What I learned from my year in business: Don’t give up, Ever!

I decided to start at the top and work my way up.

Sometimes things don’t work that way. Let me explain: I decided to make beautiful

furniture that I spent a lot of time on and wanted good money for.  I didn’t get the prices I wanted for my pieces. But try try try again. This is what I have learned from my year in being in business for myself. Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn from your mistakes and on’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up, ever!

I love my Etsy business at my online shop Caribbean Style Decor, my obsession with all things blue, white and shiny; that business is wonderful but erratic $200 one day no money the next day.  I am starting to save for a house I need a steadier source of revenue. I went back to the drawing board and looked the items that brought me the most money, my furniture. I stopped working on my furniture because I didn’t get the prices I wanted for the time and energy I put into refinishing and re-painting.  It is important to pay attention to what the market will bear. I looked over my techniques, I am a perfectionist, my techniques take a lot of time and are

exacting, one table took over 40 hours. I call that one “The Table”.

I sold my furniture in two places a local retailer and on Craig’s List.  I rethought everything and came up with a plan to make My Craig’s list prices profitable. I knew this retailer wasn’t the place to get the best prices for my pieces but they were easy to get into and to work with. I sold all the pieces I had consigned to them and working with that store helped me to figure out where my prices needed to be to sell.

I made up a new set of rules for myself. There were a lot of things I could do to save time and

still achieve the look I wanted. I would spend no more than 8 hours on any one piece. These adjustments would get my prices into the Craig’s list zone.

That’s fantastic news because I LOVE doing the furniture. I love taking furniture ugly ducklings and turning them into gorgeous one of kind pieces.

I have two chairs at home waiting to be worked on. Stay tuned. I’m back at it. …Melissa

How to make a beat up coffee table into a Beauty

How to turn a beat up table into an Elegant Beauty

How to turn a beat up table into an Elegant Beauty

How to make a beat up coffee table into an Elegant Beauty. My neighbors were moving and this coffee table was one of the last things left in their house. They were generous enough to offer me several things they weren’t  taking. I walked right by this table thinking it looked too rough. They threw it into the trash and when I saw it there I thought well I should try to do something with it.

So I gave it a fresh coat of paint and pulled out my Cutting Edge  Stencils Damask Stencil.  A Damask Stencil is not just for walls. I won this stencil so sign up fot their blog and when you see they are having a contest enter, enter.I used a metallic gold-ish/ copper paint. I also used the paint to line the edges and details on the table. I think that is an elegant touch. It didn’t take that long and I think it came out great. What do you think? -Melissa

Check out my other stencil projects:

The Finished Table

The Finished Table

Little Table A Modern Antique Beauty

Little Table A Modern Antique Beauty

Follow me to Hometalk a place for you and me!!!!!!

http://getyourpaintonblog.com/2013/03/26/i-like-shinny-things/How Hometalk took my blog To the Next Level! Click to Follow me there for all the DIY fun. It’s easy peasy!

 

Hometalk how I love you, let me count the ways. I have been meaning to write this post for a while now and now I have the perfect push. Hometalk is having a contest for Bloggers. I am the accidental bogger. I just intended to have a website and the next thing I knew I had a blog and people were reading it.

So I was just making my little posts and sharing on Facebook and Pintrest. The Printrest peeps were coming over and reading it was awesome. I knew of

Hometalk and I sniffed around it a little I clipped a few posts. For those of you wondering Hometalk is it “is the largest online home & garden knowledge hub” Basically it’s a website full of people just like me who love all things Home and Garden talking about and sharing DIY ideas and everything in between, amateurs and professionals alike. get over there and LOOK! So decided to make my first post to Hometalk about what I was doing. I was having a Shiny Spray paint party. So I posted my first post to Hometalk From Trash to Shiny, I also posted to Facebook and Pintrest as usual. My Blog traffic shot up like a rocket. I had my usually Facebook and Pintrest traffic but my Hometalk traffic was through the roof. It doubled my best day. I was amazed. It was the same time every time I have posted a project and DIY ideas. I found my peeps. I’ve found them yoo hoo! A sweet pocket of Do it Yourselfers like me. I actually posted a poem to Hometalk on  their Facebook page. It went something like this:

Hometalk how I love you let me count the ways
Where people click on and comment on my post like no other.
Its the land of the DIY peeps like you and me.

