a walk down memory lane

memorylane11 memorylane10 memorylane9 memorylane8 memorylane7 memorylane6 memorylane5 memorylane4 memorylane3 memorylane2 memorylane1I somehow got on my own Flikr account {from Pinterest} and got lost down a rabbit hole of memories and experiences.

I did a lot of smiling…..remembering…..pondering…..celebrating.

I hope you can humor me in my nostalgia, and maybe even leave here inspired to create beauty with your hands that is fueled by the passion in your heart.

gettin buggy :: meet tympana

Tympana1 Tympana3 Tympana4 Tympana5 Tympana6 Tympana7There is one thing that I love about Southern summers, and it is the cicada’s singing in the trees as I drift off to sleep each night. Growing up on the West Coast I had never experienced this, and will never forget the very first time I ever heard it.

The Cicada song is an unmistakeable sound, and when combined with the sparks of the firefly in flight it makes for a magical evening.

I have wanted to do a bug piece for a very long time…..and I finally found the person to collaborate with on this piece! Angie Thompson { shop manager; mover and shaker at Knack} did an amazing job capturing the detail of the cicada with her beautiful charcoal strokes….and we couldn’t be more proud of how this piece turned out!

We were going to list miss Tympana in the online shop….but she sold before we could do that! We are already planning another one though…so never fear…more bugs are in our future!

furniture love :: meet little miss siolella

frogtape6This Frogtape7 frogtape8 frogtape9This lovely little gal is my newest beauty…..that I can share with you that is :} I cannot even tell you how exhilarating it is {and completely exhausting too!} to be creating new furniture designs for Knack book two. Designing furniture is my passion, and still gets my blood pumping even after all of these years. I cannot wait until the day that I can show you these new designs I have come up with. I am creatively full, and completely challenged….and I love being in that place. So, whenever I actually have time to create pieces outside the work for the book it is an extra special day for me……and I hope for you as well.

I think most of you know that I am a huge fan of FrogTape®. It is the only tape that I recommend in my first book Furniture Makeovers, because I truly find it to be superior to any other tape on the market, and it has been my only tape of choice for years now. I promoted this tape way before I received anything monetarily from FrogTape®……{ I was accused of working for them the moment I stated it was the only tape I used…..because everybody assumes in the blog world that if you promote something specifically….you must be getting paid to do so, right?} Not so with me folks. I am a small fish in a big pond and I only promote something if I can get behind it 100 percent. I have turned down so many promotional opportunities due to the fact that I could not honestly get behind a product or event. FrogTape® is a product I can get behind, and since I believe in this product and use it in my work on a daily basis, it felt very natural to say “yes to the tape people” when they came calling about 6 months ago.

For this project I chose to use the new Shape Tape in the scallop design. Have you all tried any of the Shape Tapes? If not….you should! They are so great!

I wanted to create something pretty, but not cutesy, and knew that this would be a challenge with scallops. So, as I am known to do…I chose rich colors and kept it simple. You can never go wrong with charcoal gray and gold can you? I don’t think so! I finished off the piece by lining the drawer with pretty Rifle Paper wrapping paper, and attaching a brass floral knob that my dad brought back from his latest trip to India.

I think Siolella is gorgeous, and I am so happy with her and her pretty scallops. I want to celebrate and give away a little happy……So, I will give a roll of scallop Shape Tape to the first two people who comment here on the blog! {United States only please}

Here are a couple tips to remember when using FrogTape®:

> don’t stretch it too tight or you will distort the shape

> use a squeegee after applying the tape to make sure that it is adhered properly

> water activates the tape bond in order to keep paint out, and lines sharp. So, use a damp rag {not soaking wet} to wipe along the edges of your tape to activate the seal before painting. {do not do this with milk paint….. ever.}

Let me know how you all like using shape tape in your work!

