Thursday, January 20, 2011

DIY Cloches - A Tutorial.....and some really exciting news!

 I'm sure you have all noticed how cloches are everywhere in interior design right now,
 I decided after seeing what some of  them are selling for that I needed to see what I could come up with on my own.

Here are the items I used to make my cloches, a terra-cotta drain tray for a flower pot, some glass hurricanes (to use with candles) some cabinet door knobs, & two metal lighting pieces (I don't know the right name for them so I'll call them collars). I found all the materials for this project at Re-Store.


Here's a close up of the "collars" & cabinet knobs, you could also use small wood finials instead of the knobs, might be a little more decorative.

Here it is finished - doesn't look like it was made from a bunch of random parts all painted to match, does it? 

I started by Gorilla Gluing  the knobs on top of the collars. I don't have a picture of this step but I just centered them then used a piece of painters tape to hold it in place while it dried. After it was dry (1-2 hours according to the directions on the label) I hit it with a couple coats of Krylon's Ivory spray paint in a satin finish. I did this when it was pretty cold outside (California cold-Im guessing around 58-60 degrees) it caused the paint to pucker, or wrinkle. I knew the glaze I was planning on using would highlight the wrinkles so I just went with it. I also gave the flower pot drain tray the same paint treatment.

Next I covered all the painted pieces in Valspar's Asphaltum (black) glaze, you can find this in Lowe's paint department. I like to let it sit for about 15 minutes until it's kind of tacky & just starting to dry. I then take a paper towel & run a very small amount of water on it then squeeze it so that it's evenly distributed throughout & barely damp. I don't apply any pressure & kind of drag the crumpled up paper towel over different areas of each piece (I guess using it similarly to how you would use a paintbrush if you were dry brushing something). You can do this more or less depending on your preference. I always start off light then remove more & more. It never looks as good if you have to add the glaze back on then repeat this step.

 After the glaze had dried I sealed it with Crystal Clear by Krylon.

The last step is to run a very small bead of Gorilla Glue around the top rim of the glass hurricane (which used to attach to the candle holder) keep in mind that you are now going to be using it upside down. If you've ever used Gorilla Glue before you know that it expands so its crucial to use a small amount to avoid bubbles & drips. Which is also why you need to use Gorilla Glue - because even with the smallest amount this stuff creates a serious bond. In addition most hurricanes are pretty lightweight so it shouldn't be a problem when using the knob as a handle.

Next you can either flip the drain tray part upside down or use it right side up - I did both (above) & fill it with whichever type of accessories you prefer. I used succulents, a sprig of lavender, & an asparagus fern stem in these but I've also seen birds nests, eggs, even photographs. Really anything that fits will work.

Left: Here they are displayed on top of my wine cabinet in my dining room.

Super easy & quick project - the longest part is waiting for the paint to dry!


These cloches will be available for sale in my new boutique opening in downtown Paso Robles!!! Im so happy to finally be able to do what I've been hoping to for so long! Thankfully my family is very supportive & have already done so much to help me get started. The "Revamped" boutique will be located inside Reminisce - "A Village of Shops", at 14th & Pine Streets in Paso Robles, CA . Because I will be in a space that is currently leased, I don't have an exact date that I will be able to move in, but I'm told that it should be around February 3rd! I need to make some improvements to the space before I start staging my products but I figure that I should be up & running no later than Valentine's day.

I'll post more on this later but for now, I need to get to work!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Embarrassing Results & French Provincial Nursery Furniture

First of all, let me say that the "giveaway" I did last week was a total flop (as any of you regular readers have probably seen). Not even one entry! Pretty embarrassing. But no point in dwelling on the past, I have too many new things going on, starting with these French Provincial pieces I did for my friends' nursery. They're expecting their first baby, a little girl & they didn't have a huge budget to work with but we knew that they wanted to go with a French Provincial style. So Heather (the new mom) & I did some shopping for used furniture that could be refinished.

We found this cute little side table at Goodwill, I thought it would be good next to her rocking chair with a little lamp the perfect spot for holding bottles or pacifiers at 2:00 am. The price tag on it said $15.00 which I thought was ridiculous for G.W. (see my post here). So I pointed out the "gouges" which were actually more like nicks in the top & asked if they could do any better, they came back with $7.50 - we took it. It was actually a lot more walnut colored than what you can see in the picture, & plastic looking on the top.

Here it is after: I used an Olympic custom blend white (matched to their crib color) satin finish. I went over the top of it with Valspar's asphaltum glaze. This was the first time I've used a glaze this color. I think it came out ok, but I really wish I had been able to find a gray glaze. The black is obviously a huge contrast from the white & I think it's just a little harsh looking for a nursery. It probably would've otherwise been fine.

This is the dresser/changing table with the same paint treatment I used on the side table. The original hardware is shown here in this picture although I don't like the look of it with the new finish. I'll be replacing them with vintage looking glass knobs & pulls.

Here's a closeup of the legs on this little chest of drawers. It had such cute details. I would've loved to have been able to keep this for my daughter's room, it could double as a perfect bedside table. It also would've been adorable in a living or dining room, maybe with the large bottom drawer removed (one large drawer that looks like two) & replaced with some natural colored baskets to hold books or DVDs in a living room or table linens for a dining room.

This plastic ornamental piece is at the bottom center of the dresser & was painted a nasty gold color before. The white with black glaze looks much more sophisticated.
You'll have to excuse my daughter's sweatshirt covered car seat to the left, they were literally getting ready to carry this out the door when I realized I hadn't taken any "after" shots of it. Heather & Ryan live up North in the Bay Area & were down for their last visit before the baby is born, so I had to get this all finished as well as put on her baby shower this weekend-I'm about 20 hours behind on my sleep! We had just come back from the baby shower, which explains my pathetic attempt to "stage" it in 15 seconds as you can see in the first dresser pic. I had just grabbed a couple decorations I had brought back from the shower that were sitting on my dining room table.

Here it is before, in all it's 1970's glory. It had the typical cream colored paint with gold accents & it was filthy! But then again, we picked it up off Craigslist for $25 bucks. The guy who sold it to us had some sort of Christian charity that helped families in need so we counted this purchase as our good deed for the day.

I also refinished a rocking chair to match the rest of the room. I just need to re-upholster the seat & back. I should have that available to see here in the next couple days.

Lastly, I'm going to have some very exciting news to share with you guys in the next couple days so stay posted to see what I'm up to.