Mad Hatter Tea Party


Wow, it has been a while.  The winter was extremely difficult, and I had no place to do any work!  Spring is here, and summer i’m going to go nuts doing work!  It was also my first year of teaching, and that proved to be quite difficult to do both.

Anywayyyyy.  I completed this really awesome custom order.  My client wanted to spice up her dining area.  She had a table with a bench on one side, and wanted chairs around the table to be all different.  There were five dining chairs, each one a different color, and we mixed and matched patterns.  The sixth chair will be used for a side chair.

My client went to a salvage/antique shop and picked a bunch of different chairs.  They were covered in lacquer, and took forever to sand down.  Here is one  of them prepped and ready to go!


When I was ready to paint, I came home one day, and found my paint sprayer hose chews, and when I took a closer look I saw that the cord had been chewed.  My lovely dog Prima must have had a meltdown because she chewed it up! Good thing it wasn’t plugged in.  The shoe is in there just for good measure.

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So I had to buy a new paint sprayer, which set me back a bit.  I decided to try a new brand- Black & Decker, and I actually really like it.


It allows me to have a lot more control over the flow of paint, it is super easy to clean, and the price was on the lower end of sprayers.

Each chair needed a new piece of wood for the seat, new foam, and obviously upholstered.

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Once assembled, here is how they came out, pretty cool I think!  Here is the purple chair:

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Here is the yellow chair:

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Here is the orange chair:

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Here is the green chair:

11429970_962437120454005_1290033871386081654_n 10641075_962437097120674_1482245620017012180_nHere is the blue chair:

10417699_962437170454000_6015451787218408868_n 11406515_962437200453997_4553805959458257846_nFinally, here is the red chair:

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Assembly row:

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Turned out to be a very cool collection.  I can’t wait to see what it looks like at her kitchen table!

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“Let there be light, and there was light”


I certainly had a lot of fun picking out the light fixtures for the house.  All the other lights were really outdated:


It’s just that gorgeous 1990’s look, right?  Well… I have to say that I replaced literally every light in the house- whatever- it is what it is.   I can’t do one and not the others!  So I’ll walk you through:  Here is the light in the downstairs half bath, a nice antique bronze:


Now, this light below I used in a number of locations: 1) Front Entry 2) Kitchen and 3) Upstairs Landing:


Here is the pendant light over the Kitchen sink- the pattern matches the speckled look on the countertops

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I’m doing good so far right?  WAIT till you see the dining room light!!!  I knew I wanted a really unique chandelier, something different, something rustic…. I ended up searching on ETSY for a personalized piece.  I came across MOSAICUS, and the owner/creator Annette was wonderful to talk to!  Here is the light I ordered and put up!


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I love the color that it has on it, and it was given that aged patina look.  Here is the link to MOSAICUS‘s ETSY page:

I know, It’s a goodie.  Ok let’s move up stairs shall we?  So the master bathroom I carried through the antique bronze look.  I got these beautiful matching lights for the double vanity sink:

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Lastly, the upstairs full bath I went with a totally different look.  I kinda gave it a “new look” in a brushed nickel.  I am not sure If I love the idea- my OCD kicks in and says I should have stuck with the antique bronze, but changing it up isn’t bad right? Plus I liked the light, I think it’s different, a bit industrial- and I like beating to the sound of my own drum!

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So there you go- the lights are on in the house now!

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A Day of Exploration


Not sure if all of you have heard of the WinSmith Mill in Norwood, MA, but it’s an incredible mill dating back to the 1800’s that now houses a number of businesses and antique stores.


There a wide variety of stores to include everything from antiques, home decor, paint, clothing, primitive pieces, industrial, mid-century/modern, succulents, furniture, and the list goes on!  You can check out their Facebook page:


Well, I headed in with a couple of my friends Sam & Heather, and we wanted to spend the day wandering through the stores.  The second you walk up the stairs, notice the marquee on the building, and enter the big red doors, you know it’s going to take a while.  I always say that it’s like being at IKEA- you need to plan to have at least 3 hours sucked out of your day, because you can’t do it in less time

(yes, even if you skip straight to the shopping part).


We started our adventure in the Vintage Peacock (see their Facebook page here:


Their shop is always so wonderful, bright and sunny.  They have expanded since my last visit, and have a whole bunch of new vendors!  They have a wonderful array of antiques, re-purposed items, refinished furniture, and miscellaneous.  As for what the new vendors have brought in? I am sure there is even more variety!


 I desperately wanted to take that fireplace mantle home to use as a headboard, but knew my bed wouldn’t fit.  However, if you read this and have a bed that fits- you better go get it!  I can live vicariously through you.


We headed out, popped in “Attitudes,” which is a fantastic clothing shop lead by Connie.  She has a variety of clothing and accessories, and I guarantee when you pop in there you will leave with something wonderful!


