Navy and Grey … for a new arrival.

Custom work is about 80% of my work load for sure. In the past years I have thought about limiting the amount of custom clients I take on… and I think I do that to a certain degree. For my mental health and also for my quality of work. But I have to say I enjoy bringing a vision to life. I feel like people that seek out a custom painted piece of furniture from me are looking for something really special for their home. I love being apart of that. It is sometimes much more work on my end design wise and hunting for the knobs and paper that they need to coordinate but in the end its always worth it. At this point in my journey, a lot of clients are seeking pieces I have already done or similar designs so I feel like I am still doing me… just tweaking the design a bit. I love the idea of living simple and small with pieces you really love. I am learning this even in my own home. Creating pieces that I will love forever.

With this particular project we were working together on a design for a new little baby boy. The new momma knew that she wanted navy and grey… so we pulled together some of my past pieces and came to the end with a navy highboy and a grey color block with navy bottom lowboy to match (but not match). The color block design was from a orange and grey piece I did a couple months back…

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And here is the new grey and navy….

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I used this adorable truck paper…  I didn’t have a  lot so the top drawer is actually old maps  (that also match the paper I used for the highboy).

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And the matching but not matching highboy…

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This client was a lot of fun. Mike and I met her husband to drop off the pieces last night and they are just the sweetest. Im so excited for their new addition.

Im off to pack for Portland. We leave tomorrow!

xo
Amanda

Dipped… my new favorite thing.

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I bought a really great bedroom set a few weeks (maybe months) ago and it came with the cutest chair for the vanity. It was very similar to a dining chair but the back was a bit shorter than average dining chairs. I kept that chair in my mind while I painted both dressers and vanity… I kept thinking how cute it would be to dip just the back to accent how cute it was. I finally pulled it out the other day and thought I would do a quick project. It is so funny how sometimes the smallest projects turn into a point of major inspiration for much bigger projects to come.

After I painted the chair I was hooked and had to do a larger scale … the cabinet was a perfect choice because the wood is in great condition. Lately Ive been searching for different. I wanted to do something that would inspire me to try new and make one of a kind pieces that really motivate me to push myself creatively.

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Maybe it was the contrast of the wood and white… or unusual design but I think its so fun.  I taped everything off carefully and primed first… I wanted a very bold white.  When I pulled the tape away after painting 2 more coats of paint the line was less than perfect so I actually sanded along the line with a nail file… great tip if you are looking for something to get in a small area that your sanding  block can’t reach. It worked perfectly. I then restored the natural finish rather than using stain. I lined the inside, to add just a little more simple character.

I think I might be on a dipping craze for awhile. This week I am hustling to finish 5 custom projects (some close to being done) … hoping to finish before we leave to take the kiddos to Portland before school starts up again. So excited to show them all the fun things we found on our last trip.

Happy Monday!

Amanda

Franklin Falls

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I wanted to write a quick post about our  trip the other day to Franklin Falls. Living in the PNW it seems there are scenes to be seen, hikes to be hiked, and new adventures to be had, that kinda pop up all over. I have lived here my whole life and I still hear about new places that I just HAVE to see. I love that. 10 years ago Mike and I got married in North Bend, WA near Snoqulamie Falls, since then we have been crazy about it up there. If you are not local… we get rain pretty often around here. The Seattle rumor is true, but we love it. It feels like Fall about 80% of the year. And because of all that rain, the trees are the best green, and there is a lot of them. Something about being up this way towards the waterfalls is extra enchanting. Just driving in I had to stop the car, get out and take some pictures. We have had a pretty mild Summer so far. So being August, around noon the mountains still had the morning haze of fog and the air was crisp and cool.

Leading down the trail you can see this incredible river to your left, which to be completely honest had my “momma bear” on high alert and was hard for me not to be a little on edge with my kiddos. I had the “you could fall and leave me forever ” talk to my youngest about half way down… begging him to PLEASE stay with me and as far right as possible. Given there was a ton of children on this trail and most parents seemed (oddly) relaxed.

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Even with my overbearing momma brain this trail was fairly easy to climb and pretty kid friendly. It stretches about 2 miles to the Falls and back. We stopped along the way to grab a few photos of the river… I think this was my favorite part. The water was crystal clear, and the rocks were so unreal.

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Once you reach Franklin Falls… it is up close and personal. I think the major difference between this one and the more tourist spots, is that you are there, so close you could actually swim at the bottom.

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This summer is shaping up to be the best yet! I can’t wait to take the dogs back! If you are local and have not gone to see Franklin Falls… pack a lunch, a camera and go!

I am off to thift with the kiddos today.. we are looking for some good props for the back to school window at the shop! Have a great weekend!

