Making Brown – Color Recipe

brown1Most furniture is some form of brown before you paint it.  Chances are you are not going to paint all your furniture brown.  However, sometimes you really need a good brown as part of your color palette on a project.  I’ve made many browns with Chalk Paint® and have loved them all!

My most recent custom project needed some brown….so this time I mixed up Primer Red and Olive.  I started with 1 cup of Primer Red and 1 cup of Olive, mixed it, and then sampled it on the surface.  I then decided I needed a “bit more” Olive.  This is where you say “a bit more???”  Yep, I estimate I added about 1/4 cup more Olive to this recipe.

brown2I paired with rich Old Ochre on the legs and the chairs!

 

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Another great color recipe for a deep espresso brown is to mix Barcelona Orange and Graphite in a 1:1 ratio!

I Painted a Ceiling Fan….

fancloseupOf course I did….right?!?!

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After I finished my Kitchen Makeover, the ceiling fan was not really blending into my clean, white and gray theme.  I have pretty much blown my decorating budget on the bathroom remodel…so I’m trying hard not to spend anything on the house for awhile.

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So, what is a girl to do when she suddenly has 12 hours at home with NO children needing anything from her?

SHE PAINTS!

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I got a ladder, a few brushes, Graphite Chalk Paint®, Paris Grey Chalk Paint® and Pure White Chalk Paint®.  I wiped off the dirt and dust and started painting. Didn’t even mess with taking the fan down. I decided to do the Washed Zinc technique that I teach in my Chalk Paint® 101 Class.  Its a Graphite Base with Paris Grey washed over it.  I finished it off with some Clear Wax.

I dry brushed the paddles with some Paris Grey and Pure White and I did end up putting wax on them, not because they needed waxing, but because the wax softened the look a bit.

and then this happened….

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The “browny” toned glass globe was soooo not working with my new look.  I really hated to spend any money on this project, so I thought perhaps I could work some more paint magic.  Nope, that was not happening….the picture does not do justice to the failure of this idea.  Yes, you can paint glass very successfully with Chalk Paint®, but, the look I was going for was not going to work on this.

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I was super excited that for $14 at Lowes I was able to get a new Alabaster White glass globe!

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Project Complete with minimal disruption to my life….and nobody destroying other parts of the house in the process!

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How about this $349 fan from Ballard Designs? It also comes with white blades.  Ooh La La! I love it…but not for even 20% off $349…can’t splurge for quite awhile!  My fan makeover sure is not “perfect”, but it is “perfect” enough for me!

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photo from Ballard Designs

Have I inspired you to paint something in your house that needs a makeover?

The Great American Road Trip!


roadtripDid you know we have an RV?

About 3 years ago I became obsessed with vintage trailers.  I fell so hard for the vintage Shasta with its wings.  I dreamed of Shasta’s, I watched them on eBay and Tin Can Tourists.  My husband of course wanted NOTHING to do with the crazy notion I had of acquiring one.  However, one day I did convince him to stop off at a RV sales center with the kids.  We had a blast looking at all the new campers.  I’ll also admit that we fell in love the newness of the modern RV, and all the amenities you could pack into such a small space.  It was pure craziness that we would be able to restore something.  We were ready to hit the road ASAP.

In walked our first RV last February….and this is how we spent last summer….in our Class C RV!

We did 13 trips, the grand finale being 2 weeks to Bar Harbor, Maine and back!

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 It seems that we just so happen to go to the RV show again this year…and oops look what happened….

newrvSince we have plenty of room at the new house….we decided to upgrade!

 We’ve been incredibly blessed beyond measure to be able to have these experiences with the boys.  Even more blessed that we have made some great friends in our community that also have RV’s and BOYS!

Three Families with boys (7 total!) and RV’s….well that is a recipe for….

The Great American Road Trip

Greensboro, North Carolina to Grand Marias, MI (located in the Upper Peninsula of MI) and back…16 days!

If you want to follow it all you need to follow me on Instagram @ MJPaints  hashtag #americanroadtrip June 27th-July 13th.

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Painted Stairs and Doors

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When you walk in the front door of our house there is a staircase  immediately in front of you.  Lots of oak huh? Never bothered me for a second.  During our first showing all I saw was beautiful wood that could be painted.  Of course I did!  That is how I think….I imagine everything with paint on it.  The stair case is beautiful!  The design is perfect! I loved that the spindles were wood.  In my last house they were black iron and I was getting a little tired of it. Black Iron is nice, but not “changeable”.