It was so busy in there I could barely snap any pictures (thank you to Olive for letting me snag this photo).  You can read more about her shop here:

Across the hall from “Attitudes” Is “Diggin’ Daisy’s.”


Deb runs “Diggin’ Daisy’s.”  It’s a smaller shop, but don’t let that deceive you!   It is filled with very beautiful items that have been carefully hand selected for display.  You can see her Facebook page here:

We turned the corner, headed into a new shop that just opened: “23rd & Bird.”  It’s such a catchy little name, isn’t it?!


You can find some great repurposed items in here as well.  Something unique they offer are incredible hand crafted cutting boards.


 Next door to them is “Chanel Shabby Rose.” I love this shop for it’s parisian influences.  It is very whimsical and romantic.  There are really beautiful items in this store: antiques and repurposed.


Here is the Facebook link:


As we continued down the line- we reached “Madden Blue.”  Lauren and Janie sell Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, but their shop is absolutely gorgeous and has an incredible classy look to it.  Here is the link to their Facebook page:


Along with their paint, they have pieces of furniture, drawer pulls and knobs, place mats, rugs, etc. The fancy drawer pulls are only $7.00-$10.00, and they are certainly something you can’t find at anywhere hard ware store.  It’s the perfect way to spice up any piece of furniture- new or old!


The last shop in the row is “Lilac Cottage.”  Here is her Facebook link:


There are beautiful pieces of home decor, scents, plants, and personal accessories.  here are a few!

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 We walked down the ramp, and headed to “Vintage Thymes.” Here is their Facebook link:


 Run by Robin and Nancy, “Vintage Thymes” is a monthly market- only open one weekend a month, and the theme the weekend I went was “Paris,” which I absolutely LOVE!  There were so many items to look at!



What is unique about “Vintage Thymes” is that their inventory every month is different.  Vendors are responsible of rotating their pieces out and complimenting the given theme.  Every space is displayed so nicely.

We ventured into “Furnichicks,” who used to be upstairs, but moved downstairs into a huge space. Run by Olive and Tammy, They specialize in re-finishing and re-purposing furniture, much like myself.   Here is their Facebook link:



Their pieces are complimented with “Jumble Shop” ( a great little shop for clothing, shoes, and accessories galore) and “GT Modern” (Tom carries a bunch of interesting “hard to finds” that reflect that MAD MEN theme, mid-century modern eta, and industrial pieces too).  Here is his Facebook link:


“Fleurish” is through the hall, and has just recently opened.  I love this shop.  It’s always so pretty, calming, and filled with gorgeous furniture and greenery.  You can buy succulents, potted plants, and other natural elements to compliment your home.  Here is the Facebook link:

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 We need to finish up Building 24 before we could head down to the other end of the mill.  We headed upstairs.  There are three shops on the second floor: “Salvage Angel,” “POSH Design Center,” and “Blue Bird Studios.”

“Salvage Angel” is a really cool eclectic shop filled with a more primitive feel.  From antiques, to hand creations, and repurposed items, you can find almost anything!



Sue is the owner of “Salvage Angel”, and she makes many of the creations herself.  Here is an example of her creativity:


Here is the Facebook link:

Across the Hall from “Salvage Angel” is “POSH Design Center.”  It is a collaboration of different designers that specialize in hand crafted home decor.


Here is the Facebook link:

Also on the 2nd floor is “Blue Bird Studios.”  A wonderful eclectic shop with everything from furniture to greeting cards!


On the third floor there is a the beautiful “Norwood Fine Arts Gallery & Studio.”  The talent in that room alone is breath taking.  There are a variety of artists- please be sure to take the stairs to the 3rd floor and visit them!  Here is a link to their Facebook page:


PHEW! Ok, Building 24 was accomplished, and then we headed outside in the gorgeous weather.  First we stopped at “Ramblin Rose Cottage.” Sheryl, the owner, is such a doll!


“Ramblin Rose” specializes in antique finds relevant to the Victorian Age.  Here is the Facebook link:


You can find “ReMARKable Cleanouts” in the building next door. It is a massive space with all types of items from estate clean outs.  You can find everything from furniture, to records, to lighting, to clothing, lighting, paintings, and it goes on and on!



Here is the link to “ReMARKable Cleanouts Facebook page:

You can find “Gallery 2” on the same floor.  Such a great unique shop.  It separates itself from the others by providing all sorts of antiques as well as vintage clothing.  Here is the Facebook link:



Last, but certainly not least is “Sir Puglsey and Lady Jules Pet Supplies.”  Here is the Facebook link:


You can find pet food, toys, and even get pet training here! The shop is located in the small brick building you can find whether you are heading in or out of the complex.


