Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Now we are six...

This post has nothing to do with Winnie the Pooh and A.A. Milne's lesser known volume.
No this is a post about scrips and scraps and what has had me so, well, busy. The word "busy" has become rather generic and short for I don't have time for you or to explain, much like the word "nice". I just can't think of another word except "chaos".

This summer provided a steady stream of visitors and now my stepson has come to live with us... in my library. Giving up the unfinished library has not been a heartache at all but the mere thought of a sloppy teenager's bedroom inches from my front door has my blood pressure elevated. I may need a moment to vent here... The little girl next door comes here in the a.m. and I take her to the bus and retrieve her in the afternoon. I also have the new preschool dropoff/pickup schedule and my husband's long and ever changing work hours PLUS three freakin" teenagers (two of whom are not good boys) to deal with, my own self and 3000 square feet of ridiculously lovely,fortunate space to have and clean. 
Peeps, I must tell you that all of this good fortune comes with much work and when I was a young'un, I wasn't up to it  ( even though I coveted it) and I am pleased that the powers unknown to us had the wisdom to withhold such things from me until I was able to  value and care for property.
this desk is now in the entryhall

 I will spare you all the details but let's just say that this has been a bumpy transition with #6. My stepson is no stranger to me. I have known him since he was 9. He is now 17.

Yesterday (9/11) I felt like design needed to take a backseat to solemnity and a day that most of us will never  forget. I still cry when I remember that day and how close we were to the mountain in Pennsylvania where Flight 590 crashed. My Grandparents were still in Arlington, Virginia at the time and they heard the plane hit the Pentagon and thousands of car alarms go off for hours, jets scrambling and sirens with zero phone service. It is one of the many things that reminds me to be thankful for each moment with my loves.
 When I am feeling stressed, I want nothing more than to paint but when I am busy-stressy I am often too exhausted to paint.
Instead I have been coming up with less relaxed systems than I am used to, out of necessity. My house has never been so tidy and clean for so long but I feel that with just one extra mess-maker it may get out of hand if I do not approach it with a bullhorn and whip in hand.

detail of an unfinished work
detail of companion piece
I have had very little time to paint but I finished one 30 x 48 canvas and I am working on a companion piece of sorts. It is the same size canvas and mainly the same colors.
I have also completed a small nautical painting that, whether good or not, made me happy.

"A wind that follows fast" by Kerry Steele
As far as DIY things go, I work best on a deadline. I gave myself a crazy-ass deadline to paint a dresser and nightstand for my daughter's room in Annie Sloan Decorative Chalk paint.

I purchased the product at a local shop that could not have been nicer or more worried about how I mentioned the product. I guess Annie is a stickler for a trademark. No worries, Miss this is just my personal opinion. 

This dresser was an estate sale find along with the matching nightstand and both with glass tops. It was an unfortunate 1965 yellowy-orange wood color that is sure to be back in fashion in a few years. Ya know... once I get rid of it all!
My opinion of the product is... meh. I don't know what all the fuss is about. I LOVED that I did not have to prime anything but I had to scrape loose the flaky bits and clean it with a degreaser to remove the ancient wax and grime. 
I had to use two coats but I wish that I had thinned the paint with water because my major dissatisfaction was with the very visible brushstrokes.
I have painted vintage furniture with flat paint and waxed it with regular paste wax before, just like Martha showed me. I can't say that I noticed much difference this time. What am I missing? Someone enlighten me. I just don't get it.
Having said that, I may still buy more to redo my kitchen cabinets. The NO priming or sanding part makes it do-able.

NEWS.... Several art shows in Virginia including my work, details soon.
So there you have it, a little bit of everything.


Kim said...

Oh my Kerry!! You have alot going on ... and good for you for trying to work in the blessings part. Sometimes that is very hard when you are in the thick of things!! You will keep your home together, and learn, as I have over the years ... that it is okay if it is not perfect or perfectly clean every day. Keep the happiness and laughter within, that is most important!! And, by the way ... I LOVE the nautical print !!

Nancy said...

Oh my gosh, your schedule and household are so full! I hope order comes to the chaos soon, and that you just keep being creative and sneak in time for yourself-that's uber important!!! I love all your projects and ideas. Call if you need to vent!
xo Nancy

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

You do have a lot going on! I was wondering what you were up to.....been a while since your last post. I look forward to finding out more about the art shows, Kerry.
Enjoy this gorgeous weather!

The Pink Pagoda said...

How exciting about the art show, Kerry! That's great! Good luck with all that's going on. I love your new work.

Kristie Franklin said...

You have your hands full!! Three teenagers...that my friend is quite a job. I remember when my son and daughter were teenagers...I hated looking into their rooms but MADE them clean it out on Saturdays and I kept their doors closed through the week so I didn't have to look at what a disaster their rooms were (son being the very worst of worst). My advice to you would be to remember to take a deep breathe and count to 10 before you say anything. HAH

I have used Annie Sloan Chalk paint and didn't have any problems. It is a bit thicker and you can dilute it but I worked with it without doing that. I painted two coats and sanded lightly (with a fine sanding block) after the second coat which I think helps to remove the look of your brush strokes some. I was very pleased with the finished product and found that if you apply the wax and wait to buff it 24 hours later it will put more of a sheen on the item you painted. Here is a link that I found for you where a decor chick used this paint and her thoughts on how her item turned out. :)

An Urban Cottage said...

You're not the first person to think Annie Sloan paint was just okay. I even read one reviewer who said the paint sloughed off when she sanded it. Sometimes it might be user error but I would expect you to be experienced enough to provide a valid comparison to other methods.

What color did you use? I have to say I really love the color, especially with the pulls.