Before and After– A 2fer The Sweet Little Desk and Black Armoire

I have to tell you I have been blown away by the amount of support for my little business last week. I have been selling a lot more from home lately while maintaining a pretty good stock at The Modern Cottage Co. I finished 3 pieces for sale (and 2 for a promo…more on that later) and each piece sold within a few minutes or hours of being posted on my Facebook and IG. It’s amazing to me that people are following my work and get excited about what I do. I had a few “pinch me” moments and  I’m so grateful for continued growth and the supportive people around me!  I have a few “before and after” photos for you..first up the armoire. 

 
This piece would have looked amazing any color. It’s bones are beautiful and I love pieces with drawers hidden on the inside. It’s a great opportunity to paper or paint something fun. I wanted to keep it simple with basic black and have a coordinating paper inside. I chose Pitch Black from Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company. You get the classic color with a milk paint choice but you still get character in the chippy patina. The awesome scallop paper is from Spoonflower (@littlearrowdesigncompany). 

   

  

   
  

    

I honestly did no prep work other than cleaning the piece. The wood was in good condition and I wanted the milk paint to do what it does best. I sealed first with Maison Blanche Dark Wax (this continues to be a favorite, I love this stuff). I waited over night and went over the whole thing again with clear wax.  

My next piece was originally going to be green but I kept reaching for this awesome deer print (also Spoonflower @Sparrowson)and I thought Driftwood (OFMPC) would be a good match. 

    

I did 2 coats of shellac on this one and mixed a little Light Cream milk paint with Driftwood. I like it slightly lighter.  

   
  

  

Have a great week!! 

Xo

Amanda 

How to…Succulent Letter

I wanted to write up a very quick “how-to” on the succulent letter I made for my friend Devons birthday. This won’t be a full tutorial on the measurements  for making the “L” but if you need help I can have Mike write something up. Devon and I were sharing pins on Pinterest and thinking about making some hanging succulents  gardens and I started thinking what a cool birthday gift! I bought a flat of succulents at Fred Meyer (they also have them at Home Depot) for $10…yes $10! You don’t need a lot. The letter was 18″ tall and they fill in nicely. Mike made me a shallow planting box that looked like this… 


Then I added potting soil (a lot of tutorials say to add moss too). 

 

 

And then chicken wire. 
 

 

Breaking apart the succulents and planting them was probably  the toughest part. I didn’t want to kill them and they are really grown together. I took a butter knife and pull them apart carefully. I ended up cutting some of the holes in the chicken wire bigger and planted bigger sections. 
   
  

 

I think this is a cute way to dress up your front porch. Mike and I are thinking of doing a fun word for the backyard! 😊

Xo

Amanda

Before and After–A Mini Buffet 

When I bought this piece, I was a bit torn on what to do with it. I was deciding between a vibrant rich blue and coral. For me the most perfect pieces are usually the ones that are the hardest to paint. 

  

They will look pretty in any color and the options are endless! I really wanted to paint in Apron Strings again (by Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint). This color is so fun, it’s sorta a peachy pink and paints like water colors. It takes longer to sell, maybe because it’s more feminine and a little taste specific. I knew it would be risky but artistically I was really drawn to it. So glad I listened to that, it ended up being a piece I am really proud of (and it ended up selling within just a few hours!) woot! 

The drawers are lined with Spoonflower paper (by: littlesmilemakers) and I used General Finishes Satin Finishing Wax to seal. 

Here’s what she looked like before..

  

And after….

   

  

  

  

  

This piece was a fun one, I was surprised by the response and sweet comments from my Facebook and Instagram feeds! What a lovely community of fellow painters and friends. Fills my heart! 

With the support of Alison at The Modern Cottage Company I have decided to start offering paint classes. I really enjoy talking paint and thought it would be a lot of fun! We posted the first Painting 101 class for May 9th and sold out within 24 hours!! So we are scheduling another intro class for May 30th. This class will cover the basics of prep, painting and sealing of a vintage chair that they get to take home. I’m looking forward to planning a number of other classes including a Mommy and Me and Milk Paint. One that I am really looking forward to is a creative class. This class will cover Mod Podging paper, different waxes, glazes, General Finishes Pearl Effects, layering, rub n buff, etc. I get emailed a lot about some of these things and I think people will have fun playing with some of the techniques. It’s really about being creative and making it your own. Hope you are having a fantastic weekend! 

Xo

Amanda 

The Buffet That Started It All–special guest–Devon from Bride on a Bike

Let me start by saying my friends Devon and Jay are two of my favorite people. They are adventurers at heart, that are always out and about trying new things and exploring. They both have a huge passion for all things old and interesting. I always find myself captivated by their stories and in awe of their giving nature. When I heard the story behind this particular piece I thought it was so magical (more to come on that later). Devon had a really cool vision for this piece that I could not refuse. If you read my blog you are well aware of my feelings on white paint, partically white chippy milk paint. It is the absoulute hardest for me. A week does not go by that I do not get an email from someone trying white milk paint and getting just as frustrated. It’s a delicate balance to get the paint to chip but still allow the white to get really white and yellowing and bleed through is always a risk. So… When Devon asked for white and chippy, I cringed a little. I mean wanted this piece perfect!  But I was up for the challenge. The more you work with milk paint the more you figure out the tricks. 

