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The decoupaged document dresser

Say that three times fast! (I love a good tongue-twister)

Here’s one of my latest paint projects – an Ethan Allen dresser with matching mirror. It started off a golden honey color, and now looks like this:

I painted the whole thing in Old White. It’s heavily distressed and sealed with clear wax. Dark wax was added for aging. A while back I ordered several rolls of document wrapping paper from Ballard Designs, and this piece was begging for something different. A little Mod Podge and the drawer fronts got a cool new look. And to make it even more unique, I pulled out the BBQ lighter and scorched the edges of each piece of paper. (my house stunk for days!)

What’s next? I’ve got a couple of unfinished wall cabinets to do for a client, and a girly toy box to personalize with stencils for another. My own stash includes two twin beds to finish, and two antique chairs to paint and reupholster! I seriously gotta buckle down and get in the garage! Later friends!

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Spending the weekend in a yurt…a what?

This weekend we went to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley and stayed in a yurt at a resort called Shenandoah Crossing. Don’t worry, I didn’t know what a yurt was either. And when someone described it as a tee-pee, I was a bit more than nervous. I don’t camp. I don’t sleep under the stars. And I don’t think I would have survived as an early American Indian. But I went anyway.

And I LOVED it!! Bring on the yurts! If this was a tee-pee, it was the Taj Mahal of tee-pees. It had indoor plumbing, air-conditioning and heat, cable TV (even though it wasn’t working due to a recent storm), and a full kitchen. Technically it even had two bedrooms, but we’ll talk about the reality of that later.

Anyhooo – look how cool this is…

The yurts were circular wood-framed structures covered in canvas-like tarps. This is the view from the road out front.

Here’s the view looking off the yurt’s rear patio (where there was a Weber and outdoor sink)…

We looked out over Lake Izac. Honestly, I could have sat out there for days enjoying the serenity and peacefulness. My cell phone didn’t get any coverage in this remote area, so I unplugged from Facebook, my blog, and the entire electronic world for a day and a half. I thought it would be awful, but ya know what? It was bliss.

So let’s go inside the yurt!

 My favorite decorative element of the yurt had to be this fabulous copper vessel sink, with the rustic pump-style faucet. Seriously – I want one!

All of the furniture in the place was made in the twig style (even though I want to say these were not authentic hand-carved twig and branch pieces – they felt fake). But, they definitely added an outdoorsy ambiance you would expect in a yurt!

This tiny structure really utilized space well. They tucked all kinds of functional things in small spaces, like this closet. Even the kitchen was wonderfully efficient!

And stainless appliances! Contempo juxtaposed with rustic – loved it!

Notice the walls there next to the gas fireplace? In the summer you can pull back the tarps for instant windows!

And to keep it further well-ventilated, there was a huge ceiling fan at the peak of the yurt, under a glass dome. You could look up while in bed and see the stars – so cool!

Speaking of the sleeping arrangements – they bring me to the downside to yurt-living – no privacy. While there was 2 bedrooms, the spaces were only divided by a piece of wood. Imagine office cubbies that are separated by partitions that don’t go all the way to the ceiling and are open at the top – this was the same concept.

I could hear my son rolling in his bed! And while we watched a movie that evening, we could hear the TV coming from the neighboring yurt! Speak above a whisper and I’d bet the vacationers could repeat your conversation.

However, this was just for the weekend. It’s not like I plan to tear down my house and erect a yurt in the yard. (not that HOA would ever go for that!) Next year, we might go back and see if we can rent this tree house…

See it tucked in there? A frigging ginormous tree house!! Tell me that experience wouldn’t be good for a blog post!

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Vintage Radio Cabinet Transformation

Last year a neighbor, who was moving, gave me this vintage radio cabinet. The guts had been removed before she purchased it, but she had plans to use it as a decorative shelf/cabinet. She never had the time, so she gifted the piece to me (thank you Karen!). And as well all know, kids/work/home/life can take over, and the neglected radio cabinet sat in my garage for nearly 6 months before I finally put some paint on her! But here she is all prettied up!

I painted her with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence, and sealed with clear soft wax. Dark wax gave it some aging, while fresh fabric now livens up the area where the speaker used to be. I also stripped and restained the top in a dark walnut, and wiped on some poly for protection.

Wouldn’t it be a great conversation piece in your entertainment area/basement? The back is open, and there’s a piece of wood inside that would work as a shelf for your I-Pod dock. You could hide your player inside and little would anyone know that the music coming out is from your I-Pod!

Ahh, it would be a marriage of today’s technology with yesteryear’s beauty!