Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Entryway Facelift

Hello Everyone!  I've been really excited about this week's post, as I had a lot of fun putting this project into motion.  I've been married to my husband Keith for 17 years now (counting on my fingers...has it been that long? Crazy!) and pictured below is probably one of the few pieces of furniture that has travelled with us from house to house throughout the years.  It sits in our entryway of our home and collects coats, hats, shoes, dog leashes, etc.  After looking at it closely and seeing the many scratches years of love, I realized it's really showing its age and maybe it's time to give it a facelift.  Here's how it went...

Typically, cluttered with everyone's stuff.  I like its functionality, but it's way overdo for a  makeover!

I stripped it of all its hardware and dusted it off before painting.  It's awaiting its first coat ASCP!

I chose Olive.  I love this color and have repeated it in several places throughout the house.  I was a little intimidated as this was the first large piece of furniture I have ever set out to paint.  My husband was also worried...with good reason, this was going to be fabulously fun!  Who knows what I'm going to paint next.

In the process of drying, I looked at it with a tinge of regret.  Not so sure I was sold on it.  Keith and I took it out on the back porch after it dried so that I could sand it up a bit and add the dark wax.

Moved it back inside the house after the wax had dried.  Note:  Do not try waxing inside without a well-ventilated area!  The wax is pretty strong with toxic fumes!   Just adding the hardware back on here.

I have to say, I la-la-la-love it!  The dark wax was not as easy to work with as the light wax (for obvious reasons).  However, after I played around a bit on areas that weren't so visible (up under the lip of the top), I found a technique that gave me the look I was going for.  Now, the fun part of accessorizing!

I decided to use my paint pen to write the year we purchased the piece, as it is also the year we got married.

These antique-inspired letters just came in at work and I knew it was exactly what this entryway space needed.  They are made by Aidan Gray and can be ordered through Nest Home & Gifts, Mill Creek, Wa. (

A couple of throw pillows to warm it up a bit.  I also found these at Nest Home & Gifts.  Are they cool or what?

This lantern was a 40th b-day gift from my mom.  I've been waiting to put it in just the right spot.  Inside it sits a flameless candle.  I have many of these in different designs throughout the house.  They all have timers so I have them set to turn on just as its getting dark outside.  They are my most favorite way to create ambiance in my home.  These also can be found at Nest.  Cozy! 



Just how I hoped it would be!

So, I've decided to continue tackling larger projects throughout the house.  It took all of a couple of hours to complete and the payoff is huge!  I love coming home to this little corner of coziness.   Thanks so much for visiting!

Linking this project to:

The DIY Show Off

Miss Mustard Seed


Cheree and Jill

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hidden Gem in Northwoods Wisconsin

Well, the Eagle Waters Resort must have known I was coming, because they had old doors and windows stacked on the porch of the Trading Post when I arrived!  When my husband announced that he had chosen a vacation spot 7 hours north of our yearly destination to Chicago, I was concerned about my ability to handle all that relaxation.  Those who know me well will agree.  But after viewing the website ( I was excited to see that I would have the best of both worlds--serenity and amenities!

The Trading Post is right out of the 1950's, complete with a stack of Ladies Home Journal magazines from 1951!  They have creatively meshed old and new by using antique boxes and treasures to display today's conveniences in their store.

My daughter said I literally looked like a kid in a candy store.

A variety of antiques are for sale, including soda dispensers, cigar rolling forms, a row of theatre seats, and a sled.

I was thrilled to see this old Coca-Cola refrigerator, but *GASP*, they serve Pepsi at the Lodge

Other upcycling finds included a Swinn bike used as a planter (note the old milk bottles in the basket)

Bar stools covered in Coffee Sacks.

Eagle Waters Restaurant had hundreds of antiques, a guest book that included everything from poems to drawings to well-wishes  for a fabulous vacation.  My girls drew pictures and signed in with their Girl Scout camp names, Kangaroo and Shifu, to hide their identities (why?  I don't know).

Of course, those of you who are familiar with the Midwest/ Wisconsin area know that you have to have the requisite Deer Head over the fireplace!  And while boating we came across signs for "Beer and Brats Ahead".  Then add the Friday Fish Fry special and you have quintessential Wisconsin!

Our family has had a blast here so far.  Boating, fishing, live music, horseshoes, tennis, swimming , tubing and most importantly - the friendliest people on earth! 

As the summer comes to an end, Cheree and I hope you have all had a relaxing few months and gathered some fun summer memories!

Jill and Cheree 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jardin Trésors

Hello everyone!  I'm back for a second week in a row while Jill is on a family vacation to her hometown in Chicago, IL.  I really wanted that girl to relax and enjoy her time.  However, late last night  I received a text from her saying that she threw out her back and was awaiting a visit to the chiropractor!  Major bummer to be spending your well-earned vacation in pain.  Get well soon chickie!

