Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Happy New Year and One Week!

Happy 2014! I hope your year is getting off to a fabulous start and I hope everyone had a wonderful December holiday. It seems that the late Thanksgiving made it a challenge for all. It was frantic for me since this was the first time in about 20 years that I worked a "day" job and didn't take Christmas week off or have down time to get all the extra Christmas cheer completed! And my Mom treated me and my sister to a long weekend in NYC! It was awesome! I was hoping to post about it last month but would it be weird if I post in a few weeks? So of course, my apologies for no Christmas cards and no baked goodies. I'll do better next year!
I know my blogging is still taking a back seat but I'm finding that working full time and doing some weekend "Painting the Town" and "Savard Studios" Etsy stuff is about all I have time for. I do think I will find a better balance in the coming months so please just bear with me. I truly love all of my jobs and I would love to even post about my new career in medical devices. Would you be interested in hearing about that?
I'm still slowly working on my master bedroom makeover. I had to change direction a bit but I'll post on that later.
I've been working on some painting jobs but nothing too extravagant. I do have a few fun painting projects coming up and will be sure to post those too. I have some furniture makeovers as well and am hoping to do a showcase of furniture before and afters. This piece sold on Etsy and it is in process.
round pedestal table, scrolled base table
 It's a simple makeover but it will be gorgeous! I was tempted to keep it for myself!
This dresser is also in process.

I'm planning to do a simple white with cut glass knobs.

I found these knobs on Etsy. I'll leave the option to the buyer to have it distressed for a cottage look or to polyurethane it with a high gloss finish for a laquered, hollywood regency look. Which style would you choose?
I really miss blogging and interacting! Please nudge me occasionally to remind me someone is anxiously awaiting a new post! Stay warm!!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

New Direction

So I know I've been "absent" waaay too long. You all must think I've fallen off the planet. Well, at least the blogger planet. I've joked for awhile that I have three jobs, decorative painting for my numerous clients by day, furniture and other cool stuff for my Etsy clients and then of course blogging. I must say, the words you speak, often become a reality.
If you know me or if you have read anything about me, you know that I went to college to become a mechanical engineer. I worked as an engineer for several years and then had my first son. As my company downsized during a recession, I found myself at home with a toddler. We had just purchased our first home, so I got busy transforming walls, furniture and a nursery. Then, my sister-in-law and I added some murals to the hallways of our church. These events were the beginning of my decorative painting world. Friends and family started requesting painting projects and my business was up and running. My schedule was flexible and when the kids started school, I worked around their schedule. It was perfect! I always thought I would return to engineering someday. My youngest graduated form high school in June and I felt the that time was nearing. I assumed it would take months or a year even to find the right fit for my very diverse background.  I was wrong. I got serious about sending out some resumes one weekend and saw several interesting things out there. I literally received an offer two and a half weeks later. The job was a perfect position to transition to engineering. An engineering technician position in a very new biomedical engineering company that was opening a small office in Charlotte. I am the 4th permanent hire in the office. The plan is to transition to engineering in 6-12 months. If you are curious about the company and what we do, check us out here. We are in the process of updating the website. I am super excited!! It all happened so fast I just haven't had time to blog. I've had numerous painting projects to wrap up. I will still be available for small painting projects and of course plan to keep my Etsy store running. I'm still hoping to blog a few times a month on the more interesting projects and I will keep you posted on the growth of our Charlotte office! Would love to hear your comments!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Contemporary Silver Circles

I was so excited to execute this finish and share it with you! My client had seen a similar wallpaper but it had a white background. She wanted a soft grey, consistent with the rest of her home.
At first, we were planning to try a reusable stencil with silver paint. I am the eternal optimist. Upon discussing the design with one of my stencil suppliers, we determined a single use adhesive stencil was going to be best. Also, nothing compares to the look of silver leafing. How many times have you heard me say that?
This was no simple task. I wouldn't recommend this for a beginner. We started with the room painted with two coats of an eggshell paint in the same gray that was throughout the house.
The allover stencil pattern was cut into manageable sizes. I started with the middle row and made sure it was level. I taped the stencil to the wall.  Next, I removed the paper backing that allowed me to stick the blue stencil to the wall.
Once the blue was securely stuck, I peeled off the protective top paper. The blue vinyl that was left gives the circle pattern that we will silver leaf. 
Quite the slow moving process. To beak up the monotony and repetitive steps, I alternated by adding leafing adhesive to finished areas.
 When that dried, I was able to add the silver leafing. Looking pretty odd at this point. The final step was to apply a sealer to protect the silver. I used a gloss finish to maximize the sheen of the silver.