Amanda

Matching White Bookshelves

Working with antiques, there always seems to be popular pieces that everyone needs and rare pieces to find… and they are usually one of the same. Matching pairs fall into that category.. it seems like whenever I stumble across a pair of matching nightstands they don’t last very long. So of course, if I find them I always, always buy them. Plus they are so fun to paint. These particular ones are a double WOW… mini bookshelves that MATCH. gah! The moment I found them I ordered paper… because the inside needed something really fun. I choose a great print from Spoonflower called  Navy Waves by mgterry. I like this one because it is subtle and modern but still pretty classic… slightly nautical. Mike said he thinks it looks like necklaces.. I like that too. The wood was mahogany and they had a leather detail on top, so I primed before painting and went with General Finishes Snow White, its a nice bright white and matched the white of the paper perfectly.

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Pretty simple but fun makeover for you. I have a good and very busy line up the next few weeks. The shop is busy and my custom calendar is pretty full so I am excited to share more with you soon!

xo
Amanda

Sweet Mustard Buffet + Summer Days

Summer is in full swing and around my house that means planning fun days for my kiddos while trying to get in a little (just a little) time to paint. This summer has been a little easier than  I thought.

I really like a good back stock of furniture, it helps with my creativity and is very helpful when working with clients. But that usually means my studio (a 2 car garage) is full, at least it has been this past Winter and Spring.  A few weeks ago we reorganized and played the stacking game. It cleared a lot of space! It is so nice painting out there again. It feels like my own world, even if its not nearly as organized as it used to be. So for the past two weeks I have been able to play with the kids and  work for a bit throughout the day. Its working nicely.
I feel like with most shades of yellow its important to put on a few extra coats and pay some attention to coverage. Its a harder shade to get right. Speaking of shade, this is my first time using this particular one… and I think Im a little shocked myself because of WHAT shade it is! Its Miss Mustard Seed’s –Mustard Seed Yellow. I ordered it a few months ago…Ive been eager to try new shades and explore some newness altogether.  I was really happy with it! My usual go to Mustard is a bit darker so it was a slight change but much softer. I really enjoy Marian’s color palette in general, I am so drawn to her greens and have used them quite a bit in the past. This yellow is a perfect mix of soft subtle cottage-y yellow with a bold mustard tones.

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Paper is a huge part of what I love about painting furniture. I think its so fun to open a piece and see a fun pattern inside, and it really cleans it up and makes it feel new. Im working on a little more info for you on this topic so stay tuned. This print is one I ordered a long time ago from Spoonflower.com (more on that later too).

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I live a bit in the country here in the Pacific Northwest, down the street from my house there is a gravel path about a half mile long leading to our favorite lake. Most summers we spend our days swimming with Clementine in the water. This summer has been idling in the 60’s somedays and we are lucking for low 70’s, so we haven’t been able to enjoy it as much. But between coats of yellow we ran up there and took the dogs off leash and let them play. Charlie is growing fast and testing Clementines limits of patience.  Here is a very quick post I did a few years ago when we took Clem to the lake to swim. IMG_4311

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I actually really love the low temp summer we are having… It’s like Fall or an extended Spring. I have some fun pieces planned for the next few weeks! Have a great Sunday!

xo
Amanda

Empire dressers really are something special. Just like buffets, sometimes they are hard to find while other times I feel like I can get them pretty easily.  I love them because the bones are so detailed and over stated so you can really do any color and create a pretty neat statement piece without doing any over the top designs. With this piece I wanted to just do a simple clean light grey. The paper was one I ordered a long time ago and had in my stash, Audrey thought it was pretty so we went with that.

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For about the last year my studio has been stacked with my back stock so I have been painting in my dining room. Plus its so cold out there! I got in another huge delivery and reorganized the space and ended up with about a 1/3 of my studio back. Which was kinda odd, considering I added 15 pieces!  I was so excited to paint in there again. I have shelving with all my supplies, it always inspires me to try new things and create different designs. Its like a personal Pinterest board in my own home. Im excited to take it back over. This piece really shines in person. the lines are clean and smooth but still has a aged feel.

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I called Mike on his way home on Tuesday and asked him to grab flowers (and ice-cream). Having flowers around the house make me happy, and I just needed that this week. When he came home with hydrangeas I cringed because I am not great at keeping them alive. I mean Im not great with any greenery but Im particularly bad with hydrangeas. But I recently read a post from She Holds Dearly about how to keep them fresh. I am happy to report it is Friday and they are still alive! Thank you dear friend for your advice. (Sarah took my paint class over a year ago and she is so delightful).

