Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Before and After

On my recent trip to Aberfoyle I managed to scoop up this cutie and take it home. I wasn't quite sure what its future was going to look like, but then a special project came calling and in collaboration with an interior designer we agreed on this warm pink. So here it is. More on this project in the next few weeks.

Monday, May 30, 2011

In the garden

I love this time of year as every morning I get to enjoy coffee surrounded by greenery and in complete peace. And one more thing, it only gets better from here, for a while at least.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Impromptu photo shoot at Freedom CC

It was a beautiful sunny day in Toronto yesterday and the girls decided to bust out our new camera and put it to some good use. I think the pictures turned out stunning. Great work Marsya and Darci.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I had this piece sitting in my basement for a few weeks now and could not decide on the best color for it. I started with green and wasn't 100% happy that this was the best color for it. Instead of deciding to make it work, I stripped it completely and this is the new look I came up with. It is far from being done, but the general direction has been mapped out.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I just came back from an amazing weekend in NYC. I have planned this trip with my childhood friend for ages, and it finally happened. Ivana lives in Washingotn DC and we don't get to see each other as often as we would like to, so this trip was special to both of us. We met on Thursday afternoon in front of our hotel at the corner of W 30th Street and 8th Avenue and wondered the streets of NYC for three days. We shared some good food, a couple of delicious drinks, met an old friend for lunch in Brooklyn and laughed a lot.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I had this guy for a while but since it is rather hard to photograph because of all the glass I never introduced it to the world, until now that is. I will be adding it to my Etsy shop in a few moments.
Happy Tuesday friends.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Spray Painting and Accessories - Blog post by Lia Fagan

As the last tidbit of the Restyling 101 Series, Lia Fagan of Mod Nest talks about do's and dont's of spray painting and offers a tutorial on how to make a perfect custom lamp shade.
Hope you have enjoyed the series. Lia will put together an e-book with all the information shared with you this week. You can request it by filling out the form at the bottom of this page. Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Freehand Painting - tips by Kristen Davis

Today's post in the Restyling 101 series focuses on freehand painting. Kristen Davis from KFD Designs shares her secrets and discusses tools and techniques of her trade. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to tune in tomorrow for more exciting info.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Custom Upholstery - 5 secret ingredients by Spruce Austin

Part 2 of the 101 Restyling series hosted by Lia of ModNest is focusing on custom furniture upholstery. In her post lovely Amanda from Spruce Austin outlines 5 important aspects of her trade. To learn more, check Amanda's blog.
Coming up tomorrow: Art of Freehand Painting by Kristen Davis

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Furniture Distressing

About a year and a half ago I decided to trade my well paid advertising job, for, what until then, was just a hobby. For the longest time I have been subscribed to Etsy newsletter and kept reading about people who decided to leave their 9-5 world behind and embrace a completely different lifestyle, and all for the sake of doing something they loved. In the beginning I admired them from afar and thought how I could never share their destiny, but after a while I realized that I really didn't have a lot to lose yet had so much to gain. So I took the plunge and became a self-employed furniture restyler.

As a part of this furniture restyling series that Lia Fagan from Mod Nest put together, my task is to focus on different distressing techniques I apply in my work, but if outside of this scope, there is anything else you would like to know when it comes to furniture painting, I would be happy to share my knowledge with you.
So here it goes….

Distressing is the technique used to give a piece of furniture weathered and worn look. It can't be argued that time in its passing does the best job, but for us with less patience and a desire for quick gratification, there are techniques we can use to attain the look much faster. Below I will discuss four of these techniques.

Distressing using sand paper:
The most discussed distressing technique is the one using sand paper, but there are also other ways of giving furniture that worn look. problem I have encountered with sand paper distressing is that it often leaves deep and unsightly scratch marks and the wear can look very intentional and fake. I use this technique only when I want to weather the edges of the piece (outlines of the drawers, corners, legs). When working with sand paper, you can either use a mechanical sander or do the job manually. I prefer the manual option as it gives me more control. In the end, it really comes down to your personal preference.
If you choose sanding as your technique of choice, make sure that the paint has dried thoroughly (give it a day or so). What can happen if the paint hasn't fully cured is that the sand paper will start pulling on it and larger chunks of paint may peel off. Sand paper comes in different grit designations – the lower the designation the coarser the paper. For most jobs using 120 grit paper will do, but for surfaces that were covered with several coats of paint I would resort to 100 or 80 grit.
For distressing you can use 120 or higher, depending on the look you wish to achieve.