 I like changeable elements.

Good classic bones go a long, long way!

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It turned out exactly how I imagined it would!

A black handrail and white everywhere else!

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We also painted the front door (previously white) and all the doors off the hallway black!

The walls are Sherwin Williams Repose Gray.

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I’m continuing the black doors into the kitchen.  Today I was able to get the first coat on these two doors.  I’m using oil based paint and I’m HATING using the oil paint!  The doors were previously painted in white oil, so I had no choice but to go over oil with oil.  But, I know for lasting durability it is the right choice.  The smell is killing me and I’m so impatient with the dry time! Not to mention I’m a messy girl when it comes to painting and I’m covered in it.  Pretty sure I’ll just throw the brush away when I’m done too!

kitchendoorHere are some great black door inspiration photos from Houzz….catch the black door fever!

Farmhouse Entry by Edina General Contractors REFINED LLC
 The next photo has me thinking I’d like to add some waincotting in my hallway!
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Before Paint….there was “The Cookie”.

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There are two things that remind me of my childhood….watching my dad paint and do home projects, and my mom taking the time to let me bake in the kitchen.  She was incredibly patient with me, and I quickly developed a love for making cookies at a young age.

Did you know that before I really started painting furniture I was baking and selling cookies?

Yep, I dabbled in cookies for a few years.

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This is “the cookie”.  My cookie.  The one that took years to perfect.  It is the perfect cookie.

I sold frozen dough scoops of this delectable cookie icon.  The Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I had quite a following built up…and I still get orders and requests.  I mostly turn them down…..

But, lately I have been haunted by this cookie.  And its other companion flavors….Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter and the Pretzel Crunch and Swedish Ginger.

Should they make a come back?  Maybe a limited release?

I’m hopeful to get my home studio up and running this summer for classes and a place to gather for fun projects….and maybe eating cookies while we paint???

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Can you almost taste it? I CAN!

Speaking of paint…

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This week I transformed a boring brown mirror with some French Linen Chalk Paint® and then added some Silver Foil from Artisan Enhancements.  Sealed with Clear Finish! Super Yum! The picture does not doit justice, my camera was acting up and the designer needed to grab it and go!

Have a great weekend!!

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Taking time to Enjoy “It”!

mailbox

What is Your “It”?

and are you taking time to enjoy it?

This is my “it”….”it” happens at “409″….and yes of course I painted my mailbox!  I’m truly amazed that I’ve been able to slow down and enjoy being still a little more since we moved from a Court to a Road 6 months ago.  Of course I still  have my “so overwhelmed I’m gonna freak out moments”, but they are sandwiched in between some amazing “stop and smell the flowers” moments.  Honestly, I rarely did this until now.  I’m sure I really missed out on some great moments by being so out of balance for so long.

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This is by far our favorite room in the house!  It feels like a tree house on top of the world.  I’m sitting in the chair on the right at this exact moment watching birds darting about, goats grazing and listing to the bray of donkeys off in the distance.  It gives me a reason just to sit.

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This is my sweet boy #2….gazing at our sweet neighbor riding her horse at sunset.  We sat on the front porch together and talked about front porches.  He probably was thinking I’m just some super dorky mom, but he listened as I explained that a front porch was a very important cultural institution in American history. According to Wikipedia, porch sitting was once considered a status symbol.  Sadly electronics have brought us all inside.  I don’t think people sit on there porches the way they used to.  It definitely is not the social gathering place of long ago.

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I’ve never had a front porch before in any home or rental I have ever lived in.  I have always wanted one!  I have not decorated or even placed any flowers on this one yet.  All we have is two comfortable chairs and a table in between.  Really, that is all I need.  A comfortable chair and a table to set my glass on!  I can even enjoy it with out wiping off the pollen!  Because my ‘It” is to just sit still and enjoy and not worry about the fact the table is dirty, and the area is not perfectly decorated.

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Here is the little guy who sits with me most!

So, what about you?  Are you taking time to enjoy your “It”?

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Painting Outside My Comfort Zone!

