Thursday, September 30, 2010

A couple WhiteBerry additions

And the card pull obsession continues...
But first I want to share this lovely antique french chair I picked up recently while auctioning with Rebecca. We were chatting away, paying very little attention (as per usual) when this guys comes up to bat and we both went silent! It was just so pretty, I can't believe I didn't scope it out before the auction started.
I was happy to see there was virtually zero interest in it (which I am sad to say wasn't the case for a beautiful old library cabinet I wanted...). The arms were pretty worn and it is obvious that it had been professionally restored at some point, but not recently.
So we went all white, then hand painted the body of the chair grey, leaving the cane work white.
I love all the carvings in the seat back.
Photobucket as well as the seat base and legs.
And while the library cabinet I had my eye on didn't come home with us, I decided to use the color and handles I would have used on it on this giant old dresser I had laying around.
Photobucket It is probably the single heaviest dresser I've ever worked with. With all 9 drawers out Sean and I still had to exert ourselves to get it in the house (or maybe it was just me).
It is a Thomasville dresser, whose furniture I have always loved so that explains the heavy-duty construction. My favorite part of the dresser is the columns though.
And my love affair with antique brass/grey combos surfaced again.
I think it might actually be the perfect length for this wall, so if it stays a while I will be very pleased (I know, I said that about the last one too, but it has since gone on to new horizons).
If I can find some time to breakout the camera this afternoon, I will be back with a handful of other newbies going up on WhiteBerry, if not see you tomorrow for Fresh Coat Friday!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saucy Succulents

Last January I popped a little succulent into my cart at Home Depot after seeing it sitting so lonesome in the clearance aisle. Over the last six months it has flourished under my lack of attention and chronic under-watering.
So when my thyme all went the way of the dinosaurs late in August I knew what would probably be the best choice for replacing it.

I LOVE the look of thyme, but it just doesn't work indoors in our dry climate for the winter. So I am hoping these new succulents will do just as well as their little friend!
Besides knowing that they are succulents I haven't the slightest notion as to what they are.
I wanted a bit of variation so I went with some pokey looking fellas as well as some lamb's ear softies.
My next Fall update will be taking place on this bench so stay tuned for the mini-makeover~

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let's Chat, Shall We?

Preface: Ok, I wrote this on Saturday when mid-post my computer dies! It is now Tuesday... so excuse any incomplete thoughts.

Our day started off with a bang, literally! Wren and I were playing in the living room when a bird hit our front window.... then within a few seconds 3 more plowed into it as well. We quickly put on our shoes and set up a search for the victims in the massive shrubbery in front of our house (that is not very friendly I might add, poking me constantly with thorns). We were forced to call off the search after only locating one little guy.
I refused to touch him with my bare hands so I used a bread bag to rescue him and set him in some dirt to recover. Wren loved looking at him and kept saying "Baby Bird, hurt!". But about 2 hours later we watched him flutter off, so it looks like our little patient recovered.

And now that I actually have about 2 minutes to sit down and type while Wren naps I wanted to catch up with you all! There is really no excuse for it, but I am extremely extremely overwhelmed with emails. I am sure I have mentioned it here about a hundred times already, so I apologize for the monotony, but there is simply no possibility of me tackling them all. And quite frankly I have been happy to even have 10 minutes a day at the computer lately as Wren has suddenly abandoned her mid-day nap (I'm hoping it's a temporary thing!!!) and I barely have the energy capable to form a complete sentance at 11pm when I settle down for the evening.

So I am going to answer all the most pressing questions I see right here, then transfer them to the FAQ section. But please know that if I had the time I would LOVE to shoot the breeze and chat with you, and that as soon as I open your email (I try to at least read them all!) I consider you one of my furniture painting sisters, or in the rare instance, brother. And if you have asked for creative advice, well let's just call it a blessing in disguise that I haven't steered you in some horribly wrong direction causing you unnecessary heartache and stress. Because you really don't need it either, I promise! So many of you have it going on already.

But for those of you who have asked these questions repeatedly, here is my response.

What color is this wall:


Easy! That is Windham from Pratt & Lambert. I always list paint sources for each room under Tour Our Renos.

Another question I see regularly is " What is your favorite white paint"?
If you haven't heard back from me, it is because I really don't have an answer for that question (along with a ton of other questions LOL). If you want to find a shade that works for your needs be sure to take into account the type of lighting (warm/cold, west/east) and what time of day you use it, because walls (and furniture) look different in different rooms at different times. And always take advantage of paint swatches and those 4 oz testers.
If you have asked about a color on a particular piece of furniture, unfortunately I custom mix my colors with various mistints and don't have any info as far as brand and color name.

