Where The Lone Star State Meets The Puget Sound
A Fine Mesh Of Two Great Styles

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday Finds! To Chalk Paint Or Not To Chalk Paint.

Friday was a mother's day out for me. Well of course I'm too old to have kids at home but sometimes I just need a little break from my dogs! They are my kids!
So my friend Linda and I planned a grand outing. We got an early start~ 10 AM.
{Hey at our age that is totally early}
We had no real structure and we were under no time constraints.

So, as my mother in law used to say, "but first we'll have coffee"~

Hey, I'm always up for coffee! Ooh La Latte!
Our new favorite place is the local Co-op

Of course we couldn't possibly have just coffee.  L*O*V*E Carrot Cake! Carrots are healthy, right? And it's the Co-op. Everything there is organic!

 Feeling well satisfied and buzzed on sugar and caffeine, we decided to head to Michael's. That's one place from which we never leave empty handed!  And I had a coupon...

Off we go again. Next stop? A local flea market.
Look what I found!

What a delight to stumble upon this wooden box! I am in desperate need of blanket storage.

Uh oh... this corner needs a little attention.

{I seriously love the hardware}

I'm tellin' ya' what. This baby came straight from somebody's shed. It has rusty hardware, a little stray paint, and a whole lot of dirt. Wait until you see the inside.
Are you ready?

It's a mess! And part of the bottom is missing.
However, this box has big potential. 
Captain Larry is on a trip but in our online chat last night he promised me he could do a minor rebuild.
A few new planks, a little wood glue and it's good to go.

And now the million dollar question. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint or left natural?
Can I seriously love a naked box?
I sincerely don't know what to do. I need your help.
How about a little clear wax and call it good?
Listen, new bloggers such as I covet comments. I would really love it if you would weigh in. Indulge me!

 I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Did you do something especially fun or relaxing? I hope you had as much fun as we did.
Come visit me this week. I am participating in


Please visit these classy blogs.

     Wishing you sunshine and a cool summer breeze!     


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Annie Sloan~ My First Project. WOW!

It's Wednesday and that means that Kim, designer extraordinaire of Savvy Southern Style is hosting her Wow Us Wednesdays weekly event.

What I have to show and tell today is so modest compared to the other posts~

Ya' gotta love this tray. It was given to me by mom when she moved from the Midwest to the Desert Southwest. I really blew it in that it never occurred to me to take a 'before' photo of my treasure. Previously, the tray was framed in a very dated walnut with even more highly dated drawer pulls (like you might find on a bedroom dresser from a few decades gone by). So use your imagination; I'm sure you can picture it.

The tray is hanging above the back splash in my kitchen and really makes a statement. However, it still works equally well as a serving piece~ as you can see.

OK, so now for the Annie Sloan paint. I bought my first can ever {graphite} from a couple of adorable girls in Arlington, Washington. Check them out at The Bella Bungalow. Kim and Kelly are the local Stockists for Annie Sloan.

I also bought a can of dark wax. The process was brief and painless. I used masking tape around the inside perimeter of the tiles as protection.  Next I painted on (using a 1" artist brush) two coats of paint. The graphite color is quite blue... not a bad complement to the tiles but it needed to be darker to really  make the tiles stand out. So under the good advise of Kim I waxed my frame with the dark wax. It looks really good now. I mean REALLY good. I love it!

I really, really did not like the old drawer pulls. They were even screwed on with shiny bright metal screws with large heads. Quite by accident (because I couldn't get the screws out of one side) I discovered that these two-part drawer pulls looked pretty cool after I removed the handle.


So I decided to leave these little knobs simply to add interest. I also painted the cheap looking screw heads with the graphite paint. You see, Annie Sloan Chalk Paint will cover almost any surface.

My tray is about 20 years old. I guess by Etsy standards it is now vintage. The tiles are timeless and so very traditional. And to me, {blue and white} is the new neutral. I have something blue in every room. Very British if you ask me. And I am somewhat of an Anglophile.

I thank you sincerely for stopping by my blog. Don't forget to drop in at Kim's.

Keep Calm and Carry On!



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Table Top Tuesday

Today is my first post as a participant in Table Top Tuesday~ a great feature sponsored by Marty, the creative genius behind A Stroll Thru Life. Don't forget to wander over and browse lovely home interior vignettes from all over the blog world.

