Breathe the Fresh Air

Journal – tagged "News!":                                  Photo Credit: Peg and Awl.  http://pegandawlbuilt.com/

It has been a busy week!  I haven’t done any new furniture flips this past week because I have mostly been enjoying Spring in New England.  The warm weather has finally started to arrive here and I have been soaking it all in!  Last week I spent most of the week doing yard work.  My gardens needed some serious tending to after the long Massachusetts winter.  They were sad and needed a “make me pretty again, please!” moment.  After getting them all prepped with raking, weeding, and flipping the soil, my youngest daughter and I went to Home Depot and got a bunch of flowers to plant.  It was fun picking out flowers together and then finding the perfect spot to plant each one.

I will admit that I was never a gardener, but over the past few years I have slowly started to become more comfortable after putting some real effort into it.   I learned a lot along the way about what worked, what didn’t, and what I could do better next season.  It is always fun to see a tiny little plant blossom after you provide the necessary care toward it. One of the most important things that I have learned is that placing a plant in the proper environment is so important, as well as caring for it properly.  Another important part of gardening is to not give up on the process.  Don’t give up on plants too easily, just change up what you are doing with them.  Consider watering more, watering less, adding fertilizer, repotting it, or moving it’s location and sometimes it will bounce back and be just as amazing as it was meant to be! Little baby plants are symbolic to people… if we are feeling dry and uninspired….change things up, do something different so that you can bloom and thrive!

Yesterday, was one of those “perfect temperature” kind of days (high 70’s with a light breeze).   I had a lot of work that I should do around the house, but I decided to not waste a day of beautiful sunshine and go for a hike.  My mother in law had my daughter for a “grammie” day and I used it to my full advantage.  I initially contemplated going on another solo mountain trip, but I really did need accomplish some tasks and not spend too much time away.  I decided I would go to a new local spot that I had heard great things about, but never actually done myself.  I went to a state forest in Newburyport, MA called Maudslay State Park.  If you live in the area and have never been….go!  The one thing I regret is leaving the map that I printed up….on my printer!  Yeah, I realized this just as I was parking my car in the parking lot.  They have a map at the entrance, but it was not a very detailed one.  There are a ton of different trails that you can walk, but the blazes on the trail are not well marked.  With that being said, I didn’t want to wander too far away without knowing where I would end up.  Some of the trails go right along with riverside and it is right near the ocean.  As you are walking you can smell a mix of both forest and ocean all the at the same time.  What is better than that?  I found a comfortable spot to sit right by the water, read my book, and just enjoy the time listening to the wildlife around me.  One thing that I am so thankful for is having a father who was a science teacher.  Growing up he instilled in me a respect for animals and a love of nature.  It has allowed me to share that same love with my own two girls.  When you take the time to just sit, observe your surroundings, and pay attention to the details…Creation is astounding!  I am going to leave you with a few pictures of yesterdays hike and I can definitely say that I will be going back….with a map!  Enjoy your week and embrace the fresh air and beauty around you!

“Some old-fashioned things like sunshine and fresh air are heard to beat”

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

Brimfield or Bust!!!

As many of you know, this weekend I got to experience my first Brimfield Antique Show.  For years I have wanted to go to this show and this is the year it happened.  For all of you who are wondering what in the world “Brimfield” is, I will give you a quick overview.  It takes place 3 times a year for about a week (May, July, and September).  The show is located in Brimfield, Massachusetts which is about an hour and 20 minutes from my home.  If you are a lover of antiques, people watching, and all things eclectic ….this is the place to be!  Brimfield Antiques show is the largest outdoor antique show in the entire world.  People come from everywhere to be here (including Europe, Japan, and Africa) !  It is compromised of over 23 different fields filled with venders and booths along one main road (Rt. 20)   The day started off long due to sitting in enormous amounts of traffic, but we were determined and eventually got there.  While we were pulling onto the main

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Flea Market Flip being Filmed

road, we saw the HGTV show “Flea Market Flip” being filmed and people gathering to watch.  It was fun to see, but then I remembered…time to focus on finding a spot to park!!!   Finding parking was no easy feat as many of the lots were already full.  But we finally found a spot on the far end of one of the fields! Now the treasure hunt could begin!   It was overwhelming to say the least!  I didn’t even know where to begin or what I wanted to see the most.  I had a mental list in my head of items I was

