New Dresser and Pumpkin IS BACK!

I finished up a empire dresser this week, in one of my favorite colors. I had posted on Instagram that I was planning to paint an empire this week in this blue/green shade.. and although I did paint an empire, its actually not the one that I had in mind. See I pulled a muscle in my back (at least thats what the doctor and I think happened) over the past few weeks I have been slowly getting better. My oldest was in her first Summer camp and a friend had offered to take my youngest to lunch and ice cream since he ADORES her daughter. So I had the afternoon to paint… I can’t remember the last time I was alone. If you are a mom you know that there is so much truth to this. I don’t sleep alone, shower alone, or eat alone. I am okay with that at this stage because I know that it won’t last forever (read my pervious post on the Cheetos/crying sesh. soon to come). But I will take a free afternoon… and even though my back was literary spasming, it was still glorious.  I did however opt for the closet dresser that did not involve lifting… so I  have another that has a little more of a unique size and proportion. This one was closer and easier to get to at the time… so I went for it. Priced at $398 and available at the shop!

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On to other news… PUMPKIN IS BACK and I have a special treat in store! Order online for Pre-Orders (to be ship end of August)  and receive free shipping for all orders over $20 using code: FREESHIP. You can actually use this on all candles so if you have others that you would like to add to the order, please feel free. No limit! 🙂 Code will expire in one week on the 13th. I am so excited for these, they are always a favorite!

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-Amanda

Summer, Pop-ups and more babies?

I feel like I am long overdue for a blog post! Summer with my kids have taken over my every day in such a big way. Just this week we have been to the beach twice, bowling, the zoo, and the park. With my youngest heading to Kindergarten this September, I am trying to spend as much time with them as I can. My heart is so confused on whether I am SO happy to have time to focus on my business and taking care of myself without interruption for the first time in 8 years!….or if I am utterly heartbroken that my years of being a true “stay at home”, that does laundry standing up while eating left over Mac and Cheese are over?? I had a brief moment last week that I woke up in the middle of the night thinking of how I might want another baby, just so that these years can linger a little longer. The next day I was brought back to reality that 2 large dogs, a cat and two very active kiddos are plenty. So my season will come to an end and I plan to bid farewell gracefully. And by gracefully I mean I will eat Cheetos in my car and cry a little on the first day of the school.

So, with that being said… I hope that I can blog more about my upcoming projects and plans. I have never had a true schedule to work before, so I am really excited to paint during the day and even hone in on my online store, offering more and growing this side of the business a little bit. Also getting my hands in a few outside projects including more design work, maybe some day time paint classes, possibly an extension to my candle line AND some upcoming Pottery Barn Pop-ups. Which leads me to what I really wanted to share today! Last week I had my first Pop-Up shop held at Pottery Barn Bellevue (WA). I am not one to do shows but I have fallen in love with this “Pop-up” idea. I was originally contacted by them about a month or two ago about my interest in doing one. Ideas immediately started following of a mini collection. I wanted to incorporate my painted pieces and candle line but I also wanted to bring a few home accents. I found a gorgeous paper print on Spoonflower.com by the talented Elizabeth Ivie of The Little Ivie Cloth Co. called Sprigs and Blooms and based my whole collection off of that. I used black, soft pinks, sage/mint, and dark green. Perfect for Summer.

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I really wanted to keep the painted pieces to a minimum for a few reasons… although I wanted to showcase some examples of my work (with my main focus always on furniture) I also knew that if would be tough to load in and equally tough for people to impulse buy and walk to their cars. I stuck with 5 small furniture pieces and accented my display with hand-stamped pillows, vases/glassware, F+F matches, Tea-light bar, handmade keychains + wristlets, NEW candle gift sets and of course loads of my regular candle line.

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I walked away selling WAY more than I had planned to. The women that put this in motion for me were nothing short of the sweetest, and so welcoming. I saw a lot of familiar faces from the social media world too… which was so exciting. Mike got to tag along so we were able to fit in a little date afterwards. It really was the very best experience. Before I left, we had 2 more on the schedule AND they would like to host one of my paint classes. Each Pop-up will have different items in a curated collection just like the first. I am already planning my October event to be in deep blues! We are still planning the details of the class … but  I hear that they are bringing in some really great goodies to snack on while we paint. I will be teaching my Furniture Painting 101 which is a basics class that I provided everything that you will need including a vintage chair that you get to paint and keep! This class will not be one to miss. They plan to promote throughout the mall as soon as I get flyers sent…so it will fill quickly. Snag your spot above under the “shop” bar starting today. Dates for my upcoming events are :

Painting Class held at Pottery Barn Bellevue: Sunday October 1st 9-11am
Pop-up: October 29th
Pop-up: December 10th

So excited for what is in store! I hope you are enjoying your Summer so far!

xo,
Amanda

Flash Sale on Candle Orders Today Only!

I thought it would be a fun day to do a Flash Sale. With Spring coming up in the next few weeks, it marks the year anniversary of the best selling scents… Clementine, Lemon Verbena and Honey Sea Salt. Click “shop” on the above bar and make sure to use code : 15OFF to receive a special 15% off today only.