  

Because she wanted it very chippy, I chose no prep at all. Mixed Snow White milk paint by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co. and went to town. I babyed her, taking my time with each coat. To avoid an uneven look with the chippy parts I avoided sanding between coats. Around the second coat the paint started to chip…I was so excited to see that it was going in a good direction. I had no bleed through or moments of panic, thank goodness! I carefully painted over the paint that was starting to lift, in my opinion I feel that this is best instead of sanding because you get a nice clean look in the end. After 4 coats, I sanded well with a 400 grit and sealed it with Miss Mustard Seeds wax. This wax is so soft and easy to work with. It doesn’t yellow and goes nicely over any color.  I picked a really awesome Spoonflower paper in a yellow geometric print to line the drawers.

   

     

So I will pass it on to Devon now, I asked her to share this fun story of how this piece came to find them and all that happened next…. And here she is: 

 This is the story of a life changing buffet. 

 

It all started one night in late August 2014. I was having trouble sleeping and was wide awake when I shouldn’t have been,  killing time on my iphone app, Varage Sale until I fell asleep.  I saw this buffet priced at $100 and in Maple Valley, Wa. where we had lived for the last 7 years. It had been posted for over 8 weeks and I was about 30 people deep that were interested.  I sent a message to the seller asking if it was still available and scheduled a pick upfor  the following day.  Luckily my husband, Jay  happened to have that Friday off, which is very rare for him. Off to work I went that morning and he went to pick up the buffet I planned on buying, painting then selling.  When I arrived home that afternoon the buffet was in our garage and Jay was eager to get me to go back to meet “the nicest lady” and see her beautiful home and yard.  We ended up talking for hours and in conversation she mentioned that they were thinking of selling in the near future.  When we heard that we immediately looked at each other and our curiosity was piqued.  She kindly gave us a tour of the home and large yard. We saw a beautiful green pasture, turquoise pool, barn, wood shed, garden and lovingly cared for home. My head started spinning.  On our way home I was calling my mom and dad nonstop until they answered. 

 

The next 2 weeks were a whirlwind.  We brought my parents over to view the house and see if they loved it as much as we did. Our good friend Vicki a realtor met with us to give us the comps on our homes and talk to us about putting both our homes on the market.  We presented an offer to the sellers of our “dream home” and eagerly anticipated their response.  They agreed and a plan was put in action. Jay and I would sell our home, my mom and dad would also sell theirs and we would buy this property together.  The plan was to renovate the daylight basement into their home and Jay and I would live upstairs.  

 

The next 3 months were packed with showings, lots of packing and purging, loan documents and the excitement building until we could move into the new house.  We could not have asked for a kinder more patient couple to be buying from.  Both our homes sold in good time and we all moved in together.  

 

I sometimes can’t believe how we got here. So many random things had to fall into place.

 

The house was not listed for sale. 

The buffet on Varage Sale had been on there for weeks and it had a lot of interested people but Every. Single. One. Of. Them. Didn’t. Follow. Through.

Jay struck up a conversation that led us going back that same evening to look at more furniture and talk for hours.

My mom and dad also saw the potential in this property and jumped right in.

 

Words cannot express how peaceful it is out here in the country. We have two and a half acres, room for animals, room to paint and work on projects and to relax. Breathe. Unwind. You name it, my soul is content here.

 

So this is why the buffet needed to stay with us. My mom thought it would look nice in our entry.  Jay and I moved it in and agreed it looked at home there.  I sent a picture to my dear friend Amanda and asked if she would paint it for me. Luckily she agreed and I am so honored to have this chippy buffet in my forever home. She created it from the heart down to the smallest of details.  The vintage glass knobs that she picked for it, the drawers were lined and she even noticed that one of the doors wasn’t closing properly so she and her darling husband fixed it. She created a piece that will be in my family for many years to come.

 

So that is the story of how this buffet changed our lives for the better and also became the most expensive piece of furniture we have ever purchased second hand.

 

XOXO

Devon



Thank you for taking the time to read about Devons lovely buffet, it was truly a pleasure to work on and I am beyond thrilled she asked me to be apart of their story. Check out Devon on Instagram @brideonabike and Facebook to follow along on her journey of awesomeness. 


Xo

Amanda 

 

 

 

Here’s to the big 3-0!

  Today I hit a big milestone birthday and I have been just a spidge uneasy about it. There is something about saying good-bye to your 20s. I feel like I’m really a grown-up now. Blah!  I started asking myself if I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. Am I the person I wanted to be by 30? After going back and forth with my shortcomings and my successes. I realized I am! I have learned to love deeper than ever before. I value the relationships in my life like ever before. I live with my heart on my sleeve and I am so glad I still have that. I pour passion into my work and get so much internal gratification. My 20s for me was good but filled with a lot of self doubt, the mind set that if I finish this…than THIS is next! And I feel a little more at ease to take joy in the process, the experience.  

 

I’m less of a rule follower. I have let go a little bit in the last few years… Of the way things are “suppose” to be done. It has made me stronger and better, especially professionally. I am less effected by others, than I used to be. I want the right people to hold power in my life. I look forward to my 30s. I can feel a lot of exciting things around the corner, and I can’t wait to see where I go!  

(Photo sources all Pinterest) Hope you have a fantastic day. Aiden and I are thinking about having a dance party. 

Xo

Amanda