If you have asked about paint guns or compressors I really really really advise you to make your decision after talking with a very knowledgable sales associate. Your gun should not be based on what I use, but what compressor you have!!! It can be a really fun thing to play with, but it can truly be dangerous if used improperly.

As for Verathane, several of you have notified me that it is not available at your local stores. I am sooo sad to hear this because I have nothing but wonderful things to say about it. Unfortunately I don't have another brand I can recommend because they are all I use.

You guys are so inventive, and everytime I think I have been asked everything I usually see a new question pop up. Like "why do you like white so much?" (I'll leave that one to a therapist), "should I paint my great great great grandmother's dining room table" (yikes, I don't that kind of pressure on me people!!), or one of my personal favorites "How many dust bunnies would you estimate you pick up on those dark floors everyday?" and the answer for that one is easy: none! Mung Kee does all the mopping around here.

But in all seriousness, thank you soooo much for taking the time to say hello! That is always what moves me so much, that you would take the time out of your day to introduce yourself. I am always so flattered and appreciative that you even stop by here to see what we have gotten ourselves into now.
Now let's take a time warp back from Saturday, to today, Tuesday...........
Now that I have my laptop back (thanks Sean, and the Geek Squad!!!) I have some catching up to do! You might have noticed that Whiteberry has been pretty barren lately, which is due to the wonderful clients that have been keeping me gratefully busy. But with the laptop down I seem to have found a few extra hours to pump out a bunch of cool, new items... funny how that works.
So I have some really neat Whiteberry stuff to show you this week, as well as some fall decorating and just a few random decor items that I've either just found or purchased with the always lovely Rebecca while out auctioning recently.
Boy am I happy to be back!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fresh Coat Friday!

Hi Buddies! What a whirlwind week it has been here... and I can't even pinpoint what made it feel so hectic. But amidst the usual chaos of renovations and painted furniture I did find time to enjoy a 4 hour trip to the hair salon. My first visit in over 2 years!! My hair is still long, but about 6 inches shorter than when I walked in on Tuesday afternoon. It feels really refreshing, and coincides with the change of seasons perfectly. And to cap our busy week off Wren and I danced our cares away at Salsa Tots. So thank you for your patience, and for stopping by today to take in the latest installment of Fresh Coat Friday!

Last week was a special family edition, and while today's feature is not a member of my family (although I sure wish she was!), she is the mother of another wonderful woman you might remember. Dana introduced herself in one of the sweetest emails (check it out here) I think I've ever had the priviledge of opening. Recently I had the joy of seeing of where Dana's talent orginated, as her lovely mother, Deanie, sent me a fabulous email and agreed to open her guest room to us.

Her talent has touched every thing you see in the room and so I will step aside an let her tell you about it.

"We just got home from being out of town for two weeks and was catching up on my favorite blogs and you mentioned sending in pictures of our guest rooms so I thought I would include our guest bedroom. As you can see, I have painted most of the pieces in this room. The bed I bought partially painted and had to finish it. The armoire has been painted with layers of whites which is difficult to tell in the photos. The piece with the marble on it was also painted. The small wicker with the Bibles on it has been painted. The mirror frame has been painted. The oil painting I painted out some red on it as I'm not much of a red lover. I tell all my friends that if you stand still long enough in our house that you may very well get a coat of paint on you. I've been doing this for years and love that with just a little bit of paint, a room or a piece of furniture can be transformed. We live in Texas so finally added a few antlers. Those I haven't touched with paint."

"The sideboard in the dining room was a new piece that I bought at an outlet furniture store in North Carolina 20 years ago. It was a tan in color and very boring and when I changed the dining room colors, I had to change that too. I did the layers of gray, starting with a darker color and added different shades in different areas and added the gold in the relief areas."


"The bed I bought from an antique dealer and he had started painting it and I took it further and added more layers of gray and a stain and then sealed it. It wasn't quite the shade of gray that I like so I tweaked it a little. The gold paint on the relief areas is actually the original paint."

"This is a very very old piece, not sure of its age. I put the marble on top. The piece was brown and was so alligatored and had a very warty looking finish so I dry brushed several different shades of gray over the existing texture with watered down latex paint. I loved the texture but the finish had such a dry look which I lived with for years and finally decided to do something about it. "
" This is an old olive jar but was an ugly green color and I wanted a white one for the sunroom. So, I did a little concrete treatment on the outside and then layered with different shades of white paint, sanded down in areas, rubbed with dirt and then sealed it. An old reno to an originally old pot. Had to keep moving the wire on the handle to keep from painting it as I did not want to remove it."
"There are painted pieces in every room in our house. Nothing is the original color. I love to mimic wonderful vintage pieces. Its like a canvas. I've had no art training, just get inspired by what I see and love to reinvent old pieces, the same as you do. After Dana painted a few pieces in her house, she came to the conclusion that she is becoming more like her mother every day. I predict she will far surpass me in every way as she is a very gifted in so many areas of her life.