{* gorgeous florals by Julie Dodds of Willow Florals}

Knack Stories :: Artemis

artemis2 artemis1 artemis3
” Barb says “live with what you love”, and I happen to think that she is pretty spot-on about that. I am very particular, to a fault, and carefully choose each piece that goes into my home, whether it’s a kitchen utensil or a piece of furniture. This piece was originally chosen because I loved its lines, and the rich color of the wood. About 6 years ago, we built a new home, and through that process, my style evolved a bit.; some old pieces had to go, and some new pieces were brought in. This chest made the cut, but it wasn’t quite the perfect fit anymore. So of course I turned to my friend, who I knew was a master at giving new life to old loves. Being an artist myself, I arrived at this project with some of my own ideas, but Barb knows furniture like no one I know, and I let her lead me through the process of this makeover. Seamlessly, both of our ideas married themselves together, and I couldn’t be more happy with the end result.
I felt like this chest, with its clean lines and flat drawer fronts, was perfectly suited for her color blocking technique, and I chose a favorite throw pillow from which to build the palette. I was also dead set on changing out the drawer pulls, and had already decided which ones to use. That’s usually a big part of Barb’s furniture makeovers, but this piece spoke differently to her, and I’m so happy with her suggestion to leave the originals. She also suggested we leave one of the drawer fronts in its original, warm wood finish that I was so drawn to when I purchased the chest. It’s unexpected and so perfect. The last part of the makeover was the casters. We both love casters on furniture, and knew replacing the original curvy feet would put the finishing touch on giving this piece a personality more aligned with my aesthetic.
I’m so proud of this piece of furniture, now a work of art. It sits in one of my favorite spots in the house, where I can see it all the time. Mostly, I’m proud that it was transformed by my friend, because I know that its makeover was more than a job to her; she puts her heart in every single brush stroke. “Artemis” is my fist Knack masterpiece, but I know for sure it’s not the last.” – Jennifer B
This was such a fun project to work on with Jennifer, and we absolutely love the way Artemis looks in her gorgeous home! You all may {or may not} remember Artemis from the book? This is how he looks there:
artemis4….so you can see , that even though Knack pieces have much personality and color, they are still so versatile and easily incorporated into multiple types of home environments. This thought process is really going to get lots of attention in Knack book 2! We are so excited to show you more of the “how” to live with what you love, and how to incorporate color and personality into every room in your home!

Inroductions- How ’bout a little gray with that coffee table

This sweet coffee table is the product of another collaboration between Knack and Lindsay Carmody Interiors! I think you all will remember the previous table and chairs project here…….but regardless, it was great to work with Lindsay again and get to paint with more luscious gray paint!

I thought this piece was going to be a stinker to paint with all of the caning and the double layer shelf, but indeed the actual painting was not the issue…..rather the paint I was given {no names brands in order to protect the innocent….but if you follow Knack on Facebook you may be able to figure it out! hah!} that caused me some rather sweaty moments! I was determined to figure this “sitch” out, and so I pushed up my sleeves and put on my thinking cap! You know what?…..just like with everything hard in life and work… the end result was even more rewarding because of the problem solving, blood, sweat and tears that went into it. Persevere my friends! Never give up! I am so thrilled with the finish on this piece.

Also, with this specific client there was a bit of concern about the extra wear and tear that this table had already experienced before painting, and would continue to experience in the future due to some very attentive and loving little ones in the home {sigh……I remember those days!} and so, I completed the painting and the staining in the studio and then, as an added precaution I subcontracted out a high intensity spray finish for the entire piece. I’s dotted, T’s crossed.

It is smooth like butter, baby.

Happy Monday folks! Welcome to a new week!

 

xo,

Barb

Introductions – faux bois

Do you all remember this chair?

