Monday, September 24, 2012

Clover Market Fall 2012

Thank you all for your very sweet and thoughtful comments from my last post.  Last week was tough and reading all of your comments made me feel so much better.  I'm nursing upper-respiratory and flu-like symptoms today, but mentally I'm feeling much better and ready to face whatever comes my way.

I mentioned in my last post that Clover Market was a huge success last weekend, with a record crowd, great weather and awesome food and entertainment.  On a personal level, sales for Larkspur Interiors were the best ever.

Here's a look at our space and what we had to offer.

We marketed this black dresser as a TV console and it sold quickly.  It was painted with chalk powder from one of my sponsors, Webster's Chalk Paint, and I just can't say enough about this product.  We just picked out the color we wanted in latex paint from the hardware store and then added the chalk powder per the instructions.  It was so easy to mix and dries/sands just like chalk paint.  The best part of course is not being limited to a choice of colors.  You can literally use any color you want and make it into chalk paint.  Love it!!  We finished it off with a coat of Fiddes & Sons wax in Rugger Brown.

About a million people looked at this potting bench, but it didn't sell.

These chalk boards were made from the doors of the china cabinet that I dismantled from my Dining Room and now use in the kitchen.  You can read about that here.  I just painted them in Miss Mustard Seed's new Milk Paint and then applied acrylic chalkboard paint to the raised parts.  Easy-peasy.  They sold as soon as the show started.

I had mixed feelings about selling this vintage patio set at the Fall show, as it is really more suitable for the Spring show, but it sold.

A peek at some of the other vendors.

 We are already booked for the October show, but after that Denise and I will be taking a much-needed break.

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulicious week!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I'm not good at "personal".  A friend recently told me that I should open up more on my blog, share more of my personal side.  I didn't think that was what my readers wanted.  I just assumed as a home decor blog, my followers would be more interested in seeing pictures of my home.  I don't even think I've been good at that lately.

Usually when I get stressed and start to feel overwhelmed I tell myself that it could always be worse, there are so many people who have bigger problems.  Why am I getting down about a messy house and the fact that my sofa and loveseat don't match?  Big deal.

About a month ago I realized I was feeling more than just a little down.  I was feeling like I was unable to cope.  I had taken myself off of my "happy"pill and feeling fine.  But then the world seemed like it was crashing all around me and making it through the day felt like an impossible task.  I'm not good at asking for help (except for my kids and my hubby who are wonderful in that department) and I became proud of the fact that I was able to run my own business while raising a teenager, a tweener and a baby.  But the truth is, I suck at it.

This past weekend was sort of like the straw that broke the camel's back.

Clover Market was on Sunday and it was the best show we've ever had.  The weather was perfect, the crowd was the biggest ever and our stuff was flying out of our booth.  We were exhausted.  Preparing for the show takes weeks of hard work and physical labor.  Cleaning, prepping, painting, hauling large pieces of furniture back and forth.  But seeing the looks on the customers' faces as they take home their new treasure makes it all worth it.  Usually.

On Saturday afternoon I went with Denise to pick up the rental truck to begin the loading process.  As I was maneuvering the truck out of the lot I hit the gate, taking off a huge chunk of the truck.  In that instant I realized that all of my hard work was gone.  All for nothing.  I knew the insurance we took out on the truck wouldn't be enough to cover the damage.  It was a devastating blow.

Another sleepless night and now my body aches all over.  Amy had a follow-up appointment with her gastro doctor for her Celiac Disease.  It should have been uneventful, even good as we were hoping to find out that she was no longer lactose-intolerant.  My poor sweet Amy has dealt with so much suffering over the past year and bless her heart the only thing she cared about was being able to drink milk.  She didn't understand why I cried when the doctor told me she now has acid reflux, will need to see a Urologist for another problem, and when it's time to go to college she will not be able to live in the dorms.  She is going to need special housing for kids who are sick.

I went to bed at 7 last night, praying for a good night's sleep, but the thought of getting up early this morning for Cole's occupational therapy evaluation kept me awake.  The team was great and after a thorough evaluation they told me that my sweet baby boy has all of the early warning signs of Autism.  Somehow I wasn't surprised.  I'm not ready to label him just yet and there really is no reason to, but I still feel numb.

I called my Doctor last week and explained that I was in bad shape.  He immediately put me back on my meds and just the thought of knowing they are in my system has me feeling better.

None of this is Earth-shattering.  It's all manageable.  And in time I'll look back on this as a low.  Cause that's all it is.  A bump in the road.  I'll be taking a break from Clover Market and any future shows.  There will be time for that at some point in my future.  But for right now, I'm needed here at home.

Thanks for listening.  I'm going to go make some lemonade...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Preparing, Painting and Layering

Our first show of the season is this Sunday and the forecast is calling for a beautiful day!  Denise and I have been working overtime, putting in ridiculous hours preparing and experimenting with all different kinds of paint.  I can't wait to show you what we've done.

If any of you live near the Philadelphia tri-state area, Clover Market is definitely worth a trip.  This show is sure to be a good one with tons of new vendors, amazing food and entertainment.  For a sneak peak and more info check out Clover's Facebook page.