This past weekend I went to Snohomish, WA with a good friend that told me I HAD to visit. Such a great town, filled with antique shops, artisan food, and handmade ice-cream. We had so much fun taking it all in. Among other treasures, this cute little metal hand came home with me. I liked how odd it was and its perfect for my little photos.

And finally those flash cards that say “beautiful daughter ” hang on my daughters door … and it makes me smile every time because raising girls is SO full of heart. Her and I are working on kindness, and empathy. I want her to grow up with love in her heart for others. Even if its hard. Even if it feels better not to. I want to teach her to not be a victim but to have understanding for everyones journey. I think even as an adult I am learning with her. Learning to grow my heart and faith in people. Love, is really important… to pretty much everyone.  She is such a beautiful girl. Hope you all have a happy weekend.

xo
Amanda

Stillwater Grey by The Real Milk Paint Co.

About a month ago I received a surprise package from one of my favorite paint companies inside was a really nice new color that I was excited to try. I was surprised and flattered that they chose a color for me that couldn’t be a better fit. It is a nice warm neutral grey with brown tones. I’ve taken the last week or so off, so I was really looking forward to some painting time.

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My experience with The Real Milk Paint Co. has been wonderful, anyone who asks me about paint has probably heard me say that I adore them. They are incredibly friendly and have been huge supporters of me. Not only is their packaging eye catching but it is also functional. If you are a milk painter I think you would appreciate the little marble that they include in their cans. It helps mix and froth your paint.  Its like painting with foam, the coverage is amazing, and it just feels good on your brush.

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I wish I had a good before picture of this buffet. The last few months I was really heavy on dressers in my back stock and didn’t really have a lot of buffets… and now I am over loaded with 6! I am always inspired by them and I feel like they are really diverse, so people can use them for anything really. I like to work up a little design board. It helps me see the colors and patterns together.

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I did very little prep work other than cleaning the piece, I was planning to let the Milk Paint run the show and decide to be chippy or solid. It ended up adhering really well. I did two coats and sanded back with a 220 grit to get a nice smooth finish and take off just enough. I decided to seal this one with Polyurethane (crystal clear, satin finish) to give it some added protection but also a little sheen. I chose to swap out my original knob choice because they just blended the tone a little too much. I think the simple white ones look a little better.

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Im off to enjoy the 4th with my family! Have a great holiday everyone!

P.S. Those sweet silhouettes I found at the street fair on our trip to Portland. I had no idea who they were until after we bought them. Can you guess who they are? You can follow the maker on IG @outnerdme.

Recharging in Portland

Mike and I celebrated 10 years of marriage this past weekend in Portland, OR. Being PNW natives it wasn’t too much of a journey but just enough to recharge and put some things into perspective. Audrey will be 7 1/2 and this was the first time we allowed ourselves a getaway  without our kids. With two kiddos and 2 rambunctious dogs its hard to plan and exicute a vacation. But with this milestone we thought… lets just do it. We will go small and fun… relax and treat ourselves…. and boy was it FANTASTIC. We heard wonderful things about the Portland community which in all honestly really didn’t feel all that different from home. Maybe a little more trendy and accessible (slightly more friendly) but really it was a lot like Seattle. Our first day we left home bright and early at 5am, dropped kids off at Grandmas and hit the road. Portland sits right on the boarder of Washington and Oregon, so its about a 2.5 hour drive for us. After stopping for coffee, gas, etc. We arrived around 9:30 am. Hitting Pip’s  Original Donuts & Chai was our first stop (if you are ever in the area… very yummy made to order mini donuts and huge chai selection that is to die for), and a cute little treasure store next door. Then downtown was our next stop, mainly because I heard they had a new Anthropologie and I just had to see it, of course.

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It was a amazing location with tons to see and loads of inspiration. We must have walked for about 6 hours through the city. Being a shop owner now, I love to see the little shops. I am really into branding and placement so it was really fun for me to see what made all these little shops stand out. Aside from retail, we spent the whole trip checking out coffee shops, speciality doughnut cafes and restaurants. I am so used to doing everything with 2 kids in tow, so it is such a relaxing experience. I wish I would have taken more photos to share some of the places along the way that we visited… but honestly I was a little disconnected to the online world. I needed to step outside of it for awhile.

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The second day we woke up early and set off to find Multnonah Falls. Mike did a wonderful job “maping” our trip…. he researched a few things that we should hit while in town and we kinda made a guideline itinerary. But we tried to keep it spontaneous at the same time. Arriving at The Falls was breathtaking. A photo can’t even do justice. It is massive. The greenery around it is really what caught my attention the most. Absolutely stunning.