Here is what I am sharing with you today~


This is a mini-beverage island created from a piece whose intended purpose in life is that of kitchen island. I already have a kitchen island but I couldn't pass on this great piece of furniture. I do love it in my living room.

I like the distressed finish~ it feels very English manor house. So with that in mind I also bought a very lovely framed, original watercolor of an estate in England which is part of their National Trust for Historic Preservation. I found this little darling at a philanthropic thrift shop, also in Arizona. Can you spot the painting perched atop an easel (in the first picture above).


Hanging above the island is a mirror that I happened upon years ago at Sam's Wholesale Club. I felt that the finish was garishly gold. I stippled on some of whatever white trim paint I had on hand at the time. The paint really toned the frame in a most needed way. I like the ornate design of the frame and the mirror adds depth to the perceived dimensions of our living room.

About 2 years ago I found this great floral arrangement at a model home sale in Arizona. It really makes a statement which is enhanced by it's reflection.

I especially value this silver-plate tray and set of drinking glasses. The tray is from Pottery Barn and I found it at the same model home sale for $1. Cool, huh? It looks so 1940's. But the glasses are my real love~ logo glasses from TransWorld Airlines {TWA}  Each glass represents a different destination. I suspect these glasses are from the early 60's. I found them still in their original box.

My pilot husband was with TWA for 31 years. These glasses represent part of our life's history and are another one of those things that we prominently display not only because we think the glasses are handsome but also because they remind us of our blessed life.

When we entertain our little beverage island is a perfect spot for guests to mingle; such a nice way to divert traffic away from the kitchen. For whatever reason guests love to congregate in the kitchen. Have you noticed this too? I just can't cook with an audience.

Thanks for having a look! Don't forget to stop in over at Marty's.


Monday, July 25, 2011

A Desk With A Promising Future

Oh my! A new entry on my overwhelming to do list:

Get a load of this beauty. It's a little desk that I would guess is from the 70's. 
I bought it yesterday at a thrift store after Larry negotiated a good price for me.
My intention is to paint it and use it as a vanity in the new {previously mentioned} sleeping loft.
This picture is rotated so you can get a better look.
Why is it that my sweet husband brings things inside for me they get no further than the entryway?
We can hardly maneuver.

He stacked the drawers on the white sofa!
After 30 years he still baffles me at times.
Well the good news is that Larry likes this desk and he tells me that it is solid wood.
No veneer allowed.
I do like the pulls and think they will look good painted.
I got the idea to paint the pulls from Mandy at 
OK, so I've seen so many first rate do-it-yourself ladies on their beautiful blogs. Click on any button from my extensive list in the sidebar and you will see for yourself.
A great majority feature their truly amazing furniture makeovers. And they talk as if it's so easy!
I am totally intimidated. As I've mentioned before, I am not really good at painting and I am scared to begin.
I even awoke in the night worried about it.
What color should I use? I am usually very decisive about color choices
but right now I seem incapable of making a decision.
I think the little desk could look really pretty. 
I just wish someone else would paint it for me.
Any volunteers?

I also snagged this~

This was F*R*E*E

And that's about what it's worth. It has too broken rods but Larry can weld them.
The seat cushion was so dirty it never made it beyond the trash barrel.
The foam was the egg-crate variety. It was in 2 pieces!
I know my mom had something like this in the late 60's or early 70's.
Probably in my folk's chic Palm Springs condo.
New cushion in the works~
I sew better than I paint.
So I will get Larry to spray paint this for me to coordinate with the desk.

As soon as I have finished the makeover
I will post the pictures.
Wish me luck!

  Hope your Monday was a good one.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garden Update!

Happy Sunday!

Well you've all very kindly indulged me in past posts by wading through my vegetable garden photos. I can't resist the desire to post updates. We've eaten so abundantly thanks to the blessing of our 'farmette' as I have come to call our little slice of Green Acres.

Just look~

Artichokes. You either love 'em or you don't.

Fresh Green Peas~ Sweet!

Onions In All Colors and Sizes. {I couldn't get a picture of them all}

OOOPS! That Swiss Chard is Going To Seed. Check out the big leafy Kale!