Thank you! and Enjoy!

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General Finishes Blogger of the Month

General Finishes asked me to be their December 2016 blogger of the month, so I thought I would write a post on the latest pieces I have done using their products. I use their Milk Paint pretty regularly and use it to teach in my Furniture Painting 101. It has amazing durability and great coverage with little to no prep work. A very simple, easy to use and top quality paint. I had the pleasure of trying their new “chalk style”line the past few weeks. My latest project, was this handsome empire desk. I had to fill a few holes where the original vanity mirror attached but besides that, I really didn’t do any prep work. The wood didn’t have much of an existing finish, and GF products are great about adhering. I used the color Slate, its really pretty! I was expecting a dark grey but was pleasantly surprised to find blue/green undertones. It really is the perfect shade. I sealed with Flat out Flat for a little extra durability.

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I used the General Finishes  chalk style paint in Limestone for these matching nightstands.

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I painted this bookshelf with Queenstown Grey and sealed with wax. This one is such a recent favorite. The paper in the back is really more of a navy but it blends really well with the Queenstown. Makes for a twist of modern with a vintage charm.

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And lastly, a sweet little mini buffet in Lamp Black.

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I worked at the shop today, it was bustling. I had Mike and the kids come with me and I dropped off a lot of fun goodies (the desk in the first photo sold! woo hoo!). Hope you all are having a wonderful New Years! 2016 was pretty good to me, I am excited to see what 2017 holds. I feel like my kiddos are growing at super speed. So although, I am planning and dreaming about the growth of Ferpie + Fray.  I am also planning to take in my kids as much as possible. Aiden starts Kindergarten this year and I am having a pretty hard time accepting it. I know my business will fill my days to the brim when he is at school, but I really enjoy having him by my side.

xo
Amanda

My love for The Real Milk Paint Co.

I am so excited to share some details of a few products that The Real Milk Paint Co. sent me! First I have to say… I just love them. Their partnership has been beyond what I ever imagined. I was first contacted maybe two years ago and offered a sponsorship for one of my Milk Paint 101 classes. It was such a generous offer. I think its really valuable especially in a class of that nature to have a ton of product to play with. I teach my classes from my perspective, things I have learned, tools I find valuable. Its important for me to share a process that I feel saves me time, money AND patience. I stress the importance of trying a lot of product and making mistakes. Milk Paint takes time to learn and master, and is still a process unlike any other paint. Making those mistakes will make you a better painter and artist. This time around The Real Milk Paint Co. had some new products that they are rolling out and I got a chance to test them. This kick started a inspiration surge last week like no other. Which was a good thing, it being the week of Black Friday and Small Business Saturday I had a store to fill (and still do!).

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They sent me a number of colors..some old favorites that are my staple colors and some NEW ones I had never tried (along with Hemp Oil, Chippy Paste, 3 different waxes, t-shirts, bags, brushes, etc.) . They have a great line of new Blue Tipped brushes that paint like a dream and come in 3 sizes. I love the small detail one. I used it the most on a buffet I did and it minimized the brush strokes beautifully. If you are not familiar with their paint packaging, it comes with the bag of powdered paint inside, and a small marble. You add equal parts water (start with just a 1/3 of the bag), seal and shake well. It creates a really nice thick foam. This is my favorite part! The brushes bristles are close together and thick, so the foam rests on top of the brush which makes the application flawless.

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Another great product that is new is a “Chippy Paste”, we played with this in class and it seems to do a great job a repealing the paint in the areas that you have applied… for those of you that love chippy furniture, this is a great way to obtain that look. I encourage you to play with this and let me know what you think! I plan to try it on a larger piece to get the full effect.

Finally one product that I am SUPER excited to talk about is their new Soft Wax… I am willing to admit that I am very picky about wax. Especially over Milk Paint! I look for a few things… it needs to go on smoothly with a rag (a simple process, like applying lotion), I like to gauge how much of the color it will change (some wax can drastically change the original color), and finally a CLEAR finish… a lot of wax can create a white or foggy haze over that pretty color and change your finish. I have to say this wax blew me away. I love it. I think I may have over shared my love for it in my class. I was sent a full can, and used it on 4 large pieces… I still have half a can but I will be bugging them soon to buy more to add it to my stash of favorite products. Well done RMPC!

Here are a few pieces I did the past week before my class… (I had to test colors of course ;))

The first is in Stillwater Cove Grey sealed with their NEW Soft Wax.

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This is painted in Earth Green and sealed in their NEW Soft Wax.

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And this one is Arabian Night, I sealed this one in a dark brown wax. ( I like to do this over all my black painted pieces… it deepens the hue of the wood and paint for a more seamless finish).

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A huge THANK YOU to The Real Milk Paint Co.for your continued support and generous sponsorship. This class was so fun and each person left with 2 cans of paint, brushes and other goodies!

Hope you are having a great week!
Amanda

*All content in this post is my true opinion and I was not compensated to share my thoughts. I just really love it and know you will too! Enjoy!

