Monday, September 22, 2014

Back from Breakk

No, that's not a miss-spelling in the title.  In fact, it's the name of an upcoming App I've been filming a commercial for these last two weeks, hence the lack of updates on here.  Now that it's a wrap, it's time I shared a little!

The crew was small, consisting of only the Director and myself as Producer. Right from the get-go, this was a project that we had to hit the ground running.  We had/have one month to do everything.

One month to hire actors, secure locations, get props/costumes, become insured, film the stories, and edit.  To give ya'll an idea of the normal time frame, one month is usually just enough for pre-production on a project of this size, let alone more time for filming and post.

Therefore, in order to have at least 2 weeks for editing, we needed to get everything/everyone lined up almost simultaneously while shooting the film during the first 2 weeks.  This made for diving straight into the project in high gear.

I loved it.

As I started contacting people, the response was nothing short of wonderful - folks were stepping up to fill the characters roles and/or offering locations/props for this project, and thus pre-pro and filming days were made easier, if not a lot of fun because of it. To quote the little green alien dudes from Toy Story, "You have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful".

I am unable to disclose the stories we filmed yet, but here's some sneak peeks from behind the scenes!  (I will update y'all on where you can watch the finished commercial sometime next month!)

the site of fierce competition
the "vacay"gals with their "creepy" mowing neighbor
the gals acted like it was a muggy hot day when in reality it was a chilly autumn day, with ice cold pool water included - kudos to them!
the road we filmed the girls driving to the lake
the getaway vehicle for the gals - awesome, right?!
lake destination achieved
Horse-head boy and our retro Disco DJ
ze Director
the "modern day" DJ
pizza delivery!
our basement got flipped into a raging dance club scene
It was all pure movie magic going on in this project for things to have run with so few hiccups as it did, especially when done at breakneck speed.  Major thank you's to everyone who took part in making this commercial come alive!

Can't wait to see the finished piece!

P.S. - in case any of you think that everything in show-biz is glamorous, lol

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dining Room Design - Progress

Some good things have been happening in the dining room since [this post] was made nearly a year ago!  Do you all remember this mood board?

The mood board for the dining room was based off of the colors found in a peacock feather, along with raw woods and some 'bling' brought in using gold and brass tones.  

The first thing we did to start the room's makeover last Fall was to paint the dining room from the original lavender color to a gray.  You can learn more about that process and the paint color chosen [here].

Next we tackled the exposed wood bookcase you can see in the mood board, but without paying the Restoration Hardware price for one.  Using a standard Vittsjo metal bookcase from Ikea, we made a RH knockoff bookcase for the room that came under $100. [find out more about that here

With a stroke of luck I scored a set of mirrors this past Spring at an estate sale for $15 and arranged them on the wall [here is a guide for how I used paper bags to help me arrange them on the wall].  I hope to add more in the future, but it's nice to have something on the walls for now.

Most recently we were able to give away the piano that came with the house to some good friends who will use it, and I was able to move the buffet table that I bought at another estate sale (gotta love them!) in the piano's place and gave it a makeover with MMS's milk paint. [learn milk paint's benefits and how to paint with it here]

Overall, from the paint supplies to the furniture, we've spent only $250 to get the room this far!  Not bad if I do say so myself.

Here's the present to-do list and what we still have waiting to be accomplished:

Dining Room To-Do List:

- replace dining room table (it came with the house and isn't our style)
- remove piano
"Restoration Hardware-ify" bookcase
- find chairs (the ones we're currently using are borrowed)
- reupholster or replace head-chairs 
- curtains
- get buffet table
- accessorize
- chandelier? (hmm, is it worth it in a rental?  probably only if we find a REAL bargain)
- framed art

My next goal is the dining room table and chairs, so I'm on the lookout!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Vintage Entry Tables

Well folks, my wish for more milk paint projects has been granted.  After seeing how the Artissimo buffet turned out, my mom wanted to get in on the milk paint action and asked if I could paint two small tables for her.  Giving her a quick "yes!", we set to work on picking colors.

After the tough time I had with mixing MMS's paint, I discovered that General Finishes has a line of pre-mixed milk paints (cue angel choir).  I set my sights on trying them for my next project, so that's exactly what we did.

Mom chose the colors Driftwood and Linen, both of which should be winners (I also got a color picked for the $0.50 nightstand, but I have to wait until the paint arrives next week).

Gotta say, painting is usually pretty therapeutic.  Can't wait to get to work on these and find if I like General Finishes Milk Paint, as well as see the transformation of these tables!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Midas Touch - Update Your Old Fixtures for $3!

Thanks y'all for the comments and feedback I've received for the transformed buffet table!  It is indeed a different beast from what it was.  A detail I've wanted to mention and a keen few of you may have also noticed is that the buffet is now sporting golden fixtures compared to the darker fixtures it wore before:

Would it surprise you then if I told you that they are the same fixtures in both pictures?

