Sunday, February 24, 2013

Before and After: Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Armoire

I've been curious about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint for a while now. People talked about this magical paint that sticks to everything without primer, and looks buttery smooth after a good waxing. I'd never seen it in person though, and the idea of ordering something that costs around 35.00 a quart sight unseen from an online vendor was not appealing.

If you're wondering, "What is Annie Sloan Chalk Paint?" Click here to go to the website for all the deets.

Anyway, my friend Sara bought some chalk paint in Tampa! She showed me her Annie Sloan Chalk Painted furniture, and it was so pretty, and smooth, and she loved it. It almost convinced me to order it online!  And then,  she told me I didn't have to order it online! There's a little shop half an hour away that sells it.

I finally went over there the other weekend to check it out. The shop is delightful!  It's the Sweet South Cottage, and they sell custom painted furniture, and cute shabby chic decor in addition to the ASCP. Everyone was so nice, and I even got to chat with the shop owner and catch a glimpse of some of her recent projects. 

They have a studio out back where they work on projects, offer painting workshops for groups, and they even rent it out for parties. It's basically the cutest thing I've ever seen.

It's a place of old ladders, old windows, exposed beams, and pretty stenciled floors. And through the windows you can see the shop owner's house that has turrets and gables and is painted in all the colors of soft delicious cotton candy. I want to go to there.

Side note: The drive out to the store was so pretty. This was early February, and these little white flowers were blooming all along the side of the highway. I was thinking about how glorious the weather is, and how people in other places are actually building snowmen right now, while I cruise down the road in 75 degree weather, looking at the closest to snowbanks Florida has to offer.  (So, of course, I stopped to take a picture like a crazy person. Thats normal...)

 Anyway, I finally got the chance to try out the fabled Annie Sloan Chalk Paint! I bought a quart of "Coco" and got to work painting the dresser we had stripped and sanded the weekend before.

Without further ado, I bring the very poorly lit before and almost after of the little dresser that fell into our laps at the most opportune moment:

Tiny dresses!! They make me talk in a high pitched voice and I can't help but throw the door open and show Cory itsy bitsy clothes every chance I get. He loves it.

Anyway, back to the paint.  I know you don't have to strip and sand before you use the paint. Thats kind of the whole point. But, the dresser was in bad, bad shape. The polyurethane had bubbled up over the years leaving a thick, scaly texture all over wood. So, we had to sand for a while to prep it. (Strike 1, not the paint's fault)

The sample color of "Coco" lead me to believe that the color has more of a chocolatey tone, but it really reads as more of a beigey gray on my dresser.  I swear, even the sample in the store looked a little darker. I don't know if I just got a fluke quart of paint, or maybe I didn't stir the paint well enough? I may try the dark wax on it later, to see if that deepens the color to more what I was expecting. (Strike 2)
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco, sample via

Overall, I like the finish a lot. Once I went over everything with steel wool it became super smooth and will only get better once I finish applying the wax (I said it was an almost after). The paint went on really well with 2 coats, and the coverage was good. For a piece that didn't need the sanding to fix the surface problems, it would definitely be a time saver.

I'm glad I tried it. I would  use it again for big pieces like dressers and tables that I really like, and plan to keep for a long, long time (at 35.00 per quart, momma's gotta love it to spend the dough). Next time, before I leave the store I'll ask to see a sample of the quart I'm actually buying to ensure I get the color I expect. Luckily I still like this color! So it all worked out.

And, of course, I need some advice. Perhaps you noticed that I have three different knobs on the drawers currently. I was playing around with a few different types from my knob stash (I don't know why I have a knob stash, I just do...), and now I don't know which one I like best! For me, its a tie between option #1 and #3. What's your vote?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Story: Boyd and Juanita Bobo

 In honor of the day of love, I'm posting our parent's and grandparent's love stories (a project I've been meaning to do for the past 2.5 years...)

This is the story of how my Mom's parents met. It's devastatingly romantic. Wartime romance always is. Prepare yourself.

The Love Story of Boyd and Juanita Bobo

One night Boyd's brother invited him to attend a Mormon dance. Boyd wasn't a Mormon, and he wasn't much for dancing, but he decided to come along anyway.

When they arrived, Boyd saw the most beautiful girl. Her name was Juanita. They really hit it off,  and they began to exchange letters while Boyd was gone for Navy training.

