Friday, May 30, 2014

Back to basics

Life has gotten soooo complicated. I've been unable to concentrate because of feeling overwhelmed. Part of it is because the clinical trial people decided I wasn't quite done. I have to go to Portland 5 more times, and get this: 4 times are just for blood draws. Yep. I have to drive for 10 hours to have a 5 minute blood draw. There's no way around it - it's a closed test so no one in Medford can do the lab work.

And get this, I had to laugh, they want me to do the 24 hour urine test on the way up there on Sunday. Bwah ha ha ha ha. No problem, I figured out what I did wrong. I'm going to Burger King this time.

So, to sooth my troubled mind, I painted a table the old fashioned way: milk paint and wax. Simple.



much later

My internet went down when I needed to straighten out a problem with my prescriptions. As well as write this post. I'm sitting in a coffee shop right now, how's that for dedication?

I used wax as a resist, letting the natural wood show.
I mixed the teal color from a CC Caldwell blue, some green and some white. (Sorry I can't remember the names, and I'm 22 miles from home so I can't go take a quick look.) I splashed the paint on leaving quite a bit of wood. I sanded that when dry and splashed on another coat. I added more white to my teal and some water and did a wash over the whole table, randomly wiping it off as I went.

 It feels like forever ago that I did an inkjet transfer. The Graphics Fairy came through again!

 Now the hard part. 
Measure, weigh and list it on etsy.

Monday, May 26, 2014

and now, the continuing saga

I was going to put on my Sorting Hat and go outside to stare blankly at furniture but then I thought I'd share more joy of cancer treatment instead. Right? You can't have too much cancer treatment. Apparently.

My dark humor is showing.

But first, I went to a huge Estate Sale on Saturday. I was lugging a table around when I ran into a friend who looked pointedly at the table and said "I read your blog this morning." We both burst out laughing until tears came because the post she was referring to was the one were I did Extreme Decluttering and pulled all my extra furniture outside. Busted. Did I get the table? No.

But I bought some really old folding chairs. heh heh heh

Now my little story about going for treatment:

Wonky foot and all, I'm going outside to stare at furniture now. Enjoy your holiday!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Extreme decluttering

So I'm a bit redundant, I can't help it. I WANT to declutter but I couldn't bear to give up anything.

So today I got serious. Really serious. I started taking things out of the house with the idea of moving things back in, maybe in a new spot, maybe where they were. And anything left outside would be sold or stored down in the barn.

When I started pulling things out I had a real eye-opener about how much stuff I have.

Take a look. The two pictures below are of the things I dragged out from the bedroom.

 I can say without a doubt that five doors are sooooo not going back in.

Now we move to the livingroom.

Decisions will need to be made here. There's a church pew hidden behind stuff on the left that I would like to move inside. I'll have to walk around with a measuring tape.

Now the dining room.

It doesn't look like a lot but it was a mess. The door wasn't in a happy place. I love the door and it's staying but I'll have to drag it from room to room to find a spot.

I'll have to do a Part Two where I show what didn't get back into the house.

And right now I need to get out there and start dragging because it looks like rain. Figures!

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

My junking partner

Anyone who has followed my blog for any length of time has read about my in-laws, Mr. Really Bad and Mrs. Infinitely Patient (that just popped into my mind, hope she likes it). Whenever they visit Pat and I try to head out to the sales, leaving our bored-by-that spouses behind. I posted some time ago about a rare find Mr. Really Bad happened on out here in rural Oregon. You can read it here.
Recently there was an article about my father-in-law and Scottish Sword and Shield in their local paper. I'd say the writer captured him perfectly. Read on .......


Federal Way highlanders | local business celebrates traditional Scottish weaponry

Pat Tougher, Scottish Sword - Simon Fox, UW News Lab
Pat Tougher, Scottish Sword and Shield

Sitting in the living room beneath a mantle of swords, shields, and a bust of Thor, you get a sense that medieval Scottish weaponry is more than a career for Pat and Rosalie Tougher - it is an obsession.
"My dad used to tell me I was born in another time because of my fascination with edged weapons," said Pat Tougher, whose family name is pronounced like the "ch" in Loch Ness. Tougher's hands are clothed in scars, the evidence of his weaponry hobby. "I'm a right monster, a lot of people will tell you that," said Pat Tougher. "These are my medals."

But despite his best attempts to come off as an old grizzled curmudgeon, as soon as he refers to his wife Rosalie as "the boss," the act is moot.

Pat Tougher and his wife started their Federal Way business Scottish Sword and Shield in 1989, though he started collecting the weaponry in 1957. "I wasn't a collector, I was a hoarder," said Pat Tougher as he walks into a 10 by 10 room, called the sword room, without an inch of wall space. "When I was younger, I thought there was never enough, but you get older and realize that you can never have it all."

Most of the business that the Tougher's do is at Scottish Highland Games, the biggest of which in the state takes place in Enumclaw each July. At these gatherings, people mostly buy the cheaper weapons, but the internet has provided a medium for the Scottish Sword and Shield to connect with high rollers willing to pay a little more for authenticity. "If you Google antique Scottish swords, I'm the one who comes up," said Pat Tougher. In fact, last year the business sent a Targe (traditional shield) all the way to an Australian collector.