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We all have our comfort zones, and I’m admitting that mine are neutrals these days!  I love color, and I’m inspired everyday by all the colors, tones and hues that surround me.  However, it seems the “artist” {I’m so very uncomfortable with that word} in me has not been very adventurous in quite some time!

It seems I’ve found myself in a place of complacency.  I’m very comfortable in my Pure White, Old White, Paris Grey, and French Linen world.  Boring maybe, but clean and comfortable.  Simple.

In walks my dear friend Susie Blackwell, who owns one the fabulous and very vibrant Splurges Boutique.  She had a vintage Bassett French Provincial dresser she wanted overhauled as a display piece in her store.  I took the assignment and assured her it would be over the top fabulous…..and then I FREAKED OUT!

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Here is the before photo of the dresser after I cleaned it up and sanded it a bit.  I sanded it because it had been painted in oil based paint that had a lot of drip marks in it, and I wanted it smooth before I started my unknown creation.  Truth be told I agonized over this piece more than I ever have any piece!

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I finally settled on a color plan of Florence, Antibes, Provence and some English Yellow and perhaps a chevron pattern…..and then just started taping if off without really concluding on a final plan….because I like to “wing it!”! No precise plan every works out anyway, right?

billySusie brought her brother Billy in while I was painting the dresser!  I’m so in love with my special friend Billy!!!  I was so excited that I got to share some Chalk Paint® with him!

dresser

I’m pretty sure I made this whole piece much harder than I needed to, but somehow, by the “Grace” of God it came together! Speaking of Grace…here is the back of the dresser.  Because this piece was to be displayed in a store, I had the added pressure of making the back spectacular as well!!

backThankfully she all came together just in time for the amazing Connie Kissel, from Liquid Time & Co. , Jewelry show!

splurges1Me and Connie!! Check out her jewelry online!

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Make sure you check out Splurges, one of my favorite shops in Greensboro (and beyond!)

located at 1564 B Highwoods Blvd. Greensboro, NC 27140

Master Bath Reveal….Finally!

bathroom1Yes, I am finally posting the picture of our Master Bath remodel!!!  It has been done for over a month and we are LOVING it!!

It was incredibly hard to photograph….these are about the best pictures I could get and I really don’t feel like they do the space justice at all!

Let me remind you of what the “Before” looked like…and you can read about more of it here.

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This was the hardest part about moving into this home.  The master bathroom.  We moved from a much newer home and had enjoyed a very large bathroom for 11 years.  Although, we never used our Jacuzzi tub, we loved that bathroom.

Here is a link to that bathroom, remember I had painted the cabinets Paris Grey?

But, I knew that despite this room, this was the house for us and that surely it could be remodeled to fit our needs.  OK, so let me explain “our needs”.  I’m totally admitting that my husband and I are THE WORST SHARERS ever.  I’m not saying whose fault that is…but let’s just say I’m a little messy and maybe he is a little OCD.  So, the fact that the master bedroom had 2 SEPARATE closets put this house at the top of our list.  Our last house had one big master closet and he did not share this with me.  If this house would have only had one closet….we may have passed.  Taking our non sharing into consideration, we opted for a large double shower instead of a tub.  Besides, the old bathroom had a standard size tub, so there was really no room to make a large bath tub work.

bathshowerWe have 2 rain shower head and his and her niches….our products don’t even have to co-mingle!

We tiled all the way up to the ceiling with white beveled subway tile.  That way if I ever decide to paint the bathroom a different color I never need to worry about painting anything around the shower!

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I LOVE the shower!!!  I also LOVE not having any glass anywhere to clean!!  The shower is so big that it really does not even get that dirty!

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The countertops are a honed granite!  I’m so in love with these!  A huge score at Amanzi Tile and Granite that they had a scrap large enough for the master and the 1/2 bath!!

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The recessed medicine cabinets are from Pottery Barn.  I was bound and determined to have them!  I love having a medicine chest.  It really keeps the clutter off the counters.  But, let me tell you what I went through for those babies.  First of all I totally splurged on them and spend way more than I should have.  Secondly, when they arrived they were OFF white, not white white like my vanity.  So, of course I painted them.  Now time for install….hmmmm seems we were installing on a load bearing wall with 2 outlets that needed to moved! Dang!!  In the long run…worth it! Loving them!

My motto….get what you want and then there will be no “I should have’s!”  I’ve learned that lesson a few times!