As you can see I’m not a poet, but I was so darned excited. So follow me to Hometalk. It’s the place for DIYers like you and me!

Giving Credit Where Paint is Due

Listing the paints I have used in my projectsI thought I would take the time to go through my paint projects and a list the specific paints I used. I adore paint! I look for it everywhere I go, when in Walmart I can’t wait to scoot down that paint isle to see what down here at Lowes and Home Depot I head straight for the reject paint pile to see what goodies I can find. All these paints are my favorite and I can’t wait to get more. Scroll to the bottom to enter to win some of my Glass Goodies

round-vase-sm

Krylon Looking Glass Paint. Oh Looking Glass paint How I love you let me count the ways. With this amazing spray paint I am able to glam up Dollar store store goodies and yard sale finds. I am lucky this paint is readily available at my local Walmart I have heard its hard to find but its worth it. Don’t forget to check your local Walmart. Check out my tutorial on making faux mercury glass  in general and in any color you like.

Colored Mercuy Glass

Colored Mercuy Glass

Colored mason jars

Colored mason jars

 That brings me to my other Super Star Peobeo Vitrea 160 such a boring name. it sounds like a science solution but what a powerhouse intense transparent color. I haven’t stopped using it since it got it. All pieces of Glass in my house are in danger. Beautiful and easy to use and available in so many colors. this is another hard to find goody. I had to order in from Amazon but i heard a rumor that they are available at Pearl paint. I am going to check that out and let you know. Read the painting glass tutorial here

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The Finished Table

The Finished Table

 My first major furniture project will always be a special love for me. It was on this project that I first used and fell in love with Martha Stewart paints available at Home Depot. it is part of the Glidden paint line. The brown is called Burl. It is a rich elegant paint with super coverage. The white I stenciled with is an off white called Tailor’s Chalk It comes with the option of primer included yes please! Read more about the making of this table here

The Blue Stenciled table, a little stenciling is not enough

The Blue Stenciled table, a little stenciling is not enough

 Clark and Kensington from Ace Hardware in “Ming Vase” This is an  excellent paint an what makes it even more awesome is that I got it for free. Now that wasn’t because of some special Blogger thing, although I am special  Ace had a special two weekends in a row where you were about to get a quart of paint for free. I was right on that. Now you  head over and sign up on their Facebook Page so you can get some free paint to the next time they are giving it away. Read about making the this Festooned table, find out what the heck is a festooned table.

 Round Blue Table

Clark and Kensington from Ace Hardware in “Sea of Midnight” I have these two very similar paints color because I was trying to match another color. Well you say you could have just taken a sample and had it color matched. yes I know but these were my free quarts color matching not included. This blue is a brighter blue than “Ming Vase” which is deep and more classic. I think the fun color gives this classic table a fun modern spin. All of those that want to yell at me for painting this table  just remember different strokes for different folks. Read about the making of this table.

Yellow Stenciled Mirror

Yellow Stenciled Mirror

Behr Ultra Premium Plus. This paint was absolutely the best find! It was a $2 quart from the reject pile at home depot. It was  the perfect color for this mirror I wanted to do. So I snapped it up and the rest is history. Read more about the making of this mirror.

Stenciling Detail

 

 Then there is my tireless work horse American Acrylic paint in White.   This paint is avail ble at Michaels, Joanns and other craft stores. After some trial and error I use this paint  for my stenciling projects. It has the right amount of flow and  enough coverage to make nice crisp lines when you are stenciling and I like nice crisp lines.

So  there you have it apartial list of my adventures in paining. But what about Chalk paint you say? Ah ha. I make my own and in my next post I will share with you how. Be sure to enter to win some of my glass goodies below. And stay tunned I have plenty more to share. Till next time -Melissa

 

4 Amazing Furniture Transformations

4 furniture RedosI wanted to share some Furniture Re-dos that I thought were awesome. The thought for this group is seeing an amazing  transformation in something I would think had almost zero potential. Now that’s me thinking it has zero potential, my personal opinion. Now Create Inspire’s table is quite lovely before but I would have walked right by it because I tend to stencil and with the raised detail it might now work for me. But…… after seeing how she refinished it. My mind is totally changed I am now looking for a piece with a lot of detail so I can glaze that sucker up. I hope you find some inspiration like it did.