Well thats it folks, I told you it was a lot! All in all, anything you want or need for your home, collection, and pets, you can find at the Winsmith Mill.  They are located at:


You definitely should stop by, but remember it will take the whole day!  Haha, enjoy shoppers 🙂

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My handmade “Book Ends”


I have been dying to share this post, but I obviously had to wait until work was completed!  Well I’ve had a dresser for a long time that I knew I wanted to use in my house, but just hadn’t gotten to it.  Well I figured being in my new place would be the perfect opportunity to do my bedroom with new pieces, but OLD Renewed Reloved pieces.  I had been on the hunt for end tables that met the following criteria:

1) Taller than wider

2) Antique

3) The legs needed to match the legs on the dresser

4) Drawers/Storage

5) Ornate hardware

After stalking Craigslist for weeks, and looking in antique stores I FOUND THEM! A pair to boot!  I managed to get them both for $50!


 So I went and got the tables and was all excited.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  I work on furniture all the time, but these end tables were a b*tch.  The veneer was peeling/chipping… I patched some of it with wood filler, but in some places it looked like sh*t, and I’m too much of a perfectionist to stand for that.  So, I do what all rational people do in a dilemma- make more work for myself.  I decided on the sides that had the worst peeling I would just chip off all the veneer.  At first it went smoothly:


And then…. it got nasty, and I couldn’t quite get under the veneer to lift it with out denting the wood underneath.  So I experimented.  I knew that the veneer was held on with glue… I grabbed a damp facecloth and used my iron to heat up and steam the facecloth.  This helped loosen the glue, and made it easier to wedge my razor and putty knife under the veneer.


A pretty genius idea if I do say so myself, and I should probably let you know that the face cloth I used was thrown out….

Next I sanded the sh*t out of them.  There were lots of dents, they were worn, so I really made sure to get a smooth surface.  On the middle drawers I discovered an ornate design. Of course the veneer was chipping, so I peeled it off.  I knew I wanted to preserve the pattern, so I took a pointed metal nail file and traced the shape.  I didn’t know what I would do with the design but I knew I wanted to keep it and incorporate it some how.


 I sanded everything down, and they were ready for paint!  I used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint in “Old White.”  I love the color because it is so versatile, and really highlights pieces.  I decided that I would use left over paint from one of my bedrooms to enhance the design on one of the drawers..


I hand painted it with Benjamin Moore’s “Shabby Chic” that I used in one of my guest rooms.  They came out gorgeous, and believe it or not,  they matched the same pattern I have on my dresser (but you won’t see that until later <<wink wink>>).


I had to do 3 coats of paint (shoot me now), because the wood was so dark and aged that it was bleeding through.  This is usual because Annie Sloan Chalk Paint covers pretty well, but sometimes it does happen.  This like weird yellow or sometimes pink stain comes through.  You need to apply another coat.  I distressed them, waxed them, buffed them, and polished the hardware…. here is the finish product…. DAMN they are gorgeous!







Now wait until you see the dresser- it looks like a complete set!

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Magic trick round 2


I headed back to a Benjamin Moore paint supplier to re-evaluate my colors.  I decided to start from scratch; the only color that had been previously decided upon was “Baby Fawn” for the hallway because I carried it through from downstairs.  You should have seen me at the Benjamin Moore paint store, I sat on the floor, cutting up colors and placing them on my floor plan.  I wanted each room to have a different look, but nothing too drastic; I wanted it to have a nice flow.  Here is what I came up with:


As you can tell from the ripped paper- I taped and moved the samples around quite a bit.  This picture doesn’t do the paint colors any justice either- this picture s*cks.

I had my heart set out for this rustic look for my master bedroom, and chose “Mesa Verde Tan”


The Master Bathroom will have antique bronze faucets and shower head so I wanted to keep with the creams

I chose “Mocha Cream”:


One of the guest rooms, which is nice and bright, I decided to go with a darker color

I chose “Smoked Oyster”


For the full bathroom on the second floor off the hallway I have chosen “White Down”


For the other bedroom I have chosen “Shabby Chic”- mostly because I was hooked on the name…


As I mentioned before, I carried the color “Baby Fawn” from downstairs, and carried it through the hallway and landings


I’m really happy with the colors I chose, and I’m already decorating in my head.  I’ll be sure to post pictures of before and after colors!

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Behind, in front, can’t get around the candelabra!


Ok, all my posts so far have been “tips and techniques” and “progress” posts, but let’s lighten it up with something funny.  I have been shopping around looking for an upholstered head board; online, in stores etc…. My mother and I headed to Jordans Furniture so I could buy a new mattress, and we figured while we were there that we might as well look for some bed frames.  I love walking through the showroom floor, everything looks so nice, and you can get some great decorating inspiration.  However, when we turned the corner, we both almost sh*t!