Big, Beautiful Nasturtiums!
They are growing everywhere and driving Larry crazy.
Did you know the flowers and the leaves are edible?
If you want to add a little zing to a salad or pasta dish look no further than the quaint
~Try them in a saute~

Very soon I am going to show you my sleeping loft re-do. Or is it a re-doux or {redux} in the blog world? Whichever, I am going to tease you with one picture~ 

Now I ask you. Do you think it was right that my adorable (young) and sometimes wise-guy handy-man-turned-painter apprentice painted
his name on the loft ceiling? I need your opinion. So leave me a comment. I will tally the votes and I may or may not let Colby know the outcome  :)

Can you see? Such audacity!

OK...Here he is. He's so cute and works so hard it's impossible to get mad~

And in closing, a huge, huge thank you to everyone who has left comments these past few days. You don't know how special that makes me feel! Thanks again for reading along. Have a great week~


Friday, July 22, 2011

Friday Finds!

Does any of this look familiar? Do you feel like you've been here before?
I think I have a serious addiction to estate sales. How about you?
Today it was elbow to elbow!
And there was a long line of people just trying to pay for what they bought. 
It only takes a few moments to shop but it takes forever to settle up!

 Every 3 weeks an estate sale is held at The Mercantile, in Anacortes. Every time I attend a sale I make a vow to skip the next one. Some weeks I keep that vow, other weeks I lose my resolve. Sometimes I find lots of fun things and I have to decide what to keep and when to say no.

Other times I find nothing.
That's part of the fun; the thrill.

Here are today's treasures~ A couple of pretty things.

Hmmmm. This guy looks a little scary!

This is a very ornate and old heat register. It has been spray painted gold but I intend to paint it dark and wax it. It will add a lot of character to a bit of vacant wall {it already has a ring on the back for hanging}

And now my next bargain~ A steal really.

I  L*O*V*E  this amazing iron footed dish! The detail is superb~

I bought it with the intention of putting in my ETSY shop.
I topped it with a cheese cloche and now I don't know if I can part with it~

It is just too darn cool. I'm really not sure what I will use it for. Though not every pretty thing has to have a purpose.
It's enough that it makes me feel good. 
Do you have a special something in your house that always evokes a happy thought or a fond memory?
I'd love to hear about it.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend~


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Table Makeover Featuring Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

OK so I took on a little do-it-yourself project. After looking at Mandy's good work I'm a little embarrassed to show you mine. But considering that a $8 table made it all the way to our dining room I decided it was worth sharing.

Here are the before(s) of a cute little console table I picked up at a swap meet. The dealer was asking $10 but I told him truthfully that my husband told me to offer $8. The dealer seemed happy for me to have it!

The paint was solid brown flat paint. Someone had even painted over something like children's stickers. I used a little Goo Gone to remove what I could and I did a very limited amount of sanding.

Next I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and gave the table a coat of *Old Ochre*. The table looked rather lackluster at that point. So I mixed together some *Old Ochre* and *Graphite* and with this new color I painted the top only.

Hmmm. Now it looked a little French Provincial. Not a bad look but not what I was working toward. But then I had the great idea to wax the entire table with the brown Annie Sloan Furniture Wax. Well honestly, this was not my great idea. This is what Annie Sloan {says} to do. This step is crucial to a good finish. You see, the chalk paint leaves a very flat (no sheen) surface and is not intended to be used alone. But with the wax,

{OOOH La La!}

After you wax you have patina; a really sophisticated aged look~ Just like me!

Painting is really not my thing. I am very clutzy and quite messy. But the Annie Sloan products make the painting process easy, even for someone like I.  Look at my table now!

I am really happy with my first attempts. What do you think? I hope you like it. Are you asking yourself,
"I wonder what that 'B' stands for"? B is for Blog! Or Be Brave or Behave or maybe even Bishop
{Because that, of course is my last name}

Some Parting Thoughts~
Look how well my little table looks aside a Bishop family heirloom table topped with my brown and white Spode dishes (snagged at a thrift store).

If you are now hugely excited to try painting with Annie Sloan products you can find a Stockist (distributor) by visiting http://www.anniesloan.com/acatalog/Stockists.html 
If you live in Washington, north of Seattle, please visit The Bella Bungalow girls at www.thebellabungalow.blogspot.com

Thanks for dropping by and please come back and see me soon!





I want to introduce you to a DIY blog that I happened onto today. This is a project from Mandy at A37's42(her blog name). I will give you the link in a moment but first I want you to view Mandy's pictures (to get you motivated to tackle a project of your own). The desk was a garage sale *score*. Hey, who could pass up an IKEA desk still in the box?

