Category Archives: Our New Puppy

If I Could Blink Blog Posts…

Maybe it’s growing up with these TV shows –



but I SOOOOOOO wish I could just blink or twitch my nose, and put my thoughts to printed blog posts….

There isn’t a day that goes by  (14 days since the last post) where I don’t think to myself  “gotta share that!”  or ” great tip”  “great color combo…”     It’s the GET IT DONE part that I’m struggling with… if I could BLINK, or TWITCH,  or nod my head and have a post appear I’d be a happy camper!

Hopefully, if you’re here to find new inspiration, you can instead poke around a bit and read some of the  other posts I have here to inspire you, while I work at getting back on track …

So where was I hiding the last week or so?    At home .

It was time to dedicate a few days to  family life  – we moved a few months ago and really haven’t had any free time to get things in order.  The garage was loaded to the gills,  not a picture hung,  no rooms personalized…   the basement bar was recently completed  but we did it with plywood and stock cabinets, awaiting my finishing touch…

I checked out of  ‘work’ mode and spent 4 days with hubby and kids, getting items checked off the list.

The bar was first –  I used my tried and true Aurastone products for the counters


I get asked alot about the Aurastone/Granicrete epoxy system by homeowners that want to use it – I offer so many DIY options at my studio that folks tend to think everything I do is user friendly.  It’s not considered a DIY finish,  I  cant teach it or sell the products –  Im only an installer, not a distributor.

It’s messy, and I complain every time I use the products, but in the end it makes a nice finish, making it worthwhile –


The colorants, and stains, get shot from squirt bottles…. they clog.  It sucks…   but I get to sprinkle cut glass and mica flakes  onto the surfaces so that makes up for it…


The more I can layer the tints, the more authentic the finish will look…


Then the added prayers  while I ready the epoxy…   if you’re not precise in your measuring and mixing the epoxy won’t cure evenly – resulting in a do-over… I’ve had that happen before, don’t want it to happen again…


The next morning, all looks good –  except a surprise visit, from a fly that died landing in the then wet now dry epoxy…   (we gouged out what we could and called the rest a fossil)


The epoxy really intensifies the colors and adds so much dimension –



With the counters behind me, I focus on the rest of the bar –  I used Caromal Textured Basecoat Pumpkin and brushed out a layer on the  base – to make it look more plumped upDSC_5543

The thicker paint really does a great job at hiding flaws, like unfinished seams… DSC_5545


When the pumpkin dried I brushed a watered down layer of American Paint’s Lincoln’s Hat – it looks grayish here because it’s dry and not sealed,  but Lincoln’s Hat once sealed will be black.    My plan is to sand the black back and let some pumpkin through, and then seal-


The new stock cabinets got a simple straight grain glaze finish using a mixture of Faux Effects Stain and Seal and some glaze.  This isn’t something I recommend for ‘used’ cabinets – stains can be tricky and going over surfaces that have ANY kind of wear – be it from weather elements, human touch, or every day use – can be a challenge, resulting in an uneven finish thats impossible to fix…


Only got 1/2 way, but a good start, right?


I stained the inside cubbies,  and need to Pumpkin/Lincoln’s Hat the edges still…


I think I might seal the finish with a dark Liberon Wax – I have an old Georgian Mahogany color from my wall days, maybe mix that with the dark walnut – that will seal the paint AND antique it at the same time, and I like the idea of antiquing the black.   Liberon Wax can really add a grungy instant age,  this island  could use that –


Are you guys done yet?


With the bar in order, we gutted the garage and sorted every last box.  My car  is in the garage for the first time since we moved –


We hung art, and mirrors,  and got BOTH kids rooms painted – something I really wanted to accomplish before they started back to school…

We went dark olive green on my son’s walls, and hung simple brown side panels to dress up his room darkening shade – DSC_5655

He wanted NOTHING hung on his walls, so I surprised him and hung a tiny wood sign next to his light switch – maybe it will motivate him this ‘last year of high school’….


We used 2 colors of turquoise for my daughter’s room – a lighter for the raised ceiling panels and darker turquoise for the rest.    She’s been waiting to personalize her space for awhile now, so it was nice to knock this one out…


She added a faded stencil – something she plans to do randomly, here and there,  and she’ll finish it off with a few blingy swarovski crystals …

Did you notice I said  “She…” ?   She is planning on finishing the stenciling herself…


A glitzy knob, to update her old ‘Reclaim-Licorice-painted’ furniture…




We readied the nest for a new school year – in Michigan most kids head back after Labor Day –  and the first day of school was smooth.   We didn’t get EVERYTHING checked off our list, but we certainly made a huge dent 🙂

Back at the store I finished this corner piece


I also received our new stash of American Paint MICA POWDERS –  Silver, Gold, Pewter, Copper and Black –


and American Grit, a dirtying agent used with the wax –


Those will all be added to the online store this weekend, if you’re looking for them beforehand just give us a call.