In my spare time (pahahahaha) I re painted my little side table in the Family Room.  Whenever I try a new paint I like to test it out first on my own stuff to make sure I like it and get the consistency right.

I've been doing a lot of experimenting with Milk Paint and I think I've finally got it figured out.  I really like this paint, especially the fun colors.  The only problem I have with it is that it's kind of messy and I find I'm wasting a lot.  I've learned to only mix what I'm going to use, which isn't always easy to figure out.  If I have extra I wind up looking around for something else to paint so as not to waste it.  Extra paint can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

I first painted this table in Luckett's Green, which I shared here.

I liked it but as I shared in that post it turned out a little too turquoise.  I found that when I mixed the paint a second time the color was a little lighter.  So this time around I mixed it to the perfect consistency and then added a little Mustard Seed Yellow, painting it in a random pattern here and there.

While it was still drying I added just the yellow in certain areas for a layered look.

Once it dried I applied the antiquing wax all over.  

I just love the way this table looks now.

If you are trying to make a piece appear worn, nothing works better than layering different colors of paint.  It instantly gives a piece a look that it has evolved over time.

And nothing makes a house looked more lived-in than toys and sippy cups on the floor.

With a few Mini-Wheats sprinkled in.

Do you spy a sunburst mirror in the above pic?  To give you an idea of how old it is, I purchased it from This End Up years ago.  Remember that place?  It was known for their boxy wood furniture, but they had the most amazing accessories.  When we first got married, I accessorized our little apartment almost entirely from that store.  This mirror is the only thing I have left after almost 20 years, and during that time it has moved from room to room.

Last week I showed it on the mantle with the shutters I painted.

I didn't like that look so the large clock from Home Goods and the sunburst mirror switched places, and the shutters will be headed to Clover Market on Sunday.

The room seems more balanced now with the larger pieces on opposite walls to compliment each other.
Yes, for whatever reason that stuff matters to me.  

First thing next week, after recovering from my show and cleaning the house from top to bottom, I am going to IKEA to replace this love seat!  I.CANNOT.WAIT.  The little man stays :)

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulicious day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Back To School 2012

Mallory, Junior Year

Amy, 7th Grade

The weather being what it's been this year, Summer seems to have been particularly long.  But I'm still sad to see it come to an end.

I usually can't wait for the arrival of Fall, and while I'm anxious for the weather to change, I just can't get excited about having a routine.  I've gotten used to the laziness that accompanies Summer.  And an end to Summer means an end to freedom - freedom from schedules, homework, carpooling, waking up early - it's all gone.  Soon the pool will be closed, the floats stored away, the flowerbeds cleared and the  birds will fly South.

It's time to concentrate on indoors and I've got lots of projects in the works for the cooler weather - painting the mudroom, redecorating Middle's room, sealing the tile in the kitchen and more.  But for right now, I'm enjoying some alone time with my Little Man.

What are your projects for the cooler months?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulicious day!

Got Milk?

Milk Paint, that is.

I received my pre-ordered supply in the mail yesterday and I didn't even wait to change into my work clothes before I dove head-first into a project.  I ordered Mustard Seed Yellow, Tricycle Red and Luckett's Green, along with a supply of antiquing wax and bonding agent.

I used Luckett's Green on a pair of old swing doors I had recently picked up at the flea.  I had a couple ideas of where I wanted to put them, but ended up using them on the mantle with a sunburst mirror in the middle.  I'm really happy with this new look.

Here's how the mantle looked before:

And now:

I had some extra paint, so I painted the round table in the opposite corner of the room, which looked kinda drab before.

And now with Luckett's Green:

My camera didn't quite capture the true beauty of this color.

As far as what I think of the paint, I watched the video and read the instructions like any good DIYer, and then proceeded to do my own thing anyway, which I paid for later.  It was really just an accident on my part.  I was in such a hurry that I added the powder to the water, instead of the other way around like you are supposed to.  That resulted in a watery concoction that was more like a glaze than paint.  This is actually an option if you choose to use it that way.  I found that this way didn't produce the chipping that would occur if I mixed it more like a paint - less watered down.  I was still very happy with the results.

One thing I did notice however, is that when I added more powder later to thicken the mixture, the color actually changed to a lighter green.  The first coat was more like a turquoise -blue.  I decided that in order to achieve a more weathered look I would only add the second coat in the lighter color sporadically.  I was very happy with the end result.

I had a lot of mixed paint leftover, which I stored in an airtight container to use over the weekend.

Have you tried Milk Paint yet?

Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulicious day!

Monday, September 3, 2012


Well this is just about one of the proudest moments of my life, and who better to share it with than my dearest and sweetest blog friends.  

Tonight at 10:00, my daughter Mallory is making her television debut!  She recently filmed a pilot for a new show called Killer Profiles that airs tonight on the BIO Channel.  It's about the life of serial killer Bobby Joe Long, who is currently on death row.  The show is a re-enactment of the killer's life and Mallory plays his young mother in various scenes.    

We are just about ready to burst with excitement over here in anticipation!  It's a great way to end a great Summer.