Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Minot Talent!

For a number of years now, a group of area designers have held Minot Fashion Week. I have never attended. I always meant to, but just didn't make it. Plus I am a little 'fashion challenged' so I may not fit in so well!

This year, though, they are holding an auction for these beautifully designed chairs. iKeating Furniture World donated the chairs and each designer/artist added their own flair. They are on display at Studio 18 and Sweet & Flour Patisserie before the event night held at Otis & James Photography.

Now, this is something I can get excited about!! These chairs are fabulous! A few of them were done by some very talented ladies that were once students in my design class.


I'd like to tell you to bid on them and support a great cause, but with the understanding that you may have to fight me off as the time on the silent auction expires!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Littlest 'Gold Rush' Fans And Some Big Imaginations!

A year or so ago, my kids and I became addicted to Discovery Channel's Gold Rush. Each Friday night we watch the latest episode. My son loves it! This weekend he asked if we could play Gold Rush, and thanks to some awesome imagination and ingenuity, here is what we came up with. For those of you that enjoy the show as much as we do, you'll appreciate this post!

Porcupine Creek mine...that's one fancy wash plant!

Digging the Glory Hole!
The Dakota Boys' cabin

The first clean out

Separating the boulders

Fred and Dustin
Working hard

Pushing the gold through the wash plant
Our Tonka truck ladder made a good sluice box with the air filter!

Dakota Fred checking the panel
My son was excited to meet Dakota Fred last year
Panning for gold
Meanwhile, the Hoffman's big blue super trommel sits broken down...


Little sister had to have her own mine, too, so she decided to be "Parter" aka "Parker" at Big Nugget

My First Experience With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Lesson Learned

Of  course I forgot to take a picture of the lower cabinets before I started, but this is what they look like.
All I've heard about is how fabulous Annie Sloan chalk paint is! Well, after my first project (and it was a biggie) I can honestly say that I am not all. I've upcycled many pieces, I've painted numerous things, including a fridge, and I've used anywhere from acrylic to latex to spray paint. I've pretty much loved every result. Not so much with ASCP.

First off, I had to travel to Fargo to get the stuff. The lady at the store was very friendly and helpful but she did assure me it was not returnable! I explained how I wanted white cabinets. They have sleek fronts, so I didn't want an antique look (which usually works better with some sort of groove in the cabinetry for the darker stain to sit), but rather more of a clean modern look. She suggested a cream color, but again, I didn't want them to look too 'country' and I needed some contrast from my butcher block counters.

I was told that I didn't have to sand them at all, and from what I have been reading from others, this is the case. I was told to use their special brush. Normally, I would apt for a small foam roller to avoid brush strokes, but she said that I didn't need a roller and found the brush I needed.

I purchased two small pints of white, a clear wax and one brush. $200. Ouch! But I thought, well, it's worth it to avoid the hassle.

After the first try, I should have just given up, but I knew it was such a pain to wait until I went back to Fargo and she also said I couldn't return it anyway. (even though the paint did not do what was promised)

First off, the texture seemed too thick and was clumping and dragging. The brush strokes were awful. So, I tried to thin it. I also added water to the brush. This helped, but I knew it would take at least another coat. So, I went back to 'normal' consistency. It took three coats!! And it probably could have used a couple more. Not only was it not covering properly, but I had brown stains bleeding through.(and yes, I cleaned them beforehand) At this point, I thought, well maybe the clear wax will help.

I applied the clear wax after I roughed up the edges. At this point, I figured the only thing I could do was to distress them to try and make this work. (so much for not having antique looking cabinets) I planned on keeping my old cabinet handles, which are a copper color, so by distressing the edges it at least pulled the whole look together a little more.

At least now my copper-ish hardware shows up better.
Here is what the edges look like after sanding them. Even though I didn't want a distressed look, it actually does look better with the hardware this way.

After applying the wax, it seemed to show through even more AND it seemed to make the stains appear even more so. UGH!!

Here is a good example of how different it looks where wax was applied. (ignore the trim piece)

Originally, I had intended on painting the bottom cabinets white and the top cabinets a darker color so my exposed white dishes would pop. At this point, I'm just too tired to even care anymore. I have streak-filled bottom cabinets that basically look dirty up close and I have no idea what I will do with the top cabinets. Dad said, "You should have just primed them and stuck with Sherwin Williams cabinet paint." Yes, dad...lesson learned.

Overall, at least things are a bit brighter in my kitchen...just don't look too close!