Pat Toughter used to craft most of the weaponry himself but has slowed down. He is now 81.
"We couldn't do it without the kids," he said, referring to setting up the collection of swords at the festivals. By 2007, the Scottish Sword and Shield was making half as much money as they made in the 90s.

However, after walking past wedding pictures in which every Tougher man is wearing traditional highlander attire, you get the sense that the business is secondary to the family that surrounds it.

Aside from two pieces that will be passed down within the Tougher family, everything in the sword room is for sale. When asked what piece is his favorite, Pat Tougher smiles.
"She's sitting in the other room reading a book."
For more information about Scottish Sword and Shield, call 253-661-6193 or visit


We're going to the annual Grant's Pass Antique Street Fair tomorrow. We don't know if our spouses will be joining us. :-)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Such a pretty tower!

Thank goodness for friends looking out for me! A girlfriend texted me about an estate sale she passed on her way to work and as I was close, I turned around and checked it out. Lucky, lucky me!

I bought this pedestal/tower/podium thing and did the happy dance all the way home.

I put a coat of American Paint Co. Home Plate white on it and stood back to admire...... and kick myself because I didn't think to take before pictures. So you'll have to imagine it as dark brown. Plain dark brown. Dark, dark, dark.

Over the Home Plate I layered a wash of Annie Sloan French Linen. To make the details pop I layered more French Linen, wiping off the excess as I went.

It's such a pretty piece and even though it's as heavy as all get out, I keep thinking of it as delicate. Because of that I decided to forgo the dark wax and only did a clear wax finish.

 Just because I wanted to, I did a checkerboard on each side. At the top you can see how loosely I did the wash. I didn't want a painted look, I wanted aged so precision didn't enter the the picture.

I painted over the original pulls and gave them a splash of wash.

It's a functional, pretty thing! Bonus!

 More details

I love the Bombay shape of the bottom. And I love the little feet.

Toe nails!

I'm keeping this one. For a while at least! LOL! I know where it's going to go, I just don't know where the piece of furniture now occupying that space is going to go.

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Friday, May 9, 2014

Age and Patina in France and how you can get the look

While in France my three traveling companions concentrated on taking photos of the sites. I, on the other hand, was searching for colors, authentic patinas and old hardware. My task was a little challenging in that sometimes people were sitting on the objects I wanted to crawl around looking for the best chippy/peely. Most of the time I couldn't get close enough to a set of shutters or a door. This is what I did manage:

This is a detail of a wall in Versailles. It was beautiful!

My suggestion: Annie Sloan Duck Egg Blue mixed with Old White
Or: American Paint Company Dollar Bill with Prom Dress
Or: Miss Mustard Seed Kitchen Scale with Ironstone

In this image a little darker blue is still on the edges.

My suggestions for the darker low-lights (and from here on out I'll abbreviate):
AS: Provence
APC: Beach Glass 
MMS: French Enamel

 How's this for authentic? Most of the windows at Versaillles looked like this.

What do you think?
Any antique white and dark wax? Lots of dark wax.
It would certainly take the right piece.

This console was the only piece of furniture I could get a shot of without having to disturb an exhausted tourist.

I would suggest putting down the gold metallic wax of your choice where you want it. Then laying your favorite white over it in layers. One thing that might be fun is to put down a couple layers of chalk paint and then go over that with milk paint. The milk paint will crack giving an interesting naturally aged look.

Here we are in Provence where all the best colors live.

Terra Cotta should be easy, right? Depends.
AS: Mix some Burnt Orange with a teeny bit of Napoleonic Blue. Add Arles if desired. (Ironically, the next few images were actually taken in Arles.)
APC: Well, I'm not sure. This one I have not tried. I can only offer a guess: Orange Grove with Amber Waves.
MMS: Apron Strings and Linen.

This interesting mauve was used on the entire buildings shutters but I liked the little balconies on the lower apartments.

AS: Emile with a little Old White. You could also add Old Violet if you want the color dulled down a bit.
APC: Dawns Early Light and dark wax.
MMS: Tricycle with Mustard Seed Yellow and Kitchen Scale. Add Ironstone as desired.

This is my favorite decorating green.

AS: I would try Antibes Green with Chateau Grey that has been lightened a lot with Old White.
APC: Dollar Bill with dark wax.
MMS: Lucketts Green mixed with a bit of Boxwood.

Be still, my heart. This is a detail from one of a handful of columns in Notre Dame. Most of the columns are natural marble - I have no idea why some were painted.

AS: Arles mixed with Old White. Louis Blue with a lightened Henrietta twig. Old Ochre tipped with Provence.
APC: A little Tumbleweed mixed with Home Plate. Try Plymouth Rock with lightened Beach Glass tips for the tulip shape.Some lightened up Surfboard, but I've not seen the pink color used on the twig in American Paint.

Lastly, I saw this door in Arles and loved it. We saw a number of these huge doors that were later cut to make a modern door size. Or maybe they were built to accommodate horses and humans? These buildings are certainly old enough - this being a Roman town - to have horses inside.

Something for me to research!

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