I love large picture windows! In our Living Room, there is a configuration of six windows. The view is of our backyard and covered patio.
Due to last summer's drought, we lost a treasured Burr Oak tree this fall. Sadly, it provided not only lovely foliage, but it shaded our patio and kept the sun from invading our Living Room at sunset.
After the tree was removed, my husband and I thought about planting another tree. In the meantime, the whole family was getting blasted by the glaring sun each and every afternoon. An immediate solution was needed!
Window tinting became the next viable option. I did my research online, and quickly discovered a favored brand and product. I found rave reviews for Huper-Optik Nano-Ceramic Films window tinting products.
I've seen several ideas using REALpumpkins, but honestly, if I'm going to all that trouble...
I want it to last and be usable year after year!
The craft stores have these "carve-able" faux pumpkinsnow.
They work great....here's what you need for each topiary:
a small, medium and large carve-able faux pumpkin
a drill with 2 different sized bits
strand of Christmas lights
fall garland with leaves, berries, etc.
sprigs of grapevine
I randomly drilled big and little holes all over the large pumpkin.
Also, drill a hole in the top, near the stem
for the lights to come through and connect to middle pumpkin.
Drill large holes in middle sized pumpkin...
and top holes for lights.
Drill small holes in small pumpkin...
but leave top and stem in tact!
Thread lights up and through all 3 pumpkins.
Then, begin hot gluing the pumpkins together.
Finish off with a fall garland, grapevine and a little glitter spray.
I secured the topiaries in my urns
with a metal dowel rod...just something to keep it from tipping or
blowing over in the wind...
whenever that first coldfront comes in!
I also spruced up those urns with a fresh coat of Rust-Oleum Flat protective enamel. I used this really cool Comfort Grip that Rust-Oleum
gave us at the Haven Conference. Wow...what a difference it made.
It clips on easy and has a trigger that is just as it's named...COMFORTable!!!
Closeup pic of the topiary with the grapevine, and fall garland.
The first installment of my "Fall Porch" is done!
Painting those front doors is next...
(already painted the inside of the doors and that post is coming soon!)
If you'd like to see my finished Fall Porch and wreaths, click here,
and to see my post on Fall Porch Lighting, click here.
They look so pretty all lit up....even if it is still 90° outside!
Hurry fall weather!!!!
Minny's Chocolate Pie, in case you missed it....enjoy!
The Oscar nominations are out, and to celebrate the many nods that the movie "The Help" received, I'm making my version of MINNY'S CHOCOLATE PIE! I don't know about you, but I'm hoping for Best Picture!
Let's just say, any furniture in my house that has a wood finish....
IS NOT SAFE!
I loved transforming this wood armoire into this layered,
And I did it without stripping, scraping or priming.
Yep...you guessed it! Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. (and no, I am not being paid for this endorsement)
If you don't know about this paint, I hope to
educate you a bit in this post, because this is the
first "piece of furniture" that I've painted using ASCP.
Other posts where I have used ASCP can be found here and here.
This armoire is a reproduction piece, so it isn't an antique,
but it has great carving and adornments that made it
a perfect candidate for painting in layers.
I bought it from a friend who didn't have room for it in her new home, and we had just moved in and had this big empty wall across from the bed in the Master Bedroom.
The problem from the beginning was that the wood finish didn't look so great with my "chocolate" colored walls.
And I was NOT going to change my chocolate!!!
First, open your can of paint and begin painting. (ok, I did have to dust it and tape off the mirror)
I used the color French Linen, which is a medium grey tone. I used my new Annie Sloan paint brush that I won at the Haven conference,
and they are lovely to work with.
Paint and don't worry about the brush strokes...
these will add character later to the finish!
Next, I watered down some Old White paint and put that on over the French Linen.
I tried to leave the crevices free of Old White, but because the paint was thinner, sometimes it got in there, but no worries!
The piece was definitely looking a bit ghostly
next to the off-white trim in the bedroom...
but later, the wax would do the trick!
I then used 220 grit sandpaper, and just sanded in those places and spots that would naturally show wear and tear.
In some places I sanded down to the wood finish and in others just to the French Linen layer.
Some of the areas were: around the handles, corners and edges that could easily get bumped or nicked over the years, raised decorative areas.
Then I also picked a few random places on the side panels, just because those get scrapes too.
If you want your piece to look old, you have to study the genuinely old pieces and duplicate.
Then came the wax! Annie Sloan makes a clear wax and a dark wax.
At the Haven conference, I took an advanced painting class and learned from Miss Mustard Seed that you can mix the clear and dark wax together, instead of using the clear first, then the dark.
This was great news, because it saves a step in the process.
So I scooped out 3 spoons of clear wax, 2 spoons of dark wax, then about 1 tablespoon of French Linen paint.
(you can also tint your wax with paint)
I mixed it together, and it looked alot like chocolate frosting...lol!
I took the largest of my handy dandy AS paint brushes, dipped it in and began slathering it on. I kept spreading it til it wouldn't spread anymore.
Then I dipped again, and as you can see in the picture above, the difference in color.
The door and left column does not have the wax applied to it yet.
After the wax dried, which doesn't take very long,
I wanted the "high" areas to show more of the white paint.
To remove some of the dark wax mixture, you simply
use some clear wax.
So I used an old white t-shirt,
dipped it in clear wax, and began rubbing those
areas that I wanted to highlight.
When you are satisfied with the colors...let the wax dry.
Then buff with a clean white t-shirt until the entire surface is smooth.
You will begin to see the sheen and no longer feel resistance.
I was blown away by the truly lovely finish the wax gave this piece.
I also painted the hardware with AS Graphite paint.
Brushed on some of my wax mixture, then buffed them as well!
Here you can see some of the details.
Here's a closeup of where I sanded to the wood, and took down the dark wax to highlight the white in these raised areas.
Even the side is varied in color, and it doesn't have to be even.
That's the beauty of mimicking an old painted piece.
Now it pops against the chocolate walls...and it's very reminiscent of
the high-priced pieces I've drooled over in the magazines!
My son helped build frames for the small square windows.
I painted them black, then stapled fiberglass screening and muslin fabric to the back, to filter the sunlight.
Some things you can't see:
His weight bench is under the chalkboard wall,
because he's 14 and is working on his "buff". His electric guitar is on a stand by the left window. His acoustic guitar is usually hanging around by his bed, but it didn't make it into the pic. Neither did his amp and pedals...which are crammed in his right bedside table.
A little bit of "this" and a little bit of "that"!
A TeeNaGe BOy's RoOm!