I liked the original fixtures that came with the buffet, but they were a faded metal; you could see a little luster left to them, but only if you saw them up close.

It was a fact in my mind when I started that I wanted to have gold to compliment the dark blue of the buffet and give the piece that extra "pop".  I've known some people to spray paint their fixtures metallic colors, but I wanted a bit more of a natural semi-worn coloring, and was also concerned that the spray paint wouldn't hold up to use.

Somewhere in my search for alternatives I came across "Rub 'n Buff", a finish you can work into metals and other surfaces and comes in different shades of gold, silver, and bronze.  Armed with a coupon, I got the stuff at a craft store for approximately $3.

For prep, the fixtures had some built-up grit, so I just washed and sanitized the fixtures and then set them aside to dry.  

Once dry, I took a toothbrush (you can get cheap packs of 6 at the dollar store) and squeezed out a tiny bead of the rub 'n buff onto the brush, then worked the brush in small circles on the fixture.
If you look at the pic below, you can see in the circled area the bit that I've just brushed the rub 'n buff and the contrast with the rest of the untouched fixture.

When I finished rubbing the gold into all the fixtures, I let them dry overnight and was able to affix them onto the buffet the next day.

It's already been a few months, and the color has held up very well so far with no signs of wearing.

Truly, Rub 'n Buff is wonderful!  The tube is still nearly as full as it was when I bought it, which I'm sure will lend itself to many more future projects.  I love the new life these fixtures now have, and it was such a simple and inexpensive project to do.  In fact, what I spent for the Rub 'n Buff and toothbrush altogether is about the same as it would have been to get one new fixture, let alone 7!  Not bad at all.

Savvy Southern Style

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

If I Have A Truck, Then I Love Estate Auctions

...and this is why I love them.

Because where else would you be able to get a nightstand like this...wait for it...

...for $0.50?!

Yeah.  FIFTY CENTS.  Even more incredible, and much to my woe, there was a ton of great wood furniture at this estate auction, and the majority of it went for prices like this or a dollar or two!

Why was this to my woe?

Because I did not have Scruffy the Truck with me, but my Mini.

Yeah, Scruffy's battery died.  We knew it would happen sometime in the near future because the battery was 5+ years old, and it decided to die on us recently.

Thus, I had room for only one big item in my car.  I came to the auction with the intention of getting a nightstand, and I got one for a phenomenal price.  But the furniture I had to pass up made me silently bite my lip as each one was sold off for almost nothing.

Things like this amazing carved coffee table:

As soon as I saw it, it called to me.  Already I was picturing painting it a lovely coral or aqua color and staining the top when I bent down with my tape measure was too long to fit my car.  By a mere few inches.

Guess how much this coffee table sold for...

Yup, you guessed it.  FIFTY CENTS.

*Cue sorrowful music and wringing of hands*

However, I did walk away paying for a nightstand using the loose change at the bottom of my purse.  And I did get a solid nightstand that I'm excited to paint and transform.  And I did not break my back hauling it by myself to my car.  Good stuff.

This will be Karl's nightstand, replacing the current tv table he's been using up until now.  Can't wait to get it finished for him!  Now to narrow down colors...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

DIY Milk Paint for Newbs

(see more of the finished buffet by clicking here)

On the last post having to do with my attempt at trying milk paint for the first time, this is where we left off:

As expected, milk paint is unlike anything I've used before, but so far it looks like it's coming along ok.  I'm putting another coat or two on it Monday, a finish, and then the knobs, and that'll be it!  Crossing fingers for no problems!

I went into this project optimistically, as most of us do when we're rarin' to go on something new and exciting.  There had been many hours reading the Miss Mustard Seed (MMS) blog, watching her videos, watching other videos from people who had used it and their blogs...I felt prepared!  But boy oh boy, I was in for a learning curve...

First, why milk paint?

There is quite a lot of history to milk paint - some of the earliest examples of its use are found in cave paintings from thousands of years ago.  The paint is made of all naturally-found ingredients, such as clay, lime, and earth pigments, which makes it free of toxins and harmful chemicals (VOC-free) and biodegradable.  If it's winter, I can still paint with it inside the house with closed windows and be just fine.  As we still can find it on cave walls and Egyptian boats, it's very durable and great for both exterior and interior uses.

Better still, it requires NO PREP to be done to the furniture or surface you intend to paint - no priming, sanding, dusting...nada.  It also dries very quickly - usually 30-60 minutes between coats, and it's a very forgiving paint, hiding even your brush strokes.

Milk paint is different in that it usually comes in a powdered form.  You spoon out the amount you need (something you can only take the guesswork out by doing lots of furniture), add water and mix it until it becomes smooth.

Yet, like mixing specialty drinks, there is an art and a science behind mixing milk paint.  I would say this is the hardest and most important step of the process, and as a newb, also the most perplexing.  But more on that in a bit.