Another Yellow Empire

About 3 years years ago I painted a empire lowboy in a pretty mustard milk paint and I just fell in love with the design. Every time I run across one of this size, this shade always runs through my mind. I painted another one very similar about a year and a half or so ago…(the one on my header). I scored this one a few weeks ago and naturally I thought of reinventing it once again. I actually have the matching oversized desk as well. I have no design in mind for that one though so I am waiting for some inspiration to kick in. It might sit for a little while.

The great thing about milk paint and probably my favorite part is that it is unpredictable and kind of does what it wants… most of the time I really encourage that, and try to stay open minded in my vision. I didn’t sand, or add a bonding agent on this one… I thought it would be great if the paint went chippy and equally great if it ended up more solid. Surprisingly it really held on well to the wood and sanded back really well too. I ended up doing 4 coats and still had a pretty translucent weathered look (which works nicely on these empire styles).

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I have so much fun with this color. Its so bright and cheerful and really brings a piece to life. It did take me a little longer than usual (the dark wood, made it a bit of a pain) but it was sort of nice and made me really slow down and enjoy the process. I was waiting for this great paper to arrive anyway as I knew it would be a perfect compliment to the knobs and paint. I don’t think I have a  lot of pieces that I redo the same like this… so its kinda fun to see the progression in my work…. maybe the next time I come across one in another year or so it will be a sign that I should keep it. But for now.. this one is for sale! 🙂

xo

Amanda

Furniture Season

Furniture season is in full swing at the shop and pieces have been finding homes left and right. So last week was a little bit crazy in my world. Most of the time balancing life as a mom with two very busy littles and a growing business is manageable (sort of). I try to be good at limiting how much I say yes to and knowing what my boundaries are…. with that being said, last week was a stretch. I completed 7 pieces of furniture, a few candle orders, my daughters fundraiser, preschool, swim lessons, dog training… blah blah blah. This list was so long and I had a mild moment of panic and had to remind myself that I don’t want this to turn into a force of stress for me. I started this little business as a therapy or “Ferpie” for those of you who know my story behind my name. And I want to make sure that I stick to that. Its so important. I know its not realistic all of the time.I feel like I am striving to allow myself some grace while at the same time gaining confidence that I can handle the challenges. I was able to get so much done and everything turned out great!  The first piece that I wanted to share is a cute little highboy with tall legs. I painted this piece with Trophy by Miss Mustard Seed. I haven’t used this color in a few years and it really is a wonderful shade. The original finish on this piece was so different, it made me want to pull out some of that character. Milk Paint is a great choice with pieces like this, it has a transparent effect when watered down and sanded back. After 2 coats I sanded heavily with only a 400 grit.. it created this really smooth but a very visually textured finish.  If you look closely the piece almost looks like watercolor and goes from a little darker on top to a lighter shade on bottom. Another reason why this paint is so fun. It gets creative for you, and all you have to do is sit back and be open to it.

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Next up I received these unique bedside tables from my picker the day before I painted them. I was totally drawn to their character and wanted to get started on them right away. I chose Seagull Grey by General Finishes. This is just a very clean, crisp light grey. Perfect for simple nightstands. Matching anything, is a score. Most often they are hard to find. I really love that these are extra tall and I think they will work perfectly with a oversized bed. When staging photos I thought I would jump in one of the pictures to give a good idea of how tall they really are. I am 5′ 4″ but I would like to think that my boots add maybe 1″. 😉

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With this next piece I instantly thought DIPPED. With its great existing separation detail above the bottom drawer made it a clear vision. Mike thought a pretty blue would be the way to go… but I just love the crisp contrast of wood and white (or off white in this case). This piece had some character flaws and it just added to its appeal in my mind. I could have filled over it but I really like it. I think its the imperfections of some of these pieces that draw me to them in the first place.

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I had this great empire in my back stock for waaaay to long. I want to say maybe 8 months? I actually have another one even bigger and just picked up 3 more in a variety of sizes. I am so drawn to this style as I think most antique lovers are. They are very handsome and bring a dramatic presence to the room. I usually choose milk paint for these guys to bring out a naturally aged appeal but I wanted him to be powerful, simple and clean. The knobs are actually not original to this piece but came from another empire I completed earlier this month. I saved these in hopes of reusing them at some point and they just made sense on this one. I used another General Finishes color in Lamp Black. My secret to a very rich dark black is Maison Blanche Dark Brown Wax. It is the very best dark wax and really adds a nice sheen but also deepens the color.

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My last two projects of the week were these great “nightstands” which oddly enough started as a vanity. I was hesitate to buy another vanity especially this style. Vanity style tables usually sit for awhile. I think its too specific of a customer and its usually not a huge interest piece.  With that, I was still impressed with its detail and wondered if I could pull them apart to create matching nightstands. Much to my surprise they were only held together with 4 screws and a board across the back. After I pulled them apart, I filled the holes and sanded well. I posted a photo on Instagram and offered them as custom… they were quickly snagged and requested to be painted green. I love green.

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That was a loaded post! You can see why last week may have been a bit of a stretch. This week is much more mild. I have a yellow piece that I started a few days ago, hoping to finish up by the weekend. This one is a keeper for sure!

xo
Amanda

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