A Winter Tea

Hello everyone,
On this sunny cold beautiful winter day ~ I am happy to have
you join me for a cup of hot tea where we can be warm and cozy
by the stove but enjoy the sparkling white snow from the window.

I am using my brown and white transferware again.

                                                                A winter bouquet.

                                 Help yourself to a gingerbread cupcake. Please overlook the messy
                                decorating job I did  on the icing ~ especially all you foodies.

The snow is piling up out there. It seems every few days lately we get another fresh supply.

Well ,another year is almost over and a brand new one ready to begin so I want to wish you
all health and happiness for 2014.
I am joining Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.

Happy New Year!

Thank you to all who have visited and left lovely comments for me this past year.


Down to Earth Favorites of 2013

this was posted at the end of 2012 but was viewed lots during 2013
Decorating with Old Windows and Where to Find Them
Muslin Rag Wreath for Spring
Homemade Strawberry Jam
Aging Wood and Other Projects...Uniquely
Wreaths...Lots of Them
8 Easy, Charming Details for Home
Rustic, Recycled...beautiful

Our House Tour continues to be pinned from most on this blog with 1,451,062 views to date.
And A Salvaged Frame continues to be the most popular post for this blog with 317,495 views to date.
This is where I showed you how to use Vaseline to create a 'chippy' paint look.
Haven't seen that yet? CLICK HERE.
(we LOVE chippy paint)

see what you loved in 2012 HERE

Well, I need to get ready for our New Years Party!
(I am hosting =/ )
Have fun and BE SAFE!!!
Happy 2014!!!

Christmas Vignettes

                                                                 Hello everyone,
                     With another year almost over, I thought I would start wrapping up the season by
                     sharing some Christmas mosaics.
         I love this unusual not quite teal transferware teacup that I got last year from Emmett & Ellie's in town.
         The red and white transferware plate on the bottom also came from Emmett & Ellie's and my toile
          santa from Winner's.
                           I didn't seem to get around to sharing all my Christmas decorating this year
                           ~ it seems a couple of little trips away set me back a bit. However, there was no
                           shortage of beautiful homes to see all decked out for Christmas and I sure did enjoy
                           peeking into their cozy nests!

Our little 'Boathouse' on a silent winter night.

I have to say it is quite a trek down there with all the soft snow this year.

We seem to be getting snow everyday almost this December and it is starting to pile up! It has been one
of the prettiest Decembers in awhile but it has not been windy so it is piling on roofs and decks etc.
making for a lot more shoveling but safer driving.

Today, I am joining Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Thank you for visiting,


{Primp} My Primer - distressing techniques

When I feel like doing a project...I want to do it NOW and fast. Our bench in the foyer was a dark wood. Pretty, but shows every little bit of dust and dirt.

Since our muddy shoes go here and this is the foyer/mudroom - I don't want the dirt to be seen so easily. I painted and distressed it in less than 2 hours...Here's how:
1 - Sand the surface with a fine grit paper such as a 180 to 220 grit. I used a feather duster to remove excess dust (a tack cloth would be best but I don't have those today). If you want a really "chippy paint look" use THIS technique before spray painting.

2 - I am still a huge fan of spray paint. In this case I used what was in my garage. It happened to be gray auto primer - Yup! Nothing fancy. Cover the whole piece as much as possible. I used one whole can (not worrying about the bottom of the bench) It dries fast. 

3 - Now to dry brush. Spray painting can sometimes look thinner in some areas if the furniture isn't covered evenly but no worries - you can make up for that in this step. I am using Bin Primer in white (again, using what was in my garage - also, primers dry FAST and stay on great) The dry brush technique is a little tricky because you have to be careful with how much pressure you apply the paint with. 

- - Dip an inexpensive brush (just the tips) lightly into the paint/primer. I use the inside of the lid to dab off excess paint - making it "dry".
- - Following the grain of the wood (even though you can't really see it) use a feathering stroke trying to keep the stroke straight and long. As the paint on the brush dries, you can apply more pressure. Then re-dip into the paint. If you get parts of paint that are too heavily covered then, again, no worries. Our next step will take care of that. The middle photo above shows what your paint may look like.

4 - Use a 150 to 180 grit sand paper to distress edges. Here is where the pressure you use is key. Use the edges of your orbital sander to "dig" into the wood where you want more wood to come through. Don't use this grit for the whole thing - just for the spots you want mostly distressed.
You will get little 'wear spots' like these.

5 - Since I am using primers - I don't really have to wait in between steps because the paints dry as fast as I work - :) ! OK so on to the next step. This is the best finishing step ever! Change out your sand paper to 220 grit paper. Sand the whole thing until it is all baby-butt smooth. Run your hands over it - it should feel like butter when you are done. If not, sand a little more. My paints are super flat because they are actually just primer. This step "polishes" them and blends all the different paint layers together. You will see even your dry brush strokes start to look less "brushed" on and more blended.
6 - Now - you could stop here if you like the look. Just wash it down and put it back in place. I wanted to make the colors more rich with stain. (I was rushed at this point because my family was getting ready to go to Bush Gardens - I hurried but it still worked out great) 
- - Put on a glove so you don't mess up your manicure. I use paper towels but old t-shirts work best. Dip towel in a dark stain (mine is Minwax - dark walnut because it isn't pink or orange). Rub stain on the exposed wood first then continue to the whole piece -even all the painted parts. Throw that towel or t- shirt to the side and get a fresh one. Start wiping the stain off. Not working completely? Get some vegetable oil, baby oil, olive oil or what ever you have and pour some on your towel. Start wiping where the stain is too thick. Use circular motions and rub, rub and rub. Do you love it yet? This is the best weapon for glazing. I showed you HERE IN THIS POST a while back.
Ok what time is it? Time to go with the family.....by the time we get completely dizzy and sick at Bush Gardens - my bench will be dry.
LESS THAN 2 HOURS DONE- just dry time is left.
I play while it dries. I bet the dust and dirt won't show so much on this painted bench.
(Mazi thinks this is her photo shoot but at least you can see that her hair is growing back)
Here are some close ups of the "knarly" parts of the paint that we all love.
See the white brush strokes?
It's blended and soooooo smooth to the touch.
Before was pretty but now I won't have to dust as much.
Easy cleaning, easy updates and fast projects. That's for me!
If you like the scrap wood back to my bench you can see that post HERE.
Another reason why I like the bench painted is that the flooring in the foyer is a slightly different color than the kitchen floors so there aren't as many colors of competing woods in this area.
When distressing - it doesn't have to be perfect - too perfectly placed distress marks make it look fake. Try my techniques and let me know how they work for you on my FACEBOOK page HERE.
BTW...Bush Gardens was way fun. Christmas Town was amazing but next year we are not going on a Saturday - too crowded!

Sharing with: Knick of Time, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
This post was featured at ...
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Snowy Days!

The first two photos with the snowflake effect were sent to me from Helene an artist from France ~
Helene choose these two pics from my blog and added the snowflakes and sent them to me....
thank you, Helene!  Now, if you have not visited Helene Flont before I know you will enjoy 
your visit as she has one of the coziest Christmas settings in her last post but also she 
paints beautiful pictures of roses etc. and has an amazing garden besides. To see
her art go to the blog on her sidebar or click here.

                                               The lilacs are covered in snow.
Definitely, lots of snow for Christmas!

                I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas. We had a beautiful white one here with the
                          the trees all laden with snow,some gently falling snowflakes and even a little sunshine.
                          However,everyday we seem to get a little more snow and another storm is on
                          the way for Sunday!
                                               Thank you for your visit,

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