First, a few more "before's":

Though they say that there's no need to even sand the wood before painting, the buffet was semi glossy and I wanted to be extra sure no paint would chip.  There were also some places that needed some wood filler where some old fixtures and screws had been, so I just went at it with a sponge sander.

wood filler
I made up a mix and added the bonding agent that prevents the paint from chipping (I will have to try it without the bonding someday tho, as there are some beautiful looks you can get).  Soon I was happily painting away.

After the first coat of paint had been applied and allowed to dry overnight, I examined the buffet the next day and felt that I seemed to be doing a-ok; the paint was a little on the thin side with coverage on the wood, but from what I had seen and read on the MMS Blog about the subject, I was expecting it to be that way and to need two coats.  Better yet, the bonding agent seemed to have done its job as I saw no flaking.

I gave myself some pats on the back for being a fantastic newbie at this milk paint stuff, and got to work on mixing the 2nd coat.  This is where it all went downhill...

I applied the second coat and everything looked normal.  Yet when I came back an hour later after it had dried to check on it, what do I see but speckles all through the paint!

They didn't seem to be air bubbles, as the paint was still smooth to the touch.  Not knowing what else to do, I sanded it all down to the first coat (and some areas frustratingly became thinner than the first coat) and re-tried it with a new brush.

Later I came back to check on it, and same thing!

So I sanded it all again (I got quite a workout with my arms on this project!) and tried with a whole new batch of paint mix.  Even before it dried one could tell that I had still had a problem.

Frustrated, I took a few days after this to recharge and rethink my approach, researching to find what I was doing wrong.  Finally, after lots of dead ends, I came across this blog entry from Makely Home that showed various coats of milk paint in a goldilocks fashion, from too thinly mixed to too thick, and then just right.  From what I could tell, I had been mixing the paint too thinly.  Breakthrough!

Whipping up another new batch, I set to work.  However, as I painted I worried that I had perhaps made it a little too thick this time around...

...but it ended up working out so much better!

dontcha just love all the layers of color the paint gives?!

After a very light sanding in some places I added hemp seed oil as a natural finish and sealant, which magically changes the matte dusky light blue to this lustrous dark blue you see below.  It's amazing to see the immediate transformation in the color as you rub the oil in. (you can also use different kinds of furniture wax to get other "looks" to the milk paint color)

darker area is where the oil has been worked into the wood - look at that color already!
Above: left side without hemp oil, right side is with
bottom drawer with hemp oil, top without

I used a brush for the oil, though in the future I'd recommend getting a round bristle brush, as most of the motions are in a circular direction as you work it into the wood.  I didn't use a cloth because when I tried it, it got lint all over the wood.  Talk about scary.  Thankfully after the oil dried/cured (best to let it dry overnight) I was able to brush it off.

Now, all said, this is not to scare you all away from milk paint.  No way!  It's fantastic stuff once you get a feel for it.  But it's something that you'll have to learn only thru experience, and that takes time and mistakes along the way (though hopefully you can learn somewhat from mine!).  But hey, we learn best through failure!

As you can see in the "after" pic (see more pix here), my stubbornness perseverance and work paid off!  It's beautiful, and I love how phenomenal of a transformation it is!  In retrospect, the milk paint is rather forgiving once you get the right thickness, and I really love that the product is made of all-natural ingredients.  I want to continue to try out other milk paint colors on more pieces and get a real feel for the stuff until I feel I can consistently use it well.  I also recently discovered that General Finishes has pre-mixed milk paint (and have great colors!), so I REALLY want to try theirs out.  Anyone out there have experience with them?

Hope this helped take the mystery out of the process of milk paint for y'all!  Show me your creations if you decide to take on a project of your own!

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Say Hello to Artissimo Blue Buffet

It's done!

As you may or may not remember (I know it's been awhile!), I fell in love with this buffet table at an estate sale, and decided it was the perfect candidate for me to try milk paint with for the first time!

At first I was bent on making it be an emerald green color, but I had trouble finding a milk paint color that had that kind of tint, often looking too "grassy" or in the olive family.  Karl and I both like blues, so "Plan B" became blue.  I went with Miss Mustard Seed's Artissimo Blue, and I adore it!  It even changes color a little in different lighting - sometimes it's navy blue, other times I see almost a deep turquoise coming from it.

It was a learn-as-I-went process for a noob like me, so I'm really glad it came out so well in the end!

I'll be going into the whole "how-to" process in tomorrow's post, including some major failures and woes I came up against during the course of painting it.  So pop back over here Thursday to check out the whole story and avoid my mistakes! [edit: see the complete "how-to" for milk paint here]

(Buy Artissimo Here - fyi, if you do, I will receive a small commission.  I was not paid for using or reviewing MMS or given the milk paint from MMS, so this post, like always, is 100% my opinions.  No worries.  :)  Thanks!)

Power of Paint

City Of Creative Dreams

The Dedicated House

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