The Finished Table My Epic First Stencil project. I learned a lot making this piece. If I did again right now it wouldn’t take me as long. I am sure proud of this Beauty. Read more and check it out in my Shop.
teal-table This is little Blue table that blew my mind and showed me the potential of glazing a piece. Can I say I love Blue? Check out the full transformation on Create Inspire’s site.
1-1 I love this piece because it shows the power of paint. To me the piece before is dated and boring. I wouldn’t have looked twice at it, but look how lovely it is with after Carrie’s crisp white paint job. It got me looking for a majorly underwhelming piece to transform. Read more at her site Painted Furniture Ideas.
Round Blue Table And finally the Round Blue table. This table I left at the a garage sale because I had no idea what to do with it. After I went home I saw a similar round table in a nice bright color on Pintrest. I went flying back for that sucker with fingers crossed and it was still here waiting for me. Read more and check it out in my Shop.

Share your favorite Furniture transformations in the comments. Lucky Melissa. Till next time

Told you I was lucky

etsy-featureWell I am going to keep this post going because I continue to be lucky and I want share in all my luckiness as it happens.

 Tuesday 4/9/13 Good morning You are featured on an etsy-skullsEtsy Ad!

I wake up and I am checking things out on Facebook when I notice something out of the corner of my eye. It is one of my own little creations a handmade stencil heart frame. I roll my eyes and think: again, Facebook is trying get my frame-heart-blk-webmoney by showing me a dummy ad with one of my images but, it says “Etsy handmade object from all over the world”. Hmmmm, can it be possible my little frame is featured on an Etsy ad on Facebook. Yes! What a way to nice wake up. Thanks Etsy!

Now later today am sending Cutting Edge Stencils my pick for my Free stencil and figuring my layout for my ad that I won for FREE in a local magazine.

Is this for real? Feels good to be a Lucky Girl -Lucky Girl Melissa

Moroccan Stencil Rabat

Moroccan Stencil Rabat

Ok so my life is officially Awesome. It was awesome before with my awesome kid and my awesome work but… I had a little more luck come my way to add to the sweetness. I won the Cutting Edge Stencils giveaway over at you are Talking too Much. How sweet is that. Especially because for the last few months I have covering everything possible with The Indian Inlay Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. can we say: Coffee table, accent table, other accent table, picture frames. I am planning some other projects  a rug, some pillows, and I am shopping around for the right stencils, Perfect Timing!

Ok I have already been to their websiteand I have placed my favorite Stencils on my wish list. The deal is I can pick one stencil worth up to $75. I have narrowed it down to two. Now it’s time to choose. Its tough they are

Damask Stencil Verde

Damask Stencil Verde

both gorgeous. Help me! Vote for you Favorite! I’m leaning towards the Damask (the floral one) because  am thinking I could use different parts of the stencil to create different patterns, very versatile. But the Moroccan one is just clean and Beautiful, I could do a lot with that one. So help a girl out let me know which one you like better. If you have another suggestions mention it in the comments. Thanks -Lucky Girl Melissa. Till next time. 

Stencil Vs Mosaic

Stencil verses MosaicAfter I had refinished a few pieces of furniture I started to show people what I was up to. I would pull out my phone and proudly show off my babies. My two big projects to date were my Stenciled coffee table, nicknamed The Table and my mosaic table, nicknamed The Beauty. Much to my surprise people

"The Beauty" My koi Mosaic

started to take sides between one table verses the next. I noticed that people who preferred the stenciled table really didn’t like the  Mosaic and they would say so. But the people who preferred the mosaic table tended to like both they just preferred the mosaic.  Interesting, I am a live and let live kidda girl, I love both. Which to you prefer? Till next time.

The Finished Table

I Can’t Hear You

I can't hear youI’m that girl!  You know the girl who says she going to do something that doesn’t seem possible and then  the next thing you know she doing it. Before I decided to be that type of person I knew another girl like that and I found her incredibly annoying. I would think all the time how the heck did she do that. Then I decided to be like her.

Am I a suborn person? I would say not really but when I decide I am doing to do something  I don’t listen to anyone, unless they are telling me I can do it. But let’s go back a little bit. When  I was 16 I went to a Catholic High School in Brooklyn New York, sounds pretty safe, right? For a nerdy Caribbean girl it was no joke. With a funny accent and a tendency to make faux pas like asking

I don't look that stubborn do I?