Well…..she has totally come full circle now! My buddy Dale did a bang up job on the upholstery work…..and even though the wood frame was a total bugger to paint {since it is a recliner and there were so many nooks and crannies!} I am thrilled with how she turned out! Take a look…

Isn’t she a beauty?! I hate to give her up, but her owners are ready for her to grace their space! Woot!

xo,

Barb

Introductions

Well, there certainly has been an evolution process in the design of this chair! I loved it when my client brought it to the studio looking like this:

and I used it in several shoots until it was time to tear off the upholstery and freshen up the paint job…..and then it looked like this:

tearing off the fabric and foam proved to be more monumental than I had previously thought…..but it was done, and I moved onto the painting part. {woot!} I painted the frame in a medium gray and used a small brush to add some bronze details to the trim. Then, It was time for little miss to head off to the upholstery shop, and she came back to me looking like this:

For goodness sakes she is even more of a beauty now! I want to say thank you to my client “A” for trusting me with her treasure…and for bringing this beautiful chair back to the studio so I could photograph the end result!

Meet Aletta……and believe me…she is charmed to meet you as well.

xo,

Barb

Introductions

I think every time one of these giant pieces enters my studio I can almost hear the angels singing. I swear it. In my painting career I have had the privilege of transforming several of these gentle giants, but this one is extra special for a couple of reasons:

1. It belongs to one of the sweetest couples I know and I am truly honored to be trusted with their treasure.

2. It was such a mess with all of it’s white paint splatters and chipping veneer, so the prep work was intense, but that made the end result all the more rewarding.

I know there are those who look on these types of pieces as useless, victorian era, gaudy, yucky…….but seriously, in my opinion you can’t find a better statement piece that not only commands the room it resides in but also offers multiple storage and usage options. Painting these types of pieces brings them into the modern era and gives them a fresh and new aesthetic that surprisingly crosses multiple decorating styles. The detail on these pieces can’t be beat, and truly shines with a coat of paint. I also love painting the insides a bright and eye catching color so that it is always a pleasure to open the door. {wink}

Meet Berchelea.

xo,

Barb

 

Introductions

There are projects that come along, and even though I have purchased them because I love something about them….. I get stuck trying to decide how exactly I want to take them to the level of frabjous. I started painting this little armoire with one plan in mind…I was going to paint the entire thing with milk paint and leave it pretty plain….but for some reason I felt like I was just rushing to try to get the piece done and check it off my list. I want to fight against that mentality…so I literally put one coat of milk paint on the entire thing, rinsed out my brushes, and went back to the drawing board and spent a day drawing and planning out my design.

I looked through magazines, fabric and wallpaper combinations, and stared out my front window mulling over colors and patterns….but the thing that finally got me going in the right direction was a beautiful mexican blanket that I  borrowed from a friend to use in a photo shoot. It was lying there just staring at me and the many different colors and different sized stripes totally caught my eye. Immediately the light bulb came on in my head. I knew the stripes would be hard, and a bit tedious but I had plenty of Frog Tape on hand and I crave a good tough furniture challenge. I knew if all went well, the pain would be so worth it! I went back to the studio the very next day, executed “my plan”, and this is what came out! Meet Tallulah! I am telling you…. with the turquoise, purple, yellow, cream, red, pink, orange, blue and green stripes…..the turquoise insides, and the pistachio green knobs….. Tallulah is a party waiting to happen!

I’m here to tell you it was indeed worth it to stand back and enjoy this little beauty!

xo,

Barb

Introductions

As I was telling you on Friday….I am so thrilled to be working on several really fun custom jobs for sweet clients over the next several weeks, and this chest of drawers is the first off the “assembly line”! This chest of drawers is as solid as they come and a real beauty with its bowed front drawers and carved detail. I love painting pieces like this!

The Storm family is expecting their first little one, and his name is Sam. I wish I could show you the fantastic nursery that little Sam will grow up in…it is so clean, modern and very well done. I am stoked that a little piece of Knack will get to be a part of such a happy place!

Congrats to the Storms! I can’t wait to meet Sam!

 

xo,

Barb