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Parked in the distance ready to go!

looking forward to finding, but it’s easy to forget in this atmosphere.  The sights, the sounds, the food, everything was amazing!  I will be honest in telling you that some booths had fantastic pieces, but were way overpriced.  There were other booths who were very reasonable and willing to “haggle”.  There were some booths that just had pure junk.  I felt guilty because for the first hour I just “browsed”.  I didn’t want to put my money down on something and then later find that I would fall in love with something bigger and better. Eventually I hit my stride, started “haggling”, and purchased a few small primitive items that were priced fairly and fit my decorating style.  Here of some of my finds from the weekend!

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To briefly sum it up….I would say it is worth the visit.  The crazy part is that we only got around to seeing about 1/3 of all that was there!  It is an experience like no other and seeing all the different booths was so fun!  Brimfield sparked with creativity!  Seeing how people styled items, set up their booths, utilized random pieces.  It gives you such a broad idea as to what you can do with simple items to inspire! Here is a quick slideshow to give you an idea of some of the items for sale and what the booths looked like.

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It was fun, exhausting, and I am so glad we did it.  I am already planning for the next time I go!! If you have ever thought of visiting…let me know, I’ll give you some pointers and tips that I learned that might make it easier for you!

The Little White Dresser that Fought Back

Another week is here and I am going to present you with the bane of my existence.  Okay, maybe I am being a bit melodramatic, but seriously this furniture flip was a lot more work than I initially envisioned.  It started with a simple picture text from my friend, “hey my neighbor is getting rid of this…do you want it?”.  All giddy and excited, “Yes, ABSOLUTELY”.  It looked awful, but it was solid wood and had “cute” potential!  My darling friend Stephanie even brought it over THAT day for me!! Wahoo!  That is what you call a good friend!  Even she laughed and said, “can’t wait to see what you do with this one”….I should have known then….I was doomed…

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Day 1:  I took all the ugly decals off and removed the nasty old contact paper in the drawers.  For this project I knew I was going to have to strip it.  The paint was really chippy and peeling in spots and the previous paint job was bad.  This was my first time actually stripping something.  The bottle said “strips easily in 15 minutes”…not true!  I stripped and stripped and stripped….the paint just took forever to come off!  It took a couple of hours to get a good bit of it stripped and I decided to stop there.  This was when I knew that this little dresser was going to give me a run for my money.  I did a little more research and got a specific stripper called Soy gel Stripper and finally got the rest of the old paint off.

I decided to paint this dresser with white chalk paint because I knew the milk paint  would have a hard time adhering to this surface.  Chalk paint is great because you can paint anything with no prep work involved.  You can virtually find chalk paint everywhere now!! I bought this white can at Home Depot, but you can find chalk paint at Michaels, Target, Antique shops, etc.  It is similar to milk paint, but doesn’t naturally chip on it’s own like the milk paint.  I used 2 coats of chalk paint Minwax 63333 Satin Polycrylic Protective Finishes, 1 Quartand  finished with a coat of Polyacrylic in satin finish.  Polyacrylic is great especially on lightly colored painted items.  It is similar to polyurethane as it gives a nice protective top coat, but polyurethane does tend to have a yellowing component in it.  I often use Polyacrylic with painted items and Polyurethane with wood stained pieces.

The last step was the finishing touches.  A few weeks ago I told you about how I went Antique Silver Glass Knobto Hobby Lobby for the first time and fell in love.  Well, while I was there I picked up some cute antique styled silver glass knobs for this project.  Totes Adorbs…right?  I also knew that I wanted to get some cute paper to reline the drawers.  So…Spoonflower to the rescue!  If you haven’t heard of Spoonflower…check it out http://www.spoonflower.com/how_it_works .  They take graphic designs and drawings and make fabric, wallpaper, and wrapping paper with the design.  I found this awesome scalloped paper by littlearrowdesigncompany and decided this would be the perfect fit.  Once I got the paper, I measured it and then used some spray adhesive for it to adhere to the drawer.  Finally….THERE YOU HAVE IT, the story of a little white dresser who decided to fight back!

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