Distressing using steel wool:
Using steel wool in your distressing project will leave a lot softer finish than using sand paper. I usually use a really fine grade (000 or 00) as I don't want to leave any heavy scratch marks in the fresh paint. I find that the best results come if you apply this technique before the paint has had the chance to dry completely and I typically do it as soon as the paint appears to be dry to the touch. The way to go about it is to just rub the surface with the steel wool pad and monitor the results. Make sure that you don't use the steel wool techniques on light colors as it will leave a grey residue that won't be easy to cover. Trust me, I learned this the hard way.

Distressing using turpentine:
I discovered this technique by accident. I was painting a dresser and wanted to finish it off with a coat of dark varnish to add some more depth to the finished product. I dipped the brush too deep into the varnish and too much of the product landed on my drawers. To remove the access varnish I rubbed it with soft cloth soaked in turpentine and after a while, the bottom coat of paint started wearing off leaving very subtle distress marks. This technique leaves best results if the paint hasn’t had the chance to cure completely.You will have to apply some force with rubbing until you start seeing results, but once you start noticing the wear, it will be really easy to manipulate. If you choose to try it out, please make sure that you use gloves and work in a well ventilated area, as the turpentine has a very strong smell.

Distressing using crackling medium:
Using crackling medium as a distressing agent was also one of the accidental discoveries and it will result in the most natural weathered look especially if you are going for a dramatic effect. When working with the crackling medium I like the wood to be either really dark or work with two contrasting colors. The key is preparing the surface well, remove all the dust and free the surface of any kind of residue. Use a foam brush to apply the crackling medium (you can get it in any craft store and some hardware stores (RONA)) and let it dry for about 30-40 minutes. The thicker the coat, the chunkier the finish will be. After the drying time has elapsed, you will be able to apply the top coat of paint. Make sure that you don't overbrush and apply it in one steady stroke. This can be a bit messy, but well worth the effort. Let it sit for a while (10-15 minutes) and brush the surface off with a turpentine soaked rag. The access color will wear away and the spots where the crackling medium was applied will reveal the bottom color.

Whichever of the described techniques you decide to pursue, make sure you give yourself enough time and be patient. Think about the fact that you can always repaint the piece and start from scratch if you don't end up being satisfied with the first attempt. Most importantly, have fun.

Restyling 101: Insider tips from the Pros - Blog series hosted by Mod Nest

Restyling 101: Insider Tips From The Pros is a blog series initiated by Lia Fagan of ModNest and it will consist of 5 value-packed posts from 5 creative ladies who have each built businesses restyling furnishings & interiors.

We'll each be sharing insider information based on our own area of expertise. You'll get loads of tips, tricks, advice and secrets as well as some pitfalls to avoid.

The series will be running all next week on MoodNest, May 9-13. Each of us will publish one new post, on our own blogs, each day of the week (for a total of 5 posts). Lia will be updating the links in the post schedule as each post goes live. Be sure to check back every day and follow the link to each post as the week continues.

Thank you Lia for initiating this great series, and a big thank you to all the ladies that are making it possible.

Tomorrow's post will be by your's truly and it will focus on furniture distressing techniques.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Freedom Goodness

A few days ago, a very kind man walked into Freedom Clothing Collective and dropped off two gorgeous frames for our craft projects. Above is one of them turned into a stunning magenta chalkboard. Exclusive to Freedom CC

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Before and After

here is my latest before and after. It was a lot of work, but I am happy with the results. Now it just needs a new home. Hope it finds one soon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I just felt mega crafty today...

...and made these clocks for sale at Freedom Clothing Collective.
At first I had some problems with drilling through the plates, but after the third plate I feel like I know what I am doing. Now possibilities are endless.