I don’t look that stubborn do I?

for a rubber instead of an eraser, I became a target. Kids were threatening to beat me up for extreme nerdiness. I wasn’t used to dealing with that and I wasn’t going to deal with that. I found a college that I could attend early and get into at 16 years old. I had the grades, I was number 1 in my class. When I discussed it with my mother she said absolutely not. She probably said No God damned way, or over her dead body something final like that. When she made a decision that was it, she was hardcore strict, no talking back EVER. I don’t know what came over me I freaked out and started yelling and screaming, you didn’t yell and scream at my mother.

Next thing I knew I was on my way to that college, I have no idea how I accomplished that. I didn’t know how I did it I just knew I was going to do it.

The Finished Table

One of my pieces that saved me from my boring job

Fast forward to present day, well recent past. I had a very boring but well-paying job. I went home and would  furiously make Art and Furniture and then go back to my job were basically I tried to look like I was doing something all day. Believe me it was hard and stressful to occupy yourself mentally all day long when you aren’t doing much, not to mention trying to look busy. I know ya’ll are wondering what I was doing. Well, I was working in high end retail in store that would sometimes have 2 people a day coming in, really 2!

So after I sold some furniture and paintings in my own business I quit. I didn’t tell most people what I was doing I just did it and I was fine. Friends and random people would ask me wasn’t I scared, didn’t I lay in bed in terror over not being successful. No I was too busy thinking about being successful. I knew I had the grit in my body and in my soul to make this thing work, and I did. Yep I don’t tend to listen to anyone when I decide to do something unless they are helping me along my chosen path. When they explain to me I can’t do it all I hear I wah wah wah, like Charlie Brown. Does that make me stubborn? Maybe a little.

When I say Festooned I mean Festooned

The Blue Stenciled table, a little stenciling is not enough

The Blue Stenciled table, a little stenciling is not enough. Now its Festooned!

To me the word Festooned means to be totally covered with a design. The dictionary says I means totally covered with flowers, that’s close enough considering I have been using it for a few months to describe my uber stenciled furniture.

As I was finishing up on this table I decided to go to the next level and absolutely cover every possible surface with stencil. This project was complicated by the fact that the color I selected although beautiful came from a paint line with zero coverage. Can we say 6 coats of paint. I ended up rescuing myself with a similar color from another brand of paint. That prompted me to write my paint recommendations  I wouldn’t want someone else to be seduced by the sexy can and be a slave to six coats of paint to get some decent coverage. But back to the table, as usual I’m not done yet, with much touching up to do. I unveiled it a little earlier than normal to get on Claire’s  Rustic Pigs, creative Tuesday (yes its Wednesday) But I love it! Yes its dizzying to look at. I’ll put a warning sign “May make you dizzy with Beauty!” but is lovely and exotic, just how I like it.  Contact me if you are interested in purchasing. Till next time.

Melissa

The Round Blue Table



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Available in my Etsy Shop

Well I did it I finally refinished a piece of furniture without stenciling it. It was really hard, my stencils were right there. I really wanted to grab them but I didn’t. It wasn’t the project for that. I actually saw this table at a garage sale and left it there because I had no idea what to do with it, read more about that here.  I saw a very similar table on Pintrest with a fantastic paint job. With  that inspiration fresh in my mind I went back to grab that table.

I knew I wanted to do it blue. I just scored a fantastic blue for free from an  Ace hardware at a promotion for a free quart of paint. It’s by Clark and Kensington,

The $10 table. How awesome. This is how it started out

The $10 table. How awesome. This is how it started out

a great paint line, nice coverage and great colors just how I like it. I’ll have to add that to my paint recommendations. I made my

own chalk paint by adding tablespoon of unsanded grout to each 8oz of paint. Start with a little water and dissolve your grout  first that is so you don’t end up with lumps. I like lumpy mashed potatoes but not lumpy paint. I went with  chalk paint because of its reputation of sticking to everything and anything the table has a leather panel and I wanted to be sure the paint would stick to and cover it. The paint job came out beautifully  I’m  so impressed I might use chalk paint all the time.

I added some gold metallic paint to to highlight the details of the table. I used acrylic paint because I’m a painter and that’s what I had on hand. I can’t wait to try GedeO Gilding Wax or some Rub and Buff.  I’m pretty proud of myself, this table was completely out of my element. Look ma’ no stencils. Till next time.207222Melissa