This morning I rummaged through my pile of junk secondhand finds in "Studio B" and decided to put together a garden vignette.  It was a beautiful summer morning, the kind that makes you want to get out early and enjoy it.

Began with a scrap piece of wood, two terracotta pots, a plain brown wood chair and my trusty ASCP (Old White) and clear wax.

I got this far into my perfect fantasy where I imagine I am making a living painting antiques, when my daughter sends me a text that reads " TODAY is the last day to turn in paperwork for the high school swim team"!  That pretty much brought me back to reality.

After a two hour dose of 'errand running 101' I was able to complete the paint job, which left the chair looking like this.

Got to work giving the whole thing a light sanding.

I even had an audience this morning.

I added a coat of clear wax once I achieved the look I wanted through hand sanding.

I took the old scrap piece of wood and gave it a coat of paint, mixing Old White with Olive to get a great shade of Garden Green.  I then free handed "Jardin" in Old White.

I left the terracotta pots as is because I love the color combo (white, terracotta and garden green).  I brought out some lavender and winter savory herbs to plant in them.  Here's where I need to ask all you green thumbs out there how to take care of herbs.  Suggestions?  We'll see how long it takes before I kill them off (I can grow just about anything BUT herbs).

Voila!  A nice little addition to my garden. 

Eventually, this little jardin tresors vignette might be broken up and displayed throughout the house, but for now its staying put.  Hope wherever you are you can get out and enjoy some outdoor projects.  And, lets hope by next week's post that Jill is back to 100%!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Cheree and Jill

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Easy Transfer Technique

Welcome to all of our new followers!  It's been so exciting for Jill and I to watch where all of you are from and we are thrilled to have you join us.  It has been a gorgeous week here in the Pacific Northwest, the kind that makes you remember why we endure so many dark and rainy ones throughout the year!  When its sunny in Seattle, it is breathtaking!

Recent visit to the University of Washington campus, shot from Red Square.  Love Mount Rainier in the distance!

The arrival of August brings just a twinge of guilt as I look about my garage and "Studio B" (aka my craftroom).  (Insert big sigh here.)  I had planned on finishing all kinds of projects for With A Twist this summer!  Was I successful in this plan you ask?  Heck no!  Its summer!  I've been spending as much time with my forever-growing-taller-than-me-kids and we've been having a ton of fun!  They are only 12 and 15 for a short while and will soon be headed back to school (30-some days and counting....sniff, sniff!).  The projects are not going anywhere and I will continue to chip away at them.  It's all about the journey, right?

Today I actually found myself with a couple of hours to myself (gasp!), and therefore I decided to try out a technique from way back...we're talkin old school! Think back to Kindergarten (for some of us, including me, this is a stretch!).  Remember learning how to do a simple transfer technique using only a pencil?  There are a ton of different techniques out there, but I was curious to revisit this one that I had learned so many years ago.  Truth be told, I chose this technique because it was super cheap and easy! Here's how I did it...

This is the one of the original kitchen cabinets from the home my dad built.  It was the perfect blank pallete for attempting a new transfer project.

Went with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint - Paris Grey.

I gave it one coat of paint and then sanded it by hand to allow the original wood to peak through.  See pic below...

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint lends itself well to sanding by hand, as it is easy to control just how much you want the original wood to show through. 

I printed out a French advertising label, which I downloaded for free on the fabulous Graphics Fairy's website -
  ( ).  Thank you Karen!

Next, I flipped the printed image so it was face down, so that I was looking at the blank side of the paper.  I then took my pencil and "shaded" the back of the paper where the image was on the other side, making sure to get a pretty solid coverage.

Next, I placed the printed image right side up on the cabinet door.  Tape down the sides of the paper to keep it from moving or slipping.  I then traced each and every letter of the image.  Try not to peak because getting it to line up again is difficult.  When you are done tracing, you should have something that looks similar to this.

I chose a black Sharpie paint pen to go over the image and darken it up.  You could also use a paint brush with latex paint and achieve similar results.  I am very linear and my printing is very uniform, so this part was challenging.  I kept wanting to go "outside" the lines.

When I got done tracing with the paint pen, it looked very crisp and bold, which wasn't the look I was going for, so I lightly sanded over the image to rough it up a bit. I then added a coat of Annie Sloan's Clear Wax over the entire piece and added the black handles to complete the look. I think it would made a darling tea tray!

Overall, this basic transfer technique was simple and cheap, so it fit the bill for me today! Thanks again for stopping by and we hope you have a fabulous week!
Cheree and Jill