Once that dried, I was able to pull up the blue stencil. Also know as "weeding". This was a bit slow as well.

While this was a lengthy process, the end result was well worth it. Photos never do justice to a completed finish, but this is a really awesome, current design. Next week, you can enter to win a silver or gold leafing kit! What project will you use it for if you win?
silver leaf circles, silver and gray walls

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Painted Outdoor Planters - An Experiment

I love warmer weather and all the beauty it brings! This is one of our favorite planters that we fill with annuals every year.

You may remember from this post, my outdoor painted frog that's held up quite well for several years now. Well I had these lightweight planters (made from foam) that we inherited. They were beginning to break down. Of course I didn't think to photograph them but I did find an old photo of them.

They were still in pretty good shape here but the "paint" at the top was really breaking down and exposing the foam. So instead of trashing them, I thought I would try another experiment. The company, Blue Pearl, that makes the Silk Soft paint has really durable products. They are intended for walls, ceilings, trim and furniture but I always push my favorite products to the edge. So I decided to paint these planters and see what would happen.
I did use a spray primer on the exposed foam, but other than that, I just sprayed them off with the hose and let them dry.
Once dry I applied the "Pale Papaya" silk soft. I figured two coats would provide a good film thickness for outside.

pale papaya silk soft, metallic paint, painted planters
Metallic painted planters
That dried overnight. I decided a red glaze would give them a terracotta look. So I use 1 part of "Salsa Red" colorant to 5 parts glaze.

Adding the glaze
I put them out in the sun to dry. BTW, Blue Pearl's colorants are excellent for exterior use so I knew I didn't need to worry about fading. I also decided I wouldn't worry about protecting the finish with polyurethane.
Before and After Red Glaze
I put them in the sun to dry. Later in the afternoon, I put the soil and herbs back in. Then the rain came. I was worried my red glaze would reactivate and run since it hadn't dried overnight. No problem. I guess the sun baked it in.
Here's how they turned out. We just have herbs in them that I transplanted so they aren't too happy right now.
painted foam planters, silk soft paint

So time will tell how they hold up. My money is on the paint. I'm bettin' many other things will fall apart and be discarded but my newly painted planters will still look awesome for years! I'll let you know how they are doing in a few months.
Although this is a sponsored post, my ideas for crazy uses and my opinions are my own. Thanks for following along!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Getting Back on the Blog Wagon

Getting back on the Blog wagon. I apologize for being "absent" for so long. Taking a little blogging detour is a lot like a dieting and exercise detour. It's super hard to get back on track. I had so many commitments converge around the same time, plus with the fabulous weather we've been having I just couldn't get it all done.
Where do I begin? I previously mentioned having a endoscopy to check out some stomach issues. I'm sure you've all been dying to hear the results! Nothing earth shattering, but I did have a stricture in my lower esophagus that they were able to expand with a small balloon. It was causing food to stick and not pass into my stomach. Not a fun experience. I also have some erosion, likely cause by the bottle of ibuprofen I take everyday. :) A physical job creates a lot of aches and pains. I've been increasing some natural anti inflammatory foods to my diet and trying some topical creams for my back and elbow. The tendonitis has been a real pain. My work load is a little slow right now which is good for my elbow, but not so good for my bank account.
My baby boy graduated. From high school! Wow! Time truly does fly! He's not sure what he wants to do. Policeman (can't do police academy until he's 20 1/2), chef, auto body repair? He has lots of interest's and he's not even 18 yet, so he has some time to figure it out. He's working and saving his money and enjoying his summer.

His girlfriend of two years also graduated. Isn't she adorable? She is so beautiful and photogenic she could be a model. She's just as sweet and kind as she is beautiful.

And my husband turned 50! Half a century old. Apparently, he's now a member of the "Red Hat Society" and AARP. He joined a few of our other friends in this milestone. I guess he gets senior citizen discounts now? I thought 50 was the new 30 or something like that.
We had parties two weekends in a row to celebrate these HUGE milestones! Lots of family, friends fun and food! What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Master Bedroom Mini Makeover from Pinterest Inspiration

Isn't it funny how we always put our bedroom d├ęcor on the back burner to everything else? Mine was painted with the best of intentions to do a cool finish on the ceiling but I've just never gotten to it.

I still like the aqua walls but the chocolate and aqua thing is getting a bit bland for me. Did I mention that part of my delay I revamping the room was the acquisition of a rescue mutt 4 years ago? You may remember from this post that she chewed up ALOT of pillows, comforters and sheet sets! When I saw this on Pinterest I loved the idea.