Our fall workshop schedule is posted, but I still need to post photos of the Level II finishes -hopefully I can get those up by the weekend.

Tomorrow I’ll share a post full of recent workshop finishes, to get you motivated – this is the perfect time of year to knock out a piece or two of your own!



you can find our Fall schedule  here


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Bella The Pup Loves Her Chair…

Do dogs have a favorite chair?

I think our Bella does

My what BIG nose you have!

Woof Woof!

A Few Caromal Samples, Some Doggy, And Last Hoorahs….

(This is a post I created a couple months ago to share along the way… I realize, looking back, that these photos were from our old house – no big deal to most, I know, but it caught me off guard.  I guess, if anything, it shows me that time really does just keep moving forward…..)

Creating some Caromal Colours sample wood finishes…

Doggy Bella is never too far away from any action…

The Toner – my *favorite* part of the Caromal Colours painting….

… wait for it….

last samples that will be done on this particular back patio…

Lovely samples, I  LOVE Caromal paints!

The Night Before A New School Year, And AARRRRGGH Dog!

So here we are, another summer gone… a new school season ready, set, go…

It’s been such a chaotic month,  often I feel like I’m not even myself and I don’t like that.   I can’t explain it – I’m not ‘myself’ but it’s because ‘myself’ isn’t defined anymore.   I’m not who I was anymore… I’m kinda in limbo…  like I’m floating and won’t know who I am until we land back on the ground…

But parents do the parent thing –   put a smile on so the kids don’t worry …  and I need that smile,  because I HAVE to believe that there will be something to smile about 🙂

Kids laundry is done – rooms are clean , even clean sheets – what better way to start the school year?   I got the bulk of school supply shopping done on one of my many Office Max getting-the-store-ready runs…   New socks and undies? Check.

When you hear the loud screaming in five minutes?  That will be my kids – the electronics will be yanked – no more xbox, no more Itouch, no phone texting or facebooking –  not during the week.    Hate me now, love me later.  Trust that.

In the mean time, I am so over this darn dog eating Julia’s stuff…

that is part of this

I swear its been almost every day this last month… not a coincidence that Mark and I have been gone so much, trying to get the store ready – the kids are obviously not giving her enough attention/exercise….

Lovely brush collection there Julia

and the eating of the flip-flops!  No  lie, shes trashed a good 6 pair so far-

Two others that have no match becuause she ate those too… that grey one up top?  Made her get that at the dollar store.. and the purple one too…

Thing is, she’s putting them away in her cubby, but the dog is going in there and helping herself to Julia-scent.

Oh, and look,  Mr. piggy is just fine

maybe they need to make the flip-flops outta that piggy material…

There El Mucho Destructor sits,   locked out of a bedroom because they don’t want her running off with something –

Bella,  when will you grow out of this chewing thing?  I guess I should be thankful it isnt BIG stuff like furniture or walls…

For all the young adults, and children and little kiddies heading back to school this year –

A Back to School Prayer
by Tonya Nash

Lord, I pray that you be with every child that is returning back to school this year. Protect them as they wait at the bus stop, ride the bus, travel by car, or walk to school. Keep them safe from dangers seen and unseen. Help our school crossing guards and bus drivers to remain attentive on their jobs.

Give our children favor with their teachers and help them to pay attention in class. Let this be their best year yet for academics, sports, and fine arts.

Be with our children’s teachers this year. Help them to teach in ways that each student can understand. Let them have reasonable expectations of our children and give them patience whenever their patience meter is running low. Bless the teachers with administrative support whenever needed.

Help our children to stand against peer pressure. Empower them to make decisions that will be pleasing in your sight. Surround them with good friends that are positive influences. Keep drugs and alcohol out of their reach. Help our children to keep their hormones in check, avoiding sex before marriage. Protect our children from bullies and those that mean them harm. Help them to work out their problems instead of fighting with each other.

And finally Lord, help us as parents to be even more supportive of our children this year. Strengthen our discernment. Let us know when something is going on with our children. Help us to keep them on track with their homework and study time. Help us to remember all of the subjects that we took many years ago so that we can be effective in helping our children complete their homework. Provide for us financially so that we can allow our children to go on field trips, buy school yearbooks and pictures, have appropriate clothing for the seasons, school supplies, or whatever else our children need to enhance their educational experience. Give us favor on our jobs so that we may be able to attend activities that our children may have during the work day. Remind us of the need to pray daily for our children.

In Jesus’s Name,