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The paint color on the walls is Sherwin Williams First Star {SW 7646}  It is the perfect pale gray!  And yes, I did indeed paint the bathroom myself….

I gotta give a huge shout out to everyone that made this bathroom come together….she here it is…my kudos to….

Julie Jersey of Julie Jersey Design…..her patience with me and my selections, and the go between to make it all happen!

Andy Beachy and his crew at Champion Tile and Stone.  They did all the demo, tile work, electricity and plumbing!!  Awesome!

Dustin Marsh at Omega Creations….for my awesome vanity and hardware!!

Omar at Amanzi Marble and Granite

Lighting over the sinks are from Illuminations of the Triad.

Also, a huge shout out to Build.Com.  I was very impressed with this website!  I was able to read reviews and pick out products from the comfort of my own home and enjoy FREE SHIPPING!  I got my toilet, faucets, all shower accessories and new door knobs online for the master bathroom and 1/2 bath!  The online help was great too!  I highly recommend this way to shop!

And last, but not least, the bath room gets the seal of approval by Asher!

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Yelling “Chalk Line!” with my new friends…..

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If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you may know that I have been working on building a Habitat for Humanity house with my church Westover Church, in Greensboro, NC.  Building a Habitat House has been on my bucket list of things to do FOREVER.  When I heard that my church was sponsoring another build I knew I had to be there!  The build kicked off March 22nd and I was HOOKED from the first nail I hammered! Very empowering!

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On the first day I picked up this green hammer…the only colored hammer in the bucket….and declared it MINE!  I love that green hammer.  I’ve used it to frame walls and shingle the roof so far!

Yesterday I spent the entire day on the roof with Fred, pictured above in the red shirt and BULLS hat.  This is Fred’s house that we are building.  He is from Liberia.  He is married and has 3 children.  This is his dream.  Honestly, I really had no emotional connection to his dream, until I spent the day on the roof with Fred and his friends, all from Liberia and West Africa.  You can see a person, hear their story, and think to yourself “oh that is so great, his dream is coming true…”, or whatever you might think or feel.  But, I’ve got to say that working alongside this group of men yesterday really changed how I felt about a lot of things. I felt Fred’s dream, I saw it in his eyes.  I felt his humanness.  I understood he was a man, a husband and a father.

At first I’m not so sure what they thought of me when I climbed up on the roof to join them. And that would be after I declined any help in getting up there!  I’m just gonna say it…I was indeed a pasty white female…and the only female or pasty white person on my side of the roof.  It did not take long for them to realize that I was indeed serious about getting this roof done.  Serious and stubborn, but fun and a little goofy at the same time!

Most of the guys had worked all night the night before and had come straight from work at 7:45 am to join Fred in building his house.  Some going back to their jobs that night as well.  A true sacrifice for their friend.

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The most important part of the roof was the first shingle in a row, and every few rows we had to ensure that the top of our shingle was indeed on the “chalk lines” that were carefully measured out.  Every time we got to the “chalk line”, Toyota (in the yellow shirt!) would yell out in his thick West African accent “Chalk Line, Chalk Line!”  So we all started chiming in the entire day, yelling out “Chalk Line” every so often and laughing as we did.  Those words bonded us together for the day.  The guys told me that every Saturday they came up with a new word or phrase they use all day.  I love that!  I loved being a part of the “chalk line”!  I loved my pasty white hands side by side with rough and calloused hands of these men. By the end of the day I knew in my heart that Fred did know that I was a little bit more than a pasty white chick (who by then was a red lobster with a sunburn!) with a hammer, I was there to nail each nail for him and his family.  And I knew Fred a little bit more too!

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Before and After in the Studio…

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Now that the kitchen makeover is done, and the master bathroom is complete (reveal coming soon!) I’ve been back in my studio doing some custom work!  I just completed a lovely headboard using Old Ochre and Napoleonic Blue!  I am LOVING Napoleonic Blue and was so excited my client wanted it on her headboard!

The before was not bad at all…it just did not match her decor and she was ready for a change.

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I sketched out a idea and got to work…

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I was thrilled when the only guidance she gave me was color and let me do what I felt the headboard needed!

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I painted it all in Old Ochre, highlighted it with Napoleonic Blue, finished it all with Clear Wax and then added some Dark Wax.

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