We had come face to face with Liberace’s bedroom set.  It even had its very own candelabra.  I of course think this is hilarious, and wonder who would actually buy this set, aside form the man himself!  I didn’t just move on, I laid on it and felt like Cleopatra.  Liberace my man, you were on to something….


Then again, he WAS the man and could do whatever he wanted.   If the bed wasn’t enough for you, perhaps you want to accessorize the room with full blow sparkly/glittered furniture.  Did I mention the price?  YIKES!


I digress…. I did find something that I absolutely LOVED, and ordered it with my new mattress, I know I will sleep soundly!  I found a gorgeous upholstered headboard/footbard/frame studded with antiqued bronze/brass upholstery nails.


Scruba-dub-dub, but NOT in a tub!


For those of you who know me, know I am OCD, and I tend to go a bit overboard with cleaning, but when it comes to taking over some one else’s old home… I’m gonna strip that baby down!  From my last blog post, you saw that I had removed all the cabinet faces and doors.  Now that I packed them up into my trunk, and lugged them to my parents house, it was time to clean them!



I set up a system on the kitchen table- I laid out the labeled cabinet and drawer faces on the kitchen table, a little at a time: there are 21 total faces that need to be cleaned….. yeah I KNOW- A LOT.


I had gone down to the Home Depot to find some industrial grade cleaning supplies- Dawn was just NOT gonna cut it.  I bumped into this woman in the aisle, and we started making small talk about cleaning.  I told her I had a lot of grease to deal with, and she suggested “Zep..” I was intrigued- do tell me more!  I thanked her and started looking at all my options.  There are plenty of Zep cleaners, but I was looking for something serious- nuclear warfare style. I found Zep 505, grabbed some gloves, sponges, and stainless steel brushes… I’m not going to lie- I rushed home to get started, I was very excited (sick, I know).


I cut down a huge black trash bag to cover the surface of the Butcher Block, and placed ONE face at a time on there.  I put the posit it at the top right of the butcher block to make sure it followed the damn cabinets everywhere.  At first I was spraying the faces, letting it sit for a second, and using the front and back of the sponge to clean it.  It just wasn’t cutting it.  I busted out the stainless steel brush and went to town.  I can’t even describe to you the amount of grease that I scraped off each face.  I scrubbed and scrubbed.  I rinsed each cabinet after and hand dried them.  Some of them I had to re-wash/scrub because there was still some residue.  I managed to get into every nook and cranny!  I dried them off, and replaced the post-its.  I started placing the dry clean faces on a drop cloth in my parents dining room.  Have I mentioned they are less than thrilled that I have turned their home into a temporary workshop?


Look how beautiful they are, all clean and pretty!  I couldn’t stop there though…. I realized that I spent (in total) 5 1/2 hours cleaning the faces (front and back) of these cabinets and doors, but the cabinet frames were left untouched…. so I went back to my new house, took a look around and realized  I had my work cut out for me.


Every single shelf had faux marble contact paper on it.  No surface had been left untouched!  I personally can’t stand it, so I started ripping it off, and it must have been there for a while, because it came off easily.  Unfortunately, when you remove the contact paper it leaves a sticky residue behind.  So gross.  I knew all the surfaces would have to be cleaned.  So I got my bucket of hot hot water (scalding actually), my gloves, and brushes, and started with the bottom cabinets.  I knew instantly two things: 1) This was going to take forever and 2) I couldn’t stop I HAD to finish (OCD)- it’s a double edged sword. I knew I would feel better once I finished, but it was going to take a while to get there.  I scrubbed inside the cabinets, drawers, and the outsides, and even the hinges and drawer tracks.  This time it was ME who left no surface untouched! TAKE THAT!

 Ok, so at this point I am 4 hours in, a little delirious, but still motivated.  Jammin’ to a mix of Dave Matthews Band and Elvis in the background, I reached the range and overhead microwave.  Now I gave them a good stern look, and realized this was going to be a nasty job.  I had the cleaners come in, and they did the top of the range, and it looked great, but they didn’t do the underside of the microwave, or the walls next to the range….


Honestly, when I looked under the microwave and adjacent cabinets and walls I almost vomited.  The surface was ORANGE with grease.  GROSS, GROSS, GROSS.  The wall to the right, was COVERED with grease splatter.  I began to panic.  I sprayed the surface, soaked it with hot water, and waited.  I loosened the gunk up a bit with a scratch sponge, but re-applied the cleaner.  At this point I have probably taken off about 10 years of my life because I didn’t use a mask- though I did use gloves, so give me some credit….  I used the stainless steel brush- brush brush brush brush…. but still the grease remained.  So I resorted to a flat razor.  I LITERALLY scraped the grease from the underside of the cabinets and wall.

Good news it, I managed to get it all done; Bad news is: it took me a total of 5 hours to clean all the cabinets and walls.