Check out Mandy's work:

So the first thing she did was paint the desk black and assemble it.

The next step was to apply contact paper to the the top, with the help of her loving husband. Next came 3 coats of polyurethane! I have seen poly over contact paper before. It's a great idea and really makes the surface impermeable. I have a close friend here in Anacortes who isn't quite ready to make a financial commitment to a new kitchen. So she used a great green contact paper on all of her counter tops and then used the same polyurethane technique! It really is lovely.

The final step was a padded drawer liner and a new coat of paint on the drawer pull to match the other hardware in the room.

Doesn't this look nice? She bought the contact paper at Dollar Tree! I never find anything that cool at a dollar store. Now the desk with the totally updated look is residing happily in Mandy's craft room. YAY Mandy!
I am so impressed!

Check out Mandy's blog and her creative spirit at: http://a37s42.blogspot.com

I hope you will leave Mandy a comment about her desk. We bloggers love to hear from our readers!

Enjoy your day! {Do something creative}


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A $40 Cup Of Joe!

Yesterday was a mixed bag for Larry and me~ great pleasure and modest discomfort. Our day started early but fun filled because we drove to Seattle to breakfast with some wonderful long-time friends from St. Louis who had just returned from an Alaskan Cruise. We had about an hour and a half to reacquaint before their flight home. I don't think we had seen them in 4 years and that too was a brief visit. Any time spent with old friends is quality time.  So a big thank you to Steve, Mary and their son Eric for the rendezvous.
The uncomfortable part of yesterday was my appointment with a gastric specialist but that was at 4 PM. So after breakfast and goodbyes to our friends we needed to think of something to fill our wait time. I had the great idea to take a ferry to Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge is a place I have really wanted to visit since reading about it in Coastal Living magazine some time ago. Larry was not really excited about the idea but since it was MY doctor day and not his he tried to muster some enthusiasm for my plan. We easily found the ferry terminal and had a very short amount of time in line before boarding. Ferry rides are always wonderful regardless of how short and this was no exception. We sat in the car with the dogs on our laps looking out the window and we simply relaxed.

Here's a picture I found on Google of the Bainbridge Ferry. Gorgeous, eh?
{Do I sound Canadian?}

We departed the ferry and headed off to find the little village I had seen pictured. It was cute as cute villages go but not out of the ordinary. I don't mean to impugn Bainbridge but it just didn't strike me to the degree I thought it would. Larry asked me what I wanted to see or do next. I really had no answer so we just drove around and admired the dense evergreen population and the cool beach houses (many of which were more like palaces).  I think Larry was exercising great self control in not saying anything grouchy because to be honest we could have driven around our own island and had a parallel experience. And we can always walk-on to the San Juan Island ferry for a fraction of the cost.

In the village there were a couple of coffee houses and I decided an Americano was in order. For those non-espresso drinkers among us, Americano is espresso with hot water. Really and truly, if you like drip coffee you would love an Americano. I chose a small cafe called Roosters. Inside there was a gathering of men engaged in spirited discussion. I always think such an assembly bodes well for the quality of the coffee as well as the overall ambiance of a coffee house. Roosters gets 2-thumbs-up. The barista was friendly and the coffee was first-rate.

This is the only image I could find on Google of the cafe. This guy was actually sitting out in front yesterday keeping an eye out.

Well we tried next to go to the Bloedel Reserve. Again, I had read so much about this multi-acre public garden on Bainbridge. But guess what? Closed on Monday {of course}. Here is a photo of what we missed~

This is the main house. Oh it looks dreamy! If you want to see more, here is the link (which includes a virtual tour): http://www.bloedelreserve.org I would say we'll see it next time but I'm not sure there will be a next time.

So we made a quick loop through a state park and I used the ladies(?) room.  At this point, greatly relieved but bereft of additional ideas, we drove onto the ferry and returned to Seattle.

And now for the grand total for this excursion... $2 for the Americano and $38 for the ferry. 

An outing with my dear, sweet husband? Priceless. For everything else (including a $40 cup of coffee) there's MasterCard!

Maybe later this week I'll tell you about lunch at Pike Place Market. I found for us the best Greek gyros ever served West of Athens. I scored big points with Larry; very big!

Enjoy your day and come back soon~