Lots of new items have been added to my booth at Odd Balls Antiques & More.

It’s all decorated for the holidays – well, as much as a 4×6 space can be.  I made a curtain out of a gorgeous vintage table cloth to brighten the space.  I also have some adorable retro Christmas ornaments for sale for only $2 each!  I think they would look great featured in a glass bowl as a centerpiece on your holiday table. Or they’ll add a bit of whimsy along with your own cherished family ornaments.

I’ve also added a few new mirrors.  I love the curvy lines of the blue mirror below.

I hope you get a chance to stop by the shop this season.  Antiques and hand painted items make great gifts for that person on your list that has everything.  You’ll know that you’re giving them something one-of-a-kind that can’t be bought in a “big-box” store.

Through the holidays, everything in my booth is 20% off!

Thanks for reading!

It was a busy weekend, and I was finally able to finish up a few projects that had been starting to pile up.

I got this cute curvy mirror a few weeks ago at my very first online estate sale auction – my new addiction.  I’ll write about it in detail sometime soon, but just think of it as eBay up the street.  You can check the items out ahead of time, go home and bid on them in your pajamas, and then pick them up the next day.  So much fun!!

I had initially intended to paint the mirror pink.  I’m just dying to paint something a soft pale pink – but it was calling out to be antique white.  The morning I was going to take it to the shop, I passed by my awful spray-painted-silver plastic mirror in our office and decided I’d keep the white one instead.

This weekend I also finished this cute retro mirror that my friend, Catherine picked up for me at the Goodwill Outlet.  You know, the “pay-by-the-pound” place hereafter to be referred to solely as “The Pound.”

I painted it a soft aqua color and lightly distressed it.

I think this would look awesome in a foyer or over a dresser, as I’m sure it was originally intended.  I think it could be cool in a bathroom as well instead of your standard frameless mirror (I hate those!).

Right now I have it listed on craigslist since I don’t have room for it in my little booth at the antique shop.  We’ll see how that goes.

I just finished this chair this morning.  I found her on the top shelf at a local thrift shop about a week ago.  I had to ask an employee to verify the price tag when I saw they wanted a whopping…are you ready for this… $1.98!

That’s how I found her!

The chair was in really good shape – no holes in the caning, and had very few dings on the legs.  I knew she’d look great with a coat of paint and some funky fabric.

Here she is when I got her home.

First I removed the seat and painted the chair a peacock blue.   (Kinda addicted to that color right now!)  I decided to leave the caning on the back natural because, well, I just like how it looks.  Actually, that’s only partly true.  The whole truth is that I’m such a sloppy painter, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to control the drips that would surely find their way between the cane.  In any case, I left it au natural, and I think it looks great.

After the blue dried, I “dry-brushed” on antique white.  Basically what that means is that you get a little paint on your brush, then sorta dab most of it off.  Then you haphazardly apply it over the white, wiping it off as you go.

You can see how the blue shows through.

After giving the entire chair a light sanding, I distressed the edges and then sealed the finish with a coat of clear wax.

This morning I covered the chair with the aqua and lime green fabric from Joann Fabrics. This was my first ever attempt at recovering a chair, and I must say, it was harder than I thought it would be to get it straight.  The corners were the most challenging part.

It takes a lot of finessing to make the deliberately uneven finish look even.

This chair is being sold at my new favorite consignment store, Revival in Gayton Crossing in the West End of Richmond. It is a super-cute shop and the merchandise changes every day.

Here’s another of my mirrors currently for sale at Revival:

Yes, another mirror painted blue.  Perhaps I need to branch out to a new color family.  Any suggestions?!

So that’s what I was up to this weekend! Thanks for reading!

In my last post I shared about the DIY “chalk paint” that I use on all my projects.  Among the things I love about this paint (no priming required and one coat coverage, just to name a few) is that you can just as easily paint wood as plastic and metal.

One of my favorite things to paint (besides mirrors and frames) is old brass – lamps especially.  You may remember these that I did recently.  I scored the pair at a yard sale for $3 and totally transformed them with just a little peacock blue paint.

My friend liked them so much that she asked me to paint an old lamp she had sitting around.

Here it is before.

It’s your standard run-of-the-mill metal lamp.  It has good curves though, so we knew it would look cute with a fresh coat of paint.

First I cleaned the lamp with a Clorox wipe.  I generally use these on my wood projects as well.