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You can hike a pretty easy path to the bridge and then continue on a not so easy path to the very tippy top of the waterfall (which we originally didn’t really plan to do). Once up there … we just kept walking. Do you know that feeling when can feel your heartbeat in your ears? about half way up, I was totally there. Mike turned to me and said “at the next look out we’ll head back down”. Next thing I knew we made it to the top. IT WAS AMAZING. Its a different kind of relaxation when you are in your head, outdoors… breathing like you may need a hospital when you get to the bottom again.  I wish I could do it everyday because there really isn’t anything like it.

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The next stop was their weekend street fair. This really reminded me of home… loads of tents filled with creatives. Street bands playing. We even saw a group of what appeared to be a naked bike ride race. Talk about entertaining! We walked the city a bit more and stopped into a few antique stores. Mike found me a “F and F”.. which was pretty neat.

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We found the coolest pizza place where we built our own garlic, ricotta, pear and honey pizza! Let me tell you…. it was fantastic. We custom built the base and the chef suggested we add the honey. It is a new favorite! And finally we headed to the movies to end our night… we saw The Shallows. It made me wish I didn’t have a water adventure planned in the morning.

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The thing about going on vacation without kids when you never go on vacation without kids is that you really know how to utilize your time. We saw a lot in 3 days… without a wasted minute. We kinda crawled back to our hotel that night… our legs feeling a bit like jelly.

Day 3 was my favorite… or at least the first 3 hours. There is a sweet little kayak rental on Hayden Island, and the people were so helpful and friendly. Something about being on the calm water early in the morning has me hooked. I just kept leaning back and closing my eyes… it was sunny but not hot, windy but not enough to make the water choppy. Very peaceful. Mike and I have been talking about buying kayaks for the last few years but we take the dogs with us on most occasions so we really need a canoe more than a kayak. Either way, our decision is definitely final. I want to do that every morning… or at least as much a possible.

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After we were out of the water, we wrapped the trip up with two pieces of furniture that I eyed on Friday when we first arrived, lots and lots of donuts to take home, and a little more shopping. It was so hard to leave! Aside from missing our kiddos it was so fun to hop around the city without a care in the world. I have felt brand new all week, I think I needed it more than I thought. I can’t wait to do it again.. Mike and I joked that we need a monthly getaway, that we should just get a little place down there to call home away from home.

Simple white dresser.

Every Tuesday, Aiden and I drive to visit my grandparents. We take them to lunch and stop in to our regular two thrift stores to find treasures. Aiden usually gets a book or toy, while I hunt for furniture or whatever curious thing I can’t seem to live without. Last Tuesday I was really in a hunting mood! On the way to dropping my grandparents at home at the end of our date I decided to quickly run inside to one.last.store. And of course my grandma had a coupon… Of course. 

And there she was. How could I say no! 

Because she’s a bit more ornate, I wanted something simple. Plus I feel like I’m changing. My style in my home has become more bright, clean and I won’t go as far as saying “modern” but just more minimal. It feels good. I went with Snow White by General Finishes because it’s a great smooth, clean finish. That beautiful peach paper is Spoonflower. I can’t stop ordering. Thank god my “job” supports my addiction to paper because I think that’s my favorite part. Unless we are talking knobs…. These pretties are Anthro. I just love them.

I spray primed two coats to block bleed through, sanding between coats. Applied two coats of the GF Snow White and sealed with GF wax. Simple + Classic. 




Xo

Amanda 

A sweet rustic cabinet with great shoes…

With two small kids, time alone (even enough to finish a cup of coffee, or write a blog post) is few and far between. With summer approaching and today marking the last day of the school year that they are BOTH at school (for 2 hours) … I figured it was a great opportunity to write a post about my latest project. I am so excited about this particular transformation because I had it in my head from the moment I saw it.  This piece was actually sent to me by another painter in my area and for some reason I saw large casters, rustic grey milk paint and just couldn’t pass it up. When I pulled into the driveway and asked Mike to help me unload … he laughed… and I mean he actually laughed and said “well this will make a good before and after”. Challenge accepted.
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I know right? super cute photo… this is the one that was sent to me … and I just couldn’t say no! I knew that I would be replacing the hardware, making some small repairs and using these amazing silver casters. I didn’t do any prep work other that taping, cleaning and vacuuming. I wanted this piece rustic… so I trusted the milk paint to do what it does best. I turned to Oyster Grey by Real Milk Paint Co. because it is honestly my favorite shade of light grey. Its perfect. I then sanded the drawers and trim well, while leaving the panels slightly less aged. Finally I sealed with Miss Mustard Seed wax… I find this to be my go to when painting over milk paint… I love how smooth and easy it is to apply… and it smells fantastic.

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I will leave it brief today because my two hours are up! I hope you have a fun summer planned enjoying every minute.

xo
Amanda