I hope this will inspire a person today to pick up a paint brush, sprayer, or whatever technique they so desire, and transform someone else's undesirable piece of furniture into a treasure of their own. Its so rewarding and so much fun and feels great to have done it yourself (not to mention that it is far cheaper).

Happy painting and have a blessed day.


THANK YOU so much Deanie for sharing your talent, treasures and lovely home with us!!! I have a feeling you have many guests asking to stay in that gorgeous room and we will be waiting with bated breath for the next glimpse into your beautiful home~

Has your week been particularly crazy as well? Here's where you show me what you've been working on!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A little taste of miracle

Wren and I performed a baking miracle yesterday. We shockingly mastered a batch of macarons.
Photobucket I mean, you are talking to the lady who has her dinners delivered with step by step instructions. The lady who has burnt water, wrecked countless batches of cookies, accidentally made butter while trying to whip cream... for the most part my meals are considered unedible.
but not these!!!
Photobucket It took a lot of patience. A lot of love.
Photobucket But they taste even more divine than they look! (I don' think I've ever said that!!!).
Photobucket I got the recipe here, but we made our own filling by pureeing raspberries into our buttercream icing. Then we had to quickly snap our photos at 11pm last night since we had a feeling they wouldn't last long!
I hope you are having a sweet day as well

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dressing Table

I suck as far as before shots are concerned these days, huh?
This lovely dressing table (which wasn't so lovely at the time) came home with me weeks ago and has been sitting pretty, waiting patiently for me to even take an after shot. It feels good to check it off my list and give her the attention she deserves!
My chairs have temporarily gone back downstairs so she can greet us when we walk in the door.
Photobucket She also has a beautiful, mottled and mercuried mirror, my favorite characteristic in an old mirror.

But I think I like her better without!
This is a really cheap and easy way to re-arrange art, all I did was attach a piece of knotted twine to the back with duct tape (yes, I am fully aware my obsession with twine is borderline scary). And voila! Now I can alternate any of my art in here. I am even debating installing a wall of hooks in my office for this reason alone. But I can't seem to shake the thought that it would just look weird in there.
Now, if you happen to have any warm thougths floating around your brain today feel free to send them our way! We are off to take our boat out at the lake and while Wren and I will be nice and toasty the poor boys will most likely get both cold and wet out there~

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fresh Coat Friday!

Welcome back for another Fresh Coat Friday! For the next several months unfortunately my Friday posts probably won't be until the late afternoon or late on Thursday evening because Wren and I have dance classes, which we like to follow up with coffee or lunch together. It is kind of our special day~
This Friday is a special Fresh Coat Friday because it is the Family Edition! My sister, Torri (check out her blog here), and her fiance recently bought their very first home together and while it looks pretty as can be, it soon turned into a house of horrors as far as paint is concerned. We are talking horrible patches of paint falling off the walls! Thanks to the help of an expert they determined it was the Behr Premium Plus paint the previous owners just applied (I have had bad experiences with it on furniture too, and will never buy the stuff again!).

The solution? sanding the walls down to the sheetrock. Which is a pretty lengthy job if you've ever dealt with something similar. So I really wanted to congratulate them on finally getting the first room they tackled all sanded, primed and finally painted.
Here is the mess after applying light blue paint over tan walls...
and then stripping it all...

But now they are ready for guests to stop by!

The best part about this transformation is that it cost less than $100 (all in paint and supplies), because we wrangled up loose ends and items from various family members to make it happen.

Torri already had the cute lamp, books, nightstand and bedding.

I donated another night stand from my college days.

As well as this chair that had been sitting in a half finished state in my garage for close to 5 months.

But we think the biggest effect came from the drapes! We chose to use a full length rod that spans the whole wall for a little drama.

I have since scored her a really darling spidle-y headboard (only $4!) so it should be fully complete in the coming week.
Their big project is their fabulous master bedroom which has been in progress for a few months now. We are just waiting for a picture window to be installed this month and then we can put the finishing touches in, I cannot wait to show you all the cool things we've got lined up in there!
Now we are looking forward to a little getaway at your place, if you'll have us. Share your guest rooms right here (we promise we'll be good guests!):

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