Since I already had the paint mixed up ( I add Plaster of Paris to Behr’s paint and primer in one) I was ready to paint.  I did two coats because I wanted nice solid coverage. Unlike wood, which I can sometimes get away with doing only one coat, I find that metal usually looks better with two.

I allowed the paint to dry over night and then sanded it lightly with 600 grit paper.  Since the paint is kinda “chalky,” there is always a bit of white residue when you sand.  This wipes off and then disappears once you apply the wax. More on that later.

This is how the finish looked after sanding.

Once I wiped it clean, it was time to distress.  My friend wanted a little of the silver showing through, so I grabbed my 120 grit sandpaper and lightly hit the edges.  You need to use a very light hand when distressing metal, or you will chip off large pieces of the paint.

The silver shows through nicely on the curves of the lamp.

Next came my favorite part of the whole chalk paint process. The waxing.  I love to wax!

No, not that kind of waxing!  Get your mind out of the gutter.  You know I am prone to TMI, but do you really think I would announce that kind of thing on a blog?  Anyway…the wax.

Remember I told about Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint?  Well, even though I make my own paint rather than paying her $38 for a quart, I did spurge on her wax.  The wax is the finishing touch to the paint process.

The wax is clear and feels soft like margarine. You apply it with a large brush or cloth.

You can see how the wax evens out the color.  It seals it and gives it a smooth finish. Once the wax is dry, you buff it out with a lint-free cloth.  I usually use my husband’s old tee shirts.  God knows he had enough of them with yellow pits that I could commandeer.  Kinda sad, but it really says more about my laundry skills than his sweat production.

Here’s an up-close shot of the finish.

What a difference, huh?  I hope Shannan likes her lamp!

Do you have an old metal lamp or outdated mirror that needs restyling?  I hope this little tutorial will motivate you to give it a try. Or if you’re not willing to tackle it yourself, let me know.  I’d be happy to help!

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Have you heard of chalk paint??

No?  Well, as of a few months ago, neither had I.  Over breakfast, my friend told me about a very exclusive line of paint called Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint.  She extoled the virtues of this miraculous paint.  What’s so great about it?   You don’t need to sand before painting.  You don’t need to prime before painting.  It goes on smoothly, dries quickly, and with little effort, you get that popular vintage-y “shabby chic” look.  After hearing about it for the first time, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some!

For years I’ve had furniture just begging to be painted… an Ikea bookcase, an outdated coffee table, and a tacky brass lamp… just to name a few.  But the work involved with the whole sand-prime-paint charade turned me off.  Until then!

This end table took 3 coats of satin-finish to cover and I obsessed over every brush stroke. With chalk paint, the brush strokes seem to disappear.

Where was this chalk paint months ago when I was 9 months pregnant on my hands and knees, sanding and painting coat after coat on this 70’s coffee table?

Where was it, you ask?!  Uh, only all over the Internet.   Doh!

You know how it feels when you show up late to a party and everyone else already has their buzz on? Apparently everyone in the blogosphere but me knew how great this stuff is and has been using it to paint the most amazing furniture.

My first thought: Must. Get. Some. Now.  You grab the baby; I’ll grab the keys!

But wait!  What?  This Annie Sloan stuff is $38 a quart!  A quart?!  On to Plan B.

Enter DIY chalk paint.  For a girl like me, with more creativity than cash, the make-at-home version was right up my alley.  Before I plunked down the dough for the good stuff, I wanted to see if I could make it myself.

The Internet abounds with chalk paint recipes that claim to be very similar to this Annie Sloan stuff.  Some very smart people out there figured out that if you take Plaster of Paris or even unsanded grout, and mix it with a little water and paint, you get a product with similar properties as Annie Sloan’s coveted formula.

For every decorating blog out there, there’s a different DIY chalk paint recipe.  For my projects I use roughly 1 part Plaster of Paris to 2 parts paint.

Basically I mix a little less than 4 oz of unsanded grout and water and then add it to a sample size of Behr (Home Depot) paint and primer in one product.

I have been thrilled with the results of my paint.  It is super easy to apply, and in some cases I only need one coat.  I attribute this more to the “paint and primer in one” paint than to the grout, but whatever it is, I love it!

 

This is just one coat of “Anonymous” paint by Behr – a very warm grey color.