After several months, Boyd came home on leave. He met up with Juanita as soon as he could. They borrowed $7.00 from his brother Dewey to pay for the license, and were married on essentially their second date!
He always said, "Juanita sure could write a letter."

Shortly after their wedding, Boyd was deployed. While at sea, his ship was hit, and one half was completely obliterated. Boyd was on the lucky half, and made it home to Juanita safely.When he arrived home, he was greeted by his lovely wife, and he met his son, Boyd Jr., for the first time.

Love Story: Ralph and Nancy Clark

 For our wedding in 2010, I asked for our parent's and grandparent's love stories. I wouldn't really say that they loved writing out all of these details, but apparently I was demanding enough that they complied. I don't regret it one bit. These are priceless!

I can't think of anything I'd rather do on Valentine's day than publish these sweet stories, so here we go :)

Cory's Grandpa Ralph wrote down what he remembers from his earliest days with his wife Nancy. Ralph passed away in 2010, which makes his account that much more precious.

The Love Story of Ralph and Nancy Clark
As told by Ralph Clark

"The first time I saw Nancy, she was around nine years old. I had left my bike out in the yard while I went in to make a sandwich  When I cam back outside, lo and behold! I caught Nancy and my sister Omega stealing my bike! That was a very big deal to me in those days. I chased them down, and gave them both a piece of my mind.

Time went on and when I was about 19 years old, Omega thought I needed to have a girlfriend. She asked if I'd like to have a date with a girl named Nancy. Well, I considered the offer, and decided, why no go out with Nancy for the heck of it?"

"I waited in the car for Omega and Nancy to come out. to this day I'll never forget how beautiful Nancy was when she walked around the car to get in the front seat next to me.

Well, we've been married over 60 years, she's still beautiful and I've never regretted one moment of our life together."

If that wasn't sweet enough, get a load of this wedding story! Nancy and Ralph had been dating for a few months. One night as they drove around together, they decided they would get married. So, that's what they did! Nancy was just 16 years old! Ralph dropped her back of at her house in the morning, and then went home and confessed what they had done. They looked at him in shock, and then said, "Well, go get your wife!"  And they spent the next 60 years raising their family together.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

In her own little corner, with her own little chair.

Let's talk baby rooms. Due to space limitations, I'm not decorating a nursery. Little baby Allen will get a corner of our room for the first little while, and if she's lucky we might upgrade her to the second bedroom in our apartment once Cory graduates and doesn't practically live sitting at his desk in our second bedroom hunched over his textbooks. We'll see. 

While she won't have a room of her own, I do have lots of ideas to squeeze into her little nursery corner. When people ask me what the theme is, I can't really say...and when I try it comes out to "loosely vintage and peachy/minty colors with random stuff I like and a 1950's-1970's toys vibe." Then they nod their head and say, "Oh that sounds very...nice. I'm sure it'll look so cute..." And  then we talk about something else.

 Its hard to put it into words. I'll let this not at all to scale hod podge of pictures do the splainin'.

Crib fabric: Riley Blake, Fly a Kite Ice Cream Pink
Crib: Davinci Jenny Lind in Cherry
Rocker: Ikea Poang
Rug: Urban Outfitters, Scalloped Eyelet 

So, that's the idea. What would you call it?

 My friend Joanna very generously offered to make the crib skirt and bumpers (!! I know!) so I began the hunt for the perfect fabric. Fabric shopping is probably one of the things I'm the worst at. After about an hour in Joann's one Saturday, strolling through every aisle about 10 times and not finding ANYthing I could commit to, I called my sister Jackie, the fabric guru. She spent a few days working on it, and then found the most beautiful and perfect one in the whole world. She's pretty good.

As for the armoire, I was keeping my eyes, and found a gorgeous antique one for about $250.00. I tried to justify the purchase just wasn't happening. But its a good thing, because my mom's neighbor had an old wardrobe he wasn't using and she got it for a steal! Like, $25.00. North Carolina is seriously the land of sweet deals on old crap.  Apparently the dresser needs a lot of work, but that's not exactly something new for my furniture. We're sanding and fixing it up this weekend. I'll let you know how that goes.

And there you have it--a little vintagey nursery nook for Baby Allen. What do you think?

Also, we're in the last 100 days till this baby arrives! Just about 3 months to go!