So my plan for this makeover will have several phases and will likely take all summer. It doesn't pay very well when I work on my own projects so paying jobs are always the priority. Here is my 6 step plan:
Bedding revamp
New finish for the trey ceiling
New lamps
Paint furniture - Thinking coral for the nightstands and cream with glaze for the dresser and armoire. Can't decide on painting the bed. I welcome your suggestions.
New paint color on trim
New artwork (likely created by me) and revamp some old accessories
We inherited this large elephant head when my mother-in-law passed away several years ago. Something she got while on safari in Africa? No, just a resin replica but I'm thinking about silver leafing him for the new makeover. (Someone really should take away my silver leafing before I try to cover my house with it.) I'm trying to talk my 17 year old into gold leafing the rims of his little Nissan 240sx. Wouldn't that be hip?!
I am contemplating making a trio of these paper flowers in varying sizes. I saw these on Little Miss Celebration's  blog.

DIY {Big} Paper Twist Door Flower! How-to at littlemisscelebration.com @CindyEikenberg
Anyway, I hope to work on these things in between the paying jobs, painting furniture to list on Etsy, blogging and many, many afternoons at the pool this summer. You can email or message me anytime you miss me this summer. :)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spring Madness Not to Be Confused with March Madness

I know I'm not the only blogger out there feeling the additional pressure that Spring brings. Many of us are publishing fewer posts than normal. Even if you don't blog, this is a high pressure time of year. Pressure to garden, pressure to complete projects before the kids are home for the summer, pressure to enjoy the beautiful weather (Ok, maybe that doesn't count), final exams, school wrap up, weddings, graduations...need I say more? Did your heart race just thinking about it?
So needless to say, I'm way behind. Been busy creating just not posting. My youngest graduates high school in one month. My husband turns 50 at the end of the month. I must be a trophy wife 'cause I'm no where near that age! Ha, I wish. And we typically do a big annual summer party late May. So we need to plan a graduation party, a 50th birthday party and the annual party. My head may explode!
We did get away last weekend with some of our awesome friends. This was our 4th annual wine tour! Fondly called our "One Glass at a Time" tour. Our friends, Terri and David do an incredible job planning this every year.

There are a ton of vineyards/wineries right here in North Carolina. If  you haven't checked them out you really are missing out. We drive a few hours and have lunch, then we start on our pre mapped out tour. We usually hit 3-5 places and do their tour and tasting. A few of our favorites are Laurel Gray and Raffaldini. We always meet great and interesting people.

We end close to our hotel and always have an awesome dinner. This year we dined at 21 & Main in downtown Elkin. I had their lamb chops. They were wonderful! If you find yourself in Elkin you should check it out.
Lamb chops with Mint, Broccolini and Potatoes
Monday, I drove 5 hours to Eastern North Carolina to do the annual faux finish touch up in one of my favorite clients 26,000 sq.ft. home. He is a famous author and most of you can probably guess who it is. Here's a few of my favorite finishes in his home. This is a 22K gold leafed coffered ceiling. My friends at the Gilded Planet were vey helpful on this since I had never used actual gold before. It's MUCH thinner than the imitation stuff.
22K gold ceiling
22Karat Gold Leafed Coffered Ceiling
We embedded the words of the first paragraph of his most popular book in this metallic plaster wall. Very subtle but stunning. With textured products you must use adhesive stencils. Cindy can custom make anything you need over at V-mask Foils and Stencils.
words embedded in a wall finish, metallic wall finish
You saw this vanity in my last post. We did a champagne leaf finish on the walls in this powder room. Silver leaf with a warm glaze to make it more of a champagne color.
silver leafed walls, metallic painted vanity
This powder room was a tissue paper texture with a red metallic paint and umber glaze. We used a graphite glaze on the black trim. 
metallic red walls, red walls, black trim
In this bath, we stried a blue metallic plaster, then top trowelled a cream and tan metallic plaster.

I spent all day Tuesday touching up minor dings in the finishes, then drove back home. It was a long day and I'm very sad to report my thighs are actually sore from going up and down steps all day. I really need to get back to boot camp.
I have a really cool project I'll be working on this week, so I'll be sure and post about it soon. It involves contemporary circles and silver leaf. Follow me on Twitter or Facebook if you want to see it as it happens.
Then late tomorrow I'm going in for a gastric endoscopy. I've been having some stomach issues for quite some time and am finally frustrated enough to have it checked out. I'll keep you posted on the results.
In closing, I will leave you with this. (My hubby got this for me.. I'm trying not to take it personally.)

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