I’m still looking forward to checking out “the real thing.”  Annie Sloan’s paint is only sold at a few select boutiques around the country and online.  Luckily for me, there’s a “Stockist” (the term for retailers who carry her line of paint) only 30 minutes from my house in Ashland.   As soon as I sell an organ to pay for it have the time, I’m going to get some and see what all the fuss is about.  Until then, I’m more than happy with my version.

 

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With the onset of winter, yard sale season is coming to a close, so I’m really relishing these last few Saturdays I have left.  This past weekend was the first really cold yard sale morning, so I busted out my wool coat and headed out.  There were only three within a five mile radius of my house.  How did I know?

Let me introduce you to  www.gslar.com  It is a free website that maps out yard sales in your area.  Once you register, you go in and add your zipcode and how many miles you’re willing to travel for bargains.  The site then pulls down all the ads from local papers and craigslist and sends you a report.   You tell them when you want to be notified.

I usually get my email on Friday night.  The site even allows you to plan your route so you can maximize your time out, like if you have a nursing baby at home and can only be away a few hours, or something like that.

So, as I said, there were only 3 sales within a five mile radius of my house, so I planned to hit all three of them.

The first one was actually in the back of my neighborhood.  My 10-year-old is really into cars these days and I found a car book and a model Mustang for him for $1.50 total.

The next sale was on River Rd.  River Road is where people with “old Richmond money” live.  So of course I had high expectations.   Let’s just say it didn’t live up to my expectations.  The old lady who was running the sales proclaimed herself to be “blind as a bat.”  But I tell ya what, she was keeping a good eye on those prices and was not willing to negotiate.  No worries.

Much to most seasoned “yard-salers” dismay, I seldom ask for a discount.  I appreciate the work that goes into holding a yard sale.  They obviously want to get as much as they can for their crap and sometimes I feel like asking for them to take less is offensive.  What’s a dollar or two to me in the grand scheme of things?  Not much.

Sometimes if I’m getting several items from one person, I will ask for a few bucks off the sticker price.   For example, if I have 3 items that come to $7 you may say, “Will you take five for all this?” as you’re handing them the money.  Most people will accept that.

From Mrs. River Road I bought a brand new pair of suede flats.  Apparently my foot grows half a size every time I have a baby, and this time was no different.  Anyone need any size 9s?   I have a closet full.

I also scored another Christmas sweater.  Ever since my bff Halle announced her annual holiday party was going to be a “Tacky Christmas Sweater” party, I’ve been obsessed with finding them.  You may remember the one I found at Goodwill Outlet and this one did not disappoint either.

It is a Plus Size woman’s vest and will look AMAZING on my brother-in-law, Glenn.  In fact, I can’t wait to see him in it.  As of this writing, I’m not sure he even knows about the party, much less the sweater, but whatever!

After I left River Road, I headed back toward my house and saw a sign for a sale.   The sign advertised tools, and since I’m in the market for a saw, I thought I’d stop in.

 

I knew just a little paint would make this adorable.

The first thing I saw was this shelf.  A friend of mine has asked me to keep my eye out for a display shelf for her daughter’s ceramic egg collection.  For a $1 I thought I’d get it just in case it would work for her.

It’s not the right size and doesn’t have glass, so I am going to use it as a display shelf in my booth at the antique shop.

I also scored 8 vintage silk scarves at this sale.  They were a quarter each.  I don’t know much about the value of vintage scarves; I just like them.  On Etsy, name-brand scarves can fetch up to $25 or more.  I think the most valuable one was an Oscar de la Renta.

The most unique and my favorite by far was this green and navy one.  It is labeled June Critchfield from 1979 and is a depiction of the National Mall in Washington, DC.  Its complete with the Capitol at one end and the Washington Monument at the other with traffic in the middle.  No wait.  That’s not right. Sorry.  That was my PTTSD (Post Traumatic Traffic Stress Disorder) rearing its ugly head.

Actually I think this scarf is super-cool and would awesome framed.  Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet.  I may give it to a DC friend for her birthday.

The last thing I bought were these two little handmade (in 1963) wooden stars for a quarter each.  I’ve already painted them a bright avocado green and think they would look adorable as Christmas decorations.  They’ll be going in the shop this week.

So all in all, my Saturday yard sale adventure, I spent $12 and had a whole lotta fun.

Thanks for reading!