porch was a "dullish brown hue and looked very dull, like a hole in the wall inspite of it's size."

For Spring, Theresa has adorned her freshly painted porch with flowers from her local garden shop.
Beautiful mix of pale color and texture ....
Perfect spot on the day bed for reading magazines ...

Simple and quiet touches of nature ... in the form of an iron bird , live plants, and a seashell.
"From spring to autumn we spend our lunches, dinners and evenings on the porch. We often invite our friends for barbecue and porch dinners. On warm summer nights, when the children are asleep we tuck together on the old iron bed and wait for the bats to fly in the porch chasing flies or count the seconds between lightning and thunder. I've been thinking of buying a mosquito-net to hang over the bed, then I could sleep there the whole night."
 Table set for guest

A cozy throw to keep you warm on cold evenings ...

A wind chime made of silverware and crystal prisms hangs above the table and chairs... in Sweden it is an old tradition to hang something dangling over the table.
Therese's home was built in the 40's ... however, the porch was an addition made to the house in the 80's.
The view from the back porch ... overlooks a meadow that changes with the seasons.
Therese describes the history behind the red paint ... "This is how many Swedish houses look like, they are in wood and painted red (burnt iron oxide), the most common color since 300 years and is locally made from sludge from the mine in this town."
You can visit more with Therese over at her blog "Linnea pa landet" ... I know she would love your company and letting her know what you think of her wonderful Swedish porch!
I think it's just perfect !!

Feel free to link below anything you would like to share about your porch.